February 4, 2016

Here are some of the best quotes and poems from the famed 13th-Century Sufi mystic, Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, on life, love, death, friendship and more. Read more

February 3, 2016

Nelson Mandela is one of the heroes of the modern age. An icon of freedom and the epitome of forgiveness and statesmanship, he is a larger then a life figure in today’s world. Here are a few wonderful quotes from this eloquent and charismatic man who led South Africa through its freedom struggle and first years as a democratic nation. The Best Nelson Mandela Quotes We are not anti-white, we are against white supremacy. […] We have condemned racialism no… Read more

September 22, 2014

Before we get to Swami Vivekanada’s quotes, lets learn a little about him. Swami Vivekananda is one of India’s most inspiring human beings. He wrote extensively about a range of subjects that dealt with the human predicament. He was one of the wisest men of the last few centuries and is widely credited with revitalizing Indian nationalism and the Hindu way of life, with the guidance of his Guru, the mystic Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Here are 101 inspirational Swami Vivekananda quotes… Read more

November 15, 2019

Two major aquatic species facing extinction in Ganga are the gharial – a species of crocodile – and Ganga Dolphin. There are only about 200 gharials and 2500 Ganga Dolphin left. In fact, Ganga is often depicted in art wearing a white saree and riding a crocodile. Ganga River dolphin or Susu is an endangered river dolphin inhabiting the Ganga, and Brahmaputra (in Nepal, India & Bangladesh) and their tributaries. It is also found in Karnaphuli, a 270-km river in… Read more

November 8, 2019

River length (including Bangladesh): 2525 km Basin area in India: 861,000 sq km Indian population in basin: 329 million (To compare, population of US is 327 million) States in basin: Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal The word “Ganga” literally means, “to flow”. On the banks of the River Sone, one of Ganga’s tributaries, archaeologists found a 11,000-year old triangular stone, thought to be one of the oldest representations of a yantra, indicating worship of Shakti or the goddess…. Read more

October 30, 2019

Telang Swami: Ramakrishna referred to him as the “Walking Shiva of Varanasi”. Left his body in 1887, after living over 200-300 years. He weighed about 300 pounds though he ate very little. He never wore clothing except for a rudraksh mala. He performed a ritual bath of Kashi Vishveshvara with his own urine and feces. When he did this, one of the temple priests was so outraged that he slapped Telang Swami, who didn’t bother about it and merely went… Read more

October 25, 2019

About Kashi Along the river there are over seventy bathing ghats, literally “landings” or “banks,” reaching from Asi Ghat in the south to Adi Keshava in the north, beyond the bridge. There are two riverside cremation grounds at Harishchandra Ghat and Manikarnika Ghat. Elsewhere in India, the cremation ground is outside of town. Here, the cremation grounds are in the midst of a busy city. Harishchandra Ghat is also known as Adi Manikarnika. They say that this ghat was there… Read more

October 20, 2019

Kashi Karvat “Karvat” means “a saw.” It is said that in this temple, a saw used to be suspended from the ceiling. Devotees would come here, and the saw would drop on them, and they would be cut in half from sahasrar to muladhara. Gradually the practise was banned and later the saw was kept on the floor. Devotees would throw themselves on the saw to kill themselves. The British banned this and took away the saw. The linga here… Read more

October 15, 2019

In the previous post, I presented the historical context to Babri Masjid. This post is more about the current situation. Archaeology of Babri Masjid The Babri Masjid structure itself seems to have incorporated many Hindu sculptures etc. from a pre-existing structure. Photographs of such sculptures were submitted in the court in August 2019. One famous example is an inscription of a Vishnu temple from the twelfth century which was found after the Babri demolition. Arguments were made that this inscription… Read more

October 12, 2019

The Supreme Court of India is finally moving towards a conclusion of the decades old Babri Masjid case. The final hearings will take place in the next week, and a judgement is likely by November. In this, the first of two posts, I present a “dummies” guide to this whole complex affair. If you’re too busy to read the whole post, the TL;DR right on top should help. TL;DR: Whether the mosque was built by Babur or his armies is… Read more

May 21, 2019

India’s textiles are intimately linked to its culture and Gods. For example, in Tamil Nadu, it was quite a common feature in the past for weavers to function out of temples. In fact, many of the weavers biggest “customers” were temples, which clothed deities in special cloth. This article is a brief look at some of the fabrics that have developed in Tamil Nadu’s temple towns, and how they are faring today. According to the Institute of Indo European Studies,… Read more

May 17, 2019

This post is a look at how the British Raj decimated the South Indian weaving community. In the next post I will be looking at some of Tamil Nadu’s textiles and how they have declined in the last two centuries. Since ancient times, textiles were important trade items exported from India. For example at Poompuhar, also called Kaveripoompattinam, located at the mouth of the Kaveri, fine cotton textiles, silks, painted and printed cottons, carpets and cushions were traded in vast quantities… Read more

May 11, 2019

Recently, India celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi, the wife of Mahatma Gandhi. A redoubtable and admirable lady, her life is a true inspiration in devotion and stoicness. Here’s a look at a few aspects of her life. Kasturba married Gandhi at the age of 14. They had 5 sons, the eldest one died early. She remained in India when Gandhi went to study in London. Her involvement with politics began in South Africa as she helped her… Read more




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