This monograph problematises Professor Sheldon Pollock’s interpretation of the Rāmāyaṇa.
The words of Matthew Arnold, carrying a ring of truth, and cited with approval by Coomaraswamy, may not suffice today:
“The brooding East with awe beheld
Her impious younger world.
The Roman tempest swell’d and swell’d,
And on her head was hurl’d.
The East bow’d low before the blast
Inpatient, deep disdain;
She let the legions thunder past,
And plunged in thought again.”
The dictum of Vedānta Deśika (14th c. C.E.) - that goblins need to be responded to in their own language (lest they understand nothing, nor refrain from their diabolical diatribes) — piśācānāṁ piśāca-bhaṣayaiva uttaraṁ deyam — is more apposite today than during his own times when the invading hordes dealt untold destruction upon our opulent temples and innocent populace. What Veṅkaṭādhvarin (17th c. C.E.) grieved, of the horrendous brutalities and warrantless animosity of
the alien tribes, the turuṣka-s, and yavana-s, is no less true of the contemporary “academic elite”:
niṣkāruṇyatamais turuṣka-yavanair niṣkāraṇa-dveṣibhiḥ |
It is scholars like Manjushree that can rise to the occasion to remedy the grim situation. (With due apologies to Mallinātha commencing his commentary on Raghuvaṁśa/Kumārasambhava, we may say:)
bhāraty Ādikaveḥ Pollāg(Pollock)-durvyākhyā-viṣa-mūrcchitā |
Mañjuśrī-mañjulā-vāṇī tām adyojjīvayiṣyati ||