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Deepak Sarma completes the first outline in more than fifty years of India's key philosophical traditions, inventively sourcing seminal texts and clarifying language, positions, and issues. Organized by tradition, the volume covers six schools of orthodox Hindu philosophy: Mimamsa (the study of the earlier Vedas, later incorporated into Vedanta), Vedanta (the study of the later Vedas, including the "Bhagavad Gita" and the "Upanishads"), Sankhya (a form of self-nature dualism), Yoga (a practical outgrowth of Sankhya), and Nyaya and Vaisesika (two forms of realism). It also discusses Jain philosophy and the Mahayana Buddhist schools of Madhyamaka and Yogacara. Sarma maps theories of knowledge, perception, ontology, religion, and salvation, and he details central concepts, such as the "pramanas" (means of knowledge), "pratyaksa" (perception), "drayvas" (types of being), "moksa" (liberation), and "nirvana." Selections and accompanying materials inspire a reassessment of long-held presuppositions and modes of thought, and accessible translations prove the modern relevance of these enduring works.
Some postcolonial theorists argue that the idea of a single system of belief known as "Hinduism" is a creation of nineteenth-century British imperialists. Andrew J. Nicholson introduces another perspective: although a unified Hindu identity is not as ancient as some Hindus claim, it has its roots in innovations within South Asian philosophy from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries. During this time, thinkers treated the philosophies of Vedanta, Samkhya, and Yoga, along with the worshippers of Visnu, Siva, and Sakti, as belonging to a single system of belief and practice. Instead of seeing such groups as separate and contradictory, they re-envisioned them as separate rivers leading to the ocean of Brahman, the ultimate reality. Drawing on the writings of philosophers from late medieval and early modern traditions, including Vijnanabhiksu, Madhava, and Madhusudana Sarasvati, Nicholson shows how influential thinkers portrayed Vedanta philosophy as the ultimate unifier of diverse belief systems. This project paved the way for the work of later Hindu reformers, such as Vivekananda, Radhakrishnan, and Gandhi, whose teachings promoted the notion that all world religions belong to a single spiritual unity. In his study, Nicholson also critiques the way in which Eurocentric concepts--like monism and dualism, idealism and realism, theism and atheism, and orthodoxy and heterodoxy--have come to dominate modern discourses on Indian philosophy.
This RSS is perhaps the most controversial organisation in contemporary India. This book explores the mission, method and motive of the RSS and suggests that the ideological core of the RSS - Hindu Rashtra - is political and not cultural. It argues that K B Hedgewar the founder of the RSS, had a clear political mission, while M S Golwalkar, his successor, despite his saintly appearance and overt distaste for 'politics', sharpened and amplified its ideology Nevertheless, deep down the RSS remained political. This book goes on to delineate how Balasaheb Deoras, the third chief, who did not have much of a fancy for 'culture', plunged into Indian politics on the organisational and ideological foundation created by his predecessors. Deoras seriously pursued the homogenising agenda of the RSS to integrate different sections like the Dalits, tribals and women into the fold of the Hindu Rashtra. Rajendra Singh, the successor of Deoras, consolidated the political mission by getting control over the State and reaching out to civil society more effectively. K.S. Sudarshan, the present chief, while attempting to retain a tight control over State power, simultaneously reinforces Hindutva. The author concludes by arguing that the RSS - from Hedgewar to Sudarshan - continues its tryst with politics to convert India into a Hindu Rashtra. Highly readable and of contemporary relevance, this book would be of immense interest to political scientists, political sociologists and all those interested in present-day India.
Easwaran's best-selling translation of the ancient wisdom texts called the Upanishads is reliable, readable, and profound. In the Upanishads, illumined sages share flashes of insight, the results of their investigation into consciousness itself. In extraordinary visions, they have direct experience of a transcendent Reality which is the essence, or Self, of each created being. They teach that each of us, each Self, is eternal, deathless, one with the power that created the universe. Easwaran's translation of the principal Upanishads and five others includes an overview of the cultural and historical setting, with chapter introductions, notes, and a Sanskrit glossary. But it is Easwaran's understanding of the wisdom of the Upanishads that makes this edition truly outstanding. Each sage, each Upanishad, appeals in a different way to the reader's head and heart. In the end, Easwaran writes, "The Upanishads are part of India's precious legacy, not just to Hinduism but to humanity, and in that spirit they are offered here."
Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation explores Hinduism and the distinction between the secular and religious on a global scale. According to Ranganathan, a careful philosophical study of Hinduism reveals it as the microcosm of philosophical disagreements with Indian resources, across a variety of topics, including: ethics, logic, the philosophy of thought, epistemology, moral standing, metaphysics, and politics. This analysis offers an original and fresh diagnosis of studying Hinduism, colonialism, and a global rise of hyper-nationalism, as well as the frequent acrimony between scholars and practitioners of Hindu traditions. This text is appropriate for use in undergraduate and graduate courses on Hinduism, and Indian philosophy, and can be used as an advanced introduction to the problems of philosophy with South Asian resources.
In this unique and exhilarating autobiography, Allan Jones - Canada's first blind diplomat - vividly describes how an untreatable eye disease slowly decimated his visual world, most challengingly during his postings in Tokyo and New Delhi, and how he discovered and took to heart the revelatory Indian philosophy that changed his life. Advaita Vedanta, the most iconoclastic and liberating of the classical Indian philosophies, profoundly altered the author's experience of self and world. He found that the true self, as distinct from the individual ego, far exceeds the boundaries of individuality. It lies beneath sightedness or blindness and is absolutely unaffected by the latter. This welcome shift of perspective was reinforced by startling discoveries in contemporary physics, evolutionary biology, and developmental psychology that are fully consistent with Advaitic metaphysics. As for the practical applications of metaphysics, this book demonstrates step by step how Advaitic insight and practice significantly reduce physical and psychological tension. The most telling examples have to do with adjustments compelled by extreme circumstances. Thus Jones describes how he drew upon Advaitic mindfulness techniques to maintain his white cane mobility skills in the teeth of permanent spinal, nerve, and muscle pain. The arc of Beyond Vision moves from the claustrophobically personal to the openness of the transpersonal. It begins in a dysfunctional family background, breaking out into a full life encompassing an adventurous foreign service career, spiritual exploration, and an unconventional kind of marital love.
"Dharma Singh Khalsa has written one of those knock-out spiritual books that takes the Truth and lands it right between your eyes." - Marianne Williamson, the best-selling author of The Gift of Change The End of Karma is written for anyone ready to take a quantum leap in their spiritual growth. Practical, uncomplicated, and masterful, this precious little gem of a book transports you effortlessly into the realm of spirit and soul. By reading only one chapter a day of its lovely poetic verse and then reflecting on it, you'll move from traveling on the all-too-often bumpy highway of fate to the smooth royal road of your ultimate destiny: always living in tune with your Higher Power, the God within you. Spirituality has become too complicated. It's been made far too philosophical and intellectual. In reality, God is within you; and you have the right to experience that peace, happiness, and joy while living on Earth in the here-and-now, regardless of your circumstances in life. The End of Karma will awaken that truth within you. Remove the mystery from your life. Discover and live your dharma, and start ending your karma today.
Inside the Yoga Sutras presents a clear, up-to-date perspective on the classic text of Yoga theory and practice: the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This comprehensive sourcebook includes: commentary for each sutra, extensive cross referencing, a study gu
'Manu was seated, when the great seers came up to him: "Please, Lord, tell us the Laws of all the social classes, as well as of those born in between..."' The Law Code of Manu is the most authoritative and the best-known legal text of ancient India. Famous for two thousand years it still generates controversy, with Manu's verses being cited in support of the oppression of women and members of the lower castes. A seminal Hindu text, the Law Code is important for its classic description of so many social institutions that have come to be identified with Indian society. It deals with the relationships between social and ethnic groups, between men and women, the organization of the state and the judicial system, reincarnation, the workings of karma, and all aspects of the law. Patrick Olivelle's lucid translation is the first to be based on his critically edited text, and it incorporates the most recent scholarship on ancient Indian history, law, society, and religion. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
This volume examines several theoretical concerns of embodiment in the context of Asian religious practice. Looking at both subtle and spatial bodies, it explores how both types of embodiment are engaged as sites for transformation, transaction and transgression. Collectively bridging ancient and modern conceptualizations of embodiment in religious practice, the book offers a complex mapping of how body is defined. It revisits more traditional, mystical religious systems, including Hindu Tantra and Yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, Bon, Chinese Daoism and Persian Sufism and distinctively juxtaposes these inquiries alongside analyses of racial, gendered, and colonized bodies. Such a multifaceted subject requires a diverse approach, and so perspectives from phenomenology and neuroscience as well as critical race theory and feminist theology are utilised to create more precise analytical tools for the scholarly engagement of embodied religious epistemologies. This a nuanced and interdisciplinary exploration of the myriad issues around bodies within religion. As such it will be a key resource for any scholar of Religious Studies, Asian Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Philosophy, and Gender Studies.
The Dancing God: Staging Hindu Dance in Australia charts the sensational and historic journey of de-provincialising and popularising Hindu dance in Australia. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, colonialism, orientalism and nationalism came together in various combinations to make traditional Hindu temple dance into a global art form. The intricately symbolic Hindu dance in its vital form was virtually unseen and unknown in Australia until an Australian impresario, Louise Lightfoot, brought it onto the stage. Her experimental changes, which modernised Kathakali dance through her pioneering collaboration with Indian dancer Ananda Shivaram, moved the Hindu dance from the sphere of ritualistic practice to formalised stage art. Amit Sarwal argues that this movement enabled both the authentic Hindu dance and dancer to gain recognition worldwide and created in his persona a cultural guru and ambassador on the global stage. Ideal for anyone with an interest in global dance, The Dancing God is an in-depth study of how a unique dance form evolved in the meeting of travellers and cultures.
Ishita Pande's innovative study provides a dual biography of India's path-breaking Child Marriage Restraint Act (1929) and of 'age' itself as a key category of identity for upholding the rule of law, and for governing intimate life in late colonial India. Through a reading of legislative assembly debates, legal cases, government reports, propaganda literature, Hindi novels and sexological tracts, Pande tells a wide-ranging story about the importance of debates over child protection to India's coming of age. By tracing the history of age in colonial India she illuminates the role of law in sculpting modern subjects, demonstrating how seemingly natural age-based exclusions and understandings of legal minority became the alibi for other political exclusions and the minoritization of entire communities in colonial India. In doing so, Pande highlights how childhood as a political category was fundamental not just to ideas of sexual norms and domestic life, but also to the conceptualisation of citizenship and India as a nation in this formative period.
This book is based on the teachings of Bhagavad Gita, one of the most widely read books in the world. In today's busy life, we hardly get any time to meditate deeper into the meaning and purpose of life. We tend to take certain things for granted such as our status, wealth, educational achievements, etc. and also presume that they will be given to us in our next birth. But scriptures do not endorse this view. All our possessions, or the lack of them, are the result of our karma in the previous births. We rewrite our destiny everyday for our future births. Hence, we should decide our actions in accordance with the teachings of the scriptures and not allow our materialistic aspirations to distort our understanding and conduct in this world. Also one should not wait till the old age to start reading the scriptures. The right age to read scriptures is as early as one gets the consciousness so as to minimise the loss of deep, illuminating thoughts which an insightful reading of the Bhagavad Gita entails and hence, engage in righteous actions. The divine wisdom of Lord Krishna, encapsulated in the Bhagavad Gita, is addressed to each and every individual to help solve perplexing problems and progress towards a brighter future.
This book traces the evolution of a process of interaction between Brahmanism and the indigenous social groups of Bengal during the early medieval period. Following the logic of cultural negotiation implicit in the Puranas composed composed in Bengal, the book unravels a pattern that governed this relationship of recirpocity, contestation and domination. Two significant methodoligical issues have been addressed -- the manner in which didactic Sanskritic texts can be read for the reconstruction of early Indian history and the application of anthropological models, such as great and little traditions, to such texts for a more comprehensive understanding of the Indian culture continuum. The book focuses on Bengal, but cultural negotiations refers to a fundamental civilizational pocess common to most regions in India, and as such has wider relevance.
The earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas, and the first extensive composition to survive in any Indo-European language, "The Rig Veda" (c. 1200?900 bc) is a collection of more than 1,000 individual Sanskrit hymns. A work of intricate beauty, it provides unique insight into early Indian mythology and culture. Fraught with paradox, the hymns are meant ?to puzzle, to surprise, to trouble the mind, ? writes translator Wendy Doniger, who has selected 108 hymns for this volume. Chosen for their eloquence and wisdom, they focus on the enduring themes of creation, sacrifice, death, women, and the gods. Doniger's "The Rig Veda" provides a fascinating introduction to a timeless masterpiece of Hindu ritual and spirituality.
The relationship between a spiritual master and his disciple (piri-muridi) becomes important when one witnesses day after day the large numbers of Muslims and non-Muslims flocking to spiritual masters (pirs) stationed at the various dargahs of India. "This work discovers that piri-muridi aims at making the disciple see God in all things while very often allowing him to enjoy wordily success. This is achieved through a lenghty socialization process that spans a period of time ranging from twelve years to a lifetime. This socialization process is very painful, and some disciples (murids) run away. Most, however, remain bound to their pir, by their vow of allegiance to him, the pir's friendliness, sympathy, material, magical and psychological assistance, and when that is not enough, fear of his magical power. During this period the murid learns to fall in love with the pir whom he strives to see as the representative of God, by observing, serving, and seeing the pir's hand in everything that befalls him, and frequently recalling and concentrating on a mental image of the pir while believing that his actions are prompted by the pir. Having thus attained union with the pir, he one day suddenly realizes that the pir is just a curtain or veil that hides something else -- that which he has truly loved all the time in the image of the pir is God himself. The book is a mine of empirical information collected in the Nizamuddin dargah, showing how a set of beliefs contained in constantly narrated stories and experiences are used to forge, structure, maintain and further the relationship between the pir and his murid. It will be of interest to scholars of Islam, Indian history and sociology, Sufi thought and the place of religion in the modern world.
This is an exploration of contemporary Hinduism, illustrated by case studies from the lived religion. Understanding Hinduism today requires an understanding of how it is practised in the contemporary world. Stephen Jacob's new introduction tackles these central issues, beginning with case studies of the grassroots practice of Hinduism in India and in diaspora communities. He covers issues of singular importance in the modern study of Hinduism, including the importance and role of mass media to this essentially orally transmitted religion. Other major areas covered include the concept of Hindu dharma, particularly in relation to caste, gender and Hindu nationalism, key and often controversial concepts in Hinduism. These useful guides aim to introduce religions through the lens of contemporary issues, illustrated throughout with examples and case studies taken from lived religion. The perfect companion for the student of religion, each guide interprets the teachings of the religion in question in a modern context and applies them to modern day scenarios.
There are many holy cities in India, but Mumbai is not usually considered one of them. More popular images of the city capture the world's collective imagination--as a Bollywood fantasia or a slumland dystopia. Yet for many, if not most, people who live in the city, the neighborhood streets are indeed shared with local gods and guardian spirits. In The Neighborhood of Gods, William Elison examines the link between territory and divinity in India's most self-consciously modern city. In this densely settled environment, space is scarce, and anxiety about housing is pervasive. Consecrating space--first with impromptu displays and then, eventually, with full-blown temples and official recognition--is one way of staking a claim. But how can a marginalized community make its gods visible, and therefore powerful, in the eyes of others? The Neighborhood of Gods explores this question, bringing an ethnographic lens to a range of visual and spatial practices: from the shrine construction that encroaches on downtown streets, to the "tribal art" practices of an indigenous group facing displacement, to the work of image production at two Bollywood film studios. A pioneering ethnography, this book offers a creative intervention in debates on postcolonial citizenship, urban geography, and visuality in the religions of India.
Practicing Caste attempts a fundamental break from the tradition of caste studies, showing the limits of the historical, sociological, political, and moral categories through which it has usually been discussed. Engaging with the resources phenomenology, structuralism, and poststructuralism offer to our thinking of the body, Jaaware helps to illuminate the ethical relations that caste entails, especially around its injunctions concerning touching. The resulting insights offer new ways of thinking about sociality that are pertinent not only to India but also to thinking the common on a planetary basis.
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