ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 15 08:05:32 CDT 2002
On Sun, 14 Jul 2002 22:12:52 -0400, Jaldhar H. Vyas
<jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:
>On Fri, 12 Jul 2002, Jagannath Chatterjee wrote:
>> Dear Sirs,
>> Sri Ramakrishna had certain things to say about
>> vedanta which is peculiar to Him.
>We recently discussed on the list (you can search the archives) that Shri
>Ramakrishna wass probably not really an Advaitin at all. Rather he
>belongs squarely in the also venerable and profound Bengali Tantric
>tradition. In the 19th century, Bengal was the epicenter of colonialism.
>Some people became totally Westernized and converted to Christianity,
>others retreated completely into Indian culture and raised the barricades.
>There was a third group that felt loyal to their heritage but also wanted
>to prove to the world at large that Hinduism was just as modern and up to
>date as any other religion. The trouble is to the prudish Victorian mind
>Tantra seemed backward and immoral. But Advaita Vedanta was highly
>respected by both our public and the Westerners so everything got
>reinterpreted through the prism of Advaita Vedanta.
This is a very simplistic view, in my opinion. A jivanmukta cannot be
branded this way or that way. Sri Ramkrishna was a jivanmukta. What he
taught his close disciples was *an* approach to mukti, not *the* approach.
The question of mithyatva confounds only the seeker, not the knower. We can
second-guess all our lives whether Sri Ramkrishna was Tantric or Advaitin.
Thing is, and again in my opinion, it does not matter - He was/is God
revealed to us at a time and place, in human form. If it helps a seeker to
follow Sri Ramkrishna, he/she may do so. If it does not, he/she may not.
But no one should be under the impression that he/she will reach a
different "destination" by following Sri Ramkrishna than by following Sri
Adi Shankaracharya. Both were liberated souls and both proclaimed several
time that All is One. It may be good for some to get bogged down in details
while for some others, it may be best to leave them alone, for now.
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