[Advaita-l] Re: [advaitin] Re: Origin of vedas

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Tue Jul 25 08:43:00 CDT 2006

On 7/24/06, Ramesh Krishnamurthy <rkmurthy at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 24/07/06, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
> <rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Per the mImA.nsA shaastra, the names/personalities mentioned in vedas
> > have no historical connection. As per Sri Mahasannidhaanam, if the
> > names and incidents happen to correspond with any historical incidents
> > from the itihaasas/puraaNas it is purely coincidental. So the list of
> > "realized" people can only be taken as arthavaada or an
> > advice/injuction to strive for realization.
> >
> > Sri Shankara strictly adheres to mImA.nsA rules when it does not
> > contradict advaita. So he interprets itihaasas and puraaNas in the
> > same upanishad to mean the *un-historical* inclidents related in the
> > vedas itself and not as the usual puraaNas or itihaasas. Of course
> > Sureshvara thinks this is durukta and states so in the vaartika. He
> > interprtes the passage to mean the usual puraaNas and itihaasas. But
> > it seems most advaitins follow Shankaras opinion on this matter.
> >
> So how are the itihAsa-purANa interpreted? Would an incident like SrI
> hanumAn jumping over the ocean be interpreted as "historical"? Is
> there any difference between the status of the itihAsa and the purAna
> in this matter?
> Swami Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya says that the itihAsa-purANa
> is "part history and part poetry", though I haven't yet come across
> any detailed explanation of this view.

I am not sure if I understand the question right. The itihaasa-puraaNa
mentioned in the veda passage refers to the a-historical legends and
stories in the veda itself. That is as per shankara.

If you are asking about the bhArata, viShNu puraaNa, etc., that is
different from Bhaskars original question. Yes, Hanuman jumped across
the sea,  it's a historical incident, what's the problem with that? In
any case, according to the suutra bhaashya, the itihaasas and puraaNas
are all acual incidents (unless it is obvious or there is some other
reason to interpret the story as an illustration). Shankara says that
just because we are not able to see the Gods, we cannot dismiss these
stories as mere imagination. So both puraaNas and itihaasas relate
actual incidents.


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