Ramakrishna and Vivekananda

Ashish Chandra achandra at WNMAIL.WNDEV.ATT.COM
Sat Mar 13 11:57:13 CST 1999

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.

AC :

You might know what you post here but this is absolute rubbish. I am sorry
that I am forced to use such harsh language because Ramakrishna Paramhansa
looked at Vedanta as being at the pinnacle of thought with the philosophy
of Advaita. Having said that, he also considered Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita
as being the steps to becoming established in Advaita. He said "he who
takes in the whole must also take in the parts". These are Ramakrishna's
teachings. Don't start saying wild things about controversies. As far as
the Ramakrishna missions go, they follow all lines of Vedanta. One example
is the Advaita Ashram in Mayavati, UP wherein idol worship of any kind is
disallowed. What is this controversy you speak of ? Ramakrishna-Vivekananda
had come and shown the strengths of Advaita in new light. If you want to
stick to what others have said, that is your issue but don't start flinging
your arms about other Advaitins. It is exactly this kind of attitude that
Vivekananda had met with in Varanasi where he had sworn that "he would not
return to the city unless he made its society follow him like a dog". And
he did. So please don't try and classify what Vivekananda and Ramakrishna
were and were not. You are no authority.

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.

AC :

Did you even bother to find out what this was written in regards to. It was
written in regards to Maya. And I had written that most of us just talk of
it while actually KNOWING what it is. That is why I had said that a Guru is
important because Vivekananda did not get the answers from people who just
preached philosophy.

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.

AC :

Why don't you let Jaladhar defend himself. Pretty much everyone has read
what he said. And no one is making any personal attacks so I think it is
you who should be advised not to go about pontificating to others.


"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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