[Advaita-l] Apaurusheyatva of Vedas.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 22 11:16:38 CDT 2011

> As always, you are crystal clear in your articulation of thoughts 
> prabhuji. I could able to follow & understand your presentation with 
> regard to svataH pramANa and its intricacies. But still to this dull wit, 
> it is not clear how svataH pramANyata would prove the vedas' 
> aparusheyatva!!?? If this apaurusheyatva is not kevala shraddhAmAtra & 
> commandment like " Accept it without any question or get lost" from the 
> traditionalists, I would request you to clarify this in a simple language 
> that can be understandable to novices like me.
> Thank you very much for your help & patience prabhuji.

I have not had the time to write up my promised third part of a response
on this yet. So, I will give a short answer here.
You are approaching apaurusheyatva from precisely the opposite direction,
as compared to what pUrva and uttara mImAMsA have traditionally done.
>From the pUrva and uttara mImAMsaka perspective, svataH prAmANya is
only one part of the larger whole. Nobody claims that svataH prAmANya
vAda proves the apaurusheya-tva of the veda. Rather, svataH prAmANya
vAda is open to the idea that every proposition is open to being made
apramANa by a parataH means.s
This means that the apaurusheya-tva of the veda needs to be disproved
by those who don't accept it. The onus is really on those who claim the
opposite. As far as mImAMsA-s are concerned, "veda is apaurusheya" is
not in need of proof. Note that the nyAya argument, which grounds the
authority of the veda on ISvara (as inferred within nyAya) still does not
reject apaurusheya-tva in toto, although the term now has a different
sense from that intended by the mImAMsA-s.
The pUrva mImAMsaka will say, "prove that the knowledge "svargakAmo
jyotishTomena yajeta" is paurusheya." The uttara mImAMsaka, at least
the advaita vedAntin kind, can say, "prove that the knowledge "ahaM
brahmAsmi" is paurusheya."
The answer cannot be to substitute an alternative source of authority for
atIndriya knowledge, instead of the veda (e.g. the scripture of another
religion, whether it be the buddhist sUtra-s or the Torah or Bible or
Koran or anything else). That would be merely a replacement of one set
of axioms with another. The only sources of knowledge open to anyone
who wants to challenge the apaurusheya-tva of the veda can be secular
means, i.e. primarily pratyaksha, upamAna and anumAna, and perhaps
abhAva and arthApatti (if they are accepted as valid in the challenger's
Finally, let me reiterate that this is not about purusha-tantra vs. vastu-
tantra nature of action vs. knowledge. As such, even the knowledge
about attainment of svarga is not purusha-tantra. Only the actual
attainment of svarga by a particular person is purusha-tantra. One
who knows that svarga is attained through the performance of a
yajna, can choose to do, not to do, or do otherwise. This is also the
place where pUrva and uttara mImAMsA part company. For pUrva
mImAMsA, the Srauta knowledge about attainment of svarga cannot
fail to impel the SrotA towards the specified action, eventually. That
is because kartRrtva of the human being is fundamental in this system.
For the uttara mImAMsaka (at least of the advaita vedAntin kind), the
same SrotA can actively choose not to desire svarga, based on the fact 
that the same veda teaches this too, and then realize that akartRtva
is one's own intrinsic nature, again as taught in the same veda. But in
saying all this, we have stepped into the deeper territory of vaidIka
interpretation. We are not talking of the more basic question of the
nature of the veda and its validity any more. 

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