• Biology,  Cosmology,  Medicine

    The Ayurveda Model of a Living Body

    Vedic knowledge provides detailed information about many aspects of material nature such as cosmology, sociology, psychology, and biology. For example, the Śrimad Bhāgavatam provides a detailed cosmic model. Varṇāśrama is a sociological model. Sāńkhya is a cognitive model. And Ayurveda is a biological model. All these models have structural resemblances and by understanding one model we can understand the others too. This post discusses the Ayurveda biological model. Subsequently, I will show how the biological model is understood in a way similar to the cosmic model. Like a toy car has similarities to the real car, the body is also a universe, and the universe is also a body.

  • Religion,  Sociology

    What is Daivī Varna System?

    The previous post identified two impersonalist tendencies—i.e. “we are one” and “we are equal”—and discussed their respective impacts on Indian and Western societies. The post also discussed how a personalist system based in hierarchical thinking (rather than equality or oneness) is necessary for social organization. This post carries forward that topic, and identifies two kinds of personalist social systems—one material and the other spiritual. These are respectively called Varṇa and daivī Varṇa systems. When talking about the Varṇa system, people often think that we are talking about the material system, which previously led to the modern “caste system”. There is, however, another Varṇa system—the daivī Varṇa system—which is different from…

  • Religion,  Sociology

    Personalist and Impersonalist Societies

    There is one fundamental cultural difference between the West and India—the West is a flat, egalitarian society, while India is still, to an extent, a hierarchical society. In the stereotyped view of the West, children do not respect parents, students do not respect teachers, and citizens do not respect politicians. In the stereotyped view of India, children respect their parents, students respect their teachers, and citizens respect their politicians.  Note that these are stereotypes, not true in every case. But the stereotypes exist due to a cultural class divide between “higher” and “lower”. Unlike the West which is culturally (although not economically and politically) flat, India is culturally hierarchical (and…