Friday, March 20, 2015

My Rainbow - seven riveting short stories | Fate by Isha Setia. (Part-III contd.)

Character cannot be acquired. A change of circumstances will not repair character flaws (shortcomings, deficiencies). The intrinsic (innate) personality traits of an individual are merely the reflection of the personality of the soul (the Self, sva - Me, Myself, I; the physical form is merely the vessel). ... Positive pride [confidence and belief in oneself] is not the same as negative ego or vainglory. Positive pride is good to have. It can motivate. However, when one refuses to open the mind to new ideas or refuses to take appropriate action because one is accustomed to a set way of thinking or behavioural aspects, and does not want to change or mend one's ways, that is negative pride. The refusal to do the right thing out of "pride" [arrogance, vainglory, conceit, delusion] can be detrimental to oneself and others. Similarly, positive greed can help accomplish great things. Selfish avarice is different, though. Self-respect should not be misconstrued as self-righteousness, dharmic or sattvic ideals/values are different from (rigid, obsolete, regressive) ideology, sustained (continuous and sincere) effort is not the same as platitudes, half-measures, quick-fix or ad-hoc fixes. The story of Trishanku elucidates this.

"Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value." – Albert Einstein.

Trishanku lacked the character, patience, clarity of purpose and plan of action, foresight, self-belief/self-motivation and capacity for longer-term effort, and instead sought instant success. (Tri = three. So Trishanku could imply three persons. Trishanku = The Ignoble Three? Could it be Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhisana? ... Ravana, given his malevolence, could be all three: Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhisana. However, Jaya and Vijaya were reborn [reincarnated] as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu, Ravana and Kumbhakarna, and Sishupala and Dantavakra. The sobriquet Vibhishana implies a snake in the grass, aastin ka snaap, it is a metaphor for treachery; it implies a sneaky, untrustworthy person. ... Ravana, Vibhisana and Kumbhakarna could also be a metaphor - for an unholy/ignoble triumvirate. When tamasic aspects increases considerably, people are unable to think logically (reasonably, clarity of thought), and are [therefore] unable to differentiate between positive/progressive persons and unpleasant/malevolent persons. Ravana, Vibhisana and Kumbhakarna could [therefore] symbolise charlatans or false prophets.)

Trishanku is commonly referred to through mention of "Trishanku's heaven". The word Trishanku has come to denote a middle-ground or limbo between one's goals or aspirations and one's current circumstances and abilities. The term "Trishanku’s heaven" is used to denote a compromise [in a narrow sense].  

The story of Trishanku: Trishanku, once a very handsome and proud King, had an exaggerated self-image (the mental image one has of oneself, or of one's role, including an assessment of qualities etc), so much so that his aspirations were not commensurate with his abilities and efforts. Due to Indra's resistance Trishanku not only lost his good looks (which took away his royal stature) but was also suspended mid-air upside-down. Thus, Trishanku ruled his own heaven, known as "Trishanku's heaven" - a universe that is born of [self-serving] compromise. (Without adequate effort (which also requires patience, wisdom, character, dedication/determination/stamina, astuteness/foresight, longer-term thinking, temperament and abilities), attempting to create or achieve something durable or commendable is futile. Boastfulness or vainglory (verbiage, self-glorification or self-admiration) or ad-hoc fixes is no substitute for well-thought-out and longer-term effort, karm-yoga. An inordinate amount of selfish ambition, self-centred attitude, small-mindedness, intense desire for aggrandisement, materialistic sense gratification or instant gratification, instead of longer-term effort with forethought [and subsequent benefit/outcome/solution] diminishes (disgraces - to indignify or humiliate) a person. It is [eventually] self-defeating.)

Despite his aspirations not being commensurate with his abilities and endeavours, Trishanku went to Brahmarshi Vashista and begged him to create for him (Trishanku) a special mountain. It was his desire. Vashista declined and also tried to dissuade him. Trishanku felt miserable. He left his kingdom on foot to look for another Master who would be kind enough to acquiesce. (Maharshi or Brahmarshi = honorific. Brahmarshi = the highest ṛṣI; ṛṣI = honorific for enlightened and wise persons). Thereafter, Trishanku approached Brahmarshi Vishvamitra and narrated his tale... imploring him for help. Vishvamitra and Vashishtha were antagonistic contrast to each other. And so, Vishvamitra was very kind to Trishanku when he heard his story. He also agreed to use all his spiritual powers to help him reach his goal, but did not want to use his powers in transforming Trishanku's face once again. ... Vishvamitra used his powers, Trishanku began to gain what he wanted, but Indra began to resist. (Indra = honorific for king of the deva-s). The powers of Vishvamitra and Indra nullified each other and [thus] Trishanku was left suspended in the middle - neither following the laws of earth nor those of heaven. The furious Vishvamitra would not accept defeat at the hands of Indra. The sage used his powers [possibly implying knowledge, effort etc] to contain Trishanku's descent, causing the latter to be suspended mid-air upside-down. Trishanku begged Vishvamitra for help. Vishvamitra [thus] reached a compromise with the Devas (positive persons) to let the king inhabit the new heaven that was created for him. The new heaven shall be called Trishanku's heaven and the king shall reside in this heaven. He shall not supersede Indra by ruling his own heaven, and to ensure that, the king shall reside upside down in his heaven. ... Vishvamitra then created a whole new universe around Trishanku - a universe that is born of compromise. Trishanku ruled Trishanku's heaven; the rest of the universe was ruled by the Devas (positive persons). The term Trishanku's heaven, from then on, has been used to denote a compromise (in a narrow sense).

The five Pandava: The five Pandavas could be a metaphor: helping hands (in something much larger), a group of enthusiasts who worked towards a common cause or purpose. Yudhisthira is [very likely] a reference to Panchali. (The honorific Dharmaraja (Lord of Dharma or personification of dharmic/sattvic aspects) is used for Yudhisthira. Yudhiṣṭhira = steady in war, from yudh (dharma-yuddha, "battle" or efforts for a progressive, healthy and vibrant society to emerge) and sthira, steady (possibly implying: of steady mind, unwavering, steadfast, resolute or firmly determined). Two other honorifics for Yudhisthira are Bharata (one who is always willing to learn, is ever-curious; Brahmacharini: treading the path of knowledge eternally) and Ajatashatru (unbiased). The mighty Bheema: physically very strong, a gourmet – reveling in the joy of an honest appetite. Bheema's proficiency in wrestling probably has allegorical connotations. (Bheema and Hanuman-ji are also known as Pavana-Putra. Hanuman-ji is considered as the elder brother of Bheema. Bheema is also known as Vṛkōdara ('one with a wolf's belly', perhaps an allusion to his voracious appetite.) Arjuna = Ganesha-ji. Nakula perhaps implies: of humble parentage, not belonging to a prominent lineage or clan (kula). Sahadeva: an associate and a deva (a positive/progressive mind, a positive person). Nakula and Sahadeva were twins. (This could also imply camaraderie. They could not have been Pandu's sons since Pandu (implying pusillanimous: an incorrigible sycophant, overtly or totally obsequious) was unable to father children. Panchali (the Krsna-avatar) and Sita (Sri Rama, the Rama-avatar) are one and the same. Thus, Rama-Krsna.)

The imagery on the unicorn seal shows a creature with a horse-head and the hoof of a bovine. Rivers and cows are often poetically correlated in the Rig Veda. It is not cows per se but rivers that were worshipped by the ancient Indus people, the Arya people, noble-natured and cultured people, the citizenry of the realm of Aryavarta or Brahmavarta. (Extrapolation etc apart, the Vedas (books of knowledge, of enlightened and progressive thought and mind-opening knowledge) have come from Brahmavarta or Aryavarta. Except for some northern regions, the landmass now known as India was probably vaanara country, Kishkindha [Kiṣkindhā] of the epics. Realm of various indigenous people (including those referred to as tribal people). After a series of flood and possibly an earthquake, due to climate change (changes in rainfall pattern etc) caused by unsustainable urbanisation, the Indus cities had to be abandoned. The Indus people [thereafter] migrated towards the Gangetic basin (in phases) and settled down. This gave rise to the Gangetic Civilisation. These Indus people were the Arya people. (There has been no Aryan Invasion as such. That is fictitious.) The Arya (ancient Indus or Vedic) people brought with them their own way of life, including language and festivities. Physically too, they would have looked very different from the indigenous people. Riksharaj Jambavana (Jambavanta, King of the Rikshas - possibly a people with a bear totem or insignia) too was [very likely] part of the realm now known as India. Jamba or Jambul is a reference to Indian blackberry. Maybe there was an abundance of this tree. (... And so, the places etc that Indians regard as sacred or associated with the epics and other puranic stories, are unlikely to be within the realm of India.) Hinduism is a term that came about in the nineteenth century. It was Shaiva, Vaishnava dharma, Shakta, Advaita and so forth. None of which was homogeneous. The concept of idol-worship was assimilated from the Greeks and perhaps from the followers of Boudhya Dharma, who enshrined the relics of the Buddha in stupas. Hinduism is essentially a coalition [hodgepodge] of myriad faiths (way of life), festivities, music, cuisine, languages, forms/aspects of divinity and whatnot. Movements regarding 'supremacy' of one school of thought over another (essentially for larger social influence) resulted in the Brahminical (puritanical) 'rejection' of the Buddha-avatar and Boudhya-dharma ('the way of the Buddha', the Enlightened One or the Wise One). However, 'rejection' of any form or aspect of the avatar is equivalent to 'rejection' of divinity per se. ... The rise of puritanicalism (traditionalism, orthodox mindsets/thought process, lack of scientific temper) brought with a plethora of rituals, which were not only burdensome for the common people, but also resulted in pollution of the natural environment (water pollution, garbage etc). It also brought with it cow-worship, the worship of rivers (wherein rivers were not polluted, as per Vedic thought) diminished. (People were required to donate cows etc to priests and Brahmins.)

(From Part-II) The sixth avatar of the Dasavataar, the Parasu-Rama-avatar ('Rama of the Axe'): Hindu is derived from Sindhu, the mighty River Indus. It denoted a geographic realm and the culture (way of life) that evolved in that geographic realm. ... To the ancient Persians, due to a lack of phonetics in their language, the people living to the east of them, was Hindu. In Old Persian, 'S' is pronounced as 'H' or 'HA'. Thus, the Vedic Sapta Sindhavaḥ became Hapta Handu, eventually culminating in the word, Hindu. "Persia" probably evolved from "Parshva" (meaning: next door, neighbouring or nearby). The Rig Vedic Parsu or Parsava have been anglicised to Persians. Perhaps the ancient Indus (Arya or Vedic) people referred to the people of the first/neighbouring port by the Sanskrit word "Parshva". Yamuna could [therefore] be a reference to ancient Persia. (And so, Prayaga, the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the [mythic] SarasvatI is not what is popularly understood.) The sixth-avatar of the Dasavataar is Parasu-Rama ('Rama of the Axe'). Parsu to Parasu. Rama is Sri Rama (Sita). In other words: SarasvatI. ('Rama-Rajya' is euphemism for Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga - the best of all phases. It signifies a new kalpa or maha-yuga. But whom could Parshvanath imply?)

'Priest-King' could be the anglicised version of Puroheeth, honorific for a learned/knowledgeable, wise and well-respected person, someone with stature, integrity and good-will, who made efforts towards the welfare of all (and [hence] was in an advisory or consultative position). Wisdom is the ability to think and make effort using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight, with good intentions – for the larger [societal] good, so as to [also] forge affinity and cohesion. Knowledge is at the very core of a nation, around which pulsate its other multifarious activities and achievements. Thus, a Puroheeth was a Brahmana, honorific for a learned and wise person: non-deluded, prudent, and principled. (Ethics and principles is not about impossible moralism (since humankind is not perfect), rather it is about being a good decent person devoid of negative qualities like selfishness, laziness, ignorance etc, about having a sense of responsibility, a sense of kartavya (as a citizen), it is about taking positive/progressive initiatives and making efforts to realise them; it is about being dharmic or sattvic – to have the mental maturity and intellectual ability to differentiate between dharma and adharma (progressive aspects and regressive aspects), to have a moral compass/ethical boundaries (to be aware/conscious of the outcome or significance of one's behaviour etc). Dharma is work-in-progress. A dharmic or sattvic person is someone who is true to himself or herself, is content, treats others respectfully, has a mind of his/her own (ability to think, common sense, critical/logical thinking), tries to progress as a person, is empathic and cares about others (societal issues, etc) and tries to make a difference, to make things a bit better. (Neither Priest-King nor Brahmana is to be misconstrued as Brahmin or orthodox Brahmin, implying priestly types.) Ancient Indus males of stature seem to have had their hair tied in close buns, with a headband. This is true of the 'Priest-King', as is seen in the sculpture that was discovered in the 1920s.

The Indus figure with the same hair arrangement and headband (as the "Priest-King") could be an early representation of Devaguru Brihaspati: finely braided or wavy combed hair tied into a double bun on the back of the head, and a plain fillet or headband with two hanging ribbons down the back. The upper lip is shaved and a closely cropped and combed beard lines the pronounced lower jaw. Long eyebrows frame the stylised almond-shaped eyes. The wide mouth is very similar to that on the "Priest-King" sculpture. (Wide mouth could imply a very big smile, a positive or inspiring persona, thus, Brihaspati. Devaguru Brihaspati and Brahmarshi Vashista could be one and the same. Vashista implies a calm, tranquil person, a well-mannered and cultured person with a quiet demeanour and a graceful way of speaking. Devaguru Brihaspati = Brahmarshi Vashista = Veda Vyasa/Dvaipayana Vyasa. ... Devaguru Brihaspati is likely to be a gyana-yogi (a scholar) and a karm-yogi (a do-er): bright, ingenious, polished/suave/cultured, talented, sagacious, wise, brainy: an eclectic genius. (Sabyasachi = ambidextrous. It is a reference to Arjuna. The sobriquet Sabyasachi could [also] imply equal usage of the wisdom achieved by uniting both rational, intellectual thinking (rational, right brain activity) with the intuitive knowing of the heart (intuitive left brain activity). On a side note: Could Veda Vyasa and Maharshi Valmiki (the author of the epic Ramayana) have been one and the same? Valmiki is revered as the primeval poet, for he invented verse, which defined Sanskrit poetry. However, in his early life he was a notorious dasyu (a highway robber, Ratnakara) who once tried to rob the divine sage Narada. BG 10.26: || devarsinam ca naradah || ~ "and of the sages [enlightened and wise persons] among the devas [positive persons] I am Narada." The divine sage asked Ratnakara if anyone would share the sin he was incurring. Though Ratnakara was optimistic, none agreed to bear the burden of his sin. Dejected, he finally understood the truth of life and sought Narada's forgiveness. Thereafter, Devarshi Narada taught Ratnakara the mantra for salvation. Since the mantra was not to be given to negative persons like him, Narada told Ratnakara to chant "Mara" - the phonetic anagram of "Rama" - to circumvent this restriction. Ratnakara meditated for many years so much so that anthills grew around his body, thus once his penance was declared successful he came to be known as Valmiki - of Valmika, born of anthill. (Valmikam in Sanskrit = anthill). As with other epics and puranic stories, the Ramayana too has gone through a process of interpolations and redaction, making it impossible to date accurately. Valmiki offered shelter to Sita (Sri Rama) in his hermitage (ashram) when Shri Ramchandra banished her. (Banish implying abandonment)? The twins, Kusha and Luv [Lava], were born to Sita in Valmiki's hermitage. Valmiki took Kusha and Luv [Lava] under his wing, looking after their education and upbringing. He later advised Ramchandra to invite them to return to Ayodhya. Ramchandra installed his son Luv [Lava] at Srāvastī (the capital of Kosala Mahajanapada) and Kusha at Kushavati. Kusha, the elder of the two, is said to have had wheatish complexion like their mother, while Lava had black complexion like their father. (Ratna = jewel. Kara = one who makes it.) It is also believed that due to the blessings and grace of SarasvatI, the notorious Ratnakara became the revered scholar Maharshi Valmiki.)

Byomkesh Bakshi: bespectacled, brilliant (nay a genius), urbane and dignified. Byomkesh is Satyanveshi (Seeker of Truth). His attention to the smallest of details is meticulous. His amazing intuition, witticism, and courageous nature along with his impeccable reasoning are all reminiscent of Holmes. Feluda also has a great appreciation for Holmes and, according to the film Tintorettor Jishu, Bruce Lee. Tagore and Sukumar Ray influenced Satyajit Ray. Feluda recited from Sukumar Ray's Abol Tabol. Sharadindu Bandopadhyay (author of the thirty three stories featuring Byomkesh Bakshi) too was a fan of Holmes. Satyanveshi Byomkesh Bakshi uses his oratory skills at the climactic scenes, and often quotes Tagore to explain a certain situation to Ajit Bandopadhyay (somewhat of a Watson to Byomkesh's Holmes). In the later stories we find that Abol Tabol by Sukumar Ray too had attracted his attention. Byomkesh plays a good raconteur at the end of each episode to unravel [explain] the mystery (since his method is mostly intuitive). Intuition and instinct could be the outcome of earlier intellectual experience. However, can Satyanveshi [also] be interpreted as 'Truth in disguise'? (Feluda often uses his oratory skills at the climactic scenes - sits straight, crosses his legs, and looks you straight in the eye before he starts speaking.) ... Byomkesh has an urge to unveil truth hidden underneath many layers of mystery. He is immensely likable, has an air of simplicity about him, and an impeccable style of unveiling truth. Rajit Kapur is the definitive Byomkesh Bakshi. Handsome, sharp-featured and charismatic. And, perhaps the only Punjabi who has worn dhuti-panjabi with such grace, poise and style. Byomkesh Bakshi is fond of tea and he often asks for tea during unveiling truth. He is married to Satyavati. (Satyavati = one who speaks the truth. However, could it also imply: the eternal divine, as the avatar - in human form? Satya-roopa?) However, Ajit Bandopadhyay (somewhat of a Watson to Byomkesh's Holmes) continues to live with them. Now, that's a paradox!

Satyavati could be an allusion to the Matsya-avatar, the first avatar of the Dasavatar. The Matsya-avatar (perhaps with a fish-shaped birthmark or face pigmentation or skin discolouration [vitiligo?]) was a wise and benevolent guide through the swirling waters (challenges). The Matsya-avatar was a problem-solver. Naukeshvar or Noah = Captain of the [metaphoric] ship (humankind). It is said that the first avatar - the Matsya-avatar - appeared as a dolphin (it is a metaphor). ... A dolphin is well-known for guiding ships through difficult waters. Dolphin yoga posture (asana) is Makarasana in Sanskrit. Therefore, BG 10.31: || jhaṣāṇāḿ makaraś cāsmi || ~ "I am makara among the fishes" - could be a reference to the Matsya-avatar: dolphin or [perhaps] porpoise. (VarAha [part of the Dasavatar] = Gangetic dolphin, Delphinus Gangeticus = sky-voice or daiva-vaani). The Matsya-avatar is also depicted through the Rohu fish (Labeo rohita). It is a non-oily (silvery or creamy) white fish with a reddish tint.

(Mallah is a generic term for a group of people associated with boating and fishing. Mallah probably has been derived from Malahha. The ancient Indus people were accomplished sailors and navigators, helping them to expand the boundaries of trade to Sumer (ancient Mesopotamia). It is possible that this sea voyage gave to the Indus Land its earliest sobriquet of "Meluḫḫa". The Indus people were characterised as Malahha (sailor or sea-men; sea-faring traders from Indian shores) in the Babylonian records. So the word Meluhha might have implied "sailor country". It could also imply: Masters of the Rivers and Seas. Meluhha/Meluḫḫa could be a term used by the Sumerians for the Indus Land. Meluhha/Meluḫḫa is also known as Melukha or Melukhkha. Meluḫḫa: Me-lah-ha.)

Feluda's father, Jaykrishna Mitra (anglicised to Mitter), taught Mathematics and Sanskrit at Dhaka Collegiate School. (Incidentally, Byomkesh Bakshi's father was much like Felu's.)

Dhak, Tesu, Palasha. The tree has medicinal use in Ayurveda. The flowers are traditionally used for colour-play in the spring festival of Holi. Tesu flowers are boiled in water to give fragrant, deep yellow water, which has medicinal properties and prevents skin problems in the coming summer. (Dhakesvari is a reference to Parvati/Durga. Dhak is integral to Durga Puja. Dhak is generally associated with celebration and festivity.)

Byomkesha is derived from byoma or vyoma (sky or air) and kesha (hair). Byomkesha is an honorific for Shiva – who is believed to have held [absorbed] the force or intensity of the Ganga in the jata, thereby softening the impact of the waters on the earth... and (thus) become Byomkesha. BG 10.23: || rudranam sankaras casmi || ~ "Of all the Rudras I am Sankara" [Rudra-Śiva]. There are eleven Rudras, of whom Sankara [Rudra-Siva] is preeminent. (Sankara = auspicious, the Giver of Joy or the bestower of happiness. Sankata hara = dispeller of worries, difficulties etc. Kara = the one who causes it, or makes it happen.)

Abhimanyu, considered an ace archer, was married to Uttarā, the princess of Matsya. (Virata was a kingdom ruled by the Matsya king, Virata, at whose court the Pandavas spent a year in incognito during their vanvaas. Therefore, Virata kingdom = Matsya kingdom. Perhaps they used the emblem/insignia of a fish or dolphin. Arjuna was known as Brihannala while at Virata's court in incognito. Refer Part-I.) Abhimanyu as a sixteen-year old: could it imply whimsical and emotionally immature: a temperamental, vain and self-centred person, a dull, tiresome person? Abhiman = vainglory, impatience [seeking instant gratification], conceit (arrogant pride, narcissism), of hoity-toity manner (thoughtless, scornful, derisory, smart-alecky, opprobrious, boorish, supercilious, disdainful, pretentiously self-important [assuming airs], haughty or pompous). The psychological concept of instant gratification refers to the notion that [some] humans like to have what they want instantly; they are too impatient to wait, and do not have the temperament to make sincere efforts [the quality of effort] towards achieving something commendable or enduring. And so, they try to save effort by finding cheaper or easier ways to do something. They're always finding ways to cut corners [indulging in perfunctory effort]. An unprincipled narcissist is a charlatan: a fraudulent, self-seeking, conscienceless, underhanded, greasy/unctuous, deceptive [deceitful, duplicitous] and unethical/unscrupulous individual. Such a person has a cavalier/condescending or egotistic attitude, an incorrigible snob: a small person, of small-mind (a low-minded, discourteous, irascible [irritable, easily riled or displeased, a grouch; querulous, rancorous, grumbling/carping/nit-picking/sulky], insignificant [but arrogant and loathsome/unpleasant/insufferable/odious/mean/annoying/rotten/sullen/vulgar/depraved/dissolute/ignominious/unprincipled/unscrupulous/ignoble/disgraceful] or contemptible person). Abhimanyu = Putana (Refer Part-I). Pandu = pusillanimous, a gutless wonder. ... Abhimanyu was annihilated on the thirteenth day of the Kurukshetra war (Dharma-Yuddha - 'battle' of ethics, principles, values [qualities of mind and heart] etc to dispel tamasic [ignorant, regressive, cynical, despondent] aspects, to reinvigorate/re-energise dharma, dharmic and sattvic [noble, progressive, humane] aspects, to invigorate/energise ['awaken' the consciousness of humankind, to induce them to think, to enlarge their thought process, to open hearts and minds, to cleanse themselves of unpleasant aspects such as habits, attitude and behaviour - to become a better [humane, empathic, responsible, reasonable, logical, progressive, optimistic] human being, and collectively a better people]), when he was made to enter the Padmavyuha formation. Abhimanyu could not be defeated in a one-on-one combat (dvanda yudha): could it imply he was as cunning as a fox? So Dronacharya made this multi-tiered battle formation in order to entrap Yudhishthira. Abhimanyu is known for his partial knowledge about Padmavyuha; he knew how to penetrate the Chakravyuha, but did not know how to emerge from it, thus he was not able to escape (wriggle out of it; greasy/unctuous/cunning as a fox could [also] imply a slippery character). Seven unequal veterans annihilated him. Chakravyuha = Brahmastra, implying failproof? (Vishnu is Rohit or Lohitah, reddish-hued. Symbology 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 (Sat or Satya, Purusha-uttama Satya – Higher Self, the best of all beings/souls). Padmavyuha formation = lotus formation.)

Krsna (through Kunti) took away Karna's "kavacha" (body armour) and "kundala" (ear-rings) that made him invincible. Krsna = Kunti. Could Abhimanyu and Karna be the same person? (Karna was the antithesis of Arjuna.) Yudhishthira = Krsna/Panchali/Satyavati/Parvati etc (the avatar). If Dronacharya = Bheeshmacharya aka Devavrata = Dvaipayana Vyasa = VasukiNaga, then Dronacharya attempting to entrap Yudhishthira is unthinkable. Vasuki is Shiva's Naga = He is her man. He is Omkaara. Shiva = Shivani/Parvati. Naga is honorific for extraordinary/notable/distinct intellectual ability, innovative and progressive thinking, prodigious knowledge/scholarship etc. (... It is unlikely that Krsna had 16,108 wives. Bheeshmacharya was either beau (spousal equivalent) – a special relationship (reminiscent of the relationship between Amrita Pritam and Imroz), or second husband. Syavamvara = self-choice, self-selection. Panchali married Arjuna through svayamvara. Does it imply Gandharva-Vivaah (wherein no rituals were required, though the consent of the woman was necessary)? Arjuna = Bheeshmacharya aka Devavrata. If Bheeshmacharya is also Maharshi Vashista, the preceptor [guru] of Raghukula (Raghu's clan, Raghu = Sri Rama/Sita), then it is possible that he was married twice: to Arundhati and Panchali, respectively. However, were Vashista/Vyasa and Valmiki one and the same? Were Kusha and Luv [Lava] – Sita and Ramchandra's twins, or Sita and Valmiki's twins? ... What was Ramchandra's equation with Sita (Sri Rama)? How did Ravana (Balarama/Lakshmana) usurp Lanka?

Pikoo is a short story written by Satyajit Ray. Pikoo's diary is a childish diary written by the young Pikoo. Pikoo, a six-year-old, is confused when he sees a white lotus but there's no white-coloured felt pen in a new set of sketch pens bought by uncle Hitesh, for Pikoo to draw all the flowers he can see. 'I am drawing the white flowers with black ink, Mummy. There's no white ink.' ... That innocent yet pithy dialogue... as the sequence shows Seema, Pikoo's mother, played by Aparna Sen, in an intimate moment with her beau, Hitesh, enacted by Victor Banerjee. The film showcases a day in the life of a six-year-old child, Pikoo, in the backdrop of his mother's extramarital relationship. Ranjan (Soven Lahiri) suspects his wife Seema (Aparna Sen) is having an affair. (kRiShNa = black. SarasvatI is Shveta Padmaāsana; a white lotus (implying pristine, without blemish) is the throne of SarasvatI. Padmaasana, the Lotus Position or Dnyana Mudra, is a cross-legged sitting asana originating in meditative practices or yoga postures; in this asana position of the legs look like blooming lotus. The position of the body is stabilised, the backbone and its functioning is greatly improved'

Black does not reflect light. In the case of black, all the colours making up white light are absorbed which makes that object appear black. Sunlight is white light that is composed of all the colours of the visible spectrum. A rainbow is proof. One cannot see the colours of sunlight except when atmospheric conditions bend the light rays and create a rainbow. One can also use a prism to demonstrate this.

Hitesh = one who thinks well of everyone, a well-wisher, a good person, Lord of goodness. Could Hitesh have been an allusion to Devaguru Brihaspati – the allegoric Kausthubham or Kaustubha Mani? ... Kaustubha Mani is also known as Yellow Sapphire Gemstone or Pukhraj. Brihaspati is Devaguru. Hence, placed at the highest hill in the row of all gems [Navaratna - a term applied to a group of nine extraordinary people]. Pukhraj signifies intellectual aspects, knowledge, wisdom, virtue, fortune, justice, education, future, dharma (dharmic principles, a set of values and ideals), respect towards elders, philosophy, devotion, spirituality (spiritual humanism, humaneness: humane gestures, empathy, compassion, kindness), prosperity, generosity and amicableness to all sorts of people. Yellow sapphire harmonises. Guru is the major instructor or teacher and influences action with the highest order and balance. Guru directs action in the most harmonious and uplifting manner and balances inner and outer input while simultaneously performing and overseeing/supervising action. Enlivens activity in the brain (intellectual energy – to stimulate the mind/thinking process?) while directing/guiding action. It signifies highest-order thinking - Knowledge has organising power. Its use brings about affection and harmonious relations. Jupiter (associated with benevolence and amicableness) is believed to bestow humans with the knowledge of law, ethics, wit, wisdom, worldly happiness, vitality, intelligence, longevity, good health/best of health, food grains (good harvest, implying association with the earth?), general prosperity, success, mental peace, fame, respect, good offspring, spirituality (spiritual humanism, contentment) and ability to overcome health hindrances. In Sanskrit Kausthubham is also known as Pusparaga, Yellow sapphire, Guru-Ratna, Gem of Guru, Pushparaaj or Puspa-Raja, King of flowers, Vascapati vallabha, Beloved of Jupiter.) 

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 astute, nonetheless. He is skilled at putting himself into the shoes of other people. Inside his head, he works on connecting dots. (Rationalising and thinking through gives him insight). He thinks through the questions/choices rationally, and often discusses his ideas with Watson (although he may not be looking to listen to others' points of view, probably just to find the right words, etc for his own 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 humaneness, and the like). Known for his courageous nature, extraordinary abilities and astute logical reasoning, he also has a flair for showmanship. 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 malevolent person like Moriarty.) Living with Holmes requires patience, and willingness and ability to accept. A certain amount of wit and humour helps too. Watson: calm, exhibiting regard and concern, caring, decorous, supportive, warmhearted, loyal, 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 ||

... He wasn't the same anymore.

The famous jodi: 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' ostentatious 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. 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. Mary Watson [née Morstan] = Sherlock Holmes?)

This universe (Brhmaanda – the 'Primordial Egg', 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 humankind [as yet] is unaware of? 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, etc; 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, so on and so forth. Could it all be mere coincidence? Or is there a fabulous mind – that of a genius polymath: 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.

Satyajit Ray has supposedly created Professor Shanku on the lines of Professor Challenger, a fictional character in a series of fantasy and science fiction stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, could Professor Shanku have been an allusion to Lord Brahma, the Creator aspect of divinity? (Sankara to Shanku? Perhaps the creator of myriad flora and fauna, different kinds of humans, emotions, languages, philosophy, gadgets, medicines etc.) BG 10.33: || dhātāhaḿ viśvato-mukhaḥ || ~ "and of creators I am Brahmā." (Dhaata can also mean support.) 

(Siddhartha Chowdhury (Dhritiman Chatterjee) told his interviewers in Ray's Pratidvandi - the 'plain human courage shown by the people of Vietnam' is of much more significance than the landing of a man on the moon.) 

Professor 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 intellectual ability 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. He has an attender, 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. 

(Also refer Part-III). Feluda is immensely knowledgeable, erudite, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, witty, genteel/impeccably mannered, and sociable; he is seldom unruffled (unless power cuts interrupted his reading). Cosmopolitan and worldly-wise (a man of the world), he is at ease with all kinds of people. Shanku, though, 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 impeccable reasoning, charm (a bit of a romantic perhaps), love of cricket (he played cricket at university level), sharp intellect etc is (meant to be) idolised. He is very choosy about taking up cases and prefers cases that require cerebral effort. An intelligent, thinking hero, well-educated, of good taste, there is an educative aspect to him. Readers get to learn a lot from him. Feluda's world of unraveling mysteries is embedded in reason and logic. But the world 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). Topshe: In the initial stories, Topshe was mentioned as Feluda's maternal cousin, Tapesh Ranjan Bose. Later, it became Tapesh Ranjan Mitter. There was some ambiguity there; Satyajit Ray said that Topshe was Feluda's paternal cousin.

(Refer Part-III. Mr. Mathew smiled gruffly. ... Even Mr. Matthew gave me a thumbs up sign from afar: Crucifixion could be a metaphor. Jesus Christ = Radha Krsna. (Radha = PradhAna = Devaguru Brihaspati = VasukiNaga = Arjuna = Bheeshma = Nandi = Yashoda =

Dvaipayana Vyasa = Vashista = Sage Bhusunda, the crow sage. (Crow has a gruff or hoarse voice. Crow is considered to be the most intelligent of all birds.) ... Jesus carrying the cross could imply a heavy burden on his soul. ... Possibly something to do with 'Immaculate Conception'? (Who was Joseph then)? Could it be that for some reason Jishu was unable to publicly acknowledge his relationship with Mahadeva (Shiva, Maria/Mariamma – a reference to Kalika [a form of Shakti], Christ/Kristu) and/or publicly acknowledge their marriage, and/or possibly their baby? ... Could it be that the baby was conceived while Joseph was away? Or that the baby was their 'love child'? Could Jishu (VasukiNaga) have been Christ aka Panchali's beau (spousal equivalent)? ... Who else if not Arjuna?

(If the baby was conceived while Joseph was away, it could imply (what is understood as) an extramarital relationship. Perhaps Jesus was Christ's beau, a spousal equivalent. Perhaps they married later (possibly a quiet marriage); maybe they consummated the marriage before the rituals were completed. (The ancients referred to it as Gandharva-Vivaah: rituals were not required though the consent of the woman was necessary.) Humankind will [perhaps] have to redefine the concept of marriage and emerge with better terminologies for what is understood as 'love child'. Also, the mother as a parent cannot be considered a lesser parent.) 

Crucifixion could also imply: being the focus of spiteful, rancorous, unkind words/insults, etc and yet to remain graceful and dignified: to be graceful and decent even during difficult times. To be self-assured and confident enough to take disappointments on the chin and not pass the buck of blame unfairly; to continue to perform one's kartavya admirably, even stoically.

It could also imply austerities: Self-denial or self-abnegation (altruistic abstinence, to forgo personal pleasures): Voluntary asceticism. (Possibly the outcome of heartbreak: overwhelming grief, anguish, or distress.)

Crucifixion [thus] could also imply: Jishu was a broken man - weakened, demoralised, and subdued, experiencing the pain of grief (difficult emotions, the feelings of loss of someone he cared deeply about): confusion, hopelessness, sorrow, melancholy, numbness, lethargy, desperation, sleep and appetite disturbances, annoyance, depression, a tremendous sense of guilt and longing. And perhaps he was unable to share his feelings; he was alone with his pain. He was distraught. He wasn't the same anymore.

(The Jesus and Christ relationship [courtship] is likely to have been discreet/inconspicuous (wherein both would have showed prudence and self-restraint in their [public] conduct/behaviour etc, especially with regard to maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature.) 

'Immaculate Conception' is unlikely to have been reproductive genetics or surrogacy. Immaculate = nirmal (though prudish mindsets could think otherwise). Could "Holy Grail" be a euphemism for kiss [passionate kiss]?) 

The national symbol of India, the Lion capital of Ashoka (the Aśoka Stambha), stands tall at Sarnath (standing 2.15 metres (7 feet) high). (Emperor Ashoka the Great, on the advise of his queen, Samragyi (Empress) Vidisha Devi, erected the capital to commemorate the spot where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma (to the five monks) and where the Buddhist Sangha was founded.) ... The emblem of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, preserved in the Archaeological Museum at Sarnath, Varanasi. The actual Sarnath capital included four Asiatic lions standing back-to-back - symbolising power, courage, confidence and pride - mounted on a circular foundation. They are mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion, separated by intervening spoked wheels. The whole sits upon a bell-shaped lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of creative inspiration. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone (c. 250 B.C.E), the capital was originally [probably] crowned by the Dharma Chakra with 24 spokes. (The Gāyatrī Mantra, also known as Savitri Mantra and guru mantra, is a 24-syllable hymn from the Rig Veda. It is one of the most auspicious and oldest of mantras, and is also considered as one of the most universal of mantras. BG 10.35: || gayatri chandasam aham || ~ "I am Gayatri mantra among the Vedic mantras." (SarasvatI is the deity [manifestation, personification/embodiment] of Gayatri; the fountainhead of fine arts and science. ... The effulgent sun [savitr] is symbolic of knowledge, wisdom, enlightenment (the light of knowledge), intellectual illumination, energy/vigour, optimism, and other positive/progressive aspects. SarasvatI (also known as Brahmani and Brahmi – the Creator aspect of divinity) is the deity of dawn, the personification/embodiment of the effulgent sun, and is [therefore] also known as Savitri. The Gayatri Mantra is a hymn [prayer] to Savitri... requesting Her to dispel the 'fog' of tamas (ignorance, lethargy, indifference, cynicism, regressive aspects/attitude/mindsets etc), and to bestow humankind with mind-opening knowledge, to 'awaken' the consciousness of humankind (so that they are humane, sattvic, compassionate and empathic). || AUM Bhur Bhuvah Svaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyoyonah Prachodayat || SarasvatI is OM, the Almighty, the all-pervading divinity. Devasya = Satyaroopa, the divine spirit [the Param-atma, the Higher Self] in human form.) ... The National Emblem (an adaptation of the Aśoka Stambha) was adopted as on 26 January 1950, the day that India became a republic. The Buddhist Dharma Chakra graces the National Flag. Forming an integral part of the emblem is the motto inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari: Satyameva Jayate (Truth stands invincible or 'Truth always prevails'.) Truth = Dharma (positive, progressive ideals (principles and ethics), and sincere efforts and endeavours - to become a better human being and collectively a better people, to be less indifferent, selfish, perfunctory, garrulous and rhetorical, to take well-thought-out initiatives, to be proactive and to make continuous/sustained efforts towards a better/progressive/healthy society). Satyameva Jayate is the national motto of India.

The Lotus: The lotus flower represents positivity and beauty, spiritual awakening (a renewal of beliefs, attitudes, perception, thought process etc - to understand and correct past mistakes and ignorance) and lack of illusion. The lotus grows elegantly out of the muddy waters, unaffected by the mud (euphemism for unpleasantness, selfish aspects, temptation, sense pleasures etc), thus it is considered supreme among all flowers, and is often compared to a person with strong dharmic virtues (including selflessness). The mud represents an imperfect world. All humans are born in an imperfect world. (Therefore, it is necessary to take a logical/balanced view, a holistic approach/perspective, so as not to disregard the positive aspects, the brighter side.) The experiences make a person stronger and teaches him or her to resist temptation, to differentiate between positive/progressive aspects and negativity (unpleasantness, excessive selfishness, hubris, myopia [thoughtless actions], regressive mindset/aspects, etc), so as to cultivate the mental and intellectual maturity to differentiate between what is essential (the deeper meaning, the nuances, the finer aspects) and what should be eschewed (superficial or unnecessary aspects) and so on. This helps in character formation. One gains strength, perspective and maturity. When the mind is able to overcome the barriers of negativity/selfishness/unpleasant aspects etc... an individual is able to (metaphorically speaking) emerge from the muddy water and achieve full enlightenment and self-awareness. It signifies an unblemished soul. ... Lotus is one of the few flowers that have fascinated humankind since time immemorial, with its exotic beauty and ability to rise and bloom above the muddy waters to achieve enlightenment. Lotus also inspires the human mind to achieve perfection (inner perfection, perfection of the mind: a dharmic and sattvic mind that has been able to overcome [rise above] cynicism, regressive thought process and so on) even during difficulties. The lotus flower [therefore] also symbolises that it is possible to make efforts [through one's thoughts, words, purpose and actions] for inner perfection (qualities of the mind and heart by overcoming small-mindedness, selfishness, ego, delusion, hopelessness, etc) even during difficulties. And that it is always possible to overcome tribulations to attain fulfillment (self-fulfillment/self-improvement, personal growth) and perfection (to be a good human being: to be kind, compassionate, empathic: to be concerned about the well-being of others). ... The lotus flower [thus] signifies an enlightened/progressive way of life based on dharma (dharmic and sattvic virtues, thoughts and ideals: to do something for the larger good, for the betterment of society), noble-mindedness (inner perfection: sattvic [noble] qualities and characteristics), dignity, wisdom and harmony. White Lotus (Sanskrit: pundarika): This represents spiritual perfection and total mental perfection (bodhi). It symbolises perfection and harmony of body, mind and spirit - confluence [yoga], along with spiritual perfection (an enlightened, unblemished, dharmic soul) and calmness and tranquility [inner calm, inner peace - happiness and levelheadedness] of one's nature (innate nature, habit of the soul). Hymns to SarasvatI refer to Her as Yaa Svetapadmaasanaa: She who is seated on a white lotus. The highly revered Puṇḍarīka (also known as: Pankaja, Svetakamala, DhavalaH kamala or Shubhra Kamala) symbolises sattvic aspects, calmness, serenity and spiritual perfection. It also signifies tranquility (inner calm, inner peace, peace of mind). It symbolises true/eternal (non-transient, ever-relevant) knowledge: Para Vidya, the wisdom of knowledge, enlightenment. [Dhavala is pronounced as DA wahl]. The pale-red lotus (Sanskrit: padma): This is the supreme lotus; this lotus is highly revered and symbolises the highest deity. (It also symbolises the Buddha). A pale-red lotus denotes a person's mind frame (temperament: attitude, thinking, wisdom, etc); a full-bloomed pale-red lotus implies supreme or highest enlightenment, the level where nirvana is attained, the position [frame of mind] of complete wisdom - Buddhahood (wherein ego-consciousness has been overcome). Supreme wisdom dispels all illusions. Knowing others (the ability to judge people, to be a good judge of character) is wisdom; knowing oneself is enlightenment. Red Lotus (Sanskrit: kamala): This signifies the original nature (tendency of the soul, imprints/impressions/habits of the soul) and purity of the heart (hrdya). It is the lotus of love, compassion, activeness, faithfulness, passion and all other qualities and emotions associated with the heart. The red lotus is depicted with its petals opened, which may be to symbolise the beauty and openness of a giving heart. It is the flower of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva (Buddha-to-be) of compassion. (Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, a compassionate, empathic and determined bodhisattva, is regarded in the Vajrayana teachings as a Buddha. In the Mahayana teachings he is regarded as a high-level Bodhisattva. The noble Avalokiteshvara is venerated as the ideal of compassion, and is the most well-known and much-loved of the iconic bodhisattvas. Avalokiteshvara is the manifestation of Amitabha Buddha, who represents mercy and wisdom. (Amitabha, [Sanskrit: "Infinite Light"] also called Amitayus ["Infinite Life" - eternal, imperishable], hence Amitābha is often called "The Buddha of Infinite Light.") Mahāyāna Buddhism associates Avalokiteśvara to the six-syllable mantra: oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ ["the jewel in the lotus"]. (Is it comparable to the Kaustubha Mani - the divine/unique jewel adorning the neck of Sri Vishnu? Kau = crow? Sage Bhusunda is part of Yoga Vashista. Could Sage Bhusunda, the crow sage, be a reference to Brahmarshi Vashista - the preceptor [guru] of Raghukula? (Crow is considered to be the most intelligent of all birds.) Brahmarshi Vashista = Devaguru Brihaspati? But then, Kak Bhusundi is a reference to whom? Could it be a reference to sage Bhusunda? Could it be a feminised version of Bhusunda? Or could it be a reference to the avatar - the Jagatguru or Satguru, the Universal teacher: Vasudeva Krsna, Kapila Muni aka Siddhārtha Gautama Shakyamuni or simply the Buddha?) The many arms of Avalokiteshvara symbolises that humankind should accept everyone as deserving of acceptance, love and compassion, and that there should be no discrimination. When Avalokitesvara was overcome with disenchantment and exasperation (after seeing and hearing the lamentations of sentient beings), 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 (the eternal Buddha, known as) Amitabha Buddha, who became his guru [mentor]. Avalokiteśvara, the all-compassionate Bodhisattva: ineffable care and kindness overflowing endlessly. A bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. Avalokiteshvara is one of the most pivotal Bodhisattvas in Mahayana form of Buddhism (Boudhya Dharma, the way of the Buddha). He is the Maha Guru, the Enlightened Soul of Boundless Compassion. Avalokiteshvara was given a thousand arms by the Buddha, to reach out and ease all the sorrows/lamentations found in the Universe. He is depicted as 11-headed with faces in all directions. Avalokiteshvara comes to help, heal and light up [to enlighten - through thoughts, words, purpose and actions] the spiritual path (for spiritual awakening of humankind). Avalokiteśvara is a noble [sattvic, arya] being, a Lord (Sanskrit: arya used in the way that Buddha Shakyamuni is said to have used the word, implying a person who is the best amongst humankind: intelligent, skilled/talented, aware (not indifferent or ignorant), cultured and sophisticated [mature, humane/sensitive/considerate/thoughtful, refined/polite, diplomatic [well-mannered], open-minded, attentive, cool/gracious/courteous/gallant (refer Part-III for cool), well-bred, cultivated/brainy/accomplished, affable, worldly wise/suave/cosmopolitan], in comprehension of the human condition) but in addition, possessing the merit (dignity, quality, integrity, trust/credibility, ability/mettle, strength, stature, fame/glory, talent, virtue) and compassion to en-noble others. Avalokiteshvara is considered a 'Buddha Jewel'; superior not only to ordinary beings [manava], but to other enlightened beings/souls [deva] as well.) ... The rare Blue Lotus (utpala; Sanskrit: indivara): This is a symbol of the exultation of the spirit over the senses (sense pleasures), and signifies the wisdom of knowledge (knowledge, wisdom and intellect). The blue lotus is always depicted only partially opened (and thus its centre is never seen) — perhaps to symbolise that knowledge is perennial, that the ability of the mind is infinite. The blue lotus is the lotus associated with Manjusri - the bodhisattva of wisdom, and is also one of the attributes of Prajnaparamita, the embodiment of the perfection of wisdom. 

Sapta Puri: sapta = seven; puri = town or city. The Sapta Puri is the seven sacred cities, the seven great tirthas (of spiritual importance). The Sapta Puri is associated with divinity (i.e. places where the eternal divine has appeared as avatar – in human form) and the spiritual masters (the Sapta Rishi – the higher minds, the highest ṛṣI [Rishi] or Brahmana, honorific for wise, learned, sagacious and progressive persons [deva] of extraordinary intellectual capabilities). The Sapta Puri: Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridvar, Varanasi (Benaras, Kashi), Kanchipuram, Ujjain (Avanti) and Dvarka. (Dvarka, Mathura, Haridvar and Kashi could be one and the same.) There are 12 Jyotirlingas. The Sapta Rishi could symbolise the Jyotirlingas. (Linga = the brain, Jyotirlinga [therefore] signifies the power of the mind, intellectual power through gentle and complete 'awakening' of the kundalini energy.) BG 10.21: || adityanam aham visnur || ~ "Of the 12 Adityas I am Visnu". (Of the 12 Adityas, Vishnu is preeminent.)

The sacred agni is revered in Vedic thought. Agni = Kundalini 'Fire' = intellectual vigour/energy: to stimulate the brain to learn and grow, to think in a new way, to improve the mind. ('Kshira-sagara manthan' = intellectual churning/stimulation, intellectual vigour/energy [possibly] through the gentle and complete 'awakening' of the living and conscious energy, kundalini. Once 'awakened' kundalini-power energises the mind. In other words, 'kshira-sagara manthan' refers to efforts to stimulate the brain/mind: the ability to think, clarity of thought/purpose) leading to intellectual illumination - a sattvic [a positive/progressive and ever-curious] mind: to energise or 'ignite' the brain cells (so as to reverse tamas: ignorance, regressive aspects, intellectual impoverishment and intellectual ennui), to help 'expand' the mind (the thought process, comprehension/the ability to understand, etc) by energising the brain cells, by stimulating the mind to think, so as to re-create oneself (a renewal through rejuvenation of the mind: the phoenix analogy). (Kshira, pronounced shira or seer = the mind, the ability to think: the quality of thought and clarity of thought/purpose.) ... One must make sincere efforts to achieve inner calm (happiness and contentment): to attain fulfillment (self-fulfillment/self-improvement, personal growth - the expansion of the mind) through sincere [not superficial, specious, simplistic, illogical or perfunctory] intellectual or physical effort. It helps to stimulate creativity, thinking skills and imagination.

The Universe is always evolving, thus social, intellectual and spiritual stagnation is unhelpful for the evolution of humankind. Pralaya = re-energisation/renewal: the fadeout of puritanicalism (traditionalism: orthodox and obsolete mindsets, lack of scientific temper, stagnation of the mind/thought process: accumulation of regressive aspects (thoughts, attitudes, etc). Pralaya is renewal, rejuvenation of the mind [growth of the mind: willingness to learn, unlearn and adapt, progression of the mind]: character formation: to re-create humankind through renewal of the mind (a positive mental environment, to improve mental and emotional hygiene; good physical hygiene is not enough, there should also be good mental and emotional hygiene.   

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. The process of spiritual awakening (Supreme Enlightenment, Self-realisation) involves the gentle 'awakening' of this living and conscious energy, so that it pervades an individual's entire being. (Kund or kunda = to coil or to spiral, since upon 'awakening', kundalini rises in a sensation akin to a slithering reptile, up the spinal column [Meru-danda] - also represented by the [allegoric] Mt. Meru in the 'samudra-manthan' or 'kshira-sagar manthan' story. Thus the sobriquet/honorific "Naga" – for persons [deva] of exceptional intellectual ability and originality.) ... When kundalini is fully 'awakened,' it (metaphorically speaking) causes enlightenment of the brain cells. In other words, the gentle 'awakening' of the living and conscious energy, kundalini, help 'expand' the mind (the thought process, comprehension etc) by energising the brain cells. (Maybe one's intellect then takes a much higher level, in a proverbial sense). ... 'Kshira-sagara manthan' or churning of the ocean of milk: Kshira = milk, but kshira [pronounced shira or seer] can also mean head. Thus, kshira-sagar manthan can imply intellectual churning/stimulation or intellectual vigour/energy [possibly] through the gentle and complete 'awakening' of the living and conscious energy, kundalini. ... In the final state of the Kundalini energy/power - 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 intellectual brilliance. BG 10.23: || meruḥ śikhariṇām aham || ~ "of mountains I am Meru" or "I am the very pinnacle of Meru" = the gentle and complete 'awakening' of Kundalini energy. (Meru = backbone). 

The ancient texts refer to manava (human beings) and "deva" (interpreted as: gods or demi-gods). However, it is more likely that the ancients referred to evolved beings (evolved souls, evolved humans, evolved or higher minds) by the honorific "deva" (divine beings or enlightened souls) - possibly on the basis of their kundalini-energy or intellectual capability (high celebral ability, involving the mind): knowledge, sober wisdom (astuteness, a broader thought process, lucidity, foresight), sagaciousness (logical thinking), and so on. (Intellectual ability refers to the skills required to think critically/logically (rational rather than emotional, a cerebral approach though not to be misconstrued as coldly intellectual), appealing to or engaging the intellect (that require exercise of the intellect). Intellectual capability is having the ability to reason, understand logic, ask questions, discuss and debate topics, communicate fluently, provide effective input etc.) These evolved or enlightened souls (deva) have [also] been given various other honorifics, such as: "Manu" (honorific for law-givers), "Saptarishi" (seven higher minds), "Naga" (exceptional intellectual ability: philosophers, thought leaders, literary or academic stalwarts/pioneers, possibly devoted to cultural, scientific and literary pursuits, to impart knowledge to humankind), "Chiranjivi" (eternal beings – perhaps they were assigned governance or administrative responsibility or diplomacy and defense-related activity), "Gandharva and Apsara" (responsible for artistic tradition: the performing arts - songs, dance and music), so on and so forth. (It is an example of Sva-Dharma.) Apart from the direct manifestations, there are innumerable empowered manifestations (possibly with respect to abilities, knowledge, intellect, etc). Partial avatars were known as aḿśa. The indirectly empowered ones were known as vibhūtis.

The Navaratna or Nauratan (Sanskrit nava-ratna or "nine gems") was a term applied to a group of nine extraordinary people [possibly as per knowledge/wisdom/intellectual mettle, special skills or aptitudes, core abilities/proficiency/expertness, talents, etc - Sva-dharma] in an emperor's court in ancient India. Such groups were part of the court of emperor Vikramaditya and emperor Ashoka. (The Mauryan emperor Ashoka formed a group of nine unknown persons c 270 BCE. Aśoka = serene stoicism: impassive, characterised by a calm, austere fortitude, phlegmatic: not easily upset or excited. Aśoka was also known as Priyadarshi. Fourteen ratna (sobriquet for intellectual capability, evolved or higher minds) emerged during 'kshira-sagara manthan' (exercise of the intellect). Intellectual capability is having the ability to reason, understand logic, ask questions (for clarity of thought/purpose, to be discerning), discuss and debate topics, communicate fluently, provide effective input etc.)  

There are eight Vasus, eight elemental deities (known as "Aṣṭa-vasu", 'Eight Vasus') representing aspects of nature, representing cosmic natural phenomenon. They are eight among the thirty three deities. Prithvi (earth), Agni (fire - kundalini 'fire': intellectual illumination), Vayu (wind, air: 'mist'-dispelling, to dispel tamas [ignorance, etc]), Antariksha (space), Aditya (luminous, radiance), Dyaus (sky), Chandramas (moon) and Nakstrani (stars, could also imply Constellations) - according to the Brhad-Aranyaka Upanishad. Dharā (earth: possibly deity or personification of earth/nature - bhudevi/prakriti; dhara = perennially flowing, knowledge stream = SarasvatI (the allegoric river, repository of wisdom and knowledge), Anala (fire - kundalini-energy/intellectual illumination), Anila (wind), Aha (pervading, could imply Āpa: water; Ajapa = no chant, the primeval/primal mantra, the chantless mantra = the swan, the vahaan of SarasvatI), Pratyūsha (pre-dawn: [intellectual] light), Prabhāsa (glorious dawn: [intellectual] brilliance), Soma (moon - serenity, calmness and tranquility: equanimity: unexcitable, phlegmatic) and Dhruva (Pole Star - the guiding star, also symbolising firm steadfast resolution, constancy of mind, stability (not capricious, mercurial, unsettled, fluctuating or fickle-minded) - as per the Mahabharata. (Could 'Aha' imply Eureka, associated with the discovery of the Archimedes' principle and/or Newton formulating his theory of gravitation)? 

The many honorifics used for divinity indicate certain quality, characteristics or attributes... not gender. Shiva is the re-energising aspect of divinity. (Shiva = 'the good' or 'the auspicious'. Shiva is an adjective or a quality, and thus Shiva is [also] an honorific.) ... In Rishi Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay's Aananda Math the apparition-like figure (the serene-looking, 'jatadhari apurbadarshan Mahapurush') talks about the need for renewal, the necessity to comprehend and rejuvenate the essence of Hindu Dharma (as an enlightened, progressive way of life): the need for striving towards inner perfection (to regenerate dharmic ideals, sattvic aspects, open-mindedness, the ability to  learn and unlearn – to become a better human being), cultivation of science and scientific temper, focus on agriculture, societal progress, and to re-invigorate the essence of Sanaatan Dharma as a perennial knowledge stream... not excessive rituals and mere idol worship. That Hindu Dharma could never be religion in a narrow sense or organised 'religion'... given its vastness, that constant progress/evolution was its essence. The 'jatadhari apurbadarshan Mahapurush' also says that India required western education and scientific knowledge, that Indians would benefit from it, and that they wouldn't be able to do it themselves, since they lacked the necessary skills, ability and temperament. Satyananda Thakur (the guru of Santaanvahini or Santaansena - the Vaishnabi Sena) is adamant about matri mandir - to him that is the essence of Hindu Rastra. The apparition-like figure hears him out and then dissuades him, instead telling him the essence of Hindu Rastra. Aananda Math is a literary masterpiece. (Shanti is a very interesting character. And Shanti as Nabinananda is even more interesting. Shanti and the 'jatadhari apurbadarshan Mahapurush' (the apparition or Phantom-like figure) are attired similarly: not unlike the imagery of Shiva. Could Shanti [in human form] be a reference to the avatar, Purusha-uttama Satya – manifestation of divinity in human form, Satyaroopa, the Almighty in human form? Could the 'jatadhari apurbadarshan Mahapurush' - the apparition or Phantom-like figure be Purusha or Satya – the divine spirit, the Param-atma (the Higher Self) - without the human form? And thus, gender-less?)


Hindu people are waiting for the appearance of Keśava, the second coming of the Krsna-avatar as the Kalkiḥ-avatar (Kalkiḥ-Maitreya). Those following Boudhya Dharma (the way of the Buddha, 'the Enlightened One' or 'the Wise One') are looking forward to the coming of Buddha Maitreya (the next Buddha-to-be, the Buddha-of-the-future). Gautama Buddha (also known as Siddhārtha Gautama Shakyamuni or simply the Buddha - the ninth avatar of the Dasavataar) was the most recent Buddha to have appeared. (Gautama Buddha = Kapila Muni). Followers of the Christian faith are awaiting the second coming of Christ; the Jewish people are waiting for the appearance of the Moshiach [mashiach, mashiah, moshiah] or "Messiah", followers of the Parsi faith are awaiting the appearance of Saoshyant, and so forth. ('Saoshyant' may have been a term originally applied to Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra.) ... What if there were to be an all-encompassing Avatar (manifestation of the divine in human form)? Would it only signify the Universal Form (Vishva-roop) – that the whole of humankind prays to the same divinity; that it is merely different aspects/honorifics? Or would 'religion' as a tag fadeout? Will religion [thereafter] imply a divine experience, religion in the higher sense – dharma, and spiritual humanism (a spiritual experience: empathy, kindness, humaneness (sympathetic concern for the well-being of others) and dharmic/sattvic ideals and so on; commonalities and fusion, a confluence/yoga - of humankind)? ... It will signify prayaga, 'Rama-Rajya'. Therefore, sAmya or śamaḥ (inclusiveness, equality, integrity, assimilation, cohesion), mayitree (camaraderie) and aikya (commonalities, shared civilisational aspects) will be the three ingredients for collective pragati (progress: broadening of the thinking process, open-mindedness) of humankind and shantih (peace, assimilation, co-existence). 

Mahabidya = SarasvatI (also known as: Brahmi or Brahmani): Brahma, the creator aspect of divinity, and repository of ever-relevant knowledge and wisdom. (Brahmana refers to a progressive, learned, wise and enlightened mind.) Adyashakti = Primeval Shakti (the eternal, imperishable divinity: the higher power to whom all of humankind prays). The Cosmic Ruler. Sovereign of the Universe. (Avatar = manifestation/appearance of [the ever-youthful] divinity [the divine spirit] in human form). Kalika – a form of Shakti, also known as Mariamma. [Amma [mother] is a respectful honorific]. Kalika, the Kalkiḥ-avatar (the avatar of the future), is the benevolent [blue-hued] form of Kali (a form of Shakti/Durga). Paramatma-rupini = Satyaroopa. (Param-atma = the divine spirit, the Higher Self. Self = the soul. The physical form is merely the vessel that carries the soul). Prashobini: a perennial knowledge stream. (SarasvatI is the avatar, not river per se. SarasvatI is the personification of the sun [Savitr]: the deity of knowledge, wisdom, literature, creativity, music, arts, culture and eloquence). Bhagavati = Bhagya-Vidhaata (the higher power who presides over destiny as per the thought process, mindsets, initiative and effort [intellectual and physical effort], karma, qualities of mind and heart, etc. Achintya = an enigma: unfathomable, inscrutable, incomprehensible, perplexing. It is a reference to the Krsna-avatar (also known as Panchali and Draupadi). Shiva = 'the good' or 'the auspicious'. Prakriti = personification/deity of the earth [Bhudevi, dharitri] and nature [Prakriti]). ... The avatar is the dispeller of ignorance (distortion of Vedic [wise, enlightened, progressive] thought: puritanicalism: traditionalism, orthodox and obsolete mindsets/thought process, lack of scientific temper, etc): to transform mindsets (attitudes, beliefs, perceptions): to re-create humankind (to 'awaken' the minds) by rejuvenating the mind. ... The harbinger [creator] of Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga - the age [epoch, phase] of enlightenment, positive/progressive thinking, optimism, societal progress and so on, when humankind/human civilisation is sattvic. Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga [Rama-Rajya] is the epoch when the tamas (ignorance, intellectual and spiritual impoverishment) of the ghor kaliyuga phase (the lowest phase in the intellectual and spiritual evolution of humankind] is reversed. Thus the appearance of the avatar = fadeout of the ghor kaliyuga phase.

Kalkiḥ = of the future, the avatar of the future. Also, Kalapurusha [Kaalpurusha], Time personified, or the Timekeeper of the (mathematically precise) universe. And so, [perhaps] the universe functions like clockwork. (Purusha = divine spirit). ashvamAshugamAruhya devadattaM jagatpatiH: Devadutta (the white winged horse) is the vahaan. There is a parrot, Shuka. The avatar is [also] depicted holding an effulgent comet-like sword known as Ratna Maru. It is also the symbolic 'sword' of destiny: of hope, opportunity and renewal: to (metaphorically speaking) re-create humankind through intellectual 'awakening' [re-energisation] – fresh/logical thinking/approach (so that the metaphoric 'Golden Age' - Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga, the best of all phases/epochs, can emerge). ... The growth of the mind, and regeneration [through re-imbibing] of dharmic and sattvic ideals [principles, ethics] will also have a positive/progressive influence on societal aspects (mindsets, cultural norms, social conditioning, beliefs etc)... since mindsets: thinking process (cognitive aspects), attitudes, perceptions and the resultant behavioural aspects influence society (people's decision-making and actions). ... 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)." It could be a reference to the fabled Navaratna. 

(Note: Shuka-Sari is considered as the parrots of Radha Krsna. (In Sanskrit: Shuka = parrot). Shuka (Śuka, Shukadeva) is also considered as son of Veda Vyasa. Therefore, Shuka = Veda Vyasa? ... Vyasa (also known as Veda Vyāsa and Vyasadeva) compiled all the Vedas and also composed the Mahabharata, initially known as 'Jaya' - meaning victory, with Ganesha-ji's help. (Ganesha-ji wrote while Vyasa spoke.) Could it imply that Vyasa and Ganesha-ji are one and the same?

The story of Shuka: Shuka, Vyasa and the Apsara Ghritachi's son, emerged from the Aranis (the Arani sticks used during yagna). Vyasa realised that this was the son that was promised to him by Shiva. (As per Narada's advice, Vyasa retired to Mt. Meru to perform a penance directed towards the great Devi. He began meditating on the glory of the deity and the supreme Male principle (Purusha), chanting the single syllable Mantra given to him by the divine sage Narada. His penance lasted for a hundred years. At last, Mahadeva (Shiva) appeared before him and assured him that he will have a great son, who will propagate his lineage and make him illustrious with his good karm and learning. After obtaining the boon from Mahadeva, Vyasa returned to his hermitage on the banks of the river Sarasvati.) ... Since Ghritachi had transformed herself into a parrot, the boy (who shone with the light of knowledge) was known as Shuka. He is the spiritual brother of Agni, who is also born from the same sticks. Ghrita = ghee.)

The Kalkiḥ-avatar has been described as brAhmaNasya mahAtmanaH. brAhmaNasya = erudition, personification of the effulgent sun (Savitr, pratyaksh Brahmn) = a repository of knowledge and wisdom (supreme or highest enlightenment). Possessor of the supreme wisdom that dispels all illusions (negative pride/ego, conceit, delusions, etc); this helps human beings to become better people. Brahmn is a reference to the Param-atma, the Divine Spirit (Supersoul or Higher Self). brAhmaNasya could [therefore] also imply Para Brahmn: the Supersoul or Paramatma in human form (Satyaroopa). mahAtmanaH = Higher Soul (Higher Mind), it could also imply magnanimous. (Wherever the avatar appears that is the actual Dvarka, Mathura, Haridvar, Kashi, Lanka, Videha (Mithilā was the capital of the Videha kingdom), Panchala or Pañcāla kingdom [janapada] and [possibly] the ancient Himalaya Kingdom.) The appearance of the jagat-patiH (Brahma, Lord of Creation, Sovereign of the Universe or Cosmic Ruler) would be during: athāsau yuga-sandhyāyām: at the cusp of two maha-yuga (between ghor kaliyuga phase of the maha-yuga that's fading and Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga of the maha-yug that's commencing; sandhyāyām = cusp). bhavane viShNuyashasaH kalkiH prAdúrbhaviShyati: The Kalkiḥ-avatar will appear (prAdúr) in the home (bhavanê) of viShNuyashasaH in the future (bhaviShyati). And be born to viShNuyashasaH (janitā viṣṇu-yaśaso) and Sumati. viShNuyashasaH is essentially an incarnation of Svayambhuva Manu, the 1st Manu. (Manu = honorific for lawgiver. There are fourteen "Manu".) ... viShNuyashasaH [Svayambhuva Manu] could also be [an incarnation of] Janaka, Drupada and Himavat, the mountain-king (also known as Himavant, Himavaan, Hemavana, Himacala, Himaraaj and Parvateshvar) - a personification of the Himalayan Mountains, which are also known as the Himavat Mountains. He was the ruler of the ancient Himalaya Kingdom. Parvati/Durga (a form of Shakti) is also known as himAcala tanaya: daughter of the mountain-king and 'of the mountain' - possibly a reference to Mt. Meru, an allegoric mountain. Durga = fortress, implying invincible, unvanquished. It can also imply: dispeller of illusions, ignorance and obsolete or regressive aspects (tamas). Parvat = mountain. Parv = chapter. Parvati/Shailaja/Shailaputri/Hemavati = of the mountain, daughter of the mountain-king. Hima = snow). ... The appearance of the avatar will [therefore] signify the fadeout of the ghor kaliyuga phase, the age [epoch, phase] of tamas, euphemistically known as the 'Iron Age' of ignorance, confusion, intellectual ennui, spiritual impoverishment and depletion of dharmic and sattvic virtues and ideals - not to be confused with the technical Iron Age) and the commencement of a new maha-yuga: renewal/re-energisation (Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga – euphemistically known as 'Rama-Rajya' - a complete renaissance): an intellectual, spiritual, scientific, artistic and cultural invigoration/revival: a turnabout from the unpleasant, ignorant and regressive aspects of the ghor kaliyuga phase (the age of tamas/ignorance - the lowest point [phase] of humankind [since human civilisation is tamasic] - due to considerable depletion in dharmic and sattvic ethics/ideals, spiritual impoverishment, intellectual poverty (inability to think lucidly/logically, lack of clarity of purpose/thought), deficiency in empathic behaviour, etc). ... The purpose of the avatar is to set the stage for Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga to manifest, to put humankind [human cvilisation] on an upward trajectory (so that humankind/human civilisation becomes sattvic). 

It is the people who create their own destiny. Sincere hard-work (effort, diligence, patience, sobriety, enthusiasm, positive attitude/thinking, optimism, etc) can change (shape) a person's or a nation's future. Contemptible timidity, irresoluteness or pusillanimity of the mind (lack of character or purpose) will achieve very little. The people, through their conduct/actions/behaviour, shape a nation's destiny (and by extension their own destiny as well). There is nothing better than the enlightened (progressive) mind; the human mind alone is the cause and means of everything. A society's competitive advantage will only come from how well the people stimulate imagination and creativity. Knowledge is one of the finest attributes of humankind. Wisdom is not a product of the learning of many facts, but the training of the mind to think (cognitive abilities, logical thinking/reasoning). Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration. That is to say, it is the genius of hard work and dedication. If only luck is to be considered, everyone will just wait till his or her luck shines up. The collective effort and endeavours of a people influence and shape a nation's destiny. And so, instead of being active participants in their own destiny, humankind cannot become indifferent, excessively selfish or prejudiced. Depletion in dharmic and sattvic ideals, intellectual ennui, and indifference eventually leads to a civilisational decline. Destiny is not an excuse for torpor. A progressive (healthy, open-minded) and humane society supports dharma. Societal progress and sustainable economic well-being (quality of life and contentment) of a composite society supports dharma. A minimal sense of responsibility and disregard of outcome or significance is counterproductive. Ad hoc fixes is no substitute for well-thought-out and longer-term effort, karm-yog.

The difference between fate and destiny is a matter of looking forward and looking back. Fate is considered to be the factor that predetermines events and their evolvement (progression, evolution, unfolding) - it is about how the future will be shaped (by humankind's collective spiritual history and karma). Thus fate is not changeable. Fate looks toward future events as settled, inevitable. ... Destiny is about participation, purpose and reason. Karma is one of the factors that influence the unfolding of destiny. Destiny is about: 1. Tendencies of the soul (spiritual training: imprints and impressions, innate habits of the soul). 2. Past karma. 3. Social climate (beliefs, mindsets, attitudes, opportunities, learned behaviour/social conditioning, etc). 4. Efforts and self-discipline. 5. Influence of other factors. ... Destiny [thus] involves a set of factors (including one's decisions and choices and willingness and ability to accept responsibility and mistakes; the ability to learn, unlearn and adapt; the ability to refrain from making the same mistakes again etc) that are not settled; therefore, there is scope to change destiny through efforts (individual and collaborative). Karma is not retributive justice; karma is proportionate justice. Karma is also opportunity for positive/progressive evolution or transformation (of the mind and consciousness, and thus spiritual elevation).

(Also refer Part-III). The Touchstone is used to breathe new life into something: to rejuvenate something: to give new impetus to or renew something, to bring ideas and energy to something, to make something that was boring seem interesting again. To find the rhythm again. (Basant signifies renewal).

Soma = moon: serenity, calmness and tranquility: equanimity: unexcitable, phlegmatic. PiyuSh = Somras = intellectual juice. (Usha = dawn = positivity - to dispel tamas)

PiyuSh could [therefore] be a reference to the Kaustubha mani adorning the neck of Sri Vishnu. (Kaustubha mani = Sage Bhusunda, the crow sage. Devaguru Brihaspati. PradhAna. Crow is considered to be the most intelligent of all birds). Kaustubha mani: this "gem" [ratna] is most dear to Vishnu. Kaustubha mani is also known as Pusparaga, Puspa-Raja (King of flowers), Guru-ratna (Gem of Guru), Yellow Sapphire gemstone, Vascapati vallabha, Beloved of Jupiter).

Vidura: phlegmatic, dispassionate, poker-faced [stoic], unruffled, calm and composed/levelheaded (though prudent, impartial, having a sense of kartavya, dharmic [virtues, ethics], conscientious, wise, knowledgeable and known for his intellect, thus his counsel and advise was sought. (Vidura = one who remains at a distance).

PiyuSha could also be a reference to the Philosophers' Stone. The goal of Alchemy is the "Philosophers' Stone". The Stone ["gem": maṇi or ratna - honorific for persons of extraordinary intellectual prowess/ability] was viewed as a touchstone that could perfect any substance (mindsets, etc) or situation: to help evolve for the better, to transform for the better. It helps to rejuvenate the mind to a higher frame of intellect (enlightenment and perfection - to emerge out of tamas: ignorance and intellectual ennui/stagnation/impoverishment) - symbolised by gold = a fresh approach/thought process/perspective. (Could it be euphemism for Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga)? ... The Philosophers' Stone could [therefore] be euphemism for problem-solver. (... It is not "of the philosopher" or "the philosopher's". Philosophers' Stone = "of the philosophers" in the sense of a plurality of philosophers. Thus Philosophers' Stone = a thought leader: high levels of intellectual quality. The Philosophers' Stone symbolises perfection at its finest, enlightenment, and bliss (sat-cit-ananda: true contentment and happiness: inner calm, inner peace). The equivalent of the philosophers' stone is the Cintāmaṇi or cintāmaṇi-ratna - associated with Vishnu and Ganesha and Avalokiteśvara. It is found on the head of the Makara - dolphin, the matsya-avatar, the first avatar of the Dasavatar.)

The personification of dharitri/prakriti (earth/nature) = the Mohini-avatar = Sri Hari Vishnu = SarasvatI/Savitri – the personification of the effulgent sun (Savitr) that nourishes the earth, and also symbolises knowledge, wisdom, enlightenment (ability to think, open-mindedness, ability to learn and unlearn: a progressive mind) = intellectual illumination. SarasvatI = Sri Hari Vishnu = Vasudeva Krsna = Seeta (Sri Rama) = Sridevi/Sri Lakshmi (deity of nourishment, good health etc) = Vasudeva Dhanvantari - the Supreme Druid (Ancient Physician, deity of Ayurveda – of health and prosperity, since health is wealth). Health = holistic health and hygiene = mental, emotional and physical health and hygiene that is essential for improving societal health. Sri is an honorific for Sridevi/Lakshmi. Vasudeva Dhanvantari emerged from 'samudra-manthan' holding the kumbha of piyuSha = problem-solver. (The rare Philosophers' Stone, Cintāmaṇi or cintāmaṇi-ratna, could [therefore] be a reference to the effulgent Syamantaka mani adorning the neck of Sri Krsna = Omkaara = VasukiNaga.)

(Note: The effulgent Syamantaka mani is not to be confused with the Shyamantaka Blue Sapphire. Blue Sapphire Gemstone or Neelam is the gemstone of Saturn (Shani, Sanskrit: Śhani). Shani = the "slow-moving-one" (possibly implying not capricious). The word shani comes from Śanayē Kramati Saḥ (the one who moves slowly: not thoughtless, not lacking clarity of thought/purpose?), because Saturn takes about 30 years to revolve around the Sun. Shani oversees the dungeons of the human heart and the ignorance/unpleasant aspects/qualities therein. Shani is a deva [a positive person, enlightened mind] and son of Chhaya (silhouette, shadow - Phantom?) and Surya, thus he is also known as Saura (son of sun-god, intrepid); he is also regarded as one who removes obstacles. He is considered as an avatar of Shiva. Shanidev is considered to be a good teacher (Shanecharaya) - representing patience, effort, endeavour and endurance (commitment, sincerity, persistance - despite challenges) and who brings about misfortunes or unfavourable aspects (failures, sufferings, appropriate or proportionate retribution - due to one's [unjust, inappropriate] karma/actions). Thus Śhani gives the outcome of one's actions through appropriate/proportionate justice (apt, suitable, retributive justice: an acceptable response to negative karma) and rewards (for positive karma, diligence, initiative and efforts). He is known as the greatest teacher and well-wisher of the dharmic (those having dharmic or sattvic virtues, ethics), however Śhani also has an unfavourable effect on the undeserving: those lacking moral fibre (adharmic: deficient in dharmic or sattvic virtues, ethics: excessively opportunistic, thoughtless or self-serving). (Neelam has the ability to make its presence felt very quickly. In fact, it is the quickest of all the nine gems. This attribute has resulted in the sobriquet 'Gem of Destiny'. Śhani is the seventh gemstone in the Navaratna). It helps one overcome undue anxiety, addictions, hopelessness and irritability (i.e. it keeps all physical and mental health problems away). Śhani represents wisdom, integrity [dharma: strong moral virtues, ethics], longevity, good health, discipline [focus, clarity of thought], authority, leadership, ambition, positivity and good results; affluence, contentment, true happiness, glory [fame, encomiums], perfection (of the mind: wisdom, clarity of thought/purpose?); spiritual achievement through humility; denial, delays, difficulties, adversity [unfavourable aspects]; conservatism (no extravagance of rhetoric, not profligate/intemperate/wasteful/immoderate? timeless, classic - best of both worlds?) and sense of kartavya (responsibility, adherence to kartavya: highest human qualities). Śhani's role is often symbolised as that of an assistant (someone who helps or assists, a helping hand). This gemstone's influence is often seen as restrictive or obstructive [unfavourable], yet its influence also seeks to bring balance. Neelam could spur a person towards great heights [achievements, fame/respect, highest encomiums] and could also desert him or her [propel into oblivion]. In Sanskrit, Blue Sapphire Gemstone or Neelam is also known as: Nelashma, Neelaratna, Neela-mani, Shaniratna [Saturn's gem], Sauri Ratna, Indraneelam, Shanipriya, Blue jewel, Royal blue gem.)

(Refer Part-I). This is the story of a sixteen-year-old girl from Daltonganj in Bihar's Palamau district, nestled in the forgotten foothills of the Chhotanagpur plateau in the south. It is a blink of an eye from the Betla forest and its world famous tigers. ... Tiger could be a reference to Cat's Eye Gemstone or Lahsuniya, also known as: Vaidurya, Vaiduria, Bidalaksh, Ketu Ratna and Sutra Mani. (Bidal = cat and Aksh = eye). Cat's eye is the ninth gemstone in the Navaratna. Just like the Blue Sapphire, which is the gemstone of Śhani, the Cat's Eye gemstone is a very strong gemstone indicating unexpected results (i.e. strong influencing power). Ketu is a shadow or a node that is positioned opposite Rahu. (Astronomically, Rahu and Ketu do not exist). The constellations governed by Ketu are Ashvin, Magha and Mool. The North node is known as Rahu and the South node is known as Ketu. (The South node or Ketu is regarded as a point of difficult karma from the past life where a person reaps the results [fruits] of selfish and egoistic karma of the past. In other words, Ketu represents implementation of karmic accumulations both good and bad. Ketu is considered strong in Jupiter, exalted in Sagittarius and/or Scorpio. It is ineffective in Gemini or Taurus. Ketu is comfortable with Mercury (Budha, the fourth gemstone in the Navaratna, represented by emerald gemstone), Venus (dazzling white Venus is the sixth gemstone in the Navaratna, and diamond, the most dazzling gemstone is the representative of Venus), Śhani (the seventh gemstone in the Navaratna), and Rahu (the eighth gemstone in the Navaratna). Ketu is neutral to Jupiter, the fifth gemstone in the Navaratna, represented by yellow sapphire gemstone or Pukhraj). Ketu can be both malefic and benefic. Favourable influence of Ketu brings a lot of energy, stamina, luxury, prosperity, wisdom, good health and spiritual achievements. If unfavourable, Ketu causes unnecessary depression, lack of concentration, boundless worries, anxiety, health problems [of the spine and nervous system, leprosy, obesity, knee problems, mental instability, and fatigue]. If unfavourable, it signifies: arrogance and jealous nature, tension and restlessness. The malefic effects of Ketu are known as Ketu Dosha or Ketu Mahadasha. The effects of Ketu Dosha are considered inauspicious. Ketu Dosha generally lasts seven years. Dosha such as Kaalsarpa dosha and Sarpa dosha (also known as Nag Dosha) are also caused by Ketu. (It refers to genetic disorder. A genetic disorder is an illness caused by abnormalities in genes or chromosomes. If one observes the shape of DNA, it resembles two serpents coiled together (something that is now referred to as: DNA coiled into the double helix structure as a ladder, a twisted rope ladder, or a spiral staircase). The ancient Rishis or Munis (honorifics for highly learned/knowledgeable and wise persons) perhaps referred to DNA as 'Sarpa', and any disorder in the DNA was hence known as 'Sarpa Dosha'. [Dosha = bio-energies found in the body]). Ketu is the favourite gem of those involved in games of chance, speculative activities, gambling of any kind, horse racing. Ketu is also a gemstone, which brings back [lost] wealth. (Kaal could also be a reference to fate and destiny. Fate is considered to be the factor that predetermines events and their evolvement (progression, evolution, unfolding) - it is about how the future [of a person] will be shaped (by the person's collective spiritual history and karma, the karmic accumulations both good and bad). Thus fate is not changeable. Fate looks toward future events as inevitable. The unfolding of destiny [however] involves a set of factors (including one's decisions, choices, attitudes/thought process (acquired behaviour, adaptability), and resultant efforts/actions [karma] as well as tendencies of the soul (spiritual training: imprints and impressions, innate habits of the soul).

(Ketu is almost another imprint of Rahu. Hessonite Gemstone or Gomed is the representative stone of Rahu. Also known as: Rahu-ratna, Rahu's gem, Orange gem, Tamo-mani, Rahu's jewel. (Gomeda: cow's urine-coloured gem, the shade of honey tinged with blackish colour). Gomeda is similar to Śhani in its nature and influence. Gomed is also used to impede the unfavourable effects of Rahu: worldly desires, worldly benefits, laziness, gratification, thoughtlessness [easily excitable, affectivity], rigidity and ignorance. Rahu is unfavourable with Sun (ruby gemstone or Maanikya, the Gem of the Sun, the centre of the Navaratna) and Ketu with Moon. Thus, solar eclipse is known as Rahu and lunar eclipse is known as Ketu. (The moon is cool [serene] and the pearl gemstone represents the moon in Navaratna. The sun is followed by the moon in Navaratna

Pearls are treasures from the Earth's streams, rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans, and they have always embodied the power and life-sustaining nature of water. The white colour pearl gemstone represents the moon in Navaratna. Pearls are organic gemstones. Natural pearls are very rare and have a rainbow-like lustre (shiny pearly lustre, their surface show clear and bright reflections; the surfaces of good quality pearls are smooth). Moon is by nature saumya (serene, calm, pleasant, graceful, gentle, consistent). Moon governs the human mind (intellectual aspects); the moon influences the human mind immensely. Moon rules over the sign of cancer and sea tides. The sphere of Moon is the reservoir of rainwater and thus Moon is the ruler of plants and the vegetable kingdom. Moon symbolises the mother or female principle, the energy that creates and preserves [conserves, sustains, supports]. The colour of Moon is white. Its disposition is mucus-dominated, compassionate, astute and scholarly. It rules the peace of mind, comfort, all-purpose well-being and also the destiny of a person. A malefic moon causes ailments like tuberculosis, epilepsy, depression, mood swings, blood pressure, anxiety etc. A benefic moon results in a balanced individual. The moon is a satellite, getting light from the sun; it revolves around the earth, it also revolves around the sun. Pearl bestows happiness, integrity, loyalty, contentment and good health. The Pearl gemstone provides solution for diseases or afflictions of the mind (pacifies mental inconsistency). It pacifies obsession and mental discrepancy and strengthens [energises, augments] the heart. Pearl gemstone bestows clarity of thought and gives stability of the mind (i.e. it gives emotional stability and calms the mind). It enhances administrative qualities. Pearls help to balance the hormones, and relieve digestive disorders [abdominal ailments] and allergies. By curing a person, it brings back the vibrancy on the face. Pearl is also known as: Mukta, Moonstone or Chandrakanta Mani, Gem of the moon and Gem of the intellect).

"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:9-10). This could be equivalent to 'Rama-Rajya' (a just, humane, progressive and sattvic human civilisation: since the improvement in mental and emotional health of humankind [with the dispelling of unpleasant and ignorant aspects/thought processes, attitudes etc) will help improve societal health). In essence, 'Rama-Rajya' (Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga - the best of all phases/epochs) is a turnabout from the ignorance of the ghor kaliyuga phase; the amoral phase when there is considerable intellectual ennui (dulling of the qualities of mind and heart), and dharmic/sattvic aspects/values are deficient. ... The epoch of enlightened thought/progressive thought, optimism, camaraderie and so on – known as the Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga – the Golden Age of humankind, the best phase in the intellectual and spiritual evolution of humankind (the sattvic epoch): when the intellectual and spiritual impoverishment/ennui/stagnation of the ghor kaliyuga phase [the phase of tamas/ignorance: the lowest phase in the intellectual and spiritual evolution of humankind] is reversed.

agnE naya supathArAye asmAn vishvAni deva vayunAni vidvAn |
yuyodhyasmaj-juhurANameno bhUyiShThAM te nama uktiM vidhema ||

(Isha Upanishad Verse/Hymn 18. Rg Veda 1.189-1. Yajur 7.43. The Isha or īśa upanishad, also known as the Ishopanishad or isavasya upanishad, is part of Yajur Veda. The Upanishad is also known as Ishavasya Upanishad and Vajasaneyi Samhita Upanishad. Isha is derived from Ishvara, the Supreme Master, the cosmic teacher and Cosmic Ruler.)

Om. You are the source of light; You are Agnidev: enlightened (Aryaman), Supreme Wisdom. Kindly guide us on the path followed by the wise (that of contemplation/thoughtfulness, restraint/moderation, dharma [ethics] and sattvic [arya, noble] virtues): the path of renewal (of thoughts, beliefs, attitudes): towards fulfillment (self-fulfillment/self-improvement, personal growth) and perfection (to be a good human being: to be kind, compassionate, empathic: to be concerned about the well-being of others; to be open to positive/progressive change, to evolve intellectually and spiritually). We pray to Thee to help us to emerge from ignorance (tamas, thoughtlessness - the ignoble path of confusion and indifference that tarnish the mind, heart and soul). O Lord, Thou art the well-wisher of all. Thou art endowed with all knowledge (wisdom, the light of knowledge). We pray to Thee to heal us with the light [curing glow] of wisdom, so that we may renew ourselves (by improving our mental and emotional health and hygiene: by re-imbibing positivity of the mind (dharma and sattvic virtues), and by discarding ignorance/adharma from our minds and hearts). Help us to overcome our past karma. Thou art sagacious, astute, deeply perceptive [discerning], and thoughtful. We offer unto Thee, O Lord, our humble praise and salutation.

(The sacred agni is worshipped in Vedic [progressive, enlightened] thought. Agni = light and wisdom. Agni = Kundalini 'Fire' = intellectual illumination, enlightened/progressive mind: intellectual vigour/energy: to stimulate the brain to learn and grow, to think in a new way, to improve the mind ('kshira-sagara manthan', exercise of the intellect)... so that a sattvic [a positive/progressive and ever-curious] mind emerges. ... To energise or 'ignite' the brain cells (so as to reverse tamas: ignorance, regressive aspects, intellectual impoverishment and intellectual ennui), to help 'expand' the mind (the thought process, comprehension/the ability to understand, etc) by energising the brain cells, by stimulating the mind to think, so as to re-create oneself (a renewal through rejuvenation of the mind: the phoenix analogy). It helps to stimulate creativity, thinking skills and imagination. Kshira, pronounced shira or seer = the mind, the ability to think: the quality of thought and clarity of thought/purpose.

Arya = sattvic [noble] virtues: qualities of the mind and heart, characterised by morally admirable thought or purpose, open to positive/progressive change, cultured, thoughtful, dignified (high moral or intellectual character, having a noble or superior mind); not indifferent or ignorant, mature, levelheaded. To have the dignity, quality [talent, virtue], integrity, ability/mettle and compassion to en-noble others. ... However, what could Seeta's agni-pariksha imply? DNA test? - To make clear (to correct a mistake or misunderstanding) regarding Ravana's equation with Seeta, and/or to make clear the Seeta-Valmiki equation, and/or to provide clarity about 'Immaculate Conception' so that Jesus [Vasuki, Arjuna, Bheeshma] could emerge out of Crucifixion and clear the air, the 'fog' of deceit and trickery created by Ravana? Authentication of documents and/or signature? Ravana usurped Lanka. But why would the people accept someone like Mahisasura/Ravana/Hiranyakashipu/Kansa as their ruler? (Mahisasura could imply buffalo-like characteristics. Asura = negative person). Also, how would Ravana throw dust in the eyes of people? Could it be that he was deceitful, an imposter using forged documents? (Ravana's ten heads: A braggadocio? Deluded? A schizophrenic mind? A legend in his mind, hubristic - full of ego, vainglory and self-importance? Excessively selfish, easily upset, emotionally immature? A histrionic personality and/or histrionic skills/talent/ability? Impulsive and/or given to gloomy, depressed, or sullen moods? Given to frequent changes of mood? Sulky and temperamental - filled with frustration; dissatisfied? Narcissistic? Deliberately deceitful/duplicitous? Manipulative, obsessive and domineering? Self-pity and/or obsessive thinking (especially an exaggerated or self-indulgent attitude)? 

Mudra (also refer Part-III): The Shankha emerged from the sea during 'kshira-sagara manthan' (exercise of the intellect). The Shankha is shown in a hand-gesture (mudra) in Indian classical dance and also in worship. It is known as 'Shankha-mudra'. The Shankha is worshipped in Vedic puja. Panchajanya [for the welfare/betterment of all] is the shankha [divine conch] of Viṣṇu/Krsna. Shankha [thus] could be a reference to daiva-vaani (to articulate the opinions and advice of divinity). Arjuna's shankha is Devadatta. In the Bhagavad-Gita, there are three aspects: Sri-bhagavan uvāca (Sri-bhagavan said), Arjunaḥ uvāca (Arjuna said) and Sañjayah uvāca (Sañjayah said). Sañjayah, the anchor character, was the advisor and guide. ... Pralaya = renewal [re-energisation, fresh approach: to give new impetus/energy to something]. Shiva ('the good' or 'the auspicious') is the re-energiser aspect of divinity. Shiva is also known as Shankara, possibly due to shankha. The shankha is [also] used for pouring offerings of water, or for giving a ceremonial bath to a deity (shankha-snana). Water from the shankha is also sprinkled on the head of devotees. 

While discussing karma-yoga Krsna says: through sankhya yoga and karma-yoga one can overcome confusion and illusion, i.e. if one were of two minds (indecisive/unresolved) one can emerge from confusion through sankhya, and towards clarity: towards thoughtful action, correct perspective and expertness (efficiency, effectiveness or correctness) in action. The second chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita is about Sankhya Yoga (Sankhya philosophy) and the third chapter is about Karma Yoga (the yoga of thoughtful action, expertness in action, by minimising ineptitude or unnecessary action). Sankhya is about correct understanding (for rectifying erroneous thinking or thoughtless/impulsive action) and a higher level of thinking (correct perception [to be perceptive] and perspective – to differentiate between necessary and unnecessary aspects; perceptive = thoughtful, discernment and understanding, astute/sagacious). Yoga is about balance, calm attitude and collaboration/participation/synergy/fusion. An impartial [objective] mind is balanced; a conditioned mind [unthinking, habituated or rigidly conventional/unprogressive] is not. The necessity for maintaining a balanced attitude in mind is yoga. Thus, karma yoga is the yoga of correct/thoughtful action, or actions as such in the light of correct understanding (well-reasoned-out - common sense, thorough understanding/logic, clarity of thought/purpose, logical thought and action: wisdom or logic behind actions, instead of thoughtless, impulsive action or conditioned action). Thus, sankhya is the wisdom of life. Sankhya philosophy is about impeccable reasoning (that maximises efficiency) and [subsequent] inference. It is not about hypothesis/assumption, theorising or illogical concepts, or oversimplification (superficial understanding, so much so that it becomes inane: frivolous, unreasonable).   



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