[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Jun 28 13:03:35 CDT 2012

On 6/28/12, Balasubramanian Ramakrishnan <rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote:

> I thought my reference would have been obvious in my first post, but
> will expand a little. It seems that people are more interested in
> finding which page numbers references occur rather than to get the
> basic idea which runs through the entire text of the bhAShya. Note
> that the sAnkhyA theory of pradhAna modification is *not* from shruti.
> It is formed by using tarka. Shankara makes it clear that his problem
> is not the theory of creation per se, but rather pradhAna being
> independent of brahman. While he could have claimed that this theory
> was not found in the shruti texts and is obtained through tarka, he
> merely remarks that the true nature of *brahman being the cause of the
> world* cannot be determined by tarka. However if one wants to posit a
> transformation of a substance such as prakR^iti as the cause of the
> world, he is ok with it *as long as it is subservient to brahman*.
> Positing such a theory is again through tarka, but making it
> subservient to the fundamental tenet of vedAnta - viz brahman is the
> cause of the world - makes it ok in Shankaras eyes.

I have amply emphasized that the sAnkhya theory is based on tarka alone.

The position that you state is not the correct representation of
Shankara.  He has in several places pointed to the Shruti 'mAyAm tu
prakRtim vidyAn mAyinam tu maheshwaram' of the Shve.Up. in proof of a
Shakti that is inevitable/indispensable for Brahman to be the
jagatkAraNaM. It is certainly not on the basis of tarka alone that
Shankara admits a shakti.  In the bhashya for the sutra 1.4.3
'tadadhInatvAdarthavat' (perhaps the one from which  you are saying
the above) Shankara, soon after saying what you are alluding to above,
gives a number of references, to support the various terms which go to
represent that shakti such as avyaktam, aakAshaH, akShara, mAya, etc.
After citing specific shruti passages in respect of these, Shankara
cites the Shve.Up. passage I have quoted above.  Thus, Shankara does
not accept the pradhAna-like shakti just on the basis of tarka; He
essentially bases His premises on the firm ground of the Shruti.

This is quite
> different from what has been claimed, viz, "a theory of creation
> cannot be determined by logic whether or not it violates the basic
> tenets of vedAnta".

You can easily see how your above observation is not supported by the
facts of the bhashya.  It is only because the ateendriya event called
sRiShTi cannot be theorized merely on the basis of tarka does Shankara
insist that the shruti primarily and tarka as subsidiary are to be
resorted to in this matter.  The passage I cited earlier in this
thread from the BSB 'tarkaapratiShThAnAt...' says exactly this.

There is no point in simply repeating what has been said already.


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