[Advaita-l] Brihad Up and Putrakameshti

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 14 09:29:32 CST 2011

Sri Venkatesh Murthy,
Since Sri Subhanu has posted relevant excerpts from the vArttika and some dharma-
SAstra texts, and as I can see that you have completely misunderstood it, yet again, I
am going to write one last response. The only reason for me to respond is to explain
how the interpretation is done. I have tried to explain the principles to you multiple times
before and I see that it is not going anywhere. I am going to ask that as you read this
response, please keep the upanishad text in front of you, and if possible the bhAshya
also. Forget about all the other references to cows, bulls, beef, yajna, substitutions, etc
from all other sources and focus on only the upanishad and commentaries for now.

Finally, as a moderator of this list, I ask that you let the matter rest after reading this
response. Please do NOT respond again and reiterate your opinions. The chance that
you have something new to say is almost zero, so please do not tax the patience of the
list members. 

> in these texts. Surprisingly Suresvara gives some detail in the ritual in his
> vartikas in BUBV 6.4 on the Upanishad sections 6.4.18 etc. With regards to the
> question re meat and rice grains, he writes:
> taṇḍulān māmsa-sam-mishrān paktvā māmsaudanam viduḥ।
> ukṣā sechana-shakto gauḥ sa eva riṣabho mahān ॥ [BUBV 6.4.77]

This is a straightforward explanation of the upanishad reference to mAMsaudanam and
the SAnkara-bhAshya explanation of the words ukshA and Rshabha.
> He then goes on to clarify:
> Prasiddhy-asambhavāt tvadya hyuktam māmsaudanam prati ।
> Māmsam kriṣṇa-mrigacchāgaviṣayam tvadya kurvate ॥ [BUBV 6.4.78]
> This is mentioned here with reference to meat-rice, since it is not accepted today
> They now take meat to refer to that of a black deer or goat

Please read the upanishad + bhAshya and then try to understand what is being said 
here by sureSvarAcArya. The first reference in the upanishad passage simply says
"mAMsaudanam". The passage ends with a further specification that the mAMsa in
question is from an ukshA or a Rshabha. SrI sureSvarAcArya is explaning that in
general, people do not automatically take mAMsa to mean the meat of ox/bull and
instead understand it as meat of black deer or goat. Therefore, since there is no
"prasiddhi" that mAMsa is the meat of young ox or mature bull, the upanishad
makes a further specification with respect to the "mAMsaudanam" and says that
the mAMsa should be that of ukshA or Rshabha.
Far from endorsing your stance that goat meat is to be substituted by north Indians
and completeley avoided by south Indians (on what basis you get to make that totally
arbitrary decision, God alone knows), what the vArttika-kAra is saying is the exact
opposite. Because people generally think mAMsa = goat meat or deer meat, the
upanishad is specifying additionally that when it says mAMsa, it is talking of ukshA
and Rshabha, not of kRShNa-mRga or cchaga. 
It is like this. Suppose one sees a description of a procedure that calls for milk and
then specifies that it should be camel milk. When you first see the word "milk" you
think of "cow milk", because that is the prasiddhi. The next part of the passage that
says "camel" then gives you an additional specification. This tells you to set aside
what you know as the general prasiddhi because that is not applicable here, and
instead to use camel milk specifically. There is no prasiddhi about goat milk, so a
specific reference becomes necessary. The situation here is similar and all that the
vArttika is doing is providing an explanation for the order in which things are specified
in the source text, the bRhadAraNyaka upanishad. That is all there is to it. There is
absolutely no basis for thinking that sureSvarAcArya is talking about substituting goat
or deer here in this particular case. 

Let me reiterate, both as one who is tired of talking to a seemingly deaf man and
as a moderator of the list - drop the subject here and move on. Try to understand,
if at all possible, at an intellectual level, what the upanishad says and how the rules
of interpretation are being applied by SankarAcArya and sureSvarAcArya. If not, 
make sure that you have something new to say before sending yet another missive
to the list. If you have something to ask/say about the thousand other issues more
relevant to advaita vedAnta, do so, but do not beat this dead horse. (or should I
say bull? ...)
> In BUBV 6.4.79-80 he then clarifies that the meat should be
> bought, as killing is prohibited for the yajamana, and he should not kill the
> animal himself. He clarifies the use of atha in 6.4.19 has the sense of an
> option amongst meats, according to one’s choice. He then explains the sthālīpāka
> etc as well as a detailed description of lovemaking (not bad for a sannyasi).
> If you have access, I would suggest you read all of BUBV 6.4 to give the full
> context

The rest of this response is a brief comment to Sri Subhanu. Is the explanation of
atha in 6.4.19 only about the two options for meat in 6.4.18? It would seem more
apt if "atha" were to apply generally to all five choices outlined in 6.4.14 to 6.4.18.
The sense would be that whether the couple has had odanam along with milk or
curd or water or sesame or meat, as per a particular desire for the kind of child,
the sthAlIpAka is to be done.
As for the detailed description of lovemaking, for one thing, the upanishad itself is
quite explicit and treats of it as one would treat any normal human function. The
bhAshya also gives a fairly detailed explanation of the upanishad, instead of staying
silent on this passage. Moreover, sureSvara is reputed to have been a gRhastha
before becoming a saMnyAsin. I am not particularly talking of the maNDana miSra
- sureSvara equation, nor of the references to other names in the Sankaravijaya
literature. Rather, I have in mind the numerous references in later works to the
name of the vArttika-kAra as sureSvara and as viSvarUpa. There is a commentary
on the yAjnavalkya-smRti, called bAlakrIDA, written by one viSvarUpa and some
recent scholars have postulated that this author is the same as sureSvarAcArya. 

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