Category Archives: PB Editorials

Living a Meaningful Life in a Digital World

A popular definition of meaningful life goes like this: ‘In positive psychology, a meaningful life is a construct having to do with the purpose, significance, fulfilment, and satisfaction of life. While specific theories vary, there are two common aspects: a global schema to understand one’s life and the belief that life itself is meaningful.’

‘This Whole World is Your Own!’: The Wondrous World of Holy Mother’s Teachings

Spirituality in Indian tradition is interwoven with daily life. Many spiritual aspirants call themselves religious. They read scriptures and holy books daily; practise Japa and meditation and develop faith in God. However, they feel the dilemma when applying spiritual principles to counter and solve the challenges that they face in their day-to-day life. The reason is simple: they are clueless in determining whether the noble principles enshrined in the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgita, and other scriptures would be able to give a lasting solution to the teething complications of mundane life.

How Each Chapter of the Bhagavadgita is a Yoga?

Bhagavadgita is termed traditionally as Brahmavidyā, knowledge of Brahman, and also Yogaśāstra, the scripture of Yoga. The former indicates the goal of the Gita, that is, the Knowledge of Atman or Brahman, while the latter in general points out the method to be adopted to reach the goal as taught in the Gita, that is, yoga. In traditional language, Brahmavidyā is sādhya, which is to be attained, and the yoga is sādhana, the mode to be adopted.

‘My Mother! Who is My Mother?’ — Sri Ramakrishna and His ‘Mother’

Sri Ramakrishna’s spiritual endeavour was centred on ‘Mother’—the Divine Mother, whom he considered to be ‘all in all’ in his life. It is the Mother, who operated (Yantri) the machine (Yantra) named Sri Ramakrishna. His personality had two dimensions—one is ‘himself’ and another is ‘his Mother’. The Mother is the essence of his being, his mind and heart being completely immersed in Her. He had no other desire other than acting according to Mother’s will; he had no goal in his life other than what was shown to him by the Mother.

‘Progressive Reading of Spirit into Matter’ — Swami Vivekananda on History and Civilisation

History is the story of human life told in the collective sense. It is a saga of the triumph of the human spirit throughout the ages against all odds. Swami Vivekananda not only studied the history of global events thoroughly but he also could draw resul­tant deductions out of it, which are intuitive as well as universal. They form an inherent part of his innumerable innovative thoughts, which are part and parcel of his unparalleled contribution to the world culture.

Reality, Consciousness, and Universe

The modern scientific age began when Nicholas Copernicus proposed that the earth revolves around the sun. His ideas were later improvised by scientists like Kepler, Galileo, and notably by Isaac Newton, who discovered laws that governed the motion of the physical bodies and the law of gravitation. Further, James Clerk Maxwell showed that magnetism and electricity too could be deduced by a set of equations. The philosophical implication of these scientific developments is that the whole universe is determined by physical laws. This is called the principle of determinism. This law was prevalent in scientific circles up to the end of the 19th Century.

Religion in the 21st Century

Religion always has been a dominant factor in the history of humankind. It primarily caters to the existential problems of an individual. Also, it gives a social identity to nations and groups of people, which is necessary for unity and belongingness. Besides, religion has influenced human intellectual pursuits like science, philosophy, and literature to a great extent.

‘Bending Low with Load of Life’: Meaning of Human Suffering

Suffering is one of the most profound and disturbing of human experiences. The very word suffering has a resonance that relates to our sense of life’s meaning and the threat suffering poses to our hopes of happiness. It does not refer just to maladies, pains, and difficulties with which we can and should cope. It involves crises and threats that constitute a degradation or alienation of our being.

‘The Impersonal God Seen Through the Mists of Sense’—The Concept of Ishwara in Advaita Vedanta

In Indian tradition, there are two concepts of Godhead: Brahman and Ishwara. We find both the ideas highlighted in our sacred books. In Prashna Upanishad, the teacher says that the Omkara is both the para, the higher Brahman and apara, the lower Brahman. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad also declares that the Brahman has two forms—gross and subtle, mortal and immortal, limited and unlimited, defined and undefined. Sri Shankaracharya in his commentaries takes up the question of whether there are two forms of Brahman. The perusal of his commentary on the Brahma Sutra will give us a fair idea of how he solves this problem.In Indian tradition, there are two concepts of Godhead: Brahman and Ishwara. We find both the ideas highlighted in our sacred books. In Prashna Upanishad, the teacher says that the Omkara is both the para, the higher Brahman and apara, the lower Brahman. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad also declares that the Brahman has two forms—gross and subtle, mortal and immortal, limited and unlimited, defined and undefined. Sri Shankaracharya in his commentaries takes up the question of whether there are two forms of Brahman. The perusal of his commentary on the Brahma Sutra will give us a fair idea of how he solves this problem.