Eastern Religions Analysis Essay
Eastern Religions Analysis
Modern western medicine is based on knowledge and technological innovations appeared in 19th and 20th centuries. In contrast to eastern traditions, modern western medicine rejects the role of mind and soul in treatment trying to explain everything form Rationalist point of view. Recent years, eastern religious traditions penetrate into modern medicine brining new understanding of diseases and their causes.
Alternative medicine is a ‘branch’ of modern medicine which applied eastern religious traditions into professional medical practice. The main advantage of eastern religious traditions (Daoism, Hinduism, etc.) is interpretation of mind-body interaction which sees human mind and body as a part of the world order, nature and cosmic environment.
Following eastern religious traditions, modern medicine uses meditation techniques and relaxation as the main tools to treat many incurable diseases. They program mind towards positive thinking and health. Eastern teaching includes unconscious ideas that shape everyday behavior, namely the right decision, the right attitude and truth. “By going to a practitioner skilled in one of these arts [eastern practices], patients feel that they are getting a complete doctor – someone to treat their medical condition and to give them wise advice about life as well” (Dworkin 2001, 3).
As the most important, eastern religious traditions use herbal substances and other natural ingredients as an alternative to surgical treatment methods. Today, more and more drugs consist of herbs and vitamins as the most effective and safe measures of treatment. Eastern religious traditions prove that chemical substances are ineffective if a person (patient) cannot change his attitude towards life and his diseases. Dworkin explains: “Alternative medicine stands between medical science and organized religion, and therefore stands between what is known and what is unknown” (Dworkin 2001, 3). In spite of great knowledge, the role of eastern religious traditions and their practical application is still limited by rational knowledge of western society.
Modern India is influenced by globalization and westernization processes which changed social ideals and beliefs of modern generations. The remarkable feature of modern society is that it does not reject and ignore old beliefs and values applying new traditions and innovation to its cultural heritage. Following Frawley, it is possible to interpret Hinduism as: “the Dharmic soul of India, [which helps] to rise up from deep sleep and realize its true heritage” (Frawley 2002, 113). Popular culture of social and intellectual elite is primarily viewed by strong traditions of people, as well as religious dogmas, and Hinduism is the source that influences popular culture.
After the period of colonialism and Communism, this change in national consciousness and mind is a result of the collapse of a stable world-view created during 20th century, which led to panic and moral decay. In modern India, social norms play greater role than Hinduism and are seen as a priority. Some critics admit that some Hindus are distance themselves from religious traditions “avoiding being seen going to temples, Yet “… may go to churches and mosques as a demonstration in their universality of religion.” (Frawley, 16 cited Thaiyar 2002, 113). This tendency shows that modern generations are free to practice a high degree of ethical pluralism in their personal life choosing personal religion and way of life.
Changing ideologies required changes of common people who are the base of popular culture. Still, Hinduism has a tremendous impact on cultural and social life of Hindus as a part of historical development and national identity. In general modern society is suppressed by social changes which influence world perception and culture, but, at the same time and again are associated with the “reformed” religion, which demands strict code of ethics and beliefs. Today, most Hindus subconsciously follow Hinduism traditions and philosophy, way of life and food patterns as a part of national culture they cannot change. Hinduism penetrates all spheres of social life and cultural norms reshaping modern nation and its values formed during the 1950s.
- Dworkin, R.W. (2001). Science, Faith and Alternative Medicine. Policy Review, p. 3.
- Thaiyar, S. (2002). Arise Arjuna: Hinduism and the Modern World. International Journal of Humanities and Peace, 18, p. 113.