Re: [INDOLOGY] Vīraśaivas and Vedas, etc. (was: bhakti)

Nagaraj Paturi nagarajpaturi at
Mon Nov 14 16:54:16 UTC 2016

> The satisfaction among Vīraśaivas that the court has acknowledged their
vedādhikāra can be interpreted in more than one way. The aforementioned
book by Naṃjuṃḍārādhya goes into theological details like the validity of
iṣṭaliṃgapūje vs. sthāvaraliṃgapūje (i.e., 'our practices are just as good
as brahmin practices!').

" 'our practices are just as good as brahmin practices!')" itself shows
that the people who fought are not Brahmins. What they fought for and got
was Vedaadhikaara. Similar is the situation in the places in Telangana I
mentioned. Those from whom, I said, I heard Veda-recitations were not

When I say these modern groups 'learn' , it does not mean they learn from
Brahmin Vedaadhyaapakas. They create they own lineage of gurusishyparampara
irrespective of whether the teacher is a Brahmin or not.

> Today, for something to be 'good' in India, it need not be 'Brahmin' nor

> Agreed (cf. my previous statement). But then why is there this
proliferation of 'Vedic' this-and-that-and-the-other? Even if there are
modernistic fringe groups (around Sri Aurobindo etc.) that ignore the old
rules (Aurobindo indeed wrote on the Vedas, although he was a kāyastha, not
a brāhmaṇa), the association of vaidikatva with brāhmaṇatva and social
prestige seems beyond debate.

The English word 'Vedic' being used as a qualifier can happen only in the
English knowing particularly western circles of some 'Hinduism' related
activities. There is so much happening out there beyond these where this
word or the entities qualified by it do not matter at all. Not looking at
that bigger picture is the source of this over-focus on this non-issue.

"the association of vaidikatva with brāhmaṇatva and social prestige seems
beyond debate."

is no argument. It is just a restatement of a claim to which sufficient
counter evidences have been provided.

Study of Indian society has gone more intricate and more nuanced than this
old obsolete understanding of the early modern studies.

On Mon, Nov 14, 2016 at 8:34 PM, Nityanand Misra <nmisra at> wrote:

> On 14 November 2016 at 18:17, Robert Zydenbos <zydenbos at>
> wrote:
>> (1) To begin with: there are Vīraśaivas of various kinds, who also have
>> organized themselves in different ways. One significant division among the
>> maṭhas is whether a maṭha is one of the so-called pañcapīṭhas (of which
>> there are five) or a viraktamaṭha (innumerable). The relationship between
>> these two groups is a difficult one. Depending on one's point of view, one
>> may say that the section of the Vīraśaiva community that predominantly
>> associates itself with the small group of five consists of (a) descendants
>> of former brahmins, or (b) they are quasi-brahmins, or (c) they are brahmin
>> infiltrators in the Vīraśaiva community who distort and betray the
>> teachings of Basava.
> View (a) needs evidence. Do we have any? Apart from genetic evidence, is
> there any other way to prove it?
> View (b): what exactly is meant by a quasi-brahmin?
> View (c), frankly speaking, is ludicrous and borders on conspiracy theory
> (I hope it is not meant to be a joke). As if the Brahmins have an
> underground organization (like the Mossad) which *infiltrates* other
> communities to distort their teachings!!
>> > Gayatri Parivar, Svaadhyaaya, Sri Aurobindo organizations, Chinmaya
>> Mission etc. Most of the 'modern' 'Hindu' organizations do not recognize
>> the exclusive right of Brahmins over Veda learning.
>> But please note: vedådhyayana (Veda learning) has always been open to all
>> brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas. Vedādhyāpana (Veda teaching) was the
>> prerogative of brahmins. I.e., brahmins determined what the Vedas are and
>> mean.
> Vedādhyāpana is indeed done by Arya Samajis who are not Brahmin by birth.
> There is an influential Arya Samaj Pandit by the name Mahender Pal Arya who
> was born a Muslim and teaches Vedas (
> india/report-a-journey-from-maulvi-to-pandit-2047727). It is also
> noteworthy that not only did the Arya Samaja give new meanings to most
> mantra-s of Veda-s, they also gave a new definition of Veda by restricting
> it to only the *mantra* (*saṃhitā*) portion, different from the
> traditional definition *mantra­brāhmaṇayorvedanāmadheyam* (ā.śrau.sū.
> 24.1.31).
>> > Gujarat is predominantly vegetarian. Udupi Brahmin tag is not used, not
>> required there.
>> Perhaps because Udupi is simply too far away from Gujarat? ;-)
> Still, Udupi/Udipi restaurants are common in Ahmedabad, where I lived for
> four years (2000 to 2004). There is a popular one at Paldi Char Rasta which
> was frequented by many students and tourists back then.

Nagaraj Paturi

Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.

Former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies

FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of  Liberal Education,

(Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA )

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