Siddhānta

Lalita Lekhana

Elegant writing to mask mundane rubbish.

The art of elegantly writing nonsense is the vāmapanthi’s forte.

There was a time when men of culture and taste wrote words that resounded through the ages; majestic and irreplaceable were their thunderous roars, captured and encoded into alphabets and scripts.

To the critic of societal values this was an effective weapon, to him there were few other means which could have held more sway among the influential and trendsetting class of men. Not only did he merely adopt it, over the years he made it all his own,

This control did not stop with simply churning out acceptable lines of thought or guidelines that shape the road towards entropy, it expanded, into twisting existing streams as well. Such was his proficiency that it did not take long before the finer pursuits of art, music, theatre, etc. became the refuge of those who sought to uproot culture and replace it with bland strains of Universalism.

Today, we open the pages of what are considered great literary magazines, and we find beautiful words strung together to yield the most inane and meaningless of platitudes and analyses. Art which flash brightly but do not inspire thoughts. Theatre which shock the senses and invoke tepid applause. Music? The less said the better.

Fine arts existed for their own sake, to invoke in people feelings that differentiated them from beasts. That is what our ancients called as Rasa. The inner emotions being evoked in response to synthetic stimuli which hinted at our inner impulses, whilst now we have political posturing that have completely enwrapped themselves around such expressions. These expressions, create more problems than they solve, but when they fail they are salvaged by the No True Scotsman card.

They ask us to be ashamed at all turns, they raise the phantoms of privilege when they notice even a hint of a spine. Thus has writing, become a tool to shame and exalt fault-lines. To make it more palatable, we see words of immense beauty, and techniques of tremendous skill being copiously employed. The usage of words having vague origins in place of precise terms. Tremendous and torturous ways of read in between lines, even in those places where there are only white spaces.

It is no surprise that they are awarded and praised, appreciated for metre, rhyme, tempo and texture. The same group praising each other in turns, adding layers of drivel to further obscure their simplistic origins and content.

When shall we see again, the lalitakāvya-s, brihadkathā-s, rasayukta nāṭaka-s, nādamaya saṅgīta? Will they ever be resurrected in our high tongues and vernaculars alike?

Our stories once taught us morals. Now they validate our shortcomings. It is time new itihāsa-s are wrought, before all that remains is debris.

Śāstra Jñāna

An analysis of the critiques of traditionalists, and textual scholars.

Thousands of autumns have come to pass since the time the praṇava was first uttered, and in those many years, many volumes have been written exploring even the most subtle aspects of Ṛta and Dharma. Previously I had written about how our thoughts have been corrupted by indigestible memes.

There, I had made an observation that the unifying busybodies required an overt dependence on textual evidence to justify praxis. This is however not an argument to disregard the textual traditions that we have within our corpus. Why? Textual traditions have been the recordings of ancestral opinion, on how they viewed the propagation of Dharma, also these very same texts have been active in giving systemic support to rituals and celebrations resonating within the Indic traditions.

वेदोऽखिलो धर्ममूलं स्मृतिशीले च तद्विदाम्।
आचारश्चैव साधूनामात्मनस्तुष्टिरेव च ॥६॥ (मनुस्मृति २.६)

vedokhilo dharmamūlaṃ smṛtiśīle ca tadvidām
ācāraścaiva sādhūnāmātmanastuṣṭireva ca (Manusmṛti 2.6)

(The entire Veda is the root-source of Dharma; also the Conscientious Recollection of righteous persons versed in the Veda, the Practice of Good (and learned) Men, and their self-satisfaction.)

वेदः स्मृतिः सदाचारः स्वस्य च प्रियमात्मनः।
एतच्चतुर्विधं प्राहुः साक्षाद् धर्मस्य लक्षणम् ॥१२॥ (मनुस्मृति २.१२)

vedaḥ smṛtiḥ sadācāraḥ svasya ca priyamātmanaḥ
etaccaturvidhaṃ prāhuḥ sākṣād dharmasya lakṣaṇam (Manusmṛti 2.12)

(The Veda, the Smṛti, the Practice of cultured Men, and what is agreeable to oneself—these directly constitute the fourfold means of knowing Dharma.)

Provided that praxis conforms to Vedic injunctions, the practice of noble people, and whatever acts that are conducive to the inner conscience are valid, and cannot be considered unacceptable. I do not labour under the delusion that the unnamed people I am about to critique would accept the words of Manu, however it is merely a reminder that tradition owes a lot to the makers of tradition, the defenders of society. It would be wise to heed their words.

Upon observing certain self-righteous elements masquerading as experiential proponents of Hinduism who shun the apparently mundane texts, they who take upon themselves an undeserved mantle of dispensers of wisdom, I decided to key in my analysis.


The source of their criticism is two-fold

  1. Misplaced sense of superiority
  2. Envy

 

The first can be explained away as mere condescension for people who have been taking large amounts of effort to preserve the very foundations of our system, documenting, pouring through ancient treatises, fitting them into historic context; but how do we explain the fact that these critics themselves in their own way fight for tradition? Logic would lead us to the conclusion that like all arrogance, this too sprouts from ignorance. Ignorance, and a handicapped point-of-view.

In their limited view they see all concepts of Dharma as a negation of Abrahamisms, in their zeal they want to distance themselves from everything that might appear to an unworthy neutral observer as Abrahamic. Haste, blinds them to historic and logical realities, as not only does our path far predate Abrahamism, but also that one cannot remove all similarities as even with misplaced priors, Abrahamics too had systems in place to protect their civilisation. If the only way was to differentiate in all aspects, then the critic has thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

This condescension emerges in various forms such as, “They know the words, but not the essence.”, “These were written by Great Men whose words cannot be faithfully interpreted today.” or the rather childish “Hinduism transcends the written word, and is not bound by mere words.”

The first proclamation is a strawman, the critic can in no way be sure whether textual scholars know the words along with the meaning or not. It is also rather amusing that one who is not acquainted with the words in the first place can pass such a judgement on a person who actually does. A hilarious extension of this argument would be, “They only have a degree in Mathematics, but they don’t know maths.”

The second proclamation is completely inaccurate. If we were to say that we can never know what these words meant, why even bother having them, or considering them sacred? It is unwise to insult our ancestors as people who composed works which can never be comprehended. Again, this too is ignorance, because there has always been a rich commentarial tradition so much so that individual words have been explained exhaustively. Words are nothing if they cannot be comprehended, which is why apart from the Veda-s there were the vedāṅga-s especially the nirūkta. One can remedy this by picking up a book now and then, if only…

The third proclamation is new-age nonsense. The adherence to the Veda-s which forms the bedrock of our Dharma has been emphatically stressed not only by the so called Brahminical elite, but by everyone who fell within the fold of our tradition, be it the Sangam era poems, the songs of the Nāyanār-s and Āḻvār-s, or the bhajana-s of the Sant-s of the Bhakti Sampradāya. Their overpowering love is still reinterpreted as breaking away from the shackles, when in fact they remind us always about adherence to Dharma and the Vaidīka mārga. It is because of this spiritual paucity that we see a rush to godmen who spout incomprehensible gibberish. Our texts are not as esoteric as one imagines, it is our misfortune that in our laziness we label everything as mysterious.


 

The other source is rather a depressing one. Ignorance has a cure, envy is incurable. Existence will yield experiences where we encounter our betters, our lessers, and those who match our abilities. Our focus should be to learn, where we are deficient; to teach, where we are proficient; and to engage with our peers. Pursuit of knowledge cannot be clouded by irrational emotions of jealousy, especially when matters larger than our egos are at stake. This is of course unsolicited advice, and those comfortable squirming within their own dark pits can continue with their entitlements.

A last note to people who think that the defence of Veda-s and other written texts come from a place of superiority, or notions of sacrilege/blasphemy. You are misguided. Vedic scholars have stilled preserved traditions that have critiqued the Veda-s, by no means are you the first or most original in your criticism. Greater minds have ripped apart passages and found great contradictions, and even greater minds have given demolishing arguments to refute them. These criticisms and rebuttals came from a place of scholarship, as in, they actually picked up the Veda-s and read them. It is not for people who cannot differentiate between a mantra and a śubhāṣita.

It is my request that, you keep your sly taunts to yourself, or if controlling your tongue is so difficult, to avoid people of our persuasion. Your contribution to society is acknowledged, but some things are beyond your ken.

Abrahmabhojanāpakti

The symptoms are fully apparent, it is time for cikitsa.

Hinduism has an indigestion problem, and it is time we get about to treating it effectively. 

As one of the last surviving major pagan cultures, Hinduism has much in common with what was a prevalent reality two millennia ago. A complex pantheon, specific deities for natural and supernatural components encountered in the macrocosm, set rituals which involved memorisation of complex patterns, chants and diagrams. This is of course a very simplistic list of a much complex matrix consisting of many aspects, some lost or modified. 

Apart from the original crux which forms the bedrock upon which further ideas can be built (since it is a living tradition with no finality of Prophet, Book, or Word); it also has the perfectly natural tendency of assimilating new ideas it encounters. Casual observers of this tradition have witnessed throughout history the diversity and variations in tradition, iconography, and rituals; based on time, geography, and inter-cultural interactions. There is nothing wrong with it, it is a part of nature and makes evolutionary sense to incorporate ideas that help in propagation and survival. However, there is an inherent flaw which previously under check has now gone out of control. 

I need not reiterate the story of Vātāpi and Ilvala, and their subjugation by Agastya. However the modern Hindu is no Agastya, and the simplistic thought processes the Hindu “Intellectuals” seek to imbibe are far worse than Vātāpi. 

Ingrained in the modern Hindu psyche is the feeling of pride at their open acceptance and tolerance of all faiths. Pride coupled with ignorance leads to irrational conclusions. That Hinduism is an individualistic personal faith that allows one to cherry pick the good (read cool) points from various places into a doctrine is an imbecilic assumption. What is even more foolish is the unjustified authority such delusionals claim in order to thrust this vague ideology on traditional practitioners. 

Even this can be forgiven as a misplaced idealism, however in their zeal to politicise and buttress the religion against the Abrahamic onslaught many ideas have been hastily consumed and now causes pain. 

Let’s enumerate a few (note: this is not a definitive list, but a few major ones that are depressingly common):

  1. Single Doctrine: Staight out of the Monotheistic playbook of ‘One God, One Book’ is the paranoid notion that for unity, all Hindus need to adopt a single doctrine. The most popular contender for this is Advaita Vedānta (my own tradition), since it is not sectarian, can also be suitably sold to the atheistic types (a notion not backed by the actual tradition, however clinical analysis is not their focus), and it is also extraordinarily irreconcilable to the monotheist. The single book is of course the Bhagavad Gīta, which apart from having large breadth and scope, is also a concise book which can be easily mass produced. This suffers on multiple counts because of the fact that Vedānta itself has divergent views and interpretations, and it in turn is just one of the 6 orthodox schools of Hinduism. This notwithstanding, there are also Paurāṇika schools, folk traditions, tribal traditions, and other syncretic faiths which can never reconcile with it, and in one fell swoop a huge chunk of practitioners have been forcefully denied legitimacy despite having a corpus of texts which support them. This measure will weaken more than it can strengthen and it is the reason why a Unified Hindu body is viewed with suspicion by apolitical Hindus. 
  2. Textual Validity: This is the logical succession of a Single Doctrine faith. Whatever is accepted is Hinduism, whatever cannot be fleshed out from a properly commentated Sanskrit aphorism is an automatic aberration. This pain was acutely felt when solidarity was needed for Jallikaṭṭu and prominent voices questioned whether it was mentioned in any Hindu religious texts mentioned such a practice. This is no more than an intellectual bullying of common people to validate their traditions according to the whims of an intellectual class. The rituals and sports of Bhārata have a long history and are recorded in their own proper place, whether it is mentioned in a text (it is, refer Śrīmad Bhāgavata 3.3.4 in this case) or not does not have any relevance. The validity of a practice is inherent in what it promotes; if it promotes Dharma, Vīrya, and Śaurya; nobody has any business questioning it over mere textual quibbles. Aitīhya or traditional instruction is an acceptable source and a sufficient proof. 
  3. Prophetic Statements: No, Bhaviṣyottara Purāṇa is not the reason Hinduism is great, nor are obscure predictions from Nostradamus. The siddha of an enlightened sage is not established by their prediction of you winning a lottery next week. Jyotiṣa is not for everyone, wasting money on frauds is your prerogative, not Hinduism’s requirement. 
  4. Historical Validity: If none of the figures of our epics existed, it wouldn’t matter in the least to a Hindu. This need to establish every facet into a historic chronology has given rise to absurdities like: ancient India had planes, nuclear bombs, and time travel. Far from being a natural religion which realises the harmony between man and his environment, this has made it subject to mockery and ridicule. While there are real historic leaders and thinkers to consider, the concentration has shifted from them to what the ancient commentators referred to as a Sky Lotus. 
  5. Hagiography: The works of ācāryans are of far more importance than their lives. We do not have gospels or Hadiths. Let’s not start a practice which adds minimal value. The context of whatever actions an ācāryan had taken must be read along with their statements and assertions. Many Hindus justify their misplaced actions based on stories and legends. One wonders if they are willing to undergo all of those aspects or only those which are comfortable to them. Also, they were not revolutionaries. They never identified with any upheaval. They state in no uncertain terms that they came to fix Dharma as it was meant to be practiced. Appropriating them to further one’s own agenda betrays their followers, and what they stood for. 
  6. Unity of Practice: Kerala doesn’t celebrate  Dīpāvali, Tamil Nadu doesn’t celebrate Rakṣābandhan, Uttar Pradesh doesn’t celebrate Oṇam. Everyone doesn’t have to have the same rituals and practices as the Hindu “Intellectual.” Hinduism isn’t a monolithic religion, it is about time people recognised and honoured it. 

I’ll leave it to the more discerning reader to analyse what other restricting memes Hinduism is slowly beginning to consume. Bad food leads to bad health, and the solution is to not eat more bad food. 

Here’s a rather well known statement, which everyone knows but seldom apply:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

-Sun Tzu

Let’s stop consuming incompatible views in the name of creating an all encompassing cultural fabric, the logical absurdity of it will come back to bite us. Also let’s take some medicine to resolve this stomach pain. 

Rogalāsya

What to do when faced with an all consuming virus.

The usual crowing of the rooster rouses the tiny hamlet, the denizens awoken from their deep slumber, taking a moment to breathe in and begin their day. As the sun spreads its energising rays, so begins their sacred duties, the purificatory bathing, the offerings into fire, the offerings unto the waters, the decorating with flowers, the rhythmic chantings, the gong of bells and the spreading incense.

Sthitā, after fulfilling her duties, she stood behind her door, a wistful glance towards the dusty road, anxiously waiting. She goes back inside with a sigh. Around noon, she hears footsteps and rushes to the door, a form silhouetted before the bright light, but how could she forget her lord? Nirveda stood there smiling, and in a moment entered before she could do anything.

It did not sit well with her, he had come back after 6 months, and one doesn’t simply waltz in without proper anointments. She let it by as weariness and proceeded to serve him, preparing the choicest delicacies, which he ate frowning slightly now and then. The hurt was palpable and she was immediately jealous. He must have let his appetite gone astray in the foreign lands!

The days passed and she noticed only the changes, he wouldn’t talk with other men, he would take long walks at frequent timed intervals and would always return with a smug smile, he avoided all the sacred duties, and laughed at those who performed them. He had grown unkempt, uncouth, and sometimes cantankerous.

As Sthitā adorned herself for his delight, he would scowl, mutter gibberish and walk away. She was suspicious that a piśāca may have taken hold of him, it chilled her to the bones, his odd behaviour, his alien manners.

Propitiating the temple Deity, she procured for herself a beaten copper sheet inscribed with holy incantations and diagrams. Rolling it up and fixing around it a thread immersed in sacred ash, turmeric, and vermillion, she charged the amulet with her fervent prayers. She proceeded home, and as she entered she was overpowered by the stink of fresh blood. Panicking, she rushed towards the source and found there the most appalling sight, something that made the Earth slip from below her feet and she fell on the floor.

There before her, was the body of her cow, beheaded, lying on a pool of blood! Her husband, stood with a smirk, the head below his feet. She wailed aloud, at all the Gods! Her house defiled, the Gods would now shun her forever.

He laughed at her wails, and as he walked out, he picked up a piece of cloth, threw it on her face, made a satisfied grunt and walked away.

She sat there, throughout the day and into the night. She could not move, she could not call upon anyone, she feared for his life.

After that day, the sacrilege and the profanities became more brazen. She would light the lamp in the evening, only to find it extinguished and the oil spilled all over the floor. One morning the vermillion box lay on the floor, the contents strewn everywhere, the shrine fouled with bones and filth. He would treat her roughly, as if she were his possession and not his partner in life.

It was not a piśāca, it was definitely a Rākṣasa. It was her husband no longer.

Her fears were her own, one that couldn’t be shared so praying to the Goddess, she followed him the next day. He went to a secluded spot within the forest, and there she saw some other men, similarly unkempt. They stood in groups, raised their hands and wailed at the skies. They all moved synchronously, muttering gibberish. It lasted for a while and he turned and embraced them. She followed him back, and the only places he stopped were where he saw children, with whom he spoke. Her fears grew, and she saw visions of a ruined future.

She spent the entire night in the temple, fearing that her face would reveal her knowledge. She sat there facing the Goddess; many armed, and all armed with the tools of war.

She stood up, applied the ashes to her forehead, streaked some vermillion upwards. It was her battle tonight, a battle which her Goddess had fought many times when the Gods had fallen short.

A disease had attacked her husband and he had succumbed, he had fallen to perversion and was proud of it. He now stalks the future, courts with treason. Most of all, he was not the same man she married, he was possessed by a strange madness. The infection would be stopped, and it would be by her hand. What she sought to protect would protect her in turn.

Yogasatya Sthāpana

What is yoga? Is it everyone’s property?

A recent controversy brought to light some shocking amount of ignorance from many twitter commentators. Yes, twitter is not particularly known for having well informed members, and is more a venue for venomous outrage and abuse, however, some orders have to be straightened for clarity.

While I admire people who take time off for practicing yoga in their daily life, I find the clamour of certain secular members; who try to appropriate the Yogic heritage of Hinduism inorder to make it a completely mundane regimen; appalling. 

Yoga is one of the  Ṣaḍ Darṣanas (Six Orthodox Philosophies). The six schools of philosophies are as follows:

  • Sānkhya
  • Nyāya
  • Vaiśeṣika
  • Yoga
  • Pūrva Mīmāṁsa
  • Vedānta

All of the above have one thing in common, even if they have diverse methods; Mokṣa. (Most people think of Mokṣa as Salvation which is incorrect. It is liberation, hence it puts the responsibility on the individual to achieve/realise it.)

All of these schools have their own sūtras or aphorisms which are considered as the foundational texts. Multiple commentators would write bhāṣyas giving copious references from śruti texts for validity. For yoga, the Yogasūtra by Patañjali is the core text.


अथातो योगानुशासनम्॥१॥

 (Athāto yogānuśāsanaṃ)

Therefore we begin the exposition on Yoga

This is the first sūtra of the Yogasūtra and it begins thus. Yoga is derived from the root word or dhātu युज् (yuj). Yuj has a handful of meanings, they have a common underlying theme which we shall see now.

Yuj: to bind, to join, to unite, to meditate, to concentrate.

Yoga is therefore a derivative of the above principle, that is, to unite or to concentrate. However to concentrate on what?

योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः॥२॥

(yogaścittavṛttinirodhaḥ)

Yoga is the hindering of the modifications of the mind

This is to say, that Yoga brings ekāgrata to the mind, where the Mind is at the highest state of concentration. Now, what will be the condition of the Soul when one is in a Yogic state?

तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपेऽवस्थानम्॥३॥

(tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe-vasthānaṃ)

Then there is an abiding of the spectator in its own form

 In this state of Yoga, the Soul is simply the spectator, however without a spectacle, and is in its own form or svarūpa. The next sutra follows this up saying that when not in a state of Yoga the soul goes back into the state of perceiving the modifications of the mind and Prakṛti. However, the sūtra clearly illustrates the goal ie. Kaivalya Pada which is the Yoga conception of Mokṣa.

Yoga then splits into two branches, Kriya Yoga and Aṣṭāṅga Yoga. The latter is the yoga of the eight limbs (parts) which is what is practiced as āsanas and mudras, one of the forms of Yoga today. There is a close similarity between Yoga and Sānkhya, however the renowned Śrī Ādi Śaṃkarācārya comments that Yoga is Sānkhya with Īśvara. The goal is clear Union or attainment of one’s true Self and removal of the Prakṛti aspect. The Spectator remains without the spectacle. We can see that it is a mokṣaśāstra because the purpose is Liberation or cessation of worldly existence.


The other major form in prevalence is Haṭha Yoga, the principle texts are:

  • Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā
  • Śiva Saṃhitā
  • Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā

These texts offer an alternate insight, and are closely related to the Tantric practices of Hinduism. These texts were far more prevalent before the 20th century and were widely practiced by worshipful devotees and sādhus. Let us see what they say:

अथ भक्तानुरक्तोऽहं वक्ति योगानुशासनं।

ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानामात्ममुक्तिप्रदायकः॥२॥

त्यक्त्वा विवादशीलानां मतं दुर्ज्ञानहेतुकम्।

आत्मज्ञानाय भूतानामनन्यगतिचेतसाम्॥३॥ (शिव संहिता)

(atha bhaktānurakto-haṃ vakti yogānuśāsanaṃ

īśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānāmātmamuktipradāyakaḥ

tyaktvā vivādaśīlānāṃ mataṃ durjñānahetukaṃ

ātmajñānāya bhūtānāmananyagaticetasāṃ (Śiva Saṃhitā))

I, the Īśvara, the lover of my devotees and Giver of Liberation to all creatures, thus declare the Exposition of Yoga. In it are discarded all those doctrines of disputants, which lead to false knowledge. It is for the dawn of ātmajñāna for those whose minds are undistracted and fully turned towards Me.

Lord Śiva Himself in the beginning few verses of the saṃhitā declares the knowledge of Yoga is to attain Spiritual Knowledge that will in turn liberate the Soul. Another example is found here:

श्रीचण्डकापालिरुवाच:

घटस्थयोगं योगेश तत्वज्ञानस्य कारणं।

इदानीं श्रोतुमिच्छामि योगेश्वर वद प्रभो॥२॥ (घेरण्ड संहिता)

(Śrī caṇḍakapāliruvāca:

ghaṭasthayogaṃ yogeśa tatvajñānasya kāraṇaṃ

idānīṃ śrotumicchāmi yogeśvara vada prabho (Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā))

O Master of Yoga! O best of Yogins! O Lord! I wish now to learn the Ghaṭastha Yoga, which leads to the knowledge of Truth.

The Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā is a conversation between the master yogin Gheraṇḍa and Caṇḍakapāli. This too provides various descriptions of āsanas for the practitioner, however the opening verses are pretty clear as to the objectives of this practice.


These are the principle verses, and more exposition is possible but it would elongate the article and is beyond the scope of the post. Suffice it to say that the propounders of the Yogic school were very emphatic in their view of Yoga as the sole path towards Liberation. That such practices lead to a healthier body and a clear mind is intentional and for the purpose of Mokṣa.

However we notice that there is an increasing secularisation of Yoga, stripping the mudra and asana off their Divinity, replacing carefully placed mantra with gibberish to suit modern fads. To ridicule various poses like a contortionist, mixing it with pilates, constructing awkward poses which end up damaging the spine or pulling some muscle. If this weren’t enough, there is an appropriation of this holy practice of Hindus as some Universal panacea belonging to all of mankind! This is unacceptable!

Hindus do not deny anyone the right to use Yoga, it is the stripping off of its Hinduness which causes outrage. Hindus have been the custodians of Yoga for more than a millennium, we believe that it was given to us by our Gods to enhance our spirituality. We are happy to share the wisdom, but it is our wisdom in the end.

There have been inane lines of pseudo-logic used to make false equivalencies; one such, “If Yoga is Hindu, then surely gravity is Christian, Relativity is Jewish?”

To this, apart from the customary derisive snort, I reply, “If you believe that gravity leads to Liberation, if you can establish that the General Theory of Relativity enables us to realise the Self, then surely you may claim them to be the Yoga equivalent of their respective religions.”

To equate a scientific principle with a mokṣaśāstra is an absurdity. The purpose of the quantities compared are wholly different, however with ignorance, Yoga has become a mere medical science, that is your ignorance, please keep it to yourself. If you try to thrust your ignorance on people who are well aware of the context and purpose of Yoga, then prepare to be brutally rebutted and ridiculed.

Sūrya Namaskāra by its very name is a Salutation to the Sun God. It would be better for people to know what they indulge in before they go ahead, and to avoid it if their traditions disallow it, there are other means for you to achieve your fitness. Also it would be better for Hindus to start claiming their intellectual and spiritual property as their’s and prevent its digestion by other monolithic entities.

Īśvarasthāpana Stavaka I.i

Exploring ancient theistic arguments from the Nyāyakusumāñjali

It is common knowledge that atheism isn’t a recent phenomenon. Centuries and millennia prior to our own births, men have questioned the necessity to include a supernatural as the basis of explaining their lives. Of course the root of this feeling is not as rational every time, and is more often a sense of hubris and a reluctance to have someone who has more control and agency over the course of our lives.

The attachment of the mind to the ego complex leads some to accept any stream of logic that would disprove the existence of a Deity. This is not to deny the existence of a genuine atheistic strain of thought, I am merely pointing out the hypocrisy of certain elements who have not expended significant effort into answering this fundamental question and settled for the same faith based answers in a manner similar to what they accuse their theistic counterparts.

This problem was what plagued the ancient proponents of the Indian philosophical school Nyāya. In the beginning they were for want of a better word; Agnostic. This is to not to say that they doubted the existence of Īśvara (henceforth referred as God), just that for their inquiry and exposition they did not need a Deity. This continued till they encountered the Lokāyata and Bauddha Dharma which had moved from scepticism to atheism. The history of the debates between Orthodox (Āstika) schools and Heterodox (Nāstika) is beyond the scope of this article. However, all this came to a conclusion at least with this basic point after Udayanācārya’s work Nyāyakusumāñjali (A Handful of Flowers of Logic)Each of the chapters would require detailed exploration, so I will make a series of it. So I begin with a part of the first stavaka which deals with five theoretical objections that are raised while dealing with existence of God.

They are as follows:

  1. There does not exist a supernatural means to achieve the otherworld.
  2. The performance of sacrifices for attaining the otherworld is possible without the existence of God.
  3. There are proofs which show that God does not exist.
  4. If God existed, He cannot be the cause of True Knowledge.
  5. There are no proofs which prove God’s existence.

I will discuss the first one within this piece.


अलौकिकस्य परलोकसाधनस्याभावात्

alaukikasya paralokasādhanasyābhāvāt

(An absence of a supernatural means to the Otherworld)

This is countered thus:

सापेक्षत्वादनादित्वाद्वैचित्र्याद्विश्ववृत्तितः

प्रत्यात्मनियमाद्भुक्तेरस्ति हेतुरलौकिकः॥४॥

sāpekṣatvād anāditvād vicitryād viśva vṛttitaḥ

pratyātma niyamād bhukterasti heturalaukikaḥ

(From dependence from eternity, from diversity, from universal practice, and from the apportionment to each individual ātman, mundane enjoyment implies a supernatural cause)

The first proposition kept in favour of the supernatural cause is dependence. How? Dependence on the basis of ephemerality of effects, i.e. the effects exist only for a short span of time and are not always present in the 3 frames of time; Past, Present, and Future. Since these effects are temporary, they must have a cause. An example can be given thus, we eat food when we are hungry, the satisfaction of hunger upon consumption is the effect. We know that this satisfaction is not everlasting, once the food is digested and expelled from the body, we feel hungry again. This satiation does not result without a cause, it requires one to eat for it to occur. This dependency establishes that effects have a cause, if not so the effect would occur at all times and anywhere.

This analogy is countered by the opponent; they say that, if you say that the cause is eternal (God as the cause always exists) then the effect should also be eternal. Like a pot and clay, if the clay always exists then its effect the pot must exist forever as well. However, we know that a pot doesn’t exist forever, so by applying the logic in reverse, the cause must also be temporary. If that cause is temporary, then it too must be an effect (by your logic) and it too should have a cause. If that is so, then that cause too is temporary because it gave rise to a temporary effect. If we go on like this, we can never land at a cause that is eternal, and we’ll end up in an infinite regress!

To counter this objection, the next hetu is given; from eternity. Udayana takes the example of a seed and shoot. We know that shoots spring from seeds, however, the seed itself comes from a shoot which grew up to become a plant. So how can we explain the cause here when seed comes from shoot which comes from seed and so on. If you say that infinite regress occurs and hence disproves a primal cause, then by that logic the phenomenon of the seed-shoot-seed must not exist, however we see that it is not so. So we cannot accept your accusation of regressum in infinitum as a fault.

To this the response comes that we can accept your reasoning in this matter, however this does not prove your point. This does not mean that a God has to exist, we can even accept like the Vedāntin that “Brahman alone is the Cause” or like Sānkhya states, “Prakṛti is the Cause.”

To this, he says; from diversity. The non-dual Brahman or the indivisible Prakṛti cannot yield the multiple effects we see in this world (this is of course countered by Advaitins, but we are solely Naiyāyika-s as of the moment). Diverse effects can only be caused by a diversity of causes, and the cause itself is adṛṣṭa (unseen).

The opponent says, why should the Cause be unseen? Why cannot it be a known or seen Cause like yajña-s etc. which have known effects? Different yajña-s like Jyotiṣṭoma and Agniṣṭoma cause different effects do they not? Why can’t we acknowledge them as the Cause?

To this; from universal practice. All those who wish for Otherworldly effects perform the yajña-s. This however comes from the prerequisite of having conviction in the capacity of the yajña to grant the desired fruit. The yajña itself is just a temporary action, it ends after having being performed. How can we then assign to it the power of granting Heaven/fruits which comes much later, that too after it has ended? This means that after the yajña is performed it leaves after it an adṛṣṭa or link. This ensures that the influence remains even after the rites are over in the form of merit/demerit etc. This is known as āśaya, that which remains till the fruit is attained. This is imperceptible and hence can only be adṛṣṭa.

The opponent says, why should we attribute this enjoyment to the enjoyer (ātman), we can apply it to the thing that is being enjoyed. This adṛṣṭa must necessarily reside in the object being enjoyed and not the enjoyer or soul, which we anyway do not accept as existing. So this adṛṣṭa is not established because we assign its effect to the object which causes enjoyment.

To this; from the apportionment to each individual ātman. The object that produces enjoyment does not do so for every ātman. The same thing that causes joy for you may cause sorrow for another person. If the cause of enjoyment were to reside in the object, then it must cause a universal reaction from everyone. However, in reality we observe that there is a variety of reactions to the same object. This means that the cause of enjoyment or Bhoga must reside within an individual and not in the object, as it is the individual who reacts differently. If you say that adṛṣṭa resides in the multitudes of objects that then causes enjoyment in different ātmā-s, then it will suffer from an ativyāpti or unwarranted stretch. How? The adṛṣṭa present in Somadatta after his yajña would could then cause enjoyment to Devadatta, which is a ridiculous assumption. This adṛṣṭa must therefore reside in that place where the enjoyment is caused, i.e. the Ātman. The Naiyāyika-s now having established the existence of the adṛṣṭa in the ātman explain further: This unseen or “desert” is inanimate, and it cannot cause the fruit all by itself. This supposes the necessary condition of a Controller. The Controller sets the frame upon which the adṛṣṭa functions, like a the output of a written algorithm. This Controller we declare to be God.

I have tried to simplify the initial argument of Udayana, and how he set about to establish the existence of God. More analysis on the next stage of arguments will be done subsequently.

 

Vāda

Enumerating daily headaches.

(Disclaimer: Contains words that may be deemed offensive, I am not responsible for your gasps, if you’re a snowflake or virtue signalling SJW please move on!)

Traffic towards this site will mostly be directed from twitter where I have some presence, it is a relatively new handle, but by no means am I alien to twitter, only that some of my more heartfelt views have become “controversial” and seem to offend snowflakes who have the audacious weakness of getting hurt by words.

I had traversed the twitterscape with the hope of sharing concise views and engaging those with diverse views, however to my initial disappointment and later amusement, much of the landscape is dominated by Liberal SJW with alarmingly poor knowledge and a surprisingly high sense of superiority. The variety and shades of liberals with whom I have had to contend would have been hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.

While I have been generous in giving the above as the title, the ideal nature of any “debate” on twitter if it ever occurred would be a vitaṇḍa, where the opponent simply does not establish any siddhānta/premise or state anything coherent. I am by no means being condescending, in my limited experience of reading Leftist work, interacting with their proponents, or observing their more prominent members pontificate, I have only noticed emotion as the rallying point of their argument, “How can you be so mean?”, “You’re a bigot”, “I have so-so friends who aren’t like that”, “I haven’t read that, but I’m pretty sure it is going to be this way”, “Blocking, bye!”

The finest of the Conservatives seem to move along those lines as well, as one guy so eloquently put, “The centre has shifted so far Left that even the Right Wing are more Left than before.” Now for a slight detour.


To ensure full disclosure, I was a Hindu-Liberal who believed that Hinduism allows one to do anything and everything. This attitude I slowly realised will open up Dharma to attacks, predominantly where it is shown to have a flimsy and weak foundation. In essence, if you can do anything and be a Hindu, why be a Hindu at all? Just 6 months before I would have been appalled to consider myself a right winger (not that I am not now), however, in short months I have long since leapfrogged this and have decided to be a Hindu Traditionalist.

Traditionalism affords me the freedom which I did not have as a liberal. I find my freedom when I perform my duty, it is rather like a living epiphany and I would recommend everyone to try it (More on this later). Now that that is out of the way.


Let us embark on the classification:

  • Femimorons: I do not mean women who fight genuine misogyny, abusive husbands, workplace harassment and other relevant female problems; I mean the ones who whine and whine about men, who “joke” about killing all men, who are the epitome of hypocrisy, the weirdo objectifiers who accuse men of doing the same things they themselves do to other women, self righteous hags the lot of them! They have this weird notion that abortion sets them free! One moron was happily tweeting about aborting 6 foetuses! Haven’t you heard of contraception? This group has skewed notions of the world and an immense hatred towards the average male. However they seem to cheer all manner of gender confusions, family breakdowns, and social order collapse. They’re not interested in reform, rather outright destruction of existing structures. The replacement models they provide are so outrageously moronic that I often wonder if they shared a brain.
  • Male Femimorons: This is a peculiar self-hate group which subscribes to the above species’ worldview but is uniquely comprised of SJW men. I have my doubts regarding their motives, which primarily seems to involve some pant scoring. However, their effete whines boils my blood more than the women. Men aren’t supposed to be such grovelling ninnies. Of course, showing emotion is fine, but if you enter an adult conversation and throw tantrums, you get treated as a toddler. Period. Especially fighting others’ battles, calling for the destruction of your own species, inflicting physical and emotional damage on yourself are signs that you have an unhealthy life, which however does not give you the right to ruin other people’s lives!
  • Transcendent Imbeciles: This is that species which seems to think that its words are beyond criticism, often employing vague words which can be defended both ways depending on who’s arguing. Two guys arguing with this species with different points of view would reduce it into a weeping mess. Such creeps add absolutely no value in a conversation. They’re usually found sharing other TI’s work and feeling smug about it.
  • The Pedant: This creature has only one arsenal up its sleeve, Language. When confronted with an uncomfortable point, this cretin would make fun of your grammar, spelling, anything at all. It’s finishing move is, “Go learn English before talking to me!” This bug is best dealt with a reply in a different language which it does not know, ridiculing its peabrain and pompous ego.
  • Academic: The Alpha of the pack, a professor in some obscure branch of pseudo-study, like Gender Studies, Psycho-anthropology, toiletries, etc. It produces peer reviewed papers on tax payer money, usually on topics such as this, or this. These links are based just off the first few tweets of this handle. Imagine what other nonsense is being churned out. Imagine these pollutants infecting your kids!

Engaging any one of them ensures a day of migraine afterwards, because they bombard your brain with stupidity which is irreconcilable to the sane mind. How people can cook up such nonsense is beyond me, and I do not want to descend into the quagmire and psychoanalyse them. All of them have victim cards within their reach and don’t hesitate to label you for disagreeing with them. They’re very liberal like that.

Our ancestors would laugh at the quality of opponents we’ve chosen for ourselves, precisely why they left instructions on not to get down to the level of a fool as he’d defeat us with experience.

What remains is to engage with those minds, who have genuinely bright ideas but terrific misconceptions, people who can be taught, people who can teach us. The rest of the babble will be replaced in a few generations anyway.

(pic courtesy of Bharata)