A VIDEO CLIP of DEDICATION,
THANKS TO PEOPLE who helped me to make the film YOGASON and NOTES for Yoga
CLICK ABOVE FOR 21 ASANAS
by Amit Ray
LIFE PAST & FUTURE
stream of time has been carrying my life afloat along its self created
course dancing with almost a perfect mixture of joys &
sorrows, good & bad, ups and downs. Let the music of the rolling
stream with its often bouts of rainbow notes never stop until it
immerses itself in the vast quietness of the only TRUTH.
Ray is a graduate mechanical engineer from Jadavpur University, India.
coming to Italy in 2010, worked and lived in Switzerland for 17
India in 1975 to take up a position in England and lived in various countries
in Europe & M.E. He comes
from a family of long history in philosophy, Vedic and Western.
His great grand father was a philosopher, a Pundit specialized in Naya
Shastra (Logic), one of the six systems of Indian philosophy - in 1919 was
awarded the highest educational honour (MAHAMAHOPADHYAYA) - knighted by the then British
His father was a professor of Logic and
Western Philosophy and author of books on SYMBOLIC LOGIC and METALOGIC (Theory of Logic) and Director &
Secretary of Education, Tripura
sister is the head of the department of logic and western philosophy, Dumdum
Motijhil College, Calcutta University.
a great message:
message of a beautiful and healthy body -
A message for the uplifting of the mind
philosophers said more than 3000 years ago:
or intelligence is the driver of the chariot of the body, driven by
the horses of the senses, which are controlled by the reins of the
VIDDHI – KNOW
INNER SELF CONTAINS THE CLUE TO THE ANSWER OF OUR LIFE."
Jahre altem Zitat der wedischen Philosophen:
oder Verstand ist der Lenker des Wagens Körper, gezogen von den
Pferden Sinnen, die von dem Geschirr Geist im Zaum gehalten werden."
VIDDHI – ERKENNE DICH SELBST"
INNERES SELBST ENTHÄLT DEN SCHLÜSSEL ZUR ANTWORT AUF UNSER LEBEN".
citant les philosophes védiques qui affirmèrent il y a plus de 3000
compréhension ou l’intelligence est le cocher sur le char du
corps,Conduit par les chevaux des sensqui sont contrôlés par les
rênes de l’esprit »
VIDDHI – CONNAIS-TOI TOI-MÊME.
MOI INTÉRIEUR CONTIENT LA CLEF DE L’ENIGME DE NOTRE VIE.
- the ethical discipline is registered in
AND MANAGED BY AMIT RAY
DESIGNED BY AMIT RAY
© AMIT RAY 2002-2013
BY MARIA KOEFER
International Yoga Centers Directory
site is dedicated to my late beloved father, Indra Kumar Ray (15 Dec 1915
- 08 May 1999), a professor of philosophy and logic, author of books on
Metalogic and psychology.
was the grandson of a logician and philosopher, late Baikunthanath
Tarkabhusan Ray, who in 1919 was awarded the highest educational honour (Mahamahopadhyaya)
by the then British Government.
FATHER'S LAST WORDS
I write what my father told us, let me say a few words as I knew
his life, philosophy was his religion and his gods were the western
philosophers, from Plato to Kant to Russell, Russell being his most
favourite. He never gave us any traditional religious training, though we
went through all the rituals, which according to him were nothing but
natural things to do as we were born in that environment.
When I was 17 years
gave a book called "Skeptical Essays" by
the English Philosopher Bertrand Russell and
asked me to read it. Thus, he planted in me the seed of a tree of
philosophy that over the years has changed my view of this world in a way
that it is not bound by any restrictions in life.
1990, on the 14th of July, when I was on holiday in India, he introduced
me to Indian Philosophy for the first time in my life by presenting a book
"INDIAN PHILOSOPHY" VOLUME 1 BY RADHAKRISHNAN.
AN EXCERPT FROM HIS LAST WORDS:
the level of consciousness mankind in general has achieved up to my time,
my life may be considered a successful one. I also tried to do my duty as
best as I could; I don't know what the psycho-analytical trappings in the
subconscious were, and what impulses they sent. But consciousness is a
continuum, and we do not know whether from a different or higher level,
success in life will be judged in the same way.
the analysis of duty reveals certain difficulties. Social duty, in many of
its aspects, implies social inequality. If it is one's duty to help the
needy, then elimination of poverty and disease, and universal education up
to an adequate level, cannot be the social aim, for there must be some
poverty, disease and illiteracy to enable some people to be virtuous. The
point is delicate, and I may be called a cynic, but it remains to be
decided whether poverty, disease and lack of education are ineliminable of
necessity (e.g. the result of Karma in previous births, to which I am soon
coming), to make social virtue possible.
I may be allowed to imagine that with the knowledge and technology now at
our disposal, and without the methods of politicization and
criminalization by which our present rulers (even the
Governor-General and the British officers in the days of Raj, called
themselves "your most obedient servant" at least in paper)
consolidate and aggravate these ills of society, while constantly
professing to eliminate them, these ills have actually been eliminated,
there will remain little social duty for an individual. The only duties
that will still remain are rearing and nurturing the young and nursing the
old and the sick, which may hardly be called virtues. Even if an urgency
crops up or a call comes to rush in where an accident or mishap has taken
place, it is the whole society, which will be acting through the
individuals placed to provide immediate relief and do whatever is needful
thereafter. Such action will be the social characteristic of the
particular society, but hardly a social virtue.
am not raising the question of individual virtue regarding which, I am
afraid, there is little chance of unanimity, and which, I am equally
afraid, is of little good to society, of which India itself is a glaring
aren't we moral beings, and don't we have moral values? Certainly yes, but
moral values should be defined in a different way, not in terms of virtue,
which smacks of the sense of APOORBO of the MIMANGSA , but in
terms of honest (which may include upright, kind, sympathetic, prompt, and
the like) behaviour, characteristic of the stage when ills of society,
which now plague it and make some people virtuous, are in the process of
elimination. It is not for me to prescribe it, it will be of no avail. The
whole society must prescribe it for itself, if it is to be at all
effective. I cannot now imagine what the moral values will be like beyond
this stage. Let us first cross this stage.
Brahmins in India preached that men are divided into four Varnas, the
Brahmins being of the highest Varna, and the duties of each lower Varna is
to acknowledge the superiority of and serve the higher Varnas. This may
have been done to ensure social stability at that time. But the times have
changed, and the evil effects of the Varna theory cannot be worse than
what we see in the socio-political field today. The theory propagated that
if the lower Varnas do their duty appropriate to the Varna in which they
are born, they will be born in a higher Varna in the next birth. Along
with this goes the threat that their present birth in the lower Varna is
due to some sin committed by them in their past birth(s), and if they do
not virtuously perform the duties of the Varna of their present birth,
they will be born in a lower Varna, and if their present Varna happens to
be the lowest, as an animal.
is the theory of Rebirth, a rationalization of the ancient tribal belief
that the "spirit" in man may even pass over into animals after
death. From this theory followed DASHABIDHA SAMSKAR for ensuring a secure
means of livelihood for the Brahmins, for whom manual work was considered
by Manu to be a moral lapse.
my present birth in the particular Varna, with the social, economic and
health conditions, intelligence, etc., is due to my Karma in previous
births, to what Karma was my first birth due?
(a Hindu ceremony) is said to be performed to help the deceased reach
heaven and stay there longer. But if whither I shall go or what state I
shall assume is determined by my Karma in my present and past
births, how can Sraddh performed by another person help me? Where
is heaven? Nobody knows. How is it? It is, of course, described in
speak of higher levels of consciousness, some even of a highest level,
from which the truth may be perceived. This is rather uncertain, for us,
who are at the present level, hearsay, until in the course of evolution
mankind in general achieves those higher levels gradually. But confound
the philosophy which preaches that the highest level is for a favoured
few, the rest being relegated to a succession of births and deaths.
had thought over the matter since I had learned to think, say, for about
sixty years, but found no solid argument in favour of the theory of
rebirth in what has been stated in the Brahminical texts about it. As I
grew in years, my doubts about its truth also grew stronger. I am now over
eighty one, weak in body and mind, but my doubts did not relent. I,
therefore, consider it proper now to state clearly that I don't believe in
everybody be happy and in good health, "see the good", let none
quote from Sanskrit literature).
Swami Prabhananda of The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture,
permitting me to quote from the book "The cultural Heritage of
India" (6 volumes). www.sriramakrishna.org
sister. Teaches philosophy at a college under the University of
Calcutta, India. Kept a keen eye on the philosophical content, I
brother- in- law, who
gave his all to see to it that the film was successfully completed in
American friend. Teaches at the American School of Paris, who
did the French narration in the film.
Swiss friend, who did the German narration in the film.
friend in France, who edited the French text of the leaflet.
and Rolf Gehrig
Swiss friends for editing the German text of the leaflet.
and Joerg Meier
Swiss friends for editing the German text of the yogic instructions.
Spanish friend, who edited the Spanish text of the leaflet.
friend in Italy for editing the Italian text of the leaflet.
German friend - M.A. Physiotherapist, for her advice on yogic poses
from the western point of view and for editing the German texts.
American friend, C.P.A for his continuous encouragement and advice on
and Nadine Janssens
Belgian friends in France for
their help, interest and encouragement.
Australian friend in Sweden for her encouragement in my project.
family in India and UK and all my friends in Switzerland.
NOTE ON PHYSICS AND METAPHYSICS
a student of science I am inclined to physics and I have come to know
that in modern physics intellectual debate and intense search are going
on, on the question of some conscious energy behind the phenomenal
world, which may be called GOD OR ONENESS. All these efforts are to
search for or to find out an ultimate truth behind this Universe.
year I read a book called Mathematical
Undecidability, Quantum Nonlocality and the Question of the Existence of
God. I must admit
that I did not really understand the book well due to lack of my
knowledge in higher physics and higher mathematics. However, I did like
some parts of some articles, and please let me quote a few lines from
of the authors, Dr. Paul Pliska, whom I personally know, wrote in his
and the Principle of Free Experimentation,
In today’s physics, in which quantum mechanics plays a decisive role,
there is room for the human free will. This is an astonishing although
natural connection between physics and metaphysics.”
final remarks in this book, Dr. Alfred Driessen and Dr. Antoine Suarez
should bear in mind that science is not the only access to reality. The
rich world of human feelings and thoughts as expressed, for example, in
literature, art, humanities and also in conversations in daily life,
provides alternative routes to reality in all its dimensions.
also wrote, “Man with his intellectual effort is able to know the
existence of an unobservable reality, which he already encounters deep
in his heart.”
classical physicists looked to the outer world to find the reality
behind all phenomena. Modern
to the search for mysteries of
the Universe as well as human consciousness.
Philosophers looked inside themselves to find the truth underlying the
phenomenal world and they realized that the Self or the Atma is the only
ultimate reality, which is conscious in nature. All other reality, i.e.
all phenomenal reality is only relative or conditional.
is fascinating is that thousands of years ago what the Vedic thinkers
searched and realized in their own way, now it appears that modern
research on quantum mechanics
approaching to a similar goal.
Our great poet, the Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, expressed this
oneness beautifully in one of his poems,
shadow, as particles, my body fused
with endless night,
I came to rest at the altar of the stars.
amazed, I stared upwards with hands clasped and said,
you have removed Your rays; show now your loveliest, kindliest form
I may see the Person who dwells in me as in you.”
a person inclined to physics, I would fervently desire that physics and
spirituality walk hand in hand, compliment each other’s intelligence.
us bring harmony to the extrospective nature by being introspective.
is ever ready to extend her introspective hand to find together the
reality, the oneness, the truth.
ON THE OCCASION OF THE BIRTHDAY OF THE BUDDHA
GAUTAMA / SIDDHATTA GOTAMA (ca 566 BC – ca 486 BC)
by Amit Ray
(Published in the
Bulletin of The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, May 2010)
great people, like the wise, the brave, the politicians, etc, exercise
their will over other people. They mould history according to their own
design. During the period when Buddha was born, it was not difficult for
him to occupy a small space in one corner of the history as a king of
one of India’s innumerable small kingdoms. He could have become
valorous, could have become a great victor, the students could have memorized
his life story, depicted in a small chapter of the modern history
included in the school curriculum, and then perhaps would have forgotten
those who engage themselves in austere
endeavour to advance the work for salvation of mankind, for
completing the unfinished perfection of the human nature/spirit, for
flourishing of the human mind, for bringing clarity to the obscured
human consciousness behind the thick veil of imperfection enveloped by
ego, take first their seat of all times on the great throne of the human
hearts. We are not able to understand our incompleteness, we are unable
to comprehend the facts of human nature, and our
inability to attain a life of a finer quality until some fully
enlightened person appears before us. Lord Buddha is foremost among
those enlightened by their own profundity who appear age after age to
guide the dejected, the deprived, and the stricken people.
find in Gautama the Buddha, in powerful combination, spiritual
profundity, moral strength of the highest order and a discreet
intellectual reserve. He is one of those rare spirits who bring to men a
realization of their own divinity and make the spiritual life seem
adventurous and attractive, so that they may go forth into the world
with a new interest and a new joy at heart.” (The
Dhammapada, P56, by Radhakrishnan)
main feature of the Buddha’s message is here that he not only talked
about benevolence but also about compassion. When at the end of his
austerities and after long meditation he gave up asceticism, all of his
companions left him, because they used to think that asceticism
is the only criterion that a person is searching for the
Buddha, after attaining Sambodhi, full enlightenment, engaged himself in
his work and untiringly continued his work until the last day of his
life. He had universal compassion for all living creatures, whether
human or animal. He said: “As a mother at the risk of her life watches
over her only child, so let every one cultivate a boundless love towards
all beings.” We should always have love for all sentient beings and
should not deviate from this path.
Pundits explained Buddha’s Nirvana concept as Shunyata i.e.
nothingness or void. Lord Buddha preached practice of profound loving
kindness to all creatures. We are not able to understand with ordinary
intelligence how this loving kindness can be manifested through Nirvana.
In order to bring about the universal compassion, extinction of one’s
ego is absolutely necessary, but it does not amount to
self-annihilation. Just to hear about self-annihilation, people would
never have crowded to hear him.
is not the annihilation of the self, but only the extinguishing of
selfhood in the ordinary acceptation of the term.” (The
essentials of Indian Philosophy, P73, by M. Hiriyanna)
what a crowd! Most Indians became his followers in one thousand years.
The great emperor Ashoka (304 BC -232 BC) alone built 84,000 Stupas
to preach Buddhism (A Stupa is a bell shaped monument to offer
devotion). India became a land of pilgrimage; people of other lands were
drawn to her through the words of the Buddha. Along the route that Huen
Chang took to travel to India from China, the powerful kings bestowed
upon him the honour and help only because he was a Buddhist; and this
only tells us the extent of the influence of Buddha’s message in all
the neighbouring countries. The message of truth reached across seas and
mountains to Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Tibet, Mongolia, Burma/Myanmar,
Indonesia, Afghanistan, Persia and Egypt.
serenity and gentleness of his face, the beauty and dignity of his life,
the earnestness and enthusiasm of his love, the wisdom and the eloquence
of his message won the hearts of men and women alike.” Indian
Philosophy, P349, by Radhakrishnan.
painted frescoes of him in the dark caves of inaccessible mountains,
built Stupas by carrying enormous blocks of stones to the top of steep
snowy mountains, carved in hundreds of images around the Stupa, each a
perfect specimen of the sculptor’s art, chiselled with loving care and
infinite pains to pay homage to him. It is not enough to salute him only
once a day, the saviour of all mankind of all times. The irresistible
call, the victory call of the truth by the Supreme Man, who sacrificed
his life for easing the difficulty in the progress of mankind, who had
rent the veil of darkness, was thus announced in desert plains, on steep
mountain tops, in solitary caves, in the Stupas.
succeeded so well because it was a religion of love, giving voice to all
the inarticulate forces, which were working against the established
order and the ceremonial religion, addressing itself to the poor, the
lowly and the disinherited.” (Indian
Philosophy, P 475, by Radhakrishnan)
is essentially psychology, logic and ethics, and not
Philosophy, P353, by Radhakrishnan
is not just to disavow or giving away in charity; in order to achieve
the big, it is necessary to sacrifice the little. During the flourishing
of Buddhism and the subsequent time in India, the progress in arts,
science, commerce and imperialistic power was never
like any time
before. This is because when man’s religion becomes alive, the
progress is not bound by speculations regarding eschatology. That
invigorated religion engages it in all kinds of great endeavours.
cannot talk casually about universal compassion for all creatures. In
the human world, we encounter usually lesser examples of such
compassion. The sacrifice for the welfare of the offspring in the animal
world is not unusual. The same form of sacrifice is found in groups of
human beings as well as in bees, for example. Unparalleled loving
kindness flows through love, compassion and innumerable little
incidents, like as published in a newspaper, a female dog breast-feeding
the young of a goat.
Jataka stories tried to illustrate the virtue of universal compassion.
feeling of amity is also present in some parts of the animal world. When
this feeling of compassion is boundless, only then it becomes
self-sacrifice; small sacrifices of material desires attain their fulfillment
at that stage. Our effort, love, care for our biological group only is
transcended at that point. In the abundance of universal compassion, we
find the impartiality between the deserving and the undeserving, the
spontaneity, the self-engaged relinquishment are the elements, which
make a person, fit for Nirvana.
is the Buddhahood. Wherever there is compassion, there is Buddhahood.
said that seeking the only truth, valid for all times, all countries,
for all people irrespective of caste and creed, poverty and affluence,
is the duty of all - “The unending love is flowing in the world,
invite it to your heart, cultivate immeasurable love and good-will
towards all creatures, void of obstacles, hatred, and feud.”
advises us, the lay people, not to give up the world but to lead
virtuous lives as householders and to promote the welfare of the
Buddha advised his disciples to plant a tree every five years by his own
hand and to look after it so that it grows properly. What a beautiful
exercise to practise kindness! If today this advice were to be followed
by all in the world, we would have avoided deforestation and through
this process would have achieved economic prosperity as well; and
moreover proper ecology could have been maintained.
true greatness stands out clearer and brighter as the time passes, and
even the sceptical-minded are turning to him with a more real
appreciation, a deeper reverence and a true worship.
is one of those few heroes of humanity who have made epochs in the
history of our race, with a message for other times as well as their
own.” The Dhammapada, P57, by Radhakrishnan
the Buddha, Dharma or righteousness is the driving principle of the
Dhammapada, P42, by Radhakrishnan
we purify our heart by ethical training, when we focus the total energy
of our consciousness on the deepest in us, we awaken the inherent divine
possibilities, and suddenly a new experience occurs with clarity of
insight and freedom of joy.” The
Dhammapada, P43, by Radhakrishnan
means annihilation of passion, hatred and delusion. It is the waning out
of all evils – diminishing the vicious and the weak in man, which is
the negative aspect of his positive advance in becoming. In its negative
aspect, it means the removal of greed, ill will and dullness. In its
positive aspect, it means mental illumination conceived as light,
insight, and the state of feeling happiness, cool and calm and content,
peace, safety and self-mastery. Objectively considered, it means truth,
the highest good, a supreme opportunity, a regulated life, communion
with the best.”
Cultural Heritage of India, Vol. 1, P547 by Ramakrishna Mission,
Institute of Culture
in this world of selfishness, greed, and jealousy, let us pray to the
great compassionate Buddha to grant us a tiny bit of loving kindness so
that we all become stronger in our spirit, so that our strength lies in
mercy and compassion.
BUDDHA in Italiano
– IL SIGNORE BUDDHA
GAUTAMA / SIDDHATTA GOTAMA (566 a.C. – 486 a.C.)
Amit Ray (Tradotto dall’inglese) ©2010
- ©2013 Amit Ray
presente articolo vuole commemorare un'occasione di lieto auspicio: il
compleanno di Buddhadeva, che noi consideriamo l'uomo più grande sulla
terra, per ricordarlo e rendergli il nostro omaggio.
grandi persone, come i saggi, i coraggiosi, i politici, ecc., esercitano
la loro volontà su altre persone. Danno forma alla storia secondo il
loro disegno. Nell’epoca in cui visse, per Buddha non era difficile
occupare un piccolo angolo di storia come re di uno degli innumerevoli
regni dell'India. Sarebbe potuto diventare un valoroso e un grande
vincitore; gli studenti avrebbero potuto imparare a memoria la favola
della sua vita, descritta in un piccolo capitolo di storia moderna del
loro curriculum scolastico, per poi forse dimenticarlo.
coloro che si impegnano in uno sforzo austero per agevolare l'opera di
salvazione dell'umanità, per completare l’incompiuta perfezione della
natura o dello spirito umano, per la prosperità dell'umanità e per
portare chiarezza nella coscienza umana, oscurata dal fitto velo
dell'imperfezione avviluppata dall'ego, occupano innanzitutto un posto
sul grande trono dei cuori umani, in qualsiasi epoca. Non siamo in grado
di capire la nostra incompiutezza, né i fatti della natura umana, né
la nostra incapacità di avere una vita migliore, fin quando persone
completamente illuminate appaiono prima di noi. Il Signore Buddha è il
primo tra coloro che sono illuminati dalla propria profondità e che
appaiono, epoca dopo epoca, per guidare gli avviliti, gli svantaggiati e
Gautama troviamo il Buddha, una potente combinazione di profondità
spirituale, forza morale del più alto ordine e prudente riserva
intellettuale. È uno di quei rari spiriti che portano gli uomini a
prendere coscienza della loro stessa divinità e fanno sembrare la vita
spirituale avventurosa e attraente, in modo da andare avanti nel mondo
con un nuovo interesse e una nuova gioia nel cuore”.
principale caratteristica del messaggio di Buddha è che non parlava
solo di benevolenza, ma anche di compassione. Quando, dopo una serie di
austerità e una lunga meditazione, egli abbandonò l'ascetismo, tutti i
suoi compagni lo lasciarono, perché pensavano che l'ascetismo fosse
l'unico criterio da ricercare per giungere alla verità trascendentale.
Buddha, dopo aver raggiunto il Sambodhi, la piena illuminazione, si dedicò
alla sua opera e la proseguì incessantemente fino all'ultimo giorno di
vita. Provava una compassione universale per tutte le creature viventi,
umane o animali. Disse: “Come una madre veglia sul suo unico figlio, a
costo della propria vita, così ognuno coltiverà un amore sconfinato
per tutti gli esseri viventi”. Dovremmo sempre provare amore per tutti
gli esseri dotati di senso, senza mai deviare da questo percorso.
Pandit spiegano il concetto di Nirvana per Buddha come Shunyata, ovvero
il nulla o il vuoto. Il Signore Buddha ha predicato una profonda e
amorevole gentilezza verso tutte le creature. Noi non siamo in grado di
capire con la consueta intelligenza come questa amorevole gentilezza
possa manifestarsi attraverso il Nirvana. Per arrivare alla compassione
universale, l'estinzione dell’ego è assolutamente necessaria, ma non
deve essere annichilimento del sé. Se avesse sentito parlare solo di
annichilimento del sé, la gente non si sarebbe mai affollata per
Nirvana non è l'annichilimento del sé, ma solo l’annientamento
dell’individualismo nell'ordinaria accezione del termine”.
che folla! La maggior parte degli indiani divenne sua seguace in un
migliaio di anni. Il grande imperatore Ashoka (304 a.C. - 232 a.C.)
costruì da solo 84.000 Stupa per predicare il Buddismo. L’India
divenne meta di pellegrinaggio; persone da altre terre ne erano attratte
per le parole del Buddha. Sul cammino che Huen Chang intraprese per
raggiungere l’India dalla Cina, i potenti re gli concessero onori e
aiuti soltanto perché era buddista; questo solo per mostrare la grande
influenza del messaggio di Buddha in tutti i paesi confinanti. Il
messaggio di verità attraversò mari e monti fino a raggiungere Sri
Lanka, Cina, Giappone, Tibet, Mongolia, Birmania/Myanmar, Indonesia,
Afghanistan, Persia ed Egitto.
serenità e la gentilezza del suo volto, la bellezza e la dignità della
sua vita, la genuinità e l'entusiasmo del suo amore, la saggezza e
l'eloquenza del suo messaggio conquistarono il cuore di uomini e donne
in egual misura”.
gente dipinse suoi affreschi nelle grotte oscure di inaccessibili
montagne, costruì Stupa trasportando enormi blocchi di pietra sulle
ripide cime innevate, incise centinaia di immagini nei pressi dello
Stupa. Tutti questi erano esemplari perfetti di arte scultorea,
cesellati con amorevole cura e infinito dolore per rendergli il proprio
omaggio. Non basta salutare solo una volta al giorno lui, il salvatore
di tutti i tempi dell’intera umanità. Il richiamo irresistibile, il
richiamo di vittoria della verità da parte dell'Uomo Supremo, che ha
sacrificato la sua vita per alleviare le difficoltà nel progresso
dell'umanità, e che aveva lacerato il velo di oscurità, fu quindi
annunciato nelle piane desertiche, sulle cime delle montagne più
scoscese, nelle grotte solitarie, negli Stupa.
Buddismo ebbe un tale successo perché era una religione d'amore, che
dava voce a tutte le forze inarticolate e che lavorava contro l'ordine
consolidato e la religione cerimoniale, rivolgendosi ai poveri, agli
umili e ai diseredati”.
Buddismo è essenzialmente psicologia, logica ed etica, e non metafisica”.
sacrificio non è solo ripudiare o dare via a fini di carità; per
raggiungere il grande, è necessario sacrificare il piccolo. In India,
durante la diffusione del Buddismo e nell'era successiva, i progressi
nell'arte, nella scienza e nel commercio e il potere imperialista
toccarono livelli mai raggiunti in precedenza. Questo perché, quando la
religione di un uomo diventa viva, il progresso non è vincolato dalle
speculazioni che riguardano l'escatologia. La religione, rinvigorita, si
innesca nei grandi sforzi di qualsiasi tipo.
si può parlare casualmente di compassione universale per tutte le
creature. Nel mondo umano, normalmente si incontrano esempi più piccoli
di tale compassione. Nel mondo animale, il sacrificio per il bene del
cucciolo non è raro. Nei gruppi di esseri umani si ritrova la stessa
forma di sacrificio che si ritrova nelle api, per esempio.
Un’amorevole e ineguagliabile gentilezza scorre attraverso l'amore, la
compassione e tanti piccoli avvenimenti, come quello pubblicato da un
giornale su una cagna che allattava un capretto.
racconti degli Jataka cercavano di illustrare la virtù della
sentimento di amistà è presente anche in alcune parti del mondo
animale. Quando il sentimento di compassione è sconfinato, solo allora
diventa sacrificio del sé; in questa fase, i piccoli sacrifici di
desideri materiali raggiungono il loro compimento. I nostri sforzi,
l’amore, la cura per il nostro gruppo biologico vengono trascesi solo
a questo punto. Nell’abbondanza della compassione universale, troviamo
l'imparzialità tra il meritevole e l'immeritevole, la spontaneità e
l'impegno volontario all’abbandono, elementi che rendono una persona
idonea al Nirvana.
compassione è la Natura del Buddha. Dove vi è compassione, là è la
Natura del Buddha.
disse che cercare la verità unica, valida per tutte le epoche, i paesi
e le persone, a prescindere dalla casta e dal credo o dalla povertà e
dall’opulenza, è compito di tutti: “L’infinito amore scorre nel
mondo: invitatelo nel vostro cuore, coltivate un incommensurabile amore
e la benevolenza verso tutte le creature, senza ostacoli, odio né faide”.
consiglia a noi, i laici, di non rinunciare al mondo, ma di condurre una
vita come virtuosi padroni di casa, promuovendo il benessere della
Buddha consigliò ai suoi discepoli di piantare di propria mano un
albero ogni cinque anni e di curarlo per farlo crescere rigogliosamente.
Che splendido esercizio di gentilezza! Se oggi il suo consiglio fosse
seguito in tutto il mondo, avremmo evitato la deforestazione e,
attraverso questo processo, avremmo anche raggiunto la prosperità
economica; inoltre, sarebbe più facile rispettare l’ecologia.
sua vera grandezza emerge più chiara e luminosa con il passare del
tempo e anche i più scettici si rivolgono a lui con un apprezzamento più
reale, una più profonda riverenza e una vera adorazione.
uno dei pochi eroi dell'umanità ad aver fatto epoca nella storia della
nostra razza, con un messaggio per gli altri tempi così come per i suoi”.
Buddha, il Dharma o la rettitudine è il principio guida dell'universo”.
“Quando purifichiamo il nostro cuore con un esercizio etico,
quando concentriamo la totale energia della nostra coscienza sulla parte
più profonda di noi, risvegliamo le possibilità divine insite in noi e
improvvisamente viviamo una nuova esperienza con la chiarezza
dell’introspezione e la libertà della gioia”.
significa annichilimento della passione, dell'odio e delle errate
convinzioni. È il declino di tutti i mali, la diminuzione del vizio e
delle debolezze dell'uomo, che sono aspetti negativi della sua avanzata positiva
in divenire. Nel suo aspetto negativo, significa eliminazione
dell'avidità, della malevolenza e della ottusità. Nel suo aspetto
positivo, significa illuminazione mentale concepita come luce,
introspezione e stato di felicità, freddezza, calma e contentezza,
pace, sicurezza e padronanza di sé. Se considerato obiettivamente,
significa verità, il bene più alto, opportunità suprema, vita
regolata, comunione con il meglio”.
in un mondo di egoismo, avidità e gelosia, preghiamo affinché il
compassionevole Buddha ci conceda un piccolo assaggio di
amorevole gentilezza, affinché
tutti noi diventiamo più forti nello
spirito e la nostra forza risieda nella misericordia e nella
SHARANAM GACCHAMI – (In
Buddha cerco il mio rifugio)
BETWEEN INDIAN SPIRITUAL PHILOSOPHY AND WESTERN PHILOSOPHY
philosophies seek THE TRUTH:
Western thinkers try to reach The Truth by using only the intellect or
in India, The Truth is sought with one's whole being.
philosophers are satisfied by intellectually understanding The Truth.
India, The Truth has to be perceived, realized through one's whole being
the West establishes a difference between practice
(equivalent to religion) and understanding
Indian philosophy, there is no such difference; and philosophy
and religion are
the same. The Truth is pursued through both practice and understanding;
The Truth has to be realized.
the West, a philosopher may be considered very much advanced
intellectually irrespective of his personal life.
would not be possible in India where one seeks The Truth through both
intelligence and a pure life.
answer is at the bottom of this article.
Indians including foreigners, are acquainted with the word HINDU, which
is used as a religious faith in India. But what is Gangu? This word does
not really exist in the sense that the word Hindu does. I have coined
it. But both these words come from the names of two rivers, INDUS and
GANGA (The Ganges). They have nothing whatsoever to do with religion.
river Indus from where the word HINDU was derived is now in Pakistan
territory. None other than the archaeologists talk about it. The people
living today by the sides of the River Indus are not called Hindus.
more important river in India is now the Ganga (the Ganges), probably
more spiritually relevant in India today. Should we not be instead
always wanted to know ‘HOW’
the word HINDU was given such a prominence over the sacred words like Dharma,
Vedas, Upanisads, Vedanta, etc. when our Philosophy of the Vedas, the Upanisads and the six systems
of the different schools of thought (the Vaisheshika, the Nyaya, the Samkhya, the Yoga, the Mimamsa, and
the Vedanta) never mentioned the word Hindu. I also found
Buddhism and Jainism did not use this word.
seems to me that no one including all the academics in India and even
the Indologists abroad is interested to know why our religion is called
HINDU. The word has just been accepted without any question.
religion is in fact called Dharma. The word Hindu was added later. There
is no English equivalent of Dharma. Dharma differs from all other
institutional religions. Probably DUTY could be the most appropriate
English word. Dharma as a concept is very wide and comprehensive.
Literally it means, “What holds together”. The great Indian Epic
Mahabharata (600 BC) says: “Never create for others a situation which
when created for yourself, is considered unfavourable by you.” This is
in brief the essence of Dharma. The term Dharma is derived from the
Sanskrit root “dhri” signifying that it “upholds” and
“sustains” humanity in all its coherence. The main theme of Dharma
lies in the integration of man, nature and the universe.
so-called Hindu dharma is nowadays nothing but full of confusions,
superstitions and dogmas. To the outsiders, the Hindu religion is mainly
about caste and the holy cow! In my opinion the absence of an
explanation as to why the word Hindu was adopted has resulted over the
years all the social ills, especially our caste system, a system
degenerated from the original Varna system (division of labour). We have
forgotten the values of our spiritual philosophy, the motto of The Isa
Upanisads, “All in one, One in all”, in spite of vigorous teachings
of the great sons of India at various times of our history, that hardly
were translated into our daily life.
I did some research about the
Etymological history of
the word Hindu as follows:
1. Origin of the word is from the name of the river SINDHUS (Indus in
English) - mention of the land Sindhus is found in Brihad-Aranyaka
Upanisad (about 800 BC), First Brahmana, 13 : SINDHAVA.
2. Persians called the river Hindhus, probably thousands of years ago.
King Darius used the term Hindu in 517 BC?
3. Greeks pronounced the word as INDUS - 326 BC or earlier?
4. Arabs called India AL-HIND
5. Muslim invaders called the land HINDUSTAN - 1100 AD or earlier.
6. British used the term HINDUS for all Non-Muslim, Non-Christian people
is worthwhile to mention that the official name of our country is Bharat
or India in English. The name “Hindustan” very carelessly used in
India today, was given by the Muslim invaders in line with the other
Muslim nations, the so-called seven STANs (viz. Afganistan, etc.).
other day when I was asked what my religion was, my reply was I belong
to four religions born in the land of Mother India (Upanisads/Vedanta,
Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism).
Right to Freedom of Religion
25. Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and
propagation of religion-
II.- In sub-clause (b) of clause (2), the reference to Hindus shall be
construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina
or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions
shall be construed accordingly.
I find a fallacy when the people, who are not Buddhists, Jainas or the
Sikhs say their religion is exclusively called Hindu!
I understand that in
a 1966 ruling, the Supreme Court of India defined the Hindu faith as
follows for legal purposes (unlike anywhere in the world):
of the Vedas with reverence as the highest authority in religious
and philosophic matters and acceptance with reverence of Vedas by
Hindu thinkers and philosophers as the sole foundation of Hindu
of tolerance and willingness to understand and appreciate the
opponent's point of view based on the realization that truth is
of great world rhythm — vast periods of creation, maintenance and
dissolution follow each other in endless succession — by all six
systems of Hindu philosophy.
Acceptance by all systems of Hindu philosophy of the belief in rebirth
of the fact that the means or ways to salvation are many.
of the truth that the numbers of Gods to be worshiped may be large,
yet there are Hindus who do not believe in the worshiping of idols.
Unlike other religions, or religious creeds, Hindu religion's not
being tied down to any definite set of philosophic concepts, as
very interesting question arises. When someone says he/she is a Hindu,
what does he/she really mean? Can they say which one of the six schools
of thought (the Vaisheshika, the Nyaya, the Samkhya, the Yoga, the
Mimamsa, and the Vedanta) they follow?
Our spiritual philosophy gives us the freedom of following
our own mind and method to understand the Ultimate Reality, but in the
absence of clarity, this only has resulted in creating lots of dogmas.
We do not have any particular institution (like those of the Buddhist,
Jewish, the Christian, the Islamic) to guide us.
We see a lot of naked Sadhus claiming to be the
Authority on the Vedas, marching in Delhi whenever some aspects of the Vedas are
alleged to be violated.
Though the word Hindu is now accepted in India and abroad,
the following questions still haunt me:
1.What really happened, sociologically,
philosophically, psychologically, historically that a geographical
term replaced the most
important words like Dharma, Vedas, Upanisads, Vedanta, etc., while the names Buddhism
and Jainism survived?
2. How did SANATANA
DHARMA lose its name to
3. Is it possible that this very perplexed word HINDU has contributed to
the social ills in our
Have we made a hotchpotch of our philosophy & religion and in the
process made it more obscured? Have our Philosophy & Religion become
a subject of Sociology?
ORIGIN OF THE WORD HINDU:
the Persians conquered the Indus Valley around 515 BCE, the Sanskrit
name Sindhu denoting the 'Indus river' & 'the province of Sindh'
became in Persian language Hindu, and the word stayed in the Persian
language until the Mughal conquest in the 16th century, when the Mughals
spoke of India as Hindustan and the Indians as Hindus. The British
adopted the word Hindu or Hindoo in the 17th century, and started
speaking of 'Hindoo religion' and eventually 'Hinduism' of the native
religions of India, excluding Islam and Christianity, and in this sense
also the Indian nationalist adopted the term to distinguish themselves
from the Muslims.
Emeritus of Indology, Asko Parpola
Institute for Asian and African Studies
PL 59 (Unioninkatu 38 B)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
address: Peukaloisentie 4 D 41, FIN-00820 Helsinki 82, Finland
+358 9 784746 (home)
Fax +358 9 191 22094