Maya, Moksha, Nama and Rupa

Maya

Pondering the fact of death, I am reminded that impermanence is a central feature of the world we live in. The phenomenal world — of things and events — is called maya in the dharmic traditions (namely Jain, Hindu, Buddhist & Sikh.)

The world is maya. Many people simply translate it as “ the world is an illusion” but that is incorrect. The world is real. Maya does not mean that the world is unreal or that it is an illusion. It means something like this: the world as we perceive it is not what the world actually is. We cannot directly perceive the reality that is at the foundation of what exists. That reality is given a word — Brahman. Most of us cannot comprehend the Brahman because we are limited beings. Continue reading “Maya, Moksha, Nama and Rupa”

Material and Cosmological Beliefs

nataraja2I am a Hindu.

In what sense am I a Hindu? Does what I read, write, wear and consume make me a Hindu? I think, read and write in English, I wear Western style clothing, I live in a Western country, etc. Even then I am a Hindu at the core of my being.

What defines me as a Hindu is my core belief system. How I comprehend the world is what determines whether I am a Hindu or not. The important distinction here is between “material beliefs” and “cosmological beliefs.” Continue reading “Material and Cosmological Beliefs”

The Ownership Society — Revisited

deg320 The idea of “empowering” people was all the rage a few years ago. The answer to all of India’s woes, it seems, lay in empowering people, whatever that meant. I thought it was basically stupid. Why? Because people who are not free in any meaningful sense of the word cannot be empowered. Here’s what I wrote back in October 2005 on what is an “Ownership Society.” Brief excerpt follows: Continue reading “The Ownership Society — Revisited”