Advaita Vedanta in Indian Schools

Vaidya Sundaram vaidya_sundaram at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 29 18:56:42 CDT 2002

 I think all of this is a matter of "how one wishes to see" ... let me

----- Original Message -----
From: "Srikrishna Ghadiyaram" <srikrishna_ghadiyaram at YAHOO.COM>

> Hari Om !!
> --- KRISHNA RAO <braos at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
> >
> > Greetings Jaldhar,
> > Thanks for the elaborate update. I can see the truth
> > in your statements.
> I do not see so much truth in those statements. A
> closed mind and 'doubt' about others  can not support
> any truth.

Care to elaborate the protions I have underlined with ^ ?
 The way it reads presently is more in the nature of a personal comment ...
I hope list members know where to draw the line between accepting/rejecting
someones "opinion" on the one side with suitable refutation if needed, and
outright vidandavadam on the other.

I don't think its a bad idea to start kids off early in the right
direction - and starting kids off early does not mean vedanta either. What
is needed is solid foundation on the vedas before we jump to the vedanta.

I don't about you, but I had "moral science" as part of my curriculum in
school until my 8th standard. It gave me a good grounding in morals. So,
more of it does not hurt.  But if you think it is absent, I would say you
are mistaken.

> >But a rock will have much less
> > ability to get moksha
> > because it has much less chetana and viveka. It
> > would be sheer folly to
> > force this sublime thought on those who are not
> > prepared for it.
> >
> Who is after Moksha ???? Atleast not many of us  have
> givenup every thing for moksha, before starting
> reading vedantic works ???

If you are not after moksha, what are you doing trying to pursue vedanta -
dry intellectualism? or do you think vedanta will help you deal with
"reality" - if so, please take a tep back and think aobut it. According to a
lot of teachers (and I paraphrase here) - trying to use vedanta to solve (or
deal with or cross) the problems of samsara is like trying to hitch a ride
across the river on the back of a crocodile.

> It is only that life has
> posed a puzzle, and vedanta seems to provide some
> solutions.

please see above. vedanta is only tangentially going to help you "deal" with
"stuff"; vedanta will tell you to abandon the pursuit of money. You simply
choose to ignore that part of it. If you got into vedantic studies for the
solutions, why do you ignore this aspect of vedanta?

OK - it is a fair question to ask why I am in this for? well, I am in this
to learn where the road I have taken will lead me. The firm grounding I got
in the karma kanda from an early age tells me I am on a road. I want to know
where it will take me. And more importantly, what I should really be setting
my sights on!

> It will certainly help some premier
> institutes to start offering some courses in that
> direction.

A lot places do - it is not complusory; it is optional.

> It is very surprising, because I studied in Birla
> Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. For all
> the background of Birlas, they have not influenced the
> college education a bit in that direction.

I don't know which time frame you went to BITS Pilani - I went there too.
And, yes, the five years I spent there opened my eyes. There are enough and
more resources for one to learn. And lets not bother getting into a debate
in this list about what those resources were. Feel free to send me a note

> If they
> could not make it a compulsory component, 'religious
> studies' can be an optional paper to choose from among
> tens of other subjects required to complete the
> curriculum.

See above. They are optional already. And besides, just offereing a course
as an optional element in college does not mean people in general will take
it. And even if one does, why do that person do it? make an "A" and start
believing he/she is better off for that? I never took courses for fear of
being judged in the end. That does not mean I never studied. I did. And
still do ... The discussion here is (and should be) about starting kids off
in the right direction. Kids would by definition mean some descisions are
made for them, and in addition the environment they mostly interact with is
rather moderated as well. Colleges cannot come under that category.

> You do not want to leave it to a 'confused mind' to
> seek and search out facts.

I am losing your argument here. Who is a confused mind? What are we leaving
to them?  The way I look at it, giving too much information to kids can also
be very very confusing. One must be moderate about it.

> It is
> more wise to provide a proper platform to learn basics
> and leave it to their internal urges to seek the
> ultimate truth.

precisley. See my thought above.

I am not going to comment any further on this subject, because I think where
one draws the line as to enforced education and suggestive exposure is very
subjective. As I noted in the very first line of this message, it all
depends on how one wishes to see education on religious matters and how much
is needed.
I hope other list members would see it fit in their own way as to how much
of this topic really needs to be discussed on this list.

bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list