Thursday, May 13, 2010

Vedānta Deśika on śabdapramāṇa arguments for yogipratyakṣa

Vedānta Deśika's position in the Seśvaramīmāṃsā is quite complicated. As a Mīmāṃsaka author, he denies the possibility of ṛṣis who actually saw the dharma and then authored the Veda. As a theist, however, he assumes that this is possible in the case of God, Viṣṇu. The terms he uses in this connection are: śāstra, āgama, upadeśa, śruti. Śruti designates just the Veda (?). Śāstra designates the genuine Sacred Texts, i.e., the Veda and the Pañcarātra. Āgama refers to the Sacred Texts insofar as they have been uninterruptedly handed down. The same verbal root may apply, hence, also to non-śāstric texts, having a human origin, called upadeśa, which have also been handed down (presumably: since a very ancient time).

The Lord's perception of dharma can be trusted, because it is nitya. Hence, it has not been acquired, unlike in the case of ṛṣis or yogins. In fact, the previous arguments all pointed at the impossibility for a person to acquire such an extraordinary perception. They do not prove that such a perception cannot inhere forever in God.

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