Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

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Law Politics Sociology

Competition and Cooperation

The debate between individualism and collectivism lies at the heart of all modern political debates, but it is obvious that we could not live without both. If everyone acted individualistically, society—which hinges on cooperation—could not exist; there could be no common agreement on social laws that aim for the greater collective good over (sometimes) individual …

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 …

Religion Sociology

What is Daivī Varna System?

The previous post identified two impersonalist tendencies—i.e. “we are one” and “we are equal”—and discussed their respective impacts on Indian and Western societies. The post also discussed how a personalist system based on hierarchical thinking (rather than equality or oneness) is necessary for social organization. This post carries forward that topic and identifies two kinds …

Religion Sociology

Personalist and Impersonalist Societies

There is one fundamental cultural difference between the West and India—the West is a flat, egalitarian society, while India is still, to an extent, a hierarchical society. In the stereotyped view of the West, children do not respect parents, students do not respect teachers, and citizens do not respect politicians. In the stereotyped view of …