[Advaita-l] dakSiNAmUrti stOtra from sUta saMhita

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sat Jun 16 01:22:00 CDT 2012

On Wed, 13 Jun 2012, Satish Arigela wrote:

> It is clear then that the idiot who authored this shows that he does not 
> understand that tAntrIka-s are not one group and that there never 
> existed a group called tAntrika-s.

It seems that every time I write about how list members should be trusted 
to exercise some self-control someone pops up to embarrass me by proving 
me wrong.  I condemn your intemperate rant and warn you such things have 
no place in advaita-l.

Even more unforgivably your criticism isn't even marginally based on fact.

> I suggest that one use her/his brain and do not  lose simple common 
> sense.   Overtime, the abrahamic type madness madness seemed to have 
> taken over the minds of some smArta-s. 

If such a thing were true (and I don't believe it is) I fail to see 
the relevance here.  No historian has claimed "abrahamic" influence on the 
kurma purana or devibhagavata purana or suta samhita (which is part of 
the skanda purana.)

>   Just like one puts into a trash can something called Allah upanishad 
> even though it is titled an upanishad, likeiwse, one discards trash like 
> this using one's discrimination.  

Discrimination doesn't mean "whatever offends my pet theories."  In the 
case of the allah upanishad it is discarded because it is such an anomaly. 
It has no relationship whatsoever to any of the other members of the class 
of works called upanishad.  The shloka under contention on the other hand 
is very much in the mainstream of Smarta thought.

> It is better to ask yourself the question why... instead of blindly 
> quoting some shloka-s.

Uh there was no blind quoting.  The very poster you were responding to 
explained the implications of that shloka.

>  >The essence of the teaching is that vaidika mArga & upaniSad vidyAs are
>> superior to tAntrika mArga and tAntrika rituals.  The *abhEda-bhAvana*
>> of upAsaka and upAsya dEvata is the uttama mArga which culminates
>> in advaita siddhi.
> abheda bhAvana of upAsaka and upAsya devata is central to many tAntrika 
> mArga-s and tAntrika rituals. So quoting this point to show superiority 
> of something does not yeild any fruit.

It establishes that abheda bhavana is the yardstick by which superiority 
is to be measured.  Some tantrika margas may have it, many do not.   How 
do we sort out which is which?  By reference to shruti and smrti which is 
abheda throughout.  (Atleast according to the Advaita Vedantic view which 
is the only one which concerns us on this list.)

The Smarta attitude towards tantra as towards other types of ritual and 
devotional practices is not to reject them outright but to take what is 
good (as per our definition of good) in them and discard the rest.

On Thu, 14 Jun 2012, Satish Arigela wrote:

> Anyway the idea is that people learn to ask "why" and think deeper
> instead of hanging to some vague, very late, and biased interpolations
> in late texts, ignoring the larger and greater references and
> traditions, suggesting the exact opposite, staring them right in their
> faces

That's certainly a sentiment I can get behind but what relation does it 
have to the current topic?  On what grounds do you call the idea that for 
smartas, tantras are only acceptable insofar as they are in harmony with 
the Vedas, "vague" or "late" or "interpolated"?  (I suppose I should give 
you biased but as there is no 100% objective view it doesn't mean much.)

>   The below comments are generic and not directed at anyone but
> directed against a certain thought process and trend that is found these
> days:   This simply is a result of intellectual dishonesty and
> unncessary enthusiasm to show one thing as superior to other, and
> sometimes if not always, seems motivated by feelings of caste(not
> varNa) superiority


> The line of thinking seems to go like this: Since
> non-brAhmaNa-s, shUdra-s and mleccha-s are also practicing non vaidika
> mantra-s, how can I claim to be superior to them. If they are also
> practcicing same mantra-s, in what way am I superior to them? So let us
> downgrade those traditions which are open to all varNa-s. Let us
> downgrade the non-vaidika systems, by either making quotes and finding
> some quote somewhere to that effect,  just so that we can feel good and
> superior about ourselves.

If you apply your own admonition about thinking deeply your comments don't 
make any sense in this context.  The shloka in question comes from the 
puranas which are expressly said to be for bringing the vaidika marga to 
all people.  On the other hand while, as you say, tantra is a varied 
phenomenon, one thing the varieties have in common is they have never been 
mass religions.  A motif found throughout is that of a tantric sadhaka 
being a spiritual elite who is head and sholders above the mundane "pashu" 
It is elitism of a different type than social elitism but elitism none the 
less.  In fact there is irony in the fact that there is more confusion on 
the subject of tantra because they were more successful in preserving 
secrecy and exclusivity than other sects.  And as again you mention, many 
of the tantrikas have historically also been orthodox vaidikas (whether 
strictly the vedas or also including the puranas)  Yet they would have 
felt quite comfortable with the sentiments expressed in that shloka.  If 
the intent was to support some kind of textual untouchability, it could 
have been expressed in that way, but the shloka and smarta ideology in 
general recognizes the phenomenon of tantra as being partially "inside" 
_and_ partially "outside."

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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