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Philosophy is why I started this blog and what fuels my mental growth. My evolution as a thinker.

  • Religion in the age of reason - 1 and Part 2 :  Has religion become obsolete in this age of reason? I ponder over the purpose of religion and how it evolved to meet human needs and understanding. 
  • Philosophy : Who needs it ? : Is philosophy really required in daily life? Does a commoner need philosophy to run through his mundane jobs? I answer these questions with an eye on pragmatism. 
  • The Perennial Problem of Evil : If God is indeed all-good and all-powerful, why do humans suffer? I quote various philosophers on this subject and arrive at a conclusion.
  • The World As it Goes : Irrespective how much wisdom you share with co-humans, they appear to fall into the very pits you forewarned them about. What then, can we do? It is futile to change others?
  • Questioning Modernity : Is modern world the culmination and Everest of all human achievement and wisdom? Or are superstitions as rife in modern society as it was in ancient world?
  • The Passion of Ayn Rand : I chronicle the early life of Ayn Rand, her works and philosophy, and her controversial private life which was marred by amorous passion.
  • Grappling with boredom : Many of us, thanks to success-stories bombarded on us by media, think that our achieving our goals is simply a matter of charting a strategy and executing it. If only it were that easy – events as they say has its own way of unsettling calculations.
  • "Man's Search For Meaning" by Viktor Frankl : Viktor Frankl's 'Man's Search For Meaning' is not a brainchild of mental speculation, but based on personal experiences in the school of sorrow where the earthy lessons of life are taught. Frankl’s life and observations at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp of Nazi Germany before he was liberated at the end of World War II forms the crux of our book.
  • The Red Pill Moment : There comes a point in life when we experience something so disturbing that we are forced to re-look at our most cherished beliefs that we were conditioned to believe from birth. Many people have this rare moment of clarity at some point where they begin to understand that somehow their worldview wasn't as wholesome as they believed. 
  • Solitude and transformation : When a flood occurs, we deduce that an overflow elsewhere caused it. But a flood of emotions can suddenly overwhelm us without any link visible to the mental eye. For no apparent reason, I recollect a period from many, many years ago.
  • Hope springs eternal : Author Stephen King, the master of the macabre, to demonstrate his ease with variety wrote “Different Seasons” – a collection of four novellas, probably in an effort to avoid being pigeonholed into his forte of horror genre. Yet, when a young film-director Frank Darabont approached him for rights to adapt one of its novellas “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” into a movie, he didn’t think much of it. The rest, as they say, is history. 
  • Grief as a channelizing force : Grief frees us from the delusional abundance of choice – from the limitations imposed on us we become aware of the very few roads available to us. This, paradoxically, is comforting to most men because the boundary-lines have been marked. So, instead of daydreaming about what’s well beyond reach it behooves him as a man to concentrate on what appears achievable.
  • Listen to your inner voice : Many endeavors fail because the person lacks the self-confidence necessary to keep going when no one is appreciating, much less understanding his work. Attempting to find the source of validation from others is the surest way to burn your gifts.
  • Hegelian Dialectic as an instrument of social engineering : The thinking mind writes without the slightest clue as to how those thoughts will be used by future thinkers. Hegelian Dialectic – in the hands of social engineers – wasn’t just a lens to understand history; it transformed into a formula to shape future!


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The Controversial Caste System of Hinduism

Imagine concepts like feudal system, slavery, capitalistic exploitation and anti-Semitism being used to define the core of Christianity! Christians will be outraged at this inappropriate mixing of the core universal values of Christians and societal & historical aspects which merely existed in a Christian world.
Now this raises the question – why is caste system defined as the core of Hinduism? Especially as “caste” itself is a western construct. Sounds irrelevant?
Okay. Now imagine concepts like slave-trade, war on infidels, brutal subjugation of masses, temple destruction, and forceful conversions marking the core of Islam.
It is considered sensible to first understand what the core scriptures speak about the religion and its universal values. The ills of the community & its societal aspects are differentiated from its core philosophy.
Now, this brings us to the most interesting question – why is Caste System (caste based on birth) propagated to be the defining feature of Hindu…

The concept of Dharma in Ramayana

The concept of Dharma is not adequately understood by Hindus themselves, not to mention others. Dharma is not a set of do’s and don’t’s or a simplistic evaluation of good and bad. It requires considerable intellectual exertion to even begin understanding Dharma, let alone mastering its use.

Is Dharma Translatable?
Few words of a language cannot be faithfully translated into another without injuring its meaning, context & spirit. English translations of Dharma are blurred and yield words like religion, sense of righteousness, discrimination between good and bad, morals and ethics or that which is lawful. All these fall short of fully grasping the essence of Dharma.
Every language has an ecosystem of words, categories and grammar which allow a user to stitch words together to maximum effect such that meaning permeates the text without necessarily being explicitly explained at each point. Sanskrit words such dharma, karma, sloka, mantra, guru etc., now incorporated in English, lose thei…

How Linguistic States strengthened Indian Unity

Be like a garland maker, O king; not like a charcoal burner.” --Mahabharata
[It asks the king to preserve and protect diversity, in a coherent way. The metaphor used is that of a garland, in which flowers of many colors and forms are strung together for a pleasing effect. The contrast is given against charcoal, which is the result of burning all kinds of wood and reducing diversity to homogeneous dead matter. The charcoal burner is reductionist and destroys diversity, whereas the garland maker celebrates diversity.]
Unification of Germany and Italy populated by similar people was achieved by huge armies spanning across decades. In sharp contrast, India under Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel managed to unite a much larger area divided by culture & languages within few years.
The European experience where new nations were carved over little differences in identity, made the Indian experiment appear poised for a breakup sooner than later. Yet, India managed to stay united though the journey wa…