[Advaita-l] RE: Vedic Shakhas for kshatriyas and vaishyas?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Jan 19 15:55:48 CST 2005

On Wed, 19 Jan 2005, Navin Rajaram wrote:

> 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.

Who said anything about appearing out of nowhere?  All the doctrine of
apaurusheyatva entails is that we know nothing of the reasons behind the
Vedic revelation.  It is precisely to prevent second-guessing like "these
were thoughts of mortals based on their experience of the consciousness..."

> Confusing to say the least. Why is the right to learn Vedic education
> elitist and specifically gender specific? 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.

So the prevailing leftist cant would tell you.  Yet we see women doing
puja and attending mandirs all the time.  Why isn't that blocked by their
household activities?

My wife for instance is perfectly capable of reading Sanskrit.  Every day,
she lights a dipa for the pitrs and she recites a Gujarati stotra called
Datta Bawani (to Bhagawan Dattatreya.)  These were practices she learned
from her mother and grandmother.  She does vratas, and attends satsangs.
Does that sound like someone who is just sitting there twiddling her
thumbs waiting for some man to graciously allow her to copy him?

And the non-dwijas.  Are their own time-hallowed traditions worthless
because they weren't written in some book?  Again, they have to copy
Brahmanas to be considered equals?

Someone has a problem with elitism but it isn't me.

>  Would the same hold in today's society where individuals are seen for
> what they are and not for what their genders are?

Ones gender and other aspects of background _are_ part of who you are.
(And the left agrees or they wouldn't be asking for special treatment for
groups deemed victims)  I'd agree that the enlightened person shouldn't
see gender etc. as the _only_ dimension to a person.  But nothing I have
said suggests that.

>Would a honest seeker - male or female - be denied the right to seek

That's a straw man.  Seeking consciousness doesn't require knowing the Vedas.

> It's quite convenient to say Gargi and Maitreyi never existed while
> others did.

Sorry which others did I say did?  Let me repeat, the nature or
personality of the Rshis has no bearing on what they taught.  Only their
_actions_ do.  That society is one way or another, that things were done
one way or another, is a matter of historical fact.  It doesn't require
guessing what anyone might have meant.

> 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.

It is the tragedy of our times that people have come to believe that
religion does not also rest on logic.  William of Occam was a Christian
monk.  Our own acharyas thought rigorously and systematically.  Not for
its own sake but because without rational discourse only shouting matches
are possible.

Anyway the proposition I was making -- that the Vedantic acharyas did not
overly stress the samhitas because they thought they were orthogonal to
the pursuit of jnana -- is quite safe from any atheist.  Because it's true.

> The argument so far has been based on what we interpret from our
> readings of the scriptures.

Then you haven't been paying attention.  My arguments are founded on the
historical and traditional practice and understanding of Dharma which is
incidentally mentioned in books.

>   My ignorance far outweighs my knowledge
> but there are numerous cases where the Srutis and Smrutis do not
> correlate.

Yes and there are millenia of discussion about how to deal with these
cases.  Why not find out about it before venturing an opinion?

> Maybe the words "Sanatana Dharma" are inappropriate in the event of your
> interpretations.


Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a boy! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/nilagriva/

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