[INDOLOGY] bhakti

Nagaraj Paturi nagarajpaturi at gmail.com
Thu Nov 10 04:44:06 UTC 2016

1. Cultures mixing with each other, new mixed cultures being born out of
intercultural interactions, religious and cultural syncretisms, these
products of mixtures being named after one of the components of the
mixture are all not the special features of India.How such syncretisms are
received too varies from social group to social group. It may be called a
'good thing' like here
It may not be called a 'good thing' elsewhere.

2. One model of such namings of the mixtures can be called a
river-tributary model. Even after tributaries join the main river , later
course is called with the name of the main river only. In some cases, the
cultures/traditions being given the name 'Vedic' has this feature.

3. When cultural assimilations take place using the (perceived or real)
commonalities between the two or more interacting cultures, these
commonalities, described in Indian Sanskrit knowing sections using the
word ēkavākyatā, are described using the language of the available
doctrinal articulations. Upanishads and Vedanta are examples of such
articulations used to describe the ēkavākyatā.

4. Viewing ancient intercultural interactions deterministically in a
(class)-conflict model, and viewing ancient cultural assimilations as
class-war averting or class-war pre-empting strategies on the part of one
of the components of admixture is a typical deductive and historical
determinist model.

5. Most of the findings of cultural mixings, or assimilations or anything
like that found in a current culture by the researchers of that current
culture may not be known to the insiders of that investigated culture. So
to theorize as if the culture insider knew the 'non-Vedic nature' of his
culture and still used the word Vedic for a prestige is to attribute
unjustifiable motives to the tradition bearer.

On Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 4:39 AM, Luis Gonzalez-Reimann <reimann at berkeley.edu
> wrote:

> I sent this response yesterday, but by mistake it only went to Patrick and
> not the list, so I resend it here.
> I now see that Valerie made the same point about using "Indian astrology."
> _____
> Hi Patrick,
> It would be easy to replace the name Vedic astrology with Indian
> astrology. It's more accurate, anyway, because that encompasses what could
> be called Jain, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. astrology.
> There certainly has been a pattern for centuries of appropriating the
> label "Vedic" for enhancing the prestige of one's own tradition or text and
> making it seem very ancient. There are claims of being the nectar of the
> Vedas, as in the *Bhāgavata Purāṇa*, as well as statements about the
> Vedas ultimately being about this or that god or goddess. These are clearly
> sectarian claims.
> Best,
> Luis
> _____
> On 11/8/2016 4:27 PM, patrick mccartney wrote:
> Robert,
> The term 'Vedic astrology' is certainly interesting. I have been
> contacting astrologers in the West who use this term on their websites.
> Their responses as to what they actually mean by it are revealing of a
> certain discomfort and cognitive dissonance. One particular respondent said
> they did not like the term but it was something of an 'industry standard',
> so not using the term was counter productive to their own vocational
> interest. They also said that 'Hindu astrology' sounded even 'less
> authentic'. This is while knowing that the predictive aspects of 'Vedic
> astrology' developed well past the Vedic period.
> Personally, I find the phrases 'Vedic capitalism
> <http://www.sabhlokcity.com/2012/09/vedic-capitalism-clear-affirmation-of-equality-and-pursuit-of-wealth/>',
> 'Vedic socialism
> <http://www.sabhlokcity.com/2010/08/what-is-vedic-socialism/>' and 'Vedic
> communism
> <http://vaniquotes.org/wiki/I_think_the_Vedic_concept_of_socialism_or_communism_will_much_improve_the_idea_of_communism>'
> to be amongst my favourites.
> I wonder if anyone has a .pdf of this book
> <http://www.worldcat.org/title/vedic-socialism/oclc/643866103> ?
> All the best,
> Patrick McCartney, PhD
> Fellow
> School of Culture, History & Language
> College of the Asia-Pacific
> The Australian National University
> Canberra, Australia, 0200
> Skype - psdmccartney
> Phone + Whatsapp:  +61 414 954 748
> Twitter - @psdmccartney
> academia <https://anu-au.academia.edu/patrickmccartney>
>    -
> Linkedin
> <https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241756978&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile>
> Edanz <https://www.edanzediting.com/expert/anthropology/patrick-mccartney>
> #yogabodyANU2016 symposium <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X80KxW2bb0w>
> <http://chl.anu.edu.au/news-events/events/658/yoga-and-body-past-and-present-symposium?#tab>
> Ep1 - Imagining Sanskrit Land <https://youtu.be/jMi7tkPBbJ4>
> Ep 2 - Total-am <https://youtu.be/7tAp8m9RHPU>
> Ep 3 - Jalam ≠ Chillum <https://youtu.be/cLZeuCT_mwQ>
> Ep 4 - It's Time to get Married
> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B3un7aHEAc>
> A Day in our Ashram
> <https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ek+din+hamaare+ashram+mein>
> Stop animation short film of Shakuntala
> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVqBD_2P4Pg>
> Forced to Clean Human Waste <http://youtu.be/y3XfjbwqC_g>
> One of my favourite song
> <http://trinityroots.bandcamp.com/track/all-we-be>s
> The Philosophy of Cycling
> <http://elibrary.com.ng/UploadFiles/file0_2221.pdf>
> On Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 4:59 AM, Robert Zydenbos <zydenbos at uni-muenchen.de>
> wrote:
>> By coincidence, just yesterday I gave a lengthy interview to a lady from
>> the Bavarian radio who is doing a program on bhakti. She came with a heap
>> of references and quotes and asked me what we are to make of all this. As
>> with so many things, it is context-sensitive.
>> patrick mccartney wrote:
>> > While 'bhakti' is mentioned at least in the above upanishad, I thought
>> 'bhakti yoga' was quite clearly a post-vedic development, and that the
>> bhakti movement developed from the 6th century CE. To the devotee this
>> statement might seem unproblematic, but to the scholar it appears to
>> conceptually and temporally conflate disparate things.
>> Perhaps it is relevant to stress that the occurrence of a word as a
>> series of writing symbols in a text is one thing, and that the meaning of
>> the word in a given context may differ from the one in another context. For
>> instance,
>> Howard Resnick wrote:
>> > […] I will add that the Bhagavad-gita often mentions bhakti,
>> bhakti-yoga, bhakta etc, and the Gita is one of three standard members of
>> the ‘Vedanta apparatus.’
>> Shyam Ranganathan wrote:
>> > When I was a grad student in Joseph O'Connell's class on Bhakti in the
>> 90s, he started the class with a review of some portions of the Mantra
>> section of the Vedas, as a backdrop to later developments in Tamil (āḻvārs
>> etc.,) and further developments in Bhakti Vedanta---including Gaudiya
>> Vaishnavism.
>> If such statements are meant as claims that bhakti is Vedantic or even
>> ‘Vedic’, they are purely theological, not historical. By this I mean that a
>> word such as ‘bhakti’ is ‘interpreted’ by later religious thinkers as
>> ‘implied’ in the ‘Veda’ or ‘Vedānta’. Indeed, as
>> George Hart wrote:
>> > Gaining legitimacy through identification with the Vedas is nothing new.
>> Already at a conference in Toronto, 26 years ago, I argued that the word
>> ‘Vedic’ in a traditional sense is just a sort of sociological label and
>> means nothing more than ‘accepted by brahmins’. (Here one must again be
>> careful and ask ‘which brahmins’ and ‘why’.) Only when one accepts the
>> religious authority of brahmins does the ‘legitimacy’ to which George Hart
>> refers become relevant. (For instance, Vīraśaivism is a bhakti tradition,
>> but for the vast majority of Vīraśaivas it is not relevant whether bhakti
>> can be called ‘Vedic’ or not.)
>> Therefore (this is for Patrick): watch out. Böhtlingk and Roth’s
>> Petersburger Wörterbuch (vol. 5, col. 163) tells us that the word ‘bhakti’
>> is already found in the Ṛgveda (8,27,11) in the sense of ‘distribution’
>> („Austheilung, Vertheilung“). Böhtlingk and Roth give a long list of other,
>> later meanings. But if you say
>> > […] I thought 'bhakti yoga' was quite clearly a post-vedic development,
>> and that the bhakti movement developed from the 6th century CE.
>> then you are starting from a particular concept that is labelled
>> ‘bhakti’, and in that sense you are right. If, for instance, one soberly
>> reads the Bhagavadgītā without later commentaries, one must conclude that
>> later ‘bhakti’ is a far cry from the rather subdued theism in that text.
>> The same goes for the Śvetāśvataropaniṣat.
>> > I am interested in how organisations operationalise the 'vedic' sign in
>> their marketing and promotional material to generate 'authenticity' and
>> legitimacy.
>> It is basically simple: the brāhmaṇa varṇa claims the exclusive right to
>> vedādhyāpana, in other words: traditionally, brahmins decide what the Vedas
>> and ‘Vedic’ literature are and what their meaning is. With some
>> imagination, one can declare all sorts of things ‘Vedic’ (my personal
>> favourite is ‘Vedic astrology’).
>> The words ‘Veda’ and ‘Vedic’ at some point in time acquired a special
>> halo, and this is associated with the brāhmaṇa varṇa in its idealized,
>> mythical form (cf. BhG XVIII.42: śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṃ, etc.). This
>> sometimes happens to words (e.g., ‘democracy’. Everybody wants to be
>> ‘democratic’, even if there are big differences of opinion about just what
>> democracy is and how it should be. Meanwhile, it’s November 8, and the
>> world is shuddering…).
>> RZ
>> --
>> Prof. Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
>> Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie
>> Department für Asienstudien
>> Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)
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Nagaraj Paturi

Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.

Former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies

FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of  Liberal Education,

(Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA )

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