All posts tagged: Dharma

Sankranti Sabha At The Veda Vijnana Gurukulam

Veda Vijnana Gurukulam has been organising a yearly Shastric exam since 2001. This event is called the Sankranti Sabha. It is a traditional exam which is oral in nature, in which a student studies a prescribed text and appears before the examiner. On the 2nd of February such an exam was held in the Gurukulam. On this day, the exam was conducted for 60 students studying in 7 different classes. Scholars from Vedanta, Vyakaranam, Nyaya and Purva-mimamsa disciplines were invited as examiners. Advaita Vedanta texts like the Shankara Bhashyam of the Prasthanatrayam and Vedanta-paribhasha were prescribed. In Vyakaranam Siddhanta Kaumudi, Mahabhashyam, Paribhashendushekharah and Laghu Shabdendushekhara were given to the students. The process of examination was a whole day affair. A small inaugural function was followed by the exams. which began at around 9:30 am. Each student was called up and examined individually. The teachers of the particular discipline were also present to gauge the performance of the student. The examiners also noted down the positives and negatives of each students performance. This was later discussed …

Mahabharata Immersion Workshop

Our personal energy is immense and can act in heroic ways, however, it is often locked up in our subconscious self. The Mahabharata Immersion is an invitation to experiment with oneself, delve unto the depths of the invisible, the in-articulated and the disowned parts of ones self by donning the traditional masks from the Koothu tradition. The Mahabharata Immersion Workshop is intended to enable the participant to engage with inner work and the Purana fron an “inside -out” location. One wears the masks of the Heroes and in playing out the archetypal drama that occurs at various turning points, views oneself in the mirror of the emerging “here and now re-play” of the eternal motifs of life and relationships with significant others. This programme offers participants the opportunity to: Discover and foster one’s hidden heroic potential Introspect upon the relationship between outer and inner process Develop a personal foundation of Role effectiveness, interpersonal ethics and interpersonal discipline Introspect upon the way one holds and gives meaning to one’s mission in life The Learning Theatre An …

The Pseudoscience of Indology: An Interview with Joydeep Bagchee

With The Nay Science: A History of German Indology, Professor Vishwa Adluri emerged as one of the most powerful critics of Indology, the nineteenth-century field established to study India. Professor Adluri has called Indology “scientized racism,” a “club,” and a “court.” He has been interviewed by Open, Swarajya, News18, Social Research, and IndiaFacts. Mukunda Raghavan of Meru.Media interviewed Professor Adluri’s student Dr. Joydeep Bagchee on the occasion of the completion of their second book, Philology and Criticism: A Guide to Mahābhārata Textual Criticism. Dr. Bagchee spoke on behalf of his teacher, and explained how they became interested in Indology and why historicizing the Mahābhārata was crucial to colonizing India intellectually. The following transcript was edited for clarity and length. The complete interview will appear soon as a podcast and a video from Meru.Media. MR: What are your backstories? I have a PhD in philosophy from the NSSR, New York. It is one the most prestigious schools for continental philosophy in the US. Hannah Arendt and Reiner Schürmann taught there. I met my teacher Vish there. …

Mahabharata Workshop – Echoing The Warning Of Vyasa

Mahabharata has been the Itihasa that defined a part of my identity. It has defined and continues to define my consciousness. Whenever I read the Itihasa, take any episode of it, a kinship is formed between me and those immortal people within. I feel invested, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. From wanting to knock some sense into Shantanu, feeling like bursting into the Kuru Sabha and defying the Adharmis and feeling the exhilaration of speeding through the bloodied battlefield of Kurukshetra with none other than Krishna Vasudeva as my charioteer, I feel one with the epic. I am sure I echo the sentiments of crores people who consider themselves as the spiritual inheritors of this legacy, The Bharata. I don’t have to remind anyone who is aware of the epic even at a superfluous level, of the multitude of emotions that overwhelm us when the ill-fated dice game takes place. Falling prey to the crafty abuse of tenets of Kshatra Dharma, Yudhishtira gambles away the empire, the sweat and blood of his valiant and loyal …

Discovering Life’s Purpose

In this journey called life, every person encounters these questions at some point: What is Life? Is Life merely a journey from birth to death? Does Life end with Death? Is there more to Life than just a mechanical process? Is there a purpose and meaning to Life? While the modern worldview owing to its Abrahamic origins considers this life as a onetime event, a journey that ends at death forever, the Indic worldview, which is informed by Hindu philosophy posits life as a perpetual journey of the Jiva-s from one body to another body until this journey finally comes to an end with the realization that this entire cycle of birth and death was merely an appearance, a superimposition which when removed leads to the reality of Atman as one birthless unchanging infinite whole. Death in Indic worldview is not a full stop, but merely a comma, where the Jiva discards the old body and takes up the new. In other words, Life is a journey from unreal to real, from ignorance to knowledge …

Dharma, Artha & Kama: Unity Or Dissonance? – Essay Competition for Workshop By Dr Bharat Gupt

The purusharthas are four fundamental pursuits of human life often spoken about in Hinduism -Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Dharma is living in concordance with certain rules, with the aim of upholding an order and nourishing life. Artha is the pursuit of wealth and riches, while kama is the pursuit of desires and love. Moksha is the state of liberty from earthly chains. Of these, Dharma, Artha and Kama are called the trivargas, as they are concerned with material goals. The trivargas, while covering all possible aims of life, are sometimes seen as being contradictory to one another. Is it possible to seek both Dharma and Kama simultaneously? When a conflict arises between Artha and Dharma, what is the path to be taken? What is the relevance of this conception in the present day? Dr Bharat Gupt will conduct a workshop in order to expound on the three Purusharthas of Dharma, Artha and Kama and tackle these vexing questions. Dr Bharat Gupt is a former Associate Professor in English at the College of Vocational Studies …

Women in Sabarimala: An Excursion Into Dharma

It is often argued that restrictive rules, in terms of temple entry or offering worship at one, impinge upon the “right to participate in the religion” of those who are thus restricted. This stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of participation as intrinsically a positive act. What is meant by a “positive act”? Most of us see would see participation as actually (and thus, positively) doing acts one generally does in a religious setting: such as entering a temple or performing a particular ritual. However, this is not a realistic understanding of our dharma or any religion for that matter. A full participation in the religion entails not only performing duties, whether obligatory or out of your own volition, but also not doing what is prohibited. Negative acts such as abstaining from meat and alcohol on vrata/upavasa days or removing footwear before entering a temple are also instances of religious participation. This aspect of Dharma can be understood when one reads our texts. Yama(restraint) is one of the eight components of Ashtanga Yoga. Various types of vratas are …

A Pilgrim’s Journey: The Warkaris Of Maharashtra

For a long time, religious and philosophical discourse in India was confined to those who were well versed in the devabhasa Sanskrit. While the efficacy of Sanskrit as a medium of spiritual and artistic convention is not in doubt, yet the flip side of this trend was to leave a significant section of Indians incapable of benefiting directly from our rich wealth of shastric guidance. Then in the later half of 13th century, a young boy was born to a deeply religious Maharastrian couple Vithal and Rakhumabai, in small town of Apegaon near Paithan, on the banks of the river Godavari. Vithal had taken Sanyasa, leaving his wife and went to Kashi to live near his Guru Sri Ramanand Swami. The story goes that one day the Guru found out about Vithal’s marital status and commanded him to go back to his wife and live as a couple. In that era, unlike today, Sanyasa was a serious business. Once someone takes to renunciation, he was supposed to adhere to the strict rules of that mode of …