What is it about water that has captured our fascination from the time our earliest ancestors first dipped their hands is a flowing stream or felt drops of cooling rain on their skin? Our familiarity with water has made us … Read the rest

We usually think of the process of myth-making as something that happened in ancient times and over many centuries. Not so. Myth-making is alive and well and the myths made today spread faster and become more widely accepted than in … Read the rest

I have just finished reading Paul William Roberts’ Empire of the Soul, the best travel book on India I have read for a long time. It is funny, perceptive and beautifully written. But for me the most interesting thing … Read the rest

Vegetarianism is the practice of having a meat-free diet. There are different types of vegetarianism, e.g. lacto-vegetarians will eat dairy products but not eggs, and vegans will eat no products derived from animals. The first evidence for any type of … Read the rest

Mahavira, the founder of the religion that came to be known as Jainism was an older contemporary of the Buddha and is mentioned frequently in the Tipitaka where is called Nataputta. By the time the Buddha started teaching Jainism was … Read the rest

When we think of the beginnings of Hinduism in the West we usually think of Swami Vivakananda teaching Vedanta at the World Parliament of Religions in 1896 or of Swami Yogananda founding the Divine Life Mission in Los Angeles in … Read the rest

By the 1840’s the Imperial Chinese government was beginning to realise just how precarious its long cherished independence was. It looked on with alarm as one of its neighbours after another fell to the Western powers. The pattern of absorption … Read the rest

One often hears it said today that all religions are the same. It is a curious claim given that even a cursory reading of the doctrines of different faiths reveals a wide variety of ideas which have little in common … Read the rest

If there was one advantage of communism it is that it drove out from the lands where it became dominant some of their best minds and they enrich the non-communist world. The many outstanding Tibetan monks who are now promoting … Read the rest

The first time elephants were seen in Europe was in 280 BC when Pyrrhus of Epirus and his army of 25,000 men and 20 elephants crossed from north Africa to Terentus in the heel of Italy to begin their march … Read the rest