[Advaita-l] Goshti (was: Reply to Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha's observations)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Dec 17 00:12:44 CST 2013

An older post I had been meaning to reply to.

On Thu, 28 Nov 2013, Venkata sriram P wrote:
> The mahAbhArata udyOga parva says:
> AlasyaM madamOhO cha chApalaM gOSTirEva cha
> stabdhatA chAbhimAnitvaM tathA(a)tyAgitvamEva cha
> EtE vai sapta dOshAH syuH sadA vidyArthinAM matAH
> I believe we are all in vidyArthi dasha and the above sloka
> is applicable for us too.
> The above sloka lists out 7 doshAs which the students should religiously
> avoid.
> 1) AlasyaM
> 2) mada
> 3) mOha
> 4) chApalya
> 5) gOSTi
> 6) stabdhata
> 7) abhimAna
> Among the above, the 5th point is "gOSTi" which means that
> forming a group / network and engaging in discussions and
> chit-chatting.
> So, the real mumukshu / jignAsu who is well-versed with the
> above dharma sUkshmAs would not join yahoo forums
> for satsanghs and discussions.  He would look for a gurukulam
> elsewhere.

I do not think that the shloka is trying to criticize goshti in the sense 
of satsanga.  What is the brahamsutra except a meeting of the views of 
different acharyas, some of which are accepted and some rejected?  Rather 
it is listing distractions which prevent single-minded focus.  Goshti is 
bad only in the sense that one cannot achieve jnana by comittee.  If one 
is relying on anything other than viveka then it is only time-passing. 
But if one seeks other views out in an effort to understand that is 
eminently practical.

As for Internet forums, while I feel justified in being proud of what 
advaita-l has achieved I will be the first to say it is only an aid to 
sadhana not a replacement for proper, rigorous sadhana.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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