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Book Review: The Battle for Sanskrit

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The Battle for Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit Political or Sacred, Oppressive orLiberating, Dead or Alive? by Rajiv Malhotra
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first Rajiv Malhotra's book I read. It concerns itself with criticizing Sheldon Pollock's views on Sanskrit and its social impact on Indian society (I heard his name for the first time in this book). It is indeed a class work of criticism. Malhotra speaks of Pollock respectfully, presents Pollock's views well and gives a dispassionate counter view-point. Rajiv Malhotra mentions that he even met Pollock twice to discuss their disagreements. This is really a very professional and dignified way to approach criticism and I am quite impressed with that!

Coming to the core topic of this book, I am surprised that there are intellectuals like Pollock who think that Sanskrit language itself is a "language of oppression"! Of course the Sankrit Kavyas are blamed by people like Pollock for portraying patriarchy, hatred, soci…

Swami Chinmayananda - Greatness personified!

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“The day you take up the policy of giving love instead of demanding it - that day you will have rewritten your entire future destiny - Swami Chinmayananda”
Today (May 8th) is GurudevSwami Chinmayananda Saraswati's 100th birth anniversary. This beautiful doodle created by Chinmaya Mission as a mark of devotion towards him has the words "Chinmaya Sadgurave Namaha" -





Chinmayananda, widely hailed as the second Vivekananda, has done a tremendous contribution to spread the real essence of Sanatana Dharma among Hindus. He used English as the main language to communicate his message to the English speaking educated class who were increasingly becoming averse to Hinduism due to their misconceptions. He wrote excellent commentaries on several Hindu scriptures including Bhagavadgita and Upanishads. His vision of making the "family" as a member of the mission and not just the individual, is perhaps his master-stroke. Chinmaya Mission is unique in having thoughtfully designed…