Monthly Archives: May 2011

Michelle Obama comes to Oxford

CARFAX, this afternoon (see clock).  High security as we wait for Michelle Obama to be re-united with her hubby in Londinium. Loads of cops, a helicopter hovers overhead, some sinister looking men in black suits.

Motorbikes and loads more security people swing by in black cars.  Then her car arrives. People cheer. She’s been to Christ Church (I said Trinity earlier, my bad). She is in this one, honest. ♦

The all consuming 12 Kaaliis: Here come the Suns

I HAD THE PRIVILEGE yesterday to be at a workshop in Chalk Farm, held by Mark Dyczowski, a distinguished Sanskrit scholar and saadhaka who I first met at his lovely home on the banks of the Ganges at Narad Ghat in Varanasi a few years ago (photo).

Markji’s talk was called The Dawning of the 12 Kaaliis, the substance of verses 121 to 180 in the fourth chapter of Abhinavagupta’s Tantraaloka. The really good news is that he is set to bring out the first of three volumes translating the Tantraaloka later on this year. As he explained to his audience, he first started studying the Tantraaloka in 1975 and his exposition of the 12 Kaaliis was very thought provoking.

Markji said to his audience that his primary goal is the preservation of these ancient traditions – indeed, on the web site you will find many other tantrik texts digitised by him and his assistants. Last year, we saw the publication of 14 volumes of the Manthaanabhairavatantram with translation and extended notes, published by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. The same organisation is supporting the publication and the text of Tantraaloka.

Verse 121, chapter four of the Tantraaloka begins with the verse, translated, “Worship (puuja)  (in the highest sense) is (the process of) uniting the diverse flux of phenomena with Bhairava’s independent, stainless and infinite consciousness”.  Markji supplemented his exposition of the text of Tantraaloka with the influential commentary of Jayaratha. The commentary will also be included in the translation as it arrives.

The talk was deep but supplemented by very wonderful flashes of humour and insight, and hosted by Mike Lousada. We were so pleased to meet many of our old friends there.   The Tantraaloka is one of the few untranslated works of Kashmir Shaivism and its publication with commentary will bring a work of great Kaula importance to the English reading world.  Tantraaloka, said Markji during the talk, is a hardcore text. S-E-X is the three lettered word that many associate with the Tantrik traditions, but as he explained in his talk, everything is a conjunction of Shiva and Shakti.

Quite wonderful! 

McMarrakesh chip conference ends

For instance, Jon Carvill, senior chip spinner at GlobalFoundries (GloFo) and before that at AMD nee ATI wrote a nice letter to us hacks to tell us this is his last week jetsetting between Singapore, Dresden, Fishkill and the rest for AMD’s spinoff. That has prompted much speculation about where he will be going next.

Read more:

Marrakesh Express

Let’s stork of the devil

THERE’S PLENTY of storks in old Marrakech and while some choose relatively normal places to build their nests, like ruins of the city ramparts,  never say that some storks haven’t grabbed the opportunity modern technology brings them.

Maroc Telecom attracts the attention of the storks too.

So far, we haven’t seen the storks in the Cyber Park – but anything is possible, we guess…

My temporary home is in Marrakech

A VERY NICE place this too, which I thoroughly recommend. The background to the foreground is on TechEye...  ♥