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Irony at "Iskcon cultural journal" - What would Advaita think ?

dirty hari - Sun, 08 Aug 2004 01:26:37 +0530
Intellect vs. Shastra
I haven't quite figured out who has written this, but within that document there are the words Inspired by an article on July 1, 2004. Lots of shastra, great read. Whoever owns / writes for that site, if you let me know who you are I'll introduce you here.

I dont know if any of you have seen this site, with today's lead story above. It's an extreme right wing rag written by an Iskcon guy who teaches that the GBC is not as authoritarian, misogynistic, bigoted and it should be. He is one of the uber misogynistic, anti everything but an extremely narrow right-of-the-GBC right wing "visionaries". His stuff is hilarious because he is constantly trying to establish himself as an authority over the GBC, warning them to act more narrow and bigoted or they will lose their "authority".

The above link in his lead story today goes to a pdf on Advaita's site, apparently he hasn't figured this out and doesn't know who our Advaita is.

Madhava - Sun, 08 Aug 2004 01:56:00 +0530
I don't suppose that Krishna-kirti has yet had the time to look up the rest of Advaita's opinions, such as "Who and what is a brahmin?".

Interestingly, the topic in the blog is "Intellect vs. Shastra", in contrast to Advaita's original "Shastra vs. mundane intellect" (which seems to have been updated the day before yesterday, BTW).
dirty hari - Sun, 08 Aug 2004 04:28:08 +0530
What the irony is, for those who dont know Advaita and his views, is that Advaita was very upset when people here compared his mood of strict literalness, to that of Iskcon, whom he abhors and considers apostates.

While the guy at that blog, is the extreme opposite, he believes anyone outside of Iskcon's "authority", is an apostate.
Bhrigu - Sun, 08 Aug 2004 12:43:37 +0530

I'm not sure that Advaitadas wrote that article. I saw an almost identical piece written earlier on by Vidvan Gauranga Dasa posted on Suhotra Swami's blog. I think that this is just a tidied up version of that. At any rate, it seems that these people are very worried about the "pratyaksavadis". Just check out Suhotra Swami's latest writings.
adiyen - Sun, 08 Aug 2004 14:29:03 +0530
How do you know 'Vidvan Gauranga Das' didn't steal his piece from an earlier unpublished manuscript of Advaita's?

Some of Advaita's writings may have been circulating hand-to-hand for years, indeed some Iskconites may have made a living from publishing books containing suggestions from or even lifted translations and commentary by Advaita, who they later fail to credit.

When you make a serious allegation like this you should first consider all possibilities or refrain from making rash claims till you have fully investigated.

Advaita's piece appears to be simply a translation of Jiva Gosvami, followed by some Chaitanya Charitamrita and a verse of Chanakya-niti.

Why would you assume that he would need to take this from 'Vidvan Gauranga Das', whoever that is.
Madhava - Sun, 08 Aug 2004 17:42:35 +0530
Advaita says in his article that the article was inspired by an article at Siddhanta.Com, he obviously got the idea of presenting those passages of Sarva-samvadini from there. That's the core article. The latest version Advaita has on his sites has it surrounded by some quotes. As for the comments on Sarva-samvadini, they are also copied more or less verbatim from that article, with the exception of comments which mention ISKCON or Prabhupada, which have been promptly removed or replaced. You can even find the last footnote mark in place in Advaita's file.

As for the translation, Vidvan Gauranga gives the credits of his version as follows here:

"Regarding the translation, I had taken the help of Sri Gopiparanadhana Prabhu of NE-BBT last year on Sarva-samvadini (but translation of the section presented here in this article is not checked by him). I have also consulted a Bengali version of Tattva-sandarbha published along with Sarva-samvadini and Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana's commentary (edition published by Gopinath Gaudiya Math (Mayapur, 1998)). The sections excerpted in this article appear as additional explanations to text 9 of Tattva-sandarbha."

I have no reason to doubt the above. Therefore, basically Advaita's presentation of Sarva-samvadini is just copied from that site with a couple of changes on the comments. I'd say he should give more credit than "inspired by an article at Siddhanta.Com", at least giving the name of the translator(s) and annotator, especially given the degree of his concern for others plagiarizing his works.

Aside Sarva-samvadini, the rest of the "article" consists of just quotes from here and there. That does not really an original article make, just a (nice) collection of (mostly well-known) verses. The original draft (mine was downloaded June 4th) consisted of the annotated Sarva-samvadini, followed by nine relevant verses from various granthas.

= = = = =

Adiyen, I don't think we are speaking about serious allegations when someone says, "I don't think", "I think" etc. He is just offering a possibility. I'd say you are the one in this case who would need to do his homework before jumping up for defense.

Interestingly, the entry recommending Advaita's article has now been removed from Siddhanta.Com. I suppose they figured out who was writing them and realized their errant ways.
Jagat - Sun, 08 Aug 2004 18:34:54 +0530
The miracle of rapid communications! You have done a great service to, Dirty Hari, by saving them from the touch of Advaita Das!
Madhava - Sun, 08 Aug 2004 21:16:03 +0530
Truely it was great for the blogger as long as the source of the knowledge was unknown, "lots of shastra, great read". It seems to have lost merit since then, as it got removed.

Whatever happened to accepting wisdom wherever it came from, even if it be from the pen of a bearded Dutchman? Nectar from poison, gold from a filthy place and a good lesson from a lowborn person, all that?
Bhrigu - Tue, 10 Aug 2004 15:12:15 +0530
I just saw that Suhotra Swami has posted a link to Advaita's article (no offence intended, Adiyen, I thought the authorship was unknown) in his own blog. He calls it a "very good essay" and wonders who the author might be. Lets see how long the link will last there! At least he doesn't promise to present the author to his readers, as Krishnakirti did.