The Vedas Revisited: Paurusheya/ Apaurusheya, Anitya/Nitya??

A. Introduction:

A.1.    Recently I came across this article by Dr. Nicholas Kazanas, http://indiafacts.org/nityatva-and-apaurusheyatva-in-language/  in which he ‘proves’ that nityatva/ apaurusheyatva (‘eternality/universality’ and ‘non-humanness’) exist in all languages and thus all works and is therefore, by no means confined to the Vedas.   In other words, the Vedas are anitya/ paurusheya.    Since those dependent on the written word for their knowledge of the Sanātana Dharma (SD) consider the Vedas ‘the oldest scriptures of Hinduism’ the “proof” that Kazanas offers may be considered as the final nail in the coffin of the ‘proletariats’[i] claims about their Dharma and related books

A.2. Kazanas’ somewhat obfuscated main contentions on the Vedas, later more specifically the hymns therein, are laid out in #1 wherein he touches on the meaning of trayīveda and suggests that ‘knowledge’ itself has nityatva, as extended into #2 “as do some human experiences” {ie, not just the knowledge within/ experiences in the Vedas}; and in #9, where he contends that “the Kavi has himself contributed to the expression…… the hymn as we have it is very much paurusheya” to ‘prove’ that the Vedas are essentially paurusheya/ anitya with the apaurusheya element supplied by aksharas (the ‘phonemes’ underlying all language ) and {supposedly, at a stretch} ‘kārakāṇis’, the nature elements of which were often perceived as Gods like Enlil (Mesopotamia), Parjanya (SD), Zeus (Greece) in old mythologies. Throughout he quotes from various SD literature sources to show that in the light of 21st century knowledge the Vedas are limited/ flawed/ no better or worse than the texts of other ancient civilisations. He panders to native sensibilities by reinforcing his conclusions with his translation of shloka 6.29 of the Bhagavad Gītā, to suggest that, “possibly everything is paurusheya”.

A.3. Though in and of itself there should be no issues in the literature of an ancient civilization being no better or worse than that of other civilizations, in ‘proving’ important SD literature sources wrong on the multiple counts he has detailed to ‘prove’ this one tiny but vital aspect, Kazanas implies that the millions of Hindus across the millennia have built on a chimera and exist(ed) in a dreamworld; a chimera most indologists and many secular Indians think is the cause of the major social issues in 21st century ‘South Asia’. It is not often that Hindus are presented with so much ‘proof’. The situation is particularly piquant for a tradition that acknowledges there is knowledge that lies ‘beyond the Vedas’. Thus, Kazanas’ paper provides an opportunity to explore the reliability of the approach and methodologies used by indologists and others in their study of SD literature as a resource for understanding its contents and/or Hinduism and, the implications thereof.

B. Approach and Methodology:

B.1.   The major social implications of Kazanas’ paper suggests that studying it carefully could well provide a window to understand the source of the ugly, rapidly expanding rift between ‘the natives’ and most western and Indian academics.    This became imperative as one has on multiple occasions, had to resort to the Vedas and related literature  to gain insight/ knowledge on various phenomena, occurrences, situations, etc including dire medical issues.    To source the discrepancy the paper closely examines his approach, methodology, reasoning, interpretations and arguments.   As it soon becomes evident that the problem begins with translation issues, eg, the understanding of terms and includes ignoring/ eliding available information crucial to the works being translated, this paper elaborates a little on a few terms/ concepts.

Conceding he has put in much thought into his arguments and political correctness into his efforts at pointing out that ‘the natives’ have some insight but incomplete knowledge, suggests that he is unlikely to be the first academic to make such basic mistakes.   Therefore, the paper also explores the likely direct/ indirect source of the problem.   As this exercise led to an interesting finding related to the main aim of this paper, the finding is briefly explored and a few of its ramifications touched upon before concluding.

B.1.1. As the aim of this paper is restricted to understanding the sources of the major discrepancy between Kazanas’ conclusion and ‘native belief’, it limits itself to picking up and clarifying a few main issues. Though in passing there is plenty of ‘new knowledge’ to add to the pre-existing ‘body of knowledge’, since this is neither an objective nor an interest the paper does not review let alone critique Kazanas’ entire paper or indulge in arguments. It avoids detailing all that is not immediately relevant to its purpose.

B.2. In keeping with SD practice (adapted for the 21st century!) the paper invites readers to:
—        Test the paper’s contents against their own knowledge of SD and SD related and/or other literature to either falsify or reinforce/expand its arguments/ insights.
–         Check the verified contents of this paper and relevant contributions by discussants against the writings/speech of other academics [ii], for an appreciation of the degree/extent to which these insights highlight causal issues in the battle between ‘natives’ and academics.

It is hoped that Hindus from different branches/sub-traditions/ schools of SD thought and different academic backgrounds and professions, as also all walks of life e.g, ‘housewives’ and students, will bring to the discussion the fruits of their SD related knowledge/ sadhana, etc., and where appropriate, relevant light from other (in/) formal disciplines.

C. Kazanas’ Paper

C.1. Approach & Methodology
C.1.1 Though not explicit, Kazanas uses Chomsky’s work on Deep and Surface Structure in language as a theoretical framework. His supporting arguments use his knowledge of the Bible, Gnosticism, psychology, comparative linguistics and philosophies including the Greek philosophers, Mīmāṃsā, Vyākarana, Bhartṛhari’s work, etc, as extended by his readings of the Vedas and Bhagavad Gītā. He ‘proves’ there is nothing in the Vedas – contents, language/ language structure, writings/ speech, theories, etc– that was exclusive or specific to the people of the times/ now and, in the light of currently available knowledge the literature is limited/ flawed. ‘Findings’ are couched in/ confirmed through forays into philosophy/ mythology/ his interpretation of his observations of the world. With a reminder that the language of the Vedas is not that of the original Ŗşis {and therefore open to misinterpretation}, he drives home his contention that the Vedas should not be regarded as exclusive in any manner.

C.1.2. However, a close reading of the paper reveals that Kazanas’ immediate aim in using his theoretical knowledge is to arrive at sets for Paired Comparisons within an adaptation of Saaty’s Analytical Hierarchy Process model. Since this utility assists one to arrive at ‘reasoned’ decisions between alternatives, it suggests that in fact the main objective of Kazanas’ presentation is to help ‘natives’ decide between the relative merits of the Vedas and 21st century knowledge, tools, methods, etc as a source of ‘vidya’, i.e., decide which provides stronger, weightier, more complete and therefore better understanding of a (the?/any?) subject under study. To arrive at this decision the sets are presented as alternative tools for investigating the source/eternality of the Vedas, i.e, fallible ‘informed’ judgement is to replace the verifiable, often scientific, validity enjoined by SD.

C.1.3. Though almost at the beginning he informs the reader that, “It is an axiom of the Mīmāṃsā philosophical system that the Veda is apaurusheya ‘of nonhuman origin’; [and] it is also nitya ‘eternal, universal’”, it does not seem to strike him that the philosophers do not claim the status for their own works. In fact, initially his stated conclusion that, “the revealed veda or Sabda is both apaurusheya and paurusheya” seems unworthy of proving since in giving the name of the Ŗşi in his quotation from the Vedas (he mentions RV 1.164 is by Dshrghatamas Aucathya) the existence of an element of the paurusheya is self-evident. The elephant in the room only gets exposed when one realises that the operative part of his sentence is “or Sabda

C.2. Summary of Kazanas’ Paper
C.2.1. Initially, having postulated that ‘knowledge’, ‘vidyā‘, is a universal phenomenon not applicable only to the Vedas Kazanas cursorily dismisses ‘vidyā’ as source of the ‘belief’ in the Vedas’ nityatva. However, he later assesses it more fully – and arrives at the same conclusion. It is the reference to the Vedas as Sabda, i.e., ‘word’, in Hindu philosophy and “the Rigveda where vāc, a mighty goddess as well as the speech of man, stands in place of ‘Sabda’”, that really interests him and, which lies at the core of his thesis.

C.2.2. In #1 he touches on the concepts of vāc and the Sabdabrahman and explores their position in Mīmāṃsā philosophy, in the Vedas and in Bhartṛhari’s work on the states of speech which as he points out with a couple of examples, has its origins in the Vedas, ‘or earlier’. He emerges from the ensuing web having reduced ‘Sabdabrahman’ to ‘Sabda’ which he translates as “(the) Word, Absolute”, then ‘proves’ he is correct because the Vedas are referred to as ““Sabda, (the) Word…. in Purva and Uttara Mīmāṃsā”’ and hangs vāc on to ‘Word, Absolute’ (to paraphrase: because vāc is considered a deity) before moving on to #2.

C.2.3. In #2 he formulates his unstated aim: to check the exclusivity of the Vedas, using comparative linguistics/ philosophy/ observation, etc within (unstated) Saaty’s model.

“Having accepted the Mīmāṃsā general axiom that vidyā and Sabda (or vāc) have ‘nonhuman origin’ and ‘eternality’, can we find these qualities in an actual spoken and written language like English, Hindsh [sic] or Sanskrit?”

While granting that Vyākarana, and even Sanskrit have somewhat greater clarity he argues that not only was the knowledge not exclusive to SD but it is only ‘aksharas and Kārikānīs ( ‘factors contributing to the start, continuance and completion of an action’) ‘and perhaps dhātu (‘root, seed-element’)’ {which he doesn’t discuss here} that exist at the ‘deeper level of language’ and thus have the two qualities of nityatva/ apaurusheyatva and; these are, to a greater/ lesser extent, found in all languages not only in Sanskrit.

C.2.4. Kazanas later examines writing/ speech and ‘Bhartṛhari’s theory of the ‘four states’ of speech – ie, parā, paśhyantī, madhyamā, vaikhari – which he has pointed out has its origins in the Vedas and likely ‘earlier’. In practice he checks it out against Chomsky’s work to its detriment. He points out that all thought arises from the thinking mind and constitutes {Chomsky’s} ‘surface structure’, i.e, Bhartrhari’s madhyamā and vaikhari, {but} an author’s writing/ speech are the result of an underlying set of emotions and unconscious {subconscious} drives which constitute the ‘deep structure’ in language. In his ‘proof’ he informs us {not very clearly} that ‘paśhyantī’ arises from these drives and emotions {and therefore is, paurusheya}.   Parā is tangentially included in his argument when he adds that there are many human phenomena or experiences that are universal and fall outside the range of ordinary volition or intent, e.g., emotions like love are ‘from a universal, eternal state’, before concluding that all writing/ speech has nityatva/ apaurusheyatva.

C.2.5. Thus, with writing/ speech as with language, ‘the native’ has the choice of deciding that all of it has some nityatva/apaurusheyatva or, that all writing/ speech is paurusheya – nothing special about the Vedas. With a foray into the Purānas and comparison with Greek and Mesopotamian mythology he points out that in other civilisations too the kārakāṇis were often considered Gods – again implying there is nothing special in the Vedas. He concludes that, “the revealed veda or Sabda is both apaurusheya {essentially because of the phonemes} and paurusheya {in its speech/ content}” and, with a couple more asides along the same lines, is satisfied that he has pulled the carpet from under the feet of ‘believers’.

D. Appraising Kazanas’ Paper

D.1. His Approach and Methodology:
Apart from the ethical issues related to the use of Saaty’s model with both the fact and the aim left unstated, as will become evident Kazanas has made some basic mistakes in his understanding of Sanskrit/ SD concepts, ie, Applied Sanskrit, and therefore inevitably, there are mistakes in the alternatives presented for comparison and therefore, his conclusions. Again, the model itself assumes that the alternatives at different levels of the hierarchy are independent. But implicit in Kazanas’ handling of language and writing/speech as also the stated conclusion that the Vedas are both apaurusheya/ paurusheya with the apaurusheya element deriving from the inherent structure of language is that, the variables are to an extent interdependent. The confusion and inaccuracies are compounded manifold by his tendency to jump to conclusions based on his {often inapplicable} ‘expertise’, e.g., “Sabdabrahman {=} “‘the Word [is] Absolute’ or ‘the Word [is] the Holy Power’”; his inability to apply Bhartṛhari’s theory, and, his ‘understanding’ of various sections of SD related literature.

D.2. The Misconstrued Concept of Sabdabrahman.
Since Kazanas’ entire paper revolves around the Sabdabrahman it is useful to first understand the term. Sabdabrahman is a Sanskrit ‘compound word’ which, within the context of writing/ speech in the Vedas, usually refers to a concept and therefore splitting it into its constituent parts can {in Kazanas’ case, does} lead one astray. It refers to the ‘vocal/ audible (essentially, sound related) energetic manifestation of the Brahman. Therefore, paśhyantī that emerges directly from a ‘parā’ that is the Brahman, and remains unmediated/ unprocessed by the confusion of desires, emotions and thoughts of the subconscious and thinking mind has apaurusheyatva as also the Brahman’s characteristics of eternality/ universality; i.e., this paśhyanti sources eternal Truths that can be availed of in developing Wisdom {Kazanas’ does recognise the implications of an emergence from the Brahman; but his conceptual confusion takes him in the wrong direction}.

D.2.1. The Vedas, the Sabdabrahman and Language.
Kazanas’ discussion on language, taken up as a result of having split the word ‘Sabdabrahman’ and misconstrued it, is thus irrelevant to his basic contentions viz a viz the apaurusheyatva / nityatva  of the Vedas.    In fact, both Mīmāṃsā and Vyākarana are subsets of the Vedaganga, in essence, ‘river (of knowledge) flowing from the Vedas’. Common sense suggests that one cannot examine a couple of details within two branches of a flow to make definitive, categorical statements on the main source. Which in turn indicates the need to source possible answers from within the Vedas.

D.2.2. Inappropriate Translation of the Word Vidya:
Referring to the ‘contents’ of writing/speech Kazanas takes up the concept of ‘vidyā’ which he translates as ‘knowledge’. But ‘vidyā’ also means ‘jňānam’ – a term more akin to the English ‘wisdom’ in that it has much more width and depth than does ‘knowledge’ in the English language. It is usually used for in-depth knowledge of (sections of/) SD or for ‘Wisdom’ itself. In the context of the Sabdabrahman the word ‘vidyā’ is, at a minimum, a reference to the wider and deeper concept or to ‘Wisdom’ (henceforth: wisdom). While one can at a stretch claim that that many written works/ speeches impart knowledge, no matter how much one stretches the imagination can anyone claim that all writing/speech impart wisdom!!. Again, though the terms ‘writing/speech’ per se can give the impression that it is the ‘language’ of the writing/speech that is the crucial factor that requires study, neither ‘vidyā’ (as used in the quotations he presents) nor ‘Sabdabrahman’ can be put under the rubric.

D.2.3 Kazanas quotes from Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upanishad 4.1.2 as, “‘speech/language indeed is brahman, the Absolute’ and that brahman should be approached/worshipped as prajñā ‘intelligence, wisdom’”. Even while noting that the qualifier, ‘the Absolute’, is Kazanas’ interpolation and not in the original text {Ref: sacred-texts.com}, it is obvious that speech as ‘language’ per se has neither ‘intelligence’ nor ‘wisdom’, so clearly ‘speech’/ ‘language’ as used in the quotation he presents refer to the contents which can convey wisdom {Ref: D.2.2}. The portion quoted essentially encompasses an unstated injunction that speech/language when it emanates from Brahman is to be approached as wisdom – which in a different context Kazanas has appreciated {Ref D.2}. This reinforces the idea that it is writing/ speech, i.e., ‘vidyā’, as ‘wisdom’ rather than as ‘language’ that is under reference when talking of the Vedas. The ‘native belief’ in the sanctity of the Vedas is also essentially a reference to the Wisdom in their contents.

D.3. Ignored: the term ‘Ŗşi
D.3.1 Kazanas’ claim that ‘love’ is a ‘universal emotion’ is open to discussion, but since he seems to use it as an example to explain his statement that there are many inexplicable “human phenomena or experiences that are universal and fall outside the range of ordinary volition or intent” it may be assumed he is referring to it to distinguish it from the majority of an individual’s emotions and drives. Whatever the intent, even if ‘universal emotions’ exist and/ or there are ‘inexplicable emotions’, there can be no doubt that Kazanas is right when he assures us that {in most cases} “an individual’s emotions and drives lie at the base of writing/speech” – the fact is foundational to all psychoanalysis and most psychotherapy. In the context under discussion the problem is that he has not factored in the crucial information that the hymns were written by ‘kavīs’ who were Ŗşis.

D.3.2 In some form or the other most traditions within SD are based on the unstated assumption that an individual can identify the contents of the unconscious/ subconscious. Academia, practicing psychologists/ psychiatrists and some of the educated public have directly/ indirectly benefited from this knowledge for many decades, e.g, elements of Jungian and Transpersonal psychology among other formal practices/ disciplines are beholden to SD, a fact usually unacknowledged especially in earlier years when ‘the natives’ unbeknownst gifted the ‘new knowledge’ to the ‘educated’ who then capitalised upon in different forms [iii].  But ‘the natives’ also know that the contents of the unconscious/ subconscious can be brought under the control of the conscious mind and changed, transcended, transmuted. A Ŗşi becomes one only well after s/he, is at a minimum, aware of the contents of her/his subconscious- by which point the individual is no longer like the “millions of others” and most if not all of modern psychology/ psychiatry has fallen apart.

D.4. Noted and Overlooked: the Descriptor, ‘Drashtā
D.4.1. Kazanas informs us that the hymns were given by Ŗşis who were Drashtās, i.e, they ‘saw’/’heard’ the hymns. ‘Seeing’/ ‘hearing’ are verbs and therefore require an object for the phrase/sentence to make a modicum of sense. This object necessarily exists in space and time. In the context of the concept of Drashtā at a minimum, the object related to the actions ‘see’/ ‘hear’ lies in the Brahman and is revealed visually or audibly. Which in turn means that these Kavīs saw/heard the Sabdabrahman (‘parā’). {tradition has it that the Vedic Ŗşis were Mantra- Drashtās}.   It is common knowledge that ‘the natives’ regard the Vedas as Shruti, i.e, ‘that which was seen/ heard by the Drashtā Ŗşis/ seers’ – the seers certainly did not enunciate/ transcribe what their neighbour was doing/ saying!. Thus, when the Vedas are referred to as ‘Sabda’, knowing that the reference is to the Sabdabrahman one is expected to use one’s common sense to distinguish between the possible contextual alternatives, i.e., ‘word’ and ‘Wisdom’[iv] .

D.4.2. There is a comparatively recent instance of a Drashtā. The renowned mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan,

“credited his acumen to his family goddess, Mahalakshmi of Namakkal. He looked to her for inspiration in his work……. Afterward he would receive visions of scrolls of complex mathematical content unfolding before his eyes. He often said, “An equation for me has no meaning unless it represents a thought of God”[v]

However, like most non-seekers and people of other faiths, Hardy his mentor at Cambridge,

“argued that Ramanujan’s religious belief had been romanticised by Westerners and overstated—in reference to his belief, not practice—by Indian biographers” [vi]

As a Drashtā Ramanujan gave us wonderful, new mathematical insights of consistently high quality with amazing regularity, unlike for instance Einstein and Fritz Capra who only occasionally reached heights. Note that here Ramanujan is referred to as a Drashtā not as a Ŗşi. One may be a Drashtā but not a Ŗşi. The term ‘psychic’ denotes yet another phenomenon.

D.5. The Sabdabrahman, the Drashtā Ŗşis and, ‘Bhartṛhari’s theory’
D.5.1. To my knowledge, the emergence of paśhyantī from parā can occasionally be noted in a very few people provided one knows how to identify it. It is more easily though not often observed as speech/ writing in some individuals in states of samādhi or sahbeej samādhi. Very rarely, but if a patient has a Drashtā’s ability to ‘see/hear’ as also other equally unusual facilitating provisos, it can be physically observed under some medical conditions. Cut off from the ‘thinking mind’ (the ‘madhyamā’) as s/he temporarily/ otherwise is unable to use the thinking/ processing parts of the brain, s/he can at a pinch ‘see’/’hear’ thoughts arise as Sabdabrahman and reveal themselves as vaikharI as s/he writes/talks ‘spontaneously’ (leaving onlookers flummoxed!!). It is likely that there are other conditions under which this phenomenon can be observed/ heard.

D.5.2. Since we know the hymns were written by Ŗşis who were Drashtās, it follows that the paśhyantī of ‘Bhartŗhari’s theory’ would be unmediated by subconscious/ unconscious thoughts, emotions and desires and at least initially, much or all of the thinking mind {the madhyamā}. Which confirms that in their case the ‘parā’ source was the Brahman itself. To check: we know that multiple hymns were written by the same Ŗşi. Obviously somewhat like Ramanujan’s access to his goddess, the Kavī who was both Drashtā and Ŗşi, was able to easily and regularly access/ receive from the Sabdabrahman. Which means at least the seed content of the speech was Sabdabrahman. It is likely this is the reason (or at least, a major reason) for occasional reference to the Vedas as Sabda.

D.5.3. Note: Bhartṛhari theory as delineated by Kazanas mentions parā as the source for paśhyantī [vii].  Kazanas’ presentation fails to factor in that parā means ‘beyond’ or ‘on the further side’ of pashyantī. Thus, it allows for subconscious emotions/drives in an individual’s writing/ speech. It is only when the theory is applied to the writing/speech of a Ŗşi that the Brahman may be the parā. This  in turn suggests that Kazanas has again got his Applied Sanskrit wrong/ deliberately attempted to imply a flaw that does not exist/ is just too confused.

E. Paurusheyatva, Apaurusheyatva, Anityatva and Nityatva in the Vedas

E.1. As has been pointed out earlier Kazanas is right in that the Vedas have paurusheya content, his quotation from the Vedas implies it. An unconnected though more conclusive example than the one Kazanas gives, is observed in Shrikant Talageri’s post in Rajiv Malhotra Discussion Group: 16th June 2018, wherein we learn that:

“spoked wheels are found only in the New Books of the Rigveda (Books 1,5,8-10) and completely missing in the Old Books (2-4,6-7) during which period Rigvedic geography is basically restricted to Haryana and the Ganga area of western U.P.!”

Very obviously the geographical description and prevalence of spoked wheels found in that area at that time and enunciated in the referenced passages from the Vedas, is paurusheya. But a cursory glance through the hymns in which they are mentioned clarifies that the obvious has been used to elucidate/illuminate matters that are time/space/people – independent, i.e., ‘eternal’, ‘universal,’ truths – nitya.

E.2. It is likely that there are hymns wherein some aspects were heard while others were seen/ experienced and later enunciated or elucidated, that many contain some paurusheya elements along with their apaurusheya content. It is also possible that there are some which are totally paurusheya including possible interpolations especially in the Atharveda Samhitā. The ‘native beliefs’ relate to the eternality of the verities in the Vedas and a recognition that many/most of these are directly/ essentially Sabdabrahman. Most ‘natives’ do not claim to know let alone understand details within the Vedas but even if they did, disentangling the admixture of origins is of no significance to their purpose and so was/is considered unimportant and ignored – those who need SD related information and know how to consult them will do so and find their answers.

F.1. The Root of the Problem

F.1 The style, tone and contents of Kazanas’ paper strongly suggest that it is based on a priori assumptions for which ‘proofs’ were strung together. In all likelihood there were a number of them, but the most immediate one is very likely, directly/ indirectly, related to the following:

“In no country, I believe, has the theory of revelation been so minutely elaborated as in India. The name for revelation in Sanskrit is shruti, which means hearing; and this title distinguished the Vedic hymns and….. which however sacred and authoritative to the Hindu mind, are admitted to have been composed by human authors.
But let me state at once that there is nothing in the hymns themselves to warrant such extravagant theories. In many a hymn, the author says plainly that he or his friends made it to please the gods; that he made it, as a carpenter makes a chariot (Rv 1.130.6; 5.2.11), or like a beautiful vesture (Rv 5.29.15); that he fashioned it in his heart and kept it in his mind (Rv 1.171.2)” . (emphasis added)[viii]

F.2. Max Mueller evidently did not understand what he had read. For to those who do, it is clear that the quoted Drashtā Ŗşis, “crafted”, i.e., built on and fleshed out idea(s) or concepts which they couldn’t ascribe to their own thinking minds/ emotions, etc., so they informed us that they “made it to please the gods”. Since these hymns are communications the main point conveyed is that they are not taking false credit for the core idea(s)/ concept(s). They have honestly acknowledged that their contribution lies in building the bridges between those who hear the hymns and the original Source. As the aim is to optimally simplify the learning process and this Ŗşi’s role that of a strong ‘step down transformer’, he uses the term ‘crafted’ with an appropriate analogy to empahsise that it’s been a difficult, slow, laborious process that required a lot of care

G. The Heart of the Matter

G.1. Though it requires an in-depth survey into the output of leading Western academics – or possibly research with requisite input from experienced psychologists, read together: –

–          Max Mueller’s articulation of the presence of a “theory of revelation” for books “which however sacred and authoritative to the Hindu mind” do not sustain the ‘belief’; and
–         Kazanas’ work wherein he a. Reduces Sabdabrahman to Sabda, “(the)Word, the Absolute”, b. Interpolates the word ‘Absolute’ when quoting from the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upanishad and c. Seems intent on convincing the reader, i.e., uses an emotional approach rather than the intellectual one normally associated with good scholarship;
strongly suggest that, having used the Bible as their template to understand SD literature, Western academics are consciously/ subconsciously fighting ‘the native belief’ that there can be ‘revelation’ outside of the Bible. For Max Mueller the descriptor ‘Shruti’ for Vedas was repugnant enough. And it is possible that this holds true for most of those who follow ‘the Book’, i.e.Jews, Christians and Muslims.   With over 200 Ŗşis including over 25 women in the Samhitas alone, ‘the native’ insistence that the Vedas are nitya/apaurusheya was/ is probably more than flesh and blood can take.

G.1.1. The word ‘Sabda’ occasionally used lieu of ‘Vedas’, likely heightens the need to slap down ‘the natives’ since in their individual and collective subconscious/ conscious, as per their understanding it militates against the Prophets and most importantly for Christians, Jesus Christ himself. For as John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word (Kazanas: ‘Sabda’), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” and 1:14 adds, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us”, i.e., Jesus was the Word turned flesh. The Crusades were (are being?) fought on this count. For, there can be only one Son of God – Jesus Christ. Add to this blasphemy statements like, “Aham Brahmasmi” and, ‘facts’ like “Brahma committed incest with his own daughter[ix]”!!!!!……..!! The effects of the resultant conflagration are evident throughout India’s polity

G.2. This also helps explain the quality of Kazanas’ work. His ‘scholarship’ is not helped by basic issues related to skills in Applied Sanskrit; a thinking that is awash with inapplicable concepts at both Deep and Surface levels and, the apparent existence of personal/ academic emotional blocks and drives against the knowledge/use of SD concepts. In different forms the issues have been observed in the output of other well know academics – most of whom seem to wear their lack of intimate (any?) knowledge of SD as a badge of honor even though, as experts in English/ history/ sociology, etc. they would not dream of expounding on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

G.2.1. It is likely that this also goes a long way in explaining the almost visceral hatred academics and their supporter have for ‘Brahmin(s)’ – another instance wherein there is a huge chasm between the SD term/ concept and the demonized assertions/ insinuations. Across the last few years this has morphed into regular disparagement of ‘upper class Hindus’ and increasingly, SD itself. It also helps to explain the sharp increase in politics, the perpetual infighting among ‘us vs them’ with Power (and its display) in the form of contacts/ position/ money/ brute force/ academic labels, etc. as primary goal. The approach and techniques used by Kazanas, seemingly acceptable to his academic peer group, are increasingly reflected in the Indian polity as integrity, justice, responsibility etc., morph into variations of a play of Sleight of Hand, selective/ self-decreed Rights and the laws of the jungle.

G. Conclusion

G.1. Rather than an intellectual scholarly paper proving his points Kazanas has, without clarifying his purpose, introduced incorrect/ irrelevant alternatives, facts, and criteria within a decision-making utility to provide weightage against the Vedas rather than in favour of his knowledge base. Apparently, it was only by using unrelated, inappropriate words, concepts and methods and, by eliding crucial concepts and words while substituting irrelevant elements to explicate the intrinsic nature of the Vedas, that he could arrive at a conclusion acceptable to his colleagues in academia. While he can perhaps be given the benefit of the doubts in terms of his personal motivation and output – he seems almost as confused as the reader, if this is the level of ‘scholarship’ academics require of their colleagues, one wonders who constitute the ‘dilettante’ and ‘uneducated’ masses.

G.2. In view of the social significance of such ‘scholarship’ and the its grim consequences on the Indian polity, the findings of this paper make it important that the prevalence and extent of such ‘scholarship’ be looked into on a priority basis – till which time it would be advisable to carefully examine the ‘facts’, ‘arguments’, ‘knowledge’ etc in individual works before accepting their contents.

Notes

[i] I use Andrea Jain’s delightful descriptor.   Apparently the fact of her having “an academic lineage” precludes having discussions with person ‘x’ as he “is from the proletariat”.

[ii] All with due acknowledgement of course!

[iii] These are old examples.  Rajiv Malhotra has done some seminal work on establishing the linkages between current theoretical work/ practices in Western Academia and elements from SD

[iv] ‘w’ is used in ‘word’ as l/c as ‘w’ in u/c in ‘Word’ denotes a biblical concept inapplicable in this context

[v] Ref: Wikipedia citing, Chaitin, Gregory (28 July 2007). “Less Proof, More Truth”. New Scientist (2614)

[vi] Ref: Wikipedia, citing:  Berndt, Bruce C.; Rankin, Robert Alexander (2001).   Ramanujan:  Essays and Survey.  American Mathematical Society. P. 47.

[vii] This paper stays with Kazanas’ understanding though there are works that seem to suggest that though Bhartṛhari discoursed about the Brahman, sphota, sabda, etc, it was Abhinavgupta who first used the term parā.

[viii] Ref Wikipedia, citing: Müller, Max. 1867. Chips from a German Workshop. “Lecture on the Vedas or the Sacred Books of the Brahmans, Delivered at Leeds, 1865”. Oxford University Press pp. 17–18

[ix] Sheldon Pollock.   In a video interview.

 

 

Acknowledgements

Most immediately this paper owes its existence to:
1. Maj Gen (Dr) S Johri (Retd) who despite his heavy workload has repeatedly, frequently intervened to try and ensure a bio-physical-social environment foundational to minimal health and hence the off/on ability to write.
2. Dr Partha Desikan who has as necessary, provided knowledge, comments, support and advice.
3. Folks who have been helping me cope through the three near death experiences and hellish discomfort/ pain as I struggled to write/edit it despite the extensive internal damage being inflicted by those in effective pulverising me to accept their overlordship with its self-promulgated ‘Laws’& ‘Rights’

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24 Replies to “The Vedas Revisited: Paurusheya/ Apaurusheya, Anitya/Nitya??”

  1. It is a rare pleasure to go through this well thought out and methodical examination and critical objection to the Kazanas paper (cited right at the beginning) by Deshika . The article clearly brings out that “it was only by using unrelated, inappropriate words, concepts and methods and, by eliding crucial concepts and words while substituting irrelevant elements to explicate the intrinsic nature of the Vedas,” that Kazanas could arrive at a conclusion acceptable to his colleagues in academia. The significance of the -brahma- suffix or prefix in Sanatanic terms such as Brahmavidya, Brahmajnana or Sabdabrahmam is simply lost in such casual handling. Deshika patiently exposes the western author’s ignorance in not being able to understand Sabdabrahmam as different from just any sabda, even if in parlance Sabdabrahmam could be referred to as sabda. She arranges her evidence with the confidence of a conscientious prosecuting attorney and concludes with a flourish how Kazanas never made a case against the apaurusheyatva and nityatva of the Vedas.
    Warm congratulations on a fine presentation!

    1. Thanks, Partha. As usual you have explained matters very well. If those who know put in more effort into pointing out such things then those academics who are genuinely keen on their work will possibly start correcting themselves. Currently much of it is the blind and deaf leading the blind and deaf.

  2. Let me too invite on behalf of Deshika, readers to look at B-2 in her article and take part in discussing the article in directions suggested by her and others that occur to them.

  3. I can answer it in 2 ways. One way is below.

    In my understanding vedas are simply knowledge of cosmic science.They are discoveries and not inventions. Discoveries of science are apaurusheya and not human creations.

    For eg. Standard Model is described in English language. English language that describes the standard model is Sabda. The knowledge of standard model conveyed by English language is Veda.

    Sabda is man-made and definitely ever changing as our knowledge of standard model keeps evolving. But knowledge that is being discovered is external to humans. It is apaurusheya and nitya.

    -TBT

    1. Thank you for coming in – and without realising it – pointing out a major mistake in the presentation of the article! But before I come to that let me first respond to your comment:

      “English language that describes the standard model is Sabda”. We are one on this.

      “our knowledge of standard model keeps evolving”. Implicit in this is the fact of change. Again, the ‘standard’ itself changes though over a longer length of time. Thus, the knowledge is specific to the times – though the duration of that length of time varies.

      “But knowledge that is being discovered is external to humans. It is apaurusheya and nitya”. I am not sure whether you are referring to interaction between the act of discovery and humans or, whether anything to be discovered is apaurusheya and nitya simply because it is external to humans or…… Also, it so happens that the Vedas are talking about much that is internal, so I will await clarifications

      “In my understanding vedas are simply knowledge of cosmic science”.
      I have noticed that most of your papers revolve around your interpretation of sections of the Vedas as cosmic science – that is your interest, that is what you find. And, some of your interpretations are extremely thought provoking. Other people find other knowledge – Talageri for instance, is interested in archaeology he found something that interested him. (Ref: E.1)

      Coming back to our mistake as amplified by your statement, “I can answer it in 2 ways. One way is below”.
      Possibly the banner led you astray. For we (or at least, I am) not standing in judgement and giving opinions on the matter. The paper just examines some facts within Kazanas’ paper to understand the two viewpoints. Either the facts are wrong/ they are right. Read together so that all of a given set of facts fit together, they will automatically ‘tell their own tale”. Our judgement should ultimately be guided by the facts.
      Kazanas arrived at certain conclusions through a given process. His conclusions are almost diametrically opposite to traditionally held ‘native’ belief. The paper simply clarifies a few facts on each of the two sides so that they stand out more clearly. When they are clear they provide an answer. Which means the conclusions can only be falsified by falsifying the clarifications. So, the paper then invites the reader to falsify the input made in the reasoning/ conclusions. A glance at Partha Desikan’s comments made 03/Sep will help make this clearer.

  4. In the article, the author reduces Vedas to Sabda in the following way.

    The author says “Moreover, as has often been observed, the Veda was called Sabda ‘word, sound’ both in the PurvaMīmāṃsā and the UttaraMīmāṃsā or Vedānta (Pandurangi 2006; Raju 1971). So by a simple extension apaurusheyatva and nityatva belong to Sabda also. This view is much older than the Mīmāṃsā and other philosophical systems”..

    The crux of the idea that the author espouses is Vedas are just sabda, probably they have no meanings, no purpose. All sabda are human originated and not permanent.

    But the question is, are Vedas just sabda..?

    The author continues “But we find it enunciated in the Maitrī Up 6.22: dve vāva brahmaṇī abhidhyeye SabdaScāSabdaSca ‘two brahman aspects are to be meditated upon, one of sound and one of silence’; the passage further says that by Sabda alone is the silent one revealed and ends with the indication – ‘Sabdabrahmaṇi nishnātah para) brahma adhigacchati ‘whoever is well versed in the sounding brahman reaches the supreme [silent] brahman’. In other words, through the manifest gross language one can reach the Supreme which remains unmanifest in its own sphere”

    The sabda that Maitri upanishad talks about is ‘Aum’. Is ‘Aum’ the sabda, aupurusheya..? Is Aum, the sabda of non-human origin..? Is Aum, the sabda, external as well as eternal..? Is Aum just a sabda like anything else, of human origin and temporary..?

    So let’s look at Maitri Upanishad 6.22 on what it is saying

    “Two Brahmans have to be meditated on, the word and the non-word. By the word alone is the non-word revealed. Now there is the word Om. Moving upward by it (where all words and all what is meant by them ceases), he arrives at absorption in the non-word (Brahman). This is the way, this is the immortal, this is union, and this is bliss. And as the spider, moving upward by the thread, gains free space, thus also he who meditates, moving upward by the syllable OM, gains independence.”

    For realizing brAhman, one need to think about (meditate) on Sabda and asabda. Take the word Aum. The Aum has four quarters. The last quarter of Aum is silence. The silence, asabda is a very vital part of the sabda itself.

    Like a spider that spins the thread and moves into a new space using that thread, by travelling on the word Aum, reaching the silence at its end, one can move into newer spaces.

    Maitri Upanishad 6.22 continues

    “Other teachers of the word (as Brahman) think otherwise. They listen to the sound of the ether within the heart while they stop the ears with the thumbs. They compare it to seven noises, like rivers, like a bell, like a brazen vessel, like the wheels of a carriage, like the croaking of frogs, like rain, and as if a man speaks in a cavern. Having passed beyond this variously apprehended sound, and having settled in the supreme, soundless (non-word), unmanifested Brahman, they become undistinguished and undistinguishable, as various flavours of the flowers are lost in the taste of honey. And thus it is said: ‘Two Brahmans are to be known, the word-Brahman and the highest Brahman; he who is perfect in the word-Brahman attains the highest Brahman.’

    Some teachers of sabda (Aum) listen to their heart, to pursue the path of asabda, the silence after Aum that arises within them. But this asabda can only be revealed by the sabda. One who really understands the sabda will realize asabda.

    Each quarter of the Aum has seven parts (sapta-anga). Crossing the seven parts of the three quarters one gets into silence in fourth quarter. Like the seven noises that one has to cross to merge into that silence within.

    Honey tastes sweet. But bees produce that honey from various flowers of various flavors. But honey’s taste does not carry these flavors. Likewise in the realization of that brahman, various sabdas contribute and get lost in that.

    So is Aum the sabda aupurusheya..?

    Aum the sabda represents the aupurusheya. It represents the knowledge of that realization, of that brahman.

    But unless one travels on Aum, like a spider on thread to reach new spaces, that realization is not possible. For sabda alone reveals the asabda.

    Unless one invoke that realization of honey like a bee collecting honey from all the flowers, Aum is a mere sabda. The honey, the aupurusheyatva, the nityatva, comes from the ‘meditation’ or ‘contemplation’ that one does on the Aum including the sabda and asabda parts. It does not arise just in the sabda.

    Vedas like Aum are sabdas and asabdas that represent the knowledge and realization of brahman. Those who search and seek the Vedas like a spider that spins new thread and find new spaces, those who work hard and find honey from the sabda and asabda of Vedas can realize its aupurusheyatva and anityatva. Those who merely see the sabda without contemplation cannot see it.

    -TBT

    1. Great quote/ comment! you have put it very well at the end ( I think there is a typo and you mean NItyatva NOT ‘anityatva’) when you say, “Those who merely see the sabda without contemplation cannot see it”. Additionally, Your entire section on Aum very enlightening.

      I do hope you are not done and we have some more input later,

        1. Those who search and seek the Vedas like a spider that spins new thread and find new spaces, those who work hard and find honey from the sabda and asabda of Vedas can realize its aupurusheyatva and anityatva. {corrected to read apaurusheyatva and nityatyatva as per you acknowledgement.}

          I left off a little early in the earlier reply – since I have touched on this in my reply to your earlier comment. Here you are judging the Vedas from the perspective of the action of the individual who is examining the content. But This paper and the comments (including yours) is assisting a reader to assess the facts and arrive at a judgement on the facts.
          Your final statement with the example on Aum very evocatively shows the reason for the difference between the Kazanas’ and ‘the natives’ viewpoints. but eg. (Ref A.2) Kazanas has ‘contemplated’ the shloka to arrive at the conclusion that ‘everything is paurusheya’. So for the conclusion you need to go at least another step and succintly articulate what you have seem to have got to but have not put across clearly enough for those who are apparently not putting in that hard work!

          1. I am not yet done. it’s a long series of replies. In the first one, I put my thoughts at the outset. In the second one, I said how Kanzas treats Veda as mere sabdas.

            According to the article, Maitri Upanishad says with Sabda one can reach asabda. Asabda is the Brahman. Sabda are vedic words. Since Vedas are the way to reach brahman, Vedas are nothing but Sabdas as sabdas themselves can reach brahman. So sabdas of Vedas have a claim of aupurusheyatva. That is Vedas (knowledge) are apurusheyatva only if their sabdas are as sabdas are enough to reach the brahman.

            But Maitri Upanishad talks about Aum and the silence in the fourth quarter of Aum. It talks about travelling through word Aum and reaching the silence like a spider claiming new space by spinning a thread. One has to cross the seven noises to listen to the silence of the heart.

            So yes, it says that crossing through sabda only asabda can be reached. But it does not say just reciting vedic sabdas or just Aum is enough to reach brahman. It talks of contemplation, listening to the silence beyond the three quarters in the fourth quarter. It talks of applying knowledge and realization.

            That’s why it brings in the analogy of honey. Yes various sabdas can dissolve in that asabda, like flavors of flower dissolve in honey. But that needs hardwork by the bee. Pollen become honey by the hardwork of bee. Just pollens themselves don’t become honey.

            So Maitri upanishad is talking about contemplation, listening to heart, using the sabda to realize the asabda.

            Sabdas are the steps to climb to reach to the asabda. But only if someone climbs it by working on it. Kanzas theory in the point 1 is steps reach a destination and hence steps are equal to destination. Probably I don’t understand that theory well.

            -TBT

  5. One challenge in my mind (with the kazanas paper) is the attempt to map what is essentially a result of direct apperception into academics (I’d even go to the extent of saying “sterile” academics) .

    If one has “heard” the pranava in meditation then no doubt remains as to whether it is apaurusheya or nitya or not.

    I’ll step out on a limb here, but I’d say that even the various deities et al that are referred to in the Vedas are neither imaginary or fictional. They are very real. We can interact with them as we do each other, but one needs to have both the spiritual maturity as well as empowerment to do so. There is a different dimension for that.

    By reducing the multi-dimensional nature of what is being pointed to in our dharma shāstras, academics in general are doing a great disservice. It is a case of the blind leading the blind. The shastras are meant to be lived, not merely studied and intellectually analyzed, imho.

  6. “One challenge …… If one has “heard” the pranava in meditation then no doubt remains ……… apaurusheya or nitya or not”.

    But getting to the stage of ‘hearing’ that pranava requires – as BigThinking has pointed out – a lot of hard work. So it is very few who get to the stage of hearing it. ie,, there will definitely be “millions of others” apart from (most likely) the academic who will NOT hear it. This leaves them with a choice between believing it can be heard – “blind belief” that is impossible for the academic ‘scientist’ – or, with all the political correctness at their command, point out that the ‘native’ is (essentially) a dimwit. (There is also Pollock’s interview of 11Jun18 in Outlook).

    “academics in general are doing a great disservice”. Are they? They ‘know’ enough about SD (Ref: section G read with F) to ‘recognise’ that ‘the natives’ are uneducated, ignorant and, primitive in their lack of openness to change in their ‘belief system’. Kazanas has tied himself into knots and written his paper to enlighten them; Pollock in his interview of 11Jun18 to Outlook has given many examples to show the ‘natives’ are uninformed.

    Using Kazanas’ understanding of ‘Sabda’ as his starter, BigThinking has delved into the Mandukya Upanishad, to show that even to understand what the Vedas reveal about this term requires serious contemplation and a lot of hardwork. You have pointed out that the SD is multi- dimensional (which means the hardwork is compounded many times!). Why should they put in that hardwork given the kind of ‘knowledge’ they have about the contents? Which web? Why bother with it? They are not blasphemous enough to think they can ‘be God (Brahman)’. Why should they believe that the pranava can be heard when they and ‘millions of others’ don’t hear it? Given the kind of revelations in Kazanas’ paper who is to believe that there is any Truth in that statement anyway? You say SD has to be lived to understand the Vedas. ‘Living’ is not required to understand the Gospels or even the Bible. Primitive belief. ‘A power ploy of the Brahmins (!!!)’

    One tends to judge by one’s own standards – especially when the collective endorses those standards. Recently there is talk of a ‘post-truth world’ but this has in fact always existed. It took a lot of hardwork to disentangle the threads of Kazanas’ work. Pollock and others write whole books on one aspect that they think they have disentangled – without factoring in basic concepts – with the result that ‘the natives’ yelp. They have put in what they call very hard work – the comments from the two of you suggest that they haven’t started.

  7. The fundamental summary of kanzas point 1 is made in the first line of point 2.

    “Having accepted the Mīmāṃsā general axiom that vidyā and ‘Sabda (or vāc) have ‘nonhuman origin’ and ‘eternality’, can we find these qualities or a reflection of them in an actual spoken and written language like English, Hindi or Sanskrit?”

    Let’s analyse the above statement with respect to purva mimamsa of Jaimini.

    According to Jaimini, Sabda is a quality of AkAsa. The characteristics of sabda in AkAsa is eternal and unchanged. Depending on manifesting agency, the sabdas are perceived and transmitted. Veda (knowledge) is born in that manifesting agency.

    Since the characteristics of sabda is eternal and unchanged, more and more manifesting agencies manifest more and more sabda, create more and more veda (information). Thus Veda becomes eternal (always increases).

    The above is absolutely true in two different ways.

    If we take AkAsa as the ‘sky’ with air, then sabda (sounds) are mechanical push and pull vibrations. The characteristics of these sabda/vibrations like frequency, wavelength, velocity of propagation in a medium of sabda are all eternally defined as ‘dharma’ (law of Universe). They don’t change.

    Different objects and beings perceive and produce different vibrations of sound. Depending on manifesting agency (say humans vs owls) the perceiving and production capabilities of sabda changes.

    In this logic, sabda are vibrations. Indivisible vibrations/sounds are akSara. Several akSaras and sabdas together create a meaningful expression called ‘Vac’ (speech). The vac when codified with human knowledge into dhAtu, kArakas etc become bhASa (language). The bhAsa creates the ‘Veda’ in the minds of conscious listener.

    Since the characteristics of mechanical push/pull vibrations is eternal and unchanged, more and more manifesting agencies (biological beings) manifest more and more sabda, create more and more veda (information) in the minds of beings. Thus overall Veda/knowledge/information always increases.

    If we take AkAsa as the ‘antarikSa’ with empty space/vacuum, then sabda (sounds) are quantum energy oscillations of vacuum. The characteristics of these quantum energy oscillations and the way they manifest are are all eternally defined as ‘dharma’ (law of Universe). They don’t change.

    Different force-fields manifest on top of quantum energy oscillations of vacuum. Depending on manifesting agency (say strong force-field or electromagnetic force-field) the perceiving and production capabilities of sabda changes.

    In this logic, sabda are quantum energy oscillations. Indivisible vibrations/sounds are ‘quanta’ of force-field (like quarks, leptons, photons, higgs boson). Several akSaras and sabdas together create a meaningful expression called ‘Vac’ (speech) which are the protons, neutrons etc. The vac when codified with the knowledge into atoms, elements, compounds etc become bhASa (language). The atoms/elements/compounds create the ‘veda’ or information content in matter.

    Since the characteristics of quantum energy oscillations is eternal and unchanged, as more and more matter forms/particles get created in the Universe (energy becomes matter), more and more veda (information content/entropy) manifests in Universe. Thus overall Veda/knowledge/information/entropy always increases.

    The question is did jaimini equate sabda with bhAsa..? I think not.

    Sabda as vibrations are aupurusheya and nitya as seen above. But bhAsa are not.

    It’s because kanzas is extending this ‘Sabda’ to bhAsa, he goes onto examine if the bhAsa has aupurusheya. bhAsA/language has human defined grammar and understanding and hence can never be aupurusheya.

    -TBT

    1. In my humble opinion, Vak is not meant to be understood in a mechanical manner. It is the primary unit of information that exists in Awareness/is Awareness. In its purest form, it is called parā, where it exists in the form of pure potentiality in every permutation and combination possible (for manifestation). This is as Turīya.

      In the next differentiation before manifestation, it appears in the form of patterns that can be glimpsed at by the sage/seer. This is what the Rishis ‘see’ when they are in meditative states. Worlds within worlds within worlds…overlapping and existing simultaneously. It is called Pashyanti. This is what is available to the causal body (kārańa sharīra) in the causal state.

      From Pasyhanti rises Madhyama – the thought forms that exist in subtle form and can be known in the subtle body sukshma sharīra, in the dreamer’s world.

      The manifestation of it is in the form of uttered sound is Vaikhari. This is known to the gross body and in the waker’s world.

      I think Deshika’s critique is spot-on…and as you have yourself concluded TBT, that Kazanas has extrapolated the Vaikhari aspect of Vak to be the same as the Parā. But all are basically manifestations of Parā itself, appearing to awareness in the different ways, depending on the state (prāgya, taijasa, vishwa)…

      My 2 cents worth…

    2. You seem to have got caught up in using ‘science’ as the template to give an expose on ‘Sabda’. When it comes to Sabda, to give credit where credit is due note that Kazanas has used a much more appropriate tool – linguistics and, taken the trouble to check against other knowledge sources both within and external to SD related literature to support his arguments, while you ‘think not’ that Jamini equated Sabda with BhAsa. If you want to take up Kazanas you have to either agree with him or, present counter arguments with relevant references. It also seems that you need to be much more familiar with the subjects.

      In fact Kazanas has recognised the centrality of the Sabdabrahman and has only tied himself in irrelevant knots because he hasn’t understood the implications/ concept. Partha Desikan has pointed it out. while your earlier comment was immediately relevant to the papers, this one falls into the realm of speculation. Please read Dwai’s next comment (and my earlier ones) more carefully.

  8. Dwai,

    Vak is not meant to be understood in a mechanical manner.

    Definitely, you are right. But the rest of what you have said needs clarification for Kazanas has not wrongly understood Vaikhari. He has pointed out that it is part of surface structure. He has not directly commented on parA and he is right in that an individual’s emotions and drives colour the vaikhari. You need to read his paper more carefully – or (which seems to me likely) you have to link up your example with the current paper, more carefully

    Though you have not given the reference you are right in that the most appropriate source of knowledge for understanding what has been said is in the Vedas. The catch however lies in that if understanding them was as simple as discussions in fora – even if donen after much study and contemplation, SD wouldnt talk of multiple Rebirths!!!

  9. Deshika ‘revisits’ the Vedas’ prompted by an earlier ‘revisit’ also of the Vedas by Kazanas. He was not able to feel or understand that the Vedas are for ever, that there was a permanent part of them which was not created by any human being . Since the Vedas conveyed to some Rishis, were conveyed by these rishis to others, who were able to understand the Veda nature of what they were receiving, The likes of Kazanas cannot understand that Vedas can continue to be Vedas in spite of years of karnaparampara.
    Both TBT who finds that quantum energy oscillations have always been there and are different from , say, the vibrations of my larynx reciting something or other, and Dwai who recognizes the para nature of pranava heard in authentic meditation (see, pranava is always there, but it has been heard too by a mortal in the case) are giving excellent analogies from parallel perceptions. They enjoy giving these, because both of them understand the nature of nitya and non-man made realities and are in resonance with Deshika. I invite others who feel a resonance also to come to this comments section and share. When we align with the nitya apaurusheya, we see something in us which is of similar nature and this can be a great experience, quite the reverse of finding Vedas to be anitya and paurusheya, because one is able to interact with them!

    1. Sir
      Vakyapadiya itself answered question of kanzas, thousands of years back. I wrote it in my chapter 1.

      avikArasya zabdasya nimitai vikruto dvani
      upalabdho nimittatvamupayAti prakazavat
      na ca anityeSv abhivyaktir niyamena vyavasthitA
      akshayer api nityA nA jAto nA vyarti riSyati

      anitya is which is born due to a niyama, while nitya is decayless, unborn, not wasted/destroyed. Zabda is that nitya. dvani is anitya, because it is born due to a niyama of producing sphota (words).

      So sabda is eternal, the para. From it comes the three types of vAca according to vakyapadiya (including sabda/para it becomes four in later day texts). It’s not mentioned as four explicitly in vakyapadiya, in my view, to maintain this differentiation beween nitya and anitya.

      This is irrespective of whether you consider para as quantum oscillations of vacuum or vibrations of air or not.
      -TBT

  10. Partha’s post points to a couple of interesting aspects of our posts and SD. None of us see merit in Kazanas’ theory – other than the paper, none of us is inclined to take up his theory that 21st century knowledge supercedes that in the Vedas – which though they have insights serve no useful purpose (to put it mildly) in this day and age . This is despite all the additional effort he has put in to fit his arguments into Saaty’s utility model. Instead each of us has handled the contents of the two papers as related to individual interest. TBT has concentrated on Sabda – looked into other aspects in his earlier comments and then written a multi-part paper on vAc and Sabda; Dwai has consistently connected it with the human aspect, Partha has appreciated both and the paper itself and added yet another dimension – as also in multiple other papers which touch on some aspect without perhaps specially mentioning them as his source since the knowledge- since the knowledge is part of his Being and/or some of it may originally been taken from (more appropriately, learnt from) a more recent source of SD related literature As per his comment 24th Sep18, all the inputs are “parallel perceptions”. Immediately, we can add more parallels: Talageri’s work as quoted in the paper shows an interest in archaeology, possibly history; Kalayanarayan’s work on the Saraswati river touched on in Partha’s post is another dimension. The video on Dr RN Iyengar points to yet more dimensions. As mentioned in Section B1 I have personally returned to them on multiple occasions. In other words, even in this small sample of people within the Medha Journal each is essentially on her/ his own trip but each has found something of interest/ learnt something from these texts (ch: Section E2).

    I will get back to the other interesting point in another post (TBT, Partha, Dwai your papers seem interesting. Unfortunately, I am not well enough to take in details – maybe, one day. Meanwhile I hope these short comments on your comments will show emphasise how much I value your work)

  11. Friends,
    Deshika has been able to show through her response to some of our comments and her preliminary look at some of our articles (in spite of her being rather ill), how connected we all are in a lot of our thoughts, both when we merge linearly and when we go on ‘parallel perceptions” What do you all think about this? Please share your thoughts both in the context of this paper and on any one of the others. We eagerly look forward to learn your views.

    1. I should thank Deshika for this article as this article was the trigger to put down my thoughts in a coherent fashion. This was a good dimension for me to explain my view-point.

      I am pretty sure that Vedas and Upanishads are indeed cosmic science misunderstood for thousands of years. But let me not take it up now in this comment. I already explained how kanzas was answered by vakyapadiya itself thousands of years ago. Now let’s look at this ‘vAg vai brahman’.

      Jitvan Shilina tells Janaka ‘vAg vai brahman’. (expression is brahman) But Yajnavalkya asks him ‘avadato kim syAt iti..?” So what happens to that does not express..? (Does that not have brahman..?) Yajnavalkya goes onto explain that braman is resident in vAg. vAg is completely filled with brahman. But vAg is different from brahman.

      It is same as ‘aham brahma asmi iti’ in Brhadharanyaka upanishad 1.4.10. Brahman is there in us. Does aham brahma asmi iti means all beings in this Universe including manuSya have aupurusheyatva..?

      vAg in which brahman resides, is as much aupurusheyatva as much as manuSya/other beings in whom the brahman resides.

      -TBT

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