In 1965, while I was a student of Human Anatomy at Kurnool Medical College, I had the opportunity to know about Dr. J. C. B. Grant (1886-1973), the author of Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy. The 5th Edition of his Atlas was published in 1962 and was available in India in our Medical College Library.
Born in Loanhead (south of Edinburgh) in 1886, Grant studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and graduated with an M.B., Ch.B. degree in 1908. While at Edinburgh, he worked under the renowned anatomist Daniel John Cunningham.
Grant became a decorated serviceman of the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War before moving to Canada. He established himself as an ‘anatomist extraordinary’ at the University of Toronto, publishing three textbooks that form the basis of Grant’s Anatomy. The textbooks are still used in anatomy classes today, and made unforgettable memories for those who found themselves in his classes nearly a century ago. One of Grant’s many accomplishments was establishing a division of histology within the department.
As a medical student, I used Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy, the seminal work of Scottish-born Dr. John Charles Boileau Grant, who would become the chair of Anatomy at the University of Toronto in 1930 and retired in 1965.
John Charles Boileau Grant (1886–1973)
The author of Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy (1943), Grant used to train thousands of medical students around the world. He came to University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine from University of Manitoba (and previously Edinburgh), and was Chair of the Department of Anatomy there from 1930 to 1965. Although he is best known for this famous atlas, his research and teaching also included biological anthropology, as evidenced by such work as Anthropometry of the Cree and Saulteaux Indians in Northeastern Manitoba (Archaeological Survey of Canada 1929). The human skeletal collection he formed, the “J.C.B. Grant Collection,” is still a core collection for human osteology in the Department of Anthropology at University of Toronto. He is also remembered in the Grant’s Museum at the Medical Sciences Building at the University of Toronto. This museum, with its displays of anatomical specimens, many of which were dissected by Grant himself, continues to be used in an active learning environment by more than 1000 students each year.
Students continue to use Grant’s textbooks today, and for the more artistic anatomist there’s even a Grant’s Anatomy Coloring Book, published in 2018.
At the University of Toronto, Dr.McMurrich, Chair of Anatomy was succeeded as chairman in 1930 by Dr. John Charles Boileau Grant. Dr. Grant wrote three text books, of which “An Atlas of Anatomy” (published in 1943) rapidly gained international prominence and is still, one of the most widely used anatomical atlases in the world. It is now known as “Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy” and is in its tenth edition. The atlas was based on a series of elegant dissections done either by Grant or by others under his supervision. Many of these dissections are currently housed in Grant’s Museum at the University of Toronto.
The Rudi-Grant Connection is about knowing the man, the building blocks and the structural units and organization of the human body. To defend the human existence, the Rudi-Grant Connection lays the emphasis on knowing the person who is at risk apart from knowing the agent posing the risk.
THE IDENTITY OF MULTICELLULAR HUMAN ORGANISM:
Daniel John Cunningham was born on 15 April 1850 in Scotland. After his initial schooling at his home town, Crieff, he took up the study of medicine at the University of Edinburgh and passed with honours. He is best known for the excellent series of dissection manuals, namely Cunningham’s Dissection Manuals. Cunningham’s Manual of Practical Anatomy has provided me the learning tools to know and understand Man’s External and Internal Reality and its Identity as described by Cells, Tissues, Organs,and Organ Systems.
I learned the truths about the living human body and about Life while dissecting the dead human bodies in a systematic manner. The Manual of Practical Anatomy which guides us through this entire process was published in England. The author Dr. Daniel John Cunningham prepared the Manual while dissecting cadavers of British or Irish citizens. He had never encountered cadavers of Indian citizens. At Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India, where I was a student, the Department of Anatomy obtains dead bodies from Government General Hospital Kurnool and most of the deceased are the poor, illiterate, and uneducated people of that region. None of the deceased had the chance to know this man called Cunningham and Cunningham had no knowledge about the existence of these people who arrive on our dissection tables. But, as the dissection of the human body proceeds, inch, by inch, we recognize the anatomical parts as described by Cunningham. The manual also lists some anatomical variations and we very often exchange information between various dissection tables and recognize the variations mentioned. The dissections also involve slicing the organs and studying them, both macroscopically, and microscopically. We did not miss any part of the human body. So what is the Identity of this Human person or Human subject? How does the living Human organism maintain its Identity and Individuality? Apart from the Cultural Traditions of India, several Schools of Religious Thought claim that the Human Individual and its Identity is represented by Human Soul. Where does this soul exist in the human body? What is the location if the soul is present in the living person? Does man have a soul? How does the human organism acquires Knowledge about its own structures and the functions they perform?
The Doctrine of Creation and the Creative Potency called Maya
‘RAAS LEELA’-LORD KRISHNA IN VRINDAVAN DANCING WITH GOPIS, SIMULTANEOUSLY ONE AND DIFFERENT-A MANIFESTATION OF CREATIVE ENERGY AND CREATIVE POTENCY CALLED MAYA
The Doctrine of Creation and the Creative Potency called Maya:
The term creation refers to the beginning of things and it helps man to specify his place in the universe and serves as a basis for the orientation of man in the world. The ideas about creation impact our culture in a very significant manner and shape man’s identity.
Krishna Consciousness – Defining Indian Identity
Krishna is known from the descriptions given in the Indian epic poems of BHAGAVATA PURANA, MAHABHARATA, and The Bhagavad Gita (The Lord’s Song).
Jayadeva (late 12th century), the author of celebrated Sanskrit poem ‘GITA GOVINDA’ (“Song of Cowherd”), described Lord Krishna’s delightful and enchanting pastimes, His playful activities are popularly known as “RAAS LEELA.” Jayadeva used the Sanskrit word “ADBHUTA” (an amazing feat) to narrate the mystical ability of Krishna to present Himself in several different forms at one and the same time. Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda gives the readers a sense of joy and the devotional service to Lord Krishna gives a chance to experience a sense of sweetness which is called MADHURYA in the Sanskrit Language.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (16th century) established the sublime doctrine of Krishna: ‘Simultaneously One and Different’. He promoted devotion to Krishna and I claim that ‘KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS’ defines my Indian Identity.
LORD KRISHNA – THE CAUSE OF ALL CAUSES (THE BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 7, THE YOGA OF WISDOM, THE KNOWLEDGE OF ABSOLUTE, VERSE 19):
Lord Krishna is the primary cause of all material manifestations. The Sanskrit word ‘MAYA’ describes the creative energy or potency of Lord Krishna (Bhagavad Gita 7:25).
Maya is the governing principle of the material manifestation of the universe and all that it contains. Krishna described Himself as the Supreme Lord, as the governing principle of material manifestation (Bhagavad Gita 7:30).
The creative energy works on three different levels. 1. Material creation leads to the creation of the total material energy known by the Sanskrit word ‘MAHA TATTVA’. 2. The creative principle enters into all the universes to create diversities in each of them. The fundamental particles that constitute matter have varying characteristics and properties. The individual variations are an attribute of a creative process. 3. The creative force is diffused as the all-pervading Supersoul in all the universes and is known by the Sanskrit word ‘PARAMATMA’. It is present even in atoms.
The material universe is a manifestation of the energy of the Lord. All the activities of the material world are directed by the above mentioned three forms of creative energy. However, a distinction could be made between non-living matter and the living entities. It may be said that the living entities are the manifestation of superior energy as they exist by exploiting the products of the gross and subtle inferior energy that manifests as matter (Bhagavad Gita 7:5).
Krishna consciousness is active in every sphere. Earth, water, fire, air, and every active principle, all chemicals, and all material elements are due to Krishna (Bhagavad Gita 7:4).
He is the origin and dissolution of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world (Bhagavad Gita 7:6).
He is the original fragrance of this earth, He is the light in the fire, and He is the life of all that lives (Bhagavad Gita 7:9).
He is the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, and He is the syllable’ AUM’, He is the sound in ether, and He is the ability in man (Bhagavad Gita 7:8).
Lord Krishna is the original seed of all existences (Bhagavad Gita 7:10).
Most interestingly, a similar claim is made in the Gospel According to Apostle John. The Book of John, chapter 1, verse 3 states, “All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made.” The Bhagavad Gita describes Lord Krishna as the Controller, and all living entities are controlled by Him.
THE DIVERSE ENERGIES OF THE LORD:
All states or modes of existence such as goodness, passion, and ignorance are manifestations of His energy (Bhagavad Gita 7:12). The material nature is known by the Sanskrit word ‘PRAKRITI’, and all living entities are viewed as the multi energies of Krishna.
The difference lies in the quantity of energy that they contain. Energies are always controlled by the ‘Energetic’, the true source of energy. As such living entities are always controlled and they have no independent existence. While Krishna is everything, but He is independent. He is not controlled by the modes of this material nature (Bhagavad Gita 7:12).
Humans exist by drawing energy from material nature and Krishna has no such dependence. Human life is a manifestation of the creative power and energy and the existence is dependent upon the five life-giving forces contained in the material nature. Sun and moon are seen as components of the sky. They control the biological rhythms of all living creatures. The energy from Sun is trapped by the plants and is converted into complex compounds by a process known as photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is also the source of stored energies such as coal, fossil fuels, and natural gas. The Earth and its atmosphere provide all the nutrients (directly or indirectly via the mechanism of the food chains), the minerals, and the elements that are important for the structure and functioning of living entities. Water is the chief ingredient of living organisms. The act of breathing, the mechanism of respiration is an important physiological mechanism for living cells. The ability to use wind/air to a great extent defines the living process. Respiration is the process by which the cells generate energy for their activities. Fire provides the heat and energy for all metabolic activities and we exist by burning sugars and other energy providing sources. Nature (FIVE LIFE GIVING ENERGIES) supports life and it helps to bring forth new members from preexisting forms of life but can not generate new beings on its own. Life can not begin spontaneously without the intervention of a creative force/energy.
WHAT IS CREATIVITY?
Creative power is the power that is able to bring forth new beings. Creativity is the ability to make or otherwise bring into existence something new. The single most important element in the creative process is believed to be originality or uniqueness. Nature (FIVE LIFE GIVING ENERGIES) helps in the process of replication/reproduction and sustains life. As per the Biogenetic Law, a species breeds to produce its own kind. Creativity imparts that label of distinctiveness by causing individualistic variations.
Krishna is the personification of that creative energy and the beautiful paintings of ‘RAAS LEELA’ are an example of His ability to be one and different at the same time.