[Advaita-l] FW: Kingpin status of anubhava - mistaken or out ofcontext (was re:
Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra, Water)
vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com
Mon May 7 10:03:03 CDT 2007
I think this thread exemplifies precisely the direction that I would
like to avoid (speaking as a moderator) in the ongoing discussion:
namely, talking at cross purposes. Let us retrace the steps and figure
out where things are going wrong.
1. In his paper, Ramakrishnan has referred to a book published by
Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya. I am going to talk only about the dates of
publication in the following, without getting into the content of the
quotation from this book.
2. Savithri noted that she didn't have that particular book at hand.
3. Shyam posted a general link to Swami Sacchidanandendra Saraswati's
publications available at the Digital Library of India (DLI), which had
a digital version of the said book, plus other books published by the
4. The quoted book, it was always clear, had been published in 1996.
However, Rama noted that some of the books listed at the Digital Library
were listed as having been published in 1881. This would have been
impossible if 1881 were understood as being in the international common
era. He therefore thought that there was something fishy about it.
5. I then guessed that either 1881 is simply a typo, or it is a year
number in the Saka era. In the latter case, the problem vanishes,
because that number would correspond to the year 1959 in the
international common era. At this point of time, I had not yet seen the
list of books available in the Digital Library.
6. One non-member spectator of the list wrote privately to me saying
that the second guess above is correct, and that therefore everything is
fine. I forwarded that mail to the list, with the sender's permission.
Only after this did I check the DLI website (http://dli.iiit.ac.in/) and
confirm that everything was indeed fine, by searching for
7. Since then, Savithri, Bhaskar and Rama have responded on this thread,
but sadly to say, without certain much-needed clarifications.
8. Now, it is clear from the Digital Library website that
A. The quoted book (The Basic Tenets of Sankara Vedanta) is
given a publication date of 1996.
B. Three other books, "kenoo (sic) upanishad", "mundaka
upanishad" and "kathaka upanishad" are given publication dates of 1881,
1882 and 1885, respectively.
C. Upon browsing two of the three books above, I find that the
word "SakAbdAH" precedes the numeral in Devanagari script and that the
very next page gives the corresponding publication year in the common
>From the above, it is clear that so far as publication dates are
concerned, there is really no problem anywhere. However, to understand
this, one has to realize that by the time we traverse from point 1 above
to point 5 above, we are referring to different books. If we do not keep
in mind that in the crucial point 3 above, we have gone from a
particular book (published in 1996) to a general set of books (with
different publication dates given in the Digital Library), readers are
apt to get confused.
If at all there is to be any result of this discussion, it should be to
alert DLI that providing publication dates on the search results page,
without specifying the era is confusing. I should also point out that
the kathaka upanishad book, which is given a date of 1885 in the search
results page (point 8B above), was actually published in SakAbda 1884.
This is from page 4 of this publication. It would be nice if any members
of this list, who have established contact with DLI, bring this to their
attention and have them correct their records and perhaps also influence
them in providing a clearer search results page, that includes the era
reference along with publication year. I would imagine that such an
issue would arise for most of the DLI's collection, given that usage of
multiple eras is a given fact of public life in India.
Having said that, may I request the participants of this discussion to
move on and to attempt to clarify exactly what they are saying and why,
as the discussion progresses? I cannot overemphasize the importance of
being as clear as possible; otherwise, these threads are all in danger
of being quite futile. Person A says something and perhaps intends it,
perhaps not; person B understands it slightly differently, but imparts a
meaning further away than what person A intended; person C comes in and
understands it yet differently and misunderstands both A and B; person D
jumps in and finds fault with A, B and C; the comedy of errors goes on.
Except, in this case, it threatens to become a tragedy of personal
recriminations on this list. I reiterate, that is precisely what all the
moderators would like to avoid. Please, focus on fundamentals, be as
clear as possible, work on improving the clarity and resist the
temptation to make barbed comments about one another. I do not
particularly like to sound so patronizing, but somehow, the situation
seems to call for it. I hope I don't have to repeat such a message
again, at least for a couple of weeks!
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