[Advaita-l] Anantaa vai vedaah

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Aug 26 04:40:54 CDT 2011

On Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 7:38 AM, Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com>wrote:

> 3. In BS bhAShya on the shAstra-yonitvAt sUtra, we have (quoted already)
>  yadyat-vistarArtham shAstram yasmAt puruShAt sambhavati, yatha vyAkaraNadi
> pANiNyAdeH jneyaikadeshArthamapi, sa tato'pi adhikataravijnAnaH
> kimuvaktavyam aneka-shAkhAbhinnasya RgvedAdeH ...
> "whatever shAstra is composed by a given person, even in the case of a
> particular branch of knowledge such as grammar by pANiNi, we see that (on
> the analogy of pANiNi) he would be endowed with much more knwoledge than
> what was set forth/manifested." (so what to speak of sarvajna-Ishvara, this
> kaimUtika-nyAya is presented and in the next line in bhAShya, the word
> 'aprayatnena' precludes the extension of the analogy to mean 'created' or
> 'composed'.)
> The word adhikatara-vijnAna (one endowed with **more** knowledge) is
> noteworthy, indicating that Ishvara has not exhausted all the knowledge
> which inseparably exists/rests in Him, in manifesting (not amounting to
> freshly creating) the Vedas as we know them. (The word 'aprayatnena'
> precludes the extension of the analogy to mean 'created' or 'composed'.) To
> say that exactly the same finite set of mantras are manifested in every
> kalpa while some other mantras are never "breathed" out and are permanently
> resident in Ishvara, seems a little far-fetched.

The 'adhika tara' vijnAna in Ishwara need not be in the form of veda-mantras
alone. 'shruti-smRtee mamaivaajne' is a saying which means 'both the shruti
and the smRti are Ishwara's injunction/instruction/command'.  It is also
said that Ishwara, through the Rshi-s 'caused', कारयामास, smRti-s to be
written.  Even though the veda-s are the core-basis for the smRti-s, the
expansion/explanation/elucidation can be in terms of non-veda sentences.
So, there is nothing unreasonable in holding that the 'same' quantum of veda
mantra-s were brought out/revealed/breathed out in every kalpa.  The
'adhika-tara' adjective is used only with reference to the 'vijnAna'.  As
they say 'Nature will never reveal her secrets all at once', there is
virtually no limit to the secrets hidden, unexplored/undiscovered. Bhagavan
Himself says regarding nature/knowledge/vibhUti 'नान्तोऽस्ति मम दिव्यानां
विभूतीनाम्’ (Bh.G.10.40) Shankara comments:

न हि ईश्वरस्य सर्वात्मनः दिव्यानां विभूतीनाम् इयत्ता शक्या वक्तुं ज्ञातुं वा
None can specify or know the limits of this vibhUti of Ishwara.

And this additional line of the commentary is especially relevant in the
present discussion:

एष तु उद्देशतः एकदेशेन प्रोक्तः विभूतेः विस्तरः मया। ।।10.40।।

What has been 'stated', revealed, breathed out, is only an 'ekadesha', an
undefined, yet finite, part, of the limitless.

So, the body of knowledge that has been revealed, at each kalpa/creation,
though limited, need not be thought of being 'incomplete'.  For, the Veda
itself has taught the concept of and the method of acquiring, the
'essence/essential knowledge' - एकविज्ञानेन सर्वविज्ञानम्’.

If Panini is capable of giving out his ideas in the form of sutras, the
encapsulated form, it goes without saying that he is in possession of the
fund of knowledge that exists behind/beneath those sutra-s.  That is called

Thus, even though Ishvara's knowledge is 'adhika-tara' in comparison to the
revealed veda/knowledge, there is no conflict with the traditional view
regarding the Veda, its apauruSheyatva, the revelation being 'the same as it
was in the previous creation-cycle', etc. Just because some shAkhA-s have
become lupta, lost, there is no real 'loss' for humanity in respect of the
essential knowledge.  After all, the Upanishad itself says: ब्रह्मविद्या
सर्वविद्याप्रतिष्ठा’. There is never a situation where one is denied the
ways and means to brahmavidyA despite the loss of some shAkhA-s owing to

It is pertinent to note some points made by the commentary
'bhAshyaratnaprabhaa' for the Br.Sutra शास्त्रयोनित्वात् -

वेदे हि सर्वार्थप्रकाशनशक्तिरुपलभ्यते, सा तदुपादानब्रह्मगतशक्रिपूर्विका
तद्गता वा, प्रकाशनशक्तिवत् ।....वेदोपादानत्वेन ब्रह्मणः
स्वसंबद्धाशेषार्थप्रकाशनसामर्थ्यरूपं सर्वसाक्षित्वं सिद्ध्यति ।
यद्वा.....चिन्मात्रः परमेश्वरः स्वकृतपूर्वकल्पीयक्रमसजातीयक्रमवन्तं वेदराशिं
तदर्थांश्च युगपज्जाननेव करोतीति न वेदस्य पौरुषेयता । ....*विस्तरः
शब्दाधिक्यम्, अनेनार्थतोऽल्पत्वं वदन् कर्तुर्ज्ञानस्य अर्थाधिक्यं
सूचयति.... *

Thank you Subhanu ji, for bringing up the verse *
अनन्तपारं किल* शब्दशास्त्रं स्वल्पं तथायुर्बहवश्च विघ्नाः ।
 सारं ततो ग्राह्यमपास्य फल्गु हंसो यथा क्षीरमिवाम्बुमध्यात् ||
for while composing the above post I recalled this verse and wanted to
include it herein.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list