[Advaita-l] śrutyādayaḥ anubhavādayasca : shruti etc., and anubhava etc are pramāṇa-s

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 21 03:33:54 CST 2011


In the passage from the brahma-sūtra-bhāṣya (1.1.2) -  "śrutyādayo
anubhavādayaśca yathā sambhavam iha pramāṇam", we have the words
śrutyādayaḥ and anubhavādayaḥ We are told that in the case of
dharma-jijñāsā - enquiry in to the vedic karma-kāṇḍa, the textual
analysis of vedic sentences alone is sufficient to arrive at the
desired knowledge of the rituals and meditations, whereas in the case
of enquiry in to brahman or brahma-jijñāsā dealt with in the
upanishads, not only vedic textual exegesis but also "anubhava etc."
(includes reason, direct perception, mental modification corresponding
to the ahaṁ brahmāsmi mahāvākya etc. ) are also, where possible, the
means to arrive at valid knowledge of non-dual ātmā.

Regarding śrutyādayaḥ

The word refers to the canons of vedic interpretation and is parsed as
"śrutī-tihāsa-purāṇa-smṛtayaḥ" by bhāmatīkāra. Does the word itihāsa
refer to the rāmāyaṇa or to the vedic itihiāsa-s like the story of
ūrvaśī and purūrava ?

There is also another meaning in the ratnaprabhā sub-commentary, viz.,
that the word śrutyādayaḥ refers to the ṣaṭ-pramāṇa-s viz.,  "śruti,
linga, vākya, prakaraṇa, sthāna and samākhyā".  Using these rules, the
vedic mantra-s and their application are understood.

1. Does the word linga in the above sentence refer to the ṣaṭ linga-s,
viz., upakrama-upasamhāra, apūrvatā, upapatti, āvṛtti, arthavāda,
phala or to something else? Which of the jaiminī-sūtra-s contain
explanations of all these words of mīmāmsa śāstra in detail ?

2.Why are the above six pramāṇa-s mentioned - they are usually
mentioned as the pramāṇa-s for 'viniyoga' ? Why not śruti, arthakrama,
pāṭhakrama, shtāna, mukhyakrama and pravṛttikrama which are regarded
the pramāṇa-s for 'prayoga'?

3. Is there any explanation of the sūtra - "sa ca vidhi chaturvidhaḥ"
and explaining the precise meaning of the words utpatti, viniyoga,
prayoga, adhikārī  used in pūrva-mīmāmsa?

Regarding anubhavādayaḥ vis-a-vis anubhavāvasānatvam

There seem to be two senses in which the word anubhava is being used.
1. anubhava as a pramāṇam, i.e., the means (sādhanam) to knowledge ( jñānam)
2. anubhava as the jñānam itself, the end or fruition of all sādhana.

The word anubhava in the first sense of anubhavādayaḥ has to be taken
only as the mental modification, the antaḥ-karaṇa-vṛtti-bhedaḥ, called
the brahmākāra-vṛtti,  which is quite helpful in negating avidyā. This
vṛtti generally arises during śravaṇa or mananam itself. The mere
arising of this vṛtti during vedanta sadhanā be it śravaṇa or manana
need not automatically imply that the parama-puruṣārtha of mokṣa or
jivanmukti has been attained and avidyā has been negated/destroyed.
Some people are liable to make such a mistake leading to premature
triumphalism. This vṛtti is necessary but not sufficient for attaining
the parama-puruṣārtha of ātyantika-duḥkha-nivṛtti. (There are some
nuances possible here...) If the arising of the brahmākāra vṛtti were
to be sufficient, there would be no need for brahma-sūtra-s like
āvṛtti-rasakṛd-upadeśāt (repetition is required since the teaching is
repeated many times as in the chāndogya upaniṣad where svetaketu is
taught nine times.)

Also, the bṛhadāraṇyaka bhāṣhya confirms that the aikya-pratyaya
revealing the identity of ātman with brahman may arise once or
intermittently or continuously, but only that instance of the vṛtti
which destroys avidyā and its effects entirely is fit to be regarded
as brahma-vidyā. This bhāṣhya implies that the brahmākāra vṛtti can
arise intermittently even before avidyā is destroyed. Such a vṛtti is
also not merely 'intellectual knowledge' which has to be transformed
in to something else called 'experiential knowledge' ; yet this kind
of brahmākāra-vṛti falls short of being termed vidyā which destroys
avidyā and its effects.  (ya eva
avidyādi-doṣa-nivṛtti-phalakṛt-pratyaya ādyo'ntyaḥ santato'santato vā
sa eva vidyā iti... That pratyaya ie., mental modification, which
results in the negation of avidyā and its effects, be it the first one
or the last one, or continuous or intermittent,that alone is called

In the second sense, we can say that the fruition of various sadhana-s
such as īśvara-upāsanā , abhyāsa or practice of this very
brahmākāra-vṛtti and other such nididhyāsana-oriented sādhana-s
ultimately leads to brahmāvagati or "brahma-jñānam" in the primary
sense of the word; the result of this maturing or fruition is also
referred to by the word 'anubhava'. (for example when the enquiry into
brahman, i.e., brahma-jijñāsā is said to culminate in 'anubhava' - the
enquiry has anubhavāvasānatvam).

The abhyāsa or practice centred on the brahmākāra-vṛtti is of the
nature of "seeing ātmā as it is viz., as brahman" and is not an
will-based effort of the kind employed in meditation on a mantra or a
ṣivalinga where īśvara is superimposed upon the mantra or the symbol.
It is thus different from meditation or upāsanā as understood in the
vedic and āgamic upāsanā. Even the pūrva mīmāmsaka-s practised
meditation on the mahāvākya-s like aham-brahmāsmi and he called it
prasankhyāna. He has even occasionally used the word nidhidhyāsana to
refer to meditation done as an effort.. But the maturing of knowledge
through vedantic nidhidhyāsana is significantly different from the
practise of aham-brahmāsmi upāsanā where the meditator superimposes
the idea of brahman upon the self (ātman) rather like how one
superimposes viṣṇu upon a śālagrāma altar during pūjā.

Are there other specific references which further clarify the use of
the word anubhava as a *means* to knowledge (pramāṇam) and also as the
matured *knowledge* (pramā) itself ?

Most of us already know all this, but I merely wanted to provide the
context or framework to ask some of questions that I have asked of our
members in order to further understanding.


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