[Advaita-l] 'Ishwaro'ham' and 'IshwarabhAvaH'

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 30 09:06:01 CDT 2013

> In practice, we see advaitin worship the temporary forms of guru over the eternal form of Krishna, Siva or Devii. The concerned gurus don't seem to be interested in correcting that. It is Chinmaya Mission, Ramakrishna Mission, Sivananda Ashram etc. where the name and form of the founder is given prominence over that of any vedic deity. We have works such as deivathin kural (voice of god), which treat a guru as god. In guru brahma guru vishnu ... verse, the guru is equated to the lord. Every child is called baby krishna. I can go on and give you countless examples where this baba or that is called god giving room for abuse of disciples. 

Not true. Firstly, gurur brahmA etc. is arthavAda, meant to praise the role of the guru and to inculcate bhakti and SraddhA in the minds of seekers. Secondly, none of the organizations that you name gives precedence to the name and form of the founder OVER the Hindu gods. That they may have a statue of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa or pictures of Chinmayananda or Sivananda in their centers does not mean they offer worship only to those. In Chinmaya centers that are temples, there is a Sivalinga and/or a Krishna vigraha at the center. In Arsha Vidya, there is Dakshinamurthy with a Sivalinga. Most RK Math and Sivananda centers don't aim to be temples, but where they maintain temples, it is Kali or a Sivalinga at the center sanctum. On the flip side, ISKCON has statues of Prabhupada galore in many of its centers too, so your conclusions above are quite baseless. 
The countless examples of this baba or that being called god are quite irrelevant to advaita vedAnta, because this or that baba does not necessarily represent advaita tradition. And if this or that baba/mAtA abuses his or her disciples, it is NOT because of a supposedly advaitic orientation, but because of a lack of self-control, one of the stepping stones before anyone can even embark upon an advaita vedAnta inquiry. Furthermore, abuse of disciples by gurus and their top chelas happens among the vaishNava groups very often too, even though they supposedly have a strong philosophical grounding in human beings NOT being god. I refrain from naming names and describing actual cases here, for the sake of decorum. Once again, your conclusions are baseless.
Again and again, it seems as if advaita and jnAnamArga is not for you. You seem to have a very clear view of what Krishna Bhakti is or should be. Getting on this list and trying to chip away at this or that aspect of advaita teaching, without getting the core and the basics right, does no help to either you or anyone else.

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