Vaidya N. Sundaram
sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Mon Jan 12 09:25:46 CST 1998
The post by Mantralaura confirms what a lot us belive happened even in
ancient schools. As far as I have heard and sen, women are NOT prohibited
from learning or reciting the Vedas. In fact, a few days ag, I was
listening to (a cassette) a discourse on the Bhagavatam in 1959 by Sri
Sri Anantha rama Dikshidhar. He was saying how sad it is that women do
not recite or even learn the Vedas these days. So the fact that for close
to a century women have not decided to learn the Vedas is not a
reflection on the custom of the land. The only thing I have heard is
prohibited for women in Pancha-akshara Gayatri. They are allowed to
meditate on the Tri-akshara Gayatri.
I guess one reason why women have not learnt the Vedas in the past is
because, by vedic law, what the husband and sons do in terms of japas or
Homas is sufficient for the mother and sisters of the house.
On Sun, 11 Jan 1998 MANTRALAURA at DELPHI.COM wrote:
> Namaste Nagy,
> Everyone, men, women, and children, were expected
> to chant the mantras when I visited the Gurukulam. We
> all attended the chanting classes and Swami Dayananda
> conducted them. We were not prohibited from anything,
> only encouraged to participate. Swami Dayananda always
> treats everyone equally and refuses to judge anyone, even
> AIDS patients who were there. He only tried to help everyone
> he met and showed love and compassion. If he has changed
> since I met him, I would be surprised because the other
> swamis at the Gurukulam have also supported his teachings.
> However, when he returns to this country, I will ask him
> OM shaanti, shaanti, shaantiH
>From Mon Jan 12 13:28:01 1998
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 13:28:01 -0500
Reply-To: chandran at tidalwave.net
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Subject: Re: Bhagavad kr^pa (grace of God)
Comments: To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
> I am grateful to Shri Sadananda, Ram Chandran, Vaidya Sundaram and others
> for discussion on this topic. I have one more query on this (and a
> related) topic. This is related to concept of karma and jeeva's actions
> vis-a-vis bhagavad kr^pa (grace of God).
> 1. We all know bhagavad kr^pa (whatever that parameter) is the same toward
> all jeevas. If not, that is not God (as Shri Sadananda said). Yet, the
> karma concept says that depending on jeeva's past actions, the jeeva's
> future lives and actions are determined. This, I would assume, in spite
> of the bhagavad kr^pa toward all jeevas ? Does it mean that the jeeva's
> past action has a stronger impact than bhagavad kr^pa ? Can it be
> possible ? Isn't there a contradiction negating the sameness of
> bhagavad kr^pa ? The explanation, that we are seeing different jeevas
> at various stages of their spiritual evolution, and bhagavad kr^pa is
> the same for all, does not hold either. Thus, the only explanation is
> that the duality we see, and the whole (concepts of karma, and
> bhagavad kr^pa) all belong in the realm of mAya. Anyone, care to
> comment ?
Let me try to answer your question with a story (I don't know the
A great Krishna worshiper by the name, Jeevan was a great believer of
the Grace of God and was always expecting help of God. He went to
Mathura to visit Brindavan and he had to cross the river Yamuna. On
the banks of the river, no people were waiting except the drivers of the
boats. He approached them and expressed his interest to cross the river
to visit Brindavan. The boat operators explained the dangers of
crossing the river and refused to go. However, Jeevan offered three
times the normal charges for the ride and a greedy person by the name
Mayan, after persuasion, offered to drive his boat. When Jeevan sat on
the boat, Mayan provided him a life jacket and asked Jeevan to wear it
and warned him about the bad flood conditions of the river. Jeevan
refused to wear the life jacket, laughing at Mayan and said that Lord
Krishna will protect them from all miseries. After traveling for few
yards, Mayan tried to convince Jeevan to return to the shore.
Nevertheless, Jeevan did not listen and shouted and ordered Mayan to
continue. In spite of his constant praying for help, the severe
currents of the river damaged and capsized the boat. Mayan with the
life jacket could cross the river by swimming. Jeevan did not know
swimming and the river current dragged him. Suddenly, a floating tree
on the river stopped him and did not want to hold the tree and said to
himself: "The Grace of God will save me from this disaster."
After a short while, the waters of Yamuna submerged Jeevan's body.
Jeevan's soul met Lord Krishna and asked:
" I prayed and requested for your Grace always; why did you not come
to rescue me?"
"First, when you went to the river banks, I warned you through the boat
operators to save you. Second, I tried to offer you a Life-Jacket
through Mayan to save you. Third, I suggested to you by the words of
Mayan to take you back to the shore. Finally, I send a floating tree to
help you to save you. In spite of all my efforts, you refused to accept
my Grace. What else did you expect from me?"
The moral of the story is obvious. God's Grace can come only to those
who are willing to accept it. Let me state this famous quotation about
human behavior: "Some seek opportunities; some grab opportunities when
they come and some will not avail opportunities that are thrust on
them!" (I forgot the author's name).
Some more examples:
The Sun shines for everyone. Some gain from the light and others get
Rain pours the waters for everyone. Some gain and others get drowned!
Finally, our scriptures use and ask us to apply common sense and
intuition. Both are based on personal experience!
> 2. In more or less analogy to this, there is another concept on which I
> seek clarification. A few months ago, I was attending a lecture by a
> swamiji belonging to viShishhTa-advaita tradition. At the end of the
> lecture, I asked a general question concerning mAya. The swamiji's
> response (of course completely disregarding the concept of mAya)
> included a statement to the effect "How can mAya be there ? Is mAya
> so powerful as to completely mask the Brahman ? Or is Brahman so weak
> as to be masked by mAya ? Thus mAya cannot explain what we see."
> Any elucidation on this point, which I would assume is a standard
> vishishhTa-advaita argument against the concept of mAya ?
Swamiji seems to agree that Brahman is the most powerful entity. Should
the most powerful can create a Maya to mask the Brahman completely? The
answer is necessarily, yes because a "no" answer will contradict
Swamiji's assertion! Please do not interpret this to mean that the
Swamiji has faulted. We have no way of knowing the True Nature of
Brahman. Religious philosophies attempt to help us to direct our
enquiries on TRUTH. Any attempts to evaluate the religious philosophies
will only create an intellectual crisis and pitfalls. Religion is just
a vehicle to find the TRUTH and Religion by itself is not the TRUTH!
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