Ramakrishna and Vivekananda

Giridhar giridhar at CHEMENG.IISC.ERNET.IN
Tue Mar 16 21:09:02 CST 1999


                Please read this email without taking offence.

>including Gautama Buddha. While Sri Shankara may not have used such words
>as did Swamiji, the idea is that only age brings about wisdom. The youth of

                The concept of age brings wisdom can not apply to jivanmuktas.
For the simple reason, one is a jivanmukta only after destroying the ego.
Then, how can the age of the body affect Atman ? or knowledge ?
The point that Shankara matured with age etc., has been also put forth
by western "scholars" and please see Rama's refutation of this.
                If we agree with this statement, we might also want to reject the
brahma sutra bhashya and the bhashya of upanishhad-s Shankara wrote
at a young age.

>As to why the Pundits of Kashi were opposed to him; why just Kashi, almost
>all of orthodoxy; the answer is not so simple. The frontline of criticism
>that the Pundits leveled at Swamiji was that he was a Sudra and had no
>right to read the Vedas.

                This is not just the stand of Pundits, but the great Acharya, Shankara
Even to this day, followers in the lineage of Shankara forbid people without
adhikara to read the Vedas. Please see the talks with the heads of Sringeri
Kanchi maths.
                If you feel everyone is entitled to chant vedas (and you can feel so),
just remember that you are contradicting Shankara's teaching. That's all.

>today. And yes, Swami Vivekananda did make the society fall at his feet
>although he did profess his distaste for hero worship.

                It is difficult to see how a materialistic society like the West or India
can fall at the feet of a saint. Are you now saying the majority in the
are spiritual ? Saints influence the society, but the majority of the society
do not follow any teaching of the saints.
                I, however, do agree with you that Vivekananda was far from a marginal
figure and influenced a lot of people.

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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