Thich Nhat Hahn, a Buddhist Zen master of Vietnamese origin, is a human rights activist and a renowned organizer of retreats on the art of mindful living. Thây (‘teacher’), as he is generally known to his followers, also pioneered the concept of ‘engaged’ Buddhism during the Vietnam War when he gave a call to interlink meditation practices and social activism. Since then,
Sachidananda Mohanty’s compilation, so far as I am aware, is the fifth such work to be published in the space of the last thirty years or so. Of these, the earliest to arrive was the compilation of Manoj Das (1972) followed by those of Peter Heehs (1998, 2005) and Makarand Paranjape (1999).
Mexico City is among the most distant places from India where Indian history and culture are taught and studied. The Centre for Asian and African Studies, part of El Colegio de México which was founded as the ‘Casa de España’ in 1938 with the purpose to offer a place of study to Spanish intellectuals who had fled the civil war in their country, is the largest and most prestigious of its kind in Latin America.
Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi (1855- 1907) wrote and published four parts of his novel Sarasvatichandra between 1887 and 1901. For over a century it has remained a canonical text of Gujarati literature, unmatched in popularity and influence. Govardhanram chose the novel form not for its aesthetic possibilities but because it allowed shaping the minds of his people.
Alice Albinia’s book Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River brings to life almost all major episodes in the long history of human settlements along the river Indus. The river rises on the northern slopes of Mt. Kailash in the Gangdise range of the Himalayas in the region of Tibet.
Poetry, lest it should sublimate into a rarefied expression beyond the possibilities of participation, needs to be recovered from the excesses of soulful profundities. If the ‘novel’ de-escalates the epic imagination, poetry in its march in the domain of the secular, too peels off the sedimentations of sublimity.