Announcing Journal of a Yogin

Kali’s Brood is proud to announce an online journal for a practising/aspiring Yogin, titled “Journal of a Yogin”..well obviously right.

For those following us, the last few years has been decisive in a specific sense. All that was indicated and held as potentialities have begun to manifest. Many assumptions have been validated, many thrown out as irrelevant to the pursuit of Yoga and the Divine.

The current site remains, and will continue to share material on spirituality and Hinduism. For those who are serious and who wish to exceed the little ken, we have this journal.

We wrote the following on our about section on Medium.

Journal of a Yogin enumerates methods, approaches, paths and different practices of Yoga as found in the ancient Vedic tradition, and in the modern times perfected by the teachings of Sri Aurobindo.

That says everything we wish to say. Please visit us.

Some visuals from Journal of a Yogin on Medium.

Kali’s Brood is now on Medium!

Kali’s Brood is now on Medium!

We are excited to be growing from a new basis, both inner and outer. A new resolve and impulse has propelled us to the next stage in Yoga and we wanted to share all that we have learnt along the way.

We wrote the following on our about section on Medium.

Kali’s Brood is an earnest attempt at reviving the sense of Yoga as understood & practised by the Vedic Seers, and in the modern times by Sri Aurobindo, and through that the manifestation of the Divine potentialities in all of us.

That says everything we wish to say. Please visit us. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter too, from the homepage on this site.

Some visuals from Kali’s Brood on Medium.

The Names of the Mahabharata

While reading the Upanishads and Vedas, the thing that strikes you first are the names of Rishis and the Seekers of Knowledge. Vamadeva, Viswamitra, Angirasa, Bhrigu and more. Leave alone understanding of mantras, the very mention of these names seem to wake some primordial impulse to Truth and Godhood. So it should be, since to the Rishi every God, every named power, could be invoked and meditated upon until they manifested in him in all their power. So it is my idea to dwell on these ancient names to perhaps draw something, worth the try I would think.

So it struck me, what of works that I seem to know, what names lurk in there, what powers or qualities do other names hold for the eager seeker? So I picked the Mahabharata, specifically the version available at Project Gutenberg, translated by Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli from the original Sanskrit of Krishna Dwaipanya Vyasa. With some help from Python, NLTK and writing a basic entity recognition algo I managed to extract all the names from the english text of Ganguli. That done, I fed them into the excellent WordCloud in Python tutorial code by Andreas Mueller. And just like that they came out..the heroes, villains, gods, demi-gods..all of them 🙂

So without further ado, let me humbly offer this tiny fruit of my labour for your curiosity and pleasure. Note that each image links to high resolution versions (1200 x 900).

Adi Parva

Mahabharata Adiparva

Sabha Parva

Mahabharata Sabhaparva

Vana Parva 1

Mahabharata Vanaparva1

Vana Parva 2

Mahabharata Vanaparva 2

Virata Parva

Mahabharata Virataparva

 

Go ahead download and see how many names are familiar to you. It is interesting how mentions of characters varies as the plot progresses. Vaisampayana is the narrator, hence the number of mentions. Arjuna establishes himself as key at the start and the end. In the middle sections Yudhisthira plays a bigger role and so on.

If there is interest I can release my code that did the basic entity recognition with some help from NLTK. In addition I also plan to put out a clickable version of this word cloud, so that curious folks can head to Wikipedia directly.

Let me know if this sort of analysis and visualization on Hindu scriptures and epics seems interesting to you.

Technical Notes:

The size of the image is based on the frequency of mentions in the text and normalized for overall word count. The top 200 names have been pulled out. As you can see the entity recognition could be a lot better. The list of left out names are much larger, I need to try another route to present all of them.

Credits to Python community, the awesome natural language processing library NLTK and Andreas Mueller for enabling this, would not have been possible otherwise.

Swami Vivekananda on Conversions

Brief quote from a biography of Swami Vivekananda.

There were on the boat, among other passengers, two Christian missionaries who, in the course of a heated discussion with the Swami, lost their tempers and savagely criticized the Hindu religion. The Swami walked to one of them, seized him by the collar, and said menacingly, ‘If you abuse my religion again, I will throw you overboard.’

‘Let me go, sir,’ the frightened missionary apologized; ‘I’ll never do it again.’

Later, in the course of a conversation with a disciple in Calcutta, he asked, ‘What would you do if someone insulted your mother?’ The disciple answered, ‘I would fall upon him, sir, and teach him a good lesson.’

‘Bravo!’ said the Swami. ‘Now, if you had the same positive feeling for your religion, your true mother, you could never see any Hindu brother converted to Christianity. Yet you see this occurring every day, and you are quite indifferent. Where is your faith? Where is your patriotism? Every day Christian missionaries abuse Hinduism to your face, and yet how many are there amongst you whose blood boils with righteous indignation and who will stand up in its defense?’

Swami Vivekananda’s love for Bharath and its people should not be under dispute from any patriotic person regardless of current religious affiliation. It would serve us well to think why he thought conversions were bad and how he advocated holding our faith.

Read the biography. Perhaps our dormant faith and energy would wake up.

Appeal: History Repeats in Assam

What happened to Bharath many times before is happening again.

Another country or thought system or religion is after us once more. Over 2,00,000 of our citizens have been displaced.

Imagine if it were to happen in our location; say Karnataka or Tamil Nadu or Gujarath or Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh or Andhra Pradesh.

If foreigners had kicked me from my home then I could not have blogged and you could not have read this. Our families would have no home, no belongings, no money…nothing. Our children would have no future.

We would be like political refugees that we have read about in papers. We would know what Kashmiri Pandits felt like, what Red Indians felt like, or Incas felt when decimated, or thrown out, from their own land.

For now, for just a little while let us forget our differences. You and I can still hate each other eternally, for now let us lend a hand to our brothers and sisters.

You will have the eternal gratitude of all who love Bharath. If nothing you will have done the right thing for another human being, that should help for now and hereafter.

Param Foundation, associated with Seva Bharathi, is lending a hand on our behalf in Assam. I donated some money and got update below from them:

Present Activities by Seva Bharathi and condition in Assam:

  • Seva Bharathi has set up 3 base camps for medical relief exercise.
  • 2 in Kokrajhar and 1 in Gossaigaon.
  • They have pressed 2 ambulances and two teams of doctors and helpers at these camps
  • Medicines are being given at these camps for contagious and water borne diseases.
  • Relief materials which are of immediate importance are being provided in these camps now.
  • Mosquito coils, bread, biscuits, bed sheets were distributed.
  • They expect that people will stay in relief camps for at least 20 days to a month as many areas are still under grip of violence
  • Curfew has been lifted only in few parts of Kokrajhar and Gossaigaon where violence has abated.
  • There are other areas and districts where violence is still happening and curfew is still in vogue. (Seva activities cannot reach them now)

You can make a difference now by donating any amount to Param Foundation or similar organizations. Details of Param Foundation is below:

Savings Account name:        Param Foundation

Account number:                  910010021117832

Bank:                                     Axis bank, Chamarajpet branch, Bangalore

IFSC Code:                           UTIB0000558

Note: 80G receipts are available for the donors. Please send an email to info@paramfoundation.org with the address, email and telephone number of the donor. Receipts will be sent through the courier.

Contact: Radhakrishna Holla 09731264009

 

 

How did Prosperous Bharath Come to this?

Famine during colonial rule of Bharath. Province of Madras.

During colonial rule there were at least some record as pictures. The 800 years before colonials were captured only in books, which have been forgotten or washed over by our ‘secular’ brethren.

On a positive note, Bharath has come a long way since. But poverty remains rooted, leaving way for charlatans with food and money on one hand, and dubious ideas on another. This nation is ours only in name, acidic ideas and people, both domestic and foreign, continue to tear us apart.

What you and I do today and after, however small and insignificant, will have bearing on what Bharath turns out to be.

Vande Mataram!

Sri Aurobindo Speaks of Scriptures actually Relevant for Future

Sri Aurobindo speaks about which religion, philosophy will be relevant, survive and actually help the spiritual path.

Only those Scriptures, religions, philosophies which can be thus constantly renewed, relived, their stuff of permanent truth constantly reshaped and developed in the inner thought and spiritual experience of a developing humanity, continue to be of living importance to mankind. The rest remain as monuments of the past, but have no actual force or vital impulse for the future.

The recent episode where priests refused entry to a so-called low-caste in Orissa. I f**cking rage in fury when I hear the term low-caste. What the f**k is low caste anyway?! Don’t the idiotic priests in Orissa know “Sarvam Kalvidham Brahmam”, “All that exists is the Divine”? Every thing, every damn thing is the Divine..to discriminate against fellow men in the name of caste is effin horrible. Of course, I don’t want you to let the marauding barbarian who wants your wealth, land and women inside your house. Discriminate men on the basis of their intent and deal with them, but bloody caste..destroy that crap.

Hinduism is said to live in its traditions and some would argue that this untouchability thing is a tradition. But honestly how many of thousands understand what a tradition is? How many have realized any truths within themselves? Traditions handed down by posterity is immediately treated with veneration..without once questioning what the truth is, whether the truth has come to us undiluted, or whether we actually realized the truth of a tradition ourselves. Bottom line test and know for yourself before accepting a tradition.

Of course Hinduism is infinitely better than other major religious systems, you know which, because it enables an infinite variety of form and practice. But for a few hundred years, the so called upper caste priests have lost the plot. A Brahmin was supposed to be a man of knowledge, a knower of Brahman. We all know the majority are no longer knowers of Brahman. Which means they cannot be arbiters of tradition, as in the Orissa temple case, nor should we give them the veneration deserving to a knower of Brahman. Conversely we should also not pour spite on them as the Christian Missionaries, Marxists and Pseudo-Atheists like the Tamil Nadu, India based politicians do.

Sorry, back to tradition. Some people talk of tradition as if it has been forever. But that is not the case, every tradition..the most hallowed and mundane tradition had been seen within by a Seer/Rishi and shared with common people. Remember, every damned tradition was founded that way. What mattered was the spiritual realization of the person who founded the tradition. Remember no committee sat and discussed what followers will read from then on, no council of descendants argued stuff..just one guy had the realization and shared with followers. If it worked for the followers, the tradition got handed down or else it died naturally. Nothing could be more beautiful or ideal than this arrangement. But we have not had major realized souls like Swami Vivekananda or Chaitanya or Meera lately to drive home truths with the force of their realizations. Now we have media savvy folks, semi-realized folks and so on. Infinitely better than the Abrahamic systems of course, but not good enough for Hinduism.

So what am I getting at? Nothing, just that spiritual realization alone matters. Tradition if it helps us get there sooner then fine, else create a new tradition. We Hindus are not fanatics, we have no perverse need to convert people compulsively like the missionaries do to barely known spiritual truths. Or to enforce semi-moral strictures with the sword. We are descendants of Rishi Vishwamitra, Vyasa, Valmiki and the numberless realized souls of Sanatana Dharma. Let us live and act that way. Hare Krishna!

Bande Mataram – Mother, To Thee I bow

I have thought long and hard about articulating what Kali’s Brood is/will be about. This translation of Bande Mataram/Vande Mataram, translated by Sri Aurobindo, captures everything I could not articulate.

Mother, I bow to thee!

Rich with thy hurrying streams,

Bright with thy orchard gleams,

Cool with thy winds of delight,

Dark fields waving, Mother of might,

Mother free.

Glory of moonlight dreams

Over thy branches and lordly streams,

Clad in thy blossoming trees,

Mother, giver of ease,

Laughing low and sweet!

Mother, I kiss thy feet,

Speaker sweet and low!

Mother, to thee I bow.

Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands,

When the swords flash out in twice seventy million hands

And seventy millions voices roar

Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?

With many strengths who art mighty and stored,

To thee I call, Mother and Lord!

Thou who savest, arise and save!

To her I cry who ever her foemen drave

Back from plain and sea

And shook herself free.

Thou art wisdom, thou art law,

Thou our heart, our soul, our breath,

Thou the love divine, the awe

In our hearts that conquers death.

Thine the strength that nerves the arm,

Thine the beauty, thine the charm.

Every image made divine

In our temples is but thine.

Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen,

With her hands that strike and her swords of sheen,

Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,

Pure and perfect without peer,

Mother, lend thine ear.

Rich with thy hurrying streams,

Bright with thy orchard gleams,

Dark of hue, O candid-fair

In thy soul, with jewelled hair

And thy glorious smile divine,

Loveliest of all earthly lands,

Showering wealth from well-stored hands!

Mother, mother mine!

Mother sweet, I bow to thee,

Mother great and free.

And watch this for a rendition of the actual Bande Mataram poem and the photographs.