[Advaita-l] Vedas are not apauresheya according to the Vedas ?
rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sat Jan 5 13:25:16 CST 2013
KK and Kalavai have posted very good arguments to show that the Vedas are
not apauresheya according to the Vedas themselves.
http://apaureshyatva.blogspot.co.uk/ If their argumeent is correct.
a fundamental belief of vedanta school on which it is founded is incorrect.
I have reached out to a few traditional scholars privately. Traditional
scholars will not know about linguistic evolution, comparative mythology,
genetics, archaelogy etc. But they should not to struggle to a key tenet
common to all schools of vedanta and mimamsa from a sastra point of view.
If vedas were apaurusheya and eternal, then we would expect them to
constitute a single and unified whole. But internal evidence from the vedas
and upanishads suggests that Sruti is stratified and not a single unified
whole. Here are a few examples -
1. In purusha sUkta (Rig veda 10.90), the Rig veda, Yajur veda and Sama
veda are spoken of as being created from the sacrifice. Note that the
Atharva veda is missing because it is a later addition to the group of
vedas. Further note that this talk of creation of vedas also shows that
vedas do not consider themselves eternal.
2. In Chhandogya Upanishad (6.1.2), it is said that Svetaketu has
studied all the vedas (sarvAn vedAn adhItya) and yet Svetaketu does not
know anything about brahma-vidya. His father Uddalaka then goes on to give
him the teaching on brahman. This shows that there was a point of time when
Chhandogya upanishad was not considered as part of vedas (later it was
added to Sama veda).
3. In Mundaka upanishad, (1.1.5), the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva vedas
are considered as apara-vidya (lower knowledge) while the knowledge of
brahman (that is given by the upanishads) is considered as para vidya. This
shows that there was a point of time when the upanishads (or the Mundaka
upanishad at least) was not a part of the vedas. Sankara notes this as an
objection but tries to explain it away by saying that vidya implies
realization and not the assemblage of words in the upanishads. His
explanation looks forced and artificial.
4. In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.4.10) it is said that the Rig veda,
Yajur veda, Sama veda, Atharvangirasa, itihasa, purANam, vidya, Upanishads,
Slokas, Sutras and elucidations and explanations are the breath of Brahman.
This shows two things. First, since the Upanishads are mentioned separately
from the vedas, it shows that there was a point of time, when the
Upanishads were not considered to be part of the Vedas. Second, it also
shows that the Vedas, Upanishads, itihasa, puranam and Sutras were treated
similarly. So if Vedas are apaurusheya, then itihasa, and puranam should
also be apaurusheya. But no traditionalist thinks the itihasa and puranam
to be apaurusheya. Therefore, this shows that the Vedas also are not
apaurusheya. Note that puranam is in singular. So it also most likely
implies that there was only one puranam at some point of time.
5. In chhAndogya upanishad (beginning shlokas of chapter 7), nArada
approaches sanatkumAra for instruction. Here nArada says that he knows all
the four vedas and itihAsa and purANam (which he calls as the fifth veda)
etc. and yet he does not know the Self. This is another instance to show
that the chhAndogya upanishad was not considered as part of the Sama veda
at one point of time. For if the chhAndogya upanishad were always a part of
the Sama veda, then nArada would have already known what sanatkumAra would
have said and thereby, approaching sanatkumAra would have been redundant.
6. One can bring up the simple example of the Puruṣa Sūkta which is to
be found in multiple versions across various texts such as The Ṛgveda,
Vājasaneyi Saṁhita, etc. These have varying number of verses (16 to 24) as
well as the composition of the verses of the same sūkta in two different
meters: anuṣṭubh and triṣṭubh thereby internally proving that it is a
stratified product of composition by many hands that was subsequently
redacted and collated.
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