The Apastamba Law-book

The ancient law-books dealt with domestic, social and religious life, including directions for the ruler. Civil and criminal law naturally were a considerable part, but crimes were also offences against the moral law, and there were elaborate instructions for expiation of sins in general, as well as general directions for purification of conduct. There are six major law-books extant today, and over thirty less important ones; others are known from the fact that they are quoted in later works. The Apastamba Law-book is thought to be the oldest of them all, dating from 600-300 B.C. in its present form. In this earliest text there is not much about the formal rituals which developed later, and more stress is laid on right personal behaviour. This law-book emphasizes faith as the guiding principle of all religious action; it condemns such motives as name and fame, even saying that where these exist, the …

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The Field Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13

Chapter XIII The Field Chapter XIII is said by Śaṅkara to be mainly a Knowledge-chapter. It begins with the knowledge of the Field (body, mind, also the deep causal layer that holds them together) and the Field-knower, which is the witness-consciousness that sees and is not affected or bound by what it sees. The Gītā itself states that this doctrine comes from the Upaniṣad-s: ‘set out in the sūtra-s on Brahman, well reasoned and definite’ As in many Upanisad-s, the world is first taken as provisionally real, but ultimately with no independent existence of its own. This chapter elaborates the brief description of the Self in Chapter II. II.17 But know: that is indestructible by which this all is pervaded; This imperishable one, nothing can destroy. 24 Neither can He be cut nor burnt, nor wetted nor dried; Eternal, present everywhere, fixed, immovable, everlasting is He. 25 Unmanifest is He, unthinkable is He, …

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