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

श्रीमल्ललितालालितः lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com
Wed Oct 12 17:08:00 CDT 2011

*श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <http://www.lalitaalaalitah.com>
lalitAlAlitaH <http://about.me/lalitaalaalitah/bio>*

On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 00:04, Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com> wrote:

> You asked "how do you logically establish that the Vedas are a pramANa ?"
> You may also like to look at the question - "how do you logically
> establish that the eyes see?"

These are really nice questions to be asked.
Why eyes or nose or ears or skin or tongue or inference are pramANa = means
of valid knowledge ?
What is the definition(which is devoid of errors) of a pramANa ?

We have to find something common to all pramANa-s because that is
characteristic of pramANa-s which is found in all pramANa-s.
After finding that we will check it's presence in words. If same
characteristic is found in words then they will become pramANa too.
Then we will find them in specific words, called veda-s. If they are there
too, then veda-s must be accepted as pramANa.

This is the thing which some people totally miss to understand and hence say
that veda-s are subject of faith only.

and also the question "how do you
> logically establish that "logic is a valid way of arriving at
> knowledge of the world"?

What do you mean by logic ?
If inference, then it is a valid means of knowledge for most schools of
But, why they accept it ?

> The same answer will work for all the 3 questions.
> The idea of svataH-prAmANya-vAda is sufficient to show that the "vedas
> are a pramANa in the realm beyond the senses" just like the eyes are a
> pramANa for the realm of the senses.

First, determine that veda-s are pramANa = means of valid knowledge.
Then see what is prAmANyam = pramAtvam = validity of knowledge = a special
quality of pramANas.
Then check the cause of prAmANyam = validity of knowledge.
Apply same laws to words(called veda-s) which you apply to eyes, etc.
No bias please.

>  The slightly trickier question is "why should we privilge the Veda as
> a pramANa over other competing pramANa-s like the Bible, Quran etc
> when it comes to truths of the super-sensory realm?" And that is where
> Sri lalitAlAlitaH ji quite remarkably pointed out that - (phrased in
> my words) - we do not have any a priori bias towards the Vedas to
> start with.  By bringing in certain truth-testing criteria like the
> idea of apauruSheyatvam etc., we give some reasons to show that the
> core Vedic tradition is first of all free from any obvious defects and
> then show that there are no internal contradictions within the Vedas.

This is correct too.
After you determine that veda-s are pramANa = means of valid knowledge, they
have prAmANyam(i.e. knowledge generated by them is possessed of validity)
and that(validity of knowledge generated by veda-s) doesn't come from
outside, you have to see whether any other cause of error is possible in
veda-s or not ? If yes how ? If not why ?

To all who are part of this discussion,
Try to grasp meanings of sanskrit words used here as that will lessen
difference of our understanding and use of words.

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