Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

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

Postby sudarshan » 27 Jun 2019 06:44

DharmaB wrote:
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:


Yep, this is the big appeal of the Abrahamic paths, eternal heaven. Whereas Moksha is frightening to contemplate.

If you notice in the Dharmic faiths -

SD does not try to enforce that everybody should strive for Moksha. Only the select few, who are truly disgusted with material life, give it all up and yearn for true liberation. Whereas for the rest, SD prescribes morality, with the aim of greater enjoyment, which is of course enabled by the favorable consequences of past actions. Even the Mahabharata ends, not with the Pandavas attaining Moksha, but with their going to heaven. Even Bhishma was seen in heaven by the Pandavas, not shown as having attained Moksha.

In the BG, the lord keeps telling Arjuna how to attain Brahmanirvana, but in the end, the visualization is of Arjuna attaining the enjoyments of heaven. There's something reassuring about continuing the quest for materialization of ones' desires, rather than giving it all up.

Now look at Buddhism and Jainism. The Buddha preached the middle way, and that was promptly adopted as the standard for everybody, commoners, kings, queens, everybody alike. If you look at east Asia, the ideal is to enroll everybody in a monastery at an early age. Regardless of whether they actually want Moksha or not. Jains regard even favorable karmaphala as undesirable, the aim of their life is true Moksha within one lifetime, and all the austerities are geared towards that.

Whereas SD permits and even celebrates enjoyment - Hato va prapsyasi swargam, jitva va bhokshyase mahim, tasmat uttishta Kaunteya, yuddhaya krita nischaya. (If you are killed, you attain heaven, if you win, you get to enjoy the earth, so get up, Kaunteya (Arjuna), and fight with determination).

Listen to the phala-srutis (enumeration of benefits) of any stotras or slokas, or even of the MB itself, and most of it is geared towards material enjoyment (dhana-dhaanyam, sons and grandsons, ending of disease, etc.).

Now for what exactly is Moksha, why is it so frightening? Exactly for the reason you said -
"how can one live without desire, it is the greatest motivating factor."


(In fact, this is the second axiom!)

So how does one make the concept of Moksha appealing? Moksha has been described by some seers as an "endless spiritual orgasm." Material pleasures are fleeting, they only last for a brief while, and that too after you put in the effort to materialize them. If you find an attractive partner and have ***, it feels great, it feels grand! But a day later, maybe even an hour later, you are left with the yearning again. You become the first person ever to get a perfect 10 in gymnastics in the Olympics (Nadia Komaneci, the Romanian athlete) before you even turn twenty! Imagine the height of achievement, the heady, euphoric feeling! And then - what next? Living it down for the rest of your life - are you ever going to top that high again? (The poor girl actually had a pretty bad life after that).

Moksha is that high, euphoric, orgasmic feeling - not "all the time," because it is beyond time itself - but unending, with no beginning, and most importantly, with no cause. I.e., you don't have to put in any effort to materialize it - it just IS. It is a simultaneous (for want of a better word) unending celebration of all your spiritual potential and capabilities - whereas the euphoria of *** is just the materialization of that one single aspect of your personality; attaining a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the Olympics at age 18 is just the materialization of one single aspect of your personality, etc. Imagine having the euphoria of achievement of every single aspect of your personality, in a simultaneous (again - no better word here) and unending sense! THAT IS MOKSHA (per my understanding).

So what I'm saying is - the sannyasis, great men like Adi Sankara, the Buddha, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda - they gave up earthly enjoyment, not because of some lofty principle of giving up enjoyment, but because they were dissatisfied with the fleeting, causal nature of earthly enjoyment; rather, they wanted it all, unending, eternal, causeless, they wanted the never-ending spiritual orgasm, the intensely alive feeling which we material beings only get to enjoy for a few moments, once in a lifetime, if at all.

But - that Moksha is postulated as the default and inevitable state for all of us, we were the ones who let it go to pursue materialization of our spiritual potential. So then, why did we give that up and come to the material world, chasing materialization of our desires? That is what I want to show through the axioms.

So, SriKumar's query of
SriKumar wrote:why don't we remember past lives, if we did, our memories and actions would rapidly converge to Moksha
is extremely pertinent here, it is the crux of the matter in fact. This is what I want to trace to the axioms (and I feel that there is a reasonable explanation which is fully traceable to the axioms) - but - the "disinterested God" is again a vital aspect of this trace.

Let me write it up, I have some ideas on how to make it an interesting and engaging read. It might not come in my next post, I still have some "matching observations to axioms" to do, but it will come soon, and I'm looking forward to presenting it.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 27 Jun 2019 08:57

Try this, there are some insights here.
http://www.hipkapi.com/2013/02/13/how-t ... he-future/

Among them:
All these possibilities indicate that the activity of ‘distinguishing’ the Indian traditions from each other is classificatory in nature: why one chooses one way of doing it and not another way depends upon one’s purposes for wanting to classify them. It also suggests that one’s ability to classify depends upon the categories one brings to bear in the study of these traditions. To suggest that ‘Buddhism’ and ‘Hinduism’ are two different religions and that their doctrinal differences are crucial to this divide is not a claim about the structure of the world. Instead, it is a claim about one’s classificatory scheme.


...this person realizes that all his endeavors, projects, dreams, desires and frustrations were never really ‘his’. His unhappiness arose not because these projects were pursued, but because he thought they were ‘his’.


One possibility of understanding his experience is to say that he was never an agent (nor could he be one) because there are no agents. This is the answer, for example, of the Buddhist traditions. I say ‘traditions’, because there are several ways of understanding the absence of agency. One could say there is no agency at all and that the experience of agency is totally illusory. (This is the ‘doctrine’ of anatta.) Or one could say that acts give birth to an illusory ‘experience’ of agency. To understand the illusory nature of this experience requires an insight into the relation between the organism and the actions.9 These different accents roughly indicate in the direction of the different traditions in Buddhism.

The second possibility lies in taking the insight in another direction: Who is the ‘he’ who realizes that ‘he’ was never an agent and all agencies are illusions? ‘Whose’ illusion was it, and why did ‘he’ succumb to this illusion? When these questions arise, a new ‘interiority’ opens up that is different from and other than the internal mental life. That is to say, the middle-aged man discovers that there is a difference between his persona and ‘himself’. Here too different possibilities open up. Either the person discovers that the ‘he’ cannot be a particular, because particularity is a property of the organism and the persona. In that case, he is heading towards the Advaita traditions. Or he could experience the particularity of the ‘he’ in a different way than the particularity of the persona: in that case, he could head either towards the Jain traditions or towards the Dvaita traditions.

The third possibility is this: the illusion lay in the fact that the middle-aged person thought that he was the agent, while he never was. Actually, someone else is the Agent and this agent is acting through the middle-aged person all the time. The middle-aged person now sees his role as a conduit, and no more than that. Now, we approach the various Bhakti traditions.


One way encourages an unremitting reflection and analysis of the experience of being an agent. Who acts? What is acting? In what does the attachment consist of, except the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’? What are these two terms? Is the ‘I’ the same as this body, or this organism, or this persona? Does the sense of ‘I’ undergo change and development as the organism or the persona undergoes change and development? If not, what is the relation between the ‘I’ and the other two? This is the path of knowledge (Gyana) that changes the nature of experience by correcting it.

Another way of reaching the same insight is to go deeper into experience. Any attachment requires constancy: of the object or the event one is attached to, and of the ‘agent’ who is attached. The deeper one delves into locating this constancy in experience, the more one discovers discontinuities and inconstancies. One discovers that neither the ‘structures’ of experience nor their ‘constancy’ are given in experience. Rather, they are provided by the descriptions of the said experience. This would be the meditative path to such an explanation. By relocating the subordinate units of the daily experience, the meditative path (Dhyana) restructures it.

The third way of achieving the same insight is to notice that ‘attachment’ is also a particular human emotion. To be unattached requires an altering of this emotion. One can do that using other kinds of human emotions as ‘meta-emotions’ directed towards emotional attachment. Attachment to objects, events, and persons are seen as situations a person is caught up in. Ironical and humorous descriptions of such situations enable the person to achieve a sense of distance from those situations; compassion and sorrow, directed towards the situation of suffering caused by attachment will help loosen the hold of the emotion of attachment. Music, rhythm, cadence, dance and poetry (in combination) work on generating such sets of ‘meta-emotions’. This is the devotional path (Bhakti) to such an insight. This path restructures experience by altering the force of emotions invested in such experiences.

A fourth way of achieving the same insight is to try and severe the relation between action and its outcome. Attachment can also be seen as the experience of relating action to its outcome and claim that one is the fruit of the other. One decouples actions from human intentions, and such a decoupling can be achieved by building reflexivity regarding action and ‘its’ intention. One acts ‘observantly’, observing both the nature of action and ‘its’ alleged intention, only to discover that ‘intentionality’ is no ‘property’ of the ‘agent’ at all. This is the action path (Karma) to the insight. This path transforms the daily experience by severing the relation between human action and human ‘intentionality’.

Consider how a fifth way would approach this insight. Whatever one experiences, there is but one means through which one experiences: through the organism that one’s body is. Consequently, one can also begin to understand what experience is by experimenting with the experience itself. One way of doing that is to begin manipulating experience, begin assembling and reassembling it. One’s body is not only the means through which experience is possible but it is also the instrument to experiment on experience itself. That is, the focus shifts to the body, its sense organs, and such like in order to understand what the ‘insight’ is. This is the Yoga path to further the insight.

Thus one could go on. But my purpose is served. One could differentiate the Indian traditions on the basis of their ‘doctrines’; equally, one could differentiate them according to the activities they encourage; one could do both and graft doctrines or activities onto each other. All these possibilities indicate that the activity of ‘distinguishing’ the Indian traditions from each other is classificatory in nature: why one chooses one way of doing it and not another way depends upon one’s purposes for wanting to classify them. It also suggests that one’s ability to classify depends upon the categories one brings to bear in the study of these traditions. To suggest that ‘Buddhism’ and ‘Hinduism’ are two different religions and that their doctrinal differences are crucial to this divide is not a claim about the structure of the world. Instead, it is a claim about one’s classificatory scheme.

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

Postby sudarshan » 29 Jun 2019 05:13

The presentation format so far has been rather dry, bare posts are like sawdust and wood chips (I wasn't doing too many bare posts, but still), and it seems to me like even the bulleted list is rather like sawdust and wood chips with ketchup.

After thinking about the best presentation format, I decided to try a more enticing format for one post at least. Fiction. :mrgreen: So shortly, I will be presenting you goobers with a short story, which I think illustrates many of the points I want to make.

I still have some observations to match with axioms, more material on evolution, quantum mechanics, etc. But first I thought I'd jazz up the thread a bit with some fiction, and then get to the rest (back to bulleted lists).

Before reading the story below, I would like y'all to take a brief moment to visualize the Abrahamic notion of God. I think we are all familiar with that, just visualize the basic notion.

Then read the story for an alternative version. The story has references, don't worry about those for now, those will be covered in a later post. Just read the story as is.

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

Postby sudarshan » 29 Jun 2019 05:41

Don't worry about the references for now, they will be explained in the next post.

[a]

The night is young, the last flush of sunset has just faded. As I walk the streets towards home, the earliest stars begin to glow.

Walking hand-in-hand, her warm hand in mine, the streets almost empty, most everybody is at the carnival. I turn to look at her, she smiles.

She stops a moment, looking up at the moon in its eighth phase. Her hair comes unbound, tumbling down her shoulders to her waist, brushing my hand, and hers. She pulls her hand from mine, starts gathering her dark locks, still looking up. Drops of water glisten in her tresses, glowing in the light of the moon and the lights of the houses around.

How did I get so lucky! As she stands, arms up, tying up her hair into a top-knot, her bosom thrust forward, I gaze at her profile. We are heading home, to bed, we have an all-night pact. Maybe I’ll start by freeing her hair again, letting it cascade down, and then dine on that tender earlobe after stalking it through those massed tresses. Or maybe a nose-nuzzle, going down to the mouth, further down….

She looks at me, reads my thoughts. I turn in confusion, cheeks afire.

“Ankit! What is it, dear?” She pulls me around. “Are you blushing? Look, it’s me, just me. I want it too.”

How did I get so lucky? She pulls me close, we nuzzle noses in the empty street by moonlight. Then we walk on, hand-in-hand again.

“Oh, that puddle is so clear,” she says. “See the moon in it? Good enough to eat.”

I look at the half moon in the puddle, then at her.

“Go stand there, Anku. I’ll get the moon over your head, like a halo, all in the water.”

OK. I walk over and turn around. She has her phone up.

“To the left some more – further back – left….”

“Are you sure? I’m too far away.”

“No, this is fine. Here, to the left.”

“What, left again? Are you nuts, or cross-eyed??”

“Perfect!” She snaps the picture. I walk over to look.

There’s my face in the puddle, framed with the moon under one earlobe, a street lamp under another.

“Beautiful earrings, Anki, you look so pretty and girlish!” She giggles in delight.

“You little imp!” I rush to grab her.

She dodges, laughing.

I grab her top-knot, gently pull her close. “That’s going to cost you tonight, my dear.”

“I’m shocked – that my own Ankil (Uncle) would talk to me that way!”

“Maybe it’s going to cost you right now, you know that?”

“The phone, Ankit, don’t drop my phone.”

*****

The house nears, she smiles at me. “Soon, Anku, soon now. Why don’t you give me our keys and…why, what is it now?”

The game arcade opposite our house. A special deal, just for tonight.

“What is it, Anki dear?”

“Galaxy Quest….”

She looks at the arcade, at the glowing sign outside. “Oh, that game. You want to play? Now…?”

I look at her – the night is young, the arcade deal will be gone tomorrow. Do I have time for just one game?[a.1]

What are you doing, you fool? You want to pass your girl up, pass up your all-night pact, just for a game?

Ah, but there’s no passing up! Not This or That. This on top of That. She is mine, the night is young, I have That, I have her in any case. A little of This, just one game, and then I’m with her, I can have all of That too![a.2]

“It’s that game with the wormholes and tunnels into higher dimensions, right?” she says.

“Yes, have you played?”

“No Anki, but I’ve watched my brothers and little sister play. They were so addicted. I know the game in and out from watching, but I never saw what it was that they liked so much about it.”

“The regular version is addicting enough,” I say. “But this is the arcade version! A special deal, just for tonight, just ten seats.”

She looks curiously at the sign. “Did they just put that up?”

“I think so. It’s their strategy to avoid a long queue, they timed it with the carnival. I could be the first one in.”

She looks at me. “Go play, dear.”

“You mean it?!”

“Yes.”

“Want to come?”

“No Anku. I don’t fancy that game, it’s too addicting.[a.3] Go play. I’ll wait for you. In bed.” Her wide black eyes, full of promise, lock mine.

“Just one game!”

She smiles, takes the house keys from my hand, and moves to the door.

*****

I was first in all right. I get a seat by the window, waiting for my payment to go through. I fondle the controls, then look at the window.

Oh-h-h she’s there. At our bedroom window, elbow on the sill, chin in hand, smiling at me. I reach for my phone. Hey, what u doin?

She hears her phone beep, picks it up, looks at it, then back at me. She types.

Watching you! Luv seeing u excited n happy.

Oh no. How do I explain this to her? I glance around, other players are coming in, the sign outside has been noticed.

I look at her. She nods, smiles, and reaches up for the curtain.[a.4] She understands!

I watch her full bust, silhouetted against the bedroom light, watch the gleaming black top-knot on her head, as she blows me a kiss with her free hand. Go to her! She’s a treasure, a keeper. The game’s not real…!

Then the curtain closes. No judgment, just understanding – she lets me shelve my guilt and misgivings and play without inhibition.[a.5]

Beep! My card payment went through. Just one game! Then I’m with her.

Wormhole after wormhole, dimension after dimension, I’m nearly in the seventh dimension! I’ve never made it this far before!

Beep! Out of time.

NO!

I look up. The curtains are apart, she’s there. How did she know the game was done?

I reach for the phone. Dear?

She says – Had fun? :)

Fun! Breaking off just before the seventh dimension? The game remembers. The next time I play, I get to use credits from the last time.[a.6] Does she understand that?

What is it, Anku?

Was almost at the seventh-d

Oh. I know, sis got there once, she was ecstatic. Didn’t get it?

No, game stopped.

I look at her again, her sweet face lit up with a smile, the sequins on her bodice glittering like stars. Wanna play again, eh? she says.

Please? Just once? I’ll get that 7th, then I’m done.

Go for it, dear

I look up from the phone, the curtain is closed already. Is she angry? Not her! She means it, no judgment, just understanding. A treasure, a keeper.

The game remembers and gives you credits from last time – but do I want to remember? I want to play again, as if for the first time.

ENABLE ALERTS? Y/N?

No! No alerts to let me know what is coming, when the credits or demerits from last time are kicking in.[a.7] I will have to start from the first dimension again, that’s ok, but I want to play as if for the first time. I will start stronger, will be able to progress faster, because of accumulated credits – but I want to forget that fact.

I’m back in the fourth dimension, yeah baby! I put the game on auto-pilot for a bit and look around. Others are playing, feverishly entering new dimensions.

I see my phone lying there.

Oh-h, she’s waiting, all alone in bed! Impulsively, I pick up the phone.

Luv u!

Love YOU! The response is instantaneous, as if she had it all typed out and was just waiting.[a.8]

Will she send anything more, will she tempt me? A suggestive text-art, a racy pic of her in bed? Or will she open the curtains and let me glimpse her? Nothing![a.15] The closed curtain is all I see.

She’s lonely, she misses you, you have an all-night pact, a date with her, but she’s too noble to interrupt your fun. Go to her, you fool![a.17] Or at least call her, send her a message….[a.13]

Aa-h, the ship is about to crash! I take back control, save the ship. Now I’m in the fifth dimension!

BEEP!

NO-O! I wiped out a fellow traveler, a sputnik as it’s called, a competing ship. That gives massive demerits![a.9] The seventh dimension just got a whole lot harder to break into.

Should I continue this game? It’s gone anyway. Aborting earns further demerits,[a.10] but it lets me start a new game sooner.

ABORT! More demerits, I will start the next game with a huge handicap.[a.9]

The curtain opens, she’s at the window. How does she know?[a.16]

I type – Dear?

Ya, Anki? All done? :)

No response from me.

What’s wrong, Anki?

Should I lie? Is that fair? Wiped out a sputnik. Does she understand that?

Oh. That’s a handicap, right?

Yes, she understands. I also aborted.

Leave it, Anku

Didn’t get 7th yet

Her face is troubled at the window. You’ll start with a handicap, Anku. It’ll take 2 games.

Who are we kidding! She knows it too, it won’t take just two games, more like three or four. I need to overcome the handicap of the wiped-out sputnik, then the handicap of aborting. Gather enough credits from two or three games, before I can think of challenging the seventh dimension again.[a.11]

This or That?

NO! This ON TOP OF That! I glance at the wall clock – 9:27 PM. The night is young, she is mine, our all-night pact will happen in any case. I can reach the seventh-d, AND have the date.[a.2]

Have fun, Anki. She blows another kiss, then the curtain closes again, gently, no accusation, no judgment.

The night is young, she is mine! This AND That! She has her TV, her books, her laptop. And I’ll be with her soon, very soon, I’ll make it up to her.

I reach for the controls.

ENABLE ALERTS? Y/N?

No alerts! I will play again, as if for the first time.[a.7] Twice, thrice, as many times as it takes to get to the seventh-d.

CHOOSE HANDICAP:[a.12]
a) Start at negative dimension
b) More sputniks
c) Lower top speed
d) More asteroids

I glance at the closed, gently ruffling curtains[a.4] of our bedroom window across the street, the curtains which hide my Divya, my own true girl. Then I take a deep breath, and restart the game.[a.14]

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

Postby sudarshan » 29 Jun 2019 05:49

[b]

And here are the references, explained.

[a.1] The original cause or desire which brought each of us to the material plane (axiom 2). This is unique and personal, and knowing this is self-realization.

[a.2] Moksha is our default and inevitable state, it can be “taken for granted” so to speak. Spending a life-time, a hundred life-times, or even a billion life-times in the material plane, does not in any way diminish Moksha, which is eternal and endless. Why don’t memories and actions converge rapidly to Moksha? See [a.7], and also – because Moksha can be taken for granted, postponed one life at a time.

[a.3] The “disinterested God,” the second part of axiom 1. Would the above short story work without this notion?

[a.4] Vishnu Maya - hides our own divinity ("Divya," the girl's name at the end) from us.

[a.5] Maya is not a curse, it is a sweet favor that God bestows upon each of us. The veil will be lifted when we are ready for it.

[a.6] Favorable karmaphala carried over (axiom 3).

[a.7] Why don’t we remember past lives or actions? Because we want to forget them, want to forget past addictions, betrayals, debilitating diseases, losses of loved ones, or even past loved ones, whom our current karmaphala no longer allows us to associate with (we don’t want to be burdened by memories of what we used to have, that we can no longer have). We want to enjoy our lives again, as if for the first time, be a child again, turn 18 again, turn 21 again, fall in love again, marry again, have our first child, our first grandchild, as if for the first time! Forgetfulness is once again a sweet gift, not a curse.

[a.8] Immersed in this world as we are, when we occasionally take the time to visit a temple, recite some sloka, offer a bite to God before eating, God’s response is immediate, non-accusatory, non-judgmental.

[a.9] Negative karmaphala carried over (axiom 3).

[a.10] Suicide is not a way out.

[a.11] Having to overcome accumulated handicaps and hurdles right from when we are born. Choosing to do so anyway, in the hope of attaining our prize in a subsequent life. In other words, treating disadvantaged births as “probation” for future fulfillment.

[a.12] Maybe we even get to choose our handicap (though we will have to choose *some* handicap – or *some* advantage – if our karmaphala dictates that) – being born with a physical limitation, or as a lower life form than previously, or in a war-torn or polluted area, or losing parent(s) at birth, etc.

[a.13] This is a different view of God – not as father or judge or in-command, but as a jilted and betrayed lover, betrayed and taken for granted by every single living being (from the lowest virus to animals to humans, and beyond, untold trillions and quadrillions of us), lonely, waiting for reunion, but disinterested, neither judging nor accusing. Rather than fear or even love, this view of God inspires sympathy, empathy, compassion (all from us towards God, not the other way round)!

[a.14] Reincarnation is a conscious choice on our part, not something imposed by God.

[a.15] “If God exists, why don’t I see Him/ Her?”

[a.16] Maybe we do see God and talk to Him/ Her at the end of each life and before the next one?

[a.17] Bhaja Govindam….

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

Postby SriKumar » 29 Jun 2019 18:26

Some unconnected comments:
1. Thanks for putting forward this approach. The 'purists' might argue that it lacks from one thing or another (depth, breadth.... whatever), but (i) I am not a purist, and (ii) I want to understand these concepts from a first-hand experience of an average guy-on-the-street point of view. I can only relate to common-sensical experience not requiring 20 years of meditation, or 10 years of deep contemplation. This aint gonna happen to me...and a few billion other people- speaking very literally. And I am absolutely unapologetic and un-embarassed by this stance of mine. So your effort is definitely appreciated.

2. A couple of things flummoxed me in a previous post. You said someone (not Yudhisthara) suffered some bad consequences for their attachment to some principle (truth?) , because this attachment itself is some form of a desire. This is puzzling to note that staying true to a good principle is seen as a negative, even earning bad karma in the process (first time I am seeing this). If sticking to good principles all the time is a negative, then one's conduct can become 'flexible'. It sounds a bit similar to the 'taqquiyaa' concept where one can pretend when/as needed. If breaking principle to show detachment is a good thing, Yudhishtara should have gotten brownie points for his 'Ashwathama hathah kunjarah' half-lie instead of suffering a brief stint in naraka. (On a semi-related note, does Lakshamana suffer some bad karma for leaving his wife and going off with his bother for 14 years. Or would Ram take on the bad karma since it was done for him).

3. Read the fictional exposition. Definitely the concept proposed is interesting and different in several ways.
i) The concept of god waiting for us, unjudging and our love is indeed mind-bending. This is the first I've heard, put in such a form i.e. they are waiting for you patiently.
ii) Moksha can be taken for granted is another interesting concept. However, there are alot of people who would not want to be reborn and get moskha after this life. Do they get their wish- perhaps after they've accumulated enough good karma. However, there is no way of knowing how much has been accumulated.
iii) the line about having a next life as a matter of self-volition is mind-bending. This could easily be made into a movie, of the M. Night-Shyamalan kind. How would one decide to pull the trigger on that. You dont know what you are going to get into. You want to have another life to get what you did not get in this life, but what if it comes with baggage you dont want.
iv) what is the mechanism for the enforcement of the karmic principle ..... that good things (a,b,c) will happen after you've accumulated the good karma.
v) the reference to bhaja govindam (from the passage) was ROTFL.

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

Postby sudarshan » 29 Jun 2019 20:11

I'll address some of the points here, and try to address the rest in later posts.

SriKumar wrote:Some unconnected comments:
1. Thanks for putting forward this approach. The 'purists' might argue that it lacks from one thing or another (depth, breadth.... whatever), but (i) I am not a purist, and (ii) I want to understand these concepts from a first-hand experience of an average guy-on-the-street point of view. I can only relate to common-sensical experience not requiring 20 years of meditation, or 10 years of deep contemplation. This aint gonna happen to me...and a few billion other people- speaking very literally. And I am absolutely unapologetic and un-embarassed by this stance of mine. So your effort is definitely appreciated.


Thanks! I think you're getting the point of this approach now, from the point of view of the average guy, maybe a little higher, from the point of view of a STEM educated average guy. I don't claim any great breadth or depth, I'm trying the deductive scientific logic approach - start with axioms, build the theory using logic, compare against observations to falsify or corroborate the axioms. I'm sure this wouldn't impress anybody like the Buddha or Adi Sankara, or even a well-read purist today.

But my point is - short of being the Buddha or Adi Sankara, short of having that level of achievement and charisma and inspiring everybody who comes in contact with you with your personal charisma, what is the way forward against the EJs? Their message is dumbed down enough. We don't have to dumb down, but a simple, logically consistent message that appeals to the man on the street is hardly forthcoming from our side. Is it all about money? Maybe. Or maybe Modi is that charismatic guy, we'll have to wait and see on that one.

But I think the deductive approach still has value, given that there are millions of STEM educated folk today, who definitely look up to the scientific approach as the gold standard. That was the point.

2. A couple of things flummoxed me in a previous post. You said someone (not Yudhisthara) suffered some bad consequences for their attachment to some principle (truth?) , because this attachment itself is some form of a desire. This is puzzling to note that staying true to a good principle is seen as a negative, even earning bad karma in the process (first time I am seeing this). If sticking to good principles all the time is a negative, then one's conduct can become 'flexible'. It sounds a bit similar to the 'taqquiyaa' concept where one can pretend when/as needed. If breaking principle to show detachment is a good thing, Yudhishtara should have gotten brownie points for his 'Ashwathama hathah kunjarah' half-lie instead of suffering a brief stint in naraka. (On a semi-related note, does Lakshamana suffer some bad karma for leaving his wife and going off with his bother for 14 years. Or would Ram take on the bad karma since it was done for him).


Will get back to this.

3. Read the fictional exposition. Definitely the concept proposed is interesting and different in several ways.
i) The concept of god waiting for us, unjudging and our love is indeed mind-bending. This is the first I've heard, put in such a form i.e. they are waiting for you patiently.


I don't know about the "waiting patiently" part, but God as our personal lover is not new in SD. The concept of Rasa Lila is exactly that, that God is able to relate on a personal level with each individual spirit soul, as if (S)He were that soul's special and eternal lover! From there, it is not much of a stretch to the "waiting patiently" part. Also, I've seen this "God longs for our love as much as we long for His/ Hers" in other sources. I don't know about the authority of those sources, but at least I can say that the concept is not new, it's been proposed before:

http://what-when-how.com/love-in-world- ... -hinduism/

ii) Moksha can be taken for granted is another interesting concept. However, there are alot of people who would not want to be reborn and get moskha after this life. Do they get their wish- perhaps after they've accumulated enough good karma. However, there is no way of knowing how much has been accumulated.


Yes, if you want Moksha and don't want to be reborn, you will get it - provided you live out the remaining karmic consequences. Why should you live out these remaining karmic consequences even when you no longer harbor desire? So that you don't jeopardize the path to Moksha of other living beings (this being a causal universe after all). So the Buddha lived to be 80, long after attaining Moksha. Ditto with other seers. They were simply living out their remaining karmaphala, out of deference to the desires of the rest of us.

Now, about the good karma bit - no, Moksha is not tied to accumulation of good karma (per my understanding, I could be wrong). Moksha is tied to the exhaustion of all karmic consequence (and all desire for further karmic enjoyment). This is also the Jain view, that even good karmic consequence is undesirable, since it hinders Moksha.

iii) the line about having a next life as a matter of self-volition is mind-bending. This could easily be made into a movie, of the M. Night-Shyamalan kind. How would one decide to pull the trigger on that. You dont know what you are going to get into. You want to have another life to get what you did not get in this life, but what if it comes with baggage you dont want.


I think there is precedence for this also. Amba performing penance to be reborn as Shikandi, so she could avenge herself on Bhishma. Draupadi performing penance to achieve the perfect husband (only to achieve it in the form of five husbands!). Is it too much of a stretch to say that we all get to choose to be reborn? How would one decide to pull the trigger? Because when you finish one life and see the true reality, you also see the illusory nature of worldly life. Suffering is illusory. Pleasure is illusory. Well if it's all illusory, why not endure it, risk it for a chance of gratification? You know it's going to end, that you will return to the reality. You know that you will forget this as soon as you enter the material plane, but you're okay with that, being currently in tune with the reality.

iv) what is the mechanism for the enforcement of the karmic principle ..... that good things (a,b,c) will happen after you've accumulated the good karma.


No clue :). Do any of us know this? Now you see the basis of "Dharma." A set of guidelines, a user's manual for us, since the mechanism of Karma is so opaque to us (although the principle of Karma is simplicity itself). Follow your Dharma scrupulously, and you don't need to fear falling foul of the law of Karma. So your earlier question of "Can you derive 'Dharmo rakshati rakshita' from the axioms?" Yes, I feel that I can. Dharma being a set of guidelines to keep on the "right side of Karma," if you follow your Dharma, it is axiomatic that your Karmic consequences will protect you later on. It is actually your Karmaphala which protects you, Dharma just gives you a guideline for that. Which is why I say "Dharma is the derived concept, Karma is the fundamental one."

v) the reference to bhaja govindam (from the passage) was ROTFL.


In a good way, I hope :).

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

Postby sudarshan » 29 Jun 2019 21:53

SriKumar wrote:...


Just wanted to ask - do you see the basis for the "disinterested God" now, after reading the short story? "Disinterested" doesn't mean that God doesn't care about us, just that God is not interested in "playing the game" with us (as in the story).

As explained in [a.13], the Dharmic notion of God is fundamentally different from the Abrahamic one, it is the antithesis in fact, despite the superficial resemblance of "all-powerful God." And the "disinterested God" bit captures the difference pretty well.

Again - think of Buddhism, think of Jainism. The girl Divya in the story doesn't have to be "God." She could simply be representative of our eternal and unending bliss. Buddhism and Jainism both did away with the notion of God (not negating or atheistic, just being agnostic). And the story works very well in that case also!

She is disinterested in playing the game, but deeply and intimately interested in Ankit. And Ankit's misery is self-inflicted. The story is consistent with all three axioms (except that the "all-powerful God" part of axiom 1 hasn't been addressed). Addressing the all-powerful God part adds twists to the tale, making Divya the owner of the arcade as well, making her the developer of the Galaxy Quest game (with all its rules) which she enforces. Adding that to the story would make it cheesy and Shahrukh Khan-ish. Best to keep the essentials in the story, and explain the twists separately.

How does one reconcile an all-powerful, just and merciful God with the misery which we know to be an undeniable feature of this material universe? By postulating that the misery is self-inflicted, and that God offers a way out, but that we deliberately ignore Him/ Her! God won't jump into the game (except in the extreme of "paritranaya sadhunam, vinasaya ca dushkrutam"), but that is again in deference to *our* desire!

The story above offers an attractive alternative to the Abrahamic world-view (with its notion of eternal heaven - which, however, is predicated on judgment) - it defines Moksha as a indescribably blissful state, but this state is unconditional, inevitable, default, untied to any judgment - we are the ones who choose to ignore it.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 29 Jun 2019 22:06

I think that while looking for simple ways of describing the Hindu world, the purpose should be to play offense, not defense. Defense is playing the game on the terms of the Abrahamics. This by Suraj should be kept in mind:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7355&p=2363477#p2363361

Evangelists can be kept away with stuff like "Yes, Jesus loves me and I love Jesus. Who the f*** are you to get in the middle?"

You do not have to morally justify yourself to anybody, unless you have done something that may be wrong. Trying to "justify" Sanatana Dharma to an EJ is implicitly conceding that you are willing to debate based on the premises that as a Hindu you are morally depraved until and unless you successfully argue otherwise. This is how Rajaram Mohun Roy and Arya Samaj Dayananda Saraswati and so on got into the "oh we are monotheist, non-idol-worshippers onlee, we allow all that other stuff for the weak-minded". This is because ruled by Europeans there was little choice but to argue on their terms.

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

Postby SriKumar » 29 Jun 2019 22:42

^^^ Agree, and in fact, it takes much LESS effort to play offense by undermining their right to even ask the question (essentially a variation of 'tu kaun hota hai bey poochne waala; kya aukat hai teri). I enjoy such interactions frankly and have had too few opportunities. Am not sure but I believe 'sudarshan's' situation is a bit different in that he has had his own relatives converted. He would have had to convince/cajole them to not convert, or look for ways based on reason, appeal and/or knowledge, to convert them back. Requires a different approach from just telling them off. One can see the (unfortunate) churn it has caused.

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I read your posts. Will digest them and respond in a little bit.

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

Postby sudarshan » 29 Jun 2019 22:55

Where did you get the "playing defense" from saar? The aim is to build a narrative on a scientific deductive basis, to target STEM educated fence-sitters anywhere in the world. Not to justify in front of EJs.

The axiomatic view does not fall under the category of "their (EJ) terms." If "they" are the EJs, then their terms are not scientific, they are at loggerheads with science, with evolution, formerly even with helio-centricity. "Their terms" here refers to the terms of the scientific approach (which is at loggerheads with the EJ approach). Just as we methodically use science to show that it is the OIT which has scientific basis, not the AIT, we use science to show that it is the notion of karma and desire fulfillment which has scientific basis, not judgment day and eternal heaven/ hell. If the EJs deny science itself, that's their prerogative, let's see what neutral fence sitters say.

The western world gave up any idea of intellectual competition between SD and the Abrahamic view after the Parliament of Religions. They do not want such a confrontation. This is not "their terms" at all.

I have some material on how the three axioms I posted naturally lead to the tenets of evolution and quantum mechanics itself - not just that, they offer vast insights over and beyond evolution and QM. Wave-function collapse, Schroedinger's cat, parallel universes, seeming loss of determinism in the Copenhagen interpretation of QM - all of these are traceable to the axioms, and fresh insights are offered over and beyond traditional QM. SD is the true over-arching logical framework (or rather, the subset of SD which can be reduced to the axiomatic view).
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 29 Jun 2019 23:04

sudarshan wrote:What to do saar :). I've had several close relatives go the EJ way, and then come and try to convert yours truly and family. The things they said about SD were truly ridiculous, showing a lack of understanding of even the basics of SD. I fended them off by showing them the mirror about their side (not that they relented), but maybe if I had been able to do this "trace back to fundamentals" back then, who knows. That's how all this started.

As to proselytize, if I went door to door with my message, that would be a valid charge. I have no intention of doing that, but I have no intention of looking foolish either when a genuinely curious (or even openly hostile) outsider (or former insider turned outsider) comes up to me. Nothing wrong with turning them over if possible, I don't think of "not proselytizing" as some kind of ideal in SD. Buddhism was very much into proselytizing, again nothing wrong.

Not sure what you mean by "risk enormous" though.


Are you talking about this post?

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

Postby DharmaB » 29 Jun 2019 23:18

Appreciate this approach of presenting the relation between God & We as Lover & Beloved vice-versa. It would add color to the life and make it more interesting to the common man the concept of Moksha (as Sayujya Mukti, - being in the company of God for eternity ).

In the traditional literature like Bhagavatam, and Gita Govindam of Jayadeva this concept of Lover & Beloved is described as the Path of Bhakti. This Bhakti Yoga is said to be relatively an easier one for commoners compared to the other two prominent paths, since not every one is fit to be a Gyana Yogi ( it is very dry and unenthusiastic for most of the people for most of their lifetime - for example one need to be like Ramana Maharshi, who did not rest until he made it all the way till the end) or a Karma Yogi (very exhaustive and long path, one need to work like our Modi ji, and on top of that have ability to remain aloof to the result in the end :(( ). But even practicing Bhakti Yoga in these modern times is not an easy one. One could be ridiculed within the home by the very near & dear.

I want to understand these concepts from a first-hand experience of an average guy-on-the-street point of view. I can only relate to common-sensical experience not requiring 20 years of meditation, or 10 years of deep contemplation. This aint gonna happen to me...and a few billion other people- speaking very literally. And I am absolutely unapologetic and un-embarassed by this stance of mine.


This is the more relevant question for most of us including STEM people. But honestly, we are not going to move on with this without putting some effort in some manner or the other, if not meditating for 20 years. Even to become a STEM graduate, we need to put 16 years of systematic effort in our life time in it. After that also it takes a constant effort in our life to prove to be successful from time to time. If we want to ABORT in the middle of it (like in the game), it earns us bad karma only. Then what is the short cut or middle path? or What is the realistic approach for an average guy-on-the-street ? Do we have to wait to wear out or spend all our positive & negative karmaphala to even have a glimpse of That Moksha ?(I would rather use word "enlightenment" as an experience of the Divine/Bliss even if it is temporary like a spark than a full fire, to begin with. Moksha being described as the final state, after all our bank balance becomes NULL :mrgreen: ).

We need to understand this and find answers (not that they are not available in already existing literature, but to simplify) for both the purposes. 1) The purpose of self fulfillment at personal level. 2) To protect our Dharmic tradition against external spiritual invasion at social level (of course they are not so spirit-ual :eek: , we have to prove this point to them that the true spirituality lies with in the Dharmic traditions)
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby SriKumar » 29 Jun 2019 23:47

sudarshan wrote:Where did you get the "playing defense" from saar?
This is not me. A_Gupta said something about playing defense, and I responded to his post agreeing that there is no need to play defense. There was no implication from my side of your position (which seemed neither defense nor offense to me) on the matter. I see it as an exposition and explanation of a concept. And yes, your other post is where I got the thing about relatives going a different way. Will respond to the other posts later in the day.

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

Postby sudarshan » 30 Jun 2019 00:05

Was responding to A_Gupta. But I see that I was getting all defensive in my response, so maybe you guys have a point. Sorry :).

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

Postby DharmaB » 30 Jun 2019 00:33

Then what is the short cut or middle path? or What is the realistic approach for an average guy-on-the-street ? Do we have to wait to wear out or spend all our positive & negative karmaphala to even have a glimpse of That Moksha ?(I would rather use word "enlightenment" as an experience of the Divine/Bliss even if it is temporary like a spark than a full fire, to begin with. Moksha being described as the final state, after all our bank balance becomes NULL :mrgreen: ).


After Sudarshan ji is done with his axioms, I would like to shed some light on these queries, as a "Quest for Truth" based on my personal research and first-hand experiences (or rather observations is more appropriate term) as I see them fit to share (don't expect too much on this SriKumar ji :) )

But I would like to continue commenting in between after reading the posts here and if something flashes in my mind after that. Hope it won't disturb the flow. I have to confess that, it is very hard for me to explain everything in detail like Sudarshan ji is doing... But if I miss the context it would be difficult to add later on...

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

Postby A_Gupta » 30 Jun 2019 00:54

sudarshan wrote:Where did you get the "playing defense" from saar? The aim is to build a narrative on a scientific deductive basis, to target STEM educated fence-sitters anywhere in the world. Not to justify in front of EJs.


Sorry if I distracted you. Someone just tried to play that trick on me (take a question of knowledge and turn it into one of morality), and then Suraj's post and Polly Hazarika's PhD thesis confirmed that that is a long standing tactic. The correct way to handle it is to not respond to the moral charge; but to give a different sort of response. Then I thought I recalled someone terming this thread as an answer to the EJs. Hence my explosion.

Please continue.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 30 Jun 2019 00:57

What is the realistic approach for an average guy-on-the-street ? Do we have to wait to wear out or spend all our positive & negative karmaphala to even have a glimpse of That Moksha ?


Eknath Easwaran was a householder, in many ways, the average-guy-on-the-street. Try his Gita for everyday living.

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

Postby DharmaB » 30 Jun 2019 00:59

sudarshan wrote:Was responding to A_Gupta. But I see that I was getting all defensive in my response, so maybe you guys have a point. Sorry :).


No. I don't think so. This discussion has two purposes. One is to re-discover (it goes on in every generation) & uphold the Truth (wherever it takes honestly) and secondly find the ways to use it (our knowledge - Adi Shankara is not around to debate on our behalf) effectively against external threats. If we are not convinced of ourselves about our own religion, then how can we defend it against the evil propaganda of foreign religions?

If the purpose is only to defeat them and tweak our ways at the expense of the Truth, that is also not good in the long run. We will become like them cooking up some stories to sell to the masses to satisfy the immediate short term need. But in the long run, it would damage our authenticity irreparably.

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

Postby sudarshan » 30 Jun 2019 01:49

DharmaB wrote:But I would like to continue commenting in between after reading the posts here and if something flashes in my mind after that. Hope it won't disturb the flow. I have to confess that, it is very hard for me to explain everything in detail like Sudarshan ji is doing... But if I miss the context it would be difficult to add later on...


Comments are welcome, they help the flow. I welcome the feedback.

I hope I don't get seen as hogging the thread, just trying to put down the fully developed (or - as much as it has been developed in my mind so far) train of thought. I don't know if I'm doing a very good job of explaining in detail, I'm making up the flow (though not the thoughts) as I go along, hoping not to confuse or lose too many readers. It's like in a war, the troops are all ready, prepared, and waiting, but the general's decision on which division to deploy at what time depends on the course of the battle, the weather, and what he had (or not) for lunch.

Just to get some feedback - do you (and others here) feel that the axioms and the theory are holding up so far? The short story can in some sense be considered as a "theory" developed by taking the axioms and building a logical structure on them. The postulate is that SD, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism all share the axioms, (maybe Buddhism and Jainism are indifferent to the first axiom), but that they (and in fact, also each of their numerous sub-sects and flavors) built distinctly different theories on top of those axioms. Sort of like - the same contractor laid the foundation for all of them, but the home builders had differing ideas.

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

Postby SriKumar » 30 Jun 2019 10:34

The fictional story does provide a context and framework that makes it more accessible and understandable than a listing of axioms, and dare I say, even tales from the epics and puranas. The story is contemporary and therefore entirely relatable. It really read a like a love story :D ....but if narration is your thing, maybe an Alistair MacLean-ish type story might work for me. :D
Mira Bai's version of her devotion to Krishna and the shades it took on is aligned with the example you gave.

Some of the concepts you presented will take time for me to digest (that one can hasten one's path to moksha by deciding on it and living out the negative karamaphala). That decision seems tailor-made for more self-inflicted misery if one had to decide yes or no to next life (when there is no real way to know that you would not end up as a kid in war-torn Afghanistan, or worse, as a goat in that 'Animal Research Station' in Balakot, Pakistan).

About misery- not all of it is self-inflicted obviously. THere are many who suffer as kids, and even as adults just by the circumstances of their birth.

One thing about whole deal of religion- a human being has a need to be able to appeal to a higher authority for 'help', or atleast have a hope for help, whether it is real or not. And if the message is that there is none, or that the One is 'dis-interested', that is a hugely dis-heartening message for a lot of people, especially for people with dire circumstances not of their creation (poverty, ill-health, business gone bad). Puranas do have stories of God coming to help (Gajendra mokskham- Vishnu kills the croc and saves the petitioning pachyderm; ).

Things would have been neatly wrapped up if karmic consequences caught up in one lifetime but since they do not (atleast it appears that way), it gets complicated.

At this point, I am rambling, so I'll shut up, sit back and lurk.

DharmaB-
No ji for me sahaab. This is anonymous forum and none of us know the real persona of anyone else here (so I stopped using ji). I am interested in any first-hand experiences you can share. First-hand experiences are relatable across a larger swath of people i.e. even to those without STEM background (I am a STEM guy and spent many years more than 16, unfortunately :D ). And yes, I agree that one has to put in a certain amount of saadhana to learn anything worthwhile, but if it takes years of a very specific kind of persistence beyond your studies and job, it will exclude huge numbers of people from this knowledge, and this seems like ....as they say in a Hindi movie court scene: 'ye saraasar na-insaafi hai, your honour'.
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 30 Jun 2019 10:44

I hope I don't get seen as hogging the thread, just trying to put down the fully developed (or - as much as it has been developed in my mind so far) train of thought. I don't know if I'm doing a very good job of explaining in detail, I'm making up the flow (though not the thoughts) as I go along, hoping not to confuse or lose too many readers. It's like in a war, the troops are all ready, prepared, and waiting, but the general's decision on which division to deploy at what time depends on the course of the battle, the weather, and what he had (or not) for lunch.

Just to get some feedback - do you (and others here) feel that the axioms and the theory are holding up so far? The short story can in some sense be considered as a "theory" developed by taking the axioms and building a logical structure on them. The postulate is that SD, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism all share the axioms, (maybe Buddhism and Jainism are indifferent to the first axiom), but that they (and in fact, also each of their numerous sub-sects and flavors) built distinctly different theories on top of those axioms. Sort of like - the same contractor laid the foundation for all of them, but the home builders had differing ideas.


In my opinion you are perfectly on track. It is not going away from the core philosophy. From a puritan standpoint, there could always be something to point out. But as long as the intention is understood, one can move on. It is my experience too that, stories helps you understand the essence better than just dry philosophical statements.

Here in your story the lady represents Mukti-Kanta (the lady of Bliss) if not God. She may represent Maya (as the conspirator who creates the situations to make you realize that what you are seeking is not perfect and sooner or later give up and take refuge in her - as shown in the movie Bhagavad-Gita of Iyer). I leave it to you to unfold any further twists in your story. If need will comment later.

There is a Hollywood movie (I don't remember the name) in which a man gets the chance to seek 10 boons from God. While he goes on from one to another he experiences the repercussions of the boons however cleverly he tries to ask and achieve what he wants. But in the end he gives up and asks finally to be what he was at the beginning. It was a funny movie and very much represents our state of lives...
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 30 Jun 2019 14:50

A_Gupta wrote:I think that while looking for simple ways of describing the Hindu world, the purpose should be to play offense, not defense. Defense is playing the game on the terms of the Abrahamics. This by Suraj should be kept in mind:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7355&p=2363477#p2363361

Evangelists can be kept away with stuff like "Yes, Jesus loves me and I love Jesus. Who the f*** are you to get in the middle?"

You do not have to morally justify yourself to anybody, unless you have done something that may be wrong. Trying to "justify" Sanatana Dharma to an EJ is implicitly conceding that you are willing to debate based on the premises that as a Hindu you are morally depraved until and unless you successfully argue otherwise. This is how Rajaram Mohun Roy and Arya Samaj Dayananda Saraswati and so on got into the "oh we are monotheist, non-idol-worshippers onlee, we allow all that other stuff for the weak-minded". This is because ruled by Europeans there was little choice but to argue on their terms.


The Abrahamic religions have mixed philosophy and rituals / traditions into one package (non-interpret-able) and trying to sell it to the less informed gullible people based on the fear and lure. But we cannot do the same to compete with them. There is a clear difference in our approach. Despite its single core philosophy, it offers various paths (different solutions) to live our lives happily and achieve the goals while honoring free-will of the individuals. This lead to different traditions. The different traditions add color to the life, as long as it is not harming any one, but they are not meant to deviate from core philosophy. If any body criticizes on our traditions, we might need to say, "if you have problem with it, just move on man, it doesn't matter much...".

We clearly have an upper hand when it comes to philosophy. The problem is with traditions and rituals where some times we feel miserable to defend. First we need not to own everything that is associated with SD or Hinduism. Its been more than 5000 years and how many people have come and gone, just imagine how much could have been accumulated in the name of tradition. But wonderful thing is our BG & Vedanta is still shining like gold. We have been constantly evolving (in terms of traditions) absorbing many cultures, and were always an open minded society to imbibe whatever is good and relinquish what ever is bad for the society... We need to be proud of this fact...

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

Postby A_Gupta » 30 Jun 2019 18:27

Regarding the axioms, they are a cosmogony, a Genesis story. There is another path perhaps, that starts with “who am I?” And one of its endpoints are the axioms.

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

Postby sudarshan » 01 Jul 2019 02:42

SriKumar wrote:The fictional story does provide a context and framework that makes it more accessible and understandable than a listing of axioms, and dare I say, even tales from the epics and puranas. The story is contemporary and therefore entirely relatable. It really read a like a love story :D ....


I've never tried this first-person, present-tense writing style before, my preference has always been for third-person narratives. The first-person present-tense is one of the hardest styles to pull off, but also potentially the most rewarding and engaging one. It's hard because, being such an intimate writing style, the reader is closely involved with the character at all times, which means even a single misstep is jarring to the reader - you need to avoid missteps at all costs. I was able to sustain it in the short story (less than 2000 words), not sure if I can do that in a longer novel without more practice.

but if narration is your thing, maybe an Alistair MacLean-ish type story might work for me. :D


You want a full novel? I actually have a complete novel, which I wrote on this very theme. Or actually - this was one of the major themes, but there were three or four other Indo-centric themes in it. It's not published yet, though.

Mira Bai's version of her devotion to Krishna and the shades it took on is aligned with the example you gave.

Some of the concepts you presented will take time for me to digest (that one can hasten one's path to moksha by deciding on it and living out the negative karamaphala). That decision seems tailor-made for more self-inflicted misery if one had to decide yes or no to next life (when there is no real way to know that you would not end up as a kid in war-torn Afghanistan, or worse, as a goat in that 'Animal Research Station' in Balakot, Pakistan).


Some quotes from Sri Ramakrishna (paraphrasing, these aren't the exact words):

Regarding Moksha: Some of us will get fed in the morning, some in the evening, but we will all get fed, none of us will go hungry (i.e., Moksha is guaranteed for all of us).

Also: Moksha cannot be attained until you make up your mind that you want it right now, in this very life. (Think of Ankit in the story, at some point, he has to make the decision - "enough is enough, I'm going back to her." Once he makes this decision, the arcade might still need him to finish his games, so that other players aren't left holding the bag, so to speak).

Also in the story - point [a.12] - maybe we choose the handicap, depending on what we feel we can handle in life?

About misery- not all of it is self-inflicted obviously. THere are many who suffer as kids, and even as adults just by the circumstances of their birth.


Points [a.9] and [a.12], maybe? These suggest that even this kind of misery is still self-inflicted. As you note later down, karmaphala doesn't get reconciled in one lifetime, this is the complicating factor.

One thing about whole deal of religion- a human being has a need to be able to appeal to a higher authority for 'help', or atleast have a hope for help, whether it is real or not. And if the message is that there is none, or that the One is 'dis-interested', that is a hugely dis-heartening message for a lot of people, especially for people with dire circumstances not of their creation (poverty, ill-health, business gone bad). Puranas do have stories of God coming to help (Gajendra mokskham- Vishnu kills the croc and saves the petitioning pachyderm; ).


Think of how it is in the story. Divya knows the game (she just doesn't want to play). Let's say Ankit gets stuck at some point and sends out an SOS to Divya - "hey, can you come help me out just a bit? I think it will help me finish faster." Don't you think Divya would drop everything and eagerly come running to help? Get him out of the sticky situation, and then say "I don't want to get addicted myself, I'll leave now, you finish up and come to me as soon as you can." Divya's disinterest is only in the game, not in Ankit. She knows the game in-and-out, if he asks for help, she will be more than happy to oblige for his sake, she would even be delighted that he thought of her, thought to ask her - but she will not lose herself in the game the way he does.

Things would have been neatly wrapped up if karmic consequences caught up in one lifetime but since they do not (atleast it appears that way), it gets complicated.


Yep, this is the sticky point. Karmic consequence doesn't wrap up so neatly in a lifetime.

But - it's also good in a way - because it provides a sound rationale for Jyotisha, for astrology. God lets you forget your past lives (again, this is a sweet favor, not a curse [a.7]). But (S)He inserts you into the world at such a point of time, that the astronomical configuration indicates what is coming, and when (The ENABLE ALERTS? Y/N? in the game, kind of). The planets are authorized to provide the positive or negative consequences to all living beings according to when they enter the various houses and nakshatras - but God takes care of putting you into the world at such a time, that the planetary configuration automatically fulfills your karmaphala.

But - this is not set in stone. You can change your future by the things you do now. So if you address your negative karmaphala (how do you know - by looking at your horoscope, and taking steps beforehand) - then when the time comes, Mangal and Shani will leave you alone; alternatively, if you conclude from your horoscope that you are destined to be king, and then go squandering your karmaphala through arrogance and presumption, then when the time comes, Brihaspati and Shukra will quietly look the other way, and your windfall will never come.

This is why astrological predictions don't always pan out, because they are subject to consequences of your actions, which are yet to come.

The other way of doing it - without bothering about horoscopes - is to always be on the "good side," keep creating positive karmaphala, keep giving to charity, thinking of others, temple service, etc. "Let noble thoughts come to us from every side." This automatically addresses any negative karmaphala from past lives.

At this point, I am rambling, so I'll shut up, sit back and lurk.

DharmaB-
No ji for me sahaab. This is anonymous forum and none of us know the real persona of anyone else here (so I stopped using ji). I am interested in any first-hand experiences you can share. First-hand experiences are relatable across a larger swath of people i.e. even to those without STEM background (I am a STEM guy and spent many years more than 16, unfortunately :D ). And yes, I agree that one has to put in a certain amount of saadhana to learn anything worthwhile, but if it takes years of a very specific kind of persistence beyond your studies and job, it will exclude huge numbers of people from this knowledge, and this seems like ....as they say in a Hindi movie court scene: 'ye saraasar na-insaafi hai, your honour'.

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

Postby sudarshan » 01 Jul 2019 06:52

A_Gupta wrote:Regarding the axioms, they are a cosmogony, a Genesis story. There is another path perhaps, that starts with “who am I?” And one of its endpoints are the axioms.


Yes, it is a Genesis story, I'm so glad you used that term. It shows me that I'm getting my point across.

In the Dharmic traditions, this question of our Genesis is treated as some kind of personal adventure. Discovering yourself - by taking sanyasa, or by finding a Guru, or other exercises. It is supposed to be an exciting adventure, the one true adventure of one's life. But most people, if you suggest that they discover themselves, would go "meh" (EDIT: Or they might even react as if you had substituted the word "discover" with a well-known 4 letter word!). If you mention sanyasa, they balk, laugh, or shy away in fright. The adventure is seen as a high-brow intellectual pursuit, which interferes with everyday enjoyment. Or it is seen as some kind of con-job which the "so-called high-brow intellectuals" pull on the gullible masses (we're familiar with the accusations of a certain kind of "patriarchy").

The east Asian way seems to be to enroll every kid in a monastery, get them started early. That can backfire big time - I know a guy who went through that, who is now of a totally opposite temperament (found himself a husband now). The Hindu way was to a) recommend sanyasa as the last phase of one's life, or b) reserve sanyasa for the genuinely interested seekers, while allowing the rest to enjoy themselves (but in accordance to Dharma).

What people get out of religion (as opposed to traditions or ways of life) is a clear sense of Genesis - why are we here? (No matter how illogical that Genesis story, it is at least there). People find comfort in that. The axioms, and especially the short story above, provide some kind of Genesis story. It is certainly not a rigorous one, possibly and probably not something a purist would approve of, most probably not what you will find out about yourself if you actually go on the personal adventure of sanyasa or other spiritual pursuits. But it is a starting point for the average guy on the street, a "common-sense approach" as SriKumar put it.

If we can come up with a logical Genesis story based on axioms which are in line with the core philosophy, why not? If we can further show that Genesis story to advantage against competitors, that's even better.
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby sudarshan » 01 Jul 2019 07:11

DharmaB wrote:In my opinion you are perfectly on track....


Thanks!

Here in your story the lady represents Mukti-Kanta (the lady of Bliss) if not God. She may represent Maya (as the conspirator who creates the situations to make you realize that what you are seeking is not perfect and sooner or later give up and take refuge in her - as shown in the movie Bhagavad-Gita of Iyer). I leave it to you to unfold any further twists in your story. If need will comment later.

There is a Hollywood movie (I don't remember the name) in which a man gets the chance to seek 10 boons from God. While he goes on from one to another he experiences the repercussions of the boons however cleverly he tries to ask and achieve what he wants. But in the end he gives up and asks finally to be what he was at the beginning. It was a funny movie and very much represents our state of lives...


I didn't know about this concept of Mukti-Kanta. Thanks for bringing it to my notice. That movie sounds interesting too, but it is an old concept, every smart-ass Asura who tries to outwit God by asking for the "fool-proof boon" ends up finding out just how ingenious fools can be!

I believe even the Buddha, when he was trying to convince his son Rahula to adopt the middle way, used the concept of "heaven" as a temptation. And if you listen to Sri Adi Sankara's Mahishasura Mardini stotram, there are some lines in there which will make you go :eek: :oops: :shock: . They did simplify the abstract concepts and adopt notions of enjoyment in the hereafter when talking to average folk, from what I can tell.

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

Postby sudarshan » 01 Jul 2019 08:23

If karmic consequences wrapped up within a lifetime - think of the implications. If you want another life to pursue what you didn't have in the previous one, you would have to start from scratch. It would also mean that everybody started life exactly on equal terms. Would you like to start as a virus or bacterium again in every life, and work up from there? If you were playing the Galaxy Quest game, and you wanted another chance to get to the 7th dimension, you would start at the same initial point every single time.

Nobody is born with any initial talent. Beethoven and Mozart, Einstein and Panini and Aryabhatta and Adi Sankara, would be indistinguishable from any of the rest of us, for the first 18 or so years of their life, or at least until the consequences of actions within this life provided sufficient divergence.

In fact, the concept of evolution (I'm coming to that) depends on karmaphala NOT wrapping up within a lifetime.

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

Postby DharmaB » 01 Jul 2019 14:46

A_Gupta wrote:Regarding the axioms, they are a cosmogony, a Genesis story. There is another path perhaps, that starts with “who am I?” And one of its endpoints are the axioms.


Maharshi Ramana asks seekers to do an enquiry deep into within to find an answer not just in words, but in the form of a direct experience of Self (Aparokshanubhuti)

Similar is with the life and work of Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj, who said "I AM" is the key for self-realization. If anybody interested here is the link.

http://stillnessspeaks.com/images/uploa ... adatta.pdf
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 01 Jul 2019 15:02

There was another Great soul "Papaji", whose life story is sure a fascinating one, who was also a disciple of Shri Ramana Maharshi. He was born in Balochistan and migrated to India during the partition. His maternal uncle was a great seer of India Swami Ramtirth. For those who don't know about Swami Ramtirth, he was the one who fascinated the western world audience with his speeches on Vedanta, so much so that his fame made the president of America visit him personally.

http://www.satsangbhavan.net/papajis-biography/
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby DharmaB » 01 Jul 2019 15:13

By the way they were householders, who worked like an average person on the street to maintain their family for their livelihood ...

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

Postby DharmaB » 01 Jul 2019 15:24

Papaji in his life story claims that he remembers his past life, all the details where and how he died. He goes on to say that, in that life even though he tried very hard to attain self-realization, he could not, due to his attraction towards a maid who worked in his ashram. That very lady happens to be his wife in this life and that's how his desire was fulfilled and lets him pursue his goal...

There are many videos of him on youtube...

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

Postby A_Gupta » 01 Jul 2019 16:50

sudarshan wrote:
A_Gupta wrote:Regarding the axioms, they are a cosmogony, a Genesis story. There is another path perhaps, that starts with “who am I?” And one of its endpoints are the axioms.


What people get out of religion (as opposed to traditions or ways of life) is a clear sense of Genesis - why are we here? (No matter how illogical that Genesis story, it is at least there). People find comfort in that. The axioms, and especially the short story above, provide some kind of Genesis story. It is certainly not a rigorous one, possibly and probably not something a purist would approve of, most probably not what you will find out about yourself if you actually go on the personal adventure of sanyasa or other spiritual pursuits. But it is a starting point for the average guy on the street, a "common-sense approach" as SriKumar put it.

If we can come up with a logical Genesis story based on axioms which are in line with the core philosophy, why not? If we can further show that Genesis story to advantage against competitors, that's even better.


Yes, why not? :)

In the alternate approach, the question with the hook is "why am I not happy?" (or "why is my happiness transient? why am I insecure about my happiness?"). This leads to "who am I?" and "what is happiness?".

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

Postby sudarshan » 02 Jul 2019 07:23

Utility of the axioms:

Case study 1 - Evolution:

  • Axioms 2 & 3
    • Axiom 2 says - it is our desire to materialize our spiritual potential, which brings us to this material universe
    • Start building a theory using this axiom, using pointers from scriptures
      • For example, chapter 2, BG:
        • Nainam chindanti shastrani, nainam dahati pavakaha, nacainam kledayanti apo, na shosayati marutah
          (Neither do weapons cut it, nor does the fire burn it, nor does water wet it, nor does the wind dry it - referring to the spirit soul)
        • Achedyo ayam, adahyo ayam, akledyo ashoshya eva ca, nityah sarva gatah stanur, achalo ayam sanatanah
          (Uncuttable it is, unburnable it is, unwettable and undryable certainly, permanent, all-pervading, immovable it is, and eternal)
        • Avyakto ayam, acintyo ayam, avikaryo ayam ucyate, tasmat evam viditvainam, nanusocitum arhasi
          (Invisible it is, unthinkable it is, unchangeable it is, they say, therefore, knowing this, there is no need for you (Arjuna) to lament (about killing your relatives))
      • I want to focus on the word "Avikaryo" - unchangeable
        • Meaning, whatever the spirit soul is (i.e., whatever each of us are), we are eternal, unchangeable
        • Meaning - our spiritual potential is unchanged, infinite, regardless of how we evolve in the material plane
        • So - I might be a bundle of certain spiritual qualities and potential - I possess the ability to eat, drink, enjoy myself, display a sense of humor, drive a car, swim, play and be athletic, sleep, dream, conceive ideas, implement them.... Whatever bundle of qualities it is, that makes "me" who I "am"
    • Now bring in axiom 3 - the law of karma
      • Corollary: we (each of us) only get to materialize our potential in this universe, to the extent permitted by the consequences of our past actions
      • ERGO: when life first begins in this material universe, it must begin with the most basic life forms, single cells, viruses, the most basic "feed, ****, divide, and die" configurations
      • As karmaphala builds up, we get to evolve upwards
      • Therefore, the concept of "evolution" is a natural consequence, a trivial offshoot of these two axioms
  • But there is more - over and above what Darwinian evolution postulates
  • Darwinian evolution only talks about "evolution of the species"
    • Whereas, the axioms lead to the notion of "evolution of our own desires, and the consequences of our own actions, which is what we really see from the fossil records" - not just some "random mutations leading to different species"
  • The paradox which puzzled Darwin
    • An individual member of a species, say a prairie-rat or deer, standing on watch - when it sees danger, it alerts the rest of the group, and then dives for cover
      • Why alert the rest of the group? This member is putting itself in danger that way - just dive for cover, that is what bare "survival of the fittest" or "survival of the fastest" would dictate - how do you get to spread your genes to coming generations, if you risk your own survival in favor of group survival?
  • From the axioms - this individual member of the species which warns its mates, recognizes, deep down, that its upward evolution is tied to its karmaphala through its Dharma
  • The axioms also imply that devolution is perfectly possible (negative karmaphala)
  • Why is a female bird attracted to a male bird which sings better, louder? What evolutionary advantage does the ability to sing confer, in terms of building a nest, raising or feeding one's young? Why is "ability to sing" (a pretty useless and impractical capability, when you come to think of it) of all things, used as a proxy or indicator of virility? In fact, a peacock without all that plumage would be much better off, able to fly higher or faster?
    • Could it be that the female is really attracted to the spiritual potential, the "who am I, really" part which traces back to the original spirit soul?
  • Now coming to the word "Avikaryo" as applied to the spirit soul
    • Since the soul (each of us) is unchanging and eternal, what is it that really evolves in the material plane?
    • Corollary: it is not our spiritual potential which evolves (this being eternal, infinite, unchanging), but only our ability to materialize it
      • IOW, our karmaphala imposes upper bounds on the extent to which we can materialize our desires, and these upper bounds manifest in the form of our bodies - a virus body is extremely restrictive, a cat's or dog's body - not so much, an elephant's body permits greater materialization of the concepts of "strength" or "size," while a human body permits greater materialization of the concepts of logic, science, art, etc. - and the Dharmic paths recognize states beyond the human - for example, Gandharvas have highly developed artistic capabilities, etc.
      • This means that a virus is an individual spirit soul, just like any of us, it is perfectly possible that this virus has even greater ability for art as Da Vinci or scientific thought as Einstein, just that the virus' karmaphala places great restrictions on its ability to express this potential
        • Kind of like - take a formula-1 car racer, put him in a clunky, used Toyota sedan with a defective fuel injector, take an average (even timid) driver, put him in a new BMW, get them to race
      • A genius like Mozart or Beethoven or Tyagaraja is basically born with much greater ability to materialize musical potential
      • This is also the basis for the concepts such as:
        • Kartaveerya Arjuna being born with a thousand hands
        • A western view of this would be - some weird mutation which turned out to be to his advantage
        • The Dharmic view is - maybe it was a mutation, but the mutation was just the material means of fulfilling the karmic consequence
        • For Kartaveerya Arjuna, being born with a thousand hands was actually a step DOWN, since it is said that he was actually an incarnation of the Sudarshana Chakra of Vishnu
          • The Chakra became egotistic that it was he who was the destroyer of evil-doers, and that all Vishnu was doing was wielding him
          • In the end, Vishnu himself came as Parasurama to free Kartaveerya Arjuna
  • Therefore - if we want to preserve or expand our capability to materialize our spiritual potential, it is in our own self interest to abide by Dharma

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

Postby sudarshan » 02 Jul 2019 07:49

From the Siva Puranam by Manikka Vasagar, a Tamil saint:

http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Shiva_Puranam_(Tamil)

Pullagi, poodai puzhuvai maramaki,
Pala virugamagi pravayai , pambaki ,
Kallai , manitharai peyai , ganangalai ,
Val asuraragi , munivaraai , devaraai ,
Chellaaa nindra , ithathavara jangamathukkul ,
Yella pirappum piranthu ,ilaithen, yem perumaane.(26-31)

Oh lord by becoming grass, small plants , worms , trees ,
Several types of animals , birds , snakes ,
Stone , human beings , ghosts , different types of devils,
Strong asuras , sages devas ,
And I traveled all over this spectrum of moving and not moving things ,
And took all types of births and became tired.

The principle of evolution was well recognized in the Dharmic paths, but in the form of reincarnation subject to karmaphala (same thing).

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

Postby sudarshan » 02 Jul 2019 09:43

The western view of evolution is linear - we got over the ape phase, now we came to the space age, we will get stronger, faster, cleverer, we will reach for the stars, conquer, enslave and indoctrinate other worlds, and spread over the universe, and....

Whereas the karmaphala-driven view of evolution is cyclic. There will be periods of devolution. In fact, the Hindu view is of devolution from the Satya Yuga, to the Treta, to Dwapara, to Kali. This devolution is on top of the evolution from the virus phase to human, and beyond. Both processes can be simultaneous, that is the nature of karmic evolution.

Another interesting tidbit - most Hindus proudly point to the "Dashavatara" concept as representing evolution. Well, that could be true, but consider the implications.

Sri Rama, then Sri Balarama, then Sri Krishna.

Sri Rama was very scrupulous, very much adhering to Dharma.

Sri Balarama was (though not aDharmic) more hot-headed.

Sri Krishna was (also not aDharmic, but) much more "devious" if you will, knowing when to bend rules without suffering ill-consequence.

Most people assume that the course of evolution is from the less scrupulous, to the steadfastly scrupulous. Not so, if you see above. Knowing when and how to bend rules (without violating Dharma) is the *more* evolved state. Most Hindus would be shocked if you told them this, and would instantly go into dissonance mode. That's Gandhian ahimsa for you.

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

Postby DharmaB » 02 Jul 2019 21:23

The explanation of your axioms matches with the pictorial concept of evolution that I have mentioned in my previous post. Here I am referring the link again.
http://www.beachwalla.net/trimbak/chart.php

But still this explanation raises some fundamental questions & obvious conclusions:

• Suppose if the life (of a spirit soul) has to begin with virus (let’s assume as per the law of karma, & law of material evolution, it should start with the lowest level possible materialization) when it first wants to materialize its desires in the material plane/realm.

• Does the spirit soul consciously aware of what it is to be a virus, and chose to be born as virus in order to achieve what it wants to achieve? Does it have a clarity on what it is desiring for beforehand?

• What is its prior state of consciousness (or at the start of) before making this conscious decision to materialize its desire? Why all of sudden this desire arose, when it has been existing without a beginning (anaadi)?

• Does it aware of the full spectrum of life variance (from virus to a king in heavens) before making this choice? That it has to follow & fulfill the rules (law of karma) and take the risk of going through cycles of birth and death and one misstep could cause falling behind in the ladder of various levels of life forms, and risk in never ending cycle of being wrapped up in karma, and rebirth. It can’t abort in the middle until it is done with its karma. In a way it has chosen a very complex bondage, and don’t know how to come out (if it really is aware of it and want to exit).

• If the spirit soul is consciously aware of the full spectrum of life, and all the implications of it, I believe no conscious soul would never ever make this choice, if it is aware that the spirit soul has always been the same and un-changeable and fully potential like God or whatever IS.

• But since it appears to be making this choice, then what is the reason for it making this conscious choice or desire to materialize? It only implies that it has no knowledge or experience of what it is going to be. That means it is not in the same conscious state as God to be aware of the implications beforehand. That means it is in a state of deep deep ignorance (unconsciousness) to begin with.

• Like in the story, the lady (God in theory) who is aware of the game and dis-interested in the game, but remain not to interfere in others desire, and chose not to warn (God: enough) about the implications to its beloved in the name of being non-judgmental. But still goes onto say... I love you honey,.. I will be waiting for you,.. (God: even for a zillion years), don’t worry.., just play as you like,.. and come back when you are done with it, before its too late... (God: I am available in the end ..., but the end only comes when you realize it and figure out how to get rid from the game in time...).

It is totally justifiable for a conscious spirit soul say to God,... Ye saraasar na insaafi hai your honor …

(Please note that, no pun intended here about the story. The story still holds good as long as it lasts when it is closing time, no matter what the outcome of the game is, and Ankit goes back to home in time. But with this concept of rebirth & karmic theory, there are some serious unanswered questions that arises from what we are trying to theorize…)

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

Postby sudarshan » 03 Jul 2019 07:08

DharmaB wrote:The explanation of your axioms matches with the pictorial concept of evolution that I have mentioned in my previous post. Here I am referring the link again.
http://www.beachwalla.net/trimbak/chart.php


Glad that you feel that it matches.

But still this explanation raises some fundamental questions & obvious conclusions:


Now we're talking :). This is the process I had in mind, start with axioms, build the theory, then match the theory against observations. What you're doing is the last part (which is very necessary and welcome, thank you).

If observations don't match, then we have two courses of action:

a) Revise the theory (without modifying the axioms)
Like the "epicycloid" theory to explain planetary motion within a geocentric framework

b) If and when we find that no amount of modification of the theory will work to explain the observations, then we have no choice but to modify the axioms themselves
This is a revolutionary change - like the heliocentric theory, or the adoption of the relativistic axioms in place of the Newtonian ones (note - this negates the old axioms)

Now when building the theory from axioms - it is possible to have several competing theories on the same axioms. The axioms of quantum mechanics are mathematical (rather than physical) - i.e., they are defined by equations and math language, rather than simple everyday language (like we have with our three axioms, like we have for special or general relativity or Newtonian mechanics).

But focusing on QM for now - from the same axioms, there are multiple interpretations:

The Copenhagen interpretation - the original one, which says - yes, the observer truly influences the system, and the system state, initially being probabilistic, collapses to a definite state upon observation.

But - this interpretation makes many scientists uncomfortable, because they feel that it does away with "determinism" and "objective reality."

So - competing interpretations based on the same axioms:

The statistical interpretation - the probabilistic description of a system state only applies to a large collection of similarly-prepared experiments (or systems) - i.e., if you have (say) 10 million identically prepared experiments, then the distribution of outcomes will be probabilistic (as indicated by the wave function), but each individual outcome is still deterministic.

The multiple universe interpretation - every time an observation is made, the universe splits into as many parallel (or intersecting) universes, as necessary to cover all the possible outcomes, and one distinct outcome occurs in each universe (which outcome will occur in *our* universe? It's a toss-up, random, probabilistic).

So - we can build competing theories based on the same axioms (Disinterested but all-powerful God, desire, karma) to address any perceived shortcomings or difficulties. Let's try that (again - for now, the axioms are not touched).

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

Postby sudarshan » 03 Jul 2019 07:12

---CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS POST---

• Suppose if the life (of a spirit soul) has to begin with virus (let’s assume as per the law of karma, & law of material evolution, it should start with the lowest level possible materialization) when it first wants to materialize its desires in the material plane/realm.


That the material life has to begin with a virus (i.e., as basic as possible) is one way of interpreting the axiom, which says that our material experience is constrained by our karmaphala. There could be other ways.

For example, even when the world is only filled with viruses, they still need an energy source - so actually, algae or single-celled plants are the most basic lifeforms (even more basic than viruses - I should really have said that life starts with these plant cells, this was an oversight on my part).

But - even single-celled plants need an energy source. The sun.

According to Hinduism, the sun is a highly evolved being, the father of Yama, Yamuna, Shani, Manu Vaivasvata. However - even the sun has a father, the sage Kashyapa (whose land is Kashmira - but I digress).

Kashyapa and Aditi were the father and the mother of the Adityas, of whom Surya is the foremost.

Kashyapa and Diti were the father and mother of the Daityas, or the Asuras. In the Mahishasura Mardini stotram, the Devi is referred to as "Diti suta roshini," or "the one who is furious at the progeny of Diti" (i.e., the Daityas, by their evil deeds, incurred Devi's wrath).

So we see that even before the most basic single-celled organisms can arrive in this universe, there is the presence of much more evolved beings. This observation calls for a revision to our theory.

Another observation - when the Lord comes as an avatara - (S)He also makes sure to scrupulously adhere to the law of karma (although (S)He doesn't have to, (S)He is all-powerful - this again goes to the "disinterested" part in the first axiom). Does this mean that this avatara of the Lord went through multiple phases from virus to plant to animal before becoming the awesome avatara? Could be, that this is what the "Matsya - Kurma - Varaha -" is about. But God, even as Matsya, is still way more awesomely powerful and capable than any human/ deva/ asura, let alone an actual ordinary matsya....

THEREFORE, AS AN ALTERNATIVE THEORY:

Pesh hai - the concept of the "Karmic Loan" :mrgreen:.
Last edited by sudarshan on 03 Jul 2019 07:25, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby sudarshan » 03 Jul 2019 07:17

---CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS POST---

Additional postulate, without modifying the fundamental axiom of "karma" - the law of karma allows you take loans or advance credit. The Lord's avatara starts with a "karmic loan" (like a mortgage or car loan), and the Lord comes with a commitment to fulfill certain functions in the material plane (and nothing else - disinterested). Thus, the Lord behaves in such a way, that the karmic loan is fully repaid by the end of His/Her material existence (maybe some little bit is left deliberately unpaid, like Sri Rama allowing Vali to take a shot at Him from behind, in His next avatar as Sri Krishna).

Hanuman came to perform service - He took a karmic loan, fulfilled the terms of the loan, and did not harbor any other desire (he was a brahmachari, he ate to sustain himself, not for enjoyment, etc.). So he did not have to start as a single-celled plant and work up.

Kashyapa, Bhrigu (the father of Shukra), etc. did not start from single-cells and work up (how could they, without an energy source?) They availed of a karmic loan, fulfilled its terms, performed service.

Surya performs service - he supplies energy for all the jivas, so those jivas can live out their desire. He also serves as the chairman of the board of Navagrahas. Yama performs service - serving as Dharmaraja, the god of Death, and also presides over the nakshatra Bharani. Indra performs service - rain and thunder, leading the Devas in battle against evil, as digpalaka of the east. And so on. In anticipation of these services, these evolved beings are granted karmic loans (or sign-in bonuses, or advances on royalty, however you wish to look at it).

The first man - Manu Vaivasvata - might have come with a similar loan. Adi Sankara came with a loan, fulfilled its terms in 32 years, and got out of the material plane. Ditto with Veda Vyasa, Parasara (Vyasa's father), etc. Also for avataras like Durga, Kali, Lalitha Tripurasundari, Narasimha. And so on. (The Buddha declared upon his birth that this would be his last life, meaning - he might have had previous lives, or didn't come with any "loan terms.")

Maybe we don't *have* to start as single cells? Maybe we take karmic loans, but to enjoy rather than fulfill service? Some of us fall behind in paying back, and devolve; in the extreme, we devolve all the way to the single-cell state? Which means - Darwinian evolution is the special case, where a jiva falls to the extreme of negative karma, and has to claw its way back up?

Again - the axiom of "the law of karma" remains untouched, this is a competing theory built on the same axiom.

• Does the spirit soul consciously aware of what it is to be a virus, and chose to be born as virus in order to achieve what it wants to achieve? Does it have a clarity on what it is desiring for beforehand?


The above might also apply to this particular question.

• What is its prior state of consciousness (or at the start of) before making this conscious decision to materialize its desire? Why all of sudden this desire arose, when it has been existing without a beginning (anaadi)?


I was postulating that this was "self-realization" - knowing what made you materialize to begin with, why you left your infinite bliss. When I get to the observation of "Raktabijaka vs. Kali," this point might come up again.

• Does it aware of the full spectrum of life variance (from virus to a king in heavens) before making this choice? That it has to follow & fulfill the rules (law of karma) and take the risk of going through cycles of birth and death and one misstep could cause falling behind in the ladder of various levels of life forms, and risk in never ending cycle of being wrapped up in karma, and rebirth. It can’t abort in the middle until it is done with its karma. In a way it has chosen a very complex bondage, and don’t know how to come out (if it really is aware of it and want to exit).


Well, the competing theory above to some extent addresses this. Hanuman or Vyasa or Sankara scrupulously abide by the terms of their loan. Maybe, however, some of us get loans to buy speed-boats or airplanes or to party (just for pure enjoyment), behave irresponsibly, fail to pay back in time, and thus suffer. Then we need God's help to get back on track.

Also - karma is seen as unforgiving and relentless - which is what your "one misstep could cause falling behind" is about. Maybe karma isn't *that* unforgiving, maybe there is some tolerance built in, some leeway to take micro-loans or additional bigger loans, based on how responsibly payments have been made in the past? See the story of Jadabharata for this.

IOW, maybe it isn't just a voltage source and a bare resistance, maybe there are capacitances and inductances and surge protectors in the circuit?

• If the spirit soul is consciously aware of the full spectrum of life, and all the implications of it, I believe no conscious soul would never ever make this choice, if it is aware that the spirit soul has always been the same and un-changeable and fully potential like God or whatever IS.


Karmic "mortgages" or "loans" might address this also.

• But since it appears to be making this choice, then what is the reason for it making this conscious choice or desire to materialize? It only implies that it has no knowledge or experience of what it is going to be. That means it is not in the same conscious state as God to be aware of the implications beforehand. That means it is in a state of deep deep ignorance (unconsciousness) to begin with.


Competing theories again - advaita vs. dvaita vs. vishishtadvaita. The axioms are the same.

• Like in the story, the lady (God in theory) who is aware of the game and dis-interested in the game, but remain not to interfere in others desire, and chose not to warn (God: enough) about the implications to its beloved in the name of being non-judgmental. But still goes onto say... I love you honey,.. I will be waiting for you,.. (God: even for a zillion years), don’t worry.., just play as you like,.. and come back when you are done with it, before its too late... (God: I am available in the end ..., but the end only comes when you realize it and figure out how to get rid from the game in time...).


I believe God does warn us - even in the story, Divya does say - "you'll start with a handicap and take at least two games." Only when she sees that Ankit isn't going to listen, she withdraws.

It is totally justifiable for a conscious spirit soul say to God,... Ye saraasar na insaafi hai your honor …

(Please note that, no pun intended here about the story. The story still holds good as long as it lasts when it is closing time, no matter what the outcome of the game is, and Ankit goes back to home in time. But with this concept of rebirth & karmic theory, there are some serious unanswered questions that arises from what we are trying to theorize…)


Hope the above at least partially addressed what you were asking?


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