From the Jacket:
Each stable culture and major civilization of the world consists of a distinct material base and a distinct ideational structure and has an inherent mechanism of striking its own equilibrium between the two. In the Indian tradition dharma is the balancing force. Religion and ideology are literally treated as synonymous with the Sanskrit word dharma. But dharma differs from religion is not being exclusive, and from ideology in possessing a transcendental dimension.
The papers in this volume acknowledge that neither the word religion nor dharma can be discarded while looking at the Indian reality. They address themselves to the question: To what extent does the continued use of the concept of religion in the Indian context reflect reality, and to what extent does it distort or misrepresent its dharmic reality? Given India's historical and the present existential situation these papers explore the question: "Is an alternative understanding of Indian civilization possible, independent of Western presuppositions?"
The articles in the book present an in-depth study of the concept of dharma and its relation to the other purusarthas - artha, kama and moksa, as well as with society, science, religion, Ayurveda and secularism. Relying mainly on the Vedas, epics Manusmrti and the writing of Plato, Vivekananda, Gandhi et al., these papers explore some contemporary issues relating to women (stri-dharma) and the dilemmas faced by the Indian diaspora, especially in the UK and the US.
These discussions have an appeal for a general reader as well as for scholars of Philosophy, Religion, WOmen's Studies, Modern India and Sociology.
About the Author:
Mrinal Miri is currently Vicechancellor of Northeastern Hill University. He has taught philosophy in Delhi University and Northeastern Hill University. His philosophical publications include several books and many articles in professional journals both in India and abroad. Prior to his present assignment he was, for six year, Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
Arvind Sharma, formerly of the I.A.S., is Birks Professor of Comparative Religion in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has published extensively in the fields of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion and is currently engaged in promoting the adoption of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World's Religion.
Ashok Vohra is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Delhi. He was the Member Secretary of Indian council of Philosophical Research during 1995-98. He is the author of Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mind, (Croom-Helm, London, Sydney); co-author of Radhakrishnan: HIs Life and Ideas (State University of New York Press, New York) and co-editor of The Philosophy of K. Satchidanada Murty (ICPR, New Delhi). He has translated Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations; On Certainty; and Culture and Value into Hindi. In addition he has published more than seventy articles and research papers in Indian and foreign journals. He has been writing columns on Indian philosophy and religion in leading national dailies.
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