Among the host of rituals instituted by our ancestors around the protection of plants and trees, are the offering of jal to trees like vatavrkśa (banyan), pīpal, aśwattha (fig) and āmalaki (Indian gooseberry).

I would have normally skipped the khichdis, but the cheer and bonhomie that the delegates exuded drew me to them. I am glad that I did, for I would have missed two unusual ‘cousins’ had I not stopped.

By cleverly weaving the rituals and customs around divine propitiation in the beginning and later around dharmic duties and social obligations, our wise ancestors ensured that the living beings and Nature were cared for equally.

You could say that foods have their own ‘taste-alikes’ just as we humans are supposed to have seven lookalikes each in the world.

Today we have a clearer vision with proof, backed by scientific experiments and investigations under lab conditions, that the Pancha Mahabhoota are indeed the vital forces in our lives.

The efforts to secularize a culturally rich religious festival like Deepavali have taken away much of its civilizational value.

But at what cost? The obscene quantities of food being demolished can feed hundreds of hungry people, besides playing havoc with the competitor’s health.

We need a saree revolution that would showcase the SAREE itself, as a great dress, if we have to stop the saree going the kimono way.

The Ashtavinayak temples are not only ancient but are spiritually enriching to the devout yatri.

This book opened my eyes to many things. What I’m most grateful to the author for, is to have shown me that my civilization and culture were being put on a stand for being the most wonderful system of thought there ever was in this cracked world of ours.

I was torn between defending my dharma at school and fighting with my parents about the same thing at home, thinking that the sum-all of Hinduism was its traditions and customs.

I wonder how it is that when someone pulls down something dear to you, even if you have been pulling it down yourself–your hackles are raised enough to defend it tooth and nail.

One can learn to tackle hate, but how does one cope with humiliation and the very negation of one’s identity?