Author: C.K. Shridhar

Mind It! – The Vedic Roots Of Mindfulness

Mindfulness practice is all the rage in the West, from their hospitals and universities to corporate boardrooms and legislative halls. But its Indian and Vedic sources are being ignored, even wilfully supressed. In many ways this is a familiar story, repeating what is happening to Yoga in its much longer journey. And in their urge to “secularise” mindfulness, their mantra appears to be say nothing much about where it came from, at the most superficially acknowledging Buddhist teachers and texts. But where it came from is the Indian Vedas, Upanishads, and innumerable sutras, vidyas, and tantras enshrined in the tradition. From there it went to Buddhism, and then on to the West from modern teachers. It is time we demand acknowledgement, and reclaim yet another part of our Vedic heritage. The Western world, which is so obsessed with intellectual property rights, is actually the most adept at theft of intellectual ideas, rued Hari Kiran Vadlamani, director, Indic Academy (IA), launching a seminar on Vedic Mindfulness, organised by IA with the support of the Indira Gandhi …

We Have An Unassailable Case For The OIT or IHT(Indian Homeland Theory): Shrikant Talageri

India, it is clear, has been ravaged by many invasions and colonisations, both physical and of the mind. Among the assault of ideas and ideologies that it has had to endure and suffer the consequences of, none has been more persistent, more pernicious, and indeed, more perverse, than the so-called Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT). It is a construct that flies in the face of every tenet of rigorous scholarship and honest, intellectual endeavour. It’s continued, albeit artificially maintained currency, is a tribute to its value for those with axes to grind and personal perversities and hostilities to indulge in — both in the West and within India. The AIT is being rigorously opposed, in spite of blithe stonewalling, by the best of scholars in the East and West, and they have produced a credible rival — the Out of India Theory (OIT). Shrikant Talageri, is one of them. His latest book Genetics and the Aryan Debate: ‘Early Indians’ the latest assault by Tony Joseph, is prompted by yet another piece of preposterous propaganda masquerading as …

The Fire’s Journey: From Here To Eternity

In Bhasa’s play Karnabhara (5th-4th century AD), when Sakra approaches Karna in disguise asking for alms, Karna, the great giver, says that he is ready to give him anything he wants, and offers the fruit of the Agnishtoma Sacrifice. The writer,  facilitated by Indic Academy, attended a full-fledged, five-day Agnishtoma Yagnya, the first of the great ‘Soma Yagas’ of the Vedic period, carried out with close adherence to the Vedic Shroutha Sutras at Jayasuryapatnam (Nadergul) near Hyderabad, between May 09 and May 13, 2019. Reflections on the Vedic Agnishtoma Yajna The Fire comes to you when you undergo the Upanayanam ceremony, when you become a dvija. As a Brahma-Charin, one who has begun the walk on the path of Brahma, you perform the Samidha Dhaanam, offerings of fuel sticks of sacred wood into Agni, offerings which are to be made every day. After marriage, you bring home, along with your dharmapathni, the Aupasanagni, duly kindled, to be maintained every day. You will make offerings of milk, twice a day, a prelude or precursor to the …

Sastra Sabha And The Tenali Exams – A Report

“If ‘aham brahmhasmi’ is written in fire, you will experience it.” Anjaneya Sharma Garu, or Guru Garu to his devoted students and followers, is explaining Chitta Samskara to me, in front of his house Sreevari Sannidhi, in Tenali, Andhra Pradesh. Loosely, Chitta is the subconscious mind, and Samskaras are the impressions that form on it, both positive and negative – the terms are familiar to students of yoga the world over. But the discussion we are having is about the value of the Karma Kanda of the Veda, the portions that precede the Upanishads or the Jnana Kanda. Also known as the Purva Mimamsa, often just Mimamsa for short, the knowledge of its contents, especially the shroutha yagnyas and allied procedures, is restricted to a dwindling few. As Guru Garu speaks, you can hear the chewing of the pure-bred Punganur cows in their sheds, and the occasional low moo. His hands make a motion as if he is writing in the air. An octogenarian, with a strong resonant voice, he gives the impression of a …

The Dharma Sadhana of the Mimamsaka

Kumarila Bhatta and the other great scholars of the Purva Mimamsa were in the frontline of the battle to save Vedic heritage and culture. They were eclipsed by the great Vedanta sages who followed them, but in a conversation with C.K. Shridhar, scholars from Chennai and Poona offer deep insights into their valuable contributions. It was the Vedic adherents known as the Mimamsakas who first revived and defended the Vedic religion in the latter half of the first millennium, not only from the strong Buddhist challenge, but from internal dissonances, paving the way for the great Vedantins to come, starting from Shankara Bhagavatpada. While Mimamsa refers to all Vedic enquiry, the term has become associated with the ‘Karma Kandins,’ those who extolled the virtues of the Karma Kanda (Mantra and Bramhana) portions of the Veda, thus known as the Purva Mimamsa. This is in contrast to the ‘Gnyana Kandins,” the Vedantins, who focused on the Upanishads (the Uttara Mimamsa). Even the great Sutras, the bed rock on which an entire edifice of “Bhashyas” or commentaries …