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
> 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 braincells.com] And the men .-_|\ who hold
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