Krishna-Niti

How often have you been advised to follow the teachings of Krishna but wondered what those teachings were? Krishna-Niti: Timeless Strategic Wisdom brings forth eleven of the most important lessons delivered by Krishna at critical junctures in the Mahabharata. These practical lessons are different from the spiritual wisdom imparted to Arjuna in the celebrated Bhagavad-Gita. Whether negotiating for peace between the Kauravas and Pandavas, resolving internal conflicts in the Pandava camp, or inspiring Yudhishthira to rule as a Dharmaraja (righteous ruler) at the end of the Kuruskshetra war, Krishna emerges as the strategist par excellence, who is as worldly wise as he is spiritually enlightened.

 

Krishna’s instructions cover a wide range of subjects, including ethics, strategy, governance, policy, and above all dharma. However, throughout its wide scope, Krishna-Niti is governed by an underlying worldview, which can be summarised as jnana-karma-samuchchaya, or the right combination of knowledge and action to achieve the fourfold goals of human life. Krishna argues that karma is essential to life and natural order. Steadfastness in one’s karma is the key to the attainment of one’s goals whether material or spiritual. Escapism or inaction is not an option, neither is indecisiveness stemming from unending intellectual debates. In no case should one abandon one’s duty by citing a lack of good options.

 

Krishna’s role in the Mahabharata is not just as a knower of dharma (dharmajna) but as its upholder and institutor (dharma-samsthapaka). Therefore, unlike other great works on niti, Krishna’s instructions are not theoretical but have an immediate relation to the situation at hand. His guidance is always delivered to a particular character in the epic, especially in moments of crisis, internal dissension, or war. This implies that we get to see the principles of Krishna-Niti in action throughout the epic.

 

The authors, Kushagra Aniket and Nityananda Misra, draw upon their extensive research into the Mahabharata to present a unique gem of Nitishastra that is distilled from the quintessential Itihasa of India. They analyse Krishna’s practical wisdom through his interventions on numerous occasions. Rooted in the vision of the epic, Krishna-Niti: Timeless Strategic Wisdom paints the authentic picture of Krishna as a statesman—an enduring image that is deeply relevant to our times.

Nastik

Nastik chronicles the transformative journey of a modern Indian sceptic who initially embraced Western neo-atheism. It begins with the protagonist’s disillusionment with religious dogma and his subsequent adoption of Western neo-atheism, characterized by a staunch denial of theism and a critique of religion’s influence on society.

 

As the narrative unfolds, he encounters the rich tapestry of Indian philosophy. He discovers the nuanced perspectives of nastik schools of thought in Indian tradition, such as Charvaka, Jainism and certain interpretations of Buddhism, which reject the authority of the Vedas and the existence of a creator god yet engage deeply with ethical and philosophical questions. His transformation into a nastik and Nirishvarwaadi is marked by an appreciation for the complexity of Eastern scepticism, which often intertwines with spiritual and moral considerations unlike the more direct and often materialistic scepticism prevalent in the West. The book delves into the differences between Western and Eastern scepticism, highlighting how Eastern traditions offer a nuanced view that accommodates doubt within a spiritual framework.

 

As his worldview evolves, he critiques the emergence of neo-atheism’s successor, ‘wokeism’, which he argues marks a shift from scepticism to a new form of dogmatism. He argues that neo-atheism inadvertently paved the way for wokeism by undermining traditional structures without offering a sustainable alternative, leading to a vacuum that wokeism has filled with its own set of moral certainties.

 

At the penultimate stage, the protagonist explores the concept of Hindu scepticism, which is considered part of the broader Hindu tradition. The inclusiveness of this tradition highlights the unique ability of dharma to absorb various strands of thought. As the narration closes, he learns that at the heart of dharmic traditions lies a commitment to mutual respect, reciprocity and ahimsa (non-violence), which have allowed for a diverse array of beliefs and practices to coexist and flourish within the Indian philosophical landscape.

Adideva

Shiva kathas are strewn like bright gems across the antiquated treasure chests of the Vedas, Itihasas, Maha Puranas, Sthala Puranas, and folklore. Adideva: 25 Legends behind His 25 Names is a collection of twentyfive enchanting legends about Shiva retold in opulent detail keeping true to the original texts and temple lore. Each tale is supplemented by captivating verses of many saint-poets and photos of intricate sculptures and art, illuminating the adoration of our ancestors for each of the divine manifestations of Adideva. From the well-known stories of Neelakantha, Uma Maheshwara, and Rameshwara, the riveting narratives of Tripurantaka, Sharabeshwara, and Kirata, the poignant accounts of Grishneshwara, Mrtyunjaya, and Matrubhuteshwara to the profound contemplations of Dakshinamurti and Arunachala, the chosen stories are filled with navarasas, and evoke wonder and adoration for Mahadeva. Embedded within these narratives are subtle teachings of dharma and adhyatma—inspiring a journey towards selfdiscovery. Most importantly, they are the easiest and sweetest ways to cultivate Shiva bhakti, which is the immediate cure for samsara.

Whispers of the Unseen

Whispers of the Unseen: The Quest for Sixty-Four Yoginis redefines spirituality beyond conventional religious norms, rituals and practices. It attempts to forge a connection with the essence of life forms and take the reader through a spiritual exploration of the dynamic interplay and union of masculine and feminine energies. Through her paintings, the artistauthor revisits the cultural significance, richness and symbolism of the sixty-four yoginis. The narrative delves deep into the realm of feminine power, drawing out the most pivotal manifestation of its expressive roles in our lives and integrating the practices of spirituality into our everyday existence. It prods the reader to relish life’s simple moments and to cherish the intersectionality of quotidian life. This will, according to her, allow them access to ancient spiritual practices in contemporary time, leading to increased awareness and mindfulness in daily life. It encourages readers to embrace connecting with the divine, tapping into a higher power and uncovering the creative force within.

Veda Made Simple

Veda Made Simple is an important book. In a strikingly clear, lucid and straightforward manner, the author reveals the rich and complex philosophy and symbolism of the Veda for anyone who is open in mind and heart to receive the wisdom of humanity’s oldest spiritual scripture. That the author does this in the light of Sri Aurobindo—inarguably among the very few who realized and lived the deepest and highest Vedic truths in their beings—makes it even more significant. This book comes at the right time too, as Indians globally begin to reawaken to their timeless Vedic and Sanatan heritage.

Adhyatmikta

Adhyatmikta:Explorations into Hindu Spiritual Practices looks at the fundamental questions and issues faced by a dharmic spiritual practitioner in today’s age. It guides one to navigate the spiritual path with a judicious mix of practical experience and guidance from the traditions and texts. The book also contains detailed articles on devatas in Hinduism.

This Is Sanatan Dharma

We speak often of the Hindu religion, of the Sanatan Dharma, but few of us really know what that religion is…This is the Dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old. It is to give this religion that India is rising. She does not rise as other countries do, for self or when she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the eternal light entrusted to her over the world. India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be great. 

 

These are the words of Maharishi Sri Aurobindo. But what is this Sanatan Dharma? Is it just the religion and rituals that Hindus follow or is it really the secret of life and consciousness that is embedded in the very fabric of our cosmic existence? This book reveals, layer by layer, the subtler spiritual dimensions of Sanatan Dharma, and its timeless relevance to human existence and civilization.

Somewhere Among the Stars

“When I first shared this story with a monk-friend, he asked me why I wrote it as fiction and not biography. Many others who read this book may have the same query. So let me share: the first reason was the most obvious one — Ahana hardly lived an outer life, her entire life unfolded within, in her consciousness. Outwardly, her biography could be written in a single paragraph: She was born in India, in the early sixties, to academic parents and grew up in a university environment. She met a young man when she turned eighteen, perhaps fell in love, and left her studies and social life to live in an obscure ashram in the Himalayas and explore Vedanta. She then left the ashram and came to Almora, a small Himalayan town, where she lived alone in a cottage.

 

Inwardly, however, Ahana’s life was rich, fascinating, multihued, multilayered, profoundly inspiring. The more I discovered and understood of her life, the more I realized how much is possible, and how much the human being can attain, in a single lifetime — none could come to her and remain unchanged. So how does one write a biography of such a being?

 

 And second, as I discovered in writing this book, a biography ties you down to facts and timelines while fiction can free you of all such needless fetters. Ahana’s life, I feel, is the stuff poetry is made of.”