Author: C.K. Shridhar

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 …