[Advaita-l] Apaurusheyatva of Vedas.

Omkar Deshpande omkar_deshpande at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 15 20:15:54 CDT 2011

Dear Sri Ramakrishna, 

<<<It is akin to the classes of sense of touch being independent from
sense of hearing. They cannot contradict each other as they are
ill-equipped to do so. The color of a rose cannot be inferred from its
smell. The comparison is weak because both are in pratyaxa, but the
example shows the independence of each pramaaNa.>>>

There are two different questions that need to be distinguished:
1. Do we need shabda as a means of knowledge, in addition to pratyakSha and anumAna? 
2. Does the validity of shabda (as a means of knowledge) depend on the author of that shabda, or is it intrinsic to shabda? 

Please correct me if I misunderstood your mail, but I felt that much of it pertained to 1. But I fully accept that shabda as a means of knowledge is necessary, so I'm not asking why shabda is needed in addition to pratyakSha and anumAna. I'm enquiring about what the validity of shabda depends on, and why I feel it may not be intrinsic to shabda, but dependent on the merits of the author of the shabda. If you look at the three examples I gave in my reply to Sri Raghav Kumar, you may understand why I feel there is a need to bring in the author's merits to ground shabda. 

Please note that by saying that the validity of shabda depends on pratyakSha, I am not saying that shabda cannot offer any new information. Shabda may be the means by which I first come to know about something. But the validity of that shabda depends on the knowledge of the author of that shabda. The knowledge of the author of that shabda, in turn, either depends on his/her own pratyakSha and anumAna, or on the shabda of some other person, who must be knowledgeable in turn. Ultimately, there must be some person in this chain whose knowledge is dependent on his/her own pratyakSha and anumAna, and not on shabda. Otherwise, there is no guarantee of validity. 

If you analyse how we come to learn about scientific knowledge, you will see this pattern. Most of the things we know are by shabda, but we also know that if we trace back the chain of teachers from whom we come to learn that knowledge, everything starts from some original researchers' pratyakSha and anumAna (need not be a single person but a collection of people).



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