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Re: Some Comments by T Subba Rao

Aug 18, 2012 08:29 AM
by don ridgway

Thank you for posting this.

--- In, MKR <mkr777@...> wrote:
> T Subba Rao, a very well known theosophist and contemporary of HPB
> delivered four lectures on Gita at the International Convention at Adyar in
> 1886. He made some comments at the end of the last lecture which are very
> significant to any theosophical student. He said:
> ++++
> We have merely commenced the study of Bhagavad Gitã in these lectures. Try
> to examine, by the light of the statements found in our own books, and in
> modern books on Psychology and Science, whether the theory I have placed
> before you is at all tenable or not -- decide for yourselves -- whether
> that is the theory supported by the Bhagavad Gitã itself. Do not rely on a
> host of commentaries which will only confuse you, but try to interpret the
> text for yourselves as far as your intelligence will allow; and if you
> think this is really a correct theory, try to follow it up and think out
> the whole philosophy for yourselves. I have found that a good deal more is
> to be gained by concentration of thought and meditation, than by reading
> any number of books or hearing any number of lectures. Lectures are utterly
> useless, unless you think out for yourself what they treat of. The Society
> cannot provide you with philosophical food already digested, as though you
> were in the ideal state of passivity aimed at by the advocates of the
> Sankhyan philosophy; but every one of you is expected to read and study the
> subject for himself. Read and gain knowledge, and then use what you have
> gained for the benefit of your own countrymen.
> The philosophy contained in our old books is valuable, but it has been
> turned into superstition. We have lost almost all our knowledge. What we
> call religion is but the shell of a religion that once existed as a living
> faith. The sublime philosophy of Sankaracharya has assumed quite a hideous
> form at the present day. The philosophy of a good many Adwaitis does not
> lead to practical conduct. They have examined all their books, and they
> think with the Southern Buddhists of Ceylon, that Nirvana is the Nirvana
> promised by the Sãnkhya philosophers, and instead of following out their
> own philosophy to its legitimate conclusion, they have introduced by their
> Panchayatanapuja and other observances what seems to be a foolish and
> unnecessary compromise between the different views of the various sects
> that have existed in India. Visishthadwaita philosophy has degenerated, and
> is now little more than temple worship, and has not produced any good
> impression on men's minds. Madhwa philosophy has degenerated in the same
> manner, and has perhaps become more fanatical. For instance, Sankaracharya
> is represented in their Manimanjari as a Rakshasa of former times. In
> Northern India people generally recite Saptashati and many have adopted
> Shakti worship. Kali is worshipped in Calcutta more perhaps than any other
> deity. If you examine these customs by the light of Krshna's teachings, it
> must appear to you that, instead of having Hinduism, we have assimilated a
> whole collection of superstitious beliefs and practices which do not by any
> means tend to promote the welfare of the Hindu nation, but demoralise it
> and sap its spiritual strength, and have led to the present state of
> things, which, I believe, is not entirely due to political degeneration.
> Our Society stands upon an altogether unsectarian basis; we sympathise with
> every religion, but not with every abuse that exists under the guise of
> religion; and while sympathising with every religion and making the best
> efforts we can for the purpose of recovering the common foundations that
> underlie all religious beliefs, it ought to be the duty of every one of us
> to try to enlighten our own countrymen on the philosophy of religion, and
> endeavour to lead them back to a purer faith -- a faith which, no doubt,
> did exist in former times, but which now lives but in name or in the pages
> of forgotten books.
> +++++
> His emphasis on the need for each one of us to do our own thinking and not
> to expect the TS to provide philosophical food already digested is worth
> noting.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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