Validity of Vēdās

Discussion in 'Hindu Holy Books' started by garry420, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    In our tradition, we give lot of importance to gnānam, whether it is material knowledge or spiritual knowledge, gnānam is given an important position revered as Saraswatī herself & this importance is given because, our entire lifestyle is governed by gnānam. If you study any of our activities, it involves three stages.

    1) Jānāti (I know something) 2) Ecchati (I develop desires for things I know) 3) Yetadhey (Kriyā) - (and thereafter I work to fulfil that desire)

    Every action is backed by desire, every desire is backed by knowledge. I can never desire for something I do not know, and I can never work for something I do not desire.

    Therefore, gnānam, icchā, kriyā is human life.

    That is why we worship this 3 fold factors.

    1) Gnānā Sakthī, 2) Icchā Sakthī, 3) Kriyā Sakthī.

    All our activities are gnānā sakthī (operation) Icchā sakthī (operation) and finally kriyā sakthī, not only these 3 sakthī's are involved, they grow in this chronological order. First knowledge is compulsory because Without knowledge, you cannot desire for an unknown thing and desire has to be before action, because action is for the fulfilment of the desire that has come and therefore first they come to know that Harry Potter 6th Volume is going to be released on such and such date (Jānāti), thereafter, Icchatī for that book, that too moment of release itself 12 midnight(Icchā) and that desire drives the whole world to relevant book shop at odd hours.

    So what is the order, Jānātī, Icchatī, yetathey. The operation of gnānā sakthī, icchā sakthī & kriyā sakthī is life. Therefore, life is gnānā, icchā prayatnā. This is how Nyāyā philosophy presents it, gnanae-iccha-prayatna. And since gnānam plays a very important role in every one of our activity (Religious, Spiritual or Secular) gnānam has to be given important position. Once gnānam is given an important position, the next thing is how do we gain any knowledge. Gnānam does not happen by itself, we are never born with any knowledge, we are all born ignorant fundamentally, in fact, our biggest capital is ignorance and with that alone we start our life and that means knowledge is not there from birth and it is acquired in the course of life which means there are sources from which we gather knowledge. And any source of knowledge is called a Pramānam.

    Therefore, every gnānam I have presupposes a source of knowledge namely pramānam also. And therefore if gnānam has a high position in human life, then pramānam must also be given high position, ina fact a higher position because the very gnānam which is important is coming from pramānam. Therefore, If gnānam is valued, the pramānam must be valued equally or should be valued more, because it is the source of valuable gnānam.

    Therefore, in our tradition pramānam is given even a higher position and importance compared to gnāna-icchā-prayatnā. Therefore, 4 factors are important in the chronological order. Pramānam produces gnānam, gnānam produces icchā, icchā produces yetna (efforta or action), yetna alone determines my future, my immediate future as well as remote future, as well as future jenmās all of them are governed by pramāna-gnāna-icchā-prayatnani in that order, each one of the former one is the cause of the later one.

    Pramāna jenyam gnānam, gnāna jenyam icchā, icchā jenyam prayatnā, prayatnā jenyam is our future and therefore, in our tradition all the āchāryās give a very high importance to the discussion of the topic pramānam.

    Unfortunately, in modern days the discussion on prāmana is not at all being done, the very relevance is not understood much, but in our tradition all the great philosophers, there are 12 major systems of philosophy (Pramāna Vichārahā) 6 āstika dharishanams, 6 nāstika dharishanams all those philosophers never discuss any subject matter without starting with the topic of pramānam. They always analyzed, how many, sources of knowledge are there.

    Very deep and advanced and wide and highly debated subjected matter, we call it pramāna vichārahā.

    There are certain philosophers who talk about 1 pramānam, there are certain philosophers who talk about 8 pramānams. Highest is 8, lowest if 1. And all other dhārshanikas or philosophers discuss various number in-between 1 and 8. Some accept 2, some talk about 3, some about 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Not only they enumerate they very deeply study what is the nature of each pramānam , what type of field in which it functions, and what is the validity of the knowledge gained through that, all these things are very elaborately studied and discussed, which comes under pramāna vichara topic. (Enquiry into the sources of knowledge). Some of them we have discussed in the Ūpanishād classes. Prathyakshā, Anumāna, Upamāna, Arthāpattī, Anupalabdhī, Shabdā and with regard to each pramānam we have got books and books analyzing its nature, how to operate it etc.

    In our tradition, all these pramānams are broadly classified into 2 types.

    1) Primary source of knowledge (Upajēvya Pramānam) - Sense organs come under Upajēvya pramānam generally known as prathyāksham. Every sense organ is considered to be primary.

    2) Secondary sources of knowledge (Upajēvi Pramānam). Anumānam.

    Between these two, there are many important differences. For e.g, Every sense organ is considered a primary source, because each one has got its own independent field, eyes function in its own field, ears has got its own field.

    Each one's field is exclusive. Every primary source has got a unique field. Since, the every primary source has its own field, it cannot take the help of the other pramānam because other pramānas do not have access to this, because this has got a unique field. The ears can never help the eyes in the field of colours, the nose cannot the ears in the field of sound, because the nose doesn't have to the field of the ears.

    Therefore, every primary source has unique field, every primary source is independent, and every primary source gives a knowledge which can never be verified by any other sources of knowledge. It is an unverifiable knowledge, the colour revealed by the eyes can never be conformed / contradicted by the ears. If the eyes says, this is Orange colour I cannot say let me verify with my ears. The ears can neither confirm nor contradict. Therefore, it is unverifiable. So, unique, independent and unverifiable and therefore it is final knowledge. What the eyes give is the final knowledge, it doesn't require further support, further corroboration, further substantiation, further validation, further verification. You need do and you cannot do.

    Therefore once the eyes has revealed, that knowledge is Prabhala Gnānam, it is the highest knowledge, we accept it as a fact. This is the nature of every primary source of knowledge whether it is eyes or ears or nose or tongue or skin, each one is Upajēvya Pramānam and this is accepted by scientist also, whatever has been finally revealed by Prathyaksham, proved through their experimentation, in the experimentations every theory is proved through sensory study and thereafter, it is taken as a fact. Even scientists accept the sense organs as primary source of knowledge. They don't ask for further verification.

    But the scientists do not know the fact that it is the primary source of knowledge, they are handling the sense organ as a primary source without knowing the significance of the primary status of that. Then what about the secondary source of knowledge. For example, inference is a secondary source. When I infer fire through smoke, the knowledge of fire is gained through inference, I have not seen the fire directly and what is the nature of this inference, it doesn't have a unique field, inference use the knowledge only in a field which Prathyāksha use. We learn about fire which is perceptible, therefore inference doesn't function in a unique field, inference functions only in the field which is common to Prathyāksha. Therefore, inference have a common field but doesn't have a unique field.
  2. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    Inference is not an independent source of knowledge, because it requires perceptual data, without smoke perception, I can never infer the fire. Therefore, inference depends upon primary source i.e, Prathyāksha, the sense organ or sensory data. Therefore, inference is dependent or independent ? It is dependent. And therefore only, inference is verifiable.

    When I infer fire, I can always choose to verify it by going to the mountain, I can trek if I have the time and desire and go to the other side of the mountain and inferred fire can be seen as Prathyāksham, or I can even contradict it. Thus, inference is verifiable which means subject to confirmation or contradiction. And because of this reason only, all secondary sources of knowledge are non-final knowledge. It is not final because it is subject to verification or confirmation through another primary source, therefore a secondary source of knowledge gives a non-final knowledge.

    Therefore, it is dhūrbhāla gnānam because of the 4 factors unique, independent, non-verifiable and final. We should always know what is primary source giving primary knowledge, what is secondary source giving secondary or dhūrabhāla gnānam. All our āchāryas say, "Before working for knowledge, before operating any pramāna, we should be very clear about it." Because, it makes a very big difference in our approach to the pramāna or approach to the knowledge, our approach to the desire, our approach to the prayātna and our approach to our future, everything is determined by the status of the pramānam, whether it is primary or secondary.

    Therefore , it is a basic information every human being should have and this is a very unique subject matter, we don't find this discussion in anywhere in the world, unique to the Vēdic tradition. Every human being should know the status of the pramānam whether it is primary or secondary, without knowing the status, you should not work for any knowledge. Because, the status determines whether the gnānam is Prabhālam or Dhūrbhālam. Gnānam will determine Īcchā, Icchā will determine prāyātnam, Prāyātnam will determine phālam. Therefore, we say Prathyāksha is primary, Anumāna is secondary.

    When I get knowledge from books, when I read any book, I'm gaining knowledge from books. Our scriptures say, Whenever, you derive knowledge from book, you should ask the question, whether the book comes under primary or secondary knowledge. When I read a book on Kailāsh Mānasarovar I'm getting the knowledge of Kailāsh Mānasarovar (distance, height, climate, circumference etc). When I gather the book knowledge, what type of knowledge am I getting ? Prabhāla or Dhurbhāla gnānam is the question, for that, I should ask the question, whether Kailāsh Mānasarovar book is Upajēvya pramānam or Upajēvi Pramānam, primary or secondary ? The book will come under secondary source, because the knowledge is in a field which is available for prathyāksham, therefore, the book doesn't have a unique field, it's field is common with prathyāksha and not only that, It is dependent source of knowledge because the book has been written by somebody who has used his prathyāksha pramānam and the book is based on that.

    Therefore, Kailāsh Mānasarovar book is dependent and therefore it is verifiable. There are people who say in Amarnāth there is ice lingam which grows during pūrnami and it recedes during the Krishna pakshām. This is verifiable and negated also. Therefore it will come under verifiable, and the book knowledge is non-final.

    Book knowledge will come under secondary knowledge. So thus, prathyāsha is primary, anumānā is secondary. This is the general information we have about the primary and secondary sources of knowledge, everyone should know this. When we are introduced to the Vēdic scriptures, our ācharyās say, "Before you touch the Vēda, you must have a clear idea that Vēda comes under upanjēvya pramānam or upajēvi pramānam. " Without clarifying that, you can never have a proper approach to Vēdas, if you don't have a proper approach, you may get into lot of problems, it's like taking a medicine without knowing what it is meant for. Before making use of the Vēda, we should have a thorough study of the pramāna status of the Vēda and in our tradition it is a very big analysis.

    All the 12 dhārshānams have done that. Of that, 6 dhārshānam have rejected Vēda out rightly, they say Vēda is not a pramānam at all, why the question of primary or secondary, they are nāstīka dhārshānams, they have rejected Vēdas outright & there are 6 āstika dhārshānams, and there are some dhārshānams like gyāya vāishēshīka dhārshānams, they say Vēda is pramānam but they say it is Upajēvi pramānam having secondary status and we have got some other āstīka groups primary the pūrva mīmāmsākā, they say, Vēda is Upajēvya pramānam.

    Therefore, Vēda should be compared to prathyāksham. If you look upon Vēda as Upajēvi pramānam, then it should be compared to Kāilāsh-Mānasarovar book giving a dhūrbhāla knowledge. If you look upon Vēda as Upajēvya pramānam, primary source, Vēda should not be compared to Kailāsh-Mānasarovar book, but it should be compared as Prathyāksha pramāna, Vēda should be the sixth sense organ.

    So, our very study of Vēda and the way we look upon the knowledge will depend upon the status that we give & many people look upon the Vēda, especially in the modern days, many people look upon the Vēda as Upajēvi pramānam. Once we look upon Vēda as Upajēvi Pramāna any knowledge that Vēda gives will become non-final. If it is looked upon like Kailāsh-Mānasarovar book, it will be a secondary source, and therefore the knowledge will be taken as non-final knowledge, weaker knowledge, and therefore, every teaching of Vēda will have to be validated/proved/corroborated by other method and therefore what is happening is, In Karma Kānda portion, people want to prove every aspect of Vēdic pūja and ritual for further scientific corroboration therefore people are asking for scientific proof for everything that we do. The very question for scientific proof comes because of the attitude Vēda is Upājēvi Pramānam.

    Because everything you want scientific validation and in our Pūja and rituals , there are hundreds of things, many of which the science has not studied and if the science has not studied, we will not be able to follow that and therefore, we are going to be in eternal trouble, we can never follow Karma Kānda unless scientific reasons and significances are given, the very question is because we look upon it as Upajēvi pramānam. The things we do are infinite and for the science to study each one of them and validate it, it is impossible task. So thus Kārma Kānda will require scientific validation and once we come to spiritual knowledge, the knowledge that we gather by understanding the Ūpanīshad, that also we will take as dhūrbhālam gnānam, if Vēda is Upajēvi pramānam, the knowledge we get by Ūpanīshadic study will be taken as secondary / non-final.
  3. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    The things we do are infinite and for the science to study each one of them and validate it, it is impossible task. So thus Kārma Kānda will require scientific validation and once we come to spiritual knowledge, the knowledge that we gather by understanding the Ūpanīshad, that also we will take as dhūrbhālam gnānam, if Vēda is Upajēvi pramānam, the knowledge we get by Ūpanīshadic study will be taken as secondary / non-final.

    Therefore, even after studying Vēdantā for 15-20 years, I will look upon Vēda as Kāilāsh-Mānasarovar book , I have got non-final book knowledge now I require final corroborative knowledge and in the spiritual field, I will look for mystical validation. What is mystical validation ? Some mystic experience, I will wait for. Thus, karma kānda, I try to validate through science, gnāna kānda, I try to validate through mysticism. Thus, scientific validation and mystical validation, I seek for the karma kānda and gnāna kānda, If I look upon Vēda as Upajēvi Pramānama.

    Therefore, I will have to eternally wait for mystical experience, even If some mystical experience comes, I don't know whether it is this mystical experience or some other mystical experience. Now the question is, "What should be our approach to Vēdas according to tradition.? " All our āchāryās clearly say, "You will be committing a fundamental blunder, If you approach the Vēda as a kailāsh-mānasarōvar book, a Upajēvi pramāna, you will be in eternal trouble. You should understand that the Vēda comes under, the very nature of the Vēda is Upajēvya pramānam. I call my eyes as Upajēvya pramānam, why ? Because, it's nature is it has upajēvya status and I call ears as upajēvya pramānam because, ears are upajēvya.

    Therefore, our āchāyās say, "Either you accept Vēda as upajēvya pramānam, else be a nāstīkā and reject the Vēda as pramānam itself, let it be upajēvyam or apramānam, once you take Vēda as upajēvi, you are going to get into eternal trouble, either you want to scientifically validate everything or you have to wait for some mystical experiences." And once I look upon Vēda as Upajēvya pramānam, I follow all the rituals not looking for scientific validation. If Yēkādasa drāvyams are mentioned, I do that and If somebody asks me, what will I get out of it ? I have got only one answer, all the vāidhīkā vihītā karmās will give me spiritual and material good, which I call as pūnyā or ādhīrstām. I follow this because, it gives me materially and spiritually, not only at the individual level, family, social, ecological and all levels it produces pūnyā, if you feel delicate to say pūnya, if you want to modernize that, then you can say positive vibrations, or even you can say positive vibes, it's even more modern.

    Science has got it own field, Vēda has got its own field, don't mix-up the field, just like mixing up eyes and ears. Use eyes for the color and ears for the sound. Don't mix up. Vēda has got āpōurushēya field, don't mix up Vēda and science. If science tells, it has got some benefits, that is only a byproduct, that is not my primary reason for following the Vēdā. Science is non-final and non-final science I'm using to support the Upājēvya vēda pramāna, science comes under secondary or primary source of knowledge ? It is secondary because, science cannot exist without prāthyāksham. I'm trying to use science a secondary pramāna which is not final, which is changing its conclusion every other day, each one getting a Ph.D for establishing and negating, that non-final upājēvi science, I'm using to corroborate the final primary prāthyāksha vēdahā.

    Our tradition says, Vēda is chākshūhū, in Brāhmmā Sūtra, about shāstra, Vyāsāchāryā called prāthyākshām. Therefore, why do I follow Vēdic vīdhī, it produces positive benefits, pūnyā. If you don't like pūnyā, then it's positive vibes. Why we should not touch liquor ? Don't go by science, because science will say liquor is very good one day and another day they will say liquor is bad. Never go by science, shāstra says, "Don't touch liquor."

    Therefore, why I don't touch, not because of scientific reason, it is primary pramāna and therefore it will produce pāpā. If you feel delicate to say pāpā, then you can say negative vibes. We should never get into the science trap, we will be in eternal trouble and all the modern people, modern institutions, modern parents, they are all into very big trip and problem, scientific validation of our culture and the mistake has taken place at the most fundamental level. What is the fundamental level ? The status of the scriptures, we have not studied the status of our scriptures whether it is upājēvya, or upājēvi. And same thing happen in Vēdantīc knowledge also, once I look upon Ūpanīshād as a secondary source, even if I clearly understand, I will think that, I have not reached that flash, a direct flash in which brāhmman comes and shine.

    There are many people waiting for that, if I know Vēda is upajēvya, other than understanding, there is no other final knowledge. That understanding is final, whether you call it realization, enlightenment. That understanding is realization, that understanding is wisdom, that understanding is enlightenment.

    With one last point, I will conclude. Few people ask me, Swāmiji, "If that understanding is final, I have got that understanding, you have taught me well and I have understood, I still didn't get mūkthī, I don't feel like a liberated person, even though I have got clear knowledge on Ahām Brāhmāsmī, I'm taking classes to others also, in-fact others are convinced, I have got doubt, that is still tragic. I'm able to convince to other people, my problem is I don't get convinced myself. Remember, it is not because, knowledge is non-final, it is upājēvya and knowledge is final. If I don't reap the phālam, check-up your sādhāna chātustāyā sampathī, that is required. No mysticism, no further validation, no flashy things are required. If you see any flashes, perhaps, it may be retinal detachment, better you go to an eye doctor.

    This knowledge is a liberating knowledge. Just as using the eyes gives valid knowledge, using the Vēda as upājēvya pramāna gives us the benefits, we can follow and see. So, let us remember the most important aspect of the tradition teaching, all the āchāryās say, "Vēda should be compared to the eyes, the upājēvyā pramāna, Vēda should never be compared to the kāilāsh-mānāsarovar book or any other book, don't compare." This, if you remember, many of our problems, and misguided effort will end.
    Source:by Swami Paramārthānandā Saraswatī Jī

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