Monday, December 15, 2014

Tea-totaler: Holmes, Professor Shanku, etc. (Part-I)

Now, there's a gorgeous detective. His smile is indeed magical. He can be very charming and disarming when he chooses to be. But who is Holmes modeled after? Is Professor Moriarty, Holmes' archenemy/antagonist and negative mastermind, Shakuni-like? Ravana-like? Maleficent? Scheming? Outrageously cruel or wicked? Very difficult or unpleasant?

"You know my powers, my dear Watson, and yet at the end of three months I was forced to confess that I had at last met an antagonist who was my intellectual equal." (Sherlock Holmes - The Final Problem).

"Only a ruffian deals a blow with the back of the hand. A gentleman uses the straight left!" (The Solitary Cyclist).

"What a lovely thing a rose is! There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion. It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers."

History is fluid. Down through the ages the rose has been revered and treasured not only for its beauty, but also for its symbolism. (Symbols were created to leave a path for those who open their minds to seeking a higher level of knowledge, the deeper meaning). Today most people think of the rose as a symbol for love. (What could the term "Holy Grail" imply? Is it really a cup or is there some allegory involved?) In Roman times the rose was sacred to Venus. Later, the rose became the flower of the Virgin Mary and she was deemed to be the Rosa mystica. (Are Mother Mary [Virgin Mary] and Mary Magdalene one and the same? Are Mary and Jesus mother and son or is there some allegory involved? What is the Rozabal Shrine in Srinagar all about? How did Christ become anglicized or Europeanised? What could the term "Immaculate Conception" imply? Reproductive genetics? The Mona Lisa alludes to whom? Does the rose represent what Mary Magdalene, her life and her legacy symbolise? Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ, it is an occasion of festivity. However, what does Crucifixion mean? Is it a metaphor?) In certain cultures the rose was a masculine flower, but it is definitely a feminine symbol. The rose, with a characteristic five-petal shape, can symbolise a five-sided star - also a sacred symbol. Pañcakanyāḥ? The Pancha-Kanya (lit. interpreted as five virgins, is one and the same, can imply Pandava?) who are the dispellers of negativity (from unclean hearts and minds)? The Pole Star, Polaris or Lodestar? (Note: Tagore particularly admired the celebrated 18th century Scottish poet and lyricist, Robert Burns (1759-96) - the one who penned O My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose. Burns is Scotland's national poet and is also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as The Bard. Tagore's much popular "Purano shei diner katha" (Memories of the Good Old Days) was inspired from the tunes of "Auld Lang Syne" - a Scottish poem composed by Robert Burns. Burns did not compose it per se but rather saved it from obscurity. Burns "restored" the piece based on fragments of an old ballad dating from before his time. It was an old shepherd from whose lips Burns first heard this song c. 1788. Later on, he added two new stanzas of his own - to the original Scottish song. Then in 1799, this song was formally published and has ever since been associated with Burns; rather been ascribed to him.)

Devavrata undertook a kathor vrata (a great/solemn vow: pratigya, pledge of silence?) and [thereafter] became known as Bheeshma. Devavrata aka Bheeshma's kathor vrata = somewhat reminiscent of Joe and Anya/Ann (brilliantly essayed by Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn) in Roman Holiday? It is a classic romance, bittersweet. A romantic film to swoon by, it epitomises the concept of showing someone he/she is special. It is the perfect combination of being romantic without being saccharine-laced, humorous, without resorting to slapstick, and tender, without deteriorating into bathos. It does not exceed the boundaries of common sense. It is not dramatic, ludicrous, self-indulgent, depressive/pathos-filled, ridiculous or cheesy either. Hepburn sparkles and how! She is mischievous, delightful, witty, enchanting, vivacious, child-like, charming, regal, and wistful even deprived/bereft/empty (especially while watching the man she loves walk away from her). Gregory Peck (as the impecunious journalist) is dishy, absolutely gorgeous, exudes mojo, adds star value and also offers a restrained foil. Finally, he walks away from a story (a much sought-after scoop at that) which could have made him rich, and the viewer realises he could have done no less. (After all, the best proof of love is trust). Their performance, coupled with the intensity of their onscreen chemistry, makes them an all-time great pair. They look very good together.

It takes a [proverbial] trial-by-fire - of being intrepid enough to unshackle oneself, of falling in love, of being able to trust, of discovering/experiencing what it means to be totally free (of the straitjacketing/encumbrances of burdensome duty, responsibility, tediousness, protocol, expectations; of being told what to do, of being constantly chaperoned, so on and so forth), of losing that love, all within a few hours, to teach her the duty and responsibility that comes with her position. If there is one scene that epitomises the saying, 'It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all', it is the last scene where Joe obliquely promises Princess Ann that her faith in him will not be compromised, and the look on her face when she knows it is goodbye. It is [perhaps] the only way the film could have ended. With a quiet celebration of a self-surrendering, self-effacing love. Roman Holiday is very reminiscent of It Happened One Night. Perhaps also reminiscent of Casablanca.

(The Pañcakanyā: Ahalya, Draupadi, Sita, Tara and Mandodari. Sometimes Sita is replaced with Kunti. The Pancha-kanya is one and the same. Sita (Sri Rama) and Kunti are non-different. Pancha-Kanya: lit. interpreted as five virgins, can imply Pandava? Kanya = girl, woman or daughter. The Pancha-Kanya are women who triumph over every adversity and emerge victorious. Aparajita (unvanquished). The Pancha-Kanya represent everywoman, and offer a mirror to society. ... Ahalya is cursed (an allegory) to become a stone (and advised to engross herself in meditation of Ramachandra). Ahalya was cursed by her husband for adultery (possibly implying Gandharva Vivaah - which requires mutual consent but no rituals), and released from the curse by the grace of Ramachandra? The petrification motif: "Woman of Stone". Stony appearance (stone-like, stoic, unhappy)? Statuesque (stately/regal bearing or reminiscent of a statue)? A stony marriage (lacking in warmth, emotional intimacy or affection? very little emotion involved)? A tenuous, conflict-habituated relationship (characterised by considerable tension, and bitterness) with a façade of being compatible? An empty-shell marriage? Coma? A lifeless stone (allegory - implying the obverse of vivacious)? ... Ahilya had an insipid/vapid marriage devoid of emotions? She married a husband who was not interested in her? Negligent or disengaged (aloof, apathetic, cold and callous, insensitive, easily riled, emotionally immature)? Excessively self-centred? Compatibility issues? Small-minded, manipulative, calculative, inconsiderate? Intemperate? Impulsive? Sulky and temperamental? Narcissistic (full of ego, vainglory, jealousy, antagonism and self-importance)? Condescending/disdainful? Belittling, attributing fault or inducing indebtedness? Deliberately hurtful (through one's words and/or behaviour)? A misogynist/chauvinist? A persistent sense of inadequacy, sometimes resulting in excessive aggressiveness? High-handed behaviour? Too controlling/domineering, or orthodox (inability to change, adapt and evolve? believed devotion to the husband to be the ultimate duty of a wife, or that marriage was merely for the purposes of procreation, and/or had an exaggerated sense of honour or self-image)? Did he attempt to limit the limitless (sort of imprisonment/straitjacketing)? Excessively self-righteous? Or was it a forced marriage (Paishacha Vivaah - the most horrible/inferior form of vivaah, which probably also includes marital rape) or Rakshasa Vivah (wherein the bride is taken by force and then persuaded to marry)? This too is not considered as an appropriate kind of marriage (morally or socially correct or acceptable) as one is forcing a person to marry against her wishes. (Asura Vivah: In this type of marriage, the groom is totally unsuitable vis-à-vis the bride. However, despite not being a suitable match for the girl/bride, he willingly gives as much wealth as he can afford to the bride's parents and relatives. It's a type of bribery). Ahalya was cursed by her husband for adultery (possibly implying Gandharva Vivaah - which requires mutual consent but no rituals), and released from the curse by the grace of Ramachandra? (Is Ramachandra a reference to Ravana or is there some allegory/metaphor involved? Is 'released from the curse' euphemism for some kind of 'punishment'? Or does it imply rescued from the ordeal [difficult or painful experience] by Ramachandra? In which case this Ramachandra is a metaphor, and cannot be a reference to Ravana.) Ahalya makes her own decisions, and [therefore] made a conscious choice to retain her dignity rather than return to a stony (dull, insipid, tenuous or abusive) marriage? (In which case the notion that Vedic marriages were airtight may be incorrect.) She has been "stigmatised" for her nonconformist attitude, for 'violating' traditional gender norms (which weighs affection, togetherness, passion, emotions and feelings etc against drudgery and "wifely duties")? ... Ahalya is described as the manasa putri (lit. 'mind-born daughter') of the Creator, Lord Brahma. (This [very likely] implies Ahalya is Brahma in human form). BG 10.33: || dhātāhaḿ viśvato-mukhaḥ || ~ "and of creators I am Brahmā." ... Ahalya growing up in Maharshi Gautama's ashram [hermitage]. Valmiki welcoming Sita into his ashram/hermitage. Could it be that Maharshi Vashishtha and Maharshi Valmiki are one and the same? Could it be that Maharshi Vashishtha and Maharshi Gautama are one and the same? Ahalyā was married to (the much older) sage Gautama Maharishi. Remarriage or Gandharva Vivaah? ... The apathetic union of "wifely duties" vis-a-vis the union of longing (earnest desire, emotional well-being), affection and fulfillment? The jealous, mean-spirited, duplicitous [deliberately deceptive] Ramachandra/Ravana and his cold rejection vis-à-vis the adoring and supportive Gautama and his self-surrendering, self-effacing love and commitment? ... There is some similarity between the story of Ahalya (also known as Ahilya) and the story of Renuka (a Suryavanshi princess and wife of sage Jamadagni) who led a life of drudgery. She is believed to be an incarnation of Durga. Jamadagni is the father of Parasurama (the "axe-wielding Rama"). He is said to have committed matricide (beheaded his mother) on his father's orders, [supposedly] due to his awareness that his father (the great Rishi Jamadagni) could resurrect the dead, and for being clear-headed about the boon he would seek from him - after completing the task. Parashurama asked that his mother be brought back to life. (It is possible that some allegory or puzzle is involved here). Ahalya = without blemish, one with no hala (negativity, sin, fault; halahala = toxic aspects). Immaculate? (Since Ravana is janus-faced and relentless (extremely determined to get what he wants), he can be referred to as Ramachandra and Lakshmana. However, perhaps the terms Ram and Lakshmana can [also] be used as allegories/metaphors. Lakshmana implies focused. Arjuna is parantapa (one who concentrates the most). Therefore, Lakshmana could be used as a metaphor for Arjuna? Lakshmana accompanied Sita to Maharshi Valmiki's ashram/hermitage. Is this Lakshmana a metaphor for Valmiki? Kaushika means a king of the solar dynasty, possibly implying a clan with the sun as its insignia/emblem. However, Kaushika is a reference to Indra or Maharshi Gautama? The mutual attraction between Ahalya and Indra? (But who was Shachi, also known as Indrani (queen of Indra), Aindri, Mahendri and Aindrani - one of the Sapta Matrika? Sapta Matrika = Seven forms of Durga/Shakti.) | The Buddha, Chanakya, Jesus and Mary – do their stories converge? Did later translators etc extrapolate them? Maybe a closer study of the Gandhara Civilisation (archeological findings, artifacts etc) will help.)      

Anytime is tea time. But tea without biscuits!? Holmes is not amused. ... Jeremy Brett will always be the definitive Holmes. He's charismatic and simply masterful as Holmes!

What does the term "Holy Grail" mean? ... "The Cup, Which Touched the Lips of Jesus Christ." The legendary cup Jesus supposedly drank from at the Last Supper. The Holy Chalice is the vessel, which Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve the wine. (The word "cup" being generally used in English translations. The Grail legend became interwoven with legends of the Holy Chalice.) The Grail was considered a bowl or dish, maybe a wide and deep saucer. However, could Holy Grail be indicative of a cup or star-shaped flower, for instance rose or tulip? (Tulips are indigenous to mountainous areas with temperate climates. They thrive in climates with long, cool springs and dry summers.)

Kaalpurusha? Main samay hoon. Timekeeper. Patience is the greatest virtue. Time is the greatest healer. There's always time for healing. (Feluda is a stickler for time. ... Ray's oeuvre is remarkable. But one has to delve deeper. His interest in puzzles and puns is reflected in his stories. 'Gorasthaney Sabdhaan' (involving the 'Perigal Repeater', antique watch, horologists, etc) is a very interesting story. Repeaters should not be confused with striking clocks or watches. They originated before widespread artificial illumination, to allow the time to be determined in the dark, and were also used by the visually impaired. (What does Kanha imply? The Phantom, also known as the 21st Phantom, is depicted wearing a mask with no visible pupils.) Time and tide wait for none. "There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune." - William Shakespeare.)

Important experiments.

A good pipe. It helps him think.

'Having gathered these facts, Watson, I smoked several pipes over them, trying to separate those which were crucial from others which were merely incidental.' (The Crooked Man)

Yeah, sure. (Not too fond of strictures, too many rules and regulations, not good?)

Meditating (introspecting, ideating) while soaking in the sunshine.

Mycroft is smart, astute. Seven years [his] senior and more intellectually gifted than Holmes. But he hasn't energy or ambition.

Violin. It helps him think. 
Holmes vs Moriarty. (Ananta vs Shesha?) Holmes is not often associated with chess. His famous remark 'Amberley excelled at chess – one mark, Watson, of a scheming mind'.

'Read it up – you really should. There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before.' ~ Not whodunits, rather, howhedunits?

'I am the last and highest court of appeal in detection.' (The Sign of Four). Bhagya-Vidhata? The higher power to whom all of humankind prays to, despite myriad languages, honorifics, iconography and so on? Lord Maha Vishnu aka Lord Brahma - the Supreme Creator (Srashtaa), the Almighty Absolute, 'sarva kartã', the all-doer and 'sarvopari', supreme and all-powerful. (Beyond human comprehension. The source (or cause) of all creation - the One Source, the Cause, the Absolute Truth)? The Vishnu aspect - all-purpose problem-solver? The illustrious god of gods is Vrisha Uttamam or Dharmadhyaksha (Supreme Dharma), implying personification of dharma (Vrishaakritih or Vrishaparvaa). The Rishabha-avatar (one of the 24 avatars): Rishabha or Rshabha is derived from Vṛṣabha [Vrishabha] - the great bull. The Eternal Divine (Paramatma) is called Vṛṣabha [Vrishabha] - the Great Bull. (In Sanaatan Dharmic thought, the bull is imagery for dharma.)

Professor T. Shanku, the eccentric genius and absent-minded scientist/inventor: brilliant, mildly eccentric, bald, bespectacled and bearded, solitary, lived sparsely, and had no family, haughty (immodest in a matter-of-fact manner) and, unlike Feluda, often admitted to fear and helplessness. Shanku's mild eccentricity endears, his extraordinary intelligence and ingenuity never ceases to astonish. His diary is made of seemingly indestructible material and containing words written in mysterious, magical ink that had the ability to change colour. Shanku's greatest strength is his ability to blur the lines between reality and fantasy. Perhaps to emphasise that science - which includes discovery (experimentation, research, findings) - cannot conquer the universe of knowledge completely.

Feluda (the Private Investigator) is immensely knowledgeable, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, witty, genteel/impeccably mannered, and sociable; he is seldom unruffled (unless power cuts interrupted his reading). He is at ease with all kinds of people. Shanku, on the other hand, can be unambiguously unpleasant. His irritability at intrusions into his private space is an indication of his need and love for solitude. There are hours of painstaking, but rewarding, experiments - that makes his hermit-like existence endearing and productive. Yet, unlike a hermit, he has immense pride. Shanku's intelligence quotient (IQ), 917, is far superior to that of the average human. The contradictions in Shanku [perhaps] also make him appear human and credible (as a character). It is in contrast to Feluda's heroism and near-perfection. Feluda, with his handsome looks, oratory and analytical skills, charm (a bit of a romantic perhaps), love of cricket, sharp intellect etc is (meant to be) idolised. Feluda's arena of unraveling mysteries is built on reason and logic. But the arena of Shanku - like the proverbial Wonderland - appears delightfully topsy-turvy. The eccentric genius is also a polyglot, capable of speaking 69 languages. (He was able to recover 56 of them). Shanku has no Indian scientist as his associates. He worked alone, mostly - almost exclusively - in his personal laboratory. However, a few of his inventions were in laboratories in foreign locales, in collaboration with other scientists.

Shanku is an acronym for Trilokeshvar Shanku. He has an attender and gardener named Prahlad (who is not very bright) and a cat named Newton. Shanku's scientific fervour is larger than life. His discoveries speak volumes about the sheer genius of this scientist. While his father Tripuresvar was a renowned indigenous doctor (kabiraj) of Ayurveda, nothing is known about his mother. (Does this imply laboratory-born/created? Pitcher-shaped incubators? Reproductive genetics? And thus, Svayambhu - Uncreated or Self-manifested? Possessing exceptional intellect, unique abilities, as well as several divine characteristics, attributes and powers, although emotions may have been an acquired attribute – over many manifestations/appearances in human form? A karm-yogi, but not quite the conventional superhero?)

Satyajit Ray has supposedly based Professor Shanku on Professor Challenger, a fictional character in a series of fantasy and science fiction stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, could Shanku have been based on Lord Brahma, the Primary Creator (perhaps the creator of myriad flora and fauna, humans, emotions, languages, philosophy, gadgets, medicines etc?). Are the Primary Creator and the Secondary Creator (SarasvatI – a vast unfathomable repository/reservoir of timeless wisdom, knowledge, inspiration and consciousness [Feluda's Gyanpeeth], also known by various honorifics) one and the same? (Secondary Creator w.r.t. a Maha-yuga or epoch, time-cycle consisting of four phases, explained through the imagery of a fresh bloom, kali). Is Karanadakshayi Vishnu (who is said to lie in the causal ocean or the Karanodak) a reference to Lord Maha Vishnu aka Lord Brahma? (Karana = Cause or Source. Brahma - the Supreme Creator (Srashtaa), the Almighty Absolute, 'sarva kartã', the all-doer and 'sarvopari', supreme and all-powerful. The source (or cause) of all creation - the One Source, the Cause, the Absolute Truth. Beyond human comprehension). Is Karana a reference to cosmic laboratory? Lord Vishnu (Maha Vishnu?) appears in human form as the Mohini Avatar (the Leela-avatar, Leela Purusha-uttama, Universal Teacher - an all-purpose problem-solver, change-maker who not only imparts lessons but also offers a mirror to society): does it mean Professor Shanku as the Mohini-avatar? (Mohini-avatar is probably a variant of Mohani-avatr. Mohini is the feminised version of Mohan, implying attractive or pretty. However, what has been meant by Kāraṇārṇavaśāyī Viṣṇu? Is it the same as Karanodakshayi Vishnu?)

BG 10.23: || rudrāṇāṁ śaṅkaraś cāsmi || "Of all the Rudras I am Sankara (Rudra-Śiva)." Sankara to Shanku?

BG 10.33: || dhātāhaḿ viśvato-mukhaḥ || ~ "and of creators I am Brahmā." (Dhaata can also mean support.)

Achintya = enigmatic, unfathomable, inscrutable, incomprehensible, perplexing. 

BG 7.24: || avyaktam vyaktim apannam manyante mam abuddhayah param bhavam ajananto mamavyayam anuttamam || ~ "Ignorant persons (small-minded, unenlightened or deluded minds) think that I, the Supreme Being (Primordial Being, Paramatma), was impersonal (without qualities, unmanifested to human eyes - nirvikaar, nirguṇa, niraakar) before and have now assumed this personality/human form (saakar, savikaar, saguna - the active principle). Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature (mahat-mana, as the Primeval Spirit aka Supersoul or Paramatma), which is imperishable and supreme (the finest, the best of all beings), i.e. they do not know that I am Purusha-uttama, Svayam Bhagavan – the Almighty, Cosmic Ruler, God manifest in human form."

BG 7.25: || naham prakasah sarvasya yoga-maya-samavrtah mudho 'yam nabhijanati loko mam ajam avyayam || ~ "I am never manifest (i.e. understood or comprehended by) to the ignorant (to the small-minded, to the unenlightened mind). What they see (due to their limited understanding/comprehension/vision) is an illusory veneer (yoga-maya), and therefore they do not know that I am unborn (birthless, self-manifested/svayambhu, eternal, inexhaustible, imperishable, ananta) and infallible (nirmal, niskalankh – ever-auspicious, immaculate?)"

BG 9.11: || avajananti mam mudha manushim tanum asritam param bhavam ajananto mama bhuta-mahesvaram || ~ "The ignorant deride Me when I appear (manifest) in the human form (Avatar). They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be."

This universe (Brhmaanda, the totality of everything), and its incessant music: is it entirely coincidental? The universe is mathematically precise. Is that coincidental too? Or is there a cosmic design somewhere that we don't know? The apparent sizes of the moon and the sun. The moon covers the sun edge to edge at the time of total eclipse. The colourations of birds, butterflies, flowers, trees et al. Birds and insects acquire the exact shades that help them merge with their surroundings. The propagation of or evolution of species. Myriad emotions. Poetry. Music. Romance. Affection. The joy of togetherness. Could it all be mere coincidence? Or is there a fabulous mind – that of a genius scientist-inventor-mathematician-polyglot-poet-artist-musician-litterateur-philosopher-kandarpa(cupid)-etcetera-etcetera behind it all? Maybe some day the human mind will explore all the mysteries of creation.

BG 10.28: || prajanaś cāsmi kandarpaḥ || ~ "of causes for procreation I am Kandarpa (Kamadeva or Cupid), the god of love."

"It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognise, out of a number of facts, which are incidental and which vital. Otherwise your energy and attention must be dissipated instead of being concentrated." - The Reigate Squires (1893)

The swan analogy: The swan's ability to separate milk and water (or the water from the cream in milk) symbolises the need to develop the mental maturity and intellectual discrimination to differentiate between the enduring (essential, necessary) aspects and the unessential (insignificant or obsolete) aspects.

Holmes to Moriarty: "If I were assured of your eventual destruction I would, in the interests of the public, cheerfully accept my own." - The Final Problem (1893)

A highly knowledgeable cerebral problem-solver offering himself as the bait - for a larger cause. Eventual entrapment (Chakravyuh). Superlative. Fail proof.

|| Satyameva Jayate ||

'Truth stands Invincible' or 'Truth always prevails'.

(It is inscribed in Devanagari script at the base of the National Emblem of India.

Truth is a reference to the Eternal Divine, the higher power. Thus, Satyameva Jayate. Truth stands invincible or 'Truth always prevails'.)

Moriarty seems so confident that Holmes will never best him, saying to his face that "you will never beat me", but Holmes is sure that he can get the better of Moriarty. And of course, it is Holmes who eventually survives and continues on (resurrection? - implying imperishable, endless, infinite, ananta?) while Moriarty is destroyed (SheshaNaga?).

Classic. Confidence.

''It is quite a three pipe problem, and I beg that you won't speak to me for fifty minutes.'' - The Red-Headed League (1892)

The karmic cycle. Or what goes around comes around.

''Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another. '' - The Speckled Band (1892)

"You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear." (A Scandal in Bohemia).

The most famous wearer of a deerstalker. (Popularly depicted favouring this style of cap, possibly due to the influence of theatre.) A close-fitting woolen cap also known as a "fore-and-aft cap", a deerstalker is a type of cap that is typically worn in rural areas, often for hunting, especially deer-stalking. Because of the cap's popular association with Holmes, it has become stereotypical headgear for a detective. The deerstalker is most often made of cloth, often a light or heavy wool tweed, although deerstalkers are also made of suede and even blue jeans denim. It is usually lined with an inner cap of satin, polished cotton or similar fabrics. Occasionally one can find a deerstalker with a lightly quilted satin lining. The deerstalker's main features are a pair of bills or visors worn in front and back, with earflaps (attached to either side of the cap) usually raised (turned up) and tied on top of the crown. These earflaps are tied together by grosgrain ribbons or by laces or, very occasionally, held together by snaps or a button. The dual bills or visors provide protection from the sun for the face and neck of the wearer during extended periods in the sun, such as for hunting or fishing. The earflaps, tied under the chin, provide protection in cold weather and high winds. (Grosgrain: a plain weave (tabby weave, linen weave, taffeta weave/"twisted woven") corded fabric; a stiff, close-woven, fine-corded fabric. It has a very dull appearance with little luster but is very strong. Taffeta is a crisp, smooth, plain woven fabric made from silk or cuprammonium rayons. It is considered to be a "high-end" fabric, suitable for use in ball gowns, wedding dresses, and interiors for curtains or wall-covering. It yields a more starched-like type of cloth that holds its shape better than many other fabrics. An extremely thin, crisp type of taffeta is called paper taffeta).

Holmes is distinctive/unconventional-looking; his very person and appearance is very attractive (having a special quality, attractiveness) especially in an unusual or interesting way, even to the most casual observer. In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing, except during those intervals of torpor (that Watson has alluded), and his thin, distinctive nose gave his whole expression an air of awareness/attentiveness and decision. His chin, too, had the prominence and squareness, which mark the man of determination. His hands were invariably blotted with ink and stained with chemicals, yet he was possessed of extraordinary delicacy of touch, as Watson frequently had occasion to observe.

Professor Moriarty: "He is extremely tall and thin, his forehead domes out in a white curve, and his two eyes are deeply sunken in this head. He is clean-shaven, pale, and ascetic-looking, retaining something of the professor in his features. His shoulders are rounded from much study, and his face protrudes forward, and is forever slowly oscillating from side to side in a curiously reptilian fashion." (The Final Problem). According to Holmes, the man had hereditary tendencies of the most diabolical kind. And, instead of being rectified, it was increased and rendered infinitely more dangerous by his extraordinary mental powers. (Pandu [implying pale]: pusillanimous, fatigued, jaded, fragile-hearted, lacking vitality or one who lies prostrate in a submissive posture? Excessively submissive, overtly or totally obsequious; an absolutely servile or obedient pushover?)

(There is some speculation as to whether Professor Moriarty is Holmes' alter ego or shadow-self. Whether somewhat akin to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. ... If we consider the Vishnu imagery, SheshaNaga is depicted as a five-headed or seven-headed serpent behind Vishnu AnantaNaga. SheshaNaga is [perhaps] the antithesis of AnantaNaga. SheshaNaga [therefore] represents fixed mindset, an inability to change one's set way of thinking and acting (behavioural aspects), and [thus] an inability to learn, unlearn, adapt and evolve (become a better person). Sheshanaga (Śeṣanāga) is one of the primal beings of creation, and is sometimes referred as Ananta Shesha. ... The cosmic phenomenon of "dissolution" (i.e. the fadeout of a time-cycle [a kalpa, a cosmic cycle or an epoch] - so that re-energisation can commence) occurs when 'Ananta' becomes 'Sesha'. Resurrection? Can this imply that Ananta (the infinite, eternal or the imperishable) - in a manner of speaking, "dissolves" Shesha - indicative of the fadeout of a kalpa (a time-cycle or epoch consisting of four phases), so that a new one can commence [implying re-energisation, invigoration, renewal?] In other words, a [metaphoric] fresh kali, bloom - signifying positive aspects, optimism, hope etc? Symbolising the 'arrival' of Sat/Satya/Krita Yug - the allegoric 'Golden Age'?)  
The epic clash between Holmes and Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. Falls = spring, stream - implying SarasvatI? (The creepy, diabolically brilliant Professor Moriarty, a retired mathematics professor, Holmes refers to him as "the Napoleon of crime." According to Holmes, Moriarty had a promising future ahead of him but then he went astray. "He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre [sic] of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans." (Holmes on Professor Moriarty.)

The famous jodi. Living with Holmes requires patience, tolerance (willingness and ability to accept) and patience. A certain amount of wit and humour helps too. Watson: calm, exhibiting regard and concern, caring, decorous, supportive, warmhearted, loyal roommate, empathic and attentive. And who says he isn't a good observer?

|| Moriarty sat on a wall,
Holmes had a great fall,
All Mycroft's horses and all Lestrade's men,
Could not put Watson together again ||

While Dr. Watson is easily overshadowed by Holmes, he was quite an intelligent man, very skilled at practicing medicine and conducted himself very well during the war. Holmes and Watson are incredibly close (although Holmes' outward behaviour may have suggested otherwise). Holmes trusted him to defend him in a scrape, and trusted his medical knowledge. When they met, Dr. Watson had already served in the war and was a skilled doctor, and Holmes had created quite a reputation for himself. However, they were still quite young. The case (solving them, that is) is Holmes' great love, alongside his infrequent attempts to master the romance of the violin and his association with the one man who admires him most, their strange attraction the only enduring mystery in the great detective's life. 

"I find from my notebook that it was in January, 1903, just after the conclusion of the Boer War, that I had my visit from Mr. James M. Dodd, a big, fresh, sunburned, upstanding Briton. The good Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action which I can recall in our association. I was alone." (The Blanched Soldier)

Although it may seem that Holmes doesn't appreciate him enough, Dr. Watson has that "shy but rugged" thing going for him (contrary to his popular image or contrary to popular perception). He was war service [a former army surgeon] and suffering in his past, yet he still stumbles over his words when left alone with Mary Morstan. He is [otherwise] very verbal, a great narrator, his literary skill is evidenced in his writings. (Mary Watson [née Morstan] was the wife of Dr. Watson. He refers to her in a number of the stories (although she is generally not involved in the main action of most stories). She died at an unspecified point between "The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of the Empty House", and Holmes touches on her passing briefly in the latter.)

Holmes and Moriarty perish in The Final Problem. The literary genius of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is greatly displayed in the stories of the enigmatic sleuth. Doyle created a worthy nemesis for Holmes: Professor Moriarty, a mathematical genius with a published book: The Dynamics of an Asteroid. Conan Doyle wanted a dramatic finish for the great Holmes. In 1893 he visited Reichenbach Falls in the northern Swiss Alps. After seeing the magnificent falls he decided the place would make a worthy tomb for Holmes. The story of "The Final Problem" leads up to Reichenbach Falls, which is where Holmes and Dr. Watson find Professor Moriarty. Holmes distracts Watson so that he can have a private confrontation with Moriarty. On Watson's return to the Falls, he witnesses two men struggling on the ledge until eventually both men fall [plunge] to their deaths in the falls below. To Watson's horror, he discovers that the two men were none other than Moriarty and Holmes. Watson writes his goodbye to Holmes, and the close relationship between them is obvious. (What did Watson feel? Sorrow? Immense sadness? An almost unbearable sadness? Tears, loss and despair? No longer the same person he used to be?)

A plaque near Reichenbach Falls, Switzerland, in memoriam of the spot where Holmes and Professor Moriarty fought to their deaths.

Resurrection? Public pressure to bring Holmes back influenced Doyle to use the enigmatic sleuth once more. Finally, in October 1903, Holmes is reborn [re-manifested? resurrected?] in "The Return of Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of The Empty House." Holmes' explanation for faking his death is somewhat improbable, but the majority of readership didn't care. Watson's reaction to his return/resurrection was sincerely heart-felt. At the start of the story Watson is alone. His wife is dead and he believes Holmes to be dead as well. However Watson learns that Holmes's death was a ruse to hide from Moriarty's associates. "I moved my head to look at the cabinet behind me. When I turned again, Sherlock Holmes was standing smiling at me across my study table. I rose to my feet, stared at him for some seconds in utter amazement, and then it appears that I must have fainted for the first and the last time in my life. Certainly a gray mist swirled before my eyes, and when it cleared I found my collar-ends undone and the tingling after-taste of brandy upon my lips. Holmes was bending over my chair, his flask in his hand."

Holmes, somewhat arrogant (singularly proud and reticent), of eccentric manners, a strong sense of self-respect, and a tad bohemian in his habits, prefers solitude (prefers to keep to himself) and even starves himself at times of intense intellectual activity. He often neglects his own health while pondering over his puzzles. He solves cases using the power of his mind. He is famous for his prowess at using logic and astute observation. He uses a process of deductive reasoning with great success. His clarity of thought is remarkable, he prefers clear reasoning. He believes there is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. "It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones." He also believes what one man can invent another can discover. He is quick-witted, and [perhaps] a little abrupt, but an astute observer, nonetheless. He is skilled at putting himself into the shoes of other people. He has a cat like approach to cleanliness, always impeccably neat and clean. Inside his head, he works on connecting dots. (Rationalising and thinking through gives him insight). He has a tendency to ask a lot of questions, even hypothetical ones, to help him make [well-thought out] decisions. He thinks through the questions/choices rationally, and often discusses his ideas with Watson (although he may not be looking to listen to others' ideas, probably just to find the right words, etc for his own ideas, thinking process. "Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person"). Holmes does not let on his feelings very often. He has a really hard time actually expressing his emotions to others. Rather than making other people feel warmer or comfortable by expressing his emotion(s), he internalises them. This [perhaps] makes him appear somewhat abrupt. According to Watson, many regard him as a machine rather than a man. However, Holmes does have capacities for human emotion, of remarkable gentleness and courtesy. He has a remarkable capacity to gently soothe and reassure people suffering from distress or nervousness. Holmes is [also] a socially-forward thinker. He is not narrow-minded or prejudiced/parochial, although [probably] he may have had his own way of offering a mirror to society. (Perhaps it is his own [unique] way of making people think, to induce them to take note of societal aspects/values etc and to do something about them, to rectify unpleasant aspects or lack of humanistic values/humaneness and the like). Though he is usually dispassionate (not affected by emotion, aloof), during an investigation he is animated and excitable (given his usual languor). Known for his courageous nature, extraordinary abilities and astute logical reasoning, he also has a flair for showmanship. Never a very sociable person; until Watson's arrival Holmes worked alone. This is his most significant relationship. Once when Watson is injured, although the wound is quite superficial, Watson is moved by Holmes's reaction: "It was worth a wound; it was worth many wounds; to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation." Holmes's habitual use of a pipe (alongside his less frequent use of cigarettes and cigars) is further supplemented by his occasional use of addictive drugs. Watson tries to wean him from drugs (with some degree of success), and disapproves of his smoking. Holmes uses cocaine, and also dabbles in morphine. He takes up cases that stimulates his mind, even devoting weeks at a time to the cases of his humblest clients. (He is essentially a problem-solver, not seeking personal fame or glory. His real goal out of solving mysteries is to just know the truth. He finds joy in the process, instead of the solution. His ability to do good is the reason he is not a villain like Moriarty. Holmes was born in England in the year 1854. In his younger years, he attended at least one of the country's leading universities. His study of science at university augmenting his already keen mind and powers of observation. Holmes states that his grandmother was the sister of the French painter "Vernet" (presumably Horace Vernet). He is also an expert single-stick player and boxer).

The Jeeves stories are not whodunits, rather, howhedunits. The casual language, special vocabulary (the delightful metaphors, colloquialisms, idioms et al) is charming to say the least. The tales are infused with a nice helping of humour (good for the "old lemon" and the funny-bone). Bertie narrates the stories (in the first person) in his own inimitable style, except for the final one - "Bertie Changes His Mind," where Jeeves is the narrator. And it is here that Bertie scores over Jeeves and this is undoubtedly the young Wooster's greatest achievement. Jeeves' dry style is somewhat jarring to the reader otherwise accustomed to Bertie's signature wit (Bertie's brand of "Wooster Sauce" - his uniquely humourous style of narration). Jeeves is best written about than writing or narrating. He is an enigma, and his quiet efficient style holds our attention, nay captivates us. The role of a narrator takes away his shine, and this is simply not done; his aura couldn't diminish.

It is reminiscent of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who, after having had Dr. Watson narrate Holmes' adventures, has Holmes himself tell two, "The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier" and "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane." (Blanched: anaemic looking from illness or emotion; ashen-faced (to become pale);  to whiten (a metal) by soaking in acid or by coating with tin;  to scald in order to loosen the skin; etiolate (to whiten a healthy plant through lack of sunlight); to become or cause to become pale and weak, as from malnutrition.)

"Bertie Changes His Mind" - which employs Jeeves as the narrator - could (after the first reading) seem a tad underwhelming. The first impression might be that Jeeves - the epitome of intellect and sagacity, constantly exercising his large brain - lacks the Wooster-touch, Bertie's wonderfully irreverent (tongue-in-cheek) sense of humour and buoyant style. However, on subsequent readings one could appreciate the language and the narrative structure, especially when one realises that Jeeves has shaken off his formal (sedate) demeanour and sounds quite like Bertie! So, is Reginald Jeeves actually Bertram Wilberforce Wooster's alter ego, picking up each others thoughts?

"The Adventure of the Lion's Mane" - a reference to the Narasimha-avatar?


The Ramayana and the Mahabharata is very interesting, and quite different from the inane and simplistic tales/narratives they have been turned into. Their scale, sweep and grandeur are impressive, magnificent. There must be hundreds of versions, interpretations and retelling of both the epics, as well as the many stories, fables and anecdotes that are part of the ancient texts. However, these are edited versions, translated and contemporised, and so, their flavour is considerably different. They are essentially the perspectives/points of view of various translators, editors, dramatists and so on, and thus [very likely] also reflect the prevalent social milieu (societal mindset/values) of the times (after the decline of the Gupta era). It is [however] unlikely that the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were confined to the landmass now known as India. This is because, after the fragmentation and shrinkage [and subsequent evolution] of the celebrated Indus-SarasvatI Civilisation (which is the foundation of the modern nation) there has been migrations towards the Gangetic basin, as well as westwards. Therefore, how much of the ancient history (narrated imaginatively through the two great epics and the many stories, fables and anecdotes) have happened in what is now known as India, is debatable. Nevertheless, great authors, poets, actors and playwrights have derived inspiration from the epics - for material on which to form their own creative works: from Goethe to Andy and Larry Wachowski (The Matrix). This immense trove of knowledge, wisdom, inspiration, vaulting imagination, creativity, leadership, quality decision-making, goals/objectives/purpose, relationship stories, romance, philosophy, literature, dharma, karm-yog, kartavya, well-being (contentment etc), selflessness and glorious narrative is timeless, (in the sense that) echoes of events and characters (from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata) can be found through the ages: 'battles' of progressive and regressive ideas/principles/values and ethics, movements for societal progress and mindset change; great wars fought, the consequences of unleashing fearsome weaponry seen (including their lingering/long-term effects); untold miseries wrecked upon people and nations witnessed; myopia, the outcome of unbridled or excessively selfish ambition and avarice - with a minimal sense of responsibility and disregard of outcome or significance observed; the effects of half measure or unreflecting/mindless decisions seen; wiles and guile, palace intrigues and power games; a throw of dice, maneuvers on the world chessboard; great strategists and negative geniuses; people and forces working tirelessly to stir up a war (unpleasantness) while others going to great lengths to avoid such misadventures; failings [shortcomings, self-centredness, vainglory etc] of great personalities and their [numerous and far-reaching] outcome; the rise of unlikely heroes; various chakravyuh formed and overcome; visionaries, thought-leaders and risk-takers, conscientious people who have had the courage to be selfless - for the larger good (so as to deny the likes of Duryodhana etc the proverbial upper-hand), critical thinking, adaptive decision-making or problem-solving, strategising and prioritising etcetera, etcetera.

A closer study of the archeological findings (artifacts, hieroglyphs etc) of the Babylonian, Jiroft, Gandhara, Maya, Inca, Sumerian or Mesopotamian Civilisations and the ancient Misr Civilisation could throw more light. Maybe the history of the Kushans, of Eastern Europe as well as that of the Roma people (the Romani or Romany) whose ancestors came from the areas that were a part of the Harappan Civilisation (the upper Indus region), too may be of some help. Perhaps even other epics like Rostam and Sohrab (a Persian epic), Epic of Gilgamesh (an epic poem from Mesopotamia), Epic of Manas (of the Kyrgyz people), etc. (These could help piece together our ancient history). The yet-to-be-deciphered Rongo Rongo glyphs (in Easter Island) are strikingly similar to the still undeciphered Indus glyphs. So, was there some sort of association [commercial and trade, military, other common purposes?] between Easter Island and the Rama Civilisation? What could the Stonehenge represent? ('Rama-Rajya' or the Rama Civilisation is perhaps not what we imagine it to be. Rama or Sri Rama = Sita, the Rama-avatar. (Despite myriad honorificis, iconography etc the highest Avatar is one and the same). This Civilisation probably encompassed vast areas (wide swathes of land with diverse populations, cultures, fables, cuisines, languages and so forth), and yet there were similarities and shared aspects. It was [perhaps] a coalition of sister civilizations. Bharatavarsha or Bharatadesha, the Indus-SarasvatI Civilisation, was [very likely] part of the Rama Civilisation.)

And how familiar is this?! The Ancient game of Pachisi: From Hindi pachisi, from pachhis "twenty-five" (highest throw of the dice), from Sanskrit panca "five" + vinsati-s "twenty." Moves are determined by throws of cowrie shells or dice. 'Betal Panchabinshati'/'Betal Pachchisi' (A famous set of Sanskrit Tales).  

The Sanskrit name Chaturanga means 'quadripartite' - the four angas (divided into four parts). Played on an authentic cloth game surface by 2, 3 or 4 players, Chaturanga combines the basic strategy of chess with the dynamic challenge of chance as the random roll of wooden dice determines each move. Yudhishthira (very likely an aspect of Panchali) and Duryodhana, in the Mahabharata, played a version of chaturanga using a dice. Karna became the ruler of Anga, courtesy Duryodhana. Unlike modern chess, chaturanga (recognised as the earliest form of chess) was mainly a game of chance; results depended on how well one rolled the dice. In the game of dice (Sanskrit: aSTApada, pAsa, pA.nsA, bindutantra, prAsaka) Shakuni (also known as Saubala) played with a loaded dice (courtesy a lizard nestling inside his dice). Lizard is imagery for treachery. Judas? Shakuni (exceptionally brilliant, the prince of Gandhara kingdom) was Duryodhana's principal adviser. He also brought to an end the lineage of Kuru (the Kauravas). Is Shakuni a villainous character? Or, is Shakuni a reference to Panchali? Are Jatayu of the Ramayana and Shakuni of the Mahabharata one and the same? Who was Sampati (Jatayu's brother)? Could Shakuni be a reference to the metaphoric Sahadeva (a confidante of Panchali)?

Holmes, Mary Watson (née Morstan) and Dr. Watson. 

Dr. Watson refers to years of humble but single-minded service to Holmes.

AnantaSayana Vishnu: Vishnu reclining on AnantaNaga. (Naga is honorific for wise, enlightened beings, due to their kundalini-energy, the power of kundalini.) Vishnu is AnantaNaga (implying imperishable, the Eternal Divine/Satya - the eternal/permanent authority (Lord of Creation)/motive power/guiding force behind the mathematically precise universe, as well as endless kundalini-energy - implying brain-power, the power of the mind, considerable intellectual energy). The iconographic depiction sometimes shows a woman (with her head covered) sitting at the feet of Vishnu. (Sometimes also depicted as pressing Vishnu's feet - possibly indicative of unconditional service to the divine, no scope of ego or negativity. Unconditional and complete devotion. It is the easiest and simplest form of devotion. It is also the highest form of devotion. Unconditional. Selfless. Self-effacing). Does it imply Radha, Vishnupriya? Pyaricharan? Jo bhaje Hari ko sadaa...? (Pyari is a reference to Radha). Perhaps Rishi Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay's Debi Chowdhurani alludes to this (although couched in fun and humour).

(AnantaSayana Vishnu is also known as Garbhodakśayī-Viṣṇu (who reclines on Garbhodaka, the Garbhodaka Ocean). Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is the Vishnu who reclines on Kshirasagar, the ocean of kshira/shira/milk (possibly implying intellectual stimulation, intellectual upliftment and growth [expansion of the mind] and subsequent intellectual evolution). Shira = head. Mastakabhisheka ("Head Anointment") is a ceremony where the head is anointed from above with a variety of substances (water, milk, flowers, etc.) Garbhodakśayī-Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu could be one and the same. This Vishnu is the creator/initiator of a new kalpa, cosmic cycle, time-cycle or epoch.) 

Sitting at the feet of Vishnu: devoted, to cherish (characterised by loyalty, affection and attachment), caring, attentive and virtuous, remaining at a distance yet never abandoning or forsaking. Accepting a humble place and remaining there. This is a symbol of those who accept sufferings and adversity. Even if one does not like the position, to persevere and not abandon it. This is a symbol of the upright, the humble/modest, and the wise, of the straightforward and the simple-hearted. A dasa (a suitable helper/assistant, a confidant, someone who is eager to help, assist, or attend to.) Such a person has a humble attitude, and a desire to help others, to think about everyone else first before thinking about oneself. (This is also reminiscent of Bodhisattva ("Buddha-to-be") Avalokiteshvara - a compassionate, empathic and determined bodhisattva, also referred to as Padmapani ("Holder of the Lotus"). The pale-red lotus is the Highest Lotus or Supreme Lotus; this lotus is highly revered and signifies the highest deity, the Eternal Divine. Avalokitesvara is regarded in the Vajrayana teachings as a Buddha. In the Mahayana teachings he is regarded as a high-level Bodhisattva. (Buddhism = Boudhya Dharma, the way of the Buddha, the Wise One or the Enlightened One.) When Avalokitesvara was overcome with disenchantment and exasperation, his consciousness beseeched the Buddhas (the Wise One or the Enlightened One, possessor of the supreme knowledge that dispels all illusions) for help. Of the Buddhas who came to aid him, one was Amitabha Buddha, who became his guru. (Note: Amitabha, [Sanskrit: "Infinite Light"] also called Amitayus ["Infinite Life"], hence Amitābha is often called "The Buddha of Infinite Light." Can Amitabha Buddha be equated with Vishnu, AnantaNaga? The Eternal, endless, imperishable Vishnu?) Mahāyāna Buddhism relates Avalokiteśvara to the six-syllable mantra: oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ (translated as "the jewel in the lotus"). ... This is somewhat reminiscent of the Kausthubham or Kaustubha Mani - the unique/divine jewel believed to be adorning the neck of Lord Vishnu. Thus, Vishnu (the Preserver, Stabiliser and Maintainer aspect of the Eternal Divine) is also known as Kaustubha (one who wears the Kaustubham.)

Pratham Juger Udayadigangane:

Note: Pratham Jug is a reference to Sat/Satya/Krita Yug. Has Gurudev referred to the Avatar of the future – the Kalkiḥ-avatar? (Avatar = manifestation of the Eternal Divine (Paramatma) in human form). There are many avatars, including empowered entities or partial avatars. However, the highest Avatar is the Eternal Divine in human form. (And despite myriad honorifics, the highest Avatar is one and the same). The Dasavataar is unique in the sense that the departure of the Avatar signifies the fadeout of a Yug (a phase) or a Maha-Yug (an epoch consisting of four phases) and the commencement of a whole new epoch (a kalpa, time cycle or cosmic cycle of four phases - Sat/Satya/Krita, Treta, Dvapar and ghor Kaliyug - depicted through the imagery of a fresh bloom, kali). The phases signify intellectual and spiritual evolution of humankind. The departure of the Kalkiḥ-avatar will [therefore] herald the fadeout of the ghor kaliyug phase (euphemism for the lowest point/phase in the intellectual and spiritual evolution of humankind, thus this phase is also known as the 'Iron Age of Ignorance/Stagnation/Confusion'). The departure of the avatar will also imply the symbolic fadeout of a Maha-Yug (of four phases) and the commencement of a whole new epoch (Maha-Yug) beginning with Sat/Satya/Krita Yug - the metaphoric 'Golden Age'. It implies [metaphoric] re-energisation, invigoration (transformation, upward trajectory, a turn-around, a complete renaissance) - through positive aspects, camaraderie, optimism, hope, re-imbibing of humanistic values, etc.

(Since the universe [Brahmaanda, the totality of everything] is mathematically precise, the fadeout and commencement of yugs and maha-yugs too will be precise. Despite myriad honorifics, imagery, iconography, festivities et al, we all pray to the same higher/divine power. Different situations/challenges require different forms/manifestations/honorifics, which should not be construed as multiplicity of avatars (manifestations) in a narrow sense.

Various faiths are anticipating the coming of an Avatar. Hindu people are awaiting the incarnation of Keśava, the Kalkiḥ-avatar (Viṣṇu-Kalkiḥ or Kalkiḥ-Maitreya); those following Boudhya Dharma are looking forward to the coming of Buddha Maitreya (the next Buddha to be, the successor to Buddha Shakyamuni, also known as Gautama Buddha - the most recent Buddha to have appeared); Christians are awaiting the second coming of Christ; the Jewish people are waiting for the appearance of the Moshiach [mashiach, mashiah, moshiah] or "Messiah", and so forth. ... Will there be an all-encompassing Avatar - not only signifying the Universal Form (Vishva-roop or Viraat-roop), but also signifying spiritual confluence and spiritual humanism (need for empathy, compassion, humaneness/humanistic values etc)? In other words, a confluence (sangam, yoga) of all of humankind, signifying [symbolising] the unity of god, as opposed to religious fissures, orthodoxy, retrograde or obsolete aspects? 

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