Jurisculture. 2,: India

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Transaction Publishers, 1989 - 108 pages

This second in a definitive eight-volume work by Gray L. Dorsey explores the organization and regulation of society in traditional India in relation to prevailing beliefs about reality, knowing, and desiring.

Dorsey's central concept of jurisculture sees human societies as organized and regulated by cultural processes. Human beings can cooperate only when they understand in accordance with shared meanings, desire in accordance with shared values, intend in accordance with shared purposes, and guide and limit actions in accordance with shared principles. These shared meanings, values, purposes and principles are evolved from fundamental beliefs.

This second volume examines the roots of jurisculture in India, in the fundamental beliefs arising from the Vedas, Jainism, Buddhism, Carvakian materialism, the great epic poems (the "Ramayana "and the "Mahabharata), "and the six orthodox systems of Hindu philosophy. It traces the influence of these beliefs in the direction and control of the cooperative activities of society and also in individual actions .during the three millenia from 1500 B.C. to 1500 A.D., with some echoes in the modern period. Dorsey explains why India, unlike Greece or Rome, did not experience a social revolution when the basis of fundamental beliefs changed from speculative faith to rational knowledge. Because ultimate reality came to be understood as being, instead of activity, the highest good became withdrawing from society into communion with the inner self. This good could be attained only by Individual action. Society, therefore, was not as important as in the West. Indians lived in two realms of existence: the realm of soul development, and the realm of moral cause and effect.

Philosophers of law, political scientists interested in the development of normative theory, and general readers who have thought of Indian culture as mystical and esoteric will find this volume of interest.

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The Epics
The Realm of Soul Development

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Page 88 - For women no (sacramental) rite (is performed) with sacred texts, thus the law is settled; women (who are) destitute of strength and destitute of (the knowledge of) Vedic texts, (are as impure as) falsehood (itself), that is a fixed rule.
Page 89 - Women must be honoured and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers-inlaw, who desire their own welfare. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honoured, no sacred rite yields rewards.
Page 14 - Then the earth was rent and parted, and a golden throne arose, Held aloft by jewelled Nagas as the leaves enfold the rose, And the Mother in embraces held her spotless sinless Child, Saintly Janak's saintly daughter, pure and true and undefiled, Gods and men proclaim her virtue! But fair Sita is no more, Lone is Rama's loveless bosom and his days of bliss are o'er!
Page 4 - Desire entered the One in the beginning: It was the earliest seed, of thought the product. The sages searching in their hearts with wisdom, Found out the bond of being in non-being. Their ray extended light across the darkness: But was the One above or was it under? Creative force was there, and fertile power: Below was energy, above was impulse.
Page 4 - Non-being then existed not nor being: There was no air, nor sky that is beyond it. What was concealed ? Wherein ? In whose protection ? And was there deep unfathomable water? Death then existed not nor life immortal; Of neither night nor day was any token. By its inherent force the One breathed windless: No other thing than that beyond existed. Darkness there was at first, by darkness hidden; Without distinctive marks, this all was water. That which, becoming, by...
Page 8 - In this ill-smelling body, which is a conglomerate of bone, skin, muscle, marrow, flesh, semen, blood, mucus, tears, rheum, feces, urine, wind, bile, and phlegm, what is the good of enjoyment of desires....
Page 4 - None knoweth whence creation has arisen; And whether he has or has not produced it : He who surveys it in the highest heaven, He only knows, or haply he may know not.
Page 89 - Let the (husband) employ his (wife) in the collection and expenditure of his wealth, in keeping (everything) clean, in (the fulfilment of) religious duties, in the preparation of his food, and in looking after the household utensils.
Page 97 - His enemy must not know his weaknesses, but he must know the weaknesses of his enemy; as the tortoise (hides its limbs), even so let him secure the members (of his government against treachery), let him protect his own weak points.
Page 11 - SWAYAMBHU of all creatures, was his dearest, holiest part, For his Rama strong and stately was his eldest and his best, Void of every baser passion and with every virtue blest! Soft in speech, sedate and peaceful, seeking still the holy path, Calm in conscious worth and valour, taunt nor cavil waked his wrath. In the field of war excelling, boldest warrior midst the bold, In...

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