28 September 2014

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Riddles in Hinduism Upanishads subordinate to Vedas

Riddles in Hinduism Upanishads subordinate to Vedas

Riddles in Hinduism Riddle No. 9

How the Upnishads came to be made subordinated to Vedas

In  the  preceding  chapter  it  was  shown  that  originally  the  Upanishads  were  not  a  part  of  the Vedas and  that  the  two  in  the matter of  doctrine were  opposed  to  each other.

It is instructive to compare the later relations between the Vedas and the Upanishads.

The later relations between them are best illustrated by the controversy between two philosophers, Jaimini and Badarayana.

Jaimini is the author of a work called the Mimamsa Sutras while Badarayana is the author of Brahma Sutras.

Jaimini  is an  upholder  of  the  Vedas  and  Badarayana  is  an  upholder  of the Upanishads.

The point of dispute was—is it necessary to perform sacrifices?
The Vedas say ' yes ' and the Upanishads say ' no ‘.

The  position  of  Jaimini  is  stated  by  Badarayana  in  his  Sutras  2-7,  and  explained  by Shankaracharya  in  his  commentary.  Jaimini contends that *:
[Page:  91 See Badarayana Sutra 2 and Shankara's comment on it.]

“No one undertakes a sacrificial act unless he is conscious of the fact that he is different from the body and that after death he will go to heaven, where he will enjoy the result of his sacrifices.

The Texts dealing with self-knowledge serve merely to enlighten the agent and so are subordinate to sacrificial acts."

In  short  Jaimini says  that  all  that  Vedanta  teaches is  that  self  is  different  from  the  body  and Outlive the body.

Such a knowledge is not enough.  The self must have the aspiration to go to Heaven.

But it can't go to heaven unless it performs Vedic sacrifices which is what his Karmakand Teaches.

Therefore his Karmakand is the only Salvation and that the Jnankand from that point of View is quite useless.

For this Jaimini relies on the conduct of men who have believed in Vedanta:
[Page:  92 2 See Badarayana Sutra 3 and Shankara's comment]

"Janaka,  emperor  of  Videha  performed  a sacrifice  in which gifts  were  freely  distributed 
(Brih. 3.1.1).

I am going to perform a sacrifice sirs (Chh. 5.11.5). Now both Janaka and Asvapati were Knowers of the Self.

If by this knowledge of the Self they had attained Liberation, there was no Need for them to perform sacrifices.

But  the  two  texts  quoted  show  that  they  did  perform Sacrifices. 
This  proves  that  it  is  through sacrificial acts  alone  that one  attains  Liberation and  not Through the knowledge of the Self as the Vedantins hold."

Jaimini  makes  a  positive  assertion  that  the  scriptures  unmistakably  declare
 [Page:  92 See  Biidarayuna  Sutra 4,]
"that  knowledge  of  the  Self  stands  in  a subordinate  relation  to  sacrificial Acts ".

Jaimini justifies it because he says [See Biidarayuna Sutra 5,]"
The two (knowledge and work) go Together
 (With the departing soul to produce the results)."
Jaimini refuses to give an independent Position to Badarayana's Jnanakanda.

He takes his stand on two grounds.

[Page: 93 " Knowledge of the Self does not independently produce any result."
• Second:[See Biidarayuna Sutra 7]
 According to the authority of the Vedas “Knowledge
(Of self) stands in a subordinate relation to work."
 This is the position of Jaimini towards Badarayana's Jnanakanda.

What is the position of Badarayana towards Jaimini and his Karma Kanda?

 This is explained by Badarayana in Sutras 8 to 17.
• The first position [See Biidarayuna Sutra 8] taken up by Badarayana is that the Self spoken of by Jaimini is the limited self i.e., the soul is to be distinguished from the Supreme soul and that the Supreme soul is recognized by the Scriptures.

• The second [See Biidarayuna Sutra 9,] position taken up by Badarayana is that the Vedas support both knowledge of Self as well as sacrifices.

•  The  third  [See  Biidarayuna  Sutra 12,]  position  taken  up by  Badarayana  is  that  only  those who  believe  in  the  Vedas  are  required  to  perform  sacrifices. 
But those who follow the Upanishads are not bound by that injunction.

As Shankaracharya explains:
“Those who have read the Vedas and known about the sacrifices are entitled to perform work (sacrifices).'

No work (sacrifice) is prescribed for those who have knowledge of the Self from the Upanishads. Such a knowledge is incompatible with work."

• The fourth [See Badarayana Sutra 15] position taken up by Badarayana is that Karmakanda is optional to those who have attained Bramhanand.
As Shankaracharya explains:"That some have of their own accord given up all work.
The point is that after knowledge some may choose to work to set an example to others, while others may give up all work.
There is no binding on the knowers of the Self as regards work."

His last and final [See Badarayana Sutra 16.]
position  is  that  "  Knowledge  of  the  Self  is antagonistic  to  all  work  and  so  cannot  possibly  be  subsidiary  to  work"
And as evidence in support of it he relies [Badarayana Sutra 17.]
on  the scriptures  which  recognizes  Sannyas  as the  fourth  Ashram  and  relieves  the  Sannyasi  from  performing  sacrifices  prescribed  by  the Karmakanda.

Many  such  Sutras  can  be  found  in  Badarayana  indicating  the  attitude  of  the  two  scholars  of thought towards each other.
But the one given above is enough as it is so very typical.

If one stops to consider the matter the position wears a strange appearance.

Jaimini  denounces  Vedanta  as  a  false  Shastra,  a snare and  a  delusion, something  superficial, unnecessary and unsubstantial.

What  does  Badarayana  do  in  the  face  of  this  attack  ?
Does  he  denounce  the  Karmakanda of Jaimini  as  a  false  Shastra,  a  snare  and  a  delusion,  something  superficial,  unnecessary  andUnsubstantial as the Upanishads themselves did?
No. He only defends his own Vedanta Shastra.
But one would expect him to do more.
One would expect from Badarayana a denunciation of the Karmakanda of Jaimini as a false religion. Badarayana shows no courage.
On the contrary he is very apologetic.
He  concedes  that  Jaimini's  Karmakanda  is  based  on  the  scriptures  and  the scriptures have authority and sanctity which cannot be repudiated.
All that he insists on is that his Vedanta doctrine is also true because it has also the support of the scriptures.

This is not all. What Badarayana does is to use the term Vedanta to cover two senses.

He uses it so as to emphasize that the Upanishads do form a part of the Vedic literature.

He uses it also to emphasize  that  Vedanta  or  the  Jnyanakanda  of  the  Upanishads  is  not  opposed  to  the Karmakanda of the Vedas that the two are complimentary.

Indeed this is the foundation on which Badarayana has raised the whole structure of his Vedanta Sutras.

This  thesis  of  Badarayana—which  underlies  his  Vedanta  Sutras  and  according  to  which  the Upanishads  are  a  part  of  the  Veda  and  there  is  no  antagonism  between  the  Vedas  and Upanishads—is  quite  contrary  to  the  tenor  of  the  Upanishads  and  their  relation  to  the  Vedas.

Badarayana’s attitude is not easy to understand.
But  it  is  quite obvious  that  Badarayana's  is  a queer  and  a pathetic  case  of  an  opponent  who begins his  battle  by  admitting  the  validity  of  the premises of his adversary.

Why  did  Badarayana  concede  to  Jaimini on  the  question  of infallibility  of  the  Vedas which  were opposed to the Upanishads?

Why  did  he  not stand  for  truth,  the  whole  truth  and  nothing  but  the  truth  as  expounded by  the Upanishads?

The Badarayana has in his Vedanta   Sutras betrayed the Upanishads. Why did he do so?

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tags - Riddles in Hinduism Upanishads Vedas  Riddle No. 9