Archive for the 'Blog' Category

How to bridge ancient wisdom and modern knowledge? Opening remarks at ThinkEdu Conclave, Chennai, 4 Mar 2017.

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

How to bridge ancient wisdom and modern knowledge? That we are here to discuss HOW to bridge these two kinds of learning– of course, assumes that we think there is a gap of some sort. In order to answer the question, of course, I will first – theoretically – accept that there is a gap, […]

How to read the Gita (6)

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

READ COMPARATIVELY, ANALYTICALLY: In the case of the Gita, you do not need to only rely on translations, there are numerous dictionaries and guidebooks, in print and online. Take a verse that you really want to grasp deeply, and go through it, word by word. Then compare a handful of translations, and you begin to […]

How to Read the Gita (1-5)

Monday, October 19th, 2015

  In 1945, nuclear physicist Robert J Oppenheimer compared the totalizing destruction of the atomic bomb with the vision of Krishna as the all-powerful divine in Chapter 11. At the Trinity test site in Los Alamos New Mexico, looking at the fireball of the atomic bomb explosion, he recalled the Bhagavad Gita: “Now, I am […]

What Lives

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

First published as guest blog by Mani Rao on Lata Mani’s site Line 1, Verse 1 of Iśāvāsya Upaniṣad. Īśāvāsyamidam sarvam yatkiñca jagatyām jagat   A parable describes a conversation between two babies in a womb. Said one to the other, ‘I think this story about ‘Mother’ is fictitious. I don’t see anyone. Maybe there […]


Friday, September 11th, 2015

oṃ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṃ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate.  The invocation that begins the Iśāvāsya Upaniṣad seems a baffling equation: oṃ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṃpūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate. Pūrṇam is usually translated as full, whole, or complete. That is full, this is full, from full comes full. The next line says: pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate If […]

Asato mā

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Asato mā sadgamaya Tamaso mā jyotirgamaya Mrutyor mā amritam gamaya — Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad. 1.iii.28 This popular hymn is found in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (1.iii.28), where the speaker asks for an improvement in his or her own self or situation. There are many commentaries about the meanings and implications of asat and sat, tamas and jyotiḥ, […]

Mani Rao is a poet, translator and independent scholar.