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Showing posts from November 18, 2006

Punyatithi of Saint Jnaneshwar

Punyatithi of Saint Jnaneshwar is the death anniversary of Sant Jnaneshwar . He revolutionized bhakti literature and at the age of fifteen wrote Jnaneswari - a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita which has been a household text in Maharashtrian homes for centuries. Pranav Khullar writes in Hindustan Times…Jnaneswar revolutionised Bhakti literature. Amongst the first to use Marathi to spread and demystify the message of the ancient texts, Jnaneswar unleashed a silent movement against the religious monopoly of the orthodoxy. This new paradigm became the rallying point of many a mystic and reformer later.
Image from

Ramayana Opera Censored Fearing Bad Luck

The opera, ‘Ayodhya,’ was premiered on this Thursday at Bangkok, Thailand. But the new military appointed government in Thailand wants the opera to be censored as a particular scene might bring bad luck. The bad luck scene is the on-stage death of a key character, the demon-king, Thotsakan (Ravana). The Ramayana in the Thai version is called the Ramakien. The idea that depicting Thotsakan's death will bring misfortune is usually applied to traditional Thai masked dramas known as ‘khon,’ according to theater scholars. But the present government has similar fears about the opera. (link)
The opera is being composed by Bangkok Opera's founder and composer Somtow Sucharitkul and Dutch director Hans Nieuwenhuis. Incidentally, the Ramayana Opera is dedicated to Thailand’s monarchy.
Bad luck with a opera is strange. It is hard to change the beliefs of certain people. This is clearly the lack of proper understanding of scriptures.
Image from Bangkok Opera web site

The Life of Hinduism - a series of essays

About the book from University of California Press:The Life of Hinduism collects a series of essays that present Hinduism as a vibrant, truly "lived" religion. Celebrating the diversity for which Hinduism is known, this volume begins its journey in the "new India" of Bangalore, India's Silicon Valley, where global connections and local traditions rub shoulders daily. Readers are then offered a glimpse into the multifaceted world of Hindu worship, life-cycle rites, festivals, performances, gurus, and castes. The book's final sections deal with the issues of identity that today face Hindus in India and around the world: militancy versus tolerance and the struggle between owning one's own religion and sharing it with others.

The book is edited by John Stratton Hawley, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Religion at BarnardCollege, and Vasudha Narayanan, Professor of Religion at University of Florida.

German Man cremated as per Hindu Rituals in Varanasi

The last wish of Scander Hanee Pulric was to be cremated according to Hindu rituals. On Friday at Harishchandra Ghat, Varanasi, his friends carried out his last wish. On learning he had blood cancer and that he will not survive for more than three months, the German moved to Varanasi. He died on Thursday night. Scander Hanee Pulric believed that he will attain salvation through the ritual. Another wish was to immerse the ashes in Ganga, which will be carried out soon. (link)

Quote for the day

Before a living organism evolves, food must exist to sustain it. First comes the food; then the organism. The life force is in both the food and the organism. Thus the life force is both consuming and consumed. Unless you know who the consumer is and who is being consumed, you will never overcome the fear of death. Unless you know the intrinsic nature of the life force within you and within the objects that nourish you, you live with the fear that you will be unable to sustain your life.SanatkumaraSource:The Tradition of the Himalayan Masters
Pandit Rajmani, Ph.D. Tigunait