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Thursday, 5 March 2020
AdhikAram, Rights - Vidyasankar
Vidyasankar Sundaresan I wish Gandhiji had indeed gone to one of the Shankaracharyas and recited whatever he knew of the Vedas. They would have allowed him to do so, because as per the rules, he had the adhikAra to recite. They would have only said he didn't have the right to teach Veda recitation to others.
Piyush Manush A person not born of Brahmins had no right to teach veda recitation ...
Vidyasankar Sundaresan Did a person not born of weavers have a right to teach weaving? In the India of old, such a person didn't have the skills to teach weaving. That's what adhikAra was all about. Nothing more.
Vidyasankar Sundaresan Also, note that I'm saying, "this is what a Shankaracharya would have said." I'm not saying that this is what I'd say. According to the old rules, the adhikara to recite didn't automatically give an adhikAra to teach recitation. Unfortunately, even Gandhiji, with all his legal training, perpetuated a faulty position, proclaiming that he was denied the adhikAra to recite. I find it a bit amusing that even today, people who aren't interested in learning even the basics of the Veda are going on fighting, assuming that the door to learning is forever shut to them.
Aparna Krishnan And what gave the adhikAra to teach the vedas ? Birth ? Training ? Both ?
Vidyasankar Sundaresan Both, along with the judgment of individual teachers in old times. Surely, you're aware of the satyakAma jAbAla story in the Upanishad. BTW, adhikAra was not so much of a right as it was a duty/responsibility.
Aparna Krishnan Yes. And that understanding of adhikAra ia important
Aparna Krishnan I was also wondering if people then would have been fighting for the right to learn and teach vedas. Not likely.
Sthanunathan Ramakrishnan Exactly the thoughts of any one who cares to study Indian culture deeply. Also the rights based paradigm forever creates a sense of being wronged making individuals anatagonistic to each other or perceived class enemies. There is a lot of tension and struggle against the other for denying him/her the rights. A duty based paradigm is quite the opposite and gives an individual a sense of satisfaction about doing his duties despite odds. And the important thing to note is that the guy who is in a position of power over you also has his dharma to follow. And if he doesnt do his dharma, there is some one who can instruct him and whom he holds at high esteeem - parents, guru etc
Aparna Krishnan In India, most understandings are of duties. Rights are built into that as a corollary. I see that in my village. Their Dharma is a code of duties.