[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jul 4 00:34:59 CDT 2012

I think Rajaram is stressing the point made by the Sringeri Acharya in
reply to a specific question.  By 'non-existent' what he means, I think, is
the non-availability of the Veda till it got revealed to a Rishi while
there exist people even prior to such revelation. It is not exactly about
the prAgabhAva that Sri Vidyashankar is referring to. The Acharya in this
reply had not brought in the Rishi-element:

//// Disciple: Long ago, through the process of evolution, man gradually
came into being. In the early stages, his brain was much
less developed than the human brain is now. He led a
primitive existence. In due course, his brain improved to
the present level. Thereafter, the Lord could have taught
him the Veda. Is there any flaw in conceiving thus? If we
have it this way, the findings of palaeontologists are not
contradicted and, at the same time, it is admitted that the
Veda was revealed by Ìshvara. What does Acharyal have
to say about this?

AcharyaL:   This is faulty. *Simultaneous* with His creation of man, the
Lord should have taught him the Veda. In the
Bhagavadgita, the Lord says:
_*सह*-*यज्ञाः प्रजाः* सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजापतिः । (BG, III.10)
(At the outset, having created mankind along with yajña-s,
the Creator said…)
Yajña-s (scriptural sacrifices) have the Veda-s for their
basis. For a yajña to be performed, the Veda is needed.
Thus, the Lord’s words imply that Ìshvara taught the
Veda when He created the world. If we do not accept this
view, we cannot give logical replies to many queries. If a
primitive man predated the Veda, he could not have known
what is dharma and what is adharma. Since, the norms
of righteousness and unrighteousness were not revealed to
him by God, did God simply treat his actions as virtuous
and reward him or just treat them as sinful and punish
him? If his actions fetched him the rewards of
righteousness, we are forced to conclude, “Before the
Veda came into being, good fruits were obtained for
whatever one did but after Veda came to light, one also
reaps unpleasant fruits for one’s actions.” Is this fair?
Further, can one accept the conclusion that before the
Veda came to light, one did not have to go to hell at all as
one always secured good results, whereas after the
revelation of Veda, the possibility of going to hell arose? If
the view that all actions led to bad consequences
were accepted, then also the implication is queer.
Therefore, when the Lord created the world, He should
have revealed the Veda. That is to say, He should have, at
the outset itself, made known what is dharma and what is
adharma. Thus, it is improper to hold that the Veda came
to light only much after the appearance of man. //

To another question, on p.189 of that very book, the Acharya replies:

Disciple:  If the Vedas came from the Supreme, how are different Rshis
associated with various mantras?  Rshis are the authors of the mantras, are
they not?

AcharyaL:  Rshis re not the authors of the mantras with which their names
are associated.  Sages acquired the realization of the essence of the
mantras from God and made them known in the world. They did not produce the
mantras on their own.  *BrahmA taught the *entire Veda-s* simultaneous with
His creation of man.*  Being a manifestation of the Lord, Veda Vyasa
subsequently took the diminished capacity of the people of Kaliyuga into
consideration and codified the Vedas.//

Now, taking the two crucial inputs from the two replies of the Acharya we
conclude that the Vedas, in their entirety, were given to man even at the
beginning of creation.  This leaves us with the question:

For, if we say portions of the Veda became known to mankind in installments
or at various periods of time, the anupapatti of all karma-s/vidhis
nishedhas remaining unknown to man till they became known in driblets would
arise.  This 'unfairness' was one of the things the Acharya highlighted in
the first quoted reply.

What exactly did the Rshis do?  What was their role?  My guess is that
their role was in propagating the Veda, mainly for adhyayanam purposes.  I
know we are not getting the complete picture.  Maybe more questioning,
study, deliberating, discussing with mahatma-s and scholars, etc. is
required.  The present discussion is aiding such an endeavour.


On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 9:51 AM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> how do we
> know rishis lived at a point in time and the Vedas were non-existent
> before
> he first rishi appeared? Brahma, by your logic, must have been quite
> ignorant to start with.
> praNAms Sri Rajaram prabhuji
> Hare Krishna
> It seems you have not understood what Sri Vidya prabhuji saying in his
> mail.  Hence, you are just imagining something on your own and refuting
> it..(erecting a strawman and beating it :-)) Here is what he said in his
> mail :
> // quote //
> To say that a Rshi lived in time and that he or she revealed some portion
> of the veda to mankind does not imply the prior non-existence of what was
> revealed. I've never implied anything of the sort, even remotely.
> In fact, as a vedAntin, I don't accept prAg-abhAva.
> // unquote //
> Here he is clearly saying that he is not implying prior non-existence of
> what was revealed and to be precise he is clearly declaring that he is not
> accepting the prAg-abhAva!!  Despite this, you are assuming that he is of
> the opinion that prior non-existence of the unrevealed veda is possible
> and refuting that view !!
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list