[Advaita-l] Scholarly Article on Why Vedas are Valid
raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 15 08:41:51 CDT 2011
If its of any help, you may consider the following ...you are
certainly on the right track in focussing on the eternal connection
between the word and meaning..but..
1. Before seeing Sabara bhAShya, you may find it even more helpful and
easier to see the BSB devatAdhikaraNam 1.3.28- to 1.3.30; where the
idea of information etc mentioned by you is presented to some extent
in very clear terms.
2. The eternal connection between the word and its meaning, holds good
for both laukika (non-Vedic) as well as Vedic sentences. Then what is
the difference ?
3. A small digression is required here to see the difference between
laukika and vedic sentences.
If you are ok with the idea that this universe is an intelligent
creation, even as an architect has a plan "a priori" which is then
unfolded and actualized. Then this plan of an architect which resides
in a template form in him, is nothing but "information" and all
information is encapsulated in symbols. Any set of symbols which
encapsulate information are nothing but "langauge". Now the sum total
of all the AkRti-s, the templates or designs for all entities and
species, living and non--living is there in the Veda ; so says the
Veda itself. Including the plan for how these entities will mutually
react and interact ; all such possible inter-connections between these
entities are mentioned; i.e., karma and karma-phala. Such information
(Veda) should have existed in some potential form even before the
design was implemented (the world was created).
The plan of a building cannot be said to come into existence after the
building has been built.
"sarveShAm tu sa nAmAnikarmANi ca pRthak pRthak, vedashabdebhya evAdau
pRthak samsthAsca nirmame" "all the different names and forms and also
the karma-s and also the various stages of life, He created from the
Vedic words themselves"
"sa bhUriti vyAharat sa bhUmimasRjata" - He uttered the word bhUH and
thereby created the bhUloka
"Ete asRgram-indavas-tiraHpavitram-AshavaH vishvAn-yabhisaubhagA"
"He created the devata-s by thinking of the word "EtE",; men by the
word "asRgraM; the manes by the word "indava"; the planets by the word
"tiraH-pavitraM; the hymns set to music by the word "AsavaH, the
shAstras used after the hymns by the word vishvAni, and by the word
"abhisaubhagAH", he created the other beings."
In the above line of thought - the human being is a later product of
the Vedic plan, he cannot create the Veda; Veda is apaurusheya - since
the human species itself a product of the Vedic plan. But once he is
created, he has the power to think, talk, write and express any number
of words and ideas which are all paurusheya. Such later expressions
may be true or false or flawed. But the basic masterplan is by its
very nature/definition infallible. Nobody can say that a rose is
"rightly" created and a bitter gourd is "wrongly" created. Such words
like right and wrong are inapplicable at that level. Same goes for the
inter-connections of karma and karma-phala etc.
Similarly we cannot ask - "why the bias for sanskrit language when it
comes to the cosmic masterplan?" If the original plan had been
encapsulated in binary, we would have still asked "why the bias for
binary? Why not hexadecimal?"
So the Veda which is called shabdabrahman, encodes the eternal
masterplan (nityAkRti-s of the nAma-rUpatmaka jagat) of the universe.
This is the Astika view, as I understand it.
But please do see the devatAdhikaraNam of Brahma Sutra if possible
with bhAmati or ratnaprabhA; its quite helpful. What I wrote above is
a purely informal presentation and not at all any "proof".
P.S. to understand why there is so much focus on the eternal
connection between word and meaning, you may have to dig deeper to see
that - the Vedic scheme posits the first creation of AkAsha whose
guNa is sabda - "sabda-gunAka AkAshaH". Accordingly the varNa-s or
phonemes are regarded (like AkAshaH) as all-pervading and relatively
eternal ( varNa-s are nitya and vibhu) in mImAmsa and vedanta. This
traditional idea has significant overtones for the human experience in
totality. I won't press the point but the idea is that
"language/auditory symbols are the most basic and fundamental category
through which the human being experiences and knows the world."
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