[Advaita-l] Re: Question: Swadharma

Ram Garib garib_ram at yahoo.co.in
Thu Feb 16 19:41:18 CST 2006

--- "Dr. Yadu Moharir" <ymoharir at yahoo.com> wrote:
>   It appears that Abhishek does not wish to comment
> on this issue.  However, to me, Is Shastra to be
> taken at face value as fact? or Is it the outcome as
> we see it should be taken as the fact? or Do we just
> ignore everything that everything is in the "Dream
> State of Academic conceptual futility" by discussing
> adhyaropa debates on rajjusarpavata .....? and
> Finally, do we or should something be done about it?
>   It is my humbly request to learned members on this
> esteem list to share their thoughts.
>   Question:  So are we recommending to hide behind
> the "shaastra" regardless of the state of affairs as
> being discussed in this thread?

Dr. Yadu has reserved his question for "learned
members" only, but since no one else has come forth, I
am tempted to accept this bait and be counted among

Every religion with a claim to divine (or apaurusheya)
scriptures has to constantly face this question.
However otherwise the followers of a religion might
want it, the ingenuity of the Creator does not stop
with manu or moses or mohammad. He (with a capital H)
continues to throw up ever newer complexities that
baffle any structure-- conceptualized, inspired or
divined by prophets.

Vedanta is on esp. precarious ground because of the
concept of shabda pramaana. If we allow modification
of shabda according to reason, then shabda loses its
independence as pramana bringing down the entire
edifice of vedanta.

In this debate, I am slightly biased towards "reason',
though I understand that my personal "reason" cannot
be a criteria for validity. Afterall, I continue to
believe in the validity of quantum theorems even
though they appear totally unreasonable to me. A
generally raised objection against "reasonable
interpretation" is that laws made by reason are only
human and cannot supercede divine laws enshrined in
scriptures. To me, the logic does not seem very
convincing. Scripture's claim to divinity is always
suspect, but no one doubts that our "reason" was given
to us by our Creator. At the same time, I do not want
my reason to roughshod those areas, which are beyond
its capacity. I understand it is not a neat
philosophical position, nonetheless I find it

In this regard, I find shankara's bifurcation of
veda-s into karma-kaanda and jnaana-kaanda amazingly
insightful. Though other schools have criticized him
for this arbitrary bifurcation and shankara never says
that one is truer than other, still his sympathies are
unambiguous.  To me, it seems obvious that any rule or
structure that pertains to karma-kaanda can never be
eternal. Our Creator has much more ingenuity than we
credit him with. Whatever social or religious
structure we create on "divine inspirations", He has a
knack of unsettling them. Thus, karma-kaanda by its
very nature will elude once-for-all solution and pose
constant trade off between demands of continuity and
necessity of change.

On the other hand, I find no logical absurdity in the
claim that sections pertaining to knowledge can have
eternal validity, just as the laws of physics.

Just my stray thoughts. Take them with as much salt as
your health permits :-)

With regards,
Ram Garib

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