> A major problem with those who criticize these sciences
> is a LACK of understanding of the “Vedic Worldview”.
> Vedic Worldwview if Brief: There is “something” within us
> that gets projected as our physical body, the same “something”
> projects itself as the physical universe. Now the real cause
> of any event is not in the physical plane but in that
> “something”. The past is remembered within this “something” and
> we call this memory of past within this “something” as
> accumulated karma.
with all due respects I have to take very strong objection to this.
This in no way can be called a Vedic world view. I strongly object to
the word Vedic being appended to every other thing in order to give it
a false sense of sanctity. The concepts that you mention are merely
one of the philosophical opinions that are prevalent in classical
Indian philosophies. While the Vedas proper have different
philosophical ideas, they do not subscribe to the notion of karma and
the atman as a imagined by some later Indian philosophies. These ideas
themselves are Indo-European in origin (Though some lateral middle
Eastern Influence cannot be ruled out) but they are essentially
para-Vedic. Only very late in Indian history (Post-bhArata war) did
they have some interaction with the vedic stream. advaita, panchratra
etc are not vedic in sense of the word. They only twist some vedic
ideas to give legitimacy to themselves.
atman is related to the Germanic word Atem and goes back to a PIE word
that probably meant life supporting breath. The vedic AtmA was closer
to this and not to that seen in the later texts. So your concept
should be correctly termed the medieval Hindu world view and not the
vedic world view.
Similarly vedic astrology, vedic mathematics, vedic management and
vedic numerology are phantoms of the modern Hindu mind.
How would you explain the term in Cha_ndogya Upanis.ad in relation to
> soma: a_tma_ yajn~asya? Ain’t this concept of a_tman Vedic?
Well if you interpret the way the later day advaitins and other
vedantins did then you may think that the chAndogya was refering to an
AtmA in the sense of the soul. However, if we carefully look at in the
vedic context we can see that even in a text like the chAndogya of
the late kuru realm the AtmA concept meant something totally different
from the vedantic interpretations of later days (I never said AtmA
concept is not vedic, it not just vedic it is even PIE).
To illustrate this point we consider the famous tale of the dialog
between the kekaya king and the 5 brAhmaNas- prAchInashAla,
satyayagnya, indradyumna, jana and buDila (5.11-16). The vaishvAnara
AtmA is identified in the entire body with its brain, eyes,
respiration, trunk and excretory functions. Thus the AtmA is metabolic
process that permeates the entire body rather than being a something
whose projection is the body.
ta iha vyAgro vA sigaMho va vR^iko vA varAho vA vA kITo vA pata~ngo vA
dagaMsho vA mashako vA yadyadbhavanti tadAbhavanti ||
sa ya eShoNimaitadAtmyamidagaM sarvaM tatsatyagaM sa AtmA tatvamasi
shvetaketo iti || ChU6.9.3/4
Here again the AtmA is described as the common principle of life
existing in diverse forms like the tiger, lion, wolf, boar, beetle,
firefly, gnat and mosquito that said to be able to repeatedly
> Bra_hman.a-s are karmaka_n.d.a-s in the Vedic tradition. So how can
> it be said that karman is not Vedic?
The brAhmaNa protion should definitely be treated with greater
circumspection than the saMhita as they are more prone to insertions
and conflation of various intellectual streams.
your mails have been confusing, nevertheless what you ‘vaidika’
friend writes is largely incorrect. I have said this many times on
this list but am just incited to state it against once more:
Unfortunately, despite all their education a large number of Indians
do not understand the foundations of linguistics. The unity of IE
languages and the inference of PIE are not going to go away how much
ever you may whine or bitch. The IE languages are more related to each
other than to any other languages- period. If you are not willing to
function within this framework your theories and models are erroneous
and need not be taken seriously for historical reconstruction.
A corollary to this is that traditional methods of understanding the
vedas have suddenly become inadequate as they do not take into account
the powerful methodology of comparative IE linguistics and mythology.
Through IE lingusitics and mythology we understand the vedas a greater
depth than it was ever traditionally possible both in the historical
and the religious sense. So if you all are missing out IE issues then
you are the losers as you not understanding your heritage correctly.
The undiscerning fellow will insist that the sun revolves around the
Earth and say that he see ‘proof’ for it. If you want to be in that
state fine, there is no point having a dialog with such souls.
btw the mantra that your fired quotes na karmaNA na prajayA…
is not a real vedic mantra. It is a late creation superimposed
erroneously into the upanishadic texts by those who never grasped the
spirit of the vedas.
Ask you friend why the taittiriya U says: prajAtiramR^itaM AnandaM
> It is true that one can arrive at a better understanding of
> the “language of” vedas using IE methodology and comparative
> linguistics. One can also understand the authors, their culture or
> the kings who sponsored them and their kingdoms. But to say that
Bhadraiah what is the difference between the above and below?
> these methodologies can be used to understand vedas themselves is a
> bogus claim. No effort has been made in this direction, and no
> results can be claimed.
I am sure you are meaning something subtle but I do not understand it.
But if by understanding the veda you mean their religious philosophy I
think the comparative information does help us a lot. Many of my
family members and myself perform rites the same way Hindus have been
doing them for hundreds if not thousands of years. There is no change
here but the reasons why we still do these rites and the significance
is only reinforced by the new knowledge. To give you an example the
term ojas represents a concept that needs to be ‘sensed’ to understand
some philosophical issues. Comparative studies show us the link with
the words like augos in Latin and aukhutai of the Shaka that helps us
to understand better the sense of this word in its original
> Apologies for my sweeping statement, and my respects to all the
> serious scholars. Your examples prove that vedic type rituals
> existed in other parts of the world. (Is aukhutai related to Ahuti?)
Well, apologies for a little typo: aukhatai, Avestic Aogah, Sansk.
ojas, Latin augus, Greek Auxein, english wax are all homologs.
Comparative analysis suggests that the word meant not just strength
but a in sense fertility as expressed well in greek auxein or wax. So
the presence of these cognates helps to sense the meaning is say a
vedic mantra like:
mahAnindro ya ojasA parjanyo vR^iShTimAniva of vatsa kaNva | stomair
vatsasya vAvR^idhe ||
This tells me how given the fact that parjanya/vR^iShTi and the verb
vAvR^idhe are used I must understand the term ojasa as in all
likelihood the great kANva had meant it. The raw might of indra is
combined with his ‘fertilizing’ effect as the showering parjanya and
indra expands his might pleased by the sacrificial pouring of vatsa.
The IE comparative analysis helps me in my religious matters of
appreciating the many faceted implication of ojasa as represented by
the english word wax/Gk Auxein, latin augus.
Paralatai, Aukhatai, Traspies and Katiaroi are the castes of the
Scythians. Aukhatai as the warrior caste preserves the military aspect
of the meaning of ojas.
As an aside Paralatai is a cognate of paradAta of the Avesta and may
sort of be an analog of purohita and prefaectus
> algorithmic nature of the ritual can not be minimalized as some form
> of ‘worship of fire’ or treating indra as cloud. Message-board
> hardened IE scholars should collide headon with the subject or get
> out, instead of insulting native vedic scholars just because the
> latter are not so sophisticated in their objections.
I am neither a message-board hardened IE scholar nor a vedic scholar-
my profession lies is an entirely different domain. As brAhmaNa I have
some familiarity with 3 saMhitas suffient to take me through basic
sacrificial rituals I need to conduct over my life. Additionally have
read throught the texts for a few other saMhitas, I have never made
claims of any scholarship native or IE.
I completely agree with you that indra is much more than a cloud and
even much more than a war god or an atmospheric shot, and worship of
agni much more than fire worship. But all this is for those amidst us
who are practicing Hindus. Most indologists are not practicing Hindus
but we need not reject their findings wholescale due to that. We take
what is relevant for our purpose and leave them alone as long as they
are not trying to destroy our religion. Our rituals are largely an
internal matter- so if the Indologist give us some insight but does
not really understand other aspects of the ritual- so be it.
To cite an analogy: The Moslems have harmed Hindus and their religion
in the worst ways. Because of this should stop eating Zilebia,
Jahangiri, Roti, some paneer dishes etc? At least I am not prepared to