The Sanskrit Podcast hosted by Shoba Narayan and featuring Vikram Phadke, where he discusses the legal systems in ancient India.

Now from the Vedas, Itihasas, and Puranas, we come to the era of reality. As such, there is no separate demarcation that separates our ancient texts from history. All the details of the lineage of kings that we find in the Vedas are part of history. For example, an ancient king who is mentioned in the Vedas is Divodasa. His son was Sudasa. The purohita of Sudasa was Vasishta. The Rigveda speaks about the Battle of Ten Kings (दाशराज्ञयुद्ध), in which ten kings combined forces under the guidance of Vishwamitra and attacked Sudasa.

रे रे ग्रामकुविन्द कन्दलतया वस्त्राण्यमूनि त्वया
गोणीविभ्रमभाजनानि शतशोऽप्यात्मा किमायास्यते ।
अप्येकं रुचिरं चिरादभिनवं वासस्तदासूत्रतां
येन्नोज्झन्ति कुचस्थलात् क्षणमपि क्षोणीभृतां वल्लभाः ॥

We can evade taxes but can we do about death? Many of us have seen death from close quarters in our lives and those who have not, are most definitely aware of the idea. But imagine when the earliest humans experienced the death of someone around them. They would have seen one of their own people fall down, never to get up again. Their recognition of the phenomenon of death would have suddenly given them a definition for life. Until that time, there was nothing to delineate life. With the cognition of the phenomenon of death, suddenly there arose the awareness of a life-span.

The history of the world has been biased towards men but there is ample evidence of the immense contribution of women in various disciplines. Starting from the earliest scriptures of India all through our classical and pre-colonial history, we see how women have played a vital role in shaping our civilization and our country. Compared to the rest of the world, historically India seems to have been far more open-minded and compassionate towards women and their status in society.

A short documentary of Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, one of the doyens of Kannada literature. Masti introduced the 'short story' genre to Kannada.


In chapter 13 of the Gita (verses 7 to 11) Krishna gives the various parameters that constitute true knowledge:

काव्यप्रकाशो यवनः
काव्याली च कुलाङ्गना ।
अनेन प्रसभाकृष्टा
कष्टमेषाऽश्नुते दशाम् ॥

We have seen that Sriharsha pleased Vindhya-vasini-devi and was blessed with impeccable poetic prowess. Not wanting to go out of league of everyone around him, he consciously dimmed his abilities and composed the epic-poem Naishadhiya-charitam.

In the previous part of this essay, I traced the origin of the Mackenzie Manuscripts to Col. Colin Mackenzie discovering his life’s mission after his interactions with the Madurai Brahmins whose learning was prolific, vast, deep and multifaceted, and concluded with a mention briefly of their contents.