SSS and Madhva (was Re: [Advaita-l] Review of MarthaDoherty's comments on Sri Satchidanandendra Sarasvati)

savithri devaraj savithri_devaraj at
Thu Mar 1 12:28:14 CST 2007

--- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
<rama.balasubramanian at> wrote:

> But consider this other interesting thing. There's a
> book by S.K.
> Ramachandra Rao [1] (SKRR) on the adhyaasa bhaaShya.
> In the foreword,
> he blasts Padmapada et. al in no uncertain terms for
> "distorting" the
> bhaaShya of Sankara. Then he claims that if
> avidyaa=maayaa were not
> claimed by "later advaitins", there would not have
> been
> "controversies" with the later VaiShNava vedaantins.
> Then he goes to
> add that he heard that one Madhva-Mathadipathi (Sri
> Vidyamanya Tirtha,
> or some one else, I forget the exact name now) had
> told someone that
> there is no difference between Sankara and Madhva
> and that he was
> going to write a book on it. Then SKRR helpfully
> adds that he doesn't
> know if he wrote that book, but this confirms what
> he said about the
> part that there wouldn't have been "controversies"
> with later
> Vaishnavas if maayaa=avidyaa had not been claimed by
> Padmapada.
> Now this paragon of "critical" scholarship could
> have at least verfied
> with the Madhva Mathadipati how it is possible that
> pa~nca-bheda which
> exists forever, souls having intrinsic, eternal
> qualities such as
> sattva, rajas and tamas, tamasic souls can never
> attain moxa or change
> into rajasic or saatvic souls, etc.; magically
> become the same as
> advaita if maayaa=avidyaa is not accepted. How
> pathetic. This scholar
> thinks he knows better than Padmapada, and dons his
> "critical" scholar
> hat when talking about Padmapada, and gets out his
> magnifying glass
> when searching for trivial terminological
> differences. But he rests
> content with handing out some old wives tale that he
> heard from
> someone, regarding Madhvas doctrine being the same
> as Sankara.
> Of course, in his introduction he pays homage to Sri
> Candrashekhara
> Bharati Mahaasvaaminah and Sri Mahaasannidhaanam,
> who he admits "would
> not have been happy with his writing in this book".
> What is wrong with
> all these folks? Do they seriously think they can
> pick up a book and
> second-guess sampradaayavits regarding vedaanta? If
> so, what kind of
> sampradaayavits are they in the first place? If you
> can understand
> vedaanta better by reading some bhaasShya, why the
> heck would you need
> to approach a sampradaayavit? The guru is who
> effects the
> transformation of the consciousness and not any
> amount of "critical
> scholarship" on 1200 year old bhaaShyas, regardless
> of whose bhaaShya
> it may be. The bhaaShyas are only a crutch for
> *second-grade
> students*, who need more reasoning than the guru
> provides directly by
> his mere presence.  In my opinion this bhAshya
> studies disease is
> confused thinking at best, if not sheer lunacy;
> especially prevelant
> among Western educated Indians who think reading
> Sanskrit texts is a
> substitute or even better than the actual guru; and
> that they can
> "out-guru" the guru himself.
> So, you actually hit the nail on the head more than
> you might have
> thought (I am assuming you haven't read the book by
> SKRR).
> Rama
> [1]  SKRR passed away about a year back. There was a
> message on the
> list regarding this. He accepts SSSs interpretation
> of Sankara.

In all humility, I think this post is totally out of
line. There is hardly any relationship to the profound
analysis/comments of Sri jnanaprasunendra Saraswathi
Swamiji's review on the topic, or on Madhvacharya. I
wonder if the review was even read - just enough to
start the tirade on SSS. Why beat up Sri SKRR who is
dead and gone? There is a lot of sarcasm and
disrespect to a lot of hoary personalities here. Of
late, this list has become just a forum for condemning
Sri SSS and his followers. 

I suggest those interested start a list to condemn Sri
Satchidanandendra Saraswathi Swamiji and his followers
and vent all they want there. Surprisingly, I find the
same folks who passionately argue against Swamiji
here, are on the Satchidanandendra e-group List. I
wonder what agenda they have to be on that list.

tamasoma jyothir gamaya,

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