Nature of Consciousness

Sankaran Panchapagesan panchap at ICSL.UCLA.EDU
Wed Jul 28 12:22:15 CDT 1999


> 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.

Actually, I read that Sri Kumarila Bhatta's philosophy was atheistic only
in the Srimad Sankara-digvijayam of Sri Vidyaranya, which I verified again
last night. There, when Sankara goes to the Bhatta's house in order to
challenge him to a debate, he finds that the Bhatta is burning himself to
death as a prAyaScittam. When asked why, he gives two reasons - one of
them is that in his philosophy he had denied the existence of ISvara
though the Vedas clearly asserted his existence (the other reason is that
he was guilty of gurudrOham - he was the indirect cause of his Buddhist
guru's death from whom he had learnt Buddhism in order to refute it). On
his argument against omniscience I read in T.R.V.Murti's book where he
says that since the Veda is unauthored and eternal, it is more reliable
than the Buddha, Vardhamana (Mahavira), Kapila all of whom claim
omniscience and also contradict each other.

> 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.

How is the concept of the unauthoredness of Sruti itself free from
circular reasoning? i.e., which pramANa tells us that the Sruti is
unauthored. Their unauthoredness cannot be proved on sense perception and
reasoning alone, right? The apaurusheyatvam itself rests on the testimony
of someone else (the mImAmsaka?) or the Sruti itself, which is

Isn't it true that it must be accepted on faith and cannot/need not be
proved, which in turn means that the existence of ISvara should also be
accepted on faith. I read somewhere that Ramanujacharya also rejects
proofs of ISvara and says that he must be accepted only on faith.

I'm asking whether it would be equally acceptable to Vedanta to consider
an omniscient Rshi as the 'author' since the Rshi himself has realized
Brahman, is Brahman, he is infallible in matters conerning AtmavidyA.
Also, whether Sankara himself has given any indication of his stand on the

Sorry, I don't know what
> verse in the gItA you are referring to.

I just thought I had read somewhere about it. Maybe I was mistaken. Will
read it again and see.


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