[Advaita-l] Anantaa vai vedaah

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 29 05:38:58 CDT 2011

Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> >I would suggest that apaurusheya-tva and ananta-tva are two independent
> attributes of
> >the veda and need not be clubbed together or intimately related to each
> other.

 I agree.

....please see this summary. At the outset let me state that the whole line
of thinking adopted below no way implies something like "Anyone in samAdhi
can get new Veda mantra-s revealed to himself" - if anything the contrary
emerges from the reasoning below.
 A brief summary

1. The question arose in trying to reconcile the fact of a finite number  of
veda mantras and the word anantAH in the mantra anantAH vai vedAH for which
Siva Senani ji gave the detailed sAyaNabhAShya reference. Sri Rama ji and
also Subhanu ji suggested that the word anantAH is better taken literally
since the whole story itself taken **as a whole** is an arthavAda for the
savitRcayanam which is an exalted aham-grahopAsanA. But that even if we take
anantA as infinite, this need not imply mantras are numerically infinite.

 2. Therefore to explain anantA,  I suggested that in the shAstra yonitvAt
bhAshya, there is a reference to IshvAra as being possessed of adhikatara
j~nAnam than what even the Vedas contain. So can't this word anantA be taken
to mean that there are infinite mantras a part of which is
expressed/breathed out in each kalpa, the rest being
**unexpressed/unexpressible** in this particular kalpa - no one can
claim access to them even if they exist. Only then the word
adhikataraj~nAnam of Ishvara makes sense. I also suggested that this
interpretation may explain how the same j~nAni does not return again in the
next kalpa and re-enact the same script as an aj~nAnI. In other words,  we
could accept the possibility of other *complete/coherent* sets of Veda
mantra-s with names of other different Rishis and j~nAnis and students
(equivalent to Janaka) would figure in those other mantras revealed in the
next kalpa. Each such set of Veda mantras revealed in each kalpa are
complete (they enfold brahmaj~nAnam) and the word Veda itself may be
class-label and can thus refer in a general way to any one such set. Can we
say that the same mantras need not repeat in every kalpa? (Here I am
intrigued by the following reference by Sri Subrahmanian ji from the
ratnaprabhA TIkA  -चिन्मात्रः परमेश्वरः स्वकृतपूर्वकल्पीयक्रमसजातीयक्रमवन्तं
वेदराशिं तदर्थांश्च युगपज्जाननेव करोतीति न वेदस्य पौरुषेयता (The Veda
mantras and the knowledge enfolded in them which is similar to that which He
"created" in the previous cycle of cereation (kalpa), are
recollected/breathed out, thereby they are apaurusheyatA -since the meaning
and the sound of the mantras are simultaneous, unlike in paurusheya words
where the meaning flashes first and is then expressed with effort into words
rendering them paurusheya.) The use of the *sajAtIya* to compare the
Veda-mantra-s in the previous kalpa with the Veda mantra-s in this kalpa is
intriguing.  Are the sets of Veda mantras in the 2 kalpas dentical or are
the 2 sets of Veda mantras "sajAtIya", of the same class ? but, that aside
..) Thus anantatvam, apaurusheyatvam and the non-return of the j~nAnI would
be accounted for. When I suggested the above, it was pointed out that this
seriously impinges on the nityatva (eternality) of the Veda and that it may
not be tenable to hold that the Veda itself is changeable in any manner not
even in the sajAtIya- sense. This angle needs further exploration - I
believe BhAmati-kAra says something comparing the Vedic manifestation in
different kalpas to the way a teacher teaches a nartaki (a female dancer) a
dance - the student's dance is reasonably faithful though not necessarily
the same reproduction of what the teacher teaches.

3.Sri Subrahmanian ji, Shyamji's  suggestion/interpretation (made in the
thread on apaurusheyatva)  seemed to be a better one than mine  -  i.e, they
said that LYV talked of the possibility that the Veda mantras are fixed and
finite and still provide the generic template or script with a different set
of jIvas in each kalpa donning the generic role of Janaka and the Rishis.
This way, we could explain the non-return of the j~nAnI and also have a
fixed finite set of Veda mantra-s. A different jIva would fill the role
occupied by Janaka in the previous kalpa etc.

4.If we go along with the above suggestion given by them from LYV,
that leaves us with the option of taking the veda mantra-s to be fixed
and finite in number and accounting for the word anantA in a different
way to refer to the infinite vibhutIs and glories within vyavhAra as Sri
Subrahmanian ji quoted न हि ईश्वरस्य सर्वात्मनः दिव्यानां विभूतीनाम् इयत्ता
शक्या वक्तुं ज्ञातुं वा केनचित्। None can specify or know the limits of this
vibhUti of Ishwara In other words the word anantA and the vistAra-jnAna can
be taken as elucudation/expansion of the Vedas to reveal unbounded depth and
possibilities. Such elucidation into Smritis etc would of course imply that
the end product granthas are necessarily paurusheya elucidations and yet the
apaurusheya-status of the Veda mantras remains undisturbed. Thus in an
indirect manner the word anantA is explained and we can account for the
Vedic template repeating kalpa after kalpa without the problem of the same
j~nAnI having to return and also the word anantAH being explained as above
by Sri Subrahmanian ji and others to refer to the infinite glories -
vibhUti-s. All this seemed an acceptable possible explanation. It preserves
apaurusheyatvam, nityatvam, anantatvam of the Veda with a fixed set of
mantra-s, and can explain the non-return of the j~nAnI.

>From here on the question that came up and that was raised by me is on a
different subject - regarding "वेदे हि सर्वार्थप्रकाशनशक्तिरुपलभ्यते, सा
तद्गता वा, प्रकाशनशक्तिवत् ।" (The Vedas have the capacity to bring to light
which led me to ask the question regarding Ishvara's sarvavittvam which,
may perhaps merit a separate thread.....but the basic question is "can we
premise Ishvara-sarvavittvam upon his being the Veda-hetu?' The sUtra,
bhAshya, TIka and verse from the muNdaka Upanishad seem to say "yes"  as per
my understanding.

Thank you everyone

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