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Statement of Purpose & Board Rules -



Administration - Mon, 22 Dec 2003 00:56:03 +0530
The administration would like to hear the opinions of our members in regards to the Statement of Purpose & Board Rules laid out to govern this forum.

Please also leave your vote. Don't look at the current poll results before voting though, otherwise you'll disqualify yourself from voting.
Jagat - Mon, 22 Dec 2003 03:35:18 +0530
Those who think tweaking is needed should perhaps leave a suggestion so that measures can be taken.
Madhava - Mon, 22 Dec 2003 04:50:41 +0530
QUOTE(Jagat @ Dec 21 2003, 10:05 PM)
Those who think tweaking is needed should perhaps leave a suggestion so that measures can be taken.

Thus far there are two who voted for little tweaking. I am the other one; whatever I write will probably need some tweaking. Yes, suggestions please. The forums are but the sum total of you, the participants.
Madhava - Tue, 30 Dec 2003 01:35:40 +0530
Only eight votes? I know there are more of you out there.
Madhava - Fri, 11 Jun 2004 17:07:45 +0530
Let's resurrect this discussion to review the law at the root of our free-for-all yet anti-anarchist discussion forum.
Advaitadas - Fri, 11 Jun 2004 17:43:00 +0530
Tweaking means changing rule nr.1 on the request of a moderator? blink.gif
Madhava - Fri, 11 Jun 2004 18:03:59 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Jun 11 2004, 12:13 PM)
Tweaking means changing rule nr.1 on the request of a moderator?† blink.gif

It hasn't been changed as far as I can read.

QUOTE
1. Philosophical and theological matters shall be ultimately resolved by referring to the foundational writings of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. The Visitor shall not insist in public that the view he presents is appropriate unless he presents reasonable evidence to back it up.

Ultimately resolved does not merely mean slamming in the quote as a seal on all attempts to discuss the rationale behind the quote and and its possible applications in a contemporary environment.
Advaitadas - Fri, 11 Jun 2004 18:49:13 +0530
QUOTE
It hasn't been changed as far as I can read.


People power! cool.gif

QUOTE
Ultimately resolved does not merely mean slamming in the quote as a seal on all attempts to discuss the rationale behind the quote and and its possible applications in a contemporary environment.


That is great with me, I know there are no more slaves in the 21st century and no Banyan tree or Ganges river in every American's backyard. Moral, natural and spiritual values are timeless, however!
Hari Saran - Fri, 11 Jun 2004 21:32:09 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Jun 11 2004, 01:19 PM)
That is great with me, I know there are no more slaves in the 21st century and no Banyan tree or Ganges river in every American's backyard. Moral, natural and spiritual values are timeless, however!

Pardon me here, Advaitadas-ji, but you sound a bit reactionary, still. Where are those humbly words vastly presented in the scriptures? I think they are the real timeless values, donít you?

With respect,
Hari Saran Das
Madhava - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 19:26:54 +0530
Advaitadas wrote in another thread:

QUOTE
Now that I'm at it, to avoid any (further) degradation of this pristine site, I would like to propose the addition of one board rule:

"Poster shall not promote vices that are generally considered opposed to the spiritual advancement of the Gaudiya, namely intoxications, illicit sex, gambling and consumption or production of non vegetarian food."

Rule #1 currently reads as:

QUOTE
1. Philosophical and theological matters shall be ultimately resolved by referring to the foundational writings of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. The Visitor shall not insist in public that the view he presents is appropriate unless he presents reasonable evidence to back it up.

We could also just add a simple, ", nor shall he promote vices that are contrary to such scriptural conclusions."
Advaitadas - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 19:32:28 +0530
I think that is too vague, for the drugs-promoters may dispute the fact that taking drugs is a vice, which we have seen one member doing here ad infinitum. I think it is good to be specific about what is a vice according to the Shastras and Acaryas.
Madhava - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 19:40:17 +0530
Wouldn't we then have to list a whole lot of more things there? I mean the ISKCON-four isn't an exhaustive outline as far as I am aware of.
nabadip - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:01:43 +0530
Isn't too much concern about shastra a vice too? tongue.gif
nabadip - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:04:27 +0530
we could hold a vote for election of the Vice-president of this website laugh.gif
Advaitadas - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:04:32 +0530
QUOTE
Isn't too much concern about shastra a vice too?†


Isnt too little concern about vice a vice too? laugh.gif
nabadip - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:06:17 +0530
and keep a list for who is addicted to which vice wink.gif
Advaitadas - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:08:32 +0530
QUOTE(nabadip @ Jun 16 2004, 02:36 PM)
and keep a list for who is addicted to which vice wink.gif

No it is not meant to introduce 1st, 2nd or 3rd class devotees, but to keep the forum clean of efforts by some to pull innocent devotees down. Smoke a hole in the sky, but keep it to yourself. cool.gif
nabadip - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:08:46 +0530
I am guilty of addiction to the vice of being glued to gaudiyadiscussions when I do not work (or chant)... crying.gif
Advaitadas - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:10:05 +0530
Well at least you are not guilty of being glued to GD while chanting.....
nabadip - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:16:57 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Jun 16 2004, 04:38 PM)
QUOTE(nabadip @ Jun 16 2004, 02:36 PM)
and keep a list for who is addicted to which vice wink.gif

No it is not meant to introduce 1st, 2nd or 3rd class devotees, but to keep the forum clean of efforts by some to pull innocent devotees down. Smoke a hole in the sky, but keep it to yourself. cool.gif

I do not mind being any class of devotee as long as I think of devotion as a cherishable process.

But I think you are over-concerned about the influence that free speech has, as long as it is only on the plat-form of some written space. I think it is more problematic when it comes to life sanga rules. I could not stand a regular smoker, let alone a doper.
Subal - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:22:58 +0530
I voted for tweaking. I read some of the recent discussion about scripture being the ultimate authority. Scripture has its place and importance in discussing spiritual issues. However, scripture must be exegeted to understand what it meant to the original author and audience, and then through hermeneutics its meaning for us today is determined.

Other authorities for us are guru, sadhu and tradition. If we are to have a tradition that is living, we cannot restrict our discussion to shastra which was writen hundreds or thousands of years ago. We must adapt the teachings to the current day.

Yesterday, I began reading Tripurari Maharaj's edition of the Gita. On page xii, he says ACBS "implied that becoming the instrument of guru and Krsna had a dynamic application: it involved not merely circulating the books of one's guru, but writing books oneself as he had done." On page 71, he says, "The practice of niskama-karma-yoga in the strict sense advocated in the Gita would be practically impossible to implement in the modern world." This supports the need for a constant updating of the tradition so that it makes sense to serious, intelligent spiritual seekers today.

On another point, I find the number of harsh, judgemental, unenlightened personal slams in various forums disturbing and unconducive to bhakti. I would like to see the rules more strictly enforced in this regard, and preferably voluntary restraint on the part of the participants to treat one another kindly. A mood of tolerance and pluralism should prevail since no one of us has an exclusive lock on spiritual truth that supercedes that of the other. Rather, we can all benefit from the civil exchange of ideas.
nabadip - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:34:47 +0530
Ultimately no rules can be enforced on anyone. we believe too much in the changing power of the word (that is the sin of the preacher). No one changes because we say something. Changes happen involuntarily mostly, and in unnoticable increments, sometimes a jump into extremes, sometimes steady control over one's every motion.

I have a quote from Albert Camus in mind: "Keep principles for the few moments, when principles are required. For the most part we require a little charity (misericordia)."
Tamal Baran das - Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:59:34 +0530
I vote for this forum to be what it is...coolest of all forums.
Yo to Madhava, Jagat and Advaita Das, and other trad Gaudy Vaishnava posse. flowers.gif innocent.gif whistling.gif
Babhru - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 01:14:44 +0530
I voted for tweaking. I'll have to take a little quiet time to come up with useful suggestions. Actually, I very much like most of Subal's comments. Sabda is the ultimate pramana, but the others are also useful. And I like adding tradition as well. As we see from many of the discussions here, each group of devotees has a discrete tradition, and much of a devotee's practice may grow from tradition, or something not explicitly stated in an ancient samhita or purana. One example would be the ways devotees worship Giriraja. From what I've seen, such worship is dictated by instructions from guru, which grows out of a particualr community's traditions. We could also consider what has been added to the understanding of transcendental rasa by Rupa, Krishna das, and others.

I also agree with Subal about some of the ad hominem posts here. They don't foster a spirit of community. Even those of us considered heterodox by some have the same goal: to progressively awaken our love for Sri Sri Radha-Govinda under the direction and shelter of Mahaprabhu's servants.
Jagat - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 01:57:48 +0530
Of course I agree with the comments of Subal and Babhru. There are four pramans, with pratyaksa also being one. Though sabda has been given the most importance in most religious traditions, as Nabadip has said lately, this is not going to convince anyone in the absence of other elements, particularly not experience.

In another current thread, the efficacy of the Holy Name is being called into question because of experience. I am not suggesting that we necessarily have to reject sabda because of a contrary experience, but certainly no one should be condemned for calling sabda into question on account of contrary experiences. And, ultimately, where sabda goes completely against reason and experience, it should be rejected. I have brought this up often enough, but I usually use the examples of puranic cosmology or hyperbole--Ugrasena's 300 billion bodyguards, that kind of thing.

So yes, let's tweak that sentence to accomodate these thoughts. How about:

QUOTE
Philosophical and theological matters shall be ultimately resolved by referring to the foundational writings of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, though logic, experience and tradition may be legitimately used to either call these sources into question or to help reach a resolution. The Visitor shall not insist in public that the view he presents is appropriate unless he presents reasonable evidence to back it up.
Advaitadas - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 02:09:32 +0530
QUOTE
though logic, experience and tradition may be legitimately used to either call these sources into question or to help reach a resolution. The Visitor shall not insist in public that the view he presents is appropriate unless he presents reasonable evidence to back it up.


1. when logic, experience and tradition are added (all are well within the parameters of bhram pramad vipralipsa and karana patava AFAIK), then is that in itself still reasonable evidence to back it up? Who or what will be the arbiter to that?
2. At present there is still an 18-7 majority against tweaking. That is little short of a landslide....... wink.gif
adiyen - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 04:51:21 +0530
Thanks for inviting me to vote.

I voted fair. I'm ambivalent. I myself have said about all I ever wanted to say about everything. Now I'd just like to read what some others write and see what new challenges emerge, while avoiding the old tired debates.

I don't agree with the notion of universal or global Gaudiyaism, but I may be in the minority on that here. It follows I also don't agree with attempting to find a Gaudiya perspective on world events or comparing different Gaudiya beliefs to arrive at some ideal form. I believe that is all a matter of individual sva-dharmas.

I liked the old raganuga discussions, where Madhava and Advaita ran the show and the frame of reference was very simple and straightforward.

So I'd like to see the rules simplified rather than broadened, along the lines of the Ten Commandments! tongue.gif Or the Gaudyia equivalent.

My respects to you all, especially to Jagat who I hope doesn't feel discouraged by what I say.
Brajmohan Das.
Babhru - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 05:40:46 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Jun 16 2004, 10:39 AM)
At present there is still an 18-7 majority against tweaking. That is little short of a landslide....... wink.gif

Actually, I think the third choice includes the second; in fact, it probably means more than a little tweaking. AT least that's how we present the numbers for student evaluations when we're up for reappointment or promotion. So that's an 18 to 16 vote.

Anyway, if there's no tweaking, I'm not going to go somewhere and sulk. I mostly listen (read) to see what there is here that's stimulating and where I might make a modest contribution. The one thing that most discourages me is when those from either end of the spectrum try to bully those who don't agree.

And I do like Brajmohan's comment about a one-size-fits-all Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Madhava - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 05:45:31 +0530
The poll, by the way, isn't anyhow particularly about rule number one, it's about all of them.
Subal - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 05:58:21 +0530
Jagat,Jun 16 2004, 08:27 PM]
QUOTE
Philosophical and theological matters shall be ultimately resolved by referring to the foundational writings of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, though logic, experience and tradition may be legitimately used to either call these sources into question or to help reach a resolution. The Visitor shall not insist in public that the view he presents is appropriate unless he presents reasonable evidence to back it up.

I could live with this.
Subal - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 06:01:47 +0530
QUOTE(Babhru @ Jun 16 2004, 07:44 PM)
I also agree with Subal about some of the ad hominem posts here. They don't foster a spirit of community. Even those of us considered heterodox by some have the same goal: to progressively awaken our love for Sri Sri Radha-Govinda under the direction and shelter of Mahaprabhu's servants.

Yes! This is just what I'm saying. I'm just here to further the development of my devotional mood. I'm not interested in arguing with anyone. I am interested in the thoughtful exchange of ideas in an atmosphere of trust, love and tolerance.
Mina - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 06:03:29 +0530
Just to reiterate my position as already stated on the issue of 'flashy' images. I think that it should be judged on a case by case basis. If there is some aesthetic merit to an image, then it should be allowed. If it is just obnoxious and not at all artistic, then it should be prohibited.
Advaitadas - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 10:48:06 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Jun 17 2004, 12:15 AM)
The poll, by the way, isn't anyhow particularly about rule number one, it's about all of them.

Aha, that means that rule nr.1 can be tweaked to facilitate speculators and non believers, but rules nr. 4 and 5 can also be tweaked to give me more room to blast them without getting a yellow or red card from a moderator? biggrin.gif
Jagat - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 13:54:07 +0530
I don't see the margin as that great, 18-17, but as all pollsters know, change the question and you get a different result. If we ask whether rule number one should be tweaked according to the above suggestions, we may get a different result. Many of the 18 who voted #1, may still favor the suggested changes.
Madhava - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 18:08:00 +0530
This is a poll on nothing else but on whether the rules need to be worked on.