Dear Mr Narayanaswami :Thank you a-TB for your latest post and seeking further views of mine on those.
I shall respond as follows:
First, on Sayana: He studied Vedas under Sringeri Mutt Pontiffs, he was Prime Minister of Vijayanagara Empire and he used over 100s of scholars of Sanskrit and Veda and translated the meanings of all Veda Mantras into Sanskrit word meanings but used ONLY external or direct word meanings. Because over 100 scholars were in his team, the same word appearing in different Veda mantras are given different word meanings (by different scholars) so there is no unfiorm meaning for the same word of the Veda mantra across all Veda Mantras. I do not know whether he used Puranic stories to explain the Veda Mantras or not. It hardly matters – irrespective of whether Sayana used Puranic meanings or not, his translations do not help us understand the spirituality or wisdom in the Vedas because all our scriptural texts including Veda Samhitas and Upanishads require ‘spiritual or adhyathmic’ meanings for us to understand these texts correctly. All Sankara Mutts, Kanchi, Sringeri and others and all Veda Patashalas under the Mutts teaching Veda to students of the patashalas (and our future priests doing all Veda functions for all of us) hold Sayana and his work as the authority. And all our elites and progressives abandon the study of the Vedas as ritualistic and devoid of wisdom. Hence my efforts to highlight SA and RLK and their ‘spiritual meanings’ with an easier to understand book written by me.
Next on Madhvacharya: While you point out examples of his Kena Upanishad verse explanations and other cases to express your disagreements, I take a slightly different view with many of his pronouncements that run counter to my understandings. And that is to respect the ‘greatness’ of Madhvacharya and his vedic contributions & conclude that maybe I have not risen to his level of Vedic understanding and leave it at that. For example, Madhvacharya stated that there are 3 meanings to Veda Mantras: (i) the adhi-bhouthic or external/direct word meanings (ii) the adhi-daivic or related to the Gods and (iii) the ahdythmic or spiritual. In his Rig Bhashyam, where he has translated the first 40 suktas of Rig Veda, he has mainly used the adhi-daivic meanings, related to the Gods. Thus, the ‘tat ekam’ is referred by him as Maha Vishnu. Only in select places he has given the ahdythmic meanings. In that sense, he may still be justified to connect Veda Mantras explained with ‘adhi-daivic’ meanings (pertaining to the devas or Gods, the 2nd of his 3 meanings). Since the Gods in his time, the 13th century CE were Puranic Gods, the “adhi-daivic meanings” of the Rig Veda Mantras of first 40 suktas only (out of 1028 suktas in Rig veda). And the word, Vishnu, (“veveshti vyapnothi vishwam yah vishnuh”) – because he pervades over everything, inside and out, he is called Vishnu. Only at select places, Madhvacharya has given the adhyathmic or spiritual meanings. I have NOT used Madhvacharya’s Rig Bhashya or any of his translations including his “adhi-daivic” or whatever “adhyathmic” of his first 40 suktas. I have only quoted his conlusion of 3 meanings present for all Veda mantras including adhyathmic as being made as earky as 13th century CE which gave added justification of Sri Aurobindo’s justification of existence of such meanings by “direct vision” at first and later by study if the Veda mantras.
In my book and these posts, I have only used Sri Aurobindo’s works and Prof. R. L. Kashyap’s 26-vol translations of all Veda mantras, all using ‘adhyathmic and spiritual meanings’ exclusively for all Veda mantras (without the other 2 meanings stated by Madhvacharya). In that sense, even if I accept all objections raised by you about Madhvacharya & Sayana, no harm is done or no change is needed in the contents of my book or these postings because neither Madhvacharya’s nor Sayana’s meanings of Veda Mantras are used by SA, RLK or TVKS or me. I am convinced that SA, TVKS and RLK works are excellent way to introduce to all Sanatana Dharma followers the spirituality and wisdom of the Veda Samhitas. Since their works may appear as advanced and difficult to follow for many Sanatana Dharma followers who have not studied the Vedas, my book written in an easy readable style and providing overview of all scriptural texts that came out of the Vedas from its antiquated origin of 6000 BCE or earlier to the present days of 2020 CE (which are not covered in SA or RLK works), in my opinion, may provide a good textbook on the Vedas.
Hope these explanations answer your points and helpful.
Thank you for your detailed response. I can readily see from your response that you are an erudite scholar. Upon digging further it is nice to know your scientific training and background.
Literal translations, European's views affecting the translations and commentaries, etc have given a bad name to Vedas in general.
While I am no expert , on digging a bit further the three fold views (Adhyatmic, Adhi-Bouthika, ADhi-Daivika) I got the sense that they have to present the same truth from different perspectives. They cannot be wildly off and contradict each other. There may be two views of a coin from both sides, but it is still the same coin. Same must hold true for three views of truth.
My friend tells me that Sri Sankara in his teaching maintained that consistency,
An attempt by a scientist such as you to clear such confusion is very useful to dispel the myths. I plan to get your book and thereby get a sense of what the Adhyatimic teaching is in the Vedas. Thank you