Being Different-Book Positioning

Dear friends, … I wanted to share some thoughts below regarding what reader segments are targeted by the book, and what I hope it offers each of them. As you can see there are many diverse kinds of interests – which of course also adds to the complexity.

Market Positioning – BEING DIFFERENT

BEING DIFFERENT is unique in both the scope of its analysis of east-west relations, and its provocative and accessible rhetoric. Most publications on this subject are highly specialized treatments of a particular point of contact between east and west, written for a very small audience of scholars. Most of them arise from fundamental and often unconscious presumptions about the universalism of western thought, which diminishes their treatment of other perspectives. At the same time, there are many self-help spirituality books written for the curious but naive western population, which offer little more than New Age and pop-psychology spiced up with exotic Indian seasoning. They rarely address the fundamental differences between, for instance, the western civilizations based on Judaism, Christianity and the European Enlightenment and those based on the dharma (most notably Hinduism and Buddhism). This title fills a vacuum in the market for a substantive, intellectually stimulating, and yet non-technical treatment of this subject in a very original style.

I see seven distinct but overlapping audiences for this book:

1. SERIOUS INTELLECTUALS: Educated and curious readers of both eastern and western descent who are engaged in dealing with our complex socio-economic reality, especially those who are interested in cultural difference, global leadership, interreligious dialogue, , and/or philosophy of religion. This includes academic as well as non-academic readers.

2. COGNITIVE SCIENTISTS: Psychologists, social workers and those in the field of the human sciences who study issues of self and other, and the role of psyche and spirit in individual and collective healing. The book provides a new framework based on Indian approaches.

3. WESTERN YOGIS: Westerners attracted to eastern thought through yoga and other popularized spiritual practices, but with perhaps a limited understanding of the philosophical roots of these practices. Because the dharmic perspective is inherently non-dogmatic and non-codified, there are few accessible places for them to turn for insight. My book fills this need.

4. MODERN INDIANS: People of Indian background who wish a deeper knowledge of their own traditions and would like to re-imagine them in a sophisticated, nuanced and relevant way. Those who are lost in murky notions such as “all religions are the same” are in for a surprise since my whole approach is about emphasizing differences and not sameness. Such persons include many spiritual leaders and their followers.

5. JUDEO-CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIANS: Westerners who assert historical exclusivity as the foundation of their faith are likely to find new challenges to their most cherished assumptions. I have been debating with them throughout the development of this book and intend to continue to do so using this book.

6. TRADITIONAL HINDU/BUDDHIST SCHOLARS: While they are well trained in their own traditions, such experts have not adequately trained in purva paksha of the West for a variety of reasons. This is a serious handicap when they represent dharma in interfaith gatherings and also when they try to educate their largely Westernized followers. The result is a serious dilution and mistranslation of dharmic ideas. This book equips them to function in the global world, and it pressures them to seriously re-examine many of their teachings.

7. CORPORATE AND GEOPOLITICAL LEADERS: Leaders in the corporate and geopolitical professions are often seeing India’s difference as a kind of “strangeness” through western lenses. This applies to most Indian leaders as well. This book offers a worldview through Indian lenses that would enable Indian leaders to deal on the world stage on part with leaders from other great civilizations who assert their civilizational capital as a form of soft power – such as Chinese, Japanese, Europeans, Americans and Russians. Conversely, it also provides non-Indians dealing with India and Indians a deeper insight into their psyche and approaches to the world.

Medha Editor Note:

For book details, see –

Medha Journal will keep its readers updated on the activities regarding this seminal book. We will start by publishing a few important reviews of the book by influential academicians & leaders.

Also see

1. Book website:

2. Book discussion group at

(please join the discussion & contribute your views.)

3. Book (e-Version at $9.95) available at Amazon:\

(If you don’t own Kindle hardware, you can read Kindle format on iPad or PC using freely downloadable software).

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