Search Results for: kumAra

A stotra to shiva and viShNu with a few allusions to kumAra thrown in

The stotra is attributed to the R^iShi agastya and is embedded in the vAmana purANa:

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kumAra chakra with the twelve dreadful goddesses

The account of the mantra practice of these kaumAra goddesses was originally intended as part of the great skanda vrata. Given that that might take a while to complete, and that these goddess might be worshiped in other rites in … Continue reading

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kumAra gAthA

jaya atula-shakti dIdhiti pi~njara | bhuja-daNDa-chaNDa-raNa-rabhasa | sura-vadana kumuda-kAnana-vikAsanendo kumAra | jaya ditija-kula-mahodadhi-vaDavAnala | ShaNmukha madhura-rava-mayUra-ratha | sura-mukuTa-koTi-ghaTTita-charaNa-nakhA~Nkura mahAsana | jaya lalita-chUDa kalApa-nava-vimala-dala-kamala-kAnta | daitya-vaMsha-duHsaha-dAvAnala | jaya vishAkha vibho | jaya sakala-loka-tAraka | jaya devasenA-nAyaka skanda | jaya gaurI-nandana ghaNTApriya … Continue reading

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Vignettes from the kumAra saMbhava

The mAtR^i-s and gaNa-s of rudra: The image of rudra being accompanied by female deities is an ancient one which goes back to the shruti. In the shatarudrIya of the yajurveda the following mantra-s are seen: nama AvyadhinIbhyo vividhyantIbhyash cha … Continue reading

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kumArAnujAya namaH ||

kumbha-sthalI rakShatu vo vikIrNa sindUra-reNur dviradAnanasya prashAntaye vighna-tamash-ChaTAnAM niShThyUta-bAlAtapa-pallaveva ||

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The shR^i~NgAra katha of kumAra from the islander’s narrative

In later northern Indian tradition a euphemistic transformation was imposed on kumAra – from a deity capable of erotic flourishes he was transmogrified into an eternal bachelor who shunned women. Behind this façade was a persistent tradition in parts of … Continue reading

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kumAra trishatI: commentary

The kumAra-trishatI, also known as the shatruMjaya trishatI, the rahasya trishatI, the guhya ShaNmukha-nAma-saMgIti or the skanda-nAma-sAgara had recently been only orally transmitted. In this sense it is reminiscent of the vinAyaka rahasya sahasranAma that was taught by bhAskararAya makhIndra … Continue reading

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kumAra trishatI

OM asya shrI kumAra trishatI mahAmantrasya mArkaNDeya R^iShiH | anuShTup ChandaH | kumAra-ShaNmukho devatA | kumAra iti bIjaM | shAkha iti shaktiH | vishAkha iti kIlakaM | nejameSha ityargalaM | kArttikeya iti kavachaM | ShaNmukha iti dhyAnaM | dhyAyet ShaNmukham … Continue reading

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kaumAra yantra-s according to kaumara tantra sAra and kumarAdi mantra samuchchaya

kaumAra jAla yantra OM vaM shaM raM vaM NaM bhaM skandAya khe khe namaH | OM vaM vaM shaM raM NaM bhaM skandAya khe khe namaH | OM raM vaM NaM bhaM vaM shaM skandAya khe khe namaH | OM … Continue reading

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The iconography of kumAra according to the sanatkumAra-prashna

We had earlier discussed vidyA-s of the various specialized mUrti-s of kArttikeya and their visualizations. Continuing with that discussion we shall now look at the mUrti-s of the god as described by the kaumArAgama known as the sanatkumAra prashna. The … Continue reading

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bIja saMpuTikaraNas of the kumAra vidyA and related mantras

The great kaumAra tAntrika, rAmAnuja deshika collected several kaumAra vidyA-s into two compendiums the subrahmaNya kalpa (SK) and the kumAra-tantra sAra (KTS). These contains fragments of the older kaumAra mUla tantras that might be partly or entirely lost. These old … Continue reading

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vaikhAnasa childhood rites pertaining to kumAra

Childhood rites in connection kumAra, ShaShThi and their gaNa-s are widespread in Hindu tradition. An early example of this offered by the vaikhAnasa tradition. In the ceremony of nAmakaraNa a series of blessings are bestowed on the child by the … Continue reading

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shakra virachita laghu kumAra stotraM

laghu kumAra stotrasya shatakratuH R^iShiH | anuShTup ChandaH | skando devata ||OM hrAM ~NaMdeva-devaM namasyAmi kumAraM varamachyutaM |kArttikeyaM durArAdhyaM vahni-tejaH samudbhavaM || 1 ||umA sha~NkarajaM bhImaM ga~NgAyA jaThare dhR^itaM |shakti-hastaM viShAlAkShaM ShaNmukhaM dIpta-tejasaM || 2 ||bhaktAnukaMpinaM dAtaM brahmaNyaM varadaM prabhuM … Continue reading

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kumAra mAla

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kumAra vidyA-s

Of the mUrti-s of kumAra [Note 1] that are worshiped by the educated kaumAra sAdhaka there are few having a special significance. The first of these is of great import for a dvija in devoted the yAj~nIkI perfection. It is … Continue reading

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daNDin’s pUrvapIThikA of dasha-kumAra-charitra

The 3rd stride of viShNu as well as his snake is the enduring Hindus symbol of the axis that precesses with the passage of kAla or time. Right from the R^igveda this axial role of viShNu is at the fore … Continue reading

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The mahA-kumAra-rahasya

The great rahasya of the 6-headed one goes thus: 1) First there is the praNava, which encompasses the akSharas from shrIkaNTha the father of the young god to the last of the pentads of brahman. 2) kAmarUpaM vahnyArUDhaM bindumAlinIbhuShitaM kAlabindumilitaM … Continue reading

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Royal kumAra worshippers

The Shunga coins: The late Maurya and Shunga period has the square coins of the Ujjain series bearing the image of kumAra. They constructed several idols of kumAra in Mathura (175-50 BC). The Kushanas: The kumAra coins, especially Huvishka’s with … Continue reading

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Some comparative considerations on the Indo-European religion with a focus on the Roman religion

Studies on the Roman religion The Roman religion is important for our understanding of the early Indo-European religion which forms the basis of our own religion, tradition, and identity. Unfortunately, the religions of the western branches of Indo-European were destroyed … Continue reading

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Some meanderings on early medieval history from the view point of nAstika compositions

A image of the goddess vajreshvarI from a Dilwara temple built by a jaina banker-businessman of the chAlukya period later embellished by bhAmA sAH This epistle is a brief discussion on the socio-political developments in early medieval India emerging from … Continue reading

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The engineer, the dead fish and the bag of earth-V

From part-IV trayAyudho nAma pa~nchamo .adhyAyaH | The next day Somakhya was browsing the news when he came across a curious item: “There are reports of heavy cross-border shelling by Pakistani troops in the Kupwara district. To take stock of … Continue reading

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The engineer, the dead fish and the bag of earth-II

From chapter 1 mR^ita-matsyo nAma dvitIyo.adhyAyaH | Sometime later the country abruptly returned to normalcy – the Hindus heaved a sigh of relief. The buzz going around was that the seasoned politician and home minister Vidharam Yadav, who was reputed … Continue reading

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Some sketches of Indian wild life in vidyAkara’s anthology

sAndra-sthUla-naloparodha-viShamAH shakyAvatArAH puras toyottIrNa-nivR^itta-nakra-jaThara-kShuNNa-sthalI-vAlukAH | vyakta-vyAghra-padA~Nka-pa~Nkti-nichitonmudrArdra-pa~NkodarAH saMtrAsaM janayanti ku~nja-saritaH kAchAbha-nIlodakAH || sAndra: thick; sthUla: large; nala: reed; uparodha: barrier; viShamAH: rough; shakya: possible; avatArAH: descents; puraH: first; toya: water; uttIrNa: descended; nivR^itta: climbed back; nakra: crocodile; jaThara: belly; kShuNNa: roughed … Continue reading

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The erotic, the warlike and the imperial in the tantra age

The primary paurANika text of the shrI-kula tradition is the famed lalitopAkhyAnam, which is tagged to the brahmANDa purANam. The text describes the exploits of the central deity of the shrI-kula system, tripurasundarI, who is simultaneously praised as simultaneously erotic: … Continue reading

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The teaching of the yamoghaNTa

She said that she was shoNitamekhalA, the barmaid from the glorious oDDiyAna. We excitedly asked her teaching of the amaraugha. She said: somAkhyaH pathena gachChati | hAlApIvI devadattaM pathena gamayati | pathaM vR^iNIShva || (somAkhya goes by the path; hAlApIvin … Continue reading

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Some comments of on the vyapohana stava and its pantheon

The vyapohana stava is an important saiddhAntika purificatory incantation. It may be compared with other works composed by deshika-s of the Urdhvasrotas such as: 1) the vyomavApistava of the Kashmirian commentator bhaTTa rAmakANTha-II; 2) the shiva-pUjA-stava of j~nAnashambhu, a scholar … Continue reading

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vidhinA avarodhita

ChitvA pAsham apAsya kUTa-rachanAM bha~NktvA balAd vAgurAM paryastAgni-shikhA-kalApa-jaTilAn niHsR^itya dUraM vanAt | vyAdhAnAM sharagocharAd atijavenotplutya gachChan mR^igaH kUpAntaH patitaH karoti viguNe kiM vA vidhau pauruSham || Having broken the snare, avoided the concealed traps, and forcibly broken nets, escaping bundles … Continue reading

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A brief note on prahlAda, hiraNyakashipu and an early nArasiMhAkhyAna

The daitya-s prahrAda/prahlAda and virochana are known in the veda itself. The killing of prahlAda and his clan by indra in a battle in the high heavens is alluded to in more than one post-RV vaidika text. This great battle … Continue reading

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The mayAbheda sUkta: a discursion

In the great pravargya ritual the mAhAvIra pot containing the milk of a cow and a goat, i.e. the gharma offering, is intensely heated until it starts glowing. When the pot starts glowing the hotar looks at it starts reciting … Continue reading

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Some anti-Astika stories of the jaina-s

The nAstika-s, smarting from their poor performance relative to the sanAtana-dharma, resorted to several distinct tactics: imitation, appropriation and distortion. But one of the problems they faced was that their hard-won converts tended to lapse back into the Astika ground … Continue reading

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A brief note on the Spitzer manuscript and related issues

In his famed kAvya the buddhacharita, ashvagoSha states that when the tathAgata was about to renounce the world he had an “akShaya-dharma-jAta-rAgaH”, i.e., a “passion” of the indestructible dharma was born in him. When we encountered this term we realized … Continue reading

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A Hindu polemic against the pretamata

When the English gained ascendancy after the defeat of the marATha-s and the sikh-s they had gained military control over India but they knew well that their hold was still tenuous. Hence, in the period leading to the first war … Continue reading

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Some notes on the shaiva temple celebrations and an excursus on the fishing, diving and hunting festivals of rudra

An integral aspect of the life of the post-Vedic Hindu community was participation in the temple celebrations. It was considered highly beneficial in the tAntrika tradition, both to the individual and the community, and helps explain the basic premises of … Continue reading

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Some notes on the dispersion of the kaumAra-shAsana

In the early 1900s the English archaeologist John Marshall began excavations at Bhita (pronounced: bhITA) near prayAga, modern Uttar Pradesh. He wrote an account of this excavation aided by the native assistants in the archaeological survey of India’s annual report … Continue reading

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Between the rasArNava and the chitrabandha-s

In the glorious summer we sought, through the secret practice, the enlightenment, which the elixir of viveka confers upon the lucky. We reclined in the holy land of bhArata, now sullied by the faded vigor of our peoples and the … Continue reading

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The skanda-vrata

We had earlier presented a few details pertaining to the great kumAra chakra, which lay at the root of the kumArashAsana the pinnacle of its glory – a time when mahAsena was invoked from bAhlika in the north to dramiDa … Continue reading

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A narrative on the kAlAmukha-s: implications for the bhairava-srotas

We had earlier briefly considered the kAlAmukha-s on these pages. While once prominent in both the north and south of the country, their last occurrences are recorded only in the south (though they clearly acknowledge their connections to the northern … Continue reading

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Some inquiries into the shrIlankan past

Whereas Hindus on the mainland are reputed to have no historical sense and consquently no history, their cousins on the island are supposed to have a rich historical account in the form of the pALi mahAvaMsha and the chULavaMsha. These … Continue reading

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pA~ncharAtrika vaiShNava elements in the astronomy textbook sUrya-siddhanta and other notes

When it comes to astronomy, more than any other field, the white indologists and their Japanese apers have sought to show Hindus as frauds or idiots (of course, nowadays they cushion it in all manner “sophisticated” jargon, such as “Indo-Moslem … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History, Scientific ramblings

Notes on vaiShNava-shaiva sectarian competition in the purANa-s

The appropriation and/or downgrading of each others ancient narratives is a common practice seen among shaiva-s, vaiShNava-s shAkta-s, gANapatya-s and to a lesser extent the kaumAra-s. Many years ago when we first began our studies in the purANa-s we became … Continue reading

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A saiddhAntika adaptation of the vAstupuruSha narrative

We had earlier pointed out that the vAstupuruSha narrative in the smArta vAstu texts ( e.g. as provided by varAhamihira in his bR^ihatsaMhitA) might be derived from an old brAhmaNa-like narrative that was provided in the context of explaining the … Continue reading

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A note on the Tantric state among the chIna-s and recovery of a lost vainAyaka ritual

In 705 CE, amoghavajra was born in Samarkand to a brAhmaNa teacher from either Prayag or Kashi and his Iranian wife. His father died when he was 10 years old and he moved to the chInadesha with his mother and … Continue reading

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The unknown mahApaNDitA

When we heard from MM of her great exploits we immediately felt a kinship with her at three levels. This kinship we refer to does not merely arise from the fact that she was our co-ethnic but from something much … Continue reading

Posted in Life

The illiterate Hindu and other digressions

Early Tamil in brAhmI script and Indus writing: Note the peculiar graffiti appearing to the left end of two Tamil inscriptions beginning in ama. The inscription from Lanka (top right) has 7 characters of which 4 and 5 are graffiti … Continue reading

Posted in History, Life

Why rasa? where did Arya and yavana nATaka diverge?

This may be read in conjunction with an earlier note on an overlapping topic. Through the period of our existence we spent some time trying to understand kAvya and nATya and reached certain conclusions we felt were of particular importance. … Continue reading

Posted in art, Heathen thought

Mysterious king shUdraka

Great rulers in Indian literary tradition Indian literary tradition has a rather telescoped view of post-epic history. By epic history we might consider the period circumscribed by the rAmAyana, the bhArata and the harivaMsha and the period before the post-bhArata … Continue reading

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Notes on the viShNu-virachita rudra stotram

The early history of the imagery of rudra within the Indo-Aryan tradition (as an ortholog of the deities elsewhere in the Indo-European world, like Apollo and Odin) can be traced through a large body of texts. These include in approximate … Continue reading

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The mechanical, the magical and the fantastic

She said: “You had promised the robots of king bhoja even as we had engaged in the mirth of the chUta-latikA and bhUtamAtR^ikA. The answer to why vikrama had his vetAla while bhoja had his throne statues ? Did you … Continue reading

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The vaidika kaumAra kula vidyA

We had earlier discussed the root mantra of the kumAra shAsana as provided in the vaikhAnasa mantra-prashna. The complete formulation, which includes the mantra-s of kumAra and devyaH, represents an early form of the kula vidyA. Another early vaidika kula … Continue reading

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A tAntrika interpretation of vaidika mantra

Having completed the second circle we mediated up on the might of the great archer invoking him with the mantra whose R^iShi is haryata the son pragAtha of the clan of the kANva-s and whose meter is the gAyatrI: antar … Continue reading

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trayodasha-prAkArIya pa~nchadashi kaumAra chakra

In the ancient series of vidyA-s of the kaumAra-mata, one of the most celebrated, whose realization flashes like an immense wave of beauty and energy, is the expanded kula-vidyA. The yAga of the expanded kula-vidyA is the worship of ShaNmukha … Continue reading

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kaumara mantra-s of as per the vaikhAnasa shruti

The kaumAra-shAsana holds that its mantra-s are of two types name shruti-prakR^iti and Agama-prakR^iti. The former mantra-s are those of vaidika origin. The rahasya trishati is said to specify mantra-s of both the classes. bhUtapatir gatAta~Nko nIla-chUDaka-vAhanaH || 34/287 The … Continue reading

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The urban maNDala

Views on Indian urbanization While bhArata has had a long history of urbanization, there is a certain view that we have absolutely no memory of the first such event. As per this view the first urbanization is a purely archaeological … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History

The mahAmAyUrI-vidyA-rAj~nI

We had earlier mentioned how the mahAmAyUrI-vidyA-rAj~nI (MVR), an early kriyA tantra of the tAthAgata-s, is an important text to understand the evolutionary transition in the mantra-shAstra from the vaidika to the tAntrika state. Gathering texts that illustrate this transition … Continue reading

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The richness of meaning

After years of fruitless pursuit R felt that she had finally engaged with the sensuality of Sanskrit poetry. Foundations of this have been a part of our tradition since its very beginning, even though today we tend to separate the … Continue reading

Posted in art, Heathen thought

early kaumAra iconography from Mathura

The holy city of Mathura is one of the great sthala-s for the member of the kumAra shAsana. Above are a sampling of images of what survives of the early kaumAra iconography after the several Mohammedan assaults on the city. … Continue reading

Posted in art, Heathen thought, History

The mystery goddess of the shu~Nga period

Many a time memes expressing themselves in the philological medium and those that express themselves in the material medium of art and architecture share several common motifs. Yet these two sets of memes can show a striking disconnect in many … Continue reading

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brAhmaNa-s and nAstika-s

We had discussion with our friend as to whether the brAhmaNa-s subverted the nAstika mata from within. In a sense, this is not a new theory: Astika narratives state that rudra sent bR^ihaspati to delude the asura-s by posing as … Continue reading

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A discursion on the sanatkumArIya pa~nchabrahma (siddha-shaMkara) tantra and the early evolution of the dakShiNashaiva system

Diversity and syncretism in the bhairava or dakShiNa srotas The bhairava-srotas of the shaiva mantramArga was clearly one of the most speciose branches of the shaiva-shAsana. From the ancestral bhairava-srotas base that itself most probably arose from the kApAlika-oriented streams … Continue reading

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Some speculation on the Indo-Aryan cult of the vasu-s

The below material arose as a collaborative venture in course of extended discussions with KR. The winter solstice/year beginning in the last part of shraviShTha (1300 BCE) The three great categories of gods in the veda and beyond Though absent … Continue reading

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vijayanagaran activities in shrI lankA

Since the vijayan colonization of lankA several south India empires have extended their sway over lankA. On occasions, the lankans too invaded or interfered with the mainland, most famous occasion being the invasion of parAkramabAhu. Due to some prominent historians … Continue reading

Posted in History

utsavAdi

We were engaged in a conversation with ekanetra on variety of topics ranging from the preceptorial genealogies of the medieval advaita vedAntins to the mudgara-swinging bludgeon-men of parAkrama-bAhu in the “siMhala-damila mahAyuddha”. When, in the middle, ST chimed in that … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History, Life

chaturdasha skanda-mAtR^i-kula-chakra

kumAra with the kula of glorious goddesses in the holy city of Mathura In the kaumAra lore an important chakra is the 14 fold chakra in the center of which guha is worshipped. There are 3 major AvaraNa-s: 1) the … Continue reading

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nAstika notes: ma~njushrI and the nAma-saMgIti

The meteoric rise of ma~njushrI in the bauddha realm is not immediately apparently in his hazy beginnings. He appears to have been the focus of the syncretic absorption of several deities which can be seen in course of the evolution … Continue reading

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adhika mantra-s of the nIlarudropaniShat

The nIlarudropaniShat has some additional mantra-s beyond those included in the nIlarudra sUktaM. These mantra-s are drawn from the raudra gaNa of the paippalAda saMhitA of the AV. The combination of the nIlarudra sUktaM along with the raudra gaNa (AV … Continue reading

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Further considerations on the pAshupata system

Though it is at the foundation of all the shaiva systems that survive to date, the old pAshupata darshana has all but become extinct. Of the pAshupata sUtra-s we have only 3 reported extant manuscripts thus far: two from vArANasi … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History

The rise and fall of the Uighur Empire

With the Uighurs in the news some people asked me about them. I decided to salvage one of my writings on their history, which I suspect is one of the more complete ones which I compiled from some obscure sources … Continue reading

Posted in History

navasAhasA~Nkacharita

Long ago the Acharya had said that we should study the navasAhasA~Nkacharita (NSC). But being truants we ignored his sage words. Years later we felt that we should relieve the enactments of the rAjpUt rulers we had played as kids … Continue reading

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Geopolitics of the tantra age: an attempt at a blunt assessment

The va~Nga-paNDita placed the following issue before ekanetra and me. He had seen a somewhat convergent theory amongst both Hindus and Hindu-haters. We lay this out as some kind of pUrva-pakSha for further study. -The beginning in the gupta age … Continue reading

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The heroes, gopaNArya and vijayAlaya-deva-I

Many of the heroes in our great struggle against the Mohammedan desecrators of bhAratavarSha have been forgotten. In particular these are the warriors from the Andhra and drAviDa countries who turned the tide of Islam even as it threatened to … Continue reading

Posted in History

Our intellectual tradition: non-existent, decadent, or congenitally dilute?

Perhaps the greatest mind of all times was Karl Gauss. Among the men of genius he stands at the pinnacle of existence, perhaps with Chingiz Kha’khan. I keep a 10 DM note with the portrait of Gauss in my office to remind … Continue reading

Posted in Life, Politics

nAstika notes-2

Some enquirers had asked about the classification of nAstika tantra-s of the bauddha variety. Hence, we shall briefly discuss this, while mentioning the caveat that there are many classifications, just as in the case of Astika systems. I must also … Continue reading

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saura miscellany

The famous poet, mayUra of harShavardhana’s court, whose shR^i~NgAra work, the mayUrAShTaka, we had earlier alluded is supposed to have composed the sUryashataka in the aftermath of the events following the former composition. sUryashataka-1 jaMbhArAtiibha-kumbhodbhavaM iva dadhataH sAndra-sindUra-reNuM raktAH siktA … Continue reading

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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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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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Iranian miscellany

[disclaimer: I tend to use Indic-style spellings in most cases] One of the questions often pondered upon is the state of the Iranian religion before the ascendancy of the cult of zarathuShTra in greater Iran. There are multiple facets to … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History

Thanjavur-I

After worshiping rudra at mallikArjuna for 10 days shivAjI rapidly moved via Nandyal, Kadappah, Tirupati and Kalahasti and approached the vicinity of Jinji. He then sent 5000 troops to besiege the fort of Jinji which was held by Nasir Mohammed … Continue reading

Posted in History

The beginnings of revatI: The vaidika elements

pathyA revatIr bahudhA virUpAH sarvAH sa~Ngatya varivas te akran | tAs tvA sarvAH saMvidAnA hvayantu dashamIm ugraH sumanA vasheha ||AV 6.4.7; AV-P 3.1.7 The revatI-s of the path of several diverse forms, have all assembled and made extensive wealth for … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

Some notes on the tantra-rAja tantra

The tantra-rAja is a key shrI-kula tantra that forms the basis for many of the practices of the kAdimata. The paTala 34 lists the key vidyA-s which are very important for the attainment of various puruShArtha-s of the kaula practitioners. … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

Moonlight revelry, moonlight suffering and miTThu

My pitAshrI reminded that me that many moons ago on this particular full moon we had lazed with our friends and clansmen on the terrace drinking flavored milky hoping that shivAsha~Nkarau would pass over head asking if we were awake. … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, Life

The tradition of vAgbhaTa in the drAviDa and Andhra countries

We had earlier briefly alluded to the living tradition of vAgbhaTa in the chera country, which is practiced by the aShTavaidya-s. We currently believe this might be an early transmission of the great physician’s tradition to the south of the … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History

The wives of Mars and the Carmen Arvale

In our earlier discussion we had argued based on structural homologies the marut-s of the vedic system are “para-skanda”. We speculated that kumAra himself descends from a para-vedic Indo-Iranian system, which contained an ancestral version of the deity, who in … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

King harihara-II praised as a portion of skanda

The nallur plate of the vijayanagaran king harihara-II praises him as a portion of skanda i.e. skandAmsha. The part of the inscription that can be made out reads thus: dharmeNa rakShati kShoNIM vIra-shrI-bhukka-bhUpatI | nirAta~NkAbhayAt-tasmin nitya-bhogotsavAH prajAH || gaurI-sahacharAt-tasmAt prAdurAsIn … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History

kaumAra material in the aShTA~NgasaMgraha: a rambling discussion

The provenance of the aShTA~NgasaMgraha Before we go on to a survey of the kaumAra material incorporated into the aShTA~Nga saMgraha (AS) we shall consider some issues related to the provenance of this text. The aShTA~Nga saMgraha is a text … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History

Some discursion on skanda tantra-s and bAlagraha-s

Over the years we have been collecting several observations on the kaumAra sect, its texts and evolution on this site. While all this would be worth synthesizing, that would need much greater effort. We identify 3 basic phases in the … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

gulikAkrIDA: la~NkAvijaya

The sunlit shores of la~NkA, just like the beaches of Southern Saxony where the peerless pirates of emperor Ponting roam like fork-tongued monitors, have been a charnel ground for the Hindu armies over the ages. They have been thrashed over … Continue reading

Posted in Cricket

15th August: A journey

61 years ago the Hindus ended the mlechCha conquest of their land. Today most of us feel the victory was incomplete and many others feel it might have even been empty. Within the true Hindu elite (not the modern Indian … Continue reading

Posted in Politics

Some points regarding the Rewa stone inscription of malayasiMha

The inscription was made for malaya-siMha, a general of the Tripuri kalachuri king vijaya-siMha-deva and several of his officials like a certain hari-sImha. The Sanskrit looks pretty strange to me in some places but it has some interesting information. It … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History

Miscellaneous points of note in the skanda-sadabhAva

kaumAra dIkSha: The SS is one of the few surviving texts giving an account of the kaumAra dIkSha. In its general pattern it follows the dIkSha-s seen in the pA~ncharAtra and saiddhAntika systems. In a pure spot a maNTapa is … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

skanda-sadbhAva:observations on iconography

Chapter 11 of the skanda-sadbhAva describes the making of images of skanda. 8 substances are recommended for making images: suvarNaM rajataM tAmraM maNayaH kaMsa eva cha | mR^ittikA dAru pAShaNa ity aShaTau yonaH smR^itAH || i.e.: gold, silver, copper, gemstone, … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

skanda sadbhAva: A distinctive kaumAra tantra?

Even though there are kumAra shrines ranking amongst the richest of the Indian temples, kaumAra worship can be generally characterized as being in the decline, especially in terms of the ancient forms. In South India the majority of priests at … 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

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

The anti-shaiva rants of the nAstika-s

The below may offend Hindus; Hence viewer discretion is advised. Both the bauddha and jaina nAstika-s saw shaiva-s of all hues as major competitors. It is interesting to note that despite the popularity of pA~ncharAtra tantra-s much of bauddha hate … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

More on sanskrit grammarians

The existence of aindra grammar which apparently declined in due course due to pANini’s efforts has been discussed extensively in the past by Burnell in his monograph on the topic. While things might have changed in certain directions in our … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

graha pratigaraM

We invoked the terrifying son of pinAkin, the seizer, the awful vinAyaka with a gleaming tusk dripping with the blood of devadviT-s gored in hand-to-hand combat. He held a frightful axe still unwashed with the blood of his foes slain … Continue reading

Posted in Life

One waves of the samaramahodadhi

On the darsha day we sat to perform our kratu. But we noticed that there was an error. We quickly regrouped and performed a prAyashchitta. But some fear lingered still if something might slip past. It was sent our way … Continue reading

Posted in Life

The “paurANic” element of the pashchimAmnAya

In the days after the fierce battle of dvAdashAnta, after we had overthrown the kR^ityAstra that struck us, we were resting in the city of the karnATa-s. There while meditating on the aghora mantra we experienced that connection with samayA … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

The pa~nchAvarNa stava

The great siddhAnta tantric aghorashiva deshika from the mid-1100s of the CE from the Tamil country composed an epitome of siddhAnta worship of the 5- headed sadAshiva and the AvaraNas of his maNDala. This is the pa~nchAvarNa stava, which resembles … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought

Early temples and iconic worship

It is nearly inconceivable for the average modern Hindu to imagine his religion as being aniconic. Worship at temples is an average Hindu’s major or only of religious activity, and it is not uncommon for practically every Hindu to keep … Continue reading

Posted in Heathen thought, History