Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Jul 26 23:48:18 CDT 1999

On Mon, 26 Jul 1999, Parisi & Watson wrote:

> I don't want to get into acrimonious finger pointing. You have stated that
> the Vedas are infallible and encompass all wisdom. I have said that nothing
> conceived by human beings ever meets this standard, so why not look for the
> valuable aspects of each culture's contribution.

And how will we define "valuable"?  Unfortunately we get back to
tautologies again.

> And please, don't bother repeating that the Vedas are not a human
> endeavor... I've heard it all before from Christians and Muslims about their
> scriptures and doctrines.

Actually there is a big difference.  The Mimamsaka/Vedantin goes even
further than ascribing a non-human origin to his revalation but will deny
a non-divine origin too.  The whole point of apaurusheyatva is that we can
say _nothing_ about the creators of the Vedas.  We canot ascribe motives
to them or second-guess them in any way.  No God, or prophet or sage or
lunatic can claim an authority for a definitive interpretation we have to
look at the words themselves.  Of course the words aren't crystal clear so
we have lines of interpretation and different schools of Vedanta but the
emphasis is kept on the words and not the personalities of the people
around the words.  The Vedic revelation is a revelation alright but an
impersonal one and that is completely unlike the Western or even Hindu
theistic concept of revelation.

On the subject of other cultures and philosophies.  Most of the Hindus I
associate with are not advaitins at all.  And of course I know a lot of
non-Hindus.  I am especially interested in Orthodox Judaism.  I would
venture to say I know more on that subject than many American Jews.  I can
see value in some parts of it but I have no desire whatsoever to become
Jewish.  Those things I do take from it I assimilate into my framework.
So although I might say I value it, the fact s Judaism for me is
subordinate to Hinduism and my Hindu concerns.  And my non-Advaita
Hinduism is subordinate to Advaita Vedanta and its ideas.  How could it be
any other way?

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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