[Advaita-l] Status of Traditional Learning in India (was Re: Interesting URL)

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Thu May 15 09:41:45 CDT 2008

Dear Sri Siva Senani,

Your response to my post was interesting and set off some thoughts.
But the state of traditional learning is a big topic and nothing
conclusive can be said without some serious research.

My earlier post was primarily in the context of yoga/mantra-shaastra
and other such disciplines as practised by the traditional Sankaran
mutts. One may add here the study of tarka, mimamsa etc also. The
newer groups don't seem to be able to carry these things forward for
various reasons. That is all that I really wanted to say.

I accept that the initial part of my post was somewhat vaguely worded
and could be easily misunderstood. This was really not the thrust of
my post also, but as you raised some issues, I am just responding to

For example, regarding North India, I was not suggesting that there is
a severe paucity of Sanskrit scholars there, only that the
mantra-shaastra (both of the tantric variety like Srividya and the
shrauta variety) seems to be much better preserved in the south. Even
if one restricts oneself to vedashaala-s, one finds that the tradition
is in better condition south of the vindhya-s. For example, the
Maharshi Sandeepani Veda Vidya Pratishthan, Ujjain, provides funds for
vedashaala-s across the country. I don't remember the exact
percentages now but southern India + Maharashtra are clearly the
dominant players (>70% if I remember correctly).

On scholars migrating to America and other countries, again I had in
mind people with good knowledge of the ritualistic traditions. It just
so happened that a few relatively young people (in their 20s or 30s) I
came across recently were emigrants. And these were people with
regular modern professions but with the added knowledge of traditional
sadhana-s gained during their childhood. I am not even remotely
suggesting that all the good scholars have moved away. Among the
larger cities, I think Chennai and Bengaluru (the new spelling :-))
still have an excellent network of traditonal scholar-practitioners.

bhava sha~Nkara deshikame sharaNam

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