This year India holds the presidency of the G20, and is hosting high-level diplomatic and ministerial meetings which are now in full swing. The theme of this Indian presidency is the Sanskrit phrase “वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्” taken from the Mahā Upanishad, or, in English, it is ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’.
Read More Poetry for the G20
“How can we imagine something new?
Read More On poetry and the arrangement of words
Here I will just develop variety in the arrangements of words.
Having once made a garland of flowers, we can make a new one using the same flowers.
Just a new arrangement stimulates the curiosity.”
This description nicely illustrates something about how the brain works to generate new ideas, alternating between periods of focused intensity of thought and stillness in order to arrive at a sudden moment of insight or intuition. A similar process is behind many such ‘eureka moments’, where the would-be inventor or discoverer sets aside his or her work and allows their conscious thinking to clear, seemingly so that the unconscious mind can do its own distinctive work.
Read More On the moment of insight
Just as scientists strive to crystallize deeper truths about the world, so too do poets. However, whereas scientists further our understanding of reality through a process of abstraction, poets develop insights that resists abstraction and stays at the level of ordinary things.
Read More On poetic understanding
time. The deepest parts of our personalities are structured in terms of our sense of time, such as our memories from the past, our hopes and dreams for the future, and our awareness of our own mortality.
Read More Emotions and our sense of time
Human emotions such as love, anger and sorrow have a universal dimension, affecting all peoples in all times and places similarly. But emotions also perhaps have a specific way of emerging and manifesting themselves which perhaps varies according to contextual factors.
Read More Some Indian love poetry
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
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
A verse and a painting on Rama’s love for Sita
Read More Emotions in Indian Art and Poetry
T.S. Eliot — Wikimedia Commons (Octave.H) It is well-known that T.S. Eliot engaged deeply with Indian philosophy in ways which significantly influenced his worldview and his poetry. In fact,Eliot was a student of the eminent Sanskrit scholar Professor Charles Rockwell Lanman at Harvard University, and in fact Eliot’s PhD supervisor there, Josiah Royce, had also earlier learnt […]
Read More T.S. Eliot and Indian Philosophy