Theory of Apurva

Theory of Apurva

Apurva, also spelled as Apoorv, in Vedanta philosophy is the performative element of an injunction that justifies ritualistic acts and their results. As an explanatory concept it serves as a mediator.

Bhartrhari explains that pravrtti can be viewed in four ways as apurva, kala-sakti, kriya and kala. Kumarila Bhatta explains that Apurva is the newly known vidhi or that what is not known before hearing a vedic sentence. Salikanatha explains that Apurva is that which is not cognisable by any of the ordinary means of knowledge. And, according to Nagesa, the conclusion that if pravrtti is identified with the universal Dharma it can be properly called Apurva, is the view adopted by Prabhakara who holds that the meaning of verbal endings is karya, and niyoga (obligation) is the very karya that prompts a man to fulfil itself . Karya is apurva or niyama (restriction), apurva is something which has not arisen before the performance of the sacrifice but newly born after it. Niyoga or Apurva is the supersensuous result of an action which later on produces the sensible result or prayojana, the final purpose of the action, Therefore, Apurva is something different from action itself and it is to be understood with regard to its capability of bringing about the heavenly world.

Mimamsikas reject the contention that Apurva is dharma which Nayayikas consider it is. Dharma is what is conveyed by sreyas-sadhana by the Vedas, which particular sadhana does not convey bhavana or volition of the performer. And moreover, Sreyas-sadhana and Apurva are not conveyed by the Sruti, Apurva is by implication understood to be the intermediary cause with sacrifice itself being the instrumental cause.The Vaisesikas hold the view that the Adrshta, also called Apurva, is the cause of the world process. But, there is no proof of Apurva being a pleasure. Adi Shankara rejects the notion that the statement Atmetyevopasita is the primary injunction, Apurva Vidhi, to meditate on Brahman as one’s own Self because Self-knowledge is not an action that can be enjoined.The Later Advaita thinkers, such as Madhusudana, held the view that just like Apurva as a subtle state continues to linger after the sacrifice is over, ignorance remains in the subtle state of avidya even after the dawn of knowledge, and as there is an interval between cause and effect similarly there is an interval between knowledge and body-fall.

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