[Advaita-l] Pramanas - Sruti vs. Anubhava

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Tue May 8 15:03:48 CDT 2007

praNAm, Sri Bhaskar.

I've written somany mails today, this is my last & short one...Kindly note
that brahman is ultimately *apramEya*.  pramANa-pramEya vyavahAra
presupposes pramAtru....vEdAnta questions the very existence of
pramAtru...the shAstra does not specifically reveal Atman as its
object....The shAstra only aims at the removal of distinctions conceived by
ignorance....The shAstra is to be considered as a valid means of knowledge
only to this extent...says shankara in tattusamanvayAt adhikaraNa in sUtra

* You have chosen a most exhaustive adhikaraNa and forgot to give the specific context. The above is in clarification of the objection that SAstra cannot be the source of Brahman, as Brahman is not an object. By the above, the Acharya is actually proving that *** SAstra is the source of Brahman ***, and I might as well add - not anubhava, with whatever prefix. By removing obstacles to realisation of Brahman, SAstra is indeed revealing Brahman.

* Other members of the list, please note that below this mail, I reproduce many quotations - and I dare say, without harming their contextual integrity - from the same adhikaraNa which say that Vedas are the source of knowledge of Brahman. Quoting bhashyavAkya without setting the proper context can lead to opposite conclusions.

Shankara further clarifies that it is well known fact the Atman
is not an adventitious thing for any one of us since it is self-evident.
One's own self is not to be ascertained for one-self by some means of
knowledge, means of knowledge are there for only  ascertainment of unknown
external objects ... Whereas the Atman is a self established ever existing
entity which should be there  prior to the very idea of objects and means
of knowing them...Hence, kEnOpanishad says he is beyond vidita & avidita...

* Please note that none of the above means that Sruti is not the means of knowledge, or that anubhava works even after Sruti is invalid (for anubhava itself assumes an experiencer, the experienced and the experience). Actually the Acharya says "Means of knowledge like perception are not required once comprehension of Brahman / Atman has occured."

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

* Senani (Quotations follow below)

Bhashya vAkyas from samanvayAdhikaraNam (1.1.4)

1. That all-knowing, all-powerful Brahman, which is the cause of the origin, subsistence, and dissolution of the world, is known from the Vedanta part of the Scripture. (This is actually what the Sutra establishes).

2. Everything having its Self in Brahman cannot be grasped without the aid of the scriptural passage 'That art thou'.

3. Nor can the authoritativeness of the Veda be proved by inferential reasoning so that it would be dependent on instances observed elsewhere.

4. Veda possess authority as a means of right knowledge of Brahman (summary of the first part of the bhashya of this sutra)

5. The SAstra's purport is not to represent Brahman definitely as this or that object, its purpose is rather to show that Brahman as the eternal subject (pratyagAtmA) is never an object, and thereby to remove the distinction of objects known, konwers, act of knowledge and others, which is fictitiously created by nescience. (This is the proper complete quotation from which Sri Bhaskar chose selectively).

6. .... a person after having, by means of the Veda, comprehended Brahman to be the Self,....

7. With reference again to the assertion that Brahman is not fully determined in its own nature, but stands in complementary relation to injunctions, because the hearing about Brahman is to be followed by manana and nidhidhyAsana, we remark that manana and nidhidhyAsana are themselves merely subservient to the comprehension of Brahman....manana and nidhidhyAsana, no less SravaNa are subservient to comprehension.

8. VyAsa proves indirectly that what the Vedanta texts aim at is the comprehension of Brahman.

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