[Advaita-l] RE: e-vEdAnta course

Srikrishna Ghadiyaram srikrishna_ghadiyaram at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 12 14:38:14 CST 2003

hariH Om !!

--- Ram Chandran <rchandran at cox.net> wrote:
> Namaste Sri Jaldhar:
> I believe that your criticism regarding the
> e-Vedanta Course comes with good intentions.
> Vedantic organizations including the Chinmaya
> Mission do evaluate the pros and cons of their new
> programs using an open discussion forum - for
> example a trustee or board meetings. Interestingly
> such meetings always contain members such as Jaldhar
> H. Vyas,  Bhadraiah Mallampalli, Vidyasankar
> Sundaresan, Ravisankar, Srikrishna Ghadiyaram, 
> Vaidya Sundaram and Ram Chandran. Though Swamijis
> have the veto power, they always listen to all sides
> and act appropriately. Please understand that the
> idea of e-Vedanta course doesn't come from Swamiji
> but mostly such ideas come from the audience!

This is precisely my starting point. As young,
business minded or business savy vedantic students get
there in a mission of this nature, they change the
goals and direction of the organisation. This is
precisely the time when you expect the leader to make
critical decisions. After all we credit Swami T only
for the success of 50 years of Chinmaya Mission, not
necessarily the fellow how dug trenches. So, also
criticism goes to the leaders. Root out business minds
from such important decisions. It is not an
organisational committee formulated to organise the 50
year function. At times, we need to look at
organisations in similar lines and learn from them.
Why are they not doing it ? Can we stop and think ?

> Swamiji being service oriented wants to help the
> members if and when new ideas become feasible. 

So, why not serve who do not and can not donate $ 350 
but lives in US; or those we do not know any thing
about Vedanta who can enthusiastically donate $ 350. I
did not see any such provision in the course.

> No human action is perfect, it always contains
> When the best becomes infeasible, we do go for the
> second best and organizations do the same! 
> The e-vedanta course is a new venture - just like
> ventures such as the Advaita-L and advaitin list to
> learn and propogate vedanta. We certainly can't go
> back to the vedic times and sit infront of banyan
> tree listening to a Guru. Organizations have to
> accomodate and meet the changes due to the modern
> environment. Even with all the changes, there will
> be resistence from few and that is quite
> understandable.
> To day, all Sankara Mutts have a e-mail list and
> send their newsletters to their members. Swami
> Jayendra Swamigal of Kanchi does corrrespond using
> emails? 

This was precisely my complaint. I have been a member
of Chinmaya Mission activities for atleast 3 years.
When the new technology came why did I not receive an
e-mail from the Central Chinmaya Mission ? Who
authorised a Raffle ticket mailer and who denied a new
communication with the patrons ? If Sankara Matha had
asked me money to read their e-mails, I would have
flatly withdrawn from their lists. Instead of using
the power of new technology to bring people together,
we have devised a new plan to bring a few rich folks
(who may not care to read the e-mails because of their
business schedules.  How do I know ???) and some
highly enthusiastic patrons together. What an abuse of
new tools ??? On the positive side what a huge
community of Chinmaya Members could have been created,
so serve all, as vasudhiva kutumbakam.

>These are not perfect substitutes for direct
> personal one-on-one conversation! Now most of us
> have no problem with this change. We need to be more
> realistic and understand the difficulties of raising
> funds in the modern context and be sympathetic to
> the causes and avoid judging others pre-maturely. 

This is not pre-mature judgment. We are debating after
the course announcements have gone out.

> We do need faith in Acharyas such as Swami Jayendra
> Saraswati, Swami Tejomayananda, Swami Dayananda
> Saraswati and others and don't attempt to prejudge
> their intentions. They have dedicated their entire
> life for public service and they have never claimed
> that they are perfect. 

There is no discussion about intentions. But, the
methodology does not appeal to me, and I am sure there
are others like me. Just like one group wants to
change the world, the other also wants to serve the
people by propagating their views.

Om Namo Narayanaya !!


> Warmest regards,
> Ram Chandran
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