A Mandala is a Cosmic Diagram that is Symbolic of the Universe

A mandala is a ritual diagram that serves as an object of meditation in Tantra and Vajrayana Buddhism. It is symbolic of the universe. Around the eleventh century, mandala meditation was initiated in Tibet from India and even today, lamas pass on their knowledge to initiates in the same way. Mandalas are fabricated at the […]

Southeast Asia: The Best Sights, Destinations, and Experiences (ASEAN Travel)

No longer seen merely as an exotic counterpart to the Occident, South-East Asia has developed an identity all its own over the past few years. You will find very little homogeneity in ASEAN, with every country priding itself on a distant identity concerning culture, religion, cuisine, and traditions. This vast region is an overwhelming mix […]

The Indispensable Guide to Sake and Japanese Culture

An Introduction to Sake and Japan The Japanese archipelago stretches over 3,000 km from north to south. Therefore, there are various lifestyles and customs. In addition, Honshu (the main island) is divided into the Pacific Ocean side and Japan Sea side by it’s over 1,000-meter elevation backbone ridge. This further results in different lifestyles and […]

PHILIPPINES: The Best Sights, Destinations, and Experiences (ASEAN Travel)

This is a cocktail of a country, potent and heady. The Philippines does not believe in leaving anything out, so its 7,000-plus islands boast Malay, Chinese, Spanish and indigenous influences, not to mention religious traditions rooted in Islam. Catholicism, animism and everything in between. This country crams as much on its plate as it possibly […]

Of Nagas and Naginis: Serpent Figures in Hinduism and Buddhism

Nagas and the feminine Naginis are serpent figures who play a role in the Hindu and Buddhist mythologies. The source of the Nagas may possibly be attributed to the pre-Aryan fertility cults of ancient India. In the Hindu mythology, the nagas reside within the earth in an aquatic underworld. They are embodiments of terrestrial waters […]

MYANMAR: The Best Sights, Destinations, and Experiences (ASEAN Travel)

Mandalay, Bagan, Inle, and Yangon—these names all conjure up the wonder that is Myanmar, at least in a traveler’s mind. Now, you have the freedom to venture a little farther as well. With recent reforms easing restrictions in this proud country, it is finally time to see what Myanmar has been hiding away all these […]

INDONESIA: The Best Sights, Destinations, and Experiences (ASEAN Travel)

The Indonesian archipelago is a incredible blend of exceptional cultures, adventure experiences, and indigenous wildlife that goes way beyond the much-explored realms of Bali. There is no better way to step off the tourist trail and have a assortment of holiday stories that no one else will than with a trip through these 17,000 islands […]

VIETNAM: The Best Sights, Destinations, and Experiences (ASEAN Travel)

Gorgeous beaches, buzzing, neon-lit cities, great food, idyllic countryside … there is little that this country does not have to offer. You may find yourself most comfortable on Hanoi’s slim by-lanes, or prefer the vast, open spaces of Holong Bay, but one thing’s for sure – Vietnam definitely punches above its weight. Vietnam: At a […]

MALAYSIA: The Best Sights, Destinations, and Experiences (ASEAN Travel)

A melting pot of thriving culture, gorgeous landscapes, filled with everything from islands to beaches to major metropolises, Malaysia is the throbbing force in the heart of South East Asia. A popular honeymoon and holiday destination, there’s lots to do and discover here, for both the laid-back traveler and the adventurous explorer Malaysia: At a […]

The Guru-Shishya Parampara: Oral Tradition of Education in India

Verse 5 of the Advayataraka Upanishad states, The syllable gu means shadows (darkness) The syllable ru, he who disperses them. Because of his power to disperse darkness the guru is thus named. Essentially, a guru is someone who leads the student from the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge. Although this characterization is […]