[Advaita-l] Veda-s & its apaurusheyatva
shyam_md at yahoo.com
shyam_md at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 2 10:20:09 CDT 2009
I would encourage your friend to read through the Sage of Kanchi's writings on the Vedas to gain an understanding from a authentic source.
http://www.amazon. <http://www.amazon.com/Vedas-Sri-Chandrasekharendra-Saraswati/dp/8172764014/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251902650&sr=8-2> com/Vedas-Sri-Chandrasekharendra-Saraswati/dp/8172764014/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251902650&sr=8-2
An excerpt very relevant to your questions can be found here:
http://www.adi- <http://www.adi-shankara.org/search?q=apaurusheya> shankara.org/search?q=apaurusheya
Shankara clearly states in his sutrabhashya that the Rishis were the Seers of the mantras and Brahmanas - BSB 1.1.33 "Nor have we the right to measure by our capabilities the capability of the rishis who see the mantras and brâhmana passages (i.e. the Veda).--So it is the very mantras, the actual "script" that constitute these scripture that are apaurusheya not merely the abstract ideas they conveyed. There is tremendous danger in saying that the "truths" conveyed by the Vedas are unauthored but the words that articulate these truths are authored. The Vedas are nothing but articulations and when we say these articulations are unauthored they precisly mean that.
So apaurusheya does not simply mean they they were "anonymously authored" aka passed along with no personal claim to authorship - in fact we often we can identify the authors when we acknowledge the meter (chandas) and the Rishi(e.g Vishwamitra, Vamadeva, etc) prior to chanting the particular mantras where the Seer has been identified by tradition.
It will be useful to note here that the Vedas as apaurusheya applies naturally not only to Vedanta but to the entire scope and breadth of the Vedas including the voluminous karmakanda - so you simply cannot lend it an exlusively advaitic flavor of connecting with the Divine or similar.
The Vedas are coval with creation - the Sve Up 6.18 states this as much when it says yo brahmANam vidadhAti poorvam yovai vedAnsca prahiNoti tasmai - Seeking Liberation, I take refuge in the Lord, the revealer of Self—Knowledge, who in the beginning created Brahma and delivered the Vedas to Him. This clearly implies that the eternally existent Vedas were transmitted to Chaturmukha Brahma - and that the Vedas are coval with Creation itself. The difference between this and what some may postulate as "visions" of divine personas has tremendous implications - Shankara vehemently dismisses these in his sutrabhashya and points out these implications -
"SIddhanta: And it is not possible for someone to perceive (upalabhate) super-sensory (ati-indriya) objects (artha) without the aid of Vedic revelation (shrutim-antarena), because there are no means (nimitta) to do so.
Purvapakshin: It is possible in the case of siddhas like Kapila because they have unobstructed (aprahita) knowledge (jnana).
Siddhanta: No, because powers (siddhi) such as super-sensory perception are
dependent upon certain practices (anushthana) and such practices are characterized by things that are "to be done" (codana). Nor can we count on some recognized (prasiddha) sage (mahatmya) like Kapila, since even here there will be no foundation, because the teachings of these recognized sages (mahatmya), as well as the founders of the other schools (tirthakara, i.e., the Buddha, Mahavira, etc.), all mutually contradict one
another (paraspara-vipratipatti). Besides, even assuming that we can trust in the authority of these siddhas, because they instruct by way of so many different doctrines (bahu-siddhanta), their teachings will all be in conflict (vipratipatti) with one another. And
then, as people are multiform (vaishvarupa) in their opinion (mati), (if we accept these teachings) the undesirable consequence (prasanga) will follow that truth (tattva) will be unregulated and without basis (avyapasthana). The Vedic revelation, on the other hand, is an absolutely independent (nirapeksham) and self-constituting authority (svarthe pramanyam). But human dicta (purusha-vacasam) are dependent upon an external basis and mediated (vyavahita) by memory (smrti) and discourse (vaktr).
With regards to why Peters and Pauls are not contained in the Vedas, it will perhaps be useful to remember that Sanskrit is the Mother or most ancient of all languages in the world and so words like mother and father and man many not be present there-in but their original derivatives of mata, and pita and manu, etc will certainly be found and so on.
There may have (almost certainly) been a time when the geographical extant of Bharatavarsha may have spread far wider than what is currently the Indian subcontinent - See what Shankara says about the Rajasuya - "A person maintaining that the people of ancient times were no more able to converse with the gods than people are at present, would thereby deny the (incontestable) variety of the world. He might as well maintain that because there is at present no prince ruling over the whole earth, there were no such princes in former times; a position by which the scriptural injunction of the rajasuya-sacrifice would be stultified."
May I also humbly suggest, that it may perhaps be wise to focus on the end i.e. self-knowledge, by an appropriate approach to the means i.e. the Vedas i.e. shraddha, without getting lost in a littany of doubts - no doubt endless - about the latter??
Shri Gurubhyoh namah
From: Bhaskar YR
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Sent: Sep 2, 2009 1:04 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Veda-s & its apaurusheyatva
You may be able to reconcile such details in the Veda by taking them to be
anuvada (restatement). The vedas serve as a pramana only to those
revelations that are beyond the ken of sensory data (pratyaksha anumanadi
pramanas). We can easily view matters that deal with things we already
of as anuvada and those that are eulogistic as arthavada. Therefore the
apaureshatva of the vedas are not shaken by anuvada.
praNAms Sri Kathirasan prabhuji
Yes you are right veda-s are dealing with a subject which is beyond the
reach of pratyaksha & anumAna. Shankara too makes this point clear in
sUtra bhAshya (2-1-6) rUpAdyabhAvAt hi nAyamarthaH pratyakshasya gOcharaH,
lingAdhyabhAvAccha na anumAnAdeenAM, AgamamAtra samadhigamya eva tu
ayamarthaH dharmavat'. Here shankara says for brahma jignAsa, neither
pratyaksha nor anumAna is helpful, like in dharma jignAsa, only shAstra
/Agama is the means. But IMHO, by this, we cannot establish the
'aparusheyatva' of scriptures...For that matter even in paurusheya smruti
texts too we can find plently of revelations which are beyond the reach of
Hope I am not stretching this beyond its scope.
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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