message to my friends

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Fri Sep 4 16:05:55 CDT 1998

On Tue, 1 Sep 1998, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:

> Not sure about Jaldhar's view point. However, at least the teachers from
> Sringeri do not hold the view point that GYAna can be obtained only by
> formal advaita vedAntins. The sUta sa.nhitA says that all religions,
> pUrva mImA.nsA to vedAnta and even buddhism and jainism have been given
> by the merciful Ishvara to suit different people.
> However, the sUta sa.nhitA points out that vedAnta is the _direct_ path
> since it teaches the advaita tattva. Whether you admit advaita is the
> truth or not, it is only in the formal vedAnta that this non-dualism has
> been explained in it's entirety. While we can point to stray phrases
> from the Bible or the Koran, note that they are just that: stray
> phrases.

Madhavacharya who wrote the commentary on Suta Samhita also wrote
Sarvadarshanasangrah which gives a summary of all schools of thought
including nastika ones.  They are organized in ascending order from
Lokayata (materialist) all the way up to Advaita Vedanta the final and
ultimate.  Note if this isn't saying religions are "good" or "bad" it is
saying they are better or worse!

> Also our Acharyas, following the sUta sa.nhitA, advise _true_ respect
> for all religions. This does not mean that we should claim that all
> religions say exactly the same thing. Some one claimed here that
> sacrficing goats by Muslims is a "bad aspect" of that religion.

Ramachandran did kind of.  What he was saying is that it was bad
_for_him_ and _he_ didn't do it.  IMO that is the right attitude to take.
At the beginner level people are full of doubts.  They shouldn't make bold
pronouncements such as this is good or bad because they don't know.  But
once a person has begun following a path in earnsest they need to stick to
it and not keep looking over their shoulders at what other people are
doing.  Moral life involves making judgements.  This is unavoidable.  But
to avoid harm we should do our best to make informed judgements.  It is
the failure of the "all religions are the same" people to do this which is
my chief criticism not the idea that there is good in other religions.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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