Thank You

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Jul 28 23:56:14 CDT 1999

On Tue, 27 Jul 1999, Greg Goode wrote:

> Who is weak-minded?  Certainly not Robert.  He has hung out on the list
> when almost all the posts on his thread went against his ideas.  How many
> people have done the same thing, when almost everyone disagreed with
> them?

I thought we were talking about people who had _previously_ left the list.

> Most of the people who were roundly disagreed with on ADVAITA-L have
> left it, and I can tell you, they have definitely "gotten somewhere" on
> other lists.

But that somewhere is not Advaita Vedanta.  People are entitled  to
believe in whatever they want.  It is when they misrepresent their own
notions as being that of Advaita Vedanta that I have a problem.  Bcause it
is not truth and I believe what is true is good and what is untrue is

And btw, several people who left the list in a huff still read it through
the web interface.  I seem them in the log files.  Obviously the
"harshness" didn't bother them _that_ much did it?

> Well, as an essentially religious list, it should be even further from
> flamefests than it is.  Why don't more people emulate their teachers in
> their manner of communicating?  I find it hard to believe that the swamis
> at the Shankaracharyan mathas treat people that way.

You are right to urge us to a higher standard.  Yes there is room for
improvement.  But it goes both ways.  People have to learn to not feel
attacked when they hear something they find uncomfortable.

> This would be a real good point if it were somehow impossible to be polite
> and truthful or earnest at the same time.  But it's just too obviously not
> impossible.  There are too many examples in scholarship and religious
> dialog in which politeness, intelligence, scholarship and insight are all
> exemplified together with an exciting debate.  Again, why don't the most
> ardent spokesmen on this list for the textual Advaita Vedanta tradition
> exemplify the politeness that the swamis exemplify?

For the same reason some new members don't exemplify the ideal student and
patiently try to understand things before shooting off an opinion.  These
are things that we all need to work on.

> Yes, this can help us when we're on the receiving end of ugly truth.  But
> it doesn't justify being on the giving end.

I count two sorts of learners.  The first may not be familiar with the
topic for whatever reason but they are interested in furthering their
knowledge.  Even if they do not end up agreeing with what you say, that
kind of person is a joy to answer.

The second is only looking for a mirror to confirm what he has already
decided upon.   In my book, such people are beneath contempt and do not
deserve any special consideration from me.

> A deva's job is not our
> job.  Because a deva can do this doesn't mean that we can do this.  Would
> you arrogate Deva-hood to anyone on this list?

No.  Humans are higher than the Devas in this repect because they are
enjoying the fruits of their previous karma and are thus constrained to
act in particular ways while we have the power and free will to choose our

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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