[Advaita-l] Anantaa vai vedaah

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 31 03:32:00 CDT 2011

Namaste All

>Shri Shrinivas ji wrote: I would like to suggest that we take statements
like "when >brahma vidyA is known, everything else is known", on face value
- to

>encompass all knowledge including all vyavahArika sciences and arts.

>I am suggesting let us be open to the claim that brahma vidyA also

>opens doors to all vyAvahArika sciences and arts. Those few who want

>to explore this domain should do so (provided they have done the

>required the preparatory work AND have sadguru bhakti to support).

A modified version of what you wrote, Shrinivasji , would perhaps be more
accurate –

“The level of mental maturity (antaHkaraNa shuddhi) required for
appreciating brahma vidyA, needs, in most cases except the very best
students – the uttamAdhikArIs , meditation (upAsanA) and yogAbhyAsa of a
very high order. In doing these practices which are auxiliary to
brahma-vidyA (mahAvAkya vicAra), ; as an incidental byproduct,  many such
“doors” to other vidyAs do indeed come up. If one were to take these other
doors and the routes they entail and explore the realms which open up, there
is nothing inherently wrong or false about it.”

 But unfortunately it’s also true that one can lose one’s way in terms of
failing to stay focused on the advaita j~nAna which is the real blessing.
That however does not mean that such possibilities don’t even exist or
should not be explored – it is just that there are significant occupational
hazards in following such a course of action.

Shrinivasji wrote:

>My personal opinion on this is: agreed at some stage vyAvahArika sciences
and arts will be transcended in quest for a much higher tattva. But this did
not prevent people like me and you and many others on this list from
acquiring these (vyAvahArika

>sciences and arts) under the label of "modern science and technology". If
one were to >present any topic in these fields WITHOUT

>any adhyAtma-adhidaiva angle to it almost all will enthusiastically read it
/ contemplate >on it. Only when someone brings in an adhyAtma-adhidaiva and
related angles into it do >we start talking this language of "finally
everything is mithyA". We are

>probably the most blessed people in the history of mankind. We

>understand multiple disciplines of modern science and technology and

>may be even arts. In addition, with sadguru's grace we understand

>atleast the basics of vedas (or so we think). If WE do not explore

>augmenting modern science and technology with insights from

>sAnhkya-yoga-vedas, WHO will?

You have a good point. If we say that there are dangers and obstacles in
exploring the “side attractions” which may come upon a person pursuing yoga
sAdhana, upAsanA etc., are there not similar problems of losing oneself in
various samsAric quests which are inevitable in leading a modern, practical
life engaging with modernity and science and technology not on our own
terms, but on unequal terms which are dicatated to us by these nAstikA,
lokAyAta (non-Vedic) worldviews which inescapably blemish  the mind
(antaHkaraNam) no matter how much one may talk big about  “living like a
lotus-leaf unaffected by the water etc etc.” (padma-patramivAmbhasA.) There
seem to be no easy answers to the question you have raised.


>a statement about components of kSetra and their interactions is a

 >veda mantra? Probably not. Though, through sAdhana, it may be

 >possible to refine every such statement until it attains the status

 >of a veda mantra. Not everyone is capable of this feat - those who

 >are, are known as mantra draSTA-s.

 >(This should also shed some light on veda-s being ananta.)

 The Acarya-s are stressing that a veda-mantra is not arrived at by a
process of steady refinement of existing knowledge expressed in sentences.
They say (rough translation) –“ In the cases of knowledge in any empirical
field, the knowledge/insight occurs first in the mind of some genius, and
then by effort is expressed outwardly  in human language to communicate it
to others. Thus the shabdaArtha j~nAna (knowledge/insight) is prior to and
becomes the cause of the shabda (which is articulated by effort)   Such is
not the case with veda-mantra-s where the sabda and sabdArtha arise together
inseparably without any intermediate human intervention."

“parameshvaraH ….vedarAshiM tadarthAn cha yugapat.h  jAnan eva karotIti na
vedasya paurusheyatA”

“yatra hi arthaj~nAna pUrvakam vAkya-j~nAnam vAkya-sRShTau kAraNam, tatra
paurusheyatA, “ .(bhAShya ratnaprabhA sub-commentary on the third

For example, when brahmA ji first manifested the veda –mantra-s or in the
rarest of rare cases of the mantra-dRShTa-s who 'caught the breath' of
brahmA ji.....

That is why veda mantra-s cannot be translated into any other language
without ceasing to be mantra-s. They can still convey some meaningful and
valuable knowledge and there is much benefit in such translation, but such
translations are still not the same as veda-mantra-s where the knowledge
encased in them (potentially infinite in breadth/vastness) is inseparable
from the sound syllables expressing them (the sabda)Veda-mantras cannot
really be arrived at by refinment.

It may be more accurate to say – that through such sadhana various levels of
hidden knowledge in the veda-mantras can be discovered and unfolded. Such
knowledge is precious, if at all discovered, but when expressed cannot be
called a “veda-mantra” but it is a meaningful and useful
elucidation/expansion of the veda-mantra, like the sUtra literature or
smritis etc. For example, by intense gAyatri japam, some other knowledge may
indeed surface, and be (possibly) expressed in sUtras, such other knowledge
 and the sentences expressing them are not vedic-mantras but, they are still
valid to the extent they  help us better understand the world or promote
human welfare in some respect or the other. The proof of the pudding is in
the eating. If such derivative knowledge is useful it is fine, otherwise
such "elucidations" of veda-mantra-s will be consigned to oblivion by
history. So we don't have to worry about incorrect elucidations. The fact
that it is possible to have such “elucidations/expansions backed up by tapas
to reveal infinite BREADTH  in the Vedic mantras” – seems to be plausible
way of explaining the taittiriIya araNyaka mantra – “anantA vai vedAH.”
Because the brahma-sUtra (shAstrayonitvAt BSB1.1.3)  and the commentaries
are emphatic that Ishvara’s sarvavittvaM (visheSha j~nAna , particularized
knowledge of all things in jagat) is  established **because** he manifested
the Vedas implying thereby the infinite BREADTH in the Vedic mantra-s to
reveal all particularized knowledge of the empirical realm.. The
transmission tradition in this respect is unfortunately almost non-existent

 In contrast, the Vedanta tradition which helps us appreciate the infinite
DEPTH in the Veda by presenting the essential knowledge that “I am Brahman
which is sarvasya-adhiShThAnaM ”, is still alive and  kicking, which is a
great blessing for all of us. This goes to show the immense gratitude we all
owe to the past AcAryas of the Vedanta tradition especially from the
shAnkara-bhAShya period onwards whence the adhyAropa-apavAda prakriya method
of unfolding Vedanta-vAkyAs to directly reveal their import was put on a
firm footing by the 'writing' of the bhAshya-s. And we can fuitfully engage
in shaAstra vicAra along vedantic lines even today, while, paradoxically,
the other Vedic vidyAs are almost extinct.  At an individual level we can
still manage to get by, but this can hardly be called a satisfactory
situation for the total Vedic tradition. But again, there are no easy
answers or solutions. Maybe a good start would be to at least acknowledge
the problem.

Sri Subramaniam ji wrote:
> According to tradition, there is no possibility of admitting into the fold
> of 'veda rAshi' anything that someone in the world might claim as his
> 'darshana'.  There are texts like 'Sri RamakrishNopanishat', etc. which
> tradition would not treat as veda mantras.

The rAmakRShNopaniShat was composed by a respected contemporary Swamiji and
it contains valuable ideas regarding the teachings of Sri ramakRShNa.
However it clearly **does not fulfill ** the clear and unambiguous lakShaNa
(characteristic) of a veda-mantra since it involves ruminating over past
incidents and stringing them (the teachings) together as words, composing
lines of prose etc.

Sri Subrahmanianji said

>Not even the revelations said to be had by Sri KavyakanTha Ganapati Muni's
disciple Daivarata will be admitted into the fold of Veda.

Sri Ram ji wrote:
> The mantra darshana bhAga of Brahmarishi Daivarata is
calle Chandodarshana.  The >entire darshana is in the form of vedic
intonations with 3 svaras.  I have the entire
> copy of the mantra darshanas which resonate with the rg vedic mantra /
brahmana >bhaga.
> What is wrong with it and in what way Ganapati Muni & Daivarata (aka
Ganapati Bhatt >of Gokarna) differ from ancient vedic seers?  The mantra
darshana can be done even in >modern times and that is what they  have
displayed with their tapas.

Here it is decidedly tricky to say whether the shabda and shabdArtha arose
spontaneously/simultaneously in the mind of shrI daivarata or not. shrI
kAvyakanTha gaNapati muni and his disciples were of course of a very high
order. And yet…

Understandably, we have to exercise great caution in this respect because
anyone and everyone can go around claiming to receive vedic-mantras every
other night, including such hilarities like “IshorvedaM”.

One of the characteristics of a veda-mantrA is that it should be associated
with some injunction to ultimately give a meaningful result – it should have
phalavat-arthabodhakatvaM.  I am curious to know how the Chandodarshana of
daivarata figures in this respect ? And what is the karma associated with
the mantra-s and the karmaphala ?  If it is the default karma-phala of
svarga, then that again does not give us any immediate indication.



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