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Itihasa-purana - II
Courtesy Maharshi Mahesh Yogi Institute, the original text of the 18 purANa-s and 18 upa-purANa-s are available in pdf format, in sanskrit. Download here.

download bramhANDa purANa
112: Sridhar, do you know which particular file in these captured the episode of Setu Bandhan? Thanks.
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Jun 28 2007, 06:14 AM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Jun 28 2007, 06:14 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->112: Sridhar, do you know which particular file in these captured the episode of Setu Bandhan? Thanks.

Episode 52 and 53
navarAtrI and vijaya dashami greetings for all.

Appended below is an account of the kAlikA purANa for the occasion.

With the holy nine nights under way we decided to talk about the kAlikA purANa. It may be considered a mixture of traditional purANa and a tantra shAstra manual. The purANa part is dominant in the first 45 chapters of the text. The tantra-shAstra portion with a clear spatial connection to the yoni pITha of kAmAkhyA is seen in the remain 45 chapters. Together, the 90 chapters contain 8394 shloka-s. The story frame is in the form of the brAhmaNa-s questioning the bhArgava mArkaNDeya, who in turn narrates the stories as his is usual custom. In the later half it becomes a discourse between sagara and his preceptor the bhArgava aurva.

Chapter 1 contains an account of the emergence of uShA and kAma from brahmA.
Chapter 3 contains a description of the charms of rati.
Chapter 4 contains a description of vasanta.
Chapter 5 contains a description of how viShNumAyA is invoked by brahmA to delude rudra. She is described as yogamAyA. This description is consistent with ekAnaMshA seen in the harivaMsha and they are the same continuous deity. She rides on a lion and has a deadly sword, is dark of complexion like a mass of collyrium and has untied, free-flowing long hair. She is hence kAlI and thus the purANa acquires its name kAlikA as it goes on describe her glories.
Chapter 6 contains the account of shiva's gaNa-s and also has a notable stava of kAlikA.
Chapter 7-18 contains the satI cycle. It begins with rudra being primed for the life of a gR^ihasta by kAma, followed by dakSha invoking mahAmAyA to be born as his daughter satI and the marriage of satI to shiva. Then dalliance of shiva and satI, followed by the dakSha yAga events leading to the death satI and the destruction of dakSha's yAga. The final part narrates the emergence of the shakti-pITha-s from satI-s a~Nga-s. The peculiar twist of the kA.P is that brahmA, viShNu and Saturn enter into satI-s corpse and break it up into pieces. The involvement of Saturn in the tale suggests its relatively recent provenance.
Chapter 19-23 brahmA narrates various tales to rudra like that of arundhati the wife of vasiShTha, the conflict of dakSha and chandra over his nakShatra daughters, origin of tIrtha-s like chandrabhAga and shipra.
Chapter 24-29 material typical of the sarga section of purANa. Chapter 25 mentions the origin of the varAha.
Chapter 30 contains a stuti of viShNu, followed by shiva assuming the sharabha form to battle the varAha. sharabha defeats the varAha
Chapter 31 contains the famous paurANIc motif of the origin of various yaj~nA~Nga-s from the different parts of the varAha (parallels an orthologous paragraph in many texts).
Chapter 32-35 more sarga material, the mastyAvatara of viShNu, episodes of unexpected pralaya-s, recovery of the world after such a pralaya and rudra relinquishing the sharabha form after saving the world from the varAha-s ravages.
Chapter 36-40 The partial cycle of naraka: His birth from the varAha and pR^ithivi, his coronation in pragjyotiSha, his tapasya to obtain power and his rise to stupendous power.
Chapter 40-45 The pArvatI cycle: The birth of kAlI as pArvatI to himavAn, the attempt of kAmadeva to delude shiva and his destruction, pArvatI's tapasya and encounter with shiva coming to test her and their marriage.

The uttara-khANDa or the tantric manual section of the kAlikA purANa comprises the remaining part of the text. It is a collection of vidhi-s and prayogas fitted into the narrative of aurva to student king sagara.
Chapter 46 The narrative of the emanations of bhairava-s and vetAla-s from rudra. It also contains a stava to sha~Nkara.
Chapter 47-50 The incarnation of shiva and umA as chandrashekhara and tArAvatI. It narrates a bizarre tale of how how shiva and pArvatI fought and pArvatI ran away from him. shiva saw sAvitrI and thought it was umA and went to her full of passion. She cursed him to be born as a man. To get back to shiva, umA incarnated as tArAvatI. However, chandrashekhara and tArAvatI did not remember that they were respectively the deva and devI. A lecherous brahmin named kapota tried to have sex with tArAvatI when he saw her coming out of a river after a swim. She evaded him by send her sister, but he figured it out and laid a spell on her that she would be violated by a hideous bone-ornamented being. She mentioned this to chandrashekhara, who tried to protect her by placing her on high terrace. But duly, rudra assuming his original form inseminated her and two terrifying vAnara-headed bhUta-s were born to tArAvatI. chandrashekhara thought that a demon had raped his wife but a brAhmaNa informed them it was shiva and he himself was shiva. They closed their eyes and realized their sAyujya with the shivAbhyaH. But once they opened their eyes they continued life as a mAnava-s. They had an additional 3 sons whom chandrashekhara favored over the original two vAnara-faced sons. But it was they who became bhuta-gaNeshvara-s of rudra's hordes.

Chapter 51 The tantric vidhi of vasiShTha for the worship of the pa~nchabrahma mUrti-s of rudra.
Chapter 52-56 The vaiShNavI tantra or mahAmAyA-kalpa. Expounds the vaiShNAvI mahAmantra: ********* | It also describes the worship of the AvarNa-s of vaiShnavI with 64 yoginIs and 8 yoginIs. These yoginIs are distinct from those of other AvarNa-s and include devatA-s like guptadurgA, bhuvaneshvarI, saptakoTeshvarI, vindhyAvAsinI etc (in the 64 circuit) and those headed by skandamAtA in the 8-circuit. The animal and human sacrifices for the yoginI-s of vaiShNavI are also detailed. 56 gives a devI-kavacha.
Chapter 57 Expounds the kAmarAja mantra as per the uttara-tantra.
Chapter 58 Expounds the worship of mahAmAyA-yoganidrA-ekAnamshA as the primary deity of kAmAkhyA.
Chapter 59 chaNDikA pujA vidhi. Describes the worship of chaNDikA with her AvarNa of 7 terrifying yoginI-s: ugrachaNdA, prachaNDa, chanDogrA, chaNDanAyikA, chaNDA, chaNDavatI, chAmuNDA.
Chapter 60 durgA tantra. Describes the mahiShamardini pujA performed on mahAnavamI.
Chapter 61 The procedures for the worship of the 18 handed ugrachaNDA on the aShTami, the 16-handed bhadrakAlI on the navamI of navarAtrI and the 10-handed jaya-durgA on the vijaya-dashami day.
Chapter 62 The kAmAkhyA-pujA-tantra. Details the procedures for the worship of the goddess in the form of the great yoni at kAmAkhyA.
Chapter 63 The tripurA-tantra. Describes the worship of baTuka-bhairava and tripurA along with her yoginI-s as per the lineage of the shrIkula path.
Chapter 64 The kAmeshvarI tantra. Expounds the worship of kAmesvarI in the ShaTkoNa yantra in the midst of the triad of pITha-s of jAlandhara, oDDIyAna and kAmarUpa as per shrIkula tradition.
Chapter 65 The shAradA-tantra. Expounds the worship of the 10-armed lion-borne vajra-shAradA, especially in the context of the navarAtrI rite.
Chapter 66 Descriptions of namaskAra-s and mudras.
Chapter 67 Descriptions of animal sacrifices. The alternative of making piShTa-pashu-s is also suggested and detailed (e.g. with barley flour).
Chapter 68 Making of Asana-s for installation of mUrtI-s of devI-s. Metal, stone, wood, and hide Asana-s are described, as well as decorations with gems.
Chapter 69 Making of vastra-s for the goddess from cotton, wool, silk and flax is described. Then the specifications for dhUpa (incense), dIpa (lamps), flowers and a~njana-s (ointments) are provided.
Chapter 70 The preparation of naivedya-s is described, with injunctions for what are bhojya.
Chapter 71 The performance of circumambulations and the final namaskAra-s are described. Thus, chapters 66-71 cover the details of ShoDashopachAra pUjA for the shakti.
Chapter 72 A sectarian praise of kAmAkhyA with an anti-viShNu slant. The goddess garuDagAmI throws viShNu into the sea, and by worshiping kAmAkhyA he is relieved of his troubles. The kAmAkhyA kavachaM is provided.
Chapter 73 The mAtR^ikA nyAsa for kAmAkhyA worship method is detailed.
Chapter 74 various mudra-s, yantras and prayogas for sundry purposes are described.
Chapter 75 The purashcharaNa, kavacha and pUjAvidhAna of tripura-bhairavI is provided here.
Chapter 76 The description of the types of mantra-s and vasiShTha expounds kAmAkhyA pUjA.
Chapter 77-79 A geographic dilation on the pITha of kAmAkyA and the holy spots in its environs.
Chapter 80pA~ A description of the worship of other deva-s, particularly concentrating on the worship of viShNu as ordained in the pA~ncharAtra tantras.
Chapter 81 A bizarre tale regarding the prevalence of vAmAchAra worship is narrated: rudra was asked by vasiShTha to bring kAmarUpa in the control of yama. shiva sent ugratArA and his gaNa-s to drive everyone out of kAmarupa. In the process they tried to drive out the powerful brAhmaNa vasiShTha too. He cursed the gaNa-s that they would become unclean mlechCha-s and shiva would become mlechCha-priya. He cursed ugratArA that she would only receive vAmAchara worship. As a consequence the whole of kAmarUpa was occupied by barbarous mlechCha-s and the pA~ncharAtra tantras were lost in the land. Instead the vAmAchara tantras became the norm, which eventually bore fruit for its practitioners. The tale also mentions how lauhitya, the son of brahmA, flooded the region in the form of a river.
Chapter 82 Another tale of the birth the river lauhitya as the son of shantanu and amoghA. He was placed in a Himalayan lake but he grew in size and burst forth flooding the plains "like a second sea". His waters cleansed rAmo bhArgava of the sin of killing his mother.
Chapter 83 The narrative of the exploits of rAmo bhArgava.
Chapter 84-85 A description of rAjadharma and dharma shAstra. This section is commonly cited in smR^iti manuals from eastern India.
Chapter 86 The important shAkta ablution and pUja performed on a tR^itya in the constellation of puShya is described.
Chapter 87 The performance of the indra festival on the dvAdashi of the month of prauShTapada is described. A medieval version of the vedic festival of the erection of the dhvaja of indra is detailed.
Chapter 88 More rAjadharma and injunctions for a sacrifice to viShNu on a jyaiShTha dashami and a puja of lakShmI on shrIpa~nchamI are provided.
Chapter 89 The tale of khANDava dahana. The tale of the sons of the bhairava.
Chapter 90 A tale of the sons of the vetAla. The praise of the kAlikA purANa.

iti parisamAptaM
purANa-s have the tendency to mention the following 5 major reasons for the origin of jAtI-s:

- anulom-vivAha: man of a varNa marrying a woman of a "lower" varNa (e.g. brAhmaNa a kshatrANI or a kshAtra a SUdrANI)
- pratilom-vivAha: man of a varNa marrying a woman of a "higher" varNa
- sankara-vivAha: - different jAti-s starting to intermarry, offspring being a new jAti
- samsakAra-bhraSTatAH: complete jAti being corrupted because of fallen samskAra-s
- jAti-bahiSkaraNa: people of a jAtI being expelled from it - because of not following its dharma - and making a new jAtI

on utpatti of mlechchha jAtI-s:

kshatra-vIryeNa SUdrAyA mR^tu-doSeNa-pApataH
balavatyo durantAshcha vabhUvur-mlechchha-jAtayaH
aviddha-karNAH krUrA-shcha nirbhayA raNa-durjayA
shauch-AhAra-vihInAshcha durdharSA dharma-varjitAH

from kshatriya vIrya and sUdra womb are born mlechchha-s,
in conception, mother being impure and father laden with pApa;
emerged jAti of people which are hardened, tough, strong, cruel, and vidharmI, without concern for cleanliness or proper eating

(Acharya Hajari Prasad Dwivedi vAngmay kosha)
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Nov 3 2007, 02:53 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Nov 3 2007, 02:53 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><statement>
(Acharya Hajari Prasad Dwivedi vAngmay kosha)
[right][snapback]74851[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Bodhi, that Acharya's statement strikes me as Opinion (perhaps not his own and merely one he learnt) as it is not consonant with what an important Rishi (1), and Dharmaraja's son Dharmaputra (Yudhisthira) who is described as the embodiment of Dharma just like his father (2) have set down either by example or in dialogue. From my reading of the Bhagavadgita, it does not state that one's ancestry determines which of the Varnas one belongs to; it says rather that one's nature determines it. (Not birth, but character in other words.)

Surely, when it comes to such grave matters - especially where there are conflicting views on the same - we may defer to earlier and more authoritative/knowledgeable persons. In which case the Acharya in question is in disagreement with
(1) Rishi Gautama - as you yourself posted here
(2) God Yama's son Yudhisthira - quoted by member Gangajal here
And of course the Gita, as explained.

And failing all that, Hindu Dharma gives us the right to exercise our own careful, well-considered judgement based on conscience, reasoning and humane principles (often the voice of Bhagavan within us). This is a safety mechanism built into Hinduism to ensure that we don't fall for traps by any who unscrupulously or unwittingly insert wrong things into our sacred scriptures. As a very simple example, you can see countless sites where missionaries or islamis (example: Zakir Naik in U-tyoob) go about declaring that their jehovallah is "predicted" in the Bhavishya Purana 'hence us Hindoos ought to convert to christoislamism'. Yeah, right. Mwahahahahahahhaaa.

Am not fond of a broken record either, but certain things are worth repasting/repeating, like what our sages had said long ago:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Yuktiyuktamupa'deyam' vacanam' ba'laka'dapi anyam'trn'amiva tyajyamapyuktam' padmajanmana'.
"Even if a young boy says something logical it should be accepted;
and even if the lotus-born Brahma says something illogical, it should be rejected like a straw."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Kevalam' sha'strama'shritya'm' na karttavyovinirn'ayah yuktihiina' vica'retu dharmaha'ni praja'yate.
"It is undesirable to accept anything just because it is written in the scriptures;
for if the illogical sayings therein be accepted and acted upon, it results in the loss of dharma."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(All those funny apostrophes are not mine. I just CPed as usual.)

In this case, my view is that conduct and character alone determine what one is. And in this my opinion chimes in happily with the reliable words/actions of (1) and (2) above.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(Acharya Hajari PrasadSmile from kshatriya vIrya and sUdra womb are born mlechchha-s,<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->This Acharya must be writing in a time later than the Mahabharatam, as in the epic's time Mleccha referred to a different community with its own language - one that the princely Pandavas did not have any hesitancy in consorting with. (House of wax episode.)
I have used the term 'mlechcha' lots of times in the rather medieval sense of total 'barbarian' (as was used for islami invaders back then). I use it for christoislamic terroristas and other genocidal maniacs or facilitators of genocide like Kissinger.

Based on all the above, I disagree - and have reason to disagree - with Acharya "Hajari Prasad Dwivedi vAngmay kosha" on that statement of his pasted in #125.
A person of any parentage/ancestry, may or may not be like either of his parents. Certainly, from my own experience, I am hardly anything like my grandparents - so I do know it from first-hand 'observation'.

One may have one or more ancestors of horrible character and still be a very good person. For example, look how different Dara Shikoh was from his psycho ancestors and other near-relatives. On the other hand, one may have wonderful ancestors and be a total Loosah (too many examples to count in modern-day India, sadly). What I am trying to say here was said far better by Yudhisthira -
That birth does not determine Varna, only character does (and consequently conduct - because character guides behaviour).

And as regards character, it is not fixed in life either. One can evolve within a single lifetime (just as one does over several), with our qualities improving as we go along. So just 'cause we're(/I'm) not Bhishma doesn't mean we're a lost cause or that we might as well throw ourselves over a balcony and get it over with (or something drastic like that <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> ).

Edited: to remove repetition of post (with minor changes)

varNa = individual's tendencies, not heriditary
jAti = community, creed, 'caste', derived heriditarily/matrimonially

The context of Acharya Hajari Prasad's research is about jAti, and their evolution, development, relationships, and dynamics.

As you rightly said, varNa is individual and not related to birth as per the shAstra-s. so, <i><b>ideally</b></i>, someone from any jAti can have, or even attain over time, any varNa based upon individual's attributes. This is the point which so many of the instances go to show, some of which you have pointed above.

Difference of varNa and jAti are important to understand. This is because western and even largely prevailing present outlook confuses and mixes the two. Concept of jAti is almost universal, but not the concept of varNa.

Acharya Hajari Prasad wrote that in 1940-50s. vAngmaya kosha is collection of essays. He was trying to trace the memory about the origins and progress of jAti-s and what ancients (writers of purAna-s) thought about different jAti-s.

Also you are right, mlechchha was a community, with a language of their own. No derogatory sense in original context of the term - though subsequently it attained a derogatory meaning.
Thanks for the explanation. (I didn't make it clear in my post 126, but I didn't/don't think you to have ever agreed with any birth-based scheme. Your earlier posts in the other thread (which I referred to in #126) already indicated to me where you stood on the matter. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> )

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Acharya Hajari Prasad wrote that in 1940-50s.  vAngmaya kosha is collection of essays.  He was trying to trace the memory about the origins and progress of jAti-s and what ancients (writers of purAna-s) thought about different jAti-s.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->So then he was surveying probable causes for Jatis based on what earlier people had thought were probable causes? Are there actually any explanations that indicate <i>certainty</i> as to how they came about? That may turn out to be an unnecessary question: if there were any (easily discovered) documented reasons to clearly establish the origins of various Jatis, there would probably be no need for such a survey to be undertaken by the Acharya of #125.

Aren't Kshatriya and Shudra considered Varnas rather than Jatis? :confused
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->So then he was surveying probable causes for Jatis based on what earlier people had thought were probable causes?
He merely surveys what purANa-s report on the subject. In fact his conclusion is that most (at least many) are inaccurate or insufficient on it, but does not deny a respectable chunk of historical facts behind what they report, with a narrative mired in mysteries. He merely tries to find some history in it which can be corraborated through other traditions.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Kshatriya and Shudra considered Varnas rather than Jatis? :confused
At some point both varNa and jAti, at least in paurAnik narrative.
<img src='http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/jul/01first.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Watch Kahaani Hamaaray Mahaabhaarat Ki starting July 7, from Monday to Thursday at 9pm on 9X.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Why Bhishma?

Bhishma is one of the most powerful and beautiful characters in Mahabharat. The character is larger in magnitude and I am proud that I am playing Bhishma. At the same time, I'm very scared and nervous too.

The first face that comes to mind when you think of Bhishma is Mukesh Khanna.

I am proud to play the character of Bhishma, which Mukesh Khanna essayed in B R Chopra's Mahabharat, and made history. <b>The new generation has not seen the old Mahabharat; they will be seeing it for the first time. </b>So it will be a big challenge to get accepted. It's a huge task and I will try my best to justify the role.


Lets see what Ekta Kapoor does with Mahabharat.

Her saas-bahu serials are a bit too melodramatic for my taste. Too much rajo-guNa in them. Not much of sattvas. I hope she doesn't fill up Mahabharat also with a lot rAjasik stuff. Although a story of war and intrigue, Sri Krishna's presence needs to be handled tactfully, which requires a very nuanced presentation. I am not sure whether she has that kind of programming in her CPU.

As it is most of the so called religious serials are filled with rAjasik stuff. Where Gods fight, sages curse etc etc. Seems like every one is angry over something. Despite the rather primitive technology used by Ramanad Sagar, at least he got the sAttvik ambiance of Sri Rama's presence well represented. Newer breed of religious serial makers have been disappointing.

But lets hope for the best.
Ashok guroo,

9X, it seems is a new entertainment channel. Ramayana is already being shown on some new NDTV channel. And from what i hear there is another Mbh in works (or already running). It just seems to me that the formula is, if you are starting a new entertainment channel you have to create Mbh/Ramayana for the current generation - still, even after 5000 years. It gives me goosebumps.. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Balaji Productions is a major production house and not to be ignored - she made sarees, big bindi and mangalsutra fashionable again - a major player on small screen. That dude in picture also shows up in lots of reality-type dancing shows. And he says, Balaji/Ekta want to retell the story for todays generation -> i say more power to them.


I also hear that there is a new animation movie on Ghatotkatch out there. Plus Cartoon Network is beaming Krishna.
They are going to murder it. Remember Prithivraj? People singing songs in Urdu in 12th CE. Dancing around trees etc.

Ghatotkach cartoon came out a flop show, somehow did not become successful. Krishna is a series of very good animation - world class I say - has been built by the volunteery efforts of the employees of a small animation outsourcing company in Bangaluru. Chhota Bhim is another succesful animation, where Bhimsen in childhood is the hero. That is running on Disney Kids etc. As for the new Ramayana - that truely does not even come closer to the old one. In this, too much melodrama, and unnecessary use of ultra-technology. In a few episodes, people gave it up.

Oh yes, Ramayana, Mahabharata are sure mantra-s of TRP hike, even for the most sanskrita-phobic, urdu-loving, ultra-secular media houses. And that is why they made such soppy products on these that are failing.

Prithviraj is a yuk! nauseating treatment of history that even a common man knows so well, at least in north. No background into the context. No much coverage to the larget scenario of Muslim invasion. Mostly a love-story type coverage to a teenage type Prithviraj.
<!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Jul 2 2008, 10:24 AM-->QUOTE(Pandyan @ Jul 2 2008, 10:24 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->They are going to murder it. Remember Prithivraj? People singing songs in Urdu in 12th CE. Dancing around trees etc.

Watched 2 episodes and gave up...
Personally, I don't like the characterization of Hindu divinity as cartoon characters in the sense that they are portrayed as clownish figures. That Hanuman cartoon is a good example of this. However, certain animated films like the Japanese production of Ramayana came out very well.


Bodhiji, would you happen to have any youtube clips of the Krishna animation you mentioned.

Anyway, about epics being translated into film. It should be done in a very cautious way and serious manner. For example, each of the 10 books of the Mahabharata could be made into a film in the scale of LOTR. That would be very nice. But considering things at hand now, I don't think it will happen. Just look at a photo promo of this Mahabharata movie.

<img src='http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/jun/20look3.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

Since when did Hindus wear capes? While they're at it, why don't they introduce batman type outer-underwear also? Also saw the trailer for this movie. Volley of arrows scene looks like a total rip-off from 300, Hero, etc. Can't they do anything original?
<!--QuoteBegin-rajesh_g+Jul 2 2008, 09:37 AM-->QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Jul 2 2008, 09:37 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Balaji Productions is a major production house and not to be ignored - she made sarees, big bindi and mangalsutra fashionable again - a major player on small screen.
What you say is true.

But what bothers me is the superficial aspect of all this. That is, people may be more open to these symbolic aspects and losing the essentials.

Family values shown in Ekta Kapoor's serials are abhorrent. Although she does fill in some soppy gooey stuff here and there. Women are always bedecked in most expensive clothing and jewelery, but a disturbingly large percentage are hard hearted or simply venomous. Even the best role models turn out to be rAjasik role models. I guess everyone has an idea of family based on his/her experiences. And everyone is not visionary to step outside their natural programming. For all her prolific output, Ekta Kapoor is in a well defined rut. Which IMHO doesn't represent Indian womanhood.

One more thing I notice in most of these serials is, none of the women are dark. Even Saloni which is claimed to be dark is shown nicely painted over.

Also there is consistent theme that evil people often are overtly religious and sport the biggest tilaks/bindis etc.

I think a lot of risky themes are getting propagated in a glittering, although an Indianized, manner.

<!--QuoteBegin-"Bodhi"+-->QUOTE("Bodhi")<!--QuoteEBegin-->Prithviraj is a yuk! nauseating treatment of history that even a common man knows so well, at least in north. No background into the context. No much coverage to the larget scenario of Muslim invasion. <b>Mostly a love-story type coverage to a teenage type Prithviraj.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
That is good assessment. This "teenage" type characteristic runs through many such serials. Which also gels with the preponderance of the rAjasik trait.

A master story teller would include such "teenage" characteriscs, but only where appropriate. He would also provide a higher portrayal of the wisdom of age. Lord of the Rings' Frodo had Gandalf. This theme of a tempestuous youth guided by old wisdom, resonates with the human existential memory, and many a successful story have utilized this. But to do that kind of portrayal, a person should have temperamentally been a "teenager" and then also come to "wisdom" through knocks received in life. Many people, unfortunately, remain "teenagers" even in their ripe old years.

Many religious serials show even the Gods and Rishis as essentialy "teenagers", arguing, fighting in a rAjasik manner.

Serials involving divinities like Shri Rama or Shri Krishna, require even more wisdom in correct handling. Here the freshness of the youth, the wisdom of the ages, and the power of the divine all are supposed to inhabit the same frame at the same time. Very few would have the capacity to even comprehend and then portray that.
<!--QuoteBegin-Ashok Kumar+Jul 2 2008, 06:57 PM-->QUOTE(Ashok Kumar @ Jul 2 2008, 06:57 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Many people, unfortunately, remain "teenagers" even in their ripe old years.

That reminds me of an essay I had read of Rajneesh during college days (when I used to read Jiddu K and Rajneesh). He said in it, how some people just bypass the natural process of mental/spiritual ripening. They are like fruits which although ripe from outside, but still having unripe seeds, just fall off the tree when time comes. He said in Hindi we have a separate word for such - bachakaanaa (kind of 'childish' though in a different sense). Whereas others ripen from both inside and outside by honestly undergiong the process of natural maturing. (he counted Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave in this bachkaanaa category, who remained spiritually childish even in old age)
HH and Ashok Kumar,
In the four manava rupa avatars, are the necessary and sufficient conditons for the avatars layed down? I know Bhagavad Gita says increasing evil yuge yuge and all that but can we collate what were the factors that led to the four avataras- Vamana, Parshurama, Rama & Krishna? What increasing evil are we talking about?

The Gita lays out following conditions when avatAra happens repeatedly(in each yuga):

1. paritrANAya sadhUnAm - for the salvation of good people
2. vinashAya cha duShkR^itAm - for the destruction of the evildoers
3. dharma saMsthApanArthAya - for establishing of dharma

Each avatAra has a context in which it happened.

But other thing that is noticeable is evolutionary aspect seen in the progression of the avatAras. If one folows Darwinian evolution idea, then one can account for all the avatAras leading up to vAmana avatara.

It is the four human avatAras that apparently confuse the simplistic picture of Darwinian typeof evolution. One can argue that there is perhaps an evolutionary justification for moving from vAmana-avatAra to parshurAma-avatAra. But what about rAma, kR^ishNa, buddha and kalki? One can see their role in terms of the 3 conditions as given in gItA, and in case of buddha only 2 conditions. But there doesn't seem to be any evolutionary aspect as seen in the earlier avatAra-s. Only Sri Aurobindo has provided distinct evolutionary justifications for the human avatAra-s.

Sri Aurobindo has linked all the human avtAra-s to evolution, in his theory of evolution. In his opinion every avatAra came to establish something unique in the human consciousness, apart from all the life deeds of the avatAra. It doesn't mean that there were no people before the avatAra that had attained to high levels of consciousness. There were many sages/rishis etc who attained the higher states. But that it wasn't part of normal human consciousness, and the avatAra came to fix it in the consciousness of the humanity, in the sense of evolution. Call these <b>"mutations of consciousness"</b> if you would.

His evolutionary theory is mainly discussed in his book "Life Divine". But in his numerous letters that he wrote to his desciples, collected in 3 volumes under the title "Letters on Yoga", that he discusses some very practical aspects of practice of yoga, as well his opinions and thoughts on numerous topics.

Sri Aurobindo's opinion on human avatAra-s:

1. <b>vAmana </b> - man as dwarf, small and undeveloped and physical but containing in himself the godhead and taking possession of existence.
2.<b> parashurAma</b> - the rAjasik-avatAra denoting development of the higher vital (prANamaya) nature and establishing it in the human consciousness.
2. <b>rAma </b>- the sAttvika avatAra, or establishment of the mental (manomaya) or sAttvika nature in the human consciousness.
3. <b>kR^ishNa</b> - the avatAra that opened up ranges higher than mind, viz. the overmind, in human consciousness.
4. <b>buddha</b> - the avatAra that tried to shoot towards the supreme liberation, but in a negative way, by denying the world. Also the approach of Adi shankaracharya. It established into the human consciousness the ascetic ideal, of leaving the world, and aspiring for liberation, the sanyAsI or monk meme.
5. <b>kalki</b> - the avatAra that will establish the supramental (vij~nAna-maya) consciousness. Kalki corrects the imbalance introduced by buddha of denying the world for liberation, and brings liberation to the ordinary life in world.

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