• Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

shrI Sangom's Rgveda exposition: doubts and discussions

Status
Not open for further replies.

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste everyone.

I have started this separate thread for members to post any doubts and discuss any other explanations of some of the contents in shrI Sangom's exposition, where they tend to digress, so we do not interrupt the flow of his original posts.

I have been meaning to peruse shrI Sangom's exposition of Rgveda from the time he started it, but couldn't get around to it until now. And when I did, the very first post prompted me to search for and find something, which I would like to share here.

As everyone knows here, I am far from being even rudimentarily familiar with the Vedas, so I should like to tread the ground carefully with my doubts and discussions. I welcome Sangom and others to answer them and add value to the discussions.

• Explaining how a small change in a word or phrase can cause a havoc to the meaning of the mantra, Sangom has mentioned that the change in word from 'agre' to 'agne' in the Rg Veda mantra 10.18.08 reportedly caused people to assume Vedic sanction for sati, the adharmic social practice, in the later period of history.

As Sangom states, the change "was probably done deliberately", but I think there is no record of who did it or when. I understand that the Wiki article on sati quotes an article titled "The Rigveda: Widows don’t have to burn" by O.P.Gupta in the magazine 'The Asian Age' as the source for this misinterpretation. (I couldn't locate this article now, however.)

It could be helpful to know about any other evidences in this regard.

*****

The two 'misinterpreted' mantras of the Rg Veda
are in the sUktam 10.18, which deals with 'Funeral rites'.

इमा नारीर् अविधवाः सुपत्नीः आञ्जनेन सर्पिषा सं विशन्तु ।
अनश्रवो ऽअनमीवाः सुरत्ना आ रोहन्तु जनयो योनिम् अग्रे ॥ १०.०१८.०७ ॥

imA nArIr avidhavAH supatnIH A~jjanena sarpiShA saM vishantu |
anashravo &anamIvAH suratnA A rohantu janayo yonim agre || 10.018.07 ||

10.018.07: Let these women who are not widows, who have good husbands, enter (anointed) with unguent and butter. Let women without tears, without sorrow, and decorated with jewels, first proceed to the house.--Tr.HH Wilson

उद् ईर्ष्व नार्य अभि जीवलोकं गतासुम् एतम् उप शेष एहि ।
हस्तग्राभस्य दिधिषोः तवेदं पत्युर् जनित्वम् अभि सं बभूथ ॥ १०.०१८.०८ ॥

ud IrShva nArya abhi jIvalokaM gatAsum etam upa sheSha ehi |
hastagrAbhasya didhiShoH tavedaM patyur janitvam abhi saM babhUtha || 10.018.08 ||

10.018.08: Rise, woman, (and go) to the world of living beings; come, this man near whom you sleep is lifeless; you have enjoyed this state of being the wife of your husband, the suitor who took you by the band.

[This verse is to be spoken by the husband's brother, etc., to the wife of the dead man, and he is to make her leave her husband's body: (AshvalAyana gRhya sUtram 4.2); go to beings = go to the home of the living, i.e., your sons, grandsons etc.]--Tr.HH Wilson

10.018.08: Rise, woman, come to the world of the living. Come, the man near you is lifeless. You have been united (saM-babhUtha) as the wife of this husband, the suitor who took you by the hand.--Tr.RL Kashyap

Doubt
Is there any definite reference to the woman 'sleeping near the dead body' of her husband in this mantra? I understand that the term 'gatAsu' means 'one whose breath is gone' (MWD).

*****

The (supposed) misinterpretations

Of the fourteen mantras in the sUkta RV 10.18, the first nine, according to HH Wilson, presumably cover the rites up to the cremation of the dead body, and the mantras 10-13 are repeated as the bones of the burnt body are placed in an urn and then that urn buried.

In this context, changing the word 'agre' to 'agne' in mantra RV 10.18.07 would hardly make any sense for the following reasons:

• Mantra 07 talks about women who are not widows--avidhavAH, and asks them to proceed to their homes--yonim, first--agre. It was probably the custom at that time that the sumangalis--women with husbands, first returned home, followed by the widow after she witnessed the funeral rite of burying the urn containing her husband's ashes.

• If this word 'agre' is changed to 'agne' here, the phrase 'yonim agne' wouldn't make sense in this context, since there is no reference to the bereaved woman at all in this mantra.

RL Kashyap in his translation of mantra RV 10.18.08 states:
[SAyaNa interprets the word 'saMbabhUtha' to mean that the wife of the dead person wants to embrace death along with the dead one. The context does not support this.]

*****

A widow and her husband's brother

In the life of a woman, her husband's brother held a special place and played a vital role by becoming/offering to become her husband in the event of death of her husband.

• This is evident from the reference to the brother-in-law in mantra 18.10.08 above, according to WD Whitney, who interprets the term didhiShu to mean a second spouse, in this very same mantra that is repeated in Atharva-veda 18.03.02.

"Go up, O woman, to the world of the living; thou liest by (upashi) this one who is deceased; come! to him who grasps thy hand, thy second spouse (didhiShu), thou hast now entered into the relation of wife to husband."

Such interpretation lets this mantra to be seen as the Vedic blessing to the woman at her second marriage, with progeny and prosperity in this lifetime. (By marrying her husband's brother, she also retains her husband's gotra, as someone said here: What is the Surname and Gotra of this girl ? - Yahoo! Answers India)

• This is confirmed by the Rg Veda mantra 10.040.02 with the clear implication that after her husband's death, a widow married his brother.

कुह स्विद् दोषा कुह वस्तोर् अश्विना कुहाभिपित्वं करतः कुहोषतुः ।
को वां शयुत्रा विधवेव देवरम् मर्यं न योषा क्रुणुते सधस्थ आ ॥

kuha svid doShA kuha vastor ashvinA kuhAbhipitvaM karataH kuhoShatuH |
ko vAM shayutrA vidhaveva devaram maryaM na yoShA kruNute sadhastha A ||

10.040.02 Where are you, Ashvins, by night? Where are you by day? Where do you sojourn? Where do you dwell? Who brings you into his presence in the same place (of sacrifice) as on her couch a widow (brings) her husband's brother, as a woman (brings) her husband (to her).--Tr.HH Wilson

*****

I think it shoud be clear from the foregoing that it is highly doubtful:

• if the word 'agre' was changed to 'agne', deliberately or as pATha-bheda, in RV 10.18.07 and

• even if it was done, if that change could mean a vedic sanction for the practice of sati in later period.

*****
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
S

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste everyone.

Interpreting veda mantras

paNDita guru datta vidyArthi, in his small book The terminology of the Vedas and the European Scholars gives an account of how the Vedas should be interpreted by a seeker after Truth:

• The first canon for interpretation of Vedic terms is laid down by yAska, the author of nirukta, whose fourth section of the fourth chapter opens with a discussion of this very subject.

• Three classes of words are used in the Sanskrit language: yaugika--where the meaning is derived, so connotative, laukika or rUDhi--where the word is an arbitary name with no connotations, so denotative, and yoga-rUDhi--where the word is a combination of both of these features.

For example, the names of the Vedic deities, without exception, are all yaugikas: mitra--friend, varuNa--of noble qualities, aryaman--judge or administrator of justice, Ayu--learned man, indra--governor, ribhuksha--wise man, marutas--those who practically observe the laws of the seasons, and ashva--anything that has speed, such as the three forces of heat, electricity and magnetism. (This detail is given in the authors's subsequent book The Wisdom of the Rishis).

Our personal names are all laukikas or rUDhis. As for the yoga-rUDhis--the combination, the word kamala stands, for instance, in the relation of the born to mud, the bearer; hence kamala is denominated as pankaja, (panka--the mud, and ja--signifying to bear).

yAska, gArgya, shAkatAyana and other Grammarians unanimously maintain that Vedic terms are all yaugika. This principle, the European scholars have entirely ignored, and hence have flooded their interpretations of the Vedas with forged or borrowed tales of mythology, with stories and anecdotes of historic or pre-historic personages.

• RL Kashyap, in the introductory chapter titled 'Semantics of Rig Veda', of the SAKSI publication Secrets of Rig Veda: First 121 suktas, states:

"In the Indian tradition, there are three broad viewpoints of the Veda reflecting respectively the view of three different groups of persons namely:

‣ the viewpoint of commoners (Adhidaivika) as pertaining to the naturalistic or cosmological level),

‣ the viewpoint of the priests performing the elaborate rites and yajnas or their sponsers (Adhiyajnika) and

‣ the viewpoint of the poets of the Rig Veda (AdhyAtmika) who are extolled as wise sages and Seers. Of course each of these viewpoints is not monolithic."

Combining the above provisions, the following are the three levels of interpretations of the First sUkta of the Rgveda:

अग्निं ईळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवम् ऋत्विजम् ।
होतारं रत्नधातमम् ॥ ०१.००१.०१ ॥

agniM ILe purohitaM yaj~jasya devam Rutvijam |
hotAraM ratnadhAtamam || 01.001.01 ||

AdhyAtmika
I praise the Illuminator, the Foremost Leader of Exalted Action, the Glorious One Who is Aroused in the Performance of Righteousness, Who Calleth All unto Himself, the Creator and Sustainer of All that is Pleasant.

Adhiyajnika
I revere the holy fire, the best means of conducting the sacrifice, that great deity which arouses to virtue, the announcer of the offering, the bestower of great spiritual wealth.

Adhidaivika
I appreciate the industrial fire, the preferred medium of the purification of the elements, that great power which leads in industriousness, the conductor of forces, the best aid in the production of precious goods.

For details of how these interpretations have been arrived at, check:
Hindu Dharma Forums - View Single Post - Rig Veda

*****

Note: In RV the sounds of Da and Dha (? & ?) are replaced by the sounds La & Lha (? & ???). Most probably the rigvEdic people had difficulty in correctly pronouncing the former set of sounds. Thus the word "eeLe" stands for the current Sanskrit "eeDe". (post no.1)

The quip "the rigvEdic people had difficulty in correctly pronouncing" (as if they were children) seems too much to me! I would be happy to have a reference for this opinion, unless of course, it is Sangom's personal opinion.

*****

On the other hand there are references that the term ILe, ILena are very much Vedic words and not mispronunciations, which include:

Monier Williams Online Dictionary has an entry on the word ILenya:

ईळेन्य--ILEnya: mfn. to be invoked or implored; mfn. to be praised or glorified, praiseworthy, laudable RV. AV. VS. S3Br. Ragh. &c

• As against this, the entry against the word IDana does not give any Vedic reference to it:

ईडन--IDana: n. the act of praising L. (where L. refers to 'Lexicographers, esp. such as AmarasiMha, HalAyudha, Hemachandra, etc.)

Hermann Oldenberg translates the first sUkta as follows:

"I magnify Agni, the Purohita, the divine ministrant of the sacrifice, the Hotri priest, the greatest bestower of treasures."

As to how he derives the meaning 'magnify' for the term 'ILe', he has a long note here:
Upanishads-46

• There are other Rgveda sUkatas which use the term 'iLe' with Agni, which include:

दिदृक्षेण्यः परि काष्ठासु जेन्य ईळेन्यो महो अर्भाय जीवसे । ॥ ०१.१४६.०५:१ ॥

didRukSheNyaH pari kAShThAsu jenya ILenyo maho arbhAya jIvase | || 01.146.05:1 ||

He (Agni) caries a power of vision upto the limits all around.
He is victorious, adorable, and (supports) the life of the small and great.
--Tr.RL Kashyap

ऊर्जो नपातमध्वरे दीदिवांसमुप द्यवि ।
अग्निमीळे कविक्रतुम् ॥ ३.०२७.१२ ॥

Urjo napAtamadhvare dIdivAMsamupa dyavi |
agnimILe kavikratum || 3.027.12 ||

3.027.12 I adore at this sacrifice Agni the grandson of (sacrificial) food, shining above in the firmament, the creation of the wise. [Grandson of food: u_rjo napa_tam or the son of the oblation, as blazing when fed by butter and the like; or the descent may be differently accounted for, from the oblation proceed: A_ditya, and from A_ditya, Agni; the creation of the wise: kavikratum of whom, kavayah, the wise, that is the adhvaryu and the rest, are the makers, karta_rah, by their rubbing the sticks to evolve flame].
--Tr.HH Wilson

भद्रं नो अपि वातय मनः
अग्निमीळे भुजां यविष्ठं... ॥ १०.२०.१-२ ॥

bhadraM no api vAtaya manaH
agnimILe bhujAM yaviShThaM... || 10.20.1-2 ||

10.20.1: Bring to us a happy mind.
10.20.2: I pray to Agni, the youngest among the enjoyers.
--Tr.RL Kashyap

*****

Thus, IMHO, it would be logical to conclude that the terms 'ILe, ILenya' etc. had their own forms of usage in the Rgveda, although they often gave the same meaning as their 'IDa' counterparts.

*****
 
Last edited:

sangom

Well-known member
Shri Saidevo,

This is in response to your first post.

While reading your post above, I was struck by the emphasis you have given to the words "the very first post". If possible kindly elucidate.

Before your vast knowledge of scriptures, sanskrit, etc., it may not even be possible for me to answer the objections raised by you. Still, I think some discussion is always good, because it will help remove mistakes and improve the knowledge of all concerned.

With this apology, I begin.

It seems your doubt is about my statement that the change of one word 'agre' to "agne" is factual, and, if so evidence in this regard. I usually read a number of google book pages and web pages on most of the days. I have read these details while reading about Raja Rammohun Roy[FONT=&quot].[/FONT] Such an argument, it seems, was put forward by vested interests through pundits engaged by them in order to establish before the Bengal Presidency Governor that there was vedic sanction for the practice of satī, when Raja Rammohun Roy petitioned the British for banning the Sati practice. Roy'serudition in our scriptures enabled him to counter the pundits with adequate references from other scriptures. At the moment I do not have the exact references, but I shall try to trace those. Till then you may search about Rammohun Roy and how he worked for abolition of sati and, if possible, believe my honesty. Alternatively, if you google for 'rigveda 10.18.7 +sati' you get more than 1300 references to say that this verse is/was cited by some as vedic approval for the practice of satī.

I, however, agree that the relevant sentence in my OP
http://www.tamilbrahmins.com/scriptures/5385-let-us-familiarise-ourselves-rigveda.html#post62978
would look more appropriate with 'practised' changed to 'justified', as under:

"2. Despite all such precautions taken by the ancients, the horrible "sati" came to be justified, reportedly, on the basis of changing one word "agre" to "agne" in RV 10-18-08. It was probably done deliberately."

I would like to once again remind that we are here dealing with a possible "misinterpretation" made in order to enable some unjustified purpose, and not a honest, genuine, interpretation. AFAI can see, RV 10-18-07 could have been (mis)interpreted to mean that all the wives of the deceased male dress themselves up as if their husband was alive (This was the custom in Sati.) and to anoint themselves with unguent and butter, without tears, decorated with jewels and mount the funeral pyre (ārohantu janayo yonim agne = Let the wives mount, climb, the home of fire (yonim agne)). It will be seen that there are two predicates, samviśantu and ārohantu, in this ṛk. Wilson’s translation deals with only one of them, viz., samviśantu; he omits the other. Shri O.M.C. Narayanan Namboodirippad, who closely follows sāyaṇa (I don't have sāyaṇa's commentary for this maṇḍala), interprets ārohantu also to mean "go home" which does not look appropriate; 'arise' might have been acceptable.

@Hence the version, "anaśravonamīvāssuratnā ārohantu janayo yonimagneḥ
" asking the wives to mount the funeral pyre, looks not incorrect or out of content. (janayaḥ = wives; yoni = home, source; agneḥ = of the fire).

The next verse has been interpreted in a way favourable for satī by even sāyaṇa, as seen from Namboodiripad's book. He says, idam-jani-tvam abhi = jāyātvam abhilakṣya - desirous of the status of wife; saṃ babhūta = sambhūtāsi, anumaraṇaniscayam ākārṣīḥ, tasmādāgaccha = Have you not decided to perform "anumaraṇa"—the self-cremation of a wife with her husband's death? Therefore, come. (Though the entire verse before this goes against such a sense, it is not clear as to why sāyaṇa refers to anumaraṇaniscayam.

It, therefore, looks to me, at this stage, possible that this "anumaraṇa", i.e., satī practice was in fact envisaged by ṛgveda and that, perhaps the change from "agne" to "agre" has been made to suit the present climate!

Is there any definite reference to the woman 'sleeping near the dead body' of her husband in this mantra? I understand that the term 'gatAsu' means 'one whose breath is gone' (MWD).
Namboodiripad, following sāyaṇa gives the following:

[FONT=&quot]उप[/FONT][FONT=&quot]शेषॆ[/FONT] - [FONT=&quot]समीपे[/FONT][FONT=&quot]स्वपिषि[/FONT] = lying senseless near (the dead body)

• If this word 'agre' is changed to 'agne' here, the phrase 'yonim agne' wouldn't make sense in this context, since there is no reference to the bereaved woman at all in this mantra.
I suppose this has been clarified at @ above.

As to the references given by you under the heading "A widow and her husband's brother", it may be said that irrespective of whether the rigveda authorized satī or not, the practice of levirate (niyoga) seemed to have been prevalent from the earliest days so that a person has a male progeny to continue his line, make oblations to the manes (pitṛs) etc. The stipulation in āśvalāyana gṛhya sūtra could be considered in this context. But even otherwise didhiṣu, didhīṣu are shown in MWD as under:

Didhishu, mm. wishing to gain or obtain, striv-
ing after, seeking, RV. ; m. a suitor, RV. x, 18, 8 ;
a husband, BhP. ix, 9, 34 ; the second husband of a
woman twice married (also shu), L. ; (u or ū), f. a
widow remarried or an elder sister married after the
younger (both of whom having the choice of their
husbands may be compared to suitors). ' ṣu-pati,
m. the husband of a woman so married, Kath. xxxi,
7 ; Gaut. ; Vas. ṣūpapati, m. her paramour

Didhīshu, f. =didiṣū, L.

Hence we may conclude that widow remarriage, other than the strict levirate, was also allowed.

I think it shoud be clear from the foregoing that it is highly doubtful:
• if the word 'agre' was changed to 'agne', deliberately or as pATha-bheda, in RV 10.18.07 and

• even if it was done, if that change could mean a vedic sanction for the practice of sati in later period.
It is commonly stated in many books and articles in the internet, that the above ṛk is cited as the vedic sanction for satī. viṣṇu smṛti25-14 seems to approve satī (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe07/sbe07027.htm):

Now the duties of a woman (are) ... After the death of her husband, to preserve her chastity, or to ascend the pile after him.[60]

There is also justification in the later work of the Brihaspati Smriti (25-11).[3] Both this and the Vishnu Smriti date from the first millennium[FONT=&quot]. [/FONT](Sati (practice) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Perhaps these smṛtis depended on a version of the ṛgveda with the change from 'agre' to 'agne'.

The very import of my statement in the OP of my thread "Let us familiarise ourselves with Rigveda" was that by just changing one small compound letter in a word, people tried to justify this practice. Is it not therefore clear that I did not contribute to the view that vedic sanction was there? I once again reproduce the relevant sentence below :

"2. Despite all such precautions taken by the ancients, the horrible "sati" came to be practised, reportedly, on the basis of changing one word "agre" to "agne" in RV 10-18-08. It was probably done deliberately."

My intention was to show that despite all the efforts taken by generations of vedic pundits to ensure correct transmission, such a mischief could be done. But, after writing the above observations, I do get a doubt now whether there could have been some truth in the arguments of those pro-satī panḍits!
 

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Shri Saidevo,

In the second post, you have referred to paNDita guru datta vidyArthi. I learn that he remained a sceptic even after enlisting himself in the Arya Samaj and was not much impressed by the contents of the vedas till he witnessed the demise of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. I mention this not to belittle either of them, but to state that it is quite normal for any inquisitive mind to find that the vedas do not after all contain anything great or esoteric.

"Being a man of extremely inquisitive and analyzing faculties,
no religion except that of the Vedas could satisfy his profoundly
philosophical and scientific mind. He accordingly enlisted himself
under the banner of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, and evinced a
great interest in the advancement of his Vedic mission.
The truths of the Vedic Religion, however, did not strike a deep
and permanent root in his mind till he had been brought, by
the chance of unhappy circumstances, under the magne
tising touch of that GREAT YOGI, Swami Dayananda Saras-
wati. When the great Rishi was lying seriously ill at
Ajmere, he, along with myself, was deputed by the Lahore
Arya Samaj to attend upon the Swamiji there. The dying scene
of Swamiji, which he was fortunate enough to witness, gave
a death-blow to his old cherished sceptic ideas, and inspired
in him a spirit that has ever since immortalised his name."

(Excerpted from "The Works of Pandit Guru Datta Vidyarthi, M.A.,
The Punjab Printing Works, Lahore, 1902.)

Combining the above provisions, the following are the three levels of interpretations of the First sUkta of the Rgveda:

[FONT=&quot]अग्निं ईळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवम् ऋत्विजम् ।[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]होतारं रत्नधातमम् ॥ ०१.००१.०१ ॥[/FONT]

agniM ILe purohitaM yaj~jasya devam Rutvijam |
hotAraM ratnadhAtamam || 01.001.01 ||

AdhyAtmika
I praise the Illuminator, the Foremost Leader of Exalted Action, the Glorious One Who is Aroused in the Performance of Righteousness, Who Calleth All unto Himself, the Creator and Sustainer of All that is Pleasant.

Adhiyajnika
I revere the holy fire, the best means of conducting the sacrifice, that great deity which arouses to virtue, the announcer of the offering, the bestower of great spiritual wealth.

Adhidaivika
I appreciate the industrial fire, the preferred medium of the purification of the elements, that great power which leads in industriousness, the conductor of forces, the best aid in the production of precious goods.

For details of how these interpretations have been arrived at, check:
Hindu Dharma Forums - View Single Post - Rig Veda
It will be seen from the example cited by you - given above, for ready reference - that the three interpretations, ādhyātmika, ādhiyājñika and ādhidaivika differ widely, even in respect of the deity addressed — one says "illuminator", another "holy fire", and the third "industrial fire". I wonder what "industrial fire" could have existed in the ṛgvedicdays, except those made by the smiths, potters, etc., and whether and in what way the priesthood would have made use of the "industrial fire" for their worship!

Kindly see the interpretation given in my post.
“I praise agni the dEvata in fire, who, in his Ahavaneeya form, resides in it (the fire) and bestows our desires, is generous, brings the (other) dEvas to the yagas (sacrifices), and as ritvik is adorned by jewels.”

I feel this can also be accepted as well as any of the versions given by you. But, apart from all these, it will not be wrong on the part of today's youngsters with exposure to different religious streams and thoughts, to doubt whether there is really anything definite in these verses or these were only semi-intelligible even in the days of yāska and others, due to which each person interpreted them in his own way, according to his own needs and imagination, and if it were so, what sort of value such a document or corpus has. Is it not curious that it is only the Europeans who had the large-heartedness to share their findings and thoughts, whereas our pundits or religious mathams do not have many translations or commentaries in Indian languages for easy dissemination. Even you and I have to depend upon Wilson, Griffith, Oldenberg or Monier Williams which are available for free download.

The quip "the rigvEdic people had difficulty in correctly pronouncing" (as if they were children) seems too much to me! I would be happy to have a reference for this opinion, unless of course, it is Sangom's personal opinion.
There was once again a mistake on my part because I have not cared to keep my source ready for being provided here. But if people are prepared to believe my statement, what I read was that different ‘groups’ of people (since the words race, caste, tribe etc., may again bring forth objections) have difficulty in prononuncing certain letters or compounds; as an example, the manner in which some of the people of certain areas still say "istree" for "stree", "iskreen" (s^ kreen), "iskool" (s^kool) and some more such words from different populations were given in that book/web article. The mistake in my statement has already been pointed out by zebra16 in post # 95 and I have already replied, in post # 96 that "Yes, this is a point about which I have also some doubts. The above rule applies, IMHO, only to the extent that wherever we find La & Lha ([FONT=&quot]ळ[/FONT] & [FONT=&quot]ळ्ह[/FONT]), we must substitute with "Da and Dha ([FONT=&quot]ड[/FONT] & [FONT=&quot]ढ[/FONT])."

The correct rule - which luckily I could since trace from "Introduction to Sanskrit, Part One " by Thomas Egenes - is as under:
"8. In vedic sanskrit, when [FONT=&quot]ड[/FONT], [FONT=&quot]ढ[/FONT] have vowels on both sides, they may become [FONT=&quot]ळ[/FONT] (ḷa ) or [FONT=&quot]ळ्‌ह [/FONT](ḷ–ha)."

This, again, seems to be a characteristic of the manner of speech which the ṛgvedic people found easy and hence can be likened to the abovesaid "istree", "iskreen", "iskool", etc., examples; note that these people have no difficulty in pronouncing "s" [FONT=&quot]स्[/FONT]or "k" [FONT=&quot]क् [/FONT]or "t" [FONT=&quot]त्[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT]as such[FONT=&quot],[/FONT] but only in uttering the compound letters "sk" [FONT=&quot]स्क् [/FONT]or "st"[FONT=&quot] स्त्[/FONT]. The book/article which I read said that a similar difficulty might have been there for the ṛgvedic people to pronounce ḍ and ḍh alone without another consonant either before or after. But when posting I put it in a simple way, not anticipating so much criticism.

MWD (downloaded copy) gives the following; I am unable to trace "[FONT=&quot]ईळेन्य--[/FONT]ILEnya: mfn. to be invoked or implored; mfn. to be praised or glorified, praiseworthy, laudable RV. AV. VS. S3Br. Ragh. &c" in my copy. I am not doubting your statement but am emphasizing that one will have to trace it to the later ईड् (even Yajurveda uses [FONT=&quot]ईड् [/FONT]and not [FONT=&quot]ईळ्) [/FONT]only[FONT=&quot].[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]ईळ् -[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ईळ्[/FONT], [FONT=&quot]ईळ[/FONT], &c., Sec. See under root [FONT=&quot]ईड्[/FONT].

This is what I get for the root of this word. Hence I may humbly say that your conclusion, "Thus, IMHO, it would be logical to conclude that the terms 'ILe, ILenya' etc. had their own forms of usage in the Rgveda, although they often gave the same meaning as their 'IDa' counterparts.", seems to be misplaced.
 
OP
OP
S

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste shrI Sangom and others.

While reading your post above, I was struck by the emphasis you have given to the words "the very first post". If possible kindly elucidate.

There is nothing personal about it. As I was referring to a post in another thread, instead of giving a long link, I just mentioned the post number in bold, that's all.

I would like to once again remind that we are here dealing with a possible "misinterpretation" made in order to enable some unjustified purpose, and not a honest, genuine, interpretation. AFAI can see, RV 10-18-07 could have been (mis)interpreted to mean that all the wives of the deceased male dress themselves up as if their husband was alive (This was the custom in Sati.) and to anoint themselves with unguent and butter, without tears, decorated with jewels and mount the funeral pyre (arohantu janayo yonim agne = Let the wives mount, climb, the home of fire (yonim agne)). It will be seen that there are two predicates, samvisantu and arohantu, in this Rk. Wilson’s translation deals with only one of them, viz., samvisantu; he omits the other. Shri O.M.C. Narayanan Namboodirippad, who closely follows sayaNa (I don't have sayaNa's commentary for this maNDala), interprets arohantu also to mean "go home" which does not look appropriate; 'arise' might have been acceptable.
...
It, therefore, looks to me, at this stage, possible that this "anumaraNa", i.e., sati practice was in fact envisaged by Rgveda and that, perhaps the change from "agne" to "agre" has been made to suit the present climate!

If you intend to support this view, you would be contradicting your own earlier statement, which is alright, but then, you seem to miss an important word in the mantra RV 10.18.07: avidhavAH.

In post no.1 of this thread, I said that the Wiki article on sati quotes OP Gupta for the misinterpretation of RV 10.18.7 but I couldn't locate the article. I have now located it in this link:
Hindu Wisdom

Here is a partial quote of this article as related to this mantra (emphasis added):

The Rigveda: Widows don’t have to burn
by O.P.Gupta, 'The Asian Age', October 23, 2002

Some people assert that richa X 18.7 (seventh richa of sukta 18 of chapter ten) of the Rigveda commands a Hindu widow to mount on the pyre of her deceased husband. In fact, the word vidhwa (widow) does not independently occur in this richa at all. So how can this richa be related to widows?

The word vidhwa does appear in many other richas of the Rigveda. One website quotes Kane's translation of this richa as, "Let these women, whose husbands are worthy and living enter the house with ghee applied as corrylium (to their eyes). Let these wives first step into the pyre, tearless without any affliction and well adorned." From the moment of death of her husband, a woman is no more called "a wife" but a widow. So the phrase "these wives" in the above translation of Kane cannot be interpreted to refer to widows."

In fact, sukta 18 commands a Hindu widow to return to the world of living beings; the Rigveda confers on her all the properties of her deceased husband. The third richa (X 18.3) commands "May those who are living remain separate from the dead..." (Rigveda Samhita by H.H. Wilson and Bhashya of Sayana edited by Ravi Prakash Arya and K.K. Joshi). Dr Wendy D. O'Flaherty, Ph.D., in her book, Rigveda (Penguin Classics, page 52) mentions, "Those who are alive have now parted from the dead." Shri Ram Sharma Acharya of Bareilly in his Rigveda (in Hindi) translates, "Mritak ke pass se jeevit manushya laut aavey..." This command of Rigveda to leave behind the dead is equally applicable to Hindu widows as they are also living.

The English translation of the seventh richa (X 18.7) as given by H.H. Wilson etc. is,

"Let these women who are not widows, who have good husbands, enter (anointed) with butter. Let women without tears, decorated with jewels, first proceed to the house." Shri Radhakrishna Shrimali and Smt. Ashalata Upadhaya of Jodhpur in their book Rigveda (Diamond Pocket books, page 156) give similar interpretations of X 18.7 and X 18.8. Thus, different authors from different places vouch that richa X 18.7 does not refer to widows at all. What this richa says in a nutshell is that, married women should be first (among others) to return to their homes.
...
Those who misinterpret the Rigveda to say that it sanctions sati do this mischief by misspelling the last word of richa X 18. 7 as "yomiagne." The last word of this richa is actually "yomiagre." Thus, there is no richa in Rigveda calling for widow burning. Veda, Ramayana and Gita are the three supreme scriptures of Hindus.
...
Over the centuries, relatives have been murdering relatives for property. This will continue in the coming centuries too. Greed is human nature. If greedy people incite a widow to commit suicide on the pyre of her husband, let us not say or believe that widow burning is sanctified by the Rigveda or by Hinduism. Richa X 18.3 commands a Hindu widow to separate from the dead and richa X 10.8 commands her to return alive to her children and her home. For their own empowerment, Hindu women should to remember the seven richas viz (II 17.7), (III 31.2) (X 18.3) (X l8.8) (X 40.2) and X 40.8) to assert and claim their status and rights.

(O.P. Gupta is ambassador of India to Finland).
The article are personal views of the author; and, not that of the Govt. of India
 

sangom

Well-known member
If you intend to support this view, you would be contradicting your own earlier statement, which is alright, but then, you seem to miss an important word in the mantra RV 10.18.07: avidhavAH.

Shri Saidevo,

I think you are getting my message wrong. I have clearly said,

"My intention was to show that despite all the efforts taken by generations of vedic pundits to ensure correct transmission, such a mischief could be done. But, after writing the above observations, I do get a doubt now whether there could have been some truth in the arguments of those pro-satī panḍits!"

You have chosen to select the sentence from the middle of my post, where I said that even Sayana seems to allow for "anumarana", etc. I think there is no need for me to explain further.

From the moment of death of her husband, a woman is no more called "a wife" but a widow. So the phrase "these wives" in the above translation of Kane cannot be interpreted to refer to widows."
Among the Tabras in these parts - and also in Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli Districts of TN - there is the time-honoured practice of a Tabra woman whose husband dies, to keep her "thaali" till the morning of the tenth day after death. The more conservative folks insist that the concerned woman dress up like a "sumangali" - with collyrium, flowers, jewellery, new clothes, etc. - every evening upto and including the ninth. Sweet meats and "bhakshanams" which the deceased male was fond of, are prepared and kept in the room in front of the "gruhadwAra kuNDa pAshANam" each evening during sandhyA. On the ninth night even the less orthodox people make it a point that the deceased's wife dresses up with much jewellery, flowers, etc., and on that night another "widow" also invariably sleeps in the same room where the pAshANam is kept. (This is explained as protecting the deceased's wife from fear and its after effects.)

Only on the tenth day morning very many items are cooked without salt and served before the "pREta" so that it is disconnected with its last attachment to this world (which is linked to salt - in a similar manner a new born child is supposed to be "divine" till it eats salted food for the first time, generally the "annaprASanam"). The deceased's wife thereafter removes her "ThAli" and puts it in a vessel containing milk (I think, but not sure) and then immediately hands it over to the "kartA" -who is usually the eldest living son; this becomes his wife's exclusive property thereafter and is not reckoned while partitioning the jewellery of the "widow" - from that moment - and not earlier. It is a different matter that for all secular purposes like death certificate, bank accounts, lockers, property documents, and so on, the wife becomes the "widow of so & so" the very next moment after death is certified by a competent medical practitioner, in the secular world.

Thus your contention that the deceased's wife becomes a "vidhavA" immediately on the death of husband does not seem to be supported by our traditional beliefs. If there are supporting evidence of gruhya sutras etc., I have to search and find out. Perhaps it may be good to raise this point in kanchiforum and get the orthodox pov.

Anyway, our Tabra community in the regions mentioned in the beginning still holds the notion that the prEta of the dead male will be yearning for sex with its erstwhile wife till it is symbolically driven away on the tenth day morning. Till then, technically in the religious view, the wife continues to be a "non-vidhavA", wearing the thAli. (I am told that there is a mantra in the Atharva Veda to the effect that when a male dies and his body is cremated, all the parts except his procreative organs perish, but these go with him to the next world. Here again, I don't have the reference handy. Perhaps you will be able to say authoritatively.)

I, therefore, feel that much research needs to be done before throwing out Shri Kane's opinion about "avidhavA".
 
OP
OP
S

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste shrI Sangom and others.

@Hence the version, "anasravonamivassuratna arohantu janayo yonimagne?" asking the wives to mount the funeral pyre, looks not incorrect or out of content. (janayah = wives; yoni = home, source; agneh = of the fire).

The next verse has been interpreted in a way favourable for sati by even sayaNa, as seen from Namboodiripad's book. He says, idam-jani-tvam abhi = jayatvam abhilakShya - desirous of the status of wife; saM babhuta = sambhutasi, anumaraNaniscayam akarShih, tasmadagaccha = Have you not decided to perform "anumaraNa"—the self-cremation of a wife with her husband's death? Therefore, come. (Though the entire verse before this goes against such a sense, it is not clear as to why saya?a refers to anumara?aniscayam.

It, therefore, looks to me, at this stage, possible that this "anumara?a", i.e., sati practice was in fact envisaged by Rgveda and that, perhaps the change from "agne" to "agre" has been made to suit the present climate!

In reply to your above quote supposed to be SAyaNa's from shrI Namboodiripad's book, let me draw your attention to chapter 6 'Widow-marriage in ancient India' by Jatindra Bimal Chaudhuri in the book at the following link:

Google book:
Marriage in indian socirty: from tradition to modernity edited by Usha Sharma
Marriage in indian socirty: from ... - Google Books

I have extracted below the relevant points from the chapter (emphasis added):

RV 18.8.8, "Rise, O' woman, come towards the world of the living; thou liest by the side of this one whose life is gone. Be the full-fledged wife of (this) your husband who (now) grasps your hand and wooes you" refers to widow-marriage.

• Note 2: The only other place except RV 10.18.8 = AV 18.3.2 = Tait.AraN.6.1.3, where the word 'didhiShu' occurs is RV 6.55.5. There also the word means 'wooer'.

• No doubt this mantra is used in the funeral ceremony, but the difficulty is about finding the true interpretation. Sayana himself gives different interpretations in different places. In interpreting the verse (RV X.18.8) which occurs in the Atharva-veda XVIII.3.2 as well, Sayana interprets the second line with reference to the first husband while he explains the same verse in Taittiriya Aranyaka (VI.1) with reference to the second husband. Sayana interprets 'abhi sam babhUtha' as 'abhimukhyena samyuk prapnuhi' taking Bhu in the sense of 'getting' with the aid of Panini's rule Chandasi Lunlanlitah.

Modern authorities have likewise differed in opinion. Among those who thinks the verse refers to the first husband are Roth, Max Muller, Weber, Geldner and Monier Williams. Whitney, Caland, Ludwig, and Macdonnell interpret the verse as referring to the second husband."

• According the former 'Ud irsva' refers to the rising up of the wife on the funeral pyre and the jiva-loka then, according to them, mean some part in heaven. But this idea is a later development and represents a very small section of the Smartas who sanctioned widow-burning.

All the ancient authorities unanimously prescribe the verse as a mantra for removing the wife from the funeral pyre wherein she lies by the side of her dead husband--strictly in accordance with the direction found in the first line of the same.

Asvalayanaemployes it as a mantra with which the younger brother of the deceased husband (or some such person), a disciple or an old servant should raise the widow from the funeral pyre.

Narayana and Haradatta commenting upon the sutra of Asvalayana say that the younger brother of the husand only is entitled to be her second husband.

• According to Baudhayana, Apastamba and Hiranyakesin, a Patistha (one who is entitled to marry her i.e., the younger brother of her husband or Parihita or a kinsman of her husband should utter this mantra while raising up the widow by her left hand. This Patistha or Parihita is recommended to raise her up so that she may be his wife if she intends to remarry or be maintained by him if she decides to have recourse to Niyoga. ... So the Devara or the husband's younger brother is the fittest person to remarry the widow.

*****

O.P.Gupta's article referred to above also gives some points on RV 10.18.8:

• The eighth richa (X 18.8) specifically commands a Hindu widow to return alive to her home. H.H. Wilson translates: "Rise woman, and go to the world of living beings; come, this man near whom you sleep is lifeless; you have enjoyed this state of being the wife of your husband, the suitor who took you by the hand." Here again, it is confirmed that X 18.8 actually commands a Hindu widow to return to the world of living beings. Also, this very richa confers upon her full right on the house of her deceased husband (apne putradi aur ghar).

• In 1995, the Supreme Court interpreted Section 14 (1) of the Hindu Succession Act to the effect that a Hindu widow has full ownership rights over properties she inherits from her deceased husband. The Supreme Court said that the objective was to wipe out disabilities imposed by Hindu shastras. The Supreme Court thus reasserted rights conferred on widows under richa X 18.8.

• According to Acharya Sayana, it is the first six richas of sukta 16 of the chapter 10 of the Rigveda (X 16.1 to 6) which are to be recited at funeral pyres; and, none of these six richas either call for burning of widows or make any reference to widows.

• I would like to draw the attention of readers to richa X 40.8 of the Rigveda which praises Ashwin gods for protecting a widow. It shows gods were praised for protecting widows. How could gods go to protect widows, and, thus act against the Rigveda if the Rigveda had actually commanded burning of widows? Another richa, X 40.2, may come as a complete surprise to many Hindus. H.H.Wilson translates it: "Where are you, Ashwins, by night? Where are you by day? Where do you sojourn? Where do you dwell? Who brings you into his presence in the same place (of sacrifice) as on her couch a widow (brings) her husband's brother, as a woman (brings) her husband (to her)."

Thus, the Rigveda not only sanctioned survival of a widow but also her living with her devar with full dignity and honour in the family. So it expressly sanctioned widow marriage.

*****
 
OP
OP
S

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste shrI Sangom and others.

Whether a woman became a widow immediately on death of her husband or only on the tenth day (as stated in post no.6), RV 10.18.07 is clear about its reference:

imA nArIr avidhavAH supatnIr
"May these women, avidhavAH--unwidowed, and supatnIr--with good husbands"

There are two words which indicate with certainty that the women spoken to are not the deceased husband's wives, but only other unwidowed women with good husbands: the first one is avidhavAH--unwidowed, and as if this is not sufficient, supatnIH--women with good husbands (who are obviously alive at that time).

These two terms complement each other to provide an unambiguous reference in that line of the verse. And this is the way most of the commentators have interpreted it.

*****

Here is an extract from Dr.Radhakrishnan's book Religioin and Society (emphasis added):

The Status of Widows

The position of widows has changed considerably from the time of the Rg Veda, in which we have references to the remarriage of widows.
...

Widow remarriages became unpopular in the period between 300 B.C. and A.D. 200. [Even by the most conservative estimate, the time of Rgveda is agreed to be 1500 BCE.--sd]

• Even then child widows were permitted to remarry.
[Note 2: VasiShTha, XVII.66; Baudhdyana, II.2.47]

Alberuni records that remarriage of widows was prohibited by custom, and this prohibition became extended to child widows also.

• The difficulties of widows were to a certain extent relieved by the practice of niyoga, which was fairly common till 300 B.C.

[Note 3: Cp. Martin Luther: "If a sound woman has received an unsound man in marriage, but cannot take any other man openly, and does not like to act against honour, since the Pope requires so many to witness ... she shall say to her husband as follows: 'See well, my dear man, you have deceived me in my young body and thereby brought my honour and soul into peril, and before God there is no marriage between us. Allow me to have a secret marriage with your brother or your best friend, and you have the name so that your property shall not descend to strangers. Let yourself be willingly deceived by me, as you deceived me without my will.'"--Brian Linn, Martin Luther (1934), pp. 212-13.]

• The custom of the remarriage of a widow with the brother of the deceased husband, devara (dvitiyo varah), prevailed.

When the husband's dead body is about to be burnt, the dead man's brother seizes the hand of the widow with the following words: "Arise, woman, thou art lying by one whose life is gone; come to the world of the living away from thy husband, and become the wife of him who grasps thy hand and woos thee as a lover." [Note 4: RV 10.18.08, see also 10.40.2]

• A reference to this practice is found in the MahAbhArata:
"As a woman married her brother-in-law after the death of her husband, so, the Brahmin having failed to protect her, the earth made the Ksatriya her husband."
[Note 5: shanti-parva 72.12]

• The son raised for the deceased husband by intercourse with the brother, or near kinsman, is called kshetraja. The production of offspring was the main purpose, and the sanction terminated as soon as a son was born.

When the widow has a son she gets a share of the family property. In the MahAbhArata Pandu and DhrtaraShtra and the five Pandavas were born of niyoga.

• As the practice was inconsistent with the ideals of purity and constancy in sex relations, Apastamba and Baudhayana opposed it. Manu condemned the practice as animal. It is one of the practices condemned in our age.

The practice of niyoga gradually fell out of use. Though Dayanand Sarasvati, the founder of the Arya Samaj, sanctioned it, his followers adopted the straight course of widow remarriage.

Regarding the practice of Sati, or self-immolation, there is no direct reference to it in Vedic literature. Grhya Sutras, which describe in great detail important ceremonies of domestic life, including the cremation ceremony, are silent about it.

Later commentators and lawgivers quote a verse of the Rg Veda (10.18.7) in support of the rite of sati.

It reads: "Let these women who are not widowed, who have good husbands, applying collyrium to their eyes, enter; without tears, without disease, and full of ornaments, let these first enter the house."

The verse cannot be addressed to the widow, but to the assembled women; and by substituting agneh (of fire) for agre (first), its meaning becomes distorted.

[Note 4: We find in the Atharva Veda a reference to a pre-Vedic usage by which the wife was cremated with her husband. iyam nan patilokarh vrnana nipadyate upa tva martya pretama dharmarh puranam anupalayanti tasyai prajam dravinam ca dehi. 18.3.i.

"This woman choosing her husband's world lies down by thec that art departed, O mortal, continuing the ancient practice. Give her wealth and progeny." Later a cow is substituted for the woman, who is allowed to survive and choose a mate; only he should belong to the husband's clan. See Atharva Veda, 9.5.27,28.


For me, these evidences are more than sufficient to override any personal opinions or misgivings about Vedic sanction for sati.
 
OP
OP
S

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste shrI Sangom and others.

As regards the three levels of interpretation of the Vedas I have cited in post no.2, Sangom has quipped as follows:

I wonder what "industrial fire" could have existed in the ?gvedicdays, except those made by the smiths, potters, etc., and whether and in what way the priesthood would have made use of the "industrial fire" for their worship!

It is one thing--which is easy, specially with extempore statements such as the above--to be cynical and skeptical, but quite another to try to find out why sages like DayAnanda Sarasvati (of the Arya Samaj) and Aurobindo taught three levels of interpretations of the Vedas.

A cursory glance at resources like the Wiki article, History of metallurgy in the Indian subcontinent could bring up many facts and assist our right understanding.

• Recent excavations in Middle Ganges Valley conducted by archaeologist Rakesh Tewari show iron working in India may have begun as early as 1800 BCE.

• Sahi (1979: 366) concluded that by the early 13th century BCE, iron smelting was definitely practiced on a bigger scale in India, suggesting that the date the technology's early period may well be placed as early as the 16th century BCE.

• The beginning of the 1st millennium BCE saw extensive developments in iron metallurgy in India.

• Perhaps as early as 300 BCE—although certainly by 200 CE—high quality steel was being produced in southern India also by what Europeans would later call the crucible technique. In this system, high-purity wrought iron, charcoal, and glass were mixed in a crucible and heated until the iron melted and absorbed the carbon. The first crucible steel was the wootz steel that originated in India before the beginning of the common era. Wootz steel was widely exported and traded throughout ancient Europe, China, the Arab world,...

• Archaeological evidence suggests that this manufacturing process was already in existence in South India well before the Christian era.

Zinc mines of Zawar, near Udaipur, Rajasthan, were active during 400 BC. There are references of medicinal uses of zinc in the Charaka Samhita (300 BC). The Rasaratna Samuccaya (800 AD) explains the existence of two types of ores for zinc metal, one of which is ideal for metal extraction while the other is used for medicinal purpose. The Periplus Maris Erythraei mentions weapons of Indian iron and steel being exported from India to Greece.

*****

Now, based on the above facts, let me hazard a speculation.

• Vedas were taught to the boys of the first three varNas (possibly to the deserving candidates of the fourth varNa too, as the SatyakAma episode in the ChAndogya upaniShad indicates).

• Obviously, it is highly probable that the boys of the brAhmaNa varNa learned the Adhiyajnika--ritual, interpretation;

• and the boys of the other varNas learned the Adhidaivika--worldly/naturalistic, interpretation;

• and all the boys, in addition, were taught the AdhyAtmika--philosophical, interpretation.

*****

RL Kashyap, in his introduction to the SAKSI publication titled 'Secrets of Rig Veda: First 121 suktas' states:

• There are more than twenty commentaries in Sanskrit on the entire Rig Veda or parts of it, the earliest being that of YAska (circa 2000 BCE or earlier). YAska is the earliest known etymologist and lexicographer among all languages.

• Some earlier commentaries are: SAyaNa (1315-1387 CE), MAdhvAchArya (1238-1317 CE), and RAghavendra SvAmi (1623-1671 CE). The latter two regard the Rig Veda as a book of spiritual hymns, not as a book of rituals. All of them handle several chapters only. Only SAyaNa authored or edited a detailed commentary on the entire Rig Veda saMhitA. KapAli SAstry quotes many of these authors, specially SAyaNa, even when he differs from him.

• Some authors in recent times who gave spiritual interpretation of some of the hymns of the Rig Veda are: Bose, Coomaraswamy, Findley, Frawley, GaNapati Muni, Gonda, PaNikkar, M.P.PaNDit, Purani, and S.K.Ramachandra Rao, among others.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
S

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste shrI Sangom and others.

Kindly see the interpretation given in my post.
"I praise agni the dEvata in fire, who, in his Ahavaneeya form, resides in it (the fire) and bestows our desires, is generous, brings the (other) dEvas to the yagas (sacrifices), and as ritvik is adorned by jewels."

I feel this can also be accepted as well as any of the versions given by you.

But, apart from all these, it will not be wrong on the part of today's youngsters with exposure to different religious streams and thoughts, to doubt whether there is really anything definite in these verses or these were only semi-intelligible even in the days of yaska and others, due to which each person interpreted them in his own way, according to his own needs and imagination, and if it were so, what sort of value such a document or corpus has.

I have no problem in accepting Sangom's interpretation, except that he seems to have added his own inferences to it.

It seems to me that the best interpretation would be one that does not bring in any external inferences or facts other than those the words and phrases in the text point to, in their three levels of meanings.

Now, if we group the words and phrases of the first mantra as follows (using the method of RL.Kashyap):

agniM ILe (1) purohitaM (2) yaj~jasya devam Rutvijam (3) |
hotAraM (4) ratnadhAtamam (5) || 01.001.01 ||

It can be seen that the three levels of translations I have given in post no.2, correspond to the groups of the text thus:

AdhyAtmika
I praise the Illuminator, (1) the Foremost Leader of Exalted Action, (2) the Glorious One Who is Aroused in the Performance of Righteousness, (3) Who Calleth All unto Himself, (4) the Creator and Sustainer of All that is Pleasant.(5)

Adhiyajnika
I revere the holy fire, (1) the best means of conducting the sacrifice, (2) that great deity which arouses to virtue, (3) the announcer of the offering, (4) the bestower of great spiritual wealth.(5)

Adhidaivika
I appreciate the industrial fire, (1) the preferred medium of the purification of the elements, (2) that great power which leads in industriousness, (3) the conductor of forces, (4) the best aid in the production of precious goods.(5)

(For details of the three levels of meanings of individual words, please seek the link:
Hindu Dharma Forums - View Single Post - Rig Veda)

I may be wrong here, but I am not able to assemble Sangom's interpretation into the above groups in order. Further, he has brought in the concept of AhavanIya fire, but the term 'AhavanIya' itself, as far as I can check, neither figures in the Rgveda saMhitA, nor can be inferred using the three levels of the yaugika words of the text.

RL Kashyap also states that:
One school of traditionalists, mImAMsakAs, claim that yajna is but the outword ritual and characterizes Rig Veda samhitA and other Veda samhitAs as part of Karma KANDa, the ritual book. However, out of the 1028 hymns in RV samhitA, not even one hymn gives details of any physical rite. In the text there are only words such as yajna, adhvara, yaja connected with rites. These words have spiritual meanings.


*****

Words with the letters ळ, ळः, ड, डः--La, LaH, Da, DaH

I said in post no.2:
Monier Williams Online Dictionary has an entry on the word ILenya:

ईळेन्य--ILEnya: mfn. to be invoked or implored; mfn. to be praised or glorified, praiseworthy, laudable RV. AV. VS. S3Br. Ragh. &c

• As against this, the entry against the word IDana does not give any Vedic reference to it:

ईडन--IDana: n. the act of praising L. (where L. refers to 'Lexicographers, esp. such as AmarasiMha, HalAyudha, Hemachandra, etc.)

The online dictionary version I checked is here at this link:
MW Advanced Search

Bowever, the book versions of both MWD and Apte's say 'see under root ID' for the terms using IL.

I agree with the 'rule' in the book by Thomas Egenes, which Sangom has cited in post no.4, but then we cannot take the author's words for granted unless there are corresponding rules in the Rgveda prAtishAkhya and the other vedAnga texts, which I am unable to verify for lack of Sanskrit literacy.

Let us take two RV mantras, one with the word 'IDyaH' and the other with the word 'ILenyaH', with both the words being used in the context of adoration:

पवस्व विश्वचर्षणे अभि विश्वानि काव्या ।
सखा सखिभ्य ईड्यः ॥ ९.०६६.०१ ॥

pavasva vishvacharShaNe.abhi vishvAni kAvyA |
sakhA sakhibhya IDyaH|| 9.066.01 ||

9.066.01 All-seeing (Soma), who are the adorable friend (of the
worshippers), flow for (us your) friends towards all (our) hymns of
praise.--Tr.HH Wilson

ईळेन्यः पवमानो रयिर् वि राजति द्युमान् ।
मधोर् धाराभिर् ओजसा ॥ ९.००५.०३ ॥

ILenyaH pavamAno rayir vi rAjati dyumAn |
madhor dhArAbhir ojasA || 9.005.03 ||

9.005.03 The pure-flowing bright (Soma), the bounteous giver, worthy
of all praise, shines forth in its might with the streams of water.--Tr.HH Wilson

It can be seen here that while the word IDyaH occurs in the end, the word ILenyaH occurs in the beginning of a line, so the rule stated by Thomas Egenes (post no.4), does not apply here, which means that both words were pronounced as such, so the ILa form cannot be construed as a mispronunciation of the IDa form.

I understand that the rules of Veda chanting are governed by their prAtishAkhyas. So, my point is, whether any interchange of the IDa and ILa forms would still be governed by their rules, and would stay intact in the oral tradition preserved by the various kinds of vikRtayaH noted in post no.1 of Sangom's exposition.


I should like to reiterate that my aim in this thread is NOT to find fault with Sangom's exposition (which is a laudable effort), but only to get some points that arise therefrom, cleared.
 
Last edited:

sangom

Well-known member
Thus, the Rigveda not only sanctioned survival of a widow but also her living with her devar with full dignity and honour in the family. So it expressly sanctioned widow marriage.

*****

Shri Saidevo,

The problem, if there is one, is because of Sayana's use of the term "anumarana" in commenting on 10-18-08. The option given in Vishnu Smriti, taken together with Sayana's interpretation, gives the impression that a woman was given the option to end her life also along with her husband, if she so desired. The Atharva Veda verse quoted by you also strengthens this.

I do not think the widow was permitted to rake her "devar" as the second husband as a matter of practice but only when there was eligibility for niyoga. I also read somewhere that the widowed lady could marry anyone in her husband's gotra; how does this fit in with the niyoga practice? Perhaps you will be able to provide some materials.
 

SSC

New member
Namaste

we need to be very careful with interpretations of our ancient texts by westerners, as they often tend to misinterpret, as their understanding of our scriptures is quite superficial.
 

sangom

Well-known member
namaste shrI Sangom and others.
I have no problem in accepting Sangom's interpretation, except that he seems to have added his own inferences to it.

Shri Saidevo,

I give below Sayana's commentary in original sanskrit. Since your main purpose seems to be to nitpick whatever I have written (though you say that is not the aim), you can get the meaning from some one who knows sanskrit, since, if I venture to write, you will once again get something to find fault with.

[FONT=&quot]अग्निनामकं[/FONT][FONT=&quot]देवमीळे[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]स्तौ‌मि[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ईड[/FONT][FONT=&quot]स्तुतौ[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]धा[/FONT]. [FONT=&quot]२४[/FONT].[FONT=&quot]९[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]इति[/FONT][FONT=&quot]धातुः[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]डकारस्य[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ळकारॊ[/FONT][FONT=&quot]बह्वृचा[/FONT][FONT=&quot]जगु[/FONT]: [FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]अज्मध्यस्थढकारस्य[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ळ्हकारं[/FONT][FONT=&quot]वै[/FONT][FONT=&quot]यथाक्रममिति[/FONT][FONT=&quot]॥[/FONT][FONT=&quot]मंत्रस्य[/FONT][FONT=&quot]होत्रा[/FONT][FONT=&quot]प्रयोज्यत्वादहं[/FONT][FONT=&quot]होता[/FONT][FONT=&quot]स्तौ‌मिति[/FONT][FONT=&quot]लभ्यते[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]कीदृशमग्निम्[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]यज्ञस्य[/FONT][FONT=&quot]पुरोहितम्[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।
[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]यथा[/FONT][FONT=&quot]राज्ञः[/FONT][FONT=&quot]पुरोहितस्तदभीष्टं[/FONT][FONT=&quot]संपादयति[/FONT][FONT=&quot]तथाग्निरपि[/FONT][FONT=&quot]यज्ञस्यापॆक्षितं[/FONT][FONT=&quot]होमं[/FONT][FONT=&quot]संपादयति[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
यद्वा[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]यज्ञस्य[/FONT][FONT=&quot]संबन्धिनि[/FONT][FONT=&quot]पूर्वभाग[/FONT][FONT=&quot]आहवनीयरूपेणावस्थितम्[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]पुनः[/FONT][FONT=&quot]कीदृशम्[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]देवम्[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]दानादिगुणयुक्तम्[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]पुनः[/FONT][FONT=&quot]कीदृशम्[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
होतारमृत्विजम्[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]देवानां[/FONT][FONT=&quot]यज्ञेषु[/FONT][FONT=&quot]होतृनामक[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ऋत्विगग्निरेव[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]तथा[/FONT][FONT=&quot]च[/FONT][FONT=&quot]श्रूयते[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]अग्निर्वै[/FONT][FONT=&quot]देवानां[/FONT][FONT=&quot]होतेति[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]पुनरपि[/FONT][FONT=&quot]कीदृशम्[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
रत्नधातमम्[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]यागफलरूपाणां[/FONT][FONT=&quot]रत्नानामतिशयेन[/FONT][FONT=&quot]धारयितारं[/FONT][FONT=&quot]पोषयितारं[/FONT][FONT=&quot]वा[/FONT][FONT=&quot]।[/FONT]

agnināmakaṃ devamīḷe | stau–mi | īḍa stutau | dhā. 24.9 | iti dhātuḥ | ḍakārasya ḷakāro bahvṛcā jagu: | ajmadhyasthaḍhakārasya ḷhakāraṃ vai yathākramamiti || maṃtrasya hotrā prayojyatvādahaṃ hotā stoumiti labhyate | kīdṛśamagnim | yajñasya purohitam | yathā rājñaḥ purohitastadabhīṣṭaṃ saṃpādayati tathāgnirapi yajñasyāpekṣitaṃ homaṃ saṃpādayati | yadvā yajñasya saṃbandhini pūrvabhāga āhavanīyarūpeṇāvasthitam | punaḥ kīdṛśam | devam | dānādiguṇayuktam | punaḥ kīdṛśam | hotāramṛtvijam | devānāṃ yajñeṣu hotṛnāmaka ṛtvigagnireva | tathā ca śrūyate | agnirvai devānāṃ hoteti | punarapi kīdṛśam | ratnadhātamam | yāgaphalarūpāṇāṃ ratnānāmatiśayena dhārayitāraṃ poṣayitāraṃ vā |

Sayana also endorses that "[FONT=&quot]डकारस्य[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ळकारॊ[/FONT][FONT=&quot]बह्वृचा[/FONT][FONT=&quot]जगु[/FONT]: [FONT=&quot]।[/FONT][FONT=&quot]अज्मध्यस्थढकारस्य[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ळ्हकारं[/FONT][FONT=&quot]वै[/FONT][FONT=&quot]यथाक्रममिति[/FONT][FONT=&quot]॥[/FONT]". This I think is what Thomas Egenes is also saying. Perhaps you will be satisfied only if one of your favourites also state the rule. Anyway, this is the rule and the examples cited by you do not violate this rule. (I wonder how you so confidently challenge even people who write grammar books, and at the same time say that your knowledge of sanskrit is not much!)

It seems to me that the best interpretation would be one that does not bring in any external inferences or facts other than those the words and phrases in the text point to, in their three levels of meanings.
Now, if we group the words and phrases of the first mantra as follows (using the method of RL.Kashyap):

agniM ILe (1) purohitaM (2) yaj~jasya devam Rutvijam (3) |
hotAraM (4) ratnadhAtamam (5) || 01.001.01 ||
It can be seen that the three levels of translations I have given in post no.2, correspond to the groups of the text thus:

AdhyAtmika
I praise the Illuminator, (1) the ForemostLeader of Exalted Action, (2) the Glorious One Who is Aroused in the Performance ofRighteousness, (3) Who Calleth All unto Himself, (4) the Creator and Sustainer of All that is Pleasant.(5)

Adhiyajnika
I revere the holy fire, (1) the best means of conducting the sacrifice, (2) that great deity which arouses to virtue, (3) the announcer of the offering, (4) the bestower of great spiritual wealth.(5)

Adhidaivika
I appreciate the industrial fire, (1) the preferred medium of the purification of the elements, (2) that great power which leads in industriousness, (3) the conductor of forces, (4) the best aid in the production of precious goods.(5)

(For details of the three levels of meanings of individual words, please seek the link:
Hindu Dharma Forums - View Single Post - Rig Veda)[/QUOTE]

If your stipulation that "the best interpretation would be one that does not bring in any external inferences or facts other than those the words and phrases in the text point to"is really applied, the above Ruk can have only the following meaning:

[FONT=&quot]अग्निम् = [/FONT][FONT=&quot]அக்னியை[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT]agni
[FONT=&quot]ईळॆ = ([/FONT][FONT=&quot]நான்[/FONT][FONT=&quot]) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]ஸ்துதிக்கிறேன்[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT](I) ask for, implore, request, praise
[FONT=&quot]पुरोहितम् (पुरः +हितम्) = [/FONT][FONT=&quot]புரோஹிதனாகின்ற[/FONT][FONT=&quot] ([/FONT][FONT=&quot]கண்முன்னால்[/FONT][FONT=&quot] + [/FONT][FONT=&quot]இருப்பவனான[/FONT][FONT=&quot])[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT]before, in front + placed, seated
[FONT=&quot]यज्ञस्य=[/FONT][FONT=&quot]யஜ்ஞத்தினுடைய[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT]of yajña
[FONT=&quot]देवम्=[/FONT][FONT=&quot]தேவனை[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT]deva
[FONT=&quot]होतारम् ऋत्विजम्=[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ஹோத்ரு[/FONT][FONT=&quot]எனும்[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ருத்விக்கை[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT]the ṛtviknamed hotṛ
[FONT=&quot]रत्नधातमम्=[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ரத்னங்களை[/FONT][FONT=&quot]தரித்திருப்பவனும்[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT](one) who wears jewels

Hence the total meaning will be—
I praise agni, seated in front (of me), (who is the) deva of yajña, who wears jewels, (and is the) ṛtvik named hotṛ.

All the three explanations given by you have liberally brought in inferences which are not warranted by the words in the ṛk.

I indicate these additions in blue and bold in the above quoted portion. Since all three are very much off the strict meaning of the words, all these have to be unacceptable, if you are really sincere in following the rule set by you.

I may be wrong here, but I am not able to assemble Sangom's interpretation into the above groups in order. Further, he has brought in the concept of AhavanIya fire, but the term 'AhavanIya' itself, as far as I can check, neither figures in the Rgveda saMhitA, nor can be inferred using the three levels of the yaugika words of the text.

Saidevo, you will find that the idea of Ahavaneeya agni is from Sayana’s commentary ([FONT=&quot]यद्वा[/FONT][FONT=&quot]यज्ञस्य[/FONT][FONT=&quot]संबन्धिनि[/FONT][FONT=&quot]पूर्वभाग[/FONT][FONT=&quot]आहवनीयरूपेणावस्थितम्[/FONT]).

I find it is more a waste of time responding to your posts here which are mostly to suit your own pov which seems to be, to try to tell the readers that what sangom writes in the other thread is all wrong. I have therefore decided not to respond further to your posts in this thread.

I would request readers to go through the posts here and judge for themselves.
 
OP
OP
S

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste shrI Sangom and others.

When I seek to interpret the Vedas in order to 'familiarise' others with them, I must observe certain conventions, even if I don't support or am dead against them. These conventions include:

• The overwhelming Hindu view is that the Vedas are apauruSheya--divinely inspired. This idea might seem absurd to me, but still I should follow it.

Whatever be the controversial interpretations of certain verses in the texts, in every religion, the mUla-grantha--root scriptural text, is deemed apauruSheya, and I must respect the concept and tradition.

• The Vedic RShis are mantra-dRShTas--seers of the mantras, not mantra-kartas--authors of the mantras.

• The Vedas have been transmitted through a complicated, impeccable system of oral tradition, with no corruptions or interpolations (at least until the time they were reduced in writing). In case I find something to be corrupted (as with the case of agre to agne in RV 10.18.07), I should rely on the majority opinion of the scholars rather than on isolated Western opinions.

• Since pronunciation is the most important part of the veda mantras, and as they were transmitted through an enlightened guru-shiShya parampara, there is absolutely no scope in the system, for mispronouncing any word or phrase. The form of words might have grammatical changes and inflections from their roots, but the new forms are NOT mispronunciations.

• Since the brAhmaNa part of the Vedas deal with the procedure of Vedic rituals, the purport of the saMhitA part is not ritualistic expression but one with the three levels of interpretations.

• Just as the various streams of Hindu bhakti have their origin in the upaniShads which form the jnAna kANDa of the Vedas, the upaniShads themselves owe their origin to the saMhitA part of the Vedas.

• Last, but not the least, I should not intersperse my interpretations with personal opinions, judgments and speculations. I should take the cue from expositions such as the shrI vaiShNava expositions of our friend Prof.Nara, in this convention.

If I flout these conventions in my interpretations, my work is liable to be deemed as no better than the RAmAyaNa interpretations of the Dravadian leaders who could see only sensuality in the itihAsa.

*****

Now, with regard to Sangom's post no.13, readers may note that my main objection to the grammatical inflection of the La, LaH, Da, DaH sounds has NOT been to the grammar per se but to Sangom's reiterated contention that the La and LaH forms were mispronunciations in Veda chanting.

Let us recapitulate the following from the earlier posts of this thread (emphasis mine):

• In the very first post of his Rgveda exposition thread, Sangom said: Note: In RV the sounds of Da and Dha are replaced by the sounds La & Lha. Most probably the rigvEdic people had difficulty in correctly pronouncing the former set of sounds. Thus the word "eeLe" stands for the current Sanskrit "eeDe".

• In post no.4 of this thread, Sangom reiterated his above opinion:

But if people are prepared to believe my statement, what I read was that different 'groups' of people (since the words race, caste, tribe etc., may again bring forth objections) have difficulty in prononuncing certain letters or compounds; as an example, the manner in which some of the people of certain areas still say "istree" for "stree", "iskreen" (s^ kreen), "iskool" (s^kool) and some more such words from different populations were given in that book/web article.

The correct rule - which luckily I could since trace from "Introduction to Sanskrit, Part One " by Thomas Egenes - is as under:
"8. In vedic sanskrit, when Da, Dha have vowels on both sides, they may become La or L–ha."

This, again, seems to be a characteristic of the manner of speech which the Rgvedic people found easy and hence can be likened to the abovesaid "istree", "iskreen", "iskool", etc., examples;


This is what I have been objecting to all along: in my post no.2, I have given examples of the ILa forms in some RV mantras and in post no.10, I have given examples of the ILa/IDa forms occurring at the beginning and end of a mantra line (which do not conform to the above rule), and in both cases I have stated that these cannot be construed as mispronunciations.

Sangom has quoted SAyaNa's commentary on RV 01.01.001 where, in the phrase 'agnim ILe', the ILa sound occurs in the middle of a line, whereas the examples I have given in my post no.10 are those of the terms occurring at the extremities of a line. I would be happy to know if SAyaNa has any given any grammatical prescription on these verses too.

• When pronunciation of the mantras is important in Veda chanting, where is the scope for any mispronunciation?

• When Veda mantras have been transmitted from time immemorial by an elaborate system of checks and balances of the oral tradition, where is the scope for any mispronunciation?

• When Veda mantras have been transmitted from time immemorial by an oral tradition, through an illustrious guru-shiShya parampara, where is the scope for any mispronunciation?

• Evidently, Sangom is of the opinion that the Veda RShis are either ordinary people who were prone to mispronounce Vedic Sanskrit words and phrases, or reflected the popular prAkRta lingual habits in their mantras. Both these opinions are untenable, IMO, when one seeks traditional interpretation of the Vedas, since they flagrantly flout the conventions.

Most of us here are presumably traditional Hindus who dismiss the Western view that the Vedas evolved historically in a trial and error manner and are not more than poetic expressions of the sages who were primitive people worshipping natural forces as gods through elaborate rituals.

Therefore, IMHO, if anyone seeks to familiarize us through traditional interpretation of the Vedas, he must either stick to conventions or call his work a critique of the Veda text he seeks to interpret, lest we as layperson readers are given a wrong perception.

Sangom might "find it is more a waste of time responding" to my posts, but I would continue to express what I can, against what I feel as outside the conventions, when someone seeks to interpret the Vedas for us.
 

pviyer

New member
Sri Saidevo,
I have one comment to make on the approach to take while translating Vedas. One must give importance to the opinion of seers and saints, who have qualified themselves as not only as vedic scholars, learning tradition from the right people, but who have also experienced the power of mantras in part or in full.

Buddha and Mahavira probably did not write length interpretations nor rebuttals of vedas. They did not believe in the infallibility of vedas, and propounded their own doctrine or scriptures, which may have been influenced by vedic ideas, but they did not waste their own time and the time of the other disbelievers in writing ellaborating interpretations of vedas. Atleast this is a better attitude.

The strict followers of vedas knew clearly that these folks did not believe in vedas, and they stayed away from buddhists and jains. The good thing for followers of buddhism and jainism was they got a philosophy more based on the personal experience of their teacher than some inverted interpretations of vedas, which could not be personally experienced. It is because of such an approach that Buddhists and Jains ruled the intellectual sphere for atleast a thousand years. I am reminded of Sivandanda's words to the effect that little bit of practice is greater than thousands of theories.

It is my view that, other philosophical systems( including other nastika schools) and purely speculative schools of vedas suffered, until shankara rebuilt the belief in vedas based on spiritual experience.

It is therefore my view that people should look for the insight of people who have had spiritual experiences with vedas.
 
Last edited:

sangom

Well-known member
Sri Saidevo,
I have one more thing to add to your opinion on Vedas. One must give importance to the opinion of seers and saints, who have qualified themselves as not only as vedic scholars, learning tradition from the right people, but who have also experienced the power of mantras in part or in full.

Shri Iyer,

I do not know whether you have read my posts in the thread "Let us familiarise ourselves with Rigveda", as also the posts by Shri Saidevo in this thread and my responses thereto. Since you have given a certain opinion, I would like to clarify that I am following the commentary of sAyaNAcArya - brother of Vidyaranya swamin, who was the Sankaracharya of Sringeri and preceptor of Harihara and Bukka, founders of the Vijayanagara empire. Today, perhaps Sayana's commentary is the only one easily available to those who want; others older than that have to be accessed in research libraries only. May be Sayana was not a sage or rishi in traditional belief; but he was instrumental in writing commentaries on the vedas after a grand assembly of vedic scholars discussed and decided doubtful points. No rishi-made commentary is available today easily. (I doubt whether any rishi wrote commentary on vedas.)

If some people refuse to see spiritual value in vedas, the people should just concentrate on spreading some other philosophy or religion. Buddha and Mahavira probably did not indulge in all this doublespeak. They did not believe in the infallibility of vedas, and propounded their own doctrine or scriptures, which may have been influenced by vedic ideas, but they did not waste their own time and the time of the other disbelievers in writing ellaborating interpretations of vedas. Atleast this is a better attitude. The strict followers of vedas knew clearly that these folks did not believe in vedas, and they stayed away from buddhists and jains. The good thing for followers of buddhism and jainism was they got a philosophy more based on the personal experience of their teacher than some inverted interpretations of vedas, which could not be personally experienced.
This is your personal view and you are definitely entitled to hold it. I admit that I do not look at the vedas as apourusheya or as inerrant. But today we are living in the year 2011 of the Common Era, not in Buddha's or Mahavira's times. Additionally we have today in India what is one of the best democracies of the world. Unfortunately for people like you, Saidevo, etc., it is not a theocracy, ruled by people with opinions like yours and Shri Saidevo's. It affords freedom of opinion and speech to all, subject to certain limitations. But those limitations do not prevent commenting on or criticising the scriptures of Hinduism in a civilized language. Hence I feel I am very much within the boundaries of Indian law in giving my comments on the rigveda.

Whether I have an alternative philosophy, where and when - and, if at all - I should propagate it, etc., are purely my personal choices. So your suggestion in this regard is not IMO relevant here.

That way they were better off than the false teachers of vedas. All this is my personal opinion and view.
whether my comments on the rigveda are "false teaching" is for each reader to judge. Some of the members of this forum and its Super Moderator have found my comments to be acceptable to be kept in the archives of this forum. If anyone feels that these are "false teaching" he/she can easily stop reading it.

I hope the position is now clear to you.
 

Nara

Well-known member
.....Whatever be the controversial interpretations of certain verses in the texts, in every religion, the mUla-grantha--root scriptural text, is deemed apauruSheya, and I must respect the concept and tradition..
Dear Saidevo, this is not correct. Here, please note, "apauruSheya" does not mean not authored by humans, it means it is not authored by anyone, not even god. That is the whole point of "apauruSheya".

If the root-scriptural text is authored or inspired by god, as in the Abrahamic religions, then it would be paurusheya. In this case, we have a logical conundrum of circular logic when we try to establish whether god who authored the root-text is really god. For example, suppose that I write a root-text and in it I say I am god. Further suppose that I get enough followers to accept the text. Now, these followers, like the the followers of Abrahamic religions, would say Nara is god because the root-text says so, and the reason the root-text is believable is because Nara, the one and only true god wrote it. Nice ha :)?

The claim that Vedas are apaurushya is unique to Vedic Brahminism. By claiming it is not authored even by god -- the sounds are supposed to exist for ever -- Brahminism cleverly avoids the fallacy of circular logic. But, the claim that Vedas that talk of mundane battles and such was not authored by any sentient entity, not even god, is, IMO, no less preposterous, than the claims of Abrahamic religions that god wrote Bible.

Cheers!
 

pviyer

New member
Shri Iyer,

I do not know whether you have read my posts in the thread "Let us familiarise ourselves with Rigveda", as also the posts by Shri Saidevo in this thread and my responses thereto. Since you have given a certain opinion, I would like to clarify that I am following the commentary of sAyaNAcArya - brother of Vidyaranya swamin, who was the Sankaracharya of Sringeri and preceptor of Harihara and Bukka, founders of the Vijayanagara empire. Today, perhaps Sayana's commentary is the only one easily available to those who want; others older than that have to be accessed in research libraries only. May be Sayana was not a sage or rishi in traditional belief; but he was instrumental in writing commentaries on the vedas after a grand assembly of vedic scholars discussed and decided doubtful points. No rishi-made commentary is available today easily. (I doubt whether any rishi wrote commentary on vedas.)

This is your personal view and you are definitely entitled to hold it. I admit that I do not look at the vedas as apourusheya or as inerrant. But today we are living in the year 2011 of the Common Era, not in Buddha's or Mahavira's times. Additionally we have today in India what is one of the best democracies of the world. Unfortunately for people like you, Saidevo, etc., it is not a theocracy, ruled by people with opinions like yours and Shri Saidevo's. It affords freedom of opinion and speech to all, subject to certain limitations. But those limitations do not prevent commenting on or criticising the scriptures of Hinduism in a civilized language. Hence I feel I am very much within the boundaries of Indian law in giving my comments on the rigveda.

Whether I have an alternative philosophy, where and when - and, if at all - I should propagate it, etc., are purely my personal choices. So your suggestion in this regard is not IMO relevant here.

whether my comments on the rigveda are "false teaching" is for each reader to judge. Some of the members of this forum and its Super Moderator have found my comments to be acceptable to be kept in the archives of this forum. If anyone feels that these are "false teaching" he/she can easily stop reading it.

I hope the position is now clear to you.

Sri Sangom it is not my intention to hurt you. If you feel you should get on with the interpretations of vedas, please go ahead. I cannot necessarily agree with you, but if you have indeed followed sayanacharya's translation to the letter, then I am no one to critiscize your approach. I have modified my earlier post and I have removed any references to false teachers of vedas because I dont have the right to call anyone a false teacher of vedas if they have sincerely tried following the translation of sayanacharya.

Thank you for your clarification, and my apologies.
 

pviyer

New member
The claim that Vedas are apaurushya is unique to Vedic Brahminism. By claiming it is not authored even by god -- the sounds are supposed to exist for ever -- Brahminism cleverly avoids the fallacy of circular logic. But, the claim that Vedas that talk of mundane battles and such was not authored by any sentient entity, not even god, is, IMO, no less preposterous, than the claims of Abrahamic religions that god wrote Bible.
Sir, let us suspend the discussion on whether currently available vedas are apaurusheya or not.

First thing we need to find out is , is it possible that there can be something which has the some of the currently described attributes of vedas
1. Without authorship and beginning with the time of creation
2. Responsible for the creation of world and the events that follow

Now if you accept the principle that there is a first conscious principle responsible for creation of the world , then that first conscious principle should have had some knowledge because of which world was created. If you think that knowledge itself must have been created by this conscious principle, then there must have been something by which that elementary knowledge itself was produced. This is the concept of apaurusheya principle of vedas. It just existed along with the brahman. This may not be the current vedas we know but theoritically such an idea is not as irrational as it is being made out to be even though we dont currently have the proof.

Let me get further. Consciousness needed to think about something if it were to be the designer. If it needed to think then there must have been some language for that that thought. This cannot be proven but this is again not such an irrational idea as it is being made out to be. As long as you are deaf and dumb you dont know how your language sounds like. As long as there is no matter then the language does not seem to have qualities of vibrations either. The moment there is matter and the moment the language is expressed to someone who can interact with matter using these thoughts vibrations are produced. S

Sound as it is heard by humans no doubt cannot be heard in the same way if there were no air, if there were no ear, and if there were no nervous system, and if the nervous system were not wired the way it is currently wired. But the intrinsic ability of that wave is there, it is just waiting for interaction with something.

So we can see that there is nothing so irrational about the concept of something that existed since the beginning of universe. Nothing so very irrational about the existence of something which is knowledge responsible for creation of world and universe and nothing so irrational about the existence of something that has ability to cause vibrations and create sounds and may be create other things( not yet known to us).

Vedas contain references to history. This is the opinion of some scholars. Assume it is true. It is also the opinion of our puranas and saints that vedas are endless and what we know is a small fraction of it. Therefore there is nothing so weird that suddenly we come upon something which bears resemblance to real history and real events. There may be more serious things that are not known to us because the current vedas are incomplete.

None of what I said can be proven but it is not weird and irrational as it is being made out to be.
 

Nara

Well-known member
Sir, let us suspend the discussion on whether currently available vedas are apaurusheya or not.

Dear Shri pviyer, the intent behind my post was only to clarify what apaurusheya means, which is, "unauthored" even by god. I did make an editorial comment at the end, and your response is perhaps to that and the views expressed by Shri Sangom as well.

First, I must say that it is difficult to suspend what has been the central argument, namely, the vedas are apauresheya. However, I am willing to go along with your wish. Your present contention is, if I may summarize, if an ever-present creator-consciousness is accepted, then it is not outlandish to posit an ever-present knowledge that is uncreated and coexisted with creator-consciousness, without origin. Hope I have captured your main point.

Well, for one thing I don't concede that an ever-present creator-consciousness with premeditation to create jagat exists. There is no compelling evidence for such a supposition. (Aside - this would be completely contrary to advaitam as it argues there is only nirguna para-brhman which is pure consciousness, the presence of an independent knowledge different from nirguna para-brhman is untenable within advaitam. )

Even if we concede this point, just for the sake of argument, it does not make any sense that an omniscient god would need an independent knowledge source to go ahead with creation. Would he be handicapped if such a knowledge was not present? In as much as we are only speculating to see whether or not such a concept is irrational, I feel it is unreasonable or if I may say so, irrational, to speculate a god who needs an independent knowledge sources in order to go about with creation.

If we have to assume that god needed an independent source of knowledge to create jagat, then why not assume there is an independent ever present raw-material that exists with which god creates jagat -- the vishishtadvaitees argue that this is the case. Then we can postulate ever present tools and instruments that god would need to create jagat. If we are allowed one speculation without foundation, then we are allowed as many speculations as our fertile minds can conjure up, without foundation.

Further, why is this ever present knowledge revealed in sound waves that makes sense only in a language that came to be known as Vedic-Sanskrit, why not in Aramaic, Greek, or Sumerian?

Then, what was so special about the rishees dwelling in the land of seven rivers? Were there no wise people in any other part of the world? To me, it is irrational to claim only Indian rishees had this unique ability to tap into ethereal vibrations and extract the true knowledge. It seems even more irrational that they would then bury all this great knowledge within mountains of mundane recounting of battles, a tactic that gives a definite sense of paurusehya origin.

There are lot of things we as humans don't know and, as humans, may never know. But that does not give us the freedom to make up stuff out of plain cloth and then simply assert these are not irrational. I think, to avoid getting labeled as irrational, there must at least be some preliminary evidence in support of the speculations. I find the arguments presented in support of apauresheya of Vedas or some ever-present knowledge in the form of vibrations, completely without any basis and therefore, irrational -- sorry!!!

Cheers!
 

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Shri pviyer, the intent behind my post was only to clarify what apaurusheya means, which is, "unauthored" even by god. I did make an editorial comment at the end, and your response is perhaps to that and the views expressed by Shri Sangom as well.

First, I must say that it is difficult to suspend what has been the central argument, namely, the vedas are apauresheya. However, I am willing to go along with your wish. Your present contention is, if I may summarize, if an ever-present creator-consciousness is accepted, then it is not outlandish to posit an ever-present knowledge that is uncreated and coexisted with creator-consciousness, without origin. Hope I have captured your main point.

Well, for one thing I don't concede that an ever-present creator-consciousness with premeditation to create jagat exists. There is no compelling evidence for such a supposition. (Aside - this would be completely contrary to advaitam as it argues there is only nirguna para-brhman which is pure consciousness, the presence of an independent knowledge different from nirguna para-brhman is untenable within advaitam. )

Even if we concede this point, just for the sake of argument, it does not make any sense that an omniscient god would need an independent knowledge source to go ahead with creation. Would he be handicapped if such a knowledge was not present? In as much as we are only speculating to see whether or not such a concept is irrational, I feel it is unreasonable or if I may say so, irrational, to speculate a god who needs an independent knowledge sources in order to go about with creation.

If we have to assume that god needed an independent source of knowledge to create jagat, then why not assume there is an independent ever present raw-material that exists with which god creates jagat -- the vishishtadvaitees argue that this is the case. Then we can postulate ever present tools and instruments that god would need to create jagat. If we are allowed one speculation without foundation, then we are allowed as many speculations as our fertile minds can conjure up, without foundation.

Further, why is this ever present knowledge revealed in sound waves that makes sense only in a language that came to be known as Vedic-Sanskrit, why not in Aramaic, Greek, or Sumerian?

Then, what was so special about the rishees dwelling in the land of seven rivers? Were there no wise people in any other part of the world? To me, it is irrational to claim only Indian rishees had this unique ability to tap into ethereal vibrations and extract the true knowledge. It seems even more irrational that they would then bury all this great knowledge within mountains of mundane recounting of battles, a tactic that gives a definite sense of paurusehya origin.

There are lot of things we as humans don't know and, as humans, may never know. But that does not give us the freedom to make up stuff out of plain cloth and then simply assert these are not irrational. I think, to avoid getting labeled as irrational, there must at least be some preliminary evidence in support of the speculations. I find the arguments presented in support of apauresheya of Vedas or some ever-present knowledge in the form of vibrations, completely without any basis and therefore, irrational -- sorry!!!

Cheers!

Dear Shri Nara,

An excellent analysis. I am waiting for Shri Iyer's view on these points now.
 
OP
OP
S

saidevo

Well-known member
namaste everyone.

If the root-scriptural text is authored or inspired by god, as in the Abrahamic religions, then it would be paurusheya. In this case, we have a logical conundrum of circular logic when we try to establish whether god who authored the root-text is really god.

For example, suppose that I write a root-text and in it I say I am god. Further suppose that I get enough followers to accept the text. Now, these followers, like the the followers of Abrahamic religions, would say Nara is god because the root-text says so, and the reason the root-text is believable is because Nara, the one and only true god wrote it.

Nara, I am glad to note that you can think of yourself as a god!

• Surprisingly, our Hindu religion has both kinds of apauruSheya texts: one authored by God, and another not authored by him (because everything is only he). Even more surprising is that God in the text he has authored, has managed to avoid the circular logic conundrum.

• The Bhagavad gItA. Like the Vedas, it talks about a "mundane battle"; and as in the Abrahamic texts, shrI KRShNa here says he is the only God to whom everyone should surrender as otherwise there will be no mokSha for the person.

• The beauty of the GItA is that shrI KRShNa therein avoids the circular logic that would arise if he kept himself apart from his creation and the knowledge he dispenses through it. So he says:

रसोऽहमप्सु कौन्तेय प्रभास्मि शशिसूर्ययोः ।
प्रणवः सर्ववेदेषु शब्दः खे पौरुश्हं नृषु ॥ ७.८ ॥

raso&hamapsu kaunteya prabhAsmi shashisUryayoH |
praNavaH sarvavedeShu shabdaH khe paurushhaM nRuShu || 7.8 ||

7.8: O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, I am the effulgence of the moon and the sun; (the letter) Om in all the Vedas, the sound in space, and manhood in men.

• Thus, shrI KRShNa has given us a choice to consider even his own teaching as SmRti, as it owes its origin to the Vedas, which are the shruti that the Vedic RShis discovered.

Your present contention is, if I may summarize, if an ever-present creator-consciousness is accepted, then it is not outlandish to posit an ever-present knowledge that is uncreated and coexisted with creator-consciousness, without origin. Hope I have captured your main point.

Nara, shrI PV Iyer has NOT said in his post no.19 that the knowledge of the ever-present creator-consciousness is outside it. Instead, he said, "that knowledge itself must have been created by this conscious principle".

Your summation above would make immense sense if the word 'with' is replaced by 'within': "...if an ever-present creator-consciousness is accepted, then it is not outlandish to posit an ever-present knowledge that is uncreated and coexisted WITHIN creator-consciousness, without origin."

How can the knowledge be the same as the knower (which we are) or the creator (which is Brahman)?

• Of the two kinds of knowledge that beset the human mind, can we say that the worldly knowledge discovered by Physical Science is apart from the humans who discover it?

‣ Are the multitudinous ways of recording and dispensing it by Science, through the written words in books, the spoken sounds of a lecture or the pictures and charts and diagrams of an illustration, really apart from the humans involved?

• The knowledge dispensed by Science is known through physical aggrgations that make up the objective universe and the biological aggregations that make uf the subjective humans.

‣ Is it not a scientific fact that these two kinds of aggregations are only physical vibrations at their core?

‣ Should we not say then that the worldly knowledge known through Science is not outside but only within the humans who seek to know it, since the humans, the universe and the knowledge about them, all exist in a single, physical plane of energy vibrations?

What about the spiritual knowledge revealed by the trans-physical vibrations which make up Brahman?

As you said, "There are lot of things we as humans don't know and, as humans, may never know." But the human mind is not satisfied unless it has some big picture, even if it is only temporary, so the scientific and rational mind makes up the big picture of a Godless universe while the religious and spiritual mind makes up the big picture of God as the substratum of the universe and the universe as a manifestation of God.

• The irony is that both the scientific and the spiritual mind derive their pictures from the same source. The spiritual mind recognizes it as transcendental but the scientific mind is unconvinced about anything trans-physical. As Einstein said, "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

‣ It is no wonder then, that the ways of the scientist in his quest for knowledge, vis-a-vis those of a spiritual seeker seem stupidity to each other.

01. Further, why is this ever present knowledge revealed in sound waves that makes sense only in a language that came to be known as Vedic-Sanskrit, why not in Aramaic, Greek, or Sumerian?

Then, what was so special about the rishees dwelling in the land of seven rivers? Were there no wise people in any other part of the world? To me, it is irrational to claim only Indian rishees had this unique ability to tap into ethereal vibrations and extract the true knowledge.

02. It seems even more irrational that they would then bury all this great knowledge within mountains of mundane recounting of battles, a tactic that gives a definite sense of paurusehya origin.

Nara, if you extend your first question to cover all human minds and ask, "Why can't the true knowledge be extracted from the ethereal vibrations by every human mind" and try to find the answer, it is highly probabable that you would come with the answer in one word: complacency.

• The Vedic RShis relentlessly persisted in their search until they found the sat--existence, of the Absolute Knowledge, whereas the other wise minds stopped with complacency at their initial or mid-level findings.

• The Vedic RShis recorded their findings in their own language of Vedic Sanskrit, while the wise minds of other languages couldn't adequately reduce the Truth in their own languages because they were too complacent to find it in the first place.

Since I am not adequately familiar with the Vedas, I am not in a position to give my answer to your second question.
 
Last edited:

pviyer

New member
Well, for one thing I don't concede that an ever-present creator-consciousness with premeditation to create jagat exists. There is no compelling evidence for such a supposition.
You have come to the crux of the argument sir, is there a creative consciousness?
Well that is called nastika vadham. Even great intellectuals in India held that view. So your position in this matter deserves respect if you do indeed really believe this view to be true.

It is a separate topic and you may choose a new thread and how advaita addresses this topic, I think there may be a few insights coming up. I will like to only position that whether it was adi shankara, or ramanujacharya or madhavacharya , to many modern people their arguments may be dry intellectual logic. If that is indeed the case, there is not too much time one must spend on it. But all their experiences indicated the power of a higher creative consciousness beyond the mundane.

Who is that consciousness ,there is variance because of possibly different interpretations to the same experience and because of possibly use of intellect at some stage rather than plain anubhavam. This is just my position, further discussion requires a new thread.

Even if we concede this point, just for the sake of argument, it does not make any sense that an omniscient god would need an independent knowledge source to go ahead with creation. Would he be handicapped if such a knowledge was not present? In as much as we are only speculating to see whether or not such a concept is irrational, I feel it is unreasonable or if I may say so, irrational, to speculate a god who needs an independent knowledge sources in order to go about with creation.
Sir if people dont find it irrational that there is an independant consciousness before creation , the knowledge that goes hand in hand with consciousness should have existed.It may be subordinate to this consciousness or part of the very nature of this consciousness.

If you were a Sri Vaishnava( I believe by birth you are one ) it should be not difficult to accept this at all. I had seen some Sri Vaishanava saint explain using quotes within the vedas that vedas are apaurusheya or probably what they meant is that it was available from the start from the word creation.

From an advaitic point of view, the vedas are only as real as the saguna brahmana and his manifestation. To the followers of shankara vedas are as true, as the concept of vishnu/shiva, to which they pray and as important for moksham as Lord Vishnu/shiva himself. Now who is this saguna form of vishnu , how he along with his attributes got manifested , this is a separate discussion on the concept of advaita again. But the position is that if for a jiva there is potentiality to be covered by maya, then there must should be a knowledge which can destroy maya. Since maya existed at the time of creation , to advaitins also existence of vedas since beginning of creation does not sound implausible.

Further, why is this ever present knowledge revealed in sound waves that makes sense only in a language that came to be known as Vedic-Sanskrit, why not in Aramaic, Greek, or Sumerian?

Now you have come to the next point. It is not necessary nor is it essential that complete set of vedas should restrict itself to the currently known vocabulary of vedas. Languages have their origins but our belief is that all language and mode of speak and intonation in the world, all sounds of birds and animals, the root cause lies in the original thought process of the lord manifested as vedas.

Paramacharya has taken up the example of how intonations have developed in different parts of India. Entire human race was a single race at one time, and it is not inconceivable that they had a single language at some time. This single language might itself have been derivative of an earlier language and this might have been derivative of a still older language. That there can be a single original language is not weird.

To this date, Vedas remain not only the oldest preserved oral tradition , it is the only tradition to have lasted beyond 5000 years and no where else such careful preservation of the very sounds for such an oral tradition have been preserved.

If there were no such long standing oral tradition whose origin could not be exactly pin pointed, then we can very well ask you question, why should vedic sanskrit be given higher precedence over these other languages?. This argument no where means that the current vocabulary of vedic sanskrit is exhaustive. This is not a proof of the originality of vedic sanskrit but the very existence of such a tradition of vedas as in India is indicative of something deeper at work.

Then, what was so special about the rishees dwelling in the land of seven rivers? Were there no wise people in any other part of the world? To me, it is irrational to claim only Indian rishees had this unique ability to tap into ethereal vibrations and extract the true knowledge. It seems even more irrational that they would then bury all this great knowledge within mountains of mundane recounting of battles, a tactic that gives a definite sense of paurusehya origin.
Sir even egyptian mythology records that their entire knowledge and establishment owes to seven ancient sages. You can locate some resources on the net to guide you on this thought. Sir let us not accept the former statement I have just made. But is there a wisdom and oral tradition that is as early as vedas. The scriptures of zorastrians is quite old, some parsis even say 8000 years old. May be older, but this again has remarkable similarities to the vedic language.

It seems even more irrational that they would then bury all this great knowledge within mountains of mundane recounting of battles, a tactic that gives a definite sense of paurusehya origin.
I see where you are coming from , aurobindo and dayananda saraswati had a different take on the verses. May be these verses were revelations for the times the rishis lived in or may be may be they meant something else like what aurobindo felt. To me this is inconsequential because I rely on two things
1. Vibrations I experience
2. Experience of saints and sages
It is not necessary for you to hold on to such a view but thats where the real point I have been always been making that without the guide of a spiritual drashta it is pointless to study the vedas . If you think that spiritual guides are not needed for understanding vedas, you may as well throw them as meaningless heap of rubbish.

The reason I say this is that it is fairly evident that if we reject spirituality, that the vedas are meaningless starting from purushasooktam itself. One does not have to go so far as the battle section. Debunking purusha sooktam and rudram and other supposedly irrational statements in the commonly known sookthas are sufficient. They contain statements completely irrelevant to modern western inspired science . Consider this in purusha sooktam
"Chandrama manaso jathaha". Interpret this literally, it is meaningless.
Take this "Chakshu suryo ajayatha" Interpret this literally, it is meaningless.
"Atyathistat dashangulam". This is also meaningless if interpreted in modern vocabulary.

In fact by such literal interpretations there is no sooktha in the entire corpus of vedas which can be considered meaningful.

Translate the Gayatri, what does savitr have to do with intelligence. Now it may be argued that at the time of rishis this seemed meaningful. Is it? When does moon become synonmous with mind?

So for people who believe in literal translations of vedas one does not need to translate the thousand verses of vedas. I made a statement to this effect which Sri sangom took offense. My point is that literal translations make gayatri itself incompatible with science.

This also means that these verses of vedas which are meaningless when interpreted literally indicate that the rishis were just composing exaggerated poems. Such exaggerated poems are not good history either and even if they contain history, they are likely to be exaggerated.

Now comes the alternate view that there is more to the meaning of these verses than what is being literally translated. If something were to be divine, and if we use the vocabulary and terminology of the mundane people of languages with limitations , they are not capable of capturing the real truth. There is thus an alternate view that the meaning of words used in vedas can only be incompletely expressed in prakrita basha.

If that were to be true even literal translations of vedas cannot be literal at all. However for the sake of argument we take that it is possible to express the truths in vedas using vocabulary in our prakrita basha- english, hindi etc.

This is where the concept of hidden meaning comes, nobody tried to hide or encode something but because of the low state of mind of mundane people, words are there as they are , translations are incomplete.But then in that case we have only two alternatives
1. Reject most of the sookta part as meaningless
2. propose that there are hidden meanings which is actually a reference to the true meaning which is understood when mind become elevated to that level where it can understand a meaning.

Suppose a super mind x understood something and used a word to express it, then it is not essential that a person who heard it and listened to him understood the complete implications of that meaning. It is only possible to understand the full meaning if they share the same mental capacity.

You are free to take the first view that literal meanings(based on the ability to understand something in ordinary modern language) are sufficient and these literal meanings do not show evidence that vedas are a divine literature, but I have no choice but to admit the possibility of second view because
1. My mind has not evolved beyond a point where I cannot but express my thoughts in mundane language and I realize the limitations of my mind.
2. Because the vibrational experiences and the very tejas in people who have reached a high stage of vedas, indicates that these chants cannot just have a literal meaning( meaning as per modern 21 st century understanding of words) even if that may be an intended explanation as well.

You are free to conclude that vedas are not divine and that will definately and most certainly be the conclusion if you translate the vedas with your present state of mind. Because the meanings of the words are themselves restricted by the evolution of the mind.

There is another objection that no saint in modern times is so ideal, so perfect and so evolved, therefore there is no point in taking up their views on vedas. My objection is that this argument is like "either nothing or everything".

It is quite possible that many saints have understood only parts of the truth however small that part may be. We must seriously contemplate on their experiences, simultaneously taking up some spiritual practices ourselves or atleast methods to cleanse and quieten the mind. That way we are in a position to identify the good that is there in the views of the saints and we can be guided better in life.

Otherwise it is no big deal to recognize that whatever is in the vedas is plainly illogical to the mundane mind and that is the easiest conclusion one can make.
 

Nara

Well-known member
• Surprisingly, our Hindu religion has both kinds of apauruSheya texts: one authored by God, and another not authored by him (because everything is only he).
Saidevo, there is only one kind of apaurusheya. By definition, offered by Vaideekas, a text authored by even god is paurusheya only. This is not a my POV. It is what the Vaideekas say. They say the Vedas are apaurusheya because it is un-authored, and Srimat BG is paurusheya because it is authored by Lord Sri Kriahna, please check with a Vaideeka scholar.

If you want my view, then, here it is -- Vedas are no more than poetry, sung by inspired Aryan bards, compiled by somebody who came to be known as Veda Vyasa. Srimat BG is something that was written by an unknown but influential Brahmin, and inserted into MB.

• The irony is that both the scientific and the spiritual mind derive their pictures from the same source. The spiritual mind recognizes it as transcendental but the scientific mind is unconvinced about anything trans-physical.
Saidevo, what I find ironical is the religious zeal of the people of faith to somehow equate their vision, which I think is mere delusion, to science. I feel this comes form an inferiority complex that drives them to desperately seek the same validity as science. No scientist would ever try to compare his/her theory to religious dogma, but the religiously minded never miss an opportunity to claim scientific validity.

• The Vedic RShis relentlessly persisted in their search until they found the sat--existence, of the Absolute Knowledge, whereas the other wise minds stopped with complacency at their initial or mid-level findings.
Well, that is very convenient :). A more rational and believable explanation is, what the Vedic rishees wrote are just their musings.


Cheers!
 

Nara

Well-known member
....Sir if people dont find it irrational that there is an independant consciousness before creation , the knowledge that goes hand in hand with consciousness should have existed.It may be subordinate to this consciousness or part of the very nature of this consciousness.
pviyer sir, that is a big IF isn't? Still, I don't know why one should logically follow the other. I suppose if one is permitted one irrational thought -- the existence of consciousness with intent to create jagat -- then there is no harm in another irrational thought -- that this consciousness needs a source of knowledge -- within it or without, dependent or independent -- to create jagat.

If you were a Sri Vaishnava( I believe by birth you are one ) it should be not difficult to accept this at all.
If I am one now, then what you say is correct, but I am not. Yes, SVs do take aupaurusheya as axiomatic truth. Their entire doctrine depends on this. Parasara Bhattar, the acharya who came right after Bhagavat Ramanuja, skip one, has written a beautiful poem describing an imagined exchange between a Jiva and Namperumal -- utsavar of Sri Rangam -- wherein the Jiva challenges Namperumal that he is independent of him. In his counter argument, Namperumal tries to establish himself as god by pointing to the independent authority of the Vedas. But all this is religious doctrine/dogma.

From an advaitic point of view,
Again sir, this is just religious dogma. My point was not that the religious people do not think of Vedas as apauresheya, they do. My point is, such claims cannot be accepted as not irrational.

I am unable to follow your explanation as to why the wise of other cultures never tapped into these vibration and extracted the ever present vedic truths in their own language. While the vedic rishees seem to have extracted quite a collection, which you say may be just a fraction of what is really out there, it makes even less sense that the other cultures did not extract anything at all that is considered apauresheya. When all these are taken into account, the only rational conclusion one can come up with is, somewhere down the line there was a clever Brahmin who realized the fallacy of circular logic and "fixed" it with a convenient assertion of apauresheya.

Sir even egyptian mythology records that their entire knowledge and establishment owes to seven ancient sages.
I am not sure what the purport of this is.

If something were to be divine, and if we use the vocabulary and terminology of the mundane people of languages with limitations , they are not capable of capturing the real truth. There is thus an alternate view that the meaning of words used in vedas can only be incompletely expressed in prakrita basha.
Again, all these seem like attempts at rationalizing an a priori belief than a true open mind that will let chips fall where they may. Please correct me if I am wrong, your argument sounds like the following to me -- the plausibility of apaurushaness can only be experienced and cannot be expressed. If I have understood you correctly, then that ends the discussion right there. There cannot be any further debate.

pviyer sir, I cannot accept any argument that appeals to religious dogma as valid. Therefore, it is very unlikely that you can convince me. You, on the other hand, are convinced of supernatural "truths". I can't disabuse you of this, you have to do it yourself. I hope I have given something to think over.

Cheers!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top
Thank you for visiting TamilBrahmins.com

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.

We depend on advertising to keep our content free for you. Please consider whitelisting us in your ad blocker so that we can continue to provide the content you have come here to enjoy.

Alternatively, consider upgrading your account to enjoy an ad-free experience along with numerous other benefits. To upgrade your account, please visit the account upgrades page

You can also donate financially if you can. Please Click Here on how you can do that.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks