[Advaita-l] Abedha

jaldhar at braincells.com jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Aug 5 00:21:10 EDT 2020

On Sun, 2 Aug 2020, Shashi Vishwanath via Advaita-l wrote:

> This kind of condescending attitude by some in the elder generation is 
> doubtless partly the cause of a lack of interest in the younger 
> generation.

How will we ever get another generation of elders if we don't teach the 
younger generation the right ways?

> Yes, Sanskrit and grammar are necessary for those who delve deep into 
> Vedanta.

Unfortunately there are many, especially the English medium types who are 
not aware of this.  I give myself as an example.  I grew up in the UK and 
US in a family that is devout but not particularly learned.  (Other 
relatives of mine are but they were far away in Gujarat.)  So when I 
started seriously getting interested in dharmik topics, I was pointed to 
Swami Shivananda, Vivekananda, Sai Baba etc. as well as some "new age" 
type authors.  If that had been all I knew I would probably be an atheist 
now.  Luckily I came accross Ballantynes English translation of that very 
Laghu Siddhanta Kaumudi Shriramji mentioned and was impressed enough to 
keep looking.  My father introduced me to my Guruji who didn't accept any 
excuses just because the shishya was young or "modern."  And yes I 
recoiled at first.  It all seems very strange when you lack the proper 
cultural or intellectual background to understand but it is the teachers 
job to keep the student disciplined and focused and if the student can 
maintain that persevere, the rewards are immense.

> But to discourage those from inquiring into it on the basis of ignorance 
> of grammatical intricacies is wrong.

Oh no I don't the idea was to stop inquiry but you must admit some lines 
of inquiry are more fruitful than others.  What is wrong in pointing them 

> It is up to the learned elders to gently foster and nurture the flame of 
> interest among the young into paramarthika matters, to slowly open the 
> doors to the garden such knowledge, and not to pour water onto the flame 
> or to construct a perpetually locked fence around it.

Learning Sanskrit is hardly a locked fence.  Now it is easier than ever to 
get a solid grounding in even advanced shastras.  And for a beginner to be 
able to sit with a dictionary and read and discuss is good enough and 
anyone can do this.

Having once been one of those young people I sympathize with the 
difficulties faced by young people.  I show my respect to young people by 
not lying to them.  Parts of the journey are going to be hard. Equip 
yourself properly and it will be less hard.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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