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Ways to Truth: A View of Hindu Tradition

In India, there has long been a tendency to emphasize the spoken word which is passed on alive from an individual teacher to each individual student. But, through the development of modern media, more use is now made of the written word which records information externally, in institutions that have been industrially, socially and culturally organized.

How then can we understand the Hindu tradition as alive today with its ancient emphasis upon the spoken word and the living individual? That is the question which this book investigates. Accordingly, it asks for a broader understanding of history, which would allow for a rightful accounting of the Vedas and of other oral learning.

Through its continued emphasis upon the living word, the Hindu tradition asks for a deeper understanding of reasoned enquiry. Such reasons do not work primarily through mechanical instruments in the restricted way that modern physics does. Instead, it works essentially through a reflective investigation of our living faculties, which are thus cultivated and clarified.

The goal of truth is not here sought through an institutional consensus; but rather as a common ground, which is approached quite differently through different personalities and institutions of culture.

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About This Book

In India, there has long been a tendency to emphasize the spoken word which is passed on alive from an individual teacher to each individual student. But, through the development of modern media, more use is now made of the written word which records information externally, in institutions that have been industrially, socially and culturally organized.

How then can we understand the Hindu tradition as alive today with its ancient emphasis upon the spoken word and the living individual? That is the question which this book investigates. Accordingly, it asks for a broader understanding of history, which would allow for a rightful accounting of the Vedas and of other oral learning.

Through its continued emphasis upon the living word, the Hindu tradition asks for a deeper understanding of reasoned enquiry. Such reasons do not work primarily through mechanical instruments in the restricted way that modern physics does. Instead, it works essentially through a reflective investigation of our living faculties, which are thus cultivated and clarified.

The goal of truth is not here sought through an institutional consensus; but rather as a common ground, which is approached quite differently through different personalities and institutions of culture.

  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124604359
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124604355
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2008
  • Pages : x, 269 p.
  • Size : 23
  • Weight (approx.) : 550
  • Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Indexes

Preface

Part 1 -- Learning from the Past

History and Learning among Hindus

Living History 
‘Heard’ and ‘Remembered’ Texts  
By Word of Mouth  
Traditional Authority 
An Individual Emphasis

Society and Caste

Social Classes -- Jati and Varna  
Brahmins
Kshatriyas
VaishyasShudras 
Outcastes
Renunciation

Changing Views of Early India

When and Where? 
Horses and Immigrations 
Knowledge and Travel  
Energy and Inner Light  
Vedic Texts and Archaeology  
The Current Immigration Picture  
Time-scales of History  
Another Picture, from Old Riverbeds  
Encoded Knowledge  
Uncertain Pictures  
History and Living Knowledge

Four Aims

Kama -- Desire 
Artha -- Wealth 
Dharma -- Well-founded Order 
Moksha -- Freedom

Part 2 -- Authority and Power

Creation in the Vedas

Subjective and Impersonal  
A Skeptical Creation Hymn  
Looking In 

Rebirth and Dissolution

The Mantra “Om”   
Krama Srishti -- Cyclic Cosmology  
Karma --Transmigration and Psychology  
Yugapat Srishti -- Creation All at Once  
Differing Accounts

Nature’s Manifesting Life

Personal Ego and Impartial Objectivity 
Illuminating Consciousness
Knowing and Doing 
Expressive Energy 
Living Kinship
The Self in Everyone

Three Qualities

Natural Activity  
Transcending Ground 
Arjuna’s Fear

Five Levels of Experience

The Traditional Five Elements 
A Comparison with Modern Physics
Reflecting Back to Ground 
World and Personality 

Yogic Discipline

Control of Mind  
Training of Character  
Altered States  
Undying Truth  
Detachment from Personality
Karma Yoga 
Personality and Self  
Establishment in Truth

Part 3 -- Learning and Enquiry

Sound and Seeing

The Sense of Sound   
Vibration and Light   
Shining Out   
Chanting and Enquiry   
Learning from Source

Levels of Expression

The Science of Language  
Differences and Knowledge  
Three Levels  
The Essence of Speech  
Levels and Ground

Language and Tradition

Natural Development  
Gifted by Seers  
Growth from Seed  
Elaboration over Time

Interpretation and Retelling

Freedoms of Choice   
Intensive Use  
Poetic Ambiguity 
Objective Analysis 
Reflective Questioning 
Changing Times

Schools of Thought

Shasana --Traditional Instruction  
Vidyas -- Branches of Learning  
Darshanas -- World Views

Approaching Truth

Sat -- Existence    
Cit -- Consciousness    
Ananda -- Happiness   
An Afterword -- For a Globalizing World  

Tradition and the Living Individual

Individual Centering 
Reconciling Different Views 
Personal and Individual 
Ancient and Medieval Institutions 
Free-Thinking Individualism
Academic Institutes and Living Knowledge

Bibliographic References 
Index
General Index 
Index of Quoted Passages

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