[Advaita-l] How to read puranas
lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com
Mon May 23 01:03:09 CDT 2011
On Mon, May 23, 2011 at 08:48, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>wrote:
> The Mimamsakas divide shastra (primarily they talk about shruti but the
> principles apply mutatis mutandis to smrti also.) into mantra,
> vidhi/niShedha, and arthavAda. Mantra is the formulas used in rituals.
> Although they have literal meanings, they are essentially meaningless for
> the purpose of interpretation because their meaning is in their use.
Not so. karma done with knowledge of mantra, etc. become strong. यदेव विद्या
> vidhi (do this) and nishedha (don't do that) are the principle core. That
> should be the focus of our reading.
Only in karma-shAstra. Not in purANa as it is not meant for only that.
Remember purANa-laxaNa from kUrma-purANa, etc.
> It is vidhi and nishedha that constitutes dharma. The rest -- all the
> stories, history, legends etc. are arthavada.
True for veda only as it was not created by men.
> There is no need to treat any of them as either fact or fiction
Describing vaMsha, manvantara, etc. is work of purANa. They need attention
and they are facts.
> but they are not useless either. Their purpose is to remind us or exhort
> us or warn us about some vidhi or nishedha. For instance look at one of
> your examples:
> Applying this to the current discussion, whether or not the Buddha
> mentioned in puranas was real or not is immaterial.
For a karmi only.
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