Sunday, July 30, 2017

Book review - In the name of God

By Ravi Subramanian

A well thought book, but completed in hurry. A New genre I think, which making fiction out of news events. I think this is the best way to summarize the book.

While reading it till end of part 2 (of 3), it was nail biting. I couldn't keep the book down till that point. But after that the expectations suddenly collapsed and a less impressive climax followed.

The author has managed to piece together various news headlines and as a jigsaw puzzle he fitted it very well in this book. But the main plot where the story unwinds transforms into a mere sub-plot.

Linking events like Dubai mall heist, opening of temple vaults of Sree Padmanabhaswamy, Mumbai blasts, returning of Lord Nataraja by Australia to PM Modi, etc makes up sub plot of the fiction. The main plot is only revealed in climax, but still unclear.

Efforts to tarnish the image of padmanabhadasa doesn't go unnoticed. Not sure how much research was done to make this claim. I don't think any Malayali would buy this.

Rajan, who is incidental in arranging the opening of temple vaults (and the story) hides away to oblivion. The unparalleled unison in the enquiry team is nothing short of fantasy. Where else can a Tamil Nadu DIG, Additional director CBI, and Kerala DGP jointly enquire a case?

Now to say about the climax itself. Totally hollow and looks like the author wanted a forced thrilling end.  

In nutshell a good thriller for 2/3rd of the book and a lame climax. Worth reading once.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

High tide and Tithi

We can find out the time of high tide from Tithi: but not from the date according to modern calendar. He is how one can find the Tithi:

Calculate 3/4th of Tithi and add to it three times of Tithi as minutes.

For ex:- take Tithi 12. The 3/4th of Tithi is 9. Three times the Tithi is 3x12=36 minutes.

So at 9.36, we will witness high side of the sea, in the morning as well as in the nigh.

If the Tithi is Pournima or 15, its 3/4th is 45/4=11-15 minutes. Add 15x3=45 minutes to 11.15. This comes to 12. Therefore at 12 noon and 12 midnight there will be high tide.

The date in any modern calendar cannot give this information, which will be blessing for a layman or sailor.

Dr.P.V.Vartak MBBS
(Veda Vidnyana Mandala)
521 Shaniwar Peth,
Pune 411030

Publisher of Books such as:
a. The Scientific Dating of the Mahabharata War
b. The Scientific Dating of the Ramayana and the Vedas etc

The above are excerpts taken from the book "The Scientific Dating of the Ramayana and the Vedas"

Book Review - Warjuna Book 1 Mrithasu rising

Dont get carried away by seeing the name Arjuna in the title, this book is not other average puranic story converted to fiction. It has a fresh perspective, but with some familiar character names like Kanha, Arjuna, Draupadi etc. Thats the summary.

Unlike Amish's, Anand Neelakantan's book on the subject which are just fiction mapping of puranic events, this book talks about a parallel universe in which stories unwind. Its not Pandavas, Kauravas etc which we are familiar with.

Arjuna is a perfect protector looming in the shades of Mahayogi Kanha. He knows what is best in the situation and others are always in awe for his suggestions. Being the lead character, he just speaks and acts but after reading he kind of fades away. The strength of character is not yet visible in him.

I liked the depiction of Kanha as Mahayogi which is very welcome change after reading the books by the other authors mentioned above. Kanha is an enlightened being who is trying to group forces to save Bharata from looming danger. The way in which Kanha travels to other realms of world is beautiful, almost a fantasy.

The antagonist forces fail to impress mostly because their leader is still hiding behind the grand stage. Nothing much is revealed, but it is an intentional plot by the author. The title itself says the name of antagonist "Mrithasu rising". Hoping to see more of the antagonist in future releases.

Other character names hardly register in my mind. The names are so peculiar that I had to struggle keep remembering characters introduced every now and then.

I believe author has the right reasons for using the names from the mahapurana Mahabharatha. But this book 1 doesn't reveal the reason, which was not what one would have expected.

Also happy by seeing the profile of the author, he is not referring him as a Mythologist; which according to me a deregatory term. Mahabharatha, Ramayana etc are Puranas and not Myths. Its high time people understand it.

Overall, its a good book with some familiar names but not the familiar story.

Disclaimer: I was offered the book by author himself on exchange of a fair review. Thanking him for that, and it was worth my time.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ritu/Seasons in Indian Calendar System

We learned that there are four seasons viz., Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn. But hardly anyone would have recognized that is not what we have in India. The four season is what is experienced in Britain, not in India.

Indians use Ritu word for season. And there are 6 Ritus in a year.
Sishira  - Mid Dec. to Mid Feb. (Winter)
Vasantha - Mid Feb. to Mid April (Spring)
Grishma  - Mid April to Mid June (Summer)
Varsha   - Mid June to Mid Aug (Monsoon)
Sarath   - Mid Aug to Mid Oct (Early Autumn)
Hemantha - Mid Oct to Mid Dec (Late Autumn/Fall)

Let us start using these names so that our children are familiar with it unlike some of us. This practice of teaching small things which we used to know rather than digesting what Westerners spat out will help us regain our identity and move away from our inferiority complex.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Panchanga or Indian Calendar System

Indian Calendar System (Panchanga)

Age-old Indian calendar system can tell what day it is today just by looking at the sky. (Of course if its not overcast). Lets see how one can understand what day it is today:

One should know basics of Tithi, Nakshatra, lunar month can tell what day it is today.

The full moon indicates Pournima, half moon Astami, quarter moon indicates Chaturthi and so on. The star seen near the moon indicates the day's Nakshatra. The star which rises in the east while sun sets indicates the name of lunar month. A star near the full moon also gives the name of lunar month.

For ex:- If the full moon is near Chitra Nakshatra, its Chaitra Month.

If he looks at the rising Sun he can recognise whether it is Uttarayana/Dakshinayana. From the position of rising Sun on horizon one can recognize the Ritu (season) also. Thus Indian Calendar System is called Panchanga (five parts)

1. Tithi (Lunar day)
2. Nakshatra (Star)
3. Masa (Months)
4. Ritu (Seasons)
5. Ayana (Uttarayana/Dakshinayana)

Thus Indian Calendar System or Panchanga is really eternal and does not follow any person/figure for dating.

Dr.P.V.Vartak MBBS
(Veda Vidnyana Mandala)
521 Shaniwar Peth,
Pune 411030

Publisher of Books such as:
a. The Scientific Dating of the Mahabharata War
b. The Scientific Dating of the Ramayana and the Vedas etc

The above are excerpts taken from the book "The Scientific Dating of the Ramayana and the Vedas"

This article is part of Book review of the same, mentioned above.

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