[Advaita-l] A news item

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 11 11:30:01 CDT 2012

I saw the following news item today
and learnt of an unsavory association that has been foisted upon the bhagavad-gItA
by people in Nazi Germany. It turns out that one top Nazi leader was personally a fan
of the gItA (or what one can only very charitably call his perverted understanding of it).
My immediate reaction to this was the importance of sampradAya in what lessons we
learn from difficult texts of philosophy. Of course, any true vedAntic teacher would have
sent back Hitler and Himmler with a solid admonition to develop basic adhikAra before
even venturing to read the gItA! 
In retrospect, one can only wish that German leaders before World War II had read the
gItA the way Thoreau, Emerson, Einstein and Oppenheimer read it. Each of them read
the gItA in translation, not in the original. And what a different understanding each one
of them took away from the text!
One can only imagine how different world history would have been if the gItA had been
introduced to Europe according to the new American Transcendentalist sampradAya of
Emerson and Thoreau, rather than being read through the lens of Hitler's sampradAya. 

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