[Advaita-l] wilhelm halbfass

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Mon Sep 28 07:15:01 CDT 2009

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 7:57 AM, Stig Lundgren <slu at bredband.net> wrote:

> Since K.G. Subraya Sharma is my guru I did travel to Germany in order to
> meet him, and I also made him company to the university. The professor met
> us at the railway station and made a kind and cheerful impression. But it
> became more and more obvious that he had problems taking the revered
> traditional scholar seriously. Sri Subraya Sharma gave a lecture on the
> Bhagavadgita, and during that lecture by way of expression said that there
> is such a sweetness in this ancient sanskrit text. This lead the professor
> to ask Sri Subraya Sharma over and over again exactly what he meant by
> "sweetness", and in what way such a sweetness could be objectively verified
> by reading the Gita! Could this sweetness be scientificly proved? After that
> the professor continued by asking several questions about the caste-system
> propagated by the Gita.
The same way the sweetness in Shakespeare's poetry can be proved :-).

Indology and many other such disciplines are quite clueless about what
"science" means. This is not to say that these disciplines are useless -
they are very useful. But, study of texts can never be "scientific". That's
why they are in the humanities departments.

After Fritz Staal, there has been some activity in actually "observing" what
people do. But it is more to point out in a rather superior manner that the
people are not doing exactly what some text is prescribing, and how they
know the texts much better. It is changing a bit though, which is


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