[Advaita-l] Fw: How shruti is antya pramANa in advaita vEdAnta??

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Wed May 9 09:07:16 CDT 2007


My response on Sri Bhaskar's original post was somehow not picked up by the list; now Sri Bhaskar has replied to my response. I am reproducing the whole thing for the convenience of members who might be interested, and also summarising it for the majority who would not be interested that keenly. 

Summary: Sri Bhaskar wants to know if Sruti is a hypothesis, or an article of faith (faith); whether we should blindly accept something like 'tattvamasi' or verify it (accept it and internalise it); the basis for considering Sruti as antya-pramANa (it is axiomatic); and whether faith is Sruti is essential to understand Sri Sankara's teachings (yes).

He then clarifies that he did not say that one should verify Sruti out of mistrust (I think he has), that SSS does not hold that "the vEdic declaration would require subsequent verification by some other accepted means of right knowledge" (fair enough) and that it is not Sri Bhaskar's stand that "*after* reading & understanding  shruti we have to go to some other place to do something else to realize its truth!!"

The above led me to conclude that Sri Bhaskar and I agree on the fact that the word of Vedas is final, does not require any further investigation or verification. To me, it then follows that only SrutyanugrihIta tarka can be used, not anubhavA~Nga tarka. 


My present response starts with two asterisks, in the post below.

----- Original Message ----
From: "bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com" <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com>
To: Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 9, 2007 6:04:02 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Fw: How shruti is antya pramANa in advaita vEdAnta??

praNAms Sri Siva Senani Nori prabhuji
Hare Krishna

SSN prabhuji :

Kindly pardon me I have never questioned the authority of scripture in
shankara vEdAnta.  My doubts are there with a genuine interest to know what
exactly does it mean when we say *shruti is the antya pramANa*....If I take
your words & say it is ONLY blind faith in scriptures just coz.

* Faith is belief that is not based on proof. If you are told something,
and will believe it after proving it then such a thing is called a
hypothesis. Or to paraphrase you, faith is by definition blind.

bhaskar :

Thanks for the clarification prabhuji...now tell me, whether shruti is
hypothesis or faith??

** The Acharya taught that SraddhA, which includes FAITH, in Sruti is essential; the orthodox do not view the propositions of Sruti as hypotheses.

  and also kindly clarify my doubt :what exactly does
it mean when we say *shruti is the antya pramANa*??  You said below : *The
Sruti is called antya pramANa precisely because no further "verification"
is required*  OK I agree with this..but now tell me shruti says tattvamasi
(thou art that).  You mean to say here we simply accept it without
verifying it further with our intuitive realization??

** Yes we simply accept; the doubting do not, but the faithful do. However, listening is not comprehending, and hence SravaNa has to be followed up by manana and nidhidhyAsana; once the teaching of Sruti is comprehended, the differences of agent, object, and action vanish.

SSN prabhuji :

it is our fore fathers collection of gems in their highest status.

* I guess speed-reading has its problems. I used the above phrase in a
context which condemns that; it does not state my belief.

bhaskar :

pardon me for misreading...Kindly clarify in simple language *on_what_basis
you consider shAstra as antya pramANa...you have said in your previous mail

** Because after all the sAdhana, a sAdhaka would realise the Brahman revealed by Sruti, by internalising the teachings of Sruti.

// quote //

* FAITH * in Sruti - as opposed to courtesy or pride that our fore-fathers
worked out the system and as a mark of respect we grant that collection of
gems of wisdom the highest status - is essential to understand Sri
Sankara's teachings.
// unquote //

If I connect the first & last sentences of your above statement, it reads
as * FAITH * in Sruti is essential to understand Sri Sankara's teachings
...is it your stand prabhuji??

** Absolutely.

SSN prabhuji :

It leads to the conclusion that shAstra has to be believed to be an
authority just as we
put faith in the declarations of champions in that field..In other words,
that would imply the dependence of the scriptures on some other source of
right knowledge for its efficacy.  What does it mean??  if some Rishi
cautions us that there is a big giant on the other side of the country, the
truth of that statement either should have to be believed blindly or that
statement would have to be investigated by actual perception or through
some other means of knowledge

* In case of Apta-vAkya, we assume it is true, till we know better, but do
not go about verifying out of mis-trust.

bhaskar :

Kindly clarify when did I say we have to verify shruti vAkya-s out of
mis-trust??  I've been only telling vEdAntic intuitive realization should
go hand in hand with scriptural verdicts...

** I have been forewarned that I must expect splitting of hairs; very well. Out of what motive do you then "investigate by actual perception  or through some other means of knowledge" the cautioning of the Rishi that there is a giant on the other side of the country? The answer is mistrust. If you had trust in the Rishi, you would take it at face value. Say, our father tells us that he has robbed of his wallet in the market. Do we then investigate this, by say, asking mother whether she has seen father take the wallet while going out, or checking the bank transactions to investigate and know that the wallet contained the amount father claimed it contains, or do we trust our father? A Rishi is like our father, and should be similarly trusted.

SSN prabhuji:

...If our case is former, then we are *blind
followers* of shruti, if our case is later, the vEdic declaration would
require subsequent verification by some other accepted means of right

* This is the crux of the difference. I guess you would attribute the above
stance to His Holiness Sri Satchidanenra Swami. *** SRUTI VAKYAS DO NOT
*N*E*E*D* VERIFICATION BY OTHER MEANS *** (it is a different matter that
they being the Truth are capable of being verified)

bhaskar :

No prabhuji I didnot mean that...may be coz. of my language constraints you
might have understood like that!!  I've been telling shrutyAdi & anubhavAdi
pramaNa-s required in brahma jignAsa & in dharma jignAsa only shAstra
suffice...It does not mean *after* reading & understanding  shruti we have
to go to some other place to do something else to realize its truth!! I am
afraid...that is not at all my stand...you might have seen my private mail
with regard to anubhava...this does not have anything to do with pratyakya
& anumAna pramANa-s & does not have dependence on pratyaksha pramANa.

** Great. If you are saying that the word of Sruti is final, and that it does need verification by any other means, we are saying the same thing, and have no difference of opinion. That also leads us to therefore accept only SrutyanugrihIta tarka, and not anubhavA~Nga or anubhavAtmaka tarka in brahma-jij~nAsA. 

SSN prabhuji :

; other means like anubhava are also available to understand / interpret
Sruti vakyas correctly with respect to Brahma-jij~nAsA, which is not the
case with dharmajij~nAsA. The mere availability of other means does not
make those means of understanding, more important than what is to be

In that case it is not an antya pramANa. As said earlier,
after hearing the truth in scriptures, there is some work still pending to
verify truth behind this declaration....

* The Sruti is called antya pramANa precisely because no further
"verification" is required.

bhaskar :

Then why shankara said shrutyAdi & anubhavAdi & precisely NOT ONLY shruti
but anubhavAdayaH ...

** One gentleman of great learning had earlier pointed out on this list in elaborate detail that Sruti, li~Nga, vAkya, prakaraNa, sthAna and samAkhyA are the six ways in which mImAmsakas interpret Vedas and that the Sruti in your phrase of "NOT ONLY shruti but anubhavAdayaH" does not refer to Vedas but a way of understanding Vedas. And, anubhava and others are in addition to "this technique of understanding vedas", not in addition to Vedas. 

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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