gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Mon Jul 26 22:24:36 CDT 1999
My statement has been mis-construed. I am not swiping from the
sidelines. Why I stayed on the sidelines on this List is a matter
of public knowledge.
I share with Shri Ramakrishnan, Anand, Jaladhar Vyas and Ravi
the thinking that the vedAs are the source of parA vidyA.
I never had any doubt about it and will not have any doubt about
it. That is my firmest conviction. I also accept without any
hesitation Shri Shankara's statements (as stated in Shankara
digvijaya by Madhavacharya) that what is stated in the shruti
need not and does not require any validation from any other
source. I also accept without hesitation that if ever there
is a conflict in what is stated in shruti and in other sources,
shruti statements take precedence (Radhakrishnan Principal
upanishads). These are some of the statements which followers
of vedA on this List and elsewhere can certainly empathize with.
Now, the following are my personal views on the recent debate
on consciousness. The debate started innocently enough with
some genuine questions by Robert and genuine answers from other
members of the List. The debate quickly transformed into Robert
being pushed into a corner and forced to make secondary statements
(which have nothing to do with the original question or the topic)
which were pounced on. Not everyone on the List is as knowledgeable
about the vedAs as some of the stalwarts on the List. It is my
personal view that in such cases, the responses can be given with
compassion and understanding rather than an unwelcome and
unsympathetic put-down. If we are true believers of advaita,
and if we practice advaita (apart from intellectual knowledge),
we would treat others with lesser knowledge of the vedAs with
more kid gloves rather than telling them advaita is not for you.
After all, who is to say who is advaita for ?
And unfortunately, this has become too common and frequent a practice
on this List. In this episode, repeated statements have been made
empasizing the supremacy of the vedAs, thereby also denigrading
other philosophical (and religious) thoughts. People who have
their early growth in other faiths are being challenged (in a rather
harsh way) to give up and surrender (when they are still not ready)
their earlier beliefs and to accept supremacy of the vedAs of which
they do not know much about. As Robert said in one of his posts,
this continuous stating of the supremacy of the vedAs (without
explaining why they are supreme) is not too different from some
of the fundamentalist Christian crusades where christianity is
considered the statement from God.
For people like Robert, who I believe is not entirely familiar
with the upanishads, a show of tolerance and gentle explanation
of the contents of the vedAs are required, not harsh "advaita is
not for you" statements.
I apologize if I have exceeded my limits as a List-member in making
the above statement and my earlier post on this topic. I have made
this comment after considerable thought and after seeing many examples
of "advaita is not for you" statements on this List. I take support
for my intervention in this debate from an episode in mahAbhArata.
During the Krishna rAyabAram (Krishna's mediation) episode, Lord
Krishna comments in kaurava sabha to BhIshma and DroNa. Lord Krishna
says (I am paraphrasing here from the original)
"It is a sin if a person keeps quiet when an injustice is being
done and if the person knows that an injustice is comitted. BhIshma
and DroNa have comitted that sin by keeping quiet when Draupadi
was dragged out into the court by DushshAsana when they (BhIshma
and DroNa) know that it is wrong. No lame excuse would cover that
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