Monthly Archives: January 2009

nAstika notes

R1’s father was not the kind like the prudish modern Hindu who was shy of laying out the realities of sAdhana and the subject matter of certain shAstra-s to me. Yet he was not exactly thrilled with the prospect of … Continue reading

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Is dhattUra really mentioned in the arthashAstra?

In the recent past people have generally believed that the arthashAstra represents one of the earliest mentions of dhattUra (Datura metel) that is believed to be of pre-Columbian New World origin. Is the mention of the dhattUra in the AS … Continue reading

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The tradition holds that the triad ravi, shashi and shuchI are respectively shown in their piNDa form as the bIja-s: haM, saM and raM. They are combined with the great kulayoginI manifesting as chitparAMbA and the bhairava manifest parashambhunAtha. Hence … Continue reading

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The mouse, the rat and the wolf

We were chasing one mouse. One rat was chasing us and so was a wolf. For the mouse and the rat we placed pieces of cheese as baits. The wolf wanted to make us its meal. The mouse we were … Continue reading

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A hagiography of gajapati, a brAhmaNa from Nepal

Though pursued by the grAhin like a sparrow by a hawk, we felt we should record this story. The following is an account from R1’s father. In some cases the mantra-s that he only mentioned as pratIka-s are omitted because … Continue reading

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vAsiShTha lUtikAshAstra

An year before dvAdashAnta, lUtikA-yoShA, the muni and I journeyed into a remarkable world of spiders in the unattractive settings of our city. However, the journey was only completed by lUtikA-yoSha in the footsteps of her ancient ancestor. The tentative … Continue reading

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Have the Hindus given up?

I did not want to write this and instead try to finish the train of thought on avian imprinting. But a long conversation with a reader of these ramblings :-) made me at least park a little note here. Long … Continue reading

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The drongos and koels of vAnara-parvata

In the long past I had made acquaintance with some extant dinosaurs on the lower shelf of vAnara parvata. The avian mind is not exactly one with which a mammal can intersect well. An acquaintance of mine who studied bee-eaters … Continue reading

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Some mysteries of uchChiShTa

In extant atharvavedic shrauta practice the uchChiShTa sUkta (AV-vulgate 11.7; AV-P 16.82) is not deployed. However, sAyaNa correctly understands its deployment in the old AV-based shrauta ritual. He cites the taittirIya brAhmaNa 1.1.9 and states that this is the uchChiShTa … Continue reading

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Some sound changes in IA

Some neo-Indo-Aryan languages sound unusual to us because they are not our native tongue and very “discordant” with respect to saMskR^ita. Hence, those “funny” words sort of make us sit up and try to figure out their evolutionary paths. Today … Continue reading

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Some aspects of vaikhAnasa iconic worship and their parallels

The spread of iconoclastic Zarathushtran and Abrahamistic cults over Eurasia have all but destroyed most traces of ancient iconic worship. In the midst of this destruction, which relentlessly continues under the crescent and the cross banners, one tradition alone preserves … Continue reading

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Cephalopod intelligence in action?

This footage of a mimic octopus raises the issue of cephalopod intelligence which we have discussed in the past. Here the mimic octopus is shown impersonating a flat solefish, a lionfish and a sea-snake all of which are highly toxic … Continue reading

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The arrow of vilAsinI

It was just before dashAnta. We were on the brink of shaking off the shackles that had constrained us for several years. We were happy that rather than wasting our efforts on the mundane, which attracted our fellow travelers, we … Continue reading

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turuShka-s and mlechCha-s

Over the past 500 years the Hindu nation has had to contend with the combined assault of rapine turuShka-s and mlechCha-s. Long ago, as we wandered on the path to a citadel of the founder of the marATha empire, ekanetra … Continue reading

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