Here are some areas of research that is relevant to us that we want to take up. If anyone is interested in any of these, we will be very willing to discuss and work together.
- Hinduism and Humanism
- Hinduism has been almost synonymous with “Humanism” right from the Rig Vedic times. The well-known prayer in Srimad Bhagavatam: “na kaamaye raajyam, na swargam na apunarbhavam, kaamaye dukha taptaanaam, praaninaam arti naashanam” – “I do not desire a kingdom or heaven or liberation. All that I want is to be able to remove the sorrow and suffering of living beings.” is just a sample. “aham vaishvaanaro bhutvaa …”, “adveshta sarva bhootaanaam …”, “daatavyam iti yat daanam …”, the concept of panca mahaa yagnaa, Kapilaopadesha, etc. … There are innumerable quotations from the Vedas (Purusha suktam, Rudram, Naaraayana suktam, Upanisads, etc.), Gita, Puraanaas (Devi Mahaatmyam, Bhagavatam, etc), on Humanism. And, there are words of Swami Vivekanananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Bhaaratiyaar, Thiruvalluvar, Naanak, Ramaanuja, Buddha, etc. Then there are organizations like RSS, AIM for seva, Ramakrishna mission, etc. which put these into practice.
- The “Humanism” of Hinduism does not stop with humans. It extends to all living beings.
- All these can be collected, classified (philosophical level, personal level, social level, etc.) and presented as a thesis.
- An auxiliary/related topic will be “The concept of Seva in Classical and Contemporary Hinduism”.
- Upward Mobility of Castes
- Swami Vivekananda give a lot of ideas for the upward mobility of castes in his talk “The Future of India”, delivered at Madras.
- “janmaana sudraha …”, story of Satyakaama Jaabaala, “guna karma vibhaasayah”, Gita 18th chapter, Karna becoming kshatriya by being coronated as king of Anga desha, Rama doing antyesti for Jataayu, … there are a lot of material on how varna is decided, how people have moved from one varna to another, etc.
- The rituals and the performance of nitya, naimitika karmas, samskaras, festivals, etc. define caste even today. The more numerous, elaborate, refined, non-violent, subtle, etc are the rituals related to everyday activities, puja, festival celebrations, life-event celebrations, etc. and involvement in classical culture like dress, music, dance, literature, etc. define caste. A person or entire society can move up the social hierarchy by adopting and refining their own practices, customs and rituals.
- History of societies like the Nadaar community show how entire societies have moved from lower caste to higher caste. There will be more such communities. Their history will be interesting and also show the way for other communities. These are real life examples of what Swami Vivekananda talks about in his lecture.
- Formalization of Philosophies
- Indian system has defined 6 aspects which can be used as the criteria to define and compare different philosophical systems.
- They are nature of individual (man), universal (God), inanimate (world), cause of suffering, state beyond suffering and means to the state beyond suffering.
- Every philosophy – Eastern and Western – can be brought under one scheme by analyzing how they present these 6 concepts.
We will add more.