[Advaita-l] Apaurusheyatva of Vedas.

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 14 05:21:31 CDT 2011

2011/9/13 श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com>

> *श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <http://www.lalitaalaalitah.com>
> lalitAlAlitaH <http://about.me/lalitaalaalitah/bio>*
> On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 18:55, kuntimaddi sadananda <
> kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Pratyaksha is direct and immediate
> Correct.
> > - there is no shraddhaa involved there other than the fact that what I
> see
> > is what is there.
> 'What I see is there' is fact or shraddhA ?
> You are presenting it as fact. This clearly shows that you have shraddhA in
> pratyaxa.
> Why this is not a fact ?
> Because eyes generate knowledge of pot,etc. only and they don't produce the
> determination 'what I see is there'.
> What you are missing here is that word 'knowledge' doesn't denote pramANa
> essentially.
> I leave it for others to show to you.

> Namaste SrI Sadananda garu and SrI lalitaalaalitaH ji,

Thank you both for the discussion.
SrI lalitAlAlitaH ji is saying that (let us for the moment ignore Vedanta
operating as the antyam pramANam which sublates the triputi etc.) and
compare perception and Veda-vAkya-s.

Visual perception merely produces an 'experience' (He has used the word
"knowledge" for such mere experience implying that it need not be "valid
knowledge") of a certain form/color. At that point in the preceptual
process, we have not yet arrived at the conclusion that "there is a
vyAvaArika object out there due to which I am experiencing the form". To
reach this latter conclusion, we have to either say "I have shraddhA that my
eyes produce pramA of a real external object and not bhrama." (so why single
out the Vedas alone as involving shraddhA, all means of valid knowledge take
for granted such shraddhA) or if we wish to avoid using the word shraddhA,
we can say each pramANA whether it is eyes, inference or Vedas should be
assumed to be valid and enjoy svataH-pramANyam, self-validation.

As we gather further experiencing, we develop methods to filter out the
occasional bhrama-j~nAnaM which may get produced; such filtration is done by
cross-referencing with information gained from other pramANas (eyes,ears
etc); but that is a secondary matter. Even such cross-referencing only means
that we are rejecting the validity of the specific experience (snake in a
rope)  but does not automatically affect the status/validity of the source,
i.e., eyes, Vedas, ears etc as being valid pramANas independent of anything
like shraddhA.

He also said that - The validity of the Vedas stems not from shraddhA but
from the eternal/natural (autpattika) connection between the word and its
meaning, so says SrI Jaimini - "autpattikastu ...sabdasya arthena
sambandha..tat pramANam .anapekShatvAt" (quoted by me in an earlier post in
this thread.)

Also, as Vidyasankar ji too implied (as per my understanding) - the idea of
apaurusheyatvaM removes the possibility of the Vedas ever being in error.

In the case of a reporter telling us the news, if such news is found
inaccurate, we could do two things
1. Reject that particular news since it was based on my misunderstanding of
what was presented but continue to regard the reporter as reliable.
or more likely
2. Henceforth doubt/reject everything the reporter presents by inferring
that he is not a source of valid knowledge.

In the case of the Vedas, there being no human factor involved (they being
apaurusheya) the second option does not exist, even if some Veda-vAkya looks
unacceptable. There is no human source for the Veda whom we might have
labelled as untrustworthy.

Therefore whenever there is a seeming clash of the Veda-vAkya-s with
pratyaxa or anumAna, we suitably re-interpret pratyaxa/anumana or show them
to have been bhrama-j~nAnaM (fallacious) or in a few cases maybe the Vedic
sentences themlselves are reinterpreted (along the line of the well-knowm
shruti-shatamapi statement) to resolve the clashes between the different
pramANa-s. Thus apaurusheyatvaM helps greatly in removing doubts about the
Veda-prAmANyam. the Vedas remain an independent means of valid knowledge and
can never be falisified as being faulty; and this is accomplished without
bringing any need for the idea of shraddhA anymore than shraddhA is required
for visual perception etc., and we don't necessarily have to bring in the
true fact and worthwhile fact certain exalted jIvanmukta-s (as per our
faith) endorsed it etc.

If I have accidentally misrepresented anything in the above, I request Vidya
ji and lalitAlAlitaH ji or others to correct it.

On a different note: what you wrote is certainly true that most of us follow
a more pragmatic approach to accepting Veda-prAmANyam by looking at the
lives and teachings of those we regard as Aptas-s (out of our faith). And
when it comes to Vedanta, the knowledge arrived at by adhyAropa-apavAda (be
it even parokSha j~nAnaM) is clearly seen to be something that could not
have been arrived at all by oneself by intellectual cogitation, reasoning
and speculation alone.  Such Vedantic knowledge shakes the foundation of the
most dearly-held pratyaxa and so immediately tilts the scales in favor of
Vedanta and by implication the Vedas too. This is the paradoxical situation
of many modern spiritual aspirants ...first Vedanta comes in (albeit a
partial understanding), then a better appreciation of the Vedas too slowly
emerges. I believe the latter too is very important.


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