[Advaita-l] Is the eternity and apaurusheyatva of Vedas a mere belief

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Wed Jun 12 04:20:03 EDT 2019

praNAms Sri Raghav Kumar prabhuji
Hare Krishna

Some of my thoughts on your observations :

praNAms Sri Raghava prabhuji
Hare Krishna

1. Any pramANa is "self-proving", it does not need another pramANa to justify its functioning as a pramANa. That the eyes see is self-evident etc. This is svatah-pramANya-vAda.

>  But how can svataH pramANyata of veda can be an effective tool to prove it is anAdi and apaurusheya??  The self evident nature of any pramANa could help us to understand its (pramaNa's) independency (svAtantryata) but not its apaurusheyatva.  I believe someone argued this point at that time.

I never said that apauruSheyatva is 'because of' svataH-pramANyavAda. I only said 'Veda is a pramANa' based on svataH-pramANyavAda.

Ø     Oh OK sorry, then it is better not to say anything on veda’s  svataH pramANyavAda when it is not related to apaurusheyatvaM, since those who are questioning / doubting the apaurusheyatva not denying its status as ‘pramANa’.  Perhaps bringing the svataH pramANavAda is more appropriate for the people who are expressing concerns about vEda as pramANa.

2. shabda pramANa is a pramANa. It's validity is based on the nitya sambandha between shabda (word) and artha (meaning). There is a key mImAmsA word 'anapexitatvaM' i.e., Vedic sentences independent function as a pramANa.

>  again not enough to prove its anAditvaM and apaurusheyatvaM.

Again I never said that anywhere . We have to entirely separate in our understanding these two distinct ideas viz., 'Veda is a pramANa' And 'Vedas are apauruSheya'.

Ø     Okay, but just I wonder why at all this svataH pramANavAda has been brought up when the discussion is all about aparusheyatva of veda that too when these two are distinct issues.

4. That "Veda is a pramANa" is derived from 1. and 2. itself. However the prAmANyam or "validity" of what is being taught/revealed in the Veda pramANa needs apauruSheya-nityatvaM to free it from pauruSheya doShas.

>  While making this statement don’t we have the prejudiced mind set that all paurusheya texts have the paurusheya dOsha and all texts believed as apaurusheya is free from dOsha !!??

Those who accept Vedas as a pramANa but don't understand ("believe") apauruSheyatvam have incomplete understanding of Veda pramANyam.

Ø     Frankly I don’t know how !! If  it is mere belief there is absolutely no problem we are ready to accept it as an axiom but understanding it logically within the boundaries of tradition with bit of open mindedness is not completely out of scope I reckon.  I don’t think we have to invariably  force the apaurusheyatvaM label on veda-s to accept it as pramANa when we are holding nyAya and smruti prasthAna equally as valid pramANa.  Moreover mata traya followers holding their Achrya-s respective commentary on vedAnta as valid pramANa to understand the apaurusheya veda.  No need to mention we are holding a paurusheya texts in a digestive manner to correctly understand the dictums  of apaurusheya veda.

"Paurusheya pramANas like anumAna are fallible (sadoSham) being products/concoctions of a finite mind of a limited being. Example - particle model." Please try finding a flaw with that syllogism!

  *   Well it can be viewed from another angle as well.  All paurusheya texts are fallible due to limitations of finite mind and at the same time it can be perfect as well as it has the intellectual and well-structured touch in the form of systematically arranged message as well.  And proving the fallacy of paurusheya text cannot establish the infallible nature of apaurusheya texts.  And again unconditionally linking the apaurusheyatvaM and nirdoshatvaM is quite subjective as we cannot link these two distinct issues.  The primary question that needs to be answered here is : how can an anAdi text veda can guarantee you invariable  flawlessness !!??  Don’t you think we have to accept it with mere belief in our traditional standing??  And now the counter question from tradition is :  so, being a vaidika, do you want to say veda-s have its own flaws??  No, I am not trying to say that I am just saying apaurusheyatvam and flawlessness cannot be mutually  established when paurusheya texts like vedAnta sUtra and Geeta and their fallibility cannot be mutually established.

How can a text considered as apaurusheya guarantee you as foolproof source ??  What is the logical link that you can establish between nirdOshatvaM and apaurusheyatvaM??  Sri Omkar Prabhuji has asked this question and AFAIK, nobody clarified this relationship between these two beyond any doubt.

It's enough to establish that doShas have to have a cause viz.,the finiteness of the intellect. A doSha cannot just come out of nothing, out of the blue.

Ø     With this same logic one can argue, the details of rituals, very restricted boundaries of socio-biological details cannot originate from nothing, it has to have the author/s who are living within those specific boundaries on the earth planet, there a mention of tools like nail cutters ( not computers / robots / modern day gadgets  ofcourse 😊 ) and not to mention some questionable fierce rituals and injunctions which are more prevalent at  one particular point of  time.  If at all veda-s conveying some meaningful message to aggrandize the purushArtha-s then it must be having some human intellectual hand / hands.  We cannot establish our claim that veda-s are anAdi and apaurusheya and  just out of the blue all of a sudden it has been projected in front of the human being 😊   Sorry for being a devil’s advocate here.

Kindly look at the word, "non-falsifiable statements" and share your understanding of it.  That is critical to the discussion. Otherwise we just go around in circles.

Ø     I am afraid the onus is on us,  since we are claiming the unreasonable status to the text called veda to prove its perfectness.  At the first place we have to convince ourselves that how not knowing the origination of some text or some shabda can guarantee us its infallibility.  Otherwise, we will have to accept the fact that it will be a blind belief without any logical basis.

So please note that when discussing with nAstikas based on pratyaxa and aumAna alone, we (Astikas) do not actively defend apauruSheyatvaM, instead we show the utter hollowness of the claims of logic, scientific realism etc., using those very tools they have.

Ø     I agree but making them to eat their own medicines would any way help us to substantiate our claim about veda-s??  that is the question we need to contemplate.

Where there are more constructive objections against Veda nityatvaM from geological data etc., there are ways to answer those kinds of objections in a constructive way. But that will take us far away from the topic.

  *   Would like to hear more on this topic, as I mentioned above,  the places  mentioned in veda-s clearly restricted to some part of the earth, restricted and concentrated cultural practices of some sect (rishi parampara) and absence of some knowledge and discoveries which has been covered in recent times etc. force us to give us some time frame to the veda-s.  There are some explanation with regard to this bringing in sAmAnya and vishesha aspects.  But frankly it is bit confusing.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list