Anthropology of japan in japan conference, doshisha university, kyoto, japan, 9-10 Dec, 2017
Below, is a recording of the presentation I gave at the Anthropology of Japan in Japan conference, which occurred at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan 9-10 December, 2017. I presented aspects of my PhD research related to the formal pedagogical domain of satsaṅga, and how, through various stand point theories, people are entitled to invest specific species of capital into the social network. In return, they receive access to the guru's divya dṛṣṭi (divine vision). These investments occur in an attempt to learn the particular, or legitimate, forms of knowledge that are created and justified within this epistemic community. In short, knowledge is real and has real effects on knowers. Therefore, how does an individual gain access to this knowledge? My PhD research shows that the knowledge privileged within this community occurs, not through cultivating critical, rational thinking, but rather, it is a disintellectual process, which is based on the cultivation of affect, and, which ultimately rests on learning to emulate the guru's disposition. Building a conceptual bridge between Indian theories of apperception, performance and audience reception, in relation to aesthetic moods (rasavāda), in particular, the aesthetic mood of śāntarasa (the aesthetic mood of tranquility), and modern theories related to similar concepts, I use the category of the śāntamūrti (personification of tranquility) to describe the legitimate, yogic disposition promoted by Shanti Mandir (the Temple of Peace) [shantimandir.com]. I further qualify this by suggesting that the ontological and epistemological constituents of this disposition can be summarised by the seminal identity from śāntarasavāda, namely, the 'true connoisseur' (sahṛdaya), and the fundamental epistemological principle of advaita vedānta philosophy related to the experience of rasa, which is the 'disinterested witness', or sākṣin.