"Jagat satya!"

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Aug 7 00:41:00 CDT 2002

Jagannath Chatterjee wrote:

> I think this is turning out to be a slinging match which I do not like. It
> also goes against the objective of the list. I am here to know about
> advaita as taught by Sri Shankaracharya and not to propagate the views of
> Ramakrishna-Vivekananda.

I assure you there is no intention to sling on my part.  But insofar as
people bring up notions which are clearly against the tenets of Advaita
Vedanta (like in the title of the thread.) they need to be pointed out and
an attempt needs to be made to understand how they came about.  Which is
all I've done.  And you will fail to understand where Shankaracharya is
coming from if you remain enmeshed in preconceived notions of what Advaita
Vedanta is supposed to be.

Ashish Chandra wrote:

> So you can at least understand why Swami Vivekananda has inspired so many
> people.

Yes. To point out one "wrong" thing Vivekananda did does not invalidate 99
other right things he may have done.  All you need to understand is how to
tell apart the wrong from the right.   And this can be done without the
aid of anything more mystical than brainpower.

What I don't understand and what I am struggling (it seems in vain))
against is attitudes like:

> Sri Ramakrishna was not a "modern saint". What he gave Swami Vivekananda
> was not "modernism". Perhaps I am missing the point but Swami Vivekananda
> did not try to prove that Hinduism is modern.


> And I am not saying you are blaming Swami Vivekananda. You hold that Swami
> Vivekananda tried to reform Hinduism. I hold that he tried to reform the
> people, the way they looked at themselves and their religion/culture, so
> they could turn back to Hinduism. This he did with people who called
> themselves orthodox as well as those who had forgotten the ABC of Hindu
> thought. He did not try to reform Hinduism. That is our difference.

You've not been paying attention to the rest of this thread, here is one
more example:

Jagannath Chatterjee wrote:

> In fact he gave the sacred thread to a number of his disciples who were
> not socially eligible.

Hopefully I do not need to spell this out for you but just in case, a
sannyasi has no business giving yajnopavit to anyone and even if they did
it would have to be within the parameters of the dharmashastras.  Such
behavior has nothing to do with changing the way people look at themselves
and everything to do with the intellectual tendencies of the 19th century.
Why is this such a difficult concept to grasp?

Ashish Chandra wrote:

> Rather, he only affirmed how
> relevant it still was when people were marching through the streets of
> Calcutta abusing Hinduism and tearing up Bhagavad Gitas. This was the kind
> of tendency that Swami Vivekananda defeated by his work.

And now who's tearing up the Bhagavadgita?  Sure there are people who
scoff at our religion but based on 21st century ideas. So they must be
countered with 21st century ideas.  Are you up to the challenge?  Because
it is _your_ job too.  Not just mine, or some Acharyas.

> And still indulging in lies and deception and mental violence, one keeps
> getting lost unless there is the support of Dharma (Vedas) and Guru to hold
> one in place.

To be able to take advantage of Vedas and Guru requires _understanding_
them and following them not just worshipping them on a pedestal.  This is
something my babysitter understands.  She is going to be unavailable all
this week as her Guruji is visiting from India and she wants to be with
him.  As my wife also has a big project at work, that means I have to work
from home and look after the baby so I'll be too busy for the list.  In my
absence I'm appointing you and Jagannath to answer any questions I would
have responded to (such as the anupalabdhi one.) With your faith in the
Vedas I am confident you will have no problems.  Have fun!

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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