Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sacred Text Archive

The link to all books on mythology and religion all over the world is available on the site.

I wanted to dedicate a whole post to this one link...It has all the books which I ever wanted to read:)

Interpretation and Assimilation

To appreciate fully the sacred and romantic literature of India, we should follow the advice of Robert Louis Stevenson. "To learn aright from any teacher," he wrote, "we must first of all, like a historical artist, think ourselves into sympathy with his position." And if in endeavouring to understand the religious conceptions of the ancient forest sages, we, at times, find ourselves in difficulties, it may be that "if a saying is hard to understand, it is because we are thinking of something else"--we are looking on India with European eyes and with European prejudices. "There is always", said Stevenson, "a ruling spirit behind the code of rules, an attitude, a relation, a point of the compass, in virtue of which we conform or dissent."

Taken from Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie [1913]

The link to the book and various other books will be given in the next post.

This is a common problem which I had felt for a long time.Being colonised by British and being stripped off our ancient modes of thinking,our country may be at the center of misconstruction .The important thing to remember is the context.History cannot be seen without today's prejudices.Whenever a ancient text or any study on comparative religion or mythology is done,a effort should be put to study the history during that era.Every law or every belief which existed sprang out of a necessity.Even humiliating beliefs like Sati and other animal sacrifices which are common all over the world were invented to quench the thirst of a particular age.Pulling these scriptures and beliefs and adapting it to present day should be done with lot of care.Any comments on any particular form of belief should be backed with background research of the seminal ideas which germinated in the ancient people.A high quotient of compassion is required which will be obtained only by a person who spends some time understanding different scriptures and their associated archaeological research.My own study on comparative religions has evolved so much over the last few years.From being a biased reader who wanted to fit all beliefs and tribes into narrow boxes which were created to present day requirements........I have become less judgemental...
My husband gives particular importance to time-lines and thinks that they give a clearer picture to understanding a theory in archaeology better.I still have to adapt this idea when I read some scripture.

So the scope of this blog is going to be broadened to include the various readings of mythology and comparative religion.The reason being that the birth of spirituality and our primal desires can be understood better when we dig through ancient modes of thought.A compassionate view of the world can be established when we see a cross pollination of ideas.They may also lead to the higher goal of unity which has been mentioned in all religions.

I would also try to add the anthropological studies of various tribes and folk lore.For now I am going to concentrate on India and then may be expand it to include Egyptian and Greek cultures.My interest in Egyptian religion started at very young age.The Mayans are also fascinating people.Lately I have been influenced by the native Indian shamanism and their history.One of the blog readers few years ago had sent me a link which had various books on spiritual shamanism.I was busy with my pursuits of Indian philosophy and could not do justice to that material.So in the future I may try to add few articles on Native Indian Spirituality.(I completed watching Ken Burns "We Shall Remain "(4 discs- 4 hours) which is a must see documentary for any history buff.)

I will still try to upload lot of spiritual articles which are in my draft folder.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Bharatatattva :Course in Indology

There are two volumes which I had purchased at Ramakrishna Mission in Chennai.
These two books have articles dealing with Ancient Indian Society/Politics/Literature/ and lot of articles about lineage of different kings.
These two books gave me a gist of the Ancient Indian life.After every scholarly article,there is a reading list.Both the books costed me 160 Rupees(They are published by Ramakrishna Mission).But the information from all the Indologists is priceless.
The books are

Bharatatattva :Course in Indology Volume 1
Bharatatattva :Course in Indology Volume 2

One more site that I found -Archaeological Survey of India

Saturday, April 03, 2010


Why should we follow a particular schedule?
Why should everyone conform to a particular idea.
Why does society gives accolades to people who do the same thing every day.
Control gives rise to guilt.It causes so much stress in us,to think that we have to achieve all these things...or else we are doomed.
One of the main reasons I believe discipline is stressed so much from a young age is because society itself, is a mediocre institution.To run a mediocre construct you need one leader and million followers who worship him/her.If a person sits down and analyses the model in which many of the civilizations were constructed,then there would be a new world for that person.This new world does not change the whole environment around him,but it just changes his relative position.

Jiddu Krishnamurti in his book "Think on these things" writes about discipline...

Questioner: What part does discipline play in our lives?

Krishnamurti: Unfortunately it plays a great part, does it not?A great part of your life is disciplined: do this and don t do that. You are told when to get up,what to eat and what not to eat, what you must know and not know; you are told that you must read, go to classes, pass examinations, and so on. Your parents, your teachers, your society, your tradition, your sacred books all tell you what to do; so your life is bound, hedged about by discipline, is it not? You are a prisoner of do's and don'ts, they are the bars of your cage. Now, what happens to a mind that is bound by discipline? Surely, it is only when you are afraid of something, when you are resisting something, that there has to be discipline; then you have to control, hold yourself together. Either you do this out of your own volition, or society does it for you - society being your parents, your teachers,your tradition,your sacred books.But if you begin to inquire, to search out,if you learn and understand without fear, then is discipline necessary? Then that very understanding brings about its own true order, which is not born of imposition or compulsion.

Do think about this; because when you are disciplined through fear, crushed by the compulsion of society, dominated by what your parents and teachers say, there is for you no freedom, no joy, and all initiative is gone. The older the culture, the greater is the weight of tradition which disciplines you, tells you what you must and must not do; and so you are weighed down, psychologically flattened as if a steam-roller had gone over you. That is what has happened in India. The weight of tradition is so enormous that all initiative has been destroyed, and you have ceased to be an individual; you are merely part of a social machine, and with that you are content. Do you understand? You don't revolt, explode, break away. Your parents don't want you to revolt, your teachers don't want you to break away, therefore your education is aimed at making you conform to the established pattern. Then you are not a complete human being, because fear gnaws at your heart; and as long as there is fear there is no joy, no creativity.