[Advaita-l] Vedas versus Knowledge
vaidix at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 21 02:12:42 CDT 2003
Dear List members,
>By studying the Vedas one gets to acquire knowledge but neither
>these knowers nor the Vedas themselves know the Reality.
I don't see a reason to doubt what sort of knowledge one can get from the
To begin with, Sri Sankara made it clear that there is no agent for
realization. So looking to vedas or other items for help is futile, the
initiative has to come from within.
The vedas are eternal and apaurusheyas, and even Lord Narayana did not
create them, but only revealed them first to Lord Brahma, who further
revealed to others.
At the same time, Br.U. says that by studying the vedas one becomes food for
the rishis who revealed those vedas. In other words study of vedas binds us
to some sort of cause-effect relationship with the rishis. We should not be
excessively worried about such cause-effect relationships because 1.
Becoming food for the rishis is better than becoming food for other worldly
cause-effect relationships we are already immersed in. 2. Study of vedas
actually helps us in getting rid of the swamp of this world and get
connected to the cause-effect relationship originating from Lord Narayana
when he first revealed the vedas, and makes us part of the original
cause-effect chain instead of leaving us rotting in the secondary or
tertiary chains. This is not a bad idea at all! It is like getting admission
to a top university as against trying out a correspondence course without a
After realization whatever one speaks of is veda, so reading vedas revealed
by other rishis is senseless. In fact there would be no idea of 'other
rishis' at all. Any expression of this person who has realized as such is
veda. It may be argued that expression itself is born of ignorance, but we
have no authority to talk of the ignorance of a realized invididual. How
about saying Lord Krishna taught Gita to Arjuna under influence of some sort
of ignorance? To give another example, desire is a very nasty thing, but the
rishis lined up at Lord Shiva's residence waiting to see when He gets the
desire to meet Parvati devi and grant Kumara.
While it is true that no veda can match the highest levels of abstraction
needed for attaining nirguna, very often vedas and vedangas provide the most
desperately needed concepts in our search for higher truth, precisely
because they were spoken by persons who had already reached realization
(something we didn't achieve yet). I don't mean anyone thought so, but
rejection of vedas may amount to jealousy or contempt for success of other
rishis. In my opinion this includes the so called ritual portions.
As we are living far below the highest reality, any minor clues we can find
are welcome to get out of this swamp. Why kick the ladder even before we
climb it? (Kicking the ladder after climbing makes better sense! and that is
what is also recommened by acharyas, IMO).
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