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Literature & Culture

Balarama-The Deity Of Agriculture

Yashdeep Bajpai




“Because Balarama, the son of Rohini, increases the transcendental bliss of others, his name is Rama and because of his extraordinary strength, he is called Baladeva. He attracts the Yadus to follow his instructions and therefore his name is Sankarshana.”
— Bhagavata Purana, 10.8.12

Balarama as a Deity-Origins



He is an ancient deity rooted deep in the agricultural India. It marks the advent of the farming nation, and its association with Nature and honoring its traits. His iconography appears with Naga (many-headed serpent) which can be very well seen as veneration of snakes as the protector  of crops as  they destroy  vermins like rodents.

His association with a  plough and other farm artifacts like watering pot, possibly indicate his origins inagriculture. His associationwas strong with farming and farmers, as he was the deity who used farm equipment as weapons when needed. Balarama was indeed, most revered of the Indian deities.

He has been a farmer’s patron deity, signified as the”harbinger of knowledge”, of agricultural tools and prosperity.

Balarama – The Puranic Purusha



Balarama  is the elder brother of Krishna and the Son of Rohini and Vasudeva. He is also known as Baladeva, Balabhadra, Haladhara, Dauji and Halayudha.

“The Bhagavan as the Self of everything tells the creative power of His unified consciousness (yogamaya) about His plan for His own birth as Balarama and Krishna. He begins with Balarama. The whole of Shesha, which is my abode, will become an embryo in Devaki’s womb which you shall transplant to Rohini’s womb.”
— Bhagavata Purana 10.2.8

Balarama an incarnation of Adishesha


The legends consider Balarama as an avatar of Shesha, the reclining snake companion of Vishnu. Narratives of Balarama are found in Mahabharata, Harivamsha Purana, Bhagavata Purana, etc. He is classified in the Vyuha Avatar Sankarshana where Adishesha and Lakshmana area part of him. The legend regards him as the incarnation of Adisesha, the serpent Vishnu rested on, reflecting his role and interconnection with Vishnu. Sri Hari and Shesha are inseparable in each of his avatar. He is near him in direct form as Krishna’s elder brother and indirect formin Ramavtar as Lakshmana.

A Constant Companion in Krishna’s Leelas



Krishna’s Dauji  is almost always shown and described with Krishna, like in stealing butter, playing childhood pranks, complaining to Yashoda that his baby brother Krishna had eaten dirt, playing in cow pens, studying together at the school of guru Sandipani, fighting evil wrestlers sent in by Kansa to kill the two brothers.

Balarama always supported Krishna in form and spirit. Balarama’s constant association with Krishna made him the protector and supporter of dharma.

In this time of strife and chaos among Indian farmers,it’s right to remember Balarama and his lessons on agriculture. ‘Treat the land as your fulfilling mother and till it with care and protect the nurturing Nature.’ The power comes from within,it’s the Balarama within that does wonders. It just us who have to find him.


“Sri Baladeva is Sri Krishna’s dearest friend. Baladeva is a great reservoir of the nectar mellows of many kinds of transcendental pastimes.”



” He who knows the fire that is within himself shall ascend unto the eternal fire and dwell in it eternal. ” -The Emerald Tablets A normal, unassuming college going ephebe who has a flair for searching bliss in Antiquity, generally in written form. Mythology, History, Indology, Cultural Anthropology, Architecture, Thoth in flesh and bones, a trivia buff always ready to learn and grow, firmly believes in -- if you want to change the masses for good, educe them instead of inducing them.

Literature & Culture

Top trending Indian authors who completed our bucket list this year

Yashdeep Bajpai




What does it takes to be a literary sensation, a dark poorly furnished apartment sad past, troublesome upbringing or a rich high end education?

Being an author is no piece of cake it takes hundreds of revisiting the story you created or came upon in the wee hours of morning, breaking such myths are these Indian authors:

Preeti Shenoy


Preeti Shenoy is the Indian author consistently nominated for the Forbes List of the 100 most influential celebrities in India since 2013.

An allusion to her popularity, she is considered “the only woman in the “highest selling league”, Preeti Shenoy is blessed with a keenly observant mind and excellent storytelling skills, her skills to fabricate and captivate the minds are skillfully depicted in Love a Little Stronger, Life Is What You Make It, Tea for Two and a Piece of Cake, It Happens for a Reason, Love A Little Stronger.


Ira Trivedi


Ira is multifariously talented, she’s a writer, a yoga acharya, a journalist and an entrepreneur! She started writing quite young, her works like The Great Indian Love Story or even What Would You Do To Save The World are perfect for the young generation. My Book Of Yoga is a  phenomenal book that talks about asanas, techniques and methods to introduce to Ancient Yogic to younger readers so that they can lead a healthy lifestyle. Her next book is her recent non-fiction work India in Love: Marriage and Sexuality in the 21st Century that is really a book lover’s delight. Choosing any book of hers will keep you hooked.


Nikita Singh


If it is Romance you crave for pick up something by Nikita Singh. She started her journey from Love @ Facebook and she has many bestsellers to her account out of which Letters To My Ex is really notable. Her understanding of relationships makes readers connect to her instantly and if you get to reading her work, you’ll discover that she gives rather good relationship advice through her ingeniously spun stories of Romance.


Meghna Pant


The beauty of Meghna’s writing is that she captures the world in all its grey hues. Her very first novel, One & A Half Wife was critically acclaimed and won her the Muse India Young Writer Award. She has since then, published two more books, Happy Birthday! and The Trouble Book with Women. Her writing is fresh, hard-hitting and will leave you with food for thought.

Nidhi Dugar Kundalia



A journalist,she has been writing with some of the most reputed media houses in India. Her book The Lost Generation: Chronicling India’s Dying Professions talks about the dying professions of India imbued with research and good quality writing that makes anyone pick the  book instantly. This book establishes her as a Hard-working Journalist with an excellent grip over words and phrases.


Kanishk Tharoor


As soon as we hear Tharoor it’s synonymous with a Thesaurus, but here the Scion of the Tharoor clan is here to provoke some deep thoughts. A young voice with a heavy impact, Kanishk really knows how to use words to leave his readers with some of the most memorable stories. His story ‘Tale of the Teahouse’ was shortlisted for a US National Magazine Award.

His latest work, Swimmer Among the Stars mixes the past with the present, pick this book if you want to read something well-written as well as thought provoking.


Sachin Garg


Sachin Garg is an Indian bestselling novelist, a first generation entrepreneur, publisher and speaker. Putting oneself’s experiences into words and turning it into a masterpiece is what is a good writer. He truthfully tells the story of a young India. Never Let Me Go, When Opposites Meet and I’m Not Twenty Four… are some of his diverse works which are so relatable. There’s also diversity of genres in his work. He started as a romance writer but his recent work marks a shift as he writes about the life of the tribal population in Andaman.

So here’s to a Book Lover’s heart, Read and read!


“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

-Mark Twain

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Literature & Culture

3 tales about Lord Shiva that commoners aren’t aware of.

Yashdeep Bajpai




There are epics upon epics on HIM. Shiva is the universe, the universe is in him. He’s the end, he’s the beginning. He is endless,he doesn’t have an origin. He is the original sound that is all pervading. He is the rhythm of the cosmos. He is the destroyer as well the creator. He is the juxtaposition of paradoxes.

He is the Ancient primordial entity, he is  Shiva!



A most frightening and fear inducing form of Shiva, the Shaiva scriptures narrate that God Shiva assumed the avataar of Sharabha to pacify Narasimha, the man-lion avtaar of Vishnu. This form is popularly known as Sharabeshwara or Sharabeshwaramurti.

Shiva Purana describes Sharabha as thousand-armed, lion-face with matted hair, wings and eight feet. Narasimha had lost control over his anger and he became a threat to the existence of the Cosmos. The Devas shivering with fear prayed to Lord Shiva and he took the most fierce form ever and slew and reunited Lord Vishnu with his Divine Calm Self.


Kirata Avtar


This story is about Arjuna who was humbled by Kirata.

Once Arjuna did great penance in quest of Divyastras. Mukasura, a demon attacked him and broke his penance. Lord Shiva took the form of Kirata and slew the demon. On the argument of who killed the demon, a fight ensued and Arjuna was defeated bitterly. Arjuna then propitiated on Lord Shiva and  Lord Shiva gavehim Pashupatastra and granted him a boon.He understood that this hunter was Lord Shiva.
The world’s greatest archer did not know how to beat an ordinary Kirata. He was made to understand that being greatest archer does not mean he is invincible.




“ ‘Sivasya hridayam vishnur-vishnoscha hridayam sivah’—Vishnu is the heart of Shiva and likewise Shiva is the heart of Vishnu.”


Harihara is the fused representation of Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Hara) in the Hindu tradition. Also known as Shankaranarayana, Harihara takes its root from the  concept of equivalence of various gods as one principle and “oneness of all existence” in texts of Advaita Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy.

The Puranas and various Hindu traditions treat both Shiva and Vishnu as different aspects of the one Brahman. Harihara is a symbolic representation of this idea.

Who is Shiva?

Shiva is an utterance, Shiva is a word. Shiva is a feeling, Shiva is an emotion.Shiva is just the many stories and legends that surround this most prominent figure of spiritual traditions.  He is the womb from which everything is born, and he is the oblivion into which everything stops existing. Everything comes from Shiva and goes back to Shiva.

“Shiva is the deepest truth revealed only to those who seek.”





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Literature & Culture

Remembering ancient teachers this September.

Yashdeep Bajpai



“Those who educate children well are more honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”


In Indian culture, “Acharya Devo Bhavah” translates “a teacher is like God“. We have always recognized teachers as myriad part of one’s life. Because generally, growing children spend more time with their teachers than with their parents. The idea of parents sending children to school (more anciently the Ashrams) was because someone else could be a better influence upon their children than themselves.

If you ask why, then teachers are people who nurture the best interests of a child, they are neutral. Mother might spoil a child and make him see life as a piece of cake.  Father might be too harsh that could make him go astray. On the other hand, a teacher always knows to balance, and whether to elevate him by love or discipline him.

This Teacher’s Day, Wordhazard remembers and honours some Ancient Teachers from antiquity.



Dattatreya is revered as the Adi-Guru or the first teacher of the Adinath Sampradaya of the Nathas. His pursuit of simplicity, kindness, sharing of his knowledge and the meaning of life during his travels is reverentially mentioned in the poems by Tukaram, a saint-poet of the Bhakti movement. He had Twenty Four Gurus, which even included lifeless beings such as water and sky.

Several Upanishads are dedicated to him, as are the texts of Advaita Vedanta-Yoga tradition in Hinduism. One of the most important texts of Advaita Vedanta, namely Avadhuta Gita transcribes to the Song of the Free, and is attributed to Dattatreya.



A mythical creature Chiron was called as the “wisest and justest of all the centaurs”.
Chiron was the foremost teacher of Ancient Mythical Greece(Hellas).He was known for his youth-nurturing nature, expertise in medicine, music, archery, hunting, gymnastics and the art of prophecy. He was also blessed with skills in medicine and was credited with the discovery of botany and pharmacy.

Contrary to popular belief, Centaurs were notorious creatures. Yet, Chiron was said to be the first among centaurs and highly revered as a teacher and tutor. Among his pupils were many Greek Heroes such as Asclepius, Aristaeus, Ajax, Aeneas, Actaeon, Theseus, Achilles, Jason, Peleus, Perseus, Phoenix, and even the wine God Dionysus.



Dakshinamurthy is a form of Lord Shiva as ‘Teacher of all types of knowledge’. This aspect of Shiva is his personification as the supreme or the ultimate awareness, realisation, and knowledge. He is represented as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom, and lecturer of scriptures.

As per scriptures, if a person doesn’t have a Guru, then they can consider and worship Lord Dakshinamurthy as their Guru. Dakshinamurthy  is the ultimate Guru, the embodiment of supreme knowledge and the destroyer of ignorance.


“A teacher means, in that person’s presence, people should learn things that even the teacher doesn’t know.”


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