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Literature & Culture

Remembering ancient teachers this September.

Yashdeep Bajpai

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“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.”

-Aristotle

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

Dattatreya

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.

Chiron

Chiron

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

Dakshinamurthy

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.”

-Sadguru

” 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

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best-authors

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-wordhazard

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-Trivedi-wordhazard

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

Nikita-Singh-wordhazard

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

Meghna-Pant-wordhazard

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

 

Nidhi-Dugar-Kundalia-wordhazard

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

Kanishk-Tharoor-wordhazard

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-wordhazard

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

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lord-shiva

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!

Sharabha

Shiva-as-Sharabha

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

Shiva-as-Kirata

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.

 

Harihara

shiva-as-Harihara

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

-Sivananda

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.”

 

Lord-shiva-great

 

 

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Literature & Culture

Krishna is omniscient but here are some untold stories about our Lord.

Yashdeep Bajpai

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facts-about-krishna

The most adored baby God in his adorable form as Laddoo Gopal has been venerated for centuries. His divine ‘leelas’ might subject to much debate and comprehension, yet are highly regarded. They’re even represented in folk dances, paintings,drama and other art forms like Krishnattam, Kuchipudi, Saanchi, etc.

This Krishnashtami, Wordhazard brings you five of his untold stories:

Shiva was born as his son Samba

krishna-samba

It is said that Lord Krishna had a desire for an extraordinary son, just like Lord Shiva. To appease Lord Shiva, Krishna meditated for years. When Shiva was pleased, Krishna sought to be blessed with a son like Shiva himself. Krishna wanted a son who had the destructive powers of Shiva as he could foresee the decline of the Yadavas who needed to be eliminated in future. Soon Jambavati gave birth to a son, who was named Samba, after the name of Shiva.

Ekalavya and Krishna were Cousins!

eklavya-krishna

Ekalavya was actually Krishna’s cousin. He was the son of Devsharava (Brother of Vasudeva) who got lost in the forest was and found by Nishada Hiranyadhanu. Nishada raised Ekalavya as Bheel Archer and he learnt Dhanurvidya, made a bust of Dronacharaya who he accepted as his Guru. For his great sacrifice while paying Gurudakshina (thumb of his right hand) to his Guru Dronacharaya, he is still revered and quoted time and again.

Arjuna and Krishna fought against each other!

krishna-arjun

Yes, you heard correctly. Arjuna did fight Krishna in the battlefield. The courtier of Indra, Gayan disrespected Krishna. For such an offence, Krishna swore to behead Gayan.

Gayan was terrified so he went to all the Devas, none of them were much too ready to grant him asylum. Narada as usual ready to stir mischief, asked Gayan to go and ask refuge from Arjuna without telling it to him whom does he want asylum from. Thus commenced a ferocious battle between Krishna and Arjuna where the deadliest of weapons, the Sudarshan Chakra and the Pashupatastra were ready to use until Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma intervened.

Arjuna handed Gayan to Brahma, Brahma handed him to Krishna,and  Krishna beheaded him. To keep Arjun’s word, Brahma rejoined his head.

Navagunjara

Navagunjara-and-arjun

In Mahabharata, Navagunjara is a creature composed of nine different animals.

Once, Arjuna carried out penance on a hill, and Krishna-Vishnu appeared to him as Navagunjara. He had the head of a rooster, and stood on three feet(of an elephant, tiger and deer or horse). His fourth limb was a raised human arm carrying a lotus or a wheel. The beast had the neck of a peacock, the back or hump of a bull and the waist of a lion. The tail was a serpent.

Initially, Arjuna was terrified as well mesmerized by him. Finally, Arjuna realized that Navagunjara was a manifestation of Vishnu and dropped his weapons and bowed before Navagunjara.

Hanuman and Krishna met so many times!

hanuman-and-bheem

Contrary to the popular belief, Krishna did meet Hanuman more than once.

He gave Hanuman butter to eat in his childhood, Hanuman on Krishna’s command broke Bheema’s over confidence. Hanuman sat on the Flag of Arjuna’s chariot and protected it from harm, and again on Krishna’s command he vanquished Satyabhama’s, Sudarshan’s and Garuda’s haughtiness.

There are so many mysteries and stories that are beyond human comprehension. Fathoming such depths is beyond our control. Maybe this is why Krishna comes to our homes, to soothe the tangled web we’re caught in.

This Krishnashtami, Wordhazard wishes you a very joyous Janmashtami!

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