This reviewer had earlier had the misfortune of reviewing Sarah Jacoby's puerile book on Sera Khandro for Prabuddha Bharata. Jacoby had nearly made this reviewer puke. Same is the case with Bihani Sarkar's monograph. On the basis of this monograph she might win academic brownie points but it is a study which should have been dumped. The existence of the monograph is not only an insult to Hinduism and the Sanatana Dharma; it is technically wrong in its structuralist, iterative hermeneutics (...) which derives from the likes of Mircea Eliade. The reviewer knows that Sarkar will one day be a biggie in the first world peddling Hinduism ; she should have confined herself only to Sanskrit literature and not try to pass herself as a (faux) Hindu theologian. This book does no credit to the publisher. (shrink)
Krishna Del Toso offre una penetrante analisi della cultura indiana sotto la particolare prospettiva della pratica marziale e della dimensione agonistica, riconducendole alla grande matrice di senso che è l’azione sacrificale sullo sfondo del grande testo classico Ṛgveda.
“It is probably justified in requiring a transformation of the image of the real world as it has been constructed in the last 300 years… [for] now it seems to work no longer. One must therefore go back 300 years and reflect on how one could have proceeded differently at that time, and how the whole subsequent development would then be modified. No wonder that puts us into boundless confusion!” :: a letter from Schrödinger to Einstein in 1950 -/- The (...) theme of the new book, Idols of the Mind vs True Reality by Bhakti Madhava Puri, Ph.D. is concerned with the clear exposition of the pivotal conceptions and misconceptions of Galileo’s and others’ ideas that produced the subsequent development of what would become modern mathematized science. -/- The confusions and almost complete ignorance that exist today regarding something so fundamental as consciousness is immediately cleared up when the obvious errors are seen in the ad hoc presumptions of the original founders of modern science who were blindsided by the metaphysical ontologies that held sway during their lives, but to which we no longer adhere, thanks to the development of philosophy beyond that period. We trace this progress out in a concise way in the book. -/- The modern mind, thanks to science education, is focused on the one-sided empirical approach to knowledge by sensuous perception, but this fails to account for the role of subjective cognition or conception – the role of consciousness in such perceptions. This artificial separation of the original unity-in-difference between conception and content has been rendered impossible to broach because of the historical metaphysical tradition of dualism firmly held by the fathers of modern science such as Galileo and Descartes. -/- The presumed impossible gap between subject and object is bridged once we realize that the object is what the subject knows it to be. This does not reduce the object to the subject as the abstract idealists (monists) naively are only too hasty to presume as an immediate identity (oneness). Mediation is involved; there are both difference and identity at play. It is merely lazy un-thinking that ignores the intricate dynamic in the mediating activity that is the heart and life of consciousness. The main purpose of the book is to restore the central importance of the conceptual moment that is integral to science and which makes it truly worthy of the name Science or scientific knowledge. (shrink)
The dialogue between Pūjanī and Brahmadatta is a lesser known episode in the Mahābhārata. This paper explores how Pūjanī’s voice is relevant when rethinking autonomy for feminist relational selves. I first unravel the different ‘stories’ that can be told through this single but multi-layered narrative. Then, by re-arranging their insights and using the idea of ‘normative authority’ proposed by Catriona Mackenzie, I piece together a picture of autonomy foregrounding dependence on others and volatile emotionality––both of which are generally thought to (...) be opposed to ‘being in control’ or being autonomous. This emerging picture of self-governance indicates how even selves constituted by relationships to others can exit relational situations that are or become harmful. I also show that the episode leaves behind ‘internalist’ conceptions of autonomy for more capacious notions of self-determination that incorporate the importance of structural changes for agentive freedom. This goes beyond the insights of the Mahābhārata in a self-reflexive move built into the story itself. (shrink)
In A Passage to India, E.M. Forster examines the duality of three main characters, Mrs. Moore, Aziz, and Fielding and thereby demonstrates their relative stability in the primordial chaos of India. Unlike Adela who falls apart after her experience in the cave, these characters draw on the power of the imagination in a grappling struggle to remain morally centered when facing the darkness within. Forster suggests that turning to the East (where the Marabar caves represent darkness and destabilization) contrasts with (...) returning to the West (where imaginative form represents order and light). In Mrs. Moore, Aziz, and Fielding, Forster examines the manner in which one might embrace a centered life committed to empathy for others by way of facing one’s own otherness. As these characters immerse themselves in India’s primordial formlessness and acknowledge their shadows, they embrace imaginative form rather than fall apart, and in doing so they serve as models of mythmakers and relative stability. (shrink)
Indian Philosophy is a term that refers to schools of philosophical thought that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Over the ages there has been continuity in enlarge this filed of philosophical enquiry, which as lead to a wide range of scriptures and systems of philosophy. The Yoga School, which was founded by Patanjali, was closely allied with Samkhya, and accepts its epistemology and metaphysics it was introduced by Patañjali in the 2nd century BC. The Practice of Yoga as a discipline (...) had been done since ancient times. However, since its alliance with the Samkhya, it tried to develop a specific philosophy of its own, which would be in harmony with the Samkhya Philosophy. Though the popular understanding of Yoga equates it with just the asanas, there are eight steps prescribed for its practice, which emphasize internal and external cleansing, self - discipline physical fitness, and meditation, which result in alertness and mental strength. Yoga as a term used for a system of abstract meditation or mental abstraction. Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi or yogini. Virtually everyone can see physical benefits from yoga, and its practice can also give psychological benefits, such as stress reduction and a sense of well- being, and spiritual benefits, such as a feeling of connectedness with God or Spirit, or a feeling of transcendence. Mental stress is an important part of our life. It is the biggest challenge to live a life without stress and to continue with the peace of mind. In this paper it is an attempt to made the discuss yoga philosophy in present day intellectual world as well its application to maintain human well-being. (shrink)
गुरु नानक देवजी सिखों के पहले गुरु थे। अंधविश्वास और आडंबरों के कट्टर विरोधी गुरु नानक जी का जन्मदिन कार्तिक पूर्णिमा को मनाया जाता है हालांकि उनका जन्म 15 अप्रैल 1469 को हुआ था। गुरु नानक जी पंजाब के तलवंडी नामक स्थान पर एक किसान के घर जन्मे थे। तलवंडी जोकि पाकिस्तान के लाहौर से 30 मील पश्चिम में स्थित है, गुरु नानक का नाम साथ जुड़ने के बाद आगे चलकर ननकाना कहलाया। इतिहास के अनुसार वे सम्पूर्ण विश्व में भ्रमण (...) करते रहे और लोगों को आडम्बर, भ्रम एवं अज्ञान से दूर कर उनका मार्गदर्शन करते रहे ताकि उनका परिचय ‘आत्मा’ और परमात्मा से हो सके एवं सर्वत्र प्रेम और भाईचारा प्रसारित हो सके, मानव और उनका समाज स्वस्थ रह सकें । उनके जीवन से जुड़े असंख्य प्रेरक प्रसंग हैं जो इन तथ्यों की सम्पूर्ण पुष्टि करते हैं । इस शोध-पत्र का मुख्य विषय गुरु नानक देव जी के मानवतावादी दर्शन का अध्ययन करना है ।. (shrink)
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh gurus (the last teaching being the holy scripture Gurū Granth Sāhib Ji). It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world, with over 30 million Sikhs and one of the most steadily growing. This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat (literally 'of the gurus'). The Sikh Scriptures outline (...) the ways in which one can bring their own thinking in line with the Hukam. If one engages in the service of God's creation, this is the best way of working in harmony with the Divine Will. Further, by remembering Waheguru one becomes aware of "God desires" and "Divine essence" within the person is realised. By following these "Divine Values" that benefit His Creation, one ends the cycle of Karma and Transmigration. The objective of this paper is to study the basic life values taught by Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji. (shrink)
This paper examines the concept of manifestation process in Kashmir Shaivism from Shiva tattva to Prithvi tattva and their transcendental and immanent predicates (Prakrti and Purusa).This paper also shows that the ultimate reality, Paramshiva, manifests itself into various forms which likely represent the theory of causation. This research paper also provides answer to two questions; First, how ultimate reality with its thirty-six principles or elements manifest in various forms and what types of forms ‘Descent’ attains from the ‘universal self’? Second, (...) how manifestation process takes place from the ‘cosmic self’ (universal consciousness) to a ‘limited self’ (Jiva)? Since, this paper is based on philosophical exploration of manifestation process and contains interpretation and argumentation of Pratyabhijna philosophy only; it excludes manifestation due to Yogas (Upayas) and Karmas. Moreover, it explains the Trika form of reality (Shiva/God, Shakti/World, and Nara/Man) and also the identity between ‘ascent’ and ‘descent’. Manifestation further investigates the union of Shiva and Shakti with Maya and displays its character (Prakashvimarshmaya). This work further tries to describe the contribution of Abhinavagupta in the concept of manifestation. (shrink)
A comparative perspective in the study of religion, which goes beyond the Eurocentric interests with their predominating Judeo‑Christian standpoint, has already been taken up in one of our previous issues (Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal, 2014, Vol. 4, No. 1). This time, we focus on the South Asian context only. In particular, we discuss the academic approach to the study of religion in contemporary India and Bangladesh, which may be distinguished from other attitudes such as the theological study of religion or (...) a traditional insiders’ reflection on their own/other religion(s), including the perspective of a proselyte, or a more selective and instrumental engagement in religious issues typical of the on‑going political debates. (shrink)
The book, “The Religious-Philosophical Dimensions” is the outcome of the second online session organized by Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CPPIS), Pehowa (Kurukshetra) with the theme “Development of Philosophy in India” held on 24th June, 2014. Indian philosophy is the name given to different philosophical thoughts that grew and developed on Indian soil. Philosophy in India has a very ancient origin. In fact, philosophical speculations started in India in the Vedic age itself. Freethinking sages of ancient India speculated (...) independently about various fundamental questions relating to human life and its destiny. It also included philosophical speculations of all thinkers of India, whether ancient or modern. In this session our intention is to see the development of philosophy in India, all periods in general and 21st Century in particular. (shrink)
The result of the doctoral work of the author, this volume reflects well her painstaking eff orts of the investigative trail into the life of Sir John Woodroffe. This book gives a concise yet overall view of the large and multifarious canvas of the personality that Woodroffe was. Including rare photographs, facsimiles of letters and notes, an elaborate bibliography and index, this book fills a void by fulfilling the long-felt need of a good biography of a soul, who preferred to (...) remain anonymous and speak to the world only through this writings under his pen name, Arthur Avalon. (shrink)
The analytical understanding cannot deal with integral wholes and therefore cannot understand the soul or God. The material body is illusory in the sense that it cannot be understood in its true identity without knowing its relationship to God. Analyzing its composition in terms of separated molecules or neurons is also illusory. To understand how to go from an untrue or partially true part to its truth in the whole a method developed by Hegel called conceptual thinking is required. Reproduction (...) is not merely concerned with individuals, it involves the genus or genus process. The universal that determines the species is not changed when particulars under the universal change, die, reproduce according to their “own kind” or species. Without connecting the individual organisms with their species we may wrongly think they can evolve into any species by chance. But this is not how individual and species are related to each other. The species determines how the individuals will appear and controls their reproduction, growth, and so on. They are not independent to become what they want by choice or by chance. Everyone calls themselves “I” so “I” is a universal, although each means only oneself. In the same way each organism is identified with its species, although we mean its own particular organism – for example, a dog and not canine in general. Thus the universal and particular cannot be separated from each other. Similarly individuals who identify only personal reason independent of universal Reason are misconceiving their true identity. At the same time universal and particular are related, they are not the same but a unity in difference. The universal by itself is as abstract as the particular by itself. At the same time their relation can only be comprehended within a higher unity, the higher Self or Supreme Individual. (shrink)
In the Āgamadambara (“Much Ado about Religion”), Jayanta Bhatta appears to be making a case for religious toleration and pluralism. This paper considers whether Jayanta has a concept like toleration in mind at all, or at least something that we today might understand to be toleration. If he is doing neither, our understanding of the nature of tolerance and its conceptual limits may be furthered by determining exactly what he is talking about and why it looks so much like tolerance.
A comparative perspective in the study of religion has recently been taken up more and more often. It goes along with a growing awareness of cultural and religious plurality as well as of the importance of religion in terms of its role in the social, political, and economic processes of the contemporary world. This also gave an impulse to organize the two-day international seminar on “Comparative Methodology in Religious Studies” held in Kraków on 23–24 May 2013, at the Pedagogical University (...) of Cracow, Department of Philosophy and Sociology, in co-operation with the Editors of Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal. During the seminar a variety of methods applied in the comparative study of religion were discussed. The participants considered which of them seemed to be most beneficial or useful for a better understanding of the subject matter, and for capturing the uniqueness and divergence between Abrahamic, Indian (Dharmic), and other religious traditions. Some criteria for a proper comparison in the field of religion were defined and justified during this discussion. The presenters took into account both the sociological context of the analysis and philosophical consideration of the most fundamental questions within comparative methodology. (shrink)
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) was the first to explain that certain 'traits' were inherited in plants from one generation to the next. These would later become known as genes. Frederich Miescher in 1869 analyzed a substance from the nucleus of cells, which he therefore called nuclein. Further study of nuclein revealed that it contained elements like hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorous, with a specific ratio of nitrogen to phosphorous. Then in 1878 Albrecht Kossel determined that nuclein contained nucleic acid, from which (...) he isolated five nucleobases (nitrogen compounds now referred to by the letters C, G, A, T, U representing cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine, and uracil). It was also discovered that ribose, a sugar was present in the nuclein compound. What Miescher had isolated from the cell nucleus was actually what would latter be identified as DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid). C. H. Waddington (1905 - 1975) first proposed the term “epigenetics” in 1942 to describe the region between the gene and the whole organism (phenotype) . Today, what is called the epigenome refers to all the chromosomal modifications, DNA modifications, chromatin protein modifications and their complexes. It is the epigenome that determines both the expression of the genes and their inheritance. R. A. Jorgenson reports , "Many of these modifications appear to be “programmable” and to be “read out” to influence chromosomal functions." Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock stated this revolutionary proposal more clearly in her Nobel lecture , “to determine the extent of knowledge the cell has of itself, and how it utilizes this knowledge in a ‘thoughtful’ manner when challenged.” In 1960 R. A. Brinks suggested that chromosomes possess a paragenetic function in addition to their genetic function . The physical nature of the paragenetic function is characterized by the variety of forms or states of chromatin that can reside at any genetic locus. While the genetic function is stable, the paragenetic function is labile and programmable in ontogeny. It is this latter function that allows organisms to transfer informational macromolecules (RNA and proteins) in a systematic and regulated manner over what is known as the “RNA information superhighway.” Given this capacity, organisms may be able to store information at numerous genetic loci in the form of paragenetic chromatin states, which can be reprogrammed during ontogeny or environmental stress . This reprogrammable system could operate over the whole organism as a storage device, allowing it to make informed ‘decisions' during growth and development, or in response to the environment. Such processing capacity could be considered a form of ‘intelligence,' which also could be passed on to future generations. The study of the flow of information within and between cells and organisms represents the cutting edge of modern biological research. While physical correlates of cognitive behavior in living organisms are being discovered, it does not spell reduction to such correlates. The electronic activity within the physical components of a radio, for example, may be minutely determined, but ultimately it is not merely the electrical activity that produces the intelligent speech that is heard. Only the intelligent person whose voice is being broadcast through the radio can explain that. Without the broadcaster, the radio would sit silently even though fully functional. An organism without its living agency also appears to be devoid of metabolic activity although all the chemical components are fully present. How to connect life to matter will be the ultimate challenge that has to be met. This will prove to be a philosophical problem we hope to address in the near future. (shrink)
The present book “Proceedings of the Symposia on Philosophy” edited by Late Prof. Ajit Kumar Sinha is a scholarly work, published by the Department of Philosophy, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra in 1966. It is collection of papers presented by eminent scholars at two symposia held at the Department of Philosophy, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra on 22nd and on 23rd March, 1965. The symposium "Concept of Philosophy in the mid-twentieth century" was held on March 22, 1965, and the symposium "Critique of the Value-system (...) in India during Post- independence era" was held on March 23, 1965. The ten papers included in this edited work focus on the critique of value system in India as well as the conception of philosophy in the mid-twentieth century. The present online version of this book has a great relevance in the present times as we had the print edition in a limited number. Moreover, online version can reach worldwide readers. So we are publishing this book online in its original form as it appeared in 1966. Late Prof. (Dr.) A.K.Sinha was an eminent contemporary philosopher of India and the former Chairperson of the Department of Philosophy, Kurukshetra. Under the benign guidance of Prof. Sinha, the Department reached to high mark scholarship. He also contributed near about 20 books in the field of philosophy and allied subjects. (shrink)
Second Online Session -/- on the theme -/- Development of Philosophy in India -/- 24th June, 2014 -/- positive -/- Table of Content -/- Preface to the Second Session -/- Spirituality Some Philosophical trends : PROF. D.N.TIWARI -/- ROLE OF YOGA AND NATUROPATHY IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN IDEAL LIFE STYLE: PROF. SOHAN RAJ TATER -/- THE DEVELOPMENT OF EARLY MUSLIM PHILOSOPHY: DR MERINA ISLAM -/- THE RELEVANCE OF PHILOSOPHY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: DR. K.VICTOR BABU -/- Public Service Values (...) and Ethics in Public Administration: DR. DESH RAJ SIRSWAL -/- Dharma Philosophy in the Epic Period-with Special Reference to Mahabharata: DR ADITI PATRA (NEE RAY) -/- A PERSPECTIVE IN INDIAN BUSINESS ETHICS : C.V.JAYANTHI -/- Examining Nationality as a taken-for-granted Frame of Reference: SHWETA SINGH -/- Is It Justified to Approve Euthanasia based on the Right to Life with Dignity an Examination: MALAY DAS -/- Meaning Holism as a Semantics Theory: RAJIBA LOCHAN BEHERA -/- DEVELOPMENT OF SIKHISM: RAJNI BALA & MANJU CHAUHAN -/- Life is Philosophy and Philosophy is Life : DR MAYA MAINKAR -/- DEVELOPMENT OF PHILOSOPHY IN INDIA SOME SUGGESSIONS: DR JAYADEV SAHOO . (shrink)
Introducing the Bhagavata Purana's key themes while also examining its extensive influence on Hindu thought and practice, this collection conducts the first multidimensional reading of the entire text.
Are physics and chemistry sufficient to provide a basis for a theory of everything? The worldview of materialist naturalism that forms the foundation of NeoDarwinian evolution, Big Bang cosmogony, and molecular biology in general has been subjected to challenge for its monumental failure to explain life, consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality. Two recent books, Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne , and Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist NeoDarwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False (...) , both authors being atheists, reflect the deep rift we find, not only in the religious conflict between creation and evolution, but in the fundamental awareness we all have that we are more than just molecular matter. This common sense understanding can only escape the notice of a particularly shallow ideological dogmatism that insists it has all the answers based solely on its unprecedented technological success. Science has come to represent two different things: (a) a body of knowledge, and (b) a method for acquiring knowledge. The problem arises when it is forgotten that there is no independent body of knowledge for science apart from its method – it keeps changing according to the results of the latest findings of the scientific method. The method is not to be abandoned because of those who would like to replace it with a fixed body of knowledge, which then becomes ideology. If biogenesis is hypothesized as the law of Nature, and we observe that life comes from pre-existing life in all our experience, while the hypothesis of abiogenesis, that life comes from matter, is never backed by any observation, then according to the scientific method—which one is to be accepted as true scientific knowledge? Obviously, the one backed by empirical observation. It is necessary to get free of ideological “knowledge,” and return to science as a method for gathering evidence that may lead to conclusions beyond the material naturalist view of Nature, and conforms to what we experience and rationally understand about the world in which we live. (shrink)
All the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (Neo-Darwinism) have been disproven. [1, 2] An article with the title, "Rocking the foundations of molecular genetics,” appearing in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences at the end of 2012  would have not been possible a decade ago. Groundbreaking experimental evidence of epigenetic maternal inheritance over several generations was published in the same journal, throwing the whole foundation of 21st century molecular genetics into question. Neo-Darwinism attributed genetic change (...) to random events, in which physiology was assumed to play little role. "The germ line was thought to be isolated from any influence by the rest of the organism and its response to the environment.  The fundamental concepts that constitute the foundations of contemporary systems biology include holism, emergentism, and robustness, compared to the concepts of reductionism, mechanism, and homeostasis, that form the foundations of molecular biology.  Holism is to be contrasted with reductionism which considers a system as merely composed of a sum of parts. Emergentism, the appearance of hierarchical levels of organization, is contrasted with mechanism of independent linear events. Robustness refers to the preservation of the functionality of a system to a certain degree despite external or internal changes, while homeostasis refers to maintaining the stability of the state of a system. The Vedantic view also proposes viewing life from the Organic Whole perspective, in which consciousness forms the supporting basis. The conscious agent is an important part of that view, but the absolute conception of a unifying center is not to be omitted if a proper conception is to be achieved. (shrink)
The study of organisms within the range of their existence from fertilization to birth is referred to as embryology. The process of progressive change during that period is called development. That development does not stop at birth but continues on throughout the entire life-span of the organism as the process of growth and decay — catabolism, anabolism, and metabolism. The study of this entire range of life has recently become known as developmental biology. The belief that the development from an (...) initial stage of a fertilized egg or zygote to a fully formed adult represents, in compressed time, the whole process of evolution that occurred over millions of years, has recently been named evo-devo, or evolutionary development. The more science advances, the more it studies Nature in its intimate details, the more it comes to realize the existence of a pervasive reason, an inherent natural intelligence that is working in even the most insignificant portions of the universe. Francis Bacon (1561–1626) said, “A little philosophy (science) inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy (science) bringeth men's minds about to religion.” This point is especially true today. It is not from ignorance that men come to have faith in God, but from a maturity of reason and experience. Vedanta philosophy teaches that there is a conscious intelligence that underlies all experienced existence. Being self-evident, this should hardly have to be argued. Yet modern science has failed to integrate this truth into its materialist/naturalistic paradigm. Correcting this deficiency will be the challenge of 21st century science, and the highest reward for humanity. (shrink)
Origin of life studies have presented one of the most serious challenges to the mechanistic conception that life can be explained scientifically as a mere product of chemistry and physics. Hypotheses about the origin of life can be divided into two categories: (1) biogenesis – life comes from life, and (2) abiogenesis – life comes from non-living matter. The theory of the spontaneous generation of life from inanimate matter had been held even by the ancient Greeks and by numerous scientists (...) well into the 19th century. The theory of abiogenesis poses many problems for understanding the origin of life on Earth, and the appearance of life early in Earth’s history. Numerous chemical, mathematical and informational problems arise which make random mechanical processes of cellular formation and function unlikely. Fossil evidence contradicts a gradualist evolutionary mechanism of development of life, especially the well-known Cambrian explosion, in which highly developed metazoan species suddenly appear in the geological column without intermediate predecessors. But the physical conundrums that mechanistic theories of chemistry and physics face are only one side of the problem. Along with a rising chorus of philosophers, Thomas Nagel, an atheist philosopher, has protested that essential questions about the origin of life, and features such as mind, intelligence and morality are completely left unexplained by mechanistic evolutionary theories. In Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, Nagel plainly lays out his argument that the modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain something so integral to nature as mind or consciousness, thereby threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture of biology, evolutionary theory and cosmology.  As an alternative he argues that at least natural teleological principles must be admitted to play a role in our view of science. He writes: “Each of our lives is a part of the lengthy process of the universe gradually waking up and becoming aware of itself.” The Vedantic view of the Absolute as sentient conceives of Bhagavan as the conscious and consequently personal source of the universe. This view holds that life is fundamental, and not merely coextensive with matter. It is thus consistent with the law of biogenesis which is scientifically established in agreement with empirical evidence. Life is the basis of Nature, not matter, and Nature is a system in which the different species are nodes or niches, each possessed of variety and adaptability. Evolution is of consciousness, not of the bodies of organisms. The sedimentary fossils are the result of catastrophic deposits, and are thus not indicative of gradual evolution which is concluded only on the questionable assumption of uniformitarianism. (shrink)
“Indeed, we now know that the proportion of genetic sequences on earth that belongs to visible organisms is negligible. Furthermore, only 15% of the genetic sequences found in the samples from the environment and from feces analyzed in metagenomic studies belong to the three domains of microbes currently recognized in the tree-of-life framework – bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. Viruses contain another 15-30% of these genetic sequences.” This means that the majority of unidentified genetic sequences pose an unresolved problem. Where do (...) they come from? New genes suddenly appear, called ORFans (“orphan genes”) without any precursors. They may be produced by gene duplication, or fusion, or some other unknown process. Yet, Darwin’s tree of life concept would make it impossible to consider such processes. The transfer of genetic sequences from parasites to hosts could involve hundreds of genes for bacteria or viruses. But, as Raoult writes, “the current classification of the domains of life is based on the ribosome – the production apparatus of proteins – which does not exist in these viruses.” Adherence to the dogmatism of Darwin thus prevents these new discoveries, that overturn his century-and-a-half old teachings, from ever reaching the new generation of scientists. Raoult concludes, "Genetic research, in particular, must be free to find new models to explain, and enhance, twenty-first-century scientific discovery. Today, Darwin’s theory of evolution is more a hindrance than a help, because it has become a quasi-theological creed that is preventing the benefits of improved research from being fully realized.". (shrink)
We received several critical comments regarding the "The Science of Spiritual Biology." We reply to those criticisms in order to further clarify some of the important points that were made. It is only to be expected that a strong emotional response may be evoked by the revolution in scientific thinking that the modern paradigm of cognitive biology presents. We have to be prepared to accept that, and maintain the integrity of the scientific approach.
JOTIRAO GOVINDRAO PHULE occupies a unique position among the social reformers of Maharashtra in the nineteenth century. While other reformers concentrated more on reforming the social institutions of family and marriage with special emphasis on the status and right of women, Jotirao Phule revolted against the unjust caste system under which millions of people had suffered for centuries and developed a critique of Indian social order and Hinduism. During this period, number of social and political thinkers started movement against such (...) systems and methods. These thinkers aimed at upliftment of the status of women socially, economically, educationally and politically. Of these socio-political thinkers Mahatma Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, and such other have organized movement for striving equality for dalits, backward classes and women. As such, Mahatma Phule was an earliest leader, who strongly opposed gender inequality. He was in the real sense a great thinker finder of truth. He was of the view that every individual should search for the truth and mould accordingly, only then the human society can remain happy. He said that British rule provided an opportunity for the masses to get themselves liberated from the slavery of the Brahmins. But at the same time, he also criticized the British bureaucracy for its policy of supporting higher education and for its tendency to rely upon Brahmin subordinates. Interestingly, Mahatma Phule nurtured a favourable perspective of the British Rule in India because he thought it at least introduced the modern notions of justice and equality into the Indian society. He also criticized the economic policy of the British rule in many respects it was unfavorable to the poor peasants. He suggested a number of solutions to improve the conditions of the agriculture sector. In place of exploitative Indian social order, Phule wanted to establish a society founded on principles of individual liberty and equality and in place of Hinduism he would have liked to put universal religion. In this paper my attempt is to give an analysis of ideas of Mahatma Phule with his core philosophical outlook. (shrink)
Contemporary Indian Philosophy is related to contemporary Indian thinkers and contains the proceedings of First Session of Society for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (SPPIS) Haryana. It is neither easy nor impossible to translate into action all noble goals set forth by the eminent thinkers and scholars, but we might try to discuss and propagate their ideas. In this session all papers submitted electronically and selected abstracts have been published on a website especially develop for this session. In this volume (...) we included some papers from this session and also from open sources and contributors include teachers, research scholars and students etc. This volume is divided into two parts. First part contains papers on Swami Vivekananda and second part contains papers of B. G. Tilak, Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Saheed Bhagat Singh and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar etc. It is the general intention of the Centre to produce informative as well as positive literature to inspire and motivate the students and the general readers. (shrink)
This paper examines of the intersection of theism and philosophy in classical Indian thought, focusing on the rational theology of Nyaya and the revealed theology of Vedanta. I also consider anti-theistic arguments, primarily by classical Buddhists.
"Living systems are cognitive systems, and living as a process is a process of cognition." -H.R. Maturana, The Biology of Cognition (1970/1980) Just as the cell has gradually come to be understood as a highly regulated and unctionally integrated whole, so too is the biosphere now recognized as a finely balanced ecological whole in which local disturbances can create world-wide climatic catastrophe. The oversimplified ideas of biology that characterized the field in its immature beginning led to the theories of a (...) progressive cumulative development or evolution to explain the present state of Nature. However, today, a more mature understanding of biology has brought with it the realization that Nature can not be the product of a gradual development, based only on the reductionist principles of chemistry and physics. In an ideal situation, where there are no strong interactions with the environment, isolated and purified chemicals may react in a mechanically simple manner, but in a living organism there are no isolated molecules. Everything within the cell interacts with everything else. The constituents of a cell are produced by the cell as much as they produce the cell itself. As the German philosopher Immanuel Kant understood, the unique judgment that allows us to identify a living organism as distinct from non-living matter, is that a living organism is both the cause and effect of itself. Thus, the life of a cell, as much as the life of the biosphere, can only be properly understood as an integrated organic whole. (shrink)
We received several critical comments regarding the "The Science of Spiritual Biology." We reply to those criticisms in order to further clarify some of the important points that were made. It is only to be expected that a strong emotional response may be evoked by the revolution in scientific thinking that the modern paradigm of cognitive biology presents. We have to be prepared to accept that, and maintain the integrity of the scientific approach.
Reconsidering Classical Indian Thoughts neither claims, nor attempts to be a definitive study of all the characteristics as concept(s) of classical Indian thoughts. It is a modest attempt of the editor to familiarise the common, but philosophy reader with the fundamental conceptions of ancient Indian culture. I hope, by studying this book the reader will understand the relevance of Indian classical thoughts. -/- Here we have collected 17 papers both in English and Hindi languages written on Indian epistemology, metaphysics, logic, (...) ethics and social philosophy. To study the nature of philosophy in India and its implementation in all spheres of human life is one of the most important objectives of our Centre. In this regard we have published two online books entitled Philosophy, Education and Indian Value System and Positive Philosophy for Contemporary Indian Society, respectively. ISBN: 978-81-922377-2-5 Second Edition, 2012 Publisher: Centre for Positive Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (CPPIS), Milestone Education Society (Regd.), Balmiki Dharmashala, Ward No.06, Pehowa (Kurukshetra)-136128 (Haryana) Emails: [email protected], dr.si[email protected] Price: Rs.300/- (Three Hundred Rs. Only) -/- . (shrink)
Christopher Framarin has spent many years analyzing the problem of niṣkama karma or desireless action in Indian philosophy as evidenced by his many papers on the topic. The results of these papers are gathered into his book, Desire and Motivation in Indian Philosophy, which presents a sustained defense of the doctrine from multiple perspectives. Its philosophical depth and sophisticated argument notwithstanding, Framarin's work is lucid, persuasive, and well-executed. Framarin sets up the basic problem in the introduction and then proceeds to (...) test various interpretive responses. As he develops the book, he shows why each of these responses fails before presenting his own solution. The inquiry into non-viable .. (shrink)
I thank Christopher Framarin for his response and would like to address three points he raises in this brief rejoinder.Framarin's book is a self-standing analysis of the central argument of the Gītā, and the reader should take my comments about his papers as additional material in support of the book. In drawing attention to them, my aim was to stress Framarin's long engagement with the subject.Although Framarin's book deals quite extensively with other texts from the Indian tradition, the Gītā is (...) central to the analysis. In fact, Framarin explicitly turns to the other texts "[a]s a means to answering the second question," namely whether the claim that action entails desire is widely held in the Indian tradition. .. (shrink)
Book review of 'Srimad Bhagavata—Condensed in the Poet's Words' by A M Srinivasachariar. In this book, the Sanskrit Bhagavata verses have been condensed without using any words other those of the original. This has been translated into English by V Raghavan. This book enables one to have an idea of the main content of the lengthier original text.
One of the most important instances of distinct but inseparable entities is that of subject and object. When we carefully think about them, we realize that one term implies the other. In other words, a subject cannot possibly exist without a corresponding object otherwise we would never be able to talk about “subject.” In a similar way, an object can only be called an object because it is in relation to a subject. All opposites will in fact exhibit this same (...) interdependence when we carefully think about them. For example, we could not speak of “blindness” if there were no one who could see. The word “blind” would never have any reason for its existence unless someone had the ability to see. Light and darkness, sleep and waking, day and night, etc. all such terms have meaning only in relation to their opposition to one another. Thus we conclude that this opposition is essential to the existence of either term. We can look at existence as a polar reality or polarity. One side rises or falls with the other. There is no possible way that one side can exist without the other. (shrink)
Niels Bohr gave us the model of the atom as having a central nucleus around which electrons were circulating in stable orbits. He also gave us the complementarity principle that states that the mutually exclusive wave and corpuscular nature of light were not merely contradictory but complementary descriptions. Field theory considers light as a continuous wave phenomenon with a wavelength and frequency, while quantum theory considers its corpuscular nature as a discrete packet of energy called a photon. Thus we actually (...) have an opposition of a continuous-discontinuous description concerning the fundamental nature of light. In line with what we have been discussing about the nature of reality as having an intrinsic polar nature, we have yet another confirmation at even the atomic level of investigation. This harks back to Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” where in his second antinomy he tried to show that the continuous and discontinuous descriptions of the cosmos were both possible although they were mutually exclusive of each other. Kant tried to demonstrate that this was a limitation of the way we think about the world, i.e. a defect of reason since the world is obviously content to go on as a single reality regardless of how we understand it. But we are showing here that our understanding of the world does not have to be antagonistic to it if we understand it properly. For Kant, opposites merely exclude one another. We are claiming that not only do they exclude each other but also they depend upon each other for either to exist at all. (shrink)
Descartes laid the philosophical groundwork for the modern scientific period by separating subjective cognition from objective bodies, thereby also dividing epistemology from ontology reducing knowing to indifferent “observation.” This is the perspective of consciousness and its object, of which material science only imperfectly studies the object. In reality these two are not separated but dialectically related and sublated in the higher comprehending original unity of self-consciousness. Physical scientists fail to study these higher categories of reality and are therefore left with (...) an incomplete understanding of a mere superficial nature that is inadequate to comprehend the core truth. But scientific, rational inquiry will not stop until a comprehensive idea is reached that is coherent with the full range of our knowledge of life. That spectrum of knowledge is not circumscribed merely by chemistry, physics and mathematics. Thus Vedanta-sutra advises, that you will have to continue your search, athatho brahma jijnasa, until you reach brahma, the underlying spiritual source, janmady asy yatah, the fountainhead where all inquiry will reach its purpose. Then beyond knowledge Bhagavatam will guide us to the ultimate search – raso vai sah, the search for our highest fulfillment, sweetness and love. (shrink)
The work of harmonizing and integrating the various fields of knowledge is not left to the individual as much as it is already accomplished in and by the Complete Whole. Rather, the individual must become self-forgetful, which is achieved anyhow in the universalizing activity of science. And more than self-forgetful, the individual becomes a self-sacrificing or dedicating unit within the self-realizing Absolute. It is here that entrusting oneself to the intelligence and reason of the True, once it is scientifically realized, (...) introduces us to the concept of the mercy of the Absolute. This can be understood only when the essential negativity that characterizes reality is comprehended along with the positivity that is normally associated with Being. "Thinking" is negative activity because it is a determining - literally a terminating or delimiting activity. It is what produces distinction and differentiation - particularity, within the universality of mere positive being. (shrink)
The first hint of how to begin our inquiry is given in the second aphorism of Vedanta-sutra. Janmadasya yatah. Janma means birth, and asya refers to all that has been created from Brahman or the original source - which is spirit. Brahman means Spirit or God. It is not a matter of merely knowing what is immediately present before us. We want to know where it all comes from. This is actually very practical if we want to properly understand anything. (...) For example, let us say an aboriginal villager enters a city for the first time in his life and sees numerous skyscraper buildings. He may think these buildings to be natural features of the environment, just like the caves in his mountain village. Thus, in order to properly understand what a building is, not only its present appearance but how it got there, or where it came from is necessary. Only then can one say that he has properly understood what a building is. Likewise, scientists are not merely interested in observing the world, they want to understand what is beyond its immediate appearance, and comprehend what principle constituents it comes from - what has made or caused it to be what we observe. This is what we mean by scientific understanding. (shrink)
A review of two books on the writings of Madhvācārya, the first thinker of Dvaitavedānta, by the late Roque Mesquita. One is a richly annotated translation with commentary of one of Madhva’s main works, the Viṣṇutattvanirṇaya; the other deals with the centuries-old question of the ‘fictive’ quotations from apparently non-existent texts which Madhva uses in support of his innovative ideas.
The neo-Darwinian theory of genetic random mutation and Natural Selection, does nothing to explain speciation. Thus, what has been called "natural selection" has come under much scrutiny and critique in recent times. The problem is that natural selection requires the existence of a stable array of species from which selection can be made. So natural selection does not perform the speciation, only the selection after speciation has occurred. The activity of creating new species must therefore lie in the random mutations (...) of the genome. But this raises the problem that such mutations are generally always fatal to the organism, plus a whole host of other problems that modern advances in molecular biology have revealed about the detailed mechanisms occurring in DNA replication processes, including such things as intrinsic error correcting mechanisms during DNA transcription. Thus a theory of how species arise (speciation) does not currently exist in biology. The Vedantic/Bhagavat paradigm rejects the objectivist theory of evolution as not only wrong but an impediment to the actual scientific comprehension of Nature. The Vedantic conception of Life is a fully differentiated/determinate one that displays its variety in and as an dynamic organic whole. The crucial element of interdependence that is missing in modern theories of insular organism life is fully embraced in what we may call the Post-Darwinian, post-reductionist, post-modern conception of Life the Vedantic/Bhagavat conception offers. (shrink)
The Western world has led the development of material science for over 200 years. But they have reached an impasse in confronting the problem of consciousness. Scientific knowledge requires a scientist, but regarding knowledge concerning the scientist, they must remain silent. India has always emphasized knowledge of the conscious self or atma. Vedanta-sutra begins with the aphorism “athatho brahma jijnasa” – now, therefore, inquire about brahma (pure consciousness). Even in the West, the Greek philosopher Socrates stated, “Above all else know (...) the self.” But since the time of Newton, the objective world became the focus of science to the exclusion of the conscious observer or scientist. (shrink)
There is a nested hierarchy of wholes that characterizes reality, and especially life. The most fundamental principle is that Reality in the Vedantic/Bhagavat conception is based on Personality, as mentioned in the very first aphorism of the Bhagavat Purana, “janmady asya yatho nvayat itaratas charteshu abhijnah svarat.” Here and in many other scriptures the foundation or origin of everything is centered upon the abhijna or cognizant (conscious) primordial Personality of Godhead. Modern science in the West has become centered on matter (...) as the foundation of everything, and this is called materialism. But matter is impersonal. The question is: how can a person come from what is impersonal? We consider such an approach to be backward. Person cannot come from an impersonal material substratum. It is very difficult to conceive how a rock can give rise to a concept of rock. But it is quite natural to understand that a rock exists as a concept for a conscious person. So too can the concept of objectivity, concreteness and perception arise from a personal substratum, and historically, this has been demonstrated by the detailed philosophical study of these ideas by numerous philosophers. (shrink)
Modern science generally assumes that the same laws of logic apply to mechanical, chemical and biological entities alike because they are all ultimately material objects. This may seem to be so obvious that there would be no need to validate it -- experimentally or logically. In this article we would like to critically examine this assumption and show that from an experiential/observational level, as well as from a rational/logical level, it is not valid. This becomes apparent, for instance, when we (...) consider the simple observation in which we distinguish animate from inanimate objects: those objects that seem to spontaneously move themselves and those that move only when impelled by some applied force outside or beyond the object. This distinction may be valid at the macroscopic level more than at the level of theoretical atomic particles. Thus the detailed nature of spontaneous movement must also be understood. (shrink)
Modern science only studies that which is immediately given to our senses - that which we call matter. But there would be no such thing as science if there were only matter or existence. Science requires that in addition to existence there be cognition of existence, or consciousness. Without consciousness of existence, science would never come into being. Thus we must admit that at least two features of reality are necessary for scientific knowledge - (1) existence or being and (2) (...) consciousness of existence. But there is still a third feature of reality upon which the first two are dependent. We can call this satisfaction or the fulfillment of being. If there were mere existence without consciousness of existence, we could say nothing about such existence. But even mere consciousness of existence would also be a passive, indifferent existence. It is only because we seek satisfaction, fulfillment, and enjoyment that we create science, philosophy, culture, religion, etc. If there were no need for fulfillment or satisfaction then all these activities would never arise. There would be no need, no desire, no lack or negativity, and therefore non-differentiation. Thus, it is this fundamental quality that characterizes life: it seeks satisfaction or fulfillment. It is from this basic quality that all activity arises. We can call this the Ultimate Principle of Reality. By inquiring into where this principle comes from and why it exists, we will be able to understand how to achieve the greatest satisfaction and happiness. It is this type of inquiry that produces what is called the science of happiness. (shrink)