Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Fri Oct 3 15:58:35 CDT 1997

> As I understand it, the Hindu's claim is that the Vedas are eternal, and
> are coeval with creation itself.  Even more, they ARE creation.  If you
> can even distinguish the Vedas from creation itself, nevertheless they
> both emanated out of the syllable AUM.

Which is itself a symbol of the great silence, which is described as the
"fourth" and is the Self.

> Now these other, Semitic, religions claim that their holy books were inspired
> by a personal God, a long time after the world was created.  The books were
> written
> by human authors under the divine guidance of Ishwara.  Another thing that is
> common among the Semitic religions is various statements that amount to the
> claim
> that everyone outside that religion will end up in that religion's hell.  If
> all these religions' claims are true, then everyone will go to someone's hell.
> (Do the Vedas make any such claim?)

The karmakANDa promises heaven to those who do certain enjoined actions
and hell to those who defy some prohibited actions.

The jnAnankANDa points out that this heaven and hell are not final resting
places, as we keep returning to embodied life. The vedAntic notion, in
both advaita in viSishTAdvaita, is that everybody can attain moksha. The
dvaita school promises an eternal hell for some, but as in other things,
the dvaita tradition is quite alone in holding to such a tenet.


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