[Advaita-l] shiva mahA purANa

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Mar 1 23:45:59 CST 2011

On Tue, 1 Mar 2011, Satish Arigela wrote:

> Something does not become kutarka simply because the statement discomforts a
> person.

No but it is not any kind of tarka if it is based on opinion instead of 
facts.   Unfortunately this is one area where facts are hard to come by.

> Some learned people both westerners and Indians are very doubtful about the
> existence of shaiva and vaiShNava mata-s as we know today during vyAsa's time.

The problem is that a lot of these doubts are based on circular reasoning 
i.e. the date of the literature is based on what is thought to be the 
prevailing philosophies and the philosophies are dated based on the 
literary evidence.  What we end up with is often wild surmise which may 
possibly still be edifying in some ways but why should we with our dharmic 
hats on give such surmise any greater weight than the wild surmise that a 
man called Krishna Dwaipayana aka Vedavyasa wrote 18 puranas?

But actually when I mentioned that Vedavyasa wrote 18 puranas the intent 
was not to opine whether or not there "really" was such a person and what 
his "time" was.  Rather it was to point out that all sources throughout 
history are unanimous that there are 18 puranas.  I alluded to the 
fact that there is some controversy over _which_ 18.  But the point is 
that noone says there are 17 and noone says there are 19.  So if someone 
would like to make the claim that there are only three, they have an extra 
burden of proof to justify that claim.  Same for authorship by Vyasa and 
other hallmarks of the puranic literary genre.

> If you see a sanskrit work styled sUta uvAcha or vyAsa uvAcha etc 
> talking about some 18 th or 19th century happenings, I hope people are 
> not so naive to accept them as authored by vyAsa. That is plain stupid 
> if one asks me.

But nobody was doing that so it is not relevant to this discussion is it?

Personally, having publicly said Bhagavata katha myself and knowing 
several top kathakars, I know that it is not just tolerated but expected 
that the narrator will add and subtract from the written words.  The text 
is seen as a framework for improvization like a raga instead of a 
"scripture"  So whether one makes a modern or tradition-based attempt, it 
is an exercise in futility to look for an "authentic" puranic text.

> I suggest one grow's up and accept this instead holding onto stories meant for
> kids.

Satish, you are being unnecessarily insulting.  It adds nothing to your 
views so please stop.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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