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Pandora and Sandhya: Woman as a Curse, Woman as a Blessing

The study analyses the story of the birth of the first woman in Greek mythology and contrasts it with the story of the birth of the first woman in Indian Puranas, revealing the Indian perception of woman in contrast to the Ancient Greek and Western perception of woman. In the ancient Greek perception, woman appears as a curse on mankind, born out of the anger of the gods and their need to punish man, all-negative except that she can be the mother of his children; whereas in Indian stories, she is born of the calm, serene mind of the creator in meditation and is an expression of the sacred creativity inherent in the divine: all-beautiful, with not one thing negative about her.      0o0
Pandora is the first woman created according to ancient Greek myths and Sandhya, the first woman born according to ancient Indian myths. While there are a few similarities between the two, the contrasts between them are great. By comparing the stories of the first woman in these two cultures, we can arriv…
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Araja: When a Girl Is Raped

Women’s safety is a major issue across the world today. India has become notorious as one of the most unsafe places for women. Our print and electronic media are filled with news of rape and other forms of violence against woman, at least some of which shake the very conscience of the nation. We wake up every morning to hear reports of very young children being subjected to sexual atrocities. In such times, this story of a young girl raped brutally and destroyed by a power-intoxicated man and the consequences of that dastardly act that ancient India tells us can perhaps function as a warning to all of us. The story is of Araja. Araja could be her name. It could also be a description of what, or how old, she was. The word arajaa means one without impurity – from the word rajas, meaning impurity. Rajas could also mean many other things, including a woman’s monthly period, which would make the word Araja mean a girl who has not yet reached puberty. A prepubescent girl. She was the old…

Karnayana: Sooryaputra’s Journey from Darkness to Light - 2

Karna Pledges Eternal Friendship to Duryodhana
The Adi Parva of the Mahabharata does not tell us anything about what happened to Karna in the years between the Pramanakoti and other childhood incidents and his appearance in the arena years later. But from the Shanti Parva of the epic we get a clear picture of the events of these crucial years in the life of this main pillar of Duryodhana’s evil strength, fear of whose competence would later make someone like Krishna lose sleep for three months immediately prior to the war. Krishna would find relief only when Karna is forced to use against Ghatotkacha the shakti Vaijayanti he had received from Indra that he had kept reserved for use against Arjuna. And such is Krishna’s relief at Vaijayanti being spent on Ghatotkacha instead of Arjuna that at the death of Bhima’s son Krishna jumps up on the floor of the chariot he was driving and dance, shouting and hooting for joy and gathering in his arms his friend Arjuna and slapping his back again…

Karnayana: Sooryaputra’s Journey from Darkness to Light

The Mahabharata describes several close friendships: the friendship between Krishna and Arjuna, those between Krishna and Draupadi, the sages Nara and Narayana, Ashwatthama and Duryodhana, Drona and Drupada and so on, each uniquely fascinating in its own way. One of the friendships that get a lot attention in the epic is that between Karna and Duryodhana – between a man considered an ideal for high ethical principles, who is willing to give up his life itself for his principles and a man for whom power is the ultimate thing, for which he would sacrifice all ethics. This friendship is of central importance to the story of the epic – because Karna is Duryodhana’s greatest strength, the one man he can count on unconditionally, based on whose strength he does all kinds of atrocities throughout his life and finally goes to war with the Pandavas refusing to give them back as much land as the tip of a needle. In this study we are going to take a look at the journey of that friendship, the up…

Vedic Management: Why We Need It Today

Andres Leon’s More Than Anything in the World [Más Que a Nada en el Mundo] is a powerful film from Mexico that won the Best First Film awards both at the Guadalajara and the Montreal Film Festivals. Directed by Andres Leon Becker, it is the harrowing tale of a divorced young mother and her seven-year-old daughter living in a suffocating tiny apartment in the urban jungle that is Mexico City. Such is the apartment that once you enter it, you are completely cut off from the outside world. There are no trees to be seen from the windows, no sky, no streets, nothing. The only thing you can see is the backsides of other apartments on your left, right and across that you feel are so near you will be able to touch if you stretch out your hand – mostly drain pipes, tiny ventilators and some windows, all curtained off to keep the outside world away. No breeze ever comes in, and not more than a tiny bit of dim light if you keep the windows open.

The young mother is lonely. She has no social lif…

Mahabharata, Leadership and the Language of Power

Power has its own language. It speaks that language all the time, and it understands only that language. There is a beautiful African folktale I love, about a lion and nine wild dogs.  The lion was old, his limbs weak, his muscles loose and he couldn’t hunt anymore. One day he was sitting just outside his cave when he saw a pack of nine dogs passing by. The lion raised his voiced and asked them, “Come, join me. I’ll let you hunt with me today.” The dogs knew the lion was too weak to hunt and was actually ordering them to do the hunting for him. They looked at each other. True the lion was old, but he was still a lion and they were afraid to say no. The lion and the dogs hunted the whole morning. By noon they had killed ten deer. The dead deer was piled up in a heap and they sat around it. The lion paused dramatically and then raising his voice said, “Now there is a big problem before us. How do we divide the kill?” The youngest of the dogs responded instantly, laughing, “What is the pr…