to the good path
who melt with love
with tears as they chant it.
It is the
essence of the four Vedas.
Chant our Lord’s
name; say, “Hail Shiva!”
The lyrical offering of Shiva’s renowned devotee
Sambandar is proof enough of the greatness of Mahadeva. His benevolent gaze is
the sole guide of the devotees out of the cycle of birth and death, towards the
supreme knowledge “Brahma Gyana”. By simply chanting his name, the soul can
awaken the Sahasrara or crown chakra, which is endemic to the breaking of
illusionary ties with the world and achieving the state of a constant divine
About the Book
This book is a collection of letters and debates exchanged by Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore between 1915 and 1941. They have been put together for the first time from old journals and various published and unpublished sources. The letters, of a private nature, preserved in the archives at Visva-Bharati, the University founded by Tagore, are of great historical interest. The debates are issues which continue to be relevant to this day and age. An 'Introduction' by the editor examines the historical context of the correspondence and provides an overview of the major questions discussed in these writings.
About the Author
Dr Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, formerly Vice-Chancellor at Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, is currently Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. In his words, "While I was at Visva-Bharati, I was struck by the significance of these letters in terms of the differing perceptions which they had of major national issues, as well as the intimate light they throw, upon the relationship between these friends and adversaries in debates.
The merciless Durga brings the great Mahishasura to His knees. Her simhavahana (lion-mount) has him between its teeth, while the dashabhujadharini (the one possessed of ten arms) pushes Him down with Her feet and drives the spear end of Her trishoola (trident) into Him. Helplessly, the proud Mahishasura looks up at the feminine victor.
The work of art that you see on this page is a pattachitra of the Mahishasuramardini from Orissa. ‘Mardini’ is the Sanskrt word for slayeress, while the prefix ‘Mahisha’ means buffalo. This roopa (form) of the Devi is deeply worshipped in the Eastern Delta region, of which pattachitra is a traditional folk art form.
The sheer level of detail in this pattachitra makes this a collector’s item: from the embroidery of Mahishasuramardini’s saree to the miniscule motifs across the background. A superbly detailed temple entrance structure, complete with pillars and archway and templetop, frames the central ensemble. A powerful, lifelike composure characterises each countenance in this painting.
green georgette fabric of this sharara salwar kameez provides a magical
background to the glittering zari embroidery, creating a piece so beautiful
that it reminds you of the time when Sharara was the attire of royal women. The
Kameez is heavily embellished with floral patterns, and with its bell sleeves,
it is the perfect balance of ethnic and modern. Lavish flared sharara pants and
delicate dupatta with this designer party wear, complete your look for a
charming evening filled with laughter and compliments.
Aventurine is a variety of quartz that is known for its unusual texture. It has a natural translucence coupled with a deep shimmer, termed as aventurescence. The same is brought out to perfection in the longline Nataraja sculpture that you see on this page. It is a rich green colour, which is the natural colour of aventurine.
A two-tiered plinth comprising lotus blooms with the pistils against each other. An Apasmara figure of substantial proportions, crushed beneath the feet of Shiva. Nataraja dances on its back, symbolising the consistent victory of enlightenment over ignorance (‘avidya’, of which Apasmara is personification).
The cold quartz medium has been imbued with remarkable dynamism. The chaturbhujadhari Nataraja dances with His hair flaying about Him, a world of snakes bouncing around His every curve. A perfectly circular aureole frames the figure steeped in tandava. Zoom in on the face to appreciate the wealth of expression introduced by the skilful hands of the artisan.
Date, Home, and Authorship of the LS
The LS is a part of the Lalitopakhyana (LP) which is one of the apocrtpha of the Brahmanda Purana. Since it is the apocrypha of the BrmndP, the date of the BrmndP cannot be accepted as the exact date of either the LP or the LS. It is very difficult to trace the accurate date either of the LP or the LS. But on the basis of some available sources, an attempt can be made to find out approximately the period of the work in question.
As stated, the colophon of the LS declares that the LS forms a part of the LP, the date of the LP, therefore, would decide the date of the LS. The date of the LP, Which consists of(1) the LP itself, (2) the LS, and (3) the LT (Lalita Trisati), is fixed in successive stages by DR. B. Dutta in his learned article.
Lord Varaha, the third of Vishnu’s dashavataras, is the most instantly recognisable of the incarnations. The word ‘varaha’ is Sanskrt for boar; and while some iconographies feature Varaha as a pig-shaped deity, the painting that you see on this page is of an anthropomorphic boar-headed human-bodied entity.
Lord Varaha is possessed of eight arms (ashtabhujadhari) and clad in a flame-coloured dhoti. In fact, it is the predominant colour in the palette of this mural. It is to be found in the palms of His numerous hands, the snout of the boar-face, and the lifelike petals of the lotus-bloom throne. A gorgeous gradient of the same shades and tints characterises the upper half of the background and makes an organic halo around His head.
This vibrance of colour and density of detail are hallmarks of the authentic Kerala mural. Note the lifelike eyes of the animal-face, the perfect symmetry of the adornments on His body, and the complex brushstrokes that break the monotones in the background. An image of Varaha in the Kerala mural idiom would be an unusual addition to the home or office of any Vaishnavite.
Red and pink are the common trousseau colors for an elegant
and fashionable bridal wear. This sharara suit is a must buy when you are in
for a bridal shopping as it would be a perfect wear by any newly wed for any of
her after marriage gathering, ceremonies or rituals. The strawberry pink kameez
is embellished with crystal flower motifs all over and a heavy embroidered
round neck. There is a beautiful interplay of pink and red colors on the kurti
all along the neck, bottom border and the double layered bell sleeves that
comply with the contemporary fashion trends. The finite art silk fabric
enhances the beauty and shine of this suit and makes it one of the most
demanded wears of Indian fashion.
To complement with the light pink shade, weaver has chosen
for a bright red sharara, woven in extreme flairs that gives a good surrounding
area at the hem. The sharara is marvellously zari embroidered in tiny bootis
and the base is designed in floral zari patterns having temple-like design. A
dupatta completes and balances the entire look of an attire. The one with this
suit is woven in a similar red shade in net fabric having a thin golden zari
border and the entire stole is flourished with tiny golden sequins. If you have
a function coming up and you are confused with your attires, go for this
flamboyant Indian sharara suit.
Aum ekadantaya vidmahe, vakratundaya dhimahe, tanno dantih prachodayat that is, We devote our thought to the one-tusked Lord. We meditate upon Him who has a curved trunk. May the tusked One guide us on the right path. This is precisely for what we worship Lord Ganesh. The single tusked, or the one tusk broken form of Ganesh suggests that for accomplishing his devotee's prayer he would not hesitate in sacrificing even one of his body parts. Aum ekadantaya namah is the mantra that ends the duality, leads to a one-pointed mind, and singleness of object. The Elephant headed Ganesh with his long curved trunk has power to reach the far-off regions, all directions, all cherished objects, and all devotees. In Aum vakratundaya hum the syllable hum is suggestive of the prayer that with his curved trunk the remover of evils Lord Ganesh straightens the paths of curve-minded people and curbs the atrocities of the cruel ones.
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