Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection. Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action...

The Anand pattern, an integrated cooperative approach, integrating livestock, fish farming/pisciculture [including breeding of rare freshwater fish] and aquaculture, farmers/farm labourers and dairying could help improve the economic condition of farmers and craftspeople. It would promote/support rural entrepreneurship/agripreneurship initiatives. If manufacturing activities (crafts - including graceful and lively crockery art, gifts and merchandise, etc; weaves, fibre, fabric, design, sculpture, embroidery, garment printing, fabric painting, frescos/mural painting, distinctive village/indigenous cuisine, snacks, pickles, condiments and refreshments - unique flavours and cuisine to indulge the taste buds; folk music and dances; jewellery - including stylish and trendy unique, costume and ethnic jewellery, folk jewellery and accessories, handicraft/handmade costume and fashion jewellery, accessories and knick knacks, etc) is also integrated, there could be a successful rural programme. There is great skill in creative endeavours: design, geometry, technical acumen, sculpting, creativity/innovation (in design), aesthetics and teamwork. A progressive people and civilisation is about finesse [sophistication, good taste, upbringing, manners] in culture and thought. Irrelevant terminologies that are impolite and demotivating are unhelpful. Introducing "traditional" craftspeople to design sculpting techniques, print technology (for better prices), new variety of prints, new product designs, organic/natural/herbal ingredients and colours, manufacturing technology, local and global preferences, innovations/fusion, aspects of branding, soft skills, etc is essential. Synergy creation with other sectors. Labour-intensive activities not only help generate employment and revenue, they also nurture creativity (concentration and application of mind). There could also be a unique group of architects and interior designers - to create/showcase Indian architecture and design.

Tagore understood that real progress could not be achieved without alleviating rural poverty. He had a keen interest in cooperative farming. He realised that the hopelessly fragmented landholdings did not provide the best conditions for modern methods of farming and the creation of wealth. His rural programme for economic change emphasised community responsibility [involvement of common people]. 

Cooperative farming, common water supplies/water harvesting/irrigation system, greater crop output (scientific knowledge and modern technology, basic amenities and services, organic farming methods, organic fertilisers, organic pesticides, reviving indigenous seeds, improving/increasing the water table, creating lakes, turning vast desert regions or uncultivable land to farmland, planting new forests to help absorb carbon dioxide from the air etc), planting mangrove trees, soil sustainability (improved soil structure and organic matter content, improved soil fertility, supplementing the nutrients naturally occurring in the soil), soil reclamation and reforestation (with forethought) and revival and creation of cottage industries, co-operative health societies, upgrading of livestock, assimilating the scientific spirit, higher rates of literacy, rural circulating libraries, cultural and health [rural health] initiatives (including self-help initiatives) will help create self-supporting/self-sustained villages [rural] and semi-urban villages. Multi-stakeholder cooperative model - for their mutual social, economic, and cultural benefit. Community health centers, health co-operatives, credit unions, cooperative banking and co-operative insurance. (Assistance with savings and loans. Micro-credit - to support entrepreneurship and alleviate poverty, to empower women and [thereby] uplift entire communities). Encouraging innovative thinking, collaboration, indigenising best practices. Natural fertilisers and organic soil conditioner facilities. Multiple cropping, crop rotation for increased farm production and profitability per unit land area in selected crops, and for improving soil fertility. Sustainable methods/mechanism of waste management. Agricultural wastewater treatment. Agricultural waste management (livestock waste is usually recycled to the land). Clean energy solutions: renewable energy, waste-to-energy facilities (with environmental regulations for positive environmental effects of such facilities, minimum side effects on the environment) which help in managing and disposing of wastes. Turning biodegradable waste such as food scraps, kitchen waste and yard trimmings or farm waste [farm-generated organic residuals] into organic fertiliser. (Energy in the form of biogas, heat or power. Organic pesticide and manure production as well as electricity generated for the farm).

(Lakes are a nature heritage. Rejuvenating and restoring lakes and water-bodies: cleaning and removal of weeds, cleaning lakes of garbage (plastic and junk waste/clutter, immersion of plaster of paris and other degradable and non-degradable garbage) - to improve water quality. Uncontrolled fishing, increase in use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers too affect the water quality. Sewage is discharged into lakes and ponds. Biological, chemical, mechanical and other curative measures are more effective than manual measures (regeneration being faster than removal). Harvester vehicle equipped with harvesting equipment, weed removal aquatic vehicle, perhaps micro-nutrient formulation/nano-technology could be helpful. Mitigating the odour and transforming not just the quality but also the overall appearance of lakes. Trees cleanse the air, offset the heat generated by urbanisation/development and reduce energy needs. Trees improve quality of life. Conserving nature, successful tree planting, and maintaining existing trees in the best health possible, restoring aquatic life and avifauna is necessary to help maintain a balance in the ecology. Pollution and shrinkage of lakes, ponds, rivers etc will lead to significant changes in rainfall pattern. This will also affect how well plants and crops grow. The changes to weather and ecosystems will also affect people more directly (access to groundwater, air pollution, imbalance in weather and climate, etc). Water vapour is changed to clouds that bring fresh water to land in the form of rain or snow. ... The importance of hills and mountains: if the Himalayas had not been there the climate of India would have been drastically different. The monsoon season in India is very much dependent on the Himalayas and the other ranges of the Pamir Mountains. The moisture-filled clouds that the low pressure formed during the hot Indian summer brings in, bumps into the Himalayas and the other mountain ranges to bring rainfall to the Northern plains. If the Himalayas had not been there, India would not have had the snow-fed rivers of the Northern plains as well. Most of the northern plains would have been windswept arid land with extreme weather, very hot summers and harsh cold winters. In fact, most of it would have been desert. Humankind will have to be in harmony with nature.)  

Tagore's rural programme included merging villages into regional units, under capable leaders, which would include schools, workshops, granaries (as a buffer for droughts), dispensaries, cooperative stores and [rural] banks (that made available loans to peasant entrepreneurs at reasonable rates), as well as common meeting places for recreation and the settling of dispute. There was an anti-malaria programme, drains were opened up, tanks disinfected, and quinine distributed and smallpox vaccinations administered. A group patterned after the boy scouts/girl guides was responsible for many of the health initiatives. Efforts to revitalise and reorient the traditional [rural] festivals by not only inculcating the artistic and cooperative spirit among the villagers, but by also giving it a socio-economic significance. Education focused towards rural needs: higher literacy levels, vocational training to village apprentices and providing crafts training to the students, provision for night classes and distance education for children and adults. The curriculum included basic literacy, math, crafts and recreational activities. (The learning framework - created by Tagore, Elmhirst (an agronomist) and Santosh Majumdar (an energetic and capable member of Elmhirst's team) - reflected a more practical approach to rural needs; it was also focused towards character formation, creative activities, and inculcating social responsibility.) The rural programme covered four general areas: agriculture, crafts and industries, village welfare and education. There were branches for diary, fishery, poultry, horticulture, sericulture and animal science. The revival of cottage industries and crafts was a major objective, it sought to revive and create local industries, initiate new artistic designs and skill development; training centres were [also] set up to restore local industries and crafts.

Poverty excludes people. It prevents them from getting access to services. It often renders them helpless. Thus, access to basic services will go a long way in bettering the lives of the economically deficient [those who do not having enough resources to pay for necessities] and the somewhat well-off among them [those having little money or few possessions].

Policies should not be inconvenient, or alienate a citizenry. A web of taxes is thoughtless, cumbersome, unhelpful for the environment. It is moral corruption, especially when basic services are below par or non-existent, and/or quality of services/products etc are substandard, and/or there is high inflation/cost of living. Financial corruption at lower and middle levels also affect the citizens. Low return on investment for small and micro investors is unhelpful. Roads and development that passes through parks, lakes etc is moral corruption. It is no solution at all. Unless measures are taken to check future population growth, road-widening is not a solution for easing traffic. The solution to traffic, underage labour, nutrition deficiency, etc is to check future population growth; perpetual road-widening is not a solution – especially in a country like India. Functional drains including stormwater drains, cleaning and disinfecting of drains, thoughtful laying of waterpipes and sewer drains, indoor toilets and well-maintained public restrooms (including initiative/campaign to sensitise the people to use them - there is "tradition" and monetary aspects involved), functional streetlights, well-maintained roads are necessary. Also, proving administrative corruption is akin to counting waves. There are unintended outcomes. It is impractical to gauge how much water a fish drinks, or whether it drinks water or not. It is necessary to understand human psychology, policies need to be practical, simplified and streamlined. Urbanisation, policies, etc should not be akin to cutting the branch one is sitting on [unsustainable, self-defeating]. Policies also need to be sensible [commonsensical]. Stigmatising professions associated with pleasure is moral corruption. It is a service; it should be considered as such. A change of mindset is required. The mindset has to change. Rhetoric is unhelpful. Gender dichotomies, social and ethical double standards and squeamishness should be eschewed. That kind of moral piety is unnecessary and unhelpful. Literacy (including financial literacy – pension schemes etc), and awareness about health and hygiene and adult education - for disease prevention, and access to and effectiveness of contraceptive methods are much more effective and helpful than moral piety. Stigmatising citizens associated with cleaning and sanitation activities is also a corruption of the mind, of the thinking process; it is non-logic. A citizenry and government must know when to show gratitude. There is much to learn from Japan: their mindsets, their approach. Their ability to problem-solve without affecting the economic engine is also admirable. Japan is a developed country not because of technological advancements only. Protective clothing and equipment, access to sanitation facilities, better wages, medical benefits, pension, cash and non-cash incentives, financial literacy, dignity (as a citizen). There is also a need to clarify misperceptions, to de-stigmatise the issue of mental illness (mental health, depression), hepatitis, tuberculosis, leprosy, etc. This will help people to not suffer in silence because of feeling embarrassment or self-disgust, and [instead] to seek adequate treatment and support. Labeling citizens as low caste, depressed class, backward class, etc is impolite, uncultured. It is also not in sync with Sva-dharma [innate talents/abilities], acquired knowhow, and VarnaH-dharma (good upbringing, manners, and tastes). Uncivilised, unjust, unscientific and unprogressive "tradition" and practices should not be sugarcoated. A government should be energetic, pro-active, pro-people and progressive. This will have a positive effect on the citizens. It is necessary to train the mind to think, to do rational [logical] thinking; regurgitation, conditioned [habituated, irrelevant, "traditional"] thinking or non-logic is unhelpful.

Chanakya is about statesmanship, and smart, mature, purposeful, commonsensical politics, diplomacy and economics, not contemptuous, calumniatory, unscrupulous or unethical Machiavellism. Chanakya-niti is about progress – of a nation, of a people and of a civilisation, of human progress: of ascent - upliftment of the soul, of the human consciousness, of the mind, the thinking process. It is not thoughtless, irresponsible, ignoble deception, narcissism, manipulation or exploitation of adharmic tactics/aspects, etc for shortsighted, personal gain, to merely seek and keep power for the sake of power. Machiavellism is a personality trait. ... Capabilities are more important than perceived intentions. Anything that is supposed to create economic prosperity must make economic sense – for the people, the government, and the longer term. If basic human necessities are overpriced – it is not sensible economics. Rising cost of essential commodities [goods and services] while bringing down the prices of consumer durables and luxury goods is unhelpful. A ruler/government must understand/recognise their dharma [kartavya, responsibility] towards the people. There must be a sense of justice [fairness], and a concern for the wellbeing of a citizenry. The justice system should [also] be about reform and rehabilitation. Intemperate/overindulgent/extravagant corruption, hypocrisy, incompetence and indifference will alienate the people. And so, a ruler/government must have ethical boundaries/threshold. A government that is agreeable/affable, generous [not indifferent, small-minded], good-tempered, receptive, sympathetic, commonsensical, understands complexities, is capable of expressing sorrow, remorse or regret instead of passing the buck of blame unfairly, endears itself to the people. Harsh/thoughtless laws, policies etc weaken the people. Thought control or colonisation of the mind is self-defeating. Being maestros of Machiavellianism is unhelpful, shortsighted. Machiavellian tactics - much cunning and deception/deceit/hypocrisy in statecraft [kutniti and politics, governance, administrative activities] or in attitude/behaviour [towards the people] is enmeshing, self-defeating. It muddles the mind; it also becomes part of the collective psyche. It influences people and affects the image of the country. A ruler/government should not be apathetic or stonehearted, smug/insincere, uncouth, soporific/indolent [complacent], insensible, dilettante [insipid, inept/incompetent, inelegant], mindless, patronising [to behave in an offensively condescending manner], tactless or discourteous. It should also eschew cynicism/contemptuousness, grouchiness/sullenness and knee-jerk [impulsive, thoughtless] reactions. Expressing sorrow, remorse or regret should also not become a trend. Effective/corrective measures [not quick-fix or ad hoc fixes] must be taken [and understood]. Stature and goodwill requires genuine effort. Kaitabha is unhelpful. Being savvy-flexible is a good thing. A ruler/government must not be fanciful, must not over-promise, be clear-headed [clear thinking, with a clear strategic vision], capable of prioritising, do necessary spadework; half-baked [not thought through: impractical, witless, shortsighted] stuff or castles in the air is unhelpful. Intellectual heft, intellectual mettle, and/or a healthy reading habit are a good thing. The best and the brightest are an asset. Intangible. The best and brightest talent is vital. There must be respect and appreciation. Crab mentality is unhelpful. The best and brightest talent should be the ones interacting with the world, with diverse peoples, nations and cultures. (Kiṣkindhā - monkey kingdom. Kishkindha - vanara country: people with ape nature? Aśoka: serene stoicism - impassive, characterised by a calm, austere fortitude, phlegmatic: not easily upset, unexcitable? Or Ashoka: without sorrow and regret - unfeeling, unempathic, stonehearted, detached/indifferent?)

Colonial terminologies or distortion of Vedic [progressive, enlightened, rational] thought is unhelpful, an erroneous perception. Agriculturists, a person who practices or is highly skilled in a craft, a member of a skilled trade, the craftsmen and the smiths: those involved in activities requiring design and manufacturing skills and trading aspect of business, etc are not "backward" or marginalised people. They cater to myriad economic segments, and are [thus] part of the employment engine and economic engine (for a diverse nation and economy like India). Employment is about long-term, sustainable job sectors (based on population demographics, knowledge and knowhow (skills), literacy levels, geographic realm, weather conditions etc); entrepreneurial temperament and dignity as a citizenry is essential. Creating opportunity will help create a new middle class, the middle-income groups and the lower middle class too would benefit. It is vital to create new entrepreneurs. ... Streamlining cumbersome rules and regulations, obsolete/redundant processes and hierarchies will be helpful (to stimulate [incentivate] medium, small and micro enterprises, and to make the environment for business and local investment more conducive). Overcoming the concept of Indian stretchable time and integrating the best practices (such as: quality enhancement, efficiency, health and hygiene, civic sense, aesthetics [including good taste in thought and behaviour], scientific and technical knowledge and knowhow) from other cultures, will help create a dynamic approach to national innovation.

There is a need for rationalisation (logical thinking, a capability to reason out things) and progressive change. Craftspeople are [also] upholders of our heritage. Some of them may be economically impoverished, but they are also highly skilled and have knowledge of their craft/trade. So, terminologies like "backward" etc are inappropriate. Economic well-being is [therefore] a more apt criteria. Similarly, the [colonial] term 'tribal' is unhelpful. The geographic realm, education and/or literacy levels should be considered. This will help bring in more clarity in the thought process. Clarity in thought will bring in clarity in other aspects.

(Hindu Dharma should not be confused with Brahminism - focus on ritualism and hegemony of rigid/orthodox/regressive/thoughtless/conditioned/unscientific mindsets. (Dharma, as in, virtues, ethics, moral decency, thoughtful, empathic behaviour: a philosophy of life, a progressive way of life: open to positive change, assimilation [ability to discard obsolete/thoughtless aspects and embrace best practices from other cultures] and [hence] continuously evolving.) Hindu Dharma is not about rigid tenets. It is about progressive thought, wisdom and individual choice. It is not a homogeneous faith or way [philosophy] of life. One can believe in Advaita philosophy - the impersonal mode of divinity [cosmic light, cosmic energy, divine effulgence - the basis of all creation]. One can believe in the active principle - the guiding spirit, the Philosopher-king of the Universe. One can be a theist, an atheist or an agnostic. It is individual choice. Imposing one's views [beliefs, etc - rigid/orthodox/regressive/puritanical thoughts, mindsets [cultural norms, behaviour and attitudes] on others is not Hindu Dharma. Brainwashing is also not part of Hindu Dharma. Given its diverse, assimilative and pluralistic quality, such mindsets and behaviour will be unhelpful, shortsighted. ... The rigid social hierarchy known as 'caste system' is a distortion of Vedic [enlightened, progressive] thought. It is irrational and irrelevant, unsustainable, even impolite. It has created hurdles [mindsets, attitudes, etc] that prevent progress. Sva-dharma and VarnaH-dharma (moral decency, finesse in thought and behaviour) is the way forward. Educational qualifications, economic well-being and work responsibility/experience/skills [knowhow] are a more effective and appropriate criteria. Sva-dharma is about skills, different mix of skills and experience, talents – natural or innate ability, aptitude - gained/acquired knowledge. There will also be need for fresh thinking, since different set of skills, professions etc have come about: sportspersons, performing arts, entertainment, legal and medical practitioners, etc etc.

Hindu Dharma will have to emerge from Brahminism and manusmriti, for its own good. In Byadhi o Pratikar (Disease and Remedy) Tagore says, those who create religious practices [possibly rituals, etc] on a culture of negativity [possibly: unjust, unprogressive, unscientific thoughts, aspects, behaviour], those who believe in prejudiced behaviour, those who de-humanise and insult others, those who insist on maintaining [supposed] caste purity, humiliation is inevitable. He also says, it is Hindus who have created hurdles that prevent progress. He advised against regimentation of the mind, it diminishes the ability to think. To recreate a strong foundation and better future "orthodox revivalism" is not, and never could be, the way forward.

Sva-dharma is the natural bent of mind (creative, classical, scientific, philosophical/scholarly/academic, entrepreneurial, decision-making/administrative, legal, strategic, spiritual/religious etc). It is a reference to the innate abilities/talents [imprints, impressions, habits] of the soul. It should not be confused with rigid social hierarchy. Brahmana = a learned, wise, progressive and enlightened mind; it is about being open to positive change, to be cultured [finesse in thought and behaviour - VarnaH-dharma]. Openness of mind is the ability to learn, unlearn, adapt, assimilate best practices and continuously evolve. This is the basis of Hindu Dharma. Brahmana = Arya: a progressive [sattvic] mind, finesse in thought and behaviour. Brahmana should not be confused for Brahmin (priestly types: puritanical/rigid, unprogressive, resistant to positive change). A lot of people who have nothing to do with temple activities are "Brahmin"; folk with no strategic or administrative experience are kshatriya etc. People with no entrepreneurial skills or business experience are "Vaishya", so on and so forth!

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 [him, her] is merely the vessel that contains the Self - the eternal aspect, the soul). This may help explain genius, innate ability, talents etc - i.e. biological ability. This is Krsna's Sva-dharma. It takes into consideration the cumulative ability of the soul.)

Overcoming stereotypes (regressive social conditioning, unprogressive/thoughtless aspects) and ignorance is about changing mindsets through changing the language. Mindset change is vital for progress. Changing the language changes the mindset.

A progressive [sattvic] civilisation is about the people: their mindsets, habits, perceptions, attitudes, thought processes, ethics/virtues, social norms and conditioning (acquired behaviour), beliefs, etc. India has a large illiterate population; awareness about health and hygiene and adult education (and access to and effectiveness of contraceptive methods) is the need of the hour. It is also necessary to make sincere efforts to raise literacy levels (including financial literacy) and to foster scientific temper (an ever-curious mind that is willing to learn and is open to positive/progressive change). It is [also] necessary to create a reading culture (to read the classics: novels, poetry etc and contemporary literature: the last seven decades). Environmental pollution in the garb of 'customs' and rituals is unhelpful. Technology should be harnessed for a long-lasting solution. Technologies for generating energy from urban wastes will help reduce the quantity of waste: reduction in environmental pollution, besides generation of substantial quantity of energy. Restoring dried-up tributaries, creating lakes to improve/increase the water table, groundwater recharge and integrated rain-water harvesting (practical, long-term solutions for urban, suburban and rural areas); cleansing of rivers and lakes; soil sustainability and conservation efforts; transforming wastes into resources; reforestation (with forethought); empowering the farmers and craftspeople [manufacturers] through co-operatives (co-operative societies, agricultural co-operative, healthcare, water harvesting etc) and by putting in their hands the instruments of development will lead to a sustainable economy.

Shiva ('the good' or 'the auspicious') is the re-energiser [dispeller of tamas/ignorance] aspect of divinity. Ganga emerges from Shiva's head = Shiva is the fount of wisdom and knowledge: of progressive, enlightened [Vedic] thought. (Vid = to know. Veda = knowledge. Vidya = knowledge. Para vidya = ever-relevant knowledge. Ignorance, thoughtlessness = avidya).

Ganga had become vain, none could impede Ganga's fall = irrationality/falling standards, decay due to tamas. (Ganga was filled with so much tamas (ignorance, tardiness, thoughtless aspects, etc) that Ganga was unable to progress). However, Lord Shiva held all of Ganga in the jataa just before she fell on earth. This could imply distortion of Vedic thought, so much so that it had become unhealthy, ineffective, impractical, purposeless. Lord Shiva initiated the process of renewal (wisdom, thoughtful aspects, fresh approach), thus Ganga emerged from tamas (distortion of Vedic thought, etc) towards progressive thought and a sattvic civilisation (thoughtful understanding, competence, cultivation, knowledge, wisdom, talent etc).

Pralaya = re-energisation: fadeout of tamas/ignorance - the fadeout of rigid traditionalism (orthodox and obsolete thought processes/mindsets/assumptions, hopelessness, confusion, resistance to positive/progressive change, lack of scientific temper, regressive aspects (thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, etc). A progressive/positive turnabout, a thoughtful spring cleaning. Pralaya is renewal, rejuvenation of the mind, character formation [ethics/virtues]: 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, it is essential for improving societal aspects). Pralaya is a complete turnabout from tamas (ignorance, thoughtless aspects, confusion and distortion of Vedic [wise, progressive, rational, enlightened] thought). The Universe is always evolving, thus social, intellectual and spiritual stagnation is unhelpful for the intellectual, cultural and spiritual evolution of humankind.

1. Aaloker Ei Jharnadharaaye.

2. Esho Heye Boishak Esho Esho. (Tagore says, 'agni-snana' is required for the earth, in the future: to rejuvenate the earth. He also refers to winds of change. He says: Ano Ano Ano taba pralaya-er shankh. Pralaya refers to renewal: the process [cosmic phenomenon] of positive transformation [re-energisation of the mind]. ... 'Agni-snana' is to energise the mind, to regenerate and strengthen the qualities of the mind. Agni is the deity of intellectual aspects/strengths. Intellectual strengths are not intellectualism. It is the ability to think, thoughtful wisdom: to do lucid thinking [clear, logical thinking, clarity of thought], to do original thinking [not regurgitation, old wine in new bottle]. A fresh approach: to be able to emerge from inanities, irrelevant aspects etc; to emerge from the conditioned mind, the sense mind [lower consciousness or lower mind which is "asleep" or "half-asleep" - deluded, indifferent, thoughtless, egoistic or ignorant], and into the higher mind or thinking mind [the conscious mind, the 'awakened' mind].)

3. Aaguner Poroshmoni. (Agni is Ishvara. There are hundreds of verses invoking agni in the Vedas. The quality of humankind, human society or human civilisation is because of intellectual aspects (the thinking process, mindsets, attitudes [including manners], ethics [moral decency], virtues, beliefs, etc). Agni is the deity of intellectual aspects/strengths. Thus Agni is the basis of all creation. (Since mindsets [thought process, etc] are the cause of everything.) In this poem Tagore invokes Poroshmoni, the Touchstone (that which transforms, to open the mind, to 'awaken' the conscious mind, the thinking mind) – believed to be a very rare gem. The fabled somras is intellectual juice/essence (thinking, eye-opening reflections, cerebration, pondering, contemplation): to open the mind to new ways of thinking, to new ways of understanding, to new ways of seeing things. (A turnabout, not more of the same thing: confused, habituated or conditioned thinking and behaviour.) This is what the process of "creation" [a new chapter [yuga] in the intellectual, cultural and spiritual evolution of humankind] is all about. Agni is necessary for 'kshira-sagara-manthan' - exercise of the intellect to regenerate and strengthen the qualities of the mind, to bring about a sea change, a complete transformation: to "create" a new yuga.) ... Poroshmoni or Porosh-Pathor is a mani or stone (as in "gem" or ratna) that can transform iron [or impure metals] to gold. (Iron, tamas: confusion, non-logic, ignorance, irrelevant or thoughtless aspects, dharmic decay/deficiency, etc.) Asato maa sadgamaya, tamaso maa jyotirgamaya: From tamas [ignoble, illusory aspects, indifference, confusion etc], guide [lead] us towards clarity (of thought, of the mind), i.e. sattvic, dharmic aspects: the path of the wise, that of renewal; from the 'fog' [confusion] of ignorance and thoughtless aspects guide us towards thoughtful wisdom and progressive thinking (light of wisdom). ... Thoughtful wisdom is the ability [intellectual maturity] to understand what is relevant and what is irrelevant or unnecessary, what is dharma [ethical, responsible behaviour, moral decency, empathy, positive, progressive aspects - logical, commonsensical thinking, attitudes, behaviour, initiatives and efforts] and what is adharma [regressive, irrelevant and ignoble aspects, insatiable ego, arrogance, avaricious mindset, indifference, apathy, aggrandisement]. (Piyusha: elixir, to rejuvenate the mind, the thinking process (beliefs, attitudes and behaviour, ethics etc). Attitudes shape behaviour. Vasudev Dhanvantari [the deity of ayurveda: health is wealth, a healthy attitude, progressive thought process, empathic behaviour etc = a healthy society] emerges from 'samudra-manthan' ['kshira-sagara-manthan', exercise of the intellect] with this elixir - to remake humankind: the thought process, the way of thinking.) Mrtyorma amrtam gamaya: Only by discarding selfish, illogical, inane, regressive and irrelevant aspects and foibles [habituated or conditioned aspects, fixed mindset], intellectual ennui or intellectual impoverishment, can the human mind rejuvenate [renew, remake] itself; only then can the conscious mind, the thinking mind 'awaken' and progress. This is the remaking of humankind. Only then can society progress. More of the same thing [tamas of kaliyuga] will be unhelpful. Om, shantih shantih shantih: Om, let there be peace within ourselves, let there be peace in the world, let there be peace in the universe.)

(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. Spring signifies renewal. Somras = intellectual juice [essence]: eye-opening reflections, cerebration, pondering, contemplation. (The moon is calm, tranquil, and provides light. The light from the moon is temperate.) ... Alchemy is defined as an art that aims to change [transform] impure metals (i.e. tamas: ignorance, confusion [lack of clarity of thought/purpose: superficial or thoughtless understanding, conditioned thinking or erroneous thinking], intellectual ennui/stagnation, regressive or obsolete thought processes/attitudes, etc: lower mind) into silver or gold (sattva, sattvic aspects [positive/progressive/dharmic virtues]: the wisdom of knowledge, thoughtful understanding, common sense, open-mindedness - open to positive change, progressive thought: higher mind). Change = inner transformation: mindset change or transformation of the mind [thought process]. Metal = human thought processes, attitudes, mindsets, perceptions, irrelevant/obsolete aspects, etc. The touchstone is [also] an assaying tool, a stone ["gem"] used to identify precious metals (i.e. intellectual aspects [virtues, ability, mettle, thoughtful and reasonable aspects], including "gems", ratna). Touchstone is the barometer, gold standard, or yardstick: a test or criterion for determining the quality or genuineness of a thing. (Parikṣit or Pārikṣita = one who has been put to a test; examined.) Touchstone as a metaphor is a measure/technique/mechanism of assaying comparative merits of a concept, etc. As a metaphor, a touchstone refers to any intellectual measure by which the validity or merit [quality, benefit, integrity, virtue, strength, essence] of a concept can be tested. It is similar in use to a litmus test. It is a symbol of incorruptible wisdom (intellectual integrity) achieved by uniting both rational, intellectual thinking (logical thinking, clarity of thought, right brain activity) with intuitive knowledge (intuitive, left brain activity).

Raising the standards: a fresh approach, a new way of thinking would help raise the [intellectual] standards - i.e. to up-level the thinking process: wisdom achieved by rational, intellectual thinking (right brain activity). The more the stimulation of the mind/brain (open-mindedness, fresh approach, logical thought, progressive/positive thinking, instead of chewing the cud - a technique based on repetition or regurgitation), more the energisation of the mind/brain: one's intellect [ability to think, reason] then takes a much higher level (in a proverbial sense). Higher-level thinking, of thinking bigger - to evolve from a lower mind (tamas: ignorance, rigid/selfish aspects, confusion [lack of clarity of thought/purpose], regressive/obsolete aspects, superficial understanding, etc) to a higher mind (sattva: knowledge, wisdom, thoughtful understanding, progressive/positive thinking): inner transformation, transformation of the mind/thought process and invigoration of the mind, the evolution of consciousness in the alchemy of time.

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 [īśa] upanishad, also known as the isavasya upanishad, is part of Yajur Veda.)

Om. You are the source of light; You are Agnidev: enlightened (Aryaman, noble-minded), Supreme Wisdom. Kindly guide us in the right direction followed by the wise (that of contemplation/thoughtfulness [non impulsive, rational, a scientific temper], of restraint/moderation, of dharma [ethics, dharmic decency] 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; openness of mind - to be open to positive/progressive change [thoughts, etc], to evolve intellectually, culturally and spiritually). We pray to Thee to help us to emerge from ignorance and ignoble aspects (tamas - the 'fog' of thoughtlessness, of confusion and indifference that tarnish the mind and soul). O Lord, Thou art the well-wisher of all. Thou art a healing zephyr (to transform the air). Thou art endowed with all knowledge (sagacious wisdom). 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 (dharmic decency, sattvic virtues, progressive thinking, scientific temper), and by discarding ignorance/adharma from our minds and hearts - corrective, progressive thoughts/attitudes/measures). Help us to overcome our past karma. (To
cleanse the soul [the self] of unpleasant aspects, to overcome past karma: prāyaścitta (repentance, atonement) - to atone for some wrongdoing: self-improvement by one's own efforts, to raise one's conscious awareness, to become a more conscious [responsible] human being, a progressive person, a positive/progressive mind.) Thou art sagacious, astute, deeply perceptive [discerning], and thoughtful. We offer unto Thee, O Lord, our humble praise and salutation.       

Agni is the deity of intellectual aspects/strengths. The sacred agni is worshipped in Vedic [progressive, enlightened] thought. Agni = light and wisdom. Agni = Kundalini 'Fire' (intellectual illumination, enlightened/thoughtful/progressive mind) = intellectual vigour/energy, the metaphoric somras (intellectual juice) - to stimulate the brain to learn and grow, to think in a new way, to improve the mind. (Agni could be euphemism for wisdom/sagacious thinking, originality of thinking, and transformational ability (from lower mind [from selfish, rigid, unprogressive, thoughtless, inane [unreasonable] and irrelevant thinking/aspects etc] to higher mind - thoughtfulness, logic, common sense - clear thinking, good reasoning, ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions; clarity of thought/purpose [correct understanding], fresh approach and improvement/progress/evolution in thought processes], as can be understood from the Touchstone analogy). Kshira-sagara manthan = intellectual stimulation, exercise of the intellect - to stimulate the brain/mind to think, to energise or 'ignite' the brain cells (so as to overcome tamas: ignorance, regressive/cumbersome/obsolete aspects, intellectual impoverishment and intellectual ennui), to help 'expand' the mind (the thought process, comprehension - the ability to think and 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). To bring about a sea change. It [also] 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.

Pralaya-er shankh or Pralaya-shankha (Esho Heye Boishak Esho Esho): 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 (Sanjayah 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, implying to open the mind to new way of thinking: a fresh approach, mind-opening knowledge, clarity of thought/purpose. The shankha is a sacred/divine emblem/insignia of Vishnu. Before the worship of Vishnu begins, the shankha is worshipped. 

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/confused) 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 - empirical, pragmatic, practical, logical, involving reasoning from facts,  not conjectural, hypothetical, impractical or theoretical) 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 think through, 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]. Kapila Muni, a renowned sage of antiquity, is the author of Sankhya philosophy.)

4.  Arup Tomaar Baani.

(Shhe ani [to bring about]. However, Shheyani could also be a feminised version of Shyena. Tagore had a way with words. ... To help overcome the barriers of the mind and heart. To find the rhythm again. And thoughtfulness, intellectual illumination [intellectual vigour]. To emerge from metaphoric crucifixion. To rediscover the intellectual mojo and effervescence/cheerfulness/enthusiasm/dynamism. ... Jesus' resurrection = to be able to talk about his relationship with Krsna [who is also Seeta, Mariamma, Satyavati, Parvati, Shiva, Christ etc] and regain his rightful position at Dvarka/Lanka/Kailasha. (Arjuna is also known as Jishnu, the irrepressible one.) Tagore = Arjuna/Jesus/Radha/Bheeshma/Nandi, possibly Veda Vyasa, Socrates, da Vinci and Shakespeare. Perhaps Ānanda, preeminent among the Buddha's disciples, and Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva (Buddha-to-be) of compassion. He is likely to be an extraordinarily erudite, cultured, progressive and intellectually brilliant person, a person of many talents and a thought leader (as can be understood from the "Philosophers' Stone" analogy). The literary and intellectual aspects are innate abilities/talents of his soul: sva-dharma. ... Perhaps there could [also] be necessity for DNA test, to make clear (to correct a mistake or misunderstanding, erroneous thinking/perception) 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/Radha/Bheeshma] could emerge from Crucifixion and clear the air, the 'fog' of deceit and trickery created by Ravana [aka Joseph]? Valmiki, a Brahmana, is also the primeval poet, since he invented verse, which defined Sanskrit poetry. Ichcha = will. Authentication of documents and/or signature? Ravana usurped Lanka. But why would the people accept someone like Ravana (who is also Mahisasura, Hiranyakashipu and 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? A histrionic personality and/or histrionic skills/talent/ability? Deliberately deceitful/duplicitous?

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. (Buddha = 'the Enlightened One', 'the Wise One' or 'the Awakened One' - a conscious mind: one whose mind [and conscious] is awake, one who is truly awake and conscious.) Padmapani and "Holy Grail": possibly alludes to passionate kiss.

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 - i.e. to help evolve for the better, to transform [change] for the better. It helps to rejuvenate the mind to a higher frame of intellect (a thoughtful mind, thoughtful wisdom/enlightenment and perfection [logic, rationality, thoughtful/impeccable reasoning] - to help it to emerge from thoughtless aspects/tamas - ignorance and intellectual ennui/stagnation, smallness of mind or character) - towards a fresh approach/thought process/perspective symbolised by gold. (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 [admirable qualities/virtues of the mind and heart, a nobility of spirit, virtue and noble character] at its finest, enlightenment (wisdom, progressive thought, clarity of thought/purpose, finesse in thought and culture), and egoless bliss (sat-cit-ananda: true contentment and happiness: inner calm, inner peace).  

Sakama karm is selfish karm, due to expectation [greed, illusion, delusion] of fame, glory, encomiums etc, while nishkama karm is selfless actions (selflessness, characterised by kindness and unselfish concern, and performed for the welfare of others, for society's common good). For instance, Bhagiratha. Good (positive, thoughtful) karma is essential to overcome unpleasant (thoughtless) karma. By continuing on this path, sakama karma (selfish karma) becomes nishkama karma (selfless actions), and thus a jiva-atma (human soul or individual soul) can become a truly evolved soul, a truly enlightened soul: thoughtful, wise, non-deluded, non-ignorant, egoless: a yogi – when the mind, body and soul are in perfect confluence/harmony/communion, yoga). This is Self-realisation. This is nirvāṇa or moksha (when the soul emerges out of the constant karmic subjection [due to ignorance, thoughtless or superficial understanding, smallness of mind, greed, ego or delusion], when the soul is perfectly boundless (self-realised), released from the servitude of one's worldly conception of self. (Self-realisation is to understand the soul (the Self, the sva) - the eternal essence, i.e. to understand who one truly is beyond the impermanent physical form, and to be that self which one truly is. Self is sva - Me, Myself, I. The imperishable essence. The physical form is merely the vessel to carry the soul.)

5. Maayabonobiharini Horini.

(Deer is imagery for destiny, bhagya-vidhaata. (Lord of destiny: as per initiatives and effort [whether sincere or perfunctory], knowledge and know-how, decisions, choices, thought/purpose, etc). Mahamaaya is a reference to Parvati, a form of Shakti (the divine spirit that presides over the universe). ... 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 [of a person or a nation or of humankind] will be shaped (by the nation/humankind/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, and attitudes/thought processes (acquired behaviour, adaptability, virtues/ethics), and resultant efforts/actions [karma] as well as tendencies of the soul (imprints and impressions, innate habits of the soul). "Raas leela" = courtship. Arjuna/Radha is dreaming about Krsna, the deer. No surprises there. His heart's desire is to touch her soul. (Sanyasi Upagupta is a beautiful poem by Tagore. Dancing girl and Nataraja. Who the Buddha and who Vasavadatta – that's a paradox.) The polymath poet has pledged to win the [metaphoric] deer's heart, though he is likely to remain at a distance. (It is likely to be discreet/inconspicuous. It is also likely to come as a surprise; possibly implying none would imagine that they would be incredibly close). The flute of Krsna = an erudite speaker. Erudition, many talents, dignified, cultured, chivalrous; a good, decent, principled human being who can also speak very well, is great at conversations (has a natural ability to make good conversations) and/or uses words effectively. If that's not mojo, what is?! Romantic, loving, admiring [wonderfully warm and appreciative], kind/understanding, doting, fond/affectionate, generous, giving, passionate, supportive, sensitive, and a good listener who is easy to get along with. It is the secret of being completely irresistible to women.)

Tagore: a poet, a musician, novelist, composer, philosopher, playwright, artist, choreographer-thespian, connoisseur of dance forms, a social reformer and a great humanitarian who played a key role in the cultural renaissance of India. He was a creative genius and a prolific one at that; a legend; the first Nobel laureate of Asia (and the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize); a renowned polymath in a league of his own, a humanist, a great intellectual (philosopher, thought leader, progressive thinker, literary craftsman), and a rare and great personality. He believed that India will have to look within for inspiration (in the sense that India cannot be a replica of some other country or civilisation). He was unsympathetic to selfish nationalism (including the rising spirit of nationalism in his own country), nor did he harbour bitterness. He talked about Asian integration and engaging with the world. He had a voracious mind and an extraordinary depth of knowledge, a deeply rational and curious mind that had assimilated the scientific spirit. His poems brought lyricism, elegance and freshness. He was a South Asian, but his perspective transcends into universalism. He was enthusiastic about scientific knowledge and discoveries. He also emphasised on intellectual curiosity, and recognised the importance of what India could learn from other nations/cultures/peoples - to/for her own benefit and progress. A handsome man with cerebral looks, he was an intellectual luminary who possessed an inner charm... that emerges in his inspiring words and his lyrically unequaled songs, a mesmerising fusion of his musicianship and poetic genius.

Satyajit Ray [1921-1992] was immensely influenced by Tagore [1861-1941], and so was the legendary Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Tagore's sister-in-law, Kadambari (a year or two older), was significant in the blossoming of his tremendous talents. Kadambari was the young Rabi's audience/listener/sounding board and confidante, extricating him from servocracy and neglect; she was witness to the beginnings of his literary inclinations. She also inspired young Rabindranath in composing many of his poems with her fine literary sensibility, creative feedback and comments. They shared a deep affection for one another. (The aristocratic and cultivated Jyotirindranath [1849–1925] was a scholar, artist, poet, playwright, music composer and theatre personality. Jyotirindranath and Kadambari: there was a big generation gap. She wasn't literate. Many believe his attitude towards her was perhaps that of benign neglect, although he arranged for her education and taught her horse-riding, unheard of in those days. He is believed to have spent his time with female theatre artists. (The alleged affair Jyotirindranath had with Noti Binodini, a famous stage actress/theatre personality of her era.) Kadambari was sick with malaria often. She overdosed on opium. Loneliness? Depression? What might have been Kadambari's attitude towards Jyotirindranath? Emotional neglect? Benign disregard? Emotional disconnect?) Tagore referred to her as Hecate, Lady He or Shrimati He (after the character in Macbeth). Satyendranath Tagore's (1842–1923) wife, Gyanadanandini - one of the early modernists, initially prepped Kadambari. ... Anna Turkhud [Nalini to Tagore] helped him with the English language. Victoria Ocampo [Bijaya to Tagore] was an Argentine writer and intellectual, and a member of the Argentine gentry. Tagore and Ocampo met for the first time in 1924 in Argentina. Ocampo was a 34-year-old emerging writer and Tagore was 63. (They met again in Paris, May 1930. She organised the first of several Tagore exhibitions in Europe.) An almost illiterate Bhabatarini became Mrinalini (suggested by Rabindranath's eldest brother Dwijendranath Tagore (1840–1926) - a poet, composer, philosopher, mathematician, and a pioneer in shorthand and musical notations). She was given an education (sent to a convent), and later helped Tagore at Shantiniketan. Her father Benimadhab Raichoudhuri [Roychoudhuri] (of Jessore) was a clerk in the estate of Debendranath Tagore. (Kadambari is also a reference to SarasvatI, the deity of knowledge, wisdom, literature, creativity, music, arts, culture and eloquence. The river analogy: the avatar cannot be straitjacketed.)

Old Bluebeard - Bernard Shaw quipped about Tagore. But why? "Bluebeard" is a French literary folktale. It tells the story of a violent nobleman in the habit of murdering his wives and the attempts of one wife to avoid the fate of her predecessors. (Some parallels with Sheherazade, the heroine of 'The Thousand and One Nights', perhaps). The Magi: also referred to as the three Wise Men [from the East] or Three Kings in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:11) and Christian tradition. They were a group of distinguished persons who visited Jesus after his birth (in Bethlehem, with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh). The question is: was it Jesus or was it the child born of 'Immaculate Conception', the infant Christ child? Tagore delighted in all the hustle and bustle of daily life. Renunciation was not for him. However, he was considered as Wise Man from the East (during his interactions in the West). He was sometimes compared to Jesus Christ in his manner and appearance. (Frankincense and myrrh: aromatic herbs valued like gold (mentioned repeatedly in the Old Testament, in instructions to Moses about making incense and anointing oil, and in the Song of Solomon). They are very bitter and pungent, and move quickly. The two herbs are often used together to enhance the therapeutic effect. (Both of the herbs have a strong smell and may easily cause nausea and vomiting.) Frankincense is a milky-white resin extracted from species of the genus Boswellia, which thrive in arid, cool climates. The finest and most aromatic of this species is Boswellia sacra (olibanum). Frankincense has fresh, citrus, turpentine top notes and sweet, warm, balsamic, camphoraceous, and wood-smoke undertones. Frankincense is calming, revitalising and uplifting. Frankincense is good for everything. It is the most valuable essential oil for slowing and deepening breathing, helping to ease anxiety, nervous tension and stress. It smells divine, and was traditionally used as an offering. Frankincense is also good in inhalation, diffusers and mood blends. It checks [resists, negates, rectifies] respiratory problems and is useful in treating colds, bronchitis, asthma, coughs and sore throats. Extracted from tree sap, frankincense is used like incense and is prized for its fragrance. Frankincense is warm and pungent, and enters the heart and lung meridians. Myrrh is neutral and it enters the liver meridians. Compared with frankincense, it is more bitter and the effect is also stronger. Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) has a distinctive, smoky, balsamic aroma that is purifying, restorative, revitalising, and uplifting. Frankincense and myrrh is a helpful aid to meditation, contemplation, and prayer, ceasing mental chatter and stilling the mind.) Christmas includes Christmas trees, gaily decorated, loaded with sweet edibles, and crowned by a star. (A Christmas tree or "Yule-tree" is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as spruce or pine. An angel or star at the top of the tree to represent the archangel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity.) St. Nicholas, Santa Claus or Father Christmas: the joy of giving gifts, to bring smile to the faces of thousands.

Rabindranath Tagore, fondly Rabi Thakur, was born into the Jorasanko branch of the Tagore family on 7 May 1861 to Maharishi Debendranath Tagore (1817–1905) and Sarada Debi (1830-1875). Tagore's grandfather, Prince Dwarkanath Tagore (1794–1846), one of the first Indian industrialists and entrepreneurs, was the founder of the Jorasanko branch of the Tagore family. Because Debendranath wanted his son to become a barrister, Tagore enrolled at a public school in Brighton, East Sussex, England in 1878. (He briefly read law at University College London). However, after brief time in England (1878) to attempt to study law, he returned to India, and instead pursued his passion as a playwright, storyteller, lyricist, composer, poet, philosopher and educator. His poetic creativity says a lot about this Renaissance Man. The variety, quality and quantity are unbelievable. Tagore's poetry is not mere phrasal dexterity or tuneless ditties, rather it is genuine passion felt in the heart's deep core; it is refreshing to say the least. His gift of lyricism and verse shines through. It is like a draught from a pure spring. Elements of Indian classical music has been integrated in a very thoughtful and effective manner in his magnificent songs - Rabindrasangeet. (Rabindranath: the glory of the sun. Debendranath's second son, Satyendranath, was the first Indian to be admitted to the Indian Civil Service, in 1864. In 1878 Satyendranath went to England, along with his family. Rabindranath went with them. The purpose was to provide him with an English education; after some tuition he entered University College London. If the intent was to prepare/equip him to compete for the Indian Civil Service (or the Bar), it did not succeed. Tagore returned after eighteen months having acquired no academic laurels. He had, however, acquired a lasting love of English literature (although English was his least favourite subject) and [possibly] a deep knowledge/understanding of the New Testament/Bible.)

6. Aami Roope Tomaaye.

(Not so much as physical looks, through the qualities of head and heart. Tagore (Vasuki/Arjuna/Jesus/Bheeshma/Radha/Nandi) has used the analogy of a river (this is understandable: SarasvatI is supposedly a river) and the effects of waves, tides and storms on the waters - to articulate his enthusiasm (for Krsna). He is eager to please [pleasure]. Krsna is SarasvatI. ... Passionate love does not measure; it just gives. There is no charm equal to an affectionate heart. ... This is the surest inkling of the Radha-Krsna courtship [in the future], though it is likely to be discreet/inconspicuous. ... It is [also] likely to be an emotionally intimate relationship (togetherness, affectionate closeness) instead of an exchange relationship (which are about getting close to someone so as to get something from them). Exchange relationships do not endure when there is any kind of disagreement or difficult situation. Emotionally intimate relationships, however, are much more healthy/strong/hearty/adaptive and can overcome considerable disagreements or differences of opinion or odds and challenges. There is no barrier of egoism, etc. (Radha = PradhAna = Kaustubha mani. This "gem" [ratna] is most dear to Vishnu). Kama Sutra (Kāmashastra) is ascribed to Vātsyāyana, though he may have been a compiler or redactor of Kâmashâstra of Nandi.

7. Bisva-sathey Joge Jethay. [The ArdhaNarishvara - the syncretic form. One half is human - the avatar, the other half is the Almighty Self, the Param-atma. Dvarka is not a boring tale but a glorious history. It fascinatingly blends history, literature, romance, culture, aura and spirituality. Though it is believed that the sea submerged the entire city of Dvarka, who can say? In the future, Dvarka will belong to Arjuna/Garuda/Radha - Tagore in his next manifestation. BG 10.37: || vṛṣṇīnāḿ vāsudevo 'smi pāṇḍavānāḿ dhanañjayaḥ munīnām apy ahaḿ vyāsaḥ kavīnām uśanā kaviḥ || ~ "Among the Vrishni I am Vasudev (Lord of Mathura, Dvarka and Vrindavaan), Arjuna among the Pandava, Vyasah among the enlightened, progressive minds, and Ushanaa among the great poets." (Vasudev is honorific, the deity [personification] of prakriti/dharitri. The Vrishni were [very likely] a clan/group with a zebu bull insignia. The Zebu bull or Brahma bull (also known as Brahmana, i.e. immensely knowledgeable, enlightened mind) is the contemporary representation of Nandi. Arjuna is also Dhananjayah - one who has triumphed over Dhanananda [the vile Nanda king] and/or one who does not pander to uncouth materialistic instincts? Uśanā kaviḥ [Ushana kavi] - could it be a reference to Tagore? Dhanananda - one who revels in aggrandisement?]

(This poem could be a reference to the spiritual powerhouse of the world, irrespective of faith. The avatar of the future, the Kalkiḥ-avatar (Kalkiḥ-Maitreya, Vishnu as the Kalkiḥ-avatar) is [very likely] a combined avatar - manifestation/appearance of the divine spirit in human form. ... Wherever the avatar appears that is the actual Dvarka, Mathura, Haridvar, Kashi, Lanka, Videha (Mithilā was the capital of the Videha kingdom), Panchala kingdom [Pañcāla janapada of Panchali/Draupadi/Krsna] and [possibly] the ancient Himalaya Kingdom. ... The appearance of the Kalkiḥ-avatar will signify the fadeout of the ghor kaliyuga phase, the yuga [epoch, phase] of tamas/ignorance, euphemistically known as the 'Iron Age' of ignorance, confusion, intellectual ennui, spiritual impoverishment and depletion of dharmic ethics and sattvic [noble] virtues. (This 'Iron Age' should not be confused with the technical Iron Age). The commencement of a new kalpa, a new maha-yuga: renewal of thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, etc. A turnabout from the ignorance [thoughtless aspects, confusion etc] of the ghor kaliyuga phase; the epoch of tamas [ignorance], the amoral phase when there is considerable intellectual ennui (dulling of the qualities of mind and heart). Kali is a reference to the demon Kali, symbolising all vices in humankind. ... The epoch [phase, yuga] of progressive thought, optimism, camaraderie and so on is also known as the Sat/Satya/Krita Yuga – the best yuga in the intellectual, cultural and spiritual evolution of humankind (the sattvic epoch/yuga): when the intellectual ennui/regression of the ghor kaliyuga phase [the phase of tamas/ignorance: the lowest phase in the intellectual and spiritual evolution of humankind] is reversed (corrected). There is an upward trajectory of humankind/human civilisation, from tamas (ignorance, thoughtless aspects, adharma) to sattva (optimism, thoughtful aspects, dharmic virtues). Character formation and an intellectual, spiritual, scientific, artistic and cultural invigoration/renewal.

sAmya, śamaḥ (inclusiveness, equality, integrity, assimilation), mayitree (camaraderie, open-mindedness, progressive thought) and aikya (commonalities, shared civilisational aspects, cohesiveness) will be the three ingredients for collective progress of humankind and shantih (peace, assimilation, co-existence).

The Kalkiḥ-avatar is also the Maitreya Buddha (the Buddha of the future). Arjuna's shankha is Devadatta. Devadatta (the white winged horse) is [also] the vahaan of the Kalkiḥ-avatar. Resurrection of Arjuna/Jesus is inevitable. He will regain his rightful position at Dvarka/Lanka/Kailasha. ArdhaNarishvara – the syncretic form = Radha-Krsna, Jesus-Christ, Vasuki and Shiva, etc. Some clarity on Siddhārtha Gautama, the most recent Buddha to have appeared, is likely. Clarity on Ahura Mazda, Zarathustra and Saoshyant could be possible. Clarity on Ramchandra too could be possible. Also, whether Mirabai was a manifestation of Ramchandra or Radha. Perhaps there will be more clarity on Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. (However, authentication of documents/signature and/or DNA test [to get clarity about 'Immaculate Conception'] may be necessary to resurrect Arjuna/Jesus [so that he may emerge from Crucifixion and clear the air, the 'fog' of deceit and trickery created by Ravana] and unmask Ravana/Joseph - the usurper/imposter. This could be Seeta's 'agni-pariksha' (in the future). Agni is a reference to the Touchstone. Whatever 'Agni' recommends will be Seeta's [metaphoric] 'agni-pariksha' in the future... to resurrect the Philosophers' Stone. In other words: Sanjayah will help resurrect Arjuna. Arjuna's resurrection will perhaps also make clear the negative/unscrupulous/malevolent activities masterminded by the wicked [lacking moral decency or ethical boundaries] Ravana/Joseph/Hiranyakashipu to create a mask of positivity - to effectively sideline Vasuki [Arjuna/Ganesha-ji/Jesus] and usurp Lanka. Medical tests will also help understand whether Ravana was prurient, schizophrenic, inhuman/apathetic a la the Joker, a maniac/psychopath with a mask of sanity. This will provide clarity about the Seeta-Ravana equation, i.e. whether Ravana was abusive [including aggressive behaviour, physical and/or emotional abuse] towards Seeta. The Buddha cautioned/advised not to judge people from appearances, their ostentatious behaviour. Ravana's ten-heads: birds of a feather? Impulsive and/or given to gloomy, depressed, or sullen moods? Given to frequent changes of mood? Sulky and temperamental - filled with frustration; dissatisfied? Deliberately deceitful/duplicitous? Manipulative, obsessive and overbearing [monocratic]? Self-pity and/or obsessive thinking [especially an exaggerated or self-indulgent attitude]?) ... Vishnu is also known as Kaustubha (one who wears the Kaustubham). Vasuki is the divine "gem" Kaustubha-mani, adorning the neck of Vishnu. Lord Shiva blessed Vasuki and wore him as an ornament. Vishnu is also known as Garuda Dhvaja (bearer of the Garuda insignia/emblem/flag, or flag bearing the insignia of Garuda). Garuda is probably indicative of eagle or maybe falcon-like characteristics. Perhaps Mountain Hawk Eagle. The noble-natured Brahminy Kite (Singapore Bald Eagle) is considered as the contemporary representation of Garuda. Could Arjuna have been Emperor Chandragupta II Vikramaditya? (The Iron Pillar at Delhi is believed to have been erected by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya. It could be Garuda Stambha. Ancient India achieved remarkable strides in innovation, creativity, town-planning (including sanitation/drainage system), science, mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, art, architecture, literature, poetry and sculpture, trade and other economic activity flourished; the cultural development of ancient India was at its zenith.)

Could Arjuna have been Emperor Chandragupta Maurya? Megasthenes: author of Indica, and Ambassador of Seleucus I Nicator of the Seleucid dynasty to Chandragupta Maurya's court at Pataliputra for several years (around 304/3 B.C.) when Chandragupta's power was at its zenith. His Sandrokottus [Sandrocottus, also Androcottus, Sandrokuptos] is Chandragupta Maurya. He is also the first foreign Ambassador to be mentioned in Indian history. (India - from Indica.) There is also Xandramas or Xandrammes of the previous dynasty that Sandrokottas eliminated. If Sandrokottas [Sandracottus] is Chandragupta II Vikramaditya, then Xandramas or Xandrammes could be the pusillanimous Ramgupta. Sandrocyptus could be Kumaragupta I (415–455 CE, successor to Chandragupta II). Maurya is [very likely] derived from Mor - peacock. Maurya = of peacock. Perhaps the peacock was the dynastic and/or kula emblem of the Maurya. The Moriya belonged to Pippalivana, an ancient republic and/or clan. (The Peacock Throne [Sanskrit: Mayūrāsana] was a famous jeweled throne. The original Peacock Throne was created in Delhi for Shah Jahan. It included numerous priceless jewels,  including the fabled Koh-i-noor, the 'Mountain of Light'. On March 21, 1739, Nādir Shāh [Nadr Qoli Beg, also known as Nader Shah], completed his conquest of the Mughal Empire by capturing Delhi, its capital. He is believed to have seized vast quantities of wealth, and among the prizes he carried away was the fabled Peacock Throne. He was defeated in battle by the Kurds, who seized the throne and apparently dismantled it.)

Nicator = Victor, conqueror. Seleucus was a Macedonian officer who founded the Seleucid kingdom/empire. In the struggles (after Alexander - 323 BCE), he rose from satrap to king (basileus) of an empire. He began an expansion of his kingdom throughout the upper satrapies as far as India, but his advance was eventually halted by Chandragupta Maurya. In a pact concluded by the two potentates, Seleucus agreed to territorial concessions in exchange for 500 elephants. Seleucus took part in the campaign to oust Ptolemy, the satrap of Egypt. However, from 316-312 BCE he remained in Ptolemy's service (friction with Antigonus Monophthalmus). Despite aiding Antigonus in 317, Seleucus took the initiative in forging a coalition against Antigonus, whose desire to become the ruler of the whole of Alexander's empire would have affected them all. In 326 BCE he led the Macedonian infantry against King Porus of Paurava kingdom (and dominions extending to the Beas (Vipasa, Hyphasis) in the Battle of the Hydaspes River. (Hydaspes = Jhelum, Vitasta - a perennial river. Paurava, possibly an ancient kingdom between the Jhelum and Chenab rivers (in Greek, the Hydaspes and the Acesines rivers). Puru or Porus is effusively praised by Michael Madhusudan Dutt and Jyotirindranath Tagore. Dutt refers to him as heroic, that he stood like an oak in Himalayan grandeur, etc. However, Chanakya is silent about Porus. Puru perhaps served Alexander as a client-king. Puru and Alexander - similar personalities? What could Puru imply? Thick-skinned [insensitive, irresponsible, purposeless, unthinking] and/or thickheaded, a dullard: dull-witted, immature, shortsighted, mindless, obtuse, fickle, fanciful? Megasthenes' Herakles: Megasthenes described an Indian clan called Sourasenoi, who especially worshipped Herakles (Hercules?) in their realm. This could be the Shurasena. This Herakles of Megasthenes could be Krsna or [perhaps] Balarama, possibly the patron deities of the Shurasena clan. In the future there could be fadeout of those that align with Balarama. The question is: was Puru [the Himalayan king Parvatka?] Krsna-like or Balarama-like? (Shuracena [Sarakenoi or Saraceni, Saracenus [Latin] or Sarakenos - Greek] could be the ancient clan of Harikula. Saladin was a Saracen. He led the Saracens.)  

Megasthenes was a keen-witted observer; his detailed description of the Indian society is insightful. He refers to seven groups [classes] of the Indian society. There was no 'caste', no rigid social hierarchy. It was based on innate talents/ability and acquired knowhow. Tax collection seems to be methodical, essentially agrarian economy.

The first were the sophists [philosophers and intellectual elite], they were less numerous, in dignity preeminent over all. They were given to contemplation and intellectual activity. The second was the farmers – the most numerous: ploughing or picking fruits or pruning or harvesting; they were regarded as public benefactors. They paid the taxes to the kings and the self-governing cities. Shepherds and herdsmen comprised the third group; they were nomadic. They too paid taxes. The fourth group comprised of artisans, shopkeepers, shipwrights and sailors, armourers and those making implements useful for agriculturists. In this class were the shipwrights and sailors plying on the rivers. They paid tax on the receipts, except those making weaponry (they received a wage). The fifth group was the soldiers, next to the farmers in number. They received so much remuneration [pay] that they could easily support others. The sixth group consisted of the overseers and supervisors, they reported to the king (where the citizens were governed by kings) or to the authorities (where they were self-governing). Apparently, none was ever accused of falsification. The seventh group consisted of those who deliberated [discussed] about public affairs with the king, or in self-governing cities with the authorities. In number this class was small, but in wisdom, high character and justice it was the most distinguished of all. It is from this class that ancient India selected their rulers, monarchs, governors [satraps, hyparchs], nomarchs [a local ruler of a district], treasurers, generals, admirals, comptrollers, and supervisors of agricultural works.

State patronage with the strength of the organised guilds greatly increased the prosperity of the country. Megasthenes mentions how prices were regulated by state-trading. The idea was that staple commodities were bought when they were cheap and released when the prices were high, just to bring the prices down. This was really a measure far ahead of its time. It is worth noting that ancient Indian political theorists anticipated by over 2000 years the plans put forward by modern theorists and/or organisations for maintaining a stable level of prices of staple commodities on a world-wide scale. Megasthenes also mentions that the simplicity of their laws and their contracts is proved by the fact that they seldom go to law. They have no suits about pledges and deposits, nor do they require either seals or witnesses, but make their deposits and confide in each other.  

Indian maritime history shows the flourishing condition of Indian shipping and the development of overland and overseas trade [maritime commerce/activity]. There was strong maritime trade, and ancient India was a manufacturing hub (textiles [including silk and cotton], food [rice, wheat, sugar], jewellery and beads, perfumes, spices and scented ointments, indigo, aromatic plants/herbs, beauty products, animals, timber, lac, Indian shell inlays, pottery manufacturing [including decorative pottery], wool, minerals [precious and semi-precious stones], etc. India's naval dockyards, which belonged to the state, were famous throughout history. Naval architecture: very expert ship architects could ingeniously perform all sorts of iron works, e.g., spikes, bolts, anchors, etc. Indian vessels brought together elegance and utility and were models of patience and fine workmanship. Indian shipping has had a long and brilliant history. It was one of the great national key industry of India. It helped in cultivating trade relations with Southeast Asia, Mesopotamia upto ancient Egypt [Miṣr], the Roman Empire and its dominions, and so on. Superior technical knowledge and literary ability also helped Indian culture and thought to flourish: the impact of the Indian Civilisation for instance, on the Southeast Asian.

(Eagle is sturdy, smart, known for alacrity/quickness [agility, like quicksilver] and astute powers of observation. (Agility or alacrity should not be confused for thoughtless, mindless, impulsive, confused, erroneous thinking or muddle-headedness, or conditioned [habituated/typical] thinking/aspects [habituated thinking, preconceived notions]. It is not all josh and no hosh. Eagle has the ability to think big - and small. Eagle is resilient (will not give up). Eagle has purposefulness, a keen mind, firmness of mind and character, indefatigability, credibility and goodwill.) The eagle-eyed Feluda - fit as a fiddle, astute, not indifferent, having clarity of thought/purpose/action, commonsensical, given to contemplation/reflection, phlegmatic [coolheaded, unexcitable], focused and resolute [purposeful], showed superb attention to detail [not frivolous, superficial/simplistic [non-application of mind], irrelevant or illogical], and preferred cerebral effort (impeccable reasoning and inference/logical conclusions - ability to [logically] connect the dots). He was well-read, had a healthy/positive reading habit, a habit of reading regularly. He also had extraordinary powers of retention, the capacity to remember, the power of remembering things. (There can be no intellectual manthan [exercise of the mind/intellect], otherwise.) Garuda - the bird-man, the bird-king: the king of the skies. Garuda is depicted with an eagle's beak. Śyena: eagle (in Sanskrit).

Phlegmatic: poker-faced, inscrutable, calm [serene, relaxed], unexcitable/imperturbable: an impassive facial expression so as not to give away one's purpose, feelings, or situation. Not impulsive, considers (a matter) carefully, as by weighing alternatives. Firmly determined (resolute, resolved: purposeful, firm in purpose or intent), genuine [sincere], measured, careful in thought (unhurried, cautious: to think over, cerebrate - prudent and levelheaded), restrained and dignified in manner. Cogitative or contemplative: to think about or discuss something very carefully so as to make a decision (in a process of reaching a decision) or to make a choice (thus a choice or decision is made with full consciousness of the nature and effects). Thoughtful and quiet, the intellectual type: deep, cultured, literary, sophisticated, distinguished by sincerity and intensity of purpose.

The ArdhaNarishvara form (the syncretic form) implies two-in-one, two halves of the same consciousness. It could also imply that they balance each other out, so in a sense they complete each other.

The Vedas provide the earliest reference of Garuda. The mighty Garuda is invoked in the Vedas as Shyena. As per the Puranas, Shyena [Śyena, śyenaḥ] and Garuda are the same. In Vedic literature Shyena is the divine hawk-eagle/falcon [supreme of falcons, falcon of the sky] identified with Agni, who brought about a renewal of all things that exist on earth. In the puranas this is attributed to Garuda. Fleet-winged Shyena = agile, physically or mentally nimble, quick-witted, deeply perceptive, masterful [insightful, inner wisdom, sensible, astute/wily], ingenious [imaginative, innovative]. Kautilya – the wily one: a sagacious mind; farsighted, thoughtful, astute, having or showing keen discernment [wisdom], a source of valuable insights and sapient advice; perspicacious: clear-sighted, clear-headed. Acharya Chanakya is also known as Vishnugupt and Kautilya (honorific). Shyena also refers to the 10,800 brick fire-altar (agní-cayana) in the shape of a flying hawk-eagle/falcon (symbolising the essence of Agni - knowledge [enlightened, progressive knowledge, thoughtful wisdom: kundalini-fire/energy: intellectual vigour, intellectual strengths], openness of mind, common sense) in the Vedic ritual. Agni is Shankha, Panchajanya [for the welfare/betterment of all, for society's common good: unbiased, unprejudiced, not given to impulsive or conditioned thinking] - the shankha [divine conch] of Viṣṇu/Krsna, the maintainer [support, sustainer] aspect of divinity. Kapila Muni, a renowned sage of antiquity, is the author of Sankhya philosophy. Shiva ['the good' or 'the auspicious' - the re-energiser [renewer] aspect of the divine spirit/power/being] is also known as Shankara, possibly due to shankha. ... The Shankha is worshipped in Vedic puja. In the Bhagavad-Gita, there are three aspects: Sri-bhagavan uvāca (Sri-bhagavan said), Arjunaḥ uvāca (Arjuna said) and Sañjayah uvāca (Sañjayah said). Sanjayah is [very likely] a reference to Shyena. Shyena is Puroheeth. It does not imply priest. It is about society's common good.  Puroheeth = Brahmana, honorific for a wise, non-deluded, open/progressive-minded and astute person. The divine spirit/being/power is Om. Garuda [Vasuki Naag] and Shyena [Shankha] is Omkaara: to articulate the thoughts, opinions and advice of divinity. Garuda and Shyena is the flute of Krsna. The shankha is [also] used for pouring offerings of water, or for giving a ceremonial bath to a deity (shankha-snana) - to cleanse. Water from the shankha is also sprinkled on the head of devotees: to open the mind to new way of thinking: a fresh approach, mind-opening knowledge, clarity of thought/purpose. The shankha is a divine emblem/insignia of Vishnu. Before the worship of Vishnu begins, the shankha is worshipped. 

Arjuna's conch is Devadatta, Bheema's Paundra or Paundraka, Yudhisthira's Ananta-vijaya, Nakula's Sughosha and Sahadeva's Mani-pushpaka. (Krsna/Vishnu is Yudhisthira. So, Ananta-vijaya could be a reference to Panchajanya [Shankha]. Paundra or Paundraka: foot-in-mouth? The habit of making inappropriate, embarrassing, thoughtless, unwise or tactless statements? Sughosha: a warm, rich [full and mellow in tone and quality], inviting speaking voice; a sense of warmth and sensuality? A clear, deep voice, strong and deep in tone, a melodious or resonant voice? A peaceful personality, patience and non-provocative methods of speech? Sri Aurobindo? Ghosha from ghoshna: to declare, announce, enunciate, vocalise, publicise, advertise or proclaim.)

Mudra is seal or ring: a small seal, as on a finger ring, to stamp or mark with a signet (imprimatur); a seal used to stamp or authenticate documents. Mudrarakshasa ("The Signet of the Minister" or The Signet Ring of "Rakshasa") is a historical play in Sanskrit by Vishakhadatta [c. 5th century CE] that narrates the ascent of Chandragupta Maurya (r. 322BC - 298BC) to the throne of Magadha. The Nanda King, Dhanananda, had by his bad governance, decadence and oppressive ways alienated the people. Chanakya did not seek power for the sake of power, the maneuvers culminating in victory over the hubristic, contemptuous, rapacious, oppressive and debauched Nandas (Dhanananda) and installing of Chandragupta Maurya on the Magadhan throne (thereby [also] laying the foundation of the celebrated Magadhan dynasty/empire, which would rule India until 185 BCE). ... Chanakya [political thinker, political scientist and economist] was Chandragupta Maurya's mentor, chief advisor and prime minister. They breathed new energy into ancient India, uniting a factious/fractious realm and laying the foundations of a glorious era that was distinguished by all-round progress, from the arts to the sciences, literature and innovation, as well as trade and other economic activity. In Vishakahadatta's play the challenge before Chanakya is to somehow bring amAtya rAkshasa to accept the position of preeminent advisor and minister to Chandragupta. Amatya Rakshasa, chief advisor of Dhanananda, was totally loyal to the Nandas; he was relentless in his efforts to defeat/overwhelm Chandragupta (a sense of loyalty and obligation towards Dhanananda). He was also intelligent, brave and capable, and highly experienced in statecraft. Chanakya [thus] favoured a passing of the baton to Rakshasa. (Amatya is honorific, implying minister. Rakshasa [probably] from rakshak: benefactor, patron, well-wisher, caretaker. The ever-watchful Amatya Kartikeya was popularly known as Amatya Rakshasa. ... Chanakya chance-met Chandragupta in whom he spotted great military and executive abilities. He was impressed by the young Chandragupta's personality, intellect and manner of speaking, and immediately took him under his wing, later sending him to Takshashila to study politics, government and law.)

Vishakahadatta uses Sudra, kulahina or Vrishala for Chandragupta's lineage. This could imply that Chandragupta had humble beginnings. He did not belong to a prominent lineage or clan (kula). Mudra is [also] a reference to coinage. Perhaps the term 'Sudra' is a derivative of mudra; physical labour: activities involving sweat and toil priming the economic engine, the spine of the economy, of economic growth. Vrishala could be a derivative of Vrisha - the great/divine bull, imagery for dharma [ethics/virtues, dharmic decency, finesse of thought and behaviour]. Perhaps it was an emblem of the Maurya clan and/or they were involved in agriculture [crop and livestock production]. Vrisha = Nandi. The sturdy Zebu bull is a contemporary representation of Nandi: perhaps exudes a confident masculinity that evokes admiration and respect; not an inadequate man. Chandragupta was a manifestation of Nandi. Possibly, Tirthankara Rishabha [Tīrthaṅkara R̥ṣabha]. The Upanishads: the One said I shall be many. Rishabha is considered as an avatar [manifestation] of Vishnu. ... After unifying much of ancient India, Chandragupta (Samrat Chakravartin) and his chief advisor Kautilya Chanakya brought about a series of social, economic and political reforms. For Kautilya, the use of temples was to make money from the people in the form of offerings, for the state exchequer. Profits of the traders were fixed for goods/products imported and made/procured indigenously. Maurya India was characterised by an efficient and highly organised bureaucratic structure with a large civil service. Due to its unified structure, the empire developed a strong economy, with internal and external trade thriving and agriculture flourishing. In both art and architecture, the Maurya Empire made important contributions, deriving some of its inspiration from the culture of the Achaemenid Empire and the Hellenistic kingdoms.

In 298 BCE, Chandragupta voluntarily abdicated the throne in favour of Bindusara, who became the new Mauryan emperor. It is said that Chandragupta became an ascetic and follower of Jaina Dharma. Jain tradition claims that Chandragupta, consistent with the beliefs of Jaina Dharma, starved himself inside a cave. This event supposedly took place in Shravanabelagola, one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Jainism. (It could be folklore or apocryphal stories.) Baahubali at Śravaṇa Beḷgoḷa - Chandragupta Maurya? (Baahubali: someone who has imbibed the spirit of dharma [dharmic decency, principles/ethics] and struggle [continuous effort?] Someone who has endured hardships [giving up personal comforts, benefits, pleasures, etc] for the betterment of humankind/societal aspects, for human progress? A good, decent human being; well-mannered, calm and polite. A good soul. Bahubali - the mighty Garuda? Krsna refers to Arjuna as Maha-Baahu, the mighty-armed. Could Bahubali be Vardhamana Mahavira (c. 540-468/470 B.C.), the twenty-fourth Tirthankara of Jainism? Parshva (Parsva) was the twenty-third Tirthankara of Jainism. Parshva - next door, neighbouring or nearby. Could it be a reference to the first/neighbourng port? Ancient Persia? Perhaps the Rig Vedic Parsus or Parsavas have been anglicised to Persians.

Vardhamana Mahavira: c. 599 BCE-528 or 527 BCE or c. 540-468/470 B.C. The Buddha: 563 BC or 480 BC-483 BC or 400 BC. So, the Buddha and Mahavira [probably] were contemporaries. Some believe that Mahavira predated the Buddha by a century while others believe that he outlived the Buddha, probably by some seven years.) 

Religious identities would be irrelevant. It would be about citizenry and responsibility of rulers/administrators/policy makers etc towards a citizenry, the common people. There will be fadeout of religionism, religion in a selfish sense... giving way to a nutritious khichdi: confluence/fusion [yoga or prayaga] of humanity, wisdom, thoughtful aspects, compassion, empathy, etc - dharmic virtues: to help humankind to emerge from tamas, and to evolve towards a sattvic [progressive, wise, positive, forward-thinking] civilisation. (The epic of the future will be a khichdi.) Folk who thrive on religionisation (religious schisms, commercialisation of faith and its spiritual essences etc), their influence is likely to be curbed. This could be [metaphoric] 'kaliya mardan'. Scientific temper will overcome ignorance. There will be fadeout of thoughtless, unscientific and discriminatory rituals. People will celebrate each others' festivals. ... The epics, etc are unlikely to have been folk theatre or costume dramas. Also, unprogressive, medieval sensibilities have seeped into them. They have [perhaps] also been used by unprogressive/covetous minds to bring about regressive attitudes/thought processes/beliefs/cultural norms [perceptions, social conditioning, etc] into societal mindsets, for gaining larger social influence, to influence people's decision-making and behaviour, stratification of society, including on gender lines, 'masculinisation' of divinity, etc. All of which have been responsible for the decline of a once-progressive civilisation. ... A superficial/simplistic, inane [frivolous, thoughtless], conditioned [habituated, impulsive], cynical or piece-meal understanding of the epics and other puranic stories (that eschews astute/sagacious and impeccable logical reasoning and common sense) is erroneous. They must be comprehended in totality, so as to understand their essence. There must be comprehension (the ability to read and understand) and retention (the capacity/ability to remember). Non-application of mind (intellectual ennui, medieval sensibilities) is unhelpful, erroneous. Churning of the intellect [rational intellect, intellectual manthan] is necessary. It is like solving a Rubik's Cube. Connecting the dots is a cerebral exercise. One must be clear-headed enough [correct understanding] to differentiate/distinguish between what is relevant and what is not (frivolous, illogical, irrelevant or unnecessary aspects) - like the swan, which is believed to have the ability to select milk from a mixture of milk and water. The swan if offered a mixture of milk and water, is said to be able to drink the milk only. (Hamsah [haṃsa] is popularly called swan but considered to be the Indian goose [bar-headed goose].) 

Hiraṇyākṣa and Hiraṇyakaśipu are two interesting characters in the purāṇas. Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha are together known as the Hiranyas. Hiranyakashipu (Hiranyakasipu) and his younger brother Hiranyaksha were both very disrespectful and abusive of Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu is the symbol of the futility of desiring power over others. The hubristic Hiranyakashipu abhorred Vishnu and believed himself to be greater than Vishnu; he was also disrespectful of Vishnu's devotees. Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha are regarded as incarnations of Jaya and Vijaya who were born on earth due to their disrespectful behaviour with the Kumaras (Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara). In the first incarnation/manifestation they were born as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. In the second incarnation/manifestation they were born as Ravana and Kumbhakarna. ... The Kumaras or Sanatkumaras were evolved/higher souls – with deeper levels of integrity, calm, level-headedness, dharmic virtues/ethics [moral decency], empathy and concern for others (for helping people); they had attained self-realisation, were vastly learned, and devoid of negative qualities like selfishness, laziness, indifference, ignorance, etc. In Sanskrit, sanat = eternal, kumara = a youth, thus Sanatkumara = the "eternal youth" (in Sanskrit). "Eternal youth" or youthfulness could imply a cool and fun person with qualities such as confidence, progressiveness (attitudes, ethics, behaviour), strength (of the mind), and elegance (charm, grace, character, finesse of thought and behaviour): a good decent person, an achiever with excellent social skills (knows how to interact with people, make good conversation, talk intelligently/knowledgeably about various issues, and so on).

Bakasura - the great devourer: insatiable acquisitive [materialistic] instinct/mindset, a thieving disposition/temperament (immune to shame and guilt). Bakasura is metaphor, someone who is very very materialistic and never content (gluttonous attachment to materialistic aspects). Selfish ambition, disregard for the effects of one's excessive [boundless/limitless] materialistic instincts, actions/ambitions. Mahisasura, the buffalo demon (possibly buffalo-like characteristics) indulged in all kinds of negative activities, and took on several disguises (i.e. he wore a mask to present a different image, to befool the people). Asura Tamra was one of Mahishasura's favourite generals. Asura = a negative person. Tamra = copper, a malleable metal of a brownish-red colour. What could it imply? Easily led or influenced, spineless, elastic morality? Asiloma, Utharaka, Bidala, Bashkala, Trinetra, Kalabandhaka, Durmukha were some of the great generals of Mahisha. Durmukha = foul-mouthed. Asiloma = horsehair? Utharaka = concoction/broth made from fermented camel milk? Bidala: to maintain influence by not having loyalty to a group/party or other political label, a power broker? Bidala could also imply cat-like: incredibly stealthy (walking style), cat-eyes, blue-eyed, pusillanimous, cat-like suppleness (inherent inclination for self-preservation)? "Fortunate" - as in 'a cat has nine lives', elastic morality? Slimy: morally repulsive, excessively ingratiating, smarmy. Kalabandhaka = something to do with cufflinks, bracelet, wrist bands or bound wrists? Trinetra = three-eyed (a stealthy meddlesome snoop)? Bashkala = cultural aspects [regressive/backward-thinking, vigilantism] or hard of hearing [unreasonable, desensitised, unwilling or refusing to listen, unyielding, heedless self-interest - bad morals, oblivious/indifferent/unconcerned/unsympathetic/unresponsive, turns a deaf ear to]? Madhu and Kaitabha had stolen the Vedas (Books of Knowledge) from Brahma (the creator aspect of divinity) and deposited them in Rasatala (decadence, ignorant/unprogressive aspects gaining precedence). Vishnu, in the manifestation [avatar] as Hayagriva (the horse-headed Vishnu - equine features?), retrieved the Vedas (progressive knowledge/aspects). This could imply corrective measures. (Madhu and Kaitabha disintegrated into two times six — which is twelve pieces (two heads, two torsos, four arms and four legs). These are considered to represent the twelve seismic plates of the Earth.) Madhu = saccharine-laced, the oldest sting in the book - the honeytrap? Intoxication by drinking? Prurient, dissolute, sense gratification? Could Madhu also imply a panderer? (A person who provides or benefits from the weaknesses or vices (depraved appetite, vulgar/ignoble tastes) of others or exploit their weaknesses?) Kaiṭabha: a swaggering manner of behaving, ostentatious display of arrogance, pompous gait? To brag/boast [exaggerated self-opinion, hubris]; to strut about with an insolent air? Full of gimmicks, affectation, insincerity, superciliousness? Kaitabha could also imply fantasy-like, make-believe, unsustainable, ostentatious [artificial, contrived] prosperity that has no economic foundation: no new manufacturing units, service providers, entrepreneurial energy, opportunities, etc. Such 'economic success', swagger and feel good is delusional, deceptive and detrimental. Tagore's 'Tasher Desh' (The Land of Cards) is very significant, succinct. There is also much to learn from the history of indigo cultivation in colonial India. Raktabija: possibly euphemism for moral corruption, unprogressive mindsets that [negatively] changes the cultural ethos: seeding of ignorant or unpleasant aspects. Vṛtra or Vritrasura (one who covers everything): the personification of drought (he is believed to have held the waters captive) - obstructed the course of the rivers, but was annihilated by Indra (who thereafter released the captive rivers). Vṛtra was annihilated due to his inability to adhere to sattvic/dharmic virtues [moral decency] and without aggression. He was also antagonistic [inimical, disliking, allergic, disrespectful] towards knowledgeable persons. Krsna destroyed Trinavarta (whirlwind demon), probably implying the demon of false pride. Thus it is advisable to remain modest/humble. It is also advisable to curb one's overweening ambition and other unpleasant instincts. There's also Sumbha-Nisumbha, Chanda-Mundo, Sunda-Upasunda and Dhumralochana (smoky eyes, intoxicants?). Could Dhumralocana also imply smoke and mirrors: deception and confusion so as to mislead [the people]; something/someone that deceives or distorts the truth, or is intended to confuse or deceive [mind games]? The Manthara analogy: crookedness of heart, deviation from moral rectitude, conniving trickery, deceitful. Pūtanā = decay, malodorous, decadence, adulteration: unclean mind and heart, rotten to the core. It could also imply adulterants in food/nourishment [not fit for consumption]. Kansa = bronze. There are many different bronze alloys, but typically modern bronze is copper and tin. The addition of other metals (usually tin, sometimes arsenic) produces an alloy much harder than plain copper. (Unlike arsenic, tin is not toxic.) The word bronze probably originates from "bell metal, brass". Kansa could imply a small/decadent mind, an inherently vile, wicked person.

(Mind-games [a battle of the mind]: It is part of wicked tactics - to deprive of strength and weaken the vigour/enthusiasm: to weaken [wear down] or enfeeble physically and morally - to cheapen, to lower in public estimation. To induce self-blame, one of the most effective forms of emotional abuse. It induces guilt and disgrace/embarrassment and [in a manner of speaking] stupefies [numbs, dulls, boggles/befuddles] an individual, one [then] cannot even begin to move forward [think clearly]. Blame leads to embarrassment and, in the context of self-blame, that means self-reproof [self-reproach, self-loathing, immense dislike of oneself, to be upset or annoyed with/at oneself], contrition, remorse, loss of face, ignominy, humiliation. ... Taking on responsibility that is not one's own (implied wrongness) can not only stupefy an individual, it drags an individual down into the inertia of self-devaluation (humiliation, to feel foolish), setting him/her up for self-disgust and blame, criticism and demoralisation. Instead of getting to be right (by doing the right thing), one gets to be wrong. (Taking responsibility per se is not to be confused with self-blame).

The stories of Sumbha-Nisumbha, Chanda-Mundo, Sunda-Upasunda, Raktabija and Dhumralocana are part of the Devi Mahatmyam or Devi Mahatmya [Sanskrit: devīmāhātmyam] - "The magnanimity/highmindedness of Shakti." It is also known as Chandī or Chaṇḍī Pāṭh [Chandi Path]. Shakti is also Chaṇḍīka. ... Sumbha was enamoured with Shakti (after hearing about her from Chanda and Mundo). He sent Sugriva to court her, but she rejected his advances. (Sugriva: Su = good, griva = jaw.) Sunda-Upasunda: two very powerful and malevolent [ignoble, adharmic] princes, they were always of one mind. Drunk with power their activities became a matter of concern for the people. The apsara Tilottama caused dissent between the two. Sunda-Upasunda fought over Tilottama and ended up destroying each other. Chanda: something to do with taxation and/or lack of financial literacy/financial prudence and/or financial obligations? Mundo: bighead, an incorrigible snob full of arrogant pride [self-admiration]; of hoity-toity manner (thoughtless, derisory [scornful, contemptuous, disdainful], smart-alecky [fond of offensive humour/sarcasm, impudent, annoyingly self-assertive], unmannered [uncultured], supercilious, pretentiously self-important [assuming airs, pompous])? Too clever by half: annoyingly proud, overconfident in their thinking?)  

Vatsasura, the demon calf: genealogy of Balarama? Genetics is as important as education, environment [for acquired attributes, behaviour etc], and positive/progressive/dharmic virtues/values, good upbringing. Perhaps characteristic temperament, psychology or intellectual abilities, to some extent, is influenced by genetics? Upbringing or effort might enhance or tone down a trait, but one cannot change genetics. In one's psyche one will still be the same. Environment [or effort] can only enhance or reduce what has been given genetically. Environment shapes genetics, but, does not remove traits that are inherent in the genes passed on. (In the future, Balarama's genealogy is likely to be sidelined/subdued [fadeout], Vishnu and Vasuki's genealogy will prevail. DNA testing of Vasuki and Balarama [to determine parentage] and/or authentication of documents/signature [possibly used by Ravana/Balarama to usurp Lanka] could be necessary so that there is clarity about Vishnu and Vasuki's genealogy, and so that Vasuki/Garuda [Arjuna/Jesus, Tagore in his next avatar/manifestation] can emerge from metaphoric Crucifixion and clear the air about his equation with Vishnu as the Kalkiḥ-avatar. Balarama (also Ravana/Hiranyakashipu/Joseph/Mahishasura/Putana etc - same soul) is the eternal adversary. It is an eternal duel of wits. Garuda is the avowed adversary of Shesha [Balarama] and other ignoble nagas. ... In the future, Dvarka will belong to Vasuki/Garuda/Nandi; he will be Dvarkadheesh. Dvarka/Kailasha will [thereafter] belong to Vishnu and Vasuki's genealogy - chip of the old block, no traits/DNA of Balarama. (The conscientious Prahlada, given his excessive obedience, is likely to comply with whatever Hiranyakashipu asked of him. He is likely to help the duplicitous-unscrupulous/ignoble-Machiavellian and possibly schizophrenic and apathetic Ravana/Hiranyakashipu usurp Lanka in the future, sidelining Vasuki. Ravana is likely to be an imposter, and pretend to be something or someone he is not [make-believe] - to outmaneuver Vasuki. Vasuki/Garuda [Tagore in his next avatar/manifestation] will be the consort of Vishnu as the Kalkiḥ-avatar. Ravana/Hiranyakashipu could be brother-in-law and/or ex. (However, the innate habits of the soul [sva-dharma] - the personality of the soul, could help distinguish between Vasuki and Balarama.) Dvarka will not belong to Prahlada. ... Perhaps the lesson from the Prahlada-Hiranyakashipu-Holika story is that excessive obedience to [ignoble] authority may not be a good thing. One must [also] cultivate the ability to think (clarity of thought, clear reasoning/thinking) to be able to make well-thought-out decisions and choices.) Dvarka = Lanka. The sun will set on Shesha. Balarama aka Ravana [and other negative/ignoble manifestations of Shesha, including the ignoble Holika, Hiranyakashipu's sister] will be subdued. (Garuda devouring a serpent.) It will help curb many negative aspects. Balarama is [very likely] Mahabali. Wherever the avatar of the future appears that is the actual Dvarka, Mathura, Kailasha, Kashi, Lanka, etc. ... The question is: how did Jesus and Mary [Christ] become anglicised or europeanised? Cultural exchanges and trading ties could be a factor. However, people of the Hindu Kush Mountain and of Chitral (the Kohistani and Nuristani people, the Kalash of Chitral) are a unique people. They could be the people of Kapiś/Kapiśa. Perhaps this realm was part of what the ancients' referred as svargaloka, realm of scenic beauty and unique-looking (pale-complexioned, blue or green-eyed, light-haired), cultured and noble-natured [Arya] people. The possible origins of some modern-day European people including the Roma people (the Romani or Romany), the European gypsies, could be from these realms. But why did they move to Europe?)  

"Nāga" is honorific for kundalini-energy or kundalini-power [shakti] - a subtle and dormant coil of spiritual energy that is found within. When gently 'awakened' it rises up the spine and energises the brain - metaphoric 'kshira-sagara manthan': intellectual vigour - to stimulate the brain to grow, to think in a new way, the quality of thought, to improve the mind (intellectual strengths, to increase and not diminish). Perhaps one's intellect [thinking process, etc] takes a much higher level. Kundalini is euphemism for intellectual strength/brilliance, the power of the mind (high levels of intellectual quality). The "Naga" have three kings: Vasuki, Takshak and Shesha. Vasuki is part of the 'samudra-manthan' stories, exercise of the intellect - towards a sattvic humankind/human civilisation (thoughtful aspects, dharmic virtues/ethics, moral decency, empathy, etc). He is the "Philosophers' Stone" - Renaissance man, Yug Purush. Takshak is more of a chieftain. AnantaNaga and SheshaNaga: Vishnu is Ananta - the timeless, the imperishable, the infinite. BG 10.29: || anantas casmi naganam || ~ "Of the Nagas I am Ananta." The thousand-headed AnantaNaga = one whose mind has expanded infinitely. SheshaNaga is usually depicted as five-headed or seven-headed. Sheshanaga (Śeṣanāga) is one of the earliest/ancient beings of creation, and is sometimes referred as Ananta Shesha. Essentially, Shesha symbolises all vices [negativity, adharmic/ignoble aspects] in humankind. Shesha is said to be the soul of Balarama. Thus, Shesha emerged from the body of Balarama. A great white serpent that left the mouth of Balarama: this is considered as a reference to his identity as Ananta Sesha. ... In the Vishnu imagery it is believed that SheshaNaga forms a nāga canopy above Vishnu's head. The nāga canopy is that of a five-headed or seven-headed serpent [naga]. Vasuki is the five-headed or seven-headed Nāga king. BG 10.28: || sarpanam asmi vasukih || "and of Nagas (enlightened/wise/sagacious beings, intellectual strengths due to 'awakening' of kundalini energy) I am Vāsuki". ... The five-headed naga forming a canopy over Shivaling [symbolic depiction of Shiva, possibly Shiva's brain] is also the powerful, intrepid, wise, noble [arya], sagacious, unobstrusive and selfless Vasuki. Manasa Devi [a form of Shakti – the divine energy/power/being that presides over the universe] is ceremonially worshipped on Naga Panchami. The five "Naga" worshipped on Naga [Naag] Panchami are Ananta, Vasuki, Takṣaka, Karkotaka and Pingala. Airāvata is also a prominent "naga". Airāvata is the elephant of Indra. BG 10.27: || airāvataḿ gajendrāṇāḿ || ~ "Of lordly elephants I am Airāvata." Gaja-indrāṇām: lordly, noble-minded, arya or sattvic qualities. (Naga Panchami is an auspicious festival. On Naag Panchami, the great nine naga [navanag]: Ananta, Vāsuki, Shesha, Padmanābha, Kambala, Shankhapāla, Dhārtarāshtra, Takshaka, and Kaliya were worshipped. Shesha may not imply Balarāma, perhaps Ramanuja or some other manifestation/emanation. SheshaNaga is usually depicted as five-headed or seven-headed: different souls, like-minded, birds of a feather: Hiranyaksha [Kumbhakarna - a couch potato: wastrel, a feckless or indolent person, possibly [also] characterised by or given to decadence], Hiranyakashipu [Balarama, Lakshmana, Ravana etc - same soul], Ramchandra [Mirabai, possibly Alexander and Babar], Vibhisana, etc).


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