Hinduism - Who Was Ramanuja?

    Who Was Ramanuja?

    Ramanuja was a Southern Indian philosopher and the most important figure in the Shrivaishnava religious community in the 11th century.

    He was the greatest exponent of the philosophical position known as Vishishthadvaita ("qualified non-dualism") Vedanta, the core tenet of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy and the most important figure in the Shrivaishnava religious community.

    Ramanuja spent the most of his life at the temple town of Shrirangam in Tamil Nadu, where he served the temple's resident god, Ranganatha, a form of Vishnu.

    Ramanuja believed that Brahman, or Supreme Reality, was a personal god rather than an impersonal abstract concept, and that the most significant kind of religious activity one could perform was devotion (bhakti).

    His philosophical viewpoint, Vishishthadvaita Vedanta, emphasized both of these principles.

    God, according to Ramanuja, is entirely transcendent and without flaws in his basic essence.

    A notion taken from the Samkhya philosophical tradition is that the universe evolves from God via a process of evolution.

    The universe is therefore like God in that it comes from him, but it is also unlike him in that matter is unaware and insentient.

    Human beings, too, are comparable to God in nature since they have him as their source, yet they are susceptible to ignorance and suffering, unlike God.

    God, according to Ramanuja and his followers, is not the same as human beings or the earth, all of which are said to exist in their own right.

    Due to the differences in capability between God and humans, dedication is the most efficient way to achieve eventual soul liberation (moksha), which is defined as everlasting fellowship with God.

    What Is The Philosophy Of Ramanuja?

    A Brahmin initiate into the theistic and devotional South Indian Sri Vaisnava tradition, Ramanuja lived from from 1075 to 1140 AD. 

    Members of that tradition hold him in high regard as the theologian and scriptural interpreter who, in the tradition of Nathamuni (c. 900-950) and Yamuna (c. 966–1038), provided a strong and thorough theological and philosophical defense and articulation of their beliefs and practices in the system that would later become known as Visistsadvaita Vedanta. 

    What Is The Advaita Vedanta Tradition?

    The Advaita Vedanta tradition of scriptural exegesis, which maintains that the significance of those texts is the identity of the soul (atman) and the ground of being (Brahman), and that all experience of difference is the ultimately unreal result of ignorance or misunderstanding, was challenged in this (avidya). 

    Nothing in Vedanta, whether theistic or not, could ever be the same again as a result of his achievement in this area. 

    What Are The Beliefs Of The Vaisnava Sect?

    The Sri Vaisnava sect gets its identity from the fusion of traditional Vedantic components with sectarian Tantric (non-Vedic) Pancaratra temple ritual and theology, emotional devotionalism (bhakti) toward a personal god with characteristics (saguna), and Tamil Alvar poets. 

    The Pancaratra texts serve as a framework for the sect's liturgical activity (agama). 

    In the temple image, there is a focus on the immanent presence of the divine in creation (arcavatara). 

    Was The Alvar Worship Open To All Of Society?

    The Alvars' devotionalism is open to all social groups. Everyone is welcome to a relationship with God, regardless of caste or gender. 

    The songs portray a deep yearning for God, the "agony of separation" from him, and the joy of reestablished contact. 

    Vedanta, also known as the science of Brahman or the absolute reality, is the systematic exegesis and elucidation of those sections (the jnana-kanda) of the purportedly timeless and infallible Vedic sacred texts known as Upanisads that address in various ways such metaphysical issues as the nature of the absolute principle and summum bonum underlying the cosmos, the nature and destiny of the essential self (atman). 

    Its foundational text is the Brahmasutra, attributed to Badarayana in the second century A.D., which summarizes the major Upanisadic themes in a way that is easily remembered but inevitably highly ambiguous (given the aphoristic nature of the sutra genre), much like the Mimamsa sutras, attributed to Jaimini in the 100s A.D., which summarizes those sections of the Vedas (the karma- Vedanta is also known as Uttara Mimamsa (Later Exegesis). 

    Insofar as the road of ritual activity came to be viewed as antecedent and propaedeutic to the path of knowledge, the ritualist received the title Purva Mimamsa (Previous Enquiry). 

    Did Ramanuja Help Transform Non-Vedic Traditions To Vedic Traditions?

    Ramanuja is a key player in the non-Vedic tradition's transformation into a Vedic tradition. 

    The Upanishads, the Brahmasutras, and the Bhagavad Gita serve as the fundamental sources for the ancient Vedantic tradition, which he attempted to harmonize with the principles of his bhakti religion. 

    The most important of the criteria for Hindu Brahminical orthodoxy (smarta), which also include the acceptance of the Vedically derived social and religious obligations unique to hereditary caste members (varnashrama dharma) and the eternity of an essential principle in man (atman), is the Veda's authority. 

    What Is Vedanticization?

    Vedanticization is the process of articulating sectarian traditions' theory and practice in terms of a broadly accepted philosophy and code of conduct that has been upheld by the main Vedantic tradition. 

    Ramanuja argued for the Vedantic validity of his bhakti religion by writing commentary on the Brahmasutras and the Gita. 

    His theistic and dualistic readings of the Upanisads gave popular devotional religion a classical foundation. 

    Yamuna had created the groundwork for such an endeavor by using Tamil religious literature. 

    He aimed to show in his Siddhitraya that the fundamental self (atman) possesses a personal existence. 

    He promoted the idea of effects being the realm of material things. 

    He maintained that God is the right object of one's devotion since He has attributes of a personal kind. 

    In his Gitarthasamgraha, he argued that the Gita's fundamental goal is to instill bhakti as the only way to achieve liberation, which entails an intimate, loving connection with God in which the individual self is preserved. 

    Since the Upanisads are considered to be completely infallible with respect to the transcendent, synthesizing beliefs with the Vedantic worldview gives them the sanction of antiquity and ensures their reality. 

    The Vedantic language suggests that teachings have an unwavering, everlasting validity. 

    Vedanticization, or the notion that one's tradition has a foundation that is eternally and inherently legitimate, gives one a stronger base on which to develop their religious life. 

    How Was Ramanuja's Philosophy Pan-Indian?

    A theological system may have pan-Indian currency among the educated thanks to the usage of Sanskrit

    Nathamuni and Yamuna started the process, which Ramanuja reinforced. 

    We see a constant endeavor on their part to further the Sanskritization of the bhakti religion. 

    The worshipper's adoring contemplation of God in his heaven is equivalent to moksha (release from the cycle of births), and the acts of worship and veneration are on par with the rites outlined by scripture and tradition. 

    This is how the God of the bakhta is equated with the supreme principle of the Upanishads. 

    It has been claimed persuasively that Yamuna was a self-aware representative of a Pancaratrika Vedanta, who asserted that the sectarian Vaisnava Pancaratra writings are equivalent in authority to the Vedic texts. 

    Using literature that had never before been included in Vedanta or Uttara-Mimamsa, such as the Pancaratra Agamas, which was viewed as a "easily understood" divine revelation, he created a theistic Vedanta. 

    Ramanuja can't be stated to be the same. He is so preoccupied with proving Sri Vaisnavism's Vedantic validity that Pancaratra is left in the background. 

    Only while justifying the compatibility of that tradition with Vedic culture does he make reference to Pancaratra scriptures (SBh.2.2.40–43). 

    He makes no mention of the openly sectarian Vaisnava Bhagavata Purana for the same reason. 

    Ramanuja And The Tamil Veda.

    The Divya Prabandha, sometimes referred to as the Tamil version of the Veda, was compiled by Nathamuni from the passionate songs of the Alvars and utilized in temple worship. 

    Ramanuja doesn't mention the "Tamil Veda" at all. He views bhakti as an intellectual and philosophical phenomena rather than an emotional one. 

    In his conservative view, dedication must be placed within the framework of social and religious commitments. 

    However, there are clear parallels between his realistic and pluralistic metaphysics and the bhakti religion. 

    In the end, monistic Advaita-Vedanta is opposed to bhakti. 

    Ramanuja had to demonstrate that revealed scripture (shruti) and authoritative tradition (smruti), not the Advaitins' religion, was what was taught. 

    In order to do this, he critiqued the intellectual underpinnings of monism and offered theistic and dualistic readings of Upanisadic scriptures. 

    What Is Ramnuja's Visistsadvaita or Vedanta?

    The philosophy he developed, known as Visistsadvaita or Vedanta, is based on the premise that all conscious souls and material beings are one with and in God, who they are inextricably reliant upon since they make up the divine body. 

    Vedanta is the aphoristic summary of the Upanisads' significance found in the Brahmasutras and the systematic hermeneutic of the Upanisads. 

    The Vedantic theologian views himself as a scriptural exegete who draws theological conclusions from a body of scripture that is intrinsically valid (svatah pramanya), independent of God (although, according to Ramanuja, promulgated by the deity at the beginning of a cycle of cosmic emanation), and our only source of knowledge regarding the nature of whom it is (pramana). 

    The Vedic language is ageless, and its meaning is not dependent on any given situation, although it is acknowledged that it is difficult to grasp and requires interpretive clarification. 

    What Is The Significance Of Sampradaya In Vedanta?

    According to Vedanta, a prerequisite for a correct reading of the scriptures is adhering to an established religious tradition (sampradaya). 

    Tradition shouldn't breed damaging bias but rather awareness. Originality in theology is a flaw. 

    The theologian's endeavor, which entails the methodical explication of accepted concepts, is one of preservation. 

    The inherent (autpattika) and unchangeable (nitya) relationship between a Vedic term and the referent in which it participates metaphysically is the source of the infallible authority of text. 

    It was assumed that Sanskrit words were not only symbols for their objects, but also integral parts of them. 

    Neither supernatural intervention nor human convention have been able to mend the link. 

    The Vedas Are Considered A Revelation.

    Vedic speech is "non-personal" (apauruseya). 

    There is neither a divine nor a human author of the Vedas. 

    They are not a divine self-revelation, even yet they are the sole source of information about God. 

    The Purva-Mimamsaka theorists, whose primary religious concern was the clarification of those sections (the karma-kanda) of the intrinsically valid but frequently cryptic and ambiguous Vedic texts that are the only source of knowledge about those ritual performances which are an essential component of the cosmic order (dharma), developed these theories regarding the authority of the Vedas. 

    The Vedas Are Regarded As Infallible.

    The Vedas are regarded as being infallible in theory since all cognitions are taken for granted as true just by virtue of their occurrence and remain true unless refuted. 

    The Mimamsakas were atheists who believed that the universe's stability and human well-being in this world and the next (both covered by dharma) resulted from the disinterested conduct of Vedic rituals, whose proper execution would inevitably have beneficial effects. 

    While certain rituals (kamya) might be conducted with a particular goal in mind, the most important ones were to be carried out in a spirit of obligation for the sake of duty, independent of any particular benefits. 

    Those "twice-born" men (i.e., members of the higher three castes who have undergone the upanayana ceremony of initiation entitling them to participate in Vedic ritual) with the necessary qualification for legitimate access to the rituals (adhikara), according to the Prabhakara school of Mimamsa, are moved to action in the manner of categorical imperatives by the prescriptions enjoining them (vidhi or niyog Indicative, descriptive, or fact-asserting scriptural statements are to be construed as praising the sacrifice or explaining the mode of its performance, according to the Prabhakaras, who also held that only those scriptural statements that are injunctions bearing upon the essential rituals (karya — "things to be done") are an authoritative source of new knowledge (pramana). 

    Siddha And Sadhya.

    They are not authority for things that are already established (siddha) and do not need creation (sadhya), since they are the purview of knowledge-producing mechanisms like perception and inference. 

    As a result, the language of the scriptures cannot be considered authoritative in regards to Brahman. 

    They provide evidence for this by saying that all language has meaning when it is connected to an action. 

    They support a semantic theory known as "associated designation" (anvitabhidhana), which carries the weight that a word only has meaning when it is used in a sentence. 

    The Prabhakaras adopted an anti-realist stance, exemplified by their epistemically constrained definition of reality (satta), which they defined as anything that exists and is amenable to connection with valid cognition (pramana sambandha yogyata). 

    This definition is consistent with their view that reality is something that must be brought about in accordance with the dictates of Vedic injunction. 

    Insofar as it depends on following set rituals, the universe is truly of our creation. 

    A Theory Of Truth.

    A pragmatic theory of truth, which holds that knowledge is useful for directing action whereas mistake is worthless in that regard, complements this point of view. 

    In response, Ramanuja argues that effective action requires language with informational significance, which is often fact-assertive and descriptive. 

    Even if the Vedic jnana-kanda, the Upanisadic books, are taken as commandments that forbid meditation on Brahman, they can only do so if they have previously proven its existence. 

    According to Ramanuja, learning the meanings of words involves an ostensive defining process that results in the creation of an idea (buddhyutpatti) of the words' referents. 

    The young child learns that all words convey their intended meanings and that some word combinations signify various types of unforced linkages between basic items. 

    Thus, he holds to the kind of semantic theory (abhihitanvayavada) put out by the Mimamsaka direct realist Kumarila (c. 650 A.D.), which may be summarized as the idea that a phrase is made up of a string of word meanings that have previously been articulated singly. 

    The fundamental units of meaning are words as individual expressions of general characteristics. 

    A sentence is made up of a collection of distinct words, each of which, taken alone, designates a set of discrete objects, which serves as the main epistemological "given." 

    These words then each separately and serially express one of their proper senses, which are then combined to create a further syntactically connected whole, the purport (tatparya), of the sentence, which stands for a particular person or situation. 

    The grammar (anvaya) of the words' explicitly articulated (abhihita) meanings provides the purport. 

    The intent is particular even if the individual word meanings are universal. 

    It is important to note that they consider the Vedic commands as hypothetical imperatives that only apply to eligible individuals (high-caste men) who have an interest in the specific purposes they define. 

    The logic, epistemology, and metaphysics of the Nyaya-Vaisesika school acknowledged the inspiration of scripture as God's written word. 

    As a result, its validity is external. 

    They rejected the idea that the scriptures alone could answer questions concerning the nature of God and the soul and instead argued that inferential reasoning could be used to prove Isvara and atman's existence and characteristics. 

    They only sometimes used the scriptures to support a point that had previously been made by logical reasoning. 

    They were unable to make an argument for God's existence only based on the scriptures due to the danger of becoming circular. 

    Ramanuja As A Metaphysical And Epistemological Realist.

    Ramanuja is a realist in both metaphysics and epistemology.  Here, I briefly discuss some aspects of both realism and anti-realism in order to distinguish between them and how they restrict what is possible within the confines of language or human comprehension. 

    At its core, realism is the expression of a natural human desire to see beyond appearances that are caused by our limited human perspective on the universe and to get at a genuine perception of reality as it is in itself. 

    Any discussion of a reality that is incomprehensible to our cognitive abilities is questioned by the anti-realist. 

    As a result, "to be" is to be intelligible to us. 

    Such theories include idealism, which entails the mental nature of the ostensibly physical and the exhaustive reduction of everything to states of consciousness; phenomenalism, which holds that familiar physical objects can be reduced to human sensory stimulations; representationalism, which holds that what we are immediately aware of are sensory and mental impressions standing in causal relations to objects; and the type of semantic anti-realism propagated by the semantic anti-realism movement. 

    A realist philosophy, however, may include any or all of the following characteristics: There is an objective, mind-free world. 

    That is to say, even in the absence of occupied human subjective standpoints attesting to their existence, things proposed by an ontology as belonging to a domain exist, truths are true, and situations of events exist. 

    There may be more than we can comprehend or imagine. 

    In other words, certain facts are unreachable to humans. 

    While the degree of connection between our ideas and the outside world is decided independently of human cognitive activity, we are nonetheless capable of accurately imagining and understanding the human surroundings. 

    We often discuss actual objects rather than ideas, concepts, sensory data, or mental sensations. 

    Never are the objects of sense primarily cerebral and non-physical. 

    A universe of mindless physical things is seen as real until that view is refuted by another perception. 

    Similar to how they seem to humans, familiar macroscopic things would also appear the same to species with diverse sensory modalities. 

    (Epistemological realism or realistic common sense) Initially, consciousness is unformed, passive, and receptive. 

    Language and innate concepts do not significantly organize or perhaps even distort the sensory outputs. 

    According to facts about the mind-independent sphere, every proposition is categorically either true or false (realist empiricism). 

    Truth is some kind of relationship between ideas, words, and circumstances. 

    True thoughts and phrases have a representation that is structurally isomorphic to extra-mental reality. 

    Complex true cognitions depict complex situations of events and are causally connected to them. 

    True concept-laden cognition provides more information about the reality. 

    It does not alter or remove us from reality. 

    Certain sorts of property, like abstract universals, exist apart from the human mind and language. 

    (Platonism and the Naiyayika theory of universals, which Ramanuja does not agree with.) It is not possible to reduce claims about one domain (such as the mental) to statements about another kind of domain (e.g.  the physical).

    References And Further Reading:

    • A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, edited by Sarvepalli Radha Krishnan and Charles A. Moore, 1957.
    • John B. Carman, The Theology of Ramanuja, 1974.

    ~Kiran Atma

    A Rediscovery And Rebirth Of India

    Om Asato maa sadgamaya, tamaso maajyotirgamamaya, 

    Om mrityor-maa amrutam gamamaya. 

    Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih |||. 

    Lord, guide me from the imaginary to the actual. 

    Bring me to the light, please. 

    Bring me to immortality from the grave. 

    May there be absolute, unbroken peace. 

    ~ An incantation in Sanskrit taken from Brihadaranyaka Upanishads 1.3.28. 

    In every realm Gatekeepers inadvertently act as barriers that create separation. Gatekeepers invariably become the enemies of existence awaiting eternity's Destruction. 

    Rulers, Governments, Organizations, Financial Entities, and the chaos and cacophony that define them, now are the gatekeepers of the quality of Your Life on Earth. 

    This speck of a planet we advanced primates call home is overrun by gatekeepers.

    Gatekeepers remind me of Jaya and Vijaya, of Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu, of Ravana and Kumbhakarna. Memories are all that's left(of them).

    Jaya, one of the gatekeepers of the deity Vishnu's celestial home Vaikuntha, is cursed, along with his brother Vijaya, to be born three times as a demon (asura) and destroyed by Vishnu each time.

    When they prevent Sanaka from seeing Vishnu, he bestows this curse on them.

    The two are born as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu, who are slaughtered by the Boar avatar and the Man-Lion avatar, respectively, in their first incarnation.

    Ravana and Kumbhakarna are their second incarnations, and both are destroyed by Vishnu's Rama avatar.

    They reincarnate as Shisupala and Dantavaktra in their last incarnation and are murdered by Vishnu's Krishna avatar.

    They return to their responsibilities as Vishnu's Guardians and Gatekeepers after the curse's criteria have been met.

    Since the beginning of time, people have been to India from all over the globe. 

    They have arrived as nations such as the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Arabs, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and British, as well as as ethnic groups and individuals such as Hiuen Tsang, Mark Twain, Annie Besant, Romain Rolland, and Walther Eidlitz. 

    They all had one thing in common: they all came looking for money and commerce, some looking for safety from persecution, some looking for spiritual enlightenment. 

    Their lives were irrevocably altered by India. In the West, the name "India" conjures up images of snake charmers, pagan gods, cows, castes, and Gandhi. In the East, it conjures up images of Buddha, curries, and elephants. 

    Why is it the case? What influences the unfavorable and often biased opinions of India? Who was behind these outrageous fabrications, and why? It's crucial to travel through time to learn about an old place, its people, their beliefs, the religion, and the interactions of its residents with the rest of the world that have influenced outsiders' impressions in order to comprehend these things. 

    India has unique physical, cultural, and magnificent natural limits, with a geographical mass the size of Europe minus Russia. 

    Strategically situated between China and the rest of the Western world, it is home to 1/6 of mankind. 

    Three major rivers—the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra—water the area whose limits extend from the Himalayas, known as the "abode of snow" for its massive mountain range. India is a triangle-shaped country that stretches from the high Himalayas to the pleasantly warm Indian Ocean. 

    These geographic divisions have promoted amazing cultural variety and unity. The Hindu religion, which is followed by 850 million people, as well as its offshoots such as Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, were both developed in India, the most varied country in the world. 

    Additionally, it has one of the world's fastest expanding economies right now. 

    For thousands of years, connections between civilizations and countries have been centered on religion, commerce, and conquest. 

    The same is true of India. Men from many different countries have been inspired by the grandeur and prosperity of classical India. Indian concepts of the soul and its reincarnation were ingrained in Pythagoras and his contemporaries. 

    On his return trip from the Mongol court of China, Marco Polo, who had previously been to India, proclaimed it to be "the finest and wealthiest nation in the world." Alexander of Macedonia, a Greek, was the first to set foot on Indian soil in 326 B.C., followed by the Huns, the Arabs, the Turks, and the Afghans in 963 A.D. 

    The Arabs have always engaged with India's prosperous commercial ports and cities. 

    Beginning in 1526, the Mongols—Genghis Khan's descendants—conquered and ruled over a large portion of India. 

    Beginning with the Portuguese in 1498, the Europeans were the last to arrive in India. 

    Along with the Dutch (1639), the British (1609), the Danes (1616), the French (1664), and the Danes traveled to India's coasts in search of her fabled riches and resources. The British first arrived as merchants but lingered for over 200 years to control and plunder. 

    India was reportedly visited by the first Greek, Scylax of Caryanda, in 510 BC. Since that time, Europe is aware of several reports and facts about India. Greece received several translations and writings of Indian philosophy. 

    For instance, both civilizations had a reverence for the gods of heaven Varuna or Ouranos and morning Ushas or Aurora. After the rise of Islamic dominance in the seventh century, this tight communication between India and Europe came to an end. 

    Numerous Sanskrit literature, notably The Mahabharat and The Bhagavad-Gita, were translated into Arabic during the subsequent Islamic assaults. According to legend, the fourth Caliph said that India is the country where books were first written and where wisdom and knowledge originated. 

    The Upanishads were translated from Sanskrit into Persian by Dara Shikoh under the title Sirr-ul-Akbar during the Mongol era, when Islamic culture was being imposed, and it was in this form that European academics first encountered them. 

    Sanskrit translations of Hindu texts into English were undertaken by the British, first by Charles Wilkins with his translation of "The Bhagavad Gita," then by Sir William Jones and several other translators. 

    The majority of the Western world's present knowledge of Hinduism is based on translations of Hindu texts made in the second half of the eighteenth century in English, German, and French. Numerous Europeans were concerned about losing their sense of cultural identity as a result of the discovery of Sanskrit and the influence of Indian thinking on the intellectual life of Europe. 

    Such foreigners are the ones who offer the names Hindu and India. 

    The word "Hindu" as we use it now has Persian roots. Indians were known to the Persians as residents of the region around the Sindhu (Indus) River. Hindu was given the name by the Persians who softened the S to an H. The term Indus was transformed to Indoi by the Ionian Greeks, who learned about India from the Persians, and the country of Indus became known as India. 

    India's ancient past is very vast and all-encompassing and is buried in the prehistoric obscurity of time. 

    Her history is amazing in terms of its breadth, splendor, and trials. Its religion, Hinduism, also known as Sartatan Dharma, has a long and distant history that spans many yugas of time. 

    A time frame so incredible that it has never been equaled by a European notion. The only revelation whose principles are entirely consistent with contemporary science is the slow and gradual construction of the cosmos. We are now living in the Kaliyuga, also known as the era of Kali, as per Vedic traditions. 

    The fourth and last yuga (age) in the cosmic calendar, after Satya, Treta, Dwaparyuga, and Kali, is known as Kali yuga. According to legend, the Kaliyuga lasted for 432,000 years, the Dvaparayuga for 864,000, the Tretayuga for 1,296,000, and the Satyayuga for 17,280,000. 

    The world's oldest civilization, Hinduism, has an astonishing level of continuity. Her historical records date back to the year 5000. Even now, the intricately carved temples of her mature and stable civilisation show a beauty of times past. 

    Time was fittingly deified as Mahakala, Great Time, in her rich and ancient history. Hinduism firmly believes in either emptiness or infinity. The Vedic sages of India had no qualms about the vacuum or the limitless. 

    Given this notion, it is only fitting that the concept of the mathematical "zero" or "sunya" was invented by the Hindus. Hinduism, also known as Sanatan Dharma, is more of a way of life than a religion. 

    It is not a structured religion, has no founder or notable historical figure, lacks a centralized authority, and is hence surprisingly non-dogmatic. 

    It has always placed a greater emphasis on behavior and experience than it has on doctrine, and on intuition rather than reason. It is a religion based on several texts rather than just one. It is a revelation-based religion. 

    Since the word "Sanatan" means "eternal," its roots are independent of human history and experience, and its truths have been revealed by the hand of God. 

    Hinduism has more old and extensive texts than any other existing religion. Since they were initially told orally and developed over thousands of years, it is challenging to date these texts. 

    Hindu texts fall into two categories: Smriti, which is memorized, and Shruti, which is heard. The Upanishads and Vedas are regarded as Shruti. 

    The Dharma Shastras, Nibhandas, Puranas, the Mahabharata (The Bhagavad Gita), the Ramayana, Agamas or Tantras, Darshanas, and Vedangas are among the texts that Smriti mentions (Upa Vedas). 

    The Vedas (Book of Knowledge), one of the world's oldest written holy writings, are considered to be India's greatest heritage. They are an extraordinary and remarkable collection of poetry, philosophy, and hymns. 

    Since they were discovered via the Vedic rishis' intuitive vision, they are regarded as having divine origins. The four Vedas are the Atharva, Yajur, Sarna, and Rig. With its comprehensive inquiries into the origin and nature of the cosmos, the "Hymn of Creation" in the Rig Veda offers the most sophisticated theory of creation. 

    The song continues by stating that neither death nor immortality, neither day nor night, existed in the beginning. There was nothing but vacuum and formlessness. Then desire, the spiritual embryo and seed, emerged. 

    But from whence did it really come into being, and who is able to establish its origin? The creation of the gods is later than that of our planet. 

    So, from whence did it originate in the first place? The Upanishads are the last section of the Vedas, and they include mystical and intellectual explorations in search of the divine within. 

    As they investigate the unity of man and God, they represent the climax of Vedic teachings and one of humanity's most profound inquiries. 

    The adage "tat twam asi," "Thou are that," refers to the atman, or "breath of the Absolute," which is present in all living things and is what is really genuine and what the actual truth is. 

    The Bhagavad-Gita, also known as The Song of the Lord, is a chapter of the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic. 

    It is one of the most significant and well-known religious writings in India and has 18,000 stanzas. It is a conversation between Lord Krishna and Aljuna just before the start of the Great War of the Mahabharata. It is a philosophical song that perfectly explains Hindu ideology. 

    The Bhagavad Gita is a very idealistic text that emphasizes absolute tolerance: "Whichever devotee desires to worship whatever heavenly form (rupa) with intense devotion, I, truly, render that faith of him steadfast." The Mahabharata has 100,000 stanzas, whilst The Ramayana's epics are divided into 24,000 stanzas. 

    The Mahabharata is an insightful account of a crucial chapter in Indian history. 

    New archaeological investigation has shown that the fabled city of Lord Krishna, Dwaraka, was indeed a historic location, notwithstanding disagreements about the times and locations. 

    The religious practices and architecture of Indo-China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, and other locations have absorbed elements of India's poetic and creative culture, especially the protagonists of the epics Krishna and Arjuna. 

    Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language, is used in Hindu sculptures. The classical language of Hinduism was Sanskrit, which has the meaning "cultured" and is also the oldest and most orderly language in existence. 

    Actually, its breadth and adaptability make it the perfect language for today's computer software development. Additionally, Panini's grammar of Sanskrit is the world's smallest and most comprehensive grammar. 

    Hindu texts were transmitted verbally from the sages to their pupils for a very long time. Maharishi Ved Vyasa subsequently collected these and placed them in literary form in Sanskrit. Hinduism is not a set ideology; rather, it is always evolving and changing. 

    It has grown into a huge, intricate tangle of customs and philosophical ideas that is constantly expanding. It is a religion that is always changing, and because of this, it has grown very diverse and rich, like an elaborate tapestry with many different colors. 

    Hinduism is flexible, diversified, and open to accepting various faiths. Dharma is an all-encompassing cosmic rule that controls every aspect of the cosmos, including every single soul. It is the most fundamental law of the universe and the basis of all things. 

    Our lives are governed by the rule of karma, a natural law similar to the law of gravity. Karma is influenced by personal behavior. You get back what you put in. Thus, the interaction of cause and effect is the web of Karma. 

    It is the natural result of our prior deeds. Samsara, the cycle of birth, life, death, and reincarnation, is the outcome of this. The emancipation from this cycle is the aim of all Hindu philosophy. These ideas make it difficult for most Hindus to understand the Western concept of a single existence. 

    Contrary to common opinion, Hinduism is a monotheistic religion because it honors the unity within diversity of the divine. There are several ways to reach God, and each one is as legitimate. There are no heretics or unbelievers in this good religion. 

    The everlasting goal of India was to unite all of creation under one human identity. All life and all pathways are thus sacrosanct. In the holistic religion of Hinduism, all life—including that of humans, animals, and plants—is revered. 

    Hinduism has always been an ecologically conscious religion, and like a rainforest, it has continually renewed, developed, and changed over the centuries. Hinduism may place the most emphasis on environmental ethics of any religion. 

    With its notions of ahimsa, there is a special sensitivity to not just the human world but to the whole natural world (non-violence). Because of the pervasive concern for life, India (Bharat Mata) as a whole is regarded as holy. In actuality, Lord Vishnu's spouse is personified as Mother Earth. 

    India, a holy nation sandwiched between the Himalayan Mountains and the Indian Ocean, has a long history of coexisting peacefully and developing into a wonderful civilization. 

    The whole nation, including its seven sacred towns, like Dwaraka, its seven sacred rivers, like the Ganga and the Saraswati, and its seven sacred mountains, like the Himalayas and Arunachal, are revered as holy places of pilgrimage. 

    There is little doubt that Classical India was a wealthy civilization with thriving trade relations with many regions of the globe, including Southeast Asia. Students anxious to get a top-notch education flocked to her universities, including Taxila and Nalanda. 

    India has been praised for her wealth from ancient times. She had always been the center of attention, drawing both Asian and European admirers who lusted for her sparkling riches. All conquerors, including Alexander, aspired to possess India, and she was their ultimate goal. 

    Indian civilization, including mathematics, medicine, and other fields, entered the West through the Arabs. As the fabled and wealthy "golden bird" of the East, India was often targeted by the West over her northern boundary. 

    The defenseless, women, aged, priests, and the captured population could not be killed, and the rules of battle in Hinduism were exceedingly chivalrous and merciful. Numerous ethnic groups found refuge in tolerant, kind India, yet during religious fervor, many Hindus were massacred, slain, and sold into slavery. 

    Before the beginning of the Muslim invasion and the beginning of European empire, religious intolerance was scarcely ever seen in ancient India. 

    India was one of the most developed civilizations ever on the eve of the Muslim conquest in the Illth century A.D. 

    India had a deeply inventive culture. 

    Her building was intricate and mesmerizing, and her sculptures were lovely, sumptuous, and sensuous. 

    Her temples were desecrated, pillaged, and burned during the reign of Islamic dominion, and her collected valuables were stolen by ferocious hordes. 

    They slaughtered, pillaged, and demolished magnificent and valuable buildings of great architectural beauty, such as Somnath temple, which is revered to all Hindus, while announcing a "holy war" or "jihad" against unbelievers. 

    This historic nation of culture, chivalry, and beauty was left broken, wounded, and suffering after such an unimaginable atrocity. Rarely in human history have there been such deadly fury, such brutal killing, and such senseless obliteration of a great and developed culture. 

    Even under such terrible, horrifying, and deadly circumstances, tolerant Hindus reverted to following their Vedic forefathers' habit of seeking out that Supreme Reality. In such a situation, the majority of ancient civilizations would have crumbled under repeated fierce assaults on their lands, but not India. 

    Hinduism is a deeply spiritual culture that has survived despite the perversion and brutality of the Islamic invasion. India is still the only ancient civilization remaining in existence despite waves of attacks from Islam and Christianity. 

    All of the others have vanished. Invaders and her tormentors have been brutally attacked by NDIA, but she has elegantly resisted them like a beautiful and noble goddess. Her perseverance and steely will to live are astounding given her experience. 

    Ancient India was not subject to ongoing persecution or religious wars. 

    Then, in 1498, the devotees of that one envious God were once again on the march, this time represented by the Portuguese. 

    In Goa, the Hindus were subjected to the Inquisition, which was instituted by conquerors armed with guns and the gospel truth. 

    Hindu festivals and devotion were outlawed, and lavishly decorated temples were destroyed. 

    The Portuguese, who held the supremacy of their religion in high regard, brutalized and tortured the Hindus in an effort to convert them to Catholicism. 

    The British followed closely behind the Portuguese. Under British Rule, Hindus did not fare much better. Theological imperialism was introduced by the British. 

    Because they ruled India via Indology, they were more crafty than the Portuguese. The goal, like with all imperial exploits and empires, was to portray India's indigenous culture as barbaric, impoverished, and worthless. 

    In order to convert Indians to Christianity and maintain governmental authority over their colonies, the study of Hinduism was conducted. Indology has evolved into a preferred tool for the attack on India's spiritual and cultural roots. 

    The effect of a cultural bomb is to annihilate a people's belief in their names, in their languages, in their environments, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities, and ultimately in themselves, according to Kenyan Ngugi WaThiong'o (1938), author of Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. 

    The British, like the Portuguese, felt that their religion was supreme and that they were bringing civilization to the barbarians. 

    By methodically stealing India's vast riches and resources while disguising their actions under the "White man's burden," they overnight transformed India into a Third World nation. 

    With their Victorian morality and anti-colonial resentment, the British began researching and translating Hindu texts into English as a way to discredit and weaken Hinduism. 

    There have been attempts to portray Hindu philosophy as animistic, a relic, a museum piece, a source of gross paganism, and thus, as a source of primal barbarism. 

    The translation distorted Hindu philosophy, history, and culture, which has seriously harmed Hindus' sense of self-worth. The goal of studying indology was to persuade the educated Indians to reject their traditional identities and cultures in favor of supporting the British Empire. 

    An entire generation of mentally colonized "brown sahibs" who were and still are alienated from their own cultural heritage resulted from this Anglo indoctrination in India, which proved to be so successful. 

    The British adopted a strategy of divide and rule in order to maintain their colonial control over their "jewel in the crown," India. They are said to be the ones who first proposed the racist, out-of-date Aryan invasion thesis. 

    This notion implied that the Hindu texts were not really indigenous to India and that Indians were unable to create their own religion. The European concept of its own superiority would have been crushed if it had been believed differently. 

    This supported the British Raj in India. Surprisingly, there were many people in the West who were incredibly fascinated, were open-minded and sincere in their spiritual search, and many who did acknowledge the metaphysical loftiness and nobility of Hindu thought during the early 19th century, while pioneers in Indology were busy tearing down, denouncing, and discrediting anything Indian or Hindu as primitive theology. 

    Some people were mesmerized by her famed and enormous epics, like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Jules Michelet, who was becoming quite lyrical, described the Ramayana as "a divine poem, an ocean of milk." German poet Henrich Heine once referred to the spiritual treasures of India in a statement "The treasures of India have been transported home by the Portuguese, Dutch, and English in their large ships for a very long time. 

    Germany would follow suit, but hers would be troves of esoteric wisdom." The profound thought of India was discovered by Europe in the 19th century to their astonishment. 

    The Upanishads (Oupnekhat) were translated by Anquetil-Duperron from a Persian version written by Dar a Shikoh, the son of Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. 

    A cultural practice that dates back to the furthest antiquity and has since been lost in the mist of time intrigued Europeans. Immanuel Kant's idealism has numerous similarities with the Upanishads, as Duperron has noted. 

    The greatest thinkers in the West, including Voltaire, Michelet, Thoreau, and Emerson, have all sipped from the nectar of Hindu philosophy. As soon as they experienced it, their love for Indian philosophy persisted. 

    Some were drawn to the Hindus' "wonderful power of abstraction," while others were frequently drawn to Vedanta's sublime teachings and supreme glory. Many expressed their admiration for the illuminating literary gems of Hinduism, such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas, and the Upanishads, quite vociferously. 

    The spiritual thinking and wisdom of Ancient India, despite the wars and empire, gave the West a significant cultural boost. In particular, the depth of India's influence on the Western imagination and on English Romantic poetry in particular, offered a major cultural stimulation. 

    By emulating and adopting some of these concepts and theories into their own work, academics, poets, artists, philosophers, and scientists have all given the greatest tribute to India's magnificent philosophical, religious, creative, linguistic, and cultural creativity. 

    For his poem Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, for instance, drew inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita. 

    When writing the What the Thunder Said section of the Waste Land, T. S. Eliot drew inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishad. The Bhagavad Gita, described by Count Maurice Maeterlinck as "a glorious bloom of Hindu spirituality," was written. 

    In 1797, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe showed his respect for Kalidasa by basing the prologue of his play Faust on that of Sakuntala. Even Victor Hugo, the renowned French author and creator of Les Misérables, expressed awe and respect for the vastness of the universe as it was described in the Indian epics. 

    He turned the Kena Upanishad story into verse in his poem Suprematie.a Legend o/the Ages. 

    The Bhagavad Gita is a gem among world scriptures because of its majestic beauty. 

    The Gita was deemed by Wilhelm von Humboldt to be "the most beautiful, and maybe the only pure intellectual song, existent in any known dialect." The world has to offer is "the deepest and loftiest thing," too. 

    Even the renowned composer Ludwig van Beethoven was impacted by this unrestrained passion with India. His musical writings include snippets from the Gita and the Upanishads. In contrast to the West, science and religion are not mutually exclusive in India. 

    Science is seen as a component of the same quest for truth that Vedic rishis imagined in order to comprehend the cosmos and the outside world. With ideas that are both mystical and alluringly scientific, ancient Vedic spiritual beliefs have influenced contemporary science. 

    For instance, Anand a Coomaraswamy's description of The Dance of Shiva (Nataraja) is as follows: "is the most accurate depiction of God's cosmic activity that any form of art or religion can claim. 

    The idea itself is a synthesis of art, science, and religion." Numerous scientists, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, Frijof Capra, Schrodinger, Carl Jung, and others, have often consulted the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita in search of new insights. 

    Ancient Hindu sages had developed a universe theory of enormous proportions that was startlingly modern in scope. Their amazing estimate of the age of the cosmos agrees exactly with modern science. 

    Huston Smith has noted on the astounding Hindu view of the age of the Earth: "India was already picturing ages and eons and galaxies as numerous as the sands of the Ganges while the West was probably still thinking of a world that was just 6,000 years old. 

    Modern astronomy can effortlessly fit into the folds of the Universe due to its size." Such uncompromising, radical, and bold theories had no effect on the foundation of India's ancient Vedic society. 

    From the early Vedic period to the present, India has never practiced book burning, executed heretics, imprisoned scientists in dungeons, or housed dissidents in insane asylums. 

    Numerous adherents of Hinduism, from tired old men to lonely old women, have found solace in the religion's lofty philosophy. The great German philosopher Schopenhauer exclaimed, "It has been the solace of my life, and it will be the solace of my death," after reading the Upanishads. 

    Many concepts and theories that have only recently started to be investigated in the West were anticipated by Indian sages. India and her ideas introduced the West to a philosophy of before unseen intricacy and innovation. 

    Hinduism has always been known for its unending tolerance. The priceless proclamation "eko sat vipra bahudi vedanti" found in Hindu scripture (one truth, but discerned differently by the wise). 

    This exquisite tolerance is evidence of a sophisticated, old society. Hinduism is notable for its positive beliefs and the fact that those who do not practice it are not regarded as heretics or infidels, making it a religion for rational thought. 

    All roads lead to the peak, India's serene boldness of intuition has boldly declared (God). The only major global religion to openly and definitely declare that "Tmth is One, the Wise call it by diverse names" is Hinduism. 

    When Europeans first encountered India during the early years of British colonialism, they saw Hinduism through the prism of their own religion and culture and came to an unfavorable and frequently hostile conclusion. 

    The British made a valiant effort to depict Hinduism negatively as superstitious, primitive, and idolatrous in order to maintain their authority. Defaming Hinduism became a goal of the imperial mission to maintain their power. 

    Some evangelical Europeans desired to mold India after their own Christian ideal. They then went on to translate Hindu scriptures in order to aid Hindu conversion to Christianity. 

    With the exception of individuals like Sir John Woodroffe, Annie Besant, and Sister Nivedita, the British invaded and conquered India, plundering her earthly richness but failing to understand India's great spiritual treasure. 

    Ancient India continues to be the world leader in matters of the spirit and the soul despite trauma and tribulations, conquest and colonization, invasion and fanatical zeal. Hinduism is now a vibrant phenomenon and a widely practiced religion. 

    In search of their spiritual home, China, Japan, Tibet, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and Sri Lanka have all looked to India. 

    It is unquestionably necessary to examine Hinduism in the age of globalization with clean, unblemished eyes, from a fresh angle, and possibly through the lenses of what some Western and Eastern intellectuals, philosophers, writers, and scientists have observed and documented. 

    It is time to let go of our past biases, prejudices, and chauvinistic attitudes in order to learn about other people's cultures and religions, including the ancient spiritual splendor of India. 

    The history and culture of India need to be read again. 

    Beyond the present glaring clichés of "cow, curry, and caste," beyond "heathen gods," "sati," and "idol worship," it is essential and crucial for Hindus and Non-Hindus to understand what insightful minds have to say about Hindu texts and her noble philosophy. 

    We need to find out what exactly about Hindu philosophy appealed to these intellectuals from around the world. 

    Why did Western free thinkers delve so deeply into India's spiritual heritage while others robbed her of her material wealth? 

    Why are the similarities between Hindu chronology and time scales developed by ancient Indian sages so intriguing to Western scientists? 

    Why did Bhagvad Gita's spiritual teachings and lofty magnificence cause Western philosophers and poets to become so moved and spellbound? 

    How did the most profound metaphysics ever known to mankind affect a great number of academics and thinkers around the world? 

    Most importantly, why is Hinduism still perpetuated as an illogical, backward, absurd, and unreasonable religion despite their fascination, reverence, admiration, and appreciation for it? 

    It seems somewhat weird in today's society of plurality and religious variety. 

    This essay's goal is to give readers a new perspective on Hinduism by using the insights of luminaries who lived in various eras and climates up until the present. 

    The goal is to eliminate the bias and prejudice against Hinduism that has existed for many years. Additionally, it aims to dispel myths and misunderstandings about Indian customs and instill pride in the country's rich cultural legacy. 

    The wise men who have come before us have expressed reverence, respect, and appreciation for Hinduism in their quotes. In a manner, this is also a testament to their liberalism, their open minds, and their sincere efforts to reconcile our chaotic environment with our shared spiritual destiny. 

    This reminds us of a wide range of quotations and thoughts from eminent thinkers, scientists, writers, philosophers, intellectuals, and professionals from all walks of life, both in the West and the East. 

    Many of them have been influenced by the Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads. 

    Thus, they were naturally drawn to the vast, imaginative, and speculative genius of the Hindus. 

    Hinduism, a religion with a worldwide outlook, provides lessons in tolerance, open-mindedness, and freedom at our time of spiritual crisis, theological imperialism, senseless terrorism and violence, exclusivism and intolerance, religious superiority, and superficial spirituality. 

    It extends a respectful hand to other religious traditions and recognizes the validity of all paths. 

    A grand visual environment for its followers has been produced as a result of its profound imagination, which has given the world a rich variety of deities (gods and goddesses). 

    Hinduism offers the much-needed spiritual democracy that allows us to worship whichever god we see fit. Due to its old civilization and developed culture, Hinduism is a global religion with a wide base that can respectfully welcome all other religions. 

    Even if the great Mayan and Aztec civilizations, the pyramids of ancient Egypt, Classical Greece and Rome, and the desert wind-eroded Egyptian monuments are all long gone, an unbroken line of Indians are still reciting the Vedas today. 

    In the wise words of J Donald Walters, Hinduism may be regarded as "the most spiritually grounded civilization in the world." Hinduism offers hope to a conflict-ridden, benighted, and trouble-weary world with its profound scriptural words: "In an age of commingling of nations and global economies, in an age of jihad and inane and aggressive evangelism, in an age of militant and uncompromising intolerance, and in a world increasingly subsumed by religious fanaticism" "streams that come from hills on all sides flow into the bosom of the great sea. 

    Their names as different as their sources, And thus in every place do mankind kneel down To one mighty God, though known by many names".

    ~Kiran Atma

    Parapsychology - Addey, John


    Who Was John Addey(1920–1982)?

    Theosophist and astrologer, born on June 15, 1920, in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England.

    Addey received his master's degree from Cambridge's Saint John's College.

    He grew interested in astrology while at Cambridge, and after WWII, he joined the Theosophical Society's Astrological Lodge, where he met C. E. O. Carter, with whom he had a long-term connection.

    Carter founded the Faculty of Astrological Studies in 1948 to teach astrologers, and Addey was one of its first students, graduating in 1951.

    However, after a few years, he began to distrust his art and its scientific foundations.

    He shifted his concentration to scientific study, with a particular emphasis on longevity and persons with polio.

    His discoveries prompted him to establish an astrological "wave" hypothesis.

    He went on to develop harmonics, a method of astrology that emphasizes the integral divisions of the horoscope chart, by combining finished and continuing statistical investigations of astrological effects with Hindu astrology insights.

    In harmonics, he saw a way to establish a unified theoretical foundation to the numerous various astrological systems that were sprouting in the postwar world.

    Addey was instrumental in the foundation of the Astrological Society, a professional association of astrologers based mostly in the United Kingdom, in 1958.

    The advancement of harmonic theory was his overarching goal, which he articulated in a series of books in the 1970s.

    Harmonics was first well welcomed by Addey's astrological colleagues; but, when astrologers worked with Addey's ideas, they found them to be too abstract and lacking in understanding to aid in the crucial process of reading an astrological chart.

    As a result, Addey's theoretical work was quickly forgotten, yet his empirical findings remain a key component of current astrology's effort to provide a scientific foundation for the practice.

    Addey formed the Urania Trust in 1970 with the overly ambitious aim of reintegrating astrology into astrology, an ambition on which he has made practically little headway.

    Addey was also the editor of the Astrological Journal for a while.

    Addey passed away in 1982.

    John Addey's book, Astrology Reborn, is a good place to start.

    American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe, Ariz., 1972.

    Harmonic Anthology, by ———. American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe, Ariz., 1976.

    Harmonics in Astrology, by ———.L.N. Fowler, Romford, 1976.

    Selected Writings, by ———. American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe, Ariz., 1976.

    The Astrology Encyclopedia, by James L. Lewis. Gale Research, Detroit, 1994.

    ~Kiran Atma