Response to Shatavadhani Ganesh

Shatavadhani Ganesh wrote a review of The Battle for Sanskrit.

Praveen after reading it had some questions and Rajiv Malhotra has provided some answers. Rajiv's answers are highlighted in yellow.

My Honest Thought after reading the article of R Ganesh regarding Rajiv Jis Book. Indeed there was a personal touch of R Ganesh to Rajivji, but article as a whole was questioning the way of considering the Indian Tradition by RajivJi.

1. R Ganesh makes point that , Transcendence would not happen without the Text, art etc as pramaanas and internalizing those would lead to Liberation/Transcendance.Indeed care should be taken that it would not become an mere intelelctual excersise!. Hence those are necessary without which transcendance is not possible what he claims!. In Rajiv Talks even I have heard many times, that even there are no texts or any form of pre-existing "Thing" are not needed for transcendence for Rishis State.

Does pre-existing Eternal Truth knowledge is required as pramaana to transcendence ?

[Rajiv: A) Ramana Maharshi said after attaining realization that the texts confirmed what he had already realized. B) if text is pre-requisite to attainment then how did the first rishi attain insight of shruti? Also, would you dismiss the non-text based attainments of bhaktas, tantrics, etc? C) Is ULTIMATE realization all that matters, or do 99.99% of us expect to advance at levels less than that. I find this approach by Ganesh characteristic of bookworms citing "ultimate" states, when in fact our issues here and now are to get ordinary folks moving ahead from whatever their starting point is. When I meet such lofty folks, I congratulate them for their "attainment" (though I find them chasing the most mundane things in their daily lives), and then I request they leave the rest of us alone who are trying to improve daily lives using dharma. I find this snobbish pretense of discussing the ultimate states a form of escapism and no more. It is this attitude that enabled western indologists and evangelists to brand Hinduism as being incapable of addressing practical problems; hence the need for foreign interventions to save our fellow Indians. D) Bottom line: I reject this as the starting point criteria to evaluate my purva paksha of Pollock, which is not premised on whether his or my work leads to moksha.]

2. He states, Rajivji is making a claim that he is a first out to study this field and argue back and Rajivji is disowning the Past Masters who have also argued back to such blatent studies! I also had tweeted some of the thoughts matching with Sri SL Bhairappa. But question is where does the Gap resides ?

i)Is really Rajivji disowning the past masters who are argued back "Especially" The traditional scholars? or is it that even though they argued it was only in academic circle not reaching the mass! or is it that Systematic Study of Indology mis-interpritation/representation was only started after Rajivji?

Things to be considered here is , even though there may be little bit phylosophical difference in understanding! Rajiv Ji has always accepted that he is no expert in it, but working his best on his spiritual path understanding. Where does the Gap resides? what shoud bother us in this regard? Phylosophy or Defending and Arguing back for Distortion of Phylosphy based on traditional views what we know?

[Rajiv: My approach to past masters is to practice under guidance of living gurus, and texts do not comprise the main access to the past. I access the past through the living present in sadhana, in gurus, in deities. I am not history-centric or text-centric.
3.Ganesh is bit disturbed about Calling Scholars Soldout! as he says Rajivji is discrediting so many scholars who are doing Good to their best. Remark: I think Ganesh has not read him correctly as he only discredits those who are soldout and not those who are not!

4.Ganesh says that Rajivji has not gone through the regional texts and scholars, Expecting something from a person, that too who has taken self initiative to inform the masses to study in depth and doing bit and asking him to do more work without helping him in any way is not a way of a Good Scholar what I believe. [Rajiv I have worked hard and at great risk to myself to promote the cause of traditional scholarship in the form of Swadeshi Indology. Where has Ganesh been all these decades when he enjoyed all the glamor, credibility and know how to be able to champion the cause of swadeshi Indology? Why not a single purva paksha by him of Western Indology? Why does he not channel his energy in thie matter to target Pollock instead? Has his insecurity become exposed becasue I am asking traditional scholars to get out of their silos?]

5.He asks why divide Sacred and Beauty ? Indeed we know there is beauty involved in the Sacred Set, Beauty is subset of Sacredness. But what he fails to understand is The Beauty that SPs are talking is not only about Sanskrit Text which are worldy affirming n not connected to Transcendence! But they are trying to bring down the Sacred&Beauty of Transcendance knowledge to merely worldly more than that insert some of their own thinking which does not exist here. [Rajiv: Correct. Ganesh violates the method of purva paksha by not reading Pollock before jumping to conclusions about his work.]

6. Ganesh is critical of some of the Sanskrit words and their meaning used , I thought which must be welcomed with right critics. But reducing rajiv ji to nobody and one of the normal is indeed a mistake ! Because the critics of Traditional Scholars and issues did not reach the masses! now its Digital Age hence mass reaching has become critical to progress in it. Not only work with Academic but also Mass. Making a network of right thoughts which are of right views is indeed necessary to servive.

Apart from above , he indeed talk in favour of Rajivs thoughts, also questioning is not a bad thing! I would urge Rajivji also not to dismiss this S Ganesh critics so easily as just a personal review! Indeed we need chanaakya Neeti applied to onboard.[Rajiv: I have tried and tried to engage Ganesh for the past decade. Dr TS Mohan in Bangalore who organizes my events has approached Ganesh on numerous occasions. Pls convey your sentiments to him and ask him to stop being so cynical toward anything I do. I want him on our home team and he must stop feeling threatened by my call to action by traditional scholars to do their job i purva paksha.

Finally: A hidden war has started in recent weeks by the Western Indologists to co-opt Indian scholars and do their dirty work. One prominent scholr at a prestigious Sanskrit university in Karnataka first endorsed my work and promised to join the purva paksha (on video); but then a couple of days later wrote in an email that criticizing Pollock should be avoided in order to get a few crores from Sudha Murty!!! Wow!]

1 comment:

  1. >>One prominent scholr at a prestigious Sanskrit university in Karnataka first endorsed my work and promised to join the purva paksha (on video); but then a couple of days later wrote in an email that criticizing Pollock should be avoided in order to get a few crores from Sudha Murty!!

    Sudha Murhy recently attended an event by R.Ganesh on Bhyrappa ( Maybe that's the reason for his u-turn?