[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Shyam shyam_md at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 27 16:17:01 CDT 2012

Pranams Rameshji
<<Given your views on extraterrestrials and nonhumans in other planets
obtaining vedic knowledge of a different variety I do not find this in
the least surprising and consider it a blessing that my views are far
removed from yours.>>

Feel free to be consider yourself blessed. Regarding extraterrestrials
and non-humans, I have repeatedly stated that I was not advancing any
"views". I was only using them as devices to get people out of a
certain rut. There can be many ways of explaining these issues and
there is really no need to get stuck up with this or that view.

Repeatedly criticizing me for my supposed "views" or "imagination"
regarding extra-terrestrials etc is a really bad case of missing the
Those were views that sprout forth from your imagination as possibilities. I didnt invent them. 
If you find those views to be a source of discomfiture I do understand.
It does not mattter. I will instead focus on what you write below, as I believe you are either missing the point once again, or failing to address it.
<<That would be difficult to do even if I wished to for the simple
fact that your own "position" is extremely muddled, as is evident when
you state two contradictory things:>>

There is absolutely nothing contradictory about non-overlapping
jurisdictions at the level of pramANa on the one hand and mature
philosophies such as the various mImAMsA sysems being able to
accommodate different cause-effect models on the other. A philosophy
is based on multiple pramANa-s and indeed one of the signal
contributions of the pUrva-mImAMsaka-s has been the enunciation of a
mature pramANa-shAstra.

To be even clearer, let me state that it is the mImAMsA systems which
lay out what the pramANa-s are and what are their areas of

<<The fact that Vedic dictums are orthogonal to scientific theories-
both fact-based and fantasy based - means that there is no question of
accomodation. The very question of accomodation comes in only if there
are overlapping domains. Please be clear in your own mind wheter you
consider the two orthogonal or overlapping.>>

Again, the orthogonality is at the level of pramANa-s. The ability to
accommodate different cause-effect models is at the level of a mature
philosophy which uses the pramANa-s in a certain way and responds
appropriately to environmental changes. The mImAMsA systems can do
this because of the robustness of their pramANa-shAstra and also the
robustness of the constructs they use for fashioning their system. An
example of such a construct was provided earlier in this thread by
Vidyasankar, which I had quoted in my previous post.

You do not seem to get the idea of non-overlapping domains. 
If I say the science of investment banking and the science of biofuel engineering have non-overlapping domains, it means that nothing within each of these two systems has anything to do with each other. There is no question then of one system having the flexibility internally to render possible an import of aspects of the other system by means of accomodation. The integrity of each system is self-contained.
To use a more simpler explanation let us say I live in a house in Chennai which is domain A and you live in a house of your own imaginations which is domain B. And a 3rd person knowing your imaginary children may be visiting Chennai asks if I may be so kind as to accomodate those imaginary children in my home. I would be so foolish were I to rearrange the furniutre in my home in preparation for the arrival of the imaginary children from your imaginary home. I hope the idea is now a little more clear to you. It is the same with the Vedic truth of Srshti and the evolutionary biologists imaginations of abiogenesis and the origin of species.
Take another example of two parallel systems of science - modern medicine and ayurveda. Let us take the case of a man with a wheezing problem. A modern medical practictioner may examine the man and come to a diagnosis of bronchial asthma. Now everything about the disease process, its pathophysiology, its therapeutic implications etc etc all have complete internal validity in the domain of the medical system of allopathy. Now a traditional ayurvedic physician may feel the pulse of the verisame individual and diagnose some imbalance of kapha  and pitta. Now his system too, if sound and true, has complete internal validity in its own domain. The allopathic practitioners diagnosis of asthma, and his ability to provide biopsy specimens showing eosinophilic infiltration and more sophisticated interleukin assays from the lung lavage specimens etc etc in no way impinge beyond the boundaries of what constitutes his domain and hence have no impact on the
 validity of the diagnosis of the ayurvedic practitioners domain. This is because the ayurvedic physician is not treating this eosinophilic disease called asthma - he is treating a particular imbalance that he has diagnosed based on the tenets of his philosophy.
What is important here is to note
The tenets of ayurveda are not contradicted by the physiologic progress of modern medicine
The tenets of ayurveda are non-overlapping with those of allopathy
The ayurveda system cannot and need not "accomodate" in any way shape or form the tenets of modern medicine.
I hope you have a clearer picture of what non-overlapping domains means now. All what you talk about internal to the Vaidika parampara - in terms of pramanas and their types and origin and about the mimamsakas models is intrinsically valid to the vaidkika system alone. The progress of modern scientific thought based on the epicurean objectivisim with a reliance on tracing everything back to observable and hence verifiable phenomena is no doubt laudable as it is breathtaking but it matters concerning that which is only in the realm of the supersensuous it by default touches upon an area a domain that is beyond its very scope. And therefore, for a vaidika, in all such matters the Veda is and will alone remain the source of truth. So in this realm, there is simply no question of anything in the scientific realm that needs to be accomodated nor acknowledged, and any attempt at doing so will only lead one into a convoluted labyrythin of ever-changing
 conceptual constructs which latter then in due course will be shorne of all sense of cogency and internal consistency.
Hari OM
Shri Gurubhyo namah

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
To: Advaita List <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 4:31 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

> > 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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