Showing posts with the label Dharma

Chronicling the Loss of Civilization

Katas Raj Temple Complex in Pakistan. There is None to Worship at This Pilgrim Site Today In 1923, a controversial book containing blasphemous content caused much chaos, and created much communal tension. What got forgotten in the process was an incident of 1924 which happened in a remote part of today’s North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan known as Kohat. Triggered by the inflamed passions, the overwhelmingly Muslim cantonment town witnessed an ethnic cleansing of its entire Hindu and Sikh population, barely constituting 3,500 . The non-Muslims were forced to flee to town, leaving their homes for good, just to save their lives, never to return. Even the local police, overwhelmingly Muslim, decided to stand by and watch. This was neither the first of its kind incident. Nor would it be the last across the Indian subcontinent. Recently, former Presidential candidate and American Congresswoman from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard talked about a resolution highlighting the 1971 massacre and the

The Vedantic-Advaitic Moorings of Swadeshi

A Swadeshi Poster (Courtesy: Republic of Less ) Swadeshi is a thought, an ideal that arose across several countries and not just India. However, the roots in India arose from the 1905 movement whereby the extremist division of the Congress, led by the famous Lal-Bal-Pal trio (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal) pushed for an aggressive movement towards home rule, furthered in 1916 by the Home Rule and later in the form of Gandhi’s spiritual form of disobedience. Across the three was a common thread running - creating an economic alternative to demonstrate that India was, just like many other Commonwealth nations or even the crown state of Britain, more than capable of being self-reliant, be it machinery, trade, textile, education or any other aspect. The act was not just political, but was driven by the sentiments related to Bharat Mata that was already whipping up – this was around the same time that the fiery intellectual revolutionary Aurobindo Ghosh through

Seva and Karma – The Dual Helix of Causality and the Mandate to Engage

It is interesting to observe the idea of seva or service in the Indic darsanas. Whatever be the outlook towards life, the importance to service of others is given a lot of importance. This definitely arises from the intertwined helical relationship between karma and seva. A succinct example of the depth of embedding of seva in the philosophy of karma can be be found in the Srivaishnava sampradaya’s understanding of the Advaita marga as put out first by reformer saint Sri Ramanujacharya, who lived in the 12 th century AD. As Mohan Sagar had elaborated in his short piece on Ramanujacharya’s darsana [1] highlights some important facts: ·     Each and every aatma or soul in a crude translation is in its essential nature, its svarUpam, a simple receptacle to the Lord's Grace, and a humble instrument to His Good. This nature of servitude is not only limited to the soul, but is indeed the nature of matter, as well. ·       Consequently, the Lord is likened to the Soul

Purushartha, Karma and Its Import in Indian Society

Whatever be the darsana, the emphasis on purushartha has always been significant. Barring perhaps the charvaka system, each attaches a degree of importance to the ideas of dharma, artha, kama and moksha in varying degrees. The eventual goal of the varying darsanas is not even moksha; rather it is mukti, or liberation from the bonds of the world in their entirety. However, it is not that mukti is to be sought independent of the four purusharthas; rather, the four serve as a sequential process towards the same, somewhat similar to the conceptualization of an algorithm that forms the underlying principle of any software. The concept of purushartha is different significantly from the conception of the Calvinistic and Lutheran thoughts on the relationship of man and God and man and society that eventually serve as the source of all individualistic and libertarian principles. Purushartha defines your relationship with yourself and the society that surrounds you, as it defines your d

Karma, Seva and Instilling Resilience - Some Rough Thoughts

Purushartha in human life is essential to the goal of moksha and mukti or ultimate freedom from bondage. To achieve the purpose, the four pillars of dharma, artha, kaama and moksha are to be attained in one’s life. The tools to enable the cultivation of the four pillars have been clearly identified by several scholars in the triage of sadhana, seva and swadhyaya, one not being mutually exclusive of the other. In all of this, the key underlying philosophy of seva or service clearly becomes paramount to the cause. The Philosophies of Dharma, in particular the Indic philosophies, have always attached a high degree of importance to service alongside devotion and liturgy. Service is an outcome unto itself, defining the manner in which we relate ourselves to the outer world. Despite the various astika (Vedanta, Veda, Advaita, Dvaita or Vaishnava, Shakta, Shaiva Siddhanta and others) and nastika philosophies (Jainism, Buddhism) that have existed around for millenia, the consensus on seva or