Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 18 Dec 2015 11:57

panduranghari wrote:
shiv wrote:It is easier to support someone else's stand than to take a stand of one's own.Is there an Indian view on this or do we accept what the west does as good? That is what is required of us as part of Western Universalism.


Are you saying if Indians in the west en masse start wearing dhotis, there will be eventual call to ban dhoti's in the west because it does not confirm to the west.

I can't make such a prediction, but I can predict that the dhoti wearers will be made to feel out of place and unwanted. It happened to bindi wearers, it's happening to Sikhs.

Empirically and without evidence I will say that the reason why Indians don't wear dhotis in the west is that it is pretty clear that conformity to Western dress codes is demanded subtly and unsubtly.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 19 Dec 2015 08:51

Please allow me to bring up another radical concept that occurs to me from time to time - I don't mean to cause anger or irritation - I just say some things that question "basic concepts" that we all accept without question.

Once again it starts with the relationship of Islam with the west - a link that I found after seeing this photo posted
Image
On the following link it says:
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5177/ ... es-britain
"The Sikh and Hindu communities are doing relatively well. Overall, their children are performing above average in educational terms. They tend to be better housed and are more likely to be in employment than are those of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origins. This can be explained mainly in class terms. Most of the Sikhs and Hindus come from the middle strata of their societies and are relatively well educated. Most of the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, predominantly Muslim, come from rural, or more correctly, peasant societies. Many have relatively little education and hold traditionalist views on religion.


In this study of data they make a link between education and poverty.

Fine. We all learn that.

But what we also know is that it is the educated, empowered Muslims who have been given equality and equal opportunity who have gone ahead and "broken the rules" and demanded more by intimidation and howling grievances if they don't get something extra.They form the intelletual core of ISIS, Al Qaeda and the idea of Pakistan

Could this be Islamic capitalism? Capitalism calls for the amassing of private wealth under certain rules. In the US one can be a rich capitalist by following American laws. Under Islam you can amass wealth and power by Islamic laws. The Islamists say "balls - we don't follow your laws. This is what we will do and this is what we grab". If the system allows them to grab then you get empowerment of Islamists

That beings me to what happens in Islamic countries. Why are there so many poor people? Let me answer this question. It seems to me that in Islamic nations poor people under Islamic rule are told that Allah has willed that they remain poor. If they try to break the law and gain extra wealth in Islamic lands they will have an important body part chopped off. If you remove Islamic rule from poor Muslims then they will blame the rulers for their poverty because Islam will not allow Muslims to be miserable. That misery is fine under Muslim rulers because islam allows poverty under Muslim rule. Basically poverty is necessary under Islamic law. In fact I believe that it is an unavoidable thing under any law. Trying to remove poverty from everyone is a mistake - no matter how un-PC that may sound. Western universalism that attempts to do that. The claim of Western superiority allows them to import immigrants who are given rights and a chance to acquire wealth. many of these people know that their own rulers in Islamic countries get wealth by coercive means which are justified in the holy books. You are allowed to possess slaves and to use non Muslim women. If you remove the shadow of sharia from these people and put them in lands where they get rights that they could never get, they simply behave like their own rulers as per the guidelines of their book and grab what they can.

Of course accepting that people are different and subscribe to unequality and are willing to break the rules of the wealthy superior west is an anathema to the ideas of western universalism. Western laws cannot cope easily with islamism without reverting to many of the unequality laws that the Church had, which were all wiped away by modern ideas of Universalism.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 19 Dec 2015 10:24

Shiv,
Exhibit a. :
http://www.economist.com/news/britain/2 ... ey-arrived

Exhibit b:
http://www.dailyo.in/politics/wembley-a ... /7359.html

The point of exhibit b is that a lot of the narratives in the west are about their own internal antagonisms, and have little to do with brown people.

-Arun

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 20 Dec 2015 19:08

Socrates: "“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better only God knows.”

Notice - "God", capitalized. When Socrates lived, even Judaic monotheism was in the process of being invented. Socrates belonged to a pre-Christian Indo-European culture; I wonder what concept of Socrates translates to "God".

Yet, Indians, to the extent they read the Greek philosophers, read them through the window pane of 2000 years of Christianity.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 20 Dec 2015 20:53

A_Gupta wrote:Socrates: "“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better only God knows.”

Notice - "God", capitalized. When Socrates lived, even Judaic monotheism was in the process of being invented. Socrates belonged to a pre-Christian Indo-European culture; I wonder what concept of Socrates translates to "God".

Yet, Indians, to the extent they read the Greek philosophers, read them through the window pane of 2000 years of Christianity.

Arun, I bet the original Greeks did not capitalize "God" because ancient Greek was written only in a single case (uppercase)

I have read Plato's Republic in translation and he says a lot about what Socrates used to say. In those days gods were in plural and included the usual Greek bunch like Zeus et al. About a year ago I did a lot of reading about Greek philosophy and philosophers. Some of their works/words are remarkably reminiscent of Vedanta, but much is different. I suspect there was some contact.

Plato dreamed of a Republic where poets and dramatists would not be able to write about gods who performed miracles so that rationality would rule. I think Balu has written that this is what Protestants picked up to beat Catholics with, rejecting all miracles except those in relation to Christ's life.

The Christians have been pretty selective about what they kept and what they rejected of Greece.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 24 Dec 2015 20:30

https://www.academia.edu/19752142/The_C ... _Hierarchy
" The Caste Connection On the Sacred Foundations of Social Hierarchy
Jakob De Roover and Sarah Claerhout, Ghent University, Belgium"

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 24 Dec 2015 21:39

A_Gupta wrote:https://www.academia.edu/19752142/The_Caste_Connection_On_the_Sacred_Foundations_of_Social_Hierarchy
" The Caste Connection On the Sacred Foundations of Social Hierarchy
Jakob De Roover and Sarah Claerhout, Ghent University, Belgium"

the conception of the caste system and Hinduism is not a factual description of this society, but rather describes how Europeans systematically made sense of their experience of Indian society. The notion of a caste hierarchy with certain distinct properties came into being in a process of systematic analysis of the observations about Indian society reported by Europeans. By drawing on common-sense ideas that circulated in the intellectual world of modern Europe, scholars created a fairly coherent pattern in their descriptions of Indian culture and society. They translated texts and terms along the lines of this conceptual pattern and fit in the facts reported by their fellow Europeans.

In the process, they also ignored or distorted many other textual passages and empirical findings that
refuted their account. Thus, the conceptual pattern of “the caste system” could emerge. However,
this pattern is not present in the way Indians experience their own society and practices.
In this sense, “the caste system” is an experiential entity internal to the cultural world of the
West. British colonials and European travellers acted as though this entity exists and they also taught
Indians to talk and sometimes act in this way.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby RoyG » 24 Dec 2015 22:47

A_Gupta wrote:https://www.academia.edu/19752142/The_Caste_Connection_On_the_Sacred_Foundations_of_Social_Hierarchy
" The Caste Connection On the Sacred Foundations of Social Hierarchy
Jakob De Roover and Sarah Claerhout, Ghent University, Belgium"


Thank you for this!

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Haresh » 31 Dec 2015 19:56

Not to sure where to put this story, if Mods need to move it, please do so.
One would expect better from Yahoo.

10 Worst Things About India

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/photos/10-wor ... 59372.html

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby TSJones » 31 Dec 2015 20:26

^^^^

there are some things that are lacking in the presentation of the above article such as.....

1. What is the context that the article is being presented? Pakistani? A person inside India? A western tourist? Or a religious missionary? And what is the official stated purpose of the article?

2. Who wrote this attack piece? Wouldn't it be fair to identify the writer(s) under such circumstances?

3. Why is the article posted from UK Yahoo and not Yahoo overall?

My suspicions is that this is a work of British Packistani sympathizer who are thick as fleas on a dog in the UK.

....and if you haven't heard about it, the US is refusing them travel access to the US. One of the Brit MPs is demanding an investigation into our discrimination. :)

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby JE Menon » 31 Dec 2015 21:42

Incredible that link... And the vicious comments even more so.

This kind of over the top thing must be encouraged.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 11 Jan 2016 03:26

The inimitable Balu, in 10 minutes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhfhTC1jCTs
"Samvad - Global Hindu Buddhist Initiative on Conflict Avoidance and Environment Consciousness"

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Shreeman » 16 Jan 2016 19:00

A random thought: those who thought sanyas was a good idea as "retirement" were right. Once the drive to procreate (via harmones/age) and earn (via savings) dies down there emerges the bat shit insane patriarch/matriarch. senility doesnt just mean dementia. That is what is going wrong with the world, people clinging on until later and later. Those who have, refuse to take sanyas. Those who have nothing, cant afford to.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 16 Jan 2016 23:24

Shreeman wrote:A random thought: those who thought sanyas was a good idea as "retirement" were right. Once the drive to procreate (via harmones/age) and earn (via savings) dies down there emerges the bat shit insane patriarch/matriarch. senility doesnt just mean dementia. That is what is going wrong with the world, people clinging on until later and later. Those who have, refuse to take sanyas. Those who have nothing, cant afford to.
Ashrama Dharma is not an "option" in Sanatan Dharma. To preserve Dharma one has to respect the Ashramas. Before Sayasam, there is an entire stage of Vanaprastha, often ignored by many, that prepares you for Sanyasam. The BG remains the best book as its theoretical underpinning. BTW: Sanyasam does not mean retirement, for in our system, works do not stop till you are able. The BG does not ask you to stop works. Sanyasam is the stage, where all your worldly responsibilities now complete and in that final stage ALL your works are now towards Ishwara. Om Tat Sat.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby member_29325 » 17 Jan 2016 03:14

ShauryaT wrote: Sanyasam is the stage, where all your worldly responsibilities now complete and in that final stage ALL your works are now towards Ishwara. Om tat sat.


In other words, "retire" from having any useful thoughts, or at least thoughts that will have no impact on anyone around you...no different from what Shreeman is saying...don't quite see why the nuances of SD or AD are relevant here, when the outcome is the same no matter what the framework is.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 17 Jan 2016 06:55

Wotsissain wrote:
ShauryaT wrote: Sanyasam is the stage, where all your worldly responsibilities now complete and in that final stage ALL your works are now towards Ishwara. Om tat sat.


In other words, "retire" from having any useful thoughts, or at least thoughts that will have no impact on anyone around you...no different from what Shreeman is saying...don't quite see why the nuances of SD or AD are relevant here, when the outcome is the same no matter what the framework is.
No, if the word is "works" as in actions or Karma, for the benefit of "Ishvara" as in all creations, where is the question of these works not making an impact on anyone around?

It will take a different lexicon to understand and get away for the universalist constructs. The outcome is the same only and only if the actions and nature or qualities of those actions, as in gunas are the same. Example: If someone comes and sweeps the street near your house, without any remunerative or recognition due to the person, that will be work that benefits Ishvara. If someone is teaching things, of a satvic nature without any recognition or benefit due, those are works towards Ishvara. Gandhiji at a certain stage of his life resigned from all positions of the then INC but continued his works, in the process "detaching" himself from as many worldly attachments as he could, in an attempt to master his indriyas, but the works continued, these works were of the nature of "nishkam" - that was his attempt to the best degree he could. Gandhiji believed in VarnAshrma Dharmas.

So, hopefully you see, why "retirement" - which is approximately the "end" of works to benefit oneself, but in a narrow economic sense is not the same as Sanyasam. I mean, as mentioned earlier, there is an entire stage, where your works needs to be done to benefit others (a part of your responsibilities but in process earn recognition and name and hence still a benefit), which needs to dominate over your Grihasta works, before Sanyasam stage would apply. These are the broad templates, the way I understand them, which are vastly different from the view of man and their role in life in the differing frameworks in question.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby member_29325 » 17 Jan 2016 07:33

ShauryaT wrote:No, if the word is "works" as in actions or Karma, for the benefit of "Ishvara" as in all creations, where is the question of these works not making an impact on anyone around?


I am speaking in today's context -- there are only some ways in which people who are old can contribute to society these days, unless one rolls back to simpler days, like when Gandhi was alive or when such texts were written. So it is not a question of "what you are willing to do to benefit X" and more of "what will you be allowed to do to benefit X at that age".

It will take a different lexicon to understand and get away for the universalist constructs. The outcome is the same only and only if the actions and nature or qualities of those actions, as in gunas are the same. Example: If someone comes and sweeps the street near your house, without any remunerative or recognition due to the person, that will be work that benefits Ishvara.


Using words in different languages that describe acts and actions that exist today does not mean "getting away from universalist constructions". Public service has always been around and called different things by different people, and it benefits the public. It does not make a difference if the beneficiary is titled "ishvara" -- the act is basically selfless, and has no relation with the stage of one's life, AFAICT.

However, as I see your point, difference between sanyasam and retirement is that the former involves relinquish worldly possessions, material and otherwise and "do good works of a satvic nature". That's all fine until you get a life threatening illness and then find yourself in a position where it would seem that handing over all your goodies to charity was not a very useful decision, or you end up being taken for a ride and find yourself homeless and alone, all very distinct policies if one tries to operate without a net as an old person. Unless of course, in such cases, killing oneself is acceptable under this doctrine if the alternative is to suffer horribly before dying or living a soul-sucking existence. Allowing people to take their own lives when they are older needs to be made legal -- given the scarcity of resources, one easy way to contribute to society once past a certain age is to stop consuming resources. Consuming nothing would be a public service.

I guess my only point here is that it if Indian thought processes are supposed to replace western universalism, they need to be grounded in reality, and not necessarily be a verbatim approach from existing texts. At some point, no one will care much for ideas that are not practical, much like they will not follow any laws that are unenforceable. Anyway, this is all meandering from Shreeman's original random thought, so I will stop.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 17 Jan 2016 08:38

Wotsissain wrote:I am speaking in today's context -- there are only some ways in which people who are old can contribute to society these days, unless one rolls back to simpler days, like when Gandhi was alive or when such texts were written. So it is not a question of "what you are willing to do to benefit X" and more of "what will you be allowed to do to benefit X at that age".
The time scales of our civilization that our values have been practiced and evolved spans 1000's of years. Gandhi ji was only an example from the last century! I expect the values embedded in SD to stay Sanatan, as in forever, with us to protect it and take refuge under it. Are you seriously suggesting that there is a restriction from performing satvic acts in society, as in what I will be allowed to do? Then indeed we would be living in a very Adharmic society, but not my experience. Also, the age to Sanyas correlation is loose. I can walk out my door right now and find some "sanyasins" who are young and full of vigor, but yes for most Sanyas would be near old age. So, again a difference from "retirement" per se.

Using words in different languages that describe acts and actions that exist today does not mean "getting away from universalist constructions". Public service has always been around and called different things by different people, and it benefits the public. It does not make a difference if the beneficiary is titled "ishvara" -- the act is basically selfless, and has no relation with the stage of one's life, AFAICT.
Public service will generally map to the Vanaprastha stage, not Sanyas, as it is done to acquire fame and recognition as a motive, after a grihasta stage is over. Also, our obligations are not just to the "public" it is to all creations. I think, one ought to make the same-same argument understanding SD constructs first and dwelling in its experiences past and present and then do a compare and contrast. You seem to be jumping to conclusion that they are all the same, without an adequate understanding of the processes, goals and objectives involved.

However, as I see your point, difference between sanyasam and retirement is that the former involves relinquish worldly possessions, material and otherwise and "do good works of a satvic nature". That's all fine until you get a life threatening illness and then find yourself in a position where it would seem that handing over all your goodies to charity was not a very useful decision, or you end up being taken for a ride and find yourself homeless and alone, all very distinct policies if one tries to operate without a net as an old person. Unless of course, in such cases, killing oneself is acceptable under this doctrine if the alternative is to suffer horribly before dying or living a soul-sucking existence. Allowing people to take their own lives when they are older needs to be made legal -- given the scarcity of resources, one easy way to contribute to society once past a certain age is to stop consuming resources. Consuming nothing would be a public service.
Too many problems with the above "relinquish" is not the same as being "detached", the demand is for detachment. A sanyasin in Rishikesh constantly complaining on the hard ships of being one, is not really ready for the venture, for he has not sufficiently detached himself from his meagre possessions and priorities. The illness example, not even sure where you are taking it. You do works till you are "able" is what I said. Remember Yoga, it is designed to keep you able, so that your works can continue till the end of your life. If one gets ill, one does what anybody should do to recover so that works can continue. The words you use "consuming nothing", which you probably mean to say minimize your footprint. As long as the body is alive, you will consume some resources, but hopefully do enough works to give back a lot more than one consumes, is the expectation.

I guess my only point here is that it if Indian thought processes are supposed to replace western universalism, they need to be grounded in reality, and not necessarily be a verbatim approach from existing texts. At some point, no one will care much for ideas that are not practical, much like they will not follow any laws that are unenforceable. Anyway, this is all meandering from Shreeman's original random thought, so I will stop.
Absolutely, if it is not "practical" junk it. The only point , what is deemed to be "practical" is to a degree the conditioning of the mind, which involves education, practices, processes, goals and objectives that have to be aligned. It is in these aspects that the framework adopted makes one thing practical but the same thing in another framework is not viewed as such. Frameworks matter!

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby member_29325 » 17 Jan 2016 08:53

Public service will generally map to the Vanaprastha stage, not Sanyas, as it is done to acquire fame and recognition as a motive, after a grihasta stage is over. Also, our obligations are not just to the "public" it is to all creations.


There are all kinds of Public service -- I was referring to people who work as doctors in war-torn regions, or save animals or some rare species, or and in general sacrifice a lot of personal comfort and money towards that end. These random classifications of brahmachari, grihasha, vanprastha, and sanyasa may have been applicable at some point in the past, but are nonsense in today's world. These ideas have to adapt to people rather than expect people to conform to them, for them to be useful. "Framework" is also a very general word, like "system" -- could mean anything. Any "framework" has to be built to reflect existing reality, not as some artificial intellectual construct that is to be used to mould human behavior, if being practical is considered a necessity.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 17 Jan 2016 12:54

Wotsissain wrote:
Public service will generally map to the Vanaprastha stage, not Sanyas, as it is done to acquire fame and recognition as a motive, after a grihasta stage is over. Also, our obligations are not just to the "public" it is to all creations.


There are all kinds of Public service -- I was referring to people who work as doctors in war-torn regions, or save animals or some rare species, or and in general sacrifice a lot of personal comfort and money towards that end. These random classifications of brahmachari, grihasha, vanprastha, and sanyasa may have been applicable at some point in the past, but are nonsense in today's world. These ideas have to adapt to people rather than expect people to conform to them, for them to be useful. "Framework" is also a very general word, like "system" -- could mean anything. Any "framework" has to be built to reflect existing reality, not as some artificial intellectual construct that is to be used to mould human behavior, if being practical is considered a necessity.
You are now cross mapping Varnas to Ashramas as viewed from the SD framework, with examples of professions. Ideas do not adapt to people, for people are still people, 5000 years back or today or 5000 years hence. Ideas have to be moulded to a changing environment and the validity of the ideas need to be tested in every such environment. Ideas that can sustain these environments and the ravages of time are called Sanatan. I take refuge in these ideas. My only prayer would be one should learn and live it before judging them and throwing it out.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 17 Jan 2016 23:03

IMO, this is a very good essay:
http://indiafacts.org/tolerance-on-the- ... tolerance/
Tolerance on the Foundations of Intolerance by Dr. Ajakkala Girisha Bhat

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby RoyG » 19 Jan 2016 11:50


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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Shreeman » 22 Jan 2016 10:53


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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby johneeG » 22 Jan 2016 11:20

ShauryaT wrote:You are now cross mapping Varnas to Ashramas as viewed from the SD framework, with examples of professions. Ideas do not adapt to people, for people are still people, 5000 years back or today or 5000 years hence. Ideas have to be moulded to a changing environment and the validity of the ideas need to be tested in every such environment. Ideas that can sustain these environments and the ravages of time are called Sanatan. I take refuge in these ideas. My only prayer would be one should learn and live it before judging them and throwing it out.

Everything ancient is not great, everything modern is not bad. Idiots follow others blindly. Wise critically analyze and then accept an idea or work (old or new). - Kaalidhaasa.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 25 Jan 2016 20:44

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archi ... dy/426672/
The Countries Where People Are the Most Emotionally Complex
Participants in Russia, India, and Japan were higher in both emotional dialecticism and emotional differentiation.

The researchers attributed the difference to the fact that people from Russia, India, and Japan also tend to place a higher value on interdependence, defined in the study as “attending to the wishes and concerns of others, focusing on the social context and the emotions of other people in their group, and seeing one’s emotions as originating through interactions with other people in one’s environment.” People from Western countries, on the other hand, are more likely to think that their emotions come from within themselves.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Falijee » 26 Jan 2016 23:56

‘American Orientalism’ As The New Macaulayism, And What We Need To Do About It
American Orientalism is a product of American history, where European settlers battled previous settlers – the American Indians – before finally decimating them, both through violence and internal emasculation by pretending to be their friends.
Edward Said made the idea of “Orientalism” famous – and a pejorative word in western academia. His critique about western scholars using only European lenses to view non-European cultures is today widely accepted as valid. However, there is only one kind of Orientalism that is still not being called that: the capture of Indian history and cultural studies by powerful American academics with little respect for the sacred traditions of India and Hinduism, even while pretending to be well-wishers of all things Hindu or Indian. Rajiv Malhotra is finally calling it what it is – American Orientalism – in his new book The Battle For Sanskrit. The book’s sub-title explains what the battle is about: Is Sanskrit Political Or Sacred; Oppressive Or Liberating; Dead Or Alive?
Malhotra’s is the most important critique of the new form of Orientalism that has taken root in American academia, now the European academia is no longer calling the shots on Indic studies. The reason why American Orientalism is dangerous for Indic culture is because of the sheer sophistication it brings to the idea of hollowing out Indic culture and studying Sanskrit by decapitating the head from the body. It is about studying a carcass, not a living tradition or idea.
American Orientalism is a product of American history, where European settlers battled previous settlers – the American Indians – before finally decimating them, both through violence and internal emasculation by pretending to be their friends. This is exactly the attitude American Orientalists bring to the study of Sanskrit, by pretending to be lovers of the language, and then trying to delink it from its sacred roots in Hindu tradition and thought.
Just like they usurped Yoga and commodified it
Malhotra views American Orientalism as more dangerous than European Orientalism precisely because it is a frenemy – helpful to Indian scholars who have lost control of their own traditions and narratives, and yet fundamentally opposed to putting Sanskrit on the pedestal that learned pandits would normally do. We have now developed such awe for the sheer effort and resources American Universities have poured into Sanskrit studies that we are willing to treat them as sympathetic to our cause, and even give them millions of dollars to tell us about our own heritage. We end up giving them Padma Shris, while our own pandits languish without resources or recognition. We are too naïve to be able to wrest back control of our heritage from its real enemies.
The technique used by American Orientalists – of whom Malhotra names Sheldon Pollock as chief frenemy – is the good-cop-bad-cop routine...
Let’s be clear, Malhotra is no Hindutva extremist trying to pretend that everything about Hinduism or Sanskrit is holy or beyond critique. Far from it. What he objects to is the western effort to become the final arbiter in Sanskrit studies by ignoring the insider’s (ie, the Hindu practitioner’s) views on this language, which embodies the soul of India and its many daughter languages...
The most depressing thought is this: over the last few years, India has produced its own billionaires who can fund social and cultural science research in India by developing genuine Indic scholars with a clear grounding in our own sacred traditions. But, as Malhotra points out, when a Narayana Murthy wants to create a Classical Library, he turns to the same Sheldon Pollock to get the job done. He wants a short-cut, a readymade solution. So, instead of taking the longer route of developing domestic scholarship, he takes the easy way out and asks Pollock to do the job. He strengthens American academy even further, and emasculates Indian scholars by giving them a vote of no-confidence.
The Battle For Sanskrit is an important book, even a disturbing one, for Indians who love this country and take pride in its Hindu and Sanskrit traditions even while cherishing diversity and acknowledging our many faults and negative practices.It is our bounden duty to join Malhotra in his Battle For Sanskrit. It is our battle. And it is a battle we cannot afford to lose.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 28 Jan 2016 10:35

This is one piece of news that kind of does not fit in here, but neither does it fit anywhere else. But I find it very strange and a portent of ill omens. Malala Yousufrazai, I am sure she did her bit for children's education suddenly seems to have become an expert on a lot of topics- education, children's future, Muslim world. Would say CT and that some interests behind the scene are building her up.

Look through this Beebs report- Malala Yousufzai warns of education gap for Syrian refugees

I find this disturbing on several counts:
1) Passing an unqualified built up icon as a likable spokesman. Someone is pulling strings behind
2) Beebs getting exclusive access to her report, and building it up

Who or why are they doing this?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby vinod » 28 Jan 2016 17:03

^^^ Its not for nothing that they gave her asylum and funds her now. There will be strings attached!

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 28 Jan 2016 23:51

While mathematics as a totality is not ideological, apparently schools of mathematics can be ideological.
http://www.ega-math.narod.ru/Bbaki/Cartier.htm

This is about the mathematical collaboration known as Nicholas Bourbaki.

Excerpts:
Senechal: Bourbaki's last publication was in 1983. Why doesn't it publish anything now?

Cartier: ....I think the eighties were a natural limit. Under the pressure of André Weil, Bourbaki insisted that every member should retire at fifty, and I remember that, in my eighties, I said, as a joke, that Bourbaki should retire when he reaches fifty.

Senechal: It seems that this more or less happened.

Cartier: Yes, I think one of the main reasons is that its stated goal, to provide foundations for all existing mathematics, was achieved. But also, if you have such a rigid format it is very difficult to incorporate new developments. If the emphasis doesn't change, it's still possible. But of course, after fifty years, the emphasis had changed.

Senechal: Would you say a little more about that?

Cartier: André Weil was fond of speaking of the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. It is no accident that Bourbaki lasted from the beginning of the thirties to the eighties, while the Soviet system lasted from 1917 to 1989. André Weil does not like this comparison. He says repeatedly, "I've never been a communist!" There is a joke that the 20th century lasted from Sarajevo 1914 to Sarajevo 1989. The 20th century, from 1917 to 1989, has been a century of ideology, the ideological age.

Senechal: By ideology, do you mean the idea of a blueprint that can serve for all purposes and for all time?

Cartier: A final solution. There are good reasons to hate that expression, but it was in the people's minds that we could reach a final solution. There is a book by H. G. Wells called A Modern Utopia, which ought to be reprinted. By chance I was reading it just at the time of the collapse of the Soviet system. As you know, H.G. Wells was certainly very friendly towards the October 1917 revolution, he was a friend of the Soviets, admittedly. But he had a very sharp mind and he had such a sharp historical view that he could envision developments. Even though he was excited by this new era, he understood that the final solution doesn't exist and that it was a mistake to consider that you can reach such a state of social historical equilibrium that from then on society will stay as it is forever. Wells argued very well against this idea. If you read his books, you will see that as one of his obsessions.


Senechal: Why is there a lack of any kind of visual illustration in most of Bourbaki?

Cartier: I think the best answer would be the description of Chevalley given by his daughter [see insert]. The Bourbaki were Puritans, and Puritans are strongly opposed to pictorial representations of truths of their faith. The number of Protestants and Jews in the Bourbaki group was overwhelming. And you know that the French Protestants especially are very close to Jews in spirit. I have some Jewish background and I was raised as a Huguenot. We are people of the Bible, of the Old Testament, and many Huguenots in France are more enamored of the Old Testament than of the New Testament. We worship Jaweh more than Jesus sometimes.

So, what were the reasons? The general philosophy as developed by Kant, certainly. Bourbaki is the brainchild of German philosophy. Bourbaki was founded to develop and propagate German philosophical views in science. André Weil has always been fond of German science and he was always quoting Gauss. All these people, with their own tastes and their own personal views, were proponents of German philosophy.

And then there was the idea that there is an opposition between art and science. Art is fragile and mortal, because it appeals to emotions, to visual meaning, and to unstated analogies.

But I think it's also part of the Euclidean tradition. In Euclid, you find some drawings but it is known that most of them were added after Euclid, in later editions. Most of the drawings in the original are abstract drawings. You make some reasoning about some proportions and you draw some segments, but they are not intended to be geometrical segments, just representations of some abstract notions. Also Lagrange proudly stated, in his textbook on mechanics, "You will not find any drawing in my book!" The analytical spirit was part of the French tradition and part of the German tradition. And I suppose it was also due to the influence of people like Russell, who claimed that they could prove everything formally—that so-called geometrical intuition was not reliable in proof.

Again Bourbaki's abstractions and disdain for visualization were part of a global fashion, as illustrated by the abstract tendencies in the music and the paintings of that period.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Vayutuvan » 29 Jan 2016 03:30

Visualization cannot represent beyond three dimensions. Say Z^2 or R^4? Projections into R^2 is one possibility. Either top-down (from the current state of the art), bottom-up (read the subject - math or physics or chemistry - in the same sequence as it was historically developed), or middle out (initially start at high-school level and climb to the state of the art and then read it once more bottom-up).

The process in India is start at the high school level - basically rituals and memorizing shlokas and a few important sukta - climb up as high as possible in the four fold path (dharmArtha kAmaMoksha) and then initiates pupils.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby csaurabh » 30 Jan 2016 15:34

Read the following websites carefully ( also watch the videos ). It's about the coming AI revolution and it's effect on technological unemployment. This is a direct consequence of western theory of 'productivity' and capitalist model of trying to squeeze more from less.

http://marshallbrain.com/

http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm

http://robotswillstealyourjob.com/read

It is important to note that Gandhiji and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya were against excessive use of machines for this reason.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby svenkat » 30 Jan 2016 16:24

Prof R.Narasimha of NAL,Bengaluru making thoughtful observations(26.00).Hakim Sahib,i think will like it.He is talking in a recent Rajiv Malhotra meeting wherein RM has a question for Roddam Narasimha.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby gandharva » 04 Feb 2016 08:27

Posted per suggestion by RamanaJi.

The three major metaphysical philosophies

1.2. Materialism (pure objectivity): The philosophy that all is matter, or at least, all is governed by physical law

The earliest well-articulated philosophy of materialism was that of Democritus (Greek philosopher, c. 460 - c. 370 BC). He postulated a world made up entirely of hard, invisible particles called atoms. These atoms had shape, mass and motion, but had no other qualities, such as color or flavor. These latter qualities were considered to be subjective and were supplied by the observer, who also was considered to be comprised of atoms.
Little further progress was made with materialist philosophy until after the Protestant Reformation, which was initiated in Germany in the 1520s by the Augustinian monk, Martin Luther (1483 - 1546).  This stimulated such ferment that the Roman Catholic order of the time was overturned and was replaced by the new religious, political, and scientific orders of the 17th century.  Atomism was then revived in the 1640s by French scientist and Catholic priest, Pierre Gassendi (1592 - 1655), who sought to combine the theory with Catholic doctrine.  However, beginning in the 1640s, the liberation of science from all Church authority by the philosophy of Cartesian dualism (see next section) and the subsequent enormous scientific advances of the 19th and 20th centuries solidified the authority of the materialists, and materialism became the dominant philosophy of the Western world.
Even those who claim to hold to philosophies other than materialism are influenced by it, perhaps in ways they are completely unaware of. Its fundamental principle is that matter and energy are primary and all else is secondary in the sense that all else is derived from, or is an outgrowth of, matter and energy. Since the advent of quantum theory in the 1920s and its fundamental questions about the nature of matter, this philosophy has sometimes been broadened to state that physical law rather than matter and energy is primary, i.e., everything can be explained and understood in terms of physical law. This is called scientism, or scientific materialism.
Of course, this immediately begs the question, what is physical law? One could say that physical law includes all of the laws of reality, in which case the question becomes meaningless. For our purposes, we shall restrict the definition of physical law to those laws recognized to be part of physics. Physics we shall understand to be the study of the fundamental laws that govern the external, objective reality that was defined in the previous section. Therefore, we shall understand materialism to be the philosophy that external, objective reality is primary, and everything else, such as all mental phenomena, are derived from, or are effects of, such reality.
The widespread belief in materialism has profound effects in our lives and in our society. If we believe this way, we must conclude that everything, including ourselves and all of life, is governed completely by physical law. Physical law is the only law governing our desires, our hopes, our ethics, our goals, and our destinies. Matter and energy are our primary focus, the object of all of our desires and ambitions. Specifically, this means that our lives are focused on acquiring material goods (including bodies), or at least rearranging or exchanging them, in order to produce the maximum material satisfaction and pleasure. We expend all of our energy in this quest for there can be no other goal. And in all of this, we have no choice because we are totally governed by physical law. We may feel trapped by these beliefs and desires, but we cannot shake them. They totally dominate us.

A succinct, personalized, summary statement of materialist philosophy is, “I am a body.”

1.3. Cartesian dualism (objectivity plus subjectivity): The philosophy that both matter and mind are primary and irreducible

This philosophy was first propounded by René Descartes (French scientist and philosopher, 1596 - 1650) in 1641. It states that mind and matter (or the mental and the physical) are two separate and independent substances. Human beings (but not animals, according to Descartes) are composed of both substances. A mind is a conscious, thinking entity, i.e., it understands, wills, senses, and imagines. A body is an object that has physical size, i.e., it exists in physical space. Minds do not have physical size (hence do not exist in physical space) and are indivisible, while bodies are infinitely divisible (in Descartes’ philosophy). Descartes initially wanted to limit his premises only to those that were indisputable; hence his famous premise “I think, therefore I am.” The “I” in this statement is the mind and, since it does not exist in physical space, it can in principle survive the death of the physical body. Even though Descartes thought that mind and body existed independently of each other, he thought that mind could act on body.

The succinct, personalized, summary statement of dualism is, “I am a mind, and I have a body.”


1.4. Idealism (pure subjectivity): The philosophy that consciousness is all and all is consciousness

Idealism states that mind or consciousness constitutes the fundamental reality, or is primary. Some versions of idealism admit the independent existence of material objects, others deny that material objects exist independently of human perception.
Anaximander (Greek philosopher, c. 611 BC - c. 547 BC) may have been the first idealist philosopher.  Only one fragment of his writing has been preserved but he seems to have thought that the original and primary substance (which could be consciousness) is a boundless
something from which all things arise and to which they all return. He was struck by the fact that the world presents us with a series of opposites, of which the most primary are hot and cold, wet and dry.  He thought of these opposites as being "separated out" from a substance which was originally undifferentiated.  
Plato (Greek philosopher, c. 428 BC - c. 348 BC) is often considered the first idealist philosopher, chiefly because of his metaphysical doctrine of Forms. Plato considered the universal Idea or Form, sometimes called an archetype—for example, redness or goodness—to be more real than a particular expression of the form—a red object or a good deed. According to Plato, the world of changing experience is unreal, and the Idea or Form—which does not change and which can be known only by reason—constitutes true reality. Plato did not recognize mystical experience as a route to true reality, only reason.
Idealism was first expounded by Plato in his cave allegory in The Republic (c. 360 BC) (see, e.g., Julia Annas, An Introduction to Plato’s Republic, 1981, p. 252). The cave is a metaphor for the mind. Prisoners are in an underground cave with a fire behind them, bound so they can see only the shadows on the wall in front of them, cast by puppets manipulated behind them. They think that this is all there is to see; if released from their bonds and forced to turn around to the fire and the puppets, they become bewildered and are happier left in their original state. They are even angry with anyone who tries to tell them how pitiful their position is. Only a few can bear to realize that the shadows are only shadows cast by the puppets; and they begin the journey of liberation that leads past the fire and right out of the cave into the real world. At first they are dazzled there, and can bear to see real objects only in reflection and indirectly, but then they can look at them directly in the light of the sun, and can even look at the sun itself.
This allegory is related to idealism in the following way. The cave is the mind. The shadows of the puppets that the prisoners are watching represent their taking over, in unreflective fashion, the second-hand opinions and beliefs that are given to them by parents, society, and religion. The puppets themselves represent the mechanical, unreasoning minds of the prisoners. The light of the fire within the cave provides only partial, distorted illumination from the imprisoned intellects. Liberation begins when the few who turn around get up and go out of the cave. Outside of the cave, the real objects (the Forms) are those in the transcendental realm. In order to see them, the light of the sun, which represents pure reason, is necessary. A similar allegory using today’s symbols would replace the cave with a movie theater, the shadows with the pictures on the screen, the puppets with the film, and the fire with the projector light. The sun is outside, and we must leave the theater to see its light (we must leave the mind).
The next major idealist philosopher was Plotinus (204/5 – 270 AD), who is generally regarded as the founder of Neoplatonism. He was one of the most influential philosophers in antiquity after Plato and Aristotle (who was primarily a philosopher of politics, ethics, and nature). The term "Neoplatonism" is an invention of early 19th century philosophers and was intended to indicate that Plotinus initiated a new phase in the development of the Platonic tradition. The (greatly simplified) basic principles of Neoplatonism are 1) The One (nondual Reality), which is the first principle of all. It is both self-caused and the cause of all dualistic concepts. 2) Intellect, which works with dualistic concepts that are derived from Plato's Forms. 3) Soul, which is the principle of desire for external objects. These principles are both ultimate ontological realities and explanatory principles.

The eighteenth century British philosopher George Berkeley (1685 - 1753) was one of the major exponents of idealism. He denied the existence of material substance (calling his philosophy immaterialism), and held that the universe consists of God, which is the infinite spirit; of finite spirits including human beings; of ideas that exist only in the minds of spirits; and of nothing else. According to Berkeley, spirits are able to perceive ideas but ideas are inert, without any power to perceive. His most characteristic philosophical doctrine is summarized in the expression "to be is to be perceived." In other words, to say that a material object exists is to say that the idea of it is perceived by a spirit. Since Berkeley assumed that material objects exist without human spirits to perceive them, the mind that perceives them must be divine rather than human.
The German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) expounded a form of idealism that he called transcendental idealism. He believed that there is a reality that is independent of human minds (the noumenon, or thing-in-itself), but that is forever unknowable to us. All of our experience, including the experience of our empirical selves (the phenomenon, or thing-as-it-appears), depends on the activity of a transcendental self, also of which we can know nothing.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, also a German philosopher (1770 - 1831), built on the idealist philosophy of Kant, and called his system absolute idealism. He believed that reality is Absolute Mind, Reason, or Spirit. Absolute Mind is universal, while each individual mind is an aspect of it, as is the consciousness and rational activity of each person. Absolute Mind continually develops itself in its quest for its own unification and actualization. For this purpose, it manifests itself as the subjective consciousness of the individual, who undergoes a rational process of development from a purely materialistic and self-centered state to a universal and rational consciousness. In this process, the individual passes through several phases--family, society, state--each of which represents a move from individualism to unity. Human history in general is the progressive movement from bondage to freedom. Such freedom is achieved only as the separate desires of the individual are overcome and integrated into the unified system of the state, in which the will of the individual is replaced by the will of all.
The forms of idealism described above were all formulated by Western philosophers, who almost exclusively depended on rational thought to develop their philosophies. They scarcely took account of the many forms of Eastern philosophy, which are heavily dependent on mystical experience. Furthermore, there was very little recognition of the theories and knowledge that science was developing from the 17th century on. 

http://faculty.virginia.edu/consciousne ... usness.pdf

ramana
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ramana » 08 Feb 2016 04:55

Battle for Sanskrit is at root of Western Civilization. Hence the all out fight.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby RoyG » 08 Feb 2016 05:43

ramana wrote:Battle for Sanskrit is at root of Western Civilization. Hence the all out fight.


Agree. Westerners can never transcend (advaita) or deconstruct (buddhist) the ego. They are simply too caught up in the Hellenism-Hebraism synthetic unity. Post-Modernists are a tool which claims to offer solutions to both and to the rest of the world. In the case of the Hebraist, deconstruct up to a point and find God. For the Hellenist, deconstruct up to a point and enjoy the true beauty of the material world. In the case of the dharmic (easterner): deconstruct the narrative, and reconstruct the various elements as problems experienced by the ego centric western civilization, and finally make the soil fertile for the hellenist or hebraist.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ramana » 09 Feb 2016 03:10

RoyG wrote:
ramana wrote:Battle for Sanskrit is at root of Western Civilization. Hence the all out fight.


Agree. Westerners can never transcend (advaita) or deconstruct (buddhist) the ego. They are simply too caught up in the Hellenism-Hebraism synthetic unity. Post-Modernists are a tool which claims to offer solutions to both and to the rest of the world. In the case of the Hebraist, deconstruct up to a point and find God. For the Hellenist, deconstruct up to a point and enjoy the true beauty of the material world. In the case of the dharmic (easterner): deconstruct the narrative, and reconstruct the various elements as problems experienced by the ego centric western civilization, and finally make the soil fertile for the hellenist or hebraist.



The Battle for Sanskrit is about Western Civilization.

While they extol Judeo-Christian, Greco-Roman roots, its the Indo-Europeans that made Western Civilizations.

All those four were deadbeat civilizational cul-de-sacs.

Sanskrit and proto-Sanskrit allowed the I-E to think.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Avarachan » 09 Feb 2016 21:54

ramana wrote:
RoyG wrote:
Agree. Westerners can never transcend (advaita) or deconstruct (buddhist) the ego. They are simply too caught up in the Hellenism-Hebraism synthetic unity. Post-Modernists are a tool which claims to offer solutions to both and to the rest of the world. In the case of the Hebraist, deconstruct up to a point and find God. For the Hellenist, deconstruct up to a point and enjoy the true beauty of the material world. In the case of the dharmic (easterner): deconstruct the narrative, and reconstruct the various elements as problems experienced by the ego centric western civilization, and finally make the soil fertile for the hellenist or hebraist.



The Battle for Sanskrit is about Western Civilization.

While they extol Judeo-Christian, Greco-Roman roots, its the Indo-Europeans that made Western Civilizations.

All those four were deadbeat civilizational cul-de-sacs.

Sanskrit and proto-Sanskrit allowed the I-E to think.


I find it curious that both of you are implicitly accepting Greco-Roman premises regarding Christianity. Christianity is not reducible to the traditions of Greece or Rome. Some Greeks and many Romans like to claim that it is, but it is not. For instance, Jesus spoke Aramaic (a dialect of Syriac), not Greek. The Gospel according to St. Mathew was almost certainly written in Aramaic, and this was the text that St. Thomas brought to India. Thus, there was no direct Greek influence on the Indian Orthodox Church.

I don't know why Indians would claim that Christianity is a Greco-Roman project, when there are two thousand years of Indian history to the contrary. Keep in the mind that the West views the Indian Orthodox Church as a threat, and has tried to destroy it. Many people don't know this, but one of the chief goals of the Goan Inquisition (besides murdering innocent Hindus) was to destroy the Indian Orthodox Church and make it Roman Catholic.

Roman Catholic and Protestant elites ("Westerners") hate the Indian Orthodox Church (despite pretenses to the contrary) because we are proof that one can be a patriotic Indian and a Christian. (I describe myself as spiritually, an Orthodox Christian, and culturally, a Hindu.) I am saddened that senior members of BRF are more willing to believe the intellectual constructs of genocidal foreigners than the lived testimony of their fellow Indians.

If one wishes to know more, one can browse the official website of the Indian Orthodox Church: http://mosc.in/the_church

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 09 Feb 2016 22:31

Avarachan: +1.

You should keep posting this counter narrative to the RC/Protestant, western led view on Christianity. I am sure, most will welcome the position you take. The fact is the western led views on christianity are now the most dominant in the Indian population and also these countries hold the most "Artha" (wealth and power) and are globally engaged due to this status. India is enriched due to its spiritual pluralism, including christianity and all Indians/PIO should be made to feel welcome to post their views. The opposition is to the evangelicals and not the Indian Orthodox stream.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Vayutuvan » 09 Feb 2016 23:15

Avarachan: My anecdotal experience with my christian friends in India is exactly what you outlined above. I always wondered about the the discrepancy between the right wing press here in the US vs. my personal interactions with christians back home. Your short post clears it up. Thanks.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby RoyG » 09 Feb 2016 23:18

I find it curious that both of you are implicitly accepting Greco-Roman premises regarding Christianity. Christianity is not reducible to the traditions of Greece or Rome. Some Greeks and many Romans like to claim that it is, but it is not. For instance, Jesus spoke Aramaic (a dialect of Syriac), not Greek. The Gospel according to St. Mathew was almost certainly written in Aramaic, and this was the text that St. Thomas brought to India. Thus, there was no direct Greek influence on the Indian Orthodox Church.

I don't know why Indians would claim that Christianity is a Greco-Roman project, when there are two thousand years of Indian history to the contrary. Keep in the mind that the West views the Indian Orthodox Church as a threat, and has tried to destroy it. Many people don't know this, but one of the chief goals of the Goan Inquisition (besides murdering innocent Hindus) was to destroy the Indian Orthodox Church and make it Roman Catholic.

Roman Catholic and Protestant elites ("Westerners") hate the Indian Orthodox Church (despite pretenses to the contrary) because we are proof that one can be a patriotic Indian and a Christian. (I describe myself as spiritually, an Orthodox Christian, and culturally, a Hindu.) I am saddened that senior members of BRF are more willing to believe the intellectual constructs of genocidal foreigners than the lived testimony of their fellow Indians.

If one wishes to know more, one can browse the official website of the Indian Orthodox Church: http://mosc.in/the_church


Actually, the website you gave us says nothing that contradicts traditional European Christian doctrine. Namely, there was a Virgin birth which enabled Jesus Christ, the only son of God, to be free from original sin and thus the only savior of humanity.

What's interesting to note however is that the original Indian Syriac Christians didn't believe this. Their beliefs were a derivative of Nestorianism which made assumptions about the nature of divinity and self which were similar to those found in some streams of dharmic thought. To them Jesus was was simply a guru who voluntarily through action and self-reflection assumed divinity. In other words, he wasn't a product of virgin birth and hence could not have been God's only son free from original sin. This is critical because it allows for a mechanism by which an ordinary human being could reach "heaven" without any sort of institutional monopoly over heaven through negation of original sin through belief in God's only son Jesus Christ.

This was THE REASON why the Portuguese saw Syriac Christians as more of a threat than Hindus. They were the inheritors of probably the oldest surviving Church tradition and hence could undermine the institutional power of the Church in Europe and the colonial project in Goa if they were allowed to survive. I believe there are no fully intact copies of Aramaic Bibles found in India today due to the Inquisition.

Now coming your point regarding Greek thought and Christianity. I never claimed that mainstream Christianity is a product of Greek thought. However, it certainly does owe its existence to the Roman Constantine and Council of Nicea.

A uniformity between the newly constituted Christian faith and hellenism was indeed born in the sense that man has a will born out of ego which cannot be transcended because to do so would negate the object of reverence. In the case of Christians, Jesus. In the case of Hellenist, forms of Matter.
Last edited by RoyG on 09 Feb 2016 23:58, edited 1 time in total.


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