Friday, January 8, 2010

David Reigle vs T. Subba Row

David Reigle on his site, Eastern Tradition, has recently posted a lengthy 64 page piece, “Confusing the Esoteric with the Exoteric: T. Subba Row on Advaita Vedanta,” calling into question T. Subba Row’s knowledge (or rather ability to give an accurate account) of Advaita Vedanta. Subba Row (1856-1890) was a respected South Indian member in the early days of the Theosophical movement, and was supposed to have been a pupil of HPB’s teacher. They parted ways over her giving out too much esoteric teaching in her writings. In the West textual sources are the ultimate religious authority, but in the East it is the experiential nature as expressed in the teacher, or guru, that has the paramount claim. Not only are there six well-known orthodox schools in Indian philosophy but one of those schools, Vedanta, allows three distinct ways of interpretation. So it is quite possible that T. Subba Row put his own slant on the subject. Not enough has been written about the occultism of South India, which remains largely unexplored in the West because it is not in Sanskrit. That being said, Mr. Reigle’s site contains a wealth of information, as can be seen here.

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