Saturday, July 18, 2015

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

Please read: I and II.

The Upanishads, Ayurveda, Sthapatya Veda - part of Atharva Veda: As is the human body, so is the cosmic body. ... The human body has different phases: childhood, youth, old age and fadeout. This can explain the different phases in a kalpa [a time-cycle: Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapar-yuga and Kali-yuga].

Kali-yuga [epoch, era] is the 'Iron Age' (the amoral yuga of muddling through): the epoch of ignorance and confusion: of non-logic, of false/inflated ego, of muddling through, of irresponsibility/indifference, of [overweening] avaricious instincts, of self-gratification (selfish gratification), of discord, of thoughtless, mindless aspects, of blind faith [lack of scientific temper and common sense, inaccurate understanding, inane/illogical/mindless interpretations], of intellectual, social and cultural regression, of intellectual lethargy and moral decay. Here, kali signifies pitch dark (metaphoric 'fog' [tamas] of all kinds of regressive, unscrupulous/unethical and negative aspects that deteriorates the quality of humankind [thought processes, attitudes etc], societal health [mindsets], intellectual vigour/progress and [in turn] the quality of human civilisation). It is the yuga of tamas: the 'fog' of ignorance, inane, unprogressive, unethical/unscrupulous aspects [no moral fibre, no ethical boundaries] since the 'sense mind' gains precedence, and the 'thinking mind' is influenced by 'fog' [tamas]). There is [therefore] dulling of the qualities of mind and heart (considerable depletion in intellectual strengths/qualities [affecting clearheaded, logical thinking, ability to understand or differentiate between dharma and adharma], moral decency, empathy etc). This 'Iron Age' should not be confused with the technical Iron Age.

Dvapara-yuga (the 'Copper Age') could be the age/era [epoch] of trade and entrepreneurial temperament, energy and opportunities. However, if Bakasura instincts [gluttonous, covetous, overweeningly avaricious instincts] predominate, it would result in [i.e. regress into] kali-yuga (and environmental pollution). Copper is tamra in Sanskrit. It is a malleable metal of a reddish-brown or reddish-orange colour. What could 'Copper Age' imply? Elastic morals? Decline/depreciation/depletion in the sense of responsibility, one's dharma to the society? (Tamas - from tamra. Tamas is 'fog' of ignorance - all kinds of regressive, inane/mindless/unthinking, unscrupulous/unethical and negative aspects.)

Treta-yuga (the 'Silver Age'): The moon is silvery. It is calm, tranquil, and provides light (reflects sunlight). The light from the moon is temperate.

Satya-yuga (the 'Golden Age', an enlightened time): The age [epoch] of progressive knowledge and thoughtful wisdom ('kshira-sagara manthan', exercise of the intellect – to emerge from tamas ['fog'] of kali-yuga): it is the epoch of intellectual, social, spiritual and cultural progress, of hope and optimism, of moral decency [ethical thought and behaviour, to understand one's dharma to the society], of harmony, empathy and peace. (When stagnant/antiquated/irrelevant patterns are dissolving, it is necessary to try new thinking/approaches in both perspective [thought] and effort/action.) The Sun is Pratyaksha-Brahmn: manifest Brahmn (divinity) - that which is present before the eyes: clear, distinct and evident. The sun symbolises the one, glorious divinity blessing one and all. (The Brahmn, the divine being/power/spirit, is unmanifest and beyond human comprehension.) The Sun is the source of light and heat. Let the sun's rays stream into the body, mind and soul. (May Your qualities and Your inspiration pass to us.) ... Tagore refers to an enlightened time [satya-yuga] through the metaphor of the sun (that rises in the eastern horizon) - to clear away accumulated fossilised/ossified and regressive aspects/thinking/behaviour.

(Ruby gemstone [chuni] or Manik - the Gem of the Sun [Ravi-Ratna], the first gemstone [ratna] in the Navaratna, is Suryamani or Manikya in Sanskrit. Also: Padmaraga Mani, Red-lotus colour gem, Shona-Ratna, Red jewel. Manik: concentration of mind, intellectual capabilities, self-respect, courage, confidence, optimism and writing and speaking powers. It is also associated with leadership qualities. (Red lotus is kokonad in Sanskrit.)

The changeover from the tamas of kali-yuga to satya-yuga [an enlightened time/era/yuga] will require change: the ability to continuously evolve, to think [a fresh approach, instead of more of the same thing, a change from the fixated way of thinking and behaviour], to progress, to adapt or change. It will be necessary to emerge from the irrelevant/obsolete or inflexible [fossilised/ossified] - rigidly conventional [conditioned/habituated] pattern [instincts, tendency] of thinking, behaviour, habits, or beliefs. To be incapable of change or to be reluctant to change is to become or cause to become rigidly antiquated. Perhaps this is what the ancients referred as vanaprastha: to be washed-out/faded by time [if one were to become rigidly antiquated], and to fade away gracefully, of one's own volition/option, instead of being an obstruction/obstacle/hindrance to progress and positivity. "I am all-consuming time, and I too am the generating cause [birth] of all that is yet to be [bhaviṣyatām]." - BG 10.34. (Time will consume [wash-away/fade] all that is irrelevant, obsolete or rigidly antiquated. It is necessary to understand the rhythm of the universe and to be in sync with it.)

(The appearance of the Kalkiḥ-avatar will signify the closure [fadeout] of kali-yuga, the amoral epoch [yuga] in the intellectual, cultural and spiritual evolution of humankind. The second coming of the Krsna-avatar, the second coming of Christ, the coming of the Maitreya Buddha, etc etc. The Kalkiḥ-avatar (the avatar of the future) could be all-in-one avatar. (All of humankind prays to the same divine power. Divinity must be understood in totality, just as the mythological and other puranic stories too must be comprehended in totality, so as to understand their essence. Krsna - the Kala Purusha, Time Eternal, the Almighty Self as Time [the future], is Kanha, impartial. Kanha could also imply: One who hears all prayers. However, the 'closure' of kali-yuga will perhaps require an objective understanding of history, even ancient history [mythology]). The cosmos: the totality of everything (both manifest and unmanifest) represents the divine. This is the essence of the Vishva-roop (the Universal Form of divinity). Religion and religious schisms, rituals, moral hypocrisy, feigned piety [including commercialisation of faith and its spiritual essences] etc are man-made. "I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all." - (BG 9.29). In the future there will be one religion: humanity. Empathy and service to humankind (towards a healthy society, to create a better world, to be a better person) is service to divinity. That is true worship. ... To emerge [evolve] from tamas of kali-yuga towards sattva [progressive thinking, thoughtful wisdom, openness of mind, moral decency, scientific temper, empathy etc] of satya-yuga, humankind will require uplifting [from tamas, the 'sense mind'] - upliftment of the soul, of the human consciousness, of the mind, the thinking process: to open the mind, to 'awaken' the conscious mind, the 'thinking mind'. Tagore invokes agni - the deity of intellectual aspects/strengths. Agni is the basis of all creation, since mindsets [thought process, etc] are the cause of everything. Satya-yuga is a new chapter [yuga, epoch] in the intellectual, cultural and spiritual evolution of humankind. It is not more of the same thing; a fresh approach is required. Agni transforms.

Agni exists as Cosmic Fire, Solar Fire and as Kundalini 'Fire'. Cosmic Fire is Cosmic Light - Light Divine or Divine Effulgence: the Nirguna (impersonal, inactive, without quality) mode of divinity. It is nirakaar - without form, and avyaktah - unmanifested to human eyes. (Cosmic Fire or cosmic energy is the basis [essence, substance] of all creation in the cosmos. Divine Effulgence - that essence from which everything emanates and to which it returns. For instance, human souls [individual souls] unite with the Divine Effulgence when the physical body perishes. Divine Effulgence can be understood as Para-Brahmn - the cosmic energy [primeval energy] that is beyond human comprehension.) The dynamism in humans is also 'Fire'. Kundalini 'Fire' causes enlightenment of the brain cells: to 'expand' the mind or to 'ignite' the mind, i.e. to ignite/energise the mind - to think, to comprehend, to think in new ways. This happens when kundalini reaches the Sahasrara (the 7th chakra or crown chakra - the highest chakra). As an individual makes his or her way up from the root chakra and out the crown of the head (sahasrara), he or she is gaining insight and delving deeper into his or her internal wisdom [to be perceptive: wise, discerning, logical]. When kundalini reaches the Sahasrara, it signifies the light of wisdom.

(Para-Brahmn and Brahmn are two different things. Brahmn is the Saguna [sentient, conscious, aware, perceiving, and with quality] mode of divinity. Brahmn is the active principle, the Philosopher-king of the universe. Brahmn is sakaar [it does have a form despite not being bound by a physical body]. As the avatar, the Brahmn is vyaktah - manifested to human eyes.)

The deeper aspects of Tagore's poetry are very interesting. When he says, "byatha mor uthhbe jvoley urdhva-paney" he is referring to regaining his intellectual lustre and effervescence (cheerfulness, enthusiasm, dynamism). He is perhaps referring to 'resurrection'. In the future, whenever Satya-yuga begins, it will be from Tagore's birth anniversary: Heye Natun. "Udayadigante shankha baje, mor chitta majhe": Here too he is [very likely] referring to 'resurrection'. Kuhelika, the 'fog' of tamas. Shankha: the divine conch – panchajanya? (Panchajanya is the conch [mouthpiece?] of Vishnu/Krsna.)  

Vishva or Brahmaanda - the cosmos: the totality of everything (both manifest and unmanifest). Brahmaanda could also imply: a time-cycle or kalpa. So, when one Brahmaanda (time-cycle, world order) withers away [fadeout], a new one begins (metaphorically speaking). It is part of the cosmic plan. (Sthapatya: to create, Veda: progressive knowledge and thinking, thoughtful wisdom. Ayur: good health, happiness, harmony, balance and longevity. It is about the collective health of humankind, societal health (mindsets). The Brahma aspect of divinity is the "creator" of a new yuga [epoch]. The Shiva aspect of divinity is Vaidyanatha - the supreme healer [to re-energise]. The Ayurvedic approach emphasises the importance of rectifying the roots of "disease" [issues, problems, moral decay, distortion of Vedic thought etc] rather than the many disease symptoms that arise from these roots. It is an approach that is practical and simple without being simplistic/inane. Body affects mind and mind affects body; thought processes have physical effects of the body [yuga/epoch]. 'Ganga' is a reference to the yuga/epoch, or rather kalpa. It could also imply: thought processes. When Shiva holds the 'Ganga' in the jata, the process of cleansing [rectification of accumulated ignorance, inanities, foibles, etc] commences. A new beginning, a turnabout from tamas, is to cleanse the mind [attitudes, mindsets, thought processes and behavioural aspects]. "and of flowing waters I am the Ganga [jāhnavī]" - BG 10.31).

Kumbha is pitcher (a full vessel). It could also imply: womb or head. Kumbha could be a reference to the mind [thinking mind]. Mela is confluence, convergence. Kumbha Mela: a convergence of great minds, the best or brilliant minds; the convergence of mind, personality, and thinking styles. Kumbha Mela: where great minds come together to create something (through a scientific, technological, literary, creative or medical process/procedure) and/or to emerge with new thoughts, ideas, concepts, etc.

Tagore's "Rahur Prem" [The Demon's Love] is about Rahu and the moon. The moon does not like Rahu, and yet [the malefic] Rahu resolves to coerce and enfetter the moon with all his might: to confine/imprison with [metaphoric] rugged iron fetters: to restrict, to repress, or hamper, a wretched captive in his thrall [servitude]. (A restraint or curb on action or progress: the proverbial lakshmana-rekha. Ravana held Sita captive in Ashoka-vatika.) Rahu vows to imprison inner peace, laughter, happiness and high spirits [exuberance, vivacity, gaiety]: the most insidious prison of all: intentional and unreasonable infliction of mental or emotional distress. Rahu arrogantly wonders: let me see who can remove those iron fetters (given his meticulous efforts). His constant shadowy presence will follow and surround the moon in spring or winter, day or night. He will show up everywhere, the moon will not be able to avert/sidestep him. The moon will experience the ceaseless clanking weight of Rahu's hard heart in rugged iron ankle-bands. Rahu's shadow will stretch over the sky and cover the earth, and influence everything in his likeness (similitude, conformity/congruity).

Rahu is Lakshmana aka Balarama aka Ravana? In imagery Balarama ("strong Rama": strong-arm tactics, malicious/wicked tactics, to engage more in brawn than in brain, unsophisticated?) is depicted with Krsna. Possibly implying: a very sticky type, unctuous.

Demon: a malefic influence, a negative person; a malevolent, unpleasant, regressive, warped, ignoble mind. (Balarama - somewhat of a Professor Moriarty? A detractor in the guise of a well-wisher? A 'snake in the grass' - sneaky or treacherous: Judas? [refer].)

Rahu is a shadow or a node. Astronomically, Rahu does not exist. The unfavourable effects of Rahu: worldly desires, laziness, gratification, mindlessness [easily excitable, affectivity], rigidity and ignorance. (Rahu is Bakasura? Rahu is tamas?) Solar eclipse is known as Rahu. (Lunar eclipse is Ketu.) Rahu is the eighth gemstone in the Navaratna. Hessonite Gemstone or Gomed (Gomeda, Tamo-mani, Orange gem) is the representative stone of Rahu. (Gomed or Gomeda: cow's urine-coloured gem, the shade of honey tinged with blackish colour. It is similar to Śhani in its nature and influence. Gomed is also used to impede the unfavourable effects of Rahu.)

The malefic Rahu: Othello-esque jealousy and madness: obsessive jealousy, jealous delusions? Psychotic, schizophrenic, depressive: bipolar illness? (Inhuman/apathetic a la the Joker, a maniac/psychopath with a mask of sanity?) A split, dual or multiple personality: Ravana and Lakshmana? (Ravana's ten heads could be a metaphor. It could imply: excessive ego and exaggerated self-importance - his temperament flaws, and extraordinarily malefic mental powers/ability [a schizophrenic, wicked and malefic genius; an uninspiring, evil genius in every way]. The ten heads could also imply: birds of a feather; a braggadocio; deluded - full of ego and self-importance (a legend in his mind); a histrionic personality and/or histrionic skills/talent/ability; impulsive and/or given to gloomy, depressive, or sullen moods: frequent changes of mood, sulky and temperamental - filled with frustration and dissatisfaction, excessively selfish, easily upset, emotionally immature; deliberately duplicitous; a tendency towards self-pity and/or obsessive thinking - an exaggerated, self-indulgent attitude, adept at passing the buck of blame or responsibility.) ... The triangle of Ramchandra-Ravana-Lakshmana is two persons: Ramchandra aka Mirabai and Ravana aka Lakshmana aka Balarama etc. (He is a multiple personality. He is demon kali - a malefic influence, symbolising all negativity, tamas and vices in humankind.) Ramchandra and Ravana were in cahoots with each other. They were like-minded – they had the same thinking, habits, attitudes, ethics, beliefs, etc, the proverbial ‘birds of a feather flock together' concept (even if such people have no direct connection to each other). Ramchandra and Ravana aka Lakshmana were both SheshaNaag.

(Astronomically, Rahu and Ketu do not exist. Ketu is a shadow [chhaya] or a node that is positioned opposite Rahu. It is almost another imprint of Rahu. (The constellations governed by Ketu are Ashvin, Magha and Mool.) Ketu is regarded as a point of difficult karma from the past life where a person reaps the results [fruits] of selfish and egoistic karma of the past. In other words, Ketu represents implementation of karmic accumulations both good and bad. Ketu can be both malefic and benefic. Favourable influence of Ketu brings a lot of energy, stamina, luxury/comfort, prosperity, wisdom, good health and spiritual achievements. If unfavourable, Ketu causes unnecessary depression, lack of concentration, boundless worries, anxiety, health problems [of the spine and nervous system, leprosy, obesity, knee problems, mental instability, and fatigue]. If unfavourable, it signifies: arrogance and jealous nature, anxiety and restlessness. Ketu is the favourite gem of those involved in games of chance, speculative activities, gambling of any kind, horse racing. Ketu is also a gemstone, which brings back [lost] wealth. The unfavourable effects of Ketu are Ketu Dosha or Ketu Mahadosha. Dosha = bio-energies found in the body. Kala Sarpa Dosha and Sarpa Dosha (Nag Dosha) could be a reference to genetic abnormalities - an illness caused by abnormalities in genes or chromosomes. If one observes the shape of DNA, it resembles two serpents coiled together (something that is now referred to as: DNA coiled into the double helix structure as a ladder, a twisted rope ladder, or a spiral staircase). Perhaps the ancient Rishis or Munis (honorifics for highly knowledgeable and wise persons) referred to DNA as 'Sarpa', and any abnormalities in the DNA was hence known as 'Sarpa Dosha'. Cat's eye is the ninth gemstone in the Navaratna. Just like the Blue Sapphire [Neelam], which is the gemstone of Śhani (the seventh gemstone in the Navaratna), the Cat's Eye gemstone is a very strong gemstone implying unexpected results (i.e. strong influencing power). Cat's Eye gemstone: Lahsuniya (Lehsuniya), Vaidurya, Vaiduria, Bidalaksh, Ketu Ratna and Sutra Mani. It is a lively gemstone. A silver lining is visible in a perfect Cat's eye in direct sunlight or lamp. | Maagha: January/February. Maha Shivaratri is the most important festival celebrated in the month of Magha. In lunar calendars, Maagha may begin on either the new moon or the full moon around the same time of year, and is usually the eleventh month of the year. In solar calendars, Maagha begins with the Sun's entry into Capricorn, and is usually the tenth month of the year. | Neelam has the ability to make its presence felt very quickly, hence 'Gem of Destiny'. This gemstone's influence is often seen as restrictive or obstructive [unfavourable, impeding], yet its influence also seeks to bring balance. Neelam could spur a person towards great heights [achievements, fame/respect, highest encomiums] and could also desert him or her [propel into oblivion]. In Sanskrit: Nelashma, Neelaratna, Neela-mani, Shaniratna, Sauri Ratna, Indraneelam, Shanipriya, Blue jewel, Royal blue gem. Shani [Shanaiscarya, Saneesvara] represents patience, effort, endeavour and endurance (sincerity, persistence - despite challenges) and who brings about Shani-Dosha - misfortunes or unfavourable aspects (failures, difficulties, appropriate or proportionate retribution - because of one's [unjust, inappropriate] karma/actions). Lord Śhani grants the fruits of one's action, i.e. gives the outcome of one's actions through appropriate/proportionate justice (pertinent, relevant/suitable, retributive justice [chastening and/or opportunity for redemption]: an appropriate and acceptable response to negative karma) and rewards (for positive karma, success for diligence, initiative and efforts). Shani is the greatest well-wisher of the wise and dharmic (those having dharmic or sattvic virtues/ethics, moral decency, humanitarian virtues, empathy), and has an unfavourable effect on the adharmic (those lacking moral fibre, deficient in dharmic or sattvic virtues/ethics - i.e. excessively opportunistic, egoistic, thoughtless, mindless or self-serving). Steed: vulture or crow. (Crow is considered to be the most intelligent of all birds. Sage Bhusunda, the crow sage. Bhusunda could be a reference to Maharshi Vashistha of the Yoga Vashistha. Vulture: a heavy bald head and/or massive or hooked nose.) Shani is a positive person. He is considered an avatar of Lord Shiva and an embodiment of Lord Shiva's Vairagya principle (non-attachment to material instincts/desires or sense pleasures). Lord Shani - the son of Surya and Vikshubha or Chhaya is Saura (son of Surya, intrepid, strength of mind). Shani is also considered an avatar of Sri Vishnu. (Lord = Arya - a person who is the best amongst humankind: intelligent [wise], skilled [knowhow, talent], aware (not indifferent or ignorant), cultured and sophisticated [mature, humane/considerate/thoughtful, refined/polite/well-mannered, cultivated], open-minded, affable, cosmopolitan, in comprehension of the human condition but in addition, having the merit (dignity, quality, integrity, credibility, ability/mettle, strength, stature, fame/glory, talent, moral virtue) and compassion/empathy to en-noble others.) Neelam helps overcome undue anxiety, addictions, hopelessness and irritability (i.e. it keeps all physical and mental health problems away). Śhani represents wisdom, integrity, longevity, good health, discipline [focus, clarity of thought, sensible, no extravagance of rhetoric], authority [stature, character, respect], leadership, ambition, positivity and good results; affluence, contentment [true happiness], glory [fame, encomiums, achievements, laurels], perfection; spiritual achievement through humility; disapproval/negatory, delays, difficulties, adversity [unfavourable aspects]; conservatism (calm, no extravagance of rhetoric, tasteful, unflashy - no wasteful ostentation, not presumptuous/pompous, not profligate/ornate/intemperate/wasteful/immoderate) and sense of kartavya/responsibility (highest human qualities).  

The science of reincarnation, the soul's immortality: As per the Bhagavad Gita, the [human] soul is birthless (ajaḥ), eternal (nityaḥ), imperishable [continuous, continual] and timeless [ageless, everlasting, ceaseless, unwaning] and is never annulled (nullified, annihilated) even when the [impermanent] body perishes. The soul has always existed and shall always exist. It merely takes on a new physical/human form. (The human soul is birthless, it is the [impermanent] body that is born.)  The [human] soul is part of cosmic energy (Divine Effulgence); the [human] soul is ever-existing/permanent (śāśvataḥ) and primeval (purāṇaḥ). It is aprameyasya: boundless, inexhaustible, unmeasurable. It is sarva-gataḥ: sentient, conscious, aware, perceiving. The human soul [individual soul] is unbreakable [nor can it be torn, nor holes be made: acchedyaḥ] and insoluble [akledyaḥ - waterproof], it cannot be dried [aśoṣyaḥ - extracted, suction] either. "Know that which pervades the entire body is imperishable (continual, everlasting). No one is able to destroy [nullify, annihilate, obliterate, extirpate) the imperishable soul." – (BG 2.17). "Only the material [physical, impermanent, manifest] body of the everlasting [imperishable, unfading, unmanifest], unmeasurable and eternal living entity [the soul or being – the eternal essence] is perishable." – (BG 2.18). "As a person puts on new garments, discarding worn-out ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material [physical] bodies (dehāḥ), giving up the old and infirm ones." – (BG 2.22). The soul is gender-less; it has no language, religion or social segment. It is unchangeable [i.e. it remains largely the same] and unmovable [static]. The human soul has sva-dharma – one's true nature - personality/habits of the soul: capability, talents etc gleaned from various manifestations [earlier/previous experiences]. The intrinsic (innate) personality traits of an individual are merely the reflection of the personality of the soul (the Self, the sva - Me, Myself and I). The impermanent physical [human] body [him, her] is merely the vessel that contains the Self (sva) - the eternal aspect, the soul: one's true nature/essence/substance. This may help explain genius, innate ability, talents etc - i.e. biological ability. It takes into consideration the cumulative ability of the soul.

'Self-realisation' is to understand the soul (the Self, the sva - Me, Myself and I) - the essence [one's true nature/substance]. Self-realisation is to understand who one truly is beyond the impermanent physical form/body, and to be that self which one truly is.

Avidya is ignorance: lack of scientific temper (an attitude which involves the application of logic and common sense), having no substance, inanity, incomprehension (inability to understand), uncouth [clumsy, uncultivated], unprogressive and unscientific thoughts and practices: to be closed-minded, inflexible rigidity of thought, attitude and behaviour, refusal to change for the better. (To take unrestrained pleasure in ignorance and thought control.) Apara-vidya is knowledge without wisdom; mere knowledge [the learning of many facts – along with arrogance and disdain] without wisdom; a know-it-all attitude steeped in intellectual lethargy. Para-vidya is knowledge with thoughtful wisdom: thought-inducing, to think through, to understand what to do with knowledge, to be able to differentiate between what is good and what is not, what is progressive and what is not.  

There is a common thread that runs through the past, the present and the future, the ongoing stream of civilisations, of history, of great ideas, of new innovations, of the most innovative products, etc. The past and the future have a common term: kal, there's continuity. It is necessary to have an objective understanding of the past to be clear-headed about the future. History is always interesting, eye-opening and thought-inducing, it is necessary to get a correct understanding and perspective. India - the realm of draped clothes, embraced stitched garments (because of cultural cross-pollination, practicality and usability, ease of use). British rule had its excesses including supply-side famine, indigo cultivation and plantations (tea, coffee, sugarcane), their behaviour with cultivators/plantation workers, prudish excesses, and health policies (including vaccination and indigenous medicine, to propagate Western medicine). They could not comprehend the tropical abundance of India's forests, vegetation, pastures and grasslands (cultivable lands). Plantations continued, they also created new plantations (to cater to industrial and urban consumers' needs); forests became estates, timbers were used to feed the railways and the new and old shipyards in India and England; the role of opium in the expansion of the British Empire; their control of the cultivation of poppy, the fictitious Aryan Invasion theory, racial supremacy, etc. etc. Western and British Museums is a global repository for art and priceless artifacts. What is the Indian attitude to museums and archeology – apathy, indifference, unhealthy competition? There is no attempt at edutainment either. (And while Alexander is "the Great", Xerxes is not "the Great" as the world has recently understood. This kind of artificial/manufactured history seep into and preoccupy the mind (and thoughts), those creating it look to the future with no illusions. It is merely a 'tool' or 'instrument': a modern variant of the Aryan Invasion theory and racial supremacy. Folk whose own history will not qualify for current affairs prefer to write the history of ancient civilisations/cultures/peoples.) ... The British were essentially profit-seeking traders that went on to create/amass a large empire. They were not the sort to ignore/neglect the mundane and practical aspects, to create order and to make something civilised and productive out of the exotic... given the overweening trading [profiteering] instincts. (This also helped foster India's image in the West.) British armies from Plassey (1757), to 1947, were made up of Indian soldiers. However, the loot and wealth from British conquests/campaigns went to the British soldiers. British soldiers indulged in loot. Idle Indian sepoys emulated them. (There were Portuguese pirates and Indian thuggee and bargi.) However, it was British rule that forced Hinduism to reform; a whole bunch of inane, unprogressive and inhuman rituals and customs had to be done away with. Hegemony and whims of priestly types was curbed. This helped India progress. There are no two ways about it. British legacy includes a common language, western science and technology, the railways, civic amenities, less cumbersome cuisine and confectionery, western fashion and styles (that helped transform women's clothing), an administrative framework, a reading culture and a somewhat scientific temper; India emerged because of British rule. (There were diverse kingdoms, and antagonism between various forms of a ritual-heavy religion, especially the Shaiva and Vaishnava faiths - for larger social and economic influence, and to receive royal patronage.) Boudhya Dharma became popular because of its reformist and assimilative [ability to absorb] approach, and because of the centers of excellence and learning. Knowledge-seekers came from all over. How and why the purveyors of tradition and ritualism not reform/progress? Why could they not emerge with scholarly thesis, discussions, literary and scientific treatises, and centers of learning and excellence? Was it avaricious instincts, to maintain the rigid social hierarchy? Why have the scientific writings and treatises been neglected or lost to the sands of time and/or inane interpretations and redaction? Does it show the ability and the mindset? Were they intellectually negligible? However, has modern India been able to understand, appreciate and acknowledge the immense contribution of Boudhya Dharma - the way of the Buddha, 'the Wise One'? What could be the causes for the decline [and decay] of various strands of [what is understood as] Hindu Dharma? ... An objective understanding of the mindsets, attitudes, rituals etc (that was prevalent) will help understand Indians and their [deeply medieval] sensibilities, their instincts, their inanities [mindless, unthinking, conditioned/habituated, illogical, smug, self-righteous, irresponsible, rude/impolite/unmannerly, closed-minded, frivolous aspects], their significant shortcomings, their moral hypocrisy, feigned piety and gender and other dichotomies, their attitude towards science and scientific approach, their clumsiness [thought control, impolite, uncouth manners/behaviour], their crab mentality and frog-in-the-well attitude, their ignorance and foibles. This will also help understand what India would be like if such mindsets were to regain their ascendancy. (Hinduism is a term that came about in the 19th century. It has had various influences. India has assimilated and learnt from several cultures to her own benefit. Peasantisation or ruralisation is not branding. Tinkering with faith and that too a faith as vast, diverse and pluralistic as Hindu Dharma will be self-defeating. A shallow or simplistic understanding of history or selfish, inane, illogical nationalism will be unhelpful. India is not a monolith; India has never been a monolith. Artificial history and feel-good narrative will be unhelpful. Competitive religionism [religious chauvinism, vegetarianism, thought control, attempts to regulate the way of life etc] will induce religious jealousy and bitter feeling amongst various strands of the faith [Hindu Dharma]. This will be unhelpful. For instance, Ramchandra can never be an acceptable unifying factor; neither can certain ideologies and individuals, their lofty honorifics notwithstanding. Regression of rationality will lead to thought processes and attitudinal changes that will bring about intellectual, social, cultural and religious regression; it will be calamitous. Such mindsets, attitudes and instincts should be inoculated. "Orthodox revivalism" is not, and never could be, the way forward.)

"These solidly complete Universities over which our country is brooding, are like hard boiled eggs from which you cannot expect chicken." – Tagore. He was perceptive/discerning, looking ahead [to the future] wisely. Education [acquired knowledge, knowhow] is knowledge and intellectual curiosity. It shapes an individual, and sets her/his direction (as a responsible, thinking citizen). Knowledge is clarity; the ability to understand and the ability to think [the proverbial light bulb in the head], to be clear about the basics, to understand how to apply that knowledge, to be discerning, to have good sense [including common sense], to have an open mind, to be cultivated/cultured - finesse of thought and behaviour. (To be cultured is not only about appreciating high art or inculcating a reading habit, it is also about one's ethics [basic values, mindset/attitude/thought process, moral decency] and [resultant, ensuing] social behaviour. For instance, to offer a glass of water or a cup of tea to the plumber or domestic staff. Finesse of thought and behaviour is VarnaH Dharma. (Please read.) Knowledge should not be equated with medicine or engineering or material success only. Automobile engineers, electrical or electronic engineers depend upon mechanics and technicians.) However, bountiful marks notwithstanding, where is the innovation, creativity, Nobel Prizes, literary classics, mathematical theories, knowledge-seekers? Also, are those answers [meriting such astounding/implausible scores] extraordinary or unique, never heard of previously – to merit such astonishing/wondrous [beyond reason] scores? Has the standard of teaching and intellectual development declined? Or is this what is understood as 'to graduate with flying colours'? Or is there a need for rationalisation (to define educational objectives, learning standards - what students should have learned by the end of a term/year; education/educational standards - the knowledge and skills [knowhow, the basics/basic concepts] students should have; quality teachers, quality teaching and quality learning; how to correct a paper, etc)? Is India really a realm of extraordinarily high IQ people who are not only clear about the basics but also have in-depth knowledge? Or is it the unfolding of a variant of the Jack and the Beanstalk story? Jostling for extraordinarily high scores will be unhelpful. One must be discerning enough to understand what it will lead to. Also, why does marketing, advertising, sales, etc require engineers? Why not folk from economics, science, fine arts and humanities? Is it feasible going forward? Return on investment? Is there a need for streamlining: to rectify overlap, to create bandwidth, to not spread oneself too thin? To increase the literacy rate? Improving quality and relevance of vocational education and training, instead of 'universal education'? The ability to speak and write decent English – what is the scenario, irrespective of the overwhelming/spectacular scores? What is the condition of India's infrastructure? How much of India's infrastructure and civic amenities is created and maintained by Indians, and at what levels? What does it say about the economic engine, the spine of the economy, of economic growth? India is a unique nation-state; it is necessary to look within [to understand India better]. There is a practical aspect to knowledge. What use are knowledge, high scores and expressiveness/fluency without knowhow, the understanding of basics/basic concepts; the ability to do, to problem-solve?

Knowledge is anything that helps to understand, to create or to rectify. And knowledge [knowhow] that helps in achieving or improving water and food self-sufficiency is invaluable. (Without that there is various possibilities, the erstwhile Soviet Union is an example. ) Water is key to food security/nutrition security. Water self-sufficiency [for drinking, irrigation, various production processes, sanitation and hygiene] and unconstrained of the weather. And, as one of the engines that will power the world economy, water and food/nutrition security [self-sufficiency] and energy security is the most crucial factor. (Nutrition security must be improved. It goes beyond food security; there must be access to affordable balanced diet: essential nutrients, not just calories. This will help understand what kind of crops need to be grown for achieving food self-sufficiency and nutritional self-sufficiency for a vast and diverse population.)

India's demographic dividend will be helpful only if it is transformed into a workforce and economic powerhouse – to be the global workforce hub, and to perform in a 21st-century workforce. There is need for more [and relevant] skills/knowhow and more ability, including improved science skills, mathematics-oriented or language-focused skill; inspired teaching, guidance and advice will be necessary. In a global competition for talent, it is imperative to create the future workforce. Accurate, nuanced insight is necessary. A country with a billion and half population (and counting!) cannot become a clown society; cultural or linguistic chauvinism will be unhelpful. People of Europe or the Americas are unlikely to converse in Sanskrit or Hindi, nor change their food/eating/dietary habits or turn vegetarian. 

Krsna is depicted with yellow-coloured garments: joyous spring, gold [satya yuga] and embodiment of the effulgent sun [sunlight]. Arjuna: "bright," "shining," or "silver": white, fair, clear, bright, stainless: fair-minded, genuine. (The moon is silvery; it reflects sunlight.) Silver has value. Silver is not to be wasted. Silver can also imply: a fail-proof solution to a problem, a simple guaranteed solution for a difficult problem, something that very quickly and easily solves a difficult or vexing problem; a cure-all: universal remedy, the proverbial magic potion, something that is a magical [effective] wherewithal/remedy that instantly solves a long-standing problem, often the only 'tool' or 'instrument' that is effective. (There is various medicinal use of Arjuna Tree according to Ayurveda.) BG 10.28: || ayudhanam aham vajram || ~ "Of instruments (a 'tool' or 'implement' used to facilitate, a wherewithal ['instrument' for achievement] by which something is done, to accomplish a purpose) I am the lightning bolt (Vajrapāṇi). This could be a reference to positive/progressive change-makers. (Indra - the deity of rain is Śakra in the Vedas, and the leader of the Deva [higher minds, evolved souls]. Indra is depicted holding/wielding a lightning bolt, the vajra. Indra is the proverbial rainmaker.) Vajram is euphemism for diamond gemstone. Dazzling white Venus is the sixth gemstone in the Navaratna, and diamond, the most dazzling gemstone is the representative of Venus. (Diamond Gemstone or Heera: The diamond reflects the colours of the rainbow, symbolising hope, positivity, and optimism. (Rainbow is Meghdhanush, Ramdhanu or Indra-dhanuSha in Sanskrit.) Diamond is associated with brain, stamina, and health. The significance of diamond or heera could be measured in terms of its hardness and lustre, transparency and luminosity, pleasant appearance. Diamond helps an individual get to the essence of things: insight and lack of illusion. Sanskrit: Vajra, Lightning bolt, Hiraka, Diamond, Bhargava-priya, Beloved of Venus. (Sunlight is white light that is composed of all the colours of the visible spectrum. A rainbow is proof. We can't see the colours of sunlight except when atmospheric conditions bend the light rays and create a rainbow. One can also use a prism to demonstrate this. Light appears colourless or white. White light is a combination of all colours - i.e. the sum of all the colours of light adds up to white.  ... Brilliance, or brightness, refers to the white light that is reflected back to the eye from the diamond. Light enters through the top of the diamond (the table), is changed into a rainbow of spectral colours, and is reflected back and forth in the interior of the gem by bouncing off the mirror-like facets. Light exits through the table, recombining as white light. The way that diamonds reflect light is unique: Inside the stone, the diamond will sparkle gray and white (referred to as "brilliance") while outside of the gem, it will reflect rainbow colours onto other surfaces (this dispersed light is referred to as "fire"). A diamond is evaluated on its ability to reflect and refract light in all directions.)

Arjuna could be a reference to frankincense (refer).

Silver can also imply silver-tongue. "Silver tongue" is an expression used to describe a person who has a humourous, witty, diplomatic, deft and clever way with words, an ingenious, cultivated or impressive way with words, flowery in speech, ornate, rhetorical flourishes, magniloquent, quick-thinking [good presence of mind, ability to think quickly, smartly and effectively], oratorical, vocative: to say the right thing at the right time - to persuade, to express oneself easily or fluently [readily, clearly, effectively], to exhibit the power of fluent and persuasive speech [articulate, convincing, fluently persuasive; characterised by clear expressive language]. Silver-tongue: an articulate orator - a powerful/influential speaker, having the ability to speak in a way that makes other people do or believe what he/she wants them to do or believe. Such a person appears cool, reasonable, responsible, meticulous, learned, astute, efficient, active/enthusiastic/dynamic/energetic, purposeful/tenacious/resolute/decisive [strong-minded], keen, brilliant, dexterous, pleasant [likable, affable], confident and sincere, and is able to charm others [the people around them] easily/effortlessly, and is able to connect/interact with various audiences. Having a "silver tongue" - having exceptional skills with linguistics. Also, gift of the gab and polemical.

(Note: This [silver-tongue] would be a plus trait to have in various situations. However, this ability can be used for good or otherwise, depending on how self-serving, regressive, malicious, progressive or noble one's aims are. A person with a pleasant face, personality and smile and an appealing tone of voice can easily be a manipulator: impressing people with one's social skills to win favour, and using them to one's advantage; mediating difficult situations, showing leadership abilities – of a team or group; offering counsel or advise; the power of words and what they communicate is enormous. A silver-tongue can be adept at fulsome praise, excessively smooth or ingratiating [unctuous] in manner or speech [to sweet-talk], deceit [insincerity] or lies [fraudulence - to falsify or to obfuscate] and gossip [to badmouth others] as a way to bolster or strengthen himself/herself [to appear genuine, bigger or stronger] – vis-à-vis others: a self-seeking heart that desires control, a sense of exaggerated self-opinion/self-importance, disdain, affectation - self-obsession/self-worship/self-admiration/self-glorification, or emptiness [lack of ethics, irresponsibility, mindlessness, no understanding of one's dharma to the society, deficient or lacking in effort or substance, inane, superficial/shallow, airheaded, lamebrained] - and yet to think that he/she is better and more important than other people. Such a person is a malefic [negative] influence. Such a person is Janus-faced [contrasting aspects, two-faced, double-tongued or fork-tongued]: a hypocrite, insincere, fraudulent, a schemer, deliberately deceptive [to mislead], especially by saying or pretending one set of feelings/virtues/scruples [moral rectitude/moral fibre] and behaving [to do something] under the influence of another. Tagore's 'Ghare Baire' is very interesting.

Appearances can be greatly misleading. There are utterly valueless or useless things that have lustre; taking them accordingly is unwise. While some of the dull-looking things [no gloss, no lustre] have immense value. Their lustreless appearance is in no way comparable to the great value [or virtue or use] they may have. This is true/relevant of human beings also. A person may have an interesting, pleasant or admirable character or personality, but he/she may not have any substantial, essential, positive or sensible ability, talent or effort. Such persons can be deceptive/insincere, odious or unscrupulous. One should be assessed/considered on the basis of his/her abilities [and genuine effort and initiatives] and not on his/her extraneous or superficial aspects. Things or persons that appear on the surface [superficially] to be of great value may be quite worthless [ineffective, insignificant]. Something that has lustre is not always what it seems.)

The thing is: Besides moral support some of Krsna's stature etc too is likely to accrue on Arjuna, sort of a force-multiplier - to make someone or something more effective than they would be without it. (The moon reflects sunlight.) So, Arjuna's strength [stature, powers, luster, influence, relevance, importance, significance, weightiness, effectiveness, etc] is largely because of Krsna. He is enfeebled with Krsna's departure. ... Soon after Krsna left the body, the sea swallowed up [submerged] the city of Dvaraka. (Dvārakā: "a gate or a gateway"; also Dvāravatī: "the many-gated city". Dvaraka could also be: where world meets. Prayaga, confluence, yoga of humanity/humankind.) Arjuna took the women, children and elderly people to Hastinapura. While he was escorting them, he was set upon by a band of dacoits. He tried to repel them but realised that he had lost all his powers. His strength had left him with Krsna's departure. ... Virata was a kingdom ruled by the Matsya king Virata. Arjuna disguised as the eunuch danseuse Brihannala in Virata's court for one year: what could the eunuch analogy imply? Diminished, enfeebled, enervated, washed-out/faded, and lusterless? Matsya kingdom - fish insignia? Danseuse analogy: to dance to someone's tune - to comply, to do whatever that person tells/wants? Arjuna [as Brihannala] was dancing to whose tune? (Krsna says: I am [this Self is] eternal, energetic. Krsna departed or left the body - since certain words and phrases are not used for the avatar – the divine spirit in human form/body.)

Matsya kingdom: dolphin or porpoise insignia? Or fish as in fishy? The first avatar - the Matsya-avatar - appeared as a dolphin (possibly a metaphor). ... A dolphin is believed to guide ships through difficult waters. Dolphin yoga posture is Makarasana in Sanskrit. BG 10.31: || jhaṣāṇāḿ makaraś cāsmi || ~ "I am makara among the fishes" - could be a reference to the Matsya-avatar: dolphin or [maybe] porpoise. It could also be the Rohu fish (Labeo rohita), a non-oily (silvery or creamy) white fish with a reddish tint. (Dolphins have longer noses, wider mouths, more curved dorsal fins, and longer, leaner bodies than porpoises. The dolphin's hooked or curved dorsal fin (the one in the middle of the animal's back) also differs from the porpoise's triangular dorsal fin. Dolphin bodies are leaner, and porpoises' are portly. Dolphins are also more talkative than porpoises. They make whistling sounds through an opening in the top of the head through which it breathes; porpoises do not do this. Dolphins and porpoises have many similarities, one of which is their very high intelligence. Both have large, complex brains and a structure in their foreheads, called the melon, with which they generate sonar (sound waves) to navigate.)

Silver – quicksilver, silver-white? Quicksilver – an archaic or perhaps a more poetic way to refer to the [metallic] element mercury. An old-fashioned thermometer has quicksilver inside it. Quicksilver is liquid, silver coloured, and is fascinating to look at, the only metal that is liquid at ordinary temperatures. It moves and flows and "behaves" almost as if it were "alive". A quicksilver temper or character: unpredictable, mercurial, unpredictably changeable, given to sudden unpredictable change, mercurial twists of temperament.

(Green Emerald Gemstone or Panna: Emerald harmonises and strengthens the positive influences of Budha (mercury). Budha is the "prince" in Jyotish and is influenced by Surya and Chandra. Mercury is impartial, evocative, delightful, and youthful. Budha (Mercury) is famous for ready wisdom (wit, presence of mind), and the power of communication. Associated with the respiratory system, nervous system and speech, Budha makes people more skillful, clever and delicate [sophisticated, elegant, charming?]. Budha is shown riding a lion with an elephant's trunk, which points towards the dual nature of Budha, readily apparent in those with Gemini ascendant. Emerald or Panna is associated with the brain, strong intellect, ability to remember, intuition, education (teaching, learning), writing, drawing, perception, vitality, wisdom, communication skills, confidence, humour and wit, a sense of understanding, generosity and affection. Emerald increases power of [mental] faculty/ability, gives mental peace, pacifies the anger and increases eye-sight. Emerald helps to lift depression and insomnia, it keeps the body healthy and mind happy. Panna is associated with SarasvatI, the deity of wisdom and intellect; the deity of knowledge, wisdom, literature, creativity, music, arts, culture and eloquence. Emerald is the fourth gemstone in the Navaratna. Kausthubham or Kaustubha Mani - the unique/divine jewel believed to be adorning the neck of Sri Hari Vishnu - is [very likely] a reference to emerald. Deep green is the most desired colour in Emeralds. A fine emerald must have not only a genuine/clear/authentic/natural verdant green hue but also a high degree of transparency to be considered a top gem. Emerald, the green variety of Beryl, is the most famous and valuable green gemstone. Its beautiful green colour, combined with durability and rarity, make it one of the most expensive gemstones. Emerald is first mentioned in the Rig Veda as being the "gem of good luck [fortune]" and the "gem that improves one's well-being".)

Krsna's advice and Urvashi's 'curse': Arjuna refers to the apsara Urvashi as "mother" and rejects her, this displeases/annoys Urvashi. (There is the story of Urvashi and Pururavas, Arjuna's ancestor. This, according to Arjuna, made her his ancestor too. Urvashi's effort to convince him was unsuccessful, Arjuna stuck to his stand.) A furious Urvashi cursed Arjuna that thereupon he will be a eunuch; she later lessens it to one year [and that it would be Arjuna's own choice]. 'Curse' is a metaphor or euphemism; it could imply: difficulties, challenges, tribulations, moral reparations, humiliation/humble pie, embarrassment, lack of empathy, disgrace/indignities, criticism, chastisement (just desserts - to correct or to rectify, to make someone understand/realise his/her mistakes and foibles so that he/she repents [to self-correct]), punishment [to cleanse the soul], to demote [to make one feel small [humble] or insignificant/negligible  in stature] etc. ... Krsna advised Arjuna to disguise himself as the eunuch danseuse Brihannala in Virata's court for one year. Urvashi and Krsna – same person? Did Arjuna have a quicksilver temper or character? Or a highly exaggerated sense of self-importance: an attitude of obstinate arrogance or contempt [bullheaded, a domineering attitude, a tendency to control/supervise]? Or was he impulsive, intractable [difficult, fractious], not seasoned enough, not dry behind the ears [foolhardy, overenthusiastic, credulous]? Preferring the proverbial high horse: to speak or behave in a superior manner; to be self-righteous and given to moralising; arrogantly believing oneself superior to others, often by putting down other people, even large groups of people: a hectoring tendency? Yudhishthira is glorified for remaining moral: the epithet "Dharmaraj". He is glorified and respected for remaining moral, and adhering to and upholding dharma or moral/ethical goodness [scruples]. However, Yudhishthira is [also] perceived as weak-minded, a weak character, lacking strength of mind. Arjuna could only see the eye of the bird or the eye of the fish, he was oblivious to everything else: too narrowly focused [whereby one may have overlooked the bigger picture]? (Yudhishthira, steady-minded, resolute. Dharma is about one's ethics [basic values, mindset/attitude/thought process: moral decency] and [resultant, ensuing] social behaviour, one's dharma to the society, and fair-mindedness. Yudhishthira could be a reference to Krsna also. However, Krsna is not a scholarly tactician, Krsna is a practical philosopher. In the Bhagavad-Gita [4.7, 4.8] Krsna says, whenever and wherever adharma [moral discrepancies, double standards/dichotomies, avaricious instincts, self-serving opportunism, ignorance, and negative, unprogressive aspects] gain supremacy [preponderance/influence/ascendancy]  - i.e. when such aspects goes beyond the minimum level (when adharmic aspects in the hearts and minds of humankind increases exponentially, causing great imbalance and difficulty), at that time I manifest Myself; to regenerate dharma [moral virtues, empathy, ethics/moral decency, a sense of responsibility] I manifest Myself time and time again.) Dharmaraj (embodiment of moral ideas and virtue) and Maryada Purushottam (an honourable person, a paragon of virtue, the ideal/perfect man): is there a similarity there?

"Rama-Rajya" is not about Ramchandra. (Please read.) Kali-yuga is essentially the era [yuga, epoch] of tamas ['fog' of ignorance, confusion, moral decay] - when the ability to differentiate between dharma [positive, progressive aspects, effort and initiatives] and adharma [unethical, negative, regressive aspects] is dulled, when the ability to think logically and clearly is dulled; it is an era [yuga, epoch] when the qualities of the mind is dulled. (Tamas: metaphoric fog: pitch dark, a dark age.) And so, the intellectual, cultural and spiritual evolution of humankind is at its weakest. ... Whether Ramchandra is Maryada Purushottam (an honourable person, a paragon of virtue, the ideal/perfect man) or a self-obsessed, jealous, inconsiderate, janus-faced, adharmic hypocrite, a medieval-minded chauvinist: when the 'fog' of kali-yuga (dulling of the qualities of the mind, inability to think clearly and logically) dissipates, there is likely to be clarity on this. (Satya-yuga is an enlightened time. It is not more of the same thing; it is a turnabout from the 'tamas' of kali-yuga. So, merely continuing with the interpretations of centuries past, and that too infused with medieval sensibilities will not do. There will have to be fresh thinking, a fresh approach. Only then can there be a changeover of epochs.)

Satyajit Ray's "Mahapurush" is very interesting. "Your idol is shattered in the dust to prove that God's dust is greater than your idol."Tagore. All monuments to tamas [ignorance, adharma, and the obsolete or rigidly antiquated] will be washed away/faded by time. Humankind will have to 'awaken' their conscious mind [the 'thinking mind'] and not be gullible. ... Pharaoh Ramasses II (Ramses 'the Great') is an example of the inevitable decline (and fadeout) of all rulers and of the empires they create with their self-glorification [affectation to greatness]. While Shelley's "half sunk, a shattered visage" is more poetic language than archeology, the "half sunk, a shattered visage" lying on the sand is an accurate description of part of the statue of 'the greatest pharaoh of the New Kingdom'. Ramasses II – a manifestation of SheshaNaag?

Guru Drona asked for Eklavya's right thumb so that Eklavya could no longer practice archery, and so that his favourite student [Arjuna] could remain the greatest archer. (He had declared Arjuna as the greatest archer.) In a maneuver to retain Arjuna's position, the crafty and guileful Drona made sure Arjuna had no competition (although this did not dissuade Eklavya, who continued to practice in front of an image or statue of Guru Drona). What could this story imply? To maintain the status quo through fair [wise, positive, progressive] methods or otherwise? That the outcome excuses any wrongs [adharma] committed to attain it? That it does not matter how one gets what one wants as long as they get it. To achieve the goals through any method necessary, no matter how immoral, unprogressive or unpleasant they may be. What could Eklavya or Ekalavya imply? Arjuna and Dronacharya - same person or different people? Drona is vessel in Sanskrit. Vessel – a reference to a phenomenal, prodigious intellect? (Rona - to cry or weep, lament, tears. However, could rona [also] imply a tendency towards vociferous and/or self-righteous complaint, blame/accusation/criticism, polemic or public clamour/remonstration?) "One must elevate [improve, better, cultivate/make cultured] oneself with the help of one's own mind, and not humiliate/cheapen [belittle, weaken, derogate, diminish, lessen, demote] or indignify himself or herself. The mind is the well-wisher/advisor/counselor/mentor/teacher/guide/instructor of the soul [sva-dharma: one's true nature/essence], and [also] the ripuḥ/adversary [such as: lust, temper/annoyance/malice/bitterness of feeling, avaricious instincts, blind attachment [unreasonable, rigid obstinacy], arrogance [exaggerated self-opinion/self-admiration, affectation] and jealousy] of the soul [one's true nature/essence - the personality/impressions/habits of the soul, the imperishable, eternal aspect/essence of an individual's personality]." - BG 6.5 (Dhyāna-yoga).

Thoth, the ibis-headed deity of wisdom. Horus – depicted as a falcon, or a falcon-headed man. He was considered to be a celestial falcon. He could also be considered as a solar reference. Anubis – a man with the head of a jackal and alert ears often wearing a red ribbon, and wielding a flail. (Anubis is associated with mummification and the afterlife.) A flail is an agricultural tool used for threshing to separate grains from their husks. The jackal analogy: a Machiavellian manipulator (highly adept at manipulation), the greatest schemer of all time - a crafty schemer of tortuous/circuitous, incomprehensible plots?

Ayodhya – from Ayudha ('tools' or 'instruments' - to achieve something)? Or Ayodhya: faint-hearted, brown nose, the genuflecting type: preferring empty bravado and frivolous style to substance [effort, initiatives etc], an inability to withstand or endure hardships or tribulations that tests one's mettle (the stuff one is made of, one's character)? Fawning, groveling, ingratiating [brown-nosing, sycophantic, unctuous, and subservient/servile]: a parasitical and exploitative [leech-like, unethical] people with slovenly habits? Kishkindha – monkey country: people with ape nature? Sri Lanka - the Lanka of the Ramayana? In 1505 the Portuguese arrived in Ceylon [and ruled] until the Dutch India Company usurped control (1658–1796). The British took over in 1796, and Ceylon became an English Crown colony in 1802. (The British started coffee, tea, and rubber plantations.) Ceilão of the Portuguese Empire was transliterated into English as Ceylon. Ceylon became Sri Lanka in 1972. (The adoptive Lanka, to which an honorific "Sri" was added, is much older.) Ceylon was also Anuradhapura Kingdom and Tambapanni (Thambapanni). ... Ayutthaya could be a variant of Ayodhya. Ayutthaya (also Ayudhya) was a kingdom that existed from 1351 to 1767 (when the Burmese invaded it). Ayutthaya - an island at the confluence of three rivers, was renowned [in the sixteenth century] for flourishing trade, and as an ancient capital and modern city in the central plains of [modern] Thailand.

An interesting legend says that a little squirrel helped during the making of 'Rama Setu'. It rolled in the beach sand and then ran to the end of the bridge to shake off the sand from its back (chanting 'Rama' all along). Rama, pleased by the dedication, affectionately caressed the squirrel's back. Ever since the Indian squirrel has been carrying the mark of Lord Rama's fingers on its back. (This Rama could be a reference to Sri Rama aka Sita aka Krsna, not Ramchandra.) The question is: was it a little squirrel or squirrel-like characteristics/behaviour? Or squirrel-faced? Or a tendency to high-tail it? (Some consider squirrels entertaining. Others consider them to be quite an annoyance. They have an excellent sense of vision, of smell, and an excellent sense of hearing. Squirrels can be very deceptive and they have many tricks up their sleeves. Owls are a deterrent, though. (The barn owl [uluka] is the steed of Lakshmi - the deity of wealth. She represents not only material wealth, but also the wealth of grains, courage, valour, spiritual wisdom, success, peace, prosperity, well-being (including psychological health) and spiritual contentment. Unhusked rice is kept near the idol: good harvest and healthy and balanced nutrition. The barn owl analogy: what could it imply? 'Wise as an owl' or 'aami roope tomaaye bholabo na...'? If the Radha-Krsna equation [in the future] is likely to be discreet/inconspicuous, then [logically] whosoever would make copious claims is likely to be the imposter/usurper?)

Karna - ace archer and a strong competitor of Arjuna. Vasusena to Radheya to Karna. A man with a [supposedly] phenomenal sense of integrity and generosity: 'Daanveer' Karna. Radheya: of Radha. His birth-mother is Kunti and his adoptive/foster-mother is Radha. Kunti is a reference to Krsna. Karna's biological father is Surya. This could be a metaphor: a wise and learned person, intellectual brilliance, an extraordinary, incandescent or luminous personality. (Rabi - Surya.) According to Rishi Durvasa's boon [mantra] Kunti would have a son blessed with Surya's qualities. However, Kunti was still very young, and did not want social stigma. She put Karna in a basket and deposited it in the River Ganga. Could this be an allusion to 'Immaculate Conception'? Immaculate: nirmal, unblemished. Ganga: pavitra. (Krsna says, I am the Ganga.) Radha - the adoptive/foster-mother. Radha aka Arjuna? (Sita is Krsna. What could the Lava-Kusha story be about?) Karna is suta - thread. Kusalavya or Sauti - a wandering poet/minstrel. (Sauti - from suta?) Duryodhana had obliged ('bought') Karna by making him the king of Anga. (Anga = part or portion; was Karna given a share or portion of something?) The crafty Duryodhana understood Karna's usefulness vis-à-vis Arjuna. A grateful Karna pledged unfaltering loyalty to Duryodhana. Dhana = wealth. What could Duryodhana imply? Karna - alert ears? Draupadi (Krishnaa) had rejected Karna (since he was a 'suta'), and chosen Arjuna instead. Svayamvara: self-choice. Here 'suta' could imply emotionally threadbare, neglectful of his responsibilities. It could also imply: banal, dull, uninspired, insipid, boring/unimaginative/uninteresting/monotonous, vapid, ineffectively stale [old hat]. For Krsna, that'll simply not do. ("Bichar achhe dhorjo nei, buddhi achhe khoma nei, jeneche shikhechhe shanti paye ni. Peyeo paben na, peyeii haraben, peye dhore rakhtey hobe shheta janen na." ~ From Tagore's "Shesher Kobita". Perhaps SheshaNaag does not understand the concept of "nibhana". That's his true nature [sva-dharma], the personality of the soul.) Draupadi is a reference to the Krsna-avatar. There is some speculation about the possibility of an unarticulated connection between Karna and Draupadi. Karna was ambitious; he was also resentful and nourished bitterness within himself. He did not know who his real parents were. Could all this imply there were not one but two Karna? Karna's 'kavacha' and 'kundala' made him invincible. Kavacha: body armour - aura of invincibility and/or blessed with a teflon personality? Vach: speech, speaking powers, a man of his word? Kundala: earrings. Lord Indra [disguised as an old man] went to Karna and asked for his kavacha and kundala in daan (donation). What could this imply? (Rabi - Surya. Indranath - consort of Indra. Indra's consort: Sachi/Indrāṇi. Arjuna is Sabyasachi.) Krsna's fondness for yogurt and butter, Krsna as 'the butter thief' (noni chora) - what could this be about?

The Ramayana - 'The Way of Sri Rama'. Ayan (Sanskrit: AyaNa or ayanā) is movement towards or "way". It is associated with the movement of the sun, solstice or equinox. AyaNa or ayanā can also imply belonging to the solstice.

The Mahabharata (initially 'Jaya' - Victory) is the history of various peoples; an ancient history narrated imaginatively through the two great epics and the many puranic stories. Because of its significance, while the Mahabharata is also regarded as the Fifth Veda, it is at once equivalent to all the Vedas. Great authors, poets, littérateurs and playwrights have gained inspiration from the epics - for material on which to form their own creativity. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata is very interesting, intellectually stimulating, and different from the inane and simplistic tales/narratives they have been turned into. The scale and grandeur are impressive, magnificent. There are hundreds of interpretations and retelling of both the epics: re-translated, contemporised and localised, and so, their flavour is considerably different. They are essentially the perspectives/points of view of various translators, redactors, dramatists, poets, artists etc, and hence [very likely] reflective of the prevalent social milieu (societal mindset of the times). The interpretations and re-telling are also reflective of the intellectual abilities of the times [yuga], and much myth-making, fossilised/ossified thinking, regressive thinking and folk-dramatisation (costume dramas with inane props). With the 'closure' of kali-yuga [the 'dark age', the amoral [adharmic] age/epoch/yuga of ignorance and confusion], the Ramayana and the Mahabharata will have to be re-written and re-interpreted. It will also contain elements/aspects/stories of various faiths; hence the Ramayana and the Mahabharata will be universal. The stories associated with the Krsna-avatar are "Krsna-leela". The avatar is a "leela avatar": to be discussed, to understand the concept of dharma [in thought/attitude, action and behaviour] and adharma (from a practical aspect), to understand societal aspects better, and to take corrective measures. (The avatar is all-knowing. The avatar never comes to rule; the avatar is amongst humankind to offer a mirror to society, and to regenerate dharma [dharmic aspects/ethics/virtues, moral decency - a sense of responsibility, one's dharma to the society, to humanity/humankind]. To do whatever one can [as per one's ability] for the improvement of humankind's thinking/attitudes/mindsets/cultural aspects - for the betterment of societal aspects/conditions/mindsets. Only then can a healthy and progressive society emerge [be created]. The concept of karma is [also] an incentive for positive/progressive thinking, initiatives and continuous effort [to realise them]: to improve oneself, to become a better person, and collectively a better [progressive-minded, responsible, empathic] people. Krsna says to Arjuna, "I am the doer. You are the instrument.") 

7 August: 22se Sraban. 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high 
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls 
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. 

This is Tagore's vision for an educated [progressive, forward-thinking, modern] India. It is also his prayer to the Almighty.

Satyajit Ray's 'Hirak Rajar Deshe' is an impressive cinematic representation.

Only when monuments to indifference, apathy, moral decay, avaricious instincts, whims and foibles, fossilised/ossified thinking [fixed mindset/attitudes and behaviour that is rigidly antiquated], illiteracy [non-logic and lack of scientific temper], ignorance and brainwashing are dismantled (by those that have created them) the nation [and people: their mindset, thought process] can progress.

BG 9.17: || pitāham asya jagato mātā dhātā pitāmahaḥ || ~ "I am the father (pitā) of this universe (jagato), the mother (mātā), the support/sovereign (dhātā) and the grandsire (pitāmahaḥ)." Brahma is pitamaha, the grandfather. Brahma is the creator aspect of the Almighty.

(Rabi: Surya. Manik: Suryamani, the effulgent gem.

Ponchishhe Boishakh [the twenty-fifth of Boishakh, 7 May] is Tagore's birth anniversary. Satya-yuga [an enlightened time/epoch] will begin from Tagore's birth anniversary: Heye Natun. It will emerge through the tamas [kuhelika: 'fog' or darkness of frosty ignorance etc] of kali-yuga like the effulgent rays of the glorious rising surya. In other words, Satya-yuga is a time to undo/dismantle [unlearn] the foibles, ignorance, inanities/irrelevant/obsolete/illogical and regressive aspects of kali-yuga. This is how the tamas ['fog' or darkness] of kali-yuga will dissipate. Satya-yuga is to be open-minded, to learn [positive, progressive aspects, a fresh approach] and unlearn [negativity, unthinking/illogic/mindless/regressive aspects and ignorance - the cause of tamas or 'darkness']. It is necessary to have a clean mindset and approach for a healthy [progressive] society. There simply isn't another option.

Towards an enlightened time/epoch: tamas will be washed away [faded by time] - the 'awakening' of the conscious mind, the thinking mind. Esho Heye Boishak Esho Esho: a fresh approach, a fresh/new thinking. Satya-yuga is a new chapter [yuga, epoch] in the intellectual, cultural and spiritual evolution of humankind. It is not more of the same thing. Agni transforms: to open the mind to new ways of thinking [of seeing things]. Agni is the deity of intellectual aspects/strengths. 'Agni-snana' is to energise the mind, to regenerate and strengthen the qualities of the mind: to bathe in the rays of progressive, thoughtful knowledge, of good sense, of thoughtful logic and wisdom. Agni is the basis of all creation, since mindsets [perspectives, metality, thought process, etc] are the cause of everything. This is the remaking of humankind. Only then can society progress. More of the same thing [tamas of kaliyuga] will be unhelpful. 'Kshira-sagara-manthan': exercise of the intellect - to 'create' a new yuga, to remake humankind - the thought process, the way of thinking.)

The condition of the rivers is reflective of the condition of Hindu Dharma. Cows and calves are metaphors for rivers in the Rig Veda. (Veda - from Vid, to know. Veda - progressive knowledge, continuously evolving [expanding and improving the horizons of knowledge]: not stagnant or decayed (to not increase the horizon of ignorance). Vidya – from Veda. Vidya - knowledge. The Vedic people were much different, hence the SarasvatI Civilisation was one of the most progressive and advanced (knowledge-wise). They created for the ages; their creativity and knowledge withstood the vagaries of nature and the test of time. Modern Indians cannot even replicate the achievements of the Vedic people. (And Aryan Invasion theory is fantasy.) Hindu Dharma is a diverse faith; it cannot become an organised religion. Also, unscientific and unthinking ritualism is unhelpful. A new foundation will have to be laid; a fresh approach/thinking/mindset [perspective] is required. Hindu Dharma will have to re-imbibe thoughtful wisdom, scientific thinking and scientific temper [the application of logic and common sense/good sense] to be able to evolve/progress into Vedic Dharma. BG 10.28: "among cows I am the surabhi (kamadhuk)". Surabhi is kamadhenu - "that which fulfills human needs". Rivers and cows are often poetically correlated in the Rig Veda. Sri SarasvatI is "Varadey Kaamarupinee" – kamadhenu, the "wish-fulfilling cow" - the fulfiller of wishes (as per effort, initiatives etc). In other words: Bhagya-Vidhaata. SarasvatI is a 'river' (hence the metaphor of "cow" has been used). SarasvatI is the deity of knowledge, wisdom, literature, creativity, music, arts, culture and eloquence. The river analogy: the avatar cannot be straitjacketed. The avatar is like flowing water ['the clear stream of reason']. SarasvatI is the Krsna-avatar. 

Yellow Sapphire Gemstone or Pukhraj: It signifies intellectual aspects/strengths, knowledge, wisdom, virtue, justice, education, future, dharma (dharmic virtues - a set of values and ideals, one's dharma to the society, to be a decent human being), respectful, philosophy [a deeply philosophical bent, vigorous philosophers], loyalty/sincerity/dedication/enthusiasm, spirituality (spiritual humanism, empathy, to be kind), generosity and amicableness to all sorts of people. Yellow sapphire harmonises. Guru is the major instructor or teacher and influences action with the highest coordination/organisation/method/purpose/decorum/correctitude and balance. Guru directs action in the most harmonious and uplifting manner and balances inner and outer input while simultaneously performing and supervising action. Enlivens activity in the brain (to stimulate the mind/thinking process) while directing/guiding action. It signifies highest-order thinking - Knowledge has organising power. Its use brings about affection and harmony. Jupiter (associated with benevolence, sattvic aspects and amicableness) is believed to bestow humans with the knowledge of law, ethics, wit, wisdom, worldly happiness, vitality, intelligence, longevity, good health, food grains (good harvest), general prosperity, success, mental peace, fame, respect, spirituality (spiritual humanism, contentment) and ability to overcome health hindrances. In Sanskrit: Pusparaga, Yellow sapphire, Guru-Ratna, Gem of Guru, Pushparaaj or Puspa-Raja, King of flowers, Vascapati vallabha, Beloved of Jupiter. (Kausthubham or Kaustubha Mani could be a reference to Yellow Sapphire Gemstone/Pukhraj. Possibly to emerald and Pukhraj - both.) Yellow Sapphire is the gem of guru of universe: a true teacher of humankind, someone who imparts their wisdom to others - to guide them. (Brihaspati [Jupiter] is Devaguru.)

Fate and destiny: 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 a civilisation or of humankind] will be shaped (by the nation/humankind/person's collective spiritual history and karma, the karmic accumulations both good and bad). Hence 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/perspectives/thought processes (because of acquired behaviour, adaptability, virtues/ethics), and resultant efforts/actions [karm-yoga] as well as tendencies of the soul (innate habits of the soul). 

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are timeless; it is events associated with the avatar and the yuga. (Some of the events [leela] are predetermined.) The deeper aspects of Tagore's poetry are very interesting. Only those minds that are able to think logically will understand Tagore's poetry. (It's a cerebral exercise.) He is the flute of Krsna, the Omkaara of Shiva – mouthpiece. (Krsna is the avatar, the appearance of the divine spirit in human form. Krsna is also Shiva - the renewal aspect of divinity. This aspect dismantles tamas; the Brahma aspect creates [the remaking of humankind: to clean the mindset of tamas, to lay the foundation for a better and progressive yuga [epoch] to emerge]. Divinity is Brahmn: wise, astute, forward-thinking, empathic, sagacious, progressive-minded, enlightened. The Vedic people bathed in the rays of progressive, thoughtful knowledge, of good sense, of thoughtful logic and wisdom.) Tagore has clearly articulated a roadmap/blueprint for the future. For instance, his rural programme. (In Bisva-sathey Joge Jethay he refers to "gopon prem". [Gopon: discreet, inconspicuous]. So, through his poetry he has also hinted at certain aspects of the future, including his equation with the avatar-of-the-future.

Note: Dvarka or Dvaravati is "the Golden City". It is believed that the sea submerged the entire city of Dvarka. However, there are several Dvarka. Could it be that only during satya-yuga [an enlightened time/epoch], the symbolic 'Golden Age' in the intellectual, cultural and spiritual evolution of humankind, the actual Dvarka is revealed? (The avatar appears at the cusp of two yuga.) Dvarka: "a gate or a gateway". Dvaravati: "the many-gated city". Dvarka is Haridvar? Hari-ka-dvar: the door of opportunity when it swings open; opening doors to opportunities for a better future; when the door of opportunity opens - to create or provide new opportunities or possibilities? Haridvar – the spiritual powerhouse of the world, irrespective of faith? Dvarka or Dvaraka could also be: where world meets, i.e. Prayaga (confluence) - the 'yoga' of humanity/humankind.)

There will be one dharma: to be decent and cultured human beings, and an all-encompassing humanity. Humankind is likely to enter an era [satya-yuga] of greater ethical decency, gentleness [better attitudes, empathy and resultant behaviour], peace, responsibility [to the society, toward betterment of humankind/societal aspects/mindsets], and integrity. It will be an enlightened time - a wiser, progressive and thoughtful epoch [yuga]. There will have to be qualitative changes in the mindset [attitudes] of humankind. Continuing with the ignorance, mindless, unscientific, unprogressive and ignoble ways/aspects of kaliyuga will not do. (And religionism will be curbed. All of humankind prays to the same divine power. This will have to be understood.)

Pralambasura: tardiness, apathy, neglectful, lousy aspects. Dhenuka or Dhenukasura - the ass demon: all sorts of asinine aspects - illogical, unwise, irresponsible, half measures, feebleminded, mindless or unthinking [non-application of mind], simplistic [inane, nonsensical, ridiculous, frivolous].

Kaliya - the serpent demon: Within the river Yamuna there was a great lake. The wicked Kaliya Naag was a huge, odious, venomous and monstrous serpent/python with a hundred and ten hoods. Kaliya had infected the lake of the Yamuna and poisoned the waters of the Yamuna, it was so contaminated that it emanated a poisonous/toxic vapour. Kaliya was a mischief-monger: vomiting poison, evil-minded (evil intent), deliberately vicious, annoying, indulging in depraved activities and tormenting people. He was of a malicious disposition [his true nature]; his purpose was to create mischief. Kaliya is the archetype of deception, impudence, cunning and malice, the embodiment of unrelenting and unthinking cruelty. He held Krsna with his mighty coils. After sometime Krsna expanded the body, Kaliya's coils slackened. The angry Kaliya expanded his great hoods. He exhaled poisonous fumes from his nostrils, and flames issued from his mouth. As Krsna and Kaliya moved in a circle, the serpent gradually became fatigued. Kaliya-mardan - "The Subduing of Kaliya Naag": Krsna dances on the hoods of Kaliya - destroying the immense hubris of the hydra-headed monster. (Kaliya was effectively defanged. He poisoned the hearts of people. Krsna destroyed him from the realm of their heart.) Krsna let him off on condition that he would leave the lake and betake himself to the island of Ramanaka (where he belonged). The water of the Yamuna Lake was cleansed of all poison, and became as sweet as it was before the advent of Kaliya. (Kaliya Naag could be an allusion to demon Kali [symbolising tamas: all ignorance and negativity/vices in humankind]. He is also considered as a thousand-hooded serpent.)

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


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