Three schools of thought

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Nov 20 13:01:33 CST 1996

On Wed, 20 Nov 1996, Madhava Kumar Turumella wrote:


> Further, I apologise for the lenthyness of the Article. But, I did
> not want to cut it into two.

Lengthiness is not neccessarily a bad thing.  Some things cannot be
explained in a few words.


> Hindu's  religious  books  are  called  Vedas.   Vedas  are  ,
> basically believed to be, God's direct revelations.

Note this is not neccessarily true.  It is a central tenet of both Purva
and Uttara Mimamsa (Vedanta) that the Vedas are apaurusheya.  Some
thinkers have reconciled this with the idea of Gods revelation saying the
term just means they are not created by people but others maintain even
God cannot be considered author of the Vedas.

> They   are
> vast  compilations of many hymns received by many seers.    In
> olden  days  teachers used to teach vedas to  their  students,
> But,  the  teaching  is not continued like  a  monologue.  The
> subject  being  taught  (that is,  Vedic  hymns)  is  directly
> questioned and the teacher was supposed to satisfy his pupil's
> inquisitive mind hence turning the teaching in to a  dialogue.

This is why the philosophy was reffered to as mimamsa or enquiry.  It
requires employment of the intellect not blind obedience.

> The  answers are so great that they again became a part of the
> vedas named  "upanishads."

The Vedas really have no parts they are one unit of equal authority
throughout.  The division into samhita, Brahmana, Aranyaka, and Upanishad
is in many ways an artificial one.

> As  an illustration, we have this question "Who is supposed to
> be  called  as a brahmin?".  This question is answered  in  an
> upanishad  called "vajrasuchi upanishad."  In  this  upanishad
> the  student question the guru "kOvA brAhmaNaH?". Meaning "who
> is  the brahmin."  The guru answers rather in a very elaborate
> way.   The whole dialogue is recorded and kept safe, so  that,
> we  will not get a doubt in future about the subject.   In the
> same  way,   "Kena unanishad" is also a question  asked  by  a
> student.  The very name itself is a question. i.e. Kena  =  by
> whom?.
> Since  these  upanishads are placed at the end of Vedas,  they
> are  also called as Vedanta i.e. Philosophy.   All four  vedas
> have  their  own upanishads.  Actually we should have  had  at
> least   more  than  1200  upanishads.   Indeed,  the   foreign
> invasions and the attack from the other religions have  caused
> us  loosing most of the upanishads.  And the great damage  was
> done  to them by some foreign sanskrit scholars writing  their
> own  upanishads  and  puts them forth  to  support  their  own
> religion.    For   example,  we  have  an   upanishad   called
> "SailOpanishad"  means,  "That which is  told  on  mountains."
> This  upanishad is nothing but a sanskrit translation  of  the
> "ten  commandments"!.    Same way we  have  another  upanishad
> called  "AllOpanishad" you can rightly guess the  name  itself
> contains  "Allah" the muslim God.  This upanishad Is  again  a
> translation of some parts of Holy Quron.

It is interesting that while accurately identify "Allopanishad" etc. as
fakes, you consider the Vajrasuchi "upanishad" to be real.  As the name
suggests it is Buddhist influenced. Upanishad is also used in the sense of
"hidden" or non-mundane knowledge.  Just because a work is entitled
Upanishad doesn't neccessarily mean it is one.


> The whole Hindu religious philosophy is basically built-up  on
> three schools of thought.

This is not true of what is termed Hinduism as a whole.  Traditionally
there are supposed to be six main schools but nowadays nearly all of them
are extinct or have been absorbed into one form of Vedanta or another.

It is not true of Vedanta even.  An important omission is the Vaishnava
Vallabha who thinks that the doctrine of maya ruins advaita and is not
neccessary.  Thus he refers to his teachings as Shuddhadvaita or pure
advaita.  Then there is the Gaudiya Vaishnavas best known in the west
through ISKCON whose "philosophy" I can frankly make neither head nor
tails off (and I suspect neither can they.)  There are many others who
have attempted to show their philosophies are in concordance with Vedanta.


Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
Consolidated Braincells Inc.                          /     \ -)~~~~~~~~  Perth->*.--._/  o-
"Witty quote" - Dead Guy   /\/\/\ _ _ ___ _  _ Amboy       v      McQ!

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