Shiva in Jordan: Connecting Petra and the Pallavas

Petra is a UNESCO world heritage site, three hours from Jordan’s capital, Amman. We enter it through a Siq (pronounced ‘seek’) – a narrow, naturally-formed sandstone gorge that is 2 km long that suddenly opens into the imposing “treasury building.” A road between the Dushare mountains takes you to the street of the façades, with nearly a hundred façades carved into the sandstone gorge on either side. Travel further and you cross Roman remains and finally after an hour’s climb reach the breathtaking façade of the “monastery.”

Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: Ancient yet Contemporary

"Meditations of Marcus Aurelius" by the ancient Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius is one of the great books, which has an all-time relevance because of the practical knowledge, philosophical maxims and psychological insights that are expounded there. The worth of these observations will be more enhanced as Marcus Aurelius as an emperor had to face the problems of his government, had to lead his soldiers against outlandish tribes, and had to participate in the wars also.

The Ayurveda Booklist

The books on Ayurveda and related topics can be largely divided into five categories based on the level of the reader – for the lay person, for the student of Ayurveda, for the Ayurvedic practitioner, for the scholar (the advanced student), and for the researcher.

The student of Ayurveda needs to acquire familiarity with Sanskrit. This is best accomplished by a study of Sri Satchidanandendra Sarasvati’s Sanskrit self-study books (Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya).

The Connoisseurial Climate of Krishnadevaraya: Fragrance and Food

If Krishnadevaraya enjoyed a whole range of exalted honorifics like Sahitya Sangita Samarangana Sarvabhouma, Mooru Rayara Ganda, Hindu Samrajya Suratrana, Kannada Rajya Ramaa Ramana, and Andhra Bhoja, it was because he had earned them literally by his blood and sweat—not for him were tears. He was endowed with manliness in the truest sense of the word and thereby inspired it throughout his kingdom. He equally earned material wealth on an unprecedented scale and shared his munificence through his jaw-dropping generosity.

What does Sarasvati Symbolize?

Some years ago, a reader wrote to me with an experience that he said vexed him. The relevant portion of his email is produced below:

…during a talk with a liberal friend of mine, regarding the MF Hussain episode…friend talked on the lines of what liberals usually speak i.e. Kamasutra, Khajuraho…But…his explanation that Brahma marrying his creation (daughter) Saraswati amounted to incest which according to him means Hinduism sanctifies such relationships…made me quite uncomfortable and disturbed.