message to my friends

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Thu Aug 6 09:44:21 CDT 1998

On Wed, 5 Aug 1998, f. maiello wrote:

> hariH OM!
> There seems to have been a misunderstanding on my part.
> As I indicated to Ravi in a private email, I left the
> List because I felt at an impasse, due to what I wrongly
> interpreted as a *requirement* to support whatever I post
> with quotes from a recognized authority, and not that if
> I do so--as Ravi suggested--it would only help substantiate
> my view, whenever it may be controversial.
> The problem I have with this, as I mentioned to Ravi,
> is that although in principle, the idea of supporting one's
> statements with quotes from a recognized source is fine,
> in practical terms, I don't believe it can work.  Simply
> because not all jnanis are in agreement on all matters.

That's irrelevant for several reasons.

1.  We are discussing Advaita Vedanta as taught by Shankaracharya so it
doesn't matter if all jnanis agree or not.  Only the jnanis of
Shankaracharyas tradition count.

2.  Even then there is some room for disagreement but if you look closely,
you see there is great agreement on a lot of issues.  For those issues we
can certainly make judgements without fear of bing rash.

3.  A disagreemnt, to be worthy of consideration must have some substance.
Everyone has opinions but not all opinions are worth anything.  If that's
not the case we should just abandon the list and start watching talk
shows.  They are certainly full of "controversy."

> And, in the instance of our forum, the matters being debated
> can find support from one source, while rejected by another.

Really?  Then lets see the sources.  In the recent discussion I had with
Sadananda I could at least understand where he is coming from.  Your posts
seem to be nothing more than your opinion which to be blunt doesn't carry
a lot of weight.  By showing where and how you reached a certain
conclusion, you become more believable.

> The debates--having to do with adhikara, caste, ashramas,
> mental vs physical sannyas, etc--are a matter of conflicted
> opinions in terms of strategy.  So that if someone states
> physical sannyas is prerequisite to the jnanamarg, and
> quotes where sankara has said this, and another comes back
> with the fact that mental sannyas [in some cases] is all
> that's needed, and quotes Ramana, who's quote will carry
> the weight?

This why Avaita Vedanta is called a sampradaya.  A succession of teachers.
We look not at one particular link but the whole tradition to come to a
conclusion.  And in doing so we note that Advaita Vedanta overwhelmig
rejects the idea that mental sannyasa is all that's needed.  As for
Ramana, looking back on the last 20 or so messages I don't see him being
invoked to support the idea that physical sannyasa isn't needed.  And I
also note that he was a sannyasi himself.

>  And this is only one example of many.  So that,
> the whole idea of using such quotes is based on who the
> listener is inclined to lend credence to.  So we're back
> to square one again.

No we are not.  Because again I remind you this list is for Advaita
Vedanta as taught by Shankaracharya.  This is who we are inclined to give
credence to.

> I really don't know what to do to facilitate such, except
> to say that if whatever I post is specifically deemed
> by another to be erroneous, by all means discard it!

Why should anyone clean up after your mess?  If your posts are erroneous
don't make them.  Make non-erroneous ones instead.

I've never called for anyone to leave the list because I would rather they
changed their ways instead.  What list members are being asked to do is
well within the grasp of everyone.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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