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Book Review: On Philosophising, Philosophers, Philosophy and New Vistas in Applied Philosophy, by Dr. Sharmila Jayant Virkar

A little bit of context before you begin reading this book review. I have recently enrolled for an MA in Philosophy at the University of Mumbai. Philosophy is something I have been getting interested in, over the past few years, as those of you who have been reading my blogs and Instagram posts would know. During the pandemic, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next, and this is what I eventually came up with. It has been a challenge, getting back into academics as a student at this age, especially in a subject I have no academic background in. However, it has also been very exciting, especially thanks to my wonderful classmates (who, surprisingly, are of all age-groups, including some quite near my own) and my teachers, who have been very supportive and understanding. How well I will do is something that remains to be seen, but so far, I am enjoying this new journey and look forward to where it leads. Now that you know the background , you probably get an idea of how

The Legend of Sri Venkateswara Part 2- The Lord finds a mother.. and a wife too......


Please read the first part of the story before going further - Part 1 - The Lord descends on Earth


A lady named Vakula Devi attended to Varaha Swamy at his shrine. The arrival of the lord incited her maternal instincts, and she cared for him and nursed him back to good health. It was she who gave him the name – Srinivasa – the name by which He is now well known in this age.

Deviating from the main story, let’s go back in time to learn about Vakula Devi, and how she earned the honour to act as the mother of the lord. During the Dwapara Yuga, when the lord incarnated as Krishna, he was born to Devaki, and was fostered by Yashoda. While Yashoda enjoyed every bit of Krishna’s childhood, her only regret was that she was unable to see her beloved son getting married. The lord promised her that he would fulfill her desire in the Kali Yuga, when he would take the form of Srinivasa. Yashoda had thus taken birth as Vakula Devi and was awaiting the marriage of her son.

Coming back to our story, Srinivasa lived with Vakula Devi and once he was cured, roamed the forests like a hunter. On one such occasion, he followed an elephant to a lake, where his eyes fell on a princess who had come there to frolic in the water with her friends. It was love at first sight for both of them. While Srinivasa looked on, enchanted, the princess was also entranced by the hunter, and even as her friends tried to shoo away the stranger, she asked them not to drive him away, but enquire about him. Her friends approached the lord, and asked him about his antecedents. He truthfully replied that he was living with his mother in the Seshachala Mountains, and then boldly asked for the princess’ hand. The friends were absolutely shocked by the hunter’s impertinence, and shooed him away.

Srinivasa returned home, and started brooding about this incident. He found himself unable to think of anyone or anything but the princess. So, who was this princess? Goddess Lakshmi was performing penance at Kolhapur – so who was this, who had entranced the lord? To know the answer, we have to go back in time again and learn the story of Padmavati.

Coming up : Part 3 - The story of Padmavati

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