[Advaita-l] Dear Jaldhar ji!

sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org
Wed Feb 16 11:53:15 CST 2005

Dear Jaldhar ji,
I thank you very much for your scholarly article. It really made me to go
a bit deeper into the points that have been raised by me. I have thought
over everything once again. And I would have to say that rejoining this
Advaita-L has been really beneficial for me, because I can come in contact
with really great Scholars like you. I always had great respect for
Vidyashankar Sundareshan ji and yourself, since I like the way both of you
have worked so hard to promote Advaita Vedanta. Please bless me.

>>>>>>>>>unless I am misunderstanding something I think you have the
purvapaksha and siddhanta backwards

Yes, this is totally correct. So first of all I would like to mention that
it was a serious mistake from me to state that Shri Kumarila Bhatta has
mentioned that the Kalpas are also Veda. He stated it, but not as a
Siddhanta Paksha, but Purva Paksha. He very clearly states in the Tantra
Vartika 1-3-13 that "only Mantra and Brahmana are Veda (i.e. not the
However, let me make it clear that the Paraskara Grihya Sutra (2-6-5)
"vidhir-vidheyas-tarkash-ca vedah" clearly includes the Kalpa Sutras,
according to its commentary by BhartiYajna, who says that "tarka" in this
Sutra means "kalpa Sutra". One of the Sutras very clearly mentions
"vedaangashca ityeke" and according to some, all the Angas should also be
considered Veda. This was the cause of my confusion, since I had gone
through these texts quite a long time ago. I'm sorry. And once again thank
you very much for pointing out my mistake.
So the conclusion is that the prominent traditional view always seems that
"mantra and Brahmana both are (only) Veda", even though people like
Haradatta and DhurtaSwami have very clearly mentioned that "according to
some people only Mantra is Veda". And some others, like Paraskara etc.
hold that "even the Shadangas are Veda", a view that has been highly
criticized by Kumarila Bhattapada in the "kalpasutradhikaranam".
So now my own conclusion here would be that even though Mantra and
Brahmana both are called Veda, one thing is fore sure, that Brahma (or
"Shabda Brahma") is only the Samhita. And the Brahmana, is just Brahmana,
and not Brahma, only a scripture related to it.
Regarding the Sutras from the Purusharthanushasana Sutra, I'm very clear
that it has been approved traditionally from the Siddhanta Paksha, that
there is no need to learn the meaning of the Mantras. This is what I tried
to prove in my previous mail. And we can still see the influence today.
Most of the Karma Kandins have nothing to do with the meaning of the
mantras that they are using. This was in fact the point that I was trying
to emphasize in my previous mail.

>>>>>>>I don't have a copy of Kumarilas works but for this and the other

I have got his Tantra Vartika (and Tuptika) in my personal library. So I
had a look in it and realized my mistake. Thank you once again. If you
ever need help in finding a reference, I would really love to help you in
that in future.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Madhava lived
in the 14th century and was the minister to the founders of the
Vijayanagara empire. He later took sannyasa under the name Vidyaranya
became jagadguru of Shringeri and is celebrated as the author of
Panchadashi, Jivanmuktiviveka and other Vedantic works.

He was also the elder brother of Acarya Sayana!

>>>>>>>>The Mimamsaka view is that yes the brahmana "comments" as it were
upon the mantra

This is the fact. Nobody can deny it. Just a very brief look into any
Brahmana text would make it clear that the Brahmana is a word-to-word
commentary on the Samhita, in many places. Of course, not always, many
times it described also the methods to perform a ritual.

>>>>>>>>>>>but the mantra is also not understandable or useful without the
context provided by the brahmana.

I can totally not agree with this view. The language of the Mantras is
extremely old. It must be a few thousand years after the Mantras that the
Brahmanas were written for a better understanding of the Mantras. But to
say that the Mantras are not understandable or useful without the context
provided by the Brahmana, would be to say that the Mantras of the
Upanishads or the Shlokas from the Gita are not understandable or useful
without the context provided by the Bhashyam of Bhagavan Shankaraachaarya.
At least I can't see why the Mantras of the Rig-veda should not be
understandable or even useless without the context provided by the
Aitareya Brahmana. I agree that Brahmana give us a better understanding,
they also give us a clear insight into the way a ritual or Upaasanaa
should be performed. They also give us the spiritual essence of the Veda
in a very concise form, like the Aitareyopanishad in the case of the
Rig-veda, but to say that the Rig-veda is not at all understandable or is
useless without Aitareya Brahmana or Aranyaka, this is something that I
have always failed to understand.

>>>>>>>Together they make up one conceptual unit.

The Rig-veda is complete in itself. It doesn't need any other text to
complete it.

>>>>>>>>Mantra and brahmana complement and supplement each other. To say
one is less pramana than the other is like saying nothing I write
on advaita-l represents my views, because writing comes
secondarily from my hand whereas the thought originated in my

I totally failed in understanding the essence and purpose of your argument
in this line!
I simply base my theory of Paratahpramaanatva for the Brahmana on the fact
that the Brahmanas constantly cite quotations from the Samhita and many
times to assert a statement they even cite statements from Brahmavaadins
(those who are well-versed in the Samhita). This makes it very clear that
even for the Brahmanas the Samhita was a greater authority. I only quote
Acharya Shankara when I think him to be a greater authority than myself.
It is the same with all. The Brahmana even goes further, it doesn't only
quote the Samhita, but also the scholars of Samhita. Please let me know
what you think on this!

>>>>>>>Siddharthakrishnaji has invoked the names of Yaska and Patanjali
against the Mimamsakas. But as much as we may regard those sages
for their other contributions, their views on the nature and
purpose of the Vedas has fallen by the wayside and the Mimamsakas
have resoundingly won.

But please don't forget that Yaska is the author of the Nirukta, and
Patanjali is the greatest Authority in Vyakrana. Both are the most
necessary Vedanga. Vyakarana has been considered the "Mukha" (Mouth) of
the Veda Bhagavan and Nirukta has been considered the "Shrotra" (ear) of
the Veda Purusha.

>>>>>>>>>>>>their views on the nature and purpose of the Vedas has fallen
by the wayside and the Mimamsakas have resoundingly won.

Please elaborate on this. What is it that made you to conclude this?
Eventually Acarya Sayana has firmly condemned the Mimamsaka view (that
"the meaning of the Mantra shouldn't be understood") in his Rig-vedaadi
Bhashya Bhumika. After it is an extremely illogical view held by the
Mimamsakas. And the prime purpose of my previous mail was to show this
great error of the Mimamsaka, which contributed to the disappearance of a
real Vedic Tradition and Religion in India. Zoroastrianism is nearer to
the true Vedic religion, than modern Hinduism. We call our religion
Vaidika Sanaatana Dharma, though in reality it is Pauraanika Dharma and
nothing more. We simply practice a form of religion which has been laid
down by the Puranas. Nobody even bothered to check with the Vedas, if
really the Dharma of the Puranas is the same as the one of the Vedas. At
many places, it is totally opposed and against Vedic thoughts, and hence
such Puranas should be regarded as Nastika Scriptures, but alas, they have
become the producer of our new form of religion, together with the Tantra
Love and Respect,
Siddhartha Krishna

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