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correct vs. apaurushEya

From: Kasturi Varadarajan (kvaradar_at_cs.uiowa.edu)
Date: Fri Mar 31 2000 - 13:23:59 PST

Dear friends,

I had the impression that visistAdvaita philisophy (and vedAnta in general)
seem to rest, among other things, on two premises:

1. The veda is apaurushEya (un-authored and beginningless), and
2. The veda is correct.

But it appears to me that the first premise is redundant. For is it not
possible that there exists a similar body (say un-veda) which is also
apaurushEya (un-authored and beginningless) but completely incorrect? So the 
fact that something is apaurushEya says nothing about its correctness.

On the other hand the second premise, that the veda is correct, is
in itself sufficient justification for it to serve as pramANa. So only
the second premise is needed to develop the philisophy.

Please note:

a. I have not argued that the veda is not apaurushEya, but only that this
   premise is not strictly necessary.

b. I have not said that such a thing as the un-veda exists, but only that
   its existence cannot be denied a-priori.

c. My main question is whether my impression is incorrect. That is, is 
   there some important tenet of visistAdvaita for which the first
   premise is necessary and the second is not sufficient.

d. In a debate  between a vedAntin and a non-vedAntin, the first might
   say `Look, veda is more authoritative than your scripture because veda is
   apaurushEya'. I don't think such an arguement has any power when
   the non-vedAntin is anyway not going to accept the veda as authority.     
   
e. I have a good reason for trying to make this arguement and I'm not
   being flippant. Also no offence is meant. Please tolerate these views
   as coming from one who basically believes in visistAdvaita but is
   trying to undertsand it.

krishNArpaNam
Kasturi



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