[Advaita-l] RE: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 36, Issue 19

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Thu Apr 20 07:22:53 CDT 2006

On 20/04/06, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
<rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> There are many people floating around claiming to teachers of
> "advaita". Why, I even came across a web-page where people can submit
> their names and be listed as teachers of "contemporary" advaita. You
> can even submit your "writings" and the kind of balderdash you can
> find there is absolutely amazing. The point is that these people want
> the stamp of a tradition on them, which enables them to part the
> gullible from their money more easily. I guess some people think that
> any nonsense that appeals to them is Ok, especially if it is supposed
> to have been sanctioned by a 3000 year tradition (which includes
> Ramana Maharshi of course!). But they are too lazy and/or hedonistic
> to actually get schooled in and follow the tradition of advaita. It's
> a massive con-job, no less. Some notable exceptions are genuine
> advaitins like A.J.Alston and Trevor Leggett.

Namaste Sri Ramakrishnan,

Great to see a post from you. I have read many of your posts in the
archives and must say they have amazing clarity. Do you still live in
the US?


Anybody here heard of a person named Andrew Cohen? I think he is a
"grand-disciple" of Ramana Maharshi. It is not clear what his present
views are. But I came across the link below which includes an
interview with Sw. Dayananda Saraswati of Arshavidya Gurukulam in


He clearly misinterprets the traditional position and even makes a
factual error - he says that the Shankaraacharya-s do not recognize
RM's enlightenment. From various posts in the archives (incl some by
Sri Ramakrishnan) we know that the acharya-s of Sringeri, Kanchi and
Puri have clearly acknowledged RM's enlightenment. The acharya-s
generally dont bother to comment about this or that guru. In RM's case
they have quite explicitly acknowledged him.

IMO, the differentiation that Sw. Dayananda Saraswati makes between
the mystic and the Vedaantin is admirable. He does not criticize
mysticism anywhere (the Vedaantin can be a mystic too), but clearly
brings out the point that the Vedaanta is a systematic teaching
methodology. Cohen has a problem with this, but he also has a problem
when Swamiji says that there might be many unknown people in India who
are enlightened!! Does he want Swamiji to recognize the "mysticism" of
new-agers only?

I have no problem with the new-agers but they shouldnt call their
teaching Advaita if they dont want to follow the tradition. Worse,
they are misinterpreting it and making it sound like some bookish
tradition. All the emphasis on morality and chitta shuddhi is


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