[Advaita-l] Inter Religious Dialogue - Part 1

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Nov 21 11:42:25 CST 2011

On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 3:18 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Please keep in mind that apaurusheyatva is not universally agreed upon even
> within the six Astika darSana-s. A college course and text book in
> comparative
> religions will not have the scope to go into these kinds of details. An
> intensive
> course in Hindu studies would be a different matter.
RV: When dealing with a complex subject much care has to be taken to not
group them and generalize. I am sure Muslims and Christians would object if
they were grouped with Jews and their beliefs are treated as one religion -
"The Abrahmic Cult". In the same way, the Hindus have the right to object
to if their diverse traditions are grouped in to one religion - "The Hindu"
- just because they accept the Vedas. As you know, the different traditions
accept the Vedas in different ways. It is within one's human rights to
expect that schools and colleges conform to the different traditional view
point when teaching Nyaya to Vedanta. This is what is done in the portrayal
of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
> RV: Then schools should not teach that Bible or Quran is a revelation.
> should teach that religions are a big bluff because we have scientific
> evidence about the origin of the universe, life and humans.

No, they actually don't. In fact, this is a criticism of academic religious
> studies
> from the Christian right as well, in the USA. The same university that has
> a
> course in religious studies also teaches science courses.

RV: CAPEEM and other law suits were based on discriminatory and derogatory
treatment of Hinduism in the US schools and colleges. If you are interested
in the evidence for discrimination, Kalavai Venkat will be happy to walk
you through that.

> I have shown that apaureshyatva is not dependent on our conception of the
> origin of the universe because history of when a rishi hears the mantra.
> For apaureshyatva to be true, we only need sabda brahman to exist
> eternally.

And do remember that Sabda brahman and its eternal existence are not agreed
> upon universally within pUrva mImAMsA, vedAnta and vyAkaraNa. Indeed, in
> advaita vedAnta, brahman is beyond Sabda and even the veda is no longer
> veda
> in the pAramArthika reality. In the context of this list's focus, advaita
> vedAnta
> takes the veda very seriously when the veda itself says "vaco nivartante,
> aprApya
> manasA saha" and "vedA avedA bhavanti". And you will be hard pressed to
> find
> the term Sabda-brahman in the mImAMsA of Sabara, kumAriLa or prabhAkara.
> It is a concept originating from the grammarian tradition and is not
> central to
> mImAMsA positions on the apaurusheyatva of the veda, nor particularly in
> tune
> with advaita vedAnta thinking on the prAmANya of the veda.

RV: I agree that Brahman transcends even the Vedas. But the term Sabda
Brahman for the Vedas is used by the Lord in Bh. G. 6.44 to the
Vedas. Madhusudana explicitly says Sabda Brahman refers to the Vedas.

> Vidyasankar
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