Rama meets Sharad in the Woods

Yesterday was a special day. Throughout the world, followers of the Sikh path celebrated the birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev. It was Ashwin purnima if you computed your months according to the solar calendar and Kartik Purnima for the lunar month observers. Either way, it qualified as Sharad Purnima. Delhi and its neighbourhood had no rains for weeks, and the full moon on a reasonably clear sky would have met the expectations of visitors to Agra and the Taj Mahal or the pilgrims to Amritsar and the golden temple.

Valmiki’s hero had been pining for his beloved at just such a time near Kishkindha long ago in tretayuga, Lakshmana proving quite ineffective in diverting his thoughts or soothing his feelings. Sugriva had not yet delivered on his promise of organizing search parties soon after the rains had stopped. The poet uses the opportunity to produce a fantastic word-picture of the sharad season, in the words of Rama.

Devendra seems to have fulfilled his mission satisfactorily this year. The earth certainly appears green and plentiful after the rains.

The clouds with the dark hue of petals of blue lotuses, that had been roaming in all directions and showering in plenty all over the thickly grown forest trees, have retired like elephants inactive after exhausting their rut.

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An Insider’s View of Dhammapada

This article is based on the views of the venerable Bhikku Bodhi of Forest Hermitage, Kandy, Sri Lanka, as expressed in his Introduction to a special edition of Dhammapada. The book has an English translation of the Dhammapada text provided by the venerable Sri Acharya Buddharakkhita of Mahabodhi Society Bangalore, India. It was published in 1986 by the Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation,

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Positive Discrimination Regime: Is it already there?

At a national seminar on “Positive Discrimination: Some Unexplored Dimensions” organised by the Institute of Development Studies, Mysore, yesterday (Friday the 13th March, 2009), Shri N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, delivering the inaugural address,  referred to missing components in the quest for social justice like gender inequalities and observed however,  that positive discrimination in India had delivered significant redistributive effects and the basic issue pertaining to the reservation was not contested at all.

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Parashurama Kshetra – A Miscellany and the Epilogue.


Parashurama Kshetra – A Miscellany and the Epilogue

Partha Desikan

I can hear plain sighs of relief after a look at the title.

Parashurama Kshetra has no end of fascinating stories hidden in its eventful history, but most of them have been effectively narrated by competent sons of the Kshetra and competent others. I am not trying to redo the history assignment.

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Parashurama Kshetra Part 5

Live and let live, Kerala Style

Lord Parashurama may or may not have intended, when he threw his legendary axe and created India’s Arabian Sea-coast west of the Sahyadri Mountains, that his Kshetra would forever be open and susceptible to winds of change. Indeed any person, who has studied the colourful history of the region, cannot be faulted for assuming that that was in fact his intention. Like the Khyber and Bolan passes in our Northwestern Mountains, the waves of the Arabian Sea have been beckoning the stranger throughout history. The recent sad advent of the 26/11 terrorist group landing in Mumbai without much of a problem, while backed by a motive very different from trade or honest war with the people of the land, illustrates the openness and susceptibility dramatically. But we are wandering from the subject and the context.

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