Validity of Shruti

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Jan 10 17:00:29 CST 2000

On Mon, 10 Jan 2000, Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:

> Hello all :
>     I have a couple of questions on scriptural authority.
> 1) Is it wrong to interpret Shruti "rationally"?
>    I am under the impression that only in matters regarding Moksha
>    and jnAna should Shruti be accepted without doubt, as this
>    knowledge is supra-sensory.

And Dharma.

>  In all other matters, Shruti should
>    be understood in conjunction with Smriti and one's reasoning.
>    Is this correct?

Yes.  And shistachara.  Observing how ones elders and the sages of the
past observed Dharma is also a source of Dharma.

> 2) Can one portion of Shruti supersede another portion?
>    Specifically, does the jnAna kANDa supersede the karma kANDa?

Given that he believed all karma was superfluous, why did Shankaracharya
bother defending the himsaka yajnas? Shankaracharya teaches that both the
parts of the Vedas teach a different topic.  Each is valid in their own
domain. Read the discourse by one of his successors that Ravi posted a few
days ago.  It is like the rule that one should fast on Janmashtami.  It is
still true the day after just no longer applicable.  For the sannyasi the
rules of the shastras are no longer applicable but that does not stop them
from being completely valid and binding for everyone else.

>    I have always wondered why VedAnta places a greater emphasis on
>    the former.  If the teachings of VedAnta follow from "all" of
>    the vedas, why is it called "VedAnta" and not "VaidhIka"?

If you look at the whole spectrum of Vedanta it is only Advaita Vedanta
which completely divorces karma and jnana. Even amongst Advaitins there is
a lot of respect for karma it is just not applicable to the subject of

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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