Indian thought, culture and history

Indian thought, culture and history

Reading Zen'e Hotta: A Compass for Understanding the World" - Recommended introductory book by the great writer who also influenced Hayao Miyazaki.

This book is not only for those who are familiar with Yoshiemi Hotta's works, but rather for those who have never read his works. You will be surprised to know that there was such a wonderful writer in Japan!

This book will make you want to read Yoshiemi Hotta's works. I intend to read it from now on as well. I highly recommend this author!

What I thought about in IndiaIndian thought, culture and history

Yoshiemi Hotta, "What I Thought in India" - India has an "oopsie face"... A masterpiece travelogue of India by one of Japan's leading writers!

This book has not faded at all nearly 70 years after its publication. It is extremely interesting.

Not only are there deep insights into the depths of the human psyche, but there is also a sprinkling of humor that will make you chuckle. This is travel writing at its finest.

This book may invite you to "go to India" as well.

IndiaIndian thought, culture and history

List of recommended reference books to learn about Indian history, religion, and culture - The more you know, the more interesting the Indian swamp.

In this article I will present my recommendations for Indian reference books.

I am currently writing a series of articles on this blog entitled "[Travels to Buddhist Sites in India and Sri Lanka] A Journey to the Sacred Sites of Buddhism: What I Felt When I Was Called to India", and the books I am about to introduce have had a strong influence on me.

南インドIndian thought, culture and history

World History Travels in South India" edited by Noboru Karashima and Teiji Sakata - Full of photos! Recommended for learning about the unique architecture and culture of Chennai and other places in India that differ from northern India!

This work, "World History Journey: South India," is a recommended guidebook for South India, which has a different culture from North India.

The most unique feature of this book is that it is full of photographs. As you look at the wonderful photographs and trace the history of South India, you will definitely want to visit the country yourself.

When we think of India, we tend to think of one India, but India is huge! (lol)

Just as the Kanto and Kansai regions have different cultures in Japan, India has its own culture in the north and south, or even in all directions.

This book will give you a feel of South India. It is a good guidebook for an introduction to South India, as it is full of photographs.

近現代南インドのバラモンと賛歌Indian thought, culture and history

Jun Koo, "Brahmins and Hymns of Modern and Contemporary South India" - Tamils and Bhakti Faith. Recommended for learning about South Indian culture.

While there are numerous books on Indian religion and culture, a book written specifically on South Indian music is rare. This is the first time I have thought about Indian culture from this perspective, so I was able to read this book with a very fresh mind.

I myself recently heard Hindu prayer music in the holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh on the upper Ganges River.

That melody still lingers in my ears. For some reason, it was an unforgettable melody. Even I, who heard it for the first time, could not help but think how attached it must have been to the Indian people.

This book is quite geeky as it talks about the musicians of the time and their music, but it is an interesting work that gives an atmosphere unique to South India, which is different from North India.

GhandiIndian thought, culture and history

Eijiro Hazama, "The Truth about Gandhi: What is Nonviolent Thought" - A recommended reference book to learn about Gandhi's personality and the core of his thought!

Everyone knows Mahatma Gandhi as a great man who played a major role in India's independence.

This work is a recommended reference book that provides a clear and detailed look at Gandhi's ideas, personality, and impact on society.

We are all familiar with Gandhi's famous phrase "nonviolence. However, what this "nonviolence" really means is not well known, or even misunderstood. This book raises such issues.

I am particularly shocked by chapters 5 and 6, which discuss Gandhi's religious views and his family problems. I too was like, "What? That's right!" I was surprised.

But this book is more than just gossip. Gandhi's ideas and personality are revealed through a variety of sources.

JainismIndian thought, culture and history

Kenji Watanabe, "Jainism: Non-Possession, Non-Violence, Non-Killing: Its Doctrine and Real Life" - A recommended commentary with interesting comparisons to Buddhism!

This book provides an easy-to-understand introduction to the basic tenets of Jainism and the background of its formation.

I especially appreciated the book's detailed knowledge of the Six Master Exoteric Traditions as the background from which Jainism emerged.

The Six Teachers of the Exoteric Tradition are Indian thinkers who were contemporaries of the Buddha from the Buddhist side. One of these would be Mahavira, the founder of Jainism (called Niganta Namaputta in Buddhism).

The thinkers of the Six Masters and the Way of the Buddha are also very important in learning about the period in which the Buddha lived. After all, Buddhism and Jainism were born in the same cultural background at the same time and share many similarities in their formation process.

I highly recommend this book to learn what Jainism is all about along with this historical background.

アジャンタとエローラIndian thought, culture and history

Ajanta and Ellora: Rock Temples and Mural Paintings of the Deccan Plateau of India" - A recommended guidebook to India's proud world heritage sites!

This book will be a recommended guidebook for the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora in India.

The explanations of the sculptures and paintings at both sites were especially interesting. The commentary on the Buddhist tale of Jataka was particularly moving. The commentary was not just about the ruins or the art, but it also went deeper into the historical background and thought of the times, which drew me in.

I am also planning to visit Ajanta and Ellora this year. This book was a very helpful guidebook for me. I highly recommend this book.

カーマスートラIndian thought, culture and history

The "Kama Sutra" - Ancient Indian code of sexual love. Also deeply related to Khajuraho temples, Tantrism and Esoteric Buddhism.

What I found when I actually read the Kama Sutra was that it was very similar to the so-called modern love instructions.

I was surprised at the extremely familiar topics that came up, such as "what kind of men are popular with women" and "how to attract men." I couldn't help but laugh when I read passages such as "how to keep away a man you don't like who comes on to you" and "how to cheer up a man who has no energy. It was as if I could picture the situation between men and women at that time. There is no doubt that this is a first-rate resource that gives us an insight into the culture and lifestyle of the time.

The Kama Sutra is not just a pornographic work. Although it is often misunderstood as being full of explicit sexual expressions, it is only one part of the life between a man and a woman. The Kama Sutra includes the entire encounter between a man and a woman, and the life they lead together. When I read this code, I was surprised to find that it is full of rules for life between men and women.

realism (as opposed to nominalism)Indian thought, culture and history

Kautilya's "Pragmatics" - Ancient Indian Machiavellianism! What a thoroughgoing imperialism that should be compared to "The Theory of Monarchs"!

Machiavelli's "The Theory of the Monarchs" is a rather gruesome treatise on power and intrigue, but this "Theory of Pragmatism" is also quite gruesome.

The commentary also states, "The author of this book describes every possible tactic a monarch should employ in order to protect his own security, increase his national power, and acquire the territory of others. The examples of espionage activities that are developed throughout the book are among the most noteworthy. In the Indian classics, espionage is given great importance, and even in later works of literature, kings who fail to make proper use of spies are condemned. The use of spies is especially carefully explained, as stated in the following passage.

Reading this book, I do not envy you at all for being born in royalty. No matter how extravagant I may be, I would respectfully give back that right. Maybe Buddha felt that way too.