[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Jul 2 15:13:33 CDT 2012

> Personal sAdhana does not require a sAdhaka to worry about apaurusheyatva.
> It is like this. If one has a guru whom one trusts implicitly and has
> SraddhA in,
> then that is all that is needed for one's sAdhana. It is only if you start
> talking to
> others who don't have the same SraddhA that you will find a need to
> justify a
> guru's words and actions.
> Similarly with the veda. One can take it as a pramANa and leave the
> question
> of apaurusheyatva aside. All one needs is a basic understanding that what
> is
> meant is that the veda has come to us from beyond the realm of human or
> godly agency.
> RV: There are people who repose faith in charlatans considering them to be
gurus. There is no shortage of babas and anandas. This phenomenon is
global. It is not only an issue of cheaters. There are Buddhists and Jainas
who genuinely follow high standard of moral values. Even amongst those who
accept the Vedas, there are different traditions. Within these traditions
we find preceptors who are pure in heart and selfless. The work of the
Mimamsakas aims to establish dharma through Veda pramana, which is
independent of any individual including God.

Jaimini says that dharma must be of the nature of an instruction (sabda)
because only an instruction can tell us what we should and should not do
(including exceptions). As it is an instruction, it has to come from
others. Otherwise, it will not be an instruction but a product of our
pratyaksha and anumana. Others also cannot also invent it because it will
then be a product of their pratyaksha and anumana. But we have already seen
that dharma must be of the nature of an instruction. So, whoever instructs
us has to hear it from someone else and so on. Thus an instruction has to
be without an origin. If in the present or the future we act contrary to
such an originless instruction, as per our own or someone else's anumana,
we can not claim to act as per this originless instruction (apaureshya veda

The fundamental position with respect to the Rshi-s is that although they
> have
> their names associated with specific mantra-s, they did not personally
> author
> those mantra-s. Although yAjnavalkya and janaka, uddAlaka and Svetaketu
> talk
> about brahmavidyA in the upanishad-s, they are not  the authors of this
> vidyA.
> In other words, brahmavidyA is not a figment of the imaginations of people
> named in the upanishat texts.

RV:  As you know, the Mimamsakas differentiate between common and proper

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