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Thread: Misunderstandings - VAD Threads

  1. #1
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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Namaste

    The statements, which are based on inference and not Vedas, that "Hence, it is clear that those who are not qualified to study the veda are indeed qualified to hear the vedic message through other means, i.e. the itihAsa/purAnas" and "Smritis, purANas and itihAs give the same knowledge of Shrutis in a way they can be understood and digested by common man" seem insulting to countless Hindus if you really look at it.

    It is like saying "Vedas" (the learning of, quoting the Vedas, grammer and memorizing them) is only for "uncommon man" (viz smarter and higher birth then the riff raff) and histories such as the Ramayana are for the "common" (viz low birth, stupid people who cannot digest anything like the Vedas).

    So the Ramayana is for the stupid people (viz a "way they can be understood and digested by common man" viz stupid people). It is like saying the Ramayana, which is the life of Rama, and the purpose of Ram "is for those other, low birth people who cannot understand, you know, the stupid low castes who are not able to digest the Vedas like us high caste smart people".

    Sort of insulting to Lord Rama as well.

    Can someone give me the exact and explicite quote from one of the four Vedas that explicitly states memorizing the Vedas and it's grammer and Sanskrit, is only birth based? Not some commentary that came millions of years after the Vedas from a modern saint of the last 500 years, but from the Vedas?

    And when some commentary of some Saint is used, why is it the same four or so saints named, as if all Hindus follow them? Why isn't, for example, Lord Caitanya and His life and associates quoted for example. He doesn't count?

    Om Namah Sivaya

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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Namaste ShivaFan ji,

    Paramacharya is been widely accepted figure. Of course Veda-s are final authority. But the interpretation has to be done by someone.

    If anyone has access to sAyanAcharya's commentary on veda-s, it would be better. We have already seen from Gita bhasya that one verse can be interpreted in many ways and that one sanskrit word has many meaning. What i am trying to say is that just quote is not enough, though quote from veda-s is necessary, as they are final authority.

    Also note that Paramachrya does not say that one varna is higher than other. they are only separated upon work distribution. Each varna has it's own pride and a sense on contentment. Since Brahmins are given the task of protecting veda-s and they dedicate their entire life for this purpose, not even allowed to earn money, but live on donations, they live or are supposed to live pious life. Jati- (vaste) ar subset of varna

    Please do not take it as insult.

    I have read it in Shankar Vigvijay by Madhav VidyAranya Swami that Bhagavan Veda Vyas appreciated Adi Shankaracharya ji on his comments on Brahma Sutra. He acknowledged that he rightly said that Brahmin-s are qualified to learn veda-s. I will try to get exact verse. I have not read Brahma Sutra-s hence I cannot quote the same.

    Regarding Sanskrit, I am not aware if learning sanskrit and rules of grammar are also restricted to Brahmin-s. Since Veda-s are in Sanskrit, and they are to be protected in it's original form, hence sanskrit and chandas are also needed to be preserved.

    Even diacritical marks cannot fully convey the meaning of veda-s, as to what extend the pitch has to be extended and right methods of chanting to preserve veda-s like natural way of chanting and some reverse method of chanting. This is not easy and one needs to dedicate entire life to preserve. Veda-s cannot preserved just by writing them down.

    Please read

    Vedas in their original form

    Methods of Chanting

    Sound and Creation

    Unity in diversity

    Please understand there is no intention to insult.

    Aum

    Amrut
    Last edited by Amrut; 05 August 2013 at 05:34 AM.
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Namaste,

    A quick googling landed me on this verse.

    This is proved by Sruti and Smriti as well. The Sruti says Those whose conduct, during the previous life, has been good, presently obtain good birth, such as the birth of a Brahmin, a Kshatriya or a Vaisya; those whose conduct has been bad presently obtain some evil birth such as that of a dog or a pig (Chh. Up. V.10.7).
    http://www.sivanandaonline.org/publi...78&format=html

    Why is it that a birth if Brahmin is obtained after many meritious karma?

    Does this not mean that Brahmin is pure by birth. Is it not purity an important criteria to learn shastra-s?

    Another view is that after death the entire store of Karmas about to bear fruit fructifies. Therefore the souls come to the earth without any Anusaya or residue of Karma. This is wrong. This is untenable. Some of those Karmas can be enjoyed only in one kind of birth and some in another. They cannot com bine in one birth. It cannot be said that one portion ceases to bear fruit. There is no such cessation save by Prayaschitta or expiation. If all Karmas bear fruit after death, there will be no cause for rebirth after life in heaven or hell or in animal bodies, because in these there is no means of virtue or vice. Moreover some capital sins like the killing of a Brahmin involve many births.
    http://www.sivanandaonline.org/publi...78&format=html

    Ram had to perform a yagna / puja because he had killed a brahmin, Ravana. If you consider varna by guna, then why did he had to perform this puja to wipe of his sins. Also note that in some versions of Ramayana, when Rama wanted to do Shiva Puja in Lanka, Ravan came as a priest and did puja for Rama.

    Obviously direct quote from Veda-s is needed, but upanishads and itihasa and purana-s also have e.g. in support of Varna by birth. I also agree that there are quotes which say that varna is by guna, but as said above, guna is developed by training and some guna-s are present by birth. God gives birth in family in which one can have overall progress and finish off his prarabhdha karma.

    I humbly request you to please do not think that there is any hidden motive to hurt anyone.

    Aum

    Amrut
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Namaste Indiaspirituality Amrut

    Thank you for your kind comments, but actually I am being misunderstood. I am trying to say that there are many Hindus who consider the four Vedas as the corner stones to Hinduism, therefore I am not asking for quotes from Ithihasa or Purana or Smritis to support an argument for jati as vocation by birth or to support varna by birth only, I am asking for an exact quote from the four vedas that explicitly uses such terms (i.e. the four varnas are only birth based and only the son of a Brahmin can be a Brahmin and such if this is the intent of the vedas it would clearly state this, so I am asking for that very specific verse, not some verses from Ramayana or Srimad Bhagavatam which some are implying are as if watered down for the common man to understand vedas and which are ok to teach the common low class people. This strikes many as an irony to claim some by birth only claim to use arguments or some sort of fifth veda from such scriptures (which in specific to the Ramayana I admire) while at the same moment putting them in a class for the rest of the low classes. No, the argument must come directly from the vedas themselves, and not from Ithihasas for example. If that is the stipulation of the vedas, then it would directly and explicitly be said so in the vedas. I am asking for that exact and explicit verse from one of the four Vedas, not from the Ithihasa or Purana. I am not saying Ramayana is less than, though it may be some others imply that the Ramayana is less than. I am simply looking for what is often termed a common, foundational, source across Hinduism which is the Four Vedas.

    Not everyone, e.g. not all Hindus, have Ramayana or Srimad Bhagavatam as part of their tradition. Also, quotes from certain Saints of the modern era (e.g. of the last 500 or so years) isnt very impressive, the names that seem to be coming up are very endowed but they are not the only Saints of Hinduism, there are Hindus who really do not follow these ones quoted at all but totally different Saints some of which come from a time much older than the modern era or were present at the very same moment as these others.

    Regarding Ravana, three are Hindus who say actually he was never killed at all, but is in a coma state and in a crypt and actually can and will come among humans again once Ganga Jal touches his body - that there is a future history of Ravana still to come, and not necessarily of dark intent. Also, while he was a very, very dark personality, there were also qualities to his original nature (and potentially future natue) that are, should I say? Admirable. I am not so sure if penance for his demise is as much because of who he was born from as far as parents or what caste he was, or it could be rather what he truly was in other aspects such as a great devotee of Shiva and author of some Sanskrit scripture himself.

    Specific to the subject, where is this exact and explicit Vedic quote?

    Om Namah Sivaya

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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Namaste ShivaFan ji,

    I fully agree with your consent. Veda-s are supreme authority.

    Aum
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Namaste ShivaFanji,

    You might think from OP's posts that in India, higher (Brahmin) castes are somehow declaring their supremacy and reserving rights over vedas. While it is true that to this day, Brahmins are the ones that have the rights to learn vedas and practice them, one should also know that there are varying degrees of superiority among lower castes as well (who knows how they cropped up) - for example, Vanniyar and Mukkulatthor, etc, and they are the ones causing communal riots in a grand scale characterized by extreme violence even to this day. They still practice some form of 'untouchability' between themselves - such as one belonging to a lower sect should not enter the streets belonging to the higher sect and so forth. Brahmins these days are very much subdued, after much battering from various governments that ruled India in the past 60+ yrs after independence.

    Saint Avvayyar on 'Jaathi' :


    சாதி இரண்டொழிய வேறில்லை சாற்றுங்கால்
    நீதி வழுவா நெறிமுறையின் மேதனியில்
    இட்டார் பெரியோர் இடாதார் இழிகுலத்தோர்
    பட்டாங்கில் உள்ள படி


    Saadhi Irandozhiya Verillai Saatrungaal
    Needhi Vazhuvaa Nerimuraiyin Maedhaniyil
    Ittar Periyor Idadhaar Izhikulathor
    Pattaangil Ulla Padi


    meaning, If people should be classified based on caste, the truth is to say that there are only two such classfications. The one who does not go off the path of ethical values, ethical behaviour, generosity called as Noble (Periyor) and the ones that dont - Ignoble (Izhikulathor). Other than than there are no other castes.

    Sorry to the OP for this short post, hopefully it will not be seen as derailing, if it does, I apologize in advance.

    Thank you.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Pranam ShivaFan

    The direct quote you are looking for perhaps you want find, we know very well the Vedas are codified with layers of knowledge that is hidden in it.
    The Puranas and Ithihas helps us understand it, i don't see what your objections are, while you are happy to believe some off it yet others you want proof from the samhitas.
    i am afraid no one will oblige you it. No matter how unpalatable it looks to western eye, Varna by birth is the status quo and that is how it has been. So many logical arguments has been put forward, if that is not going to satisfy you what good an explicit verse in Vedas will prove to you.
    Hindu Dharma is based on Varnashram with Sixteen Sanskars that begins with conceptions, now ask your self how is that going to work when there are specific sanskaras for different Varnas? Birth is the only criteria by which the Varna is recognised that again (birth) is determined by Guna and Karma, Who is more apt then Dharmadev to decide that?

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Namaste Ganeshprashad

    You know I respect you the most among traditional Hindus. Especially becatse you are and admirer of Tulsidas.

    And yes you are correct, the crux of the matter is Western Hindus are going to find this unpalatable. Which goes right to the heart of the matter. There are Indian Hindus who think Western Hindus are new age thinkers, liberals. My personal observation is otherwise, while there are embarrassing examples of Western Hindus, I have noticed that most however are even more conservative than many Indian Hindus.

    It is sort of like the "ex-smoker" who is the most strict about anti-smoking.

    The long term reality is, Western Hindus which have no caste will never acknowledge caste by birth because intinctively they know that means they are not Hindus because of birth. I know that is not your position, I hope so anyway, but it is just as obvious to a Western Hindu that the Vedas are the authority as to Eastern Hindus. Thus a Western Hindu will want to be told the exact verse, there is no way around it. A Westerner has no caste, not even the lowest varna if it is by birth. So unless this dilemma is give an answer by Brahma. Shiva and Vishnu directly, then I think karma is going to not have a good resolve for any non Divine on Bhuloka no matter what varna. In addition, truthfully Western Hindus seldom fret over these matters, that is until some others for some reason insist on continuously bring this up over and over again in everyone's face. The will of the Devas and Devi will be no matter what one thinks is the rule of karma, so why have such fear as to constantly bring this subject up which will take a natrural course without such? If Brahmanas are given a responsibility they must give a better answer and better solution than some of what I am reading.

    Om Namah Sivaya

  9. #9

    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Unfortunately, some individuals simply cannot discuss varNAshrama without relying on heavily stereotyped criticisms. These include such ideas as "varNa by birth means you want to exploit someone" or "varNa by birth means you are just trying to glorify your own little caste." These ugly stereotypes have little to do with varNAshrama, but they continue to constitute an acceptable standard of anti-Hindu chauvinism previously inherited from left-wing thinkers. The irony is that many people who espouse these views these days will self-identify as Hindus, which seems to lend some credibility to the stereotypes.

    I have been stressing in these presentations that varNAshrama as it is found in the itihAsa/purANa-s is an hierarchical but inclusive institution with a basis in the very theology which Sri Krishna delivers to Arjuna in the bhagavad-gItA. It is illogical to profess respect for the gItA, and then simultaneously condemn birth-based varNAsharma, when Sri Krishna's arguments about "doing your duty" and "not doing another's duty" are predicated on an objective standard of knowing what your duty is, i.e. because of birth-based varNa-s. It is also illogical to suggest that hierarchy implies exploitation, when each of the varNa-s are said to have their divine origin in one of the divine body parts of the puruSha. Does the head exploit the arms? Or the feet? Would anyone wish to live without their feet?

    To understand another person's culture requires the ability to free one's self, at least for the sake of argument, from the burden of one's pre-conceived notions, and to try and think according to the standards of the culture one is trying to understand. This includes understanding that culture's extremely non-materialistic assumptions about reality, and about one's place in it. Sadly, not everyone can be expected to do that. But Hinduism forums are still the only place where we can discuss these things, and discuss them we must. As I see it, there are several good reasons why varNAsharma-dharma must be clarified and explained as it is:

    - To distinguish scripturally permitted varNa-s and their duties from man-made castes
    - To emphasize the ultimate point of varNAshrama, which is work free from materialistic desire which should lead to brahman (this is in contrast to mundane work where sense-gratification is the unstated goal)
    - To pre-empt left-wing critics and heretical missionaries who would use "caste system" to denounce Hinduism
    - To tell the truth about Vaidika Hinduism's view on this matter, which is always a desirable thing to do in any context, especially when ideology has made people so hostile to it

    It would be helpful if those who have nothing constructive to add could simply read and try to understand, rather than interjecting their typical strawman attacks and stereotyped objections. Sadly, at least one of these individuals has now taken to the low-class strategy of attacking HDF and its moderation on another forum. The moderators do not deserve this treatment simply for allowing a dispassionate discussion on the subject here.

    Whether we like it or not, varNAsharma is very much at the root of our vaidika culture, and it behooves us to explain it properly, as it was, and not merely according to today's standards of political correctness.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Namaste Philosoraptor

    I assume this is some sort of personal attack on me, which is always resorted to when there are traditional Hindus such as myself who address the subject from the teachings given to them from authorized Acharyas.

    You have already stated these attacks, which seem off subject to the question. It is again the same attacks using words "strawman" and "our culture" (as if millions of Indians in India who do not share your sects perspective on varna are some "other culture") and which does not answer the question directly pertinent to the subject of this thread, please give the specific quote in the four Vedas that states "varna is only birth based, only the son of a Brahmin can be a Brahmin". Not inference, not commentary. Not "fifth Veda".

    What is so difficult about this?

    Om Namah Sivaya
    Last edited by ShivaFan; 05 August 2013 at 05:28 PM.

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