Religion Thread - 6

shiv
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Postby shiv » 31 Mar 2007 19:53

Calvin wrote:I don't disagree. I am just saying that these concerns are "secular" in nature - in that people of all types, all religions, all literary interests will support.

Calvin everything about "Hinduism" is fundamentally accepting of all faiths. One word that describes a faulty implementation of "acceptance of all faiths" is secularism.

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Postby Calvin » 31 Mar 2007 19:57

Shiv - this idea of "fundamentally accepting of all faiths" doesn't square with a lot of the reality on the ground. If the premise were real, then we wouldn't have beef being banned, or people of a certain religion being denied entry to a religious place and so on. How is this premise any different from the evangelists that say that "jesus is love" and that therefore anything that they do is "good."

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Postby Kumar » 31 Mar 2007 19:59

S.Valkan wrote:
Kumar wrote:It doesn't mean that there is no instrument of knowledge left after the mind falls silent. A new kind of instrument arises.But this new instrument appears so different in properties that Yogis give it different names. The term "vijnAna" is used to explain the way of knowing when the mind falls silent. Sri Aurobindo uses terms like "overmind" and "supermind".


Knowledge is supposed to be integral. One truly knowssomething only by becoming it. Even in upanishads similar statements are present.


It is really surprising, and sad at the same time, that intelligent people continue to rely on faith, rather than reason ( or scripture, if that's taken as a guide ) to make a point.

Prabhu, this kindness is misplaced. But thanks anyway. :) Frankly I DO KNOW how you feel about un-reason. I have been there too. Perhaps I am losing all my neurons and still feeling happy about it, or perhaps not (sYad asti sYad nAsti -- (Jaina syAd-vAda)).

Everyone here who is discussing religion is rooted in faith. Despite occasional claims, hinduism is not scientific. Everyone here has put his "faith" in some unscienfic axioms, whether arising in one's own mind or selected from hindu scriptures. The question of reason only arises in making derivations from those axioms. One interesting activity that many "sects" of hinduism follow is in spending inordinate amount of effort "interpreting" the scriptural statements to mould them to a certain sectarian viewpoint. This creates a plethora of axioms apparently rooted upon the same scriptural statement.

I had earlier asked Alok_N to provide HIS scientific axioms of advaita, but noble silence reins...
Firstly, the Upanishads simply say that those that know Brahman become Brahman ( Paramam Brahman Veda Brahman eva Bhavati ).

Not the other way round.

Its only one interpretation. And as I mentioned above one particular "sect" may choose to view it one way, and other differently.
Finite actions performed by a finite instrument ( body-mind) cannot become the infinite.

Yet it seems that a conscious effort is being made to project that some people have attained a "special" state of bliss by becoming one with Brahman.

It wasn't claimed that "finite" mind-body become infinite. Vedantic view is that consciousness can get tied up with finite things through avidya or maya. Consciousness is only apparently bound, it can expand to accomodate even the universal consciousness of brahman.

And yes, I "believe" (by my observations), that some people have climbed the peaks of consciousness.
Well, if the mind attains a superconducting state, and BECOMES/MERGES with the undifferentiated Brahman, why doesn't the experiencer vanish, and why does the experience end in a few seconds/minutes/hours ?

Superconducting state? :) Please don't abuse the analogy. At best it is funny but doesn't do anything for the argument. Use "vijnAna" or supermind if you must.

Also vijnAna or supermind is not the highest state. TattirIya upanishad puts Anandamaya-kosha beyond vijnAnamaya-kosha. Even Anandamaya-kosha is called a "kosha" or a sheath implying, it is not the final stage either. VijnAna-maya-kosha is put beyond the manomaya-kosha (the mental sheath).

Regarding the duration of consciousness, highest state is timeless, tirkAlatIta. You have been using the term "trikAla-abAdhita" in a certain way. Again IMHO that is a "sectarian" choice. So, when a person's consciousness is in that higher state, it doesn't have to follow the time of lower states. In fact it mustn't. As I had mentioned earlier, brahman must be beyond divisions of space & time. So, when the consciousness recedes back to lower level, it seems again to follow the "local time", so to speak.

Regarding the "experiencer vanishing, are you talking about his consciousness, or are you talking about his mind-body? If you are talking about the experiencer's consciousness, then yes, for him his body-mind vanish. Even in dreams the body "vanishes" for the dreamer. But not for some other person who may be observing his body from outside. It is not the "body" that gets the experience.
Why and how does the experiencer retain the "memory" of that experience if he had become ONE with Brahman in the Supermind ?

This is a real good question and the one that is difficult to answer.

Lets take the usual analogy of the rope-snake. A person who for the first time sees the "snake" in a dark room, has no conception of it being actually a rope. For his level of consciousness, there is ONLY the snake. Only when lights are turned on he realizes that the snake was actually a rope. From then on, he would know that that rope was not a snake even when lights are dim, as long as the "memory" of that persists. If he loses that "memory" then back to the square one.

Where does this "memory" reside? If a person's consciousness comes down completely to the lower/darker state then the "memory" can be explained only if his lower instruments also underwent some transformations when his consciousness was in a higher state. Then the "memory" would relate to these transformations in lower instruments.

But the consciousness doen't have to completely come down to the lower state. Its like being able to "see" a snake in a dark room, but knowing that it is actually a rope. Two levels of consciousness are being "spanned" here. My earlier comments about "spanning" of multiple levels are relevant here. In theistic vedanta, it is assumed that Ishvara/nArAyana/KrishNA can simultaneously span all the levels, i.e. one consciousness that is simultamneously many. Many sages/Rishis/yogis can span several.

This conception has some "logical" issues related to contradiction, viz. how can something be one AND many at the same time. The key IMHO is the "same time" bit. They are not really the same time. The root of the upside down Adsvattha tree is in timelessness and branches are in time. This implies that one must be able to conceive "is" (or sat or existence) irrespective of the usual time coordinate of the branches.

If consciousness can simultaneously span multiple levels, then the issue of "memory" doesn't arise.

Yogis/sages report a state called sahaja-samAdhi, where that person can hold a higher and a lower consciousness simultaneously.

In kAshmIr shaivism, a particular "oscillatory" state is described, where the consciousness keeps on oscillating back and forth between the higher and lower states. This allows the sage to function in lower realms while not losing the contact with the higher. Vaccum fluctuation anyone... :)
It is such a wonder that a mind free of thoughts is automatically considered as "experience" of Brahman, or - as Kumar has done - project it as some "superconducting, high velocity appartus" that can burn a hole through the hippocampus or amigdala.
A large part of hinduism does describe them as "experiences". If you disagree then you have a "sectarian" viewpoint.

Regarding hippocampus/amygdala, I do know enough about them, in fact my current work revolves around brain-function. So, please don't have inordinate fun with the "analogy" at the cost of the argument (Some fun is OK. :) .
Does this mean that Brahman is Absent when thought is there ?

"Absent" for whom? Was the "rope" absent when a person saw the snake and jumped around in fear or not? From that person's viewpoint, rope didn't exist until he turned on the lights. From a view from the higher/brighter level, only the rope existed all through, and snake never did.

So yes, thoughts hide the brahman from a person's consciousness. Only a silent consciousness can comprehend brahman.

I don't know what your conception of thought is. But IMO a thought is necessarily dynamic. There is a time component. It is not same as "chit" of sat-chit-Ananda, which is definitely not dynamic. Conflating "thought" with "chiti" is similar to conflating "sukha" with "Ananda".

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishads clearly says - "Manasa eva Anudrashtavyam" ( to be COMPREHENDED by the Mind alone).

And Taittiriya upanishad layes out the five koshas in successive order:
1. anna-maya-kosha (material body)
2. prANa-maya-kosha (energetic body)
3. mano-maya-kosha (mental-body)
4. vijNana-maya-kosha (body of higher knowledge (vijnAna) or supramental body)
5. Ananda-maya-kosha (body of bliss)

Here manas (mind) is below two others.
The other Upanishads are also in agreement,- "Brahman Vid Apnoti Param", "Yam Jnatva muchyate Jantuh", "Tam eva manya atmanam vidwan Brahman amrita amritam" and so on.
This relies on presuming that "vid" corresponds only to mental knowledge. As I mentioned in my previous post, "mind" is not the only means of knowledge.

Also from Isha-upanishad "vidyAm cha avidyAm cha, yo tad-veda ubhayam saha...)

So there is a knowledge which is beyond ordinary "vidyA" and "avidyA", the dual pair. That is being talked about, not merely a mental "vidyA".
Yet, for some inexplicable reason, there is a tendency among the Neo-Vedanta crowd to project "realization" as some "practical" way, and "knowledge" as some "theoretical" intellectual discourse.
Wonder when this misconceptions would end!

Neo-vedanta crowd! :) Last time some ISKCON follower had showered that praise! Thank you.

Swami Vivekananda is the archetypal "Neo-Vedanti". If you dismiss him, you are dismissing a huge part of current hindu consciousness as well as the hindu-renaissance that he and other neo-vedantis brought forth.

This is a "sectarian" view IMHO. And doesn't encompass whole of hinduism per se.
Last edited by Kumar on 31 Mar 2007 22:28, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Alok_N » 31 Mar 2007 20:21

Kumar wrote:I had earlier asked Alok_N to provide HIS scientific axioms of advaita, but noble silence reins...


nothing noble about silence ... I had simply decided that your tone was not worth it ... I'll give it a second shot ...

I have no personal axioms ...

the axioms of science, in its present form, are as follows:

1. locality/causality
2. lorentz covariance
3. energy momentum conservation
4. unitarity

I am quite willing to give up #1 and #2 as I have posted ...

#3 and #4 are useless when dealing with infinities ...

all that remains is the dualist construct of science, as I have posted ... unless this is redefined, science will not be advaita ...

now, that I have answered your question, please try to post a critique in a decent fashion, or I will return to ignoring you ...

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Postby Kumar » 31 Mar 2007 20:26

Alok, Thats just fine. I just wanted to make sure where you stood regarding "scientific" nature of advaita.

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Postby shiv » 31 Mar 2007 20:26

Calvin wrote:Shiv - this idea of "fundamentally accepting of all faiths" doesn't square with a lot of the reality on the ground. If the premise were real, then we wouldn't have beef being banned, or people of a certain religion being denied entry to a religious place and so on. How is this premise any different from the evangelists that say that "jesus is love" and that therefore anything that they do is "good."


Valid points.

There is no written law saying other faiths are wrong. There is no written law against beef eating - which I think got a big boost with Gandhi. (Not sure). As you know beef can be obtained perfectly legally in South India at least.

But a lot of the prejudices that are cropping up are tit for tat prejudices that are being set up as "You did that, therefore I do this"

While you document and point out obvious discrepancies between what I have said and what you see as reality, I believe the Hindu narrative asks for equal acceptance of several aspects of reality over centuries such as

1) Toleration and encouragement of new faiths within India

2) Intolerance of Indian faiths by foreign faiths (yes, foreign) when people of those faiths had military ascendancy.

3) The tremendous loss inflicted on Hindus in terms of property and life by islam in particular

I believe that a lot of the injustices you point out can be sorted out amicably because there are no rules against them for Hindus. But it seems too much to expect that the rules of Christianity and Islam will be rewritten to accept and acknowledge injustices done in the name of those faiths. Whether you personally acknowledge them or not is not the problem, but the problem is what the "collective Christian/Islamic psyche" seems to say to Hindus. To a Hindu that is part of his reality and his narrative.

There is a reason why Christianity needs secularism. Secularism is a "bypass route" that disables the Church and allows Christian civilizations to do things that the Church would not allow them. But that problem is a peripheral and minor one for Hindus. Hindu civilization does not need an encoded law for "secularism" especially if that secularism is geared only to keep the Christian church out of state affairs but not out of interfering with other belief systems.

Islam is not there yet and has a way to go. It will get kicked by everyone else and nudged to accomodate others.

But the Hindu faith does not need secularism imposed on it as if it was some enlightened new idea. The idea of accepting all religions is normal for Hindus. What is not normal is to take criticism without perspective (such as yours undoubtedly is) or acknowledgement of the other's fault. "Secularism" was deesigned to keep the Church out of state affairs, but it was never designed to keep the needs and ideas of largely Christian civilizations out. The Christian civilization that dominated india spat upon Hindu ideas (or gave to Hindus the feeling that they were being spat upon) in a manner that did not seem to happen to people who decided to convert to Christianity.

The feeling is reality and needs to become part of the Indian narrative and a subject of reconciliation.
Last edited by shiv on 31 Mar 2007 20:46, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby Alok_N » 31 Mar 2007 20:29

Kumar wrote:Alok, Thats just fine. I just wanted to make sure where you stood regarding "scientific" nature of advaita.


all this angst just for "making sure"? ... the tone of your post with "noble silence" etc would have suggested that you had some major objection from which I was hiding ...

aside from spelling things out in a numerical fashion, there is nothing new in that post that I haven't already posted ...

so, what exactly is it about which you are now "sure", that was missing earlier?

methinks you simply have no critique ...

at least throw in a proverbial towel so we can put it to rest ...

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Postby Alok_N » 31 Mar 2007 20:38

moreover, those axioms of science exist not because there is any "faith" in them ...

it is because no one has yet been able to prove them wrong ... and people trying 24/7 to bust them ...

this is exactly opposite of rooted in faith as you have posted ...

science is in the business of trying to dig up its roots, shoot itself in the foot, and re-tool ...

what Valkan has posted is rooted in Logic ...

you are welcome to call Logic a "faith" and obfuscate ...

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Postby geeth » 31 Mar 2007 20:52

>>>Shiv - this idea of "fundamentally accepting of all faiths" doesn't square with a lot of the reality on the ground. If the premise were real, then we wouldn't have beef being banned, or people of a certain religion being denied entry to a religious place and so on.

What is being proposed to be banned (and is written in Indian constitution that 10 yrs from independence it is to be achieved) is COW SLAUGHTER, for a reason similar to banning of felling trees from forests.

Certain religions are denied entry basically because Hindus are not too keen to harvest souls..and non-believers anyways may be visiting temples out of curiosity. Anyways there are many temples whih don't deny entry to peoples of other faiths.

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Postby Kakkaji » 31 Mar 2007 20:54

Some facts for a change:

Setback for advocates of Muslims first
Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

Jobless rate among Hindus, Muslims almost equal: Survey

A sample survey carried out by the Centre has exploded the myth that far more Muslims were unemployed in India than the Hindus.

The survey said that the Worker Population Ratio (WPR) for the male in the age group of 15 and above in the educational level in urban India among the Hindus and Muslims was equal at 71 per cent followed by Christians at 64 per cent.

Outside the education parameter, in urban India the WPR among the Hindus male was 56 per cent, barely three per cent more than the Muslims. The WPR among the Christian male was 51 per cent.

The data released on Friday by the National Sample Survey Organisation under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, for 2004-2005, would come a big setback for the advocates of more affirmative action for the Muslim community.

The survey also pointed out that the WPR for Christian women (24 per cent) was much higher than that among Hindu (17 per cent) and Muslim women (12 per cent).

The survey also said that the unemployment rate in urban areas for Hindus and Muslims was the same at 4 per cent. But in rural areas, the unemployment rate was higher among the Christians at 4.4 per cent as compared to those among the Hindus at 1.1 per cent and the Muslims at 2.3 per cent.

Interestingly, among the males in the rural areas, the literacy rate for Hindus and Muslims was 68 and 63 per cent respectively. In case of urban males, the literacy rate for Hindus and Muslims was 89 and 77 per cent respectively.

In urban areas, the proportion of Hindu households depending on 'self-employment', regular wage/salary and casual labour were 36 per cent 43 per cent and 12 per cent respectively whereas the corresponding shares for the Muslims were 49 per cent, 30 per cent and 14 per cent respectively and for the Christians 27 per cent and 47 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

Unfolding the truth


# Urban Worker population Ratio (WPR) for male among Hindus and Muslims is equal at 71 per cent


# Urban WPR for Christian women (24 per cent) is much higher than that among Hindu (17 per cent) and Muslim women (12 per cent)


# In rural areas, unemployment rate is higher among Christians at 4.4 per cent as compared to those among Hindus at 1.1 per cent and Muslims at 2.3 per cent


I thought the EJs promise that on conversion to Christianity, you get ac, ft, mc, and ma. How do they ensure all these when they can't even get them the jobs? :roll:

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 31 Mar 2007 20:55

Shiv - this idea of "fundamentally accepting of all faiths" doesn't square with a lot of the reality on the ground. If the premise were real, then we wouldn't have beef being banned, or people of a certain religion being denied entry to a religious place and so on. How is this premise any different from the evangelists that say that "jesus is love" and that therefore anything that they do is "good."

Does SD have EJ mentality people in their fold? If they are present are they due to reactionary outburst? How to define religious places? Do any religious domain has right to exercise exclusionary practices? Calvin do you allow any tom dick harry to walk into your house? After all they are all humans. Many SDF believe temples as home of their Deity (please we had this discussion don't judge SD based on few aberration as you expect us not to judge Christianity based on Ejs activities).
Calvin your point is fully accepted that Shivs suggestions are applicable to everyone irrespective of religion. I wish Malbar Syrian Christians retained their cultural roots because it enhances Christianity. I wish Sufism come back to subcontinent which has no distinction from Bhakti marg and enhanced Islam. Problem with SD is that we SDF do not understand importance of our heritage (might be wrong assumption) and worry we might loose it forever. It is insecurity due to lack of true "Secularism" in India.
I assume you are in US where more than 90% population belong to one faith and do send faithful republicans to power. They are never judged as fundamentalist (despite their views which are extreme right). Should we as SDF in US feel threatened by that? If not why minorities fear about Hindu politics in India? You really believe that Indian minorities are going to benefit by minority appeasement? For strong successful India, minorities should be completely assimilated in Indian theme. Trying to raised special status is antithesis to it. I have not seen any concrete evidence that something is done in this regard by majority or minority. I have only seen either fear or demonising hate rate for SD. Is SDF responsible for it or social engineering done by few vested interests.

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Postby shiv » 31 Mar 2007 21:25

Vishy_mulay wrote:
Shiv - this idea of "fundamentally accepting of all faiths" doesn't square with a lot of the reality on the ground. If the premise were real, then we wouldn't have beef being banned, or people of a certain religion being denied entry to a religious place and so on. How is this premise any different from the evangelists that say that "jesus is love" and that therefore anything that they do is "good."


Vishy_mulay - you have ignored, as I have done the rhetoric in the post that chooses to word the sentence as a "lot of reality" on the ground.

Beef is not banned.

People of any religion are not by and large denied entry into Hindu temples.

At this point in time I do not choose to make "you farted" statements like this. On a forum such a sthis - it should be easy to say 'How come you forgot all the Hindus murdered by the pastor outside the church last week in xyzpur" The statement is patently false like the statement that "beef is banned" and the insinuation that there is a general ban on entryof people from some faiths into religious places of another faith in India.

But that is Calvin, a forum admin on this forum making those "you farted" statements and I do not want to use the same tactic to reply to him. He chooses to make a false allegation to seek a clarification. I choose to dignify the question with a considered reply. The choice of whether he wants to continue to make false allegations or insinuations lies with him.

I will wait till he collects up what I consider a sufficient number of inflammatory insinuations before I ask that he too should pay for his own karma like any other troll.

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 31 Mar 2007 21:58

Shiv, SHQ is in weekend house cleaning mood and was venting weekend special :D . Post was in limbo and was not able to read what you posted in the mean time. Will delete it soon.

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Postby alok_m » 31 Mar 2007 22:26

{Valkan,Alok}Ji,
The definition of God that was given by ValkanJi in the previous thread tried to define God "logically". I was curious if you know if someone has done it in formal logic i.e. using syntax of predicate/modal logic ?

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Postby Pulikeshi » 01 Apr 2007 00:55

Calvin wrote:Shiv - this idea of "fundamentally accepting of all faiths" doesn't square with a lot of the reality on the ground. If the premise were real, then we wouldn't have beef being banned, or people of a certain religion being denied entry to a religious place and so on. How is this premise any different from the evangelists that say that "jesus is love" and that therefore anything that they do is "good."


Hinduism a'nt got no beef with any other faith! :mrgreen:

But it has some new memes - like no beef (which is relatively recent), I am not sure of the "prevents entry into temple" harp! That you love playing...

For your kind information, in many a temple, the priests will not let me into the inner santorum. Further, they may sometimes demand, I shed my western threads for a more traditional dhoti. That is the meme! As a religion, they have a right to demand discipline on my part to comply. I have the choice to refuse.

Let's not compare hot potatoes to fire and brimstone :-)

Compare and contrast the IWH's pussilanimous demands to:
"If you don't believe in me, you will burn in hell for eternity. Therefore you will come to my temple and worship me" :twisted:

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Postby svinayak » 01 Apr 2007 01:36

shiv wrote:

But the Hindu faith does not need secularism imposed on it as if it was some enlightened new idea. The idea of accepting all religions is normal for Hindus. What is not normal is to take criticism without perspective (such as yours undoubtedly is) or acknowledgement of the other's fault. "Secularism" was deesigned to keep the Church out of state affairs, but it was never designed to keep the needs and ideas of largely Christian civilizations out. The Christian civilization that dominated india spat upon Hindu ideas (or gave to Hindus the feeling that they were being spat upon) in a manner that did not seem to happen to people who decided to convert to Christianity.

The feeling is reality and needs to become part of the Indian narrative and a subject of reconciliation.


This is a brilliant post.

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Postby S.Valkan » 01 Apr 2007 01:48

Kumar wrote:Everyone here who is discussing religion is rooted in faith. Despite occasional claims, hinduism is not scientific. Everyone here has put his "faith" in some unscienfic axioms, whether arising in one's own mind or selected from hindu scriptures. The question of reason only arises in making derivations from those axioms. One interesting activity that many "sects" of hinduism follow is in spending inordinate amount of effort "interpreting" the scriptural statements to mould them to a certain sectarian viewpoint. This creates a plethora of axioms apparently rooted upon the same scriptural statement.


Interesting statements, but not true at all.

What axioms have you seen me make so far?

Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Have you seen me take recourse to 'faith' in any logical presentation of a viewpoint ?

Never.

So, your charge of universal faith is misplaced.

If I pointed out some verses of the Upanishads, it was merely complementary, and not at all relevant to substantiate the logical argument.

I had earlier asked Alok_N to provide HIS scientific axioms of advaita, but noble silence reins...


The term "scientific" is rather misused in such discussions.

As long as the subject-object duality is necessary for "science", it can never profess to be "Advaita".

In that respect, science is NOT YET Advaita, rather than saying Advaita is not scientific.

Many a moon ago, I was challenged by a zealous Dvaitin to "prove" Advaita WITHOUT recourse to scriptures or axioms, if Advaita was "so scientific" as claimed by books, blogs, posts and lectures from armchair NRI philosophers.

The fruit of that contemplation effort was presented in that "First Principles" post.

If THAT is not "scientific" enough ( no axioms or "faith" whatsoever ), I don't know what is.

Its only one interpretation. And as I mentioned above one particular "sect" may choose to view it one way, and other differently.


You are stretching the truth wildly.

Interpretations on what "Paramam Brahman" and "Brahman" is in that context may be subject of dispute among "sects".

But there is no dispute regarding the simple verbs Veda and Bhavati, or the cause-effect relation between them.

It is clear that only after knowing does one become, and NOT the other way around. That is incontrovertible.

If you are trying to mislead me and others into thinking that even the ORDER of THOSE verbs are in dispute, then we have very little common ground.


It wasn't claimed that "finite" mind-body become infinite. Vedantic view is that consciousness can get tied up with finite things through avidya or maya. Consciousness is only apparently bound, it can expand to accomodate even the universal consciousness of brahman.


Firstly, this "expansion" business is not logically defensible.

Secondly, nowhere in Vedanta does it say that.

The examples of space delimited by pots is given to show that when the "pot" is broken, the "space" inside the pot is non-different from the "whole" space.

Similarly, Cit/Chaitanya/Awareness in me INCORRECTLY identifies with a limited mind-body apparatus.

When ignorance is removed by knowledge, the identification of the apparent part ( I/Aham ) with the whole ( Brahman ) is complete.

The Cit/Chaitanya/Awareness doesn't expand anywhere. Expnsion necessitates contraction. The Limitless could NEVER have contracted in the first place.

TattirIya upanishad puts Anandamaya-kosha beyond vijnAnamaya-kosha. Even Anandamaya-kosha is called a "kosha" or a sheath implying, it is not the final stage either. VijnAna-maya-kosha is put beyond the manomaya-kosha (the mental sheath).


I don't know what you are attempting to prove here.

The attempt of the 5-sheath argument in the TU was to make it clear that the "happiness" we experience during deep sleep is still limited by the nation of "I" as the limited agent.

In fact, the layers are so described such that the intellectual effort of "Neti Neti" discriminating contemplation succeeds in the effort to arrive at the irreducible substratum of any experience ( the Subject ).

However, the one DOING the contemplation is the mind.

That is precisely why "Manasa Eve Anudrashtavyam" is suggested as the ONLY way to knowledge.

Regarding the duration of consciousness, highest state is timeless, tirkAlatIta. You have been using the term "trikAla-abAdhita" in a certain way. Again IMHO that is a "sectarian" choice.


How is that sectarian ?

The statement "Tri-Kala Abadhitam Satyam" states the obvious- that which is the "Truth" cannot be contradicted at any time.

So, when the consciousness recedes back to lower level, it seems again to follow the "local time", so to speak.


The "Limitless" recedes back ?

Are you serious ? How is that possible ?

What occupies the space that the Limitless "receded" from ?

Regarding the "experiencer vanishing, are you talking about his consciousness, or are you talking about his mind-body? If you are talking about the experiencer's consciousness, then yes, for him his body-mind vanish.


Really ?

So how do they come BACK from a vanished state ?

Even in dreams the body "vanishes" for the dreamer. But not for some other person who may be observing his body from outside. It is not the "body" that gets the experience.


So who is getting the experience ?

If Brahman is getting that experience, you and I should be getting that same experience as the "Yogi".

Is it something OTHER than Brahman ?

What happens then to "One, ONLY, without a second" ?

I am sure you have answers to these ?

This is a real good question and the one that is difficult to answer.

Where does this "memory" reside? If a person's consciousness comes down completely to the lower/darker state then the "memory" can be explained only if his lower instruments also underwent some transformations when his consciousness was in a higher state. Then the "memory" would relate to these transformations in lower instruments.


Doesn't compute.

You just said that the mind-body VANISHES in that "experience".

"Memory" is stored in the brain as some neurochemicals.

How can there be MEMORY if the brain itself had VANISHED in "non-dual" experience ?

Its like being able to "see" a snake in a dark room, but knowing that it is actually a rope. Two levels of consciousness are being "spanned" here.


Wonderful.

So you understand that once knowledge of the true nature( "rope" ) of the visual destroys the ignorance of the truth, there is no longer a problem with the "illusion" of the snake.

The illusion can continue in dim light, but the knowledge of "rope" removes the CONCLUSION of the "snake".

That's what I was trying to explain all along.

No "expansion-contraction" business of consciousness needed.


This conception has some "logical" issues related to contradiction, viz. how can something be one AND many at the same time. The key IMHO is the "same time" bit. They are not really the same time.


No ?

So Brahman is many NOW, but will be one LATER in some "experience" ?

You really think this makes sense ?

From that person's viewpoint, rope didn't exist until he turned on the lights.


I am not asking about "viewpoint".

Was the rope absent or present as a fact of the matter ?

So yes, thoughts hide the brahman from a person's consciousness. Only a silent consciousness can comprehend brahman.


Please try to understand what you wrote.

Brahman is HIDDEN because of ignorance, just like dust hides the shining mirror underneath.

But is Brahman ABSENT, or present in EVERY experience ?

It is PRESENT.

So, what's the solution ? Remove the dust, aka ignorance.

And that can ONLY be done by knowledge alone.

Here manas (mind) is below two others.


That's totally unrelated to the context.

Your 5-sheaths example is only used there to prove that "I" am NOT the body(annamaya), senses(pranamaya), mind(manamaya), intelligence(vijnanamaya) or the ego(anandamaya). It is an aid for the Drik-Drishya viveka ( Subject-object discrimination technique ) to be USED by the Mind ( using intelligence/analytical thinking ) to contemplate on the Self.

Mind ( Manasa ) is called Antah-Karana ( Internal INSTRUMENT ) for a reason.

Without the instrument of the Mind, you are as good as a vegetable with ocular lens, olfactory nerve and tympanic membrane.

The point is that ONLY with the Mind can you do Manana and Nidhidhyasana.

And that is why the Upanishads say "Manasa Eva Anudrashtavyam".

Also from Isha-upanishad "vidyAm cha avidyAm cha, yo tad-veda ubhayam saha...)

So there is a knowledge which is beyond ordinary "vidyA" and "avidyA", the dual pair. That is being talked about, not merely a mental "vidyA".


Wrong.

You have just embarked on a wonderful adventure on the versatility of the Sanskrit language.

The word Vidya here refers to "textbook knowledge".

For example, if I read the Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in a Quantum Mechanics textbook, that is Vidya.

If I understand the concept behind the Pauli-Weyl proof, and can satisfactorily remove all doubts in my mind, then it is Jnana.

Similarly, if I read "Tat Tvam Asi" in a textbook and FEEL "I am That", that is Vidya, but that is NOT Jnana.

The moment I feel "I am That", I have hypnotised myself.

The "Anudrashtavyam" or "Brahman Vid' "Yat Jnata" etc refers to a direct understanding of what "Tat" and "Tvam" really mean, through logical contemplation.

That's what is BEYOND both Avidya(Ignorance) and Vidya(Texbook knowledge).

Hope it is clear.

Swami Vivekananda is the archetypal "Neo-Vedanti". If you dismiss him, you are dismissing a huge part of current hindu consciousness as well as the hindu-renaissance that he and other neo-vedantis brought forth.

This is a "sectarian" view IMHO. And doesn't encompass whole of hinduism per se.


Let's just say that Swami Vivekananda has his own place under the Sun, as far as the revival of Hinduism is concerned.

Bengal(and Kamarupa/Assam) being the bastion of the greatest Shakta-Advaita tradition (which combines the best of Advaita Brahman-vada, Samkhya Tattva-vada and the most refined Dakshinachara and Vamachara Tantra ) of the last 1000 years, his attempt was "Samanyaya".

But although he espoused Advaita as the pinnacle of logic, that doesn't mean that his experiments with Raja Yoga represents the views of classical Advaita.

His epithet of a neo-Vedantin is based on this apparent disconnect, partly because of which the "scientific" ( aka logical ) edifice of Advaita is compromised by a whole new generation.

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Postby svinayak » 01 Apr 2007 02:14

shiv wrote:
1) India completely colonized? - yes

2 Blame on colonizers? - a qualified yes, but Hindus were the losers weren't they?
Are Indians completely colonized?

I suspect that is true.

But it does not end there. If Indians are completely mentally colonized, blaming the colonizers today is of little use. What Hindus should have done is fight the colonizers of yesterday.

That is precisely why I have been hollering on this thread for Hindus to try and define what is left that is worth preserving and start working on that rather than mourning what is already gone.


That is what the textbook change and media control and political change is all about. Everything is to bring change and to start working on what is today rather than keep looking at the past. Action is being done today and here.

Poster like Vishy are real life examples who have decolonized their mind and look at the world around them in a new way.

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Postby SaiK » 01 Apr 2007 02:20

Calvin wrote:Shiv - this idea of "fundamentally accepting of all faiths" doesn't square with a lot of the reality on the ground. If the premise were real, then we wouldn't have beef being banned, or people of a certain religion being denied entry to a religious place and so on. How is this premise any different from the evangelists that say that "jesus is love" and that therefore anything that they do is "good."


I agree.. the core issue has to be uderstood as logic. The more modern societies move away from magical understanding of the universe that includes Maya, Super Duper Christ, All-ah, etc.. the more they appear to be following a universal theory of living.. some of these are the concepts that can't be imposed as something that social structure must follow. The ground reality is that Humans are social animals. And at the same time, humans need to follow something that is not forced driven by a political agenda or something that is applicable for all.

Lets see what we need for ALL:
- corruption free society that includes education, schools, work, politics, facilities, .. the whole gammut of living on this planet.
- total freedom (not to commit crimes and all that activites that end up in any type of crime or social evil)
- fundamental setup - infrastructure, social, natural living, etc. that understands Earth as a planet, and we are its sons and daughters. Accept Science., or be Agnostic towards Science rather God concept.
- Appreciate all things natural, natural processes, nature that includes protecting the planet (not Unkilism - that aids global warming, exploitation of poor countries, etc)

bottom line, all that we all agree is required to have, nice to have (2nd step) and finally excellent to have.
The required to have, is mandatory and is applicable to all as needed. Nice ot have is for making things better, advancing, etc. Excellent is to when you compare with other countries viz, with the factors that we are interested to our setup.

We would only very few concepts that could be made alive universally.. that is something humans never understand or something humans feel and agree that is "required to have" - drinkable water, fire, earth resources, home, quality food, etc.

we should leave the nice to haves, and excellent to haves as social endeavors by humans for benefit of each and everyones existing heritage and faith in a non-hindered setup.. this way, religion is pushed not required for basic living. religion is just something made for having better social living., to ward evils like drugs, teensex, and such.. more importantly in advanced countries and advancing countries so that parents can spend their time in minting money rather educated kids on these, living to religion.

time is ripe and is correct to move religion away from state. America must move away in printing "In God We Trust", to 'In Science We Trust"., and show the world that they are really the "Advanced Country".
Last edited by SaiK on 01 Apr 2007 02:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby svinayak » 01 Apr 2007 02:22

shiv wrote:

If you feel that Hindu minds are colonized and that the culture is under threat you have no business simply waiting with faith and hope until you have done all that you physically can to make sure that what is under threat is no longer under threat and what is colonized is uncolonized.

Can you or Acharya claim that? If not, then faith and hope may both be misplaced as the religions that rely on action will continue to act while those who wait with faith and hope will continue to wait as their past fades into history.

If it is in your power to act, you must act first, not remain silent, with faith and hope.


As for me I am not relying on faith and hope. I am actively working on various areas to make change so that decolonizing is happening at a faster pace. Personally I have been working on this for more than 10 years to give you an idea of commitment.

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Postby svinayak » 01 Apr 2007 02:41

Alok_N wrote:
shiv wrote:If you feel that Hindu minds are colonized and that the culture is under threat you have no business simply waiting with faith and hope until you have done all that you physically can to make sure that what is under threat is no longer under threat and what is colonized is uncolonized.

Can you or Acharya claim that? If not, then faith and hope may both be misplaced as the religions that rely on action will continue to act while those who wait with faith and hope will continue to wait as their past fades into history.

If it is in your power to act, you must act first, not remain silent, with faith and hope.


well put and acknowledged as such ...

I must say that I am slowly awakening to the call for action ... realities of domestic life are constraints that one has to consider, but surely not succumb to ...

someone posted the concept of Dharma Yudh ... initially, I didn't latch on to that, but after viewing TSJ's posts, something is stirring ...

in some ways, in Gita terms, I am Kimkartavyavimoodh (unable to decipher one's course of action) ... this is the precise position where Arjuna found himself in before Sri Krishna removed doubt ...

I must say that I am awakened to action but the course of action is far from clear ....


This is the kind of encouragement I have from that generation. Let there be light.

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Postby S.Valkan » 01 Apr 2007 02:53

shiv wrote:There is no written law saying other faiths are wrong. There is no written law against beef eating - which I think got a big boost with Gandhi. (Not sure). As you know beef can be obtained perfectly legally in South India at least.


Wrong train of thought from most forumites.

Actually, some states disallow cow slaughter in state abattoirs.

That's because the Brahma Vaivarta Purana suggests that SD adherents shouldn't allow slaughter of cows in Kaliyuga( Ashvamedham Gavalambham Sannyasa Pala Paitrikam Devarena Sutotpattim Kalau Pancha Vivarjayet ), and there is a chance that there may be communal disturbance.

This is no different than banning shouting "Fire" in a theater, say, in the US, despite freedom of speech.

But, eating beef is NOT banned anywhere in India.

You can buy Wagyu Beef from Japan, if your deep pockets permit, and make your own Carpaccio on your dining table.

I believe the Hindu narrative asks for equal acceptance of several aspects of reality over centuries such as

1) Toleration and encouragement of new faiths within India

2) Intolerance of Indian faiths by foreign faiths (yes, foreign) when people of those faiths had military ascendancy.

3) The tremendous loss inflicted on Hindus in terms of property and life by islam in particular


I am not sure if this is a valid point.

Let's not confuse "Hindu" narrative with "Hindu revivalist" narrative.

The Hindu narrative simply wants to be left alone, and not be subject to the threats, executions, and social/cultural disruptions caused by overzealous neo-converts to the evangelical faiths, as it happened during Islamic rule, and is still being seen to happen in Tripura, Meghalaya, etc.

The Christian civilization that dominated india spat upon Hindu ideas (or gave to Hindus the feeling that they were being spat upon) in a manner that did not seem to happen to people who decided to convert to Christianity.

The feeling is reality and needs to become part of the Indian narrative and a subject of reconciliation.


This is an excellent point.

But, as one can see from the statements of Pope Benedict XVI, the Christian civilisation is not yet ready to reconcile with its sister religions of the Abrahamic tradition, leave alone the docile Indic religions.

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Postby S.Valkan » 01 Apr 2007 03:28

shiv wrote:In the ultimate reality of Hindu thought, religion is totally pointless. While that appears to be a strength, it can also be called a weakness.

So what are Hindus trying to protect? What is worth protecting? It is worth protecting the Hindu intellectual property that guides you to become a completely fulfilled Group A human being.

In addition, the Hindu dharma has defined, centuries ago means of dealing with questions of existence, life, death, joy and sorrow and the universe in a unique way that gives you the choice of either using God as a prop, or action and service as a prop, or by rejecting all that and taking a third route and "realizing" the truth - after which you can do pretty much what you like with your life.

The thought process, the reasoning, the arguments and counter arguments need to be preserved, along with the freedom to express counter thoughts to existing thought.


Excellent post.

Once upon a time, Alok-ji had asked some "atheist" jingoists in another venue as to what they are so "proud" of as Indian, that are STILL relevant in THIS day and age ?

Not many could answer.

Here we have a brilliant exposition of what is worth preserving.

I don't think it can be delineated any better than this.

Thanks, shiv.

That is all that Hindus have, along with a rich accompaniment of stories, poems, literature, art, architecture, dance, music, science and culinary innovation.

There is so much that some losses have occurred and others are occurring even as we talk. Preservation means acting on keeping what we have.

Is this preservation occurring or not occurring?


The answer depends on what you mean by "preservation".

There are some dazzling parables in the form of literature and poems which are universal in their applicability as psychological shields against stressful life, and have been duly preserved over centuries in either the original, or in the later languages.

Music, dance and other art forms are cultural treasures of India as a whole, and - excepting hardcore Ashraf-wannabes - are treasured by Indians of all religions.

However, younger generations are losing touch with this heritage in the face of the onslaught of global band-music and Bollywood/Hollywood cultural inroads.

Culinary innovations have their own place. They will be retained, refined, experimented with, and combined with other ingredients and techniques borrowed globally, as it had happened for centuries.

Science is a difficult topic. Much of that science is now only of historical interest, having been superceded by Western scientific progress of the last millenium.

So, it is worth preserving/archiving only as a heritage icon.

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Postby Alok_N » 01 Apr 2007 03:38

Shiv wrote:The thought process, the reasoning, the arguments and counter arguments need to be preserved ...


same reason we archive threads ... :)

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Postby SaiK » 01 Apr 2007 03:54

http://mkvnarayan.sulekha.com/blog/post/2003/12/symbolism-in-hindu-rituals.htm wrote:The concept of 'Brahman' is evasive and complex. It is difficult to define it. Religions have equated it to the 'Atman' or soul or to the God residing in us. Some scientists describe it as our mind (distinct from our physical brain). Mind is seen as a conglomeration of our past experiences embedded in the neural networks in our brain since our very conception as an embryo. This also leads to the consciousness of the 'Self'. 'Brahman' is more than all these. It encompasses all our involuntary and voluntary mental systems responsible for our very existence as intelligent humans. It has been evolving in our brains since we were cousins of fish, reptile, mammal, primate and pre-humans.

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Postby shyamd » 01 Apr 2007 05:49

Didn't know where to post:

The whole series of this investigation is available here:
http://newstodaynet.com/2007sud/07marsun.htm

NGOs, subversive activists and foreign funds - I
V SUNDARAM

I am quite amused though not surprised by the recent statement of Fr Jegath Gasper Raj, a Catholic priest who had recently collaborated with Kanimozhi, daughter of Chief Minister Karunanidhi in organizing the recently concluded Chennai Sangamam in collaboration with Tamil Maiyam - ostensibly a cultural festival�which was held in Chennai city. He has said that some jealous and vested interests are responsible for the recent allegations that he is closely associated with the LTTE. To quote his own words, 'if there is a strategy aimed at weakening the LTTE hoping to gain advantage at negotiating with the Tamils that would end in a disaster. The Tigers will never negotiate from a position of weakness. And the Tamils world over hold the view that the LTTE is their last Defence. I also hold that view. Definitely the LTTE has a streak of totalitarianism but I do not subscribe to the view that it is fatalistic. It has certainly shown intolerance to different ways of thinking. But whatever you may say, they are still the Tamils' last defence there. Unfortunately in Tamilnadu when someone talks about Sri Lankan Tamil issue rather passionately, he is immediately branded terrorist and there is no middle way to academically look at the issue.'

Fr Jegath Gasper Raj has also dismissed as baseless the charge that he has been closely associated with the US based Tamil Socrates Nachimuthu who has been arrested by the FBI in USA for alleged attempt to bribe a State Official to lift the ban on the LTTE. Fr Jegath Gasper Raj has also said that he had never been directly involved with the LTTE and his only claim to closeness to the Tamil Diaspora has been his long and committed work in the areas of human rights and also helping the Lankan Tamil refugees. He has also attempted to clarify that Socrates Nachimuthu was not in any way directly involved with the LTTE and that he had only been active in the FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATION OF TAMIL SANGAMS IN NORTH AMERICA (FeTNA).What has been clearly noted by the main stream English media in India is that Tamil Socrates Nachimuthu, a nuclear scientist, was sharing the same dais with Fr Jegath Gasper Raj at the recently concluded and much touted Chennai Sangamam plus Chennai Maiyam cultural event.
No one disputes the fact that Fr Jagath Gasper Raj, a Catholic priest was the driving force behind the just concluded so-called cultural event Chennai Sangamam. A very intriguing and rather disturbing fact which has emerged is that one K Pandiaraj who is the moving spirit behind Tamil Maiyam also happens to be an important member of the 'Think-Tank' of the BJP Party. Fr Jegath Gasper Raj is also another vital element in Pandiaraj's Tamil Maiyam. Many sharp political analysts have not failed to take note of the essentially subversive, mysterious and hidden Sangamams within the wrapper of open SANGAMAMS.

I do not know whether Fr Jegath Gasper Raj has anything to do with LTTE. The great American philosopher Thoreau (1817-1862) said it for all time when he declared: 'it takes two to speak the truth; one to speak and another to hear'. However I would like to confront him with the stern, grim and scorching truth about some of the issues he has raised.

Any enlightened citizen committed to the cause of national unity, national security and territorial integrity of India has to only carefully go through an explosive book titled 'NGOs, ACTIVISTS AND FOREIGN FUNDS, ANTI-NATION INDUSTRY' edited by Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak, two bold and fearless journalists. The first edition of this book was published in 2006. I had reviewed this book in seven parts in the columns of News Today. The second edition of this book has just come out within six months of the release of the first edition in September 2006. In this second edition, there is a brilliant and scorching article by Arvind Kumar under the title THE OXYMORON CALLED AID in which he has thoroughly exposed the anti-national activities of several Indian organisations (NGOs) functioning in the United States. They all have their overt or covert political agenda despite their calling themselves as 'Charity Groups'. Amongst these groups the biggest, the richest, the most widespread and the most dangerous organisation is the one that calls itself Association for India's Development (AID). This anti-national group has spread its tentacles far and wide and has directly entangled itself with many anti-Indian forces, some of which are connected to Pakistan and also to terrorist groups like the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

AID began its work in 1991 and spread like AIDS among the younger generation in some of the campuses of American Universities. It started recruiting its members from the recurring crop of new students from India landing in USA every year. What was concealed mischievously from the Indian students was the fact that AID was involved in many subterranean, subversive political activities in India with close links to or connections with violent Communist and nefarious groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization that has been linked to the Jihadi outfit Hezbollah.

To quote the brilliant words of Arvind Kumar: 'Apart from CAIR, a few of the groups that AID associates itself with are ASHA for Education (ASHA), Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), (The Youth Wing of the Communist Party of India�Marxist), and Friends of South Asia (FOSA). Each of these organisations has dubious credentials. And many of the volunteers of organisations like ASHA and FOSA are also volunteers for AID. In many cases, the same group of people is behind multiple organisations with pompous-sounding names and uses them as money-generating schemes. Thus it comes as no surprise to know that Anu Mandavilli, a spokesperson for FOSA, is also an editor AID's monthly newsletter.'

Arvind Kumar rightly describes AID as Allah for India's Destruction. Having stated that there is a strong umbilical chord between AID and FOSA, Arvind Kumar goes on to say that FOSA was started by a fanatic Muslim Pakistani named Ali Hasan Cemendtaur. The website of this organisation is still owned and controlled by this champion of compassionate Islam. In May 2005, FOSA organized a so called 'Peace March' in San Francisco. It was attended by the same handful of volunteers who work for many of the shady anti-India and anti-Hindu organisations already referred to above and one of the banners at the event read: 'ALLAH WILL DESTROY THE TERRORIST STATE OF INDIA.' It is very clear that FOSA fits in with the classic mould of the organisations created by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). AID has maintained close links with Islamic fundamentalists in USA. It has jointly sponsored events with CAIR.

It is reliably understood that FOSA had recently roped in a group called the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA) to plan, organize, launch and act against Indians in the California Textbook Controversy. I remember reading in the Times of India in 2003 that the FeTNA was a Front Organisation for the LTTE. In August 2006, Nachimuthu Socrates, a former director of FeTNA was arrested by the American authorities for supporting LTTE. The CNN reported as follows on this episode: 'Eight men have been charged with plotting to buy surface-to-air missiles for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger Rebels, US federal prosecutors have announced. The men also are accused of plotting to bribe US State Department Officials into removing the Tamil Tiger Group from a list of terrorist organisations and of trying to obtain classified information.' This very FeTNA, aligning itself with Chennai Maiyam, played a pivotal role in the recent Chennai Sangamam cultural event!

Arvind Kumar has graphically brought out how ill-gotten money is being used by AID and its allies for acts of national subversion and sabotage. To quote his precise words in this context: 'A careful look at the money trail of AID illustrates the functioning of the organisation, and throws light on other organisations that are used to funnel money collected by AID. These organisations co-ordinate their fund-raising activities and shadow their proceeds by passing through multiple accounts all controlled by like minded groups. One such organisation that has been funded by AID is called Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF). TNSF works actively with DYFI. TNSF listed Balaji Sampath, who is also a founder of AID. Thus while Balaji Sampath's AID collects money in America, BALAJI SAMPATH (in his Indian incarnation!) receives money in India, ostensibly on behalf of TNSF.'

I understand that TNSF 'as a policy' would always impose a pre-condition on the libraries in Tamilnadu which they were financially supporting to the effect that the concerned libraries would only support DYFI and no other student body before receiving any funds. AID is a secretive organisation which enjoys the full political support of the UPA Government in New Delhi. It was AID which extended generous financial support to Sandeep Pandey, founder of ASHA and a known Naxalite sympathizer, to undertake a political trip to Pakistan some years ago.

Those who work with AID and its allies also seem to be experts in organizing international prizes and awards to themselves as part of a civil and cultural conspiracy. One Sanjit 'Bunker' Roy was given a prize by the Aga Khan foundation for having developed rainwater harvesting structures. Later investigations by The Week clearly revealed that he had hired a professional architect called Neehar Raina to get the job done. Upon this exposure, Aga Khan Foundation changed its citation to fit in with the known facts! A secularly shameless non-communal Roy, ended up by returning his prize. Bunker Roy's wife Aruna Roy, is a Maoist and has worked closely with AID. Like many who have worked closely with AID in its undeclared mission of national subversion, she too has been awarded a prize by the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation.

I can only conclude that NGO's like AID, ASHA, CAIR, FeTNA are all committed to their supreme objective of De-Hinduising the Indian State which means rendering the Hindu identity to any aspect of our national life illegitimate and irrelevant in public life and public discourse.
(To be contd)

(The second part of this series will appear on 21 March)
(The writer is a retired IAS officer)
e-mail the writer at vsundaram@newstodaynet.com

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 01 Apr 2007 05:56

Shiv, kudos I can not thank you more for being so clear. All I want is just equal respect for my Dharma as expected for all other Religions. Nothing more nothing less. Doing so has earned me nice title of "HINDU FUNDAMENTALIST". Pointing that all I am saying for SD is commonly said by many Christian and Muslim for their own faith was/is never perceived or completely ignored. It is expected that no SDF will stand and take accusations head on. For those SDF who want to stand their ground no logical defense is available but your post has provided us a starting point to explore.

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Postby vsudhir » 01 Apr 2007 07:01

Vishy_mulay wrote:Shiv, kudos I can not thank you more for being so clear. All I want is just equal respect for my Dharma as expected for all other Religions. Nothing more nothing less. Doing so has earned me nice title of "HINDU FUNDAMENTALIST". Pointing that all I am saying for SD is commonly said by many Christian and Muslim for their own faith was/is never perceived or completely ignored. It is expected that no SDF will stand and take accusations head on. For those SDF who want to stand their ground no logical defense is available but your post has provided us a starting point to explore.


I second that. Word for word.

Thank you Dr. Shiv for articulating what I've been struggling to put into words for a while now.

Must say though that your opening gambit at the beginning of the thread was very different. Or maybe the position you currently espouse (and the one I agree with almost completely on this issue), is merely another way station enroute to a larger, as yet hidden, objective? {Have learnt enough about onions to know there's always another layer to peel :eek:..... And that gyan is so moving, it brings tears to the eyes.... :twisted: }

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Postby shiv » 01 Apr 2007 07:50

Vishy_mulay wrote: All I want is just equal respect for my Dharma as expected for all other Religions. Nothing more nothing less.


Knowing the fundamental "My God is bigger than yours" tendency in Christianity and Islam, this will not be given away easily.

As history has shown, the step up from "My God is bigger than yours" to "I am better than you are" is a short one.

And once again, as history has shown, when such faiths run out of unbelievers to demonstrate that "I am better than you" - they start taking it out on any convenient nearby believers.

That is what happened with the Church and it made people so sick an tired that they invented secularism to create breathing space without Church interference. In secularism the Church would not meddle with state affairs but continued to be the moral pillar of society. There was no restriction of the Church being the moral pillar of society and this gelled well with secularism in Europe.

This model of "non interference of Church in state affairs with no restriction on the Church being the moral pillar of society" was imposed on colonies, including India.

From a Hindu viewpoint there was no "justice" in weighing the merits of any belief system, or debate or an exchange of ideas. It was a one way street. Hindu bad. Christian good. The blow was probably not felt so strongly in an India that was living with the idea "Hindu bad. Islam good"

However I believe it is necessary for Hindus to reclaim the space they gave away in their naive welcoming of egregious and well armed followers of the philosophy of "My God is bigger than yours".

It will be argued that this demanding of space is itself a claim that a Hindu God needs more space, because he is claiming a bigger size - so what is the difference between Hindu Gods and any other Gods who claim greatness. I think that's just tough luck. The people who ask that question should have asked that of themselves before they started putting the Hindu down.

This has less to do with God than a feeling among people that has been ignored and sidelined for too long. The media show virtually no understanding of what the Hindu dharma is all about and the portrayal is all about Elephant headed Gods and Flesh eating Goddesses and multi-armed Gods. These images have a specific place and a story - but it is up to the Hindu to relate that story and put these images in perspective.

The onus for that lies on the Hindus who claims victimization and demands space. I believe that work should be aimed in that direction rather than frittering away energies in blaming someone or the other.

Does the "average anglophone Hindu" (who cries out that Hindus have been victimized) himself have a way of explaining Hindu dharma to the uninitiated? Can he explain the multi armed/animal headed God without getting tongue-tied?

If not - here is a problem that needs to be addressed. And the sooner the better.

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Postby Calvin » 01 Apr 2007 07:50

Shiv - Do we not need some distinction between "You did that, therefore I do this" - and - "this occurs, therefore we need that"?

It appears AXIOMATIC (to many people) that Hinduism is "tolerant", and that therefore there is no need for constitutional protection for minorities, nor need for minority rights. My contention is that, with very little effort, one can see examples that do not square with the axiom. If this assertion appears to be "trolling" then one might submit that there is *much* on this forum that would well be perceived as "trolling" to non-dharmic-followers.

But it seems too much to expect that the rules of Christianity and Islam will be rewritten to accept and acknowledge injustices done in the name of those faiths.


I agree with you on this. The solution that I have come to advocate is the path that forces these religious ideas out of the realm of *government*. You may consider this idea of "secularism" unnecessary in a Dharmic environment, because of your confidence that a truly dharmic government would be *tolerant* of dissenting opinion.

However, to reformat Reagan's "Trust but Verify" ideology, what is the danger in "trust but de-religionize" government?

What is being proposed to be banned ... is COW SLAUGHTER


I suppose there is a fine distinction here between "beef" and the banning of "cow slaughter"?

Certain religions are denied entry basically because Hindus are not too keen to harvest souls...Anyways there are many temples whih don't deny entry to peoples of other faiths.


My point is not that of "torn fly open shirt" or "you farted" as much as to point out that the AXIOM may not be tenable.

As for the second part of your sentence, logically, the rebuttal to "Hinduism is tolerant" only requires one example of intolerance. The analogy to the evangelists is that the rebuttal to "Jesus is love" only requires one example of hate.

I assume you are in US where more than 90% population belong to one faith and do send faithful republicans to power. They are never judged as fundamentalist


Vishy: You may want to listen to "air america" or pacifica radio to determine what 50% of the population thinks of the "christian coalition."

Should we as SDF in US feel threatened by that?


As the Constitutional protections afforded by the Bill of Rights are eroded, they should. The only thing protecting minorities of any stripe in the US is the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution.

You really believe that Indian minorities are going to benefit by minority appeasement?


Vishy, it would really help your case, if you didn't choose to put words in my mouth. Nowhere have I said that there should be "minority appeasement". EVERY human being should have certain minimum rights, by virtue of being a HUMAN BEING. Frankly, religion should have NOTHING to do with this.

For strong successful India, minorities should be completely assimilated in Indian theme. Trying to raised special status is antithesis to it.


You are tilting at windmills here. Whether or not people are assimilated is irrelevant, if they cannot take your rights away. Secondly, this notion of "assimilation" is appears at variance with the premises of SD as postulated on this forum (i.e., tolerance for other belief systems) - in an SD environment we would be much more likely to see a "mosaic" than the "melting pot" that comes with assimilation.

I have only seen either fear or demonising hate rate for SD.


You must not spend much time looking around, or you are looking in the wrong places.

Calvin do you allow any tom dick harry to walk into your house? After all they are all humans. Many SDF believe temples as home of their Deity (please we had this discussion don't judge SD based on few aberration as you expect us not to judge Christianity based on Ejs activities).


Vishy - there is a distinction between private and public property, but that is somewhat beside the point here. For one, I have never "expected" "you" (who are "us"?) "to not judge Christianity based on" evangelist activities. I have been remarkably consistent on this issue from the very beginning, insisting that the only activity that should be proscribed are those that involve taking, or threatening to take the basic fundamental rights of the people involved (i.e., life, liberty, and property).

For another, and more importantly, the query is one that goes to the heart of what constitutes "tolerance" and whether barring a certain type of person from these places is a sign of "tolerance". That this occurs at some of the holiest sites, suggests that there is a certain variance by some of the key authorities, in regard to the idea of "tolerance."

shiv says:
I will wait till he collects up what I consider a sufficient number of inflammatory insinuations before I ask that he too should pay for his own karma like any other troll.


This is not even an implicit threat. Interesting.

Valkan says:
That's because the Brahma Vaivarta Purana suggests that SD adherents shouldn't allow slaughter of cows in Kaliyuga( Ashvamedham Gavalambham Sannyasa Pala Paitrikam Devarena Sutotpattim Kalau Pancha Vivarjayet ), and there is a chance that there may be communal disturbance. This is no different than banning shouting "Fire" in a theater, say, in the US, despite freedom of speech.


Actually, for someone who prides himself on his logic, you should know that it is VERY DIFFERENT from "shouting 'fire!' in a theater."

What you are talking about is a *THREAT* of lawlessness ("communal disturbance") being used to ban an activity. How is this different from the Shah Bano case?

Thank you for making my case for me.

Let's not confuse "Hindu" narrative with "Hindu revivalist" narrative.


Actually, it appears that where it is convenient we are going to conflate the two under the rubric of "inclusiveness" and where convenient we will make distinctions between the two. Quite frankly, it should be one or the other, shouldn't it? (I don't mean to get into a dualist, non-dualist discussion here)

Once upon a time, Alok-ji had asked some "atheist" jingoists in another venue as to what they are so "proud" of as Indian, that are STILL relevant in THIS day and age ? Not many could answer.


That doesn't mean that there is no answer. You have yourself pointed to the literature, philosophies, arts and food. In addition to this is the simple pride in the cumulative experiences that goes with life in India. I don't have to be a historian, or a philosopher to treasure the memories of my life in India.

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Postby Calvin » 01 Apr 2007 08:00

That is what happened with the Church and it made people so sick an tired that they invented secularism to create breathing space without Church interference.


This may well be the case, but the idea of "individual rights" is itself a superset of the discussion on secularism. For example, the Bill of Rights in the US doesn't mention religion or secularism.

It will be argued that this demanding of space is itself a claim that a Hindu God needs more space, ... The people who ask that question should have asked that of themselves before they started putting the Hindu down.


If this is a social discussion, one would have no disagreement here. I would be curious to understand if you are suggesting that there should be a policy (or political) aspect to this "demanding of space"?

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Postby Alok_N » 01 Apr 2007 08:02

Calvin wrote:
Once upon a time, Alok-ji had asked some "atheist" jingoists in another venue as to what they are so "proud" of as Indian, that are STILL relevant in THIS day and age ? Not many could answer.


That doesn't mean that there is no answer. You have yourself pointed to the literature, philosophies, arts and food. In addition to this is the simple pride in the cumulative experiences that goes with life in India. I don't have to be a historian, or a philosopher to treasure the memories of my life in India.


Calvin,

allow me to refine the question in order to bring out the essence ...

"what is it about India that both you and your grandfather will agree upon is worthy of pride?"


the answer will necessarily define a component of your traditional values ...

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Postby Alok_N » 01 Apr 2007 08:11

if some folks will indulge me, please take a shot at the answer above ...

for me and my grandfather, immediate agreement would be Vedanta ...

for example, here are some other items (let's rewind to 1970's)

Me: Shayari Baba: No

Baba: Poojas Me: No

Me: Kathak Baba: ok

Baba: Freedom movement Me: ok

Me: Sunil Gavaskar Baba: what?

etc etc ... surprisingly enough, even though my father will agree more with my grandfather, I can think of items where he may lean my way ...

in any case, continuity is clearly the key ... my kids will veto "kathak" but will agree on vedanta (I hope) ...

you may have fun with this if you apply it your family ... :)

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Postby Calvin » 01 Apr 2007 08:15

what is it about India that both you and your grandfather will agree upon is worthy of pride?" the answer will necessarily define a component of your traditional values ...


There is no disagreement here. "Religious values" are probably a subset of these "traditional values" which are themselves a sub-set of literature, language, clothing, local (territorial) experiences, and so on.

After reading your note above, it appears that there is a tremendous degree of focus on vedanta in your household, which probably colors your view of what constitutes pride. Perhaps my experiences were centered more on language and literature. Perhaps my neighbours' experiences were centered more on agriculture and the territorial experience.

Who is to say which is more important? Who gives them that right?
Last edited by Calvin on 01 Apr 2007 08:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Alok_N » 01 Apr 2007 08:24

Calvin wrote:There is no disagreement here. "Religious values" are probably a subset of these "traditional values" which are themselves a sub-set of literature, language, local (territorial) experiences, and so on.


that may be so in your family ... what I was hoping to extract was a sense of "pride" in the context of changing culture ...

I may have agreed with my grandfather that I have pride in "Shakuntalam", but that would not have been heartfelt (having slept through various lousy productions of it on local stage) ...

another thing that I am proud of is the Indian tradition of shayari which will not have a taker either in my grandfather or in my children ...

so, are you really saying that *honestly* you and your grandfather will agree on the same "top-10 list"? ...

I don't see that in my family ... even in foods, he would have said "baingan bhartha" or some such and I would have said "galawat kabab" ...

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Postby Calvin » 01 Apr 2007 08:38

AlokN: I don't think we would have had anywhere near the same "top 10" list of things to be proud of India, other than the independence movement (particularly the non violence of Gandhism) and the epics (Mahabharata and Ramayana).

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 01 Apr 2007 08:41

Calvin my brief comment on your reply is that you do suffer from selective interpretation bias (heck everyone does but we do accept or let go things when counter argument is provided). I pray (most of your posts have been thought provoking) the selective cherry picking of what I posted is not going to be norm of our conversations. I have not seen your take on many questions I have raised but seen many replies which actually does suit the "torn shirt open fly" abuse. Please read all our conversations and tell me why is it that we end up discussing same issues again and again (The ONE being exclusionary practices). You do not or will not accept that Temple is not public property. Even if we accept it as public property, will you accept that the much cherished US constitution has given full protection to exclusionary practises (please read 2nd 14th amendments). Does it reflect as discriminatory practices of USA? OR is it freedom of practise? Can we have freedom of practise in India? Since we are on US Bill of rights, DO you know the history of it? Was bill of rights was proclaimed for all? OR there was understanding about who is "WE THE PEOPLE". Do you think US supreme court played a major role in US Bill of rights interpretations as of today? Do you have faith in Indian Constitution or Indian Supreme Court? If not what should be tackled? I am not asking these questions because I don't know or think about it, it is because they can tell you how I think about lot of issues we are discussing. I hope you will give some consideration to it to understand where I want this discussion to go.
I dont enjoy throwing abuses at everything which is not related to SD. But posts like your selective interpretations are only answered by comparison to some norm or religion. That makes it a pot shot contest. I regret that while we are doing it, we ignore the important topic of analysis of Religions in Indian context (including a lot of bad things about SD). Unfortunately the moment I felt we are making some progress, posts like yours come up with selective interpretation bias and derails it. I have said time and again I am open to corrections but don't think I will accept anything thrown at me without thorough interpretation. Just my 2 cents.

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Postby Alok_N » 01 Apr 2007 08:48

then we are not so different after all ... :)

yes, this Vedanta business is a family pecularity ... we have our geneology known to 10 generations ... all were supposedly Vedic scholars ... many in my generation of cousins do not know Sanskrit ... in my father's generation, most of them did ...

however, all we get for this service to society/Hindus/India, is a label of being oppressors by the p-sec crowd ... never mind the fact that all of them were dirt poor ... we don't have family land and wealth ... my grandfather quit his job as a lawyer and joined Gandhi ... he was right hand man for Malviya ... my grandmother told me stories of how they had to go hungry because "grandpa had gone crazy and quit his job" ...

sorry ... way too much information ... I just wanted to point out why I find some commentary on Brahmanical society quite amusing ...

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Postby Calvin » 01 Apr 2007 09:01

Vishy: YOu are the one that brought the US into this discussion. If you are responding to descriptions of "private property" in the US one might point to numerous US-SC rulings that identify characteristics of public spaces. Wikipedia has a reasonable account of this.

IN any case, as I noted in my post, the entire purpose of posting about the restrictions on entry is to provide an example of the sensitivity accorded to non-coreligionists. The most obvious example of this in the non-Dharmic tradition is Mecca. The purpose of this is not to show that "you farted", but to illustrate that the axiomatic presumption of tolerance may not be accepted by all of us.

Given this, perhaps we should identify the smallest set of ideas that we are all going to agree to.

To me, this is what brings us to the idea of:
(a) a fundamental right of the individual to sustain his life,
(b) from which springs the rights to property ("Just as man can't exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one's rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property." (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged)" from wikipedia),
(c) and of freedom (as the absence of coercion).

AlokN: I don't know any of my family geneology before my paternal gd, or my maternal gm, mainly because I didn't care to write down the boring stories they would tell about his forebears (note my comment earlier to Shiv). The other two passed when I was too young, and before I was born. Suffice to say that we were dirt poor and of little learning. My grandparents recognized the value of education, and whatever I am is the direct result of that. I can see your frustration, and have long recognized the dangers of stereotypes.

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Postby shiv » 01 Apr 2007 09:23

Calvin:

It appears AXIOMATIC (to many people) that Hinduism is "tolerant", and that therefore there is no need for constitutional protection for minorities, nor need for minority rights.


Wait a second. You have jumped the gun

Hinduism is tolerant. That does not mean that minority rights should be absent. It only means that Hindu rights should be protected.

It so happens that there is a fundamental conflict between the minority right to proselytise and Hindu tolerance of people who claim that their God is bigger than everyone else's.

This is a problem that exists OUTSIDE government and you are proposing that you remove religion from within government. That is no solution.

The solution that I have come to advocate is the path that forces these religious ideas out of the realm of *government*.


What religious idea do you want to remove from government? There is on the one hand the obvious minority appeasement - and you have already argued for continued minority rights. That means that you only want the removal of Hindu < religious > thought from government. Since Hindus can do without God within Hindu dharma, all we need is Hindu Dharma within government. Not Hindu Gods. That's not so bad is it? It's not religion. Religion is God and all - which is easily separated from Hindu dharma.

If you fail to see the diference, there are people who will help you understand. It is essential for Hindus to be dharmic, just as it is essential to remove God from government. Just because you think dharma is religion does not change anything.

Surely you have nothing against Hindu dharma in india? In government or outside?

I suppose there is a fine distinction here between "beef" and the banning of "cow slaughter"?


The distinction vanishes when you get an immortal cow. The ones that die get eaten. Lots of cows, lots of natural deaths. Lots of beef.

shiv says:
I will wait till he collects up what I consider a sufficient number of inflammatory insinuations before I ask that he too should pay for his own karma like any other troll.


This is not even an implicit threat. Interesting.


I am glad it was of sufficient interest to you to keep you awake. It was a carefully thought out and deliberately worded sentence and I assume that you too are carefully thinking about what you say.


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