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

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Jun 12 00:56:59 CDT 2008

On Tue, 10 Jun 2008, Mahadevan Babu wrote:

> Q: Who is qualified to chant Vedas?
> Doubt:  I believe persons who do not have Upanayanam or Brahmopadesham
> done cannot chant Vedas.
> Of course, all can know the meaning of the Vedas and its essence.
> If so, where is the PramaNam for this quoted?

See Mimamsa sutra 6.1 and
Brahmasutra 1.3.34-38

It is in the bhashya on Brahmasutra 1.3.38 that Shankaracharya explains 
how despite not being eligible for vedadhyayana, the non-dvijas are still 
capable of moksha because it is a bird of a completely different feather 
to dharma.

> Many of the aspirants want to learn Vedas from the Veda Antham aspect
> of Spirituality as well. This is where the dilemna lies.

Tell them the truth.  They are going in 180 degrees the wrong direction if 
they do that.  To learn Vedanta, study Vedanta nothing else.

On Wed, 11 Jun 2008, Ravi Parimi wrote:

> 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.

Passivity and curses.  Are these really the only two choices we have?  I 
find that most of these people are sincere.  They genuinely think they are 
doing a good thing and are simply misguided.  I find that if you explain 
things without compromise but in a logical and non-patronizing way they 
often do come around.  You never now unless you try.

> 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.

The self to remain focused on is Brahman not the ahamkara.  The issue is 
not what is getting you anywhere but what is right.  A grhastha cannot use 
mysticism as an excuse for inaction.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list