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

Venkata sriram P venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Wed Oct 19 11:54:49 CDT 2011

Namaste Kalyanji,
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.
Is there any mention of temple worship in Vedas?
As far as I know, only brahma (chaturmukha) is not supposed to 
be worshipped (though this doesn't come from the vedas).
Is chaturmukha brahma a vedic deity?
But there are few exceptions, like for example the mantra
mahArNava does talk about >worship of some deities who are outside the
"traditional Indian ritual-arena". So here we have a case where a devata was
imported much like the Japanese and other Eastern >cultures took to worship
of Indian deities.
These are cultural amalgamations.  A very popular deity among the
shAkta tantric circles is Goddess Tara.  This aspect of deity holds
prominent place among the dasa (10) mahAvidyAs ie., the 10 great
sciences of liberation.  And all the 10 deities are mentioned
in our sacred tantric lore.  These are the 10 cosmic powers of
creation.  Shatapatha brAhmaNa says “dasa akSharA vai virAT”.  
The sUrya-maNDalAntargata hiraNmaya puruSha in tantra is called
“akShObhya”.  He is also called mArtANDa bhairava. The deity tArA is the 
shakti of akShobhya or mArtANDa bhairava. 
Now, bauddhas hijacked and usurped our tAra deity and commenced 
the worship of the same with the name “prajnA paramita”.
If you observe the bauddha tantric work “sAdhana mAla”,
Almost all the mantras have been cut-copied & pasted from our
tantric literature. Even our Saraswati has been hijacked
into their cult and is being worshipped as “vajra sharada”.

May I ask how many gods that are being worshipped today have their basis in
the vedas? Indra, Agni, Varuna are some of the major Gods of the vedas but
how many temples of Indra, Agni, Varuna do we see today? There are other
gods (I will not name them for obvious reasons) who are worshipped widely
today, but do not find mention (or find a merely passing mention) in the

Rg Veda (asyavAmIya sukta) has already declared boldly as “Ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti”. So, whose endorsement you require further?
Shatapatha brAhmaNa says: 
yajuH iti Esha hIdaM sarvaM yunakti;
sAma iti chandOgAH; ukthyaM iti baHvrichAH;
yAtuH iti yAtuvidaH 
The same one Aditya is being extolled as
yajuH by yajurvedis, sAma by samavedis;
ukthya by rgvedis; yAtuh by atharvavedis.
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. 
While I disagree with the above statement that vedic deities have European 
Roots, there have been cross-cultural exchanges with Greeks.  Katyayana Vararuchi 
has used certain greek words in his works.  

It is true but it also shows that the worship of the vedic gods is
occasional in the present age.
Apart from sandhya as vidyasankar-ji pointed, are we not still
worshipping vedic deities in the form of agnihotra, 
Vaishvadeva etc.  For that matter, the deities behind 
the panchayatana are also vedic in nature, if the
tattva behind it is understood properly.

I sometimes feel that people became more rigid during the middle ages as
compared to the ancient ones
It is the other way round otherwise we would not Have seen “new gods” like ayyappa, santoshi mata which have no puranic / vedic references.

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