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Thread: Apauruṣeyatva

  1. #1
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    Apauruṣeyatva

    Praṇām,

    I haven't been on this site in quite a while (my Linear Algebra and Physics classes [especially the Electromagnetism one, I despise the Maxwell equations ], were quite time consuming to say the least).

    I was going to do an introductory post, but I don't feel like doing so right at the moment (I'll try to make it a priority though ).

    Before I explain my question though, I'm not sure whether this should go in the Upaniṣads section or the philosophy section (if a moderator like Satay or Eastern Mind could move it into the appropriate section, that would be highly appreciated).

    Anyway, after reading the following mantras, I'm starting to get a bit confused regarding the concept of Apauruṣeyatva (अपौरुषेयत्व), particularly in regards to Pūrva Mīmaṃsā and Vedānta.

    Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad Adhyāya 2 Khaṇḍa 1 Mantras 6-10:

    तस्मात् ऋचः साम यजूंषि दीक्षाः यज्ञाः च सर्वे क्रतवः दक्षिणाः च।
    संवत्सरः च यजमानः च लोकाः सोमः यत्र पवते यत्र सूर्यः॥६॥
    तस्मात् च देवाः बहुधा सम्प्रसूताः साध्याः मनुष्याः पशवः वयांसि।
    प्राणापानौ व्रीहियवौ तपः च श्रद्धा सत्यम् ब्रह्मचर्यम् विधिः च॥७॥
    सप्त प्राणाः प्रभवन्ति तस्मात् सप्त अर्चिषः समिधः सप्त होमाः।
    सप्त इमे लोकाः येषु चरन्ति प्राणाः गुहाशयाः निहिताः सप्त सप्त॥८॥
    अतः समुद्राः गिरयः च सर्वे अस्मात् स्यन्दन्ते सिन्धवः सर्वरूपाः।
    अतः च सर्वाः ओषधयः रसः च येन एषः भूतैः तिष्ठते हि अन्तरात्मा॥९॥
    पुरुषः एव इदम् विश्वम् कर्म तपः ब्रह्म परामृतम्।
    एतद्यो वेद निहितं गुहायां सोऽविद्याग्रन्थिं विकिरतीह सोम्य॥१०॥

    IAST Transliteration:

    tasmāt ṛcaḥ sāma yajūṃṣi dīkṣāḥ yajāḥ ca sarve kratavaḥ dakṣiṇāḥ ca।
    saṃvatsaraḥ ca yajamānaḥ ca lokāḥ somaḥ yatra pavate yatra sūryaḥ॥6॥
    tasmāt ca devāḥ bahudhā samprasūtāḥ sādhyāḥ manuṣyāḥ paśavaḥ vayāṃsi।
    prāṇāpānau vrīhiyavau tapaḥ ca śraddhā satyam brahmacaryam vidhiḥ ca॥7॥
    sapta prāṇāḥ prabhavanti tasmāt sapta arciṣaḥ samidhaḥ sapta homāḥ।
    sapta ime lokāḥ yeṣu caranti prāṇāḥ guhāśayāḥ nihitāḥ sapta sapta॥8॥
    ataḥ samudrāḥ girayaḥ ca sarve asmāt syandante sindhavaḥ sarvarūpāḥ।
    ataḥ ca sarvāḥ oṣadhayaḥ rasaḥ ca yena eṣaḥ bhūtaiḥ tiṣṭhate hi antarātmā॥9॥
    puruṣaḥ eva idam viśvam karma tapaḥ brahma parāmṛtam।
    etadyo veda nihitaṃ guhāyāṃ so'vidyāgranthiṃ vikiratīha somya॥10॥

    My translation of the aforementioned verses in English (it could be somewhat incorrect, since I am by no means an expert of Saṁskṛtam):

    "From him proceeds the ṛka, the sāman, the yājuṣa, the dīkṣā (religious ceremony), the kratus (sacrificial rite or worship), the donation/fees to the priest (dakṣiṇā, note that the word used here is दक्षिणा, and not दक्षिण, which means South), the yajamānaḥ (sacrificer), and the lokya (worlds) in which the soma (herein referring to candra, the moon, not the liquid used in yajas) and sūrya (the sun) brighten (yatra pavate). From Him are also begotten the various Devās, Sādhyas, men (Manuṣya, descendants of Vaivasvata Manu), the cattle (paśavaḥ, from the word paśu), the birds, the prāṇa (the breath/"life-force" of the ātmā) and apāna (the "air" which is excreted), rice and corn, penance (tapasyā/tapaḥ), truth (satyam), faith (śraddhā), abstinence (brahmacaryam) and the rules/regulations (vidhi). From him spring the seven prāṇās (referring to senses here, rather than air or breath as it was used in the previous verse); so too do the seven flames/lights (अर्चिस्/arcis, used above in caturthī vibhakti as अर्चिषः/arciṣaḥ), the seven types of fuel (to "light" the senses), the seven sacrifices (sapta homāḥ/सप्त होमाः), and the seven worlds (sapta lokāḥ) in which the prāṇās move, which rest in the cave [of the heart], and are laid down (निहितः/nihitāḥ) as seven and seven come into being. Thereafter (ataḥ) do the seas/sea (samudra) and the mountains proceed from him; from him do the various streams (sindhavaḥ) flow (syandate); hence come all medicines/plants/herbs (auṣadha) and the juices/fluids (rasaḥ) through which the "indwelling" soul (antarātmā) is surrounded by the elements (bhūtaiḥ).The Puruṣa alone (eva) is everything (viśvam), he is the action of penance (karma tapaḥ), the Brahman (brahma), the greatest nectar/ambrosia (parāmṛtam); he who realizes this Puruṣa which is "hidden/placed" (nihitaṃ) in the cave [of the heart], Oh my friend, scatters/cuts the knot of ignorance even here."

    [1] Pavate could also mean to cleanse or to purify, but brighten makes the most sense in this context.

    [2] This may be alluding to the concept of the cāturdaśa-bhuvanasya (fourteen worlds/lōkas) mentioned in the Mahābhāratam, Viṣṇu purāṇa, and Liṅga Purāṇa [and presumably in other texts], in which the lōkas refer to states of being (such as svargalōka or naraka).

    [3] Although the term hṛdayaṁ (heart) in not used in the above mantras, it seems to be somewhat implied.

    My confusion is with the first mantra. If the Vedas proceed from the Puruṣa (as stated above), which alone is everything (puruṣaḥ eva idam viśvam), then doesn't that make the Vedas "authored" by a divine source (thereby negating the concept of Apauruṣeyatva), or am I missing something? I've looked over the the Nirukta, and the Sāṁkhya Kārikā and can't seem to find anything on this topic. The Mīmaṃsā Sūtras of Jaimini, generally seem to be quite detailed as far as Veda Vākyārtha (grammar and epistemology) is concerned, but even they don't provide detail with regards to this matter. Does anyone know whether apauruṣeyatva applies only to the Vedas being un-authored by humans [and other Jīvātmās], or does it apply to Bhagavān as well? (I'm pretty sure it does, but I want to make sure). Also, I would like to clarify that I'm not a Naiyāyika (and I certainly don't support Akṣapāda Gautama or Udyōtakāra's views regarding the rejection of Apauruṣeyatva); I'm just wondering how the Vedas can be "unauthored," yet coincidentally proceed from something else.

    Iti paripṛcchā samāptam

    ॐ नमो नारायणाय
    Last edited by Jaskaran Singh; 27 August 2013 at 01:43 AM. Reason: Grammatical Error
    படைபோர் புக்கு முழங்கும்அப் பாஞ்சசன்னியமும் பல்லாண்டே
    May your pA~nchajanya shankha which reverberates on the battlefield, last thousands upon thousands of years...
    http://archives.mirroroftomorrow.org...anchajanya.jpg

  2. #2

    Re: Apauruṣeyatva

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaskaran Singh View Post
    My confusion is with the first mantra. If the Vedas proceed from the Puruṣa (as stated above), which alone is everything (puruṣaḥ eva idam viśvam), then doesn't that make the Vedas "authored" by a divine source (thereby negating the concept of Apauruṣeyatva), or am I missing something? I've looked over the the Nirukta, and the Sāṁkhya Kārikā and can't seem to find anything on this topic. The Mīmaṃsā Sūtras of Jaimini, generally seem to be quite detailed as far as Veda Vākyārtha (grammar and epistemology) is concerned, but even they don't provide detail with regards to this matter. Does anyone know whether apauruṣeyatva applies only to the Vedas being un-authored by humans [and other Jīvātmās], or does it apply to Bhagavān as well? (I'm pretty sure it does, but I want to make sure). Also, I would like to clarify that I'm not a Naiyāyika (and I certainly don't support Akṣapāda Gautama or Udyōtakāra's views regarding the rejection of Apauruṣeyatva); I'm just wondering how the Vedas can be "unauthored," yet coincidentally proceed from something else.
    Pranams Jaskaran Singh and welcome,

    Let me use an analogy. If I throw a ball at someone, one could say that the ball issued forth from me. But does this mean that I created the ball? Clearly it does not.

    In vedAnta, we say that matter and jIva-s both merge with the puruSha after pralaya. This does not mean that they lose their individual existence, but rather that they do not exist separately during that time period, until such time as the puruSha creates again, which as I'm sure you are aware, involves the projecting forth of pre-existing conscious and non-conscious entities.
    Last edited by philosoraptor; 07 July 2013 at 10:05 PM.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

  3. #3
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    Re: Apauruṣeyatva

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaskaran Singh View Post

    My confusion is with the first mantra. If the Vedas proceed from the Puruṣa (as stated above), which alone is everything (puruṣaḥ eva idam viśvam), then doesn't that make the Vedas "authored" by a divine source (thereby negating the concept of Apauruṣeyatva), or am I missing something? I've looked over the the Nirukta, and the Sāṁkhya Kārikā and can't seem to find anything on this topic. The Mīmaṃsā Sūtras of Jaimini, generally seem to be quite detailed as far as Veda Vākyārtha (grammar and epistemology) is concerned, but even they don't provide detail with regards to this matter. Does anyone know whether apauruṣeyatva applies only to the Vedas being un-authored by humans [and other Jīvātmās], or does it apply to Bhagavān as well? (I'm pretty sure it does, but I want to make sure). Also, I would like to clarify that I'm not a Naiyāyika (and I certainly don't support Akṣapāda Gautama or Udyōtakāra's views regarding the rejection of Apauruṣeyatva); I'm just wondering how the Vedas can be "unauthored," yet coincidentally proceed from something else.

    Iti paripṛcchā samāptam

    ॐ नमो नारायणाय
    Namaste Jaskran,
    Just curious how old are you? If you are still in school and writing this post you are supersmart. Hence short answer to your questions.

    To answer your question think on the lines 'when Vedas came into existence...just like how time began' and also think of Purusha not as person but a being yet to be comprehended. Existential things have no beginning they simply exist just like Vedas (I'm not fully convinced on the unauthored concept of Vedas). In such cases asking when did they come into existence or who created them..are silly and meaningless.

    As far as I know only Vedas have Apauruṣeyatva quality.
    ॐ महेश्वराय नमः

    || Om Namo Bhagavate Rudraya ||

    Hara Hara Mahadeva Shambo Shankara

  4. #4

    Re: Apauruṣeyatva

    Namaste Jaskaran Singh͵

    Apaurusheya is that set of revelations arising in one when in Braahmi Sthithi. (As in the Gita). Inspired by the Supreme Brahman such supersensuous knowledge will make one a Rshi and by its very nature will be beneficial to humanity.

  5. #5
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    Re: Apauruṣeyatva

    The validity of the Vedas proceeds precisely because of its apaurusheyatva (not belonging to/associated with a "being"). Every other sound/text/scripture is authored and can be traced back to a person. Not the Vedas.

    Any reference to a being/God/purusha in the Vedas is to be interpreted in a secondary sense. They are to be seen as auxiliaries to the imperative injunctions.

    An example is the relationship between the designator and the designatum.

    For e.g. Consider the sentence "The prince's servant should be honoured". The subject of the sentence is the designatum - the servant. It is obvious that the designatum is the important protagonist of the sentence and its meaning. The designator is the prince and his role is limited. More specifically, the role of the designator is that of a tatastha lakshana (accidental/incidental property) that helps identify *which* servant ought to be honoured.

    Another example - "My house is the one next to the tree." Here, the role of the tree is limited only to the extent that it helps identify my house from the others.

    Similarly with the other instances of the mention of God(s) in the Vedas.

    This thus the Mimamsa view.

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