Insulting AchAryas (Re: Antiquity of advaita vedanta)

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 27 12:04:09 CDT 2000

On Mon, 26 Jun 2000 21:53:37 -0400, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
<ramakris at EROLS.COM> wrote:

>b. It never ceases to amaze me how many insults have been heaped on
>sha.nkara and even sureshvara. In the past we had one member who
>claimed sureshvara hadn't understood sha.nkara and when I pointed it
>out, got very angry and left the list. Recently we have had multiple
>people insulting the entire tradition of advaita. And this is the
>advaita list for heaven's sake! I am not particularly sensitive, I am
>on other lists where advaita is criticized and am not offended at all.
>In fact the non-advaitins seem more respectful toward sha.nkara in
>general and attack only the philosophy. I used to get worked up seeing
>some of the posts on the advaita list and reply before, after I read
>one of mahAsannidhAnams talks, I realized the best way is to ignore
>these so called advaitins.

 This list has been progressively losing its utility, at least for me.
 The only reason I am still subscribed is because of the presence of
 a few who have the right approach to advaita, including yourself. Many
 members have made thoughtless remarks about Shankara and others. And
 every once in a while someone comes up with the same old idea of
 Buddhist influence on advaita. These people are so intellectually
 challenged that they cannot be innovative enough to find other ways
 to question the integrity of the AchAryas. They keep repeating like
 parrots what they read in some book without even thinking about it.
 I doubt if these people can even understand Shankara's commentary on
 one sUtra, one upanishad-mantra, or one gItA-shloka in the original
 completely. Yet they have the audacity to second-guess him and other
 AchAryas and try to present some hopelessly out-dated theory of a
 Buddhist influence. Even if one is strictly academic, the opinion of
 Radhakrishnan, TRV Murti and other older scholars has been overthrown
 due to the progress of academic scholarship itself. With the new found
 interest of Buddhism in the West, it is safe to assume that some pretty
 serious research has been done in the very recent past which challenges
 the likes of Radhakrishnan and others. If one is academic one has to
 be at the cutting edge, else one becomes a dinosaur soon.

 I agree that we should try to find out more about what our AchAryas
 said by analyzing their statements. But this should be done in a
 constructive manner, without questioning their integrity itself,
 without insulting them.

>c. Have you noticed how many yahoo and hot mail posters have crawled
>out of the woodwork and are trumpeting their "realization"? One guys
>says "I haven't read books it's all my own realization", and has
>offered a "unique" perspective on comparative religion. Where have we
>heard the exact same thing before and from whom? Hmmm. Now has anybody
>noticed that one of these yahoo characters writes very similarly to
>one vigorous argumentator on this list? Very strange indeed. Have you
>noticed that some other yahoo/hotmail posters's writing styles are
>very similar to some characters who left the list in a huff? Have you
>noticed that some of the user names sound extremely phony?

 Are you serious? I thought human cloning was still a few years away,
 and I am rather amazed at the quick progress :-)

>In any case, two people who I respect advised me that the best way to
>raise the signal-to-noise ratio is to post something constructive. I
>was asked to continue the Daksinamurti series I stopped sometime back.
>It's an excellent idea and I'll do it. But before that I'll post
>something on mahAvAkya exegesis because I think there is more scope
>for discussion there. I'll start soon.

 I will look forward to those posts.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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