May 2022

Language is perhaps the best mode of communication available to humans. Literature—poetry in particular—is the acme of language. There are several ancient classical languages, but Sanskrit is the only one with an unbroken tradition of thousands of years. It has produced numerous poetic works of an astounding variety. We have standalone verses; cluster of verses in fives, tens and hundreds; lyrical compositions; long and short stories; fables;...
GokhaleInstitute
rāṣṭraṃ vā aśvamedhaḥ… – Yajurveda (Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa 3.8.9) kalpate ha vai tatra prajābhyo yogakṣemaḥ yatraitena yajñena yajante – Yajurveda (Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa 3.8.13) The nation itself is the Aśvamedha (aśva represents the State)... with that both gain (yoga) and well-being (kṣema) of the citizens are achieved… Just about thirty years ago, in 1939, during Sir Mirza Ismail’s tenure as the Dewan, the erstwhile government of Mysore...
Mṛgāṅkadatta spent the night there and left for Ujjayini the following morning. On his way, he saw a terrible-looking person carrying away his minister Vikramakesarin in the skies. Looking at Mṛgāṅkadatta, he stopped at the point and let the minister down. Vikramakesarin prostrated at the king’s feet. They embraced each other. Then he told the man who had brought him, “You may reappear when I think of you. Now carry on!” before sending him away...
Five-year Plan After Krishna Rao retired from the Government of Mysore, at the time of announcement of the first Five-year Plan of the Indian Government, he wrote me a private letter and expressed his disagreement. “I have learnt from experience how wasteful expenditure takes place and how money gets drained when it dawns on the officers of different departments that more money is available for spending. How officers rush to spend the money...
Once we say that it is not wrong but only fit and proper to experience pleasure, we have to make all arrangements to obtain it. Sustaining the family, earning a salary for their comfort, taking loans in case there are emergencies and repaying them, giving and taking help, struggling thus in many ways become the duty of a householder. Śrī Śankarācārya’s instruction is thus – yogarato vā bhogarato vā saṅgarato vā saṅgavihīnaḥ yasya brahmaṇi...
Bhavabhūti valued love and friendship deeply. His expression assumes a rare depth and force while describing human affection. In Mālatī-mādhava, he has pictured the unfolding of various shades of love: infatuation, the yearning and ‘sweet agony’ that follows, the physical and mental turmoil that unrequited love brings, the inexplicable thrill of union, romance, amorous escapades, and so on. Friendship finds a mirror to see itself in Mādhava and...
Attire Rungacharlu was extremely careless about his clothing. He was always hasty. He wore baggy coats. Seeing him wrongly buttoned was not a rare sight. He used to roll his turban in whatever way his hand fancied. Unable to bear seeing his clumsiness any further, his wife Alamelamma once asked him, “Can’t you dress properly?” Rungacharlu replied, “Am I Madhava Rao? At least he has to go about following English women and talk to them. I am not a...
Akṣakṣapaṇa's Story There lived a wealthy brāhmaṇa by name Śivadatta in the city of Hastināpura. I am his son; my name is Vasudatta; even in my boyhood I learnt the Vedas and the śāstras; my father got me married to an illustrious girl from a noble family. But my mother is short tempered, difficult to please. After my wedding, my father got fed up with household duties, and he ran away. Seeing that I tried my best to keep my mother placated; my...
Sundari and Mantap
We have hitherto discussed about āhārya, āṅgika, and vācika. The next aspect to discuss is sāttvikābhinaya – the most difficult aspect to teach and to express in words. In another sense, it is also easy to speak about sāttvikābhinaya because every form of expression finally culminates in sāttvika. It is only through sāttvika that śānta comes as the backdrop for all bhāvas and elevates them to the level of Rasa. And yet, how can we point to an...
The First Proponent of Democracy in India I have never seen Chettipunyam Rungacharlu [alternatively, Rangacharlu or Rangacharya.] I was born five or six years after his demise. I wrote a fairly exhaustive treatise about Rungacharlu’s administration in both English and Kannada. That was fifty-seven or fifty-eight years ago. The aspect of his history that caught my mind and firmly fixed itself in my psyche was his understanding of the democratic...