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

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Tue Jan 22 11:21:43 CST 2013

Namaste Sri Siva Senani,

On 21 January 2013 23:03, Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com> wrote:
<< The obliqueness of the post was intentional because most times
direct engagement seems to quickly descend into a heated and lengthy
exchange generating a lot of heat but very little light.>>

Don't worry, it won't degenerate:-) I don't know if it will generate
any light, but no heat for sure:-)

Anyway, it appears that we are talking past each other. You seem to be
missing the essential point of my posts. Maybe the reverse is true as

<< If "most others" are non-Indian philosophoers, there might be some
truth in it; if "most others" are Indian philosophers, I think the
above statement is not true. Every one of the 16 darSanas described in
SarvadarSanasangraha emphasises Pramanas>>

I was not talking about pramANa-s per se, but about the fact that
pramANa-s have to be accepted axiomatically to avoid infinite regress.
This insight is there in the broader tradition alright (for example,
in the concept of intrinsic validity of pramANa-s articulated by the
pUrvamImAMsaka-s) but only the advaitin-s carry it to the final stage
of dismissing the entire pramAtR-prameya-pramANa complex as mithyA.
This is what I was referring to when I said that it is easy for
advaitin-s to appreciate this but not so easy for most others. Some
bauddha-s also seem to reach similar conclusions from different

<< So, while I have no issues with arriving at Brahman in the above
way, I would submit that there are other "vidyAs" which teach Brahman
(Each vidyaa, effectively, is one way of teaching and reaching

I was not presenting any particular way. I accept that at the manana
stage people may use different mental constructs. But whichever way
one proceeds, deconditioning has to happen if advaita-mukti is the

<<As a way, fine; but as the way, not so - as explained above.>>

One may choose any way, but in the final analysis, there can be no
advaita-mukti if one thinks of brahman as an objective reality. This
is what I have been pointing at.

<<With reference to the highlighted statement of yours above, I say
Brahman is indeed pramANasiddham - the pramANam being the Veda, and
this SAstrayonitvam, far from being a bAdhA is the only fact which
establishes Brahman.>>

Strictly speaking, only an objective reality such as a tree or a book
is pramANasiddham. The shAstra talks about brahman not as an objective
reality but as the svataHsiddha Atman.

Another way to look at it is that if brahman were strictly
pramANasiddham then the pramANa that reveals brahman would have to be
as real as brahman. This is indeed the case in other vedAnta
traditions such as vishiShTAdvaita where the shAstra (and the jagat in
general) are not treated as mithyA. But in advaita-vedAnta, even the
shAstra is mithyA. This is possible because, unlike other vedAnta
traditions, advaita-vedAnta considers brahman not as an objective
reality but as the svataHsiddha Atman.

The svataHsiddha Atman cannot be dismissed even when all pramANa-s
(incuding shruti) are dismissed.

<<This point has been made by BhagavatpAda in his bhAshyam under
"tattu samanvayAt" (1.1.4), wherein the very first point of discussion
ends with the assertion "tasmAtsiddham brahmaNaH

Yes, but not as an objective reality. That's the key point as far as
advaita-vedAnta is concerned.

<< Why? That is exactly what a thesis or pratij~nA is: what one proves
based on certain facts using a certain method.>>

advaita-vedAnta is not a thesis in the sense that it does not concern
itself with making any objective statements about Atman/reality.
Instead, it actually negates the very need to make (and the
possibility of making) any objective statements about Atman/reality.

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