Weekly page from Hindu Dharma: Magnifying Glass of the Vedas

Vaidya Sundaram Vaidya_Sundaram at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 22 11:11:03 CST 2002


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jagannath Chatterjee" <jagchat01 at YAHOO.COM>

> Nobody objects to standing like a rock against
> difficulties and challenges. But I feel we will be
> better off defending ourselves with modern equipment
> than depending upon slings and bows and arrows.

I understand the spirit of your suggestion, but my point is that follwing
dharma is not the same as asking people to take up arms, be they guns, or
just stones.

> Moreover when a mother prepares food for her children
> she has in mind the health and appetite of all. So
> while the fit child gets the regular food the weak
> does not go hungry. He has food specially prepared for
> him.

Wonderful. Thanks for bringing up this analogy. This analogy exactly
supports my point of view. Different people need different observances
(karma and rituals) in our daily life and one single type of "universal"
observance will not be fit for all. The child who is recuperating may want
to jump up and play in the hot sun, but the mother knows that it will take
him some more time to get there right? Is there ever a question in this
whole matter as to why the mother prescribes a different regimen for her
sick children? Is it not because she does not want her sick children to
continue remaining so?

Why do we want to "universalize" and "standardize" rituals? When we cannot
do it our mundane life for mundane events, how can we say that sipirtual
life is any less important?

> Such is with religion too. While those with a solid
> background of rituals and practices are free to do
> their duties, those not so lucky need not be
> discouraged. God has devised many ways that lead to
> Him. This is the inherent strength of Hinduism.

It is not discouraging, but encouraging that I want to do. I don't want
anyone to stop paying attention, I just want people to pay closer attention
to details. The "deveil" as they say, is in the details! :)

> It is not a case of watering down religion. It is like
> a feast that everyone can partake of, the high and the
> lowly, the rich and the poor. Each according to his
> capacity.

Precisely. As yiou observed earlier, the same food is not served for all.
Just because a certain person is not allowed to chant the gayathri, it does
not mean thtat person is left high and dry. Every one is society cannot be
doctors, and engineerings and teachers etc. Each "role" requires
"certification" and the person in that role alone would be permitted to "act
out" the "responsibilites" of that "role". I may know all the stuff a high
school maths teacher teaches, I will still as a "rule" be "chastised" if I
were to just start doing it. I need permission.

> When we talk of advaita vedanta we should remember
> that vedanta never speaks of any discrimination.

And what makes you think I am discriminating? Take for example the debate in
the American society about the use of so-called "growth harmones" that is
"meant and designed" for people who exhibit "midget" like symptoms. A
"regular" child is not and should not be allowed that same growth harmones.
This is definitely NOT discrimination. Why is that so hard to understand?

> It
> never says that this man is fit for God and the other
> is not. It says that all are that sat-chit-ananda only
> we have to realise it. It lays down certain principles
> but it never says that caste/colour/creed/sex becomes
> a criteria for following those principles.

Please refer arguments by HH Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha
Mahaswamigal, where he quotes a real debate (vidwat sadas) incidence (and I
only paraphrase here) - a person goes up on stage and narrates the story of
a deeply religious person praying to Lord Shiva every day, and offers a bowl
of milk to Him, and eats that alone in the evening and goes to sleep. This
routine goes on every day. One day, while the devotee is busy doing other
things, a snake sips the milk and spits its poisonus venom in the milk. The
devotee without knowing this offers this to the lord, then drinks it and
goes to sleep. The next morning he wakes up hale and healthy, while the idol
of the Lord is broken. This argument was made that if there is devotion,
then God will take care of it. The counter to this argument by HH (and I
quote from the book Divine Discourse here) \\quote On hearing the story, I
told the narrator, "Please do not say such things. Many children are present
in the audience. They may offer some milk to God even if happens to be
contaminated and, influenced by your story, may casually drink it, expecting
to remain unaffected. Do not take responsibility for such disasters. All
that you have said pertains to "Bhakthudreka" or extreme devotion. When it
is there, extraordinary acts, such as the eating of poisoned food, may be
carried out. But the normal situation is different. It is necessary to keep
the competence of the hearer in mind".  adhikaariNamaashaaste
phalasiddhirvesheShtaH (Attainment of the result is specifically dependent
upon the qualification of a person" \\endquote.

> Vedanta does not reject but goes beyond the karma
> kanda.

Does it not automatically imply first going through the karma kanda? Why do
we want to jump 200 meters in one jump when we are still a toddler?

> It is the vedas but it goes beyond it.

Yes. You are right. It is the Vedas that goes beyond it. **Not** the

> At no
> time is a proper interpretation of vedanta more needed
> than now. There is a churning going on and it is only
> vedanta, the *universal* religion, that can extract
> the amruta.

Yes. That is exactly why I am belabouring this point. Do you at all see the
point of view I am trying to present. Lets please be cognizant of the facts
of hinduism before we prescribe a "universal" religion. Karma marga is
definitely universal. It **does not** mean that one size fits all. All our
discussion is shown up on the web as well for future generations to come and
see what disccuions happen. Lets please have a correct understanidng and
position laid out. Our conscience cannot and must not substitute for vedic
utterances. We are not talking poetry or history here. We are discussing
about a realm that cannot be percevied by our senses or reasoning etc. The
Vedas are the only pramaNa we have to say that there is a next life and that
there are consequences for all out actions. There will only be chaos if we
do away with the rule of Law.

> So let us stop being narrow minded and share this
> wonderful religion with one and all.

Yes. Please, let us all go forward and teach people the correct
understanding. I take as correct only that which our great acharyas have

> If we deny our
> own brothers and sisters from practising the vedantic
> principles it will only negate the efforts of our
> forefathers who had vision enough to formulate this
> wonderful science.

If you think our forefathers were wonderful in formulating this science,
please show me how that goes against my argument.

> Regards
> Jagannath

bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

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