Ethics in the Upanishads

Literature from across the world engages with ethical questions and moral quandaries, and plays a role in cultivating our moral sensibilities.  Religious literatures often present ethical teachings indirectly, such as in the form of parables, or more directly, such as moral commandments.  In the Upanishads of late Vedic India, we find both ethical and metaphysical teachings set out in contexts of lineages of teachers and students. 

Read More Ethics in the Upanishads

Thoughts on the film Memoria

The film Memoria is highly unusual and intriguing, prompting me to reflect on how to make sense of what is actually happening in the film.  Rather giving any kind of comprehensive review or summary, however, I am just sharing here some of the workings of my own mind in response to the film.

Read More Thoughts on the film Memoria

गुरु लक्ष्मीङ्कर​ की कहानी

तिब्बत और भारत के सांस्कृतिक और ऐतिहासिक सम्बन्ध​ कई प्रकार के हैं |  अतीत में, बहुत सी भारतीय साहित्यिक और आध्यात्मिक शास्त्रों को तिब्बत भेजा गया था, और उनके तिब्बती भाषा अनुवाद भी किया गया था |  इनमें से बौद्ध ग्रन्थ हैं, जैसे के नागार्जुन, शान्त​रक्षित, और कमलशील के लेखन |  साथ ही व्याकरण के शास्त्र हैं, जो तिब्बती भाषाविज्ञान का विकास को प्रेरित किया |  इसके अलावा, काव्य हैं, जैसे के कालिदास की उत्कृष्ट खण्डकाव्य ‘मेघदूत’ |

Read More गुरु लक्ष्मीङ्कर​ की कहानी

On stealing from the gods

wisdom, forbidden knowledge, and access to divinity itself.  Divine trickery may be involved.  And the theft may be followed by divine anger and punishment.  This article will briefly review and compare three such myths, that of the eating from the ‘tree of knowledge’ in the Garden of Eden, the Greek myth of the theft of fire on behalf of humanity, and a similar Vedic myth about the stealing of fire.

Read More On stealing from the gods

The Ring in Indo-European literature

One criticism sometimes made against JRR Tolkien is that he somehow imitated the ring-based plot of Richard Wagner’s opera cycle ‘The Ring of the Nibelung’ in his own master work ‘The Lord of the Rings’.  Prof. Tolkien expressly disclaimed any similarity between his own work and that of Wagner, once comparing his Lord of the Rings with Wagner’s Ring Cycle by saying, “Both rings were round, but there the resemblance ceases.”

Read More The Ring in Indo-European literature