Poll: The Vedas are...
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A useful product far ahead of it's times
13.04%
3 13.04%
Just another worthless primitive product
86.96%
20 86.96%
I want to be politically correct & choose "NO COMMENTS"
0%
0 0%
Total 23 vote(s) 100%
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The Vedas
#13
This with regard to this Facebook thread which discusses how Hinduism appears to take a determinist, almost fatalist, stance and how attempts to reconcile divine intervention and intercession in a determinist framework can have amusing results.

Here is one of my comments from the said thread

(18-Jun-2011, 09:37 AM)arvindiyer Wrote: One other question which these 'It is written!' reiterations trigger is "Was the writing also written?" In other words (attributed to Einstein) "Did god have a choice in creating the Universe?" Like the "Who designed the designer?" stock response for Creationists, we can perhaps have a "Who scripted the Writer's entry?" as a stock response for these "It is written" fatalists.

First off, the view that Hinduism uniformly takes a determinist view is a bit of an oversimplification. The Sanatana Dogmatic view of fate, free will and first causes is explored in some detail below.
*****

The apologists' arsenal features some preemptive and circumlocutory responses to "Was the writing also written?". These responses quite readily backfire.

1) The claim that the 'writing' (of the laws of the cosmos, of nature and for civilization) is eternal and immutable and not the work of any creator, human or divine is common in apologist circles. In Sanatana-Dharma-speak "the Vedas are apaurusheya". 'Apaurusheya' is a term quite literally meaning 'unmanned' and is commonly latched on to by apologists who insist that their dogma is free from any creationist claims or even human intervention (The absurdity of this claim is examined here. ). In the Poorva Meemamsa school of philosophy predominating before Adi Shankara's revivalism, the view is that the Universe is eternal and the Veda, a specialist user's manual to get the Universe do one's bidding through Yajnas is also eternal. This school dispensed with Ishwara, the counterpart to a monotheistic 'god' as superfluous. The Buddhists and Jains viewed the Universe as something in flux, rejected the rigmarole of Yajnas, viewed the Law of Karma as the only user's manual they needed about the world and also relegated 'god' to the realm of fiction.

So, if contemporary apologists take this line about writing being present on its own accord and even before the advent of, well, writing, then they must commit to an untenable biocentric view of the universe and more importantly, concede the superfluity and at any rate lack of omnipotence in their cherished 'personal god' who cannot as much as change the writing.

2) The Uttara Meemamsa school, now known as the Vedanta school, which eventually superseded and somewhat bizarrely, subsumed, the Poorva Meemamsa school, on the other hand holds that the laws of Karma and the Vedas did have an origin, i.e. there was indeed a writing that happened. In the Bhagavad Gita, a text deemed authoritative by most Vedantic sects, a personal god claims authorship of the supposedly 'apaurusheya' Veda. In the same text, the Laws of Karma are also ascribed a divine authorship, at variance with the claim in Poorva Meemamsa that this Law too existed creationless. Also, latter day Vedantic revivalists like Swami Chinmayananda claim that Vedanta resolves the free will versus fate dilemma that bedevils other religions, through what he calls a 'product-cum-producer' formulation. Man, Chinmayananda says, is a free and accountable producer of action in the here and now, but the kind of producer that he is and the kind of production he can undertake is a product of and circumscribed by his actions in his past births as operated by the calculus of Karma. 'Fate', in this formulation is the consequence of exercised 'free will' in the past birth.

Contemporary apologists must realize that if they toe this line of 'God as author of the Vedas', this line of thinking is not too different from other Creator-centric religions which they insist theirs is more sophisticated than, and therefore not immune to the criticisms leveled against what they deride as the 'sky god religions'. Also, the endless reincarnations of red herrings that are 'free' to devour as they please the fish that are within their grasp because they are 'fated' to and Karmically choreographed, do little to assuage the following criticism : "Are these endless reincarnations also written? What was the first act of 'free will' that got these 'destined' reincarnations started in the first place?". The apologist position remains at square one, with the dilemma of either committing to an indefensible creationist 'first cause' position and conceding the superfluity and powerlessness of this said creator.



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#14
the best site that analyzes vedas without being biased is

agniveer

http://agniveer.com
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#15
(28-Sep-2011, 09:27 AM)aryaveer Wrote: the best site that analyzes vedas without being biased is

agniveer

http://agniveer.com


Here's what this supposedly 'unbiased' site has to offer:

- There are misattributions of concepts like 'vasudhaiva kutumbam', which really appear in later fables, all the way back to the core Vedic lore. These inks offer a detailed and meticulous analysis of the origins of the concept.

- The same article says that Atheism's only grouses with religion are the anthropomorphism of the creator and anthropocentric narratives of the world. It conveniently overlooks (or is ignorant of) the fact that atheists today also reject the idea of a 'cosmic consciousness' even when there is no anthropomorphic imagery and reject any philosophy that discourages inquiry into the material world by considering it subservient to the imagined supernatural world.

- This article says that 'Now Atharvaveda is all about Practical Applications – integration of the wisdom of rest of the 3 Vedas.' Speaking of what sort of practical products arise from this lore and what is it relevance today, you will find a doctor in the house even in this forum for practical issues from constipation to dysentery without resort to the 'practical solutions' to these which the Atharva Veda offers. So much for contemporary relevance.

- It will be interesting to see how different defenders of the Vedic and Vedantic lore find common ground with each other, before proclaiming their version to be the grounding of all philosophy. For example, this article insists that '‘Vedic religion’ is anything BUT religion', but one of the foremost revivalists of the twentieth century disagrees. The same article also says, "Thus the ONLY time you DO NOT follow Vedic Dharma is when you deliberately know you are doing something wrong or false but still do so ignoring your conscience." but one wonders how it can be squared with this placing of scripture over conscience by one of the staunchest traditionalists in a redoubt of Vedic orthodoxy.

The above resulted from a quick skim, and the contents don't seem particularly fastidious about history or critical about extra-ordinary claims to merit the claim of being the 'best site' that is a resource on the Vedas.

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#16
This video was shared on my wall and I was asked to watch it to clear misconceptions about the Veda. Any comments?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNqytdDW5xc
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#17
(03-Apr-2012, 08:23 PM)Aamil Syed Wrote: This video was shared on my wall and I was asked to watch it to clear misconceptions about the Veda. Any comments?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNqytdDW5xc

My response: Face Palm

I wonder out of sheer curiosity why not a single one of those super-scientific, super-intelligent beings ever came up with something as simple and useful as a lighting rod? Nothing fancy, just a rod of metal that would have saved the towering abodes of their mighty gods from the wrath of Indra. That is a question I like to ask whenever I meet a Vedic apologist.
Of all the Vedas, I consider Atharva Veda the least worthy of being taken seriously. It betrays a childish sense of insecurity and paranoia. And there are the magical formulas. It even talks about things like vashikaran and vyaapaar vridhhi which gives the whole thing a 'Baba Bangali Tantra-Mantra Specialist' feel.
نوشیروان
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#18
(03-Apr-2012, 08:23 PM)Aamil Syed Wrote: This video was shared on my wall and I was asked to watch it to clear misconceptions about the Veda. Any comments?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNqytdDW5xc

The video is not completely about ved. The second part is more related to the scientific accompanislment by Indian culture or scientist. Most of them are true and nobody denies that. But Carl Sagan statement on the time of birth of earth and other cosmic calculations is completely wrong. Now all those proponent of ved will haunt us with this. The topic has already been discussed at nirmukta.
List scientific knowledge of our ansestor doesn't mean that all belongs to veds. In my next post I will list the scientific things told in the video and period to which belongs. (Its kinda boring but anyways I will do that, long weekend coming...)


Indians today are governed by two different ideologies. Their political ideal set in the preamble of the Constitution affirms a life of liberty, equality and fraternity. Their social ideal embodied in their religion denies them. - Ambedkar
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#19
I wish there was more granularity in the questions for the vote. In today's day and age, I find the vedas irrelevant. However, they do have great importance from the historical perspective. They give great insights on how we have ended where we are socially. Just like in any religion, they show the first attempts of humans to make sense of the world around them. Some things they got right, some not at all.

I voted them to be useful but from a historian's point of view. And some parts of them were indeed far ahead of the times when they were written.
- Abhishek
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