Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Indian Philosophy - 1

This is only for those people who are interested in learning a little about philosophy or in particular Indian Philosophy and culture. Even though , I do not have an in depth idea of Indian philosophy, but would like to share whatever knowledge I possess in this context. Philosophy, as the dictionary.com describes it is “A system of values by which one lives.” has been more or less divided into two sections: eastern and western. The Western philosophy comprises thinking of people like Plato, Descartes, etc. Whereas , the Eastern Philosophy, which comprises teachings of Buddha, Confucious, Ramanuja, Vallabha and off course the one who gave re-birth to Hinduism, The Shankaracharya, etc. Any philosophy eventually becomes a religion or a way of life to live. So, it will be better to understand it with the help of religions.
Every religion what we see is very different from what actually it is; at least I feel it in that way. A religion will not be able to sustain itself for a long time and will be unworthy for a life to be following it, if it doesn’t has a sound philosophical base. This base usually describes how a life should be lead and answers the existence or no – existence of God and many other questions related to the human life. But, to general public this cake is presented with an icing on the top. And some of the times icing is so thick that a person’s appetite never allows him to reach the actual cake.
Many people believe that there can only be three kinds of people: religious , non-religious and agnostics.But, at the same time they say that the people who are religious are the ones who follow one or many Gods. I disagree to them in this regard. In eastern philosophy, a person can be religious and an atheist at the same time. There are a few religions which are one of the most accepted paths of life, like Buddhism, Jainism, etc. and are atheist way of living. As far as my knowledge is concerned a person who attains the salvation or the Nirvana gains the highest post and people worship him not as a God, but as a personality to be adulated or the ultimate form of human being.
Hindus, as we understand it now is the sect of people who follow Hinduism. But, ironically there is no religion called Hinduism. It’s a culture and the name ‘hindu’ was given by the people of Persia to the human race living on right side of the river ‘Sindhu’.
And, what so called Hindus follow is “Sanatan Dharm”. Sanatan Dharm has its origin in Veda. Under this umbrella of Veda, there are lot of sects which have there own teachings, principles and followers .Unlike, other religions, Hinduism or Santana Dharm doesn’t have any prescribed holy book to be followed nor it has some set points which are mandatory for an Hindu to follow, except the fact that most of the Hindus (But, not all) respect Vedas. Islam has Quran, Christianity has Bible, but Hinduism doesn’t have one single book. Veshnavites follow Geeta, Vishnu Puran . Shaivites follow Shiv Puran and so on.
So, it will be unfair to call Hinduism as a religion when it is something different, a culture.
Apart from Hinduism, there are two more religions of Indian origin that have played very important role in the making of India’s tradition and history. They are Buddhism and Jainism. Starting from the earliest time when Santana Dharm took birth, it divided the society into 4 parts. Brahman, Kshatriya , Vaishya and Shudras . Each of them had different responsibilities and roles to play in the society. But, after some time, differences started coming in the society. And then people started moving to various other religions. Birth of Buddha, brought the turmoil in Hinduism and during the Ashoka’s reign, Buddhism replaced Hinduism in the hegemony. It continued till Shankaracharya came. Hinduism got rejuvenated. The fall of Buddhism was not just because of Shankaracharya’s arrival but also as the people started facing the same problem for which they left Hinduism and turned to Buddhism. It was “Brahmanism”.
Logic was always a part of Indian culture. And for a religion to win people’s hearts was not possible without contributing to the Logic and representing your religion above others through Logic. So, what we call Debates and Group Discussions, in today’s modern and western influenced life was part of every day routine for the people of Sindhu. Unlike in western world where iconoclasts were prosecuted, India always provided them a chance to prove their difference in opinions. That is why we can see so many religions flourishing in Indian sub-continent.
I will write the rest of it in the following post.

9 Comments:

Anonymous kunal said...

Do one thing, send this to 'billi' people to be included as rc in next year's issue :P laakhon log tujhe (bad)-dua denge... :D

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This made for an interesting read. I've always subscribed to the notion that a religion act like the framework for living rather than a set of rules like it is made out to be by many today. Waiting for part2....

5:04 AM  
Blogger Adi said...

@Kunal: hehe .. I will love those bad-dua ..
@sreejith : it will be soon .. just taking some more time to give u exact details

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude im doin a report on this stuff and i have no clue wat it means

8:56 AM  
Blogger workhard said...

Hi, this is a nice post. Religion has always been the backbone for happy living.


Haiku poetry

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