Aurobindo about Advaita

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 17 05:10:57 UTC 1999

>From: "Prasad, Bhallamudi" <Bhallamudi-Prasad at>
>To: "'Samar Abbas '" <abbas at IOPB.RES.IN>,        "'Ramakrishnan
>Balasubramanian'" <ramakris at EROLS.COM>,        "'Vidyasankar Sundaresan'"
><vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM>
>Subject: RE: Aurobindo about Advaita
>Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 12:34:42 +0530
>Due to the use of e-mail aliases by my e-mail client I have been unable to
>post to the list. Maybe one of you will post this back to the list. I am
>surprised both by Mr Abbas' statistics and final assertion!
>First: the term "Smarta" refers to one who owes allegiance to the Smritis,
>which are the Vedas. Since Advaitins (Sankara), Visishta-advaitins
>(Ramanuja) and Dvaitins (Madhva) & various Saivite sects all accept the
>authority of the Vedas, all are technically Smartas. In fact, all those who
>subscribe to any of the six old systems of philosophy (Nyaya, Vaiseshika,
>Sankhya, Yoga & Purva & Uttara Meemamsa) which accept the authority of the
>Vedas are also Smartas; we can only exempt Jains, Buddhists & Charvakas
>the Smarta fold!
>I agree that nowdays in south India generally anyone who is not a Vaishnava
>or Saiva is loosely referred to as a Smarta, but this usage changes from
>place to place; I have heard many in Andhra refer to themselves as "Saivas"
>in the sense that they are "not Vaishnavas"! However the numbers given seem
>incorrect. I have no hard data readily available, but would say, on a south
>Indian basis: 70% "Smarta", 20% "Vaishnava", remaining others. In fact, the
>percentage of "Smartas" in regions other than Tamil Nadu should be higher.
>Thanks. I apologise for my poor transliteration.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:       Samar Abbas [SMTP:abbas at IOPB.RES.IN]
> > Sent:       Wednesday, June 16, 1999 9:52 AM
> > Subject:    Re: Aurobindo about Advaita
> >
> > On Mon, 14 Jun 1999, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
> > > The smArtas who owe allegiance to sha.nkara are spread all over the
> > > country. They are definitely greater in number and percentage.
> >
> > The composition is ca. 75 % Vaishnava, 25 % Shaiva and only 1-2 %
> > Jain & Buddhist. In Tamil Nadu, there is a saying `First Shaiva, then
> > Smarta, then Vaishnava', ie. Smartism is seen only as a stepping stone
> > converts from Shaivism to Vaishnavsim and nothing else.
> >  I agree that the importance of Smartism is only recent, so that
> > has gained far more prominence than its low numerical importance
> > This is only a temporary phase, we shall see Vaishnava and Shaiva
> > shortly as true traditions are restored.
> >
> > Samar

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