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

Kalyan K kalyankc.81 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 19 11:49:44 CDT 2011

Namaste Vidyasankar-ji,

>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
>is in the context of the yajna, the ritual with fire at its center. agni is
>havya-vAhana; he carries offerings to all the deva-s. The yajna continues
>be the archetype

I do not understand what is self-defeating about this question. That yajna
is primary, does not mean that the vedic gods should not have temples. Even
Vishnu, for example is mentioned in the context of yajna in the vedas.
Vishnu is in fact equated with the yajna itself. Does it mean that Vishnu
should not have temples?

Further, my original point that the worship of primary vedic gods like indra
etc. is very rare today still stands.

>Worship of every god, vedic or non-vedic, is occasional, isn't it?

I will not use the word "non-vedic". But I will say this much - By no means
of imagination can we equate the extent to which the major vedic gods (like
indra, agni, varuna) and some of the popular gods of today are worshipped.
Meaning, the latter are worshipped far more than the former, and I do not
see a point in trying to deny this.

>But if you
>consider that people still talk of doing sandhyAvandana and do it
>then savitA is a vedic god who gets worshipped everyday in the present
>age, not just occasionally.

Savitr is not a major vedic god in the first place. Even if you leave that
aside, most people who recite the gayatri mantra (especially among smarthas)
think that they are worshipping gayatri devi (shakthi). Perhaps many
vaishnavas think they are worshipping vishnu. I do not know about that. I
recently asked a purohit about which devata is referred to in the gayatri
mantra. He informed me that the mantra refers to all the devatas combined.
My point is that it is a very minor fraction of people who know that savitr
is the deity for this mantra.

>Again, this is immaterial to the organic growth of the religion that is
>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 will tell you what my point is. My original point is that even the
traditional Indian ritualistic people have changed over the ages. (I was
replying to Sri Satish-ji) Since you were replying to my post, I do not
understand what relevance the above point of yours has, unless you seem to
be suggesting that the Indian ritualists were not open to outside
influences. If the latter, then that is precisely the reason why I spoke of

>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.

I agree to your former point, but I think that history is important since
the vedas were interpreted in many ways in the past. So even though we are
primarily followers of Shankara, we can learn something from other
interpretations of Ramanuja and Madhva schools too (for example).


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