[Advaita-l] Apaurusheyatva of Vedas

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 12:34:52 CDT 2011

On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 7:59 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> >
> > As said earlier, the exhalation of Ishwara not only contains mere veda-s
> > but also itihAsa, purAna, vyAkaraNa, jyOtisha etc. If we take
> > nishvAsitaM is the only pramANa to prove apaurusheyatva then we have to
> > say along with veda-s whatever text mentioned in that exhalation is also
> > aparusheya. But that is not the case here. apaurusheyatvaM has been
> > exclusively attributed to ONLY veda-s and we treat itihAsa, purANAdi-s as
> > paurusheya grantha-s.
> >
> Please re-read
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2011-September/028886.html
> I think an additional clarification is required from me at this stage,
> regarding the bRhadAraNyaka quote in question. In the SAnkara bhAshya, all
> the references are identified as sections within the broader corpus of texts
> known as the veda. I would suggest a good and detailed reading of the
> commentary there, to get a better understanding for how this informs the
> prAmANya of the veda for the advaita vedAnta tradition.

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.4.10 there is the teaching pertaining to
the ‘creation’ of the Veda-s by Brahman.  The mantra reads thus:

स यथार्द्रैंधाग्नेरभ्याहितात् पृथग्धूमा विनिश्चरन्त्येवं वा अरेऽस्य महतो
भूतस्य निश्वसितमेतद्यदृग्वेदो यजुर्वेदः सामवेदोऽथर्वाङ्गिरस इतिहासः पुराणं
विद्या उपनिषदः श्लोकाः सूत्राण्यनुव्याख्यानानि व्याख्यानान्यस्यैवैतानि
निश्वसितानि ॥

//"As from a fire kindled with wet fuel various kinds of smoke  issue forth,
even so, my dear, the Rig—Veda, the Yajur-Veda,  the Sama-Veda, the
Atharvangirasa,  *history  (itihaasa),*  mythology (purANa), the arts
(vidyA), the Upanishads, verses  (slokas), aphorisms (sUtras), elucidations
(anuvyAkhyAnas) and  explanations (vyAkhyAnas) are like the breath of this
infinite  Reality. From this Supreme Self are all these, indeed, breathed

Sri Shankaracharya, while commenting on this mantra, writes for the word
इतिहासः itihAsa of the Upanishad: ‘such as the dialogue, etc. between
UrvashI and PurUravas -   उर्वशी हाप्सरा.’ (Shatapatha brAhmaNa

The bhashya gives instances for each of the items stated in the mantra:

१. इतिहासः - उर्वशीपुरूरवसोः संवादादिः उर्वशी हाप्सरा.’ इत्यादिब्राह्मणमेव

२.पुराणम् - असद्वा इदमग्र आसीत् इत्यादि

३.विद्या - देवजनविद्या वेदः सोऽयमित्याद्याः

४.उपनिषदः - ’प्रियमित्येतदुपासीत’ इत्याद्याः

५.श्लोकाः - ब्राह्मणप्रभवा मन्त्राः ’तदेते श्लोका’ इत्यादयः ।

६.सूत्राणि - वस्तुसंग्रहवाक्यानि वेदे यथा ’आत्मेत्येवोपासीत’ इत्यादीनि

७.अनुव्याख्यानानि - मन्त्रविवरणानि

८.व्याख्यानानि - अर्थवादाः । अथवा वस्तुसंग्रहवाक्यविवरणानि अनुव्याख्यानानि ।
यथा चतुर्थाध्याय आत्मेत्येवोपासीत इत्यस्य यथा वा ’अन्योऽसावन्योऽहमस्मीति न स
वेद यथा पशुरेवम्’ इत्यस्यायमेवाध्यायशेषः । मन्त्रविवरणानि व्याख्यानानि
। *एवमष्टविधं
ब्राह्मणम् । *

[The English translation of Sw.Madhavananda  for this is available on p.251
which some member may kindly provide here.]

The bhashya says the above enumerated ones are eight divisions of the

The Editor of this edition of the Bhashyam, Sri S.Subrahmanya Shastri, in
the foot notes writes:

इतिहासः पुराणम् इत्यादौ भाष्ये वेदगत-अर्थवादरूपाणि पुरावृत्तानि

ग्राह्याणीत्युक्तम् । भारतादीनामनादिवेदप्रतिपाद्यत्वासंभवात् ।

//By the terms ‘itihAsa and purANam’ of the mantra, the BhAshya intends to
say: those statements contained in the Veda-s, as having ‘occurred’ in the
ancient times are to be taken.  However, the texts of the MahAbhArata, etc.
cannot be regarded to be included by these Vedic terms as it would be
unreasonable to hold that they have their source in the Vedas.//


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