[Advaita-l] How to read puranas
shankarabharadwaj at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 15 02:20:59 CDT 2011
"Brahmana is in its widest sense any part of shruti which is not mantra. "
This makes sense, especially if we read significant parts of Aranyaka as
arthavAda without attaching it to the guna/artha karma. However the
classification of Aranyaka predates mImAmsa and there is no reason why the
entire non-samhita must be treated as brAhmana.
The question is whether mImAmsa cares for anything that is arthavAda for the
sake of it, I guess not. It is more utilitarian in it view, explicitly saying
the reason why the mantra exists and why the other portions of veda exist (all
for the sake of yajna). From this viewpoint I do not think mImAmsa has any real
reason to worry about the entire upanishad-aranyaka part.
That said we are agreeing as far as applying what mImAmsa says from a
commonsense viewpoint to the entire traditional literature.
"But suryanamaskara etc. definitely fall under the purview of karma and
The sUrya namaskAra itself is karma, but the mantra bhAga under discussion is
the Aruna pAtha which is by definition not associated with karma. Esp when there
is no brAhmana that associates the pAtha with namaskAra/Asana/kriya.
"On the contrary, Shruti often does. We recently discussed such a case."
For that matter following sruti is itself optional :) But that is not the point
here. Sruti stands to say things by its own authority while smriti's validity
depends on its agreement with sruti (or absence of non-agreement with sruti). I
think we are agreeing here.
">Third reason is that Sruti does not by itself subscribe to a worldview but
only >explains the cosmic phenomenon. Smriti statements in many cases are
>subscriptions to specific worldviews, and hence are subjective in their
>relevance and validity. >
Can you give an example of what you mean by this."
The way a purANa attempts to establish the superiority of one Devata over the
other, for instance.
"Do you believe the injuction to celebrate Holi (which is not mentioned in
Shruti) has any force or is it the opinion of some smrti-kara?"
As a parva, it is only relevant for the subscribers of the smritikAra or the
sampradaya whose grihya sUtras are given by that smritikAra (with known caches
like defaulting to a sUtrakAra of one's sAkha as directed by one's subscribed
Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Jun 9 23:17:28 CDT 2011
On Mon, 23 May 2011, ShankaraBharadwaj Khandavalli wrote: > Mimamsa's division
does not apply even to the entire Sruti - it is only for > Samhita and Brahmana.
Their first division of Veda is into two parts - the > Mantra (Samhita) and
Brahmana. > Brahmana is in its widest sense any part of shruti which is not
mantra. Most of the historically earliest upanishads are part of a brahmana.
For instance brhadaranyaka (note the name) is the concluding parts of the
shatapatha brahmana. In fact its chapters are called brahmanas.
Taittireyopanishad is the concluding part of the Taittireya Aranyaka which
itself is the concluding part of the Taittireya Brahmana and so on. > > >
While the general principles of Mimamsa, its Pramana Sastra are useful in >
understanding most of traditional literature, the rules are not strictly >
applicable, esp reg vidhi nishedha etc. > > > For example, I remember having
read some discussion on Surya Namaskara procedure > along with Aruna mantras,
why it should not be done or should be done based on > Mimamsa principles. It
was probably overlooked that Mimamsa does not apply its > rules to Aranyaka and
Aruna Patha is part of Aranyaka. See above. Now one place where Vedanta and
purva mimamsa part company is that the former do not accept the latters
analysis of the jnana kanda. (Wherever in shruti that might occur.) But
suryanamaskara etc. definitely fall under the purview of karma and therefore
PM. > > > Second reason why Mimamsa cannot be applied to Purana is that
Purana's > statementes are not vidhi/nishedha but essentially recommendations.
There is > always a question of whether it should be taken or not. Sruti gives
not such > option. > On the contrary, Shruti often does. We recently discussed
such a case. See:
there are many instances where puranas state something unequivocably and these
statements are treated as authoritative in dharmashastras. > > Mimamsa texts
themselves explicitly mention some of the smriti > statements which cannot be
taken as valid. > Smrti has authority only insofar as it is based on shruti.
But when it is, the same principles can be applied to their analysis. > > >
Third reason is that Sruti does not by itself subscribe to a worldview but only
> explains the cosmic phenomenon. Smriti statements in many cases are >
subscriptions to specific worldviews, and hence are subjective in their >
relevance and validity. > Can you give an example of what you mean by this. >
> Going by this, the statements on Buddha and Sankara should rather be taken as
> the opinions of smriti kara and not essentially as having the sanction of
Sruti, > much less as "true". In contrast, there is no sruti-kara's relevance
when one > talks of the Apourusheya. > Do you believe the injuction to
celebrate Holi (which is not mentioned in Shruti) has any force or is it the
opinion of some smrti-kara? -- Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list