[Advaita-l] Apaurusheyatva of Veda

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Wed Sep 14 05:21:18 CDT 2011

sAshtAnga praNAms Sri Vidya prabhuji 
Hare Krishna

This is precisely where I think apaurusheyatva of the veda is not being 

> Yes prabhuji, oflate, I am also thinking so...I humbly request you to 
educate me what exactly is the meaning when we say 'veda-s are 
apaurusheya' & it donot have any human origin nor Ishwara / supernatural 
Firstly, in the broader picture of the veda as pramANa, we are talking not 
of vedAnta (uttara mImAMsA), but also of pUrva mImAMsA. In fact, advaita
vedAntins traditionally do not spend much effort talking of the topic, 
they don't need to. The vedAnta system starts off where pUrva mImAMsA 
in a very fundamental sense.

>  Yes prabhuji, even for that matter shankara too talks about veda-s 
apaurusheyatva & nityatva keeping only vedAntic tattva is mind. 
rUpAdhyabhAvAt hi nAyamarthaH pratyakshasya gOcharaH, lingAdhyAbhAvaccha 
na anumAnAdeenAM, AgamamAtra samadhigamya eva tu ayamarthaH dharmavat. 
Here he hints that since vedAnta tells us the tattva which is beyond the 
reach of human intellect, it has to be apaurusheya only.  But as you 
rightly mentioned above veda means not only vedAnta/upanishads, it also 
contains other portions.  what about maNtra & brAhmaNa portions of veda-s 
which has somany elaborated stories, places, relations, descriptions, 
injunctions & minute details of various other matters??  Still my gut & 
helpless feeling is that the veda-s brAhmaNa portion is just like an 
instruction manual which is systematically & meticulously written by some 
Rishi-s for the benefit of veda vidhi followers. 

But then, for the jnAnI who lives and breathes ahaM brahmAsmi, vedA avedA 
bhavanti, so the debate about apaurusheyatva is moot at that point. For 
those who are still struggling with the process of jnAna, it is
indeed a very relevant debate.

>  thanks for encouraging this discussion prabhuji.  Prabhuji, my mind 
thinking here that atra veda aveda bhavati is just an another declaration 
of some Rishi who has experienced the state sushupti and shared that 
experience  through his words?? 
The prAmANya of these texts is traditionally accepted because they are not 
variance from the veda. For that matter, the traditional teachers are 
quite willing
to embrace that portion of ANY smRti that does not directly contradict 

>  prabhuji, am I saying anything wrong if I say it would be just like 
taking the reference of old case & its accepted verdict in the supreme 
court while giving the new judgement in the lower court of law??  shruti 
might be an accepted old pramANa (case settled successfully at the supreme 
court) because of its clarity, and smruti is like a new case which has to 
be investigated & to be adjudged based on this old & settled case study. 

Strictly speaking, there is NO logical justification for this except 
through the vedAnta, and therefore from
the veda. If we can see and appreciate the grandeur of "ahaM brahmAsmi" 
even as we go about our daily lives assuming the opposite, I don't see why 
we should feel so uncomfortable about the apaurusheyatva of the veda that 
gives us this statement in the first place! 

>  Yes, for this svarUpa jnAna Agama is the only pramANa.  mahaccha 
prAmANya kAraNametat yad vedAnta vAkyAnAM chetanakAraNatve samAna gatitvaM 
chakshurAdeenamiva rUpAdishu clarifies shankara in sUtra bhAshya.  But 
again, when we talk about apaurusheyatva of veda we not only talk about 
vedAnta or vedAnta vAkya but also brAhmaNa & saMhita.
That is exactly what we are saying. We all grant that the veda speaks to 
us through
words. We all grant that the Rshi-s gave us these words for the first 
time, at some
unknown ancient point in time. 

>  Here I need bit clarification prabhuji, when Rishi-s giving us these 
words/veda maNtra-s for the first time to us whether they were giving us 
what they exactly see in their meditative state?? have they exactly 
parroted what they have seen devata chandas etc. of every maNtra-s & 
presented us without using their own vocabulary whatsoever?? or after 
realization they worded this realization by using their own words, chandas 
after building some interesting story around it to convey that tattva?? 
Like after experiencing the 'electric shock' we try to describe it through 
our words by narrating the entire story. If the former, then they might 
have seen the 'exact' dialogues of two parties and background of that 
dialogue etc. like a moving picture.  For example, the rishi who has seen 
the katOpanishad maNtra must have also seen nachiketa, nachiketa's father, 
nachiketa's arguments with his father, his father's fury, that yagna 
shAla, those brittle cows, nachiketa's patient waiting at yamalOka, 
yamarAja's testing, that enlightening dialogues between yama-nachiketa 
etc. and replicated it exactly without a miss of even a single word.  On 
the other hand if we think about the later, after realizing mrutyu 
svarUpa/svarUpa jnAna in his transcedental state, a rishi might have 
worded it using his words by taking the then existed physio-socio-cultural 
phenomenon.  which one, out of these two different scenarios, is more 
logical & legitimate claim prabhuji??  Kindly clarify.

Nobody is saying that this apaurusheyatva means that the veda somehow came 
to us magically, without
words, without Rshi-s, without the editing agency of vyAsa. That is why I 
repeating that I think the apaurusheyatva of veda is being properly 

>  Yes, prabhuji, I think, finally, its all boils down to how we interpret 
the word 'apaurusheya'.  I sincerely seek your help in this regard 

Your humble servant
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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