[Advaita-l] On the history of Bharathavarsha

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 20 20:26:10 CST 2010


Dear Sri Anbu Sivam,


I think this conversation is digressing into too many unnecessary side-trends.


1. Dr. Subramanian Swamy, all said and done, is a political leader. I do not
mean anything derogatory by it, as every society needs political leadership.
However, I do not (unlike most of my countrymen) attach any extra importance
to a man with power and influence. I grant that Dr. Swamy has provided
leadership on issues of importance, whether on the Chidambaram temple issue
or the politically motivated Rameshwaram offshore development. That does
NOT mean that I would cite him as a primary authority on any historical detail.
I tend to privilege original scholars more than those who cite them. I exhibit
the same attitude to people all across the political spectrum, from left to right,
all through the middle. I mean no disrespect to Dr. Swamy, and I'm sure that
if he were to read this, he would appreciate the fact that I respect a true
scholar more than anyone else. The fact that Dr. Swamy took the blessings
of Sringeri Acharya is of not much consequence really. The Acharyas give
blessings to everyone who asks for them sincerely. And lest you misconstrue
this as disrespect to the Sringeri Acharya too, let me hasten to add that that
would be furthest from my intent. This should be obvious, but I'm stating it
just for the record!

2. You give me entirely too much credit for my supposed "effort to pit one
Matam against another". To begin with, I have not started any controversy
myself. It is something that is somewhat more than a century old. Secondly,
do you think the likes of Brahmin-bashers in Tamil Nadu need my opinions to
bolster their case? That too is a political game that has been been going on
for more than a century. Let me assure you I am considerably younger than
a century. I am most probably very much younger than you too.

3. About plunging into mires of controversies about dates - may I point out
that you are finding fault with the messenger? I am well aware of the mire
and I am also well aware of who created the mire in the first place. Could
you kindly tell the people who keep adding more dirt into the mire to stop
doing so? I have no intention of stepping into the mire, but I do find nothing
wrong in saying that there does exist a mire. I find it extremely curious that
you, along with many others, think it is your prerogative to tell people like me
not to say anything about this topic. When this whole thread started on this
list, it was about a "conference" where somebody "unanimously" decided that
Adi Sankara's date was 500 BCE. The Sringeri Matha and its tradition was
conspicuously left out of such manufactured unanimity. Did your much-
proclaimed respect for the Sringeri tradition prompt you to step up and say
that this was not right, by any standard of intellectual fairness or traditional
respect? Did you feel the need to say to Mr. Sunil Bhattacharjya, "debating
the date of Adi Sankara is a frivolous exercise"? No, all I found you doing was
to tell me not to say anything. Why is it that you expect only those who agree
with the Sringeri tradition to shut up and put up? 

In your life, have you ever found it necessary to say anything about the pointless
nature of debating Adi Sankara's date to people like Polagam Rama Sastri, T M P
Mahadevan, N Veezhinathan and others from your native Tamil Nadu, who have
contributed tremendously to increasing the confusion on this issue, and largely by
insulting, questioning and disparaging the Sringeri traditions in heavily publicized
writings over the last half a century? Has anyone of you ever thought of walking
up to one of these people and telling them, "Do not disrespect the legacy of Adi
Sankara by insulting the Sringeri lineage? Do not be callous and describe it as an
institution that was accidently set up and not by intent. Do not spread lies about
the Sringeri lineage, because we all should respect those Acharyas greatly." Have
you ever done so? Please be honest to yourself and to me and examine how much
you have acted upon your supposed respect for the Sringeri tradition. If yes, I can
give some credence to your claim that you do indeed discourage people from such
debates. If not, I request you to stop telling me to withdraw, because all I see you
doing is increasing this discussion by telling me to stop the discussion, by appealing
to a weak emotion when facing a mountain of insurmountable fact. Either way, this
increasingly ridiculous email exchange has to come to an end.

And like your sentiments of not wishing to hurt my feelings, I apologize if I have
hurt yours in the above. I really have no intention of doing so, but sometimes a
spade needs to be called a spade.

Best regards,

> Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 07:13:28 -0500
> From: anbesivam2 at gmail.com
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] On the history of Bharathavarsha
> Dear Sri Vidyasankarji,
> I thank you for your response.
> If you would like to peremptorily brush aside Dr. Subramanian Swamy as a
> politician, of course, it could easily put him in company with those of
> secular India of extraordinary moral degeneration and corruption. It is
> sure to generate a derision and possibly it would put him out of our focus
> on his view on history. All he was saying was that the Indian history had
> been distorted and it has to be set right. I suppose you are not in
> agreement with him.
> It may not be out of place to say something about Dr.Subramanian Swamy in
> his defense of our beliefs and that of our PuraaNas and Ithihaasas which
> have been poopooed as fiction and myth. *It is to his credit that he boldly
> and single-handedly thwarted the attempt of the athiest and corrupt hoards
> of the DMK men who had planned to blow up Ramasethu, a bridge of ancience
> and about which crores of bhakthas have sung in great piety. People go
> there endlessly to do their tharpaNam for the release of their pithrus.
> All dhaarmic Hindus owe a gratitude to Dr.Subramanian Swamy.*
> When the same criminal gang took over Chidambaram Natarajar Temple, a
> denominational temple run by the Dhikshithar Brahmins that was out of reach
> of the secular laws, by wringing a corrupt judge it was Dr.Subramanian Swamy
> who took up their issue and faced brutal attack by the rowdy advocates
> opposed to the Brahmin community at the halls of the high court of Madras.
> When it comes to anti-Brahminism nothing was sacred to the enemies of
> Hinduism. You can ignore Dr.Subramanian Swamy's contribution but I cannot
> ignore that your effort to pit one Matam against another has only
> contributed to you being used by the same athiest, anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin
> hoards to denigrate our ancient dharma and its institutions and the Gurus.
> I came across how it is used by a Brahmin baiting gentleman by name Arul
> Tilak in the following url.
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akandabaratam/message/46407
> Is this a worthy purushaartha on your part?
> I should point out that Dr. Subramanian Swamy had the blessings of all
> Sankaracharyas including the Sannidhaanam at Sringeri whom I hold in great
> veneration.
> Beside the fact that I am ill-equipped as my life-time has been spent in the
> gnaana maarga and these such as dates were quite frivolous for me, the
> reason that I do not want to take up the issue of whether Adhi Sankara was
> born at certain point of time was that it would suit an agenda of
> denigration of any of our sacred institutions and their Achaaryaas which in
> my opinion is gravely ego driven and terribly counterproductive. It will
> not be a tribute to our great sage Adhi Sankata who brought the idea of
> Advaitha to the reach of ordinary people. My attempt has been to discourage
> people's pursuit into such mire.
> By writing this, if I have hurt your feelings I do sincerely apologize.
> With warm regards,
> Anbu

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