Sri M Raghavan writes:-
"The word "Astika" literally means one who follows Vedas."
According to M Monier-Williams' "A Sanskrit English Dictionary", aastika (derived from "aasthi" --there is or exists) refers to one who believes in the existence (of God, of another world, etc). In common parlance, the word is taken to mean a practising Brahmin.
Sri Zebra16 writes:-
"Astikas are supposed to believe in just two things :
(a) Supremacy of Vedas
(b) Birth after death.
"The concept of Iswara or nireeswara does not enter into the picture at all."
Am a bit puzzled.
May I please know what is the basis of this supposition? Perhaps some known guru like Vasishta or Vishvaamithra or Bhaaradvaaja said so? Or some Upanishad-type sacred scripture we know? Or even the Vedas themselves in their Samhithas, their Braahmans, their Aaranyakas?
In Vaalmeeki's Raamaayanam, sage Vishvaamithra wakes Sree Raama by reminding him of his religious duties such as contemplation of the deities and performance of daily duties such as sandhyaa-vandanam -- Valmeeki Raamaayanam Baala-kandam, thrayovimsha sargam (Canto XXIII):-
कौसल्या सुप्रजा राम पूर्वा संध्या प्रवर्ततॆ,
उत्तिष्ट नरशार्दूल कर्तव्यम् दैवमाह्निकम्
"Kausalyaa suprajaa Raama poorvaa sandhyaa pravartate
uttishta narasaardula kartavyam daivamaahnikam"
Sree Raama certainly was a faithful and dutiful Kshathriya aastika. In addition to accepting the authority of the Vedas, he certainly accepted the existence of Ishvara as represented by the Vedic deity Savitr.
He also adored Lord Shiva-Rudran by establishing the jyothir-lingam Raamanaatha-svaami at Ramesvaram at the southern tip of the Indian Peninsula and performng expiatory rites for having killed Brahmanaas such as Raavana, Kumbha-karna, and Raavana's sons in battle.
We all know that in Bhagavath-Geetha, Lord Sree Krishna Paramaathma urged everyone to reject utterly all other creeds and to surrender to Him alone. He will thereupon grant dispensation from all sins and reward them with moksham. Do not fear -- Chapter 18, slokam 66.
Aasthikas who accept this exhortation thereby also accept the Paramaathma as their Ishvara, their Ishta Devatha.
Can we therefore modify Sri Zebra16's definition of aasthikas by saying that they adore a personal God, i.e. an Ishta Devatha, or an ancestral deity, i.e. a Kula Devatha, that they accept the paramountcy of the Vedas, and that they also accept the cycle of death-followed by-birth-followed by death?
S Narayanaswamy Iyer
In olden days, only brahmins were educated. ...........
After all everybody is fooling the poor gullible tamil illeterate people. Actually these people only suppressed these other community people to derive political benefits out of that and still they are doing the same and the tamil people are succumbing to their tacit activities.
Lord only can save these people.
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