[Advaita-l] The Advaita-L list and the Advaita Vedanta website

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 10 22:46:26 CST 2007

"Ravishankar Venkatraman" <sunlike at hotmail.com> wrote:

>I have had different view points on the Sankara's date to post here (from 
>what Sri. Vidyasankar had to say) which I had researched several years ago. 
>It was more of a presentation of the material from different view points 
>for both of us, for the reader to take whatever he/she thought was 
>appropriate enough. Personally, I do not think that there is much to 
>conquer in this area for anyone.

... ... ...

>Vidyasankar himself mentioned that we cannot presume to speak for any of 
>the traditional mathas, in an official or unofficial capacity, it certainly 
>indicates that what ever has been written in that article is his opinion.

I was debating whether to write anything at all about this and finally 
decided to change the subject line before responding. I think a few 
clarifications are in order:

1. The Advaita-L mailing list is different from and is not circumscribed by 
the website contents at http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/avhp. This list is 
participatory in nature while the website is largely the output of one 

2. Certainly, a number of things need to be cleaned up in the website. 
Perhaps there are links that don't need to be there and things that could be 
said differently, but I just haven't had the time to update the material on 
the website since my graduate school days.

3. Where historical issues are concerned, we have had a number of discussion 
threads in the past. It has not been a policy of this list to deliberately 
avoid discussion about dates, but perhaps we may want to not get into this 
topic in future. Ravi Mayavaram, one of our moderators, has proposed it but 
it is not as if we have decided to ban the topic from the list.

4. That said, all my articles in the past, whether on alt.hindu or on one of 
various mailing lists, were considerably more than opinion. Over the years, 
I have consistently maintained that I am not officially speaking for any 
maTha, but that does not mean I was merely stating opinions. It is one thing 
to hold an opinion but quite another to make critical assessments of 
mutually conflicting material and arrive at conclusions. The latter is what 
I always attempted, perhaps with varying degrees of success in different 

5. Finally, I think it is not necessary to club these issues with the 
discussion on the writings of Swami Saccidanandendra Sarasvati. We, the 
moderators, have posted guidelines on that discussion separately and we hope 
everyone abides by them. The only thread in common that I see is that 
Ramakrishnan and Kartik are both professedly followers of Sringeri, but it 
is not as if Sringeri followers have banded together to raise controversies 
against everybody else. Each member of this list writes solely in his or her 
individual capacity, according to his or her assessment of the issues that 
arise on the list. There are core philosophical and doctrinal issues under 
discussion and those are what we should focus on, leaving personalities 
aside. I hope we can all agree to do that.

Best regards,

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