[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Veda-s & its apaurusheyatva

Shyam shyam_md at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 4 10:57:03 CDT 2009

Pranams Shri Michael-ji and others,
I suspect that some people may be reading into what Shri Pravin-ji has so consistently articulated, an approach that is based on chauvinism or ethnocentricity. I would like to submit that in fact when examined it is the exact opposite.

This thread was concerned primarily with the status of the Vedas as apaurusheya and what that term signified. 

Now those not in the Vedic fold have their own scriptures to adhere to. It is wrong to use the term Veda for that. It is also unnecessary. Every belief system has internal validity for its followers. There is no need to dilute, or waterdown, or in anyways liberalize the doctrines of the Vedic path, in order that may make it more palatable to members of other faiths.

When we attempt to do this we actually undermine the validity of those faiths as well. Why should we look at the Bible or the Quran as Veda? Are the Abrahamic faiths in need of "Vedic" validation in order for them to be considered Holy? There is wisdom in every religious scripture, and every religion has the tools to spiritually cater to the particular temparament and mindset of its followers.

All this talk of allowing or encouraging "conversion" is silly, as was pointed out by His Holiness Chandrashekhara Bharati "since he was born in a particular faith, it was best suited for him to pursue his spiritual advances in that faith" - similar messages have been similarly articulated by His Holiness the Sage of Kanchi as well.

The reason can be found in Lord Krishna's words "- Better is one's own dharma than another's"...shreyah sva-dharmo vigunah para-dharmat svanusthitat sva-dharme nidhanam shreyah para-dharmo bhayavahah" Of course in this particular context Bhagwan is referring to the ashramadharma and varnadharma, but in todays context we can by implication allow this principle to guide us in regards to the issue of interfaith conversion. To say that a devout Christian who with unswerving faith embraces austerity, and penance, and charity, and meditation, and dispassion to the world, and Supreme love and prayer to the Lord, the Father in Heaven, and Surrender, will be denied the Kingdom of God - unless that earns him enough karmic points to find Hinduism is this lifetime and come to Vedanta - to my mind is what is chauvinistic. Let everyone have not only the freedom but let everyone be encouraged to have unswerving faith and devotion to his or her religious background and
 its doctrines and its "God" - i.e. the one they were born with - such is an attitude that stems from implicit faith in the infallibility of the Order that is Ishwara, and that this Order would have rightfully fashioned for an individual the environs that are best suited to his or her spiritual upliftment, and that every such environ has validity in its sphere of influence. A person who loses faith in his doctrine today and is looking for a change, may well be the doubting Thomas who loses faith in the new religion he is now embracing, as soon as his wavering mind finds some other faith even more appealing.

All of religion is ONLY about spiritual progress as its ultimate goal...bereft of this end, no religion including the vedic path, has any relevance whatsoever. 

Hari OM


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