[Advaita-l] Scholarly Article on Why Vedas are Valid

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 18 12:28:37 CDT 2011

> Namaste Vidyasankar-ji,
> >indra, agni and varuNa are not supposed to be worshipped in temples anyway.
> Please tell me why you say that Indra, Agni and Varuna are not supposed to
> be worshipped in temples.
> Please use vedas for justifying this.
This is a self-defeating question, because in all the vedas, the focus is not on
building permanent temples for worshipping gods. Whether a material vigraha
may have been involved is a different question. But the main mode of worship
is in the context of the yajna, the ritual with fire at its center. agni is called
havya-vAhana; he carries offerings to all the deva-s. The yajna continues to
be the archetype 

> As far as I know, only brahma (chaturmukha) is not supposed to be worshipped
> (though this doesn't come from the vedas).
> >However, every time somebody gets married in front of a fire, using the
> veda
> >mantra-s, every time a child is named using a vaidika ritual, every time a
> >cremation is done, the major and minor gods of the veda are worshipped.
> It is true but it also shows that the worship of the vedic gods is
> occasional in the present age.

Worship of every god, vedic or non-vedic, is occasional, isn't it? But if you 
consider that people still talk of doing sandhyAvandana and do it regularly,
then savitA is a vedic god who gets worshipped everyday in the present
age, not just occasionally.
> If you go by one of the theories (Aryan Migration theory), then Indra and
> many other vedic gods themselves have Indo-European (external) roots rather
> than purely Indian roots. I am not advocating that this theory is correct,
> but it is one of the possibilities.

Again, this is immaterial to the organic growth of the religion that is today
called Hinduism. My point was that 2000 years ago, Indians and Greeks did
not consider themselves kin just because Varuna is cognate with Ouranos.
> I sometimes feel that people became more rigid during the middle ages as
> compared to the ancient ones.

The increasing rigidness comes as a reaction to external influences that are
themselves exclusionary and rigid. But all this is neither here nor there. The
question that needs to matter to everyone here is what role do the veda-s
play in our lives, religions and philosophies today. History is quite besides the
point in this regard. If we do not have the courage of conviction (others call
it "faith") in our commitment to the veda, what is the point of writing a whole
lot about why the veda is (or should be) valid?

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