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

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 26 19:30:04 CDT 2006

This will be my last posting on this subject.

--- vishwanthan Krishnamoorthy <krishvishy at yahoo.com> wrote:

> 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. 

Are you sure the Kanchi Acharya was only speaking to those who were
listening to him? Here's the quote again from the website referred to

"***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 clear that the Kanchi Acharya was keen on addressing everyone -
even those who may not be listening to him ("Whether or not you
listen to me...").

A definition of "propaganda" from m-w.com: "the spreading of ideas,
information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an
institution, a cause, or a person".

This is contrast to the Sringer Acharya who says, "Further, I do
not see why you cast any special duty upon me. I am not
conscious of ever leading a movement for the propagation of adharma;
if I had at any time done so, it may be now my duty to see that the
mischief caused by me is remedied."

There was not the slightest indication whatsoever from the Sringeri
Acharya that He had any "duty" to perform for the sake of propagating
dharma. He emphasizes this with good reasoning during the course of
the dialogue, "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 then
do you expect that people will obey them simply because my name also
is mentioned?"

This was misunderstood by the Kanchi Math, who believed that the
Sringeri Acharya cannot be "blamed" for his "inaction":

"...the inaction of the person who was blamed was not due to inertia
or inability but due to nishta which belongs to a plane higher than

Note the words "the INACTION of the person who was BLAMED". The
Kanchi Math is in no uncertain terms saying that the Sringeri Acharya
had not performed his "duty". The Kanchi Math did not realize that
the Sringeri Acharya had rejected the idea that it was His "duty" in
the first place!

> And from your quote looks like even those who came to
> listen, did not follow what he said :)  
> regards
> Vishwam


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