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Ways to Truth

A View of Hindu Tradition by: Ananda Wood

How can we understand the Hindu tradition as alive today? That is the question which this book investigates. It asks for a broader understanding of history, rightful accounting of the Vedas and of other oral learnings. The goal of truth is sought by approaching different personalities and institutions of culture.

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Year Of Publication: 2008
Edition: 1st
Pages : x, 269
Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Indexes
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23
Weight: 550

Overview

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.

Contents

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
Vaishyas
Shudras
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

Meet the Author
avatar-author
1947
Ananda Wood, as his name suggests, is one of those people with a rather mixed background. He was born and brought up in India, studied mathematics at King’s College, Cambridge, and went on to a Doctorate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. After completing his university education, he returned to India, where he has now settled down to concentrate on a long-standing interest, in the modern interpretation of Advaita philosophy. He is currently a moderator on the Advaitin e-group at yahoo.com. And most of his books and articles may be accessed at: http://www.advaitin.net/Ananda/
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