Author:Sandeep Balakrishna

Professor M. Hiriyanna is one of the little-known scholar-giants who gifted us new insights, and corrected thriving misconceptions in Indian philosophy. The title of this post is derived from his 1939 Indian Philosophical Congress lecture bearing the same title.

Subhadra Kumari Chauhan (1904-1948) was a renowned Hindi poet and freedom fighter. Her pièce de résistance is her epic poem on the Queen of Jhansi, Lakshmibai. While she was known for her poems in the vira rasa (the aesthetic experience of courage; one of the nine rasas), this is a beautiful poem about childhood in the karuna rasa (the aesthetic experience of compassion, pathos, and empathy).

In the Yajurveda, we see manifestly the greatness accorded to the essence of kshaatra. An important representative of the essence of kshaatra is the ashvamedha yajna. The Taittiriya Samhita says ‘यजुर्वेदं क्षत्रियस्याहुर्योनिम्’ ( suggesting that the Yajurveda is the origin of the kshatriyas.

The Vijayanagara Empire pioneered not only Hindu cultural renaissance but also re-energized administrative, political, and economic conditions of the era. Under Madhava-Vidyaranya’s guidance, time-tested concepts of Hindu polity were brought back into currency along with much needed innovations. So effective was his model that three hundred years later, the famous Shivaji, influenced by the Vijayanagara model, instituted the अष्ट-प्रधान (council of eight ministers) concept for his own administration.

I have to give vent to what has been bothering my mind for quite sometime now. I hope that the underlying fervor appeals to the like-minded.

In this instructive video Claude Alvares introduces the crucial work carried out by Dharmpal (1922-2006) in Indian History. Alvares shares his personal story of encountering Dharmpal's work while pursuing his doctoral studies in Netherlands. He explains how this chance encounter turned his view about Indian sciences. Alvares was also fortunate to meet and interact closely with Dharampal for several years.

For many of us, Krishna is the epitome of sanatana dharma. His every thought, word, and action embodies the spirit of Hinduism. It is no surprise that his wartime counsel to Arjuna is revered as the greatest summary of Hindu thought. We can never be sure if Krishna spoke the exact words of the Bhagavad-Gita as we know it today, but it seems likely that at least the core message of the text was spoken by Krishna. We have all been in situations where a despondent friend has asked us for advice.

नीलोत्पल-दल-श्यामां विज्जिकां मामजानता ।
वृथैव दण्डिना प्रोक्ता सर्वशुक्ला सरस्वती ॥

nilotpala-dala-shyamam vijjikam mam ajanata |
vrthaiva dandina prokta sarvashukla sarasvati ||

Immadi Pulakeshi, the valiant ruler of the Chalukya dynasty, is the pride of all Kannadigas. Under his regime, the kingdom crossed many frontiers and extended its influence till the banks of Narmada. He was hailed as दक्षिणापथपरमेश्वर – the invincible emperor of the Southern land. He even defeated the mighty king Sriharsha.

Vidyaranya ensured that different religious traditions of the land were given equal respect while not disturbing the peace in the empire. For a great empire to flourish, it needs more than military and political prowess. Only a robust cultural and social foundation can ensure that the people of a country remain united through troubles and turmoil. If a cursory look at today’s world can show us what kind of profound impact religion can have over a country, it is impossible to not see how religion ruled the worldview eight hundred years ago.