Home > ICJ Home > Issues On-line > ICJ Vol 7, No 2 December 1999 > Book Review: A Critique of A. C. Bhaktivedanta
 
  SECTION GUIDE
·
Issues On-line
·
Journal Information
·
Subscribe to ICJ
·
ICJ Home
·
Home
   
 
Book Review
A Critique of A. C. Bhaktivedanta
 
Author: K. P. Sinha
Publisher: Punthi-Pustak, Calcutta, 1997
ISBN: 81-86791-09-4

The aim of this book is to discredit Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's presentation of the Vedic literature, and indirectly the Gaudiya-Vedanta viewpoint. In its place, the author Dr K.P. Sinha, professor of Sanskrit at Assam University, presents Neo-Vedanta as the complete and authoritative solution to all philosophical and hermeneutic problems in Indian philosophy. The term 'Neo-Vedanta' refers to the loosely organised, relativistic system that attempts to reconcile the views of all the Indian philosophical schools into a single, coherent system. This system emerged primarily from the teachings of the 19[th] century Hindu teacher Ramakrishna and others like Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan who popularised this trend of thought in modern Hinduism.[1] Although Sinha never uses the term 'Neo-Vedanta' it is unmistakably his approach.

Sinha's book quotes two-hundred and fifty passages from Srila Prabhupada's books, taken primarily from his commentaries on the Bhagavad-gita and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. In 16 chapters organised by topic, they are subsequently addressed point by point from a Neo-Vedantic perspective. Prabhupada's positions on Brahman, monism (advaita), knowledge (jnana), devotion (bhakti), illusion (vivarta-vada) and various heterodox schools are challenged with an abundance of references to a wide range of Vedic literature, secondary literature and their commentaries.

The central argument of the book is that Prabhupada has not really understood the catholic viewpoint of the Vedic literature and has consequently made many needless 'misinterpretations and unkind remarks' against non-Vaisnava systems, particularly 'the Mayavadis' — teachers of Advaita and Neo-Vedanta. The book's stated purpose is therefore 'to undertake the task of pointing out those misinterpretations and giving the correct views of the relevant concepts of the systems concerned ... to remove the evil effects these misinterpretations and unkind remarks tend to create in the hearts of readers of Bhaktivedanta's discourses.'[2] His underlying thesis is that Srila Prabhupada's books represent Vaisnava sectarianism which needs to be re-evaluated in the light of an all-inclusive framework.

The nature of Sinha's own Neo-Vedanta outlook itself is clarified by viewing it in the context of Indian philosophical history. The last millennium has seen many debates between the non-personal monistic school (advaita) and the dualistic, personalistic (Vaisnava) schools. While all sides agree that the ultimate reality called Brahman is of one nature, the monistic school of advaita contends that it is of a non-personal nature and that God's personality is illusory and of secondary importance. On the other hand, each of the personalistic Vaisnava schools describe Brahman as the intensely personal being called Visnu, or Krsna, having an infinity of auspicious attributes. In monism, God and the soul are identical, while in dualism the difference is maintained even after liberation. The monistic school has often enjoyed prestige as the primary Vedanta school. However, throughout history, the Vaisnava schools have attempted to demonstrate the coherency and strength of their devotional theology on the basis of Vedic literature while criticising the monistic two-tier theory of truth.

In response to this rich polemical tradition, the proponents of Neo-Vedanta attempted to incorporate the advantages of both by artificially combining the opposing conceptions into a single dual-natured Brahman. Neo-Vedanta, they said, is the ultimate resolution to the advaita-versus-Vaisnava controversy with the potential of becoming a universal philosophy. Neo-Vedanta was then hailed as 'a grand ideal' of religious harmony and the 'death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecution with the sword or with the pen'.[3] In his preface, Sinha announces his intention to demonstrate the same ideal in the course of his analysis of Prabhupada's writings.

Specifically, Sinha's Neo-Vedanta accepts both the personal and the non-personal aspects on equal footing in what has been described as 'a many-faceted Personal-Impersonal Absolute Being'. Both principles are said to coexist harmoniously like 'two sides of a coin'.[4] Using Ramakrishna's example, he says, 'Just as the same substance may manifest itself as water or ice depending on the degree of temperature.'[5] Both exist with the same reality and validity with respect to two different frames of reference. When one aspect (the personal natures of God and the souls) is experienced, the other (the monistic aspect) is not, and vice-versa.[6] This system is promoted by Neo-Vedantists as the real philosophy of the Veda, and in its support Sinha cites both monistic and personalistic sources profusely.

Since all of Prabhupada's writings are critiqued consistently from Sinha's perspective, it is useful to examine his Neo-Vedanta. The most obvious problem with Sinha's presentation is its mishandling of both monistic and Vaisnava texts.

Sri Caitanya (1486-1534) of the Vaisnava tradition has been blatantly misrepresented. Although He accepted the reality of the monism, He clearly rejected it as an object of meditation, or a goal of spiritual life. Over-emphasis of the non-personal aspect covers the spiritual opulences (cid-vibhuti) of the Lord in the name of impersonalism (nirakara).[7] In that tradition Srila Prabhupada has faithfully rejected monism as the goal of spiritual life. In his critique, however, Sinha in effect pits Srila Prabhupada's views against those of Sri Caitanya, whom he portrays as a Neo-Vedantist:

...the differences between Sankara and Sri Caitanya are very little and negligible. Hence, Sri Caitanya's ruthless criticism of Sankara should be explained as an extravagance guided by his strong desire to redirect men pursuing the philosophical path of knowledge to the emotional path of bhakti.[8]

Sinha proceeds to misinterpret esoteric dualistic states of devotional ecstasy in Gaudiya-Vaisnava literature like mahabhava and prema-vilasa-vivarta as essentially non-personalistic experiences[9]. This attempt to support his dual-Brahman theory is unconvincing, because the Gaudiya Vedanta commentary does not even refer to an independent non-personal Brahman as envisaged in Neo-Vedanta. The Gaudiya school does, however, acknowledge a non-personal effulgence (called tejas or jyoti) resting entirely on the foundation (pratistha) of God's personality.[10] The personal feature, however, is exalted as the highly concentrated source of the non-personal Brahman.[11] Jiva Goswami, a contemporary follower of Sri Caitanya, however, clarifies the personalism of Gaudiya philosophy: 'Bhagavan is, however, the original feature of the Supreme, and Brahman is manifested at a later time from the form of Bhagavan.'[12] Gaudiya Vaisnavas also cite the Bhagavata Purana, which relates to us how Arjuna became aware of the non-personal effulgence (param jyoti) as it emanated from the personal Brahman, clarifying the actual relationship of these two aspects of Brahman.[13] Therefore, Sinha's presentation of Sri Caitanya and His followers as Neo-Vedantists is misleading.

Sankara (788 ce), founder of the monistic (advaita) school, has also been utterly misrepresented by Sinha, He states, 'The philosophy of Sankara has two currents: When he speaks strictly as a philosopher, he points his attention to the formless and qualityless Brahman ... when he speaks as a devotee, he directs his attention to the divine beauty of ... the emotional Absolute. All this clearly shows that Sankara accepts the existence of Purusottam Krsna, the Personal Absolute'.[14] This sort of mispresentation of the monism of Sankara by other Neo-Vedantists has drawn severe criticism from the Dvaita scholar B.N.K. Sharma, whose comments are equally applicable to Sinha's presentation:

This picture is however far from being correct or true to Sankara's own clear pronouncements in his Brahma-sutra-bhasya, or even logically consistent. Sankara's pronouncements on the status of Saguna and Nirguna Brahmans and the factual existence of the world ... give no support to any of the articles of faith of 'Neo-Vedanta' [in which] the Saguna and Nirguna Brahmans have been placed on the same par as the two sides of the same coin having the same reality and validity. After crying down [Sankara's] two-tier theory of truth, it is a surreptitious way of introducing it again by way of 'different frames of reference'.[15]

The idea of the Savisesa [personal] and Nirvisesa [non-personal] Brahman both having the same reality and validity as the two sides of the same coin or the vast liquidity of the Ocean and the solid icebergs in another part has been severely criticised by Sankara under his Vedanta commentary 2.1.14 (na canekatmakam). He argues that the Supreme Brahman can never be anekatmakam (double-sided) like the coin with two sides (as Neo-Vedanta wants us to believe). Sankara thunders, 'Nonduality will have nothing to do with accommodating difference of states of experience of Saguna and Nirguna from different frames of reference at any time in its being'(2.1.14). 'Brahman cannot be intrinsically double-natured (na svata eva anekatmakam) as the two natures are diametrically opposed to each other (virodha)...' Lastly, the Upanisadic thesis of ekavijnanena satvavijnanam (knowing the many by knowing the One) will be disproved and falsified, if it were true that when the one [aspect of Brahman] is known the other is not.[16]

Indeed, Sankara unambiguously denies a dual-natured Brahman and condemns the devotional relation:

Brahman must be held to be altogether without form, not at the same time of an opposite nature ... Brahman does not possess double characteristics although it is connected with limiting adjuncts. Nor is it possible that Brahman should possess double characteristics 'on account of place'. ... If the conception of duality is once uprooted by the conception of absolute unity, it cannot arise again, and so [it can] no longer be the cause of Brahman being looked upon as the complementary object of injunctions of devotion.[17]

It should also be noted that Sankara and the monists teach the unique doctrine of illusionism (mithyatva) that, strictly speaking, regards the world and individuality as completely illusory, or non-existent. Neo-Vedanta, however, while liberally using the language of the monists, sees them as merely temporary.[18] This dilution of illusionism from indicating unreality to a transient reality clearly signals a departure from classical monistic metaphysics of Advaita.

Also common in the book is his frequent appeal to Sankara's discussion in Vedanta-sutra 4.4.12 about how a liberated soul can animate several bodies at once or live without a body. Using this, Sinha tries to prove that Advaita philosophy accommodates his dual-natured liberation and Brahman theory.[19] However, it is clear from context that those 'bodies' exist not in spiritual perfection but only in the lower illusory (vyavaharika) state of monistic philosophy.[20]

Sinha's critique also fails to recognise the partial Vaisnava character of even Sankara's major commentaries by proposing that the deities Kali and Siva are also complete aspects of Brahman, in addition to Visnu. However, in his unquestionably authentic works, Sankara only identifies God (isvara) as Visnu, rather than as any other deity. In his Gita commentary (13.2), isvara is identified with Visnu: isvarasya visnoh. Another identification occurs in Vedanta-sutra 2.2.42, where he accepts the Pancaratra teaching that Narayana is 'higher than the undeveloped, the highest Self and the Self of all' and is the source of innumerable expansions. (See also similar acknowledgements in his comments to Vedanta-sutra 1.4.1, 1.4.3 and Gita 15.6.) The same idea is repeatedly expressed in his exaltation of Visnu's abode as the pure highest place (paramam padam) and as the end of the spiritual journey.[21] Even his commentary to the Svetasvatara Upanisad, with its usage of the names 'Siva' and 'Hara', does not make any identification of Isvara with the deity Siva. Furthermore, in his Vedanta commentary, Sankara refutes certain concepts of ancient Pasupata (Saiva) schools. Therefore, Sinha's presentation of Sankara acknowledging an equality of various deities is misleading.

In summary, Sinha's approach is wrong and disingenuous, as it puts Adi Sankara and his followers against each other on many fundamental issues. The integrity of Sinha's approach to Sankara, therefore, collapses in light of the foregoing evidences of his clearly monistic position.

Not only is Sinha's presentation of other acaryas inaccurate, but his Neo-Vedanta philosophy itself has certain problems. He frequently states that upon liberation, the soul 'may merge into the body of the Absolute.'[22] Specifically, this concept of 'merging' or the literal dissolution of one's identity into the non-personal Brahman closely resembles, as noted insightfully by B.N.K. Sharma, that of ancient philosophy of bhedabheda. This doctrine of 'difference — non-difference' was rejected by all the Vedanta schools.[23] While Vaisnava schools accept difference (bheda) and only a relative oneness (abheda) or similarity between the soul and God, this bhedabheda doctrine calls for an absolute oneness and difference, as does Neo-Vedanta.

Specifically, the classical bhedabheda of Bhaskara holds that bheda and abheda are sequential: the initially distinct (bheda) infinitesimal soul can, upon liberation, become identical to the unlimited Brahman (abheda). This concept of spiritual mutability is fundamentally at odds with Vedic philosophy since it indirectly challenges the infallibility of Brahman by allowing for change, thereby dragging the pure Brahman conception down into the gutter of imperfection.[24] This has been the perennial charge against bhedabheda, and as a variant, Neo-Vedanta is also subject to the same criticism.

In addition to this sequential view, Sinha and other Neo-Vedantists also accept both bheda and abheda in a different sense. Sinha states the soul 'may merge into the body of the Absolute or may retain its individuality, according to the self's choice or liking'. Whichever 'choice' the soul makes, both bheda and abheda are supposedly simultaneously operative in liberation, the terms merely reflecting differences in perspective.[25] However, this attempt to project such a dual-natured liberation theory into any Vaisnava-Vedanta is unacceptable, because the devotional relation (bhakti) in such a system is compromised as insubstantial and unreal in the monistic 'frame of reference'. This flaw is pointed out by the Dvaita-Vaisnava-Vedantist Raghunatha Tirtha (1695-1742): the bheda component of this bhedabheda-vada 'offers no impediment to the jiva's intuiting the blessedness of Brahman as his own, as [the difference] exists only in a rarefied form in the state of liberation and is as good as non-existent.'[26] Thus, bhedabheda in both variants essentially rejects bheda and the proper understanding of abheda, and, consequently, the bhakti relation. Therefore, Neo-Vedanta, as a modern form of bhedabheda is fundamentally hostile to pure devotion (bhakti) and can never be consistent with any Vaisnava-Vedanta framework.

After refuting some salient points of variants of bhedabheda philosophy, the Sri Vaisnava acarya Ramanuja (1017-1137) concludes:

Brahman becomes, on this theory, subject to the evil of conjunction with an infinite number of limiting conditions without any determinate localisation of effects. There is no way of escaping this consequence. The theory is only for the consumption of believers and can withstand no open-minded inquiry. The wise, learned in the philosophical sciences, do not have any esteem for it.[27]

He goes so far as to indicate that bhedabheda and its variations are more sinful than classical Advaita.[28] However that may be, Neo-Vedanta suffers from the same philosophical problems.

Interestingly, Sinha's critique promotes Ramakrishna as a Vedantin, even referring to him rather uncritically as an incarnation (avatara) of God.[29] Jeffrey J. Kripal's intriguing work Kali's Child: The Mystical and The Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna deconstructs the Ramakrishna myth revealing little more than an unorthodox tantric sexuality at the basis of his life, sayings, practices, and even literary styles of his biographers.[30] In both the Tantra traditions and Neo-Vedanta, the Brahman conception suffers from spiritual mutability since both traditions maintain real individual can literally dissolve its identity into a monistic perfection, as in the bhedabheda doctrine. For whatever reason, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and modern proponents like Sinha have never bothered to address standing objections as they re-introduced the concept of spiritual mutability.

Using his Neo-Vedantic prism, Sinha quotes and interprets passages of Pancaratra literature to support his concept of dual-Brahman. However, not only does Vaisnava personalism candidly dominate the Pancaratra literature, but even terms like nirguna and sayujya, commonly understood monistically, are defined in the Vaisnava sense: 'Because [Brahman] has no contact with any ordinary qualities, it is called nirguna. Listen, Narada, to the six [transcendental] qualities.'[31] 'He who has become attached to the jewel of gems (maniratna, the kaustubha) is said to have attained identity with the Lord' (Visnu-tilaka 2.45).[32] 'Just as gold in the midst of fire shines separately as though it were not in contact (with the fire), even so he who is clinging to Brahman (Brahman-lagna) is seen to exist in the form of a gem (mani)' (Visnu-tilaka 2.30). In the Padma-tantra (1.4.14-15), this very issue is addressed: 'What is the difference, O Highest Spirit, between Thee and the liberated soul?' The answer, starting off with a monistic flavour, says, 'They (the liberated) become "I". There is no difference whatsoever,' but ends by affirming plurality in perfection: 'As I live (viharami), just so live the liberated souls.'[33] Such passages affirm the Vaisnava character of even the apparently monistic statements of the Pancaratra.

In section thirteen, Sinha criticises Srila Prabhupada's explanation of the spiritual nature of Lord Krsna's body. Specifically, Sinha suggests that at the time of descent into this world, the transcendental body of the Lord becomes embodied in a visually similar body of flesh and blood. This interpretation is specifically rejected by Vaisnava Vedantists, because it relies on an inapplicable and mundane interpretation of 'sambhavami' (literally, 'I take birth') of Bhagavad-gita 4.6. Even Sankaracarya, who ultimately rejects all material and spiritual form as illusory, explains the word in the proper way: 'I appear to become embodied (dehavan iva), as though born (jata iva); ... but not in reality (na paramarthato) like an ordinary man (lokavat).'[34] Similarly, another famous Advaitin, Sri Madhusudana Sarasvati, explicitly states that Lord Krsna's body is made of eternity, knowledge and bliss (sac-cid-ananda-ghana) and is manifested (avirbhavah) even at the time of His birth (janmakale) (4.6, 7.24).[35] Interestingly, S. Radhakrishnan, another Neo-Vedantist, recognizing this classical interpretation, rejected it as 'unsatisfactory', offering the same mundane explanation of Krsna's which is repeated by Sinha.

 Throughout his book, Sinha claims to champion the cause of pure non-sectarian Vedanta, but even this claim is thrown into question in his concluding sections (chapters 14-16) which attempt to harmonise non-Vedic doctrines with Vedanta. For example, the materialistic philosophy of Carvaka is presented as respectable and conducive to morality and social harmony, despite clear pronouncements by Lord Krsna to the contrary in Bhagavad-gita (16.8).[36] Then he presents and accedes to Buddhist arguments against Vedanta. One such concession is the denial of the eternality of the Veda in its linguistic format.[37] The universally accepted Vedanta viewpoint, however, is expressed in the Brahmanda Purana: 'The Vedas are eternal, in their entirety; are enduring, and present in the mind of Visnu; at creation after creation, they are brought up as they are; with the same order, same characters, and the same notes, never otherwise.'[38] Sinha also defends the Buddhist contention that their state of perfection (sunya) is not merely an absolute void, but a state of positive bliss. However, this overlooks the fact that the Buddhist definition of sunya and Vedantic definition of asat (non-existence) are, in fact, similar.[39] Sinha also accepts their view that the absolute truth lies midway between nihilism (sunyavada) and eternalism (sasvatavada) and, inaccurately, concludes that this final state is consistent with Brahman realisation of Advaita. Thus, the philosophy of Sinha, like those of Ramakrishna and other Neo-Vedantists before him, ultimately accomodates materialism, impersonality, personality, nihilistic void, and anything and everything else — all in one relativistic system.

Ravindra-svarupa Dasa sums up the substance of Neo-Vedanta:

Those who have adopted traditional Advaita Vedanta to modern sorts of relativism have introduced a change that we should note carefully. ... The thinkers who have 'deepened' Sankaracarya's relativism have done away with an established illusion. No specific revelation carries universal authority, even provisionally. As I once heard a college girl say, expressing the popular rendition of this 'deepening': 'If you believe it's true, it's true for you.' Thus the modern, deracinated individual becomes the author of reality, of creation. He is now set free to believe in everything whatsoever precisely because he believes in nothing at all.[40]

Sinha's major criticism of Prabhupada's supposed misrepresentation of others has several other bases. One possible source is that Srila Prabhupada uses the term 'Mayavada' broadly to refer to both classical monism of Sankara as well as Neo-Vedanta, since both see illusion (maya) as a relatively independent principle. Therefore, each of his criticisms of 'Mayavada' do not necessarily apply to both types. Another possible source is how Srila Prabhupada not only criticises the face-value of monism but also for what is, in his view, its logical extensions and indirect results like materialism.[41] In fact, the Bhagavad-gita (12.5) affirms the relative difficulty of meditation on the non-personal aura of Brahman, and the failure in this path naturally results in materialism. Another cause of misgivings is Srila Prabhupada's writing style, which is spiced with humour, sarcasm, and contemporary socio-religious criticism. In particular, his sharp remarks against very reputable philosophical opponents like Sankara, Vivekananda, and Radhakrishnan are criticised by Sinha as 'unparliamentary'.[42] However, when seen in context, these remarks shatter the sentimentalism of secular religion and provoke analytical thought in his readers. It should be noted that Srila Prabhupada was personally very respectful to all his opponents including Radhakrishnan.

Sinha validly notes several minor points in Srila Prabhupada's books. One is the latter's reference to Sankara as equating Lord Sankarsana with the individual soul (jiva) in his Vedanta-sutra 2.2.42 commentary.[43] Although Sankara here draws no equation between the two alternate referents, it is a natural conclusion of monism and Srila Prabhupada's ensuing argument against this conclusion is generally applicable. In another case, the definitions of vikara and vivarta used to explain the theory of transformation (parinama-vada) is incorrectly attributed to the Vedanta-sutra. However, these definitions are general and accepted by all Vedanta schools, and therefore Srila Prabhupada's use of them is valid.[44] These instances do not detract from Srila Prabhupada's overall presentation of the Vaisnava viewpoint.

In summary, Sinha's critique of Srila Prabhupada's works amounts to a presentation of the relativistic Neo-Vedanta outlook with its underlying hostility towards the fundamental truth of bhakti as well as Vedanta. Although he ambitiously cites an impressive array of Vedic and Saivite texts, he disingenuously invokes the names of Sankaracarya and Sri Caitanya to support his philosophy and, like others before him, fails to address the universal objections to spiritual mutability. Nevertheless, this Neo-Vedantic challenge to Vaisnavism will be of interest to ISKCON devotees currently involved in dialogue with adherents of modern Hindu philosophy.

Gerald Surya

References:

[1] Swami Tapasyananda, Bhakti Schools of  Vedanta (Madras, Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1990), xxiii.
Back

[2] Sinha, P., Critique of A.C. Bhaktivedanta, (Calcutta: Punthi-pustak, 1995), p. vii.
Back

[3] Vivekananda quoted in Tapasyananda, p. 356.
Back

[4] Tapasyananda, p. xxxiii.
Back

[5] Sinha, p. 36. Ramakrishna uses the example in the same way (Tapasyananda, p. 364).
Back

[6] Sinha, p. 35.
Back

[7] Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 7.122.
Back

[8] Sinha, p. 138.
Back

[9] Sinha, p. 94.
Back

[10] Bhagavad-gita 14.27, Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.11, Harivamsa cited in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.89.51p.
Back

[11] Vireswarananda Swami. Srimad Bhagavad-gita with the gloss of Sridhara Swami (Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1991), 14.27
Back

[12] Kusakratha Dasa, Jiva Goswami's Bhagavata-sandarbha (Alachua: Krsna Institute, 1995), Anuccheda 7.
Back

[13] Harivamsa cited in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.89.51p.
Back

[14] Sinha, p. 34.
Back

[15] Sharma, B.N.K., (a) Advaitasiddhi vs. Nyayamrta: an up-to-date critical reappraisal, Part 1 (Bangalore: Anandatirtha Pratisthana of the Akhila Bharata Madhva Mahamandal, 1994), p. xxiii.
Back

[16] Sharma (a), pp. xxiv-xxv
Back

[17] Thibaut, G. Vedanta-sutras with the commentary by Sankaracarya (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1998) 3.2.11; 1.1.4.
Back

[18] Sinha criticises Prabhupada's understanding of both the monistic and Vaisnava understandings of vivarta-vada and instead offers his own Neo-Vedantic view (See pp. 181, 200).
Back

[19]Sinha, p. 95.
Back

[20] Ghate, V.S. The Vedanta: A study of the Brahma-sutras with the bhasyas of Sankara, Ramanuja, Nimbarka, Madhva, and Vallabha (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1926), 162-165.
Back

[21] In Vedanta-sutra 4.3.10, Sankaracarya refers to Visnu's abode as the highest — 'the souls proceed to what is higher than [the world of Brahma], i.e. to the pure highest place of Visnu' (param parisuddham visnoh paramam padam pratipadyante). See also the similar references in his comments to 1.4.1-4, 3.3.15.
Back

[22]Sinha, p. 82.
Back

[23] All Vedantists criticise an aspect of bhedabheda in their comments to Vedanta-sutra 2.3.41. See Nimbarka's Vedanta-parijata-saurabha, Madhva's Sutra-bhasya, Ramanuja's Sri-bhasya, and Baladeva's Govinda-bhasya.
Back

[24] Raghavachar, S.S., Vedartha-sangraha of Ramanujacarya (Mysore: Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama, 1978), verse 74.
Back

[25] Sinha, p. 34.
Back

[26] trtiye muktau bhedasadbhave'pi nanusandhanapratibandhah, tadanim bhedasya dagdhapatayamanatvena jivanmuktavantah karanasyevasatkalpatvata — Raghunatha Tirtha's Vedanta-sutra 3.2.18 from Sharma, B.N.K. (b) The Brahma-sutras and Their Principal Commentaries 2[nd] ed. (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1986) Volume 3, p. 99.
Back

[27] Vedartha-sangraha, verse 73.
Back

[28] brahmajnanavadad api papiyan ayam bhedabhedapaksak—Vedartha-sangraha cited in Sharma (a), p. xxv.
Back

[29] Sinha, p. 220.
Back

[30] Kripal, J., Kali's Child: the mystical and the erotic in the life and teachings of Ramakrishna, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1995.
Back

[31] Matsubara, M. The Early Pancaratra-samhitas and the Ahirbudhnya-samhita (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1994), 177. aprakrtagunasparsam nirgunam parigiyate srnu narada sadgunyam— Ahirbudhnya samhita 2.55
Back

[32] mani ratne vilagnasya sayujya gatirucyate (cited in Schrader, F. O., Introduction to the Pancaratra and the Ahirbudhnya-samhita, (Madras: Adyar Library and Research Centre, 1973), p. 105.
Back

[33] Schrader, pp. 104-5.
Back

[34] Radhakrishnan, S. The Bhagavad-gita (New Delhi: Indus, 1993); and Gambhirananda, Swami, Bhagavad-gita with the commentary of Sankaracarya (Calcutta, Advaita Ashrama, 1991).
Back

[35] Srimad Bhagavad-gita with Sri Madhusudana Sarasvati's Gudartha-dipika and Sridhara Swami's Subodhini (Poona: Anandasrama Sanskrit Series, volume 45, 1901).
Back

[36] See Sinha, 240. Sridhara Swami identifies the demonic outlook of Gita 16.8 with Carvaka philosophy (Subodhini 16.8).
Back

[37] Sinha, p. 288.
Back

[38] nitya vedah samastasca sasvatah visnu-buddhigah | sarge sarge amunaiveta udgiryante tathaiva  ca | tatkramenaiva tairvarnaih taih svaraireva na chanyatha | Brahmanda Purana, cited by Madhvacarya in his Visnu-tattva-vinirnaya.
Back

[39] Sharma (b), volume 2, p. 71.
Back

[40] Ravindra-svarupa Dasa, 'A Response to Hinduism in Interreligious Dialogue', in ISKCON Communications Journal, Vol. 4, No. 2 (December 1996).
Back

[41] Sinha, pp. 132-3.
Back

[42] Sinha, p. 221; Srila Prabhupada refers to Sankaracarya as 'a pseudo-gentle man' (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 6.172), Vivekananda 'a so-called svami who did not know anything about Vedanta' (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 7.103), and Radhakrishnan 'the so-called greatest philosopher' (Prabhupada, Sword of Knowledge, (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust: 1988), 170) which elicits Sinha's disapproval (See pp. 201, 81, 221.)
Back

[43] Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 5.41p.
Back

[44] Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 7.121p-122p. The Advaitin Sadananda Yogindra cites the same definitions, without reference, in his Vedanta-sara (138). Nikhilananda, S., (Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1968).
Back

Back to Vol.7, No.2 Contents

Print this page
     
  Home · News · About · Worldwide · Culture · ICJ · Education · Site Information
  © 2002-2004 International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) All Rights Reserved