[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Caricature of Advaita, Shankaracharya, etc. by the Gaudiya head

jaldhar at braincells.com jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Oct 28 02:35:54 EDT 2022

On Tue, 18 Oct 2022, Aravinda Rao via Advaita-l wrote:

> They are our younger brothers. We may smile at them.

I don't know about the dynamics in your family but if my younger brother 
were to speak so insolently to me, he would not get a smile but a slap in 
the face. Or probably one of my elders would beat me to it.

> They have done a great
> job of aggressively creating awareness about Hinduism in more than 150
> countries.  They include the African nations.

And if they spread slander about true dharma in the process what is the 
point of that?  University professors also spread "awareness about 
Hinduism" in many countries.  Sometimes it is out of genuine interest; 
sometimes there are sinister intentions.  We are able to tell the 
difference in that case, why not in this one?

> Those who read the Gita and
> the Bhagavatam in whatever form will slowly come to Vedanta.

And how pray tell do you think that will happen if nobody informs them 
about what Vedanta actually teaches?

See in your minds eye you think you are engaging in some kind of high 
minded principles but to the outside observer it only looks like 
cowardice.  If Advaita Vedanta is not worth defending or if purported 
followers are not able to articulate its tenets, then  you are telling
the world it is worthless.  I doubt tnat was your intention.

And it is so easy to counter Gaudiya arguments.  If there is any familial 
analogy, it is the bastard son of Advaita Vedanta.  Chaitanya himself was 
a dashanami sannyasi.  He admired the Bhagavata tika by Shridhar Swami who 
was a "mayavadi" who pays respect to Shankaracharya in his mangala shlokas 
and actually was Shankaracharya of Puri.  (The Bhagavata itself is replete 
with Advaita siddhanta as Shri Subrahmanianji has tirelessly pointed out.) 
Chaitanya was not much of a philosopher himself.  Gaudiya philosophy is 
the product of his followers the six Vrindavan Goswamis and such critique 
of Vedanta as they did is just copypasted from Madhva sampradaya. Two 
generations after Chaitanya, the Maharaja of Jaipur held a conference of 
all the Vaishnava sampradayas and the Gaudiyas were belittled by the 
others for not having prasthana trayi bhashyas.  Such works as they have 
now were only written after this in reaction by Baladeva and others.  So 
the Gaudiyas for all their obsession with being "authorized" have very 
little claim to Vedic or Vaishnava foundations.  It is the feelings of 
inferiority that result from this that drive this aggressive behaviour 
towards us.  It's an effort to hide their true origins and convince the 
others "See we are genuine Vaishnavas too."  Other sampradayas 
unfortunately engage in slander too but they atleast have some rational 
critique too.  Name-calling is all ISKCON has.  All you have to do to shut 
them up is to point this out.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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