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Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 08-18-2005

Rare to find Indian bhakti-writing in English language. Following is a poem written by Sri Aurobindo in 1939, attempting to describe the feeling in the moment of union. Its very powerful.

<b>KRISHNA</b>

At last I find a meaning of soul's birth
Into this universe terrible and sweet,
I who have felt the hungry heart of earth
Aspiring beyond heaven to Krishna's feet.

I have seen the beauty of immortal eyes,
And heard the passion of the Lover's flute,
And known a deathless ecstasy's surprise
And sorrow in my heart for ever mute.

Nearer and nearer now the music draws,
Life shudders with a strange felicity;
All Nature is a wide enamoured pause
Hoping her Lord to touch, to clasp, to be.

For this one moment lived the ages past;
The world now throbs fulfilled in me at last.
--------------------------------------------------
[Note: Sri Aurobindo rejected the kevala-'advaita' doctrine]


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 08-20-2005

Heads up!

This thread will be merged with "Santana Dharma..." II bin - the Experience.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 10-29-2005

<b>NARADA</b> (Bhakthi in charge)


All yogas aim at the purity of mind, the sole condition of knowing God. the three functions of the mind-- intellect, emotion and will--have to be purified of the dirt of ego. And the three yogas aim at achieving this. Jnana yoga purifies the intellect. <b>Bhakti yoga the emotion</b>, and the karma yoga the will; and a man is free to adopt anyone among the three paths in preference to the others. But the seeker would do well to attempt a synthesis of all the three paths, as it would be very helpful to achieve the aim more speedily.

<b>Bhakti was not a late appearance in Hindu religion.</b> Intense Bhakti or personal devotion, to the world-mother (Shakti), or world-father ( Narayana, or Mahadeva-Siva,) characterises all agama schools. The root of this attitude of Bhakti to a supreme Being, can be traced to , that spirit if Vedic Rishis, which made them praise as the highest, whatever God- High or Low, they happened to invoke at any time-- the spirit Max Muller labelled as Henotheism. the development of the agama schools, gave a great impetus to Bhakti movement, by concentrating the attention on one Deva, and this resulted in an extreme development of Bhakti, a devotion that expressed itself in an absorbing love, a complete self-surrender, sometimes going to the limit of singing and dancing. and this movement gave a great stimulus to art, temple-architecture, lyrical devotional literature; and poetry in Sanskrit and local spoken languages.

Let us see all references to the Great Narada, who commented (Vyaakhyamaha) on the Sastra of Bhakthi, which is prema towards the Para or Parama, in any inspiring form or otherwise, and in any pure and sincere manner, which gives pure satsfactory religious experince and contentment, which is pure, unselfish, positive, constructive,creative , and is available and possible of experience to one and all.

The earliest reference is in Rigveda VIII 13. wherein the devotional attitude is explicit. Also, jointly with his nephew rishi Parvatha in IX 104 &105. And he is associated with Sama Veda as Udgitr among Ritviks, in some Yagnas.

Besides several philosophical and mystical disquisitions like the Anusmrithi in Santhi Parva of Maha Bharata, Narada Bhakthi Sutra, Narada Smriti, Naradiya Siksha, Naradiya Parivrajakopanishad, Naradiya Purana, Naradiya Paancharaatra, Sangita Makaranda, etc.

Puranas refer to him as a wandering, heavenly melodist, singing the praise of lord Narayana, on the Lute Mahathi, he invented. Austerities and his contact with rishi Sanathkumara, equipped him with divine wisdom. Narada admits to Sanatkumara, that his vast erudition in the Vedas, its auxilieries, and secular sciences like mathematics, physics, medicine, chronology, polity, archery, logic and the rest could not remove the burden of sorrow. Sanathkumara gracefully,illumines Narada about the Infinite Bliss, Bhuma. (Chan Up. VII. 1.2.) He performed austerities and tapas, , by the side of a Himalayan lake, for a long period, and attained the vision of Savitri and of lord Vishnu, thereafter.

He is one of the ten spiritual sons of Brahma. and regarded as one of the 21 (3 rd) Avatharas.

It was through his inspiration that the Adi Kavi Valmiki commenced composing Ramayana. And Vyasa achieved self-fulfilment, through composition of Bhagavatha.

Puranas picturise him as a lively, and apparently at ease with all, but always under full self control, and only Loka-Kalyanam at heart. He is a divine messenger, the friend and philosopher and consoler of one and all -( Gods, men and Rakshasas ) , the intermediary between God and His creation.

The meaning derived for his nameis; one who gives knowledge of issues relating to God. (sabda kalpadruma). Another is that of a fomentor of quarrels. Kalahapriya. (Harivamsa). The latter looks a bit undegnified. But it was his special strategy aimed at the good and real welfare of all, as well as Dharma, effortlessly and in shortest possible time, with full knowledge of the nature and inclinations of the most of all species; -- men, gods, and rakshasas.

With Hiranyakasipu, away at tapas; when devas were oppressing asura women, narada took the wife of Hiranyakasipu who was pregnant with future Prahlada, into his care, and made Prahlada what he became later on.

Narada was said to have been cursed by Daksha Prajapathi, to be ever itenerant,without any abode. Thus he wandered all over ther worlds, with songs of praise of the Lord Narayan on his Vina. Dazzling with spiritual spleandour, bereft of all sin, and immersed in austerities from time to time, Narada wandered all over the worlds. ( M. Bharata XII. 213 to 215)

Bhishma tells Yudhishtira, the greatness aand sterling qualities of Narada, as heard by him from Sri Krishna. --- Absence of pride of possessing high character, possessing spiritual dignity, glory, intellectual penetration, tact, humility, noble birth,observing austerities, heroism; possessing true self (atma)-knowledge, forbearance, tranquility, sense-control, straight forwardness, truthfulness in speech, firm love in god, undeluded mind---. He observes the diverse behaviour of men, without despising anyone, and is a master of reconciling with others. Not attached to anyone, he is found deeply interested in all. He has no dislike for other beliefs and practices of worship of God; but lives according to his own. He never wastes his time and remains a master of himself under all conditions and circumstances. Ever modest and with humility, he is always open toinstruction from others, if it helps to add to his perfection. He never divulges the secrets of others. He is not affected in either way, if he obtains or does not, the objects of desire.

The Bhakti Sutras of Narada, is far from being an intellectually spun out system of thought. But a simple record of spiritual experience,and a course of conduct to aid the spiritual realisation of the most exalted type. No attempt is made to refute or criticise, views and experiences which he does not endorse. The aspirant reading the sutras is left to make his own free choice, from the methods and realisations described in the Sutras. Narada is typical jnanin, yogin, and Bhakta, in one. <b>However he prefers to deal with Bhakti as being the easiest and the most efficient of all paths, available for all ; irrespective of caste, creed or sex. In their full maturity, Bhakti, jnana and karma merge into one another; but in the early stages, they appear to be different methods of approach to the one unity of spiritual experience.</b>


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Hauma Hamiddha - 10-30-2005

The Shunga coins: The late Maurya and Shunga period has the square coins of the Ujjain series bearing the image of kumAra. They constructed several idols of kumAra in Mathura (175-50 BC).

The Kushanas: The kumAra coins, especially Huvishka's with the legends: skanda kumAra vishAkha or skanda kumAra mahAsena vishAkha. Constructed ShaShThi and kumAra temples in Mathura (0-100 AD).

The yaudheya republic of Punjab/Haryana was administered by its leaders in the name of brAhmaNya deva, kArttikeya. There are many yaudheya coins with 6 headed kumAra, kumAra and ShaShThi and one headed kumAra (100-330).

ikShvAkus of Andhra: several kings named after kArttikeya namely skandashrI, skandasAgara and skanda-vishAkha. One queen is named ShaShThishrI. Associated with the the ikShvAkus were governors who were also kumAra worshippers. These included: skanda-shItakiraNa of teh hiraNyaka clan, skandagopa of the puShyaskandIya family, senapati kumAra the commander of the army stationed at maNgalAraNaya. Their inscriptions states that they were devotees of mahAsena and were able to build a temple to sharva due to the grace of kArttikeya (270-330 AD).

Gupta empire: kumAra and ShaShThi are shown in several gupta coins. Multiple gupta kings are named kumAragupta (after kumAra) and one skandagupta (skanda), both the first kumAragupta and skandagupta were great heroes of the Hindus, who protected India from the Huns. There is a at least one cave temple of the guptas which contains a giant image of kArttikeya (320-550 AD).

Pallavas: The names of several pallava kings bear the epithets of kumAra. Their early major king was skandavarman the performer of many vedic sacrifices, including the horse sacrifice. His grandson was named skandashishya who expanded the Pallava domain. Following him there are many rulers with names like skandavarman and kumAra-viShNu (275-550 AD).

Kadambas: This brahminical dynasty arose after an arrogant Pallava horseman insulted the brahmin scholar mayUrasharman studying at the university in Kanchi. He took to war against the pallavas and founded his own kingdom in Maharashtra, Andhra and TN. They took their name after the holy tree of kumAra and his female gana lohitAyani-the kadamba plant. Another king of this line had the name kumAravarman (345-565 AD).

Chalukyas: The plates of the chAlukyas chartered by kIrtivarman indicate that kumAra was their patron deity and is said to have provided them with the boon of founding a long-lived dynasty (Mid-500 AD). There are some Chalukya gold coins with kumAra icons known from 600s minted by the king vikramAditya son of pulakeshin II and the famous kumAra temples of Bezwada, Humkarashankari and Chebrole built by Yuddhamalla and other chAlukyas.

After this period kumAra suddenly goes out of vogue, especially in north India, and also over the large part of south India, except for the folk cult in the Dravida country. The early kaumara tantra's development corresponds to the period when there were several royal patrons of kumAra worship. These tantras were largely forgetten and lost there after. The revival of the technical kaumara srotas in South India occurred circa 900-1000 ACE when the kaumAra tantrics from Bengal arrived in Bellary and established the kumAra tapovanas for the worship of the 6-headed deva.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Hauma Hamiddha - 11-22-2005

In bR^ihatsamhita 60.19 varAhamihira states that sUrya should be worshipped by installing idols of his and they should be worshipped by specialized priests called magAchAryas. This is corroborated by the bhavishya purANa chapter 139 that narrates the following tale (a critical reconstruction of it):
<b><i>
kR^ishNa, the hero of the yadus married jAMbavati, the daughter of the bear-king jAmbavAn. Their son was the valiant sAmba. He went to the banks of the river chandrabhAga and constructed temple in the honor of sUrya. No local brAhmaNa knew of the mysteries of his worship and hence could not take up priesthood at the temple. So sAMba sought help of gauramukha, the adviser of the yadu chief, ugrasena. gauramukha asked him to go to shakadvipa and obtain a special class of priests called magAchAryas to worship sUrya. saMba said:" pray, tell me Oh brAhmaNa what are the antecedents of these worshippers of the sun. gauramukha narrated: "The first of the brahmins amidst the shakhas was called sujihva. He founded a gotra termed the mihira gotra. He had a daughter of the name nikShubhA. sUrya was enamoured by her and impregnated her. Thus she gave birth to jarashabda who was the founding father of all the magachAryas. They are distinguished by the sacred girdle called the avyanga that they wear around their waist". saMba there upon called on kR^ishNa to send him garuDa and flying on his back he landed in shaka dvIpa. He collected the magAchAryas, brought them back to bhArata and installed them as priests of his sUrya temple.</i></b>

The Idol of sUrya should be cosntructed thusly: He should have a human form with a solar corona placed behind him. He should be on a chariot with the horses standing for the seven solar rays. He should hold a discus and trident in two arms, and lotuses in the other two. His feet should be covered by boots upto the knees. His waist should bear the avyanga.

This temple on the chandrabhaga was situated in what is now the terrorist state of Pakistan and was demolished by Awrangzeb (may piss be upon him)in the 1600s.

There is considerable epigraphic evidence for the prevalance of the saura sect in India and definitely the cult was very popular at the time shankara bhagavatpAda formalized the six sects of sectarian Hinduism [shaiva, shakta, vaiShNava, gANapatya, kaumAra, saura]. The earliest pieces of evidence clearly support the Iranian connection. The coins of the kushaNas have an image of sUrya with the inscription miiro. The GovindpUr inscription from the 1130s speaks of the magas as being brought to the land by sAmba and 6 great poets who were magAcharyas are mentioned. Mihira Kula, the Hephalite ruler sponsored the construction of another sUrya temple in Gwalior. This suggests that the Iranian influences on the saura sect were continous and over a long period of time. In Rajasthan and Northern Gujarat there were a number of sUrya temples including the well known one at moDherA. These contain idols of suryA with the boots up to the knees clearly implying the Iranian connection. Most of these temples were destroyed in the fine vandalistic traditions of the zealots of Allah. Priests with the sirname maga are seen around the sun-temple in Osian in Rajasthan suggesting that it was probably a famous center of the Iranian sun cults. So it is clear that original home of the magas was indeed in the west and following the devastations of the al-Qaramitah and the Ghaznavids their remnants fled to the east and are now found there. Today the remnants of the magachAryas are the shakadvipI brAhmaNas who are still present in Uttar Pradesh. While they are not accorded the same status as the Arya brAhmaNas, they still observe basic brahminical rites, such upanayanaM and shaucha rules.

Analysis of the names of the queens of the Karkota dynasty of Kashmir shows that there were Iranians amidst them. They seem to have reinforced the saura cult in kAshmIr as evidenced by the mArtANDa temple in kashmir and a kashmirian idol of lalitAditya's time with the classic Iranian dress.

However, it should be noted that the Sun cult also existed in Southern India. In Thanjavur there is the Suryanar temple with absolutely no Iranian influence in the iconography. This suggests that while the idea itself spread widely across India, the priest did not physically move into these regions. I have heard that the sUrya temple in a hill temple complex built in Pune by the Peshwas was also consecrated by maga priests as late as 1750AD however, it is iconographically intermediate between the northern and southern forms. Finally, the sauras also tried to provide a "vedic tinge" for the sect via the composition of the sUryopaniShat and the appropriation of the savitA gAyatrI.

The visible imprints of the saura mata that persist today are: 1) The highly popular Aditya hR^idayaM, which is attributed to agastya and has been inserted into the yuddha kANDa of the rAmAyaNa. This hymn appears to be an early composition of the saura school. 2) The second great saura contribution is the sUrya namaskAra vidhi which is a yogic/tantric practice derived from the saura tantras.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Mitra - 12-04-2005

Guys,
Do you know any site where I can listen to or download Kavi Jayadev Bhatta's Geetgovinda?


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 12-15-2005

I dont know whether other parts of India worship Meldi Maa. But in Guj she is very popular. Not many websites around, here are a couple.

http://www.meldipuja.com/
http://www.mameldi.com/


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 12-15-2005

ok this is a post i made somewhere else - lets see what the reactions to it are by members of IF

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

there are 2 kinds of religions/religious systems, or an approximation and/or combination of them.


formula types and bell curve types.


hinduism falls in the later half. as does asatru, mithraism, hellenic religion, and all religions that are described by the derogatory word "pagan".



the difference is that formula religions are religions right of the bat, and over time begin to resemble a way of life. they prescribe a "path" or formula or "code" for all its followers to follow. this path is more often than not "delivered" by a prophet, whose sayings are recorded in a book, again often with additional inputs from others. the followers of such religions are the people of the book.


the bell curve religions are on the other hand, firstly a way of life, which over time, as the curve crystallises, begins to resemble a religion. in between there may be a few books written which sort of "takes a snapshot" of the curve. for example the vedas (actual pronounciation = "Ved"). this book then becomes a book of the people. bell curve/way of life religions are in most cases "area specific" ie,. the way a people living in a certain geographical area live their life is different from a different kind of geographical area.



now thing is, in the formula religions, tenets, doctrines, dos and donts are prescribed. in the way of life religions, ideally speaking, there should not be any tenets. but all people have 2 things in their characters - a desire to live life as they want and also a desire to "connect" to others, so that they are not considered odditities. so, due to the first desire, the formula religions have a "spread" or deviation from the formula, since some follow the tenets to the word, some do more than needed, some do less. and due to the second desire, the people who define the "way of life religions" (in the way of life religions its always the people who define the religion... where as in the formula religions, its the religion/"book" that defines the way the people should live) tend to try and "follow" the existing practices though they are perfectly free to do their own thing.



hinduism is a double bell curve religion.



first there was the way of life of the hindus. their beliefs, practices, rites, rituals, fears, expectations etc.

the bell curve of all that was recorded in a book called the vedas. the Vedas are the snapshot of the beliefs and the way of life of hindus at the time it was recorded (vedas were recorded over a long time.. thats a different thing i'll come to later).

now comes the interesting part in hinduism. the writers of the vedas could easily have put their foot down and concocted a "formula" or prescription from the vedas and asked every one to live like that. but instead they merely noted everything down and gave advice (the "Upanishads", which is the last chapter of every veda) to the next generations. the people are free to interpret the advice in any way, or ignore them or pick and choose from amongst it or follow it to the word.


which of course gave rise to the 2nd bell curve. so hinduism as we see it today, is the spectrum/bell curve, of the many possible interpretations, of the snapshot (ie. vedas) of the bell curve (formed from the way of life of the hindus) at the time period over which the vedas were written.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Sunder - 12-15-2005

You begin your post mentioning the two categories of belief systems. They are - as you call it- the formula types and bell curve types. I usually classify them as Semitic and Dharmic. The reason I mention this classification is that I will be using them interchangeably in this post. (i.e. formula = Semitic, and bell = Dharmic.)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->formula religions are religions right of the bat, and over time begin to resemble a way of life. they prescribe a "path" or formula or "code" for all its followers to follow. this path is more often than not "delivered" by a prophet, whose sayings are recorded in a book, again often with additional inputs from others. the followers of such religions are the people of the book.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Both the Semitic and Dharmic religions prescribe rules and regulations. The Manu Smrithi and other Smrithis lay down a PATH, or a way of life to be followed. Nitya Karma (day to day duties) as well as "kamya-karma" (optional category) are prescribed. While Kamya-Karma is optional, Nitya-Karma is mandatory. Like Sandhya Vandanam, Agnihotram, Aupasanam etc. Thus, laying down of rules, and 'way of life' is not the proprietary property of Semitic sects. In this case, The Great Manu is the "Law Giver" (even though He is more than that.) equivalent to the Prophet who gives the Laws.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->the bell curve religions are on the other hand, firstly a way of life, which over time, as the curve crystallises, begins to resemble a religion. in between there may be a few books written which sort of "takes a snapshot" of the curve. for example the vedas (actual pronounciation = "Ved"). this book then becomes a book of the people. bell curve/way of life religions are in most cases "area specific" ie,. the way a people living in a certain geographical area live their life is different from a different kind of geographical area.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

While the idea is noble, I would like to say that in case of the Dharmic Religion, atleast for Sanathana Dharma, the "Religion" existed well befor the 'bell curve crystallized'. Thus the semblance of a Religion befits Semitic sects rather than the Dharmic fold. Secondly, Vedas (pronunciation "Vedaa:") is not a snapshot at a point in time (even if it was 10,000 years ago.) But Vedas are a reflection of Truth that is Eternal. A snapshot is stagnant and is timebound. Vedas are definitely not stagnant nor timebound. (I am not infering stagnancy from your post, but am throwing it in to support my argument.) Finally, if Dharmic Religions were taken as area specific, then China and most of South East Asia cannot benefit from Buddhism. Even Sanathana Dharma is transcendental to Space, Time and Creation. The common mistake even Hindus make is to equate the Vedas with the books. This is unconsciously mimicing the Semitic concept of Book = Religion formula. Vedas are Apaurusheya (not man made) and are said to be existing even before Creation (of the material Universe.)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->in the formula religions, tenets, doctrines, dos and donts are prescribed. in the way of life religions, ideally speaking, there should not be any tenets.....
where as in the formula religions, its the religion/"book" that defines the way the people should live) tend to try and "follow" the existing practices though they are perfectly free to do their own thing.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
As mentioned above, Dharmic Religion has do's and don’ts. Shankaracharya's Sadhana Panchakam for example will highlight these. The Bhagavad Geetha too tells of actions that leads to Hell, Heaven, or Liberation. Thus, while one is free to heed or reject the advise, these Dos and Don'ts are very well defined in Dharmic religion. The only difference is, Hindus now a days have chosen to reject most of the Dos and Don'ts owing to ignorance, arrogance, self-image, social-limitations, or simply laziness.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->the writers of the vedas could easily have put their foot down and concocted a "formula" or prescription from the vedas and asked every one to live like that.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

They could not have done it even if they wanted to. If they did, it would not be called Vedaah but will be called VedaHA (killer of Vedas). The Vedas are not mental creations of the Rishis. These are documentation of the Revelations of the Universal Truths which are unshakable. When defining Gravity or Blackholes, one cannot put in irrational concoctions and call it an unbiased Truth. Similarly Vedaah are Eternal Truths which were orally taught, and later documented for human convenience. The concoction part thus does not even figure when discussing Vedas.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->people are free to interpret the advice in any way, or ignore them or pick and choose from amongst it or follow it to the word.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This is what happened when different Darshanas came up. They took a different view point of the Vedas. But each school (or Darshana) was trying to prove how ONLY their view point is right. Badharayana's Vedanta Sutras ultimately took the high ground. It is not appropriate to say Vedas are open to interpretation any-which-way. It has to confirm to a Parampara (tradition.) Advaita, Dvaita, Vishishtadvaita, Tantra, Yoga, Samkhya, Mimamsa, Vaisheshika etc can be adapted and given up any time as long as the Vedas themselves are taken to be Pramaanas (Authority). One cannot disregard Vedas and still attain the results like Liberation. Bauddha, Jaina, and Charvaka are also called Darshanas. They are Nastika Darshanas not because they reject God, but as they reject Vedic Authority. Samkhya is Asthika Darshana - even though it does not accept Ishwara - as it accepts Vedic Authority.

Thus, people cannot ignore or pick and choose indiscriminately. It has to be part of Parampara which again is sanctioned by the Vedas.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 12-15-2005

these

While the idea is noble, I would like to say that in case of the Dharmic Religion, atleast for Sanathana Dharma, the "Religion" existed well befor the 'bell curve crystallized'. Thus the semblance of a Religion befits Semitic sects rather than the Dharmic fold. Secondly, Vedas (pronunciation "Vedaa:") is not a snapshot at a point in time (even if it was 10,000 years ago.) But Vedas are a reflection of Truth that is Eternal. A snapshot is stagnant and is timebound. Vedas are definitely not stagnant nor timebound. (I am not infering stagnancy from your post, but am throwing it in to support my argument.) Finally, if Dharmic Religions were taken as area specific, then China and most of South East Asia cannot benefit from Buddhism. Even Sanathana Dharma is transcendental to Space, Time and Creation. The common mistake even Hindus make is to equate the Vedas with the books. This is unconsciously mimicing the Semitic concept of Book = Religion formula. Vedas are Apaurusheya (not man made) and are said to be existing even before Creation (of the material Universe.)


The Manu Smrithi and other Smrithis lay down a PATH, or a way of life to be followed. Nitya Karma (day to day duties) as well as "kamya-karma" (optional category) are prescribed. While Kamya-Karma is optional, Nitya-Karma is mandatory. Like Sandhya Vandanam, Agnihotram, Aupasanam etc. Thus, laying down of rules, and 'way of life' is not the proprietary property of Semitic sects. In this case, The Great Manu is the "Law Giver" (even though He is more than that.) equivalent to the Prophet who gives the Laws.



As mentioned above, Dharmic Religion has do's and don’ts. Shankaracharya's Sadhana Panchakam for example will highlight these. The Bhagavad Geetha too tells of actions that leads to Hell, Heaven, or Liberation. Thus, while one is free to heed or reject the advise, these Dos and Don'ts are very well defined in Dharmic religion. The only difference is, Hindus now a days have chosen to reject most of the Dos and Don'ts owing to ignorance, arrogance, self-image, social-limitations, or simply laziness.


The Vedas are not mental creations of the Rishis. These are documentation of the Revelations of the Universal Truths which are unshakable. When defining Gravity or Blackholes, one cannot put in irrational concoctions and call it an unbiased Truth. Similarly Vedaah are Eternal Truths which were orally taught, and later documented for human convenience. The concoction part thus does not even figure when discussing Vedas.



They are Nastika Darshanas not because they reject God, but as they reject Vedic Authority. Samkhya is Asthika Darshana - even though it does not accept Ishwara - as it accepts Vedic Authority.

Thus, people cannot ignore or pick and choose indiscriminately. It has to be part of Parampara which again is sanctioned by the Vedas.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 12-15-2005

sometimes diplomacy doesnt work - so here goes.



You begin your post mentioning the two categories of belief systems. They are - as you call it- the formula types and bell curve types. I usually classify them as Semitic and Dharmic. The reason I mention this classification is that I will be using them interchangeably in this post. (i.e. formula = Semitic, and bell = Dharmic.)

fine


Both the Semitic and Dharmic religions prescribe rules and regulations. The Manu Smrithi and other Smrithis lay down a PATH, or a way of life to be followed.

so far i am concerned hindu-ISM ends with the upanishads.

Nitya Karma (day to day duties) as well as "kamya-karma" (optional category) are prescribed. While Kamya-Karma is optional, Nitya-Karma is mandatory.
i disagree with you that hinduism has anything mandatory.
if it does, i dont want to be hindu. me being me should make me hindu.
i want a religion where the people define the religion (by being who they are) and not the other way round.



Like Sandhya Vandanam, Agnihotram, Aupasanam etc. Thus, laying down of rules, and 'way of life' is not the proprietary property of Semitic sects.
it certainly isnt.
also hinduism does not lay down rules. it isnt semetic.

way of life is the characteristic of the way-of-life religions or bell curve religions.
these religions are of the people by the people and for the people.



In this case, The Great Manu is the "Law Giver" (even though He is more than that.) equivalent to the Prophet who gives the Laws.
i'd like to know how many lower caste people think manu smriti is a great book.




While the idea is noble, I would like to say that in case of the Dharmic Religion, atleast for Sanathana Dharma, the "Religion" existed well befor the 'bell curve crystallized'.

i agree with you.

people had many other religious beliefs apart from the veds.... the final filtered (and crystallised - ie. gotten accepted) part of those religious beliefs is collected in the vedas.

Thus the semblance of a Religion befits Semitic sects rather than the Dharmic fold.
precisely.
meanwhile the semblance of a way of life befits dharmic (as you call them) or pagan religions/sects rather than the prophetic/semetic fold.


Secondly, Vedas (pronunciation "Vedaa:") is not a snapshot at a point in time (even if it was 10,000 years ago.)
it is.

if the vedas were written say 2000 years before they were - then other religious beliefs - ie,. the religious beliefs doing the rounds (amongst the people living on the eastern side of the sindhu river), 2000 years b4 the vedas were actually penned down, would have gotten chronicled.

meanwhile if they had waited some more years, say 1000more b4 writting(er... crystallizing) the vedas, then i am sure there'd have been some additions, subtractions and alterations.

peoples religious beliefs dont stay stagnant, not in bell curve religions that is.


But Vedas are a reflection of Truth that is Eternal.
very flattering indeed.

vedas are a reflection of truth thats eternal AS THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE THE VEDAS SAW THEM (ie. saw those truths to be).

another set of people (say the zulus) in another time and place, i am sure would have had a totally different version of whats eternal truth or a reflection thereof.



A snapshot is stagnant and is timebound.
yes.
vedas do not change over the years do they?? so stagnant it is. and it gives us a snapshot of exactly what the state of religious belief of the peoples living on the eastern side of the sindhu river was, AT THE TIME THE VEDS WERE CHRONICLED.

now if you are talking about stuff like - sky is blue and day follows night being recorded in the vedas, well yes those are eternal.

Vedas are definitely not stagnant nor timebound. (I am not infering stagnancy from your post, but am throwing it in to support my argument.)

sky is blue is not timebound.

its impoprtant to spash horse cum on your wife's butt before mating with her, as the yajur veda postulates (if i havent mistaken) - is better off as a timebound notion, which has by now thankfully been done away with.

Finally, if Dharmic Religions were taken as area specific, then China and most of South East Asia cannot benefit from Buddhism.
yes they cannot.

buddhism is not of chinese construct.
its not of the chinese, by the chinese and for the chinese.

buddhism suits them - as much as christianity suits us.

the saving grace is that, just like the romans incorporated a lot of mithraistic and germanic religious stuff into christianity - the chinese, japs, vietnamese, burmese etc all have sort of superimposed buddhism on their existing beliefs (which were of indegenous manufacture).

thats why tibetan buddhism is nothing like thai buddhism. and both are different from buddha's buddhism.


Even Sanathana Dharma is transcendental to Space, Time and Creation.
er.. come again

The common mistake even Hindus make is to equate the Vedas with the books. This is unconsciously mimicing the Semitic concept of Book = Religion formula.
yes. i just found a very good example of one such hindu - you.

you think the manu smriti is some formula we should all live by and if we dont we arnt hindus. thats what muslims say - if you pray 4.324 times a day or have nonhalal chicken you are no longer a muslim.

Vedas are Apaurusheya (not man made) and are said to be existing even before Creation (of the material Universe.)
yeah right.

about the only time i agreed with nehru was when he said in discovery of india, that its an insult to the writters of the vedas to suggest that the vedas are not man made.

see... sky was blue even befoe some one recorded it in a book. and had he/she not recorded it, sky still would have been blue. the way all physics always existed, a lot before we discovered them and would have existed even if we had not managed to discover them.

the vedas are shruti or smriti - either comes out of the seers head (shruti) or comes down from some other previous sage/thjinker/seer (smriti).
which dont make the vedas "DELIVERED".

whats said - apaurusheya - is out of reverence . or just to mean that skys arenot blue just cos some man wrote that it was blue. its blue regardless. and yes, then its not man made.


As mentioned above, Dharmic Religion has do's and don’ts.
no cumpulsions in hinduism. dont insult the frest religion of the world.

you are equally free not to follow a single one of them.

the charas smoking feces eating sadhus follow precious little of the vedas. yet they are as hindu as you me and the ver sexy preety zinta.

Shankaracharya's Sadhana Panchakam for example will highlight these. i havent the foggiest idea what that is - though i will never consider that book to be hinduism - just a book ON/OFF hinduism.


The Bhagavad Geetha too tells of actions that leads to Hell, Heaven, or Liberation.
revered as it may be, the bhagavad gita isnt a book of hinduism per se.

there are 4 reasons why its revered and placed alobg with none less the vedas and often above them.

1- it was advice comming from krishna
2- the wisdom dispensed is of very high quality
3- its accepted that the teachings of the geeta existed long before the mahabharat was written
4- the gita is in spirit, like the upanishads - a book of advice.

remember hindus were doing just fine, in the time interval betwen the vedas and gita being written.


Thus, while one is free to heed or reject the advise, these Dos and Don'ts are very well defined in Dharmic religion.
means??
i eat beef - i cease to be hindu??
i dont splash my (future) wife's butt with horse cum - i'm not hindu??

The only difference is, Hindus now a days have chosen to reject most of the Dos and Don'ts owing to ignorance, arrogance, self-image, social-limitations, or simply laziness.
really??
and back in the day everything was followed to the word??

and if so - then how is hinduism a way of life, individualistic, personal god-ish, for the people-of the people-by the people religion??

how the hell is it different from islam - save that the set of rules or dos and dont are different??

hinduism is not dictatorial.
its free.

you dont follow hinduism.
hinduism follows you - or rather the interpretation of the vedas/upanishad you come up with and choose to live your life by.

Quote:the writers of the vedas could easily have put their foot down and concocted a "formula" or prescription from the vedas and asked every one to live like that.

They could not have done it even if they wanted to. If they did, it would not be called Vedaah but will be called VedaHA (killer of Vedas).
what you have been posting isnt any better to my mind.

you yourself concede that if they came up with a formula it would hve been diagonally opposite everything hinduism is and would have killed the vedas - but before that you posted about the non existant rules and tenets of hinduism??

hinduism has rules and yet they - the writters of the vedas did nt come up with a formula??? i am sorry, you lost me there.


The Vedas are not mental creations of the Rishis.
hahaha.

These are documentation of the Revelations
so hinduism is a revealed religion??
someone spoke to rishis from behind burning bushes/corpses and revealed the tenets of hinduism???

now dont ask me why i laughed my ass off.

of the Universal Truths which are unshakable.
really??? what about the 100 indian post vedic followers who have come up with interpretations of the vedas which are al their own?? they should have been guillotined isnt it??

When defining Gravity or Blackholes, one cannot put in irrational concoctions and call it an unbiased Truth.
vedas difine gravity and black holes??

Similarly Vedaah are Eternal Truths which were orally taught, and later documented for human convenience.
i explained the eternal bit of the truth in the previous part of the post


The concoction part thus does not even figure when discussing Vedas.
what conconction??

Quote:people are free to interpret the advice in any way, or ignore them or pick and choose from amongst it or follow it to the word.

This is what happened when different Darshanas came up. They took a different view point of the Vedas. But each school (or Darshana) was trying to prove how ONLY their view point is right. Badharayana's Vedanta Sutras ultimately took the high ground. It is not appropriate to say Vedas are open to interpretation any-which-way.
yes any which way.

cos the aghori interpretation of vedas and the prescribed vedic way of life, is beyond ANY which way.


It has to confirm to a Parampara (tradition.)
would that be the 4th commandent of hinduism??

Advaita, Dvaita, Vishishtadvaita, Tantra, Yoga, Samkhya, Mimamsa, Vaisheshika etc can be adapted and given up any time as long as the Vedas themselves are taken to be Pramaanas (Authority).
this being the 5th ??

One cannot disregard Vedas and still attain the results like Liberation.
what makes you so sure??

this is narrow minded monotheistic talk!!
my way is the highway. your way is all wrong.
are you hindu even??

Bauddha, Jaina, and Charvaka are also called Darshanas.
ok

They are Nastika Darshanas not because they reject God, but as they reject Vedic Authority.
whts wrong with rejecting vedic authority??
whatever floats your boat.

Samkhya is Asthika Darshana - even though it does not accept Ishwara - as it accepts Vedic Authority.
ty for that very imp piece of info <!--emo&Wink--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='wink.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Thus, people cannot ignore or pick and choose indiscriminately.
can.

It has to be part of Parampara which again is sanctioned by the Vedas.
vedas sanction people the right to be free to live their lives in any frigging way they please.

[/quote]


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Sunder - 12-16-2005

Ben, your post seems to lack insight into Sanathana Dharma from an insider's point of view. Your language and examples used (atleast in the case of the horse) is objectionable and lacks insight and is in bad taste. While ignoring Cosmic Truths, you pick and choose literal translations of second or thirdhand meanings - most probably given by western sources like Wendy and her cohorts.

Your style of debating can easily be classified as JALPA-vaada (if not VITHANDA-vaada.) I would like to see more THARKA-vaada (a logical debate). I would like to see references from the Vedas itself to support your point of view. i.e. do the Vedas say that Dharma is not a compulsion and that (wo)man makes a religion and not religion makes a (wo)man.

<i>Let me simplify the terms JALPA, THARKA and VITHANDA. These are terms found in Gauthama's Nyaya Darshana.

<b>THARKA:</b> If you have a particular position (in this case religious anarchy), and I have a position (in this case Vedic Authority.) and we debate towards a common consensus within a framework (i.e. the arguments are well supported by a central authority - Vedas), it is called Tharka.

<b>JALPA:</b> If you have a position, but will not listen to or understand my position. If you keep on reaffirming your own stance without any logic, it is called Jalpa.

<b>VITHANDA:</b> If you have no position or argument, but your only point is to counter and negate whatever I say, it is Vithanda.
</i>

I would encourage a Tharka style here. I would like to see references to your claim from the Vedas itself that Sanathana Dharma is a non-imposing religion. I too shall provide references to my arguments.

Quote:Nitya Karma (day to day duties) as well as "kamya-karma" (optional category) are prescribed. While Kamya-Karma is optional, Nitya-Karma is mandatory.

i disagree with you that hinduism has anything mandatory.
if it does, i dont want to be hindu. me being me should make me hindu.
i want a religion where the people define the religion (by being who they are) and not the other way round.

Like Sandhya Vandanam, Agnihotram, Aupasanam etc. Thus, laying down of rules, and 'way of life' is not the proprietary property of Semitic sects.
it certainly isnt.
also hinduism does not lay down rules. it isnt semetic.

This is why you need a parampara. Religion is not meant for everyone. The aim of Dharma is not to live and die a useless life with a sanskrit name or tilak on the forehead that's ornamental. The aim and purpose of Religion is to overcome the cycles of Samsara & to Realize your Original "State". (I use the word 'state' because of the limitation of language.) As I mentioned, you are free to discard advise, but at it's own cost. The reasons for discarding are also mentioned in my previous post.

Now, coming to "Nitya Karma", you are saying they are not mandatory. This is true only for Sanyasis. It is mandated upon brahmacharins and householders. Could you please cite references where it is not mandatory?

Sri Bhagavaan, in the Gita says:
"anAshritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca na niragnir na cakriyah." BG 6.1

A Sanyasi or a Yogi is one who DOES his duties without *desiring* the results. One who *gives up* the duties (Agni and other vedic karmas) can never be a yogi or a sanyasi. IOW, he cannot be inching towards the goal of Hinduism.

Sri Bhagavaan time and again tells Arjuna not to shy away from his given duty as a Kshatriya. It is the Geeta that says it is better to die in your own Dharma even if you perform it imperfectly, rather than mimicing and excelling in someone else's Dharma.

"Shreyaan Swadharmo Vigunah, Paradharmaat Swanushthitaat,
Swadharme nidhanam shreyah. Para dharmO bhayAvahah."

Quote:so far i am concerned hindu-ISM ends with the upanishads.

way of life is the characteristic of the way-of-life religions or bell curve religions.
these religions are of the people by the people and for the people.
Religion and it's tenets cannot be decided by straw vote. I will take this up separately if interested.

Quote:In this case, The Great Manu is the "Law Giver" (even though He is more than that.) equivalent to the Prophet who gives the Laws.
i'd like to know how many lower caste people think manu smriti is a great book.
When a teenager, I too used to dislike and shy away from Mahatma Manu and the Smrithi. I was of the opinion that it should be burned. But once you read and understand it, you will not commit the same mistake. What manu says is not his own concoctions. It is supported (and corroborated) by Sri Krishna and all other major teachers of Sanathana Dharma..

Secondly, no caste is lower or higher based on birth. Thus please refrain from mimicing and giving credence to the western interpretation of Manu Dharma.

Quote:>>> But Vedas are a reflection of Truth that is Eternal.
very flattering indeed.

vedas are a reflection of truth thats eternal AS THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE THE VEDAS SAW THEM (ie. saw those truths to be).

another set of people (say the zulus) in another time and place, i am sure would have had a totally different version of whats eternal truth or a reflection thereof.
This would make Vedas subjective knowledge and not objective. Which would make Vedas a creation of individuals and prone to change. This is far from truth.

Quote:The common mistake even Hindus make is to equate the Vedas with the books. This is unconsciously mimicing the Semitic concept of Book = Religion formula.
yes. i just found a very good example of one such hindu - you.

you think the manu smriti is some formula we should all live by and if we dont we arnt hindus.
Smrithis do lay down the laws. Shruthi shows the path. To get from one city to another you need two things... 1) The map to show you the way, 2) Driving instructions to give you knowledge of driving. Vedas are akin to the roadmap, while Smrithis shows you the process and conduct which gets you there.

Quote:Vedas are Apaurusheya (not man made) and are said to be existing even before Creation (of the material Universe.)
yeah right.
Can you expand with reference to counter this ?

Quote:vedas are shruti or smriti - either comes out of the seers head (shruti) or comes down from some other previous sage/thjinker/seer (smriti).
which dont make the vedas "DELIVERED".
Interesting point. Smrithis are the Vedas ? I am keen to know more.

Quote:As mentioned above, Dharmic Religion has do's and don’ts.
no cumpulsions in hinduism. dont insult the frest religion of the world.
you are equally free not to follow a single one of them.
Reference please.

Quote:the charas smoking feces eating sadhus follow precious little of the vedas. yet they are as hindu as you me and the ver sexy preety zinta.
Manners please.

Quote:>>>Shankaracharya's Sadhana Panchakam for example will highlight these.

i havent the foggiest idea what that is - though i will never consider that book to be hinduism - just a book ON/OFF hinduism.

>>>The Bhagavad Geetha too tells of actions that leads to Hell, Heaven, or Liberation.
revered as it may be, the bhagavad gita isnt a book of hinduism per se.
So Bhagavad Geetha and Shankara's works are not books of Hinduism eh ? I need help from others to counter this. I do not have the capacity to do so.

Quote:there are 4 reasons why its revered and placed alobg with none less the vedas and often above them.

1- it was advice comming from krishna
2- the wisdom dispensed is of very high quality
3- its accepted that the teachings of the geeta existed long before the mahabharat was written
4- the gita is in spirit, like the upanishads - a book of advice.
I will expand and counter the rest of the post soon.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 12-16-2005

Ben Ami,

Could I request you to keep the SNR (signal to noise ratio) high in your posts. There is too much fluff. We would like to read what you have to say, but the impression is often like eating the cotton-candy. Too much work for too little gain.

Also, you have repeatedly shown that you don't do your homework. Please read up and study the subjects on which you want to expound on. It may be very much possible that the people you are hammering on have spent lot many years dealing with the issues on which you have just started to have some fresh brain waves. And if you don't know enough about something, just ask. Someone here who knows may answer.

In short, please speak 'authoritatively' only about the stuff you know well. That is simply a demand for intellectual honesty.

Just to show another instance of your lax standards let me quote:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->now comes the interesting part in hinduism. the writers of the vedas could easily have put their foot down and concocted a "formula" or prescription from the vedas and asked every one to live like that. but instead they merely noted everything down and gave advice (the "Upanishads", which is the last chapter of every veda) to the next generations. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Only "IshAvAsyopaniShad" can be called the last chapter of a Veda, i.e. Yajurveda, where it forms the final 40th Chapter with minor changes.

All other vedic Upanisads are from Aranyakas. Even in the Aranyakas, the Upanisads can be scattered within the text. They don't necessarily form the last chapters of the Aranyakas either. Some upanisads are clubbed together with Brahmanas and called UpaniShad-BrAhmaN, such as Samavedic SamhitopaniShadbrAhmaNa.

Therefore in a literal sense upaniShads do not form last chapters of anything.

But in a figurative sense they are the ultimate, final essences of the Vedic literature and therefore are called "vedAnta = veda+anta" or the end of the vedas.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - gangajal - 12-16-2005

Quote:<i>Like Sandhya Vandanam, Agnihotram, Aupasanam etc. Thus, laying down of rules, and 'way of life' is not the proprietary property of Semitic sects.
.............
Now, coming to "Nitya Karma", you are saying they are not mandatory. This is true only for Sanyasis. It is mandated upon brahmacharins and householders. Could you please cite references where it is not mandatory?

Sri Bhagavaan, in the Gita says:
"anAshritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca na niragnir na cakriyah." BG 6.1

A Sanyasi or a Yogi is one who DOES his duties without *desiring* the results. One who *gives up* the duties (Agni and other vedic karmas) can never be a yogi or a sanyasi. IOW, he cannot be inching towards the goal of Hinduism</i>.

Sundarji,
Isn't your position too literal? Gita also says, "Thus have I imparted to you wisdom which is more secret (profound) than all that is secret (profound). <b>Reflecting over this whole teaching, do as you think fit." </b>(Gita 18.63) So we have to accept the position of a person who after reflection decides that in today's world one cannot adopt such a strict position on nitya karma.

Quote:<i>Sri Bhagavaan time and again tells Arjuna not to shy away from his given duty as a Kshatriya. It is the Geeta that says it is better to die in your own Dharma even if you perform it imperfectly, rather than mimicing and excelling in someone else's Dharma.

"Shreyaan Swadharmo Vigunah, Paradharmaat Swanushthitaat,
Swadharme nidhanam shreyah. Para dharmO bhayAvahah."</i>

What does dharma mean here?

Quote:
Quote:<b>so far i am concerned hindu-ISM ends with the upanishads.
way of life is the characteristic of the way-of-life religions or bell curve religions.
these religions are of the people by the people and for the people</b>.
<i>Religion and it's tenets cannot be decided by straw vote. I will take this up separately if interested.</i>

Hindus are free to reject smritis if they so want since smritis claim that they only interpret the sruti.

Quote:
Quote:I<b>n this case, The Great Manu is the "Law Giver" (even though He is more than that.) equivalent to the Prophet who gives the Laws</b>.
Quote:[<b>color=blue]i'd like to know how many lower caste people think manu smriti is a great book.[/color][</b>/quote]
<i>When a teenager, I too used to dislike and shy away from Mahatma Manu and the Smrithi. I was of the opinion that it should be burned. But once you read and understand it, you will not commit the same mistake. What manu says is not his own concoctions. It is supported (and corroborated) by Sri Krishna and all other major teachers of Sanathana Dharma..

Secondly, no caste is lower or higher based on birth. Thus please refrain from mimicing and giving credence to the western interpretation of Manu Dharma</i>.

Manu Smrit itself says that," <b>Let him avoid (the acquisition of) wealth and (the gratification of his)
desires, if they are opposed to the sacred law, and even LAWFUL ACTS WHICH
MAY CAUSE PAIN IN THE FUTURE OR ARE OFFENSIVE TO MEN</b>." (IV.176)
Since Manu Smriti itself does not claim infallibility and Gita admits that there is scope for reflection on its teachings I do not see why a Hindu can not reject Manu Smriti as an archaic assemblage of laws.

Quote:
Quote:>>> <b>But Vedas are a reflection of Truth that is Eternal.
very flattering indeed. vedas are a reflection of truth thats eternal AS THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE THE VEDAS SAW THEM (ie. saw those truths to be).
another set of people (say the zulus) in another time and place, i am sure would have had a totally different version of whats eternal truth or a reflection thereof</b>.
<i>This would make Vedas subjective knowledge and not objective. Which would make Vedas a creation of individuals and prone to change. This is far from truth</i>.

Both Ben ami and you have made very good points. The only thing I would point out is that while admitting that Vedas play an important role in the life of an Hindu, a Hindu is not required to give up reason. Adi Shankara himself says, " ...... The appeal to the infallibility of the Vedic injunction is
misconceived. The infallibility in question refers only to the unseen force or apurva, and is admissable only in regard to matters not confined to the sphere of direct perceptions etc. ..... <b>Even a hundred statements of sruti to the effect that fire is cold and non-luminous won't prove valid. If it does make such a statement, its import will have to be interpreted differently. Otherwise, validity won't attach to it. Nothing in conflict with the means of valid cognition or with its own statement may be imputed to sruti.</b>" (Bhagavad Gita Bhashya of Sri Sankaracharya 18.66 translated by Dr. A.G. Krishna Warrier).

Quote:
Quote:<b>The common mistake even Hindus make is to equate the Vedas with the books. This is unconsciously mimicing the Semitic concept of Book = Religion formula.
yes. i just found a very good example of one such hindu - you.
you think the manu smriti is some formula we should all live by and if we dont we arnt hindus</b>.
<i>Smrithis do lay down the laws. Shruthi shows the path. To get from one city to another you need two things... 1) The map to show you the way, 2) Driving instructions to give you knowledge of driving. Vedas are akin to the roadmap, while Smrithis shows you the process and conduct which gets you ther</i>e.

Both of you have made valid points. I tend to side with Ben Ami and say that while we should have respect for smritis, we should not blindly accept everything written in the smritis.

[
Quote:quote]<b>Vedas are Apaurusheya (not man made) and are said to be existing even before Creation (of the material Universe.) yeah right</b>.
<i>Can you expand with reference to counter this</i> ?

Sayanacharya in his introduction to the commentary on Rg Veda says that the statement,"Vedas are Apaurusheya" does not mean that the books known to us as do not have any authors. What it means is that the knowledge of Brahman that is in those books is not man made but revealed by Brahman to the authors of the Vedas.

[
Quote:quote]<b>As mentioned above, Dharmic Religion has do's and don’ts.
no cumpulsions in hinduism. dont insult the frest religion of the world.
you are equally free not to follow a single one of them.</b>
<i>Reference please</i>.

Gita 18.63.

Quote:[>>>The Bhagavad Geetha too tells of actions that leads to Hell, Heaven, or Liberation.
revered as it may be, the bhagavad gita isnt a book of hinduism per se.
So Bhagavad Geetha and Shankara's works are not books of Hinduism eh ? I need help from others to counter this. I do not have the capacity to do so.[/QUOTE]

Ben Ami is clearly wrong here!


Gangajal


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 12-16-2005

Ben AMi,

Also, it doesn't work if you claim upanishadic backing for a "free for all" version of Hinduism.

Just because hinduism doesn't get stuck with a certain aspect of the divine doesn't mean it doesn't have clear ideas of what divine is supposed to be. Or what are the proper ways to approach the divine.

Let me again quote from your pet upaiShads (I will let you figure out which upaniShad):

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->kShurasya dhArA nishitA duratyayA
(as difficult as walking on a razor's edge)
durgaH pathaH tat kavayo vadanti
(is the (spiritual) path, so say the sages (kavis))<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

If the spiritual path is supposed to be as sharp and difficult as walking on a razor's edge, it surely is not a free for all! Evidently it is extremely narrow.

For example in Yoga one has to follow the five yamas (ahimsA, satya, asteya, aparigraha, brahmacharya), each of which is a mahA-vrata, extremely hard to follow and to keep up with, like walking on a razor's edge. A free for all attitude in Yoga leads to loss of mental balance and worse, even death.

What hinduism does is to provide a set of instructions depending upon what you want to achieve. If you want kAma, there is a certain set of instructions, same for artha, dharma and mokSha.

And instructions for mumuKshus (those desiring mokSha) are relatively very strict.

Instructions also vary with type of job a person does. Instructions for Brahmans may be very strict in some respects as compared to say kShatriyas. I think that is what Sunder was also hinting at when he mentioned 'karmas'.

Of course, as far as I am concerned, and I have Sri Krishna words as a backing, a brahmana or a kShatriya, or vaishya or shUdra is by the type of job he/she does and the type of life he/she leads, not by birth.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Bharatvarsh - 12-16-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->What it means is that the knowledge of Brahman that is in those books is not man made but revealed by Brahman to the authors of the Vedas.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Gangajalji very good post, I basically agree with everything you have said but this statement seems to bracket Sanatana Dharma into the Abrahamic mould, it is like Muslims saying that the Quran is the revealed word of God, the Vedas in my opinion were written by highly spiritual people and they recorded their observations/knowledge about Brahman and passed it on to future generations, once you classify a book as being revealed by God/Brahman then the next step is to claim that every word of Vedas is infallible and cannot be changed as it is the revealed word of God (afterall Brahman cannot be wrong or can he/she/it be wrong?), now all this sounds eerily similar to one so called religion of peace, ofcourse I maybe wrong about this or probably misundertood what you are trying to say, would appreciate your response.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 12-16-2005

Well, Vedas are supposed to be revealed. In that sense there is some similarity with other revealed religions. And there is nothing questionable about it. If the R^ishis who "saw" the mantras said that they received them directly from the divine, we can't rewrite their claims. We can only accept or reject them. So the claim that the vedas are revealed is very much a part of hinduism.

And time and again over millenia many sages have continually reaffirmed divine revealatory nature of vedas. One such recent sage was Sri Aurobindo who through his own experiences came to the same conclusion.

The major difference is that vedas never claimed finality, or claimed one preferred prophet/rishi etc. And knowledge (gnosis) was always given precedence over mere blind belief. For example in rgveda itself:

yastanna veda kim R^ichA kariShyati
(One who doesn't come to know "that", what would R^ichas (verses of the veda) do for him?")

Which other "revealed" text is so liberal? And yes rgveda itself questions itself!! So the worries about literality and iron clad infallibility and hard dogma are misplaced. Vedic religion and hinduism have always put more emphasis on direct knowledge than mere faith.

In fact this is the central theme of hinduism, that knowledge/jnana/gnosis, i.e. knowing the divine by personal experience, is given paramount importance.

In contrast, in Christianity, the early gnostic movement was thoroughly suppressed. St. Thomas' gnostic gospel has some very "Indian" themes in it. Present church heavily emphasizes faith and discounts gnosis.

Sufism, perhaps the only knowledge based approach in Islam, has suffered the same fate.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Bharatvarsh - 12-16-2005

Ashok Kumarji thanks for the response, I am no authority on this subject so am learning by asking questions, also wanted to ask if Upanishads are put in the same category (revealed) or are they considered as expositions on the Vedas by various people.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - Guest - 12-16-2005

Bharatvarsha, We are all students.

Yes, upaniShads are also supposed to be revealed.


Sanatana Dharma - Aka Hinduism (2nd Bin) - gangajal - 12-16-2005

<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Dec 16 2005, 05:06 AM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Dec 16 2005, 05:06 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->What it means is that the knowledge of Brahman that is in those books is not man made but revealed by Brahman to the authors of the Vedas.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<i>[Gangajalji very good post, I basically agree with everything you have said but this statement seems to bracket Sanatana Dharma into the Abrahamic mould, it is like Muslims saying that the Quran is the revealed word of God, the Vedas in my opinion were written by highly spiritual people and they recorded their observations/knowledge about Brahman and passed it on to future generations, once you classify a book as being revealed by God/Brahman then the next step is to claim that every word of Vedas is infallible and cannot be changed as it is the revealed word of God (afterall Brahman cannot be wrong or can he/she/it be wrong?), now all this sounds eerily similar to one so called religion of peace, ofcourse I maybe wrong about this or probably misundertood what you are trying to say, would appreciate your response</i>.
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Bharatvarshji,
If Brahman does not tell, is it possible for any human being to know about Brahman? Reason can not be used to prove the existence or non-existence of Brahman. Svetasvara Upanishad says

"I know this great Person who is resplendent like the sun and is beyond darkness. By knowing him alone one transcends death; there is no other path to go by." (Sv. Up 3.8)

Even Gita 4.1 says," I imparted this immortal Yoga to Vivasvan, Vivasvan to Manu, and Manu to Iksvaku". So without the interference of Brahman it is impossible for man to know about Brahman. In that sense Sruti is revealed. There is still, however, a difference between Abrahamic religions and dharmas. As Ashokkumar ji has pointed out the Abrahamic religions stress blind belief and do not allow any questioning of the revealed texts. Dharmas allow reason for the interpretation of the texts. Moreover, dharmas also say that mere intellectual understanding of the revealed texts is NOT enough. Gita says that purification of mind is sine qua non for salvation: "<b>In which he (the Yogin) experiences the endless bliss which is beyond the ken of the senses but is intuited by the purified intellect; wherein established, one does not waver from the Truth.</b>" (Gita 6.21) The quote from Svetasvara Upanishad given above also makes the point that ONLY BY KNOWING BRAHMAN will one transcend death. It is this experiential knowledge that differentiates dharmas from the Abrahamic revealed religions.

Gangajal