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Re: superstitions

Manish Tandon (manish@cadence.com) wrote:
: susarla@growler.owlnet.rice.edu (H. Krishna Susarla) wrote:

: |> One interesting superstition prevalent in Hindu society is that God
: |> does not exist/or is not personal, and that you can "interpret"
: |> the scriptures any old way you want and still expect to achieve
: |> self-realization.
: |> 
: |> -- Krishna

: That's a good one. 

: 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. 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 

: Actually, Shankaracharya was very clear in his mind and so he always 
: praised the path of bhakti as the best, but he had to counter the 
: more agnostic views of soonyavad propogated by Buddha. Unfortunately, 
: the later followers of Shankaracharya blindly got attached to the other 
: half of his teachings, almost completely missing bhakti, and some of 
: them like the Chinmaya mission to this date continue to miguide and be 
: misguided.   

It is also my understanding that Shankracharya is supposed to be an 
incarnation of Lord Shiva, and the purpose of his appearance was to
reestablish respect for the Vedic authority. Because people at the time
were too materialistic to understand that God is personal, Shankracharya
did not try to refute Buddha's teachings, but rather tried to show that they
had their basis in Vedic thought. 

: Dont jump to flames here, if you think you do not agree with this, 1). You 
: could/should have replied to my posting (my letters to the Chinmaya mission) 
: on various groups, inc alt.hindu;  2). You can still do it (its still on 
: soc.culture.eastern)! 

Ummm, what letters are you referring to? I checked soc.religion.eastern
but did not find anything...

Well, I am not at all offended. Actually, I do respect Chinmaya mission
since they were the ones who first got me interested in Hindu philosophy.
But then, I got a taste of bhakti at the local Hare Krishna temple and lost
my interest in impersonalist philosophy. Despite their best of intentions,
Chinmaya mission is an advaitist school of thought. Furthermore, it is my
belief that they do not do enough to encourage their devotees to adhere
to dharma. I know one student-turned-instructor who has been involved with
the mission for 7 years and still eats meat!

: Besides that, Buddha rejected the Vedic scriptures and promoted soonyavad. 
: Since soonyavad says everything=>nothing, it is not even worth calling a 
: philosophy. 

An additional point that is worth mentioning: Buddhists and advaitists
interpret the the word nirguna, which is used to describe God, as meaning
"without qualities." Actually, Swami Prabhupad points out that the word
nirguna really means "without estimation of qualities" and this indicates
that God is the reservoir of all qualities, and is therefore not impersonal.

: 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. These idiots dont even 
: understand that 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. 

I'm in complete agreement. Vivekananda is one of the worst kinds of advaitists.
At least the acharyas at Chinmaya mission are vegetarians... but Vivekananda
was a meat eater. I think Ramakrishna justified this by saying that Vivekananda
attained self-realization, and could no longer be affected by sinful acts.
My response to this is that if he really did attain self-realization, why
did he even *want* to eat meat? Furthermore, swamis like him seem more
interested in propagating pride in Hindu culture rather than encouraging
adherence to Vedic culture. I think Swamis like him are more influenced
by materialistic, political concerns. In fact, i remember some quotes from
him that go something like this:

"You will get closer to Heaven by your biceps than by the Gita."


"How dare you work for your own moksha when there are starving people in
the streets."

-- Krishna

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