Friday, 18 December 2009

Anantanand Rambachan on De Smet

Franco Pinto has been kind enough to procure for me a copy of Anantanand Rambachan's book Accomplishing the Accomplished: The Vedas as a Source of Valid Knowledge in Sankara. I found that title recommended by De Smet, and looking up the bibliography, right enough, there was Rambachan citing at least 4 of De Smet's works, including his doctoral dissertation. One more item for De Smet's secondary bibliography, and one more step in tracing out De Smet's underground influence, and the reception of his work....

Rambachan acknowledges De Smet's recognition of the Vedas as a valid pramana for Sankara, but feels that De Smet does not go far enough. "It comes as an anticlimax to find in him the selfsame unacknowledged and unresolved contradiction between an initial emphasis on the unmitigated authority of sruti and their reliance for verification on an experience." (9)

De Smet is mentioned only in the introductory outlining of the status quaestionis, and then briefly in the conclusion. So this cannot really be counted as a thorough study of De Smet. Besides, there are only 4 items in the bibliography - though this includes the doctoral dissertation.

An interesting point for study and clarification in De Smet. First: what really is his position on sruti and anubhava? Second, what was Sankara's position on the same?

Note that the study of K. Satchidananda Murty, Revelation and Reason in Advaita (1974) is cited by Rambachan in his bibliography. This is another item cited with approval by De Smet.

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