Nature of Consciousness

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Tue Jul 27 20:53:29 CDT 1999

Sankaran Panchapagesan <panchap at ICSL.UCLA.EDU> wrote:

>  I read somewhere (I think it was a post in the archives by
> that in (pUrva) mImAMsA, Kumarila Bhatta argues for apaurusheyatva
> Sruti because he doesn't want to accept the concept of an omniscient
> Person, which the Jains were claiming for the Tirthankaras (and also

That's not true. The most venerable BhaTTa says in the very first
verse of his shlokavArtika:

vishuddha GYAna dehAya trivedI-divyacaxushhe |
shreyaH prApta nimittAya namaH somArdhadhAriNe ||

Obeisance to him (Lord shiva) who wears the crescent moon, who "body"
is pure consciousness, whose three eyes are the vedas and who is the
source of all prosperity.

In the10th verse he says his effort in the shlokavArttika is to turn
the mImAm.nsA which had been *mainly* atheistic into a theistic path.

Quite obviously he couldn't have been denying Ishvara. From the fact
that he says "mainly atheistic" it is reasonable to infer that there
were two strands of mImA.nsA in existence even in the bhaTTa's time:
theistic and atheistic. The latter was more popular, but the bhaTTa
makes his preference clear.

> I think in Sankara's commentary on one of the first few
brahmasUtras, I
> think it is 'SAstrayonitvAt') he says that it could have two
> interpretations, one that either SAstra is the source for the
knowledge of
> Brahman or that Brahman is the source for the SAstras (the vedas,
etc. are
> the breath of Brahman - Br.Up., I think). The second interpretation
> unacceptable to pUrva mImAMsA. I don't think Sri Sankara says in
> place in the sUtra bhAshya which one he prefers. Does he indicate
> preference in any other work?

Neither is incompatible with the unauthordness of shruti.

> Anyway, since Vedanta does not deny an omniscient ISvara, would it
> equally acceptable to say that ISvara is their author? Isn't there a
> in the Gita in which Krishna says he is the author of the Vedas?

No, the existence of Lord Krishna who is the omniscient Ishvara is
known only through the veda-s. And the veda-s are reliable because it
was not written by anyone including Ishvara. Sorry, I don't know what
verse in the gItA you are referring to.


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