[Advaita-l] Priority of Pramana based on Knowledge Domain

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Fri Sep 14 08:44:10 CDT 2012

On 14 September 2012 16:32, Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
<<But based on an analysis of genetic, archaelogical and fossil
records scientists have established that humans evolved only 200000
years ago. They have also shown that evolution is a fact in
laboratories. Now, what are the rules to decide whether we should
accept sabda pramana or scientific analysis in this case? I understand
that science may not be what tradition calls anumana but more like

I don't want to get into the specific details of this or that
scientific theory. When we are talking about shAstra, it is very
important to start with first principles and apply them rigorously.

As pointed out before, there is no such thing as a pramANa for a
pramANa. Either one accepts a pramANa or one doesn't. There are
certain guidelines here (see my earlier post based on the
naiShkarmyasiddhi) but in the final analysis, a pramANa simply has to
be taken as a given. Once a pramANa is accepted, any j~nAna it
generates also has to be accepted. There is NO choice here. So if
there is any j~nAna being generated by laukika pramANa-s, you have no
choice but to accept it.

Now, one characteristic of any j~nAna is that it is subject to
negation by a subsequent j~nAna. Please refer to Anand Hudli's earlier
posts on apaccheda nyAya. To that extent, any j~nAna may be considered
a saMbhAvanA of sorts. The exception to this is brahmaj~nAna which
negates the pramAtA as well as all pramANa-s. For this reason, the
vedAnta vAkya-s are referred to as the antya pramANa. It is noteworthy
here that it is this negatability of j~nAna (which is why I referred
to it as a "saMbhAvanA of sorts") which actually allows vedAnta to
work. Otherwise, we could never hold the position that Atmaj~nAna
alone can liberate or that the world is mithyA.

In any case, the basic point is that once you accept laukika
pramANa-s, you also have to accept the j~nAna they generate. On any
particular issue, if one has a doubt as to whether the veda is
applicable or laukika pramANa-s are, all one needs to see is whether
laukika pramANa-s "work" in that field by generating consistent
knowledge. One may use sureshvarAchArya's guidelines, if required. If
laukika pramANa-s work in that field, then the veda is not applicable.

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