pachai maamalai pol mene

Sunday, December 25, 2011

further thoughts on dharmas



The greatest authorities of Dharmasaastraas are eighteen in number.   Manu, Brihaspati, Daksha, Yama,  Yajnavalkya, Gautama,Prachetas, Paraasara, Angiras, Samvarthaka, Shataatapa, Likhita, Shukra, Atri, Vishnu, Shankara, Aapastambha, and Haritha.

Bohaayana, Aapastamba, SatyaashaaDa, Traahyaayana, Agastya, Shaakalya, Ashwalaayana, Saambhaveeya, Katyaayaana  are the nine poorva suukthaas. Vaikhanasam, Saunakeeyam, Bharadwajam, Agrniveshyam, Jaimineeyam, Mathrunyam, Maadhyandhinam, Kaundinyam, and Kausheetakam  are the apara sootraaas.
The Kausheetaka and Aaswalayana Sutras are attached to Rigvedam..  Bhodaayanam, Aapastambham, Bhaaradwaajam, SatyaashaaDam, Vaikhaanasam... these five sutras  are attached to Krishna Yajurvedam.  Shukla yajurveda has a sootra called Katyaayanam, and Samaveda encompasses Traahyaayanam and Jaiminiiyam
 The fundamental belief if Dharmasaastras is that the Rishis who have discovered the laws have ordained the proper conduct.  What they call Dharma is so and if they have probhibited  anything categorically, it is adharma.
वेदोऽखिल धर्ममूलं स्मृतिः शीले च तद्विदां।
आचारश्चैव साधूनां आत्मनः तुष्टिरेवच॥
vedo'khila dharmamūla smti śīlee ca tadvidā|
ācāraścaiva sādhūnā ātmana tuṣṭirevaca||

The root source of Dharma is the the four Vedas.  The Dharmasastras, and the local habits  or precedents  also are valid insofar as they are not in conflict with the dictats of Vedas.   The ceremonies and observations   followed by the noble are also part of dharma and the litmus test for dharma is that it should give delight to the self.
Ultimately, the aacharyaas have always permitted amendments to the rules after very strict and impartial evaluation of the pros and cons of a particular rule.