[INDOLOGY] Tagore, Aurobindo, and Malhotra

Howard Resnick hr at ivs.edu
Mon Jul 27 20:20:09 UTC 2015

Thank you Dr. Zydenbos for illustrating my point about human frailities in an academic discipline.

Unfortunately, you got the Indianzing backward. Here is my quote from the article you sent us:

“We were trying to do something which could not be done, and that is trying to Indian-ize the world in the name of Krishna,” Resnick said. 
In other words, as the article shows, I was rejecting the notion that a spiritual practice, originally coming from India, requires Indianization in terms of adopting Indian ethnic and cultural features associated with the tradition.

The issue of insider-outsider perspectives, the advantages and disadvantages of each, is a serious issue that has gained significant interest among many thoughtful scholars. My concern with meta-epistemological issues as they manifest in insider and outsider perspectives, and subsequently impact Indology, and the general study of sacred traditions, is not really ‘nit-picking.’  Philosophy is like psychology: even if you don’t study it, you have one. 

All the best,

> On Jul 27, 2015, at 7:06 PM, Robert Zydenbos <zydenbos at uni-muenchen.de> wrote:
> Forgive me, Dr. Resnick – also known as Hridayananda Dasa Goswami
> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hridayananda_Dasa_Goswami) who is trying
> to "Indian-ize the world"
> (http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/06/16/hare-krishna-gets-evangelical/32487)
> – but what you are doing is really nit-picking. In any larger group of
> people you
> will find kooks and weirdoes as well as splendid persons.
> As for Dr. Collins' post, which he sent in yesterday, I understand
> perfectly what
> he was saying: that the better mere Indologists deal too much with
> explicit facts,
> and do not sufficiently entertain politically correct fantasies of the
> kind which
> political actors at the right end of the spectrum like to exploit. For
> which reason
> Indology as an academic discipline needs to be discredited, however mildly.
> Had Dr. Collins been a good Indologist, he might not have got the
> context wrong. All this talk about the need for reversing the gaze, taking
> back things, etc. does not apply in the real world in which Mr Malhotra
> writes
> about quotation marks in a "Sanskrit character set" (which one? I thought
> Sanskrit was traditionally written in the script of the region where it was
> written...). I have already stated the facts in my post sent last Friday.
> If somebody refuses to read that, or if that somebody is incapable of
> digesting those simple statements, then I fear I cannot help that person.
> RZ
> Howard Resnick wrote:
>> Despite my profound agreement with Dominik on the great good that
>> Indology has done, I struggle with the statement below, since it
>> seems to claim for all Indologists at all times a moral and
>> methodological purity that history clearly belies. Please note that >
> Al Collins said ‘at times’, a phrase that leaves open and debatable >
> the frequency and severity of problems within Indology.
>> Best, Howard
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