Saturday, April 8, 2017

Arlene Corwin writes

Irrational The Terrorist (a follow-up to After A Terror Deed…)

 There’s no such thing as ‘non-believer’:
All believe in something.
Family, sky, the Vedic I,
The name ‘non’ – anything misnomer.
Those who slaughter
In the name of heaven, waiting virgins, angels,
Paradise, God knows what else,
Where lion vegetarians
Meet bird and man as bosom friends…
They do no know life’s real ends.
True, misconceived, a pictured or imagined thing
So strong that it gives murdering
A face,
It makes the law-abiding jaundiced,
And, like me, seeing irrationality
In well meant terror dogma-bent
As pure one hundred one percent
 Assassin -- Nancy Hall


  1. The Vedas (from the Sanskrit "veda," knowledge, wisdom, though in some contexts it may mean "finding wealth" or "a bundle of grass" in the sense of a broom or for a ritual fire) are the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest Hindu scriptures. However, since their transmission was originally oral (aided by elaborate mnemonic techniques including the jaṭā-pāṭha ["mesh recitation"] in which every two adjacent words were first recited in their original order, repeated in the reverse order, and repeated again in the original order) and then written down on birch bark or palm leaves, ancient texts have not survived; Sampurnanand Sanskrit University (Sampūrānand Samskrit Vișvavidyālaya)in Vāraṇāsī), India's oldest extant university (founded in 1791 by the British) has one dating to the 14th century, and some from the 11th century are located in Nepal. The four Vedas were transmitted in various śākhās (branches, schools), each of which represented a community of a particular area, and followed its own canon. In the "Mahabharata," they are credited to Brahma, but otherwise, even though they are regarded as revelations seen by rishis (sages) after intense meditation and inspired creativity, they are nonetheless considered to be "apauruṣeya" ("not of a man, superhuman;" "impersonal, authorless"). They are are also called śruti ("what is heard") literature (while other religious texts such as the "Bhagavad Gita" and the Shrauta and Gryha Sutras are smṛti, "what is remembered"). The four Vedas (the "Rigveda," the "Yajurveda" [the motley "black" (Krishna) texts and the well-arranged "white" (Shukla) ones], the "Samaveda," and the "Atharvaveda," which were not accepted as Vedas until ca. 900 BCE), which exist in varying recensions, are each subclassified as Samhitas (saṃhitā, "collection"), compilations of metric texts (mantras) and benedictions; Aranyakas ("forest treatices" or "wilderness texts" on rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices, and symbolic-sacrifices); Brahmanas (prose commentaries on rituals, ceremonies, and sacrifices); and Upanishads (texts, some in dialogue form, on meditation, philosophy, and spiritual knowledge, some of which are much younger than the other Vedic texts); some scholars also add Upasanas (on worship).

  2. The Rigvedic hymns were probably essentially complete by 1200 BCE, and the Samhitas may date as far back as 1700–1100 BCE with a major redaction in 1000-500 BCE, thus spanning the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. After the rise of Buddhism, the "Yajurveda" was revised in the 1st century BCE or thereabouts; but the early Buddhist texts were probably also oral, since the first Pali canon did not appear until many centuries after the Buddha's death. In addition, ca. 500 BCE, the Vedangas [devoted to phonetics (Śikṣā), poetic meter (Chandas), grammar (Vyākaraṇa), etymology and linguistics (Nirukta), rituals and rites of passage (Kalpa), and time keeping and astronomy (Jyotiṣa)] developed as ancillary studies for the Vedas because the original Sanskrit had become too archaic to be easily understood; but the became influential in their own right (the study of the Kalpa Vedanga, for example, gave rise to the Dharma-sutras, which later expanded into Dharma-shastras). In addition, other ancillary works (the Pariśiṣṭa "supplement, appendix") dealing mainly with details of ritual and elaborations of earler texts, developed for each of the four Vedas, though only extensively for the Atharvaveda. Some post-Vedic texts, including the poetic epic "Mahabharata", the "Natyasastra" written by Bharata Muni on the performing arts, and some Puranas ("ancient") of traditional lore such as myths and legends, are also regarded as equivalent to the four Vedas. Some Hindu sects have expanded the Veda to include the Sanskrit Epics and Vaishnavite (Vishnu-centered) devotional texts such as the 200 Pancaratra.


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