Below are Feedback/Comments received on our posting of, ‘Kali’s Child Revisited or, Didn’t Anyone Check the Documentation?’ by Swami Tyagananda
This evening I was most fortunate to find a link to your website on the Hindu Press International site. It was in reference to Swami Tyagananda’s critical review of Jeff Kripal’s Kali’s Child. It seems that he takes exception to much of the material owing to what he perceives as distortions and as I see it, a projection of the author’s psychological template onto Ramakrishna’s life.
I found the review to be fair and concise. Swamiji makes many good, credible points about the seeming lack of true scholarship and lack of intimate knowledge of Bengali culture, language and religion. Neither do I consider myself an expert nor to possess the intimate knowledge of a native. However, I have for the past quarter century been an avid Indophile. I have attempted to gain a well grounded overview of much of the basis of the culture of Bharat. Although born in the United States, I have found a place in the deepest recesses of my being for the philosophy and religion of the Saiva Siddhanta of Rishi Tirumular. I am also very familiar with Vedanta and Ramakrishna. I have, in fact, read the book in question. I found it entertaining, but I agree with Swami Tyagananda that it seems more like popular literature for entertainment than a well researched Ph.D. dissertation.
I will be keeping a watch out for any other works by the Swami. His review was insightful and yet remained polite and controlled even in this age of rabid criticism. His self control in the treatment of a somewhat controversial subject is admirable and only serves to affirm his credibility.
Congratulations to your staff as well. Your mission is a much needed thing in the face of the misinformation that the world is exposed to regarding the traditions of Bharat. It should also have a positive effect on the self-image of Hindus worldwide.
Los Angeles, CA