[Advaita-l] On rationality; was "Vedas are not apauresheya according to the Vedas ?"

Swami Sarvabhutananda swami.sarvabhutananda at gmail.com
Fri Jan 18 22:30:14 CST 2013

No better proof than the one living in this body,mind senses accept the
fact 'I AM'
Swami Sarvabhutananda

On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 9:16 AM, Ramesh Krishnamurthy <rkmurthy at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste Sri Siva Senani,
> An interesting post from you. I would like to take up a few points
> mentioned in your post.
> << A third related point is that many do not realise that Advaita (and
> other interpretations of Vedanta) is not rational, in the sense that
> siddhaanta is not established on the basis of reasoning - rather, we
> know there is Brahman because Veda says so and because the same can be
> experienced after the dawn of knowledge, but not due to reasoning.>>
> The above seems somewhat misleading. The point to appreciate regarding
> reasoning is that any logical system has to start with at least one
> axiom, which has to be taken as a given. A self-consistent system is
> one that does not contradict its own axiom(s). The various systems
> that use the veda as a pramANa are all eminently rational, in the
> sense that they are self-consistent with the axiom of veda pramANatva.
> That some people may have an issue with axiomatically accepting veda
> pramANatva is a different matter, but then one who is exposed to
> advaita-vedAnta will realize that the acceptance of ANY pramANa, even
> pratyakSha, is effectively axiomatic. There is no way of proving that
> pratyakSha is valid. We just take it for granted, without even
> realizing it.
> << In other words, the siddhAntin is a better mImAmsaka than the
> pUrvamImAmsaka. After all, Vedanta is called UttaramImAmsa.>>
> This is true, but then the purpose of vedAnta is not mImAMsA (of the
> veda) alone. The primary purpose is "permanent" duHkha nivRtti, aka
> mokSha.
> <<The larger point is that we use rational methods to understand the
> meaning of VedavAkyas correctly, and not to independently establish
> what is said in the VedavAkyas, or even to establish the prAmANyata of
> Vedas.>>
> The real point is that there is no way of establishing the pramANatva
> of ANY pramANa. The other real point is that rational methods are
> **always** used "exegetically", i.e. to understand what is revealed by
> ANY pramANa. In daily life, we constantly use rational methods to
> understand what is revealed by pratyakSha, for example. Rational
> methods per se never reveal anything. Therefore, there is nothing
> special about using rational methods to understand the meaning of the
> vedavAkya-s. The very purpose of reasoning is to help us understand
> what is revealed by various pramANa-s.
> << The problem is that somebody without a thesis can refute every
> thesis (example, Nagarjuna; to some extent Sri Harsha in
> KhaNDanakhaNDakhAdya, and recently, Jacques Derrida) - and this is
> what is called Sushkatarka.>>
> Strictly speaking, it is the advaita-vedAntin who genuinely offers no
> thesis. To offer a thesis, one has to accept at least one axiom and
> then use rational methods to construct a system. At the bare minimum,
> one or more pramANa-s have to be accepted as a given. But anything
> that is pramANa-siddha is bAdhya since pramANa-s have to be taken as a
> given. The Atman alone is svataHsiddha and hence abAdhya and satya.
> But any objective statement about the Atman (such as "I am the body")
> is pramANasiddha and hence bAdhya.
> The one who truly transcends the need to accept axioms and offer
> theses is the mukta, for he alone has given up the need to objectify
> himself (i.e. the Atman). The essential rejection, in the sense  of
> mithyAtvanishchaya, of pramANa-s (and the tripuTi in general) goes
> hand in hand with the fundamental realization of the
> unobjectifiability of the Atman that is svataHsiddha. The
> unobjectifiability of the Atman is not a thesis, but a deeply
> insightful rejection (as mithyA) of all theses, the possibility of any
> thesis, and even the very need to have any thesis, about the Atman.
> Rather it is the Atman, under the axiom of pramAtRtvam, that goes
> about accepting more axioms and constructing theses!!
> All axioms and theses and all forms of objective knowledge are valid
> only in vyavahAra. They depend on the "master axiom" of avidyA.
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