But as it eventually turned out that, such hopes were premature and I realized that I was actually up against a Trojan Horse from the spiritualist camp.
After some initial pleasantries, this gentleman committed the same sin of most spiritual apologists, mixing science and religion, using scientific and argumentative generalizations to question the rejection of Vedanta.
The philosophy of the Upanishadas meant withdrawal from the struggle for existence by resort to asceticism and a destruction of desire by self-mortification.
In supposing the existence of a permanent reality, or ‘substance’, beneath the shifting series of phenomena, whether of matter or of mind, the substance of the cosmos was ‘Brahma’, that of the individual man ‘Atman’; and the latter was separated from the former only, if I may so speak, by its phenomenal envelope, by the casing of sensations, thoughts and desires, pleasures and pains, which make up the illusive phantasmagoria of life.
This the ignorant, take for reality; their ‘Atman’ therefore remains eternally imprisoned in delusions, bound by the fetters of desire and scourged by the whip of misery.
“But denunciations apart, did the Upanishad philosophy have any influence on Hinduism as a social and political system?
There is no doubt that it turned out to be most ineffective and inconsequential piece of speculation with no effect on the moral and social order of the Hindus.” But does any of this deter the almost universal applause and reverential awe that is the constant companion of Vedanta and its myriad gyrations of studies and expositions?
As another ploy, he sent me a link to a brain-fryer of a book called ‘Vichar Sagar’, another tedious apologia for Vedic and Vedantic scriptures. A.’s first comment to article on Bhagavad Gita via email: There is divergence of opinions about the truth, strategy, nature of the people etc.