Spot the Narakasura

Lord Brahma has this bad habit. Often, he tends to lose his head, all four heads rather, when tapped for boons by a devious demon dazzling him with die-hard devotion. Armed thus, the demon then goes about tormenting the devas, sages, commonfolk and finally L. Brahma Himself. And when tipping point arrives, there appears Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva, depending on who is appealed to, for deliverance. Continue Reading

Light of fancy

Lamps and light define Bharath’s households, not just its cultural traditions and religious festivals. Lighting a wicker, at least twice a day, is a daily routine, be it a humble hut or a huge palace. Deepavali, the festival of lights, is the highlight of this ageless, deeply ingrained practise whence a simple chore turns into a grand celebration. Continue Reading

Pause; ponder; proceed!

All Hindu festivals are multi-layered. The most popular Deepavali at a superficial level, comes at the start of a season when there is extended darkness in the mornings and early ones in the evening. The array of lights and burst of crackers are meant to usher in an early dawn and spread brightness and bonhomie during those dim climes. Suffice to say that solar and lunar influences have been adequately factored in, lending the symbolisms scientific and astronomic credence too. Continue Reading

The right light

The modern mind has cultivated a hypocritical reluctance to deal with religion in all honesty. On the one side is the conditioning wrought by the education system and the external environs that seemingly stress on rational inquiry and material pursuits. On the other is the undeniable pull of the metaphysical mystery, an inner urge to understand something we know is there but fail to perceive. Continue Reading