[Advaita-l] On evidence for and against Yugas of Indian chronology

Raghav Kumar Dwivedula raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 12 06:41:28 EST 2017

I do not know of specific quotations but the fact that different pramANas
have different domains is captured by the idea of anadhigatatvaM of the
pramaNas. So when shruti talks of atman and brahman etc., these topics
being not the subject matter for pratyaksha and anumAna there is no
conflict between shruti/agamas and modern science. Even where there are
mentions of anumAna topics in shruti, they are merely anuvAda of what is
obtainable through anumAna (incl. arthApatti etc) and in such matters
anumAna prevails.

Sri Sankara bhagavatpAda says in gita 18.66 bhAShya

प्रत्यक्षादिप्रमाणानुपलब्धे हि विषये अग्निहोत्रादिसाध्यसाधनसम्बन्धे श्रुतेः
प्रामाण्यम् , न प्रत्यक्षादिविषये, अदृष्टदर्शनार्थविषयत्वात् प्रामाण्यस्य ।
तस्मात् न दृष्टमिथ्याज्ञाननिमित्तस्य अहंप्रत्ययस्य देहादिसङ्घाते गौणत्वं
कल्पयितुं शक्यम् । न हि श्रुतिशतमपि‘शीतोऽग्निरप्रकाशो वा’ इति ब्रुवत्
प्रामाण्यमुपैति । यदि ब्रूयात् ‘शीतोऽग्निरप्रकाशो वा’ इति, तथापि अर्थान्तरं
श्रुतेः विवक्षितं कल्प्यम् , प्रामाण्यान्यथानुपपत्तेः, न तु
प्रमाणान्तरविरुद्धं स्ववचनविरुद्धं वा
My liberal translation of the key parts...

Only in matters unavailable for pratyaksha etc., as in the case of
agnihotra and its results, shruti has prAmANyam.....even a hundred shruti
vakyas saying fire is cold or not luminous do not have any prAmANyam. Even
if it is said so in shruti, we have to assume some other intended meaning,
rather than take a (literal) meaning which contradicts other pramANas or
shruti itself (in some other place).

The well-known  passage is actually a remarkable one since it's also a
clear demonstration of why there was never any conflict in Indian history
between 'science' and the sanAtana dharma unlike the church and science
conflict in the West.  The vaidika scholarly consensus would always
determine the meanings of the vedas and it's allied texts in such away as
to both protect shruti prAmANyam as well as give the discoveries of anumAna
etc., their due.

Different pramAnas sometimes need reconciliation and there are no easy
methods to do so. In some cases it may be simple for example, I see a Guru
who is a well-wisher hold a yellow rose in his hand and tell the student 'I
am holding a white rose'. He is an Apta and his words (shabda) have
prAmANyam. But it is clashing with another pramANa viz., my eyes.

Depending on the situation I may analyze and finally  choose to surrender
to my eyes as the pramANa and explain away his words as being an
inadvertent mistake.

Or in another different situation, maybe we can closely examine the
situation and see that the light in the room has a strong yellow hue and so
although it appears yellow, its actually a white rose, so the Guru is

While I make up my mind, both the 'prama-s' will be critically examined ...
But eventually I settle the issue * by suitably explaining *  the wrong
perception (bhrama) as either a mistake of the speaker or alternatively as
a result of yellow light. It depends...

therefore wherever modern science gives reasons for the non existence of
yuga chronology etc., closer examination is necessary of both the
conflicting ideas from itihasa and science is unavoidable. There are no
easy ways out.

Hope the above helped.


On 10-Nov-2017 7:23 PM, "GR Vishwanath" <grv144 at gmail.com> wrote:

So when Anuman clashes with Shruti/Smriti-- did our Acharayas address this
explicitly? Is there a specific quote from Sankara or a Purva Mimamsin tht
addresses this question of how to proceed when there is a conflict ?
Specific links will be appreciated


On Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 1:59 AM, Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Rajesh ji and Sujal ji
> Thank you for your inputs
> Rajesh ji,
> Its not a question of their system versus our system, rather its about
> having the patience to read through the arguments against the yugas etc.,
> as historical realities and strengthening our dharma. If you notice
> bhAShyakara does advance arguments against the Buddhists on logical grounds
> alone without merely saying 'our shruti invalidates Buddhist ideas'. Just
> saying that shruti is supreme is ineffectual.  Different pramANas like
> shruti (and it's allies) and anumAna may appear to clash,  in which case we
> have to put in sone efforts to either show the fallacies in the anumAna or
> we reinterpret shruti without losing its key points.
> Moreover when the dominant consensus  amongst large sections of thinkers
> and scientists is presenting a pUrvapakSha against the itihAsas, atleast a
> few of the Astikas can try and show the problems with these pUrvapakShas.
> Another related issue , (on a diffetent note)
> Take the idea of the time period of the yugas. I have not read but been
> told that Sri Yukteswar Giri held the kali yuga to be 600 years and the
> other yugas being multiples thereof in the usual way. Now this scheme was
> endorsed by Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati ji, a  traditional teacher of
> Vedanta who said on more than one occasion that the current Yuga is Dwapara
> yuga. ( He offered two reasons if I recollect, viz.,  the developments in
> science and another reason being (this is my recollection) that atleast a
> small significant section of people are able to worship as per Hindu
> traditions and peacefully study vedanta etc., without religious persecution
> unlike in the medieval ages. So things are better now than during say
> Aurangzeb's time ) The above view represents a debate or discussion within
> the tradition regarding the itihasa chronology. I wanted to ask if the
> above book of Sri Yukteswar Giri has been read by anyone here.
> Om
> Raghav
> On 09-Nov-2017 7:53 PM, "Rajesh Benjwal" <rbenjwal at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Namaste,
> >
> > They should think how to defend their fossil dating method as our
> > scripture yuga information invalidate it. They should improve their
> system.
> >
> > Thanks
> >
> > On Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 10:06 PM, Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l <
> > advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> >
> >> For many traditionalists the chronology of Yugas having the order of
> >> hundreds of thousands of years where there were human beings living on
> >> this
> >> planet earth, is taken for granted.
> >>
> >> But there is a counter argument that the fossil records don't support
> such
> >> as possibility.  I wanted to know the fallacies in this such a fossil
> >> record based argument against the possibility of Yugas. This is no
> doubt a
> >> bit off topic with respect to Advaita Vedanta per se but i am hoping
> some
> >> learned members would know about ideas to defend the concept of Yugas
> >> given
> >> the so-called evidence from fossil records which is claimed to
> invalidate
> >> even the possibility of Yugas.
> >>
> >> thank you
> >> Om
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >
> >
> > --
> >
> >
> > *Rajesh Benjwal*
> >
> >
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