[Advaita-l] Is "Religious Propaganda" a Duty?

vishwanthan Krishnamoorthy krishvishy at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 25 08:54:08 CDT 2006

propaganda implies falsehood, the Shankara mathas are
not a vehicle for religious propaganda nor have they
been accused of doing so.
The charter of the Shankra mathas is to keep alive the
vedic traditions and teach dharma in congruence with
the teachings of Adi Shankara.
Exhorting one to do ones duty is not propaganda, in
any case Mahaperiyaval preached only to those who came
to listen to him voluntarily. 
And from your quote looks like even those who came to
listen, did not follow what he said :)  


--- S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Lest this posting be misunderstood, let me clarify
> at the outset that
> I will not be presenting any of my opinions
> whatsoever on this
> subject, but only those of His Holiness
> Chandrasekhara Bharati
> Mahaswamigal of Sringeri and Shri Chandrasekharendra
> Saraswati
> Swamigal of Kanchi.
> Question: Is it the duty of the head of a Math to
> propagandize
> dharma?
> The opinions of both Acharyas on this question have
> been published in
> books, and I will simply quote from the authentic
> sources.
> First opinion: Kanchi Acharya's
> (The Kanchi Acharya assumed leadership of religious
> propaganda to be
> his Duty as the head of a Math, as revealed by the
> following quotes.)
> http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part5/chap41.htm
> Book HinduDharma: The Vedas
> Chapter: My Duty
> "My duty is to impress upon you again and again that
> it is your
> responsiblity to keep the Vedic tradition alive.
> Whether or not you
> listen to me, whether or not I am capable of making
> you do what I
> want you to do, so long as there is strength in me,
> I will keep
> telling you tirelessly: "This is your work. This is
> your dharma. " It
> is for the sake of the Vedas that the Acarya
> established this Matha.
> So, no matter how I keep deceiving you in other
> ways, as one bearing
> his name I should be guilty of a serious offence if
> I failed to carry
> out with all sincerity at least the responsibility
> placed on my
> shoulders of protecting the Vedic dharma. That is
> why I keep speaking
> again and again, and again, not minding the tedium,
> about the need to
> sustain this dharma."
> ...
> "I have come here to beg of you for your help. If
> you think I am not
> begging for your help, take it that I am issuing you
> a command to
> serve the cause of the Vedas. However it be, the
> work I have
> undertaken must be done."
> ...
> "But I believe that, as the head of a Matha with the
> duty of
> protecting dharma..."
> http://www.kamakoti.org/miscl/namoh1.html
> http://www.kamakoti.org/miscl/namoh4.html
> Namo Namah (Part 4)
> Reflections of Paramacharya
> Courtesy: Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Satsangam
> "Let me make it clear. I said sannyasi has no
> duties. His only duty
> is Atma Vichara: released from duties to wife and
> children, he has no
> duties to other people either. Therefore he should
> transmit the
> namaskaras also to Narayana and leave it at that.
> But we sannyasis, occupying a Gurupeetham, and
> exercising the
> position as head of a Mutt, are the ones that I
> distinguish from
> other sannyasis and refer to pass-mark sannyasis. If
> you ask me why,
> the reply is that when we took, the GURU title, we
> also took up a
> host of duties. There is a heavy duty towards people
> in general, the
> human community. To consider the entire community as
> a body of
> devotees and aspirants, and conduct them to the
> right path is our big
> duty."
> Second Opinion: Sringeri Acharya's
> (The Sringeri Acharya did not believe that it was
> his duty to lead a
> propaganda for the upliftment of dharma. Twice did a
> gentleman G
> request HH to begin or lead a propaganda, and twice
> did HH refuse to
> do so. HH would only lend his name to the propaganda
> begun by G if it
> was preceded by the claim that the command for
> following Vedic dharma
> came from God Himself. But on the question of
> whether such propaganda
> was HH's **duty**, the answer was categorically in
> the negative.)
> Book: "Dialogues with the Guru" by R. Krishnaswami
> Aiyar.
> G: Anyhow, in the state of general ignorance of
> dharma now prevalent
> in the country, some organised propaganda is
> necessary to dispel it. 
> HH: What do you mean by organised propaganda?
> [After a discussion of propaganda]
> HH: If you feel so, do it.
> G: But what is the use of my propaganda? It will be
> more effective if
> it is initiated by Your Holiness. 
> HH: I am sure it is the other way. If the Vaidikas
> (Brahmins) start
> any such work, you yourself will say, "These people
> have to live by
> their priestcraft. Therefore they want us to be
> religious so that we
> may help them to get their livelihood. Their advice
> to us to be
> religious is therefore with a view to serve their
> own selfish
> interests, and on this reasoning you will begin to
> belittle the value
> of their advice and will neglect it. If I begin to
> preach the same
> thing, you will say to yourself "Occupying the
> position of an Acharya
> (Teacher) as he does, he is simply carrying out his
> functions when he
> asks me to be religious. His advice is a formal
> routine thing made
> out to justify his position", and on this reasoning
> you will be
> likely to ignore it. If however a purely loukika
> (worldly) gentleman
> like yourself asks others to conform to dharma, they
> will think thus,
> "The gentleman who is asking me to be religious does
> not stand to
> gain at all by my being religious, for he is above
> want himself and
> has no need to depend for his living on my being
> religious...He has
> absolutely no personal motive in asking me to be
> religious and is not
> a man likely to waste his words...," thus reasoning
> they will
> certainly listen to you and be guided by you.
> Practically therefore
> all propaganda, assuming it to be necessary, must
> come only from such
> like you, if it has to be effective. 
> G: I quite see the significance of Your Holiness'
> words, but still I
> cannot help thinking that, even for any work to be
> done by us,
> lending of Your Holiness' name will go very far with
> the ordinary
> people. 
> HH: The Lord Himself has given us His commands in
> the shape of the
> eternal Vedas, still the people are prepared to
> disobey Him. The
> ancient sages have formulated the Smritis for the
> guidance of the
> people, still the latter persist in disobeying them.
> How 
=== message truncated ===

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