[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 27 15:31:35 CDT 2012

> > All I wanted to say to Rajaram was (a) that veda apaurusheyatva is to be
> > taken as a given (in my opinion) and no proof need be established for it,
> RV: But mimamsakas and vedantins tried to provide logical arguments in
> favour of apaureshyatva. They did not ask us accept it on faith or as a
> given. They tried to reason why Vedas are apaureshya. They don't tell us
> why only sruti is apaureshya and not any sentence. Or I don't understand
> their logic correctly. But there was definitely an effort to prove it.

It is not what you mean by "proof". The pUrva mImAMsaka discussions of
veda apaurusheyatva are in the nature of explaining what they mean by the
term, why the Sabda/jAti/varNa nityatva supports apaurusheyatva, etc. The
only laukika pramANa used in the argument is that of abhAva, which the
pUrva mImAMsaka-s take as a separate pramANa, distinct from pratyaksha
and anumAna - "No author has ever been known of the veda." They reject the
opponent's arthApatti "somebody MUST have been the author(s) of the veda".
Strictly speaking, they also do not accept an ISvara as the source of the veda
or as the source of the universe.
The pUrva mImAMsA argument about veda apaurusheyatva will therefore be
indifferent to any statement about the evolution of species or languages.
vedAntins take over most of the pUrva mImAMsA arguments, but in a modified
manner. From the perspective of the material universe, brahman is the source
(except for dvaitins). From the perspective of the veda, brahman is the source.
>From the perspective of brahman, nothing is ever really created or destroyed,
either the material universe or the veda (for advaitins). I leave it to others to
see where scientific theories of species evolution and historical linguistic change
fit in (or not) with these primary vedAntic stances on brahman and the universe.
Among the vedAntins, advaitins accept the framework of the pramANa-s laid
out by pUrva mImAMsaka-s without any modification. The dvaitins, if I have
their thinking right, have no use for abhAva as a separate pramANa and they
classify it as nothing more than a special kind of anumAna. So, the dvaitin
arguments about how they understand apaurusheyatva are not the same as
what the pUrva mImAMsaka-s said before them. 
Please, let us have some rigor in these kinds of arguments and do AnandatIrtha,
Sankara and kumAriLa proud, rather than going around in circles and talking
about all sorts of extraneous things.

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