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

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Mon Oct 17 12:09:11 CDT 2011

Namaste Raghav-ji,

On 17 October 2011 17:43, Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com> wrote:

> True. And yet Ramesh ji, when we observe discussions (employing some
> kind of reasoning etc) to decide the following kind of issues:
> 1. Most vedantins accept 6 pramANa-s
> 2. SrI SSS ji accepts only 5 pramANa-s
> 3. Buddhists accept 3 pramANa-s
> 4. Science accept 2 pramANa-s
> (even assuming there are some nuances in the above statements of mine,
> the choice of which epistemology to adopt is a valid question. What
> would be the criteria, if any to make a choice? It can't exactly be
> termed logic since logic is itself yet to be accepted as a pramANa- to
> begin with. And yet the choice cannot be arbirtrary, surely.

I am not familiar with the views of Sri SSS on pramANa-s. But the difference
in the number of pramANa-s between various schools seems largely
classificatory. For example, anupalabdhi is considered distinct by
advaitin-s and bhATTa-mImAMsaka-s but classified under pratyakSha by most
others including naiyyAyika-s, sAMkhya-s and prabhAkara-mImAMsaka-s. The
bauddha-s consider it to be a case of anumAna.

shabda is also accepted by every system, if not explicitly then implicitly,
for human communication depends on it. In fact, any system of knowledge is a
case of shabda pramANa only. However, specific kinds of shabda may be
ignored by a person or system that is not interested in the topics that
these kinds of shabda expound. For example, a person not interested in
karma-s and their (unseen) phala-s may not bother about the pUrva bhAga of
the veda.

The mahAvAkya of course is in a class of its own, as already mentioned
before. It is also much more difficult to ignore, for every human being has
a constant yearning for duHkha nivRtti. It also leads to jIvanmukti, which
is an entirely different approach from the more typical "heavenly tourism"
found in many other traditions.

There are of course various criteria for considering something to be a
pramANa (such as it being non-substitutable by other pramANa-s), which have
been discussed before on the list. But that was not what Sri Rajaram was
asking for. He wanted to "logically establish" the existence of atIndriya
entities and then "establish" that the veda is the pramANa for these.
Needless to say, this is a fundamentally flawed approach as Vidyasankar
already explained.

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