clarification from Sri Dave regarding paramhamsas

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sat Feb 23 21:09:43 CST 2002

On Sat, 23 Feb 2002, S. V. Subrahmanian wrote:

> 3.  When refering to pUrvapaksha (opponent's view), it is always better to take
> only the view and leave the personality behind it aside.  Infact one should use
> the word "opponent" only and not the exact name, out of respect for the person
> behind it.  (This, my teacher is the high standard that Sri Sankara set in his
> own works).

I agree with what you are saying in the main but I just want to point out
that the reason for not naming an opponent is exactly the opposite.
Generally in the shastras a name is attached to a view if it belongs to
ones' own tradition--even if it's a view that one disagrees with.  It is
opposing views which are usually presented anonymously.  Remember usually
shastras were taught from mouth to mouth.  Even when books were available,
they had to be laboriously copied by hand.  not mentioning your oponent
was to consign him to oblivion.

I don't think Hemant was "attacking" Shankaracharya.  It is quite
legitimate to want to sort out superior views from inferior or erroneous
ones.  When Shankaracharya himself uses choice language against some of
his opponents (always backed with solid arguments mind you.) it would be
hypocritical of us to complain if someone does the same against him.
Rather in those situations we should challenge the person expressing those
views to back them up with fact.  I for one am confident Shankaracharya
thoughts can withstand any criticism.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
It's a girl! See the pictures -

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