[Advaita-l] RK Math and other institutions

Kalyan K kalyankc.81 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 21:16:10 CST 2012

>First, yes, Ramakrishna Math is an independent organization in all ways,
>but the Swamis of RK Math themselves regard Sringeri as the root of their

Dear Sri Vidyasankar, if Sringeri is at the root of their lineage, then
there should to be a guru-shishya chain linking them to Sringeri. I think
you would agree with this. Please throw light on this link. To the best of
my knowledge, it is Sri Ramakrishna paramahamsa and his direct disciples
who can be considered as founders of this matt. And Sri Ramakrishna
himself, is not linked to Sringeri - again, this is as far as I know. So,
if you are aware of the guru-shishya link between the monks at RK matt and
Sringeri, please let us know.

>We need to recognize the fact
>that maThas like Sringeri address themselves, as they have done throughout
>the centuries, to the Sanskrit educated pundit population, which is still
>based in rural India.

Can you throw more light on this topic? Are there any recently published
works by Sringeri in sanskrit on the topic of vedanta? Since Sringeri is
the most traditional and authentic matt, anything coming from Sringeri on
the topic of vedanta would be of great interest to us.


On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 11:40 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> (Was RE: [Advaita-l] Did Madhusudana Saraswati Reconcile Bhakti and
> Advaita?)
> > Dear Sri Subramanian, The swamiji must have said so out of respect for
> > Sringeri and due to Bangalore's proximity to Sringeri. The RK matt has
> its
> > origins in West Bengal and is not connected with Sringeri matt. The
> > headquarters of the RK matt is Belur Matt in West Bengal.
> >
> > http://www.belurmath.org/home.htm
> >
> > The ideology of the mutt also does not match that of traditional advaita
> as
> > one can verify here -
> >
> > http://www.belurmath.org/Ideology.htm
> >
> >
> > That said, I have lot of respect for RK mutt. My point is that there is
> no
> > need to force-link everything good to the Sringeri mutt.
> >
> Kalyan, I think you are missing a few key points here.
> First, yes, Ramakrishna Math is an independent organization in all ways,
> but the Swamis of RK Math themselves regard Sringeri as the root of their
> lineage. Just as Sri Subrahmanian cited the RK Math Swami in Bangalore,
> I have heard a similar statement from Swami Swahananda of the Vedanta
> Society in Los Angeles, which has no geographical proximity to Sringeri
> whatsoever. The connection goes deeper than a matter of general respect
> or geographical proximity. And it goes deeper than registering a presence
> in the kind of sammelan that get organized in today's increasingly
> politicized
> atmospher. Similarly with the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh. They have
> developed a practice of issuing paper credentials upon initiation to their
> Sannyasi-s, which explicitly state their lineage affiliation with Sringeri.
> For sanAtana dharma traditions, the SikshA and dIkshA lineages of people
> take prime importance. The concept of highlighting institution names and
> the proliferation of institutions is a very recent development in history.
> If
> you look at lineage branching, then from Swami Sivananda to Swami
> Chinmayananda to Swami Dayananda, one would have to trace Chinmaya
> Mission and Arsha Vidya Peetham also as third and fourth generations
> derived from the Sringeri lineage. Not that either today's Sringeri Matha
> or
> these other institutions make a big deal about it, but in all these cases,
> the
> so called "non-traditional" organizations have strong paramparA connections
> to Sringeri and they maintain them too. Swami Dayananda of Arsha Vidya
> Peetham has also written in the same publication that Sri Subrahmanian
> cited. Similarly, the Self-Realization Fellowship of Paramahamsa Yogananda
> explicitly traces its roots to the Puri Matha.  So, in a sense, this
> dichotomy
> that we tend to see between "traditional" and "non-traditional"
> institutions
> is of our own making, not something that the said institutions themselves
> subscribe to. The demographics of the followers of these institutions are
> quite varied, of course. To my mind, it is ironic that we should even call
> these newer institutions "non-traditional" at all. They are all a lot more
> traditional in many important ways than what most of us on this list are
> able to be.
> Second, RK Math Swamis have been pioneers in publishing translations and
> independent books in English and reaching out to a broad audience. Swami
> Paramarthananda in Chennai, a disciple of Swami Dayananda, lectures in
> English, to an audience that is predominantly Brahmin and largely native
> Tamil by speech, but English by intellect. Most members of this audience
> can
> probably quote Shakespeare or Wordsworth more readily than Tiruvalluvar
> or Kalidasa. There is no need to compare these with the activity of an old
> institution like Sringeri in contemporary times and judge either of them in
> an unfavorable light.
> We should all be grateful to those who choose to address themselves to an
> English educated urban population. We tend to look towards the past, but
> institutions and their leaders look to the future. We need to recognize
> the fact
> that maThas like Sringeri address themselves, as they have done throughout
> the centuries, to the Sanskrit educated pundit population, which is still
> largely
> based in rural India. Yes, the latter group is declining in numbers, but
> just
> because most of us tend to be urban and English educated, there is no need
> to discount their existence or importance or to expect that old maThas
> should
> take their focus away from their traditional and historical constituency.
> It
> would be a waste of their institutional expertise to try and duplicate the
> efforts
> of institutions like the RK Math. There is need and ample room for both
> types
> for sustaining the advaita tradition through the future.
> Vidyasankar
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