[INDOLOGY] Tagore, Aurobindo, and Malhotra

Howard Resnick hr at ivs.edu
Tue Jul 28 14:17:58 UTC 2015

My sincere thanks to Geoffrey, Dominik, and Frederick for their encouraging comments which convinced me to stay.


> On Jul 28, 2015, at 7:12 AM, Geoffrey Samuel <SamuelG at cardiff.ac.uk> wrote:
> There is perhaps a distinction between being a spiritual practitioner and being an advocate. But in my experience neither excludes genuine scholarship, and I would regret it if people such as Howard were to feel they had to withdraw from the list. We need a plurality of perspectives. 
> In any case, I suspect there are quite a few people on the list who would have to withdraw if that criterion were applied systematically.
> The level of rhetorical aggression displayed on the list over the last few days seems to me both inappropriate and thoroughly uncollegial. 
> Geoffrey
> ________________________________________
> From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> on behalf of Howard Resnick <hr at ivs.edu>
> Sent: 28 July 2015 05:33
> To: Robert Zydenbos
> Cc: Dominik Wujastyk; Indology List
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Tagore, Aurobindo, and Malhotra
> Ironically, when Malhotra argues that a non-believer, or non-practitioner, is unqualified to analyze a religious or spiritual tradition, many on this list respond with an almost vicious attack on him. Yet when someone on the List claims that a spiritual practioner, and advocate, cannot be a good academic scholar, apriori, this apparently is acceptable.
> If this is indeed the case, I will respectfully withdraw from the List.
> Best,
> Howard
>> On Jul 28, 2015, at 12:51 AM, Robert Zydenbos <zydenbos at uni-muenchen.de> wrote:
>> Howard Resnick wrote:
>>> [...]
>>> 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.
>> My impression is that you are still trying to Indianize, but partially;
>> not so much in externalities, but in thought, Weltanschauung. Otherwise
>> there would be no point in your Krishna West.
>> And here I want to point out what can be read in one of the comments to
>> that online article:
>> "This kind of "Hindu evangelism" is what scholar-practitioner Rajiv
>> Malhotra refers to as a "U-Turn." These people benefit enormously from
>> Hinduism and basically proceed to turn their backs on it while they go
>> mainstream. They should be exposed for the frauds that they are."
>> I only know this from this online comment by a person I do not know, and
>> I have no idea just where and how Malhotra has stated that people like
>> you are 'frauds'. (But I think we recognize the style.) If this is
>> correct, then it looks like he wants to 'take back' Hare Krishna too.
>> (So better take care.)
>>> [...] 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.’
>> Sorry, I think we have a little misunderstanding here. My remark about
>> 'nit-picking' referred to your reaction to Dominik in the thread, which
>> I left quoted at the bottom of my post. But I see that Dominik himself
>> already responded in the same spirit.
>>> All the best,
>> RZ
>> --
>> Prof. Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
>> Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie
>> Department für Asienstudien
>> Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)
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