[Advaita-l] Recent debates

Subrahmanian, Sundararaman V [IT] sundararaman.v.subrahmanian at citigroup.com
Wed Jun 25 19:01:05 CDT 2003

Regarding recent debates:
If spirituality can be compared to a journey of 1000 miles, different philosophies (and religions too) are quite the same for 995 miles, only the last 5 miles are different.  For many of us who might have taken the first few steps, bickering (or listening to other bicker) over the last 5 miles is futile.  The most difficult part is the first 995 miles which includes teachings like - satyam vada, dharmam chara, ahimsa paramo dharmah etc.  Once we have crossed the 995 miles, with a clear mind we ourselves will know which path is right for the last 5 miles.  Bickering happens only because we speculate about the last 5 miles from where we are ie., just after a few steps in the journey.

Regarding Sri Ravi's suggestion about BSB:
BSB is really needed when there is clarity required in the Upanishads.  While individually many may have studied the upanishads, as a list there is not a single upanishad that has been discussed completely.  I feel that should be the first step.  Kena with two commentaries by Sri Shankara is a good start.  It is small, pithy and thought provoking.  I am saying for the "list" in general to follow the right sequence.

In Vedanta, I have found that you can get only as much as you want to know.  Not a drop gets into the head (heart) by repeatedly reading.  If we don't have questions, merely reading BSB will not stick in one's head.  Kena upanishad provokes us to ask the right questions and if we start there, we can motivate ourselves to churn ideas within and thereby get more out of our discussions.  Kena is only a suggestion, other upanishads also are thought provoking.

Thanks to some good teachers I have had in matters of religion, I frequently ask myself this question these days before I read any book - why am I reading this book? - is it to accomplish an intellectual feat or to know God?  This has changed my attitude considerably towards scriptures.

Regarding the volume of postings:
Reading and discussing spiritual matters should be like children eating food:  "Eat less, chew more".

With love,

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