Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Aug 20 11:00:35 CDT 2001
[I've taken the liberty of retitling this message to something more
---------- Forwarded message ----------
>From: Rajesh Venkataraman <rajesh_venk at yahoo.com>
>To: jaldhar at braincells.com
>Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 08:14:25 -0700 (PDT)
>Subject: Re: New member introduction: Sanjay Srivastava
>I am sending this mail to you because for some reason
>my posts are getting rejected by the Advaita-L server
>(saying I am not a registered member).
Oh dear. Let me look into it.
> Below is my
>response to your mail.
>Here if you mean jAti brAhmaNa then "being a Brahman
>makes you speak the truth" doesn't always hold good.
>For example, I being a jAti brAhmaNa have spoken
>untruth in my life. I am sure many jAti brAhmaNAs
Me too. however I have always understood from my elders that speaking the
truth is very important for a Brahmana to do. For instance there is a
story about an ancestor of mine, Kai. Shri Jagjivanji Vyas (circa. 17th
century) concerning this. One day the Maharaja of Gondal Bha Kumbhoji and
the Nawab of Junagadh were out hunting and came to the village of Rib in Gondal
state. (Our families ancestral home.) the Maharaja was boasting that here
lives a pious Brahmana who is vachanasiddha (every word he says is true.)
So the Nawab decided to put him to the test. He captured a bird and put
his knife to is throat. He asked my ancestor "Will this bird live or die?
If you say it will live, I'll cut its' throat. If you say it will die,
I'll let it go." Reluctantly, my ancestor said "it will live." The Nawab
went to cut the birds throat but it magically disappeared and he cut his
thumb off instead. Whereupon it reappeared again. A chastened Nawab paid
his respects and left leaving many gifts.
Now whether this is a true story or a legend, the point is it intends to
teach the power of truth. It is an ideal and reality often falls short of
ideals. But we should try our best to strive for them.
>If you mean a guNa brAhmaNa then any one who has the
>requisite qualities of being a brAhmaNa can be one.
>And you are contradicting yourself.
A point the commentaries on the Brahmasutras mention is that if only
speaking the truth is important, why was Satyakama asked about his
parentage at all? In that case both birth *and* truth-speaking were
The fact that we are speaking about Brahmanas in this particular case
doesn't imply that others are not capable of telling the truth or it is
not important for them. Everyone who is serious about Dharma must
scrupulously avoid falsehood, This is the real point of the story of
Satyakama that one should speak truth to the fullest extent even at the
cost of personal embarrassment.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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