[Advaita-l] Deviation from Guru's teachings

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Tue May 29 01:06:47 CDT 2007

The Taittiriya Upanishad (1.11) has the guru saying "yAni anavadyAni karmANi tAni sevitavyAni, no itarANi. asmAkam sucharitAni ... sevitavyAni." meaning "follow the good in me". Even as all upadishTas end their daily sAdhana by repeating 'na guroradhikam na guroradhikam na guroradhikam', it is in light of the above statement.

Without meaning to insult the post-Sankaran tradition (in fact, I do subscribe to that tradition, not Sri SSS's teachings) if Sri Satchidanendra Sarasvati felt that he has a better understanding, I think such a thought by itself is not sacrilegious and any healthy society would not fault him for it; unnecessary nindA (that is which is not part of an argument where khaNDana is necessary, an example of necessary khaNDana being Sri Sankara's statement regarding the reverred sages Kapila etc.) is a different matter. 

The word "sam-pra-dAya" itself admits of the etymological explanation of "the collection of all that is good amongst what is handed over [from the previous generations]". My only point is that the student has latitude in deciding as to what is good; and the society judges such a student later as to whether his definition of good is acceptable or not. For instance the rishi yAj~navalkya comes to mind (who is said to have learnt the taittirIya and then made to vomit the knowledge); he indeed faced the wrath of his guru, but himself became a great teacher.

I think, showing inconsistencies in teachings of SSS is the best rebuttal for both the Swamiji's allegedly unnecessary nindA and his claim to be the true inheritor of Sri Sankara's sampradAya, rather than harping on the technicalities of deviating from guru's teachings; especially because in all the things said against the Swamiji on the list, nobody ever even insinuated that he was not a great scholar, or that his conduct was unsatisfactory, or of other allegations such as money-making usually hurled at god-men.


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