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.
Completing Vyasa’s Mahabharata
Embedded within the primary narrative of the Mahabharata lie numerous sub-tales known as upakhyaanas or upakathas. These lesser known stories play a vital role in completing the grand tapestry of the Mahabharata, thus giving this book its apt title. Unlike verse translations found in unabridged versions, the 67 upakathas presented here serve a different purpose. While they may appear as diversions, these narratives serve as vital threads, connecting the text and offering answers to lingering questions that readers may have. For instance, why did Ambaa, the princess of Kaashi, become the catalyst for Bheeshma’s demise in a later life? The Ambaa upakhyaana holds the answers. Similarly, the stories of Sage Parashuraama reveal why a brahmana like him possessed warrior-like qualities. Two upakhyaanas shed light on this enigma. Additionally, the Yayaati upakhyaana elucidates the reasons behind the Kurus descending from Puru, Yayaati’s youngest son, rather than the eldest. Moreover, the intriguing dialogue between Duryodhana and Shalya, where Duryodhana persuades Shalya to become Karna’s charioteer, is also explored in these Upakathas.
The Power of Future Machines is a collection of essays by experts exploring the future impact of Artificial Intelligence in various fields of human endeavor. Building upon the dialectical and analytical framework provided in the book Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power: 5 Battlegrounds, experts from various fields (military, geopolitics, strategic affairs, physics, policy, and others) engage and describe for a wider audience the potential impact of AI. Given their specific vantage points and deriving from their areas of expertise, this anthology makes for a fascinating read. The essays discuss how AI will affect policy making, both in narrow areas of expertise as well as its effect on humanity at large. Aimed at policy makers, experts and a broader audience, these varied perspectives on AI add something vital to the current skewed AI discourse.
भारतवर्ष को दासता के चंगुल से मुक्त कराने व स्वराज की स्थापना करने के लिए देश के असंख्य वीर सेनानियों व क्रांतिकारियों ने अपना जीवन भारत माता के चरणों में समर्पित किया है। किन्तु दुर्भाग्यवश, उनमें से बहुत–से योद्धा ऐसे हैं, जिन्हें मानक इतिहास पुस्तकों में किसी कारणवश उनका यथोचित नहीं मिल सका। यह बात देश के विभिन्न जनजातीय समुदायों से आने वाले क्रांतिवीरों के योगदान के विषय में और भी सटीकता से लागू होती है।
यह पुस्तक ऐसे ह जनजातीय क्रांतिवीरों की अल्पज्ञात अमरगाथाओं का यशोगान कर उन्हें जनसामान्य के समक्ष रखने एक छोटा–सा प्रयास है। अदम्य साहस, अतुलनीय शौर्य व अटूट स्वाभिमान से भर ये कथाएँ न केवल ज्ञानवर्द्धक हैं, अपितु सभी देशवासियों के लिए महान् प्रेरणास्रोत भी हैं।
A woman is not just a form and a figure; though her form itself is significant of deep-guarded secrets and the capacity to create marvels out of a seed state. She is the Force, Shakti, Wisdom, Strength, Beauty, Love, Delight that is everywhere and in all beings. This book is not just an attempt to discover and evoke her through myths and legends of India, but to unravel the mysteries of the ‘Eternal Feminine’ with a view to discover the truth behind what a woman truly represents as seen through the awakened eyes of the mystics and the spiritual culture of India.
Few places in the world carry the heavy burden of history as effortlessly as Kashi, or Varanasi, has. The holy city embodies the very soul of our civilization and personifies the resilience that we have displayed over centuries in the face of numerous adversities and fatal attacks.
Waiting for Shiva: Unearthing the Truth of Kashi’s Gyan Vapi recreates the history, antiquity and sanctity of Kashi as the abode of Bhagwan Shiva in the form of Vishweshwara, or Vishwanath. Shiva himself assured his devotees of salvation if they leave their mortal coils in the city. The book delves into the history of this self-manifested swayambhu jyotirlinga shrine of Vishweshwara, which for centuries has been both a refuge for the devout and a target of the bloodiest waves of iconoclasm. However, each time an attempt was made to obliterate the temple by demolishing it, it managed to rise and prosper. Every iconoclastic storm was followed by an episode of persistence, tenacity and stubborn resolve. Shrines fell and shrines rose, but the Hindus of Kashi never gave up—not even once.
Waiting for Shiva documents these cataclysmic events in the temple’s history. The final death blow was dealt in 1669 by the Mughal despot Aurangzeb, who demolished the temple and erected few domes on the partially destroyed western wall to call it a mosque. The temple complex was desecrated and left strewn with ruins as a grim reminder of the humiliation and insult that Hindus had to face as a consequence of their holiest shrine being torn down to smithereens. The area that is now called the Gyan Vapi mosque and the surrounding land that lies adjacent to the new temple of Vishwanath, which came up towards the end of the 18th Century, has always been one of intense contestation. Bloody riots overran Varanasi over this issue multiple times in the past. During the colonial era, the doors of the British courts were knocked at to settle the occupancy issue, and they adjudicated the matter several times. Post-Independence, too, the desire to ‘liberate’ the complex has been seething in the Hindu imagination. A new suit filed in 2021 before the Varanasi civil court reopened a long-festering historical wound. Despite several appeals right up to the Supreme Court to dismiss the plaint, a survey by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was ordered, which would lay bare the truth in its findings by the end of 2023.
Vikram Sampath’s latest offering retraces the long history of this bitterly disputed site and the dramatic twists and turns in the checkered past of this hoary shrine. Piecing together numerous documents and accounts—Vedic and Puranic texts, Sanskrit literary sources, Agama shastras, Jataka tales, Persian accounts, travelogues of foreigners, archival records and copious legal documents detailing the contestation from the British era to modern Indian courts—the book recreates, for the first time with facts and cogent arguments, this stormy history right up to the present times. The long-suppressed secrets that lay hidden in Gyan Vapi finally finds a voice through this book.
A civilization that forgets its struggles is condemned to repeat its mistakes and spiral into a self-destructive cycle. The battles for freedom and the resistance against occupation and atrocities all too often recede from collective memory, overshadowed by the weight of oppression and systematically orchestrated efforts, to erase the Hindu identity through manipulated narratives. The sacred geography of Bharat, the cradle of Hindu dharma and the ancestral home of the Hindu people, has borne witness to relentless invasions, leaving scars on the collective psyche.
The Ram Janmabhoomi movement stands as a poignant testament to the devastation inflicted upon the roots of Hindu civilization and the arduous battle to reclaim it. In an era dominated by weaponized narratives, where the perpetrators of atrocities are romanticized as victims and the victims are crowned as oppressors, this book reminds of the facts and the inconvenient truths—of the blood, sweat and tears that many Hindus shed in fighting the good fight. It is a call to ensure that every Hindu born in an age, removed from those trials and tribulations, never forgets the sacrifices made by those who went before them. For if we forget, we are complicit in normalizing the obliteration of our great civilization.