At the outset of Plato's Euthyphro, the pious Euthyphro is astonished to find Socrates at the Archon's judicial court rather than hanging around the Lyceum where he usually spends his days. Socrates explains that he is being indicted by a young and unknown man named Meletus who claims Socrates is corrupting the youth by not … Continue reading Notes On Plato’s Euthyphro
The Tao Te Ching, sometimes translated as the "Classic of the Virtuous Way", is rumored to have been written by Lao Tzu. He is said to have been a sage of the royal court, or also a magistrate or astrologer, perhaps during the Warring States Period, though others claim he was a contemporary of Confucius. In … Continue reading Important Reflections on the Tao Te Ching.
The Bhagavad Gita and the Prasna Upanishad are the closest examples in the "Eastern Canon" to a dialectical dialogue, such as a Platonic dialogue. In the Prasna Upanishad, we encounter six students full of devotion to Brahman, "the Supreme Spirit." In their quest for the highest Brahman they approach the holy Pippalada to explain the … Continue reading Six Questions in the Prasna Upanishad
Creation The Creation Hymn (Nasadiya) is an account of the origins of the cosmos, though curiously, unlike in Genesis, it is not the opening text found in the Rig Veda. Instead, the first hymn of the Rig Veda is dedicated to Agni, god of fire, and Agni is the first word of the Rig Veda signaling the … Continue reading Notes on Creation and Death in the Rig Veda
The works of Eastern scripture have captivated the Western mind to a great degree over the last three hundred years. In Europe, philosophers and writers, gatekeepers of culture, have gained a renewed taste for the cosmic, mystical teachings of the East. Recall Hegel and Schopenhauer's keen interest in newly discovered texts, like the Upanishads. In the … Continue reading Introduction to the Rig Veda
The Upanishads are either a scattered collection of esoteric writings, filled with conflicting messages, or they contain a coherent Vedanta teaching, as demonstrated by later dogmatists. Though they are the collected writings concluding many of the Vedas (the Sanskrit word for either "knowledge" or "wisdom"), the Upanishads are often recognized for the most relevant 10-14 scriptures, and they were … Continue reading What Is The Teaching Of The Upanishads?