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Thread: What is Neo Hinduism?

  1. #61
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    Re: What is Neo Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaFan View Post

    I will not ever call myself a Neo Hindu. I might be a Modern Hindu (e.g. as from the Middle Ages and the Hindu revivalism of that time to counter Jain, Buddhist and later Muslim power structure), this is a positive term. If you want to call yourself a Neo Hindu, or Traditional, you follow your Sampradaya and teachers. I am not taught to call myself a Neo Hindu. I am a Hindu. Om Namah Sivaya
    Good to hear that.
    These classifications are reminding me the same ideology the Klansman thrived on in the recent past, albeit thankfully for a very brief time in the history of the US of A. We must identify that Orthodoxy has its dark side- the supremacist leaning. This clearly is not agreeable to majority hindus.

  2. #62

    Re: What is Neo Hinduism?

    A brief (and probably inadequate) summary of the conversation thus far, as I see it:

    1. Swami Vivekananda (with other Hindu thinkers of his era) marks a paradigm shift from a scripture-based to an experience-based understanding of Hinduism.

    2. Some members of this forum disagree with this shift (e.g. Philosoraptor), others agree with or identify with it (e.g. myself).

    3. The terms "Neo Hinduism" and "Neo Vedanta" were coined by Paul Hacker, a Christian scholar who was sharply critical of Swami Vivekananda, in order to differentiate SV's paradigm from more traditional forms of Hinduism (though as Philosoraptor has pointed out, SV himself did make reference to his teaching as a "New Vedanta").

    4. Though one might (as I have sought to do in the past and in this thread) use the term "Neo" in a neutral way, to point out the paradigm shift mentioned in 1, it has often been used (including by Hacker himself) to denigrate this shift and its adherents. This denigration has been carried out both by some academic scholars with an axe to grind, but also by traditionalist Hindus who disagree with SV and those who align with him.

    5. Because of 4, many on this thread quite reasonably see "Neo" as a term of abuse.

    6. Those who see "Neo" as a term of abuse have furthermore questioned whether the difference it seeks to point out is even real, pointing out that many such shifts have happened in the course of the millennia-long history of the ancient tradition that all of us here love and to which we are all deeply committed.

    7. My own view on 6 is that, while the term "Neo" is unsatisfactory (precisely because it is so often used as a term of abuse), it does point to a real paradigm shift. The point, however, is also well taken that many such shifts have happened in Hindu history (today's neos are tomorrow's traditionalists). I would reiterate the point I made in my initial posting on this thread that, while this difference is real, it can certainly be exaggerated, and has little to no practical utility. I would say that, by "the letter of the law," I am on the side of those on this thread who argue that there is a difference between "Neo" and traditional Hinduism, but that, in spirit, I am on the side of those who have challenged this distinction.

    I don't know if any of that makes sense, but it helped me to clarify my own thought process. Thank you all for bearing with me.

  3. #63

    Re: What is Neo Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery D. Long View Post
    A brief (and probably inadequate) summary of the conversation thus far, as I see it:

    1. Swami Vivekananda (with other Hindu thinkers of his era) marks a paradigm shift from a scripture-based to an experience-based understanding of Hinduism.

    2. Some members of this forum disagree with this shift (e.g. Philosoraptor), others agree with or identify with it (e.g. myself).

    3. The terms "Neo Hinduism" and "Neo Vedanta" were coined by Paul Hacker, a Christian scholar who was sharply critical of Swami Vivekananda, in order to differentiate SV's paradigm from more traditional forms of Hinduism (though as Philosoraptor has pointed out, SV himself did make reference to his teaching as a "New Vedanta").

    4. Though one might (as I have sought to do in the past and in this thread) use the term "Neo" in a neutral way, to point out the paradigm shift mentioned in 1, it has often been used (including by Hacker himself) to denigrate this shift and its adherents. This denigration has been carried out both by some academic scholars with an axe to grind, but also by traditionalist Hindus who disagree with SV and those who align with him.

    5. Because of 4, many on this thread quite reasonably see "Neo" as a term of abuse.

    6. Those who see "Neo" as a term of abuse have furthermore questioned whether the difference it seeks to point out is even real, pointing out that many such shifts have happened in the course of the millennia-long history of the ancient tradition that all of us here love and to which we are all deeply committed.

    7. My own view on 6 is that, while the term "Neo" is unsatisfactory (precisely because it is so often used as a term of abuse), it does point to a real paradigm shift. The point, however, is also well taken that many such shifts have happened in Hindu history (today's neos are tomorrow's traditionalists). I would reiterate the point I made in my initial posting on this thread that, while this difference is real, it can certainly be exaggerated, and has little to no practical utility. I would say that, by "the letter of the law," I am on the side of those on this thread who argue that there is a difference between "Neo" and traditional Hinduism, but that, in spirit, I am on the side of those who have challenged this distinction.

    I don't know if any of that makes sense, but it helped me to clarify my own thought process. Thank you all for bearing with me.
    There is more to #1. Some also reinterpreted scripture claiming the traditional handling of Varna,etc., was incorrect.

    On #2, it is not a problem of disagreement with neo-hinduism. The problem is people are either unaware of the concept or else they refuse it admit its existence. Some mistakenly believe some of these ideas are traditional (as in, existing for a long time), which is not true. For instance, the "Varna not birth" would be dismissed outright by any traditional Matha (Udipi, Kanchi, Sringeri, etc.). Western Hindus and surprsingly, a few local Hindus too, are not aware of this.

    Some thin-skinned people will see the usage of neo as abuse. Regardless of calling it neo or something else, it is more important that they recognize this wave of change. Refusal to admit these changes would be the real problem.

    Vivekananda did not call his revision as new age, for if he did, no one would have signed up. Madhva did not call his Dvaita doctrine as a new interpretation. Instead, he claimed it was the original and correct meaning of the Sutras as intended by Vyasa - a standard pattern followed by every founder. But we know for a fact that there was no Dvaita before Madhva or Vishishtadvaita before Ramanuja or Advaita before Gaudapada. 500 years from now, Vivekananda's teachings (if they survive that long) will not be new anymore and people may have an easier time accepting these changes for what they are.
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  4. #64
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    Re: What is Neo Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by shiv.somashekhar View Post
    But we know for a fact that there was no Dvaita before Madhva or Vishishtadvaita before Ramanuja or Advaita before Gaudapada.
    This is nonsense. All of them refer to several prior commentators of their (and other) schools.
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  5. #65

    Re: What is Neo Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omkara View Post
    This is nonsense. All of them refer to several prior commentators of their (and other) schools.
    Really?

    1. Who does Gaudapada refer to?
    2. Who does Madhva refer to?
    3. And if their schools already existed, why are they called founders?
    4. If they existed earlier, then please explain why Shankara did not mention Vishishtadvaita or why Ramanuja did not mention Tattvavada. Note that, though Shankara mentions and criticizes a number of systems, he does not mention a *single* school of Vedanta that may have existed during his time (Check Hajime Nakamura's "History of early Vedanta" for details) .
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  6. #66
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    Re: What is Neo Hinduism?

    Omkara is correct.

    But we know for a fact that there was no....Vishishtadvaita before Ramanuja
    But we know for a fact that nAthamuni and yAmunAchAryA were indeed Vishishtadvaitins before rAmAnuja. Kapish?

    nAthamuni's works are lost, but his yoga rahasya and nyAya tattva granthas, which expound the tattva traya and yathArtha khyAti vAda, two fundamental aspects of Vishishtadvaita, are quoted by vedAnta desika. YamunAchAryA's works are available even now. Sriman nAthamuni was present roughly during the time of Shankara and definitely during the time of his immediate sishyas.

    Furthermore, rAmAnuja himself declares his sri bhAshya to be a vivarana of the bodhAyana vritti, which is a terse bhAshya on the brahma sutrA explaining vishishtadvaita.

    And like it or not, the azhwars were indeed Vishishtadvaitins.

    Lastly, the sangam works in tamil literature describe yatis with tridanda who worship mAl (name of Vishnu in tamil) and consider the worlds as his body. These works date prior to the time of Shankara. If this is not Vishishtadvaita, I do not know what is.

    For a detailed proof, refer the tamil works of sri puttur swami known as 'sanga kaalam araaichi' where he provides evidence of Vishishtadvaita/Sri Vaishnavam in Tamil Nadu during the early ADs itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiv.somashekhar View Post
    3. And if their schools already existed, why are they called founders?
    The traditional vedAntins do not call themselves founders and neither do their followers.

    If western scholars and those outside the tradition call them founders, that is not their fault. And we do not ask you to accept our views either.

    If they existed earlier, then please explain why Shankara did not mention Vishishtadvaita or why Ramanuja did not mention Tattvavada.
    However, Adi Shankara does mention the pAncarAtrikAs and agrees with some aspects of their philosophy. Both Dvaitins and Vishishtadvaitins are pAncharAtrikAs, and it is reasonable to assume that the pAncharAtrikAs held views of both schools. And during this time, the lack of prasthna traya bhAshya limited Shankara from declaring their philosophy clearly.

    The reason why Vishishtadvaita was not directly refuted by Shankara is mentioned by YamunAchArya himself in his works, who sorrowed over the fact that Vishishtadvaita/Sri Vaishnavam did not yet have a clear cut work explaining all its distinctive aspects and hence, was not considered as a major school. Even bodhAyana vritti had become almost unknown and was languishing in a kashmir library. This void was filled by the Sri BhAshya of achArya rAmAnuja.

    It should be noted that not every 'interpretation' needs to be picked up and refuted. Only those interpretations which are acknowledged by rivals as a formidable one will be given that honor. It is for this reason that even mAdhvas claim that their tradition was accepted among the sarvadarshana samgraha only after vedAnta desika judged that debate between Akshobhya Muni and VidyAranyA, for which the result is still disputed. Vishishtadvaita lacked a coherent presentation of its views with a prasthna traya bhAshya and hence was not refuted by Shankara. Same goes for Advaita itself, which during the time of Gaudapada lacked a coherent framework and was not referred to by any mimAmsaka for refutation. It was given its status by Shankara only.

    A more newer example would be the Gaudiyas, who were not acknowledged as vedAntins until Baladeva VidyabhUshana's Govinda bhAshya on Brahma SutrAs. That itself does not disprove the existence of their philosophy before then.

    Similarly, advaita and dvaita would have their own explanations. I suggest not to jump to conclusions before studying the schools properly.
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  7. #67

    Re: What is Neo Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sri Vaishnava View Post
    Omkara is correct.
    He is not, as we will see below.

    But we know for a fact that nAthamuni and yAmunAchAryA were indeed Vishishtadvaitins before rAmAnuja. Kapish?
    Wrong. Unless, you have evidence that Nathamuni considered himself to be part of a school/system named Vishishtadvaita? Or else, by the same logic, one can say Vyasa, Suka, Yajnavalkya et al., were Vishishtadvaitins too.

    nAthamuni's works are lost, but his yoga rahasya and nyAya tattva granthas, which expound the tattva traya and yathArtha khyAti vAda, two fundamental aspects of Vishishtadvaita, are quoted by vedAnta desika. YamunAchAryA's works are available even now. Sriman nAthamuni was present roughly during the time of Shankara and definitely during the time of his immediate sishyas.
    Again, no evidence that he considered himself to be part of a school/system named Vishishtadvaita.

    Furthermore, rAmAnuja himself declares his sri bhAshya to be a vivarana of the bodhAyana vritti, which is a terse bhAshya on the brahma sutrA explaining vishishtadvaita.
    Does not help, unless we have evidence that bodhAyana considered himself to be part of the Vishishtadvaita system.

    And like it or not, the azhwars were indeed Vishishtadvaitins.
    Why stop there? Since we are including all these people with no evidence that they ever considered themselves to be such, we may as well go all the way back to Vyasa.

    Lastly, the sangam works in tamil literature describe yatis with tridanda who worship mAl (name of Vishnu in tamil) and consider the worlds as his body. These works date prior to the time of Shankara. If this is not Vishishtadvaita, I do not know what is.
    Again, why stop here? Your logic allows you to go back further. If the Brahma Sutra is not Vishishtadvaita, then what else is?

    For a detailed proof, refer the tamil works of sri puttur swami known as 'sanga kaalam araaichi' where he provides evidence of Vishishtadvaita/Sri Vaishnavam in Tamil Nadu during the early ADs itself.
    And Advaitins will claim that evidence of Advaita is found right from the time of Yajnavalkya himself. Will you accept this as evidence that Advaita was always in existence and that is exactly what Badarayana had in mind when he composed his sutras?

    The traditional vedAntins do not call themselves founders and neither do their followers.
    On founders not calling themselves such, I have already explained why.

    However, Adi Shankara does mention the pAncarAtrikAs and agrees with some aspects of their philosophy. Both Dvaitins and Vishishtadvaitins are pAncharAtrikAs, and it is reasonable to assume that the pAncharAtrikAs held views of both schools. And during this time, the lack of prasthna traya bhAshya limited Shankara from declaring their philosophy clearly.
    Existence of Pancharatra => not the same as existence of Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita schools. Just like existence of Upanishads => not the same as the existence of the Ramakrishna/Vivekananda system.

    The reason why Vishishtadvaita was not directly refuted by Shankara is mentioned by YamunAchArya himself in his works, who sorrowed over the fact that Vishishtadvaita/Sri Vaishnavam did not yet have a clear cut work explaining all its distinctive aspects and hence, was not considered as a major school.
    In other words, you are agreeing with me that VD does not find a mention in Shankara's works. No argument here. I may also point out the Gaudiya claim to authenticity by interpreting Puranas and Upanishads to find references to a "hidden avatar" named Chaitanya. Hidden because he was not yet born at that time and one day after his death, the references came out of hiding!

    Same goes for Advaita itself, which during the time of Gaudapada lacked a coherent framework and was not referred to by any mimAmsaka for refutation. It was given its status by Shankara only.
    Technically, as there is no evidence that Gaudapada considered himself to belong to a school named Advaita, one should rightfully count the start date of Advaita from the time of Shankara. Else again, why stop at Gaudapada? We may go all the way back to Vyasa.

    Similarly, advaita and dvaita would have their own explanations. I suggest not to jump to conclusions before studying the schools properly.
    Thanks for the suggestion. Now can I can I offer it back to you?

    Special note on Dvaita: Unlike Shankara and Ramanuja, Madhva does not consider anyone his prior except for Vyasa. Their Sampradaya goes straight from Vyasa to Madhva, with no one in between. As I stated earlier, he does not claim to be inventing anything new, but is all about offering the correct interpretation of scripture.
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    Re: What is Neo Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by shiv.somashekhar View Post
    He is not, as we will see below.
    So we shall.


    Wrong. Unless, you have evidence that Nathamuni considered himself to be part of a school/system named Vishishtadvaita? Or else, by the same logic, one can say Vyasa, Suka, Yajnavalkya et al., were Vishishtadvaitins too.
    *sigh* what nonsense. Nathamuni's works are quoted by Ramanuja and Desika and he is a sri vaishnava acharya, the grandfather of Sri Yamunacharya, whose works are available.

    Do you even have a basic understanding of the guru parampara in sri vaishnava sampradaya? I repeat, he is the grandfather of Yamuna Muni.

    And what do you mean by a school/system named Vishishtadvaita? If you accept, like all rational historians, scholars and followers of the tradition alike, that it is a system that advocates sharIrAtma bhAva and yathArtha khyAti vAda, then yes, nAthamuni was indeed a true vishishtadvaitin and the predecessor of rAmAnuja who advocated these concepts. Or, do you have a newfound definition of Vishishtadvaita?


    Again, no evidence that he considered himself to be part of a school/system named Vishishtadvaita.
    Again, learn the VA guru parampara properly before mouthing off.


    Does not help, unless we have evidence that bodhAyana considered himself to be part of the Vishishtadvaita system.
    I don't get this at all. What do you consider as 'vishishtadvaita system'? If it is sarIrAtma bhAva, yathArtha khyAti vada, etc, then those concepts are indeed explained by bOdhAyaNa. Sri rAmAnuja quoted bOdhAyaNa on these concepts and nobody has claimed otherwise, even his rivals.

    Or maybe you have a different definition of Vishishtadvaita?

    vyAsa, suka, etc can be proven to be vishishtadvaitins once the shAstra is interpreted in the favor of Vishishtadvaita. But Nathamuni's works need no interpretation - it is a simple, straightforward explanation of Vishishtadvaita that explicitly claims yathArtha khyAti and sharIrAtma bhAva to be the essence of shAstra. Is it so hard to understand?


    Why stop there? Since we are including all these people with no evidence that they ever considered themselves to be such, we may as well go all the way back to Vyasa.
    Why stop here? You can claim that the vedA was written by your ancestor, and you come from a family of rsIs!

    Good Lord.


    Again, why stop here? Your logic allows you to go back further. If the Brahma Sutra is not Vishishtadvaita, then what else is?
    My logic is based on clear facts. You have not even understood that nAthamuni's works ARE available in snippets and that he is the grandfather of the acharyan known as yAmunAchAryA who appointed rAmAnuja as his succesort to Vishishtadvaita. yAmunAchArya's stotra ratnam elucidates the vishishtadvaitic concepts clearly and pays obeisance to his grandfather, nAthamuni as the one who taught him (through his father and acharya) these concepts.

    The brahma sutrA needs to be interpreted in favor of Vishishtadvaita. Acharyas like nAthamuni, yAmuna, etc are the ones who CLAIM that the brahma sutrA is vishishtadvaitic in nature. Kapish?

    More quibbling here.


    And Advaitins will claim that evidence of Advaita is found right from the time of Yajnavalkya himself. Will you accept this as evidence that Advaita was always in existence and that is exactly what Badarayana had in mind when he composed his sutras?
    However, we are not talking about rishis but the gurus of this 'kali yuga' from the 1st AD, if you will. Whether advaita claims to be a lineage from bAdarAyaNa or not is irrelevant.

    As mentioned before, yajnavAlkya can be proven to be advaitin or vishishtadvaitin when shAstra is interpreted in the tradition's favor. But in the case of GaudapAda or Sangam poets, such an interpretation is not necessary as their works indicate a straightforward advaita or vishishtadvaita.

    Your confusion is very clearly brought out in these comments. Seems like you are just throwing terms like 'advaita' or 'vishishtadvaita' without even understanding what they mean.

    And the proof that Advaita and VA existed before Shankara and Ramanuja in the form of Gaudapada for Advaita and Yamunacharya, Nathamuni, BodhAyaNa, Azhwars et al for Vishishtadvaita is there for all to see.

    And regardless of whether advaita or buddhism is correct or not, even rival systems of these schools accept that they are anAdi and have been in existence. Their correctness is only argued; not the antiquity.


    On founders not calling themselves such, I have already explained why.
    You have explained nothing.


    Existence of Pancharatra => not the same as existence of Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita schools. Just like existence of Upanishads => not the same as the existence of the Ramakrishna/Vivekananda system.
    The Ramakrishna/Vivekananda system is not even entirely based on the upanishads and other traditions claim to be based on the upanishads besides Ramakrishna/Vivekananda. The pAcharAtrikAs are claimed to be based wholly on the pancharAtrA (duh!) and all its adherents are vishishtadvaitins or dvaitins.

    This is in contrast to the vaikhAnasa agamA, whose adherents are both Vishishtadvaitins as well as independent traditions.

    In other words, you are agreeing with me that VD does not find a mention in Shankara's works. No argument here. I may also point out the Gaudiya claim to authenticity by interpreting Puranas and Upanishads to find references to a "hidden avatar" named Chaitanya. Hidden because he was not yet born at that time and one day after his death, the references came out of hiding!
    You are going way off track here. What does the mention of VA in Shankara bhAshyam have to do with 'hidden' references to chaitanya or otherwise?

    I made it clear that Shankara does NOT reference VA. He merely references the pAncharAtrAs and does not dwell on their philosophical tenets. And I explained that this was MAINLY because they had no coherent system of prasthna trayA as yet.

    I have CLEARLY explained that only schools that have a coherent written framework of prasthna trayA or some independently powerful works like buddhism are taken up for refutation, yet you ignored that as well.

    I have also explained that Vishishtadvaitins like Nathamuni, Yamuna Muni, etc did exist during the time of Shankara and had even written works to prove the shAstra to be Vishishtadvaitic in nature.

    And I also explained the concept of acceptance (sarvadarshana samgraha) among vedANtic schools, but you have cleanly ignored them.

    Trying to claim Nathamuni, Yamuna, Azhwars were not Vishishtadvaitins? Way to go, you are inventing a whole new history of ancient india! What next, Aurangzeb and Akbar were devout Vaishnavas?


    Technically, as there is no evidence that Gaudapada considered himself to belong to a school named Advaita, one should rightfully count the start date of Advaita from the time of Shankara. Else again, why stop at Gaudapada? We may go all the way back to Vyasa.
    Um, again, what is advaita? If it is brahmam satya jagath mithya, etc, then Gaudapada was an advaitin. He did not believe in saguna brahmOpAsaNa, a key concept which Shankara advocated.

    Again, define advaita or vishistadvaita. These terms simply mean, 'not two', or 'not two in a qualified way'. If the definition of one is BrahmEva satyam or SarIrAtmA bhAvA, all my points are true. As it so happens, this indeed is the definition of the schools.

    For that matter, the word 'vishishtadvaita' occurs first only in the work of srutaprakAsikhAchAryA, an acharya who came nearly a century after rAmAnuja muni. In fact, it was also called 'sarIrAtmaka darshanam' during the time of rAmAnuja and 'bhagavata darshanam' (alluding to its acceptance of pAncharAtra) before that. This bears no significance or relevance to the fact that the tradition is defined as one that accepts sharIrAtma bhAva, hari sarvOttama, lakshmi purushakAratva, bhakti/prapatti yoga mArgas and yathArtha khyAti vAda - the position of nAthamuni and all other acharyas.

    A similar story for advaita as well.

    If you are inventing a new definition for these schools, then you are a trend-setter, a new age historian?


    Thanks for the suggestion. Now can I can I offer it back to you?

    Special note on Dvaita: Unlike Shankara and Ramanuja, Madhva does not consider anyone his prior except for Vyasa. Their Sampradaya goes straight from Vyasa to Madhva, with no one in between. As I stated earlier, he does not claim to be inventing anything new, but is all about offering the correct interpretation of scripture.
    We were arguing about 1) the general traditions that preceded the main teachers of the three schools, 2) How each tradition is recognised as a valid framework of vedANtA, but now you singly focus on dvaita and the fact that mAdhva had no predecessors. Way to take things out of context.

    I am quite aware of their tradition and what they claim, being one who authored a Dvaita vs VA thread on these forums. Despite claiming this, they also claim to be pAncharAtrikAs and even claim that dvaitins existed in some form before mAdhvA. Check with the dvaita list or Shrisha Rao, owner of the dvaita website if you want; I have talked with him personally myself regarding this.

    Now,before you rush in with more ill-informed comments, go and have at it with the dvaitins. The issue of gurus before mAdhva is their problem, not mine. I wouldn't have even bothered to address this nonsense if you hadn't talked about Vishishtadvaitins as though you were an expert on the subject. Don't waste my time.
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  9. #69

    Re: What is Neo Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by shiv.somashekhar View Post
    Wrong. Unless, you have evidence that Nathamuni considered himself to be part of a school/system named Vishishtadvaita?

    Again, no evidence that he considered himself to be part of a school/system named Vishishtadvaita.

    Does not help, unless we have evidence that bodhAyana considered himself to be part of the Vishishtadvaita system.
    Shiv, you're getting a little fixated on labels. Whether these scholars used the term "viShishtAdvaita" to describe their worldview is less of the issue than whether they propagated the same core concepts that vishishtAdvaita does today. And I think that is SV's point precisely - that they were believers in sharirAtma-bhAva which is central to VA, and that they were known as such even to outsiders during their respective times.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

  10. #70

    Re: What is Neo Hinduism?

    Quote Originally Posted by shiv.somashekhar View Post
    Some thin-skinned people will see the usage of neo as abuse. Regardless of calling it neo or something else, it is more important that they recognize this wave of change. Refusal to admit these changes would be the real problem.
    This is the real point. It doesn't matter whether you call it "Neo-Hinduism," "New and Improved Hinduism," "New Age Hinduism," or what have you. Let the Neos come up with their own term if they must. The concept that is important here is that there is a class of modern, Hindu religious movements which differ markedly from their predecessors by their extensive reliance on Western philosophical concepts and subjective "realizations" above and beyond the authority of the shruti and its adjuncts.

    Not to acknowledge this, and to suggest that we should all shut up about it because of our own impurities real or imagined, is to miss an opportunity to educate people. It is simply not satisfactory for Neo-Hindu groups to continue to have the monopoly on representing Hinduism to the West as they have for the last 2 decades. Many heated debates between the anti-Hindu academia and neo-Hindu groups have taken place, with the former accusing the latter of misrepresenting Hinduism, and the latter trying to confront the former with their own, Westernized misrepresentations of our traditions and culture. This leads to a perception that all Hindus are revisionists who are not acquainted with their own scriptures, and who cannot be counted on to objectively discuss how Hinduism should be taught in the West.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

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