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Vedic Cosmology – The Planets of the Material Universe

The cosmology and cosmography of the ancient Vedas is awe inspiring to say the least. The more “modern” of the Vedic texts are known to originate from approximately 3000 B.C., thus being the oldest scientific and religious doctrines known to man. The descriptions of our solar system and what modern astronomy has discovered of the visible universe corresponds with the ancient Vedic knowledge, proving that man has had advanced knowledge of astronomy for thousands of years before our modern civilization began. This article describes the Vedic version of planetary systems from the topmost, eternal planets down through the temporary planetary systems within innumerable universes of this material world.
When saying “cosmic manifestation” we speak of two separate worlds, the spiritual and the material. The spiritual planetary systems are eternal, beyond the limits of the material universes, and belong to a “super dimensional” or “anti-material” dimension. These are beyond the limitations of material time and space and therefore beyond our vision, or powers of perception. In these planetary systems there is no occurrence of creation or dissolution, and these planets are unlimited, indestructible, and eternally existing. There are descriptions of these spiritual planets in the vedic literatures, but this article concentrates on those within the material universe.
The material planetary systems are created at some point in time and will be destroyed at another. They are bound by the influences of time and space. Both of these energies (spiritual and material) are of the same divine source called “brahmajyoti”, the spiritual light. About 1/4th of this brahmajyoti is covered by the “mahat-tattva”, the material energy, where are found innumerable material universes. The 3/4th portion is the eternal spiritual sky. In the spiritual world are two realms of existence, “Goloka-dhama” and “Hari-dhama”. The material world has one realm called “Devi-dhama”.
Goloka-dhama is the topmost planet and residence of the Supreme Godhead Sri Sri Radha-Krishna. Below this is Hari-dhama where the spiritual planets of the Vaikunthalokas are situated. Below the Vaikuntha planets is “Mahesh-dhama” (also called Sadasivaloka, or the abode of Lord Siva). This is the realm dividing the spiritual from the material universes. Below Mahesh-dhama is Devi-dhama, the realm of the material universe. It is said that the systems of yoga offer different destinations. Bhakti yoga directs one toward entering Hari-dhama or Goloka-dhama. Jnana yoga directs the aspirant toward entrance to Mahesh dhama, and karma yoga directs one to remain in Devi-dhama, experiencing repeated birth and death in the material worlds.
The Planetary Systems of Devi-Dhama
In the Bhagavad-Gita we find a statement that there are three divisions of material planets in our universe. They are “urdhva-loka” (highest), “madhya-loka” (middle), and “adho-loka” (lower). Above the urdhva-lokas are the coverings of the material universe beyond which lie the eternal realms of existence. Within these three spheres of existence are 14 main planetary systems with different standards of life and duration of existence. The residents of the upper three systems have almost no disease or aging of the body, and they have no sense of fear. As the planetary systems progress downward there is lesser duration of life and standard of living, as well as a greater manifestation of disease and anxiety.

OUR Newly Built Stage Steps

In order to better understand how a cost segregation study is conducted, it is helpful to understand the construction process (i.e., how a building is constructed). The following discussion provides a general overview of this process, from the conceptual stage through the bidding, construction, payment, and completion stage of a project. Although there may be certain facts and circumstances in specific geographic locales that vary from what is presented here, the basic construction concepts are similar in all locales. For purposes of this discussion, it is assumed that a fee contractor, rather than an in-house labor force, performs the construction. For additional information and a glossary of construction terms, refer to the MSSP Guide for Construction Industry, which can be downloaded using the following link: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-mssp/build.pdf STAGES IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS The Construction Process is composed of six distinct stages, which are: Concept Contracts and Bid Documents Bidding Construction Construction Payments Completion Each of these stages is discussed below in more detail. 1. Concept All construction projects begin with planning and design, also referred to as "architectural programming." Numerous overlapping steps occur during this conceptual or design phase, prior to actual construction of the project. An architect is the primary designer of a building or project and controls the overall design, specifications, finished materials (e.g., brick, paint, carpet, wall covering, etc.), and other architectural features of the building. In addition, the architect supervises the engineers responsible for the structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting and plumbing design of the building. Engineers must always conform to the design requirements of the architect. Each member of the design team must also be licensed with the proper state licensing authorities where the facility is located. Planning & Architectural Programming During the initial stages of the design process, the architect(s) and engineer(s) have a number of client meetings in order to determine the purpose and objective of the proposed construction. The primary activities, for which the project is being constructed, as well as the relationships between spaces, are reviewed. Consideration is also given to how well the completed project relates to adjacent buildings (if any) and its surroundings. The preliminary programming produces a list of solutions, alternatives, feasibility studies and costs estimates. After a review of the programming statement, schematic plans are prepared. Schematic Plans Schematic plans are the first plans of a facility and show the interrelationship between spaces and activities. All of the parties (architects, engineers, and the client) review the schematic plans and make recommendations, as necessary. Any changes are then incorporated into the final schematic plans. Revised schematic plans are also known as "preliminary plans," and provide a graphic view of the project, the refined details of how the project will look, and the relationship of all spaces. Once the preliminary planning phase is complete, the project then enters a stage involving the preparation of contract bid documents and working drawings. 2. Contracts and Bid Documents In order to solicit construction bids, the builder must provide potential bidders with working drawings and plans for the proposed structure, as well as project specifications, the terms of which are spelled out in contracts. Contract/Working Drawings/Plans All projects, whether they involve new construction or expansion of an existing structure, require the preparation of contract documents. The contract working drawings and plans provide a pictorial representation of the construction work, and specify or lay out the designer's intentions for the facility. The drawings illustrate, among other things, the appearance, layout, equipment, and amenities of the project. These drawings show the architect's plan/design for the building's overall appearance, such as finish materials, floor plans, sizes, and use of each building area. Engineers design the building's structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and communication systems. The architect also begins to gather project data to deal with problems or situations that are expected to arise during the construction process, such as local zoning requirements, local infrastructure, traffic, environmental and population impact, acoustic, energy, lighting, and aesthetic considerations. Various consulting engineers may also be utilized to solve specific project problems. Numerous drawing plans are involved in a construction project, including the following. Architectural Plans The architectural plans indicate the layout of the project, such as floor plans, elevations, and details of the construction and architectural finishes. These plans are typically numbered sequentially with the prefix "A" for "architectural." "Plan view," the most common type of an architectural plan, is an overhead view of the spaces on a specific floor. These plans also indicate the length, width and various heights of the structure and floor elevations. Plans may show notes of specific construction information and may also contain details on a specific portion of work. Exterior elevations show the exterior and the exterior finishes, and are similar to photographs of the exterior. Architectural schedules on the plans indicate the door types, windows, hardware, plumbing, and light fixtures in each room. In preparing the plans, the architect utilizes graphic symbols, instead of words, to indicate various facility conditions. These symbols indicate the various types of material, sizes, and room finishes to be used. Symbols may be shown on the plans themselves or in the legends of the plans. [A list of general symbols is shown in the Appendix of Plan Reading and Material Takeoff, by Wayne J. DelPico, published by R. S. Means Company.] A civil engineer is responsible for the proper drainage of a site, as well as the design of land improvements, such as paving, curb and gutter design, retaining walls, and drainage culverts. Site plans prepared by the civil engineer indicate the existing and proposed grades of the land and the specific location of the facility on the land. Structural Plans The structural plans are prepared by structural engineers and show the structural design of a building. These plans incorporate foundation planning with considerations for rain, snow, wind, earthquakes, and other natural phenomena. Structural engineers design the facility for both "live" and "dead" loads of the building. Live loads consist of the people, furniture, and other items that are not part of the building, but are supported by the building. Dead load is simply the weight of the building or structure itself. Mechanical Plans Mechanical plans are prepared by a mechanical engineer to show the design of the various mechanical systems in the building. These systems must be designed to incorporate the proper air conditioning, heating, and ventilation equipment, as well as adequate plumbing, to meet the needs for all of the building's designated activities. Like the structural engineer, the mechanical engineer must design the mechanical building systems to meet building "loads." For example, office work produces a certain level of heat load, whereas cooking in a commercial kitchen may produce greater heat loads. The energy use of the air conditioning, heating, pumps, and other building equipment are monitored by the mechanical engineer and are considered when specifying building equipment for an efficiently designed building system. Mechanical plans are numbered with the prefixes "P" for "plumbing" and "H" for "heating, ventilating, and air conditioning." Electrical Plans Electrical plans are prepared by an electrical engineer, and show the electrical distribution system for the efficient distribution of power in a building. The plan design includes the distribution of electrical power from the utility company and the distribution to power-specific equipment. Engineering design factors for the overall electrical "load" of a building must also be considered (e.g., proper sizing and arrangement of transformers, panel boards, circuits, wires, conduits and power to the various machines, equipment and activities in the building). Electrical engineers may also handle the lighting design requirements of the building, as well as specialty areas such as a central security monitoring system, a computerized control system, and fire and smoke management systems. Electrical plans are numbered with the prefix "E" for "electrical." Contract Specifications The second part of the contracts and bid documents stage is the preparation of project specifications, also known as "specs." Specs instruct the contractor how to build the project, and consist of contract documents, the technical specifications of the materials and the quality of the materials to be installed, and the workmanship for installation of the materials. Given the amount of information that is required to be included, specs have to be organized in a coherent manner. The most widely accepted system for arranging construction specifications is called the CSI Master Format. The CSI format, developed by the Construction Specification Institute, requires four categories of information: bidding requirements, contract forms, contract conditions, and technical specifications. Bidding requirements Bidding requirements describe the conditions of the bid to the owner, and encompass the Invitation to Bid, the Instructions to Bidders, the Information Available to Bidders, the Bid Forms and Attachments, and the Bid Security Forms. The type of contract between an owner and a contractor dictates the form of the bidding conditions. Contract Form Contract forms are divided into sections, including the Agreement, the Performance and Payment Bonds, and the Certificates. Contract Conditions The contract conditions include the General Conditions and Supplementary Conditions. Technical Specifications The technical specs are generally prepared for each specific project in the CSI Master Format and these include hundreds, perhaps thousands of individual items that will be installed in the project.

OUR BRAND

2. Contracts and Bid Documents In order to solicit construction bids, the builder must provide potential bidders with working drawings and plans for the proposed structure, as well as project specifications, the terms of which are spelled out in contracts. Contract/Working Drawings/Plans All projects, whether they involve new construction or expansion of an existing structure, require the preparation of contract documents. The contract working drawings and plans provide a pictorial representation of the construction work, and specify or lay out the designer's intentions for the facility. The drawings illustrate, among other things, the appearance, layout, equipment, and amenities of the project. These drawings show the architect's plan/design for the building's overall appearance, such as finish materials, floor plans, sizes, and use of each building area. Engineers design the building's structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and communication systems. The architect also begins to gather project data to deal with problems or situations that are expected to arise during the construction process, such as local zoning requirements, local infrastructure, traffic, environmental and population impact, acoustic, energy, lighting, and aesthetic considerations. Various consulting engineers may also be utilized to solve specific project problems. Numerous drawing plans are involved in a construction project, including the following. Architectural Plans The architectural plans indicate the layout of the project, such as floor plans, elevations, and details of the construction and architectural finishes. These plans are typically numbered sequentially with the prefix "A" for "architectural." "Plan view," the most common type of an architectural plan, is an overhead view of the spaces on a specific floor. These plans also indicate the length, width and various heights of the structure and floor elevations. Plans may show notes of specific construction information and may also contain details on a specific portion of work. Exterior elevations show the exterior and the exterior finishes, and are similar to photographs of the exterior. Architectural schedules on the plans indicate the door types, windows, hardware, plumbing, and light fixtures in each room. In preparing the plans, the architect utilizes graphic symbols, instead of words, to indicate various facility conditions. These symbols indicate the various types of material, sizes, and room finishes to be used. Symbols may be shown on the plans themselves or in the legends of the plans. [A list of general symbols is shown in the Appendix of Plan Reading and Material Takeoff, by Wayne J. DelPico, published by R. S. Means Company.] A civil engineer is responsible for the proper drainage of a site, as well as the design of land improvements, such as paving, curb and gutter design, retaining walls, and drainage culverts. Site plans prepared by the civil engineer indicate the existing and proposed grades of the land and the specific location of the facility on the land. Structural Plans The structural plans are prepared by structural engineers and show the structural design of a building. These plans incorporate foundation planning with considerations for rain, snow, wind, earthquakes, and other natural phenomena. Structural engineers design the facility for both "live" and "dead" loads of the building. Live loads consist of the people, furniture, and other items that are not part of the building, but are supported by the building. Dead load is simply the weight of the building or structure itself. Mechanical Plans Mechanical plans are prepared by a mechanical engineer to show the design of the various mechanical systems in the building. These systems must be designed to incorporate the proper air conditioning, heating, and ventilation equipment, as well as adequate plumbing, to meet the needs for all of the building's designated activities. Like the structural engineer, the mechanical engineer must design the mechanical building systems to meet building "loads." For example, office work produces a certain level of heat load, whereas cooking in a commercial kitchen may produce greater heat loads. The energy use of the air conditioning, heating, pumps, and other building equipment are monitored by the mechanical engineer and are considered when specifying building equipment for an efficiently designed building system. Mechanical plans are numbered with the prefixes "P" for "plumbing" and "H" for "heating, ventilating, and air conditioning." Electrical Plans Electrical plans are prepared by an electrical engineer, and show the electrical distribution system for the efficient distribution of power in a building. The plan design includes the distribution of electrical power from the utility company and the distribution to power-specific equipment. Engineering design factors for the overall electrical "load" of a building must also be considered (e.g., proper sizing and arrangement of transformers, panel boards, circuits, wires, conduits and power to the various machines, equipment and activities in the building). Electrical engineers may also handle the lighting design requirements of the building, as well as specialty areas such as a central security monitoring system, a computerized control system, and fire and smoke management systems. Electrical plans are numbered with the prefix "E" for "electrical." Contract Specifications The second part of the contracts and bid documents stage is the preparation of project specifications, also known as "specs." Specs instruct the contractor how to build the project, and consist of contract documents, the technical specifications of the materials and the quality of the materials to be installed, and the workmanship for installation of the materials. Given the amount of information that is required to be included, specs have to be organized in a coherent manner. The most widely accepted system for arranging construction specifications is called the CSI Master Format. The CSI format, developed by the Construction Specification Institute, requires four categories of information: bidding requirements, contract forms, contract conditions, and technical specifications. Bidding requirements Bidding requirements describe the conditions of the bid to the owner, and encompass the Invitation to Bid, the Instructions to Bidders, the Information Available to Bidders, the Bid Forms and Attachments, and the Bid Security Forms. The type of contract between an owner and a contractor dictates the form of the bidding conditions. Contract Form Contract forms are divided into sections, including the Agreement, the Performance and Payment Bonds, and the Certificates. Contract Conditions The contract conditions include the General Conditions and Supplementary Conditions. Technical Specifications The technical specs are generally prepared for each specific project in the CSI Master Format and these include hundreds, perhaps thousands of individual items that will be installed in the project. The CSI Format consists of 16 "Divisions of the Work", which are: .

OUR WORK

Division 1 - General Requirements Division 2 - Site Work Division 3 - Concrete Division 4 - Masonry Division 5 - Metals Division 6 - Wood & Plastics Division 7 - Thermal & Moisture Division 8 - Doors & Windows Division 9 - Finishes Division 10 - Specialties Division 11 - Equipment Division 12 - Furnishings Division 13 - Special Construction Division 14 - Conveying Systems Division 15 - Mechanical Division 16 - Electrical Each CSI Division is further sub-divided into three additional parts, called General, Products, and Execution (Installation). The General Section explains the scope or the limits of work for a particular CSI Division and makes a correlation between the technical specifications and the general and supplementary conditions of the contract. The administrative portion for any trade (e.g., shop drawings) would be found in this section, as well. The Product Section lists the materials to be used, by name and model number, and explains the quality of materials and the basis for any substitution. The Execution Section explains the method of material installation, techniques to be used, and workmanship quality. AIA Document A201, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a nationally recognized, professional organization of architects. Over the years, the AIA has developed a document entitled "AIA Document A201 - General Conditions of the Contract for Construction ("Document A201"). The Document A201 is universally accepted in the construction industry and provides the legal basis and description of the following contract items: General Provisions Owner Contractor Administration of the Contract Subcontractors Construction by the Owner or by separate Contractors Changes in the Work Time Payments and Completion Protection of Persons and Property Insurance and Bonds Uncovering and Correction of Work Miscellaneous Provisions Termination and Suspension of the Contract Document A201 provides legal definitions of the elements in the construction process and the items that will be provided by the contractor. Document A201 also details how to prepare material submittals, shop drawings, and interim payment requests.

OUR TEAM

3. Bidding The third stage of the construction process is bidding. Once an owner determines that a project is feasible and that construction financing is available, the owner will solicit bids or proposals from general contractors and/or specialty contractors. Owners generally use trade publications and newspapers in order to invite contractors to bid on a construction job. A copy of "The Notice to Contractors" will be shown in the project's specifications, providing contractors with the bidding procedures. The following is the sequence of events to prepare a contract bid: The contractor obtains a copy of the plans and specifications from the owner in order to prepare a formal estimate of the construction cost or bid (experienced construction personnel prepare the bids). The contractor reviews the contract plans and specifications to determine how to build the project and to consider all the limitations or conditions the owner requires for the project. The contractor solicits bids from subcontractors, estimates their direct material and labor costs, and evaluates the ultimate profit potential of the contract. The amount of the bid covers the estimated costs and a profit for the construction project. The owner evaluates all of the submitted bids and then awards the contract. The contract document and specs contain the project start and completion dates, the progress billing procedures, the insurance requirements, and other pertinent information. The preparation of a bid is the first step in the cost control system of a construction project. The agreed-upon bid price then becomes the budget by which the actual expenditures are measured and drawn against. The object of a cost control system is to provide the general contractor and/or owner with information regarding actual project costs versus the anticipated or budgeted costs. These cost comparisons become essential for internal control purposes. Standard cost manuals, such as the "R. S. Means Building Construction Cost Data," are used by a general contractor to compute a bid. These guides contain a compilation of cost data for each phase of construction. There are also construction cost data guides for both union and non-union wage rates. If the Service examiner needs to estimate construction costs as part of the analysis of a study, it is important to use the proper wage rates. Subcontractors bid jobs in much the same way that a general contractor does. A subcontractor may also solicit bids from sub-subcontractors for specialty construction. Working drawings and specifications provide information to allow general contractors to estimate the project's construction costs. Along with using their own estimators, a contractor usually has the subcontractor's and the material supplier's information readily available. If necessary, a general contractor can perform the preliminary details and/or shop drawings (see discussion on Appendix page 6.6-10) in order to estimate the proper costs to construct various parts of a building. The general contractor gathers all the information from his estimators and subcontractors and then adds in an amount for overhead and profit. This final cost estimate is used in the competitive bidding for the construction of a project. The cost estimate of a building or project is broken down and organized by the construction divisions shown in the specifications. The cost estimate is further detailed by trade and by item. The general contractor may also have a bank of information in order to estimate labor and material costs. Otherwise, the contractor will rely on any of several cost estimating manuals [e.g., R. S. Means Building Construction Cost Data (highly detailed), Marshall Valuation Services, etc.] 4. Construction (Field Work) The fourth stage of the construction process, called fieldwork, is the actual construction of the project. Fieldwork is broken down into building permits, subcontractors, scheduling subcontractors, shop drawings, project submissions, and change orders. Building Permits Before construction can begin, the appropriate municipality must issue a building permit. Specifications and blueprints must be provided to the municipality's building department, along with the application for a permit. The period of time for a permit to be approved can be lengthy, especially in the case of new construction. The general contractor or owner may also be required to submit results of soil testing, environmental impact studies, and any other necessary testing or studies. Sometimes, a public hearing is mandated, if there is opposition to the project. In most cases, a permit is issued within a few months. The cost of the permit and any related studies may be the responsibility of either the owner or the general contractor. Construction projects must also follow the standards of the applicable building code. A building inspector will be involved at various construction stages in order to verify that the project is being constructed according to municipal code. Subcontractors Subcontractors range from a one-man operation to nationwide, publicly traded corporations, or divisions of larger corporations. Subcontractors are distinguished from general contractors by their limited scope of work, which usually involves a special skill, knowledge, or ability. Subcontractors, which include plumbers, electricians, framers, and concrete workers, generally enter into contracts with the general contractor and may provide the raw materials used in their specialty areas. The general contractor, not the owner of the property, pays the subcontractors. Materials purchased by the subcontractors are generally delivered directly to the job site. The subcontractors' work may either be completed in stages, or it may be continuous. Scheduling of Subcontractors The general contractor schedules the subcontractor's work so that the construction runs smoothly and is completed on schedule. The general contractor is also responsible for scheduling the subcontractor in such a way that one subcontractor does not hold up another. This order on subcontractor sequencing is known as the "critical path." An example of the sequence in scheduling subcontractors for a small project is as follows: Clear the land (which may include demolition of existing structures) Excavate the land (which may include digging holes and leveling) Pour the foundation Frame steel and/or concrete Rough framing Rough electrical Concrete flooring Roofing Heating and air conditioning Ductwork for heating and air conditioning Elevators and/or escalators Sprinklers and other safety equipment Install electrical fixtures Insulate and weatherstrip Frame windows and door sashes Install tile and marble Install suspended acoustical ceilings Install toilets, sinks and other plumbing fixtures Paint walls (inside and out) Shop Drawings Working drawings only include enough detail to show the general contractor the overall layout of the building. The individual specialty trades and suppliers use working drawings to produce shop drawings for items such as granite finishing, cabinets and countertops, structural steel, etc. Shop drawings detail the specific building components and are usually produced after the final design phase but before the beginning of the construction phase. Drawings are prepared in accordance with the instructions on Document A201. The architect/engineer will also check each shop drawing for precise measurements and for compliance with the intended building design. Project Submissions Project submissions are an important part of the construction process. Each installed building item must receive the architect's approval to ensure that the item or product is in conformance with technical specifications. Project submissions illustrate each item's intended use, function, method of attachment or installation requirements, and placed-in-service date. When the project is started, the architect and /or engineer monitors the contractor's progress and often approves the progress payments made to the contractors. The architect/engineer may also make modifications to the building plans as needed. Change Orders Change orders are the written contract revisions that increase or decrease the total contract price. Change order documents contain the change order number, change order date, a description of the change, and the amount of the change order. Contractors, based on the terms of the contract, may also issue orders.

OUR BELIEF

The 14 planetary systems are named as follows, from highest to lowest: 1) Satya-loka 2) Tapa-loka 3) Jana-loka 4) Mahar-loka 5) Svar-loka 6) Bhuvar-loka 7) Bhur-loka 8) Atala-loka 9) Vitala-loka 10) Sutala-loka 11) Talatala-loka 12) Mahatala-loka 13) Rasatala-loka 14) Patala-loka In one of the Vedic scriptures called the “Hari-vamsa” there is a description as follows: “Above the planetary systems where humans live is the sky. Above the sky is the orbiting sun, which is the entrance point of the heavenly planetary systems. This is the middle of the universe where begins the planets of those elevated by great austerities and penances. The planets above these, up to Satya-loka are the residences of those advanced in spiritual knowledge. All these planets are within the material world and under the control of Devi (Goddess Durga), and therefore called Devi-dhama.” The term “amara” (deathless) is often used to describe the residents of the heavenly planets because their span of life is inconceivable to us, but although they live for millions of years by our calculation, none within the material worlds can live here eternally. In Bhagavad-Gita there is given a description for the life span of those living on Satyaloka. One day is equal to 4,300,000,000 solar years. On other heavenly planets the day is considered to equal six months of our time, and the night also equal to six months on earth. These souls live in their bodies for 10 million of their years. Time duration such as day, night, months, and years are different in different planetary systems, and there are also different types of human beings, animals, trees, and vegetation. Some of the planets that are visible to us are considered heavenly planets with different timings. Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon are examples of planets where one day is equal to six months on earth. How can that be, one may ask, when we can see these planets orbiting the Sun? One point of reference that may be difficult for some to understand is crucial to this realization. All planets have different dimensions surrounding them. The dimension of existence visible to our eyes gives us the impression that the other planets in our solar system are mostly devoid of life. In actuality astronomers have found proof of intelligent life on other planets, regardless of the fact that little is yet public knowledge. The purview discernable by our physical eyes, though, cannot enter into the heavenly spheres of these planets where devas, angels, and higher beings exist, nor even that of humans who enjoy an existence far superior to what is obtainable on our planet earth. Just as on and surrounding earth there are realms of existence inhabited by ethereal beings invisible to our eyes, some highly advanced and others bound by unfortunate circumstances (such as ghosts), all planets have different spheres of existence. We can never gain knowledge of the multi-dimensional reality on earth with our physical eyes, so how could we possibly expect to enter into the higher realities of other planets with them? There are also different types of oceans on different planets in the material world. “Siddhanta-siromani”, an ancient vedic astrological text describes them as being of seven varieties: 1) an ocean of salt water 2) an ocean of milk 3) an ocean of curd 4) an ocean of ghee (clarified butter) 5) an ocean of sugar cane juice 6) an ocean of liquor 7) an ocean of sweet water Our minds may balk at such a conception of different types of oceans, but why should any of these be more fantastic than the ocean of salt water that we have here on earth? There are also some eternal planets seemingly situated within this material universe, but they are always inaccessible for human beings. The text “Laghu-Bhagavatamrita” describes these eternal planets as follows: “Above Rudraloka, the planet of Lord Siva, is the planet called Vishnuloka. It is 400,000 miles in circumference, and inaccessible for any mortal living being. Above that Vishnuloka is a golden island called Maha-Vishnuloka in the ocean of salt. Brahma and other demigods sometimes go there to meet Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu lies there with Lakshmi (the goddess of fortune). East of here is the “ocean of milk” where within is the island of Svetadvipa, where Lord Vishnu also resides with Goddess Lakshmi. His transcendental island is 200,000 square miles and covered with desire trees for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord.” This planet is called “Dhruvaloka” and we see it as the polestar. It is said to be 3,800,000 yojanas above the sun (one yojana is equal to 8 miles). Above Dhruvaloka by 10,000,000 yojanas is Maharloka. Above Maharloka by 20,000,000 yojanas is Janaloka, a further 80,000,000 yojanas lies Tapaloka, and above by 120,000,000 yojanas is Satyaloka. The Vaikuntha planets begin 26,200,000 yojanas beyond Satyaloka. The scripture “Vishnu Purana” describes that the outer covering of the universe begins 260,000,000 yojanas above the sun. About 70,000 yojanas below the earth begin the seven lower planetary systems of Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala, and Patala. Below these planets 30,000 yojanas is the Garbhodaka Ocean where Sesa Naga lies. This ocean is 249,800,000 yojanas deep. This gives an approximate diameter of the universe as 500,000,000 yojanas or 4,000,000,000 miles. These distances are calculated according to the distances between the planetary “planes” of existence. Actual distances between planets may be more. The higher planetary systems are the realms of devas, demigods, and angels. Bhuvarloka is the abode of ghostly spirits, and the lower planets are populated by those of demoniac consciousness as well as the snakes known as “Nagas”. Development of higher consciousness, which also includes advanced intellectuality, starts with human beings and further increases among the denizens of higher planetary systems. The earth is situated close to the middle of these planetary systems. Descriptions of the Planetary Systems Satyaloka This is the abode of Lord Brahma, the progenitor of this material universe. Here there are airplanes controlled by mantra, not by any mechanical means. The residents have mind and intelligence, but no material gross bodies. They feel compassion for those suffering in the lower regions, but do not suffer fear, old age, or death. At the time of final dissolution of the material planets the residents here transform their subtle bodies into spiritual bodies and enter the eternal Vaikuntha planets. Great yogis finally reach this highest planet through the Milky Way, which is the “highway” to this most elevated planet where the duration of life is calculated as 15,480,000,000,000 years. Tapaloka This is the abode of the four Kumaras named Sanat, Sanaka, Sanandana, and Sanatana. In this world many great sages also reside due to their advancement through spiritual austerity. The enjoyment available to the residents is inconceivable to us as it is beyond anything of our experience. When there is annihilation of the material universe the residents here also transform their subtle bodies to spiritual and enter the spiritual sky. Janaloka This planet, still above the heavenly realms, is another abode of great saints and sages. This planet is populated by mystics who move to higher planets, and eventually transform their subtle bodies to spiritual, when the fire of devastation consumes the material planets. These residents can move between any planets within the material universe as mystic “spacemen” at speeds unthinkable to us. Maharloka When fully purified from material desire and contamination through sacrifice, penance, and charity one can reach the heavenly planets, and if advancing further can pass through the higher orbits to reach Maharloka. The greatest of sages, such as Bhrigu Muni, live in this place. It is situated beyond the “Sisumara”, which is the pivotal point for the turning of the universe. Advanced yogis reach this planet and live here for 4,300,000,000 solar years. When the fire of devastation almost reaches this planet the residents transport themselves to Satyaloka where they live further before this highest of planets is destroyed. They then transform their subtle bodies to spiritual and enter the spiritual realms. Dhruvaloka In every material universe is one Vaikuntha planet with an ocean of milk where Lord Vishnu resides on an island called Svetadvipa. This planet is Dhruvaloka. Living here are completely pure personalities. In our universe this planet is seen as the polestar and is situated above the planets of the Seven Rishis. As it is a spiritual planet, it is eternal and therefore remains when all other planets within the material universes are destroyed. It is said that this planet is the pivot for all material stars’ and planets’ orbits. All planets travel at high speeds in orbit, including the sun, which travels 16,000 miles per second in its orbit around Dhruvaloka. The planets of the seven sages are stars just below this planet that also orbit Dhruvaloka. They are always concerned with the welfare of the living entities within this material world and send emissaries to bring spiritual knowledge at various times and circumstances. Sanaiscara (Saturn) Saturn is considered an inauspicious planet astrologically, as he gives painful lessons to us here on earth. It is situated 1,600,000 miles above Jupiter and passes through one sign of the zodiac every 30 months. Brihaspati (Jupiter) Jupiter is considered a most auspicious heavenly planet and is generally considered favorable astrologically, depending on placement at the time of our births here on earth. It is a planet of devas, and situated 1,600,000 miles above Mars. Angaraka (Mars) Mars is considered to be a malefic planet, which creates lack of rainfall on earth and almost always is capable of creating unfavorable influences here. It is situated 1,600,000 miles above Mercury. Buddha (Mercury) Mercury is said to be the son of the moon and is 1,600,000 miles beyond the planet Venus. As does Venus, he sometimes moves behind the sun, sometimes in front, and sometimes along with it. Generally the influence of Mercury is said to be auspicious astrologically, except when not moving with the sun. At such times this planet causes great storms on earth. Shukra (Venus) Venus is considered a most auspicious and favorable planet, and is also of the heavenly planets. Venus is said to bring rainfall, another reason for it being considered auspicious to life on earth. Chandraloka (Moon) The Moon is one of the four most important residences of the demigods. Those who worship the demigods through sacrifice aimed at great material enjoyment are promoted to the Moon. Here the celestial, intoxicating beverage called “soma” is available. It is not possible to enter into or even see the actual heavenly dimensions of this planet with our present eyes. The Moon passes through the entire zodiac in approximately one month. He influences the growth of vegetation and therefore considered the life-giver for all living beings on earth. Surya (Sun) The Sun is the source of light and heat for our universe. Modern science considers many stars to also be suns, but in the vedic literature they are considered to be planets of varying material elements, but not the center, as is the Sun. Surya, the sun god, is considered an expansion of Narayana (a form of Lord Vishnu). He controls the seasons here on earth. It is situated between Bhuloka and Bhuvarloka, rotating through the time circle of the zodiac. Yogis practicing hatha or ashtanga yoga, or those performing agnihotra sacrifices, worship the sun for their benefit. The demigods residing on the sun planet have bodies made of fire, necessary for life here. Rahu Rahu is said to be an invisible planet, which is situated 80,000 miles below the sun. It causes solar and lunar eclipses, as Rahu, along with Ketu, are the north and south nodes of the moon respectively. Siddhaloka, Caranaloka, & Vidyadharaloka These planets are 80,000 miles below Rahu. The residents of these planets are born with natural mystic powers, including the ability to fly without mechanical means, even to other planets. They have all the mystic siddhis, and being materially perfect beings can control gravity, time, and space. Their arts, culture, and sciences are far superior to that knowledge possessed by we here in the earthly realm. Yakshaloka & Rakshashaloka Beneath these higher planetary systems, in the sky called “antariksha”, are the residences of the Yakshas, Rakshashas, Pisachas, ghosts, and other etheral beings. This realm extends as far as the wind blows and clouds float in the sky. Above this there is no air. Bhu-mandala (Middle Earth) The planetary systems of middle earth (Bhumandala or Bhuloka) are abodes of both standards of living such as we enjoy on our planet, as well as some heavenly abodes where living beings may “stop” on the way to, or from, births in the heavenly planetary systems. There are seven planetary systems, which are divided by seven oceans. The names of the planetary systems are Jambu, Plaksha, Salmali, Kusha, Krauncha, Shaka, and Pushkara. Each system is twice as large as the one preceding it, and each ocean between the systems are made respectively of salt water, sugarcane juice, liquor, ghee, milk, emulsified yogurt, and sweet water. Bhumandala is shaped like a lotus flower and the seven planetary systems are in the whorl of the lotus. The radius of Bhumandala extends as far as the sunshine, and the limits of our vision here to see the stars and moon. As the sunshine reaches earth from a distance of 93,000,000 miles, this is the radius of the plane of Bhumandala. Lower Planetary Systems Below the earth are seven other systems called Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala, and Patala. These lower planetary systems are the same size as the earth planet, and begin 560,000 miles below earth. Sunshine does not reach these planets and light comes from jewels on the hoods of serpents. These planets are populated by persons of great power and opulence, yet of demoniac consciousness, who have reached here through austerity aimed at material enjoyment without spiritual development. They do not become old and diseased and fear only the time factor, which ultimately must destroy their abodes. Therefore they are given the name of “bila-svarga”, or subterranean heavenly planets. The residents here enjoy a standard of material comfort more opulent than even the higher planets due to their desires for high standards of sensual enjoyment, wealth, and influence. The residents are known as Daityas, Danavas, and Nagas and are all engaged in illusory material enjoyment with no thought of spiritual liberation. There are incredible feats of architecture in their cities bedecked with valuable jewels in houses, gardens, compounds, etc. All residents drink juices and bathe in herbal elixirs which free them from any anxiety or physical disease, as well as any sign of physical aging. The visual beauty of these artificial heavens surpasses that of the higher planets and this sensual atmosphere completely captures the mind, allowing no thoughts but those directed toward sensual pleasure and happiness. Since time is not divided into days and nights due to no sunshine reaching these planets, they have no fear produced by time. Only at the time of dissolution does anxiety and fear consume them. Narakaloka, the Hellish Planetary Systems Beneath the planet Patalaloka, and slightly above the water of the Garbhodaka ocean, are the Naralokas, or the hellish planetary systems. These planets are of different degrees of suffering for those who must endure life there. Here on earth we can see many hellish circumstances of suffering for people, but nothing like what is experienced on these planets. They are said to be a place of rectification for those who commit the most abominable actions while living as humans on the earthly plane. Although life here seems like it goes on for an eternity, in actual fact the duration of one’s “karmic sentence” here may be only seconds or moments. There are 28 different hellish planets described in the Vedic literatures. These descriptions of the material creation, as well as the spiritual planets, may be found in several Vedic literatures to a far greater depth. I have out of necessity greatly abbreviated the information given here. All of the planetary systems in the material world will in time be annihilated. This annihilation takes place in two ways. Partial annihilation occurs every 4,300,000,000 solar years, or at the end of each day on Satyaloka. This extends from the hellish planets through all lower planetary systems up to the heavenly planets. The highest planets are not annihilated at this time. The entire cosmic manifestation is wound up in the universal form of God every 8,600,000,000 x 30 x 12 x 100 solar years. The spiritual world, which is never annihilated, simply absorbs the material creation. It is described that before the destruction there is no rain for hundreds of years. Everything dries up and dies due to continuous sunshine. The sun becomes 12 times as powerful as was previously. Then there are horrendous rains that absorb everything into water. The mortal bodies of living entities, including all vegetation, merge into the earth. The earth merges into its subtle sensation of fragrance. Fragrance merges into water, and water merges into its quality of taste. That taste merges into fire, which merges into form. Form merges into touch and touch into ether. Ether finally merges into the sensation of sound. The senses all merge into their origins, the presiding devas and demigods, then they merge into the controlling mind, which merges into ego in the mode of goodness. Sound becomes one with ego in the mode of ignorance, and ego (the first of all the physical elements), merges into the total nature. The total material nature dissolves into the modes (goodness, passion, and ignorance). These modes then merge into the unmanifest form of nature, and that unmanifest form merges into time. Time merges into the Supreme Godhead, present as Maha-Vishnu, the original creator of the cosmic manifestation. The origin of all life merges into God, the unborn Supreme Soul who remains one without a second, and from whom all creation and annihilation takes place. This annihilation of the material world is the exact reverse of the process of creation. Everything ultimately rests within the Supreme Absolute.

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5. Construction Payments The fifth stage of the construction process is the construction payments stage. All construction contracts extend over a period of time. The order of any business operation is to collect money as soon as work is complete. When a contractor completes a prescribed amount of work, the owner pays the contractor for the completed work. Specifications for Payment The specifications for contract payments are shown in Document A201, under the "General Conditions for Construction Contracts." Document A201 contains AIA Forms G701 and G702. Form G702 requires that the contractor break down the bid into various parts of work. The project designer (architect or engineer) critically reviews the G702 schedule of values that are prepared by the contractor and either accepts or rejects them. The close scrutiny of this form is due to the future release of funds that will be used to pay for the progress (and ultimately the completion) of construction. This form also provides the first basis for the construction cost control on a project. The architect and/or engineer have a legal and fiduciary responsibility for the accuracy of the cost allocations. The architect and the owner also want an adequate and timely distribution of funds to ensure smooth progress payments and to ensure that there will be the necessary funds to pay for the completion of the last portion of the project. It is also to the contractor's benefit that items of construction be broken into as many parts as possible. The more individual items of work that the contractor can identify and complete, the more items of work he/she will be entitled to bill and for which he/she will be timely paid. Typical schedules of values in the G 702 may be 15 to 20 pages long and may contain hundreds, if not thousands, of individual cost items. The contractor submits the G702 to request payment on a regular basis. The contractor completes the G702 by listing the total construction cost for each item of work completed to date. The amount previously paid for the work and the amount accomplished in this billing period are subtracted from the total amount to arrive at the amount of money remaining, minus a retainage for the completion of the work. It is extremely important for the Service examiner to analyze the G702. This document provides a breakdown and analysis of the construction costs and, since it is prepared by 3rd parties, it provides an element of objectivity. Change Orders The architect/engineer may make modifications or change orders to the construction plans as needed. Change orders should be reviewed for any agreed changes to the payment schedule. 6. Completion The final phase of the construction process is known as the completion stage, and it readies the building for occupancy. As Built Plans After a facility or project is completed, the architect and contractor prepare a set of plans known as the "as built plans." These plans represent exactly how the facility was constructed and they also incorporate all the changes to the original construction plan. It is very important that the Service examiner utilize the "As-Built Plans" when reviewing a cost segregation study because these represent the actual construction of the project. Notice of Partial Completion In some instances, the owner may desire to occupy a portion of the completed building. In that case, local building officials conduct an inspection to determine if that portion of the facility meets all building codes and is safe to be occupied. If approval is granted, a "Certificate/Notice of Partial Occupancy" is issued. Notice of Substantial Completion Local building officials issue this notice when 95 % of the construction is complete. Notice of Completion/Certificate of Occupancy A "Notice of Completion" is requested by the contractor/owner when the building is 100% complete. The project must pass a final inspection by local building officials in order for the "Notice of Completion" and the "Certificate of Occupancy" to be issued. These documents are recorded at the office of the local recorder and the property will be then appraised for property tax purposes. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS This chapter provides an overview of the construction process and should assist Service examiners in understanding terminology used in the construction industry. In turn, this will assist in the review of cost segregation studies.

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The Ramayana is an ancient Indian epic, composed some time in the 5th century BCE, about the exile and then return of Rama, prince of Ayodhya. It was composed in Sanskrit by the sage Valmiki, who taught it to Rama's sons, the twins Lava and Kush. At about 24000 verses, it is a rather long poem and, by tradition, is known as the Adi Kavya (adi = original, first; kavya = poem). While the basic story is about palace politics and battles with demon tribes, the narrative is interspersed with philosophy, ethics, and notes on duty. While in that other Indian epic, the Mahabharata, the characters are presented with all their human follies and failings, the Ramayana leans more towards an ideal state of things: Rama is the ideal son and king, Sita the ideal wife, Hanuman the ideal devotee, Lakshman and Bharat the ideal brothers, and even Ravana, the demon villian, is not entirely despicable. Lava & Kush sing the Ramayana

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Finalized Inspection

Issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy