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Vaiśeṣikasūtra – A Translation

Vaiśeṣikasūtra – A Translation

Vaiśeṣikasūtra – A Translation

Our Research Fellow Dr Ionut Moise has just published a new translation of the Vaiśeṣikasūtra together with Professor Ganesh U. Thite. 

Get the book here.

Book Description

The book introduces readers to Indian philosophy by presenting the first integral English translation of Vaiśeṣikasūtra with the earliest extant commentary of Candrānanda on the old aphorisms of Vaiśeṣika school of Indian philosophy.

The book offers a comprehensive description of the fundamental categories of ontology and metaphysics, among which the category of ‘particularity’ (viśeṣa) plays a major role in the ‘problem of individuation’ of ‘substance’ and ‘nature’ in both Indian and Western metaphysics. The book should be read primarily in relation to Aristotle’s Categories and is structured in three parts. Part 1 contains a general introduction to Indian philosophy and the Vaiśeṣika system. Part 2 is a textual-philological discussion on the commentary itself, since its first publication in 1961 by Muni Jambūvijayaji up until the present day. Part 3 is a philosophical translation that reads Vaiśeṣika in the global context of Comparative Philosophy and makes the text accessible to all philosophy readers interested in ontology and metaphysics.

A new reference work and a fundamental introduction to anyone interested in Indian and Comparative Philosophy, this book will be of interest to academics and students in the field of Classical Studies, Modern Philosophy and Asian Religions and Philosophies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Indian Philosophy and Vaiśeṣika 
2. Sources and Resources on Vaiśeṣikasūtra 
3. Vaiśeṣikasūtra. Transliteration and Translation

Authors

Ionut Moise is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK, and a Research Fellow at The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, UK where he teaches Comparative Philosophy. He is the author of Salvation in Indian Philosophy also published by Routledge (2020).

Ganesh U. Thite is Emeritus Professor at Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, Pune, and former Head of the Department of Sanskrit and Prakrit languages at the University of Pune.

“Speaking of Bhakti” Day School: London 20 January

“Speaking of Bhakti” Day School: London 20 January

"Speaking of Bhakti" Day School: London 20 January

Saturday 20 January

The Rembrandt Hotel
11 Thurloe Pl London, SW7 2RS

Bhakti – the heart-felt expression of love for a deity – is a rich and important aspect of Hindu tradition.

In this day school we journey through bhakti, how it is expressed, and to whom (or what). We find an array of bhakti forms, yet they all contribute to the rich tapestry of temple worship, sacred literature, spiritual practice, song, poetry, art and dance.

This day school introduces you to key theological ideas underpinning the practice of bhakti and charts the journey of its expressions through the ages.

Click here for enrolments and more information.

Friends event: Speaking of Bhakti

Friends event: Speaking of Bhakti

Friends event: Speaking of Bhakti

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 2 December 2017 – 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Jalaram Community Centre (Opp. Jalaram Mandir)
85 Narborough Road,  Leicester LE3 0LF

A talk by Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies
 
​We take a look at ideas of love and devotion to ​God, Gods, and Goddesses using the lens of traditional Indian poetry and scripture.
Organiser: 
Friends of the OCHS – Leicester
ZUG ‘Faith in Finance’ Conference

ZUG ‘Faith in Finance’ Conference

ZUG 'Faith in Finance' Conference

Our OCHS Director, Shaunaka Rishi Das, recently attended a unique three-day meeting, accompanied by Gopal Patel, the Director of The Bhumi Project and our intern for this term, Miss Vishakha Sharma, a student at Aarhus University in Denmark.  This gathering of faith leaders and fund management experts from around the world, took place from 30th October to the 1st of November at Zug, Switzerland.
 
The OCHS had a major role to play in planning the meeting.  We were requested to take the movement forward into its next iteration, making OCHS the ‘go-to’ place for Hindu investments, ideas and the shaping of policies.  ‘Markets fluctuate, principles do not’, our Director summed up the ethos of the participants.  ‘Ethical and impact investments are gaining importance in the markets these days’, he added, ‘and how faiths invest their money can have a huge influence the markets.’
 
A global movement aimed at shifting billions of dollars of faith-based investments into initiatives supporting sustainable development and the environment was launched following the Conference.
By unanimous agreement among participants at the Zug ‘Faith in Finance’ meeting, an alliance will be created to spearhead this movement and develop faith-consistent investment goals. Participants included more than 30 different faith traditions from eight religions, representing over 500 faith investment groups and trillions of dollars in assets, as well as senior United Nations figures and leading impact investment funds.
 
The event was attended by Cardinal Peter Turkson, who was recently asked by Pope Francis to head up a new agency in the Vatican with the task of ‘promoting integral human development.’
 
‘The long-term impact will be to empower faith groups – and the billions of people who make up their congregations – and decide how to use their investments, their pension funds and their assets to create a better world, one that as Cardinal Turkson says, responds to two cries, the cry of the poor and the cry of creation,’ Martin Palmer added, Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), who hosted the Conference.
 
The UN Assistant Secretary-General, UN Environment Programme, Elliott Harris, was also one of the guest speakers. The governments which committed to the sustainable development goals must be held to account, he said. “But we realise that this agenda is far too complicated to leave up to the governments. They cannot do it alone.”
 
With 2017 seeing a global barrage of political, economic and social upheaval, the breakthrough in Zug highlights the role faith-consistent investment can play in helping stabilise a turbulent world. By asking, ‘What do you do with wealth to make a better planet?,’ the world’s religious organisations can continue the work set out by the UN. 
Introduction to Sanskrit: London 28 October

Introduction to Sanskrit: London 28 October

Introduction to Sanskrit: London 28 October

Saturday 28 October

The Rembrandt Hotel
11 Thurloe Pl London, SW7 2RS

This day school is intended to give students a taste of Sanskrit – “the language of the Gods”.

We will look at Sanskrit’s role in Indian history, science, religion, and culture. We will take an introductory look at its grammar and we will explore the reasons for its enduring allure.

We then move on to the value of Sanskrit and the concepts it defines to students of Hinduism with a survey of the alphabet. We will practice some sounds and Vedic chants.

More information and enrolments are available at www.ochsonline.org/product/sanskrit-day-school-london

Friends event: Animals and Hinduism

Friends event: Animals and Hinduism

Friends event: Animals and Hinduism

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 22 July 2017 – 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Anuradha Dooney of the Oxford Centre For Hindu Studies

Images of divinity in Hindu traditions are replete with animal association. A snake adorns Shiva’s neck; a gigantic bird carries Vishnu while Durga is depicted atop a lion or tiger. Other deities like the elephant-headed Ganesha and the half- man, half-lion Narasimha combine both animal and human form in one. Yet what do Hindu traditions teach of our relationship with animals? Is vegetarianism the ideal? What of hunters and animal sacrifice? Are cows really sacred and do hogs and dogs really rank lowest in the scheme of things? This talk explores the world of wildlife in Hindu sacred text and offers insights into how Hindu teachings regard our fellow creatures.

Organiser: 
Friends of the OCHS – Birmingham
Anuradha_Dooney_6
Friends event: Animals and Hinduism

Friends event: Animals and Hinduism

Friends event: Animals and Hinduism

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 1 July 2017 – 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre
Rothley Street, Leicester LE4 6LF

A talk by Anuradha Dooney of the Oxford Centre For Hindu Studies

Images of divinity in Hindu traditions are replete with animal association. A snake adorns Shiva’s neck; a gigantic bird carries Vishnu while Durga is depicted atop a lion or tiger. Other deities like the elephant-headed Ganesha and the half- man, half-lion Narasimha combine both animal and human form in one. Yet what do Hindu traditions teach of our relationship with animals? Is vegetarianism the ideal? What of hunters and animal sacrifice? Are cows really sacred and do hogs and dogs really rank lowest in the scheme of things? This talk explores the world of wildlife in Hindu sacred text and offers insights into how Hindu teachings regard our fellow creatures.

Organiser: 
Friends of the OCHS – Leicester
lf@ochs.org.uk
Anuradha_Dooney_6
Oxford Summer School 23–25 June

Oxford Summer School 23–25 June

Oxford Summer School 23–25 June

Click here for full details

This year the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies will be running its third Oxford Summer School.

The 2017 Summer School will run from Friday 23 June to Sunday 25 June at Nuffield College and the OCHS.

This year’s theme is ‘Hinduism and Relationships’ and speakers include: Prof. Julius Lipner, Prof. Werner Menski, Dr Jessica Frazier, Shaunaka Rishi Das, Anuradha Dooney, and Dr Rembert Lutjeharms.

Topics: 
The self’s relationship with the self: Using yoga to shape up the mind
Dr Jessica Frazier
For many, yoga is a way to shape up the body or to purify the mind – but the Sanskrit reminds us that in its most basic meaning yoga is a ‘yoke’ by which we can gain control of the body and mind, and turn them in the direction we really want to pursue. In this session, we try to solve the puzzle of the Yoga Sutra’s third section detailing magical powers, and look for answers in the early forms of Yoga that are found in the Mahabharata. Of particular interest will be the lessons of the witty female yogi Sulabha.

The Kama Sutra on relationships: Messy meetings beyond love and duty
Dr Jessica Frazier
Dharma Sastras tell one story of good wives and husbands, while the Kama Sutra puts them all in question by telling stories of warring wives, witty wooers, and courtesans who are really just good businesswomen. This session will contrast Dharma’s ideal relationships, with the messy reality that is depicted in the Kama Sutra. We will find that two aren’t quite as far away as they seem…

Desire, ignorance, and death: Hindu ascetic views on human relationships
Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Sadhus – Hindu ascetics – are one of the most easily recognisable elements of Hinduism. For millennia, sadhus have renounced society and its comforts to live a solitary life of hard asceticism and rigorous spiritual practice, in an attempt to come to know their self (atma). Based on passages from ascetic texts such as the Sannyasa Upanisads, this talk will explore the notions of self and world that inform such total renunciation, and look at the implications of this for human relationships.

Hinduism and the environment
Anuradha Dooney
From climate change and melting icebergs to pollution and holes in the ozone layer, we are all aware of issues concerning our relationship with the world around us. Hindu sacred texts have always recognised the interdependence of humanity and nature. The Vedas and Upanishads, the Puranas, Mahabharata, and Ramayana, depict a reality of reciprocity where land and sky and the cosmos beyond, exist as one interconnected sphere. What happens in our ‘little’ daily reality reverberates in the ‘big’ reality beyond. This talk draws upon the doctrine of five debts, the concept of rta and yajna, and a donut to consider the particular contribution Hindu traditions bring to the debate.

The Hindu kite of law as a model for dharmic relationships
Prof. Werner Menski
In this talk we see how a ‘kite model’ of law can be skilfully balanced and fine-tuned by Hindus in all kinds of life situations to work on different sets of relationships and to lead a dharmic life. We will focus on examples, taking important terms such as svadharma, rajadharma, stridharma and others to explore the possibilities of human relationships within an ethical framework defined by Hindu values.

Hindu Image-Worship and its Multiple Relationships
Prof. Julius Lipner
One of the most obvious features of Hindu belief and practice, not only to Hindus but also to the casual observer, is the worship of images – many gods, bearing many hands and heads. What is the history of this practice and what does it really mean? In this illustrated lecture we see that image-worship in Hinduism is laden with the concept of multiple relationships: relationships between different aspects and features of the Godhead, enriching relationships between the Deity and the worshipper, and among the worshippers themselves, their environment, and other faiths. Image-worship in Hinduism can be a force for establishing identity, cohesion, and positive outreach.

‘The saints are my heart’: Bhakti and the devotional community
Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Devotional (bhakti) traditions have always had a strong communal aspect. Though bhakti is about the individual’s relationship with God, devotional traditions emphasise that God should not be worshipped in isolation, but in the company of like-minded devotees. Some devotional movements even went so far as to create a counter-cultural society, based on devotional principles, in which the caste restrictions imposed by society were rejected, and everyone stood equally before God and the other members of the devotional community. This talk will explore these social, theological, and devotional ideas behind the devotional community through a reading of devotional poetry from a variety of traditions.

All creatures great and small: A Hindu view
Anuradha Dooney
Images of divinity in Hindu traditions are replete with animal association. A snake adorns Shiva’s neck; a gigantic bird carries Vishnu while Durga is depicted atop a lion or tiger. Other deities like the elephant-headed Ganesha and the half- man, half -lion Narasimha combine both animal and human form in one. Yet what do Hindu traditions teach of our relationship with animals? Is vegetarianism the ideal? What of hunters and animal sacrifice? Are cows really sacred and do hogs and dogs really rank lowest in the scheme of things? This talk explores the world of wildlife in Hindu sacred text and offers insights into how Hindu teachings regard our fellow creatures.
 

Costs and timings

The sessions run from 10am–6pm on Friday and Saturday, and from 10am–1pm on Sunday.

The Summer School fee is £500 (excluding meals and accommodation). We do book restaurants for meals and invite attendees to come together to continue the discussion. 

Quesries and bookings can be made at ochsonline.org/product/oxford-summer-school-june-2017

Friends event: Grace in Vaishnavism

Friends event: Grace in Vaishnavism

Friends event: Grace in Vaishnavism

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 1 April 2017 – 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre 
Rothley Street, Leicester  LE4 6LF

Grace in Vaishnavism
A talk by Dr Brainerd Prince of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Does God give grace freely without any qualification? Or are good living and good works needed to receive God’s grace? The Vaishnava understanding of grace that focuses on the role of guru may give some clues. For Vaishnavas, while the grace of God is freely given through the guru, the disciple still has an important role to play in receiving the grace. This is an example of how Hindu thought can contribute to a debate that also exists in Christian theology and offer insights to find a way forward.

Organiser: 
Friends of the OCHS – Leicester
lf@ochs.org.uk
Friends event: Grace in Vaishnavism

Friends event: Grace in Vaishnavism

Friends event: Grace in Vaishnavism

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 18 March 2017 – 7:00pm to 9:00pm

​Meeting House of the Society of Friends
1 Hamlet Road Hall Green
Birmingham B28 9BG​

Grace in Vaishnavism
A talk by Dr Brainerd Prince of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Does God give grace freely without any qualification? Or are good living and good works needed to receive God’s grace? The Vaishnava understanding of grace that focuses on the role of guru may give some clues. For Vaishnavas, while the grace of God is freely given through the guru, the disciple still has an important role to play in receiving the grace. This is an example of how Hindu thought can contribute to a debate that also exists in Christian theology and offer insights to find a way forward.

Organiser: 
Friends of the OCHS – Birmingham