Monthly Archives: June 2008

The mysterious kuchumAra

A modern Hindu might be deeply offended to learn about kuchumAra. He is a mysterious fellow mentioned in the kAmasUtra by vAtsyAyana as a teacher of the aupaniShadika section (i.e. the 7th division of the kAmashAstra) of the version of … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

The battle with the AkrAnta

The ari-s had always wished evil to befall us and tried a dreadful prayoga that unleashed the grAhin on us. We were tormented by the grAhin even as we headed to the rudhira-sIma. But we invoked skanda to come to … Continue reading

Posted in Life

The neglect of human sociobiology

I was at a workshop on new channels of scientific communication. One big theme was the need for the greater openness in scientific communication. It was felt that biologists were less prone to openness than physicists, and much more prone … Continue reading

Posted in Life

A notable brAhminical clan

Some research into the brAhmaNa-s of the drAviDa country of the vaDama sect and the bhArgava gotra leads to an interesting family that was active in the Middle Vijayanagaran period in the court at Hampe. The patriline belonged to the … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History

kaumAra gaja graha

We observed a description of the the terrifying elephant graha of kArttikeya in the kAshyapa saMhita of the kaumAra tantra-s. The same graha and the underlying mythology are alluded to in the section 129 of the kAshyapa tantraM, the magico-medical … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

lashunotsava or gandha-maha

Hindu tradition mentions the following tale regarding the discovery and the use of garlic. The brAhmaNa sushruta’s curiosity was aroused by a foul-smelling bulb and he made enquiries regarding it to the renowned medical expert divodAsa, the king of kAshI. … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History

The story of the nAstIka attack on rAmeshvaraM

An exchange with my acquaintance SRA on apotropaic rites related to temples prompted me to record this brief note. The light of the theravAda bauddha-s, the mighty king parAkrama-bAhu the Great (i.e. parAkrama-bAhu-I), came to power in Shri Lanka around … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History