[Advaita-l] Shankara and Madhusudhana

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Jul 27 01:56:50 CDT 2011

On Tue, 26 Jul 2011, Bhaskar YR wrote:

> Your comments on Swamiji is always  interesting & surprising.  You said he
> is a significant figure merely  in the history of the nation and not so
> when it comes to advaita.  But dont you think prabhuji he is a significant
> figure in spiritual world (adhyAtma prapancha)?? As per his biography, I
> think he achieved almost everything in this adhyAtmika world and
> paramahamsa himself called him as an incarnation of one of the
> saptarshi-s.  Swamiji talked with kAli mAta on 1:1 basis like paramahamsa
> (IMHO, this is not possible for an ordinary historical figure) , he
> experienced the highest in advaita i.e. 'nirivikalpa samAdhi' and he did
> the dharma prachAra as most of the Acharya-s did, he took saNyAsa as per
> the traditional requirement.  Despite all these qualities & qualification,
> why you are saying he is lagging behind in advaita  & his teachings with
> regard to vedAnta is not trust worthy!!??  Kindly do elaborate.

I do not want this conversation to degenerate into a "my guru is better 
than your guru" slanging match.  It is an undeniable fact that many people 
have come to an interest in Advaita Vedanta through him including members 
of this list.  Shri Venkatashrirama said that he was "misunderstood"  I 
merely attempt to understand.

Now take just one example.  You say "he took sannyasa as per the 
traditional requirement."  But he never had any formal diksha.  After 
Ramakrishnas death he and the other founders of the Ramakrishna Mission 
simply took up kesari clothes and assumed new names.  Vivekananda wasn't 
even his first choice, he called himself Vividishananda then and only 
started using Vivekananda some time later.  Is this significant?  Maybe, 
maybe not.  It is however a deviation from shastraic norms.  What else did 
he deviate from?  One should be prepared to ask the question atleast.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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