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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 wri below

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


Part 1 -- Learning from the Past

1. History and Learning among Hindus

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

2. Society and Caste

Social Classes -- Jati and Varna 

3. 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 

4. Four Aims

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

Part 2 -- Authority and Power

5. Creation in the Vedas

Subjective and Impersonal 
A Skeptical Creation Hymn 
Looking In

6. Rebirth and Dissolution

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

7. 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 

8. Five Levels of Experience

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

9. Yogic Discipline

Control of Mind 
Training of Character 
Altered States 
Undying Truth 

10. Detachment from Personality

Karma Yoga
Personality and Self 
Establishment in Truth 

Part 3 -- Learning and Enquiry

11. Sound and Seeing

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

12. Levels of Expression

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

13. Language and Tradition

Natural Development 
Gifted by Seers 
Growth from Seed 
Elaboration over Time 

14. Interpretation and Retelling

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

15. Schools of Thought

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

16. Approaching Truth

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

17. 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
General Index
Index of Quoted Passages

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