Hymn to Kali

Mother, if our Soul is Timeless, and its glimmering knowledge of Your eternal existence is Time, then You are keeper of both Time and Timelessness, pirouetting along the outer rim of the great bowl of your starred universe—causeless yet causing and primal yet final. The eternal vibration of your dancing feet pattering reach this little world and beats against my eardrums, as a drummer’s fingers strike a mrindagam, yet it is beyond sound as it is beyond thought, even as the pulsating luminescence of your ever-presence and the long night of your ever-absence is beyond sight. Ever-seeking our weary soul, … Continue reading Hymn to Kali

Reflections on the Dancing girl of Mohenjo-Daro

The Dancing Girl is a bronze figurine discovered in the ruins of the ancient Harappan city of Mohenjo-Daro by archaeologists in 1926. Dated c. 2300-1750 BCE, the Dancing Girl—who is pictured nude in a self-assured pose, her arms and bracelets encircled with metal bangles, her hair wrapped in a bun to the side of her well-shaped head—is presently housed in the National Museum in New Delhi, India. The statuette is cast using the lost-wax method, where the mold is first created with clay and wax before tin and copper (bronze is an alloy) are poured in. Smelting was discovered in … Continue reading Reflections on the Dancing girl of Mohenjo-Daro

Howard Thurman, “Knowledge . . . Shall Vanish Away”

There is a sense of wholeness at the core of manThat must abound in all he does;That marks with reverence his ev’ry step;That has its sway when all else fails;That wearies out all evil things;That warms the depth of frozen fearsMaking friend of foe,Making love of hate,And lasts beyond the living and the dead,Beyond the goals of peace, the ends of war!This man seeks through all his years:To be complete and of one piece, within, without. — “Knowledge . . . Shall Vanish Away,” in The Inward Journey Continue reading Howard Thurman, “Knowledge . . . Shall Vanish Away”

Swami Vivekananda in Egypt

“The Egyptians entered into Egypt from a southern country called Punt, across the seas. Some say that that Punt is the modern Malabar, and that the Egyptians and Dravidians belong to the same race. “ — “The ship is steadily sailing north. The borders of this Red Sea were a great centre of ancient civilisation. There, on the other side, are the deserts of Arabia, and on this — Egypt. This is that ancient Egypt. Thousands of years ago, these Egyptians starting from Punt (probably Malabar) crossed the Red Sea, and steadily extended their kingdom till they reached Egypt. Wonderful was … Continue reading Swami Vivekananda in Egypt

ഭൂമിദാനം / भूदान / Bhoomidan

Bhoomidanam (“land gift”) was a movement led by Acharya Vinoba Bhave, an Indian sage and Gandhian disciple who walked hundreds of miles through India for 13 years with the mission of convincing landlords to renounce some of their holdings, for the social uplift of the poor and downtrodden and in order to promote village self-sufficiency. Chief amongst his many accomplishments was the founding of the Brahma Vidya Mandir, an ashram where women practiced agriculture, prayer, and nonviolence in order to achieve self-sufficiency. Like Gandhiji, he sought peace, freedom, and self-determination for the Indian people from the tyranny of the British … Continue reading ഭൂമിദാനം / भूदान / Bhoomidan

Mahatma Gandhi in Sudan

“In 1935, Mahatma Gandhi stopped over in Port Sudan (on his way to England through sea) and was welcomed by the Indian community there. In 1938, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stopped over in Port Sudan on his way to Britain and was hosted through a function at the home of Chhotalal Samji Virani. The Graduates General Congress of Sudan formed in 1938 drew heavily on the experience of the Indian National Congress.” “British Indian troops fought alongside Sudanese in Eritrea in 1941 winning the decisive battle of Keren (Bengal Sappers won a Victoria Cross for mine clearance in Metemma, now on … Continue reading Mahatma Gandhi in Sudan

Mahatma Gandhi observing the leprosy bacteria, 1942, Sevagram Ashram

What is this? Where is weakness? Who is strong? What is great and what is small? What is high and what is low in this marvellous interdependence of existence where the smallest atom is necessary for the existence of the whole? Who is great and who is small? It is past finding out! And why? Because none is great and none is small. All things are interpenetrated by that infinite ocean; their reality is that infinite; and whatever there is on the surface is but that infinite. The tree is infinite; so is everything that you see or feel — … Continue reading Mahatma Gandhi observing the leprosy bacteria, 1942, Sevagram Ashram

Howard Thurman – A Meditation on Thanksgiving

For all these I make an act of Thanksgiving this day. I pass before me the mainsprings of my heritage: The fruits of the labors of countless generations who lived before me, without whom my own life would have no meaning; The seers who saw visions and dreamed dreams; The prophets who sensed a truth greater than the mind could grasp and whose words could only find fulfillment in the years which they would never see; The workers whose sweat has watered the trees, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations; … The restlessness which bottoms … Continue reading Howard Thurman – A Meditation on Thanksgiving