[Advaita-l] FW: ADMIN: Reaffirming this list's focus

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 1 14:09:29 CST 2011

> Your statement IMO does not make much sense. Or probably I did not understand 
> completely what you say.

Let me explicate a bit. Here is a statistical break-up of the discussions on this list in
Jan 2011, for subjects which attracted more than three posts. Out of a total of 149
posts, we have
a. 41 - Food related threads
b. 24 - Tantrik acts
c. 12 - Discussion on donating to Veda Pathashalas
d. 7 - World Muslim Population
e. 6 - Discussion on Nirukta
f. 6 - Text based discussion of ISvara and jIva
f. 6 - Discussion on list's focus
g. 5 - Discussion on the word krishnasakhA
h. 5 - Discussion on nyAsa
i. 4 - Footnote citation
j. 4 - Member leaving the list
It is even more interesting to see what threads get 3 or less posts. These are about
IsAvAsyopanishat, kaThopanishat, guruvandana, new Sankara temple at Sringeri,
book publication by Prof. Krishnamurthy, Sanskrit book fair in Bangalore, upcoming
Vedanta vidvadghoshthi in Holenarsipur and mAyA as described in pancadaSI and
vedAnta paribhAshA. Pray, why is it that any one of these topics is so uninteresting
that no one among our 300+ members wishes to contribute to these? This situation
has been pretty much the same for the last few months now.

I hope my point about focus is clear just from the numbers above. If you follow the
actual contents of the discussion threads, the situation becomes worse. The questions
raised and answers given are, more often than not, airing of uncritical thought and
personal opinion. When it comes to food, there is no genuine discussion on what the
gItA or its bhAshya actually say about gunA and food. When it comes to tantra, there
is no deep discussion of prapancasAra or triSatI bhAshya or saundaryalaharI. Instead,
there is a lot of mostly loose speculation about onions, garlic, meat, vegetables and
milk, and idle talk about what kind of sexual relationships are allowed or prohibited,
mixed up with a total lack of critical thinking about ancient practices like niyoga. Is
this the best possible utilization of this forum?
I am not saying that one or the other topic should not ever be brought up in this list.
I am just requesting everybody to think about what draws their attention now and
reflect a little on where their attention should be, when it comes to advaita. This is,
after all, not a general Hinduism discussion list; this is a list for discussing advaita
vedAnta. I, for one, would like the content and tenor of the discussions here to rise
above the mundane.

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