Your daily dose of Yog


Of 20s and moons…

Ok, I watched a match after a long time, and India lost. Terribly. India-Pakistan matches used to be evenly balanced – our batting vs their…
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Add the Gāyatri to your daily life…

ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय।तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय।मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥ ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ॥ बृहदारण्यकोपनिषद् 1.3.28। asato mā sadgamaya, tamaso mā jyotirgamaya, mṛtyormāmṛtaṃ gamaya We have…
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Just do it!

A break from the Gāyatri series today. Not in practice, just the blog. A few things caught my attention today. One – how difficult (or…
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Theory is good, but…

That is why this great mantra dhīyo yo naḥ pracodayāt prays not for these ephemeral constituents of our imagined glory in this world. It asks for our…
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Chhandas forms the base…

“The body has its own natural obligation to get subjected to the process of the movement of time, and thus has to one day or…
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A sound by any other tālā will not sound as sweet…

तत्स॑वि॒तुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑धीमहि । धियो॒ यो नः प्रचो॒दया॑त् ॥ tatsaviturvareṇyaṃ bhargo devasyadhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt We all know the above as being the Gāyatri…
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Gāyantam trayati gāyatrī

गायन्तं त्रायते यस्मात् गायत्री प्रोच्यते बुधै: That which protects the person who recites it with full consciousness… The Gāyatri mantra is one of the most…
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Navrātri – Day 9

श्रियं दिशतु वः शंभोः श्यामः कण्ठो मनोभुवा ।अङ्कस्थपार्वतीदृष्टिपाशैरिव विवेष्टितः ॥ १ ॥ śriyaṃ diśatu vaḥ śaṃbhoḥ śyāmaḥ kaṇṭho manobhuvā |aṅkasthapārvatīdṛṣṭipāśairiva viveṣṭitaḥ || 1 || May Śiva, Neelakantha,…
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Navrātri – Day 8

The penultimate day. Yesterday’s Nirjala Vrata was easier than today’s fast. Once you have a fruit, the body realizes that it the option is still…
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Navrātri – Day 7

ॐ जयन्ती, मङ्गला, काली, भद्रकाली, कपालिनी। दुर्गा, शिवा, क्षमा, धात्री, स्वाहा, स्वधा नमोऽस्तु ते॥ एष सचन्दन गन्ध पुष्प बिल्व पत्राञ्जली ॐ ह्रीं दुर्गायै नमः॥ ওঁ জয়ন্তি, মঙ্গলা,…
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Navrātri – Day 6

Six down, three to go. But these are the top three. There is the Mahā Ashtami – culminating in the Sandhi puja, then the Mahā…
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Navrātri – Day 5

Someone asked me today – you follow Bengali rituals, Punjabi rituals, processes from the South of India…where are you from exactly? As predicted, today may…
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Navrātri – Day 4

Tamas has been taken care of. Rajas is next. These four days, I haven’t had tea or coffee. Most of us find caffeine to be…
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Navrātri – Day 3

Have come one-third the way, two-thirds remain. Navrātri is also an important occasion because of the opportunity to socialize. People visit each other’s houses, exchange…
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Navrātri – Day 2

The second day is also easy. You still have the passion, the energy to go through the vrata. You will feel a slight change towards…
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Navrātri – Day 1

The first day is also the easiest. Some people think otherwise, but in my experience, the first day is the easiest to get by. You…
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The significance of nine…

सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके ।शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥ sarvamaṅgalamāṅgalye śive sarvārthasādhike .śaraṇye tryambake gauri nārāyaṇi namo’stu te .. The number nine holds special…
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Of memories and lineages…

Tomorrow is Bhadrapada Amavasya, a day when one remembers one’s ancestors and performs pujas for them. The following day is the start of Navrātri. Why…
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Of fasting and variety…

It’s that time of the year again. Navratri, Durga Puja and Dussehra…celebrations and pujas, fasting and overeating. Those nine days have it all… Last Navrātri…
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Of Fathers and nations…

Today is the second of October. Usually celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti. The “Father of the Nation” is omnipresent across the political spectrum. Statues adorn the…
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Of seekers and believers…

“In the Middle Ages people believed that the earth was flat, for which they had at least the evidence of their senses: we believe it…
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Of hulking and sulking…

And so the Congress has done it again. Just when they were cruising in Punjab, with the elections not too far away, they got themselves…
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Addicts…all of us!

Aren’t we? IOS 15 has a new feature called “focus”. For those minutes and hours that we need to spend on one thing, without any…
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Bruce Lee and his letters…

Any mention of Bruce Lee brings to mind a thin, reed-like but chiseled physique, a cat-like cry and a kick faster than the eye can…
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Of quizzes and sandstorms…

There are some days that pass without much consequence, but still end up being spent well… It started with us receiving the news that a…
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Of kanyas and daans…

Ok, the Alia ad has set a lot of tongues wagging. One side applauds, denouncing “regressive” practices and questioning why women are demeaned and equated…
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Of loans and favors…

What does a relationship of fifteen years mean to you? Trust, loyalty and respect? If you are a bank, apparently none of the above. In…
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Of speech and perspectives

So my son has started to say da-da da-da. Although I would love to believe that he actually prefers me to everyone else, that sadly…
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Of visitors and festivals

Time does fly past – it seems like just the other day in 2020 when we entered lockdowns, and now we are nearly the end…
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Of creating and cleverness…

When I was growing up in India, there were only two qualifications that mattered – MBBS and B.E. In English – doctors and engineers. Parents…
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Of apples and wearables…

Here it is! Another Apple event, and another set of iPhones, iPads and AirPods to wow our senses and empty our bank balances. I love…
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Leaderless consensus…possible?

The world is structured in one way. Technology is now trying to make it change. Our society, our financial system, work, play, interests…all have traditional…
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Of cars and journeys…

So I am on the lookout for a new (actually used) car. I had sold my earlier car just before COVID hit us, and I…
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Ganapati Atharvashirsha

श्री गणेशाय नमः! Shri Ganesha is among the most popular deities in the Hindu Pantheon. He is worshipped in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali,…
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Of square pegs in round holes…

Am helping a client out with interviews for a CEO position at their startup. Resumes! And LinkedIn! You sometimes miss the days of cover letters…
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Phew!

There are days that are tiring, and there are days that are TIRING. This is the latter:) Been working since 6 am, with no end…
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Of teachers, and teachers…

A famous line from Casino Royale – there are dinner jackets and there are DINNER JACKETS – this, is the latter… In the same vein,…
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Of knowledge and illusions…

Knowledge is an illusion. No, this isn’t some catchline – it really is an illusion. We all think of ourselves as rational beings, able to…
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Of hobbies and recreation

Did you know that the etymology of the word “hobby” is “hobby”, which meant a small horse? The word then went on to become “hobby…
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Of confidence and persistence

I took an interview today. It was for a junior position at my consultancy, and so I was looking for a certain basic skillset, presentability…
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जय श्री कृष्ण!

Krishna, Kishan, Madhav, Banke Bihari, Gopala, Kanhaiya, Ranchhod, Parthasarathy, Ishvara…the many names and the many facets of the personality of the most loved God in…
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When does God appear?

या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी |यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुने: || 69|| yā niśhā sarva-bhūtānāṁ tasyāṁ jāgarti sanyamīyasyāṁ jāgrati bhūtāni sā niśhā…
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Of queens and trips…

Trips…short or long…have some commonalities. There is the booking, and then the planning, and then the packing, and then the journey. You then have the…
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Of names and good company

Had a meeting today where I discussed a structure with a potential client. We got talking and they asked me about the name of my…
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Of staycations and work…

What do bromance, shopaholic, brunch and romcom have in common? They are all portmanteaus! At the risk of sounding like a certain Tharoor, portmanteaus are…
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OTT and the cinema experience

I recall there was a huge outcry when Kamal Hassan had announced his plans to release Vishwaroopam simultaneously on OTT and in theaters. This was…
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Of masks and freedom…

I saw a lot of faces staring at me as I walked into the DIFC today. Not quite as delusional to think that this was…
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Of ideas and disruption…

Every quarter, I sit through a few presentations of people who want to change the world. A very few of them, if any, end up…
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All in a day’s work…

Just a couple of days back, I had written on cricket and patience, and my friend Neelakantan’s relaxed weekend watching the ball being tossed around…
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Of independence and responsibility…

Ṛṇatraya literally means ‘three debts’. The idea of ṛṇatraya (pronounced as rina-traya), the three debts under which every human being is born, has been referred…
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Of discipline and dedication

I am a martial artist, and so two traits that come naturally to me are discipline and dedication. Almost like second nature. I guess thirty…
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Of cricket and patience

I remember growing up on a healthy dose of India-Pakistan cricket encounters and five-day test matches that mostly ended in a draw. The one-dayers were…
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Of art and creativity…

Does acrylic painting on small rocks denote a creative mind? An interesting debate come up this evening. What constitutes art? When does someone transcend from…
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The Vetāla series…

25 stories. 162 posts. Over 7 months. This was the Vetāla series, from the original Sanskrit version. When I started the series around December of…
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The finale…

Read the previous part here… “Oh mighty king! The sovereignty of the Vidyādharas,which was desired by the evil ShāntiShila, is now yours, once your life…
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Of spears and medals…

YES! Need I say more? Subedar Neeraj Chopra threw a spear in Tokyo, and struck our hearts back home. For once, cricket took a backseat,…
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The king is triumphant…

Read the previous part here… “To think that you would take up this task at such a desolate place, in the dead of the night!”…
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The conclusion…

Read the previous part here… “So, when he asks you to perform the ashtānga-namaskarā, you should reply – “I don’t know this method. Please demonstrate…
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What is my duty in life?

I chanced upon an article that I wrote earlier, about swadharma. I spoke with an investment banker today, one who has been struggling for a…
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Of innovation and learning

I come from a time when one had to sit with a DTP (Desk Top Publishing) specialist to layout a magazine. Or even a simple…
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Of sportsmen and spirits…

It’s the Olympics once again. And it’s us once again, clamouring for more than just 1 or 2 medals, and cheering every match in the…
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The plan…

Read the previous part here… The Vetāla understood that he had finally puzzled the king, and so he laughed to himself, and thought… “The king…
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The twist…

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, about the children who were born in the course of time to the mother and…
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Will King Vikram reply?

Read the previous part here… “My mind is tortured at the thought of your feet, that deserve to walk on flowers, walking on thorns instead.…
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Of convincing and relenting…

Read the previous part here… “Father, don’t speak this way. A man’s house is empty, without a wife. Have you not heard what Mūladeva said?…
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Of wives and promises…

Read the previous part here… This village was the abode of thieves, people who robbed even their own neighbors of life and property…there was not…
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Of cross-connections…

Read the previous part here… “At first he cried because he was sad that he had to abandon his body, one that had grown with…
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Crying, and dancing…

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, why did the sanyāsi first weep before entering the young man’s body? And then why…
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He is alive, but…

Read the previous part here… “You are the fool, not me, you old idiot! I am no longer your shishyā, and you are no longer…
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The guru and the shishya fight…

Read the previous part here… When Devasoma became sixteen years of age, that boy, who had captivated everyone’s hearts with his knowledge, modesty and good…
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Laze around, it helps!

Ok, everyone has their lazy days. I mean everyone – even the productivity pundits have days when they just don’t feel like doing much. If…
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Don’t showoff…

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, who among the four was guilty of bringing the lion to life? Who made the…
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The worst mistake of all…

Read the previous part here… “And when the flesh of any animal has been included on a piece of bone, I can produce the skin…
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Of magic and skill…

Read the previous part here… “If fate does not want it, you cannot even die by your own wishes.” “I now intend to visit a…
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If fate does not want it…

Read the previous part here… When they finally reached Yajñasthala, they came to know that their maternal grandfather had long died. Their uncles gave them…
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The four brothers and a lion…

Read the previous part here… “But Maṇivarman? When he saw. his wife lying dead in another man’s arms, from the intense longing that she had…
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It was Maṇivarman…

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, who among the three was more blinded with passion? Who was the most infatuated?” “Remember,…
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A resolution…and a catch…

Read the previous part here… In the morning, the relatives of the lovers came to the garden, called by the gardeners who discovered the corpses.…
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Tragedy strikes…

Read the previous part here… “Tonight, I will bring Anaṅgamañjarī to the garden that forms part of her house. You should be present outside at…
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Lonely and alone…

I like to be by myself, when I am not well. When people hear this, they think that I am lonely. Actually, there is a…
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A stithh in time…

So day 1 of the canal of the root, She really did drill into my toot, An x-ray and a filling, and a little bit…
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An arrangement is made…

Read the previous part here… “Look around, O Kamalākara, this is such a beautiful garden! Try to get out of this sad mood, and cheer…
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Is a friend indeed…

Read the previous part here… Mālatikā then sprinkled cold water on her friend’s face, and lay her on a bed of lotus leaves, placed a…
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A friend in need…

Read the previous part here… The sight of each other bound them into a fascination for each other, as if Kāma himself had brought them…
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Love strikes…

Read the previous part here… But even though she was married, Arthadatta would not let his daughter leave his house and go to her husband’s,…
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Anaṅgamañjarī…

Read the previous part here… एकिवशंोवतेालः The twenty-first story The story of Anaṅgamañjarī अथ गत्वा पुनः प्राप्य शिंशपातस् ततो ऽग्रहीत् ।स त्रिविक्रमसेनो ऽंसे वेतालं तं…
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Preparing to die…

Oh, this does not sound like a Vetāla story! Well, to tell you the truth, I was all about to start the 21st story when…
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Seeking peace…

Read the previous part here… So International Day of Yog came and went, and I hope that you made something of it. Other than striking…
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Take my breath away…

Read the previous part here… Tomorrow is International Yoga Day. How do I start yoga? Quite a common question yes? Most people are used to…
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Action and meditation

A casual discussion on mediation today, got me thinking about how people view the act of meditation. The person in question had seen a few…
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This is why he laughed…

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, why did the boy laugh when his death was imminent?” “Remember, if you know the…
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Why did he laugh?

Read the previous part here… King Candrāvaloka beheld the boy who stood before him, his courageous demeanor, and the tej (glow) on his face, and…
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The statue of gold…

Read the previous part here… The next morning, he called a meeting of his cabinet of ministers, and told them what had happened. One of…
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Find a boy!

Read the previous part here… “Please forgive me, I have committed a sin but unknowingly. Please think of me as someone who has come to…
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Jvālāmukha…

Read the previous part here… And so the tired King Candrāvaloka dismounted from his horse, fed it some grass and water, so that it was…
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The journey back home…

Read the previous part here… Rishi Kaṇva was pleased. “You have promised to protect all living beings, and have thus made me very happy. You…
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Back on stage…

Here is what I thought yesterday. Today, I showered, shaved, put on a new shirt, and reached the venue an hour in advance. Me and…
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Back to speaking…

Well, the title is a bit misleading. I have been speaking, and speaking quite a bit the past one year. Zoom and Google Meet have…
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Advice and a boon…

Read the previous part here… The āshrama was full of rishis and sādhakās, who went about their daily tasks. In the middle, under a tree,…
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Meeting Rishi Kaṇva…

Read the previous part here… “Truthfully, his beauty can satisfy the thirst of the whole wide world…” As she thought this way, she rose up,…
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The love of Candrāvaloka…

Read the previous part here… Like Indrā, he made mighty birds fall to the ground, by clipping their wings with his sharp vajra-like arrows… In…
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The pain of Candrāvaloka…

Read the previous part here… Manaḥsvāmin was paid for his services, and so he wasn’t considered the father. The thief, on the other hand, gave…
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Future of work?

For those who don’t know yet, my whole team and me have been working remotely, from 15 months now. That is more than a year,…
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Nineteen done, six to go…

Well, I finished the nineteenth Vetāla yesterday, and there are six more to go. I hope that you are enjoying these stories. As I had…
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Who is the true father?

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, to which hand should the king offer the pinda-dānā? And what did this all mean?“…
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The dilemma…

Read the previous part here… In this city, King Candraprabha fasted and performed tapasya, distributed more of his wealth and fed more Brāhmans, and performed…
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The pilgrimage…

Read the previous part here… “You should not have such doubts, and hesitate so much! I have to go, for my father’s sake, and I…
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To mask or not to mask…

You can read the previous part here… And so, when I get my second dose tomorrow, I will say a small prayer of thanks. For…
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One for the father…

Read the previous part here… “This child has been given to me by none other than Śiva himself” thought Sūryaprabha as he took the infant…
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Candraprabha…

Read the previous part here… When Manaḥsvāmin received the money, he went with the maid to the chambers of Dhanavatī, where she was waiting for…
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A deal is a deal…

Read the previous part here… Even through Manaḥsvāmin was of high birth, and well-educated, he was so bound by his desires that he fell in…
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The thief’s proposal…

Read the previous part here… As she ran along in the darkness, as fate would have it, her shoulder brushed hard against a thief who…
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The wife and the thief…

Read the previous part here… The talk of मार​ (Manmatha) only happened during lovemaking, and not due to people speaking of death… हेमदण्ड (clubs of…
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The importance of good company

As I was browsing through the archives, I chanced upon this post that I had made approximately a year back. Something happened today that made…
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He had everything, except…

Read the previous part here… “Candrasvāmin performed all the tasks in the required manner, yet his mind was far from pure. His dedication was only…
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Of starts and restarts – part 2

Read the previous part here. Aha. So I wrote this yesterday, and opportunity presented itself today. Actually, I wouldn’t call it a welcome opportunity, but…
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Of starts and restarts

We have all been there isn’t it? The big resolve to do something, to start anew. An exercise regime, a diet, a new productivity mantra,…
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Is desire for wealth harmful?

आदि शङ्कराचार्यः (Ādi Śaṅkarācāryaḥ) is arguably the most important and revered guru in Sanātana Dharma. Today is observed as Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti, or the birth…
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The experience…

Read the previous part here… “My son, when, while repeating this mantra, you see the illusion, I will recall you to consciousness by the power…
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The lesson…

Read the previous part here… And so, prodded on by his fate, he went to the sanyasi, fell at his feet, and pleaded with him……
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A request…

Read the previous part here… There, he saw a maiden who seemed to be their mistress. She was exceedingly beautiful, and it was as if…
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The teacher and the student…

Read the previous part here… “Now where can I go in this pitiable condition, all beaten up, naked and covered in dust and grime? What…
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Left for dead…

Read the previous part here… One day, this son of Devasvāmin entered a gambling den, to fulfill his desire to gamble. The tumbling dice of…
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Oh, why did you gamble…

Read the previous part here… आरब्धे हि सुदुःकरे ऽपि महतां मध्ये विरामः कुतः? How can great men leave in the middle of a task that…
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Celebrating a mother…not just for a day.

पृथिव्यां पुत्रास्ते जननि बहवः सन्ति सरलाःपरं तेषां मध्ये विरलतरलोऽहं तव सुतः। pṛthivyāṃ putrāste janani bahavaḥ santi saralāḥparaṃ teṣāṃ madhye viralataralo’haṃ tava sutaḥ। मदीयोऽयं त्यागः समुचितमिदं…
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He is more praiseworthy…

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, who was more noble, Yaśodhana or Baladhara? Who was more praiseworthy? “Remember, if you know the…
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Done and dusted…

Ok bye. See you tomorrow. Hopefully no fever. No body pain. Just pure Covid swimming in my blood. I mean vaccine.  You can read the…
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Instant MBBS…

Yes, you read it right…the instant MBBS degree is now available on major online e-learning platforms. In fact, you must have already received a call…
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An offer he did refuse…

Read the previous part here… King Yaśodhana saw her, shining like a flame rising from the fire of love, when fanned by the winds from…
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The Bengal debacle?

Yes, the finale turned out to be a tab bit one-sided. After all, the BJP did try their best this time. Building on a stunning…
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Yaśodhana’s dilemma…

Read the previous part here… “And so we must tell the king that she does not have the requisite qualities.” The ministers decided this, and…
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The discipline involved in learning

Today is celebrated as International Dance Day, on the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Georges Noverre, the creator of modern ballet.  Closer home, in India,…
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A bit of this and that…

A season of debates. Actually, a day of debates. From politics, to relationships, to services. It is tough to debate. It is easy to fight…
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Ordinary, and extraordinary…

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, who was more noble, Jīmūtavāhana or Śaṅkhacūḍa? Who deserved more praise? “Remember, if you know…
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And resurrection…

Read the previous part here… “This is the same Jīmūtavāhana who sacrifices his life for others, and is renowned in the three worlds for his…
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A tragedy…

Read the previous part here… “I am a Nāga! And why do you ask such questions? You are to act in accordance with your natural…
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This Rām Navami…

द्विः शरं नाभिसन्धत्ते द्विः स्थापयति नाश्रितान् । द्विर्ददाति न चार्थिभ्यो, रामो द्विर्नाभिभाषते ॥ Rāma doesn’t aim twice, he doesn’t give refuge twice, Rāma does not…
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COVID and despair…

I started writing regularly when the lockdown commenced in March 2020. It is April 2021 now, and we are staring at another lockdown. One year…
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Making a sacrifice…Part 2

Read the previous part here… And Garuḍa arrived, his large body temporarily blocking out the sun, and swooping down, picked up the valiant Jīmūtavāhana with…
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Making a sacrifice…

Read the previous part here… “Mother, I am a Vidyādhara, and I have come here to save your son. I will offer my body to…
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A kind-hearted savior…

Read the previous part here… It seemed that some soldiers had brought him there, and just left. An old woman, who had followed them, stayed…
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The pain of sacrifice

Read the previous part here… “And from that day, Vāsuki sends a snake to this shore every single day, and Garuḍa eats them. This heap…
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Of snakes and Garuda

Read the previous part here… “The king felt happy at this suggestion and approved of the marriage, and so your brother has now gone to…
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Welcoming changes again…

या देवी सर्वभूतेषु विष्णुमायेति शब्दिता । नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥  yā devī sarvabhūteṣu viṣṇumāyeti śabditā ।namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namaḥ ॥ Today is the new…
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Yuga-ādi

Tomorrow is Ugādi — the first day of Chaitrā māsā, or the beginning of the new year. Largely celebrated in South India (where I am from), Maharashtra…
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Fixing a marriage…

Read the previous part here… As soon as she said this, she made a noose with a cloth, fastened it to a branch of the…
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Of prayers answered…

Read the previous part here… She then performed the arghya, offering the guests water to wash their feet and hands, and then garlanded him with…
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Falling in love…2

Read the previous part here… “What is your friend’s name, and what beautiful family is she from?” The attendant replied… “She is the sister of…
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Kuro-obi -and then?

A black belt in Karate is an achievement…a big achievement. Its a culmination of years of blood and sweat, of hard toil, of pain and…
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Falling in love…

Read the previous part here… And so Jīmūtavāhana, his father and his mother, left that very night and went to the Malaya mountains. They made…
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Renouncing a kingdom…

Read the previous part here… “Where are those ancestors of ours, who always thought this tree to be their personal possession? For which of them…
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Loving what you do

I know. As soon as you saw the title, you must have thought of it to be a cliché. I’ve heard and seen both sides…
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Noble thoughts…

Read the previous part here… He was named Jīmūtavāhana. He was courageous and yet compassionate, and attentive to the teachings of his gurus. When he…
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Getting an education

I am reading an engaging book – The Tell-Tale Brain, by Dr. V.S. Ramachandran. An interesting look at what makes us human, from a neurologist’s…
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The Sacrifice of Jīmūtavāhana

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, to whom did the princess Śaśiprabhā belong? To Manaḥsvāmin, or to Śaśin? “Remember, if you…
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Enough

Doesn’t sound like the next installment of the Vetāla series does it? Well, the fact is that it isn’t. I started to write everyday, a…
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So who is the husband?

Read the previous part here… Mṛgāṅkavatī could not stop herself, and they spent many a night passionately, with Manaḥsvāmin transforming himself back into a woman…
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The plot thickens…

Read the previous part here… “My dear, this story makes my body tremble, and my heart sinks. It feels as if I long something, but…
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Once competition, and now?

Read the previous part here… “But I will consent to this marriage only on one condition. I am not to be considered as his wife…
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Rang de chunariya…

श्याम पिया मोरी रंग दे चुनरिया । ऐसी रंग दे, के रंग नहीं छुटे ।धोभिया धोये चाहे सारी उमरिया ॥ लाल ना रंगाऊं मैं, हरी…
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होली है!! Holi hai!

Holi is a popular festival in Sanatana Dharma, originating from India. It is celebrated predominantly in India, but has also spread to other areas of…
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The pangs of love…again

Read the previous part here… “From that day, I have not been myself. I seem to see him everywhere, and in everything I do. I…
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The pangs of love…

Read the previous part here… The deceitful master then took out a magic pill, and placed it in his mouth. The very next moment, he…
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Of pills and deceit…

Read the previous part here… Manaḥsvāmin saw Śaśiprabhā, running her hands through the flowers, smelling them, laughing when the butterflies flew away in alarm…and he…
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Why weep, and then laugh?

Read the previous part here… Ratnavatī folded her hands again, and said, tearfully… “O revered one! If you are truly pleased with me, then let…
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Of thieves and maidens…

Read the previous part here… “You seem to be a good man, then how did you come here? This man is a thief, and he…
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A year of writing…

It’s been a year. I started to write (regularly) a year back. The lockdown had been declared and I found myself an extra hour everyday,…
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Of thieves and maids…

Read the previous part here… The figure often turned around and was on the lookout. “This is surely the thief that everyone has been searching…
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Of kings and thieves…

चतुर्दशो वतेालः The fourteenth story The thief and the merchant’s daughter स त्रिविक्रमसेनो ऽथ गत्वा तं शिंशपातरोः ।भूयो ऽप्य् आसाद्य वेतालं स्कन्धे जग्राह भूपतिः ॥…
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Who is to blame?

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, who was to blame for Harisvāmin’s death ? Was it the kite, or the snake,…
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A death, and a question…

Read the previous part here… Writhing in agony, he exclaimed… “Oh, when fate is against you, even good things that happen to you turn bad…
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When food turns into poison…

Read the previous part here… He then reached a village, and chanced upon the house of a Brāhman named Padmanābha, who was conducting a yagna.…
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He lost his wife, and then his life!

Read the previous part here… त्रयोदशो वतेालः The thirteenth story  The Brāhman Harisvāmin, who first lost his wife, and then his life अथ गत्वा पुनः प्राप्य शिंशपातस् ततो…
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Of wasted efforts…

Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, why did the minister die of a broken heart? That too, on the day when…
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The curse – part 2

Read the previous part here… The king was taken aback by what he saw, and blood rushed to his head in anger. He unsheathed his…
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The curse…

Read the previous part here… When she said this, the king recalled what Kuśanābha had told him, and he brought her close to him and…
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I have one condition…

Read the previous part here… The maiden slowly opened her eyes, which fell on the handsome king, a warrior whose wounds spoke of a hundred…
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And there she was…

Read the previous part here… She was his wife in their previous janma (birth), and hence his deep desire to have her. He will return…
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The king’s quest…

Read the previous part here… Yaśaḥketu, who had been very badly affected by the minister’s absence, came out of the palace gates to personally welcome…
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The maiden who sang about karma…

Read the previous part here… A huge wave rose high into the sky, and as it receded, a huge कल्पवृक्ष (Kalpavriksha) came into view. It…
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The island of gold…

Read the previous part here… The king refused to relent, and as they were speaking, the king’s attendant entered and said “My king! The sun…
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The pilgrimage…

Read the previous part here… Dīrghadarśin however, continued to work responsibly, shouldering the king’s duties as well as his own. He worked relentlessly day and…
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The saga of Dīrghadarśin…

Read the previous part here… Now I have a question for you. Who among the three – Indulekhā, Tārāvalī or Mṛgāṅkavatī, was the most delicate?…
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Of blisters and bruises…

Read the previous part here… Indulekhā was playing with the king’s hair, when a blue lotus accidentally slipped from her ear and fell onto her…
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Of delicate darlings…

Read the previous part here… Now I have a question for you. Who among the three – Samudradatta,Dharmadatta or the thief, was the most generous?…
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All is well that ends well…

Read the previous part here… “Here”, said Madanasenā, as she began to remove her bangles. “Take all my ornaments, and let me go.” “Why would…
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Of thieves and promises…

Read the previous part here… When she heard this, she wiped her tears and said softly “I love you more than I love myself, but…
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Of marriages and promises…

Read the previous part here… Even the evening sun sank slowly into the horizon, red, as if inflamed by the sinking passions in the young…
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The beauty of Madanasenā…

Read the previous part here… Now I have a question for you. Which of the four youth deserved to be the husband of princess Anaṅgarati?…
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Who should marry Anaṅgarati?

Read the previous part here… “I consider the man who was sensitive about what he slept on, as the most sensitive of the three. The…
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The most sensitive of men…

Read the previous part here… Now I have a question for you. Which of the three brothers was the most sensitive? Remember, if you know…
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What’s in a name?

नाम्यते अभिधीयते अर्थोऽनेन इति नाम that whose meaning encompasses the characteristics of a person, is a name. Namakarana is a very important samskara in Sanatana…
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The three sensitive Brahmins…

Read the previous part here… Now I have a question for you. Which of the two – Caṇḍasiṃha or Sattvaśīla, was braver? Who showed the…
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I have a question for you…

Read the previous part here… “They have a speciality – you can find anything that your heart desires in these cities, and old age and…
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A generous offer…

Read the previous part here… “I came here to have a darshana of the Devi, hearing about her magnificent temple, from this man over here”,…
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A friend in need…

Read the previous part here… “This brave and loyal friend of mine went to fulfill a task that I had given him, but is now…
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A perilous journey…

Read the previous part here… The king then called a meeting at his palace the very next day and described in detail Sattvaśīla’s devotion, and…
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Of loyalty and rewards

Read the previous part here… Only Sattvaśīla had managed to follow the king – running through the deep woods, disregarding his own life, hungry and…
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The story of Sattvaśīla

Read the previous part here… Now I have a question for you. Which of the two people, mixed in such a manner, was Madanasundarī’s husband…
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So who is the husband?

Read the previous part here… Not knowing what do to, and how to handle such a situation, he blamed himself for spoiling his sister’s life,…
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Cutting-edge bhakti…

Read the previous part here… Vimala asked Śuddhapaṭa for his daughter’s hand in marriage for his son, and Śuddhapaṭa readily agreed. They saw a good…
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Operation rescue Somaprabhā

Read the previous part here… The mother then proceeded to question him on the scriptures, the Vedas, Upanishads, and even matters of the past, and…
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From bravery to marriage…

Read the previous part here… Now I have a question for you. Who was the bravest of them all? Who was the greatest? Tell me,…
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Of lives lost and gained…

Read the previous part here… “My dear, we have now saved the king and the kingdom, but both my children lie dead. Poor Vīravatī, that…
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A family torn apart…

Read the previous part here… Vīravara turned around, and rushed towards his house, not wishing to waste any more time. The king followed him, curious…
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Of bravery and sacrifice…

Read the previous part here… Now I have a question for you. Are men wicked, or women? Who is more wicked and deceitful? Tell me,…
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Are men wicked, or women?

Read the previous part here… When it was morning, the bound husband was taken to the king, along with his injured wife. The king, on…
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Of dead lovers and bit noses…

Read the previous part here… The frustrated thief thought to himself “What bad luck! She is setting out now, in the dead of the night,…
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Of husbands and lovers…

Read the previous part here… One night, he murdered his wife in her sleep, took away all her ornaments and money, and fled back to…
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Once a crook, always a crook…

Read the previous part here… She somehow climbed up onto the ledge, her arms and legs bruised badly, and started to walk back home. Crying…
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Of ungrateful males…

Read the previous part here… Unable to reach an consensus, the two birds had an agreement. If the parrot won, he would have the maina…
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The king and two wise birds…

Read the previous part here… Now I have a question for you. Who should Mandāravatī take as her husband? Tell me, o wise king. Remember,…
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Restoring the dead to life…

Read the previous part here… During his travels, he reached a village named Vajraloka. He was invited into the house of a Brahmin, who received…
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Of horses, chariots and ego…

A classmate of mine spoke about Arjuna’s chariot, that Sri Kṛṣṇa’s steered during the Mahabharata, and that got me reading a bit on it’s related…
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An answer, and another story…

Read the previous part here… Now, I have a question for you. Was Buddhiśarīra guilty of the death of Saṅgrāmavardhana and his wife, or was…
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Tell me, who is to blame?

Read the previous part here… When I finished my meditation in the morning, I realized that the pearl necklace was still with me. I am…
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Of ascetics and stolen necklaces…

Read the previous part here… “This is an opportune moment”, said Buddhiśarīra. “Now listen carefully. Got to Padmāvatī’s house tonight, and make her drink so…
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Of dead dogs and wine…

Read the previous part here… When the cunning Padmāvatī heard this, she replied sweetly “My love, I have a question to ask you. Were you…
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Satisfaction, and a question…

Read the previous part here… This time, Buddhiśarīra didn’t wait for VajraMukuta to question him, instead, he took the prince aside and said “Don’t despair…
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The code of love..

Read the previous part here… The old woman nodded. “Of course I do – he stays in that mansion”, she said, pointing to the house…
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Of gestures and meanings…

Read the previous part here… She soon departed, led away by her attendants, but she left her heart there, beside the lake, for when she…
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Love is blind…and a bit dumb too

Read the previous part here… “O king! When people are learned, clever and full of wisdom, they spend their days learning and relishing the knowledge…
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Corpses that spin tales…

Read the previous part here… The yogi replied “I just have one task for you, o mighty king. But one, that only you can execute.…
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A visit to the cremation ground…

Read the previous part here… “Oh great king, you have spoken the truth. One who possesses virtue, possesses everything. It is only virtue that stays…
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A tock, and a tick…

A tock and a tick, in the time of a nick, a promise we pick…to which we never stick. An arbitrary tick and a tock,…
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Red apples and red rubies…

Read the previous part here… “I have now warned you of what is about to occur”, concluded the deva. “I will set out now, but…
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The upside down…

Read the previous part here… “If you command me, and promise me the reward, I will only enter this court after bearing a child by…
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Holy smoke!

Read the previous part here… Meanwhile, rumors of Bhartharī’s abdication spread like wildfire, and soon reached King Vikram’s ears too. He was enjoying his journeys,…
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The fruit of immortality…

Many many years ago, in Bhāratvarsha, there was a kingdom called Dhārānagara. It’s king Gandharvasen, had four queens, and six well learned and powerful sons.…
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The beginning…

Read the previous part here… अयंनिजःपरोवेतिगणनालघु-चेतसाम्। उदार चरितानांतु वसुधैवकुटुम्बकम्॥ ayaṃ nijaḥ paro veti gaṇanā laghu-cetasām |udāra-caritānāṃ tu vasudhaiva kuṭumbakam || 37 || This is mine, and that…
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The end…

Read the previous part here… In chanting mantras, in visiting holy places, in taking care of the elderly, in worshipping the devas, in tending to…
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Of crabs and journeys…

Read the previous part here… “And that is why I say”, concluded TruptaKumar. “एकोदराः पृथग् ग्रीवा अन्यान्य-फल-भक्षिणः ।असंहता विनश्यन्ति भारुण्डा इव पक्षिणः ॥ – It…
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The curious case of one stomach and two necks…

Read the previous part here… “That is why I say”, concluded VairāgyaKumar…अन्धकः कुब्जकश् चैव त्रिस्तनी राज-कन्यका ।त्रयो ऽप्य् अन्यायतः सिद्धाः संमुखे कर्मणि स्थिते ॥ – The…
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Perfect marriage?

Read the previous part here… The king agreed, and consulted some wise men. “My wife has given birth to a girl with three breasts. Is…
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Imperfect people…perfect luck

Read the previous part here… The blind man, the dwarf and the princess with three breasts, all did wrong things, Yet they all got their…
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Of demons and horses…

Read the previous part here… “That is why I say”, concluded TruptaKumar, यो लौल्यात् कुरुते नैवोदर्कम् अवेक्षते ।विडम्बनाम् अवाप्नोति स यथा चन्द्र-भूपतिः ॥ – He who…
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It’s payback time…

Read the previous part here… “Millions”, replied PrāptaBuddhi. “Don’t tell anybody, but I saw the neighboring king reach there with his entire army, and they…
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PrāptaBuddhi plots revenge…

Read the previous part here… “Oh mighty king! ShāliHotra (the expert in horses)  has recommended a cure for this. कपीनां मेदसा दोषो वह्निदाहसमुद्भवःअश्वानां नाशमभ्येति तमः सूर्योदये यथा – by applying the marrow of…
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Prophecies come true…

Read the previous part here… Even the best of families are torn apart due to quarrels. Good friendships end because of a rude word, empires…
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The monkey who thought far ahead…

Read the previous part here… He who acts out of greed and without thinking of the consequences, gets cheated, much like ChandraBhoopati. VairāgyaKumar said “How…
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The gora father of SomaSharma…

Read the previous part here… He who worries about what has not happened, or what will not happen, becomes white and sleeps, just like the…
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Manthara and productivity…

Read the previous part here… Manthara reached home by evening. “My dear, my dear”, he called out as he walked through the door. Seeing her…
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Manthara and the Yaksha…

Read the previous part here… He who has no sense of his own, and does not heed the advice of his friends, dies like the…
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Of rāgās and Manthara…

Read the previous part here… Chatura smirked. “Uncle dearest, it’s fine, the poetry and all. But the fact is that you don’t know to sing.…
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The foolish pundits…part 2

Read the previous part here… The third pundit exclaimed “इष्टं धर्मेण योजयेत् – One should tie a well-wisher to Dharma” and so the fourth grabbed…
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The foolish pundits…

Read the previous part here… Though well-versed in the sciences, if you have no practical knowledge, you will become the object of ridicule, much like…
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How to make a lion…and not die

Read the previous part here… Education ranks lower than common sense, and so seek intelligence. Senseless Brahmins in their pride of being educated, made a…
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How to make a lion…

Read the previous part here… In a few hours, the third pill dropped. The young man dug, and found huge deposits of gold. “I told…
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of sanyasis and gold…

Read the previous part here… After a few more slokas, Keśava got up and walked up to the chief sanyasi, who was watching him intently.…
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of sanyasis and sticks…

Read the previous part here… I am PadmaNidhi, and I represent the wealth that you earned in your previous lives. I will come to your…
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Of thoughts and consequences…

कुदृष्टं कुपरिज्ञातं कुश्रुतं कुपरीक्षितम् ।तन् नरेण न कर्तव्यं नापितेनात्र यत् कृतम् ॥ १ ॥ kudṛṣṭaṃ kuparijñātaṃ kuśrutaṃ kuparīkṣitam |tan nareṇa na kartavyaṃ nāpitenātra yat kṛtam || 1…
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The dog, and the end…

Read the previous part here… There are many comforts, the women are beautiful too, there is only one problem in foreign lands…one’s own go against…
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The clever fox – 2

Read the previous part here… The pearl is smooth, beautiful and unbroken…yet gets bound in a thread when a hole is pieced in it’s centre.…
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The clever fox

Read the previous part here… How is your goodness worthy, if you only good to people who are good to you? He who is good…
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Of camels and bells -2

Read the previous part here… He who is arrogant and foolish enough to disobey the words of the wise and his well-wishers, perishes quickly, much…
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Of camels and bells…

Read the previous part here… You have double the intelligence that I have. Your lover is gone. You lost your husband as well. Oh naked…
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The Brahmin couple – Part 2

Read the previous part here… She then said “You have no one to help you, once we reach the new village. I also wouldn’t have…
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The Brahmin couple…

Read the previous part here… I left my family for her, and gave her half my life, she left me now without a second thought,…
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Yudhishtira the potter…

Read the previous part here… The fool who forgoes his greed and selfishness and instead attempts to speak the truth, does not get what he…
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To trust, or not to trust…

Read the previous part here… “But he has already seen me”, protested KarālaKesha. “Even though it was dark…I don’t think he will come here again.…
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The lion and LambaKarna…

Read the previous part here… “And that is why, o wicked crocodile”, concluded RaktaMukha. “Just like GangaDatta, I will never enter your house!” KarālaMukha heard…
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Shubh Deepawali!

Deepawali is known as the Festival of lights. Arguably the most well-known festival from India, Deepawali (or Diwali) is celebrated around the world, even in…
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Dhanatrayodashi…

धनत्रयोदशी (Dhanatrayodashi) is the Sanskrit name of Dhanteras, which is celebrated on Ashwin Krishna Trayodashi, or the thirteenth day of the Krishna Paksha in Ashwin…
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Celebrating your janma tithi…

Read the previous part here… What does a birthday mean to you? When you are born…you aren’t aware of it, and so it really doesn’t…
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The great escape…

Read the previous part here… A person wearing dirty clothes sits anywhere, he doesn’t think much about soiling his clothes since they are already dirty,…
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Best laid plans…

Read the previous part here… If one wishes to be well, he should only eat what suits his body, and get’s digested properly, and also…
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Of births and positions…

Someone makes a wonderful dish. It is right up there with the best you’ve ever tasted, and you can’t have enough of it. “Give me…
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of quick thinking and close shaves…

Read the previous part here… As they moved towards deeper waters, RaktaMukha got frightened, held the crocodile tightly, and said “KarālaMukha, please swim slowly. These…
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of pots and fourth days…

Read the Navratri series here… There are rituals, and there are customs. Rituals are usually a set of rites, usually performed in an exact sequence,…
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A dilemma and deception…

Read the previous part here… You are not answering me joyfully, and you are not giving me what I want. At nights, you snore heavily,…
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Of friendship and suspicion…

समुत्पन्नेषु कार्येषु बुद्धिर् यस्य न हीयते ।स एव दुर्गं तरति जलस्थो वानरो यथा ॥ १ ॥ samutpanneṣu kāryeṣu buddhir yasya na hīyate |sa eva durgaṃ tarati…
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Losing what we have…

To have gained and lost, is worse than not to have gained at all… Human life is all about striving towards something. Some work towards…
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On heeding advice…

Read the previous part here… ” And so oh mighty MeghaVarna, my advice to you is this. Rule well, rule justly, and do not get…
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Time is the greatest leveler…

Read the previous part here… Even though one can attain victory through violent means, one should always seek peaceful methods at first. Because, it is…
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Final words of wisdom…

Read the previous part here… And so being aggressive and engaging an enemy in a fierce battle can only result in his defeat, not his…
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The frog and the serpent…

Read the previous part here… MeghaVarna said “What you say is true, oh Sthirajeevin. Also, staying with the enemy would have been very hard for…
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An experience of fasting…

Read the Navratri series here… I fasted the whole nine days of Navratri. Fruits during the day when hungry, and a simple sābudana khichdi or…
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The granting of blessings…

Read the previous part here… Suratha said “Oh revered Rishi! we are grieving. I lost my kingdom, yet I feel attached to everything that is…
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Victory over Āvarana…

Read the previous part here… They fought in the skies, toe to toe, until the Devi lifted him, whirled him around and threw him to…
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Śumba and Niśumba…

Read the previous part here… The Devi then struck Raktabīja with her spear, and the fierce Kālī drank up all his blood before it could…
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The terror of Raktabija…

Read the previous part here… Seeing Chanda and Munda vanquished, the remaining asura army panicked and fled in all directions. And Kāli, holding the heads…
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The coming of Chamunda…

Read the previous part here… The Devi smiled again. “Yes, it is true. They are very strong. But what can I do since I took…
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Victory of Vikshepa…

Read the previous part here… Seeing Mahishasura fall, the entire legions of the asura armies perished. The devas celebrated and showered flowers on Devi Chandika,…
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Mahishasuramardini…

Read the previous part here… The armies of the devas were mesmerised. They chanted in unison as their spirits rose after witnessing this huge spectacle.…
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The tyranny of Mahishasura…

Read the previous part here… But when you get rid of kāma, krodha and lobhā, that is just the first step. A celebration is not…
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Victory over Mala…

Read the previous part here… “This is because of the boon that Devi granted these asuras”, thought Sri Vishnu as he continued to battle them.…
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Madhu and Kaitabha

Read the previous part here… Suratha said “Oh revered Rishi! we are grieving. I lost my kingdom, yet I feel attached to everything that is…
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Welcoming changes…

या देवी सर्वभूतेषु विष्णुमायेति शब्दिता । नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥  yā devī sarvabhūteṣu viṣṇumāyeti śabditā ।namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namaḥ ॥ The number nine holds…
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Achieving goals…

Read the previous part here… Those who are righteous prefer to enter the fire and give up their lives, rather than stay in the company…
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The attack and it’s aftermath…

Read the previous part here… Work that is not completed fast, especially when it’s end is near, loses it’s essence to time. It becomes meaningless…
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Sthirajeevin prepares…

Read the previous part here… “And so, heed my words. It is time to leave”, said Raktāksha. They set out immediately, flying northwards, far from…
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An assembly of fools…

Read the previous part here… The minister who advised that I should be killed was the only person actually concerned about the welfare of this…
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The marriage of the rat – Part 2

Read the previous part here… The wise should only consider seven factors when offering the girl in marriage – family status, character, family support, education,…
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The marriage of the rat…

Read the previous part here… No one heeded to his words. The owls all lifted Sthirajeevin on their shoulders and started to carry him towards…
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The charioteer and his wife…

Read the previous part here… AriMardana had heard all his ministers speak. He now made a decision. He called all of them together… “I have…
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Of Brahmins, thieves and demons…

Read the previous part here… AriMardana now looked at VakraNāsa and said “Tell me, oh wise one, what should we do in this situation?” VakraNāsa…
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Of thieves and old merchants…

Read the previous part here… It is heard that the pigeon not only welcomed his enemy who sought shelter, but also offered his own flesh as…
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The pigeon and the hunter…

Read the previous part here… It is heard that the pigeon not only welcomed his enemy who sought shelter, but also offered his own flesh as…
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Of swans and pigeons…

Read the previous part here… If one does not help those who come to him seeking shelter, his prosperity vanishes, much like the swans in…
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Kill the enemy!

Read the previous part here… He first addressed Raktāksha. “Oh learned minister! As you are aware, I have the enemy’s minister under my control. What…
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AriMardana and his ministers…

Read the previous part here… The first sign of intelligence is to not begin any task. The second sign of intelligence is to always finish…
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The art of deception…

Read the previous part here… A single person should not fight a group. People who are united cannot be conquered. Even the fearful and powerful…
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The rabbit and the sparrow

Read the previous part here… Keen on getting justice from a worthless leader, both the rabbit and the Kapinjala the sparrow lost their lives. The…
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Of rabbits and elephants…

Read the previous part here… “This is so funny! Of all the peacocks, swans, cuckoos, parrots, pigeons, ducks and cranes of this world – you…
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A history of enmity…

Read the previous part here… MeghaVarna thought for a while, and then said “Oh revered Sthirajeevin, I understand what you have said. But I have…
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Dvaidhibhava…

Read the previous part here… Sthirajeevin looked at MeghaVarna and smiled. “My son, your ministers are capable, and have given you the proper advice –…
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Stay put, or seek help?

Read the previous part here… “My king, निज-स्थान-स्थितो ऽप्य् एकः शतं योद्धुं सहेन् नरः शक्तानाम् अपि शत्रूणां – a warrior, if he is at his secure…
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Hide, or stay put?

Read the previous part here… Anujeevin replied “My dear king, our enemy is very strong, and very wicked. He is also untruthful and uncultured. Seeking…
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War? Or flee?

Read the previous part here… “My dear king”, said Sanjeevin, “I don’t think that seeking an alliance with a stronger enemy is a good idea.”…
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Alliance? Or war?

That owl has always won when fighting us, and hence fighting him again is futile. We should seek an alliance with him… It is said……
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Considering options…

“According to Manusmiriti, there are six policies of dealing with such an issue – Sandhi (peace treaty), Vigraha (war), Yaana (preparation for war), Asana (neutrality),…
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