[Advaita-l] Modern vs. Traditional Methods

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Wed Jul 24 17:00:59 CDT 2013

As per the request of the moderator, I am starting a new thread. I argue
that a philosophy thesis - in advaita or any other traditional school -
should be in Sanskrit as most of the works are in that language. Also,
most research is speculative and not even proper application of sambhavana.
Anyway, let us focus on memory, which seems to be your prime concern.

Shri Venkatesh: You cannot deny we are weaker than older generations. Can
you say you know all 18000 Slokas of Bhagavatam or 24000 Slokas of Ramayana
by heart? Can you say them not looking at the book? Then you should not try
to learn Bhagavatam or Ramayana. It is useless according to your logic.

RV: Can you say that there is no one today who knows SBh or Ramayana by
heart? You will definitely agree that there are lakhs of people who know
BhG by heart.. Even if one spends 10 minutes a day, in 2 years one will
have the entire BhG by heart. How many of us have done that? If not, is it
weakness or lack of interest? Am I wrong in asking that a
philosophy professor in a college should know BhG by heart? I tell them
that I dont consider them as good as a high school student who knows BhG.
It may be rude but they actually come around to see their insufficiency as
scholars. *When we know a text by heart the mind processes it differently
and holistically.* That is why a sarvajna such as Sankara can draw
inerroneous conlusions harmonising hundreds of texts. Currently, academic
scholars use software to search all available content. Kalavai Venkat et al
have consolidated all ancient manuscripts in to CDs available for those who
want to research in to dharma. ISKCON has created a vedabase package with
which one can search every text that Srila Prabhupada used. In future,
nanobots may be embedded in to the human brain to improve its storage,
processing and retrieval power. I am no opposed to use of modern techniques
at all. However, should one not be open minded to accept or at least fairly
evaluate the traditional methods? If there are tested ayurveda medicines
that can improve memory, we should use. If practices such as brahmacharya
improve grasp, memory and clarity of thinking, one should not be opposed to
evaluating that. If knowledge can be acquired through yogic processes, we
should not be close minded. In Pa. Yo. Su. it is said that one can become
omniscient. We should not say that it is impossible because it seems beyond
our experience.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list