[Advaita-l] Debate and Learning : Some general requests
Vivek Anand Ganesan
v_ganesan at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 17 16:13:33 CDT 2003
Hello all :
I have been a member of this list for more than four
years. For the most part, I have asked questions and
clarifications and occassionally I have had the privilege
to make some token contributions. In either case, I have
found this list to be an invaluable learning aid for any
sincere student of advaita. I have learned a lot from the
informative posts and thoughtful discussions on this list
and it has spurred me to do deeper studies.
I believe the vast majority of us ( by "us" I mean
20-to-30 something english educated professionals with only
a passing knowledge of Sanskrit and VedAnta, pursuing a
thoroughly materialistic career ) are still beginners and
the more I read classical advaita texts, the more convinced
I am of this fact. IMHO, I don't think debate and
dialectics are effective tools of learning for beginners.
It is always advisable to learn the basics thoroughly
before indulging in debate and dialectics. Note,
clarifications and textual discussions or questions about
exegesis are certainly part and parcel of the learning
process and leads to a critical understanding of the
subject matter but I feel that mere dialectics does not
lead to proper learning.
To that end, I have the following general requests, which
I hope the moderators would consider and also I hope most
list members would consent to :
1) Let this forum be a learning forum : We should all use
this forum to further our understanding of Advaita VedAnta
and to enhance our sAdhana. Clarifications of vedAntic
precepts and questions about specific concepts and ideas
should be welcome but we shouldn't argue just for the sake
2) Constructive debate should always be welcome ( a debate
is constructive if it illuminates aspects of advaita
philosophy and/or clears misconceptions regarding advaita )
3) If members really want to indulge in comparisons of
advaita with other philosophies and to compare and contrast
these different methods then they can do so in another
mailing list ( we can have advaita-debate for instance and
interested members can sign up for this ).
Just my two cents.
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