Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Turtle supporting Mount Meru in Asian and Mesoamerican Art

Note: This article has been published on Esamskriti.

In the Hindu legend of the Churning of the Milky Ocean, the gods and the demons churned the Milky Ocean in order to acquire the Nectar of Immortality. In this grand spectacle, Vishnu, the preserver of the cosmic order, had taken the form of a massive tortoise (Kurma Avatar) in the middle of the Milky Ocean. His humped shell acted as a pivot for Mount Mandara or Mount Meru, which served as the churning stick, while the serpent Vasuki was the cord for the churn.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Olmec Heads: Did they serve as the door-guardians of the Olmec shrines?

The Olmec Heads 

A long-standing enigma surrounding the Olmec civilization is the significance of the colossal stone heads found at the Olmec sites. Till date, 17 monumental stone heads have been recovered; 16 from the Olmec ceremonial centers at San Lorenzo, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes, and a solitary one - the La Cobata head - which is also the largest, from a mountain pass in Sierra de los Tuxtlas. The La Cobata head weights nearly 40 tons while the smallest one is close to 6 tons.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Olmec Yogis with Hindu beliefs: Did they migrate from ancient China?

Note: This article has been published on Graham Hancock's website.

The Olmec Yogis 

A few years back, in course of a long trip through Mexico, I had visited the La Venta Museum in Villahermosa. The open-air museum has an enticing collection of Olmec sculpture, including three colossal Olmec stone heads. The artifacts had been moved here from the Olmec settlement of La Venta in western Tabasco when petroleum exploration in La Venta threatened the safety of these rare archaeological specimens.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The depictions of Draupadi on Indus Valley Seals


In the Mahabharata, Draupadi has been portrayed as a dutiful, benign, wife to the Pandava brothers. Although she plays an extremely important role in the epic – after all, it was her humiliating disrobing that had set the ball rolling for an eventual conflict in the battlefields of Kurukshetra – she was dependant on the Pandavas for protection, and looked upon Krishna as her confidant and guide.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Navratri and Dandiya Raas in the Indus Valley?

Note: This article has been published on Esamskriti.

An Indus Valley seal discovered at Kalibangan - the Kalibangan cylinder seal K-65 - has a complex imagery. An impression of the seal shows two men dressed as warriors (wearing their hair in a divided bun at the back of the head) spearing each other. They are holding the hand of a lady who is wearing a long head-scarf, bangles in one arm, and a long skirt. Behind them is a woman partially dressed as a tiger, wearing a horned headdress with a leafy branch, head-scarf, bangles, and a long skirt.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Symbolism of the Meditating Yogi on Indus Seals


The Pashupati Seal 

The Pashupati seal (Mohenjo-Daro Seal No.420)  shows a man with three faces, wearing bangles and a horned head-dress with plumes, seated on a throne in a very difficult yogic position called mulabandhasana (in which the legs are bent below the body such that the heels are pressed together below the groin with the toes pointing downwards). The yogi is surrounded by four wild animals – elephant, rhinoceros, tiger and water buffalo.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Shiva as Bada Dev: Gond Symbolisms on Indus Seals

Note: This article has been published on heritageonline.in

The Gond tribes of Central India have been in the news lately because of their linguistic connections to the Indus Valley civilization.

According to Gondi scholar Dr.Motiravan Kangale, the letters of the Gondi script, which can be found inscribed in the interiors of the Gotuls (youth dormitories) in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, resemble the Indus script - in particular, the Late Harappan style of writing. He provided a number of decipherments of the Indus seal inscriptions using the root morphemes of the proto-Dravidian Gondi language.