Rao Tula Ram Ahir (1825 – 1862) – Biography of a heroic freedom fighter

Most people familiar with India’s capital, Delhi, will likely have used the nation’s main international airport, Indira Gandhi International. En route from the airport to the centre of Delhi is a long and famous road, Rao Tula Ram Marg (‘Marg’ being the Hindi word for street). Situated on this road is one of Delhi’s finer […]

Jnanadeva – (13th Century CE) – Biography of a great yogi

Jnanadeva (also written as Jnandev, Jnanesvar, Jñanadeva or Dnyāneshwar) was a Hindu saint of the Nath tradition, who lived in Maharasthra  in the 13th century during the rule of the Yadava King Ramadevarao, immediately prior to the Islamic invasions of that part of India which started in 1296. Ramadevarao provided a stable and secure government compared with […]

Remembering Sister Nivedita (1867-1911)

Sister Nivedita (1867 – 1911) was a famous and inspirational social worker and educationalist in pre-independence India. She is considered to have played an important role in raising national consciousness in India, becoming a relatively early advocate of complete Independence of India from British rule which included supporting the activities of freedom fighters. She is […]

Shivaji and Shaista Khan

Probably the most audacious and clever covert military operation in medieval history was Shivaji’s night raid against the Mughul commander Shaista Khan. In the words of a famous historian, Professor Sarkar, “Shivaji dealt a massive blow at the Mughals, a blow whose cleverness of design and neatness of execution and completeness of success created in […]

Be wary of some English translations of Hindu sacred texts

Most Hindus living in a predominantly English speaking environment have an urge at one point in their lives to learn about Hinduism. Sometimes the curiosity arises from a genuine desire for guidance in life. In other cases the urge to look into Hinduism comes from a particular incident – for example being asked questions that […]

Remembering Ahalyabai Holkar (1725-1795)

Western scholarship has generally painted a picture of Hindu society in which women have forever been secluded from public life. This view has penetrated widely into the public mind, and has even been internalised by many Hindus. Yet if fails to take into consideration many facts. For example, that women in much of India got […]

A Search for the historical Krishna – N S Rajaram

This article was originally published in the online journal ‘Sword of Truth’. Further information on the subject can be found in the author’s book, of the same title. Dr. N. S. Rajaram is an author and mathematician, based in the USA, where he formerly worked for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), in the fields […]

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Shivaji, Baji Prabhu & the Battle of Pavan Khind

Baji Prabhu Deshpande was one of the great lieutenants of Shivaji’s era.  He sacrificed his life defending Shivaji in a heroic last stand known as the Battle of Pavan Khind (Battle of the Sacred Pass) in which his force was vastly outnumbered, possibly by a ratio of 35 to 1. In the battle he lost […]

The growth of the Mahabharata from perhaps as few as 8,800 verses to nearly 100,000 verses

The Mahabharata is acknowledged as being the largest of the world epics, and the largest work of literature created before the advent of the printing press. It contains close to 100,000 verses (*1), and a full copy of the Mahabharata is thousands of pages long. Yet it was not always so. The Mahabharata itself claims […]

Review: Maharana Pratap – A Biography (by Sri Rama Sharma)

Hope India Publication: 2003 ISBN: 8178710056 Available from: http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no27318.htm Maharana Pratap (1540-1597) is one of the great Hindu heroes of medieval India. His valour is still sung in hundreds of songs throughout the land. His life is associated with many legends and heroic tales; which this book aims to elucidate the truth behind. The present […]

Jijabai – mother of Shivaji and eternal symbol of faith & courage

Jijabai (1598 – 1674) was the mother of Shivaji, one of the most famous and successful Hindu rulers of all time. The life story of Jijabai, is no less inspiring than that of Shivaji, and takes an equally proud place in the history of the Hindu people. Jijabai’s father, Lakhuji Jadhav Rao, was a leader […]

Shivaji, Baji Prabhu & the Battle of Pavan Khind

Baji Prabhu Deshpande was one of the great lieutenants of Shivaji’s era.  He sacrificed his life defending Shivaji in a heroic last stand known as the Battle of Pavan Khind (Battle of the Sacred Pass) in which his force was vastly outnumbered, possibly by a ratio of 35 to 1. In the battle he lost […]

Lord Rama’s exact year & date of birth now known?!

A quite recent article in Zee News, claimed that researchers had found the exact date of birth of Lord Rama. The article can be faulted in many ways (it is a journalistic, n­­­ot a scientific article). However the actual date proposed and the method used to arrive at it are indeed worthy of examination. It […]

[Hindu resistance] The Marathas after the death of Shivaji

After Shivaji’s death in 1680, the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb thought to himself that the Marathas would henceforth be easy to crush, erroneously thinking that the sustenance of this new Hindu kingdom rested on one able man alone [Shivaji].  Like so many other uprisings in that period, he thought the Maratha movement too would receive its […]

Takshashila: The world’s first known university

At least 2,800 years ago, circa 800BCE, there existed a giant University at Takshashila (often called Taxila), a town located in the north-western region of India (in today’s Pakistan). According to references in the Ramayana, King Bharata founded the town in the name of his son, Taksha. The site initially began to develop as a […]

Why did Krishna choose Arjuna over Bhishma, Drona & Karna?

The Mahabharata is arguably the greatest work of literature in the world. No other work brings out the complexity of human problems in such a profound and entertaining way. It shows us the application of philosophy when it comes to deciding between the right and wrong in such cases where the answer is not straightforward. […]

Purusharthas: the four great aims of life

Intro Hinduism has traditionally regarded four basic aims of life. These are called “Purusharthas”, and are as follows: 1. Kama (pleasure and desire) 2. Artha (material wellbeing and wealth acquisition) 3. Dharma (righteousness, duty and order) 4. Moksha (spiritual liberation, union with the Supreme) This article gives an overview and further insight into the Four Purusharthas. Fulfilling and Balancing the Purusharthas The civilisation of the […]

[Hindu resistance] The “Satnami” revolt against Aurangzeb

The Satnami sect of Hinduism was founded in 1657 in Narnaul (a town in today’s Indian state of Haryana, situated about 100km south-west of Delhi), by a saint names Birbhan. They are considered to be an offshoot of the followers of the great saint Ravidas. The name Satnami reflects the major religious activity of the […]

Remembering Swami Vivekananda – 150 years on

Many years ago a young penniless man with barely a possession in the world sailed out to the West, armed only with the intense desire that the spiritual wisdom of his motherland should be known and respected throughout the world. He was the first Hindu in the modern age to travel to the West and […]

Hinduism: Aryans, Invasions & Myths

The ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ Pick up any textbook on Hinduism, and chances are that the beginning of Hinduism is identified with the ‘Aryan invasion of India’, dated around 1500 BCE, and their composition of the Rig Veda. According to this viewpoint, the ‘Aryans’ were a tall, fair skinned people who originated from outside India, and […]