Ramakrishna and Vivekananda

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Sat Mar 13 08:27:49 CST 1999

Dear advaitins,

I have good respect for Vivekananda and Ramakrishna and long time
readers of advaita-l who have also followed threads in
soc.religion.hindu and soc.religion.eastern will know I have
"defended" both on various occasions. That said I don't think
Ramakrishna was an advaitin. Many of his own followers don't think so.
In fact, some of the other disciples of Ramakrishna felt that
Vivekananda had "advaitified" Ramakrishna's teachings and the
controversy goes on even today in the Ramakrishna Mutt circles.

Ashish Chandra wrote:

>We must remember that Swami Vivekananda had attempted to find out
from a
>host of men and preachers as to whether they had seen God. It was
only in
>Ramakrishna Paramhansa, the epitome of a Guru, that he found his
answer. Do
>any of us know such a Guru in this day and age

I suggest that this has nothing to do with advaita-l. Hosts of
disciples of Ramanuja or Madhva were convinced that only they had seen
God. So does it mean, we discuss their teachings here? Mr Vivekananda
Centre is going on and on about "prophets". sha.nkara was not a
"prophet" who claimed new insights. He puported to interpret only the
age-old upanishhads. Those interpretations are what we are here to
discuss. If Vivekananda or Ramakrishna have useful insights about
these, please post them. Otherwise please start Vivekananda-l or
Ramakrishna-l to discuss the views of Vivekananda or Ramakrishna.

Mr Vivekananda Centre further writes:

>Why do we waste time with such marginal characters? We have such
>exponents of Adviata on the list. The list members may wonder if we
>perhaps even bother with Sri Shankara - he goes so far back in
>Maybe we should request Sri Jaladharji to be our guide. He has
assured us
>there is no lack of guides he is just bothered that there are not

Where ever did Jaldhar say he is a masterful exponent? And time has
nothing to do with sha.nkara's teachings. We have his texts and his
representatives, which is more than enough. I agree with Jaldhar that
there are enough teachers of advaita even today. Kindly stick to facts
and refrain from personal attacks.


"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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