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Sanskrit Non-Translatables is a path-breaking and audacious attempt at Sanskritizing the English language and enriching it with powerful Sanskrit words. It continues the original and innovative idea of non-translatability of Sanskrit, first introduced in the book, Being Different. For English readers, this should be the starting point of the movement to resist the digestion of Sanskrit into English, by introducing loanwords into their English vocabulary without translation. The book presents a thorough mechanism of the process of digestion and examines the loss of adhikara for Sanskrit language because of translating its core ideas into English. The movement launched by this book will resist this and stop the programs that seek to turn Sanskrit into a dead language by translating all its treasures to render it redundant. It discusses 54 non-translatables across various genres that are being commonly mis-translated. It empowers English speakers with the knowledge and arguments to introduce these Sanskrit words into their daily speech with confidence. Every lover of India’s sanskriti will benefit from the book and become a cultural ambassador propagating it through routine communications.
This compilation opens with an interview of me conducted by another independent scholar who resides in the United States and who has followed the works of these biased academics for over two decades. Thereafter, this book republishes some of the main writings that first appeared more than a decade back. Hence the writings are of historical value to anyone wishing to have a fair background on what transpired then. I hope you will read this collection of articles with an open mind and form your own views. I wish to thank Abin Sur for editing and formatting the articles into this electronic book.
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There is a new awakening that is challenging the ongoing westernization of the discourse about India. The Battle for Sanskrit seeks to alert traditional scholars of Sanskrit and sanskriti ‑ Indian civilization ‑ concerning an important school of thought that has its base in the US and that has started to dominate the discourse on the cultural, social and political aspects of India. This academic field is called Indology or Sanskrit studies. From their analysis of Sanskrit texts, the scholars of this field are intervening in modern Indian society with the explicitly stated purpose of removing ‘poisons’ allegedly built into these texts. They hold that many Sanskrit texts are socially oppressive and serve as a political weapon of the ruling elite; that the sacred aspects need to be refuted or side lined; and that Sanskrit has long been dead. The traditional Indian experts would outright reject or at least question these positions. The start of Rajiv Malhotra’s feisty exploration of where the new thrust in Western Indology goes wrong, and his defence of what he considers the traditional, Indian approach, began with a project related to the Sringeri Sharada Peetham, one of the most sacred institutions for Hindus. There was, as he saw it, a serious risk of distortion of the teachings of the peetham, and of sanatana dharma more broadly. Whichever side of the fence one may be, The Battle for Sanskrit, offers a spirited debate marshalling new insights and research. It is a valuable addition to an important subject, and in a larger context, on two ways of looking. Is each view exclusive of the other, or can there be a bridge between them? The reader can judge for himself.
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Originating in the Atharva Veda, the concept of Indra’s Net is a powerful metaphor for interconnectedness. It was transmitted via Buddhism’s Avatamsaka Sutra into Western thought, where it now resides at the heart of post-modern discourse. According to this metaphor, nothing ultimately exists separately by itself and all boundaries can be deconstructed. This book invokes Indra’s Net to articulate the open architecture, unity and continuity of Hinduism. Seen from this perspective, Hinduism defies pigeonholing into the traditional, modern and post-modern categories by which the West defines itself; rather, it becomes evident that Hinduism has always spanned all three categories simultaneously and without contradiction.It is fashionable among intellectuals to assert that dharma traditions lacked any semblance of unity before the British period, and that the contours of contemporary Hinduism were bequeathed to us by our colonial masters. Such arguments routinely target Swami Vivekananda, a key interlocutor who shattered many deeply rooted prejudices against Indian civilization. They accuse him of having camouflaged various alleged ‘contradictions’ within traditional Hinduism, and charge him with having appropriated the principles of Western religion to ‘manufacture’ a coherent and unified worldview and set of practices known today as Hinduism. Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity provides a foundation for theories that slander contemporary Hinduism as illegitimate, ascribing sinister motives to its existence, and characterizing its fabric as oppressive. Rajiv Malhotra offers a detailed, systematic rejoinder to such views, and articulates the multidimensional, holographic understanding of reality that grounds Hindu dharma. He also argues that Vivekananda’s creative interpretations of Hindu dharma informed and influenced many Western intellectual movements of the post-modern era. Indeed, as he cites with many insightful examples, appropriations from Hinduism have provided a foundation for cutting-edge discoveries in several fields, including cognitive science and neuroscience.
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India's integrity is being undermined by three global networks that have well-established operating bases inside India: (i) Islamic radicalism linked with Pakistan, (ii) Maoists and Marxist radicals supported by China via intermediaries such as Nepal, and (iii) Dravidian and Dalit identity separatism being fostered by the West in the name of human rights. This book focuses on the third: the role of U.S. and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, government and human rights groups in fostering separation of the identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India. The book is the result of five years of research, and uses information obtained in the West about foreign funding of these Indian-based activities. The research tracked the money trails that start out claiming to be for “education,” "human rights," “empowerment training,” and “leadership training,” but end up in programs designed to produce angry youths who feel disenfranchised from Indian identity. The book reveals how outdated racial theories continue to provide academic frameworks and fuel the rhetoric that can trigger civil wars and genocides in developing countries. The Dravidian movement’s 200-year history has such origins. Its latest manifestation is the “Dravidian Christianity” movement that fabricates a political and cultural history to exploit old faultlines. The book explicitly names individuals and institutions, including prominent Western ones and their Indian affiliates. Its goal is to spark an honest debate on the extent to which human rights and other “empowerment” projects are cover-ups for these nefarious activities.
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India is more than a nation state. It is also a unique civilization with philosophies and cosmologies that are markedly distinct from the dominant culture of our times - the West. India's spiritual traditions spring from dharma which has no exact equivalent in Western frameworks. Unfortunately, in the rush to celebrate the growing popularity of India on the world stage, its civilizational matrix is being co-opted into Western universalism, thereby diluting its distinctiveness and potential. In Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, thinker and philosopher Rajiv Malhotra addresses the challenge of a direct and honest engagement on differences, by reversing the gaze, repositioning India from being the observed to the observer and looking at the West from the dharmic point of view. In doing so, he challenges many hitherto unexamined beliefs that both sides hold about themselves and each other. He highlights that while unique historical revelations are the basis for Western religions, dharma emphasizes self-realization in the body here and now. He also points out the integral unity that underpins dharma's metaphysics and contrasts this with Western thought and history as a synthetic unity. Erudite and engaging, Being Different critiques fashionable reductive translations and analyses the West's anxiety over difference and fixation for order which contrast the creative role of chaos in dharma. It concludes with a rebuttal of Western claims of universalism, while recommending a multi-cultural worldview.
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India, once a major civilizational and economic power that suffered centuries of decline, is now newly resurgent in business, geopolitics and culture. However, a powerful counterforce within the American Academy is systematically undermining core icons and ideals of Indic Culture and thought. For instance, scholars of this counterforce have disparaged the Bhagavad Gita as a dishonest book ; declared Ganesha's trunk a limp phallus ; classified Devi as the mother with a penis and Shiva as a notorious womanizer who incites violence in India; pronounced Sri Ramakrishna a pedophile who sexually molested the young Swami Vivekananda; condemned Indian mothers as being less loving of their children than white women; and interpreted the bindi as a drop of menstrual fluid and the ha in sacred mantras as a woman's sound during orgasm. Are these isolated instances of ignorance or links in an institutionalized pattern of bias driven by certain civilizational worldviews? Are these academic pronouncements based on evidence, and how carefully is this evidence cross-examined? How do these images of India and Indians created in the American Academy influence public perceptions through the media, the education system, policymakers and popular culture? Adopting a politically impartial stance, this book, the product of an intensive multi-year research project, uncovers the invisible networks behind this Hinduphobia, narrates the Indian Diaspora's challenges to such scholarship, and documents how those who dared to speak up have been branded as dangerous . The book hopes to provoke serious debate. For example: how do Hinduphobic works resemble earlier American literature depicting non-whites as dangerous savages needing to be civilized by the West? Are India's internal social problems going to be managed by foreign interventions in the name of human rights? How do power imbalances and systemic biases affect the objectivity and quality of scholarship? What are the rights of practitioner-experts in talking back to academicians? What is the role of India's intellectuals, policymakers and universities in fashioning an authentic and enduring response?
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Scholarly study of the civilization, buildings, approach to science. many illus, maps,including color
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Looking back on the glorious tradition of iron making in India, Marvels of Indian Iron Through the Ages provides concrete evidence of the expertise of India's metallurgical knowledge in ancient and medieval times. It describes some of the most marvelous iron creations in India s history: the Iron Pillar of Delhi, the technology behind forge-welded cannons, and the famous wootz-steel of the subcontinent. Simply written and illustrated with line drawings and photographs, the book incorporates the latest research into the history of iron, and is certain to fascinate both serious scholars and general readers by providing them with a rare glimpse into India s rich metallurgical heritage. Science and technology have always been an important part of India s story, as the substratum of its civilization s rationality and secular progress, the basic for pre-colonial Indian Ocean global trade, the foundation for building India s future knowledge society, and a key element in projecting Brand India. This volume is part of a multi-volume series on the subject.
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Detailed historical analysis, chapters on British period, earlier experiences, and growth of new industry
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Infinity Foundation India conducted two conferences in the recent past (in July 2016 and February 2017) which examined the impact of some of the writings of Prof. Sheldon Pollock of Columbia University. While the first conference had four themes, the second had six more; and all these ten topics pertained to the interpretations proffered by Pollock.A conspectus of the various papers in this volume is quite in order here. This volume presents eight papers in two parts – three on what is perceived by the ilks of Pollock as the diabolical influence that Sanskrit and the Śāstra-s have had, directly or indirectly, on Nazism; and five on the vile theme of the putative death of Sanskrit. Available on Amazon Kindle India and also at 12 other global marketplaces.
Infinity Foundation India conducted two conferences in the recent past (in July 2016 and February 2017) which examined the impact of some of the writings of Prof. Sheldon Pollock of Columbia University. While the first conference had four themes, the second had six more; and all these ten topics pertained to the interpretations proffered by Pollock.A conspectus of the various papers in this volume is quite in order here. This volume presents seven papers which respond to Pollock's views on Sastra and Indian knowledge systems. Available on Amazon Kindle India and also at 12 other global marketplaces.
This monograph problematises Professor Sheldon Pollock’s interpretation of the Rāmāyaṇa. Available on Amazon Kindle India and also at 12 other global marketplaces.
The ancient monuments in the Himalayan interiors are already well-known to scholars the world over for their artistic grandeur. However, little is known about the equally interesting traditional secular architecture - the dwelling houses and other such structures. Made of local material, mostly wood, these buildings form an organic part of the Himalayan biosphere. These buildings, built in different environmental settings, have been cost-effective, congenial, functional and eco-friendly, blending harmoniously with their surroundings. The present work deals with the secular architecture of this region in a holistic manner. How the geo-physical, ethnic, socio-economic and religio-cultural multiplicities have contributed to the development of a variegated architectural mosaic in the Himalayan region, has been lucidly and methodically brought out. An exhaustive glossary of the local technical terms is added for further information. Traditional wisdom in planning and architecture, and functional structural aspects may prove valuable for modern house planning, especially as modern builders seek compatible and eco-friendly architecture in the Vastushastra. Thus, this pioneering work is not only useful and interesting for social scientists and professionals, but for the general reader as well. Available on Amazon US and Amazon India.
Humans have very interesting relations with animals. The interaction moved from predator-prey to a balanced association of co-existence over approximately the last ten thousand years. Humans adopted many methods of controlling the animals to build up a secure resource base through animal husbandry followed by domestication. To gain benefits from the domestic animals, humans used several technologies. The developments that took place in this regard in the Indian subcontinent form the focus of discussion, with appropriate background of changes occurring in animal husbandry practices and associated technologies elsewhere in the Old World. In the present book, the story of interaction between humans and animals has been retold in a very lucid and simple manner for the benefit of the general educated reader. Attempts have been made here to provide information to understand the changing human relation with animals and the long-term and far-reaching consequences thereof for human society. The book is structured in eight chapters in such a way that each of these is independent by itself, but collectively these present the history of human-animal interactions in the Indian subcontinent. Thus, while each chapter is complete by itself, together these open up a vast spatiotemporal vista of the human-animal relationship. The first chapter introduces complex ways of human interaction with the animals during the primitive past. The second chapter examines various dynamics of animal domestication. The third chapter deals with different processes of domestication of animals. The fourth chapter is focussed on archeo-faunal data recovered from the palaeolithic and mesolithic sites in the Indian subcontinent. The fifth chapter, divided into three sections, explores the early farming cultures of South Asia. The sixth chapter is devoted to the animals in the Indus Civilisation. The seventh chapter deals with the post-Indus cultures of South Asia, and the last chapter attempts to recapitulate the main issues taken up in the study and to visualise what the future holds for the human-animal relationships. Available on Amazon US and Amazon India.
The Indus Civilization is as old as the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Mesopotamia and China. It is spread over an area of more than a million square kilometers, an area much bigger than the Mesopotamian and the Egyptian civilizations. Though technologically innovative, the Indus Civilization is marked by modesty and functionality of its architecture and artefacts. The book gives a holistic yet interdisciplinary perspective. The data on climate, environment, metals, hydraulics, animals, plants and agriculture, have been given adequate coverage. The Indus civilization shows considerable variation in town planning, yet a baffling uniformity in weights and measures, as well as in motifs. The book fully captures the uniformity in diversity of the Indus Civilization and covers its different dimensions. The book does capture its water splendour as described by Jansen's German term wasserluxus. The author does not avoid technical data but presents it in an interesting style so that it retains the attention of the non-professional. Despite the modesty writ large over the civilization, it achieved great architectural, hydrological and engineering feats. It seems the resources of the state were utilized for public works rather than on the ostentation of wealth of the rulers. The archeological remains give the impression that the Harappan culture essentially belonged to an egalitarian society. For example, at Dholavira, besides the citadel, there is a middle and lower town; essentially, these consist of decent well-made houses. The Harappans contributed to the world of scientific instruments, the true saw, needles with the hole at the pointed end, hollow drills and so on which were re-invented in Europe in the Roman times. The wealth in terms of ornaments were circulated through generations, and not buried in graves; except for bronze mirrors, no costly items are found in the graves. Available on Amazon US and Amazon India.
The present study highlights the contributions of India in bead manufacturing and trading since the upper Palaeolithic period. Effort has been made to present interesting information on various aspects of bead manufacturing in ancient India that may be of interest for the common readers and experts alike. The traditional bead manufacturing, still an active craft at the present day Khambhat, has also been discussed in detail. The Indian bead-makers achieved remarkable expertise in these technologies over the years since its beginning. The industry initially developed on the soft organic materials, like ostrich egg shell, bone and shell, but it developed as a specialised industry, using different raw materials, responding to the new and varied local and foreign demands. Innovation and improvement in bead technology has been a continual process. By the time of Indus Civilization, the bead-makers had achieved mastery in this art, and the bead manufacturing industry had gained international repute. However, that coveted status suffered a setback with the decline of Indus Civilization, though it regained its glory with the rise of second urbanization during the early historic period. Several archaeological sites of different cultural periods have revealed evidence of bead manufacturing. Those discoveries not only reveal the varieties and volumes of beads that the Indian artisans manufactured in ancient times, but also established their talent and experimental skills. An extensive inter-regional and intra-regional network for the procurement of raw materials and the distribution of finished products existed in the country to meet the demand and supply requirement. Thus, India has been one of the largest providers of beads in the world, exporting these to marts of Mediterranean civilizations. These had been in great demand in the Persian Gulf and African countries. The present study provides a detailed account of bead manufacturing and trade in India. This work is a significant HIST contribution to all interested to learn about India's achievement in bead-making technology, one of the little-known areas of History of Indian Science and Technology. Available on Amazon US and Amazon India.
Technology forms an important aspect of culture, as it gauges the economic and social developments of a society during its various phases. The rate of technological change that took place until the Chalcolithic period was slow and that spread over a long period of time. For, that was in response to the basic social needs, like the search for food and shelter. However, 5,000 years ago, during the Chalcolithic period, a momentous cultural transition began, which generated news needs and resources. That was accompanied by a significant increase in technological innovation. In this book, an attempt has been made to explore the possibility of reconstructing various aspects of Chalcolithic technologies in South Asia. In order to reconstruct that, the archaeological evidences related to the craft and manufacture and the ethnographic data of the modern communities, which is technologically at par with the Chalcolithic, have been considered. Besides the already published data, a detailed analysis of artefacts from many excavated sites, like Mehrgarh, Ahar, Navdatoli, Balathal, Gilund, Inamgaon, Daimbad, Kayatha, etc has been included in this book. The book also incorporates data related to the tools and workshops used for the manufacture of various crafts during this period. This book provides first hand information on numerous aspects of South Asian chalcolithic technologies for the common readers. The data as well as the interpretations have been presented in a lucid manner. Thus, this book is a step forward in reconstructing the South Asian chalcolithic technologies, which in turn enables understanding of the emergence of human civilization and complex socio-economic organizations. Available on Amazon US and Amazon India.
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