Today our Philosophy group was lucky enough to have Professor Makarand Paranjape come to our discussion and present the second portion of his paper on the late Professor Ramchandra Gandhi. What follows are my notes from the discussion which may only be discernable to me…

Civilization→ cosmic mythology and theology

Self confidence combined with Self Consciousness is the Truth of India

Political importance of “I am Thou”

Civilizational importance of modern India

Custodian of these values

Ramuji’s belief in Hindi…non Hindi speakers can adopt it. His mother spoke Tamil, Father spoke Gujurati but he was a Hindi speaker. This language could be the glue of India…if you marry someone from a different part you can choose to speak English or Hindi but Hindi was what he believed in…

Sanatana Dharma is different from institutional Hinduism

No monopoly over Truth and tradition…Hinayana and Mahayana for every tradition (discussion of Marxism)

There are different images of the Self and one is not more valid or true

Sanatana – that which is perennial

Makarand wrote a paper on Sanatani, co-Sanatani (Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism) non-sanatani (nihilism)

I am Thou as an image of yourself…

Modern life is absent of dharma and moksha and the world is entrenched in kama and artha

I am Thou is an artifact…there are awards for boook production in the United States

Sita’s Kitchen is an anti-nihilist argument. Sita is born from the Earth and this is very important…Earth Goddess, eco-feminism, aboriginality in advaita

Ananaya is non-other, no other

Compassion and nonviolence is the only was to save ourselves from self destruction

Reincarnation believers in the world unite because having the belief they will come back they are custodians of the earth, protects it…

Here and now hedonism and nihilist idea that life is purposeless and meaningless, we must fight against that

SK is a symbol of ecological wisdom, after partition more books have been written about the babri masjid more than anything else

Muniya’s Light
Muniya is ananya, the truth of advaita…

Believing “I am only this body” or “I am not this body at all” are a gross misunderstanding of who we are. We are not identical with our bodies but our bodies are deeply involved with us as trustees of the light of self awareness. Our bodies are custodians of the limitless by the limited.

Secularist and religious intolerance…Ramuji responding too a post 9/11 threat and his book is obviously autobiographical in nature

The truth of nondualism pushes us to translate advaitic belief into action…takes a position against feticide

Girl child represents the truth of India

I am Atman, beyond gender but Ramuji does the opposite by saying girl-child truest form of Atman

Finding ourselves and truth in giving and sharing

Many selves but no other

Sambodhana vhibakti, conversation presents war

Flowing sindhutva…closed Hindutva

We must save India from nihilist, numericalist (quantifying human worth), anthropocentric (human centric)

True test of love in nonpossession→ nonviolence…usually love is consummation

Creative artist has to lose herself in what she creates

Never ending journey is sanatana

Always betrothed to the divine but world cannot accept this illicit love as was the gopis

Tyeb Mehta shows the agony of our times…two outer panels are dualism and the inner is advaita

Art is therapeutic

Svaraj according to Makarand is a parallel text…what a lucky painting!

Ganesh on a mouse…surrealism is magic

Departure from harmony reinforces harmony, absence of advaita cannot exist for advaitin, advaita is not the property of human beings

The holocaust is deeply distorted and deeply camouflaged advaita

Apparent otherness demands us to seek deeper into the truth of Atman

Ramuji could see so much symbolism in everything

Makarand believes that Ramuji had a way of imposing an authoritative advaita on everything…totality, no otherness (only Ramana)…RG’s critical analysis is violent imposing of advaita, the other has to be given space…his method is too totalizing

RG only reflected on things worthy of his attention. He chooses Shantiniketan Triptych because as a heroic Vedantic it presents a much more difficult challenge than MF Hussain, it is a worth opponent…he tries to find advaita in the most difficult opponents

As Tyeb Mehta dies of cancer his wife is reading him “I am Thou”

Struggle is beautiful, don’t minimize the struggle

By the end of his life he did achieve a transcendence and was beyond the craving and aversion…colored by nondualism

The majority of RG’s life was a struggle.

Humanize, don’t deify! If you deify than we have no chance to become that…puts a cap on our inner growth

Ramana Maharshi rejected a girl that wanted to marry him in a harsh way and she burned herself to death

The journey is about our selves ignoring his faults won’t help us

Go and speak and see where the spirit takes you…believer in the oral tradition

Vedantic Buddhism, nonanthropocentric shunyata