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

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Jan 20 16:06:37 CST 2005

On Thu, 20 Jan 2005, Navin Rajaram wrote:

> Quite a cyclic argument we are constructing here,arent we? Someone says
> the doctrine of apaurusheyatva came from the Creator

No one said that.  Go back and read it again.

> and he/she is  promptly told it is not so.

In case you didn't find it, the exact quote is  "...the Divine Words of
the Creator"  It is not so.

> I say it came from someone's experience of
> consciousness and I am promptly told it is not so.

No you were told that you don't know.  I don't know.  Nobody knows.  They
can try and guess but they can't say they know.

> Basically, we do not know and we are told not to speculate on where
> these doctrines came from.

Exactly.  Let us say some unsavory looking character is brought before a
court.  Is the judge allowed to consider that in his verdict?  It is not
that a judge believes thieves, etc come "out of the mist" it is that
justice requires a case be decided on its own merits not on any
incidentals such as appearence.

> I don't think you can expect people to stop questioning any time.

If all you want to do is speculate then knock yourself out.  Here's
another theory for you:  Soma was a hallucinogenic mushroom and the Rshis
had shamanistic visions under its influence.  There are plenty more like
that and I daresay they are very interesting but irrelevant to the
determination of what is dharma.

> The question is if we accept the Vedas are the corner stone of all our
> principles,

We DON'T accept that.  That's what I've been trying to get you to
understand.  Dharma is based on Shruti, Smri, and shishtachara.  The books
are only important insofar as they help us recall what people ACTUALLY DID.

> Your principles are based on the Vedas,

...and the smrtis and the shistachara.

> your dharma is founded on the teachings of the Vedas.

...and the smrtis and the shistachara.

> You say it is  important to do one's dharma as prescribed in the scriptures.

...and the smrtis and the shistachara.

> And yet
> all this is detached from the aim of consciousness?? I'd love to hear
> you elaborate in this direction.

Because what burns away sin and renders a person fit for liberation from
samsara is not actions themselves but doing those actions not for
egotistical reasons but purely out of a sense of duty as a sacrifice to

> ??? - refer to your previous statement. I think Siddharthaji said Gargi
> and Maitreyi were examples of women being well versed in the scriptures.
> But you said how would you know they even existed?

They are examples of literary characters well versed in the shastras.  If
there was any tradition of female vedic study, then you should be able to
show me examples from the 5th century BC or the 5th century AD or the 10th
century AD or the 15th century AD.  Maybe the orthodox didn't want to
report it.  But then we should atleast have some evidence from foreigners
or heretics or others who are free not to toe the party line.  Could the
patriarchal conspiracy be so vast as to completely, perfectly suppress all
knowledge of such a thing?  Yet we have plenty of historical examples of
female saints.  Even ordinary women who were religious.  We also have
examples of Sanskrit poetesses and other educated women.  But not students
of the Vedas.  And we are concerned with what people actually did.

> But if you use Ockham's razor and other such arguments, you are only
> digging a deeper hole for yourself, simply because Ockham's razor is the
> very logical foundation for an atheist's argument.

Wasn't atheism supposed to have conquered religion 100 years ago?  It
hasn't happened yet and is unlikely to.  So I'll take my chances with
Ockhams razor.

> In case it takes time to realize, the very reason this discussion is
> going on is because there are people who interpret the eligibility to
> read the Vedas differently.

For apparently stupid reasons.  This is a list for Advaita Vedanta.
That's what we're interested in.  The onus is on others to justify their

> Sri Adi Sankara himself had a vision of Siva Bhagvan in the form of a
> Chandala. The Chandala asked Sankara that if Advaita was for all
> humanity, why was he the brunt of discrimination by Sankara's disciples
> himself? Which prompted Sankara to compose a hymn(I forget the exact
> words) but the meaning granted everyone the right to study the holy
> scriptures.

The stotra is called Manishapanchakam and it says nothing of the sort.
Read it yourself here: http://sanskrit.gde.to/all_pdf/manishhaa5.pdf

Note how Advaita Vedantas' egalitarianism is far more radical than your
Vedic fundamentalism will allow.

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

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