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Re: superstitions

In article <37k0tr$p9t@ucunix.san.uc.edu> Manish@cadence.com (Manish Tandon) 

: I've been trying to fight it here for quite some time.

: Within the Vedic society, Shankaracharya has been one of the most prominent 
: persons who promoted the impersonal (mayavadi) view, which was based upon 
: his obvious misinterpretation of the crystal clear Brahma-sutras. 

On the contrary, Shankaracharya is the only Acharya who bases his 
teachings on the actual teachings of the Brahma Sutra and not the 
teaching of the Sutras as filtered through the Vaishnava and Shaiva tantras.

: Actually, 
: the Brahma-sutras are so clear that they dont need any interpretation, 
: therefore any interpretation is misinterpretation. 


: Amazingly, this is the same Shankaracharya who said: 

: 	bhaja govindam bhaja gOvindam  bhaja gOvindam mUdamathE  
: 	"Worship  Govinda,  worship Govinda, Worship Govinda, foolish one!" 
: and 
: 	"I desire to be in Vrindavana so that I may sit on the 
: 	 bank of Yamuna and pass each long day of my life in the 
: 	 twinkling of an eye, meditating on Lord Krishna." 
: 					--Abhilasastaka 

He also said "Tat pranamami Sadashiva Lingam" and "Bhavani Stotum Tvam" 
which you neglect to mention.  Do I take it you consider yourself to be a 

: Actually, Shankaracharya was very clear in his mind and so he always 
: praised the path of bhakti as the best, 

While he certainly thought Bhakti was good, In no way did he consider it 
to be the best.  Bhakti can secure many material and spiritual benefits.  
However only Jnana can give Moksha.  While worshipping God can help you 
get Jnana it cannot cause it.

: but he had to counter the 
: more agnostic views of soonyavad propogated by Buddha. 

Actually Vedic Dharma is also agnostic in the sense that practice of the 
vidhis enjoined in the Karma Kanda are what actually cause the attainment 
of heaven etc.  Of course as most rituals involve worshipping God, it is 
theistic too.  But the emphasis in our Dharma is primararily on rites and 
duties and secondarily on God.

: Unfortunately, 
: the later followers of Shankaracharya blindly got attached to the other 
: half of his teachings, almost completely missing bhakti,

Not true.  Swami Madhusudan Saraswati is an influential figure who comes 
to mind who combined Vedanta and Bhakti.  And Smarta householders perform 
the panchayata puja to Shiva, Devi, Vishnu, Surya, and Ganesh.

: and some of 
: them like the Chinmaya mission to this date continue to miguide and be 
: misguided.   

: And worse, atheists like Vivekananda in the recent times promoted completly 
: ignorant views (a sort of cross between mayavad and soonyavad) covered with 
: flowery language of Universal Consciousness and what not. These are really 
: the ones who misguide the ignorant masses that you can use your own whims 
: and pranks and realize that you yourself are God. 

The modern "Hindus" are ignorant, lazy people who are actually looking 
for ways to shirk the duties and responsibilities enjoined in the Shastras.
: the very idea of God turns meaningless as soon as one thinks 
: there is more than one Supreme, because if so, neither would be Supreme. 

But this is not the Vedantic view.  There is only one Supreme it is Maya 
and Avidya that says they are different.

: Moreover, vedic scriptures descrive Bhagavan as the Absolute Truth, and 
: everything cannot be Absolute Truth. 

Everything can be truth if Bhagavan is everything.  However the true 
understanding of this fact is only possible to  a few great men.  For those 
who are less advanced Bhakti is recommended.

:The fact that Bhagavan has form is 
: only an evidence of Omnipotence because if He didn't have a form, He wouldn't 
: be omnipotent. 

Why not?

-- Jaldhar

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