Dr. V.V. Hanumantha Rao is an explorer of cultural moorings and affinities between ancient civilizations. He holds a doctorate in English Literature and his thesis titled "Yeats and the Irish Veda: An Unconscious Inheritance", is an exploration into the affiliation between ancient Indian and ancient Irish cultures as reflected in the poetry of W B Yeats. He is a Professor of English at Sri Vasavi Engineering College, Pedatadepalli, Tadepalligudem, Andhra Pradesh. An ardent disciple of Satguru Dr. K Sivananda Murty garu, Dr. Rao had the fortune of working for the T.V. Serial, Mana katha' and the Nandi award-winning (Special Jury) feature film, 'Gautama Buddha', scripted by Sri Guruji. He is an acclaimed speaker and has a passion for poetry. He has been editing `Supatha', a bilingual cultural magazine, for two decades now since 1998. He is the Managing Director of Sivananda Supatha Foundation.
Satguru Sri Sivananda Murty garu visited the ancient north Indian cities of Kausambi, Sravasti, Vysali, Rajgir, Kapilavastu, Lumbini, Kusinagar, Nalanda, Varanasi, Ayodhya and Bodhgaya in November 2006, taking with him a small group of his followers and I was one of those fortunate few. These cities played a very influential role in shaping the history of ancient India and were also hallowed by the presence of Lord Buddha. Sri Guruji spoke elaborately on the significance of these places quoting from scriptures and citing numerous references from standard historical sources. This work is a humble attempt to present the gist of Sri Guruji's naration during our tour.
Many aspects of our cultural, religious, national and emotional life are interwoven with the events in time that these ancient places embody, and a visit to these places with a knowledge of that history will evoke in us a consciousness of our roots and moorings. Such an attempt has been made here. This work was serialized as a series of articles in 'Supatha', a bilingual cultural magazine, between October 2008 and December 2010.
A few portions of the original script of the film 'Gautama Buddha' written by Sri Guruji have also been included in relevant places. The chronological sequence in the events of the Buddha's life is not strictly followed as the emphasis is more on the ancient places, their heritage and history.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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