Pramanam is something that helps in perceiving knowledge. What are the types of Pramanam that exist?

Brief excerpt of today’s discourse:

Knowledge that is perceived through sensory organs is called ‘Pratyaksha Pramanam’. For example: Knowledge about food is obtained through the taste of it using tongue. But, when our body suffers from an ailment and the temperature rises high, the food that used to be tasty becomes tasteless or even intolerable. So, in this example – the sensory organ, the tongue cannot work when things go out of its control. The senses therefore have limited capabilities.

Knowledge obtained from inference is called ‘Anumana Pramanam’. Example: Noticing smoke from a place can indicate fire elsewhere. However, this knowledge is based on the connection with the sensory organ. So, it also becomes limited.

But, there is a third Pramanam. This is called ‘Aaptha vaakyam’. These are heard by great sages as they meditated upon the truths that rule this nature, and the purpose of life. They then revealed these sounds in the same ‘swaram’ and ‘uccharana’ with a single intent of helping others who seek this knowledge and liberate them from hardships. They are a set of sounds which have a beginning and an end with a meaning. This is called ‘aanupurvi’. When ‘anupurvi’ does not change over time, it is called ‘Apourusheyam’. Vedam is therefore called Apourusheyam.

The dhwani (sound) part of the ‘Aaptha vaakyam’ or ‘Vedam’ falls under ‘Pratyaksha Pramanam’, but the meaning of the sound cannot come under this pramanam. Therefore, this is the primary pramanam. The other two pramanams are worthy only when they do not contradict with this primary pramanam. The knowledge obtained through this pramanam is ‘hitham’ (that is it wants our well-being) for us.

Thiruvayamuji, Bhagavad Vishayam falls under this pramanam – ‘Aaptha vakyam’.  The lines that are read before learning the ‘thatvam’ described in this scripture are called ‘Sriyahpathi’. We will come to this tomorrow…

Jai Srimannarayana!