Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

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Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:25 pm

after many years of thinking about it, I have decided to read
some books involving Indian philosophy. My problem is which book?
I have some choices such as the bhagavad gita or start with one the Veda's?
but maybe I just might go for one the big books, the Mahabharata or the Ramayana.
I don't have a lot of time between my learning German and work and family life, so
given my time restraints, does anybody have any thoughts as to which book should
I begin with?

Kropotkin
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby derleydoo » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:03 pm

Hello PK, I recall Ralph Waldo saying that the bhagavad gita answered all of the questions 'we' have laboured over for centuries, or millennia, or a long long time.

Some years ago someone presented me with a rather nice little book, "Vedanta for the Western World." I would be happy to send it your way.
Besides being busy and german and family - are you well?

dd
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:19 pm

Why good sir, how are you? I am fine, just very busy and all.
Now I seem to recall you mentioned Ralph years ago in regards to the
bhagavad gita. I should have just asked you in the first place! My bad.
Anyway how are you, still gainfully employed I hope?
I hope you don't take offence that I haven't written in a while,
once again, my bad. With the daughter moving back in and my job having
gotten worse, I have little time to myself which is when I think of
valuable old friends who I need to stay in better touch with!!!
I hope the your family is alright and everything in your life is to your satisfaction?

As for my life, this working thing is proving quite inconvenient to being able to do anything.
Why this very evening, I have to work from 5 pm to midnight, then be back at work by 11:00 am.
These hours are killing me and what is left of my will to live.

Anyway sir, thank you for your kind response, I shall get my copy and begin
to read at once and report back.

Your friend
Kropotkin
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby zinnat » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:23 pm

I do not know whether i can help or not but i can tell a thing or two about this. Perhaps, that would help you to decide to some extent.

Both Ramayan and Mahbharat are neither philosophy nor religious books. They tell the life stories of two Avatars of Lord Vishnu, who is one of the Hindu Trinity. The other two are lord Brahma and lord Shiva.

Ramayan is all about ideals. It tells how to behave ideally in the society. It defines all relations. A father, A son, a mother, a daughter, A brother, A friend, A husband, A wife, a king, a Guru etc. This is to say that it does not spare any relation of the society.

Mahabharat is quite similar, more or less. But, it does not live in the completely idealistic world. It has more grey area than Ramayan and more closer to reality. Its main character, Lord Krishna, does not hesitate to use slight unjustified means to achieve the just goals, which is complete no-no in Ramayan.

Secondly, its canavas id very large, far more than Ramayan. It is said that here cannot be any such incident in the world ever, that is not already described in the Mahabharat.

Thindy, as you know, Gita is a small part of Mahabarta and its crux too. It is pure gold, if one can grasp it.

To be frank, Hinduism has no particular religious book like Bible or Quran.

I thinkthat it would be useless to real Vedas. You will not get anything from those.

If you want to read some philosophy, then you should go for Upnishads, which are commentories on Vedas. Contrary to the general perception, Upnistads are pure philosophy, not some religious texts.

If you want to read it, my suggestion would be to go for Mandukaya Upnishad to start with. It is the shortest one yet quite enough. You should find its english tranlation by Swami Nikhilananda, which is available on the net.

At last, i think that you should read in this order- Ramayan- Mahabharat- Gita- Mundukaya Upnishad.

Good luck.

with love,
sanjay
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:34 pm

thank you Sanjay, I am assuming from your past posts, you are from India
and thus I had hope you would write, assuming I was right.
I find your thoughts interesting and valuable.
I picked up an copy of the Mahabharata and found it to be a really big book.
Not that big books scare me, just having the time to read is my problem.
I shall look into the books you mentioned and see what order I shall have time for.
Once again, thank you.

Kropotkin
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby zinnat » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:43 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:thank you Sanjay, I am assuming from your past posts, you are from India
and thus I had hope you would write, assuming I was right.
I find your thoughts interesting and valuable.
I picked up an copy of the Mahabharata and found it to be a really big book.
Not that big books scare me, just having the time to read is my problem.
I shall look into the books you mentioned and see what order I shall have time for.
Once again, thank you.

Kropotkin


You are always welcome.

I would like to advice you not to go by books initially.

It wouls be better if you read their Wiki pages first. That will give you a genreral idea. Then, read related terms which are mentioned in the wike pages also thorugh wiki, and keep doing it as they would stem out. After spending some days on it, then go for original texts.

I am saying this becasue Hinduiam is perhaps a new thing for you. Thus, you must be aware of some basic definitions that it uses. That helps.

with love,
sanjay
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby derleydoo » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:13 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:Why good sir, how are you? I am fine, just very busy and all.
Now I seem to recall you mentioned Ralph years ago in regards to the
bhagavad gita. I should have just asked you in the first place! My bad.
[quote/]

Not at all! I believe these books come our way when the time is right. Some friends gave me a copy of BG many years ago. Someone knocked on their door and presented them with a copy. They didn't bother to take the cellophane wrapper off. Instead, they gave it to me. At that particular time I had never heard of the book. Why the frig have they given me this, I thought! However, it turned out to be just what was needed at that time.

Peter Kropotkin wrote:Anyway sir, how are you, still gainfully employed I hope?
I hope you don't take offence that I haven't written in a while,
once again, my bad. With the daughter moving back in and my job having
gotten worse, I have little time to myself which is when I think of
valuable old friends who I need to stay in better touch with!!!
I hope your family is alright and everything in your life is to your satisfaction?


I have been off work since the end of June. And, of course, I take no offence in your silence. As you know, I am the world's worstest! :wink: Have spent the day celebrating my wife's birth day.

Peter Kropotkin wrote:As for my life, this working thing is proving quite inconvenient to being able to do anything.
Why this very evening, I have to work from 5 pm to midnight, then be back at work by 11:00 am.
These hours are killing me and what is left of my will to live.


I know the feeling. They would like nothing more than for me to return to work so that they might have the opportunity to finish me off! They will have to wait for at least a couple more weeks.

Peter Kropotkin wrote:Anyway, thank you for your kind response, I shall get my copy and begin
to read at once and report back.

Your friend
Kropotkin


Tried to do the quote routine, without success! #-o I'm worser than you!
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby LaughingMan » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:18 am

I'm a fan of the Kama Sutra myself.
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:02 pm

Peter Kropotkin: Why good sir, how are you? I am fine, just very busy and all.
Now I seem to recall you mentioned Ralph years ago in regards to the
bhagavad gita. I should have just asked you in the first place! My bad.

D: Not at all! I believe these books come our way when the time is right. Some friends gave me a copy of BG many years ago. Someone knocked on their door and presented them with a copy. They didn't bother to take the cellophane wrapper off. Instead, they gave it to me. At that particular time I had never heard of the book. Why the frig have they given me this, I thought! However, it turned out to be just what was needed at that time.

K: I have noticed that when we need it most, we get what we need at the time be it a book, a song,
an album, a person, whatever. I must not need anything right now because I haven't received a gift
such as this in a while.


Peter Kropotkin"]Anyway sir, how are you, still gainfully employed I hope?
I hope you don't take offence that I haven't written in a while,
once again, my bad. With the daughter moving back in and my job having
gotten worse, I have little time to myself which is when I think of
valuable old friends who I need to stay in better touch with!!!
I hope your family is alright and everything in your life is to your satisfaction?
[/quote]

D: I have been off work since the end of June. And, of course, I take no offence in your silence. As you know, I am the world's worstest! :wink: Have spent the day celebrating my wife's birth day.

K: If I didn't know any better, I would think you were making fun of me. Tell me it aint so.

Peter Kropotkin"]As for my life, this working thing is proving quite inconvenient to being able to do anything.
Why this very evening, I have to work from 5 pm to midnight, then be back at work by 11:00 am.
These hours are killing me and what is left of my will to live.

D: I know the feeling. They would like nothing more than for me to return to work so that they might have the opportunity to finish me off! They will have to wait for at least a couple more weeks.

K; give them as little time to kill you as possible. I need you for many more years.

Peter Kropotkin: Anyway, thank you for your kind response, I shall get my copy and begin
to read at once and report back.

D: Tried to do the quote routine, without success! #-o I'm worser than you!

K: umm, still thinking you are making fun of me. Not that I don't deserve it,
anyway be safe and don't let them bastards kill you.

Kropotkin
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wind up with neither."
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby zinnat » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:30 pm

LaughingMan wrote:I'm a fan of the Kama Sutra myself.


No surprise.

i think you will find Crarvak also closer to your mindset.

While life is yours, live joyously;
None can escape Death's searching eye:
When once this frame of ours they burn,
How shall it e'er again return?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C4%81rv%C4%81ka

Why do you not give it a shot too?

with love,
sanjay
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby LaughingMan » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:48 pm

I can never afford a woman's or anybody's love really.

Everywhere you go love is all about affordability.

I always fall short somehow.

There is always a price tag somewhere......
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:05 pm

LaughingMan wrote:I can never afford a woman's or anybody's love really.

Everywhere you go love is all about affordability.

I always fall short somehow.


K: because it is a capitalist world, where value is define as monetary and personal values
such as love, courage, honor, strength (not personal strength but intellectual and emotional strength)
commitment, justice, truth, aren't valued because they have no monetary value.

Kropoktin
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby LaughingMan » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:11 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:
LaughingMan wrote:I can never afford a woman's or anybody's love really.

Everywhere you go love is all about affordability.

I always fall short somehow.


K: because it is a capitalist world, where value is define as monetary and personal values
such as love, courage, honor, strength (not personal strength but intellectual and emotional strength)
commitment, justice, truth, aren't valued because they have no monetary value.

Kropoktin



In a socialist or communist one it is the same.

No oligarchical system being any better than the other.

Notice all the dumb animals that freely allow themselves to be controlled on the animal farm.
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby derleydoo » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:13 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:Peter Kropotkin: Why good sir, how are you? I am fine, just very busy and all.
Now I seem to recall you mentioned Ralph years ago in regards to the
bhagavad gita. I should have just asked you in the first place! My bad.

D: Not at all! I believe these books come our way when the time is right. Some friends gave me a copy of BG many years ago. Someone knocked on their door and presented them with a copy. They didn't bother to take the cellophane wrapper off. Instead, they gave it to me. At that particular time I had never heard of the book. Why the frig have they given me this, I thought! However, it turned out to be just what was needed at that time.

K: I have noticed that when we need it most, we get what we need at the time be it a book, a song,
an album, a person, whatever. I must not need anything right now because I haven't received a gift
such as this in a while.


Gift? I believe that is one of the basic tenets of Sufism: You get what you need when you need it.

Peter Kropotkin wrote:Peter Kropotkin"]Anyway sir, how are you, still gainfully employed I hope?
I hope you don't take offence that I haven't written in a while,
once again, my bad. With the daughter moving back in and my job having
gotten worse, I have little time to myself which is when I think of
valuable old friends who I need to stay in better touch with!!!
I hope your family is alright and everything in your life is to your satisfaction?


D: I have been off work since the end of June. And, of course, I take no offence in your silence. As you know, I am the world's worstest! :wink: Have spent the day celebrating my wife's birth day.

K: If I didn't know any better, I would think you were making fun of me. Tell me it aint so.


It aint so. I was referencing the fellow who had the temerity to have a pop at my mate... :o

O: You are ignorant in the extreme.

I would vote for Nixon's corpse over any Democrat. The worst presidents have been Johnson, Carter, and Obama.

and it's WORST, not WORSE.

K: spell check is not my friend, anyway I can make an argument for my three, can you make an
argument for your three?


Annnnd he began the sentence with a lower case a!!!

Peter Kropotkin wrote:Peter Kropotkin"]As for my life, this working thing is proving quite inconvenient to being able to do anything.
Why this very evening, I have to work from 5 pm to midnight, then be back at work by 11:00 am.
These hours are killing me and what is left of my will to live.

D: I know the feeling. They would like nothing more than for me to return to work so that they might have the opportunity to finish me off! They will have to wait for at least a couple more weeks.

K; give them as little time to kill you as possible. I need you for many more years.

Peter Kropotkin: Anyway, thank you for your kind response, I shall get my copy and begin
to read at once and report back.

D: Tried to do the quote routine, without success! #-o I'm worser than you!

K: umm, still thinking you are making fun of me. Not that I don't deserve it,
anyway be safe and don't let them bastards kill you.

Kropotkin


Not making fun, PK. I almost know better than that! Appreciate your kind sentiments. Look after the back and the back will look after someone who can profit from your exertions!
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby Arminius » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:43 pm

LaughingMan wrote:
Peter Kropotkin wrote:
LaughingMan wrote:I can never afford a woman's or anybody's love really.

Everywhere you go love is all about affordability.

I always fall short somehow.


K: because it is a capitalist world, where value is define as monetary and personal values
such as love, courage, honor, strength (not personal strength but intellectual and emotional strength)
commitment, justice, truth, aren't valued because they have no monetary value.

Kropoktin



In a socialist or communist one it is the same.

=D>

That's true!

You stole my words, Laughing Man.
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby LaughingMan » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:37 am

Whatever government ism they throw out the prevailing theme is oligarchy.

It's always the same......
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby Arminius » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:29 am

This is always the same:

Image

Please follow the arrows which are really one arrow!

And the process is a circular / elliptic or a spiral motion.

Image

Almost like this one:

Image

The motions of the planets and their moons are also spiral motions, even the motion of the sun is a spiral motion. And the motions of the planets and their moons belong to the motion of the sun. There is perhaps only one or even no arrow in the universe because all orbits in the universe belong probably either to one spiral (one arrow) or to one circular / elliptic (no arrow) orbit.

Naturally / universally considered, the forms of government have also only one or even no arrow / goal. That is the reason why we often say: "always the same". It's just true.
LaughingMan wrote:It's always the same......

:wink: :)
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby LaughingMan » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:59 am

Nice diagram. It's missing fascism, socialism, and communism but all those isms are just representations of the same oligarchic head. Like the space imagery also.
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:24 pm

sometimes one gets what one needs. My wife cleaned out one of my bookshelves to make room for
her cleaning supplies. She took those books and put them into see through boxes in my closet.
Now out of 5000 books I have in my personal library, the book that I found on top in one see through
box was a book called "Philosophies of India" by Heinrich Zimmer. I had forgotten I had this book.
I am now reading the book and it covers what I need to read. a side note which I did not
know is that in 1943 Zimmer suddenly died, leaving this book "Philosophies of India"
unfinished but with substantial notes. The editor who took over and finished the book
was Joseph Campell, he of the "hero with a thousand faces", which Lucas used to write
Star Wars. "Hero with a thousand faces" is one of my favorite and influential books.
We have a small world moment, which reminds us of the connection we have to everything.

Kropotkin
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby Arminius » Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:17 am

LaughingMan wrote:Nice diagram. It's missing fascism, socialism, and communism but all those isms are just representations of the same oligarchic head. Like the space imagery also.

Those "isms" are no forms of government, but forms of ideologicals systems, and both are not the same. But those "isms" are included anyway because forms of government and ideological systems "like" or even "love" each other very much, especially in modern times, the times of "isms".
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Re: Advice about which Indian philosophical book to read

Postby LaughingMan » Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:34 am

Arminius wrote:
LaughingMan wrote:Nice diagram. It's missing fascism, socialism, and communism but all those isms are just representations of the same oligarchic head. Like the space imagery also.

Those "isms" are no forms of government, but forms of ideologicals systems, and both are not the same. But those "isms" are included anyway because forms of government and ideological systems "like" or even "love" each other very much, especially in modern times, the times of "isms".


Makes sense.
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