[Advaita-l] Re: itihAsa purANa in the bR^ihadAraNyaka

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Fri Jul 28 22:38:26 CDT 2006

praNAm.h rAmAji,
        Thanks a lot for clarifying shaN^kara's and sAyaNa's position
on the reference to "itihAsapurANaH". Two questions:

-- What would be the position on how the reference to the
"itihAsapurANaH" would have been interpreted before the mahAbhArata
was composed? Could it be assumed that the itihAsas and purANas (in
the sense of histories and mythologies) are always treated as a fifth
vEda (irrespective of which particular works are referred to by the
words itihAsa and purANa)?

-- Another question is regarding some statements (you can find this in
the Adi parva of the mahAbhArata from gangUli's translation) in the
mahAbhArata like the following:

"In former days, having placed the four Vedas on one side and the Bharata
on the other, these were weighed in the balance by the celestials
assembled for that purpose. And as the latter weighed heavier than the
four Vedas with their mysteries, from that period it hath been called in
the world Mahabharata (the great Bharata). Being esteemed superior both
in substance and gravity of import it is denominated Mahabharata on
account of such substance and gravity of import. He that knoweth its
meaning is saved from all his sins."

What would be the traditional advaita vEdAntic position on this? Would
this be treated as a case of smR^iti undermining the shR^iti, and
hence deemed invalid? Would that not violate the sanctity given to the
itihAsa by the vEda (ChAnDOgya) itself? Thanks.



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