Acropolis Magazine

Acropolis Apr - Jun 2019

Dear Reader,

Summer is here, and is making it's presence felt! April and May bear the peak of the summer heat in Bangalore, and come June, we will see the spells of rain that offer welcome relief and joy to people, animals and trees alike. All in all, summer is a time of the peaking of external expression and movement in nature. And if it is so in nature, so it is in man too. If we are to connect with the cycles of nature and the seasons, as many ancient cultures did for large parts of human history, summer would be the time of the peak of external activity, the coming to fruition of projects and undertakings in our lives. We see this expression and movement in abundance in school-going children, during their summer vacations! While the grown-ups evade the heat by staying indoors, there's no stopping the children from running about and playing outside!

In this edition of ACROPOLIS, we have a beautiful collection of articles, featuring an interview with the delightful Roopa Pai, author of many children's books; we look at how we can bring change through the coming together of Idealism, philosophy and volunteering; for sport fans, this summer is a particularly exciting time with the cricket world cup commencing in May, and football leagues across countries reaching a climax - we take the opportunity to look at how sport can reveal the best of human potential; and to help maintain the centre as a constant axis of stability and a reference point we can always look to amidst all the flurry of movement in life, we have a beautiful article and a calming activity about the symbolism of the Mandala.

We wish you a happy summer of joy and expression. Happy reading!

Anand Baskaran

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Acropolis Jan - Mar 2019

Dear Reader,

As you pick up this edition of ACROPOLIS, the memories of new year wishes are likely still fresh in your mind. The beginning of a calendar year brings forth, almost automatically, wishes for a Happy new year. The year is certainly new, but it is worthwhile noting that whether it will be happy or not for each of us depends largely on how consciously we make the efforts to make it so.

This issue looks at key themes in the first three months of the year through a philosophical lens, in a way that is practical in our lives - celebrate new beginnings and new year resolutions in January through a simple practice of mindfulness and self-reflection; February brings with it Valentine's day, and we look at love through the eyes of a philosopher-photographer; and with International Women's day in March, we look at the philosophical essence of the divine Feminine. Additionally, awaiting you in these pages are inspiring takes on the world of plants, and the way of the Artist, as two pathways to deepening the meaning in our own lives.

With this first issue of ACROPOLIS in 2019, we take the opportunity to wish you happy new beginnings, renewal and rejuvenation. Wishing you a [consciously] Happy 2019!

 

Happy reading!

Anand Baskaran

Editor - ACROPOLIS

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Acropolis Oct - Dec 2018

Dear Reader,
Winter is setting in at Bangalore. All of nature is in sync with the change of season, and the farmers and gardeners among us will know that now is the time of the year when plantings and crops with longer cycles keenly grow their roots and strengthen their connection to the soil.
It gives us an opportunity to reflect on how we as people can strengthen our roots too. In the depths of it, our roots all connect to the essential human nature that is beyond any differences of nationality, gender, religion or race. This is connected to the inherent goodness in man, the altruistic and humanistic parts of us that ancient wisdom across cultures says we must aspire to connect to, as a key to individual happiness and social harmony.
This edition of ACROPOLIS contains inspiring articles about the spirit of the Mahatma (2018 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi); Being the Peaceful warrior; an interview with the refreshingly humble and indomitable AyyappaMasagi, the ‘Water Doctor’; and an artistic-philosophical activity we invite you to take up, of hand-creating decorations for your home or workplace.

A quote by the author-philosopher Albert Camus captures the spirit of this edition of ACROPOLIS:
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

Happy reading!
AnandBaskaran
Editor - ACROPOLIS

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The Clarion Call Apr - Jun 2018

Dear Reader,
We are approaching the middle of the year, and the chill of winter seems to be a distant memory as Spring and then Summer take hold. The shifting season brings with it a whole host of other changes - some apparent like the change in weather, and others more subtle.
Traditionally, spring and summer are meant to be times of outward expression, of exuberance and colour.
Extending this idea to the human level, a key aspect of the outward expression of any society is experienced through its culture. From the norms directing day-to-day lives of the people to the celebrations and practices, culture finds its expression in myriad forms, at multiple levels. Beyond these forms, at the heart of it, Culture is an expression of what society and its people value the most. From this perspective, Culture has a strong link to Philosophy, which seeks to connect to Meaning, to the values that can elevate us, and to offer a practical expression for these values that find place in the depths of the human heart.
When we are able to be conscious of this connection between Culture and Philosophy, and find ways to give it space in our lives, we open doors to a more meaningful life, one beyond the mundane and we give ourselves the chance to experience what it means to be truly alive. It is this magic that we explore in this edition of The Clarion Call -
The Magic when Culture meets Philosophy.

 

Happy Reading!
Anand Baskaran
Editor - The Clarion Call

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The Clarion Call Jan - Mar 2018

Dear Reader,

Continuing with the theme of change from the last edition of the Clarion Call (themed Yearning for Change), we take a closer look at the idea of profound changes in the world arising from changes within. As we ring in the new year, it is perhaps an apt moment to go deeper with the essence of a new beginning - the opportunities it offers us, and how we can bring about such a renewal in our own lives, in a deep and profound manner.

With the passing of the Winter Solstice in the latter part of December, there is a gradual but inexorable movement in nature towards the new life and warmth that comes with Spring. Ancient wisdom points to similar movement and cycles that human society goes through - the Spring of civilisation is the Renaissance, which brings new light and life after the frigid winter of the Dark ages. But the Renaissance is not automatic- it requires agents of change, those who will bring the

Renaissance in society. And the starting point of that, again, is the ability to bring change to one’s own life. It is the Inner Renaissance that heralds new beginnings in the world around us.

Here’s to New Beginnings - the Inner Renaissance!

Happy Reading!

Anand Baskaran Editor - The Clarion Call

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The Clarion Call Oct - Dec 2017

Dear Reader,
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, referring to the nature of the world and the cosmos, said, “Everything changes and nothing stands still”. These simple words convey a profound truth that pervades all of creation and existence. It is a truth that we experience all too often in our own lives, and yet it seems that most people struggle with change, to a greater or lesser degree - whether it is to deal with a change that they resist, or to bring about a change they desire.

This edition of The Clarion Call explores the nature of change, how we can connect to it, some tools from ancient wisdom that we can apply in our lives to bring about change for the better, and looks at the dual aspect of change within and around us. For the Philosopher, change starts within; And this change within becomes the strong enabler of change in the world around us.

It brings to mind a beautiful quote by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tsu:

“If there is to be peace in the world,
there must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
there must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
there must be peace between neighbours.

If there is to be peace between neighbours,
there must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
there must be peace in the heart.”

Happy Reading!
Anand Baskaran Editor - The Clarion Call

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The Clarion Call Jul - Sept 2017

Dear Reader,
The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius said “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” In it’s original essence, Philosophy was not meant to be heard, read or studied, but to be lived. And it is meant to be lived in day-to-day life through Action - more specifically, through the right action at each moment. We have all at some point in our lives faced the dilemma of choosing the right course of action in a particular circumstance - and sometimes we choose, while at other times we defer the choice and remain in inaction. Our world today is one where there is no dearth of options, yet indecision takes hold of many, sometimes with serious consequences. In such times, we can turn to wisdom of the ancient cultures to learn and apply keys to identifying and actualising the right action, thus taking control of our lives. It is exactly this idea of Philosophy in Action that we explore in this issue of The Clarion Call.
Happy reading!
Anand Baskaran
Editor - The Clarion Call

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The Clarion Call Apr - Jun 2017

cc_apr_jul_2017

Dear Reader,
In the words of the Dalai Lama, “Love and Compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive” In this issue, we touch upon the theme of selfless love. Love that is not limited to the goal of personal gratification but coming from a deep sense of care and oneness. When we place ourselves first and at the center, it forecloses the very possibility of love. Yet there are moments that come to us when we are indeed free from an egocentric love and our heart truly opens up for the other, be it for our family member, our pet or a stranger. I invite you to pay attention and nurture those moments. It might be the very essence of who we are!

Regards,
Ankit Jain
Editor, The Clarion Call

 

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The Clarion Call Jan - Mar 2017

clarion_call_jan_mar2017Dear Reader,

In the words of Lao Tzu: “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” In this issue, we touch upon this incredible gift we have as humans, which is the power of introspection- our inherent ability to understand our own self, our own mind closely. The opportunity our human life presents to us is to use this power, in order to create the possibility of a much better world. Each one of us can understand from within us the story of the entire humanity- the fears, the restlessness... and at the same time the limitless potential to be joyful and harmonious beings. And thus, going inwards can help us understand not only ourselves deeply but also others, strengthening the possibility of a much more compassionate and loving world. Hope you enjoy the first Clarion Call issue of 2017.

Happy New Year!
Editorial Team
The Clarion Call

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The Clarion Call Oct - Dec 2016

cc_oct_dec_2016Dear Reader,

It gives us immense joy to bring to you another beautiful edition of our quarterly magazine.

What does it take to truly create an atmosphere of harmony and peaceful coexistence? We are nudged to reflect on this question with a sense of urgency as we see our world sliding into one conflict or the other. From news channels flashing on a daily basis with wars and bombings, terrorist attacks to increasing divorces, increasing sense of isolation and loneliness in our lives, we see the human conflict taking shape with an increasing intensity.

Can we look for answers to this seemingly eternal issue of human conflict by looking at merely external solutions, an approach which seems to have failed miserably; or could we finally start going inwards, looking closely at ourselves and the nature of our relationships with others? We leave you with that question to ponder over.

Regards,
Editorial Team
The Clarion Call

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