[Advaita-l] Veda-s & its apaurusheyatva

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Wed Sep 2 11:51:42 CDT 2009

Hari Om, Dennis-ji.

On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 8:44 PM, Dennis Waite <dwaite at advaita.org.uk> wrote:

> At the risk of upsetting some of the members, I have to say that my
> preferred (reasonable) interpretation of the adjective 'unauthored' is that...

I wouldn't say it is upsetting to me, because its plain simple one belief vs.
other. I have faith in the Vedic and advaitic saMpradAya, while you may not.
Science may well give you preferred (reasonable) interpretation of this world,
but you would hardly get upset because you have your own belief system and
reasons. :)

> the words were 'originated' by self-realized sages and subsequently passed...

First, I'd like to know from other members whether all Rishis in karmakANDa
are considered by advaitis as self-realized. I think not! mantradRshTa Rishis
were ones to whom the mantra was revealed; the Rishi was pure enough to
"see" it and announce it to the world. We pay our respect to that Rishi when
chanting the respective mantra. But thats all, the Rishi isn't involved further
into the mantra.

> on by word of mouth until such time as written materials became common.

The current day problem of Vedas being available in multiple svarAs in some
places is because it is in written form! So, its purity is maintained
even today
in Veda pAThashAlAs not by reading it, but by word of mouth from the guru
to the shishya as a shruti should be.

> These sages, being self-realized, no longer identified themselves as
> body-minds, as named individuals, so they had no wish whatsoever to have
> their bodily-assigned names associated with them. They knew that what they
> were conveying was non-personal, eternal truth that had nothing to do with
> personality. The sole purpose was to pass on this knowledge so that other
> minds, believing in separation, might be enlightened.

Almost the entire karmakANDa is full of personal, non-eternal (swarga prApti,
for example), named individual devatAs such as agni, vAyu, indra, etc, and
therefore help those who are in separation too. And karma kANDa might at
most lead one to j~nAnakANDa but not enlighten.

Such absolute truth is
> beyond authorship and hence is reasonably construed as 'unauthored'. But,
> obviously, the words chosen are bound to be those current at the time and
> place in which they were originally spoken. And the method of presentation
> will be as learned by the speaker from parents and teachers in that
> then-current society.

The names current in the past century did not turn up in chhando-darSana,
"seen and uttered" by Brahmarshi Devarata, later identified as a lost set from
Rig Veda. This was endorsed by Vashishta Ganapati Muni, one of the caturveda
paNDit that has even been, who himself wrote a commentary on it. The language/
presentation of the mantra-s were of Rk style and thats how they were
as lost work of Rig Veda. They had nothing to do with the speaker Brahmarshi
Devarata from parents and teachers (his sole teacher as I understand, was
Vashishta Ganapati Muni.

> The mythology of such words being literally passed down by Ishvara, Narayana
> or whoever is no different from the creation myths propounded in the various
> Upanishads. It is a ploy to make the ideas readily acceptable to minds more
> inclined to bhakti than j~nAna; i.e. part of the adhyAropa-apavAda method.

Ishvara, Narayana or whoever are still identified as Purusha and apaurusheyatva
is a term used to say that Vedas did not originate from Purusha! The
same creation
myth that bhaktas find in upanishads is used by the j~nAna mArga followers for
removing each element from the creation story to reveal its substratum
till brahman
is realized! So they can't be a ploy to appeal bhaktas.

Finally, the flaw in saying that shruti originated from self-realized
would also make
anything said by "a self-realized" shruti! That is clearly not the
case. Else, none of us
would ever find a Guru who is self-realized because there won't be any
system to
announce the person as self-realized. :) A self-realized as per
saMpradAya is one
whose anubhava is anUbhuti as per shruti and not the other way around!

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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