[Advaita-l] tradition as pramana

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Mon May 23 17:31:48 CDT 2011

Namaste Satishji,

The Puranas and the Epics (or the Itihasas), rightly called the fifth Veda, by the Upanishad,  must conform to the five laksanas, accordinjg to the Matsya Purana and history is one of those five lakshanas. Now in the maze of the anecdotes used to elaborate the spiritual truths it may not be possible for the ordinary people to see the historical truths but the historians among us  do see the historical data. Using the data from the Ramayana people could approach the date of Lord Ram. However only very recently I had been able to find the date of Lord Ram accurately from the astronomical data given in the Ramayana with the help of  the latest astronomical software. Similarly I could found the the date of the Mahabharata war with the data in that and using astronomical calculations. Sometime ago Prof. Narahari Achar could find the date of Lord Buddha and of King Kaniska accurately using the astronomical data  but that was of course from the Buddhist
 canonical literature. So as you can see the ancirent literture in India has plenty of  historical information.


Sunil KB

--- On Mon, 5/23/11, Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] tradition as pramana
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Monday, May 23, 2011, 6:57 AM

>From: Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
>So my conclusion is the negative view of the Buddha in puranas has a lot firmer 
>base in "tradition" and >deserves to given a lot more weight than the negative 
>view of Shankaracharya in puranas.

I would conclude the same. So we do not have a disagreement on what purANa-s say 
about buddha & Adi shankara.

What I was trying to point out is that, the view of the purANa on a matter need 
not be taken as an absolute unquestionable truth.

The purANa might say that hiraNyAkSha rolled(just picking some random example of 
old ideas) the Earth like a mat...because of a perception in the older world 
that the earth is flat. Of course holding to the purANic view on this matter 
would be completely absurd. Likewise there is a possibility that the purANa can 
be mistaken on some secular issues or about a minor historical detail like in 
this case about some detail regarding the buddha. On such matters one should try 
to validate(if one wants to find out) what the purANa says by other means.

On a related note, though the purANa is never meant to be like a historical 
record, many purANa-s do have some useful historical data which matches 
with archeological data etc and they are fairly consistent.
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