[Advaita-l] Women and Vedas

hemang Chamakuzhi Subramanian hemangcs at rediffmail.com
Wed Apr 5 13:20:15 CDT 2006

Sanjay, That was an Awesome Story..Really enjoyed the part where you said " That is the way its always done"...Heard that many times earlier. 

What about those portions of the smArta literature
>which directly or indirectly hint women performing
>shrauta karma-s? I am not not talking about the wife
>participating in yAgA-s along with husband.
>I am sure people have come across enough references on
>the above.

If any of us remember high school history textbooks, when the great western scholars purported Aryans to be living on swiss lakes  Recently BBC came out with a report saying that swamiji's (prediction) was true and still our high school history text books claim that the Indian race descended from Swiss Alps.


A similar analogy can be put forward to all modern literature regarding most of the Puranas, Smritis, etc, that are translated unscruplously.
In fact during the course of research, several manuscripts of the puranas, and smritis contained passages that were inserted, that enforced certain rituals, which we follow blindly to date. In fact in one of the versions of ManuSmriti, I came across a verse that mentioned "pouring  molten lead into a shudra's ear if he listens to the Vedas"..

Could Manu have written this? and still expected "Dharma" to continue. How could a dharma that proclaims ahimsa to suddenly become ruthless that too for something so trivial.
Anyway, who knows the intentions for these insertions, and their antecedents. To me it looks like some incompetent folks wanted to maintain control over society, so went and inserted this and claimed it to have come from Manu.

Now to some serious-talk,
To indeed really know what is truth, what is not truth as far as the scriptures go, realize it from an Enlightened master(guru). Even your parents, grandparents, etc. can teach you traditions, but not the truth..

Note, if the goal is to reach the highest, the stature of the master should be that one has reached the ultimate. Else, if a person is satisfied by just learning,understanding or chanting, anyone could be considered a teacher(acharya). A subtle difference is that the Guru gives the Diksha -> Or the ability to percieve beyond the Dhi(intellect) whereas the acharya gives you the Shiksha(Knowledge with discipline). In India, there are really so many of these enlightened beings...
How do you know when you see your guru? Your heart swells with gratitude and opens out like the sky, and you just sit in wonder at the expanse of it.

Anyways, the choice is not your own...it is that of the Guru's...


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