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Most of the culture in Mongolia has come from India: Find out why ‘Culture is Power’!

Chandra who is proficient in several languages including Mongolian revealed that Kalidasa’s Meghdoota has a translation in Mongolian

Mongolians. Image source: en.people.cn
  • Professor Lokesh Chandra who is proficient in several languages including Mongolian revealed that Kalidasa’s Meghdoota has a translation in Mongolian
  • Mongolia’s highest civilian award, the North Star, refers to ‘Dhruva Tara’ or ‘Sudarshan’
  • The Jibchundampa  are incarnations of Tara Nath from Tibet, all with Sanskrit names

However unlikely it may sound but the fact remains that the Indian culture had a significant influence on Mongolian ethos.

Talking about how potent culture is in the making of any nation, Vedic and Buddhist scholar Professor Lokesh Chandra explained that culture is not limited to art and dance but “culture is power.”

Chandra, 89, who is also the president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) pointed that even China is proud of its culture these days, but we (Indians) are not, in spite of being blessed with a rich cultural heritage.

Chandra who is proficient in several languages including Mongolian revealed that Kalidasa’s Meghdoota has a translation in Mongolian.

While being interviewed by Speaking Tree, he said, “The Astangahridaya Samhita of Vagbhata is translated in Mongolian and they follow it. Most of the culture in Mongolia has gone from India. We don’t realise it but India is a cultural superpower in Asia.”

Genghis Khan. Image source: biography.com
Genghis Khan. Image source: biography.com

Apart from our literary and Ayurvedic texts Mongolians fascination with Indian culture dates back to the very foundation of the empire. The proof of which is Lord Shiva’s Trishul (weapon used by Lord Shiva) that is depicted in the scepter of Emperor Genghis Khan, the founder of Mongol empire.

Tracing the history of this symbol, Chandra suggested that the symbol could have been borrowed from Kanishka’s Kushan dynasty when they were in Central Asia.

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Notably, the name of the Mongolian president during the communist period was also Shambu (another name for Lord Shiva).

Professor Chandra also puts forth the importance of Mongolia’s highest civilian award, the North Star, which refers to Dhruva Tara or Sudarshan.

Speaking on how imperative the North Star was for nomadic Mongols, Chandra iterated that since the tribe was rover in nature, they needed a constant reference point to determine the direction and so relied heavily on the North Star.

Interestingly, Professor Chandra has recently conferred the order of the North Star for “his scholarly contributions to the study of Buddhism in Mongolia and for fostering cultural ties between India and Mongolia that go back to his father, Professor Raghu Vira’s time.”

Mapping Mongolian tradition is also essential for us as the 13th-century ruler, Genghis Khan, with an elaborate empire, became the first Asian emperor to rule over Europe.

Claiming that a cultural renaissance is taking place and India needs to be a part of it, Chandra said, “With 11 countries in Asia being Buddhist, they are all looking up to India as a great cultural power — a fact we are not aware of. It is all shared cultural heritage. What we call culture is part of a much bigger system where everything is involved.”

Discussing the significant impact of Buddhism in shaping the present nature of Mongols, he explained that the religion gave Mongols a sense of stability. “Monasteries were built and the transition began from nomadic to settled life with development and buildings,” he added.

Mongol’s contribution to the world is huge. They not only gave paper currency but also for the first time, “opened the west to the east and the east to the west.”

Presently, Mongolians convert their water to Ganga water by chanting hymns written by local masters.

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Indicating a strong India-Mongolia connections, Prof Chandra says, “The Jibchundampa  are incarnations of Tara Nath from Tibet, all with Sanskrit names.They have now found an incarnation of Jibchundampa in India and officially recognised him. The Mongolian state is now supporting Buddhism in a big way because it is their identity. Mongolia has evolved a national form of Buddhism with a large Tibetan component, creating new sutras translating into Mongolian modern language, creating ethnic Mongolian Buddhism — all Vajrayana Buddhism.”

-This article has been prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram.


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Asia Cup : India Emerge Champions for third time, Beat Malaysia in Asia Cup Hockey Championship

India emerged victorious for the third time

asia cup
(representational Image) India vs Malaysia Hockey Match wikimedia

Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India overcame Malaysia 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.

Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India. Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia. (IANS)

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5 Events Of November Which Are Ideal For Family Vacations

Events in November which will give you a vacation mood.
Events in November which will give you a vacation mood. Wikimedia.

As we approach the year’s end, Indians not just bid adieu to their summer outfits but also welcome the festival seasons. October and November are two months in India which are full of cultural events and festivals, which make these months, the ideal time for going on family vacations.

Below are the events of November 2017 which you will regret missing. They are worth the try for family vacations:

1.  Dev Deepavali, Varanasi

family vacations
Representational Image. The ghat of holy city Varanasi. 

Varanasi, the holiest city of India, celebrated Dev Deepavali on Kartik Poornima every year. The festival is celebrated with joy. The ghats of Varanasi are lit with beautiful diyas (earthen lamps). God is believed to have descended to the banks of Ganges, to take a holy dip. The festival will take place on November 3, 2017.

 2. Dharamsala International Film Festival

Filmmaker, cinema buffs or all those people interested in the art of films come together of Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF). This film festival will witness filmmakers coming from different regions to show films on various issues- socially relevant, contemporary etc. DIFF will take place from November 2 to November 5. If you are a movie buff, then you should immediately pack your bags and seal a date for attending the festival.

3. Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan

Family vacations
Representational Image. Camel Fair is celebrated in Pushkar. Pixabay

Pushkar Camel fair, a cattle fair, in Pushkar which truly defines the real meaning of culture. The Pushkar Camel Fair has been in tradition for a very long time. The fair attracts a huge crowd every year. One of the most ideal and happy places for family vacations. It will take place between 23rd October to 4th November.

Also Read: 7 Beautiful Places To Visit In North East India

4. NH7 Weekender

The five seasons old Indian multi-city music festival has indeed garnered a lot of attention and love from the musically inclined youngsters across the country. It is a combination of national and international studies coming together. In Meghalaya, the event will take place from October 27 to October 28.

5. Guru Purab

family vacations
Sikhs celebrating Guru Purab. Wikimedia.

Guru Purab, one of the most important festivals for Sikhs. The golden temple celebrates it with a lot of joy. The celebration which Amritsar witnesses at this time are unbelievable. It will take place on November 2017. Golden temple is indeed one of the best places for family vacations.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.  She can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.

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NASA Running out of Fuel Required for Deep Space Missions : What will be the future of Exploration Missions?

The supply of the critical resource could be exhausted within the next decade, putting in jeopardy NASA's future missions that would require this fuel.

deep space
What will happen to exploration missions if NASA runs out of fuel? Wikimedia

Washington, October 12, 2017 : The shortage of plutonium threatens NASA’s future mission to explore deep space, the US government has warned.

The break in production of plutonium 238 (Pu-238) between 1988 and 2015 could result in a bottleneck situation, where there is not enough of this scarce resource to power spacecraft during long-duration missions, Newsweek.com reported this week citing a government report.

NASA has long used radioisotope power systems (RPS) to generate reliable electrical power and heat energy for long-duration space missions, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said.

But given NASA’s current plans for solar system exploration, the supply of this critical resource could be exhausted within the next decade, putting in jeopardy its future missions that would require this fuel, it warned.

RPS can operate where solar panels or batteries would be ineffective or impossible to use, such as in deep space or in shadowed craters, by converting heat from the natural radioactive decay of plutonium-238 (Pu-238) into electricity.

Missions such as Mars Curiousity rover and the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft use radioisotope thermoelectric generators as power source.

The production problems of Pu-238 and subsequent risks to NASA have been known for several years.

The Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies have been providing Pu-238 and fabricating RPS for NASA and other federal agencies for more than five decades decades

ALSO READ NASA’S Mars Odyssey Spacecraft Captures First Images of the Martian Moon Phobos after 16 years

DOE currently maintains about 35 kgs of Pu-238 isotope designated for NASA missions, about half of which currently meets the power specifications for spaceflight.

However, given NASA’s current plans for solar system exploration, this supply could be exhausted within the next 10 years.

Specifically, NASA plans to use about 3.5 kg of Pu-238 isotope for one RPS to power the Mars 2020 mission, the Government Accountability Office report said.

NASA may also use an additional 10.5 kg of Pu-238 isotope for its New Frontiers #4
mission if three RPS are used.

If DOE’s existing Pu-238 supply is used for these two missions, NASA would be forced to eliminate or delay future missions requiring RPS until DOE produces or acquires more Pu-238, the report said. (IANS)