[Advaita-l] Interesting info on Krishnaashtami day.

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Aug 12 01:53:39 CDT 2012

On Fri, 10 Aug 2012, rajaramvenk at gmail.com wrote:

> I have asked how gautama arrived at the gotra, sutra and sakha of 
> satyakama. Without answering this, we cannot say that a brahmana cannot 
> give upanayanam to dwijas from jatis considered non-dwija today.

Rajaram has been repeating this line of argument a lot.  He seems to think 
it is more significant to the issue at hand then it really is.

What is a gotra?  It is a family of Rshis.  Todays we are hundreds of 
generations separated from the Rshis so the connection between gotra and 
family is not as clear cut but it would be an anachronism to expect 
Haridrumata to ask about anyones Gotra instead of their parentage.  And in 
fact he does specifically ask Satyakama about his parentage.

sutra and shakha would also be anachronistic.  They were established by 
Veda Vyasa at the beginning of the dvapara yuga.  In an offlist message I 
quoted the following from Vishnupurana 3.4:

Parashara explains to Maitreya:

parAsharovAcha |

"ParAshara said,"

Adyau vedashchatuShpAdaH shatasAhasrasammitaH |
tatoH dashaguNaH kR^itsno yaGYo.ayam sarvakAmadhuk || 1 ||

"Originally the four-part Veda consisted of of 100,000 [rks] and from 
thence came the tenfold[1] varieties of Yajna which fulfill all desires."

[1] havana, sthalipaka, ishti, (soma) yajna, and medha in prakrtika 
(original) and vaikrtika (modified) forms make ten.

tato.atra matsuto vyAso hyAShTaviMshatime.antare |
vedamekaM chatuShpAdaM chaturdhA vyabhajat prabhuH || 2 ||

"Then my son VyAsa[2] during the 28th [dvAparayUga] took the one 
four-parted Veda and divided it into four [Vedas] sir!"

[2] Krishna Dvaipayana is the current vedavyAsa, the 28th to hold that
title.  Chapter 3.3 of this work gives all their names.

yathA tu tena vai vyastA vedatyAsen dhImatA |
vedAstathA samastaistervyastA vyAsaistathA mayA || 3 ||

"In the same way as the Vedas were intelligently arranged by him, so in 
former times were they arranged by other VyAsa's including myself.[3]

[3] Parashara was the 26th vedavyAsa according to 3.3.

tadanenaiva vedAnAM shAkhAbhedAn dvijottama |
chaturyugeShvArachitAn samasteShvavadhAraYa || 4 ||

"At that time was also made the division into shakhas[4] oh Best of 
Dvijas! In every 4-yuga cycle the same division takes place."

[4] The rest of this chapter and up to 3.6.14 describe how the shishya
parampara of vedaVyAsa founded the various shakhas.

sUtras are a vedA~nga and therefore smRiti.  They exist to harmonize the 
various karmas and options for the same.  Presumably in more halcyon times 
than the degenerate kaliyUga people had an intiutive understanding of 
dharma so no confusion ocurred.

To this Rajaram replied:

On Sun, 5 Aug 2012, Rajaram Venkataramani wrote:

> RV: The Vedas existed in four parts always. Though the disciples of Jaimini
> etc. sub-divided them, we only consider one of the four as our sva-sakhai.

Please go back and read the quoted text again especially shloka 2. 
vedamekaM chatuShpAdaM chaturdhA vyabhajat is simple sanskrit and doesn't 
admit to multiple interpretations.

The Vedas are called Chatushpadam because they have four parts _now_.  It 
doesn't mean they had it _then_.  It is the same as if we say "Dvija boys 
undergo upanayana."  Now taking this literally, it is an oxymoron.  It is 
the upanayana itself that makes a boy "twice-born"  What should be said is 
"boys who have the potential to become dvija undergo upanayana."  Yet the 
meaning the shorter version is trying to convey is still readily 
understandable right?

Granted the raw material for division must be there in the eka Veda 
otherwise the Vedavyasas would not be able to do it but it was not a fact 
until they actually _did_ do it.

And I don't understand what you mean by sva-shakha.  Mine for example is 
madhyamdina which is part of shuklayajurveda but which is different from 
kanva which is also part of the same veda.

>       RV: There can be no intuitive understanding of dharma. That will
>       be a concoction to please oneself. The only way to know what is
>       dharma is through instruction. This must come from the teacher,
>       his teacher and so on. This is argued well enough by Jaimini,
>       Sabara, Kumarila etc.

For us definitely.  But I was referring to the Rshis who "saw" dharma 
through the Veda.

>       Srauta and Grhya sutras also do not claim to invent the
>       procedure but only document a pre-existing tradition.

>      There is no ground for the argument that there was one universal
>      way of  doing rituals and suddenly we had different ways based on
>       the inventions of Apasthambha, Dhrahyayana, Bodhayana etc.

Certainly not.  In fact I am arguing the opposite.  The sutras harmonize 
tradition_s_.  If you have actually read any of these works you will know 
that in many cases multiple options are given based on the opinions of 
various rshis and purvacharyas. Sometimes all are accepted as valid, 
sometimes "one true way" is upheld.  This happens more so in the two 
mimamsas which seek to harmonize the entire Shruti.

>       Also, your ingenious way of determining satyakama's gotra
>       from his mother's name is without pramana.

I pointed you to the actual vamsha Brahmana where matronymics are used. 
(Brhadaranyaka 3.6.5) and Shankaracharyas comments on the same.

>       Unless I tell you
>       that I belong to Bharadhwaja gotra, you cannot determine that
>       from my mother's name Smt. Lakshmi.

You are from a different yuga.

On Fri, 10 Aug 2012, rajaramvenk at gmail.com wrote:

> We cannot refuse to see facts and call others delusional.

What facts have been presented which haven't been responded to?

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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