The Legend of Shankara – 9: Shankara tames the Narmada

The time of the evening sandhya was approaching, and Shankara accompanied his guru Govindapadatowards the cave for his evening meditation. Shankara was now a disciple of Govindapada and had endeared himself to his guru by his diligence, his loyalty, and his steadfastness. His service, and his devotion towards his guru was absolute.  Pleased with his service, Govindapada had lovingly taught the tenets of Advaita to Shankara, had guided him, encouraged him to read esoteric... Continue Reading →

The Legend of Shankara – 8: Shankara the disciple

Listening to the Atma Shatakam, Sri Govindapada was pleased. He extended one of his feet outside the cave in a symbolic gesture. The young Shankara understood the symbolism, and bent down and touched the feet of his master; thus he was accepted into the tutelage of Sri Govindapada, son of the illustrious Gaudapada. Shankara would spend the next two to three years learning the tenets... Continue Reading →

The Legend of Shankara – 7: Atma Shatakam/Nirvana Shatakam

मनो बुद्ध्यहंकारचित्तानि नाहम्न च श्रोत्र जिह्वे न च घ्राण नेत्रेन च व्योम भूमिर् न तेजो न वायु:चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥१॥ I am not the mind (manah), the intellect (budhhi), the ego (ahamkara) or the memory (chitta),I am not my ears (shrotra), my tongue (jihva), my nose (ghrana) or my eyes (netra),I am not this body composed... Continue Reading →

The Legend of Shankara – 6: Who are you?

The afternoon sun had slipped down in the sky, turning the sky saffron, by the time Shankara exited the Omkareshwar temple. He paused near the entrance, looked back, and then looked up at the sky which was growing crimson by the minute. The mighty river Narmada flowed nearby, the sound of her rushing waters loud in the pervasive silence which was... Continue Reading →

‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – IV

‘Spicy Tomato’, the pack of chips read, as I extracted a couple from the bag, put them in my mouth, and closed my eyes, enjoying the spicy crunchiness. The laptop lay open in front of me, the cursor blipped expectantly, the keyboard lighted, waiting…. I warmed my hands with the cup of tea which Vaishali... Continue Reading →

‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – I

As the car turned the bend in the road, the dust settled, and the cacophony of the cities was suddenly left behind. Green trees, tall with age, and bent with the continuous suction generated by the passing vehicles, stood by the side of the road, and swayed, as if welcoming the travelers; their leaves forming... Continue Reading →

The Legend of Shankara – 5: Shankara’s search for a Guru

Thus, the young sanyasin left his village, nestled deep in the dakshinam, the southern part of the country which had for millennia been known as the Jambudwipam. He had said goodbye to his mortal mother, his village Kaladi and the holy river Periyar, and had started his travels towards the heart of the jambudwipam, in the direction of the ancient kingdom of Mahishmati. Towards the east of Mahishmati, he knew,... Continue Reading →

Sleep-Wake – 3

A feather flutters in the wind close to me, as I walk towards the well. It is white, and blue, and indigo, and iridescent blue. It is a peacock’s feather, shiny, magical, like the one which the dark-skinned God, Krishna wears in his hair. It flutters and shimmers and entices me. I run towards it... Continue Reading →

Sleep-Wake – 2

The wind blows across the open ground, howling, creating small eddies of dust. I kick the stones on the ground, then run after them, barely avoiding slipping on the scales of mica that lie littered across the field. They shine, like scales of fish, and are as slippery, a thing of wonder to a child’s... Continue Reading →


Sleep, wake. Sleep, wake. Sleep, wake. That is how life goes, from day to day, day to night, night to day. Life exists in binary; sleep-wake, happy-sad, alive-dead, yin-yang. Sometimes we are asleep even when we are awake, and sometimes we wakeup when we sleep. Both the worlds are real – sleep world and waking... Continue Reading →

And then I woke up……

(Continued)..... The color of the sky, which had turned from orange to crimson some time back, is indigo now, the color of the ink I have seen my father use in his fountain pen. The ink spills, spreading across the sky, darkening it, blotting out the light, the crimson glow. The chirping of the birds... Continue Reading →

And then I woke up……

I am young again, very, very young, a child. It’s an open field, and darkness descends. Birds are returning to their nests in the surrounding trees, making a lot of noise, happy noise. They are happy to be back home after the day, safe, without having been eaten by any predator. Safe with their loved... Continue Reading →

Young Love

What does it take to love? A look? A smile? A touch, the bat of an eyelid, the careless flick of hair? The fabric of her cloth which flutters in the wind? The way her lips curl when she smiles? That one tooth of hers which is crooked and stands out when she laughs, throwing... Continue Reading →

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