[Advaita-l] Debates

Ravisankar Mayavaram abhayambika at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 08:45:33 CDT 2007

namaste Sri Guy Werlings,

I have changed the subject line. Keeping invidual names out of subject
line will make it more objective.

I believe that  well moderated debates  are quite useful, especially
to the neutral readers. Even to those who engage in the debates it
forces them to dive deep into the subject and look at many subtle
aspects.   This tradition of engaging in debates is part and parcel of
Indian religious tradition. But moderating these debates on this lits
will be quite time consuming.

I believe that advaita-L is not ready for this on many counts. Hence,
we should engage only in  polite and respectful discussions. For
instance, in 1998 Allan Curry had one such discussion with
Vidyasankar; at the end he concluded that Vidya is a scholar and a
gentleman.  See
(I got this link by searching the site with Allan and gentleman) You
can leave a discussion with mutual adoration and the satisfaction of
learning. But again only a few on this list such as, Vidyasankar has
this balance of knowledge, power of expression and objectivity.

<begin quote>
My hat goes off to you Vidyasankar, you are a scholar
and a gentleman. You've argued your case *very* well and I'm sure you would
win "on points" if this were a real debate. For my part, even if I am now
surrendering the field to you, I hope I've been able to hint at why I found
the endeavor worth even attempting.  Namaste, truly, with all my heart...
<end quote>

To have a successful debate on this list:, we need a panel of
moderators to guide and control the debate. If we have such a panel

a) We can fix a duration for the debate

b) Create a mechanism to streamline who can jump into the field and
stop people ganging up.

c) Make all the messages go through the moderators. That will not only
tone down the discussion but also make the frequency of posts

In my state (Tamil Nadu) we have formal debates called "paTTi manRam"
and it so enriching and I have learnt a lot on many subtle aspects on
our itihasas by listening to these. Debaters dive deep into the
literary works and bring valuable pearls out of it Each debater gets
only a limited amount of time (so they have to plan) to present as
well as respond.  This requires a great deal of planning and thinking.
If we also limit the length and frequency of postings on this list,
then may be we will think more before writing.

BTW I am one of your admirers and I glad that you joined the list again.

With best wishes,


On 6/18/07, Guy Werlings <werlings.guy at wanadoo.fr> wrote:
> sarvebhyo namaH|
> Dear SrI Ravi,
> I just wish to add a few lines to my earlier message as to your wise
> guidelines.
> I am outright aware that I by hammering it in, I might soon be irritating
> quite a few (if not all) members, although it is not at all in my intention.
> And I also must stress that I have not been committed by anybody to "teach"
> anyone, being only a very common or even very lowly seeker, knowing nothing
> about the bare fact that I know that I am knowing nothing, which is already
> something in itself.
> It happens, however, that I remain sometimes under the impression (maybe
> false) that a certain number of A-L members, while they pose to be advaitins
> are in fact behaving more or less like the dvaitins criticized in the Maa.
> Kaa. 3-17: firmly rooted (nishcitAH) in the methodologies leading to their
> own conclusions (svasidhAnta-vyavasthAsu) they stand arrayed against one
> another (parasparam virudhyante). The non-dualist never quarrels with
> anyone.
> "If there is a second thing only, one will have to be afraid of it - is it
> not?"
> (BR^i° U° 1.4.2). Paraphrasing this quite famous statement, we could say "if
> there is a second entity only, one may quarrel with it or have a dispute
> with it".
> I do apologise for these conceited and probably preposterous remarks.
> kshamyataam.h |
> Guy W.
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<abhayambika at gmail.com>

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