Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

ManishH
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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ManishH » 07 Mar 2012 11:59

Carlji: If this theory is to be taken seriously, the word 'Barbara' needs to be found in Dravidian lexicon; that'll indicate name origin is before they come into contact with vedic culture. Currently, the only place Barbara is found in India is in Sanskrit sources. So all evidence points to Barbara name being given for them when they were into contact with vedic culture, but not yet in the fold.

To make it to Sumer/Assyria, the hypothetical Andhra origin people must be at proto-dravidian stage. Proto-Dravidian words never begin with a voiced stop (viz B here) unless they are onomatopoeic (sound mimicing) [1]. If hypothetically, this is a dravidian word, it has to be an onomatopoeic echo word. It's so very unlikely to lose all trace of only this echo word in modern Dravidian languages; whereas it has such an amazingly rich set of other echo words.

[1] The Dravidian Languages by B. Krishnamurti. Also late Dr. Emeneau's papers.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ramana » 07 Mar 2012 21:41

Klaus, Can these "Barbara" tribe in Deccan and the one in Oxus River be speaking Paisachi?
Then connect it to Gunadya's Brihat Katha written in Paisachi during the Satavahana King Hala's time. And map the Aureil Stein's location of Paisachi languages in NW India and beyond?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Agnimitra » 14 Mar 2012 11:58

Not sure if this has been answered here already. X-posting questions from "Managing Pakistan's failure" thread. Would appreciate information from members.

shiv wrote:Please feel free to point me to textual references that support slavery in India before Christianity and Islam.

Some hard left Indian sources have been peddling the idea that slavery is an open fact in the Vedas and that it is not exclusive to Islam or Judeo-Christianity. I would like the comments of knowledgeable members here on this. They cite the following: A slave was considered a property, and (s)he was even allowed to be destroyed just for the benefit of the Aryans - Rig-Veda 1.19.8, 5.34.6, 6.25.2, 8.40.6. Also cite an incident of a ruler who gifted about a thousand slave-girls to his clergy - Aitareya Brahmana 39.8.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ManishH » 14 Mar 2012 17:05

Carlji: I looked at RV references - all originals talk of destruction and subduing the 'dāsa' in battle. 'dāsa' is a generic term for an enemy or alien in RV. There is no reference to slavery here as we understand by the word (like Arab or Roman and later American system of slavery). Evidence of slavery would be if text describe involuntary incarceration, use for labour, commerce in humans, ownership rights to their progeny etc. None of which I've read of. Prayers to defeat and subdue 'dāsa' in battle do not constitute evidence for slavery.

1.19.8: irrelevant
5.34.6: Original is yathāvaśaṃ nayati dāsam āryaḥ. Here "leads away" is a mistranslation. correct translation would be the arya leads the dāsa. eg see RV_02.026.04 taṃ prācā nayati brahmaṇas patiḥ. "Leads" or nayati can be used in the sense of arya being ahead of dāsa in the conflict.
6.25.2: ābhirviśvā abhiyujo viṣūcīrāryāya viśo 'va tārīrdāsīḥ. Again the word here is subdue (in battle from previous verse). where is slavery here ?
8.40.6: ojo dāsasya dambhaya : beseaches to destroy the dāsa's vigour

Besides these, another oft cited mantra is 8.56.3:
śataṃ me gardabhānāṃ śatamūrṇāvatīnām
śataṃ dāsānati srajaḥ

Commonly mis-translated as "give me 100 asses, 100 fleecy (sheep), 100 slaves besides wreaths". A thing here to note is there that asses and sheep is in genitive but dāsa is in accusative, so clearly dāsa cannot be semantically called part of the gift.

Note that 'dāsa' don't appear like some kind of weakling stone-age primitive type of people; ready for the hypothetical white aryan man's burden. 'dāsa' appear just as strong and capable; and to defeat them, RV poets need to summon divine help.

Don't have a copy of AitBr with me to check that quote right away. But commentaries are not really core Hindu theology are they ?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby prahaar » 14 Mar 2012 18:16

My understanding of the Raja Harishchandra story refers to selling of Harishchandra's wife to a businessman, is it not referred to as slavery? I have not read any originals of the story, so recalling based on how it is shown in a movie. Based on that movie depiction, it was a slave market, where she gets sold.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Agnimitra » 14 Mar 2012 18:16

ManishH ji, thanks for the explanation. This really needs to be put out there because some rascals have been disseminating anti-Vedic BS about slavery.

ManishH wrote:I looked at RV references - all originals talk of destruction and subduing the 'dāsa' in battle. 'dāsa' is a generic term for an enemy or alien in RV. There is no reference to slavery here

What about the hero 'sudaas'? What is the meaning of his name? Or his father 'divodaasa'? Doesn't 'daas' have a meaning of being a servant also? Moreover, what about references to gifting servants along with aristocratic brides, etc? TIA.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ManishH » 14 Mar 2012 19:50

Carlji: this is almost an FAQ for a student of vedic grammar. The correct IAST will show both have different roots:

- divodāsa: servant of gods
- sudās: either one who gives well or one who worships well. The ambiguity between two due to sandhi rule ś + s = s.

Both are compounds but former is from a vowel stem and latter is a consonant stem. So Dative is divodāsāya for former but sudāse for latter.

Interestingly, just as Pinko has an opportunity to twist 'dāsa' to mean slave, the Tejo can reply back saying hey slaves became kings didn't they. Sadly polemics is virtually killing scholarship.

PS: yes dāsa became servant later. It's normal for a word for alien to become word for servant later. Eg arya = orja and slav = slave. But one can't make a later meaning and impose it on a different historical era.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby brihaspati » 14 Mar 2012 21:14

prahaar wrote:My understanding of the Raja Harishchandra story refers to selling of Harishchandra's wife to a businessman, is it not referred to as slavery? I have not read any originals of the story, so recalling based on how it is shown in a movie. Based on that movie depiction, it was a slave market, where she gets sold.


The Puranas are dated to be finally formed or written later/or contmeporaneosuly with the traditions of Arthasastra. To get a pointer at so-called post-Vedic [disputed again] one can look at the collection of Arthasastra, and the dharmasutras. The translation of slave/slavery for many of these sources translated into English is a misapplication. The earliest known "auction" I know of comes in Lekhapaddhati - but it was a self-auction by a girl whose village and family had been destroyed by famine caused out of "Turuska" depredations. No one captures her or puts her up for sale in lieu of debt or anything and she simply offers herself at the 4-crossroads - in general considered a public place/meeting place/important gathering place and usually not a marketplace. Moreover, texts seem to imply such transactions as a kind of labour contract with varying degrees of restrictions placed on the contractor in the "use" of the person and his/her services.

Also as ManishH ji says, all the early references linguistically seem to imply a rather hated enemy and opponent. But I will have to look up - I think ManishH ji can confirm, Sudas accuses his enemies including Aryas as Dasa/Dasyu. There was another sage or altruist/philosopher whose epithet included "Dasa". It becomes used more in a figurative sense of all that is considered "negative/darkness/face-identity less/unknown".

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Agnimitra » 14 Mar 2012 22:45

ManishH wrote:Interestingly, just as Pinko has an opportunity to twist 'dāsa' to mean slave, the Tejo can reply back saying hey slaves became kings didn't they. Sadly polemics is virtually killing scholarship.

PS: yes dāsa became servant later. It's normal for a word for alien to become word for servant later. Eg arya = orja and slav = slave. But one can't make a later meaning and impose it on a different historical era.

Yes I see the difference between the stem endings. However, does dAsa only later on come to mean servant? Wasn't divodAsa contemporaneous with the time it was also used to mean "destructive"? TIA.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby SandeepA » 14 Mar 2012 23:43

Ashok Gottipati wrote:Sir ,Majority of Gults barring Brahmins have roots in Dravidian roots and mostly descended from the native tribes of South-India


Where did this come from? The AIT has long been discredited and we still have these kind of statements even on BRF?! :eek:

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ManishH » 15 Mar 2012 19:15

Carl wrote:Yes I see the difference between the stem endings. However, does dAsa only later on come to mean servant? Wasn't divodAsa contemporaneous with the time it was also used to mean "destructive"? TIA.


Sure yes king divódāsa is one of the older era kings in RV. It has a self-deprecating connotation when used in a proper name. But original usage for 'dāsa' is not as a collective noun meaning captive slave who provides service. It's originally used for enemies in RV. Even the root of this verbal noun is 'dāsati' which is used in the sense of destroy/assail/attack. The verb used in RV for captive or fettered is gṛbhīta; and it's never used for 'dāsa'. Ditto for 'bandhati'.

Leave alone the question of religious sanction for slavery; even if someone were to use secondary texts to assert slavery as a mainstream institution in Vedic India, they have burden of proof to corroborate it with actual archaeological evidence. Just compare the pictoral evidence of slavery in Pompeii for instance; evidence in Egypt; Scythian slave trade. There is just no comparison in India. Since vedic India did not have monumental construction; instead it had strict rules for food and ritual, what could these hypothetical slaves do for the owners ?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Agnimitra » 15 Mar 2012 21:41

ManishH wrote:Sure yes king divódāsa is one of the older era kings in RV. It has a self-deprecating connotation when used in a proper name. But original usage for 'dāsa' is not as a collective noun meaning captive slave who provides service. It's originally used for enemies in RV. Even the root of this verbal noun is 'dāsati' which is used in the sense of destroy/assail/attack. The verb used in RV for captive or fettered is gṛbhīta; and it's never used for 'dāsa'. Ditto for 'bandhati'.

As an aside: How would one connect the transformation of the root dAs' meaning from "destroy/assail" to "servant", especially when humble servitude is different from humiliating, forced slavery? My guess is that dAs has the sense of 'to punish' or 'to use up'. Just like in English one can say, 'to punish a jar of whiskey'. So then dAs can mean either to destroy something by force, or to use it up in willing service. So divodAsa would mean 'one who is used up in service by the divinities'. After all, this body is wasted by Time anyways, better to offer it to be used up in service by the divinities, I suppose. Just speculating.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby vishvak » 15 Mar 2012 23:48

As a side note, if anyone wants a Sanskrit dictionary:
Sabdakalpadrumah ([1967])
Volume 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

The order of words are as per Devanāgarī alphabets.
An example is: page with meaning of word हिन्दु in Sanskrit.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ManishH » 16 Mar 2012 09:38

Carl wrote: So then dAs can mean either to destroy something by force, or to use it up in willing service.


I agree with you. Turns out dāsa' isn't the only word with this dual meaning. Even the word 'aryaḥ' (plural) and 'ariḥ' (singular) are often used in two ways -

- devout or suppliant when used for oneself before Gods
- then in some verses as a generic collective for enemies.

eg 8.48.8: ... mā no aryo anukāmaṃ parādāḥ

Addressed to Indu: give us not to our enemy's will/wish.

2.12.6 ... so aryaḥ puṣtīrvija ivā mināti

He (Indra) diminishes the possessions of the enemy like (a gambler) reduces the stake.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Agnimitra » 16 Mar 2012 19:41

^ Very interesting. Usage of "ariH" as enemy is common, but I don't often come across it used for devotee!

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby johneeG » 16 Mar 2012 19:57

Guys,
I had a doubt for sometime now: What is economic structure followed during Ramayana times?

I think the taxation was 1/6th of income/produce. But apart from that what are the other details. For example, what was the currency used. What are the occupations that are available and how much is their contribution in GDP? What would constitute public sector and what would constitute private sector?

Ramayana talks about general populace being quite rich. The state(king) is also portrayed in Ramayana as very rich. What kind of economic policy can lead to it?

In short, I would be glad if someone can give a brief account of economic policy followed during Ramayana times(or by Lord Sri Rama).

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby harbans » 17 Mar 2012 03:30

“Surely, a woman who has changed her clothes at the end of her menstrual period is the most auspicious of women. When she has changed her clothes at the end of her menstrual period, therefore, one should approach that splendid woman and invite her to have sex. Should she refuse to consent, he should bribe her. If she still refuses, he should beat her with a stick or with his fists and overpower her, saying: “I take away the splendor from you with my virility and splendor”. (Brhadarankyaka Upanishad 6.4.9,21)


This was quoted in the Eurasia review by Harmeet Singh suggesting that Hindu scriptures advocate rape. I couldn't find it in the Brhadarankyaka Upanishad. It seems some insert. Can someone clarify?

http://www.eurasiareview.com/02032012-a ... ok-review/

Truthseeker replied with the following:

स यामिच्छेत्
कामयेत मेति
तस्यामर्थं निष्ठाय
मुखेन मुखँ संधायोपस्थमस्या अभिमृश्य
जपेद्
अङ्गादङ्गात्संभवसि
हृदयादधिजायसे |
स त्वमङ्गकषायोऽसि
दिग्धविद्धमिव मादय्
एमाममूं मयीति

“With her whom one desires, with the wish, ‘May she desire me back”, after inserting the phallus, while kissing lips and caressing thighs, he should speak -

‘You who came from every part of my body,
You, who originates from deep within my heart,
You are fragrance of my body
Dissolve her in me, being intoxicated by me”

Where in this shloka, do you find anything about raping a woman? Similarly, there is nothing of this sort in verse 21 of same upanishad, nor is anything like this in between these two verses.

Let me give you the correct reference. This is found in 7th verse of this brahmana. and the translation isn’t as melodramatic and flowery as what you have given.


Harmeet then refers to the following Source:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe15/s ... htm#fn_623

It's important that this is clarified if anyone here has the knowledge. I tried looking up some sources on the web, but none gives the translation that the Sacred Texts website is giving.

Note by Redactor

For reasons of Victorian modesty, Müller left certain aspects of the Brihadâranyaka Upanishad, VI, 4, untranslated. This is because this particular Brâhmana has passages which discuss aspects of Vedic era sex magic. To fill in the gap, I have appended a 1921 translation of the same Brâhmana. This is from the translation of Robert Ernest Hume, and includes English translations of the passages Müller left untranslated. Note that Hume uses a slightly different transcription method for Sanskrit than the SBE system.--J. B. Hare.


http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe15/sbe15098.htm

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Atri » 17 Mar 2012 05:02

This reply was by kalchiron, harbans ji.. :wink:

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby harbans » 17 Mar 2012 05:43

Ah..my bad. Thanks for pointing. I am still confused on the issue though. Many sites don't even mention the 6th chapter. Is it some sort of insert..this Upanishad is one that has some of the deepest thought..is it an aberration..something crass amongst such Brilliant expositions of thought does seem to be one. Atri Ji..you or Carl ji could certainly shed more light on this issue. Thanks.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Agnimitra » 17 Mar 2012 06:16

harbans ji, I cannot hazard an interpretation of this delicate section. I'm just a beginner. I eagerly look forward to viewpoints from Atri ji or Brihaspati ji or others.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 6.4.7 is:

सा चेदस्मै न दद्यात्काममेनामवक्रीणीयात्सा चेदस्मै नैव दद्यात्काममेनां यष्ट्या वा पाणिना वोपहत्यातिक्रामेदिन्द्रियेण ते यशसा यश आदद इत्ययशा एव भवति ॥

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Agnimitra » 17 Mar 2012 07:00

Added: Brihadaranyaka Up. comes under Yajurveda branch. In the same branch, the Mahanarayana Up. gives sattvika interpretations of the elements of jnAna-yajna, including of apparently tamasika acts involving "dharma-hiMsa" (dharmic violence interpreted sattvikally). This hiMsa can be in skandAskanda modes, i.e., "violence sport" or "sexual sport". For example, killing of the animal is considered killing anger. Similarly, "stree-purusha" interaction is of tattvas like Atman & shareera, etc. Maybe the same applies here. JMT.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby brihaspati » 17 Mar 2012 09:11

hmm. Sooner or later it would have cropped up - I guess. The same text has open support for the - "free-range" female and of females being freely-roaming [meaning unrestricted "gaman" to men] and having the right to do so - etc [women cannot be personal property]. So in that context even if there are indications of enforced sex in literal interpretations - how does the critic reconcile this other freedom? In fact taken together - they make a lot of sense. Where women are so free to reject men or not be committed to monogamy, there would be incentive for men to enforce sex on an unwilling female. This whole issue of "rape" in ancient societies is problematic to understand with later demographic morality. If this is taken as rape then every Abrahamic culture also supports rape - we can extract that info from the Talmud to the Quran.

The other bit is about not interpreting these items literally - and "spiritually" - as we are supposed to interpret every other ancient theological/spiritual texts when they speak of torture, war, conflict, and sex.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby harbans » 17 Mar 2012 15:03

I did some looking around on this. Shankaracharya dismissed Chapter 6 as smriti having found it's way into Shruti. This clearly seems an insert that is not a part of the original. The original first 5 chapters are profound and talk about transcendentalism of the highest order. Of Meditation, Self restraint and moving away from worldly desire..and then bang suddenly we see a remarkable similarity between this..

4:34
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand


And this..

When she has changed her clothes at the end of her menstrual period, therefore, one should approach that splendid woman and invite her to have sex. Should she refuse to consent, he should bribe her. If she still refuses, he should beat her with a stick or with his fists and overpower her, saying: “I take away the splendor from you with my virility and splendor”.


Imagine 5 chapters on the concept of the self, Brahman, meditation and bang..something so out and crass. Does not fit with the beauty and depth of the last 5 chapters. Else it has to be something beyond the literal translation.

Swami Krishnanand also skips chapter 6. So this is just another case of neutralizing a perfectly good out of the world Upanishad text with some worldly hocus pocus. I'd anyday take Shankara's word on this than some Max Mueller and early 19th century British translater. Remember the note i posted earlier..

Note by Redactor

For reasons of Victorian modesty, Müller left certain aspects of the Brihadâranyaka Upanishad, VI, 4, untranslated. This is because this particular Brâhmana has passages which discuss aspects of Vedic era sex magic. To fill in the gap, I have appended a 1921 translation of the same Brâhmana. This is from the translation of Robert Ernest Hume, and includes English translations of the passages Müller left untranslated. Note that Hume uses a slightly different transcription method for Sanskrit than the SBE system.--J. B. Hare.


This seems a classic case of an latter day insert into the Upanishad..

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby sanjeevpunj » 17 Mar 2012 15:57

Image
How Sikhism incorporated elements of Vaishnavism is worth a study. It has been recorded in the history of Jagannath Temple in Orissa, that Guru Nanak visited Jagannath Temple, and he met Chaitanya Mahaprabhu there.As he was entering the temple,Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was coming out. Guru Nanak stopped and they met and exchanged respects.Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked Guru Nanak why he stopped on seeing him. Guru Nanak said "I have met the Lord, where is the need to go to the temple now? Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu smiled and they later spent time at a Kirtan organised by the devotees.With such a humble beginning, their relationship certainly grew leaps and bounds, connecting and reconnecting Hinduism and Sikhism at the core level.The holy names of Hari,Ram, and Vishvambhar (The Supreme Lord) are recommended in the Granth Sahib. The same names are sung by the followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
One can read more here - http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/features/11-09/features1565.htm

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Atri » 17 Mar 2012 17:55

viewtopic.php?p=1071562#p1071562

Remembering one old post by me. I am pasting and highlighting the relevant portion. I had this (and many others like this one) in mind when I made this statement.

Atri wrote:
SwamyG wrote:I am also little wary of attaching historicity to all of our puranas and itihasas. We need to be extra careful. Sub-cultures are interested into introduce their people and land into the narratives.


There is a degree of historicity in our scriptures. It is only covered with additions. The question is, whether or not, we have courage to face the truth, when it comes out. Are we ready to face the "satya-dharma"? Shruti only says, truth shall triumph. are we ready to face the truth?


I am providing simple vibhakti solved versions of these verses so that it is easier to read the words and understand the verses. Also, I am providing simple literal translation of the verses.

Brihadaranyaka 6/4/6-7-8

अथ यदि उदके आत्मानम् पश्येत्
तद् अभिमन्त्रयेत
मयि तेजस् इन्द्रियम् यशस् द्रविणम् सुकृतम् इति
श्रीस् ह वै एषा स्त्रीणाम् यद् मलोद्वासाः
तस्माद् मलोद्वाससम् यशस्विनीम् अभिक्रम्य उपमन्त्रयेत - 6

now (अथ), if(यदि) Self's(आत्मानं) Udaka (One which goes upwards tortuously - commonly translated as water. Udaka - Ut + Ak) is perceptible (पश्यति), then (तद) recite (अभिमन्त्रयेत) - "My radiant (तेजस) organ (इन्द्रिय) gives Yasha (success?), DraviNam (strength, valour, Wish), Sukrita (fulfillment) thus (इति)." That woman (एषा स्त्रीणां) is Shri (shri has many meanings, wealthy, virtuous, lakshmi, etc) who's (यद) clothes (वासा) are above stains (मल + उत - मलोद). after upliftment of stains from clothes (मल + उत् + वाससं), approach (अभिक्रम्य) such yashasvini and speak slowly (उपमन्त्रयेत).

सा चेद् अस्मै न दद्यात्
कामम् एनाम् अवक्रिणीयात्
सा चेद् अस्मै न एव दद्यात्
कामम् एनाम् यष्ट्या वा पाणिना वा उपहत्य अतिक्रामेत्
इन्द्रियेन ते यशसा यशस् आददे
इति
अयशास् एव भवति - 7

(if) she(सा) consciously (चेद comes from चित् which makes up चेतना) does not give (दद्यात), buy her (अवक्रिण - अव + क्रीय - to buy out cheaply, to bribe) what (एनां) she desires (कामं). Yet (एव), if she (सा) does not give (दद्यात) consciously (चेद), hurt her lightly (उपहत्य - उप + हत्) with stick (यष्टि) or hands (पाणिनां) and forcibly enter (अतिक्रम - अति + क्रम - to walk beyond/excessive). The organ (ते इन्द्रिय) takes back (आददे - आ+ ददे = to Ungive) the glory (यश) of the glorious lady (यशसा). Thus she becomes inglorious (अयशा).

सा चेद् अस्मै दद्यात्
इन्द्रियेण ते यशसा यशस् आदधामि इति
यशस्विनौ एव भवतः - 8

If she gives (in) consciously, the organ would share (आदध - आ + दध = to share from all sides) glory to the glorious lady, thus making both even more glorious.

As far as authenticity of these verses go, this is from Shruti. This is part of Yajurveda there is no Paathabheda in Shruti. Shruti is not altered with time. Only Smriti is. I don't know what reasons Adi Shankaracharya gave to call this as smriti, but I do not agree with Sri Jagadguru's inference about this brahmana not being Shruti.

Furthermore, I do not know from where this bit about menstruating woman comes in. The verses say "Malodvaasaa" (one without dirty clothes). The word "mala" is not used in menstrual context. There the word is ऋतुस्नात (onset of puberty), रजस्वला (lady in menstrual period), रजस्वासा (lady in menstrual clothes). Yes one of the interpretation is woman who's clothes are no longer stained (the menstrual cycle has ended and bleeding stopped). But it also refers to a clean and healthy lady.

As far as Kuran is concerned,

Muhammad wrote:4:34
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand


This was in some youtube video in which a Mullah was talking about beating a woman lightly. Janta was laughing on it in BENIS dhaga. This similarity, however, also gives us clues, about possible sources of Muhammad's inspiration in his states of "trance". Perhaps he listened to this Upanishad and this only what remained in his head, rest evaporated. The Indian inspiration of Muhammada is never spoken about seriously. Mehmood Gaznavi speaks of Muhammad as Avataar of "one truth" in his coins.

Else, another interpretation is that many Greek philosophers in ancient times believed that having a vigorous intercourse will increase the chances of having a son. Perhaps, this is the source of that hypothesis as well. Perhaps this is source from where the inception of this idea took place in Greek minds.

The moral compass of man during this upanishadic period (possibly around 5000 BCE) was different. There is no need to be defensive. In my personal capacity, I would say that we own it up and say we have provisions of rejecting the part of our shruti which we do not feel as necessary and relevant today. Then the onus would be on Abrahmics to reject their inglorious parts.

हिरण्यमयेन पात्रेण सत्यस्या पिहितं मुखं,
तत्वं पूषन्न पावृणु सत्यधर्माय दृष्टये..

Mouth of satya is covered by golden lid. Oh Nourisher, fulfill our earthly needs so that we can face and see the "satya-dharma".

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby brihaspati » 17 Mar 2012 20:40

^^^Both sexes could demand sex from the other - and not necessarily with socially approved partners [there were no social system of approval anyway to start with - at least no hard and fast rules]. In fact the right of the woman to seek satisfaction and in that case the man could not refuse - is also indicated. That is also a kind of enforced sex at the demand of the woman. They simply looked at it as an obligation perhaps on both genders.

If anything that were not shirkers and di dnot try to hide away from the realitie sof the human sexual experience and the connection to rpeproduction and social responsibility. They were the first - in the same text - to deal with a concrete theory of marriage and monogamy, with sound and surprisingly modern approach - [because of child psychology - Uddalaka/Swetaketu].

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Atri » 18 Mar 2012 00:32

brihaspati wrote:^^^Both sexes could demand sex from the other - and not necessarily with socially approved partners [there were no social system of approval anyway to start with - at least no hard and fast rules]. In fact the right of the woman to seek satisfaction and in that case the man could not refuse - is also indicated. That is also a kind of enforced sex at the demand of the woman. They simply looked at it as an obligation perhaps on both genders.

If anything that were not shirkers and did not try to hide away from the realitie sof the human sexual experience and the connection to rpeproduction and social responsibility. They were the first - in the same text - to deal with a concrete theory of marriage and monogamy, with sound and surprisingly modern approach - [because of child psychology - Uddalaka/Swetaketu].


Yes.. Such bilge from Harmeet singh types should be replied with similar quotes from shruti which say what you referred to about enforced sex demanded by women (just an example). Such things will also show the duplicity of Muhammad in selective inspiration.

Our deracination makes us ashamed of somethings which we need not be necessarily ashamed of. We still have the continuity of civilization. Our Sanskriti has unbroken connection to the primordial truth. All these references are passages where we stopped and pondered over questions in life. Our current interactions with our women and children in all roles are formed and influenced by many such opinions of our forefathers.

That harmeet singh guy is ashamed of himself hence he quoted this verse out of reference. Why is this cited in first place in his article critiquing Rajiv Malhotra ji's book which no where deals with such topics? reason is simple, self-hatred. We need avoid such traps. He is among those few desis which I have seen who is ashamed of very core of India and Indian-ness.

As Tukaram maharaj says, निंदकाचे घर असावे शेजारी (One who indulges in our nindaa should be our neighbour).

Since this verse is part of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, it has to have some esoteric meaning. Our gurus and enlightened Purushas are more than capable of deciphering that meaning to us. The literal meaning should be taken in stride and flaunted proudly. After all, this is words of very early civilized and enlightened human being, that we are speaking of.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby devesh » 18 Mar 2012 00:57

has harmeet singh redacted his statement, or does he still stand by his bilge? the magazine can be sued for slander and inflammatory speech and defamation.

Atri ji, please pursue this. make sure you post the meaning in sanskrit, and Brihaspati ji, perhaps you should clarify and strengthen the stance on the article's comments section too. the entire article is filled with hatred for India. unfortunately, that's the author's mental state of mind. but if he has no understanding of sanskrit, and insists on lies, he needs to be called out on it. we need to fight this till there is a redaction and also an apology.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby brihaspati » 18 Mar 2012 01:00

the comment will not be published.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby member_20317 » 18 Mar 2012 01:22

Atri wrote:The organ (ते इन्द्रिय) takes back (आददे - आ+ ददे = to Ungive) the glory (यश) of the glorious lady (यशसा). Thus she becomes inglorious (अयशा).



Atri ji, does the use of आ
1) implies 'an absense of' or 'without' in which case, आददे यश =/= takes back, it may mean something like 'does not give yash' or 'without yash' ; or
2) is it usually used to communicate a 'a violation of / breaking of / taking back of', in which case the translation supplied by you will stand.

Kindly keep the reply simple. I am not a master here. But being Hindi bhashi I should be able to learn.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby harbans » 18 Mar 2012 04:49

I am very uncomfortable with Chapter 6. Till number 5, the whole thing is classic. Mind boggling stuff. It may take years and more to digest the content. Then Chapter 6! I rever the Upanishads and the BG..i read them over the for years..trying to extract some juice. Some i did not delve too deeply, because i thought i was not pure enough..that i have to evolve t oread them. What Harmeet does is poke a spoke in the eye. It does not comfort me.

5 Chapters of the deepest thought that mankind has known..and the 6th..so crass specially in verse 6/7? I have not encountered any similar sentiment. This is absolutely out of context. This Upanishad is amongst the most beautiful i consider..Shankaracharya had a reason to dismiss it(chapter 6) outright. Lets not privilege it here but let the Truth speak for itself. Fact is no 'HIndu'' is aware of this..apart from Harmeet Singh pointing this out. What a shame..even Max Mueller did not translate it because it's source as uncertain. Neither did Adi Shankara nor Swami Krishnanda.

Big jump really from Transcendence to forced Sex..specially if one is meditating in the Forest.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby brihaspati » 18 Mar 2012 05:32

harbans wrote:I am very uncomfortable with Chapter 6. Till number 5, the whole thing is classic. Mind boggling stuff. It may take years and more to digest the content. Then Chapter 6! I rever the Upanishads and the BG..i read them over the for years..trying to extract some juice. Some i did not delve too deeply, because i thought i was not pure enough..that i have to evolve t oread them. What Harmeet does is poke a spoke in the eye. It does not comfort me.

5 Chapters of the deepest thought that mankind has known..and the 6th..so crass specially in verse 6/7? I have not encountered any similar sentiment. This is absolutely out of context. This Upanishad is amongst the most beautiful i consider..Shankaracharya had a reason to dismiss it(chapter 6) outright. Lets not privilege it here but let the Truth speak for itself. Fact is no 'HIndu'' is aware of this..apart from Harmeet Singh pointing this out. What a shame..even Max Mueller did not translate it because it's source as uncertain. Neither did Adi Shankara nor Swami Krishnanda.

Big jump really from Transcendence to forced Sex..specially if one is meditating in the Forest.

As far as I know - most who have to study the texts one way or the other - know about this. But we have to consider that the Upanishadic texts are actually dealing with three things simultaneously :

(1) it is acknowledging that women can roam freely and mate with any man they want
(2) it is acknowledging that both men and women can demand sexxual satisfaction from the opposite gender
(3) it discusses means of regularizing a social contract towards monogamy.

All three points are discussed and faced up to. As far as I am aware of, if Upanishadic times are in the range of immediate post-Vedic [perhaps with even elements of pre-Vedic] around say 5000, or even 3000 - there are no contemporaneous theological tract that devises humans themselves arriving at the solution. All others take recourse to order from higher up.

I think there is nothing to be ashamed of about section 6. We should applaud the courage and absolute honesty with which these people faced it, and dealt with it - without taking recourse to supernatural authority - and arrived at contractual monogamy all on their own humanity.

There is a very old theory [backed up by some observations] that in olden times - the right of both genders of a clan on the opposite gender was acknowledged. So that it has been observed that with the advent of monogamous practices - there was always a ritual basis that paid honour to this claim of the whole body of the opposite gender. This has been at the root of the ancient customs that generated stag and hen parties, and in many European feudal cases - the Droit du seigneur - or prima nocta. The theory goes that as male hierarchical power began to domnate - the most powerful male appropriated this right of the males of the tribe - and on behalf of them, on the first night of sex with a bride who was henceforth to be locked into a monogamous relation. The opposite right for women was naturally dismissed because of the balance of power.

But 6th chapter could simply be stating this older social norm. The enforced sex appears to us to be enforced and outrageous because we are unaware of this ancient possible human aspect of collective sexuality.

In fact a data point in this is that Vatsayana mentions this prima-nocta practice for the king/chiefs of Madra-desa onlee in his time - but explicitly denies it as being practised by any other region of India that he describes in his list of sexual practices by region and community. However- the Europeans were practising this in some cases even until the 13th century.

Bharatyias were always pragmatic about human sexuality and inter-relations, and they always thought of things far in advance of the rest of the world. What Bharatyias thought yesterday, the rest of the world only fearfully ponders today, and adopts only tomorrow.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ramana » 18 Mar 2012 06:23

Bji, I read that one sage was upset at his mother going with another person and his father not objecting. He came up with the marriage ritual and started the foundation of society.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ramana » 18 Mar 2012 06:27


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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby brihaspati » 18 Mar 2012 08:52

ramana ji,
Yes, I repeatedly cite this story about Uddalaka and Swetaketu - both very much connected to Brihadarannyaka Upanishad.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Agnimitra » 18 Mar 2012 11:11

harbans,

One clear interpretation for me in that section is about the psychodynamics of admiration and fame (yasha - which is the repeating theme in verse after verse of that section). In Vedanta schools, they say that one of the strongest causes of bondage to the material world is an addiction to hogging admiration particles, and sex is very closely related to that.

So the different scenarios presented in this section show the psychodynamics of the flows, capitalization and losses of yasha based on the levels of affection, reality and communication between two co-equal terminals.

In this alarming verse, the case is of negative affection, volition, and communication, though there is a shared cultural reality.

Added later: As for Harmeet on EurasiaReview, I tried making a couple of comments to engage him, but he seems implacably adverse. Whatever you say shall be used against you, is his motto. In delicate issues of behavioral psychodynamics or of philosophy, one is easily prone to moralistic assaults or intellectual ridicule. That's also probably why H.H. Adi Shankara chose the tactic of simply derogating large sections of both Shruti and Smriti, because the Buddhist opposition in those times was Harmeet-like in their polemics. So he simply put them away on a shelf. Therefore to discuss Veda truly, a sincere and humble conversation free of prejudicial logic is recommended (vAda), rather than a conversation to simply defeat the opponent without revealing any positive viewpoint of one's own (vitanda), or simply to argue for the sake of argument rather than to determine the truth (jalpa). Between vAda, vitanda and jalpa, the Bhagavad Gita recommends vAda for logicians:

sargāṇām ādir antaś ca
madhyaḿ caivāham arjuna
adhyātma-vidyā vidyānāḿ
vādaḥ pravadatām aham

"Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, Arjuna. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the self, and among enunciations I am vAda." (BG 10.32)

I don't think there's any need for us to squirm at the attacks and deracinate ourselves from the full exploration of all modes of nature (tri-gunas), which Vedic tradition is about.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby harbans » 18 Mar 2012 15:21

B Ji, Carl Ji thanks for your inputs. Good points really. My point was really the complete difference in context first 5 to the 6th chapter. That didn't seem to fit in really with the thrust of the rest. Another way of looking at it is tense, i am not sure about this.

Say i change the tense of verse 7 everything changes. It becomes something like.."If you hit and force yourself the woman becomes inglorious"..and next "if both partake then both become glorious". Then it makes perfect sense.

From Ramanaji's wiki link too:

Mahabharata and Manusmriti asserts that gods are delighted only when women are worshiped or honoured, otherwise all spiritual actions become futile.[4]

So the forced and acknowledged act of making a Woman inglorious would be nullifying one's spiritual actions and the whole purpose of the Upanishad is to take spirituality to a whole new level. Unless there has been a change of tense in it's translation..there is a very high chance that what we see is an aberration.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Atri » 18 Mar 2012 22:33

ravi_g wrote:
Atri wrote:The organ (ते इन्द्रिय) takes back (आददे - आ+ ददे = to Ungive) the glory (यश) of the glorious lady (यशसा). Thus she becomes inglorious (अयशा).



Atri ji, does the use of आ
1) implies 'an absense of' or 'without' in which case, आददे यश =/= takes back, it may mean something like 'does not give yash' or 'without yash' ; or
2) is it usually used to communicate a 'a violation of / breaking of / taking back of', in which case the translation supplied by you will stand.

Kindly keep the reply simple. I am not a master here. But being Hindi bhashi I should be able to learn.


Ravi ji,

the prefix "aa (आ)" is used in following contexts.

1.used as a particle or interjection showing assent 'yes', 'verily';

2.(as a prefix to verbs and nouns) it expresses the senses of near, near to, towards, from all sides, all around;

3.(as a separable preposition with abl.) it shows either the limit inceptive, from, ever since, away from, out of, off, from among;

4.with adjectives (or sometimes with nouns);

5.(as a separable adverb) aa chiefly occurs in the vedas and means near, near to, or towards, there to, further.

In other words, at some instances, aa is used as a negating prefix.. for example, Mukta (free) X Aamukta (non-free).

In other instances, this suffix is also used in sense as seen in second point. For example Nanda (Propitiousness, harmony, equilibrium) - Aananda (propitious from all sides, state of harmony from all sides).

In this instance, dadyati (to give) and Aadadyati (to ungive, that is to take back what was given, to withdraw) is an instance where the prefix "aa" negates the action implied in main verb.

Here, if we take meaning of "aa" as seen in Aananda, then it means to give from all sides, completely. Then the sentence would read that "the organ gives glory to the glorious lady from all sides, thus making her inglorious (ayashaa)." While the prefix of "aa" is negative conditionally, its root "A अ" is always a negating prefix. Hence Ayashaa would always be antonym of yashaa. Hence the second meaning of "aa" doesn't make sense in this particular verse.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby Atri » 19 Mar 2012 05:04

Atri wrote:Since this verse is part of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, it has to have some esoteric meaning. Our gurus and enlightened Purushas are more than capable of deciphering that meaning to us. The literal meaning should be taken in stride and flaunted proudly. After all, this is words of very early civilized and enlightened human being, that we are speaking of.


To those, for whom my opinion on these matters holds any value whatsoever,

It is difficult to put in words the drive of purusha/shiva to overpower prakriti/shakti. Trigunatmaka Prakriti/Shakti is capricious and at times requires disciplining, channelizing by Purusha/Shiva. Please keep in mind the Praana/Rayi OR Purusha/Prakriti OR Shiva/Shakti dipoles of Saamkhya while understanding this chapter.

Since this is subjected to misinterpretation, unless you are well informed about intricacies of Saankhya and yoga, please do not form any opinions based on above post. If you do so, most probably, you shall end up lost, barking under wrong tree.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Epics, Texts, Treatises & Kathas

Postby ramana » 19 Mar 2012 06:32

Here is the ten volume Indian Culture course for kids.

Its simple language and very clear.

http://www.hindubooks.org/culture_cours ... /index.htm

I had bought the print version for my kids and they benefited from it.


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