shruti is a pramANa (was Re: Advaita and Christianity)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Mon Apr 3 21:45:02 CDT 2000

<Vaidya_Sundaram at I2.COM> wrote:

> extent of saying that they not just same, but are also
non-different? Why
> not treat them as two distcit philophies?
> (ofcourse, this over riding faith in the teachings of Vedas is the
bias I
> bring to the discussion)

BTW, Vaidya, "faith" in the vedas is somewhat different from "faith"
which is necessary in the other religions. Kumarila starts out saying
that he has little faith in the vedas and it has to be established in
a reasonable way to make him accept its validity! I am sure you know
this difference, but seeing the mails of various people I am
suspicious that a good deal of people don't realize what the veda is
or why it is *absolutely central* to, ahem, vedAnta. That's why this
"xyz book = vedAnta" stuff seems to have come about.

In reality, the veda is a pramANa or a means of knowing. You cannot
"independently" arrive at the same conclusion as the veda and write it
up in Portuguese or Swahili or whatever. If that be the case, shruti
would stop being a pramANa. E.g, svargakAmo jyotishhTomena yajeta.
This is known only from the vedas. Even if one uses the most refined
telescope he cannot view this svarga, nor can the procedure for going
to heaven be deduced from logic even by Lord Siva himself. Only the
veda can tell the procedure. Similarly the final truths of vedAnta
cannot be arrived at without the upanishhad-s even with a razor sharp
intellect. A razor sharp intellect is useful, but as far as AtmavidyA
goes it is entirely useless if the upanishhads are not present. A
brilliant discussion on pramANas is given by Mandana Mishra in his
brahmasiddhi. See advaita vedAnta by R. Balasubramanian (not me!) for
a summary of Mandanas exposition.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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