"Uselessly Opinionated, Professional debators"


Just the Monday we honored the great Vaishnava Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura. A week earlier I was gifted with one of his amazing works, the "Sri Caitanya Siksamrta".

I thought that I should just browse through the book. As I was in the middle of some other books. However book itself told me not to read it. As checked the index index I found this interesting topic, 'Studying Many Scriptures'

this is what is said,

"The devotees should only learn the scriptures concerning bhakti (loving service to God) and those works that conform to the conclusions of bhakti. However, because of a lack of time, to read small parts of large works without completing a full study is not advised. Devotees should read a work thoroughly. Otherwise, they will become uselessly opinionated, professional debaters. Some people take pleasure in arguing with any statement they hear, whether good or bad. This is forbidden for devotees."

After reading this I decided to finish the books that I am working on so that I can give proper attention to this wonderful work when I am done.

Hare Krishna

Your humble servant,

Nityananda Chandra Das


Fri, 06/26/2009 - 15:44 — Ѕantosh

Ѕantosh's picture

Hare Krsna.

Jaiva Dharma Ch9.

There are two types of knowledge: paramärthika knowledge

relates to eternal truth, while laukika knowledge relates to

this transitory world. Paramärthika knowledge does not seem to be increasing; on the contrary, in most cases knowledge has been corrupted and deviated from its original nature. Only laukika knowledge seems to be on the increase.

Jaiva Dharma Ch19. when Babaji was explaining to Vijaya and Vrajanatha.

Then it is also said, tarkäpratisthänät (Vedänta-sütra 2.1.11):

“Logic is useless for establishing any vastu (real substance), because what one person establishes by logic and argument today, a more expert logician will refute tomorrow.” That is why it is said that logic carries no respect. All these statements of the Vedänta establish that logic cannot explain spiritual matters.

This is commonplace among scholars of nyaya-shastra who waste their time debating mundane topics. Such talks don't inspire bhakti but harden the heart instead.

Thu, 06/25/2009 - 05:29 — tekisui

tekisui's picture

On debating and impersonalism

I too think that it is best to work on fewer books, but work through them well.

However, when I read the title of your thread, another angle on the topic appeared in my mind.

Namely, that some people who are "opinionated, professional debaters" do so because they feel an inner pull toward this, they feel forced, threatened, and they don't actually feel much or any pleasure at it at all.

I am speaking from personal experience, and I have thought about this a lot.

It seems to me that the reason or one of the reasons for this attachment to debate is an impersonalist outlook.

Among other things, an impersonalist will try to objectively define right and wrong, good and bad - meaning, he will try to define right and wrong, good and bad regardless of the circumstances and especially regardless of the persons involved.

I think that sooner or later, such an outlook ends in disaster, as it becomes increasingly difficult and then impossible to decide about anything and to act.

I think this is a good reason why impersonalism is criticized so much.

But modern Western culture teaches us to be "opinionated", to be able to "discuss everything", "to think with your own mind", "to be capable of intelligent debate". If one isn't proficient in this, one's educational success, one's career and one's social life are at risk, and everything that comes with it.

Personally, I am finding it very hard to deal with this.

Fri, 07/03/2009 - 21:54 — jivatattva

jivatattva's picture

pleasure over pain

I think sometimes the perspective of the idea of 'impersonality' becomes more of a broad category that acts something like the trash can on your desktop, and software developers have had the good sense to make sure it will ask you twice before you delete it forever.

We are all built to seek pleasure over pain "they don't actually feel much or any pleasure at it at all" this is true. But there is a methodical scheme to arrive at some state of pleasure - a good example of this is going to college, a person stays up all night studying for exams over and over, and has to work hard to make the grade for the eventual payout of a good career and good pay and status.

This is a methodical strategy to gain future payout - this is happening in religion as well, any prospect of action for future pay back ether in the world or in religion is coercion, and in coercion there is no free will, and where there is no no free will there can be no spirituality!


Thu, 06/25/2009 - 08:39 — NityānandaChandra

NityānandaChandra's picture

Thanks for your comment. :)

Thanks for your comment. :)