regarding quoting from books

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Mon May 31 07:39:09 CDT 1999

On Sat, 29 May 1999, Sankaran Panchapagesan wrote:

> Hi,
>   Do we need permission from the author to quote from a book, or can we
> generally quote without worrying about permission, on the list?
> Regards,
> Ganesh.


First, let me state categorically that any law has to be protected. Now,
let me look at this from a slightly different  perspective.

The knowledge is divided into two kinds: the parA (higher) and aparA
(lower)  [MuNDaka u. 1.1.4 and 1.1.5]

The copyright is a phenomenon that deals with the lower knowledge,
a knowledge developed by the intellect for which the intellect correctly
seeks compensation.

The parA (higher) knowledge is the brahma-vdyA, the knowledge of the
SELF, the Truth, for which there is no copyright. The knowledge we are
seeking and the objective of this List is the seeking of this parA

That does not mean that we violate either the legality of copyright laws
or claim ownership (surreptiously) to something which is not ours even
if it does not violate the copyright laws.

Strict legality of copyright laws is only for the lower knowledge. While
the copyright laws do not hold for the higher knowledge, on the contrary,
a much higher moral standard (than the strict copyright law) is required
for this knowledge.

Neither Shri Shankara, nor the upanishadic sages copyrighted their
knowledge of the SELF. Yet, we acknowledge their contributions. As sincere
seekers of the Truth, we also acknowledge the contributions by the gurus.

Shri LaitAtrishatI says ".... na shaThAya, na dushhTAya, na (a)vishvAsAya

parA (higher) vidyA is not available for a shaThA. A shaThA is one who
does not acknowledge the contribution made by someone else (or a guru).

Gummuluru Murthy

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