What is adhikAra? (fwd)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Jun 16 16:03:50 CDT 1998

On Mon, 8 Jun 1998, Ram Chandran wrote:

> I beg to disagree with you.  Vedas are the direct revealations from God
> with no authorship whatsoever! We had a great Oral tradition.

_have_ a great oral tradition.


> Vedas represent nothing but the TRUTH.  TRUTH can't be transcribed in a
> text book.

So why quote from textbooks?

> 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.

You may choose to know very little but others (including the acharya whose
book you read) know a lot more and those who know do not make disparaging
remarks nor repeat them blindly.

> 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!

If such questions remain unanswered then why bring up what in the end is
idle gossip and speculation?

> 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!

But who is to say the Atharvaveda contains "unethical" or "primitive"
beliefs.  This whole business started with 19th century Western scholars
whose puritanical upbringing and preconceived notions of what the Vedas
were supposed to be about.  Later their idiot Indian followers started
repeating the same things.  Vedanta (and we are discussing this on a
Vedanta list remember) says and never has said any such thing.

> 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.

Then again, why bring it up?

> 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"

My wifes maiden name was Dave which is a prakritization of Dwivedi which
means one of her ancestors learnt two vedas.  Given the amount of time and
effort it takes to learn even one shakha to learn 4, 3, or even 2 was a
noteable enough feat for people to take it as their family names.  It
doesn't mean they thought all the ones they didn't learn had something
wrong with them.

> 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?"

Advaita Vedanta is not just whatever may strike ones fancy, it is a body
of thought, with a history, doctrines, and postions for or against certain
things.  Either a proposition will fall within the bounds of Advaita or
(as in your case) it won't.  As Ravi has made clear this list is for
topics which fall within the bounds.

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

It's funny how people always discover the futility of intellectual debate
around the time they start losing one. ;-)

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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