The epics and mythology of a culture deeply influence art and literature. This is pronounced in the case of India, as our heritage still has the unbroken, living tradition of the sublime epics and their fascinating stories. For close to three millennia, our culture has drawn inspiring themes from these perennial sources, thus perpetuating their metaphorically powerful and aesthetically elevating expressions. All art forms of India—irrespective of distinctions like classical and non-classical, traditional and modern—are indebted to our extraordinary epic heritage.
In sanatana dharma, birthdays of great people are celebrated as jayantis and death anniversaries are remembered as aradhanas. Sri Rama Navami is the birthday of Rama, the unparalleled hero known as the embodiment of dharma, dignity, honor, compassion, and capability. It is often believed that Rama was the avatara of the great deity Vishnu.
Yugadi, also called Ugadi, is a well-known festival in India. Though it is often considered as a South Indian festival, textual evidences and local practices clearly indicate that it has a pan-Indian perspective. ‘युग’ in Sanskrit means ‘an era’. It also has many more meanings like ‘a couple’, ‘unit of time’, ‘yoke’, ‘age’, ‘generation’ and ‘lifespan’. ‘उग’ means ‘star’ or a glowing celestial body. Yugadi or Ugadi means the beginning of these. i.e, start of a year or in general a unit of time.
The Sanskrit word for wedding is विवाह (vivaaha). Vivaaha also means ‘marriage.’ Basically it refers to “supporting dharma.” Dharma is a Sanskrit word that means ‘harmony,’ ‘sustainability,’ ‘righteousness,’ ‘welfare at large’ – in essence, ‘that which is most beneficial to the world.’ The wife is referred to as sahadharmini, an equal partner in upholding dharma and treading the right path. The wedding is typically performed with mantras from the Vedas.
Interview with Dr. R Ganesh –Dr. Arundhati Sundar and Arjun Bharadwaj
Arjun Bharadwaj interviewed Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganesh on the upcoming Summer School at Chinmaya International Foundation on the Theme of Vyāsa - Vālmīki - Kālidāsa: Realizing the Spirit of Indian Culture through their Creations – A Ten-day intensive residential course. http://summerschool2017.chinfo.org/#
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" 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.