Deja Vu Experiences

Wayne Borody wayneb at DNS3.UNIPISSING.CA
Thu Nov 4 05:56:15 UTC 1999

Dear Dr. Smith:

Once again, thank you for your suggestion regarding Donniger's book. I have
examined her book.  Although she discusses, in a heuristic manner,  the
deja vu experience in reference to certain Indian myths,  I am not
convinced that the myths she discusses are bona fide examples of what is
now described as a deja vu experience ( an experience that many
psychologists now claim is simply a temporal glitch in perception).

Actually there is no Sanskrit term that is comparable to the term "deja
vu," a European term coined in the 19th century. While the whole notion of
samsara might be connected to the deja vu experience, I can, as yet,  find
no specific reference to the deja vu experience in Sanskrit literature
[e.g.., Veda-Vyasa in his commentary on the Yoga Sutras discusses the
"evidence" for samsara; his evidence amounts to anumana, not pratyaksa
(comm. on 2.9)].

I am presently working on a comparative study of Nietzsche's doctrine of
Eternal recurrence.  I am looking at the deja vu experience in an
incidental way, as it might relate to Nietzsche's doctrine: hence, my
interest in Indian ideas of time other than the cosmic vishva-rupa-deva
notion of existence (e.g.., the cosmic form of Krishna in the Gita) or the
experience of timelessness implied by the Advaita anirvacaniya doctrine or
the Madhyamika's sunya-vada .

In any case, yours was the only response to my query.

Yours cordially,
Wayne Borody

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list