January 2022

  A fool went to a lake to drink water; he saw the reflection of a bird called svarṇa-cūḍa and thought that there was gold fallen in the waters. He jumped into the lake to fetch the gold. He, however, did not procure anything. His father saw him taking a dip in the water again and again, shooed away the bird and explained to him that it was not real gold. People like him are comical, cause humour, but are in pain within themselves. ~ Once, a...
Bhawai
Today, physiology has developed as an independent branch of study. We must take its help in our analysis of movement vocabulary. Physiology can help us understand what joints can take what kind of movements and the limitations of the different parts of our body. We can also get an idea about the extent to which each individual can contribute based on his bodily limitations. It is all the more important to analyse every movement from the point of...
During a conversation with S R Ramaswamy, he mentioned to me that in the 1940s, K M Munshi had asked Sastri to write about the Aryans in the first volume of The History and Culture of the Indian People. Sastri asked, “I can definitely write it but do you have the courage to publish it?” It turns out that a great nationalist of the stature of Munshi too didn’t have the guts to publish the entire essay and printed a paltry two-page summary of...
Buddhist Monk
Modern literary theory usually insists that a poet should not come in the way of the natural development of events and characters. If he gets personally involved, the work runs the risk of turning into a pamphlet meant only to air the author’s pet views. It would then become an artificial construct, straying away from its primary purpose of leading the readers to rasa.                On the surface, Vyāsa appears to have flouted all these...
Here is an example of a critique written by Sastri and what is noteworthy is that instead of it becoming merely reactionary, it offers a wonderful commentary on Indian culture. The German philosopher-historian Oswald Spengler wrote a two-part tome titled Der Untergang des Abendlandes (literally, ‘The Downfall of the Occident’), which was translated into English in 1926 as ‘The Decline of the West’ and it sold a hundred thousand copies. In his...
crow-and-owl
In Pāṭalīputra lived two brāhmaṇas - Yajñasoma and Kīrtisoma. Among the two, the younger one, Kīrtisoma, flourished through the business he set up with the wealth he inherited. Yajñasoma, however, ate and drank and gave away generously whatever he had and eventually became a pauper. He couldn’t bear to be thus among his relatives and decided to migrate to a different kingdom. However, he couldn’t even muster money for the journey, even from his...
Though instantly smitten, Śāṇḍilya realises he needs to be rich once he comes to know that she is a courtesan! Meanwhile the Yamapuruṣa, invisible to everyone, arrives and waits for the right time to do his master’s bidding. When Vasantasenā wants to pluck some of the shoots of the Aśoka tree, the Yamapuruṣa disguises himself as a snake and bites her. She loses consciousness. Parabhṛtikā laments her loss and is about to venture out to bring...
Who are devas? Various pictures of divine beings holding a trident, staff, rope, or discus might arise in our minds. These pictures are useful elsewhere; they can assist in meditation. When we are studying philosophy, devas are the powers of creation and nature – great powers of various kinds. The relationship between humans and these superhuman deities may not be directly observable to us. But it cannot be said that they do not exist just...
I will now outline the qualities of DVG’s personality and works that can guide us in the pursuit of knowledge. DVG laid great emphasis on the study of classics. He was an ardent devotee of elevating literature in three languages: Sanskrit, Kannada and English. This enabled him to develop a healthy, balanced, harmonious and constructive perspective on life. He exhorted his friends and students to read widely. To this end, he started a study...