An Open Letter to All - Part-II
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Fri May 12 11:31:03 CDT 2000
On Fri, 12 May 2000, Bhaskar Y.R. wrote:
> Dear Learned Members of Advaita-L,
> I am whole heartedly grateful to U all for the interest U have shown
> to my mesg. Really fresh air breezing around me after hearing
> scholaric replies from my learned friends of advaita philosophy.
> Eventhough some of the Advaita-L members raising objections against
> this, i could not resist myself but to continue to share my thoughts
> with U :
There is no problem with you sharing views which are against Advaita
Vedanta (it is more than capable of handling them) however some list
members have expressed concern about the disrespectful tone of some of
them. I know in some cases you are quoting what other people have written
nevertheless please edit out inflammatory words that contribute nothing to
Speaking of arguments, you are beginning to repeat yourself. How about
responding to some of the replies you got instead of just saying the same
thing over and over again?
I'm going to rearrange parts of your post to show how ISKCONs hatred of
Advaita Vedanta overwhelms their reason.
> The mayavadis generally take only the complicated and abstract
> Scriptures to prove their points,
First you complain that we follow the shastras.
> since these Scriptures like the
> Vedanta-sutras can be tailor-made to suit any kind of explanation.
Too bad. The Brahma sutras are the basis of Vedanta. We can't pick and
choose what to consider a shastra.
> The impersonalists give elaborate explanations which no interpreter
> can understand,
Oddly enough many people understand it just fine. Perhaps the fault is in
> The mayavadi explanation that the Supreme is temporarily covered by
> illusion and undergoing sufferings in the form of humans and animals
> is immature philosophy, without the proper understanding of the
First it was too elaborate, now it is not elaborate enough.
> "mayavadam asac-chastram" or "mayavada is impious, untrue Shastra".
Now it isn't a shastra at all.
> One of
> the most common statement that one can hear from a mayavadi is
> something like, 'why do you want to restrict yourself with the
> Vedas?', or 'you've got to transcend what the Scriptures say', or 'you
> are God, you don't have to follow the Vedas'.
> One of the main reasons why the Vaishnavacharyas, as
> the real guardians of the Vedic Scriptures, condemned the mayavadis
> was, because of their rejection of the Vedic Scriptures.
In fact now we don't even believe in shastras.
> Though they
> take the Vedic Scriptures
Wait a minute yes we do.
> to explain their nonsensical theories about
> the Supreme Absolute Truth, they nevertheless do not follow the exact
> teachings imparted by the Scriptures.
No we don't again.
This is all over the place. it's typical of someone who blinded by
emotion is unable to think coherently.
I'm responding to selected parts of the rest which haven't been covered
> Sripada Shankaracharya refrained
> from touching Srimad Bhagavatam to explain mayavada philosophy,
But he did quote Vishnu Purana. Other Advaita acharyas did comment on the
> It is to be noted that, the majority of the mayavadi followers of
> Acharya Shankara are worshippers of Lord Shiva, even though he
> recommended that one worship the Supreme Lord Krishna
This is patently untrue. Smartas are as likely to wotship
Vishnu Bhagawan or Mataji as Shiva Bhagawan. Perhaps Prabhupada got
confused because we use rudraksha mala and tripundra tilak just like
Shaivas but we are not Shaivas. In fact Shaiva philosophers have
attempted to criticize Advaita just as much as Vaishavas have.
He also established Shiva lingas and Shri Chakras in many places. You may
be right that Shankaracharya preferred the form of Vishnu Bhagawan but no
way can you claim he exclusively preferred it.
> full of word jugglery (which Acharya Shankara himself condemned in
> his Bhaja Govindam hymn),
> (bhaja govindam
> bhaja govindam govindam bhaja mudha-mathe: you intellectual fools and
> rascals, worship the Supreme Lord Govinda). He also said "krshnasthu
> bhagavan svayam: Lord Krishna is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of
If Shankaracharya was born to mislead people why are you suddenly quoting
this verse as an authority? Besides the translation is
wrong. Shankaracharya was not criticizing Grammarians or intellectuals in
general but pedants. They're not the same thing. Vyakarana is a vedanga
you would not be able to understand one word of the shastras without
knowing "du krnya karane".
>There is an incident narrated in the Srimad Bhagavatam,
> where Lord Shiva is cursed by Bhrgu Muni in the court of Daksha that,
> one who worships lord Shiva would become an atheist or a nasthika, or
> a person who doesn't follow the Vedic Scriptural injunctions.
Maharshi Atri cursed Vishnu Bhagwan to be worshipped by the image
of His feet. There are many Pauranika stories of Munis cursing someone or
> Without proper understanding of what the Vedic Scriptures proclaim and
> why Adi Sankara had to incarnate, they claim saying, "whatever way you
> express your faith, that way is a valid spiritual path". Some say that
> all paths lead to the same goal. These are all nonsense. Even the
> hippies were seeking spiritual elevation through the forbidden waters
> of LSD, peyote, marijuana and unrestricted sex. Demigod worshippers
> like Ramakrishna and Vivekananda used to eat meat and intoxicate
> themselves with 'ganja', claiming such practices to be bonafide ones.
> Even now, a disciple in Ramakrishna ashram offers 'hookah' to his guru
> in order to please him. ( Here I think ISCKON is crossing their limits
> - But its a fact and this is what they are teaching & i have to say
> this though I have full respect in my deep heart about those noble
> personalities) There are no references such as these anywhere in the
In Bengal people of all theological stripes including Vaishnavas eat
meat. In fact one person I knew seriously argued that fish should be
deemed vegetables. Actually the shastras do not explicitly condemn
meat-eating this is a matter of shishtachara.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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