Yog Daily

  • 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 would my father and my relatives and friends say of me, if they saw me this way?” “So it is better that I stay here awhile, and wait for the …

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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 the hall seemed to be continuously scouting the scene with their rolling black eyes, and saying to themselves… “Who shall we catch today?” And the loud noises of the fights …

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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 they have begun, even though it be very difficult? अष्टादशो वतेालः The Eighteenth Story The woes of Candrasvāmin ततः पितृवने तस्मिन् क्रव्यभक्षिभिर् आवृते ।ज्वालाविलोलरसनैर् भूतैर् इव चिताग्निभिः ॥ १२,२५.१ ॥ …

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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 नो तव शिवेकुपुत्रो जायेत क्वचिदपि कुमाता न भवति ॥३॥ madīyo’yaṃ tyāgaḥ samucitamidaṃ no tava śivekuputro jāyeta kvacidapi kumātā na bhavati ॥3॥ Oh Mother, there are many sons of yours in …

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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 answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces!“ इति वेतालतः श्रुत्वा मुक्तमौनः स तं नृपः ।प्रत्युवाच द्वयोर् राजा सत्त्ववान् अधिकस् तयोः ॥ १२,२४.४८ …

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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 previous part here… 7.10 this morning, a thin needle made it’s way into my left shoulder, and a mini piston pushed in what they told me was the first installment …

    Done and dusted… Read More »

  • 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 from your friendly neighbourhood pushy Byju’s salesman. Pity those who wasted 5-7 years of their lives slogging through medical school, when all they needed to do is get this instant …

    Instant MBBS… Read More »

  • An offer he did refuse…part 2
    Read the previous part here… “My dear king, why are you so disturbed? You are the king of this city – you can take her for yourself any time you want!” But Yaśodhana was a righteous king, and he refused to agree to such terms. In the meanwhile, Baladhara, the commander-in-chief, and Unmādinī’s husband, heard …

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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 the sandalwood forests of the Malaya mountains…and he nearly swooned. Seeing her immense beauty, the arrows of Kāmadeva struck his heart, and he fell unconscious. His attendants immediately brought him …

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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 performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, they needed just a few more assembly seats to dethrone the Didi. Didn’t happen. For now, the Didi rules Bengal. That is, once …

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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 told the king that the girl was unfit to be his queen. In turn, Yaśodhana politely declined Unmada’s offer to told him that he would not be able to marry …

    Yaśodhana’s dilemma… Read More »

  • The story of the beautiful Unmādinī
    Read the previous part here… “Being ordinary, he yet went to extraordinary lengths to save an innocent life, and offer himself even though he faced death in return. He was truly praiseworthy!” As the king uttered these words, the Vetāla flew off his shoulder, laughing. And King Vikram once more started to walk towards the …

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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, there is no official Dance Day, but I guess we never needed it. Just a glimpse of the Nataraja, is enough to know how deep-rooted classical dance has been in …

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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 yes. Look no further than the Lok Sabha. But intelligent debate? Now, that is a different cup of tea. A debate requires both sides to bring to the table, facts, …

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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 the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces!“ इत्य् अस्माद् वेतालाच् छ्रुत्वा मौनं विहाय शापभयात् ।तम् उवाच स त्रिविक्रमसेनो नृपतिर् निरुद्वेगः ॥ …

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  • A happy end to the story…and a question…
    Read the previous part here… “Oh king of kings! I am pleased; you are a man of extraordinary abilities and compassion, and matchless in generosity. You have made your presence felt for all time, and you will be remembered for your acts of compassion.” “And so tell me, what boon do you desire from me?” …

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  • Dealing with relentless despair
    I know, I am back to a post on COVID. But I cannot help it, and nor can you. It is all over the news, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, casual talk, and even worse – in houses close to you. It is affecting people close to you. Taking some away… What did we do to deserve …

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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 compassion. If he dies, it is time for my wicked self to enter the fire and immolate myself.” “Does the fruit of adharma ever taste sweet?” As Garuḍa was lost …

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  • Jennyfer sempai – you live on…
    Jennyfer sempai is no more… My first karate class was with Praveen sempai. My second, was was Jennyfer sempai. That was 30 years ago. You always remember your first instructors. They help you through, when you have no clue what you are doing, but when you are eager to know more. A good instructor shows …

    Jennyfer sempai – you live on… Read More »

  • 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 instincts, for who except a fool will act contrary to his basic nature?” As they were engaged in conversation, Śaṅkhacūḍa arrived at the scene and called out from the distance… …

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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 give twice to a seeker, he doesn’t speak the same thing twice. He does it perfectly the very first time. It is said that if our culture was only based …

    This Rām Navami… Read More »

  • Where is the tech when you need it?
    This year India has 10-12 unicorns more, and we aren’t even halfway there yet. Almost all, if not all, of these are loss-making machines. With a cash-burn rate – yes, that is what it’s called. Imagine if you gave me your hard-earned money to make my company grow, and I told you that I will …

    Where is the tech when you need it? Read More »

  • 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 down the line, the situation is still the same. In some places, it has worsened. Think of yourself way back in February 2020. Did you even imagine that in a …

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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 his beak and talons, and carried him away to the Malaya mountains. On the way there, the jewel that adorned Jīmūtavāhana’s crest was torn from his head, and drops of …

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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 the hungry Garuḍa. You can return home, and take your son with you.” The old woman wiped her tears and replied… “No, that is not possible. For you are also …

    Making a sacrifice… Read More »

  • 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 on, fallen at his feet, holding his leg and weeping. Jīmūtavāhana walked towards another rock closer to where they were, and hid behind it. He was curious to know what …

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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 of bones are of those very snakes who have been devoured by Garuḍa, and have accumulated over the course of time, and now resemble a small mountain…” इति मित्रावसोर् वक्त्रात् …

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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 meet Jīmūtavāhana’s parents and discuss this with them. So let’s go back to the palace to make preparations, and let your would-be husband also return home, so that he can …

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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 year, the beginning of विक्रम संवत् (Vikram Samvat) 2078. And the beginning of Vasanta Navratri. I had written a whole series on Navratri, the first post of which I have …

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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 (as Gudi Padwa), Sindh (as Cheti Chand), and Manipur (as Sajibu Nongma Pānba). It is also the start of Navaratri.  Unlike New Year’s day as per the Gregorian calendar, the …

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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 aśoka tree next to the temple, and said… “My lord Jīmūtavāhana! You are renowned in the three worlds for your compassion, yet, why haven’t you been compassionate and rescued me!” …

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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 sweet-smelling flowers. Jīmūtavāhana, who as already deep in love, took it off and threw it around the neck of Malayavatī. She blushed, and looked at him with loving glances, her …

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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 Mitrāvasu, and the daughter of Viśvāvasu, the King of the Siddhas, and her name is Malayavatī.” एवम् उक्त्वा सहृदया सा तं जीमूतवाहनम् ।नामान्वयौ च पृष्ट्वास्य मुनिपुत्रं सहागतम् ॥ १२,२३.५१ ॥ तां …

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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 perseverance. A Kyokushin Karate black belt is even more treasured, since it carries with it a silent testimony of hard practice and a spirit of never-give-up. But what happens next? …

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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 a small hut near a stream, one that was well-hidden by sandalwood trees, and lived a simple life, making do with whatever they could find, and caring for each other. …

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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 does it still exist, and which of them exists for it?” “And so, if you permit me father, I would like to worship this kalpa-vrksha, the one that grants all …

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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 of the argument. One side contends that if you have to spend 8-10 hours doing something, you might as well love it. Or, to rephrase, find something that you love …

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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 grew up, his father made him crown prince, considering his noble qualities, and on the advice of his ministers. देव कल्पतरुर् यो ऽयम् अस्ति वः सर्वकामदः ।अधृष्यः सर्वभूतानां सैष पूज्यः …

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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 perspective. Dr. Ramachandran takes a look at the neurological structure of our brain, not through complicated instruments, but by basic methods and experiments, and comes to some very enlightening conclusions. …

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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 know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces!“ तद् राजंस् त्वं मम ब्रूहि तावत् कस्योपपद्यते ।भार्या सा संशयं छिन्धि पूर्वोक्तः समयो …

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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 little more than a year back. Today, I have decided to end the streak. 365+ days is not bad in itself, but had to end someday. I feel it’s time …

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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 during the day. After a few days, they heard about the minister’s son, who was on his way back from his teerth yātrā, and was about to reach home by …

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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 I don’t understand or know what it is…what is the meaning of all this?“ तच् छ्रुत्वा सो ऽङ्गनारूपो विप्रः पुन उवाच ताम् ।एतानि कामचिह्नानि नन्व् अपूर्वाणि ते सखि ॥ १२,२२.९१ …

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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 until my husband spends six months on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas and other sacred teerthas on the way.” “If this condition is not agreed to, let it be known …

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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 ना रंगाऊ ।अपने ही रंग में रंग दे चुनरिया ॥ बिना रंगाये मैं तो घर नाही जाउंगी ।बीत ही जाए चाहे सारी उमरिया ॥ मीरा के प्रभु गिरिधर नागर ।प्रभु …

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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 Asia and parts of the Western world through the diaspora from the Indian subcontinent. Holi is popularly known as the Indian “festival of spring”, the “festival of colours”, or the …

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  • Another marriage, and another deception…
    Read the previous part here… People started to notice his dejected appearance and alerted his father Prajñāsāgara, who came running to see what had happened. The son by then had fallen onto the ground, in stupor, babbling deliriously. From his speech, Prajñāsāgara managed to understand what had happened, and he felt embarrassed at this unexpected …

    Another marriage, and another deception… Read More »

  • 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 embrace him when on this bed, and I feel his kisses and his touch. My my wicked fate…I cannot have him, because I don’t even know his name, least of …

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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 was transformed into an aged man! He took out another pill, and giving it to Manaḥsvāmin, asked him to place it in his mouth. And in an instant, Manaḥsvāmin was …

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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 fell in love that very instant. He felt that his heart was no more with him, and he felt that he was no longer a master of his feelings. “Is …

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  • Of spring, flowers and beautiful maidens…
    Read the previous part here… “So tell me, o King, when the thief was impaled, and nearing death, and when he saw Ratnavatī coming there with her father, why did he weep first, and then why did he laugh? What was on his mind? “Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the …

    Of spring, flowers and beautiful maidens… Read More »

  • 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 this man, who I have already considered as my husband, rise up and be alive, and from now on, live a life of noble character!” The voice from the skies …

    Why weep, and then laugh? Read More »

  • Of near death and varadānas…
    Read the previous part here… He then went to meet the king, and offered him all his wealth, and more, if only he would pardon the thief. But the king did not agree. “Not for all your wealth, not for all the wealth in the world”, he thundered. “This thief plundered my kingdom, and I …

    Of near death and varadānas… Read More »

  • 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 will surely rob you. Not only that, he may injure you as well!” “I haven’t seen anyone as treacherous as him, so please leave when you still can!” The king …

    Of thieves and maidens… Read More »

  • 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, that I did not want to waste. And so I started to write. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t know what I would write, for how long I would …

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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 for”, thought the king to himself, as he approached the figure, his hand on his sword, ready to strike at any moment. ततः स चौरो दृष्ट्वा तं नृपं को ऽसीत्य् …

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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 ॥ १२,२१.१ ॥ प्रस्थितं च तम् उर्वीशं स वेतालो ऽभ्यधात् पुनः ।राजञ् श्रान्तो ऽसि तच् चित्रां कथाम् आख्यामि ते शृणु ॥ १२,२१.२ ॥ King Vikram went back to the tree, and …

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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, or Padmanābha’s wife?“ “Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces!“ Listen to this episode: इति वेतालतो राजा …

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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 in the end! This delicious kheer has now become poisonous for me!” Lamenting this way, Harisvāmin started back towards the Brāhman’s house, stumbling in pain all along the way… Listen …

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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. Harisvāmin saw many Brāhmans lined up outside the house, waiting to be fed, and so he managed to reach the doorpost, and leaned against it, silent and motionless. Listen to …

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  • The harsh summer and a broken heart…
    Read the previous part here… “My beloved wife! Where have you gone! Did this night, after seeing your beauty as fair as moonlight, get jealous and take you away from me?” “Or did the moon, that was vanquished by your exquisite beauty, comfort me with it’s cool as sandalwood rays earlier, only to take it’s …

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  • Don’t give up anything this Shivratri…
    A lot of questions may arise in our minds, when we think of Shiva, and Shivratri – or the night of Shiva.
  • 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 नृपः ।स त्रिविक्रमसेनस् तं स्कन्धे वेतालम् आददे ॥ १२,२०.१ ॥ आयान्तं च स वेतालो भूयस् तं नृपम् अब्रवीत् ।राजञ् शृणु कथाम् एकां संक्षिप्तां वर्णयामि ते ॥ १२,२०.२ ॥ King Vikram …

    He lost his wife, and then his life! Read More »

  • 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 the king had succeeded in his quest?” “Was he disappointed that he did not win Mṛgāṅkavatī himself?” “Or was it that he wanted to rule over the kingdom himself, and …

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  • A broken heart, and a question…
    Read the previous part here… “I wonder how the king managed to obtain this beautiful maiden, one that I caught a short glimpse of, that too in the middle of the ocean, much like one witnesses a flash of lightning. But, as they say…” Whatever is written on a man’s forehead, whatever is written in …

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  • Hearts won, and hearts broken…
    Read the previous part here… “I didn’t know what to do, so I fell at his feet and begged him to lift the curse”, continued Mṛgāṅkavatī. “When he was finally placated, he said…” “In time, Yaśaḥketu, the king of Aṅga, shall become your husband, and shall see you swallowed by the Rākṣasa, and shall kill …

    Hearts won, and hearts broken… Read More »

  • 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 sword, and rushing towards the Rākṣasa, jumped high up and cut off his head in one stroke. A stream of blood gushed forth from the trunk of the beheaded Rākṣasa, …

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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 held her affectionately, wanting to give her all the love in the world and even more. Mṛgāṅkavatī too was overpowered by affection, and agreed to accept him as her husband. …

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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 wars fought and won…and startled, she sprang from the couch, and hid her face in shyness. कृतातिथ्या नतमुखी पूजयन्तीव पादयोः ।फुल्लेक्षणोत्पलन्यासैः शनैर् एतम् उवाच च ॥ १२,१९.१०० ॥ को भवान् …

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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 to his kingdom once he has obtained his objective!” This consoled poor Lakṣmīdatta, who bowed with folded hands, and continued on his journey. स राजापि यशःकेतुर् निमग्नो ऽन्तो महोदधौ ।अकस्मान् …

    And there she was… Read More »

  • Of melodious songs and splendid cities…
    Read the previous part here… Incidentally, Lakṣmīdatta was about to set out to SvarnaDeepa. The merchant greeted Yaśaḥketu, having noticed the signs of royalty that shone beyond the costume of the sadhu that the king had worn. Yaśaḥketu returned the greeting, and then set out by ship, on the sea, towards the island of SvarnaDeepa. …

    Of melodious songs and splendid cities… Read More »

  • 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 Dīrghadarśin. He embraced him tightly and taking his hand, led him into the palace. There, he instructed his attendants to ensure that a warm bath, good food and a soft …

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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 was adorned by huge branches of gold, with fruits of gems and coral, and sweet-smelling flowers of many varieties. On it’s trunk sat a maiden, so beautiful that even beauty …

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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 is rising slowly from the waters of the lake, and so your time of taking the holy dip is passing. Please come with us now…” The king readily agreed, seeing …

    The island of gold… Read More »

  • 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 night, upto a point when rumors started floating around the kingdom that the minister was the one who had set the king on wayward ways, so that he could usurp …

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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? Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces! तच् छ्रुत्वा सो ऽब्रवीद् राजा सुकुमारतरात्र सा ।अस्पृष्टे मुसले यस्याः …

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  • Who is the most delicate of them all?
    Read the previous part here… When she said this, and burst into tears, the king, being distressed, summoned her attendants, who ran there in trepidation and alarm. And he had made for her a bed of lotus leaves, sprinkled wdth water, and sandalwood lotion applied to her body. तावद् बुद्ध्वा तृतीयास्य सा मृगाङ्कवती प्रिया ।तत्पार्श्वम् …

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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 lap. Immediately, a wound formed on her thigh, where the lotus had fallen, and the delicate queen let out a feeble cry and fainted. तद् दृष्ट्वा विह्वलेनार्त्या राज्ञा परिजनेन च …

    Of blisters and bruises… Read More »

  • 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? Whose was the most genuine sacrifice? Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces! तच् छ्रुत्वा स महीपतिर् उज्झितमौनस् …

    Of delicate darlings… Read More »

  • 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 I care for gold, o fair one?”, he sneered. “You are priceless – your face as beautiful as the moon, your hair as black as night, your beautiful body…I am …

    All is well that ends well… Read More »

  • 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 please hear what I have to say to you. I have a request though – promise me that you will not punish me or think low of me, once I …

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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 merchant’s heart. And the moon, that was easily surpassed by her beauty, rose slowly upwards, comforted that she had retired for the night. Dharmadatta went home and lay on his …

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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? Who would be the best choice? Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces! एतच् छ्रुत्वा स राजा तं …

    The beauty of Madanasenā… Read More »

  • Who should marry Anaṅgarati?- Part 2
    Read the previous part here… As she came of marriageable age, the king decided to find for her a suitable husband. And so he arranged for the portraits of all the kings in the world, so that she could choose her desired life-partner. तेष्व् एको ऽपि न यत् तस्य तत्तुल्यः प्रत्यभासत ।तेन राजा स वात्सल्यात् …

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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 mark caused by the hair manifested on his cheek, and was seen by one and all. The other two may have been sensitive as well, but it is also possible …

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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 the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces! तच् छ्रुत्वैव स धीमान् वेतालं प्रत्युवाच तं नृपतिः ।अहम् एषां निःकैतवम् अधिकं जानामि तूलिकाचङ्गम् …

    The most sensitive of men… Read More »

  • Of goats, and corpses, and hair- part 2
    Read the previous part here… After they all had finished their dinner, the three brothers retired to the guest quarters in the royal palace. He then sent across the the room of the second brother, the most beautiful dancer in his royal court. She had been dressed particularly well, and her ornaments accentuated her beautiful …

    Of goats, and corpses, and hair- part 2 Read More »

  • 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 Dharma. A person’s personality is seen through the eyes, but is heard and understood through the name. A person or thing’s first experience is usually had through the eyes, and …

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  • Of goats, and corpses, and hair…
    Read the previous part here… “Well, if you feel disgusted to touch it, why won’t we feel the same?” “But you too should carry this turtle, and fast. Else the muhurt for the sacrifice will pass! If that happens, you both and our father will surely go to naraka (hell)”, said the eldest. इत्य् उक्ताव् …

    Of goats, and corpses, and hair… Read More »

  • 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 most courage by plunging into the ocean? Tell me, o wise king. Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a …

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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 death have no place in them. I, along with these cities, now belong to you…” इदानीं च पिता त्वं मे सपुराहं वशे तव ।इत्य् अर्पितात्मसर्वस्वां ताम् उवाच स भूपतिः ॥ …

    I have a question for you… Read More »

  • 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”, said the king, pointing to Sattvaśīla. “We were guided by that magnificent flagpost, and we also saw this splendid city, had a beautiful darshana of the Devi…what other hospitality can …

    A generous offer… Read More »

  • 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 struck by love himself. I now have an opportunity to repay my debt of gratitude to him…” And so the king told him “O Sattvaśīla! Don’t grieve, for I will …

    A friend in need… Read More »

  • Of water tanks and beautiful maidens…
    Read the previous part here… In the middle of all this, was a large temple of Mā Durgā, as tall as Mount Meru, with walls of precious stones and a high pataka (flag) that was studded with jewels. Sattvaśīla prostrated himself before the Devi, sang a स्तोत्रम् (stotram) in her praise, and then sat down …

    Of water tanks and beautiful maidens… Read More »

  • 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 then rewarded him with wealth and land. “These rewards do not come close to what you deserve”, he proclaimed. Sattvaśīla now lived the life of a prosperous man, but stayed …

    A perilous journey… Read More »

  • 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 thirsty but determined to keep up with the monarch. Caṇḍasiṃha spotted him, and felt relieved. “Do you know the way back?” he asked Sattvaśīla. तदाकर्ण्याञ्जलिं बद्ध्वा स तं कार्पटिको ऽभ्यधात् …

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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 ? Who should she spend her life with ? Tell me, o wise king. Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst …

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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, and in a fit of depression, picked up the same sword and cut off his own head.  सो ऽपि यावच् च नायाति तावद् उद्भ्रान्तमानसा ।तद्देवीभवनं सापि ययौ मदनसुन्दरी ॥ १२,१३.३४ …

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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 muhurata the next day, and the marriage was solemnized. Dhavala returned to his father’s house a happy man, his new bride in tow.  स कृतप्रश्रयः सर्वैः स्वस्राश्लिष्याभिनन्दितः ।संबन्धिपृष्टकुशलो विश्रान्तश् च …

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  • Somaprabhā’s groom and changed heads…
    Read the previous part here… Now I have a question for you. Who deserves to marry Somaprabhā ? Who does she belong to? Tell me, o wise king. Remember, if you know the answer, and don’t tell me the truth, your head will burst into a hundred pieces! इति वेतालतस् तस्माच् छ्रुत्वा मौनं विहाय च …

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