Evils of Written Vedas? (apology for cross-posting)

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Fri Feb 18 16:45:11 UTC 2000

There is a verse in one of the Zik.saa that I remember.  It goes like
this, and I remember only parts of it:

        giitii ziighrii zira.hkampii tathaa likhita-paa.thaka.h /
        ....                            .sa.d ete paa.thakaadhamaa.h //

I will try to trace the verse in the sources available to me.  It
simultaneously admits that the Vedas were available in written format, and
yet one should not be reading them from these written sources.  During my
recent visit to Pune, Mr. Dinkar Phadke, a Veda reciter trained in
Varanasi, told me that his teachers in Varanasi always had the written
text available for consultation, but that the South Indian reciters
shunned the use of written sources completely.
                                        Madhav Deshpande

On Fri, 18 Feb 2000, John Robert Gardner wrote:

> Somewhere in a book some while back, i read of a fairly early-dated
> tradition wherein it was commonly attested that, for instance, it was evil
> to "write the veda's"--in other words, to put them in written form, and
> that this fundamentally damaged them due to the import and purity of sound
> in recitation.  Aside from praises and lauds of recitation, I was given
> to understand that writing them was proscribed due to serious censure
> and wrong.  The place I read of this noted, specifically as I recall
> it was viz. the UpaniSads.  Does anyone have a traditional text citation
> (rather than a secondary source) on this?  The older the better.
> Thanks in advance, folks,
> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=
> John Robert Gardner
> Emory University
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> http://vedavid.org/diss/
> "If there is something you're thinking of doing, or wish you could do,
> begin it.  In boldness there is mystery and power . . . . "  -Goethe

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