anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 19 13:10:22 CDT 1998
Guy Werlings wrote:
>But I'd like to ask you
>wjether I am authorized to read them and study them (see my earlier
>discussions on the subject with Ravisankar S. Mayavaram)
Ramakrishnan and Giri have clarified this point well. When you
or I or anyone writes any words of the Shruti, the written words
technically do not count as shruti. Shruti is something that is
learned by listening and reciting it. It should not be learned
otherwise. I remember HH Shri Abhinava Vidyateertha of Sringeri's
saying in a lecture that even if one tries to learn shruti by
listening to a cassette recording, etc., that does not constitute a
proper method of learning shruti. So shruti is something that is
heard directly from the mouth of a Guru or a person qualified to
chant it, with no intervening medium.
This being the case, there are injunctions and prohibitions on
_listening_ and _reciting_ shruti, but (fortunately!) none on
reading or writing the words of the shruti. In fact, the pUrva
mImAmsakas argue (correctly) that shruti contains words that
are also used among non-vedic matters. For example, the shruti
contains a word "sUrya", which means the sun. Many people in India
use this word in their daily lives in numerous contexts not
necessarily vedic, regardless of who says it and who listens it.
The word occurs in many, if not most, Indian langauges. But we
cannot argue that "sUrya" is a word from the vedas, so there
should be restrictions on saying it. Shruti involves pronouncing
words with a particular alphabet (varNa), accent (svara), the
time required to pronounce it (mAtrA), emphasis (bala), etc.
Unless chanted in this way, words do not qualify as shruti.
So how can written words become shruti? The written words can,
however, help us by motivating us to study the actual shruti.
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