I wondered at several statements in this article. I will discuss two of them.

1. "In dismay they watched Europeans say 'never again' after the First World War. In dismay they read posters at Holocaust museums that demanded history should be remembered, not repeated. That was like hoping humans could prevent the next thunderstorm. It revealed a failure to recognise the nature of humanity.”

Granted that within an endlessly cycling and recycling cosmic history, the notion of a final, definitive end of violence is quite naive. Still, much good can be done in the world, and efforts to bring about that good should elicit our gratitude, and not merely our “dismay.” To give an example, gardens must perpetually be weeded, but they are weeded and there are many beautiful gardens in the world. The lack of a final, once-and-for-all weeding should not elicit our dismay when we see people caring for lovely gardens.

The Gita seems to teach this view in the famous verse 4.7: yadA yadA hi dharmasya glanir bhavati… The very term yadA yadA acknowledges that adharma is perpetual, but so should be our efforts to restore dharma. Gardens must ever be weeded, 

To use an example from the article, despite the tragic miscalculations after WW I, all post-war calculations have not been equally tragic. Indeed, despite serious mistakes, the post WW II arrangements were better. The UN survived where the League of Nations failed. The Marshall plan was an effective corrective to the harsh conditions imposed on Germany after WW I.

Endless peace and virtue in the world of Maya would be hopeless utopianism. But we can and should make a difference. That’s why Holocaust Museums elicit in me much more than dismay.

2. "The only way to break free from the violent instinct is to outgrow our hungers and fears. This a sage can achieve through rigorous mental re-conditioning, but he also realises that such an enterprise cannot be forced on a population. It remains an individual endeavour, and can never be a collective enterprise.”

Really? I find this incomprehensible, given the picture we find in, say, Mahabharata where good kings enact and protect peace in their realms, often with the committed encouragement and guidance of sages.

Best wishes,

On Jul 6, 2016, at 7:49 AM, rajam <rajam@earthlink.net> wrote:

An eye-opener! Now I’m beginning to understand why some Indologists “see” “chaos and the need for controlling" women and certain groups of people as depicted in Old Tamil literature!

Thanks and regards,

On Jul 5, 2016, at 11:39 PM, Dr. Debabrata Chakrabarti <dchakra@hotmail.de> wrote:

Dear List,

I am giving here a link of the following topic and hope interested Indologists would like to read it.

How Indian sages viewed violence (and why western mythology has such different ideas about it)

In Greek myth, violence is part of a movement from chaos to order. But Indian myth lays out that as long as violence exists, it will beget violence.

In Greek myth, violence is part of a movement from chaos to order. But Indian myth lays out that as long as violence exists, it will beget violence.

???This body is like a musical instrument; what you hear depends upon how you play it.??? ??? Anandamayi Ma
???Inside every human being there exists a special heaven, whole and unbroken.??? - Paracelsus

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