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The Role of Good Manners as a Bridge Between the World Religions in the Sanštana Tradition (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism)

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Philosophy Bridging the World Religions

Part of the book series: A Discourse of the World Religions ((DOWR,volume 5))

Abstract

Contentious religious beliefs often precipitate discordant and injurious situations among adherents of different religions. Discourse of suspicion and distrust has often been erected on the basis of contentious religious beliefs. Not only memory of injustice but also images of infidelity, incredulity and cruelty are invoked to fuel the suspicion. Doctrinal grounding of beliefs and their embodiment in daily practices can be used even to create warring regimentation among believers. Armed communities, armed nations and armed states can be constituted around religious beliefs. Hegemonic pacts of intolerance and hatred, even mass extermination drives have been witnessed couched in religious beliefs.

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Reference

  1. A variety of worldviews of Indic origin, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, are collectively referred to as `Santana traditions.’ Seven beliefs that underlie the concept of “Santana” are explained on pp. 73–75 below.

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  2. Mission Statement of this Conference as outlined by Peter Koslowski, “The Philosophy of the World Religions: Introduction,” Yearbook for Philosophy of the Hannover Institute of Philosophical Research,ed. V. Hösle, P. Koslowski and R. Schenk, Vol. 11 (Vienna: Passagen Verlag, 2000), p. 15.

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  3. Sanskrit compound term `rnaryeidei (judicious disposition, propriety in conduct) + puruya (conscious agency, self) + uttama (meritorious, excellent)’ is popularly identified with Rama. The compound term thus can be translated as `meritorious judiciously disposed person’ or can be freely rendered as `wholesome upright person.’

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  4. Indic Islam installed such a project for construction of Adab or manners, see Barbara Daly Metcalf, ed., Moral Conduct and Authority: The Place of Adab in South Asian Islam (Berkeley

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  7. This argument is covered in detail in Navjyoti Singh, “What is Scientific Method? and How is Sdstra Related to it?” in D. Prahladacharya, ed., Sanskrta Vijiidna Vaibhavam (Monograph on Sanskrit and Science) (Tirupati: Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapitha, 2000), pp. 19–41.

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  8. For adaptation of virtue within Greco-European thought, see Alasdair Maclntyre, After Virtue (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981), and Whose Justice? Which Rationality (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988 ).

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  9. Dharma,from the root dhr (bearing, supporting, possessing), means dhârana iti or “that (disposition) which is (firmly) held.” Dharma stands for `injunctive’ or `dispositional’ content that is held as belonging naturally. Popularly it is rendered as `quality,’ `duty,’ or even `religion’ in modern days. It may be noted that terms sanâtana and dharma are compounded together in Rg Veda,3.3.1: “... sanâtadharmani...” meaning “ancient injunctions.”

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  10. `Sainslcâra (held predilection) + tarira (body)’ indicates aggregate of latent dispositions in life-forms acquired through its actions. It can be rendered as `bundle of traces,’ like physical body can be rendered as `bundle of material entities.’

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  11. `Svayarrt (by oneself) + bhu (existent)’ means that which is `brought into being by itself.’ Nothing is brought into being by itself without any support of other except the totality or radical independence, which is presented by the concept of svayambhu.

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  12. Every episode of knowledge does not have an explicitly evident form of deed. Action of a living-form need not be an explicit object of every episode of knowledge. Though all episodes of knowledge can be seen as aspectual rendering of some or other deed or related to one or other deed while paraphrasing exactly that episode of knowledge. Miimärhsä tradition has evolved a powerful doctrine of arthavâda to understand such episode of knowledge as related to deeds, as paraphrased into deeds. Vyäkarana tradition puts verb, as action of living and non-living forms, at

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  13. For the analysis of copula and Indian logic, see Navjyoti Singh, On the Limit of Ontology: Gopinath Bhattacharya Memorial Lecture (Calcutta: Jadavpur University, 1992), p. 14.

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  15. Chhatrapati Singh, Law from Anarchy to Utopia: An Exposition of the Logical, Epistemological and Ontological Foundations of the Idea of Law, by an Enquiry into the Nature of Legal Propositions and the Basis of Legal Authority (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1986), p. xii, gives an interesting analogy while discussing Marxism and law: “A theory that explains what money is, is very different from a theory that explains how counterfeit money works. Marxism, I contend, is unable to distinguish counterfeit money from the real thing.” Such is a fate of building a theory of justice from the theory of exploitation.

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  16. Chhatrapati Singh, Law from Anarchy to Utopia,p. 42.

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  17. Nature of fiat has been an issue of wide-ranging discussions in broad and vibrant pramana sâstra tradition of analysis. It is by the Miimärhsä tradition that the issue was originally brought up. Badrinatha Shukla, ed., Vidhivada with Hindi commentary Múrtimati,Varanasi (Sampurnananda Sanskrit University, 1992), in his Introduction, has dealt extensively with the nature and structure of fiat or vidhi from Navya Nyäya viewpoint. Structure that we have given is a general formulation acceptable broadly in the Indian theoretical traditions. It is in details that differences prop up among various schools of thought. Chhatrapati Singh, Law from Anarchy to Utopia,tried his hand at interpreting fiat in terms of Kantian synthetic a priori proposition.

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  18. Fiat of `sharing’ as applied on the area of `food’ in Sancitana tradition has been insightfully dealt with in Jitendra Bajaj and Mandyam Doddamani Srinivas, Anna Bahu Kurvita: Traditional Discipline of Producing and Sharing Food in Plenty (Chennai: CPS, 1996).

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  19. These four basic types of transactions among men are non-trivially related to ksatriya dharma, vaisya dharma, gadra dharma and brahmana dharma respectively.

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  20. In this respect the role of danda (punishment) in the sphere of action is quite analogous to the role of tarka (suppositional reasoning) in the sphere of cintana (thinking) and manana (contemplation). Dançla is related to dharma the way tarka is related to pramä (true knowledge). The way tarka (suppositional reason) does not directly yield prania (true knowledge) is the way dançla (punishment) does not directly yield dharma (justice). For explication of the nature of relation between tarka and pramâ,see Navjyoti Singh, “On Tarka: Ratiociation and Veridication,” in Science Philosophy Interface,2, 1 (January-June 1997), pp. 1–20.

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  21. Manusmrti,1.108: âcârah paramodharmâh — “righteous conduct is highest disposition.”

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Singh, N. (2003). The Role of Good Manners as a Bridge Between the World Religions in the Sanštana Tradition (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism). In: Koslowski, P. (eds) Philosophy Bridging the World Religions. A Discourse of the World Religions, vol 5. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-2618-4_6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-2618-4_6

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-90-481-6029-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-017-2618-4

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