[Advaita-l] Apourusheyatva

Shrisha Rao shrao at nyx.net
Tue Feb 1 09:42:36 CST 2005

On Mon, 31 Jan 2005, S Jayanarayanan wrote:

> an end with time. The idea of scriptures having been "created (by an
> omniscient being)" is Buddhist, and KumArila argues against such an
> attitude towards the Vedas.

Actually, the notion that the Vedas were created by an omniscient, i.e.,
Ishvara, is propounded by the naiyAyika school.  Their argument (modulo
some simplifications) is roughly as follows: the universe must have a
Creator, because it is a product of work, like a pot; a potter knows his
pot, and likewise the Creator must know the universe, i.e., must be
omniscient.  The Vedas must likewise have an author, because they are
composed of sentences, like the ones we create; only an omniscient could
possibly author works of such depth and complexity; ergo, the Vedas are
works of Ishvara.

The Buddhists profess generic disdain for all texts, claiming them to be
false by nature (not just when in conflict with truth); this allows them
to disregard the question of the Vedas and their authority.  However, the
Buddhist position is inconsistent (if not hypocritical), since they have
no issues with considering their own texts as authoritative, which would
make no sense if all texts were by nature false.  Furthermore, while they
find the apaurushheyatva of the Vedas implausible, they attribute the same
quality elsewhere, viz., to their own tradition (said to be eternal, with
the Buddha and others only being propagators rather than founders).


Shrisha Rao

> -Kartik

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