The 2019 Kumbh Mela – A Travelogue

When I told people I was going for Kumbh Mela, the most common questions besides, “Why”, were, “Isn’t it so dirty?”, “Aren’t you afraid of stampedes?”, “What happens at Kumbh Mela?”, “Why is it called Kumbh?”. What made all these questions interesting was that, they were not asked by secular people, but by Hindus. But […]

Brahma and Indra in Japan

Buddhism reached Japan in the 5th century when the monarch of the Korean kingdom of Baekje sent a mission with gifts, image of Buddha and sacred objects. The arrival of Buddhism disrupted the existing system of kami worship and eventually prevailed. Today, there are thirteen schools of Buddhism, 80,000 temples and 150,000 monks. Indra and […]

Sanskrit Notes: Order of Words

One of the interesting features of Sanskrit is that, in a sentence, the order of the words don’t matter. You can switch them around and the meaning remains the same. Take for example a sentence like, Rama is going to the forest. You can’t say, “Rama going forest.” You need the “is” and “to the” […]

Western Mythology of Cortes, Pizzaro and James Smith

In Western mythology, Hernan Cortes is a larger-than-life hero. He was responsible for single handedly conquering the Aztecs with a small army. From a story telling perspective think about the impact of this foundational story: a rich and powerful empire was conquered by few soldiers. According to one myth making site, Hernán Cortés, marqués del […]

European Origins of Manifest Destiny

In the 19th century, American settlers moved West grabbing frontier lands. The term Manifest Destiny was coined, which claimed special virtues for American people. It was imperative that they fulfill this essential duty. The United States used muscle power to deprive the indigenous people of their land. Once the natives were conquered, this theory was […]