Study of Vedas

Srikrishna Ghadiyaram srikrishna_ghadiyaram at YAHOO.COM
Thu Apr 11 11:13:27 CDT 2002

Hari Om !!

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:
> On Thu, 11 Apr 2002, kuntimaddi sadananda wrote:
> So I think for readers the choice should be clear.
> Advaita Vedanta gives
> you two choices.  Give up karma altogether or if you
> must practice it,
> do it responsibly and without ego.  Just don't be
> one of those people who
> are neither fish nor fowl.  They will never get
> anywhere.
No doubt this discussion has been useful. What ever
one may know, revisiting the goals and analysing the
path is always helpful, to reinforce the mind with

Om Namo Narayanaya !!


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>From  Thu Apr 11 09:15:02 2002
Message-Id: <THU.11.APR.2002.091502.0700.>
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 09:15:02 -0700
Reply-To: venky at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: "Venkatesh ." <venky at OREKA.COM>
Subject: Weekly page from Hindu Dharma: Ear of the Vedapurusa

This week's page from Hindu Dharma (see note at bottom) is "Ear of the Vedapurusa" from "Nirukta". The original page can be found at

Next week, you will be emailed "Eye of the Vedapurusa" (from "Jyotisa")

Best regards

(this email is being sent on an automated basis)

Ear of the Vedapurusa
from Nirukta, Hindu Dharma

      Nirukta serves the purpose of a Vedic dictionary, or "kosa". A dictionary is also called a "nighantu", which term is used in Tamil also. Nirukta, which deals with the origin of words, their roots, that is with etymology, is the ear of the Vedapurusa. It explains the meaning of rare words in the Vedas and how or why they are used in a particular context. Many have contributed to Nirukta, the work of Yaska being the most important.

 Take the word "hrdaya" (heart). The Vedas themselves trace its origin. "Hrdayam" is "hrdi ayam" : it means that the Lord dwells in the heart. "Hrd" itself denotes the physical heart. But with the suffixing of "ayam" - with the Lord residing in it - its Atmic importance is suggested. The purpose of any sastra is to take you to the Supreme Being. "Hrdaya" is so called because Paramesvara resides in "hrd". Thus each and every word has a reason behind it. Nirukta makes an inquiry into words and reveals their significance.

 "Dhatu" means "root" in English. In that language one speaks of the root only of verbs, not of nouns. In Sanskrit all works have dhatus. Such words, transformed or modified, must have been adopted in other languages. That is why we do not know the root of many words in these tongues. After all, such an exercise would be possible only if the words in question belonged naturally to them. Take the English work "hour". Phonetically it should be pronounced "h o u r" ("h" being not silent) or "h o a r". At one time the word indeed must have been pronounced "hoar". "Hora-sastra" is the name of a science in Sanskrit, "hora" being from "ahoratram" (day and night). "Hora" is two and half nadikas or one hour. The English "hour" is clearly from this word. In the same way "heart" is from "hrd". There are so many words like this which could be traced to Sanskrit. It must have taken a long time for words in other languages to evolve into their present form. That is why those who speak them !
find it difficult to discover their origin [or root].

 How does it help to listen to someone speaking a language without understanding what he says? It is as good as not listening to him. In other words it is like being deaf. Nirukta finds the meaning of words by going to the root of each. That is why it is called th ear of the Vedapurusa: it is the ear of Sruti which itself is heard by the ear.

 Western scholars learned Vyakarna and Nirukta from pandits in Kasi and acquainted themselves with the origin of words as described in the latter sastra. From this they developed the new science of philology. It is primarily from our Vyakarana and the Nirukta that the linguistic science has developed.

 From their researches, Western scholars have arrived at the conclusion that all languages have one source. People all over the world are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the area where this primal language was spoken. There are differences of opinion with regard to this area, the home of this tongue. We need have no worry about it. After all, we believe that all places on earth are our home. "Yadum mure!" is a famous Tamil declaration. "Svadeso bhuvanatrayam" - the three worlds are our motherland.

Hindu Dharma is a translation of two volumes of the well known Tamil Book "Deivatthin Kural", which, in turn, is a book of 6 volumes that contains talks of His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamiji of Kanchipuram. The entire book is available online at .

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