[Advaita-l] Qualifications to Recite Vedas - A doubt

Ravi Parimi rparimi at gmail.com
Wed Jun 11 18:59:49 CDT 2008

I agree with Sri Krishnamurthy's comments on how sublime the vedas
are, and that it is pointless to engage in arguments about who should
chant them and what not.

> Then who else should worry about it kindly tell me...whether you accept it
> or not, our tradition does not allow stree (women) & sUdra (non-dvija) to
> learn/recite vEda mantra-s..this is the practice you can see even today in
> orthodox vedic institutions like shankara mutt, vyAsarAja mutt  etc.

Worrying about others violating dharma isn't going to get me anywhere.
I cannot take it upon myself to uphold dharma in this regard and try
to correct all those who chant veda without ever getting proper
initiation. Some people with a traditional background may heap curses
on the world, society, kali yuga about non-dvijas chanting the veda.
They can't do much apart from getting frustrated about the current
state of affairs. I sincerely feel that a dispassionate attitude
towards such matters is really helpful. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi also
adivses the seeker to remain focussed on the Self.

A vast porition of Krishna Yajur Veda samhita and brahmana mantras are
meant to be chanted while performing the related karma. Some portions
of samhita are prescribed for parayana without karma as well (e.g
Rudram etc.). The purpose of learning veda was to chant mantras while
doing karmas, eventually leading to purity of the mind. Now-a-days, it
is hard to find people who perform agni karyam, let alone the more
involved karmas. So learning veda has really come down to chanting the
mantras without inclination towards meanings of mantras, and of course
the Karma aspect.

> this does not anyway mean that these people are not eligible for
> mOksha..For them smruti & purAna texts are there which themselves suffice
> for attaining the ultimate.  Sankara also does talk about this vedAdhikAra
> in apashUdrAdhikaraNa, in vEdAnta sUtra.

I hope you do not mean vedic chanting makes one eligible for moksha :)
If one reads an authoritative text like vidyaranya bhashya on the
samhita portion of Krishna Yajur veda, it only leads to disappointment
upon learning how involved the mantras are with karma. So many
melodious anuvakas are sometimes condensed into a one-liner, e.g "this
described Maa and the other chandas", and some anuvakas contain such
intense details of karma that the reader is completely taken aback.
The portions that speak of Brahman and atma are indeed a very small.


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