debt by david graeber - bookforum.com / daily review:
David Graeber should have confined himself to the problem of Debt in present times only. In trying to show his erudition in going back to " original ... moral and cosmological notion" of debt in Axial Age civilizations ( Karl Jaspers' label to describe the period between 800BC and 600 CE of China, India and Greece ) Graeber has exhibited only his ignorance. Graeber writes that in India it was about our debt to gods, in China it was about debt to our parents and in Greece "and sometimes in India" it was about our debt to the cosmos. In fact in India we talk about three debts which must be repaid: Dev rina (debt to gods), Rishi rina ( debt to the sages) andPitri rina ( debt to forefathers) . We repay Dev rina by performing Yagnas, Rishi rina by spreading their noble ideas, imparting knowledge to others and doing good work, and Pitri rina by producing children so that the family cycle goes on.