Category Archives: Philosophy

When He turns priority

Source : The Hindu

Krishna captures the wide range of human aspirations synoptically in the seventh chapter when He tells Arjuna about how people generally strive to achieve and attain what they think is close to their hearts. All these people have faith in God and seek His help to fulfil their aims. Some seek relief from distress, some seek wealth and worldly possessions and some wish to master empirical knowledge and so on.

But it is very rare that one seeks God for His sake and shelves aside all other desires, says Krishna. A jivatma would do well to fix his goal in life, pointed out Swami Mitrananda in a lecture.

No matter how one has spent his life, if at some point he realises that his goal is to seek God, and henceforth lives his life fixed on this goal, it would make him strong for the rest of his life. Even death, which is often dreaded and feared, becomes acceptable as a matter of fact occurrence; for the most intense thoughts sustained while living will surge at the time of death.

Worldly goals immerse us in a temporary delight and joy. At times, one even feels sad missing out on any of these.

But eventually, one realises that even after successful accomplishment, one is still restless and continues to want something which is difficult to identify. Sincere search for one’s real yearning, will lead one to seek God.

When God becomes the priority in one’s life and entire being, the whole perspective changes; one is filled with a sense of relief because worldly goals are no longer desirable. There is no need to seek anything from God except living life to attain God. Only the experience of meeting the divine is uppermost.

One now begins to feel restless and sad, not for missing worldly enjoyments, but because of missing God. This is the hallmark of a mumukshu.

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Six blind men and One elephant story (Anekantvad) – Inclusive pluralistic Jain philosophy

“All perspectives are partially true but wholly wrong. Only Kevlin (liberated being) is wholly true “

ELEPHANT AND THE BLIND MEN

Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”

They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Everyone of them touched the elephant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.

“Oh, no! it is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.

“Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

“It is like a big hand fan” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

“It is like a huge wall,” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

“It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and everyone of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said.”

“Oh!” everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all right.

The moral of the story is that there may be some truth to what someone says. Sometimes we can see that truth and sometimes not because they may have different perspective which we may not agree too. So, rather than arguing like the blind men, we should say, “Maybe you have your reasons.” This way we don’t get in arguments. In Jainism, it is explained that truth can be stated in seven different ways. So, you can see how broad our religion is. It teaches us to be tolerant towards others for their viewpoints. This allows us to live in harmony with the people of different thinking. This is known as the Syadvada, Anekantvad, or the theory of Manifold Predictions.

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The bashing of Brahmins and India’s caste-system has an agenda

MARIA WIRTH

Common people in the west know hardly anything about India. But one thing they all know: India has an ‘inhuman’ caste system, which is an important feature of their religion, Hinduism. Most also ‘know’ that Brahmins are the highest caste, which oppresses the lower castes, and worst off are the untouchables.

I learnt this already in primary school, but knew nothing at that time about the concentration camps of Nazi Germany only a few years earlier or about the atrocities of slavery or colonialism. Yet the Indian caste system with Brahmins as villains was part of the curriculum in Bavarian schools in the early 1960s, and it still is today: some time ago I asked three young Germans in Rishikesh what they associate with Hinduism. Their prompt reply was, “caste system”.  Surely, they also had learnt that it was most inhuman. In all likelihood, all over the world school children…

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