All posts filed under: Thoughts

Puja and Bhakti – An Exploration

We are all aware about Yogacharya T.Krishnamacharya being a pioneer in using yoga (specifically asana and pranayama) for therapy and well-being. But little did we know that he was a great scholar of our sacred knowledge and traditions. One of his long-standing students Raghu Ananthanarayanan has put together an interesting note about what is meant by pUjA and why do so many people do it? He has used the device of an innocent conversation between a young, curious child, Chiku who is Gayatri Iyer, and an elderly teacher Rita, just like the dialogues that used to take place between student and teachers at ashrams. In my discussions with Raghu who is Rita in the writings, I learnt how symbols and rituals of our Hindu culture have been misinterpreted for long and once you know the real meaning, you can only marvel at the profundity of the entire meaning and how it is part of the larger divine order. Chiku: I have been seeing my mother pray and do puja or rituals in the mornings and …

माझे मृत्युपत्र (Maajhe Mrityupatra) – My Final Testament by Veer Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar nee Veer Savarkar, a name that churns deep emotions and respect in any regular deshbhakt Bhartiya’s heart. Also a name that causes infinite heartburn and resultant vitriol from the Left-Liberal-Nehruvian section of the country. Time and again they have tried their best to keep spreading vile stories against this towering hero of our independence struggle. But for anyone who’s not forsaken their roots or have been fortunate enough to make a pilgrimage to the infamous Cellular Jail or Kala-Pani in Andaman, there can be no confusion about the intent and contribution of those heroes incarcerated in the most inhuman conditions for years without hope. PM Narendra Modi on his recent visit to Andaman Island also resonated the same feeling in his speech saying, “The cells of the Cellular Jail where great freedom fighters such as Veer Savarkar, Baba Bhan Singh, Indu Bhushan Roy were tortured for years by the British are no less than temples.” While we all were moved by the poignant scenes of PM Modi visiting the cell of Savarkar ji at …

..अनोखा मोड़..

समन्दर की गहराईयों में रहने वाली एक मछली जिसे बाहर की इस दुनिया के बारे में कुछ भी नही पता, और अचानक उसे कुछ ऐसी शक्ति देकर बाहर भेज दिया जाए जिससे वह बाहर भी रह सकती है, तो उस समय जो उस मछली का अनुभव होगा कुछ ऐसा ही अनुभव मुझे अद्वैत वेदान्त के मास्टर्स कोर्स में प्रवेश मिलने पर मिला। कुछ महीनों पहले जब मैं सामान्य छात्रों की तरह स्कूल में इंटरमीडिएट कर रही थी उस समय मेरे वर्तमान और भविष्य के बीच मे एकदम स्वच्छ, पारदर्शी शीशा था। मेरे पिताजी जो प्रिंटिंग का कार्य करते हैं तथा माँ जो एक सामान्य गृहणी हैं उन दोनों ने मेरे भविष्य की कुछ अलग ही कल्पना की थी। मैने भी उनकी तरह यही सोचा था कि मैं गणित और भौतिक विज्ञान आदि विषयों को आगे भी पढूंगी किन्तु अचानक से कुछ दिन पहले ही मुझे संस्कृत में उच्च शिक्षा प्राप्त करने की प्रेरणा मेरे पथप्रदर्शक गीता परिवार के राष्ट्रिय उपाध्यक्ष डॉ.आशु गोयल जी द्वारा मिली। कुछ दिनों की चर्चा के बाद मैंने भी अपने जीवन …

Journey Through Non-Duality: Advaita Academy Completes 8 Years

Boldly proclaiming the philosophy of Advaita as the ultimate conclusion of Vedanta, Adi Shankaracharya writes in his Brahmajnanavalimala that “just as the pot, wall, etc., are all nothing but clay; likewise, the entire universe is nothing but Brahman, so roars the Vedanta”. Vedanta, which is literally the ‘end-part of the Vedas’, is the crown and the zenith of the teachings of the Vedas. It is the ultimate goal of all life, of all paths of philosophy and spirituality. Just as all the rivers, be they originated in the glaciers or are rain-fed ultimately merge into the ocean, so also all spiritual and philosophical paths reach Non-duality at the end. Since, every path ends in non-duality, no path is inferior or superior to the other and Advaita itself has no conflict with any of these paths. Non-duality, in fact, acts as the mother who upholds, protects, and nourishes these diversity of paths of Sanatana Dharma. It is with this vision that 8 years ago in 2010, during the auspicious festival of Deepavali, Advaita Academy(AA) was founded …

Playing With Zero and Ancient History

Mathematical and physical arguments are easier to check for basic errors than those in the social sciences and history. You may not divide by zero, because if you did then you could show, for example, that 2 = 3 (because 2/0 = 3/0); likewise, any system that delivers more work than the energy it takes in is a logically impossible perpetual motion machine. Authors in the social sciences sometimes get carried away by ideas that are unfalsifiable or logically inconsistent and since these ideas are repeated in the echo chambers of the academia, it can take a generation or two, or even longer, to realize this. Here I wish to speak of just one matter of ancient history concerning languages of India and Europe that are far apart geographically but belong to the same family. Recently, people have begun to use ancient DNA to see how India was populated by outside migrants and settlers. It is quite fair to assume that people traveled in different directions in the ancient world but to effectively assume that …

Sabarimala And The Blood Demons

Twelfth day of Devipaksha. Moonlight was flooding the face of the earth. Goddess Durga & her children have returned to Kailash, just a few days back. Once crowded grounds have now fallen silent, quiet. The boy was in deep dark slumber. Pages of the book lying beside him, were turning with the pace of the wind. Old memories crept in the boy’s dreams. Memories that go back a few ages, perhaps a few births before this. In the boy’s head reverberated the shriek of a barbaric desert traveler. “You do not know what I’m about to do.” The priest of Somnath temple held his head down as Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni burst into a hysterical laughter. The year 1025. The date was 25th October. Records indicate Patan of Gujrat to be the site. The Gods have fallen. Resistance of Pagan Hindus have been demolished to the dust. 84,000 trained soldiers of Mahmud & 10,000 fanatic Ghazis have made this victory possible with relative ease. Bhimdeb, the king of Patan, Amar Singh, the king of Lodar …

24 Names Of Vishnu

पाशांकुशाहिडमरूककपालशूलै: खट्वांग शक्तिशरचापयुतैर्भवन्ति|| अन्योन्यहस्तकलितै: कति मूर्तिभेदा: शंभोर्हरेरिव गदारिसरोजशंखै:|| Lord Shiva holds ten different weapons, namely a noose (trap) (पाश), a goad (अंकुश), a snake (सर्प), a drum (डमरू), a potsherd (कपाल) (used as a bowl), a spear (शूल), a club (खट्वांग) (an ayudha made of a thigh bone topped with a skull), a missile (शक्ति), an arrow (शर) and a bow (धनुष्य) in his hands. [Lord Shiva has five heads and so it is presumed that he has ten arms.] Find the number of different Shiva idols. Similarly, solve the problem for Vishnu idols; Lord Vishnu has four objects: a mace, a disc, a lotus and a conchshell. The above verse is from Bhaskaracharya’s (Bhaskaracharya II) (Born 1114 AD) book Lilavati. Bhaskaracharya had composed this book in 1150 AD to teach Mathematics to his daughter Lilavati, after whom the book is named. This book which is written entirely in verse covers arithmetic, algebra, geometry, mensuration, combinatorics, number theory and other basic topics. This book was used as a standard textbook for almost 700 years. Lord …

Mahabharata Workshop – Echoing The Warning Of Vyasa

Mahabharata has been the Itihasa that defined a part of my identity. It has defined and continues to define my consciousness. Whenever I read the Itihasa, take any episode of it, a kinship is formed between me and those immortal people within. I feel invested, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. From wanting to knock some sense into Shantanu, feeling like bursting into the Kuru Sabha and defying the Adharmis and feeling the exhilaration of speeding through the bloodied battlefield of Kurukshetra with none other than Krishna Vasudeva as my charioteer, I feel one with the epic. I am sure I echo the sentiments of crores people who consider themselves as the spiritual inheritors of this legacy, The Bharata. I don’t have to remind anyone who is aware of the epic even at a superfluous level, of the multitude of emotions that overwhelm us when the ill-fated dice game takes place. Falling prey to the crafty abuse of tenets of Kshatra Dharma, Yudhishtira gambles away the empire, the sweat and blood of his valiant and loyal …

Charter Of Hindu Demands For Parity

A group of around one hundred Hindus, including spiritual leaders, academics, authors, doctors, engineers, journalists, public intellectuals and concerned citizens from all walks of life, across the country, deeply disturbed by the systemic and institutionalized discrimination against  the Hindu society, gathered in New Delhi on 22nd of September, 2018 to deliberate on various constitutional, legal and public policy issues affecting the Hindu society. During the deliberations, it was acknowledged that as the inheritor, custodian and trustee of the Indic civilization based on the ethos of Sanatana Dharma, the Indian State has bounden civilizational responsibility to protect, preserve and promote the Indic civilization. A Charter of key Hindu Demands was debated and drafted, to be presented to the Government of India and the public. The Charter demands: 1. End of legal and institutionalised discrimination against Hindus by the Indian State, which is against the spirit of the equality of citizens irrespective of religious identity. To this effect, the group demands that Dr Satyapal Singh’s Private Member’s Bill No. 226 of 2016 pending in Lok Sabha for amending Articles 26 …

Time travel in Kerala

A born-again Hindu’s experience of Guru Purnima at the Chinmaya Vishwa-Vidyapeeth The lush green woods of Kerala are indeed there on either side of the road I am driving on, though with an endless chain of shops in the foreground. And then there are the numerous churches that look like bakers’ entries in a competition for the most ornamental wedding cake. I am on my way to Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth (CVV) in Veliyanad about 50kM from Kochi airport. I am to attend the commencement ceremony on July 27, 2018, the Guru Purnima day. I am at 76, a near alien to my Hindu inheritance, now eager to rediscover what I had misplaced. For a decade now I have been nursing my loss without quite knowing how I might retrace my steps. I have taken to simply trusting my passion and longing. Thus it was that I allowed myself to be persuaded by my friend Hari Kiran Vadlamani to join him for the event. He is committed to an Indic Renaissance and has an eye for opportunities …