Mathematics Laboratory and it’s Application in mathematics Teaching

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A. (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Manjul Lata Agrawal. M.A. (History) B.T.

Former Principal S.K.V, Delhi Cantt. Delhi.

The mathematics laboratory is a place where anybody can experiment and explore patterns and ideas. It is a place where one can find a collection of games, puzzles, and other teaching and learning material. The materials are meant to be used both by the students on their own and with their teacher to explore the world of mathematics, to discover, to learn and to develop an interest in mathematics. The activities create interest among students or in anybody who wants to explore, and test some of their ideas, beliefs about mathematics.

The maths lab provides an opportunity for the students to discover mathematics through doing. Many of the activities present a problem or a challenge, with the possibility of generating further challenges and problems. The activities help students to visualize, manipulate and reason. They provide opportunity to make conjectures and test them, and to generalize observed patterns. They create a context for students to attempt to prove their conjectures.

Mathematics laboratory is a place to enjoy mathematics through informal exploration. It is a place where anyone can generate problems and struggle to get a answer. It is a space to explore and design new mathematical activities. So, the maths lab should not be used to assess students’ knowledge of mathematics. Often mathematics lab takes students knowledge beyond the curriculum.

Mathematics laboratory is a room wherein we find collection of different kinds of materials and teaching/learning aids, needed to help the students understand the concepts through relevant, meaningful and concrete activities. These activities may be carried out by the teacher or the students to explore the world of mathematics, to learn, to discover and to develop an interest in the subject.

Design and general layout.

A suggested design and general layout of laboratory which can accommodate about 30 students at a time. The schools may change the design and general layout to suit their own requirements.

Physical Infrastructure and Materials

It is envisaged that every school will have a Mathematics Laboratory with a general design and layout with suitable change, if desired, to meet its own requirements. The minimum materials required to be kept in the laboratory may include all essential equipment, raw materials and other essential things to carry out the activities included in the document effectively. The quantity of different materials may vary from one school to another depending upon the size of the group.

Human Resources

It is desirable that a person with minimum qualification of graduation (with mathematics as one of the subjects) and professional qualification of Bachelor in Education be made incharge of the Mathematics Laboratory. He/she is expected to have special skills and interest to carry out practical work in the subject. It will be an additional advantage if the incharge possesses related experience in the profession. The concerned mathematics teacher will accompany the class to the laboratory and the two will jointly conduct the desired activities. A laboratory attendant or laboratory assistant with suitable qualification and desired knowledge in the subject can be an added advantage.

Time Allocation for activities.

It is desirable that about 15% – 20% of the total available time for mathematics be devoted to activities. Proper allocation of periods for laboratory activities may be made in the time table.

List of materials used in the mathematics laboratory

i. Paper folding

ii. Collage (Paper cutting & pasting)

iii. Unit Cubes (wooden or any material)

iv. Geo–board, rubber band

v. Transparency sheets, cello tape

vi. Graph paper

vii. Pins & threads

viii. Broom sticks

ix. Chart papers, glazed papers, sketch pens.

x. Stationery

Example:

List of activities

1A. To carry out the following paper folding activities:

Finding –

1. the mid point of a line segment,

2. the perpendicular bisector of a line segment,

3. the bisector of an angle,

4. the perpendicular to a line from a point given outside it,

5. the perpendicular to a line at a point given on the line,

6. the median of a triangle.

1B. To carry out the following activities using a geoboard:

1. Find the area of any triangle.

2. Find the area of any polygon by completing the rectangles.

3. Obtain a square on a given line segment.

4. Given an area, obtain different polygons of the same area.

2. To obtain a parallelogram by paper–folding.

3. To show that the area of a parallelogram is product of its base and height, using paper cutting and pasting. (Ordinary parallelogram and slanted parallelogram)

4. To show that the area of a triangle is half the product of its base and height using paper cutting and pasting. (Acute, right and obtuse angled triangles)

5. To show that the area of a rhombus is half the product of its diagonals using paper cutting and pasting.

6. To show that the area of a trapezium is equal to half the product of its altitude and the sum of its parallel sides and its height, using paper cutting and pasting.

7. To verify the mid point theorem for a triangle, using paper cutting and pasting.

8. To divide a given strip of paper into a specified number of equal parts using a ruled graph paper.

9. To illustrate that the perpendicular bisectors of the sides of a triangle concur at a point (called the circumcentre) and that it falls

a. inside for an acute-angled triangle.

b. on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle.

c. outside for an obtuse-angled triangle.

 

10. To illustrate that the internal bisectors of angles of a triangle concur at a point (called the incentre), which always lies inside the triangle.

11. To illustrate that the altitudes of a triangle concur at a point (called the orthocentre) and that it falls

a. inside for an acute angled triangle.

b. at the right angle vertex for a right angled triangle.

c. outside for an obtuse angled triangle.

12. To illustrate that the medians of a triangle concur at a point (called the centroid), which always lies inside the triangle.

13A. To give a suggestive demonstration of the formula that the area of a circle is half the product of its circumference and radius. (Using formula for the area of triangle)

13B. To give a suggestive demonstration of the formula that the area of a circle is half the product of its circumference and radius. (Using formula for the area of rectangle)

14. 1) To verify that sum of any two sides of a triangle is always greater than the third side.

2) To verify that the difference of any two sides of a triangle is always less than the third side.

15. To explore criteria of congruency of triangles using a set of triangle cut outs.

16. To explore the similarities and differences in the properties with respect to diagonals of the following quadrilaterals – a parallelogram, a square, a rectangle and a rhombus.

17. To explore the similarities and differences in the properties with respect to diagonals of the following quadrilaterals – a parallelogram, a square, a rectangle and a rhombus.

18. To show that the figure obtained by joining the mid points of the consecutive sides of any quadrilateral is a parallelogram.

19. To make nets for a right triangular prism and a right triangular pyramid (regular tetrahedron) and obtain the formula for the total surface area.

20. To verify Euler’s formula for different polyhedra: prism, pyramids and octahedron.

21. Obtain length segments corresponding to square roots of natural numbers using graduated wooden sticks.

22. To verify the identity a3 – b3 = (a – b) (a2 + ab + b2), for simple cases using a set of unit cubes.

23. To verify the identity a3 + b3 = (a + b) (a2 – ab + b2), for simple cases using a set of unit cubes.

24. To verify the identity (a + b)3 = a3 + b3 + 3ab (a + b), for simple cases using a set of unit cubes.

25. To verify the identity (a – b)3 = a3 – b3 – 3ab (a – b), for simple cases using a set of unit cubes.

26. To interpret geometrically the factors of a quadratic expression of the type x2 + bx + c, using square grids, strips and paper slips.

27. To obtain mirror images of figures with respect to a given line on a graph paper.

 

The Mathematics Laboratory method

Laboratory method of teaching mathematics is that method in which we try to make the students learn mathematics by doing experiments and laboratory work in the mathematics room or laboratory on the same lines as they learn sciences by performing experiments in the science rooms or laboratories. It is based on psychological principles of learning such as ‘learning by doing’, ‘learning by observation’ and so on. Laboratory method is quite competent to relate the theoretical knowledge with the practical base. This approach makes the learning process more interesting, lively and meaningful.

The success of the laboratory method depends on an able skilled mathematics teacher as well as the availability of a well-equipped mathematics laboratory.  According to J.W.A young “ a room specially filled with drawing instruments, suitable tables and desks, good black boards and the apparatus necessary to perform the experiment of the course is really essential for the best success of the laboratory method”.

 

The Mathematics Laboratory method is a method of teaching whereby children in small groups work through an assignment/ taskcard, learn and discover mathematics for themselves. The children work in an informal manner, move around, discuss and choose their materials and method of attacking a problem, assignment or task.

 

  This method is based on the maxim “learning by doing.”

  This is an activity method and it leads the students to discover mathematics facts.

  In it we proceed from concrete to abstract.

  Laboratory method is a procedure for stimulating the activities of the students and to encourage them to make discoveries.

  This method needs a laboratory in which equipments and other useful teaching aids related to mathematics are available.

  For example, equipments related to geometry, mensuration, mathematical model, chart, balance, various figures and shapes made up of wood or hardboards, graph paper etc.

Objectives of Lab method:

•             Develop intuition and deepen understanding of concepts.

•             Apply concepts learned in class to new situations.

•             Experience basic phenomena.

•             Develop critical, quantitative thinking.

•             Develop experimental and data analysis skills.

•             Learn to use scientific apparatus.

•             Learn to estimate statistical errors and recognize systematic errors.

•             Develop reporting skills (written and oral).

•             Practice collaborative problem solving.

•             Exercise curiosity and creativity by designing a procedure to test a hypothesis.

•             Better appreciate the role of experimentation in science.

•             Test important laws and rules.

 

Procedure:

  Aim of The Practical Work: The teacher clearly states the aim of the practical work or experiment to be carried out by the students.

  Provided materials and instruments: The students are provided with the necessary materials and instruments.

  Provide clear instructions: Provide clear instructions as to the procedure of the experiment.

  Carry out the experiment: The students carry out the experiment.

  draw the conclusions : The students are required to draw the conclusions as per the aim of the experiment.

 

Example  1:

Derivation of the formula for the volume of a cone.

Aims: to derive the formula for the volume of a cone.

Materials and instruments: cone and cylinders of the same diameter and height, at lease 3 sets of varying dimensions, sawdust, water and sand.

Procedure: ask the students to do the following activity.

  Take each pair of cylinder and cone having the same diameter and height

  Note down the diameter and height

  Fill the cone with saw dust / water or sand and empty into the cylinder till the cylinder is full.

  Count the number of times the cone is emptied into the cylinder and note it down in a tabular column.

  Repeat the same experiment with the other two sets of cone and cylinder and note down the reading as before.

S.NO.    DIAMETER OF CONE / CYLINDER HEIGHT OF CONE/ CYLINDER       NO. OF MEASURES OF CONE TO FILL THE CYLINDER

1              3 CM     5 CM     3

2              5 CM     7 CM     3

3              6 CM     10 CM   3

Drawing conclusions:

Each time, irrespective of the variations in diameter and height it takes 3 measures of cone to fill the cylinder.

Volume of cone = 1/3 volume of cylinder

But volume of cylinder =  r2 h

Volume of cone =1/3  r2 h

 

Example 2:

Sum of three angles of a triangle is 180 degree. “How we can prove this in the laboratory.

Aims:

To prove that sum of the three angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles or 180 degree.

Materials and instruments:

Card board sheet, pencil, scale, triangle and other necessary equipments.

Procedure:

In the laboratory pupils will be given on cardboard sheet each and then they are told how to draw triangles of different sizes on it. After drawing the triangles they cut this separately with the help of scissors.

Observation:

Student will measure the angles of the triangles drawn and write these in a tabular form

Figure no.            Measure of different angles        Total

Angle A +B+C

Angle A Angle B Angle C

1              90           60           30           180

2              120         30           30           180

3              60           60           60           180

 

Calculation: after measuring the angles of different triangles in the form of cardboard sheet. We calculate and conclude their sum.

In this way by calculating the three angles of a triangle the students will be able to conclude with inductive reasoning that the sum of three angles of a triangle is 180 degree or two right angles.

 

Some More Topics for Laboratory Method

Derivation of the formula for the

  Circumference of a circle, area of circle

  Area of square, rectangle,, parallelogram, and trapezium

  Area of triangle, right angled triangle, isosceles right angles triangle

  Total surface area of cone, cylinder

  Volume of a sphere

  Volume of a cone

Expansion of identities such as (a+b) 2, (a-b) 2 , (a+b+c) 2

Verification of

  Properties of certain geometrical figures like parallelogram, rhombus etc

  Angle sum property in a triangle

  Congruency postulates

  Theorems relating to triangles, circles and transversal properties.

 

Merits:

  The method is based on the principle of learning by doing.

  This method is psychological as we proceed from known to unknown.

  It is based on the student’s self pacing.

  It helps in making clear certain fundamental concepts, ideas etc.

  It develops the self-confidence and teaches the students the dignity of labour.

  The children learn the use of different equipments, which are used in laboratory.

  It develops in the child a habit of scientific, enquiry and investigation.

  This method presents mathematics as a practical subject.

  It stimulates the interest of the students to work with concrete material.

  It provides opportunities for social interaction and co-operation among the students.

  It is child-centred and therefore it is a psychological method.

  It helps the students to actively participate in the learning process and therefore the learning becomes more meaningful and interesting.

 

Demerits:

  This method can be used for a small class only.

  It requires a lot of planning and organization.

  This method is suitable only for certain topics.

  This method it is not possible to make progress quickly.

  This method requires laboratory equipped with different apparatus.

  All mathematics teachers cannot use this method effectively.

  It is an expensive method. All schools are not able to adopt this method.

  This method has very little of theoretical part in it.

 

In conclusion we can say that this method is suitable for teaching mathematics to lower classes as at this stage teaching is done with the help of concrete things and examples.

It is important to note that while in science experiments provide evidence for hypotheses or theories, this is not so in mathematics. Observed patterns can only suggest mathematical hypotheses and conjectures, not provide evidence to support them. (Sometimes, they may help to disprove a conjecture through a counter-example.) Mathematical truths are accepted only on the basis of proofs, and not through experiment.

 

 

 

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Super- conscious Experience- The How Aspect

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A. (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Manjul Lata Agrawal. M.A. (History) B.T.

Former Principal S.K.V, Delhi Cantt. Delhi.

Man can become like God and acquire control over the whole universe if he multiplies infinitely his centre of self-consciousness. The wind of divine grace is always blowing. You just need to spread your sail. Whenever you do anything, do it with your whole heart concentrated on it. Think day and night, I am of the essence of that Supreme Being-Consciousness-Bliss. What fear and anxiety have I? All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind.

Swami Vivekananda

The Super-Conscious Mind is the aspect of consciousness which is limitless or “Infinite” in nature and which depending on any number of infinite possibilities concerning what you have been taught to believe with regard to what the Super Conscious is, is known and has been labeled by man as many things.

Just a small sampling of these “man made” labels are God, Brahman, Supreme Energy, Source, Universe, Universal Intelligence, Higher Power, etc. etc.

There is a strong controversy whether or not the super conscious experience of an individual can be verified by other people.

The scientific person likes to know if there is  any method by which one can know these experiences?. But in studying the facts of super conscious realization we take up an altogether different method. The systems of study and investigation are subjective. We train-the mind itself. Nevertheless, these methods are scientific so far as universality and possibility of verification are concerned.

God is” still an intellectual conception or belief based on books and the words of others. He is not a fact of experience. Conceptual knowledge of God and actual experience of Him are quite different; in fact, there is a world of difference between them. The effect of such experience of God, shows that one must have superconscious realization for immediate and direct knowledge of God. Therefore, verification is the best confirmation or proof of religious experiences, and as such it is scientific. The methods are also scientific, as they lead to the realization of religious truth. It is often argued that these experiences come to a man through divine grace and divine intervention, and we cannot do anything about them. Sometimes devout persons seem to think that it is sacrilegious even to consider adopting spiritual practices to attain the experience of God. They feel that spiritual experiences come only through divine grace,. that our duty is to remain passive so that the divine will and power may function through us.

The Christian mystics who really had the different types of superconscious experiences gave tremendous emphasis to spiritual practices. Also, in some of the  Jewish mystic organizations certain disciplinary processes or devotional practices are advocated for superconscious realization. Some branches of Mohammedanism prescribe methods for the realization of God. Hinduism and Buddhism made scientific investigation Qf these experiences as well as of the methods for attaining them; and, as a result, we find well-developed scientific details in the methods for superconscious realization in the Hindu system.

The explanation in the philosophy of Samkhya and the teachings of Patanjali, and those of other great Hindu  spiritual teachers give us various methods after studying the different temperaments of ,individuals. These methods are called  yoga. Previously this word is often grossly misunderstood in the west.

There is a general conception that that yoga is thought reading, fortune telling, “rope tricks,” or expressions of mysterious powersYoga is the preexisting union,  Yoga actually  means the realization in direct experience of the preexisting union between the individual consciousness and the universal consciousness. There are different ways of expressing this, including that Atman is one with Brahman, Jivatman is one with Paramatman, or Shiva and Shakti are one and the same. Each of these ways of saying it come from a different viewing point, while they are not essentially different points of view. They all point in the same general direction of union or Yoga. It really signifies union,U,.,being  derived from the root yuj-to yoke. Through yoga “we  are  joined to God. There is no mystery mongering connected  with it. Patanjali defines yoga as the complete control of the  mind-stuff (chitta vrittis).s When the mind is fully controlled,  the Truth reveals Itself. Mental calmness and tranquillity can be attained in various ways through the different yogas’.

As every science has its methods, so has every religion The methods of  attaining the end of religion are called Yoga by us, and the different forms of Yoga , are adapted to the different natures and temperaments of men.

According to Hindu psychology, human minds are grouped into four distinct types: intellectual, emotional, activitiest and  meditative. Apart from that, these different types are sub-divided according to the mental structure of innumerable individuals, and everyone-of these types and individuals has distinct methods for spiritual development. Superconscious  realizations are processes of spiritual evolution, so the teachers try to find out the individual characteristics of the different aspirants and accordingly prescribe individual methods to suit their temperaments and mental capacities. However, there are common requisites for all types of minds. . According to Indian spiritual teachers, superconscious experiences are based on the science of ethics and higher psychology For instance, the science of ethics is the ‘foundation of spiritual practices for all temperaments. Without thorough ethical training one cannot expect to have a controlled- mind. The practice of ethical principles and psychology go together. One cannot have the power of concentration unless one tries to control and purify the mind and develop basic ethical qualities. This is what the Christian mystics call the “purgative state and what the Hindus call yama and niyama . When the mind is purified it can then be focused on God.

Patanjali emphasized that inner and outer purification is absolutely necessary for spiritual growth; yama and niyama   are the first steps toward higher realization.  ”God is seen when the mind is perfectly tranquil.” Therefore, ethical practices are a prerequisite for any method of superconscious realization.

We classify them in the following way, under four heads:-

Karma-Yoga-

“Karma Yoga is the selfless devotion of all inner as well as the outer activities as a Sacrifice to the Lord of all works, offered to the eternal as Master of all the soul’s energies and austerities.”

Bhagavad Gita

Karma yoga is an ancient concept. The path of karma yoga is described in the Hindu sacred text, the Bhagavad Gita. It is also taught by zen teachers. The intention when practicing karma yoga is to give selflessly for the good of others without thought of one’s self or attachment to the results of one’s actions. Acting in this way is considered the right way to approach service and it is said to purify the mind

Karma yoga is one of the main paths of yoga that a practitioner can follow. The name comes from the Sanskrit term meaning “action” or “deed.” Therefore, it is the path of action, or selfless service towards others. It is considered by some that practicing karma yoga is the most effective way to develop spiritually

Karma Yoga is the path of action, service to others, mindfulness, and remembering the levels of our being while fulfilling our actions or karma in the world. The principle of karma yoga is that what we experience today is created by our actions in the past. Being aware of this, all of our present efforts become a way to consciously create a future that frees us from being bound by negativity and selfishness. Karma is the path of self-transcending action.. It is the path chosen primarily by those of an outgoing nature. It purifies the heart by teaching you to act selflessly, without thought of gain or reward.The manner in which a man realises his own divinity through works and duty.

One should note in connection with Karma Yoga that it has no place for restless activity. A Karma Yogi must always be alert that the mind does not get mixed up with ambition and so-called “self-expression.” Like the Jnana Yogi he should always ry to eliminate self-consciousness or the go. It is quite conceivable that in the midst of activities, however well meaning he may be in the beginning, the ego of a person is still pupated by the objective success of the work. However, success in Karma Yoga does, not mean external achievement but rather inner purification and conquest of the lower self. Let there be no confusion about the process of Karma Yoga and achievements by that method; otherwise, it will defeat itself by merely producing external and objective results in the form of success in creating bigger and better institutions, cities, etc. If Karma Yogis are not careful of the inner workings of the mind in the form of ambition for external achievement, their activities will no longer remain as true Karma Yoga. So the path of action may not necessarily lead to success in the objective sense but rather in the subjective sense; that is to say, it should lead a person to a peaceful state of mind, as it emphasizes conquest of desire for the fruit of action. Therefore, the great spiritual leaders often advise beginners on this path to practice meditation, worship, or any other auxiliary method to keep the ideal bright and the mind free from desire for ambition and “self-expression.” It is, however, possible for a few persons to follow Karma Yoga strictly without any auxiliary method.

It is a fact that this is predominantly an age of action; and Swami Vivekananda, great teacher of all the systems of yoga, convincingly tells us that most of the people will have to follow the path of action. In fact, the right form of action, or Karma Yoga, is applicable to all spiritual aspirants, and they do follow certain phases of Karma Yoga in the course of their spiritual evolution. It goes without saying that the path of action is not just a mere step to higher practices whereby one is purified, made unselfish  and otherwise fit for them; but it is a definite path in itself, leading one to the same goal that is reached by any of the other yogas-Jnana, Bhakti, or Raja.

Bhakti-Yoga-

Bhakti Yoga is considered the easiest yogic path to master and the most direct method to experience the unity of mind, body, and spirit. Bhakti Yoga is pure spiritual devotion, of love for God which is Love. The Deity is the beloved and the devotee is the lover. In Bhakti yoga, everything is but a manifestation of the divine and all else is meaningless, including the Ego. When the Bhakta is blessed by divine grace he feels an undivided union and non-dual consciousness prevails.

Bhakti Yoga. The yoga of devotion. Union with God through devotion. A person who practices bhakti yoga, known as a bhakti yogi, thinks of God in personal terms, such as Father, Mother, Friend, or Beloved. This helps the bhakti yogi to awaken love for God. When done correctly, this eventually leads one to see and love God in all forms,.

The realisation of the divinity through deviation to, and love of a personal God. Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion, emotion, love, compassion, and service to God and others. All actions are done in the context of remembering the Divine. Seeing the divine in all of creation, bhakti yoga is a positive way to channel the emotions. The path of bhakti provides us with an opportunity to cultivate acceptance and tolerance for everyone we come into contact with. Bhakti yogis express the devotional nature of their path in their every thought, word, and deed—whether they are taking out the trash or calming the anger of a loved one. All people will experience emotions such as love, compassion, and devotion at points along the journey, regardless of which of the four paths of Yoga is predominant.

Emotional persons have to follow Bhakti Yoga or the path of love and devotion. The vast majority of the people in the world are predominantly emotional, so it is both convenient and necessary for them to use their emotions for higher spiritual development. We can hardly find a man or woman who has not strong emotional urges, and it is considered wise to express them instead of starving or discarding them. Emotions are great powers; a seeker after truth is, therefore, asked to direct them to an act of God which is suitable to his own temperament. It is not correct to assume that they can be directed to only one particular aspect of God and not to any other. Some people become  narrow and bigoted in their spiritual life and insist on one aspect as the only object of love and devotion for everyone.

All Living Being is infinite . Psychologically speaking, human beings have different mental attitudes and degrees of power. When they try to conceive God with the mind limited by the conditions of time-space relationship, their minds are generally limited . In fact, the mind is extremely limited to the finite conditions of life. As such, they necessarily see God with their limited mental possibilities for the time being.

Therefore, there wiII always remain differences in the under- standing of God. Hindu spiritual philosophers  maintain that these differences and variations do not affect the spiritual growth of an individual. On the contrary, their opinion is that in the beginning of spiritual life everyone must take a particular aspect of God suitable to his own individual inclinations and possibilities. In fact, according to them, spiritual growth is accelerated if one can take an aspect of God for meditation according to his inner nature. It is also fallacious to think that God can be conceived only as father and not as mother, friend, beloved, or child.

All the emotions characteristic in such human relationships can be applied to God according to ,individual temperaments and requirements. That is the very reason the devotional mystics vary in their methods of approach to God.  Few may like to think of Him as their child, while more prefer to look on Him as father or mother, and again others will love God as their friend or beloved because this attitude is best suited to their individual temperaments and this relationship-is natural and spontaneous to them. These relation- ships are called bhavas by Hindu religious philosophers. They are: shanta (placid love for the Creator, Lord, and RuJer); darya (relationship between master and servant);” sakhya (friendship between two friends); vatsalya (love between child and parent); and madhura (sweet relationship between lovers). Some devotees also estab,lish a relationship in which God is the mother and the devotee is the child.

Raja.Yoga-

In Sanskrit texts, Rāja yoga (/ˈrɑːdʒə ˈjoʊɡə/) was both the goal of yoga and a method of attaining it. The term also became a modern name for the practice of yoga, when in the 19th-century Swami Vivekananda equated raja yoga with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[1] Since then, Rāja yoga has variously been called “royal yoga”, “royal union”, “sahaj marg”, “classical yoga”, and “aṣṭāṅga yoga”.

Raja means “royal,” and meditation is the focal point of this branch of yoga Raja Yoga is a comprehensive method that emphasizes meditation, while encompassing the whole of Yoga. It directly deals with the encountering and transcending thoughts of the mind. The realisation of, a man’s own divinity  through the control of mind.

Raja Yoga is also referred to as the Mental Yoga, or the Yoga of the Mind, because of its emphasis on awareness of one’s state of mind. It is through this practice of concentration that one learns to calm the mind and bring it to one point of focus.

This approach involves strict adherence to the eight “limbs” of yoga as outlined by Patanajli in the Yoga Sutra. Also found in many other branches of yoga, these limbs, or stages, follow this order: ethical standards, yama; self-discipline, niyama; posture, asana; breath extension or control, Pranayama; sensory withdrawl, pratyahara; concentration, dharana; meditation, dhyana; and ecstasy or final liberation, samadhi. Raja yoga attracts individuals who are introspective and drawn to meditation. Members of religious orders and spiritual communities devote themselves to this branch of yoga. However, even though this path suggests a monastic or contemplative lifestyle, entering an ashram or monastery is not a prerequisite to practicing raja yoga.Everybody will become still and quite from sadhana or spiritual practices, will naturally encounter and deal with attractions and aversion, and will meditate, thus touching on Raja Yoga.

The meditative people have to take up certain forms of concentration and meditation, to reach superconscious experience. This is Raja Yoga or the psychological method. The word Raja means “royal.  The practice of concentration and meditation is needed more or less in every path in different ways, so it is regarded as a “royal” path. This psychological method helps one to integrate the mind; all mental states are unified. Moreover, a scientific man can follow it step by step and train his mind even if he cannot, for the time being, accept the idea of God. Many Buddhists and Hindus have started with this psychological yoga and have reached the goal. In fact, when the mind is well regulated, controlled, and unified, the truth reveals itself.

Jnana-Yoga-

Jnana yoga is one of the main paths of yoga that a practitioner can follow on the path to self-realization. It is considered to be the most direct, but also the most difficult path to find absolute truth. The name comes from the Sanskrit term meaning “knowledge.” It is, therefore, the path of pursuing knowledge and truth. This must be a practical, experiential knowledge, however, and not purely a theoretical one.

Jnana yoga is also sometimes described as the yoga of the mind or intellect.

.If we consider bhakti to be the yoga of the heart, then jnana yoga is the yoga of the mind, of wisdom, the path of the sage or scholar Jnana Yoga is the path of knowledge, wisdom, introspection and contemplation. It involves deep exploration of the nature our being by systematically exploring and setting aside false identities. The reaIisation of  man’s own divinity through knowledge .While Jnana Yoga deals with knowledge, wisdom, introspection and contemplation, everybody has a mind and at some point will need to examine it, wherein quiet reflection naturally comes. This path requires development of the intellect through the study of the scriptures and texts of the yogic tradition. The jnana yoga approach is considered the most difficult and at the same time the most direct. It involves serious study and will appeal to those who are more intellectually inclined.

The intellectual type of seeker follows the rationalistic- method of distinguishing the truth from the untruth, the real from the unreal, by using the power of discrimination and analysis. This is Jnana Yoga. An adamantine will power is required for this method as transitory phenemena and non-essentials have to be negated and rejected in order to know the permanent, the Absolute. The emotions must be controlled and regulated; in fact, no emotional expression should be permitted because any kind of emotional ex pression presupposes plurality and duality. A follower of  ]nana Yoga must constantly remind himself of unity. Any- thing that arouses the consciousness of multiplicity must be completely rejected. In order to achieve this, one must develop the power of concentration and wiil. This method seems to be quite contrary to the ordinary functionings of human beings, as we are always giving vent to our emotions.

The practice of concentration and meditation in Jnana Yoga is very difficult for an average man or woman as one . has to focus the mind on the “impersonal,” non-bodily, Self- Conscious Aboslute (Sat-chid-ananda, Nirguna Brahman). It is very difficult for an ordinary person who is living on the plan of time-space-causal relationship and name, form, and attributes to conceive anything that is beyond these cate gories. It is true that certain symbols like sound and light are given as the objects of concentration.

There are few persons in the ….world who can start their spiritual practices entirely from the intelltual point of view. They require tremendous discipline and ethical training to begin with this method. It is nice to tell of principles and philosophy; but it is altogether a different matter to practice the life of intellect; and it is still harder to see the oneness of life and existence in ordinary human behavior. In fact, a follower of Jnana Yoga, or the intellectual path, must try to find unity and divinity in every thought and action. He must try to find the Absolute beyond the relative. This must be the constant practice, and all activities must be regulated to it. Gradually plurality, and even duality of every type, vanishes. One has to eliminate all  consciousness of difference in everyday life. So it is difficult for an ordinary person to follow this path even though he may be a philosopher. Many persons seem to think that they are Absolutists- in their philosophy but their actions reveal that they are still functioning on the lower plane of relative existence .

These are all different roads leading to the same centre-God.

A person may  have intellectual flights of AbsoIutisIl yet emotionly, he remains on the very common plane ,where hatred and other such tendencies of differentiation still function. when a man is aware of diversity and does not use his discrimination, he cannot attain knowledge of the Absolute. That is the very reason that Vedanta Aphorisms  teach that one must have a intense desire for higher knowledge and be ready to sacrifice everything for its attainment; that is to say, one must give up longing for anything that arouses consciousness of duality or plurality or that is a reminder of physical existence and separate consciousness. He must possess _keen power of discrimination and, above all, higher ethical qualities. Then alone can one follow the path of analysis. Ethical qualities are the prerequisites of this path. It is, however, possible to take it up after a considerable amount of progress has been made through other practices.

With this method, relationship with God becomes easy and effective, and at the same time the natural innate tendencies are not wasted. Every person has certain spontaneous urges.

Hindu teachers want their followers to use and direct their natural inclinations, for experience proves that people grow immensely in this way as they have the satisfaction of expressing  their innate emotional powers. It has been found by Hindu philosophers that when one cultivates sp.ch a loving relationship with God spiritual growth is accelerated. One reaches the supreme goal of life by following any of these bhavas. However, no bhava should be changed for another until the spiritual aspirant reaches the culmination of a relationship. A person can, however, change one relationship for another after becoming thoroughly established in the  bhava.

In order to cultivate emotional relationships with God one is advised to take up various auxiliary methods, such as external and internal worship . In external worship a devotee tries to think ot God through worship with material ingredients such as flowers, light, incense, perfume, and food. With internal worship, a devotee is required to direct his emotions along with the offerings of inner qualities and attributes and elements of his body and mind.

Some of the aspirants often adopt the repetition of the name of God as a practice. Hindu mystics have developed a science of the repetition of the name of God (mantra ), and according to them, a seeker after truth can have the highest states of superconscious realization by repeating some of the symbolic names of God while meditating on Him at the same time. There are different short names for the various aspects of God. The progress of the devotees greatly depends on the choice of these names. Repetition helps the devotees in attaining that concentration which leads their minds to the deepest state of meditation. Historically we find there have been many great personalities who reached the higher mystical experiences through this practice. It has been, recorded that it is the easiest and the most suitable process of realizing the truth in this age. Sri Ramakrishna the great modern Hindu leader, emphasized its value. Sir John Woodruff has translated some of the Hindu scriptures dealing with this subject.

Others, again, are of the opinion that one should combine  work with worship or with devotional practices and meditation. Their view is that the combination of these two methods, work and devotion (Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga), will lead one to the highest realization; and until this goal is reached, one must continue with the combined method. But Sri Krishna and Swami Vivekananda are clear that one can attain the goal of religion by following anyone of these methods.

Many Western and Eastern readers are often interested in Hatha Yoga. People frequently confuse it with Raja Yoga as there are some common physical steps in both. It will be interesting to note here that Hindu psychologists of the Raja Yoga type have found in the course of their experiences that physical health is important for mental development, as the mind of the average person functions through the nervous system. When the body is sick or weak, the nervous system is  consequently affected. The mind becomes restless or uncontrollable, and it also often becomes dull, inert, and sleepy. These states are obstacles to higher mental development. In order to practice the last four steps-pratyahara (withdrawal of the mind), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation),. and samadhi (superconscious)-a person must have control over the physical functions. of the body. He must.also have strong nerves; otherwise he cannot have effective concentration or meditation, and it becomes impossible for him to attain the last step of Raja Yoga. Many of the yogis in the earlier days of their practice of Raja Yoga observe certain Hatha Yoga practices, which are mostly physical, in order to strengthen the physical constitution. That is one of the reasons Raja Yoga is sometimes regarded as a psychophysical -process of the attainment of truth.

Unfortunately, it was found that many persons who practiced Hatha Yoga developed some of the extrasensory perceptions and occult or psychic powers, and they forgot the primary objective of yoga practices. These powers are regarded as obstacles . Some thinkers subdivide the four main divisions of yoga,- ]nana, Bhakti, Karma, and Raja. For instance, Mantra Yoga and such other subdivisions actually form parts of one of the main divisions.

It is difficult for beginners to get settled in higher spiritual practices. The mind remains restless; and_ if a person continues one form of practice, it becomes monotonous. So it is most advisable that the different methods-, devotion, work, and meditation-be combined until a genuine interest in are created. Otherwise there is great danger of reaction and dryness in the spiritual practices.

Many persons have given up their exercises and ruined their progress because they were not wisely directed. Again, many devotees, in their early enthusiasm, try to imitate great saints and spiritually well-established persons. They try to intensify meditation or worship and ignore other aspects of life and activity, even in the beginning of religious life. They need guidance so that they will not have bad reactions, dryness, and lack of interest. So it is always desirable to have a little variation in the early stages of spiritual practices. A good thought has been expressed by a devotee: “We all have our destination, although different paths we choose to the storehouse of Infinite Knowledge for the Self to explore.”

Swami Vivekananda was the advocate of developing and harmonizing these four methods or yogas in the individual. He felt that, if anyone could combine two or three methods, he would have more harmonious development than. There would not be any possibility of narrowness or one-sidedness, and the character would be well rounded and fully developed. It is, however, difficult for one to perfect one’s self in all of them simultaneously. There are, of course, persons who can do it, but usually one feels quite successful if he can reach the goal by following one system thoroughly.

It goes without saying that one must perfect one’s self in what- ever method is adopted in order to attain the desired realization. However, partial practice or combination of some of the methods is extremely elevating and desirable, especially for beginners. One should be careful not to lose interest in God by being injudicious in practices. One should also be careful in making the right choice of the methods according to one’s own temperament.

There is so much difference between one man and another in their inclinations and their temperaments that no one method can be assigned to all for their sadhana or spiritual advancement. Different temperaments require different Sadhana and different ways of worship.

“Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul.” “Yoga means addition – addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.”

 

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The Wardha Scheme of Education –GANDHI JI POINT OF VIEW

 

Dr. V.K. Maheshwari, Former Principal

K.L.D.A.V(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Manjul Lata Agrawal. M.A. (History) B.T.

Former Principal S.K.V, Delhi Cantt. Delhi.

ABSTRACT

Gandhiji keenly wanted to create a new social order based on truth and non-violence. This can be brought about only through a silent social revolution. He believed that revolutionary change in the educational system can help to bring this silent social revolution. The scheme of Basic Education does not stand for mere technique, it stands for a new spirit and approach to all education

Basic Education is often regarded as inferior type of education meant for the poor villagers. It has nothing to do with the urban people, who usually sent their children to modern type of schools. The general public had no confidence in basic schools because of the degraded social value accorded to it. Thus Basic education failed to become an integral part of our national system of education.

Education should be so revolutionized as to answer the wants of the poorest villager, instead of answering those of an imperial exploiter

Basic Education can in no way help in the progress of modern scientific and technological development of the society, which was the need of the day. Rapid changes and modernisation of our society can only be possible through the application of modern science and technology in the fields and factories.

Lack of finance and the absence of sound administrative policy was also responsible for the failure of Basic Education. Practically there was no coordination between the official and non-official agencies engaged in the organisation and development of Basic education.

Teacher occupies the central position in Basic Education. Lack of adequate supply of efficient, trained and sincere teachers was one the most important cause for the failure of this scheme of education. Suitable orientation and training of teachers of basic schools was highly needed, which was rare. The majority of the teachers had no faith in this system.

Thus, it is quite justified to say that the fundamental principles of basic education are still valid and fruitful in the context of our present educational reform. They are relevant to be used as guiding principles of modern education. In fact, it needs to be reformed on modern lines then it may serve as one of the most interesting and fruitful techniques of instruction at elementary stage.

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Education is backbone of society and is largely responsible for is upliftment. Gandhi was a critic of traditional education and viewed

Literacy in itself is no Education. Literacy is not the end of Education or even the beginning. By Education  I mean the drawing out  of the best in child and man ,body mind and spirit

His Wardha scheme was pointer in this direction. Accordingly, these should be the basic tenets of Gandhian education.

A love for manual work will be injected in the mind of children. This is not a compulsion but the child will learn it by doing. Being free from mere bookish knowledge, a student should resort to manual work. He, thus, put emphasis on vocational and functional education.

“Earning while learning” was the motto of this education. This wills increase the creativity in a student. As Gandhi wanted to make Indian village’s self-sufficient units, he emphasised that vocational education should increase the efficiency within the students who will make the village as self-sufficient units.

The Wardha Scheme of Education is also known as Nai Talim/Basic Education/Buniyadi Talim (Shiksha)/Basic Shiksha The scheme was the outcome of sound thinking of Ghandiji. who initiated and strengthened several constructive programmes for the economic, educational and social development of the people. He considered education as an effective instrument of national reconstruction.

Origin of the Scheme

At Round Table Conference in London (1931) he pointed out the ineffectiveness of the system of primary education in India and the alarming low percentage of literacy among Indian people. He held the policy of the British Government responsible for this painful situation in the field of mass education Ghandiji found the main defects of the system of education as, “I am fully convinced that present system of education is not only wasteful but positively harmful. They would pickup evil habits. English has created a permanent bar between the highly educated few and the uneducated many.” He further said, “let us now cry a halt and concentrate on educating the child properly through manual work not as a side activity but as a prime means of intellectual activity.”

In July 1937, Ghandiji wrote in the Harijan, “By education, I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man – body, mind and spirit… Literacy itself is not education, I would, therefore, begin the child’s education by teaching it a useful handicraft and enabling it to produce from the moment it begins its training. Thus every school can be made self-supporting, the condition begin that the state takes over the manufacture of these schools.”

Wardha Education Conferance

For the purpose of discussing different aspects of the proposed new scheme of education, an All India Education Conference was held in Wardha on 22nd and 23rd October, 1937. The eminent educationists, congress leaders and workers alongwith the Education Ministers of the seven states had attended the conference. Gandhiji himself presided over it. After serious discussions the following four resolutions were passed.

1)     That in the opinion of this Conference, free and compulsory education be provided for seven years on a nation-wide scale;

2)     That the medium of instruction be the mother-tongue;

3)     That the conference endorses the proposal, made by Mahatma Gandhi, that the process of education throughout this period should centre around some productive form of manual work, and that all other abilities to be developed or training should be given, as far as possible, be integrally related to the central handicraft chosen with due regard to the environment of the child.

4)     That the conference expects that the system of education will be gradually able to cover the remuneration of the teachers.

Appointment of a Committee

The conference appointed a committee of distinguished educationists under the chairmanship of Dr. Zakir Hussain,  the Committee consisted of nine members.

Prof. K. G. Saiidain

Arya Nayakam,

Vinova Bhave,

Kaka Kalelkar,

J. C. Kumarappa,

Kishori Lal,

Prof. K. T. Shah etc.

The report of the committee published in March 1938, has come to be known as the Wardha Scheme of Education. It was approved by Mahatma Gandhi and was placed before the Indian National Congress at its Haripura Session held in March 1938. The Congress accepted the scheme.

The first report included the basic principles of the Wardha Scheme of education, its aims, teachers and their training, organisation of schools, administration, inspection and inclusion of craft centred education regarding handicrafts like spinning, weaving etc. The second report dealt with Agriculture, Metal work, Wood craft and other basic handicraft. An elaborate curriculum of all those subjects and ways and means to establish their correlation with other subjects was also suggested.

In course of time more conferences were held, more committees were formed on this important subject. As a result more new features were added to this aspect of education which later on took the final shape. The conference of 1945 at Sebagram characterized Basic Education as “education for life”. The conference considered it as a radical and important revolution in social and economic structure of the Indian society, i.e., creating a new way of life.” Since then Basic education came to be known as ‘Nai Talim’. A conference of education ministers and educational workers was called by B.G. Kher in 1946, that took some important resolutions which affected the quality of Basic Education in different provinces. Basic Education has finally emerged after a decade of experimentation and discussion

Significance of the word ‘Basic’

One. The word ‘Basic’ is derived from the word ‘Base’ which means the bottom or the foundation of a thing upon which the whole things rests or is made. It is basic because it is based on ancient Indian culture. It is basic because it lays down the minimum educational standards which every Indian child is entitled to receive without any distinction of caste and creed. It is basic because it is closely related to the basic needs and interests of the child. It is basic because it make use of native potentialities of the child. It is basic because it is intimately related to the basic occupations of the community. It is basic because it is for the common man of the country, who is the foundation and backbone of our national life. It is basic because it comes first in time, i.e., it is the primary period of one’s education.

As the word ‘Basic’ is derived from the word ‘base’ which means the bottom or the foundation of a thing upon which the whole thing rests or is made o stand Mahatma Gandhi wanted to make the foundation of the educational edifice strong. It is with this objective that he put forward this scheme. This scheme of education is based on the national culture and civilisation of India. It aims at making a child self-reliant by enabling him to use his acquired knowledge and skills in practical affairs of life. Basic education has close relationship with the basic needs and interest of the education as the child is the focal point of education. The central point of this scheme is some handicraft, whose teaching will enable the student to solve the problems of his livelihood and at the same time develop qualities of good citizenship. In Gandhiji’s view, sound education must be rooted in the culture and life of the soil and therefore he strongly pleads for relating education to the environment.

Basic education links the children, whether of the cities or the villages, to all that is best and lasting in India.”

Meaning and Philosophy of Basic Education

Gandhiji was a practical educational philosopher and an experimentalist to the core. His experiments with truth and education were the instrument for the realisation of his ideal in life. In several of his educational experiments he tried to translate his philosophy-into achieving the reality of the evolution and establishment of an ideal society. His educational system is the dynamic side of his entire philosophy. . For Gandhi mere literacy is not the end of education not even the beginning. It is only one of the means by which man and woman can be educated. Therefore, he attaches little value to literacy in his scheme of education

Main Features of Wardha Scheme

“What is really required to make democracy function is not knowledge of facts, but right education.” The fundamental features of the scheme which was evolved in due course are as follows:

Free and Compulsory Education:

Gandhiji wanted education to be free and compulsory for all boys and girls between the ages of seven to fourteen. He evolved a scheme of education which would be in harmony with the culture and civilisation of the Indian people and which would solve the problem of mass education in a practical way. )     Free and compulsory education to be given for 8 years ( from 6 to 14 years) in two stages, instead of 7 to 14. the junior stage covering 5 years and the senior 3 years.

Craft Centred Education :

The basic idea of this scheme is to impart education through some craft or productive work. Craft work helps the child to acquire sensor and motor co-ordination and to appreciate the value of honest labour. Gandhiji was of the opinion that the method of training the mind through village handicraft from the beginning as the central focus would promote the real, disciplined development of the mind. The advantages of making craft as the centre of education as listed by the Zakir Hussain Committee are as follows—

•             “Psychologically, it is desirable, because it relieves the child from the tyranny of a purely academic and theoretical instruction against which its active nature is always making a healthy protest.”

•             “Secondly, the introduction of such practical productive work in education, to be participated in by all children of the nation will tend to break down the existing barriers of prejudice between manual and intellectual workers harmful alike for both.”

•             “Economically, carried out intelligently and efficiently, the scheme will increase the productive capacity of our workers and will also enable them to utilise their leisure advantageously.”

•             “From educational point of view, greater concreteness and reality can be given to the knowledge acquired by children through craft as knowledge will be related to life.”

Self Supporting aspect of the Scheme:

The self supporting aspect of the scheme may be interpreted in two ways—

(a) Education that will help one to be self supporting in later life,

(b) Education which in itself is self supporting.

The basic idea of Gandhiji was that if the craft chosen is taught efficiently or thoroughly, it would enable the school to pay the cost of salaries of teachers. At the same time his aim was to accord dignity of labour and ensure modest and honest and livelihood for the student after leaving school.

Medium of Instruction:

One of the resolutions that was adopted at the All India National Conference at Wardha was that education must be imparted through the mother tongue. In this connection, the Zakir Hussain Committee’s observation was that the proper teaching of the mother tongue is the foundation of all education. Without the capacity to speak effectively and to read and to write correctly and lucidly, no one can develop precision of thought or clarity of ideas. Moreover, it is a means of introducing the child to the rich heritage of his people’s ideas, emotions and aspirations.

Ideal of Citizenship:

Another important feature of the basic scheme is the ideal of citizenship which is implicit in it. It aimed at giving the citizens of the future a keen sense of personal growth, dignity and efficiency and social services in a cooperative community. The Zakir Hussain Committee envisaged that the new generation must at least have an opportunity of understanding their own problems and rights and obligations. A completely new system is necessary to secure the minimum of education for the intelligent exercise of the rights and duties of citizens.

Flexible Curriculum and Free Environment :

The flexibility of the curriculum and free environment for the child to perform according to his own capacity are another remarkable features of basic education. Under this scheme the teachers and students are free to work according to their interest and there is no compulsion for completing a prescribed portion due to fear of examinations. Necessary changes may be introduced in the curriculum if a situation demands. Thus, whatever the child learns according to his interest and capacity is permanently remembered by him. The teacher is also free to organise necessary environment for the development of the child.

The basic education is designed for children between seven and fourteen years of age and accordingly curriculum has been suggested. For the boys general science and for girls home science have been emphasized. The various subjects  are —

1. Basic Craft.

The craft chosen must not be taught mechanically, but systematically and scientifically keeping in view the social significance.

(i) Spinning and Weaving,

(ii) Carpentry,

(iii) Agriculture,

(iv) Fruit and Flower Cultivation,

(v) Leather work,

(vi) Culturing Fish,

(vii) Pottery,

(viii) Any handicraft according to the local need,

(iv) Home Science for girls.

2. Mother tongue.

3. Mathematics.

4. Geography, History and Civics to be combined as Social Studies.

5. Painting and Music.

6. P.T., Drill and Sports etc.

7. General Science comprising Physics Chemistry, Botany, Zoology ,Hygiene and Nature Study etc.

8. Hindi for that area in which it is not the mother tong

9) English has not been included as a subject of study.

10) Although the medium of instruction is mother tongue, all students must learn Hindi language.

11) There is no place for religious and moral education in the curriculum

12)     A school of say 5 ½ hours could roughly be divided on the following basis:

Physical activities…                                                             20 minutes

Mother Tongue…                                                                  20 minutes

Social Studies & General Science                                     60 minutes

Art                                                                                           40 minutes

Arithmetic                                                                               20 minutes

Craft work including study of correlated subjects…                      2 ½ hours

Thus the craft work will have 2 ½ hours instead of 3 hrs & 20 min.

13)     External examinations are to be abolished. The day-to-day work of the student is to be the determining factor.

14)     Text books to be avoided as far as possible.

15)     Cleanliness and health, citizenship, play and recreation are to be given sufficient importance.

Merits of Wardha Scheme

India is a democratic country and success of democracy depends upon the enlightened citizens. Our great leaders like Gokhale worked for the introduction of compulsory education for long time. In his historic speech, Gokhale said that if elementary education was to spread in India, it must be made compulsory and if it was to be compulsory it must be free.

Ghandiji dream of classless society, free of exploitation — economic and social—can be realized only if everyone is educated

“…You have to start with the conviction that looking to the need of the villages of India our rural education ought to be made self-supporting if it is to be compulsory. This education ought to be for the kind of insurance against unemployment.

Psychologically, it is desirable, because it relieves the child from the tyranny of a purely academic and theoretical instruction against which its active nature is always making a healthy protest. It balances the intellectual and practical elements of experience, and may be made an instrument of educating the body and the mind in coordination.

Socially considered,   It is also  productive as it is based on the principle of work. Work occupies the central place in basic education. The system is production oriented and helps in the programme of national  reconstruction the introduction of such practical productive work in education, to be participated in by all the children of the nation, will tend to break down the existing barriers of prejudice between manual and intellectual workers, harmful alike for both. It will also cultivate in the only possible way a true sense of dignity of labor and of human solidarity – an ethical and moral gain of incalculable significance.

The scheme is financially sound and acceptable in a poor country like India, where about half of the total illiterate people of the world reside. It is helpful for rapid expansion of elementary education with less burden on public exchequer  Economically considered, carried out intelligently and efficiently, the scheme will increase the productive capacity of our workers and will also enable them to utilize their leisure advantageously.

From the strictly educational point of view greater concreteness and reality can be given to the knowledge acquired by children by making some significant craft the basis of education. Knowledge will thus become related to life, and its various aspects will be correlated with one another.

Activity Curriculum: In order to work out an effective and natural coordination of the various subjects and to make the syllabus a means of adjusting the child intelligently and actively to his environment, the Wardha Scheme laid stress on three centres, intrinsically inter-connected, as the foci for the curriculum, i.e. the Physical Environ ment, the Social Environment, and Craft Work, which is their natural meeting point since it utilizes the resources of the former for the purpose of the latter.

Basic Education in Rural as well as in Urban areas: It is wrong to assume that basic education is intended to be imparted in rural areas only. “In fact, in one sense there is greater need for basic education in urban areas than in rural areas. In rural areas the children who participate in the life of the farm or allied occupation of their families have certain types of further education. In performing their jobs the children come in to direct contact with actual life and with the experience they get forms the basis of further education. On the other hand in large towns and big industrial cities the children miss the opportunity for rich experiences and direct contact with life”, observed Dr. K.L. Shrimali.

Basic education is not a class education: the ultimate objective of basic education is to create a social order in which there is no unnatural divisions between ‘have’ and ‘have-nots’ and every one is assure of a living wage and the right to freedom.

Craft Work in School: Modern educational thought is practically unanimous in commending the idea of educating children through some suitable form of productive work. This method is considered to be the most effective approach to the problem of providing an integral all-sided education. It is useful on account of the following:

Education through Correlation: Correlation is one of the important feature and crux of basic education. In this scheme of education, Ghandiji wished to give knowledge as a compact whole. The modern educationist also advocated this. The basic education is therefore, an effort to correlate the life of the child with his immediate physical and social environment. It is an effort to make knowledge easier and at the same time more meaningful.

Free and Compulsory Education: Seven years free and compulsory education is one of the fundamentals of his scheme and this cardinal principle has been emphasized due to two reasons:

Greater Freedom for the Teacher and the Student: In basic education, discipline does not mean order and external restraint but an intelligent use of freedom. The teacher gets many opportunity to make experiments, think for himself and put his idea and plan to practice.

Integrated Knowledge: Basic education treats knowledge as an integrated whole. Curriculum is build around three integrally related centers:        (i) Physical environment, (ii) Social environment, and (iii) Craft work.

Learning by Doing: Learning by doing sums up the educational methods of basic education. It is absolutely wrong to think that true education is acquired from books alone. There are other methods and sources which are more helpful in acquiring true knowledge. ‘Chalk’ and ‘Talk’ lessons are also not very useful. All educationists have condemned bookish knowledge. Ghandiji believed that school must be a ‘doing things’. In basic system of education children acquire the knowledge of the formal school subjects as a bye-product of purposeful activities.

Modification of the Views of Mahatma Gandhi on Self-sufficiency; Zakir Hussain Committee pointed out the danger of overdoing of craft work and warned that oral work, drawing and expression work should not be lost sight of. The educative aspect is more important than the economic aspect. It thus shifted the emphasis from complete support to partial self-support. It was felt that with the earnings through sale of craft products, uniform for the students or mid-day meal or purchase of some necessary equipment may be made.

Mother Tongue as a Medium of Instruction: It is now universally recognized that the young child can learn with great facility if the medium of instruction is its mother tongue. Ghandiji asserted that no education is possible through foreign medium and all elementary education must be imparted through the medium of mother tongue.

Not only from economic point of view, must this education be self-sufficient, but also from social and moral point of view. This means that at the end of the period of basic education the individual should become self-reliant and self-supporting.”

Relationship with Life: A basic school must become an active environment where teaching is not cut off from the life of the miniature community of the school and community itself. Education is to be directed to the need of life. It is not to pursue an idea which has no relation with or is totally isolated from the real situations of life.

Self-Sufficiency: Ghandiji felt that the educational system as introduced by the foreigners in India was expensive and it was very difficult for a poor country like India to spread education if it follows that system. So Ghandiji went a step further and declared that New Eduaction must not only be worked centered but must also be self-supporting.

Social Activities and Community Life: The corner-stone of Basic education lies in the activities and the community life of school. Apart from craft, productive activities and occupations find an important place in the curriculum of a basic school. Living together and doing together is the soul of any progressive system of education and basic system fully incorporates this in its curriculum and methods of teaching.

The System was able to remove Class and Caste Distinction. It helps to bring social solidarity and national integration.It also removes the barriers between the educated and the non-educated, between manual work and intellectual work, between the rich and the poor and village and the town.

The Wardha Scheme of Education attempted to draft an ‘activity curriculum’, which implies that our school must be places of work, experimentation and discovery, not of passive absorption of information imparted at second hand. It stressed this principle by advocating that all teaching should be carried on through concrete life situations relating to craft or to social and physical environment, so that whatever a child learns becomes assimilated into his growing activities.

Training in Citizenship: Basic education aims at developing ideas of mutual understanding and habits of cooperative and mutually helpful living among the students through its various practical and constructive programs the new education aims at giving the citizens of future a keen sense of personal warmth, dignity and efficiency. It is likely to strengthen in them the desire of self-improvement and social service in a cooperative community.

Limitations of of Wardha Scheme

1-Unsound Psychological Foundations of Wardha Scheme of Education:

“The delicate but inexorable laws governing the development of the tender mind of the child have been completely ignored. The child is treated just as a policeman or a soldier, merely as a unit in a homogeneous mass. His individuality is ignored. He is viewed merely as a means to an end—the end being earning capacity and citizenship of sorts.

“play is the only means by which creative energy can be released. Enlightened and informed educational opinion all over the civilized world is dedicatedly against forcing the child to learn a craft before he is twelve plus. It is nothing short of cruelty to make the child earn an anna or half an anna per hour during the stage when he ought to be playing and enjoying himself.

“There are three aspect of human nature—cognitive, affective and co native. The Wardha Scheme emphasizes the last aspect piously hoping that the student will wily-nilly get trained in the first through his training in the last. The middle aspect is completely ignored.

1-Undue Emphasis on Craft as the Only Basis of Correlation:

It is impossible to establish any natural association between craft and all the subjects of cultural value which any sane system of education should cover through its curriculum. Teaching should be concrete and should be based on the child’s active experience in his environment. But it is absurd to hang all knowledge from the peg of single craft.

1-No Place for Religious Education:

“Education suited to our national genius should have definite religious basis, with contempt of worldly pursuits in its core. Craft-centered education is decidedly alien to our ancient ideals.

2-Basic Education not Suited in an Age of Industrialization:

As ours is a system of education which claims to produce an integrated individual, the emphasis is out of place in a community which has its face turned towards developing its economy to the full. So far Basic education fails to relate to the economic policy of state. But if this point is ignored, we shall find ourselves burdened with an educational system which turns out misfits even more rapidly than the one with which we are so dissatisfied .With rapid industrialization of India, knowledge of science and mathematics may become more desirable than skill in handicrafts.

1-Neglect of the child:

In a hurry to pay more attention to craft, it has neglected the child. Basic education is looked upon more as a social and economic duty than as a joyful adventure.” An Craft is only a slogan, a fiction, which is practiced on commercial occasions for the benefits of visitors. In a basic school only two-third or half the normal time is given to academic education, the rest being taken up by crafts. And further, since on the time-table academic subjects generally come after the craft work, mostly agriculture, students are sometime too tired to take to academic work kindly .Students spend one-third or half the time for craft work without acquiring any dexterity worth speaking of in any craft.

Reasons for Failure of Basic Education

After the independence Basic scheme of education made good progress for about a decade but gradually due to several difficulties it failed to become a permanent and lasting feature of our educational system . The causes may be —

The self supporting aspect of Basic Education received severe criticism in the academic circle. Teachers, social leaders and educational administrators had shown an indifferent attitude towards it. It was argued that the scheme turns a school into a centre of small scale industry. Moreover, teachers had to depend upon the earnings of the students.This had a demoralising effect on teacher-pupil relationship.

Too much emphasis on craft had led the neglect of liberal education. Very often the craft is not properly selected from the point of view of education and social significance and teaching through craft had become just a slogan.

Another criticism levelled against Basic Education was that a single craft can and should not be the basis of the entire educational process. It may not help in the development of liberal education and thus would create an imbalance in the educational system between vocational and intellectual education.

The method of correlation as technique of instruction was not stressed and sincerely followed. Correlation is no doubt a sound principle of education but correlation of the subjects through craft may appear to be sometimes unusual and time consuming.

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SIGMOND FREUD ON DREAMS

 

Dr. V.K. Maheshwari, Former Principal

K.L.D.A.V(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Manjul Lata Agrawal. M.A. (History) B.T.

Former Principal S.K.V, Delhi Cantt. Delhi.

 

Mankind has always been interested in dreams and many attempts have been made to interpret the meaning of them. The reasons for this interest are not difficult to find Dreams are odd and striking phenomenon similar to waking thought in some ways , but quite dissimilar in others . The objects which enter into the dreams are usually everyday kind of objects, similarly the places where the dream occurs is usually a familiar one.

Factual information is quite scant. When large numbers of dreams of people are examined, the settings in which the dreams occur, the characters appearing in them, the actions through which they go, and the emotions which they betray. Most dreams have some fairly definite setting, where the dreamer is in a conveyance such as an automobile, a train, an airplane, a boat or is walking along a street or road. Few dreams are set in recreational surroundings: amusement parks, at dances and parties, on the beach, watching sports events, and so on. More frequent than any of these settings, however, is the house or rooms in a house; Apparently the living-room is – the most popular, followed in turn by bedroom, kitchen, stairway, basement, bathroom, dining-room, and hall. Another are set in rural and out-of-doors surroundings. Men’s dreams tend to occur more frequently in out-of-door surroundings, women’s more frequently indoors.

Multiple Aspects of Dreams

By taking into account the setting, Psychoanalysts often try to interpret certain aspects of the dream. The dream occurs in a conveyance, for instance, is interpreted in terms of the fact that the dreamer is going somewhere, is on the move; movement represents ideas such as ambition, fleeing from something, progress and achievement, breaking family ties, and so forth. Trains, automobiles, and other vehicles are instruments of power, and are thus interpreted as symbols for the vital energy of one’s instinctual impulses, particularly those of sex.

Recreational settings are usually sensual in character, being concerned with pleasure and fun, and imply an orientation towards pleasure rather than work.

All kinds of emotions are attached to the actions and persons making up the dream, as well as to the settings. Quite generally unpleasant dreams are more numerous than pleasant ones, and apparently as one gets older the proportion of unpleasant dreams increases. The unpleasant emotions of fear, anger, and sadness are reported twice as frequently as the pleasant emotions of joy and happiness. Emotion in dreams is often taken to be an important aid in interpreting the dream. In this it differs very much from color; about one dream in three is colored, but the attempt to find any kind of interpretation whatsoever for the difference between colored and black-and-white dreams has proved very disappointing.

In addition to a setting, the dream must also have a cast. Sometime in dreams no one appears but the Dreamer himself. Sometimes two characters appear. Most of these additional characters are members of the dreamer’s family, friends, and acquaintances. Sometimes the characters in our dreams are strangers; they are supposed to represent the unknown, the ambiguous, and the uncertain ; sometimes they are interpreted as alien parts of our own personality which we may be reluctant to acknowledge as belonging to us. Prominent people are seldom found in dreams ; this may be because our dreams are concerned with matters that are emotionally relevant to us.

As far as actions in dreams are concerned, in dreams some cases are engaged in some kind of movement, such as walking, driving, running, falling, or climbing. Mostly these changes in location occur in his home environment. In another, passive activities such as standing, watching, looking, and talking are indulged in. There appears to be an absence of strenuous or routine activities in dreams – there is little in the way of working, buying or selling, typing, sewing, washing the dishes, and so forth. When energy is being expended in the dream it is in the service of pleasure, not in the routine duties of life. Women, generally speaking, have far fewer active dreams than men.

 

Probably the most common view of dreams which has been held by mankind is that the , dreams are prophetic in nature ; they warn us of dangers to be encountered in the future, they tell us what will happen if we do this or -that; they are looked upon as guide-posts which we may heed or neglect as we wish.

If we take this hypothesis at all seriously, then a study of the art of dream interpretation clearly becomes of the greatest possible importance. The pattern was set by an Italian scholar called Artemi- dorus, who lived in the second century of the Christian era. His book was called Oneirocritics, which means The Art of Interpreting. Essentially, books of this nature are based on the view that the dream is a kind of secret language which requires a sort of dictionary before it can be understood. This dictionary is provided by the writer of the dream book in the form of an alphabetical list of things which might appear in the dream, each of which is followed by an explanation of its meaning. Thus, if the dreamer dreams about going on a journey, he looks up ‘Journey’ in his dream book and finds that it means death. This may of course be rather disturbing to him, but he may console him- self by the consideration that it need not necessarily be his own death which is being foretold in this fashion.

Few people would take this kind of dream interpretation very seriously; it is obviously analogous to astrology,   and palmistry, in its unverified claims and its generally unlikely theoretical basis.

Theory of Dream Interpretation

Freud’s argument of the meaningfulness of dreams is directly connected with his general theory that all our acts are meaningfully determined; a theory which embraces mispronunciations, gestures, lapses, emotions, and so forth.

The second part of Freud’s doctrine, view that the dream is always a wish fulfillment. – This is linked up with his general theory of personality

According to the Freudian theory dreams do not reveal anything about the future. Instead, they tell us something about our present un resolved and unconscious complexes and may lead us back to the early years of our lives.There are three main hypotheses in this general theory:

The first hypothesis is that the dream is not a meaningless jumble of images and ideas, accidentally thrown together, but rather that the dream as a whole, and every element in it, are meaningful.

The second point that Freud makes is that dreams are always in some sense a wish fulfillment; in other words, they have a purpose, and this purpose is the satisfaction of some desire or drive, usually of an unconscious character.

Thirdly, Freud believes that these desires and wishes, having been repressed from consciousness because they are unacceptable to the socialized mind of the dreamer, are not allowed to emerge even into the dream without disguise. A censor or super-ego watches over them and ensures that they can only emerge into the dream in a disguise so heavy that they are unrecognizable.

The idea that the dream is meaningful is, follows directly from the deterministic standpoint: i.e. from the view that all mental and physical events have causes and could be predicted if these causes were fully known.

Let us look at these three propositions in turn. The idea that the dream is meaningful is very ancient one. For Freud it follows directly from the deterministic point of view, i.e. from that point of view all mental and physical events have causes and could be predicted if these causes are fully known. This cause effect relationship is beyond the limits of time for example Hindus who believe in reincarnation and continuity of consciousness even relates it with previous birth events or experiences.

Freud’s argument of the meaningfulness of dream is directly connected with his general theory that all our acts are meaningfully determined; a theory which embraces mispronunciation, gestures, lapses, emotions, and so forth.

Roughly speaking, Freud recognized three main parts of the brain functioning in the personality : one, which he calls the id, is a kind of reservoir of unconscious drives and impulses, largely of a sexual nature; this reservoir, as it were, provides the dynamic energy for most of our activities. Opposed to it we have the so-called super-ego, which is partly conscious and partly un- conscious and which is the repository of social morality. Intervening between the two, and trying to resolve their opposition, is the ego(like the servant in between the two masters) i.e. the conscious part of our personality.

The Id works in keeping with the pleasure principle, which can be understood as a demand to take care of needs immediately. Just picture the hungry infant, screaming itself blue. It doesn’t “know” what it wants in any adult sense; it just knows that it wants it and it wants it now. The infant, in the Freudian view, is pure, or nearly pure id. And the id is nothing if not the psychic representative of biology.

According to Freud, the Id directs basic drive instincts. It is unorganized and seeks to obtain pleasure, or avoid pain, at times when increased arousal of tension takes place.

Freud described the Id as such: “It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learned from our study of the dream-work… and most of that is of a negative character… We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations… It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle”.

The Id, according to Freud, “’knows no judgements of value: no good and evil, no morality… [It is] the great reservoir of libido”. From the outset (i.e. birth) the Id includes all the instinctual impulses as well as the destructive instinct.

The ego, unlike the id, functions according to the reality principle, which says “take care of a need as soon as an appropriate object is found.” It represents reality and, to a considerable extent, reason.

The Ego seeks to please the instinctive drive of the Id but only in realistic ways that will benefit in the long term. The Ego, says Freud, “attempts to mediate between id and reality”. The Ego comprises organized structure of one’s personality. In other words, the great majority of the Ego’s operative duties are at a conscious level (e.g. defensive, perceptual, intellectual-cognitive, and executive functions).

There are two aspects to the superego: One is the conscience, which is an internalization of punishments and warnings. The other is called the ego ideal. It derives from rewards and positive models .The conscience and ego ideal communicate their requirements to the ego with feelings like pride, shame, and guilt.

The Super-Ego aims for perfection. Freud said: “The Super-ego can be thought of as a type of conscience that punishes misbehaviour with feelings of guilt. In other words, the Super-Ego, in its role of moral authoritarian, is the opposite of the Id.

Where the Id is entirely about satisfying instinctive need with no regulation over morals to achieve that objective, the Super-Ego operates in accordance with social conformity and appropriateness. Due to these extremes, the Ego  is constantly striving to regulate balance between the two. In all, the Super-Ego regulates our sense of right and wrong. It helps assimilate into the social structure around us via making us act in socially acceptable ways. It acts as our conscience, maintaining our sense of morality.

As stated above, Freud theorized that the Ego is constantly under the strain of causing discontent on two sides (i.e. the Id and Super-Ego). The role of Ego is like a servant in between two masters .Ego has a  role to minimize conflicts whilst simultaneously pretending to care about the said same reality.

The Super-Ego is the Ego’s constant watchdog and if/when it (the Id) steps out of line, the Super-Ego punishes it with feelings of guilt, anxiety, and inferiority. However, the Ego will then employ mechanisms to defend itself such as denial, displacement, intellectualization, fantasy, compensation, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, regression, repression, and sublimation. These mechanisms are not undertaken at a conscious level, they kick in when the Id’s behaviour conflicts with reality .

As  unconscious or Id cannot be probed directly , efforts are made to know about it through indirect or disguised  techniques.

The Freudian concept can very simply linked up with his theory of dream interpretation. The forces of the Id (unfulfilled biological, anti-social desires) constantly trying to express themselves or to say trying to gain control  of the Ego and to force themselves into consciousness . During  the individual waking life , the Super-Ego firmly repress them and keeps them unconscious; during sleep however the Super-Ego is less watchful and consequently some of the desires start up in the Id and are allowed to escape in the form of dreams . However the Super-Ego may nod , but it is not quite asleep and consequently these wish-fulfilling thoughts require to be heavily disguised . This disguise is stage-managed by what Freud calls the dream work. Accordingly, it is necessary to distinguish between the manifest dream, i.e. the dream as experienced and perhaps written down, and the latent dreams ,i.e. the thoughts, wishes, and desires expressed in the dream with their disguises removed.

A dream is a disguised fulfilment of a repressed wish. The interpretation of dreams has as its object the removal of the disguise to which the dreamer’s thoughts have been subjected. It is, moreover, a highly valuable aid to psycho-analytic technique, for it constitutes the most convenient method of obtaining insight into unconscious psychical life. (From: On Psychoanalysis).

According to Freud the dream has two parts.

  • The manifest content
  • The latent content.

The manifest content can be thought of as what a person would remember as soon as they wake – what they would consciously describe to someone else when recalling the dream. Freud suggested that the manifest content possessed no meaning whatsoever because it was a disguised representation of the true thought underlying the dream.

On the other hand, the latent content holds the true meaning of the dream – the forbidden thoughts and the unconscious desires. These appear in the manifest content but will be disguised and unrecognizable.

Connecting the Freud’s theory of personality and his theory of dream interpretation is quite simple: the forces of the id are constantly trying to gain control of the ego and to force themselves into consciousness. During the individual’s waking life, the super-ego strongly represses them and keeps them unconscious; during sleep, however, the super-ego is less watchful, and consequently some of the desires start up in the id and are allowed to escape in the form  of dreams. However, the super-ego may nod, but it is not quite asleep, and consequently these wish-fulfilling thoughts require to be heavily disguised. This disguise is stage- managed by what Freud calls the DreamWorks. Accordingly, it is necessary to distinguish between the manifest dream, i.e. the dream as experienced and perhaps written down, and the latent dream, i.e. the thoughts, wishes, and desires ex- pressed in the dream with their disguises removed.

The process by which the latent content is transformed into the manifest content is known as the “dream work”. The dream work can disguise and distort the latent thoughts in the following four ways:

1: Condensation:

Mechanism acting in the dream work is said to be that of condensation. The manifest content is only an abbreviation of the latent content. As Freud puts it ‘The dream is meager, paltry, and laconic in comparison with the range and copiousness of the dream thoughts.’ The images of the manifest content are said by Freud to be over-determined: i.e. each manifest element depends on several latent causes and consequently expresses several hidden thoughts.

This is the process in which the dreamer hides their feelings or urges by contracting it or underplaying it into a brief dream image or event. Thus the meaning of this dream imagery may not be apparent or obvious. Two or more latent thoughts are combined to make up one manifest dream image or situation. Dreams can put layers of complex meaning within very simple manifest content.

2: Symbolism:

This is characterized when the dreamer’s repressed urges or suppressed desires are acted out metaphorically. Where complex or vague concepts are converted into a dream image. For this, the mind may use the image of a similar sounding (more recognizable) word instead or use a similar looking less intrusive object. According to Freud, dream symbols are for the most part sexual in meaning thus many dreams (but not all) have a sexual correlation. Their translation has to be provided by the analyst, who can himself only discover it empirically by experimentally fitting it into the context. It was later found that linguistic usage, mythology and folklore afford the most ample analogies to dream-symbols.

3: Displacement:

It is a process whereby the emotional content is detached from its proper object and attached instead to an unimportant or subsidiary one. This occurs when the desire for one thing or person is symbolized by something or someone else.   Instead of directing the emotion or desire toward the intended person or object it is transferred onto a meaningless / unrelated object in the manifest dream. Dream content is not used in dream thoughts in the same way it manifests in the dream. “That which is clearly the essential thing in the dream thoughts need not be represented in the dream at all. The dream, as it were, is eccentric; its contents are grouped about other elements than the dream thoughts as a central point”.

Critical Appraisal of Freud’s theory,

The central piece of Freud’s whole theory, the one bit that is original and not derivative, is the notion that symbols and other dream mechanisms are used to hide something so obnoxious, so contrary to the morality of the patient, that he cannot bear to consider it undisguised, even in his dream. This notion seems so contrary to the most obvious facts that it is difficult to see how it can ever have been seriously entertained.

The task of the analyst and interpreter on this view is to explain the manifest dream in terms of the latent dream. Freud uses two methods.

The first  is the method of symbolic interpretation. The other method, – of much greater general interest and importance, is the method of association.

Freud uses the theory of Symbolism, very much like the old dream books, Freud provides whole lists of symbols standing for certain things and certain actions. Freud concentrates almost exclusively on sex and sexual relations. The male sex organ is represented in the dream by a bewildering variety of symbols. Anything that is long and pointed – a stick, a cigar, a chimney, a steeple, the stem of a flower – is so interpreted because of the obvious physical resemblance. A pistol, a knife, forceps, a gun – these may stand for the penis because they eject and penetrate; similarly a plough may become a sex symbol because it penetrates the earth. Riding a horse, climbing stairs, and many, many other common-sense activities stand for intercourse. Hollow objects and containers are feminine symbols: houses, boxes, saucepans, vases – all these represent the vagina.

A more reasonable alternative theory is based on the method of free association. The technique of free association is based on the belief that ideas became linked through similarity or through contiguity and that mental life could be understood entirely in terms of such associations. In other words, what is suggested is this : starting out with certain unacceptable ideas which seek expression, we emerge finally with unintelligible ideas contained in the manifest dream. These, having been produced by the original latent ideas, are linked to them by a chain of associations, and we shall be able to re-discover the original ideas by going back over this chain of ideas. In order to do this, Freud starts out by taking a single idea from the manifest dream and asking the subject to fix that idea in his mind and say aloud any- thing that comes into his mind associated with that original idea. The hope is that in due course a chain of associations will lead to the latent causal idea.

Nevertheless, the idea of using the method of association in exploring the contents of the mind is a highly original and brilliant one, and much credit must go to the man who first introduced it into psychology.

Making use, then, of these methods of symbolic interpretations and of association, both discovered long before his time, Freud proceeded to analyse the nature of the dream. He discusses his discoveries in terms of so-called- mechanisms which are active in the dream. The first of these mechanisms he calls that of dramatization. This simply de- notes the fact, already familiar to most people, that the major part in dreams is played by visual images, and that conceptual thought appears to be resolved into some form of plastic representation. Freud likens this to the pictorial manner in which cartoons portray conceptual problems. The cartoonist is faced with the same difficulty as the dreamer. He cannot express concepts in words, but has to give them some form of dramatic and pictorial representation.

 

Let us list some of these objections. In the first place, the notion which is expressed symbolically in one dream may be quite blatantly and directly expressed in another.

 

A second objection is that the symbols which are supposed to hide the dream-thought very frequently do nothing of the kind. Many people who have no knowledge of psycho-analysis are able to interpret the sexual symbols which occur in dreams without any difficulty at all. After all, let us face the fact that there are many slang expressions in use referring to sexual activities and sexual anatomy, and that these slang terms are only too often identical with Freudian symbols.

A last point of criticism has been raised by Calvin S.Hall, He asks why there are so many symbols for the same referent. In his search of the literature he found 102 different dream- symbols for the penis, ninety-five for the vagina, and fifty five for sexual intercourse.

According to C.S.Hall- Plausible theory , , symbols in dreams are not used to hide the meaning of the dream, but quite on the contrary, are used to reveal not only the act of the person with whom the dreamer is concerned, but also his conceptions of these actions or persons.

The same objective fact – say sexual intercourse may have widely different meanings to different people. One conception might be that of a generative or reproductive activity; another one might be that of an aggressive physical attack. It is these different conceptions of one and the same objective fact which are expressed in the special choice of symbolism of the dream. Dreaming of the ploughing of a field or the planting of seeds is a symbolic representation of the sex act as being generative or reproductive. Dreaming of shooting a person with a gun, stabbing someone with a dagger, or running down with an automobile, symbolizes the view of the sex act as an aggressive attack

The use of symbols, then, is an expressive device, not a means of disguise, and it is note-worthy that in waking life, symbols are used for precisely the same reason: a lion stands for courage, a snake for evil, and an owl for wisdom. Symbols such as these convey in terse and concise language abstruse and complex conceptions.

Certain symbols, on this theory, are chosen more frequently than others because they represent in a single object a variety of conceptions. The moon, for instance, is such a condensed and over-determined symbol of woman; the monthly phases of the moon resemble the menstrual cycle ; the filling out of the moon from new to full symbolizes the rounding out of the woman during pregnancy. The moon is inferior to the sun; the moon is changeable like a fickle woman, while the sun is constant. The moon controls the ebb and flow of the tides, again linking it to the family rhythm. The moon, shedding her weak light, embodies the idea of feminine frailty.

This suggests that all theories of dream interpretation may have a certain limited amount of truth in them, but that they do not possess universal significance, and apply only to a relatively small part of the field. There is one further difficulty in accepting the symbolic interpretations presented by so many dream interpreters.

It will be clear that there is practically nothing that we can do or say on our journey which is not a flagrant sex symbol. If, therefore, we wanted to dream of a railway journey, the thing would just be impossible. All we can ever dream about, if we follow the Freudian theory, is sex, sex, and sex again.

The critical thinker may feel at this point that while the discussion may have been quite interesting at times, it has not produced a single fact which could be regarded as having scientific validity. Everything is surmise, conjecture, and interpretation; judgements are made in terms of what seems reasonable and fitting. This is not the method of science, and that is precisely what is missing in all the work we have been summarizing so far.

There is always a necessity of having control groups in psychological investigations. No control group has ever been used in experimental studies of dream interpretation by psychoanalysts, yet the necessity for such a control would be obvious on reflection. According to Freud’s theory, the manifest dream leads back to the latent dreams in terms of symbolization and in terms of free association. This is used as an argument in favour of the view that the alleged latent dream has caused the manifest dream, but the control experiment is missing. What would happen if we took a dream reported by person A and got person B to associate to the various elements of that dream? Having performed this experiment a number of times, I have come to the conclusion that the associations very soon lead us back to precisely the same complexes which we would have reached if we had started out with one of person B’s own dreams. In other words, the starting point is quite irrelevant; so a person’s thoughts and associations tend to lead towards his personal troubles, desires, and wishes of the present moment.

Actually, it would not be quite correct to say that no experimental work on dreams had been done. There are a number of promising leads, but, as might have been expected, these have come from the ranks of academic psychologists and not from psychoanalysts themselves. Of particular interest is the work of Luria, a Russian psychologist who attacked the problem of dream interpretation as part of a wider problem, namely the experimental investigation of complexes. His technique consisted in implanting complexes under hypnosis and observing the various reactions, including dreams, of the subjects after they had recovered from the hypnotic trance.

This method of investigation has considerable promise, but unfortunately very little has been done with it. Realizing, then, that nothing certain is known, can we at least propound a general theory which summarizes what we have said and is not contradicted by any of the known facts? Such a theory might run as follows : The mind tends to be constantly active. In the waking state most of the material for this activity is provided by perceptions of events in the outer world; only occasionally, as in problem-solving and day-dreaming, are there long stretches of internal activity withdrawn from external stimulation. During sleep such external stimulation is more or less completely absent, and consequently mental activity ceases to be governed by external stimulation and becomes purely internal.

In general this mental activity is very much concerned with the same problems that occupy waking thought. Our wishes, hopes, fears, our problems and their solutions, our relationships with other people – these are the things we think about in our waking life, and these are the things we dream about when we are asleep. The main difference is that mental activity in sleep appears to be at a lower level of complexity and to find expression in a more archaic mode of presentation. The generalizing and conceptualizing parts of the mind seem to be dormant, and their function is taken over by a more primitive method of pictorial representation. It is this primitivization of the thought processes which leads to the emergence of symbolism, which thus serves very much the function Hall has given it in his theory.

This symbolizing activity is, of course, determined to a large extent by previous learning. In general, symbols are relative to the education and experience of the dreamer, although certain symbols, such as the moon, are very widely used because they are familiar to almost all human beings.

Until evidence of a more rigorous kind than is available now is produced in favour of this hypothesis, we can only say that no confident answer can be given. If and when the proper experiments are performed, due care being given to the use of control groups and other essential safeguards. At the moment the only fit verdict seems to be the Scottish one of ‘not proven’.

Many other alternative theories could be formulated and would have to be tested before anything decisive could be said about the value of the Freudian hypothesis. In the absence of such work, our verdict must be that, such evidence as there is leads one to agree with the many judges who have said that what is new in the Freudian theory is not true, and what is true in it is not new.

“A dream is a work of art which requires of the dreamer no particular talent, special training, or technical competence. Dreaming is a creative enterprise in which all may and most do participate.” – Clark S. Hall

References

Fisher, S., & Greenberg, R. P. (1996). Freud scientifically reappraised: Testing the theories and therapy. John Wiley & Sons.

Freud, S. (1900). The interpretation of dreams. S.E., 4-5.

Freud, S. (1915). The unconscious. SE, 14: 159-204.

Freud, S. (1920). Beyond the pleasure principle. SE, 18: 1-64.

Freud, S. (1923). The ego and the id. SE, 19: 1-66.

Freud, S. (1961). The resistances to psycho-analysis. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIX (1923-1925): The Ego and the Id and other works (pp. 211-224).

Tulving, E. (1972). Episodic and semantic memory. In E. Tulving & W. Donaldson (Eds.), Organization of Memory, (pp. 381–403). New York: Academic Press.

 

 

 

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Corruption penetration into the Indian education system

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari M.A. (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Manjul Lata Agrawal. M.A. (History) B.T.

Former Principal S.K.V, Delhi Cantt. Delhi, India

Abstract

Corruption has spread its roots in education system . Modern educational institutions have their primary emphasis on moneymaking and materialism instead on the concept of complete human development. Privatization of education, Teacher appointments, posting, transfer and stay at choice place, Teachers absenteeism form classes and Up-down, Private tutoring, Midday meal, Admission process, Examination process-cheating, unfair means act, practical examinations, result, Affiliation of institute, Student scholarship, fellowship, Purchasing and maintenances in institutes etc are many important means through corruption is clutching the Indian education system.

Keywords:   Privatization of education, Teachers absenteeism, Teacher appointments, Admission process, Affiliation of institute

Introduction

In ancient India, the education was dedicated to achieve the highest ideals of complete human development that included physical, mental, spiritual development as well as leading to God-realization. On the other hand, modern educational institutions have their primary emphasis on moneymaking and materialism instead of concept of complete human development.  There was a time when corruption was only in Government offices, private institutions, police stations etc. but, now days, corruption has spread its roots in educational system also. Now schools are not a temple of education but they have become the shops of poor-quality education.

Corruption can be generally defined as the misuse of office for unofficial ends. Corrupt acts include but are not limited to bribery, extortion, influence peddling, nepotism, fraud, use of money to bribe government officials to take some specific favour, and embezzlement . Corruption in the education sector can be defined as “the systematic use of public office for private benefit, whose impact is significant on the availability and quality of educational goods and services as a consequence on access, quality or equity in education” “Corruption is a major drain on the effective use of resources for education and should be drastically curbed”

Education System in India currently represents a vast contradiction. There are many institutes like IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, BITS, CSIR, Space Research and Atomic Energy Commission that rank among the best institutes in the world and on the contrary, most of the institutes in the country do not even have the minimum basic infrastructure .In the recent times, many Indian educational institutes are under the clutches of corruption cases. MCI, AICTE, UGC etc which are regulatory or monitoring bodies of Indian educational system are also involved in corruption cases. Corruption is grasping the Indian education system and what are the most important means through which corruption is clutching the education system and their impacts on society. Privatization, Teacher appointments, posting, transfer and stay at choice place, Teachers absenteeism form classes and Up-down, Private tutoring, Midday meal, Construction of building of Hall or Classrooms in SSA, Admission process, Examination process cheating, unfair means act, practical examinations, result, Affiliation of institute, State and local politics, Old examination policy, Fake and money maker institutes, Harassment of research scholar, Declining ethical values, Student scholarship-sc/st, minorities, fellowship, Purchasing and maintenances of institutes etc are many important areas where corruption is clutching the Indian education system.

Affiliation of Institute

All the educational institutes are governed by regulatory bodies like UGC, AICTE, MCI etc. These governing bodies form rules, regulations and guideline from time to time to regulate the functioning of educational institutes. Presently many education institutions do not fulfill eligibility criteria of affiliation to these regulatory bodies because they do not have minimum teaching and non-teaching staff, laboratory, and equipments as prescribed by the regulatory body, even they do not fulfill minimum demands of basic facilities for essentials like water, electricity, ventilation, toilets, sewerage etc. however many corrupt private institutes have been affiliated without following rules, regulations and guidelines of the statutory/ regulatory bodies by means of bribery, nepotism or favoritism.

 

Privatization of Education – Making shops of poor-quality education

Privatization of education has emerged in several forms in the recent decade in India. Government has allowed to opens self-financing private institutions with recognition, which may be termed as commercial private education institutions. Many private institutions have started courses on many discipline without basic infrastructure and qualified teaching faculties . Similarly mushrooming and practices have been noted in engineering, medical, nursing, pharmacy and management discipline and faculties in many private institutions are compelled to sign on affidavit that they are being paid as per UGC scale, although they are not even paid half of what is recommended by the government Recently in the deemed university status swindle, the status was granted with a massive violation of the University Grant Commission rules with nepotism type of corruption. . Recently the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) found that at least half-a-dozen of them were operating from buildings that house other colleges of different streams including nursing, B. Ed and even schools. Besides, it was found that in records, the address of some colleges is elsewhere, while they are situated at a different location .

The MBBS seats sold in lakhs of rupees by private colleges . The scam gets bigger as the post graduate in medical field that are necessary for a successful career. The price for a postgraduate seats in most leading private colleges across the country is in crores of rupees.

The uncontrolled growth of private education especially in engineering, medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy and management disciplines created a huge unwaged youth and the professional degrees are made into a commodity and are being sold . Due to the mechanical and pragmatic process the private institutes are unable to produce a complete ‘human capital’ with ethical standards. On the contrary every year they are producing thousands of money minded machines and India has the world’s largest number of unskilled, untrained and unpaid professionals .

Admission Process-

Mostly colleges and schools organize Entrance Test for admissions in India. All corrupt educational institutes have started making money through entrance exams. Many coaching institutes are making money in the name of preparation of these entrance examinations. On the other hand most Indian education institutes whether they are college or schools, get donation for admission in their institutes under the name of management seats quota. They are abusing the noble word “donation” to get bribes for the admissions. These institutes also conduct their own entrance test and take admissions according to their own interest. Many students have ability to perform their best but this educational privatization is indirectly depriving the child from taking education. Many reputed institutions demand very high charges for admission fees and hostel fees, saying that this is management quota fee. Talented students or backward class student try to take loans which again create a problem for them. This problem makes their life worse and some who do not find a way out of this problem often ends their life.

Teacher Appointments, Posting, Transfer and stay at choice place-

There was a time when an entire generation of dedicated teachers was present in India, which was motivated by ideals and principles that were embedded in the social value system. The number of such teachers has substantially declined due to the corruption and political interference involved in teachers recruitment and transfer. The policy relating to recruitment, promotion and transfer of teachers in the education system are yet not formed in many states and thus the human resource management in education is not well organized in India. Teachers are always afraid regarding their appointment and transfers. Sometimes teachers pay bribe for their posting and transfers. Mostly Political leaders, high-level bureaucrats and members of the teacher unions also attempt to influence decision-making regarding the recruitment and transfer of teachers. Favoritism, nepotism and bribes are major types of corruption in teacher’s appointment, posting, transfer and stay at a choice place. Finally the moral and ethical commitment of teachers has gradually decreased over the years due to political interference and corruption.

Teachers Absenteeism -

Teacher absenteeism is one of the most serious forms of education corruption, because it appears to be pervasive, it has a lasting effect on students, and it constitutes a large burden on the education budget .The UNESCO’s International Institute of Educational Planning study on corruption in education state that there is 25% teacher absenteeism in India which is among the highest in the world. In Bihar two of every five teachers were reported absent, the figure in UP was reported to be one-third of the total teachers. Ghost Teacher does not just affect quality of education but it is also a huge drain on resources resulting in the wastage of education funds of India.  According to a professor at National University for Education Planning and Administration, “Politics in teacher appointments and transfers is a major reason for teacher absenteeism.” In the teaching profession, most of the teachers are women and their responsibilities are multitasking. Indian women are heartily devoted to their family. If their posting is far away from their family, then the line of work definitely effects. They do not work efficiently and successfully. This is the major reason of teacher’s absenteeism. Mostly teachers are posted in rural areas who do not live in villages with their family, so they settle their family in city areas and go daily to their posting places. This daily up and down tendency also affects their efficiency. In India, where teacher absenteeism is 25 percent on average, only about 8–10 percent of teacher absence can be attributed to annual leave, medical leave, and other officially sanctioned reasons for absenteeism

Certainly, not all teacher absences are indications of corruption; but all absences have a negative impact on student learning.

Examination malpractices -Cheating, Use of unfair means, Practical examinations –

Examinations are the best tool for an objective assessment and evaluation of students, but different kind of malpractices are prevailing in the examination process i.e. unfair means activity, cheating, favoritism in internal assessment or in practical examinations and bribery in result preparations. Examination malpractice is defined as an irregular behavior exhibited by a candidate or anybody, during or after the examination that contravenes the rules and regulations governing the conduct of such examination .

Examination malpractice can also be defined as a deliberate wrong activity by anybody contrary to examination rules with favoritism to any candidate. Some institutes have given ninety to hundred percent marks in internal assessment or practical examinations; however mostly students copy from previous student’s records or books in these examinations. These institutions are always engaged in welcoming of external examiners and never give fair attention to conduct examination in proper manner. Many institutes give Valuable gifts to external examiners through collection made by students after completion of examination. This does not only make the students lazy and corrupt but also suppress their talent. Many times students give bribe in the form of big donation to the teachers and other authorities and get the degree without doing well in the examination from corrupted educational institutes. So examination malpractice is also a kind of corruption in India.

Student Scholarship

The student scholarship system in India suffers highly from corruption and fake nominees poses great threat to the eligible candidates and causes delay and loss in scholarship money. The lack of coordination with Technical Education Department and failure of control by the District Officers of Social Justice and Empowerment department led to payment of fraudulent claims . Schools charged  lakhs worth of scholarship money which was obtained by these schools in the name of students who did not exist .

Midday Meal

The Midday Meal Scheme has been launched in school; it involves provision of free lunch on working days. The main objective of this programme is protecting children from malnutrition, increasing school enrollment and attendance, improved socialization among children belonging to all castes, and social empowerment through provision of employment to women. But with achievement of above objectives, many scams also have been finding place since it was started. The problems started intensifying right from the beginning of scheme. The head of gram panchayat and headmaster shared the responsibility for the same however, the shared responsibility turned into sharing of the funds. The quality of food provided to children was far from being a balanced diet, many times midday meal consists of poor-quality eatables, often insufficient and tasteless.

Private Tuitions –

The curriculum of schools and colleges should be so designed as to pay attention on the overall development of students. It should be emphasized to aim at wide range of goals that may include the development of sporting sprit and sense of music, as well as promotion of courtesy, civic awareness and national pride with academic interests . However in present time, most of curriculums gives more emphasis on academic section which do not fulfill the overall development of the students. Students take private tuitions to complete their syllabus and shrink the overall development of them as in the evening they spend their time in studies instead they should play with their friends and participate in extracurricular activities or spend time with their families. Private tuition institutes are of low intellectual value. It is dominated by memorized answers of past question papers and tips on likely questions to pass the students in their exams. The impact of private teaching is that it causes damage to the student’s overall development and innovative thinking. Private tuition is corrupting the education system because most of the tutors are the mainstream teachers and teaching the students in their schools which destroy the honorable place of the teachers. They are not teaching in the school times. So the tutors are not preparing the students for their future but they are using them as an income source. Private tuitions also increase social inequalities, because it is easily available to the rich than to the poorer. Immediate steps must be taken to eradicate this serious problem as it is harmful to the career of the young children of our nation .

A bird’s Eye View

Corruption can be found at micro, meso and macro level in the education sector in India. Corruption based on magnitude can also be differentiated between ‘grand’ and ‘petty’ corruption, where grand corruption involves high-level officials and politicians for example fraud in public tendering for school building or textbook publication. It usually has a high economic impact. Whereas Illegal fees paid by parents to school to get their children admitted, or to pass their exams are some of the examples of Petty corruption. However, it usually has a limited economic impact, but it can have a severe social impact . The economic impact is higher when corruption involves large government purchases, but the number of people affected is much greater when corruption involves education services.

Corruption in the education system shakes the confidence and reduces the ability and willingness of wide parts of society to become involved in democratic processes . Corrupt practices in the education system have declined the ethical values among students and shatter confidence in the quality and quantities of the education system. When youngsters become familiar with corrupt practices in education system and see that personal success depends not on performance but on bribery, favoritism and nepotism, then they develop unethical behavior, which is passing to next generation in a rapid way.

Corruption is frequently found in recruitment, transfers, posting, promotion, stay at choice places and mostly absent from teaching places. In India, many times recruitment, appointment are not based on the performance but bribe, family links, allegiance with political parties, religious, caste play a major role. Mostly teachers have an association with political parties and thus after elections, transfers are done on the basis of their affiliation with political parties. Teacher absent from the classrooms are favored from the political leaders because they help them in elections. For the prevention of above type of corruption, there is a need of monitoring and evaluation system that should be based on regular achievement by teachers and be related with result of students. Consultancy services can also be hired for the development of criteria and standardization of recruitment, appointments and promotions, also for the development of performance of teachers via training courses, and enforcement of teacher’s code of conducts .

To reduce the rate of absenteeism from classrooms, incentives should be given to regular working, and demoralized those habitual absent from classrooms via parent associations and school administrations. Corruption at the admission level can be controlled through a centralized and online admission process, which may be controlled by state or university level. These committees can organize entrance examination for the admission at state level or through common merit list.

Corruption in examination can be controlled by encoding the identity of examiners and examinees in written examinations for awarding marks. Code of conduct should be reviewed for the students to control unfair means activities in examinations. Unfair means act needs review because courts take time to make decision, which not only causes delay in punishment to students but also puzzle a teacher to file a case or not for unfair means, because teachers are mostly soft hearted and avoid to court cases. Many times teachers feel that court punishment can destroy student career and they free the student with only warning.

There is need for major changes in educational institutes. At present all the management and administration services of these institutes are maintained by the principal alone with help of some clerks.  Principals also use teachers in management and administration of institutes. It is a fact that educational institutes cannot run without teacher’s supports because teachers better know the institute’s atmosphere. Teachers are mostly busy in admissions, scrutiny of examination form, student union election, examination works etc, but these management activities result in loss of academic session of students. There is a need to free teachers from these administrational and management duties and all the management work of educational institutes should be done by professionals as is being done in private hospitals. Institutes should run with the full recommendations of teachers and professionals support as well as with organized facilities for students and teachers. Teachers should always be mentally and physically free for teaching in the classrooms, not for distribution of scholarship, examination form, and maintenance of school buildings.  It can be a good idea to privatize or outsource certain services, such as the maintenance of school buildings, preparationof school meals, school transport systems, etc. To ensure that the privatization of services does not open the door to new corruption, the procedure and policies behind the privatization procedure must be carefully devised and rendered “watertight” in this regard.

 

References

  • Abhinav Singh and Bharathi Purohit (2011a): Fracas over Privatisation, Quality Assurance and Corruption in Indian higher education, Journal of Education and Practice, Vol 2, No 11&12 www.iiste.org
  • Bray, Mark (2011): The Challenge of Shadow Education: Private Tutoring and its Implications for Policy Makers in the European Union. Brussels: European Commission.
  • Chaudhury, N., J. Hammer, M. Kremer, K. Muralidharan, and F. H. Rogers. 2006. “Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 20 (1): 91–116.
  • Corruption in Education-best way to corrode India http://commonman2010.hubpages.com/hub/Corruption-in-Education-is-a-best-way-to-corrode-India
  • Deepti Gupta and Navneet Gupta (2012): Higher Education in India: Structure, Statistics and Challenges, Journal of Education and Practice, Vol 3, No 2, pp 17-24
  • Hallak, J., and M.Poisson. 2001. “Ethics and Corruption in Education.” Paris: IIEP-UNESCO.
  • Harry A Patrinos and Ruthkagia (2007): Maximizing the Performance of Education Systems the Case of Teacher Absenteeism Published in the Many Faces of Corruption.
  • Jacques Hallak and Muriel Poisson (2007): Corrupt schools, corrupt universities: What can be done? Published by International Institute for Educational Planning, UNESCO www.unesco.org/iiep
  • Kanchan Garg and Kamaljeet Kaur (2012): Declining of Ethical Standard in Higher Education System in India presented in Cambridge Business & Economics Conference, Cambridge, UK
  • Pushpa Narayan (2009): Medical scam just got bigger: PG seats for Rs 2cr published in times of India, Chennai on Jun 5, 2009 http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-06-05/india/28155639_1_pgseats-mbbs-and-pg-courses-graduate
  • Shelly and Kusum Jain, 2012  Declining Ethical Values in Indian Education SystemJournal of Education and Practice Vol 3, No 12, 2012 www.iiste.org
  • TOI (2012): Teacher blows whistle on scam: School Authorities Pocket Money In The Name Of Mid-Day Meal Scheme. The Times of India, Bangalore. 2006-12-02.
  • V.K. Maheshwari (2011) : MALPRACTICES IN EXAMINATIONS- The Termites Destroying the Educational Setup published on http://www.vkmaheshwari.com/WP/?p=310

 

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DREAMS- An Indian Point of View

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari M.A. (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Manjul Lata Agrawal. M.A. (History) B.T.

Former Principal S.K.V, Delhi Cantt. Delhi.




 


 

In Hinduism dream can provide a window into the future. Objects, characters, and emotions that appear in a person’s dreams all take on symbolic meanings to be analyzed and interpreted. Some symbols are harbingers of great luck or grave danger, while others may predict a mix of fortunes. The Indian dream specialists have continuously worked upon and discovered many mysterious and exciting theories regarding dreams. These theories can aid any person who wishes to unravel the cause and the mechanism of dreams.

Hinduism deal with the state of dream state and it is considered as the play of mind in a very subtle form over a short duration. But despite the shortness, the mind creates a make-belief of even days and years passing too in a dream!

According to them, our awareness exists in three states;

  • jagrat (wakeful state),
  • swapna(dream state)
  • sushupti (dreamless deep sleep state). Normal human beings alternately remain in any one of these states every day, life long.

But our true existence transcends all these 3 states. In absolute reality, we are AtmanJagrat and swapna are simply the plays of mind. The mind functions under the power of atman and the mind is NOT atman. Only when we are in deep sleep state, our mind rests and there is true peace when the mind is totally at rest. That’s why all of us love to have deep sleep. If we miss a good sleep for a few days, we feel miserable.

Hinduism unequivocally believes that the jagrat state itself is in reality a dream. Whatever we see, feel, experience, enjoy and suffer are all just the play of mind. Even the human body is a creation of mind, according to them. While a dream state is a play of mind for a shorter period of time, the Jagrat state is also a play of mind — a dream of longer period of time, with some sort of continuity.

As long as we are in dream state, we believe in all that happens in the dream irrespective of the absurdness that many dreams consist of. Likewise, our wakeful state is another dream where we totally believe whatever happening in that state to be true.

When a man wakes up from dream state to wakeful state, he understands that whatever experience he has been undergoing so far, which looked absolutely real till then, is false and it is just a dream. In a similar fashion, a true Gnyani (the knower of the self) clearly wakes up in a state transcending the three states — which is called turiya, (the 4th state) and in that state, the Gnyani clearly perceives that the wakeful state too is just a dream!

In the philosophical literature of the Hindus we find an elaborate account of the  process of dreams. The different schools of philosophers had different views as to the nature, origin, and functions of the dreams. Their views were based mostly on their systems of philosophy,though they advanced certain facts of experience in support of their views. The Hindu accounts of the dreams are widely different from those of Western physiology, because they are based more on  metaphysical speculation than on scientific observation and experiment.

Kanada defines a dream-cognition as the consciousness produced by a particular conjunction of the self with the central sensory or manas in co-operation with the subconscious impressions of past experience, like recollection.

Prasastapada defines a dream-cognition as an internal perception through the central sensory or mind, when all the functions of the external sense-organs have ceased and the mind has retired within a trans-organic region of the organism. When the internal organ (manas} retires within itself, the peripheral organs cease to operate and consequently cannot apprehend their objects as they are no longer guided by the mind. During this retired state of the mind, when the automatic vital functions of in-breathings and out-breathings profusely go on in the organism, dream-cognitions arise through the central sensory from such causes as sleep, which is the name of a particular conjunction of the self with the mind, and subconscious impressions of past experience ; these dream-cognitions are internal perceptions of unreal objects.

Udayana says that in the dream-state, though the external sense- organs cease to operate, we distinctly feel that we see objects with our very eyes, hear sounds with our very ears, and so on. Udayana distinguishes dream-cognitions from illusory perceptions of waking life and doubtful and indefinite perceptions. Though dream-cognitions are illusory perceptions, since they apprehend objects which are not present at that time and place, and as such resemble illusory perceptions of waking life, they differ from the latter in that they are produced when the peripheral organs are not quite operative, while the latter are produced by the peripheral organs. Then, again, dream-cognitions are not to be identified with doubtful and indefinite perceptions. For dream-cognitions are definite and determinate in character, in which the mind does not oscillate between alternate possibilities, while doubtful and indefinite perceptions are uncertain, because in them the mind is not fixed on a definite object but wavers between two objects without any definite decision.

Samkara Misra also holds that though a dream-cognition is produced by the mind when it has retired, and the external sense-organs have ceased to operate, it is apprehended as if it were produced by the external sense-organs (indrtyadvareneva) .

Sridhara also regards cognitions as presentative in character. He says that dream-cognitions are independent of previous cognitions, and as such are not mere reproductions of past experience ; they are produced through the retired central sensory or mind when the functions of all the peripheral organs have ceased ; they are direct and immediate presentations of a definite and determinate character.  These dream-cognitions arising from sleep and subconscious impressions are direct and immediate presentations (aparoksasanw edema) of objects which have no real existence at that time and place. Thus Sndhara clearly points out that dream-cognitions are presentative in character ; they are not mere reproductions of past experience. But dream-perceptions are not produced by the external organs which cease to function at that time, but they are produced entirely by the mind (manomatraprabhavam). And these dream-perceptions are not indefinite and indeterminate in nature  but they are definite and determinate in character (pariccheda-svabhava}. And these dream-perceptions are not valid but illusory, since they do not represent real objects present to the sense-organs ” here and now “.

Srldhara also holds that dream-cognitions are definite and determinate perceptions as distinguished from indefinite and indeterminate perceptions. And also he clearly shows that dream-cognitions,arising either from the intensity of subconscious traces, or from intra-organic disorders, or from unseen agencies, are purely illusory, since they consist in the false imposition of an external form upon something that is wholly internal, and as such are not essentially different from the illusions of our waking life, the only difference lying in the fact that the former are illusory perceptions in the condition of sleep, while the latter are illusory perceptions in the waking condition.

Sivaditya defines a dream as a cognition produced by the central sensory perverted by sleep. Madhava Sarasvatl points out the following distinctive marks of dream-cognitions as defined by Sivaditya.

  • Firstly, they are produced by the central sensory or mind, and as such are different from the waking perceptions of jars and the like, which are produced by the external sense-organs.
  • Secondly, they are produced by the perverted mind, and as such are different from the waking perceptions of pleasure and the like, which are produced by the unperverted mind.
  • Thirdly, they are produced by the mind perverted by sleep, and as such are different from waking hallucinations which are produced by the perverted mind in the waking condition.

Hallucinations are pure creations of the mind. And some dreams also are pure creations of the mind (manomatraprabhava}. Both are centrally initiated presentations. Both are definite and determinate in character. And both are unreal. So there is a great resemblance between dreams and hallucinations. The only difference between them lies in the fact that the former are hallucinations in sleep, while the latter are hallucinations in the waking condition.This distinction has been pointed out by Madhava Sarasvatl.

Prahistapada, Sndhara, Samkara Misra, Sivaditya and others recognize the central origin of dreams. Though they hold that certain dreams are produced by organic disorders within the body, they do not recognize the origin of dreams from the external sense- organs. But Udayana admits that in the dream-state the peripheral organs (at least the tactual organ which pervades the organism) do not altogether cease to operate ; external stimuli, if not sufficiently intense to awaken the person, may act upon the peripheral organs and produce dream-cognitions. Thus Udayana recognizes both peripherally excited and centrally excited dreams, or in the language of Sully, dream-illusions and dream-hallucinations. Udayana also holds that though drearn-cognitions are generally perceptual in character being produced by the central sensory or mind, sometimes, though very rarely, they assume the form of inference, when, for instance, a person dreams that he sees smoke in a particular place and from the sight of the smoke infers that there must be fire behind it, Thus the Vaisesikas generally advocate the presentative nature of dreams.

Jayasimhasuri holds that dreams are illusions in the condition of sleep. Dreams are illusions because in them things which were perceived in the past and in some other place are perceived here and now.

The earliest references to dreams are found in Rig veda which are mystic than symbolic. It is said that dreams are manifestations of evil spirits. By praying to Lord Varuna, a person can protect himself from the evil dreams.
There are verses on dreams in Atharva veda which speak about Swapna in two-fold characteristics, namely, the state of sleep whose Lord is Yama and what it (sleep) contains.

The second one is about dreams which are in nature of retributive justice done to the dreamer by the Lord of Rta – by praying whom one can get the evil dreams transferred to the evil-doers (how?) But one important verse in Atharva veda found in XIX-57 gives an indication of prophetic nature of dreams. It says, ” Thee that are `harsh’ by name, mouth of the black-bird (shakuni) – thee, o sleep, we thus know completely.’ The term `krishna shakuni’, meaning black-bird is symbolic of omens.

There are many references to dreams in a number of upanishaths. But the core theme of all had been that it is Brahman who creates the dreams.The pramanas for dreams as being the creation of Brahman can be found in Ramanuja Bhashyam to Brahma
sutras 3-2-1 to 3-2-5. But the very next sutra says that dreams serve as omen. Thirijada’s dream in sundara khandam and Andal’s dream are worth mentioning here.

The ancient Naiyayikas also consider dreams as presentative in character. Gautama does not include dream-cognition in recollection. Vatsyayana regards dream as distinct from recollection. Udyotkara and Vacaspati also agree with Gautama and Vatsyayana.

Thus the Naiyayikas and the Vaisesikas generally recognize the perceptual character of dreams. But there are some Nyaya-Vaisesika writers who hold that dreams are representative in character ; they are recollections of past experience due to revival of subconscious  impressions.

We find a crude classification of dreams in Caraka-samhita. Caraka says that a person sees various dreams through the mind which is the guide of the external sense-organs when he is not in profound sleep. Some of these dreams are significant ; others are not. These dreams are of seven kinds, viz. dreams of those objects which have been seen, heard, and felt, dreams of those objects which are desired, dreams awakened by imagination, dreams that are premonitions of future events, and pathological or morbid dreams.

The main book of reference for dream –interpretation is Charaka-samhita by Charaka, part of which is supposed to be based on ValmikiRamayana.Scholars are of the opinion that Charaka has based his interpretations on `consensus of opinion’ on different dream implications that existed at his time .

Role of Dreams in Tamil Saivite Literature

Lord Shiva has played a very active role in the dreams of Saivite saints and Saivite devotees. Those who believe in such dreams will not accept the western interpretation of dreams.

Hindus are the only race in the world who give importance to dreams and good sleep. In the famous Rudram and Chamakam of Yajur Veda, the devotee prays for good sleep (Sayanam Cha Me, Su Dhinam Cha me)! Brahmins are supposed to do Sandhaya Vandhanam (Water oblation and Gayatri Mantra recitation) three times a day in which they pray for the destruction of nightmares (Dus Swapna Nasanam).

Hindus knew about the sleep and dream patterns. They even categorised the dreams as good and bad. The traditional Panchangam (calendar) gives good dreams and bad dreams. Through their scriptures we read the epic characters’ good and bad dreams.

Girls’ names like Swapna, Sapna, English words like Somnambulism, all came from the Sanskrit word for dream: swapna.

In Tamil Sangam Literature over 40 dreams of humans are reported. In the Tamil epic Silappadikaram, we read about the bad dreams of Kannaki just before the execution of her beloved husband Kovalan ( Gopalan). In Tamil Periyapuranam also we come across several dreams in the stories of Nayanars. Periapuranam is a book written in poetry form by poet Sekkizar in 11th century detailing the life history of 63 Saivite saints called Nayanars.

Sweet Dreams

Sundarar was one of the four important Saivite saints. After marrying Paravaiyar, he fell in love with another girl Sangiliyar. She used to make garlands and bring them to the temple. Sundrar prayed to Lord Shiva to make this marriage happen. Lord Shiva appeared in the dreams of Miss Sangiliyar and asked her to marry saint Sundarar. Though Lord fulfils devotees’ requests, it is up to the devotees to bear all the consequences.  Sundarar’s life also took some unexpected turns.

Another important dream is found in Kannappa Nayanar story. He was the first one who did eye transplant ‘operation’ 1500 years ago.When the Brahmin priest who did traditional rituals was very upset with the unconventional rustic puja of Kannappan, Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of priest Sivagochariar and asked him to watch Kannappan the next day from a hiding place.

In the story of Tiru Nalai Povar alias Nandanar, Siva appeared in the dreams of two opposing parties and coordinated his temple visit.  Tiru Nalai Povar who belonged to a lower caste wanted to enter the most sacred shrine of Tamil Saivites—Chidambaram Temple. Lord made a compromise by appearing in the dreams of ‘’Thillai 3000’’ Priests and Mr Tomorrow. He asked  him to undergo a Fire bath like Sita Devi to prove that he was pure. He appeared in the dream of Thillai Priests to arrange a Fire Walking ceremony and then bring him inside the temple. This shows how the fire walking ceremony was started by Sita Devi and spread to Tamil Nadu and practised till today.

Appar and Sambandhar

In the story of Appar, Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of his sister Tilakavathy. Shiva convinced her that her brother would return home and reconvert himself to Hinduism. When Appar started a fast against the removal of Shivalinga by the Jains in Vadathalai temple, Lord Shiva appeared in King’s dream and ordered him to restore order. In the story of Nami Nandi Adikal also we see a similar dream.

Tiru Jnana Sambandar, the boy wonder of Saivism, was given pearl palanquin by the Lord. He revealed the location of the palanquin in the dreams of the town people. Same dream came simultaneously to the devotees. This type of episode cannot be explained by science or psychoanalysts.

In the story of Pusal Nayanar we read about the construction of a temple by two methods. Pusal Nayanar did build a temple mentally. Pallava king built a temple physically. Both of them fixed the same auspicious day for consecration. But God appeared in the dream of Pallava King and asked him to postpone it.

In another story about Tiruneelakanta Yazpanar , God appeared in several peoples’ dreams and asked them to bring him inside the temple so that Lord can hear his sweet songs.

In the story of Pusal Nayanar the construction of a temple by two methods. Pusal Nayanar did build a temple mentally. Pallava king built a temple physically. Both of them fixed the same auspicious day for consecration. But God appeared in the dream of Pallava King and asked him to postpone it.

In another story about Tiruneelakanta Yazpanar , God appeared in several peoples’ dreams and asked them to bring him inside the temple so that Lord can hear his sweet songs.

Classification of Dreams

The Yatiestka Classification

Prasastapada, Srldhara, Udayana, Samkara Misra and others describe four kinds of dreams :

  • Dharmadharma-    Dreams due to the unseen agency (adrsta) i.e. merit and demerit
  • Dhatudosa-   Dreams due to mtra-organic pathological disorders
  • Samskarapatava-    Dreams due to the intensity of subconscious impressions;
  • Svapnantika jnana-  ” Dream-end cognitions ” or dreams-within-dreams

The Buddhist Classification

Mr. S. Z. Aung says that Ariyavansa-Adiccaransi attempted a systematic explanation of dream-phenomena from the Buddhist standpoint nearly a century ago in Burma. He recognized four kinds of dreams :

  • Dreams due to organic and muscular disturbances, e.g. the flatulent, phlegmatic, and bilious humours ; The first category includes the dreams of a fall over a precipice, flying into the sky, etc., and what is called ” nightmare ” ;
  • Recurrent dreams consisting in recurrence of the previous dreams, due to previous experiences The second consists of the ” echoes of past waking experiences ” ;
  • Telepathic dreams due to suggestions from spiritualistic agents The third may include dream coincidences ;
  • Prophetic dreams due to the force of character of clairvoyant dreamers.The fourth is of a clairvoyant character.”

Thus the Buddhists add to the Vaisesika list dreams due to spirit- influence, or telepathic dreams. In addition to these various kinds of dreams, Caraka recognizes dreams which are wish-fulfilments.

Madhusudana and Samkara also recognize the influence of desireson dreams.

Kinds of Dreams

We have seen that according to most Indian thinkers, dream  cognitions are presentative in character. They are felt as perceptions and are aroused by external and internal stimuli. They are sometimes produced by extra-organic stimuli, and sometimes by intra- organic stimuli in the shape of peripheral disturbances and other organic disorders. These dreams may be called dream-illusions. And there are some dream-cognitions which are produced by the strength of subconscious impressions of a recent experience coloured by an intense emotion. These dreams are centrally excited and hence may be called dream-hallucinations. Among the Western psychologists, Spitta, first of all, drew a distinction between these two kinds of dreams, and called the former Nervenreiztraume  and the latter psychische Traume.

(i) Dreams Due to Peripheral Stimulation (Dream-Illusions)

Dream-illusions are those dreams which are excited by peripheral stimulation either internal or external. Udayana has discussed the question of the extra-organic and intra-organic origin of dreams. Udayana says that in dream-cognitions peripheral stimulation is not altogether absent. Dreams are not altogether without external stimuli  they are excited by certain external stimuli in the environment, and certain intra-organic stimuli. In the state of dream, we do not altogether cease to perceive external objects, since the external sense-organs are not entirely inoperative. For instance, we perceive external sounds in dream, when they are not sufficiently loud to rouse us from sleep  and the faint external sounds perceived through the ears even during light sleep easily incorporate themselves into dreams. Even if all other external sense-organs cease to function in dream, at least the organ of touch is not inoperative, as the mind or central sensory does not lose its connection with the tactual organ even in dream, which is not confined to the external skin but pervades the whole organism according to the Nyaya-Vaisesika. This is the peculiar doctrine of the Nyaya-Vaisesika. In dream we can perceive at least the heat of our organism which serves to revive the subconscious traces of past experience. Hence certain extra-organic or intra-organic stimuli serve as the exciting cause of the revival of subconscious traces in dream.

Prasastapada also describes the intra-organic stimulation of dream- illusions, which has been explained and illustrated by Udayana, ridhara, Samkara Misra Jayanarayana   and others. There are some dreams which are due to intra-organic disturbances such as the disorders of the flatulent, bilious, and phlegmatic humours of the organism, which are supposed by the Hindu medical science to be the causes of all organic diseases (dhatudosa).

Those who suffer from disorder of flatulency dream that they are flying in the sky,wandering about on the earth, fleeing with fear from tigers, etc. These are kinesthetic dreams of levitation.  And those who are of a bilious temperament or suffer from an inordinate secretion of bile dream that they are entering into fire, embracing flames of fire, seeing golden mountains, flashes of lightning, meteor- falls, a huge conflagration, the scorching rays of the mid-day sun, etc. And those who are of a phlegmatic temperament or suffer from phlegmatic disorders dream that they are crossing the sea, bathing in rivers, being sprinkled with showers of rain, and seeing mountains of silver and the like.

Dream- Hallucination

There are many dreams which are not excited by peripheral nerve-stimulation but by the intensity of the subconscious impressions left by a recent experience (samskarapatava).^ On the physical side, these dreams are due to central stimulation, and hence may be called dream-hallucinations. These dreams are generally excited by intense passions. For instance, when a man infatuated with love for a woman or highly enraged at his enemy, constantly thinks of his beloved or enemy, and while thus thinking falls asleep, then the series of thoughts produces a series of memory-images, which are manifested in consciousness as immediate sense-presentations owing to the strength of subconscious impressions. These dreams are purely hallucinatory in character.

But Udayana surmizes that even these centrally excited dreams due to the revival of subconscious traces are suggested by extra- organic or intra-organic stimuli.

Dreams as the fulfilment of Desires (Dream- hallucinations)

Caraka says that some dreams are about those objects which are desired (prarthita}.  Madhusudana defines dream as the perception of objects due to the desires (vasana] in the mind (antahkarana] when the external sense-organs are inoperative.  Sarhkara also recognizes the influence of desires (vasana’) on dreams. These dreams also should be regarded as dream-hallucinations, because they are not excited by peripheral stimulation  they are centrally initiated presentations or hallucinations.

Prophetic or Veridical Dreams

Not all dreams are prophetic. The individual who is self- controlled, leads a moral life and is self-surrendered at the feet of the Divine would be relieved of evil dreams. With an increase in his morality and Divine consciousness, he would not dream at all. For him the dreams are of true nature, occurring in real life.
The true dream is said to happen to him at twilight, the sandhya between waking and sleep state when he is receptive (consciously) to Divine manifestation within himself. The impressions as unfolded by the Divine at that time is remembered by him as dreams and they are found to happen in real life.

Most dreams are retributive in nature having an ethical justification. They evoke joy or sorrow or pleasure or pain.
There are dreams in which the dreamer smells or tastes etc. These feelings are in consonance with the nature
of karma that the dreamer is destined to undergo. This is understood by the fact that good dreams have after-results of bodily fitness and bad dreams leave one physically and mentally exhausted and weak. Added to this is the feeling of dis-quiet and fear after a bad dream or a nightmare.

But all dreams cannot be explained by peripheral stimulation, due to the action either of external stimuli or internal stimuli, and by central stimulation. There are certain dreams which are prophetic in character ; they are either auspicious or inauspicious. Auspiciousdreams betoken good and inauspicious dreams forebode evil. The former are due to a certain merit (dharma) of the person, and the latter, to a certain demerit (adharma). Some of these prophetic dreams are echoes of our past waking experiences, while others apprehend entirely novel objects never perceived before. The former are brought about by the subconscious traces of our past experience, in co-operation with merit or demerit, according as they augur good or evil, while the latter, by merit or demerit alone, since there are no subconscious traces of such absolutely unknown objects. But merit and dement are supernatural agents ; so this explanation of prophetic dreams seems to be unscientific. But we may interpret the agency of merit and demerit as ” the force of character of clairvoyant dreamers ” after Mr. Aung.

Prasastapada and his followers recognized only three causes of dreams :

  • Adrsta or merit and demerit of the dreamer.
  • Intensity of subconscious impressions,
  • Intra- organic disorders, and

Telepathic Dreams

And besides the peripherally excited dreams, centrally excited dreams, and prophetic dreams, Ariyavansa-Adiccaransf, a Buddhist writer, has recognized another class of dreams which are due to spirit-influence, or ” due to suggestions from spiritualistic agents “in the language of Mr. Aung ; these may include ” dream- coincidences “. They may be called telepathic dreams.

Dreams-within-dreams

Besides these dream-cognitions which we do not recognize as dreams during the dream-state, sometimes we have another kind of dream-cognitions which are recognized as dreams. Sometimes in the dream-state we dream that we have been dreaming of something | this dream-within-dream is called svapnantlka-jnana which has been rendered by Dr. Ganganatha Jha as a ” dream-end cognition ”  ; in this ” dream-end cognition ” a dream is the object of another dream. Such a ” dream-end cognition ” arises in the mind of a person whose sense-organs have ceased their operations  so it is apt to be confounded with a mere dream- cognition. But Prasastapada, Sridhara and Samkara Mis’ra rightly point out that our ” dream-end cognitions ” essentially differ from mere dream-cognitions, since the former are representative, while the latter are presentative in character. The ” dream-end cognitions ” are recollections of dream-cognitions, while dream-cognitions resemble direct sense-perceptions. Dream-cognitions are presentative in character, though they arise out of the traces left in the mind by the previous perceptions in the waking condition ; and these presentative dream-cognitions again leave traces in the mind which give rise to ” dream-end cognitions “. Thus dreams-within-dreamers are representative in character.

Morbid dreams

Caraka and Susruta describe various kinds of dreams which are the prognostics of impending diseases and death. Caraka suggests a physiological explanation of the morbid dreams which precede death. These horrible dreams are due to the currents in the manovahmnadis being filled with very strong flatulent, bilious, and phlegmatic humours before death.

From this we may infer that dreams are due to the excitation of the manovaha nadi which, in the language of Dr, B. N. Seal, is ” a generic name for the channels along which centrally initiated presentations (as in dreaming or hallucination) come to the sixth lobe of the Manaschakra “,

Samkara Misra says that dreams are produced by the mind when it is in the svapnavahansdiznd disconnected with the external sense- organs except the tactual organ ; when the mind loses its connection even with the tactual organ and retires into the punt at there is deep dreamless sleep. Thus dreams are produced when the mind is in the svapnavaha nadi}-

Thus, according to Caraka  the manovaha nadl is the seat of dreams  and according to Samkara Misra, the svapnavaha nadi is the seat of dreams. What is the relation between the manovaha nadl and the svapnavaha nadl ? Dr. B. N. Seal says that according to the writers on Yoga and Tantras,  the Manovaha Nadl is the channel of the communication of the Jtva (soul) with the Manaschakra (sensorium) at the base of the brain. It has been stated that the sensory currents are brought to the sensory ganglia along different nerves of the special senses. But this is not sufficient for them to rise to the level of discriminative consciousness(savtkalpaka jnand). A communication must now be established between the Jiva (in the Sahasrara Chakra upper cerebrum) and the sensory currents received at the sensorium, and this is done by means of the Manovaha NadL When sensations are centrally initiated, as in dreams and hallucinations, a special Nadi (Svapnavaha Nadi) which appears to be only a branch of the Manovaha Nadi serves as the channel of communication from the Jtva (soul) to the sensorium

Hindu approach to dreams is entirely different from Western analysts .The western interpretation of dreams is incomplete. Their interpretation could not be applied for all the dreams .If one devotee dreams and it comes true we may consider it a coincidence or a dream come true by luck. But we read in Saivite literature that God appeared simultaneously in several people’s dreams. This is unique. Hindus take dreams seriously. In the olden days, they did what they were instructed to do. Even now they remember them and they approach their close relatives and friends and ask for explanation/interpretation of the dreams.

Dream Interpretation Symbols and Meanings and their Interpretation

Here are some of the dreams that you might have and the Hindu interpretation of them. Many symbols surprisingly indicate the opposite of what you might expect, while others are cognate with what they seem to portend

Abducted-If you are being abducted, then significantly it means that you are being manipulated by someone in reality. it implies the feeling of helplessness.

Abuse- Dreaming of abusing someone indicates that you are victimized in the real life and that you have been taken advantage of by someone.

Accident: These dreams symbolize personal afflictions such as physical pain or emotional hardship.

Accusation: Being accused of something in your dreams can indicate that great misfortune lies in your path.

Adultery: Signal impending troubles, despair, and lost opportunities.

Advancement: This is a sign that you will achieve success in all that you undertake.

Advocate: A dream in which you are an advocate indicates that you will be prominent in the future. You will win universal respect for your efforts.

Affluence: Contrary to what you may think, dreams of affluence actually symbolize poverty of some sort, be it financial or spiritual.

Anger: Dreams containing anger symbolize a conflict with or negative feelings for someone you consider a close friend.

Ass (animal): All your great troubles, in spite of despairing circumstances, will end in ultimate success after much struggle and suffering.

Baby: If you are nursing a baby, it denotes sorrow and misfortune. If you see a baby who is sick, it means that somebody among your relatives will die.

Bachelor: Dreaming of a bachelor indicates that you will shortly meet with a friend.

Balloons- If you are blowing up the balloon, then you are setting your goals and ambitions for something. But to see it ascending, it means that your current life is frustrating and you need to rise above it.

Bankruptcy: Although you may not find yourself financially bankrupt in waking life, dreams of bankruptcy should be viewed as a warning to exercise caution in all business transactions.

Beauty: Like many dream symbols, this represents the inverse of its literal meaning. Dreams of being beautiful suggest that you will become ill or infirm and your physical appearance will deteriorate.

Birth: For unmarried women, to dream of giving birth to children is indicative of inevitable adultery. For married women, it indicates happy “confinement.

Blind: To dream of the blind is a sign that you will have no real friends.

Blood-To dream of blood means that you have a very deep underlying life experience that goes beyond your awareness. It might be the sense of guilt.

Boat: To sail in a boat or ship on smooth waters is lucky. On rough waters, it is unlucky. To fall into water indicates great peril.

Books: To dream of books is an auspicious sign, suggesting your future life will be very agreeable. Women who dream of books while pregnant will give birth to a son who loves to read.

Bread: You will succeed in earthly business pursuits. Eating good bread indicates good health and long life. Burned bread is a sign of a funeral and, thus, is bad.

Bride, Bridegroom: This symbol is an unlucky one that indicates sorrow and disappointment. You will mourn the death of some relative.

Bugs: Bugs indicate illness or that other people intend to cause you harm.

Butter: Butter represents joy, bounty, and good fortune. If you are suffering for any reason, the distress will pass quickly, replaced by feelings of contentment.

Camel: Heavy burdens will come upon you. You will meet with heavy disasters, but you will bear them with heroism.

Cat: Another negative dream symbol, cats represent treachery and fraud. Dreaming of killing a cat suggests your enemies will be discovered.

Chased- it indicates that you have been avoiding alarming issues in your own life. Subconsciously, you have realized that you have been falling behind to address your own issues.

Clouds: Dark clouds indicate that great sorrows lie in your future—but they will pass away if the clouds are moving or breaking away in the dream.

Corpse: Seeing a corpse in a dream indicates a hasty and imprudent engagement in which you will be unhappy.

Cow- Cattle can represent many things in Hindu dream interpretation. Milking a cow represents the arrival of wealth or fortune. But dreaming of being pursued by a cow represents being pursued by an enemy.

Crow: Seeing a crow in a dream indicates a sorrowful funeral ceremony.

Darkness- Darkness signifies failure in work that you are attempting. It also is related to ignorance, subconscious, evil, death, fear of the unknown and many others.

Dead- it might mean that you have some things to resolve with someone who has passed. If the person has been dead for a long time, then it means that your current situation is in some way related to the person’s past situation.

Death: Dreaming of death symbolizes a long, rich life. If you are ill and dream of death, that means your health will improve.

Desert: Traveling across a desert in a dream says that a long and tedious journey is inevitable. If the sunshine is present, your journey will be successful.

Devil: Dreaming of the devil suggests great harm may lie in store for you in the future. The best course of action after such a dream is to lead a virtuous life and avoid temptations.

Dinner: Eating dinner symbolizes a future where food and sustenance may be hard to come by. Your enemies will try to impugn your reputation, and you must be careful when choosing friends.

Disease: If a sick person dreams of disease, it means recovery from illness. To young men, dreaming of disease is a warning against evil company and intemperance.

Dying-This is usually associated with your deep underlying emotional pain in your life, and the dream is a warning for the upcoming danger and risk in your life.

Earthquake: Dreams of an earthquake predict a great loss, either personal, professional, or financial. Family ties may be strained or broken, especially if a death occurs, and fear and heartbreak lie in store.

Eclipse: This is one of the bleakest dream symbols. An eclipse symbolizes death, the loss of hope and pleasure, and friendships that end in betrayal.

Elephant: Dreaming of this animal represents good health, success, strength, prosperity, and intelligence.

Embroidery: This symbol serves as a warning that the persons who love you are not true. They will deceive you.

Falling-This is a very serious dream. It signifies anxiety and your loss of control in your waking life. Alternately, it can indicate abandonment issues.

Famine: In dreams, famine represents prosperity for the many and comfort for the individual. It suggests a time of love and leisure.

Father: In dreams, the image of a father (yours or someone else’s) is a representation of love and well-being. If you dream of your father dying, however, great misfortune may lie in your future.

Fields: To walk in green fields represents great happiness and wealth; it is a time of widespread happiness and contentment. On the other hand, dreaming of scorched fields suggests a future of hardship and famine.

Fighting: Fighting in a dream represents domestic discord, family fights, and misunderstanding between lovers. It bodes ill for merchants, soldiers, and sailors.

Fire: Dreaming of fire predicts health and great happiness, kind relations, and warm friends.

Floods: Successful trade, safe voyage for traders. But to ordinary persons, it indicates bad health and unfavorable circumstances.

Flowers- Dream of flowers signifies the events based on the various development cycle of the flower.

Forest-Forest dreams imply experience, vision, emotion. They also indicate unresolved feelings about something or not being able to see through a problem.

Frogs: Dreaming of frogs indicates that you will achieve success in your endeavors, whatever they may be.

Ghost: Ghosts are a very bad omen, suggesting that your difficulties will be overwhelming and your enemies will overpower you.

Giant: You will meet a person who will pose a tremendous challenge to you or block your ambitions. But if you meet these challenges with determination and courage, you will succeed.

Girl: Dreaming of an unmarried girl represents success and hope for the future.

God: Although this is an uncommon dream symbol, dreaming of encountering a spiritual entity suggests you will have a transformative experience soon.

Grave: This is a harbinger of death, usually of someone close to you.

Hanging: Dreaming of being hanged in a positive omen, predicting that you will rise in society and become wealthy.

Hell: A vision of hell is a prediction of physical suffering or mental anguish in your future, which may be caused by friends or enemies.

Home: A house symbolizes a domestic life that is peaceful and prosperous. You will find contentment with your family.

Husband: Dreaming of a married man indicates that a wish you hold will not come true. If you dream of having an affair with this man, it suggests you are becoming a vicious person.

Injury: Dreaming of being injured by someone suggests that person may be an enemy. But fleeing your home is not the answer; you must courageously confront the person.

Itch: Being itchy suggests that you are unhappy or restless in your life.

Jail: If you dream that you are in jail or otherwise imprisoned, it is a sign that prosperity and good fortune are in your future.

Journey: A journey in a dream indicates that a great change is coming in your life. Dreams of a good journey indicate positive conditions in your future, while a bad journey suggests impending troubles.

Keys-Keys are related to opportunities, access, control, secrets, freedom, knowledge or responsibilities. If you are locking, then it might mean that you are keeping your feelings and emotions inside. If you are unlocking, then it means that you are close to finding the answer to something. In case the key is a skeleton, then it refers to an old memory that you have locked away.

King: To appear before a friendly king is a sign of great success, but if you encounter a cruel king it is a symbol of misfortune.

Lamp: Lamps represent a warm, happy home life.

Learning: Dreams of knowledge and education indicate that you will attain influence and respect.

Leprosy: Dreaming of this disease suggest serious calamity in your future, one that may change your very being. Enemies abound.

Light: To dream of lights is very good. It denotes riches and honor.

Limbs: A broken limb symbolizes broken vows of marriage or fidelity.

Lion: Dreaming of this noble beast suggests that honor and recognition lie in your future. You may accumulate great power or fame, and you will be very happy.

Money: Receiving money in a dream denotes earthly prosperity, while dreams of giving it away suggest a generosity of spirit.

Mother: Dreams of your mother symbolize health and well-being. If you dream of your mother being ill, that represents her own future sickness.

Mountains-Dreams of mountains symbolize a victory of the certain instance.

Mourning- It signifies some disturbing influence in your social construct.

Mouse-To dream of the mouse means that you have fear or lack of assertiveness within you..

Murder: To dream that you have murdered somebody suggests a violent and criminal future await you.

Naked-In case you have a naked dream, it symbolizes insecurity, humiliation, shame or feelings of vulnerability.

Nectar: To drink nectar in a dream indicates riches and prosperity; perhaps you will marry a handsome person who is very wealthy.

Nightmare: You are guided by foolish persons. Beware of such people.

Noises: To dream of hearing noises suggests a future of family quarrels and unhappiness in your life.

Ocean: Dreams of the sea depend on how they appear. If you dream of a calm ocean, then you will have a peaceful life. If the ocean is stormy, your life will be tumultuous.

Office: Your workplace represents negative feelings. If you dream of being fired or laid off, it suggests a future of professional and personal misfortune.

Owl: This animal represents sickness, poverty, disgrace, and sorrow in Hindu dream interpretation.

Palace: To live in a palace is a good omen. You will be elevated to a state of wealth and dignity.

Pigs: A mixed omen, dreams of pigs suggest misfortune will befall you. But you will overcome whatever obstacles appear because you will receive help from others along the way.

Rain: Gentle rain symbolizes a happy and calm life, but heavy rain suggests trouble at home.

River: Much like rain and oceans, dreams of rain have different meanings. A gently flowing river predicts peace ahead, while a river in flood warns of danger.

Ship: This represents good fortune if the sailing is smooth, but a ship navigating stormy waters represents personal peril ahead.

Singing: If you dream of singing, it may suggest a future of sorrow and crying. A loved one may grow ill or pass away.

Slow motion- It indicates your inability to move straight forward or progress towards your waking life. If you feel trapped in it, then there is something that is holding you back.

Snake- It  might symbolize temptation, danger or forbidden sex or that there is someone around you who can’t be trusted. You have sly and dangerous enemies who will injure your character and state of life.

Teeth- It signifies that you are aware of the fact that you have fear of being found unattractive in your dream, but not in reality. If you go deeper, it signifies your loss of power in your conscious life.

Thunder: This ominous symbol suggests that you face great personal danger. Close friends will desert you in your hour of need, and you will be forced to face the danger alone.

Tunnel-Tunnel dream refers to the cycle of death and birth.

Umbrella- Dreams of the umbrella is pointing towards the need to take a closer look at your worries and fears.

Vehicles-Vehicle dreams refer to the control you have in your waking life.

Volcano: Like thunder, this explosive symbol represents a future of upheaval and violence.

Water- Water dreams are related to cleansing and emotional state.

Water: This indicates that a baby will soon be born.

Wedding: This symbol means that you will attend a funeral in the future. If you dream that you are the one who is marrying and you are single, it means you will never wed in real life. Dreams of marrying a sick person mean that person will die.

Young: If you dream that you yourself are young, that means you will soon die. But if you see young people in your dreams, that means you will have a happy life

 

References-

  1. Caraka Samhita, Indriyasthana, ch. v.
  2. Compendium of Philosophy p. 48.
  3. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. v, p. 29.
  4. English translationof Nyayakandali of Srldhara (V.S.S., Benares, 1895).., p. 388.
  5. Kiranavall of Udayana (Benares, 1885 and 1887, p. 273.
  6. Nyayakandali of Srldhara (V.S.S., Benares, 1895).,p. 185. 2 p
  7. Nyayakandali of Srldhara (V.S.S., Benares, 1895p. 185.
  8. Nyayakusumanjali, ch. iii, p. 9.
  9. Nyayatltparyadipika of Jayasimhasuri (B.I., 1910)., p. 67
  10. Prakaranapancika of alikanatha (Ch.S.S., 1903-1904)., p. 183.
  11. SaptapadarthI of Sivaditya (V.S.S., Benares, 1893).., p. 68
  12. Siddhantabindu, p. 189. 6 S.B., iii, 2, 6.
  13. Umesha Mishra : ” Dream theory in Indian Thought,” The Allahabad University Studies, vol. v, pp. 274, 275.
  14. Upaskara of Samkara Misra (Gujrati Press, Samvat, 1969)., ix, 2, 7.
  15. Vaisesika Siitra (Gujrati Press, Samvat, 1969).., ix, 2, 6-7.
  16. Vedantic thought and Culture y p. 172.

 

 

 

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THE PRE-HISTORIC ART

 

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari M.A. (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India.

Manjul Lata Agrawal. M.A. (History) B.T.

Former Principal S.K.V, Delhi Cantt. Delhi.

The first and foremost is to define the concept of beauty. From the lay-man point of view ,beauty is the effect one  feel after receiving or perceiving any stimulus, concrete or abstract. This effect can be pleasing or repulsive.

Actually the above point refers only about the effect of beauty, but” what” aspect of the basic question is still unanswered. Actually beauty is nothing but an equilibrium among the various inherent  components in anything, may it be music. Painting, literary work , a thought in philosophy or anything in nature including biological structure or social and cultural impact factors.

PICTURE

 

The first and foremost is to define the concept of beauty. From the lay-man point of view ,beauty is the effect one  feel after receiving or perceiving any stimulus, concrete or abstract. This effect can be pleasing or repulsive. We shall answer, briefly and precariously, that beauty is any quality by which an object or a form pleases a beholder. Primarily and originally the object does not please the beholder because it is beautiful, but rather he calls it beautiful because it pleases him.

Any object that satisfies desire will seem beautiful. The pleasing object may as like as not be the beholder himself; in our secret hearts no other form is quite so fair as ours, and art begins with the adornment of one’s own exquisite body. Or the pleasing object may be the desired mate; and then the aesthetic beauty-feeling sense takes on the intensity and creativeness of sex, and spreads the aura of beauty to everything that concerns the beloved one to all forms that resemble her, all colours that adorn her, please her or speak of her, all ornaments and garments that become her, all shapes and motions that recall her symmetry and grace. Or the pleasing form may be a desired male; and out of the attraction that here draws frailty to worship strength comes that sense of sublimate satisfaction in the presence of power which creates the loftiest art of all.

Finally nature herself with our cooperation may become both sublime and beautiful; not only because it simulates and suggests all the tenderness of women and all the strength of men, but because we project into it our own feelings and fortunes, our love of others and of ourselves relishing in it the scenes of our youth, enjoying its quiet solitude as an escape from the storm of life.

Actually the above point refers only about the effect of beauty, but” what” aspect of the basic question is still unanswered. Actually beauty is nothing but an equilibrium among the various inherent  components in anything, may it be music. Painting, literary work , a thought in philosophy or anything in nature including biological structure or social and cultural impact factors.

Another problem area is determining the nature of beauty, is it subjective or object oriented/ objective? The supporters of subjective nature give some significant arguments like,” for the mother, her child is the  most beautiful child” or  “ why we feel attracted towards one person in one situation and for the same person we may feel the opposite in different situation”

The supporters of the object oriented view argue like, “The sculptures of Ajanta cave , paintings of Leonardo ,  classical music, or poetry of Rabindra Nath Tagore are beautiful ,if you fail to appreciate them , it is due to your ignorance . So the fault lies in you not in the object.

Both types of arguments carry weight. So it can be concluded that the nature of beauty is both subjective as well as object- centred/ objective.

The primitive sense of beauty

Primitive man seldom thinks of selecting women because of what we should call their beauty; he thinks rather of their usefulness, and never dreams of rejecting a strong-armed bride because of her ugliness. The Red Indian chief, being asked which of his wives was loveliest, apologized for never having thought of the matter. “Their faces,” he said, with the mature wisdom of a Franklin, “might be more or less handsome, but in other respects women are all the same.” Where a sense of beauty is present in primitive man it sometimes eludes us by being so different from our own.

“All Negro races that I know,” says Reichard, “account a woman beautiful who is not constricted at the waist, and when the body from the arm-pits to the hips is the same breadth ‘like a ladder,’ says the Coast Negro.” Elephantine ears and an overhanging stomach are feminine charms to some African males; and throughout Africa it is the fat woman who is accounted loveliest.

“Most savages says Briffault, “have a preference for what we should regard as one of the most unsightly features in a woman’s form, namely, long, hanging breasts.” “It is well known,” says Darwin, “that with many Hottentot women the posterior part of the body projects in a wonderful manner . . .; and Sir Andrew Smith is certain that this peculiarity is greatly admired by the men. He once saw a woman who was considered a beauty, and she was so immensely developed behind that when seated on level ground she could not rise, and had to push herself along until she came to a slope. . . .According to Burton the Somali men are said to choose their wives by ranging them in a line, and by picking her out who projects furthest a tergo. Nothing can be more hateful to a Negro than the opposite form.”  In Nigeria, says Mungo Park, “corpulence and beauty seem to be terms nearly synonymous. A woman of even moderate pretensions must be one who cannot walk without a slave under each arm to support her; and a perfect beauty is a load for a camel.”If the sense of beauty is not strong in primitive society it may be because the lack of delay between sexual desire and fulfilment gives no time for that imaginative enhancement of the object.

Sculpture

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Sculpture is a fine arts discipline that produces artwork in three dimensional forms. Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions and one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving (the removal of material) and modelling (the addition of material, as clay), in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since modernism, shifts in sculptural process led to an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling.

Sculpture has been central in religious devotion in many cultures, and until recent centuries large sculptures, too expensive for private individuals to create, were usually an expression of religion or politics.Sculpture, like painting, probably owed its origin to pottery: the potter found that he could mold not only articles of use, but imitative figures that might serve as magic amulets, and then as things of beauty in themselves. The Eskimos carved caribou antlers and walrus ivory into figurines of animals and men.  Again, primitive man sought to mark his hut, or a totem-pole, or a grave with some image that would indicate the object worshiped, or the person deceased; at first he carved merely a face upon a post, then a head, then the whole post; and through this filial marking of graves sculpture became an art. So the ancient dwellers on Easter Island topped with enormous monolithic statues the vaults of their dead; scores of such statues, many of them twenty feet high, have been found there; some, now prostrate in ruins, were apparently sixty feet tall.

Clothing

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The first known humans to make clothing, Neanderthalman, survived from about 200,000B.C.E.to about 30,000B.C.E.During this time the earth’s temperature rose and fell dramatically, creating a series of ice ages throughout the northern areas of Europe and Asia where Neanderthal man lived. With their compact, muscular bodies that conserved body heat, Neanderthals were well adapted to the cold climate of their day. But it was their large brain that served them best. Neanderthal man learned to make crude but effective tools from stone. Tools such as spears and axes made Neanderthals strong hunters, and they hunted the hairy mammoths, bears, deer, muskoxen, and other mammalsthat shared their environment. At some point, Neanderthals learned how to use the thick, furry hides from these animals to keep themselves warm and dry. With this discovery, clothing was born.

Evidence of the very first clothing is mostly indirect. Archeologists (scientists who study the fossil and material remnants of past life) discovered chipped rock scrapers that they believe were used to scrape meat from animal hides. These date to about 100,000B.C.E.Archeologists believe that these early humans cut the hides into shapes they liked, making holes for the head and perhaps the arms, and draped the furs over their bodies. Soon their methods likely grew more sophisticated. They may have used thin strips of hide to tie the furs about themselves, perhaps in the way that belts are used today.

Clothing was apparently, in its origins, a form of ornament, a sexual deterrent or charm rather than an article of use against cold or shame.  The Cimbri were in the habit of tobogganing naked over the snow.  When Darwin, pitying the nakedness of the Fuegians, gave one of them a red cloth as a protection against the cold, the native tore it into strips, which he and his companions then used as ornaments; as Cook had said of them, timelessly, they were “content to be naked, but ambitious to be fine.”” In like manner the ladies of the Orinoco cut into shreds the materials given them by the Jesuit Fathers for clothing; they wore the ribbons so made around their necks, but insisted that “they would be ashamed to wear clothing’” An old author describes the Brazilian natives as usually naked, and adds: “Now already some doe wear apparel, but esteem it so little that they wear it rather for fashion than for honesties sake, and because they are commanded to wear it; … as is well scene by some that sometimes come abroad with certain garments no further than the navel, without any other thing, or others only a cap on their heads, and leave the other garments at home.”” When clothing became something more than an adornment it served partly to indicate the married status of a loyal wife, partly to accentuate the form and beauty of woman. For the most part primitive women asked of clothing precisely what later women have asked not that it should quite cover their nakedness, but that it should enhance or suggest their charms. Everything changes, except woman and man.

The Cosmetic painting of the body-

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Body painting is a form of body art where artwork is painted directly onto the human skin. Body painting with a grey or white paint made from natural colors including clay, chalk, ash and cattle dung is traditional in many tribal cultures. Often worn during cultural ceremonies

Body painting is a form of art that followed us from the ancient prehistoric times when human race was born, to the modern times where artist use human body as a innovative canvas that can showcase human beauty like no art style before it. Many believe that body painting was the first form of art that was used by humans, and archaeological evidence is close to support it.

Records of various ancient and modern tribes from Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia show clear records of their body painting heritage. By using natural pigments from plants and fruits, ancient people decorated themselves with ritual paintings, tattoos, piercings, plugs and even scarring. According to many historians, body painting was the important part of the daily and spiritual lives, often showcasing their inner qualities, wishes for future, images of gods, and many natural or war themes. There, body paint was often applied for weddings, preparations for war, death or funerals, showcasing of position and rank, and rituals of adulthood. In addition to temporary body paints, many cultures used face paint or permanent tattooing that could showcase much larger details than paintings made from natural pigments.

Indeed it is highly probable that the natural male thinks of beauty in terms of himself rather than in terms of woman; art begins at home. Primitive men equalled modern men in vanity, incredible as this will seem to women. Among simple peoples, as among animals, it is the male rather than the female that puts on ornament and mutilates his body for beauty’s sake. In Australia, says Bonwick, “adornments are almost entirely monopolized by men”; so too in Melanesia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, New Britain, New Hanover, and among the North American Indians.  In some tribes more time is given to the adornment of the body than to any other business of the day.

Apparently the first form of art is the artificial colouring of the body sometimes to attract women, sometimes to frighten foes. The Australian native, like the latest American belle, always carried with him a provision of white, red, and yellow paint for touching up his beauty now and then; and when the supply threatened to run out he undertook expeditions of some distance and danger to renew it. On ordinary days he contented himself with a few spots of colour on his cheeks, his shoulders and his breast; but on festive occasions he felt shamefully nude unless his entire body was painted.

In some tribes the men reserved to themselves the right to paint the body; in others the married women were forbidden to paint their necks.  But women were not long in acquiring the oldest of the arts cosmetics. When Captain Cook dallied in New Zealand he noticed that his sailors, when they returned from their adventures on shore, had artificially red or yellow noses; the paint of the native Helens had stuck to them.” The Fellatah ladies of Central Africa spent several hours a day over their toilette: they made their fingers and toes purple by keeping them wrapped all night in henna leaves; they stained their teeth alternately with blue, yellow, and purple dyes; they colour their hair with indigo, and pencilled their eyelids with sulphuret of antimony.” Every Bongo lady carried in her dressing- case tweezers for pulling out eyelashes and eyebrows, lancet-shaped hair- pins, rings and bells, buttons and clasps.

Tattooing, scarification

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In the past, a woman or man would have scarification marks that will distinguish her/him from anyone else, tell her/his rank in society, family, clan, and tribe, and symbolize her beauty or strength. In some African tribes, it was like wearing your identity card on your face. True, some may hate that, but this was a mark of pride, not shame. In most African cultures, it was a major aesthetic and cultural component as can be seen on sculptures in museums around the world. Scarification patterns on sculptures are not only marks of beauty, but marks of one’s lineage as well, and in some cases protection against evil spirits. Lastly, in Africa like in Polynesia, scarification is more visible on darker skinned people than say, tattoos.

Scarification is a long and painful process, and a permanent modification of the body, transmitting complex messages about identity and social status. Permanent body markings emphasize social, political, and religious roles. Beautiful and complex designs depend on the artist’s skills but also on a person’s tolerance to pain.  Facial scarification in West Africa was used for identification of ethnic groups, families, individuals but also to express beauty; scars were thought to beautify the body.

Scarification is a permanent procedure meant to decorate and beautify the body.Artists used the body as their canvas and the results became socially valuable. The operation of cutting and raising scars was common, as ‘tattooing’ was not an effective way to decorate dark pigmented skins.The process of African scarification involved puncturing ‘or cutting’ patterns and motifs into the epidermis of the skin. Different tools produced different types of scars, some subtle, others profound. Scarification served as a symbol of strength, fortitude and courage in both men and women. Scars were used to enhance beauty and society’s admiration .Ash and certain organic saps might be added to a wound to make the scarring more prominent and or embellished. Climate and custom permitted negligible clothing – which intern promoted body art.

The primitives invented tattooing, scarification and clothing as more permanent adornments. The women as well as the men, in many tribes, submitted to the colouring needle, and bore without flinching even the tattooing of their lips.

In Greenland the mothers tattooed their daughters early, the sooner to get them married off.” Most often, however, tattooing itself was considered insufficiently visible or impressive, and a number of tribes on every continent produced deep scars on their flesh to make them- selves lovelier to their fellows, or more discouraging to their enemies. As Theophile Gautier put it, “having no clothes to embroider, they embroidered their skins.”  Flints or mussel shells cut the flesh, and often a ball of earth was placed within the wound to enlarge the scar. The Torres Straits natives wore huge scars like epaulets; the Abcokuta cut themselves to pro- duce scars imitative of lizards, alligators or tortoises.  “There is,” says Georg, “no part of the body that has not been perfected, decorated, dis figured, painted, bleached, tattooed, reformed, stretched or squeezed, out of vanity or desire for ornament.”” The Botocudos derived their name from a plug (botoque) which they inserted into the lower lip and the ears in the eighth year of life, and repeatedly replaced with a larger plug until the opening was as much as four inches in diameter.  Hottentot women trained the labia mlnora to assume enoromous lengths, so producing at last the “Hottentot apron” so greatly admired by their men.  Ear-rings and nose-rings were de rigueur; the natives of Gippsland believed that one who died without a nose-ring would suffer horrible torments in the next life.

It is all very barbarous, says the modern lady, as she bores her ears for rings, paints her lips and her cheeks, tweezes her eyebrows, reforms her eyelashes, powders her face, her neck and her arms, and compresses her feet. The tattooed sailor speaks with superior sympathy of the “savages” he has known; and the Continental student, horrified by primitive mutilations, sports his honorific scars.

Ornaments

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From the beginning both sexes preferred ornaments to clothing. Primitive trade seldom deals in necessities; it is usually confined to articles of adornment or play.” Jewelry is one of the most ancient elements of civilization; in tombs twenty thousand years old, shells and teeth have been found strung into necklaces.” From simple beginnings such embellishments soon reached impressive proportions, and played a lofty role in life. The Galla women wore rings to the weight of six pounds, and some Dinka women carried half a hundred weight of decoration. One African belle wore cop- per rings which became hot under the sun, so that she had to employ an attendant to shade or fan her. The Queen of the Wabunias on the Congo wore a brass collar weighing twenty pounds; she had to lie down every now and then to rest. Poor women who were so unfortunate as to have only light jewellery imitated carefully the steps of those who carried great burdens of bedizenment.”

Pottery

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Pottery tends to arouse strong emotions in archaeologists: they either love it or hate it. For some it has an indefinable fascination, and is potentially full of information, which has to be teased out by careful and painstaking study. At the other end of the scale, it is seen as the most common of archaeological materials, whose main functions are to slow down the real business of digging, fill up stores, and behave as an archaeological black hole for post-excavation resources.

For archaeologists, anthropologists and historians the study of pottery can help to provide an insight into past cultures. The study of pottery may also allow inferences to be drawn about a culture’s daily life, religion, social relationships, attitudes towards neighbours, attitudes to their own world and even the way the culture understood the universe.

The first source of art, then, is akin to the display of colors and plumage on the male animal in mating time; it lies in the desire to adorn and beautify the body. And just as self-love and mate-love, overflowing, pour out their surplus of affection upon nature, so the impulse to beautify passes from the personal to the external world. The soul seeks to express its feeling in objective ways, through color and form; art really begins when men undertake to beautify things. Perhaps its first external medium was pottery. The potter’s wheel, like writing and the state, belongs to the historic civilizations; but even without it primitive men or rather women lifted this ancient industry to an art, and achieved merely with clay, water and deft fingers an astonishing symmetry of form; witness the pottery fashioned by the Baronga of South Africa,  or by the Pueblo Indians.

When the potter applied colour designs to the surface of the vessel he had formed, he was creating the art of painting. In primitive hands painting is not yet an independent art; it exists as an adjunct to pottery and statuary. Nature men made colours out of clay, and the Andamanese made oil colours by mixing ochre with oils or fats.  Such colours were used to ornament weapons, implements, vases, clothing, and buildings. Many hunting tribes of Africa and Oceania painted upon the walls of their caves or upon neighbouring rocks vivid representations of the animals that they sought in the chase.

The Dance

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Primitive dance” is a dance which is considered as dance in its purest form because this particular dance form has not been refined, developed, trained, or guided by an artist.

Primitive dance was done mostly for worship. The people worshiped elements of nature or some gods. Another reason why they danced was to keep themselves warm. They didn’t have heated homes, of course and it was pretty cold then as it is now.  Another characteristic of primitive dance was that they imitated their daily activities, like fishing or hunting. Their entire life evolved around these activities so of course that would show in the dances they did. The dances were also wild like another person said in here. They had jerky and animal like movements. They also imitated the sounds and movements made by animals and birds. The primitive dance was not done for social interaction and it was performed by men alone. They had a leader who would give the calls. The leader was called a shaman and he was respected by everyone in the tribe.

Even in early days, and probably long before he thought of carving objects or building tombs, man found pleasure in rhythm, and began to develop the crying and warbling, the prancing and preening, of the animal into song and dance. Perhaps, like the animal, he sang before he learned to talk,” and danced as early as he sang. Indeed no art so characterized or expressed primitive man as the dance. He developed it from primordial simplicity to a complexity unrivalled in civilization, and varied it into a thousand forms. The great festivals of the tribes were celebrated chiefly with communal and in-

Individual dancing; great wars were opened with martial steps and chants; the great ceremonies of religion were a mingling of song, drama and dance. What seems to us now to be forms of play were probably serious matters to early men; they danced not merely to express themselves, but to offer suggestions to nature or the gods; for example, the periodic incitation to abundant reproduction was accomplished chiefly through the hypnotism of the dance.

Spencer derived the dance from the ritual of welcoming a victorious chief home from the wars; Freud derived it from the natural expression of sensual desire, and the group technique of erotic stimulation; if one should assert, with similar narrowness, that the dance was born of sacred rites and mummeries, and then merge the three theories into one, there might result as definite a conception of the origin of the dance as can be attained by us today.

Music

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Prehistoric music (previously primitive music) is a term in the history of music for all music produced in preliterate cultures (prehistory), beginning somewhere in very late geological history.Prehistoric music is followed by ancient music in different parts of the world, but still exists in isolated areas.

Prehistoric music, sometimes called primitive music, covers the first cultural periods of the human species particularly the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras, from its birth to the Ancient Music era that started around 2000-3000 BC, generally considered to coincide with the first appearance of written materials. These eras cover the birth of human cultures comprising chants and instrumental music.

The music probably started with vocal sound experimentation and playing (basic voice playing ie. primitive singing, shouting, crying, murmuring…) that were then structured and used for children’s lullabies, rituals, funerals, celebrations and other kinds of ceremonies. The first wind instruments and percussion instruments appeared during the Paleolithic eras. Some of them were discovered and have been reconstructed. They consist of: bone flutes, ivory flutes, wooden and bamboo flutes; bone whistles like whistling phalanx; bone or wooden rhombus, also named bullroarer, a weighted aerofoil consisting of a rectangular thin slat of bone or wood attached to a cord that is rotated vigorously above self; primitive string instruments like musical bows; primitive percussion instruments like wooden or bone scraper artefacts used with a wooden stick or small bone, seeds, shells, primitive drums with recipients, and other kind of wooden or bone tools hit or knocked over different stones, shells, bones, horns or wood pieces.

From the dance, we may believe, came instrumental music and the drama. The making of such music appears to arise out of a desire to mark and accentuate with sound the rhythm of the dance, and to intensify with shrill or rhythmic notes the excitement necessary to patriotism or procreation. The instruments were limited in range and accomplishment, but almost endless in variety: native ingenuity exhausted itself in fashioning horns, trumpets, gongs, tamtams, clappers, rattles, castanets, flutes and drums from horns, skins, shells, ivory, brass, copper, bamboo and wood; and it ornamented them with elaborate carving and colouring. The taut string of the bow became the origin of a hundred instruments from the primitive lyre to the Stradivarius violin and the modern pianoforte. Professional singers, like professional dancers, arose among the tribes; and vague scales, predominantly minor in tone, were developed.”

With music, song and dance combined, the “savage” created for us the drama and the opera. For the primitive dance was frequently devoted to mimicry; it imitated, most simply, the movements of animals and men, and passed to the mimetic performance of actions and events. So some Australian tribes staged a sexual dance around a pit ornamented with shrubbery to represent the vulva, and, after ecstatic and erotic gestures and prancing, cast their spears symbolically into the pit. The northwestern tribes of the same island played a drama of death and resurrection differing only in simplicity from the medieval mystery and modern Passion plays: the dancers slowly sank to the ground, hid their heads under the boughs they carried, and simulated death; then, at a sign from their leader, they rose abruptly in a wild triumphal chant and dance announcing the resurrection of the soul.  In like manner a thousand forms of pantomime described events significant to the history of the tribe, or actions important in the individual life. When rhythm disappeared from these performances the dance passed into the drama, and one of the greatest of art-forms was born.

Art is the creation of beauty; it is the expression of thought or feeling in a form that seems beautiful or sublime, and therefore arouses in us some reverberation of that primordial delight which woman gives to man, or man to woman. The thought may be any capture of life’s significance, the feeling may be any arousal or release of life’s tensions. The form may satisfy us through rhythm, which falls in pleasantly with the alternations of our breath, the pulsation of our blood, and the majestic oscillations of winter and summer, ebb and flow, night and day; or the form may please us through symmetry, which is a static rhythm, standing for strength and recalling to us the ordered proportions of plants and animals, of women and men; or it may please us through colour, which brightens the spirit or intensifies life; or finally the form may please us through veracity because its lucid and transparent imitation of nature or reality catches some mortal loveliness of plant or animal, or some transient meaning of circumstance, and holds it still for our lingering enjoyment or leisurely under- standing. From these many sources come those noble superfluities of life song and dance, music and drama, pottery and painting, sculpture and architecture, literature and philosophy.

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REFERENCE:

BRIFFAULT, ROBERT: The Mothers. 3V. New York, 1927

GEORG, EUGEN: The Adventure of Mankind. New York, 1931

GROSSE, ERNST: Beginnings of Art. New York, 1897.

LOWIE, R. H.: Primitive Religion. New York, 1924.

LOWIE,R. H.: Are We Civilized? New York, 1929.

LUBBOCK, SIR JOHN: The Origin of Civilization. London, 1912.

MASON, W. A.: History of the Art of Writing. New York, 1920.

MULLER-LYER,F.: History of Social Development. New York, 1921.

PI JOAN, JOS.: History of Art. 3V. New York, 1927

PRATT, W. S.: The History of Music. New York, 1927.

RATZEL, F.: History of Mankind. 2v. London, 1896.

RENARD, G.: Life and Work in Prehistoric Times. New York, 1929.

SPENCER, HERBERT: Principles of Sociology. 3V. New York, 1910.

SUMNER, W. G. and KELLER, A. G.: Science of Society. 3V. New Haven, 1928.

SUMNER, W. G.: Folkways. Boston, 1906.

 

 

 

 

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Carvaka-The Ancient Indian Rebel Philosophy

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Manjul Lata Agrawal. M.A. (History) B.T.

Former Principal S.K.V, Delhi Cantt. Delhi.

“Fire is hot, water cold; refreshingly cool is the breeze of morning By whom came this variety? They were born of their own nature This also has been said by Brihaspati: There is no heaven, no final liberation, nor any soul in another world, Nor do the actions of the four castes, orders, or priesthoods produce any real effect. If he who departs from the body goes to another world, how is it that he comes not back again, restless for love of his kindred? Hence it is only as a means of livelihood that Brahmans have established here all these ceremonies for the dead, — there is no other fruit anywhere.”

 

Atheists and  and materialists were apparently common in ancient India, for the Hindu scriptures found it necessary to respond to the arguments of non-believers on many occasions. The materialist systems were often called “Lokayata,” or ”Carvakas” which means “that which is found among people in general.”

The word ‘Carvaka’ is associated with the word ‘materialist’. Thus it is connected with materialism. According to materialism matter is the only reality. According to ‘Carvaka’ matter is the only reality of this world andeverything of this world including mind and consciousness is the product of matter. Accounts of the ‘Carvaka’ system are found inSarvadarsanasamgraha and saddarsana-samuccaya.

Carvaka is a heterodox or non-vedie systems of Indian philosophy. They are known as hedonists, atheists, positivists and materialists.  It does not believe in the authority of the Vedas nor also in God. Regarding the founder of this system many opinions are there. According to some thinkers, there was a sage named ‘Carvaka’ who first propounded this philosophy and the followers of that sage are called the Carvakas. According to others,

Brhaspati, is the founder of this system. This system is known as Lokayata Darsana. Again some conclude that Brpaaspati is the teacher of the gods,founded this philosophy with a view to deceiving the giants, the enemies of the god. The Carvaka philosophy is a philosophy of free-thinking. There is no law of Karma, no permanent soul, nor any future life, nor transmigration. Hell, Heaven, merits, demerits everything are meaningless.

The earliest known Indian materialist was Brhaspati,. He had no positive system to advance, but merely denied orthodox views of theology, ethics, and dualism. He said: “The whole Hindu system is a contrivance of the priesthood to secure a means of livelihood for themselves.” Because of him, earliest Indian materialism was sometimes called “Brhaspatya.”

Out of the aphorisms of Brihaspati came a whole school of Hindu materialist, named, after one of them, Carvakas. They laughed at the notion that the Vedas were divinely revealed truth; truth, they argued, can never be known, except through the senses. Even reason is not to be trusted, for every inference depends for its validity not only upon accurate observation and correct reasoning, but also upon the assumption that the future will behave like the past; and of this, as Hume was to say, there can be no certainty,perception as the only means of valid knowledge, and they reject the validityof inference. They also reject the authority of the Vedas and the supremacy of the Brahmanas. They are known as naturalists and accidentalists and rejectfinal causes and universality of causation.

Another early materialist was Ajita Kesakambali (6th century B.C.), who lived as an ascetic despite denying the afterlife, karma and morality. Ideas like generosity are the concepts of a stupid person. He who speaks of their existence, his words are empty and confused; a cry of desperation.

Payasi Suttanta (6th century B.C.). denies dualism, reincarnation, and karma. Payasi says he has known some very evil men and some very good men, and he made them promise to tell him of their experiences if they died and were reincarnated. But many of them have died, and Payasi has not heard from any of them. So he doubts reincarnation.

Carvakas hold that some objects are eternal, some are non-eternal, and some are in mixed nature. The special characters of these objects are controlled by their natures which in inherent in them.  The Carvaka also denies any causal relation between two events. One event cannot produce another event, to produce means to exert a power. But as no such power is perceived as existing objects, the reality of productive power is inadmissible. It cannot also be established by perception that there is any invariable and unconditional relation between two events.

The Carvaka thinks that whatever happens in the world, that is accidentally. There is no existence of conscious purpose behind the world. The two events are found together on numerous occasions, and therefore produce an expectation in the mind that they will always go together. This accidental conjunction of an antecedent and a consequent can not ensure vyapti, which is the ground of inference.

Carvaka theology

Carvaka theology tries to explain the world only by nature. It is sometimes called naturalism and sometimes called mechanism (Svabhavavada and yadrecha vada) because it denies the existence of conscious purpose behind the world and explains it as a mere mechanical combination of elements. The Carvaka theory on the whole may also be called positivism, because it believes only in positive facts or observable phenomena.

According to Carvaka, material elements produce the world, and the supposition of a creator is unnecessaiy. The objection may be raised : can the material elements by themselves give rise to this world ? It is seen that at the time of production of an object like an earthen jar requires, in addition to clay which is its material cause, a potter who is the efficient cause, that shapes the material into the desired form. The four elements supply only the material cause of the world. Like the efficient cause of the jar, there should be an efficient cause behind the world who turns the material elements into this wonderful world. In that case, the Carvaka states that the material elements themselves have got each its fixed nature. It is by the natures and laws inherent in them that they combine together to form this world. There is thus no necessity for God. There is no proof that the objects of the world are the products of any design.

What is not perceived by the senses, said the Carvakas, does not exist; therefore the soul is a delusion and Atman is humbug. We do not observe, in experience or history, any interposition of supernatural forces in the world. All phenomena are natural; only simpletons trace them to demons or gods. Matter is the one reality; the body is a combination of atoms; the mind is merely matter thinking; the body, not the soul, feels, sees, hears, and thinks. “Who has seen the soul existing in a state separate from the body?” There is no immortality, no rebirth.

The Charvaka opine that there is no such rebirth of a so called permanent soul. The body-soul perishes and disappears with death. They argue that if there was such a ‘live’ soul which transmigrates to another body, in that case, the soul of elephant and a horse will be one and the same, but it is not. Moreover, if such a soul existed at all, every child would have remembered the activities of his past life which is never seen.

Charvaka as Materialism:

 

The germs of materialism are found in the hymns of the R.g. Veda. According to Carvaka, there are four gross material elements these are earth, water, air and fire. Carvakas reject ether because ether is not perceptible. Man is composed of these four elements. Radhakrishnan in his book. Indian philosophy vol. – II refers that “Man is composed of four elements. When man dies, the earthly element returns and relapses into the earth; the watery element returns into the water; the fiery element returns into the fire, and airy element returns into the air, the senses pass into space. Wise and fool alike, when the body dissolves, are cut off, perish, do not exist any longer.” Manu also refers two types of materialists i.e. riastikas (nihilists) and Pasandas (heretics). The classic authority on the materialist theory is known as the sutras of Brhaspati.

Carvakas accept that body is the combination of material elements. Carvakas believe in the existence of atoms. The sense- organs are produced by the atomic arrangement of the elements. Consciousness is produced by the material elements, (earth, water, air and fire) by a chemical process these elements produces consciousness in the body. Consciousness is found in the body due to the modifications of the gross elements just like, when betel, ariea nut and lime are chewed combindly then the red colour is produced.

Carvakas believes that the sense organs and other objects are the mere aggregates of earth, water, fire and air. These are foundby” our perception. According to carvakas there is an invariable relation between two things and they are causally connected with each other, one is the material cause of the other which is known as effect. Lamp and light are always found together. Lamp is the material cause of the light. There is an invariable relation between lamp and light similarly there is an invariable relation between body and consciousness. So body is the material cause of consciousness.

According to the Carvakas, matter is the only reality because it alone is perceived. The Carvaka Theory of reality follows from the epistemological conclusion just discussed. It rationally asserts only the reality of perceptible objects. God, Soul, Heaven, Life before birth or, after death, and any unperceived law (like adrsta) cannot be believed in, because they are all beyond perception, Material objects are the only objects whose existence can be received and whose reality can be asserted, They assume that the soul is the body,and deny pre-existence, future life, Law of Karma, Heaven and Hell bondage and release and the existence of God. According to them only gross matter isthe reality of this world,

Religion is an aberration, a disease, or a chicanery; the hypothesis of a god is useless for explaining or understanding the world. Men think religion necessary only because, being accustomed to it, they feel a sense of loss, and an uncomfortable void, when the growth of knowledge destroys this faith. Morality, too, is natural; it is a social convention and convenience, not a divine command. Nature is indifferent to good and bad, virtue and vice, and lets the sunshine indiscriminately upon knaves and saints; if nature has any ethical quality at all it is that of transcendent immorality. There is no need to control instinct and passion, for these is the instructions of nature to men. Virtue is a mistake; the purpose of life is living, and the only wisdom is happiness.

CARVAKA – WAY OF LIFE

In their ethics, the Carvakas upheld a kind of hedonism: the only goal people ought to pursue is maximizing sensual pleasure in life while avoiding pain—the kind that proceeds from over-indulgence and instant gratification. As is common with confrontational schools of thought, they were accused of “immoral practices” and depicted as “hedonists advocating a policy of total opportunism; they are often described as addressing princes, whom they urged to act exclusively in their own self-interest, thus providing the intellectual climate in which a text such as Kautilya’s Arthashastra a text that elevated the material wellbeing of both the nation and its people and favored an autocratic state to realize it.  In accordance with the dictates of policy and enjoyment, the mass of men consider wealth and satisfaction of desire the only ends of man. They deny the existence of any object belonging to a future world, and follow only the doctrine of Carvakas. Hence another name for that school is Lokayata—a name well accordant with the thing signified [that only the material world, loka, exists].

Carvakas is often depicted as denying spiritual values and is accordingly “represented as discarding morality, and preaching what is reproachfully described as the principle of ‘good digestion and no conscience”. However, some scholars believe, however, that this is a misunderstanding of the Carvakas position since “no serious thinker could have included such a teaching” .Carvakas believes not in the notion of stringent philosophy, but in liberal beliefs. Hence, they refute most of the already-established rules in the context of Indian philosophy. The prime importance is laid on the likes and dislikes of humans. As a result, Carvakas believe in the perceived knowledge of the present life, and not in rebirth and past life. According to them good deed is not much necessary to perform in one’s lifetime, as is instructed by the crafty priests. The basic thought of the Carvakas is to obtain worldly pleasure by making merry, as there is no hell where one can be hurled. Pleasure and pain are the central facts of life. Virtue and vice are not absolute but mere social conventions. The Carvakas suggested,

While life is yours, live joyously;

None can escape Death’s searching eye:

When once this frame of ours they burn,

How shall it ever again return?

One scholar writes about the Carvakas belief system as, “Of the four ‘purusdrthas’, the Carvakas reject ‘dharma’ (virtue) and ‘moksa’ (spiritual freedom). They regard only wealth (artha) and pleasure (kdma) as the rational ends of man. Of these too, wealth is not the ultimate end; it is good only as a means to pleasure. Pleasure, then, is the ‘summum bonum’. The wise man should squeeze the maximum pleasure out of life. He should not let go a present pleasure in the hope of a future gain. These are the maxims which the Carvakas give: “Rather a pigeon to-day than a peacock tomorrow”;” A sure piece of shell is better than a doubtful coin of gold.” These are in the spirit of the saying – a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”.

The Carvakas have emphasized that pleasure and pain are the central themes of life and it is not possible to separate life from all these. They have also claimed that virtue is nothing more than a delusion and enjoyment is the only reality. The Carvakas School of Thought believed that life is the end of life. Unlike the Upanishads the Carvakas or the materialist philosophy asserts the doctrines of uncontrolled-energy, self-assertion and reckless disregard for authority. Carvakas believe not in the notion of stringent philosophy, but in liberal beliefs. Hence, they refute most of the already-established rules in the context of Indian philosophy.

The prime importance is laid on the likes and dislikes of humans. As a result, Carvakas believe in the perceived knowledge of the present life, and not in rebirth and past life. According to them good deed is not much necessary to perform in one’s lifetime, as is instructed by the crafty priests. The basic thought of the Carvakas is to obtain worldly pleasure by making merry, as there is no hell where one can be hurled. What is meant by heaven is the pleasure we have in eating, drinking, singing and in the company and embrace of women. And hell is the pain we experience in this world itself. There is no point in trying to obtain salvation and a life of eternal quietude; there is an end to life at death and all will be quietude then. The differences between castes and their distinctive duties are falsely laid down by interested persons. There are no objective ethical laws, so one can do what one likes, provided he is careful that his actions do not bring pain as a consequence. The Carvakas do not seem to have advocated pleasures of the moment, because pleasures of the moment and over-indulgence may result in pain and pain has to be avoided. It is also said that, because pleasure is associated with fine arts like music, they encouraged them and contributed much for their development. And because they were unwilling to kill animals, some of the Charvakas are also believed to be vegetarians.

But the peculiar contribution, which this philosophy seems to have made to the philosophy of life, was the philosophical justification it tried to furnish to any kind of action for the sake of pleasure. Of course, pleasure is not possible in the absence of wealth (artha). By spending money one can obtain pleasure (kama). The value of dhartna (duty) and the value of salvation (moksha) were firmly rejected by the Carvakas School. The Carvakas denied the validity of dhartna (self-dharma, righteous duty) in any form. Action when completed, the Carvakas would say, ends there. Apurva or the latent potential form which action takes, or merit and demerit cannot be perceived by anyone atall. They are therefore not real. It is foolish to think that past actions become a kind of unseen force (adrsta) and determines one`s future births. In fact, according to the Carvaka way of life, there is no rebirth. Humans have only one birth and that is the present one. If there is rebirth, one ought to remember it; no one remembers his/her previous births

Nothing is recognized by this school as a duty. A man can do anything – beg, borrow, steal or murder – in order to accumulate more wealth and more pleasure. But the state laws prevent a man from doing whatever he desires and punish him when he disobeys them. If he is clever enough to outsmart them, then his action is justified. Otherwise, he should follow them to avert the pain of punishment. Kings, who have the power over the state’s laws, themselves can do whatever they like and do anything for increasing their wealth, power, pleasure and dominion.

Asvaghosa elaborately discusses the Svabhiva vada .Accordingly all good and bad things originate due to their own nature. The same is the case of life and death.

Madhava also says in his sarvadarsanasamgraha that common people follow the well known view that a person should live a happy life so long as he is alive. He regards that the common people always hanker for material property and material enjoyment and follow only the doctrine of carvaka as a result of which, this doctrine has become very popular

The Carvakas believed there was nothing wrong with sensual indulgence, and that it was the only enjoyment to be pursued. That the pleasure arising to man from contact with sensible objects, is to be relinquished because accompanied by pain— such is the reasoning of fools. The kernels of the paddy, rich with finest white grains, what man, seeking his own true interest, would fling them away because of a covering of husk and dust?

The only end of man is enjoyment produced by sensual pleasures. Nor may you say that such cannot be called the end of man as they are always mixed with some kind of pain, because it is our wisdom to enjoy the pure pleasure as far as we can, and to avoid the pain which inevitably accompanies it. Thus the man, who desires fish takes the fish with their scales and bones, and having eaten the parts he wants, desists. Or the man, who desires rice, takes the rice, straw and all, and having taken that which he wants, desists. It is not therefore for us, through a fear of pain, to reject the pleasure which our nature instinctively recognizes as congenial. Men do not refrain from sowing rice because there happen to be wild animals to devour it; nor do they refuse to set the cooking-pots on the fire, because there happen to be beggars to pester us for a share of the contents. if any one were so timid as to forsake a visible pleasure, he would indeed be foolish like a beast,

Carvaka ethics urged each individual to seek his or her pleasure here and now. “As long as you live, live life to the fullest,” said Carvaka. “After death, the body is turned to ashes. There is no re-birth.” These words, so full of love for humanity and life, are strikingly reminiscent of the life-enhancing philosophy of EpicurusWhat is meant by heaven is the pleasure one has in eating, drinking, making merry and singing. And hell is the pain one experiences in this world itself. There is no point in trying to obtain salvation and a life of eternal quietude; there is an end to life at death and all will be quietened then.

While life remains, let a man live happily, let him feed on butter though he runs in debt; when once the body becomes ashes how can it ever return again?.

The Carvakas way of life speaks that the differences between castes and their distinctive duties are laid down misleadingly by interested people. There are no objective ethical laws, so one can do what one wishes to, provided he is careful that his actions do not bring pain as an outcome.

Saint Brihaspati, pioneer of materialism, during the age of the Rig Veda, believed that fire worship, ritualism, practising the Vedas, smearing ashes all over the body, etc., were antics performed by those who considered themselves powerful and learned

The three authors of the Vedas were buffoons, knaves, and demons. All the well-known formulae of the pandits, jarphari, turphari, etc. and all the obscene rites for the queen commanded in Aswamedha, these were invented by buffoons, and so all the various kinds of presents to the priests, while the eating of flesh was similarly commanded by night-prowling demons.

This revolutionary philosophy of the Carvakas put an end to the age of the Vedas and the Upanishads. It weakened the hold of the Brahmans on the mind of India, and left in Hindu society a vacuum which almost compelled the growth of a new religion. But the materialists had done their work so thoroughly that both of the new religions which arose to replace the old Vedic faith were, anomalous though it may sound atheistic religions, devotions without a god. Both belonged to the Nastika or Nihilistic movement; and both were originated not by the Brahman priests but by members of the Kshatriyas warrior caste in a reaction against sacerdotal ceremonialism and theology. With the coming of Jainism and Buddhism a new epoch began in the history of India.

The Carvakas mocked religious ceremonies, calling them inventions of the Brahmins to ensure their own livelihood. The authors of the Vedas were “buffoons, knaves, and demons.” Those who make ritual offerings of food to the dead, why do they not feed the hungry around them?

The Agnihotra, the three Vedas, the ascetic’s three staves, and smearing oneself with ashes, these are but means of livelihood for those who have no manliness nor sences Like the other two heterodox schools, Jainism and Buddhism, they criticized the caste system and stood opposed to the ritual sacrifice of animals. When the Brahmins defended the latter by claiming that the sacrificed beast goes straight to Swarga Loka (an interim heaven before rebirth), the Carvakas asked why the Brahmans did not kill their aged parents to hasten their arrival in Swarga Loka. “If he who departs from the body goes to another world,” they asked, “how is it that he comes not back again, restless for love of his kindred?

If a beast slain in the Jyothishtoma rite will itself go to heaven,

why then does not the sacrificer forthwith offer his own father?

If the Sraddha produces gratification to beings that are dead,

then why not give food down below to those who are standing on the house-top?

Dharmakirti, a 7th century philosopher deeply influenced by  carvaka philosophywrote in Pramanvartik.  Believing that the Veda are standard (holy or divine), believing in a Creator for the world,Bathing in holy waters for gaining punya, having pride (vanity) about one’s caste,Performing penance to absolve sins,Are the five symptoms of having lost ones sanity.

Carvakas thought also appears in the Ramayana. In the epic, Rama is not the god that he later became, but an epic-hero, who, as Sen. Notes, has “many good qualities and some weaknesses, including a tendency to harbor suspicions about his wife Sita’s faithfulness.” In the epic, a pundit named Jabali “not only does not treat Rama as God, he calls his actions ‘foolish’ (‘especially for’, as Jabali puts it, ‘an intelligent and wise man’)”. Echoing Carvakas doctrine, Jabali even asserts that “there is no after-world, nor any religious practice for attaining that … the injunctions about the worship of gods, sacrifice, gifts and penance have  …

The Carvakas denounced the caste system, calling it artificial, unreal and hence unacceptable. “What is this senseless humbug about the castes and the high and low among them when the organs like the mouth, etc in the human body are the same?”

The Carvaka way of life speaks that the differences between castes and their distinctive duties are laid down misleadingly by interested people. There are no objective ethical laws, so one can do what one wishes to, provided he is careful that his actions do not bring pain as an outcome..

Hence, it can be concluded saying that the materialist philosophy had a lot to do with regard to the repudiation of old system of religion and custom of magic. The Carvakas Philosophy is in fact a man’s return to his own spirit and rejection of all those which are external and foreign. It also says that nothing needs to be accepted by an individual which do not find its place in the way of reason.

Lokayata’s skepticism about karma, reincarnation, and theology came from its epistemology. Lokayata held that perception is the only valid source of knowledge, for all other sources like testimony and inference are unreliable. Perception revealed only the material world, made of the four elements: air, fire, water, and earth. Minds and consciousness were, too, the products of matter. Souls, gods, and the afterlife could not be perceived, and thus could not be said to exist. Religious rituals were useless, and scriptures contained no special insight.

Thus, the only purpose of life was to enjoy pleasure and avoid pain. Critics described the ethics of the Lokayata as egoistic, hedonistic, or even nihilistic.

Some Lokayata were accidentalists, in that they thought the world was ruled by chance: fire may come from fire or from flint, so there is no fixed cause-effect relation.

But most Lokayata were naturalists. They believed things moved and transformed because of their inherent natures, according to lawful necessity. Their fundamental principle was nature (svabhava).

The Carvaka philosophy is similar to the Epicureans Philosophy of Greece. Both of them include hedonism which concludes that pleasure is the ultimate goal of human life. Through this principle they only earned hate. Skepticism occupies an important place in the history of philosophy. The Carvaka philosophy, saved Indian Philosophy from falling into the pitfalls of dogmatism. Carvaka rids us of the blind fascination for the past, and paves, on the otherhand, the way for the establishment of critical philosophy by opening the flood-gate of free and rational thinking.

The Carvaka was that explosive force. Every system of India  thought tried to meet the Carvaka objections. In this way. every India I system has got ihe opportunity to rid itself of traditions and establish itself 01 the sound rock of reason and criticism. The value of Carvaka Philosophy therefore, lies in supplying new philosophical problems and in compelling other philosophers in giving up dogmatism, and become more critical and careful in speculation and statement of their own views.

The Carvaka philosophy in India, like the Epicureans of Greece, ha^ been more hated than understood. ‘Carvaka’ in the mind of people at large  a term reproach. Indian philosophy owes something from the carvaka Specially the germ of skepticism or agnosticism is found in the carvaki philosophy

References and Bibliography

             Chattopadhyaya, Debiprasad (1976). What Is Living and What Is Dead in Indian Philosophy. New Delhi: People’s Pub. House

             Debiprasad(1959). Lokayata: A Study in Ancient Indian Materialism. New Delhi: People’s Pub. House Monier-Williams (1899); the name literally means “speaking nicely”, from cāru “agreeable” and vāk “speech”

             Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa was an 8th or 9th century Indian philosopher (dated to ca. 770-830 by Franco 1994), author of the Tattvopaplavasimha (tattva-upa.plava-simha “The Lion that Devours All Categories”/”The Upsetting of All Principles”). The manuscript of this work was discovered in 1926 and published in 1940 (eds. Sanghavi and Parikh). ..

             Madhavacharya, the 14th-century Vedantic philosopher from South India starts his famous work The Sarva-darsana-sangraha with a chapter on the Carvaka system with the intention of refutation

             R. Bhattacharya, Carvaka Fragments: A New Collection, Journal of Indian Philosophy, Volume 30, Number 6, December 2002, pp. 597-

             Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli; and Moore, Charles A. A Source Book in Indian Philosophy. Princeton University Press; 1957. Princeton paperback 12th edition, 1989.

             Riepe, Dale. The Naturalistic Tradition of Indian Thought (Motilal Banarasidas, Varanasi) p.7

 

 

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BHARTYA DARSHAN (Indian Philosophy) – An Introduction

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari M.A. (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Manjul Lata Agrawal. M.A. (History) B.T.

Former Principal S.K.V, Delhi Cantt. Delhi.


In Sanskrit, the philosophy is referred to as  ‘darshana’.    From the Indian viewpoint, Philosophy or ‘darshana’ is concerned with the vision of ‘truth and reality’.

The Sanskrit word ‘darshana’ has its root in the word ‘drs’ that means ‘to see’, ‘to look’ or ‘to view’. “Seeing” or “viewing” the reality and the facts of experience forms the basis of philosophy. Senses, mind and even consciousness are involved in this ‘seeing’. “Seeing” also encompasses “contemplation”. Seeing is not simply a sensory activity. ‘Seeing’ may primarily be a perceptual observation. But it may also concern the conceptual knowledge or an intuitional flash.

All systems of Indian philosophy are ranged by the Hindus in two categories:

The History of Indian Philosophy

The philosophies develop over long spells of time.  We can outline the history of Indian philosophies, as per Dr. Radhakrishnan,  as follows:

(1)    The Vedic Period: (1500 B.C. to 600 B.C.) This period can be regarded as the dawn of civilization in the world.  The literature of the Vedic period is considered to be the most ancient in the world. It consists of the four Vedas, namely, Rig Veda, Yajur  Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. Each of the Vedas is divided into four parts: The Samhitas (the Mantras) , the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads.

(2)    The Epic Period: (600 B.C. to 200 A.D.) It is the period of the development of the early Upanishads and the darshanas and is concerned with the enriching of intellect of man. The darshanas paved the way for the growth of the systems of philosophies in India. The invaluable dharma -shastras, the great treatises on ethical and social philosophy, are the gifts of this period.  The period is very significant because it witnessed the rise and early development of Shaivism and Vaishnavism as well as that of Jainism and Buddhism.

(3)    The Sutra Period: (200 A.D. to 1700 A.D.) The  scholars made efforts to safeguard the rich heritage. That is how the illustrious Sutras were written. The Sutras are, mostly, epigrammatic sentences in the verse-form. The Sutras laid the foundation of the different systems of philosophies in India. The six orthodox systems based on the Sutras are Vaisheshika, Nyaya, Samkhya, Yoga, Purva-Mimamsa and Uttar-Mimamsa.

(4)    The Scholastic Period: ( From Sutra Period to 17th century ) With the passage of time, the ancient literature became nearly incomprehensible.. Thus a number of commentaries were written. Chief among them were Shamkaracharya, Ramanujacharya and Madhavacharya. Incidentally, three schools of Vedanta were developed: Shamkaracharya’s Advaita Vedanta, Ramanujacharya’s Vishishtadvaita Vedanta and Madhavacharya’s DvaitaVedanta.

 

Three  Approaches of Darsanas

There are three different approaches that these Darsanas follow: Arambha Vada- holds that the universe is created, Parinama Vada- holds that the universe is not created or destroyed but it only transforms. Particularly, it is transformation of the manifesting form of the immutable absolute and Vivarta Vada- holds that the Universe as it appears is but because of the limitation of observer and it appears so, because of Maya.

The Samkhya Darshan

Samkhya, also Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya (Sanskrit: सांख्य, : sāṃkhya – ‘enumeration’) is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible. It is regarded as one of the oldest philosophical systems in India.This is the most significant system of philosophy that India has produced.”  Professor Garbe, who devoted a large part of his life to the study of the Sankhya, consoled himself with the thought that “in Kapila’s doctrine, for the first time in the history of the world, the complete independence and freedom of the human mind, its full confidence in its own powers, were exhibited.”

Its earliest extant literature, the Sankhya-karika of the commentator Ishvara Krishna,dates back only to the fifth century A.D., and the Sankbya-sutras once attributed to Kapila are not older than our fifteenth century; but the origins of the system apparently antedate Buddhism itself.

Kapila is  once a realist and a scholastic. He rejects as inadequate the attempt to elude suffering by physical means; he refutes, with much logical prestidigitation, the views of all and sundry on the matter, and then proceeds to construct, in one unintelligibly abbreviated sutra after another, his own metaphysical system. It derives its name from his enumeration of the twenty-five Realities (Tattivas, “Thatnesses”) which, in Kapila’s judgment, make up the world.

The Samkhya philosophy combines the basic doctrines of Samkhya and Yoga. However it should be remembered that the Samkhya represents the theory and Yoga  represents the application or the practical aspects.

The Sankhya system is based on Satkaryavada. According to Satkaryavada, the effect pre-exists in the cause. Cause and effect are seen as different temporal aspects of the same thing – the effect lies latent in the cause which in turn seeds the next effect.

The Sankhya system is  an exponent of an evolutionary theory of matter beginning with primordial matter. In evolution, Prakriti is transformed and differentiated into multiplicity of objects. Evolution is followed by dissolution. In dissolution the physical existence, all the worldly objects mingle back into Prakriti, which now remains as the undifferentiated, primordial substance. This is how the cycles of evolution and dissolution follow each other.

Samkhya is dualistic realism. It is dualistic because it advocates two ultimate realities: Prakriti, matter and Purusha, self (spirit). Samkhya is realism as it considers that both matter and spirit are equally real.  According to Samkhya the cause is always subtler than the effect.

Prakriti is the non-self.  It is devoid of consciousness Prakriti is unintelligible and gets greatly influenced by the Purusha, the self.  It can only manifest itself as the various objects of experience of the Purusha

Prakriti is constituted of three gunas, namely sattvarajas and tamas. The term guna, in ordinary sense means quality or nature. But here, it is to be understood in the sense of constituent (component) in Samkhya. Sattva is concerned with happiness. While rajas is concerned with action, tamas is associated with ignorance and inaction.

Sattva is the guna whose essence is purity, fineness and subtlety. Rajas is concerned with the actions of objects.

Tamas is the constituent concerned with the inertia and inaction. In material objects, it resists motion and activity.

Samkhya maintains that the three gunas of Prakriti are also associated with all the world-objects. Prakriti is the primordial and ultimate cause of all physical existence. Naturally the three gunas which constitute Prakriti also constitute every object of the physical world. Prakriti is never static. Even before evolution, the gunas are relentlessly changing and balancing each other. As a result, Prakriti and all the physical objects that are effected or produced by Prakriti, are also in a state of constant change and transformation. This is further confirmed by the scientists today.( It is now proved beyond doubt that ultra-minute particles of objects – like electrons – are in a state of incessant motion and transformation.)

According to Samkhya, the efficient cause of the world is Purusha and the material cause is the Prakriti. Here Purusha stands for the ‘Supreme spirit’ and Prakriti stands for ‘matter’. Purusha (spirit) is the first principle of Samkhya. Prakriti is the second, the material principle of Samkhya.

Prakriti is the material cause of the world. Prakriti is dynamic. Its dynamism is attributed to its constituent gunas. The gunas are not only constituents, nor are they simply qualities. The gunas are the very essence of Prakriti. Gunas are constituents not only of Prakriti but also of all world-objects as they are produced by Prakriti. Prakriti is considered homogeneous and its constituent gunas cannot be separated. The gunas are always changing, rendering a dynamic character to Prakriti. Still a balance among three gunas is maintained in Prakriti. The changes in the gunas and in the Prakriti may take two forms: Homogeneous and Heterogeneous. Homogeneous changes do not affect the state of equilibrium in the Prakriti. As a result, worldly objects are not produced.  Heterogeneous changes involve radical interaction among the three gunas. They disturb the state of equilibrium. This is the preliminary phase of the evolution. As the gunas undergo more and more changes, Prakriti goes on differentiating into numerous, various world-objects. Thus it becomes more and more determinate. This is what is termed as evolution.

In evolution, Prakriti is transformed and differentiated into multiplicity of objects. Evolution is followed by dissolution. In dissolution the physical existence, all the worldly objects mingle back into Prakriti, which now remains as the undifferentiated, primordial substance. This is how the cycles of evolution and dissolution follow each other.

The evolution  results in 23 different categories of objects. They comprise of three elements  of  Antahkaranas or the internal organs as well as the ten Bahyakaranas or the external organs.

Among all these, the first to evolve is Mahat(the great one). Mahat evolves as a result of preponderance of sattva. Since it is an evolute of Prakriti, it is made of matter. But it has psychological, intellectual aspect known as buddhi or intellect. Mahat or intellect is a unique faculty of human beings. It helps man in judgment and discrimination. Buddhi can reflect  Purusha owing to these qualities.

The second evolute is ahamkara (ego). It arises out of the cosmic nature of Mahat. Ahamkara is the self-sense. It is concerned with the self-identity and it brings about awareness of “I” and “mine”.

According to the Samkhya there emanates two sets of objects from ahamkara. The first set comprises of the manas (mind), the five sense-organs and the five motor organs. The second set consists of the five elements which may exist in two forms, subtle and gross.

The five subtle elements are also called tanmatras. These five subtle elements or tanmatras are: elemental sound, elemental touch, elemental colour, elemental taste and elemental smell. They are shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa and gandha respectively. The gross elements  arise as a result of combination of the subtle elements.

The five gross Elements are Space or Ether (Akasa), Water, Air, Fire and Earth.

It should be noted here that the manas or the mind is different from Mahat or the buddhi. Manas or the mind in co-ordination with the sense-organs, receives impressions from the external world, transforms them into determinate perceptions and conveys them to the experiencer or the ego. Thus manas is produced and is capable of producing also. But though Mahat is produced, it can not produce.

As we have seen ahamkara produces both the subtle and the gross elements. These gross elements are produced by various combinations of subtle elements The five gross elements combine in different ways to form all gross objects. All the gross elements and the gross objects in the world are perceivable.

The evolution obeys causality relationships, with primal Nature itself being the material cause of all physical creation. The cause and effect theory of Sankhya is called Satkaarya-vaada (theory of existent causes), and holds that nothing can really be created from or destroyed into nothingness – all evolution is simply the transformation of primal Nature from one form to another.

The evolution of matter occurs when the relative strengths of the attributes change. The evolution ceases when the spirit realizes that it is distinct from primal Nature and thus cannot evolve. This destroys the purpose of evolution, thus stopping Prakrti from evolving for Purusha.

 

Samkhya and the Theory of Knowledge

Samkhya accepts three sources of valid knowledge: Perception, inference and testimony.

According to Samkhya, the manas(mind), the Mahat (intellect = buddhi) and the purusha play a role in ‘producing’ knowledge. When the sense-organs come in contact with an object, the sensations and impressions reach the manas. The manas processes these impressions into proper forms and converts them into determinate percepts. These percepts are carried to the Mahat. By its own applications, Mahat gets modified. Mahat takes the form of the particular object. This transformation of Mahat is known as vritti or modification of buddhi. But still the process of knowledge is not completed.Mahat is a physical entity. It lacks consciousness so it can not generate knowledge on its own. However, it can reflect the consciousness of the Purusha(self). Illumined by the consciousness of the reflected self, the unconscious Mahat becomes conscious of the form into which it is modified (i.e. of the form of the object.

Samkhya cites out two types of Perceptions:

Indeterminate (nirvikalpa) perceptions and determinate  (savikalpa) perceptions.

Indeterminate perceptions are sort of pure sensations or crude impressions. They reveal no knowledge of the form or the name of the object. There is vague awareness about an object. There is cognition, but no recognition.

Determinate perceptions are the mature state of perceptions which have been processed and differentiated appropriately. Once the sensations have been processed, categorized and interpreted properly, they become determinate perceptions. They can lead to identification and also generate knowledge.

Samkhya and God

Kapila, the proponent of the Samkhya School, rules out the existence of God. He asserts that the existence of God can not be proved and that God does not exist. Samkhya argues that if God exists and if God is eternal and unchanging as is widely claimed, then he can not be the cause of the world. A cause has to be active and changing.

Bondage and Salvation

Like other major systems of Indian philosophy, Samkhya regards ignorance as the root cause of bondage and suffering.  According to Samkhya, the self is eternal, pure consciousness.  Due to ignorance, the self identifies itself with the physical body and its constituents. Once the self becomes free of this false identification and the material bonds, the salvation is possible.

The Yoga

The Yoga system of philosophy was founded by Patanjali. He authored the Yoga Sutras or the aphorisms of Yoga. Samkhya  system is based on atheism but Yoga believes in God.

The Yoga system of philosophy accepts three fundamental realities, namely, Ishwara, Purusha and Prakriti or the primordial matter. Patanjali says that scriptures are the sources of the existence of Ishwara. Ishwara is omniscient and is free from the qualities inherent in Prakriti. Patanjali defines Yoga as ‘Chittavriitinirodha’. Yoga is the restraint of the mental operations. Patanjali names some obstacles to the path of Yoga. They are called ‘Antarayas’ and they include Vyadhi (illness), styana (apathy), Samsaya (doubt), Pramada (inadvertence), Alasya (laziness), Avirati (incontinence), Bhrantidarshana (wrong understanding), Alabdha Bhumikatva (non-attainment of mental plane) and Anavasthitatva (instability). In addition to the obstacles mentioned above, Patanjali accepts five more obstacles called Dukha (pain), Daurmanasya (frustration, Angamejayatva (fickle limbs), Svasa (spasmodic breathing in) and Prasvasa (spasmodic breathing out). Patanjali speaks about Jatyantara Parinama or the phenomenon of the evolution of one species or genus into another species or genus.

Matter is the root of ignorance and suffering; therefore Yoga seeks to free the soul from all sense phenomena and all bodily attachment; it is an attempt to attain supreme enlightenment and salvation in one life by atoning in one existence for all the sins of the soul’s past incarnations.

Such enlightenment cannot be won at a stroke; the aspirant must move towards it step by step, and no stage of the process can be understood by anyone who has not passed through the stages before it; one comes to Yoga only by long and patient study and self-discipline.

The Stages of Yoga are Eight:

I. Yama, or the death of desire; here the soul accepts the restraints of ahmsa and Brahmacharia, abandons all self-seeking, emancipates itself from all material interests and pursuits, and wishes well to all things. Yama means restraint. One must turn to ethics by refraining himself from immoral activities. This is the first step towards self–discipline. Niyamameans observance. It refers to the cultivation of values and virtues in life. These two anga –Yama and Niyama – protects the aspirant from irresistible temptations and desires and offer a protection from the distractions.

 

II. Niyama, a faithful observance of certain preliminary rules for Yoga: cleanliness, content, purification, study, and piety.

The next two steps, asana and pranayama, prepares the physical body for the Yogic practice.

III. Asana, posture; the aim here is to still all movement as well as all sensation; the best asana for this purpose is to place the right foot upon the left thigh and the left foot upon the right thigh, to cross the hands and grasp the two great toes, to bend the chin upon the chest, and direct the eyes to the tip of the nose.

IV. Pranayama, or regulation of the breath: by these exercises one may forget everything but breathing, and in this way clear his mind for the passive emptiness that must precede absorption; at the same time one may learn to live on a minimum of air, and may let himself, with impunity, be buried in the earth for many days.

V. Pratyahara, abstraction; now the mind controls all the senses, and with- draws itself from all sense objects. Pratyahara is concerned with the withdrawal of the senses. The senses, by their inherent nature, remain focused on the external world. Pratyaharahelps to detach the sense organs from the objects of the world. The isolation from the world objects facilitates the concentration of the mind on any particular object.

VI. Dharana, or concentration the identification or filling of the mind and the senses with one idea or object to the exclusion of everything else. The fixation of any one object long enough will free the soul of all sensation, all specific thought, and all selfish desire; then the mind, abstracted fromthings, will be left free to feel the immaterial essence of reality .

VII. Dhyana, or meditation: this is an almost hypnotic condition, resulting from Dharana; it may be produced, says Patanjali, by the persistent repetition of the sacred syllable Om.

VIII. Samadhi, or trance contemplation; even the last thought now disappears from the mind; empty, the mind loses consciousness of itself as a separate being;  it is merged with totality, and achieves a blissful and god- like comprehension of all things in One. Samadhi is the ultimate stage of Yogic practice. Now all self-awareness of the mind disappears The illusion is gone. This is the ultimate, nirbeej Samadhi. There is the unification of the subject and the object. Now there is no object at all.  The duo, the subject and the object, mingles into unity. They are no separate entities. There is only one, but it is not an object.  There is oneness devoid of material existence; it is pure Consciousness.

Nevertheless it is not God, or union with God, that the yogi seeks; in the Yoga philosophy God (Ishvara) is not the creator or preserver of the universe, or the rewarder and punisher of men, but merely one of several objects on which the soul may meditate as a means of achieving concentration and enlightenment. The aim, frankly, is that dissociation of the mind from the body, that removal of all material obstruction from the spirit, which brings with it, in Yoga theory, supernatural understanding and capacity.

To the extent to which the soul can free itself from its physical environment and prison it becomes Brahman, and exercises Brahman’s intelligence and power. Here the magical basis of religion reappears, and almost threatens the essence of religion itself the worship of powers superior to man.

Vaisheshika Darshan

Kanada, a learned sage, founded this system. This system is believed to be as old as Jainism and  Buddhism.  Kanada presented his detailed atomic theory in Vaisheshika-Sutra. Basically, Vaisheshika is a pluralistic realism. It explains the nature of the world with seven categories:

Dravya (substance), guna (quality), karma(action), samanya(universal), vishesha (particular), amavaya(inherence) and abhava (non-existence).

Vaisheshika contends that every effect is a fresh creation or a new beginning. Thus this system refutes the theory of pre-existence of the effect in the cause. Kanada does not discuss much on God. But the later commentators refer to God as the Supreme Soul, perfect and eternal.  This system accepts that God (Ishvara ) is the efficient cause of the world. The eternal atoms are the material cause of the world.

Vaisheshika recognizes nine ultimate substances : Five material and four non-material substances.

The five material substances are: Earth, water, fire, air and akasha.

The four non-material substances are: space, time, soul and mind.

Earth, water, fire and air are atomic but akasha is non-atomic and  infinite.

Space and time are infinite and eternal.

The concept of soul is comparable to that of the self or atman. This system considers  that  when the soul associates itself to the body, only then it ‘acquires’ consciousness. Thus, consciousness is not considered an essential quality of the soul.

The mind (manas) is accepted as atomic but indivisible and eternal substance. The mind helps to establish the contact of the self to the external world objects.

The soul develops attachment to the body owing to ignorance. The soul identifies itself with the body and mind. The soul is trapped in the bondage of  karma, as a consequence of actions resulted from countless desires and passions.

Nyaya Darshan

The term “nyāya ( Sanskrit: “Rule” or “Method”)  traditionally had the meaning “formal reasoning,” though in later times it also came to be used for reasoning in general, and by extension, the legal reasoning of traditional Indian law courts. Opponents of the Nyāya school of philosophy frequently reduce it to the status of an arm of Hindu philosophy devoted to questions of logic and rhetoric. While reasoning is very important to Nyāya, this school also had important things to say on the topic of epistemology, theology and metaphysics, rendering it a comprehensive and autonomous school of Indian philosophy.

The founder of this school is the sage Gautama (2nd cent. C.E.)—not to be confused with the Buddha, who on many accounts had the name “Gautama” as well. He is also called Akshapada

The metaphysics that pervades the Nyāya texts is both realistic and pluralistic. On the Nyāya view the plurality of reasonably believed things exist and have an identity independently of their contingent relationship with other objects. This applies as much to mundane objects, as it does to the self, and God. The ontological model that appears to pervade Nyāya metaphysical thinking is that of atomism, the view that reality is composed of indecomposable simples (cf. Nyāya-Sūtra IV.2.4.16).

The Nyāya’s acceptance of both arguments from analogy and testimony as means of knowledge, allows it to accomplish two theological goals).

Its most famous text is the Nyaya Sutra. The sutras are divided into five chapters, each with two sections.  , 10 ahnikas and 528 sutras. It accepts 4 pramanas and 16 padarthas. According to Nyaya, midhya jnana (nescience) causes sansara and tatva jnana (gnosis) brings liberation.The work begins with a statement of the subject matter, the purpose, and the relation of the subject matter to the attainment of that purpose. The ultimate purpose is salvation—i.e., complete freedom from pain—and salvation is attained by knowledge of the 16 categories: hence the concern with these categories, which are means of valid knowledge (pramana); objects of valid knowledge (prameya); doubt (samshaya); purpose (prayojana); example (drishtanta); conclusion (siddhanta); the constituents of a syllogism (avayava); argumentation (tarka); ascertainment (nirnaya); debate (vada); disputations (jalpa); destructive criticism (vitanda); fallacy (hetvabhasa); quibble (chala); refutations (jati); and points of the opponent’s defeat (nigrahasthana).

Nyāya is often depicted as primarily concerned with logic, but it is more accurately thought of as being concerned with argumentation.

The words knowledge, buddhi, and consciousness are used synonymously. Four means of valid knowledge are admitted: perception, inference, comparison, and verbal testimony. Perception is defined as the knowledge that arises from the contact of the senses with the object, which is nonjudgmental, or unerring or judgmental. Inference is defined as the knowledge that is preceded by perception (of the mark) and classified into three kinds: that from the perception of a cause to its effect; that from perception of the effect to its cause; and that in which knowledge of one thing is derived from the perception of another with which it is commonly seen together. Comparison is defined as the knowledge of a thing through its similarity to another thing previously well-known.

It is called Nyaya because it is constituted of five “laws” – Pratijna, Hetu, Udaharana, Upanaya, Nigamana. Nyaya includes formal logic and modes of scientific debate. It explains the logical constructs like antecedent and laws of implying. It expounds various modes of scientific debate and methods for debate, like tarka, vitanda, chala, jalpa and so on.

Nyaaya is greatly concerned with logic and elaborates on the principle of inference based on syllogism, of course logic is only one of the many subjects it deals with. Nyaaya preaches that a statement should only be accepted if it passes the test of reason. So according to it, error and ignorance are the causes of pain and suffering. The road to wisdom is to develop the process of logical thinking.

Of the four main topics of the Nyaya-sutras (art of debate, means of valid knowledge, syllogism, and examination of opposed views), there is a long history. There is no direct evidence for the theory that though inference (anumana) is of Indian origin, the syllogism (avayava) is of Greek origin. Vatsayana, the commentator on the sutras, referred to some logicians who held a theory of a 10-membered syllogism (the Greeks had three). The Vaisheshika-sutras give five propositions as constituting a syllogism but give them different names. Gautama also supports a five-membered syllogism with the following structure:

1.            This hill is fiery (pratijna): a statement of that which is to be proved).

2.            Because it is smoky (hetu)statement of reason.

3.            Whatever is smoky is fiery, as is a kitchen (udaharana) statement of a general rule supported by an example.

4.            So is this hill (upanaya:) application of the rule of this case.

5.            Therefore, this hill is fiery (nigamana) drawing the conclusion.

Epistemology

As far as the question of epistemology, the Nyāya-Sūtra recognizes four avenues of knowledge: these are perception, inference, analogy, and verbal testimony of reliable persons. Perception arises when the senses make contact with the object of perception. Inference comes in three varieties: pūrvavat (a priori), śeṣavat (a posteriori) and sāmanyatodṛṣṭa (common sense) (Nyāya-Sūtra I.1.3–7).

According to the first verse of the Nyāya-Sūtra, the Nyāya school is concerned with shedding light on sixteen topics: pramāna (epistemology), prameya (ontology), saṃśaya(doubt), prayojana (axiology, or “purpose”), dṛṣṭānta(paradigm cases that establish a rule), Siddhānta (established doctrine), avayava(premise of a syllogism), tarka (reductio ad absurdum), nirnaya (certain beliefs gained through epistemic ally respectable means), vāda (appropriately conducted discussion), jalpa (sophistic debates aimed at beating the opponent, and not at establishing the truth), vitaṇḍa(a debate characterized by one party’s disinterest in establishing a positive view, and solely with refutation of the opponent’s view), hetvābhāsa (persuasive but fallacious arguments), chala (unfair attempt to contradict a statement by equivocating its meaning),jāti (an unfair reply to an argument based on a false analogy), and nigrahasthāna (ground for defeat in a debate) (Nyāya-Sūtra and Vātsyāyana’s Bhāṣya I.1.1-20).

Among the Navya-Nyaya philosophers, Raghunatha Shiromaniin Padarthatattvanirupana undertook a bold revision of the traditional categorical scheme by

(1) identifying “time,” “space,” and “ether” with God,

(2) eliminating the category of mind by reducing it to matter,

(3) denying atoms (paramanu) and dyadic (paired) combinations of them (dvyanuka),

(4) eliminating “number,” “separateness,” “remoteness,” and “proximity” from the list of qualities, and (5) rejecting ultimate particularities (vishesha) on the grounds that it is more rational to suppose that the eternal substances are by nature distinct. He added some new categories, however, such as causal power (shakti) and the moment (kshana), and recognized that there are as many instances of the relation of inherence as there are cases of it (as contrasted with the older view that there is only one inherence that is itself present in all cases of inherence).

Nyayas most important contribution to Hindu thought is its elucidation of the pramanas (tools of epistemology). Nyaya Metaphysics¢ It developed a system of logic adopted by other Indian schools of philosophy.

Purva Mimamsa

The first major orthodox philosophical system to develop was Purva Mimamsa. The other one to follow was the Uttar Mimamsa. The orthodox systems accept the authority of the Vedas. Jaimini is credited as the chief proponent of the Mimamsa system. His glorious work is Mimamsa-Sutra written around the end of the 2nd century A.D.  Mimamsa-Sutra is the largest of all the philosophical Sutras. Divided into 12 chapters, it is a collection of nearly 2500 aphorisms which are extremely difficult to comprehend.

The Sanskrit word ‘mimamsa means a ‘revered thought’. The word is originated from the root ‘man’ which refers to ‘thinking’ or ‘investigating’. The word ‘mimamsa’ suggests “probing and acquiring knowledge” or  “critical review and investigation of the Vedas”.

Each of the Vedas is considered to be composed of four parts: The Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. The first two parts are generally focused on the rituals and they form the Karma-kanda portion of the Vedas. The later two parts form the Jnana-kanda (concerned with knowledge) portion of the Vedas.

Purva-Mimamsa is based on the earlier (Purva = earlier) parts of the Vedas.

Uttar-Mimamsa is based on the later (Uttar = later) parts of the Vedas.

Purva-Mimamsa is also known as Karma Mimamsa since it deals with the Karmic actions of rituals and sacrifices. Uttar-Mimamsa is also known as Brahman Mimamsa since it is concerned with the knowledge of Reality. In popular terms, Purva-Mimamsa  is known simply as Mimamsa and Uttar-Mimamsa as Vedanta.

This system out rightly accept the Vedas as the eternal source of ‘revealed truth. Mimamsa system attaches a lot of importance to the Verbal testimony which is essentially the Vedic testimony. Jaimini accepts the ‘Word” or the ‘Shabda’ as the only means of knowledge. The ‘word’ or the ‘Shabda’ is necessarily the Vedic word, according to Jaimini. This system strongly contends that the Vedas are not authored by an individual. Since they are ‘self-revealed’ or ‘apaurusheya’, they manifest their own validity.

The system is a pluralistic realist. It endorses the reality of the world as well as that of the individual souls. The soul is accepted as an eternal and infinite substance. Consciousness is an accidental attribute of the soul. The soul is distinct from the body, the senses and the mind. The earlier mimamsakas do not give much importance to the deities. Hence they do not endorse God as the creator of the universe. But later mimamsakas show a bent towards theism.

The system supports the law of karma. It believes in the Unseen Power or ‘apurva’. Apart from accepting the heaven and the hell, the system supports  the theory of liberation.

Uttar Mimamsa/ Vedanta

Uttar Mimamsa is the Vedanta, one of the most significant of all Indian philosophies.

The word ‘Vedanta’ usually refers to the Upanishads. The word is a compound of ‘Veda’ and ‘Anta’.  It means the ending portion of the Vedas. However, the word ‘Vedanta’, in a broad sense, covers not only the Upanishads but all the commentaries and interpretations associated with the Upanishads. All these works constitute the Vedanta philosophy.

The great scholar Badarayana(?500-200 B.C) initiated the efforts to simplify the Upanishadic philosophy. Badarayana is also known as Ved Vyasa. Badarayana’s work is known as Brahma-Sutra or Vedanta-Sutra. It is also referred to as Uttar-Mimamsa-Sutra. ”. Baadaraayan claims that he has not put anything new – all was only the summary of Upanishadik teachings – but the claim does not seem to be totally justified. Complicating the matters further, there have been three Aachaarya, famously known for three systems of metaphysics, are known consecutively as A-Dwait, Vishisht A-Dwait and Dwait, explaining the relationship between man and God.

The Brahma-Sutra has 555 sutras. Most of them are aphoristic and almost unintelligible at first sight. Thus, we have three major schools of Vedanta based on the philosophy of the distinguished trio: Advaita(non-dualism) of Shamkaracharya, Vishishtadvaita (qualified non-dualism) of Ramnujacharya andDvaita(dualism) of Madhvacharya.

The Vedanta philosophy is focused on the Jagat(the universe), the Jiva(individual soul) and the Brahman (the Supreme Being). Brahman is the repository of all knowledge and power. Jivas are trapped in the Jagat. Attached to the physical world and driven by passions and desires, they remain chained to ceaseless actions (karma). As a result, they subject themselves to countless births in various forms. Their transmigration from this birth (life) to the next depends on the karma (the quality of action). Moksha or  mukti (liberation) is the goal of life. This philosophy, in general, is accepted by all the three schools. Now let us understand the basic difference among the three schools.

Dvaita refers to ‘two’. Dvaita school is based on the concept of dualism. Madhavacharya emphasizes the distinction between God and individual soul (Jiva). In addition, the school differentiates God from matter as well as the soul from matter. The school maintains that the God, Jiva and the Jagat are three separate and everlasting entities. God governs the world and has control over the souls. The souls in its ignorance remains shackled in the world. By devotion and God’s mercy, the soul can migrate to the Heaven above. It can obtain Mukti from the cycle of life and death and live with God forever in the Heaven.

Vishishtadvaita literally means “qualified non-dualism”. Ramanujacharya stresses that God alone exists. He says that Brahman is God. He is not formless. The Cosmos and the Jivas form his body. When the Jiva (soul) realises that he is a part of Paramatman (God), the soul is liberated. On liberation, his soul enjoys infinite consciousness and infinite bliss of God. The soul is in communion with God, but it does not share the power of the creation or destruction.

Advaita means “non-dualism”. Brahman is the sole Supreme Reality. Brahman, Jagat and Jiva are not different, separate entities.

Advaita philosophy denies the reality of the truth of name and form as presented by the sense organs, and so it cannot rely upon the knowledge acquired through-senses nor can it make any use of it in support of its contentions, however helpful such knowledge may be in every-day life. Thus according to Samkara, all means of knowledge and all knowledge acquired through them, are unreal from the transcendental standpoint. But one cannot deny their importance in the practical world from the practical standpoint.

In Vedanta, ‘prama’ means the valid knowledge which is uncontradicted. Prama does not include knowledge through memory. It is that knowledge only which has never been attained before. question of the antecedent and subsequent.

According to Vedanta, there are three pramanas,

1. Perception: The identity of the subject and object consciousness by chitta concomitance adopting the form of external object and the object become identi­cal, because in fact both are the same consciousness. The subject and the object remain separate due to the covering of ignorance.

2. Tark or inference: Inference is the knowledge which results from the past impressions based upon the awareness of concomitance between two terms. The awareness of concomitance leaves the impressions on the chitta and when these impressions are awakened by perceiving that object again, the result is inference.  Samkara admits only three premises of an inference. These are as follows:

(1) Pratijna:Everything different from Brahman is unreal.

(2) Hetu:Because all things are different from Brahman.

(3) Udaharana:So all things are unreal as seeing of silver in nacre.

(4) Sruti or Scripture:In Advaita, Agama or Veda has been admitted as an independent testimony and source of knowledge. The Vedas are impersonal and eternal. According to Advaita philosophy, the Vedas begin with the beginning of the creation and disappear with its disappearance. Advaita philosophy does not admit any need to prove the absoluteness of the Vedas. The Vedas are self-proved. Memory is true only when it is based upon scriptures.

The Advaita Vedanta focuses on the following basic concepts:

Brahman, atman, vidya (knowledge), avidya (ignorance), maya, karma and  moksha.

(1)            Brahman is the Ultimate, Supreme Reality. 

In Vedanta philosophy, the svaroop of Brahman is referred to as Sachchidananda. Brahman is Sachchidananda i.e. Sat-Chitta-Ananda(Pure Existence-Pure Consciousness-Pure Bliss.
(2)       Atman is the inmost Self or Spirit of man but different from the ‘empirical ego’. Atman is the fundamental, ultimate, eternal, immutable pure consciousness.
(3)       Maya is the unique power (shakti) of BrahmanMaya is trigunatmika; it has three gunas or attributes.

(4) Brahman manifests itself in the world with the help of Maya. Maya has created the world of appearances. So the world is illusion.

(5)       Avidya (ignorance) has its seat in the human intellect. Avidya means not only absence of knowledge, but also erroneous knowledge.

(6)       Moksha is freedom from bondage of ignorance. Man suffers in the grip of incessant desires and ignorance.  Upon realization of the self, one becomes free from the shackles of desires, aspirations, passions, karma and avidya. This is Moksha (kaivalya) or liberation

(7)       Knowledge and truth are of two kinds: the lower one and the higher one. The lower, conventional knowledge and truth is referred to asvyavavahrika satya. It is a product of the senses and the intellect. The higher one is referred to the paramarthika satya. It is absolute. It is beyond words, thoughts, perception or conception.

(8)       Advaita  Vedanta recognizes the six  pramanas (sources and criteria of valid knowledge) on the basis of the  Mimamsa school of Kumarila Bhatta. They are as follows:

(1) Perception (pratyaksha) (2) Inference (anumana)

 

(3) Testimony(shabda)

 

(4) Comparison(upamana)

 

(5) Postulation(arthapatti)

 

(6) Noncognition(anupalabdhi)

 

 

In short it can be said that Classical Indian philosophy extends from approximately 100 BC to AD 1800, which marks the beginning of the modern period. Ancient Indian thought, which is also philosophic in a broader sense, originated as early as 1200 BC and appears in scriptures called Veda. Ancient Indian philosophy also includes the mystical treatises known as Upanishads (700 to 100 BC), early Buddhist writings (300 BC to AD 500), and the Sanskrit poem Bhagavad-Gita (Song of God, about 200 BC). Classical Indian philosophy is less concerned with spirituality than ancient thought; rather, it concentrates on questions of how people can know and communicate about everyday affairs.

In ancient Indian philosophy (before 100 BC), philosophy and religion cannot be meaningfully separated, primarily because of the cultural integration of religious practices and mystical pursuits. For example, ceremonies celebrating birth, marriage, and death, performed with recitations of Vedic verses (mantras), were important for bonding within ancient Indian societies. Later in classical Indian philosophy, different social practices developed. Thus, the orthodox classical schools of thought are distinguished from nonorthodox classical schools by their allegiance to established forms of social practice rather than to the doctrines of the Veda. Buddhism, for example, constitutes much more of a break with Vedic practices than with the ideas developed in Vedic traditions of thought. In fact, the Upanishads, mystical treatises continuous with the Vedas, foretell many Buddhist teachings. In ancient India, religion did not entail dogma, but rather a way of life that permitted a wide range of philosophic positions and inquiry.

 

 

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Metaphysics – The What Aspect

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A(Socio, Phil) B.Se. M. Ed, Ph.D

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V.(P.G) College, Roorkee, India

“Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum.”

( I doubt, therefore I think; I think therefore I am )

Rene Descartes

French Mathematician, Philosopher and Scientist

Philosophy is the systematic inquiry into the principles and presuppositions of any field of study.  From a psychological point of view, philosophy is an attitude, an approach, or a calling to answer or to ask, or even to comment upon certain peculiar problems.  Philosophy is a persistent attempt to gain insight into the nature of the world and of ourselves by means of systematic reflection.

Philosophy starts with bewilderment, astonishment, amazement about the world, life, and ourselves. Philosophy arises from the workings of an inquisitive mind which is bewildered by seemingly common things or by those that appear to be entirely impractical. It emerges out of readiness to follow the call of human intellectual curiosity beyond common sense acquaintanceship with the world

Philosophy does not stay by pure bewilderment and amazement. Philosophers articulate their initial amazement by formulating questions (mostly what- and why-questions and what ought to be) that guide their curiosity toward comprehension of the problem.

“The great virtue of philosophy is that it teaches not what to think, but how to think. It is the study of meaning, of the principles underlying conduct, thought and knowledge. The skills  are the ability to analyze, to question orthodoxies and to express things clearly

When we speak of philosophy we use a term which may be viewed in two senses. The first of  these is that of  the word itself which literally means  “ love of wisdom” .But to love wisdom does not necessarily make one a philosopher .Today, we think of philosophy in a more limited sense as man’s attempt to give meaning to his existence through the continued search for a comprehensive and consistent answer to basic problems .It is this second sense of the word which makes the philosopher an active person; one who seeks answers, rather than one who simply sits around engaging in idle and frivolous speculation. Nowadays, most philosophers are actively concerned with life. THEY SEEK ANSWERS TO BASIC PROBLEMS. Thus we find that philosophers are doing as well as thinking, and it is their thinking which guides their doing .What they do is rooted in the search for answers to certain types of problems and the tentative answers they have formulated.

Philosophy is a persistent attempt to gain insight into the nature of the world and of ourselves by means of systematic reflection. The three great problems of philosophy are the problems of reality, knowledge, and value-Philosophy deals with these in three aspects. The three great problems of philosophy are the problems of reality, knowledge, and value-

This way philosophy deals with three basic areas

  1. .Area related with what aspect ,it is METAPHYSICS
  2. .Area related with how aspect ,it is EPISTOMOLOGY
  3. Area related with what ought to be aspect, it is AXIOLOGY

 

Metaphysics: The Study of Reality

Metaphysics (derived from the Greek words “ta meta ta physika biblia”) – meaning ‘the book that follows the physics book’. Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that goes beyond the realms of science and is    concerned with the study of “first principles” and “being” . Meta means above; this is the study of the nature of things above physics.(What comes after Physics) Metaphysics covers the kinds of things most people probably think of if asked what philosophy covers

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that goes beyond the realms of science. It is concerned with answering the questions about identity and the world. The name is derived from the Greek words, Meta which means beyond or after, and Physika which means physics. Aristotle, one of the most well-known philosophers, acknowledged Thales as the first known meta physician. The main branches of metaphysics are ontology, natural theology and universal science.

In popular parlance, metaphysics has become the label for the study of things which transcend the natural world — that is, things which supposedly exist separately from nature and which have a more intrinsic reality than our natural existence. As a result, the popular sense of metaphysics has been the study of any question about reality which cannot be answered by scientific observation and experimentation.

The branch of philosophy which deals with the problem of reality what is the nature of the universe in which we live? Or in the last analysis, what is real? Is termed as Metaphysics Metaphysics as a disicpline was a central part of academic inquiry and scholarly education even before the age of Aristotle, who considered it “the Queen of Sciences.” Its issues were considered no less important than the other main formal subjects of physical science, medicine, mathematics, poetics and music. Since the beginning of modern philosophy during the seventeenth century, problems that were not originally considered within the bounds of metaphysics have been added to its purview, while other problems considered metaphysical for centuries are now typically subjects of their own separate regions in philosophy,.

In popular parlance, metaphysics has become the label for the study of things which transcend the natural world — that is, things which supposedly exist separately from nature and which have a more intrinsic reality than our natural existence. This assigns a sense to the Greek prefix meta which it did not originally have, but words do change over time. As a result, the popular sense of metaphysics has been the study of any question about reality which cannot be answered by scientific observation and experimentation.

Questions Asked in Metaphysics:

  • Do abstract concepts (like numbers) really exist?
  • Does Free Will exist?
  • Is there such a process as cause and effect?
  • What is out there?
  • What is reality?

Branches of Metaphysics:

Metaphysics covers  those ‘big questions’, such as, is there God, why are we here, what is the ultimate nature of the universe, and so on. Another important area of metaphysics is the nature of substance, that is, what is the universe really made of,

Aristotle’s book on metaphysics was divided into three sections: ontology, theology, and universal science.

Theology, of course, is the study of gods — does a god exist, what a god is, what a god wants, etc.

“Universal science” is a bit harder to understand, but it involves the search for “first principles” — things like the origin of the universe, fundamental laws of logic and reasoning, etc.

 

Because of this, these are the three traditional branches of metaphysical inquiry there, what are its properties, etc.

Ontology

The word is derived from the Greek terms on, which means “reality” and logos, which means “study of.”

Ontology deals with the study of the nature of reality: what is it, how many “realities” are. Ontology is the branch of philosophy which deals with the study of the nature of reality: what is it, how many “realities” are there, what are its properties, etc. The word is derived from the Greek terms on, which means “reality” and logos, which means “study of.” Atheists generally believe that there is a single reality which is material and natural in nature.

Ontology features in the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy from the first millennium BCE. The concept of guṇa which describes the three properties (sattva, rajas and tamas) present in differing proportions in all existing things, is a notable concept of this school.

It is the theory of reality, the inquiry into what is real as opposed to what is appearance, either conceived as that which the methods of science presuppose, or that with which the methods of science are concerned; the inquiry into the first principles of nature; the study of the most fundamental generalizations as to what exists, and the meaning of existence as such. and the questions relating,

  • Space-time or Nature as identical with existence.  to explain reality in terms of  matter or physical energy. (e.g., naturalism and physical realism).
  • Explanation regarding Spirit or God as identical with existence. To explain Existence in terms of Mind or Spirit, or to be dependent upon Mind or Spirit. (Especially true of idealism.)
  • To evaluate Existence as a category and its  validity. As held by those, especially the pragmatists, who insist that everything is flux or change and there is nothing which fits into the category of existence in any ultimate sense.

Types of Ontology

Philosophers can classify ontologies in various ways, using criteria such as the degree of abstraction and field of application:

  • Domain ontology: concepts relevant to a particular topic, domain of discourse, or area of interest, for example, to information technology or to computer languages, or to particular branches of science
  • Interface ontology: concepts relevant to the juncture of two disciplines
  • Process ontology: inputs, outputs, constraints, sequencing information, involved in business or engineering processes
  • Upper ontology: concepts supporting development of an ontology, meta-ontology

Theology

The word “theology” comes from two Greek words that combined mean “the study of God.” Theology is derived from the Greek theologia (θεολογία), which derived from Τheos (Θεός), meaning “God“, and -logia (-λογία),[4][5]meaning “utterances, sayings, or oracles” (a word related to logos [λόγος], meaning “word, discourse, account, or reasoning“) which had passed into Latin as theologia and into French as théologie. The English equivalent “theology” (Theologie, Teologye) had evolved by 1362.[6] The sense the word has in English depends in large part on the sense the Latin and Greek equivalents had acquired in patristic and medieval Christian usage, although the English term has now spread beyond Christian contexts.

Augustine of Hippo defined the Latin equivalent, theologia, as “reasoning or discussion concerning the Deity”;[7] Richard Hooker defined “theology” in English as “the science of things divine.

Theology is the study of deities or their scriptures in order to discover what they have revealed about themselves. Theology, of course, is the study of gods — does a god exist, what a god is, what a god wants, etc. Every religion has its own theology because its study of gods, if it includes any gods, will proceed from specific doctrines and traditions which vary from one religion to the next. Since atheists don’t accept the existence of any gods, they don’t accept that theology is the study of anything real. At most, it might be the study of what people think is real and atheist involvement in theology proceeds more from the perspective of a critical outsider rather than an involved member.

search for “first principles” — things like the origin of the universe, fundamental laws of logic and reasoning, etc. For theists, the answer to this is almost always “god” and, moreover, they tend to argue that there can be no other possible answer. Some even go far as to argue that the existence of things like logic and the universe constitute evidence of the existence of their god.

Universal science-

niversal science (GermanUniversalwissenschaft; Latinscientia generalis, scientia universalis) is a branch of metaphysics. In the work of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the universal science is the true logic. Plato‘s system of idealism, formulated using the teachings of Socrates, is a predecessor to the concept of universal science. It emphasizes on the first principles which appear to be the reasoning behind everything, emerging and being in state with everything.

The branch of “universal science” is a bit harder to understand, but it involves the search for “first principles” — things like the origin of the universe, fundamental laws of logic and reasoning, etc. For theists, the answer to this is almost always “god” and, moreover, they tend to argue that there can be no other possible answer. Some even go far as to argue that the existence of things like logic and the universe constitute evidence of the existence of their god

Originally, the idea of Universal Science came from Plato’s system of idealism, formulated using the teachings of Socrates.  it -  moves beyond the compartmentalization of standard science, and seeks to provide a bigger picture, even a complete picture, of the cosmos and all it’s component realities.  As such Unified Science tends towards grand theories of metaphysics, and estoteric world- views.  It would however be simplistic and incorrect to call theories of universal science ” esoteric” and conventional science ” exoteric”.  Rather universal paradigms of science are more strongly intuitive based, and in many cases are science-inspired systems of metaphysics.

Theories of Metaphysics-

Theories of the nature of reality-

( Cosmology )

Theories of the nature of the cosmos and explanations of its origin and development. It deals with the origin and structure of the universe. It accepts the principles of science and attempts to find the principles of existence, in whatever form they may take.

Some considerations in cosmology are:

 

a . Causality.

The nature of cause and effect relationship,  the nature of time and the nature of space. Causality (also referred to as causation, or cause and effect) is what connects one process (the cause) with another process or state (the effect),[ where the first is partly responsible for the second, and the second is partly dependent on the first. In general, a process has many causes,[2] which are said to be causal factors for it, and all lie in its past. An effect can in turn be a cause of, or causal factor for, many other effects, which all lie in its future. Multiple philosophers have believed that causality is metaphysically prior to notions of time and space.

Causality is an abstraction that indicates how the world progresses, so basic a concept that it is more apt as an explanation of other concepts of progression than as something to be explained by others more basic.

b Evolutionism

Universe evolved by itself.  ”Evolutionism” means different things to different people. Evolutionism describes the belief in the evolution of organisms. Its exact meaning has changed over time as the study of evolution has progressed. In the 19th century, it was used to describe the belief that organisms deliberately improved themselves through progressive inherited change.

c .Creationism. The universe came to be as the result of the working of a creative cause or Personality. A doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis.

Theories of nature of man as one important aspect of Reality.

The problem of essential nature of the self. There are no particular terms but there are divergent answers which can be identified with general viewpoints.

  1. The self is a soul, a spiritual being. A principle of idealism and spiritual realism
  2. The self is essentially the same as the body. A principle of naturalism and physical realism
  1. The self is a social-vocal phenomenon. A principle held especially by experimentalists

Theories of Problem of the Relation of Body and Mind

 


Interactionism.

Mind and body are 2 different kind of reality, each of which can affect the other. Interactionism or interactionist dualism is the theory in the philosophy of mind which holds that matter and mind are two distinct and independent substances that exert causal effects on one another. Interactionism is a dualist position in the philosophy of mind which argues that

(1) mind and body are separate, but that

(2) there is causal interaction between the two. Cartesian dualism, the position of René Descartes is the most famous example of interactionism.

Parallelism.

Mind and body are two different kinds of reality which do not and cannot affect each other. But in some unknown way, every mental event is paralleled by a corresponding physical event. parallelism (or simply parallelism) is the theory that mental and bodily events are perfectly coordinated, without any causal interaction between them. Parallelism, or psychophysical parallelism (meaning that mind and body are parallel) is a form of dualism which denies any interaction between mind and body.

Parallelism is a difficult position to hold, since it does little to account for the fact that the brain and mind seem to regularly interact, and that changes in one appear to affect the other. If the two are separate substances in a dualist view, then the idea that there is no causality between them, yet obvious changes in both simultaneously, seems counter-intuitive. For this reason it is not a commmonly held belief, but merely a presentation of the third possibility, the others being two-way interaction (as in interactionism) and one-way interaction, as in most forms of physicalism.

Epiphenomenalism.

Mind is merely a function of the brain, an overtone accompanying bodily activity. It is an onlooker at events, never influencing them.  Epiphenomenalism is a position in the philosophy of mind according to which mental states or events are caused by physical states or events in the brain but do not themselves cause anything. Epiphenomenalism is a theory concerning the relation between the mental and physical realms, regarded as radically different in nature. The theory holds that only physical states have causal power, and that mental states are completely dependent on them. The mental realm, for epiphenomenalists, is nothing more than a series of conscious states which signify the occurrence of states of the nervous system, but which play no causal role.

Double Aspect Theory.

Double-aspect theory, also called dual-aspect theory, type of mind-body monism. According to double-aspect theory, the mental and the material are different aspects or attributes of a unitary reality, which itself is neither mental nor material. Mind and body are two aspects of a fundamental reality whose nature is unknown. In the philosophy of mind, double-aspect theory is the view that the mental and the physical are two aspects of, or perspectives on, the same substance.

Emergence Theory.

Mind is something new which has been produced by Nature in the evolutionary process, neither identical with body, parallel to it, nor wholly dependent upon it. The basic idea of emergence is that there are properties – perhaps even “laws” – at the upper hierarchical levels of nature that are not derivable from or reducible to the properties and laws of the lower levels. The most central concept in this new emergentism is irreducibility. The idea is that although mental properties depend on physical properties and supervene on them, they can never be reduced to them.

Spiritualism

Spiritualism is a philosophy that attempts to understand people, their physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual being. As Spirit is the moving force of the Universe, so Spiritualist philosophy embraces the whole realm of nature.   (A definition common to most idealists and spiritual realists.) Mind is more fundamental than body. The relation of body and mind is better described as body depending upon mind, as compared to the common-sense description according to which mind depends upon body. Spiritualism. Spiritualism, in philosophy, a characteristic of any system of thought that affirms the existence of immaterial reality imperceptible to the senses.

Theories of problem of freedom

Determinism.

Man is not free. All of his actions are determined by forces greater than he is. Determinism, in philosophy, theory that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes.  The theory holds that the universe is utterly rational because complete knowledge of any given situation assures that unerring knowledge of its future is also possible.

Free Will.

Man has the power of choice and is capable of genuine initiative.  Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded. Free will is closely linked to the concepts of responsibility, praise, guilt, sin, and other judgements which apply only to actions that are freely chosen. It is also connected with the concepts of advice, persuasion, deliberation, and prohibition. Traditionally, only actions that are freely willed are seen as deserving credit or blame. There are numerous different concerns about threats to the possibility of free will, varying by how exactly it is conceived, which is a matter of some debate.

Third alternative

There is a third alternative proposed especially by the experimentalists, for which there is no name. Man is neither free nor determined; but he can and does delay some of his responses long enough to reconstruct a total response, not completely automatic but not free, which does give a new direction to subsequent activity. n any conflict, the 1st Alternative is my way, and the 2nd Alternative is your way. The usual outcomes are either a war or a compromise. Compromise stops the fight — but without breaking through to amazing new results. A 3rd Alternative is that kind of breakthrough.

3rd Alternative thinking doesn’t just resolve a conflict, it transforms the conflict. It’s not about putting Band-Aids on the old reality, it’s about creating a new reality. With a compromise we all lose something, but with a 3rd Alternative we all win.

Theories  Regarding Conception of God

 


B. Atheism. There is no ultimate reality in or behind the cosmos which is Person or Spirit. Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. … Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.

G. Deism. God exists quite apart from, and is disinterested in, the physical universe and human beings. But He created both and is the Author of all natural and moral law. Deism is the belief in a supreme being, who remains unknowable and untouchable. God is viewed as merely the “first cause” and underlying principle of rationality in the universe. Deists believe in a god of nature — a noninterventionist creator — who permits the universe to run itself according to natural laws.

C. Pantheism.  a doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.

the worship or tolerance of many gods. All is God and God is all. The cosmos and God are identical. Pantheism, the doctrine that the universe conceived of as a whole is God and, conversely, that there is no God but the combined substance, forces, and laws that are manifested in the existing universe. The cognate doctrine of panentheism asserts that God includes the universe as a part though not the whole of his being.

A. The conception of God as emerging, for which there is no common name. God is evolving with the cosmos; He is the end toward which it is moving, instead of the beginning from which it came. God is affected by the pain of creatures, is genuinely responsive to their calls, acquires experiences as a result of these interactions that were not present beforehand — all ideas familiar to readers of process theology.

D. Polytheism. Spiritual reality is plural rather than a unity. There is more than one God. Polytheism is the worship of many gods.  Polytheism (from the Greek: polus, many, and theos, god) refers to belief in, or worship of, multiple gods or deities. This mode of belief is an extremely common form of religious expression. Most ancient religions involved belief in pantheons of deities ruling over various aspects of life. Further, these polytheistic beliefs remain a vital part of HinduismShintoism and many other religious traditions into the present day.

The term “polytheism” is sometimes applied to a wide variety of religious traditions with a range of divergent theological stance

E. Theism.  The term theism (from the Greek theos, or “god”) commonly refers to belief in God, the view that all finite things are dependent in some way on one supreme, self-existent reality who is typically spoken of as having personal identity Ultimate reality is a personal God who is more than the cosmos but within whom and through the cosmos exists. Theism, the view that all limited or finite things are dependent in some way on one supreme or ultimate reality of which one may also speak in personal terms.

F. Teleology.  Philosophies holding that there has been purpose in the universe from its beginning, and /or purpose can be discerned in history, are teleological philosophies. Considerations as to whether or not there is purpose in the universe. Teleology or finality is a reason or explanation for something in function of its end, purpose, or goal. It is derived from two Greek words: telos and logos. A purpose that is imposed by a human use, such as that of a fork, is called extrinsic.Philosophies holding that the world is what it is because of chance, accident, or blind mechanism are no teleological.

Theoretical  Considerations relating to the constancy, or lack of it, in reality.

Absolutism.

Fundamental reality is constant, unchanging, fixed, and dependable

Relativism.

Reality is a changing thing. So called realities are always relative to something or other.

Theories Related with Problems of quantity. Consideration of the number of ultimate realities, apart from qualitative aspects.

 

Monism.

A theory or doctrine that denies the existence of a distinction or duality in a particular sphere, such as that between matter and mind, or God and the world.The doctrine that only one supreme being exists.

Reality is unified. It is one. It is mind, or matter, or energy, or will but only one of these.

Dualism.

Dualism in Metaphysics is the belief that there are two kinds of reality: material (physical) and immaterial (spiritual). In Philosophy of Mind, Dualism is the position that mind and body are in some categorical way separate from each other, and that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical in nature. Reality is two. Usually these realities are antithetical, as spirit and matter, good and evil. Commonly, the antithesis is weighted, so that one of the two is considered more important and more enduring than the other.

Pluralism. Pluralism is a term used in philosophy, meaning “doctrine of multiplicity”, often used in opposition to monism (“doctrine of unity”) and dualism (“doctrine of duality”). The term has different meanings in metaphysics, ontology, epistemology and logic Reality is many. minds, things, materials, energies, laws, processes, etc., all may be considered equally real and to some degree independent of each other.

 

References

  • Butler, J.Donald, Four Philosophies and Their Practice in Education and Religion. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1957
  • Cotter, A.C. ABC of Scholastic Philosophy. Weston, Massachusetts: Weston College Press, 1949
  • Maritain, Jacques,” Thomist views on Education,” Modern Philosophies of Education. National Society for the Study of Education, Fifty-Fourth yearbook, Part I. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955.
  • Weber, Christian O., Basic Philosophies of Education. New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1960. This book, especially in chapters 11-
  • Broudy, Harry S., Building a Philosophy of Education. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1961..
  • Frank Thilly, “A History of philosophy”, Central Publishing House, Allahabad.
  • Rusk, R.R., “Philosophical Basis of Education” p-68, footnote, London, University of London Press, 1956.

Acknowledgement

Mrs. Manjul Agarwal for being scribe for this article.

 

 

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