Kartik Mathur

Student at Manipal University

Comparing and contrasting the theory of liberation in the Sankhya school of philosophy and the Yoga school of philosophy.

Both the Sankhya school of philosophy and the Yoga school of philosophy have been credited with having similar views on their metaphysics, their theory of knowledge, their theory of liberation etc. Thus these two schools have often been addressed together as the Sankhya-Yogas. Even though both these schools have similar views on the theory of liberation, there are still a few differences that separate these two schools in that area. In this essay, I will attempt to compare and contrast the views of these two schools on liberation in order to find out and properly frame the similarities and the differences that exist. I would also be taking into account the views put forth by Satishchandra Chatterjee and Dhereendramohan Datta, Andrew Nicholson, and Christopher Bartley and their relevant texts. For both the Sankhya and the Yoga school of philosophy, liberation can only be achieved by the cessation of all pain and suffering. Liberation can be compared to detachment, which is said to be “self-mastery on the part of one who no longer thirsts for perceptible objects or any of the transitory goals promised by the Scriptures.” (Bartley 2011,  p. 88) According to the Sankhya philosophy, we are victims to three kind of pain- adhyatmika, adhibhautika, and adhidaivika. Adhyatmika is due to intra-organic causes such as bodily disorders and mental affections. Adhibhautika is the pain that is caused by nature such as men, animals etc. Adhidaivika is the pain that is caused by extra-organic supernatural causes such as ghosts and demons.  On the other hand, for the Yoga philosophy, “ So long as the mind or the intellect of a man is impure and unsettled, he cannot properly understand anything of philosophy and religion. ( Datta and Chatterjee 1948, p. 337). Thus for the Sankhya, the cause of the pain can arise from both the body and mind while for the Yogas, pain can only arise from the mind. Both the Sankhyas and the Yogas agree that for attaining moksha or liberation the separation of the self from the body is needed and a clear distinction is needed to be made between self and the body, intellect and the mind. This argument is supported by Datta and Chatterjee, who informs us that “ It holds, like the Sankhya and some other Indian systems, that liberation is to be attained through the direct knowledge of the self’s distinction from the physical world including our body, mind and the ego ( vivekajnana). ( Datta and Chatterjee 1948, p.337) According to the Sankhyas, the reason that we have to suffer pain is that we do not have the right knowledge of reality and that every reality has a plurality of selves. The self is an “ intelligent principle which does not pose any quality or activity but is a pure consciousness free form the limitations of space, time and causality.” ( Datta and Chatterjee 1948, p. 324) Even the Yoga’s share a similar view of the self as even they think that it is above the physical reality with its spatio-temporal and its cause-effect order. A claim that is put forth by Andrew Nicholson is that the followers of the Sankhya philosophy will have to endure the long duration of jivanmukti, while Yoga philosophers, on the other hand, will not have to endure it and can just bypass it.  He has claimed that “The path of knowledge ( jñāna ), offered by the Sāmkhya and Vedānta systems, can lead to meditation with objects and can be efficacious for enlightenment. But the follower of Sāmkhya or Vedānta will have to endure the state of jīvanmukti,  as suggested by  BS  4.1.15 and  Ch. Up.  6.14.2. However, Vis ˙. Pu.  6.7.35 suggests that Yoga can cause immediate release, destroying prārabdha acts and bypassing jīvanmukti altogether. Yoga, according to Vijñānabhiks ˙ u, is the fast track to complete liberation. Although Sāmkhya, Vedānta, and Yoga can all lead to liberation, Yoga is the best of the three solely in terms of its efficiency.” ( Nicholson 2010, p. 116)  While Nicholson claims that Yoga is the most efficient way to attaining liberation, Datta and Chatterjee have an opposing view as they claim that “ It requires a long and arduous endeavor to maintain oneself in the state of samadhi and destroy the effects of the different kinds of karma, past, and present. For this, it is necessary to practice yoga with care and devotion for a sufficiently long time” ( Datta and Chatterjee 1948, p. 347). Thus for them, it will take years to attain liberation. Thus we can see that the theory of liberation itself has contradicting views in Indian philosophy. Thus, as a conclusion, we can say that the Sankhya lays greater stress on discriminative knowledge as the means of attaining liberation while on the other hand, the Yoga lays greater stress on practical methods for self-purification and concentration in order to attain moksa. REFERENCES- Chatterjee, Satishchandra and Dheerendramohan Datta. 1948. An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. University of Calcutta: Calcutta Bartley, Christopher. 2011. An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. Continuum International Publishing Group: London Nicholson, J. Andrew.  2010. Unifying Hinduism. Colombia University Press: New York.    

myths

Myths are for the most part narratives that have been verbally or written down  from generation to generation. The Neanderthals used to believe in the myth of after life , so they buried a dead person with tools and weapons . Myths could vary in intensity such as a normal superstition such as walking a bridge brings bad luck to myths  that become part of someone’s personal  and cultural identity . In ancient times myths were probably told as stories. Throughout the years those stories have been told and retold and story could have changed a little each time which eventually became the myths they are today. Over the course the course of time science and technology have improved and they  had  the ability to put these myths to the test . There were a lot of myths from the ancient world such as the story of Noah ‘s ark and Jesus Christ walking on water and great epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata . It is very hard to explain myths in a scientific or a historical sense. But in a few cases science has come up with an answer , for example, there was a myth that Jesus Christ could heal anyone . Scientists have now pointed out that he was not super human and that he was using the principle of the placebo effect. There is  also the question of how much control religion has over myths . People sometimes commit crimes in the name of religion . Myths are the stepping stones of the  creation of religion . Myths could also have a negative effect  on people , especially children . At a young age , myths provide the perfect stories for the children who are full of imagination. But it could also hamper with their idea of the difference between what is reality and what is fiction. We can take an example of Musharraf Ali Farooqi , who  had said that the stories of Dastan – e Amir Hamza were effecting his studies. But it also had a positive effect on him as it gave him the motivation  to translate the whole of Dastan – e Amir Hamza . There are many people who are realists who try to find a rational and realistic solution rather than ask God to find a solution for them and help them with their problems . Many people also like to associate sacrifices during rituals of a religion . In many myths and stories  people used to sacrifice animals during rituals to please the Gods . The Vikings of the ancient Scandinavian countries used to sometimes sacrifice humans during a ritual for a festival or before a great battle . But myths sometimes provide us with answers that science cant answer like what happens to us after we die . Mythology provides  us with a posthumous existence such  as after Christians die they will either go to heaven or hell or in the case of Vikings , they go to valhala when they die to dine with their God Odin.                                                                                                                                         

Aristotle

Aristotle says that every action that a human does, they consider the end to be good. There are higher ends and subordinate ends. The higher ends are ends in themselves and the subordinate ends are the means to higher ends. He also says that good is a part of political science as in politics, people are concerned with what is the best end for a human but then what is best for one person may not be best for another. Thus, we can only have a rough outline of good.Everyone agrees that the supreme good is happiness but people argue on what happiness consists of. Some people think that sensual pleasures are the greatest god while on the other hand, some people think that honor is the greatest good. Plato suggests that there is only one form of good and that all good things are good in the same way. Happiness is the highest good because it is an end in itself.We see people as ‘good’ only if they perform their function well. The thing that separates us from animals and plants is our rationality. Thus, good should be an activity of the rational soul.When e are talking about the life of a person, we consider the life as a whole and not just a few moments of it. Through this, we could say that a person can only be considered happy only after he dies when we can examine their lives as a whole. Aristotle also says that the way his descendants behave may affect the happiness of that person.We can divide the soul into 2 parts- a rational part and an irrational part. The irrational part can then be divided in a vegetative part, which helps with our growth and nutrition and an appetitive part, which governs our impulses. The rational part of the soul controls those impulses and thus a person with greater rationality is better able to control their impulses. 

oedipus rex

The chorus is an integral part of a Greek tragedy. It helps form the structure of the play. It enters after the Prologue, appears at all climactic turns of plot and concludes the play with an exit song.The primary role of the chorus is to act as a moderator or commentator. It generally occupies the orchestral space between the stage and the audience, forming a physical link between the characters on stage and the audience. The Chorus helps move the storyline forward by introducing new characters and commenting on ongoing activities and events. Through its observations, the audience gets a new perspective and sees a fuller picture of the action on stage.The Chorus comments on and evaluates incidents, characters and themes and helps mold the audience's reactions. The Chorus also prepares the audience for what might happen next by its forebodings which may or may not come true. This adds to the dramatic tension of the plot.The Chorus is also used to convey the vision of the dramatist to the audience. Its songs, or odes, can range from prayers and lamentations to songs of joy and grief. Sophocles has used the Chorus to magnificent effect in Oedipus Rex. The Chorus in the play consists of twelve to fifteen elders of Thebes, who react to events as they unfold on stage. The Chorus is sometimes fearful, sometimes full of praise or advice for Oedipus, and its songs refer to a variety of moods and themes ranging from tyranny to blasphemy. There are five Choral odes in Oedipus Rex. Each comes at a dramatic point in the play and helps the audience interpret events. It also either articulates or answers questions that arise in the mind of the audience and modulates their response.The first Choral ode is sung just after Oedipus declares his resolve to find Laius's murderer. The ode has two parts. First that the Chorus is fearful after hearing the message from Delphi and the other lamenting the miseries faced by Thebes- "Countlessly, the city dies, No compassion's found.   A deadly generation lies   unpitied on the ground.   Wives and mothers, young and old,   lament by altar's shore   pains and sufferings untold.   Their mournful voices soar." (Page 14, Oedipus Rex, Sophocles)By describing in horrific detail the sickness and death that has befallen Thebes, the Chorus emphasizes how high the stakes are for Oedipus, their king. The second Choral ode comes just after the bitter quarrel between Oedipus and Teiresias, who accuses him of Laius' murder. This dramatic ode again has two parts, one, where the Chorus condemn the murderer and warn him to flee Thebes. This song further contributes to the atmosphere of terror and foreboding. In the second part, the Chorus is uncertain of Oedipus' s motives and yet is not sure whether or not to believe Teiresias"Though Zeus and Phoebus know and see   everything that mortals do,   to say the priest knows more than me   is not entirely true." (Page 32,  Oedipus Rex, Sophocles)This conflict in its mind is transmuted to the audience as well. But the Chorus remains steadfast in its loyalty to its ideal king, Oedipus.The third Choral ode is a moral and religious sermon, directed both at the characters on stage and the audience. The Chorus has full faith in the laws of the gods   "May fate find me accompanied   by purity in word and deed   revering laws that walk on high,   the children of the azure sky." (Page54, Oedipus Rex, Sophocles) It stands for the sanctity of divine laws and condemns pride and arrogance. The Chorus also deplores Oedipus’s and Jocasta's irreverence towards the Oracles. It glorifies self-restraint and piousness and is fearful for the tyrant who is proud and arrogantThe fourth ode comes, when, after Jocasta's departure, Oedipus is facing an identity crisis. This Choral song is an expression of loyalty towards Oedipus. The Chorus praises him to the point of deification and expresses gratitude to the gods that protect Oedipus. The Chorus celebrate his divine birth, ironically, just before the truth of his birth is revealed by the shepherd. "Who was your mother, child, disclose.  A sprite hill-ranging Pan come near?  .....found a son  among his bright-eyed nymphs at play." (Page 68, Oedipus Rex, Sophocles)The fifth and final Choral ode comments on how short-lived human happiness is. It reflects on the role of fate in Oedipus's downfall, his past triumphs, and present misery   "If Oedipus' s fate the test,   no human state is truly blest." (Page 75,Oedipus Rex, Sophocles) The Chorus molds the mood and perspective of the play by its comments. It also conveys Sophocles's theme of fatalism by surrendering before the forces of fate and the gods as it laments how even the most powerful of men are ruined by fate.

BOMBAY STORIES – BY SAADAT HASAN MANTO

In the book Bombay Stories SaadatHasanManto has given a very clear description of the daily life of those living in the rural slums of Mumbai during the 1930’s and the 1940’s. He vividly describes his memories and experiences and incorporates them into stories ranging from those of alcoholic delirium to the daily activities of a young prostitute.The poverty at the time is evident as nearly all the women in the novel have been portrayed as prostitutes who also have pimps. Manto plays with our expectations many times,for example- when a young prostitute of 15 years who goes by the name Sarita returns the money she was offered for her ‘job’. In “Ten Rupees' , Sarita unexpectedly returns to the men the 10 rupees that they paid for her services as they didn’t do anything to her and when asked why ,she simply replies, : “ why should I take it ?”.( page 25, Bombay Stories , SaadatHasanManto).One of the most interesting characters in the novel is Manto himself, who appears in some stories as himself. He also brings some bitter humour about what people go through. Often,he is also unorthodox with the endings of his stories. We can see this in many cases such as in “ Ten Rupees” when Sarita unexpectedly returns the money or as in “Barren” when Naim confesses that he had made up the story about himself and Zahra, but amazingly felt that he had still lost her and because of that he commited suicide. It is also fascinating that Manto is not interested in writing stories about the elite and the rich class of Mumbai but focuses instead on the pimps and prostitutes of the lowly slums of Mumbai. Another interesting aspect of this book is that all the stories in the book are written in first person.That brings a sense of immediacy to the narrative. Manto may not be the biggest admirer of women ( regarding the fact how he has portrayed them in Bombay Stories), but he has in a way correctly portrayed how Mumbai was in the 1940’s amidst the chaotic times of independence and partition. He discussesissues regarding many problems such as depression , poverty, satire and moral decay. This helps us get a better view of one of the most violent , turbulent and brutal chapters of Indian history. He also on multiple occasions portrays men as stifling figures, most notably in the story “Insult”, in which Madho was a man who takes advantage of Saugandhias he keeps asking for money and also keeps making false promises. The story “ Insult” is also one of the few stories in which the female character has her own voice and her own opinions and she stands up for herself.This novel with its controversial and radical stories is, unsurprisingly, not short of critics with a few stating that Mumbai had been falsely portrayed as a dangerous place full of ‘gangsters’ and ‘brothels’. In the end it all comes down to the creativity of Manto and how he has depicted pre- independence Bombay. One of his most wonderful quotes is “If you find my stories dirty, the society you are living in is dirty. With my stories, I only expose the truth.”It would also be an understatement to say that Manto was one of the best short story writers in Indian 

Aristotle

There are 3 bad states of character- vice, incontinence, and bestiality. The opposite of these is a virtue, continence, and superhuman virtue.  There is a lot of inconsistency that surrounds the views of incontinence such as what sort of correct supposition someone has when he acts incontinently?Aristotle gives us four solutions. Firstly, he suggests that if a person has any knowledge of doing wrong but does not reflect on it, then he does wrong without thinking about it. Secondly, a person might reach a false conclusion while using syllogism because of ignorance of facts. Thirdly, a person who is not in his right state of mind might not be able to think clearly. Fourthly, if a person has a desire for something, that may influence him to act hastily and without reasoning.Licentiousness and incontinence are closely connected. The difference between licentiousness person and an incontinent person is that a licentiousness person acts out of choice but on the other hand, an incontinent person lacks self- restraint. As a licentiousness person acts on desire and choice, that person can be reasoned with, therefore they are more reasonable than incontinent people. A licentiousness person is wicked, while an incontinent person performs wicked actions without being willfully wicked.

Crooked lines

In The Crooked Lines by Ismant Chugtai, Shaman is the 10th child in a muslim family and she has been neglected both physically and mentally during most of her childhood. Her family had not explained to her about sexual desires and she was also excluded from public and private spheres. We will now see how that caused her to be sexually fluid and its effects and how were her first few relationships as a heterosexual womenHer sexual and romantic attractions and desires are not age specific or gender specific. As a child her wet nurse Unna had taken care of her but after she left she missed her “soft, warm bosom”( page 3, The Crooked Lines). When Manjhu, her sister started to take care of her she developed sexual feelings for her. She once caught Manjhu bathing and stared at her and even made her blush. Manjhu also complained to Bari Apa that Shaman was “ tickling her in a most unbecoming manner”( page 4, The Crooked Lines).Even in school gender did not seem an issue for Shaman. She could not form a biological bond with her biological mother so she was looking for a mother figure to have that bond with. She found that in her teacher Miss Charan or so we thought. She idealizes this mother substitute but also has unconscious repressions. She later developed sexual feeling for her and was obsessed with her and also often dreamt about sleeping in her bed. This proved to be her downfall as she was caught sleeping in Miss Charan’s bed and 3 days after the incident Miss Charan had left the school. Shaman’s desires had gotten the better of her and it left her in a dark place. Shaman’s desires did not stop as she then got into a love triangle between herself, Saadat and Najma. With Saadat and Najma being the best of friends and often talking for in her room, she often felt like the outsider in her own room. Slowly she started to have desire for Najma too and was often be overcome with the memory of “ the movement of Najma’s lips, and the pleats of her waist”( page 67, The Crooked lines). Najma also starts to see Shaman differently when at the fancy dress show she was constantly blushing at Shaman even though she was wearing a men’s attire.After Najma and Saadat, Bilquis was now Shaman’s best friend. Her time with Bilquis is ery important as it is she who tells Shaman that “ Apa Bi told we should be crazy about boys and not girls”( page 78, The Crooked lines). This was a turning point in Shaman’s life as this was a psychological shock and according to her, the idea of cross sex marriage was “ rubbish”. After this realization she was now forced to go on an alternative trajectory.Shaman’s sexuality is a key theme in the novel. Her transformation from being queer to being ‘straight’ is ambigious. Taking the term ‘ straight’ in reference, could the author be hinting at this ambiguity through the title ‘ Crooked Lines’?

Radical Feminism

Radical feminism is an ideology within feminism itself which calls for the elimination of male supremacy in all cultural, economic and political contexts. Radical feminism gained popularity when it arose from the second- wave feminism during the 1960’s. Radical feminists, in the context of oppression, place the root of the problem of common gender roles in the society.They also believe that it is men who are always the ones who have been the oppressors of women. Thus they portray men as sadistic humans who benefit from the oppression of women and portray women as the victims who had no choice but to submit to the will of the oppressors. We will discuss these points later in the paper. Another point worth noting is that all the arguments in this paper are in contrast to the radical feminism that is happening only in the United States of America, United Kingdom, and Australia.Many radical feminists groups were formed all around the US during the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s with the most popular of them being the New York Radical Women, Redstockings, and the National Organization for Women( NOW). It is interesting to know that many of these groups went through splits after only a few years. Ti-Grace Atkinson formed a group called The Feminists, which were split from the National Organization for women. Another important group which was formed was the New York Radical Feminists which was formed by Shulamith Firestone and Anne Koedt. To be straightforward if the radical feminists wanted to be taken seriously then the splitting up of the groups quite early on in the movement was not a good idea.Feminists have fought for women’s rights for decades. Radical feminists seclude themselves from this and go for a more radical approach and fight for women’s liberation instead. My statement is supported by Barbara A. Crow who says “Radical feminism named and associated itself with “women’s liberation” as opposed to “women’s rights” and saw themselves as part of a movement rather than a specialized interest group.”(Crow 2000, 2) They believe that women have been oppressed all throughout history because of male-dominated societies and the liberation of woman would be the only way to eliminate the patriarchy.Radical feminist groups introduced the use of consciousness- raising (CR). These groups consisted of women from different spheres of the society and discussed how they had been the victims of male supremacy. Instead of discussing ways in which they can help women, the women discussing came to the conclusion that the only way to create a free and just society is the ending of patriarchy. In many ways, this method was a good system as even though they had very radical views, they managed to keep violence between them and the government to the minimum. Thus through the use of consciousness- raising, they managed to shift the idea of radical feminism from a personal and collective idea to a political ideology.As mentioned before, Redstockings was a very important radical feminist group. It was started in 1969 by prominent radical feminists Ellen Willis and Shulamith Firestone. They have been credited for many notable essays with one of the most important and controversial pieces being the Redstockings Manifesto.  In this, they have portrayed all women as the ones who have been oppressed and all men as oppressors. They have also come up with some frankly ridiculous statements which we will discuss now.In the Manifesto, they have written that “All power structures throughout history have been male-dominated and male-oriented. Men have controlled all political, economic and cultural institutions and backed up this control with physical force.”(Redstockings Manifesto, web copy). Clearly, the women who wrote this have not taken into consideration Cleopatra, who ruled ancient Egypt. They have also not taken into consideration all the women who have held high political positions throughout the years, most notably the rule of Queen Elizabeth II for over 60 years over the United Kingdom. As for institutions, they imply that all the institutions are male-dominated. Then what about the many radical feminist groups such as the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Redstockings itself. Aren’t they also institutions that are run by women? Yes, they are. So we can see the irony here.It is also written in the manifesto that, “All men receive economic, sexual, and psychological benefits from male supremacy. All men have oppressed women.”( Redstockings Manifesto, web copy). This is a completely generalized statement which are portraying all men as oppressors. They have given a very controversial statement but they have also not given any proof for their statement. We cannot just believe what they are saying when they have not given any evidence from a reliable source.They also wrote that “We identify with all women. We define our best interest as that of the poorest, most brutally exploited woman.”( Redstockings Manifesto, web copy). They claim to identify with all women but they fail to mention the women who are actually being oppressed in countries of the Middle East and the countries of Africa and Asia in any of their writings. They remain focused on their first world problems such as the objectification of women in video games but don’t mention the plight of women in the middle east who are still banned from driving and are forced to cover their body and wear a burka in very hot climate.In the very last paragraph of the Redstockings Manifesto, they wrote that “We call on all men to give up their male privilege and support women's liberation in the interest of our humanity and their own.”( Redstockings Manifesto, web copy). I would like to point out that as we discussed earlier in the paper, there is also written that ‘all men are oppressors’. This would imply that all women must stand against men as they are the oppressors. Yet over here they are asking the same allegedly ‘oppressors’ to help them fight male supremacy. They also believe that it is men who have to change themselves to get rid of the patriarchy -“We also reject the idea that women consent to or are to blame for their own oppression. Women's submission is not the result of brain-washing, stupidity or mental illness but of continual, daily pressure from men. We do not need to change ourselves, but to change men.”( Redstockings Manifesto, web copy). Ti-Grace Atkinson, who is a radical feminist herself, proves my point by stating that- “What is extremely difficult and “unnatural,” but necessary, is for the Oppressed to cure themselves (destroy the female role), to throw off the Oppressor, and to help the Oppressor to cure himself ( destroy the male role).”(Crow 2000, 89).Radical feminists are often known for their unusual way of protesting. They are also credited with coming up with the phrase ‘bra- burner’when they threw their bra’s while protesting against the Miss America pageant of 1968. It is probably though these instances that the popular term ‘feminazi’ came to be used. The person who is known to have coined this term is Rush Limbaugh, who was an American radio talk show host. We might ask the question- ‘Is the term ‘feminazi’ really the right term to use for radical feminists?’. The answer is no. While you have to give some credit to Rush Limbaugh for his creative skills, the term ‘feminazi’ is politically incorrect. The term is a combination of two words- feminist and Nazi. These two words are as opposite as north is to the south. That is because during Nazi Germany, feminism was banned and women were told to devote themselves to childbirth and child-rearing. It is because of this that many German feminists of that time either fled Germany or were sent to concentration camps.I respect both the feminists and the radical feminists who truly fight for and support women who have been the victims of male supremacy. But over the years women have used that victim card to their own benefit. They do this especially in courts and in public spaces. This is because most of the courts are biased towards women. They use this to their advantage in many ways, such as false rape cases and for divorce. In the case of sexual harassment, many men have been subjected to the punishment due to false rape charges by women. Divorce laws are many times set in favor of women rather than men in many parts of the world. Usually, it is the men who are said to be the main reason for divorce and thus end up losing half of their entire savings and half of the properties they own. The court also favors women when it comes to child custody and they also demand high alimony payments. It is because of this that many times men have been the subject to shame by the public and are looked down and have to go to the court to prove their innocence. This is another instance how women cripple men psychologically. Dr. Carisa R. Showden proves my point as she states that- “women abuse the power that comes with“sugar and spice and that’s all nice” to render men impotent in the court of law and public opinion on issues such as sexual harassment, child custody, and education for example. On this account, the idea of women as victims is both bad for women and empirically false.”( Showden  2009, 6).A very important movement that radical feminists participated in the movement for reproductive rights. This includes some rights that the radical feminists believe that they should have such as the right to abortion, the right to the usage of birth control, and the right to chose whether the woman themselves want children or not. I agree with many of the points that were put forward by them. I agree with them when they say that it should be their choice whether they want to have children or not. What I don’t agree is the right to legalize abortion. That is because they believe they should make the choice without the consent of either a certified doctor or the father of the unborn child. I feel that the father should have some say in the decision because without him conceiving the child would not be possible. If a couple does not want a child then contraceptives can always be used as they are not that expensive, and thus killing an unborn child should not be an option.  We might ask the question- ‘In the instance of a rape, if a woman gets pregnant, shouldn’t a woman be able to make her own decision then’? Yes, they should. As in the case of a rape, the female is not to be blamed for her impregnation and thus should be free to be able to make her own decision. I don’t agree with the concept of abortion, and I don’t agree with the radical view of dealing with abortion. Yet there are a few upsides with the use of the pill. For instance, if a working woman does not want to become pregnant as she only wants to focus on her work, she could use the pill. My point is further proved by this statement by Booth, Goldfield, and Munaker- “ Historically, there may have been an excuse for this role as part of a division of labor. Continuous pregnancies kept woman physically weak and less mobile than men. Now the pill enables people to control the timing and number of children they will have, the incessant childbearing role is a lame excuse for confining women to domestic chores.”( Crow 2000, 60).As a conclusion, I would like to point out that the whole basis of radical feminism is that men have oppressed women. But they have failed to mention that in so many cases women have oppressed men. But as we notice, there is no movement defending men’s rights, except for some websites and a few social media accounts. So from all the instances mentioned in the paper, we can conclude that even if radical feminists think that they are a women’s liberation group, it would seem like they are more of a hate group.BIBLIOGRAPHY-1.     Crow, Barbara A., ed. 2000. Radical Feminism: A Documentary Reader. New York and London: New York University Press2.      Atkinson, Ti-Grace,“ Radical Feminism”, in Crow, Barbara A., ed. 2000. Radical Feminism: A Documentary Reader. 82-89, New York and London: New York University Press3.     Booth, Heather, Evi Goldfield, Sue Munaker, “Toward a Radical Movement”, in Crow, Barbara A., ed. 2000. Radical Feminism: A Documentary Reader.57-64, New York and London: New York University Press4.     Redstockings “ History is a weapon: Redstockings Manifesto”( July 7, 1969­), URL: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/redstockingsmanifesto.html, Accessed on 30th November5.     Showden, Carisa R. 2009. “What’s Political about the New Feminisms?”Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 30{2}: 166-198

Aristotle

The main question that is asked in this book is how to achieve happiness. Epictetus says that happiness requires freedom. He explains the difference between things that don’t depend on us, such as fame and power, as compared to things that do depend on us, such as our judgment. He says that if u want to be free, then we should only focus on things that depend on us and not pay any attention to the things that don’t depend on us.Epictetus claims that we misjudge death to be terrible. He says that we should change our perception about death and view it as something positive. He also talks about the body and says that the disease is bad for the body and lameness is an impediment for the legs but both, not the will, if it wants to.He also claims that we can be invisible, provided that we do not get into any fights as it does not depend on you to be victorious. He also tells us not to laugh much and to do so without restraint as this could lead us to vulgarity. He explains that there are 3 parts of philosophy- first is that we should not lie. Second is the question, ‘where does it must not lie.’ The third one is the question, ‘where does it demonstrate? What is a demonstration, a consequence, an objection which is true, or the false.’       

Indian Folklore

The Indian Folklores are something which has been travelling since a long time in the roots of the cultural and geographical boundaries of South Asia. They are dynamic in nature but follow the pattern. These folk tales are travelling and an individual hears about it from somebody rather than read about them. These are often told by the older generation of the family to the younger ones, these are also most of the time are added in bedtime stories, as stated (Page-352, A.K Ramanujan, The Collected Essays of A.K Ramanujan). They mainly deal with the household atmosphere and the environment of living, the main emphasis is laid on daily life event hence it makes it promisingly real. It has to do with the social factors of a society as well; the involvement of jealous neighbours is one of the examples of the concentration on social factors (Page-353, A.K Ramanujan, The Collected Essays of A.K Ramanujan).The above mentioned point of involvement of social factors are seen in (Pages-355-356, A.K Ramanujan, The Collected Essays of A.K Ramanujan) where the encounter with the thieves in the Jungle and with the neighbours are stated. These two set of characters are very much found in abundance in a society, a society has thieves as the anti-social elements and socializing needs neighbours. These tales have the motive of showcasing the good versus bad element and also the element of the divine power and the religion. The involvement of religion and divine power is basically to escalate the importance of god. It is an attempt to make the people trust god and believe the divinity is always helpful to the good and punishes the evil (Pages-360&362, A.K Ramanujan, The Collected Essays of A.K Ramanujan); points out how the bowl achieved from the spirits of the ‘Banyan’ tree was placed below the feet of the god by the poor man and how it got entwined in the worship of god and thanking him for the fortune, and also the end shows how the man with the evil intention is punished by the god! The concept of involvement of the society is incomplete without the involvement of family members. The folklores of South Asia have the involvement of family in great extent. There is mentioning of the husband, the mother-in-law, the kind of family; the kind of family like the joint family, how does it represent or portray the lifestyle of the members. It is given emphasis on the status of women in a family, for example (Page-372, A.K, Ramanujan, The Collected Essays of A.K Ramanujan) it is stated how the desires of members in a joint family can lead to relationship of incest. The basic elements or the factors that affect the folklores are the presence of real life events and the presence of the social environment. The folklores are the treasures and representations of cultures which in other words can be called the mirror of the society. It deals with elements in which the society believes in and hence it can be stated that a folklore is impossible with society. 

Indian Goodess

The public lectures always make David wonder how many people are still ignorant about the complexity of life and religion. The ‘Crossword’ group in Kolkata, India, has called him to deliver a lecture on the flourishing of new Gods and Myths. “The idea behind a myth is very complex, they are so strong and so much in the culture and daily life of the people that without it life cannot be imagined.” Said David, being a Professor of Religious Study in the Harvard University, he has always tried to explain his students about the patterns of these myths, the narratives and the gods. India has been his favourite area as he is a specialist of South Asian Studies. When he was invited for this lecture he got very excited, he got the opportunity of working in his favourite area; all he did was packed his bag and came to India. After a long research and field work he figured out about this strange narrative in a small village called ‘Bahura’ in Uttar Pradesh.The amount of risk taken by him for this research was enormous, he risked his life! The village Bahura is situated in the Northern Uttar Pradesh, accompanied by one of his closest friend and contemporary Dhiritiman Mukherjee, David went to do his field work. “I got a call from one of my friends who work in the Anthropological Department of India, he told me about this place and this popular narrative of the place. My excitements knew no bound and that is the reason why I am here in front of you people.” When David and Dhiritiman were going to this place they were warned by the locals of the nearby town, they were asked not to go, especially David. The duo did not care much about the warnings and they sneaked into the village. They had a talk with the Anthropological Department and were supposed to camp with them. One of the anthropologists told them about this popular worshipping of ‘Swatantrata Devi’ in the village. ‘Swatantrata’ stands for Independence and ‘Devi’ stands for the Goddess. A firm believer of first hand information, David wanted to talk to the villagers himself but the anthropologist told him that it would be dangerous and he could even lose his life.The anthropologist’s research and field work said that Bahura is a place which is very rich in minerals, during the British Raj the Britishers got to know about this and they started taking away all the minerals and the poor farmers and villagers got nothing. The torture and brutality of the Britishers left the village in chaos, they started killing and torturing the male members and there came a stage when almost all the male members of the village were either dead or working for the British without receiving any pay. The women of the village decided that it must stop and they revolted against the Britishers with weapons, there was a lot of bloodshed and in the end Britishers were defeated. The villagers collected the bodies at one place and there they established this temple of ‘Swatantrata Devi,” their popular belief is that any Britisher who comes to the village is an invader and will bring bad luck to the village, so he or she should be killed and the blood should be offered to ‘Swatantrata Devi’ for the maintenance of peace and order in the village.  David wanted to see the temple and the kind of worshiping done there, when he asked his friend to help then he told him that the main problem is that these villagers, who have not received any education think that all the foreigners are Britishers!The excitement of David made him go to the temple the next day without telling the Anthropological Department people, Dhiritiman was with him. David covered his face and his body fully and there was no trace of his white skin. He stayed there of hours and observed every ritual minutely.                          “My observation and my research told me that this goddess can be very well put into the Hindu Pantheon as a form of ‘Kali’, the warrior goddess. This is actually not a new goddess but another narrative which talks about ‘Kali’, these narratives are common for warrior goddesses. The concept of war and sacrifice and blood, all these are the patterns which can be seen in most of the narratives concerning the warrior goddesses. My escape from this village was a very clean one, and the best part is that I am still alive. The most amazing part about any narrative is its complexity, one should enjoy these narratives but questioning their factual existence is not really pleasant.” David completed his lecture and the whole audito

Creation myths

Creation myths are those myths that explain how the world came to be as it is and how it all started. The Rig Veda in particular, does not offer a single theory of creation but many theories. The Rig Veda deals with cosmogony and anthropogony of Hinduism.There is a traditionalist view that creation is the process of developing order out of chaos. There is an example given in the Rig Veda which says that the primeval man is changed into many life forms which is not an actual creation out of nothing, but rather a re-arrangement.There are also many other views that state that for the creation of something new- something must perish. There is a prime example in the Rig Veda which states that the man (purusha) has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet. It also states that all creatures make only a quarter of him. It has also been written how the social norms were formed as it is specified that,:” His mouth was the Brahman, his arms were made into the nobles, his two thighs were the populace, and from his feet the servants were born”.(page 28, Hindu Myths, Wendy Doniger). Through this we know how the Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudra’s were created respectively according to the Rig Veda. It is also interesting that whenever something gets created, incest is almost always involved. We can see this in the Rig Veda in which the universe was formed from the seed of the father when he was satisfying his desires for his daughter.There are also a lot of creation myths of the western society. If we do the comparison between the creation myths in the Rig Veda and the myth of Adonis more specifically, we can see that they share some similarities but also have some differences. Both these myth have incest in them, but the difference is that in the myths of the Rig Veda, the father has sexual desires for the daughter and in Adonis, it is the opposite as it is the daughter who has sexual feelings for her father. In the Ovid version of Adonis, even after his death, Venus mourned his death and she sprinkled nectar on his Adonis’s blood and thus sprouted the flower anemone. So even though Adonis has multiple versions, there is still the creation of something new.In a religious sense creation myths deals with theology and it also helps us to find answers to questions such as- how and when did we come into existence? All religions have their own creation myths such as Christians have their old testament and the myth of Adam and Eve and Hindu’s have their Rig Veda etc. A lot of creation myths deal with theology in the formation of the universe. They also put our imagination to the test as we see the absurd ways in which they have described the creation of the universe.In a literary sense creation myths helps us to compare them with myths of the western society so that we can find the difference in texts. They also help us date when the texts were first written. Also since ancient times myths were verbally passed down from generation to generation and thus over the years the myths would be told and retold and could be changed. This also helps us to find multiple versions of the myth that has been retold over the years.