[Advaita-l] Petition against Murty Classical Library

Abhijith Vasista asvasista at gmail.com
Mon Mar 14 00:24:42 CDT 2016


Here is my limited view.

MCLI is a multi million dollar endowment which is set up 500+ volume
publications. They plan to flood academia & public discourse with low price
books Rs20-50. So you cannot discount the fact that there is much impact
knowing the combined influence of Murtys and Pollock.
I do agree however it's a privately funded enterprise governed by private
decisions, but there is an element of social entanglement. It is lame to
set aside as it wouldn't impact our choice.

Notable Indian scholars, 132 of them, several eminent academicians who have
spent decades in Sanskrit research & teaching have raised some issues with
Pollock's translation & rational analysis of Indian literature. They view
it as inaccurate and troublesome with forcefed western constructs as
opposed to native Indian perspective.  It is not wise to ignore their

However this group is mainly on vedantic discussion, we do have a bit of
social obligation to inform & be informed, and not be in isolated
self-encapsulation. There is of course the freedom of choice to follow any
literature or translation in fields of arts, history, philosophy etc., it
is only raising the level of alert when you come across certain


On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 10:38 PM, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> The scheme is privately funded. No public money is being spent on
> this. What is the locus standi for us to dictate who should do the
> work.
> If we do not agree with conclusions arrived at, we have every right to
> question the conclusions.
> regards,
> Sarma.
> On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 8:49 AM, kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l
> <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > PraNAms
> >
> > I am posting this update without comments - for those who are interested
> and who want to act on the suggestions provided.
> >
> > --------------------------
> > Respected Scholars,
> >
> >
> > With each passing day, more people are signing our petition. More
> importantly awareness on this issue is increasing on Social Media. In last
> 4 days, there have been 5 various blogs and articles by our new
> Intellectual Kshatriya team.
> >
> > I request you to visit the petition site
> https://www.change.org/p/mr-n-r-narayana-murthy-and-mr-rohan-narayan-murty-removal-of-prof-sheldon-pollock-as-mentor-and-chief-editor-of-murty-classical-library
> and go through the updates. You will find multiple comments / outrage
> against each of the update that we have posted.
> >
> > Kanchi seer Mahaperiyavaa foresaw many decades ago what Rajiv Malhotra
> says about Indology today
> > The following extract is taken from the book The Vedas by Kanchi seer
> Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati which can be found here (
> http://www.bhavans.info/store/bookdetail.asp?bid=149&bauth=Chandrasekharendra+Saraswati
> )
> > The translation is by late Shri. NSS Rajan. It is a translation of
> selected discourses by Paramacharya on Vedas and related topics from Tamil
> to English. The first edition of this book is 1988, so timing of his
> discourses is before 1988.
> >
> > In this extract the seer makes his observations on Indology studies by
> Westerners and he said the same things then (about 40-50 years ago) that
> Rajiv Malhotra is saying today. Read on to find out how.
> >
> > It is a matter for regret that the main source of the knowledge about
> the Vedas for most of us in India is the research done by foreigners called
> orientalists and our scholars who follow in their footsteps and conduct
> research. I agree that foreign scholars have indeed made very useful
> contributions concerning the knowledge about the Vedas. We must acknowledge
> it and thank them for it. Many like Max Muller have really taken great
> pains to collect material and analyse it as they were inspired by the
> grandeur of the Vedas. They have written volumes on the Vedas. We would be
> struck with wonder at the number of publications released by the Asiatic
> Society, founded over 200 years ago by Sir William Jones, who was then a
> Judge of the Calcutta High Court. Max Muller, with the aid of the East
> India Company, had serially printed and released Rig Veda with Saayana's
> commentary and also many other Hindu religious texts. Englishmen, Germans,
> French and even Russians have worked hard with their researches. They have
> collected and published translations of the Vedas along with the extant
> aphorisms, which were scattered in parts all over India.
> >
> > There are foreigners who have also served the cause of some other
> aspects of our cultural heritage. When Lord Curzon was the viceroy, the
> Protection of Ancient Monuments Act was enacted. This stopped vandalism.
> Ferguson took photographs of all sculptural treasures throughout the
> century and made us aware of their importance. Cunningham, Mortimer
> Wheeler, Sir John Marshall are all noted archaeologists. Mackenzie gathered
> ancient palm leaf scrolls from all over the country without which we could
> not have known about some of our sastras. A separate department of
> epigraphy was instituted only during the British Rule. Thus a lot of gain
> accrued to us from foreign domination. But in their wake came losses too.
> The Indologists and orientalists were committed to writing ancient history
> from material taken from Vedic texts and, in the process, introduced the
> till then unheard of concept of Aryans and Dravidians, which created mutual
> hatred. Their conclusions were based on what they called rationalisation,
> according to which anything outside the ken of the sense organ, can only be
> regarded as allegorical. This would permit them to regard the ancient
> Rishis as primitive men inferior to the modern. Their analysis of our
> religious texts was motivated by the desire to show Christianity as a
> better religion. All the while they kept up the facade of impartial
> research and, in the process, denigrated our religion.
> >
> > Noting the points of similarity between Sanskrit and their language,
> many studied our texts purely in the interests of comparative philology.
> >
> > We can admire them for their tenacious research, and the publicity they
> gave to the greatness of the Vedas. But they missed the essential purpose
> of the Vedas which is to ensure the well·being of the universe at large by
> spreading the sound of Vedic chant and ensuring the performance of Vedic
> rites. Setting aside. these two essentials, the Vedas, which are beyond its
> reach, have been sought to be analysed by the brain. What should subsist as
> a living force in word and deed of the common man has been entombed in
> voluminous books adorning the shelves of libraries, like keeping fauna in
> museums which house skeletons and archaic objects.
> >
> >
> >
> > Aditya
> >
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