Thoughts on economics and liberty

Time to re-boot Hinduism

The caste system was perhaps an efficient solution to the agricultural age in India. It helped create an environment for hundreds of millions of people to live harmoniously in villages, and it helped produced sufficient surplus to feed hundreds of prosperous towns and cities. Not for nothing was India the world's wealthiest nation for thousands of years.

With the caste system even the smallest village could guarantee itself a blacksmith, traders, cleaners, and priests to conduct marriage and death ceremonies. That meant that just because the local blacksmith died the village did not have to go miles away to get its ploughs and carts fixed. The caste system also produced soldiers when needed.

It was a self-perpetuating solution or equilibrium to a difficult problem of living in remote corners of India without the support network of roads, rail-line, electricity and telephones. Not a paradise, by any means – particularly for the 'lower' castes. But it worked.  

This model was not uncommon during the agricultural era. European feudalism comes  to mind but I'm sure broadly similar social structures must have been created in China. I know  that Japan definitely had its own "caste system" of sorts. 

It also made sense (perhaps!) in the agricultural age to deify the cow and make it a sacred animal, so as to have sufficient proteins available in the village, given that most people could not afford meat and had to eat just rice and coarse lentils. This clearly did not occur all at once. It took time for the culture to stop eating cows and other animals (indeed, in the hunter-gathering era, till about 10,000 years ago, no one could have survived without eating meat).

That is why Hinduism took the shape it did in the last 2000 years – basically a way of life to support an agrarian society.

The context has changed

Between 1400-1750 AD the rules of the game changed. To the agrarian settlement in Europe was added the manufacturing or industrial revolution, and the scientific method.
 

That meant that agriculture became mechanised – and far more productive than before – and people began to move to cities in a big way to produce things for the villages. They no longer needed their local blacksmith. A factory in the city could produce things 10 times cheaper and supply it to every corner of the world.  Knowledge became specialised. The division of labour became acute and all-pervasive.

In this changed context, Hinduism as it evolved over the past 2000 years is no longer relevant. For instance, the caste system has became a HUGE BLOCKER on India's progress. And outdated beliefs about cows and such things create further complications and block India's forward move.

No wonder India has slipped into deep poverty as the rest of the world has progressed rapidly ahead. India's per capita GDP is 15 times less than that of USA today. 

This is because Hinduism has not kept pace with the times.

Time to re-invent Hinduism from scratch

I'm actually a "kind of" Hindu – since ancient Hindus included atheists, agnostics and skeptics. Indeed "Hindu" only meant someone who lived on the other side of the Sindhu (Indus) river. I'm one of them, for sure. 

I'm also broadly comfortable with Advaita philosophy and Buddhism. But I'm far more comfortable with Charvaka's school of thought, noting that there has been no greater and more revolutionary thinker than him in India so far (assuming he existed!). I also believe in the validity of many Indian things like zero, the number system, yoga, and much of ayurveda. 

So I'm at least some form of "Hindu". But I'm not a caste-loving, cow-worshipping Hindu. I am a SCIENTIFIC Hindu. I'm a Charvaka, a Buddha, a Vivekananda, an independent human being. I see myself as an Indian, and human – the highest category of all.

So I'm happy to participate in the re-invention of Hinduism, and help re-write its scriptures from scratch. I'm sure we can create a new Hinduism best tailored to the needs of India in the modern, scientific world.  In this Hinduism we'd have all our myths and mythologies but consider them to be nice stories, not something to be taken as gospel. In this Hinduism we'd have all the temples and the lot, but have them as quiet places for contemplation and self-reflection, or for a lecture or two on the Vedanta, Buddhism, Charvaka's ideas, or Hayek's liberalism. We'd all be called Brahmins since this is the knowledge age. Even a plumber has to be highly qualified and experienced. And so on… We can take the best from all of mankind's thinking and create a NEW WAY OF LIFE.

Do you want to participate in a project to re-boot Hinduism?

I believe that a "new -look" Hinduism is crucial for India to be able to lead the world once again.

Happy to discuss further. 

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49 thoughts on “Time to re-boot Hinduism
  1. Kartikey

     
    I totally agree with you. but the biggest question is how to reboot.
    Majority of Indian masses today are under clutches of politicians or
    some fake spiritual masters whose wasted interest lies in sustaining
    what really needs to discorded by Hindus.

     
  2. Kartikey

     
    I totally agree with you. but the biggest question is how to reboot.
    Majority of Indian masses today are under clutches of politicians or
    some fake spiritual masters whose wasted interest lies in sustaining
    what really needs to discorded by Hindus.

     
  3. Harsh Vora

    Sanjeev — I understand that you are thinking of a whole new scenario — a scenerio which is radical. And i admire part of this thinking. However, in my opinion, this is also partly flawed. What you have proposed will take us, as humans, a step backwards on moral frontier. I agree that casteism, superstitions, unequal rights to women, etc. are corrupt practices and we all are duty-bound to remove them. But if you wish to introduce more violence (through, for example, the allowance of animal slaughter) to the original Vedic culture, then I'm afraid you are limiting your thinking. Yes, don't believe anything blindly, and certainly not if it does not conform to your reason. But can you please explain to me as to where does unnecessary violence, even if through animal slaughter, fits into your reason? My question to you is simple: Why kill when it is not necessary? Vedas, according to my research (we have discussed this earlier), advocate the highest possible nonviolence. I highly respect such deep consideration. I am deeply bothered by noticing the fact that some of world's best thinkers advocate human nonviolence while mercilessly killing creatures less gifted than us. This is purely illogical and irrational thinking. 
    I am sorry to veer into this topic, but I believe nonviolence forms an integral part of the original, uncorrupt Hinduism (Vedic culture) and therefore requires discussion if you wish to even revise, leave aside reboot it. Notice that I'm thinking purely on the basis of what I think is right, and not just "believing" what a book says, although what Vedas say in this regard completely conform to my reason.
     

     
  4. Harsh Vora

    Sanjeev — I understand that you are thinking of a whole new scenario — a scenerio which is radical. And i admire part of this thinking. However, in my opinion, this is also partly flawed. What you have proposed will take us, as humans, a step backwards on moral frontier. I agree that casteism, superstitions, unequal rights to women, etc. are corrupt practices and we all are duty-bound to remove them. But if you wish to introduce more violence (through, for example, the allowance of animal slaughter) to the original Vedic culture, then I'm afraid you are limiting your thinking. Yes, don't believe anything blindly, and certainly not if it does not conform to your reason. But can you please explain to me as to where does unnecessary violence, even if through animal slaughter, fits into your reason? My question to you is simple: Why kill when it is not necessary? Vedas, according to my research (we have discussed this earlier), advocate the highest possible nonviolence. I highly respect such deep consideration. I am deeply bothered by noticing the fact that some of world's best thinkers advocate human nonviolence while mercilessly killing creatures less gifted than us. This is purely illogical and irrational thinking. 
    I am sorry to veer into this topic, but I believe nonviolence forms an integral part of the original, uncorrupt Hinduism (Vedic culture) and therefore requires discussion if you wish to even revise, leave aside reboot it. Notice that I'm thinking purely on the basis of what I think is right, and not just "believing" what a book says, although what Vedas say in this regard completely conform to my reason.
     

     
  5. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
    1. Your sincerity and critical approach is doubted! Reasons.
    Re: So I'm happy to participate in the re-invention of Hinduism, and help re-write its scriptures from scratch. I'm sure we can create a new Hinduism best tailored to the needs of India in the modern, scientific world.
    Against:
    Re: This debate is not leading us to results. I’d appreciate if you get involved in political reforms in India and we can, when I am retired and old, discuss spiritual matters. Let us focus on getting freedom and good governance to India! (http://sabhlokcity.com/2010/10/when-i-was-a-hindu/ your comment October 10, 2010 at 12:15 pm)
    Both are contradictory
    Note that problems of Political matters (mundane nature) led to spiritual matters (philosophy-advaita, charvaka etc). When spiritual matters were settled (concept of God, morality etc) to some satisfaction then Political matters (laws relating to it for example king, castism etc) received the sanction of dharma (puran, mahabharata, advaita etc.) which is treated as sacrosanct [which is supposed to be never questioned except Jnani who is alone authorised for it (Patrata/ Adhikari-today’s language specialists like you)]. This is purely cent percent critical and scientific reasoning. Common man can only follow the decision of the specialists/experts (in philosophy- Jnani). They can never be made to understand it fully. To seek for the same is nonsense. This is human nature. Better understand it (e.g. host of comments to you by different people-you cannot satisfy each to the fullest unless you start synchronising from spiritual/philosophical matters with them which is rare)
    Summary:- sustainable flow is from spiritual matters to political matters. (Advaita). Thus you are bluffing as per your old comments either now or then.
    2.   Now,
    Is it ever possible to re-write Hindu scriptures from scratch and re-boot it? Dear, it is rewritten and reboot every moment according to time and space (desh/ kalanusaren). That’s Advaita.  Nobody need to do it.
    Only the question is of its interpretation and implementation accordingly. The very POLITICAL “freedom”,  “capitalism” is inbuilt in it. Traditional Castism etc was never a permanent feature of Hinduism and never it will be. Fools go on what is written and wise (Jnani) go on intention/interpretation, then let the words be same!
    If you fail to understand it, will ever fail. Then time is to either study spiritual matters till you end or make approach like Gandhi, Ramadev for reasons not of knowledge or policy but for matters of SUCCESS at least to some extent.
    3.  Essence:
    Will a project to re-boot Hinduism (even if you deny it is a bit spiritual/philosophical) overshadow a project of Indian good governance?
    Both can never go at a time? First principles and then its applications. OR only applications (like good governance etc) with individual principles (i.e. Liberty).
    And if both these things are made to go at a time, definitely there will be confusion of principles/policies and you cannot make understand to others or press/stress your freedom, capitalism over the others. That is likely to be meaningless lengthy process unlikely to end.
    Where I went wrong? Comment on the proper intention of the above comment not on minor things is expected. Be critical/scientific to the core. If you fail to understand, let me know what exactly.

     
  6. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
    1. Your sincerity and critical approach is doubted! Reasons.
    Re: So I'm happy to participate in the re-invention of Hinduism, and help re-write its scriptures from scratch. I'm sure we can create a new Hinduism best tailored to the needs of India in the modern, scientific world.
    Against:
    Re: This debate is not leading us to results. I’d appreciate if you get involved in political reforms in India and we can, when I am retired and old, discuss spiritual matters. Let us focus on getting freedom and good governance to India! (http://sabhlokcity.com/2010/10/when-i-was-a-hindu/ your comment October 10, 2010 at 12:15 pm)
    Both are contradictory
    Note that problems of Political matters (mundane nature) led to spiritual matters (philosophy-advaita, charvaka etc). When spiritual matters were settled (concept of God, morality etc) to some satisfaction then Political matters (laws relating to it for example king, castism etc) received the sanction of dharma (puran, mahabharata, advaita etc.) which is treated as sacrosanct [which is supposed to be never questioned except Jnani who is alone authorised for it (Patrata/ Adhikari-today’s language specialists like you)]. This is purely cent percent critical and scientific reasoning. Common man can only follow the decision of the specialists/experts (in philosophy- Jnani). They can never be made to understand it fully. To seek for the same is nonsense. This is human nature. Better understand it (e.g. host of comments to you by different people-you cannot satisfy each to the fullest unless you start synchronising from spiritual/philosophical matters with them which is rare)
    Summary:- sustainable flow is from spiritual matters to political matters. (Advaita). Thus you are bluffing as per your old comments either now or then.
    2.   Now,
    Is it ever possible to re-write Hindu scriptures from scratch and re-boot it? Dear, it is rewritten and reboot every moment according to time and space (desh/ kalanusaren). That’s Advaita.  Nobody need to do it.
    Only the question is of its interpretation and implementation accordingly. The very POLITICAL “freedom”,  “capitalism” is inbuilt in it. Traditional Castism etc was never a permanent feature of Hinduism and never it will be. Fools go on what is written and wise (Jnani) go on intention/interpretation, then let the words be same!
    If you fail to understand it, will ever fail. Then time is to either study spiritual matters till you end or make approach like Gandhi, Ramadev for reasons not of knowledge or policy but for matters of SUCCESS at least to some extent.
    3.  Essence:
    Will a project to re-boot Hinduism (even if you deny it is a bit spiritual/philosophical) overshadow a project of Indian good governance?
    Both can never go at a time? First principles and then its applications. OR only applications (like good governance etc) with individual principles (i.e. Liberty).
    And if both these things are made to go at a time, definitely there will be confusion of principles/policies and you cannot make understand to others or press/stress your freedom, capitalism over the others. That is likely to be meaningless lengthy process unlikely to end.
    Where I went wrong? Comment on the proper intention of the above comment not on minor things is expected. Be critical/scientific to the core. If you fail to understand, let me know what exactly.

     
  7. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Harsh

    The very foundation, the FIRST principle, of liberalism (and what I’d call a religion of humanity) is non-violence. You are incorrect to state that “merciless” violence of animal is being advocated by anyone. The merciless violence actually takes place in India today (please see how – leaving aside cows, goats and chicken are killed today) and in Islam/Judaism (halaal). Everywhere else very strong efforts are taken to kill animals for food, mercifully, with the least pain.

    Anyway, there surely must be a point where the religion can modernise. Else it WILL act as a major brake on India’s resurgence. At least agree on things that MUST go. Let’s start somewhere. Reforms are overdue.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  8. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Harsh

    The very foundation, the FIRST principle, of liberalism (and what I’d call a religion of humanity) is non-violence. You are incorrect to state that “merciless” violence of animal is being advocated by anyone. The merciless violence actually takes place in India today (please see how – leaving aside cows, goats and chicken are killed today) and in Islam/Judaism (halaal). Everywhere else very strong efforts are taken to kill animals for food, mercifully, with the least pain.

    Anyway, there surely must be a point where the religion can modernise. Else it WILL act as a major brake on India’s resurgence. At least agree on things that MUST go. Let’s start somewhere. Reforms are overdue.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  9. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    I’m not into spiritualism, but I do note that matters of spiritualism have political repercussions. In particular, I’ve pointed out that the caste system is a blocker on India’s progress into the modern world. Similarly, imposing views such as ban on cow slaughter on others harms India seriously. And so on.

    On the other hand, there are many meaningful lessons to be drawn from mythology, e.g. Mahabharata or Ramayana.

    If we were to go back to the intellectual ferment of 2600 years ago when Charvaka and Buddha emerged out of the many philosophical schools of India, we find great vitality. There were many schools of thought. All were “Hindu” in the sense of having been discovered to the east of the “Sindhu”.

    I’m talking about that energetic review of reality and calling for a re-invention of what has outlived its purpose in many ways – the current Hindu system.

    Surely, India has the power to lead once again, and build a religion (or rather, a way of life) that has the vitality of Charvaka and Buddha woven into its ‘system’. This system will NOT have concepts of rebirth (no evidence exists), will allow ANYONE to join, etc.

    The fact I say this is because India has to break its mental chains, and pick up what is the best, leaving aside what is pulling it back. A New Hindu ‘religion’ must emerge to lead the way.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  10. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    I’m not into spiritualism, but I do note that matters of spiritualism have political repercussions. In particular, I’ve pointed out that the caste system is a blocker on India’s progress into the modern world. Similarly, imposing views such as ban on cow slaughter on others harms India seriously. And so on.

    On the other hand, there are many meaningful lessons to be drawn from mythology, e.g. Mahabharata or Ramayana.

    If we were to go back to the intellectual ferment of 2600 years ago when Charvaka and Buddha emerged out of the many philosophical schools of India, we find great vitality. There were many schools of thought. All were “Hindu” in the sense of having been discovered to the east of the “Sindhu”.

    I’m talking about that energetic review of reality and calling for a re-invention of what has outlived its purpose in many ways – the current Hindu system.

    Surely, India has the power to lead once again, and build a religion (or rather, a way of life) that has the vitality of Charvaka and Buddha woven into its ‘system’. This system will NOT have concepts of rebirth (no evidence exists), will allow ANYONE to join, etc.

    The fact I say this is because India has to break its mental chains, and pick up what is the best, leaving aside what is pulling it back. A New Hindu ‘religion’ must emerge to lead the way.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  11. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Ashish Deodhar's comment on FB: "Sanjeev sometimes you say all the right things but don't live up to them. You could either be a Vedanta or you could be Charvaka (if you know, the Charvaka school has outrightly rejected the Vedas and the concepts such as Karma as completehogwash), you could either believe in Vivekananda or in Savarkar.

    Your problem is that you need the Savarkarites far more than they need you. Therefore you cut a sorry figure for yourself by writing such blogs.

    I know this is an unsolicited comment but I couldn't resist after reading your last few blog posts."

    MY RESPONSE

    Sure, Ashish. You are welcome to your interpretations. I am not a complex being who thinks like you. I am a simple being and have said pretty much similar things for a very long time. 

    I draw very broad links between seemingly contradictory things, such as Charvaka and Vedanta. Everything boils down to the sovereignty of the individual, and liberty.

    Savarkarits (Hindutva brigade?) – why do I need them?!! I'm calling for an overthrow of that worldview, and liberating the mind in India. I don't see how you make that link.

     
  12. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Ashish Deodhar's comment on FB: "Sanjeev sometimes you say all the right things but don't live up to them. You could either be a Vedanta or you could be Charvaka (if you know, the Charvaka school has outrightly rejected the Vedas and the concepts such as Karma as completehogwash), you could either believe in Vivekananda or in Savarkar.

    Your problem is that you need the Savarkarites far more than they need you. Therefore you cut a sorry figure for yourself by writing such blogs.

    I know this is an unsolicited comment but I couldn't resist after reading your last few blog posts."

    MY RESPONSE

    Sure, Ashish. You are welcome to your interpretations. I am not a complex being who thinks like you. I am a simple being and have said pretty much similar things for a very long time. 

    I draw very broad links between seemingly contradictory things, such as Charvaka and Vedanta. Everything boils down to the sovereignty of the individual, and liberty.

    Savarkarits (Hindutva brigade?) – why do I need them?!! I'm calling for an overthrow of that worldview, and liberating the mind in India. I don't see how you make that link.

     
  13. chaitanya

     
    (caution: long post. but, i need to set the context).
     
    It appears to me that human society is evolving in following steps:

    1. Age of Dogmas and superstitions. Little use of rationality, logic and science.
    2. Age of Rationality and reductionist intellect. The Age of Individual Ego consciousness.
    3. Age of supra-mental Truths and universal consciousness.
     
    Broadly, India is still in transition from step-1 to step-2. From "age of superstition" to  "age of reason". The scientifically advanced nations (mostly in west) have started the step-1 to step-2 transition, as Sanjeev points out, from around 15th century. These nations are now firmly in the paradigm of "scientific materialism", which relies heavily on analytical intellect, reasoning, and logic.
     
    The need for scientific thinking and rationality

     
    Sri Aurobindo has recognized that a proper base of scientific/rational thinking is needed, to fully and correctly appreciate the higher Truths of step-3:
    "It is well that we should recognise the enormous, the indispensable utility of the very brief period of rationalistic Materialism through which humanity has been passing. For that vast field of evidence and experience which now begins to reopen its gates to us, can only be safely entered when the intellect has been severely trained to a clear austerity; seized on by unripe minds, it lends itself to the most perilous distortions and misleading imaginations and actually in the past encrusted a real nucleus of truth with such an accretion of perverting superstitions and irrationalising dogmas that all advance in true knowledge was rendered impossible. It became necessary for a time to make a clean sweep at once of the truth and its disguise in order that the road might be clear for a new departure and a surer advance. The rationalistic tendency of Materialism has done mankind this great service." (The life divine, volume-1).
     
    So, It is perhaps NOT a coincidence that Swami Vivekanada (and the likes of Krishnamurti) spent a  considerable amount of his teaching life in USA, UK ! He saw that people with scientific thinking can grasp the ideas of Vedanta better than people not adequately trained in rationality !
     
    West stuck in step-2 paradigm

     
    However, all is not hunky-dory in the west. I believe the West is now stuck in the paradigm of "scientific materialism" and "mechanistic reductionism" struggling to evolve higher to the next step ! (Read Fritjof capra's work "The Turning point"). The main negative consequences of being stuck in this step-2 is, excess consumerism resulting in severe environmental destruction. It is not hard to see why materialism leads to these consequences. In the materialist world-view, world is simply an agglomaration of material particles, and Life is only an accidental result of some molecules combining together. In such a world-view, the only purpose of Life is to consume more from the environment, make more money etc.
     
    The materialist paradigm also results in domination of individual Ego. That is why, in the west one will see a lot of emphasis on Individual RIGHTS and Freedoms. That is why we see Sanjeev talk a lot about Individual Freedoms. I welcome this. However, i see its limitations if a society is stuck in step-2 for too long, and i see the need to voluntarily move to step-3 paradigm quickly.
     
    The good news is west is slow progressing to step-3. Iam observing a lot of interest in the west now a days, on core principles of Buddhism / Vedanta, which provide higher meaning to life. Scientists are starting to connect discoveries of Quantum physics with Truths of Vedanta. So, the west is in step-2 to step-3 transition.
     
    Coming back to India

     
    India first needs to complete the step-1 to step-2 transition. It needs to embrace science, rationality, hard logic and left-brain intellect. In doing so, it has to avoid, as much as possible, the negative elements of step-2 which is materialism/consumerism. (Unfortunately, India is currently doing exactly the opposite. We are embracing the negative elements of step-2, i.e consumerism , WITHOUT embracing scientific thinking).
     
    Once that is done, a foundation will have been laid for India to ascend to step-3.
     
    Coming to Sanjeev's proposal

     
    Sanjeev:
     
    I think Swami Vivekananda has ALREADY done the job that you propose here — He has explained the highest Truths of Upanishads and Gita in clearest scientific terms, stripped of all dogma.  Why reinvent the wheel ?
     
    I think your real expertise is in step-2, and you just have an INTELLECTUAL appreciation of Truths of  step-3. (unlike the more indepth and EXPERIENTIAL appreciation which Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo perhaps had). I like your relentless emphasis on rationality and scientific thinking, and that's exactly what step-2 is about. So i think your talents are best utilized in helping India complete step-1 to step-2 transition.
     
    Once India is in step-2, people will AUTOMATICALLY find and appreciate Vivekananda. Just as you did.

     

     
  14. chaitanya

     
    (caution: long post. but, i need to set the context).
     
    It appears to me that human society is evolving in following steps:

    1. Age of Dogmas and superstitions. Little use of rationality, logic and science.
    2. Age of Rationality and reductionist intellect. The Age of Individual Ego consciousness.
    3. Age of supra-mental Truths and universal consciousness.
     
    Broadly, India is still in transition from step-1 to step-2. From "age of superstition" to  "age of reason". The scientifically advanced nations (mostly in west) have started the step-1 to step-2 transition, as Sanjeev points out, from around 15th century. These nations are now firmly in the paradigm of "scientific materialism", which relies heavily on analytical intellect, reasoning, and logic.
     
    The need for scientific thinking and rationality

     
    Sri Aurobindo has recognized that a proper base of scientific/rational thinking is needed, to fully and correctly appreciate the higher Truths of step-3:
    "It is well that we should recognise the enormous, the indispensable utility of the very brief period of rationalistic Materialism through which humanity has been passing. For that vast field of evidence and experience which now begins to reopen its gates to us, can only be safely entered when the intellect has been severely trained to a clear austerity; seized on by unripe minds, it lends itself to the most perilous distortions and misleading imaginations and actually in the past encrusted a real nucleus of truth with such an accretion of perverting superstitions and irrationalising dogmas that all advance in true knowledge was rendered impossible. It became necessary for a time to make a clean sweep at once of the truth and its disguise in order that the road might be clear for a new departure and a surer advance. The rationalistic tendency of Materialism has done mankind this great service." (The life divine, volume-1).
     
    So, It is perhaps NOT a coincidence that Swami Vivekanada (and the likes of Krishnamurti) spent a  considerable amount of his teaching life in USA, UK ! He saw that people with scientific thinking can grasp the ideas of Vedanta better than people not adequately trained in rationality !
     
    West stuck in step-2 paradigm

     
    However, all is not hunky-dory in the west. I believe the West is now stuck in the paradigm of "scientific materialism" and "mechanistic reductionism" struggling to evolve higher to the next step ! (Read Fritjof capra's work "The Turning point"). The main negative consequences of being stuck in this step-2 is, excess consumerism resulting in severe environmental destruction. It is not hard to see why materialism leads to these consequences. In the materialist world-view, world is simply an agglomaration of material particles, and Life is only an accidental result of some molecules combining together. In such a world-view, the only purpose of Life is to consume more from the environment, make more money etc.
     
    The materialist paradigm also results in domination of individual Ego. That is why, in the west one will see a lot of emphasis on Individual RIGHTS and Freedoms. That is why we see Sanjeev talk a lot about Individual Freedoms. I welcome this. However, i see its limitations if a society is stuck in step-2 for too long, and i see the need to voluntarily move to step-3 paradigm quickly.
     
    The good news is west is slow progressing to step-3. Iam observing a lot of interest in the west now a days, on core principles of Buddhism / Vedanta, which provide higher meaning to life. Scientists are starting to connect discoveries of Quantum physics with Truths of Vedanta. So, the west is in step-2 to step-3 transition.
     
    Coming back to India

     
    India first needs to complete the step-1 to step-2 transition. It needs to embrace science, rationality, hard logic and left-brain intellect. In doing so, it has to avoid, as much as possible, the negative elements of step-2 which is materialism/consumerism. (Unfortunately, India is currently doing exactly the opposite. We are embracing the negative elements of step-2, i.e consumerism , WITHOUT embracing scientific thinking).
     
    Once that is done, a foundation will have been laid for India to ascend to step-3.
     
    Coming to Sanjeev's proposal

     
    Sanjeev:
     
    I think Swami Vivekananda has ALREADY done the job that you propose here — He has explained the highest Truths of Upanishads and Gita in clearest scientific terms, stripped of all dogma.  Why reinvent the wheel ?
     
    I think your real expertise is in step-2, and you just have an INTELLECTUAL appreciation of Truths of  step-3. (unlike the more indepth and EXPERIENTIAL appreciation which Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo perhaps had). I like your relentless emphasis on rationality and scientific thinking, and that's exactly what step-2 is about. So i think your talents are best utilized in helping India complete step-1 to step-2 transition.
     
    Once India is in step-2, people will AUTOMATICALLY find and appreciate Vivekananda. Just as you did.

     

     
  15. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
    Exactly the same thing I am talking about, not that you are going into spiritualism.
    Poorly failed to grasp the para 2 of my last comment. Here is different version of the same.
    Re: intellectual ferment of 2600 years ago when Charvaka and Buddha emerged out of the many philosophical schools of India, we find great vitality. There were many schools of thought
    The purpose of such intellectual ferment can only be political, economical, health etc ends. It is not for the sake of spiritualism itself. However such ends are not met directly. Instead first intellectual ferment boils down to scientific, rational, practical principles like agnosticism, advaita, dvaita, DHARMA etc which common people for his own limitation of understanding call it a spiritualism (for it becomes something sacrosanct). Such spiritualism doesn’t descend from heavens automaically. Then such principles drive the above ends in a sustainable way (e.g. Hindu way of life). Such principles need not be hardcore and rigid and adopt itself as per desh and kal (ie. Proper interpretation). That’s advaita (if you take it as spiritual you will be most blindfolded person upon this earth- I bet it).      
    Essence: Hindu religion is new and latest every moment suitable to the circumstances. The problem is with the leaders like you who refuse to understand it saying it is a matter of spiritualism. In fact there doesn’t exist such a thing like spiritualism except the intellectual fervent you are referring to. Spiritualism is a natural alternative arrangement which only exists for common people for they cannot be made to understand everything.
    Dear Sabhlok chose 1) either be a common and believe spiritualism best suited to you OR 2) question and leave the best suited alternative arrangement to the others.
    You are questioning and still talking about spiritualism even if I don’t. It’s pity. Being a commoner and still question – It’s a contradiction. God can save!
    Happy to discuss further
     

     
  16. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
    Exactly the same thing I am talking about, not that you are going into spiritualism.
    Poorly failed to grasp the para 2 of my last comment. Here is different version of the same.
    Re: intellectual ferment of 2600 years ago when Charvaka and Buddha emerged out of the many philosophical schools of India, we find great vitality. There were many schools of thought
    The purpose of such intellectual ferment can only be political, economical, health etc ends. It is not for the sake of spiritualism itself. However such ends are not met directly. Instead first intellectual ferment boils down to scientific, rational, practical principles like agnosticism, advaita, dvaita, DHARMA etc which common people for his own limitation of understanding call it a spiritualism (for it becomes something sacrosanct). Such spiritualism doesn’t descend from heavens automaically. Then such principles drive the above ends in a sustainable way (e.g. Hindu way of life). Such principles need not be hardcore and rigid and adopt itself as per desh and kal (ie. Proper interpretation). That’s advaita (if you take it as spiritual you will be most blindfolded person upon this earth- I bet it).      
    Essence: Hindu religion is new and latest every moment suitable to the circumstances. The problem is with the leaders like you who refuse to understand it saying it is a matter of spiritualism. In fact there doesn’t exist such a thing like spiritualism except the intellectual fervent you are referring to. Spiritualism is a natural alternative arrangement which only exists for common people for they cannot be made to understand everything.
    Dear Sabhlok chose 1) either be a common and believe spiritualism best suited to you OR 2) question and leave the best suited alternative arrangement to the others.
    You are questioning and still talking about spiritualism even if I don’t. It’s pity. Being a commoner and still question – It’s a contradiction. God can save!
    Happy to discuss further
     

     
  17. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Chaitanya

    I am NOT talking here about Vedanta. I’m going well beyond it, into the core of Indian thought 2600 years ago – with all its scepticism and reform orientation. Vivekananda is excellent but does not satisfy me enough. He did not, for instance, sufficiently oppose the caste system (which he did recognise was not part of Hinduism), and did not re-invent Hinduism the way I have in mind. Like him, my “Hinduism” would be a concept, not a ritual; an ambition for achieving the individual potential of each of us. But it would be firmly grounded on the foundations of science and reason.

    Even the upanishads would be questioned and proof sought. The principle would be: set up an experiment, find the answer, then believe.

    Re: the stage 3 that you refer to is perhaps what I talk about anyway. The truth is the truth. Calling it ‘supra-mental’ does not add any value. The point is to seek the truth. Period. That should be quite enough, I think.

    More later when I get time to think and review your points more carefully.

    Thanks.

    Sanjeev

     
  18. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Chaitanya

    I am NOT talking here about Vedanta. I’m going well beyond it, into the core of Indian thought 2600 years ago – with all its scepticism and reform orientation. Vivekananda is excellent but does not satisfy me enough. He did not, for instance, sufficiently oppose the caste system (which he did recognise was not part of Hinduism), and did not re-invent Hinduism the way I have in mind. Like him, my “Hinduism” would be a concept, not a ritual; an ambition for achieving the individual potential of each of us. But it would be firmly grounded on the foundations of science and reason.

    Even the upanishads would be questioned and proof sought. The principle would be: set up an experiment, find the answer, then believe.

    Re: the stage 3 that you refer to is perhaps what I talk about anyway. The truth is the truth. Calling it ‘supra-mental’ does not add any value. The point is to seek the truth. Period. That should be quite enough, I think.

    More later when I get time to think and review your points more carefully.

    Thanks.

    Sanjeev

     
  19. Harsh Vora

    Sanjeev —  If killing animals in a proper manner — in a way that does not hurt them, perhaps finishing the whole process in a second or two — is not merciless killing for you, then the terrorists who kill innocent humans are also not merciless, for they shoot instantly. The victim does not feel much pain, for he/she dies in a second or two, thanks to the speed of the bullet. As I said, this mentality is intrinsically flawed. Your views are clearly biased. Killing, in itself, by its very nature, is merciless. There can NEVER be any "merciful killing." My point is simple: If you can avoid unnecessary violence, then why choose violence? It's that simple. Kindly answer straight to the point. No circumventions, please!  

     
  20. Harsh Vora

    Sanjeev —  If killing animals in a proper manner — in a way that does not hurt them, perhaps finishing the whole process in a second or two — is not merciless killing for you, then the terrorists who kill innocent humans are also not merciless, for they shoot instantly. The victim does not feel much pain, for he/she dies in a second or two, thanks to the speed of the bullet. As I said, this mentality is intrinsically flawed. Your views are clearly biased. Killing, in itself, by its very nature, is merciless. There can NEVER be any "merciful killing." My point is simple: If you can avoid unnecessary violence, then why choose violence? It's that simple. Kindly answer straight to the point. No circumventions, please!  

     
  21. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Harsh

    A terrorist does not kill to eat the person he kills.

    On the other hand, animals are FOOD. Humans are designed by nature (God?) to eat and digest animals (among other things) in order to survive.

    Most of our ancestors including many of the early primates ate animals as food. We are biologically omnivores, but NOT cannibals. We don’t eat the people we shoot down in war, for instance.

    I’m not asking that we painlessly blow up animals (e.g. cows) for the sake of some religious cause. I’m not saying we celebrate the killing of cows. I’m saying that we eat our food with proper care and humanity.

    In nature even that humanity does not exist. Ask a deer being eaten by a crocodile whether the crocodile is being merciful.

    You might want to stop nature from functioning first, and stop us from having to eat, if you equate killing for the sake of food with “violence”.

    I suggest you learn a bit about nature and biology.
    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  22. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Harsh

    A terrorist does not kill to eat the person he kills.

    On the other hand, animals are FOOD. Humans are designed by nature (God?) to eat and digest animals (among other things) in order to survive.

    Most of our ancestors including many of the early primates ate animals as food. We are biologically omnivores, but NOT cannibals. We don’t eat the people we shoot down in war, for instance.

    I’m not asking that we painlessly blow up animals (e.g. cows) for the sake of some religious cause. I’m not saying we celebrate the killing of cows. I’m saying that we eat our food with proper care and humanity.

    In nature even that humanity does not exist. Ask a deer being eaten by a crocodile whether the crocodile is being merciful.

    You might want to stop nature from functioning first, and stop us from having to eat, if you equate killing for the sake of food with “violence”.

    I suggest you learn a bit about nature and biology.
    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  23. Harsh Vora

    Re: A terrorist does not kill to eat the person he kills.
    As i said, unnecessary killing — the act itself — is abominable. Now whether you eat the dead or wear them is irrelevant. 
    Re: On the other hand, animals are FOOD. 
    That's what you think. It constitutes your belief. Animals are food because you eat them, they wouldn't be otherwise. 
    Re: Most of our ancestors including many of the early primates ate animals as food. We are biologically omnivores, but NOT cannibals.
    We have had extensive discussions on the topic of whether our ancestors ate meat or not. I have strong evidence/facts that they DID NOT eat meat — that meat eating does not form a part of the uncorrupt Hinduism. That's another topic.
    Re: In nature even that humanity does not exist. Ask a deer being eaten by a crocodile whether the crocodile is being merciful.
    Deers and a crocodiles do not have reason. Humans do. We use our intellect to distinguish the right from the wrong. Given this, it only makes sense that we exercise our reason and not compare ourselves with deers and crocodiles when analyzing such issues. 

     
  24. Harsh Vora

    Re: A terrorist does not kill to eat the person he kills.
    As i said, unnecessary killing — the act itself — is abominable. Now whether you eat the dead or wear them is irrelevant. 
    Re: On the other hand, animals are FOOD. 
    That's what you think. It constitutes your belief. Animals are food because you eat them, they wouldn't be otherwise. 
    Re: Most of our ancestors including many of the early primates ate animals as food. We are biologically omnivores, but NOT cannibals.
    We have had extensive discussions on the topic of whether our ancestors ate meat or not. I have strong evidence/facts that they DID NOT eat meat — that meat eating does not form a part of the uncorrupt Hinduism. That's another topic.
    Re: In nature even that humanity does not exist. Ask a deer being eaten by a crocodile whether the crocodile is being merciful.
    Deers and a crocodiles do not have reason. Humans do. We use our intellect to distinguish the right from the wrong. Given this, it only makes sense that we exercise our reason and not compare ourselves with deers and crocodiles when analyzing such issues. 

     
  25. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
     
    You are most likely to be misplaced.
     
    There is hardly any doubt that FTI or similar will do good for India. That’s not a problem.
     
    The problem is how such a thing like FTI or similar will ever come to power. That’s a real problem.
     
    You and we need to discuss more on how this FTI will come to power rather than on how this FTI is going to benefit Indian people.
     
    I am yet to join FTI because I need to be elaborated on this principle of SUCCESS and come to some manageable level of concurrence. May be many others are waiting for the same thing. But you always found my level a bit higher than you and your critical approach ceased to be critical.
     
    DON’T CONFINE SUCH A DISCUSSION ONLY TO THE FTI MEMBERS. I do believe and assert that such a discussion needs absolute privacy.
     
    But still few principles of you desists me/us from discussing the same before we join FTI.
     
    Example: Your quitting IAS for the reason of corruption and your getting exhausted at IAS level mending others. – It was something unmaking of you.
     
    Instead if you were a man of principle you would have used all the money and authority whichever way you derived FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF BRINGING FTI/SIMILAR THING TO THE POWER and thus making all that money/power worthwhile.
     
    Note that purpose of the character is far more important than the behaviour of the character in the eyes of the common people.
     
    If you think of characters from commoner point of view of Shri Krishna and Shri Rama as human beings, they are killers, cheaters, adulterous. But you cannot blame them because their purpose is sublime, grand and far noble and were treated as AVATARAS. Note people are same in those and todays circumstances.
     
    You are also born just like them for the same reason to resurrect the human beings (at least from economic point of view of Indians especially) but devoid of this strategy of Krishna and Rama.
     
    How long will it take you to understand it, Dear Sabhlok?  Don’t find my level higher than yours. Use your critical thinking.
     
    Stop wasting your hard pressed time mostly entertaining others on innumerous blogs which hardly contribute to any final decision making and see seriously that FTI membership increases, the way it works, so that ultimately it comes to power.
     
    You must answer it in detail for the sake of Indian people and FTI.

     
    NB: Extremely sorry if I have hurt you by way of teaching you.

     
  26. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
     
    You are most likely to be misplaced.
     
    There is hardly any doubt that FTI or similar will do good for India. That’s not a problem.
     
    The problem is how such a thing like FTI or similar will ever come to power. That’s a real problem.
     
    You and we need to discuss more on how this FTI will come to power rather than on how this FTI is going to benefit Indian people.
     
    I am yet to join FTI because I need to be elaborated on this principle of SUCCESS and come to some manageable level of concurrence. May be many others are waiting for the same thing. But you always found my level a bit higher than you and your critical approach ceased to be critical.
     
    DON’T CONFINE SUCH A DISCUSSION ONLY TO THE FTI MEMBERS. I do believe and assert that such a discussion needs absolute privacy.
     
    But still few principles of you desists me/us from discussing the same before we join FTI.
     
    Example: Your quitting IAS for the reason of corruption and your getting exhausted at IAS level mending others. – It was something unmaking of you.
     
    Instead if you were a man of principle you would have used all the money and authority whichever way you derived FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF BRINGING FTI/SIMILAR THING TO THE POWER and thus making all that money/power worthwhile.
     
    Note that purpose of the character is far more important than the behaviour of the character in the eyes of the common people.
     
    If you think of characters from commoner point of view of Shri Krishna and Shri Rama as human beings, they are killers, cheaters, adulterous. But you cannot blame them because their purpose is sublime, grand and far noble and were treated as AVATARAS. Note people are same in those and todays circumstances.
     
    You are also born just like them for the same reason to resurrect the human beings (at least from economic point of view of Indians especially) but devoid of this strategy of Krishna and Rama.
     
    How long will it take you to understand it, Dear Sabhlok?  Don’t find my level higher than yours. Use your critical thinking.
     
    Stop wasting your hard pressed time mostly entertaining others on innumerous blogs which hardly contribute to any final decision making and see seriously that FTI membership increases, the way it works, so that ultimately it comes to power.
     
    You must answer it in detail for the sake of Indian people and FTI.

     
    NB: Extremely sorry if I have hurt you by way of teaching you.

     
  27. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    The point you make does not resonate with me. The means and ends must match.

    I totally disagree to the idea that “if you were a man of principle you would have used all the money and authority whichever way you derived FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF BRINGING FTI/SIMILAR THING TO THE POWER and thus making all that money/power worthwhile.”

    I refuse to derive money and authority in any incorrect way. If that means I remain modestly endowed (I’ve never been poor, being fortunate to get decently paying jobs both in India and Australia), and without authority, I’m fine. So be it.

    India is not MY country alone. It belongs to you and to everyone else, as well. Hence what I do is part of good citizenship (even though technically I’m only an Overseas Indian Citizen now). I expect everyone to get involved, particularly the educated classes, else the change I seek for India will not be sustainable. The demand for change must not just be mine, but that of the entire country.

    The job of FTI members is to set an example on ethical behaviour, and to show India – humbly and without arrogance – a method for India to become the worlds MOST successful nation, once again. When India is ready, it will produce more such leaders and demand such leadership.

    Given your approach to ethics – which misuses the Indian mythologies to advocate an “ends justifies means” policy – you would be hard pressed to qualify to be an FTI member. You’ll need to follow the highest principles of ethics, should you wish to apply for FTI.

    Re: FTI’s strategy to succeed – well, it depends whether excellent leaders exist in India today. Without at least 1500 outstanding leaders ready to contest elections, reforms cannot be initiated – since the changes in the system require an ABSOLUTE majority in Parliament (and later, in all Assemblies). The challenge is very big. I can help show the way forward. I can’t become 1500 leaders myself! Not a magician.

    And indeed, once 1500 leaders are found, I would be redundant. Only the best leader/s will be offered to the country. I might not figure in that list. I’m sure India has far more brilliant and ethical people than me.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  28. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    The point you make does not resonate with me. The means and ends must match.

    I totally disagree to the idea that “if you were a man of principle you would have used all the money and authority whichever way you derived FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF BRINGING FTI/SIMILAR THING TO THE POWER and thus making all that money/power worthwhile.”

    I refuse to derive money and authority in any incorrect way. If that means I remain modestly endowed (I’ve never been poor, being fortunate to get decently paying jobs both in India and Australia), and without authority, I’m fine. So be it.

    India is not MY country alone. It belongs to you and to everyone else, as well. Hence what I do is part of good citizenship (even though technically I’m only an Overseas Indian Citizen now). I expect everyone to get involved, particularly the educated classes, else the change I seek for India will not be sustainable. The demand for change must not just be mine, but that of the entire country.

    The job of FTI members is to set an example on ethical behaviour, and to show India – humbly and without arrogance – a method for India to become the worlds MOST successful nation, once again. When India is ready, it will produce more such leaders and demand such leadership.

    Given your approach to ethics – which misuses the Indian mythologies to advocate an “ends justifies means” policy – you would be hard pressed to qualify to be an FTI member. You’ll need to follow the highest principles of ethics, should you wish to apply for FTI.

    Re: FTI’s strategy to succeed – well, it depends whether excellent leaders exist in India today. Without at least 1500 outstanding leaders ready to contest elections, reforms cannot be initiated – since the changes in the system require an ABSOLUTE majority in Parliament (and later, in all Assemblies). The challenge is very big. I can help show the way forward. I can’t become 1500 leaders myself! Not a magician.

    And indeed, once 1500 leaders are found, I would be redundant. Only the best leader/s will be offered to the country. I might not figure in that list. I’m sure India has far more brilliant and ethical people than me.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  29. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Harsh

    For some reason I remembered your comment above: "We have had extensive discussions on the topic of whether our ancestors ate meat or not. I have strong evidence/facts that they DID NOT eat meat — that meat eating does not form a part of the uncorrupt Hinduism. That's another topic."

    Here is scientific proof that ALL humans were meat eaters till recently:

    a) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/02/0218_050218_human_diet.html. Your jaws have evolved as a result of your ancestors eating meat. Your body is designed to absorb excess cholesterol: "Compared to the great apes, we can handle a diet that's high in fat and cholesterol, and the great apes cannot"

    b) http://news.softpedia.com/news/What-Did-The-Early-Humans-Eat-39828.shtml "the variability in human diet has been 'in the family' for a very long time. It is this variability that allows modern humans to utilize foods from all over the world"

    c) http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/hb/hb-interview1a.shtml Paleontological evidence shows humans have always been omnivores – Evidence well-known in scientific community; controversial only for vegetarians.

    d) In India there is EXTENSIVE archaeological evidence of cooking of ungulates and other animals just before the rise of civilisation. That is why I am at least 99% sure that Vedic Hindus ATE beef. 

    Anyway, why don't you spend some time in serious research on these issues? Please note that YOUR body is fully adapted to meat eating as well. That you don't eat meat is a choice and I have nothing against that choice. But for anyone to start alleging that animals are not human food is totally incorrect and unsustainable. 

    Happy for you to publish a peer-reviewed paper that contradicts the OVERWHELMING evidence that humans are adapted for meat eating.

    Indeed, humans are NOT adapted for drinking cow milk – vast sections of the human population have serious problems if they drink milk. Whatever adaptation has taken place in this regard (and most Indians are adapted) has occurred over the past few thousand years.

    Regards

    Sanjeev

     

     

     
  30. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Harsh

    For some reason I remembered your comment above: "We have had extensive discussions on the topic of whether our ancestors ate meat or not. I have strong evidence/facts that they DID NOT eat meat — that meat eating does not form a part of the uncorrupt Hinduism. That's another topic."

    Here is scientific proof that ALL humans were meat eaters till recently:

    a) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/02/0218_050218_human_diet.html. Your jaws have evolved as a result of your ancestors eating meat. Your body is designed to absorb excess cholesterol: "Compared to the great apes, we can handle a diet that's high in fat and cholesterol, and the great apes cannot"

    b) http://news.softpedia.com/news/What-Did-The-Early-Humans-Eat-39828.shtml "the variability in human diet has been 'in the family' for a very long time. It is this variability that allows modern humans to utilize foods from all over the world"

    c) http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/hb/hb-interview1a.shtml Paleontological evidence shows humans have always been omnivores – Evidence well-known in scientific community; controversial only for vegetarians.

    d) In India there is EXTENSIVE archaeological evidence of cooking of ungulates and other animals just before the rise of civilisation. That is why I am at least 99% sure that Vedic Hindus ATE beef. 

    Anyway, why don't you spend some time in serious research on these issues? Please note that YOUR body is fully adapted to meat eating as well. That you don't eat meat is a choice and I have nothing against that choice. But for anyone to start alleging that animals are not human food is totally incorrect and unsustainable. 

    Happy for you to publish a peer-reviewed paper that contradicts the OVERWHELMING evidence that humans are adapted for meat eating.

    Indeed, humans are NOT adapted for drinking cow milk – vast sections of the human population have serious problems if they drink milk. Whatever adaptation has taken place in this regard (and most Indians are adapted) has occurred over the past few thousand years.

    Regards

    Sanjeev

     

     

     
  31. ramesh

     Dear Sabhlok,
     
    Grossly misunderstood and misled, I deny your conception of my comment. Sorry of you.
     
    1. Here ‘ends’ are not personal. Your ethics would never have earned freedom from British to India. Everybody who fought for ‘independence was unethical this or that way in your view, it can be proved so! Even all wars in the world in the past and future should be unjustified in your view. Poor understanding of human nature!!
     
    Ethics is defined so that only justice prevails and human being remains as a human being. Ethics is not for the sake of ethics alone. In your view Bhagat Singh etc should be criminals. Today to earn “freedom” is far more difficult than it was in British India, mind it.
     
    When such is a case, it’s principle – that there cannot be any compromise on ethical principles then. I could never change it nor did either suggest it ever. Instead, suggested a way to sustain it forever.
     
    2.  One Parable:
     
    There is a race in which lame and strong able bodied people are made to contest. Note here that race is inevitable and they should strictly observe the rules. Will they get justice? Do you apply the same moral principles in r/o both categories in uneven circumstances for which they are not even remotely responsible?
     
    Here the race is Indian/world society or/and life of human beings. Strong person is Indian mindset and/or current politicians. Lamed person is a thing like FTI/you and I given its exhausting struggle who wish to bring change. Will you get justice? You have experienced it yourself over the past few years and are still uncertain how long it will take to succeed.
     
    3. Well before FTI sets an example on ethical behaviour it may get exhausted in awkward society depicted as in above parable. We cannot afford it for reasons of subjective, relative and misplaced ethical reasons.
     
    4.  One more thing on the line of your understanding of my last comment– Baba Ramdev must be exploiting sentiments of people (in r/o Beef eating etc). Then in your view he should be using unethical means by exploiting the sentiments of the people. If it so then human society doesn’t need FTI which only gets exhausted. It will prefer Ramdev who even with his flawed policies delivers success at least to some extent. (he may be thought of as a success compared to FTI given his acceptance by people within a short span). We don’t expect such a future for FTI.
     
    If I have read you wrong it is only to the extent to which you have read me.
     
    5.   I will be extremely grateful to you if you further elaborate on my misuse of Indian mythologies. Where my depiction of the same went wrong? How do interpret it instead?
     
    Just simple assertions without critical reasoning may put question mark on your wisdom. Let you match your answer my details in five points leave alone the previous unanswered comments to you.

     
  32. ramesh

     Dear Sabhlok,
     
    Grossly misunderstood and misled, I deny your conception of my comment. Sorry of you.
     
    1. Here ‘ends’ are not personal. Your ethics would never have earned freedom from British to India. Everybody who fought for ‘independence was unethical this or that way in your view, it can be proved so! Even all wars in the world in the past and future should be unjustified in your view. Poor understanding of human nature!!
     
    Ethics is defined so that only justice prevails and human being remains as a human being. Ethics is not for the sake of ethics alone. In your view Bhagat Singh etc should be criminals. Today to earn “freedom” is far more difficult than it was in British India, mind it.
     
    When such is a case, it’s principle – that there cannot be any compromise on ethical principles then. I could never change it nor did either suggest it ever. Instead, suggested a way to sustain it forever.
     
    2.  One Parable:
     
    There is a race in which lame and strong able bodied people are made to contest. Note here that race is inevitable and they should strictly observe the rules. Will they get justice? Do you apply the same moral principles in r/o both categories in uneven circumstances for which they are not even remotely responsible?
     
    Here the race is Indian/world society or/and life of human beings. Strong person is Indian mindset and/or current politicians. Lamed person is a thing like FTI/you and I given its exhausting struggle who wish to bring change. Will you get justice? You have experienced it yourself over the past few years and are still uncertain how long it will take to succeed.
     
    3. Well before FTI sets an example on ethical behaviour it may get exhausted in awkward society depicted as in above parable. We cannot afford it for reasons of subjective, relative and misplaced ethical reasons.
     
    4.  One more thing on the line of your understanding of my last comment– Baba Ramdev must be exploiting sentiments of people (in r/o Beef eating etc). Then in your view he should be using unethical means by exploiting the sentiments of the people. If it so then human society doesn’t need FTI which only gets exhausted. It will prefer Ramdev who even with his flawed policies delivers success at least to some extent. (he may be thought of as a success compared to FTI given his acceptance by people within a short span). We don’t expect such a future for FTI.
     
    If I have read you wrong it is only to the extent to which you have read me.
     
    5.   I will be extremely grateful to you if you further elaborate on my misuse of Indian mythologies. Where my depiction of the same went wrong? How do interpret it instead?
     
    Just simple assertions without critical reasoning may put question mark on your wisdom. Let you match your answer my details in five points leave alone the previous unanswered comments to you.

     
  33. Harsh Vora

    Sanjeev — By ancestors, I mean ancient Indians who followed Vedic injunctions. While it is true that some Indians ate meat, most (especially the civilized class) did NOT eat meat in regions that formed ancient India. There have been STRONG archaeological evidence showing that most claims about ancient Indians eating beef/meat is false. Western ancestors may have eaten meat. No qualms about that. Note that here I am talking about a later stage of evolution (after civilizations had developed), given (or assuming) that the theory of evolution is true.
     
    Let us, for the purpose of this discussion, assume that our ancestors ate meat. However, I trust you believe that many aspects of our ancestors' behavior were wrong. Why not use your own reason? When you say that we are designed to eat meat, you imply that there is a "designer." But if you don't believe in God, and if you instead believe in purely random selection, then there cannot be a designer. And the absence of a designer/maker/creator only means that the fact that our bodies are adapted to eating meat (high fat and cholesterol) DOES NOT justify mercilessly killing innocent beings for our own pleasure. No ancestral behavior should, by itself, justify our behavior. Our own reason should justify our current behavior.
     
    Again, my question, remains the same. Assume that our ancestors ate meat/beef. But why would you, or I, choose to commit unnecessary violence when you can VERY WELL sustain yourself through committing the least amount of violence? Why would so-called scholars preach human non-violence, while at the same time staying mum on unbridled violence committed upon less gifted innocent beings. 
     
    The other day, you shared a video on Facebook, which showed the existence of unusual love between an elephant and a dog. Imagine killing such a dog for your food. I know that you don't eat dogs. But many people, in other countries, do eat them. I trust you have seen this video: http://bit.ly/fHAJRW  — any human, who uses his reason to the highest level, cannot allow/endorse such gruesome violence. 
     
    This explains why I believe that a reboot of Hinduism will have to address this matter in a justified sense. 

     
  34. Harsh Vora

    Sanjeev — By ancestors, I mean ancient Indians who followed Vedic injunctions. While it is true that some Indians ate meat, most (especially the civilized class) did NOT eat meat in regions that formed ancient India. There have been STRONG archaeological evidence showing that most claims about ancient Indians eating beef/meat is false. Western ancestors may have eaten meat. No qualms about that. Note that here I am talking about a later stage of evolution (after civilizations had developed), given (or assuming) that the theory of evolution is true.
     
    Let us, for the purpose of this discussion, assume that our ancestors ate meat. However, I trust you believe that many aspects of our ancestors' behavior were wrong. Why not use your own reason? When you say that we are designed to eat meat, you imply that there is a "designer." But if you don't believe in God, and if you instead believe in purely random selection, then there cannot be a designer. And the absence of a designer/maker/creator only means that the fact that our bodies are adapted to eating meat (high fat and cholesterol) DOES NOT justify mercilessly killing innocent beings for our own pleasure. No ancestral behavior should, by itself, justify our behavior. Our own reason should justify our current behavior.
     
    Again, my question, remains the same. Assume that our ancestors ate meat/beef. But why would you, or I, choose to commit unnecessary violence when you can VERY WELL sustain yourself through committing the least amount of violence? Why would so-called scholars preach human non-violence, while at the same time staying mum on unbridled violence committed upon less gifted innocent beings. 
     
    The other day, you shared a video on Facebook, which showed the existence of unusual love between an elephant and a dog. Imagine killing such a dog for your food. I know that you don't eat dogs. But many people, in other countries, do eat them. I trust you have seen this video: http://bit.ly/fHAJRW  — any human, who uses his reason to the highest level, cannot allow/endorse such gruesome violence. 
     
    This explains why I believe that a reboot of Hinduism will have to address this matter in a justified sense. 

     
  35. Krishna

    Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma is open source and does not crash. Hence rebooting is not necessary. It can take divergent opinions in its stride unlike desert based religions, that are touchy of criticism. you would do well not to waste time on writing on topics that you are clearly not qualified to comment on.
    Also, your views on humans being meat eaters is unscientific. We have the intestines of herbivores not of carnivores. We do not secrete the strong acids that are needed to digest meat. If we had the wherewithal to handle fats, cholesterol would not be the problem it is. By the way Dr. Devi Shetty,  the great heart surgeon says that all fats are bad for health. One more thing, pieces of meat stay in the human gut for years showing our incapacity to digest it. 
    Please read, The Higher Taste and Fit for Life by Harvey Diamond, to learn more. And also learn that any American source that tells you to eat meat or beef is funded by their poultry and meat industry. Please learn to do some credible research and not to browbeat people like Harsh!

     
  36. Krishna

    Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma is open source and does not crash. Hence rebooting is not necessary. It can take divergent opinions in its stride unlike desert based religions, that are touchy of criticism. you would do well not to waste time on writing on topics that you are clearly not qualified to comment on.
    Also, your views on humans being meat eaters is unscientific. We have the intestines of herbivores not of carnivores. We do not secrete the strong acids that are needed to digest meat. If we had the wherewithal to handle fats, cholesterol would not be the problem it is. By the way Dr. Devi Shetty,  the great heart surgeon says that all fats are bad for health. One more thing, pieces of meat stay in the human gut for years showing our incapacity to digest it. 
    Please read, The Higher Taste and Fit for Life by Harvey Diamond, to learn more. And also learn that any American source that tells you to eat meat or beef is funded by their poultry and meat industry. Please learn to do some credible research and not to browbeat people like Harsh!

     
  37. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    In Discovery of Freedom I’ve clearly stated the conditions under which rebellion (starting with civil disobedience, but not restricted to non-violence) is an option. During British Rule in India, the conditions were appropriate for revolt, including violent revolt.

    When Krishna led the assault on the Kauravas, he was doing the right thing.

    Sometimes social conditions require violent assault, as in Libya, Iraq, or China (although organising it is not easy).

    When such a war is waged, deception is a valid strategy. Guerilla warfare is a classic example. I have nothing to say against its use, under the right conditions.

    However, I am firmly of the view that conditions in India are not that bad. I’m of the view that our electoral system works (despite many problems with electoral funding laws). I therefore see no reason to call for or to take recourse to extra-Constitutional means.

    That is why I’m working towards a different political movement WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK of India’s constitution.

    With such a strategy, there is no scope for deception, misleading underhand approaches. No scope for popularity-seeking for the sake of it. No scope to seek power for the sake of it. This strategy is about waking up educated Indians and asking them to take responsibility for their own nation. It is about showing India the way to success.

    I agree that my efforts for the past 13 years have not been brilliantly successful. My first three attempts were total failures. This, fourth one, started in December 2007, is NOT a failure. Three years down the road, I feel it is moving in the right direction.

    I’m confident that in the coming years FTI will attract India’s BEST leaders. That itself will become a very powerful political influence. Thereafter would come the necessary discussion and strategy formation as a prelude to a proper political movement.

    That is why I disagree on this suggestion, that: “if you were a man of principle you would have used all the money and authority whichever way you derived”.

    I want to show India a path that is sustainable for the next 10,000 years. That path is a path of crystal clear transparency and honesty. There is no way that I can show that path by taking access to black money or thing like that.

    Recall Gandhi’s method: He clarified that even though lawyers take recourse to falsehoods in order to protect their clients, he would not. He would only speak the truth. That did not make him a rich man, but he did gain the credibility to launch a major political movement in India. Had he been a mere ordinary lawyer with piles of money obtained through falsehoods, he could not have written: “My Experiments with Truth”.

    We need to begin this job with purity of thought and intention. I invite you to join FTI and guide it through this difficult first step of its journey. We need all types of strategic thinkers, but primarily those willing to walk the talk – i.e. those willing to lead.

    I’m as anxious as you are, to speed up the reforms. But I do not compromise on fundamentals, nor do I recommend that you consider that even remotely. Let’s move in the right direction. Our time will come.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  38. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    In Discovery of Freedom I’ve clearly stated the conditions under which rebellion (starting with civil disobedience, but not restricted to non-violence) is an option. During British Rule in India, the conditions were appropriate for revolt, including violent revolt.

    When Krishna led the assault on the Kauravas, he was doing the right thing.

    Sometimes social conditions require violent assault, as in Libya, Iraq, or China (although organising it is not easy).

    When such a war is waged, deception is a valid strategy. Guerilla warfare is a classic example. I have nothing to say against its use, under the right conditions.

    However, I am firmly of the view that conditions in India are not that bad. I’m of the view that our electoral system works (despite many problems with electoral funding laws). I therefore see no reason to call for or to take recourse to extra-Constitutional means.

    That is why I’m working towards a different political movement WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK of India’s constitution.

    With such a strategy, there is no scope for deception, misleading underhand approaches. No scope for popularity-seeking for the sake of it. No scope to seek power for the sake of it. This strategy is about waking up educated Indians and asking them to take responsibility for their own nation. It is about showing India the way to success.

    I agree that my efforts for the past 13 years have not been brilliantly successful. My first three attempts were total failures. This, fourth one, started in December 2007, is NOT a failure. Three years down the road, I feel it is moving in the right direction.

    I’m confident that in the coming years FTI will attract India’s BEST leaders. That itself will become a very powerful political influence. Thereafter would come the necessary discussion and strategy formation as a prelude to a proper political movement.

    That is why I disagree on this suggestion, that: “if you were a man of principle you would have used all the money and authority whichever way you derived”.

    I want to show India a path that is sustainable for the next 10,000 years. That path is a path of crystal clear transparency and honesty. There is no way that I can show that path by taking access to black money or thing like that.

    Recall Gandhi’s method: He clarified that even though lawyers take recourse to falsehoods in order to protect their clients, he would not. He would only speak the truth. That did not make him a rich man, but he did gain the credibility to launch a major political movement in India. Had he been a mere ordinary lawyer with piles of money obtained through falsehoods, he could not have written: “My Experiments with Truth”.

    We need to begin this job with purity of thought and intention. I invite you to join FTI and guide it through this difficult first step of its journey. We need all types of strategic thinkers, but primarily those willing to walk the talk – i.e. those willing to lead.

    I’m as anxious as you are, to speed up the reforms. But I do not compromise on fundamentals, nor do I recommend that you consider that even remotely. Let’s move in the right direction. Our time will come.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  39. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Good points, Harsh (except that when you say, “STRONG archaeological evidence showing that most claims about ancient Indians eating beef/meat is false” I haven’t come across such studies. All studies I know of say the opposite. Please send me peer-reviewed studies that prove this point.)

    Regardless of the issue of beef eating (which in my view is a non-issue) I suggest that the re-invention of Hinduism be founded only on two key principles: a) Freedom and b) Self-Realisation.

    That would be consistent with Charvaka, and with the Vedanta.

    So first let us give people the freedom to think for themselves – and teach them to think. Let us help them break out of the mould that they have been socialised into. And then – like you have done – think through issues and come to their own self-realisation.

    By all means don’t eat meat, whatever be your logic. But never impose that on anyone. Such foundational tolerance is a minimum requirement for a new Hinduism which I could then ‘follow’. Hinduism would become the world’s most open-minded religion (which, indeed, is where it started from).

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  40. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Good points, Harsh (except that when you say, “STRONG archaeological evidence showing that most claims about ancient Indians eating beef/meat is false” I haven’t come across such studies. All studies I know of say the opposite. Please send me peer-reviewed studies that prove this point.)

    Regardless of the issue of beef eating (which in my view is a non-issue) I suggest that the re-invention of Hinduism be founded only on two key principles: a) Freedom and b) Self-Realisation.

    That would be consistent with Charvaka, and with the Vedanta.

    So first let us give people the freedom to think for themselves – and teach them to think. Let us help them break out of the mould that they have been socialised into. And then – like you have done – think through issues and come to their own self-realisation.

    By all means don’t eat meat, whatever be your logic. But never impose that on anyone. Such foundational tolerance is a minimum requirement for a new Hinduism which I could then ‘follow’. Hinduism would become the world’s most open-minded religion (which, indeed, is where it started from).

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  41. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Krishna, I have Harvey Diamond’s book, but it contains a large number of myths.

    Your belief that we have the intestine of herbivores is utterly wrong. I just sent out three links to Harsh last time, let me post them again. We are WELL adapt to absorb cholesterol. Indeed, many vegetarians in India have high cholesterol.

    a) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/02/0218_050218_human_diet.html. Your jaws have evolved as a result of your ancestors eating meat. Your body is designed to absorb excess cholesterol: “Compared to the great apes, we can handle a diet that’s high in fat and cholesterol, and the great apes cannot”

    b) http://news.softpedia.com/news/What-Did-The-Early-Humans-Eat-39828.shtml “the variability in human diet has been ‘in the family’ for a very long time. It is this variability that allows modern humans to utilize foods from all over the world”

    c) http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/hb/hb-interview1a.shtml Paleontological evidence shows humans have always been omnivores – Evidence well-known in scientific community; controversial only for vegetarians.

    Re: what I’m “qualified” to comment on, I suggest I am FULLY “qualified” to comment on Hinduism, to which I was born and which I’ve studied at some length! Sorry, what’s your problem if I want to change Hinduism completely?

    I do agree that Hinduism does take divergent views. What I’m saying is that many elements of its ‘code’ are incompatible with modern life, and are blocking India’s progress (apart from bad policies and governance). The caste system, for one, must GO.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  42. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Krishna, I have Harvey Diamond’s book, but it contains a large number of myths.

    Your belief that we have the intestine of herbivores is utterly wrong. I just sent out three links to Harsh last time, let me post them again. We are WELL adapt to absorb cholesterol. Indeed, many vegetarians in India have high cholesterol.

    a) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/02/0218_050218_human_diet.html. Your jaws have evolved as a result of your ancestors eating meat. Your body is designed to absorb excess cholesterol: “Compared to the great apes, we can handle a diet that’s high in fat and cholesterol, and the great apes cannot”

    b) http://news.softpedia.com/news/What-Did-The-Early-Humans-Eat-39828.shtml “the variability in human diet has been ‘in the family’ for a very long time. It is this variability that allows modern humans to utilize foods from all over the world”

    c) http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/hb/hb-interview1a.shtml Paleontological evidence shows humans have always been omnivores – Evidence well-known in scientific community; controversial only for vegetarians.

    Re: what I’m “qualified” to comment on, I suggest I am FULLY “qualified” to comment on Hinduism, to which I was born and which I’ve studied at some length! Sorry, what’s your problem if I want to change Hinduism completely?

    I do agree that Hinduism does take divergent views. What I’m saying is that many elements of its ‘code’ are incompatible with modern life, and are blocking India’s progress (apart from bad policies and governance). The caste system, for one, must GO.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  43. bharat

    Hi, I don’t agree on few points

    I don’t agree that humans were made to eat meat.

    My logics, which are more based on observations and also on scientific studies.
    i) Human mouth is not big to tear the meat. Also, our nails are brittle, not very hard like carnivores animals.
    ii) We like smell of fruits, vegetables, trees, on other side smell of meat is unbearable. Have you ever heard of stinky fishy deodorant ?
    iii) Even, if the fruit/vegetable is going bad, still smell is not very bad and we can still eat it without getting sick. While we can’t eat meat (while same is easily eaten by dogs without any problem).
    iv) After eating fish, our mouth smell bad and we hate that smell, but not after eating fruits.
    v) Go to butcher shop look at blood, violence.. Go to vegetable fruits with vegetable. Which site is more peaceful to us. But for animals it is opposite. Why ?
    vi) Why you can’t eat meat without proper cooking. While, you can eat fruits, vegetable easily. If we use to eat meat, then just a simple logic of evolution suggest that we could have no problem eating raw meat, while we should have problem eating raw vegetables and raw fruits.
    vii) When we saw fruits fallen from tree, we simply pick and try to eat. Why not same for the cats/dogs/chicken who die natural death ????????

    Humans were made to eat vegetables, but we adapted to eat meat. This might have helped us or not. Who knows.. You can’t come to any conclusion. In science, no proper study has been done by anyone. All the studies are full of bias, and I can say with 99%+/-0.5% confidence that most of people doing this study were biased.

    Regarding digestion, if you eat chicken without proper spices, there is a chance that you will have constipation.. While eating vegetables, fruits help in proper balance of your body. Why ?

    Anyway, everyone just try to satisfy his/her ego. They justify their actions of eating meat or not eating. If you have two options : kill animal or eat vegetables to satisfy your hunger. I don’t see a point in killing animals and then justify it. FYI : I also eat non-veg but it is very minimal (only on rare occasions)

    Second this, I don’t think caste system is due to Hinduism, it is due to poverty. Just bring up the status of everyone. There will be no caste system. Stop reminding people that there is caste. The more these politician remind, the more we fall in the trap.
    Hinduism is different for different people. Hinduism is not religion, but the way of life of Indian civilization. Level of understanding depends upon education. A good educated person find it stupidity to go to all tiraths just to get moksha, for him moksha can even be attained at home/work. While for lower level of understanding, person want to go to tirath just for moksha, even if he has no money or can’t afford. This is the freedom of intellectuality and individuality in Hinduism. If you try to change or make some rules, this beauty of freedom will get lost. Let the time heal everything. In spite of doing a reboot to hinduism, we need reboot in politics. Politics which provide no discrimination based on caste, religion, region. Where we are not counted as dalit,brahmin, banya.. but as Indians. Politics where we are not counted as Hindu, muslims but only as Indians.

    P.S. : I am Hindu not because my parents were or wanted me. But because I find it to be the only one religion which has no rules to achieve god and give me equal status to that of God. Also, I have infinite number of births ;)

     

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