|| shrI sha.nkarAchArya aShTottara-shata-nAmAvaliH ||

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Sun Jun 7 13:44:29 CDT 1998

AUM amAnuShacharitrADhyAya namaH

I bow to shrI shankara whose life exemplifies divine nature. It is
humanly impossible task to accomlish what shrI shankara accomplished in a
brief span of his life on earth. His divine nature is demonstrated through
this. Out of boundless mercy, Ishwara himself came down to this earth to
establish dharma.

AUM kShemadAyine namaH

I bow to shrI shankara who bestows welfare to his devotees. The best thing
which will bring welfare to person is nitya-anitya vastu vivekam.
Through His teachings, shrI shankara, taught the knowldge which
discriminates between the eternal and ephemeral.

AUM kShamakAraya namaH

I bow to shrI shankara who forgives the mistakes out of His boundless

Note: I understand that I do not qualify at all to write the meanings the
108 names of shrI shankara, out of eagerness to learn more, I have started
writing this. Please forgive the mistakes I make and give the correct
>From giridhar at chemeng.iisc.ernet.in Mon Jun  8 13:57:04 1998
Message-Id: <MON.8.JUN.1998.135704.0530.GIRIDHAR at CHEMENG.IISC.ERNET.IN>
Date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 13:57:04 +0530
Reply-To: "Dr. M. Giridhar" <giridhar at chemeng.iisc.ernet.in>
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: "Dr. M. Giridhar" <giridhar at CHEMENG.IISC.ERNET.IN>
Subject: Re: Dharma
Comments: To: advaita-l <ADVAITA-L at TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU>
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Ravi asked:

>What are the basic things (absolute minimum) a  brahmana should do
>at the various stages of life like brahmachAri, gr^ihasta, vAnaprsatha
>and a sannyAsi?


        Your query has been answered in great detail in the book by Kanchi
periyava though the web site does not give many details of them.

        In fact, periyava has enumerated the duties even for an
office-goer (9 am to 6 pm, 6 days a week) and tells how to spare time in
the morning and evening. He also specifies which rituals should be
performed at these times.

        For example, daily, he is required to perform sandhya vandhana
three times a day. If he is a brahmachari, one has to do samhita dhanam
also. If one is married, one has to perform aupasana daily. Daily, one is
expected to perform atleast a simple puja.

        Besides what is needed to be performed, there are conditions on
what should not be done. For example, mating between couples is
prohibited on certain days, sannyasis should not stay in a place for more
than three days and they have to eat by begging only etc.

        I though you had a copy of apastamba sutra and vaidyanatha
diskhitiyam. The latter gives all the rites for an householder and the
former (available on the net) gives the daily routines for everyone.
Besides the nitya karmas, one is expected to perform several other
rites (all detailed in the above books).

        Of course, the dharma of a brahmana is only to earn from vaidikam,
as Rama said.  There is no question of that, but when I pointed out the
nadi jyotish etc., it is only to say that there is no use feeling sorry
for what we have done so far (i.e., not learn vedas etc.) but make amends
for it now. You can see people here (doing their Ph.Ds here) who have
learnt vedas etc. formally and come to the university wearing dhoti and
angostram. So, everything can be done if there is a will to do so.

>From  Mon Jun  8 08:52:38 1998
Message-Id: <MON.8.JUN.1998.085238.0400.>
Date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 08:52:38 -0400
Reply-To: chandran at econ.ag.gov
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: What is adhikAra?  (fwd)
Comments: To: Advaita List <advaita-l at tamu.edu>
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Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM> writes:

> We don't have "authentic" texts? Again I beg to differ. We are
> discussing advaita here. The veda-s are the authentic "texts". Period.
> End of the story.

I beg to disagree with you.  Vedas are the direct revealations from God
with no authorship whatsoever! We had a great Oral tradition.  Here is
the statment from Paramacharya about Vedas: "When Brahma took form,
allthe Vedic sounds were born in his heart-innerself. They sowed him the
parth of creation. He felt the Vedic sounds all around and to him all
the Vedas became known intuitively."  Vedavyasa, a reincarnation of God
was only able to compile and present it to the Vedic audience.  It is
impossible for any human being to grasp the "True Meaning of Vedas".
Vedas represent nothing but the TRUTH.  TRUTH can't be transcribed in a
text book.  If we make any such claims we wil only undermine the TRUTH!
This is complex area and we know very little and let us not jump into
hasty conclusions. Period.

> I don't understand this "forgive" stuff. I was only pointing out that as
> advaitins we need to understand what advaita teachers say about veda-s
> etc. Calling the atharva veda primitive certainly seems like an insult
> to the seers of the atharva veda!

Please don't make your own inference about what I have stated in my
earlier posts.  I have never said an insulting word about the seers of
the Atharvaveda.  The quoted text books only talk about the cultural
practices before Vedavyasa's time period.  We don't have any authentic
historical records about the religious practices. If we apply our common
sense, that at all time periods, there were few seers and sages and
there were also lots of other categories of people. It is against common
sense to believe that everyone who lived in the vedic period is a seer
or sage!  There was never a time in our history, we had a uniform
religion across the length and breadth of India.  We always had diverse
beliefs and practices.  We definitly don't have any written records to
authenticate one way or other of those practices.  The question whether
some people practiced "black magic" using the name of Atharvaveda
remains unanswered.  Those of us who have great FAITH in our religion
and culture may rule out such possiblities.  But we can't PROVE one way
or other!

It is quite possible that for some in the society to exploit the name of
Atharvaveda to conduct unethical activities.  We have seen in America
that many self-appointed Jnanis using the name of 'Vedas and Vedanta' to
self promote their ego and enrich their pockets!

If your observation is purely on the basis of your own belief and
conviction, I respect that.  Let me admit honestly and humbly that I am
not knowledgeable enough to either accept or deny statements regarding
the cultural practices of Hindus before Vedavyasa's time period.  I have
a good friend with the name Kishore TRIVEDI, a professor at Duke
University, Durham, NC. He comes from Gujarat and according to him, his
family name TRIVEDI is due to the fact, they only practiced Rig, Yajur
and Sama Vedas. I request the list members about the origin and
significance of the family names "Trivedi" and "Chathurvedi"

Let me conclude with the following famous prverb in Tamil which
resembles Sankara's Advaita in a nutshell: "Kannal Kandathum Poi, Kathal
Kettathum Poi, Thira Visaripathu Mei."  Translation - "All that we see
through our eyes are false, all that we hear through the ears are false
and TRUTH only comes after contemplation and enquiry."

> ...... But on this list it's different. We are talking about advaita.

You have refered quite a few times about "talking about advaita."  I
honestly don't understand the specificity of this statement.  Can you
please explain any special meaning that you attribute to "advaita and
this list?"

Note:  I have no desire to write any more replies on this topic. Period.

Ram Chandran
Burke, VA 22015

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