A Case of Mistaken Identity
Posted April 2, 2004
It has come to my attention recently that a semi-scholarly individual is putting hurtful and blasphemous statements about our sampradaya on the internet. Now, this is nothing new. Many people have inappropriate things to say about our beloved tradition. The problem in this case is quite pointed, and it points at me: This particular commentator has my name.
Friends and acquaintances are now writing to me -- and to others -- asking why I have betrayed our spiritual master. "Has his preaching to scholars finally gotten to him?" "Has Satyaraja blooped?" For those who are concerned, the "Satyaraja" who posted these questionable comments is certainly not me. I hardly go on the web. I turn on my computer mainly to write articles for BTG, for scholarly journals, and for my books. I also check my emails. That's it. I have little or nothing to do with web communication and controversial internet exchange. So let's be clear: The Satyaraja writing this stuff is not Steven Rosen -- not the same guy who writes BBT books and articles for BTG.
I see repeated reference on-line to the "Brazilian Vedic Scholar, Satyaraja." I believe it is he who makes these unorthodox and oftentimes blatantly offensive statements on various websites, such as his exchange with one, "Jagatji." People naturally associate his comments with me because these comments are somewhat scholarly, and people know that I have been preaching to scholars for some twenty years -- that, along with the fact that we share the same name, does not bode well for me. Still, one would think that this other Satyaraja would make a public statement revealing that he is not the well-known Satyaraja who writes books, if for no other reason than to make my life a little easier.
If nothing else, this bit of cyberspace confusion should reveal just how dangerous the internet can be: In the material world, we not only confuse the body with the self, but, sometimes, we confuse the body with two different selves. Food for thought. All the best.
--Satyaraja Dasa (Steven Rosen)