निवेदित्तान्नेन वैश्वदेवम्

परमदेवाय निवेदनात् परं लब्धात् प्रसादद् वैश्वदेवः कार्य इति नैका आधुनिकाः परम्पराः शैवाः शाक्ताः वैष्णवाश्च।  कोऽत्र भावः? स्वाभिमतपरमदेवस्य शिवस्य विष्णोश् शक्तेर् वा पारम्यस्योररीकरणम्? तथाऽस्तु – किञ्च न तत् तावच् चोदकम्। “सर्वत्रान्तर्यामी विष्णुर्” इति चेत् किमनेनाडम्बरेण पुनः?

उपरि दर्शितम् भाषणं श्रुत्वा तु समाधानं किञ्चिल् लब्धम् – “देवताः‌ परमदेवतायाय् अनिवेदितम् अन्नं तिरस्कुर्वन्ती”ति भावः स्पृहणीयतरः। अन्येऽपि बहवो विषया ऽत्र साधु प्रतिपादिता यतिना।

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Marriage advice for Hindu snAtaka-s

Mate selection

Mate selection is a tough problem. The best laid plans can still result in disastrous choices. I observe chatter amongst “soon to be married” Hindu-s with a neo-traditional bent (reminding me of myself at that stage). As a fairly experienced (but still young <10 married yrs) gRhastha on a successful (though hard-won) trajectory, let me shed light some light on mistakes I’ve personally made or seen.

  • Don’t believe in and actively reject “love”. Say it a few dozen times.
    • No – I did not make this mistake. But I wildly underestimated the hormonal surges that bonds one to a “logically and carefully” chosen mate shortly after the first meeting.
  • Measure the intellectual distance accurately (don’t be fooled).
    • Yes – I was fooled. If she is into idiot bAba XYZ while you’re into vyAsa and vasiShTha – you (and she with her abysmal shAstra-knowledge) might well be fooled. No – you are not that alike and if you’re serious about being an effective gRhastha (in the traditional sense), you’re in for a big series of quarrels and hardship.
    • Don’t sweat about “scientific” savvy.
      • “Scientific” savvy often comes at the cost of educated idiot type rejection of shAstra-s, sages and rituals.
      • Any damage done due to “unscientific” input is minute compared to the possible damage of “intellectual yet idiot” input.
    • A good way to measure this (for a brAhmaNa) would be in the following terms.
      • The trivarga in the puruShArtha – Especially, how different are the views on gRhastha-dharma.
      • Does the couple seek tapas (the true wealth of brAhmaNa-s) or sukha (appropriate for shUdra-s)?
  • Measure the personality distance well. A lot of women tend to be fickle minded and neurotic! And this is not easy to detect at all! Even if the women you closely associated with (mother, sister etc..) are not that way.
    • Yes, I failed to understand this.
    • Now, people of different personality types can get along fine (given very strong intellectual agreement, and special compensatory effort). But, this can come and bite you if you are way more “hardline” than the woman; and if you mistakenly expect to turn her round by way of ready arguments.
    • Practical solution – both potential partners take the 5 factor personality test (example here).
  • Please don’t underestimate the cost and effort of “red-pill“ing a “normie” partner.
    • Guilty here. I was so arrogant that I thought that it is generally suboptimal from the social point of view for two strong dhArmika minded people to come together in marriage (- that would make one good family; but if they were to choose and “convert” decadent mates – you’d get TWO good families).
    • Now, this can succeed, but it requires HUGE determination (a long drawn battle of proverbially trying to straighten the dog’s tail, fighting back decadent family supporters), MUCH pain. It will be like walking on a razor’s edge with a long standing risk of failure. You will curse yourself – guaranteed.
    • Further, there might be a biological cost (in reduced offspring count). Considering this, your naive calculation might well be off.
  • Don’t fixate on IQ (or proxies thereof like high scores in standardized tests or advanced academic degrees and tastes).
    • Remember that your ancestors, marrying into the same gene-pool without regard to such metrics, were able to produce a great line of luminaries. Further, remember that high IQ can and does manifest non-academically – example in the pursuit of art-related shAstra-s, ability to memorize long stotra-s etc..
    • Women enmeshed in “careers”, despite having high IQ, may be idiots (like viShNusharman’s mUrkha-paNDita-s or NN Taleb’s “Intellectual Yet Idiot”s) and low quality mates (from a biological perspective). And this applies to IYI offspring as well. Hence, your fixation may result in quantitative (and if you are unsuccessful in your battles – qualitative) decline in your (and your clan’s) offspring.
  • Don’t be afraid to call it off. (You might learn about the shit you’re getting into after the initial agreement but before the actual marriage.)
    • You may feel honor bound, family-pressured etc.. But damn it, it is the age of kali – when things turn sour, decadent women (and the associated manthara-s and kaikayi-s) will threaten divorce or suicide type shit which would have shocked your forefathers. How much worse is that? Remember – women can be quite fickle. (Recall also that Apastamba clearly even recommends a second wife if the first is incapable of playing her dhArmika role as a patnI. “धर्मप्रजासंपन्ने दारे नान्यां कुर्वीत १२ अन्यतराभावे कार्या प्राग् अग्न्याधेयात् १३ ” इत्यापस्तम्बधर्मसूत्रेषु। आधुनिके युगे भीमरावस्मृतिबलेन विच्छेदो ऽनिवार्यस् तस्मिन् सन्दर्भे। But then, you will have much more to loose, and your choices will be second rate.)
  • Be wary of inter-caste marriage.
    • No – not my mistake. But I’ve seen it yield much pain elsewhere at close quarters.
    • Many “highly educated” shUdra-s (in marked contrast to their parents) are filled with bile and hatred for brAhmaNa-s, even if concealed well at the time of betrothal.

Marriage maintenance

  • Attend to the woman’s kAma (especially if you got a fickle, neurotic one.).
    • I mean – especially just complementing her, “spending time” with her etc..
    • Remember that you might be competing for your wife’s loyalty and support with dhArmika enemies (her normie friend circle, parents etc..). You cannot win her over with intellectual arguments alone – the battle of feelings should be won. This is where this effort pays off.
  • Be wary of your laukika in-laws – especially if they are proud of their “education”. They would be ideally placed to poison your (weak-minded) wife’s mind against your values and “tyranny”. Ask yourself: Do you want to live under their supervision, mediation and interference? Would you cede your right to scold your wife when she’s negligent in her dharma? Listen to your gut – be not too magnanimous about letting insults and such signals pass neglected. Spare a lot of drama, keep a good distance. Better hire domestic helpers and nannies than take their help. (This applies especially if you’re abroad.)

Related discussions and articles

Some comments about a humanities apology

Original article here.
(Please read the comments as being imaginarily addressed to the author)
“Progressives who want to turn the humanities into a laboratory for social change, a catalyst for cultural revolution, a training camp for activists, are guilty of the same instrumentalization. When they impose de facto ideological litmus tests for scholars working in every field, they betray their conviction that the humanities exist only to serve a contemporary political and social end.” :-) Reminds me of NN Taleb saying: “Humanities academics are rejects w/no common sense substituting thinking w/universal slogans, destroying student’s discernment, reasoning”.

“From that period on, for two centuries, to become a reputable and licensed teacher of theology, you needed to produce hundreds and hundreds of pages of densely argued commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, a twelfth-century compendium of theology. Tens of thousands of these commentaries weigh down the shelves of European manuscript libraries, many of them probably never actually read in the seven hundred odd years since they were written. Masters of arts wrote commentaries on Aristotle. These number again in the thousands—so many that we do not even know how many still exist, much less what they actually say.” – Reminds me of the expectation from paNDita-s of worth to produce a commentary on a nyAya or kAvyashAstra text in our past.

“Academic overproduction has always been a feature of the university and always will be. It is structural. Academic works are written for many reasons—for qualification, for institutional and personal advancement, even to be a lasting contribution. But they are not written to be read, at least in the normal sense of the term.” – Insightful and true. This one I must save.

“Another says that the humanities is about the search for values. But “values” is a hard thing to put in a long diachronic frame because it is not clear that there is any analogous notion in any culture besides our own.” – hehe. we call it puruShArtha-s bro.

“No one is ever going to want to learn Sanskrit because it will give them a leg up in a fast-moving economy. No, people want to learn Sanskrit for inscrutable reasons, and along the way they may (or may not) obtain mental sharpness and intellectual agility.” – yeah, inscrutable to you. And the “mental sharpness” may or may not come to those such as you westerners who claim to be sanskrit scholars but are unable and unlikely to ever compose a decent kAvya or even converse at length.

“But do they? An informal survey of humanities scholars might not lead one to optimism on that score. Even then, incommensurate paradigms pose a challenge. A polyamorist who volunteers for Greenpeace may be one person’s ethical paradigm; a staunch monogamist who happens to drive an SUV is another’s. But they are not obviously compatible with each other. Which one would a humanistic education produce?” – yeah, stay confused. it’s up to the ideology to have the infrastructure for producing *its* humanities scholars. In our case we want Arya-s like vyAsa, vAlmIki … and appayya dIxita.

“They did, however, believe that conjugating irregular verbs would mysteriously produce moral improvement (perhaps it did), but they were not too concerned about how. They simply believed in the humanities, and knew from experience that they would bring students above the categories of nation, vocation, and time to become members of a class constrained by no such boundaries.” – first sentence is good, but you slip in the second. In our case, saMskAra was to be accumulated in a variety of areas – language, music, dance, ritual etc.., and the notion was not to join the ranks of the sages of yore.

“The humanities and the university do need defenders, and the arts have had advocates as long as they have existed. The way to defend the arts is to practice them.” – Good – you got it. Especially the last sentence. I’ve seen far far better nyAya, vyAkaraNa and kAvya savants OUTSIDE universities than within them.

“The humanities, which predate the university and may well survive it, will endure—even if there is no case to defend them.” – too bad you haven’t got a case. you’re quite condescending with the first part though. Independently wealthy people (not in the sense of having lots of money but in the sense of not needing much more than they have/ get) will quite ably take it forward (as they always have).

Identifying and using the solar Diurnal plane easily

Acknowledgement and corrections

An earlier version of this post made some mistakes including:

  • the huge blunder of confusing the plane defined by the solar Diurnal plane (defined below) with the ecliptic plane. Corrected thanks to shrI trasadasyu [TW].
  • an untested idea for identifying the plane defined by the Diurnal plane (defined below) by drawing a 23.5 degree line over the EW line – it was solidly dismissed thanks to shrI trasadasyu [TW].
  • wrong methods about tracking something close to the solar Diurnal plane using
    • a plank with a linear shadow
    • two sticks
    • sun rise and set poitions and a middle solar position.

Motivation

There was a long discussion about the following brAhmaNa of the taittirIyakas.

यत्पुण्य॒न्नक्ष॑त्रम् । तद्बट्कु॑र्वीतोपव्यु॒षम् । य॒दा वै सूर्य॑ उ॒देति॑ । अथ॒ नक्ष॑त्र॒न्नैति॑ । याव॑ति॒ तत्र॒ सूर्यो॒ गच्छे॑त् । यत्र॑ जघ॒न्यं॑ पश्ये॑त् । ताव॑ति कुर्वीत यत्का॒री स्यात् । पु॒ण्या॒ह ए॒व कु॑रुते । ए॒वं ह॒ वै य॒ज्ञेषु॑ञ्च श॒तद्यु॑म्नञ्च मा॒थ्स्यो नि॑रवसाय॒याञ्च॑कार ।। 6 ।। 2.1.5.2.1

(तैत्तिरीयब्राह्मणे सायणभाष्ये ऽत्र, भट्टभास्करभाष्ये ऽत्र)

The classical commentators (as well as modern shrauta and smArta ritualists familiar with ancient and modern astronomy I checked with) clearly require measurement of the time required by the sun to “reach” a certain point “behind” the position of a desired naxatra at sunrise. Of course, this means reaching a certain point on the sun’s daily path, [let’s say that it lies in something called the Diurnal circle (defined below)], which is comparable (say in altitude or proximity) to the point where the nakShatra was last seen.

Certain objections were raised, among which were (I paraphrase and correct misstatements):

  • “You cant see the “dirunal plane” with the naked eye! It’s hard to get! They did not have compass and divider.”
    • Response: This objection is addressed with this note. We will show that without needing to stare at the sun, and no fancy instruments, we get the Diurnal plane accurately.
  • “The ancestors at that point in time were not known to calculate.”
    • Response: Since a device for measuring time and ability to multiply and divide is all that is required, this we dismiss.
  • “It’s not as easy as you say. Try it.”
    • Response: Challenge accepted. See below.

Initial definitions

Celestial equatorial plane: Celestial equator and the plane corresponding to it is pictured below. celestial equator: 1. the great circle on the celestial sphere midway between the north and south celestial poles. 2. the great circle on the celestial sphere determined by extending the Earth’s equator to the celestial sphere. Daily motions of celestial objects occur in planes parallel to the celestial equator.

Diurnal circle: The apparent path of a star in the sky during one day due to the the rotation of the Earth. Diurnal circles are parallel to the celestial equator. Note that the diurnal circle for a day is NOT the ecliptic (a blunder in an earlier version of this post). Let the plane defined by the diurnal circle be called Diurnal plane.

Ecliptic: From the point of view of a person on Earth, the sun appears to travel through a path of constellations called the ecliptic. The plane corresponding to this is called the ecliptic plane. This is pictured below, in reference to the equatorial plane (specified by “cardinal directions” NSEW).

 

Getting the celestial equator plane

EW line lies within the equatorial plane. You of course need a third point to completely define the equatorial plane, and this is easy to be had using the apparent altitude of the Celestial north pole. A picture speaks a thousand words, so:

So just line the base of a plank along the EW line, then tilt it by the angle of the pole star. Now the plank is parallel to the celestial equatorial plane and the diurnal plane.

Getting the arc of the sun given the diurnal plane.

This is simple, but I say it explicitly just in case folks don’t get it at once.

  • Just use a stick lying flat on the Diurnal plane (a plank or a screen as described above), with its lower end fixed at a point. Draw a semicircle on the face of the Diurnal plane.  There – you have something corresponding to the diurnal arc.
  • At any point in time, you can note the position of the sun by moving the top of this stick (lying on the Diurnal plane as described above) so that it casts no shadow.
  • You can do fancy things like dividing the arc into 5*3 sections corresponding to the 5*3 muhUrta-s in a day, as described in the tattirIya brAhmaNa (तैत्तिरीयब्राह्मणे सायणभाष्ये ऽत्र, भट्टभास्करभाष्ये ऽत्र। ).

Projecting the position of a star on to the Diurnal plane (or plank)

Hold up a rectangular plank with the same orientation as the Diurnal plane – up to your eyes with one hand. Place another rectangular plank on it so that it’s base fully lies on the “Diurnal plane” plank, and so one of the points on its base overlies the center of the semicircle described in the “Getting the arc of the sun given the Diurnal plane” section. Now, you can move this “perpendicular” plank like you were moving a stick in the “Getting the arc of the sun given the Diurnal plane” section. Move it so that the naxatra you’re interested in is collinear with the “perpendicular” plank (you should hold the planks so that only the edge of the perpendicular plank is visible to you). See example where I sight and project a tree leaf below.

There – mark the position of the perpendicular plank. This radial spoke is where the sun must come to be in the position dictated by the brAhmaNa.

Predicting starset time

1. Measure the angular velocity of the star after it rises by measuring two positions an hour apart: v= (s2-s1)/1.
2. Find the angular position p of the star at a given time.
3. Get angular span s of horizon in the equatorial plane the star is in. (Simple by holding a plank parallel to the equatorial plane and sighting the star and points on both horizons.)
4. Use the above to determine when it sets. (s-p)/v .

 

देवनक्षत्राणां देवनक्षत्रवं कथम्?

प्रश्नः

२७ नक्षत्राणि प्रख्यातानि। तेषां सूचिर् अत्रास्ति।

ब्राह्मणांशो यथा – दे॒व॒न॒क्ष॒त्राणि॒ वा अ॒न्यानि॑ ।। य॒म॒न॒क्ष॒त्राण्य॒न्यानि॑ । कृत्ति॑का प्रथ॒मम् । विशा॑खे उत्त॒मम् । तानि॑ देवनक्ष॒त्राणि॑ । अ॒नू॒रा॒धा प्र॑थ॒मम् । अ॒प॒भर॑णीरुत्त॒मम् । तानि॑ यमनक्ष॒त्राणि॑ । यानि॑ देवनक्ष॒त्राणि॑ । तानि॒ दक्षि॑णेन॒ परि॑यन्ति । यानि॑ यमनक्ष॒त्राणि॑ ।। 12 ।। तान्युत्त॑रेण ।

तैत्तिरीयब्राह्मणं (यस्य सायणभाष्यम् अत्र) तेषु कानिचन देवनक्षत्राणीति निर्दिशति (कृत्तिकाः – विशाखाः), अपराणि यमनक्षत्राणीति। अस्य किं कारणम्? को न्यायः?

प्रयोजनम् प्रश्नस्य

नक्षत्राणि कर्मकालं निर्दिशन्ति। यथा प्राक्तन-ब्राह्मणम् –

यदत॑रन्न् । तत्तार॑काणान्तारक॒त्वम् । यो वा इ॒ह यज॑ते । अ॒मु स लो॒कन्न॑क्षते । तन्नक्ष॑त्राणान्नक्षत्र॒त्वम् ।। दे॒व॒गृ॒हा वै नक्ष॑त्राणि । य ए॒वव्वेँद॑ । गृ॒ह्ये॑व भ॑वति । यानि॒ वा इ॒मानि॑ पृथि॒व्याश्चि॒त्राणि॑ । तानि॒ नक्ष॑त्राणि । तस्मा॑दश्ली॒लना॑म श्चि॒त्रे । नाव॑स्ये॒न्न य॑जेत । यथा॑ पापा॒हे कु॑रु॒ते । ता॒दृगे॒व तत् ।

अयनचलनकारणेन काले काले ज्योतिर्विद्यापरिष्कारो ऽपेक्ष्यते। कथञ्चिदधुना यथा चन्द्रस्य कृत्तिकानक्षत्रसूचकं‌ खस्थानं न ह कृत्तिकासु वर्तते। एवं‌  दिनस्य नक्षत्रसंयोगे ज्ञातव्ये नक्षत्रमण्डलम् अन्तरा खभागान्तरम् एव द्रष्टव्यं स्यात्! अतो ऽस्मिन् निर्देशे ब्राह्मणकर्तॄणां ब्रह्मणश्चाभिप्रायो ऽवगन्तव्यः।

समाधान-प्रस्तावाः

  1. 2300BCE इति वर्षस्य परिसरे पुरो ऽवर्तन्त कृत्तिकाः विषुवसमये। तदा हि ब्राह्मणांशा इमय् आविरभवन्। पुरो वर्तमानाभ्यः कृत्तिकाभ्य आरभ्य नक्षत्राणाम् अर्धं देवनक्षत्रगुच्छम् इति निरदिशन्।
    1. आक्षेपः – उदगयने सूर्ये वर्तमाने देवानां दिनञ्चेत् तद्धि देवकर्मणां हितञ्चेन् ननूत्तरायणोचितनक्षत्राण्य् एव देवनक्षत्रत्वे चेयान्य् अभविष्यन्?
  2. 6000BCE इति वर्षस्य परिसरय् उत्तरायणारम्भे ऽवर्तन्त कृत्तिकाः। उत्तरायणं‌ हि तदा कृत्तिकादिनक्षत्रार्धेवर्तत सूर्यस्य। तेन हि देवनक्षत्रव्यपदेशोऽयं सङ्गतः।
    1. आक्षेपः – तैत्तिरीयश्रुतिस् ततोऽप्यर्वाचीनेति प्रमाणान्तराणि बहूनि। अन्येषु श्रुतिभागेषूक्तानि नक्षत्रस्थानानि तासाम् 4500BCE-तो  ऽर्वाचीनतां दिशन्ति।

 

Salute the dolphin (ursa minor) every night after sandhyAvandanam

Anglophones – English tips interleaved in the actual procedure for your benefit.

प्राक्कथनम् -ध्रुवे विस्मयः

अत्रास्मिन् देशे काले च शीघ्रमेव निशारभते। ह्यो यथासाधरणं रात्रौ यथाभ्यासं चलन् दूरवाण्यां रक्षितं रामायणं शृण्वन् खम् अपश्यम्। नित्यम् पश्याम्य् उद्यन्तं रुद्रम्, मृगशीर्षम् आर्द्राञ्च, प्रजापतिमपि। तत्र तत्र Castor, Pollox (पुनर्वसू) इत्यादीनि ऋक्षाणि, Cassiopeia, Taurus इत्यादीन्य् अपि मण्डलान्य् अपि पश्यामि, यथापेक्षं Google skymap इत्युपयुज्य। एवं सप्तर्षीमण्डलं पवित्रं दृष्ट्वा, ध्रुवे नक्षत्रे ऽपतद्दृष्टिः। अस्यास् ताराया महिम्नः स्मृत्या पुनरेव विस्मयो जातः। मनश्चक्षुषा नक्षत्रमण्डलानि ताम् परितः प्रदक्षिणं गच्छन्ति दृष्टानि। अयनचलनवशाद् ध्रुवस्थानीयऋक्षपर्याया अपि स्मृताः।
पुनरनेन ऋतप्रज्ञा यथापेक्षम् प्रावर्तत। स्मृतं सन्ध्यावन्दनम् कर्म, औपासनञ्चापि, प्रातस्सन्ध्यासु शयनाज् जायमानस्य पापस्य वारणार्थम् अधुना क्रियमाणः शीघ्रजागरण-यत्नविशेषः, पर्वसु स्थालीपाकः, ऋतुष्व् अग्रायणम्, वर्षासु सर्पबलिर् इत्यादीन्यपि। गतपर्वण्य् उषसि सानन्दं मन्त्रपुष्पं गायता दृष्टं चन्द्रग्रहणम् (Blue moon, a total lunar eclipse and a supermoon) अप्यस्मिन् स्मरामि। अस्या अद्भुत-प्राकृतिक-व्यवस्थाया भाग्यहम् इत्य् आत्मसाक्षात्कारोऽपि कश्चन। वन्दनीयो ध्रुव इति निश्चयो जातः।
ध्रुववन्दनम् इति किञ्चन कर्म ब्राह्मणेषु चोदितम् इति हरीशमहोदयाज् ज्ञातम्। तद्धि नित्यं तद्गृहय् अनुष्ठीयमानं दृष्टम् – तदधीनाभ्याम् बालाभ्याम् अपि। श्रुतिचोदितं चेन् मयाऽपि कार्यमेवेति निश्चयो मनस्य् आसीद् गतवर्षात्। किञ्च ज्ञानाभावादैतावन्नानुष्ठितम्। तत्कल्पान्वेषणे वीर्यवत्प्रयत्नो न पुरा विहितः। किञ्च तथा विधातुम् अद्य देवाः प्रैरयन्।

ध्रुवमण्डलस्य शिंशुमारता

वर्तमानकाले

नक्षत्रविन्यासस्मृत्यै नानाजनसमुदाया मनसि नाना चित्राणि कथानकानि चाकल्पयन्। यावनाः भल्लूकम् इव कल्पयन्ति ध्रुवमण्डलम्। अस्मत्पूर्वजास् त्वर्वाचीनाः शिशुमारम्  तत्पुच्छं वा (सायणशङ्करभाष्योल्लेखाव् अधः)! तदस्माकीनम् एव स्मृतिचित्रं‌ रोचतेतराम् मे व्यक्ततायाः। वीक्षध्वम् –

(यवनानाम् शिशुमारमण्डलान्तरम् Dolphinus इति वर्तत एव।, यथा –
Image result for ursa minor as a dolphin
)
अथवा
विष्णुसहस्रनामभाष्ये शङ्करः –
एवञ्च आरण्यके तैत्तिरीये सायणभाष्यान्विते ऽत्र

Ancient YV seers saw a different Polaris and dolphin tail

 
Quoting from the Wiki:

Currently Polaris is extremely well suited to mark the position of the north celestial pole, as Polaris is a moderately bright star with a visual magnitude of 2.1 (variable), and it is located about one degree from the pole.[16]

The previous pole star was Kochab (Beta Ursae Minoris, β UMi, β Ursae Minoris), the brightest star in the bowl of the “Little Dipper”, located 16 degrees from Polaris. It held that role from 1500 BC to AD 500 .[17] It was not quite as accurate in its day as Polaris is today.[17] Today, Kochab and its neighbor Pherkad are referred to as the “Guardians of the Pole” (meaning Polaris).[17]

On the other hand, Thuban in the constellation Draco, which was the pole star in 3000 BC, is much less conspicuous at magnitude 3.67 (one-fifth as bright as Polaris); today it is invisible in light-polluted urban skies.

My initial guess was that they would have seen Kochab (just 7 deg off). Ursa minor would still have been the shishumAra.
However, a related Twitter conversation suggests that Polaris was Thuban and the shiMshumAra was Draco:
Media preview
Observe how Draco can be visualized as shishumAra as well – you can make out a snout, tail and a dorsal fin (or ventral fin depending on orientation). Even Ursa Minor (whole or part) can be considered one half of the tail. One can even speculatively match the stars identified with the deity-components of the dolphin as listed in the veda and purANa quotes (eg- it would be tempting to match the 4 stars in the fin with the otherwise anatomically implausible “fore and hind legs” mentioned therein).

कल्पः

कल्पोऽपि विस्मयावहः। आरण्यके तैत्तिरीये सायणभाष्यान्विते ऽत्रोक्तःभट्टभास्करटीकायान्तु स्पष्टं विनियोगकाल्पोऽनुक्तः – किञ्च “दिवि भवो दिव्य” इति शिशुमारविवरणान् नक्षत्रमण्डलविशेषग्रहणं युज्यते। (मन्त्रेऽपि शिशुमारम् उद्दिश्य ध्रुवस्य क्षितिर् असीत्युक्तम् अवधेयम्)। ध्रुवमण्डलं शिशुमारं कल्पयतु। कोऽसौ शिशुमारः?
(Face Ploaris. Meditate on the dophin.)
यस्मै॒ नम॒स्
तच्छिरो॒ धर्मो॑ मू॒र्धानं॑
ब्र॒ह्म+उत्त॑रा॒ हनु॑र् य॒ज्ञोऽध॑रा॒
विष्णु॒र्॒ हृद॑यँ
सव्वँथ्स॒रः प्र॒जन॑नम्
अ॒श्विनौ॑ पूर्व॒पादा॑व्
अ॒त्रिर्मध्यं॑
मि॒त्रावरु॑णावपर॒पादा॑व्
अ॒ग्निः पुच्छ॑स्य प्रथ॒मङ्काण्ड॒न्, तत॒ इन्द्र॒स्, ततः॑ प्र॒जाप॑ति॒र्, अभ॑यञ् चतु॒र्थँ
स वा ए॒ष दि॒व्यश् शा॑क्व॒रश् शिशु॑मार॒स्
(ब्रह्माण्डपुराणस्य 23.101-104 इत्यनेन तोलनीयम् – यथोक्तमत्र।)
(Remember the benefit of knowing the dolphin)
तँ ह॒ य ए॒वव्ँ वेदाप॑ पुनर्मृ॒त्युञ्ज॑यति॒।
जय॑ति स्व॒र्गल्लो॒कन् नाध्वनि॒ प्रमी॑यते॒।
नाफ्सु प्रमी॑यते॒ नाग्नौ प्रमी॑यते॒ नान॒पत्यः॑ प्रमी॒यते॑। ल॒घ्वान्नो॑ भवति।
(Salute Polaris in the tail, made of agni, indra, prajApati and fearlessness)
ध्रु॒वस्त्वम॑सि। ध्रु॒वस्य क्षि॑तमसि।
त्वं भू॒ताना॒मधि॑पतिरसि॒। त्वं भू॒ताना॒ँ श्रेष्ठो॑ऽसि॒।
त्वां भू॒तान्युप॑ प॒र्याव॑र्तन्ते॒। नम॑स्ते॒ नम॒स्सर्व॑न्ते॒ नमः॑ । (22) ।। 19 ।

 

On padmAvat and punishing brothelwood

I haven’t seen the controversial padmAvat. I hear that it is a box office hit. It is no surprise that most people are idiots and/ or shameless in their adharma (which includes encouraging asat-kAvya). Since I endeavor not to belong to that category to the best of my abilities, I won’t pay to see the movie – though I might see it without paying sometime down the line – partly in order to study the enemy. Neither will I let my family be dragged into that cesspool (राजा राष्ट्रकृतं भुङ्क्ते राज्ञः पापं पुरोहितः।  भर्ता च स्त्रीकृतं पापं शिष्यपापं गुरुस्तथा।। ).

What are the objections to padmAvat?

  • “Padmavat movie depicts something not even in Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s original work – that the root cause of the invasion of Chittor was that the Brahmin purohit rAghava defected after he was caught being a sex pervert (peeping tom). In vengeance, he induces Alauddin to invade to capture Padmini.” – TW1. Jayasi’s work blamed a black-magic performing musician instead – TW2, SW. (“Evil Brahmin cause of Hindu suffering”. Such negative presentation – albeit muted- is familiar from “Baji Rao Mastani” depiction of conservative brAhmaNa-s and bAji’s mother.)
  • Fictional Muslim characters like Mehrunnisa and Khan are fabricated to show Muslims in good light. These characters are found neither in epic nor in history.
  • rAjaputra-s object to their revered queen being depicted in inappropriate behavior (a dance before men). Most others might not object, but I can sympathize. Would I want my mother or grandmother thus depicted? (No, our clan and the broader varNa have no tradition of social dances by women – unlike say the gujju-s.)