[Advaita-l] On the date of Adi Shankara

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 4 08:56:43 CST 2010

> You guys who claim to be Advaitins but behave as if you've never heard of
> Sanatana Dharma, should drop this racial discrimination..

Michael, while agreeing with Jaldhar's recent response to you, I do think you have
indeed raised an important attitude problem that many have. A large part of the
emotional investment in a 5th century BCE date for Adi Sankara is due to a false
perception that the 7th-8th century CE date was originally proposed by "Western"
scholars who were out to subjugate India intellectually.

I have often taken great pains to point out that this is not the case. However,
in general, on any issue, my question to my fellow-Indians is - so what, if it were
a Westerner who said something first? The truth of a statement is not dependent
upon who says it. This sort of knee-jerk antipathy that is exhibited by statements
such as "Max Mueller said this, so it is wrong" is totally unnecessary. Nor is the
blind shutting down of reason, exhibited by statements such as, "XYZ, whom I
consider the greatest, said this, so it is right." This is neither a defense of Max

Mueller (or any other Western scholar) nor is it an insult to the great XYZ.

Unfortunately, this is never appreciated by those with an emotional investment
in their pet attitudes.


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