[Advaita-l] Scholarly Article on Why Vedas are Valid
rkmurthy at gmail.com
Tue Oct 11 00:13:18 CDT 2011
On 10 October 2011 21:40, Kalyan K <kalyankc.81 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Can some experienced member(s) please answer the interesting questions
> raised by Sri Rajaram below?
These kind of things have been discussed on the list before, and are
actually rather uninteresting questions to anybody who has a proper exposure
to the tradition. The problem is not with the questions themselves but with
the framework underlying the questions. In other words, it is a problem of
implicit assumptions and a sort of "pigeonholing" of one's own thinking.
First of all, the list of pramANa-s is not restricted to shruti. Various
darshana-s use pramANa-s in different ways, and advaita-vedAnta has a list
of six that I assume you are familiar with. The shruti is an independent
pramANa on matters of dharma and mokSha. To put it somewhat modern language,
the shruti is an independent pramANa on:
1) Cause-effect relationships in matters pertaining to ethics and ritual,
when such a relationship is not knowable through other means of knowledge.
2) mokSha as in 'conquering' or getting rid of the constant yearning for
fulfilment, once and for all.
The second is the core of advaita-vedAnta and is a full-fledged topic in its
When this is recognized properly, it should be clear that the shruti has no
conflict whatsoever with what is called science today. The kind of questions
Rajaram asked stem from a superimposition of improper expectations on the
shruti (and science as well). It is an artificial conflict born out of an
internalization of Abrahamic paradigms on what a "religion" ought to be, or
even what "truth" ought to be.
Needless to say, such a conflict is not good for the tradition. When such a
conflict occurs, a person who values a modicum of intellectual honesty is
quite likely end up rejecting either the shruti or science. In the long run,
neither situation is good for the health of the tradition.
What the shruti says must be understood in terms of the insight that one can
get on matters of dharma and mokSha. If this is kept in mind, any "seeming"
conflicts will be found to be non-existent.
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