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Is Gita a story of War?

The Diplomat magazine recently wrote an article on Steve Bannon, advisor to Donald Trump. Bannon, it appears, is an ardent believer in the teachings of the Bhagawad Gita because it supports an apocalyptic world view where, when there is an existential clash among races and religions, one must engage in…
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Music

Sankeerthana for Salvation

Expressing devotion through bhakthi is a well-known Hindu tradition. Bhakthi is love, attachment, and dedication to a personal god. However, bhakthi also implies that a bhaktha (a devotee) will strive for pure thought and proper conduct at all times and will love god without expectation of benefits in return. The…
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Music

Art and science for Nadopasana

Carnatic music, like most other music systems of the world, has two dimensions: an emotional dimension and an intellectual dimension. The emotional dimension is supported by the melodic system, which is the foundation for both Carnatic and Hindustani music. In melodic system, music progresses with succession of individual notes. The…
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Sangeetha and Bhakthi

P. Sreenivasan Sangeetha and bhakthi should be acquired and practiced with humility. Genuine humility brings with it detachment, suppression or conquest of the baser instincts of Man and, ultimately annihilation of the ego to bring enlightenment. Mere scholarship without humility and music without devotion is according to Thyagaraja Swami, akin…
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Are Mythologies Relevant Today?

With the advancement of science, many individuals have become disillusioned with religion and mythology. Skeptics, particularly in the West, who now characterize religion and mythology as fiction and falsehood, are growing. In the age of science, they say, objective evidence and rational analyses - implying scientific findings only must count…
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A Secular Flagellum

By Venkat Ramanan Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela liken evolution, in their book, “The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding”, to a sculptor with wanderlust: the sculptor collects a stray thread here, a piece of wood there.“ And so, as he wanders about, intricate forms are being…
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KSHETRA KIRTANAS

P. Sreenivasan Kshetra kirtanas refer to compositions in praise of the deity of a specific town or place. Usually, great composers, when they visit a temple town compose songs in praise of the deity of the temple. Thyagaraja Swami followed a similar practice. Many of Thyagaraja Swami's kshetra kirtanas are…
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