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  1. jewelsofsayuri

    September 23, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Dear Sir, I am a designer who is just beginning her PhD journey. My area of interest is “the fashioning of the self (Alamkara) through jewellery.” I came across your site and am stunned by the vast knowledge you have put up here. I would be really grateful if you could you please point me to some books, papers, articles I could read on this subject. Thanks and regards

    • sreenivasaraos

      September 24, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      Dear Divya

      Thank you for the visit and for the appreciation.

      I do not know much about the jewellery, in particular.

      And, whatever I say might be like carrying ice, all the way, to Eskimos. You are the expert; and, I am just on the periphery.

      However, I suggest you may take a look at the thesis prepared by Mr. Dushyant Dave, during 2017, on the subject of the Motifs in ornamentation special reference to Rajasthani kundan meena jewellery 16th to 21st Century

      You may see how he has gone about in dealing with the subject.

      Please see Chapter Two on Tradition and basic sources of Indian Jewellery

      And, in the bibliography , a list of references is given. Please see if any of those would be of help.

      There are also some books published on the subject of Jewellery, such as

      Indian jewellery: by Usha Ramamrutham Bala Krishnan and Meera Sushil Kumar

      Traditional Jewelry of India by Oppi Untracht

      You may refer to them, in case , you have not already done so.
      There are also websites on subject

      History of Indian Jewellery

      Tradition and basic sources of Indian Jewellery

      Pardon me. I am aware I have not been of much help. Please excuse me.

      Wish you success in all your endeavors


      • jewelsofsayuri

        September 25, 2018 at 3:33 pm

        Thank you so much for the reply. While I have gone through some of the books & articles, Others are new to me. So I’ll take a look at them. Any suggestions for Samudrika lakshanam or Shola shringhar will also be helpful.

    • sreenivasaraos

      November 8, 2018 at 6:20 am

      Dear Divya

      I trust your thesis is progressing well. In case you have not already finished your task, please see the following. Else, please ignore.

      I am not sure if this really helps you

      But, I think you may use this as a part of background material for your Paper.

      The Rig-Veda mentions some interesting details of the dress and ornaments worn by the women its time. But, these are scattered. I have tried to put some of those details together. See, if this helps.


      The Sindhu country was called Suvasa (the producers of beautiful cloths); and Urnavati (the producer of wool) – (Rv. X-75-8).

      The dress consisted of two garments; the Vasas, the lower garment; and, Adhivasa or Adhivastra an upper garment (Rv. VII-26-13).

      Besides, a mantle or cloak called Atka (Rv. 1-95-7); and Drapi (Rv.1-25-13) are also mentioned.

      The garments called Pesas were sometimes embroidered and adorned with gold (Rv. V-55-6); and were worn by female dancers (Rv. 1-92-4).

      A special garment called Vadhuya (Rv.X.85.34) was woven for adorning the bride at her marriage ceremony.

      Ushnisha , was a head – covering that women sometimes used.

      In the Rig-Veda age, at times, the garments made of leather were also used (Rv. 1-166-10).

      The upper garment of men was called Uttariya. A garment called Pravara was used in winter.

      The men and women were fond of wearing ornaments in the Rig-Veda times.

      Niska was a golden ornament worn around the neck, as in the epithet niska-giva (Rv. v-19-3).

      Rukma was another ornament made of gold in the shape of a plate, worn on the chest –as in Rukma Vaksas (Rv. V-55-6).

      The Khadi was either a golden anklet worn both by men and women; or, it was an armlet worn on the arm or wrist likes a bangle (Khadi-hasta) – Rv. V-58-2.

      The term Mani-griva (Rv. 1-122-16) suggests string of gems worn around the neck – a necklace.

      The golden ornaments adorning the ear were called Karna Sobhana (Rv. VII-78-3).

      [It seems; Rajata-Hiranya (white gold), known as silver was not in much use.]

      Pearl ornaments (Krsana) were also used (Rv.I.35.4).

      The pearls might have been available in the Sapta-sindhu region; because, the river Sindhu was called Hiranya vartiru (Rv. VI-61-7).

      Besides it is mentioned that pearls were used to decorate the chariot of Savitr, a divine being (Rv. 1-35-4).

      The Srak was a garland, ordinarily worn by men and made either of flowers or golden lace wrought in to flowers (Rv. IV-38-6)

      Thus, ear-rings, necklaces, bracelets, armlets, anklets and garlands were common ornaments of women.(But, the nose-ring was conspicuously absent.)

      In the Rig-Veda times, the women had their hair well oiled and combed; and dressed in braids (Kaparda). It seems, they had the practice of weaving braid into four braids, which dangled behind on the back (Rv. X-114-2 ).

      The men also had their long or short, according to their will. The Vasistas had long hair which was coiled on the right (Rv. VII-33-1) .

      The term Vaptr in the Rig-Veda, denotes a barber shaving beards; and, Ksura was a sort of razor or blade (Rv. VII-4-16).



      • jewelsofsayuri

        November 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

        Thank you sir. I have just begun my Phd journey and so I have a long way to go. Yes, I am aware of the costume details since I teach costume history. What I would love to get hold of are the English translations of Vedas (Rig & Atharva) so that I understand their context as well. May I know that source that you are using for these quotes? If you would prefer, I can contact you over email. Thank you sending me these details

      • sreenivasaraos

        November 9, 2018 at 2:50 am

        Dear Divya

        Good to know you are familiar with the details of the past history. Pardon me for having bothered you with trivia.
        As regards the references you mentioned:

        For the text of the Rig Veda in Roman (English) script; I generally follow the GRETIL site, which describes itself as: cumulative register of the numerous download sites for electronic texts .

        For translation in English, you may start with The Rig Veda by Ralph T.H. Griffith at

        It is rather uncomplicated. You may thereafter search for more explanatory ones, if you so choose.

        The references to ornaments or dresses occur in different contexts. Once you get the reference to the mention of the ornaments etc., you may have to go back to the translation (say, Griffith’s) to ascertain the context; and, go the GRETIL to get the related text of the Rig Veda.

        For instance; I gave you the reference to Rv.5.53.4, which refers to hymn 54.4 in the Fifth Book. It describes the ornaments and dresses of Maruts; and, mentions like Rukma, Khadi etc., meaning ornaments, breastplates and armlets.

        The translation at HYMN LIII, Maruts says:

        4 Who shine self-luminous with ornaments and swords, with breastplates, armlets, and with wreaths, Arrayed on chariots and with bows.

        If you need the corresponding text,

        RV_5,053.04a ye añjiṣu ye vāśīṣu svabhānavaḥ srakṣu rukmeṣu khādiṣu | śrāyā ratheṣu dhanvasu ||

        Niska was a golden ornament worn around the neck, as in the epithet niska-giva (Rv. v-19-3). It is about Agni

        RV_5,019.03 niṣkagrīvo bṛhaduktha enā madhvā na vājayuḥ ||

        Translation: A gold chain Bṛhaduktha wears, as, through this Soma, seeking spoil.

        Similarly, Rv.58.2 refers to Khadi-hasta), an armlet worn on the arm or wrist likes a bangle

        RV_5,058.02a tveṣaṃ gaṇaṃ tavasaṃ khādi-hastaṃ dhunivratam māyinaṃ dātivāram |

        Translation : 2 The mighty glittering band, arm-bound with bracelets, givers of bliss, unmeasured in their greatness, with magical powers, bountiful, ever-roaring,—these, liberal Heroes, venerate thou singer.

        With the references I have given, you may have backwards to get to the context, tthe text and its translation.

        It is time-consuming ; and tiresome too .

        You may try ; and, in case you find it hard, let me do it rather slowly

        Wish you Happy Deepavali. And, Godspeed with your thesis.


      • jewelsofsayuri

        November 9, 2018 at 3:40 pm

        You are awesome sir; Thank you so much.

    • Roopa Girard

      January 14, 2019 at 2:35 pm

      Dear Mr. Rao,
      How are you? Thank you for these am,axing blogs on Indian Arts. I live abroad but am an ardent promoter of Indian Arts. In that vein I am in the process of commissioning a online course and would love your involvement in the same. Please can you contact me,
      Best wishes,
      Roopa Girard

      • sreenivasaraos

        January 20, 2019 at 7:05 am

        Dear Ms. Roopa

        Pardon me for the delay in responding to your comment.I was not well for some time
        The articles I have posted cover varied aspects such as Music; Painting;Sanskrit Drama and Poetry; Indian Philosophies; History; and literature etc

        Kindly let me know in which field of Arts you are most interested
        the outline of your proposed project

        Thank you

  2. Savitha Gurunath

    October 6, 2018 at 11:45 am

    With due regards sir,
    I am interested in the series of barahamasa paintings.Are all the paintings either in Kota, Bundi,Datia school of paintings painted during 15th century and onwards? Are they all based on Keshav dasa’s Rasikpriya only? Which books should I refer? kindly guide Sir…

    • sreenivasaraos

      October 6, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Dear Savitha Gopinath,

      You are welcome Maa

      I had earlier written about Ritu varnana and Bharamasa – in its aspects of both poetry and paintings

      Please check the following link

      As a part of that article I had written about the poet Sri Kesava Dasa (1555–1617) and his work Rasikapriya composed in Brij-basha . It is a comprehensive compendium of Nayakas and Nayikas, their moods, meetings and messengers. And , it is considered a Lakshana grantha, foundational work, in Riti kavya tradition)

      In that context , I had written about descriptions of Barahmasa according to Rasikapriya., along with illustrations

      As I mentioned , the Barahmasa poetry and paintings are depicted in various types and traditions, not only that of Sri Kesava dasa.

      As I said at Para 12.1

      A vast number of schools of miniature paintings such as Bundi, Krishnagarh, Jaipur, Mewar and Marwar giving expression to the Barahmasa concepts and idioms flourished during the mid centuries under the patronage of Pala Kings of Bengal , the Mughals and the Rajputs of Rajasthan. The hill states and even smaller states from Central India too nurtured the paintings of Barahmasa tradition. Datia, one of the schools of painting in Central India, painted a timeless series of Ashtayama, another form of Barahmasa. . These sublime works of art, which gained fame as iconic representations of the seasons and as metaphors for emotions, have inspired generations of artists, poets and lovers. Over the generations, the artists of the diverse schools of miniature paintings have strained to retain the aesthetic values and technical excellence achieved by their pioneer

      Please also check the ‘References and Sources’ given at the end of the post , for Barahmasa literature, music and paintings

      I trust , these might be of some help. Please let me know

      Cheers Maa

      Wish you the Best

  3. sreenivasaraos

    October 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    You are welcome , Dear GuruNath Bhat

  4. Aritra

    October 22, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Dear Sreenivasa Rao,
    My search on Mahavidyas in connection with something I am writing around Kali puja (I am a journalist) led me to your blog: a source of vidya itself!
    Your work, and its breadth, is fascinating!
    Could you please share your contact details; I’d like to speak to you for the story I am working on, as also in connection with my research on theatre and performance.

    • sreenivasaraos

      November 9, 2018 at 3:05 am

      Dear Aritra

      Deepavali Greetings

      Pardon me for the delay in responding to you comment

      I have been away for some time; and, also not doing great

      If you can kindly frame a set of specific questions

      And, send them on to me

      I shall try to reply with what little I have learnt

      Thank you

      Cheers and Regards

  5. Janardan bhoi

    November 16, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Good job rao sir
    Really very very thanks to u

    • sreenivasaraos

      November 17, 2018 at 1:45 am

      Dear Shri Janardhan, Thanks for the visit and the appreciation . Regards

  6. Janardan bhoi

    November 16, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Actually sir I want to write one article about women empowerment in Veda ….
    Give me some suzession .

  7. mstetsenko

    November 18, 2018 at 6:38 pm


    I have a question regarding your entry of Bhaskararaya’s analysis of Kunjika Stotra. You say “As regards the Vyasti goddess, he follows the explanations given in the Devi Upanishad.” In Devi Upanishad as you also say – Aim (ऐं) stands for Mahasarasvathi and Hrim (ह्रीं) for Mahalakshmi. However, when you describe what Bhaskararaya said it’s backwards – Aim (ऐं) for Mahalakshmi and Hrim (ह्रीं) for Mahasarasvathi. Am I reading this correctly?

    Thank you!

    • sreenivasaraos

      November 19, 2018 at 8:26 am

      Dear Max

      Thanks for the visit and reading the article closely

      Yes Sir. You are right. The two read differently.

      There is an explanation; but, it is rather lengthy and complicated.

      Please bare with me.

      As said; the Navarna Mantra includes the syllables: Aim; Hrim and Klim.
      The Atharva-Sirsa -Upanishad identifies these syllables with: Mahasarasvati; Mahalakshmi and Mahakali, respectively.

      Sri Bhaskararaya takes an alternate view.

      Initially, he mentions that this Mantra has been explained in the Shakta Upanishad, the Devi-Atharva – Sirsa –Upanishad.

      He points out that in its first verse of this Upanishad; all the gods ask the Goddess “who are you, Oh mighty Goddess”? She replies: I am the very same form (Svarupini) as Brahman; Ahaṃ Brahma Svarūpiṇī

      Then, Bhaskararaya mentions the verse in the Devi Mahatmya (5.9) where the gods praise the Devi. This, he says, should be understood as addressed to the un-manifest (Samasti) form of Mahalakshmi.

      namo devyai mahādevyai śivāyai satataṃ namaḥ । namaḥ prakṛtyai bhadrāyai niyatāḥ praṇatāḥ sma tām ॥ 9॥

      Bhaskararaya, then goes back to Devi-Atharva-Sirsa-Upanishad; and quotes its verse 22; and, says it means the same as the praise rendered by gods in the Devi Mahatmya

      namāmi tvāṃ mahādevīṃ mahā bhaya vināśinīm । mahā durga praśamanīṃ mahā kāruṇya rūpiṇīm ॥22॥
      Then he cites the classic three fold aspects of Brahman: Sat (being); Cit (consciousness) and Ananda (bliss). He relates all these three qualities with the Vyasti forms of the Goddess; Mahalakshmi, Mahasarasvati and Mahakali, respectively

      Thereafter, he identifies the first three syllables of the Navarna Mantra (Aim, Hrim, Klim) with the Vyasti goddesses Mahalakshmi; Mahasarasvati and Mahakali , in that order .

      Here, he follows the Sri Vidya lore, to connect the Vyasti goddesses with their corresponding Bija mantras.

      Then he identifies the other two forms of the Navarna Mantra (Chamunda, Vicce) with the Samasti form of the Goddess Chamunda.

      The Goddess Chamunda, according to Bhaskararaya, is the highest form, none other than the Brahman. And, it is within Chamunda the three Vyasti goddesses Mahalakshmi (Aim); Hrim (Mahasarasvati) and Klim (Mahakali) reside.

      Then again, Bhaskararaya goes back to the Devi Mahatmya; and, tries to prove how it is related to the Navarna Mantra.

      As regards Mahalakshmi, he asserts that Mahalakshmi is the highest and the foremost of the three Vyasti goddesses, with a predominance of the Rajas (Rajo-Guna). And, Mahalakshmi is the presiding deity of Aa-varga (Aa-group) of the alphabets (Matraka); and, she always appears first.

      . And, therefore, She is represented by the first syllable of the Navarna Mantra (Aim). That indicates the pre-eminence of Mahalakshmi. Then he relates the other two syllables to two other Vyasti goddesses.

      Thus, Bhaskararaya’s interpretation differs from that given in the Atharva-Sirsa-Upanishad

      The scholar Caleb Simmons remarks:

      Bhaskararaya’s commentarial link between the Bija mantras and their goddesses to the ideology of Sat-Cit-Ananda not only demonstrates his association with the Tantric lineage of Sri vidya , but also to a broader tradition of Indian philosophical speculations.

      I could have mentioned all these; but, that would have made an already complicated post, much more painful.

      Thanks for asking the question


      • mstetsenko

        November 19, 2018 at 12:33 pm

        Thank you for such a thorough answer!

        I have been doing an in-depth analysis of Siddha Kunjika Stotra. Do you by any chance have an insight or can point me to where I can find the information on the meaning of the additional bijas in the mantra given in this stotra?

        oṁ glauṁ huṁ klīṁ jūṁ saḥ …….
        …….. haṁ saṁ laṁ kṣaṁ phaṭ svāhā


    • sreenivasaraos

      November 25, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Dear Mstetsento

      Pardon me for the delay in responding

      Regarding Siddha Kunjika Stotra

      animeshnagar has been writing on the subject

      Please check his page at


  8. prakashsupra

    January 6, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    Dear Sir,
    The contents of the blog is invaluable and they deserve to be published in other Indian languages as well. Please let me know as to what are the modalities to take it forward. I am from Bangalore and I would like to make an attempt to translate the contents to Kannada language.
    Please guide.
    Best Regards,
    Prakash R

    • sreenivasaraos

      January 20, 2019 at 7:15 am

      Dear Shri Prakash

      Pardon me for the delay in responding to your statement. I was not quite well for sometime

      Thanks for the visit and for the appreciation

      As you can see, I articles I posted cover a range of subjects such as: Music; Painting;Sanskrit Kavya, Drama and Grammar; Indian Philosophies; History and literature etc

      Please let me know in which of these subjects or in in which of the specific set of articles you are interested

      BTW, my friend Shri Kannan Rangachar had earlier translated some of my articles into Kannada and published them in a magazine


  9. Nimai Ananda Das

    January 18, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Dear Sreenivasa Rao,
    Thank you very much for this wonderful blog. It’s very appreciative work that you are preserving the most essential vedic culture.
    I have some urgent questions in regards to devalay vastu.
    We are starting to construct a wonderful Radha Krishna temple in kolkata – ISKCON temple and we want to follow the rules of devalay vastu to best possible way.
    Urgent question is – is making temple so that deity facing west is okay? Or it must face north? Our land doesn’t allow temple with East facing. Kindly guide.
    Also, how can I learn more about devalay vastu?
    Thank you again. Wish to be in touch with you and learn more and want to assist in preserving and spreading vedic values and system.
    Your aspiring servant, Nimai Ananda Das.

    • sreenivasaraos

      January 20, 2019 at 6:37 am

      Dear Respected Nimai Ananda Das, Thank you for the visit. It is good to learn that you are attempting to erect a temple in Kolkata.

      1. You mentioned that you: ‘want to follow the rules of Devalaya vastu to best possible way’.

      The articles I have posted on temple design and architecture are based mainly in the ancient texts.

      These do bring out the principles, practices and norms of temple architecture. And, they, indeed, are educative and useful in understanding the theories of temple design and its purpose.

      But, what you are looking for, I presume, is the application of those principles. It would, therefore, perhaps, be more useful if you could go by the experience of those, similar to you, who constructed temples, particularly, in recent times.

      While doing so ,you could adopt a project approach which , inter alia, includes clearly defining your objective; the overall dimensions; the specific details of the individual components; layout ;designs of each component ; locations , directions etc.

      Another factor is that unlike in South India, the temples- in the West and in the ISKON – tend to be ‘Temple Complexes’, accommodating various deities under a single roof. Therefore, it has to device its own design.

      Further, the type, location and size of the Mantapas, are related to the overall size and design of the temple.

      Please also see the Categories of the Floor plans of Hindu temples

      There are of course many Temple-projects in the recent times, particularly in the West. Most of those are drawn up very systematically. And, the one that quickly comes to my mind is the design of a Hindu Temple in Auckland, NZ.. Please do take time and read this closely.

      The project designers seemed to have gone about methodically. You may see their project report .

      There are, of course, many more of such projects. You may please look around for the one that would serve you as a model. And, you may even come up with your own design, which could guide others.

      Please also see the design of the Hindu Temple of Wisconsin; and its ground plan.

      You may also read the research paper which analyzes, and interprets the architecture of the Temple at Eads, Tennessee, USA

      There are similar research papers which discuss the temple architecture and design, in general terms, taking broader perspective. For instance; try the following

      Construction of a house for Viṣhṇu

      The South Indian Hindu temple building design system A paper which, among other things , talks about dimensional analysis.

      Agamas and Indian temples: graphical translation and analysis.

      Building Science of Indian Temple Architecture

      I feel that it would be better to adopt a ‘project approach’ to your venture, than going by solitary concepts.

      These project reports would help you to gain a more clear view of your objective; and, how to go about it.

      2. As regards the Door ways to the Sanctum , there are varied norms. the Padma Samhita (Kriya-pada.2.33-34) states that the door to the East is productive of happiness;the Door to the West enhances nourishment; the Door to the North brings prosperity and wealth; and, the Door to the South leads to liberation

      Prag-dwaram sukhadam; Vrddih paschimam pusti –vardhanam; Dhanadam ch Uttaram dwaram; Dwaram yabhyam ca Mokshadam.

      Generally, the Doorways to the East are considered best (Uttamottamam); to the West next best (Uttamam); to the South is middling (Madhyamam); and, to the North is inferior(Adhama)

      These prescriptions are , of course, general guide line. When you are undertaking a project, you have to take all factors into consideration, in consultation with an experienced Sthapathi.

      3. I would advise you to consult an expert in the field, a practicing Architect/Sthapathi or a scholar like DR. G Gnanananda , a well respected scholar and author, who has written several texts on temple architecture. He may be contacted at his home at : : No.1122 , 5th Main , Gokhale Road, BEML Layout , 3rd Stage , Rajarajeshwari Nagar , Bangaore – 560098 . He can also be contacted on : 080- 2860 4107 or 98863 17368 (M); at

      I suggest you may either write or speak to the learned Professor or send him an E-mail providing full details of your temple-project.
      I am aware that I have not been of great help to you. But, I hope, this would help you to take a broader view of your project and proceed further.

      May the Mother bless us all

      Please keep in touch


  10. Global Environmentalist (@12WorldValues)

    February 3, 2019 at 12:25 am

    Amazing and valuable information. Thanks. But I can’t find the name of its author. So who is the masked man/woman?
    Matthew at

  11. cISlFXttOp

    February 12, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    gnseBwGeFQ aJmpnNSXRX rpYKjxlDQS XjbbczzkvI ulnjrKfeOs SFvqOwkDBd NsiNlahFrW VJqapkvGeW sVDzUkrKrd tRkgvzrQmk


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