[Advaita-l] Apaurusheyatva of Veda

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 12 07:59:07 CDT 2011

SrI lalitaalaalitaH ji

Pranams. You made an interesting statement that you did not want to disturb
the notion of those who innocently believe that shraddhA is the reason/basis
for the Veda-prAmANyam.  Could you please  clarify what exactly you meant?

In the case of eyes etc., I don’t need shraddhA to say “I see with my eyes”.
It is self-evident (svataH-siddhaH), but in the case of the Vedas revealing
svarga (“heaven”) etc.?
Let me ask you a hypothetical question.   We know that many shAkha-s are
lost. Suppose, in some distant village, it is claimed that there is found a
hitherto unknown shakha of the Rg-veda .  Is there any way of verifying the
authenticity and validity of these newly-available mantra-s by looking at
the mantra-s themselves? Do they have any internal mandate vouching for
their validity ? Does svataH-pramANyam imply such an internal mandate?
Or does it only imply that the veda-mantra-s do not depend on the other
pramANas?  (and they do not also conflict with any of the other pramANa-s,
ie., the veda mantra-s only have pramANAntara-anadhigatatvaM and
abAdhitatvaM ;  they are **non-falsifiable**)

 I understand the  important “anapekShatvAt”  Jaimini Sutra – “autpattikastu
shabdasyArthena saMbandhasya j~nAnam upadesho’vyatirekasca arthe anupalabdhe
tat.h pramANam bAdarAyaNasya anapekShatvAt” to  mean (rough translation)  the
connection between the vedic mantra-s (shabda) like “agnihotram juhyaat” and
the meaning (artha) is natural/eternal, as they are beyond the ken of
pratyakSha etc., and are therefore infallible/unchangeable in matters of
dharma, being not related to and independent in any manner on perception,
inference etc.

But, the question here is that suppose we have a given statement from some
tradition which claims to be anAdi and says (lets say) “there was never any
previous janma-s;  the present janma is the first ever birth” – such a
statement too is non-falsifiable and cannot be arrived at, by perception etc
and cannot be disproved by logic etc., so how do we distinguish such
statements and the Vedic statements without invoking shraddhA as the
deciding factor in favor of the Vedic statements ?

Would you say that any statement like “svarga does not exist” can
in-principle be shown fallacious purely by pratyakSha and anumAna? If all
such statements dealing with alaukika topics which conflict with the Vedas-s
can be shown (in-principle) to be false, then the word svataH-pramAnyam is
more meaningful since it can be shown to apply to only the Vedas. But if
someone (a nAstika) claims that the above statements are also for him
svataH-pramANa, can we show them to be fallacious? It does not appear
possible without bringing in the idea of shraddhA.

Another thing is that – you seem to feel that, if anything like the recent
evidence from science are so much as touched by a bargepole (even partially
accepted),  we have to give up all ideas of ISvara, shAstra-pramANyam
etc.  That
is not really the case. I believe that most Astika-s today accept the fact
of gradual manifestation of complex life on earth.

(In a lighter vein) That is, we do not have to hold that ISvara, one fine
morning, after breakfast,  plomped SrI svayambhuvA-manu and his wife on
planet earth after creating the planets etc, all in one go.

For example – muNdaka upaniShad bhAShya (1.1.8 introduction) says – “yad
brahmaNa utpadyamAnam vishvam tad anena krameNa utpadyate na yugapad.h
badaramuShTi-prakShepavad-iti krama-niyama-vivakShArtho’yam mantra
Arabhyate” – God did not simultaneously create everything like plomping a
fistful of berries all at one go; there was a gradual sequence and “ordering
in time” in the manifestation of various entities.

Once we accept the “time” factor in sRShTi, it is shruti-sammata to maintain
that the guru-paramparA commenced on Earth at some time after life arose.
(Even though the Vedas were present even before in a “seed” form with brahmA
ji, as you said.)

There is no conflict with shAstra in accepting this process of gradual
manifestation (like a seed gradually becomes manifest as a tree; it is not
necessary to say that the fruits have to come up on day one; similarly we do
not have to insist that man was always walking around on Earth since the
beginning of creation.)

  Certain elements of neo-darwinism may well be involved in such gradual
manifestation. The details are immaterial.  You may be aware that “gradual
manifestation” upheld by many if not most Astikas, is not a mainstream
“scientific theory” like neo-darwinism. (In many ways it is the “opposite”.)
The gItA (avyaktAd vyaktayaH sarvaM) and ideas like “bIjasyAtarivAnkuro
jagadidaM” are all related to “gradual manifestation”.  This  can well
accommodate most scientific evidence like those from fossil discoveries etc
even while retaining an intelligent first cause for the jagat, and a
teleological aspect (purposeful direction) in the rise of life on earth.  On
the other hand Neo-darwinism currently cannot or does not seem to favor an
intelligent first cause for life and also claims that randomness , survival,
etc are the driving forces. So if we turn the clock back, we may not get
similar species. On the other hand, according to an Astika type of gradual
manifestation system (the minority view today), the same jAti-s repeat in
every cycle of creation. Even if the details are different, the basic plan
for sRShTi given in the eternal-Veda remains unchanged in every kalpa.  This
topic is too vast to really talk about in brief. I only mentioned this in
this post to help you better place/understand those of us who hold that
“ISvara is jagat-kAraNam. Yet a number of the recent scientific discoveries
have no big conflict with our Vedic model and can be accepted even while
their over-arching theories like an inert first cause etc are wrong and the
guru-paramparA began on Earth only after complex life forms arose at a later
date, as per the will of Ishvara.”

For example – SrI Jaldhar Vyasji wrote – “Maybe some primordial molecules
combined to form more complex ones which began self-replicating which became
bacteria which became plants which became animals which became mammals which
became primates which became men who saw mantras.  It's as good an
explanation as any.”

The point is not that we have any particular insistence on the above model,
but that, even accepting it to be true is fine because, it does not
necessarily imply that “ISvara does not exist or the vedas are not a

Regarding mantra darshana –I don’t think there is any difference between
what you or I are saying –

You said brahmAji “taught” the Vedas to the Rishis. I am only elaborating
the word “taught” as mantra-darSana. I do not ever remember reading a word
like “mantra-adhyayana” by the Rishis in a gurukulam run by brahmA ji; we
hear words in bhAshya like “mantra-darSana”  or the Rishis being called
mantra-kRt.  You asked for some references. Since Shyam ji quoted something
which is the same as what I had in mind, I quote it below-  “In chAndogya
section 3.17.7 while glossing on "tamasaspari jyotirUttamam" Sankara
comments : .....the meaning of the sentence is that they, the Knowers of
Brahman, with eyes turned inwards and hearts purified by asceticism, see
that Supreme Light to be allpervading.....And then again ANOTHER seer of
this mantra says thus...."perceiving that Supreme Light, that sublates the
darkness of ignorance, we reached.. the efflulgent source of energy.." Also,
in BSB 1.3.30, I already quoted this earlier – “Saunaka and others mention
that the RShis madhucchandas and others were the seers of the mantras of the
Rg-veda. Similarly, with regard to the parts of the other Veda-s, different
RShis are mentioned.”

Hari Om


2011/9/11 श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com>

> *श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <http://www.lalitaalaalitah.com>
> lalitAlAlitaH <http://about.me/lalitaalaalitah/bio>*
> On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 15:11, Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > 1.WHERE (in which loka) did the first transmission take place in this
> > kalpa?
> > Presumably the Earth.
> >
> Using words of purANa-s, etc. , as kalpa, breath of Ishvara, etc., confuses
> us.
> Are you talking according to scriptures or present evidences ?
> If first, see scriptures for answer.
> If last, There is no question of Ishvara, his breath, loka, kalpa, etc. So,
> don't talk about them.
> >
> > 2.WHEN did the first transmission from brahmA ji to a human being take
> > place? Some TIME/DATE has to be necessarily postulated, in principle.
> >
> If you accept brahmA, then accept yugAdi-kAla-gaNanA too. As scriptures say
> that it was transferred to manu, etc., in kalpAdi. So, there is no doubt
> about time.
> > how did the RShis do
> > tapas before the Vedas were revealed, since the very notion of tapas
> > originates from the Vedas, this may well be accounted for by past
> > samskAra-s
> > of these AdhikArika puruShas called the RShis. So there is no circularity
> > in
> > positing them to be mantra-dRShTa-s through their tapas.
> >
> You will need to provide scriptural evidences to prove it. If scriptures
> say
> that veda-s were taught to R^iShis by brahmA, then there is no room for
> your
> theory.
> >  The mantra-s
> > themselves were of course a matter for ‘darSana’ by the RShi-s.
> >
> What is this 'darshana' ? And how it happens ?
> Please, provide only scriptural evidences.
> > P.S. Any model proposed by the pUrva-mImAmsaka-s will surely have to
> > accommodate the fact that the earth could not support life earlier.
> Why are you sparing vedAntin-s ?
> They too accept veda-paramparA running from kalpAdI...
> > We can
> > call upon shraddhA to do the rest of the job. But to ask for jettisoning
> > even such strong evidence such as the late origin for life on Earth
>  should
> > be avoided..
> >
> I support you. But, you shouldn't try to stick to things like veda,
> Ishvara,
> R^iShi, darshana, etc.
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