Raji P. Shrivastava

Raji P. Shrivastava.JPG

Maatru devo bhava

I love my mother very much.” Of all the clichéd sentences that a child writes in his school essay, this one is the commonest and, perhaps, the truest.

Timeless hymns

The birthday of Adi Shankaracharya, ancient India’s celebrated saint-philosopher, falls on Vaishakh Panchami, April 26 this year.

Krishna’s lovers

Krishna’s alluring personality delights the hearts of princesses and gopis, merchants and paupers, sages and poets alike.

Devi and the king

A quintessential spring festival, Vasant Navratri involves a marvellous mix of fasting, feasting, praying and rejoicing. The legends surrounding this period of nine nights that fall in the month of Chaitra (March-April) centre on the Mother Goddess Durga. But there is also a significant element of nature worship and veneration of Ram, the prince of Ayodhya, who was an incarnation of Vishnu. The ninth day of the Chaitra month is Ram Navami.

Panorama of colours

Kama, the god of love, shot a flower-tipped arrow at a meditating Shiva but was burnt to ashes in the blaze of the three-eyed god’s fury. Pootana, a vicious demoness-turned-nursemaid, went out to fulfil a royal mandate to poison a certain infant to death — but lost her own life instead. Dhundi, a vile ogress particularly nasty to children, was shooed out of the kingdom by a band of boys hurling pebbles and abuses. Holika, a demoness with a boon that fire wouldn’t harm her, tried to destroy her virtuous nephew Prahlad — but was charred to ashes herself.

Rudra, the protector

While telling Arjuna of his several manifestations, Krishna says, “Rudraanaam Shankarashchaasmi”, which means among the Rudras, I am Shankara (Bhagavad Gita, Ch.10).

The heart’s call for Hari

Could the fragmented songs of a 16th-century Rajput princess who shunned the world for all practical purposes work as “self-help?”
“I am married to the Eternal Husband”, sang Mira, troubled by the selfishness, malice and deceit inherent in all human bonds. The pursuit of duniyadaari (worldly transactions) brings pain and dejection as one thrashes about in the samsara-sagara, the sea of worldly trials and tribulations.

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