Archive for the ‘Great Indians’ Category

chanakya1Son of rishi Canak, Chanakya, also known as Kautilya or Vishnugupta, was born in Pataliputra,Magadh (modern Bihar), and later moved to Taxila, in Gandhar province(now in Pakistan). At a very early age little Chanakya started studying Vedas. The Vedas; considered to be the toughest scriptures to study were completely studied and memorized by Chanakya in his infancy. He was attracted to studies in politics. In politics Chanakya’s acumen and shrewdness was visible right from childhood. He was a student of politics right from child hood. Known as a masterful political strategist, He knew how to put his own people in the opposite camp and spy the enemy without his knowledge before destroying him forever. Chanakya was an ace in turning tables in his favor irrespective of the circumstances.

He never budged to pressure tactics by the ruthless politicians. In this way after studying religion and politics, he turned his attention to economics, which remained his lifelong friend. “Nitishastra”, a treatise on the ideal way of life shows his in depth study of the Indian way of lifeHe was a professor (acharya) of political science at the Takshashila University and later the Prime Minister of the Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. He is regarded as one of the earliest known political thinkers, economists and king-makers. He was the man to envision the first Indian empire by unification of the then numerous kingdoms in the Indian sub-continent and provide the impetus for fights against the Greek conqueror Alexander.

1) “Learn from the mistakes of others… you can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves!!”

– Chanakya

2)”A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and Honest people are screwed first.”

– Chanakya

3)”Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.”


4)”There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.”

– Chanakya

5)” Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.”

– Chanakya

6)”As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.”

– Chanakya

7)”The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.”

– Chanakya

8)”Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.”

– Chanakya

9)”The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.”

– Chanakya

10)”God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.”

– Chanakya

11) “A man is great by deeds, not by birth.”

– Chanakya

12) “Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.”

– Chanakya

13) “Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends.”

– Chanakya

14) “Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.”

– Chanakya

15) “Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.”



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Homai Vyarawalla– India’s first woman press photographe was passed away on January 15, 2012 at the age of 98. She captured the last days of the British Empire in India. Her work also traces the birth and growth of a new nation. The story of Homai’s life and her professional career spans an entire century of Indian history. This selection of rare photographs tells her life story amid footnotes of an emerging nation, as she saw it.

©Homai Vyarawalla/The Alkazi Collection of Photography

Homai was born in 1913 into a middle-class home in Navsari, Gujarat and she belongs to the Parsi community of India. Her father was an actor in a traveling Urdu-Parsi theatre company. Homai grew up in Bombay. She was the only girl in her class to complete her matriculation examination.

Homai received India’s first National Photo Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2011. In 2010, Vyarawalla gave her entire collection of prints, negatives, cameras and other memorabilia to the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, New Delhi for safekeeping and documentation. A retrospective of her work was held at the NGMA soon after, bringing her vast archive into public view.

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The Indian capital New Delhi completes 100 Years as India’s Capital on Dec 12th 2011.  100 years ago, on December 12th 1911, a grand congregation of royalty and British soldiers assembled at the Delhi Durbar as King George V proclaimed Delhi as the new Capital of Imperial India.

Delhi, the political and cultural capital of several empires including the Mughals on Monday added yet another chapter to its glorious history as it marked 100 years of its re-emergence as modern India’s capital.

red fort

Delhi was proclaimed as the capital of British Raj on December 12, 1911, shifting from Kolkata, by then Emperor of India George V thereby returning to the historic city its lost glory.

As the city celebrated 100 years of its re-emergence as modern India’s capital, Delhi government and other cultural agencies like the Indian Council for Cultural Relations have lined up for a later date, a series of celebrations to mark the occasion.

A British Lady in 1911 Delhi

A book with pictorial references and articles about the city by eminent persons like Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Malvika Singh chronicling its culturally diverse heritage since Mughal era was launched here by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today.

The book — Delhi: Red Fort to Raisina traces the journey of Shahjahan’s new capital of the Mughal empire Shajahanabad built on the banks of river Yamuna in 1638 to New Delhi, the new capital of British-ruled India.

A photo exhibition on the city of monuments is also among a series of events that the government agencies have lined up to mark the centenary year. The exhibition will chronicle the culture of Delhi — right from its ancient days to the modern period — where both the heritage sites and modern-day buildings co-exist. The year-long celebrations will actually kick off in January when the Ministry of Culture has lined up a number of events that will showcase the rich cultural heritage of the city.

The ‘Delhi Ke Pakwan Festival‘ brings the very soul of Delhi’s culture, street food to the people with a variety of ‘kebabs’, ‘kulfi’ and other mouth-watering delicacies.

The foundation stone for the building of a new city in Delhi was laid by King George V and Queen Mary at the site of the Delhi Durbar at Kingsway Camp on December 15, 1911 and New Delhi, as it is called, came out of the architectural brilliance of Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker.

Delhi has traditionally been the seat of a series of empires and regimes that have ruled India since over 3,000 years back.

Each of the empire has left behind an indelible imprint on the heritage of Delhi, that has housed no less than eight cities over the centuries, and the 100 years of the latest city marks an opportunity to celebrate the continuity of this rich habitation.

There are quite a number of architectural marvels in New Delhi, including the Jama Masqid, the largest mosque in India. Others include the Delhi Fort, Humayun’s tomb, Jantar Mantar and Purana Qila. Modern architecture is depicted in the construction of the Lotus Temple, Akshardham and Laxminarayan temple.  Laxminarayan temple is a very nice spot to visit while in India. It was put up by the Birla Family in 1938. It has a lovely garden and fountains behind it. Also, you can visit the Red Fort. The last fort to be built in New Delhi, it has lived through a number of historical hallmarks, including the decline of British rule, the building and fall of fortunes and the Independence of India. You really must see this place while in New Delhi. You should also make an effort to visit the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Chandni Chowk and Qutab Minar.

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Who is Bodhidharma?

The evolution of Asian martial arts as they are known today is thought to have originated around 500 A.D., when an Indian Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma arrived in China. Legend has it that he taught Indian fighting exercises to the Chinese monks in order to improve their physical condition. All kung-fu is thought to have evolved from this beginning, and from kung-fu came karate.

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Bodhidharma was born around the year 440 in Kanchipuram, near Madras the capital of the southern Indian kingdom of Pallava. He was the third son of King Simhavarman. When he was young he was converted to Buddhism and later received instruction in the Dharma from Prajnatara, whom his father had invited from the ancient Buddhist heartland of Magadha. Prajnatara was a master in the Dhyana school of Buddhism which was later transliterated to Ch’an in Chinese, Zen in Japanese and Son in Korean. His teacher, Prajnatara, changed the boy’s name from Bodhitara to Bodhidharma. Following his father’s death,  Bodhidharma served Prajnatara for many years spreading Buddhism. Upon Prajnatara’s death Bodhidharma left his monastery in India to follow his master’s last wish that he go to China and spread the teaching.

Bodhidharma crossing the Yanstze Rover on a reed

Bodhidharma arrived in China about 475, traveled around for a few years and finally settled at Shaolin temple. Mainstream Buddhist tradition holds that Bodhidharma arrived in China in 520, although there are historical indications that he may have arrived in 470, or even as early as 420. There is no agreement as to the route he traveled or where he arrived first. Some say he traveled by sea, “risking his life over the towering waves,” from Madras in southern India to Guangzhou and then by land to Nanjing. Other scholars believe that he walked a well-beaten trail over the Pamir Plateau, across the desert and along the Yellow River to Luoyang, the provincial capital and center of Chinese Buddhist culture. In any case, the journey from India is agreed to have been long and dangerous.

In 527 AD crossed through Guangdong province into China. In China, he was known as Da Mo. Bodhidharma was honored as the first Patriarch of Chan Buddhism and Shaolin Temple renowned as the origin of Chan Buddhism.

Bodhidharma (also known as Taishi Daruma in Japan) eventually became revered as the founder of Zen Buddhism. Whether his legends hold an element of truth, or are the products of later Zen scholars attempting to flesh out a believable patriarch, he remains today a prime symbol of the will-power, determination and self-discipline that are essential to success in the martial arts. Following his example, the modern martial artist strives to “endure what is most difficult to do, and practice what is most difficult to practice.” Bodhidharma’s example of the Master-student relationship for teaching the way to enlightenment also endures today throughout the martial arts. Consequently, through the hard evidence for his existence and his martial arts contributions is entirely lacking, he is still widely and beneficially accepted as the Father of the Asian Martial Arts.

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