Natya shastra Dove Mudra 


Post No. 10,286

Date uploaded in London – –   1 NOVEMBER  2021         

Contact –

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.,

The word for dove or pigeon is Kapotah in Sanskrit; Puravu or Puraa in Tamil. In the 2000 year old Tamil literature we come across this bird in at east 75 places. It is associated with arid land in Tamil literature. Though the description of arid land is horrible we don’t see any bad omen linked  to dove. But in the Rig Veda , the oldest book in the world, we see a strange reference to this bird linking it with death.  In another image in the same Veda, we see its loving nature. Modern symbolism shows it as a bird of peace. Wherever peace is spoken they show White Pigeon. They release pigeons to show that they love peace. Britain issued a coin with pigeon bringing olive leaves to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of Second World War.

Wisdom Dictionary, the best source for researchers gives thirty meanings of Dove or Pigeon in different areas such as Natya shastra, Ayur Veda, Architecture and Zoology. But we rarely see its association with death. Kapotah was the name of a clan and name of a seer as well. Even the Rig Vedic verse in the tenth Mandala 10-163 is named after a seer known as Mr Dove or Mr Pigeon.

I will give the two mantras in the Rig Veda where pigeon is referred to and my comments on it:

देवा॑: क॒पोत॑ इषि॒तो यदि॒च्छन्दू॒तो निॠ॑त्या इ॒दमा॑ज॒गाम॑ । तस्मा॑ अर्चाम कृ॒णवा॑म॒ निष्कृ॑तिं॒ शं नो॑ अस्तु द्वि॒पदे॒ शं चतु॑ष्पदे ॥

devāḥ kapota iṣito yad icchan dūto nirṛtyā idam ājagāma | tasmā arcāma kṛṇavāma niṣkṛtiṃ śaṃ no astu dvipade śaṃ catuṣpade ||

“O gods, let us worship for that, desiring which the pigeon sent as Nirṛti‘s messenger, has come to this(ceremony); let us make atonement, may prosperity be given to our bipeds and quadrupeds.” 10-165-1

Commentary by Sāyaṇa: Ṛgveda-bhāṣya

The pigeon: an allusion to misfortune


ऋ॒चा क॒पोतं॑ नुदत प्र॒णोद॒मिषं॒ मद॑न्त॒: परि॒ गां न॑यध्वम् । सं॒यो॒पय॑न्तो दुरि॒तानि॒ विश्वा॑ हि॒त्वा न॒ ऊर्जं॒ प्र प॑ता॒त्पति॑ष्ठः ॥

ṛcā kapotaṃ nudata praṇodam iṣam madantaḥ pari gāṃ nayadhvam | saṃyopayanto duritāni viśvā hitvā na ūrjam pra patāt patiṣṭhaḥ ||

“(Praised) by our hymn, O gods, drive out the pigeon, who deserves to be driven out, exhilarated (by our oblation), bring us food and cattle, dissipating all our misfortunes; abandoning our food, may the swift(pigeon) fly away.” 10-165-5

In between 10-165-1 and 10-16-5 we have three more mantras referring to pigeon in the same tone.

“May the bird sent to our dwellings, the pigeon, be auspicious, O gods, and void of offence, so that the wise Agni may approve of our oblation, and the winged weapon (of mischief) depart from us.” 10-165-2

“May the winged weapon (of mischief) do us no harm; he takes his plural ce upon the touchwood, the seat of Agni; may prosperity attend our cattle and our people, let not the pigeon, gods, do us harm in this (dwelling).” 10-165-3

All these mantras dub pigeon or dove as a bird of bad omen.

In the footnote for the Rig Vedic mantra Ralph T H Griffith adds an interesting note:

A dove, regarded as an ill-omened bird and the messenger of death, has flown into the house. Similarly in North Lincolnshire,

If a pigeon is seen sitting on a tree, or comes into the house, r from being wild suddenly becomes tame, it is Sign of Death, Notes and Querries, 8-382


Kindness of Dove

Contrary to this hymn, Seer/Rishi Sunashepa Angirasa paints a different picture in RV 1-30-4

अ॒यमु॑ ते॒ सम॑तसि क॒पोत॑ इव गर्भ॒धिम् । वच॒स्तच्चि॑न्न ओहसे ॥
अयमु ते समतसि कपोत इव गर्भधिम् । वचस्तच्चिन्न ओहसे ॥
ayam u te sam atasi kapota iva garbhadhim | vacas tac cin na ohase ||

“This libation is (prepared) for you; you approach it as a pigeon his pregnant (mate), for on that account do you accept our prayer.” A Tamil poet also refers to it. Male dove fans a female dove because the weather is hot !


My Comments

Only when a pigeon appears suddenly in an unusual place, then it is considered a bad omen. Hindus considered anything impure that comes to a sacred place a bad omen. Even if a dog entered the place of Fire Sacrifice then they hated it. 2000 year old Sangam Tamil literature described Brahmin Street as a place where no dog or cock enters. Such a purity was maintained in places where they did fire sacrifice in every house thrice a day!

In short ,they did not consider dove as a bird omen in normal circumstances.

Story of Sibi Chakravarthi

The story of Emperor Sibi is in Mahabharata. When a dove took refuge in him, the eagle that chased it for food demanded back its natural prey. But Sibi said that he had to give shelter to anyone who came as a refugee and came to offer his whole body to the eagle . First, he cut a part of his body and put it n the balance to give the weight of flesh equal to the weight of the dove. But it was never balanced despite repeated attempts. Then he himself climbed the balance to give flesh ‘weight for weight’. Then the whole scene changed. The dove appeared as Agni, Lord of Fire , and the Eagle appeared as Indra , Chief of Heaven. This story is referred to in Sangam literature and later Silappadikaram as well Choza kings boasted that they were the descendants of that great emperor Sibi.

There is another story in the epic where two doves sacrificed their lives in the fire for the sake of a hungry hunter. All such stories in the Hindu epics and Hindu fables of Panchatantra show that doves are lovable birds.

In Sangam Tamil Literature

I give some examples from 2000 year old Tamil Sangam Books:

In Akananuru poem 17, a fine contrast is drawn between three pictures, one of an arid tract, another of a  quiet home in which the heroine lights up the lamps when the doves call to their mates,  and another of a small fertile hill with Kutalam flowers of fragrant smell and a canopy of clouds

In Akananuru poem 2, we see couple of doves fly far away with terror in gusty wind.

In Kuruntokai poem 79, the female doves perching on the Omai tree call their mates with a sorrowful voice

In Kuruntokai poem 174, the ripe seeds of the Kalli trees burst open and scares away the happy pair of pigeons perching on the branches.

In Narrinai poem 305, again we see a dove perching on the Nocci tree calls to its mate in a very clear voice and expresses some grief in it.

In Akananuru poem 287, the waving aerial root of a banyan tree frightens away the doves .

In Palaikkali of Kalittokai (verse 10) we see a male dove is fanning and comforting a female dove in hot weather condition.

One more interesting reference is in Pattinappalai of Sangam Period where the poet Kadiyaloor Uruththiran Kannanar (Mr Rudraksha) says doves eat stones. I saw a recent video in You Tube where a gentleman powders the red stones and feeds the doves. Hundreds of pigeons competing with one another, eat it happily. This helps them in digestion they say. Though this might have been noticed by many others a Tamil poet has documented it in his poem 2000 years ago!

Apart from these , we have passing reference to doves along with other birds. So the picture we get is doves are in pairs or one calling the other which shows mutual love.

Doves and pigeons in other cultures are already described in many websites.  But the Hindu view of doves and pigeons is not dealt with in detail. Wisdom library gives 30 references and Sangam and later Tamil literature give at least 75 references. We have enough materials to write an encyclopaedia on Doves in Hindu Literature.

Kapota- Dove- Asana


 Tags- Pigeon, Bad omen, Rig Veda, Eating stones, Tamil literature, Love, Peace

Love speaks even when the lips are closed (Post No. 2421)

god is love

Compiled by london swaminathan

Date: 24 December 2015

Post No. 2421

Time uploaded in London:- 10-00 AM
( Thanks for the Pictures  )





One Hundred Quotations on Love, Affection and Kindness—Part 2


First part with 50 quotations was published yesterday.


51).True love never grows old.


52).Love is a sweet torment


53).‘Sweet-heart’ and ‘Honey-bird’ keeps no house.


54).Love speaks even when the lips are closed.


55).The onset of love in damsels is indeed charming – Malavikaagnimitra

Ramaniiyah khalu navaanganaanaam madana visayaavataarah


56).Excellence inhabits the emotion of love, not objects – Kiraatarjuuniya

Vasanti hi premni gunaa na vastuni


57).Whom does not the cloud-kissed, dew-drenched breeze turn romantic?

Sasikaraambhodhara sanga siitalah samiiranah kam na karoti sotsukam – Rajatarangini



58).What can the relatives do about a couple courting passionately- – Kahavatratnakar

Striipumaamsau yadaa raktau kim karisyanti baandavaah


59).When love is greatest, words are fewest.


60).Whom we love best, to them we can say least.

assam floods, hindu

61).Likeness causes liking.


62).Looks breed love.


63).Love begets love.



64).Love needs no teaching.


65).Love is not found in the market.


66).Time, not the mind, puts an end to love.


67).All is fair in love and war.


68).Love is a game in which both players always cheat.


69).Lovers’ quarrels are soon mended


70).The quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love.



Dentist Monkey


71).About young love– Calf love, half love; old love, cold love.


72).Love of lads and fire of chats/wood-chips is soon in and soon out.


73).Lad’s love a busk of broom, hot awhile and soon done.


74).The new love drives out the old love.


75).Old love expels another.


76).Love without return is like a question without an answer.


77).There is more pleasure in loving than in being loved.


78).He that loves the tree, loves the branch.


79).Where there is no trust, there is no love.


80).Where love is, there is faith.


narayana seva, badravathi

Picture: Narayanaseva by Sathya Sai School students; picture posted by Rameshkumar on face book.


81).Love is never without jealousy.


82).Love does much, money does everything.


83).Love lasts as long as money endures.


84).When poverty comes in at the door, love flies out of the window.


85).Love and lordship like no fellowship (This proverb may be interpreted in two ways; that neither love nor lordship will tolerate a rival, or that love and lordship are not compatible. The first interpretation applies here.)


86).Charity covers a multitude of sins.


87).Kindness is the noblest weapon to conquer with.


88).An iron anvil should have a hammer of feathers (Gentle approach may be the best way to win over a stubborn person.)



89).The rough net is not the best catcher of birds.




90).To fright a bird is not the way to catch her.


91).Honey catches more flies than vinegar.


92).Where men are well used, they will frequent there.


93).Tender-handed stroke a nettle

And it stings you for your pains

Grasp it like a man of mettle

And it soft as silk remains – Aaron Hill (1685-1750).


94).Give a clown your finger, and he will take your hand


95).Give him an inch and he will take yard.


96).Sometimes clemency is cruelty, and cruelty clemency.
97).Kindness cannot be bought for gear


98).Kindness come of will.


99).Fair words break no bones


100).Fair words hurt not the mouth.


narayana seva-2

Picture: God is seen in the smile of the poor.


101).A good word costs no more than a bad word.


102).There is a great force hidden in a sweet command.



103).Krsna, who visited Mathuraa was detained by Kubjaa (the hunch back) – Kahavatratnakar

Mathuraayaam gatah krsno ruddhah tatraiva kubjayaa


–the end —

One Hundred Quotations on Love, Affection and Kindness—Part 1 (Post No. 2418)

animal love, kurangu

Date: 23 December 2015

Post No. 2418

Time uploaded in London:- 17-14
( Thanks for the Pictures  )




1).Affection cannot be confined by shutters; uncontrollable tears will roll down spontaneously, when one sees the sufferings and sorrows of the loved ones – Tirukkural 71


2).Love locks no cupboards.


3).Love laughs at locksmiths.


4).Those without affection in their hearts will keep all they have for themselves; the tender-hearted will even give away their bones- Tirukkural 72


5).A penny weight of love worth a pound of law.


6).There can be life only when the body has soul in it; even so, life without affection is no life at all – Tirukkural 73


7).I searched for my god,

My god I could not see

I looked for my soul

My soul eluded me

I sought out my neighbour

And in him found all three



8).Affection endows one with ardour, and that leads to admirable friendship- Tirukkural 74


9).Love is blind.


10).The realisation of heavenly bliss follows a happy and affectionate householder’s life – Tirukkural 75

b b day 2

11).All the world loves a lover.


12).The ignorant say that affection is appropriate only to righteousness; but it will also inspire heroism, to be rid of evil – Tirukkural 76


13).The life of those who have not traversed love’s way is frittered away – Khavatratnakar

Eesaam vrthaa janma gatam jagatyaam premno na panthaa avalokito yaih


14).Love is the quintessence of life; without it, a man is a frame of bones covered with skin – Tirukkural 80



15).If Jack in love, he is no judge of Jill’s beauty.


16).Love is without reason.


17).Love is lawless.


18).Affection blinds reason.



19).Even as the scorching sun dries up the boneless worm, righteousness will scorch life without affection – Tirukkural 77



20).One cannot love and be wise.


box cart

21).Lovers are madmen.


22).The dead tree on the desert  will not put forth leaves; even so life without love cannot flourish – Tirukkural 78


23).If a man’s heart is devoid of love, of what avail are the externals? – Tirukkural 79


24).Love increases, more so when beauty and virtue are coupled – Valmiki Ramayana 1-77-27

Gunaad ruupagunaaccaapi priitirbhuyuyo abhivardhate


25).The fetters of love are delightful – Brhatkatha manjari

Premabandho hi ramyataa


26).In the eyes of the lover, pock marks are dimples.


27).No love is foul, nor prison fair.


28).Love carried over from earlier births binds soon- Katha sarit sagar

Aasu badhnaati hi prema praagjanmaantarasa sambhavah



29).Faults are thick where love is thin.


30).Labour is light where love doeth pay.

anbe aruyire

31).Love makes one fit for any work.


32).Love is free.



33).It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all- Lord Tennyson 1809-92


34).Unbearable is the shattering of fervent love – Katha sarit sagar

Prakrstasya bhangah premnah susduhsahah


35).Love conquers all.


36).Love rules his kingdom without a sword.


37).Love makes all men equal.



38).Love and business teach eloquence.


39).Love makes a wit of the fool.

aadu kutty

40).Those swelling with joy of love do not relish food

— Brhatkatha manjari

Premaati harsa sampuurnaa naabhinandanti bhojanam


41).Love makes all hearts gentle.


42).Love will find a way.


43).The love of proud damsels attains greater heights after love fights – Bharata manjari

Prema pranayakopaante maaniiniinaam hi vardhate


44).Love will go through stone walls.


45).Love cannot be compelled.


46).A man has choice to begin love, but not to end it.


47).Love and a cough cannot be hid.


48).Myriad are the ways of love – Sanskrit saying

Premno hi naanaagatih



49).Old love will not be forgotten.



50).Old love does not rust.

aadu krishna

to be continued……………………………..


60 second interview with The Buddha


(Questions are imaginary; answers are from The Dhammapada)

Buddha, people say mind is like a monkey, jumping from one thing to another. How can we control it?

The mind is wavering and restless, difficult to guard and restrain: let the wise man straighten his mind as a maker of arrows makes his arrows straight (33).

What is the eternal law?

For hate is not conquered by hate; hate is conquered by love. This is a law eternal (5)

Who is happy?

The man who does good things is happy in both worlds. He is glad, he feels great happiness when he sees the good he has done (16).

Why are thoughts important?

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow; our life is the creation of our mind (2).

Can we criticize others when they do something wrong?

Think not of the faults of others, of what they have done or not done. Think rather of your own sins, of the things you have done or not done (50).

Who is a fool?

How long is the night to the watchman; how long is the road to the weary; how long is the wandering of lives (samsara) ending in death for the fool who cannot find the path (60).

Who is wise?

Even as a great rock is not shaken by the wind, the wise man is not shaken by praise or by blame.

What is the source of joy?

Wherever holy men dwell, that is indeed a place of joy- be it in the village, or in a forest, or in a valley or on the hills (98).

 Can we call a person Hero who kills hundreds of people with his AK 47 gun?

If a man should conquer in a battle a thousand and a thousand more, and another man should conquer himself, his would be the greater victory, because the greatest of the victories the victory over oneself (103-105).

Should I postpone doing good things till my old age?

Make haste and do what is good. If a man is slow in doing good, his mind finds pleasure in evil (116).

Lord Krishna (Gita 2-58) compares a tortoise to a self controlled Yogi and you said something similar…

The man whose hands are controlled, whose feet are controlled, whose words are controlled, who is self controlled in all things, who finds the inner joy, whose mind is self possessed, who is one and has found perfect peace-this man I call a monk (362)

Lord Krishna in Gita says Arise! Attain Glory! The Self is the friend and foe of the Self.

Arise! Rouse thyself by thy Self; train thyself by thyself, thy Self. Under the shelter of thy  Self , and ever watchful, thou shall live in supreme joy (379, 380)

Buddha, you have given one full chapter for Brahmins (Chapter 26) in Dhammapada. Who is a Brahmin according to you?

A man becomes not a Brahmin by long hair or family or birth. The man in whom there is truth and holiness, he is in joy and he is a Brahmin (393)

Who is free from anger, faithful to his vows, virtuous, free from lusts, self restrained, whose mortal body is his last- him I call a Brahmin.(400)

One should never hurt a Brahmin; and a Brahmin should never return evil for evil (389)

About misers….

Misers certainly do not go to the heaven of the gods (177)

About Birth……

It is a great event to be born a man (182).

About Love…..

O let us live in joy, in love amongst those who hate! Among men who hate, let us live in love (197).

About Health……

Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure.  Confidence is the greatest friend. Nirvana is the greatest joy. (204)

Buddha, Thanks a lot. You have enlightened us.


60 second Interview with Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Q: Babaji, Namasthe. What is the purpose of Krishna Avatar (incarnation)?

Sri Krishna was born as the eighth child of Devaki. This is significant, for Samadhi is the eighth stage of spiritual effort, coming after Yama, Niyama, Asana, and Pranayama. Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana. These are grouped as Ashtanga Yoga, the Eight­fold Discipline. The Lord can be visualised only after the seven steps are successfully negotiated and the mind purified in the process. Samadhi means, sama (equal) dhi (intelligence) that is say, intelligence, grasp­ing the equality (fundamental) of every be­ing. Not only will all idea of difference and distinction disappear, but, even the idea of duality—heat and cold, grief and joy, good and bad—disappears. And, when man reaches that state, the Lord is born, auto­matically in his consciousness.

Q: Baba,Where is God?

A: GOD is neither distant, nor distinct from you. God is in you, around you, behind you, above you, beside you.

Q: What should I do every day to remain good?

Start the Day with Love;
Spend the Day with Love;
Fill the Day with Love;
End the Day with Love;
This is the way to God.

Q: Thanks, Baba. I will start observing it from an auspicious day.

Yesterday has deceived you and gone; Tomorrow is a doubtful visitor. Today is a fast friend — hold fast to it.

Q: At any one time a violent agitation or a war is happening in at least one part of the world. How can we establish peace?

If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character;
If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home;
When there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation;
When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the World.

Q: Baba, even followers of religions fight among themselves. Cant you stop it?

There is only one religion, the religion of Love;
There is only one language, the language of the Heart;
There is only one caste, the caste of Humanity;
There is only one law, the law of Karma;
There is only one God, He is Omnipresent.

Q: Babaji, I have vowed to shave my head if I pass in the exam.

MANY believe that a pilgrimage to holy places is conductive to spiritual progress. They journey to Tirupathi, Rameswaram, Badrinath or Amarnath and pray for the removal of their mundane troubles. They vow to remove their hair if, through Divine intervention, they win a prize in the State Lotteries, as if God is in need of hair. This trick of bargaining is only cheating oneself in an attempt to cheat God. Do not pray to God for wealth or fame, positions of power or for the fruits of your actions. The genuine seeker will pray for nothing else but God.

Q:Babaj, I fear losing in the competition.

A: Every experience is a lesson, every loss is a gain.

Q: Is it true that human birth is better than others?

Each one of you has struggled upward from the stone to a plant,

From the plant to an animal,

From the animal to a man.

Do not slide into an animal.

Rise higher to divinity

Shining with the new effulgence of love.

Q: Swamiji Sometimes I feel bored. I don’t know how to explain my dull feelings

A: Life is Love, enjoy it;
Life is Challenge, meet it;
Life is a Song, sing it;
Life is a Dream, realize it;
Life is a Game, play it;
Life is a Goal, achieve it.

Q: Babaji,What is your message to our youths?

Bharat has always produced excellent people in abundance-intelligent, courageous, valorous, devoted, strong and virtuous. Yet we were conquered by foreigners. Why? Only because there was no unity. For this reason Bharat had to endure slavery and untold injustice at the hands of invaders. Students must cultivate unity. The reputation and future prosperity of the nation are hinged on the behaviour of students. Ensure that your conduct is prper. All the future leaders are among  today’s students. “Start early, drive slowly and reach safely”. Imprint the nation’s welfare as the primary goal in your heart, starting in your student days

Baba, we have got only sixty seconds. You have to be a quick.

Haste makes waste;
Waste makes worry;
So do not be in a hurry.

Q. Baba, It may sound  a bit embarrassing. About your miracles?

My miracles are my visiting cards to attract the devotees.

Q: Last question Baba. Who am I?

A:You are not one person, but three:
The one you think you are;
The one others think you are;
The one you really are.

(Imaginary Questions are mine; Answers are from Baba’s speeches)