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Sanjay Sonawani’s response on Reddit to some misguided “rebuttal” of his views

On Reddit someone called Mad_Sanghi wrote:

This is weird. Instead of thinking vedas as the source of Hinduism, the author argues it is a later addition by some immigrants.

I think it is BS, because bramahnical society was using them, before the gupta period, as is visible by rise of Buddhism or Jainism before 5 th century BCE which took many Vedic concept and used them.

So if Buddhists were aware of the vedas and so were the Bramhins because the Buddhist were not a small group.

I think the author misinterprets existence of ritualism as vedas also have it but for Vedic gods. So the problem can be easily resolved when we accept that vedas were much earlier than we recognise them now.

SANJAY SONAWANI’S RESPONSE

His response has gone missing. No idea why. But I have a copy of it via email so I’m keeping it here fore the record.

==

Infact, it is weird that some think even after lot many archaeological proofs Vedas are the source of Hinduism. Vedic society had limited presence and that too in Magadha, Kurukshetra regions by 6th century BC. Nowhere else, even in Maharashtra traces are found of the existence of Vedic people or their religion prior to first century BC and in the south, Sangam literature proves that prior to third century AD Vedic religion was unknown to them. This only does mean that this religion gradually spread with conversions using missionary practices.

If you go through Tevijja Sutta, it will appear to you that Buddha has treated the Vedic religion as a distinct body opposed to Hindus those had several philosophical streams. Idolatry, Devotion, Salvation, Liberation was never part of Vedicism. In fact largest philosophical sect in Hinduism, that time was Sramana from which Ajeevkas, Buddism, Jainism, and many other sects sprang. Ajeevaka, Vratya were the oldest pre-vedic philosophical sects and were popular. This was the tradition of renunciation in Hinduism to which Vedas oppose. Pancharatrins promoted devotion, Yoga and Tantric rituals those were banned in Vedic rituals calling them Vedbahya. There were numerous Tantric sects (the foundation of Hinduism) centered around the worship of Shiva-Shakti as their chief deity. Shiva is nowhere to be found in Vedas. Common people of those times followed simple idol worship adhering to some or other sectarian ritualistic practice.
Vedics entered India sometime in 1200 BC and by sixths century BC did find some space in few states of northern India. Buddha challenges all the sects and their doctrines including Vedic as well. His mention and opposition to Vedas is as same as his opposition to Ajeevaka and Sankhya Doctrine. So this does not prove at all that the Vedas are the source of the Hinduism. This has been distinct religion and though Vedics has accepted idolatry to some extent, in Gupta era, they tried to vedicise them by creating easily detectable false myths around Hindu deities. Still, Shiva and Shakti remain non-Vedic and the scholars including Dr. RN Dandekar acknowledges this fact. There is no relation between Hindu and Vedic religion. Both have independent sources and different social order.

Vedic ritualistic practices also are too distinct the way their Gods are. Puja was never ever part of Vedicism. Had Vedas been source of the Hinduism, Vedas and Vedic gods would have remained dominant even today for entire Hindu society. But except for Vedics , none follows Vedic ritualistic practices and their Gods. It is ridiculous to consider both the religion one and the same and that Vedas are source of the Hinduism. The socio-cultural history does not support this claim!

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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4 thoughts on “Sanjay Sonawani’s response on Reddit to some misguided “rebuttal” of his views
  1. Modern_Asura

    This seems to be Aryan Migration theory under a new name.

    Even there it is claimed that Pashupati, and female goddess existed before Vedic migrated and absorbed them.

    And Shiva is not mentioned in Veda is debatable as scholars often assume that Rudra mentioned there is Shiva God.

     
  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    The “Aryan” migration theory is, of course, nonsense. What are aryans anyway? The reality is about Vedic Migration and that’s not a theory, given what I’ve read of Sanjay’s work.

     
  3. Sanjay Sonawani

    Dear Modern-Asura,
    Rudra cannot be associated with Shiva.

    We find the following information on Rudra in Rig Veda and related literature.
    a. Vedic Rudra is as handsome as the supreme Vedic God Indra, having golden complexion. He wears golden necklace and holds golden axe. He helps Vedic people in finding lost cattle.
    b. In some Rig Vedic descriptions Rudra is said to be an older than oldest.
    c. Rudra’s father is Prajapati. (Maitrayani Sanhita, 6:1-9). In a mythical story Rudra is said to have killed his father, Prajapati.
    d. Main epithet of Rudra is “Agni” (Fire).
    e. In Agnichayana (a kind of fire sacrifice) to keep the fire kindled, butter is constantly poured in the fire pit, while chanting “Shatarudriya” (Hymns addressed to Rudra) requesting him to immerse in the fire.
    f. Rudra is not a single entity but is enumerated from 11 to 60 in different texts of Vedic literature. In this way Rudra represents a group of deities bearing same name. He also is often called the father of Maruts, another group of Vedic Gods.
    g. Rudrasavarni, 12th Manu, is said to be son of the Rudra.
    h. Taittiriya Samhita states that the sacrifice conducted in the favor of Rudra enriches the host like Indra.
    i. There are only three verses dedicated to Rudra in Rig Veda. In a way, Rudra was a minor god of the Vedic people.
    j. Rudra is depicted as a destroyer of humankind and animal in Rig Veda. (RV 2.33.10)
    k. Dogs and Wolves are the pets of Rudra. (Atharva Veda 11.2.2)
    Looking at the above description and myths surrounding Vedic Rudra they nowhere match with the Shiva. Shiva was and is a supreme God for the Non-Vedic people. Shiva is ajanma, having no birth or father. Indeed Shiva is a concept of creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe that is worshiped in phallic form. He has no son directly born to him, though kartikeya and Ganesha are associated with him as his sons in later times. Shiva’s mythical abode is mount Kailasa. None of the mythologies associated with him match with of the Rudra’s. Rather Shiva is called “Smarari”, destroyer of the fire sacrifices, while all Vedic rituals dedicated to Rudra are associated with the fire sacrifices.

    Hence both the gods belong to different religions and have nothing common between them

     
  4. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Excellent points, Sanjay. Can I suggest you prepare an FAQ on this topic. People generally seem to have standard set of questions.

     

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