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#1241 - November 25, 2004 05:53 PM Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Unacceptable Passages in Hindu Texts


The Ramayana was originally 4,000 verses only. Some centuries later
it became 8,000 verses. Today's version is 20,000 verses. The
Mahabharata was originally 20,000 verses.Today it is 100,000 verses.

Casteists wrote passages into these epics.The Srimad Bhagavatham was
written in the 12th century CE. Many upanishads were written in
medieval times and some even as late as the 16th century. All these
latter day documents, additions and accretions must be rejected.
However nobody has the authority in Hinuism to do it. It is an
individual decision. As for myself I have rejected all these texts in
total.

The translation of the Purusha Shukta hymn is incorrect. The hymn
talks about the Lord's expansion - His extending into His creation.
It has nothing to do with the caste system although it clearly
reveals the broad vocational classifications in the ancient
agricultural age and that the Lord became all people too. And that no
part of His body is of lesser importance than other parts. On the
contrary, indeed we are told to worship His feet.

Besides words have changed meanings over 5,000 years. Just 2,000
years ago 'paraiyar' was an exalted and educated class of weavers.
Today it is a derogatory word that has even entered the vocabulary of
English and many other languages.

Varna originally meant the color or effulgence of a God, not the
varna system or skin color. Hence Lord Muruga is Agni - means Muruga
has the color of Agni, or Agni is the effulgence/emanating shakti of
Muruga. Those hundreds of passages in the RigVeda to Agni are all
Lord Muruga verses.

The are two or 3 other references in the brahmana sections to jaatis
but not to the varna system as we know it today. It too could be an
accretion.

There are some caste references in the old and famous Chandogya and
Brihadaranyaka upanishads. Clearly these are accretions as the
conflict with the rest of the teachings of the vedas and upanishads.

While there was no varna system ever in place in the subcontinent,
the jaati system was always there. Jaati was a clan and vocational
identifying mark. When meeting a person for the first time, we always
ask his name, then vocation/clan. Thus a person says, 'I am Rama,
potter, from Srirengam - name, trade/clan, place.

We cannot delete texts (except in our minds), as some Hindus cling on
to it and ground their faith, philosophy and sect on these very
tampered texts, but we can simply inform all Hindus that they are
living a lie with regards to caste, and in this way bring about an
egalitarian Hindu society.

Regards.

Pathma

Hello Pathma,

The Ramayana contains passages that run into odds with social
realities of ancient India. We know that the Nandas were shudras and
that the mauryas were a mixed caste. If caste was really so rigid as
maintained by Mr.Walia then how did the Nandas and Mauryas come to
power? Further there is ample evidence of castes moving up and down
the ladder based on affluence. When Megasthenes came to India he
described Indian society having seven classes not four and these do
not fit into the rigid four varna system as defined in the texts. As
for the Purushsukta hymn, I doubt that any hierarchy is involved.
One can argue that devotees always worship the feet of the Gods. By
that standard the shudra is on the top.

There is a real problem that caste is a part of power relations in
contemporary India. Much discrimination occurs on grounds of caste
in the rural areas which needs to be addressed in a major way by
Hindu saints. However our saints are dependent on their devotees for
grants and aid and would not dream of doing anything that reduces
their funding. Few of the seths who support them would tolerate any
guru who tells them about giving equality to those who are lower in
status. The result is that Hinduism gets blamed for the crimes and
discrimination that take place just because prosperous Hindus are
not willing to implement the dictum that God is present in all
beings in actual life.

Harsh

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#1242 - November 25, 2004 05:54 PM Re: Scriptures
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
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There are two methods of eliminating spurious passages from texts:

1. Text critical editions based on manuscript evidence and
reconstruction of manuscript lemma,
2. 'Higher' Criticism based on 'logic', evidence from parallel texts,
evidence from old commentaries, internal evidence of the text itself,
linguistic analysis and so on.

Now, we know that the Ramayana of Valmiki was authored before the
birth of Buddha. This is evident because there is no mention of
Buddha (except in a verse that is rejected as an interpolation
because it occurs only in Southern manuscripts), because there is no
mention of Pataliputra, or its precursor Rajagrhya, but only of the
latter's precursor Girivraja. The culture of peninsular India shown
in the text is Neolithic.

However, the oldest manuscripts of the text perhaps do not predate
more than a few centuries. Moreover, the text was very susceptible to
interpolations because it was a Kavya meant for oral recitations and
as such the sutas or recitors were free to add verses here and there
per their convenience. Because of this, although a critical edition
of Ramayana does exist (published from Baroda) and although an
English translation of the same has been published (by Robert Goldman
and others in several volumes), we cannot really use method 1 to
establish the 'Ur-text' or original text of Ramayana conclusively.
This is because all existing manuscripts post-date Valmiki by at
least 2000 years and they show hundreds of variations amongst them.
Therefore, the editors of the Critical edition merely reproduced
verses common to all manuscripts, leaving the non-common verses in
footnotes or in appendices. This method, though the best that they
could have followed, is questionable because the recitor who was
responsible for a particular manuscript tradition could have merely
dropped some verses from his repertoire. However, it is largely
accepted that available texts have more interpolated verses than lost
verses. The manuscript evidence as such does not allow us to
completely remove the Uttarkanda from the Ramayana text and this is
understandable.

Coming to the use of higher criticism, the method tends to be very
subjective. Linguistic analysis is not an exact science. The text as
reflected in the 70 or so existing commentaries on Ramayana varies a
lot. The numerous versions of Ramayana occuring in other parallel
Hindu versions (such as summaries in Mahabharata, Puranas etc.) are
also too short to establish the authenticity of this verse or that.

However, we know the following for sure:
1. Hindu texts typically end with a verse or verses that describe the
religious merit or reading the text. These verses are called
Phalasrutis. Curiously in the Valmiki Ramayana, the Phalasrutis occur
at the end of 6th Kanda, which indicates that the entire Uttarakanda
is a later addition.
2. The language of the Uttarakanda is inferior to that of the other
kandas. Fewer poetical devices such as alamkaras are used in the
Uttarakanda which raises the susupicion that an inferior poet had
composed this work.
3. Summaries of the Ramayana occuring in other Puranas and in the
Mahabharata typically omit the portions of Uttarakanda and none
mentions the Shambuka Vadha episode.
4. Of the other later 14 or so Sanskrit versions of Ramayana, only
the Adhyatma Ramayana which is one of the latest, mentions the
Shambuka episode and therefore it is of no independent authority
being based on Valmiki Ramayana itself.
5. Hindu texts have never cited the episode of Shambukavadha to debar
Sudras from tapasyaa (there are other texts available for that which
have been cited instead) and in popular versions of Ramayana such as
the Ramacharitmanas, the episode is omited even in the Uttarkanda
rendering.

Therefore, from this 'higher criticism', it is highly probable,
almost certain, that the Shambuka episode is a late addition to
Ramayana. The reason why the Uttarkanda is still included in the
academically produced critical edition is because it is not
considered the task of the critical editor to use higher criticism to
edit his text from manuscript evidence.

Instead, higher criticism is used by the practitioners of the faith
of which the text is a part, i.e., by emic scholars and believers.
And Hindu scholars have by and large maintained that the Uttarkanda
together with the Shambuka episode is an interpolation which is
evident from the perfunctory references to this part of Ramayana in
other Hindu works.

Now, higher criticism has been used by some academic scholars as well
to list the different chronological layers of Ramayana and in this
regard the study of John Brockington are the most comprehensive. He
also confirms that the Uttarkanda is the latest addition. He also
suggests that the Balakanda and some portions of the other kandas are
also late additions. I can try to find his book in my home and
provide details.

Sincerely,

Vishal Agarwal

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#1243 - November 25, 2004 05:55 PM Re: Scriptures
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Registered: February 07, 2010
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To these two very common-sense methods of eliminating spuriuos passages, I would like to add another:

3. "Highest" criticism based on common sense and an application of
Hinduism's highest law, Ahimsa Paramodharma, "least injury is the highest good".

Let me explain. Any and all statements made by holy men, holy women, and
holy people writing holy books can be divided into three basic categories:

a) Those that are embodiments of timeless noble principles
b) Those that are embodiments of potentially noble but necessarily
time-bound principles
c) Those that do not embody noble principles at all.

For example, in category "a", we have such statements as, "let noble
thoughts come to us from all sides." Or "the wise call the truth by many
names". Or "thy entitlement is to the action, not the fruit." These all
represent timeless wisdom.

Then there is category "b". In this category will fall the cultural and
unwritten bans against homosexuality. At a time when society could not
afford to waste reproductive potential, such a ban may have been at least
considered well-intentioned, if not noble--it's goal was the survival of
society at large. On the other hand, those situations clearly no longer
obtain, since the birth rate in India is TOO high, and homosexuals (and
other infertile couples) can take advantage of a host of new reproductive
techniques--so the principle no longer applies, if it ever did.

Finally, in category "c", we have such statements as "drums, vagabonds,
Shudras, and women all deserve beatings" from the Ramacharitmanas. I
think we can all agree that this hardly embodies the best of Hindu
tradition. In fact, it embodies a very unjust and callous view of entire
sectors of society that, no matter who said it, has no place in Hinduism
except as a reminder that even the brightest suns of knowledge contain
the occasional spots of darkness.

How do we differentiate these ideals, however, and place the various
ideas and concepts from our multiverse of scripture into these three
categories? Simple: using our god-given brains and using the principle of
Ahimsa Paramodharma. Thus, for statements to fall into category one, they
must satisfy "least injury" to all people, at all times. They tend to be
statements regarding human nature and the best application thereof. To
fall into category two, they must demonstrate that at some point in time,
either now or before, they satisfied the intentions of doing "least
injury" to individuals and to society. These statements will tend to be
laws and day-to-day cultural wisdom. To fall into category three, they
must demonstrate that they are antithetical to Ahimsa, as any socially
unjust (beat women or Shudras) or strife-inducing (kill those of inferior
religions) statements must be.

So, while it's important to follow the two methods Vishal listed for
eliminating spurious passages from texts--i.e., passages that have been
added by people not the author--we must remember the most important
method is the one that allows us to reject wrong passages, regardless of
their authenticity or lack thereof. Hinduism's greatest gift to its
followers is not its scriptures, classics though they may be; it's
greatest gift is the exhortation to think for ourselves, reason for
ourselves, and find the truth for ourselves.

Now, I know that it's emotionally nice to be able to tell hostile people
that, "wait a minute, Valmiki didn't really say that, someone else put it
in". But if, in our studies, we find that Valmiki (or someone else)
really DID say THAT, whatever bad thing THAT might be, we must remember
that Hinduism's strength lies in saying, "who cares what Valmiki says,
what matters is what Ahimsa says, and since in this case Valmiki is
against Ahimsa, in this case Valmiki is WRONG." Hinduism demands no less
of its adherents than a very grown-up view of spirituality. An uncritical
acceptance of authentic texts, even if somewhat warranted, is rather
childishly monotheistic, wouldn't you say?

Raman Khanna

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#1244 - November 25, 2004 06:02 PM Re: Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
The Purusha Sukta and a few other hymns on creation in the Rig as well as the Satapatha Brahmana simply is the Hindu version of Genesis - that all creation emanated from the Lord, Purusha. And it uses allegory to explain this emanation in a poetic way. As the allegory is a mode of explanation of the poet, nothing more should be drawn from it, and it suggests nothing either in any of these hymns on genesis.

The vedic rishi had a vision of creation, this emanation, and probably even heard the PS words. He wrote it down and passed it on. Nothing wrong with that, except that someone down the line may have altered it, as the language seems to be different from the other Rig passages. Further, we have several other passages in the vedas that amply tells us about creation leaving no room for doubt, like sparks emerging from a fire, but saying nothing about as to whether these is any differences between sparks.

It is for these reasons that many vedic samhitas have different recensions, some markedly different form each other. Even a simple verse for ganapati..'gananaahn tva..ganapatigm havemahe..'.. have so many different versions. So which one is the 'word of God'? Which Ramayana is the word of God? Which Mahabaratha?

All these examples put together tells us that the PS allegory should remain only a mode of explanation. Or it was a later addition. And I am also saying that Hindu scholars themselves now accept that the PS or parts of it was a latter addition. Evidence already provided. Dont blame me for this.

Words too have changed meanings over time, like varna which I mentioned. Hindu priests were referred to in many terms in the distant past, one of which was 'hotr'. (Vedic Experience by Raimundo Panikker, an ex-catholic franciscan monk but now a Hindu sannyasin) In the Rig brahmana meant a 'knower of brahman', meaning realised person, a jivanmukta, not a priest. Only later the priests began using the term brahmana which today means brahmins.
I do not at all deny the authority of the vedas, but that does not mean blind acceptance. Indeed, I said as a meditator I independently affirm the vedic ideals.

But 'infallible word of God?" It is a semitic idea and we have no such thing in Hinduism. It is for these reasons that all those vedic suktas carry the name of author rishi, attributing it to him, and no one else.

This is what makes ours a tolerent religion and led to an abundance of scriptures and writings, saints and sampradayas, philisophies and religions. The existence of so many sampradayas attests to this. The emergence of the agamas, itself scruti, and the base of our Hindu religion today demonstrates that even the veda is not final. This is our hallmark. Take any Hindu scripture in your hands and know for certain that neither in that scripture, or in any veda or agama, is there a claim of being an infallible word of God. Unless you show me otherwise, let us consider this settled.

If it is a consolation, even bakti literature has been tampered with, though not quite to the same extent.

For example, there are 47 additional verses to Tirumular's 3,000 Tirumantram verses. Scholars say some passages have been inserted into Manikkavasagar's Tiruvasagam. Tulsidas wrote 8 chapters of Ramcharitmanas hymns, but today we have 9 chapters, the last being an addition.

We dont know how much have been inserted into the puranas, probably 50% of it is additions. Some puranic verses date from BCE era to as late as the 15th century in the same purana. The same sories vary in different puranas, and even vary with the vedic version of it. Other puranas are late; Bhagavata was was probably composed in the 9-10th century and written in the 12th century, Bhavisya probably as late as the 16th century. Some upanishads are even later than the puranas. This is what scholars conclude.

On top of this all, many verse and shastras have been lost or discarded, including from the vedas, upanishads and even the agamas. Such is the state of our scriptures.
Saints have made mistakes too. Some hymns by Mirabai disparange a certain caste community leading to the govt exorcising these passages from Indian school texts recently. Sannyasins have gone to war and murder over bathing rights at the ganga. These too must be condemned.

All these means we have to be discerning when reading Hindu texts. There are enough verses from the vedas that completely overthrow any notion of caste. It is clear from the vedas and upanishads that each and every one person already has the guna to achieve moksha, thereby undercutting all other arguments.

Take any gita, ramayana or mahabharata in your hands, teach and quote from it, word for word, in most probability 80% of what you are saying may be fake verses. Do that with the puranas and probably 50% of the time you would probably be misrepresenting Hinduism. Do that with any veda, upanishad or bakti literature and in all probability you would be 95% correct, EXCEPT for the interpretation of the verses part.

Where there is uncertainty on interpretation, rely on bakti literature as our saints have repeated vedic teachings ad nausem with utmost clarity. Recheck again with latter saints like Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Ramana Maharishi, Yogananda and Aurobindo. What our scriptures say and what our saints said must cross-refer!

'That' is the point about the authenticity and correct interpretation of our scriptures. If those gita verses have been attested by any of our saints, go ahead and accept it as the 'word of god'.

Can you show me any verses from bakti literature, ANY ONE, that defends and supports the caste system? If no, why do we keep talking about and explaining it?

And I will show you verses that say that if one still speaks about caste, it means that person has not yet made any spiritual progress. Not one bit at all. And such persons should not speak about religion as this is exactly what it means of the blind leading the blind. Caste is a TOTAL WALL to spiritual progress and makes us blind to truth and love.

Pathma

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#1245 - July 14, 2005 06:22 PM Re: Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
South Indian Devotional Texts


If I may speak for Tamilnadu, Northern Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and
Sumatra (Indonesia) - the areas where mainly tamils as well as some telugus
and malayalis (now mostly assimilated into one) live. When one talks of south
Indians, one has to include this diaspora of 6 million in this extended
archipelago.

In these areas, the children learn the 'Ethical Texts', Aathichudi, Konrai
Venthan and some selected Tirukurals by memorisation. In the homes and
temples they sing the Periapuranam and Divyaprabantham. Most homes
have these little booklets containing selected hymns. Few homes would have
the BG or Ramayana let alone the vedas or else. And a book here and there
about Ramakrishna or Sivananda.

In schools, there are singing contests and recitals as well as state wide and
nation wide contests. There are thevaram and sangeetam teachers in nearly
all temples. There is never a lack of this. At least in Malaysia and Singapore
nearly every school going child would know a few of these hymns and
bhajans. In Sri Lanka, of course the society has been disrupted.

In the larger temples, Othuvars, professional hymnists are employed to sing during the pujas. In other temples, any devottee could sing and lead he
congregation. Bakti hymns are sung always in every temple at every puja,
else its incomplete.

These are our scriptures. What we sing and chant is our scripture. It is sung
in temples, in the home altar, during pujas and homas and most definately
during the death ceremonies and the yearly Tivasham ceremonies for the
departed.

Among these south Indians, religion is temple centric, Kadavul and Koyil, as
they routinely say. Homemaker women would say that they lives are 'koyil
and vaasal', meaning 'from the temple to the home doorstep'. I was surprised
how natural this is when I heard the same thing from a mature Caucasian
Hindu lady in the Bay area, that her life was temple and family only, and she
wouldn't have it any other way.

When I say temple centric, it means the temple and the home altar is the
centrepoint of their religion and lives, and sort of sums it all. Hymns are learnt
to be sung here.

Take any book on Hinduism written by the popular writers and academics and
you'll find it to be 'dharma centric'. Dharma is explained elaborately and its
importance is stressed repeatedly. One gets the view that dharma (including
the notorious varnashrama) is the be all and end all of Hinduism. And in these
dharma centric books obviously the 'dharma texts' - the Mahabharata and
Ramayana as well as the puranas plays a large part and is (over?)emphasized.

All this means that this dharma stressing (stress? )makes Hinduism a
'shastra centric' religion when that is not the case at the ground level.
(Anytime you talk of dharma someone will bring out a book and quote from
somewhere. Meaning, he would not sing a hymn.)

Traditionally, the Hindus only came to know of the puranas and itihasas thru
the 'Villupaatu" - a travelling band of reciters, musicians, dancers and mimics
who travelled to villages and temples and played a scene from some of these
texts to the gathered patrons who threw coins into the hat.

Please note that these recitals are always outside the temple, never in front of the diety in the hallowed mulasthanam. It was not accorded the same as the
bakti literature. (Except in vaishnava temple where the BG is recited by
priests and patrons.) In fact, when one is telling a tall yarn, we say 'he is
talking the ramayana', and when a person is long winded, we say 'he is
reading the puranas'. None of this was taken seriously, the way it has been
elevated now to the stage of 'the infallible word of god'.

Compare the 'dharma centric view' of religion presented in these modern
books with the 'temple centric view' of the average Hindu. In the south Indian
view of religion and culture, dharma is given little stress; the values are
already inbuilt in the culture and family values, and all values flow from the
ethical texts and the bakti literature.

Love of God was his religion and thats the same view we get when we study
the vedic samhitas, where the overriding sentiment is loving, praising and
singing to the gods, and where there is little mention of dharma and all the
what not that came about to clog the religion.

Singing to the gods is THE one continious unbroken tradition of the Hindus from the samhitas till now. This is how we express our love. Everything else is subsidiary to this.

A devout south Indian Hindu's life is one of running from the temple to the
home altar, from pillar to post, always considering himself in service of the
diety of the temple with no thought whatsoever to scriptures, the way we
speak of vedas, etc. He dreamt of the diety, sung the bakti hymns and dreamt
of the lives of the bakti saints and the jesus christ-like miracles that they
performed. Thats all. That was his religion - his gods, his saints and their
hymns.

All these things, the supremacy of the vedas, dharma and the varnashraama,
the infallible dharmashastras, puranas and itihasas, and more, has been
overlaid on us in the 20th century by misguided western as well as
intentioned Indian writers of a particular community, so as to give an
overarching and uniform pan Indian view of Hinduism, with the (sanskrit)
shastras brought to the forefront and the temple culture and bakti saints and
their vernacular literature relegated to the back.

Today the overlay is falling apart with the inherently latent temple building
culture of the PIOs and NRIs manifesting itself and refinding themselves, and
with it automatically comes the bakti literature and their saints.

Regards.

Pathma

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#1246 - August 09, 2005 01:52 PM Re: Scriptures
webmaster Offline
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
NSVALLUVAN
Junior Member

Posts: 1
Registered: Jul 2005 posted July 14, 2005 12:22 AM               
------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Amhuvan - Indus Valley Script

Please refer,

http://murugan.org/research/valluvan.htm

Thanks & Regards,
N.S.VALLUVAN.

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited August 09, 2005).]

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#1247 - November 16, 2005 05:35 PM Re: Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
For those who wish to know, the author of the chamakam was Devaahaa
Rishayaha, based on the shukla yajur veda.

Aum

Pathma



[This message has been edited by Pathmarajah (edited November 16, 2005).]

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#1248 - November 24, 2005 10:07 AM Re: Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Anyway, while the Rudram is dedicated to Siva, the Chamakam is a list of demands to Agni, Vishnu (agnaa vishnu sajosasema) and 23 other deities to bring forth all the goodies. Anyone know why - why worship one diety and expect blessings from other dieties?

Thanks and regards.

Pathma

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#1249 - December 03, 2005 01:23 PM Re: Scriptures
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The Rigveda and the historical sense of Indians
By T.P. Sankaran Kutty Nair

The author retired as Head, Department of History, University College, University of Kerala.
The Organiser


With the opening of the Vascoda Gama epoch in Indian history, began the long interaction between the East and the West. In those days, one of the charges against India was that India produced, “no great historian or historical work, and Indians had no historical sense, although Indians excelled in other branches of learning”. The western scholars charged Indians of not having written a proper history of India. To this charge, Indians reacted by projecting the Rigveda, which remains even today the oldest book of knowledge. Cole Broke had revealed that the oldest product of Indian literature is the Rigveda. The three German scholars Bopp, Grimm and Humboldt established the intimate relationship among all Aryan languages, the most primitive form of which was shown to be preserved in the language of the Rigveda. Max Mueller (1823-1900) a German Orientalist and Indologist settled at Oxford acquired a mastery over Sanskrit without the help of a teacher. He then turned to comparative language studies which involved him in the study of the Zend Avesta. The Zend Avesta led him to the study of comparative religion and of the editing of the whole text of the Rigveda (1845-79) with the commentary of Sayana. His History of Sanskrit literature (1859) mapped out in chronological order all the Sanskrit texts known till then. His interest in mythology on which he wrote appealing essays led him further into the study of comparative religion and to the publication of The Sacred Books of the East (1879-1904) A monumental achievement, this collaborative enterprise made available in English, translations of 50 major oriental non-Christian scriptures.

The Rigveda is neither a historical nor a heroic poem, but mainly a collection (Samhita) of hymns by a number of priestly families, recited or chanted by them with appropriate solemnity at sacrifices to the God. Of the various recensions of the Rigveda known in tradition only one, namely the Sakala recension consisting of 1017 hymns of very unequal length has come down to us apparently complete, and it is this Sakala recension that is meant when one speaks of the Rigveda.

The Rigveda is not— as it is often represented to be—a book of folk poetry nor does it mark the beginning of a literary tradition. Bucolic, heroic and lyrical elements are not entirely absent, but they are submerged under a stupendous mass of dry and stereotyped hymnology dating back to the Indo-Iranian era and held as a close preserve by a number of priestly families whose sole object in cherishing those hymns was to utilise them in their sacrificial cult.

Most of the hymns were not composed as such but were mechanically manufactured out of fragments of a floating anonymous literature and the process of manufacturing hymns in this manner must have continued for a long time. The division of the whole Samhita into ten mandalas and the number and arrangement of hymns in these mandalas are not at all arbitrary. It is hardly an accident that the number of hymns contained in the first and the last mandalas is exactly the same, namely 191.

The kernel of the Rig Samhita is however constituted by the so called family mandalas ie. the six consecutive mandalas from the second to the seventh, each of which is supposed to have been composed by a particular family of priests. The ninth mandala is most pronouncedly a ritual mandala. The principle governing the original arrangement of hymns in the family mandalas seems to have been determined by three considerations—deity, metre and the number of verses contained in the hymns concerned. Each family a mandala opens with a group of hymns dedicated to Agni, immediately followed by another group addressed to Indra, then dedicated to various gods.

That the tenth mandala is later in origin than the first nine is however perfectly certain from the evidence of the language. But it is also certain that the whole of the Rig Samhita including the tenth mandala has assumed practically the same form in which we find it today, already before the other Samhitas came into existence.

The hymns of the Rigveda contain abundant geographical data including reference to the mighy Himalayas. Out of the 31 rivers mentioned in the Vedic texts about 25 names occur in the Rigveda alone. The Rigveda enumerates several streams most of which belongs to the Indus system. The Rigvedic people not only knew the sea but were mariners and had trade relations with the outside world.

Vedic literature confined itself to religious subjects and notices political and secular occurrences only incidentally so far as they had bearing on the religious subjects. As Pargiter has very pertinently observed, “ancient Indian history has been fashioned out of compositions which are purely religious and priestly, which notoriously do not deal with history and which totally lack historical sense. The extraordinary nature of such history may be perceived if it was suggested that European history should be constructed merely out of theological literature. What would raise a smile if applied to Europe, has been soberly accepted when applied to India. The force of these remarks is undeniable and no student of Indian history should ignore legendary element in the Puranas and epics. It is necessary to remember that the traditions are not genuine historical facts so long as or so far as they are not corroborated by contemporary texts as other reasonable evidence. But the traditional history is valued beyond doubt because it helped us to reconstruct genuine history. The historical sense of Indians as we projected earlier through the Rigveda is then proved to be not a reality but more a myth.

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#1250 - December 19, 2005 04:20 PM Re: Scriptures
webmaster Offline
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
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Itihasas and Puranas are [reconstructed] Poems, not History Books

To: Indo-Eurasian_research@yahoogroups.com
From: "panuval" <Palaniappa@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 23:34:34 -0000
Subject: [Indo-Eurasia] Epics, Puranas, and Indian history

Friends,

In the recent California textbook controversy, one of the
organizations seeking changes to the textbooks is the Vedic
Foundation (VF). The viewpoint of VF is best characterized as literal
interpretation of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata and the purana,
Bhagavata Purana as history books. Supporters of VF have not taken
into account the views of eminent Hindu Sanskrit scholars regarding
epics and puranas. Most importantly, they seem to have ignored the
enormous amount of scholarly work done on the Bhagavata Purana
particularly regarding its indebtedness to the Vaishnava poetry of
the ALvArs of the Tamil region and hence its date of 9th/10th century
AD.    

Many list members may know that Dr. V. S. Sukthankar, the head of the
Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute's major project that produced
the critical edition of Mahabharata, said about that epic;

"We are not in any case, as far as I can see, constrained to accept
every single statement of the epic in its exact literal sense. And
when I say this, I mean no disparagement either of the text; far from
it. Our epic does not pretend to be a dry, prosaic, matter-of-fact
chronicle, nor a statistical history in the modern sense, based upon
a laboriously compiled critical apparatus. If it were that, it would
surely not have lived for 2500 years. We have on the shelves of our
libraries hundreds of ponderous tomes and compendiums of national and
world history, prepared along approved lines by laborious professors
of history. But hardly anybody reads these works twice, and they are
mostly forgotten, in a generation or two, by an ununderstanding and
ungrateful posterity. The Mahabharata never was a scientific
chronicle of that type and it would be egregious folly to regard it
as such. It is above all an inspired poem. It was actually regarded
by later generations as a kAvya:

kRtaM mayedaM bhagavan kAvyaM paramapUjitam

the highest type of Indian poetry, like its sister epic, the
Ramayana. It was before everything else a work of art, creative,
idealistic in conception, informed with deep religious feeling,
permeated by a conscious didactic purpose, focused more on ideas and
ideals than on facts and figures, in which people were not interested
then so much as now: a work in which a moral was conveyed by a
parable, an elusive truth by a tangible facile myth. And to the
inspired creators of a traditional book of that type we must at least
allow poetic license and common imagination."

(Epic Studies, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute,
Vol. XVIII, Part I, October 1936, p. 72)

Obviously, such epics should not be treated as history books.

But, in September, the Vedic Foundation submitted a report to the
California Curriculum Commission entitled "Report of the Inaccurate
and Biased Portrayal of Hinduism and Indian Civilization in the 6th
Grade History-Social Science Textbooks Being Considered For Adoption
in California". In this report, we find the following statement on
page 17: "The Mahabharat and Ramayan are history books containing the
historical accounts of Bhagwan Krishn and Bhagwan Ram as well as the
history of ancient civilizations of India."

As many list members may know already, Puranas, like epics, cannot be
taken to be histories either. In his foreword to "Garuda Purana - a
Study", Dr. V. Raghavan, the famous professor of Sanskrit at
University of Madras in 1972, said, "Purana-research has already
established the fact that in the case of many
Puranas the original texts were partly or fully lost and were
reconstructed. Also the new sectarian developments found the Puranas
a useful medium for the dissemination of their ideas and deriving
thereby the authoritativeness that they needed. While on the one side
we have, therefore, to regret the loss of the older texts of the
Puranas, on the other we cannot ignore the new texts, for they are
the products of a historical and cultural process and the material as
it is has its own intrinsic significance for the age it reflects.

Each text purporting to be a particular Purana or a part of it,
therefore, deserves its own critical study as a literary, religious
and cultural document."

(Garuda Purana - a Study, by N. Gangadharan,1972)

Like many scholars in this list, Dr. Raghavan does not consider the
Puranas historical documents.

Now let us see
http://www.thevedicfoundation.org/bhartiya_history/chronology.htm

Please take particular note of the following statement, "The
authority of the Bhagwatam is taken to determine the dates of the
dynasties of the kings of Magadh up to the Andhra dynasty." In other
words, Bhagavatam or Bhagavata Purana is taken as the basis to
establish Indian history from 3139 BC to 83 BC. According to this
chronology, Asoka Maurya ruled from 1479 BC to 1443 BC! Alexander's
invasion took place not during Mauryan times but during Guptan
times!!

....

It is interesting that a text most probably composed in Southern
Tamil Nadu in the 9th/10th century AD is causing so much problem in
California today!

Regards
S. Palaniappan

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#1251 - January 04, 2006 01:45 PM Re: Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
On Hindu History, Puranic Timescales and Royal Geneologies

According to the Surya Siddhanta (499 CE), we are in "Adya Brahmanah, Dwiteeya Parardhe, Sri Sweta Varaha Kalpe, Vyvaswata Manvantare, Kali Yuge, Prathama Pade...." These are the puranic timescales.

The Ramayana and Mahabharata events supposedly took place in previous yugas, the treta and dvapara respectively. That puts the Ramayana dates at approximately 864,000 years ago! Surely no one believes this! We were not even walking upright then, forget about crawling out of africa. Besides similar characters present themselves in both these itihasas, 800,000 years apart!

I agree that beyond 500 BCE, Indian history is mostly conjecture. We need more archeological digs, uncover Kumarikandam, place the 3 Sangam Ages squarely, decipher the Harappa scripts, establish the Sumerian connection, place the Chola maritime empire firmly in Indian history as part of Greater Bharat, before we can venture to say anything authoritative about ancient India. There is too much uncertainty right now and a neeedless fixation to IVC. This fixation is a blow to studying Indian history. Who cares if there was an invasion or migration into India or not. It still doesn't change anything.

Because to me Sindhu-Sarasvati Valley is certainly not the cradle of Hindu civilisation. We know of Merhgarh of 5500 BCE, Poompuhar and Dvaraka of 9,000 BCE as the starting points of mature Indian civilisations, and these predates the supposedly Mahabharat wars of 3102 BCE. Sangam literature already tells us that the first sangam was established more than 9,000 years ago and of the earlier tsunamis. How to ignore this? And this is not a purana. How come there is no record of the mahabharat wars in sangam literature whereas the whole of India is named and described? Once we bring these facts into Indian history, then there is no place for the ramayana and mahabharata events. It just doesn't fit!

But if one were to read and enjoy and ramayana and mahabharata in its proper perspectives as a legend, as the writer intended, that 'once upon a time, long long ago, deep in the forest..', then everything falls into place! See, there is no fixation to time and place!

So I do think its a hopeless endeavour to try and place Indian history on puranic timescales. Basing on royal geneologies, well maybe. I'm not sure. But whatever history we uncover, it must fit with the out-of-africa theory as well as the events of the end of the pleistocene age.

I go further. To me, the ramayana and mahabharata events did not take place at all, in the same way the aryan invasion did not take place. There is zero evidence to all these three events. Once I made this mental adjustment I cut the 'confusion knot' and it relieves me of any dating stress and brings immediate clarity about the religion, and much much more conviction of our gods. Try it. Set aside all your studies and scholarship about the itihasas, puranas and timescales for a moment and then you can see what our saints have been telling us all along about our gods, who are to be worshipped as gods without a space-time location.

Pathmarajah

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#1252 - February 20, 2006 06:23 PM Re: Scriptures
webmaster Offline
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
On History and What Macaulay Actually Said


On a separate issue, forwarded from another forum as it is important to us and has bearings on Dr. Raman's recent writings on modern western indologists, and my views on guna, varna and the puranashastras.

This is excellent. For years we heard our people repeat this misrepresentation endlessly and for decades we too repeated it by rote (in the Hindu tradition ). It is most gratifying the record has been set straight. It strengthens my call that the puranas and the itihasas be eliminated from Hindu records. This clarification would be a first modern deathblow to sankrit too. Please note that 18th and 19th century western Indologists were captivated by the
upanishads and Tamil literature only, not anything else.

We are ashamed of Indologists like Purohit Bhagavan Dutt. They owe us an apology for falsifying texts and the record IN THE TRUE SANSKRIT HINDU TRADITION.

Regards.

Pathmarajah


Dr S Kalyanaraman has circulated (19 Feb 06) a report titled Western Indologists: A Study in Motives by Purohit Bhagavan Dutt and that is posted at   http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/encyclopedia/indology.htm
 
The impression one gains after reading the report is that the author after so much research has chosen to miss the point(s), such may be the compulsion of any Hindutva activist. 
 
If they have difficulty making sense of AND deriving lessons from recent (colonial) history, how much more challenged can they be when confronting ancient history.   
 
If they can so daringly FALSIFY recent happenings that are so explicitly documented (e.g. Macaulay's MINUTE ON EDUCATION, 2nd February 1835), what more can they NOT do with facts relating to the remote past. 
 
It appears that they cannot curb their instinct for myth-making, at which their skills are without doubt awesome and of Puranic proportions.  Thatís why Indians (or Kalyan's Bharatiyas) are saddled with so much mythology, filling not only the gaps of history but often supplanting (driving out) history itself.   
 
It will, therefore, be useful - in the interest of accuracy and completeness - that at least some of the facts, opinions and complaints raised in the report be addressed.  I will try to do so in segments. 
 
1.  Macaulay's MINUTE ON EDUCATION, 2nd February 1835
 
1.1  It may be useful to start with the end (concluding part) of the report.  The entire report is building up towards this climax:
 
QUOTE
 
Origin of the Western subversive agenda in India
 
It was February 1835, a time when the British were striving to take control of the whole of India. Lord Macaulay, a historian and a politician, made a historical speech in the British Parliament, commonly referred to as The Minutes, which struck a blow at the centuries old system of Indian education. His words were to this effect: I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.
(Source: The Awakening Ray, Vol. 4 No. 5, The Gnostic Centre)
 
UNQUOTE
  
The author (Purohit Bhagawan Dutt) has not reproduced the exact words of Macaulay. Instead, Macaulay has been merely paraphrased (His words were to this effect).  If it were a faithful paraphrase or summary, it could be regarded a honest job and serve a useful purpose.  Instead, the paraphrasing is wrongly making out Macaulay as having had said things that he did NOT say in the entire course of his (in)famous speech.  The speech is referred to as the MINUTE ON EDUCATION (2nd February 1835) and is reproduced online at:
 
http://projectsouthasia.sdstate.edu/Docs/history/primarydocs/education/Macaulay001.htm
 (based on records available with the National Archives of India)
 
 
1.2   No where in his entire speech can Macaulay be made out to be saying anything close to the effect:
 
QUOTE
 
....I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre,..
 
UNQUOTE
 
1.3  For the moment, let us leave aside whether Macaulay said anything - even remotely - to the above effect, as claimed so audaciously by the author (Purohit Bhagavan Dutt). 
 
IF it were true that India in the early 19th century was a country where an extensive traveler (criss-crossing ìthe length and breadth of India) would NOT chance upon 'one person who is a beggar, who is thief', but would instead be impressed by 'such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber', THEN one is faced with the following difficult questions:
 
a)   Would it NOT mean that the Muslims / Mughals must have done a great job as the rulers of India for more than 600 years, much better than free Indians have done for themselves OR shown to be capable of over the last nearly 60 years of independence? 
 
{For the greatest thing that appears to have happened to post-independent India is the INDIAN DIASPORA, i.e. people who have left / fled India to achieve great things OUTSIDE India, things they would not have been able to if they had remained INSIDE.  On the other hand, of recent times, some have been trying to say that the Indian diaspora has been out there trying to rescue the host countries from trouble!}
 
b)  How did a mere few thousand British officers manage to first gain control of such a vast country where milk and honey were flowing (and with a high ìcaliberî population of 200 million and more) AND then govern it 'in the name of the British Crown' for more than 200 years?
 
1.4  Letís now see some key points that Macaulay was really saying in the course of his speech. 
 
1.5  Macaulay was seeking to enable the intellectual improvement of the people of India through effective education (education that would make a real difference in the practical world):
 
QUOTE
 
        .. We now come to the gist of the matter. We have a fund to be employed as Government shall direct for the intellectual improvement of the people of this country. The simple question is, what is the most useful way of employing it?
 
        All parties seem to be agreed on one point, that the dialects commonly spoken among the natives of this part of India contain neither literary nor scientific information, and are moreover so poor and rude that, until they are enriched from some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work into them.  It seems to be admitted on all sides, that the intellectual improvement of those classes of the people who have the means of pursuing higher studies can at present be affected only by means of some language not vernacular amongst them.
 
UNQUOTE
 
What were being condescendingly referred to as 'vernaculars', i.e. languages spoken by the common people, were in varying degrees of impoverishment due to centuries of domination by Sanskrit and, during the Muslim rule, Arabic.  In the case of Tamil, for example, its vitality as a language was being further sapped by indiscriminatate importation of Sk words (Sanskritization, often forced).  
 

1.6  Macaulay also found that materials in Sanskrit and Arabic were NOT measuring up, understandably so:  
 
QUOTE
 
       .. I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic. But I have done what I could to form a correct estimate of their value. I have read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works. I have conversed, both here and at home, with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues. I am quite ready to take the oriental learning at the valuation of the orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia..
 
UNQUOTE
 
For these British officers sitting in Calcutta / Delhi, they were familiar mainly with literature in Sanskrit and Arabic, of the languages then in use in India.  Much of what were there in Tamil would NOT have been known to them, as even the Tamil people themselves were then largely ignorant about the totality of their literary heritage. 

 
1.7  Macaulay had the following to say about the quality of works in Sanskrit:
 
QUOTE
 
.. from works of imagination to works in which facts are recorded and general principles investigated, the superiority of the Europeans becomes absolutely immeasurable. It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanscrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgments used at preparatory schools in England. In every branch of physical or moral philosophy, the relative position of the two nations is nearly the same.
 
UNQUOTE
 
It appears that Macaulay could not find sufficient 'real history' in 'all the books written in the Sanscrit language'.   How could it be otherwise when myth-making had always been easier than the disciplined effort of faithfully recording history?  For instance, any student of history soon discovers that China has more history, India has more mythology (thanks to the imaginative ways of our Sanskrit pandits, sages, etc.)
 

1.8    Macaulay was clearly agonizing over the choice of language in which to educate the people of British India.  His preference was English and he explains:
 
QUOTE
 
.. We have to educate a people who cannot at present be educated by means of their mother-tongue. We must teach them some foreign language. The claims of our own language (English) it is hardly necessary to recapitulate. It stands pre-eminent even among the languages of the West. It abounds with works of imagination not inferior to the noblest which Greece has bequeathed to us,-with models of every species of eloquence,-with historical composition, which, considered merely as narratives, have seldom been surpassed, and which, considered as vehicles of ethical and political instruction, have never been equaled-with just and lively representations of human life and human nature,-with the most profound speculations on metaphysics, morals, government, jurisprudence, trade,-with full and correct information respecting every experimental science which tends to preserve the health, to increase the comfort, or to expand the intellect of man. Whoever knows that language has ready access to all the vast intellectual wealth which all the wisest nations of the earth have created and hoarded in the course of ninety generations. It may safely be said that the literature now extant in that language is of greater value than all the literature which three hundred years ago was extant in all the languages of the world together..
 
UNQUOTE
 
1.9  Macaulay also reveals that the ruling / higher classes of the natives had already taken to English with gusto:   
 
QUOTE:
 
.. In India, English is the language spoken by the ruling class. It is spoken by the higher class of natives at the seats of Government. It is likely to become the language of commerce throughout the seas of the East. It is the language of two great European communities which are rising, the one in the south of Africa, the other in Australia,-communities which are every year becoming more important and more closely connected with our Indian empire. Whether we look at the intrinsic value of our literature, or at the particular situation of this country, we shall see the strongest reason to think that, of all foreign tongues, the English tongue is that which would be the most useful to our native subjects.
 
UNQUOTE
 
What we must care to note is the nature of the task that Macaulay was engaging himself in.  It was 'LANGUAGE PLANNING' for the education of an entire nation (NOT merely for the classes / castes so privileged under the varnashramic order), whatever the ulterior (or ultimate) purpose may be. 
 
One cannot resist looking at the language situation in India today, particularly Tamil Nadu.   Nearly 60 years after the British had left, Tamil Nadu could not build up sufficient pre-eminence for the Tamil language in education and governance in its own territory.  Tamil Nadu is the only state in all of India (perhaps, in the entire civilized world) where a student can sail through 12 years of formal school education without ever studying his mother tongue (Tamil):  more about this later under a different subject. 
 

1.10  Macaulay then tried to convince himself and others that NOT much of practical value was going to be lost by instituting education in English, apparently based on what he knew about the contents of books then available in the Indian languages:  
 
QUOTE
 
        The question now before us is simply whether, when it is in our power to teach this language (English), we shall teach languages (Indian languages) in which, by universal confession, there are no books on any subject which deserve to be compared to our own, whether, we shall countenance, at the public expense, medical doctrines which would disgrace an English farrier, astronomy which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school, history abounding with kings thirty feet high and reigns thirty thousand years long, and geography made of seas of treacle and seas of butter.
 
UNQUOTE
 
Macaulay was obviously overwhelmed by the mythologies that abound in the type of (Sanskrit) literature he must have been introduced to by the (Sanskrit) pandits.  He refers to the 'history abounding with kings thirty feet high and reigns thirty thousand years long' and so on. 
 
In fact, a little later in his speech he would say as follows:
 
QUOTE
 
I doubt whether the Sanscrit literature be as valuable as that of our Saxon and Norman progenitors. In some departments-in history for example-I am certain that it is much less so.
 
Assuredly it is the duty of the British Government in India to be not only tolerant but neutral on all religious questions. But to encourage the study of a literature, admitted to be of small intrinsic value, only because that literature inculcated the most serious errors on the most important subjects, is a course hardly reconcilable with reason, with morality, or even with that very neutrality which ought, as we all agree, to be sacredly preserved. It is confined that a language is barren of useful knowledge. We are to teach it because it is fruitful of monstrous superstitions. We are to teach false history, false astronomy, false medicine, because we find them in company with a false religion. We abstain, and I trust shall always abstain, from giving any public encouragement to those who are engaged in the work of converting the natives to Christianity. And while we act thus, can we reasonably or decently bribe men, out of the revenues of the State, to waste their youth in learning how they are to purify themselves after touching an [censored] or what texts of the Vedas they are to repeat to expiate the crime of killing a goat?
 
UNQUOTE
 
 
2.  Raja Rammohan Roy on Sanskrit education
 

2.1  More than 11 years before Macaulay would make the above speech, one of India's leading social reformers, Raja Rammohan Roy (of Bengal), was highlighting how (i) intellectually stultifying, and (ii) of little practical value would be traditional education in Sanskrit.  He was writing to the Governor-General on 11th December 1823:
 
QUOTE
 
The Sangscrit language, so difficult that almost a life time is necessary for its perfect acquisition, is well known to have been for ages a lamentable check on the diffusion of knowledge; and the learning concealed under this almost impervious veil is far from sufficient to reward the labour of acquiring it. But if it were thought necessary to perpetuate this language for the sake of the portion of the valuable information it contains, this might be much more easily accomplished by other means than the establishment of a new Sangscrit College; for there have been always and are now numerous professors of Sangscrit in the different parts of the country, engaged in teaching this language as well as the other branches of literature which are to be the object of the new Seminary. Therefore their more diligent cultivation, if desirable, would be effectually promoted by holding out premiums and granting certain allowances to those most eminent Professors, who have already undertaken on their own account to teach them, and would by such rewards be stimulated to still greater exertions.
 
        From these considerations, as the sum set apart for the instruction of the Natives of India was intended by the Government in England, for the improvement of its Indian subjects, I beg leave to state, with due deference to your Lordship's exalted situation, that if the plan now adopted be followed, it will completely defeat the object proposed; since no improvement can be expected from inducing young men to consume a dozen of years of the most valuable period of their lives in acquiring the niceties of the Byakurun or Sangscrit Grammar. ......
 
      ......Again, no essential benefit can be derived by the student of the Meemangsa from knowing what it is that makes the killer of a goat sinless on pronouncing certain passages of the Veds, and what is the real nature and operative influence of passages of the Ved, etc........
 
        In order to enable your Lordship to appreciate the utility of encouraging such imaginary learning as above characterised, I beg your Lordship will be pleased to compare the state of science and literature in Europe before the time of Lord Bacon, with the progress of knowledge made since he wrote.
 
       If it had been intended to keep the British nation in ignorance of real knowledge the Baconian philosophy would not have been allowed to displace the system of the schoolmen, which was the best calculated to perpetuate ignorance. In the same manner the Sangscrit system of education would be the best calculated to keep this country in darkness, if such had been the policy of the British Legislature. But as the improvement of the native population is the object of the Government, it will consequently promote a more liberal and enlightened system of instruction, embracing mathematics, natural philosophy, chemistry and anatomy, with other useful sciences which may be accomplished with the sum proposed by employing a few gentlemen of talents and learning educated in Europe, and providing a college furnished with the necessary books, instruments and other apparatus..
 
UNQUOTE
 
For full text:
http://projectsouthasia.sdstate.edu/Docs/history/primarydocs/education/RMRoy001.htm
(based on records available with the National Archives of India)
 
 
Anbudan
ARUL
http://anbudanarul.blogspot.com
 

Srinivasan Kalyanaraman <kalyan97@gmail.com> wrote:
Sun, 19 Feb 2006 06:17:15 -0500
 
By Purohit Bhagavan Dutt (with minor additions by authors of "Review of Beef in Ancient India")
Interest Of Europeans In Bharatavarsha And Its Ancient Literature
Result Of That Interest
Primary Reason: Jewish And Christian Bias
The Purpose Of Boden Chair Of Sanskrit In Oxford University
Prejudiced Sanskrit Professors
Most Bharatiya Scholars And Politicians Are Unaware Of This Bias
Conclusion
Verses Worthy Of Attention
The History And Traditional Source Of The Vedas
Origin of the Western subversive agenda in India
Notes
Interest Of Europeans In Bharatavarsha And Its Ancient Literature
The battle of Plassey, fought in Samvat 1814, sealed the fate of India. Bengal came under the dominance of the British. In Samvat 1840, William Jones was appointed Chief Justice in the British settlement of Fort William. He translated into English the celebrated play "Shakuntala" of the renowned poet Kalidasa (Circa 4th cent. B. V.) in Samvat 1846, and the Code of Manu in Samvat 1851, the year in which he died. After him, his younger associate, Sir Henry Thomas Colebrooke, wrote an article 'On the Vedas' in Samvat 1862.
 
(truncated)

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#1253 - February 26, 2006 11:56 PM Re: Scriptures
webmaster Offline
Member

Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Tamil Tradition, Puranas & Macaulay


Here is a recent private exchange of ideas with a longtime Hindu scholar friend, Dr. Carl Vadivella Belle, an ex-australian diplomat who is now with an Australian university. He disagrees with me vehemently on Maucaulay, argues on the
intrinsicness of the puranas to Hinduism, but agrees that the Tamil Tradition is equally important as the Sanskrit Tradition to Hinduism and that the two traditions are so intertwined it cannot be disentangled. I have mentioned to him that my views on the puranas (which horrified him ) may be premature and am that I am willing to be reeducated.

Dr. Belle is a devout Muruga bakta, had several spiritual experiences and carries kavadis annually, piercing his cheeks and tongue as a discipline and vow. I have invited him to the forum but his schedules will delay his joining us.

Pathmarajah

-------------------------------------------


I will be extremely busy for the next few weeks, as I have just taken up the Hindu Chaplaincy at Flinders University - I attended the Vice Chancellor's welcome for International Students yesterday, and was astonished at how many Indian students there were. One, a young woman from Bangalore, expressed repeated surprise that a European had become a Hindu!

There is no doubt that the Dravidian world is different. But the point I try to
make is that these differences were originally sharpened by British social
engineers and racial theorists, and have since been taken up by reformers who
believe in the myth of Aryan invasions, and Northern Brahman control and the
like, for which there is absolutely no evidence. Indeed, most British
anthropologists are now deeply ashamed of these views, and are astonished that
they are accepted in India.

I have read both the Kandapuranam (in several versions) and the
Skandapuranam. The deity Murugan is a composite of both Tamil and Sanskrit
influences, and it is impossible to disentangle them. Though of course in recent
centuries he has been located and identified almost exclusively with the Tamil
country. But the two authoritative books on Skanda-Murugan, those of Fred
Clothey and A.S Chatterjee, outline the astonishing range of influences which
lie behind the mythology and motifs of this most ancient of deities (some believe
Murugan makes a Western appearance in the Greek god Dionysus, and it is true
that the Greeks borrowed heavily from Indian philosophies, traditions and
mythologies).

To imagine for one minute that Macaulay viewed Indians of any persuasion in any
terms other than those of contempt, or to discuss Macaulay without any
reference to Benthamite philosophies or the reformist agendas introduced into
British politics after the Napoleonic wars is almost unimaginable. And to quote
him in modern India as a champion of anything which augurs well for any section
of Indian culture, is like quoting Hitler in support of the Jews. Macaulay, like
any reformer of that era, wanted to eliminate and destroy Indian and Hindu culture,
and to replace it with a nation of "brown Englishmen". English literature was
seen as one means to that end (ironic now, given that the greatest writers in English
are mainly Indian, and often exploring the unbelievably rich traditions of the
puranas). The three main objectives were the destruction of Hinduism, the
implementation of modern legal and economic reforms and the imposition of free
trade, all of which were to lead to intensification of the great famines in
India later that century. Indeed, most historians of India would now contend that
Macaulay and his fellow reformers were among the major causes of the Indian
Mutiny of 1857.

(Incidentally, Macaulay speaks of the waste of time learning Sanskrit. Yet until
the late 19th century most upper class English schoolboys learned Latin and
Greek; and he himself was an advocate of this. Science was not taught in most
British private and public schools until the late 19th century, and the greatest
British scholars of that era were self taught.)

You are wrong about 18th and 19th European translators mainly being interested
in Tamil and the Upanishads. European scholars translated a huge diversity of
mainly northern classical works - indeed, their translations were to lead them
into all manner of mistakes when they attempted to codify customary law, land
rights and systems of administration. In fact, the history reveals that the
collections held throughout the great Tamil dynasties, the Pallava, Chola and
Vijayanagara kingdoms were all but ignored. Indeed after the Mutiny and the
development of Social Darwinist racial doctrines, the British saw the Tamils as
debased and inferior people, and their official records are full of the most
appallingly denunciatory materials about how the Dravidian people had
adulterated the higher civilization of the northern Aryans. I find it amazing that there are still Dravidian nationalists who believe in the myth of an
Brahmin-Aryan "invasion" when there is no historical evidence for such an occurrence.

I must disagree on two further issues:

1. Sanskrit is one of the world's great languages, and like the other classical
languages, Greek, Latin, Arabic, classical Chinese, it is a language of immense
power. But Tamil is also a great and classical language, probably of greater
antiquity than Sanskrit. But like the relationship between Greek, Roman and the
romance languages, Tamil and Sanskrit have a complex relationship - indeed the
two great trading zones of India - the Gangetic Plains and the Coromandel
Coast-Kaveri Basin influenced each other so completely that by the First
Century AD it was impossible to disentangle the influences. (Like English, which
has Anglicized so many Latin words, originally from Greek, that our language
would collapse without them). Hinduism draws much inspiration from Sansrkit as
it does from Tamil, but if one wants a complete knowledge of major Hindu
traditions, both would be necessary.

2. The puranas are integral to Hinduism, and without them there would be no
Hinduism at all. All of the Epics and scriptures, are at base, composed on
puranas, as are the rituals of worship. Hinduism is a great and powerful
culture, it is a living religion, and its greatest strengths are from these vast works of
imagination. To eliminate these from Hinduism, as some reformers propose, would be to rob Hinduism of its greatest vitality. Obviously there is a place in all religious systems for pure philosophy, but these are only about 10% of religious adherents of any system. One knows what happened to Buddhism and Jainism when they were confronted with the living, dynamic power of the Nayanars. This would be the fate of Hinduism if the puranas were to be lost. Hinduism is not a literal religion, it is interpretative, and it is the puranas which allow for
speculative philosophy, and the great systems of universal philosophy which
comprise the scriptural traditions of our religion. Remove these, and it is like
cutting the roots off living plants.

But in any case the puranas are works of great philosophical power in their own
right. Read philosophically the Skanda Purana provides all Saiva Siddhanata
philosophy. It is a blueprint for cosmic destruction and recreation, for the
destiny of the soul (which is described in allegorical form in minute depth), for the nature of being. As is the Gita, a work of lyrical beauty and astonishing
power. And the great beauty of Hinduism is the depth at which these puranas
may be interpreted, and the meaning they provide to individual devotees on a
range of levels. As one Indologist states they allow the complexities of the Hindu worldview to be explored, and the astonishing imaginative powers - "unequalled by any other civilization in the world" - to be plumbed for meaning. The whole worship of Murugan - which was my entry point for Hinduism - would be meaningless without the attendant puranas.

Of course, an email is a poor medium to discuss these issues. But I am very wary
of any attempt at chipping away at the very fabric of Hinduism - to me it all
reeks of those Westerners who even now aim to obliterate all Eastern religions
from the face of the earth, whether by "scientism' or by means of evangelical
Christianity.

Aum Shanti

Dr. Carl Vadivella Belle

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#1254 - February 28, 2006 01:12 PM Re: Scriptures
webmaster Offline
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Posts: 1030
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Deconstruction in Saiva Siddhanta


Long ago in Tamil Nadu, there was a tradition of LISTENING to ALL religious views and having understood them then DECONSTRUCT them if possible. You find this in the Buddhist MaNimekalai (c. 400 AD) and further developed in Jain classic in Tamil Nilakaesi (c. 9th cent AD)
 
It is carried out to its greatest heights in Meykandar and Arunandi (c. 13th cent AD), This tradition is still alive and when Christianity entered the Tamil Land it was also subjected to deconstruction in the 17th cent itself.
 
I follow this broad principle here - i.e LISTEN to some serious scholars and seek to UNDERSTAND them first and later if possible try to deconstruct them.
 
So far the bulk of Western ctiticism of Christianity is largely that of those who are atheistic and who are fixated to the notion of science as essentailly positive sciences. However among the Dravidian folks what we have is science as essentially Hermeneutic Science and where above the physical there is also the metaphysical.
 
So the kind of deconstruction that can come from the Tamil mind can be different from that of the Western scientists. For example Saivism, where it sees the BEING as the Dancing Lord,  has a evolutionary Theory of its own , the Disclosive Evolution in which BEING is the GROUND of all evolutionary movement of the creatures and directed towards enabling them enjoy Moksa.

By deconstrcution I mean the attempt by such great Dravidian philosophers like Meykandar, AruNandi and so forth where they UNDERSTAND a metaphysical system and then point out the DEFECTS in them and with that place them as belonging to ParaPakkam, the alienated side . They do this for all systems of metaphysical thoughts available and quite often as does AruNandi ordering them about progressively. Now in all these only the ERRORS are pointed and if there are some TRUTHS they are retained.
 
Thus finally they arrive at what they call Supakkam, the metaphyical insights that cannot be alienated and shown to be erroneous. The system of thinking that cannot be deconstructed in this way stand there as TRUTHS, the truths of the type that I call Axiomatic Truths that Meykandar called PramaNaas and which is original meaning of Sk satyam.
 
Thus the Dravidian mind remains OPEN to all metaphysical thoughts (religions) but at the same seeks to deconstruct all of them and when they find that a particular insight cannot be deconstructed then they accept it as an Axiomatic Truth and then they REVISE their own metaphysical Thinking to accomodate it. Thus Dravidian metaphysical thinking is essentailly EVOLUTIONARY where new and valid insights are allowed into the system and let it REFORM it as a whole.
 
This is how Saiva Siddhanta metaphysics is arrived at and though Meykandar wrote his Book, Sivanjana Botham more than seven hundred years ago it stands as a solid rock, beyond deconstruction. Others can only IGNORE it but cannot face its challenge and deconstruct it.
 
I have translated the whole text with a lenghty introduction at :
 
http://ulagan.tripod.com/bocontent-e.html
 
The introduction also elaborates on the notion of Hermeneutic Science with plenty of references to the Western philososphers. I also provide a critique of Logical Positivism such as that of Russel Rudolph Carnap and so forth.

Loga

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#1255 - April 28, 2006 04:40 PM Re: Scriptures
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Chamakam


madhur maniShye madhu janiShye madhu vakshyAmi madhu vadiShyAmi
madhu mathIM devebhyo cAcamudyAsa.mshushrUShENyAM manuShyEbhyastaM
mA devA avantu shobhAyai pitaro.anumadantu&#0124;&#0124;

I will think only pleasent. I will do only pleasent. I will speak only pleasent.
I will speak honey like pleasent things only to the divines and the humans
who are keen to listen good things.

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#1256 - September 15, 2006 01:12 PM Re: Scriptures
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Posts: 1030
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SUNDAY
VOLUME 20 ISSUE B
AN ANANDA BAZAR PUBLICATION
21-27 FEBRUARY 1993.


THE RAM MYTH

Romilla Thapar: shedding new light

A seminal essay by Thapar, A Historical Perspective on the Story of Ram, makes, the following points:

The original epic attributed to the sage, Valmiki, was recited by bards as part of the oral tradition. Each generation of bards made their own changes but in all, Ram is the personification of the ideal Kshatriya. He is referred to as a human hero and in these references there is no question of his being identified with Vishnu, Thapar writes.

The popularity of the oral epic of Valmikis Ramayan was gradually converted to a religious text by Brahmin authors. Slowly the ideal man, Ram, began to be see as an incarnation of Vishnu. Moreover, in this version, Sitas chastity is once again called into question upon her return to Ayodhya and this time she is banished forever to Valmikis hermitage where she gives birth to twin sons, Lav and Kush.

The multiple versions of Ramayan include a Buddhist version (dating to anywhere between the 4th and 2nd centuries BC) in which Sita is the sister of Ram. When Ram was crowned king on his return to Ayodhya after his exile, Sita was made queen consort and they ruled jointly for 16,000 years, and became the originators of the royal clan. There is also a Jain version (the Paumacharyam) at the end of which the main protagonists become Jain ascetics. According to this version, far from being a villian, Ravan is a devoted Jain.

The story of Ram also finds itself in popular literature: there is Kalidasnarative poem, the Raghuvamsham, Bhasass play, Pratimanataka, and Bhavabhutis highly critical Uttararamcharita. It has a place in the literature of regional languages too in Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali and Marathi. Each of these contain minor variations.

The story of Ram continued to grow in popularity more because it was a tale well told and less because of its merits as a religious text. By the 8th century AD there was a corresponding growth of small kingdoms as waste lands were brought under cultivation and forest tribes (the rakshasas of the Ramayan) were subjugated by the new rulers of these small kingdoms.

The early second millennium AD saw the rise of the Ramanandins, a specific sect focussing on the worship of Ram. For them, Ram bhakti was the most effective form of devotional worship and ensured the salvation of the individual. The focus shifted from Vishnu back to Ram. And for the first time, the city of Ayodhya became the centre of attention.

In the 16th century, Tulsidas, a Ram bhakt, composed the Ramcharitmanas in Hindu, opening up the text to a larger audience. For Tulsidas, Ram was a divine being amongst humans. He believed that the worship of Ram could bring back the Utopian society once ruled over by Ram. RSS historians believe that Tulsidas version was written out of a need to find warrior gods in an age of Mughal rule. But Romila Thapar points out that India under Muslim rule witnessed the vibrancy of a large number of Hindu sects, rather than the decline of Hinduism.

In Uttar Pradesh, Baba Ram Chander used the story to mobilise peasants and selected verses of Tulsidas tale were popularised to depict resistance to colonial rule.(The British were seen as the rakshasas.)

The rise of cinema in this century found mythologicval films being made on the Ramayan. The culmination of this trend was Ramanand Sagars serialised version on television, which sought to project the notion that there is only one version of the Ramayan in the culture of the country. Only the versions, which did not go against the portrayal of Ram as an idealised hero and an incarnation of Vishnu were mentioned. The multiple versions of regional literature, Buddhist and Jain sources, which told a different story, were totally ignored.
The political exploitation of the worship of Ram has not only been visible but has been forced to the forefront in recent months, writes Thapar. This has added yet another dimension to the ways in which the Ramkatha has been used, In this context the television serial, Ramayan, has had an important role to play. Inevitably, writes Thapar, this is also part of the attempt to redefine Hinduism as an ideology for modernisation by the middle cl***.

Unlike the relatively newer religions, Islam and Christianity, Hinduism has often been described as a way of life rather than a formal doctrine. It has no definite Holy book like the Koran and the Bible. It has no single prophet like Mohammed and Jesus. It doesnt even have a holy land to which it traces its origins.

Hinduism, as we have known it, is an amorphous religion. The ways to salvation are many. Although the religion identifies various gods and holy centres of pilgrimage there is no obligation on anyone to visit these.

In recent years the emphasis on the worship of Ram has been politically motivated. The VHP and its allies have been working overtime to forge a national and international unity amongst those it defines as Hindus. Without unification there can be no awakening of the public face of the Hindu spirit and, ergo, no political power for the VHPs pals, the BJP.

Now how do you go about uniting the Hindus? In one area of the country there is the worship of Ayyappa, in another the regning deity is Venkateswara and in a third it is Jagannath. All of them are gods and all will help their devotees attain salvation. Enter, the VHP. In recent times we have witnessed two simultaneous developments. To start with, the votaries of Hindutva have set about remoulding and redefining Hinduism.

Since Hinduism has neither a single prophet nor a holy book, the VHP has stumbled upon the need to define all the characteristics of a formal religion. In the new Hinduism (Thapar refers to it as a Syndicated Hinduism) Ram is the Prophet, the Ramayan is the holy book and Ayodhya is the Vatican city of Hindus.

And who are the popes? The ruling elite of the proposed Hindu rashtra the BJP-VHP-RSS brotherhood, of course.

At the same time, the VHP and its partners have been whipping up a quite unfounded sense of having been wronged by centuries of foreign rule. The Hindus have no land of their own, they shout. The careful cultivation of this sense of injustice is crucial to the VHPs plans because without it there can be no demand for Hindu Rashtra.

For Hindus who have always believed that their religion has a different meaning for different people, this is a hard new reality to be swallowed. And this is perhaps why the Hindutva votaries are not converted to The Cause, they must be won over by the presentation of facts and documentary evidence.

Who can resist the appeal to basic religious sentiments legitimised by the language of history and archaeological evidence. Presented with hard evidence that the mosque in Ayodhya (the Vatican city of the future) was in fact built over the site of a temple, very few Hindus will be able to resist the BJPs argument that all it is asking for is a temple to be built to honour the ruling deity of the Hindu people.

And so we find that the VHPs need to pack lies upon lies in their quest for a new religion. Suddenly, Hindus are told their identity and maryada (self respect) rest on the building of a temple to Ram in a dusty town in Uttar Pradesh. In a country where the majority of the people are illiterate, the VHP obviously believes that if you repeat a lie often enough it will become the truth.

And the beauty of the whole plan is that while the ultimate defence is that Ram is a matter of faith, there is ample evidence to justify the temple in his name.

What exactly is the VHPs evidence to support the existence of a temple at Ayodhya which was destroyed to build mosque? According to VHP, Babars officers converted several Hindu temples into mosques. Writing for the organisers Republic Day edition in 1989, Lal declares that, Ayodhya was a centre of pilgrimate for the Hindus as the birthplace of Lord Ram. As was customary with Muslim conquerors and rulers, Babar ordered the destruction of the temple of Ram Janmabhoomi and erected a mosque in its stead.

But even Lal has to concede that Babar makes no reference to this in his memoris. So what is the evidence the Lal relies on? He points to two inscriptions in Persian inside and outside the mosque.

But there is more evidence that makes nonsense of the VHPs claims. Tulsidas Ramayan was written in the 1570s and at no point makes a reference to the demolition of a temple in the birthplace of Ram.

If Babar had, in fact, ordered it to be destroyed wouldt Tulsidas, a great devotee of Ram, who was writing only a few decades later, have mentioned this?

Moreover, in 1695, Sujar Rai Bahadur, author of the Khulast-ul-Tawarikh, gives a longish account of the city of Ayodhya. There is no reference to a demolished temple. The first evidence that the VHP presents dates back to no further than 1748 A.C., 220 years after the mosque was constructed.

And what is this evidence? A book written by one Nasaiah Bhadur Shahi who RSS historians claim, is the granddaughter of Aurangzeb, declares that Muslims should not be allowed to worship at mosques built on the sites of the Rasoi-e-Sita and Qaragah-e-Hanuman. Who exactly was this princess? Her name is not given and she is referred to simply as Bahadur Shah Alamgir ki beti. And who is Bahadur Shah Alamgir? History records a Mohiuddin Aurangzeb, but no one of the title of Bahadur Shah Alamgir. Worse still, points out Professor Irfan Habib, the original source from which the VHP extracts this evidence, has disappeared.

It is only in the 19th century that the demolition of the temple followed by the construction of the mosque actually enters the records. Suddenly there are several references to this theory P. Carnegys Historical Sketch of Faizabad (1870), H>R. Nevills Faizabad District Gazetteer and A.S.Beveridges English translation of Babars memoirs(1992).

This brings us to the trump card of the VHPs evidence: an archaeological report prepared by the formed director general of the Archaeological Survey of India, B.B. Lal. Since Valmikis Ramayan is set in the treta yuga or several thousand years before the onset of the Kalyug, it is believed to have begun in 3102 BC. Lals excavations, however, establish that there is no evidence of any kind of habitation in Ayodhya before the 8th century BC when the first sign of a primitive settlement appear.

Confronted with evidence of the non-existence of a Ram temple the VHP conveniently shifted its stand. The original temple was not dedicated specifically to Ram, but was a general Vaishnav temple, it argued.

To back its theory, the VHP began harping on the issue of the 14 black pillars of the Babri Masjid. As Irfan Habib points out, it was common practice to use old pillars not just for mosques but also for the construction of temples. The presence of pillars in the former mosques does not suggest that it ha been built on the site of an existing tmeple, let alone a Ram temple.

Based on the archaeological evidence presented before it, a team of historian comprising R.S.Sharma, M. Athar Ali, D.N. Jha and Suraj Bhan reached the following conclusions:

There is no evidence to suggest that prior to the 16th century was there any veneration attached to Ayodhya as the birthplace of Ram.

There is no evidence to support the theory that a Ram temple existed at the site where the Babri Masjid was built in 1528-29.

The legend that the Babri Masjid occupied the site of Rams birthplace did not arise until the late 18th century. The theory that a temple had been demolished to pave way for a mosque was first ***erted in the 19th century.

The simple truth is that it is impossible to identify a particular site as the place where Ram was born. As for the question of faith, there is no evidence to suggest that a popular belief of a religious community suggested that Ram was born in Ayodhya. The faith that Ashok Singhal and Co. talk of is a relatively new found one, propped up by the propaganda machinery of the Hindutva brigade. Repetition, believes this gang, will bring veracity in its wake.

What we are witnessing today is a parrot like recitation of RSS conjured slogans: Garva se kaho hum Hindu hain (Say with pride, we are Hindus) and Kasam Ram ki khaate hain, mandir wahin banayenge (We swear on Ram that well build the temple on that site). The new Hinduism is like Coca-Cola and in their cynical quest for votes and power, Advani and his colleagues are no better than yuppy marketing men.

Far from ushering in a golden mythical age of Ram Rajya, the BJPs policies seek to take us back to the medieval age to the politics of repression (of the minorities), violence and revenge (against the Muslims). Is this the Hindu Rashtra of the future? The Hindu Rashtra, as visualised by the visionaries of the new Hinduism will necessitate not only the rewriting of the Constitution and the renaming of cities but a reworking of the history, myths and cultural fabric of this country. It is Ramanand Sagars pop Ramayan, rather than Valmikis epic poem, which will be the reigning literature.

Since a mythic hero, a man amongst men rather than a divine being on earth, will be the unifying god the Hindu state will have to invent new religious festivals, (significantly) the two festivals ***ociated with the Ramayan. Dusschra and Diwali, do not propogate the worship of Ram. While the former signifies the victory of good over evil and involves the veneration of the family weapons by Kshatriyas, Diwali is dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi and Ganesh, the gods of prosperity. It is not without design that Ramanaumi, a comparatively minor festival, has been gaining in popularity in recent years.

And, of course, the Hindu Rashtra will have no place for the monorities, or for that matter, the Hindus who do not accept Advani and Co. as their leaders. The Hindu Rashtra will, in fact, have little to do with Hinduism as we have known it. There will be no place for questioning, little patience for tolerance and absulutely no role for moderation.

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#1257 - September 16, 2006 04:59 PM Re: Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Some Important Vedic Hymns


Rig Veda 2.24.1 (2.23.1) Also found in Krishna Yajurveda -- 2/3/14/14 and Shukla Yajurveda 23/19

gaNAnAn.h tvA gaNapatiM havAmahe kavim kavInAm- upamashravastamaM |
jyeshhTharAjaM brahmaNAn.h brahmaNaspata A naH shR^iNvannUtibhiH sIda sAdanaM &#0124;&#0124;


Rig Veda 7.59.12
tryambakaM yajAmahe sugandhiM puSTivardhanam
urvArukamivabandhanAn mRtyormukSIya mAmRtAt


"We worship the father of the three worlds (Tryambaka), the granter of prosperity. As a cucumber from it's stem, so may I be liberated from Death, not deprived of Immortal Life."


Rig Veda 9.96.5 & 6
somaH pavate janitA matInAM janitA divo janitA pRthivyAH
janitAgnerjanitA sUryasya janitendrasya janitota viSNoH

brahmA devAnAM padavIH kavInAM RSirviprANAM mahiSomRgANAm
shyeno gRdhrANAM svadhitirvanAnAM somaH pavitramatyeti rebhan


Father of sacred chants, Soma flows onwards, the Father of the Earth, Father of the Celestial region: Father of Agni (Skanda), the creator of Surya (Brahma), the Father who gave birth to Indra and Vishnu.

Brahman of Gods, the leader of the poets, Rishi of sages, chief of savage creatures,?Falcon amid the vultures, axe of forests, over the cleansing sieve goes Soma singing.


Rig 1.043 Hymn to Rudra
1 WHAT shall we sing to Rudra, strong, most bounteous, excellently wise, That shall be dearest to his heart,
2 That Aditi may grant the grace of Rudra to our folk, our kine, Our cattle and our progeny;
3 That Mitra and that Varuna, that Rudra may remember us, Yea, all the Gods with one accord.
4 To Rudra Lord of sacrifice, of hymns and balmy medicines, We pray for joy and health and strength.
5 He shines in splendour like the Sun, refulgent as bright gold is he, The good, the best among the Gods.
6 May he grant health into our steeds, wellbeing to our rams and ewes, To men, to women, and to kine.
7 O Soma, set thou upon us the glory of a hundred men, The great renown of mighty chiefs.
8 Let not malignities, nor those who trouble Soma, hinder us. Indu, give us a share of strength.
9 Soma! head, central point, love these; Soma! know these as serving thee,
Children of thee Immortal, at the highest place of holy law.


In the last three sutras of this hymn Rudra is directly addressed as Soma, and Indra.


Rig 8.6.41
RSirhi pUrvajA asyeka IshAna ojasA
indra coSkUyase vasu


"You are a Rishi (Seer) born from ancient times, Lord Supreme (Ishana) of all by vigour, guard our riches, Lord of the Senses!"




[This message has been edited by Pathmarajah (edited July 29, 2008).]

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#1258 - December 30, 2006 05:29 PM Re: Scriptures
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Workshop To Discuss The Earliest Agama Of Saivism

www.hindu.com

PUDUCHERRY, INDIA, December 27, 2006: The Ecole Francaise de Extreme--Orient (EFEO), French School of Asian Studies in Puducherry (formerly, Pondicherry), will be organizing an international workshop on "Early Saivism: The Testimony of the Nisvasatattvasamhita" from January 2 to 13. According to Dominic Goodall, head of the center in Puducherry, the workshop will mainly focus on the Nisvasatattvasamhita, one of the earliest Agamas of Saivism that has survived. "The Nisvasatattvasamhita, a fundamental Tantra of the Saiva Siddhanta, is an enormous, unpublished text of great antiquity that contains information about the early history of the Saiva religion. The work is in many respects very different from the other ancient Tantras of the Saiva Siddhanta and is, therefore, quite difficult to interpret," said Professor Dominic Goodall.

Nivasatattvasamhita may be the earliest scripture of Tantric Saivism and it is a source of major importance both for t he early history of Tantrism and for more archaic forms of Saivism followed by Pasupata groups. It is mentioned in 10th century inscriptions in Cambodia. "It is a compendium of Saiva mantras and Saiva thought in general and it survives in an early ninth century Nepali manuscript. The text has evidence of Saivism in the whole of the Indian sub-continent at that time," he added.

Scholars from Japan, England, Europe and the U. S. will discuss this agama in depth. Discussions focusing on finalizing the text of three of the five major sections on the Tantra will be held. These sections, called 'sutras', appear to be semi-independent Tantras in their own right: they teach different mantra systems and the longest of them, Guhyasutra, appears to be referred to as an independent work in Cambodian inscriptions. Lectures on different aspects of the text or some aspects of early Tantric religion will be given. Possible subjects include magic rituals; peculiarities of early Tantric language, Tantric ontology; early Tantric cosmography, developments in Tantric worship, Pasupata religion, relations between Buddhist and Saiva Tantra.

On the inaugural day of the seminar, a concert by Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna will be organized. The concert will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on January 2 in the library hall of the EFEO, as 19 Dumas Street. Nagai R. Sriram on the violin, Tiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam on the mridangam and Tiruvarur R. Krishnamurthi on the kanjira will accompany him.

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited December 30, 2006).]

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#1259 - September 23, 2007 12:15 PM Re: Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Mythology Overlaid on Hinduism


One can be a good christian without believing in creationism, parting of the seas, virgin birth, crucification, etc. Or believe in those tales and still be a good christian, albeit a superstitious one. Similarly one can be a good Hindu and worship God Rama without believing in fables of kidnapping and battles, monkeys and bridges, etc.

The Hindu religion, and the existence and worship of gods, is independent of tales and the texts that contain them. These myths and shastras has been overlaid on the already existing religion and its shastras. Whether the fabled texts remain or not is inconsequential.

For those who wish to investigate the realities of Hindu mythologies, should read 'The Lemurian Scrolls' available from Hinduism Today. It covers the revealed history of humanity from 1,000,000 years BP to 500,000 years BP, and just a bit thereafter. It gives some indications as to how puranic stories 'may' have originated.

While the puranashastra issue has been simmering for a long time, the sethusamudram project has inadvertently pried open the debate into the public sphere. There is no turning back from facing this issue and looking at it squarely in the eye.

As to the ramayana and Prince Rama, it is time for Hindus to introspect and re-examine their beliefs. We cannot continue making the polite distinctions between sacred and secular histories, can we? As I have been saying for some years now, the time has arrived for a cataclysmic fall of the 'varnashrama texts' - the ramayana, mahabharatha, manushastras and the puranas, and the worldviews and traditions ***ociated with it. Its time to remove the overlay. Rather, it is collapsing and removing itself as we speak. No prizes for guessing the destiny of the BG.

Luckily we have the agamas which encapsulates the worship of God Rama, not as a fabled heroic avatar but as an iconic murthi of God Tirumaal or Perumaal or simply Vishnu, sans the tales. Well, mostly I think.

As regards the shastric reform, the job is done. Nothing more to do, as everyone will read the cue. Now the agamas are re-emerging into the m*** mind filling the space.

Pathma

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#1260 - October 23, 2007 12:07 PM Re: Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
How Reveletions Happens


I thought I should add something about vedas or any scripture written
by god or reveletions.

The Lemurian Scrolls gives an idea as to how reveletions are received. These Lemurian Scrolls are the
'first veda' shall we say, of the new sat yuga which has already begun, but
since this is the transition period from the old kali yuga to the new sat yuga,
we still see the effects of good and evil being mixed.

When a person is enlightened, that means he has little or no subconscious blocks
that prevents the flow of knowledge or satchinananda (no karma), then he is able
to receive. During awake and conscious periods he is able to see visions with
his eyes closed or open. Such visions may be still images or moving images.
Along with this images, he is able to 'hear' the explanations of these images,
just like one is hearing a person speaking on the telephone. So seeing the
images and hearing its narrative takes place simultaneously. These images and
sounds are not from his mind but from something beyond/trancending the mind,
yet it is received in the mind.

Sometimes these images and sounds are followed by images of written words seen
either with the eyes closed, or open too. These words, and it could be in any
script of font, explain or narrate the images and corresponds to what is heard.
These words appear to hover right in front of oneself, about four feet away, and
stays there long enough for one to open the eyes, write it down on a paper, see
the words again and reconfirm that what is written matches what is seen and
heard. Then the words fade away and new words appear. And so on. It fades only
when the words have been correctly written or correctly understood. These
events are unhurried and can take a half hour or more. When such an event occurs
it means they, the gods, want it recorded for posterity. This is very rare.

Now the veda samhita hymns were seen, heard and written in this way. It is not
the composition of the rishis, and it has no human intervention in it. One can
easily see that the vedas like the thirumurais, kural, etc are too perfect to be
a product of the intellectual mind. It comes from the all pervading
Superconscious mind, the mind of god, or satchitananda or parashakti, or the
golden formless light - it all means the same thing. So they say it was 'given
by the gods'.

In most instances it is given in first party point of view, from the point of
view of the recipient, from the point of view of the 'subject'. Hence, it reads
like, 'I worship thee O'Agni'.

In the Mohammedan tradition, it was received by the Rasul from the second party
point of view, from the point of the 'Giver', and in these instances it comes as
instructions to the rasul. Hence here the verses reads like, ' Say (O'Rasul to
the believers), O'believers, thou shall not go near (steal) the properties of
orphans'. It is the Giver commanding the receiver to inform the masses. So most
suras (ayats or sutras) in the quran goes, 'kul,... . Kul means 'Say'. Many
mindless muslims read or chant these ayats along with saying 'kul'. Its like I
tell Y, 'tell X to come and see me. So Y goes to X and repeats, 'tell X to come
and see me'. See how ignorant they are! Similarly in the catholic and christian
tradition where they sing the latin chants, hymns and spiritual instructions
like a karaoke. As you can already observe, our Hindus are very good at
mindlessly repeating.

I have personally been a witness (not recipient), to such occurences, not once
but hundreds of times, not decades ago but like yesterday and days before for
several years, not just Hindu but other religious traditions too, so I can say
these things with clarity. But who will believe!

Osho is an intellectual, who uses his mind, and is not aware of these avenues of
experiences, just like most of our Hindus who are ignorant. He is not an
'enlightened' person, just a rational and very clear minded intellectual. But
these are things that trancends the mind, and there is no mind effort here, no
thinking. Mr. Narayan, the chief editor of Hindustan Times who praises Osho, is
also not aware of these things. Both are ignoramuses. One ignoramus praising
another ignoramus. Happens all the time. This is not an insult. An ignorant
person is an unelightened one, one who has not trancended the mind to receive
the flow of knowledge from the Absolute, one who has not seen such things or
heard such things from the inner Self-God. That is what is meant when I say an
'ignorant person'. 99% of humanity, and most of our acharyas are ignoramuses
too. Its fairly widespread. So I never have any qualms or guilt in deriding
them, trashing the shastras and philosophies, including leaders and followers of
ALL other religions. This is the blind leading and praising the blind. Because
they 'do not see' and 'do not hear', I call them the deaf-blind.

I have read the veda samhitas, aranyakas and upanishads, and I believe the
samhitas were 'received' in the tradition I mentioned, and most aranyakas too.
Not so most of the upanishads or the brahmanas (many are repeats or restatings).
But also needless to say, our vedas too have been padded with additions,
presumably by the priests, over time. In the samhitas these are few.

True, most Hindus are fooled to believe Hinduism was founded on the vedas when
rather there was one long continuity, way before the vedas, with the vedas just
another text along the hoary past, along with the tamil sangam tradition which
was running parallel with it, with more antiquity and less clutter. However far
back we go, from the very beginning of tamil consciousness, Sivan, Tirumaal,
Murugan, Pillaiyaar, Parvati-Amman, Krishna were there, whether evident in the
vedas or not. So were the bhutas, yakshas, siru deivams and many other classes
of beings.

Hinduism has to be re-presented totally again.

Pathma

Top
#1261 - October 31, 2007 11:16 AM Re: Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
On Rama, Ravana and Ramayana


<In fact, in the Tulsidas Ramayan, Sita is not Ram's wife but his sister. Only
in the Valmiki Ramayan is she his wife. In many versions of Ramayan, she is his
sister. M. Karunanidhi>

I have been waiting, knowing that sooner or later this would surface. And to
think that these Hindoo scholars, swamis (Aurobindo, Prabhupada, etc) and
acharyas don't mention it. Well, perhaps they have not read it but just try and
appear to be well read, and I too try and appear to be ignorant of it and
obligingly be accomodative for god knows why.

Now I wonder what have Ram baktas have been believing and praying to all these
years? Now a whole continent, say, 500 million Hindus have to make up their
minds as to whether its his sister or wife. Tough, huh! I won't be blown away if
another ramayana version surfaces where after the kidnapping, Ravana and Sita
got married and lived happily ever after.

If one were to read the itihasas one would discover several such anomalies, just
like the fact we celebrate festivals on the wrong days as AKK points out. Like
the fact that there is no Bhagavadgita in the original mahabharata. Now what
shall we think of the swamis and scholars who keep quoting from it, like it is a
religious document, deva bhasa, and celebrating such festivals?

I think Hindus have mastered the art of how to mislead a whole continent and the
masses have internalised how to be misled like a collared canine.

No, they are not well read, but just repeat hearsay, go by reputation, and try
and impress! The last time I mentioned casually that there is no such document
called the Brahma Sutras (also called Vedanta Sutras) they were incredulous with
my gross mistake and aghast to my abject ignorance! Lets see how long these
Hindoos take to figure that one out. There goes the advaitists, dvaitists and
vishishadvaitists. After all they based their philosophy on such documents, the
non existent BG and the brahma sutras. This is going to be fun.

Every tale has many sides to it. The ramayana has about 70 different versions,
each with its unique perspective. Only a few of these have been translated and
published, therefore most people do not know the various stories and versions
floating around. I think there is more than one version of the Tulsidas ramayan.
I have heard in one version Ravana is the good guy and he wins the battle. After
all Ravana did not start any problem; it was Rama who dismembered Ravana's horny
sister, and that started it all. He shouldn't have done that, and Ravana could
not overlook that. Battlelines were drawn.

The point is none of these stories should have anything to do with the dieties
we worship in the temples. What Hindus have done is overlaid these stories on
the dieties, then proceeded to believe in these tales as if true events. For
sure problems would arise with this stance.

On the contrary gods are bodies of light, without a physical body and so no
attributes of gender; they don't eat, sleep, get married, take birth, incarnate,
have sex, have children, have a beer, have no human emotions which is a
manifestation of the mind, so they don't fight or fall in love, have no
preferences or desires; as they are all prevading they don't walk here and there
because they are everywhere at the same time, and neither do they built roads
and bridges. Because they are expansive all prevading bodies of light they have
no place to go. As this 'light' is not physical or mental, several gods can
co-exist expansively, co-pervading each other, as they do not occupy space.

It is these gods that we worship in the temples represented as dieties, not the
characters portrayed in the puranic texts. Each of the dieties in the temples is
an icon of this all pervading light. We relate to these icons as we cannot
relate to the all pervading light which is beyond the mind. These bodies of
light are aware that we relate to them through these icons. In fact they are
aware of everything as they already pervade us and our minds.

The 500 million ram baktas have to be weaned away from the 70 ramayana fables to
these icons which serve as an effigy of 'this' one body of light which we named
Rama.

Several millions of such individual and distinct bodies of light co-pervade and
exist. In the Hindu tradition only a few dozen of them are identified and named,
and even less is routinely worshipped. Several other bodies of light that were
once actively involved with human evolution in the past have since receded from
direct involvement and are hardly worshipped today, although their names are
honorarily mentioned in the roll call during homa offerings or temple festive
days.

Today almost all Hindus remember and worship just a few of these bodies of
light; Ganesha, Muruga, Siva, Vishnu, Hanuman, Durga, Lakshimi, Sarasvati, as
well as the various manifestations of these beings. Some of these bodies of
light are themselves manifestations, projections or hypostasis substates of each
other, and *that* is what confuses the Hindus and bewilders the non Hindus (not
to mention the hundreds of sighted forms of each substate which further
complicates the confusion).

Pathma

Top
#1262 - January 23, 2008 07:34 AM Re: Scriptures
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Bhavishya Purana

Indians don't make serious thriller movies like Aliens, Predator, The Day After
Tomorrow, Exorcist, Shrek, etc. Its not in their culture. No one wrote such a
purana.They make song and dance movies, the same thing over and over again with
variations, essentially the ramayana. This movie culture can be traced to the
puranas and itihasas.

A two line sutra in the vedas regarding an event, a theme or a name of a god, is
expanded into 400 verses in the early purana. From there it is expanded into
6,000 verses in later puranas and itihasas, now properly tied with many other
such myths to make a one whole seamless grand story. In the next part Hindu
evangelist writers take over and start the insertions and distortions, only to
pass it on to christian indologists for final editing. This is called myth
making. Its a long story.

Not only the early christian missionaries translated, tampered, misinterpreted
Hindu shastras, they went further inventing legends, added texts to vindicate
christianity, british rule, then demonised islam too, then destroyed the
original manuscripts. One cannot rule out that varna was also inserted into many
puranas. Or even meat eating and other such practices. One cannot rule out
anything. Much of the confusion and conflicts in Hinduism and Hindu society
could be traced to these tamperings.

But the christians were only following an earlier Hindu tradition of adding and
altering. Even before the christian missionaries like Wilson and Wilford started
translating, they already knew that the purana manuscripts were for a great part
not authentic. Can't blame them for carrying on the traditions of manipulating
and myth making.

Hindus themselves are guilty of adding and altering as we see in the ballooning
of itihasas, bhagavata purana, rewriting of the ramayana by Kamban and Tulsidas
with variations, writing of new upanishads, etc., everyone pushing their own
agenda. Imagine, some puranas may never have existed at all, or, the BG even if
it existed may have been only 40-60 verses and not the 700 verses it is today.
Hard to say. Just think, some verses that we routinely quote may have been
additions by Hindus or Christians. Not just the bhavishya but the authenticity
of many puranas are suspect. There is not a single new idea in any of the
puranas. Scholars say the whole of the original bhagavata is an expansion of the
BG.

The Fabrications....nonexistent original......puranas of thieves and
imposters.... sometimes worse than useless...all of them are made up and
unauthentic.


From the horses mouth:

Sir William Jones, 1784 (from Asiatic Researches Vol. 1. Published 1979, pages
234-235. First published 1788).

"As to the general extension of our pure faith in Hindustan there are at present
many sad obstacles to it We may assure ourselves, that Hindus will never be
converted by any mission from the church of Rome, or from any other church; and
the only human mode, perhaps, of causing so great a revolution, will be to
translate into Sanscrit such chapters of the Prophets, particularly of ISAIAH,
as are indisputably evangelical, together with one of the gospels, and a plain
prefatory discourse, containing full evidence of the very distant ages, in which
the predictions themselves, and the history of the Divine Person (Jesus)
predicted, were severally made public; and then quietly to disperse the work
among the well-educated natives."

Translation of Vishnu Puran by H.H. Wilson
(1786-1860). First published 1832. Printed in India by Nag Publishers, Delhi, in
1980, and reprinted in 1989.

In the preface of the Vishnu Puran, written by Mr. Wilson:
"The facility with which any tract may be thus attached to the nonexistent
original, and the advantage that has been taken of its absence to compile a
variety of unauthentic fragments, have given to the Brahmanda, Skanda, and
Padma, according to Wilford, the character of being the Puranas of thieves or
imposters. Original copies don't exist, thus all of them are made up and
unauthentic."

"There is nothing in all this to justify the application of the name. Whether a
genuine Garuda Purana exists is doubtful." (p. lii)

"The documents (the manuscripts of the Puranas) to which Wilford trusted proved
to be in great part fabrications, and where genuine, were mixed up with so much
loose and unauthenticated matter, and so overwhelmed with extravagance of
speculation, that his citations need to be carefully and skillfully sifted,
before they can be serviceably employed legends apparently invented for the
occasion renders the publication worse than useless." (p. lxx)

Some links:
http://www.salagram.net/MotiveBritishRajMissionaries.html
http://www.encyclopediaofauthentichinduism.org/articles/40_descriptions_of.htm
http://www.stephen-knapp.com/jesus_predicted_in_the_vedic_literature.htm
According to the (corrupted) Bhavishya Purana in the Pratisarag Parv III, Khand
3, Adhyay 3 Shalokas 10 to 27 Maharishi Vyas has prophesied:

"At night, he of the angelic disposition, the shrewd man (Mahamat), in the guise
of a pischacha said to Raja Bhoj, O Raja! Your Arya Dharma has been made to
prevail over all religions, but according to the commandments of Ishwar
Parmatama, I shall enforce the strong creed of the meat eaters. My followers
will be men circumcised, without a tail (on his head), keeping beard, creating a
revolution announcing Adhan (call for prayer) and will be eating all lawful
things. He will eat all sorts of animals except swine. They will not seek
purification from the holy shrubs, but will be purified through warfare. On
account of their fighting the irreligious nations, they will be known as
Musalmaans. I shall be the originator of this religion of the meat-eating
nation."

Just don't know where to start. But I'm done with the song and dance. What say
you all we clear the table!

Luckily the vedas, agamas and bakti literature are largely authentic.

Pathma

.

This explains your position on the smirthis, for smarthas are beholden to the smirthis. But not the Hindus who are beholden to the shruti, the vedas and agamas, and do not go near the smirthis at all! Smarthas do not represent the saivas, vaishnavas and shaktas who comprise 97% of the Hindus. The fact that most Hindus gullibly follow the smirthis like ramayana and MB is another matter. They are just being ignorant of their traditions largely confused in the last 200 years, where they have been falsely told smirthis are shastras! This is the backdoor entry I was talking about. Furthermore smarthas are followers of the kalpa sutras which they misleading claim to be 'vedic', whereas the Hindus are followers of the vedas and agamas, and not necessarily the vedangas.

There is not a single authentic purana! It was a dead document resurrected by christians to serve their purpose. Likewise the manusmirthi.

What Valmiki and Vyasa may or may not have said has nothing to do with the puranas and itihasas in our hands today!! The puranas that you have today can be described as 'christian documents'.

Luckily the vedas, agamas and bakti literature are largely authentic inspite of some tamperings there too.

Inspite of telling that there are 70 ramayanas, inflated 5 times its original size, and the MB inflated ten times its original size, that some puranas were written to lend credibility to religious positions, the Hindus still want to rely on it as 'the infallible word of god'.

The puranas and manu shastras were dead documents until the British missionary scholars with evangelism on their minds decided to resurrect it and pin it on Hindus as 'their scriptures, and which the Hindus gullibly fell for, and are being led by the nose till today. I have already provided the views of Dr. V. S. Sukthankar and Dr. V. Raghavan to support this.

Now how do you deal with these people?

Regards.

Pathma


[This message has been edited by Pathmarajah (edited February 01, 2008).]

Top
#1263 - January 27, 2008 03:39 PM Re: Scriptures
webmaster Offline
Member

Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
(Webmaster's note: the views expressed here are the writer's only and not necessarily a large section of Hindus. Generally smirthis including the itihasa/puranas are the shastras of the smarthas only and not other sects of Hindus.)


Some Reflections on Sastras


Hinduism, the oldest among the living religions of the world, naturally has
voluminous scriptures in its repertoire. They are broadly grouped under the
heads Sruti, Smrti, Itihasa-Puranas and Sastras. While Srutis, as revealed
texts, occupy the highest position of authority, the Smrtis (or Sastras) occupy
the next important and authoritative position in scriptural hierarchy. In the
past, the Smrtis played a very prominent role in the organization and conduct of
the Aryan society, and made positive contributions for its stability and
progress. But, over the millennia, they stagnated. Due to incorrect
interpretation and faulty implementation of its provisions, they became
instrumental in marginalizing and alienating a large section of the society, and
also became an impediment to its progress. So, in course of time, unable to meet
the new demands of the society with changed circumstances, they have become
obsolete and are going into oblivion. While the
orthodox and apologetic factions of the Hindu society are of the view that
Smrtis are sacred and should be revived, the opinion among modern religious
thinkers and sociologists is divided. While some are of the view that all
Sastras should be discarded as they are totally irrelevant to modern times,
there are yet others, particularly of the post modern school, who think that
modern society is urgently in need of new Sastras to meet its present
requirements and these should be created at the earliest.

What are Sastras?

The Sanskrit word Sastra has wide meanings and is used in varied
connotations. Etymologically the word Sastra means a sacred precept or
rule; a scriptural injunction?. There is a verse which gives definition of the
word Sastra:

SAsti yat sAdhanopAyam puruSArthasya nirmalam,

tathA eva bAdhanopAyam tat SAstram iti kathyate --

i.e. What instructs without blemish how to acquire the knowledge of the four
purusharthas (dharma, artha, kaama and moksha) and also how they are
contradicted is called Sastra..(Translation Courtesy PKR)

The word Smrti and
Sastra are synonymous and have been used interchangeably in many of the Hindu
scriptures. It also denoted a body of traditional or memorial
law, civil or religious, and hence the texts containing the rule of law.

Traditionally, the word Sastra has been used in two senses. In a
broader sense, it is applied to all ancient orthodox non-Vedic works such as the
Vedangas, the Srauta, Grihya and Dharma sutras, the Smrtis of Mamu, Yajnavalkya
and others, and even to Mahabharata. But strictly, in a narrower sense, Sastra
are synonymous with Dharmasastras. As per Manu, Vedas are to be known
as Sruti and Dharmasastras as Smrti. (Srutishu Vedo vijneyo dharmasastram tu
vai Smrti MS.II.10) The Vedas,
though the ultimate source of Dharma, are not formal treatise on Dharma nor do
they profess to be such. They contain only disconnected statements or
pronouncements on dharma. It is to the Smrtis or Sastras one has to turn for a
formal and concerted treatment of the topic of Dharma(Kane, Vol I, Page 131)
Why dharma? Because, it is dharma that postulates what one should do and should
not do the dosa and don that which instills the ought
consciousness - the guidance for actions and abstentions. For what purpose?

To secure worldly joys in this life and supreme happiness in the next.
(Sukhabyudayikam chaiva naisreyasikam eva cha. MS.XII.88) So, all the rules
and regulations laid down in the different Sastras are only to this ultimate
end.

There are very many Smrtis; Dr. P.V. Kane lists nearly one hundred of them in
his monumental work ‘History of Dharmasastras. Among the traditional
Smrtis, Manu Smrti is, or has been, the highest authority, followed by those of
Yajnavalkya and Apasthamba. They were created by their respective authors with
the laudable motive of regulating the Aryan society in all matters, civil,
religious and moral. Their aim was to ensure security and welfare for every
member of the society. For them, 'truth was eternal dharma, virtue its
manifestation and morals the distinguishing feature of the people following the
dharma'.

But over a period of time the word Sastra was used even to indicate any
department of knowledge, be it science, arts and many other disciplies like
dance (natyasastra), wrestling (mallasastra) and leather technology/taxidermy
(charmasastra) etc- the word being used like the suffix ology in English
language. The Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon lists nearly twenty different
meanings in which the word Sastra could be used! When a word is used in wide
connotations and in varied sense, is bound to create confusion and
misunderstanding and the word Sastra is no exception to this.

Traditional Sastras - Their Limitations

The Sastras in the past were drawn up for the Aryan society to meet the
requirements of that age. Much water has flown under the bridge since then. The
society has undergone revolutionary changes in the millennia that have passed
concepts, way of life everything has changed. The distinction between
law and religion is one that does not exist in classical Hindu thought. Instead,
both law and religion were part of the single concept known as 'dharma'. The
Sastras laid down great emphasis on the duties of every man as a member of the
whole Aryan society and as a member of a particular class or caste to which he
belonged but very little on the privileges of men. (See Kane Vol I
Page 466-67 Italics mine) Hence, many of the provisions in these Sastras
written in that age are not relevant for the present time. Also, the custodians
of the Sastras, unfortunately, failed to incorporate the required changes in
them necessitated by changed
circumstances. For example, in Manu Smrti, though it stipulates division of the
society on caste basis, the same was not absolute and there were clear provision
for vertical mobility. (MS XII.88) But unfortunately, caste by birth became an
iron clad rule over a period of time and this marginalized a large section of
the population. Further, in the absence of transparency and accountability,
there is ample evidence or instances of interpolation of clauses in the original
texts to suit vested interests. Lastly, due to their large number and wide
variations in their provisions on different issues, people followed what was
convenient to them and this greatly undermined their credibility.

But, in all fairness to the custodians of the Sastras, it should be realized
that they helped to preserve Hindu culture and literature in the midst of alien
cultures and in spite of begotten alien domination. Living as they did in the
midst of aggressive and violently unsympathetic cultures and rulers, and
possessing no powers themselves or over rulers who sympathized with their
ideals, they were driven more and more to revolve within their own narrow
grooves. Hence they could not see far in order to regulate society in a free and
buoyant spirit. But, the role they played, under trying circumstances to
preserve Hindu culture and literature, deserve admiration and even reverence.
(Kane, Vol I, Page 466-67)

Need for Sastras in Society

Acquisition of material wealth and fulfillment of sensual desires are certainly
necessary for the happiness of the individual and progress of the society.
Desire for these two are the principal stimulants for human activity, for
achieving comforts and thereby happiness of the individual, the members of his
family and the society as well. But, this desire and the means of achieving it
should not be contrary to principles of righteousness. If desires are not
properly controlled and channeled in the right direction, they will create
disorder in the individual and disharmony in the society and even lead
ultimately to its destruction. This control is exercised through institutions
during greater part of human development. Only in the case of well developed and
highly evolved individuals can it be voluntary, as in them it becomes an
in-built mechanism - and they area a negligible minority. The three
institutions, which exercised control hitherto on this
aspect of human development, are the family, religion and state, in that order.
First, the parents and elders of the family helped the individuals growth by
inculcating virtues, curbing evil tendencies, if any, and apprising him of the
dos and donts as to make him fit to perform his role in the
society. Thereafter, on matters having wider implications, the religious
institutions provided the necessary guidance and also exercised necessary
control. Later, the king or the state came into play. The law of the land and
fear of punishment kept man on the right path. The Sastras provided to these
institutions the necessary norms for guidance and authority to control.
Unfortunately, in the present day, due to various reasons, all the three
institutions are in disorder and hence have ceased to be effective. Hence there
certainly is an urgent need for creating new Sastras for making these
institutions effective once again.

Need for New Sastras

Before going in for new Sastras, an appraisal of the conditions prevailing in
the present day is essential. During the later half of the previous millennia
and particularly the last two centuries, the world has undergone revolutionary
changes. Concepts, way of life, requirements everything has changed. But,
unfortunately, religions which are supposed to cater to human requirements
failed to keep pace with these changes. Hence people got disillusioned with them
and looked to alternative philosophies like atheism, communism, scientific
materialism etc. However, from experience gained, particularly the later half of
the previous century, the world has realized that religion is an indispensable
requirement for humanity. Further, it has dawned on the enlightened cross
section of the public that religion is not just a set of theological
affirmations or dogmas and rituals, but a matter concerning the spirit and
consciousness a spiritual
consciousness. Governments too, hitherto that clamored for absolute power
and total separation of religion and state, have realized that religion is an
indispensable component of the society and an essential requirement for their
efficient functioning. They certainly can enact laws and award punishments, but
cannot make the punishment effective, if the same is not backed by public
condemnation. Similarly, they can provide amenities and comforts to its people,
but cannot ensure happiness, prosperity or progress. The later can only be
provided by religion by its permanent component, namely ethics and moral
imperatives it instills in a person. This ought consciousness a
passion to do only what is right and refrain from doing what is not right is
known in our culture asdharma. So, it is only the rules and regulations
contained in or the backing of dharmasastras (i.e. law books with scriptural
backing) that will be effective in
guaranteeing stability and progress to the community; hence the imperative for
Sastras even in this modern age!

Secondly, religious pluralism is another feature of the modern age. It is
defined as a condition where persons professing different faiths live as a
community and no single religion enjoys any special rights or privileges.
Unfortunately, in our country, secularism as a state policy, misinterpreted by
the people in power and misunderstood by the public, has been the cause of
several problems in the society and much social unrest. It is only in our days
that we have come face to face with pluralism in its sharper form, namely,
persons of diverse religious denominations and ideologies claiming not just the
same rights but something higher under the label of minorities. In such
environment, will any Sastra be acceptable to persons of different
religious denominations?

Thirdly, from an opinion poll conducted over a period of ten years (by me)
covering a wide cross section of the educated public, the general consensus is
that the word Sastra should be understood and interpreted as the law of the
land i.e. the Constitution, the Acts and Rules promulgated by the Government
and are in vogue now. Provisions of the traditional Sastras should be confined
to religious and ritualistic observances and for instilling moral imperatives
only. Also, as it is very difficult bring the heads of even two Hindu religious
institutions or order to the same dais, it is just not possible to make any new
Sastras (as visualized by Swami Vivekananda) acceptable to all sections of
Hindus. Social evils and obscurantist customs and practices still in vogue and
(wrongly!) attributed to Hinduism, should be abolished through appropriate
means. This can be done only by and when the educated and enlightened section of
the community, together
with the active co-operation and participation of the heads of the different
Hindu religious institutions, take the initiative and make it a movement to
bring about this much-needed social reform.

H. Subramanian
26 Jan 2008

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#1264 - March 06, 2008 12:38 PM Re: Scriptures
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
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Many Ramayanas:

Sangh Parivar cooks up its own bedtime story version


www.outlookindia.com/fullprint.asp?choice=2&fodname=20080305&fname=sugata&sid=1

Web| Mar 05, 2008

BANGALORE BYTE

How Many Ramayanas?


The agenda appears to be crystal clear, yet again. The Sangh Parivar wants us to believe in one single Ramayana that they have stamped as 'official.' Mind you, it is not Valmiki's version that they seem to be endorsing. It is a linear, soap-retelling of the epic poem which primarily concentrates on the iconisation of Rama and instantly charges the faith batteries. They want the narrative to retain the structure and simplicity of a bedtime story so that you fall asleep in consent and total belief as you listen to it. Asking questions, pointing out contradictions or speaking of versions are after all activities that happen in the wide awake world.

That is perhaps why the Sangh forces were incensed when A. K. Ramanujan's essay Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation was prescribed as study material at Delhi University's Department of History. According to the Sangh, what is to be simply consumed is not supposed to be 'studied'; it is to be kept away from the realms of history, anthropology or literary departments and, if possible, from universities themselves. There is an overwhelming angst that it would be subjected to interpretation. They fear that if 'studied,' it would affect the prevalent patterns of belief that helps their politics.

It is perhaps for a similar reason that they were so impatient about a light-hearted comment by Karunanidhi in the context of the Sethusamudram project a few months ago. They wove a logic that put Rama and Ramayana and the bridge to Lanka beyond debate. Likewise, the bricks that reached Ayodhya for building a temple were baked in the kilns of sophistry. Now, when elections are at a sniffing distance, the Sangh forces not only want no 'distortions' to the Ramayana, but also want to use this as an opportunity to foreground it in the public mind. It would, they hope, be an invocation to fighting the election on imaginary debates. Anyway, the epic is being re-telecast on one of the newly launched television channels to help sustain the 'debates' in living rooms.

These 'secular' platitudes apart, let's take a quick look at the contents of Ramanujan's 30-page essay (The Collected Essays of A K Ramanujan, Oxford University Press, 1999, which is also available in Paula Richman's Many Ramayanas, and is available online for anyone to read, as linked above). It begins with a fascinating story in which Hanuman goes to the netherworld to pick up the ring that has accidentally fallen off Rama's finger. There, the King of Spirits offers thousands of identical rings on a platter and asks him pick 'your' Rama's ring. Hanuman is confused, at which point the King says: 'There have been as many Ramas as there are rings on this platter. When you return to earth you will not find Rama. This incarnation of Rama is now over. Whenever an incarnation of Rama is to be over, his ring falls down. I collect and keep them.'

Ramanujan says:
"This story is usually told to suggest that for every such Rama there is a Ramayana. The number of Ramayanas and the range of their influence in South and Southeast Asia over the past twenty-five hundred years or more is astonishing. Just a list of languages in which the Rama story is found makes one gasp: Annamese, Balinese, Bengali, Cambodian, Chinese, Gujarati, Javanese, Kannada, Kashmiri, Khotanese, Laotian, Malaysian, Marathi, Oriya, Prakrit, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan--to say nothing of Western languages.
.
Through the centuries, some of these languages have hosted more than one telling of the Rama story. Sanskrit alone contains some 25 or more tellings belonging to various narrative genres. If we add plays, dance-dramas, and other performances, in both the classical and folk traditions, the number of Ramayanas grows even larger. To these must be added sculptures and bas-reliefs, mask plays, puppet plays and shadows plays in all the many South and Southeast Asian cultures. Camille Bulcke, a student of the Ramayana, counted as many as three hundred tellings. It's no wonder that even as long ago as the 14th century, Kumaravyasa, a Kannada poet, chose to write a Mahabharata because he heard the cosmic serpent which upholds the earth groaning under the burden of Ramayana poets."

In one section Ramanujan compares the two Ahalya stories in Valmiki's Sanskrit Ramayana and Kampan's Tamil Ramayana. There is an entire section on the Jain tellings of the Ramayana. Vimalasuri the Jain poet, Ramanujan says, opens the story not with Rama's genology and greatness, but with Ravana's. Ravana is considered to be one of the 63 leaders or salakapurusas of the Jain tradition. Hence, there is a set of rigorous questioning in the Jain texts: 'How can monkeys vanquish the powerful raksasa warriors like Ravana? How can noble men and Jain worthies like Ravana eat flesh and drink blood?' etc. In Jain tellings, Rama does not even kill Ravana. It is left to Lakshmana. Even the conception of Ravana as a ten-headed demon is rationalised in these tellings. It is said that when Ravana was born, his mother was given a necklace of nine gems, which she put around his neck. She saw his face reflected in them ninefold and so called him the ten-faced one.

In a Kannada folk narrative, rendered by an untouchable bard, Ramanujan points out, there are separate poems on Sita's birth. Ravana is said to become pregnant with Sita after he consumes the Mango given by Siva. He delivers Sita through his nose when he sneezes. "In Kannada, the word 'Sita' means 'he sneezed': he calls her Sita because she is born from a sneeze. Her name is thus given a Kannada folk etymology, as in the Sanskrit texts it has a Sanskrit one: there she is named Sita because King Janaka finds her in a furrow," says Ramanujan. There are many such stories collected in the essay that indicate how the Ramayana gets translated, transplanted and transposed across cultures.

When there are such heterogeneous Ramayana narratives, which version has the Sangh imported for its ideological purposes? As I mentioned earlier, it is not certainly the one by Valmiki. Ramayana or the Mahabharata are not the only epic poems that witness this diversity of renderings. In fact, it appears to be the trait of all epic poems. They flower with new imagination in different cultural milieus, accommodating the angst of that time. In this context, I would like to mention the book Singer of Tales by Alfred B. Lord that speaks of Homer as not the only narrator of Illiad and Odyssey but just one member of a larger group of singers who continue the oral narration of the epic poems.

Since I learnt of this controversy, I find myself wondering how Ramanujan himself would have reacted to it. I won't hazard a guess by transposing myself into his genius self, like it so often happens in the folktales that he has retold.But I am certain that he would have answered this controversy with his 'own brand of light-hearted self-mockery' by narrating yet another story. In his preface to Ramanujan's collected essays, Vinay Dharwadker says, that for Ramanujan "an ideal critical essay was the one proposed by Walter Benjamin, where a scholar-critic ought to hide behind 'a phalanx of quotations which, like highwaymen, would ambush the passing reader and rob him of his convictions.' Particularly in the second half of his career, Ramanujan constructed an essay as an 'anthology of quotations'." This essay on the Ramayana too is full of enchanting stories. Its sparkling clarity makes it accessible to a non-academic, but yet it 'ambushes' the mind and firmly implants the idea of the many Ramayanas. It snatches the reader away from a monolithic conception of the epic. Which perhaps explains the Sangh Parivar's fear about the essay and why they want it off the History Department's reading list.

Since I may seldom get a chance to write about Ramanujan, I want to end with a personal note about him: As an undergraduate student in Bangalore, I was enormously lucky to attend a few literary meetings at the lounge of Ravindra Kalakshetra where Ramanujan would present his new poems, short stories, translations and folk stories he had discovered to his fellow Kannada writers. I remember all big names of Kannada literature like P. Lankesh, U. R. Ananthamurthy, Girish Karnad, Chandrashekar Kambar being in attendance for those meetings. Then, the joke in the Kannada literary circles was that themes and trends would realign after Ramanujan made his annual or bi-annual visit to Bangalore. At the meetings, I was completely in awe about the ease with which Ramanujan switched between languages, cultures and genres of literature. His serene flow of thoughts; his lexical choice and gentle intonation; his total immersion in work which was more than apparent, naturally made him my hero.

My father, who was himself a writer and celebrated publisher in Kannada, was the first to emphasise the importance of occupying the bilingual intellectual space (Kannada and English) to me, but I seem to have taken to the idea only after having met and read Ramanujan. He also bridged the conflicting gap between classical scholarship and studying the present for me. If I am pardoned the usage, he made both appear 'sexy.' His reading sessions would invariably have both classical Tamil or Telugu poetry and translations from modern poets like Yehudi Amichai. I once mustered the courage to talk to him after one of the sessions and asked if he would permit me to photocopy a particular poem he had read out. He smiled, pulled out the sheet and recalled a new proverb doing the rounds among his students in Chicago: "Xeroxing is learning," he said. India has produced very few intellectuals who are so rootedly cosmopolitan. Now tell me, how can the Sangh Parivar tolerate anything like that?


http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=ft3j49n8h7&brand=eschol

E. V. Ramasami's Reading of the Ramayana
Paula Richman



http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=ft3j49n8h7&brand=eschol


....... In this article, I focus upon the logic of E.V.R.'s reading of the Ramayana , particularly the manner in which he politicizes the text. First, I provide. a brief biographical and historical overview of his life and milieu, concluding with a discussion of how he used print to disseminate his ideas. Second, I analyze one popular pamphlet which contains a comprehensive formulation of his ideas. Third, I consider some of the precedents for E.V.R.'s reading and then his innovations. The essay concludes with an evaluation of E.V.R.'s exegesis of the Ramayana as a contribution to public discourse in South India. Throughout, my goal is to demonstrate the pivotal role that E.V.R.'s attack on the Ramayana played in fusing religious texts and political issues in Madras during the middle third of this century. .........

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited March 06, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited March 06, 2008).]

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#1265 - July 10, 2008 01:02 PM Re: Scriptures
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Posts: 1030
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Itihasas and Puranas are [reconstructed] Poems, not History Books

To: Indo-Eurasian_research@yahoogroups.com
From: "panuval"
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 23:34:34 -0000
Subject: [Indo-Eurasia] Epics, Puranas, and Indian history

In the recent California textbook controversy, one of the
organizations seeking changes to the textbooks is the Vedic
Foundation (VF). The viewpoint of VF is best characterized as literal
interpretation of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata and the purana,
Bhagavata Purana as history books. Supporters of VF have not taken
into account the views of eminent Hindu Sanskrit scholars regarding
epics and puranas. Most importantly, they seem to have ignored the
enormous amount of scholarly work done on the Bhagavata Purana
particularly regarding its indebtedness to the Vaishnava poetry of
the ALvArs of the Tamil region and hence its date of 9th/10th century
AD.

Many list members may know that Dr. V. S. Sukthankar, the head of the
Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute's major project that produced
the critical edition of Mahabharata, said about that epic;

"We are not in any case, as far as I can see, constrained to accept
every single statement of the epic in its exact literal sense. And
when I say this, I mean no disparagement either of the text; far from
it. Our epic does not pretend to be a dry, prosaic, matter-of-fact
chronicle, nor a statistical history in the modern sense, based upon
a laboriously compiled critical apparatus. If it were that, it would
surely not have lived for 2500 years. We have on the shelves of our
libraries hundreds of ponderous tomes and compendiums of national and
world history, prepared along approved lines by laborious professors
of history. But hardly anybody reads these works twice, and they are
mostly forgotten, in a generation or two, by an understanding and
ungrateful posterity. The Mahabharata never was a scientific
chronicle of that type and it would be egregious folly to regard it
as such. It is above all an inspired poem. It was actually regarded
by later generations as a kAvya:

kRtaM mayedaM bhagavan kAvyaM paramapUjitam

the highest type of Indian poetry, like its sister epic, the
Ramayana. It was before everything else a work of art, creative,
idealistic in conception, informed with deep religious feeling,
permeated by a conscious didactic purpose, focused more on ideas and
ideals than on facts and figures, in which people were not interested
then so much as now: a work in which a moral was conveyed by a
parable, an elusive truth by a tangible facile myth. And to the
inspired creators of a traditional book of that type we must at least
allow poetic license and common imagination."

(Epic Studies, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute,
Vol. XVIII, Part I, October 1936, p. 72)

Obviously, such epics should not be treated as history books.

But, in September, the Vedic Foundation submitted a report to the
California Curriculum Commission entitled "Report of the Inaccurate
and Biased Portrayal of Hinduism and Indian Civilization in the 6th
Grade History-Social Science Textbooks Being Considered For Adoption
in California". In this report, we find the following statement on
page 17: "The Mahabharat and Ramayan are history books containing the
historical accounts of Bhagwan Krishn and Bhagwan Ram as well as the
history of ancient civilizations of India."

As many list members may know already, Puranas, like epics, cannot be
taken to be histories either. In his foreword to "Garuda Purana - a
Study", Dr. V. Raghavan, the famous professor of Sanskrit at
University of Madras in 1972, said, "Purana-research has already
established the fact that in the case of many
Puranas the original texts were partly or fully lost and were
reconstructed. Also the new sectarian developments found the Puranas
a useful medium for the dissemination of their ideas and deriving
thereby the authoritativeness that they needed. While on the one side
we have, therefore, to regret the loss of the older texts of the
Puranas, on the other we cannot ignore the new texts, for they are
the products of a historical and cultural process and the material as
it is has its own intrinsic significance for the age it reflects.

Each text purporting to be a particular Purana or a part of it,
therefore, deserves its own critical study as a literary, religious
and cultural document."

(Garuda Purana - a Study, by N. Gangadharan,1972)

Like many scholars in this list, Dr. Raghavan does not consider the
Puranas historical documents.

Now let us see
http://www.thevedicfoundation.org/bhartiya_history/chronology.htm

Please take particular note of the following statement, "The
authority of the Bhagwatam is taken to determine the dates of the
dynasties of the kings of Magadh up to the Andhra dynasty." In other
words, Bhagavatam or Bhagavata Purana is taken as the basis to
establish Indian history from 3139 BC to 83 BC. According to this
chronology, Asoka Maurya ruled from 1479 BC to 1443 BC! Alexander's
invasion took place not during Mauryan times but during Guptan
times!!

It is interesting that a text most probably composed in Southern
Tamil Nadu in the 9th/10th century AD is causing so much problem in
California today!

Regards
S. Palaniappan

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#1266 - July 09, 2010 12:02 PM Re: Scriptures
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Posts: 1030
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Dasyus and Dasas

The vedas are books of hymns. Samhita simply means 'chants'. Brahmanas explain the chants and the accompanying rites. Aranyakas deals with the philosophy of the chants and ascetism. The atharva contains chants, spells and cures for earthly existence. Thus they are book of chants and nothing more.

The Hindu mythology is full of stories of gods defeating asuras and saving the beings of all three worlds; the bhuloka, antarloka and sivaloka. Gods are bodies of light that pervade the sivaloka. Devas and asuras are beings that inhabit the antarloka. These metaphorical, symbolic and allegorical stories which are not be be taken at face value, are recounted in hymns of adoration to the god. Many hymns have been lost over time and we do not have a proper understanding of these myths. We also acknowledge that there have been many tamperings and accretions in the brahmanas and many late texts have been included as upanishads to augment sectarian views.

We do not accept the western scholarship view that the rigveda recounts the battles between the aryas and non arya races. This is a western mindset of which we are free. We take the rig myths as symbolic. The vedas is about gods, and not about people or races.

Some of the earliest hymns are 5,000 years old, written before the Sarasvati dried up in about 2,000 BCE, and some are as late as 600 BCE (hinduwebsite.com), and not just over 5 generations or 150 years as western indologists claim.

Dasyu means 'enemy'. It is a generic word and can be applied to anyone. In the battle of the Ten Kings (Dasarajna) in the Rig Veda the king Sudas calls his enemies "Dasyu" which included Vedic peoples like the Anus, Druhyus, Turvashas, and even Purus. (RV 7.6, 12-14, 18). In the battle of the ten kings, there are Dasas and Aryas on both sides of the battlefield and in some Rigvedic verses, the Aryas and Dasas stood united against their enemies. Vishvamitra battled the 'arya' kings. If I am not mistaken the very first verse in Book 1 of the rigveda is by Vishvamitra.

King Sudas (Su-great, Dasa) and Divodas are both dasas. Sri Aurobindo believe that words like Dasa are used in the Rig Veda symbolically and should be interpreted spiritually, and that Dasa does not refer to human beings, but rather to demons who hinder the spiritual attainment of the mystic. Many Dasas are purely mythical and can only refer to demons. There is for example a Dasa called Urana with 99 arms (RV II.14.4), and a Dasa with six eyes and three heads in the Rig Veda.

The vedas also talks of asuras or demons who inhabit the antarloka. The gods battle the asuras and that is recounted in the vedas. Yet Indra and Varuna are asuras too. Asuras and devas are said to be the children of Kasyapa. Ravana is a brahmana. There is a lesson in the ramayana, to kill the unjust king, the fallen brahmana and the kidnapper. In the ramayana the Vanaras and Raksasas call themselves Arya. The monkey king Sugriva is called an Arya and he also speaks of his brother Valin as an Arya. So monkeys are aryas. In another instance, Ravana regards himself and his ministers as Aryas. Rama describes a Suta as Arya and the raksasa Indrajit even calls Rama an Anarya. So Rama is not a monkey, I mean, not an arya.

These words arya, dasyu, dasa and asura are not racial terms.

Pathma

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#1267 - July 20, 2010 11:39 AM Re: Scriptures
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webmaster: this link contain a wealth of discussions on tamil texts and vedas.

http://tfmpage.com/hub/viewtopic.php?t=7...c5154ed322b6f0f


Naan Marai

NANN MARAI

web page http://tfmpage.com/hub/viewtopic.php?t=7...c5154ed322b6f0f


I wanted to write about Nannmarai while I deal with Indian ancient history after sometime. Since repeated lies against tamil literature & tamil traditions are spread out that they have been derived from Vedhic traditons in various threads as was done for the past 1000 years by wishful thinkers, I write here about Nannmarai.

Two logical questions we can ask.

1.Do tholkappiam payiram say Rig, Yasur, Sama, Atharvana Vedhams to specify Nannmarai?

2.Is there any need mentioning about Chathur Vedhas which contain only prayer hyms and ritual hyms in a Grammar book meant only for Grammar ?

The answers are no & no need. Let us go back to some historical background.

All of the explanatory notes including Ilampuranar & Perasiriyar for Tholkappiam belongs to 900-1000 ACE or even later. During that time Cholas ruled almost South India with Chalukkian( Karnataka) connections. This is the peak period of Vedhic Culture.

Kalabrar-West Vadukus (Kannada) Washed out tamil land from 300 ACE to 600ACE. During 300 BCE East Vaduku -Telugus captured North East Tamil land called Thondai Mandalam. The inter complications and rivalry between these two Vadukus put an end to Kalabrar rule in TamilNadu who were jain followers.(1)

East Vadukus copied all tamilian arts & culture and created artificial Sanskrit language from Prahritham in Tamil Krantha Script since Sanskrit has no script at all. All tamil akamas translated into Sanskrit.(2)

With Chalukkian and East Vadukus influence, tamil Cholas regained power in Tanjore. Culturally they followed Vadukus. By having marital relationship (marriage) with Chalukkian ladies, Cholas became Chalukkia-Cholas.(3)

During this period thousands of Vaduku kannada Poosaris(Brahmins) & Teluku Poosaris From Godavery & Thungapaththirai river banks namely Jaththi sarman & Janga sarman heritage migrated towards Cauveri river banks of tamil Nadu and replaced tamil Valluva kanikaiyan / Uchavan / Paarpan and turned as new Parpaans with Akarakarams.(4) & (5).

This is evidenced even now by their presence in and nearly 75 % of Brahmins of Cauvery banks & Palaru banks (a) SriRangapattanam of Bangalore,(b) Srirangam of Thiruchy,(c) Kumbakonam, (d) Mayiladuthurai (e) Kanchipuram have either Telugu / Kannada as their mother tongue. Traditional links among Thiruchy, Bangalore, Vijayawada Brahmins still prevails.

Dravidaththin Thiru vilakku (Dravidian lantern), Puratchi Thalaivi (Revolutionary Head), Chinthanai selvi (Great think tank)-Note : awarded by Dr. Kalaignar Mu. Karunanidhi- present Chief Minister of TamilNadu- in her SuryaGandhi films 100th day celebrations where Thanthai Periyar was also present) & Dr. Amma the former CM of Tamil Nadu Ms. J. Jayalithas family ancestry brethren & blood relations are living in these three cities. This is wonderful evidence for the above.

The migrated Poosaris copied, inverted, misinterpreted & spread the already existing tamil arts and knowledge preservation into their fold. For example, Akathumam, Sirpam, Uvaniyavu, Araniyam & Marai was the pattern existed in tamil land. But These vadukus changed This pattern squarely as Vedham, Araniyam, Upanisham, Sirpam & Akamam in opposite way (6) & (7).

New theories, new explanations for old sankam poetries were created. Lot of insertions of fake meaning made in Second Sankam Tholkappiam & Third Sankam literature. For Example, Erayanar Akapporul Grammar (300 ACE) Talks about the rules denoting the love between human male and female. But its explanatory note written after several centuries explains the meaning as the love between God and human beings.(8)

We have to inspect the meaning of Nannmarai with this background.

Naan does not mean Naanku- four always. It has other meaning also. Naan also means Thodakkam, Thotru-vai, Moolam (beginning / origin).

Naan means I a first person who is the beginning of any conversation / sound / word.

Nal / nalu in verbial form means, Thonguthal- Hanging from a base / origin.

Naandu / Naattu means create a base. The phrases like Kodi Naattu, Naandu Eranthan will give us some light in the meaning.

Naanilam does not mean four lands but only means Adi nilam- origin of land (world).

Naa for tongue named so because it is the cause for the beginning of any word / seems to be hanging from mouth.. It also means Vazhi-way in which the way is the principal / basic for any lead / travel.

Naavai- means Ship which is using sea way as a base. Voyage English word from this root only.

Depending on the word that come to join, Naal shall change its course.

Example : Naar Chol, Naan Marai, Naal Vedham

Naal & Naan specifically denote the meaning of Base / origin (Moolam / Thodakkam)

Some Examples in Third Sankam Tamil literature :

1. NATT-IK kolappattar Nanmai Elarayin
Katti kalaithu mena Venda- Pazhamozhi 45.

Here, Nattik kolappattar means a person of reputation as a base.

2. NAAR Kathiyum Thunba Navai theerththal Venduvaan
Par Kathiyum Parpada Arainthu - Eelaathi

Here Naar Kathi means the root / origin of destiny

3. NAAL vaik Kari ( Thirukkovayar 55) here Naal vai means Mouth Hanging from an origin

Kari means an animal with black colour like carbon colour Elephant.

4. Akaliru Visumbin NAAL Pola ( Malai padu kadaam 100)

Here, Visumbu means sky and NAAL means a star which is hanging in the sky-a base for star.

5. NAAL Aarum Aarai Nani sirithai Eppuranum
Melaru Melurai Chorinum - Naaladiyar 383 Porutpal 39.

Here, Naal Aarum Aarai means Thodakka vazhiyae Vazhiyaka- The beginning way as way and not four ways.

6. Malai thaama Valayudan NAATRI
Virunthupadak Kidantha Arunthozhil Arankaththu

Here, Valayudan Naatri means Lamp hanging from base. Epic Silappathikaram.

7. Kamba Ramayanam is famous among masses for its word usage.

(a) Muzhai NAAL Aravu- 5812

Here, Naal Aravu means Thonkum Pampu- Snake Hanging from base.

(b)Val Sila Thunivana Vayirukal Velippada
NAAL Sila Kudarana Nakazhvana sila - 7992

Here, NAAL sila Kudarana- Kudal Thongiyathu Hanging of Abdomen intestine

(c)Namak kadal pal yiyam NAAL Kadal
Melum Aarppa - 8157

Here, Naal Kadal Melum Aarppa means Adik kadal Ezhunthu Vanthathu- Waves of base sea come top

Many times Kamba Ramayanam uses Naal Nilam which means adi nilam-the world.

(d) Nattam Vem kanal Pozhithara
NAAL NILAM Thadavi - 514
(e) Thaniyan NAAL NILAM Thankiyathu
Avariku ithu Aakatho? - 1441

Many times Kamba Ramayanam speaks about flowers which are hanging.

(f) NAAL Nira Nalir Valli Hanging Alli flower - 2105

(g) NAAL Nira Surumbum Vandum - Surumbu means flower - 4279

(h) Kombu oththana NAAL Olir Kole Vayirak
Kambak KARI Nintrathu Kandanamal

Olir Kole Vayirak Kambak Kari means An elephant having Lighting Sphere like stomach NAAL means hanging.

One more crucial poetry that I want to bring to the attention of readers notice from Kamba Ramayanam in which Naal Marai presents.

Muthia NAAL MARAI
Kozhunthu Mel padar tharak
Kolu Kombu Ayinan - 253

Here, Naal MARAI Kolunthu means Hanging flower Marikozhunthu. Blind Vedhic Protagonists may mean illogically & unmeaningfully even this as four Vedhas ! who knows !

Hence, Naan / Naal means Moolam / origin / base. NAAN MARAI means Moola Marai and not four Vedhas.

Earlier in Tamil is elder than Sanskrit Thread I have clearly stated verse by verse Tholkappiam Marai does not mean Vedhas.

Naanmarai in Tholkappiam Payiram means Moola Marai and this was INTHIRAM created during second sankam literature which plunged into sea disaster. Mathematics, Astronomy & Medicine, Science & Anatomy theories were mentioned in Inthiram. Many Siddha books talks about this INTHIRAM quoting their verses. I may write about them in details in future.

There was Moola marai in tamil and Othuvars were there. This is specified in Epic Silappathikaram as,

VANTAMIZH MARAYORKU Vaanurai Koduththa
Thindiral Neduvel Cheralar Kandukalai, -60

Which talks about NedunCheralathan who gave food and shelter to Tamil Maraiyor

Tholkappiam payiram says , Aram Karai Navin NAANMARAI Muttriya

Aram Virtue / Ethics / code of conduct
Karai Shore
Navin- Vazhi (way), muthalakak konda (firstly)

NANMARAI Moola marai
Muttriya Mudintha (end)

The exact meaning is,The Grammar has been written in such a way that the end chapter / theme is Moola marai (the origin / base hidden thing) which is the path of shore of ethics.

Porulathikaram is the end Chapter of Tholkappiam.

Chidambaram Annamalai University Thokai Akarathi (dictionary) Edited by Dr.S. Meyyappan says Porul means Aram,porul,Enbam & Veedu.(9)

Tholkappiam specifies this meaning of Porulin poetry 374.

Pokkaru Marabin PORUL enappaduvathu,
Nokkarum VEEDU Nuvatchi sellamayin,
ARAM PORUL ENBAM Akum Matrathu-ro
Akanum puranum Entru A-yiru Patrai
Vakaipada Vantha Vazhi nalam Thazhiech
CHEYYULIDA VAYIR Pulliya neriththae.

Meaning : In poetry, The theme / content (porul) shall be Aram (Virtue), Porul (Wealth) & Enbam (Pleasure) and these three can be in terms of Human emotions (akam) & human experiences (puram)

It clearly specifies that Veedu(peacefulness) which is meant beyond description remains beyond human matters. There is no Akam & puram classification in Veedu.

Tholkappiam Porulathikaram talks about these four contents elaborately.

During 400 ACE Bavananthi Munivar made Nannul an another grammar book which follows Tholkappiam wordings & rules most of the times.

In Nannul Payiram 10,

Aram, Porul , Enbam, Veedu enum NAAL PORUL adaithal nool payanae

Here, Naal Porul means moola porul (main theme / content ).

HENCE, NAANMARAI DOES NOT MEAN NANKU MARAI BUT MOOLA MARAI & WHEREVER WE FIND NAANMARAI IN TAMIL LITERATURE WE CAN FIT THIS MEANING.

Nowhere in tamil literature four types of Marais specified. This means only Moola marai and not Nanku marai. In Irayanar Akapporul the word Arumarai is mentioned. Here also no number. The Nanmarai contains Porul as Aram, Porul, Enbam & Veedu.

As usual the foolish Vaduku poosaris thought that Aram, porul, Enbam & Veedu the root matter (Moola porul) as four divisions (numbers) of Marai and organized the scattered hymns all over North India into four Vedhas (the word derived from tamil Vei+tham- in which the root Vei means hide) and akamas copied from tamil Akaththumas & 18 puranas from tamil siva & Mayon (Vinnava) culture. I may write about this later in relevant thread.

Kings were Vaduka (or Vaduka influenced) kings in medieval period & they supported Prahritham & Sanskrit which was alienated artificially from common people. Propoganda was made that it was Devabhasa and was not meant for Common people. Common people psychologically became inferior and pathetic tamil pandit(her)s started comparing tamil with unreachable Sanskrit maintained by Sankrit Bandits (Pandither - of course) . This caused all the ills to society & true history.

When Chathur Vedhas was propogated by hothas, Tamil Othuvars created Tamil Nanmarai and used to call them Marai Nanku after 500 ACE (thevaram period) leaving the ancient meaning of terms ARUMARAI / NAANMARAI / MOOLAMARAI.

1000 ACE Explanatory notes exploited the original meaning of sankam literature wordings like Marai, Arumarai & Naanmarai.

Since, no single evidence identified regarding the Vedhic culture presence before common era, Vedhic protagonists exploiting these words in tamil literature with evil design.

As I explained in Tamil is much elder than Sanskrit thread, Inthiran, Varunan, Sivan were gods of Tamil people. The presence of these god names in Greek literature will not witness for Vedhic culture.

Tamil traditions were fabricated as modified , rather, fascism culture (Vedhic Culture) by vadukus in Indian subcontinent. The direction as according to History is from tamil to Sasnkrit and not vice versa. The glorious part of tamil culture thus was demolished by Vedhic culture and gave India to downward path in the world scenario and lot of invasions after 800 ACE were possible due to this.

The first ever civilized people in the world now with multiplied population are living as secondary citizens all over the world while inside their own country as under-developing begging dogs.

References :

(1) South Indian Inscriptions Volume. XXIII, No. 580 (Nandaluru, Rajampettai Taluk, Kadappa Dist.) One such conflict explained in that.
(2) Koyilkalil Chentamil, Samaskritham, (Essay), Thinamani, 28.11.1998
(3) The Cholas, page 110, K.A. Nilakanda Sastri.
(4)Epigraphica Indica, Vol. VIII, No.29, Page 290-296
(5) Sounth Indian Inscriptions, Vol II, Part III of 1895, Kasakkudi Pattayam.
(6) Same as (2)
(7) Kalappirar Atchiyil Tamilakam, by Mayilai . Seeni Venkidasamy, page 93-95, 166-68,114,160,162,164.
(8) Same as (7).
(9)Vetri Tamil Akarathi, Dr.S.Meyyappan.


Historical research shows Naanmarai never specify four marais.

Pavanar says that Since Yasur & Sama Vedha hymns almost repeat the Rig Vedha hymns, Vedhic marais would have to be only two as Rig & Atharvana Vedhas.(1)

Atharvana vedha contains only manthras. But Rig Vedha condemns Manthras. Rig Vedha praises Inthira. But other Vedhas condemns Inthira. Rig Vedha praises pithir / Thenpulaththar. Other Vedhas condemns Yaman and pithirs. Pavanar further says that after learning manthras from tamil traditions Atharvana vedha had been made. 1/6 th of Atharvana vedha is repetition of Rig Vedha. The contradiction between Vedhas is due the insertions made later years and plagiarism of Vedhics from tamil traditions.(2)

Yasur Vedha contains ritual hymns which have to be murmured / rendered & Sama vedha contains songs which have to be sung during rituals and all of them are repetition of Rig Vedhic hymns.(3) Pavanar conforms that vedhas were only two.

Latest research & comparative analysis shows that Rig Vedha is nothing but Tamil Iynthiram which I may write in detail in some other thread.

Professor Ragav Iyengar conforms that during Alwar period in tamil land, Rig & Yasur Vedhas were called as Povuzhiyam and Thaithiriyam respectively.(4) He shows the following Thirumangai alwars wordings in support of his view.

Santhokan POVUZHIYANAI Thazhalompu
TAITHIRIYAN sama vedhi (5)

Santhoka POVUZHIYA THAI THIRIYA
Sama Vedhiyanae !, Nedumalae !. (6)

Pinkala Nigandu also says that Vedhas were two.

POWDIKA IRUKKU muthal Vedham Aakum
Erandam Vedham YASU THAITHIRIUM(7)

Thiru Ragava Iyengar further conforms through rock inscriptions of 8th & 9th Century ACE that the above two Vedha names are only available.

POVUZHIYA Suththiram(8), POVUZHIYA saranam , Thaithiriya saranam (9)

The above shows as I said earlier that without understanding the organized pattern of tamil marais, Vaduku Poosaris hurriedly divided and named their collections of Vedhas as four that too after 12th century ACE. The introductory poetry of Sri Villipuththurar Bharatham written in tamil (14th century ACE) says that that Bharatham is FIFTH Vedha .

A renowned scholar Makaral Karthikeya Muthaliyar conforms that NaanMarai only means Moolamarai and explains as follows.(10)

Nan marai = Nal + marai
Nal Mulai base or beginning
Nal + thu = Naaru = Mulai Young crop
Naru Natru Natrankal A young paddy crop field.
Naral mulaiththal beginning of growth
Naru manam a smell to specify the nature of good.
Nal- growing
Nal- Ver (root), mulai, Valarchi,Koormai (sharp), Nunmai (acute)

Scholar Poosai Subbiah Pillai further one step goes and says Vedhas are not marais (unwritten) but only murais (written) .(11)

Nachinarkiniyars commentary note for Tholkappiam payiram also conforms Tholakappiar timeline is much earlier than Vedha Viyasar.(12).

Tholkappiam Payiram says, Mayanka Marabin Ezhuththu murai Kaatti which means tamil has definite & undoubtful (for each sound) script during Tholkappiar times (1250 BCE) when no other Indian language has script.(13)

Dr. Kannaiyan (Chennai Emporium Chairman) in his book clearly has explained that Asokan Brahmi inscriptions were evolved from tamil Perumi / Thamizhi script. Scholar Barnel also conforms this. Former Madras University Hindi language Dept. Head Dr. Shankar Raj also conforms this.(14)

A Buddhist monk Vachrabothi (600 ACE) who traveled from Kanchipuram to Japan created & re-organised Japanese script based on tamil script even though he knew very well about paly, Prakritham & Sanskrit script. North Indian Rajya sabha MP, Scholar.Lokesh Chandras research paper conclusion says this. (15)

Hence, Worlds foremost available grammar with foremost script never refer four Vedhas and only refers the Moolamarai and details the meanings of Moolamarai in its chapter Porulathikaram.

Tholkappiam specifies Tholkappiar as Iynthiram Niraintha Tholkappiar in Tholkappiam Payiram. This also shows Iynthiram was Moolamarai.

Let us see about Iynthiram in relevant thread.


References :

1. Oppiun Mozhi Nool page 128, Thevaneya Pavanar.
2. Same as 1.
3. Same as 1.
4. Alwarkal Kaala nilai, page 230-31, Mu. Ragava Iyengar.
5 & 6. Naalayira Thivya Pirapantham, Periya Thirumozhi, 5:5:9:5-6,7:7:2 :5-6
7. Pinkala Nigandu 2060-61.
8. South Indian inscriptions Vol ii, page 328, Vol iii, page 370
9. Encyclopedia ,Rep. No ii, 1906 and 76 of 1914.
10. Mozhinool Payiraviyal page 76-77, Makaral Karthikeya Muthaliyar
11. Tamizhil Nanmarai (Essay), Chentamizh chelvi, April 1992, page 304 Poosai.
Subbiah Pillai.
12. Tholkappiam, Sirappu payiram, page 47, A. Sivalinganar.
13,14,15. Tamil & Tamil Culture in Indian history, page 5-6, Dr. Ka. Nedunchezhian,
Tamil University.


INTIRAN

Inthran is pure tamil word used in Tholkappiam and prevailed in ancient tamil worship.

"Im' is the root as 'suttu oli' which means 'Kulir'(cool) and was used to specify substances of cool nature.

Intham - puli , Inthuli - Perumkayam, Inthul - nelli, Inthu - Mathi / Chanthiran , Inthanam - Kaadu , Inthalam - a Yazh instrument used in Marutham land. Maarutham is cool air and hence the land was named Marutham. Inthalam is also a raham from this Yazh.

'Im' turned 'Sam'- 'sim' produced santhanam, Santhu, sinthakam-pulia maram, Sinthu - a river , sinthooram- a tilak powder, sunthu- water and all specify cool nature.

Inthiran is the god of Marutham land specified in tholkappiam. 'Inthira vizha' was celebrated in kaveri river is silapapathikaram message.

Inthiran is the god of water land because water is cool in nature. Inthiran is also called Venthan. Varunan is god of sea land. 'Vari'
means kadal.

'Sinthu' river also might have been named from the word sunthu / sinthu. The word Inthiran turned 'Indra' in north India.

Inthran and Uruthran(ruthran) worship is prevailing in vedhas and is noted in Egypt civilization makes the vedhics claim so. Inthran along with Kanthu (kanthan) / pillar worship in Egypt only shows tamils culture and not Vedhic culture. Vedhic culture was influenced by tamil culture.

Tamil 'sivan' is from Tholkappiam 'Seyon' which means reddish angry man.

Tamil sea god Vaaranan / Varunan is from root Vari / Vaari which means Sea.

f.s.gandhi


_________________
"Kal thonri man thontra kalathay mun thonri mootha kudi"- a second century literature- means when before stone became sand in earth the tamil tribes were formulated


COMMENTS

I too agree that the term "Seyon" in Tholkaappiam refers to God Siva in the light of another evidence in Saint Maanikkavaasagar's Sivapuraanam of Thuruvaasakam which states as:

".......purathaarkku 'Seyon' than poongkalalkal velha......." in praising God Siva

Further even the term "Anthanar" too should be correctly defined with evidence, as God Siva of Saivaism is also referred to as "Anthanan" in Tamil Literature. Possibly for this reason the Saivite Priests of early Tamil Nadu who officiated religious ceremonies to God Siva was known as "Anthanar", which later became a term used for others too - when Saivite priests lost their control of the Siva Temples of Tamil Nadu. Even today we are aware of the existance of a class known as Saiva Kurukkals in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere, who could have been the decendents of the earlier outsted Tamil Anthanars (to be verified) of Tamil Nadu.

The term Athi-Saivar too should be defined correctly against positive evidence to bring forth more informations on them too. Further a research into the correct interpretation of the term "Paarpanar" in the earlier Tamil Nadu, too will be very useful.

It appears the meaning of many terms used much earlier in Saivite Religion of Tamil Nadu - to indicate various meanings, over a period time thereafter have been given new interpretations with the onslaughts of new religious and cultural waves from the north.

Virarajendra

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#1475 - October 28, 2011 01:28 PM Re: Scriptures [Re: Pathmarajah]
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300 Ramayana versions

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/article2574398.ece?homepage=true

Now at the time when the Valmiki Ramayana was written, there were two other versions current, which were, in one case, entirely different, and in another case, very substantially different. There were the Buddhist Jataka, the Dasarath Jataka as it is called, where Ram and Sita are brother and sister...and rule as consorts.

The Jain variant, which Ramanujan also speaks of, is extremely interesting, because the author Vimalasuri, begins by saying that `The versions of the Ram Katha that you have heard so far are totally false and incorrect, written by foolish men. I will tell you the true story.' And he goes on to locate it in the court of the historical king Srinika...and says that it is nonsense to depict the rakshas as demons, that they were perfectly normal human beings. In other words, the version of Vimalasuri is trying to rationalise the fantasy of Valmiki and, therefore, it is fascinating to see the two versions together.

So how is it that the Valmiki Ramayana has become the mainstream of Hindu culture?


It comes partly out of the tradition of giving greater precedence to Sanskrit literature, because it was, in fact, the main cultural tradition over a long period, but it's also partly that this was reinforced by colonial scholarship mentioning these as definitive texts.
No, there hasn't been and for this I blame particularly the visual media, because they have fostered the notion of there being definitive versions of every single major text in our cultural heritage and they have totally underplayed the fact that there have been variants.

..it's not just mythology but also religion, and it was made that. Let me just go back a little bit into history and say that initially, many scholars believe the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were just epic stories about heroes, and that's the way they continued to be for quite a while. And then they were converted into sacred literature, by making Ram and Krishna avatars of Vishnu. And there's a superb analysis of this by V.S. Sukthankar in Pune, who talked about the Bhrgu Brahmins converting these epics into Bhagwat literature, that is, converting the heroes into incarnations of Vishnu. And then it becomes sacred literature. Now today, yes, it's considered sacred literature, but that is really not its roots. Secondly, even if it is sacred literature, it is based substantially on mythology.

No, and one of the crises in the colonial period was when they set up the law courts and they said, according to European law, you swear an oath on the Bible. So they went running around asking which is the sacred book of the Hindus. And so you got the Bhagvad Gita, you got the Ramayana, you got the Vedas, you got all kinds of answers, because there isn't a single sacred book, there's a multiplicity of sacred books. And there again, the question of variation comes in. Who accepts which book as the primary sacred book?

Pathma

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