[Advaita-l] Pramanas - Sruti vs. Anubhava & Paper on SSS -comments section 4

prem d p prem_d_p at yahoo.co.in
Mon May 7 13:22:57 CDT 2007

  dear sri vidyasankarji,
  thank you for the word of caution. i realize that it is more important to keep our
  objectives uppermost and be not carried away, least of all by one's own words.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
> in my understanding, tarka is just the way we come to terms with
> avasta-traya experiences in the light of sruti. reasoning does not,
>and cannot, explain, clarify, or amplify sruti. (counter to the dictionary
> definition of 'exegesis', to me exegesis is the 'critical analysis of
> avasta-traya in the light of sruti'). what do you think?

I would like to sound a note of caution in using the word exegesis in this 
context. Technically, as you point out from the dictionary meaning, exegesis 
means textual interpretation. Now, Sankara bhagavatpAda does not say that 
anubhava is a technique to interpret scriptural texts, nor does he say that 
Sruti is an interpretation of the anubhava of avasthA traya. Rather, he 
simply intends that the investigation into reality (brahmajijnAsA) is served 
by both Sruti and anubhava of the three states (among other things).

In the analysis of the waking, dreaming and sleeping states, he emphasizes 
that one should reason according to the Sruti (Sruty-anugRhIta tarka). That 
is the important point, but using the word exegesis for this investigation 
into the three states is apt to be misleading.


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