[Advaita-l] apauruSheya ?

Shrisha Rao shrao at nyx.net
Fri Jan 27 09:52:04 CST 2006

On Wed, 18 Jan 2006, Ram Garib wrote:

> Acharya Madhwa has however taken a different line on
> apaurusheyatva and tried to derive it entirely on
> logical grounds from the mimamsaka epistemology of
> swatah pramanyam.

Where are you getting that from?  This is the first I have ever heard that 
Madhva's theory re epistemology is derived from the mImAMsaka one.

> Simply put his logic runs like this:
> “Vedas are considered apaurusheya. Swatah pramanyam
> means that this is true unless there are reasons to
> believe that it is not. Therefore if you argue that
> Vedas are not apaurusheya, then  the onus is on you to
> prove its authoredness by someone else.”

I'm afraid you have a very mistaken understanding of Madhva's view of 
apaurushheyatva, as would become clear if you were to attempt to cite any 
statement of his in justification of your summary; besides, you have also 
contradicted yourself, since this also has nothing to do with 
prAmANya-svatastva (which in turn is a view held by all Vedantins, as 
against the Buddhists who accept aprAmANya-svatastva, i.e., the view that 
all sources of knowledge are inherently wrong until shown otherwise).  The 
idea of prAmANya-svatastva applies to *all* sources of knowledge, rather 
than to just the Vedas; i.e., even perception and inference are considered 
valid unless contradicted by stronger evidence.

On the question of apaurushheyatva itself, we might note that the 
tradition of the grammarian Panini evidently knew and accepted the notion 
that the Vedas have no authors, cf. Panini's `tena proktam.h' (4.3.101) 
and `kR^ite granthe' (4.3.116) and his commentators' explications in these 
cases.  Patanjali notes that a Vedic recension is only named for the 
original seer, not for any teacher of it, else if a teacher called 
Susharma teaches the kaTha recension, it should be called the sausharmaNa 
recension, vide `susharmaNA proktaM sausharmaNam.h'!  Thus the original 
"proktA" is different from subsequent ones, and is also different from the 
`kartA' of an authored text (grantha).


Shrisha Rao

> Ram Garib

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