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.
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 who experiences his life using the Sensory Experience such as taste? 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 Individuality and true or real 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? To know the burdens of Life, I ask my readers to know the reality of man and the nature of his existence.
A Force of Compassion to lift the heavy burden of life’s long journey
THE PHENOMENON OF EXTINCTION:
Alpha Orionis, or Betelgeuse is the largest and brightest Star visible to the naked eye near the Constellation of Orion. This mammoth star is slowly evaporating. This massive star is shedding weight and is near end of its life. This red Supergiant star is about 430 light years distant. If this star is now placed at the center of our Solar system, its plume would extend past the orbit of planet Jupiter. Sun towards the end of its life would also evaporate and its expanding plume would totally wipeout all living entities on planet Earth. When we speak about human existence, we need to understand man as a biological species. Like all other living creatures of this planet Earth, man is a mortal being. Whosoever had arrived on this planet, must also depart. Extinction is not merely a past geological event. The reign of Dinosaurs upon Earth ended 65 million years ago and it is marked as Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event or K-T Event. Apart from Cosmic Radiation, and Massive Collision events involving asteroids, comets, or other heavenly bodies, there are biological factors involved in the phenomenon of Extinction. Man’s existence depends upon an orderly functioning of the universe. The existence of the Individual (microcosm) is linked to the existence of Cosmos (macrocosm).
IS MAN BORN FREE?
In the Sanskrit literature, the word ‘Daivam’ describes ‘Fate’. It conveys the sense of belief in God as the ‘Prime Cause’. If God is in control, man is not free to act as he pleases even in his own defense. We may not be able to conduct experiments and scientifically establish the fact that God is in control. What we clearly understand is that the man cannot govern or rule the cells that constitute his body and define his physical existence.
Man is not an independent living entity. Man’s dependence upon external sources of energy, and the biological phenomenon of ‘cellular autonomy’ would not permit man to act as he pleases. Man is not in control of his existence. Man’s capacity to defend his own existence is limited and he continuously faces challenges to his existence from several different directions. If man is truly free, the Universe, the World, and the Society can place no constraints on him. Man is tied down, he is born in shackles without Freedom.
The Four Fundamental Forces:
The orderly functioning of the universe demands the synchronization of the Fundamental Forces that operate the Universal Order. If there is no ‘ORDER’, the resulting ‘CHAOS’ , or extreme disorder would destroy all living entities. In Physical Science, the Four Fundamental Forces that operate in Nature are described; 1. The Strong Nuclear Force, 2. The Weak Nuclear Force, 3. The Electromagnetic Force, and 4. The Gravitational Force. While these Forces operate all reactions with matter in Nature, we need a Creative Force or Creative Energy to bring into existence each individual living entity which enables the entity to exist in nature as an ‘Individual’ and to live by exploiting other forms of Energy provided by the material Nature known as Prakriti. In the Sanskrit language this Creative Force or Energy is named as ‘Maya’ and hence the phenomenal Universe is a manifestation of ‘Maya’. However, the living entities and all other created entities have no ability of their own to fully defend their state of existence. In the Sanskrit language the word ‘Krupa’ describes the great and powerful Force of ‘Daya’, ‘Karuna’ or Compassion, Mercy, Grace, and Kindness that sustains, protects and preserves existence of life. ‘Krupa’ is a great and magnificent Force which enables man to overcome difficulties, get over obstacles and face huge challenges. The Controller of ‘KRUPA’ exists in a state of complete, and perfect ‘Bliss’ called ‘Ananda’. The thought of ‘Krupa’ delights human mind and is associated with a sensation of Sweetness and it visually brings the Joy of Spring Season described as ‘Vasant’ or ‘Basant’which symbolizes creation and rejuvenation. Krupa being Sweet like nectar and honey; when we seek Mercy and Grace; when we ask for Compassion, and Kindness; it not only provides peace and a sense of tranquility, but also it imparts a sense of pure joy.
A HYMN TO SEEK ‘KRUPA’ – A FORCE TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT HUMAN EXISTENCE:
Muukam karoti Vachaalam, pangum langhayate girim,
Yat Krupaa ta Maham Vande Paramaananda Madhavam.
I pay obeisance (Vande) to Eternally Blissful (Paramaananda) Madhava whose Compassion or Krupa is boundless (Maham) and with His Mercy a mute person (Muukam) can be transformed into an eloquent speaker (Vachaalam) and a physically challenged person (Pangum) can easily cross over (langhayate) the mountains (girim). This hymn beautifully connects the problems of human condition, the physical limitations imposed upon our fragile state of existence, with a limitless source of energy known as Krupa which is the manifestation of Madhava who brings the Joy of Spring Season and symbolizes sweetness, sugar, honey, or ‘Madhu’, and is constantly accompanied by this energy or Shakti which assumes the form of Radha or Madhavi or Lakshmi.
SEEK THE EXPERIENCE OF ‘MADHURYA’:
We need to constantly remind ourselves about the transient, ephemeral, and fleeting nature of human existence. In our life’s journey, we tend to follow an easy course and tend to avoid facing obstacles. Very often, we behave like a physically challenged person and act as if physically incapacitated due to fear, doubt, and a lack of resolve or indecisiveness. Sometimes, difficulties arise without any prior warning and overwhelm our existence. Many of us remain mute or cannot speak up bacause of a sense of fear or because of sheer ignorance. We may not be simply aware of the dangers that may threaten our existence. We should seek the Force of Krupa that brings a sense of Joy and imparts the taste of Sweetness known as ‘Madhurya’.
The Rudi Connection at Whole Foods celebrates the birth anniversary of Goddess Radha, the Goddess of Love, Mercy, Grace, and Compassion
Yes Indeed, Life is Complicated. The complexity of Life involves the conditioned or the dependent nature of the human existence. The man has no existence if he is not connected to an external source of energy. The external source of energy which supports the existence of Life is often described as the Divine Providence, the original source of Love, Mercy, Grace, and Compassion.
2022 Radha Ashtami
Radha Ashtami is a well-known Hindu festival to commemorate the birth anniversary of Goddess Radha, Shri Radha Rani, the consort of Lord Krishna. It falls on Ashtami Tithi, the eighth day. Of the Waxing Phase of the Moon, during Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapada month.
According to the Hindu beliefs, Goddess Radha is the incarnation or avatar of Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu, the Lord God Protector of the Hindu Trinity.
The occasion of Radha Ashtami falls 15 days after the festival of Janmashtami, or Krishna Ashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. It usually takes place in the month of August or September according to the Gregorian calendar.
Devotees keep fast on Radha Ashtami day. Goddess Radha is worshipped during Madhyahna Kala which is noon time according to Hindu division of the day.
Radha Ashtami is also known as Radhashtami and Radha Jayanti. In the Indian tradition, the LORD God Creator is the Controller of Power/Force/Energy that operates all interactions of the natural world, and the universe. The LORD God Creator separates Himself from the Power/Force/Energy that He Controls, Regulates, Sustains, and Operates. In the Indian tradition, the Power/Force/Energy or Shakti is personified as the consort of LORD God Creator. As the manifestations of Power/Force/Energy are varied, each attribute acquires a personality of its own and the man easily recognizes the nature of the blessings he receives from his benefactor. In the Indian tradition, Goddess Radha is the personification of Love that symbolizes the Spiritual Unity between the Original Source of Love and the physical manifestation of the Force called Love.