All posts tagged: Dharma

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 …

What Would General Bhishma Tell Prime Minister Narendra Modi Today?

Five millenniums ago, after the Great War fought on battleground Kurukshetra between all but two warriors of Aryavarta, when King Yudhishthira asked Ved Vyasa about how he should go about rebuilding his kingdom, Vyasa told him to seek the advice of General Bhishma. Son of Ganga and King Shantanu, pupil of Guru Parashurama, administrator-warrior-thinker-strategist par excellence, this monument of a man lay on a bed of arrows on the battleground, consciously waiting for the opportune time to let his soul leave his body. With his death would go all wisdom, all knowledge, all perspectives about dharma, statecraft, kingly duties. And war. The ensuing discourse between Bhishma and Yudhishthira comprises the largest of 18 parvas, books, in the Mahabharata. At 12,890 verses the Shanti Parva holds little more than one-sixth of the entire 73,640-verse text of the Critical Edition. Broadly, this parva is divided into three parts, Rajadharma parva (law of statecraft, governance), Apaddharma parva (laws of emergencies, calamities) and Mokshadharma parva (law of salvation, metaphysics), although each influences the other, in a seamless blending, with …

Narendra Modi Must Use Balakot To Consolidate India’s Rajasic Transformation

Pakistan wanted to “bleed India with a thousand cuts”. Question: is Pulwama, where 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force lost their lives in a suicide attack on 14 February, the thousandth cut? “The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain,” promised Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Question: is 14 February Pakistan’s Shishupala moment? Three years ago, former Research and Analysis Wing chief Vikram Sood had advocated that India should stop being the “good boy” of international affairs. Question: does 14 February mark the end of the idea that India is a peace-loving, peace-spewing nation ready to be trampled, humiliated, killed? Across planes of time, space and beyond, on battlefield Kurukshetra, Sri Krishna, after several rounds of attempting to deliver peace, each of which was destined to fail, had advised the reluctant warrior Arjuna, fraught with tamas, to go and fight. Question: is this India’s rajas moment, a moment when the collective consciousness of a nation comes together and sheds its tamasic mode and embraces the rajasic spirit? Is the new …

Re-Discovering Mata Sita & Her Relevance Today

The Global Peace Initative for Women(GPIW) and Jnana Pravaha are hosting a gathering titled “Rediscovering Mother Sita and Her Relevance Today” on March 8-9, 2019 in Varanasi, India. This gathering intends to be a reflection on the life message of Mother Sita as it relates to so many of our current challenges we face today. Sita is a beloved figure for Hindus around the world, as well as for non-Hindus throughout Southeast Asia. But the message of her life extends beyond these audiences and bears universal import, particularly relevant for the modern age when a new understanding of feminine wisdom and leadership is needed, and when we are facing an unprecedented ecological crisis. Mata Sita and Sri Ram were instrumental in setting the foundation for a new civilization during a time of transition from one era, or yuga, to another. We stand at a similar time in history, where we are experiencing the passing of one era and intuitively feel the birthing of another, as yet unknown. One thing seems certain, however, that the new society we …

Vikasa: An Indic Youth Leadership Retreat

Swami Vivekananda was right when we said “Supreme value of youth period is incalculable and indescribable. The way in which you utilize this period will decide the nature of coming years that lie ahead of you. Your happiness, your success, your honor and your good name all depend upon the way in which you live now, in this present period. Remember this. This wonderful period of the first state of your life is related to you as the soft wet clay in the hands of the potter”. Youth across the world are filled with energy and enthusiasm. They also have a lot of questions, right from mundane aspects of life to existential ones. When encouraged and engaged with properly, these questions have the potential to transform into a deeper quest. Their energy and enthusiasm when put to the right use can transform the lives of the individual, the society, and nation at large. Adopting the right frameworks and worldviews can help them bring about this transformation. What they need are tools that help them act …

Workshop On Navya Nyaya

Indian epistemology acquired it’s depth because of serious dialogues among philosophical systems. By the 10th century AD, a need was felt to develop a precise methodology of communication in order to understand one another’s position or point of view to make the dialogue meaningful. These attempts resulted in the flowering of the Navya Nyaya school. After it took shape, almost all systems of knowledge in India began to write their treatises employing the language of Navya Nyaya. As it were, it became a universal language of scientific discourse during the second millenium and continues to be so even today in some traditional educational institutions. All our intellectual achievements of the last 1000 years were influenced by the Navya Nyaya school. However, our present Sanskrit education programmes do not offer any course on Navya Nyaya. As a result, several old works of our tradition lie neglected today. VidyVatika is offering a Four-Level graded course in Navya Nyaya Language and Methodology from 2019. The distribution of the Levels is as follows : Level-Zero : Foundation Course in …

Sankranti Sabha At The Veda Vijnana Gurukulam

Veda Vijnana Gurukulam has been organising a yearly Shastric exam since 2001. This event is called the Sankranti Sabha. It is a traditional exam which is oral in nature, in which a student studies a prescribed text and appears before the examiner. On the 2nd of February such an exam was held in the Gurukulam. On this day, the exam was conducted for 60 students studying in 7 different classes. Scholars from Vedanta, Vyakaranam, Nyaya and Purva-mimamsa disciplines were invited as examiners. Advaita Vedanta texts like the Shankara Bhashyam of the Prasthanatrayam and Vedanta-paribhasha were prescribed. In Vyakaranam Siddhanta Kaumudi, Mahabhashyam, Paribhashendushekharah and Laghu Shabdendushekhara were given to the students. The process of examination was a whole day affair. A small inaugural function was followed by the exams. which began at around 9:30 am. Each student was called up and examined individually. The teachers of the particular discipline were also present to gauge the performance of the student. The examiners also noted down the positives and negatives of each students performance. This was later discussed …

Mahabharata Immersion Workshop

Our personal energy is immense and can act in heroic ways, however, it is often locked up in our subconscious self. The Mahabharata Immersion is an invitation to experiment with oneself, delve unto the depths of the invisible, the in-articulated and the disowned parts of ones self by donning the traditional masks from the Koothu tradition. The Mahabharata Immersion Workshop is intended to enable the participant to engage with inner work and the Purana fron an “inside -out” location. One wears the masks of the Heroes and in playing out the archetypal drama that occurs at various turning points, views oneself in the mirror of the emerging “here and now re-play” of the eternal motifs of life and relationships with significant others. This programme offers participants the opportunity to: Discover and foster one’s hidden heroic potential Introspect upon the relationship between outer and inner process Develop a personal foundation of Role effectiveness, interpersonal ethics and interpersonal discipline Introspect upon the way one holds and gives meaning to one’s mission in life The Learning Theatre An …

The Pseudoscience of Indology: An Interview with Joydeep Bagchee

With The Nay Science: A History of German Indology, Professor Vishwa Adluri emerged as one of the most powerful critics of Indology, the nineteenth-century field established to study India. Professor Adluri has called Indology “scientized racism,” a “club,” and a “court.” He has been interviewed by Open, Swarajya, News18, Social Research, and IndiaFacts. Mukunda Raghavan of Meru.Media interviewed Professor Adluri’s student Dr. Joydeep Bagchee on the occasion of the completion of their second book, Philology and Criticism: A Guide to Mahābhārata Textual Criticism. Dr. Bagchee spoke on behalf of his teacher, and explained how they became interested in Indology and why historicizing the Mahābhārata was crucial to colonizing India intellectually. The following transcript was edited for clarity and length. The complete interview will appear soon as a podcast and a video from Meru.Media. MR: What are your backstories? I have a PhD in philosophy from the NSSR, New York. It is one the most prestigious schools for continental philosophy in the US. Hannah Arendt and Reiner Schürmann taught there. I met my teacher Vish there. …

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 …