[Advaita-l] RE: Vedic Shakhas for kshatriyas and vaishyas?
navinr at moschip.com
Wed Jan 19 08:09:13 CST 2005
Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:
>On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org wrote:
>>Sir, I'm sorry, but I totally disagree with you. "Svaadhyayo'dhyetavyah"
>>is not a statement only for men, it is for all. Studying the Divine Words
>>of the Creator is the Svadharma of every human being on this earth. It is
>>the duty, because only then one can know the correct path, as described by
>>the Supreme Creator.
>As per the Mimamsa shastra (and Advaitins concur) the Vedas are not the
>words of the creator. They are apaurusheya and preceded the creator.
Very true, however these were thoughts of mortals based on their
experience of the consciousness which have been passed on over the ages
and deluding oneself to think they magically appeared out of nowhere is
a little out of the way in my opinion.
>>I can't understand when there are nearly 11 Rishikas (Female Seers) in the
>>Rig-veda, to whom Divine Mantras were reveled by the Supreme Reality, how
>>come somebody can say that women shouldn't read the Vedas.
>The figure I have heard is 20 out of 407 -- a trifling 4%. If we accept
>"nearly 11" that makes 2.5%. Subtracting a few other Rshis who were not
>human at all, it is clear that from the very beginning the Vedic culture
>was overwhelmingly male. Now if you were to go into any mandir on any
>given day, chances are more than half the worshippers there will be women.
>So if we take your advice and go back to the Vedas, it will be a
>tremendous step backwards for women. Right?
Confusing to say the least. Why is the right to learn Vedic education
elitist and specifically gender specific? The explanation in terms of
that time and age comes from the society structure that enjoined women
to engage in household activities and fully complement the male's bread
winning role. Add to this the patriarchal family system and you will
realize that these rules were for men,by men. Would the same hold in
today's society where individuals are seen for what they are and not for
what their genders are? Would a honest seeker - male or female - be
denied the right to seek consciousness?
>>Gargi and Maitreyi?
>What about them? We have no way of knowing even that they existed or not.
>This is not a radical skeptics view, it is what the Mimamsaka Kumarila
>Bhatta says in shlokavarttika. A rshi is not the author of mantras but a
>mantradrashta -- a "see-er" of mantras. By what process they did this is
>unknown but they did. So the names of the discoverers are attached to the
>mantras. It like when we talk of "Newtons laws of gravity." If one is
>not a Christian fundamentalist like Isaac Newton does the value of the
>gravitational constant change? If one doesn't live in the 16th century
>like Isaac Newton, does one accelerate slower or faster or something?
>The nature or personality of the Rshis has no bearing on what they taught.
It's quite convenient to say Gargi and Maitreyi never existed while
others did. Classic case of accepting an opinion in a book that matches
>>Let me make it clear, I have been studying Vedanta from some very
>>traditional masters since the last 20 years. I have studied the
>>Prasthanatraya Bhashyam with Ananda Giri's commentary from orthodox
>>traditional masters. And after I studied the Vedas myself, I came to the
>>conclusion that many of the traditional beliefs or statements in Vedanta
>>regarding the Vedas are totally wrong and are existing because most of the
>>Vedantin simply didn't study the Samhitas.
>Then let us ask why this is so? Do you mean to tell me these rather
>simple arguments we both are making didn't occur to a single one of the
>greatest minds of India in the entire several-millenia history of our
>civilization? That just strains credulity. And Occams razors suggests a
Occam's razor - Jaldharji, I'll suggest we do not invoke this argument
at all. Atheism rests on Occam's razor and the atheist believes in the
non-existence of God/consciousness simply because that is the simplest
explanation available. Hence, Occam's razor might just not work to your
advantage in this case.
>>I'm very sorry if I'm harsh, I don't intend to hurt,
>No offense is taken at all. But I'll tell you one thing that annoys me.
>We say that Hinduism is the "most scientific" religion typically based on
>some purported similarity to quantum physics or something. But here I am
>making my arguments on the basis of history, sociology, anthropology,
>logic, sciences which are actually relevant to the topic at hand and in
>return I get speeches and slogans. If we are to continue this discussion,
>let us atleast base it on facts.
The argument so far has been based on what we interpret from our
readings of the scriptures. My ignorance far outweighs my knowledge
but there are numerous cases where the Srutis and Smrutis do not
correlate. Again, this is not a matter of interpretation. Many
advaitins, most recently Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna believed
in accepting the Srutis ahead of the Smrutis - but Vedic knowledge as
applied to this time and age is to be imparted by a qualified teacher to
a qualified,devoted disciple.
I fail to see how this is gender specific.
Maybe the words "Sanatana Dharma" are inappropriate in the event of your
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list