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PROBLEM OF INTERPOLATION OF TEXTS - Topics in Hinduism

1 points | Post submitted by suyash95 20 days ago | 1 comments | viewed 49 times

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  • suyash95 20 days ago | +0 points

    Why i mentioned it,,Becoz we have heard of line-if a shudra listens to veda reciting,molten lead should be poured inhis ears .

    Now here is interesting thing -there is no record of it anywhere Is pouing molten lead into the ear canal a cheap punishment? Is lead an abundant and cheap metal? There were people called jalladas whose job was to decapitate criminals, but have you ever heard about a professional molten lead pourer?


    these things r coming from DHARMASHASTRAS which are written in Sanskrit.

    these DS were never applied n neither they were ever compiled at one place.they were scattered in manuscripts at different places until british compiled them at one place

    Many problems crept in during their construction by British.

    There are a number of problems associate with ancient Sanskrit literature. Authors never appended their names to their works and wrote anonymously. Sometimes they would attribute the work to their Guru or to some legendary figure (vyāsa) to give it greater authority.. All manuscripts had to be transcribed by hand on perishable palm leaves and the Indian scribes were notorious for their lack of precision — as attested by numerous travellers like Alberuni when he tested a number of them.

    Scribes were also well-known for interpolation — inserting slokas into works and deleting slokas or changing words to suit their own interpretations or sectarian or doctrinal views.

    These problems are found in all the works like the Smritis and Puranas hence they are not taken to be authoritative in and of themselves by the Vedāntācaryas like Shankaracārya and Rāmānujācārya. And because of these discrepancies reformists like Dayananda Sarasvati of Ārya Samāj have completely rejected them.

    The only scriptures we know for certain were never tampered with or modified in any way are the three Vedas (Rik, Yajur and Sama) awhich have been handed down orally for thousands of years without the loss of a single syllable. So all works are attributed to a VYĀSA which simply means “compiler” — in the popular imagination he is a single person — an incarnation of Vishnu. Others believe there were a number of different Vyāsas — who they were we do not know. So this controversy about Vyāsa — one or many, divine or human cannot be resolved with a consensus.

    My personal view based on my own study of the texts, is that there were hundreds of different authors, if not thousands, and all the Smritis and Puranas have been tampered with and forged to some degree. Some of them like the Bhavishya Purana are complete frauds. the DharmaShastras are written by hundreds of different author with their own prejudices and views.

    The problem of Interpolation in Hindu TEXTS-

    An interpolation is an entry or passage in a text that was not written by the original author. As there are often several generations ofcopies of Sanskrit texts spanning thousands of years, between an extant copy of an ancient text and the original, each handwritten on palm leaves by different scribes, there is a natural tendency for extraneous material to be inserted into such documents over time. Interpolations may be inserted as an authentic explanatory note, but may also be included for fraudulent purposes. However,most interpolations result from the errors and inaccuracies which tend to arise during hand-copying, especially over long periods of time. Conscientious scribes tended to copy everything which appeared in a manuscript, but in all cases scribes needed to exercise personal judgment. Explanatory notes would tend to find their way into the body of a text as a natural result of this subjective process. Al Biruni who visited India in 1017 after testing the caliber of the Indian scribes complained bitterly about their shoddy and incorrect transcriptions. Indian scribes when compared to their middle-eastern and Chinese counterparts were far below standard. The emphasis in Brahmanism was on the oral transmission of a text and for thousands of years texts were never written down but passed down through an oral transmission and memorization. Thewritten word was also held in disrepute by the Brahmins. In ancient India this was complicated by the fact that often one would not sign a work but out of humility attribute it to one’s teacher or a former teacher. So for example, all the Purāṇas and the Mahābhārata are attributed to “Vyāsa” which simply means“The Compiler”. In Manu for example there are many passages which are contradictory and unsuitable for an ethical law-giver to have written. Sanskrit literature is notorious for the amount of interpolation there is. The only text which is considered to be totally free from interpolations is the Veda. The reason being that it was handed down orally from teacher to disciple in closed communities and never written down until the last few hundred years. Therefore whenever a discrepancy arises between the Veda (śruti) and the Traditional law(Smṛti) the Veda prevails. Thereby any fraudulent verse can be inserted in Smriti Texts becoz no Hindu learned it

    So what happened,the British while translatting deliberately inserted deragatory verses

    Take for Example-

    If a Brahmin committed adultery or rape, merely a fine was imposed on him (Manu Smrti VIII.385). However if a Shudra had sexual intercourse with a Brahmin woman, he was to be executed no matter whether the act was consensual or not (Vasishtha Dharma Shastra 21.1). If a Brahmin reviled a Shudra, he paid a small fine (Manu Smrti VIII. 268) or nothing at all (Gautama Dharma Sutra XII.10). But in the reverse case, a Shudra’s tongue was to be chopped off (Manu Smrti VIII. 270) . Shudras who were not permitted to chant Vedic mantras (Manu Smrti X.127).Further ,there are many verses-

    He who instructs Shudra pupils and he whose teacher is a Shudra shall become disqualified for being invited to a shradha. (Manu III. 156.) A Shudra is unfit of receive education. The upper varnas should not impart education or give advice to a Shudra. It is not necessary that the Shudra should know the laws and codes and hence need not be taught. Violators will go to as amrita hell. (Manu IV-78 to 81) .Let him not dwell in a country where the rulers are Shudras.” (Manu IV. 61).He must never read the Vedas in the presence of the Shudras. (Manu IV. 99.).Any country, where there are no Brahmins, of where they are not happy will get devastated and destroyed. (Manu VIII-20 to 22).A Brahmana who is only a Brahman by decent i.e., one who has neither studied nor performed any other act required by the Vedas may, at the king’s pleasure, interpret the law to him i.e., act as the judge, but never a Shudra (however learned he may be). (Manu VIII. 20.).The Kingdom of that monarch, who looks on while a Shudra settles the law, will sink low like a cow in the morass. (Manu VIII. 21.)

    Now the problem is-How can we be so sure that these were written in original.becoz Writing was developed in India after 3rd century BC (The Vedas were passed in oral manner before.)and Printing Press was invented in 16 century Ad . Before that Manusmriti and DharmaShastras were available in different manuscripts on Palm Leaves like

    we know the Brahmins are not a single Monolithic block ,there is a hierarchy of meritocracy - with Vedic Brahmins (ahitagnis) at the top and temple priests (devalaka) at the bottom - actually funeral priests (apara-prayogis - mahāpātras) and even lower.Now Mahapatras are treated as untouchables even by Dalits,

    and in Gupta Period - the entire Sudra caste which was originally engaged in manual labour, became affluent “vaishya” in the middle ages by becoming farmers, professional artisans, tradesmen, shopkeepers, merchants, contractors and landlords, the skilled builders, architects, craftsmen, artists, navigators, ship-builders, temple builders, gold and silver-smiths and producers of fine goods etc.

    Due to the ephemeral nature of the manuscript material (birch bark or palm leaves), surviving manuscripts rarely surpass an age of a few hundred years.So ,the only understanding is ,these are not authentic-the palm leaves on which the DS are written deteriorated over time, so there is now way to go back in any ancient archives, because the palm leaves have to be re-written every 100 years, if not deteriorated before then . So we cannot be certain ,what did original author wrote .It is very easy for anybody to insert a New Verse and write anything acc. to his desires and we Remember the British paid Sanskrit scholars from Cambridge to write anti-women phrases into the Devi Mahatmyam.

    Transmission of texts in the Vedic period was by oral tradition, preserved with precision with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques. Due to the ephemeral nature of the manuscript material (birch bark or palm leaves), surviving manuscripts rarely surpass an age of a few hundred years.The VedicSuktas were traditionally not written but passed on orally for centuries. Hence, utmost care was taken to preserve the accent, intonation & pronounciation , So we know Vedas are pure and unadulterated. But The Shastras are heavily interpolated as we know - they are idealistic texts written by brahmins for brahmins. Administration was in the hands of individual kings who did exactly as they pleased.The advisor of the king was chosen by the king.

    A Colonial Marxist reading of Dharmashastras will indicate freezing of Varnas with positions fixed, The Rot of Anti-Shudra is coming from here,Let us analyze this

    In a Hindu spiritual context every one who has not been initiated (upanayana) and is not observing the disciplines and protocols of an initiate (dvija) is a Shudra.But If Shudras were oppressed,than TANTRA would not have emerged,TANTRA was specifically developed by Shudras.There are hundreds of Tantric texts most of which remain untranslated and even unresearched.In the Tantra tradition, there is no varna for the sadhakas. They are classified as Pashu, Veer and Siddhas, depending on the merits of their sadhana. The Tantric literature is no less vast than the Vedic one. Many great men in this tradition were born into non-Brahmin(Shudra) family. The tentacles of this tradition is widespread in many parts of India. In these communities, the Varnasharama is absent .So we get to this point-Shudras were never oppressed as is indicative by DharmaShastras.

    New groups based on shaiva,shakta tantras emerged like Aghoris,Nagas,Kaapilaks,Pashupaalikas.Lingayats,Veershaivas,Nath Sampradays(It existed before gorakhnath)n several other Tanric movements throughout India.
    Similar Shakta sects emerged with creation of yogini temples throughout India such as the Eight Matrikas, the Sixty-four Yoginis etc.
    Several Vaishnava Sects also emerged throughout India.
    these had their own temples with their own Preists who were named as Archakas each having distinct practises.

    This is also corrobrated by Colonial British Official who were present n ruling India,

    British Officials Nelson also remarks that the groups considered to be Shudra may have their own scriptures propounded by their own Gurus and priests and may not avail of Brahmanic assistance in performing ceremonies and religious services.

    [See: G Srikantan (2014), Entanglements in Legal History (Editor: Thomas Duve), Max Planck Institute: Germany, page 121–22]

    Hindu scriptures — apart from the Vedas — have been heavily interpolated by different scribes and transcribers. So hence a single text has many contradictions which are not necessarily by the original author.

    The only Authoritative Holy Book is the Veda (veda vai pramānam).Thereby ,the Vedas are the sole source of Authority and the Smritis and Puranas are interpretations and commentaries - i.e. exegesis of the Vedas.If any smriti or Purana or Dharmashastra ,contradicts Vedas,or contains something which is not found in Vedas, reject it.The Smriti literature as the basis of law is completely redundant as the vast majority of us live under secular democratic legislation.

    The Shastras are heavily interpolated as you know - they are idealistic texts written by brahmins for brahmins. Administration was in the hands of individual kings who did exactly as they pleased. My objection is to generalised condemnation of an entire amorphous and heterogenous group - its a form of racism.

    The advisor of the king was chosen by the king - you cannot taint the entire amorphous “Brahminical orthodoxy” for the defects.

    Eg - Pushyamitra persecuted Buddhists

    Pushyamitra was a general who assassinated and did atrocities - so you blame the entire “orthodoxy” for this? Regicide is one of the greatest of all sins and so he cannot claim any “orthodoxy” he would have been pronounced an outcaste by the real “orthodoxy”.

    There has been enmity between Vaishnavas and Shaivite and persecution by the Chola Kings - including the attempted murder of Ramanuja who fled to Mysore, and the blinding of his chief disciple Kuresha. Hindu sects themselves have fought each other.

    The high priest of Srirangam temple tried to poison Ramanuja - does anyone blame “Brahminical orthodoxy” for this.

    Swami Sivananda also escaped a murder attempt - does anyone taint an entire community with the attempt?


    There are also some very generalized statements by Buddhists over Hinduism and Hindus

    Arthasashtra says that if anyone opposed to the varna-ashrama-dharma becomes a king’s advisor, then kaala-koota poison be administered to kill him.

    Pushyamitra Shunga, a Brahmin general, assassinated the last Mauryan king and usurped power. He killed many Buddhists and destroyed Buddhist stupas.

    Brahmins hijacked Buddhist temples. Hindu king Shasanka cut of the historical Bodhi tree from bodhgaya. During Buddha's time brahmanism was the most rival of Buddhists. They killed Moggalana. It's brahminic conspiracy that made Buddha a ridiculous avatar of your God. Brahmanism almost neutralized Buddhism by plagiarising Buddhist doctrines. It's Brahmanism that did the biggest harm of Buddhism in history than anyone and any religion did. But still now Buddhism remains the most compatible religion in modern world.


    Why, during Akbar's reign, were all Sanskrit scriptures including Vedas modified by Brahmins where Islamic elements were added?

    The Vedas were never books that could be adulterated and altered and new copies issued - like what Uthman did when he collected and collated all the verses of the Q book and then burned all the other copies - making one official version.

    The Vedas were kept in the heads of Brahmin families and transmitted orally and learned by heart by their students. Nothing could be added or subtracted unless you gathered all the Brahmins together from the entire sub-continent and made them agree to change or add elements.

    The Puranas and allied literature has been extensively adulterated, added to and corrupted over millennia by Hindu scribes themselves without encouragement from any Muslim ruler. Hence their reliability is always in doubt unless they agree with or expatiate upon something found in the Vedas themselves.


    The Purāṇas mentioned in the Brāhmaṇas were simply ancient legends dealing with cosmology that were recited orally as entertainment during the long many day yajñas. The Purāṇas that we have today were confected over a long period of time by hundreds of different authors and are extremely unreliable as source documents.

    They contain some Vedic stuff as well as Tantric stuff and are jumbled and patched together.

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