[Advaita-l] Questions on mayavada.
gopal.gopinath at gmail.com
Thu Nov 11 17:01:01 CST 2010
Dear Sri Srikanta,
I got to this mail in a subtle exchange of comments about list decency
between a couple of members of the list ;-)
Anyway, my mail is not about that. I thought of quote-unquoting your
statements below on
your interpretations of Indus valley civilization (IVC) and vedic-aryan
Your statements reflect much of what is said by late Prof. Santina quoted
IVC, VA and evolution of hindu dharma are not yet settled, contentious
issues. What you get is whom you ask and what you ask.
More than scholarly and scientific, the contention is political and
socio-political climate of sub-continent India. Add to this pot is the
western-educated neo-indologists. For every point quoted in your mail, there
are at least easily available counterpoints by equally eminent
Having seen a lot of forceful statements and standpoints based on Prof.
Santina and his likes, I am glad to see that in your viewpoints
an open mind is not lost as per the last part of the mail cited below.
For example: You quote/write: <<"The religious culture of the aryans was
characterized by two
elements unknown and foreign to the religion of the Indus valley
people.The two elements are caste--that is to say the division of society
into social strata--and belief in the authority and infallibility of
revelation,in this case the ancient scriptures known as the Vedas.the
religious culture of Indus valley civilization didnot accept those
conceptions,and they remained constant points of contention dividing the
two major religious traditions of India.">>
There are some doubts about these statements even for an unlearned, layman
a) excavations in harappa and mohenjadaro seem to be revealing possible
stratification of society
as in affluence-workforce type.
b) at the timepoint that is discussed here, whether caste system by birth
was in vogue in VA or not is an open question.
The general agreement among 'eminent scholars' point against it rather than
c) on what basis this "religious culture of IVC" has been studied and
re-assembled? what are the evidences for this
statement? An eminent scholarship alone will not suffice, as you might very
d) on what basis has it been assumed that "authority and infallibility of
revelation" was not in vogue for those "purported religion of IVC"?
Moses had it, many apostles had revelations, egyptian priests had them,
sumerian 'priests' were depicted or described to be
having a talk with 'Gods'? Does absence of evidence construe an absence of a
thesis? When the very glyphic-scripts of IVC has not been
deciphered as it happened with egyptian heiroglyphs, how can one conclude
what they were thinking about profound subjects like
whether their priest or an old man in the village was hallucinating or not?
It is very easy to make interpretations based on assumptions. For example,
from your mail and reading just your mail, i can assume that you
or Prof. Santina were able to decipher IVC symbols. Based on this mail you
can also assume that I have an incurable disease in my brain.
We both can mutually make various interpretations of each others
statements. We both know, I hope ;-), that where the problem lies if it
Prof. Santina (May his soul rest with Buddha), did an yeoman service in
explaining Buddha as a historic personality to the academia with evidence.
He was an
authority on early history of Buddhism, and his works are milestones and
references for a keen student of Buddhism. But does that make him an
authority on IVC or VA? I have huge respect for his scholarship, but does
it mean that I have to accept his thoughts as the end-all-be-all kind of
touchstone for IVC and early vedic history? For example, from your mails I
have always respected your scholarship and patience to tease out specific
points of others. But you would not like it if I say that all your
viewpoints are mine hereafter! Won't you ask me to evaluate and scrutinize
them based on available evidences and knowledge? Well, if that is so,
calling in Prof. Santina's Aryan invasion theory to explain early buddhistic
history seems to be very presumptive in this context.
thanks for your patience for reading this thru.
On Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 4:32 AM, srikanta <srikanta at nie.ac.in> wrote:
> sunil Bhatacharya,
> you have now descended to the level of hurling accusations at me without
> finding any way to defend yourself.I have explained already why I
> mentioned Jainism.You only pickedup a word,"Dharmakaya"and went on a
> rheotoric on that word,which was not necesary.Now again and again you are
> harping on that to escape from answering.I have come to know that you are
> a historian aband a bad one at that interested only in chronology,which
> have no way of verifying.I am not interested in them.I am interested only
> in Siddhantic concepts"on the various systems.I must say that you are very
> much ignorant of these concepts,as it has come out in the discussions.
> An eminent professor in Buddhist studies,Prof.Peter Della Santina,has
> proved based on archeological evidences,says that the Indus valley
> civilization was immense and very advanced and was stable for thousand
> years.Then came the aryan invaders.The Indus valley civilization was
> advanced and agrarian,the Aryans were nomadic and pastoral The Indus
> valley civilization had a written language which we have thus far been
> unable to decipher.Nonethless,our knowledge of civilization is derived
> from two reliable sources,the archeological discoveries at Mohenjo-daro
> and harappa,and the written records of the Aryans,who described the
> religious behavior and beliefs of the people they came to
> dominate.Archeological excavations have revealed a number of symbols
> important to the people of the Indus valley civilization.the religion of
> the Indua valley civilization contained several important elements.First
> of all meditation,or the practice of renunciation-that is to
> say,abandoning household life and living the life of a homeless ascetic,or
> mendicant--was also common.It is clear that there was some conception of
> rebirth or reincarnation occurring
> over the course of countless number of lives,and a sense of moral
> responsibility extending beyond this life--that is to say,some form of the
> conception of Karma.Last,there was a paramount goal of religious
> life--namely, the goal of liberation,of freedom from the endless cycle of
> birth and death.These were the outstanding features of the religion of the
> earliest civilization of India.
> Where as in the religion of the Induas Valley civilization the ascetic was
> the preeminent religious figure,the aryan religious establishment the
> priest was by far the most important.where as in the religious value
> syatem of the value system of the Indus valley civilization renunciation
> was paramount,in the value system of the early Aryans the most worthy
> state was that of the family man,or house holder.Where as in the religious
> culture of the Indus valley civilization the value of progeny was not
> emphasized,for the early Aryans progeny,particularly sons,was the highest
> priority.The religion of the Indus valley civilization emphasized the
> practice of meditation,while the Aryan faith relied on the practice of
> sacrifice,which was its primary means of communicating with the
> gods,securing victory in war,obtaining sons and wealth,and finally
> reaching heaven.While the religion of the Indus valley civilization
> included the conceptions of rebirth and karma,the early Aryans had no such
> conceptions.The religious culture of the aryans was characterized by two
> elements unknown and foreign to the religion of the Indus valley
> people.The two elements are caste--that is to say the division of society
> into social strata--and belief in the authority and infallibility of
> revelation,in this case the ancient scriptures known as the Vedas.the
> religious culture of Indus valley civilization didnot accept those
> conceptions,and they remained constant points of contention dividing the
> two major religious traditions of India.
> I would like to pointout that You donot know how to discuss.You get easily
> workedup and expect that the other party should accept whatever you
> say.You start hurling accusations and digress from important matters.You
> are a poor conversationist and highly impatient.One must have an open mind
> to discuss inthis forum.
> It is good that you donot want to continue the discussion with me.
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*Gopal Gopinathrao, PhD
CFSAN, US FDA
gopal.gopinathrao at fda.hhs.gov
P/F: 301-210-7881 / 7976
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