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Old January 2nd, 2018, 10:22 PM   #1

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On Eternity of Vedas


"According to this view the Veda cannot be called eternal in the same sense as the Mīmāmsakas have done, and, therefore, the texts which assert the eternity of the Vedas, are said to refer merely to "the unbroken continuity of the stream of homogeneous succession," (Veda-nityatā-vākyāni cha sajātīyā-nupūrvī-pravāhānuchcheda-parāni). Patanjali, the great grammarian, in his gloss on Pānini IV, 3, 101, solves the question by making a distinction between the language (the succession of words or letters, varnānupūrvī, as we find it in the present texts) of the Vedas and their contents (artha), and observing that the question of the eternity of the Vedas refers to their sense which is eternal or permanent (arthonityah), and not to the order of their letters, which has not always remained the same (varnānupūrvī anityā), and that it is through this difference in the latter respect that we have the different versions of Kathas, Kalāpas, Mudakas, Pippalādas and so on.

This view is opposed to that of the Mīmāmsakas who hold both sense and order of words to be eternal. But Patanjali is led to reject the doctrine of the eternity of the order of words, because in that case we cannot account for the different versions or Shākhās of the same Veda, all of which are considered to be equally authoritative though their verbal readings are sometimes different. Patanjali, as explained by his commentators Kaiyyata and Nāgoji Bhatta, ascribes this difference in the different versions of the Veda to the loss of the Vedic text in the pralayas or deluges* which occasionally overtake the world and their reproduction or re-promulgation, at the beginning of each new age, by the sages, who survived, according to their remembrance.

Each age has thus a Veda of its own which differs only in expression and not in sense from the ante-diluvian Veda, and that different recessions of co-ordinate authority of the same Veda are due to the difference in the remembrance of the Rishis whose names are associated with the different Shākhās, and who re-promulgate, at the beginning of the new age, the knowledge inherited by them, as a sacred trust, from their forefathers in the preceding Kalpa. This view substantially accords with that of Vyāsa as recorded in the verse from the Mahābhārata quoted above. The later expositors of the different schools of philosophy have further developed these views of the Sutra-writers and criticized or defended the doctrine of the self-demonstrated authority of the scriptural texts (shabda-pramāna) in various ways."
"Arctic Home in Vedas", B. G. Tilak (Page 419-20)
Chapter XIII (The Bearing of Our Results on the History of Primitive Aryan Culture and Religion)

* catastrophic changes, whether environmental or conflicts and migrations.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 06:21 AM   #2

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Dear Aupmanyav,


The above is a statement, not a question. What exactly is the question which you want us to discuss: Are the Vedas eternal or not? Are they historical createtions or not?

Regards

Rajeev
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Old January 6th, 2018, 06:58 AM   #3

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Yes, what should we understand by the statement that "Vedas are eternal"?
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Old January 6th, 2018, 08:11 PM   #4

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The word "Vedas" is used in different senses so we need to define it here. There are four Vedas (Rig, Sam, Yajur, Atharva). Each of these four Vedas has four parts, viz Samhita (composed in Verse), Brahman, Aranyak, Upanishads. I assume that we are using the term "Veda" referring to all these 16 parts together.

The above mentioned sixteen (4*4) are together called "Shruti" in later Hindu tradition. In today's language Shruti translates as "that which has been heard".

Last edited by Rajeev; January 6th, 2018 at 08:25 PM.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 08:55 PM   #5

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Aahhh, so that is what shruti means then.

Shruti Hasaan. I hv heard of that one. She's nice.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 09:46 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeev View Post
The word "Vedas" is used in different senses so we need to define it here. There are four Vedas (Rig, Sam, Yajur, Atharva). Each of these four Vedas has four parts, viz Samhita (composed in Verse), Brahman, Aranyak, Upanishads. I assume that we are using the term "Veda" referring to all these 16 parts together.

The above mentioned sixteen (4*4) are together called "Shruti" in later Hindu tradition. In today's language Shruti translates as "that which has been heard".
No, the topic refers only to the 'Samhita' part.

Last edited by Aupmanyav; January 6th, 2018 at 09:49 PM.
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