Rajesh Venkataraman rajesh_venk at YAHOO.COM
Mon Aug 20 15:42:28 CDT 2001

Jaldhar, the importance of speaking the truth is not
suspected. We can take that for granted (since the
tradition stresses on it innumerable times) and it
cannot be over emphasised.

What I did not get was the meaning of your statement
"being a Brahman makes you speak the truth." What kind
of brAhmaNa do you mean here (jAti/guNa/karma)? jAti
does not seem to make sense here. I have given you the
example of myself.

Also please clarify

> 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
> important.

If *both* birth and truth-speaking are important then
I don't really think that there was a good possibility
of verifying Satyakama Jabala's parentage because even
his mother did not know for sure who his father was.

Here is an excerpt from the Chandogya upanishad

"Once upon a time Satyakama Jabala addressed his
mother Jabala: ‘Mother! I desire to live the life of a
student of sacred knowledge. Of what family, pray, am

Then she said to him: ‘I do not know this, my dear –
of what family you are. In my youth, when I went about
a great deal serving as a maid, I got you. So I do not
know of what family you are. However, I am Jabala by
name; you are Satyakama by name. So you may speak of
yourself as Satyakama Jabala’."

And if just speaking the truth were taken into
consideration then he could have been noble boy from
any other varna.

I want to get it clear because you seem to imply (from
your replies) that it is *absolutely* essential to be
a brAhmaNa to get brahma vidyA. Do you?  Is this what
is said in the apashudraprakarana? It is true
brAhmaNas *were* *more* qualified than the others

It must have been more a general rule of thumb than a
dogma. If this were so rigidly followed then we would
also be excluding women etc. (as Sri.Nanda says). And
the Upanishads themselves say otherwise.

Or maybe as you say, should we look at this incident
*only* in the light of the importance of speaking the
truth? And not for proving whether brAhmaNa-hood is
mandatory for brahma vidya. As I really don't think
that the latter is true in all cases.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Rajesh Venkataraman
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