> From: S Krishna <mahadevasiva@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 description!")

> 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 all.

> 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@mum.edu