[Advaita-l] Apaurusheyatva of Vedas

Omkar Deshpande omkar_deshpande at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 15 14:48:29 CDT 2011

Dear Sri Raghav,

<<<1 The vAkya-s (just the words) come up chronologically first and then later
the words are understood  by even those very Rishis who uttered the words...
2. The vAkya and vAkya-janita-pramA arise together simultaneously in their
minds; there is no scope in this alternative for dwelling upon the words in
the form of mananaM etc., to later arrive at samyag-GYAnaM....
3. The samyag-GYAnam was first arrived at by some means like pratyaxa,
anumAna, nirvikalpa samAdhi or "for no reason". Then this GYAnam was
explained through mentally composed veda mantra-s. Then the veda mantra-s
can be called paurusheya. But this alternative would be TOTALLY unacceptable
especially for anyone strongly opposed to nirvikalpa samadhi as the means of
GYAnaM. As for the GYAnaM arising for no reason, or through pratyaxa etc.,
such alternatives are even more unacceptable. And if past janma-"shravanaM"
was the cause like VAmadeva etc., the we are back again to alternatives 1 or
2 implying apaurusheyatvaM for the vedanta-vAkya-s.>>>

There are two parts to the discussion that I have been having:
a). How do we know that the Vedas are apauruSheya?
b). How do we know that an apauruSheya text is guaranteed to be valid? 

I have something to say about part b) here based on your comments above. 

You seem to be accepting that the spontaneous arising of vAkya-s in the mind of the Rishi (irrespective of whether or not accompanied by knowledge of their meaning) indicate their unauthoredness, whereas the conscious composition of vAkya-s is indicative of authoredness. So how would you classify a vAkya that spontaneously arises in other ways, without being consciously composed, such as 

a) An ant crawling through a heap of sand could inadvertently generate a sentence in some script. 
b) The wind blowing through a narrow passage in a cave could generate a sound corresponding to some sentence in some language. 
c) A computer running a speech-to-text conversion software could accidentally be given input not from a microphone, but could directly be fed a bit stream corresponding to random noise in the atmosphere. 

Are the above examples of sentences authored? I hope that we agree that they are not authored since they are not the conscious product of any mind. 
So if they are unauthored, are they not sentences that will most likely be invalid sentences (and they would be valid only sometimes by accident)? This goes back to my point that as far as I see, the only a priori guarantee of a sentence being valid is that it has an author who is knowledgeable, who knows how to articulate his knowledge in some language, and who has the desire to communicate what he knows (you could perhaps add a few more merits in the author). Without it, there is no guarantee that a sentence will be valid. i.e, as far as I see, there is no justification to assume that svataH-prAmANya is true of shabda, since as an axiom, it encounters the above problem: the above sentences don't have an author so they cannot possible be attributed flaws because of an author's ignorance, or an author's desire to mislead, etc. If absence of puruSha-doShas was sufficient to make a sentence valid, then the above sentences must always be valid, which is not
 the case. What is missing in the above sentences is their articulation by an author with knowledge. 

So what is the guarantee that if a sentence spontaneously arose in the mind of a Rishi, that sentence would be valid? 



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