[Advaita-l] apauruSheya ?

Ram Garib garib_ram at yahoo.co.in
Thu Jan 19 09:03:54 CST 2006

--- Amuthan Arunkumar R <aparyap at yahoo.co.in> wrote:

> i don't think the apauruSheyatva of the veda-s can
> be
> verified 'after jIvanmukti'. for a jIvanmukta, there
> is nothing but brahman. where is the question of
> veda-s or their authorship? if at all aparuSheyatva
> is
> to be verified, it can be done only by one who is
> still in some dvaitAvasthA, probably a very advanced
> yogi. there is no action (and hence no verification)
> for a jIvanmukta. to my knowledge, apauruSheyatva of
> the vedas is an axiom. at most, some arguments can
> be
> given in favor of it. but proving or verifying it
> seems impossible.

shankara starts with the "axiom" of apaurusheyatva and
lays down a path that should lead to jivanmukti for a
"qualified aspirant". If a "qualified aspirant"
follows his path and reaches jivanmukti it vindicates
shankara's axiom by implication, doesn't it?

By contrast, this choice is not available for madhwa.
Madhwa rejects the possibility of jivanmukti. Hence he
cannot take vedas apaurusheyatva as axiom. If he took
vedas' apaurusheyatva as axiom, then its result can be
verified only from vaikuntha. To maintain the logical
coherence of his system, he tries to establish the
apaurusheyatva itself on logical grounds. shankara
doesn't have to do it.

Let us now revisit our earlier discussion from this
background and examine the premise of apaurusheyatva

PREMISE: "Vedas are apaurusheya" is a "true"

OBJECTION: Is this premise true form correspondence
criteria or coherence criteria or both?


1) Neither vedas' apaurusheyatva nor revealed status
of semitic scriptures is established on correspondence
criteria i.e. it HAS NOT been established that
"apurusheyatva" or "revealed status" corresponds to
some external reality. It can even be argued that it
CANNOT be established either.  

Note: "Correspondence HAS NOT been established" or
even "Correspondence CANNOT be established" does not
necessarily mean that "Correspondence does not exist".

2) The coherence criteria has been fulfilled
differently by different schools. shankara starts with
one unproven premise but the result is verifiable in
this life. madhwa does not want to start with any
unproven premise since the result is non-verifiable in
this life. Semitic scriprures start with two unproven
premises and the result is non verifiable in this

Note: "Non-verifiabilty in this life" is not a
necessary condition for logical coherence for two

a) "Logical coherence remains non-verifiable" does not
mean that "logical coherence does not exist". 

b) It can never be proved that the logical conclusions
of semitic premises remain "non-verifiable" till the
end. Who knows if they are actually verified on the
day of judgement?

Clearly there is a large door open here for an entire
faith to enter.

It is undoubted that vedic logicians are standing on a
firmer ground than semitic logicians. However this
comparison should be made only with the background of
cultural milieu of these traditions. In India,
philosophy and religion were entwined to a large
extent and therefore more rigor is visible in
treatment of religious beliefs. Outside India,
philosophy developed as a separate discipline from
religion and therefore religious beliefs were not
subjected to the same rigor.

The flip side of this situation is that a large number
of secular philosophical problems esp. in logic have
eluded the attention of indian philosophers or at best
have remained on the margins of public awareness while
they have been treated in much greater depth by
western philosophers. Mammoth works of Udayanacarya
(1000 A. D.), Gangesa (1400 A. D.), Raghunatha
(1475-1550 A. D.), their brilliant commentaries by
Jagadish and Gadadhara, their critical expositions by
Kalisarikara Bhattacharya, Harihara Sastri and
Sivadatta Misra -- all are practically unknown even
inside India since these scholars were dealing with
entirely secular philosophical questions of logic.

With regards,
Ram Garib

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