|U-Turn example: Meditation experiences in Buddhism and Catholicism
Chandramouli shares another case of U-Turn:
Becoming a Tibetan Buddhist nun is not a typical life choice for a child of an Italian Catholic police officer from Brooklyn, New York. Nevertheless, in February of 1988 I knelt in front of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, as he cut a few locks of my hair (the rest had already been shaved), symbolizing my renunciation of lay life.
I lived in the vows of a Buddhist nun for a year, in the course of spending two years living in Buddhist monasteries in Nepal and India. Including my years of lay practice, I spent twenty years of my adult life practicing Buddhism, before returning to the Catholicism into which I had been born and baptized...
...Over the years, I have found that much of what I learned about and experienced of Buddhist meditation during those years enriches my prayer life as a Christian...."
"I am not sure if the below passage from the book "Life of Pi" is told
in the movie. Its worth reading. v
On Hinduism - from "Life of Pi"
I am currently reading "Life of Pi", a novel by Yann Martel. While
reading it I came across a passage which captures beautifully the
essence of Hinduism and what it means to be a Hindu. I could relate to
it so well that I couldn't resist reproducing it here. So here it
"But religion is more than rite and ritual. There is what the rite and
ritual stand for. Here too I am a Hindu. The universe makes sense to
me through Hindu eyes. There is Brahman, the world soul, the
sustaining frame upon which is woven warp and weft, the cloth of
being, with all its decorative elements of space and time. There is
Brahman nirguna, without qualities, which lies beyond understanding,
beyond approach; with our poor words we sew a suit for it - One,
Truth, Unity, Absolute, Ultimate Reality, Ground of Being - and try to
make it fit, but Brahman nirguna always bursts the seams. We are left
speechless. But there is also the Brahman saguna, with qualities,
where the suit fits. Now we call it Shiva, Krishna, Shakti, Ganesha we
can approach it with some understanding; we can discern certain
attributes - loving, merciful, frightening - and we feel the gentle
pull of relationship..."
Vedam posts a review by a RMF member:
"... In one scene, after Pi barely escapes the tiger's attack, stranded
on a makeshift raft, reasons as only a Hindu would - that the tiger's
nature is to kill and eat - for that is his Karma. Unencumbered by
a philosophy that would put man in charge of all animals (thus in a
position to decide the tiger's fate), Pi proceeds to do the unthinkable
for a vegetarian - catch a fish, and kill it, to feed the tiger, despite
the knowledge that keeping the tiger alive is suicidal for Pi: there could
not be a better implicit message of duty/dharma. His breakdown at killing
a fish is an explicit ode to the Dharmic credo of ahimsa.
The trails and tribulations that follow with forlorn Christian and
Islamic messages are perhaps the author's attempt to seek the divine
from a syncretized viewpoint that is only possible in a Hindu, and
would have monotheists squirming in their seats..."
"My nine year old nephew analyzed pi as follows after having watched the movie --Pi represents the bridge between divinity and the individual soul...the circle representing the universe and the diameter the individual.
It was interesting to see a movie evoke such questioning in one so young.
"The film is a wonderful allegoric epic. The tiger is the ahankara while Pi is the infinite, nameless Brahman that is one with the universe and hence indestructible. The floating island on which he lands is the universe of matter, life giving during the day, deadly at night (prabhava-pralaya) in which the soul is entrapped. The boat is the physical body which takes the Self and its ego across the ocean of Maya-Samsara..."
... Exhibit 3: Every school kid in India [at least in the 70s-80s] was indoctrinated with the "Top-7 list of the wonders of the ancient world"
...Generations of Indian children were taught that that there were no wonders worth mentioning in ancient India (or in neo-India except the Mughal Taj), or South-east Asia or South America, but remarkably, we all bunched together around the middle-east and Mediterranean...
Rajiv Malhotra responded:
"Rajiv comment: A very important post. People should ponder and add substantive comments. Same also applies to international awards, institutions, laws, aesthetics, etc. WU is normative across civic society, with the exception of pop culture which is not where power resides. See my two videos on lectures at india international center in 2005. I explain the difference between pop culture and deep culture. The latter is where WU resides."
"...It is our educational system's defect to elevate the ancient Greek list to
something other than a fact about ancient Greece.
As far as I know, we have no surviving travelogues from ancient India, and so we do not have ancient Indian opinion on ancient wonders."
November 27 [Continuing thread from Nov 22]
"I thank the few persons who provided solid information. This has been very useful..."
"..Evolution and involution of the tattvas are the very basis of creation and
dissolution in both Samkhya and Vedanta. The principle on which evolution and involution are based is called `satkaryavada': the doctrine of the pre-existence of the effect in the cause. In the schools of Vedanta that hold Brahman to be the material cause of the universe,..."
"...RV ( X.190.1-X.190.3) speaks of Cosmic creations of layers from subtle to gross. (Harvard calls it a Cosmogonic hymn).
Here is a translation that I found on the internet, which literally appears correct:
From blazing Ardor [of Purusha?], Cosmic Order came and Truth; from thence was born
the obscure night; from thence the Ocean with its billowing waves.
This thread below is a really important one because it talks about an event that brings together Rajiv Malhotra and other leaders of various decentralized institutions of Hinduism under one roof to discuss some really critical issues. We plan to cover this thread in-depth in a separate post.
November 28 [continuing from last week]
RMF Summary: Week of November 22-28, 2012
Nov 23 [New Thread]