[Advaita-l] How to get an hindu name?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Mar 17 08:21:13 CST 2004

On Tue, 16 Mar 2004, María Dickson wrote:

> Thank you for your clear e-mail.
> Here we have a Ramakrishna Ashram. I have visited it‘s
> web page. I know there are a lot of Ramakrishna
> Centers arrownd the world. I see that they teach
> vedanta, but are they advaitins?

It depends.  That mvement started in the 19th century amongst westernized
Bengalis whose understanding of Advaita Vedanta was mostly theoretical.
But later it spread to South India were there is a living tradition and
more educated people.  You can still see this split today.  Some followers
of the Ramakrishna mission practice true Advaita Vedanta others just
follow a typical North Indian saint-cult.  Some of the books they publish
are very scholarly and useful while others (like the purushasukta book I
mentioned last week) aren't worth the paper they are printed on.  So you
have to be careful and use your jusgement.

> There is not another hindu temple here in my country,
> except of the Hare Krishna Temple.
> What is your/list opinion about Ramakrishna Ashram?
> My doubt is that they celebrated christian Nativity
> and other catholics festivities. Is it right to do
> this? I am confused about it.

Most latter-day Hindus suffer from from an inferiority complex which makes
them want to prove how "universal" and "modern" they are while actually
being neither.  This is just a symptom of that.  No it is not alright
because it is disrespectful to Christianity not to mention Vedic dharma.

My advice would be to go to the Harekrishna temple but ignore anything
they say about philosophy and to go to the Ramakrishna ashram and ignore
anything they say about practice.  Who knows you may find other
like-minded people and then you might be able to teach them what Advaita
Vedanta is really all about.

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

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