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

rajaramvenk at gmail.com rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Thu Jan 24 03:59:41 CST 2013

There are two categories of sabda pramana - pauresheya and apauresheya. All faith based systems accept pauresheya texts. Different sects of Hinduism are no exception though our texts may be superior in content. But Hinduism does not stop there. It bases all knowledge  on apauresheya texts. Apauresheya is established using anumana and defended using tarka. They key to understand this is sabdArtha nityatva and jnana pravaham. It has been dealt with by Jaimini, Sabara etc. I realised from my discussion on the blog, scholars don't get it. I plan to write a logical derivation of these concepts from the first principles.  
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-----Original Message-----
From: Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com>
Sender: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 14:39:15 
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Reply-To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
	<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] On rationality;
 was "Vedas are not apauresheya according to the Vedas ?"

Hare Krishna

That is why from the vedic passage 'He who created brahmA and gave him the
Veda..' we know that the dharmajnAnam of even the first-born Hiranyagarbha
is engendered by the Veda that was blessed/vouchsafed to him by Ishwara.

>  OK, with this statement, a vaidhika mind would stop asking questions on 
apaurusheyatva of veda-s due to certain traditional obligations, but I 
don't know how this would stop others (outsiders) from asking further 
questions like who gave the veda to THAT person who has, in turn, given 
the veda to hiraNyagarbha etc. and continuous questioning like this would 
end in infinite regress without any concrete conclusion.  So, I dont think 
this would be a 'logical' answer (to the outsiders and to the insiders as 
well, who would like to deal with this issue objectively) to prove 
apaurusheyatva of veda.  Moreover, they may further argue that 
aparusheyatva of veda has to be proved from outside the veda-s, because 
the question here pertains to origination of veda itself.  So, here in 
this case veda cannot be pramANa for the vedas' apaurusheyatva.  For 
example, in the court of law, an accused statement about his innocence 
cannot be taken as valid proof to prove his innocence.  So, they hold 
that, to prove vedas' apaurusheyatva,  something needs to be brought from 
outside and that should not be anyway inside the vedic declaration. 

The key point to note here is that the apauruSheyatva comes in the
picture *only when there is a doubt/question about the error-free nature 
of a teaching /
text one gets to read/hear.* 

>  not always, a person may have an untainted faith/belief in paurusheya 
texts too (like geeta) without any doubt on lord's declaration penned by 
vyAsa maharshi, though he very much knew that it is a paurusheya text, 
there is nothing that can stop him from treating it as a sacred & 
blemishless pavitra grantha. Have we ever doubted the credentials of geeta 
and vedAnta sUtra-s?? I dont think so.   Likewise, a person can approach 
the veda-s too by thinking that it is a work of perfectionist or a 
thorough person (like rishi like veda vyAsa, shuka, ramaNa, shankara 
bhagavatpAda etc.), who documented/worded his experience by using his then 
existing socio-economic environment but does not want to name himself 
since he realized that he is nAma rUpa ateeta.  For that matter shankara 
himself does not any where categorically mentioned his name & address in 
the works popularly known in his name!! is it not?? 

But the Acharya above has very nicely delineated the idea of apauruSheyatA 
with respect to the Veda as the means to inform/instruct us about dharma 
(and brahma which is, of course, not divorced from dharma, 'dharmyam' - 
[dharmAdanapetam], a term the Upanishad itself uses).

> The disputant here would counter you, dont you depend on some paurusheya 
work ( here in this case H.H. commentary on VC), which you yourself 
admitted that subject to mistakes and fallacies!!, to prove the 
aparusheyatva of veda-s??  what would be your answer to him?? Kindly dont 
think, I am doubting the H.H. commentary here, I am just trying to 
understand how paurusheya works would be the valid proof to prove 
aparusheyatva of veda-s, when you are asserting that authored works cannot 
be out of defect!!

I have heard the above underlined portion stressed by learned scholars
while discussing about the concept/idea of apauruSheyatva. In the face of
such a doubt, shankA, the prAmANyasiddhi takes place only when
apaurSheyatva is brought in.  There is no other way out.

>  But the fact remains that to reconcile the apparent contradictory 
statements in veda-s, we are heavily dependent on paurusheya commentaries, 
without these paurusheya commentaries and clarifications, if one would 
approach veda-s, it would be a house of confusion for him.

That is why questions like 'does not the Bh.Gita teach us about the Self,
the sthitaprajna lakshana, the sadhana, about the world,etc.' become valid
only when the aspirant concerned has no problems in accepting the smRti.

>  Again, dont we refer to paurusheya commentaries to do samanvaya of 
vedic statements??  Topics like, various accounts of srushti, anAdi-ananta 
jeeva-s, upAdana & nimitta kAraNa of jagat,  Ishwara and his role, saguNa, 
nirguNa aspect of brahman, etc. in veda are quite cumbersome, if we 
approach veda-s directly in its originals !!  Without the aid of Acharya's 
commentary ( note a commentary is a paurusheya work) one can hardly able 
to understand the niceties  of these topics and derive the ultimate 
purpose of veda-s.  Have we ever doubted geeta, sUtra or our Acharya-s 
commentary due to it's paurusheyatva!!??   or if I may ask you, have you 
ever doubted the commentaries & declaration  of H.H. as they are thoughts 
& wordings of a particular person!!??  If the answer is no, then why we 
have to doubt the teachings of veda even though it is authored by some 
rishis at some point of time!!?? 

If, however, someone asks: 'how did Veda Vyasa know about all this?' then
the inevitable journey that is destined to end in apauruSheya-veda-vAda

> As said above, the journey would not end here, if the inquisitive mind 
of outsiders starts to ask further questions.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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