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Switch to Forum Live View Is Hinduism a form of Idealism?
3 years ago  ::  Jul 21, 2011 - 7:04PM #1
TransJ
Posts: 732
Hello, I am TransJ: 

I do not know that much about Hinduism so I thought I would come over here and talk with you all and see what I can discover. The form of idealism that I follow is:
 Idealism: The doctrine of reality that there is only one primary property of reality which is activity and one interrelated prior object. I take this position from my studies of Plato, Aristotle, C. S. Peirce, C.E. Hartshorne and others.  The cosmos (universe only for the time being) is one activity (being/mind)  prior to its interrelated part. The primary object of reality is one interrelated object (object monism) and it has one primary property (property monism).  The object and its property have activity (change) as the nature of reality and persistence is the effect of past states. The cosmos is “sentient” (non-human), as a whole the parts are interrelated activities. So this form of Idealism is an object priority monism with property monism and the whole is prior to its parts.

So what kind of idealism is Hinduism if indeed it is an idealism? perhaps we can compare note and expand our ways of thinking. 
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3 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2011 - 2:27AM #2
Jm8
Posts: 784

Namaste  and welcome TransJ,

hinduism (or better Vedic tradition) is a conglomerate of various doctrines and concepts. What you describe is probably closest to Adi Sankara's advaita (monism). The majority of Vedic followers are monotheists (Vaisnavas, Saivas and Saktas) though.

Since you mention Plato...

In his introduction to The Six Books of Proclus on the Theology of Plato
(1816), Thomas Taylor gives a good summary of Plato’s philosophy, which,
although formulated in a very abstract way, seems similar to the Pancaratra
view (monads analogous to vyuhas):

"According to this theology, therefore, from the immense principle of
principles, in which all things casually subsist, absorbed in superessential
light, and involved in unfathomable depths, a beauteous progeny of
principles proceed, all largely partaking of the ineffable, all stamped with
the occult characters of deity, all possessing an overflowing fullness of
good.

"From these dazzling summits, these ineffable blossoms, these divine
propagations, being, life, intellect, soul, nature, and body depend; monads
suspended from unities, deified natures proceeding from deities. Each of
these monads, too, is the leader of a series which extends from itself to
the last of things, and which while it proceeds from, at the same time
abides in, and returns to its leader. And all these principles and all their
progeny are finally centered and rooted by their summits in the first great
all-comprehending one.

"Thus all beings proceed from, and are comprehended in the first being; all
intellects emanate from one first intellect; all souls from one first soul;
all natures blossom from one first nature; and all bodies proceed from the
vital and luminous body of the world. And lastly, all these great monads are
comprehended in the first one, from which both they and all their depending
series are unfolded into light. Hence, this first one is truly the unity of
unities, the monad of monads, the principle of principles, the God of Gods,
one and all things, and yet one prior to all."

Hope this helps. Hare Krsna
Your servant, bh. Jan

www.vrindavan-dham.com
www.veda.harekrsna.cz

dvaitaM bandhAya mokSAt prAk prApte bodhe manISayA
bhaktyarthaM kalpitam dvaitaM advaitAd api sundaram

"Duality is bondage before moksa and wisdom after realization. The duality accepted for the purpose of bhakti is sweeter than even non-duality." (from mangalacarana to Advaitasiddhi sara sangraha by Madhusudana Sarasvati, former advaitin)

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 24, 2011 - 11:39AM #3
TransJ
Posts: 732



Hope this helps. Hare Krsna
Your servant, bh. Jan

www.vrindavan-dham.com
www.veda.harekrsna.cz

dvaitaM bandhAya mokSAt prAk prApte bodhe manISayA
bhaktyarthaM kalpitam dvaitaM advaitAd api sundaram
Namaste  and welcome TransJ,

hinduism (or better Vedic tradition) is a conglomerate of various doctrines and concepts. What you describe is probably closest to Adi Sankara's advaita (monism). The majority of Vedic followers are monotheists (Vaisnavas, Saivas and Saktas) though.



"Duality is bondage before moksa and wisdom after realization. The duality accepted for the purpose of bhakti is sweeter than even non-duality." (from mangalacarana to Advaitasiddhi sara sangraha by Madhusudana Sarasvati, former advaitin)


 


Thank you!


 


Yes, Plato is a great  place to begin! I read it in my younger days and still refer back to it here and there. Yes I am a Monotheist and I believe the main attribute of Deity (Hir) is transcendence in its actual and potential qualities. I suppose it would be best if told you  that I'm a Transtheist in that nothing transcends reality not even Gods. At the widipedia   en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transtheistic makes references to Indian religions and Jainism in particular  as Transtheistic, I come from the western side of this view; Plato, Stoicism, Paul Tillich and modern Process theology. Which all of these I think comes down to philosophic idealism in that reality's source is mind/spirit.


However I do have a question for you. In the western countries Science more or less follows the materialistic philosophy of reality, its source is inorganic or insentient physicality. How does Hinduism handle this view of Science as sourced in inorganic or insentient physicality?    


 

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 24, 2011 - 2:03PM #4
Jm8
Posts: 784

You're welcome. :)

Hir:
Vaisnavism (the major form of Vedic monotheism) describes God as Adi Sakti-Saktiman, the original transcendent female and male entity. Sakti translates as 'energy' and Saktiman as 'possessor of energy', or 'energetic source'. There's no meaning of one without the other.

nothing transcends reality not even Gods:
Yes, if we posit 'reality' as 'material reality' (material cosmos or any form of matter whatsoever). But matter itself is Sakti called Mahamaya, an expansion of Adi Sakti. Bodies of gods (devas) are subtle material and so they're subordinate to her in this regard. Otoh, the bodies of Adi Sakti-Saktiman are nonmaterial and emanate a white light called Brahman (the impersonal Absolute), one of the three main aspects of God - Brahman, Paramatma (omnipresent yet personal Spirit) and Bhagavan (Adi Sakti-Saktiman). Vaisnavism is a form of panentheism.

Re the above mentioned vyuhas in the Pancaratra (right-hand tantra associated with Vaisnavism) concept, they're personal expansions of Adi Sakti-Saktiman.

How does Hinduism handle this view of Science as sourced in inorganic or insentient physicality?:
As I said, there's no uniform 'Hinduism' but many kinds of philosophies and theologies under this artificial umbrella term. In the Vedic history existed a form of materialism represented by Carvaka but it's long extinct. It's known only from the commentaries of its opponents. More about six traditional Vedic philosophies (darsans):

www.veda.harekrsna.cz/library/Sixsys.zip

Material science as the method to explain material reality is insufficient. Einstein said that the problem can't be solved at the same level it was produced. Therefore to explain material reality one needs to transcend it first. We're already by nature transcendent to matter but due to illusion we identify with it. This illusion and false identification comes from our desire to enjoy it and is called maya since it's a function of Mahamaya Sakti.
Products of science can be used for ungodly or godly purposes. To use them for godly purposes is called yukta-vairagya, renunciation connected to God, and is practiced by Vaisnavas.

Hope this helps. Hare Krsna
Your servant, bh. Jan

www.vrindavan-dham.com
www.veda.harekrsna.cz

dvaitaM bandhAya mokSAt prAk prApte bodhe manISayA
bhaktyarthaM kalpitam dvaitaM advaitAd api sundaram

"Duality is bondage before moksa and wisdom after realization. The duality accepted for the purpose of bhakti is sweeter than even non-duality." (from mangalacarana to Advaitasiddhi sara sangraha by Madhusudana Sarasvati, former advaitin)

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2011 - 12:21AM #5
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,447

Jul 24, 2011 -- 11:39AM, TransJ wrote:




Hope this helps. Hare Krsna
Your servant, bh. Jan

www.vrindavan-dham.com
www.veda.harekrsna.cz

dvaitaM bandhAya mokSAt prAk prApte bodhe manISayA
bhaktyarthaM kalpitam dvaitaM advaitAd api sundaram
Namaste  and welcome TransJ,

hinduism (or better Vedic tradition) is a conglomerate of various doctrines and concepts. What you describe is probably closest to Adi Sankara's advaita (monism). The majority of Vedic followers are monotheists (Vaisnavas, Saivas and Saktas) though.



"Duality is bondage before moksa and wisdom after realization. The duality accepted for the purpose of bhakti is sweeter than even non-duality." (from mangalacarana to Advaitasiddhi sara sangraha by Madhusudana Sarasvati, former advaitin)


 


Thank you!


 


Yes, Plato is a great  place to begin! I read it in my younger days and still refer back to it here and there. Yes I am a Monotheist and I believe the main attribute of Deity (Hir) is transcendence in its actual and potential qualities. I suppose it would be best if told you  that I'm a Transtheist in that nothing transcends reality not even Gods. At the widipedia   en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transtheistic makes references to Indian religions and Jainism in particular  as Transtheistic, I come from the western side of this view; Plato, Stoicism, Paul Tillich and modern Process theology. Which all of these I think comes down to philosophic idealism in that reality's source is mind/spirit.


However I do have a question for you. In the western countries Science more or less follows the materialistic philosophy of reality, its source is inorganic or insentient physicality. How does Hinduism handle this view of Science as sourced in inorganic or insentient physicality?    


 



Hi transj, Knowledge depends on a relationship between sudjectivity and objectivity ( knower and known ) the knower is conscious due to having the ability to identify. The insentient lacking consciousness cannot possess knowledge of what is conscious and what is not conscious, therefore, knowledge is the prerogative of consciousness only. This is the difference between Hinduism and the materialistic view of reality.

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2011 - 10:31PM #6
TransJ
Posts: 732

Hir:
Jm8: Vaisnavism (the major form of Vedic monotheism) describes God as Adi Sakti-Saktiman, the original transcendent female and male entity. Sakti translates as 'energy' and Saktiman as 'possessor of energy', or 'energetic source'. There's no meaning of one without the other.


TransJ: I did some reading and net surfing using the words you are providing. There are some very striking similarities between  Adi Sankara's advaita (monism) and my own monism. Also between Vaisnavism and Hir as the Supreme Deity. I think the original transcendent female and male entities is metaphorical for the two modes of 'energy' I do not see 'energy' as inherently male or female by nature. However I think the 'energy' that we are talking about is pure activity, that is the pure act of being. That act is inherently the actuality and potentiality as a single reality. We might be talking about the same thing and just using different words.


 


nothing transcends reality not even Gods:
Yes, if we posit 'reality' as 'material reality' (material cosmos or any form of matter whatsoever). But matter itself is Sakti called Mahamaya, an expansion of Adi Sakti. Bodies of gods (devas) are subtle material and so they're subordinate to her in this regard. Otoh, the bodies of Adi Sakti-Saktiman are nonmaterial and emanate a white light called Brahman (the impersonal Absolute), one of the three main aspects of God - Brahman, Paramatma (omnipresent yet personal Spirit) and Bhagavan (Adi Sakti-Saktiman).


Again we might be talking the same thing and  just using different words. I can accept 'reality' as 'material reality' so long as material is a panpsychist (Panpsychism) perspective. Which means that the grossly physical or material is the effete mind/spirit part  of the whole mind/spirit reality. In that sense the progression form gross material too subtle material and too the abstract material of absoluteness becomes understandable as modes of the mind/spirit reality.


 


Vaisnavism is a form of panentheism.


I can understand the attraction of panentheism and I have often considered believing it, but whatsoever equals reality is reality and I think of Hir (God) as having its own reality or identity separate from all things. The exclusive immanent transcendence of God to itself. Do not get me wrong here I believe that God can effect all actualities and possibilities as well as be affected by them, but Hir can chose not to effect or be to affected also. And that God is forever within the absolute reality.


In the Vedic history existed a form of materialism represented by Carvaka but it's long extinct. It's known only from the commentaries of its opponents. More about six traditional Vedic philosophies (darsans):

www.veda.harekrsna.cz/library/Sixsys.zip


 


I found this to be very interesting and informative. I have been arguing with Atheist and Agnostic for many years. Thanks!


 


Divine blessing.


TransJ


 

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2011 - 10:41PM #7
TransJ
Posts: 732

Hi transj, Knowledge depends on a relationship between sudjectivity and objectivity ( knower and known ) the knower is conscious due to having the ability to identify. The insentient lacking consciousness cannot possess knowledge of what is conscious and what is not conscious, therefore, knowledge is the prerogative of consciousness only. This is the difference between Hinduism and the materialistic view of reality. 


 


Hi williejhonlo, I can agree with most of what you are saying but I'm not completely sure that there are such thing as insentient or inert  things in reality. I'm a panpsychist when it comes to 'materialism'. 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2011 - 7:37AM #8
Jm8
Posts: 784

> I think the original transcendent female and  male entities is metaphorical for the two modes of 'energy' I do not see 'energy' as inherently male or female by nature. However I think the 'energy' that we are talking about is pure activity, that is the pure act of being. That act is inherently the actuality and potentiality as a single reality. We might be talking about the same thing and just using different words.

No, They're real persons, male and female, but with nonmaterial bodies of sac-cid-ananda nature (eternity, knowledge, bliss).

> Which means that the grossly physical or material is the effete mind/spirit part of the whole mind/spirit reality. In that sense the progression form gross material too subtle material and too the abstract material of absoluteness becomes understandable as modes of the mind/spirit reality.

My dictionary gives synonyms like 'exhausted, weak, degraded' for 'effete'. No, matter is not like that. It disintegrates but that's its design. Matter is a transformed non-matter (spirit).

> I think of Hir (God) as having its own reality or identity separate from all things. The exclusive immanent transcendence of God to itself. Do not get me wrong here I believe that God can effect all actualities and possibilities as well as be affected by them, but Hir can chose not to effect or be to affected also. And that God is forever within the absolute reality.

Yes, God is at the same time transcendent, immanent and also interacts with material creation by entering it as avatara.

> I found this to be very interesting and informative. I have been arguing with Atheist and Agnostic for many years. Thanks!

You're welcome.

Hope this helps. Hare Krsna
Your servant, bh. Jan

www.vrindavan-dham.com
www.veda.harekrsna.cz

dvaitaM bandhAya mokSAt prAk prApte bodhe manISayA
bhaktyarthaM kalpitam dvaitaM advaitAd api sundaram

"Duality is bondage before moksa and wisdom after realization. The duality accepted for the purpose of bhakti is sweeter than even non-duality." (from mangalacarana to Advaitasiddhi sara sangraha by Madhusudana Sarasvati, former advaitin)

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2011 - 9:56PM #9
TransJ
Posts: 732

Jm8: No, They're real persons, male and female, but with non-material bodies of sac-cid-ananda nature (eternity, knowledge, bliss).


 
TransJ:
Okay they're real persons in your theology. In my own theology Hir has no need to male nor female. But we do not want to get to side track by theologies.


 
> Which means that the grossly physical or material is the effete mind/spirit part of the whole mind/spirit reality...
My dictionary gives synonyms like 'exhausted, weak, degraded' for 'effete'.


Yes that is the meaning I have in mind.


 


No, matter is not like that. It disintegrates but that's its design. Matter is a transformed non-matter (spirit).


Hmm, what do you mean by transformed? Do you mean spirit has merely changed in some way but is still the only reality or that spirit has become another kind of reality as matter, which sounds like dualism?


My main interest at this point is how materialism became extinct! I must say when I first read that statement I was amazed. What were some of the main reasons that it became extinct? I wonder if that could happen in the western world? Is there a main text in the Vedic tradition that records a debate between materialist and its opponents, if so I would like to read that.


Divine blessings


TransJ. 


 


 




 


 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2011 - 11:43PM #10
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,447

Jul 27, 2011 -- 9:56PM, TransJ wrote:


Jm8: No, They're real persons, male and female, but with non-material bodies of sac-cid-ananda nature (eternity, knowledge, bliss).


 
TransJ:
Okay they're real persons in your theology. In my own theology Hir has no need to male nor female. But we do not want to get to side track by theologies.


 
> Which means that the grossly physical or material is the effete mind/spirit part of the whole mind/spirit reality...
My dictionary gives synonyms like 'exhausted, weak, degraded' for 'effete'.


Yes that is the meaning I have in mind.


 


No, matter is not like that. It disintegrates but that's its design. Matter is a transformed non-matter (spirit).


Hmm, what do you mean by transformed? Do you mean spirit has merely changed in some way but is still the only reality or that spirit has become another kind of reality as matter, which sounds like dualism?


My main interest at this point is how materialism became extinct! I must say when I first read that statement I was amazed. What were some of the main reasons that it became extinct? I wonder if that could happen in the western world? Is there a main text in the Vedic tradition that records a debate between materialist and its opponents, if so I would like to read that.


Divine blessings


TransJ. 


 


 




 


 


 



Maya can be said to be a vitiated form of consciousness. Consciousness is the superior energy because nature and it's subtle qualities of goodness, passion, and ignorance are the shadow of consciousness. For consciousness and it's qualities of purity, knowledge, and pleasure are the impetus behind nature's subtle qualities to function.


Without knowledge, ignorance has no energy, without purity, goodness has no energy, and without pleasure passion has no energy, therefore nature derives it's function and qualitativeness from qualities inherent within consciousness ( spirit ) it is one-with but different due to it being intimately connected to consciousness. Therefore, it is unable to exist without it.


Although nature appears separate from spiritual potency, it is inseparable from spiritual potency, it's just another form of spiritual energy.




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