The belief that humans are more than their bodies is to a large extent represented in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions by the notion of rebirth, the main difference being that the former envisages a more corporeal continuing entity than the latter. The author has studied the manner in which exposure to science at a postgraduate level impinges on belief in rebirth at universities and institutes in India and Thailand. Many Hindu and Buddhist scientists tend to believe less (...) in a reincarnating entity because of their scientific work, but Buddhists can point to their empty self doctrine, which has resonances with models of an extended self, rejecting the notion of a core self (anattā) and replacing it with a system of interdependent parts (paṭicca samuppāda), which governs previous and future lives. (shrink)
This paper deals with transnational Hindu and Muslim movements. It rejects the common assertion that migrant communities are conservative in religious and social matters by arguing that ‘traditionalism’ requires considerable ideological creativity that transforms previous practices and discourses considerably. It suggests instead that religious movements, active among migrants, develop cosmopolitan projects that can be viewed as alternatives to the cosmopolitanism of the European Enlightenment. This raises a number of challenges concerning citizenship, integration and political loyalty for governmentality in the (...) nation-states in which these cosmopolitan projects are carried out. The paper suggests that instead of looking at religious migrants as at best conservative and at worst terrorist one should perhaps pay some attention to the creative moments in human responses to new challenges and new environments. (shrink)
The six volume Psychology ann Religion set of the International Library of Psychology explores the interface between psychology and religion, looking at aspects of religious belief and mysticism as related to the study of human consciousness. Hindu Psychology looks at the relevance of Hindu belief systems and theories of perception for the West.
The compound “Hindu philosophy” is ambiguous. Minimally it stands for a tradition of Indian philosophical thinking. However, it could be interpreted as designating one comprehensive philosophical doctrine, shared by all Hindu thinkers. The term “Hindu philosophy” is often used loosely in this philosophical or doctrinal sense, but this usage is misleading. There is no single, comprehensive philosophical doctrine shared by all Hindus that distinguishes their view from contrary philosophical views associated with other Indian religious movements such as (...) Buddhism or Jainism on issues of epistemology, metaphysics, logic, ethics or cosmology. Hence, historians of Indian philosophy typically understand the term “Hindu philosophy” as standing for the collection of philosophical views that share a textual connection to certain core Hindu religious texts (such as the Vedas), and they do not identify “Hindu philosophy” with a particular comprehensive philosophical doctrine. -/- Hindu philosophy, thus understood, not only includes the philosophical doctrines present in Hindu texts of primary and secondary religious importance, but also the systematic philosophies of the Hindu schools: Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Sāṅkhya, Yoga, Pūrvamīmāṃsā and Vedānta. In total, Hindu philosophy has made a sizable contribution to the history of Indian philosophy and its role has been far from static: Hindu philosophy was influenced by Buddhist and Jain philosophies, and in turn Hindu philosophy influenced Buddhist philosophy in India in its later stages. In recent times, Hindu philosophy evolved into what some scholars call “Neo-Hinduism,” which can be understood as an Indian response to the perceived sectarianism and scientism of the West. Hindu philosophy thus has a long history, stretching back from the second millennia B.C.E. to the present. (shrink)
Jacques Maritain claims in the opening pages of Scholasticism and Politics that his distinction between individuality and personality is a universal one, and is found prominently, for example, in classical Hindu philosophy. After explaining Maritain's use of these terms, and their importance in Scholasticism and Politics, I consider the principle Upanishads and The Bhagavad Gita in order to see how true Maritain's claim might be, and what importance this might have for politics.
Perception is sensory awareness. Cognition is reflective awareness. Consciousness is awareness-as-such. In Indian psychology, as represented by Samkhya-Yoga and Advaita Vedanta systems, consciousness and mind are fundamentally different. Reality is the composite of being (sat), knowing (cit) and feeling (ananda). Consciousness is the knowledge side of the universe. It is the ground condition of all awareness. Consciousness is not a part or aspect of the mind. Mind is physical and consciousness is not. Consciousness does not interact with the mind, the (...) brain or any other physical objects or processes. Nor does it have any causative role in mental activity. Hence the existence of consciousness does not interfere or upset the apparently closed physical system. Mind in this view is the interfacing instrumentality that faces consciousness on one side and the brain and the rest of the physical world on the other. Mind is closely connected with the different systems of the brain. In normal perceptions, the mind takes the forms of objects via the channels of the sensory system and the processes in the brain. The forms themselves are non-conscious representations of the world of objects. The mental forms (vrittis) become conscious experiences in the light of the purusha. The vritti in sensory form is perception and with the reflection of the purusha it becomes cognition. All conscious perceptions are therefore cognitions. (shrink)
In South Asia, the period between 1100 and 1300 CE was a particularly prolific time for theorists from India's three main indigenous religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism - to articulate their views on the face-to-face gift encounter. Their gift theories shaped a cosmopolitan sensibility that shared ethical and aesthetic values that reached across regional, sectarian, and religious boundaries. This book explores the ethical and social implications of unilateral gifts of esteem, offering a perceptive guide to the uniquely South Asian (...) contributors to theoretical work on the gift. (shrink)
The concluding chapter lays down the essential conditions for any genuine understanding between East and West, which can only come through the work of those who have attained, at least in some degree, to the realization of 'wisdom uncreate' ...