[Advaita-l] Sringeri and Kanchi - same incident?

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Wed Jun 21 14:40:29 CDT 2006

On 6/19/06, Prasad Ramamurthy Kadambi <kaupeenavanta at gmail.com> wrote:

> Why should these be debated?  Is this not OT.
> Regards

Again I wondered whether to write this mail or not, but sometimes not
correcting an error can be as bad not doing something good.

I don't see why it's off-topic, there is some lee-way in the list
regarding discussions. After all, advaita is a living tradition is it
not? And this wasn't a debate. This was the narration of *actual
facts*, and not a presentation my opinions. I purposely made no
comment about my opinions on this matter.

The thing that bothered me about the link quoted by Jagan was, the
(quite frankly) completely misinformed, report on Krishnaswamy Iyer
(KI). After reading it anyone would think everything was hunk-dory
except for some people like KI. It would seem KI was an errant and
childish person magnanimously forgiven by Sri CS Swamigal. But is that

Go back to the 30s and we have CS Swamigal making comments in Madras
that the Kudali Acharya was true Sringeri Acharya in the middle of
*religious* discourses. Also CS Swamigal was actively promoting many
publications denigrating the Sringeri Matha. Imagine the indignation
you would feel if Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati  (CB) Swamigal was your
guru and some one said he was a fake Acharya and someone else - a
currency forgerer to boot - was supposed to be the "real" Acharya. CB
Swamigal brushed these things off and didn't bother. ***That's why***
KI got together with some other devotees and started writing the
rebuttals. And BTW, KI was never pulled up by CB Swamigal (as
Mantreshvara Sarma reportedly was according to the link) and remained
a favorite disciple of CB Swamigal. If anyone should have been pulled
up by CB Swamigal for being "anti-Kanchi", it should have been KI.

Now, why am I trying to set the record straight on KI? It's just that
I have a soft-corner for KI because the very first book my father
taught me advaita from (20+ years back) was a prose condensation of
the yoga-vaashiShTha in Tamil by KI. Almost immediately followed by a
Tamil verse-by-verse translation of the pa~ncadashii, again by KI. Not
to mention reading his great books like (not sure if I remember the
titles completely right)  "The great equation", "Stray thoughts on
Dharma", etc from my fathers collection [1]. I was extremely happy to
pick up a reprint of his essays on the Gita the last time I went to
India. We also have to be very grateful for his record of CB Swamigal
such as "Dialogs with the Guru" [2] and such works. He has also
translated many minor prakaraNa granthas of Sankara, one of which I
have. KI was a prolific author, always with high quality output. I
think I'll let just the matter rest there as far as KI is concerned.

BTW, just as a piece of information, KI later became a sannyasin and
took the name J~naanaananda Bhaarati.

[1] All unhappily enough borrowed by various people and never returned.

[2] Just the one dialog on Sandhyaavandanam makes this book worth its
weight in gold.


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