March 30, 2010

The why of the interaction between so polar entities as the subject and the object

Yoga: From Confusion to Clarity Vols. 1 to 5 by Satya Prakash Singh and Yogi Mukesh, 1730 p, 5 Volumes, figs, ISBN : 81-87471-57-8, $325.00 (Includes free airmail shipping) Price for sale in India - Rs.9,000/- (Contact the Publisher for purchase in India)
PAYMENT(S) BY PAYPAL ONLY Contact Publishers Overseas distributors – Mr. Kulvir Singh, Email: , MR. RAMESH RAMDHAN, 10325, 135TH STREET, SOUTH RICHMOND HILL, NEW YORK 11419-3213 USA - Tel: 1 347 475 0169 -Email -


Yoga: From Confusion to Clarity is an original and refreshing series of five volumes of its own kind. Neither in the past nor in the present has such a work ever before been attempted by anybody except for the reference of a voluminous work we get about Hiranyagarbha, the Father of Yoga, in very remote past and whose work has been lost forever. The authors of these five volumes after making intensive research and study for the last 15 years endeavoured to restore the Yoga to its pristine purity.

The need for writing this work also arose out of the misconception of delimiting the root of Yoga generally midway to Patanjali, the author of Yoga-Sutra. Indeed, it is due to this misconception that Yoga has come to be mistaken as something secret and mystic, unsocial and otherworldly and hence not only difficult to take up but also counterproductive in many respects. It is due to the prevalence of this view of Yoga that such a scripture as the Bhagavadgita has been mistaken as renunciatory in spite of its most eloquent advocacy of karma-yoga. Another by-product of this mistaken view of Yoga particularly in the modern times is the delimitation of it to only a certain kind of physical and vital exercises in the form of asanas and pranayama as popularly taught by some enthusiasts of the discipline in the name of Yoga as such today.

The special feature of the present work is an attempt to explore the history of Yoga right from the Vedic or even the pre-Vedic era and to reconstruct it from the material scattered throughout the Veda as a system of Yoga by virtue of which pre-Vedic and Vedic people became seers of Vedic mantras as the treasure-chest of the profoundest kind of wisdom and knowledge even at that epoch of human history and thus laid down the foundation of Indian culture so broad and humane in outlook and so lasting in character. In fact the tapas and sadhana of the Vedic seers got crystallised in the form of the discipline of Yoga in all its dimensions, phases and varieties coming to be designated in course of time as jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, karma yoga, dhyana yoga, mantra yoga, and hatha yoga, etc.

On the other hand, so far as the psychological perspective of the discipline is concerned, instead of searching for its motivation in the desire for alleviation of any kind of suffering or affliction in this world or in the wish for the enjoyment of the plenitude of the world beyond, here it has been found to lie in man’s eternal quest for exploring into the mystery of consciousness well within himself directly through self-consciousness. As such, consciousness has been determined here as the explorer as well as the field of exploration, as the object as well as the subject. In the commonsense experience, the object is object and subject is subject, as both are conceived as categorically different from each other. The interaction between the two is considered as just a matter of fact without needing any explanation concerning the mystery behind it. Philosophical attempts to solve the problem has resulted in the East in the form of Prakriti and Purusha as two absolutely independent realities while in the West it has led to the Cartesian dichotomy between Mind and Matter. Both these positions stop short of resolving the problem of explaining the why of the interaction between so polar entities as the subject and the object.

This work is intended to show the way how to resolve the dichotomy and also to the entry into that infinitude of consciousness which, at the same time, is the infinitude of bliss, called in the Upanishad as Bhuman. In this respect, it distinguishes itself from those works which are based on the Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali and aim at just redemption from Prakriti, Nature, and hence, approve of living in isolation of it. It is for the first time that here in this work Yoga has been brought to the notice of the reader in all its comprehensiveness based as it is on the primacy and immensity of consciousness on the one hand and concordance of the results of tapas and sadhana on Vedic seers themselves on the other.

In view of these possibilities, this series of volumes on Yoga is expected to prove instrumental in restoration of peace, joy and real values of life to the humanity which it has lost, to a great extent, under the enhancement of the amenities of life and it is also hoped to prove corrective of aberrations of the religious dogmas overburdening the human mind and creating fissures in the solidarity of the society.

With all this Bhagiratha-effort made on the part of the authors to restore the stream of the yogic wisdom and method in these volumes to its pristine purity as well as to make it practicable in the modern and changed circumstances, the series expected to prove helpful in clearing the cobweb of misunderstanding about yoga formed in course of millennia since its origination and will benefit all yoga teachers, practitioners, researchers and students who intend to do graduation, post-graduation and Ph.D. in Yoga.

1. Foundation of Yoga:

The first volume is based on the novel findings of the authors of the elements of yoga in the Vedic Samhitas as well as in the Upaniñads. It deals with the life and visions of the seers who were instrumental in giving a shape to the discipline of yoga through austerities and tapas of their lives. Some of such seers are Angiras, Atharvan, Bhrigu, Vishvamitra, Gritsamada, Vamadeva, Atri, Bharadvaja, Vasistha, Patanga, Agastya, Lopamudra and Vagambhrini. The mantras seen by them and collected in the Vedic Samhitas from within the details apparently looking to relate to nature-worship, when perused closely, reveal their precise relevance to Yoga in its various aspects to be classified subsequently as jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, karma yoga, dhyana yoga, mantra yoga, and hatha yoga, etc. [The educational doctrines of Plato and Sri Aurobindo: A comparative studySri Aurobindo and Whitehead on the nature of GodUpanisadic symbolismPhilosophy of DirghatamasSri Aurobindo and Jung: A comparative study in Yoga and depth psychologySri Aurobindo, Jung and Vedic YogaLife and Vision of Vedic Seers 2 Dirghatamas]

March 29, 2010

Kazanas on Aryan Invasion on April 9 at Casurina

Greek Logos and Vedic Vac           Dr. Nicholas Kazanas
This stimulating essay starts off by examining the Greek and Christian concept of Logos — Speech — and the corresponding Vedic concept of Vāc. Reaching deep into the origin of language, it concludes that the latter alone denotes creation through speech and leads to a philosophical and grammatical system based on Vāc as a creative deity. 
Dr. Nicholas Kazanas is a Greek Indologist and a scholar of ancient Greek as well as Sanskrit. Some of his papers can be found on the website of the Omilos Meleton institute.
The paper was published in 2007 in Sanskrit Across Cultures, ed. Shashiprabha Kumar (New Delhi: D.K. Printworld); it is reproduced here with the author’s permission. It is available for download as a pdf file (210 kB) so as to preserve its diacritics.
Plato and the Upanishads   Dr. Nicholas Kazanas 
Parallels between Hindu and Greek philosophies have long been pointed out. This essay casts a fresh look at Plato’s and Upanishadic thought systems, pointing to important similarities but also substantial differences.
Dr. Nicholas Kazanas is a Greek Indologist and a scholar of ancient Greek as well as Sanskrit. Some of his papers can be found on the website of the Omilos Meleton institute.
The paper was published in 2005 by the Adyar Library & Research Centre, Chennai (also Wheaton, Illinois) and is reproduced here with the author’s permission. It is available for download as a pdf file (95 kB) so as to preserve its diacritics. 
Is the Aryan Invasion Theory Really Dead?
By  Dr Nicholas Kazanas  
Friday, 9th April 2010  Casurina Hall 6:30 pm, Habitat Center Lodi Road, New Delhi 
A noted scholar of the RgVeda and Greek classics, Dr. Nicholas Kazanas has contested the views of many leading mainstream scholars of Europe and America who have propounded the Aryan invasion/migration into India. He is well placed to analyze this issue with his deep knowledge of Vedic Sanskrit and ancient Greek and his training in comparative linguistics. Dr. Kazanas  will take up the question and give his analysis, on the  origin of Vedic Aryans also stated in recent publication, Indo-aryans Origions and Other Vedic Issues.  
Bharat Gupt
Associate Professor, CVS, Delhi University,
Founder member and Trustee
International Forum for India's Heritage.
PO Box 8518, Ashok Vihar, Delhi 110052 INDIA. mail:

March 28, 2010

Devotion, surrender, faith, obedience are the very fundamentals of yoga and are not merely part of religion

Writing a passionate blog post or a newspaper column or being engaged in animated discussion about the state of the nation is not enough. Join Savitri Era Party to give shape to your concern for the country. [TNM]
DB contradicts himself by saying that most people in the Ashram are not there for sadhana and at the same time concluding that they created a homogeneous approach. This could mean either of the two:
a. The approach of this “inchoate” mass is not an approach to sadhana.
b. Or else the large majority have taken an approach to sadhana which is not the right approach to be taken in the Ashram.
In the first case, he is contradicting himself. In the second, he himself is redefining the sadhana as it should be in the Ashram…
But let this much be known that it is most dangerous to turn this controversy surrounding a single author into a west-east, intellect-devotion and other such divides. This would be to read things that were never intended by us…
Another repeated presumption he seems to make, perhaps quite unconsciously (though it is very implicit in what he says), is that devotion is religious whereas intellectualisation is spiritual. The Religion that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother did not want is the traditional kind – mechanical outer rituals, the proclamation that ours is the only or the best path etc. But devotion, surrender, faith, obedience are the very fundamentals of yoga and are not merely part of religion. They are the first elementary lessons and the basics of spiritual life. I am surprised how people who have read Sri Aurobindo for so long can still be prone to this confusion. Alok Pandey 28 March 2010  from A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs 
How to Create the Work You Love -- Rick Jarow's Workshop at CIIS ... PR Web
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It is also intriguing to find that Mr. RYD doesn't seem to make a fuss about the other editions that preceded the 1993 edition of the Savitri. These editions were published during "The Mother's" time and I believe that She evidently approved of those later editions of the Savitri.
So does Mr. RYD mean that "The Mother" was equally wrong to allow changes to be made to the 1950-51 editions? Did She err before the year 1972 when she oversaw the work that was being undertaken by Mr. Nirodbaran and Mr. Amal Kiran which resulted in the earlier editions of the Savitri, which our self-appointed priest, visionary, scholar and enlightened soul has declared as inferior to the version which he considers "sacred"? 4:40 PM
When I think of the Divine I feel a presence within me.. and then I see Mother an Sri. Aurobindo together. from ASPIRATION - Aspiration is a call to the Divine. — The Mother
Either man must fulfill himself by satisfying the Divine within him or he must produce out of himself a new and greater being who will be more capable of satisfying it. He must either himself become a divine humanity or give place to Superman. SRI… from ASPIRATION - Aspiration is a call to the Divine. — The Mother
Language here becomes a bit of a funny business when we end up with groups from around the world who struggle to find ways to communicate with each other through often rudimentary skills or translations from others who are a bit more fluent. Last night, for example, we had French, English, German, Korean, Estonian and English at our table with an Indian dialect and Italian at the other. Two people at our table in particular struggled. The Korean lady has about as many words in English as I do in Tamil. The German lady is better in English but often missed grander bits of the conversation if her husband does not translate. In essence, lack of language skills can be isolating even with well intentioned efforts by those around…
In music, language takes on a different meaning that transcends verbal comprehension. Two nights ago we were invited to sit in on the final rehearsal of the amateur opera group. They have very solid conducting and many possess quite developed voices. They sang in English, French, Italian, German and Russian. It was a remarkably pleasant evening. One of many such evenings here… Yet, the chances of again seeing them are low and one wonders what the common ground between us is beyond this joint venture of time in Auroville. Is there are language between us that transcends this common time? 
Pavan K Varma, in conversation with Kanchan Gupta, says the local must prevail over the foreign (Pavan K Varma’s book, Becoming Indian — The Unfinished Revolution of Culture and Identity has just been published by Penguin.) [This interview was published in The Pioneer on Friday, March 26, 2010.]
KG: Nothing offers a better platform than a book for a study and discourse of this nature... By the way, some people feel you have been needlessly uncharitable towards English and Western culture...
PKV: There is hardly any space left for cerebral discourse. There has been an oversimplification of what I have to say in my book. One is that I am against English. I am not. I am not for the imposition of Hindi. I am just saying that there must be respect given to our languages and while English is an indispensable language of communication, specially to help us interface with a globalising world, it cannot be given primacy over the language of our culture.
There is a language of communication and there is a language of culture. The language of culture is a window to your history, mythology, folklore, proverbs, idioms, to your creativity ... and it’s the language in which we cry and laugh. There is no contradiction between the two. Recent research shows that all those who are well-grounded first in their mother tongue pick up a foreign language that much faster.
KG: Do you believe English is still a foreign language in India?
PKV: I genuinely believe that while it is a language of communication which has been indigenised in India, it can never take the place of our natural languages. And, badly spoken English cannot become the lingua franca of a country which is so rich in its linguistic heritage.

March 25, 2010

Always our Captain holds the rudder well, He does not sleep

On the one hand, at the core of my onticology is the thesis that objects are powers of acting, and thus are better thought as verbs and perhaps events, than nouns. When Spinoza asks, in book 3 of the Ethics, what can a body do?, I want to take this question seriously and treat bodies as doings. Objects Act from Larval Subjects

I most immediately thought of Lewis Mumford’s wonderful bit comparing Ralph Waldo Emerson and Melville:
“Emerson was the perpetual passenger who stayed below in bad weather, trusting that the captain would take care of the ship.  Melville was the sailor who climbed aloft, and knew that the captain was sometimes drunk and that the best of ships might go down.” “Ecstasies before bunnies’ burrows” from An und für sich by Brad Johnson

About twenty four hours have passed since President Obama signed the horrible socialistic & nazi-rrific health care bill into law. And you know what? Armageddon is awfully late in coming. Where is God coming to smite the land? Where are the death panels coming to take Granny away? 
I am beginning to suspect that the communist-muslimistic takeover of All Things American has gone so far as to include the Marxist-ization of the Rapture. The reds got that too! (title unknown) from For The Turnstiles by DGA

As it pertains to Obama, the really frightening thing about him is his "superior ignorance," but especially his conspicuous ignorance of that which he blindly opposes. For example, his long-time membership in that racist, anti-American religious sect can only mean that he must take this diseased Marxist aberration for normative Christianity. But I think the real source of Obama's ignorance is that he is our first postmodern president. […] Linear-thinking Leftists never understand the non-linear system of incentives they are putting in place when they enact complex legislation, so they inevitably must introduce more legislation to deal with those baleful consequences. Never forget that the government programs of the 1960s were sold as a way to end poverty, not to make it a permanent feature to justify the need for more big government. See What Happens, Barry, When You F*ck a Stranger in the Ass? from One Cosmos by Gagdad Bob

Yesterday, I had quoted Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (1776) on how “society” and “government” are two different things, and how some people, even in his day, had confused the two. This is what is happened in India in 1947, and is continuing today. Society has to feed itself, through production and exchange, in The Free Market. Throw Out This Government from ANTIDOTE by Sauvik

In Moral Sentiments, the object of the metaphor of ‘an invisible hand’ is the absolute necessity, whatever the ‘unfeeling’ landlord’s lack of concern for his ‘brethren’, for him to provide subsistence for his ‘toilers’.
In Wealth Of Nations the object of the metaphor of ‘an invisible hand’ is the absolute unavoidable consequence of those merchants who invest at home, for whatever reason, including their risk-avoidance, of their adding to aggregate national output (and thereby employment of labour), which in terms of ‘spreading opulence’ is a public benefit. On Misleading Humanities Students from Adam Smith's Lost Legacy by Gavin Kennedy

That is the new book by David Schmidtz and Jason Brennan.  It is ideal for anyone looking for a broad overview of human history from a classical liberal point of view.  Self-recommending, as they say.  Buy it here.  Here areSchmidtz and Brennan on CatoUnbound. from Marginal Revolution by Tyler Cowen

Chris, a loyal MR reader, asks: I'd like to see you list the top 10 books which have influenced your view of the world. I'll go with the "gut list," rather than the "I've thought about this for a long time list."  I'll also stress that books are by no means the only source of influence.  The books are in no intended order, although the list came out in a broadly chronological stream:
1. Plato, Dialogues.  I read these very early in life and they taught me about trying to think philosophically and also about meta-rationality.
2. The Incredible Bread Machine, by Susan Love Brown,  This was the first book I ever read on economics and it got me excited about the topic.
3. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, by Ayn Rand.  This got me excited about the idea that production is what matters and that producers must have the freedom and incentives to operate.
4. Friedrich A. Hayek, Individualism and Economic Order.  The market as a discovery procedure and why socialist calculation will not succeed.  (By the way, I'll toss a chiding tsk-tsk the way of Wolfers and Thoma.)
5. John Maynard Keynes: The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.  Keynes is one of the greatest thinkers of economics and there are new ideas on virtually every page.
6. John Stuart Mill, Autobiography.  This got me thinking about how one's ideas change, and should change, over the course of a lifetime.  Plus Mill is a brilliant thinker and writer more generally.
7. Willard van Orman Quine, Word and Object.  This is actually a book about how to arrive at a deeper understanding than the one you already have, although I suspect few people read it that way.
8. Reasons and Persons, by Derek Parfit.  This convinced me that a strictly individualistic approach to ethics will not in general succeed and introduced me to new ways of reasoning and new ways to plumb for depth.
9. Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae.  I don't think the ideas in this book have influenced me very much, but reading it was, for whatever reason, the impetus to start writing about the economics of culture and also to give a broader focus to what I write.  Alex, by the way, was the one who recommended it to me.
10. Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past.  This is still the best book on interiority.
I'd also like to mention the two books by Fischer Black, although a) I cannot easily elevate one over the other, and b) I capped the list at ten.  La Rochefoucauld's Maxims also deserves honorary mention, on self-deception and related issues.  Plus there is Shakespeare -- also for thinking with depth -- although I cannot point to a single book above the others.  Harold Bloom's The Western Canon comes to mind as well.
I would encourage other bloggers to offer similar lists. from Marginal Revolution by Tyler Cowen

March 23, 2010

Sri Aurobindo, K.C. Bhattacharyya and Radhakrishnan

Anie Nunnally The Golden Path: Interviews with Disciples of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville Anie Nunnally (Paperback - Jan 1, 2004), Rainbow Bridge: A Comparative Study of Tagore and Sri Aurobindo Goutam Ghosal (Hardcover - Feb 2, 2007, Netaji Subhas Confronted the Indian Ethos (1900-1921): Yogi Sri Aurobindo's " Terrorism " , Poet Tagore's " Universalism " , and Mahatma Gandhi's " Experimental Non-Violence " Adwaita P. Ganguly (Hardcover - Sep 5, 2003), Vision of India Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandi, Sri Aur…, Among the great;: Conversations with Romain Rolland, Mahatma Gandhi, Bertrand Russell, Rabindranath Tagore [and] Sri Aurobindo Dilip Kumar Roy, Four Indo-Anglian poets: Study of Toru Dutt, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo and Sarojini Naidu A. N Dwivedi, Indian Religions: A Historical Reader of Spiritual Experience and Expression (Paperback - Feb 1, 2002), Lover's Gift and Crossing: "The Romance of a Mystic" (Living Time Nobel Prize Collection) Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo (Paperback - Sep 4, 2006), Sri Aravinda aura Mahatma Gandhi ke darsanom ka samikshatmaka adhyayana Pratibha Srivastav, Contemporary Indian idealism: (with special reference to Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Ripusudan Prasad Srivastava, Concepts of reason and intuition: (with special reference to Sri Aurobindo, K.C. Bhattacharyya and Radhakrishnan) Ramesh Chandra Sinha, The ideal of world community: Buddhist aspiration in view of Sri Aurobindo Hajime Nakamura, The Meeting of the East and the West in Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy S.K. Maitra, Sri Aurobindo on Philosophy of Yoga Satyajyoti Chakravorty (Hardcover - Oct 31, 1997), Sri Aurobindo: A Contemporary ReaderThe Concept of Personality in Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga Psychology and A. Maslow's Humanistic/Transpersonal Psychology Joseph Vrinte (Hardcover - Sep 1995), Integral Advaitism of Sri Aurobindo Ram Shankar Misra (Hardcover - Jul 1, 1998), Sri Aurobindo, Jung and Vedic Yoga Satya Prakash Singh (Hardcover - Apr 15, 2005), Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx: Integral Sociology and Dialectical Sociology D. P. Chattopadhyaya (Hardcover - Dec 1, 1991), Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo Sanyal; INdrani and Krishna Roy (Hardcover - Feb 2, 2007), Perennial Quest for a Psychology with a Soul: An inquiry into the relevance of Sri Aurobindo's metaphysical yoga psychology in the context of Ken Wilber's integral psychology Joseph Vrinte (Hardcover - Jan 1, 2002), The philosophy of Sri Aurobindo in the light of the Gospel (Indian research series) Eva Olsson, Integral Consciousness: Sri Aurobindo's Yoga and how Haridas Chaudhuri brought it to the West Mark Kitchell (DVD), Indias rebirth: Out of the ruins of the West : a selection from Sri Aurobindos writings, talks and speeches Aurobindo Ghose (Paperback - Jan 1, 1997), Dante and Sri Aurobindo: A Comparative Study of "The Divine Comedy" and "Savitri" Prema Nandakumar, Mental Plane: Hermeticism, Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Sri Aurobindo, New Age, Plane (esotericism), Reality, Thought, Western World, Secularism. (Paperback - Jan 6, 2010), Sri Aurobindo and the theories of evolution;: A critical and comparative study of the Indian and western theories of evolution with special reference to ... evolution (The Chowkhamba Sanskrit studies) Rama Shanker Srivastava, A Greater Psychology: An Introduction to the Psychological Thought of Sri Aurobindo Sri Aurobindo (Hardcover - Jan 15, 2001), Eckhart Tolle Sri Aurobindo A.S. Dalal (Paperback - Dec 1, 2008), Les Ecrits Bengalis De Sri Aurobindo [1972-1950] Prithwindra Mukherjee, Sri Aurobindo's Political Thought Haridas; Mukherjee, Uma Mukherjee (Hardcover - Jan 1, 1958), From Man Human to Man Divine: Sri Aurobindo's Vision of the Evolutionary Destiny of Man Jugal Kishore Mukherjee (Hardcover - Feb 1990), The Destiny Of The Body/The Vision and the Realisation in Sri Aurobindo's Yoga Jugal Kishore Mukherjee (Paperback - Jan 1, 2000), Sri Aurobindo: The Smiling Master Jugal Kishore Mukherjee (Paperback - Dec 1995), The ascent of sight in Sri Aurobindo's Savitri Jugal Kishore Mukherjee, Sri Aurobindo's Poetry and Sanskrit Rhetoric Jugal K. Mukherjee (Paperback - Dec 31, 1990), Bande Mataram' and Indian Nationalism (1906-1908). Being a study in theideas of India's First Freedom Movement based on those rare editorialarticles of Sri Audobindo and Bepin Chandra Pal which first appeared inthe famous "Bande Mataram" daily between 1906 and 1908. Uma; Haridas Mukherjee Mukherjee (Paperback - Jan 1, 1957), Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Its Role, Responsibility and Future Destiny: An Insider's Personal View Jugal Kishore Mukherjee (Paperback - Aug 1, 1997), Sri Aurobindo Prithwindra Mukherjee (Paperback - Feb 18, 2000), Economics Natural or Integral Economics J.N. Mukherjee (Hardcover - Dec 31, 1987), India's Freedom Struggle, 1857-1947 Peter Heehs (Hardcover - Dec 1988), Quest for Freedom: The United States and India's Independence Kenton J. Clymer (Hardcover - Oct 15, 1995), Bharat Mata: Calendar Art and India's Freedom Struggle Erwin Neumayer, Christine Schelberger (Hardcover - Jan 14, 20…, India's Freedom Reassessed: The Legacy of the Desais And Patels of Gujarat Chittaranjan Dadubhai, Dr. Desai (Hardcover - Jun 30, 2007)