ADVAITA-L Digest - 15 Jun 1999 to 16 Jun 1999 (#1999-54)

Wed Jun 16 11:57:10 CDT 1999

 Vidyasankar Sundaresan <vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

> Calling Sruti a pramANa serves an epistemological purpose that makes
> vedAnta logically consistent.

I would have thought that it makes it epistemically well-founded, i.e.,
provides a set of axiomatic truths.  An epistemic system can be consistent
without being well-founded, and vice versa.  The related questions of whether
it is adequate for an epistemic system merely to be consistent, and of whether
there can in fact be any truly axiomatic truths have been a central concern to
20th century research in epistemology.

The distinction is quite relevant here, because it could be (and, I suspect,
has been) argued that no system of knowledge can purport to be well-founded
that claims that the entire universe is mithya.  If one accepts that statement,
then apaurusheya serves no purpose at all.  Ideas, anyone?

> if one does not "close" the canon somewhere,

I suppose at this point I should be feeling guilty for not following the
recent postings to this list from the Shankara Gitabhashya, but I was under
the impression that one of the central tenets of Chapter 2 of the Gita is
to delineate qualified teachings and their qualified teachers.  At the same
time, it doesn't read, at least to me, as necessarily closing the "canon," as
you put it, entirely.  For example, it does not enumerate a specific list of
scriptures that are declared to constitute all and only the admissible Agamas.

Gerald Penn

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