[Advaita-l] Paul Hacker on Avidya
Michael Chandra Cohen
michaelchandra108 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 14 11:11:05 EST 2022
Apologies, please. Not Subbuji but Ramakrishnanji
On Wed, Dec 14, 2022 at 10:40 AM Michael Chandra Cohen <
michaelchandra108 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Blessed Self Subbuji, namaste
> You argue Hacker was a supporter of the Nazi regime therefore his study of
> the Brahma Sutra Bhasya should be dismissed.
> I've heard it tell Henry Ford was also a Nazi sympathizer (& awarded the
> German Grand Cross) - should we have then abandoned automobiles? It is also
> told Winston Churchill was a racist and agreed Jews should be burned -
> abandon Paris Peace Accord of 1947?
> No, I think it is a poor argument tossing the baby with the bath water.
> Attack Hacker's ideas, not his virtue. He has conclusively shown that
> mUlAvidyA and other fundamental ideas of later Advaita authors dramatically
> diverge and even contradict Prasthanatraya Bhasya.
> On Wed, Dec 14, 2022 at 9:59 AM Balasubramanian Ramakrishnan via Advaita-l
> <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>> Dear Michael Cohen
>> Your name suggests a Jewish heritage. Paul Hacker was *literally* a card
>> carrying member of the Nazi party. Do you really think we Indians need to
>> listen to Nazis about our traditional vidyA?
>> On Sun, Dec 11, 2022 at 6:13 PM Michael Chandra Cohen via Advaita-l <
>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>> > Sundar Rajan writes: >>
>> > Namaste
>> > I was surprised to see Paul Hacker being considered a sound resource
>> > for discussions on avidyA being (yatkincit) bhAvarUpA etc. The reason is
>> > that Hacker completely dismisses GaudapAda and also Shankara's
>> > on mANDUkya and the rest. He only cherry-picks passages from BSB that
>> > his agenda and considers Advaita as Buddhism in disguise. So much for
>> > extensive study of BSB.
>> > We observe that
>> > 1. there are several passages from shankara bhAShya attesting to the
>> > identity of mAyA and avidyA
>> > 2. There are passages distinguishing them.
>> > Paul Hacker leans towards the second viewpoint even though it is
>> > to the hundreds of texts and acharyas who have expounded AV over the
>> > thousand years and taught the *reconciliation of passages of type 1 and
>> > type 2 by taking the former to subsume the latter.*
>> > Unless the living tradition of Advaita pedagogy is considered, two
>> > can just keep going around in circles quoting typing 1 and type 2
>> > over and over again and whoever has the last quote might feel his view
>> > the upper hand. It becomes an inconclusive wild goose chase.
>> > Paul Hacker arbitrarily chooses to privilege the second type over the
>> > and so he has to do something illogical viz., he has to ignore GaudapAda
>> > and Sri Shankara's other works which clearly assert that avidyA has an
>> > ontological aspect too. To do this Hacker has to say that GaudapAda is
>> > irrelevant or wrong and that the entire vedanta tradition after Shankara
>> > has diverged from ShAnkara vedAnta. By thus "digesting" and dismissing
>> > entire later tradition of teaching Advaita, then Shankara alone can be
>> > "dealt with" to show the ultimate superiority of Hacker's passionate
>> > adherence to Christian theology in his thinking.
>> > >>
>> > Blessed Self Sri Sundar Rajan ji namaste and pranam
>> > Paul Hacker's paper translated as Chapter 4, "Distinctive Features of
>> > Doctrine and Terminology of Sankara: Avtdya, Namarupa, Maya, isvara"
>> > is intended as the title reads to distinguish him from later
>> > sub-commentators who often invoke characteristics of Vedanta that do not
>> > appear in Sankara's commentary on the Brahma Sutras. Hacker does not
>> > to represent all of prasthanatraya bhasya as you dismiss him for
>> > Hacker's thesis is simply that you can observe all the occurences of
>> > 4 terms as they are used and defined in the bhasya of the Brahma Sutras
>> > recognize nuance that later vyakhanayakara's deviate from. Some of his
>> > findings are astounding.
>> > His student, Sengaku Mayeda, has performed a similar analysis with
>> > results using Sankara's Upadesa Sahasri.
>> > It is uninformed to think Hacker "cherry picks" his examples or is
>> > 'arbitrary' in his choices. Hacker is an eminent scholar and his study
>> > exhaustive and unbiased and has been well peer reviewed. Kindly study
>> > text before dismissing it off handedly. Further, to accuse him of
>> > to Christian theology and thus invalidating chapter 4 is simply a
>> > deflective defensive strategy. If you wish to refute Hacker or SSSS for
>> > that matter, you will have to attack their specific arguments.
>> > That said, I would appreciate to hear how you think Gaudapada is
>> > of you first listed option relating to the identity of avidyA and mAyA.
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