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Thread: Misunderstandings - VAD Threads

  1. #11
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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Namaste Respected Members,

    I cannot quote from Veda-s due to my limited study, but as it has been pointed out, words of wise men, which were authority during their days is also of utmost importance, as they have digested teachings of veda-s and other shastra-s like dharma shastra-s, etc.

    I have found out that Shankara and Ramajuna bhasya on Bhagavad Gita 18.41 gives logical explanation why Varna is by birth

    Translations provided by the authors are only posted out of mere convenience, as they are easily available on net, so that anyone can cross verify. I have taken matter from Gita Super site (link in my signature)

    ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां शूद्राणां च परंतप।
    कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि स्वभावप्रभवैर्गुणैः।।18.41।।

    brāhmaṇakṣatriyaviśāṅ śūdrāṇāṅ ca paraṅtapa.
    karmāṇi pravibhaktāni svabhāvaprabhavairguṇaiḥ..18.41..

    English translation by Swami Gambhirananda

    18.41 O scorcher of enemies, the duties of the Brahmanas, the Ksatriyas and the Vaisyas, as also of the Sudras have been fully classified according to the gunas born from Nature.

    English translation by Swami Sivananda

    18.41 Of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, as also of Sudras, O Arjuna, the duties are distributed according to the qualities born of their own nature.

    Sanskrit commentary by Sri Sankaracharya

    -- ब्राह्मणाश्च क्षत्रियाश्च विशश्च ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशः, तेषां ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां शूद्राणां च -- शूद्राणाम् असमासकरणम् एकजातित्वे सति वेदानधिकारात् -- हे परंतप, कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि इतरेतरविभागेन व्यवस्थापितानि। केन? स्वभावप्रभवैः गुणैः, स्वभावः ईश्वरस्य प्रकृतिः त्रिगुणात्मिका माया सा प्रभवः येषां गुणानां ते स्वभावप्रभवाः, तैः, शमादीनि कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि ब्राह्मणादीनाम्। अथवा ब्राह्मणस्वभावस्य सत्त्वगुणः प्रभवः कारणम्, तथा क्षत्रियस्वभावस्य सत्त्वोपसर्जनं रजः प्रभवः, वैश्यस्वभावस्य तमउपसर्जनं रजः प्रभवः, शूद्रस्वभावस्य रजउपसर्जनं तमः प्रभवः, प्रशान्त्यैश्वर्येहामूढतास्वभावदर्शनात् चतुर्णाम्। अथवा, जन्मान्तरकृतसंस्कारः प्राणिनां वर्तमानजन्मनि स्वकार्याभिमुखत्वेन अभिव्यक्तः स्वभावः, सः प्रभवो येषां गुणानां ते स्वभावप्रभवाः गुणाः; गुणप्रादुर्भावस्य निष्कारणत्वानुपपत्तेः। 'स्वभावः कारणम्' इति च कारणविशेषोपादानम्। एवं स्वभावप्रभवैः प्रकृतिभवैः सत्त्वरजस्तमोभिः गुणैः स्वकार्यानुरूपेण शमादीनि कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि।।ननु शास्त्रप्रविभक्तानि शास्त्रेण विहितानि ब्राह्मणादीनां शमादीनि कर्माणि; कथम् उच्यते सत्त्वादिगुणप्रविभक्तानि इति? नैष दोषः; शास्त्रेणापि ब्राह्मणादीनां सत्त्वादिगुणविशेषापेक्षयैव शमादीनि कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि, न गुणानपेक्षया, इति शास्त्रप्रविभक्तान्यपि कर्माणि गुणप्रविभक्तानि इति उच्यते।।कानि पुनः तानि कर्माणि इति, उच्यते -- ।।18.41।।


    Hindi translation by Sri Harikrishandas Goenka (on Sri Sankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary)

    तथा सम्पूर्ण गीताशास्त्रका इस प्रकार उपसंहार भी किया जाना चाहिये कि 'परम पुरुषार्थकी सिद्धि चाहनेवालोंके द्वारा अनुष्ठान किये जानेयोग्य यह इतना ही समस्त वेद और स्मृतियोंका अभिप्राय है' अतः इस अभिप्रायसे ये 'ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशाम्' इत्यादि श्लोक आरम्भ किये जाते हैं -- हे परन्तप ! ब्राह्मण, क्षत्रिय और वैश्य -- इन तीनोंके और शूद्रोंके भी कर्म विभक्त किये हुए हैं अर्थात् परस्पर विभागपूर्वक निश्चित किये हुए हैं। ब्राह्मणादिके साथ शूद्रोंको मिलाकर-समास करके न कहनेका अभिप्राय यह है कि शूद्र द्विज न होनेके कारण वेद-पठनमें उनका अधिकार नहीं है। किसके द्वारा विभक्त किये गये हैं? स्वभावसे उत्पन्न हुए गुणोंके द्वारा। स्वभाव यानी ईश्वरकी प्रकृति -- त्रिगुणात्मिका माया, वह माया जिन गुणोंके प्रभवका यानी उत्पत्तिका कारण है, ऐसे स्वभावप्रभव गुणोंके द्वारा ब्राह्मणादिके, शम आदि कर्म विभक्त किये गये हैं। अथवा यों समझो कि ब्राह्मणस्वभावका कारण सत्त्वगुण है, वैसे ही क्षत्रियस्वभावका कारण सत्त्वमिश्रित रजोगुण है, वैश्यस्वभावका कारण तमोमिश्रित रजोगुण है और शूद्रस्वभावका कारण रजोमिश्रित तमोगुण है। क्योंकि उपर्युक्त चारों वर्णोंमें ( गुणोंके अनुसार ) क्रमसे शान्ति, ऐश्वर्य, चेष्टा और मूढ़ता -- ये अलग-अलग स्वभाव देखे जाते हैं। अथवा यों समझो कि प्राणियोंके जन्मान्तरमें किये हुए कर्मोंके संस्कार, जो वर्तमान जन्ममें अपने कार्यके अभिमुख होकर व्यक्त हुए हैं, उनका नाम स्वभाव है। ऐसा स्वभाव जिन गुणोंकी उत्पत्तिका कारण है, वे स्वभावप्रभव गुण हैं। गुणोंका प्रादुर्भाव बिना कारणके नहीं बन सकता। इसलिये 'स्वभाव उनकी उत्पत्तिका कारण है' यह कहकर कारणविशेषका प्रतिपादन किया गया है। इस प्रकार स्वभावसे उत्पन्न हुए अर्थात् प्रकृतिसे उत्पन्न हुए सत्त्व, रज और तम -- इन तीनों गुणोंद्वारा अपने-अपने कार्यके अनुरूप शमादि कर्म विभक्त किये गये हैं। पू0 -- ब्राह्मणादि वर्णोंके शम आदि कर्म तो शास्त्रद्वारा विभक्त हैं, अर्थात् शास्त्रद्वारा निश्चित किये गये हैं; फिर यह कैसे कहा जाता है, कि सत्त्व आदि तीनों गुणोंद्वारा विभक्त किये गये हैं? उ0 -- यह दोष नहीं है, क्योंकि शास्त्रद्वारा भी ब्राह्मणादिके शमादि कर्म सत्त्वादि गुण-भेदोंकी अपेक्षासे ही विभक्त किये गये हैं, बिना गुणोंकी अपेक्षासे नहीं। अतः शास्त्रद्वारा विभक्त किये हुए भी कर्म, गुणोंद्वारा विभक्त किये गये हैं, ऐसा कहा जाता है ।।18.41।।

    English translation by Swami Gambhirananda (on Sri Sankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary)

    18.41 Parantapa, O scorcher of enemies; karmani, the duties; brahmana-ksatriya-visam, of the Brahmanas, the Ksatriyas and the Vaisyas; ca, as also; sudranam, of the Surdras-the Sudras have not been included with the others (in the compund word) because, owing to their having a single birth, Sudras have no right to be invested with the sacred thread which, in the case of the other three castes, symbolizes a second birth. they have no right to (the study of) the Vedas; pravibhaktani, have been fully classified, have been prescribed by making distinctions among them;-according to what?-gunahi, according to the gunas; svabhava-prabhavaih, born from Nature.Nature means the Praktrti of God, His Maya consisting of the three gunas. 'Born from Nature' means 'born of these three gunas. In accordnace with these the duties such as control of the internal organs, etc. of the Brahmanas and others have been classified. Or (the meaning is): The source of the nature of the Brahmanas is the quality of sattva. Similarly, the source of the nature of the Ksatriyas is rajas, with sattva as a subordinate (quality); the source of the nature of the Vaisyas is rajas, with tamas as the subordinate (quality); the source of the nature of the Sudras is tamas, with rajas as the subordinate (quality); for the natures of the four are seen to be tranquillity. lordliness, industriousness and dullness respectively. Or, svabhava (nature) means the (individual) tendencies of creatures earned in their past lives, which have become manifest in the present life for yielding their own results. The gunas which have that svabhava as their source (prabhava) are svabhava-prabhavah gunah.Since the manifestation of the gunas cannot logically be uncaused, therefore a specific cause i.e. the tendencies are the efficient cause, and Nature is the material cause. has been posited by saying that Nature is the cause.Thus, the duties such as control of the internal organs etc. have been classified in keeping with the effects of the gunas, sattva, rajas and tamas, which are born of Nature, born of Prakrti.Objection: Well, are not the duties like controlling the internal organs etc. of the Brahmanas and others classified and enjoined by the scriptures? Why is it said that they are classified according to the gunas sattva etc.?Reply: This objection is not valid. For, the duties like controlling the internal organs etc. of the Brahmanas and others have been classified even by the scriptures verily in keeping with the specific qualities sattva etc.; certainly, not without reference to the gunas. Hence, though the duties have been divided by the scriputres, they are said to have been classified according to the gunas.Which, again, are those duties? They are being spoken of:

    Sanskrit commentary by Sri Ramanuja

    ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां स्वकीयो भावः स्वभावः; ब्रह्मणादिजन्महेतुभूतं प्राचीनं कर्म इत्यर्थः। तत्प्रभवाः सत्त्वादयो गुणाः; ब्राह्मणस्य स्वभावप्रभवो रजस्तमोऽभिभवेन उद्भूतः सत्त्वगुणः, क्षत्रियस्य स्वभावप्रभवः सत्त्वतमसोः अभिभवेन उद्भूतो रजोगुणः, वैश्यस्य स्वभावप्रभवः सत्त्वरजोऽभिभवेन अल्पोद्रिक्तः तमोगुणः, शूद्रस्य स्वभावप्रभवः तु रजःसत्त्वाभिभवेन अत्युद्रिक्तः तमोगुणः। एभिः स्वभावप्रभवैः गुणैः सह प्रविभक्तानि कर्माणि शास्त्रैः प्रतिपादितानि। ब्राह्मणादय एवंगुणकाः तेषां च तानि कर्माणि वृत्तयः च एता इति हि विभज्य प्रतिपादयन्ति शास्त्राणि ।।18.41।।

    English translation by Swami Adidevananda (on Sri Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary)

    18.41 The nature of Brahmanas, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras are due to their respective inherent dispositions. The meaning is that their past Karma has been the cause of determining births as Brahmanas etc. The Sattva and other Gunas are the result of such Karma. The Sattva-guna is born from the inherent nature of the Brahmana becoming dominant by suppressing the qualities of Rajas and Tamas. The quality of Rajas originates from the inherent nature of the Ksatriyas becoming dominant by suppressing qualities of Sattva and Tamas. Tamoguna arises from the inherent nature of the Vaisya, becoming dominant in a little way by suppressing Sattva and Rajas. The duties and works assigned to them according to the Gunas constituting their inherent nature, are expounded and allotted by the Sastras in the order described. For the Sastras analyse that the Brahmanas etc., possess such and such attributes and such and such are their duties and occupations.

    Please os chintan on guna, svabhava, svadharma, which is explained in later verses in same chapter.

    I hope this helps shed some light on this issue.

    All is been done in good spirit.

    On a personal note, brahmins have been imposed much more restrictions like they are not allowed to take any job

    Brahmins have to dedicate upto 40 years of life to master veda-s

    Vaidika: One how knows one veda. Dedicates 100 years for one veda
    Dvivedi / Dave: One who dedicates 20 years for learning 2 veda-s
    Trivedi: One who dedicates 30 years for learning 3 veda-s
    Chaturvedi: One who dedicates 40 years for learning 4 veda-s

    To add to complication, as mentioned in one of the articles which I have given link in earlier post, there are many methods of chanting, natural and reverse. To master all of them is extremely difficult.

    In olden days, everything was learned verbally. Veda-s were not written in palm leaves.

    Hence it takes time to learn all.

    Now you see why there are gradations among brahmins too. The respect they get epends upon their knowledge of veda-s.

    Ofcourse, to retain brahminhood, one must follow and practice i.e. life the life as commanded by veda-s.

    For everything right from waking up, to taking sip of water to going for urinating, to eating to sleeping etc, Brahmins have to follow customs and chant mantra-s.

    While according to Swami Ramsukhdas ji, an uncontroversial recognised saint, for spiritual purpose, emotions are given more importance, as said in Gita.

    This is to raise the level of brahmins that mere parroting will not help one progress beyond a point. Also all varna-s are free to chant God's name.

    Aum

    Amrut
    Last edited by Amrut; 08 August 2013 at 12:06 PM.
    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

    Sridhara Swami's Commentary

    Now Lord Krishna commences a new theme with this verse explaining that the duties of the different classes of Vedic society such as brahmana or priestly class, ksatriya or royal and warrior class, vaisya or agricultural and mercantile class as well as sudra or menial worker class which is the only one not qualified to take part in any Vedic activity as they serve the other three classes. The duties enjoined for all the classes are clearly delineated and itemised with distinct divisions. The typical duties of all the four classes will be described according to the predominating influence of the three gunas which manifest the corresponding nature determined by the tendencies acquired in past lives and the impressions from the attendant karma or reactions to actions. The brahmins have a predominance of sattva guna, the ksatriya's a predominance of raja guna with a little sattva guna, the vaisyas with raja guna mixed with tama guna and the sudras with a predominance tama guna and a little raja guna.

    source: http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-18-39.html

    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

  3. #13
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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaFan View Post

    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.
    Namaste ShivaFan ji,

    As I understand, Westerners mostly are attracted to the spiritual side of Hinduism and not to become priest or to fight for our country or grow vegetables or carry a dead body to cremation ground (shudra-s) [1]

    AS of many popular Hindu guru-s or representatives like Swami vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, Srila Prabhupada and others like Maharshi Mahesh Yogi attracted large crowds because they were talking about spiritual aspect like becoming one with God or enjoying leela [2].

    No one, to my knowledge, went there for the sole purpose of converting westerners to Hindu-s to perform rites and duties ascribed to each varna.

    Though there is no traditional method to convert anyone to Hindu, all are welcome to adapt spiritual approach or spiritual teaching. We also find e.g. in shastra-s that some of them though not were born brahmins were given initiation.

    [1] This e.g. is given in a commentary by Keshav Kashmiri on B.G. 18.41, where he says there are many verses that says

    To study the Vedic scriptures and perform yagna the prerequisite of initiation essential and required. A sudra is a fourth class citizen who may perform unauthorised activities without sin because they are only once born from the womb not twice born by the spiritual master. It is prohibited in the Vedic scripture to initiate a sudra. If done it will bring calamity upon the spiritual master, his dynasty and the whole kingdom. There are direct references in the Vedic scriptures prohibiting sudras from initiation. Such passages as: The sudra carries the dead body to the cremation ground that is a sudra and if a sudra hears a mantra his ears should be filled with wax, if he recites a mantra his tongue should be cut out and if he memorises a mantra his life should be taken. So it can be understood that in ancient times the prohibitions of a sudra were strictly enforced.

    But examples are cited in Vedic scriptures attesting to the fact that if it is discered that a sudra possesses the innate qualities of sattva guna then even he can be eligible to receive initiation if this has been ascertained by the bonafide spiritual master.
    My question is why such strict restrictions? Should not each sudra be given an opportunity to transform themselves. Is it not possible that shudra-s after listening to veda-s decide to live a pure and pious life as that of Brahmin?

    If at all varna was not based on birth, why impose such restriction? Makes no sense.

    The reason of other verses may be that brahmins were cautioned as to not to take their birthright casually. They have to retain their brahminhood, else they are as good as sudra-s

    Also on spiritual matters inner purity if found in non-brahmins or shudra-s, they can be given initiation, but from commentaries of B.G. 18.41 it is clear that such cases will be very rare, as else God must have given them birth in Brahmin family.

    [2] Please keep controversies like non-traditional, neo, etc, away from this thread. It can be discussed in Jalpa

    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,

    On a quick note

    Varnashrama includes two things

    varNa and Ashrama

    4 varNa-s: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra

    Ashrama: Brahmacharya, grihasta, vAnaprastha, sanyAsa.

    As upadesha-s are given on adhikAra bheda, when proper time comes the jinx is broken

    e.g. Initially, young students in Brahmacharya ashram are told to by-heart veda-s.

    Later on they are said that this is not complete reality. The meaning has to be understood. According to Nirukta, a brahmin comes under the curse if he does not know the meaning of what he is chanting.

    But if this is said in the beginning, then who will make an attempt to read veda-s

    Grihasta is the for good of all. This ashrama takes all the burden and helps other 3 ashramas by supporting them physically or financially.

    When time comes to retire, vAnaprastha ashrama is introduced, which depends upon age of person.

    Since the person is 75 years old, he has done enough work. Now he must turn towards spiritual aspect and concentrate on moksha. thi sis preparation for last ashrama sanyAsa ashram

    Here, one has to forget about varNa and rise above it. Only in sanyas ashram, it is said that drop your association with varnA and they are given a new name indicating a new identity. Here instructions may be quite contrary to that given to a grahasthi.

    If you have an appetite for 5 roti-s then you will have to eat all 5. Will you satisfy your hunger just by eating the last i.e. 5th roti?

    One has to pass through this phase. Both varNa and Ashrama and do duties according to them.

    Infact Brahmins now-a-days get no concession in any field, be it politics, education or govt job, while minorities, dalits, or other varna-s do have their own reservation quota.

    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

  5. #15
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    Re: Misunderstandings - VAD Threads

    Admin Note

    Namaste,
    Please posts all your misunderstandings/questions/comments/thoughts regarding VAD threads on this thread.

    Thanks,
    satay

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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Namaste ShivaFan,
    Generally, I did not want to get involved in this discussion but I could not stop myself after reading your post.

    Ved Vyasa compiled the itihasa and puranas for the people of kaliyug. It should not be taken as an insult. We the common people of kaliyug are to study the ramanaya and gita.

    Vedas are for the Brahmins to learn.

    This is the way things are and we (you and I) cannot change our tradition simply because we may not like it.

    That said, I do not have a quote for you that will satisfy, personally I do not need a quote. This 'requiring proof' from quoting this and that is also a western thing in general and a Christian thing in particular.

    I hope you have not taken any offence from my post as none as meant.

    It is NOT an insult to know that Vedas are for the Brahmin and the itihasa is for us.

    To learn the Vedas carry a huge burden/karmic debt and I feel lucky that you and I do not have to carry that burden.

    Take care,
    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaFan View Post
    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
    Last edited by satay; 08 August 2013 at 10:04 AM.
    satay

  7. #17

    Re: Misunderstandings - VAD Threads

    delete
    Last edited by Sudas Paijavana; 17 January 2014 at 09:26 PM. Reason: irrelevant to thread

  8. #18
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    Re: VAD Part 2: Character and Vocation by Birth

    Pranam ShivaFan

    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaFan View Post
    Namaste Ganeshprashad

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

    If you are a fan of Goswami Tulsidas then i suggest you read up on his stand on Varna, you will find it is no different from birth base.


    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.
    Which it should not be, why should an outsider who gets interested in Hindu way of life try dictate how it should be, why when the tradition that has survived all kind off invasion and atrocity become a subject of ridicule by someone who wants to join it.
    why not just accept the spiritual side of the dharma. In the end all designation has to fall when one accept Sanyas, work towards it, no effort is ever lost.

    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.
    i will not go into the sort comings, because there are genuine seekers too.

    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 other words what you are saying is our ancestors who followed these tradition were all wrong, that we should now conform to western way of thinking because they have a dilemma.

    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
    To tell you the truth, number of times i have had indignation of hearing this from many such devotees, who would be happy to take a pot at birth base varna system, the standard dig would be '' would you trust a son of a doctor to treat you'' sounds very convincing to an audience and slowly the trust and the respect that was there for the Brahmanas are waning.
    So yes let us tell the truth and abide in it.

    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"
    I am afraid you are blowing this out of all promotion, Hindus have never looked upon Brahmins as elitist who lords over rest of the varnas, this was the sad lies perpetrated by the British and i am sorry to say you are spinning the same yarn, i feel sad.

    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post
    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?
    Greetings,

    Perhaps another question would be: are the sixteen Sanskars (beginning with conception) explicated in sufficient detail in the four Vedas?
    "Everybody wants to see God but nobody wants to do any sadhana." -- Swami Sivananda
    "You can advance only through karma yoga; by karma yoga you may benefit others also....Only hard work can make a person powerful and energetic." -- Haidakhan Babaji
    "Do everything you do as Śivathondu." -- Yogaswami

  10. #20

    Re: Misunderstandings - VAD Threads

    Pranams,

    A few small corrections if I may:

    It appears that learning of veda was for brahmins, kShatriya-s, and possibly vaishya-s as well, the three varNa-s collectively known as dvija-s. As pramANa for this, I would point out that Sri Krishna, after being reunited with devakI and vasudeva, was sent by them to learn veda-s from guru sAndIpani muni along with His brahmin friend sudAma.

    The dharma-shAstra-s quoted by Adi shankara, rAmAnuja, et. al. in their respective vedAnta commentaries indicate only that shUdra-s are not to learn veda-s. Nevertheless, these commentators are in agreement that shUdra-s can study itihAsa-s and purANa-s. This does not mean that itihAsa/purANa is not for dvija-s. On the contrary, they are also to be studied by dvija-s in addition to veda.

    The idea that itihAsa-s and purANa-s are somehow "lesser" scriptures is a crassly non-vedANtic idea. The mahAbhArata compares itself to an upaniShad (MB 1.1.251), states that it contains the essence of the veda-s (MB 1.1.266, MB 1.2.41) and even states that it is superior in a sense to the veda-s (MB 1.1.268-271). There is a statement that when mahAbhArata was placed on a scale against the four veda-s, it was the bhArata that weighed more heavily. The restriction on studying the veda is related to the way in which it was meant to be studied, by people of highly purified intellect and through a rigorous program of austerity beginning in childhood and lasting 12 years or more. The itihAsa/purANa on the other hand do not require such a rigid education, as they are written in story form to convey the essence of the veda.

    The bhAgavata purANa 1.7.10 states that all sorts of AtmArAma-s relish hearing the bhAgavatam - this means even those who are learned vedAntists, naturally. So it is not correct to downplay the importance of the itihAsa/purANa in this fashion.

    shrI jIva gosvAmI quoted a pramANa in his tattva-sandarbha explaining the difference. According to him, the veda-s speak to one like a father, while the purANa-s speak to one sweetly, like a lover. But they both uphold the same message.
    Philosoraptor

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

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