[Advaita-l] VedaprAmANya in Advaita

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Apr 3 06:47:39 CDT 2010

Namaste Dear Murali,

The sub-commentaries like BhAmati and NyAyanirNaya say this:

For the 'Adi' contained in the compound 'shrutyAdayaH' of the BhaShyam:
itihAsa, purANa, smRti, etc (along with, of course, the Shruti)  -  so says

'anubhava: is the specific antaHkaraNa-vRtti that dispels avidya.  This is
generally called 'akhanDAkAra vRtti.' pratyakSha, etc. too operate as
pramANa-s in brahmajijnAsaa, just as in dharmajijnaasaa, but not directly.
That means, indierctly, pratyaksha, etc. have a role in brahmajijnaasaa.
This is what we understand from the BhAmati.

NyAyanirNaya :  For 'shrutyAdayaH' of the BhaShyam :  He lists the various
elements that constitute pramANa in dharmajijnAsaa: shruti, lingam, vaakya,
prakaraNa, sthAna and samAkhyA.  He even defines each of these succinctly.
I think these are found in pUrva mimAmsA works like: arthasangrahaH. Shruti,
etc. help generating the right understanding of the Upanishadic passages and
ultimately culminate in generating the anubhava.  Anubhava is the direct
pramANa for avidyAnivRtti.

For the 'Adi' in anubhavAdayaH of the bhashyam, he says: anumAna, etc. are
to be taken.

When I made the statement 'Veda, the only pramANa for knowing Brahman' in my
article, I meant that the Veda is the primary pramANam; 'asAdhAraNam
kAraNam', without which one cannot even proceed.  The rest like anumAna,
pratyaksha, only assist when the Shruti has been first taken as pramANa in
BrahmajijnAsa.  The two Bhashya passages cited by me at the start of the
article make this very clear.  If this is not seen in this light, we might
have to conclude that Bhagavatpada is contradicting Himself when saying that
'..by no other means can one know Brahman' and by also saying 'shruti and
anubhava and something else also are pramANam'.

Also to be noted is: tarka (anumAna) is 'shruti anugrUheeta tarka' or that
anumAna which is in accordance with the Shruti and not the one that
contradicts shruti or is unhelpful to arriving at the shruti taaatparyam.
In passages like: मनसैवानु द्रष्टव्यम् , for the particle 'anu' generally
the meaning given is: shruti, AchArya upadesham anu .....Here, we find that
the mind is an instrument, pramANam.  But this has to be the one that is
cultivated by shravaNam, mananam, etc.

Shri Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian is hereby requested to give the link to
his 'paper' on the subject, or re-post it for the benefit of the members.


On Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 11:03 PM, Murali Karamchedu <murali_m_k at msn.com>wrote:

> >*Veda, the only pramANa for knowing Brahman *
> Is this position held rigorously? If so how is one to interpret the
> following
> position of the acharya in BSB (I.1.2), where while the acharya establishes
> the
> connection between anumAnA and Sruti and says -
> "It
> is not the case that sruti, etc., are the only means of knowledge in
> the inquiry
> into Brahman, as is the case in the inquiry into dharma.
> Rather, sruti, etc.,
> as well as experience, etc., are means of
> knowledge as far as their capability
> allows, since knowledge of Brahman
> concludes in experience, and has an
> existent object as its topic". (na
> dharmajijnasayam iva SrutyAdaya eva pramAnAm
> brahmajijnAsayam; kim tu SrutyAdayo 'nubhavAdayasca yathAsambhavam iha
> pramANam,
> anubhavAvasanatvad bhutavastuviSayatvAcca brahmajnanasya).
> Here, the 'adi' after anubhava must mean other pramanas. If one were to
> read this
> as merely indicating the complementary nature of anubhava etc, then isn't
> that
> a superfluous position to state; particularly considering how he contrasts
> this with
> dharmajijnasa, where too these other pramanas act in complementary roles?
> Thanks,
> -Murali Manohar
> __

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list