New member introduction: shrI Subhanu Saxena

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 12 11:26:18 CDT 1998

> Jaldhar wrote:
>>On Tue, 11 Aug 1998, Ravisankar S. Mayavaram wrote:

>> Under my
>> Veda Guru, who performed my Upanayanam, I have mastered portions of
>> Taittiriya Sakha (The complete Aranyaka portion, the famous Suktas,
>> Samhita portions, including Ghana and Krama, plus the important
>> portions. I can also recite Udaka Shanti and Mahanyasam, as well as
>> perform Homa etc).

>Just curious, if you are from UP why did you learn Taittiriya shakha?
>far as I know only Dravid Brahmans belong to Krishnayajuraveda.

 Speaking for myself, my family is from the shAkala shAkhA of the
 R^ig Veda. I learnt some R^ig Vedic sUktas from two different
  brahmins back in India while growing up. I probably would have
 learnt more of the R^ig Veda had I stayed in India.

 I think the Krishna Yajur Vedins are more numerous than followers
 of the other vedas. Especially in the South, one can easily locate
 a Krishna Yajur Vedin, but other Vedins are relatively fewer. For
 instance, about 95% of the Brahmins in Andhra Pradesh are Krishna
 Yajur Vedins, and they are still the majority in Tamil Nadu, although
 not an overwhelming majority as in Andhra. In Karnataka/Maharashtra,
 where I come from, one does find a relatively higher percentage of
 Rg Vedins, especially but not exclusively, among MAdhvas. The big
 loser is the Atharva Veda which has hardly any followers left in
 India. Shri Chandrasekhara Saraswati, former Swami of the Kanchi
 Math, writes in his book on the Vedas how hard it was for him to
 find an Atharva Veda scholar for the Vedic PAThashAla. He searched
 and searched and finally found just one atharva vedin of the
 Shaunaka shAkhA in Gujarat. The Swami then sent two young brahmin
 boys to Gujarat so that they could learn the atharva veda. These
 boys , now supposed to be middle-aged men,  are resident scholars
 of atharva veda at the Tirupati devasthAnam. Hopefully, they will
 propagate the atharva veda to many disciples!

 The Swami, in the same book, then goes on to formulate a theory
 on how different Indian languages have different Vedic influences.
 For example, in the languages Kannada and Marathi of Karnataka and
 Maharashtra respectively, the letter "La" (not to be confuesd with
 "la" appears) frequently. This, according to Shri Chandrasekhara
 Saraswati, indicates the influence of the R^ig Veda on the languages.
 The R^ig Veda has many followers in this geographical region.
 It is well known "La" occurs commonly in the R^ig Veda, as in
 "agnimILe", "mR^iLA", etc. In a similar fashion, the Swami says,
 the frequent occurrence of "Da" in Telugu is due to the influence
 of the Krishna Yajur Veda. For example, "mR^iLA" in R^Ig Veda becomes
 "mR^iDA" in Krishna Yajur Veda. The Swami also gives explanations
 for  occurrences of distinguishing syllables in other languages.
 The occurrence of "ja", for example, in North Indian languages,
 is due to the influence of the Shukla Yajur Veda.

 Most of the South Indian priests that one sees in temples in the US
 are indeed Krishna Yajur vedins. I have learnt (and am still learning
 ) portions of the taittirIya samhitA/ AraNyaka/ upanishad from a
 priest, Krishna Bhat, in this country.
 To make a long story short, if one wants to learn the Vedas and
 approaches a priest/scholar, the probability is high that he will be
 a Krishna Yajur Vedin.


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>From  Wed Aug 12 12:28:05 1998
Message-Id: <WED.12.AUG.1998.122805.0400.>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 12:28:05 -0400
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To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at ECON.AG.GOV>
Subject: Re: A post from shrI sadananda (fwd)
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"Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> writes:

> That kind of samadrishti is commendable but only if accompanied by Viveka.
> How much do you actually know of other religions and thought-systems that
> you can claim they follow "advaitic principles"?  It is not showing them
> any respect to treat them as something they are not.
> Let us strive to be as precise as we can be.

Plenty of "goodness" is readily available in other religious scripts if
we seek it.   Vedavyasa in Bhagavatam proclaims: "Truth has many
aspects.  Infinite truth has infinite expressions. Though the sages
speak in diverse ways, they express the same Truth. Ignorant is he who
says, "What I say and know is true; others are wrong." It is because of
this attitude of the ignorant that there have been doubts and
misunderstandings about God.  This attitude it is that causes dispute
among men.  But all doubts vanish when one gains self-control and
attains tranquillity by realizing the heart of Truth.  Thereupon
dispute, too, is at an end." (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.15)

Vedavyasa also suggests: "Like the bee, gathering honey from different
flowers, the wise man accepts the essence of different scriptures and
sees only the good in all religions." (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3)

This well-known Indian tale (Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant -
origin unknown) does illustrate the  many- sidedness of things:
A number of disciples went to their Guru and said, "Sir, there are
living here in Savatthi many wandering hermits and scholars who indulge
in constant dispute, some saying that the world is infinite and eternal
and others that it is finite and not eternal, some saying that the soul
dies with the body and others that it lives on forever, and so forth.
What, Sir, would you say concerning them?"  The Guru answered, "Once
upon a time there was a certain raja who called to his servant and said,
'Come, good fellow, go and gather together in one place all the men of
Savatthi who were born blind... and show them an elephant.'  'Very good,
sire,' replied the servant, and he did as he was told.  He said to the
blind men assembled there, 'Here is an elephant,' and to one man he
presented the head of the elephant, to another its ears, to another a
tusk, to another the trunk, the foot, back, tail, and tuft of the tail,
saying to each one that was the elephant.  "When the blind men had felt
the elephant, the raja went to each of them and said to each, 'Well,
blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an
elephant?'  "Thereupon the men who were presented with the head
answered, 'Sire, an elephant is like a pot.'  And the men who had
observed the ear replied, 'An elephant is like a winnowing basket.'
Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a plough-share.
Those who knew only the trunk said it was a plough; others said the body
was a granary; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a
pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush.  "Then they began to quarrel,
shouting, 'Yes it is!'  'No, it is not!'  'An elephant is not that!'
'Yes, it's like that!' and so on, till they came to blows over the
matter.  "Brethren, the raja was delighted with the scene.  "Just so are
these preachers and scholars holding various views blind and
unseeing....  In their ignorance they are by nature quarrelsome,
wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality is thus and
thus."  Then the Exalted One rendered this meaning by uttering this
verse of uplift,   O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim   For
preacher and monk the honored name!   For, quarreling, each to his view
they cling. Such folk see only one side of a thing.

We all know that spirituality is not something that we can start
discussing and arguing among ourselves to spend our valuable time.  It
is to be understood in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility with an
open mind.  If we show kindness and respect to other viewpoints, we can
see their validity.   Egoism always motivates religious disputes and
doctrinal conflicts.  The existence and practice of different religions
show that no single religious perspective is absolute and complete. Let
me repeat what Shri Maadhavan Srinivasan said: "If we are true
Advaitins, we can see the existence of Advaita principle in all the
sampradaayaas or religions." It does take time and effort to find out
the existence of Sankara's Advaitic message in all the sampradaayaas or
religions. In a multi-cultural universe,  it is necessary that we get
better perspective of other religions and cultures.  There will be no
peace in earth if we do not show tolerance and open mindedness while
listening or reading.  This Forum is a great opportunity for all of us
to improve our attitude toward others and improve our life.

Ram Chandran
Burke VA

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