[Advaita-l] shaDdarhana and other unorthodox schools

Sylvain elisabeth-sylvain at sympatico.ca
Fri Jan 19 07:22:35 CST 2007

Ram Garib wrote
Outside India, Indian schools are
> studied as systems of theology rather than philosophy.

Yes.  I personnally studied in philosophy and I think this sentence is correct. it is probably due to western "ethnocentrism" or "culturocentrism" (variations of egocentrism).  I guess the idea is « How people that were colonized could develop a notable philosophy, a significant spirituality ? »

However, as a westerner, I tell you that advaita vedanta has a great future in the Occident.  The attraction for the wordly goods coming with invasive capitalism nearly suffocated authentic spiritual burst in the Occident.  So 
more and more Westerners discover advaita.  By the way, the successful Conversations with God seems very close to advaita to me.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ram Garib" <garib_ram at yahoo.co.in>
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta"
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2007 7:11 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] shaDdarhana and other unorthodox schools

> Sri Ramesh Krishnamurthy wrote:
>> But more importantly, the term darSana refers mainly
>> to philosophical
>> schools rather than sects. The difference between a
>> philosophical
>> school and a sect is somewhat blurred but it is
>> still a very useful
>> difference to keep in mind while looking at the
>> traditional Hindu
>> schools.
> There is in fact a dominant view among philosophers
> that questions whether India has produced any
> philosophy at all! This may sound shocking but it
> remains true that Indian philosophical systems can
> never be studied bereft of their religious and
> cultural context. Outside India, Indian schools are
> studied as systems of theology rather than philosophy.
> Secondly, Indian systems are built on the presumption
> that truth cannot be a first time discovery by anyone.
> A seer can only claim to present what was known to
> countless others prior to him. Even Buddhism and
> Jainism have had the need to add a series of
> a-historical figures before their actual founders. In
> Indian systems, new growth of knowledge comes not by
> adding anything to Veda or Buddha or Mahavira, but by
> presenting the same teachings in new ways.
> The conformism to original has however not prevented
> subsequent thinkers from intellectual adventures.
> Growth of various subsects and even diametrically
> opposite interpretation of the same texts such as
> prastahana-trayi by dvaitins and advaitins attests to
> their intellectual adventurism. However at the end of
> the day, without fail they have considered it
> necessary to assert their conformism to the original
> teachings.
> Thirdly, and it is a serious charge on Indian schools,
> that they are rarely interested in honest analysis of
> any issue. Their sole concern is upholding the banner
> of their own school and prove it corrrect at the
> expense of intellectual integrity. Dispassionate
> analysis of issues with a goal of finding the truth is
> lacking. Even Logic and Epiestemology have been used
> as subservient to the metaphysics of the school. The
> only Indian school that can probably be counted as a
> philosophical system is of Navya Nyaya. It is
> therefore more appropriate to use the traditional term
> "darSana" with Indian schools rather than trying to
> retrofit them to the definitions of philosophical
> school.
> With regards,
> Ram Garib
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