Tuesday, February 10, 2015


54. Giorgio De Martino:

Ginsberg was a practicing Buddhist who studied Eastern religious disciplines extensively. He lived modestly, buying his clothing in second-hand stores and residing in downscale apartments in New York’s East Village. One of his most influential teachers was the Tibetan Buddhist, the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa, founder of the Naropa Institute, now Naropa University at Boulder, Colorado.At Trungpa's urging, Ginsberg and poet Anne Waldman started The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics there in 1974.
Irwin Allen Ginsberg ( June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet and one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the counterculture that soon wouldfollow.He vigorously opposed militarismeconomic materialism and sexual repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem "Howl", in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity.
Ginsberg juxtaposes images of the landscape of Kansas with snippets of media reports about the war in Vietnam and links the violence of war with the conservatism of the heartland. He believes that Wichita, where Carrie Nation championed the temperance movement, "began a vortex of hatred that defoliated the Mekong Delta." In Buddhism, the term "sutra" refers mostly to canonical scriptures, many of which are regarded as records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha.
"Wichita Vortex Sutra" speaks of the power of language and the poet's desire to end war by making a mantra Lines from the poem include, "Rusk says Toughness / Essential for Peace ...Vietcong losses levelling up three five zero zero ... headline language poetry ... On the other side of the planet ... flesh soft as a Kansas girl's / ripped open by metal explosion ... shrapnelled / throbbing meat / While this American nation argues war / conflicting language, language / proliferating in airwaves." 
Potts writes:
"Despairing at the idea that the power of poetry was being lost in a sea of proliferating and contradictory language, Ginsberg invokes icons of transcendence--Christ, Allah, Jaweh, William Blake, various Indian holy men--to help him reclaim language for its higher purposes ... to make his startling assertion--that war can be declared over by the powers of poetry--Ginsberg's apparent aim is to reclaim American language."
James F. Mersmann, in his book "Out of the Vietnam Vortex: A Study of Poets and Poetry Against the War," writes:
A chief virtue of "Wichita Vortex Sutra" is that it makes the reader experience the proliferation and abuse of language. Its technique is to notice and reproduce the language that inundates the senses every day, and in doing so it makes one painfully aware that in every case language is used not to communicate truth but to manipulate the hearer.


55. K. R. Remesan:

Buddhism and Kochi
Those who engaged in tapping coconut trees in Ceylon are called by the name Cochi who were either brought or had come from Ceylon in the 14th century in large numbers and settled as a fairly large colony in the region of Cochin on account of which both the place of their first settlement round the north bank of Vempanad lake as well as the state, had come to acquire the same name. Cochi (Kochi) in Malayalam or Cochin in English means, the land of Cochis or toddy tappers. (A Social History of India, S. N. Sadasivan. Page-346)  
In early 15th century AD, like the Chinese traveler Ma-huam, China’s trade representative Chou-Ilsu-Kwa also recorded that the rulers of Calicut and . Cochin were Buddhists (A Social History of India, S. N. Sadasivan. Page-322.)


56. P. Madhu:

Saints, sacred texts, philosophies, holy places, rituals and practices which have flourished from everyday life ecology were named after ‘isms’ and religions modelled on history of Christianity as the Protestant Anglicans believed it to be. It is both the colonial naivity and their political project. The saints, sacred texts, philosophies, rituals and practices,.. were later on divided to isms and religions colonialists later classified. Arbitrarily it gave Vedas & puranas  & some srutis, smruties to Hinduism, something else to Buddhism and so on.  Also saints were divided into various later came up ‘ism’s!  More and more we dig into history we find the neat history of religious determinism is a historical hoax and fiction. Not just in India, this is the case with all faiths. Even Christianity, Judaism & Islam are a fake constructions. Even the youngest of the faiths- Islam had to suffer at the hand of colonial historiographers.
Historically, whatsoever evidences available suggest everyday life from where faiths occur in it as need or situation arises – is hardly distinguishable from one another- except in the case of someone got attracted by one or another mix of teachings. It is not so that if one has one faith they have to be uninvolved or antagonistic to other faith.  
Tantra is not so much a black magic as colonialists mistook it. They projected it as immoral or black magic by their incapability to understand and also prompted by their political project. Tantra is merely a technique. A technique for swa-tantra. Usually tantric based practices were open to all lineages & castes! Tantra philosophy/ practices if looked close far more egalitarian than any faiths imagined.
Buddha teaching was there before Buddha, Jainisms teachings were before Mahavir… Indic spiritualities circle around the ideas of karma, dharma, re-birth, jati (as birth), … the core understanding is moreareless  common to all, They differ in emphasizing ontology. One bases it on multiplicity, another on oneness, another on duality, and another on mix of these yet another on sunyata… etc. Practice of faiths had kriyas and tantras- practiced by enthusiasts- not a compulsory affair. All sorts of probabilities were working out.
Colonial scholars and their successors and uncritical readers of history projected by them make claims that have no iota of factuality or truth value. Then we have politics as knowledge. I won’t pose myself as a super intelligent to project a lie as truth for the sake of contemporary progressiveness. I would consider faking up history and making convenient categories anachronically is fundamentally ahistorical and unethical- even if it has a benign political motive of giving voice for the voice-deprived. Lies and misconception I don’t think fetch freedom or liberation.
The arguments of religious determinism are hardly correct- especially in understanding history of distant past. Contemporary world is unusually divided by religious identities as they are projected and intensified by colonialists. They gave the tendency to be organized under faiths as separate identity groups impetus to become reality and made it legal. Now we look past from the present- though it is hardly tenable to interpret past as a photocopy of the present.
 I would recommend Geoffrey Samuel’s The origins of Yoga & Tantra to begin comprehensive understanding of the history of indic spirituality. Colonial modernists like their colonial predecessors are completely wrong in accessing, understanding and interpreting history. To make such a claim today is precisely factual requiring little arguments or qualms.


 57. C. P. Viayan:

… Keralites … are often  found grope
for answering if someone throws a question as to who were our forefathers
before four/five generations. (What did they do for their
living? How their dwellings were looking like? …).
Many do not realize the meaning of lineage or the factors
that were responsible for what we are today. If the habitual
actions and responses of animals and birds are seen to be genetically and culturally codified, humans …cannot be an
exception. Dogs still dig up lose ground but do not bury bones as they do in Europe.
Where did we lose the sense of brotherhood we had when embraced Buddhism.
A re-look into the Buddhist legacy is indeed a need of the hour.


58. Basudeve Sunani:

 it gives me an impression that this event is not going to be organized in the traditional way of academic framework which are usually being forgotten after the event is over but in a realistic way which can be applied in the future life to come.


59. Parthasarathi Mondel:

…. the responses seem to indicate that people are interested in attending your Workshop. Of course, there would be some reluctance too as your have made a couple of challenging propositions t. I have a feeling that you should go ahead with it even if it is a small gathering of a few interested individuals, where you could also discuss the idea of the collective.


60. Binu Raj:

The entire writeup is confusing... I think it has simplified a whole lot of things...  I am not an expert to comment on it but as a student of history in prior I can sense anomalies.


61. Argo Spier:

 I have actually seen nothing in the responses that holds the course to a fruitful discussion on Cultural Buddhism. Only as hear-say cognitivity. But yes ok, it’s a start and there were responses. And these responses may trigger bigger discussions.


62. Giorgio De Martino:

Buddhist-Christian Studies
Vol. 19 (1999) through current issue

A scholarly journal devoted to Buddhism and Christianity and their historical and contemporary interrelationships, Buddhist-Christian Studies presents thoughtful articles, conference reports, and book reviews. It also includes sections on comparative methodology and historical comparisons, as well as ongoing discussions from two dialogue conferences: the Theological Encounter with Buddhism, and the Japan Society for Buddhist Christian Studies.

Current Issue: Volume 34, 2014


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