Archive for the ‘Sanskrit’ Category

Did NASA Accept That Sanskrit Is The Best Suited Language For Computer Programming? – EurAsian Times

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Social media is abuzz with hailing Sanskrit as the best language for computers, citing a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) researchers paper.

While theres no backing for this claim, several netizens have believed it and even shared it. Theres no concrete information as to how the language can be used for coding or programming.

Rick Briggs, a researcher at NASA wrote apaperin 1985 titled Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence that was published inAI Magazine.

The text from the paper reads There is at least one language, Sanskrit, which for the duration of almost 1000 years was a living spoken language with a considerable literature of its own Besides works of literary value, there was a long philosophical and grammatical tradition that has continued to exist with undiminished vigour until the present century. Among the accomplishments of the grammarians can be reckoned a method for paraphrasing Sanskrit in a manner that is identical not only in essence but in form with current work in Artificial Intelligence.

He further explained the aim of the paper was todemonstrates that a natural language can serve as an artificial language also, and that much work in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been reinventing a wheel millennia-old.

Sanskrit Text

It is important to understand that humans and computers understand different languages. Natural Languages are the languages understood by humans like English, Hindi and even Sanskrit. On the other hand, Machine/Artificial languages include Lisp or C or Prolog. The major goal of AI at that time was to reach a point where computers understand natural languages.

Briggs just directed the attention towards Sanskrit as one of the natural languages that have existed for a very long time and have its expanse literature. Nowhere does Briggs said that it was the best or the most suitable language for computers.

NASA has not approved any such claims doing the rounds on social media. Much of AI research has happened in Lisp, for example, because of its ability to manipulate words and sentences but Lisp is nearly unheard of outside AI, wrote Dilip DSouza of The Scroll.

He further emphasized that if Sanskrit had been a suitable language, there would have been a software written in Sanskrit by now.

Certainly the rigorous rules of Sanskrit grammar have lessons for AI, but writing software is another challenge altogether. The way computers are built requires a certain clear and unmistakable logic in how we give instructions to them. Nobody has yet found a way to do that in any natural language, whether Sanskrit or English, he added.

However, Indian politician and economist, Subramanian Swamy had blamed the Americans for globalized use of the English language and that claimed that Sanskrit will replace English in fifty years.

While the validity of Mr. Swamis claim will be known in the next fifty years, it can be conclusively said that the claim that Sanskrit is the most suitable or the best language for computers or AI is false.

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Did NASA Accept That Sanskrit Is The Best Suited Language For Computer Programming? - EurAsian Times

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Valmiki Jayanti 2020: Know about the Janam Katha of Maharishi Valmiki; check shubh muhurat and significance of this day here – Jagran English

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Valmiki Jayanti 2020: Maharishi Valmiki is known as the Adi Kavi (first poet) of the Sanskrit scripture. He is also known for writing the Ramayana, depicting the story of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita.

New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk:Every year Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the Moon) in the Ashwin month of the Hindu calendar. This year, the nation is celebrating the Valmiki Jayanti on October 31 (today) to mark the birth anniversary of Maharishi Valmiki.

Valmiki Jayanti is widely celebrated in northern and central India and it is popularly called Pragat Diwas in Rajasthan. Maharishi Valmiki is known as the Adi Kavi (first poet) of the Sanskrit scripture. He is also known for writing the Ramayana, depicting the story of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita.

Who is Maharishi Valmiki?

Maharishi Valmiki is the first poet (Adi Kavi) of Sanskrit literature who is popularly known for writing an epic-- Ramayana. Valmiki Ji offered shelter to Devi Sita when Lord Rama banished her from the Raj Mahal. There she gave birth to two beautiful children Luv and Kush. Later, Valmiki Ji taught Ramayana, which contains 24,000 verses (shlokas) and 7 cantos (kandas), to the Rajkumar of Ayodhya.

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Significance of Valmiki Jayanti

Valmiki Ji's Ramayan has a great significance in the life of Hindus. People recite the verses and Shlokas of Ramayana on auspicious occasions. To celebrate Valmiki Jayanti and to pass on the tradition to future generations, people take part in great processions called Shobha Yatras. On this day, people decorate the temples of Valmiki Ji and offer flowers fruits and food.

Janam Katha of Maharishi Valmiki:

The exact date and time of the birth of ace Maharishi are still unknown. But, it is believed to have lived around 500 BC. It is believed that Maharishi Valmiki Ji had the sharpness and shine like a full moon. Hence, people started celebrating Valmiki Jayanti on the full moon day. It is also believed that Valmiki Ji was a dacoit named Ratnakar until he met Narad Muni. Later, Narad Muni gave him the responsibility to write the story of Purushottam Rama and Devi Sita in easy language for future generations.

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Valmiki Jayanti 2020: Know about the Janam Katha of Maharishi Valmiki; check shubh muhurat and significance of this day here - Jagran English

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The Philosophy of Humanism and Harmony – Daily Excelsior

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Santosh Bakaya The philosophy of Sufism poured out by leading lights of the sages like Lalla and Sheikh Noor-ud- din Noorani (Nund Reshi) has lit flickering blaze of compassion, love and peace .Everybody, of course Gujars also, who are ever eager to uphold the high moral values of humanity, could derive solace and enlighten from the philosophy. The philosophy of Humanism, love, peace and harmony given out from time to time by sages and saints who made Kashmir the abode from time immemorial, is becoming more and more relevant in todays strife torn world The lover is He who burns with love Whose self doth shine like gold When the Man`s heart lights Up with the flame of love; Then shall he reach the infinite Sheikh Noor-ud-Din There are several old works in the Kashmiri language, which are very important from theological as well as philosophical point of view. The fact is that Kashmiri language is as old as are the Indian vernaculars .But Kashmiri thinkers never reduced their thoughts to writing for centuries. Both Hindus and Mohammadans have made substantial contribution to the philosophical thought of Kashmiri which flowes in two channels i.e. Shaivism and Sufism. At that time regional languages were not popular.Sanskrit was the one language in which the great thinkers wrote,spoke and recorded their thoughts and Kashmiri literati also used the same.The first man who did not use Sanskrit, was Shipi Kanta. He wrote his book Mahanaya Prakasha in typical Kashmiri language.It was a treatise or the Philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism. Thereafter in the 14th century the great poetess Lalla,the first Kashmiri saint -poetess. sang philosophy in her memorable Vakhas.The Vakhas were published ,along with English Translation by Dr. Grievson. These were 60 verses in Sharda collected by Raja Naka, Bhaskrananda. Sir Richard Temple wrote a book on the basis of sayings namely The Word of Lalla. The Age of the Medieval Reform and Role of Lalla The 14th and 15th centuries were very important times in the history of Kashmir culturally as well as politically . Lalla was the first exponent and apostle of Humanistic philosophy in Kashmir.She was born in the first quarter of the 14th century at Simpore near Pandrenthan in a Kashmir Brahamin family.Her father was a follower of Shaivism .Initiated by her father and Guru Siddha Bayu, she assimilated the basic teachings of Shaivism and other prevailing systems of Philosophies. Both Hindus and Muslims acclaimed her as the spiritual perceptor, friend, philosopher and as the prophet of the new movement. Hindu`s reverentially call her Lalleshwari. The Muslim remember her by the name of Lalla Ded.Lalla preached her doctrine in the language of the masses and sang the positive philosophy of Kashmir Shaivisim in the same language of the Kashmiris.Her sayings are so objective and complete that they have become almost canonical and are stamped on the memory of the people, who use them in their every day life as current coins of quotations. Lalla opened an era of human brotherhood in Kashmir in which differences of caste and creed, birth and position would be meaningless. She was advanced spiritually. She stressed the need for practising Yoga .She merged herself into the Lord, sought oneness with God, truth and became one with the truth. After Lalla, another great philosopher Sheikh Noor-ud-Din played a key role: After Lalla as already referred earlier, Nund Rishi(Sheikh Noor u-Din) played a great role. While Lalla was still alive, another master of humanistic movement Sheikh Nur-ud-Din flourished in Kashmir.He was already familiar with Shaivism because of his association with Lalla . The Sufis professed the doctrine of divine love (Mohabbat) and ecstasy ,emphasised Divine Unity (Tauhid),and formulated the theory of existentialism monism, according to which the existence of created beings is nothing but the very essence of the existence of the creator. This is the main doctrine that the Upanishads teach. There is much in the Sufi teachings which is in fact almost Hindu Upnashadic thought . Sheikh Noor-ud-Dins sayings in Kashmiri are collected in what is called Nurnama He is mystic who thinks in the heart of Lallaas he was her disciple. When Nund Rishi entered this world, he was not taking milk from his mother. Lalla said to him You are not ashamed to have birth why you are ashamed of taking milk. It is said that soon after Nund Rishi took feed from his mother. After these two saints, a big gap ensured. A century later Persian replaced Sanskrit as the official language and by and by Hindus adopted the same. In 18th centuary ,however , one Praksh Ram wrote his Ramavatar in Kashmiri Verse which abounds in philosophical allusions to the vedantic thought. In 19th century the devotional and mystic poet Parmanand wrote Shiva Linga,Sudama Charita and other religious poems in Kashmiri.Krishen Razdan in 19-20 century wrote Sudama Charita ,Radha Sayamvera. In the later times the Muslim mystics like Aziz Darvesha,Wahab Khar,Shamas faqir, Mukbool Shah Karalawari and others also sang and wrote Kashmiri Verse pregnant with Sofi thought. Here are many other notable mystic poets who wrote from time to time philosophy in Kashmiri such as Rupa Bhwani ,Autar Pandit, Dhurana Kak ,Sata Kak, Lakshman Bhat, Nagam ,Master Zind Kaul, and Khwaja Habib, Gh. Hassan Ganai, Rassa Javidani,Gh.Hassan Beigh Arif. It was not only from 12th century ,but philosophy developed in Kashmir from the dawn of history as Shaivism flourished from time to time. Buddhism a historic movement was welcomed by Kashmiris long before the Christian era and Kashmir became its stronghold since the time of Ashoka. Shaivism commenced to be taught in the Kashmiri language in the 12th century by Shitikantha in his Mahanya Prakasha which depicts the Shaiva thought. After these two saints , there was a famous woman named Ropa Bhawani. Rupa Bhawani taught in Kashmir verse the doctrine of non-dualistic Shaiva School .Her 96 Kashmiri verses are published under the title of Shri Rupa Bhawani Rahasyo Padeshab.She was a mystic of a high order and follower of Yoga school of Kashmir Shaivism. After Rupa Bhawani, Paramanand gave a philosophical touch to poems. English poems were translated by master Zinda Kaul called Master Ji under the title `Parmananda Sukti-Sar. After Master Zind Koul ,we have a poet like Wahab Khar,Aziz Darvesh Darvesh, Khwaja Habib, Abdul Qadus, Rasa-Javidani,Krishen Razdan , Lakshman Bhat Nagam, Shams Faqir others .Their philosophical idea was to merge the individual soul into the absolute All-spirit. From the above survey of the philosophical thought in Kashmiri language by different thinkers, it is evident that Kashmirian philosophers have stressed the Advaita thought of Indian philosophy. This doctrine has been a levelling force in Kashmir with a passion for quality amidst the differences of caste and creed. It is the time when we need philosophers and Sofism to be revived at this critical juncture.

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For 900 Years This Family Has Weaved Patan Patola Saris, Worth Several Lakh Each – The Better India

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The Salvi family from Gujarat has also established the Patan Patola Heritage museum, where they conduct live demonstrations of the painstaking weaving process

Padi Patole bhaat, phate pan fitey nahin. As per this famous Gujarati saying patola cloth may tear, but the design and colour never fades. It aptly describes the true nature of the 11-century craft of patola a double-ikat woven sari usually made from silk in Gujarats Patan town.

The process of double ikat develops a design on the warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) sides, thus locking the colours in a way that they never wane.

The word patola derives from the Sanskrit word pattakulla, which means a silk fabric. Though patola has strong connections with Gujarat, the earliest mentions can be found in South India as per the religious text, Narasimha Purana. It mentions women wore it for holy ceremonies.

Patola entered Gujarat in the 11th century via Maharashtras Jalna district.

The fabric was a symbol of wealth and faith for King Kumarpal of Solanki dynasty in Patan (the then capital of Gujarat). Upon learning that the king of Jalna used patola as bedsheets before selling them, he bought 700 families to Patan to restore its previous glory. However, the real reason could be that he did not want to use a second-hand patola.

Kumarpal saw patola in the highest regard as he believed it kept devil and bad health at bay. Since it takes a minimum of six months of rigorous work to make one hand-woven patola (measured 5 metres), he hired all the 700 families for himself just so that he could wear a new patola daily on his temple visits.

Thats how the Patan became a hub of a highly prized craft that prospered between 11th and the 13th century.

However, over the centuries, the highly talented weavers chartered in other professions and today only a handful of them posses the intricate craft of double ikat.

The Salvi family is one of them.

It is the only family in Patan and probably the whole of India that boasts of weaving patolas from completely natural dyes like indigo, turmeric, madder roots, pomegranate skin and marigold flower.

In 2014, the family set up Patan Patola Heritage (PPH), an ingeniously curated museum comprising oldest pieces of patola. There are a 200-year-old frock, old family saris and samples of ikat textiles from countries like Thailand, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Indonesia at the display.

At present only ten members of the family, including the eldest, Bharat, and Rohit Salvi and youngest Savan and Rahul Salvi are running the entire show, from live demonstrations at the museum to weaving patolas that cost a minimum of Rs 1 Lakh.

If this art is dying, then why not shed the exclusive inheritance of learning and teach other weavers to expand their operations?

Since it showcases the rich history and cultural significance, there is no room for mass production. It is a labour-intensive work that requires utmost precision and undivided focus to create a masterpiece that will last at least for 300 years. Very few have that kind of passion and allegiance towards patola. Thus, it is a guarded tradition, Rahul, a Master Weaver, tells The Better India.

The respect for the artwork is such that Rahul (42), an architect by profession, did not think twice before quitting his job in 2000 on his fathers request. Likewise, other family members who are engineers or doctors dedicate a few hours daily to carry forward the legacy.

Rahul and Rohit are the only weavers in the family who can ace the doubt ikat craft.

Under historical significance, patola was considered to be a powerful symbol as only the rich and affluent class purchased them. In the 13th century, the sacred heirloom was offered to the aristocratic class by the merchants to gain trading rights.

In the cultural context, patola has an auspicious connection in certain Gujarati communities like Jains, Vohra Muslims, Nagar Brahmin and Kutchi Bhatias.

Each community has its peculiar taste and variety. For instance in Hindu Gujarati weddings, the bride or her mother dorns bright red Patola sari with elephant and parrot designs.

Chelaji Re is a popular folk song that is generally played in Gujarati wedding where a bride is describing the perfect patola she desires.

Mare Hatu Patan Thi Patola Mongha Lavjo (Get me Patola from Patan)

Ema Ruda Re Moraliya Chitravjo (make a Peacocks design)

Rang Ratumbal Kor Kasumbal Palav Praan Bichavjo Re (Ensure the saree is red andborders are bright)

Jains prefer abstract designs and geometric patterns and Vohras have flower motifs with white zari strip.

The Salvi family offers varieties like Pan Bhat (peepal leaf), Chandra Bhat (Moon), Rudraksha Bhat (a dried seed from the Himalayas), Nari Kunjar (elephant), Popat Bhat (parrot) and so on.

Patola is probably the only artwork done in reverse order as the threads are dyed first according to the pattern. It is only during the weaving process that dye marks align forming a pattern on the cloth. No wonder it is often referred to as the mother of all ikats.

It requires precise calculations as each square, line or pattern has to settle correctly. The set is wasted even if a single yarn is misaligned.

A sword-shaped stick, called Vi, made from rosewood is an essential part that is used to adjust the yarns. Interestingly Salvi name is derived from Sal (Sanskrit for the loom) and Vi (rosewood).

After dying, threads of warp of different repeats of a pattern are put together in a sequence on the loom so that design is visible. Weft threads are wound on bobbins and kept in the bamboo shuttle for the weaving process. Patola is weaved on a hand-operated harness loom made of rosewood and bamboo strips. The bamboo shuttle is made to move to and fro through warp shades. Each warp is carefully matched with weft while weaving, explains Rahul.

The process of tie-dyed design on warp and weft threads takes 3-4 months for a sari of six yards. It takes eight Salvis (weavers) to work for five days a week to complete the process within six months.

One of their longest creations lasted for 3.5 years. It was for a government event where the family worked round the clock to make nine pieces of Shikaar (hunt) Bhat. The marvellous pieces had elephants, horses, king and soldiers in a procession on it.

The final product is reversible, which means it looks the same from both sides. The precision of the Salvi family is such that it becomes difficult for even them also to distinguish.

The Salvi family only uses natural dyes and pure mulberry silk so that patola can hold the colour for a longer period.

For a brief period after the partition, our family switched to chemical dyes and bleaches. This was at the same time when the business was suffering. So, we decided to revive both ancient practices and business with natural ones. It took years of research to crack the formulas of using vegetable ingredients to obtain various shades. Thankfully our ancestors had left some journals, says Rahul.

The meticulous labour work and authentic ingredients explain why patola is considered to be an exquisite fabric which is as precious as gold.

Did you know the price of patola (Rs 120) in the 1930s was higher than gold (Rs 18 per tola)?

At present, the prices of saris begin at Rs 1 Lakh and depending on the intricate work; they can even touch Rs 10 Lakh.

The Salvi family does not have a showroom or an outlet as it sells directly to customers via their website or Whatsapp. The average waiting period to receive your patola is two years!

So if you find a PPH sari anywhere but in Salvis house, you know its fake.

However, for someone who is not a patola connoisseur, Rahul explains how to identify a fake one, The colour shouldnt fade, patola is only made of silk, and the sari should not weigh more than 450 grams.

This one-of-its-kind heirloom is not just a piece of fabric; it is a promise that the Salvis have kept preserving their ancestors painstaking weaving techniques. Not to forget the countless connections of love that form by exchanging a piece of fabric.

All the images are sourced from Patan Patola Heritage. Get in touch with the Salvi family here

(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)

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For 900 Years This Family Has Weaved Patan Patola Saris, Worth Several Lakh Each - The Better India

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Five arrested in the murder of retired principal Mysuru Today – citytoday

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Mysuru, October 28:- Saraswathipuram Police have arrested five people in connection with the murder of a retired principal at Nivedita Nagar on September 20.

Talking to reporters here on Wednesday (October 28), DCP Dr A N Prakash Gowda said, the victims wife Savitha had lodged a complaint at Saraswathipuram Police Station. On the night of September 20, Parashivamurthys brother Nagaraju called up Savitha to inform about the murder. When the lady went home, she saw her husband lying in a pool of blood with stab injuries all over the body. The police soon launched a probe into the murder.

During the course of the investigation, the police arrested IDFC Banks recovery officer Nagesh,37, mason Niranjan N, 22, both from Bhugathahalli; Madivalaswamy Sanskrit School teacher Siddaraju, 52, Vishwachetana Sanskrit School teacher Vishwanath, 52, Parashiva, 55. The police have also seized Rs 55,000 in cash, four two-wheelers, Tata goods vehicle, eight mobile and two knives from the accused.

The victim, Parashivamurthy, who was running a Sanskrit School, it is alleged, used to demand a cut from the teachers salary. He was also accused of harassing the teachers. This is what led to his murder, the police said.

The operation was held under the guidance of DCP Geetha Prasanna. KR Police Assistant Commissioner of Police M S Purnachandra Tejaswi, special squad comprising Saraswathipuram Police Stations PI R Vijayakumar, Kuvempunagar Police Stations PI JC Raju, Saraswathipuram Police Stations PSI Bhavya, KR Crime Branch staff Mahadeva, P K Bhagath, Yogesh, Harish, Meghanayak, Girish, Sagar, Manjunath, Puttappa, Saraswathipuram Police Stations Crime Branch staff Karunakar, ASI Basavaraje Urs, Raghavendra, Prakash, Kumar, Arjun, Nataraj, Venkatesh, Harish Kumar, VV Purams mobile stations Yogesh H, technical teams Manju, Kumar, Aradhya took part in the operation. (MR/KS)


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Five arrested in the murder of retired principal Mysuru Today - citytoday

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Lucknow University to grant admission to all candidates, in these 2 Masters programmes – Knocksense

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The University of Lucknow has decided to grant admissions to candidates applying for Masters in Ancient Indian History and Masters in Yogic Sciences, irrespective of their performance in the entrance test. Pupils scoring zero in this examination will also be enrolled by the varsity, as the number of candidates who appeared for the test was even lower than the seats allocated for the programmes by the University.

Filling up the seats has become a task for the authorities at the Lucknow University, as the candidate strength for admissions has fallen below the quota of seats pre-decided for the masters programmes, offered by the varsity. 126 individuals appeared for Ancient Indian History- a programme that enrolls around 180 students. Similarly, 42 candidates showed up for the Compound Science exam, which has a seat strength of 50.

Besides these two courses, the experts are facing problems in filling up seats after the 1st phase of counselling. Candidates have exhibited no interest in enrollment for the programmes like Philology, Urdu, Persian, Asian culture, Arabic and Arab culture as well. Only a few courses, like those of Fine Arts and Political Science, have been occupied by candidates.

Out of the 120 seats in Anthropology, 55 are yet to be allocated. Similarly, 25 seats out 120 are unoccupied in Social Work and 17 in Public Administration, which is a class of 160 students. 7 seats in Defense Studies which has 80 regular seats and 9 out of 40 in Physical Education are vacant.

The popularity of Home Science has also taken a plunge and out of 80, around 57 seats are yet to be filled. Geography, which is also a class of 80, has around 10 vacant seats. Around 65 seats have been left unoccupied in courses of Persian, Bhasha Shastra, Asian Culture, Arabica, Arab Culture and Sanskrit. 82 in Urdu and 34 seats in Functional Sanskrit are also unallotted.

Adding to the worries of the University, the candidates have also raised objections for uploading necessary documents for the counselling process, without the declaration of the results of the entrance examination. They have demanded the results to be released before moving further to the next phase of the admission funnel.

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One of Dracula’s Often Overlooked Inspirations Is the Indian Vetala – Atlas Obscura

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Across generations and around the world, the name Dracula now calls to mind a pale man in a tuxedo and cape, eyes bloodshot and fangs gleaming. Originally introduced in Bram Stokers 1897 novel of the same name and given that familiar look by Bela Lugosi in 1931, Dracula has since become the worlds prototype vampire, spawning a world of imitations, variations, parody, and more, from Lestat de Lioncourt to Edward Cullen.

Stokers Dracula is widely believed to have been inspired by Vlad III, ruler of Wallachia, in what is now Romania, in the 15th century. But few are familiar with another, older creature that is believed, in part, to have contributed to his creation: the Hindu spirit known as the vetala.

As legend goes, the vetala is a ghoulish trickster of varying description that haunts cemeteries and forests, hanging upside down from trees and waiting for humans to play pranks on. They are said to exist in a realm between life and death, and have the ability to see into the past, present, and future. This boundless knowledge makes them invaluable to sorcerers, who often seek to capture and enslave the vetala to use its powers for their bidding. Growing up, my father taught me that the vetala could see everything, recalls a priest at the Pasadena Hindu Temple in Los Angeles, who grew up in the Indian state of Gujarat and wished to remain anonymous. They could detect the good and the evil inside you. We were forever cautious around cemeteries. Because you never knew what might be waiting for you.

The vetala legend dates back to the 11th century, when it was made popular through Vetala Panchvimshati, a collection of stories that children in India still read today, also known as Baital Pachisi. My first introduction to the vetala was in school, an Indian mother interviewed for this piece, who also wished to remain anonymous, says. We used to get these graphic novels called Amar Chitra Katha, each of which would narrate an Indian story, some of which were historical, some mythological, and some folk. The Amar Chitra Katha comic books, which included stories from Vetala Panchvimshati, were often shared with cousins and neighbors at home, or passed around during free time at school.

In this collection, originally written in Sanskrit, a tantric sorceress asks King Vikrama to capture a vetala. Each time the king approaches the creature, however, it presents him with a riddle, along with some unusual rules: If the king knows the answer, the vetala will go free, flying back to its upside down perch. If the king does not know the answer, the vetala agrees to be taken as his captive and to go with him to the sorceress. And if the king knows the answer, but does not speak it out loud in an attempt to outsmart the vetala, his head will explode into a million pieces.

Vetala Panchvimshati features 25 stories with the same conceit, and in 24 of them, the king answers the riddle correctly. Thus, again and again, the vetala escapes the sorceress. But the 25th time, the vetala asks the king the following: If a prince marries the queen, and a princess marries the king, and each couple has a baby, what is the relation between the two newborns?

This weird, incestuous question is what finally stumps the king. Because he does not know the answer, the vetala is forced to go with him to the sorceress. But during the journey, the vetala reveals that the sorceress plans to use its powers to kill the king and take over the realm. The two then decide to team up to kill the sorceress. After peace has been restored, the vetala offers to protect the kingdom and come to the kings aid whenever he needs it.

While this popular story depicts the vetala as a trickster with the capacity for good, today the vetala is characterized as far more demonic. In The Mythical Creatures Bible: The Definitive Guide to Legendary Beings by Brenda Rosen, the vetala is called a hostile spirit said to cause madness, miscarriages, and kill children. Likewise, in Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures by Theresa Bane, the vetala is defined as a vampiric demon that possesses humans and causes their feet and hands to twist backwards, their skin to turn green, and their fingernails to become long, poisonous white talons.

These descriptions are far cries from the original Sanskrit text of Vetala Panchvimshati, in which the vetala is depicted as a more nuanced creature. And this transformation can be blamed, at least in part, on British explorer, writer, and gadabout Sir Richard Burton, who was the first person to bring both the Kama Sutra and Vetala Panchvimshati to Western audiences.

Not only did Burton choose the word vampire, a word with its roots in Eastern Europe, for his translation of the word vetala, as opposed to something like spirit, but the illustrations that accompanied his text showed a taloned creature with pointed ears, bulging eyes, leathery wings, and a long tailthus transforming the vetala into the malevolent monster it is depicted as today. Further cementing this new depiction, in his translated collection, which he called Vitram and the Vampire, Burton chose to include only 11 of the 25 original stories, greatly diminishing the depth of the vetela character.

Scholars have rightly criticized Vitram and the Vampire for these shortcomings. In The Ocean of Story, C.H. Tawneys translation of the Katha Sarit Sagara, N. M. Penzer, a British independent scholar and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, calls Vitram and the Vampire not a translation, but an adaptation, and a very free adaptation, too.

To his credit, Burton never claimed that Vitram and the Vampire was an exact translation. It is not pretended that the words of these Hindu tales are preserved to the letter.... I have ventured to remedy the conciseness of their language, and to clothe the skeleton with flesh and blood, he wrote in the introduction.

But Penzers response to this disclaimer doesnt mince words: This is putting it very mildly. What Burton has really done is to use a portion of the Vetla tales as a peg on which to hang elaborate improvements entirely of his own invention. Regardless of scholars critiques, the damage had been done. Vitram and the Vampire was marketed as the English translation of Vetala Panchvimshati, and readers took the depiction of the vetala as authentic.

One of those readers was Bram Stoker. The author greatly admired Burton and was fascinated by his writings about the Indian occult, and particularly Vetala Panchvimshati. Draculas transformation into a bat that hangs upside down, for example, his reptilian-like climbing abilities, his powers, and his centuries of wisdom all may have been drawn from Burtons translation.

Since Draculas publication, the vetala has remained alive and well, but in recent years, it has morphed into something closer to Burton and Stokers idea of the spirit. In one 2012 episode of the CW show Supernatural, for example, the protagonists face off against two seductive vetalas, depicted with sharp fangs and a thirst for blood that make them more or less indistinguishable from other pop-culture bloodsuckers.

Indian production companies have also capitalized on what is a more homegrown horror movie villain. In 2020s Betaal (now streaming on Netflix), a remote village falls prey to a colony of vetala working alongside officers from the East India Company to take over their land. In the movie, the vetala is reimagined as a vampire-zombie hybrid.

The modern vetala, then, is an amalgamation of cultures, stories, and misinterpretationsadopted, adapted, and then adopted again. And while the vetala of todays pop culture is a far cry from the original text, those stories remain in the hearts of Indian children and grownups.

When asked whether he believes the vetala exists in some form on Earth, and whether it might have an influence on us, the priest at the Pasadena Hindu Temple leaves things open. As with any myth, any frightening story or creature, some people believe, some dont, he says. But Ive found that when something goes amiss, when theres a sound in a cemetery, an unexplained shadow or disturbance, people change their minds.

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And a scary lesson on humility and respect for the natural world.

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One of Dracula's Often Overlooked Inspirations Is the Indian Vetala - Atlas Obscura

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State Foundation Day: Find out some interesting facts about 5 states formed on November 1 –

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State Foundation Day:On November 1, several Indian states including Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka were formed. Thus, the day is recognised as Statehood Day of State Formation Day

Chhattisgarh state was established on November 1, 2000 (19 years ago). The mythical name of Chhattisgarh is Kaushal Rajya (Lord Shri Rams nanihal). About 300 years ago, during the reign of the Gond tribe, the state was named Chhattisgarh. The Chhattisgarh state is a denselyy forested state in central India, famous for its temples and waterfalls. Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh. The Chhattisgarh state is also known as Dhan Ka Katora which means Rice Bowl of India.

Foundation Day: November 01, 2000

Governor: Anusuiya Uikey

Capital: Raipur

Chief Minister: Bhupesh Baghel

Population: 2.55 crores (2013)

Madhya Pradesh came into existence on November 1, 1950. The state is celebrating its 64th Foundation Day this year. Second largest centrally located in the Indian geography, the Madhya Pradesh state is also known as the heart of India. The historical name of Madhya Pradesh is Malwa. After Indias independence, the Madhya Pradesh state was established with Nagpur as its capital. However, in 1956 the Madhya Pradesh state was reorganized and Bhopal became its new capital. The City of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh is also one of the four places where the Kumbh-Mela is hosted.

Foundation Day: November 01, 1956

Governor: Anandiben Patel

Capital: Bhopal

Chief minister: Kamal Nath

Population: 7.33 crores (2012)

The sate of Kerala was founded on November 01, 1956. According to the Tamil classic Purananuru, Kerala is also known as Parasurama Kshetram The Land of Parasurama. Kerala basks in the lap of nature with a network of 44 rivers and turquoise blue backwaters. It is famously known as Gods own country since Kerala received its first rain in India i.e., in the month of June followed by Mumbai and Delhi. The richest Hindu temple in the world Padmanabhaswamy is located in Kerala.

Foundation Day: November 01, 1956

Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan

Capital: Thiruvananthapuram

Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan

Population: 3.48 crores (2012)

Karnataka was established on November 1, 1956. The state is celebrating its 59th Foundation Day this year. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973. There are 13 different languages spoken in Karnataka namely Tulu, Konkani, Kodava and Beary etc. These are some of the widely spoken languages of the state amongst which Kannada is superior. Karnataka was once home to some of the most powerful empires of ancient and medieval India.

Foundation Day: November 01, 1956

Governor: Vajubhai Vala

Capital: Bengaluru

Chief minister: B. S. Yeddiyurappa

Population: 6.11 crores (2011)

The state of Haryana was formed on November 1, 1966 (53 years ago). Haryana was carved out of the former state of East Punjab on 1 November 1966 on linguistic as well as on cultural basis. The word Haryana literary means the Forest Land of Hari. The name Haryana is derived from the Sanskrit words Hari (the Hindu god Vishnu) and Ayana (home), meaning the Abode of God. Haryana state was the home of the legendary Bharata dynasty, which named Bharat to India. The great epic of Mahabharata also belongs to Haryana. As Kurukshetra, the place of the epic battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas is located in Haryana.

Foundation Day: November 01, 1966

Governor: Satyadev Narayan Arya

Capital: Chandigarh

Chief Minister: Manohar Lal Khattar

Population: 2.54 crores (2011)

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