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Dharma, The Categorial Imperative

by: Ashok Vohra , Arvind Sharma , Mrinal Miri

This book presents an in-depth study of the concept of dharma and acknowledges that Indian reality encompasses the elements of religion and dharma. It explores an alternative understanding of Indian civilization, independent of Western presuppositions as well as some contemporary issues relating to women and the dilemmas faced by the Indian diaspora.

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ISBN: 9788124602706
Year Of Publication: 2005
Edition: 1st
Pages : vi, 466
Bibliographic Details : Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23 cm.
Weight: 800 gm.

Overview

Each stable culture and major civilization of the world consists of a distinct material base and a distinct ideational structure and has an inherent mechanism of striking its own equilibrium between the two. In the Indian tradition dharma is the balancing force. Religion and ideology are literally treated as synonymous with the Sanskrit word dharma. But dharma differs from religion in not being exclusive, and from ideology in possessing a transcendental dimension. The papers in this volume acknowledge that neither the word religion nor dharma can be discarded while looking at the Indian reality. They address themselves to the question: To what extent does the continued use of the concept of religion in the Indian context reflect reality, and to what extent does it distort or misrepresent its dhàrmic reality? Given India’s historical and the present existential situation these papers explore the question: “Is an alterative understanding of Indian civilization possible, independent of Western presuppositions?” The articles in the book present an in-depth study of the concept of dharma and its relation to the other purusharthas — artha, kama and moksha, as well as with society, science, religion, Ayurveda and secularism. Relying mainly on the Vedas, epics, Manusmriti and the writings of Plato, Vivekananda, Gandhi et al., these papers explore some contemporary issues relating to women (stri-dharma) and the dilemmas faced by the Indian diaspora, especially in the UK and the US. These discussions have an appeal for a general reader as well as for scholars of Philosophy, Religion, Women’s Studies, Modern India and Sociology.

Contents

Introduction
1. ‘Religion’ or ‘Dharma’ — Meaning and Motivation: Primarily in Indian Context
— R.S. Bhatnagar
2. Philosophy, Religion, and Secularism: The Indian Context
— Srinivasa Rao
3. Dharma — Its Normative Base and Orthopraxeic Frame: Concept of Dharma and its Implications in Dharmashastras
— Godabarisha Mishra
4. Semantics of Dharma
— V. Kutumba Sastry
5. Dharma and Mohsha: Conflict, Continuity, and Identity
— Mahesh M. Mehta
6. Mahatma Gandhi’s Notion of Dharma: An Explication
— Pushraj Jain
7. India, Europe, and Modernity
— Saranindranath Tagore
8. Imperial Identities: The Construction of Britain and India in Children’s Literature
— Kathryn Castle
9. The Goals of Medicine — Setting New Priorities: A Hindu Perspective
— Cromwell Crawford
10. The Spiritual Self and Psychopathology: Theoretical Reflections and Clinical Observations
— Alan Roland
11. Recontextualizing Indian History: A Hermenutic of Samskritikarana
— Shrinivas Tilak
12. Secularism vs. Hindu Nationalism: Interrogating the Terms of the Debate
— Makrand Pranjape
13. Hindu Dharma and Indian Funk
— K. Dad Prithipaul
14. Vedic Mythology: An Archetypal Delineation of the Hindu World-View
— B. Rambilass
15. Modern Philosophical Fragmentation versus Vedanta and Plato
— Bart Gruzalski
16. The Dharmic Journey of Swami Vivekananda: From the Apostle of Hinduism Universalism to Hinduism as the Religion Eternal
— George M. Williams
17. Stri Dharma — Wife’s Duties: A Hindu Textual and Contyextual Analysis among the Educated and Professional Women in Contemporary Indian Society and the Diaspora in UK and USA
— Annapurna Devi Pandey
18. Women in the East and Women in the West
— Ashima Khasnabish
The Contributor
Index

Meet the Author
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Ashok Vohra is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Delhi. He was the Member Secretary of Indian council of Philosophical Research during 1995- 98. He is the author of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mind, (Croom-Helm, London, Sydney); co-author of Radhakrishnan: His Life and Ideas (State University of New York Press, New York) and co-editor of The Philosophy of K. Satchidanada Murty (ICPR, New Delhi). He has translated Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations; On Certainty; and Culture and Value into Hindi. In addition he has published more than seventy articles and research papers in Indian and foreign journals. He has been writing columns on Indian philosophy and religion in leading national dailies.
Books of Ashok Vohra
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Arvind Sharma, formerly of the I.A.S., is Birks Professor of Comparative Religion in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has published extensively in the fields of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion and is currently engaged in promoting the adoption of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World's Religions.
Books of Arvind Sharma
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Mrinal Miri is currently Vicechancellor of Northeastern Hill University. He has taught philosophy in Delhi University and Northeastern Hill University. His philosophical publications include several books and many articles in professional journals both in India and abroad. Prior to his present assignment he was, for six years, Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
Books of Mrinal Miri