[Advaita-l] Re: Questions on Isavasya

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Fri Jul 28 22:14:09 CDT 2006

praNAmamulu Siva Senani gAru,
           Thanks for your comments. Regarding the grammar issues
etc., I have requested my friend to follow it up. I have the following
question regarding shaN^kara's method of interpretation.

>   Sri Sankara's system of intepretation: It is very well known that Sri Sankara's view
> is that only those parts of Scripture which reveal what is not known through
> pratyaxa is paramount.

But this is true even of karma kAnDa, let alone the GYAna kAnDa.
"agnihOtram juhuyAt.h svargakAmaH" tells that one attains svarga
through agnihOtra, which could not have been known through pratyakSha.
Then, why should the GYAna kAnDa be placed on a higher pedestal than
the karma kAnDa? Isn't that because it's an assumption of vEdAnta (any
school) that the GYAna kAnDa is more important in terms of mOkSha (as
opposed to, say, the mImAmsakas who place emphasis on the karma

If we now take it as given that the GYAna kAnDa has to be given
pre-eminence over the karma kAnDa, what justifies some parts of the
GYAna kAnDa being given preference over the others (esp. when
statements about whether Isvara exists, whether brahma is saguNa or
nirguNa are all beyond the scope of pratyakSha)?

> Not all statements of the Vedas are given equal
> importance, because  that is not the way the Vedas are supposed to be
> understood.

Who determines how the vEdas should be understood? If the vEdas were
paurushEya, then we could have said that the person who gave the vEdas
defines what the right interpretation is. But given that the vEdas are
apaurusheya, any interpretation becomes limited by the interpreter.
For example, if madhva were to give an interpretation where all of
GYAna kAnDa were to be given equal emphasis (hypothetically), would
that not automatically undermine shaN^kara's claim that not all of
GYAna kAnDa should be given equal importance? There does not seem any
reason a priori why some statements are more important (given that the
above pratyakSha argument is invalid). Thanks.



More information about the Advaita-l mailing list