Vedic Religion

Anand V. Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 24 11:01:12 CDT 1999

Ravi wrote:

>        The four veda-s have many shAkA-s which it was pointed out recently
>that many were lost and inaccessibe at the present time(question 2)!
>When we do not know what constitutes the entire corpus of veda-s how
>can one claim to be vedic? One of those shAkA-s might have had
>principles which say Islam follows expounded in it with allah-upanishad
>(there was a news article about something like allah-upanishad few
>years back!!)
>2) How can the lost veda-s be reclaimed if there are no mantra
>draShta-s at this age. It was pointed out recently that tradition holds
>that there are no more mantra draShta-s (or something to that effect).
>Making such an assumption seems very unfair and unreasonable to me.

    There is not much difference between the mantra portions of two
    shAkhAs of the SAME veda. For example, the kANva and mAdhyandina
    shAkhAs of the shukla yajur veda have only minor differences in
    saMhitA portion that contains mantras such as. for example, the
    rudra-adhyAya. There may be differences in the brAhmaNa portions
    of shAkhAs belonging to the same veda but again, the differences
    are not in the essence but in the treatment of details involving
    sacrifices, as for example, in the aitareya and kaushItaki brAhmaNas
    of the R^ig veda.

    There may be differences between the AraNyakas (that contain the
    upanishhads, the vedAnta) of shAkhAs belonging to the same veda
    but again the essence remains the same. Even when we consider the
    upanishhads belonging to different vedas, for example, the
    chhAndogya and the bR^ihadAraNyaka, there is not much difference
    in the fundamental message of the upanishhad.

    Although it is a great loss to us that  so many shAkhAs of the vedas
    disappeared from the face of the earth, we still have some hope as long
    as there are some shAkhAs of each veda. The loss would be significant
    if ALL shAkhAs of a particular veda are completely lost. Then we would
    have to wait for the next satya-yuga as Jaldhar mentioned to see the
    revelation of all the vedas and shAkhAs to the Rishis.

    As far as claiming to be vedic, it is sufficient if one follows
    just his own shAkhA or veda without worrying what happens to the other
    Vedas. Shankara has written commentaries on all major upanishhads
    which cover all vedas. Therefore, one can find all he needs to be
    vedic by following his own Veda. Of course, it is better if other
    vedas, besides one's own, are known because it will help in keeping
    the tradition of other vedas.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list