Western myth, or the dominant worldview that shapes the long history of the West, remains singular and linear
By decriminalising gay sex, SC recognises where India's greatness lies - in inclusion and diversity
Before this, the only goddess who was very prominent in Buddhist literature was Shri or the Goddess of fortune, clearly included within the Buddhist iconography by the lay people
Poetry and metaphor is used to connect the physical and psychological world. Inspiration is used to evoke the gods. There is no real story to tell. Just a description of life, of nature
Binaries are a cultural concept for simplicity. But, in nature there is no such thing as binaries, things wax and wane, telescope into each other, there are species which mingle and merge and there is no absol...
Some of the earliest images showing the story of Shiva from the Shiva Purana, is again found in the Elephanta caves, just a boat ride off South Bombay
At the time of the World Wars, beyond the traditional Shia-Sunni divide, Islam had many regional forms: there was an Arabic form, there was a Persian form, there was the Indian form, there was an Indonesian fo...
But, today when you think of Buddha, he has become a spa icon. You can go to any health spa for a massage, a steam or a jacuzzi and there in front of you, you will find an image of Buddha
The classic Sanskrit version is found in the 1,000-year-old Bhagavata Purana
Buddhist stupas crowned with special umbrellas indicate Sumeru, the central world axis and the heavens above it, above which sits the Buddha in a formless state after he attained nirvana
One called Aditi, the other called Diti
They clarify that there is a soul within every individual living (jiva-atma) being and there is a cosmic soul that encompasses the universe (param-atma)
Those who see mythology as proto-history believe that as Vedic practices waned, and temple-based Agama traditions rose, followers of Vedas became closely associated with Vishnu worshippers
Amongst the earliest images we know today are one from Ajanta and Ellora caves in Maharashtra, and from Mammalapuram dated before 7th century
Not much is known about him, but the shrine is clearly not a Brahminical one and there is nothing about him found in Sanskrit literature
Most images of boats in Indian art are related to ponds and rivers, and not the sea, such as images of Ram and Sita crossing the Ganga, or Krishna and Radha on Yamuna
By the time the Upanishads were composed, 2,500 years ago, there was a familiarity with the Gangetic Plain
They are often represented by the palm of the hand, mounted on a mound
Then scientists showed them that hundreds of species of animals do indulge in homosexuality
Of course, at the other extreme, we have the bhakta-Indologists who insist that Hinduism has no history
The Gita is a part of the Mahabharata
Some feminists expect me to 'explain' Hinduism's misogyny
Ancient India was known as Arya-varta, or the land of the noble people
If you walk around a traditionally-built Hindu temple, it is likely that you will see images of the guardians of the directions (diggapala): Kubera in the north, Yama in the south, Indra in the east and Varuna...
The Buddha and his followers used to always eat one meal in the house of a layman
Valmiki composed the Ramayana and it is still popular though no one reads the old 2,000-year-old Sanskrit version, nor the 1,000-year-old regional classics in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Assame...
Once upon a time there was a weaver girl who loved a cowherd. But she was no ordinary weaver girl; she was the daughter of the Goddess of Heaven and she wove clouds for the sky
Every woman does not have a vagina. Every man does not have a penis
When we use the word demon in English we are instantly drawn to dark and hideous evil creatures
In Buddhist lore, we are told that Buddha's mother, Maya, died seven days after his death. After attaining Buddha-hood, the Buddha went to meet his mother in heaven, and share his wisdom with her