[Advaita-l] Scholarly Article on Why Vedas are Valid

Sudhakar Kabra sudhakarkabra at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 11 22:22:54 CDT 2011

Namaste sri Raghav Kumarji

--- On Tue, 10/11/11, Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Scholarly Article on Why Vedas are Valid
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 11:56 PM

>Namaste SrI Sudhakar Kabra ji
Emails are prone to miscommunication - I am sorry and so let me clarify the
example I gave - which was clearly taken to be the opposite of what I meant.
I rewrite the anecdote : As an aside......I am reminded of one interesting
anecdote related by a respected acArya. In one "inter-faith" meeting,
someone ( a NASTIKA)  argued with him that "idol-worship" such as
ganesha-pujA is wrong and anyway, the worshippers
themselves immerse the idol after the worship. So he (the NASTIKA) says -
what is wrong if someone like the non-vaidikas like the Ghoris and
Ghaznavi-s do away with the the idols and temples and spare us the trouble
of immersion. 
We do daily pooja at home with dhoopam and deepam. Next day we have to clean up the place and start afresh. It is all a part of the pooja. So just because of trouble of immersion, one need not do away with idol worship. the ritual is to be completed till the last immersion.
Secondly, It is not that ghoris etc do not do karma kanda. They may not select a temple but opt for a burning ghat or for any other place of their convenience. Now they cannot also say that because of certain preparations involved which might be a trouble they should do away with those karmas.
This does not mean to say that idol worship is the only thing. There are other ways and it is the choice of the sadhaka to select out of a variety available in which he has belief. 
>This acarya
argued (rightly) to the contrary and *opposed the idea of the nAstika*.
Surely there is a big diference between the two cases. -       Similarly
there is a big difference between the scientific denial of an intelligent
cause (brahman's causality) on the one hand and vedanta's ultimate
sublation/denial of Brahman's causality on the other hand. The first denial
should be first refuted and only then the second makes sense.
Yes, very nicely said. I now get your point of view. Nice thinking, and an eye opener.

>Also, we have to note that there is no need to distinguish between
shruti-sammata sAnkhya (of the gItA) and vedanta. The former is part and
parcel of vedanta teaching method. The sAnkhya you are talking about, which
needs correction/modification is the yoga-sUtra based sAnkhya or the still
older nirIShvara-sAnkhya. In an older post SrI Jaldhar Vyas has pointed out
the differences and the need to clarify what sAnkhya is being meant. That is
why I repeatedly used the word shruti-sammata sAnkhya to differentiate it
from the other sAnkhya. The former is the corrected version of the latter
and it is redundant to say that the latter, i.e., shruti-sammata sAnkhya
needs further correction. It is the concepts and postulates of
shruti-sammata sAnkhya (such as prANa, manas, samaShTi buddhi etc) which
need defence since they are being negated by the aggressive over-reach of
modern science. For example, modern science will say that all phenomena like
digestion, circulation, evacuation etc can be explained and accounted using
only gross matter (molecular processes) without any medieval additional
postulate of prANa and that such postulation of prANa amounts to
kalpanA-gauravaM. (violation of the law of parsimony by unncessarily
bringing in some arbitrary entity.) There are certain ways to show that
science is wrong in this and that shruti-sammata sAnkhya is not wrong and an
Astika will certainly say as much.
I was not aware of shruti-sammat-sAnkhya. I would be greatful if you can kindly enlighten me more on shruti-sammat-sAnkhya and traditional sAnkhya by giving some references or links if you have any. I am trying to locate shri Jaladhar Vyas post.

>Another thing is that - to say "I am the pure witness-consciousness; I am
not the body, mind, intellect etc." is unexceptionable and can be arrived at
by anvaya-vyatireka even without much help from shruti ; but that is only
half the story. The other half of the Vedantic story needs
shruti-sammata-sAnkhya concepts which are falling foul of aggressive modern
science, to do what we are all calling tat-pada-vicAra to arrive at the
penultimate vRtti namely that sarvam-khalvidam-brahma (all this (jagat etc)
is brahman). To arrive at this, we have to employ pravilApanaM and
appreciate the amazing truth the entire jagat is not different from Ishvara,
the intelligent-material cause of jagat. Now, against this last statement,
many questions and pUrva-pakSha-s can be raised by science, Buddhism etc
which need to be answered. That is where the "overlap" and conflict between
science and the vedantic teaching methodology happens.
The bottomline is that Vedanta is not teaching that brahmAtman is just the
subject; and leaves the field open to Science to say whatever it likes about
the objective world. Rather, Vedanta is saying that brahmAtman is the
adhiShThAna, the "substratum" for both subject and object. In showing
brahmAtman is the substratum for the objective world as well, we have to
necessarily bring in shruti-sammata sAnkhya concepts of empirically real
subtler material realities like prANa, manas etc and so we face a barrage of
questions from science, which can all be answered by Vedanta, to be sure -
but that takes significant effort.

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