Sunday, December 28, 2014

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

Also read: Part-I and Part-II.

Words of wisdom. 


The best and wisest Holmes. Incredible talent in deductive reasoning and famous for his intellectual prowess. Still the best Sherlock ever! Jeremy Brett. The best Holmes because he embodied the essence of the character's soul not just his astute logical mind. The very essence of the Conan Doyle creation, yet still Jeremy.

Through the Looking Glass?! Magnifying glass - to check the fine print. As they say, 'the large print giveth and the small print taketh away'.

Time for a good pipe. It helps him think.

A fabulous actor. The quintessential Holmes. The one and only. Jeremy personified Holmes (the all-intellect-no-heart, introvert character). He set a new standard for the role. There will never be a Holmes better than Jeremy! Brett WAS Holmes. That's all there is to it.

A consummate actor. The perfect foil to Brett - assertive (self-assured and confident without being aggressive), supportive and utterly convincing.

Dr. Watson and his pipe.

Dining. This is funny Watson. (The humour he brought to Watson is delightful and complimented Jeremy Brett). The other is serious Watson.

Both Watsons excellent. They were amazing in their roles!

The Problem of Thor Bridge isn't just an intriguing mystery. It's also a trivia buff's delight: Guest star Daniel Massey was the brother of Anna Massey, Jeremy Brett's first wife. Anna's and Daniel's father, famed Canadian actor Raymond Massey, played Sherlock Holmes in a 1930 British film version of The Speckled Band. Jeremy Brett, who (as Holmes) enjoys a bit of archery in this episode, grew up in a family of archers and was an accomplished archer in real life. He was just a tot when he received his first archery lesson. Despite his busy schedule Jeremy did manage to practice his archery. (Competing with Jeremy Brett [as Sherlock Holmes] was none other than his brother-in-law! Holmes used his powers of deduction to solve the mystery.)


The five Pandavas = Pancha kanya. Yudhishthira, therefore, is [very likely] an aspect of Panchali (Kṛṣṇā Draupadī). Yudhishthira pledging Draupadi in the game of dice is [therefore] self-explanatory. Yudhishthira and Duryodhana, in the Mahabharata, played a version of chaturanga using a dice. Yudhisthira symbolises (i.e. personifies or embodies Dharma or dharmic aspects: nītiḥ and nyaya; principles, values, ideals, effort, sattvic or noble thoughts and actions). Thus, the honorific Dharmaraj is used for Yudhisthira. Yudhiṣṭhira meaning "steady in war/battle", from yudh meaning war/battle, and sthira meaning steady (possibly implying: of steady mind, unwavering, steadfast, resolute or firmly determined.)  Battle could be allegoric, implying sincere and sustained efforts and endeavours for the betterment of society (for realising the larger societal goals and objectives, for the betterment of humankind). Two other honorifics for Yudhisthira are Bharata (descendant of the lineage of Dushyant-Shakuntala's son, Bharata?) and Ajatashatru (one without enemies).

Pachisi. Holmes vs Moriarty. The eternal duel of wits. (The triumph of positivism/optimism/hope over negativity/despondency/ignorance/confusion)? AnantaNaga vs SheshaNaga?

What is meant by Rāmachandra's salilasamadhi? A great white serpent that left the mouth of Balarama? (This is considered as a reference to his identity as Ananta-Sesha). What is the Loch Ness Monster about? (Rāmachandra, the dark side of the moon, is [very likely] a reference to Ravana. Have we been glorifying the wrong Rama?) ... At the fadeout of the kalpa (the time-cycle, so that a new one can commence - implying invigoration/re-energisation), Shesha remains as he is. Is this indicative of fixed mindset? An inability (or perhaps refusal - out of "pride") to change one's set way of thinking and behavioural aspects, and [thus] an inability to learn, unlearn, adapt and evolve? (SheshaNaga, therefore, could be Sage Bhringi or Bhringisa – the Rsi with three legs). Bhringi is also known as Andhaka (implying unenlightened, vacous mind?). Dhritarashtra? Bhringi is the antithesis of Nandi. The two Poles, Sumeru and Kumeru, is taken as a reference to the North Pole and the South Pole, respectively. However, could Sumeru be indicative of Nandi and Kumeru Bhringi? (Kumeru = a negative person, spineless?). 

Pandu [implying pale]: pusillanimous, fatigued, jaded, fragile-hearted, lacking vitality? Excessively submissive, overtly or totally obsequious; an absolutely servile or obedient pushover? Kumbhakarna?

Sheshanaga (Śeṣanāga) is one of the primal beings of creation, and is sometimes referred to as Ananta-Shesha. ... The cosmic phenomenon of "dissolution" (i.e. the fadeout of a time-cycle [a kalpa or Maha Yug, a cosmic cycle or an epoch of four phases] - so that re-energisation can commence) occurs when 'Ananta' becomes 'Sesha'. Resurrection? Can this imply that Ananta (the infinite, the eternal or the imperishable one) - in a manner of speaking, "dissolves" Shesha - to indicate the fadeout of a kalpa (a time-cycle, maha-yug 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 best of all ages/yugs? ... At the fadeout of the ghor kaliyug phase (also signifying the symbolic fadeout of a time-cycle/epoch or maha-yug) a fresh bloom (time-cycle, epoch, Maha-yug) emerges – i.e. is created, metaphorically speaking, through the re-imbibing of dharmic ideals/values and sustained karm-yog - effort/endeavours to realise the larger societal goals and objectives (and subsequent intellectual revitalisation and spiritual awakening) = re-energising. Creating a healthy, progressive, humanistic and vibrant culture or society (a renaissance) is about self-improvement: Emotional and intellectual growth (including critical thinking and cognitive development, the growth of our thoughts, thought process). Empathy. Eschewing of retrograde or obsolete mindset, etc. In other words: to become a better human being and [collectively] a better people.

SheshaNaga is depicted as five-headed or seven-headed. However, before "dissolving" (voiding, negating, nullifying) the eternal adversary Shesha, it could be that Vishnu AnantaNaga gives some indication as to who SheshaNaga is. Perhaps so that humankind can recognise Shesha and [thereby] observe the leela. After all, 'Satyameva Jayate'. 'Truth stands Invincible' or 'Truth always prevails'. (SheshaNaga symbolises all vices [in human beings]. Truth = AnantaNaga (who represents dharmic principles/ideals/values and karm-yog, effort/endeavours for the larger good, for the betterment of societal aspects). ... Truth is [essentially] a reference to the Eternal Divine, the higher power – to whom all of humankind prays. Thus, Satyameva Jayate. Truth stands invincible or 'Truth always prevails'. Truth should not be misconstrued in a narrow sense. Despite myriad imagery, iconography, festivities, languages, honorifics etc the Eternal Divine is one and the same.) In the words of Tagore, 'Shesh joy-e jyano hoye shhe bijoyi tomaari kachhetey haariya...' SheshaNaga is also known as Baladeva and Halayudha. He is known for his strength, and worshipped as a deity of agriculture and fertility. Hence, he is known as Balarama ("Strong Rama", Rama with a plough).

Shishupala: He was a cousin of Krsna, and also Krsna's implacable foe. Due to his hostility he was contemptuous and scornful of Krsna and also used pejorative language (opprobrious invectives). Opprobrious words criticise in a mean, hurtful way. (Krsna forgave his misdemeanours a hundred times – as per a promise to Shishupala's mother). Shishupala in a former existence (is believed to have been) the adharmic Hiranyakashipu. He was also Ravana. However, could Shishupala be indicative of someone who nurtured/nourished children? Or was a foster parent to orphan children? Philanthropic-minded? Debauchery and vice? Pedophiliac?

Kansa: Bronze. There are many different bronze alloys, but typically modern bronze is copper and tin. The addition of other metals (usually tin, sometimes arsenic) produces an alloy much harder than plain copper. (Unlike arsenic, tin is not toxic.) The word bronze probably originates from "bell metal, brass". What could Kansa mean?

Ravana's ten heads: Swollen-headed? A legend in his mind? Inability to view oneself critically (a preference for passing the buck of blame on others: to evade responsibility, to make someone else responsible for something)? Whimsical/Impulsive? Moody (given to gloomy, depressed, or sullen moods; ill-humoured)? Given to frequent changes of mood? Subject to periods of depression? Sulky and temperamental? Having a feeling of or filled with frustration; dissatisfied? Narcissistic? Deliberately deceitful/duplicitous? Manipulative, controlling, obsessive and domineering? Self-pity (pity for oneself, obsessive thinking; a feeling of sorrow, especially an exaggerated or self-indulgent attitude concerning one's own difficulties, etc)? To eat one's heart: To suffer inconsolably; to have sorrow dominate one's thoughts and feelings; to be in a constant state of mental and emotional disquietude? To reveal one's problems to another person in order to get sympathy; to assail someone's ear with one's woes in an attempt to win pity? A weak and vacillating mind nursing a grudge against others for one's woes? Does not acknowledge responsibilities (operates as a child emotionally: inability or refusal to grow up or adapt and evolve)? Full of hot air, ego, vainglory and self-importance? Excessively selfish, easily riled, emotionally immature, a unenlightened/vacuous mind, yet exaggerated self-image? A braggadocio? Deluded? A schizophrenic mind?

Atma-gyana or Knowledge of the Self is not at a superficial level, it is at a more deeper and perceptive level. (Atma = Self = the human soul). The soul has always existed. It is birthless, eternal, imperishable and timeless. The soul is gender-less, it is uncreated and is never born; it merely acquires a new physical form. The soul is also the eternal aspect of a person's being (human soul = Divine Essence, cosmic energy), and therefore, it is the eternal aspect that carries ingrained personality traits (which are unlikely to change or at least undergo a significant change). This may help explain genius, innate ability, talents etc, i.e. being born with a particular biological capability. The intrinsic (innate) personality traits of an individual are merely the reflection of the personality of the soul. Thus, the skin on a person [the outer shell, body is merely the vessel] shall not reveal the true identity.

The Self (atma) is the eternal aspect of an individual's being; when an individual become totally connected with it, by overcoming ego-consciousness etc, it is the state of complete wisdom (the stage where nirvana is attained). ... The process of spiritual awakening (Supreme Enlightenment, Self-realisation) involves the gentle 'awakening' of the living and conscious energy, kundalini, so that it pervades an individual's entire being. Once this happens, an individual is no longer disconnected from the universe around him or her (i.e. he or she is no longer confined inside his or her own head) courtesy inflated ego, arrogance, confusion, ignorance, delusion, selfish considerations, vainglory etc but becomes a connected part of the greater cosmos (the mind is lit up, in a manner of speaking, possibly depicted by the "halo" - symbolising supreme/highest enlightenment or complete wisdom). It brings about self-knowledge (atma-vidya or knowledge of the Self) and inner joy or total contentment (Sat-cit-ānanda, the eternal bliss or spiritual ecstasy) of "Self-realisation". Such a person transcends egocentricity and is non-deluded (by sense objects or by transient aspects). Such a person is imbued with the light of wisdom (internal wisdom or perception, insight and accurate interpretation) - the ability to see the larger picture, transcend egocentricity, and find the deeper meaning inherent in all things.

The confluence or convergence of the finite into the Infinite, the mere Self (finite 'I', human soul, jiva-atma) within the Higher Self (Infinite 'I', Brahmn) leading to an individual's spiritual and intellectual awakening and evolution, the awareness that the finite is inseparable from the Infinite is Self-realisation. It is to fully know and understand oneself. Before knowing God (the Eternal Divine), it is important to know oneself. If one understands oneself, only then it is possible to understand God, i.e. only then can one gain Brahmavidya or "knowledge of Brahmn," Manifested Cosmos, etc. With the realisation of the Universal Consciousness (Higher Self) come universal compassion, empathy, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge or non-transient knowledge - para vidya).

Jeeves knows his place, and it is between the covers of a book. Jeeves is unlike Desmond - Rip Kerby's faithful manservant. The all-knowing and ever-wise Jeeves refers to himself as both a "gentleman's personal gentleman" and a "personal gentleman's gentleman." This means that Jeeves is a valet, not a butler - that is, he serves a man and not a household, unlike Nestor (of the Tintin comics) - the long-suffering butler of Marlinspike Hall. Bertie has lent out Jeeves as a butler on several occasions, and notes: "If the call comes, he can buttle with the best of them." The Jeevesian solutions elegantly peel away the difficulties and make things right. His mental prowess is attributed to eating fish, according to Wooster, who often offers the dish (a tin of sardines) to him. Jeeves, though, is not a fish-eater.

"All is well," I said. "Jeeves is coming." "What can he do?" I frowned a trifle. The man's tone had been peevish, and I didn't like it. "That," I replied with a touch of stiffness, "we cannot say until we see him in action. He may pursue one course, or he may pursue another. But on one thing you can rely with the utmost confidence - Jeeves will find a way. ... There are no limits to Jeeves's brain-power. He virtually lives on fish."

Jeeves - wise, unflappable, and formal, the epitome of intellect and sagacity, constantly exercising his large brain, his "pure brain". "The man's a genius. From the collar upward he stands alone." Jeeves is also a member of the Junior Ganymede Club. (Ganymede (Jupiter III) is a satellite of Jupiter and the largest moon in the Solar System. It is the seventh moon and third Galilean satellite outward from Jupiter. Ganymede's discovery is attributed to Galileo Galilei, who was the first to observe it on January 7, 1610.)

Jeeves just streams in, or floats noiselessly through the doorway "like a healing zephyr". He may appear or disappear suddenly and without prior intimation. He likes to relax with "improving" books. Bertie, the fictive author of the Jeeves and Bertie stories, is full of intelligent humour. Bertie, not too hard on the eyes and quite a pleasant person, has a habit of landing himself into the "bouillon" with unfailing regularity, sometimes courtesy his own fruity schemes. He climbs out of the "bouillon" with advice or more direct help from Jeeves. Jeeves, Bertie's knight-defender, continually rescues (i.e. delicately and effortlessly extricates) him time and time again ("these little acts of unremembered kindness").

"[...] The tie, if I might suggest, sir, a shade more tightly knotted. One aims at the perfect butterfly effect. If you will permit me..."
"What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this? Do you realise that Mr. Little's domestic happiness is hanging in the scale?"
"There is no time, sir, when ties do not matter."

"Heaven help the tarpon that tries to pit its feeble cunning against you, Jeeves," I said. "Its efforts will be bootless." (Jeeves and the Greasy Bird)

"[...] The old morale suddenly turned blue on me. It's the sort of thing that might have happened to anyone.
"I never heard of anything so spineless in my life."
I shivered like a warrior whose old wound hurts him.
"I'd be most awfully obliged, Aunt Agatha," I said, "if you would not use that word spine. It awakens memories."
The door opened. Jeeves appeared.
"Yes, Jeeves?"
"I thought you called, sir."
"No, Jeeves."
"Very good, sir."

"Jeeves, I wish I had a daughter. I wonder what the procedure is?"
"Marriage is, I believe, considered the preliminary step, sir." (Bertie Changes His Mind)

Two sisters of Bertie's father play major roles in most of the stories and novels. They are Aunt Dahlia and Aunt Agatha. (Aunt Julia, the widow of Uncle Cuthbert, appears only in Extricating Young Gussie but is mentioned by Bertie occasionally.) Aunt Dahlia (Travers, Dahlia Wooster, short and solid, married to Uncle Tom - Thomas "Tom" Portarlington Travers) is Bertie's "good and deserving aunt", not to be confused with the insufferable Aunt Agatha, "the werewolf". Aunt Agatha (Worplesdon, Lady Agatha Wooster Gregson), grande dame of the old régime, cold and haughty, is "tall and thin and looks rather like a vulture in the Gobi desert". Her attitude towards Wooster has always been that of an "austere governess"... causing Bertie to feel as if he were six years old and she had just caught him stealing jam from the jam cupboard; whereas Aunt Dahlia is as jovial and bonhomous as a dame in a Christmas pantomime. Bertie once contributed an article on "What the Well-Dressed Man is Wearing" for Milady's Boudoir (the women's paper of Aunt Dahlia).

Aunt Dahlia (as we know) has a carrying voice... that would easily carry across three ploughed fields, so much so that she could even call the cattle home across the Sands of Dee. Bertie and Aunt Dahlia have on several occasions "chewed the fat together". "But after all you are my brother's son whom I frequently dandled on my knee as a baby, and a subhuman baby you were if ever I saw one, though I suppose you were to be pitied rather than censured if you looked like a cross between a poached egg and a ventriloquist's dummy, so I can't let you sink in the soup without a trace. I must rally round and lend a hand." (Jeeves and the Greasy Bird)

Bertie is not averse to giving the "old oil" (charm) whenever the need arose, most notably to Aunt Dahlia. Just the thought of being barred from her dinner table, and thereby deprived of the roasts and boileds of her supremely skilled French chef Anatole - God's gift to the gastric juices - is usually enough to make Bertie answer Aunt Dahlia's call to Brinkley Court, except when some prize-giving is involved. (Bertie would rather shove it off on to his "horn-rimmed spectacles"-wearing Newt-fancier friend "with a face like a fish" - Gussie Fink-Nottle [engaged to Madeline Bassett who soberly speaks of the stars as "God's daisy chain".])

"It surprises many people, I believe, that Bertram Wooster, as a general rule a man of iron, is as wax in the hands of his Aunt Dahlia, jumping to obey her lightest behest like a performing seal going after a slice of fish. [...] When she says Go, accordingly, I do not demur, I goeth, as the Bible puts it..."

Bertie, however, did put his foot down ("cringe like a salted snail" despite being a descendant of the Woosters, who did their bit in the Crusades - according to Aunt Dahlia) and refused to play Santa "before an audience of charming children who wouldn't hurt a fly." 

"Well, her efforts were ... what's that word I've heard you use?"
"Bootless, sir?"
"Or fruitless?"
"Whichever you prefer, sir."
"I was not to be moved. I remained firm. I am not a disobliging man, Jeeves. If somebody wanted me to play Hamlet, I would do my best to give satisfaction. But at dressing up in white whiskers and a synthetic stomach I draw the line and draw it sharply. She huffed and puffed, as you heard, but she might have known that argument would be bootless. As the wise old saying has it, you can take a horse to the water, but you can't make it play Santa Claus."
"Very true, sir."

Sir Pelham (Plum to his fans): satirist/humourist, playwright, author and a comic novelist who created the famous fictional characters of Bertie Wooster and Reginald Jeeves. He enjoyed both enormous popular success and critical acclaim. He was among the best-loved writers during the 1930s, and he found that "jolly old Fame" suited him. The fact that many of the Jeeves and Bertie stories was published way back in 1923 and 1925 and yet is still funny today and is still so widely read is very impressive. Plum's prose is a delight to read. It is humour at its finest. The Jeeves stories are full of some of his fruitiest. The stories are not whodunits, rather, howhedunits. A veritable feast, they are best savoured one at a time. ("Take it easy. Spread it out. Assimilate it little by little.") They are read for the characters and the language (humour, wit, delightful similes and metaphors, common sense, understatements, analogies, classic satire, elegant use of words, choice of vocabulary, and the like.) Plum's way with words and virtuoso wit is highly distinctive and almost impossible to imitate. He delighted in vivid, far-fetched imagery. The metaphors are consistently funny, but they are more than that. They are superlative. They connect things that cannot be or are not usually connected. P.G. "Plum" Wodehouse, to use his own phrases, "handed in his dinner pail" and "went off to reside with the morning stars."

Daku Gandaria (aka Maganlal Meghraj of Jai Baba Felunath): "Rhino" conjures up the image of a prehistoric beast, a huge creature with skin of armour. 

The Indian rhinoceros: Rhinoceros unicornis. "Rhinoceros" comes from Greek words meaning, "nose horn" ("rhino," meaning nose, and "ceros," meaning horn). Rhinos have thick skin that in some species can look almost like large armour plates. They are known for having poor vision but good hearing and when startled they may charge. All rhinos eat plant matter exclusively, and their lips and teeth are adapted to taking and breaking down vegetation. Asian rhinos differ from African rhinos (white rhinoceros and black rhinoceros) in that their lower incisors grow into strong tusks. In male Indian rhinos, for example, these tusks can grow more than 3 inches long - capable of inflicting deep, severe wounds. Massive size: Growing up to 6 feet tall (though Asian rhinos tend to be smaller) and weighing as much as 8,000 pounds, rhinos are among the largest mammals, only elephants are larger. With their broad chests and heavy hoofed feet they trample through forests, crushing underbrush and leaving broad paths cleared behind them. (However, as large as they are, modern rhinos look small in comparison to their ancient ancestor, the Indricotherium, which stood over 18 feet tall and weighed 66,000 pounds.) Rhinos usually have gray skin, although their individual shade depends to some extent on the soil conditions where they live and graze. Beneath their skin, a one- to two-inch thick layer of fat helps the animals regulate body temperature. (Buffaloes or water buffaloes, on the other hand, wallow in thick sloppy mud - to reduce/regulate their body temperature.) Rhinos' horns are perhaps their most famous physical feature ("rhinoceros" comes from Greek words meaning, "nose horn.") These horns aren't bone; they're actually composed of keratin, the same material as fingernails. Although no scientific proof exists that rhino horns have any medicinal value, they are used in Asian folk medicine.

Rhinoceros: Ugly yet fascinating. Thick-skinned. Terrifying yet delicate. Endurance.

The white rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is the largest species of rhinoceros that exists. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species. (The other one, with the narrow pointed mouth, is called the black rhinoceros.) An alternative term for the white rhinoceros, more accurate but rarely used, is the square-lipped rhinoceros. Ceratotherium is derived from the Greek terms keras "horn" and therion "beast". Simum is derived from the Greek term simus, meaning, "flat-nosed". The white rhinoceros also has a noticeable hump on the back of its neck. Each of the four stumpy feet has three toes. The colour of the body ranges from yellowish brown to slate grey. White rhinos have a distinctive broad, straight mouth, which is used for grazing. Its ears can move independently to pick up sounds but it depends most of all on smell. The olfactory passages, which are responsible for smell, are larger than their entire brain. The white rhinoceros has the widest set nostrils of any land-based animal. White rhinoceroses are found in grassland and savannah habitat. Herbivore grazers that eat grass, preferring the shortest grains, the white rhinoceros is one of the largest pure grazers. It drinks twice a day if water is available, but if conditions are dry it can stay four or five days without water. It spends about half of the day eating, one third resting, and the rest of the day doing various other things. White rhinoceroses, like all species of rhinoceros, love wallowing in mud-holes to cool down. The white Rhinoceros is thought to have changed the structure and ecology of the savanna's grasslands.

The black rhinoceros or hook-lipped rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis, "double-horned rhinoceros") is an endangered species of rhinoceros. It has pointed or hooked lip (pointed upper lip that is muscular), poor eyesight but acute hearing and sense of smell. Their ears have a relatively wide rotational range to detect sounds. (To compensate for its poor eyesight, the black rhino has powerful tube-shaped ears that can freely rotate in all directions. This highly developed sense of hearing allows black rhinos to detect sound over vast distances.) Although the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colours vary from brown to slate grey. The black rhinoceros can also be distinguished from the white rhinoceros by its size, smaller skull, and ears; and by the position of the head, which is held higher than the white rhinoceros, since the black rhinoceros is a herbivorous browser and not a grazer. The black rhino has a reputation for being very aggressive (although in some cases the charges are bluffs and the animal stops a few feet before it makes contact.) Skin colour can vary depending on the mud in which the black rhino wallows. When covered in dry mud, the black rhinoceros may appear white, light grey, reddish, or black.

Karna's kavacha - metaphoric armour? Implying thick-skinned, shameless? Karna could withstand physical discomfort/pain (as can be gathered from the Karna-Parasurama story) but was easily malleable vis-à-vis scruples? Pusillanimous?
Ungallant, not courageous, as has been made out to be? (Inability to adapt to or withstand high temperatures?)

A bison is sometimes referred to as a "buffalo". (The Vrishni [probably] were a clan with a zebu bull totem. While the Andhaka may have been a clan with a bison totem/insignia).

Could this be the insignia of the Vrishni? Krsna is also known as Varshneya, 'of the Vrishni'. (Vrishni is possibly derived from Vrishabha, the great/divine bull. In Sanaatan Dharmic thought, the bull is imagery for dharma. Dharma (sattvic - worthy or noble - traits and qualities) is generally symbolised in Sanaatan Dharmic thought by the bull, vrishabha.) A zebu (Zebu Bull or Brahma Bull) sometimes known as humped cattle or Brahman is a type of domestic cattle originating in South Asia. They are characterised by a hump on their shoulders, drooping ears and a large dewlap. Zebu is well adapted to withstanding high temperatures. In India it is considered as the contemporary representation of Nandi (Nandin or Nandikesvara). Shiva - the good or the auspicious - is also an adjective or a quality, and thus Shiva could be an honorific. There are many Shiva-s. Even Nandikesvara is equated with Shiva. The glyph shows a trident (trishula) associated with Shiva/Parvati. MahasarasvatI-Jagadambika-Mahalakshmi could imply the symbolic trishula. (MahasarasvatI-Jagadambika-Mahalakshmi is representative of three different aspects, not three entities).

Nandi is known for his humility and simplicity. Nandi is the embodiment of strength, respect, restraint and surrender to the divine. Nandi is revered as the symbol of correct motivation and dharmic aspiration. Only by imbibing and perpetuating these personal attributes can every aspect of divine law [dharma and karm-yog] flourish. Nandi symbolises the metaphysical ideal in the natural, physical form. In paintings Nandi is shown as pure white in colour, though statues of the divine bull is mostly made from a black rock or white marble. The white colour of the bull symbolises purity of mind (inner perfection: devoid of arrogance, vainglory, delusion, selfish aspects etc) and dharma (adherence to dharmic values and ideals). Nandi has a golden girth (cinch) round his body, tall horns, a shining coat and a black tail. Nandi is also the embodiment of intuition and instinct. (Intuition could be the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.) Of prolific stature, he is known for his courage, loyalty and kindness. Nandi is often portrayed in images (iconography) with a robust frame, tall horns and a loud roar. Nandi is very knowledgeable. (VasukiNaga has a magnificent gem (Nagamani, the rare Naga Maanikya), on his head. Possibly implying vast knowledge, wisdom and intellectual brilliance.)

Early representation of Mahisasura (the allegoric buffalo demon)? An incised copper tablet showing a figure with large horns. The large horns could represent the power or virility of the animal; whoever wore the horns would possess similar attributes. They may also depict powerful hunters, or even some form of water buffalo or cattle deity. (A male deity having similar long eyes and bulls horns, but a goat's beard in addition, is known from several terracotta masks and terracotta statuettes.)

On a side note: so many connecting dots and still vast missing notes in our history and long culture and heritage! There is a need for fresh thinking, engaging books, etc. 

Angulimala (lit. finger necklace/garland) was extremely determined in accomplishing his task of stringing together a garland of one thousand fingers, a thousand human right-hand little fingers. So steeped was his (unenlightened, unscrupulous) mind in this gruesome habit. Paishachic  (cannibal) tendencies?  A psychopath/sociopath with a mask of sanity? 

(Sociopath: A person affected with an antisocial personality disorder, a personality disorder characterised by a tendency (propensity) to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure (inability) to feel guilt or remorse for such acts. A person with a psychopathic personality who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. Someone whose social behaviour is very abnormal. Sociopaths are concerned only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behaviour on others. The main characteristic of a sociopath is a disregard for the rights or well-being of others. Sociopaths are also unable to conform to what is understood as a normal personality. Antisocial tendencies are a big part of the sociopath's personality. This pattern usually comes into evidence around the age of fifteen. If it is not treated, it can develop into adulthood. Visible symptoms include physical aggression. An individual suffering from antisocial personality disorder may have difficulty sustaining relationships and shows a lack of regret in his or her actions. A major personality behaviour trait is the callous disregard of the rights/well-being of others. Although these symptoms are present, they may not always be evident. Research has shown that the sociopath is usually a person with an abundance of charm and wit. He or she may appear charming and considerate, but these attributes are usually superficial. They are used as a way of deceive/fool others to the personal agenda behind the sociopath's behaviour. People with antisocial personality disorder frequently indulge in alcohol abuse. They may use it as a way of heightening their antisocial personality. The sociopath sometimes views the world on his or her own terms (delusion). The sociopath may suffer from low self-esteem, and the use of alcohol could be a way to diminish these feelings. The causes of antisocial personality disorder are thought to be either genetic or environmental. Children who are influenced by antisocial parents may adopt these tendencies. Similarly, role models such as one's peer group may also influence the behaviour pattern of a sociopath. (Thus a psychopath is a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral, perverted and antisocial behaviour, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, intense egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc. Also called sociopath. The psychopath functions well under pressure because he/she does not feel the moral tension at all, since he/she is motivated by narrow/selfish concerns.) 

On a lighter note, given his 'fascination' for 'collecting' human fingers, wonder what might have been Angulimala's take on the okra.

The Buddha had often cautioned/advised not to judge people from appearances and their external behaviour. Angulimala, of low moral status, the robber and murderer, is one of the best-known figures of the Buddhist scriptures, because of his dramatic life story. He had already gathered 999 fingers, and only one more was needed to complete the 1,000 - to accomplish his task of stringing together a garland of one thousand fingers, a thousand human right-hand little fingers - an impossible honorarium asked by his teacher. This powerful serial killer had already successfully resisted several attempts to apprehend him. So steeped was his mind in the habit of killing without scruples... that he took up his sword and shield and buckled on his bow and quiver and followed behind the Enlightened One (the Buddha)... who had appeared on the road between Angulimala and his mother. (Does it imply paishachic tendencies?) Anglimala expected to easily overtake the Buddha and quickly finish the job but then a very strange thing happened. Even though the Buddha was only walking, serene and unhurried, Angulimala, despite his formidable strength and speed, found he couldn't catch up with the former. Eventually, exhausted, angry, frustrated and soaked with sweat, Angulimala screamed at the Buddha to stop. Then the Buddha turned and with neither anger nor fear, speaking quietly and directly, told Angulimala that the Buddha had already stopped. That the Buddha had stopped harming and now it was time for him, Angulimala, to do likewise. Angulimala is said to have been so influenced by these words that there and then he stopped; he threw away his weapons and followed the Buddha back to the monastery where he became his disciple. (It is perhaps a story about spiritual healing, spiritual transformation. However, human right-hand little fingers [also] bring to mind the story about Krsna lifting the Govardhana Hill on the little finger of the left hand. Besides, Angulamala is probably another manifestation of the eternal adversary representing fixed mindset (SheshaNaga?). Therefore, there is an innate ability to change the set way of thinking and behaviour. An inability [perhaps refusal] to change for the better: to learn, unlearn, adapt and evolve.) The Buddha walking, serene and unhurried: the Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama or Gautama Shakyamuni) is part of the Dasavataar (the ninth avatar of Vishnu). Vikram means: one who is wise, diligent, brave and strong as well as victorious. The Sanskrit word -kram is a root word meaning 'step or stride', so the name Vikram can be understood to mean Vishnu's stride in itself, or as a name which reflects the qualities of Vishnu's stride. Vishnuh = Long-striding (as with vigour). In Vedic texts, Vishnu's stride is said to be over the earth, the sky, and the all-pervading omnipresent essence of the Universe (Brhmaanda/Brahmaanda - the totality of everything, the cosmic 'egg' - since the universe is elliptical in shape. (Aanda = egg, elliptical, having the shape of an ellipse). On a side note: what could the Easter egg represent?)

Angulimala attacking the Buddha.

Ravana (Rāmachandra, Shesha) slicing off Jatayu's wings. (Jatayu, the noble vulture = Sita/Sri Rama). Abusive? Domineering? Attempted to limit the limitless (ananta)? Straitjacketing?


The earth opening up and accepting Sita into her lap: Could it be indicative of some sort of burial ceremony? (That would mean funeral pyre came about later, so as to be able to use land for other purposes). Krsna lifting the Govardhana Hill on the little finger of the left hand: implying achievement of a seemingly unachievable task, or is there some puzzle involved? Buried alive? Resurrection?

The word dolmen has a confused history. A dolmen, also known as a portal tomb, portal grave or quoit, is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones (megaliths) supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BC). Dolmens were usually covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow. In many instances, that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone "skeleton" of the burial mound intact. (Usually, dolmens were covered with earth to create a burial mound. Sometimes bodies were placed in the dolmen with artifacts; other times, the dolmens were places of cremation. It remains unclear when, why, and by whom the earliest dolmens were made. Archaeologists still do not know who erected these dolmens, which makes it difficult to know why they did it. Found in many parts of the world, the numerous still standing dolmens provide an opportunity to understand the values and beliefs of those who lived long ago. Their widespread appearance attests to a certain universality in human nature, particularly with regard to death and burial. They are evidence that even early cultures had the desire and ability to transfer/carry and place these enormous stones. The treatment of the dead is among the most significant aspects of ancient culture that archaeology studies. Requiring great planning, coordination, and collaboration, dolmens are understood as burial markers for leaders and those of significance/importance in the society. Additionally, they served as places of ritual and worship, with many still containing funerary artefacts that indicate belief in the afterlife. While nowhere as complex as catacombs and later tombs, dolmens represent a large amount of thought and effort was put into treatment of the dead.) They are generally regarded as tombs or burial chambers, despite the absence of clear evidence for this. (What could the Stonehenge be about? The Intihuatana stone at Machu Picchu? The word Intihuatana derives from the Quechua word for sun, inti, and the verb to tie, hata. The Intihuatana was thus termed because the Incas are said to have "tied" the sun to a hitching post during sunrise on the solstice to stop it from going any further away. Machu Picchu's is the only Intihuatana to survive in its original state. Archaeologists believe that it was used for making astronomical observations and calculating the passing of time. Could dolmen be considered equivalent to what the ancients termed samadhi? Govardhana Parvat could be allegory for dolmen?) Human remains, sometimes accompanied by artefacts, have been found in or close to the dolmens, which could be scientifically dated. (Can the Buddhist Stupa be regarded as a type of Dolmen?) However, it has been impossible to prove that these archaeological remains date from the time when the stones were originally set in place.

Krsna is a woman. Radha is a man. Krsna (also known as Draupadi and Panchali) and Sita (Sri Rama) are one and the same. Sita/Krsna's circumstances and purpose is different. (Superficial or inane interpretation is [therefore] best eschewed). Sampaati (of the Ramayana) = Shakuni (of the Mahabharata)? Jatayu and Sampaati - brothers? Yashoda = Radha = Arjuna? The ideal spouse or spousal equivalent or beau of the [highest] Avatar, the Eternal Divine in human form? Being protective = to be a caring spouse: to show concern, to be attentive, understanding, dedicated; affectionate and adoring, to cherish etc. They were on the same wavelength, thus perfect synthesis? Twin souls, two halves of the same consciousness? (There can be many soul mates but only one twin soul.) To be under one's thumb: a man who is happiest when wrapped around the finger of his beloved wife? A relationship where the husband willingly and happily surrenders to the woman he loves and trusts? He is happiest that way? There is no ego or negativity involved? ... It's a small wonder then that Maganlal did not choose Feluda. Maganlal chose Jatayu.)

There is nothing to suggest that Krsna married Radha. However, in the Vaisnava tradition, theirs is a spiritual union (vivaah). Such a union is considered to be the highest form of marriage.

Jatayu's green colour mark II Ambassador car. The 8th avatar (the Krsna-avatar) and the 10th avatar (the Kalkiḥ-avatar) of the Dasavataar are synonyms. 

(Kalkiḥ, also referred to as Kalkin and Kalaki, is often a metaphor for "Time" ("Eternity" or Ananta, implying endless, infinite, imperishable). BG 10.33: || aham evākṣayaḥ kālo || ~ "I am also inexhaustible time" = the endlessness of cosmic time. (Time is Kaalah, in Sanskrit). Here, time is in the context of re-energising or invigoration (the creator/initiator of a new epoch, a new Maha-yug). Another etymology [for "Kalkiḥ"] from Sanskrit is 'white horse', possibly implying Hayaśirṣa, the Hayagreeva-avatar, the horse-headed Vishnu. Horse-faced. (Haya = horse; greeva = jaw; sirsa = head). Kalkiḥ also means, dispeller of ignorance.)  The changeover from one Maha-yug (epoch) to another becomes possible by the coming of the Maha-avatar, the yugavatar.

Unicorn, the one-horned (eka-shringa) horse - imagery for rarity or uniqueness. Hayagreeva-avatar.

One of the only two Kalkiḥ temples in the country is in Jaipur. Sawai Jai Singh, the founder king of Jaipur, built the temple around 1727 AD at the time of founding the city. Of scholarly inclinations, Jai Singh was a keen student of Vedic texts. The Kalkiḥ temple is situated right opposite the eastern entrance to the city palace, which opens into the Sireh Deori bazaar, famous for its Hawa Mahal, the palace of winds. Its important location is indicative of the temple's significance for Jai Singh. However, instead of opening directly into the street, the temple was set behind the street facades of impressive structures. Only the temple top is seen rising into the sky from the street-scape. Facing the temple in one corner is a canopied kiosk, which contains a fine white marble statue of a horse. Constructed in stone, the Kalkiḥ temple conforms to the typical style of the North Indian Temple Architecture. However, there is one architectural feature in the Kalkiḥ temple that is unique. It is the presence of two shikhars or temple tops instead of the usual one. But the temple itself is closed; it has been closed ever since it was built. (It is periodically opened for cleaning purposes, though). Otherwise, the Kalkiḥ temple has a deserted look. No devotees. No prayers. No temple bells. 

Chapter ten of the Bhagavad Gita is [very likely] about the avatar of the future, the Kalkiḥ-avatar. (Avatar means manifestation in human form. The avatar is of course likely to have a human identity. The avatar's appearance is akin to a look-see visit (to familiarise, to introduce oneself: to put a face (and voice) to the myriad honorifics, iconographic depictions etc). The avatar simply casts off the physical body [deha visarjan] before disappearing. Thus, no prefix or suffix is used.)

From what can be gathered about this avatar (from the Bhagavad Gita, the Kalkiḥ Purana etc) - [the wives of Lord Kalkiḥ] is mentioned as Padmavati and Ramaa. Two spouses? Two aspects or two phases? There is also a parrot named Shuka.

The Vedas describe time in a cycle of four ages (phases) or yug. Thus, a Maha-Yug or Chatur-Yug (epoch or time-cycle of four phases) can be explained through the imagery of a fresh bloom/flower, kali.

'Ebar Fuler Prafulla-roop Esho': link. 

'Pratham Juger Udayadigangane': link. 

'Jokhon Eshechhile': link.

Sita (Sri Rama)-Maharshi Valmiki. Krsna-Maharshi Veda Vyasa. Kalkiḥ-Gurudev Tagore?

This avatar [manifestation in human form] is a leela-avatar and the twenty-second avatar [manifestation, representation] of Maha Vishnu (Brahmn Unmanifest, Professor Shanku? Lord Brahma?). Like all avatars, the portraiture of the Kalkiḥ-avatar too is imbued with symbolic connotations. dhUmakEtum iva kimapi karALam: This avatar will be indescribable (kimapi) and comet-like (an indescribably brilliant comet = allusion to intellectual brilliance, Highest or Supreme Enlightenment [symbolised by the allegoric "halo"], the final state of Kundalini energy = the exceptionally lustrous Syamantaka mani? Seemanto-Heera of the Byomkesh Bakshi titles?) Is Syamantaka mani a reference to Jyotirlingam? Is Jyotirlingam = Maanikya (Gem of the Sun)? Is the legendary Koh-i-Noor also an allusion to Maanikya?

BG 10.21 || jyotisam ravir amsuman || ~ "Of lights [effulgence, luminaries] I am the radiant sun" = Maanikya (Gem of the Sun) = Syamantaka mani = Jyotirlingam = personification or embodiment of the Sun (implying Supreme or Highest Enlightenment and positive aspects - symbolised by the allegoric "halo"). It could also be a reference to the Summer Solstice, a day having the longest period of daylight. (Maanikya, Gem of the Sun, is associated with concentration of mind and lustrous skin, intellectual capabilities, self-respect, courage, confidence, optimism and writing and speaking powers. It is also associated with leadership qualities. Ruby or 'Maanik' is called 'Suryamani' in Sanskrit. Also known as: Padmaraga, Red-lotus colour gem, Shona-Ratna, Red jewel, Ravi-Ratna, Gem of the sun.) 

In the final state of the Kundalini 'Fire' - when kundalini passes through the top of the head, at the fontanel area, when the kundalini reaches the Sahasrara (the 7th chakra or crown chakra - the highest chakra) it [allegorically] shines forth like a diamond disc (diamond chakra) signifying rare intellect or intellectual brilliance. BG 10.23: || meruḥ śikhariṇām aham || ~ "of mountains I am Meru" or "I am the very pinnacle of Meru" = the final state of Kundalini 'Fire' (implying Syamantaka mani or Jyotirlingam).

Koh = mountain. Noor = light. Is this mountain an allusion to Mt. Meru? (The Koh-i-Noor is an oval cut white diamond, the shape and size of a small hen's egg.)

BG 10.29: || anantas casmi naganam || ~ "Of the Nagas I am Ananta."

Mere humans are Manava. Naga is a reference to evolved souls, enlightened beings (also known by the honorific "Deva") - possibly on the basis of their kundalini energy or power of kundalini. (In the sacrum bone (a large, triangular bone) at the base of the spine there exists a subtle and dormant coil of spiritual energy known as the kundalini. Kunda = to coil or to spiral, thus the epithet "naga".)

The exceptionally lustrous Syamantaka mani = Jyotirlingam = Koh-i-Noor = Easter Egg = Feluda's Gyanpeeth = the thousand-headed AnantaNaga? The vast unfathomable reservoir of timeless wisdom, knowledge, inspiration and consciousness?

Devadutta (the white winged horse) is the 'vaahan'. The avatar is depicted holding an effulgent comet-like sword known as Ratna Maru. (In Tagore's words: Jakhan aanen tamohaari aalok-tarabari). It signifies light (intellectual and spiritual invigoration), to dispel the 'fog' (tamas) of ignorance, ennui, indifference, confusion etc of the last phase of Kaliyuga (the ghor Kaliyug phase, the 'lowest phase' of all yugs, thus euphemistically referred to as the 'Iron Age of ignorance/confusion/stagnation'). It is also the symbolic 'sword' of destiny: of hope, opportunity and renewal. 

Avatars are unlikely to carry equipment per se. Therefore, the dazzling (comet-like) sword of Kalkiḥ (known as Ratna Maru) could be a reference to Vajrapāṇi. BG 10.28: || ayudhanam aham vajram || ~ "Of instruments (a tool or implement used to facilitate, a means by which something is done, to accomplish a purpose) I am the thunderbolt (vajram, euphemism for diamond gemstone)."

... To stir, awaken and elevate the thinking process and the slumbering consciousness to that of an enlightened mind and a higher/enlightened consciousness, so as to dispel the allegoric 'fog' of ignorance, ennui, indifference, retrograde mindset or obsolete aspects, confusion, cynicism, despondency, selfish aspects etc (of the ghor kaliyug phase) - to (metaphorically speaking) re-create humankind through intellectual energy (re-energisation, invigoration of the mind) leading to fresh thinking/approach (so that the metaphoric 'Golden Age' - Sat/Satya/Krita Yug can emerge). The growth of the mind (and the individual), regeneration [re-imbibing] of dharmic values and ideals, will also have a positive influence on societal aspects (values etc)... since mindset, thinking process (cognitive aspects) and the resultant values and behaviour influence society. The beliefs (perceptions, presumptions, perspectives, cultural norms etc) of a people shape (or greatly affect) societal values (the assumptions, beliefs or principles that influence people's decision-making and actions in society).

Ancient India was a knowledge hub. Knowledge is at the very core of a nation, around which pulsate its other multifarious activities and achievements. (Jyotirlingam = intellectual energy: an enlightened mind (knowledge, wisdom, common sense/good judgment, sagacity, discernment, or insight). Wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight, with good intentions – for the larger good, for the betterment of society.

Diamond Gemstone or Heera: The diamond reflects the colours of the rainbow, symbolising hope and optimism. (Rainbow is called Meghdhanush, Ramdhanu or Indra-dhanuSha in Sanskrit). Diamond is associated with brain, stamina, and health. The significance of diamond or heera could be measured in terms of its hardness and luster, transparency and luminosity, pleasant appearance. Diamond helps an individual get to the essence of things, insight, and lack of illusion. Also known as (in Sanskrit): Vajra, Lightning bolt or thunderbolt, Hiraka, Diamond, Bhargava-priya, Beloved of Venus.

The twin unicorn seal of the Indus-SarasvatI Civilisation (featuring twin unicorns and nine peepal leaves) is very interesting. Navaratna or Nauratan (Sanskrit nava-ratna or "nine gems") is a term applied to a group of nine extraordinary people in an emperor's court in ancient India. Nine Peepal leaves: the Peepal (ashvattha, Bodhivriksha - the Bodhi tree, the 'Tree of Enlightenment', the Tree of Creation, the Transpersonal World Tree) is a Kalpa-Vriksha (sacred tree). This sacred tree stands for wisdom, knowledge, enlightenment, happiness, prosperity, peace, etc. Every Peepal tree is a reservoir of oxygen. Nine Peepal leaves: denoting the fabled Navaratna, Ratna-Manikam (gems)? The glyphs include a spear or [perhaps] arrowhead, a fish-shaped glyph [implying matsya-avatar?] and a wheel (chakra, wheel of time - the pinnacle of Buddhist wisdom and/or the Buddhist Dharma-chakra gracing our national flag?). The twin unicorn = the twin Ashvins or Vishnu-Krsna? The pictorial showing twin unicorns beneath the Ashvattha (horse protector/where horses stood/sheltered? healing?) tree may be protective (implying healing aspects: Vaidyanatha, the Buddha of Medicine?) and unassociated with the glyphs. The trunk resembles the arrow sign. Asva+Ni? Rudra-Shiva? Bhairava - also called kshetra pAla - the guardian deity of the abode of Shiva (Shambhala, possibly Kailash)? Shambhu Nath - the guardian/monarch of Shambhala? Kailashpati? PasupatiNath? One can tell it's a peepal (horse protector/where horses stood/sheltered? healing?) tree by the heart-shaped leaves. Some other seals show a figure standing inside the arch of a hollow peepal tree.

Vaishajaguru - the Buddha of Medicine, the healer who awakens the minds through the light of his lapis lazuli, and who heals by helping to overcome coarsely materialistic behaviourism or tendencies, antagonism and ignorance - which are the source of much of the negativism (allegoric negative energy in the hearts and minds of humankind)? Vaiṣajyaguru: the Buddha of healing and medicine, depicted as one of the trinity of Buddhas, the others being the founder Śākyamuni (Siddhartha Gautama) and Amitabha (the Eternal Buddha). Also described by his aura of lapis lazuli-coloured light. (Neelkanth analogy? The 'blue-throated one'?) Vaishajaguru can also be considered as the healing aspect of Shakyamuni Buddha, as he is often called the Medicine Buddha, the Supreme Healer. (Reminiscent of Vaidyanatha, an honorific associated with Shiva, the dispeller of negativity/negative aspects?) Vaishajaguru cures suffering using the medicine of his teachings: To awaken the minds of sentient beings through his light of lapis lazuli; to correct retrograde thinking or obsolete views and inspire beings toward the path of the Bodhisattva ("Buddha-to-be"); to help heal mental afflictions (illusions, delusions). Vaishajaguru helps overcome the inner sickness of coarse material attachment, antagonism, prejudices and ignorance (unenlightened, vacuous mind) - so as to be able to overcome one's negative karma (which is the outcome of [allegoric] negative energy in the hearts and minds). 

Is the light of Vaishajaguru's lapis lazuli a reference to the Shyamantaka Blue Sapphire? (Not to be confused with the Syamantaka mani, Koh-i-Noor or Maanikya - the gem of the Sun, [very likely] a reference to the highest Avatar.) Blue Sapphire Gemstone: Blue sapphire or Neelam is the gemstone meant for Saturn (Shani, Sanskrit: Śhani). Shani literally means the "slow-moving-one". The word shani comes from Śanayē Kramati Saḥ; the one who moves slowly, because Saturn takes about 30 years to revolve around the Sun. According to mythology, Shani oversees the "dungeons of the human heart and the negativity that lurks there." Shani is a deva and son of Chhaya (silhouette, kayaheen?) and Surya, thus he is also known as Saura (son of sun-god); he is also regarded as one who removes obstacles as well as an avatar of Shiva. Shani Dev is considered to be a Good Teacher (Shanecharaya) who represents patience, effort, endeavour and endurance and even brings misfortunes (appropriate retribution - due to one's karma). Shani gives humankind the results of one's actions through appropriate/proportionate punishments (retributive justice, an acceptable response to negative karma) and rewards. He is known as the greatest teacher and well-wisher for the dharmic (those who follow dharmic principles, values and ideals) as well as the greatest punisher for those who follow the path of negativity and unjust actions. Sani or Saturn represents wisdom, integrity [strong morals/moral values], longevity, discipline, authority, ambition, leadership; affluence, contentment, glory, perfection; spiritual achievement through humility; denial, delays, difficulties, adversity; conservatism (no extravagance of rhetoric, not profligate/intemperate/wasteful/immoderate? timeless, classic - best of both worlds?) and dutifulness (responsible, adherence to kartavya: highest human qualities). Its role is often symbolised as that of an assistant (someone who helps or assists, a helping hand). Its influence is often seen as restrictive or obstructive yet its influence also seeks to bring balance. Neelam could spur a person towards greats heights [achievements, fame, highest encomiums] and could also desert him or her [propel into oblivion]. Sanskrit names: Neelam, Blue sapphire, Neela-mani, Blue jewel, Indra-neelam, Royal blue gem, Sani-ratna, Saturn's gem. (Devaguru Brihaspati-Shukracharya-Shanecharaya: is it a triad, a triangle? Adrishyo Trikon of the Byomkesh Bakshi stories?)

Lord Dhanvantari is associated with Ayurveda and considered one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. According to the samudra-manthan stories, Lord Dhanvantari emerged holding the vessel of celestial ambrosia (piyush - signifying invigoration, re-energisation, optimism, positive aspects, etc.) 

The Kalkiḥ-avatar is referred to as Brahmanasya (possibly implying erudition and wisdom, Supreme or Highest Enlightenment?), Mahatmanah (higher soul or great soul, Purusha-uttama or Higher Self - the best of all beings) and jagat-patih (Cosmic Ruler and Cosmic Teacher, Lord of Creation). The appearance will be at the conjunction [cusp] of two Maha-Yug (ghor kaliyug phase of one time-cycle [epoch] and Sat/Satya/Krita Yug of the next time-cycle). A Maha-Yug (epoch) or Chatur-Yug = a time-cycle consisting of four phases (which indicate/represent the intellectual and spiritual growth and evolution of humankind).

This avatar is the dispeller of the negative aspects (lethargy, indifference, retrograde, obsolete or selfish aspects etc) of the ghor Kaliyug phase and is [therefore] the harbinger of hope, optimism and progress - Sat/Satya/Krita Yug - the metaphoric 'Golden Age' of progress, optimism, intellectual and spiritual invigoration etc. And so, a steady roll back of the myriad negativism/retrogressive aspects etc of the ghor kaliyug phase (euphemistically also known as the 'Iron Age of ignorance/confusion/stagnation') is likely. It implies: a turn around, a complete renaissance.  

Krishna-consciousness emerges in the heart, while Kalkiḥ-consciousness emerges in the mind (manas). Intellectual stimulation, intellectual energy is [therefore] required – to 'awaken' kundalini shakti (to, in a manner of speaking, enliven the mind).

A rare seal: square seal with animal whose multiple-heads include three important totemic animals: the bull, the unicorn, the antelope. All three animals are seen individually on other seals along with glyphs, but this seal has no glyph.

The Bull (Vṛṣabha): imagery for dharma, strength, wealth and prosperity. In Sanaatan Dharmic thought, Dharma (dharmic ideals, humanistic values, social commitment, social conscience, empathy, lack of excessive selfish considerations/narrow individualism, adherence to one's karm-yog for the larger good, etc) is symbolised by the Bull (Vṛṣabha). Dharma is a set of values and ideals, individual and vis-à-vis society. It is a set of values, principles, qualities etc that not only help in self-improvement (self-fulfillment - to be a better human being, Self-Actualisation); it is also vital for the betterment of society, for the benefit of the country. (Dharma is not to be construed as utopian/impossible ideals or textbook moralism). 

A zebu (Zebu Bull or Brahma Bull) sometimes known as humped cattle or Brahman is a type of domestic cattle originating in South Asia. They are characterised by a hump on their shoulders, drooping ears and a large dewlap. Zebu is well adapted to withstanding high temperatures. In India it is considered as the contemporary representation of Nandi (Nandin or Nandikesvara, the divine bull/Vṛṣabha). If yoked to a plough a zebu can help reap a rich harvest, and thereby make one prosperous.

The Unicorn (eka-shringa or one-horned horse): imagery for rarity or uniqueness. Hayasirsa or Hayagreeva-avatar? Horse-headed Vishnu?

Antelope: deer, imagery for "destiny". Implying Bhagya-Vidhata?

Satyajit Ray's "Hirak Rajar Deshe" [lit. "In the Land of the Diamond King" or "The Kingdom of Diamonds"] is very interesting. Rather, Hirak Rajar Deshe brilliantly conveys the essence of Tagore's "Where the mind is without fear [...]" Jantarmantar Ghaar, magajdholai (brainwashing, straitjacketing of the mind) etc is a reference to intellectual inactivity/regimentation [thought control] and [resultant] ennui and stagnation that invariably results in a civilisational decline (the proverbial quagmire, since the quality of humankind declines). The absence of a reading culture, or a simplistic [superficial] understanding of ideas, concepts, events etc are counterproductive. It only helps to perpetuate obsolete or unessential aspects. Such an attitude is the biggest impediment to positive change of mindset (perspectives, thought process) and behavioural aspects (and thereby social evolution). Fresh thinking/perspectives/approach is helpful, and therefore intellectual stimulation (intellectual energy) is paramount. Regurgitation is unhelpful. Knowledge and wisdom is like a clear perennial stream, whereas intellectual inactivity (ennui, stagnation) or mere regurgitation can only turn this clear stream into a stagnant pond. ... The clear stream of reason (knowledge, imaginativeness, critical thinking, fresh approach, scientific temper etc) turning into a stagnant pond = decline of a people, [and thereby] of a civilisation. It commences with intellectual inactivity/stagnation, straitjacketing of the mind. Intellectual stagnation = obverse of a curious, thinking mind. (Mind = manas). Intellectual inactivity/lethargy = a dull mind = inability to cogitate, to think clearly or cogently. Inability to do critical thinking = inability to comprehend or ideate = inability to absorb ideas quickly = intellectual shallowness and intellectual obstinacy = lack of fresh approach/perspectives = an overwhelming precedence of cynical, simplistic [superficial], unthinking or specious discourses, small-mindedness, selfish individualism, and so forth = an accumulation of unessential, obsolete or retrogressive aspects = the beginning of the decline of a culture and of a people.

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are considered great epics, literary masterpieces, and/or events that [probably] happened in the distant past (pre-historic etc). However, could the events associated with the highest Avatar (the maha-avatar, the Eternal Divine in human form) be considered as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata? That would mean these are eternal, and [therefore] it is not possible to date the divine. Are the Buddha and Chanakya one and the same? Do their narratives converge? Can the events associated with them [also] be considered as the Ramayana and/or the Mahabharata? What about Jesus and Mary? Equivalent to Radha and Krsna? (Goddess Kalika is also called Mariamma. Jishnu is a reference to Arjuna. It means, the irrepressible one. What is the etymology of Jesus? Christ is also pronounced as Kristu. Jesus is also Yesu or Jishu. Could Yashoda be a variant of Yasodharā or Yashodhara? Yasodharā or Yashodhara to Yashu, eventually to Yesu etc?) Do the narratives involving the Buddha, Chanakya, Jesus and Mary converge? How did Jesus and Mary become anglicized or Europeanised? Something to do with the Portuguese? Or something to do with the 'rejection' of the Buddha-avatar? Or something to do with the Roma people whose ancestors migrated to Europe from areas that are part of the Harappa region (the upper Indus region)? Is Roma a variant of Rama? Where is the real Ayodhya? (Ayodhya has evolved from Ayudhya. It means, Invincible City).

BG 10.31: || pavanah pavatam asmi rāmaḥ śastra-bhṛtām aham || ~ "Of harbingers of positivity I am the wind (pavana: a breath of fresh air, like a healing zephyr) and among the warriors, I am Rama" ~ i.e. "warrior" against negativity (proverbial negative energy) in the hearts and minds of humankind viz., retrograde or obsolete mindset, intellectual ennui, indifference, ignorance, vainglory, arrogance/conceit, torpor, selfish aspects, pessimism (despondency, hopelessness), prejudices, and the like. 'Of purifiers (to de-clutter) I am the wind (pavana)' = a breath of fresh air (like a healing zephyr ) = dispeller of negative energy, and harbinger of positivity. (Agnipariksha is allegoric. It should be agnipath instead, implying difficult challenges or seemingly insurmountable odds.)

If the avatar of the future were to be Rama, then can the events etc be termed Ramayana? If the Kalkiḥ-avatar is also Maitreya Buddha then Bodhisattvas Vajrapani and Avalokiteshvara (Padmapani, "Holder of the Lotus") are likely? If Maanikya (Gem of the Sun) appears, Kaustubha-mani (Guru-Ratna, refer Part-II) is likely? If the Kalkiḥ-avatar (the 10th maha-avatar of Vishnu) is also the second coming of Christ, then Jesus and Joseph are likely? Vasuki and Shesha? Arjuna (Yashoda, Bheeshma, Radha, Sampaati, Nandi, etc) and Karna (Ramachandra aka Ravana/Kumbhakarna/Vibhisana, Shishupala, Angulimala, Andhaka/Bhringi, Pandu, Mahisasura, etc)? So, the leela could consist of a combination of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, Crucifixion, etc (if the situations, circumstances were to be similar)? It could [therefore] provide clarity and [thereby] also the opportunity to correct the subjective aspects in the narratives (of the epics and other stories)? And, if this avatar were to [also] be an all-encompassing avatar (manifestation), then de-religionisation is likely? In the sense that rigidity, prejudices, obsolete and retrograde aspects, monopolisation of the divine, and clout of religionistas etc is likely to be curbed? And the realisation that the whole of humankind prays to the same Eternal Divine is likely to come about? A veritable prayaga (yoga or confluence of all of humankind)? Therefore: sAmya or śamaḥ (inclusiveness, integration, assimilation, cohesion), mayitree (camaraderie), aikya (commonalities, shared civilisational values), collective pragati (progress, broadening of the thinking proces, open-mindedness) and shantih (peace, co-existence)? (In the words of Tagore, 'Borisho dhara-majhe shantiro baari': link.) 

The Ramayana can also be termed 'Sitayana' (SitaAyaNa or Sitaayanā - Sita's Way or The Way of Sita). She is the principal character, without her there is no Ramayana or Rama-avatar. (Sita is her human identity). The Ramayana is not a victimhood narrative, and Sita is not the groveling shriveling character she has been turned into. The one who is SarasvatI is also Sita is also Krsna is also the Pancha-kanya, so on and so forth. (Ayan (Sanskrit: AyaNa or ayanā) means movement towards or "way". It is associated with the travel of the sun, solstice or equinox. AyaNa or ayanā can also mean belonging to the solstice.)

Both the epics is very interestingly and imaginatively written, with numerous metaphors, allegory, imagery, wisdom, philosophy, patterns of behaviour, human excellence, human traits, thought-provoking insights (into events, human nature, societal aspects et al), life lessons, art and literature, politics, economics, endeavours, values and ideals, anecdotes, etc and also as a repository of traits worth emulating - seamlessly woven into the narrative. Maybe our understanding and interpretation of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata is largely influenced by the interpretations, including vernacular versions and folk renderings - both verbal and visual - that came about (possibly) after the decline of the Gupta era. There was stratification of society along various aspects, including on gender lines; the status of women suffered a considerable decline (possibly through a readjustment of the epics, and also due to the views and ideals preached in the later Smritis'), and so on. The interpretations were therefore (very likely) social critiques and/or the outcome of the thought process, perspectives and mindset of various translators, interpreters, commentators, dramatists, musicians, poets et al - who (in all likelihood) reflected the social milieu (societal aspects, mindset/values) of the times. Much of it was also meant for stage plays, folk theatre etc. We have, somehow, persisted with those translations, perspective, approach and interpretations.

Ketaksha or Katas (across the salt range) is also believed to have been Ayudhya. (Ayudhya probably became Ayodhya due to changing phonetics.) Ayudhya = invincible, unconquerable or eternal. "Ayudhya" comes from the root word "yudh" meaning "not to be fought". There is an Ayutha and Dvaravati in Thailand too. Ancient Ayutha or Ayutthaya - the former capital of Thailand - apparently rose from the earlier, nearby kingdoms of Lavo and Suphannaphoom (Suvarnabhumi). The seaport city of Ayothaya is Ayothaya Si Raam Thep Nakhon - the Angelic City of Sri Rama. The new city was known as Ayothaya, or Krung Thep Dvaravadi Si Ayothaya. Later it became widely known as Ayutthaya, the Invincible City. It is believed that this city is associated with the Thai national epic Ramakien, which is a southeastern version of the Ramayana. Dvaravati was part of the Mon kingdom - and refers to both a culture and a conglomerate of ancient city-states or principalities in the lower plain (riverine region) of the Chao Phraya river. The term Dvaravati derives from coins which were inscribed in Sanskrit with śrī dvāravatī. The Sanskrit word dvāravatī means "she with many gates" (from dvar "door gate"). It is probably derived from the city of Dvāraka (Dvarka). Dvārakā (also known as Dvaravati, city with many doors/gates). Gateway? Haridvar? Universal, for all of humankind?

The iconic song from Charulata (Satyajit Ray's adaptation of Tagore's NastaNir). Soumitra Chattopadhyay perfectly cast as the young Tagore. But what could the picture represent? And Soumitra's hand gestures? Reminiscent of Krishna Radha Raas Leela Dance? There's also a bit of Ring a ring a roses (children's rhyme). Aami otithi tomaari dvarey. What could this imply?

Kadambari was Tagore's sister-in-law. But Kadambari is also a reference to SarasvatI.     

(Bharata's devotion to and love for Rama was unparalleled. He [therefore] agreed to govern Ayodhya, not as its ruler, but as Rama's representative. Thus, Bharata placed Rama's sandals (padukas) at the foot of the royal throne, and neither sat upon the throne nor crowned himself. Bharata's rule was dharmic, implying Rama-Rajya?)

SarasvatI is the deity of knowledge, wisdom, literature, creativity, music, arts, culture and eloquence. And since worshipping her is directly proportional to increase in marks in various academic tests, students take her quite seriously. SarasvatI Puja has a different charm altogether for a number of reasons. However, there are two main reasons for SarasvatI Puja being a much celebrated, anticipated day. Firstly, one needs to keep all books (especially those of difficult, uninteresting subjects) next to the goddess, so that she could bless them (books, exercise notebooks etc) in her spare time. This essentially meant one entire day of simply no studies. And who needs a better reason to keep aside books for one whole day and have fun?! It is an exhilarating feeling, indeed. Besides, on this day even parents are benevolent enough to allow one to gallivant – visiting pandals/thakur, admiring the decorations, and enjoying bhog - to one's heart's content.

(Culture = refinement of thought. To be well-read, to be learned/knowledgeable and open-minded/progressive. To have an appreciation of good literature, music, art, etc. To cultivate the intellectual and moral ability [especially by knowledge.] Eloquence = fine speech; fluent, elegant or persuasive speaking, vāk. It is essentially the ability to express oneself in appropriate language. The term is also used for writing in a fluent style. The ability to understand the language in such a way that one uses a graceful style along with the ability of persuade. To be able to present gracefully, combine thought and reason in a manner so as to persuade others to a point of view. The use of graceful style, clear concise grammar and usage, and over time, the insertion of rational arguments.) 

SarasvatI is also the personification of the sacred river (knowledge stream, repository of knowledge and wisdom). Feluda's Gyanpeeth. The presiding deity of the celebrated Sindhu-SarasvatI Civilisation (which was [very likely] part of the much larger Rama Civilisation that encompassed myriad cultures, ways of life, languages, people and so on. And yet, there were commonalities, shared aspects.) SarasvatI is Sita. SarasvatI is Vishnu (the Mohini-avatar, essentially the personification of nature/dharitri).


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