[Advaita-l] Vedas are not apauresheya according to the Vedas ?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 17 10:48:58 CST 2013

No, I am trying to show you how acceptance of veda prAmANya need not be contingent upon an
acceptance of veda apaurusheyatva. This is especially so for the general person, which may not
be particularly committed to a specific line of traditional thinking.
Stepping outside of the Sankara bhAshya for a second, all that is required for taking the veda as
pramANa is to accept that Rshi-s lived and transmitted some portion of the veda to their immediate
disciples, which then has come down to us today in a tradition. This minimum level of acceptance
of the existence of the Rshi-s is enough to say that the veda is pramANa for someone calling himself
or herself a Hindu in today's world. Stepping back into the bhAshya and the advaita vedAnta tradition,
we can talk about the special powers of the Rshi-s and other things, but all that is icing on the cake,
so to speak.

Whether the Rshi-s composed these themselves or whether they got it from ISvara, who composed
it first, or whether the Rshi-s just intuited an unauthored veda in their meditative states, none of this
needs to matter *as far as accepting the prAmANya of the veda* is concerned. In other words, one
need not commit to an apaurusheya vs. not-apaurusheya stance to accept the veda as a valid source
of knowledge. That is how both a naiyyyAyika and a mImAMsaka can accept the same veda as pramANa.
The typical nyAya stance about the veda being authored by ISvara is not a necessary condition for the
naiyyAyika to accept veda prAmANya. The typical mImAMsA stance about veda apaurusheyatva is not
a necessary condition for the mImAMsaka to accept veda prAmANya. In both cases, an acceptance of
veda prAmANya comes first, all these mutual disagreements about apaurusheyatva vs. ISvara as 
author come later.
That is how, a vedAntin, especially an advaitin, can accomodate both views in different ways. We have
been through all this before on this list, so I won't repeat myself now.


> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> From: rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2013 08:39:39 +0000
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Vedas are not apauresheya according to the Vedas ?
> It is a good argument but not without fault I'm afraid. You have to prima-facie believe that historical rishis had special power as a result of which cycle after cycle, they perceive the same mantras and bring them to competent people. But mimamsakas have already argued against reliance on even great men and for that matter a sarvajna purusha. 
> They have taken pains to show that the flow of knowledge is an invariable constant. And speech only reveals a word that exists, though not as an entity, before being spoken. The mimamsa position is one that Sankara also accepts and rishis, due to special powers, discover them. 
> If flow of knowledge in veda mantras is a result of pratyaksha, then aham brahmasmi will be an articulation of perception by rishis of entities that are by definition beyond perception for anyone - the self and brahman. 
> Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
> Sender: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 14:24:03 
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