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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.

      • Paresh Devani

        August 27, 2019 at 6:19 pm

        Thank you for your very well researched and informative website.
        I am looking up the traditional wedding invocation (Dyaur aham prithvi tvam, Retoham retabhru tvam, Manoham asmi vak-tvam, Samaham asmi rikri-tvam, Sa maam anuvruta bhava) and your reference says ‘BAU 4.4.20’. Please educate me on what is ‘BAU 4.4.20’?

      • sreenivasaraos

        August 28, 2019 at 4:05 am

        Dear Paresh Devani

        Thank you for the visit; and, for reading the article closely.

        I am glad you asked this question

        The mantra dyaur ahaṃ pṛthivī tvam that is recited by the groom during the wedding, initially occurs in the Atharva Veda at AVŚ_14,2.71a- c at

        Please check at 14.2.71a

        Thereafter it is adopted by several other texts such as Brihararanyaka Upanishad (6.4.20); Yajnavalkya Smriti; and also by several manuals of marriage rituals (vivaaha karmakanda); and, so on.

        The mantra I have quoted is from Brihararanyaka Upanishad

        The term BAU 6.4.20 stands for Brihararanyaka Upanishad 6.4.20; and, it reads:

        dyaur aham pṛthivī tvam | tāv ehi saṃrabhāvahai saha reto dadhāvahai | puṃse putrāya vittaya iti || BrhUp_6,4.20 ||

        Please check :


        I have since corrected my page at

        Please check the page


        Thank you for raising the question; that helped me to set right a slight error

        Please keep reading; and commenting


        BTW. I trust your thesis is progressing well. Please let me know . Thanks

      • Paresh Devani

        August 28, 2019 at 6:15 am

        Dear Sreenivasa Rao

        Sincere thanks for your prompt reply and clear explanation, I appreciate it very much.
        And thank you again for the wonderful education resource of your comprehensive and very well researched website, which I look forward to visiting regularly.

        Warm regards
        Paresh Devani

    • 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

    • sreenivasaraos

      November 12, 2019 at 2:11 am

      Dear Divya

      Greetings. I trust by now you have successfully completed your doctoral thesis concerning jewellery

      I am sending you a few links that I came across; and, mused these might be of interest to you. I am aware , this rather late. Yet , please take a look for whatever it might be ..

      Have a Great Life



      Gold Earring, Taxila (?), 1st-2nd century A.D

      Sword , Indore, ca. 1800, with metal hilt entirely covered with sheet gold and set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds

      Gem-set gold Navratna Pendant from the Treasury of Tipu Sultan; Mysore (Seringapatam), late 18th Century

      The ‘Timur Ruby’ necklace1853 Spinels, diamonds, gold, enamel

      Portable shrine of Vishnu late 18th century – early 19th century

      Bahadur Shah II’s crown, c. 1825-50

      Suite of Victorian Necklace, bracelet and brooch; the frontispiece of the necklace comprising a series of green glass set

      • jewelsofsayuri

        November 12, 2019 at 12:57 pm

        Thank you sir, for the resources. I just started my PhD journey last year. So I have only completed my coursework. I still have the actual research to do

      • sreenivasaraos

        November 21, 2019 at 2:10 am


        Normally, how long does it take to complete a doctoral thesis , in Indian universities

        On Tue, 12 Nov 2019, 18:28 sreenivasarao’s blogs, wrote:

        > jewelsofsayuri commented: “Thank you sir, for the resources. I just > started my PhD journey last year. So I have only completed my coursework. I > still have the actual research to do” >

      • jewelsofsayuri

        November 21, 2019 at 1:24 pm

        5 years, which includes 2 years for coursework and proposal preparation.

    • sreenivasaraos

      November 29, 2019 at 2:24 am

      Dear Divya

      I am aware you have researched deep into the fashion and textiles over a long period.

      Yet; I presume the Doctoral thesis prepared by Dr. Archana Mazumdar on the printed modes in Indian textiles from Indus valley civilization to late eighteenth century A D, might interest you

      You may take a look at it , in case you have not already done so

      Cheers and Godd Luck

    • sreenivasaraos

      December 23, 2019 at 4:39 am

      Dear Divya

      Good Morning Maa

      I came across some sites displaying various kinds of Indian jewelry

      Then , I thought of you

      Please check the following links (in case you have not already familiar with these)

      Some of them perhaps might interest you. There are more.

      Please check and let me know

      Merry Christmas


      a Very Happy New Year


    • sreenivasaraos

      March 29, 2020 at 2:31 am

      Dear Divya

      Good morning

      Please check here for a detailed article – the jewels for the king by Claudine Bautze-Picron


  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


      • Nimai

        February 5, 2020 at 1:17 pm

        Thank you for your valuable reply.
        The links you have given are very detailed informative and very relevant for my service to Lord Krishna.
        Hare Krishna….

      • sreenivasaraos

        February 5, 2020 at 1:21 pm

        you are welcome

  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. Shastry MVN

    February 8, 2019 at 5:45 am

    Dear Sir,

    I am Shastry, from Hyderabad, Telangana. I have proposed to build a huge temple for Lord Shiva & Maa Parvathi Devi.

    Solicit your help in guiding me few good architects who can help in designing and building the temple as per Dravida culture.


  12. cISlFXttOp

    February 12, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    gnseBwGeFQ aJmpnNSXRX rpYKjxlDQS XjbbczzkvI ulnjrKfeOs SFvqOwkDBd NsiNlahFrW VJqapkvGeW sVDzUkrKrd tRkgvzrQmk

  13. Viji

    February 22, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Dear Sir, Wonderful blog… very informative. thx. I am interested in Srngaranatyam from Bharatarnava. Can you provide suggestions on books, articles and other material relevant to this topic. Also sculptures and paintings from which the information can be gathered. I am a bharatnatyam dancer. Thx

  14. Vik Kennick

    March 24, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Dear Learned Sir: I was reading your pages on Uddalaka Aruni and came across information that bears on questions I had about the relationship between brahmins and kshatriyas in the middle Vedic period. YOU SAID: “4.6. Jaiminiya Brahmana (1.22-25) mentions that Uddalaka Aruni along with four other Brahmins (Yajnavalkya Vajasaneya , Barku Varsna, Priya Anasruteya, and Budila Asvatarsvi Vaiyaghrapadya) approached King Janaka of Videha with a request to teach them about Agnihotra.” MY QUESTION IS: Janaka, as a king, would be a kshatriya. How did he attain deep knowledge of Yajna and Agnihotra, which presumably would be the province of brahmins? Also you mention that Janaka was very learned. How did he acquire his education. ALSO, perhaps you could give some idea on how a kshatriya (e.g., Gautama Buddha) could acquire a brahmin gotra. Thanks very much. I much appreciate that you share your comprehensive and detailed knowledge.

    • sreenivasaraos

      March 25, 2019 at 5:39 am

      Dear Vik Kennick

      Thanks for the visit; and for reading the article closely

      First, Janaka: Janaka, the king of Videha, is mentioned in a number of ancient texts; such as: Satapatha Brahmana (, Brihararanyaka Upanishad (3.1.1), Jaiminiya Brahmana (1.22-25) and the Kausitaki Upanishad (4.1). He was a contemporary of the renowned scholars of those days; such as Yajnavalkya Vajaseniya, Uddalaka Aruni , his son Svetaketu, Satyakama Jabala, Ushasthi Chakrayana, Gargi Vachaknavi and others. He was hailed as Raja-rishi, the saint king, who had acquired a deep knowledge and true understanding of Atma Vidya. During his time, the Kuru Panchala region came to be recognized as the home of Upanishad-philosophies. And, Janaka presided over debates and discussions concerning the nature of Brahman, as the Ultimate Reality.

      Janaka, it is said, was well versed not only in the philosophies, but also in the practices of a disciplined chaste living. Satapatha Brahmana ( did, in fact, recognize him as a virtual Brahmin, by virtue of his knowledge and understanding

      yājñavalkyo varaṃ dadau sa hovāca kāmapraśna eva me
      tvayi yājñavalkyāsaditi tato brahmā janaka āsa

      It is said; many learned Brahmins approached King Janaka seeking instructions on certain spiritual matters.


      Since you mentioned Agnihotra, in particular, let me draw your attention to an interesting discussion concerning it, as detailed in Jaiminiya Brahmana (1.19-20). It is rather lengthy and tedious, please bear with me.

      Yajnavalkya asserts: The Agnihotra cow indeed is the speech. Her calf is mind. . They milk the mother (cow) whose milk has been caused to flow by mind (calf).The mind , here, comes first; and, is followed by speech. Therefore, the mother cow runs after the calf that walks in front. The milk-post is the heart; the rope is the breath. With breath, indeed, speech and mind are tied up to the heart. With a rope he ties the calf and the mother to the milk-post.

      Janaka, the King of Videha, questions Yajnavalkya: ‘Do you know Agnihotra?’; Yes I do, ,replied Yajnavalkya. ‘What is it?’; ‘Milk’. If there is no milk with what would you perform Angihotra?’- ‘With rice and barley’. ‘If there is no rice and barley, with what would you perform the offering?’ – ‘with any other corn’. ‘If there would be no other corn, with what would you perform the offering?’ – ‘with forest herbs’. ‘If there would be no forest herbs, with what would you perform the offering?’ – ‘with water’. ‘If there would be no water, with what would you perform the offering’? To that, Yajnavalkya, finally replied: ‘then indeed there would be nothing at all here ; and yet , the offering would be performed by truth and faith’.

      Satisfied with Yajnavalkya’s reply, King Janaka spoke ‘Yajnavalkya, you know what is Agnihotra. I honour you. Take away those thousand cows, Sir’

      [Source; Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa I, 1-65: Translation [from the Sanskrit] and Commentary- edited by H. W. Bodewitz ]

      Janaka, who questioned Yajnavalkya, obviously knew very well about Agnihotra.

      As regards the Kshatriyas and their excellence in their learning in various branch of philosophies, please see the note given below paragraph 3.1, in my post ‘ Who was Uddalaka Aruni? – Part One

      [ It appears from the Chandogya-Upanishad (8-14-1; 5-11, 24; 1-8, 9; 1-9-3, 7-1-3, and 5-11); Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad (2-1-20, 2-3 -6); and Kausitiki Brahmana (2-1, 2; 10, 4.) that during the early Upanishad-period the Kshatriyas were adepts in Adhyatma-Vidya. For instance; king Ajatashatru of Kasi , in an assembly of the Kuru-Panchalas , consoles the Brahmin lad Svetaketu, son of Uddalaka Aruni of the Gautama Gotra that he need not be sorry for his inability to explain certain principles of Adhyatma-Vidya , because that has , so far, been the preserve of the Kshatriyas – tasmād u sarveṣu lokeṣu kṣatrasyaiva praśāsanam abhūd iti (Chandogya-Upanishad: 5-3).]


      Now, as regards the question of Gotra you mentioned; yes, the Shakyas of Kshatriya race belonged to Gautama Gotra. Hence, the person born in the Sakya clan; and the one who later gained renown, universally, as the Buddha, was addressed as Gautama Buddha. Similarly, the women belonging to the Sakya clan went by the name of Gautami.

      In the same way, Mahaveera, another Kshatriya, the founder of Jainism, belonged to Kashyapa Gotra.

      Here, Gautama and Kashyapa were both Maharishis, great sages. The Brāhmaṇas who profess Gautama-gotra are generally family descendants; while the Kṣhatriyas who profess Gautama-gotra are all in the line of his disciples. This has been the common practice down the ages , even with regard to the other Gotras.


  15. Sunil Sunkara

    March 28, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Been following your articles. Truly wonderful work. Thank you

    • sreenivasaraos

      March 28, 2019 at 6:34 pm

      Dear Sunil

      You are most welcome


      • Surendra Kumar Negi

        April 2, 2019 at 7:16 am

        Dear Sir, My best regards. May you please enlighten me on Sementics in Vedas and later in india. Thanks.

      • sreenivasaraos

        April 2, 2019 at 9:07 am

        Dear Shri Surendra

        Could you kindly amplify your question ?


  16. Dear SirThanks.. In the field of Sementics much research work has been done.I am specially interested in "Sementic Primes and Universals" and interested in reading related relevent material in Vedas and other Indian scripture. Thanks.

    April 2, 2019 at 9:19 pm


    • sreenivasaraos

      April 8, 2019 at 6:33 am

      Dear Shri Surendra

      Please pardon me for the delay in responding. I was away for some time.

      Sementics, as I understand, is the science of the meaning of words. It is also concerned with what binds the words together; and, their relation with the objects. In other words, it is a science of meaning of language; where, words, symbols, signs etc., and their relation are analyzed. It determines the meaning of different words in different contexts and perspectives.

      In the context of the Vedas, the two types of very ancient texts that come to my mind are the Nighantu and the Nirukta.

      The Nighantu is a glossary or a compilation of words in the Vedas, grouped into thematic categories, often with brief annotations. And, it could be called as a reference work dealing with the science of words (Abhidhanashastra). However, Nighantu is not a Dictionary (Artha-Kosha), though it could be compared to glossaries and thesauri.

      According to Yaska (Nirukta 1.20), the Nighantu was a collection of rare or difficult words gathered by earlier sages for easier understanding of Vedic texts that perhaps they themselves may not have fully understood .

      The Nighantu was followed by the Nirukta (literally meaning, explained / interpreted). It is regarded as one of the six ancillaries to the Vedas (Vedanga). It is a systematic glossary, which helps to understand archaic, uncommon words in the Vedic passages that were composed during or prior to the 2nd-millennium BCE. Besides, being the study concerning the correct interpretation of Sanskrit words in the Vedas, the Nirukta also covers etymology. Thus, Nirukta goes beyond the mere Sementics.

      Thus, the revelation of the meaning of words is the main purpose of the Nighantu and also of the Nirukta. The basic position taken up by these texts is that : a sentence is a collection of words; a word is a collection of phonemes; and, the meaning of a sentence appearing in a Vedic passage has to be understood through its context; its stated purpose; the subject matter that is being discussed; what is stated; how ; where; and, when.

      Of the many Nirukta-s that were prevalent in the very ancient India, the one compiled by Yaska (prior to sixth century BCE) is the most celebrated. Yaska’s Nirukta is an indispensible aid to understand the true import of the passages of the Rig-Veda. It is designed to determine the exact meaning of the Vedic Mantras. Yakska’s work has stood the test of time; and is continued to be referred to as an authoritative text.

      However, Yaska was not the first scholar to attempt such an exercise. Yaska, in fact, mentions , as many as, twelve earlier Nirukta-karas and to their views : Aupamanyava; Aurnanabha; Audumbarayana; Agrayana; Varshyayani Sakapuni; Gargya; Talava; Kaitiki; Kaushitiki; Sthaulashtivi; and, Katthakya.

      Yaska, obviously, was well versed in all the branches of Vedic literature. He was well acquainted with the views of the different Schools of interpretations of the Vedic mantras that were prevalent during his time. For instance ; Yaska cites the views of : Nairuktas (Etymologists); Yajnikas ( Ritualists); Vaiyakaranika ( Grammarians); Naidanas ( those professing views on primary causation); Aithihasikas (experts in myths and legends); and, Parivrajakas ( wandering philosophers).

      Yaska regarded Nirukta as an explanatory text that complements Vyakarana (Grammar). But, the two – Nirukta and Vyakarana- differ, in the sense that each has a different focus. Vyakarana deals with grammatical analysis to establish the exact form of words that is to be employed, to properly express a given idea; while, Nirukta focuses on linguistic analysis in order to help establish the proper meaning of those words, given the context they are used. Yaska asserts that the proper study of the Vyakarana is a prerequisite for the study of Nirukta (Nirvacana shastra).

      The greater use of the Nirukta is in its application as a reliable tool to accurately analyze and understand the true import of the words in the Vedic mantras. As Yaska puts it in his Nirukta, the aim was to understand the real significance of the word and to bring out the meaning of the uttered word (arthanityah parikseta -Nir: 2.11).

      Yaska approached this problem through a semantic analysis of words, by breaking them down into their components, and then combined them in the context they were used to propose what the archaic words could have meant.

      Yaska’s Nirukta extensively refers to the Nighantu (278 words of the Naigama and the 151 names of the Daivata, in detail). And, technically, it could be called as a commentary on Nighantu; as also as a treatise on etymology.

      Nirukta could also be understood as Etymology. A thorough knowledge of the science of Nirukta is considered essential for gaining a correct understanding various meanings of a word or term appearing in the Vedas with reference to their context. Therefore, Yaska’s work, written in classical Sanskrit (though somewhat archaic), is recognized as one of the most important Vedangas (limbs of the Vedas).

      Here, Etymology primarily belongs to linguistics. Formally, Etymology is a part of grammar and Sementics. It has two aspects phonetic and Sementic. Etymology/Nirukta itself has many other multiple aspects , all of which are convergent with the main theme i.e. casting light upon the words their origin/root the process of their genes is/derivation and their development.
      Yaska-charya, the great etymologist of the ancient India, believed that every Vedic word has an expressive power to denote a certain sense. And, as a signifier (vacaka), every word is eternal (vyaptimattvat tu sabdasya – Nir.I.2); and, is critical in arriving at an unerring meaning of a statement. Thus, the word, the meaning and their mutual relations are eternal. In his remarkable work Nirukta (etymology or Nirvacana shastra) , Yaska attempts to establish the proper meaning of certain selected Vedic words (including their prepositions and the particles), in the context of ‘how, where, when and why’ it is stated. For the purpose of his study, Yaska chose about 600 stanzas from the Rig-Veda; and created a well organized glossary to understand and to interpret, particularly, the archaic, uncommon words used in the Vedic texts.

      His study also included a system of rules for forming words from roots and affixes. According to Yaska, every word is derived from a root; and by analysing the root, its tendency and the suffix, it is possible to establish the relation between word and its meaning. In the Nirukta, Yaska has tried to explain those selected Vedic words from the perspective of the various linguistic aspects; parts of speech (padajatani) such as: noun (naman), verb (akyata), preposition (upasarga), and particle (nipata).

      A central premise of Yaska was that man creates more new words to conceptualize and describe action; which is to say that the nouns often have verbal roots. However, he mentioned, that not all words have verbal roots. He asserted that both the meaning and the etymology of words are always context sensitive. Words are created, according to Yaska, to express external or internal objects/ reality perceived by man. And, such creations are of six modifications of Kriya (action) and Bhava (dynamic being), namely being born, existing, changing, increasing, decreasing and perishing.

      In addition, Yaska takes up the general definitions, special definitions, synonyms, homonyms (words that share the same pronunciation but convey different meanings), common and obscure grammatical forms, words and their meanings, and the etymology of these words. Yaska terms such analytical method as samaskara (treatment) or sastrakrto yogah (grammatical combination.
      As regards its structure, Yaska’s Nirukta is composed in five Chapters. The first three chapters (together called as Naighantuka Kanda) give synonyms. The first Adhyāya (Chapter) deals mainly with physical things and objects of nature. The second Adhyāya deals mainly with man, his physical being, and qualities associated with his being, such as property and emotional states. The third Adhyāya deals mainly with abstract qualities and concepts.

      The fourth Adhyaya (Naigama Kanda) gives homonyms (words that are spelled the same and sound the same, but have different meanings); and, the fifth Adhyaya (Daivata Kanda) deals with the epithets of divine beings, deities (Devata) of a given Mantra.

      Yaska’s Nirukta is marked by clarity, brevity and authenticity. It hardly needs a commentary. Yet; there have been a fair number of commentaries (Bhashya) on Yaska’s work; Such as the commentaries by scholars like: Durgasimha (perhaps before the 4th-century?); Skandaswamin (14th century) ; Devaraja-yajva ( early 14th century); and, Mahesvara (15th century)

      Durga’s commentary is considered very useful and important; because, it repeats every term of Yaska and offers commentary thereon. It is thus both a text and a commentary as well.

      You may please refer to a critical edition of the Nighantu and the Nirukta; a very scholarly work: The Nighantu and The Nirukta (the oldest Indian treatise on Etymology, Philology and Sementics) Edited and translated by Prof. Lakshman Sarup ; Published by Motilal And Banarsidass ( 1926).

      For the plain text of the Yaska’s Nirukta you may click on


      I trust this answers your question to some extent

      If you have read up to here, I admire your patience and fortitude.

      Have a very Happy Ugadi and a New Year

      Cheers and regards

    • sreenivasaraos

      October 11, 2019 at 3:38 am

      Dear Surendra

      I came across the following paper. See , if it would be of any help to you . Thanks

      Houben 1997 – The emergence of semantics in … the Sanskrit tradition-compressé.…_the_Sanskrit_tradition-compress%C3%A9.pdf

  17. Shashank

    April 12, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Hello, I have found your blog to be very helpful for my on going research. Thank you so much. I would like to get your personal contact details so that I can ask you few doubts and get some clarification. Here is my email id

    • sreenivasaraos

      April 13, 2019 at 3:13 am

      Dear Shri Shashank

      Thank you for the visit; and, for the appreciation

      I wish you were a little more clear.

      Can you please let me know : which blog here was helpful to you?

      What is the area of your research?

      How was the blog/blogs related to your field of study


      As regards the doubts / clarifications that you mentioned

      If you can frame a set of specific questions; and, send them on to me, here

      I shall try to reply to the extent of my limited understanding

      Happy Sri Nama_Navami. Jai Sri Ram


  18. Jayen Mistry

    June 13, 2019 at 6:46 am

    Dear Sreenivasarao,
    I am just a browser/ surfer on the net with an interest in indian Art and Philosophy. I have found your articles interesting and informative. Many thanks for sharing your valuable knowledge.

    • sreenivasaraos

      June 13, 2019 at 8:18 am

      Dear Jayen

      You are most welcome.

      I trust you read some of the series on certain subjects

      Cheers and Regards

  19. Sushant Rao

    June 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Dear Sreenivasarao,

    I just read your write-up on the history and evolution of Ganapati. I really enjoyed it and wanted to thank you for your immense contribution to society. On the internet where there are number of half-baked summaries on the topic, the depth and thoroughness with which you approached the subject was leaps and bounds above the rest.


  20. planet9co

    July 6, 2019 at 5:29 am

    Namaskar !!

    Heartiest congratulations for this brilliant endeavor. The Dharma Pataka is still intact because of Divine entities like you. My best wishes.

    Pranam !

    • sreenivasaraos

      July 6, 2019 at 5:47 am

      Dear Shri Alok

      Thank you for the visit; and, for the appreciation

      An appreciation coming from an erudite scholar , like you, is truly priceless

      Warm Regards

      • planet9co

        July 6, 2019 at 9:25 am

        I am Humbled Sir !!

  21. Sushrutha S

    July 16, 2019 at 6:15 am

    Namaste Mahodaya,

    From one of my friends I started reading this blog. For my surprise all these thoughts presented here resemble mine. You are articulating in a fabulous manner to reach the interested seekers.

    I was wondering, if I can use some of your writings to educate our students of psychology.


    • sreenivasaraos

      July 16, 2019 at 7:53 am

      Dear Sushrutha

      Thanks for the visit ; and , for the appreciation

      May I know whether you are referring to a particular blog; or , in general

      Yes Sir, of course , you can make a good use of the material here

      Please let me know the subject and which level you are teaching


      • Sushrutha S

        July 16, 2019 at 9:40 am


        I teach to the UG, PG and PhD level students.

        All of your write ups are very much informative in general and encouraging the readers to get deeper into the subjects.

        I’ll give the reference of this website if I extract any information needed, I was just thinking if there is any copyright or privacy policies reserved by you for us to distribute in private circulation.


      • sreenivasaraos

        July 18, 2019 at 2:25 am

        Dear Sushruta

        I am happy someone is reading the articles posted here, closely

        If young persons find these readable, useful and from which they can learn something , what more can one ask

        You make a good and legitimate use of the materials here.

        It would, of course, please me if the source is acknowledged

        Cheers and Regards

      • Sushrutha S

        July 22, 2019 at 2:32 pm


        Do you have any source of Indian Sciences exclusively, all the Shastras are sciences only, but curious to know whether you have a collection of them in short.

      • sreenivasaraos

        July 22, 2019 at 4:45 pm

        Can you please be more specific ;say, the subject or technique etc.

  22. Madan Gupta

    August 13, 2019 at 3:12 am

    Respected Sir
    I admired with your work. I am Madan Gupta. Working on ancient Indian technology. I need your help. I am not a research scholar. It is my interest. I would like to meet you in person. Let me know your address and phone no. My phone no. 9441200112.

    • sreenivasaraos

      August 13, 2019 at 4:04 pm

      Thank you Dear Madan for the appreciation.

      Most of the times, I would be in travel.

      I would rather prefer if you could frame a set of specific questions; and, send them on to me , here.

      I will attempt to reply to the extant of my limited ability.


  23. Virendra Tripathi

    August 14, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Pranam Sir My name is Virendra Tripathi firstly I would like to thank you for this valuable resources you put up here it is very very useful for us I have just completed my coursework for PhD My area of interest is Sankhya and Yoga philosophy .My topic is not declared yet .I would be very greatful if you could suggest me some new topics for PhD on Sankhya or Yoga Philosophy.please Sir

    • sreenivasaraos

      August 15, 2019 at 2:03 am

      Dear Shri Virendra

      Thank you for the visit; and, for the appreciation

      I am truly glad that you are progressing wonderfully well in your academics
      As regards Samkhya; as you may have noticed, I have been following and interpreting the traditional texts.

      But, in recent times incredibly diverse ways of interpretations and applications are being undertaken both by the Indian and the Western scholars. The subjects of comparative studies and researches range from theories of cognition; consciousness; thought processes; psychological and physical effects of Yoga; meditation processes and effects; and, a myriad other subjects related to Samkhya and Yoga; and so on.

      I am, of course, not very familiar with such studies and research papers. I am, therefore, not competent to advice on the issue you raised.
      Yet; I may mention that I have come across several highly well produced research papers and thesis that discuss in a very scholarly manner various issues related to Samkhya and Yoga in the context / in conjunction with the modern western thought systems and theories.

      (1) For instance; you may start with the paper, which discusses “How Do Theories of Cognition and Consciousness in Ancient Indian Thought Systems Relate to Current Western Theorizing and Research?” –

      This paper raises number of very interesting issues, which you may like to pursue.

      (2) There is also a paper which discusses Samkhya and Yoga psychology and psychoanalysis (of both Freudian and Jungian)

      (3) Shri G. Srinivasan has produced a detailed technical paper on Samkhya (Secret Of Sankhya: Acme Of Scientific Unification) ; it is filled with equations, diagrams and scientific terms. It, of course, is far beyond my level of understanding.,Sankhya.pdf

      (4)There is also a study of Kshetra and Kshetrajna of Bhagavad-Gita in relation to the concepts of Samkhya

      (5) There is an interesting study of “Modern Samkhya: Ancient Spirituality for the Contemporary Atheist” –

      (6) Please check the following site which suggests many new Perspectives on Samkhya Darshana ,

      (7) There is a whole list of plausible areas of studies and also the recent studies conducted. Please check all the six pages; and, take a glance at various issues mentioned therein$=

      I am aware that I have not been of much help to you. I, therefore , suggest that you may discusses with your co-learners, teachers etc; and, more importantly, ponder over , locate and identify the areas of study that interest you most.

      Please let me know, if I can be of any assistance

      Wish you success in all your endowers

      Cheers and Regards

  24. Sandhya

    September 9, 2019 at 4:48 am

    Happy Day Sir,

    I was going through the text Chaturdandi Prakashan.

    Can you please let know where does this line appear in the text.

    Gita-prabandha-sthaya-alapa-rupa-chatur –dandi

    tried finding it.

    not able to trace this line which mentions the core fundamental of the text.

    if you could help me with the shloka number it will be really useful sir.

    Sandhya Sankar

    • sreenivasaraos

      September 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm

      Dear Sandhya

      Pardon me for the delay in responding to your very interesting observation. I was not keeping well for some time.

      The Chaturdandi-Prakashika of Venkatamakhin is essentially a compilation of the past theories (Lakshana) and practices (Lakshya); and, many of those were age-old. By the time of Venkatamakhin (perhaps around the year 1650), some of the musical formats (say, like, Prabandha) were almost fading away; and, were no longer in common use.

      Though the Chaturdandi-Prakashika is not altogether an original composition, it serves a very useful purpose as a digest or a repository of the traditions and practices of the bygone era. But for this encyclopedic work, some of the significant developments that took place in the history of Karnataka Samgita might have been lost to us. The Chaturdandi-Prakashika thus forms a bridge between the ancient and what might perhaps be called as the modern periods.

      And you , as a research scholar, know very well, the importance of the Chaturdandi-Prakashika in the present-day system of Indian music, is that it provides a basis for classifying the Ragas , arranged under the cluster of seventy-two primary Ragas (Mela) , with a large number of derivative (Janya) Ragas springing from each of such main (parent –Janaka) Ragas.

      In his work, Venkatamakhin talks, in detail, about the melodic forms or musical formats that were prominent before his time. He fondly recalls and pays tributes to the Maestros of the earlier days like Gopala Nayaka (1205-1315) and Tanappa-charya whom he calls Parama-guru (Guru’s Guru), who , he says, were renowned exponents and performers of Charurdandi – four forms of song-formats comprising Gita, Prabandha, Thaya and Aalapa (Gita-Prabandha-Sthaya-Aalapa-rupa) – (Page 79 Prabandha Prakaranam ; Verses 4-6)

      Gita-Prabandhyorevam Bhedo yadi Na kalpayate / Kutah siddhyo Chaturdandi krutho Gopala Nayakah // 5//
      Pratyuktam tu Chaturdandi-tyato Gita Prabandhyoh / Bhedath pruth Prakaranam Prabandartha pravartate //6//

      Here, just as the Gita and Prabandha are considered separate and distinct, the Aalapa and Thaya were also treated as distinct forms; though all the four, together, constituted the composite Chaturdandi .

      Venkatamakhin, therefore, recognizes these four types of song-formats as “the illuminating four pillars”. It alludes to a system of four divisions of composition, namely Aalāpa (free flowing exposition of a Raga); Thāya (melodic inflection); Gīta (vocal composition set to a Raga); and, Prabandha (a structured composition). The Chaturdandi-Prakashika of Venkatamakhin is mainly a treatise on Music that illumines these four forms of song-formats. But, within a century all these forms were superseded; and, were replaced by the Kriti, the song format par excellence, which emerged as the dominant component of the concert repertoire.

      The earliest mention of the four types of melodic forms (Gita-Prabandha-Sthaya-Aalapa), in a sequence, occurs in Svara-mela Kalanidhi of Ramamatya (1550 CE)
      Gita-Prabandhaka-Alapa –Thaya yogya bhavanti hi Ity uttama ragah (Raga-prakaranam – sloka 5 on page 30)

      While classifying the Desi Ragas of his time, Ramamatya considers about twenty Ragas which are not mixed with the shades of other Ragas (Asankirnatya), as the best among all the forms (Uttamottama) ; and, as most suitable for rendering the Gita, Prabandha, Aalapa and Thaya . He mentions that the other two class of Ragas – middling (Madhyamā) and inferior (Adhama) – are unfit for rendering all these four formats.

      Following Ramamatya, Venkatamakhin also mentions that the Gita, Thaya and Prabandha of Tanappa and others are available for most of the Ragas. But some Desi Ragas like Kalyani and Pantuvarali are unfit for using the format of Chaturdandi (Raga-prakaranam – Slokas 107-108 page 65 )

      Kalyani ragah sampurna Aarohe Mani varjitah / Gita Prabandha yogyo api turuskaranamati priyah // 107//
      Ragah Pantuvaralyakhya sampurna pamara priyah / Gita Thaya Prabandhanam duraad duratarah smruthah // 108//

      Another text of the Vijayanagara period (Ca.1525) Sangita-sµryodaya, names: Sthayi, Arohi, Avarohi, and Sanchari varnas, as the components of the Chaturdandi (III. Svarådhyåya)

      Further, Tulaja Maharaja I (who ruled Thanjavur from 1729-35 CE) in his Sangita-Saramruta explains the term Chaturdandi and its concept by illustrating through application (prayoga) of various musical formats, such as: Gita, Aalapa, Thaya, Prabandha, Suladi, Sloka, Varna, Daru, and Pada. He tries to illustrate the Rupa (form) that a Raga takes in each of those song-formats, revealing its varied aspects in each type of composition. He explains; of all those formats only the four – Gita, Thaya, Aalapa and Prabandha – which are well grounded in tradition, together appear to be the classical modes of Raga presentation. In other words; considering the importance assigned to these four types of musical forms, it could be said that they formed the regular and principal materials for the music performances of those times.

      It is said; the structure of a Raga, its melodic content is interrelated and complicated. And, one has also to take into consideration the aesthetic factors for creating a musical flavor (Rasa) and significance that is unique to each Raga.

      Thus, the concept of Chaturdandi had been running through all along, as four channels, for illustrating and giving expression to classical (Uttama) Raga forms. And, this mode of presentation appears to have been the mainstay of the performances of instrumental and vocal music during the times prior to that of Venkatamakhin.

      Just as Raja Tulaja did, Venkatamakhin also regarded that only the four – Gita, Thaya, Aalapa and Prabandha – which are well grounded in tradition, together are capable of classical (Uttamottama) Raga presentation. He was, of course, influenced by the rich musical tradition of the past, largely shaped by these four forms of presentation. The title assigned by Venkatamakhin to his work, namely Chaturdandi Prakashika, therefore, seems to have come about as a consequence of those influences. Venkatamakhin in his work dealt with each of these four channels of Raga expressions, exclusively, in each chapter, which form the core content of his treatise, consisting a total of ten chapters.

      Yes Maa, as you rightly observed, the line Gita-prabandha-sthaya-alapa-rupa-chatur –dandi, in sequence, per se, does not seem to specifically appear in the text of the Chaturdandi Prakashika. Yet; the concept of Chaturdandi had been consistently appearing, like a phrase that repeats at the end of a verse of song or like a thread that runs through all along, in the texts of the Karnataka Samgita tradition, since the time of Ramamatya.

      Venkatamakhin, perhaps, considered Chaturdandi, the standard types of melodic forms, as a very significant phase in the unfolding of the Music tradition of India. Hence, he accorded greater importance to the system of four divisions of composition; and, named his text as Chaturdandi-Prakashika, the four illuminating pillars of Music.

      I am not sure if I have been any help to you at all. But, I hope this spurs you along your research project with Godspeed.

      Please keep in touch; and, let me know how well you are progressing

      Cheers and regards

      • Sankar Sandhya

        September 16, 2019 at 5:00 pm

        thank you so much sir for the detailed explanation

      • sreenivasaraos

        September 16, 2019 at 5:37 pm

        OK Maa , you are welcome
        But, was it of any help to you


      • Sankar Sandhya

        September 17, 2019 at 1:37 am

        Yes sir . A little.

  25. Jay

    September 9, 2019 at 5:48 am

    Hi Sir,
    You cover a lot of topics. Can you please share knowledge on vasanas and how does one overcome them?

  26. Sumathi Vikram

    December 16, 2019 at 5:04 am

    Namaskaram Sir,
    I am a Bharathanatyam dancer and I recently came across your blog while looking for commentaries from the natya shastra . In general I was looking for a good text that has excellent commentaries on the treatise . Do you have any recommendations on books that are a must read for a dancer ? In addition I also can e across your articles on Nartana- Nirnaya. Are there books published and how can I gain access to these ?

    Amazing amazing work and very excited to have stumbled onto this .


    • sreenivasaraos

      December 16, 2019 at 5:52 am

      Dear Sumathi

      I am delighted that you – an erudite and practicing Bharatanatyam Dancer – stumbled upon this site.

      I trust you found it interesting ; and, possibly, useful .

      As regards the texts dealing with the Indian Dancing traditions (Lakshana-granthas) , some of which also cover the Lakshya ( practice) aspects.

      I had posted a series covering about 15(?) such Granthas -commencing from the Natyashastra.

      You may commence from the following, and, read till your patience runs out.

      It would be purposeful, if the articles are read in their sequence.

      I would be very interested in your feedback; as , it would help me to rectify the inconsistencies ; and to improve the content of the articles , particularly in the context of Dance as it is being practiced and taught in the present-day.

      I would also like to know if the articles are”readable”; not too tedious.

      I value your comments.


      Regarding the Books etc., that you mentioned; it might be difficult to obtain a single book commenting on all of the ancient texts.

      I reckon, you may have to go text-by-text.

      You may refer to the links to certain texts that I have referred to within the body of the articles

      And, you may also check the links to the texts and other materials that I have listed under “Sources and References” at the bottom of each post.

      That would help you to cover quite a substantial area

      Please keep talking

      Cheers and Regards

  27. DKM Kartha

    January 7, 2020 at 6:57 pm


    Have you written on the issue of “the relation between Word and Meaning” (SabdARttha-sambandham) as treated by the various systems of Indian daRSana-s and VyAkaraNa theorists from PaNini onwards ? If yes, could you give a reference, please ? Thank you for this valuable sharing of knowledge that you do through your remarkably detailed essays!

    DKM Kartha

  28. Radhika Mulay

    January 18, 2020 at 7:12 am

    Dear Sir,
    I am a student of dance and came across your website while searching for some details. I have got hooked onto to your writings. Thank you so much for the detailed and wonderful explanations with references and analysis. I used to find Indian text very complex and difficult to understand. Within a very short time I have started developing a basic sense of understanding of ancient texts thanks to you!

    Yours sincerely,
    Radhika Mulay

    • sreenivasaraos

      January 19, 2020 at 4:55 am

      Dear Radhika

      Thank yo for the visit; and, for the appreciation
      I am very glad that you found these series of articles quite useful

      I trust you went through the entire series
      It would be better if the articles are read in their proper sequence.

      You may also like to read the series on the Indian classical music
      And, a number of articles therein are about the Music in Natyashastra
      Please check

      And, read the articles that follow

      Regards and Cheers

  29. Supriya

    February 5, 2020 at 6:13 am

    Namaste Sir,
    I am studying Masters in Bharathanatyam and I have selected the topic ‘A study on Margi and Desi Lasyangas’ for my end semester project. Could you please help me to get the details of lasyangas?? I have gone through the Natyasastra and Nrtta Ratnavali but need more clarification on the topic.
    Thank you so much.
    Your’s sincerely,

  30. Ven.B.Piyabharathi

    February 26, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Dear Sir, I highly appreciate this great work you have done. This will be of great service not only to India but also to other countries scholars.Thanks for about this. Sir, I’m a Sri Lankan student. I’m studying on shiksha vedanga (phonetics in sanskrit) for my m.phil. but the relevant books are difficult to find in Sri Lanka. if you have a free time please send me relevant documents or links of websites. Your support in this matter is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.
    Your’s sincerely,
    Ven. B.Piyabharathi

    • sreenivasaraos

      February 27, 2020 at 2:01 am

      Dear Venerable B .Piyabharath Sir

      Thank you for the visit ; and, for the appreciation / I am delighted and grateful.

      As regards the Shiksha branch of the Vedangas, as you observed, it has played an important role in preserving and transmitting the Vedic texts in their purity over several centuries.

      I am thinking of writing a brief note about the Shiksha ; and, hope to post it some time later

      Thank you sir again

      With Respects and Regards

      P:S: Please check the subjects ‘Buddha’ ; “Buddhism”; and “Buddhist Women’
      listed under the Categories on your right-hand side of the page.
      Please let me know
      I value you opinion very highly

    • sreenivasaraos

      February 27, 2020 at 7:41 am

      in the mean time,, you may like to check the following links , which might be useful:

      Chapter Four of :

      The Significance of Phonetics and Shiksha Vedanga


  31. Kanakam Devguptapu

    March 25, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Namaskaram Sri Srinivasarao, I am in awe and amazement with the number of topics you have been covering so exhaustively in your blog! Please accept my sincere appreciation and hearty congratulations sir!
    I am looking for references on Kshetrayya any time before Andhra Kaumudi of 1700. Because Sri. Balantrapu Rajanikantharao writes that there was a mention of Kshetrayya in Andhra Kaumudi of 1700. I am also looking for any site where I can get Andhra Kaumudi of 1700, as I am unable to get it in any library. Appreciate your help with these two requests.
    Thanks and regards,

    • sreenivasaraos

      March 27, 2020 at 1:52 am

      Dear Kanakam

      Thank you for the visit and for the appreciation.

      Please do read the articles on the subjects that interest you; and, let me know.

      As you mentioned, Sri Balantrapu Rajanikantharao, in his work Kshetrayya (Sahitya Academy, 1981) on pages 25 and 58 mentions that Manda Lakshminarasimhakavi in his work Andhra Kaumudi (a Sanskrit text) refers to Kshetrayya as Kshetrajna Kavi, a devotee of Muvvagopala . ‘iti muvvagopala bhaktena ksetrajna kavinaa.’ This text is dated around 1700 CE.

      He also refers to a Telugu verse ascribed to Kshetrayya.

      Some say; the Andhra Kaumudi was also known as ‘Sarasvati Trilinga Sabda-anusasanam’. I am not very sure about this fact.
      Please check

      But, as you mentioned, the Andhra Kaumudi ascribed to Manda Lakshminarasimhakavi is not easily available.

      However, the Andhra Kaumudi of Ganavarapu Venkatapathi Kavi (published by Andhra Sahitya Parishat, 1935) is available on the net. This text is also dated around 1670; and, it is in chaste classical Telugu.

      I reckon you may find it a useful reference. Please click here

      Of the two versions of Andhra Kaumudi- that of Lakshminarasimhakavi and of Venkatapathi Kavi- I am not sure which one is earlier.

      Venkatapathi Kavi does not seem to mention Lakshminarasimhakavi. It is probably , the earlier of the two.
      I am sorry; I have not been much help. Please pardon me. You may have to consult someone who is more knowledgeable in these matters.

      In case you are interested in the poetry and music of Kshetrayya please read the article here; together with its parent site at

      Wish you a Happy New year ; and success in all your endeavors

      Cheers and Regards

      BTW, you may also try these variants in your search to yield more results: Cashatreya, Cowmudi, Teloogoo etc.


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