Vastu, Ecology, Stories & Folk-Expressions – A Story of the Great Loot

snake worship kerala

This is a real story. An ancient continuum – like a play that’s been unfolding itself since times beyond recorded or remembered history. Before getting familiar with the main characters of this play, let us know of the great teller – the folk. Roughly sixty thousand years ago[i], the folk, who are the people of the world, moved out of Africa and reached the subcontinent. Ever since, they’ve been doing things and telling tales. In short, they’ve been expressing. Together, these expressions that weave their lives across days & nights, across seasons, lifetimes & generations, make history. Across the world and throughout history, one great lesson from the folk has been that to communicate is to make commune[ii] between the self and the others, to live as community.

Nature has often been harsh. To cope, human beings have been thinking & philosophizing – not from ivory towers but from & with their dusty everydays – about how to live best-attuned to nature – which direction of the wind and clouds to follow to build their huts & sow their crops, to decide on their seasonal harvest, on how far should the hut & the field be from the stream be and which bend of the river shall have enough slope to water those crops and quench their thirst but not enough to breech the levees & flood the habitats, on which solar & lunar cycle to follow to hunt, to gather – and, as agriculture came to be – to sow & harvest.

Slowly, great wisdom was taking shape – as if in the form of a key with which many secret chambers of nature could be unlocked. The wisdom was ecological, agrarian, and more. For the oracles, witches, wizards, shamans, magic-healers, medicine-people, Baiga-s, Ojhha-s, Tantric-s, Daak-s, Daakin-s and other ancient wise humans who sought to understand the laws of nature – the rains, winds, tides, seasonal, planetary and stellar movements, habits and food cycles of other creatures and so on – certain predictions were easy.

It’s like, you see ants scaling upwall with morsels in their mouth, you know the rains will come. Again, you know when the tides will come and recede, so you know when the best fishes can be caught and when the crabs will crawl out towards their little food-chambers by the shores, and the foxes will come out to eat them. What the wise ones would say would thus be followed by the people because of their practical utility.

Much of the sayings would find resonance the world over

(Before marriage) When you have two legs, go wherever you wish to

(After marriage) When you have four, arrange for food and cloth before you go

(After childbirth) When you have six, ‘O Baba! where do you go?’[iii]


Getting good food and easy life has always been important.

‘A sixteenth of the mango(-seed),

a corner of the fish(-egg)’[iv]

would lead to more mangoes and more fishes, would suffice to live well with community. Mothers would ask boons from goddesses:

‘May my child stay in milk and rice’[v] .

Lovers would eat with their virtue-blessed beloveds:

‘hot rice with gruel poured on banana leaf,

a little bit of ghee-butter,


mola carplet fishes[vi],

stems & leaves[vii]

the beloved gives

the lucky eats’[viii]

Multiple folklore verses attributed to Wisdom-Witch[ix] Khawna also comment on the crops grown & food eaten in the eastern subcontinent – geographies whose cultures I am vaguely familiar with – there were paddy, betel-nuts, betel-leaves, tubers, pumpkin, gourd, cucumber, chilly, parval (pointed gourd), aubergine, mooli-roots, sugarcane, ginger, spinach, tamarind, arum, taro, mango, jackfruit, palm-toddy, date-palm, banana, coconuts and bamboos.

It was also clearly understood that trees should never be planted too close

If you plant saplings too dense

They shall grow but they shan’t fruit’[x]

Again, everything could not be planted close to the house. Khawna had specifically warned against planting neem, chaste tree, tamarind, toddy-palm, champak, bullet-wood[xi] and hummingbird-trees[xii] close to the house.

Likewise, everything could not be eaten all the time.

Jujube-berries on empty stomach

Wood-apples on full

Daak[xiii] says – will die, that fool![xiv]

There was agrarian wisdom:

In the second month of the rains

If breezes blow eastward

Farmers, drop your ploughs, go trading

for harvest shall be terrible

Across autumn

If the wind blows towards north-eastern climes

  Farmers, hoist your spades and rejoice!

When the year begins,

Breezes blowing north-east

Harbinger good rain

And, if, one day,

Soon after autumn arrives,

 you see clouds floating east-bound

Know this, that, it shall rain all day[xv]

The farmers were well advised by Oracle Khawna[xvi]

In the first month of the rains,

on the ninth day of the moon-month

If it rains a lot

Behold the drought! Behold cows grazing mid-ocean!

If it rains a bit

Behold the flood! Behold fishes swimming on mountain-tops!

If it drizzles fair

Behold the good earth laden with crops!


On the same day,

 If the sun smiles and takes his seat

(So bad shall harvest be,


farmers might as well

sell their cattle off in the weekly markets[xvii]


There was medicinal wisdom:

Leaves of the chaste tree[xviii], of wood apple[xix], of bitter green chiretta[xx] and neem[xxi]

Of porcupine flower[xxii], then there’s Isabgol[xxiii]

Despite all these, why must the ailing rush to the shores of Ganges?[xxiv]


And there was wisdom about animals:

Humans & Elephants live six score years

Horses live till half that age

Buffaloes live a score & a handful

Goats till half that age

And crazy pigs – half of even that[xxv]

Some folklores, often in the form of riddles, comment on the wide flora and fauna of the geographies. There is this Bangla riddle-lore from Jessore on a conversation between a tortoise and a palm-fruit that had thudded on its back:

Tortoise: ‘Hey big black chunk of sugar, why did you grind me?’

Palm-fruit: ‘My time to fall had come, why did you come below me?’

Though palm-trees are yet abundant in Jessore, the tortoises have since left.

There were wild-beasts too and those were feared much:

We live in the country of tigers and bears

We keep our thoughts to ourselves[xxvi]

The harshness of nature, thus, wasn’t unknown. Other than the floods and the wild-beasts, famines were not uncommon:

Bide the famine

With other people dying[xxvii]

Dead crows

Fear no famine[xxviii]


And there were earthquakes

Often, at autumn’s break

Mother earth shakes inside waters

Kingdoms and cattle get wrecked, torrid floods take over!

Householders roam, in vain,

To buy rice

Wooden pots in their hands stay empty’


There were hailstorms –

When hails fall by the ocean’s shores

Good things can be foretold

The earth gets laden with so many crops!

Khawna croons at Mihira[xxix] – don’t you worry!


In face of all the natural turpitude, it was crucial to build good strong houses:

To the east, there should be a pond for the ducks

Plant bamboos to the west

And bananas to the north

Keep the south open

For the carnival must happen there

Cover the north, let not

 harsh mountain-winds ensnare

Thus, build your house where you choose to settle[xxx]

Other than the seasons, the lunar cycles had also to be respected to a good hustle.

Plough not on this full and new moon

If the oxen get rheumatic

You won’t get to plough all year long’

The bovines were crucial for agriculture, and it was important to have good cattle. Thus,

Cows with six or nine pairs of teeth

are good

But avoid buying

those with seven[xxxi]


Whether you know cows or not,

while buying, ensure,

That the horns are in line,

and are of the same size[xxxii]

Like good cattle, it was important to know good crops:

If rice-grain grows inside the husk

It takes 30 days to ripen

When it swells up, it takes 20

But when it tapers down

like a horse’s face

Cut it on the 13th day[xxxiii]


The vagaries of nature needed to be apprehended from before to take evasive action. Thus,

If rainbows rise to the West

There is drought

If rainbows rise to the East

It rains heavy

But if they keep rising there

There is flood.[xxxiv]

To survive, it was thus important to be hardworking. Laziness was scoffed at thus:

Lazy days flow by

Paddy-stacks dry in moonlight

Rise, O Pitcher, go to the waters

Let the pedal husk the paddy

on its own[xxxv]

After agriculture, we learned the metals. Big cities came up. With the metals, we learned the scripts. We learned trades. The world was dividing up into kingdoms. Wisdoms of nature were crossing their Rubicon. With divisive thoughts on lines of race, religion, country started biting their fangs into cultures, peoples’ wisdom started wailing their soft, deep wails out:

Days drip by like drops of lime

Yet, racial abuses never cease[xxxvi]

For the subcontinent, the caste-system has made deep impacts on many adages, proverbs and sayings prevalent in the many languages that are spoken here. My learning is confined only to Bangla, and so are the examples, geographies, food habits and cultures I talk about.

Countless premonitions on the caste system did indeed start to make their way into folk wisdom ever since the gotra-systems were clamped over the older totemic systems. Historians are in consensus that the ‘Bengali’ language & ethno-cultural identity began to shape up since the Pala dynasty[xxxvii]. According to multiple sources[xxxviii] this dynasty was of totemic origin, with its founder Gopala being elected by confederates of multiple chieftains. It is bitter irony that subsequent rulers of this dynasty, having taken to Buddhism, sought to ban fishing & hunting, thereby facing violent boat-guerilla warfare from fisherfolks & hunters. Such was the onslaught of this Kaivartya Rebellion[xxxix] that had spread like wildfire across the riparian basin stretching across Bengal, Odisha and Axhom that the Buddhist Empire began to totter. The opportunity was ripe for the caste-Hindu Sena-s who had, by then, being Hinduised across generations through multiple waves of eastward thrust of Brahminism, dealt the final blows.

12th Century saw the clamping down of the caste based order of Hinduism over these eastern Gangetic climes of the subcontinent. The totemic order of endogamy and exogamy were being replaced by the gotra order. Systems of blood purification were introduced. Thus, a Brahmin could marry as many times, to propagate his seeds far and wide. So acute was the need to spread seeds that even children could be taken as brides. Brahmins could keep marrying and propagating till they die. Propagation was crucial. This came to be glorified as Kulinism. Concomitantly and unsurprisingly enough, no women could ever remarry. –

Bird, Bird o Bird

My man takes his other woman to the river, I stare and I see[xl]

New laws were clamped down. To show their benevolent manly face to women, the Dayabhaga system of ownership of property was laid down where women could legally own property of their dead husbands. However, society had many castes & tribes. Messengers would often bring news of approaching horse-hoof-beats from Turkey. So, to maintain the sanctity of blood, the suttee was introduced. Even today, caste-panchayats dotting the subcontinent continue with these ‘honour killing’ rituals. Even the discerning gaze of colonial historiographer cannot ignore the exploitation unleashed on the adivasis, dalits & women this power game when the gotras were replacing the totems at a breakneck speed in the early Middle Ages[xli].  Long story short, the Brahmins were coming.

‘Farmers go to farm, Brahmins go to settle’[xlii]

‘Clouds and floods go south, Brahmins

go wherever they get paid’[xliii]

‘Brahmins, bamboos & malabar-nut trees

destroy ecologies’[xliv]

‘Brahmins, astrologers and crows

feed off others’[xlv]

‘He has a big anointment on his forehead

He will charge 14 bucks[xlvi]

Heart-wrenching adages held the pain of changing times.

I know not whose fire singes whom

(in the suttee-pyre)

I am from the Oilers’ caste (Kolu)

So virtuous is my mother that

she tells me to make holy sounds

with my tongue

Such bad turns had things taken throughout the Middle Ages that, in the middle of the 18th century, with European traders at doorstep, a court-poet to a distinctly caste-Hindu king of Krishnanagar, south Bengal could not help but put this dialogue in the mouth of a boat-woman:

‘Wherever there is the Kulin caste, there is strife’[xlvii]

Casteism and superstition had begun casting long shadows over the people. Even folklores began to reflect this indignation:

An empty pitcher, a dry boat, a crow crowing on a leafless branch

If you see all these, and if you see a beardless dhobi,

Don’t step out

And worse is if you see an Oiler (Teli)[xlviii]

Across the slate of history, as we move our gaze from the far ancient Stone and Bronze Ages till when the Middle Ages were setting into the world, the loot and cooption of folklores had begun. It continued with rising ferocity through the colonial times and is ever at large, ever at power-mandated rampage, all through our era of industrial modernity.

Ever since humans got the idea of owning things, they had begun looking at everything, even cultures and expressions, as resources – things that can be owned. Power necessitates commodification. The process in which expressions get converted into commodities is called reification. For this process to persists, the ‘folk’ must be kept separate from high culture. For instance, folk music is ‘low culture’ as they belong to the ‘low’ tribes and races, but when Brahminical scripture & dogma-mandated music comes up by incorporating and assimilating countless indigenous elements across millenniums and centuries since the Vedas, it becomes Classical Music, or ‘high culture’, approved by and saleable to the ‘high’ races and castes – the enlightened, empowered elite.

Much folk wisdom has been looted by the Brahmins in a myriad ways. The many languages spoken by the totemic indigenes before the gotracasteists arrived in the subcontinent were sought to be coopted, assimilated and made suitable for script-worthy scriptures through the conception of ‘Prakrit Bhasha’, meaning the Language of Nature. Much of the medicinal wisdom of indigenous subcontinent was co-opted within the Ayurveda. To quaint curiosity, the name used in Bengal, Axhom & Odisha for Ayurvedic practitioners reflect a shamanic cultural past when magic healers would also be the King of Poets – Kavi Raj.  

Needless to say, the Brahmins had begun the process of coopting this ecological wisdom of the masses. Multiple Brahminical scriptures, from the Rg Vedas[xlix], to Susruta to Manu[l] to, ironically, Varhamihira[li], the mythical husband of Oracle Khawna, began to usurp as much from the open stake as they could. However, even the Vedic Brahmins could not lie enough to cover up the indigenous origins of Vastu[lii]. They attributed it to mythical Mayadanava or Mayasura – an Asura or Demon-King of indigenous and non-Aryan origin[liii]. That the pre-Vedic Bronze Age cities of the Indus Valley Civilization were influenced by this wisdom could also not be overlooked by historians[liv]. Nonetheless, Vastu exists in popular culture today only as expensive superstitions of the caste-Hindu elite, just like Khawna exists in the countless astrological annals and sacred almanacs or Panjika-s, detailing seasonal norms of living, farming, fishing, traveling and festivities – but her true wisdoms lie buried under truckloads of caste-Hindu superstition.

This ‘tradition’ of loot continues. Each time a mainstream musician makes a lot of money by stealing strains of folk music or a jewelry designer sells high end ‘tribal jewelry’ in your friendly neighbourhood tribal themed café, the process of ‘reification’ is in action. It is a process of the colonizers – the Brahmins, the Aryans, the Europeans – in action with increasing ferocity over the subcontinent over the centuries. The Panopticons, ever alert in stern vigil, keep on getting stronger.

Despite all hatred, folks keep on expressing. Such is the dialectic game of history. Despite all strife for power, the people are here to stay, to tell tales. Because, despite everything, people have lived.


The prince has an elephant, the gardener’s boy has a frog

The prince has bloodshed, the gardener’s boy has the frog’s leg[lv]


Thus, side by side with all the co-option and corruption, processes of resistance have also been at work, seeping all across the roots of this tree of life. All around its trunk and branches dance three witches – magic, beliefs and stories. Together they conjure everyday life and living of the folk in our Third World subcontinent. And the confluences where they meet are the countless fairs and carnivals that dot this entire landmass, like they dot the world. These are the seats where people meet, bow before their gods, tell their tales, sing their songs, communicate. With the complete wane of Buddhism from the subcontinent, as Brahminical oppression peaked, these seats of culture became where the people regrouped to defend themselves from the Brahmin warmongers who’d advice their Kshatriya kings thus:

Eat the communities up like a lion!

Defeat your enemies like a tiger!

Except for the Brahmins,

You, the king, can eat all your subjects up

It is a king’s duty to collect taxes from his subjects

Just the way leeches suck blood[lvi]

Thus began the Bhakti movement. Wizards & Witches began coding folk-wisdom down. Older naturalist orders like Tantra turned into secret societies of the heterodox. Khawna was not alone. The Daak-s and the Daakini-s had risen against the supremacists. Many of these bards found reverence as Siddha-s or the Attained Ones in Vajrayana Buddhism, in the Nath order & in Jainism alike. Together, they had began using the then prevalent Abaittha language of the eastern subcontinent in a polysemic[lvii] form to prevent Brahminical cooption & destruction and writing songs that the faithful would sing at the carnivals. Thus the Twilight Language[lviii] came to be. Multiple compilations of such songs[lix] were preserved throughout medieval times by the Buddhists of Tibet.

Those songs also held many tales. Like there’s a verse that tells the tale of a deer & a doe. They make a strange couple.

‘The Deer doesn’t touch grass, nor drinks water

The Deer doesn’t know where the Doe stays’

 The hunters have surrounded the forest from all sides. They hear the hunters hoot:

‘Whom do i leave? Whom do i take? How do i live?’

They are scared. Because,

‘Own flesh makes the Deer enemy

Relentless hunters keep seeking him out.’

At this point, the doe calls out to her beloved:

‘Listen, dear, I may be trapped

But you, run,

Leave the forest and go away

Run as fast as you can!’

Hearing this,

‘The deer runs fast

His hooves fade to the waves’[lx]

When Buddhism faded away for good from the subcontinent, folks reeling under the fresh onslaught of Brahminism sought refuge under different streams of faith – Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shakto, Islam. Old streams of faith metamorphosed to newer forms. For instance, Buddhism mixed with certain indigenous cults of the Dom and other people to give rise to the Dharma worship prevalent in the western climes of Bengal & beyond; again, Easy Vehicle Buddhism[lxi] mixed with Vaishnavism to lead to the Sahajiya Vaishnava stream of faith; once again Tantric body-praxis[lxii] was continued with by the Baul minstrels as well as by the heterodox worshippers of Tara – a Tibetan mother-goddess subsequently assimilated by the Shakto cult of Kali, whereas wisdoms of the Sufi Pirs, Fakirs & Dervishes found themselves incorporated within the Avadhootic and Sai conceptions of Tantrism.

Throughout these journeys, people kept on telling tales, singing & writing them down. Like the Gatha-s of Maharashtra and Vachana-s of Karnataka, in Bengal, we got the Mangal-kavya – repertories of scripted and penned folk wisdom, faith and stories – collectively classifiable as ‘Dalit literature’ and ‘People’s Literature’. The cult of the Mangal-kavyas persisted throughout the Middle Ages, in proud defiance against ‘high culture’ of the elite.

Thus, if Dharmamangal[lxiii] tells the tale of the fall of the last Buddhist kings in the hands of the caste-Hindu Sena kings, it cannot hide the tale about how the Ghosh clan under Ichhai and the Sena clan under Karna – two caste-Hindu gotras – fought each other in mad power-brawl against the rugged backdrop of geographies that once were inhabited by the indigenous Dekar tribe that holds the Bronze Age metallurgic wisdom – ‘Dokra’.

Likewise, where tales of the Manasamangal[lxiv] inadvertently reminds Bengalis of their ancient naturalism, tales that developed around the river that cuts the Sunderban forests into two halves has been so pervasive in their cultural sweep that the entire river is named after this tradition of folk tales and faith – Raimangal[lxv]. Set on times when Portuguese pirates had begun tearing into the coastal ports along the Bay of Bengal, these tales tell how Hindu and Muslim people live in peace by these mangroves and keep the forest-ecology in balance – despite relentless tussle with the crocodiles and tigers.

Again, the hero of Chandimangal[lxvi], a hunter blessed to kingship by a goddess with seemingly totemic[lxvii] origins, establishes the city of Gujarat, following the tenets of Vastu, but incorporating facets from the rapidly altering social scenario. There were Mosques facing the West and Vishnu Temples on the East, there were the Mahavira worshipping betel-farmers and sellers whom the king never messes with, and there were the Doctors, Oil-grinders & Sellers, Cattle-Herders, Dhobis, Blacksmiths , Gardeners, Potters, Brewers et al, there were the Koch and the Chunari indigenes, there were farmers and fisherfolk, there were the sex-workers. All in all, there were a total of 36 jaati-s ‘castes’ – including even the Marathas, who, according to the tale, were adept at surgery – in that mythical city[lxviii]. However, all these identified communities cannot be called ‘caste’ in our modern-day understanding. All in all, it was a veritable caste, race & religion-ghetto, like almost all Indian cities are today. Divisive power-plays of the Brahmins have since continued.

Colonial and post-colonial realities have had their sweeping roles on this culture of telling tales. Many of the sayings, adages, proverbs, rhymes, fairytales and other expressions of folk-wisdom have since been collected, scripted out and printed. The ridges between ‘high art’ and ‘folk expressions’ have also been carefully maintained so that the former can feed on the latter. Capital has brought in alienation, and, stuck inside cages called information bubbles, as we get lonelier by the hour, we forget the expressions & the wisdoms today. Nonetheless, people keep on living, telling tales, expressing and asserting themselves. This makes the many streams of culture flow in tune with everyday life and living. Folklores thus are a constant, affirming flow of life. Come, let us flow on by in this medley of temporal, humanly expressions.

Atindriyo Chakrabarty is a poet and writer.


[i] Genetic evidence shows that the first Out-of-Africa wave of human migrations reached the Indian subcontinent roughly sixty thousand years from today

[ii] Galeano, Eduardo, Open Veins of Latin America, 1973 (p.12)

[iii] Dey, S.K, ed. Bangla Pravada, 1952 (Bangla Pravada) Entry 8985

[iv] Bangla Pravada Entry 9036

[v] Bharatchandra Raygunakar, Annadamongol Kabyo, 1752-53

[vi] Mourala – Amblypharyngodon mola

[vii] Nalche/Nalicha Saag – ??

[viii] Prakrit-Paingal, Abaittha Language, approx 15th century AD.

[ix] Wisdom-Witch or ‘Gyan-Dakini’, literally translates to ‘Khawna’ in Tibetan, was a common title given to wise women from anceient times in the eastern subcontinent in Buddhist myths. Even myths of the Nath sect speak of yet another Wisdom-Witch – Jnana/Gyan-Dakini Moynamoti, who, as Nath legends have it, died in suttee with mythical king Manikchandra.

[x] Bangla Pravada Entry 2441

[xi] Bakula – Mimusops elengi

[xii] Sesbania grandiflora

[xiii] Daak­­ – ‘Wizard’ in Tantric and Tibetan Buddhist shared heritages.

[xiv] Daak-er Vachana or Words of the Wizard – multiple proverbs in the eastern subcontinent are attributed as such.

[xv] Khawna (see next note)

[xvi] Poet Khawna, (9th-12th Century AD/6th Century AD). Name meaning traceable to the Tibetan word for ‘Wise Woman’ or ‘Witch’. Noted for sound agrarian and other advice. Many of her poetic sayings, often couched as prophesies but, in content, logically arranged, have become immortalized as proverbs and adages within the agrarian communities of Bengal, Axom and Odisha. Widespread annotations in astrological almanacs also reveal her identity as an astronomer. Tragic legend has it that the male dominated society of erstwhile Bengal couldn’t take to her genius and, consequently, her tongue was chopped off. In absence of written historical evidence, there is much debate about her real name, life and times, or whether there were one or more ‘Khawna’s, or whether she is a fictitious figment of popular imagination.

[xvii] Khawna

[xviii] Nisinda/Nirgundi – Vitex Negundo

[xix] Bel – Aegle marmelos

[xx] Justicia Paniculata

[xxi] Azadirachta indica

[xxii] Vajradanti – Barleria prionitis

[xxiii] Psyllium

[xxiv] Bangla Pravada, Entry 8948

[xxv] Bangla Pravada Entry 8944

[xxvi] Bangla Pravada Entry 5540

[xxvii] Bangla Pravada Entry 4876

[xxviii] Bangla Pravada Entry 6481

[xxix] Varahamihira(, Khawna’s mythic husband

[xxx] Khawna

[xxxi] Bangla Pravada Entry 8809

[xxxii] Bangla Pravada Entry 3023

[xxxiii] Khawna

[xxxiv] Khawna

[xxxv] Bangla Pravada Entry 8837

[xxxvi] Bangla Pravada Entry 4298

[xxxvii] AD 750–1174

[xxxviii] Lama Taranatha, 17th century AD; Bhupendranath Dutta, Bharotiyo Shomaj Paddhoti, Vol. II, 1983; Nitish K. Sengupta, Land of Two Rivers: A History of Bengal from the Mahabharata to Mujib, 2011

[xxxix] Last quarter of the 11th Century AD

[xl] Anon., Rural Bengali folksong

[xli] HH Risley, Tribes and Castes of Bengal, 1894

[xlii] Bangla Pravada Entry 8840

[xliii] Khawna

[xliv] Bangla Pravada p.49

[xlv] Bangla Pravada p.49

[xlvi] Bangla Pravada p.49

[xlvii] Bharatchandra Raygunakar, Annadamangal, approx. 1752 AD.

[xlviii] Attributed to both Daak (generic name meaning ‘Wizard’ in Tibetan and in Tantra) and Khawna

[xlix] Hymn No. 1.154.6

[l] Manu-Samhita, Hymns No. 3.89 & 3.255

[li] author of Brihat Samhita where ‘Vastu’ was alluded to

[lii] Vastu: Skt. for habitat

[liii] Compiled and assembled as Mayamatam – (meaning, Opinions of the Mayans) in the 11th-12th centuries AD

[liv] Milton Singer (1991). Semiotics of Cities, Selves, and Cultures: Explorations in Semiotic Anthropology. Walter de Gruyter. p. 117.

[lv] Bangla Pravada, Entry 8996

[lvi] Arthashastra (Rashtra-Shakti) & Shatpath-Brahman

[lvii] Polysemy – Systems of communication where language is used such that one word or phrase or sentence can have multiple meanings.

[lviii] Haraprashad Shastri, 1916; Mircea Eliade 1970, Bucknell & Stuart-Fox 1986

[lix] Charyapada, Sahajanmay Panjika, Saraha’s Doha-kosh, Kahnu’s Doha-kosh annotated by Mekhla the elder of the two Sever-Headed Sisters of Buddhist legend who have together been deified in dalit-Hindu mythos of the eastern subcontinent as Chhinnamasta, the Dakarnava (literally, ‘Wizard’s Ocean’), the Kavindra-Vachana-Samuccaya compilations

[lx] Charayapada Verse No. 6 by Bhusuku-pa

[lxi] Sahajayana

[lxii] Tantric Body-Praxis – Kaya-Sadhana

[lxiii] 12th Century AD

[lxiv] 15th-16th Century AD

[lxv] 17th-18th Century

[lxvi] 16th Century

[lxvii] The Goddess masquerades, for some point, as a Golden Monitor Lizard

[lxviii] Kavikankan Mukundaram Chakrabarty, Chandimangal Kavya, 16th century AD


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