Solar Era Advent

Note: The 12-point plan “Tirurpuzha Sahajivana Paddhati” has energy self-reliance as one item. The following article on solar era advent is relevant also for the fact that cleaning of the Augean Stables was done by Hercules using solar energy as described in the following article. Our Herculean task of cleaning up Tirur River and solar energy propagation are therefore interrelated. Your comments are invited.




It is heartening to note that the Solar Era has arrived. Electricity can now be produced through solar photo-voltaic cells at a cost lower than from fossil fuels because of a much awaited technology breakthrough recently achieved by the American company Nanosolar. The shift from fossil fuels can save our environment from further deterioration. Drawing energy and inspiration from the sun humanity can achieve better physical and mental health also. If man adopts also a heliocentric life on earth in harmony with nature, the advent of a Solar Era would be complete.

 The breakthrough in technology

A ray of good news for 2008 is the following: “Nanosolar, a U. S. based company has started shipping solar panels @$1.00 per peak watt, the long awaited break-even point. Now solar can compete with conventional sources, even coal.” The breakthrough in technology is to be able to produce photo-voltaic (PV) cells nearly as easily and quickly as on a printing press, according to the Guardian of 2007 December 29. Rather than being confined to the roofs of smart homes, PV cells could eventually be put on a variety of small surfaces. Suddenly the possibility of solar electricity becoming as cheap as coal power has emerged with less time required to set up a power plant, less than one tenth of the time to set up a nuclear station. It is worth noting that Silicon Valley companies and the U.S. Government are financial supporters of Nanosolar that made the breakthrough. Silicon Valley based Nanosolar uses innovative technology to manufacture thin-film photo-voltaic cells of Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide (CIGS) using a printing deposition process.

The technology breakthrough achieved by Nanosolar, enables sale of solar panels at Rs. 40,000 per kW ($1/W). It makes production of electric power from solar energy economical enough now to compete with fossil fuels, which are rapidly depleting and highly polluting. This alternative to conventional sources is already recognized as a necessity for our sustainability in the future. To compete in cost with fossil fuel sources, the hope was that the solar energy cost would come down to a competitive level of Rs.40,000/kW in 10 years time, from what it had been at the very beginning of photovoltaic cell use at Rs. 4 crore/kW. We have reached that threshold now, ahead of the expectation. With $ at less than Rs.40, and oil at $100/barrel there is nothing to stop us from launching the new era and thriving in it with the advantage of early start. Let us welcome Nanosolar for bringing in the long-awaited breakthrough and apply our ingenuity to promote and improve on it.

Breakthrough in Health

The advent of the Solar Era is needed not only in our energy supply but also in the area of our physical health and mental well-being. A comprehensive transformation in our living style and attitude is needed to remove the underlying cause of most of our problems, but the key to it was missing. I have been in search of it in all my social activities, travels and thinking. At this stage of my search I feel a heliocentric culture would provide the key. Living a rich life in accordance with nature will be automatic and effortless if we draw not only energy but also inspiration from the sun. The example of the sun for giving light and life support to all equally, should inspire us in our treatment of fellow beings, irrespective of caste, creed and state of evolution. Living with brilliance and intensity with punctuality and dependability, we can emulate the example of the sun. The sun is burning itself to death and it provides the model for living a rich life of sacrifice, a prime value of our sustaining civilization and of all great cultures. Natural food, enjoyment of sunlight and heliotherapy when needed, can ensure good physical health to carry out our journey of life with joy effortlessly. The mental health that accrues through sun is experienced by all of us and it can be enhanced by efficient and scientific use of sunlight. Spiritual gains have been attained from time immemorial by seeking oneness with the sun through various practices. The Ramayana tells that Sri Rama gained the power from the Sun only, through the Adityahrdaya Mantra,.to conquer the invincible Ravana at last.

Herculean Task

Humanity is situated today like the great legendary Greek hero Heracles, who is more commonly known as Hercules from the Latin name. All the tasks (the 12 Labours) he was challenged with and he accomplished, were acts worth his heroism except the fifth, the cleaning out of the stables of Augeas, king of the Epeians in Elis, a son of the sun god Helios. He was challenged to finish the task unaided in a single day. The stables of the immense herd of cattle had not been cleaned in 30 years and there was a mountain of dirt and dung. Hercules, with all his strength would not be able to manage in a hundred years to finish this scavenger’s labour. A flash of creativity entered Hercules as he glimpsed at the swift river Alpheius glinting in the sun. He got the idea. Hercules dug a very narrow channel from the river source to the entrance of the stable. Water gushed with tremendous force and washed down all the accumulated dirt in no time leaving the stables clean as a slate, and depositing it in far-off Sicily to make it fertile. Like Hercules, humanity also has to meet the existential challenge. Just as he employed the accumulation of solar energy appearing as the immense flow energy of the river, humanity can have a way out of its impasse through solar energy. After years of neglect, the Augean stables of the world environment can be cleaned in a Herculean fashion by tapping solar energy. In the legend Hercules killed Augeas, the son of sun god and his sons for breach of trust of refusing to pay the promised reward, not for the neglect! Humanity, the offspring of the Sun, should not repeat the neglect of Augeas and continue to pollute the earth inviting his fate. The advent of the Solar Era offers us the alternative.

Surya Yog for Surya Yug

The advent of the Solar Era (Surya Yug) assures a sun-centred life on earth with complete harmony with nature. That includes not only the use of solar energy for all our needs but also a total transformation of man through the cleaning up of the Augean stables within him/her. Suryayog offers a daily procedure to wash away from within us the accumulated evil emotions and influences and acquire total health physically, mentally and spiritually. This is done by individual effort in a complementary group setting in communion with the Sun. A natural procedure of receiving and directing the intense flow of light and love from the Sun is followed and the intense flow is directed within and without for the wellbeing of all. Auxiliary exercises enhance the experience. The intensity, consistency and power of the procedure make it uniquely effective to bring about the required transformation in humanity gradually. Suryayog is offered in local communities of self-managed groups without fees, registration and organizational hierarchy. It tries to avoid the pitfalls of past movements and to bring in the ethos of a new era. The intent in Suryayog is to live in harmony with nature. Thus it ensures the right way of living to be practiced as a natural consequence. Total health is assured in all respects to individuals, the community and the world.

A New World

What we need now is definite action on a daily basis by each and every person to enable us to live fully in the Solar Era. We should spread the realization we have attained to give an early start to all our fellow beings. We can start the day by being with the sun at dawn (‘Suryayog’). Let us do it as a daily practice along with a few other people and share the joy and love drawn from the experience. In a complementary group-setting the transformation in us will be faster and we will evolve faster in our natural growth and journey of life. Meeting and sharing with neighbours and significant people in our life on a daily basis is helpful to enjoy the bliss of complementary living. Let the Sun be the focus for it. Such a practice all over the world at sunrise (or at sunset) encompassing a critical mass of people is possible. That can lead to the necessary chain reaction to involve all. At that stage disharmony within and without, the basic cause of all problems would cease to exist. Conditions for a natural state of holistic life would prevail. Let us start the process with the practice of Suryayog. I am doing it and finding it very beneficial. Let us all do it and experience the results without any risk. .

The advent of the Solar Era offers an opportunity for mankind to realize its dream of an ideal world of justice to all without discrimination. The daily practice of drawing the inspiration from the Sun ensures inculcation of goodwill to all without any discrimination based on caste, creed, gender, language, age or nationality. The role model of the Sun is remembered daily for punctuality, dependability and self-sacrifice. The economy of the Solar Era would be naturally non-centralized. Therefore, the elusive ideal of enlightened self-rule (Swaraj) would be attainable by all. The extent of self-empowerment possible in the Solar Era would create a society free of exploitation and injustice where health and evolutionary growth would be self–managed

Dr. N. N. Panicker,

Tatsat, TC 29/1444, Rosscote Lane

Thiruvananthapuram 695010

+91 471 2321299, +91 9447389369

Dr. N. N. Panicker is an independent thinker, writer, speaker and experimenter of development alternatives, based in Thiruvananthapuram.


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