[Advaita-l] The Evolution of Advaita from Sankara till Date
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri May 16 01:18:29 CDT 2008
On Thu, 15 May 2008, Bhaskar YR wrote:
> So, I think prabhuji, paramahamsa was highly influenced by Bengali
> bhakti panth (propagated by chaitanya etc.) & achieved what he has
> through that means ...Kindly clarify your stand on this observation.
One problem is that we don't know if the biographer is giving the full
picture. As I mentioned before, one of the goals of the 19th century
reformers was to prove to the British that Hinduism was not "primitive" or
"superstitious" so there may have been some whitewashing of inconvenient
facts. (and why do you think the biography was called the "Gospel" of
Ramakrishna?) Unfortunately the eyewitnesses are no longer available so
we cannot say one way or another.
It is certainly possible though. Gaudiya Vaishnavism is also a powerful
current in Bengali culture and there is a lot of syncretism between it and
tantrism. But think about it. A female guru? Called Bhairavi no less?
That doesn't seem very Vaishnava.
> And coming back to Swamy Vivekananda. His experience of Nirvikalpa samAdhi
> (which is considered as absolute non-dual state of advaita by some
...and also by some non-advaitins.
at Kashipur Garden House, it is said that it is the result of
> rigorous practice of meditation. He also taught during the short span of
> his life only vEdAnta, vyAkaraNa, tarka etc. nowhere there is a mention
> that he advocated Bengali vAmAchari Tantric methods for the spiritual
No. In his youth he was a member of the Brahmo Samaj which practised a
"reformed" hodge-podge of ideas from Vaishnavism, Tantrism, and
Christianity. They were vehemently against "superstition" but it was
still part of their cultural background.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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