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India - The Sacred Land (South Hills) 04092023


Hari Om,

This is a quick review of the topics we discussed on 04/09/2023.

 

"Jan Gan Man" - The Indian National Anthem

After a quick review of last week's topics, we sang the Indian National Anthem.


History Review

We continued the History Review, from 85 AD to 1857. Some of the key highlights are as follows:

  • Many Rajput kings ruled over vast areas of India.

  • Mahakavi Kalidas was born in 600 AD. In terms of his literary works, he was a humble giant.

  • Islamic invasions by Ghori, Ghoni, Ghazni & Khilji happened during this time. This was a violent suppression of any resistance. Notable mention about the destruction of the Somnath temple in Gujarat, which was demolished more than 15 times.

  • The Mughal empire was established by Babur, in 1500 AD. Other rulers were Humayun, Akbar, Aurangazeb, to name a few.

  • The Maratha Empire ruled a vast area of India. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj laid the foundation of the Maratha Empire.

  • The British established their rule and governed India for approximately 200 years.

  • This period also saw the rise of many saints, sages and spiritual figures across India, such as Tulsidas, Ramdas, Surdas, Thyagaraja, Alwars, Kabir, Ramakrishna, etc. to name a few.

 

Personality of the Week

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj


  • A fierce patriot, a proud Hindu, a just King and a dedicated ruler - Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was loved, respected and adored by the citizens of India.

  • Born in Pune in Maharashtra on 19th Feb, 1630, named after Goddess Shivai - Shivaji Maharaj was the founder of the Maratha Empire.

  • He was heavily influenced by his Mother Veermata Jijabai, who took full responsibility for & oversaw his education in the field of Politics, Weapons, Arms, Statesmanship, Culture, Spirituality & Religion. She taught valuable lessons to Shivaji from epics such as the Ramayana, Mahabharata & the Gita.

  • Shivaji Maharaj took the resolve for "Hindavi Swaraj" for India, which was based on the principles of our Vedic Culture, such as Dharma & Neeti. He focused heavily on Dharmic principles and was famously known to respect women.

  • He laid the foundation of the Navy and Coastal forces in India.

  • Some key highlights from his life are as follows: * Battle of Pratapgarh - Defeat of Afzal Khan * Commando raid on Mughal troops in Pune - Defeat of Shaista Khan * Escape from Agra along with his Son - Sambhaji

 

Main Content of the Week

Natural Resources:


The main content covered this week was "Natural Resources". India is a vast land which consists of a myriad of landscapes and weather patterns with plains, deserts, dense forests, rivers, brooks, massive seas, towering mountains, rolling hills, in different parts of the country.

The following were some of the facts that we discussed:

  • The Indian subcontinent consists of 7 countries - India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & Maldives.

  • The Eastern and Western ghats separate the coasts from the inlands.

  • The Himalayas are undoubtedly the crown of India. These are home to some of the tallest peaks in the world. Here is a small video we saw, which describes how the Himalayas are responsible for shaping a major part of the climate in the world.

  • India is also home to a wide variety of flora & fauna. In fact, it is the only country in the world which has both Lions and Tigers in a natural habitat.

Did You Know ?

Sanskrit is a divine language, whose depth is yet to be discovered.

Have you heard about any book which can give you different stories when you read it from the front and backward? Here is a book called "Sri Raghava Yadhaveeyam". If read in a normal way, it talks about the glories of Lord Rama, but if read backwards, it glorifies Lord Krishna.

Here is a sentence and its reverse, with the meaning.


Forward:

वन्देऽहं देवं तं श्रीतं रन्तारं कालं भासा यः ।

रामो रामाधीराप्यागो लीलामारायोध्ये वासे ॥

(Translation: I pay my obeisance to Lord Shri Rama, who with his heart pining for Sita, travelled across the Sahyadri Hills and returned to Ayodhya after killing Ravana and sported with his consort, Sita, in Ayodhya for a long time.)


Reverse:

सेवाध्येयो रामालाली गोप्याराधी मारामोरा ।

यस्साभालंकारं तारं तं श्रीतं वन्देहं देवं ॥

(Translation:- I bow to Lord Shri Krishna, whose chest is the sporting resort of Shri Lakshmi; who is fit to be contemplated through penance and sacrifice, who fondles Rukmani and his other consorts and who is worshipped by the Gopis, and who is decked with jewels radiating splendor.)


Let's Play

I have great memories playing a game called 'Saakli', which means 'link' or 'chain' in Marathi.

Sundar and I participated in the game as well. The weather was perfect, so we went out to play. Haven't ran this way in a loooong time. :-)


Hari Om !!

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