Re: [INDOLOGY] Vīraśaivas and Vedas, etc.

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at
Tue Nov 15 16:07:43 UTC 2016

Nagaraj Paturi wrote:

> "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.

I am very sorry, but: where is that counter-evidence? To explain this question:

What I have seen is that there are non-brahmin groups that nowadays study and recide the Vedas (which is nothing new). The historical question (why should they care at all? what is the value of vaidikatva for them?) has not been answered (except in my own recent comment on the Arya Samaj).

On the contrary, I have given explanations for 'Vedic astrology' and 'Vedic bhakti', and nobody has provided real, relevant counter-evidence. I will explain:

Any such counter-evidence needs to prove (1) that the brahmin community holds no position of special intellectual and cultural prestige in Indian society (this is impossible), and (2) that persons from the brāhmaṇa varṇa have not been the traditional custodians of the Vedic heritage (I think that this is impossible too). These are the two points of my statement which (to use terminology from Karl Popper's theory of science) need to be falsified if my statement is to be disproven.

Any 'counter-evidence' that fails to address these two points is simply irrelevant, अहैतुक.

Until these points are addressed, I will assume that my statement holds good, and I would like to refrain from further comments.

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

Not all the conclusions of "early modern studies" are obsolete.

Besides, we are dealing with something (viz., social prestige) which any casual observer of Indian society can confirm. There is a Jaina sub-community in southern India called "Jaina brahmins". The founder of ISKCON insisted that his American followers should be allowed into temples in India because according to his definition they were brahmins. The Viśvakarma community (artisans) claims brahmin status for itself. The list goes on and on. This cannot be denied. This is not obsolete. And 'Vedicness' has everything to do with this.

Therefore, we read about 'Vedic astrology', 'Vedic bhakti', etc. etc.


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