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Re: Stuff from "Vedic cosmography and astronomy" (was Re: The moon ..)




In article <4pqufe$5f4@babbage.ece.uc.edu>, 
Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <rbalasub@ecn.purdue.edu> writes:
[...]
|> Final Comments:
|> 
|> 1. I am extremely disappointed by the general mis-representation of the book by
|>    both HKS and Vivek Pai. I thought that they were probably right and Mr
|>    Pement must have mis-interpreted it due to his lack of understanding of the
|>    Indian tradition, but no such luck.

If you're going to drag my name into your little rant, at least do me
the honor of stating exactly where I even represented the book, specifically.
I don't mind retracting things when I'm wrong, but if you're not specific,
then you leave me no choice but to believe that either you're wrong
about what you think I said, or you're intentionally being vague.

Now, on to your "criticism". Forgive me for being terse, but I'm short of
time these days.

1) though the author clearly mentions the spiritual/material distinctions
   involved, you gloss over that part quickly and instead focus on the
   arguments he makes which you find easier to attack. Your choice. See
   point 4.

2) you harp on the word "honesty", apparently not realizing that it does
   have more than one meaning in this context. The Gaudiya tradition has
   the concept of the 4 defects of conditioned souls, so when I read those
   lines, even with your added emphasis, I still doubt that your 
   interpretation is necessarily the only correct one.

3) The Gaudiya - Madhva connection and the arguments around it - you
   apparently missed this whole debate on SRV. Shrisha (and others) made 
   some arguments why they believe there isn't a link. The Gaudiyas
   disagreed, and presented their evidence. You haven't exactly hit
   upon anything new, either in Vaishnavism or religion in general.
   The same argument applies to the Christians, the Mulsims, the
   Ahmadiyyas, the Baha'i's, etc., etc. In my opinion, it's 
   unresolvable and a waste of time.

4) The dual nature of things - this argument seems to indicate that you
   aren't familiar with Gaudiya thought. For example - Krishna is always
   present in certain places in certain forms, but you may not see Him
   if you go there. Why? Because you don't have the capability of doing
   so. Brings back the whole Universal Form thing from the BG.

5) Puranic and Vedic being interchangeable - this stems back to the
   whole Puranas as the fifth Veda argument. Also old news, and has
   been (re)hashed to death, with no general agreement.

6) Transmission of knowledge through non-physical presence. Hmm...
   not so strange after all. See the Brahma Samita, for the prime
   example. Others also exist.

|> 2. The book is badly written, and believe me, I am being _very_ charitable
|>    here.

Interestingly, that's what I thought about your "critique". To each his
own, I guess.

-Vivek


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