[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sun Jul 1 13:10:16 CDT 2012

Dear Sri Sunil,

For the purpose of establishing Veda Apaureshyatvam, it is only important
to consider their arguments put forward by Jaimini and his commentators. We
know from the commentaries very clearly that he was taking a position
against the arguments of Buddhists, Jainas, Vaiseshikas and Naiyayikas.
Even without the commentary we or the researchers can map the opponent
views to a particular school of thought. Let us take the opponent view in
vedan ca eke sannikarsham puru vakhya (JMS 1.1.27) meaning "And One *hold
that *Vedas *are *modern *having derived *name from human". This view was
held by Buddhists but it is not important who this party was. What
is important in my view is how Jaimini and his commentators show the
fallacy of that opinion. That is because that logic is valuable even today.

My interest in history from the point of this paper is only to point out
when the idea of paureshyatvam came in to existence. According to Kalavai
Venkat, the first group to argue that Vedas are of human or divine origin
were Ajivikas around 8 BCE (Rf. AL Basham). He would even argue that Panini
( 5 to 8 BCE) also says that Vedic language evolved and hence Panini's view
is that Vedas are paureshya. I tend to question that because because
Jaimini shows awareness of the argument of modification (Rf. JMS 1.1.10
prakrtivikrtyasecha And *on account of *original and modified forms). But
we know for certain that the idea of paureshyatvam was put forward by
Buddhists and Jainas. We also Kanada puts forth that view and so does
Gautama. Their preceptors might have held that view for a long time before
them. But we dont have any literary evidence to support that. So, the
conclusion is that VedApaureshyatvam is an ancient opinion that came under
attack in the last 2500 - 2800 years.

I am a samavedin and am aware of the view expressed by you below. It is
even hypothetically possible that Badarayana and Jaimini existed long
before Mahavira. I have heard the traditional opinion is that they lived
some 5000 years ago. It is quite possible that Jaimini was referring to the
general objections to apaureshyatvam in his sutras. Andd our views are
clouded by the later historical developments such as rise of Buddhism and
Jainism. We may be reading too much in to why both Bhatta and Prabhakara
schools refer to these schools in their commentaries on JMS. But we have to
go by literary evidence if we want to write logically, which points to the
timeframe of 2 - 5 BCE.

As I mentioned multiple times now, when they lived is less relevant to
evaluate the logical validity and decisiveness of mimamsa arguments in
establishing apaureshyatvam. It is not unimportant but their theory of
sabda is more important for us to accept vedas as pramanas and apaureshya.
I hope we can move on from here.

In case you did not notice it in my earlier post, there  thesis submitted
to Calcutta University by one Sri Vacaspati in 1967 on "Self Validating
knowledge in Mimamsa".  From the title and description of it, it addresses
why the Vedas are a pramana. Is it possible for you to get a copy in case
you live in Calcutta?

Best Regards

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list