Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Aug 17 23:39:37 CDT 1999

On Mon, 16 Aug 1999, Sankaran Panchapagesan wrote:

> Hi.
>         Regarding Yaska's views on the devas being different
> manifestations of the same Atman, I read it in the book "The Hindu Gita"
> by Arvind Sharma (page 247).
> He in turn quotes from "Revelation and Reason in Advaita Vedanta" by
> K.Satchidananda Murty.
>  '(Yaska) mentions several kinds of interpreters (of the Veda):
> etymologists, ritualists, polytheists, atmavadins (those who sought
> spiritual truths), and lastly those who said that the Veda is nonsense
> useful in magic (the school of Kautsa). Yaska himself admits that there
> are all kinds of "mantra-seeings" in the Veda, some expressing "high"
> ideas and some "low", and he thus implies that different interpreters may
> take anyone of these ideas as the engrossing theme of the Veda, and then
> interpret the whole Veda in that light. He, for instance, mentions various
> views regarding the Vedic gods - whether there are many or one, whether
> they have any shape or not - and states his own view that they are all
> aspects or manifestations of the one Atman".

I have a copy of the Nirukta and I do remember that passage vaguely but
unfortunately the edition I have doesn't have an index and I haven't found
it yet.  When I do I'll take another look to see if I've misunderstood
something but I don't *think* I have.

Professor Sharma quotes this to support his theory that there is no one
coherant meaning to the Gita (and by implication I suppose to other
shastras) but I think this is overstating the case a little.  Just because
there were different approaches, doesn't mean they are exclusive.  I think
Yaskacharya is a good example of this.  Although his approach to
ascertaining the meaning of words is primarily etymological, he does use
grammar, ritual and myth as well.  For instance he tells the story of
Indra and Tvashtra.  He quotes sages like Audumbarayana and Gargya who
were pre-Paninian authorities on Vyakarana etc.  I think he believed as do
all astika thinkers that came after him, that the shastras do teach a
coherent message.  (Even though we may not be 100% sure what it is :-)

> Also, in the Aditya-hRdayam hymn in the Ramayanam (the knowledge and
> recital of which was supposed to have been vital to Rama's defeat of
> Ravana), Surya is hailed as the Supreme Reality, and the various gods are
> said to be his different manifestations, I read.

That's the kathenotheism Max Muller was talking about in action.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

>From  Wed Aug 18 13:34:02 1999
Message-Id: <WED.18.AUG.1999.133402.0800.>
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 13:34:02 +0800
Reply-To: venkataraman at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Venkataraman <venkataraman at PACIFIC.NET.SG>
Organization: Venkataraman
Subject: Re: Was ShrI Shankara a Vaishnava?
Comments: To: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at>
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Thank you, Sir, for the prompt response.
What I am looking for is the following:

 Before evaluating the three schools, can we first list out their
basic differences ,  in regard to terms like Brahman, Jiiva, Maya,
Ishvara, Vishnu, Creator, Moksha, Absolute Truth, etc and the
inter-relationships between these.

-- V M Sundaram

"Jaldhar H. Vyas" wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Aug 1999, Venkataraman wrote:
.etc  etc  etc

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