Monday, December 17, 2012

Delhi incident

The whole nation is shamed and angry. The gang rape and subsequent death of a 23 year old paramedic student in a chartered bus in Delhi has once again brought out the activists and the common man onto the streets in protest. While a few politicians have tried to defend the state of affairs by blaming it on the women themselves, is it right on the part of any human being to bully another in such a derogatory manner?
What could have been going on in the minds of the five men and a minor who attacked the woman and her friend in such a brutal manner when they were so helpless? Was it just for fun; momentary pleasure, without a thought for the consequences? Was it done just to establish their control over a physically weaker species? Whatever the reasons for the crime, the culprits need to be brought to book quickly, so that there is fear of the law, there is a reason to think twice before another set of goons attack another sister, daughter, mother or friend.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Myth transplantation need not be performed by masterminding mass conversions from our culture to another, or by accepting all living alien traditions uncritically. All traditions are not equally worthy of revival; the Aztec tradition and its hunger for human sacrifice, for example, is one heritage which should most likely remain dead and buried. Let us instead open ourselves to healthy, life enhancing traditions, activities which may help us revive ourselves. - Dr Robert E. Svaboda

Saturday, July 14, 2012

In a strange tale that is unique to the Oriya Mahabharata, Krishna decides to play a trick on Arjuna while he is in the forest. He approaches him in the form of a monster, the Nabagunjara, a creature that is a composite of nine animals - serpent, horse, bull, tiger, elephant, horse, peacock, rooster and man. Instead of getting frightened, Arjuna sees the lotus flower in the human  hand of the creature and recognises Krishna. - Dr Devdutt Pattanaik in Jaya, An illustrated retelling of the Mahabharata.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

While tracing the contours of the philosophical ideas of a Vedic seer, it is to be borne in mind that these ideas are the products not so much of reasoning as of seeing. Reasoning here only follows seeing. This is the common feature of almost all the ideas put forth by the Vedic seers who are seers, rsis first and thinkers only next. It is little truer of Dirghatamas whose life history hinges on the problem of how he happened to see. – The philosophy of Dirghatamas by Satya Prakash Singh

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Myths are things which never happened but always are. - Sallust

Sunday, April 1, 2012

“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” -
Italo Calvino

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hanuman - An Introduction

In a caste-ridden society like India, the affection of the high born prince Rama for a lowly but devoted monkey fired the imagination of people...

Hanuman's 'monkeyness' ensures that his awesome power does not intimidate. He is earthy and tangible not ethereal or transcendent. Through him, the divine comes within reach. Hence, the popular North Indian saying: first Hanuman, then God, pahle Hanuman, phir Bhagvan.

- From Hanuman - An Introduction by Dr Devdutt Pattanaik.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

It would be difficult to overstate the significance of performance in Bharat, that ancient civilization now known as India. Performance infuses the culture still, as is apparent from from its innumerable forms of music and dance, its active celebration of festivals, and its engagement with images and icons, both on the altars and in the streets. All forms of performance are not created equal in this or any culture,but its centrality in Indian life cannot be challenged. - Susan L Schwartz in Rasa - Performing the divine in India.