[Advaita-l] The Wisdom in the Rig-veda can only be compared to thousands Suns

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Feb 9 13:18:08 CST 2005

On Wed, 9 Feb 2005 sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org wrote:

> This is exactly the point where I feel that the traditional approach lacks
> something. Do you know where this conclusion of the Mimamsakas leads us?
> Mantras should not be understood, they just should be recited.

In an earlier email you mentioned the view of Kutsa mentioned in the
nirukta that the mantras are meaningless and that Yaskacharya vehemently
objected to this view.  Mimamsakas would also I think object to such a
view.  Literal understanding takes a back seat to practical use but that
doesn't mean one shouldn't try to learn it.  And I think the host of
commentaries from Sayanacharya etc. who were deeply immersed in the
Mimamsaka view shows this.

> This has
> been happening for the last nearly 2500 years in India and is still
> happening. Tell me one Vedic Pandit who understands all those Mantras
> which he recites.

I think your experience is in part due to your North Indian environment.
In the South there are still learned pandits who are well versed in
bhashyas and vedangas too.  (Though it is true even there most just
recite.  I admit I don't know the literal meaning of all the mantras I
recite either) The reason is I think more social than ideological.  In
South India there have been generous kings and other patrons who created
an environment were scholarship could flourish.  And as a result there was
also a public who could appreciate such scholarship.  In the North, due to
centuries of foreign rule, the Pandits were often left to their own
devices.  And the public was mostly ignorant.  So there was no incentive
to do more than the minimum.

And the key to solving this problem is not to change the methods of the
pandits but to increase the level of Dharmic knowledge in the general
public.  Then you will see that simple demand and supply will cause more
interest in the meaning of the mantras.


> I don't mean to advertise my products in here, I just mean to provide
> some information on my background. So, that members can know how serious
> I'm with what I'm saying. I have given the rest of my life for this
> cause. And this is my final decision that I took when I was only 20
> years old, in year 2000. It would be great if I could come in contact
> with people that could help me in this mission. The Service of the Veda,
> so that it can spread around the world, is my mission!

Well I am sure you will find an appreciative audience here in advaita-l.
You have a monumental mission and I wish you the best of luck with it.
But why make a hard task even harder by starting from scratch instead of
building on the existing centuries of tradition?  Isaac Newton said "I am
but a dwarf, but if I have seen far it is because I stand on the shoulders
of giants"  Today the basic problem is widespread Dharmic illiteracy.
It's no use debating the merits of Nairuktas versus Mimamsakas with people
who have never heard of either.  First let us build a strong and wide
foundation and then we can take it higher.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a boy! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/nilagriva/

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