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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 18 09:03:15 CST 2013

> > During a recent interaction with the eminent scholar/thinker Vidwan Mani
> > Dravid SastrigaL at Tumkur during the meet on The Contributions of Sri
> > Vidyaranya, I broached the above topic. He said: If anyone were to ask me
> > on this, I would say: Supposing we admit someone to be the author of the
> > Veda. The immediate question would be 'how / from where did he know?'
> >
> Can we conclude apaurusheyatva of Aesop's fables also on the same grounds?

No, the above argument is not a positive proof of apaurusheyatva. Rather, it basically
restates, in more layman terms, what the pUrva mImAMsaka-s have carefully argued
centuries ago. Namely, those who say that Sruti has an author cannot show positive
and independent evidence for the existence of this author. By independent evidence, I
mean evidence "independent of Sruti." Note that the entire scenario laid out by Sri 
Mani Dravid Sastri begins with a "supposing we admit." It is a reductio ad absurdem
argument against the opponent's objection, not a positive argument in favour of one's
own stated position. If I remember right, I had mentioned this about a year ago in this
list's discussions on this topic.

The only way to provide proof for a creator-author, independent of Sruti, is to come
up with a logical argument for such a person, which is what many in the nyAya school
attempted. Those logical proofs are in the same genre as what was offered by thinkers
in other religions as well. The so-called logical proofs for the existence of a creator
(cosmological, teleological etc) who also authored scripture are all faulty, as per the
pUrva mImAMsaka. And rightly so. In today's world, we are seeing how science and
reason are in major conflict with standard theologies of the monotheistic religions,
which rely on such logical proofs for their conceptions of a creator and their scriptures.
Coming to Aesop's fables:
If Aesop's fables were the foundational text of some religion, and if at least some of
those religionists said that their text had no author, while others admitted an author,
then such an argument may arise about apaurusheyatva in that case also.
In the absence of any such issue, the authorship of Aesop's fables is moot. What this
shows is that apaurusheyatva is not just a fancy Sanskrit term for "anonymous" 

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