viprataa (was Re: Sadhana)

Vivek Anand Ganesan v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Mon May 11 13:47:50 CDT 1998


ShrI John Grimes wrote :
> As Sadananda put it, one should be aware of ALL the meanings of a
word and
> then and only then, should one "guess" as to its use by a particular
> author. One would be foolish to contend that "vipra" came to mean a
> "brahmin" but, and there is the rub, what else does it mean and what
> exactly did it mean to a particular individual at a particular time?
> when was his time? And who was he speaking to? And why? All these are
> factors too. It seems as if the original meaning of the word should at
> least be noted - especially since the person we were discussing
seems to
> have had an excellent grasp of those original texts.
> John

   Sir, I fully agree with you.  I was merely stating the commonly
held view.  IMHO, the notion that the study of the vedas should be
restricted to male DvijAs and Brahmins at that, is a conservative one
at best.  The primacy of the Vedas in Vedanta is unquestionable.  As
ShrI Giridhar had opined, the import of the Vedas can be obtained from
Smriti.  But, for a  more serious study, the primary source of
knowledge ( Shruti ) would have to be consulted ( IMO ).  So, to
restrict scriptural study is to restrict a full and complete
experience of Vedanta.
   Before, I claim credence to my New Age liberalism, I am fully aware
of the Orthodox VedAdhikAram views.  IMHO, these restrictions are
there to ensure that people have the necessary pre-requisite qualities
before they commence Scriptural Study.  But, the crux of this debate
is "who is a brahmin?".  "Brahmin" to ShrI Shankaracharya meant
something vey different than what it means today.  I have trouble
accepting that the BhagavatpAda had somehow ( implicitly and/or
explicitly ) espoused the degenerate caste system of today.
   I would be very grateful if the learned members of this forum shed
more light on this issue.


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