Sanskrit & Babylon: Inspirations from languages, art, culture

01 – 28 August 2020 / 2021

“The world is a spiritual paradox
Invented by a need in the Unseen,
A poor translation to the creature’s sense
Of That which for ever exceeds idea and speech,
A symbol of what can never be symbolised,
A language mispronounced, misspelt, yet true.”

Banks of Ganges, Foothills of Himalayas, Haridwar, India

India has 22 recognised languages. And 36 states and union territories. It is only the state of Uttarakhand (in which AZIMVTH Ashram is situated) whose official language is Sanskrit, the mother of Indian languages. Only Hindi language is written in the same script as Sanskrit. Like AZIMVTH, an old Hindi society is part of the Arya Samaj cluster.
2048px-Saraswati_Sarasvati_Swan_SculptureMid-month is the Independence Day of India, and that of few other countries. Swastika, a Sanskrit word, means well. It has been in use the world over, including Switzerland. Singapore word also has Sanskrit origin. Ganesha idols have been found in Bujang (Sanskrit: snake) valley in Malaysia. Queen Suriratna of ancient South Korea was from Ayodhya on the banks of river Sarayu, a tributary to Ganges, about 700 km downstream Haridwar. Indonesia gifted a statue of Goddess Saraswati to the US.

Ganapati (Ganesh)(Image above) Goddess Saraswati provides wisdom to embassies in Washington D.C., gifted by Indonesian Embassy in the United States in 2013.

(Image right) The Bujang (Sanskrit: Snake) Valley or Lembah Bujang, a sprawling 200 sq. km. historical complex, the richest archaeological area in Malaysia, has vast number of statues and architectural objects of the ancient Hindu kingdoms. Proclamation of Independence day (Hari Proklamasi Ke-Merdeka-an R.I.) of Indonesia is on 17th August. Hari Merdeka, independence day of Malaysia is on 31st August. Names of both days relate to a word – Merdeka – meaning independent or free. It is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘maharddhika’ (महर्द्धिक) meaning “rich, prosperous and powerful”. 

Haridwar and Babylon both mean ‘Gate to God’.

4 Untitled (Image left) In 42 AD, King Suro of Gaya, Korea, according 1 xsingapore-the-lion-city-21757721.jpg.pagespeed.ic.N00WER8Flv - Copyto historical records, married Queen Heo Hwang Ok (Suriratna), princess who traveled for 2 months on high seas from far away Ayuta (Ayodhya, India) kingdom. 

(Image right) Singapore (Sanskrit: Singa – Lion Pore – City) was part of Malaysia. The national days of South Korea and Singapore also happen in August, on 15th and 9th respectively. India’s Independence is also on 15th August.

teej pak jan 1967 ngm-1967-jan.ngsversion.1492183077019.adapt.470.1Teej is a festival celebrated in Haridwar by women in the rainy season. Groups of women sing traditional songs while taking turns on make-shift swings that are temporarily swun upon community trees.

Haridwar is holy as oceans were churned using Vishnu’s snake. Scriptures (Bhagvad Purana and others) mention Sagar-manthan when the divine and the demons collaborated to churn the oceans.

Lord Vishnu’s generally rests in Yog Nidra on a snake. Snake (named Vasuki) was used as a rope tied around a mountain that formed the axis.20170511_173637 Lord Shiva wears snake as ornament. In the process first poisoned was produced which Shiva drank to dispose it off. Amrit, the ambrosia or nectar was finally produced. A drop of which fell in Ganges at Haridwar.

(Image right) A brass statue of Lord Vishnu cast by a local artist at AZIMVTH Ashram in 2007.

Nag Panchmi is a festival celebrated across India when prayers are offered to divine snakes. Manasa is sister of Vasuki. A hill in Haridwar has the temple of Manasa Devi, reachable by gondola rope way. This story resonates in mythology of Japan and several other countries. The Norske (Iceland and Germanic myths) Hymiskviða (Hymir’s poem) collected in the Poetic Edda tells a similar story.

 mike powell Suvarnabhumi_Airport,_Bangkok

(Image above) A large sculpture at Thailand depicting Sagar-manthan. (c) Mike Powell.

6 Untitled - Copy

(Image above) A mural at the church of Saint-Pierre-de-Clages in Switzerland. 1st August is the national day of Switzerland. (c) Anna Turel

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slide-show contains eleven stamps relating to ten south-east Asian countries, besides India, that have images relevant to Ramayana and Indian cultural traditions.


  • Sanskrit / Hindi
  • Calligraphy
  • Photography
  • Visual art
  • Documentary
  • Spirituality
  • Performance art
  • New media
  • Linguistics
  • Painting
  • Music
  • Writing
  • Education
  • Yoga
  • Everybody
  • Art of Life


  • Visiting Ganges ghats,temples, ashrams
  • Pilgrim interactions
  • Local collaborations
  • Exhibit
  • Print media coverage
  • Local music instruments
  • Conditional access to a Braille printing press
  • Arts mentoring
  • Life coaching
  • Drawing / writing / performing projects


  • Personal en-suite room
  • Shared studio
  • Twice daily Yoga teaching
  • Om & mantra chanting initiation
  • Daily lecture & discussion
  • Options at other cluster-locations
  • 3 meals, 2 herbal tea + snacks
  • Sachet tea/ 24hrs
  • Daily small basket of fresh flowers
  • Towels, bedding
  • Laundry
  • Ayurveda doctor visit after every 3rd day

06 Aug Friendship Day
07 Aug Sanskrit Day / Sister’s Day
14 Aug Lord Krishna Birth Day
15 Aug Independence Day/ Dahi Handi
25 Aug Lord Ganesha Birth Day

365 Arya Nagar Jwalapur
Haridwar 249407
Uttarakhand India