[Advaita-l] All should read the Vedas

sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org
Thu Jan 20 10:22:44 CST 2005

Respected Shri Jaladhar Ji,

>>>>>As per the Mimamsa shastra (and Advaitins concur) the Vedas are not the
words of the creator. They are apaurusheya and preceded the creator.

I fully agree. Let me tell you what the Veda itself says, "This Svayambhu
Brahma (the Veda, let me make it clear that ONLY the Samhita is called
"brahma" and not the Brahmanas or Aranyakas) approached the Rishis, which
had performed intense penance, even though they were pure-in-hear and it
was their only birth, i.e. they were not going to take birth again and
again, their purpose of taking birth was to SEE the Vedas and they had
descended only for that purpose, so that the forthcoming generations of
humans can benefit from the RITASYA PNTHAAH i.e. the Divine Path of the
Truth described in the Holy Vedas" (Taiittiriya Aranyaka 2-9-1). I have to
admit that I have taken the freedom to interpret the Mantra from the
Aranyaka according to the commentary of Sayana.
So when I say that the word of the creator, I simply mean "parameshwara",
which is the abhinna-nimittoapaadaana kaarana of Brahmasutra. And I'm
calling the Vedas Its words on the basis of the Brihadaranyaka Shruti,
which clearly states "that all the Vedas are the breath of that Supreme
However, I don't really understand what you mean by "they preceded the
creator". I can't understand how can something precede the creator? Please
clarify that to me.

>>>>>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.

All cultures have been overwhelmingly male, so to say. But you see they
had to change according to the Yuga Dharma. Let me tell you that even one
of the most orthodox and conservative religions Judaism had to undergo a
radical change. Previously only "Bar Mitzvah" existed, which was like a
initiation ceremony for boys, but then they had to come up with "Bat
Mitzvah" which was for girls. Only the Reform Judaism has succeeded to
exist with it largest group in the USA.
However, my point is that when that Supreme Being could chose women to
reveal this truth which we call the Vedas, who are we to tell them off.

>>>>>>What about them? We have no way of knowing even that they existed or
This is not a radical skeptics view, it is what the Mimamsaka Kumarila
Bhatta says in shlokavarttika.

He has done that because he is trying to prove the apaurusheyatva of the
Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads as well. But I personally think that
Yajnavalkya existed, because he is the Seer of the Shukla Yajur Veda. He
got that knowledge from the Sun. So he must be existing. Then his wife
must be existing too. In the same way Janaka existed, otherwise you would
have to tell me that Sita didn't exist, Rama didn't exist, etc. So, then
Gargi also existed historically. All other religions accept their
patriarchs to exist. I don't know if any Christian, Jew or Muslim would
doubt in the existence of Abraham or Isaac.

>>>>>>>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
simpler explanation.

Some different factors seem to play a key role here. Even in as ancient
times as Yaska's Nirukta and Patanjali's Mahabhashya, we clearly see that
a big group of people, and which was very prominent, as it seems, believed
that the Veda mantras don't have any meaning, they are just to recite and
for Apurva. Yaska and Patanjali clearly stood against such a view and
clearly said that "any mantra recited without knowing its meaning, doesn't
bear any fruit". But you see, somehow this belief still exists today, and
it seems to have existed in the medieval times as well, and it was very
prominent. Many Vedantins and Mimamsakas accepted this view. So, they just
recited the Samhitas and studied the Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads.
The latter three texts' meaning is not that obscure as of the Samhitas.
The Samhitas themselves claim that they are ninyaa vacaamsi, i.e. hidden
words. So what I mean to say is that they simply didn't study its
meanings. Or may be just of the chosen few Suktas, like the Naasadiya
Sukta etc.
The rest was simply wrongly misinterpreted as belonging to a Karmakanda,
and nothing to do with Jnana or knowledge.
But let me tell you that even people like Yaska quote the interpretations
of the Vedas by the Yaajnikas, but he himself doesn't agree with them. So
even in the time of Yaska many interpretations existed and Durga clearly
mentions them.
I think the Aadhyatmika (spiritual) interpretation of the Vedas is the
most correct and the one that was meant by the Rishis themselves.
Otherwise why should Manu say, that "he who doesn't understand the
Aadhyatmika meaning of a mantra, doesn't obtain the fruit of his ritual".

return I get speeches and slogans. If we are to continue this discussion,
let us atleast base it on facts.

Respected Sir, I'm sorry if I did so. I think this time I have kept myself
based on facts.
Caranayor abhivaadaye,
Love and Pranams,
Siddhartha Krishna

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