You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : May 1998

Re: apaurusheya

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Sat May 09 1998 - 12:59:32 PDT

> It is said that Apaurusheya gives us an independent
> affirmation of our Lord^Rs supremacy.  But why do we
> need independent affirmation?  Can we not believe our
> Lord?

But how do we know who the Lord is? And whether He has
spoken at all, what form he takes, and what His nature
is? How do you know that *I* am not God and what *I* say
is not scripture?

This is where the Vedas, a preterpersonal, unoriginated
authority, come in.  It is from the Vedas that we know
the first principle -- that there is an Absolute, that
there is God.  From the Vedas, we know who God is, what
Its nature is, and what Its characteristics are.

Faith in someone's teachings can only go so far. How
do we know that that someone is God? Therefore, the
necessity of the Vedas as an absolute and preterpersonal
authority is established.

Realize that even Srimad Bhagavad Gita (the words of
the Lord) are only valid because they correspond to the
teachings of the Vedas.  If the Gita disagreed with the
Vedas in any fundamental, irreconcilable way, we as 
Vaidikas would be forced to toss out the Gita itself.

The consequences otherwise? We would have to follow the
teachings of anyone who is said to be an avatAra of God --
Buddha, Sai Baba, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

If God authored the Vedas, there would be a logical seesaw.
We rely on the Vedas as our authority for God, but we
rely on God as our authority for the Vedas.  This is

Therefore, the apaurusheyatva (preterpersonal) nature of
the Vedas is an absolute must for us, and is established
throughout the Vedic tradition including the writing of Ramanuja.
However, just because the Vedas are unauthored does not
mean that they are independent of God. They exist as the
very language of reality, rooted in God's essence.  This
is why the Upanishad speaks of the Vedas as the very
"breath" of the Supreme Brahman (Reality). 

namo vedapurushAya,