Monday, April 16, 2012

Nirvana as politics

[Do not run behind self-proclaimed godmen: Ramdev's aide DNA: Saturday, Apr 14, 2012, 21:09 IST Jaipur PTI
Baba Ramdev's aide Acharya Balkrishna on Saturday appealed to the people not to run behind various self-proclaimed godmen and instead, follow the good old principle of 'Karma' (action). Referring to the recent controversy surrounding godman Nirmal Baba, he said people should believe in action and make efforts instead of running in hope for miraculous relief.
Balkrishna, who was in the city to launch products of his Patanjali Yogpeeth in the state, said his organisation never supported practices like "occultism" and worked in the field of reviving the traditional art of 'Yoga'. Ramdev not close to RSS: Balkrishna IANS Last Updated : 13 Apr 2012]

Nirvana then isn’t simply being gone, but as the famed Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna argued, emptiness (shunyata in Sanskrit), which means composed only of infinite chains of causal connection to what is around it. For as the Buddha famously argued in his example of the chariot, if you take a chariot apart, is it in its parts? Which one can you remove and say it’s not a chariot? So it is with the self, or anything in the world. This is what Nagarjuna calls the emptiness of everything. Is this nirvana?
Nagarjuna and the Mahayana tradition famously argue that nirvana is samsara. And hence, what is needed isn’t that we leave this world, but rather, that we recenter ourselves within it, like the axle and the wheel. We don’t leave the world, we relate to it differently. We see everything, including ourselves, as empty, as void, as caused by chains of influence and habit, and we step outside of this. In doing so, we remove ourselves from the need to be one way or another, and become totally free. We don’t cease, but we cease being constrained, even if this means being constrained by a self.]

In fact, Nagarjuna argues that ultimate truth will always slip away from conventional truth, which always deconstructs if taken to the limit, while ultimate truth, beyond words, will not, even if it requires conventional truths, like words, to point us on the path towards this. And for Nagarjuna, this truth is beyond absence or presence, it is non-dual, beyond time and in all time, and yet its precondition, so similar to differance, down to the deconstructive potential it brings.
While Derrida focuses on writing in a way I find too restrictive, and Lacan ultimately on human experience, they remain useful because I think they explain nicely how this identification with the nondual, the void, manifests in relation to language (Derrida), and human experience (Lacan). Deleuze, however, takes this to the next level, by relating these insights to the structure of the physical world.]

So, it all boils down to saying yes to All life is yoga, and no to esoterism. [TNM55] 

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