Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 14 Jul 2019 23:27

I think I've covered the observations I wanted to present (tracing back to axioms and fulfilling objective b) - showing that the three axioms are the basis of our Dharmic faiths).

At this point, I'm basically done, but I wanted to take a couple of posts to:

1. Summarize,
2. Give an indication of problems, unresolved questions, etc.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 16 Jul 2019 06:27

When looking over that short story again, I thought of something.

Let's say the girl in the story (Divya) has a need to come to the arcade for some purpose other than playing - maybe the owner is known to her, and there's some other business she needs to get done.

While at the arcade, she sees Ankit, goes over to him, and has an intimate moment. Then she finishes her business and gets out.

Two bystanders have a conversation:

Guy 1: Hey, did you see what that shameless girl just did?

Guy 2: Huh? What? Was there a girl?

Guy 1: Stop rubber-necking you pervert, she's gone!

Guy 2: What did she do?

Guy 1: That guy there was playing, minding his own business. She went over, whispered something to him, bit his ear, then slapped him on the bum.

Guy 2: Yeah? Maybe she's his girlfriend.

Guy 1: Then why leave in a hurry? She didn't stay with him or watch his game, just got out.

Guy 2: Um, don't know.

Now let's see - what is it they say about Lord Krishna again? "Hey, did you see what that perverted boy did? He went around for a few years pulling the girls' braids, then he stole their clothes when they were bathing, then danced with them intimately. Then he just left them and went off to Mathura and then to Dwarka, and never came back to any of them."

Krishna was temporarily in the material plane for some other business (yada yada hi dharmasya and all that). Since every one of us is God's especial, intimate, and primeval lover, Krishna took the opportunity, while He was in the material plane, to relate to some of His beloveds (in His own intimate way - with the boys, he did his "male-bonding" thing, stealing butter and getting into mischief with them). Of course He only related to the ones who were in a receptive frame of mind and not utterly absorbed in samsara (as an example - if Ankit were utterly absorbed in his game, Divya would not have the heart to disturb him). But Krishna's priority was to fulfill His mission and get out, and that's exactly what He did.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 16 Jul 2019 07:05

Summary

  • A set of three axioms was proposed:
      1. All-powerful, but disinterested God
      2. We come to this universe because of our desire to materialize our spiritual potential
      3. The law of karma
  • The postulates were:
      a. These axioms define our universe itself
      b. These axioms are the basis of our Dharmic faiths (all four of them)
  • a. would be an enormous undertaking, so it was deemed a secondary objective
  • b. is a pretty huge undertaking by itself
    • The approach was to present observations from Dharmic scriptures, to corroborate b. (and show lack of falsification) - i.e., the deductive scientific approach
  • But it is also desirable to achieve a little bit of a.
  • To show a. - two observations were selected:
    • Evolution
    • Quantum mechanics, specifically, the notion of wave function collapse from the Copenhagen interpretation of QM
  • To show b. - multiple observations were selected from the scriptures
  • Evolution was shown to be in line with axioms 2 and 3
  • The notion of wave function collapse, and events being dependent on the observer, were also in line with the axioms
    • An intuitive explanation of the Schrodinger's cat paradox was provided [9.4], [9.5]
  • To show b. - multiple observations were selected
    • These were traced back to the axioms
  • An indication of the practical utility of the axioms was provided
  • List of observations which depend on the notion of a disinterested God:
    • Post [1] in its entirety
    • Point [3.1]
    • Points [5.1], [5.2], and [5.3]
    • Point [a.3]
    • Point [10.1]
    • Points [11.1], [11.2]
    • Point [12.2]
  • Point [12.3] also provides a little clarification on what is meant by "disinterested God"
  • An addendum of "karmic loan" or "karmic credit" was also added, but this is not a modification of the axioms, it is an extra rider added (to the theory, not to the axioms) for a specific purpose
    • If this rider is deemed unnecessary or counter-productive, then at worst, one observation would be deemed as incompatible with the axioms, i.e., it goes to reduce the truth score
    • But we'll get to this, I believe there's some basis for this concept
  • It was also postulated that:
    • God is not the one who imposes this material life, or even rebirths, on us, we choose all this of our own free will
      • This is one particular way of building the theory from the axioms, there could be other ways
    • God is the disinterested enabler of our desires - but within the parameters of the principle of karma (which is necessary as a counter-balance)
    • But God being "disinterested" does not mean (S)He is aloof, rather, God is intimately involved with the universe, in fact, God IS the universe [12.3]
    • Dharma is a derived concept (derived from the more fundamental concept of karma)
      • Which is why, when God comes to the material plane as an avatara, God is not so much concerned with Dharma, but with karma (killing Vali from behind, killing of Bheeshma, Drona, Karna, and Duryodhana, running away to Dwarka rather than fighting to defend Mathura, etc.)

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 16 Jul 2019 08:27

Recap of original objective:

It is impossible to reduce the fundamental truth (which is the goal of Sanatana Dharma) to logical axioms, since that fundamental truth is defined as being beyond logic itself, beyond axioms. It just IS.

However, you can reach that truth by persistent efforts (sadhana). This sadhana takes the form of bhakti marga, gyana marga, or karma yoga. A subset of gyana marga would be this logical effort of reduction of SD to axioms.

The idea is that ordinary folk, who have undergone a STEM education, have already performed some sadhana, though not with the goal of attaining moksha - their goal was more along the lines of making a living, with maybe 1% of those folk being truly motivated by scientific achievement and curiosity or the upliftment of the world at large. However, at least a fraction of them have certainly undergone the discipline of rigorous study. Can those years of study be employed in some way to get a slight headstart at true spiritual sadhana? IOW, can the scientific training, which is based on axioms of science and mathematics, be converted into some little "extra credit" to get some spiritual insight? How would we go about doing that?

By coming up with axioms which relate to Sanatana Dharma itself. Note, once again, that the fundamental truth is beyond these axioms, so all that the axiom view affords, is a little reduction in the spiritual effort, by redirecting "STEM sadhana" towards "moksha sadhana." It also serves as a gentle introduction to people unfamiliar with SD - they too can employ their STEM training to get a little insight and familiarity with SD.

...tried to show that all the dharmic paths of India - SD, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism were consistent with these axioms. That the differences in interpretation between these paths, were more like the differences between the ensemble view and the Copenhagen view of quantum mechanics, rather than like the difference between Newtonian and quantum physics.


A one-line introduction to the Dharmic faiths would thus be:

The all-powerful God created this universe to indulge our material desires; but (S)He will hold each of us individually responsible for the manner in which we pursue our desires.

All three axioms are covered. For Jains and Buddhists, just ignore the notion of God:

This universe is meant to indulge our material desires; but it will hold each of us individually responsible for the manner in which we pursue our desires.

DharmaB
BRFite
Posts: 109
Joined: 23 Feb 2019 19:21

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 16 Jul 2019 20:15

By coming up with axioms which relate to Sanatana Dharma itself. Note, once again, that the fundamental truth is beyond these axioms, so all that the axiom view affords, is a little reduction in the spiritual effort, by redirecting "STEM sadhana" towards "moksha sadhana." It also serves as a gentle introduction to people unfamiliar with SD - they too can employ their STEM training to get a little insight and familiarity with SD.


Towards the same purpose let me add few key points (from the standard literature of Dharmic faiths only). It does not mean to change or add to the axioms or the theory presented by Sudarshan ji, but may be as a supporting extra information.

Avidya:

As we saw the world is mainly to fulfill our desires. But why the desire in the first place? Even after fulfilling them why they are multiplying ever, and why our actions to fulfill them also leading to the vicious cycle of karma and consequences? Based on the observations in our daily life, success is hard to come, but failure is by default. Why not by default, we have the knowledge about the karma principle which would give us success in material life, and also lead us to moksha?

Ans: The reason is Avidya (Ignorance). And this avidya is by default deep rooted in spirit soul not allowing it to realize its full potential.

Q: When did it began? What is the source?

Ans: It is also anaadi (without a beginning) like Soul and God. The source is same supreme Brahman like for everything else.

Q: If it is anaadi, without a beginning, then logically it is eternal and should not end in time. How moksha is possible then?

Ans: Here the scriptures take the analogy of Ghata-akasha (sky within pot) vs Maha-akasha (all pervading infinite sky) to explain this paradox.

• Like the space inside the pot (Ghata-akasha) separated from the space outside of it (Maha-akasha), the spirit soul is separated from Brahman.
• The pot represents Avidya (Ignorance). Even though it is anaadi, it is breakable like the pot is breakable.
• The space inside pot is qualitatively same as space out side of it. Only pot (avidya) is separating them.
• Once the pot is broken (with Vidya or Knowledge of Self-Realization), the Ghata-akasha merges in Maha-akasha. That is Moksha.
• It realizes that, in fact, all along they were always one and inseparable. (Soul and Brahman)
• The pot was superficially creating an illusion that they were separate (spaces). But not in reality.
• The avidya (like pot) was the reason for all the rebirths of spirit soul (Jeevathma) and also for all the creation we experience.
• It is due to this same creation, spirit soul fulfills its desires as well as gains knowledge through its experiences and evolves.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 17 Jul 2019 22:20

Just one more post on problems and unresolved issues, and then I should be past the finish line with what I started.

Dharma ji, the additional point is fine, it is in line with core philosophy and a response to the question of "but why did we first come to the material plane?"

From the point of view of the deductive approach, I'm not sure it makes that much sense (I'll explain why), but to satisfy curiosity based on the core philosophy, it is of course okay (and anyway, this point is beyond axioms, beyond logic, it is the purpose of self-realization).

In the deductive scientific approach (I'm not presenting this as some kind of gold standard, but since the current approach is STEM focused, I thought I'd mention this point) - any theory or axiom should offer opportunities for falsification. Thus a theory of the universe such as "this universe is a simulation by dyspeptic monkeys, who wish to use humans to find the super banana which will cure them" is a bad theory (not just because of how nonsensical it sounds). This is because, this theory offers no way to falsify it. Any observation from the universe can be shoved under the general umbrella of "it's just part of the monkeys' simulation." A good theory should offer this opportunity for falsification, and still withstand all attempts to falsify it. Then that builds trust in the theory.

So if you are adding your point on the Avidya as an extra beyond the deductive approach, to satisfy the curiosity of a genuine seeker, that's fine. But if you want it as part of the deductive approach, then - what opportunity does this principle offer for falsification? Is there any prediction you can make from this Avidya principle, which can be matched with real-world observations, and either corroborated or falsified? Like the "desire fulfilment and law of karma" lead to the real-world observations of evolution, and the quantum mechanical principle of - events have no independent existence outside of the observer (these corroborate the axioms). If the Avidya principle can be similarly matched to real-world observations, that would fulfill objective a. If not, it could still be consistent with objective b.

DharmaB
BRFite
Posts: 109
Joined: 23 Feb 2019 19:21

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 18 Jul 2019 00:51

sudarshan wrote:So if you are adding your point on the Avidya as an extra beyond the deductive approach, to satisfy the curiosity of a genuine seeker, that's fine. But if you want it as part of the deductive approach, then - what opportunity does this principle offer for falsification? Is there any prediction you can make from this Avidya principle, which can be matched with real-world observations, and either corroborated or falsified? Like the "desire fulfilment and law of karma" lead to the real-world observations of evolution


The real world observation is that, there is a strong deceptive force behind every desire that arise. It is common observation that, more than half (majority) of people take wrong path, wrong decisions with selfish motive. Why some take pious path and why some take devious path? Does some carry this intuition feeling that "oh, if I take that rout (evil), it may lead to bad result. So however hard, it may look like, I will take the righteous path..". And some people may think that "oh, common.., people are foolish, they are not seeing the obvious short cut, let me take this route and enjoy the result right away in life. All the fear of karma/God is bogus..".

Is this distinction in intuition a pure probability or a conscious choice?

In these intuition there is both Vidya & Avidya, both are accumulating from past many births & deaths? Now is this not a valid observation?

In the same examples you provided for the desire & law of karma, can't this avidya fit in? Avidya is the root cause in the nature of desires Raktabija, Bhasmasura had/made.

Can you falsify this observation? Or can you prove that the choices made are just probabilistic...?

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 18 Jul 2019 07:49

Problems, unresolved issues:

  • Where does the "original desire" come from?
    • The concept of Avidya from the scriptures, as described by DharmaB, is the answer, per our Dharmic beliefs
    • This, I feel, requires a little faith on the listener's part, but that's okay
    • But does this imply that Moksha is "permanent," i.e., once you attain it, you never come back to the material?
      • Then why was there an initial desire to materialize? (Tricky)
      • This is why I was postulating (see the short story, point [a.2]) that "Moksha can be taken for granted, so we feel we can have our material desires AND Moksha"
  • Since we only get the ability to materialize our desires to the extent permitted by the law of karma:
    • Does this imply that all beings HAVE to start from single-celled organisms?
    • I.e., if God comes down as an avatara, since God is postulated as not violating the law of karma - does this mean that the avatara had to have started from a single-celled organism at some point?
    • One possible solution:
      • Ajo api san avyayatma bhutanam ishvaro api san, prakritim svam adhishtaya sambhavami atma mayaya (BG 4.6 - this is the preceding verse to the well-known "yada yada hi dharmasya" verse)
      • This means - God incarnates based on His own "atma maya" (self maya, which is different from the maya to which we material beings are subjected)
      • I.e., God is not bound by the law of karma
    • However - what about the rest of us? What about Adi Sankara, Veda Vyasa, Sri Ramakrishna, etc.? Did they all, just like all of creation, HAVE to start as single cells and evolve up?
      • This was the reason why I postulated the rider of "karmic credit"
      • But this isn't necessary, the above can be left as an unresolved issue
      • Or at the worst - the above would be a falsifying observation, which reduces the truth score of the theory
    • But - more issues with the law of karma and its perceived "unrelenting and strict" nature
      • We see that many beings perform intense penance to obtain boons
      • How does penance generate so much karmic benefit?
        • I.e., how does standing (or sitting) for years and centuries, just chanting "Om Namah Shivaya" or whatever, generate so much merit, that one can even ask for things like:
          • I want anybody, on whom I place my hand, to burn up instantly (Bhasmasura)
          • I want the Ganga to come wash away my ancestors' sins (Bhageeratha)
          • I want each drop of my blood, which touches the earth, to generate one hundred clones of me (Raktabija)
          • Etc.
      • Possible solutions:
        • Karmic benefits are a zero sum game
          • So if you forego your enjoyment for years and centuries, standing in rain and sun, leaving off food (except for the barest minimum), water (ditto), all other pleasures -
            • It means, some other living being is enjoying all this on your behalf
            • Your former home is occupied by other beings - rats, snakes, or tramps
            • All your enjoyment goes to other beings
            • This is what generates your karmic merit
          (Or)
        • Again, the notion of karmic credit
          • Your penance really gives you a "karmic credit card," which you have to pay off later in installments
          • I.e., the law of karma isn't unforgiving and relentless, but it does allow advance credit
Last edited by sudarshan on 18 Jul 2019 08:51, edited 3 times in total.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 18 Jul 2019 08:01

DharmaB wrote:The real world observation is that, there is a strong deceptive force behind every desire that arise. It is common observation that, more than half (majority) of people take wrong path, wrong decisions with selfish motive. Why some take pious path and why some take devious path? Does some carry this intuition feeling that "oh, if I take that rout (evil), it may lead to bad result. So however hard, it may look like, I will take the righteous path..". And some people may think that "oh, common.., people are foolish, they are not seeing the obvious short cut, let me take this route and enjoy the result right away in life. All the fear of karma/God is bogus..".

Is this distinction in intuition a pure probability or a conscious choice?

In these intuition there is both Vidya & Avidya, both are accumulating from past many births & deaths? Now is this not a valid observation?

In the same examples you provided for the desire & law of karma, can't this avidya fit in? Avidya is the root cause in the nature of desires Raktabija, Bhasmasura had/made.

Can you falsify this observation? Or can you prove that the choices made are just probabilistic...?


Just to clarify - when you say "Can you falsify this observation?"

The observation is taken as-is. It is then compared with the predictions of the theory. If the theory matches the observation, then the theory is corroborated, else the theory is falsified. So it isn't the observation which is falsified, it is the theory which is falsified or corroborated by the observation.

But having said that - your point is valid, logically, but I'm not sure if it can be defended from the scientific point of view. The observation you are talking about above (deceptive force behind desire) is certainly something we can feel from our daily lives. But is a gut-feeling or intuition a valid observation? Don't know. I'm open to opinions expressed here on this.

This force is also what the Abrahamics refer to as the Shaitan. So there are competing explanations.

Just the fact that there are competing explanations, does not mean that we should not postulate Avidya. Any postulate which explains the observation is a valid postulate, so Avidya is fine.

I also feel that being hung up on doing it all "scientifically" is a red herring. So the notion of Avidya is good, in that it indicates that the deductive scientific method is not some kind of standard or ideal - it has its own flaws, most importantly, the flaw that it is limited by its own axioms. Whereas the truth that we are after in the Dharmic faiths is beyond logic, beyond axioms. And the notion of Avidya serves to remind us of that.

I feel that it is fine to include it, after the STEM-trained mind has already gone through the exercise of matching the desire-fulfillment and karmic consequences axioms to observations and figuring out the implications of those. IOW, it might be unnecessary or even undesirable to try and "scientifically" define the notion of Avidya - we can just keep it as-is.

DharmaB
BRFite
Posts: 109
Joined: 23 Feb 2019 19:21

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 18 Jul 2019 11:54

I feel that it is fine to include it, after the STEM-trained mind has already gone through the exercise of matching the desire-fulfillment and karmic consequences axioms to observations and figuring out the implications of those. IOW, it might be unnecessary or even undesirable to try and "scientifically" define the notion of Avidya - we can just keep it as-is.


Yes, Avidya is a grey area to prove or disprove, but is evident from the logical perspective. Otherwise we end up looking for explanations in wrong places in wrong directions. The scientific approach (dealing with physics) is applicable to only matter and phenomena associated with matter (including field theory). The consciousness could be well understood by means of consciousness only (knowledge, ideas, feelings including if any super natural experiences). But to expect that the scientific methods will prove the total reality in the form of its experiments is a little too far fetched. We need to understand the limits and border lines that separates or defines matter with consciousness. We are dealing with realities that are mixed in a too complex way, for it to explain it totally from any one single direction is incomplete and inaccurate...
Last edited by DharmaB on 18 Jul 2019 13:03, edited 1 time in total.

DharmaB
BRFite
Posts: 109
Joined: 23 Feb 2019 19:21

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 18 Jul 2019 12:57

But now what is that which makes Dharmic faiths superior to Abrahamic faiths. If it is just offering some theory and some logical perspective of existence, and says "be good, and do good, everything will be alright", is that sufficient ? This will be viewed much like faith based Abrahamic religions.

Then how can it be different in case of Dharmic religions. All the scriptures are good, but only serve as secondary source of information. They are a guidance. But where is the practical evidence which proves the theory professed in them? The answer is: We have Krishna, we have Buddha, we have Mahavira, who claimed that they have experienced the Truth directly (Aparokshanubhuti) while in the body in that very life, and professed that Truth to the world. And in every age for thousands of years we witnessed so many great saints who practiced Dharmic faith, and experience (or claimed) the Truth, and guiding the society according to their way of experiences. If we visit kumbh mela, we can still find so many sadhus of different sects who are following Dharmic faith on a practical basis. They are the ones who bring the difference that makes Dharmic religions superior. They serve as a witness to the faith, that one can experience that reality which is beyond matter, while retaining the body.

Now one can go on suspecting and questioning the authenticity of all above, and demanding more evidence. But what about a common person on the street. How can he benefit from it directly ? The beauty of Dharmic religion is, it does not force you to believe any thing blindly. Perhaps it provides different practical approaches with which you can come in contact with higher realities as per your level and capacity. You do little Bhakti, you see the difference in life. You do little Gyana sadhana, you see a subtle difference in consciousness. You do little karma yoga (ideal one is as mentioned in BG), you see that it makes the difference in our daily life. Only then believe it according to your experiences. Even if you don't believe in any of it, it won't condemn you to fall down and experience hell. It profess to provide the results as per your karma (actions) whether you do it with belief or non-belief (based on law of karma), and offers you chance after chance to evolve in contrast to Abrahamic religions. There is no permanent hell concept in Dharmic religions.

It is a truly democratic, secular, diverse religion which honors the free will as highest virtue. All these not make it a Great religion ? :)

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 19 Jul 2019 07:20

No disagreements with above. This was also the reason for the inclusion of "disinterested God" in the first axiom. That God is not going to sit and judge you. This is a huge difference from the Abrahamic notion of God, in fact, it makes the Dharmic notion of God almost the antithesis of the Abrahamic notion, despite the superficial resemblance of "all-powerful God."

Do you feel that the axioms sufficiently capture the philosophy, so that they can serve as a deductive introduction to a STEM-trained novice to the Dharmic systems? I feel that the axioms lead to a larger notion of "no reality independent of the desires of the observer and the karmic balance of the observer," which is a super-set of the Quantum Mechanical principle of "no reality independent of the *presence* of the observer." QM struggles with probabilistic notions, whereas axioms 2 and 3 bring in a strong deterministic element to the whole thing.

Also, you had some issues with the "karmic credit" rider. If you're still interested, we can go into that, but that rider is not essential to the development.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 19 Jul 2019 09:13

SriKumar wrote:My context for the comment on 'outside agent' is poster sudarshan's theory that all life is one large spectrum starting from the viruses which are the least developed, to grass, trees, dogs, elephants, humans, and finally devas. Per his exposition, one could evolve from left to right, all the way to devas (gods) based on karmic advantage. I assumed (perhaps incorrectly?) that something like moksha is 'granted' by a supreme power (a powerful deva). Similarly, who enforces karmic consequences on the spectrum of living beings? I assume it is the same Supreme power. Someone has to make the whole system work- and it would be this agent (Supreme) who does it. So s/he ought to be 'outside' the spectrum, one would think. By 'outside', I mean outside the spectrum (virus-trees-humans-devas spectrum). If the Supreme is inside the spectrum at the very apex of evolution, we might end up with multiple Supremes as more people work their way up. There was no insinuation from my side about dvaita or advaita philosophies. I am only looking at sudarshan's model and looking for self-consistency. Nothing more. ( I concede that I might have incorrectly equated a deva with the Supreme, but it could be argued, taking the next logical step, that the Supreme might be the highest form of a deva in the same spectrum).

About Mahendra Pal Arya's exposition on karma- if there is a video or article that describes it, please do link it. THanks.

sudarshan-
saw your other 2 posts in response to mine. Will read/digest it.


Hope you saw post [12]. God isn't regarded as an "outside agent," rather, God is the supreme enabler of our desires, intimately an "insider," being every single subatomic particle, every photon, every field or force. The supreme can be regarded in one sense as the apex of evolution, like you said, but we don't end up with multiple supremes, any more than we end up with multiple oceans when the rivers flow into it. Our labeling of the oceans makes them out to be five in number, but this is our own nomenclature, the ocean is really one.

From post [12], with God being the intimate insider, we get the notion of wave-function collapse as well. Vishnu's yogic slumber is very much tied to this notion, through axioms 2 and 3. Whatever is materialized, is in line with the axioms, and whatever is dematerialized is also in line with the axioms. The concept of Vishnu's yogic dream state, in fact, beautifully ties all three axioms together, and also supersedes some of the quantum mechanical principles.

The supreme isn't just the "highest form of deva." The supreme is the sum total of all possibilities. If you can dream up a possibility - any possibility - like a giant with seven eyes who eats a ton of candy for breakfast - that means a. the possibility exists; b. since the supreme is the sum total of all possibilities, that possibility can only exist in the supreme; c. so why hasn't that possibility been materialized - axioms 2 and 3 (only those possibilities are materialized by the supreme, which are in line with both axioms).

This means - possibilities can be materialized EVEN IF THEY ARE AGAINST OUR DESIRES, if the consequences of our actions are opposed to our desires. Like disease, antibiotic resistant infections, asteroid impacts, etc.

If you've read Spinoza, you will find an interesting argument in one of his works (don't remember which one) for why God HAS TO EXIST. When I first read that, I thought it was a silly argument, and I was able to come up with a refutation. But now when I start thinking of God as the sum total of all possibilities, of which a minute subset are materialized (based on axioms 2 and 3), I think Spinoza's argument could have been recrafted along the lines of axioms 2 and 3 (though I still don't feel that his argument proves the existence of God).

DharmaB
BRFite
Posts: 109
Joined: 23 Feb 2019 19:21

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 19 Jul 2019 19:51

sudarshan wrote:No disagreements with above. This was also the reason for the inclusion of "disinterested God" in the first axiom. That God is not going to sit and judge you. This is a huge difference from the Abrahamic notion of God, in fact, it makes the Dharmic notion of God almost the antithesis of the Abrahamic notion, despite the superficial resemblance of "all-powerful God."

Do you feel that the axioms sufficiently capture the philosophy, so that they can serve as a deductive introduction to a STEM-trained novice to the Dharmic systems? I feel that the axioms lead to a larger notion of "no reality independent of the desires of the observer and the karmic balance of the observer," which is a super-set of the Quantum Mechanical principle of "no reality independent of the *presence* of the observer." QM struggles with probabilistic notions, whereas axioms 2 and 3 bring in a strong deterministic element to the whole thing.

Also, you had some issues with the "karmic credit" rider. If you're still interested, we can go into that, but that rider is not essential to the development.


For me, almost the crux of the matter has been addressed, except the topic "paths of salvation". But I am not sure if this forum is the right place and has the right context to discuss that. Many times personally I felt that whenever these discussions take place, people go into a heavy silent mode. And it becomes awkward to continue.

If the purpose is to simplify the theory, I think we need not to worry about the issue "karmic credit" rider. Looking at the complexities involved, I believe nobody is expecting an exact mathematical formula which can explain "law of karma" especially when we assume that it deals with multiple cycles of birth & death. There is a mystery, and better leave it at that.

For me the motive behind this topic is to prove the fact, "ekam sat vipra bahuda vadanti", which means "there is only one truth expressed in different ways by the learned". But on the ground the diversity of dharmic faiths (which could be seen as its greatness in an ideal perspective) have become its greatest weakness and proving to be a disadvantage against Abrahamic faiths. People by and large, have no idea that the core philosophy of all the sub-sects is more or less the same. But through out the history they have been fighting over the mundane things (ex: names and forms of Gods they worship, and variations in worship methods etc.)

But good thing is, even in the western society also, there are small number of intellectuals who take the investigative approach towards the fundamental questions of life are slowly seeing the depth of SD or other Dharmic philosophy, and recognizing its relevance in addressing these issues in a more reasonable way than Abrahamic faiths.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 20 Jul 2019 06:11

^^^Thanks for the feedback. I agree, this was a qualitative exercise, not meant to cross all the t's and dot all the i's. After all, the comprehensive theory of everything hasn't been achieved by any known person. But the development above should hopefully be of sufficient rigor for the specified purpose.

SriKumar
BRFite
Posts: 1818
Joined: 27 Feb 2006 07:22
Location: sarvatra

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby SriKumar » 20 Jul 2019 08:05

sudarshan wrote:Hope you saw post [12]. God isn't regarded as an "outside agent," rather, God is the supreme enabler of our desires, intimately an "insider," being every single subatomic particle, every photon, every field or force. The supreme can be regarded in one sense as the apex of evolution, like you said, but we don't end up with multiple supremes, any more than we end up with multiple oceans when the rivers flow into it. Our labeling of the oceans makes them out to be five in number, but this is our own nomenclature, the ocean is really one.
In your analogy of Ankit playing the video game, the gal is the God and she was an outside agent relative to Ankit. I acknowledge your clarification that god is all-permeating and a part of all matter.

In any case, this is a not a major objection for me since in either case, outside or inside, I am unable to see/experience god (my perspective), so location does not matter. I am curious if you have any first-hand experiences to support any of your observations about karma/dharma. Your theory is definitely supported by your notes from the puraanas, no doubt. And many elements of it are novel and interesting (esp. the part about one choosing to be born again- that's gotta be one tough decision) and self-consistent. One thing would have been real nice is for one to know one's karma score (like the credit score). If one had any inkling, one would know what to do. All in all a creditable, major effort, with good discussion ensuing in the process, including DharmaB and pullikeshi.

One theme driving my questions/thought is that people like to have more control over their lives, and I think this is one reason people gravitate to religion (apart from the upbringing). So even if circumstances are bad, having any sort of a credible explanation or theories is useful, atleast it gives one a path to follow. Explanations gain more credibility if they are associated with cause and effect, but this is not practical to ask for, and is not usually evident in people's lives (when something odd- good or bad happens, past karma- good or bad, is used to explain it. But since there is no way to know one's own or other people's past karma, unfortunately, I put this in the 'faith' category; but I definitely agree that puraanas do have a multitude of consistent and corroborating commentaries on this.). Hence my queries even on topics like god have a practical flavor to them. I've read a little bit of philosophy (very little, mostly Vivekananda) but when I realized that absolutely smart people who spent their entire life dealing with this, e.g. Adi Sankara, and Ramanujacharya/Madhvacharya for example, and they disagreed on a fundamental thing like whether god within us or outside us, there is no hope or time for me to understand these philosophies, pick a winner and follow that path. (Say, if I was convinced that advaita makes sense and is right, there is still no way I could prevail upon Ramanujacharya or Madhwacharya or their followers that they are wrong on dvaita).

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 20 Jul 2019 20:40

SriKumar wrote:In your analogy of Ankit playing the video game, the gal is the God and she was an outside agent relative to Ankit. In any case, this is a not a major objection for me since in either case, outside or inside, I am unable to see/experience god (my perspective), so location does not matter.


I couldn't put every nuance in that story. The story doesn't even have the girl being all-powerful. Like I was saying in an earlier post, making her all-powerful would make her the owner of the arcade, the developer of the Galaxy Quest game itself, etc. The whole story would become cheesy and Shah-Rukh-Khan-esque.

I am curious if you have any first-hand experiences to support any of your observations about karma/dharma.


If you actively look for the cause and effect, you occasionally see it. For example, once when riding a bicycle (in Massaland), at a stop sign, I rode out in front of a car. The old lady in the car probably wasn't paying attention, and she moved forward, knocking my rear wheel. So I fell and hurt my arm. She stopped, and was worriedly waiting to see how I was doing. I didn't see any need to be arguing with her, and I was doing pretty okay, so I got on the bike and pedaled off.

A couple of years later, when I was pulling into the road from a stop sign, I didn't see a guy on a bicycle, so I knocked his front wheel and he fell. I got out of the car to see how he was doing. He gave me a little lecture (not too angry, just kind of upset that I wasn't looking both ways before pulling into traffic). I asked if he needed to go to a hospital or something, and he said no he was fine, and just pedaled off. I was relieved that he was okay, but a bit offended that he didn't respond properly to my offer of help.

Then I thought - I didn't respond at all to the old lady. She must have felt equally (or more) offended. I could have at least gone over and reassured her before pedaling away.

Since I didn't make a fuss that time and let her off easy, I got to go off easy when I made the same mistake later. But I also had to undergo the offended feeling that she most probably had when I pedaled off without a word.

Your theory is definitely supported by your notes from the puraanas, no doubt. And many elements of it are novel and interesting (esp. the part about one choosing to be born again- that's gotta be one tough decision) and self-consistent.


Self-consistency is the important thing, I'm glad you feel that the theory is self-consistent. The support from the puranas goes to fulfill objective b. - showing that the axioms are the basis of our Dharmic faiths (again, this is corroboration and lack of falsification, not proof).

One thing would have been real nice is for one to know one's karma score (like the credit score). If one had any inkling, one would know what to do.


This is what I was saying in an earlier post. Maybe this is the basis of Jyotisha (astrology). We (or rather our parents, on our behalf) get to check our credit score at birth. The astrologer would indicate any coming problems in life. Usually, the astrologer is able to prescribe actions (such as giving to charity, going to some specific temple, etc.) which will mitigate the upcoming problem. So you can fix your credit score if you act early enough.

The idea is that we are inserted into the material plane at such a time, that the stars and planets act as an indicator of our credit score.

You get a one-time credit check, which is only valid at that specific time (since your credit score gets modified by your subsequent actions in life - so you horoscope no longer accurately reflects your credit score as you grow older and perform more deeds, good or bad). But with that one-time check, and assuming that you take actions to mitigate past negatives, and also that you act in accordance with your Dharma in this life, you should be good. Of course, there is little you can do about handicaps or birth in disadvantaged conditions.

All in all a creditable, major effort, with good discussion ensuing in the process, including DharmaB and pullikeshi.


Thanks!

One theme driving my questions/thought is that people like to have more control over their lives, and I think this is one reason people gravitate to religion (apart from the upbringing). So even if circumstances are bad, having any sort of a credible explanation or theories is useful, atleast it gives one a path to follow. Explanations gain more credibility if they are associated with cause and effect, but this is not practial to ask for, and is not usually evident in people's lives (past karma- good or bad, explains it, I suppose but since there is no way to know one's own or other people's past karma, unfortunately, I put this in the 'faith' category; but I agree that puraanas do have a multitude of consistent and corroborating commentaries on this.). Hence my queries even on topics like god have a practical flavor to them.


Also explains the popularity of astrology. Though that is also on faith, of course.

The Abrahamics explain everything with - "It is God's will, suck it up, and you will get a future reward (heaven)." Don't you see this in the kinds of games they play?

The western world likes to play card games. "You got bad cards? Too bad, just luck of the draw (God's will). Make the most of it, suck it up."

The eastern world likes to play chess. "You don't know how you ended up in such a sticky situation? It is the result of your own moves, if you trace them back, you will know the cause." But practically, when playing chess, we lose track of what happened three moves ago. Unless we maintain a full record of every move, we don't really see the cause/ effect relationship. But the relationship is there. A prescient player would be able to tap you on the shoulder and tell you "you fool, you are three moves away from checkmate, pay attention." The Dharmic faiths see our material existence as some kind of multi-player chess game.

Or maybe more like a set of singleton chess games (each living soul against nature itself) with the interactions between our individual games playing out in the internal machinery of nature, and then showing up in nature's moves against each of us. Basically - you make a move - nature internally processes it (together with all the moves made by all the other players) - and then responds with a counter-move (the wave function collapse). You only see your own game with nature, your interactions with the actions of others are hidden in the internal machinery of prakriti (nature) itself.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 20 Jul 2019 21:07

SriKumar wrote:I've read a little bit of philosophy (very little, mostly Vivekananda) but when I realized that absolutely smart people who spent their entire life dealing with this, e.g. Adi Sankara, and Ramanujacharya/Madhvacharya for example, and they disagreed on a fundamental thing like whether god within us or outside us, there is no hope or time for me to understand these philosophies, pick a winner and follow that path. (Say, if I was convinced that advaita makes sense and is right, there is still no way I could prevail upon Ramanujacharya or Madhwacharya or their followers that they are wrong on dvaita).


I don't know if you can call it "disagreement" or "which philosophy is right or wrong." They are different ways of looking at the same thing.

For example: Adi Sankara was a strong exponent of advaita (non-duality). This means - he was saying that there is no difference between the individual spirit soul and the supreme soul. Then why go around the country establishing temples? Why create multiple hymns in praise of God/ Goddess (Ayigiri nandini/ Kanakadhara stotra/ other stotras)? These are all dvaitic expressions.

Sri Ramakrishna was an advaitavadin. In fact, when Vivekananda was once mocking the principle of advaita, Sri Ramakrishna deliberately touched him, giving him an experience of advaita for three days. Vivekananda walked around in a zombie state all that time, feeling no need to jump out of the way of approaching vehicles (that vehicle is God, I am God, so why bother?), etc. At the end of three days, he apologized to his Guru and accepted the principle of advaita. But - Sri Ramakrishna was a staunch devotee of Kali. He even put his own wife (Sarada Devi) on a pedestal and worshiped her. Is that dvaitic or advaitic?

We see "conflict" between these principles, because of the intense debates they generated. Are the principles really in conflict? I don't think so. Pick one and follow it consistently.

As Sri Krishna says (admittedly in a different context - not in relation to different philosophical principles):

Sankhya yogau prithak balah pravadanti na panditah, ekam api astitah samyag ubhaiyor vindate phalam (BG 5.4)

Children, not the wise, speak of knowledge and performance of action as different; he who is truly established in one obtains the fruit of both.

Also the initial part of chapter 12 - where He says that the diametrically opposite paths of 1. regarding God as formless, absolute, all-pervading Brahman and 2. regarding God as something with form, worshiping God with form (idols) - will both lead to God. Diametrically opposite paths can converge to the same goal - think of the surface of a sphere, and Columbus' idea of reaching the east by traveling west.

My feeling is that this applies to seemingly contradictory views as advaita/ dvaita also.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 20 Jul 2019 21:56

For me, one of the most interesting parts of the axioms and the theory are their elegant and intuitive resolution of the so-called "Schrodinger's cat" paradox.

In fact, the axioms are able to show the origin of the seeming "paradox," and trace it back to an essentially Abrahamic notion! (See points [9.4] and [9.5]).

DharmaB
BRFite
Posts: 109
Joined: 23 Feb 2019 19:21

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 20 Jul 2019 23:55

About first hand experiences, for anybody it would be too personal to share, and also it would become awkward after sharing...
If the purpose is to motivate self, there are plenty of examples in some of the great saints life histories. Now all of them could not be wrong. The chances of all of them colluding and make up a theory to make believe others is also very less.

But one has to agree that the real fantastic experiences (in spirituals terms) are very hard to come. Even if they come, very hard to understand the significance of it for self, and for others, and would be difficult to share with others. It could amount to hallucination and chances are that, it would be ridiculed most likely.

The essence or motive behind either materialistic life or spiritual life is what ? To be happy ! right ? A person who is not happy with his materialistic pursuits turns to spirituality. Because it would be a common experience that with all the success, and comforts that one could get, with all the money and power one gets, the happiness they bring is temporary. Soon they loses shine, and soon one realize that, it is not enough for satisfaction, hence one chases the dream of materialistic perfections like a mirage. The original purpose is forgotten, that one do all these to live happily. The chasing remains.

More or less the spiritual life also becomes like one above if one is not understood what need to be achieved. What is the goal of all these spiritual paths and their practices are about. The primary goal is to be happy ( I prefer to use "joyful" ). The spiritual life should not become a burden between choosing and loosing. Buddha himself preached a middle path after all the rigorous sadhana in his life.

All the scriptures are saying that the source of joy is not outside. It is actually inside. God is residing in your heart in the form of Ananda (Joy). But our focus (chitt or attenntion) is mostly outside on worldly material things or immersed in mind activity (analysis, judgement, conclusions and other involuntary thinking process). This constantly drains out lot of our energy that builds in from food, sleep and breathing. We do not realize that how much energy is wasted in involuntary thinking and inner chattering. If one could get this in control (focus, concentration), one can really do wonders in life. (Even NM & AD may also using similar techniques only. In one of the interview AD mentioned he stays away from petty news and chatter to remain focused and keeps him energetic with a clarity of mind )

So IMO, the key for spiritual progress is also primarily lies in controlling mind. For that various methods are prescribed. But again, the paradox is that the same mind is trying to control itself. It could find infinite ways to slip out, as in BG, Krishan says,..

"asamshayam mahabaho, mano durnigraham chalam,
abhyasentatu kaunteaya, vairagyena ca grihyate".

Some how if one could understand this and reach a state of calmness of mind, then automatically, in the absence of thoughts there is peace, and it may lead to pure joy (even ecstasy), then may lead to various stages of bliss. Please refer to Papa ji's life story i mentioned in one of my previous posts.

Now no body can tell how much time it takes to progress and reach the goal. It depends on you and what your goals are. All one can do is be positive, and give a best try. Rest is "Anyadha Sharanam Nasti, Tvameva Sharanam Mama".

DharmaB
BRFite
Posts: 109
Joined: 23 Feb 2019 19:21

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 21 Jul 2019 00:42

Here I want to make an analogy of this mind, consciousness with an example of pond...

Suppose if we sat beside a lake situated at a place with beautiful surroundings. And there is wind some times which creates the waves in it. We only see the waves in it. When there is rain, that also creates ripples in it. If there are any landslide that makes the water muddy and unclear. And occasionally, we make a habit of throwing pebbles to create more ripples in the pond to observe. It is rare that none of these incidents take place, and there comes a moment, when there is no disturbance at all and the water in the pond comes to an absolute stand still. There you will get to see a fantastic reflection of all the beautiful surroundings in the pond. The sky, the mountains, their reflection in pond make it all more beautiful. Even you could see the bottom of the lake through the water ( Once I had a glimpse of such scenic beauty at one of the lake situated near Kedarnath mountains, was alone and just can't explain how beautiful it looked...)

Now our consciousness is like the water in the pond. The ripples are created by various outside events in life (which are not in our control). The ripples are also created by our own meddling with it (in the form of analysis, comments, chit-chattering) by making a habit of voluntary thinking (most of the times unnecessary). These both hand in hand goes on creating a chain of thoughts which never appear to cease. And the consciousness never settles to give us a clear picture of what is (as-is). Hence when one first control self from becoming the cause of ripples created in mind, and just watches patiently one's own consciousness, after some time (if God permits) the external events or causes also may come to a stand still (of course rare moment), and suddenly will bring the reflection of reality in one's own consciousness (like the beauty of nature reflected in the pond)...

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2013
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 21 Jul 2019 20:23

SriKumar wrote:Some un-connected comments:
1. I see a difference between 'evolution' as you describe, and Darwinian evolution,as is commonly understood. Darwinian evolution is a physical change in the body of the organism occurring during the lifetime of the creature (single-celled or otherwise) reinforced by its environment, and transmitted via genes to its offspring. Whereas the the evolution you describe (which is similar to the Dasha avatara type evolution) is different fundamentally in that the body destroyed and there is no physical continuity. The continuity is at some other level (soul/ karma bank balance etc.). So, I do see the two as quite separate/different. And frankly there is no need to conflate the two. The Hindu version of evolution can be its own thing, applicable to the mental and spiritual evolution of sentience in beings. It does not need the Darwinian 'stamp' to make it useful or interesting. I would even argue that calling the Hindu evolution 'Darwinian' might confuse the issue and also leave it open to (unfair) criticism.


This is one point I didn't respond to earlier.

Would it be wrong to think of karmic evolution as some kind of super-set of Darwinian evolution? The physical changes are driven by accumulated karmic merit. The environment is driven by accumulated karmic merit. The genes are simply the physical mechanism. The spiritual continuity drives the physical continuity.

Western science fiction had (maybe still has) this concept that if you build a machine which is complex enough, it will somehow "develop a soul" (simply due to the complexities of its interconnections) and start acting human! This always sounded ridiculous to me, in that it postulates consciousness as a simple function of complexity of interconnections.

The Dharmic view would be - if you build a machine (any machine, regardless of complexity), and if some spirit soul is in a state of karmic evolution, such that its karmaphala decides that the machine is a suitable vehicle for the fulfillment of its desires, then the spirit soul will inhabit that machine.

So - our current science would say - the sun is way too hot and has no complex interconnections, so it is ridiculous to think of the sun as a body occupied by a spirit. Our Dharmic faith would say - our conceptions and assumptions that a body has to eat, drink, see, hear, feel, sleep, think, etc. in order to be a "body" - these assumptions need not be true. Surya is an evolved being, a deva, who doesn't need food and drink in the conventional sense; an effulgent mass of fusing hydrogen (which, if you think about it, is an energy source, or "food") could be a perfectly suitable physical vehicle, which fulfills Surya's desires in accordance with his karmaphala. His "vision" and "hearing" are in the spiritual plane, he doesn't need the limited "eyes" and "ears" that we lesser beings are dependent on - his sensory perceptions are on the plane of spiritual consciousness itself.

Likewise - the mutations and gene transfer decide the structure of the body that will be generated by the parents as the offspring. If there is a spirit soul which is in a matching state of spiritual evolution, that spirit soul will come to occupy that body. If not - a) the body will never be conceived; b) it could be still-born; c) the mutations won't play out that way; etc. So spiritual evolution very much drives Darwinian evolution (per the theory derived from these three axioms).

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16391
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby NRao » 26 Jul 2019 02:25

Received the following in an email:

Using knowledge management to preserve indigenous languages

To capture, preserve, and protect Indigenous languages, dialects, and alphabets, the First Peoples’ Cultural Council chose Nuxeo to launch FirstVoices, a platform for tech-savvy Indigenous youth to partner with their fluent speaking elders to document their languages for future generations.

FirstVoices now serves over 60 languages and dialects in Canada, the United States, and Australia, and currently stores and manages approximately 400,000 objects in Nuxeo, a number they expect will continue to grow.

Read the FirstVoices story to learn more

amandotra
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 1
Joined: 30 Sep 2018 10:33

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby amandotra » 12 Sep 2019 20:53

Gurus,

I have been an active lurker since a long time.

I keep reading all threads and owe a lot to members like Sudarshan Ji, Pergerine Ji, Shiv etc.

I want to read Gita from scratch and here in videsh, there are multiple copies of translations by goras but I am not sure which one is the best to begin with.

Your recommendations would be of great help. Would love to know other suggestions too for dharmic reads.

Rudradev
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3507
Joined: 06 Apr 2003 12:31

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby Rudradev » 13 Sep 2019 01:16

My personal favourite is the translation by Swami Ranganathananda of Ramkrishna Mission. It's in 3 volumes and dives deeply into a verse-by-verse exposition of the text. https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Messag ... 8175052139

Rony
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2599
Joined: 14 Jul 2006 23:29

Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby Rony » 10 Oct 2019 17:06

Beautiful parable from Sankrant Sanu which espouses the times we're living in

Some wolves were let loose among a pack of deer. They hunted in a pack as habitual predators, and started killing off the deer, picking on the young and vulnerable first. The deer appealed to the State for protection. State said wolves are a minority, *they* will be protected. But but said the deer, it is we who need protection. We do not interfere with the wolves, we leave them alone, but they don't. But the State was unmoved. All species are equal, and minorities need protection. Losing numbers, the deer decided to band together for protection.

There was a tribe of bards, the narrative builders. They had power to influence the State. The deer appealed to them for help. But the bards had become corrupted. The wolves offered them a share of their deer kill. Fascists said the bards, the deer are majoritarian fascists. Some stronger deer would guard the periphery. They had become aggressive to counter the wolves. They recalled their past valor. The bards were getting less meat. You used to be such gentle creature said the bards. Remember your deer nature. Don't let the fascists corrupt it.

One time a wolf was stalking a young deer to steal it. Ravenously hungry he got separated from the pack. As he was about to pounce on the youngling, a big deer with antlers charged him. Soon the herd gathered. Lynching! Shouted the bards. The deer are lynching the wolves. We get stalked, violated, killed every day said the deer. That is not lynching ? When we try to protect ourselves it becomes lynching ? It's just the news cycle said the bards. Wolf eats deer is no news, it is their nature. But when deer kill a wolf, that is news. Don't blame us.

Your problem is not the wolves, said the bards, the problem are the guardian deer. They have corrupted your gentle nature. Before that everything was peaceful. Be good deer, said the bards. Don't be bad like the guardian deer. That will solve all your problems. The bards were very influential and some deer got swayed. Soon the deer starting fighting amongst each other. Some turned against the guardian deer. As bards shouted “lynching” the State also started acting against the guardian deer. Soon there was no one to protect the deer.

The wolves loved it. Meat was plentiful. They made short work of the herd. As only a few deer were left they appealed to the State. We are the minority now, please protect us. Minority is based on entire forest said the State. Wolves are still a minority who need protection.

The deer herd was completely wiped out. The last few younglings were ravaged by the wolves in a gang, taking delight as they were ripped to shreds. The bards were silent. But the wolves got hungry again and there were no more deer. So they started attacking the bards.

The bards had always showed wolves as victims, many stayed silent as the bards were attacked. One the verge of death, one bard let out a plaintive cry, we helped you all this time, now you attack us ? We are just acting per our nature, said the wolf, as he slit the bard’s neck.


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], SRoy and 78 guests