Antiquity of advaita vedanta (was : an open letter to all)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Mon Jun 26 20:53:37 CDT 2000

Sankaran Panchapagesan <panchap at ICSL.UCLA.EDU> wrote:

> On Wed, 21 Jun 2000, Gregory Goode wrote:
> > Don't wait, start now!
> I also second this. I think what you call "nonsense" will never die
> because there will always be novices.

Thanks Greg and Ganesh.

In case anyone has misunderstood, I do not consider myself an expert
nor do I discriminate against "novices". I am actually not sure what
"novices" means. I consider myself a student and am still learning.

Some of the nonsensical things in the recent past:

a. A mail claimed "Anand, you have understood neither Madhyamika nor
Advaita". Now, I confess don't know enough about Madhyamika to decide
Anands knowledge of it. But, I think anyone who has not had a lobotomy
and who has read Anands posts on srh, srv and the many excellent
series (what's the plural?) on this list will know how absurd at least
the latter half of the claim is.

b. It never ceases to amaze me how many insults have been heaped on
sha.nkara and even sureshvara. In the past we had one member who
claimed sureshvara hadn't understood sha.nkara and when I pointed it
out, got very angry and left the list. Recently we have had multiple
people insulting the entire tradition of advaita. And this is the
advaita list for heaven's sake! I am not particularly sensitive, I am
on other lists where advaita is criticized and am not offended at all.
In fact the non-advaitins seem more respectful toward sha.nkara in
general and attack only the philosophy. I used to get worked up seeing
some of the posts on the advaita list and reply before, after I read
one of mahAsannidhAnams talks, I realized the best way is to ignore
these so called advaitins.

c. Have you noticed how many yahoo and hot mail posters have crawled
out of the woodwork and are trumpeting their "realization"? One guys
says "I haven't read books it's all my own realization", and has
offered a "unique" perspective on comparative religion. Where have we
heard the exact same thing before and from whom? Hmmm. Now has anybody
noticed that one of these yahoo characters writes very similarly to
one vigorous argumentator on this list? Very strange indeed. Have you
noticed that some other yahoo/hotmail posters's writing styles are
very similar to some characters who left the list in a huff? Have you
noticed that some of the user names sound extremely phony?

In any case, two people who I respect advised me that the best way to
raise the signal-to-noise ratio is to post something constructive. I
was asked to continue the Daksinamurti series I stopped sometime back.
It's an excellent idea and I'll do it. But before that I'll post
something on mahAvAkya exegesis because I think there is more scope
for discussion there. I'll start soon.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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