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

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Fri Jan 18 05:14:57 CST 2013

On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 10:08 AM, V Subrahmanian
<v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

>  On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 2:09 PM, <rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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.
>>   When the Shruti says 'Brahman/Atman is beyond perception' what it means
> is: Brahman has no attributes that can be cognized through the five
> senses.  But the Veda itself also teaches, Brahman has to be known through
> the mind alone.  The Acharyas have clarified that  'Brahman is not
> available for an unprepared mind but can certainly be apprehended by
> employing the instrument, a duly cultivated mind.  Thus, the Self/Brahman
> that is beyond perception can be 'known' with the due instrument in place.

> By this I am not saying that all mantra draShTaa Rshis were aparoksha
> jnanis.  What is required is a special capacity to receive the veda
> mantra-s and not necessarily brahmajnAnitva.
RV: I agree that atma can be intuited through manas but for that to happen
there has to be a negation of anatma through upadesa. The historical rishis
who first discovered the mantras that give atmajnana could not have been
atma jnanis because they did not have the upadesa in the first place. Or we
should say that they were atma jnanis in the previous cycle and re-appeared
in this cycle to teach. And as to  how they became atma jnanis in the
previous cycle, we have to say it was in a previous cycle and so on. We
will have the contingency of vedic rishis never attaining videha mukti and
hence not being able to ever teach about that. On the other hand, if we
admit that the vedic rishis were only mediums that transmit the shruti
mantras, as per your example of newspaper reporter below, then we dont have
this contingency. Therefore, the rishi pratyaksha of the mantra "aham
brahmasmi" is very different from the laukika pratyaksha of pot and the
statement, "This is a pot". The former is a flow of knowledge that repeats
cycle after cycle whereas the latter is an articulation using the organ
speech what is seen using the organ eye. For another reason also, the rishi
pratyaksha of the mantra must be a flow of knowledge and not an
articulation of what they saw. There is talk about results of yajnas
attained after death. The rishi who discovered the mantra  cannot be
reporting what he / she saw in this case because he does not have a
personal experience of death. And he cannot have a second-hand experience
either because before he discovered the mantra / yajna, no one else could
have performed the yajna or used the mantra.

There cannot be any advaita advaita (or for that matter purva mimamsa)
without apaureshyetva for another reason also. I can through logic infer
that I am not the body or mind but I cannot logically infer that I am
eternal. For that I need a pramana. The pramana cannot be pauresheya
because the question then comes how does that purusha know? We have to
argue that the purusha is trikalajna and  / or sarvajna. Then the question
remains how does he know he is trikalajna and / or sarvajna. He may be
under delusion like a frog in a well thinking he knows all the waters that
there are in the world. So, we need an apauresheya pramana to state that.
Then the objection is that the apauresheya statement could be false and the
answer is that such a doubt is a case of presumption without a basis. Until
it is proven to be false, the apauresheya mantra is an incontrovertible
fact and as there is no means to falsify it (eternal existence of atma), it
is ever true.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list