advaita-l scope

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Sat Apr 4 10:50:51 CST 1998


In the past two days, there were perturbations in the advaita-list
resulting in enforcements and withdrawals from the list etc. Although
it seems Shri Ravi, as owner of the list has already made up his mind
on this matter, the purpose of this note is to see that the situation
cools down and the list resume its normal functions viz. discussion of
matters advaitic with its full complement of members.

1. The objective of a list like advaita is to seek the truth. The only
truth is Brahman. We are all from various backgrounds and are the result
of vAsanAs accumulated over many lives. Due to Shri Lalitha's grace,
our paths (in search of truth) have coincided for a brief span. Our
backgrounds are necessarily different. Some have come from the so-called
new age philosophies, some from Buddhism background, some dvaitic and
some advaitic. While the advaita mArga is pre-eminent (in my view,
any way), that is not to say the other routes are irrelevant. Every
jeeva has his/her path already defined and is going on that route. How
can we say that path is not right; or that fellow-traveller has to
give that path up ?

2. We are about 70 members on the List (as evidenced by the
acknoledgement from the List whenever an article is posted). Of this,
there are about 10 to 15 active posters and the others are shrotAs
(listeners to the discussion). ShrotAs are as important as the posters.
If the posts are not interesting, both the posters and the shrotAs walk
away. We seem to be maintaining a steady membership of 70 for the past
many months. Thus, the course we are following seems to be the right one.

3. We are not swamped with too many articles. The posters are serious
in their search for truth. If not, they do not have to post. They may
just as well sit in front of television. The posters are civil to each
other, and, of late, lack of civility is not a problem on the list.
Then, why disturb the peace ?

4. Huge majority of the posters and the shrotAs view advaitic mArga as
the way to truth and see Shri Shankara as the paramAchArya. There is
no danger of discussions of new age philosophy or buddhism taking over
this List. As I see, the few posts on new age philosophy or buddhism
are simply probes where they are trying to find the common linkage
between what they know and what advaita is about. After all, one need
not respond to these "modern" thoughts and the thread dies out.

5. In Telugu literature (Telugu is a south Indian language in which
culture I was born and brought up), there was a famous work titled
SAkshi by PAnuganTi LakshminarasimhA RAo (early 1900s era). The work
is about a group of five people who start a discussion group
(a fore-runner to our electronic listservs and mailing-lists) where
they discuss anything and everything. Some of the "problems" we
see on our List are anticipated by the writer of that time.

Thus, it seems to me there are over-reactions all around. Let us
not loose sight of what we are. Let us not get the ego get better
over us.

If this post is considered out-of-line, I understand.

Gummuluru Murthy
... sarvam caitad-avidyayA triguNayA 'sheshham mayA kalpitam ...
                                Shri Shankara in ManIshha panchakam

...all this, without residue, has been superimposed by me through avidyA
which consists of the three guNAs...

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list