Introduction to Brahma Sutrani - 4|
All the data gathered through Pratyaksha Pramanam deal with anaatma (Non-Self) and not
with the atma (The Self).
Scientific reasoning is called Laukika (worldly) anumaanam.Laukika anumaanam deals with
anatma or apara vidya and has no access to atma vidya. The Kathopanishad confirms:
"Naisha tarkena matiraapaneya" i.e. one cannot hope to arrive at the atma
through Laukika Anumanam. It is like trying to hear through the eyes. The logic used by
shastram is shastreeya anumaanam. While laukika anumaanam is based on data collected
through perception, shastreeya anumaanam is dealing with atma or Brahman where the data
cannot be collected through observation but is collected from shastram.
We accept the shastram as a valid means of knowledge. The conclusions based on shastric
statements can be questioned but the shastram by itself cannot be questioned as we give
validity to shastram.
In Brahmasutra we are collecting data from the shastram which we don't question but
based on data we are trying to arive at a conclusion to find what is the essential
teaching. For the shastreeya pramaanam the basic assumption is that the student must be an
astika. But it does not mean that Brahmasutra neglects laukika anumaanam as it is
predominantly using shastreeya anumaanam based on upanishads.
The laukika anumaanam used in Brahmasutra is never to establish vedanta. Vedanta
arrives at a conclusion through the shastreeya anumaanam. Laukika anumaanam can neither
prove nor disprove vedanta. Some (nastika) philosophers use laukika anumaanam to disprove
vedanta. Therefore, vedantin uses the laukika anumaanam to show the fallacy of the laukika
anumaanam used by other philosophers. Thus, vedanta uses the laukika anumaanam not to
prove that vedanta is logical but to prove that vedanta is not illogical.
Both the laukika anumaanam and shastreeya anumaanam depend upon some external data
collected through some other pramaanam. Therefore, they are dependent and both do not
question the validity of the data. But, laukika anumaanam can deal only with anatma as it
is based on perception. Whereas shastreeya anumaanam is based on shastram dealing with
atma. This implies that the field of vedanta is diferent from the field of science.
In the first adhyaaya, the shastreeya anumaanam based conclusions are presented and
vedanta shows that tarka is not an end by itself and the second adhyaaya shows that the
laukika anumaanam is far behind vedanta.
Shankaracharya's commentary on the Brahma Sutra starts with the Adhyasa Bashyam