[Advaita-l] Accepting Possibility of Error in Sastras

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 28 19:34:01 CST 2012

Dear friends,

However, we see that Madhusudana says in Siddanthabindu (v 79),
"The scriptures may state something that is merely the outcome of

I shall be thankful if RV or any other member can kindly give the Sanskrit texts of v. 78 &79 of Siddhantabindu in Devanagari script (unicode).

Sunil KB

 From: Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 6:22 AM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Accepting Possibility of Error in Sastras
In many religions, the scriptures are considered inerrant. We also consider
the sastras to be the authroity. There is a lot of logic given to establish
why sabda is pramana. There are stories such as Kumarila Bhatta's
where complete acceptance of the authority of the sastras is
reinforced. However, we see that Madhusudana says in Siddanthabindu (v 79),
"The scriptures may state something that is merely the outcome of
delusion". Here he admits that sastras can be erroneous. Though the
tradition accepts the vedic model for creation, we see that there is a
recognition of a contradictions there that is to be resolved through
reason. For example, Gaudapada says (I.23), "In the matter of being
created, whether from the already existent or from the non-existent also,
the Sruti is equal, that is supporting both views. What is associated with
or fortified with logical reasoning holds not the other".  The importance
of reasoning is also stressed by Madhusudana, "The creation of names and
forms by Him who does the triplication in BSB 2.4.20 in only an explanatory
statement and cannot nullify quintuplication which is established by
reasoning".  Sankara himself says, forget where, "Even a thousand sruti
statements cannot make fire cold." In his bhashyas, we often see him quote
sruti and then the opponent makes a logical counter to sruti. Sankara does
not dismiss off the opponent saying that there cannot be a logical
opposition because already the point has been established using sruti. He
defends his position using logic.

Are there conditions in which sastras can be accepted as erroneous? I am
not talking about a presumption of error in sastras without evidence. But
when there is concrete evidence based on pratyaksha and anumana that shows
that the sastras are not correct, what is the valid traditional response?
Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/

To unsubscribe or change your options:

For assistance, contact:
listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list