[Advaita-l] Shruti prAmANya and jnAna

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue Oct 4 06:43:15 CDT 2016

As part of the recent discussion on Ramana Maharshi, the discussion turned
towards the requirement for the acceptance of shruti as a pramANa for the
knowledge generated. Specifically Swami LalitAlAlitah said that:

"Here, I must make clear that even if someone doesn't hear the same tattvamasi,
or have opportunity to learn veda-s/vedAnta-s, he has to accept(logically,
not only believe) that the hula-pramANa of the sentence conveying similar
meaning is shruti. If he doesn't then the whole thing,
the whole process, just becomes a belief system without backing of

I know Swamiji mentioned that he had already dealt with this topic and
therefore may not be in a position to clarify, so this is just a general
post (and not a request for the Swami to respond).

For advaitins (and pUrva mImAmsakas), shruti is accepted as apaurusheya and
svatah siddhah pramANa. On alaukika matters, we accept the anadhigatatva of
shruti pramANa and hence we are able to say that whenever someone gets
brahma jnAna, it has to arise from the shruti.

Further, I believe this is true irrespective of whether the person accepts
shruti as pramANa or not, or even understands how the jnAna arises.

For example, a mirror does not reflect objects subject to 1) the seer
accepting that it is a mirror or 2) understanding how the principles of
optics work. If the seer comes in front of the mirror, his reflection
appears automatically.

Similarly, the vedA does not generate knowledge subject to
1) the acceptance on its pramANatvam by the pramAta or
2) the pramAta's attribution of the knowledge generated by shruti, to

If the pramAta, pramANa and prameya, are appropriately aligned, knowledge
is automatically generated. Now, the pramAta may refuse to accept the
generated knowledge as pramA, or take efforts to preserve the knowledge
generated; however, the capacity of the pramANa to generate the jnAna
vritti is a given.


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