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Title: The conception of karma and reincarnation in Hindu religion and philosophy
Author: Yevtic, Paul
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1926
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Hindu religious and philosophical activity is as complex as the European. The ideas underlying the karma notion are manifold and buried in ceremonial and sometimes obscure terminology. Nevertheless, several concepts appear to be forerunners of karma: rta (in the Rig-Veda), Yajna and re-death in the Brahmanas; devayana and pitryana are corollaries of the foregoing conecpts. Dharma is not probably of identical meaning with karma. Upanishadie thought already contains the karma doctraine but not elaborated. Buddhism definitely introduces karma as the groundplan of its teaching, the latter idea being based on causation it gives a definite and central place to indian thought. In later writings of the Indians, karma is modified, due to the inrush of new ideas, but substantlally it preserves its original meaning. From among the five chief commentators of the Brahmasutra, Sankara and Ramanija have made an attempt to give it a metaphysical background. The former succeeded in including karma in his system, but had to split knowlwdge into metaphysical and empirical. The latter was in some senses a complement to sankara. The surya-gita deals with the problem of karma as an accepted fact. Nevertheless, trying to solve the relation between Erahma, Isvara and jiva on a logical ground, implies difficulties. The possibility of conceiving the karma doctrine as an universal law of causation, as understood by the Hindus, in connection with the idea of heredity, environment, fate etc. several aspects of understanding karma in its bearing on life- biological, psychological, ethical and metaphysical.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral