Our day-to-day experience of time passing can be highly non-linear and subjective, as we move from giving rapid presentations to enjoying lazy Sunday afternoons. Science too has studied how our brains have the ability to slow down and speed up our perception of time. In this way, our lived experience of the flow of time diverges sharply from the scientific description of this experience.
Read More Some Indo-European thoughts on time
According to a famous comic tale, there was once a very beautiful and intelligent young lady who was highly conceited about her profound spiritual knowledge. She had rejected many suitors for her hand in marriage, mockingly telling them that their intellectual level was far below hers. Some of these disgruntled suitors then plotted together to get their comeuppance.
Read More Some meaningful numbers and number systems in history
The painting above, by one of the great Indian artists of the late eighteenth century, Nainsukh, depicts such a scene. Our paramour sneaks away from her home by night to a spot in the forest where she has arranged to meet her lover during the night, and she must be back before anyone awakes and misses her in the morning.
Read More Trysts by night in art and poetry
In romantic literature across the world, we frequently read about lovers who would die rather than be apart. In the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, Pyramus kills himself, believing Thisbe to be dead. When Thisbe finds the dead body of Pyramus, she also kills herself. Romeo and Juliet, based on this story, and many other tales of world literature, follow a similar pattern.
Read More Love, death and Sanskrit literature
For ancient as well as modern people, God has been conceived of in a bewildering variety of ways. At one extreme, we see a wholly abstract and ineffable power, such as the Advaitic conception of Brahman, and on the other hand, we find an anthropomorphic god such as Krishna in the Mahābhārata, who is faced by the same moral dilemmas and limitations on his ability to act as the rest of us.
Read More On craft-worker gods and heroes
The concept of time seems to have been a preoccupation for many leading figures of this generation across a variety of fields, stimulated perhaps in part by the linking of hitherto distant regions through railway and telegraphy during the nineteenth century, and likely also by the impact of Einstein’s work. Such figures might include Henri Bergson, Martin Heidegger, Marcel Proust, Salvador Dali and many others.
Read More T.S. Eliot, the Vedas and the Concept of Time
Polyneices a proper burial. Polyneices has been killed in a battle against his brother and fellow citizens, and, as he is considered a traitor to the kingdom, the king decrees that no-one is to bury him or mourn him. As his sister, however, Antigone feels that she is under an obligation to give him some minimal burial rites, and in fact does so, leading to her being condemned, as illustrated above.
Read More Conflicting norms of behaviour: in Greek drama and Indian epic
age has been connected with religious and ethical traditions in diverse regions of the world and throughout history, from the Biblical idea that the Word is God to the Confucian idea of the rectification of names. In the Indian tradition, too, language has been of central importance, and this has motivated a tradition of linguistic analysis and linguistic precision in the Sanskrit language. Indeed, for some Indian thinkers, sound itself, in the form of human speech, is the metaphysical basis for our entire reality.
Read More Speech in the Rig Veda
A pivotal point in many sacred narratives is the encounter between the human and the divine, often in terms of a theophany, that is, a visible manifestation of a deity. Early in the Book of Exodus, we read about Moses’ first encounter with God in the burning bush.
Read More On the vision of God
We can perhaps identify some similar themes of cultural centrality of the bear in Indian culture, especially in its earliest phases. Similarly to Western mythic taxonomy, the seven stars of Ursa Major are called ‘the bears’ (ṛkṣa) in the Rig Veda (1.24.10), and in fact the Pleiades are their seven wives according to Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (2.1.2). These bears (ṛkṣa) later came to be known as sages (ṛṣi).
Read More Bear-king Jāmbavān and animal symbolism