All posts tagged: Indic Culture

Ganjhon ki Goshthi – An Interview With Saket Suryesh

Saket Suryesh’s book Ganjhon ki Goshthi is a collection of contemporary satirical essays in Hindi. The book brings out Saket’s world view as he consistently takes a dig at the inconsistencies of the modern world, modern value systems and modern politics, using fictional heroes from the past to make his point. You have characters from Rag Darbari wandering about, Emperor Ashok landing in Karnataka post elections and even legendry writer Sharad Joshi himself coming out of retirement to get his satire published. The son of an Air Force officer, Saket’s boundary-less expressions resonate with Indians all over. Watching his child grow, and getting random people walk up to him and appreciate his writing not ‘for its style or art’ but for his honesty is what he values most in life. In this interview he talks about how he thinks, writes and feels. How do we get youngsters to read more? Saket Suryesh: This is a very serious question. Somewhere down the line, as we evolved as a society from excessive government to becoming crazily liberalized, …

Kriti Sanskriti – 14 Videos On Carnatic Music

Purandaradasa in his famous krithi Guruvina Gulama says – ‘Guruvina Gulama naaguvatanaka doraiyedanna mukuthi‘ Till you become a slave of the Guru, You would not get salvation This Guru Purnima, in a reversal of tradition, senior gurus, masters in both melody and rhythm, will support 14 young musicians making their way up in the musical world to create short 4 – minute videos exploring the most definitive concepts of Carnatic Music. The recordings will be done in Bangalore over 14 days and will be released worldwide, to showcase the beauty of Carnatic music, while at the same time giving youngsters the much need opportunity to learn and shine in front of legends Indic Academy is supporting this event by providing a grant for the production of the 14 videos.

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 …

Ramayana Navaham – An immersive Experience

Lord Rama and the Ramayana have been a great source of inspiration and pivot for devotional expression through music and other arts across India for centuries. Our vagyakaras have shown us that there are many ways to reach Rama, but the path through music is the easiest. Indian art such as painting and dance have also left their indelible imprint on Indic spirituality and devotion. Vedanta and Bhakti, the boundaries of Saguna and Nirguna bhakti, the seeker and the Lord merge as art takes over. January 2020 will see Heritage Trust, in collaboration with Indic Academy, host its 11th annual Gudiya Sambhrama festival with the theme being Ramayana Navaham. Early morning Suprabatham, Parayanam, Upanayasam by Dushyanth Sridhar in English, Sangeetha Nitya Kainkaryam and Hastha Kala in Indian art forms will mark Bangalore’s iconic temple festival. The 9-day festival will also present performances by leading artists. As a prelude to Ramayana Navaham, Heritage Trust and Indic Academy invite you to offer your music, art, dance, photographs, writings and thoughts as a tribute to Lord Rama and …

Upanayana Samskara

Among the sixteen prominent samskaras that a dharmika is mandated to undergo, there are three samskaras that are in vogue even today, and relatively well practiced. The namakarana samskara where a child is given an identity, the upanayana samskara where the child is initiated into adhyatmika studies and the vivaha samskara through which an individual enters into a marital bond are the three which are still very much practiced. Out of these three, the namakarana and the vivaha samskaras have evolved into more of a social practice. The traditional rituals have taken a backseat although they are performed, and the samskara is nowadays more of an ‘event’. The vivaha ceremony, especially, is undergoing rapid changes, with some help from the law of the land as well (!), and is mostly a secular event now. On the other hand, although the number of practitioners is dwindling, the upanayana samskara has mostly survived. In the present essay, let us try to explore the various facets of this most important samskara in a little detail. As we have …

Indian Culture and Traditions: “Circles of Trust” for Next-Gen Aspirations – Part 2

Read part I here. I. Culture and System Change This part outlines 3 concepts that can enable and even drive system change involving Indian C&T and will use examples of lived experience and “trust circles” to illustrate and guide action. 1. Cultural Navigation This concept describes a) individual agency to maneuver through cultural symbols, practices, beliefs represented by others in immediate and extended trust circles (family, friends, gurus, local influencers) in order to slowly bring about change in their own interest; and b) how circles of trust in family and neighborhood respond dynamically and adjust to new needs and aspirations as the economy grows. This is particularly important in managing women’s aspirations for study and career while they also simultaneously try to fulfill their roles of wife and mother. While conducting a training program in enterprise in the state of Jharkhand, I saw Kunti Devi, a middle-aged semi-literate tribal woman, enter the rural venue with two books hidden in her saree pallu to avoid being questioned by community members in her village as to why, …

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 …

Supporting Spiritual Retreats – An Announcement

Indic Academy seeks to bring about a global renaissance based on Indic Civilisational thought. Through it’s Center for Spirituality, IA aims to bring authenticity, structure and completeness to the global spiritual landscape, through courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced level of seekers. These courses are meant to train them to become Life/Executive Coaches, Acharyas and Gurus in the field of Yoga and Vedanta. Apart from courses, CS also seeks to conduct authentic, immersive and transformative retreats in collaboration with other like minded organisations, teachers, Acharyas and Gurus. As a part of this initiative, IA is pleased to announce a new scheme of grants for retreats that have the following features: Yoga Retreats that incorporate teaching of Yogasutras, Mantras and spoken Sanskrit Spiritual Retreats that are text based or centred around the concepts of Vedanta Applications consisting of the background of the teacher, Acharyas, Gurus or institutions, budget and other details regarding the retreat can be sent to namaste@indica.org.in. The scheme would include support of upto INR. 50,000 and can be customized based on the merits …