Thursday, May 28, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Madhva freed the concept of Bhakti from the clutches of blind faith and placed it in its right perspective as informed faith in, and love of God, both based on a right understanding of his glory. He also rescued it from the pitfalls of sentimentalism, eroticism and other maladies.
Madhva lived a robust life of 79 years. He was a prolific writer in Sanskrit prose and verse. He wrote thirty-nine works which are collectively known as Sarvamula. These include commentaries on Rig Veda, Upanishads, Gita, Brahmasutras, Mahabharata, Bhagawat and critical works on logic and metaphysics, rituals and sadachara (right conduct). He also wrote a number of devotional hymns.
The Chaitanya Sampradaya of Bengal is deeply indebted to Madhva's philosophy in many respects. It includes in its guruparampara Madhva and his successors, Jayatirtha and Vyasatirtha. The followers of Madhva are found on Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra, Maharashtra, Goa and U.P.
Madhva's system has made a massive contribution to Indian philosophy through the writings of great commentators such as Jayatirtha, Vyasatirtha, Raghuthama, Vadiraja and Raghavendra, to mention only a few. The Haridasas of Karnataka, owing allegiance to Madhva philosophy, such as Purandara Dasa, Kanaka Dasa and Jagannatha Dasa have made equally significant contributions to Kannada religious literature.
(34 pages, 1200 px wide, 9.9 MB)
Illustrator: HS Chavan
Monday, March 16, 2009
In the history of India, Padmini of Chittor holds a very prominent position. She was a perfect model of ideal Indian womanhood. When the values cherished by her were threatened by Ala-ud-din Khilji, the mighty Afghan king of Delhi, she faced her problems with exceptional courage. A lesser woman would not have been able to face Ala-ud-din, but Padmini was no ordinary woman. She was a living example of virtuous womanhood.
It was this that inspired many a legend about her. This story of Padmini is based on Padmavat by the famous Sufi poet Malik Muhammed Jayasi and Gora-Badal by the poet Jaymal.
Illustrator: Ram Waeerkar
Rani Padmini was the queen of Chittor and the wife of King Rawal Ratan Singh.
The Indian Helen, as she is also known, Padmini is considered to be the epitome of Indian woman-hood and a personification of sacrifice and valour. Her story has been immortalized in Padmavat, an epic poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi in the Awadhi language in the year 1540 .
In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Delhi Sultanate dominated the political milieu of Northern India. The Delhi Sultans made repeated attacks against their Rajput opponents, especially the Sisodias of Mewar, on one pretext or the other. The first sack of Chittor by Ala-ud-din Khilji in 1303 AD is traditionally considered to have been the result of his infatuation with, and lust for, Ratan Singh's wife, Padmini. . Ala-ud-Din Khilji received support for his annexation attempts from two of Ratan Singh's own courtiers, namely the brothers, Raghav and Chetan. The duo had initially enjoyed Ratan Singh's highest confidence and had been privy to many State secrets which they then threatened to betray if they were not paid well for their silence. Ratan Singh had recently married the beautiful Padmini, the daughter of King Gandharvasen (also known as Hamir Sank) of Sinhala Dvipa (present-day Sri Lanka) and his wife, Queen Champavati,  and had received a handsome and generous dowry from her parents. The brothers demanded a large portion of this dowry as payment for their silence. Furious at their exhortation, Ratan Singh had them banished from Chittor, with the understanding that they would be killed if they were ever found on his territory again. In revenge, the brothers went to Delhi and instigated Ala-ud-din Khilji to attack Chittor by inflaming both the Sultan's lust for beautiful women and his uncompromising greed for land and more territory.
Ala-ud-din then sent a note to Padmini that if she wished her husband to be released unharmed, that she should forthwith become his mistress. The Rani responded that she would meet the Sultan the next morning. At the crack of dawn the following day, one hundred and fifty palanquins (covered carriages in which royal ladies were carried about in medieval times) left the fort and made their way towards Ala-ud-din's camps. 150 able-bodied soldiers, led by Padmini's brother, Badal, emerged from these carriages and fell upon the Sultan's unsuspecting men in a sudden and unexpected attack. The Rajputs then returned to the fort, having rescued their King, and temporarily scoring a major victory over the Sultan of Delhi.
Ala-ud-din responded by laying siege to the fort of Chittor. After a long drawn out campaign, supplies within the fort gradually dwindled. Ratan Singh gave orders for the fort's gates to be flung open and an all-out attack be launched on the would-be invaders as they could not hold out any more. Padmini was aware that her her husband's troops were hopelessly outnumbered and that they would be defeated and dishonored. Rather than be raped and witness the Sultan's army pillaging Chittor, Padmini and her retinue of women decided to commit suicide. The children of the nobility were smuggled out of the fort with trusted aides and attendants in order to save them from the invaders.
Jauhar (Self Immolation)
The Jauhar place of Rani Padmini
Rani Padmini's life and death has the subject of many legends, ballads and even movies in recent years. Unfortunately, no images of her have been preserved although her courage and sacrifice continue to impress one today as they did during her lifetime more than seven centuries ago.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I searched and found some more information about this play and it proved to be a very exciting find and I felt thrilled by knowing the actual (and complete) story. What this ACK presented is only about 20% of the whole play.
The story of Udayan and Vasavadatta was well known and very popular among the general public in ancient India.It was made the subject of many plays and poems of that time. But most notably the great playwrite "Bhasa" compiled it in his greatest classic named "Swapnavasavadatta". Later other writers like Subandhu worked on the same theme and produced their versions of the story. During 5th century C.E., it appeared in Pali and Prakrut languages and it was present in Dhamma-pada-atthakatha. This ACK is based on this last source only.
Dear Aditya, for answer of your question, read the following paragraphs where Bhasa's "Swapnavasavadatta" is presented in condensed form.
So this clearly suggests that King Pradyotha had accepted Udayan as his son-in-law. We also get to know the reason why "Vasavadatta" was chosen as title. Really thrilling tale of great sacrifice by her though finally everything settled well.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The Bodhisattva came in many forms - man, monkey, deer, elephantom, lion. Whatever his mortal frame, he spread the message of justice and wisdom, tempered with compassion. This wisdom of right thinking and right living is persevered in the Jataka TAles.
We cannot assign a definite date to the Jataka Tales. Taking into account ardhaelogical and literary evidence, it appears that they were compiled between 300 B.C. and A.D. 500. They give us invaluable information about ancient indian Indian civilization, culture and thought.
According to Maha Ummagga Jataka, the Bodhisattva was once born as Aushadh Kumar, the son of Seth Shrivardhana of Yavamajjhaka. This Chitraa Katha recounts a few tales of the childhood of Aushadha Kumar.
Chided by Udayana for unbecoming conduct, Pradyota offers to free him if Udayana teaches him how to cast a spell on elephants. Udayana demands homage due to a guru for the instruction. Pradyota considers it demeaning and asks Udayana to teach a hunchback instead. The hunchback is none other than his daughter Vasavadatta who is told that the guru is diseased and so they would be separated by curtains. In the course of this instruction, a verbal tiff between teacher and taught brings them face-to-face and the inevitable happens...
This old story has been narrated in Pali prose and Sanskrit verse and has provided plots for two Sanskrit plays.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Author: Gayatri Madan Dutt
1. Official website by his devotees:
An excellently made and beautifully maintainted official website.
(will open in a new tab/window)
2. Wikipedia Page:
(opens in a new tab/window)
Sri Ramana Maharshi (Tamil: ரமண மஹரிஷி)(December 30, 1879 – April 14, 1950), born Venkataraman Iyer, was an Indian sage. He was born to a Tamil Hindu Brahmin family in Tiruchuzhi, Tamil Nadu. After having attained liberation at the age of 16, he left home for Arunachala, a mountain considered sacred by Hindus, at Tiruvannamalai, and lived there for the rest of his life. Arunachala is located in Tamil Nadu, South India. Although born a Brahmin, after having attained moksha he declared himself an "Atiasrami", a Sastraic state of unattachment to anything in life and beyond all caste restrictions.
Sri Ramana maintained that the purest form of his teachings was the powerful silence which radiated from his presence and quieted the minds of those attuned to it. He gave verbal teachings only for the benefit of those who could not understand his silence. His verbal teachings were said to flow from his direct experience of Consciousness as the only existing reality. When asked for advice, he recommended self-enquiry as the fastest path to moksha. Though his primary teaching is associated with Non-dualism, Advaita Vedanta, and Jnana yoga, he highly recommended Bhakti, and gave his approval to a variety of paths and practices.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Megasthenes (Μεγασθένης, ca. 350 BC - 290 BC) was a Greek traveller and geographer. He was born in Asia Minor and became an ambassador of Seleucus I of Syria to the court of Sandrocottus (Chandragupta Maurya) of India, in Pataliputra. However the exact date of his embassy is uncertain. Scholars place it before 288 BC, which was the date of Chandragupta's death.
Arrian explains that Megasthenes lived in Arachosia, with the satrap Sibyrtius, from where he visited India:
"Megasthenes lived with Sibyrtius, satrap of Arachosia, and often speaks of his visiting Sandracottus, the king of the Indians." Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri 
We have more definite information regarding the parts of India which Megasthenes visited. He entered the country through the district of the Pentapotamia of the rivers of which he gave a full account (thought to be the five affluents of the Indus, forming the Punjab region), and proceeded from there by the royal road to Pataliputra. There are accounts of Megasthenes having visited Madurai (then, a bustling city and capital of Pandya Kingdom), but appears not to have visited any other parts of India. His observations were recorded in Indika, a work that served as an important source to many later writers such as Strabo and Arrian. He describes such features as the Himalayas and the island of Sri Lanka. He also described India's caste system.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Balarama was Krishna's elder brother and his mate in their joint exploits. Balarama is simple-minded and depends on his physical strength in combat.
Download ACK-087: Balram Ki Kathayen
Story: Meera Ugra
Illustrations: Raam Vaeerkar
बलराम की कथाएँ
कृष्ण के बड़े भाई बलराम, कृष्ण के बचपन के साहसिक कार्य, युद्ध और उपलब्धि में सहभागी रहे. बल और वीरता में अद्वितीय होने के बावजूद रिश्तेदारों में युद्ध के विचार से भी उन्हें पीड़ा होती, इसलिए पांडवों और कौरवों के बीच हुए महाभारत के युद्ध में वे तटस्थ रहे.
बलदेव और बलभद्र भी बलराम के ही नाम हैं. इस अमर चित्र कथा में प्रस्तुत हैं कुछ उनके बचपन और उनके विवाह की कथाएँ.
When Krishna went to Mathura, Balarama accompanied him, and manfully supported him till Kansa was killed. Once, when Balarama was intoxicated, he called upon the Yamuna river to come to him, that he might bathe; but his command not being heeded, he plunged his ploughshare into the river, and dragged the waters whithersoever he went, until they were obliged to assume a human form and beseech his forgiveness. This action gained for him the title Yamunabhid and KaIindikarshana, breaker or dragger of the Yamuna. He killed Rukmin in a gambling brawl. When Samba, son of Krishna, was detained as a prisoner at Hastinapura by Duryodhana, Balarama demanded his release, and, being refused, he thrust his ploughshare under the ramparts of the city, and drew them towards him, thus compelling the Kauravas to give up their prisoner. Lastly, he killed the great ape Dwivida, who had stolen his weapons and derided him.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Apoorva has provided the link for a better cover of this comic (displayed on left here) The new cover can be downloaded by clicking on it (and then use right click and save image as option) and be added to the original link
The story of Amrapali is told in the Maha-Parinibbana Sutta and in Malasarvastivadas. The garden which Amrapali gave up to Lord Buddha was still in existence when Fa-Hien visited during the Gupta age.
Author: Subba Rao
Illustrator: Souren Roy
(32 pages, 1200 px wide, 12.75 MB)
(Etymologically, the name, Ambapali or Amrapali, is derived from a combination of two Sanskrit words: "amra", meaning mango, and "pallawa", meaning young leaves or sprouts.)
Bimbisara was a good musician, soon Amrapali and Bimbisara fell in love but after being identified as Bimbisara, the king of Magadha, she requested him to go away & stop the war.Bimbisara who was in love really stopped the war. In the eyes of the folks of Vaishali, this incident made him a coward King. Later Amrapali bore him a son named Vimala Kondanna. Ajatashatru, the son of Bimbisara took a revenge by invading Vaishali.
Till yesterday, I knew nothing about action scripts in photoshop. Since I am spending some time with the s/w of late, a host of features are opening up before me. The recent addition to my knowledge base is action scripts, as mentioned above. It is such a wonderful thing for performing repetitive jobs that are of essentially same nature. Now, I don't have to open each individual page and perform cleaning-brightning on them, what I've been doing all the way along till now. Using action scripts, the same function can be applied automatically to all the pages in the same folder. That saves a lot of time. One hour job can be done in two minutes.
That is a big discovery for me and I thought it would be appropriate to share the knowledge with all fellow scanners. After all we are all here to share, isn't it?
Present comic is the first prepared using this technique.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose: Indian physicist, plant physiologist & Science fiction writerJagadis Chandra Bose was a physicist at Presidency College in Calcutta, India, who pioneered the investigation of microwave optics in the later 1800's. He invented radio communication before Marconi (check links: 1, 2, 3). Many of his instruments are still on display and remain largely usable now, over 100 years later. They include various antennas, polarizers, and waveguides, all of which remain in use in modern forms today.
He was also known as an excellent teacher who believed in the use of classroom demonstrations, a trait apparently picked up while studying with Lord Rayleigh at Cambridge. He influenced many later Indian physicists, including Satyendra Bose (no relation) who later went on to be an influential figure in 20th century physics.
Later he turned his attention to plant physiology, where he gained a new sort of fame with continued claims that plants had nervous responses (of a sort) similar to those of animals. This led him to explore the effects of drugs on plants, and later, non-organic materials such as metals, which he claimed showed similar effects. Much of this was demonstrated through the use of a device he invented called the crescograph, which magnified mechanical movements many times and allowed for the direct study of plant growth.
1880 - He was later sent to a hostel in an English school in Calcutta. After his graduation from Sr. Xavier’s College in Calcutta, Bose left for England for further studies.
1884 - Bose took his B.A. degree in the natural sciences with Physics, Chemistry, and Botany, from Cambridge, and simultaneously a B.Sc. degree from the University of London.
1885 - Bose became the officiating Professor of Physics at the prestigious Presidency College in Calcutta.
1895 - Bose designed a wireless telegraphy system with very sensitive receivers.
1896 - Bose wrote Niruddesher Kahini, the first major work in Bangla science fiction. Later, he added the story in the Obbakto book as Polatok Tufan. He was the first science fiction writer in the Bengali language.
1902-1906 - Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose had two of his pioneering books published. The first, Response in the Living and Non-Living was published and Plant Responses. He was the first Indian to get a US Patent (No: 755840) for "detector for electrical disturbances" in 1904.
1917 - He set up the Bose Temple of Learning in Calcutta which trains international scientists even today.
1920 - He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.
1937 - Died on November 23rd on Giridih, Bengal Presidency, British India.
1997 - According to the June edition of the journal published by the U.S.-based Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE), one of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world, installed at the National Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, U.S., was built on a device originally developed by Bose.
Read about more at Banglapedia, Wikipedia, Answers.com, Findarticles.com, Light-science.com, novelguide.com
Download Comics HQ (51.29)
Download Comics (8.42 MB)
This ACK is contributed by Apoorva Chandar. All thanks & credits go to him.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sayyad Hasan Askari was born in an affluent and renowned family of Uttar Pradesh. After a brilliant record at the Police Training College, he became an instructor at the same institute. Fourteen years later he was transferred to Kanpur as a police officer. Askari distinguished himself as a man of principle. This Amar Chitra Katha brings a few episodes in the life of this extraordinary policeman
(inside front cover).
Giriraj Shah also praised him in his book Top Cops : Biographies of World’s Top Policemen (New Delhi, Cosmo, 2002, 3 Vols., 861 p., (set). ISBN 81-7755-200-7.) .
Download Comics HQ (50.5 MB)
It's contributed by Apoorva Chandar. All thanks & credits go to him.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Inside cover story
Most of the stories teach that meritorious acts bring prosperity & evil acts untold misery. According to Jain philosophy, man is the master of his own destiny. He reaps what he sows. No outside force can help him get what he does not deserve, nor can it prevent him from getting what he does deserve.
The story of King Shuklapaksha has an underlying allegory. Shuklapaksha literally means the bright half of a lunar month and Krishnapaksha, the dark half. The king symbolises ggod and the minister evil. The confrontation between the two, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil, is the subject of this story.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Anant Pai, (born 17 September, 1929) popularly known as Uncle Pai, is a renowned educationalist and creator of Indian comics, in particular the Amar Chitra Katha series, which retold traditional Indian folk tales, mythological stories, and biographies of historical characters, and Tinkle, a children's anthology.
Born in Karkala, Karnataka to Venkataraya and Susheela Pai, he lost his parents at the age of two. At the age of twelve, he came to Mumbai, where he studied in Orient School, Mahim. He studied chemistry, physics and chemical technology at the University of Bombay Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT now UICT) and was a dual degree holder from the University of Bombay (now Mumbai). Endowed with a passion for publishing and comics, his failed attempt at creating a children's magazine (Manav, 1954) was followed by a career as a junior executive in the Times of India books division, putting him in the thick of affairs when Indrajal comics was launched by the Times Group. Indrajal featured reprints of popular American strip characters such as the the Phantom, Mandrake the Magician, and later, indigenous characters like Bahadur and Dara.
The Amar Chitra Katha years
The idea behind starting a comicbook series devoted to Indian culture and history came to Pai from a quiz contest aired on Doordarshan in February 1967, in which participants could easily answer questions pertaining to Greek mythology, but were unable to reply to the question "In the Ramayana, who was Rama's mother?". He left his job and started Amar Chitra Katha the same year, with the help of late G. L. Mirchandani of India Book House, when most other publishers from Allied Publishers to Jaico had rejected the concept. Later, he took on the role of writer, editor and publisher. The series went on to become a publishing milestone for the Indian comic book scene, selling over 86 million copies of about 440 titles.
In 1969, Anant Pai founded Rang Rekha Features, India's first comic and cartoon syndicate, and started the children's magazine Tinkle in 1980. His involvement with the above, and the rapport he shared with his readers earned him the title "Uncle Pai".
Ramu and Shamu, Kapish, Little Raji, Rekha, Fact Fantasy, Funland and Funtime are some of the comic strips created by Pai, most of which continue to appear in newspapers and magazines. He has written and produced two video films, Ekam Sat (the Vedic Concept of God) and The Secret of Success, in English and Hindi.
Pai's other works include a number of books on personality development for children and teenagers, ("How To Develop Self-confidence", "How to Achieve Success", "How To Develop A Super Memory", UBS Publishers) and a series of audio book versions of Amar Chitra Katha stories, "Storytime with Uncle Pai" (Universal Music India, Dec 2001), where he plays the role of narrator-storyteller.
- Karpoorchand Puraskar of Uttar Pradesh Bal Kalyan Sansthan (1994)
- Yudhvir Memorial Award in Hyderabad (1996)
- Maharashtra Rajya Hindi Sahitya Academy Award (1996)
- Dr. T. M. A. Pai Memorial Award in Manipal (1997)
- University of Bombay Department of Chemical Technology's Distinguished Alumnus Award (1999)
- Millennium Konkani Sammelan Award, Illinois, U.S.A (2000)
- Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation's Award (2001)
- Priyadarshni Academy Award (2002)
- Vishwa Saraswat Sammaan (2003)
Check following links:
Download Comics (12.7 MB)
It's an Ajay's contribution. Many many thank to him.