Fake Sankaracharya

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Nov 20 13:12:01 CST 2002

On Wed, 20 Nov 2002, Srikrishna Ghadiyaram wrote:

> How do you know that the "masses" do not have problems
> ?

First of all I do not believe in "masses"  This is a condescending
and elitist leftist term.  There are all kinds of people and lumping them
altogether into an undifferentiated lump will not lead to any useful

And most people do have practical problems yes but they get on with it
and make do the best they can.  It is only a certain type who will just
agonize and wring their hands about how hard life is.

>  Did you ask them.

Of course!

> Are you a social
> scientist/researcher ?

Shouldn't one be a social scientist by the mere fact of living in society.
I try to be a keen observer of the life around me.  I think it should be
fairly obvious whether people are having problems or not.

>What is the "Pramana" for it ?

Ones own eyes and ears?

> Do not just imagine, or ascribe your own limited
> knowledge as a "scriptural" utterance. Show us the
> proof.

Most of the people I associate with on a day to day basis are recent
immigrants from Gujarat.  Typically they are not scholars or well to do.
They don't know English that well and don't have professional jobs.
They do factory work or are shopkeepers or do other menial labor.  Yet
they have a fervor to practice Dharma to the best of their ability which
is awe-inspiring.  And many of their children despite being born in
America are equally devout.  And I know assimiliated atheists too.  In
India also my firends and relatives run the gamut from sophisticated
urbanites to villagers.

So yes I'm well aware of the realities in my community.

> If you believe, it is "illiteracy" that is the cause
> of the problem, then let the Sankaracharyas address
> it. Ofcourse, you may comeup with a new definition of
> "illiteracy".

Why dump it all on the Shankaracharyas?  The state of society is our
problem and responsibility as much as theirs.

> Infact, because of literacy only that these masses
> have started agitating against the in-human treatment
> given to them, and is being given. We do not need a
> religion which can not treat a human being like a
> human being. Do not look for literacy which respects
> the "religious outlook" as you "want" it alone.

I am a partisan of the path our Sages have set for us since time
immemorial.  I want nothing more and nothing less.  And I refuse to be
hijacked by politicians of either the left or the right.

> You can not just be sercastic to prove that you are
> right. I know your scholarly abilities and you can
> understand what Sri jagannath has said while referring
> to "Times have changed"

The point is we cannot fall prey to a nostalgia for some lost Golden Age
when everything was easy.  Even during Rama Rajya there was a Ravana.
In the old days, life was easy in some ways and hard in others.  Today
life is easy in some ways and hard in others.  We are not prisoners of
time. _We_ make it. _We_ change it.

> For all the advaitic dialectic that you can employ in
> terms of primary meaning and secondary meaning, and
> fight the Visishtaadwaitins and Dwaitins, and other
> other interpretations of the Sruthi, the sentence
> "Times have changed" IN THE CONTEXT of Sri Jagannath's
> post is clear, and you can easily understand.

Oh  I understand.  I don't think it is relevant.  And the suggested
solution (watering down the content of rituals etc.) has already been
proven a failure as 200 years of "Modern" Hinduism demonstrates.

> Religion and Mathas are not for a few privileged. It
> is for well being of all. Otherwise get out of the
> "people's" life. Be Good and Do Good for all. Use the
> increased the prosperity and growth to serve more.
> Then only does knowledge has served any purpose.

It's a nice slogan but what does it mean in practice?

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list