post-Sankara teachers in advaita - prakAshAnanda

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Fri Jul 4 17:35:42 CDT 1997

Vidyasankar wrote:

>> Hence, DSV is _quite influential in the living advaitic tradition_, as it
>> walways has been. It is however not popular with the Western academics who
>> have
>> no idea about the DSV and the way it is utilized in the traditional advaitic
>> maTha-s.

>Probably because the academic world can only get an idea of post-Sankaran
>advaita from the written texts. In itself, this might be a Western
>cultural legacy (Judeo-Christian?) where greater value is attached to the
>written word than to oral instruction. In traditional Vedanta, of course,
>the personal instruction obtained from a guru is of the utmost importance.

This would very simply explain how shrI sha.nkara holds two "different" points
of view in the sUtrabhAshhya and the kArikA bhAshhya. However, this point
doesn't seem to strike the Western academia at all. I am not very conversant
with the BSB, but Giri who is, explained to me that sha.nkara's statements in
the BSB, made against the viGYanavadin-s cannot be extrapolated as a statement
against dR^ishhTi-sR^ishhTi vAda.

>Agehananda's views are certainly prArabdha-vaSAt! Given his varied
>history, one cannot expect him to be very true to the advaita tradition.

I had asked for "The Ochre Robe" and "The light at the center" by ILL. I was
quite shocked by the level of ignorance Aghehananda displays in his book. Not
only does he talk condescendingly about Indians, India etc, but totally
misinterprets some common Indian customs. His justification of drugs and
free-sex using the "mysticism" is quite amusing. Best joke in the book: To some
one asking why he took sanyAsa he says that it will make people respect him and
not take him lightly. ?!!!! The situation is best summarized by the thamiz
proverb "kAsikku pOnAlum karmam viDAthu". Talk about losing one's ego after
sanyAsa! His speculations about H.H chandrashekhara bhAratI mahAsvAmigaL are
idiotic, to say the least. Another joke: Indians use spices in their cooking to
get rid of the germs and Americans who use Indian spices in cooking are stupid!
Poor me, all this time I thought it was for the flavor and that it is the
heating which gets rid of germs. Move over, Louis Pasteur. The only thing which
prevented me from tearing both books to fine pieces and flushing it down the
drain was the fact I had got it from the library.

>sannyAsins who are originally from the advaita tradition, but hold
>completely different philosophies. AnandatIrtha (aka madhva) is one of the

The problem with Aghehananda of course is that people might think his views are
agreeable to the sha.nkara maTha-s, especially since he obtained "sanyAsa" from
one of them. One wonders what this so called sanyAsa was for, anyway (with all
the drugs, free-sex, meat-eating, wine drinking etc). An ego-trip and nothing


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