Yoga Karma And Rebirth A Brief History And Philosophy Pdf

yoga karma and rebirth a brief history and philosophy pdf

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By Parimal G. New York: Columbia University Press,

This article draws connections between the complexities of modern postural yoga practices and global peacebuilding efforts, exploring both tensions and possibilities. This is followed by an analysis of contemporary practice-based examples, which consider the theoretical tools of elicitive peacework and transrational peace research. Through an exploration of yoga as elicitive peacebuilding and conflict transformation, this article considers if yoga has the potential to shift societal notions of peacebuilding and questions the implications of this for peace theory and practice.

Yoga in Transition

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Download Free PDF. Monima Chadha. Download PDF. A short summary of this paper. IntroductionThe doctrine of karma, as elaborated in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religious traditions, offers a powerful explanatory account of the human predicament, and in particular of seemingly undeserved human suffering.

Whitley R. Kaufman is right to point out that on some points, such as the suffering of children, the occurrence of natural disasters, and the possibility of universal salvation, the karma theory appears, initially at least, much more satisfactory than the attempts made to solve the perennial problem of evil by writers working within the mainstream theistic traditions of Judaism,Christianity,and Islam p.

Kaufman's recent article in this journal, therefore, is to be welcomed as a step toward redressing this imbalance in the literature, and in the process helping to remove the Western theistic bias of much contemporary philosophy of religion.

On the other hand, we think that Kaufman has unfortunately done little to further the general understanding of the doctrine of karma and the way in which this doctrine is presented as an answer to the problem of evil. Kaufman offers six objections to the karma theory, stating ''Here I will present five distinct objections to the theory of rebirth, all of which raise serious obstacles to the claim that rebirth can provide a convincing solution to the Problem of Evil' ' p.

But before considering Kaufman's six objections in detail, we wish to say something briefly about the preliminary remarks Kaufman makes in the introductory section of his article.

First, a terminological worry. Kaufman states that he will be treating the karma theory as a 'theodicy ' pp. As traditionally understood, a theodicy aims primarily, in the celebrated words of John Milton, to ''justify the ways of God to men'' [] , p.

That is to say, a theodicy aims to vindicate the justice or goodness of God in the face of the evil found in the world, and this it attempts to do by offering a reasonable explanation as to why God allows evil to abound in his creation. The construction of theodicies has therefore played a pivotal role in theistic religions, but it clearly has no place within nontheistic religions. That is why Barry Whitney's comprehensive bibliography on theodicy has so few entries relating to the doctrine of karma Whitney However, this is to confuse the project of offering a theodicy with the much broader project of offering a response to the problem of evil.

Although a theodicy can be offered as a solution to the theistic problem of evil, it may be of little or no use in relation to other varieties of the problem of evil. It would be more appropriate, therefore, to speak of karma as an explanatory account of the existence of evil and suffering, rather than as a theodicy or a moral justification for the actions of a benevolent God.

Given such high expectations, it is no wonder that the doctrine of karma is a failure in Kaufman's eyes. For, to begin with, the theory of karma is not intended as an account of the origins of evil as is, for example, the Christian doctrine of original sin , since the karma theorist does not allow for any beginning to the cycle of births and rebirths we will return to this matter below when dealing with the infinite regress problem. More importantly, however, the karma theory is not usually put forward by its proponents as a complete and systematic explanation of human suffering.

At a number of important points, for example, the account is deliberately left vague or incomplete: few details, in particular, are provided on the inner workings or mechanics of the karmic process, as will be seen below in relation to the memory problem. Our gravest concern with Kaufman's introductory comments, however, relates to his methodology. He states that his article ''is not an exercise in doctrinal exegesis'' p. This, at least, seems to be the import of his later remark that ''my focus will be on modern commentators and secondary sources rather than on scriptural origins' ' p.

This strikes us as a strange way to proceed. If the issue at hand were, say, the adequacy of the Christian doctrine of the Fall as a response to the problem of evil, it would be seriously remiss of one to overlook what the Christian scriptures have to say on this matter and to concentrate exclusively on how the theme of the Fall was developed by later or contemporary theologians.

Paying due attention to the scriptural and historical origins of religious doctrines is vital if these doctrines are to be understood correctly. Otherwise, we run the risk of setting up 'straw men' as targets, and neglecting the rich, complex, and varied tapestries woven by the great religious traditions. Kaufman, it seems, has succumbed to the tendency, prevalent in much contemporary analytic philosophy of religion although thankfully beginning to wane , of treating religious beliefs and doctrines in a highly abstract and ahistorical manner.

Kaufman writes, for example, that ''My method will be to examine a simplified, idealized version of the karma-and-rebirth doctrine, one abstracted as far as possible from particular historical or doctrinal questions' ' p. Similarly, he states elsewhere, ''I will analyze the doctrine of karma in its rationalized and simplified form; the particular details, or alternative formulations of the doctrine, will not be noted unless they appear relevant to the theodicy question'' p.

It is doubtful, however, that the karma theory can be idealized and abstracted in this way without distorting the theory. By not giving sufficient attention to the ways in which the doctrine of karma has been interpreted, developed, and expanded, particularly in the original sources, Kaufman regularly neglects and misunderstands important aspects of the doctrine.

Indeed, if we adopt Kaufman's strategy of considering only a minimalist version of the karma theory-one reduced to the bare claim that ''people suffer because of their past deeds in this and previous lives, and likewise enjoy benefits based on past good deeds'' Clooney, quoted by Kaufman, p. As we hope to show in what follows, the more nuanced view of the karma theory that is found in the scriptural texts helps to meet each of the objections raised by Kaufman.

The Memory ProblemKaufman is concerned with the moral issues raised by the utter lack of any memory traces of previous lives. He claims that ''justice demands that one who is being made to suffer for a past crime be made aware of his crime and understand why he is being punished for it' ' p. However, the crucial notion of 'being made aware of one's crime' is vague and cannot do the work Kaufman requires of it unless it is precisely defined.

On a strong reading, 'being made aware of one's crime' will require quite specific details regarding what happened, when and where it happened, why it was morally wrong, what consequences it had for oneself and others, and so on.

But, surely, justice does not demand that a criminal be made aware of their crime in this strong sense. On a weaker interpretation, and in line with what Kaufman states in the quotation above, 'being made aware of one's crime' amounts to arriving at some understanding as to why one is being punished.

Although this reading is more in keeping with the demands of justice, such demands are clearly met by the theory of karma since the theory explains present suffering as a necessary consequence of wrongdoing in the past. According to the karma theory, then, the criminal is capable of understanding why they are being punished, even though they may not remember any of the actual details of their past criminal acts.

It is thus a central tenet of the theory of karma that all crime is eventually punished. But, in Kaufman's view, such a tenet is ''essentially useless as a means of moral education' ' p. He concedes that retaining memories of past misdeeds may sometimes be a hindrance to our moral development, but goes on to add that ''it is hardly plausible to say that it is better never or even rarely to remember past deeds or lives; acknowledging past mistakes is in general an important even essential educating force in our lives'' p.

But Kaufman's reasoning here is suspect. Acknowledging past mistakes is by no means an essential, or even the most important, educating force in our lives. We do not need to commit crimes before we can learn that murder is wrong or that rape is despicable. As children we are introduced to the morals of our society through stories and fables that reiterate the point that good is rewarded and bad is punished. And as intelligent adults we adapt and revise the ethical values of our culture in the light of a broadly liberal education.

Our ethical beliefs are also refined by our knowledge of, and perhaps personal contact with, various historical exemplars of good and evil. Moreover, remembering precisely one's past mistakes is not the only way to acknowledge the mistakes one may have made in the past. Such acknowledgment of past failures is clearly possible without remembering where, when, and what one actually did to deserve punishment. Consider, for example, a drunk driver who kills a pedestrian before colliding with a pole.

Suppose that the driver falls into a coma as a result of the collision, and after a month regains consciousness but lacks any awareness of the accident or his drunken state, which brought it about. Any reasonable court of law would demand that the offender in this case be made to acknowledge his mistake. The theory of karma, similarly, requires us to acknowledge our past mistakes, but not by remembering in detail what we did wrong in some past time and thence repenting for it.

Kaufman further maintains that the memory problem is particularly serious for the theory of karma given that this theory holds that ''most wrongs will be punished in a later life and most suffering is the result of wrongdoing in prior existences' ' p. He adds, parenthetically, that karma theorists are forced into this position partly on account of the obvious fact that wrongs do not get punished immediately.

But this fact, according to Kaufman, imperils the educational value of the theory of karma:For the point is that the mechanism of karma itself is poorly designed for the purposes of moral education or progress, given the apparently random and arbitrary pattern of rewards and punishments. If moral education were really the goal of karma and rebirth, then punishment would be immediately consequent on sin, or at least one would have some way of knowing what one was being punished or rewarded for.

The law of karma states that there is a necessary connection between any act that has moral value and its result specifically, the reward or punishment accrued on ac-count of the action. Thus, the theory postulates karmic residues as an imperceptible link between the act and its consequence.

Karmic residues are positive or negative depending on the quality of the act. The fruitions of these residues have joy or extreme anguish as results, in accordance with the quality of their causes.

The law of karma does not promise that the punishment or the reward will be yielded instantaneously. Right actions and wrongdoings are rewarded or punished automatically for the agent will be burdened with imperceptible karmic residues until the circumstances are right for their fruition although not instantaneously since there may be a time lag between the performance of an act and the fruition of the karmic residues acquired on account of that act.

The theory of karma says nothing specific about when and in what form the rewards and punishments will be meted out; it only states that an agent is bound to enjoy or suffer the results of their behavior-if not in this life, then at least in some future life. The theory cannot therefore be used to predict the timing and the form of the rewards or punishments, although this in itself is no reason to think that the pattern of rewards and punishments is arbitrary or random.

Consider the fact that legal trials today can take many years to deliver a verdict, with few or no people being in a position to predict exactly when the judgment will be delivered or what exact form the punishment if punishment there be will take. But once the verdict is made and the ensuing punishments are meted out, we do not judge these punishments to be random or arbitrary simply because they were delayed.

The hope that a just punishment will be meted out to the criminal at some future time is sufficient to sustain our faith in the legal system as a means of moral education, and a similar hope motivates the belief that the law of karma can allow for the moral development of the individual.

Moral education, then, does not require that any justly deserved punishments be immediately consequent on sin. Kaufman, however, might object that if punishment does not immediately follow the wrongful act, then if moral education is to be possible, there must at least be some way of knowing what one was being punished for. This again presupposes that moral education can proceed only by means of learning from and acknowledging one's past wrongdoings.

The theory of karma does not offer a way of knowing the precise correlations between particular good or bad acts in the past and the results to be enjoyed or suffered by the agent in the future, but belief in karma entails that these correlations must obtain. Now listen as I explain it in terms of working without fruitive results. When you act in such knowledge you can free yourself from the bondage of works'' 2 : The recipe sounds simple: ''Therefore without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty, for by working without attachments one attains the Supreme i.

Thus, the theory of karma and rebirth explains that the root cause of human suffering is lust and attachment to the fruits of one's actions. As long as these desires and attachments persist in the agent, the agent cannot progress on the path to liberation. The wrongdoing is therefore not so much in the particular action performed as in the attachment the agent has in seeking the fruits of action.

The theory thus helps the agent become aware of what, in broad terms, they have done wrong in the past and what they can do to improve their future condition. The message, in a nutshell, is: get rid of attachments to the fruits of actions and you won't acquire any karmic residues on account of sinful behavior.

The doctrine of karma, therefore, presupposes the possibility of moral growth and details how we may go about achieving it. The explanatory account offered by karmic theorists may be incomplete in many respects and may fail to motivate everyone to pursue the path recommended by karma-yoga, but that does not diminish the theory's potential to inspire the moral development of individuals.

The Proportionality ProblemKaufman states that the karma theory can be a morally adequate solution to the problem of evil only if it presupposes a proportionality principle, namely ''that the severity of suffering be appropriately proportioned to the severity of the wrong'' p.

But this principle, Kaufman adds, is flouted by the theory of karma, for ''given the kinds and degrees of suffering we see in this life, it is hard to see what sort of sins the sufferers could have committed to deserve such horrible punishment'' p.

The proportionality problem, however, is not as intuitively compelling as Kaufman seems to think. The level of difficulty in believing that the terrible evils mentioned by Kaufman including such things as death by starvation or torture, mental illness, or becoming crippled as a result of a car accident are simply punishments for past misdeeds is proportional to the level of difficulty in comprehending the brutality and ruthlessness of much human behavior that we see in this world-acts of genocide such as the Holocaust and totalitarian regimes like those of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot quickly come to mind.

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Yoga philosophy is one of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism. The Yoga school's systematic studies to better oneself physically, mentally and spiritually has influenced all other schools of Indian philosophy. The end of this bondage is called liberation, or moksha , by both the Yoga and Samkhya schools of Hinduism. The origins of the Yoga school of Hinduism are unclear. The root of "Yoga" is found in hymn 5.

Purchasing options are not available in this country. For serious yoga practitioners curious to know the ancient origins of the art, Stephen Phillips, a professional philosopher and sanskritist with a long-standing personal practice, lays out the philosophies of action, knowledge, and devotion as well as the processes of meditation, reasoning, and self-analysis that formed the basis of yoga in ancient and classical India and continue to shape it today. In discussing yoga's fundamental commitments, Phillips explores traditional teachings of hatha yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga, and tantra, and shows how such core concepts as self-monitoring consciousness, karma, nonharmfulness ahimsa , reincarnation, and the powers of consciousness relate to modern practice. He outlines values implicit in bhakti yoga and the tantric yoga of beauty and art and explains the occult psychologies of koshas , skandhas , and chakras. His book incorporates original translations from the early Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita , the Yoga Sutra the entire text , the Hatha Yoga Pradipika , and seminal tantric writings of the tenth-century Kashmiri Shaivite, Abhinava Gupta.

In order to attain Moksha liberation , a human being must acquire self-knowledge atma Gyan. This is a major point of difference with the Buddhist doctrine of Anatta , which holds that there is no soul or self. It can also be linked to the Greek word "atmos", from which the word atmosphere is derived. Atman is a metaphysical and spiritual concept for Hindus, often discussed in their scriptures with the concept of Brahman. Atman is the deepest level of one's existence.

Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy Stephen Phillips A Brief History and Philosophy by Stephen Phillips Free PDF d0wnl0ad, audio.

Yoga, karma, and rebirth : a brief history and philosophy

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Джабба окончательно убедился: директор рискнул и проиграл. Шеф службы обеспечения систем безопасности спустился с подиума подобно грозовой туче, сползающей с горы, и окинул взглядом свою бригаду программистов, отдающих какие-то распоряжения. - Начинаем отключение резервного питания. Приготовиться. Приступайте.

Женщина с кровотечением… плачущая молодая пара… молящаяся маленькая девочка. Наконец Беккер дошел до конца темного коридора и толкнул чуть приоткрытую дверь слева. Комната была пуста, если не считать старой изможденной женщины на койке, пытавшейся подсунуть под себя судно. Хорошенькое зрелище, - подумал Беккер.

Беккер вышел в коридор. Нет проблем.

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 Если Стратмор не забил тревогу, то зачем тревожиться. - Да в шифровалке темно как в аду, черт тебя дери. - Может быть, Стратмор решил посмотреть на звезды. - Джабба, мне не до шуток. - Ну хорошо, - сказал он, приподнимаясь на локтях.  - Может быть, у них закоротило генератор. Как только освобожусь, загляну в шифровалку и… - А что с аварийным питанием.

 Хорошо, это ничего не дает. Начнем вычитание. Я беру на себя верхнюю четверть пунктов, вы, Сьюзан, среднюю. Остальные - все, что внизу. Мы ищем различие, выражаемое простым числом. Через несколько секунд всем стало ясно, что эта затея бессмысленна. Числа были огромными, в ряде случаев не совпадали единицы измерения.

Глаза его расширились от ужаса. - Нет! - Он схватился за голову.  - Нет. Шестиэтажная ракета содрогалась. Стратмор нетвердыми шагами двинулся к дрожащему корпусу и упал на колени, как грешник перед лицом рассерженного божества. Все предпринятые им меры оказались бесполезными. Где-то в самом низу шахты воспламенились процессоры.

В боковое зеркало заднего вида он увидел, как такси выехало на темное шоссе в сотне метров позади него и сразу же стало сокращать дистанцию. Беккер смотрел прямо перед. Вдалеке, метрах в пятистах, на фоне ночного неба возникли силуэты самолетных ангаров. Он подумал, успеет ли такси догнать его на таком расстоянии, и вспомнил, что Сьюзан решала такие задачки в две секунды. Внезапно он почувствовал страх, которого никогда не испытывал .

 Он называл ее… - Речь его стала невнятной и едва слышной. Медсестра была уже совсем близко и что-то кричала Беккеру по-испански, но он ничего не слышал. Его глаза не отрывались от губ Клушара. Он еще раз сжал его руку, но тут наконец подбежала медсестра. Она вцепилась Беккеру в плечо, заставив его подняться - как раз в тот момент, когда губы старика шевельнулись.

Тот огляделся вокруг, указательным пальцем разгладил усы и наконец заговорил: - Что вам нужно? - Он произносил английские слова немного в нос. - Сэр, - начал Беккер чуть громче, словно обращаясь к глуховатому человеку, - я хотел бы задать вам несколько вопросов. Старик посмотрел на него с явным недоумением.

Нуматака начал слегка нервничать. Он очень надеялся, что ничего не сорвалось. Если ключ так хорош, как о нем говорят, он взломает самый совершенный продукт компьютерной эры - абсолютно стойкий алгоритм цифрового кодирования. Нуматака введет этот алгоритм в чипы VSLI со специальным покрытием и выбросит их на массовый рынок, где их будут покупать производители компьютеров, правительства, промышленные компания. А может быть, он даже запустит их на черный рынок… рынок международного терроризма.

Почему я звоню. Я только что выяснил, что ТРАНСТЕКСТ устарел. Все дело в алгоритме, сочинить который оказалось не под силу нашим лучшим криптографам! - Стратмор стукнул кулаком по столу. Сьюзан окаменела.

 Рыжие волосы, - повторил Беккер, понимая, как глупо выглядит. - Простите, у нас нет ни одной рыжеволосой, но если вы… - Ее зовут Капля Росы, - сказал Беккер, отлично сознавая, что это звучит совсем уж абсурдно. Это странное имя, по-видимому, не вызвало у женщины каких-либо ассоциаций. Она извинилась, предположила, что Беккер перепутал агентство, и, наконец, положила трубку.


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