Why a guru is needed for interpreting vedas

Vivek Anand Ganesan v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Mon Feb 11 14:00:50 CST 2002

--- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <balasr at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
> Many of us think that interpreting the veda-s require no
> training, when we
> start out on a study of the veda-s. If doing research in
> even Electrical
> Engineering requires some training and guidance, what to
> say of the vedas.
> Many of us encounter so called "misogynistic" passages in
> the vedas or
> stotras like the daxiNAmUrti stotram. It clashes with the
> modern democratic
> ideas. Many Western scholars pooh-pooh Hindu scriptures
> without
> understanding basic facts of the dharma we follow. For
> example Patrick
> Olivelle, misunderstands and misrepresents the desire for
> a male-child in
> the veda-s in his books. We can see the same
> condescending tone in may
> other author's work also.

I fully agree with you on the need to have a guru. But, I
have the same question regarding the relative importance
given to the male child over the female child. Is it
of the commonly held assumption about needing a son to
perform funeral rites or is there a deeper reason? I
wouldn't quite call this male preference misogynism (
patriarchy sounds more like it ) because women are
honored and celebrated as goddesses and as lakshmi (wealth)
of the house etc.

  On the other hand, the preference for boys and several
socio-economic factors such as dowry has made the girl
child highly undesirable. Female infanticide and gender
-selective abortion has reduced the male-female ratio to
dangerous lows in parts of India. Needless to say, this is
serious problem. H.H. kAnchi swamiji has
spoken out against this practice.


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