Vaidya N. Sundaram
sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Thu Oct 2 16:19:49 CDT 1997
On Thu, 2 Oct 1997, Martin Gifford wrote:
> The Vedas are a useful source of information but they are not infallible as
> claimed. This subject doesn't really lend itself to debate because this fact
> is self evident. As Allan pointed out, only one internal contradiction or
> one external contradicting proof is required to end the debate of
> infallability (which means utterly without error). Allan has provided that.
I would very much like to point out to Sri. Martin Gifford (and to all
list members) the following from the Manu Smriti. Ofcourse, to accept
them or not is up to each individual.
Ch 1; verse 107-8
In this (work) the sacred law has been fully stated as well as the good
and bad qualities of (human) actions and the immemorial rule of conduct,
to be followed by all the four varnas.
The rule of conduct is transcendent law; whether it be taught in the
revealed texts or in sacred tradition; hence a (twice-born) man who
posseses regard for himself should always be careful to follow it.
the whole veda is the first source of sacred law; next the tradition and
the virtuous conduct of those who know the Veda further; also the customs
of holy men; and finally self-satisfaction.
Whatever law has been ordained for any (person) by Manu, that has been
fully declared in the Veda; for that sage was Omniscient.
By the Sruti (revelation) is meant the Veda, and by Smriti (tradition)
the Institutes of the sacred law; those two must not be called into
question in any matter, since from those two the sacred law shone forth.
Every twice born man, who relying on the Institutes of dialectics,
treats with contempt those two sources (of the law), must be cast out by
the virtous, as an aetheist and a scorner ot the Veda.
But when two sacred texts (Sruti) are conflicting, both are held to law;
for both are pronounced be the wise (to be) valid law.
By the study of the veda, by vows, by burnt oblations, by (the
recitation of) sacred texts, by the (acquisition of the) three-fold
sacred science, by offering (to the Gods, Rishis, and pitirs) by (the
procreation of)sons, by the great sacrifices and by (Srauta) rites this
(human) body is made fit for (union with) Brahman.
I could go on quoting verse after verse from the Smriti's. I do not want
to. For I sincerely believe that (as Vidya has also said) one has not to
be persuaded to believe the Vedas. I merely quoted the above verses to
give everyone an idea as to how much importance has been/ is/ will be
placed on Vedas as a prime source of Knowledge.Even if one had not read
the Vedas or pondered on its' teachings, the mere understanding of the
meaning of the word Veda , namely - the root -, should give enough reason
for any person to think twice before saying that there are portions of the
Vedas that are fallible etc. If it appears to you that the Vedas are
fallible, why at all do you want to study Advaita philosophy which is
based on the VEDAS. Why at all try to see what great teachers have said.
WHy even try to find out the truth? If you think you know better - fine.
Dont go around saying you know better. And, when Rama or Jaldhar say they
will point out mistakes and shoddy thinking, they are accused of being
impolite?? Are they jnanis?? I dont know. But that the Vedas are the
SUPREME source of knowledge is clear as much to them as to every sincere
aspirant of *that, knowing that which every thing else is known* and if
not for anything else, I will respect them and every one who respects the
Vedas and it's importance as being the prime source of Knowledge.
No meaningful discussion can take place in the absence of respect for
Vedas as being supreme. I sincerely hope that every one of us in this
list has this in mind before making judgements and passing comments on
any aspect of Vedic philosophy.
Sruti Smriti PuraaNAnaam Alayam karunAlayam
NamAmi Bhagavat pAdam Samkaram lOka Samkaram
I bow down to the holy feet of Sri Sankara, who is the kind (temple)
abode of Sruti, Smriti, Puranas and whose very name is holy and does good
for the world.
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