[Advaita-l] apaurusheyatva of veda-s

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Aug 19 13:04:45 CDT 2011

On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 9:20 PM, Omkar Deshpande
<omkar_deshpande at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Namaskara,
> >Brahman is not something that can be solely deduced; all that reasoning
> can come up with is only a hypothesis. It is possible to know that there
> is Brahman only due to the testimony of the Vedas; if they are paurusheya,
> they cannot be testimony.
> I have a question about this -
> How does a text being apauruSheya serve as a better testimony than a text
> that is pauruSheya? If it's said that pauruSheya texts may have flaws
> because of the bias of the author, how are apauruSheya texts guaranteed to
> be valid merely because of not having an author? It's not merely the absence
> of bias that makes an authored text valid, but the presence of knowledge in
> the author as well. In an unauthored text, not only bias, but the merits of
> the author (knowledge, etc) would also be missing. How then is validity
> guaranteed?
> My familiarity with apauruSheyatva is based on dvaita works, not
> advaita/Purva-Mimamsa works, and I don't come from an advaita background, so
> please pardon me if my questions have a well-known answer in the advaita
> framework.
> Regards,
> Omkar

Here is a facet of the Advaitic position on the topic:

*Veda, the only pramANa for knowing Brahman *

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.9.26 there occurs an expression:

तं त्वौपनिषदं पुरुषं पृच्छामि  [ I ask of you of that Being who is to be
known only from the UpaniShads]

In the bhashya, Shankaracharya says:

…य औपनिषदः पुरुषः, अशनायादिवर्जितः, *उपनिषत्स्वेव विज्ञेयः*, न
अन्यत्प्रमाणगम्यः, तं ….पुरुषं पृच्छामि..

[I ask you of that Being, devoid of hunger, etc., Who is to be known only
from the UpaniShads, and through no other means of knowledge.]

Here, the Upanishad itself is specifying that the Ultimate Truth,  Brahman,
is to be known from the Upanishad alone.  It qualifies the 'PuruSha'
intended here for moksha.  It is not the biological, the psychological or
any such puruSha but a unique entity whose knowledge can be obtained only
from the Veda. No 'person' (author) can have the knowledge of this Purusha
from a source other than the Veda.

In the Brahmasutra Bhashya 2.3.1 Shankaracharya says:

श्रुतिश्च नः प्रमाणं अतीन्द्रियार्थ-विज्ञानोत्पत्तौ ।

[In our knowing that which is beyond the scope of the sense organs, Shruti
is the means of valid knowledge.]

On the topic of  'Brahman is beyond words' the following post may be visited
and the discussions following it noted:




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