Foundations of Indian Culture

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Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1990 - India - 378 pages
The two volumes together may be described as search for the original ideational foundations of Indian Culture. In one way this work recalls the tradition of Coomaraswamy but seeks to join it to the mainstream of critical history. It argues that the living continuity of Indian Culture is rooted in a unique spiritual vision and social experience. Indian Culture is neither the result of merely accidental happenings through the centuries, nor a mere palimpsest of migrations and invasions. It is, in its essence, a development of foundational ideas constituting a creative matrix. Behind its changing historical forms lies a deep and persistent source of creativity which is spiritual in character. The Present volume I deals with the spiritual vision and symbolic forms. Here is has been upheld that the spiritual vision of India had two original aspects, the integral or synoptic vision of the Vedas, and the Sramanic vision of Transcendence. Purnata and Sunyata constituted the two poles round which Indian spirituality revolved. The author not only elucidates this bipolar matrix of Indian spirituality revolved. The author not only elucidates this bipolar matrix of Indian spiritual praxis or sadhana, but also traces its intricate ancient history. He goes on to trace the great symbolic forms-language, myth, science, literature and art-in which this basic vision expressed itself. In all these areas he brings out the basic general principles expressive of inner consciousness rather than present a mere selection of well-known details.

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Page 7 - It is rather a divinely given archetype, an ideal model which man needs to follow and in the process fulfil as well as transcend his mere humanity or historic actuality. From a point in time man has to seek the perennial, not merely to contribute to another point of time in the future.13 Starting from his given empirical identity man has to seek his true transcendental identity.
Page 8 - In the sacrificial interpretation of life, acts of all kinds are reduced to their paradigms and archetypes, and so referred to Him from whom all action stems; when the " notion that I am the doer " (ahamkard, karto'ham asmiti) has been overcome, and acts are no longer " ours," " On the " happy dispatch
Page 22 - On this view the will becomes arbitrary or non-rationally determined and thus the principles which it follows cease to have any reason or connection with reason just as the latter remains concerned only with the nature of things and contains no directive principle for the will. The ancient view had a richer conception of reason which made it reveal facts as well as values, 'natural

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