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  • 1. The Logic of Hinduism
  • 2. Lecture Outline
    • 1) Hindu Panentheism and Indian History
    • 2) Why does God Create?
    • 3) Meditation
      • Why?
      • How?
    • 4) Argument for Immortality
  • 3. Combine Pantheism and Monotheism: Panentheism
    • “ In Me are all existences contained,
    • Not I in them!” (Bhagavad Gita)
    • Pantheism: God is everything; everything is God
    • Monotheism: there is one God, separate from the world He/She creates.
    • Combine: Panentheism: 1) the world is the expression of God in time/space, 2) yet God also remains the conscious Unity in all expressions
  • 4. Emanationism
    • “ They comprehend not, the Unheavenly,
    • How Souls go forth from Me; nor how they come
    • Back to Me.”
    • 1) Soul (Aspect, Part of Brahman) goes forth into forgetfulness (matter)
    • 2) => Karmic existence in samsara (illusion of time and space)
    • 3) Return to consciousness of inner divinity (moksha, Nirvana): Sat-Chit-Ananda or bliss consciousness of being)
  • 5. Neo-Kinship and the unity of God and the World
    • Ancient kinship > animism
      • =>pantheism
      • Hinduism absorbs animistic hunter-gatherers
    • Evolution of polytheism (=> avatars) and monotheism does not reject animism
    • >Panentheism (“Pan” = all; “hen” = one)
    • Continuity with early beliefs of kinship society
    • Contrast with monotheism of the West and Middle East: God is above and outside of nature ( separation of God and world)
  • 6. God Becomes Human
    • God knows Him/Herself, but does not experience what it is to be God.
    • To experience something requires first not being it.
      • E.g., to experience joy requires sorrow
    • Hence, to experience Him/Herself, God must become (pretend to be) not-God:
    • > the creation of the world
  • 7. Path to True Self
    • Krishna is an “avatar” because Krishna realizes his true being as Brahman
    • Ordinary human (Arjuna) fails to understand this
    • Hence Arjuna is caught up in cycle of birth and death ( Samsara ) and Illusion ( Maya )
    • To find peace/joy/bliss: find your real Self
    • This is God’s experience of being God
  • 8. Meditation: Path to the Inner God
    • The Saint who shuts outside his placid soul
    • All touch of sense, letting no contact through;
    • Whose quiet eyes gaze straight from fixed brows,
    • Whose outward breath and inward breath are drawn
    • Equal and slow through nostrils still and close;
    • That one— with organs, heart, and mind constrained ,
    • Bent on deliverance, having put away
    • Passion, and fear, and rage;--hath, even now ,
    • Obtained deliverance, ever and ever freed.
  • 9. What does meditation do?
    • We normally identify ourselves with our thinking mind, our desires => Ordinary self, ego.
    • Concerned with past and future
    • Not being in the present
    • We normally don’t control our mind; it controls us.
    • We need to set aside the mind to discover our real being: the experience of being : I AM
  • 10. You are not your thoughts
    • = “You” are not your thoughts
    • Become aware of the Self outside of the thoughts.
    • That is really the You that is the expression of God: the true Self
  • 11. How to meditate
    • Sequestered should he sit,
    • Steadfastly meditating, solitary,
    • His thoughts controlled, his passions laid away,
    • Quit of his belongings. . . .
    • There, setting hard his mind upon The One,
    • Restraining heart and senses, silent, calm,
    • Let him accomplish Yoga [=union], and achieve
    • Pureness of soul [Atman], holding immovable
    • Body and neck and head, his gaze absorbed
    • Upon his nose-end . . .
  • 12. Light Meditation
    • Feel and relax your body completely
    • Focus your attention on nose-end for a while
      • Feel disconnected from the body
      • Ignore your thoughts
    • Close eyes and observe the darkness, shadows, inner clouds, colors, forms
    • Keep searching for the light in the center for as long as possible
  • 13. Krishna’s argument for immortality
    • That which is
    • Can never cease to be; that which is not
    • Will not exist. To see this truth of both
    • Is theirs who part essence from accident,
    • Substance from shadow. Indestructible,
    • Learn thou! The Life is, spreading life through all;
    • It cannot anywhere, by any means,
    • Be anywise diminished, stayed, or changed.
  • 14. The fleeting frames
    • But for these fleeting frames which it informs
    • With spirit deathless, endless, infinite,
    • They perish. Let them perish, Prince!
    • And fight!
  • 15. (1) Being
    • Being cannot come out of non-being
    • If once there was nothing, now there would be nothing.
    • Hence being is eternal
  • 16. (2) Non-Being
    • Things that come into existence and pass away – i.e., change – are a mixture of being and non-being:
    • Inasmuch as anything is, it cannot not-be.
    • Inasmuch as anything is not, it cannot be.
    • So changing things are illusory, “shadows” on the wall – “Maya”
  • 17. (3) Being and Non-Being
    • Inasmuch as I am a changing being of time (focused on past and future), I am involved in Maya (Illusion)
    • My true being is in the present moment of Now, the moment of IS/AM
    • Inasmuch as I AM, I AM Eternal, Divine
  • 18. Plato’s argument for immortality
    • The human soul can recognize unchangeable truths.
      • E.g., The Theorem of Pythagoras.
    • We can recognize unchanging Beauty in itself in the changing beautiful things.
    • The soul must be like what it knows and loves.
    • Therefore, the soul must also be unchangeable
    • Rise to the soul level, above preoccupation with sensory objects (the shadow world)