[Advaita-l] aruNa prashna & upanishad chanting in evening

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 30 12:58:09 CST 2013

Ajit Krishnan wrote:
> > Variation like this in the vaidika mArga
> > is what really a matter of concern
> Why? The spirit of the karma is there in all the various traditions. When
> followers of apastamba discard some karmas specified by him, and take up
> different karmas specified by a different sutrakAra, simply because they
> felt like it, there may be some concern. But, when one substitutes a
> dhyAna-shloka for agni from the AshvalAyana sUtra in place of something
> similar from Apastamba (perhaps because the adherent has close contact with
> AshvalAyana followers, or because the adherent found the dhyAna shloka to
> enhance his own performance), I see only a cause to celebrate.
> Quite frankly, what "worries" me much more is literal adherence to the
> sUtras, where we spend 25 minutes in agnimukha and jayAdi homa etc with
> only a token handful of offerings in the pradhAna homa. Here, the spirit of
> the performance is pretty much non-existant.

To which, let me add the following couple of points.
1. There is no rule that those who follow Apastambha sUtra-s are prohibited from
taking on elements from bodhAyana or ASvalAyana sUtra-s or vice versa. For that
matter, there really were dvi-vedI-s, tri-vedI-s and catur-vedI-s in the past, who had
multiple choices of sUtrakAra-s to follow for different purposes. It was also quite
possible that someone could learn an Apastambha practice from a father and an
ASvalAyana practice from a maternal uncle at different times in one's life. Nothing
here that should be a matter of concern in any way.
2. Oftentimes, the veda itself explicitly allows a lot of variation. Since this thread is
partly about adhyayana and started with the aruNa praSna, let me draw attention to
the last passage in it, where the dakshiNA to the teacher is specified - "kaMsaM vAsaS
ca kshaumam. anyad vA Suklam. yathASakti vA." Here, within a small detail of what
the student is supposed to offer as a ritual dakshiNA, there is a lot of latitude. One
finds this "yathASakti" allowance in numerous places throughout the ritual texts. A
similar flexibility is made in many other ritual details.

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