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A curated journal on art, culture and dharma


Tree shrine at Vijaynagar

The artistic, philosophical, and spiritual traditions of India and South Asia have long been an inspiration to people from all cultures and all walks of life, evoking thoughts of a wise and ancient culture that has probed the hidden depths beneath the surface of life.

Sutra Journal, a curated online publication on Asian art, Yoga and Indology, covers a wide range of topics related to Indic and South Asian traditions. It aims to reach the growing numbers of people who seek in-depth discussion of this vast set of interconnected subjects. It is a platform for diverse voices and a wide range of styles. The contents include: first person accounts of sadhana; surveys of the integration of Dharma in the writings of eminent thinkers and artists; scholarly investigations of topics germaine to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Yoga, Vedanta, Tantra, Ayurveda, Sufism, and Sacred Art; analysis of how these traditions relate to the scientific worldview and the larger religious landscape; discussion of the intellectual, devotional and service aspects of Dharma, including interviews with practitioners engaged in Seva, or service to the world. Among the contributors are luminaries in various fields of expertise, such as Pratapaditya Pal, Robert Thurman, William Dalrymple, Alexis Sanderson, and Meem Hai Zafar.

Sutra Journal intends to extend this rich conversation beyond its current online platform. Plans include conferences, online courses, retreats, yatras to India and partnerships with existing organizations. In fact, we have already partnered with SAND (Science and Nonduality Conference), the Spirit Matters podcast, and the Swami Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas to develop programming of interest to those who are drawn to a deeper way of viewing the world and experiencing reality.

Our editorial team is comprised of fine scholars like Debashish Banerji, Christopher Chapple, Jeffery Long, and Philip Goldberg. Dr. Banerji is Haridas Chaudhuri Professor of Indian Philosophy and Culture and the Doshi Professor of Asian Art at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Dr. Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and Director of the Master of Arts program in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Long is Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College. All three of these scholars have researched and written extensively on the traditions of India, and their work is infused with the experience of the practitioner as well as the professional scholar. Mr. Goldberg has also written extensively on the interfaith movement and the spread of Indic thought and practice in American culture, most notably through his groundbreaking work, American Veda. He continues to chronicle these trends in his podcast series, Spirit Matters.

Our Seva Council members, Dr. Stuart Sovatsky and Dr. Richard Miller, bring an equally deep, holistic approach to tying together the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the human condition, with the aims of healing and self-development. The purpose of the Seva Council is to highlight and support individuals and organizations applying yogic teachings to systemic issues that plague the modern world, such as trauma, depression, dependency, violence and abuse. We intend to conduct retreats, workshops, and yatras for vulnerable and underserved communities, and to train Yoga teachers to serve these communities. We hope to hold conferences aimed at establishing new standards in how Yoga is taught and certified.

Sutra Journal was created out of a desire to effect positive change in the world we all share. We believe that if we don’t change our ways of thinking and doing, ecological and social disaster is virtually inevitable. We also perceive that we are now at a moment of paradigm change. As many scholars have pointed out, the Dharmic worldview has much in common with the shift in Western thinking sparked by modern physics and other disciplines. The advent of a non-dual perspective in science, as well as the mainstreaming of Yoga, meditation, mindfulness and Eastern philosophy, have marginalized the monotheism and exclusivism of conventional religion. As a result, the depth and richness of South Asian wisdom traditions are appreciated by growing numbers of people, particularly those who identify as “Spiritual but not religious,” a fast-growing category that represents a rejection of exclusivist theism, scientific materialism, and the cynicism of post-modernist thinking.

More than 2000 years ago in India, the Chandogya Upanishad forwarded the non-dual view as “Tat Tvam Asi,” meaning “You are That.” This is essentially what Carl Sagan said about the newly arisen view of self in Western civilization: “We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.” India and the West are now starting to see eye to eye.

Welcome to the party! We have lots to talk about…

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