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Re: superstitions (2 of 2)

In article <387n37$jcu@ucunix.san.uc.edu> manish@cadence.com (Manish  
Tandon) writes:
> In article #1356, vidya@cco.caltech.edu (Vidyasankar Sundaresan) writes:
> |> Finally, see if you can convincingly prove how Sankara/advaita is  
> |> without quoting the Padmapurana or some such other lame work.
> Veda Vyasa wrote the four Vedas, the 18 Puranas, the Upanisads, and the
> Vedanta-sutra. Shankaracharya also accepted that and so did  
> swami of the Chinmaya mission.

Vyasa did not write the Vedas, he compiled them. The Vedas are  
apaurusheya. The Upanishads are included in this, as they are part of the  
Vedas. Please list the 18 Puranas of Vyasa. Please read the Vishnu Purana  
that begins with a categorical advaita statement. Then come back with a  

> 	++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> 	O greatest of all sages of all times, WHO gave you or anyone
> 	else the authority to decide what is lame and what is NOT lame???
> 	+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thank you for the compliment. That the Padma Purana is a highly partisan  
work is a well known fact. It is not what I call lame. The Poorva  
Meemaamsakas, who are the authority on Vedic exegesis, dismiss the Puranas  
as arthavaAda - ultimately of not much consequence. It is not I that  
abrogate to myself the decision about such things. Rather it is you who  
selectively decide the authority of the Puranic works, based on your own  

> For others except this  -MORON-  Vidyasankar Sundaresan, 
> Tejomayananda swami sited also cited a verse telling that Sri Veda Vyasa
> was an incarnation of Narayana himself!!  If one RASCAL rejects one of  
> writings of Veda Vyasa as lame based upon some concocted logic, another  
> can reject all of his other writings as lame using the same concocted  
> Where does this leaves us??

Name calling as rascal and moron does not serve your purposes. Usually it  
takes one to know one. 

> and here is a verse from Srimad Bhagvatam which authenticates the  
> 	'itihasa-puranam ca pancamo veda ucyate' (SB 1.4.20), 
> 	i.e. the Puranas and the histories such as Mahabharata, are 
> 	known as the fifth Veda.

The Srimad Bhagavatam itself is a Purana, right? I thought you were  
supposed to be great at logic - logic is your favorite subject. Now, just  
as induction itself cannot be used to justify the principle of induction,  
one Purana cannot be used to justify the authourity of the Puranas as a  
whole. There has to be external justification. If your statement is  
accepted, the Saiva Puranas (also written by Vyasa) contradict and cancel  
out the Vaishnava Puranas and the Vaishnava Puranas contradict and cancel  
out the Sakta Puranas and so on. Show me a logical way out of this  
problem. Inspite of the Srimad Bhagavatam's authenticating the Puranas,  
the great philosophers and Vedic interpreters of the past have given the  
Puranas a status subordinate to Sruti. The "fifth Veda" is a glorification  
term that is applied to Ayurveda (medicine), to Gandharva Veda (music and  
dance) and whatever field needs to be glorified for the moment. The "fifth  
Veda" cannot take the place of the four Vedas. 

> However, devoid of all faith and their minds taken over by false pride,
> these advaitans have the audacity to pass judgement on the writings of
> Sri Veda Vyasa, which are the very foundation of the Sanatana dharma.

Don't hide behind the name of Vyasa. Advaitins rarely pass judgement over  
anything, except the erroneous philosophies of Buddhism and dvaita. Sri  
Veda Vyasa's writings are in no way compromised by this. 

> For those who don't know, here is the verses from Padmapurana in  
> (Lord Shiva personally telling this to his wife) 
>                 srnu devi paraksyami, tamasani yatha karman 
>                 yesan sravana-matrena, patitayam jnaninam api 
>                 apartham sruti-vakyanam, darsayal loka-garhitam 
>                 karma-svarupa-tyajyatvam, atra ca pratipadyate 
>                 sarva-karma-paribhramsan, naiskarmayam tatra cocyate 
>                 paratma-jivayor aikyam, mayatra pratipadyate 
>         "My dear devi, sometimes I teach the non-dualistic philosophy  
>          those who are engrossed in the mode of ignorance (tamasa).  But  
>          a person in the mode of goodness (sato-guna) happens to hear  
>          philosophy of non-dualism (advaita), he falls down, for when  
>          this philosophy, I say that the living entity and the Supreme
>          Lord are one and the same."

I have commented on this once before on s.r.e. I do so again here. Firstly  
this Purana is ignorant about the basic idea of advaitic non-duality.  
There is no way this could be a verse composed by the great Veda Vyasa.  
Since this refers to Siva explaining that he himself teaches advaita, it  
definitely refers to the incarnation of Sankaracharya (8th century A. D.).  
Therefore, this work definitely dates from after the 8th century A. D. at  
the very least. However, for at least two to three centuries after  
Sankara, advaita was the only major Vedantic school around. To refer to  
advaita  derogatorily, is a phenomenon that can definitely be dated to the  
post Ramanuja and Madhva periods. Under the circumstances, that this  
particular verse in the Padma Purana was composed by Vyasa, is highly  
suspicious. Most probably this has been composed by some late dvaita  
scholar, and foisted upon Vyasa, to serve his own vested interest. 

Seriously, do you yourself, Mr. Tandon, go by the words of the quoted  
verse? It says, "SravaNa mAtreNa" - even jnAnis who just happen to listen  
to the advaitic teaching fall down. Mere hearing of advaita teaching, in  
passing, leads to such disastrous consequences. Now, in the discussion  
that you have started, you have no other choice but to read the advaitic  
teachings in a thousand different forms. As for me, I am in the mode of  
tamas according to you - I cannot fall any lower. Aren't you afraid that  
you will fall, inspite of your sattva-mode? Where goes your faith, Mr.  
Tandon? If you really believe in the words of the Purana, you will not  
continue this discussion any further, for fear of falling down. If you  
continue this discussion for the sake of refuting me, it follows that you  
do not really believe in the Purana yourself. If you don't mind knowingly  
falling down, you would still not have achieved anything - you will not  
have converted any advaitin, and yet you will fall down, due to your own  
faithlessness in and disregard of the Purana's warning. So heed the Padma  
Purana's "good advice" and put a stop to this foolishness that you have  
started, of calling advaita a mere superstition. According to your Purana,  
it should be much worse, no? So take a stand, and don't be a hypocrite,  
Mr. Tandon. Either you believe the Padma Purana, or you don't. Let your  
action speak for your true belief.  

> Most Vedic scholars accept Shankaracharya as the incarnation of Lord  
> but even if that is not true, it is rather foolish to try to say that a 
> Purana is a lame work. 
> Hare Krishna 

Would you hesitate to dismiss the Saiva and the Sakta Puranas that put  
Vishnu lower down in the hierarchy? If you wish to "disprove" or discredit  
advaita, you have to do better than quote some verses from the Padma  
Purana. If you wish to continue this discussion, rest assured I will  
repeat the advaitic tenets many times. You do not wish to fall down from  
your lofty perch of sattva-guNa, do you, my dear Mr. Tandon? You have  
another choice. Leave advaita alone, and advaita will leave you alone.  
Pick your choice. 

S. Vidyasankar 

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