Monday, May 31, 2010

Between Jerusalem and Puducherry

Len Moskowitz May 30, 2010 at 11:09 am | Reply
Have you seen the film “Jews and Buddhism: Belief Amended, Faith Revealed”? In it there’s a clip of Ben Gurion being interviewed along with the Prime Minister of Burma, and they discuss religion.
It’s a shame Ben Gurion couldn’t find the gold buried in his own backyard.
I have a screener at home- I was the talking head for TJC showing. At some point I might post the documents of Ben-Gurions visit to a Buddhist monastery, his letter to various Buddhist leaders, and the Religious party’s protest.
Would you have liked him to follow the mekubbalim of the old yishuv and reject Zionism, army, and physical labor. Or would you have liked him to follow Rav Ashlag who met with Ben Gurion to make sure that the Jewish state would be communist, the only true Jewish economic system. Rav Ashlag also rejected the performance of the kavvanot.
I liked this piece becuase it brought in Bergman, Sadan, and the Theon society.
There is a paper entitled “Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Sri Aurobindo: Towards a Comparison” by Margaret Chatterjee that appeared in the book “Between Jerusalem and Benares: Comparative Studies in Judaism and Hinduism” edited by Hananya Goodman, SUNY Press, 1994. (I found it through a citation by Y. Mirsky.) It’s not a groundbreaking work on either figure, but it’s sort of interesting that it was written at all. 

 But all will not be lost if the teachings and works of the recent Spiritual Masters like Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Ramana Maharishi are publicized. Wendy Doniger and her likes can wave a few pages of the Rig Veda translated by half-baked knowledge and may shout the scripture to be primitive. But works like Aurobindo’s “The Secret of the Veda” written about a century ago is an antidote to such travesties. The Secret of the Veda obliterates the ignorance about the sublime Sruti. Sri Aurobindo decoded the inner meaning of the Rig Veda through such tools as philology and etymology. For example, Ashwa is not a horse but Energy/Force,  and Cow means Light/Illumination,  and Soma is not alcohol, but Divine Bliss. The yogi thus fetched the sublimity of the mystic poetry to the vicinity of a commoner. Similarly Swami Vivekananda  takes us to the Atharva Veda for the true explanation of the Shiva Lingam.

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