Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

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

Postby sudarshan » 13 Jun 2019 08:38

Bottomline: It is the "disinterested in the material" nature of the Dharmic notion of God, which makes it possible for Dharmic faiths to dispense with the very notion of God - an Abrahamic faith cannot do this (whereas, at least two Dharmic faiths have actually done this).

Corollary: If a faith has de-emphasized or dispensed with the notion of God (but still retains a notion of "ethics" or "morality"), it is by definition Dharmic.

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

Postby SriKumar » 13 Jun 2019 08:59

1. yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharatah abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srujam yaham
suggests that god is interested, and jumps in to help ...under some circumstances. (I noticed the qualifier: material).
2. When talking about consequences arising from actions, do you mean 1. actions made in this life, 2. previous life, 3. both?

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

Postby sudarshan » 13 Jun 2019 09:20

SriKumar ji, I don't know if you've read Calvin and Hobbes. If not, it's about a boy (Calvin) who has a toy tiger (Hobbes), but he pretends the tiger is real, and actually playing with him and often fighting with him. Basically a boy's make-believe pet.

There was an interesting episode (I might not recall it exactly, but I remember the gist of it). For our purposes, let's forget that Hobbes is imaginary - it could be just two boys playing.

Calvin and Hobbes sit down to play monopoly.

Hobbes ends up getting a lot of properties and forcing Calvin to pay rent.

Calvin runs out of money soon enough. So he says "this is it, I'm robbing the bank."

Hobbes: You can't rob the bank!

Calvin: I don't have money, so I have no other option.

Hobbes: Well, if that's the way we're playing, then I'm robbing you!

<fight> <scuffle> <pant> <gasp>

Now if you were the parent of these two boys, what would you do? You have no interest in their game (the material world). But Dharma has gone to the dogs (robbing banks, robbing each other, fighting, tearing each other's hair and clothes). Of course you intervene.

Your options are - shut down the game and send them off to do some useful work (invoke Shiva, the destroyer). Or - let them play, if they promise to be good and play nice (Vishnu, the preserver).

With "Yada yada hi dharmasya," Krishna says that He comes down, in His role as preserver, to restore order and allow the game to continue, though He Himself has no interest in playing. The descent to the material is for the specific purpose of restoring order (Dharma), that's all. Then He's back to His abstract self (you heading back to the kitchen or garage to get on with your work).

"Disinterest in the material" still holds. The interest is in allowing the kids to continue enjoying their game, which they can't do if things get out of order. But it is your indulgence which allows the game to continue - if you're in the mood, you could just as well shut it down.

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

Postby sudarshan » 13 Jun 2019 09:45

Your second question:

It depends on how long it takes for the actions to produce reactions. The Dharmic tradition holds that actions could fructify in subsequent lives also, and I don't see a reason to disbelieve that. The principle of Karma is clear enough, but its workings are a mystery to us. Hence, I feel, Dharma is a guide.

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

Postby sudarshan » 14 Jun 2019 07:37

Found it -

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/388425/rob-bank

I think there might be some confusion between "disinterested" and "uninterested" also.

In a tournament game, cricket or badminton, you want the umpire to be disinterested (i.e., unbiased and without any stake in the game, and also not participating in the game himself).

You don't want the umpire to be uninterested (i.e., "game go to hell, what goes my father onlee").

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

Postby SriKumar » 14 Jun 2019 07:41

Got the 'disinterested' part right from when you first used that word, however I still tend not to believe it fully. There are many stories in puranas about gods granting boons to humans after penance etc e.g. Bhasmasura (humans to ashes), Arjuna (pashupata weapon etc). Perhaps they are exceptions. Gods were clearly influenced by humans petitioning them through hardship and/or bhakti. This aspect is not a major objection/concern for me though.

The part about previous life is a major objection for me, though. The issue is 'consequences of actions/karma' is so important and central and yet so much of it is predicated on previous lives, something that 99% of humans (maybe 99.999%) do not remember. If they had any idea, people actions and karma would converge rapidly to moksha. The part about previous life has to be taken entirely on faith, unfortunately. I guess it might be true, there's no way to explain why completely blameless people/kids suffer terribly- comes in news all the time. For your exposition though, you can add the matter of karma accumulation from a previous life as an assumption and continue with developing the theory. Back to lurk mode.
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 14 Jun 2019 07:53

SriKumar wrote:Got the 'disinterested' part right from when you first used that word, however I still tend not to believe it fully. There are many stories in puranas about gods granting boons to humans after penance etc e.g. Bhasmasura (humans to ashes), Arjuna (pashupata weapon etc). Perhaps they are exceptions. Gods were clearly influenced by humans petitioning them through hardship and/or bhakti. This aspect is not a major objection/concern for me though.

The part about previous life is a major objection for me, though. The issue is 'consequences of actions/karma' is so important and central and yet so much of it is predicated on previous lives, something that 99% of humans (maybe 99.999%) do not remember. If they had any idea, people actions and karma would converge rapidly to moksha. The part about previous life has to be taken entirely on faith. WIthout a knowledge of a previous life's actions (if indeed it exists), people will do what they want. For your exposition though, you can add the matter of karma accumulation from a previous life as an assumption and continue with developing the theory. Back to lurk mode.


Wow you are anticipating the upcoming points pretty well, I'm impressed :).

I was coming to the granting boons bit, I have a series of instances, which I intend to trace back to the axioms. No need to regard them as exceptions at all, they are consistent with the axioms.

I am also coming to the previous life, and why we don't remember it - and again, I intend to trace that back to axioms. Why don't actions and karma converge rapidly to moksha - again, to be traced to axioms. Don't take it on faith, take it on the principle of deductive logic - axioms to predictions to observations, if the observations match, then the axioms are a valid descriptor, if not, the axioms are false.

Still debating the best order in which to present stuff, and also the best format - this bulleted list is still rather dry.

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

Postby DharmaB » 14 Jun 2019 10:20

sudarshan wrote:Found it -

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/388425/rob-bank

I think there might be some confusion between "disinterested" and "uninterested" also.

In a tournament game, cricket or badminton, you want the umpire to be disinterested (i.e., unbiased and without any stake in the game, and also not participating in the game himself).

You don't want the umpire to be uninterested (i.e., "game go to hell, what goes my father onlee").


The problem is with the dictionary meaning of the words and the meaning that can/may be derived based on the context of situation when the word is used. Here there is no point in arguing what choice of word(s) you chose to use, but need to be able to express the intent or meaning of context efficiently. That is the reason any axiom first starts with a statement with few words (as in case of light, speed & observer) and is elaborated subsequently to ward of any wrong interpretations. But still words are words. The more words one use, the more confused one gets. After some point either you get it or not get it. The understanding must stop at some point as evolved consciousness, rather than leading to more words in order to understand the original words. This is the situation even with the Upanishads language. There are no absolute words (common dictionary) to express subtle things.

Any way to help understand the above context, the "disinterested" word (Nissang - in sanskrit) may be understood as combination of two:

1) "detached" - God is detached about the free will of humans, on what choices we make & what actions we take
2) "detached attachment" (to take the middle ground) - God is very much involved in his creation, evident by the imposition/workings of the mysterious laws of nature and visible only as the consequences in our lives (due to choices we make & actions we take). God is honoring the free will, and also making sure the creation continue in order (by shaping the results as He pleases) for eternity. But He is also caring enough to involve explicitly by incarnating as an Avatar to protect weak and establish Dharma (as per our Puraanas).

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

Postby sudarshan » 15 Jun 2019 06:27

DharmaB wrote:The problem is with the dictionary meaning of the words and the meaning that can/may be derived based on the context of situation when the word is used. Here there is no point in arguing what choice of word(s) you chose to use, but need to be able to express the intent or meaning of context efficiently. That is the reason any axiom first starts with a statement with few words (as in case of light, speed & observer) and is elaborated subsequently to ward of any wrong interpretations. But still words are words. The more words one use, the more confused one gets. After some point either you get it or not get it. The understanding must stop at some point as evolved consciousness, rather than leading to more words in order to understand the original words. This is the situation even with the Upanishads language. There are no absolute words (common dictionary) to express subtle things.

Any way to help understand the above context, the "disinterested" word (Nissang - in sanskrit) may be understood as combination of two:

1) "detached" - God is detached about the free will of humans, on what choices we make & what actions we take
2) "detached attachment" (to take the middle ground) - God is very much involved in his creation, evident by the imposition/workings of the mysterious laws of nature and visible only as the consequences in our lives (due to choices we make & actions we take). God is honoring the free will, and also making sure the creation continue in order (by shaping the results as He pleases) for eternity. But He is also caring enough to involve explicitly by incarnating as an Avatar to protect weak and establish Dharma (as per our Puraanas).


Yep, the axiom should be expressed in the simplest possible terms. However, I do feel that just making the statement of an all-powerful God isn't sufficient.

1. The Dharmic definition of God is very different from the Abrahamic one (in fact, in many ways, it is the antithesis of the Abrahamic definition) and this is mainly because of the disinterested or unattached nature of the Dharmic version
2. Because of this, any of the Dharmic faiths can simply do away with the need for God (not to negate God, but to be able to recommend that an ethical life is by itself sufficient, and that by doing this, God will not "get angry") - and in fact, two Dharmic faiths actually did this - whereas no Abrahamic faith can do this
3. It is necessary to emphasize that the Dharmic God does not have any "grand master plan" for any of us, and rebirth is also not something that God imposes on us - we choose to be reborn for our own selfish material goals
4. This again depends on the disinterested nature of the Dharmic God
5. In our tradition, God holds no grudges, God plays no favorites - if you pay the consequences of your "evil" deeds, you are free again to pursue your desire, God will not bring up your past actions again (after you've paid for them) - likewise, once you exhaust the enjoyment of your favorable karma-phala, there is no more favor bestowed upon you (unless you earn it all over again)
6. Thus, eternal hell and eternal heaven are both ruled out
7. This is why God will unhesitatingly and impartially grant your boons (desires), so long as you have earned them, regardless of whether you are a human, Deva, Asura, dog, mouse, mushroom, or virus

As I continue with the development, I will note the points which are dependent on this "disinterested" nature of God, and later we may see how to reword or revise the axiom.

You are right, beyond a point, it is futile to tinker with wordings. Whoever gets it, gets it, and the rest will have to figure it out whenever the tubelight moment hits them. Even Sri Krishna could not rectify the Kauravas, they continued to regard him as just a "mayavi" who was just acting smart and showing off.

Also, since the current exercise is STEM focused, we can initially make the assumption that the listener will be able to figure out these nuances in the wordings of the axioms. Later we might need modifications.

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

Postby sudarshan » 15 Jun 2019 07:28

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

Postby SriKumar » 15 Jun 2019 17:58

Some random comments:
1. Keeping it bulletized or numerically categorized does make it more tractable. Segregating them, as you did in your previous post (with text in it), allows one to know when we are moving to the next concept. And sometimes if a point is not clear, it allows us to move to the next point, and come back to the previous one later. You could add your rhetorical flourishes and analogies as yet another item.

2. Per point # 3- I do have an issue with it (and had alluded to it previously). I really think no human has a choice about re-birth. If one cannot recall a previous life, does it even exist? This approaches the realm of faith i.e. unquestioning acceptance. I have met 100's of people in my life but I dont know of a single one who can recall their previous life, or said they chose to be re-born. If you know of anyone, please provide specifics. But I am completely OK with taking this as an assumption and moving on with the rest of the exposition.

3. Items # 5 and 7,taken together lead to an interesting conclusion, (i) that one does not need to believe in Hinduism to get in the good graces of Hindu gods. (ii) As a logical consequence, people of any religion (Christian/Muslim) can derive the exact same benefits as a Hindu if their actions are in accordance with dharmic 'good deeds' while continuing with their total belief in Allah and Christ.

4. A dis-interested god can be a problem, man :D . Most people I know needed some help from 'upstairs' at some point in their lives :-) . And what to say of people, children who live on the roads (literally) and in slums that we have seen thousands of. DharmaB softened the stance a bit, on this matter. But again, I am willing to run with any definition to see where this leads. Let's get to the next stage.

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

Postby sudarshan » 15 Jun 2019 19:52

SriKumar wrote:Some random comments:
1. ....


Ok, fine.

2. Per point # 3- I do have an issue with it (and had alluded to it previously). I really think no human has a choice about re-birth. If one cannot recall a previous life, does it even exist? This approaches the realm of faith i.e. unquestioning acceptance. I have met 100's of people in my life but I dont know of a single one who can recall their previous life, or said they chose to be re-born. If you know of anyone, please provide specifics. But I am completely OK with taking this as an assumption and moving on with the rest of the exposition.



Yes, for now we can move on, but just to be aware of - Of those 100's of people, how many of them have seen God? Swami Vivekananda, in his childhood, used to go asking 100's of people - "have you seen God?" He did not want to believe it until he had evidence. The answer was always no. Eventually he met Sri Ramakrishna, who told him "yes, I have seen God and talked to God, just as I see you and talk to you now."


3. Items # 5 and 7,taken together lead to an interesting conclusion, (i) that one does not need to believe in Hinduism to get in the good graces of Hindu gods. (ii) As a logical consequence, people of any religion (Christian/Muslim) can derive the exact same benefits as a Hindu if their actions are in accordance with dharmic 'good deeds' while continuing with their total belief in Allah and Christ.



Yes, you're right. In fact, Sri Ramakrishna is said to have personally practiced Christianity and Islam, and shown that they also lead to God. Sri Sai Baba is another instance. The Sikh Gurus were careful to tell their followers that Allah was the same God that the Sikhs themselves worshiped - only, the atrocities that were committed in the name of Allah were unacceptable.

If this is taken as an opening to proselytize against Dharmics (and I know of instances where EJs tried to take advantage of this stance), then the natural thing to do is to point out that, according to this stance, eternal heaven and hell are both ruled out! If the EJ side is willing to concede this, then the Dharmic side has no problem with saying that your religion is immaterial in your quest for God.


4. A dis-interested god can be a problem, man :D . Most people I know needed some help from 'upstairs' at some point in their lives :-) . And what to say of people, children who live on the roads (literally) and in slums that we have seen thousands of. DharmaB softened the stance a bit, on this matter. But again, I am willing to run with any definition to see where this leads. Let's get to the next stage.


A disinterested God does not preclude help from upstairs. In fact, it is only a disinterested God, who does not tie that help to some other grudge or judgment that He may have.

But as you say, let's move on and start comparing axiom predictions against observations.

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

Postby sudarshan » 15 Jun 2019 20:11

Also, with these axioms, the aim right now is to show that:

a) these axioms are the guiding principle behind all our Dharmic faiths
or, failing that,
b) these axioms define the practices of our Dharmic faiths, and are the underlying basis for the scriptural records like the epics, Puranas, Upanishads, etc.

Not necessarily that the axioms fully describe our universe. That would be the universal theory of everything. I do intend to show that the notion of rebirth has some basis (how successful I will be, remains to be seen), but that is not necessarily our goal here.

With both a) and b), I don't think one can dispute the point that all Dharmic faiths do postulate rebirth. The argument isn't necessarily about whether this belief is justified/ valid or not, it is about - do all Dharmic faiths agree on this postulate?

sudarshan wrote:So basically:
  • I am postulating that there are three axioms which define (and are common to) all our Dharmic faiths,
    or, failing which,
  • That there are three axioms which are consistent with our Dharmic beliefs, and/or with the principles and stories presented in our Dharmic literature
  • The second statement above is of course much weaker than the first, but this might be all that I am really able to show
  • Please note the difference between what I refer to as "my postulate" and as "three axioms"
    • My postulate is that these axioms define our traditions
    • This postulate is of course falsifiable
    • Similar to the analogy of the universe as a "closed watch" above, it is not feasible to "open up" any of our Dharmic traditions and show what is its "real basis or axiom set"
    • Therefore, I plan to follow the deductive logic approach - first state the postulate (which I already did above), then present the axioms (to be done shortly), then take observations from our scriptures and show the match with the postulate (i.e., show that the selected observation from the scriptures can be derived from the three axioms to be presented)

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

Postby A_Gupta » 16 Jun 2019 21:01

Disambiguations, Polly Hazarika's Ph.D. thesis, should be accessible below.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/12gcs6o ... sp=sharing

She provided it to me in response to my question, "how does one jump from "such and such are problems with Hindus" to "the cause of these problems is lack of monotheism"?"

She writes: "The thesis is a bit dated, I would perhaps make the same arguments in a more measured way now. But the core of the problem with reform discourse and the problem in general of 19th century social reform in India has been looked at in a fairly consistent, systematic and coherent way."

If nothing else, please read chapter 1 - if that piques your interest, you can read the introduction and everything else in order.

I'm posting here because I think it is highly relevant to the discussion going on this thread, not on the "surface" but at a deeper level. I'd love to see people's take on the questions it raises.

Thanks!
-Arun

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

Postby DharmaB » 17 Jun 2019 10:59

This topic related to Dharmic religions has many areas to discuss. IMO there are two basic categories and further they could be divided into many sub-categories.

Topic (a) - Core philosophy : Presently we are discussing. Which is mainly about the fundamental concepts of God, Soul, Existence, law-of-karma & re-birth etc.
Topic (b) - Culture, Tradition & Practices: These are vast diverse topics to discuss. Need a focused discussion after a.

There are more conflicts within India & in the world in the name of topic b than a.
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 17 Jun 2019 11:36

a) Vedanta (Upanishads, Brahma Sutras etc.) of SD, Dhammapada of Buddhism are the examples which define /discuss about core philosophy. (Summed up as Para Vidya to learn about Paramatma or Higher plane of existence)
b) Vedas (they cover almost all of topic a & b though), Manu-smriti, Puranas, Epics etc. including all other Shastras, are the basis of our vast culture, tradition & root of our practices. (Summed up as Apara vidya, mainly about experience of material worlds including heaven & hell)

It is difficult to bring everyone & everything to a common page. The diversity & openness is the beauty. We Dharmics can go on quarreling about our good or bad traditions & practices... By and large live and co-exist in a peaceful society. Once we draw a line (form a closed system) about these, we may end up like Abrahamic people who fight over their traditions violently ( even on a simple aspect like name of God... should be A only, no other name is acceptable at any cost)...

On topic (a) we may reach to a certain level of consensus, or end up leaving some as open ended, debatable sub topics as usual...
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 17 Jun 2019 12:48

Would like to emphasize my view point a bit more on the reason to separate this into two topics.

1) The topic (a) is to understand divine nature of existence, purpose of life and to evolve/expand our consciousness. This is more related to God, Soul, Consciousness & Moksha. More about subtle things than material existence.

2) The topic (b) is to understand material nature of existence on how to make our lives easier and fulfilling in this world or in heavenly worlds, and enable us to reach our goals (all desires including salvation as one may perceive). This is more about our body, material aspects of existence. More importantly the aim of this topic is to satisfy or control an intermediary aspect called Mind (which is the link between higher consciousness & material level body or form).

It is difficult to differentiate Mind & Consciousness though. Mind can be viewed as a overlapping gray area between body & consciousness whose origin is subtle and mysterious. May be an Operating System of a computer including all the tools (accumulation of knowledge, techniques) can be compared to Mind. The power supply is like part of Consciousness ( I am not satisfied with this comparison though), or Energy of Creation.

The Abrahamic (A-Braham[an]-ic) religions mixed these two aspects into one. They are projecting material level goals (impermanent) onto Higher & Permanent plane of existence. Hence in our view they are Adharmic and ensue in only never ending conflict, between soul and body, heaven & hell.

I pause here, please continue...

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

Postby sudarshan » 18 Jun 2019 08:47

Be back in a day or so.

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

Postby Pulikeshi » 18 Jun 2019 10:53

A_Gupta wrote:Disambiguations, Polly Hazarika's Ph.D. thesis, should be accessible below.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/12gcs6o ... sp=sharing

I'm posting here because I think it is highly relevant to the discussion going on this thread, not on the "surface" but at a deeper level. I'd love to see people's take on the questions it raises.


Arun ACK - good link and research. The rabbit hole at the deeper level is not for the faint of heart...

Couple of thoughts I had a while ago as ideas but this work tickled it back:

1. The colonial and the colonized both misunderstood each other and in turn created new models of these misunderstandings for each other...
2. The Bible went through “acceptable” and “unacceptable” selection process in its codification... the same was recreated on SD works...
3. The “Hindu Scriptures” are a colonial invention, but not the last version. Even Vyasa codified the Vedas, so internal and external models and remodels have occurred, but what is different with the colonial process - is their lack of Adhikara (this has to be earned - authority and ownership). Even to date a Pollock or a Witzel has no Adhikara... somtimes it is the innocuous bs that gets peddled as yoga by half-baked teachers in the west. Patanjali who?
4. The colonial process also assumed they were replaying what they the Christians had done in non-converted Europe. The Indian’s were just the neophyte Irish or the Lithuanians to convert from their pagan gods and polytheistic ways... if only their “scriptures” were codified and sorted out...
5. Notice the game of defeating the “druids” is a easy replay on the “Brahmins” - humans are tedious and boringly repetitious - its really hard for old dogs to learn new tricks...
6. Finally, the Hindu Smriti system was a mechanism to adjust the model to the context and practice and vis versa. The colonial process ended up making a final law book out of it. So no feedback was possible. The current crazy is the Constitution and Personal Law has codified “caste” and “scripture”
7. To complete the mess - the colonial state was bequeathed to the colonized deracinated and further confounded the mess with Fabian socialism and rights based personal law crazy that continues the stupidity to date.
8. The native genius, songs, text and the context/practice is therefore beyond the ken of modern deracinated
9. The only way forward is to go back - to a non English conversation and articulation - a meta paan for the brain! :mrgreen:
10. In the villages and the traditional folks, there is still remnants of this genius perhaps there is a way....

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

Postby DharmaB » 19 Jun 2019 18:04

A pictorial representation of evolution (God's Creation) according to Meher Baba...

http://www.beachwalla.net/trimbak/chart.php

Image

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

Postby sudarshan » 21 Jun 2019 07:08

[2] - (this number is inserted here for later referring to this post)

Truth score from the following observations:
  • Rama and Vali
  • Sita's Agnipariksha
  • Bhishma's death
  • Drona's death
  • Duryodhana's death
  • Krishna running away to Dwaraka

I have more observations to come, just that I believe that all of the above are based on the same principle/ explanation (or on the same way of deriving from the axioms).

To briefly explain what the aim is here:
  • These observations are taken from the epics
  • We want to see if these observations are consistent with our axioms
    • If they are, then the postulate of "these axioms define the basis of our scriptures" is corroborated (note: not "proved," just "corroborated")
    • If not, then the axioms are falsified
    • Depending on how many of the observations match the axioms, we can calculate a truth score (i.e., if we have 20 observations, and only 16 match the axioms, then our truth score is 80%)
  • As and when I compare the observations against the axioms, my aim is also to note which of the observations are dependent on the "disinterested God" principle in axiom 1.

Also:
  • These observations have been explained by various seers and authorities before
  • My interpretation is not novel
  • However, my aim is slightly different - not just to explain why God seemingly behaved in "adharmic" ways, but to also show the behavior as consistent with the axioms, or derivable from the axioms

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

Postby sudarshan » 21 Jun 2019 07:31

[3] - (this number is inserted here for later referring to this post)

Axiom 1. - God is all-powerful, but disinterested in materializing any of that potential
Axiom 2. - Desire fulfillment (we, living beings in the material plane, are all here to fulfill our desire of materializing our abstract potential)
Axiom 3. - The law of Karma - we only get to fulfill our desires, to the extent permitted by the consequences of our past actions

Thus, our life and death and all the events in between, are regulated by the law of Karma.

See points number [1.2] and [1.3] in post [1].

[1.2] Dharma - how to maximize your own long-term enjoyment by not falling foul of the law of Karma
[1.3] Dharma is a principle derived from axioms 2. and 3., not a fundamental principle, and it is in our own selfish interest to follow this principle

  • Therefore, God is not so concerned with Dharma (She being disinterested in Her own long-term material enjoyment) [3.1], but more so with the fundamental principle of Karma (axiom 3.).
  • I.e., God's purpose in coming to the material is to reestablish Dharma for human (animal/plant/virus...) benefit, so that we can continue with our enjoyment,
    • But God will achieve this purpose in a manner consistent with the fundamental principle of Karma (and not in any other way).
  • Being disinterested, God is not concerned with Her own material enjoyment, so She is okay with facing negative consequences to Herself -
    • I.e., if the Karmic principle is best served by God playing the role of a villain, then She will do exactly that,
    • And She is okay with taking those negative consequences upon Herself (they don't bother Her)

Now, in what way are the observations above consistent with the principle of Karma?
Last edited by sudarshan on 21 Jun 2019 08:14, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby sudarshan » 21 Jun 2019 07:41

[4]

  • Rama and Vali
    • Vali had a boon that any opponent who came to face him in a fight, would have half of his strength transferred to Vali
      • I.e., by default, Vali would be the stronger opponent
    • So long as Vali used this boon for the good, he was okay
    • When he started tormenting his younger brother and driving him to exile and taking his brother's wife for his own, his Karmic consequence turned negative
    • Since he used his boon as a weapon against any opponent, the law of Karma had already determined that he would be killed from behind (i.e, by an opponent who did not face him in combat)
    • Sri Rama was simply fulfilling this Karmic principle
    • And Sri Rama took the consequences upon Himself, by allowing Vali to kill Him from a hidden position in Sri Rama's next birth as Sri Krishna
    • So why did Sri Rama initially act confused (unable to distinguish between Vali and Sugriva) and allowing Vali to beat his brother up?
      • Because Vali's Karmic consequence hadn't yet caught up with him at that point
      • Sri Rama waited till the Karmic consequence was fully "ripe" (i.e., until Vali and Sugriva fought a second time) before killing Vali

  • Sita's agni pariksha - why did Rama make her undergo this?
    • Lakshmana followed his brother and bhabi to the forest to protect them
    • Lakshmana was totally innocent of any untoward thoughts
      • In his own words - he had never seen Sita's face (they tell me she is beautiful, but I don't know) because every time she came before him, his eyes automatically went to her feet
    • When Rama went after the golden deer, and the deer (Maricha) yelled out to Lakshmana and Sita in Rama's voice -
      • Sita implored Lakshmana to go to Rama's aid (he refused, saying it was only a ruse, and he would not leave her alone)
      • She accused him of wanting Rama to die, so he could have her
    • So she made him prove his innocence through a "trial by fire"
    • This Karmic consequence caught up with her, and she had to prove her own innocence through a trial by fire
  • (This explanation was first given to me/ our class group by a chemistry teacher, who seemed the epitome of deracination - he was waiting to fly away to the USA and only serving as teacher in the interim - goes to show - you never know)

Again, this is consistent with the axioms, Dharma is the derived principle, Karma is the primary principle, and everything happens according to the law of Karma.

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

Postby sudarshan » 21 Jun 2019 09:00

[5]

Bhishma's death:
  • Why did Krishna "violate Dharma" by making Arjuna hide behind Shikandi to kill Bhishma?
  • Again - Dharma is not the fundamental principle, Karma is
  • Bhishma had a boon of "iccha maranam" (choosing the time of his death)
  • When he went into battle in the MB war, instead of discarding his boon (i.e. - I choose to die whenever the battle turns that way), he used his boon as a shield
  • So the law of Karma had already decided that he would be killed by an opponent, who similarly hid behind an impenetrable shield
  • Since Bhishma had known Shikandi in Shikandi's previous birth (as a woman), Bhishma refused to fight Shikandi
  • Krishna was okay with violating Dharma and taking the consequences upon Himself (since Arjuna was only Krishna's agent, the consequences did not go to Arjuna), so as to fulfill Bhishma's Karmic consequence
    • This again depends on the "disinterested God" principle [5.1] - Krishna did not care about His future material enjoyment, He took the consequences
      • In what way? In the form of Gandhari's curse later (after the war)

Drona's death:

  • Drona went into the war on the Kaurava side, ostensibly because he owed Hastinapura (the Kauravas) for his upkeep
  • In reality, it was because his son, Ashwattama, was on Duryodhana's side, and he did not want to face his son in battle
  • So he went into war, based on a lie involving his son
  • The law of Karma thus decided that he would be killed because of a lie involving his son
  • Krishna offered Yudhishtra the chance to act as the agent of Karma (Krishna's agent)
  • Yudhishtra however was attached to his "truth" principle, so he didn't entirely trust Krishna
    • He inserted the mumbled clause "Ashwattama the elephant" out of his attachment to his principle, and because of the fear of the consequences
    • Thus, he faced part of the consequences (his chariot touched the earth, and he was later tricked into seeing all his brothers and his wife in hell)
    • If he had not inserted that clause, the consequences would have gone entirely to Krishna
  • A noble principle is good, it uplifts you towards moksha, but at some point, you will have to drop your attachment to the principle itself - it becomes a desire (axiom 2.) which impedes your moksha
  • It also prevents you from being fully disinterested in the material - prevents you from attaining Godhead (God being disinterested) [5.2]

Duryodhana's death:

  • Well, here, it is fairly obvious that he was facing the consequences of his action (inviting Draupadi to sit on his lap/ thigh) and Bhima's vow to break his thigh
  • Bhima was the disinterested agent of Krishna, the derived principle of Dharma yields to the fundamental principle of Karma

Krishna running away to Dwaraka:

  • When the opponents of Mathura made a massed attack, Krishna advised Balarama and the rest of the Yadavas to run away to Dwaraka instead of fight
    • Contrary to Kshatriya Dharma
  • Krishna was not concerned about his material enjoyment (by upholding Dharma), he was concerned about the Karmic principle
    • Anybody who dies at God's (Krishna's) hand attains Moksha
    • The opponents of Mathura (Jarasandha and his army) had not yet earned Moksha (their Karmic consequence did not permit it)
    • So Krishna would not fight them
  • Krishna managed to get hot-heads such as Balarama, and the rest of the Yadavas, to meekly retreat!
    • And, being disinterested,[5.3] He took the consequences upon Himself, being called "Rann-chod" to this day
    • He later brought about Jarasandha's death through Bhimsen - even then, He did not directly fight Jarasandha (as Jarasandha's Moksha was out of the question then)

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

Postby sudarshan » 21 Jun 2019 09:11

[6]

All the above are consistent with Karma being the fundamental principle, Dharma being the derived principle, and God being disinterested in material enjoyment.

In fact, in the first chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna (whether consciously or unwittingly) traces out the Karmic consequences of killing one's friends and relatives for material enjoyment:

Kula kshaye pranasyanti kula dharmah sanatanah
... BG 1.39

... BG 1.40

... BG 1.41

... BG 1.42

...
Narake aniyatam vaso bhavatit yanususrumah BG 1.43

From destruction of kula dharma, to bad progeny, to hell for the one who caused the destruction, to the fall of one's forefathers, to eternal hell.

Krishna tells him that the chain he had traced would be valid if he (Arjuna) acted on his own behalf, for his own material enjoyment, thus killing his family. But if Arjuna recognized instead, that the law of Karma had taken its course in bringing the Kauravas to destruction, and that Arjuna was simply the agent of Karma (since Arjuna was a Kshatriya, it was his duty to fight adharma, and the fact that Arjuna was also the aggrieved party was simply a matter of coincidence at this point, since all due process had been followed), then the consequences would not go to Arjuna, but would be annihilated in God instead.

Again, Karma is the fundamental principle. Dharma is derived.

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

Postby DharmaB » 21 Jun 2019 20:19

sudarshan wrote:
Bhishma's death:
  • Why did Krishna "violate Dharma" by making Arjuna hide behind Shikandi to kill Bhishma?
  • Again - Dharma is not the fundamental principle, Karma is
  • Bhishma had a boon of "iccha maranam" (choosing the time of his death)
  • When he went into battle in the MB war, instead of discarding his boon (i.e. - I choose to die whenever the battle turns that way), he used his boon as a shield
  • So the law of Karma had already decided that he would be killed by an opponent, who similarly hid behind an impenetrable shield
  • Since Bhishma had known Shikandi in Shikandi's previous birth (as a woman), Bhishma refused to fight Shikandi
  • Krishna was okay with violating Dharma and taking the consequences upon Himself (since Arjuna was only Krishna's agent, the consequences did not go to Arjuna), so as to fulfill Bhishma's Karmic consequence
    • This again depends on the "disinterested God" principle [5.1] - Krishna did not care about His future material enjoyment, He took the consequences
      • In what way? In the form of Gandhari's curse later (after the war)


Sometime back came across an interesting novel on Bhishma (translation of "Main Bhishm Bol Raha Huin", by Bhagavathi Charan Mishra).

Bhishma even though a great warrior and a great dharmic person, the pain he experienced entire his life and at his death appears to be mostly due to his attachment to his personal vows he made in certain circumstances, as he considered them as his Dharma.

One vow he took is at the age of 16 to remain unmarried till his death to fulfill his father's selfish desire. This was not necessary. It is crossing the limits of selflessness for others selfish interests (much like MK Gandhi who sat on Anshan for the rights of Pakistan and Muslims, despite knowing the intrinsic evil involved). Destiny put severe tests to break his resolve. But he stick to his vow even when the future of Hastinapura was at stake.

Another vow is to protect the throne of Hastinapura whoever ruled it. He didn't expect some one like Duryodhan end up as legal heir.
In one way Bhishma was great at personal level as he stood his ground despite all the temptations and challenges. He may be Dharmic at his personal level. But not necessarily Dharmic when he stood helplessly as a witness to the atrocities of Kauravas.

Krishna was flexible. Nothing holds him back when it has to uphold Dharma at higher level. He is ready to sacrifice the day of the norm for the sake of higher good.

We Indian are still trapped in this Bhishma syndrome. We are ready to sacrifice India for the shallow ideals like secularism, tolerance & non-violence etc. Those ideals are applicable best in the context of personal level and they will be overridden when the collective good of nation, society is at stake. We (majority of Indians) are still confused and lack the ability to understand Krishna even today.

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

Postby Pulikeshi » 22 Jun 2019 08:48


Interesting perspective for those interested :-)

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

Postby DharmaB » 22 Jun 2019 14:25

Nice, Very informative video. Knowledge is power (soft power). India will one day conquer the world (in ideology) by winning the hearts through the means of this knowledge. At the same time the nation need to be prepared to protect itself from inside and outside forces, and should not hesitate to use force when & if violence is used against it. This has been the practice for ages.

Only some sections of people (followers of Gandhian philosophy) wrongly using non-violence (in the name of the teachings of Buddha & Mahavira) and misleading the society.

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

Postby DharmaB » 22 Jun 2019 15:05

sudarshan wrote:[*]A noble principle is good, it uplifts you towards moksha, but at some point, you will have to drop your attachment to the principle itself - it becomes a desire (axiom 2.) which impedes your moksha
[*]It also prevents you from being fully disinterested in the material - prevents you from attaining Godhead (God being disinterested)


This is the catch 22 of the entire post...
It is being said that, one has to drop even the desire for Moksha to attain Moksha. Because "desire" means binding. Moksha means liberation. They are opposites. As long as there is desire, there is no moksha.

But the big question is how can one live without desire? Desire is the greatest motivating factor for the humans to pursue their goals and perform various actions in order to reach them... :eek:

This is why the concept of moksha is appalling to most of the people. :((
For us mortals heavenly pleasures are more attractive than moksha :mrgreen:

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

Postby DharmaB » 22 Jun 2019 15:20

Playing devil's advocate :twisted:

When defining Dharma, law & justice and higher good.. who will decide and how can one decide what is Dharma? What appears to be Dharma for one side, may not appear in the same way to the other side. This had been the argument of Dhuryodhan & Shakuni against Krishna who time and again broke the rules to help Pandavas in the name of saving Dharma.

Or should we consider that whoever wins in the end, Dharma is on their side. :wink:

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

Postby sudarshan » 22 Jun 2019 19:35

Going through a busy time and currently on travel for a few days. Will read posts and respond when I can, and also get back to the axioms.

I'm still writing up stuff, will post en-masse (or maybe in measured quantities) whenever I get to the net.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 23 Jun 2019 18:42

^^^ Gandhari to Duryodhana: "“It is not good to fight a war. It does not bring dharma or artha to the world."
https://www.prekshaa.in/mahabharata-epi ... padarshana
Mahābhārata – Episode 69 – Duryodhana Walks out of the Court; Kṛṣṇa's Viśvarūpadarśana
The series can help with "who will decide and how can one decide what is Dharma?"

To Duryodhana and Sakuni's complaints - Duryodhana did not want to think about how he had attempted to burn the Pandavas alive when he pontificated about Dharma.

The general teaching is that Shruti, Smriti, the practices of those of high character, and reason are the sources of "what is Dharma?".

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

Postby DharmaB » 23 Jun 2019 19:59

A_Gupta wrote:^^^ Gandhari to Duryodhana: "“It is not good to fight a war. It does not bring dharma or artha to the world."
https://www.prekshaa.in/mahabharata-epi ... padarshana
Mahābhārata – Episode 69 – Duryodhana Walks out of the Court; Kṛṣṇa's Viśvarūpadarśana
The series can help with "who will decide and how can one decide what is Dharma?"

To Duryodhana and Sakuni's complaints - Duryodhana did not want to think about how he had attempted to burn the Pandavas alive when he pontificated about Dharma.

The general teaching is that Shruti, Smriti, the practices of those of high character, and reason are the sources of "what is Dharma?".


If we try to expand the context of Dharma to a universal level, this may be interpreted as responsibilities of a person/group as mentioned in the video posted by Pulikeshi sir, or a common set of moral & ethical rules applicable for all of humanity independent of different religious scriptures.

So leaving Shruti, Smriti, and even practices of high character (again there are different revered people for different religions), we are only left with "reason" or "logic" to debate on this. What is holy (scriptures of Dharmic faiths) for us, may not be holy for the other side. They refer their holy books as final authority.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 24 Jun 2019 18:11

DharmaB wrote:If we try to expand the context of Dharma to a universal level, this may be interpreted as responsibilities of a person/group as mentioned in the video posted by Pulikeshi sir, or a common set of moral & ethical rules applicable for all of humanity independent of different religious scriptures.

So leaving Shruti, Smriti, and even practices of high character (again there are different revered people for different religions), we are only left with "reason" or "logic" to debate on this. What is holy (scriptures of Dharmic faiths) for us, may not be holy for the other side. They refer their holy books as final authority.


1. Would you call the holy books of the Abrahamics "shruti, smriti", etc.? To avoid confusion, don't term the shruti, smriti, etc., as scriptures.

2. Scriptures are the records available to humans of Yahweh/God (unitarian or trinitarian)/Allah's plan for humanity. Disobeying them costs a human everything, it is sin. There is no such thing for us. The Rishi Mandavya corrected Yamaraja for punishing deeds performed by ignorant children.

3. Secularism - European secularism - came about because the Abrahamics could not tolerate even different interpretations of the same scripture. After all, disobeying God is serious business. After centuries of bloody conflicts, they agreed that the truth of people's interpretation of {the Christian} scripture is not the business of government. And that everyone had a right to believe their own truth about the scriptures.

This was extended to Dharmics by casting them as having religion, so the same ideas apply to Dharmics. Outside of this framework, there is no tolerance for Dharmics - they are heathen, infidels, pagan, polytheist, idolators -- all the deadliest of deadly sins.

The problem with this is that e.g., the practice of doing bhumi puja at the start of a construction or lighting a lamp at the start of a function is no longer a traditional practice, it becomes a religious practice; and you can think of many many more such. "Vande mataram" becomes a religious belief.

4. The disjunction extends into many things. At least of my understanding of traditional culture is that in it good character is revealed by good conduct, nothing else. AFAIK, the European model has more of emphasis that good character is revealed by having the right beliefs and principles. So, e.g., the shock and disbelief at accusations of Catholic priests being child abusers. By believing in Jesus/Allah, etc., they are better than the ordinary run of people. What's his name, Muhammad Ali, back in the 1920s famously said that even the worst Muslim thief or murderer is better than M.K. Gandhi -- because Gandhi does not have the right belief.

So Dharmics are tolerated but immoral peoples.

5. The Western world has been losing its religion (a good thing) and that is why things seem smooth on the surface. Europe & US were secular a couple of centuries ago too; but the hold of religion was almost universal, and Dharmics would not have an easy time in that world, though it was secular.

6. The challenge for Dharmics is to either find self-acceptable ways of fitting into this "secularism" or else to come up with a different system that works better. It starts with India, and does not yet aspire to be a universal way for the world.

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

Postby DharmaB » 24 Jun 2019 20:26

A_Gupta wrote:
5. The Western world has been losing its religion (a good thing) and that is why things seem smooth on the surface. Europe & US were secular a couple of centuries ago too; but the hold of religion was almost universal, and Dharmics would not have an easy time in that world, though it was secular.


Yes, it was impossible during mid nineteenth century for any Indians to go and preach eastern philosophy in US or Europe. It was first due to people like Madam Blavatsky & Col. Alcott (of Theosophical Society) who synthesized vast Dharmic literature (not using word scripture, but one can understand the context) into a "Secret Doctrine", which attracted the attention of many intellectuals of the West towards eastern philosophy, and opened a channel for Indian origin philosophers to go and preach later freely without much resistance.

Later it is Swamy Vivekananda, Swamy Ramtirth who went there and introduced Vedanta to the west. But I feel if it was not Madam Blavatsky, it would have been impossible for them.

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

Postby DharmaB » 24 Jun 2019 21:11

Later it gave birth to a "new age movement" in west. Then the church has realized that it has no intellectual upper hand confronting eastern philosophy, and intensified its propaganda targeting the tradition & cultural aspect of it.

As I said earlier we need to divide our Sanatan Dharma into two because of this very reason. 1) Core philosophy 2) Tradition, Culture & Practices.

1) Core philosophy which never changes and no other religious philosophy can beat this. Of course only intellectuals on both side can recognize this.

2) Tradition, Culture & Practices - There can always be a scope left for differences, and for masses (in other religions) this is the easy part for targeting and malign our Dharma to achieve their political and religious goals.

We need to simplify this second part ( as it is less important and only mean to rise to the higher level of consciousness to understand first part) in order to defend our Dharma and emphasize on first part as the ultimate essence.

A_Gupta wrote:6. The challenge for Dharmics is to either find self-acceptable ways of fitting into this "secularism" or else to come up with a different system that works better. It starts with India, and does not yet aspire to be a universal way for the world.


It is a trap for us to keep on debating on second part (and try to fit into their definition of "secularism") and we may never win on this. This has to be realized first internally (start with India).

Making it universal, I mean it relatively... so as not to give any ground intellectually to the other side and take the debate from mundane lower things to higher level which defines the purposes of life in a more meaningful and appealing ways.

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

Postby DharmaB » 26 Jun 2019 02:26

Idol worship (Murthi Puja) is most prominent aspect in Sanatan Dharma, and had been the main target of attack by all Abrahamic religious people who hate us for this reason.

Let me put some points to defend in support of idol worship as it comes to my mind.

1) Even though the God is all pervading, all powerful & formless, He created everything (innumerable things with a form or shape) including us humans. All matter is a form of energy which is visible. As per some research even empty space (perceived) is filled with energy (unseen like God)

2) Since we are living in forms, as Body and Mind, for many, most of the times the invisible form of energy (or Divine presence) is incomprehensible. To start with how can we connect (or channelize) to this infinite energy God?

3) Every act & every word & every thought is also a form of energy. Action is visible form of energy (W = Fs). Words & Thoughts are invisible (wave) form of energy. Hence prayers has energy involved in them.

4) When an Idol is created (sculpted or some believed to be not human made, but swayambhu, formed by themselves) and given Prana Pratishta, the energy of those ascetics, the energy or power of mantras and prayers & rituals are involved and formed as an Aura with the Idol. When one prays with devotion and faith, there is an un-deniable experience of Divinity (or one may call experience of some form of energy in terms of science) in the presence of those Idols in temples. This is also the case with the Churches & Mosques.

5) As per the law of Cause & Effect, there is some result for every action in physical form, there is some effect of every word spoken & there is some subtle effect out of every thought from every human that ever existed in this world. Only thing is we are not able to measure it in this mysterious Space-Time Matrix to our satisfaction. But it is evident by many experiments that every action has reaction, both in gross and subtle form.

6) The Idol worship helps in controlling the Mind. It brings a feeling of purity to both Body & Mind when you are standing in front of an Idol and assert Divinity in it. This is hard to come if you are praying in an empty room. Chances are that people become psycho with this form of Idol less worship at least in the initial stages of evolution of consciousness. There is a difference to feel & practically experience in both scenarios.

7) Why would God say that "don't pray to any Idol, if you pray you will be sent to hell". If that is the case why would God created all these different forms in the first place. If Idols are sinful, then every Body is also sinful. All that you want to experience in heaven is also nothing but sin.

8] One more important aspect is, if God is all powerful, merciful, why can't He take human form to save us & guide us as and when it require. So incarnations of God and Idols of those Avatars (representing them in glory) are pretty much worth worshiping and it became an important part of Sanatan Dharma.

9) Idol is a representation of Divine presence so that our Mind can focus first away from worldly things and transcend to higher consciousness gradually. It need not be taken equally with Almighty God. Why comparing?

10) There is no compulsion for anything to anybody, that you must do Idol worship in Sanatan Dharma. You are free to choose which idol to worship or avoid altogether. God will not take vengeance on you for this act or non-act.

11) All forms and all names belong to Him (since they came from Him & will dissolve in Him). Instead of understanding these things and raise to a higher level, why create conflict on petty things and waste precious time of life that could be spent spreading love, peace and experience life in better ways.

12) One more reason might be it keeps us busy and occupied in our life and gives a sense of hope, relying on higher and keep us in fear to be away from sinful & immoral activities.

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

Postby sudarshan » 26 Jun 2019 06:36

DharmaB wrote:Idol worship (Murthi Puja) is most prominent aspect in Sanatan Dharma, and had been the main target of attack by all Abrahamic religious people who hate us for this reason.

Let me put some points to defend in support of idol worship as it comes to my mind.



Sir ji, not disagreeing with what you said. But do check out verses 1 through 5 in the 12th chapter of the BG. You will find a good rationale for idol worship. I can reproduce them here if you want.

Need to catch up on this thread and get back.

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

Postby DharmaB » 27 Jun 2019 01:55

sudarshan wrote:
DharmaB wrote:Idol worship (Murthi Puja) is most prominent aspect in Sanatan Dharma, and had been the main target of attack by all Abrahamic religious people who hate us for this reason.

Let me put some points to defend in support of idol worship as it comes to my mind.



Sir ji, not disagreeing with what you said. But do check out verses 1 through 5 in the 12th chapter of the BG. You will find a good rationale for idol worship. I can reproduce them here if you want.

Need to catch up on this thread and get back.


Thank you Sir ji. Will do. Its been long time since last referred BG.
Waiting for your posts ...

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

Postby A_Gupta » 27 Jun 2019 02:18

Murthi puja is one aspect that has been under continuous attack, the other aspect is rituals. How some ritual can help achieve some purpose is dismissed as pure superstition.

PS: If I remember correctly, at least in one teaching what distinguishes humans from animals is not reason or intelligence, but the performance of yajna.


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