Jayary 356

I am going to retire the term "Deep Embodiment" in a minute; it's a phrase better reserved for research papers, but one final academic rant before I set it aside.

The fundamental idea of deep embodiment is that any liberation we can hope for is liberation in this world. I want to highlight this point because the Indian philosophical and religious traditions are often caricatured as other-worldly, an impression that's been actively supported by Indians seeking an alternative to western dominance. "Western Body, Eastern Mind" goes some way to capture this caricature, pointing to a shangri-la tilled by massive industrial combines under the benevolent gaze of orange robed mystics.

I don't believe that caricature one bit. An abstract belief in a supernatural god is otherworldly. In contrast, karma is central to every major Indian tradition. There's nothing otherworldly about karma. Even better: if we are in some other world, we will be subject to that world's karma. In short, karma is the logic of deep embodiment.

No wonder that sacrifice plays such an important role in Indian religion: sacrifice is the means through which we work through the dross of this world. The Jaya is the longest sacrificial manual in the world. Unfortunately, there's no going around the fact that sacrifices are often literal: sacrifices of the flesh. Which brings me to my next Jayary topic: the relationship between violence and dharma.

Rajesh Kasturirangan

Rajesh Kasturirangan

I think. I write. I meditate. I agitate.