[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Jul 2 15:46:34 CDT 2012

On Monday, July 2, 2012, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> > In the Chandogya Upanishad and some other places we encounter an
> > 'asadvAda' which Shankara identifies as that of 'Bauddha'. Some years
> > ago I asked a knowledgeable person: If this is the Buddhist school,
> > do we conclude that the Bauddhas existed even before the Veda? But we
> > all understand that Gautama Buddha is a historical figure.' The reply
> > I got was - Even though Gautama Buddha is a historical entity, the
> > 'vAda' attributed to him or propounded by him has existed for ever.
> > That is the reason we find it being taken up as a pUrvapakSha even in
> > the Veda. It is only possible that Gautama Buddha articulated it at
> > that point in history.'
> And a very similar reasoning can be advanced by a vedAntin in response
> to evolutionary biology. Even if particular instances of human beings may
> have evolved, on this earth, in a particular time period, the jAti of human
> being has always existed and the archetype of the veda has also existed
> for ever. Talking about waiting for a Rshi to appear in an evolutionary
> time
> scale implies nothing whatsoever about the nature of that portion of the
> veda that was revealed through that particular Rshi. At least that is the
> sense in which I wrote a couple of weeks ago.
> Of course, all this also presumes the existence of time. Evolutionary
> theory
> has nothing to say about the nature of time itself. For that a scientist
> has
> to turn to cosmology, as Sri Anand Hudli aptly pointed out in another post
> today, and the vedAntic approach (and the scientific approach too) to that
> problem is independent of the presence or otherwise of the species that
> is today called Homo sapiens.
> RV: I think we can say that the different darshanas are eternal according
> to Vedic tradition but we cannot say humans evolved. Sringeri acharya has
> rightly rejected  the pro-evolution position on the grounds that in the
> pre- rishi period there will be no revelation of dharma. Jaimini also takes
> up the objection that the Vedas contain names of temporary people. He says
> that Vedas contain names and temporary people hold that name. They get it
> because of interpreting them ( pravachanat ).

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