[Advaita-l] Sola Fide (was Re: Sraddha and Chitta-shuddhi)
Siva Senani Nori
sivasenani at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 4 13:35:41 CDT 2009
Bhadraiah gaaru, namaskaaramu.
I don't know if you are a Telugu speaking person, or if what obtains in Telugu also obtains in other languages like Kannada, but some words have taken a slightly different colour in Telugu compared to Sanskrit / Hindi.
Examples. Anumaanam - doubt in Telugu; guess or estimate in Hindi. Avasaram (Telugu takes all adjectives and abstract nouns as neuter and they usually end in 'am' or 'amu' in the nominal case) is necessity in Telugu, whereas it means context or instance in Hindi and Sanskrit. ViSvaasam is gratitude in Telugu, confidence in Sanskrit / Hindi. To be sure, with some effort the same words can be used to take a different shade of meaning, coming pretty close to the contemporary meaning in Hindi, but over the centuries there indeed has been a divergence in the meanings ascribed to many words in Telugu and Sanskrit.
Now, Sraddhaa is one such. In contemporary Telugu, the meaning ascribed to Sraddhaa is indeed keenness; however this is a word very clearly defined by the Bhagavatpaada as a belief in the Guru, in Saastram, and undertaking saadhana with such complete confidence. In vedanta, the learned - even in Telugu speaking areas - seem to interpret this word as nearer to faith than keenness.
From: Bhadraiah Mallampalli <vaidix at hotmail.com>
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Friday, April 3, 2009 9:04:40 PM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Sola Fide (was Re: Sraddha and Chitta-shuddhi)
M-W's definition of shraddha is wrong. Shraddha is not faith, Shraddha is keenness (in learning something).
When my mother told me to 'Read with shraddha', she did not mean read whatever was in the book
blindly. She always meant read with attention, concentration and keenness. Shraddha demands
alertness to avoid wrong learning, or coming to wrong conclusions etc.
Faith as per M-W is faith, belief and loyalty without any doubt.
Shraddha is the opposite of Faith.
No doubt a good portion of English language comes from Christian religious terminology,
many times the meanings are changed to suit religion (e.g., In Roman times the word pagan
used to mean villager without any connection to religion, now it means polytheist).
Oh, well, Sanskrit was also a ritual language born of theology, so we can't accuse English,
it is like kettle calling pot black. Let us not be in denial, in fact I encourage exploring this field.
We can derive many philosophical meanings from even ordinary words, because Sanskrit
is an inflective language. Even as atma twists and turns a little, a new word is created.
Talking of pardon and mercy, I came across a nice dialog our friend Michael Shepherd started in a different board.
My five cents:
- Platonians at this URL think mercy is unfair, and not worth it.
- Sankara says there is no way you can escape from results of your works. (Mercy will not help.)
Knowledge of nonduality does not release you from results of your works; it only lifts you from
the dual world of work & results. If there is work there will be a result; unless you argue karma
itself is non-different from jnana (my pet argument).
- In Islam they say 'Allah is merciful'. But the person saying this is not necessarily merciful.
- In Christianity mercy is given to those who accept a particular God and join the country club.
- Buddhist/Hindu karuna is sympathy for people who deserve it, those who are sick, unfortunate etc.
In fact apAtra daanam is forbidden.
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