Indian Philosophy Category

Upanishad

Posted On May 23, 2016By SandeepIn Indian Philosophy

The Story of DA

Buried beneath and interspersed among the numerous layers of terse and detailed philosophical expositions are the thousands of amazing stories in the Upanishads. It is indeed a tragedy of our modern education system—that treats the human as no better than a component of economic production—that these stories have completely vanished from our school syllabi, supplanted instead by mindless Christian moral education. It’s not farfetched to apply the verse celebrating the universal appeal of music Shishurvetti pashurvetti vetti vetti gAnarasaM phaNiH (The essence of music can be experienced by all creaturesRead More
Purana

Posted On April 19, 2016By SandeepIn Indian Philosophy

The Indian Conception of History

Do Indians have a sense of history? No is pretty much the received wisdom even today in major sections of the academia, media and the rest. If you as much as question the sources, the roots of this received wisdom, you are branded with the choicest of Leftist labels but that’s the least of our concerns. Before looking at a “sense of history” or “historical sense,” we need to look at how history is defined. Commonly accepted definitions include: A study of the human past. A field of research whichRead More
Sheldon Pollock Book
Introduction More than five years ago, Wendy Doniger bestowed a rather flippant interview in Outlook India on the eve of the release of her book, The Hindus: An Alternative History, the same book which Penguin (the publisher) later agreed to pulp when it was faced with legal action initiated by Dinanath Batra. The title sounds sufficiently pompous, entirely faithful to Wendy Doniger’s career as an Indologist. Aditi Banerjee responded with a comprehensive rejoinder that yet again reinforced Wendy’s suspect credentials as an honest scholar of Indology. Aditi’s almost line-by-line dissection of the interviewRead More
MaduraiPillars.jpg

Posted On October 16, 2012By SandeepIn Indian Philosophy

On The Need to Revive the Temple Culture

How often have you heard this refrain or its variants: Naah! I don’t go to temples. I don’t like going to temples…I mean, there’s no point…all that noise, meaningless mantras and rituals…some are so unhygienic…I believe in God but I’m spiritual…after all, Hinduism is a personal religion and I don’t really need to go to a temple to pray….? How often have you yourself uttered this refrain? Answer honestly. Admittedly, there’s a grain of truth in each of these bits. Several temples today are dirty, unhygienic, noisy, and appear meaninglessRead More
First, credit where it is due: sincere thanks to my all-knowing Twitter friends Gopi and Ranganaathan for bringing this to my attention. Preface A certain Father Dominic Emmanuel seems to have taken it upon himself to educate the Honourable Justices of the Bhopal high court about whether the Bhagavad Gita is a philosophical book or a religious book.  What is it with the preachers of Prophetic religions who seem to possess an itch-powder, the main effect of which is to interfere with the followers and teachings of other religions? WhatRead More
My wait didn’t go in vain. I knew it the moment the world learned that the Norwegian lunatic-killer took inspiration from a vast range of literature critical of Islam, Marxists and their fellow travellers and that literature included writings that emanated from people sympathetic to Hinduism. I knew someone would make a connection between Anders Behring Breivik’s heinous deed and Hinduism and everybody who’s ever spoken or written in support of Hinduism. And so, the JNU-visiting Gorgon emerges once again on the pages of Open magazine to regurgitate her HinduRead More
Few things pollute the atmosphere worse than a slighted journalist. What’s an even worse pollution than that is a slighted journalist whose writings reek with a stink of suspicious agenda. Meet Manu Joseph: a non-entity until his Open magazine exposed the Radia tapes sleaze last year. That was its ticket to media stardom. As is the case with such things, the public judgment on the magazine was as immediate as it was knee-jerk: bold, courageous, took on powerful media persons like Barkha Dutt, etc. Of course, not too many ofRead More
Just when you think it’s over, there’s always someone new who drums the fossilized jungle beat. I wouldn’t have been this harsh but for the fact that this was said by the generally-sensible Vijay Vikram, who’s doing some commendable work at his new portal in terms of bringing fresh and alternate shades of discourse to the jaded, corrupt, and crumbling citadel of Indian secularism. And before I kill you with suspense, here’s what he tweeted: I love @amargov for bringing up Dara Shikoh and the Hindu-Muslim synthesis. We must neverRead More
About two years ago, writing about how Meera Nanda proudly strutted her ignorance, I observed two things at the outset: Perhaps it takes only a Meera Nanda to have the guts to strut her ignorance with such confidence. It took me a few days to digest what she actually wants to say. Now, two years later, we see that she’s lost none of these two distinguishing traits that mark her as a writer–I’d have said “intellectual” and “scholar” but she’s herself left enough records to show otherwise—of ignorant and confoundingRead More

Posted On December 3, 2010By SandeepIn Commentary, Indian Philosophy

Deepak Chopra Does it Again!

Guess who can beat Deepak Chopra’s record? Only Deepak Chopra. He’s truly nulli secundus. Despite calling his bluff on not one, but two occasions, despite the fact that he hasn’t answered any of my questions, I’m compelled to write again simply because given his reach and influence, his misleading assertions will get even wider currency. His latest post on Huffington Post is pompously titled Who Owns Yoga where he repeats the same untruths as earlier in his Newsweek post. The crux–rather, the only point he makes is this: Yoga doesn’tRead More
So the Ramajanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid verdict has been postponed and it’s time yet again for doing what we’ve been known to do best: push problems as much as you can until they explode as they must. Meanwhile, the attitudes in the secular camp that prevailed in the ’90s remain unchanged. In some cases, they’ve gotten more strident. In the 90s the field was clearly marked: the secularists who supported the case of Muslims and the Hindus. Today, we have another voice that seems to have a considerable spread in the Web worldRead More
Pankaj Mishra returns to this blog after a longish absence. His column reviews two books (THE SUBTLE BODY: The Story of Yoga in America, Stefanie Syman and THE GREAT OOM The Improbable Birth of Yoga in America, Robert Love) and upon reading it, you have the impression that it is yet another opportunity for Mishra to heap predictable scorn on Yoga and Hinduism. And he gets it very wrong very early: But then, as two new books on the strange history of yoga in America show, even the most esotericRead More