[Advaita-l] Shruti prAmANya and jnAna

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Thu Oct 6 20:16:50 CDT 2016

Namaste Sri.Venkatraghavan-ji,

Please pardon me if I am acting as advocate of devil for this discussion.
My goal is to make these concepts clear and doubt free.

On Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 7:03 PM, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:

> Namaste Sri Srinath ji,
>> On this, a pUrvapaxin (to PM) would ask;
>> 1. How do you know vEdas have no sources?
> The pUrva mImAmsaka has empiricism at the heart of his philosophy - the
> world was never other than what it is now that is, one cannot believe in
> the existence of something which has never been observed.
He says that the complete absence of evidence for something establishes its
> non-existence (anupalabdhi).

This true for abhAva padArtha-s. But you know vEda-s are bhAva vastu and we
are talking about abhAva property (having no author) of bhAva vastu.

So, a skeptic would argue anupalabdhi would not applicable for abhAva guNa
of bhAva vastu.

> We have not observed anyone to have composed vedAs in our own time.

So also folk literature. So why they are not apourushEya?

> Tradition has not given us the name of its authors (rishis are not
> authors). We only observe people who have learned it from others who have
> learned it from others previously.

It might have been in several recent generation, but since vEdas have long
history, somewhere in the chain in antiquity we might have last knowledge
about author. So?

> What is not observed by any pramANa is non-existent and hence the
> composers of the vedA are non-existent, or the vedAs have no sources and
> eternal.

But again, that argument would hold for totally abhAva vastus. But since we
know vEda exist and very much bhAva, and given the fact that we do not have
a single example (and hence no hEtu), I would argue authorless texts are
impossibility. So?

>> 2. Given that we do not see any texts without author and we always see a
>> text has known author or forgotten author, so also vEdas must have "some
>> author(s)" even though we might not know who they are.
> To answer this question, the mImAmsaka will argue that the vedAs cannot
> have a known author because he has not observed such an author in the
> present. And if the author is forgotten, how can we accept that there was a
> person at some point in the past who has the ability to know alaukika
> matters?

This argument is not valid. You (as a PM) first assume vEda has to
necessarily teach alaukika viShaya and based on such assumption you do
tarka (pratyAnumAna to be specific) how can texts with author can possibly
teach such viShaya. As a pUrvapaxin, I argue there is no alOukika at all
(because it is not given to our pratyaksha and pratyksha based anumAna).
So, there is no valid hEtu for your argument.

Purvapaxin continues and asks you -- which is first -- from alaukika
viShaya argument you establish apouruSheyatva? or from apouruShEya concept
you establish presence of aloukika/atIndria and its viShaya?

If former, then why you need vEdas because you allegedly already know about
presence of aloukika/atIndria. If later, then we are back to question about

> We do not observe any men who are omniscient now, on what basis can we
> conclude that they have existed in the past? Further, just because one is
> an expert in one subject, one cannot conclude that he is an expert in
> another subject. So just because someone has the knowledge of laukika
> matters, we cannot conclude that he would have the knowledge of alaukika
> matters that are beyond the world.

Mere want of alaukia does not establishes its presence. Just as I am
thirsty and need water badly, it does not establishes water in the well.

> More importantly, why should we postulate something extraneous / unseen
> which cannot be proven to explain something seen?

Because we have a bhAdaka of we do not have any example of texts (other
than vEdas) without author. If you say both vEda and their author(s) are
abhAva, then we do not have problem. But you claim is about abhAva property
of bhAva vastu.

> "All these are good, but pUrva-mImAmsakas do not deny reality of this
> jagat either. Hence their concepts of prAmANya-svatatsva,
> vEda-apoUruShEyaatvaM are all coherent and strong internally."
> True, they do not deny reality of jagat. However, svatah prAmANya has a
> corresponding principle of paratah aprAmANya also. A cognition is valid
> until it is sublated by another cognition generated by a pramANa. Similarly
> the reality of jagat is valid until it is sublated by the brahma satyatva -
> jagat mithyAtva jnAna generated by shruti pramANa.
It is not "until" , but rather "unless". Otherwise, there is no niSchaya in
any cognition in general as we all waiting to be confirmed until eternity.

Speculating jagat will sublate one day is quite leap and forward looking
aspect. Is this sublation a speculative or a pramAna-siddha? It cannot be
pramANa-siddha (at least yet) as we are still debating apourushEyatvaM of
vEda as a pramANa. Unless apouruShyatvaM itself is siddha (I mean all
bhAdaka-s are resolved), vEda is quite useless as a pramANa in such
speculations. Then all you have is other six pramANas. Are you saying jagat
sublation is siddha based one of those six ?


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