Author:Sandeep Balakrishna

How often have you heard this refrain or its variants: Naah! I don’t go to temples. I don’t like going to temples…I mean, there’s no point…all that noise, meaningless mantras and rituals…some are so unhygienic…I believe in God but I’m spiritual…after all, Hinduism is a personal religion and I don’t really need to go to a temple to pray…? How often have you yourself uttered this refrain? Answer honestly.

For several years now, there has been an attempt to distort India’s history, culture, and traditions starting from the Islamic invaders, British imperialism, the missionaries, and more recently, the Marxist historians and so-called intellectuals. This trend continues unabated even to this day.

Panini (पाणिनि) was a grammarian of ancient India. We do not know when and where he lived. 5th century BCE is a safe estimate. Today, the word ‘Panini’ connotes several things, of which the foremost is perhaps a computer-compatible, NASA-approved system of grammar. Over the decades, many learned minds have been engaged in extracting algorithms out of अष्टाध्यायी ('the eight-chapter book'), a treatise on Sanskrit grammar authored by Panini. The world of computers – though advancing at the speed of light – has not benefited from this ‘computer-compatible’ system.

'Fact' and 'Value' in the Context of Indian Culture

Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) has a deep interest in ayurveda, yoga, vedanta, Vedic astrology, and teaching of the Vedas. In this talk, he discusses about the role played by yoga and ayurveda in our lives.

Describing the situation in India after Mahmud Ghazni’s military expedition, Alberuni says, “Mahmud destroyed the wealth of India. The scars of this attack couldn’t be erased in the minds of people of India. The people of India developed enmity towards Muslims”

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इह निवसति मेरुः शेखरः क्ष्माधराणा-
मिह विनिहितभाराः सागराः सप्तचान्ये ।
इदमहिपतिभोगस्तम्भविभ्राजमानं
धरणितलमिहैव स्थानमस्मद्विधानाम् ॥

iha nivasati meruh shekharah kshmadharanam
iha vinihatabharah sagarah saptachanye |
idamahipatibhogastambhavibhrajamanam
dharanitalamihaiva sthanamasmadvidhanam ||

ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಅಸ೦ಖ್ಯ ಪಾತ್ರ-ಸ೦ದರ್ಭಗಳ ವಾದಲಹರಿ-ವಿಚಾರವಲ್ಲರಿಗಳು ಅದೆಷ್ಟೋ ಬಾರಿ ನ್ಯಾಯದರ್ಶನದ ವಾದ, ಜಲ್ಪ, ವಿತ೦ಡಾಗಳ೦ಥ ಚರ್ಚೆಗಳಾಗಿ ಬೆಳೆಯುವುದನ್ನು ನಾವು ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟವಾಗಿ ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ವ೦ಶವೃಕ್ಷದ ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸಶ್ರೋತ್ರಿಯ ಮತ್ತು ಸದಾಶಿವರಾಯರ ನಡುವಣ ಮಾತುಗಳಾಗಲಿ, ರಾಜ ಮತ್ತು ಕಾತ್ಯಾಯನಿ, ಶ್ರೋತ್ರಿಯ ಮತ್ತು ಕಾತ್ಯಾಯನಿಯರ ನಡುವೆ ಬೆಳೆಯುವ ಚರ್ಚೆಗಳಾಗಲಿ, ದಾಟುವಿನ ಸತ್ಯಭಾಮಾ, ಮೋಹನದಾಸ;ಧರ್ಮಶ್ರೀಯ ಸತ್ಯ ಮತ್ತು ಶ೦ಕರ,ತಬ್ಬಲಿಯು ನೀನಾದೆ ಮಗನೆ ಕಾದ೦ಬರಿಯ ವೆ೦ಕಟರಮಣ, ಹಿಲ್ಡಾ ಮು೦ತಾದವರು ಮಾಡುವ ವಾದಗಳಾಗಲಿ ವ್ಯಾಪಕರೀತಿಯ ಉದಾಹರಣೆಗಳಾಗುತ್ತವೆ.

Sanatana dharma has upheld the ideal of the 'vanasuma' – the wild flower spreading its fragrance without hankering after personal fame. However, this shunning of fame, while rewarding in one’s sadhana, can cause quite a problem when it comes to historicity.