All posts tagged: Hinduism

Amish Tripathi Talks About His Latest Book ‘Raavan’

Described as ‘India’s first literary popstar’ by world-renowned film director Shekhar Kapur, Amish’s unique combination of crackling story-telling, religious symbolism and profound philosophies has turned him into an Indian publishing phenomenon, with spiritual guru Deepak Chopra hailing Amish’s books as ‘archetypal and stirring’. Amish’s 6 books till now — The Immortals of Meluha (2010), The Secret of the Nagas (2011) and The Oath of the Vayuputras (2013), which collectively comprise the Shiva Trilogy, and Ram – Scion of Ikshvaku (Book 1 of the Ram Chandra Series) (2015), Sita – Warrior of Mithila (Book 2 of the Ram Chandra Series) (2017), and Immortal India – Young Country, Timeless Civilisation (Amish’s first non-fiction book) (2017) — have 4.5 million copies in print. The third book of his Ram Chandra Series, Raavan was release recently. Avatans Kumar (AK) had an opportunity to ask a few questions about this latest book and several other related topics amidst Amish’s busy promotion schedule. First of all, congratulations on this highly anticipated book of the Ram Chandra Series. What made you write …

Shodasha Samskaras – The Sixteen Rites To Mark The Passage Of Life

Introduction The word ‘Samskara’ is used in different contexts in Indian languages. In North India, the word ‘sanskari’ is often used for a refined and cultured person or for refined behavior. The word ‘samskara’ used in its classical context refers to a rite or ritual performed to mark stages in a person’s life or for achieving certain personal goals towards Self-Realization. Let us analyze, for a bit, the etymology of the word ‘samskara’ to understand the meaning of the word. The word is a composite of the root ‘kr’ – to do – qualified by ‘sam’ – well or appropriate. That ‘karya’ which is done ‘samyak’ – an activity which is done well or appropriately – is samskara. One can take any activity – karya – and evaluate for ‘samskruti’ (refinement). A task can be done badly, routinely or exquisitely. Depending upon how it is done, it gets classified as vikara, prakrutika (yatha-prakara) or samskara. This test can be put to any activity that humans undertake. As an exercise, let us take the act of …

History Of Christianity

Death of Classical Age in Rome and Violence perpetuated by Christianity

It is said that “Absolute power corrupts”. Hence the post-Roman era is typically referred to as the Dark ages, since it was the period when Christianity held absolute power, which resulted in widespread destruction and corruption of everything that it touched. However, what was it like when Christianity was struggling to acquire power ? What effect did it have during that time? These are the questions that Catherine Nixey’s book titled The Darkening Age attempts to answer. And it sheds light on some of the facts hitherto brushed under the carpet by the historians who have told the story of the triumph of Christianity based on christian sources, and thus, presented the narrative of a decadent barbarian empire which was saved by Christianity. However, this was not the case. The tale of Christianity acquiring power over Rome is one that brought great amount of sorrow to the classical world. Hence, “The Darkening Age” is an apt metaphor for those times. Early on in the book, Nixey explores the motivation of the Christians to convert the …

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 …

Book Review – Illiberal India By Chidanand Rajghatta

Let us for the sake of politeness, state our condolences to the family and friends of Gauri Lankesh, and that us hope for a swift capture of the culprits and a speedy closure to this case. Nearly a year ago, Gauri Lankesh was found murdered in her own house, shot by unknown assailants on a motorbike. The news was received with shock, and tributes came pouring in within minutes. The media hastily descended on her death, which was peculiar since she was relatively unheard of, or maybe ignored by the same media during her lifetime. Gauri Lankesh was a veteran journalist, and before her end had spent the last few years struggling to keep her own weekly tabloid running. Her death was swiftly picked up by the media as the sign of troubled times, where free speech is stifled and dissent of any manner is punished. Chidanand Rajghatta builds on this narrative in his book, ‘Illiberal India’. Intended to be a “personal-is-political narrative”, Rajghatta, ex-husband and friend of Gauri Lankesh, paints a portrait of Gauri …

Hindu view of Spirituality

Hindu View of Spirituality

A ‘Hindu’, is essentially geographically bound; ‘aa setu himaalaya…’, and as some deridingly remark, a nomenclature foisted upon the unsuspecting vaidikaas by the Persians (in lieu of Sindhu). A few others will insist that there is no ‘Hinduism’ as such, that it is a definition that is post-colonial and lacking antiquity or unity. In either case, people of the Indian subcontinent who identify with the sacred geography of the land and/ or those who follow certain ideals that are a unifying factor across the various sects and panthaas, are not invested in mere naama – roopa, since the universal vision that directs the lifestyle and belief system of the Hindus, called by whatever name, remains grandiose and subtle simultaneously without having to worry about what ‘others’ call us. Such individuals are sanaatanis, and given the cosmological limitations of time-space, Hindus do not lay much importance to mere names and forms. What matters is the vision, the ideals, the principles that lead one to freedom, in the here and now, also called moksha. Moksha is the …

Dharma, Artha & Kama: Unity Or Dissonance? – Essay Competition for Workshop By Dr Bharat Gupt

The purusharthas are four fundamental pursuits of human life often spoken about in Hinduism -Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Dharma is living in concordance with certain rules, with the aim of upholding an order and nourishing life. Artha is the pursuit of wealth and riches, while kama is the pursuit of desires and love. Moksha is the state of liberty from earthly chains. Of these, Dharma, Artha and Kama are called the trivargas, as they are concerned with material goals. The trivargas, while covering all possible aims of life, are sometimes seen as being contradictory to one another. Is it possible to seek both Dharma and Kama simultaneously? When a conflict arises between Artha and Dharma, what is the path to be taken? What is the relevance of this conception in the present day? Dr Bharat Gupt will conduct a workshop in order to expound on the three Purusharthas of Dharma, Artha and Kama and tackle these vexing questions. Dr Bharat Gupt is a former Associate Professor in English at the College of Vocational Studies …

Book Launch- Krishna Gopeshvara in Bengaluru

Sri Sanjay Dikshit’s book Krishna Gopeshvara, is the first book in a trilogy of novels planned about the life of Krishna. On 28th July 2018, Saturday, Indic Academy Bengaluru Chapter organized the launch of this book in Bengaluru in the esteemed presence of chief guest Sri TV Mohandas Pai, Chairman Manipal Global Education and Host Sri Prasanna Viswanathan​ CEO Swarajya​ Magazine. Sanjay Dixit an avid political commentator and now an author is also currently the Additional Chief Secretary to Govt. of Rajasthan.  He is the founder and chairman of The Jaipur Dialogues Forum, that hosts major events on many scholarly topics. He was the Ex-Secretary General and Ex-President of the Rajasthan Cricket Association as well as the Ex-Member of the Finance Committee in the BCCI. He is a frequent columnist, writer, speaker and author. Bloomsbury has published his book on 29th May 2018 and the ebook version was made available on 30th June 2018. Sri Mohandas Pai was the former Director of Infosys. He also served as its CFO and Board Member as well as …

Making Up Your Mind In The Age Of Artificial Intelligence

In August 2016, the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari wrote an essay for The Financial Times where he asked the question: if algorithms decide all our choices, what happens to free will Harari’s argument is simple. The idea of authority among humans was once validated by prophets and revelations. What is the ‘truth’ was determined by what was revealed to the messenger. Divinity or the word of God decided what could be accepted as the infallible truth. But this is changing said Harari.  What determines the ‘truth’ increasingly in our world is data.  The veracity-defining power is so strong that the historian said we are entering a new age with a new ‘religion’ Dataism. Harari was prescient. In September 2017 came news that a former Google engineer Anthony Levandowsky had created a new religion based on futuristic technology called Way of the Future. This group was now building their own artificial intelligence (AI)-based ‘God’. A new benevolent deity pre-programmed to process the future for devotees. In all this there was one thing that was being …