[Advaita-l] Fwd: Beware of Paul Hacker and his open criticism of Gaudapada, Shankara and Advaita

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 3 20:00:37 CDT 2016

You suggested that Paul Hacker is mUrkhavat upekShanIyaH to be rejected as
a fool even if he quotes Shankara.

Lest this be deemed merely an ad hominem attack on Hacker by you  i thought
of sharing the notes given below. Key point - Hacker's biographer and
translator Halbfass says that Hacker had a problematic dual side as a
Christian theologian while he would put up a seemingly neutral academic
posture while discussing Advaita and other ideas on Hinduism.

Dual Agenda

Rajiv Malhotra argues that Professor Hacker was not an unbiased academic:
“What is less known about Hacker is that he was also an unabashed Christian
apologist who freely used his academic standing to further the cause of his
Christian agenda. He led a parallel life, passionately advocating
Christianity while presenting the academic face of being neutral and

Halbfass never translated any of Hacker’s works on Christianity, which
would have exposed this side of his work. However, long after Hacker’s
ideas had spread, Halbfass confessed in a biography of Hacker that his
ideas were problematic for being so rooted in his Christianity: “Hacker
presents himself as an Indologist and historian,...yet through all the
documentation and analysis, we also hear the voice of an advocate of the
European tradition and, more specifically, of a Christian theologian.” See:

On 04-Sep-2016 4:59 am, "V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

On page 36 of the book 'Philology and Confrontation' Paul Hacker openly
says that Gaudapāda pays obeisance to Buddha in the Kārikā 4.1 and that
Shankara covers up the fact by struggling to interpret the verse to somehow
mean an obeisance to Narayana. There cannot be a greater example of Paul
Hacker being a candidate, for the nth time, for Shankara's chastisement:
asampradāyavit mūrkhavat upekṣaṇīyaḥ.  Elsewhere also he subscribes to the
view that Advaita is only Buddhism in disguise.  There cannot be a greater
insult to the Advaita Acharyas.


(see p.36)

This hidden agenda of Hacker to tarnish the image of the Vedic heritage,
Shankaracharya, Gaudapada,  Vidyaranya, the gods of Hinduism, Sringeri
mutt, etc. is quite apparent when one reads his book.  Also quite apparent
is the member's hidden agenda that subscribes to the same agenda of Hacker
by promoting his views in this forum dedicated to Advaita. That member is a
vaishnava (having himself declared to be so in another forum, under another
name), who has come to this forum with that sole and same agenda of
tarnishing the image of Advaita and the Acharyas Shankara and the maṭhas of
Advaita tradition.  His teaming up with the vaishnava bloggers also can be
seen to be a part of this program.

Paul Hacker with such an agenda is no different from westerners like others
who have been in the news recently for humiliating Hinduism.

I am extremely shocked and sorry to find that such a blatant violation of
the very purpose of this forum is taking place here initiated by a member
who has been removed from another forum of Advaita recently for his
misdemeanor and who operates with several aliases.

I request members of this forum to please be wary and take steps to end
this planned attack on Advaita and the sampradāya.

Sri Venkatesh has correctly assessed Paul Hacker in his recent post.

Why should Advaitins tolerate this concerted attack on Advaita and that too
in a forum dedicated for the study and practice of Advaita?

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