[Advaita-l] Re: apauruSheya ?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 19 22:24:56 CST 2006

Dear Sri Ram Garib,

I would disagree with the first paragraph of your response.

>shankara does not in fact treat it as "faith" but as
>"faith which can be verified subsequently through the
>fruit of jivanmukti". His position would have been
>untenable if the "moksha" were an unverifaible state.
>However, according to shankara, jivanmukti is
>available here and now and hence verifiable.
>Therefore, "apaurusheyatva" is more of a postulate
>which can be confirmed by following the prescribed
>path and hence not a blind faith.

Sankara does not say explicitly nor does he imply that the apauruSheyatva of 
the veda is to be verified through jIvanmukti. The only statement that is 
verified personally for a jIvanmukta is "ahaM brahmAsmi." Sankara does say 
"anubhavArUDhaM jnAnaphalam" but he is also very careful not to make any 
part of his philosophical reasoning dependent upon such an experience.

That said, I would like to take the liberty to modify your second paragraph 

>That said, it is obvious to any student of shankara
>that his treatment of "apaurusheyatva" of vedas is
>very un-shankara-like. It leaves scope for future
>interpretations and lacks the rigor of logic applied

.... his treatment of "apauruSheyatva" of vedas is very unlike what we 
generally assume to be shankara-like. ...

The only place I can think of where Sankara talks of apauruSheyatva is under 
the third sUtra, SAstra-yonitvAt. Sankara provides two alternative meanings 
here, one that takes SAstra as the root of brahma(jnAna) and another that 
says brahman is the source of SAstra. Indeed, it is very typical of Sankara 
to provide such alternative interpretations, which might seem to initially 
contradict each other and which might therefore seem to lack logical rigor, 
but in reality, neither of these alternatives is inconsistent with the core 
of advaita. That is what matters to Sankara as an interpreter of the Sruti, 
smRti and sUtra-s.


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