[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Veda-s & its apaurusheyatva

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 5 08:11:26 CDT 2009

Dear Michaelji,
One should not forget there is a  great difference between Hinduism (including its daughter religions such as Buddhism, Jainism) and the Semitic religions in that the former believes in rebirth and the latter not. Thus moving from one to the other means a paradigm shift.  
Secondly there is no upper limit of knowledge in Hinduisn in the sense that nothing comes in way of the  the seeker in his pursuit for the ultimate knowledge.  Sir Abdullah Suhrawardy quoted a Hadith in the book "The sayings of Muhammad", according to which the prophet said that he got two types of knowledge from God and that he could give his followers only one type of knowledge as they would not be able to assimilate the other type (of knowledge.  The prophet in his best judgement might have found it that way. Why then compare the religions? The bhakti to the Lord alone is emphasised there.
Thirdly  Bhakti's prominance does not appear in Advaita? Bhakti is very nice and wonderful but Advaita has some reservation for Bhakti. Remember Adi Sankaracharya said "Bhaktyarthakalpitam Dvaitam Advaitadapi Sundaram". Bhakti without Jnana is not the Advaita's cup of tea.
Then in the Bhagavad Gita the Lord said about Lokasangraha. The knowledge of the Vedas is for all. One who cannot read the Vedas can have the Puranas and the epics to get the taste of the Vedic knowledge. If any non-Hindu likes to come to Hinduism due to that person's genuine interest then that person should be welcome to do so. Vishwamitra was born as a Kshatriya but he strived hard to become a Brahman and he did succeed. One thing a person has to take care is that  in that process the person should not shirk off the responsibilities incumbent on him by birth or his past karma. 
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Sat, 9/5/09, Michael Shepherd <michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

From: Michael Shepherd <michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] [advaitin] Veda-s & its apaurusheyatva
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Saturday, September 5, 2009, 4:08 AM

Shri Shyam ji

I've been reading again your fine posting, for which thanks.

I'd just like to 'clean up' by saying that Hinduism, because of its
intertwined theology, religion,  spiritual advice, and wisdom, is going to
attract -- as it has since the 18th century at least -- thinkers from other
nations and faiths for its jnana aspects; rather than the recent
well-intentioned pseudo-bhaktis. And that seems to me to be, in view of
Sanatana Dharma, an extremely auspicious and propitious situation.


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of Shyam
Sent: 04 September 2009 16:57
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] [advaitin] Veda-s & its apaurusheyatva

Pranams Shri Michael-ji and others,
I suspect that some people may be reading into what Shri Pravin-ji has so
consistently articulated, an approach that is based on chauvinism or
ethnocentricity. I would like to submit that in fact when examined it is the
exact opposite.

This thread was concerned primarily with the status of the Vedas as
apaurusheya and what that term signified.

Now those not in the Vedic fold have their own scriptures to adhere to. It
is wrong to use the term Veda for that. It is also unnecessary. Every belief
system has internal validity for its followers. There is no need to dilute,
or waterdown, or in anyways liberalize the doctrines of the Vedic path, in
order that may make it more palatable to members of other faiths.

When we attempt to do this we actually undermine the validity of those
faiths as well. Why should we look at the Bible or the Quran as Veda? Are
the Abrahamic faiths in need of "Vedic" validation in order for them to be
considered Holy? There is wisdom in every religious scripture, and every
religion has the tools to spiritually cater to the particular temparament
and mindset of its followers.

All this talk of allowing or encouraging "conversion" is silly, as was
pointed out by His Holiness Chandrashekhara Bharati "since he was born in a
particular faith, it was best suited for him to pursue his spiritual
advances in that faith" - similar messages have been similarly articulated
by His Holiness the Sage of Kanchi as well.

The reason can be found in Lord Krishna's words "- Better is one's own
dharma than another's"...shreyah sva-dharmo vigunah para-dharmat
svanusthitat sva-dharme nidhanam shreyah para-dharmo bhayavahah" Of course
in this particular context Bhagwan is referring to the ashramadharma and
varnadharma, but in todays context we can by implication allow this
principle to guide us in regards to the issue of interfaith conversion. To
say that a devout Christian who with unswerving faith embraces austerity,
and penance, and charity, and meditation, and dispassion to the world, and
Supreme love and prayer to the Lord, the Father in Heaven, and Surrender,
will be denied the Kingdom of God - unless that earns him enough karmic
points to find Hinduism is this lifetime and come to Vedanta - to my mind is
what is chauvinistic. Let everyone have not only the freedom but let
everyone be encouraged to have unswerving faith and devotion to his or her
religious background and
its doctrines and its "God" - i.e. the one they were born with - such is an
attitude that stems from implicit faith in the infallibility of the Order
that is Ishwara, and that this Order would have rightfully fashioned for an
individual the environs that are best suited to his or her spiritual
upliftment, and that every such environ has validity in its sphere of
influence. A person who loses faith in his doctrine today and is looking for
a change, may well be the doubting Thomas who loses faith in the new
religion he is now embracing, as soon as his wavering mind finds some other
faith even more appealing.

All of religion is ONLY about spiritual progress as its ultimate
goal...bereft of this end, no religion including the vedic path, has any
relevance whatsoever.

Hari OM

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