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Author Topic: A proper philosophy thread. Let the games begin...  (Read 1746 times)
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Alexandre Scriabin
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« on: January 17, 2010, 07:45:13 AM »

I have observed a variety of different perspectives and levels of experience on this site, and would really like to hear in earnest your perspectives on everything.

What have you observed, what writings have you studied, what religions have you studied? Do you currently place any faith in a religion?

Feel free to support your cause strongly. But please also feel free to realize that your conclusions may not have been very well supported.

And to kick start this thing, here is a quote from Dr. Satyanarayan das, chief of Jiva Institute Vrindavan,
District Mathura, UP. Indias:

Quote
Arjunas Dejection

We all have suffered from temporary phases of dejection at some point in our lives. Dejection overwhelms us when the unexpected transpires over the expected, when the bad overcomes the good, and when the evil visits us instead of the righteous. Being human, it is very normal for us to have expectations from people and things around us. Expectation amounts to longing, yearning, desire, craving, or lust. Likewise, failure to attain the expected begets dejection, sadness, sorrow,
morosity, gloom, and depression.

The ancient Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita are potent forces of knowledge and philosophy that can guide us in wiping out the root cause of dejection in order to live a happy, sanctimonious and noble life.

Bhagavad Gita, arguably the most concise and systematic book of religion, ethics, philosophy and metaphysics ever written, delves deeply into the vexing intricacies of sorrow and grief. In itself it is but a single part of the Mahabharata, an astonishing tapestry of ancient Vedic history and philosophy told through the lives of several generations of the great Kuru Dynasty.

Let me offer you a few drops from the huge ocean of knowledge that is Bhagavad Gita before we move on to discuss the Yoga of Dejection element ingrained in it.

Bhagavad Gita is a discourse between Shri Krishna and his warrior disciple Arjuna, shortly before Arjuna takes part in the great war of Mahabharata on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Because the Gita was not written as an independent book, the characters, settings and circumstances mentioned in it are similar to the preceding episodes of the Mahabharata.

The first chapter of Bhagavad Gita is called the Yoga of Dejection. It depicts a picture of the blind King Dhritarashtra sitting on his throne and enquiring about the latest happenings at the battleground of Kurukshetra from his charioteer Sanjaya, who has the ability to see distant objects through his divine eyes. Seated inside the palace, the King comes to know that the battle is about to begin. Warriors from both sides stand facing each other. The Kauravas are led by King Dhritarashtras eldest son, Duryodhana and the Pandavas are led by the eldest son of Pandava, Yudhishthira. Pandavas other son, Arjuna, the greatest archer, too is poised to take the challenge and stands on his chariot driven by Lord Krishna.

Arjuna sees all his kinsmenósons, brothers-in-law, cousins, teachers (Bhishma, Dronacharya and others)óstanding arrayed in battle and says to Lord Krishna, My limbs fail and my mouth is parched, my body quivers and my hairs stand on end; the Gandiva (his bow) too slips from my hand. I do not wish to kill them even for the sake of the kingship of the three worlds. It is a great sin to kill my teachers and relatives. If I kill them, I shall be called the slayer of the family and will go to hell.

Arjuna is overwhelmed with grief and dejection. He throws away his bow and arrows and sinks down on the seat of his chariot. He shares his predicament with Lord Krishna. The rest of Bhagavad Gita is an elucidation of Krishnas response to Arjunas despondency.

This is the backdrop on the basis of which we shall try to find an answer to our own dejection.

The Yoga and the Cause of Despondency
There are several reasons for calling Arjunas despondency yoga in the first chapter of Bhagavad Gita, which is appropriately entitled Visada Yoga, or the Yoga of Dejection.

Krishna says that four types of people surrender to him: the distressed, those who desire wealth, the inquisitive, and those who know the Absolute Truth. Of the four types of pious people who approach the Lord, the largest group belongs to the category of the distressed. So, in this sense, the distress which serves to bring one closer to the Lord is also considered yoga. Here, Arjuna symbolises the distressed and the desperate man.

The word yoga is defined as, a means. Arjunas despair acted as a means that led him to the ultimate solution of the problems of his life and, therefore, it is rightly termed as yoga.

How do you deal with dejection? Do you deal with it at all?

Edit: Heck, I'm feeling generous. I'll even give you a musical backdrop to think about it with. It is Handel's Chorus: "Mourn, Israel, Mourn, Thy Beauty Lost" from the Saul Oratorio. I realize not everyone here is huge on older music, but if you humor me, you can hear exactly what it is talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDQUDT8e2jY

It starts at 3:30. And here are the lyrics: Mourn, Israel, mourn thy beauty lost,
Thy choicest youth on Gilboa slain.
How have thy fairest hopes been cross'd.
What heaps of mighty warriors strew the plain.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 08:02:44 AM by Alexandre Scriabin » Logged

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Ylaya
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2010, 07:49:00 AM »

Wow, very long, gonna take time to digest that 1.  grin
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Alexandre Scriabin
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2010, 07:51:40 AM »

Mostly, it's just a bit of a half history, half fable of a backdrop. And then it goes on to illustrate the point of the story.
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Ylaya
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010, 08:06:46 AM »

Mostly, it's just a bit of a half history, half fable of a backdrop. And then it goes on to illustrate the point of the story.
How do you see that?  Huh?
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Alexandre Scriabin
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 08:30:36 AM »

How do I see it? It simply talks about the King hearing from a messenger that an important battle is about to begin (it was somewhat of a civil war). Arjuna the warrior is at the battlefield the messenger told the king about, and he is dejected about the ordeal. But I can't illustrate this any better than Dr. Satyanarayan das himself.
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Deklitch Hardin
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 10:13:24 AM »

Hmmm .... lets see ...

I am a Christian. Yep ... That pretty well sums it up. :D

However, I am not one of those "You must believe everything I believe or else you are going to hell" types. I've read and enjoyed the Harry Potter series, for example, despite being told by people at a Christian college I attended for a while that it was EVIL EVIL EVIL.

Others are free to believe what they want to believe or not believe ... I have my own beliefs.

If I want to wish people, whether they are Muslum, Hindu, Jewish, Atheist or whatever label they give themselves 'Merry Christmas', 'God Bless', say a grace, say I'll pray for them, or anything like that, I will do so. If they choose to consider that I'm not being respectful of their beliefs or some other garbage like that when I say that to them, that's their choice, and I'm not going to attempt to change it.

I have done some Bible studies and understand some of it, but not all, and look forward to doing more in the future. I really need to get back into the Disciple Program again.

I did a 'comparative religions course' at one stage. However it was extremely biased (it was through an extremely fundamentalist Christian college and I am convinced that on some levels some of them considered I was not a Christian). I'd like to revisit some of the ideas again, but through some other means.

Take it or leave it, that's what I believe.

God bless,

Dek
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Foraste Lydan
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2010, 12:56:56 AM »

I agree with the concept of universalism. All religions are similar in some way, they all say similar things with a slightly different spin on them. All religions aren't 100% true but they all have principle that are true.

Gandhi summed it up when he said, "After long study and experience, I have come to the conclusion that all religions are true; all religions have some error in them;  all religions are almost as dear to me as my own Hinduism, in as much as all human beings should be as dear to one as one's own close relatives. My own veneration for other faiths is the same as that for my own faith; therefore no thought of conversion is possible." Everybody can believe what they want to, and no matter how some people want to believe it, we all believe the same things.
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2010, 01:49:14 AM »

As Voltaire said, "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
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Alexandre Scriabin
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010, 05:35:33 AM »

Hmmm .... lets see ...

I am a Christian. Yep ... That pretty well sums it up. :D

However, I am not one of those "You must believe everything I believe or else you are going to hell" types. I've read and enjoyed the Harry Potter series, for example, despite being told by people at a Christian college I attended for a while that it was EVIL EVIL EVIL.

Others are free to believe what they want to believe or not believe ... I have my own beliefs.

If I want to wish people, whether they are Muslum, Hindu, Jewish, Atheist or whatever label they give themselves 'Merry Christmas', 'God Bless', say a grace, say I'll pray for them, or anything like that, I will do so. If they choose to consider that I'm not being respectful of their beliefs or some other garbage like that when I say that to them, that's their choice, and I'm not going to attempt to change it.

I have done some Bible studies and understand some of it, but not all, and look forward to doing more in the future. I really need to get back into the Disciple Program again.

I did a 'comparative religions course' at one stage. However it was extremely biased (it was through an extremely fundamentalist Christian college and I am convinced that on some levels some of them considered I was not a Christian). I'd like to revisit some of the ideas again, but through some other means.

Take it or leave it, that's what I believe.

God bless,

Dek

Well sir, this is the thread to do so shamelessly. If you'd like, maybe we could run through such ideas as 'comparative religions' together.
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Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 05:48:08 AM »

   Itís just too big.  I was brought up a protestant and have a great deal of respect for what it taught me, yet I have studied a great many different religions and philosophies, including the Bhagavad Gita.

   Itís impossible to sum up how I live my life, and I donít fit into a convenient box that can be labelled.  So, taking that into account, Iíll focus on the more specific point of how I deal with dejection.

   I prepare as much as I can, and do the best that I am able to achieve a goal.  If that goal isnít reached, Iíll either improve myself and have another go at it, or Iíll step back and change my goal.  Regardless, I donít waste much time feeling disappointed if things don't work out, because itís useless.  Sometimes I do get frustrated, and then Iíll go for a run or a swim, because I always feel better after a bit of exercise.  Who needs the Song of God to make them feel better when they can just do some push ups!   :P
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Alexandre Scriabin
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2010, 06:04:07 AM »

   Itís just too big.  I was brought up a protestant and have a great deal of respect for what it taught me, yet I have studied a great many different religions and philosophies, including the Bhagavad Gita.

   Itís impossible to sum up how I live my life, and I donít fit into a convenient box that can be labelled.  So, taking that into account, Iíll focus on the more specific point of how I deal with dejection.

   I prepare as much as I can, and do the best that I am able to achieve a goal.  If that goal isnít reached, Iíll either improve myself and have another go at it, or Iíll step back and change my goal.  Regardless, I donít waste much time feeling disappointed if things don't work out, because itís useless.  Sometimes I do get frustrated, and then Iíll go for a run or a swim, because I always feel better after a bit of exercise.  Who needs the Song of God to make them feel better when they can just do some push ups!   :P

Interesting. Thank you for that. You put an optimistic spin on it and look at things like opportunities.

How do we deal with dejection? As for myself, I don't even have to deal with it, you might say. What are we dejected at? We invest our emotions into people. And what do people do most consistently? Disappoint us. The only thing we can universally learn from history is that we don't learn.

We invest our emotions into the conditional things, fail to see the symbolism. Have a failed marriage? Well, what is the purpose of marriage? It's the relationship that teaches us how to treat every other relationship. Did Jesus tell God in his high priestly prayer, "It would have been a lot nicer if I had a car to get around with," or did he say "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." And "I in them, thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
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