[Advaita-l] Gita and westerners comments

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 06:55:28 CST 2016

Namaste Dineshji,

Since the Professor taught Sanskrit at many Universities, including BHU,
maybe he was linguistic scholar, but sorry to say, thats all he was. I know
English very well, but I hardly have any say over all books written in
English. Being a linguistic scholar, his opinion in scriptural works, where
he has no expertise, is irrelevant. This is precisely why it is said that
even if a scholar, one should not study the scriptures on his own. It will
appear contradictory and one could lose whatever little shraddhA one has.

People may say that Bhagavan made Arjuna fight a war which Arjuna himself
was unwilling to fight, especially where in the former says: "fight" in
2.18. This seems like an order to them, because they read some translation
or Sanskrit grammar which may say its a vidhi. However, it is not, as
Bhashyakara explains. Bhagavan is just removing the obstacle in the form
wrong thinking to Arjuna's dharma as a kShatriya. Gita is a mokShashAstra
and any shloka has to be understood in the context. Giving up one's dharma
is not conducive to spiritual growth. The sampradAya, teaching tradition,
exists for this very reason as to teach the person willing and fit to learn.

Moreover, what kind of dharma would there have been if Kauravas had ruled,
instead of Pandus?! The war was also the greater good *in the long run*.
That is why Mahabharata is called a dhArmika war and was dharmakArya for
Arjuna. That said, the the Prof has it all wrong as is clear from his
statement "The Gita is hampered by the fact that it is supposed to justify
Arjuna's preparation in war... and the author seems to have it in the back
of his head a large part of the time", which makes one wonder if the Prof
read  Bhagavan's final address to Arjuna in 18.63 so: "yathA ichChasi tathA
kuru", since being a Sanskrit scholar, he couldn't have not understood it!

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

On Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 9:25 AM, Dinesh Patel MD via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Franklin Edgerton - (July 24, 1885 – December 7, 1963) was an American
> linguistic scholar. He was Salisbury Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative
> Philology at Yale University (1926) and at Benares Hindu University
> (1953–4). Between 1913 and 1926, he was the Professor of Sanskrit at the
> University of Pennsylvania. published as volume 38-39 of the Harvard
> Oriental Series in 1944.

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