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.
Sobha Singh Artist
The magic of eminent artist Sardar Sobha Singh continues to live even after his death in the year 1986.. Despite an uneasy childhood, Sobha Singh rose to a widely loved and respected artist with innumerable admirers in India and several other countries. A man of vision, Sobha Singh was a versatile genius.. Though a renowned artist, several other facets of his persona have mostly remained unknown. This biography records the life of the artist besides providing some glimpses of his art. This book is an extension of the author’s mission to preserve and propagate art and the philosophy of his grandfather Sobha Singh Artist so that with the passage of time facts are not replaced with unsubstantiated matter.
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.
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.
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.
To those who claim we are now living in a totalitarian, fascist, Hindu Rashtra, one must ask: What kind of a Hindu Rashtra is this where a billion-strong Hindus have been, through our parliament, through our courts, our education system, and our constitution, reduced to not just second-class but, rather, eighth-class citizens? What kind of Hindu Rashtra is this where Ram Navami, Hanuman Jayanti, Durga pooja processions, and even Garba celebrations, are attacked and stoned with impunity? What kind of Hindu Rashtra is this where a sitting Prime minister says minorities have the first right to resources? What kind of Hindu Rashtra is this where Hindus are forced to be refugees in their own land, where one can settle 40,000 Rohingya Muslims but not 700,000 Kashmiri Hindus, the land’s original inhabitants; where the judiciary says it is too late to prosecute those who raped, murdered, and ethnically cleansed lacs of Hindus? What kind of Hindu Rashtra is this where Hindu temples are exclusively controlled by the State, where Hindus must beg for Waqf land to celebrate their festival while the government usurps hundreds of thousands of acres of temple land and is responsible for more than 100,000 temples losing lacs of crores in rental income? What kind of Hindu Rashtra is this where Right to Education Act discriminates only against Hindus and their schools, forcing tens of thousands of them to shut down? What kind of Hindu Rashtra is this where monsters like Aurangzeb and Tipu who perpetrated large-scale Hindu genocides are eulogised through State sponsored publications, naming of roads and cities, and organising of festivals? What kind of Hindu Rashtra is this where a law was about to be enacted through with only the Hindus would have been held guilty in a communal riot even if they were in a minority for example in Kashmir? What kind of Hindu Rashtra is this where court judgments like the Sabarimala and legislative enactments like the Hindu Code Bill purport to reform only Hindu religious practices but dare not touch practices of other religions, and if they do, the decisions are promptly reversed like in the Shah Bano case? What kind of Hindu Rashtra is this where The Places of Worship Act continues to deny the Hindus their legitimate right to correct historical injustices and reclaim thousands of demolished temples? What kind of Hindu Rashtra is this where the Waqf Act gives overarching powers to Muslims to declare a 1500-year-old Hindu temple to be on Islamic land when Islam is only 1300 years old? If this is how a Hindu is rewarded in a Hindu Rashtra, he’d much rather be in a Muslim Rashtra because then at least there’d be no pretence of equality – a Kafir will get what he deserves. In this searing commentary penned with clinical precision, the author shreds to smithereens once and for all the guilt-tripping, self-loathing fake narrative that Hindus have been duped with since Independence. There is no pretence, no political correctness, only unvarnished truth – that the Hindus are living under State-sanctioned Apartheid.
Seeing with Hands is a result of a unique experiment and extensive research by the author, Jinan K.B., and his foundation. It is a record of how children express their experiences through drawing (not art) and how drawing becomes a tool that helps them observe the world around them.
Showcasing brilliant drawings made by children to express themselves, the book attempts to prove that they are naturally equipped to adapt and learn autonomously.
This book is bound to prompt a new way of thinking on educating children, helping them develop their cognitive tools and provide insights to all those who are concerned with children, be it parents, teachers or caretakers.