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Core of Hinduism: Know about the Concepts of Vedanta Philosophy

Vedanta goes on to assert that beneath this outward changing lies a fundamental reality which is supreme, called Brahman

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  • Main concepts of Vedanta- the first is human’s real nature is divine and the second concept is that the aim of human life is to realise this divinity
  • Brahman is designated by Advaitins as saccidananda: as “being” (sat), “consciousness” (cit), and “bliss” (ananda)
  • Brahman, for Advaita Vedanta, is a name for that fullness of being which is the “tranquillity” of non-dualistic spiritual experience

Vedanta philosophy or Uttara Mimamsa is the orthodox philosophy of Hinduism. It has two main concepts. The first is human’s real nature is divine and the second concept is that the aim of human life is to realise this divinity. Vedanta goes on to assert that beneath this outward changing lies a fundamental reality which is supreme, called Brahman.

The Hindu scriptural tradition is quite remarkable for its size and diversity;not only are there a very large number of works designated as revelation,but the specific content of these works varies greatly. In order to make this vast body of literature more manageable, it was necessary for theologians to summarise and reconcile the many different theological doctrines found in scripture. Within the Hindu tradition, the task developed into a separate field of theological writing, known as Mimamsa, mentioned the Hinduism expert Subhamoy Das in hinduism.about.com.

The Mimamsa tradition developed along the two lines that stand out in varying degrees of conflict and conformity throughout the Hindu tradition, namely the distinction between Karma (or dharma) and jnana or action and knowledge as the means of liberation. From this tradition came two Mimamsa-type works, the Kalpa Sutras, which were concise descriptions of the Brahmanical sacrifices, and the Purva Mimamsa Sutras, which summarised the doctrines and principles behind the sacrificial tradition. Uttara Mimamsa represented a systematisation of jnana Kanda and drew its texts primarily from the Upanisads and Aranyaka portion of the Brahmans.

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Knowledge of Real-Self

The hinduism.about.com mentioned, in the age of scepticism and materialism, few people care to know their real Self, which is divine and eternal. But the knowledge of the true Self has always been the principal theme of Vedanta philosophy. Upanishads, which form portions of the Vedic Scriptures, discovered and taught that knowledge of self-lies at the root of all knowledge, whether science, philosophy or religion. Every sincere seeker after knowledge , hence, who aspire intellectual, moral or spiritual development, must first learn to distinguish between spirit and matter, soul and body, and then realise the all-knowing spiritual Self who is the eternal foundation of the universe.

Advaita Vedanta

Advaita means oneness. According to the scriptural approach, the Advaitic thinking can be condensed into three concise statements: Brahman is non-dual; the world is a delusion; (Atman) which is immortal is not different from reality (Brahman).

SwansCygnus olor.jpg
The swan is an important motif in Advaita, Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Brahman is designated by Advaitins as saccidananda: as “being” (sat), “consciousness” (cit), and “bliss” (ananda).

Being (sat)- point to the ontological principle of unity, to the oneness not constituted of parts, to the existential sun stratum of all subjects and objects. Brahman is experienced as pure unqualified being. In fact, it alone truly “exists” – which means that manner of being is not comparable to the supposes existence of anything else.

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Consciousness(cit) indicates to the principle of awareness which informs being and which is, for the Advaitin, an unchanging witness of our being.Brahman experience is an illuminating experience; it is a state of conscious enlightenment.

Bliss (Ananda) indicates to the principle of value; to the fact that Brahman-experience is ecstatic and nullify all partial value in its incomparable splendour.

Advaita Vedanta distinguishes two aspects or modes of Brahman, nirguna, and saguna. Nirguna Brahman: a Brahman without qualities is just that transcendent interminate state of being about which ultimately nothing can be affirmed. Saguna Brahman: a Brahman with qualities, is Brahman as interpreted and affirmed by the mind from its necessarily limited standpoint.

Overall: Brahman, for Advaita Vedanta, is a name for that fullness of being which is the “tranquillity” of non-dualistic spiritual experience: an experience in which all distinctions between object are shattered and in which all distinctions between subjects objects are shattered and in which remains only pure unqualified “oneness”.

–  by Akanksha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akanksha4117

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All You Need to Know About the Sport of Jallikattu

Jallikattu is certainly a dangerous sports, which poses a risk of life for the participants.

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banned bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu
Jallikattu sport of Tamil Nadu, Wikimedia

By Ruchika Verma

  • Jallikattu is a traditional Tamil sport
  • The sport involves bulls and humans, the latter trying to control the former
  • The sport was banned in 2014, which created a lots of controversy

Jallikattu or Sallikkattu, also known as ‘eru thazhuvuthal’ and ‘manju virattu’ traditionally, was in news last year, around this time due to the ban imposed on it by the Supreme Court. The ban was much hyped and gathered a plethora of media’s attention.

Jallikattu ban was much hyped. Wikimedia Commons
Jallikattu ban was much hyped. Wikimedia Commons

Jallikattu ban has also garnered lots of political attention due to the involvement of Tamil Nadu and Central governments. The issue is much hyed due to the political context involved in it too.

What exactly is Jallikattu ? 

Jallikattu is a traditional sport and spectacle in which bulls of the Pulikulam or Kangayam breeds are released into a crowd of people, and multiple human participants attempt to control the bulls while they try to escape.

Jallikattu is seen as animal cruelty by many activists. Flickr
Jallikattu is seen as animal cruelty by many activists. Flickr

Jallikattu is practised in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations. The districts, Madurai, Thanjavur, and Salem are the most famous for conducting Jallikattu. The game dates back to Tamil classical period, which went back to 400 BC. Ancient Tamil Sangam literature described the practice as ‘Yeru thazhuvuthal’ which literally means “bull embracing.” With time the sport has become synonymous with valour and bravery.

Also Read : Tamil Nadu legalises Jallikattu with a New Law

What happens in Jallikattu and how?

The bulls participating in the game are all lined up behind a narrow gate and released one by one into the arena. The participants have to either control the bull by holding its hump or clutch away a flag attached to the horns. Owners of the bulls often announce prizes for the man who gets the hold of their bull.

The objective of the game is not to kill or overpower the bull, but to hold onto their hump for a certain amount of time or distance.

The participants are only allowed to hold onto the hump of the Bull. www.in.com
The participants are only allowed to hold onto the hump of the Bull. www.in.com

There are three variants to the game. First, when the  bulls are released from an enclosed area. Second, when the bull is directly released into open ground. And third, when bull is tied to a rope as the only restriction, and a team of 7-9 members has to untie the prize from the bull’s horns in 30 minutes of time period.

The gate through which bulls enter the arena are called vadi vasai. The bulls charge at the men standing most near to the gate. One of the rules also say that a participant is only allowed to hold bull’s hump and no other body part. The other rules varies from region to region.

Also Read : Animal rights organisations challenge new law on Jallikattu

Jallikattu Ban and Controversy

Jallikattu is certainly a dangerous sports, which poses a risk of life for the participants.

In 2014, The Supreme Court banned the sport, endorsing the activists’ concerns according to which, Jallikattu is not only cruelty towards the animal, but also poses a threat to humans. According to the data provided, between 2010 and 2014, 17 people were killed and approximately 1000 were injured during Jallikatu.

The Jallikattu ban was protests by many Tamilians.
The Jallikattu ban was protests by many Tamilians.

However, the ban invited a lots of protests. Many Tamil communities called this ban a violation of their culture and tradition.

In 2017, many lawyers plead to remove the ban which was rejected by the court. After requests and arguments of Tamil communities, central government reversed the ban, however, after Supreme Court stuck the order down, the ban was imposed again. However, the government of Tamil Nadu sanctioned the sport and brought it back into the practice.