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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jan 30 04:46:55 CST 2013

On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 5:47 PM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> For Vedantins it is fool-proof and they do not need any other pramANa
> other than supporting sentences from shruti/smRti, some instances that I
> pointed to.
> >  that means it_is_fool-proof, ONLY for those who have unconditional
> faith in the tradition and traditional Acharya-s and shruti/smruti
> vAkya-s...not for others anyway,  who, by standing outside the traditional
> circle, wants to question the rationality behind apaurusheyatva of veda-s

We must recognize that the Veda is not a commodity available for
marketing.  And apauruSheyatva is not a marketing strategy.  The Veda
itself does not need such marketing.  The adherents of the Veda are already
there, naturally born into it.  And that the very nature of the Veda is
that:  'if it is Veda then it is apaurusheya.  If there is an author then
it is not veda.'  apaurusheyatva is an inseparable attribute of Veda.  That
is the way the tradition holds it.

> .
> > That means this aparusheyatva 'stuff' cannot be sold outside the vedic
> market.  If anybody want to buy this theory apaurusheyatva first they have
> come to the fold of veda saMpradAya and should have an unconditional faith
> that ONLY veda-s are 'authorless' magic revelation and this'authorlessness'
> cannot be attributed to any other text in the world though it is
> anonymous!!  And now clarify what would be the determining factor here to
> decide whether a particular text has author or otherwise??
>  For example, how dvaitins hold a paurusheya (according to advaitins) text
> like kArika as apaurusheya shruti??

That is easy for us.  For example Sureshwaracharya has cited two verses
from the AgamaprakaraNa in the Naishkarmyasiddhi and explicitly stated that
it is told by Gaudapada.  Another 12th Century commentator
AnubhUtisvarUpAchArya has explicitly said that these shlokas are composed
by (GaudapAda) AchArya.  Recently there was a discussion in the BVP on this
very topic. In the case of Dvaitins It is the way their mUlAchArya has
received the text and commented on it.  Despite Vidyaranya and Appayya
Dikshita and, a little doubtfully, Madhusudana Saraswati have cited certain
verses of the kArikA as shruti, the tradition in Advaita is always, to this
day, that the first chapter consists of twelve mantras of the
Mandukyopanishad and the rest are kaarikA-s. That is how a traditional
Acharya would teach.

> I think you have been misinformed.  There are innumerable instances in the
> prasthAnatraya bhashyam itself for the use of anupalabdhi.  I give below
> just three instances:
> >  Thanks for the references prabhuji, I shall look into it in detail
> to-night.. But if memory serves me right, he said bhagavat pAda
> exclusively mentioned only 5 praMANa-s in his commentaries on br.up. and
> mundaka and anupalabdhi as a valid pramANa * is conspicuous by its absence*
> in his bhAshya vAkya.

Now, unwittingly you have ended up using the anupalabdhi pramANa to
prove/suggest that Shankara has not mentioned it : ) That only shows that
in any thinking discourse the pramanas such as pratyaksha, anumana,
upamana, arthApatti and anupalabdhi are inevitable/indispensable, whichever
school one belongs to. One might try to group under anumana the other
three.  But even then while examining each case of anubhava one will have
to encounter the uniqueness involved in each of the pramanas grouped under
anumana and treat it that way alone.  Dr. Mani Dravid SastrigaL
demonstrated to me one day as to how it is impossible to deal with
arthApatti, for instance, by bypassing the unique feature it has, in trying
to explain it by means of anumAna.

>  But no harm because smruti also an independent valid pramANa for the
> non-vedAdhikAri-s and a means to get mOksha.  For that matter historians
> claim that shruti is an ancient text and smruti is relatively a recent work
> :-))

That it can give moksha is not denied, though.

>  but you are forgetting the fact that apaurusheyatva of veda-s is not an
> undisputable fact for the 'outsiders' of veda, they have every reason /
> rationality behind arguing and questioning the credentials of this
> 'super-natural' claims :-))

As I said above, the outsiders are not the concern of the Veda.  They need
not come to the Veda; they can happily opt to stay out.  No one is bothered
about their staying out.

> >  by saying this you are forcing the people to first accept the shruti as
> the unquestionable pramANa!!  For me and you it is fine, but we cannot
> float this theory outside...for outsiders it always remains as a
> theological dogma without much rationality!!

As I have repeatedly said, let us not bother about the outsiders. Ishwara
will take care of them.  Since it is no problem for both of us, we shall go
the way our elders have gone.  At least for me, it was as natural as fish
taking to water.  So is it with the millions of astika-s.

> >  To say all these dont you relying upon some paurusheya texts in which
> you have untainted faith??

We must remember that no pramANa acts in complete isolation of the others.
That is why we have the key element: shraddhA in guru and shAstra vAkyam.
If this fundamental requirement is missing there is no progress, not just
in vedanta, even in worldly matters.

> Anyway, I have said this enough times. Anupalabdhi, as a pramANa has been
> introduced by some authors, whose work, we, anyway doubt since it is
> paurusheya.

I think you are missing the point.  Anupalabdhi is not any person's
invention. It is ever present in all walks of life.  It is like the law of
gravitation, ever present, only discovered and stated in cogent terms for
our own better understanding of nature. The Chandogya 6th ch. 12 sec.
mantra 1 and 2 can be seen as an example.  That the mUlakAraNam, Sat, is
extremely subtle, sUkShmam, and not sthUla, is demonstrated with the help
of the experiment on the banyan seed.  When the minute grain inside the
fruit is broken, Shvetaketu is asked 'what do you see?' He replies that he
does not see anything there.  But actually it is that apparent nothing that
is at the causal root of the huge banyan tree.  The idea is: if the cause
had been gross, it would have been perceived.  But since it is not seen, it
is concluded that it is subtle.

> Moreover, shruti itself, nowhere asserts that for its aparusheyatva,
> anupalabdhi of kartru-s is the pramANa.

Shruti need not assert everything; it is enough that it provides implicit
indications.  It is for the sampradayavit-s to identify them and pass them
on to their disciples.

 So, for proving veda-s apaurusheyatva we are using the theory called
> 'anupalabdhi' pramANa introduced by some people in their works.  And
> finally, by saying you can use shruti vAkya-s to prove shruti aparusheyatva
> you are forcing us to conclude that the theory of apaurusheyatva has the
> anyOnyAshraya dOsha.

As I have pointed out in the foregoing, anupalabdhi pramana is not anyone's
introduction/invention.  If you recognize this, all your other misgivings
about the topic will simply vanish.  You will start appreciating how there
is no anyonyAshrayadoSha involved here but only a pUraka/poShaka bhAva  or
a pratijnA - dRShTAnta bhAva that is there.


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