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

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Sun Oct 16 03:24:34 CDT 2011

On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 10:43 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani
<rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
> *Thanks for this. Taking Vedas as axiomatic truths is logically acceptable
> as long as one is able to handle objections. The only problem is that
> objections and defence will go on as with any axiomatic system

Instead of saying the "the Vedas are axiomatic truths", we should be
just saying "the Vedas are truths."  or "Vedic sentences convey valid

The idea of an axiom like "If A implies B; and A is true; then B is
true" is that it is a *self-evident truth*. But there is nothing
self-evident in the idea that "svarga/naraka exist", "karma siddhanta
is true", "kArIrI sacrifice yields rainfall" etc; these are hardly
self-evident truths; its better to frame the sentence as "the Vedas
reveal valid knowledge which is coherent (free of internal
contradictions)" and such knowledge can be shown to be not refutable
or contradictable by using anumAna and pratyaxa.

When we talk of the eternal connection between the sentence and
meaning it is as follows -

When you hear a sentence like "the sun has hydrogen and helium because
its spectral analysis shows it to be so.",  thereby valid knowledge is
produced in our mind. But how do we prove that some understanding is
generated in the mind by hearing of the sentence? If we once again
have to use pratyaxa or anumAna to show that the hearing of the above
sentence produces knowledge in the mind, that leads to infinite
regress. So we put a stop and say that the capacity of a sentence to
produce its understanding (the understanding of the sentence) is
intrinsic and independent of anything else.

Now the knowledge produced by a sentence may or may not be valid
knowledge which will stand subsequent scrutiny; that is a secondary
matter. But the fact that it produces knowledge is self-evident.

The word svataH-prAmANyam is important ; it should not be translated
as "axiomatic truth".


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list