UPANISHADS – A Series Begins

Medha Editor’s Note:

We are pleased to offer to Medhavis a new series on Upanishads, the creme-de-la-creme of Indic Philosophy, which has influenced the thought & living in India & other influenced cultures for millennia. This series is authored by Dr S K Balasubramanian. The editor stumbled on some of his writings at an e-group and was struck by the calibre of both knowledge & ability to explain the intricacies & details.

Medhavis will, it is hoped, read with interest & comment & interact with the author, who has indicated willingness to be engaged. Over to the author-  


UPANISHADS

Apologia: I am not a conventional scholar or a spiritualist. I would rather fit the description: “scholar among rakes and a rake among scholars.” I belong to nowhere.

I welcome critical comments on the facts but please keep abuses out of the way. The latter do not settle any question.

I am giving only the highlights. I have no illusion that my comments are enlightening. The idea is to arouse the interest of busy lay persons so that they may pursue the matter more deeply at leisure.

This is the introductory part of, hopefully, a long series.

 

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Problems in philosophy of Science – (Vedanta to Vijnanta)

 

When I was an undergraduate student of mathematics in the late 1970s I always wondered why am I learning what has been taught to me. Simply because I was good in Mathematics did not mean that I understood it. I was a student of science because I wanted to explore the mysteries of the universe, decode the method in the madness of the God.

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Fear, Psychoses, Samskaras and The Ego

What does a person do when faced with extreme situations? Hunker down and face them head-on? Curl up into a fetal ball and hope to weather out whatever is bothering them? A little of both?

Growing up, I have been aware of an ambivalence in me (and sense it in many folks around me as well) — what is the apt reaction to any situation? Should the response be cerebral? Should it be hormone-driven? It’s hard to say…

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Looking for happiness — where do we find it?

I was having a conversation with my friend and Tai Chi partner yesterday on our way back from class about the nature of happiness. Please do not treat this article as a lecture of some sort. This is written from the heart and with good intent.

Someone I know often laments on the way her life has turned out…about how things aren't working out as she would have liked them to have been

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On the Nature and Utility of Debate

I hit upon the idea of writing this article when I saw the huge list of comments on a recent article on the Medhajournal. Apart from the obvious interest I saw of the users in the subject, and each airing his/her views on the topic, sometimes as an argument to counter another and sometimes to present a totally new point of view. This article is a collection of my reflections on the

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Short notes on the Ascetic Motivation

I attempt to guess/intuit the motivation of the ascetics, who most willingly practise self-denial according to the scriptural recommendations. Certainly, the immediate answer is that they do so to be eligible for attaining moksa (liberation from samsara), hence perhaps a more accurate title to the note should revolve around the foundation of one's desire to attain moksa (even though in the course of his endeavour he must abandon even the desire to attain moksa).

(please note that this note was/is being written rather hastily, hence there is no organisation, rather there is disorganisation; I hope the reader will forgive me for this, because I make haste here only to save some time which I have to devote to more urgent matters, while also fulfilling, even if only partly, my desire to have these thoughts written down for some one else's possible insight and feedback; kindly pardon also my extreme tendency to ramble sans coherence, coupled with my tendency to write on matters uncomprehensively and inconclusively)

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Destiny and Free Will

Destiny & Free Will — Are we mere puppets in the God’s hands?

Synopsis

The article reviews and reasons why no philosophical concept in the history of mankind has received as much acceptability as the concept of saMsaara – the continuous cycles of birth and death, puurva karma – deeds of past life and praarabdha – the unconquerable destiny. This theory that was proposed in the Upanished in the millennium BC remains uncontested and sans an alternate hypothesis till date in the realms of philosophy.

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