What is adhikAra? (fwd)

Nanda Chandran Nanda.Chandran at NBC.COM
Tue Jun 9 14:53:09 CDT 1998

Now that we've an ongoing dialogue about the Vedas, I just thought I'd
clarify some doubts which I've been nursing for some time. There are
three basic theories regarding the origin of the Vedas. The Vedas are
supposed to have been :
1. breathed out by Brahman
2. 'seen' by the seers
3. accounts of experience in a realized state (according to the later
philosophers and also the Yoga school (I think!))

>From the perspective of Advaitam, where Brahman is the Changeless
Eternal Absolute, I can't see how case 1 can be sustained. For to
'breathe' implies action and action implies change! Since Brahman is
defined as Changeless, case 1 is not feasible. Atleast so it seems to
me! If anyone can come up with a better explanation, please do.

Since Advaitam differentiates between Vyavaharika and Paramartika, both
case 2 and 3 are feasible in the Vyavaharika level. Quite a few smritis
narrate accounts of the experience in a realized state. And if one is to
go by history, enlightment is generally said to take place in a flash,
where the sadhaka in a moment of realization intuitively understands
everything. Probably such sudden intuitive understanding or dawning of
wisdom can be described as 'seen' or 'experienced'. And if this is so,
the teachings of such a realized being(s) is what we have as the shruti.

Probably the learned members can pitch in and help us out with the
formal stands of the various schools and the reasons why.

        Because e-mail can be altered electronically,
        the integrity of this communication cannot be guaranteed.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list