What is adhikAra? (fwd)

Nanda Chandran Nanda.Chandran at NBC.COM
Mon Jun 8 10:08:21 CDT 1998

>On the other hand when we start an intellectual dialog of arguments and
>counter arguments (such as the dialog between you, me and Sri. Vaidya
>Sundaram on Atharvaveda),  our Ego dominates over the "intellect" and
>consequently, we lose our discriminating wisdom and engage producing
>garbage!   The great saints of the past including Sri Sankara have
>applied their intellect to guide the common people for spiritual
>growth.  We are neither vegetables nor Jnanis.  Consequently, we have
>remind ourselves often about the pitfalls of endless intellectual
>debates and learn to stop at the appropriate time.

I beg to differ from Ram Chandran.

If we take the shruti as the basis of our religion, I'm sure all of us
are aware of the different interpretations that have sprung forth from
the same base! The same way, even if one's a faithful Advaitin, how can
one be sure that one's interpreting Shankara or Gaudapada correctly.
It's only by subjecting the theories to a rigorous analysis and argument
that one can arrive at the truth behing their teachings. Again the
levels of this practice can differ between individuals. While one may be
'convinced' at some point in the process, another might need further
'convincing' and might pursue the practice to higher levels to his
satisfaction. But to find fault with his effort, is IMO, very wrong.

It's a totally different matter if one lets the Ego dominate over the
intellect. But a productive agrument can still be carried on without
this happening. Adi Shankara himself supports the practice of analysis
and argument. For it's only by the patient sifting of opinions that one
can get to the truth.

And IMO, if one's to take the path of 'jnana' then one should never
accept anything on face value, but should literally dissect each theory
and analyze it to the core. The understanding obtained thereof should
again be subjected to further argument with like minds to enable clearer
understanding. To label this process as being disrespectful towards
Shankara or any great saint is the height of ignorance. Au contraire, it
would only be being true to the great ideals established by them.

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>From  Mon Jun  8 20:28:15 1998
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Date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998 20:28:15 -0400
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To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: What is adhikAra?  (fwd)
Comments: To: Advaita-L <advaita-l at tamu.edu>
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Ram Chandran wrote:

> > 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,

What a joke. I specifically said "texts". It's quite obvious that the
veda-s, esp the upanishhad-s, are the canonical "texts" for advaita.
Period. Instead of a composed text the veda-s take the place. That it
was not "composed" is of no consequence. It plays the same role.

[ ... ]

> 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

Quote by your kind self in a previous post:

___begin quote
>    Atharvaveda means the Veda of the Wise and the Old. It is associated
> with the name of the ancient Rishi Atharvan.  It is also called
> Atharva-Angirasa, being associated with the name of another rishi,
> Angiras. Although later in age, the Atharvaveda reveals a more primitive
> culture than the Rigveda.
___end quote

Point #1. "Although later in age" presupposes that the veda-s were
composed. Not just the atharva, but also the R^ig.

Point #2. "reveals a more primitive culture". How? Obviously using the
hymns of the atharva veda. Unless the author you quote knows how to
travel back in time. Clearly the paragraph means that the "composers" of
the atharva veda belonged to a "primitive" class. They reveal the
"primitiveness" in their poems, according to you/your quote. The culture
of the people to which the seers of the atharva veda belonged are judged
primitive by analyzing the hymns. It's thus a judgement on the
"composers" who I refered to as seers. QED.

Your quotes from the Kanchi Acharya contradict the above. You quote him
that shruti was not composed, but also give quotes (in a previous mail)
implying that they were composed. What do you really beleive? Or did you
change your mind suddenly? Or do you just type up stuff from books
without bothering to understand what they are implying?

BTW, if you say someone's words show that he comes from a family of
fools and try to escape later by giving excuses that you did not intend
to insult the person himself and claim that you never called him a fool,
IMO it's rather ridiculous.

Anyone else see the irony in Ram Chandran denouncing intellectual
arguments and trying to use rather nit-picky (but faulty) arguments at
the same time, instead of admitting his mistake? Enough said!

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

Good. I am certainly glad to hear that.


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