Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Here We Go Again

Recently a storm in a teacup arose regarding an article that was posted on the Gaudiya Kutir Wiki. The article was about brahmacharya and listed Swami Sivananda as a reference. A mini-controversy arose as to why Swami Sivananda - a known impersonalist/Advaitin - should be listed as a reference/authority on a site dedicated to Gaudiya Vaishnavism?

I am in agreement with the substance of the disagreement; it occurs to me that a site that professes to educate people about Gaudiya Vaishnavism (much less an online encyclopaedia!) should maintain it's distinct purity and fidelity to the tradition. When Gaudiya Vaishnavism is diametrically opposed to other theological schools of thought such as Advaita and it's offshoots, how is it possible that a link is made to the thoughts of such schools? What benefit can accrue?

Apart from the issue of why an article on brahmacharya is necessary in the first place, we all know of certain Gaudiya teachers who have spoken amply about the topic. Shouldn't their views be given a greater prominence since they at least have a few things in common? The idea of discarding the views of other Gaudiya gurus in favour of an 'opposition' guy speaks to me of disguised and envy and secret resentment that is born forth from unresolved issues of trauma. Doesn't that sound weird? Could it be true or not? In any case it's the impression I get.

I now notice that such a guru has been referenced as an authority. Good work.

However, the reference to Sivananda is there and it is off-putting. When you take delight at the sight of a beautiful rose, your smiles of amazement turn to grimaces of disgust when you discover a grub underneath the rose, eating into it's leaves and it's core and making a mess of a beautiful creation.

I do not like to criticise a beautiful project such as the gWiki which shows enormous promise and reach-for-the-sky potential, but if this kind of thing continues then I'm going to end up very disappointed.


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