Hindu Nationalism & Advaita

Balaji Hebbar bhebbar at EROLS.COM
Tue Jun 15 17:07:08 UTC 1999

Dear  Indologists:

I  definately  agree  with  the  views  of  many  writers  here  that
Advaita  VedAnta  has  a  philosophy  conducive  to  BharatIya
Nationanalism  (of  both  the  Congress  and  the  BJP  types).  Even  a
Dvaitin  agreed  with  this.  Let  me  narrate  something  that
happened  more  than  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago:

I  along  with  one  of  my  teachers,  the  late  Dr. P.Nagaraja  Rao
(a  MAdhva,  a  student  of  Dr.S.Radhakrishnan  and  Former  Tagore
Prof. of  Humanities  at  Univ. of  Madras)  had  gone  to  Bombay  to
attend  a  vidvat  sadas.  Afterwards,  we  paid  a  courtesy  call  to
the  late  Shri  R.R. Divakar  (a  MAdhva,  for  a  long  time  the  #2
man  in  the  Bharatiya  Vidya  Bhavan  after  K.M.Munshi).  I  remember
the  conversation  between  the  2  learned  gentlemen  vividly.

Dr  Rao:  You  have  gone  over  to  the  other  side  (meaning
Advaita)  completely,  haven't  you?

Shri  Divakar:  Well.  I  am  still  a  MAdhva  at  heart.  But,  Dr.
Rao,  Advaita  represents  National  Unity  better  which  is  what  we
are  trying  to  do  here  at  the  Bhavan.  Our  great  leaders,
Gandhi,  Nehru,  Patel  and  others  fought  long  and  hard  for  the
freedom  of  our  motherland.  It  is  our  duty  to  make  sure  that
the  unity  and  independence  of  our  land  is  preserved.  Hostile
forces  are  always  waiting  around  the  corner  to  take  advantage
of  any  indication  of  weakness  on  our  side.  I  just  do  not
want  the  words  of  Winston  Churchill (said  at  the  time  of
India's  Independence  even  tho'  Atlee  was  PM  then)  to  come
true:  "We  are  handing  over  power  to  the  men  of  straw  of  whom
nothing  will  be  heard  of  in  a  few  years  time."

Dr. Rao:  Yes,  that's  true!

I  know  my  Advaitin  friends  are  beaming  with  delight!  It's  your
day  enjoy  it  while  you  can!  I'll  take  you  to  task  later!
(just  joking!)  Take  it  easy!

Thanks  for  reading.

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