[Advaita-l] Apaurusheyatva of Vedas.

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Sep 14 05:52:12 CDT 2011

On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 4:39 AM, Omkar Deshpande
<omkar_deshpande at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Also, it leaves scope for faith in somebody else's pratyakSha. It's not
> necessary that the pratyakSha here refers only to one's own pratyakSha. To
> give an example, in the dvaita tradition, which has relatively elaborate
> arguments on apauruSheyatva and which uses apauruSheyatva as the basis for
> the authority of the Vedas, the Mahabharata is considered to be superior to
> the Vedas because it has truths that are not found even in the Vedas (vedAt
> api param chakre pa~nchamam vedam uttamam -- Gita Bhashya of Sri
> Madhvacharya), and the authority of those truths that are found in the
> Mahabharata but are not in the Vedas is Ishvara's pratyakSha:
> na etAvatA vedAdi-samam bhAratam, kintu tad-anukta arthasya api
> pratipAdanena tataH adhikam.... tarhi nirmUlatvena aprAmANyam prasajyeta
> ityata uktam - Ishvara-j~nAna-viShayIkR^itaH... (Sri Jayatirtha's Prameya
> Dipika)
> (Rough translation - The Mahabharata is not merely equal to the Vedas in
> status, but because it propounds teachings that are not mentioned in the
> Vedas, is superior to the Vedas. If it is asked 'But wouldn't those extra
> teachings (not found in the apauruSheya Veda) have no authority to ground
> them and thus be potentially flawed', it is said 'the truth of those
> teachings is perceived by Ishvara...)
> Regards,
> Omkar
In my understanding 'Ishvara jnanam or Ishwara pratyaksha' refers to all
that is concerned with 'dharma/adharma/karma' of all the jiva-s.  And of
course the created world.  While the Veda is the manual for 'how to live',
and whereby it teaches things that are beyond the ken of our senses, like
loka-s that are attained by specific karma-s (prohibitions included) and
Self-knowledge, Ishwara pratyaksham/jnana comes to play in the cosmic
management of the life that the jiva lives.  It involves giving the jiva the
appropriate karma phala by creating the appropriate environment.  While the
'AkhyAyika-s' in the veda itself about who did what and ended up as what,
there are more instances and elaborations in the Mahabharata and other
puraNas for these. It is hard to see how the MB could contain really what is
not at all there in the Veda either explicitly or implicitly stated. I think
that is what the explanation of Sri Jayatirtha also implies.


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