Monday, September 7, 2015

veda is a pramana

Pramanam is a means of knowledge
Is padam or vakyam the source of knowledge? Is it the word or is it the sentence

As per PM a word can never be a source of knowledge only a sentence can be

When I speak to you you can understand the word only when it is known to you
So when a word is used I am not giving any new knowledge because the word is already known!
Meaning of word has already been learnt from pratyaksha
Like a child is taught words such as tree flower clock etc

If he has never seen a picture of a clock the word itself cannot provide knowledge

Once you understand the word through pratyaksha it becomes a known word
Now when that word is used you are only reminded of the old knowledge and no new knowledge is created

Padam apramanam
veda is a pramanam as vakyam
Sentences are pramanam

How so? If words cannot produce knowledge how can a sentence which is mere words alone put together?


We get knowledge about relationships between known words / objects samsarga arthaha / syntactic relationship

Once you accept sentence is pramana there needs to be a verb and verb indicates action and hence action is the primary meaning of the Veda Aamnyasya kriyarthatvat

Sankara accepts padam is not pramanam; vakyam is pramanam
And also agrees vakyam has to have a verb
But he refutes that all verbs indicate action
E.g There is a temple 1km east or Vasumati saptadweepa asti - earth has 7 continents

There is no action here
There is a verb asti to be; which conveys a fact

So sentences the Veda employs are factual even if they do not enjoin any action
Arthavada vakyams are also pramana and hence factual

For the Vedic arthavadas to be pramana 2 conditions are required
One - arthavada should not reveal what is already known by other means of knowledge pramanantara samvada
Two - it should not contradict what is already known pramanantara  visamvada like Fire is cold

When arthavada repeats an already known thing it is called anuvada (repetition) / apramanam
When arthvada contradicts known thing it is called gunavada (exaggeration) / apramanam

So if Indra is describes as one with vajra since is neither anuvada nor gunavada it is bhutarthavada which is pramana
Hence we accept Indra is fact; all devas are factual jivas

PM replies - butarthavada may be fact - but by knowing fact we don't get any purushartha result and Veda is meant to provide us purushartha

Shankara refutes this saying validity of a pramana cannot be determined based on utility of the sentence. They become useful when connected to a vidhi as upasana

Here Sankara concludes the arthavada praamaanyam - by themselves they may not be useful but.they should be connected to vidhi vakyams doe utility
Now he takes up Vedanta pramanyam
Vedanta is also a pramanam because it is a vakyam and it fulfills both conditions for pramanyam
Does not repeat what is already known and does not contradict what is already known

Everything that we know is objective anatma vishaya and what Vedanta talks about is atma vishaya

There cannot be contradiction between the 2 as they are in different domains

Vedanta vakya is not bhutarthavada
Vedanta vakya is useful by itself and it is svatatntram and not vidhisheshaha

Mere bhutarthavada statements will have a vidhi vakyam next to it but Vedanta vakyas not being bhutarthavadas will not have any vidhi related to it

Shankar counters the purvamimasaka - you accept nisheda vakyas (don ts or prohibitive injunction )  as pramana; What activity should one do with a nisheda vakya? asks Sankara
Nisheda vakyams don't involve any action

A prohibitive injunction pertains to a undesirable or desirable pursuit? If undesirable there is no need for injunction and if it is desirable there is no need to prohibit

It is only useful in one condition when a undesirable thing is falsely taken as desirable
It functions  when there is bhrantinor delusion

When we listen to a nisheda vakyam we understand , we get the knowledge, that the pursuit is undesirable or harmful
The moment I get this knowledge bhranti goes way the delusion is destroyed
Once delusion is gone my pursuit or bhranti pravrtti also goes away

By mere knowledge this person frees himself from anartham - there is nothing to DO here
This inaction or audaseenyam is not a type of action but is the nature of the person

If it be argued inaction is also an action you can never make a difference vidhi & nisheda

Vedic statement can be valid whether they prescribe action or they don't prescribe action is this established by Shankara

All vedaavakyams which fulfil 2 conditions nonrepetition & noncintradiction are pramana
All Veda pramanavakyams can be categorized into 4 : vidhi vakya nisheda vakya bhutarthavada vakya and Vedanta vakya
Common to all these 4 is pramanams
Uncommon features
Vidhi is useful by itself by leading to sukham / all vidhis require action for utility
Nisheda vakyams are also independently useful by saving us from Dukham / don't prescribe any action
Vedanta vakya is also useful independently as it leads to moksha / don't prescribe action akaryaparam
All 3 are ananyasheshamm or independent svatatntram
Bhutartavada is not independently useful but for utility has to be connected to  one of these three.  They can occur in both karma kanda and jnanankanda as well. These vakyas are also akaryaparam don't prescribe action




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