Bhāva & Bhāvana: Inner and Outer Expression of Emotion


Simran Lal joins Drs. Ramkumar & Welch in this Vedic Threads session to talk about bhāva and bhāvana. One could say that bhāva and bhāvana is what makes this world go round.  Everything in this manifested world begins with a thought; Everything is a manifestation of our intentions. Bhāva is one’s inner world - intentions, feelings, desires; and bhāvana is the outer expression of those - in what we say, how we express ourselves, how we conduct ourselves in society.  Yogis advise us to align our bhāva with our bhāvana (what in modern day parlance is what we call ‘authenticity’), and to make them śuddha (pure).  Our persistent thoughts and the way we perceive the world shape us.  To refine them (make them śuddha) is the birthright, and the highest aim of each of us.

Itihāsa (History): The Role of Storytelling in Modern Times


Professor of Sanskrit & Classical Indian Religions Fred Smith, joins Dr. Ramkumar & Dr. Welch to talk about "itihāsa" or, "history". Itihāsa also is used to specifically refer to the two monumentally influential epic poems of ancient India: the Mahābhāratam and the Rāmāyaṇa. The very fact that the word, "history" is used in a context where, in the West we might use "mythology", “epic”, "story" or, "poem" can lead us into curious conversation. Hopefully this will be the case.

Theyyam: Carrying the Deity with Pepita Seth


Theyyam is an ancient form of worship found only in northern Kerala in India.  A designated theyyakkaran – "a Theyyam man (or woman)" – calls the formless deity down from heaven and ‘carries’ the deity by providing him – or her - with a body and therefore the ability to interact with their devotees. Pepita Seth has lived with and studied the people and practice of Theyyam for 20 years and shares experiences and wisdom around this with Drs. Ramkumar & Claudia

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