Login

Uncategorized

FIVE LEVELS OF EXPERIENCE

We do not directly observe the matter and energy in the world outside our bodies and our measuring instruments. External matter and energy are only observed through the representations of information that our instruments have received. In this sense, information is more fundamental than matter and energy. In its turn, information depends on something further still. In order to represent anything, information depends upon a comparison of represented conditioning. Thus, beneath the information through which the world appears to us, there is a fourth element: of relative conditioning.

Read More

The Symbolism of Shri Ganpati

It must be evidently clear to all sensitive thinkers that the representations given in the various symbolisms are not as many different Deities, but they are vivid pen-portraits of the subjective Truth described in the Upanishadic lore. The student must have the subtle sensitivity of a poet, the ruthless intellect of a scientist, and the soft heart of the beloved, in order to enter into the enchanted realm of mysticism created by the poet-seer, Vyasa. To the crude intellect and its gross understanding, these may look ridiculous; but art can be fully appreciated only by hearts that have art in them. When we review the Puranas with at least a cursory knowledge of Vedanta, they cannot but strike us as extremely resonant with the clamouring echoes of the Upanishadic melody.

Read More

What Religion is Not: An Atheist Perspective

Taking monotheism as a model for religion is misleading. It is not only animism and polytheism that are left out of the picture. Non-theist religions are ignored as well. Buddhism says nothing of any divine mind and rejects any idea of the soul. The world consists of processes and events. The human sense of self is an illusion; freedom is found in ridding oneself of this illusion. Popular Buddhism has retained ideas of the transmigration of souls that were current in India at the time when the Buddha lived, along with the belief that merits accumulated in one life can be passed on to another. But the idea of karma, which underpins these beliefs, denotes an impersonal process of cause and effect rather than reward or punishment by a Supreme Being. Nowhere does Buddhism speak of such a Being, and it is in fact an atheist religion. The smears and fulminations of the ‘new atheists’ make sense only in a specifically Christian context, and even then only within a few subsets of the Christian religion.

Read More

Beyond Saussure and Derrida: Bhartrhari’s Holistic view of Language

It is obvious to any reader of Derrida how this ‘condemnation’, in a paradoxical manner, provides ammunition for Derrida’s deconstruction of the texts of Saussure and Rousseau. As far as I know, such condemnation of writing was conspicuous by its absence in the Indian tradition in which Bhartṛhari flourished. Hence the sphoṭa theory of language was not ‘logocentric’ in any damning sense. As I have said, both sonic and graphic symbols can be the ‘illuminator’ of the sphoṭa, and being the illuminator, either of them can be identified with the illuminated. Both speech and writing can be in perfect harmony (where talk of ‘violence’ would be pointless) in Bhartṛhari’s holistic view of language.

Read More

Our New Education Policy: Progressive or Regressive?

What is common between Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs? To start with, they were creative geniuses and they loved science, music, and art. But the deeper connection between these luminaries is that their creativity was a product of the interaction between science and art. In fact, they did not see a conflict between their scientific and artistic tempers. This would seem surprising to many of us who have long believed in the dichotomy of science versus arts, logic versus creativity, or, left brain versus right brain. Now, the theory that people are either left-brained or right-brained is no longer accepted, even in scientific circles. Yet, it is precisely this idea that has shaped our education policy for over a century. The new education policy is a refreshing change in this respect. Read on to know why.

Read More

Caste System and Brahmins: The biggest hurdles for Missionaries to convert Hindus

The vast amount of missionary literature and correspondence, prior to 1857, mentions two hurdles in the path of religious conversion. •The first hurdle was the stringent regulations of the caste system due to which the converted person was ostracized by the caste and community to which he belonged. •The second hurdle was the immense respect and reverence in the society for Brahmins. The missionaries found themselves unable to challenge the moral and intellectual superiority of the Brahmins.

Read More

Ik Onkar: Sikhism and the Message of Oneness

In this well researched article, Sirjan Kaur analyzes the claim that Sikhism is monotheistic or not. Delving into the fundamental definitions of the greatest symbols of Sikhism, she says that the idea of ‘Ik Onkar’, the spiritual principle which advocates the concept of Oneness, with the light that pervades the entire universe and the light found within us proves that Sikhism is not a monotheistic religion.

Read More

ईसाई मिशनरी और जाति-संस्था

सन् १८५७ के पूर्व का विशाल मिशनरी साहित्य एवं पत्र-व्यवहार धर्मांतरण के मार्ग में दो ही बाधाओं का उल्लेख करता है। एक, जाति-संस्था के कड़े बंधन, जिसके कारण धर्मांतरित व्यक्ति जाति से बहिष्कृत कर दिया जाता था। दूसरा कारण था पूरे समाज में ब्राह्मणों के प्रति अपार श्रद्धा का भाव। ब्राह्मणों की नैतिक-बौद्धिक श्रेष्ठता को चुनौती दे पाने में मिशनरी स्वयं को असमर्थ पा रहे थे। अपने इस अनुभव के कारण ईसाई मिशनरियों ने जाति-संस्था को ब्राह्मणवाद की रचना मानकर उसे तोड़ना ही ईसाई धर्म का मुख्य लक्ष्य घोषित कर दिया।

Read More

Revisiting “The Beautiful Tree” – III – Home Education

The number of Indians who studied before the modern age was much higher than that number in Europe. Even more than that in a survey in Madras Presidency during 1822-55 it was found that the number of those who were instructed at homes was nearly five times the number of those who were instructed in the schools. This article looks into these figures.

Read More

Bonding to the Land: A Pagan view of Ecology

In deep ecology, bonding to the land is the first condition for an ecologically sane society. “The first thing to do is to choose a sacred place and live in it.” So advised Pawnee tribe elder, Tahirussawichi, to writer Dolores LaChapelle. The Pagan pact with the land can be regarded as what is today called bioregionalism. Relation to a place perceived as sacred is not, however, possession of place; in fact, such relationship impedes the drive to possess. Native Americans frequently insist that they belong to the land, the land does not belong to them.

Read More
Centre For Indic studies
X