[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 36, Issue 2

K Kathirasan NCS kkathir at ncs.com.sg
Tue Apr 4 20:15:43 CDT 2006

Namaste Sanjayji,

No wonder the human race seems to have evolved from the primates! :)  A
good example. Cheers. 

-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org] On Behalf Of Sanjay
Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 5:43 AM
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 36, Issue 2

> All quotes/unquotes mentioned by acharyas and attributed
> to great teacher's are really matters avoidable by debate.
> Many of these words and sentences may be circumstantial
> (bound by time) and also contextual (place).

I definitely agree with this point. In addition let me quote a common
story ...

Start with a cage containing five chimpanzees. In the cage, hang a
banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will
go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he
touches the stairs, spray all of the chimpanzees with freezing cold

After a while, another chimpanzee makes an attempt with the same
result - all the chimpanzees are sprayed with freezing cold water.
This continues through several more attempts. Pretty soon, when
another chimpanzee tries to climb the stairs, the other chimpanzees
all move to prevent it.

Now, turn off the cold water. Remove one chimpanzee from the cage and
replace it with a new one. The new chimpanzee sees the banana and
wants to climb the stairs. To his horror all the other chimpanzees
attack him. After another attempt, and another attack he knows that if
be tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five chimpanzees and replace it
with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked, The
previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Again,
replace a third original chimpanzee with a new one. The new one makes
it for the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four chimpanzees
that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the
stairs nor why they are participating in the beating of the newest

After replacing the fourth and fifth original chimpanzees, all the
chimpanzee which have been sprayed with cold water, have been
replaced. Nevertheless, no chimpanzee ever again approaches the
stairs: Why not? Because that's the way they've always done it and
that's the way it's always been around here.

This story is always quoted as the origin of company policies. I think
the origin of Traditions is also the same.

- Sanjay
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