The story of my experiments with truth

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Wed Dec 3 16:28:49 CST 1997

On Wed, 3 Dec 1997, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:


> Naturally, noone knows for sure what the future will hold but perhaps we
> can extrapolate.  Modern Hinduism is typically said to begin with Rammohan
> Roy.  (Also incidentally the first ideologue of modern Vedanta.)  Today
> his philosophy is practically forgotten.  I bet even Bengalis would be
> hard pressed to tell you what he actually taught.  Meanwhile, over on the
> other side of India, the Swami Sahajananda we mentioned earlier was
> writing in Sanskrit and preaching traditional beliefs.  Today, his
> followers number in the 10's of millions.
> Or what about the RK mission?  Vivekananda is quoted by a bewildering
> variety of people to promote all sorts of things nowadays but as an
> institution, the RK mission is moribund.

Jaldhar, while you make certain valid arguments, I don't think one can
describe the RK Mission as a moribund organization. Rammohan Roy's Brahmo
Samaj may be, but that is due to other factors. The prime motivation of
answering/challenging Christian missionaries is no longer important in
Indian society.

And yes, a bewildering number of people from across the spectrum quote
Vivekananda, but that is because of the contemporary political culture in
India. The RK Math and Mission does not lend its support to all those who
quote Vivekananda.

To the best of my knowledge, it continues to have quite a few learned
monks in its midst. Even its recent administrative problems arose out of a
wish to avoid undue government interference. And its popularity in the
West may be declining, but that is because they make bhakti to Ramakrishna
and Sarada Devi an important part of their teaching, and not many people
can relate to that nowadays. For that matter, how many people can relate
to bhakti towards Sankaracharya? Outside the age-old traditional Indian
groups, very few, and among the traditional groups, the numbers are
declining, for a number of reasons. In the long run, organizations
flourish or decline for a number of social, political and economic
reasons. It is not necessarily the founder's philosophy that keeps them


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