• In search of the Buddha0

    At the Victoria and Albert Museum there is a small, 12th Century AD sculpted model of what seems like a typical north/east Indian temple. It’s a replica of the Mahabodhi Temple – a sacred souvenir carried home by ancient pilgrims who visited the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment from beyond Indian boundaries – the journey in

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  • Chhath0

    Three days post Diwali I ventured out and saw the market streets lined with popup stalls selling soop (winnowing baskets), dauri (round baskets) and other items heralding Chhath Puja, the four day festival which at one time was indigenous to Bihar and UP. Now it’s a transnational entity, celebrated across India and in distant shores

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  • Patna Diaries0

    It was eight years ago that I shifted back to my hometown, Patna. I had given up my corporate career over an epiphany involving the Buddha, travelled thousands of miles to study ancient Indian art, and then settled back at home and hearth. Except for a one-year stint in Hyderbad, I’ve mostly been here, devoting

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  • The Fire of Desire0

    आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा | कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणानलेन च || (Bhagwad Gita 3.39) The knowledge of even the most discerning gets covered by this perpetual enemy in the form of insatiable desire, which is never satisfied and burns like fire, O son of Kunti. Desire devours like fire, it is insatiable. One desire, one craving

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  • The Karmayogi’s Mindset0

    होइहि सोइ जो राम रचि राखा Whatever is the will of the lord will transpire, so say our scriptures. As a believer in determinism, my faith in this verse is unshakeable. A gripping story in the Siva Purana had first seeded this belief in my mind and over time as I watched life unfold I

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  • Shunyata – A Buddhist Concept0

    Shunyata is possibly one of the most advanced concepts of Buddhism.Shunyata is often translated as Emptiness (the term I will use) in English. The first important thing that needs to be clarified is that when Gautama says, “Everything is Empty”, what is everything Empty of? What is every physical, mental, abstract concept Empty of? What is missing

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