gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Sun May 31 07:51:37 CDT 1998
On Fri, 29 May 1998, Chandran, Nanda (NBC) wrote:
> GMurthy writes :
> >I beg to differ from that view. Shri Shankara stated clearly in one of
> >the bhAshhyAs that the knowledge and information in the vedas is not
> >contained in any other source. Vedas are unique in containg the unique
> >knowledge. There is no substitute for studying the vedas. Here again,
> >I can bring up the reference if required, although it may take a bit
> Can you please explain what's so unique in the shruti which is not
> present in the smritis? If I remember right, there's a saying that
> what's not present in the Mahabharatham is not present anywhere else!
> IMO, the smritis like the Gita, Brahma Sutras, Yoga Vashista and
> Ashtavakra Gita are much more explicit on subjects Advaita Vedanta, than
> some of the Upanishads themselves. OK, I accept that Adi Shankara said
> that the shruti is indispensable to the sadhana. But considering that he
> was a religious leader who undertook the mission of rejuvenating
> Sanatana Dharma in Bharath, he might have had quite a few reasons other
> than the obvious, for his statement.
> If we claim to be sincere adherents of a school which so values honesty
> and intellectual integrity, we should not content ourselves by just
> seeking refuge in the words of Adi Shankara on a topic which seemingly
> defies reason. There are two alternatives - either we totally ignore the
> subject as irrelevant or atleast give a shot at analysing why it's so!
With all respect to Shri Nanda Chandran's invitation for a debate on the
topic (the supremacy or otherwise of the vedas), I must decline.
1. Firstly, that will be an intellectual debate to satisfy the intellect.
What I am seeking in advaita is not intellectual satisfaction, but am
looking for something beyond what the intellect can understand and
2. Shri Shankara and the other great acaryas have stated this (supremacy
of the vedas) in their writings. My intellect accepts their statements
without any reservation and with greatest reverence.
3. This (supremacy of the vedas) has been discussed from time immemorial
and we can not make any new points at this stage.
4. That (supremacy of the vedas) is not to say that there is not much
to learn from the smritis. There is certainly, a lot. However, vedas
(and upanishhads) are unique in the knowledge that they are, being the
sayings of the R^shhis that experienced the infinite bliss of Brahman,
and who, for the sake of others, have passed on their oral teachings.
5. There are other scholars on this list who are much more learned
(than me) in shruti and smriti who may make telling points one way
or other on this topic.
Having said all that, I will, over the next few weeks, put together
an article compiling the sayings on this topic in the literature
with adequate references. Because, I can only convey what the
great scholars of the past have already said.
Yadaa sarve pramucyante kaamaa ye'sya hr^di shritaah
atha martyo'mr^to bhavatyatra brahma samashnute Katha Upanishhad II.3.14
When all the desires that dwell in the heart fall away, then the mortal
becomes immortal, and attains Brahman even here.
>From Sun May 31 16:43:38 1998
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 16:43:38 -0400
Reply-To: ramakris at erols.com
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
<ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: VairAgyam
Comments: To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
<ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
> 2. Shri Shankara and the other great acaryas have stated this (supremacy
> of the vedas) in their writings. My intellect accepts their statements
> without any reservation and with greatest reverence.
I admire your faith, I wish I had such faith.
> 3. This (supremacy of the vedas) has been discussed from time immemorial
> and we can not make any new points at this stage.
Yes, indeed. The pUrva mImA.nsaka-s have talked about it extensively.
> 4. That (supremacy of the vedas) is not to say that there is not much
> to learn from the smritis. There is certainly, a lot. However, vedas
> (and upanishhads) are unique in the knowledge that they are, being the
> sayings of the R^shhis that experienced the infinite bliss of Brahman,
> and who, for the sake of others, have passed on their oral teachings.
The veda-s are not the compositions of anyone. They are "seen" by the
R^ishhi-s. And many of the stuff found in the veda-s cannot be obtained
by reasoning or pratyaxa. This does not refer only to the knowledge of
brahman, but even in more mundane matters, like performance of yAga-s
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