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Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Oct 26 18:21:17 CDT 1999

On Tue, 26 Oct 1999, Devendra Vyas wrote:

> namaste all,
>                with due respect to all,i wish to say that there is some
> truth in the observation that-'there are many futile ,text-torturing debates
> in advaita'.
> of course,nothing in existence is futile,but it is sometimes very amusing to
> note people who profess to think and meditate on the
> ultimate,highest,grandest,abstract,most abstruse truth get caught up in
> matters and debates most trifle.
> everything in maya has got merits and faults,and our beloved advaita
> list is no exception(let us admit this truth),
> it is true that sometimes we
> list members too indulge in debates and points which frankly do not behove
> us and are quite childish in depth and content.

I'll admit this list and its members have faults but I don't see any
evidence of childish discussions in either depth or content.  What do you

> i personally feel that 2 types of persons get attracted to advaita:
> 1.those attracted to it's philosophy for intellectual satisfaction.

Why make a distinction between intellectual and spiritual satisfaction?
God put brains in our heads so we would use them. What is not spiritual
about thinking?  How is it any less of an "experience" than anything else?

> 2.those attracted to it for it's profound and sublime value which alone can
> lead to true knowledge.

knowledge is knowledge is knowledge.  Whether the knowledge is of
basketball, or chemistry or Vedanta the methods of acquisition are the
same.  Learning to use the Internet requires pretty profound and sublime
knowledge.  How did you manage to do that?  You must do the same to
learn Vedanta.  Why should religion be the only field of human endeavor
where ignorance is considered a virtue rather than the vice it is
everywhere else?

> it is obvious that the former(1.) have not really understood advaita and
> have mistaken the chaff for the grain.

On the contrary, they realize it all too well.  They realize that the
world of "experience" is false and that only through the mental power of
viveka can they hope to move beyond it.

> i would like to end with a quote by the one of the greatest advaitins of the
> present age,

This in itself is debatable!

> swami.vivekananda:
> "you must not merely learn what the rishis taught.those rishis are gone,and
> their opinions are also gone with must be rishis yourselves.

So why quote vivekananda?  He is also dead and gone.  Why indulge in such

I can't believe anyone who claims to be a faithful expositor of our
heritage would make a comment as downright dumb as "The Rshis are gone and
their opinions are also gone with them." They are the guides in matters
practical and philosophical to millions even today--far more people than
ever set foot in the RK mission.

> you are
> also men as much as the greatest men that were ever born-even our
> incarnations.what can mere book learning do?

this is a bogus argument.  In our religion, even when texts are studied it
is the context of a guru-shishya relationship. I have a large library at
home but it would mean nothing without the contact I've had with the
eternal and unbroken chain of tradition.  There is no "mere book learning"
going on.  Imagine what the fate of mankind would be if we had to relearn
everything every generation.  We'd still be cavemen!  But luckily, we can
build on the efforts and achievements of previous generations.

> what can meditation do even?what
> can the mantras and tantras do?you must stand on your own feet."

No doubt Vivekanandas audience found such flattery quite to their liking.
"Hey, I'm the greatest man that ever lived.  I don't have to know
anything or do anything or listen to anyone." But do you think people
who insult Gurus, shastras, and Devas, will ever end up as anything
other than egotists of the worst kind?  If the ground beneath your
feet is shaky you may stand for a second but then you'll fall over again.

> after all,advaita reminds us of our divinity,our infinite potential-it does
> not advise us to become  mere intellectual addicts.

Do you have a job?  Unless you are a beggar, a labourer or a farmer, it
probably requires intellectual effort.  But when it comes to making money,
why nobody scared of becoming an "intellectual addict"?  Yet again for
religious matters this somehow becomes a big deal.  The human race would
be better off if there were more intellectual addicts and less ignorance

> i hope the esteemed members take my words in the right spirit and don't
> misunderstand's hoping for a advaita list which takes the debates
> and discussions to a new,higher level where we can have the joy of really
> discussing the evernew knowledge of advaita.---devendra.

I understand what you are saying.  It doesn't anger me but rather, saddens
me.  There is high level discussion of Advaita Vedanta going on but for
some reason you do not seem to be able to see it.  I hope you will take
the time to try and understand why things are the way they are rather than
make rash judgements based on incomplete information.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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