Vivekananda etc.

Robert J. Zydenbos zydenbos at BLR.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Mar 17 20:59:03 UTC 1998

Bijoy Misra wrote (about Vivekananda, in response to me):

> It's useful in a debate to comment on a person's work rather
> than the person himself/herself.

I'm going through his writings right now, but you will have to wait
till my written report is ready for presentation. Till then, I'm
only offering you these few of my preliminary conclusions (which
surely will remain among the concluding). Then you will have the
quotes, references to page numbers in his writings, etc.

> I thought strong language against Swami Vivekananda
> is not necessary to make a point in this forum.

If you had followed the thread, you would have seen that the
previous poster, to whom I referred, had mentioned low esteem of V.
as an example of "nonsense" among Western scholars. The few
characterisations I gave of V. (admittedly provocative: I had to be
clear in a few words; and at times I like bating the ill-informed
to expose themselves and making the list more lively) seem quite

> For many people
> in the world (including me!) he was a genius ..

A (healthy) point that is regularly made here on INDOLOGY is that
freedom of thought and expression (including criticism, debunking
of myths and personal glorification, etc.) is good. And
irrespective of whoever's personal sentiments, I demand such rights
when I speak / write of a wild demagogue like Vivekananda.

(Do you think you could explain, in objective terms which stand to
reason, in the light of the history of Indian thought and of
comparative religion and philosophy, why V. was a 'genius'? I have
not yet found anyone who can, so I am curious.)


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