[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 3 14:13:17 CDT 2012

> > RV: In my understanding, your position is that the rishis were historical
> > persons and revealed the mantras at t = t1, t = t2 etc. Before that the
> > Vedas were in manifest / unmanifest form co-existent with Ishwara. In your
> > position, some injunctions will be unknown to mankind at the time between
> > t1 and t2. So, such injunctions cannot operate in that time (as per the
> > razor sharp argument put forward by sringeri acharya). As per my
> > understanding, the sabda is eternal. It manifested in Brahma's heart at t =
> > t0 (like he got pratyaksha etc.) exactly as it was done in the previous
> > cycle. This contained the names of all the rishis and the mantras
> > attributed to them. This was passed on to the followers of pravrtti and
> > nivrtti margas. We think that the rishis appeared in history based
> > on incorrect anumana as we cannot tell the time period of the rishis who
> > revealed veda mantras. The actual persons fulfilled the prophecy of the
> > Vedas by appearing and revealing what was already known.

There is no anumAna involved in saying that Rshi-s lived in time. That aside,
pray share how you understand your last sentence above. What do you mean
by prophecy? vaidika religion has no use for prophets and prophecies.
If everything was already given by brahmA at t=0, to all followers of pravRtti
and nivRtti mArga-s, then why is it necessary for a Rshi to come along later
and reveal the veda again. To whom would a Rshi reveal anything?

If something was existent but not known at some time (for whatever reason),
only then does it make sense for a Rshi to appear in time and reveal it to others. 
Seen thus, there is no problem whatsoever in accepting that different Rshi-s
lived over different periods of time. In fact, this is the traditional position too.
viSvAmitra was a king before he became a Rshi and he had to prove himself
to vasishTha, who needed a lot of convincing too. The legend makes sense
only *in time*. vasishTha is already a Rshi at time t1, whereas viSvAmitra
becomes a rAjaRshi at time t2, a mahaRshi at time t3 and is acknowledged
 as a brahmaRshi from vasishTha at a much later time t4.
All of this happens exactly as in a previous cycle of creation, but then, within
each cycle, the local time still involves a past when only vasiShTha is a Rshi
(and viSvAmitra is not), in contrast to a future when both are brahmaRshi-s.
Obviously, within that cycle, viSvAmitra does not reveal any veda mantra
prior to becoming a Rshi, and during that time, vasiShTha is already busy
revealing mantra-s to his sons and disciples. He does not reveal any mantra
that is meant for viSvAmitra to reveal (including the all-important sAvitrI,
commonly known as the gAyatrI mantra). The exact times for these events
in each creation cyle are not needed. The necessary relative order in time
is enough to support my position. Which implies you have not understood
the Sringeri Jagadguru's razor sharp argument about veda, dharma and
creation correctly.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list