[Advaita-l] Acarya Shankara is not a blind follower of the Scriptures

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 1 15:03:55 CST 2005

--- sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org wrote:


> >>>>Can you please provide reasons for the above assertion?
> Shankara himself states, "if the Shruti would tell us that the
> fire is
> cold, would Shruti be considered authentic?". I say that
> Shankara is not a
> blind follower of the Shruti in the sense that he doesn't
> simply believe
> what the Shruti says, he also follows his rational mind.

Shankara's teachings are nothing but "shruti + smR^iti + logic",
which means that the teachings are from shruti and smR^iti, but
**do not contradict logic and experience**.

"The pronouncement of shruti cannot make fire cold" -- meaning
that the teachings of shruti are not in conflict with
experience. In fact, if someone has a fanciful interpretation of
the shruti that contradicts experience, his teachings are to be
rejected! Shankara specifically mentions this so that people
don't come to the false conclusion that his (i.e. Shankara's)
interpretation of the shruti contradicts experience!


> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> As per pUrva mImAmsA,
> the Vedas are *eternal*, meaning that they have neither a
> beginning nor
> 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.
> I don't know if you would say this if you carefully read the
> Bhashya on
> the Sutra 1-1-3, where Bhagavan Bhashyakara clearly uses the
> term
> "sambhava". If you would look into the Bhamati there you would
> realize
> that the standpoint of Vyasa is different from Kumarila in
> this regard. He
> clearly mentions that even though Mimamsakas accept that the
> Vedas are
> Anadi, the followers of Vyasa don't agree with that.

IMO, you need to read Shankara's Brahma sUtra bhAshhya with a
bit more diligence, for Shankara *accepts* the beginninglessness
of the Vedas that is propounded by the mImAmsakas:

Shankara's Brahma sUtra BhAshhya 1.3.28:

smR^itirapi - ` anAdinidhanA nityAvAgutsR^ishhTA svayambhuvA .
Adau vedamayI divyA yataH sarvAH pravR^ittayaH' iti . 

Swami Gambhirananda's translation:
"The smR^iti also speaks similarly: 'In the beginning was
projected by Prajapati, the eternal speech in the form of the
Vedas which have no beginning and end, which are divine (i.e.
run through the traditional line alone), and from which proceed
all activities.'"

Brahma sUtra 1.3.29 "ata eva cha nityatvam.h."
"From this very fact follows the eternality (of the Vedas)."

Shankara's BhAshhya:
karturasmaraNAditi sthite Vedasya nityatve
devAdivyaktiprabhavAbhyupagamena tasya virodhamAshankya `ataH
prabhavAt' iti parihR^itya idAnIM tadeva vedanityatvaM sthitaM
draDhayati -- ata eva cha nityatvamiti . 

Swami Gambhirananda's translation:

"The beginninglessness of the Vedas stands established (in the
Purva Mimamsa) from the fact that no independent author of the
Vedas is remembered (i.e. known). That having been taken for
granted, the admission of the origin of individual deities from
the Vedic words, raised a doubt about the non-eternality of the
worlds themselves. This was refuted by saying, "For the universe
arises from this" (i.3.28). Now this fact of eternality of the
Vedas, that stands unaffected, is being confirmed by saying,
"And from this very fact follows eternality."

> I think
> that
> standpoint of Vedanta is far more logical than that of the
> Mimamsakas.

Of course the standpoint of Vedanta is far more logical than
that of the mImAmsakas, but not in the way you think -- the
eternality of the Vedas *is* accepted by advaitins.

> Love,
> Siddhartha Krishna


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