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Dharma: The Categorial Imperative

Arvind Sharma (Editor) Mrinal Miri (Editor) Ashok Vohra (Editor)

Each stable culture and major civilization of the world consists of a distinct material base and a distinct ideational structure and has an inherent mechanism of striking its own equilibrium between the two. In the Indian tradition dharma is the balancing force. Religion and ideology in possessing a transcendental dimension. The papers in this volume acknowledge that neither the world religion nor dharma can be discarded while looking at the Indian reality. They address themselves to the question: To what extent does the continued use of the concept of religion in the Indian context reflect reality, and to what extent does it distort or misrepresent its dharmic reality? Given India’s historical and the present existential situation these papers explore the question: “Is an alterative understanding of Indian Civilization possible, independent of Western presuppositions?” the articles in the book present an in-depth study of the concept of dharma and its relation to the other purusarthas-artha, kama and moksa, as well as with society, science, religion, Ayurveda and secularism. Relying mainly on the Vedas, epcs, manusmrti and the writings of Plato, Vivekananda, Gandhi et al., these papers explore some contemporary issues relating to women (stri-dharma) and the dilemmas faced by the Indian diasora, especially in the UK and the US. These discussions have an appeal for a general reader as well as for scholars of Philosophy, Religion, Women’s Studies, Modern India and Sociology.

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About the authors

Arvind Sharma

ARVIND SHARMA was born in Varanasi, India. He earned a B.A. in History, Economics, and Sanskrit from Allahabad University in 1958 and continued his interests in economics at Syracuse University, earning an M.A. in 1970. Pursuing a lifelong interest in comparative religion, Dr. Sharma gained an M.T.S. in 1974 and then a Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from Harvard University in 1978. He succeeded to the Birks Chair of Comparative Religion at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and was the first Infinity Foundation Visiting Professor of Indic Studies at Harvard University. He has published over fifty books and five hundred articles in the fields of comparative religion, Hinduism, Indian philosophy and ethics, and the role of women in religion. Widely cited as an authority on Hinduism, amongst his most note-worthy publications are The Hindu Gita: Ancient and Classical Interpretations of the Bhagavadgita (1986), The Experien-tial Dimension of Advaita Vedanta (1993), Our Religions: The Seven World Religions Introduced by Pre-eminent Scholars from Each Tradition (1994), The Philosophy of Religion: A Buddhist Perspective (1995), Classical Hindu Thought: An Introduction (2000), and The Study of Hinduism (2003).

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Mrinal Miri

Professor Mrinal Miri is an outstanding scholar of the country. He is a former Director of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla and a former President of North-East India Council for Social Science Research, Shillong. At present, he is the Vice chancellor of North Eastern Hill University Shillong.

Ashok Vohra

Ashok Vohra is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Delhi. He was the Member Secretary of Indian council of Philosophical Research during 1995-98. He is the author of Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mind, (Croom-Helm, London, Sydney); co-author of Radhakrishnan: His Life and Ideas (State University of New York Press, New York) and co-editor of The Philosophy of K.Satchidanada Murty (ICPR, New Delhi). He has translated Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations; On Certainty; and Culture and Value into Hindi. In addition he has published more than foreign journals. he has been writing columns on Indian philosophy and religion in leading national dailies.

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Bibliographic information

Title Dharma: The Categorial Imperative
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 8124602700
length vi+466p., Tables; Index; 22cm.