Study of Vedas

swamy swarna swamyswarna at YAHOO.COM
Tue Apr 9 10:18:10 CDT 2002

hari om. aum namah shivaya. i have been following with
interest the discussion. i too would like to submit
the following, not from any position of authority but
to get some clarification.

The situation of most of the brahmins or brahmanas,
whatever spelling you prefer is similar to what Shri
Ashish Chandra brought out. Brahmanas became the land
holding community and by the very nature of the
occupation got entangled in the 'worldly' affairs and
while continuing to maintain their education in
loukika shastras like languages, grammar, astrology,
study and exposition of puranas etc., did give up the
study of vedas.

in such a situation, swadharma, narrowly interpreted
does take us more and more away from the eternally
true sanatana dharma. so what is the solution? go back
to the simple, austere lifestyle of study of vedas or
take a narrow interpretation that destiny has chosen
us to be born in such a family at such a time that our
dharma is to follow our immediate generation
preceding? neither solution appears to be

is there a third solution? how about coming together
and setting up a trust which grooms youngsters of that
particular community in the study of vedas, esp. of
that particular shakha? since many of the children do
take a curriculum more out of economic necessity, why
not convert that very necessity into an opportunity?
that way, one would have done satkarma and also
arrested the extinction of that shakha.

i would like to read the views of other learned
members of the list.

swamy sv

--- Ashish Chandra <ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> On Fri, 5 Apr 2002 20:39:44 -0500, Jaldhar H. Vyas
> <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM>
> wrote:
> >
> >For a Brahman, dharma includes learning the
> shastras including the shakha
> >of his ancestors.  there is no room for
> equivocation.  It's too bad that
> >many people don't do it or only get around to it
> late in life but the sins
> >of others are no excuse for sinning yourself.  Once
> you know what ought to
> >be done your conscience should not allow you to
> leave it undone.  and it
> >is better to do ones own duty however imperfectly
> than to chase after
> >anothers.
> >
> I have been thinking about this for some time, i.e.
> what my duty is, and I
> have been meaning to write to a knowledgeable
> authority. It is good that it
> has come up here.
> I come from a region of India known as North Koshal
> or Gauda Desh. Since we
> are brahmins, we are also called Gaud Brahmins. I
> have been able to trace
> down my Veda and Shakha as Shukla Yajur Veda and
> Madhyandina Shakha. Our
> village lies in the Doab region (region between
> Ganga and Yamuna) of Uttar
> Pradesh. However, I can say with some authority that
> one would be hard put
> to find one single person who can chant this Shakha
> in our district. I
> don't know how long ago the Vedic pathan-paathan
> stopped, or was forced to
> stop. I don't know the circumstanced under which it
> was discontinued. Our
> community came to be known as Tyagi due to some
> reason that even our own
> community members differ about (Most swear to the
> story of Janmajeya Naag
> Yajna and his grant of land to my ancestors asking
> them to settle in this
> region).
> At least over the past 500 years, (going back to
> Akbar), there are records
> that indicate that our community was the largest
> landholding community of
> the region. I don't know if Vedas were studied at
> that point but the pre-
> emininent landholding position of the community held
> out until zamindari
> was abolished in the 60's, after which a lot of us
> became farmers. Now, I
> do not know when was the last time our Shakha was
> studied. If I am to look
> to my past, I only see us as landlords. If I were to
> follow my dharma, I
> would probably have to go and start farming what
> little land we still have
> left. Dharma may not have changed but circumstances
> have become exceedingly
> detrimental to the practice of Sanatan Dharma, as
> our shastras teach us.
> So basically, I have no idea as to my dharma - most
> of my ancestors, at
> least to my knowledge, lived off their land
> holdings. If I am to follow
> their footsteps, I will end up becoming a small
> farmer. If on the other
> hand I try and learn my Shakha, it will be of no
> seeming use if I am not
> 100% devoted to it, which implies quitting my job
> and taking up the study
> of Vedas full-time. Even if I am to start, given
> that even an imperfect
> practice if dharma is better than nothing at all, I
> don't know if I would
> be really practicing the ways of my ancestors.
> [Fortunately, I have been
> able to trace our family bhaats (bards) who can tell
> me what we did several
> hundred years back and that will give me more
> insight.]
> I am sure there are many who are in the same boat as
> I (at least the North
> Indians would be). Perhaps, I already know the
> answer to my own question.
> However, a better elucidation from knowledgeable
> persons here on this list
> would be doubly helpful.
> thanks
> ashish

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