[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sat Jun 30 11:35:01 CDT 2012

On Friday, June 29, 2012, Omkar Deshpande wrote:

> Dear Sri Rajaram,
> <<<He does give
> arguments against paureshytvam because that was held by certain schools
> including nyaya who thought Vedas were produced by god and others who
> thought it was the opinion of rishis.>>>
> Who were the philosophers that claimed the Vedas were the opinion of
> Rishis? Are there references to such Purvapakshins in the Mimamsaka
> works? Were any of them within the Vedic fold?
> I know that the Buddhist Pali canon refers to the Rishis as composers
> of the Vedas:
> http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.095x.than.html
> But I'm curious to know if there were also Vedic philosophers with
> such an opinion.
> RV: The short answer is yes. Before explaining it, I would like to point
out that the opinion that Vedas were apaureshya did not originate at the
time of Mimamsakas. They were only defending an opinion that was ancient
even 2000 - 2500 years ago from those who attacked it. There is no literary
evidence to show that this opinion started at some point in history. When
we defend Veda Apaureshyatvam, we are defending an opinion that is very
ancient. Shruti, protected by our traditions amidst physical and
intellectual war, is more ancient than any archaelogical remain or written
text. They thus forms part of human cultural heritage that should be of
foremost concern to all civilised human beings. Those of us who have done
our bit for Veda samrakshanam should do more and involve all across nations
and beliefs to do so.

If you see Jaimini Mimamsa Sutras (1.1.27 - 28), he postulates opponent
view that Vedas are modern creations and refer to transitory things.
Jaimini goes on to show how these arguments are baseless. Given that
Jaimini is thought to have lived around 2 to 5 BCE and Kanada around 2 - 4
BCE, it is possible that he was referring to either Kanada or pre-Kanada
Vaiseshikas. It is well known that Kanada considered only pratyaksha and
anumana as pramana including sabda in to these. Both Bhatta and Prabhakara
schools attack Vaiseshika and Nyaya positions on pramanas in addition to
Buddhist and Jaina. In Prakaranapanchika, (paureshyam pravartate Veda
vaidhina:), some of the vaidhikas are attacked for their incorrect position
that the relationship between sabda and artha is paureshya. The opponent
view is also Buddhist. In tantravartika, Kumarila Bhatta says Buddhist
copied Upanishadic concepts Vaidhika (though he disagrees with their
interpretation and conclusion). It is well known that Buddhists had no
issues with adopting many Vedic concepts (e.g. Varnashrama).

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