[Advaita-l] apaurusheyatva of veda-s
svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 19 12:11:15 CDT 2011
An addendum to my previous post:
In order to understand what is truly meant by apaurusheyatva of the veda-s and compare it to
something like Newton's law of gravitation, one can ask very simple questions and see what the
Q: Do meghadUtam, Romeo and Juliet, Iliad have authors?
A: Yes. kAlidAsa, Shakespeare and Homer, respectively.
Q: Does the New Testament have author(s)?
A: Yes, Mark, Luke, etc.
Q: Do the Buddhist sUtra-s have an author?
A: Yes, gautama or siddhArtha, the buddha, at least by attribution.
Q: Does the brahmasUtra bhAshya, beginning with yushmad asmad etc, have an author?
A: Yes, Sankara bhagavatpAda.
Q: Does the bhagavadgItA have an author?
A: Yes. gaNeSa wrote down what was dictated by vyAsa, who put down in ~700 verses
what was taught to arjuna by bhagavAn kRShNa.
Q: Do the veda-s have author(s)?
A: No. They are apaurusheya.
Q: What then was the role of the Rshi-s like gRtsamada, madhucchandas, vasishTha etc?
A: They only mediated the revelation of the veda-s, they did not create them.
Q: Does the classical physical law of gravitation have an author?
A: No, the law of gravitation is not a text. If you mean discoverer, yes, Isaac Newton. He
described it in his Principia Mathematica, first published in 1687 CE.
Q: Does the physical phenomenon of gravitation have an author?
A: The question is meaningless. Gravity in itself is not purusha-tantra.
Q: Does the constancy of the speed of light in vacuum have an author?
A: The question is meaningless. The speed of light in vacuum is not purusha-tantra.
Q: Does the paper "A structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid" have an author?
A: Yes, two: James Watson and Francis Crick, published in a journal titled Nature in the
year 1953 CE.
Q: Does DNA have an author?
A: The question is meaningless. DNA in itself is not purusha-tantra.
To sum up, apaurusheyatva properly applies to TEXTS and their authorship. To use the term
apaurusheya outside of this context is to stretch its meaning and applicability. One has to be
careful what one means by it and one has to make one's usage very clear.
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