Shruti Vs Smriti

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Wed Aug 13 12:36:52 CDT 1997

Vidyasankar wrote:

>> A couple of questions.  I read and ponder and contemplate material from the
>> Upanishads every day.  I wouldn't call myself a Sannyasi, but more of a
>> householder.  Therefore I might be doing an enterprise (jnana kanda) that
>> I'm not supposed to.  Should I just forget it??  (I won't of course,
>> just asking!)
>No. Orthodox teachers have said that there is nothing against reading the
>upanishads in translation, even if one is not a sannyAsin.

I haven't read the jIvanmukti viveka by shrI vidyAraNya, but apparently
he says that everyone should make an attempt to realize the self,
irrespective of what they are doing, even if they are not able to take
up sannyAsam. One can read translations of upanisshad-s. Apart from
that, books like Atma bodha, upadeshasAhasrI, daxiNAmUrti hymn etc
condense the teachings of upanishhad-s so that any one can read it.
These texts also do not require any initiation and can be read by all.
It only requires that the sAdhaka try to follow the sAdhana
chatushhTayam so that things are viewed in the proper perspective.

One shold however not chant the passage from upanishhad-s or veda-s
unless they have received proper authorization. Apart from the sin
incurred by unauthorized chanting, there is the question of svara-s. The
so called "liberals" think that anyone can chant the veda-s and in
whatever svara they please and I have had the misfortune of listening to
some of these people. The resultant cacophony is quite dreadful, to say
the least. It's worse than playing a peice of, say Mozart, totally out
of tune.


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