India - A sacred geography bound by Dharma

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by KS, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Imagining India: A sacred geography bound by Hinduism | Firstpost

    An excellent read. As said by me many times - the real glue that binds this land of disparate cultures,ethnicities, tribes, languages and even religions is the native idealogy that we call Sanatana Dharma and its sacred association with this land and if anything happens to it, this country as we know it will simply cease to exist.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
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  3. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    She is describing the idea of Dharma through western apparently secular lenses. Sanatana dharma and itÅ› various offshoots have created the idea of India that is a civilization state , not just a mere westphalian nation state. India , if seen through western political philosophy,is bound to fall apart from itÅ› burden of differences. But it is Dharma acting as the glue that is holding India together.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  4. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    The most important line the advocates of the "British unified us" school of thought need to remember.
     
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  5. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Not only India as it stands today our religious texts bind us to lands as diverse as Sri Lanka , the site of Ravana's "Golden Kingdom" and Kandahar the site of the birth place of "Gandhari" the mother of the Kauravas of the Mahabharatha.our Dharmic ties link us not only whithin our subcontinental boundaries but beyond as well.
     
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  6. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Agreed !

    But those lands have only been the periphery and their significance,if you see, is mostly only birth places of few important characters or something like that. From a pure religious POV, almost all sacred places for Hindus are inside the geographical boundaries of modern day India.
     
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  7. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    India needn't be bound by Dharma. The envelope of Dharma can be expanded :troll:
     
  8. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The idea of India as a sacred geography need not be limited to Aryas (the so-called "Indians). To the ancient Chinese and Japanese who became followers of Buddh Dharma, India was Tianzhu (天主) and Tenjiku (天竺) respectively, both meaning "heavenly land" or "center of heaven". The spread of Dharma across Asia from the lands of the Pahlavas to the sea of Choson, represents the true 'soft power' of ancient Indian civilization, something matched by few other civilizations in history.
     
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  9. sukhish

    sukhish Senior Member Senior Member

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    yes, excellent article. this is the first time I have found such a comprehensive analysis. the religious epic of india is what binds India together.
    it is almost as if it is a god's chosen palce. although in modern time people may not beleive in those epic stories, deep inside most indias , they exists and know they were true and I'm one of them.
     
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  10. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    There is something similar about how the various religious traditions of India conceptualize 'the Divine'.

    All traditions (more or less) are non-dual, there is no sharp difference between the creator and the creation
     
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  11. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Well that would be the ideal case...but not a practical one.

    Moreover why limit to China and Japan - South East Asia is much more influenced by Indian civilization than China or Japan.

    But the real focus of this article is not about that but about what binds/defines the core of that civilization, a core that is not a a homogenous one, one that is as disparate as the word disparate can be defined.


    A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

    Dharma first needs to be consolidated in the core before the envelope is extended.....:)
     
  12. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I believe that the subcontinent shares a larger cultural backdrop in Vedic/Hindu culture. Yet, I differentiate this culture from the Hindu religion, for the fact that I do not have faith in the various gods and goddesses and the subsequent rituals and practices, since to me, it is all stories and mythology. It doesn't mean that I don't want these stories from ancient vedic culture to be revived today in art forms and exported to the world, but to me, they are all still just stories.

    So yes, IMO, the subcontinent, and even beyond all the way to South East Asia, do have a common vedic ancient mythological culture, but I wonder if this is the conformality some members here have been looking for, or they wish that all Indians conform to the Hindu religion? That's the question I'm curious about.
     
  13. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Sure, Southeast Asia should also be included. In fact Southeast Asia would be the most ideal place for true Indian soft power to be exercised.


    Just curious, what is your idea of 'Dharma'? How would you define it?


    How would you go about 'consolidating' it?


    Thank you for getting to the crux of the matter!
     
  14. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    This land,culture and religion are so inextricably intertwined that drawing a clear line between this is the culture and this is the religion is next to impossible.

    You are confusing the issue. The article is NOT about introducing a "conformal'' factor as to define who are Indians in aa political sense. But to say what was the glue that held together this disparate land with a mind blowing diversity in all respects and how this "idea" of Bharatvarsh has always been there in the imagination of the people thanks to the native faiths of this land.

    A simple way is to picture India as a pond - with different rocks, plants, marine life that do not dissolve in the water and loose their individual identity - but the water is that common thread that binds all of them and nourishes them and without which the ecosystem would simply vanish.

    That water is the Sanatan Dharma and the rocks, particles, marine life, plants etc are the different ethnicities, tribes, languages, religions etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  15. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    Our history is a testament to the fact that united we stand, divided we fall. We were ruled by invaders when we had multiple kingdoms. But when we were united our influence and culture spread far away from its native land.

    To me its more than dharma. Its about not repeating the same mistakes of our past and also taking pride in our culture.
     
  16. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    That is a very deep question and I admit that I am not fully knowledgeable about that. No one is.

    But a good starting point would be starting to look Indian history and culture from Indian POV and not western POV, removing the lingering marxist bias that pervades how we interpret our culture and hastening religious reformation. A third reformation is long due.

    I would welcome other's view on this very relevant question.
     
  17. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Utterly confusing.

    Like I said before, I agree with the cultural aspect, but I do not believe in the religion, as I do not believe that the stories are anything more than mythology. Nor do I believe in the thousands of rituals and I consider them superstitions. So, if you can explain in layman's terms, where do I fit in into your idea of "consolidation", what are you implying by that?
     
  18. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    A very good article ! she is correct in saying that Hindu dharmic culture binds us; and these are the golden words she wrote:-
    The foreigners who came here gave our culture a name of Hinduism or Hindu religion, we do not consider ourselves bound by the definition of a religion or -ism, it is a culture.

    One's religious texts and incidents are stories for others and thats it. No non-Hindu believes these to be true, similarily Hindus can't follow a book, like many religions do, they escape books and connect to Parabrahma in person, sometimes through various Gods and Goddesses which we consider the manifestation of supreme soul and sometimes directly. Not all think like you or me, If you visit Vaishno Devi you will see hundreds of Sikhs go there for Darshan, in the same manner hundreds of Hindus visit Golden temple of Amritsar.I mean the most important thing which we have in common is tolerance, faith and compassion which is due to these vedic and dharmic traditions.

    Your approach is somewhat communal when asking the question quoted below, but thats the wrong approach, while you have answered your own question:-
    ...and that culture acts as a glue, though it is not bound by the definition of religion. And all the religions which came into existence in India shares the same vedic ancient culture more or less.



    Edit:- i misunderstood this quetion so editing:-
    If your approach towards life is right then you have consolidated your Dharma, that is what Hinduism urges. Dharma means to be correct in your approach, to be morally and practically right guided by the principles of Vedas and other texts, if you see at larger area which was guided by these vedic principles you will find whole south Asia as a part of its culture which were glued together.

    Please correct if my approach is wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  19. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    In this case it is not possible to draw a clear line between where culture ends and religion starts. And by religion I mean the broader Sanatan Dharma whose offshoots we today know as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.

    A simple way is to picture India as a pond - with the rocks, plants, marine life that are present in it as the different ethnicities, languages, religions in India.

    The water is that common thread that binds them together and nourishes it and without which the ecosystem would simply vanish. Sanatan Dharma plays the role of the water.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
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  20. balai_c

    balai_c Regular Member

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    This book might clear some of your confusions:

    [​IMG]

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images...ck-small,TopRight,12,-30_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg


     
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  21. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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    How exactly do you come to the conclusion that the culture which has been the heritage for many thousands of years has been changed by hardly a thousand year foreign rule, and is wildly different from the religion? The early vedic age dates back to 1700 BC. Mughals established their dynasty in 1500 AD. Do the math in your spare time and try to answer how a Hindu majority state had its 3000 years of culture changed by 500 years of foreign rule during which Hindus were in majority all through.
    Of course, the mythologies were just stories. Do you suppose things like the Bramhastra, flying chariots, demons really existed? What is of importance is the message our ancestors passed through these works to us. Their philosophy, their culture. Myth making, they thought would make their acceptability far easier and not surprisingly, look around you, and see if they have succeeded or not.

    If you really knew the Hindu religion, you wouldn't even have asked the question. Hinduism has never been imposed on anyone. If you are still in doubt, consult the history books. Neither will it ever be enforced upon anyone.

    Absolutely, a hindu reformation is long overdue. We must continue what Swami Vivekananda and other luminaries started.
    On a lighter note, don't think sickulars have any place in the scheme of Hindu consolidation. As it is, Hinduism is Secularism by itself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

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