Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

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Philosophy

Seeing the West Through a Vedic Lens

For the last several centuries, the Western academic discourse on Vedic civilization has been applying Western categories to the Vedic culture, but the Vedic culture hasn’t applied its categories to the West. If we don’t apply our categories to others, we are molded by their categories. If we don’t respond to how others see us, …

Religion

Why a Person Falls from a Spiritual Path

Every now and then there are stories about a spiritual leader “falling down”. These are not limited to one religion or religious organization. They are known to occur across all religions and organizations. The reasons are simple—The spiritual journey is long, every successive stage leads to more hardship, and one must be enthusiastic, patient, and …

Philosophy

Four Defects of Human Knowledge

Śrila Prabhupāda often talked about the four defects of souls “conditioned” by the material energy—(a) imperfect senses, (b) illusions, (c) committing mistakes, and (d) cheating propensity. He then explained that humans are incapable of acquiring perfect knowledge due to these four defects. Finally, he stated that the Vedic texts are produced by persons free of …

Religion

Judging Religions and Religious People

There are many misconceptions about what constitutes a religion and a religious person and how we should evaluate them. In this post, I will discuss two such criteria—(a) the method of judging three symptoms of love of God—morality, knowledge, and bliss, and (b) the method of two negations due to which a person or religion …

Religion

Quality vs. Quantity in Spiritual Life

Everything in Vedic philosophy is based on qualities. Since the advent of modern science, everything in modern thinking is based on quantity. The focus on qualities needs the distinction between better and worse. The focus on quantities needs the distinction between more and less. Under the influence of quantity thinking, people stop thinking about quality …