Hindu once again

claude setzer cssetzer at mum.edu
Sat Jun 21 04:11:43 UTC 1997

> From: S Krishna <mahadevasiva at hotmail.com>
> Date: Friday, June 20, 1997 5:16 PM
> May I know as to which Jeeyar Swami are you refering to? I think you
> are refering to Tridandi chinna Srimannarayana Jeeyar Swami

yes, this is the one

> a very> *political* kind of Swami.

I attended several of his lectures and listened to him talk for quite a few
hours. There was not one word that I would consider political, but then
there could be many implications of the word, political. Although I
consider myself only a novice, I have listened to several thousand hours of
discussions of Vedic topics over the years, and I consider the Jeeyar Swami
to be very sincere and very knowledgeable of the Vedic literature, which
was his main topic of discussion. He also seemed to be living this
tradition, which I would not say for many that give lectures on it. It
seemed to me that his main goal was to encourage all people who are
interested in knowledge of the Vedas and Vedic literature. Although I know
he is also very knowledgeable of the "Tamil Veda," I do not remember that
topic coming up. He was mainly insisting that all knowledge must be
verifiable by the Vedas in order to be known to be correct knowledge. He
also is trying to correct what he considers to be some "incorrect" or
imprecise practices being used by many modern temples. It was my feeling
that he was not trying to just call "Hindu" temples Vedic, but trying to
help them become more Vedic. This seems to me to be a legitimate and
honorable goal, yes?? (That probably is even part of his "job

> As to the word, Hindu, being a term of  contempt, 

I am sorry if I did not communicate this clearly. He never mentioned the
word, contempt, nor did I. I think the idea is that the term, Hindu, was
not originated by a group of people calling themselves by a name that they
thought applied to them, but rather by a ruling "outsider" who used the
term to differentiate them as different. This term can be a term that was
neutral or somewhat negative from the viewpoint of the outsider. However,
there is evidence that the Parsi's actually made friends with many of the
"Hindu" leaders and made them at least cooperative rulers of their areas. I
felt that the important fact was that the name was one that probably
originated from outside the group itself, and therefore was not a "scared"
name that needed to be preserved, or that it even accurately described the
people that it is associated with.

>is not very fluent in Hindi...he is a Telugu speaker 

Yes, he does speak Telugu, as well as excellent English. Since one of the
goals of his "Vedic University" is that all students should know five
languages: Sanskrit, Telegu, Tamil, English, and Hindu, I would expect that
he also knows the other languages. However, I cannot understand why knowing
or not knowing any particular language should imply that a person does not
know Indian History, particularly an aspect that may be of special interest
to his mission in life. Yes, it is nice to be a scholar, and to find things
out from direct research. But one only has to read the Indology list for a
few days to find out that that means of gaining knowledge is not always
reliable. Scholars never seem to unanimously agree on anything, no mater
how extensive the study is that seems to prepare them for knowing the
"truth." I know many people who have spoken English all of their lives and
know much less about American history that those who speak no English at

> The problem with "Bharata" is that it would translate as "Indian" which 
> brings back to square one. Are all Bharateeya Hindu( or vice versa)?

Good point. I think he considers his audience basically to be made up of
those who call them selves Hindus. There does seem to be a good logic,
though, that there is a close link between the Vedic practices and the land
(Bharata) in which those people lived when Vedic practices dominated the
area. BTW, although Bharata is the official name for India today, doesn't
it actually "translate" as the land originally ruled by the "first" king of
"India," King Bharata?

>there are *nonvedic* practises like the
> recitation of the Sursagar,Ramacharitmanas etc done in temples
> ( when I say "nonvedic", I mean that these are part of the Hindu
> religious tradition, but THE VEDAS DONOT TALK about them). So, if the 
> tradition followed is not strictly Vedic, what is the big point in
> calling them "Vedic" 

Again, I think he is trying to enliven the Vedic tradition, and this is
very big point. There also was a lot of discussion specifically about what
things could be allowed to be correct in terms of the Vedas, and what
things could not.

Thanks for your comments, Krishna, I enjoyed your input.

Claude Setzer, cssetzer at mum.edu

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