contentedbloke says “This is the kind of analysis I was expecting from the media all along – better late than never, I suppose” with regard to T V R Shenoy‘s Why Shankaracharya’s arrest was in bad taste published at

While I have nothing against TVR Shenoy (I have in fact had the good fortune to meet up and try to know the man, and must say that I respect him too!), I must point out that this article is perfectly in line, and consistent, with his other articles, and, of course, his ideology.

Well, let’s look at the first couple of paragraphs, and take it on from there…

I am not a follower of Jayendra Saraswati, the sixty-ninth Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. There are two reasons.

First, I was brought up in the Madhavacharya tradition, which has philosophical differences with the path established by Adi Shankara. Second, I have always been put off by the manner in which Jayendra Saraswati pursued publicity and dabbled in politics. (His intervention in the Ayodhya issue was spectacularly ill-timed.) While respecting his office, I must admit that I have always tried to avoid the man himself and could never quite give him the esteem offered by right to his immediate predecessor.

That said, I have to say that the manner of his arrest and his treatment thereafter was in rank bad taste. Please understand that I speak only of the behaviour of the authorities, not of the reasons which led them to arrest the Shankaracharya. That does not mean that I believe Tamil Nadu’s case. […]

Having made clear in as many words, that he is NOT “a follower” (thanks to Madhwa) and thus not so fond of the Shankaracharya or his philosophy, TVR goes ahead and builds the ‘perfect’ case against his arrest.

Of course, what better way to build a FOR case, than proving (in as many words) that you are indeed a NEUTRAL (even OPPOSED) party?

Then again, the fact that TVR expresses, in passing, that the Shankaracharya’s ” intervention in the Ayodhya issue was spectacularly ill-timed,” took me by surprise!

Makes me ask: Has there been any instance when Jayendra Saraswati went against the dictates (read agenda) of the Sangh? I really don’t have the answer to this off-hand.

Do you?



  1. Oh, I don’t agree with his view of the “ill-timed” intervention. Nor do I necessarily agree with his opinion of Sankaracharya’s public life.

    But what is important is that he was good enough to put those philosophical and religious differences (being a madhwa etc) aside and look at the facts of the issue. This is what I had taked about in my response to Birdonthewire’s comment, and I was truly happy to see atleast someone implement it.

    1. Bala,

      You are mistaken when you say, “what is important is that he was good enough to put those philosophical and religious differences (being a madhwa etc) aside and look at the facts of the issue.”

      That was my point. He is portraying that there were differences. My contention: There are none that are so great.

      In addition, the ideology is the same. So is the agenda.

      And that is the fact of the matter.

      PS: He is not a Madhwa. He too (like me) is a GSB, and thus aligned with one or more of the Kashi, Gorkarna, and Kaivalya Parthagali Sansthaans (being Konkani), and of course the Shirali (Adi Shankaracharya) Maths.

      But we hailing from Udupi, do indeed feel a little closer in heart to the Madhwa philosophy ­čśë

      1. Oh, ok I get your point.

        Here’s the reason why I made that comment – I personally know enough people who are so caught up with the seemingly ideological differences – whether between Chandrashekarendrar and Jayendrar’s philosophies, or between one mutt and another – that they are actually happy when some controversy like this comes up. They fail to understand that what can happen to Kanchi or Jayendrar can also happen to anyone else. That was the point I was trying to stress all along.

        BTW, what is GSB? I do not recognize the acronym…

        1. I understand that, pal. Peace! ­čÖé

          All I was saying is don’t take what people write literally, without looking at their backgrounds, and ideological inclinations.

          GSB = Gowd Saraswath Brahmins, in other words the people who speak the Konkani language… Khoj has a nice listing, but the best info is provided at Kamat Potpourri.


      2. I stand corrected!

        Googling around, I came across GSB & SB Samaj website (click ‘Math’) which states:

        Out of 39 Kuladevatas of the Gowd Saraswats, not less than 27 are Shaiva deties with Vaishnava Kulavis. During the change over from the Smartha Advaitism of the Gowdapadacharya Mutt to the Dwaitist Vaishnavism of the Gokarna Parthagali Mutt and Kashi Mutt, the disciples did not change their Shaiva Kula Devatas.

        GSBs converted into the Dwaitist Vaishnavism from the Smarth Advaitism,the influence of Shree Madhvacharya.

        That would indeed make TVR a Madhwa. And me too!

        Guess this goes to prove the three basic (and age-old) principles of journalism: accuracy. accuracy. accuracy.

        PS: The full details of all the six Saraswat maths is given at gsbworld (click ‘GSB Maths’).

        1. Why all this discussion about philosophies. The man is a public figure and the circumstances of the arrest are more hostile for him than they would be for any other public figure. That is the basic problem in the events.

          1. The actual discussion was about ideologies, and agendas, of a writer. That has been resolved, to some extent. Which

            The philosophical thread was a tangent, that sprung up to understand who GSBs are. That should NOT take away from what I originally wrote… coz that is free of the philosophical rants.

            Again, I am sorry but I do not understand what you mean when you say: “the circumstances of the arrest are more hostile for him than they would be for any other public figure”.

        2. Both are very good sites – learnt many new things!

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