[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Jun 26 02:22:58 CDT 2012

On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 11:46 AM, Ramesh Krishnamurthy
<rkmurthy at gmail.com>wrote:
Dear Ramesh ji,

Thanks for your response.  I only stated the position as the traditional
Acharyas have it.  And I do not feel they are wanting in their
understanding of the extent of the Veda and its applications.

Coming to the 'kartum...' this has been said by Shankara with respect to
both laukikam and vaidikam karma.  That is, both these types of karmas are
'capable' of being done or not done or done in a different way. 'kartum
akartum anyathA vA kartum shakyam laukikam vaidikam cha karma.' (BSB 4th
sutra, if I am not wrong). In fact behaving in alternative ways, thinking
of those possibilities,  abstaining from taking an action, for whatever
reasons, like fear of being attacked/caught/harmed/killed, etc. are
observed in animals also and have been well demonstrated too.  So the above
ability does not restrict itself to humans.  I do not see a clear link
between this ability and one being a purusharthi.  So the conclusion you
arrive  at below is not of use for this discussion.

> Hence, for the shAstra, the relevant characteristic of a manuShya is
> this capability for autonomous decision making, which is what makes
> him a puruShArthI, in particular a seeker of dharma and mokSha. Just
> because the only type of jIva we (homo sapiens) know that is capable
> of this is homo sapiens, it does not logically follow that there
> cannot be other such beings. So I merely keep an open mind on this. On
> the other hand, by making a strict equation of manuShya=homo sapiens,
> it is you who are "imagining" things and placing a limit on the Veda.
> << In the case of humans it is his bounden duty to seek and know his
> status and act accordingly.  That is why there is the upanayana
> samskara and the gurukula
> thereafter.  If he fails, he invites sin.>>
> And what about the guy in Peru who lived 800 years ago? I hope you
> will not say that I am "imagining" him. If you appreciate the spirit
> behind my message, you will have no problem accommodating him too.
> Otherwise you will either have to say that he was born for bhoga
> alone, or you will end up making him a "sinner".

No. There is a classic case of the Sringeri Acharya Sri Chandrashekhara
Bharati Swamiji's dialogue with a Westerner who was enamored by the Vedic
religion and wanted to convert to Hinduism.  The Acharya advised him:  //
There is no need for you to convert.  In fact there will be problems if you
convert.  Ishwara had a purpose in giving you birth in that religion
(Christianity) and in that land.  Go back to your country and consult your
religious leaders and they will sure have a way for your spiritual
progress.  That is the best one suited for you. //

So, the Peruvian guy, if he had the burning quest, could have sought and
got the necessary path for his upliftment that is most suitable for him.

> > Till he gets the ability to seek
> > for himself, his parents have that responsibility of grooming him to
> that,
> > in the form of upanayana and sadAchAra shikShaNa.  And for this reason
> the
> > Veda has to be there.  If it is not made available it is the fault of
> > Ishwara.
> Again, so what happens to the the Peruvian guy?

Ishwara has made it available.  Only that one has to open his eyes and make
the necessary search.  The Vedic scripture speaks and demonstrates in the
context of this land.  That is why one finds all examples, even in the
Veda, of things of this land.  All places, rivers, etc. are
locatable/traceable in this country, if not with the present political
map.  AkhaNDa BhArata Varsha  extending to Afghanistan on one side and
Cambodia on the other has been mapped by the RSS-like people. The devatas
and lokas talked about are never considered 'foreign' or from 'alien'
galaxies. The various lokas described in the puranas too are of this
genre.  That is a separate study about the continents, the dveepas and all
that are contained in that description.    That is one of the reasons why
no one in the tradition, gifted they are with great imagining capacities,
have talked of the possible beings that could be grouped under manushyas
living elsewhere.  There is no use of such a kalpana.  A kalpana could be
made in order to circumvent a problem within the Vedic context.  Just
because one likes to accommodate theories one finds appreciable, there is
no justification in making such kalpanas in the Vedic context.  Nor is the
tradition putting a limit, as though it is a punishment or offence, on the
Vedas by not making such a kalpana.   I think this is the kind of thinking
the traditional Acharya-s and those trained in the modern scientific
methods but also exposed to the Vedic methods would appreciate.

I draw the attention of readers who have the book 'Exalting Elucidations'
to go through the chapter 38. 'SAstra and science' on pp283-287 for more
clarifications regarding several topics that we have touched upon in this
thread.  I wish someone even copies that chapter for posting here for the
benefit of all readers.



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