"Jagat satya!"

Ashish Chandra ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 23 12:49:59 CDT 2002

On Tue, 23 Jul 2002 09:54:54 -0400, Jaldhar H. Vyas
<jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:

>On Thu, 18 Jul 2002, Ashish Chandra wrote:
>> I don't know what the truth exactly is but I can tell you that there was
>> race to brand everything and anything as Advaita in Bengal of the 19th
>> century.  So your assertion is not entirely correct.
>No not everything but there is no doubt there was a considerable
>"advaitizing" streak.

Please see my earlier post about who Sri Ramakrishna is addressing. At
least I don't make any distinction between what Sri Ramakrishna taught and
what Swami Vivekananda preached.

>> How true it is
>> partially,  I don't know. It is your opinion and let us leave it at that.
>My opinion is at least based on some attempt to look at the evidence.
>Shouldn't we at least try to know?

Sure you can. And I am not saying you are entirely incorrect. There were a
considerable number of reform movements in Bengal. But as far as I know,
Swami Vivekananda never called for reforms nor did he call himself a
reformist. Rather, he wanted to strengthen what we already had that had, in
the masses, become a hushed whisper. He wanted to lion of Vedanta to roar
from the top of the mountain. But of course, Jagannath can always correct
me if he does come across Swami Vivekananda trying to reform Hinduism. As
per my present knowledge, he was not a reformer.

>> >From my side, I think the strongest anti-Advaita philosophical movement
>> started in Bengal as well.
>If you are refering to  ISKCON then yes.  But in the 20th century.

They have always been there. They just came to be noticed (to be noticed
you have to be acknowledged in the West) in the 20th century.

>> Yes, that is sort of what I am saying. And no I don't think that would be
>> sensualism because the path is hard enough to frustrate the best of us.
>Well the best of us did manage it so why shouldn't we take the challenge
>of being the best?

I think you misunderstood what I said. What I said was that the path is
hard enough that following it will never seem like sensualism if you are
sincere. I was talking about doing whatever it takes, following whatever
approach that suits you (or one recommende by your Guru, if you have one),
to purify the heart. The basis of doing this is the same - speaking the
truth, kindness etc.

>> So I don't think anyone follows a saint for a feel-good factor. If so,
>> saint rejects that person.
>I hope you are right.  The cynic in me wonders if sometimes the modern
>gurus deliberately encourage their followers to stay ignorant to avoid
>them realizing how bogus their teachings are.

What I feel is a little different. If we are sincere in our approach, then
even though our Guru may be bogus, then God himself will guide us by either
reforming the Guru's heart or by guiding us. Swaminarayan's example comes
to mind. He followed someone for days and months and served him in every
way. But he later realized that the person was only taking advantage of him
so he left him.

>> Perhaps you wish to extract the reason and logic
>> out of every single teaching you come across. That is niether good nor
>> That is simply your way.
>No it is THE way.  This is the literal meaning of Mimamsa--the logical
>analysis of Karma (in Purva Mimamsa) and Brahman (in Uttara Mimamsa or
>Vedanta.)  This is exactly what all the acharyas (not just Advaita ones)

I am not just talking about Vedic karmas that Mimansa deals with. I am
talking about (my) everyday life which has everything mixed in. Why should
we love, be compassionate, have faith in God and Guru? I don't mean blind
faith - I mean faith borne out of a pure heart. For that matter, why should
we purify our hearts at all? A perfect Yogi can tell you the exact reasons
behind each and every one of these questions. But you can never
independently verify them unless you reach the Yogi's state. Short of
trusting the Yogi's word, you have nothing else to go by. Even the Shastras
demand that faith - that you at least have faith that they will remove your
ignorance. Some years back, one of my colleagues told me that there was a
person in Tamil Nadu who started to study the Bhagvad Gita in order to
destroy and dispute its teachings. However, at the end of it, he became an
ardent Krishna bhakta. Remembering such examples gives strength to one's
faith that what the Shastras speak of is the truth because only truth can
inspire Bhakti.

>> I am really satisfied with believing first and
>> then asking the questions. Because I have tried asking the questions
>> and then believing and it wasn't getting me anywhere.
>I am not arguing for logic only.  On the contrary I am saying it is your
>faith which should impell you to aim further and further.

And it does. But for me, I don't make a conscious decision of when and how
to aim further. I think it happens automatically and it should.

>> Tantric practices may be good for some people and not good for others. In
>> either case, it does not make Tantra bad or good. To some it may be
>> what Advaita is to you and for others, it may be what Advaita is to
>> Bhedabhedavadins.
>Right but which people?  Am I one of those people?  Are you?  how can you
>tell?  These are some of the questions you should ask yourself.

I have never tried any Tantric practices. So I am not one of those people.
So can I say Tantra is good or bad? Tarapeeth (I think) is a major Tantric
center in Bengal, even today. Aughars eat putrid flesh and drink from a
human skull. Is that good or bad? Can you speak either way? You can only
talk about what you do.

>> need to debate the heck out of whether Sri Ramakrishna said the world was
>> real or not. He could have said it in passing or as a joke or to teach
>> someone a specific lesson.
>What if YOU were the someone he was trying to teach a lesson.

It wasn't me. I wasn't there. But if I was there, then I have not come to
that lesson yet. And if I do come to it, I will certainly let you know as
to what Sri Ramakrishna meant by that remark.

>> Maybe if you meet Sri Ramakrishna one day, he will tell you what will
>> you.
>If I do I will not refuse to listen for dogmatic reasons.  On the
>contrary I will have a lot of questions for him. :)

Perhaps. But maybe you meet him when you don't have to ask the questions
anymore - it is all intuitively revealed to you, as it should be.

>One must not be afraid of jijnasa (enquiry.)  That is the only path to
>mukti.  And one shouldn't think it is disrespectful to ask questions of
>gurus.  The reverence we give to them is not just a cult of personality
>but in homage to the knowedge they give us.  That is what they are here

I could not agree more. But enquiry rooted in what? Play or faith? We have
argued about this in the English language and so far, no one has come
forward with the proof of why "B" comes after "A"? But I also think sincere
enquiry is Bhakti and it can never fail. Enquiry for the heck of it or to
only satisfy intellectual curiosity can only take one so far.

>Now that Shailaja is almost about to start talking, I was thinking about
>my own childhood.  Almost as soon as I could talk my mother taught me some
>prarthanas.  There were about six shlokas that we would say together every
>night.  Now I know a lot more but do you think I consider my mother
>inferior because she only taught six shlokas?  On the other hand if at the
>age of 31 all I knew were those same six shlokas, wouldn't that be
>backward of me?

I could probably look at it two ways. If she taught you the word "Ram" (or
Shiva or Krishna for that matter), then that would be enough don't you
think? But if you did not know who Ram is, then yes, that would be
backward. But the power of the Name is such that it does everything even
though you are the one making the effort. Saying Mara Mara purified
Valmiki. I sometimes have bad and vulgar dreams. However, I have noticed
that when I do some mental jap even as I am lying on the bed, I don't get
the bad dreams and the dreams I do get are more pleasant. Power of the name
is such.

You have talked about Advaitization. Pretty much everything has been
Advaitized after Adi Shankaracharya don't you think? He was the ultimate


>From  Tue Jul 23 17:50:58 2002
Message-Id: <TUE.23.JUL.2002.175058.0400.>
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 17:50:58 -0400
Reply-To: n.sankaran at lycos.com
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Sankaran Narayanan <n.sankaran at LYCOS.COM>
Organization: Lycos Mail  (http://www.mail.lycos.com:80)
Subject: Re: "Jagat satya!"
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On a related note from the gospel:

the master said to M: this is for you.

know that what the vedanta calls as satchidananda brahman is same as what the tantra calls as satchidananda shiva is same as what the vaishnavas call as satchidananda krishna.

he also used to repeatedly say inspite of all these he wants to assume the attitude of "santana bhava" or the attitude of a child to the mother viz. a viz. Kali.

On Tue, 23 Jul 2002 12:01:17
 Ashish Chandra wrote:
>On Tue, 23 Jul 2002 11:22:59 -0400, Aniruddhan <ani at EE.WASHINGTON.EDU>
>>I'm not sure whether Sri Ramakrishna is addressing the "many gods vs one
>>god" point or the non-dual experience of a JnAnI. If it is the latter, my
>>understanding is that a JnAnI sees a non-dual Atman ALWAYS, and not only in
>>samadhi. Samadhi is still a vyavaharic experience, I think.
>Or he may be addressing both. We wouldn't know and can only speculate. But
>what we can tell, or at least I can, is that is he is teaching his
>disciples, and those who read him today, that the one that appears as many
>is only One.
>I don't think I am any expert on Sri Ramakrishna's teaching so I don't want
>to mislead anyone. I have only read a portion of the Gospel, and that too
>about two years back. So please do not make the mistake of thinking that I
>am quoting Sri Ramakrishna. I only write what comes from memory. But the
>practical implementation of Sri Ramakrishna's teachings will lead anyone to
>the same conclusion, in my opinion.

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