Tag Archives: ancient Hindu thought

Some notes on the Indo-European aspects of the Anatolian tradition

Prolegomenon This section is primarily for students of the old religion who approach it from the Indo-Aryan direction and tend to be less aware of the West Asian material. The Anatolian branch of “Indo-European” (in quotes because this appellation becomes … Continue reading

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A note on Śrī, Viṣṇu and śṛṅgāra

yaḥ pūrvyāya vedhase navīyase sumaj-jānaye viṣṇave dadāśati । yo jātam asya mahato mahi bravat sed u śravobhir yujyaṃ cid abhy asat ॥ RV 1.156.2 Whoever repeatedly performs rituals to the wise one to the ancient and the new one, Viṣṇu, … Continue reading

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Are civilizational cycles the norm?

Nearly two and half decades back, we used to have several conversations with a late śūlapuruṣīya professor, mostly on topics with a biological angle. While not a mathematician, he had a passing interest in dynamical systems, for he felt that … Continue reading

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The birth defects of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Pāṇḍu and related matters

This note has its origin in a conversation with Sharada. We originally intended to incorporate the core of it into one of our usual fantastical stories. However, following a second conversation with her, we decided that it might be best … Continue reading

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Turagapadādi

This note stems from a recent conversation with a friend, where he pointed out that the graph representing all possible positions the horse (knight) can take on the chessboard from a given starting square produces interesting graphs. It struck us … Continue reading

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Twin Āditya-s, twin Rudra-s

This note originated as an intended appendix to the article on Rudra and the Aśvin-s we published earlier. The first offshoot from that work, which we published separately, explored the links between Rudra, Viṣṇu and the Aśvin-s in the śrauta … Continue reading

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Some talks at the Indic Today portal

We had a chat with with C Surendranath, Contributing Editor and (in part with) Yogini Deshpande, Editor in Chief of Indic Today. It is divided into four parts: 1) https://www.indictoday.com/videos/manasataramgini-civilization-counter-religion-continuity-collapse-i/ A few clarifications for this part: 1) We do not … Continue reading

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Pearl necklaces for Maheśvara

Śrīpati’s pearl necklace for Maheśvara The brāhmaṇa Śrīpati of the Kāśyapa clan was a soothsayer from Rohiṇīkhaṇḍa, which is in the modern Buldhana district of Maharashtra state. Somewhere between 1030 to 1050 CE he composed several works on mathematics, astronomy … Continue reading

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Of lives of men; of times of men-II

Of lives of men; of times of men-I Vidrum: “When we attended the discussions at the Right Wing Debate club we heard the president Rammandir Mishra repeatedly emphasize that South Asian civilization was not a ‘history-centric’ civilization and that history-centricism … Continue reading

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Some meanderings among golden stuff

There are some angles that we often encounter in the construction of the golden ratio and its use in religious art. The first is the most obvious is the angle which is the angle made by the diagonals connecting a … Continue reading

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Some words on “para-Rāmāyāṇa-s”-I

I use the hybrid Greek-Sanskrit word para-rāmāyāṇa for all rāma-kathā-s other than that of Vālmīki. These span a great diversity of literature going back to relatively early times in Indo-Aryan tradition. Lots of people have said a lot of things … Continue reading

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A commentary on the vairin-s and the like of Viṣṇuśarman’s tradition

In one sense Viṣṇuśarman’s political presentation was nothing short of revolutionary. One may rightly ask: why so? One could say after all he was merely encapsulating in tales the principles already laid out by the ancient ārya-s and thoroughly presented … Continue reading

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An astronomical interpretation of the anaḍvān sūkta

This may be seen as a continuation of this note: Anatomy and heavens in the boomorphic universe. The anaḍvān sūkta is an enigmatic sūkta from the Atharvaveda which falls in the same class as other sūkta-s which describe a “boomorphic” … Continue reading

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Food and drink at the sea-side bacchanal of the yadu-s

Sections 2.88-89 of the Harivaṃśa (Viṣṇuparvan) gives a graphic description of the bacchanal of the yadu-s at the sea-side or their celebration of the samudrotsava. It has a beautiful ring to it and gives a feel for the festive culinary … Continue reading

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The giants among the lilliputs

For long, despite protestations and assertions to the contrary, people have known that men are all not born equal. There are few men who tower over the rest in one or more of the axes of distinction. For over a … Continue reading

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Some notes on the heathen Lithuania and its demise

Clinging to the inner coast of northern Europe lies Lithuania, a nation which at best only marginally figures in the Hindu historical and geographical consciousness. Conquered twice by the Soviet “empire” it had all but ceased to exist as an … Continue reading

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Der singende Knochen: śūlapuruṣāṇāṃ śūletyādi

That afternoon Vidrum was returning with a bunch of other friends whom he had taken through a tough course of climbing at a hilly locale. As they neared a certain road, he, Sharvamanyu, Somakhya and Lootika bade good bye to … Continue reading

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A note on lost Śaiva centers: consideration of examples from Magadha and Vaṅga

To be read in conjunction with this handout: Harihara in the Indosphere One of the poorly understood but immensely important facets of Hindu history is the role of the saiddhāntika Śaiva-s in the cultural unification of the Indosphere within the … Continue reading

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Matters of religion-1

Indrasena had arrived at the house of Somakhya and Lootika for learning mysterious matters of religion. Entering their fire-room he saw Somakhya seated beside the square altar on a mat of bovine skin and Lootika seated beside the circular altar … Continue reading

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A reiteration regarding the heart of the fundamental conflict

We are somewhat zealous in recycling unused bits of writing lending a certain pleonastic touch to the material presented here. We are placing herewith a bit of unused writing concerning the topic on which we have just written a note, … Continue reading

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A note on the early expansions of the Indo-Europeans

There have been a whole lot of developments in ancient human genomics that have more or less solved key issues pertaining to the early Indo-European expansions. We would like to discuss these but then it would need a long article … Continue reading

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Rudra’s portion of the ritual offering, the Kaṭha Āraṇyaka and the Atharvaśiras: a brief journey through early śaiva thought

A version of this article was published first at India Facts There is a persistent motif of the deva Rudra (Śiva) being originally refused ritual offerings of the yajña to which the other deva-s were entitled. Rudra eventually acquires his … Continue reading

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A case of Gaṅgā as a negative example and a lesson in discernment

A version of this article was originally published on IndiaFacts ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊ With the river Sarasvati going dry the plains watered by the Gaṅgā became the focus of civilization in India. This civilizational phenomenon is philologically mirrored in Hindu tradition with … Continue reading

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The social, phantasmagorical and historical journey

It was some time just before the first vacations of Somakhya and Lootika’s first year in the pre-university college. Lootika’s family was visiting a nearby temple of the massive ape Hanūmat on a Saturday evening. In the sabhā-gṛha of the … Continue reading

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Pāṇini, Xuanzang, and Tolkāppiyaṉ: some legends and history

A slightly modified version of article was originally published at IndiaFacts Pāṇini stands at the pinnacle of Hindu intellectual achievement. His sūtra-pāṭha may be considered a monument in the same league as the invention of the śūṇya-based numeral system for … Continue reading

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A note on the pantheon of the Indian Saura tradition

The Indian Saura-mata (or the Hindu sect of the Sun) is an amalgam of two distinct layers [Footnote 1]: 1) The endogenous layer of solar deities going back to the Veda and 2) the neo-morphic layer of Iranic origin which … Continue reading

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Some thoughts on Shridhar Ketkar and other Hindu responders to Abrahamism in the past two centuries

A version of this article was published originally at India Facts The Hindu encounter with Abrahamism began with the initial expansions of the second (Christ cult) and third (Mohammedanism) versions. Hindus figured among the early victims of the second Abrahamism … Continue reading

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śūlapuruṣa-catvārakam-3: A method for the analysis of history

Somakhya, standing beside a pillar outside his university department, glanced at his watch with a tinge of irritation as he waited for Lootika to show up. She was to bring her sister Vrishchika from the medical school, which was some … Continue reading

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Indo-European miscellany: The Karṇa class of motifs

As we have said many times before most Hindus, despite being the last holders of the Indo-European tradition, have done little in recent times to use their unique position to develop further understanding of their ancestral system. In large part … Continue reading

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The ponderous tale of the tombstones

“Since you are recording the diverse Vaidruma-s would you record the tombstone variation? While other matters like the sloths of South America, the megalithic culture of India, cave paintings, or even WW2 might be more interesting to the occasional reader … Continue reading

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upakathā of previous: śūlapuruṣa-catvārakam-2

upakathā of previous: śūlapuruṣa-catvārakam-1 It was a Saturday afternoon. The caturbhaginī-s had returned from their weekly visit to the museum library and were in a huddle at their home. Lootika was seated on the floor and was classifying and labeling … Continue reading

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upakathā of previous: śūlapuruṣa-catvārakam

It was a bright spring day, when the vaṭakinī mahotsava was being celebrated. Several families from the town were arriving early in the morning at a shrine, which contained a gigantic image of the terrible ape Hanūmat. Even as Somakhya … Continue reading

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The dream motif

Vidrum was nearing the road to his house. Instinctively, he felt his backpack and found it to be unzipped. Then to his utter disappointment he found that his box containing geometric instruments was missing. Anxious to get it back, he … Continue reading

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Exploring the history of Hindu festivals: the ancient strands of Holākā

Updated version of article published originally at IndiaFacts In Hindu tradition there is a clear demarcation of at least three distinct classes of ritual observances: 1) The most conservative of these are the śrauta rituals that deviate little from their … Continue reading

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The doctor and the speech at the right-wing think-tank

It was a late Friday afternoon and Vidrum had returned home early from the hospital. He spent some time in his garden making a ball from the paste of rain-tree pods, a messy but immensely meditative activity, which his friend … Continue reading

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Śakadhūma: Possible parallels in a meteorological tradition from India and South America

This is an updated version of our earlier study: published first at IndiaFacts Research by Orlove, Cane and Chiang on the native weather forecasters in mountains of Peru and Bolivia has brought to light an interesting tidbit of traditional knowledge … Continue reading

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Notices of Hūṇa-s in kāvya and an excursus on their origins and ethnicity

This article was originally published in a slightly modified form at IndiaFacts. Starting sometime shortly before 200BCE all the way down to the 7th century of the common era, there occurred a series of irruptions of Inner Asiatic peoples, who … Continue reading

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Battle of the agents

As PDF It was the last day of school and the exams were to begin at the start of the next week. Following their parents stern instructions, Jhilleeka and Varoli decided not hangout after school and were returning home on … Continue reading

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Polycentrism, the many-one problem and the roots of yoga

An updated version of our earlier ramblings first published at: http://www.indiafacts.co.in/polycentrism-many-one-problem-roots-yoga/ One of the central problems Hindus face on the intellectual battlefield is articulating their position vis-a-vis the stances of their Abrahamistic foes. An important aspect of this problem is … Continue reading

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The domain of India according to bhāskararāya-makhīndra

bhāskararāya was one of the greatest mantravādin-s of all times, who perhaps was only rivaled by the illustrious abhinavagupta or aghoraśiva deśika, who in times closer to our own was verily like how a brāhmaṇa sage of the time of … Continue reading

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Partitions, perforations and tilings

We are “geometric” in our thinking – perhaps, we are hence a little more Greek or the old type Arya than the later Hindu (who is more algebraic) in mentality. Long back in college we were fascinated by implicit trigonometric … Continue reading

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bhR^igu smR^iti

We provide below a translation of the proto-scientific section of bhR^igu smR^iti along with a comparative analysis vis-a-vis Miletian school of Greeks: Translation of the bhR^igu smR^iti 1-4 We are not entirely happy with this translation done sometime back: Despite … 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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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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A case for avairAgyaM?

The teacher had renounced worldly life and become a saffron-robed yati. He was teaching the installation of the awful gaNesha for the vara-chaturthi rite. In course of that he provided mantra-s that indicated that the qualities of vairAgyaM and avairAgyaM … Continue reading

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Vignettes of the wisdom of the kuru and the pa~nchAla

The defining element of our identity was the formation of the rAShTra by the kuru and the pa~nchAla, the foremost of the bhArata clans. It is the legacy of this rAShTra of the bhArata-s, rather than documents like the constitution … Continue reading

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