Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Mon Aug 20 18:36:50 CDT 2001

On Mon, 20 Aug 2001, Rajesh Venkataraman wrote:


> 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.

If I remember right, Shankara says that the very fact that
Satyakama spoke the truth implies that his ancestry could
only have been BrAmhaNa! This means that all persons who 
speak the truth must necessarily be of BrAmhaNa parentage.
Please note that this doesn't mean that all those who are
of BrAmhaNa parentage shall speak the truth.

I know it is a little :-), but I must check this out with 
in Shankara's BSB 1.3.36-38.

> 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
> I?
> 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.



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