Monday, 5 May 2014

Hauntology's fart- Vaishnav version

Helps us See
Thou, the Unforgiving Turd  in Twos we find
 So Love blaspheme while yet it's Blind


  1. What's "vaishnava" about this?

    1. In Christianity, there is an 'unforgivable sin', viz. blasphemy against the Holy Spirit- vide which consists of making a statement of the form- Christ, or the bride of Christ- that is the Church- is casting out devils not by the power of God but that of Satan or doing some other such analogous action not by reason of participation in the Good but prompted by some Evil purpose.
      In the Bible, Christ speaks of this upardonable sin as being the one by which the Pharisees- who were jealous rivals of his- attributed his power to 'Beelzebub'.
      So, for Christianity, Jealousy and Envy can lead to an 'unpardonable sin'.
      Turning to Vaishavism, and looking at 'samrambha yogis' or 'virodha bhaktas' like Ravana, we find that Jealousy and Envy are part of their makeup. They become the enemies of God, or rebel against God, or utter blasphemies against Avatars of God out of a combination of many reasons- greed, stupidity, lust, etc- but Jealousy or Envy is very much part of the mix. Yet, we say that since Hatred concentrates the mind more on the Hated one than even Love concentrates the mind on the beloved one, so- strangely enough!- these Jealous fools and Evil doers get the highest and swiftest and most thorough type of Union with the Lord by gaining death at the hands of his Avatars. In other words, not only does God pardon the worst sinner, the worst blasphemer, but God grants them the Liberation of Union in such a way that, at last, their insane Jealousy can be satisfied- because they have received the most Supreme Favor.
      We can imagine Ravana boasting to Hanuman- 'oh! little monkey- see, I am superior to you! Lord Himself liberated me, that too in the most honorable way!'
      Hanuman can easily make a smart reply, but true Vaishnav relinquishes even the desire for Union, so as to remain of service to the Lord- i.e. he karma yoga (which is the most humble of Yogas) to 'Raja Yoga'- and this is the reason the greatest poet-saints can depict such Divine Personalities in a way which is not 'dignified' and which attracts the attention of even unruly little children or elderly and stupid sinners.


    2. Most Vaishnavs are householders. Do they never get jealous of their spouse? Won't the spouse feel some 'mirchi' (spice) is missing from the relationship if their partner never shows jealousy and anger? Why is Radha depicted as jealous? Poets use the term 'false jealousy' or 'play-acting' for this, however, can the Vaishnav really be just a play-actor or hypocrite? Philosophers have to understand the concept of 'lila'- play- to find an answer to this. Play itself is related to the concept of the Game- which is studied by what is nowadays called Game Theory. Yuddhishtra, in the Mahabharata, has to learn this Statistical and Mathematical Science so as to overcome his Vishada (Depression)- though, I may mention, Vishada is itself a Yoga.
      Hauntology is a term used by Derrida who reestablishes a specifically Christian type of univocity such that there can be no play of play, no lila of lila, no deconstruction of deconstruction, no metamorphicity of metamorphicity, and so- as Gayatri Spivak said to Prof Matilal- 'it can't lay hold of a fart'.
      When any two 'Philosophers' are gathered- i.e. when any two 'Lovers of Wisdom' are gathered- there is a Third who is also present though what those two self-blinded savants actually discover is the Turd of Jealousy and Envy and endless disputation as to who is superior.
      What is Vaishnav about this piece of doggerel is that it isn't saying 'such and such philosophy or way of life is Evil or Stupid or Satanic or whatever' but, instead, acknowledges that the Lord will approach more quickly to grant Union to those who are most blind and stupid and jealous and fractious in denouncing or persecuting the true Avatar or Amsha of the Lord- i.e. Jealousy helps us to see- in the manner in which Arjuna's chaksuchi vidya enables him to see- things under that ideal arrangement most productive of our good and this is true for everybody which is why the Lord alone is worthy of service and, what is more, Service to him can be humbly preferred even to Union.

    3. Sorry, couple of things I should have clarified. Christian univocity is perfectly interchangeable with Vaishnav univocity iff one accepts that Time is 'many fingered' and that the Lord plays upon many strings like an expert guitar player and that this is one way of understanding Divine 'Lila'.
      Secondly, I fully acknowledge that other traditions, for e.g. my own Smarta/Saivite heritage, do not deny or dispute the superiority of humble service to the gaining of Union or Gnosis. This is not an ontological issue nor something to do with Sectarian polemics. I choose to say 'Vaishnav' because that tradition is the clearest and most famous for maintaining a doctrine all good and humble people, whatever their Religion or Belief, either already practice or would wish to so do.

    4. I've heard quite a few people, even "hare krishnas" of ISKCON, compare Christianity and Vaishnavism favorably but I don't see any similarities between the two.

  2. The painting in your header. What is it and what does it portray?

    1. It is the 'rape of the Sabine women' by Il Sodoma-