View Full Version : From the Vedic 'Karma Kanda' to Self-Knowledge

Saturday, October 2nd, 2004, 05:07 AM
While the traditional Vedic 'karma kanda' (ritualistic components of religion) continued to be practiced as meditative and propitiatory rites gearing society (through the Brahmins) to Self-knowledge, more jnana (knowledge/discrimination) centered understandings began to emerge, mystical streams of Vedic religion that focused on meditation, self-discipline and spiritual connectivity rather than more practical aspects of religion like rituals and rites. The more abstruse Vedanta (meaning literally the infinite knowledge of the Vedas, ie.Vedant= Ved+Anant, Anant means inifite) is the essence of the Vedas, encapsulated in the Upanishads which are commentaries on the four original books (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva).

Their systematisation into one coherent treatise was undertaken by Badarayana, in a work called the Vedanta Sutra, also known as Brahma Sutra, that appeared around the time of Christ.

The cryptic way in which the aphorisms of the Vedanta Sutras are presented leaves the door open for a few interpretations. This led to the formation of three Vedanta schools. Each of these interprets the texts in its own way and has produced its own series of sub-commentaries - all claiming to be faithful to the original. But, consistent throughout Vedanta is the authoratative declaration that ritual is to be eschewed in favor of intuitional questing for truth, for meditation governed by a loving morality, secure in the knowledge that infinite bliss does await her/him who seeks beyond the mere body and mind for it. Practically all sects of Hinduism today have directly or indirectly been affected by the thought systems developed by these thinkers. The survival of Hinduism, to a great extent, was aided by the formation of the coherent and logically advanced systems of Vedanta.

Vedanta has influenced modern science enormously. Schrödinger was a Vedantist, and he claimed to have been inspired by it in his discovery of quantum theory. According to his biographer Walter Moore, there is a clear continuity between Schrödinger’s understanding of Vedānta and his research: "The unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. In 1925, the world view of physics was a model of a great machine composed of separable interacting material particles. During the next few years, Schrödinger and Heisenberg and their followers created a universe based on superimposed inseparable waves of probability amplitudes. This new view would be entirely consistent with the Vedantic concept of All in One."


[ This religion is similar to Northern European paganism because: it is integralist and believes in the Universe as one self-creating force, and thus inherently rejects the dualism inherited from Judaism through Christianity. Its gods are not moral agents, but descriptive, psychological portrayals of life itself. And its embrace of transcendental idealism places it, philosophically speaking, closest to the traditional Indo-European religions in structure. ]

Monday, December 6th, 2004, 10:47 PM
it is integralist and believes in the Universe as one self-creating force, and thus inherently rejects the dualism inherited from Judaism through Christianity.
Two points:

1) No.

In order to understand both the spirit of Tradition and its antithesis, modern civilization, it is necessary to begin with the fundamental doctrine of the two natures. According to this doctrine there is a physical order of things and a metaphysical one; there is a mortal nature and an immortal one; there is the superior realm of "being" and the inferior realm of "becomming." Generally speaking, there is a visible and tangible dimension and, prior to and beyond it, an invisible and intangivle dimension that is the support, the source, and true life of the former.
Anywhere in the world of Tradition, both East and West and in one form or another, this knowledge (not just mere "theory") has always been present as an unshakable axis around which everything revolved. Let me emphasize the fact that it was knowlede and not "theory." As difficult as it may be for our contemporaries to understand this, we must start from the idea that the man of Tradition was aware of the existence of a dimension of being much wider than what our contemporaries call "reality."... (Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, 3)
Though not a Hindu, I trust Evola's expertise in this area. All Aryan Traditions, from Graeco-Roman "Paganism" to Hinduism to Christianity, embrace a "dualistic" outlook toward life, contrasting the transcendent Order of the gods (or singular god) with nature. Even Odalists with the one-ness that outsiders percieve them of having with nature had hierarchy (Order) and gods who fought off the Jotunn (the chaotic aspect of Nature). Hinduism is no exception to this.

2) Having asserted that every Aryan Tradition contained dualism, I now inquire: why is dualism so bad? I would argue that the rejection of dualism in favour of "life" played a significant role in the spiritual fall and consequential material decline of all these higher cultures.

Monday, December 6th, 2004, 11:12 PM
Evola perceived the world as polar, rather than dualistic.

Monday, December 6th, 2004, 11:23 PM
Evola perceived the world as polar, rather than dualistic.
One concept does not exclude the other. Polar would certainly be a better way to describe his wolrd-outlook, but--as I believe that quote evidenced--he did understand the world as having a higher metaphysical world that existed in contrast to the natural, physical one.

dualism. n. Philosophy. The view that the world consists of or is explicable as two fundamental entities, such as mind and matter.
This is fundamental to Traditionalism.