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Showing posts from November 1, 2006

Patua scroll painters of West Bengal

Patuas of West Bengal wander from village to village singing songs and explaining Hindu legends with the help of scrolls. They are a marginalized community. With the change of time, they have changed their subject of singing and drawing. It now includes Hindu myths, HIV, globalization, 9/11 and all current topics of general interest. An exhibition about Patua scroll painters of West Bengal is being held at Santa Fe, United States. Mondomedeusah writes:Occupying a position between Hindu and Muslim communities has long been reflected in Patua scrolls and song. Always moralistic in nature, they sang and painted about kings and sages, local folktales and beliefs, and Hindu gods and Muslim saints. With the coming of the British, their repertoire expanded to encompass revolutionary political themes.Now in the era of globalization, Patuas are once again responding to the changing world through their art. Besides religion and local events, scrolls and songs frequently feature issues of worl…

Ganesha Goes to Lunch

‘Ganesha Goes to Lunch’ is a new book by Kamla Kapur. It has 24 stories based on Hindu myths and legends and will be in bookstores in March 2007. The tribune reports:…24 stories, ‘developed from India’s rich and vast ocean of Hindu myths, legends, and folktales and whose timeless quality lends itself to reinterpretation in every age’ writes Kamla in her preface.
“It is easy to see how Indian myth has become the repository of all our wisdom and solace. The gods, like us, are all perishable, yet timeless, like Vishnu asleep on the primeval ocean, appearing and disappearing in his incarnations, like bubbles in the river of time,” she writes.”
“Ganesh Goes to Lunch’ is Kamla’s ‘chant’ to an ongoing passion in myths and legends. In fact her first book of poetry Radha Sings published in 1987 comprises of Radha talking to
Krishna through a series of love songs. Indian Express reports: A lot of research has gone into each story, admits Kamla, who read up on everything she could lay her hands …

Bhagavad Gita Enters the Business Management Schools

Business Week carried a unique article called Karma Capitalism – the influence of Bhagavad Gita in modern day US business. As expected, the Indian newspapers widely reported it. (Sadly, most Indian newspapers still need the foreign stamp to accept genuine Indian cultural aspects.)The Hindu then searched for Bhagavad Gita teachings in Indian Business Management Schools. The Hindu reports:The Gita has entered the classrooms of Business Management students here. And Gen Y has been quick to grasp its essence. From the Pushpak Vimana to herbal medicines (Charaka Samhita), from management tactics (the Gita) to stress busters (yoga) and meditation (dhyana), our ancient texts had said it all much before the WTO-governed universe was ever thought of.Buzzwords such as TQM (total quality management) have been replaced with Aham Brahmasmi (I am God) and Tat Tvam Asi (That thou art) to inspire confidence in oneself and in one's organisation. Chapter 2 of the Gita with special reference to Vers…

Bronze Weaver – a great work of art

Bronze Weaver is a sixth century bronze statue. The National Gallery of Australia purchased it for a whopping sum of $4 million dollars, from a private European collection. City News Canberra reports: “The Bronze Weaver” hails from a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores, which recently drew world attention as a crucible for human development with the discovery of the ancient remains of “homo floresiensis”, dubbed “the hobbits”.
The 25.8cm-high sculpture presents a striking image of woman seated at her loom while suckling her baby. The child touchingly clutches the mother’s breast while another small hand hugs her back.
She was created by the lost wax method: Molding the exact shape of the sculpture in wax over a clay form, then encasing the whole in another clay sheath. The object is then fired with molten bronze poured into the space left as the melting wax drains away. When cool, the outer shell is cracked open to reveal the bronze sculpture. The Weaver’s core of clay still remain…

Formula for Happiness

Wow! It would be cool, if we can have a formula for happiness. The famous ‘Speaking Tree’ column of Times of India has a mathematical equation for happiness. The equation is influenced by the first verse in Isha Upanishad:ishavasyam idam sarvam
yat kincha jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjitha
ma gridhah kasya svid dhanam Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one must not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong. (link)
The equation of Speaking Tree:When we express this secret (the first verse in Isha Upanishad) in mathematical terms, the connection between renunciation and happiness becomes clear: H = R/N where H stands for happiness/contentment, R for resources at your command and N for your needs. As the quantum of your needs starts decreasing the 'H' quotient keeps increasing. If you can bring down the…