Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 14 Aug 2019

     

Taming the Blind Ritualist

Shri Hrushikesh asked: Dear Swami! You had given a discourse on December 18, 2018, related to Vedic recitation, in reply to some previous objections raised by Mr. Sid Pat. The same was communicated to him and he has responded with a long and critical response which is given below. I request You to kindly enlighten us with the truth.

Sid Pat’s Criticism of Swami’s Discourse

Sid Pat wrote: All right. So, your answer to my objections is as verbose as the article to which I objected. Not only has it not answered any question, but by going tangential to the questions and answering things that were never asked, it shows the struggling of sailors in a sinking boat that has too many holes to plug than there are hands on it. I will just take the 1st and 2nd reply to demonstrate how all the arguments given simply aim to further the anti-Brahmin narrative to sound modern and progressive. An addiction that the colonially handicapped intellectuals have left for us to deal with. If you don't have the heart to face and digest the truth as it is, then please don't read any further. You've been warned.

You say that the accents have no significance since the sound energy of these accents is inert and incapable of doing any miracle. Which Vedic ritual talked about miracles? All this miracle-business comes from Abrahamic traditions. Do you realise how far you are from the Vedic ideology? And how close you are to the Western view of the so-called God? There is no God in Sanātana Vaidika Hindu Dharma, for your information! There is no concept of one God either! Where's this coming from, hmm? You think we can't see through all this verbosity? You say that the priests have developed a false theory to defend their blind recitation that the sound itself does miracles and removes the problems of the doer of the ritual.

Oh! So they have even created a theory? Where is it? Can you show it? I have met thousands of priests and devotees and talked to them on this subject. There is no promise of miracles given. In fact, detailed explanations are given about the procedures along with the meaning of specific mantras so that the doers are fully in the know. The devotees clearly say they perform dhārmika rituals to honour their dhārmika kartavyās. If you have an iota of evidence of such a theory, come on, tell me the name of one person who has contributed in formulating that theory. And don't give some ridiculous answer like “It's in the minds of people”, or some such unverifiable stuff. You claim to be a knowledgeable person. Give me tangible and testable evidence that there is indeed such a theory. If not, show the evidence of your being ego-free by apologising unconditionally to the priest community for defaming them through your (almost colonial) fantasies.

You have said that according to the priests, knowing the meaning of the Veda is not necessary and that using this argument, priests try to convince people to support their blind recitation of the Veda without knowing its meaning. Proof for this, please! You can't get away with these kind of baseless fake-news-type stuff. I have been to hundreds and thousands of ceremonies, and I have found the priests explaining procedures and meanings wherever necessary. So, give specific proof, if you are brave enough.

You claim that the Vedas are mass printed and well-preserved now and that they are also safe from any adulteration. So, you say that in the present context, priests are wasting time by blindly reciting the Veda when there is no need to take any further efforts to preserve it. What a ridiculous statement! The culture and symbolism of the Harappans is well preserved in carvings and statuettes unearthed from the ancient Harappan sites. So, did all that physical preservation through carvings save the people or their culture to persist and stay alive? Now, read the line you have written. You might say - Oh! Oh! But there are lots of prints too! Right. There were also thousands of manuscripts of ancient Vedic sciences in hundreds of libraries across Āryavarta. What happened? Swarms after swarms of the Abrahamic invasions destroyed almost all of those scriptures. You think a printed book can never be lost? You must know books that were printed just 100 years ago and no copy remains of them today. Not one! So, what happened to preservation through printing technology, hmm? Conversely, look at the impeccable preservation of Vedic scripture achieved by the living line of the Brahmin community that you despise and defame constantly, without restraint. Yes. We lost entire śākhās due to the brutal invasions. Entire Gurukulas were stormed into and butchered. You know that history? Or you thought they were living in your Abrahamic heaven in those times?

It's incredibly angering that you dare compare these hopelessly outnumbered brave community members to donkeys carrying loads of gold? Such ungratefulness towards people who sacrificed billions of hours of their lives unconditionally and happily to let the knowledge reach you untampered? You call these people donkeys? Well, then at least they are carrying gold on their backs... what are people like you carrying, hmm? Answer this if you have the courage.

You say that one should study the Veda along with the supporting scriptures on grammar, logic etc., which are known as the Vedāṅgas, “Sāṅgo Vedo adhyetavyo jñeyaśca. Absolutely correct! So, did you study the preservation efforts by Brahmins while studying and propagating Dharma during the deadly times they were living in? Or do you consider that vaidika learning should be devoid of any sense of the ground reality and the forces of geo-politics and invasions? If so, how can you claim to have studied itihāsa? You have to collate incidences that happened in the so-called modern times to understand the context and then analyse the reactions of the dhārmikas to the new world order. There is a context to what happened to vaidika paramparās. Have you studied that context while making snide commentary on the content? Have you? If not, what's your authority in insulting the vipra in those dire times and today?

You have said that the scripture also says that reciting the Veda, without knowing its meaning, is very bad (Anarthajñaḥ... pāṭhakādhamaḥ). What kind of an authority quotes half the verse? Because the other half would clearly puncture, disprove and destroy your baseless arguments about the Vedic accent itself being incapable of any effect? A pāramparika Guru understands the dangers of quoting parts of any verse. Much like the mistake Gandhi committed when he talked about "Ahiṁsā Paramo Dharma"—falsely equating it with ahiṁsā towards the violent—while actually, the shloka was about not being violent in vaidika yagyas. That man's folly brought (and is still bringing) such sorrow and violence to this country, right to this day; a mistake that history will never forgive. The true Guru and a vaidika seer knows it's important to give context by quoting the entire verse. Here is the verse from the Pāṇinīya Śikṣā Śāstra that you did not want people to see:

 

gītī śīghrī śiraḥ-kampī tathā likhita-pāṭhakaḥ |

anarthajñaḥ alpakaṇṭhaśca śadete pāṭhakādhamaḥ.

—Śikṣā Śāṣṭra (Pāṇini)

 

In this verse, the great Maharshi Pāṇini tells us of 6 qualities of an inferior reciter of the Vedas as givenbelow:

  1. Gītī: the one who changes the tone, who arranges it in his own way, as if it were a rāga! The Veda must be recited with the required tones, and never otherwise.
  2. Śīghrī: one who does not respect the rhythm of the recitation, for example who rushes through the anthem. To obtain the full benefit of a mantra (or extract) it is necessary to respect the durations (mātra) throughout the song.
  3. Śiraḥ-kampī: the one who shakes his head while singing. It takes a bodily balance to recite the Veda. The vibration of the nāḍī must be able to express itself correctly during the intonation. We cannot accept other vibrations, such as those caused by the swinging of the head.
  4. Likhita-pāṭhakaḥ: the one who sings while reading the text. The recitation of the Veda is done by heart, without written document (likhita).
  5. Anarthajñaḥ: the one who sings without knowing the meaning of what he recites.
  6. Alpakaṇṭhaśca : and whoever recites with a weak voice.

Point 1 clearly shows that anybody who recites the Vedic scriptures in any other tones or tunes other than the prescribed vaidika accents is an pāṭhaka-adhamaḥ—an inferior reciter.

In one single word of one single verse from His Śikṣā Śāstra, the great Maharshi Pāṇini debunks and trashes your entire ridiculous article titled “Enemy or Friend of Hinduism”. You’re exposed and irrevocably so. If you have actually read vaidika scriptures, now I hope you know how Maharshi Pāṇini would have rated you. I’m afraid, hope is too slim here, though. I must thank you very much for this quote though. This is probably your biggest mistake; one that proves how conveniently you can (and probably always) manipulate such a crucial Vedāṅga as Śikṣā Śāstra. If you can bend and turn and twist such a core scripture, your own God knows what you'd do with the darśanās! Sad and shameful at the same time, no?

I would have gone into further detail to show how shallow (and uselessly verbose) all these wanna-be answers are. But that’ll be a waste of precious time. Because the person involved is already talking from a self-constructed high pedestal where no other thoughts can reach, no matter how true they are. Such personages don’t have guts to accept their mistakes when they are pointed out. Instead, they try to stage a moral grandstanding by saying I am a friend who talks the bitter truth. What needs to be seen is whether this person can take the bitter truth I have shown and not just apologize to the community he loves to spread hate about, but also to his own followers who he has probably been misleading for years with the feel-good lofty fantasies that are clearly based on a Western (specifically Abrahamic and colonial) point of views on dharma.

I would add that I have no personal anger or grudge against the person(s) involved here. I have simply asked questions that are uncomfortable and not asked by people for fear that they sound politically incorrect. However, such indulgence in feel-good silence is adharmika. I am very saddened that for more than half a year, nobody challenged these answers anywhere. That’s a dangerous sign. Kaliyuga? Probably. But we can’t beg for excuses in this matter. Any falsification, distortion, manipulative or convenient quoting of vaidika scriptures must be challenged forthright, no matter how controversial it becomes.

Do it whatever the cost. || Dharmo Rakṣati Rakṣitaḥ ||

The only reason people like these thrive is the shameless and unforgivable illiteracy of Hindus regarding their vaidika scriptures. Yes, learning Sanskrit might minimize the damage to about 1%. But that line of defense is clearly not powerful enough. Forget about words, one can misinterpret even the akṣaras of the mantras and create havoc. Every akṣara in Sanskrit has thousands of meanings that are dictated by the context it is used in. The only way is to learn vaidika scriptures from a pāramparika Guru, and not some new age peddlers of false oneness of all ideologies, religions and Gods—whatever that means. I mean, I don’t remember any instance in itihāsa where the devas and asuras became unified by some empty philosophy? Let me know if you find one. Asuras have to be fought with rājasika vigour and the cutting analysis of Sage Brihaspati. May better sense prevail henceforth.

Here is a verse that shows what the Vedas are afraid of...

 

itihāsapurāṇābhyāṃ vedaṃ samupabṛṃhayet

bibhetyalpaśrutādvedo māmayaṃ prahariṣyati ।।

—Padma Purāṇam 1.2.52.

 

Every self-styled preacher must ask oneself: “Am I the person this verse is talking about?”. Only when the answer is a firm negative, take permission from your Guru and then alone utter a word about Vedas. If not, it's a safe and dharmika behaviour to simply shut up.

Miraculous Sound Energy?

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! I had said that the inert sound energy cannot do any miracle because sound is an item belonging to the imaginable domain. It cannot have the unimaginable power needed for doing a miracle. Moreover, it is inert and cannot even think, in order to perform a miracle. Also, all vaidika rituals are done only for getting miraculous results. For example, the Putrakāmeṣṭi ritual (yajña) is done to get issues, after all the worldly efforts, including all scientific (medical) efforts, have failed. Of course, people who are spiritually evolved, perform the rituals only for the sake of worshiping God and not for obtaining some benefit from Him. But you say that Sanātana Dharma does not believe in God! Are you mad? Please get your brain checked by some brain-specialists. I am not saying this as a tit-for-tat, which is to criticize you in return for your criticism. I am saying it because your criticism lacks even basic logic, which proves the deranged condition of your brain. My suggestion to you is based on My sympathy for you and not due to a sense of revenge.

Please note that I am also born as a Brahmin and My surname is Yajñabhaṭṭāraka, which means that My ancestors were profound scholars who performed vaidika ritual sacrifices or yajñas. Even Swami Dayananda, who supported the concept that caste is determined by qualities and deeds, was born among Brahmins. But a soul, who has merely taken birth in the family of Brahmins, is called as a Brahma bandhu by the Veda. It means that he is only related to the family of Brahmins but is not an actual Brahmin. Rāvaṇa is an example. A Brahmin (Brāhmaṇa) is a person who knows the meaning of the Veda and propagates the Vedic knowledge in society to bring the whole of society closer to God (Brahma nayati iti). According to you, these people who are blindly reciting the Veda, without even knowing its meaning themselves, are Brahmins! You are indirectly saying that the inert imaginable sound energy (accent) brings people closer to God. If you are not saying that, then it would mean that the accent does not serve any purpose—materialistic or spiritual! Can the sound of Vedic recitation even light sticks on fire? When Putrakāmeṣṭi was done in ancient days, Sanskrit was known to everyone and all understood the meaning of the recited Vedic prayers. The prayers improved their devotion to God. By such devotion-filled performance of the ritual, God would be pleased and would grant them their desired boons. It is true that the priests, in those days, would also simply recite the Vedic hymns as the priests of today. The recitation is common between ancient times and today. The difference is that in ancient days, all people understood the meaning of the recited Vedic hymns since Sanskrit was their mother tongue. Since those people were also good scholars, the inner spiritual knowledge of the Vedic hymns was known to them. Therefore, there was no need of any explanation of the hymns.

But today, the situation is totally different. The people hearing the Vedic hymns are neither Vedic scholars nor do they even understand the literal meaning of those hymns since Sanskrit is not their mother tongue. Yet, today’s priest continues to simply recite the Vedic hymns like the priest of the ancient past. The present priest does not even know the meaning of Vedic hymns himself. This is the difference between the ancient Vedic priest and present Vedic priest. The ancient priest was like a tiger speaking to tigers. The present priest is a fox painted with black stripes. He is a false tiger speaking to other false tigers. In the present situation, either all should learn Sanskrit or, at least, the priest must be a scholar in Sanskrit. When the priest is a scholar knowing both Sanksrit and the Vedic philosophy, he can explain not only the literal meaning of the hymns, but also the inner meaning. The total fault lies with the priest and not with the people attending the ritual. The students may be faulty but not the teacher. When I am revealing the true situation about the Veda, you call Me anti-Brahmin! I say a million times that you are anti-Brahmin since you are not supporting the very meaning of the word Brāhmaṇa!

There was one tradition called Bhaṭṭamatam, founded by Prabhākara Bhaṭṭa, who said that there is no God (Devo na kaścit…). He said that the vaidika rituals give results by themselves (karmānurūpāṇi puraḥ phalāni) and that the deity having the unimaginable miraculous power is the sound of the Veda itself (Śabda mātra devatā)! Whatever you speak, resembles the above tradition. At least, Maṇḍana Miśra and Prabhākara Bhaṭṭa, who followed the path of Pūrva Mīmāṁsā and followed this line of thought, were scholars in Sanskrit. But you cannot be compared to both of them since you are not even a Sanskrit scholar. You may say that you have the support of the present-day priests, but they too are not Sanskrit scholars. Besides, even the present-day priests will not support you because they are believers in God. They are the followers of Śaṅkara, who condemned the Pūrva Mīmāṁsā of Maṇḍana Miśra. Since then, all priests became believers in God (Brahman). Not only that, they also believe that there is only one God, called Īśvara. Please tell Me, My dearest friend, to which spiritual philosophy or tradition do you belong? You appear to be a jack of all trades and master of none! You have acquired some knowledge by talking to some people but you have not studied the ancient scriptures.

I have already said that Bhaṭṭamatam, claims that the sound of the Veda itself is the miraculous deity, who gives the results desired by the performer of the rituals. Rituals are of two types. The first type is kāmya karma, which is the ritual done to get a miraculous result from the deity, which is assumed to be the sound of the Veda (śabda). The deity is supposed to have the miraculous power to grant the desired result, which could not be achieved through worldly efforts. The second type of ritual is niṣkāma karma, which is done without the desire for any fruit. It is done for the sake of the purification of the mind. Pūrva Mīmāṁsā does not believe in God and salvation. Hence, it is limited only to doing rituals to fulfill desires. Such rituals have been condemned in the Gita (Kāmātmānaḥ svargaparāḥ...).

My dearest friend! You are jumping to grab every opportunity to blame and launch verbal attack. It shows that you have very very little subject-matter knowledge and that knowledge too, is what you have heard from the public; from here and there. What is worse is that the tiny amount of subject-matter knowledge collected by you is improper and impure due to your crooked intelligence. Instead of jumping to grab every opportunity to blame and attack, you could have discussed with Me, restricting the discussion to the subject. To satisfy your rājasic nature, you could have criticized Me only when your argument supersedes Mine. A pot full of water is like a scholar and an empty pot is like an ignorant person. Both do not make any noise. The noise is the unwarranted criticism. Only a pot with little water, which is like improperly understood knowledge, picked up from here and there, makes such violent splashing sounds.

When Maṇḍana Miśra saw Śaṅkara, even before debate, he scolded and verbally abused Śaṅkara horribly. Sages Vyāsa and Jaimini present there, condemned Maṇḍana Miśra asking him to participate in the debate on the subject. Maṇḍana Miśra was highly rājasic as we can observe from his abusive language used against Śaṅkara. Maṇḍana Miśra was busy performing the death rituals for his ancestors, when Śaṅkara reached his home seeking to have a debate with him. Since Maṇḍana Miśra did not open the door for Him, Śaṅkara, using His miraculous powers, entered the house passing through the bolted door. Maṇḍana Miśra was furious and the following conversation took place between them:

Maṇḍana Miśra: I am asking your way (since Śaṅkara entered through bolted doors).

Śaṅkara: You are asking My way and not Me. What did My way tell you?

Maṇḍana Miśra: You are the son of a prostitute.

Śaṅkara: You asked My way and My way replied you that you are the son of a prostitute!

These words of Maṇḍana Miśra reveal his extreme rājasic nature. Śaṅkara retorted to him but without using any rājasic word. You are jumping up to the sky, challenging Me to name one person, who has said that the rituals are performed for fulfilling desires, which cannot be fulfilled by human efforts. By performing the rituals, the desires get fulfilled by miraculous powers, which are called deities in Pūrva Mīmāṁsā. The cause of your high jump is your utter ignorance of even the fundamentals of the scriptures. So, while you are thinking that you are jumping high to reach the sky, you are actually diving deep down to Pātāla Loka! Do you not know that the book called Bhaṭṭaprayoga Dīpikā (Bhaṭṭīyam), followed by the present-day priests is based on the theory of Prabhākara Bhaṭṭa, who was a follower of Pūrva Mīmāṁsā. Bhaṭṭa says that the miraculous deity giving the boons in the rituals is the eternal Vedic sound! A debate is possible with a complete scholar. One can even discuss with or teach a fully ignorant person. But you are neither a complete scholar nor a fully ignorant person. Bhatṛhari says that a jack-of-all-trades-and-a-master-of-none can never be convinced by even God Brahmā! Had you put forward your points without the unnecessary blame, I would have given beautiful answers without retorting to you in this manner.

One might wonder if there was any necessity for Me to retort to you? Could I not have simply answered the points raised by you? It is said that if a person slaps you on one cheek, you should show him the other cheek. But this approach is valid only if the opponent has even a trace of culture. If the opponent is uncultured, you should retaliate with ten slaps! Only then will he remain silent. A cruel person can be controlled only with cruel retaliation; not by a soft response as told by Kālidāsa (Śāmyet pratyapakārena…). It is also said that a person compensates the deficiency of logic in his argument by anger (Śeṣaṃ kopena pūrayet). In what you wrote to Me, the ratio of scolding-to-arguments was 90:10. So, in My response too, the scolding-to-arguments is in the same ratio. One has to fight with one’s opponent using the same weapon used by the opponent! I never had any courage to fight, but you made Me courageous. Thanks for it!

You say that in most rituals, priests are giving explanations ‘wherever necessary’. Firstly, the statement is not true. Most priests are not giving any explanation at all. Besides, the question of ‘wherever necessary’ does not arise because the people attending the ritual do not know the meaning of any word recited by the priest. Your statement would come into the picture only if the public had a basic understanding of Sanskrit and were only unable to understand some things here and there. Today, except for an extremely small number of priests, who could be counted on one’s fingers, there is hardly a priest, who even knows the literal meaning of the Veda. Theory is always based on the concept followed by the 99% majority and not on what is followed by the 1% minority! As a real friend, I advise you again and again to consult a psychiatrist, as early as possible, because, in due course of time, you will have to be admitted to a mental hospital! Do not get angry with Me and retort with more pungent words because the truth is always harsh. You might have met several priests. But I am born in the family of priests and I Myself am a priest.

Preserving the Veda

You have given an example of the preservation of the Harappan culture through stone carvings, similar to the preservation of the Veda by recitation in ancient times, when there was no writing technology. The culture was preserved by the Harappans through stone carvings, which can be seen even today. But the Veda recited by ancient scholars is not seen today like the carved stone. The recitation of the Veda ended when they died. But the carved stones did not end with the death of those ancient people. So, how can you compare recitation to carving on stone? I had thought that you would become mad in the future. No, no! You have already gone mad! After reading this remark of mine, read what you have written again. You yourself will understand whether you have already gone mad or not. The Veda is printed now and is available permanently like the stone carving. When stone carvings already exist, do people carve the same thing again on stone? No! Once the carved stones are available, there is no need of re-carving. However, since recitation is not permanent like carving, recitation must be done again and again. Since printing is also quite permanent, unlike recitation, repeated recitation becomes unnecessary. Once printing is done, there is no need of immediate reprinting. That way, at least for some generations, blind recitation can be avoided. The word Veda itself means knowledge. Whether you recite out of memory or read from the printed book, how does it matter as far as the knowledge contained in the words is concerned? That knowledge should be explained to everyone. First, you can take some rest for a long time and only then come back to Me for discussion. That way, you will discuss with Me with a stable and calm mind without these huge waves of emotion.

Abrahamic Invasions of India

You talk about the invasions of India by invaders following Abrahamic traditions and their attempts to destroy the Sanātana Vaidika Dharma (Hinduism). So, both of us were present at that time to see those invasions with our own eyes, right? You must have been God Krishna since you remember all those past births and those invasions even today! I must be the poor soul, Arjuna, who does not remember all those past-life incidents and even many things that happened in My childhood in this very birth! The reality is that the only authorities that we have on these historical incidents are the books written by some people who lived in those times. But we are not sure whether they wrote those books impartially or not. We do not have audio-video cassettes in which that history has been recorded. Why do you dig the past and spoil the present? If My ancestor did something wrong to your ancestor, why do you want to kill Me now? There is no authority of direct perception for whatever might have happened in the past. All you have is a book written by your ancestors about the injustice done by My ancestors. But I also equally have a book written by My ancestors about how your ancestors were unjust. Now, you say that your book is right and My book is wrong. I can say the same to you too! Where is the end to this? Let us not foolishly waste our time on incidents and errors of the past. Let us concentrate on the present time and rectify the present errors. Present errors are judged on the basis of scientific logic. Do not say that science is modern and hence, I am modern as a scientist. Science is nothing but logical analysis, which existed even in ancient times by the name of Tarka Śāstra (Tarkyante padārthāḥ asmin iti tarka). All our ancient scholars were scientists. Without studying logic, one was not eligible to study philosophy (Vedānta). You must examine both tarka and science; the old and the new. You must not follow any one thing alone blindly. But you should pick whichever is logical and good from both the old and the new. Only a fool follows just one; either old or new. He drinks even salty water from the well dug by his ancestors (Purāṇamityeva…, Tātasya kūpoyamiti…).

Donkeys Carrying Gold

O Lord Sid Pat! Please read the scriptures first and then come and argue with Me. You are scolding Me for calling these priests as donkeys carrying a load of gold without knowing the value of the load they carry. My Lord! Those are not My words. Those are the words of sage Yāska for the person, who blindly recites the Veda without knowing its meaning. All your scolding goes to sage Yāska, who is the author of Niruktam, the Vedic grammar, which is respected by all the scholars of Sanātana Dharma. You do not even have basic knowledge of the Sanātana Dharma, that you are blindly supporting. You are like an advocate coming to the court to argue the case without even reading the petition filed by the claimant!

Superficial Knowledge

My Lord Sid Pat! Our statements themselves show who has perfect scriptural knowledge and who has superficial knowledge heard from here and there (Śruta pāṇḍityam). You are not even an ordinary scholar of the scriptures. You are just a politician from the land of the middle-age priests who recited the Veda blindly, without knowing its meaning. You hope to be elected by them as their representative to the parliament! Since you do not know even the A-B-C of the scriptures, you are leaving the scriptures aside and turning to practical situations, which are based on wrong history. My Lord! Your honour! I am totally defeated at your hands and leave you with folded hands after prostrating at your lotus feet! If a person decides to have a boxing match with a big inert stone, will the person be able to defeat the stone? I have exhausted all My weapons (scolding). I accept My defeat and leave you!

Blatant Self-Contradiction

You say that I am correct in saying that the priest must study the Vedaṅgās (logic, grammar etc.), which was said by Sage Gautama. This means that you are agreeing that the priests must know the meaning of the Veda in depth. Then, how can you support the priests who do not know the meaning of the Veda? This is a blatant self-contradiction. Perhaps, you might have written this single point of agreement and appreciation of My words while you were in deep sleep!

Clarifying the Verse on Śikṣā

The point regarding the verse from Śikṣā mentioned by you has already been asked by Dr. Nikhil and I have answered it in detail in the discourse given on December 23, 2018 (Click here). Please read it. My objections to the mutually-contradictory statements, which you have made out of blind emotion, are summarized below:

  1. You have accepted that one should not recite the Veda without knowing its meaning (Anarthajñah). If you accept this, how can you support the priests, who recite the Veda blindly without knowing its meaning? Your acceptance of this point contradicts your blind support to such priests!
  2. You say that, as per the verse, the Veda should not be recited except with the proper accents. But it is not what is meant by word gītī (singing). The verse says that the Veda should not be sung. But it does not mean that the Veda should not be sung at all since the Sāma Veda is also the Veda and it is supposed to be sung as a song. In fact, the Sāma Veda is said to be the best Veda in the Gita (Vedānāṃ Sāmavedo’smi—Gita). The verse only means that the prose portion of the Veda (Yajur Veda) should not be sung as a song. The rule, of course, does not apply to the Sāma Veda which is supposed to be sung. The Sāma Veda is actually a small part of the poetry portion of the Veda (Ṛg Veda). It means that you can sing the poetry portion of the Veda as a song but not the prose portion. The main point, here, is that the word, gītī refers to the singing of the Veda. It does not refer to the accents, which also have some musicality, and, in that sense, also have to be ‘sung’. The singing which is disallowed, is the free singing of the Veda and not the recitation of the Veda as per the accents. A singer can sing a line in any manner, using higher or lower notes for different words and syllables. Such free singing alone is criticized in the verse. In Vedic recitation, three accents are used and certain syllables in the hymns are to be recited with those specific accents. The three accents are:
    1. Udātta: the higher accent indicated as a short vertical line above the syllable.
    2. Anudātta: the lower accent, which is marked with an underscore below the syllable and
    3. Svarita: which is recited as two accents in a certain tune and is indicated by a double udātta marks.

If you object to singing altogether, you are also objecting to the third accent (svarita). Hence, the disallowed singing is only free singing and not singing in the specified way. Singing in the specified way is strength of the song (Mātrā balam). Singing in a specified way is the Sāma Veda. Hence, gītī only means free singing and not singing in the specified way. If you say that gītī means all types of singing, the Sāma Veda is condemned. For pleasant hearing, the accents can be followed in the specified way, whether it is prose (Yajur Veda), poetry (Ṛg Veda) or a song (Sāma Veda). I am not objecting to it. I am not against the accents, which make the recitation pleasant to hear. What I say is that the accents are only imaginable sound energy. Sound cannot give any results, be they worldly results or supernatural results. At least, if the sound had been ultrasonic sound energy, it could have had some significant physical effects. Even those physical effects cannot be produced by the Vedic recitation in those accents done in human voice since the frequency of the sound energy is quite low. Bhaṭṭa says that the sound of recitation of the Veda in the specified accents, itself is the miraculous deity providing miraculous benefits. This theory is condemned by all the preachers of Sanātana Dharma including Śaṅkara. The priests of today are again promoting this theory because it is convenient for them. With this theory, they can earn money by mere blind recitation, covering their defect of the ignorance of the Vedic knowledge. On one side, you support Sanātana Dharma and on the other side, you follow the theory of Bhaṭṭa. I am sorry to mention the name of Bhaṭṭa because you do not even know that the theory supported by you was founded by Bhaṭṭa, whose name is beyond your very basic knowledge of Sanātana Dharma.

Printing and Preserving the Veda

Once the scripture is preserved permanently by printing, it is immaterial whether you quote the scripture by recitation or by reading from the printed book. As far as the concept and its logic are concerned, this difference is meaningless. It is ridiculous to say that recitation must be continued even today to preserve the scripture, when it is quite safely preserved through printing and digital means. The technology of recitation was relevant when the technology of writing and printing was not available. If recitation is the only reliable means of preservation of knowledge, then we should give up the printing of books on science and technology and all other subjects and adopt recitation! Then, there would be no need to provide references to printed material at the end of a research paper since it would only be recited! It would be a joke of the highest order!

Moreover, there is a difference between written words (likhita) and printed words (mudrita). The verse mentions ‘written’ and not ‘printed’. ‘Written’, in those days, meant ‘written on palm leaves’, which was not as permanent as the printing on paper in present times. Printing is certainly far more permanent. In the time of Paṇini, only the technology of writing on palm leaves existed and not the present-day large-scale printing technology, which is quite permanent. In order to preserve a text, reprinting is necessary before the printed copies of the text get exhausted, which takes a long time. With writing, there is a dependence on the individual, who is writing. Making a handwritten copy is a slow process and so very few copies can be made. The reliability of the copy made by the individual is also questionable. But in large-scale printing, a very large number of books can be produced at a time and distributed widely. Hence, the present printing technology is far safer than the technology of handwritten books on palm leaves. To ensure the safe preservation of the Vedic knowledge, Pāṇini discouraged reading out from handwritten texts and favored the recitation of the Veda out of memory. As such, there is no fundamental reason why the Veda should not be read from a book.

In fact, do you know that there is a rule in Sanātana Dharma that during the death rituals (apara karma), the Veda must be recited only by reading out from a book? This rule is followed even by the present-day priests, whom you are supporting. The concept behind this rule is that the priest should not miss any word during these rituals. If he misses a word, the meaning is misunderstood. The situation after the death of a person is very serious. The departed soul must urgently be protected by God. The meaning of the Vedic prayers is precious spiritual knowledge. This knowledge is far far more important compared to the recitation with accents, which is basically meant for pleasant hearing. Missing a sentence or even a word, cannot be tolerated in this situation. Do you know that the present-day priests often swallow a good number of sentences while reciting the Veda during a ritual? Most people are unaware of it since they do not even follow meaning of what is being recited!

One person said to Me, pointing to a certain priest “This priest is good. He does not miss even a word while reciting the Vedic hymns”. I told him “How does it matter whether the priest is reciting the whole text or whether he is swallowing a word, a sentence or even many sentences? You do not even understand a single word of what is being recited, in any case! It is for the sake of the valuable meaning that the Veda is recited. The word Veda itself means knowledge and not mere listening to the blind recitation with pleasant accents!” Since the Veda basically means knowledge and not mere pleasant hearing, reading from a written or printed book is not a sin. Even in the commentaries of Śaṅkara and others, the Vedic statements are quoted without their accents. We have no objection, at all, for the recitation of the Veda with the accents, which make it pleasant to hear. But the pleasant sound of recitation is an extremely minor point. You should not attribute any miraculous power to the accents by quoting the example of the hymn “Indraśatro vardhasva”. You should not say that Indra was able to kill the demon Vṛtra because while reciting the Vedic prayers preceding the battle, the priests had reversed the accents. The position of the higher accent (udātta) was reversed by the priests from the word śatru (enemy) to the word Indra. It is not correct to attribute Indra’s victory to this reversal of the accents. The accents have no miraculous power to grant victory to anyone. The miraculous power exists only with God. Since Indra was a good angel and Vṛtra was a bad demon, it was the will of God that Indra should kill Vṛtra and not the reverse.

The unimaginable miraculous power always exists with the unimaginable God and not with any imaginable item within this imaginable creation. The imaginable and especially inert sound energy of the recited Vedic hymns, even if it recited as per the specified accents, certainly does not possess any miraculous power. As said earlier, that sound is not even ultrasound to lead to at least some significant physical effects.

The priests of all other religions are reading their sacred prayers and verses from books during their rituals. The meaning of what they are reading is also well-understood by all since it is being read out in their mother tongue. Do you think that God is not blessing them for performing those rituals? Reading from the book and explaining its meaning to all is far far better than the blind recitation without explaining its meaning. Only Hinduism is in this unfortunate situation since its scriptures are in Sanskrit, which was people’s mother tongue in the ancient past, but today, not even the priests know Sanskrit! The primary Hindu scripture is the Veda, which means knowledge and not mere blind recitation in pleasant accents. I am not objecting to this blind and pleasant recitation. I am only saying that the concepts of the Veda are far more important than the pleasant sounds. The knowledge of the Veda, when understood, generates devotion to God. The knowledge and the devotion are theory, which leads to practice. The practice or practical devotion is the practical performance of the ritual. God is greatly pleased with such theoretical and practical devotion and He grants the desired boons. But if the rituals are done without any desires, then God is extremely pleased and He grants salvation.

I am only opposing the placing of the sound-accents of the Veda in the position of the miraculous and omnipotent God, as per the theory of Bhaṭṭa. It is this false theory that has been exploited by the present-day priests to cover their defect of not knowing the meaning of the Veda. They justify their blind recitation based on this theory and run their business of getting money from their ‘customers’. How can you support both Bhaṭṭa and the present-day priests on one side and also support Pāṇini on the other side, who condemned the recitation of the Veda without knowing its meaning. Yāska calling such priests as donkeys carrying a load of gold also stands in support of Pāṇini in this matter. The other defects while reciting the Veda are only of minor importance in comparison to the defect of not knowing the meaning of the Veda. You cannot find fault with a person reciting the Veda in a weak voice if the person knows the meaning of the Veda. Similarly, defects like reciting too fast, or free singing of the hymns, shaking one’s head, reading out from a written script, are all minor in importance. Knowing and explaining the meaning of the Veda is most important since it has been stressed by several other sages like Gautama (Jñeyaśca...) and Yāska (Svarṇa bhāra hara).

Just as the word Veda means knowledge, the words adhyayana and paṇḍita also mean knowledge as per Sanskrit grammar. Yet, these blind priests use all these words in the sense of blind recitation. After their blind recitation of the Veda, they say “We have completed the Veda adhyayana!” They call themselves Veda Paṇḍitas! Actually, they are only Veda Pāṭhakas, which means those, who blindly recite the Veda. They are not Veda Paṇḍitas, which means those who have studied the Vedic knowledge in depth!

Bhartṛhari is right in saying even God Brahmā cannot convince people like you. You are a pot containing little water and making a lot of splashing sounds. You are just a tiny atom before God Brahmā, in reality. But such are your high jumps and long jumps that you declare that even God Brahmā is defeated by you! God Brahmā accepts all types of criticism from you. Even now, God Brahmā will bless you, if you realize your blind, rigid and foolish support for blind traditions, which have split Hinduism in present times. Your foolish support for those who are Brahmins just by birth causes all the non-Brahmins to fight with even the good Brahmins. These good Brahmins are actual Brahmins by their qualities and deeds. The caste system is based on the soul’s qualities and the resulting deeds alone, as told in the Gita. A person born in the family of Brahmins without the corresponding qualities and deeds is not a Brāhmaṇa. He or she is merely a Brahma bandhu as declared by the Veda. A Brahma bandhu is a person who is only related to Brāhmaṇas. He is not a Brāhmaṇa. You are going against the Veda and the Gita. A pot-maker and an excellent scholar of the Veda was made a president of a yajña by sages by virtue of his knowledge of the Veda. But how can you realize the value of this? You have written the word yajña as yagya! You do not even know the spelling of the word yajña! How would you know the actual meaning of yajña? You claim to be a scholar of Pāṇini and you do not even know what Yāska has said. Pāṇini is a grammarian of the Sanskrit language whereas Yāska is a grammarian of the Vedic language!

I am not angry with you, which means that God Datta is not angry with you. I have merely spoken to you in your language so that you will understand the subject very well. So, calm down and take rest for some time. Control your rajas and tamas and then, try to understand what God Datta is telling you through this medium. If you support the blind tradition and the birth-based caste system, you are opposing Guru Datta. If you feel that the blind tradition and the blind birth-based caste system are above Īśvara (God Datta), revolt against Me with more and more pungent words. But I will only respond with silence since certain souls are going to be condemned permanently by God (Kṣpāmyajasramaśubhān āsurīśvevayoniṣu—Gita). The Veda promises that the divine knowledge always sticks to the truth (Satyaṃ Jñānam). The truth cannot be changed due to one’s blind attachment to the birth-based caste system. It cannot be twisted to fall in line with blind traditions, which are followed in the name of loyalty to elders. If such stupid disregard of the truth continues, the only followers of Hinduism that will remain will be a few blind fools. All others will simply convert to other religions! Remember that, today, other religions also exist in our country and the world. The need of the hour is to bring peace and harmony in our country and in the entire world. It is essential to unite the various sects and traditions within Hinduism and also unite Hinduism with other world religions.

Sanatana Sanaatana Vaidik dhaarmika kartavyas Jneyashcha Svarna bhaara harah Brahmana Brahma nayati iti Devo na kashchit karmaanuruupaani purahphalaani Shabda maatra devataa Mandana Mishra Shankara Kamaatmaanah svargaparaah Mandanamishra Purvamiimaamsaa Shaamyet pratyapakaarena Kaalidaasa Shesham kopena puurayet Tarkyante padaarthaah asmin iti tarkah Tarkashaastra Puraanamityeva Taatasya kuupoyamiti Niruktam Yaaska Shruta paandityam Vedaanaam Saamavedosmi Udaatta Anudaatta Svarita Giitii Paanini Kshipaamyaasurayonishu Satyam Jnaanam