Saturday, July 03, 2010



[IndianVoice] Re: different thinking

DR SK BALASUBRAMANIAN Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 7:17 AM
Reply-To: "H.S.A.Narayana"

Subject: Re: different thinking
Date: Jun 23, 2010 6:40 PM
I am replying to ramani santha's earlier mail.
I have difficulty in understanding the purport of the mail.
But it does raise important points on the foundations of Hindu thought, even if it has the appearance of mischievous intent.
Ramani might also be shooting straight..

Q1. I do agree that Krishna and Rama are avatars of God.But where is that God. Sitting somewhere in heaven or another loka?
Reply: God does not sit in any loka. He is everywhere. (Gita XIII, 13) Prahlada said, "He is in a pillar" and God did emerge from there.
God is a concept. He embodies all the reality in our imagination. If you have the strength to accept God in abstract it is welcome. But you may also like to be on friendly terms with him. Then he is your friendly neighborhood God.
You may deal with him as father, mother, brother, sister etc.

Q2. So we can assume Gita was the outcome of loud thinking of Arjuna.
Reply: Yes in a way. Arjuna's predicamanet is similar to what we face in daily life though not in such stark terms. The gita tries to help us out in such situation.

Q2a. The person who has seen the brahmam is a brahmin
Reply: No. The one who has 'seen' the Brahman is a Brahma-gnyaani. A Brahmana or Brahmin is at a very mundane level.

Q2b.The 4 varnas created by god is for our mental upliftment stage by stage and has nothing to do with our social life.
Reply :The four varnas stand for some innate qualities/ or predispositions we are born with. They are called svabhava. They define svadharma. The English word for svadharma is vocation. Society benefits most if everyone follows the vocation he is best suited to follow (gita III 35, XVIII,47). So varna is a social concept.

Dharma is evolutionary ethos. It simply means that we should leave the world better than what it was when we came in.
Dharma is predicated upon the other three parts of purusha-artha concept. Purushaartha is the goal of life. It has four components: Dharma, artha, kaama and moksha.
Wealth is central to a happy or contented life. But it has to be creatively generated. Creative generation of wealth is called artha and is the second component of purushaartha. Artha is qualified by dharma or creativity that promotes social evolution.
The third component is kaama looked upon as instinctual sexuality. Sexuality (male and female) is accepted as part of dharma or evolution (Gita VII, 11). In the west male sexuality was recognized after the Kinsey report of the mid-1950's. Female sexuality was brought out by the Hite report in the mid seventies(?).
Female sexuality is dealt with in the raasa lila of the Bhagavatam. Hinduism respects both forms of human sexuality.
Human sexuality is different from the animal instinct. In this respect Hindu kaama is different from the commandments of judaism that are accepted in christianity and islam.
The last part of purushaartha is moksha when one transcends existential limitations. He is the sannyaasi. He is the Brahmagnyaani. He is not bound by cause-effect relations or sin or punya . (gita XVIII, 12)

Q3. There are 3 philosophies. All these are different stages of understanding our religion.
Reply: The Reality is One. It is not changed by your (or my) perceptions of it. It is beyond our comprehension.
The three philosophies are different ways of approaching the Reality.
It is like saying "a glass is half full" or "half empty". Both are equally valid.
Similarly the three philosophies are equally valid. They are meant for different sets of individuals.
Hinduism respects individuality and allows space for everyone. It is not a "one-size-fit-all" religion.
You need not be restrained to the three number. There are actually more. You can follow your own formulation. As long as it is logical and internally self-consistent it will be as correct as any other including the three.

The fundamental axiom that guides Hindu thought is, Satyameva jayate, naanrtam or "Reality prevails over delusions". Delusion even in respect of God is to be avoided. This is a fundamental point about Hindu pluralism. I have explained it in an article. It is available on request.

The Hindu fundamental prayer, recited by Rajan Zed in the US Senate, is non-denominatinal:
Lead Thou me
From the unreal to the Real
From ignorance to Enlightenment
From the ephemeral to the Eternal.


Post a Comment

<< Home