The Sport of Renunciation

भोगे रोगभयं कुले च्युतिभयं वित्ते नृपालाद्भयं

माने दैन्यभयं बले रिपुभयं रूपे जराया भयम्।

शास्त्रे वादभयं गुणे खलभयं काये कृतान्ताद्भयं

सर्वं वस्तु भयान्वितं भुवि नृणां वैराग्यमेवाभयम्॥

Mahābhārata and its Place in Indian Culture – Part 3

Just because the Mahābhārata was narrated in the period of King Janamejaya it doesn’t make it an ancient tale; it is fresh even today and it will forever be new because when will there not be disputes between cousins? Although it is a story of the kṣatriyas, such disputes exist in all communities around the world. The problem is described with great imagery and we feel as though the events are happening right before our eyes. Who doesn’t like a story?


किं वेदैः स्मृतिभिः पुराणपठनैः शास्त्रैर्महाविस्तरैः

स्वर्गग्रामकुटीनिवासफलदैः कर्मक्रियाविभ्रमैः।

मुक्त्वैकं भवबन्धदुःखरचनाविध्वंसकालानलं

स्वात्मानन्दपदप्रवेशकलनं शेषा वणिग्वृत्तयः॥

Mandra: The Music of Raja Saheb and Ramkumari's Samskara

The true root and heart of Mandra is located in the music of Raja Saheb and his small Mahadeva Temple overlooking the perennial, gurgling currents of Narmada River amid the dense jungle he has specially grown. In less than ten pages, Dr. Bhyrappa unveils a majestic opulence that at once encompasses the highest and the best traditions of Indian music, its underlying philosophy, its aesthetic goal and its ultimate ideal.

Mahābhārata and its Place in Indian Culture – Part 2

The story of the Mahābhārata is gigantic. It is thus divided into eighteen parvas. These divisions are called kāṇḍas in the Rāmāyaṇa. What is termed as ‘sandhi’ in later works such as Jaiminī-bhārata corresponds to an adhyāya. Several adhyāyas together constitute a parva. The word ‘parva’ means a span between two nodes of a sugarcane. Just like the span between nodes in a sugarcane stalk, so also is the role played by the parvas in the Mahābhārata.

The Sport of Renunciation: Verses

Bhartṛhari begins his Vairāgya-śatakam with a verse on Śiva:


लीलादग्धविलोलकामशलभः श्रेयोदशाग्रे स्फुरन्।


श्चेतःसद्मनि योगिनां विजयते ज्ञानप्रदीपो हरः॥

Vairāgya-vikrīḍitam—The Sport of Renunciation

Ask a random student of Sanskrit to recite a poem—chances are you will hear a verse from Bhartṛhari’s Nīti-śatakam. Go to an Acharya seeking wise counsel—chances are you will hear a verse from Bhartṛhari’s Vairāgya-śatakam. Suppose you are interested in love as it is depicted in Sanskrit literature and consult a book—chances are you will come across a verse from Bhartṛhari’s Śṛṅgāra-śatakam. Such is our poet’s popularity.

Mandra: The Triumph of Ramkumari


In the corpus of Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa’s twenty-three novels, seven stand out as Himalayan peaks in the order of their publication: Vamsha Vruksha, Daatu, Parva, Sakshi, Tantu, Sartha and Mandra. Of these, two share a basic and apparent similarity in the sense that they are the fine artistic and literary specimens of Dr. Bhyrappa’s profound meditations over nearly half a lifetime. These are Sakshi (1986) and Mandra (2002).