Why is criticism important as part of the learning process? Why can it lead to conflict and enmity? How can we use it as a tool for self-improvement, social harmony and higher awareness?
Differences of opinion are natural occurrences in life. After all, each person has his or her own mind and particular point of view. But disagreements need not result in conflict or enmity. For thousands of years Vedic Rishis have used critical analysis and debate, not for discrediting others, but as a means to understand and realize the broader truths of life for achieving wisdom, wellbeing and prosperity for all. No two Rishis agreed upon everything and yet they admired a variety of paths and honored the right of each person to have different or even changing views.
Vedic texts are not dictates; they offer no commandments or final conclusions. They consist of dialogues between the Guru or the preceptor and the Shishya or disciple. They begin with different points of view or even contrary ideas, examining a topic from all angles. The Shishya could disagree with the Guru, but communication was cordial. Such differences were presented through the Shishya’s questions which the Guru answered systematically. We find this approach already well developed in the earliest Upanishads, notably the Brihadaranyaka, centered around an in-depth debate with numerous sages.
In Kautilya’s Arthashastra, he mentions earlier teachers of the subject, and presents their various viewpoints before respectfully disagreeing with them and presenting his own, explaining the reason for his different conclusions, while acknowledging the wisdom of those who had gone before.
Respectful disagreements and courteous conduct are considered hallmarks of a civilized society. Yet today we see social, religious, and political disagreements threatening friendships, marriages, families, businesses, and even nations. In this process there is no accepted tradition of respectful dialogue and debate to objectively examine our differences. Vedic wisdom can fill in that gap for us and restore a deeper level of communication according to a higher consciousness.
In our upcoming webinar Dr David Frawley a.k.a. Acharya Vamadeva Shastri along with U. Mahesh Prabhu will discuss this profound Vedic way of dialogue and debate, recognizing a variety of points a view to help people understand its wisdom in a contemporary context.
This session is for one and a half hours, with ten minutes of keynote followed by a series of Q&As from the audience. If you join, you can submit your questions in advance via email at email@example.com
Oct 25, 2020 09:00 PM in India, 8:30 AM in US Pacific Coast time, 9:30 AM US Mountain Time, 10:30 AM US Central Time, 11:30 AM US Pacific Time