Archive for ‘religion’

December 25, 2013

Christmas greetings ….

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
louder than the voices of the bigots …..
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Brahmins, Methodist and Muslim, Catholics and Hindus, say come.

Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jains, the Sikh and the Buddhist,
implore you to stay awhile with us
so we may learn by your shimmering light
how to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.
On this platform of peace, we can create a language
to translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.
At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ

Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices to celebrate the promise of

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.

We look at our world and speak the word aloud.

We look at each other, then into ourselves,
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation:

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul

(with apologies to  Maya Angelou)

December 25, 2013

Christmas Greetings ……


( charcoal painting – jan richardson)

July 12, 2013

the Akshauhini ……


In the interval between the Dwapara and the Kali Yugas there happened at Samanta-panchaka the encounter between the armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas.
In that holy region, without ruggedness of any kind, were assembled eighteen Akshauhinis of soldiers eager for battle.
And, O Brahmanas, having come thereto, they were all slain on the spot.
Thus the name of that region, O Brahmanas, hath been explained, and the country described to you as a sacred and delightful one.
I have mentioned the whole of what relateth to it as the region is celebrated throughout the three worlds.’
“The Rishis said, ‘We have a desire to know, O son of Suta, what is implied by the term Akshauhini that hath been used by thee. Tell us in full what is the number of horse and foot, chariots and elephants, which compose an Akshauhini for thou art fully informed.’ “
Sauti said, ‘One chariot, one elephant, five foot-soldiers, and three horses form one Patti;
three pattis makeone Sena-mukha;

three sena-mukhas are called a Gulma;
three gulmas, a Gana;
three ganas, a Vahini;
three vahinis together are called a Pritana;
three pritanas form a Chamu;
three chamus, one Anikini;
and an anikini taken ten times forms, as it is styled by those who know, an Akshauhini.
O ye best of Brahmanas, arithmeticians have calculated that the number of chariots in an Akshauhini is twenty-one thousand eight hundred and seventy.

The measure of elephants must be fixed at the same number.
O ye pure, you must know that the number of foot-soldiers is one hundred and nine thousand, three hundred and fifty,
the number of horse is sixty-five thousand, six hundred and ten.
These, O Brahmanas, as fully explained by me, are the numbers of an Akshauhini as said by those acquainted with the principles of numbers.
O best of Brahmanas, according to this calculation were composed the eighteen Akshauhinis of the Kaurava and the Pandava army.

section 2
Adi Parva
Book 1
The Mahabharta

July 8, 2013


mahabharata - namita gokhale

Namrata Gokhale

July 7, 2013

Mahabharata – re-imagined

trisha 2

July 6, 2013



July 5, 2013



The character of Barbarika in Mahabharat is symbolic of a pupil’s devotion and sacrifice for his teacher. Before the Mahabharata war started, Lord Krishna asked every maharathi how many days he would take to finish Mahabharata war alone. Lord Krishna asked Bhisma, who said he will take 20 days to finish the Mahabharata. Lord Krishna asked Dronacharya, who said he would take 25 days. Then he asked Karna, who said he would take a month, and so on. He then asked Arjuna, “how many days would it take for you to finish the Mahabharata”. He replied, “18 days”.

After this Krishna asked Barbarika the same question. Barbarika replied that he would take one hour. Krishna asked Barbarika to prove his claim of finishing the great Mahabharata battle in one hour. Krishna said, “if you can tie all the leaves of the peeple tree, I will believe that you can finish the war in one hour.”

Barbarika took one arrow from his quiver and put it on his forehead and chanted a mantra, meanwhile Krishna broke one leaf from the peeple tree and hid it under his foot. Barbarika left the arrow tied every leaf of the tree and finally started revolving around Krishna’s feet to tie the leaf under Lord Krishna’s foot. Lord Krishna blessed Barbarika, “you are the greatest living Kshatriya on this earth today, and no Kshatriya will be as brave and powerful as you are”.

Lord Krishna asked Barbarika on which side he would fight in the great battle of Mahabharata. Barbarika told Krishna that he had a pledge that he would always fight from the losing side. Krishna said, “When you fight, the other side will always be the losing side, so decide which side you will fight”. Barbarika could not decide which side to fight due to his pledge of “to fight always from the losing side”. Though he always wanted to fight from the pandava’s side due to his son and child relationship.

Krishna asked, to whom you consider your teacher. Barbarika replied, “O supreme Lord, to You”. Krishna said, then give Me My Gurudakshina (gift to teacher). On this Barbarika replied, “please ask, what do You want in Gurudakshina”. Krishna asked, “give Me your head”. Barbarika took a sword and cut his head and gave it to Krishna on his own hand. On this Krishna became very pleased and said, “ask what you want Barbarika”. Barbarika said, “I would love to watch the Mahabharata battle live.” On this Krishna made special arrangement and placed his head on two bamboo and placed it on nearby mountain so that he can watch the complete Mahabharata battle. Barbarika watched the great Mahabharata battle live.

After the Mahabharata war every one alive on the Pandava’s side claimed that, he finished the war. And they started fighting, on this Krishna told that, “let’s go to Barbarika, he has watched the complete Mahabharata battle live, so he can give his decision on this”. They all went to Barbarika and asked, “who do you think finished the war?” To this Barbarika replied, “O Lord Krishna I have not seen anyone other than You doing anything in the war, You have done everything”. On this everyone returned and understood the Krishna’s role in Mahabharata.

July 4, 2013

Mahabharata – an inquiry in the human condition


Wonder, silence, gratitude

one who is going upstream ......

one who is going upstream ......

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