[Advaita-l] Vedas are not apaurusheya as per Vedas

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 18 11:03:38 CST 2013

Dear Sri Krishnamoorthy,
I was assuming that list members are all aware of how Sankara bhagavatpAda uses the terms vastu tantra and purusha tantra in his bhAshyas. As I see that this is not the case, let me clarify.
"Knowledge is vastu-tantra, not purusha-tantra" is another way of saying that true knowledge is not dependent on the will of any single human being. For example, I cannot exert my will to insist that a given thing is gold when it is in fact something-else. Only when I accept this do I have true knowledge of gold and also true knowledge of that something else. In that sense, the "gold-ness" and the "something-else-ness" are things that I cannot change, no matter how much I exert my will. Yes, the correct knowledge arises through the interaction of the existent thing, the vastu, with me, the purusha, but the fact remains that I, the purusha, cannot change the true nature of the vastu. 
"Action is purusha-tantra" is a way of saying that human beings can exert their will to bear upon their own actions, irrespective of whether such actions will bring positive results or not. For example, if a man is biologically incapable of having children, he can, for example, choose to adopt a child and thereby become a father. This is a purusha changing his own state of childlessness to fatherhood, and successfully so. This is an example of purusha-tantra-tva. On the other hand, if I am convinced that I can change a vastu that is a "something-else" into gold, I can interact with the vastu as much as I want and I can try all my life to achieve the change that I desire, but I will, by definition, never be totally successful. That is because the true nature of that vastu is not purusha-tantra. All the actions that I do to achieve my desire are purusha-tantra, but at the end of the day, the something-else will remain something-else and gold will remain gold. Now, yes, because of my desire and the resultant actions, I might discover other things along the way, realize that my desire is futile, and thereby gain true knowledge by that process, but that is a different story. The fact remains that the true nature of the vastu that I started out with remain what it was and when I realize it, I will have to do nothing more than give up my purusha-tantra efforts to try and change it into what I want.
My stance is that, because of the above situation, one should not say that all knowledge is really apaurusheya, unless one wants to redefine the meaning of apaurusheyatva. The traditional statement, "veda is apaurusheya," addresses a quite different issue and that is all that I wished to point out. 

> From: srirudra at vsnl.com
> Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2013 21:21:21 +0530
> Subject: [Advaita-l] Vedas are not apaurusheya as per Vedas
> Dear Sri Vidyasankar Sundaresan
> You had stated that knowledge is vastu tantra and not purushatantra.I think knowledge results only when both interact in right measures.Vasthu being inert purusha the sentient being grasps the presence of the vasthu and by experimentation and toying with the vasthu gathers the nature of the vasthu and retains the resultant impressions and passes it on to the others and builds up.In that respect only apaurusheyathvam of Vedas is under scrutiny.
> It is another matter whether apaurusheyathvam is necessary for the Vedas to be accepted as pramana.It is all a matter of faith.Knowledge has to be paurusheya only as intelligence is required to grasp the environment and memory sure aids its retention.It applies to all jungamas and sthavaras to some extent.R.Krishnamoorthy.
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