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Validity of the Samhitas (was Re: Am Namo Narayanaya)

From: Krishna Susarla (
Date: Wed Jun 24 1998 - 15:50:58 PDT

>In the last post, the sesha samhita suggests non-utterance of pranava for
>other than brahmin castes. But the exact reason for why "am" instead of any

>The general pramana regarding secrecy of mantra is : gurum prakashayet
>dhiman mantram yatnena gopayet prakasa aprakashayoh ksheeyete sampadayushi
>:  this is from the 1st adhikara of Rahasyatrayasara.  Sri Vedanta Desika
>quotes this from a "samhita" which I do not remember; (I will check this
>and post the reference later).  The meaning is : One should publicize one's

Hare Krishna! I apologize for changing the subject, but something came up
here which attracted my attention.

I have been wondering about the origins and the validity of the literatures
known as the Samhitas. Gaudiya Vaishnavas seem to quote from them profusely,
and indeed one of their own main scriptures is the Brahma-samhita.

The question I have is, how do we know that the Samhitas are canonical Vedic
literatures? We know that the Puranas and Itihasas are because in shruti
(specifically, Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad) it is stated that these
literatures emanated from the Supreme Lord along with the Shrutis. However,
I don't think the samhitas are mentioned there. In fact, I have yet to see
any reference to the 'samhita' class of literature in either the shrutis or
the itihasas/puranas. Nevertheless, it seems that many Vaishnavas do quote
from them without reservation. Can anyone shed some light on this? I ask out
of curiosity only; I'm not casting doubts on the discussion above (which is
also interesting in its own right). I would really like to know where these
Samhitas come from and what evidence substantiates them as bona fide

adiyEn Krishna Susarla