[INDOLOGY] corona deaths

Camillo Formigatti camillo.formigatti at bodleian.ox.ac.uk
Fri May 1 14:08:11 EDT 2020

Dear Jeffery,

As I wrote, I reflect every single day about the fragility of our lives also because of what we study and research. Nevertheless, I object to the definition to distraction, not to the stanzas themselves. They are not a distraction, on the contrary. Moreover, I share Arlo's opinion and I cannot easily navigate the list as before due to the excessive number of messages on this topic - even if I skip them, it's still a nuisance.

Finally, with the precise intention of sounding preachy, I do not see anybody on this list writing poetry about countless other life-threatening situations in the world, such as for instance the terrible death toll of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea and drowning horribly before reaching the shores of Southern Italy or Greece. Since I read every single day both Italian and British newspapers, my father lives alone in Lombardy (the epicentre of the epidemic in Italy) and we live in the UK, two of the most affected areas in the world, I don't share the need to read again on this list about the coronavirus in any form. I confess that the daily bulletin of deaths I follow daily on the worldometer website is enough for me.

Best wishes,


Sent from my Xperia by Sony smartphone

---- Jeffery Long wrote ----

Dear Colleagues,

I am sympathetic to the perspective of those who have been disturbed by the Sanskrit poems, though I have personally enjoyed them and have asked to be added to Madhav's new list.

At the risk of sounding preachy, I just want to note that many of the Indic traditions that those of us on this list study point out precisely the importance of reflecting on the fragility of our (material) existence.  Only for those who are interested, I am sharing some reflections in this regard, by Swami Tyagananda, of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society in Boston:

A Spiritual Response to the Virus — Vedanta Society<https://vedantasociety.net/blog/a-spiritual-response>

A Spiritual Response to the Virus — Vedanta Society

Is there anything more that can be done? Those amongst us who take spiritual life seriously may want to ask th...

Shared in a spirit of helpfulness and solidarity,


Dr. Jeffery D. Long
Professor of Religion and Asian Studies
Elizabethtown College
Elizabethtown, PA


Series Editor, Explorations in Indic Traditions: Theological, Ethical, and Philosophical
Lexington Books

"One who makes a habit of prayer and meditation will easily overcome all difficulties and remain calm and unruffled in the midst of the trials of life."  (Holy Mother Sarada Devi)

"We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)

On Friday, May 1, 2020, 12:26:02 PM EDT, Camillo Formigatti via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

Dear Herman,

I hesitated to write a similar message until now, but I cannot hold myself any longer. I found the Sanskrit poems about the coronavirus disturbing from the very start and to me they were not a distraction, they represented rather the contrary. They were always a reminder of the fragility of our lives and in this incredibly sad moment, this is even more in my mind than ever. I haven't read a single one fully and I don't plan to read any in the future, regardless how refined their language might be. I just don't want to read them.

Best wishes,


From: Tieken, H.J.H. <H.J.H.Tieken at hum.leidenuniv.nl>
Sent: Friday, May 1, 2020 8:14 AM
To: indology <indology at list.indology.info>
Subject: [INDOLOGY] corona deaths

Dear List members,
At the risk of being a spoilsport, personally I do not find the "a distraction from the Coronavirus" mails, in which we try to outdo one another like poets in a kavisamāja, appropriate any longer, now that colleagues are actually dying of the virus.

Herman Tieken
Stationsweg 58
2515 BP Den Haag
The Netherlands
00 31 (0)70 2208127
website: hermantieken.com<http://hermantieken.com/>
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