Difference Anxiety

The term refers to the mental uneasiness caused by the perception of difference combined with a desire to diminish, conceal or eradicate it. Difference anxiety occurs in cultural and religious contexts frequently. Such an anxiety seeks the relative comfort of homogeneous ideas, beliefs and identity.

(Being Different, p. 25)


The cultural and spiritual matrix of dharma civilizations is distinct from that of the West. This distinctiveness is under siege, not only from unsustainable and inequitable development but also from something more insidious: the widespread dismantling, rearrangement and digestion of dharmic culture into Western frameworks, disingenuously characterized as ‘universal’.

(Being Different, p. 12)


Indra’s Net

Indra’s Net symbolizes the universe as a web of connections and interdependencies among all its members, wherein every member is both a manifestation of the whole and inseparable from the whole. Indeed, the fundamental idea of unity-in-diversity underpins all dharmic traditions; even though there are many perspectives from which Indra’s Net may be viewed and appreciated, it is ultimately recognized as one indivisible and infinite unity.

(Indra’s Net, p. 4-5)

Integral Unity

The dharmic traditions are steeped in the metaphysics of the non-separation of all reality, physical and non-physical, from the divine – what is referred to henceforth as ‘integral unity’. Their central concerns are how and why seemingly separate entities emerge out of this unity. In spite of important differences in theory and praxis, all dharma schools share the belief in this innate oneness and offer elaborate theories and processes of embodiment for achieving it.

(Being Different, p. 101)


Mutual Respect versus Tolerance

Mutual respect merely means that I am respected for my faith, with no compulsion for others to adopt or practise it. Tolerance is a patronizing posture, whereas respect implies that we consider the other to be equally legitimate – a position which some religions routinely deny to others, instead declaring these ‘others’ to be ‘idol worshippers’ or ‘infidels’ and the like.

(Being Different, p. 16, 21)


Sanskriti Web

I prefer to speculate that Sanskrit spread and took root on its own merit. Political patronage might have been only one factor in its dissemination, but it was not necessarily the primary one in every case. My hypothesis is that long before the transmission of Sanskrit through political kayva, there had existed a thriving sanskriti web based on some of the same structures as the Sanskrit language.

(The Battle for Sanskrit, p. 258)

Sanskritizing English

The goal should be to infuse the English idiom with these Sanskrit terms so that the words and unique ideas they represent become part of the English mainstream discourse. By infusing Sanskrit words and concepts into common parlance, we can, to some extent, Sanskritize English.

(The Battle for Sanskrit, p. 359)

Sanskrit Non-translatable

Many Sanskrit words are simply not translatable. This non-translatability of key Sanskrit words attests to the non-digestibility of many Indian traditions. Holding on to the Sanskrit terms and thereby preserving the complete range of their meanings becomes a way of resisting colonization and safeguarding dharmic knowledge.

(Being Different, p. 220)