[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 2 18:25:22 CDT 2012

Dear friends,

In connection with the Apaurusheyatva if the Vedic hymns please have look at the following verse from Rig Veda :

कामस्तदग्रे समवर्तताधि मनसो रेतः परथमं यदासीत | 
सतो बन्धुमसति निरविन्दन हर्दि परतीष्याकवयो मनीषा || (RV;: 10.129.4)

Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit.
Sages who searched with their heart's thought discovered the existent's kinship in the non-existent. (Ralph T.H. Griffith, [1896])

It says how the Vedic hymns came about or appeared. The ancient sages 
had the desire in their hearts to know about the relation of the 
existent with the non-existent and during their search (ie.,in their thought process they 
discovered the (various) relations of the existent with the non-existent. So the 
sages discovered the great truths and not invented anything and hence the Vedas are aparusheya.

Sunil KB

 From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
To: Advaita List <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Sent: Monday, July 2, 2012 2:14 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

> > 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. 

If you read the talks carefully, what he has rejected is the view that human
intelligence evolved over time after the emergence of the species called Homo
sapiens. And this is based on the classic vedAntic analogy comparing creation
with a dream. However, the Sringeri Acharya has also not taken as hard a
position as one would expect from an anti-science perspective and he has
allowed that other kinds of interpretation are also possible. Thanks to a silent
reader of the list, I now have access to the translation of the relevant talk into
Hindi, in which the Sringeri Acharya says,

"isliye yah sambhav hai ki manushya vikasit mastishk ke sAth hI prakaTit huA.
maine tumhe ek prakAr ke samAdhAn kI jhalak dI. vibhinn prakAr ke samAdhAn
bhI diye jA sakte hain." 

I hope a further translation into English is not necessary, but what this tells me
is in perfect consonance with what I remember of the Sringeri Acharya's open-
mindedness and attitude towards the modern sciences. 

This is an intriguing challenge to the biologist, not to assume that the very first
wo/man did not have the fully developed intellectual abilities of modern human
beings. In socio-cultural terms and in biological terms, this challenge calls upon
the rigorous scientist to re-examine what is the meant by human intelligence. I
will leave this personal excursion into evolutionary biology with this. My primary
point has always been that citing human evolution is a flawed argument against
the apaurusheyatva of the veda.

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