RMF Summary: Week of November 16-22, 2012

November 19 (continuing discussion from November 1st)
Why mantra cannot be performed by a machine
I am involved in a private debate with some Sanskrit scholars who dispute my position that mantra requires a jiva - i.e. prana/consciousness. Implication of my...

Latest comment: "Isn't the whole concept of Mantra Puja based on the concept of 'Bandhu' as written in BD by Rajiv Ji.

The Mantra in a written form and/or verbal form is 'Apara' while when performed by a Pandit achieves the 'Para'? ..."

November 19
hiding Indian source
Carpentier posts: An example of purposely hiding the Indian source: Some weeks ago a Swiss woman with whom I shared a room 25 years ago in Satya Sai’s ashram traced me. She .....
... Her Answer.... Vedanta is an experience level, it neither belongs to India nor to any part of the world. Vedanta is an experience level IN you, call it the THAT level. We called it the It level.
This book wanted to show that it does not matter in which religion you are born, the true religion you find in yourself.
I don't think that India, Indian philosophy needs to be defended; it is eternal and speaks to the innermost truth in every human being. Therefore, dear Maria, cheer up, relax, it is everything as it is meant to be (end)

A similar line of argument used a German psychology professor whom I asked why so many of his colleagues (not he) take from India and don't acknowledge though the Indian knowledge is beneficial for everyone.
He answered, 'well, if it is beneficial for everyone, it means it belongs to humanity as a whole and not to a particular country.'

Rajiv Malhotra's comment: "we are asking them to acknowledge Vedanta, not India. Since the[y] acknowledge Vedanta privately, they should do so publicly in their writings, just as they would acknowledge a wstern thinker of school of thought. They diverted the issue by responding about India."

Carpentier followup: 
"I think one sees an old reflex born out of the West's instinctive far of polytheism, created through centuries of inquisition and ideological control. Too many people are afraid to quote Hinduism for fear of being labelled polytheists and idol worshipers, which is why they often prefer to seek affiliation with Sufism or Buddhism... " 

Rajiv Malhotra's followup:
"There are many factors for this stage-2 of uturn, i.e. removing the dharmic context. Fear of idolatry etc is just one of them. More broadly, the Hinduphobia that has been put in place in the past 25 years is designed to cause people to dis-associate from Hinduism. For more on Hinduphobia, see my earlier writings on Sulekha that later culminated in the book INVADING THE SACRED"

November 20
Radhasoami: Another proponent of "sameness" encouraging the deer to be eaten
Chandramouli posted a couple of links.
Carpentier responds:
I learnt today coincidentally that the person in charge of all publications for Radhasoami Satsang Beas is a Jewish gentleman who embraces the creed that all religions are equal expression of God's message.

Rajiv Malhotra follows up: Purva paksha requires one to investigate what is meant by the above reference to "God's message" in each religion. God's message cannot be reduced to a few simple sentences pulled out out thousands of statements from their texts. God's message must be understood in entirety for a given faith in order to understand it. Only then can one assess whether all these messages in various religions are saying the same thing. or whether there are serious contradictions. In BD I explain in detail that Nicene Creed as Christian normative statement of God's message is in mutual contradiction with dharma ideas of the nature of reality, karma, reincarnation... 

November 21
This tragedy caught the attention of people from all around the world.
Hindu woman dies in Ireland due to imposition of Catholic law
cnn link sent by Srinath.

November 22
Angana Chatterji hosted at Harvard by Michael Witzel
There were many who were wondering where Angana went after being arrested in the US. Kaajal Ahuja finds that she is back in business with a couple of friends well-known in 'Breaking India'. If you wonder what Indologist Sanskrit academics in the US do, here is an example.

"In Breaking India, Rajiv & Aravindan write about some US academics who produce literature with questionable funding that could aid in the disintegration of India or at the very least US intervention. Angana Chatterji was fired by the California Institute of Integral Studies recently but is now working at Berkeley University. Whats more, she will speak at a panel hosted by Michael Witzel of Harvard.

Monday, Nov. 26: South Asia Without Borders Seminar Series.
Angana Chatterji, Berkeley University will discuss "Naxalism and Orissa:
Divergent Conflicts, Political Economy, and Minoritization."

Sanjeev Uprety, Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu will present "Neat and Laundered Middle Classes and Third Gender Nepal Communist party-United Marxist Leninist:
Masculinity and Politics in Contemporary Nepal."

Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit, Department of South Asian Studies will chair the event. 

Tattvaanveshanam provides a useful link about Angana's current project.

November 22
Re: Request for RigVeda and Shiva translation...
In Lalita-Sahasra Namam, which is widely memorized and recited among Shakti worshippers, one namavali runs thus: Unmesha-nimishotpanna-vipanna-bhuvanaval..

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