Is gItA an Upanishad?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 27 12:55:29 CDT 2000

S. V. Subrahmanian <svs_shankara at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

>1.  Shruti is that which was "shrutam" (heard, as it were) by God-realized
>beings (Rishis).  If that be the broad defintion of Shruti then, can we say

The word used traditionally is dRshTam. The Rshis are called

>that every utterance of a God-realized person is really Shruti for one who
>is one with God, there is no separate identity, in which case when he
>God speaks, which for the hearers is Shruti.  Does it work that way ??

Not directly.

>2.  If Shruti is supposed have to emanated from Brahman, how different is
>if Brahman in the form of Krishna uttered the GIta.  Would the very fact
>that it comes from Krishna qualify it for the status of Shruti ??

The entire universe is said to have emanated from Brahman. You and I are
also intrinsically Brahman. But in the world of human transactions, there
are differences, and similarly, there are differences between what is Sruti
and what is not.

>3.  How come the process of "shrutam" has stopped ?  There are God-realized
>beings even in this age (may not be as many as before).  Why did none of
>them either "retrieve" lost shruti or cognize more and give it to mankind
>  Or, are we missing it because it is not in Sanskrit ??

????? I think in today's times, many God-realized souls would be thinking,
"why throw pearls before swine?"

>4.  In the Narayana Upanishad (not MahAnArayana), there is a verse which
>"brahmanyo devaki putro, brahmanyo madhusudhanom".
>It clearly talks about Krishna.  In which case this must have been cognized
>after the advent of Krishna, which means the process of cognition was
>even just before the beginning of the Kali yuga.  Is it a curse of the Kali
>age not to be able to cognize the Vedas ??

That is an old notion too. Rshis are also called kavi-s, not in the modern
generic sense of poet, but in a special context. There is an old saying, na
kavayaH jAyante - no kavi-s are born nowadays.

>5.  Who decides what is Shruti and what is not ?  Are we going by a
>classification made by Shankara or some authority in the past ?  If it is

The classification is what is traditionally handed down. Every time, we have
to remember, the Vedic-Hindu religion has no founder. There was no one
person, not even Sankaracharya, who had authority to legislate these things.
We must not forget that Sankaracharya was not an accepted authority for
those who did not agree with him, but still were part of the broader Vedic
traditions. What constitutes Sruti is just a thing that was agreed upon by
all concerned, ages ago, even before Sankara was born, and imparted to their

>6.  Are we being too conservative in our defintion/recognition of what is
>Shruti and what is not ??

We have to be, or else there is no way of figuring out anything. If we don't
accept the line already drawn, where would we propose to draw the line?
Tomorrow, I can set myself up as a seer of Sruti and say whatever I want, so
long as I am successful in convincing a few followers. If I assert, with all
the conviction I can commad, that I am God-realized and that therefore every
word I utter is Sruti, would you have any tangible ways of judging my claim?
You can also make similar claims for yourself, Nanda Chandran can do the
same, Anand Hudli can do the same, Jaldhar Vyas can do the same. Then all
our differences of opinion will become internal contradictions within a
so-called "Sruti". Do you really want that? If for no other reason than
this, our definition or recognition of what is Sruti has to follow
time-tested rules and schemes of classification.

Best wishes,

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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