[Advaita-l] Re: apaurushheyatva of the shruti

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 9 21:44:09 CDT 2003

>Well, that is one objection answered fully, but it
>opens up other objections that were considered closed
>by the mImAmsaka. I would definitely like to see how
>the apaurushheyatva of the shruti is defended by the
>advaitin with regards to several of the objections
>already answered by the mImAmsaka. I'm not saying it's
>impossible, but it does appear difficult.

Jaldhar has already discussed some points. I'll add a few.

>Firstly, for the advaitin, though the Vedas be
>apaurushheya, the "motivation" for its study would be
>absent (I think). In the context of motivation for
>Vedic study, KumArila considers the fundamental
>Why should one study the Vedas?
>Because the Vedas are the only source of dharma.

The advaitin adds, "... and the primary source of teaching about moksha."

>Why should one enquire into dharma?
>Because there are is a desire to know its nature by
>the Self that is a doer and enjoyer of the results of
>action [1].

The advaitin would say, "yes, so long as one thinks of oneself as the doer 
and enjoyer."

>(Considering anything more fundamental and asking,
>"Why should one be concerned about the result of one's
>actions?" is answered by KumArila as, "One who doesn't
>care about the results of his actions is an ignorant
>fool and will not enquire into anything."[2] Moreover,

The advaitin would agree.

>For the advaitin, the motivation for the study of
>shruti should be "moksha" or "AtmavidyA". (Shankara's
>Brahma sUtra bhAshhya 1.1.1) Now, to state moksha or
>Self-realization as the goal of life *independent of
>the Vedas* is a must if one is to find a motivation
>for Vedic study. But how is this established
>independent of the Vedas? If that's not established,
>the (Bauddha) pUrvapakshin would consider the study of
>Vedas as "useless".

dharma, artha, kAma and moksha are accepted as four goals of human life by 
all parties concerned. If a fundamental question is asked, "Why must I be 
concerned about liberation?", the answer readily follows, "one who suffers 
in this world and doesn't get concerned about how to put an end to it is a 
fool, who will only continue to suffer." Enough independent motivation for 
study of moksha-SAstra. Additionally, in the context of today's world, one 
might add that there are a million and one people claiming to teach you how 
to be liberated, almost every one of whom fails on one count or the other. 
Hence, turn to apaurusheya Sruti.

>(The shruti will be split up into two portions by the
>advaitin (1) GYAna kANDa for removing avidyaa for
>those with sAdhana chatushhTaya and (2) karma kANDa
>for practice of dharma until one possesses sAdhana
>chatushhTaya. The "final goal" is therefore moksha.)
>Secondly, the Self is never a doer for the advaitin.

That knowledge is gathered from a study of the SAstra, not before.

>This actually implies that one can never study the
>Vedas, for as KumArila notes, there are statements in

Rather, that is why one should study. Note that Kumarila does not say that 
Sruti establishes the Self as the doer and enjoyer. Doing actions and 
experiencing their results, good and bad, are instinctual behaviors for 
embodied human beings. We should study the Sruti, so that we may know how we 
may overcome this by knowing the true nature of the Self as non-doer.

>the Vedas that speak of the necessity of Guruseva,
>ceremonies etc. while studying the Vedas, which would
>be impossible without action. Therefore things seems
>rather too perfectly fine for KumArila because the
>dharma taught by the Vedas completely explains
>everything, including Vedic study itself as dharma.

To this, the advaitin would say, that is only one aspect of dharma, i.e. 
pravRtti dharma. There is also the nivRtti dharma taught in the Veda. This 
point is made by referring to the Sruti itself, which says, "tyajet" 
"pravrajet" etc. Such actions as gurusevA are not incompatible with nivRtti 


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