The Vedas

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Jan 7 19:02:30 CST 1998

On Tue, 6 Jan 1998, Ram Chandran wrote:

> By this posting, you have taught me and others in
> the Advaita List how to respond to inappropriate postings

I should hope the teachings of the sages are appropriate for this list!

> from people
> who try to disturb the PEACE.  We want to thank you for helping us to
> shape our response and refrain from unnecessary arguments to maintain
> peace.

Peace is good.  It is a noble goal.  But peace is subordinate to truth.
In any situation were speaking the truth means upsetting the peace, peace
should take a back seat. I'll try to be as polite as I can but I don't
intend to back down from doing what is right.

> The teachings and messages of the Hindu Scriptures are universal and for
> all people despite their sex, religious affiliation and nationality.
> The Hindu Religion is Universal and so the question of foreigners
> (including aliens) doesn't arise.

Nice slogans but as someone who was brought up in a traditional
background, you know that's not true.

> During Vedic period, Gayatri Mantra
> Initiation ceremony (Thread Ceremony)  was conducted for all youngsters,
> both girls and boys.  After their initiation, they went to Gurukul and
> learnt the scriptures.  The Rishis and their wives were great scholars.

Where's the evidence?  (Historical I mean, not mythological.)

> Even during Sankara's period, Mandana Misra's wife became the judge to
> evaluate the debate between Sankara and Mandana Misra.

Note in the introduction to his Gitabhashya He also says that the smritis
like Mahabharat are for those like women and Shudras who are unable to
learn the Vedas.  Evidently he was not impressed by Mrs. Mishra :-)

> of people by sex and their origin of birth is a social and not a
> religious notion.

And the idea that religion and society can be seperated is a modern
atheist one.  We expect the shastras to provide us not just instruction in
philosophy with and faith but who to marry, what to name ourselves, what
direction to sleep in and when to shave.  (This last injunction is highly
discriminatory against women but doesn't seem to upset the liberals so
much.  I wonder why?  :-)

Apart from sex and origin, the shastras make many other distinctions.
Station of life--some things are meant for Sannyasis only, others for
householders only.  Education--learned people can do things simple-minded
people are not allowed too.  Location--Some things that Bengalis do are
off-limits for Gujaratis and vice-versa.  Time--some activities only take
place on certain days or at certain astrological events.  And any number
of other things.

Far from being ashamed and trying to cover this up, we should be glad
Sanatan Dharma is not a "one size fits all" religion.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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