Hindu Nationalism & Advaita
vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 15 21:31:51 UTC 1999
Balaji Hebbar <bhebbar at EROLS.COM> wrote:
>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).
I beg to differ. What was more important for nationalistic purposes was not
really the philosophy of advaita vedAnta but the hagiographical personality
of Sankara. Read Nehru's comments about Sankara in The Discovery of India.
The tradition of his establishing maThas in the four directions was seen as
his having recognized India as one entity many centuries ago. This provided
an answer to the colonialist's contention that India fundamentally lacked a
cohesiveness and that this had to be imposed upon the country by foreign
rulers. It certainly helped that the tradition was a very old one. All this
has little to do with the philosophy per se. In fact, Nehru comes across as
having little patience for the nivRtti oriented monk. All his admiration is
reserved for the pravRtti oriented figure presented in legendary stories.
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