Eastern Psychology – Indian Psychology

It is naturally believed that psychology as a subject originated in the western world. But a deep reading of an eastern text like the Bhagavat Gita, ideas of Buddhism, Sufism, and Internal Yoga gives insight into the importance of psychological thoughts in the eastern system

  • Eastern psychology is tied into the Eastern (Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist) philosophy and theology, and is more subjective and inward-looking than the academic West’s scientific approach.
  •   It works to serve not just the mentally disordered but everyone. 
  •  It attempts through many methods– meditation, yoga, tai chi, and personal self-reflection– to bring the individual to higher emotional consciousness and enlightenment.
  •  In the East, however, philosophy, psychology, theology, and the way of life are all mixed together and considered parts of one whole. 
  •  Eastern psychology was designed for everyone, including the normal and healthy.
  • Eastern psychological techniques– mindfulness, meditation, self-reflection, yoga– are for everyone, not just the mentally troubled. 
  • Along with studying and reflecting on the inner workings of the mind, early Eastern psychology had many clinical psychologies and cognitive therapy methods that are used today in the West.

Bhagavad Geeta

  • 700 verse Sanskrit scripture & part of Hindu epic Mahabharata
  • Narrative script between Pandava prince Arjuna and lord Krishna.
  • It is a doctrine of universal truth
  • It deals with day-to-day worries and anxieties and inhibitions
  • It is relevant for any culture, gender, race, and region.
  • The nature of self-consciousness, the universe, and the supreme which is described in it has never been presented in any other professional or religious work.
  • 18 chapters each describe different aspects of the process of self – transformation

Aim: To teach a person how to establish composure in one’s internal life and his activities in the external world.

To help a person develop calmness within and to explain the art and science of doing action skillfully and selflessly.

The various chapters describe the process of Self- Consciousness. The first 6 chapters are classified as Karma yoga as they mainly deal with the science of individual consciousness. Attaining communion with ultimate consciousness through actions.

  • Visada Yoga
    • Arjuna after seeing relatives, teachers, and friends in both armies ready to fight and sacrifice their lives. Stuck by grief and pity. Arjuna fails in strength, his mind becomes confused and he gives up his determination to fight.
  • Sankhya Yoga
    • In this chapter, Krishna explains the fundamental distinction between the temporary material body and the eternal spiritual soul. Krishna explains to Arjuna the nature of selfless service to the supreme and the characteristics of a self-realized person.
  • Karma Yoga
    • Karma, it says that by acting for the pleasure of the supreme, without selfish motives. Selfless action performed for the benefit of others. Karma Yoga is a path to reach moksha ( spiritual liberation) through work.
  • Jnana Yoga
    • Which emphasizes the path of knowledge aka, the path of self-realization. It involves receiving knowledge, analyzing it, understanding it, detaching the ego from the self in the process
  • Karma-Sanyasa Yoga
    • The renouncer is supposed to give up action and dedicate his entire life to studying. A wise person should perform his/her actions and duty without attachment to the fruits of his/her actions and dedicate to god.
  • Dhyana Yoga
    • It is the term used for the 7th anga( limb or level) in the 8th step yoga practice of sage patanjali.

Buddhism

  • Buddhism is most widely known as a religion. 
  • But it has also been called philosophy and science. 
  • In Buddhist scripture, the Buddha is often referred to as “The Great Healer” or “The Great Physician.” 
  • The remedy described by the Buddha is an accurate insight into our own nature and the nature of humankind. 
  • Buddhism teaches that the path to such insight and freedom from suffering is available to each of us, not just Buddhists. 
  • One simply needs to be willing to look deeply and carefully inside and notice our patterns of thinking and behavior with fresh eyes. This is the path of mindfulness.
  • Meditation is the core practice of Buddhism because meditation helps us to live more mindfully.
  •  Mindfulness and meditation create a capacity for connecting with the present moment and foster a clear, open mindset. 

Taoism

  • Taoism, one of the most basic of Eastern philosophies, looks for more fundamental changes in attitudes. 
  • Taoism espouses the concepts of the Dao (way) and Wu Wei (non-intervention). 
  • Mankind is an inseparable part of the universe where everything in the world relates. 
  • There is a Dao or cosmic course of evolution, and any human intervention will only bring about disharmony and conflicts.
  •  Life will take its own course in harmony with the rest of the cosmos, and one will eventually experience peace and fulfillment.

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