Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

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Overview Religion

The Meaning of Yajña

In practically all Vedic texts a concept called yajña is employed, which is loosely translated as a “sacrifice” and the performance of the yajña is said to be the means to advance spiritually. For most people, yajña is understood as a fire lit in a pot into which food grains are offered with a mantra. …

Psychology Religion

The Freudian vs. the Vedic Unconscious

The initial thesis of Freudian psychoanalysis and that of Vedic philosophy are similar—namely, that our surface behaviors are the result of a deeper “unconscious” reality. The person in both cases is described hierarchically—e.g. as an iceberg, with only the tip visible, while most of its reality is invisible. Nevertheless, there are numerous differences in the process of …

Education

Vedic Knowledge and Modern Education

Vedic knowledge was previously imparted in a systematic manner, covering the nature of spirit and transcendence, social duties and moral responsibilities, as well as vocational education based upon a person’s role in society. For example, Mahabharata describes how the Pāndava and the Kaurava were sent for education to Dronacharya where they were taught spiritual topics, …

Religion Sociology

Men Are From Sun, Women Are From Moon

“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” says that bestseller book from John Gray. This book has become a classic, although it stereotypes both men and women, disregarding the fact that each person has both masculine and feminine tendencies in them to varying degrees. We can clearly speak about the masculine and feminine as …

Religion Sociology

The Philosophy of Masculine and Feminine

As we have seen earlier, a soul has three tendencies called sat (consciousness), chit (meaning), and ananda (pleasure), such that the essence of choice is that between meaning and pleasure. We have also discussed previously, how the original sat-chit-ananda Absolute Truth creates five forms—Kṛṣṇa, Rāma, Hara, Ramā, and Jīvā, which are called the pañca-tattva or …

Cosmology

The Universe in a Lotus Stem

One of the most enduring images in the Vedic scriptures is that of Lord Brahma sitting on a lotus the stem of which goes down to the navel of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is also praised as Hiranyagarbha. The fourteen planetary systems in Vedic cosmology are described to reside inside the “stem” of this lotus, which …

Philosophy Physics

Sāńkhya and Modern Atomism

Sāńkhya has a theory of atomism, which is quite different than the theory of modern atomism. The modern description of atoms is based on the distinction between matter and force whereas the Sāńkhya description is based on the distinction between words and meanings. Clearly, we cannot expect the two descriptions to be similar, and making …

Economics Management

The Balanced Organization

Vedic philosophy describes the body as a universe and the universe as a body. Since the world is intended for living beings, there is no fundamental divide between “physical sciences”, “life sciences”, and “social sciences”. Thus, the cosmic structure, the social structure, the biological structure, and the psychological structure are parts of a single continuum. …