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The Vedas

The Vedas are often addressed as Vedic scriptures and they exist in this world due to the mercy of the Supreme Lord for the benefit of everyone at all times. Vedas are the oldest written scriptures in existence. The Vedas are the pillars of Vedic civilization which is the ideal model for all societies, nations, and cultures. The guidance received from the Vedic scriptures relieves one from the frustrations of materialistic life and opens the door to an all-blissful spiritual life.

The Bhagavad Gita was spoken directly by the Supreme Lord five thousand years ago to one of His dear disciples, Arjuna. Therefore, the Bhagavad Gita is accepted by all the learned sages to be the cream of the Vedic literatures.

The explanation found in the Vedic scriptures provides the Absolute Truth. The Vedas contain that knowledge by studying which one can understand “What am I, am I a combination of chemicals or something more?”

Lord Kṛṣṇa is accepted in all the Vedic scriptures as the Absolute Personality of Godhead. Lord Kṛṣṇa is described in all the Vedic scriptures as the Supreme Transcendental Person.

The Vedic literatures teach that there are three processes to reach a truthful conclusion. First is pratyaksha or direct perception. For example, by studying the sun with pratyaksha (direct perception) one concludes that it is a ball of fire. Second is anumana or inductive knowledge where one estimates the truth. In the case of the sun, one estimates its size, distance from the earth and so on. Third is agama or through the eyes of the Vedic scriptures which are either spoken or written by the Supreme Lord. The third method, agama, is surely the best, because the sun is God’s creation and all the Vedic scriptures are written by Him. Thus, He knows it the best and the explanation found in the Vedic scriptures provides the concrete truth. Just as if you wish to know the direction to some place, it is best to consult an authorized map that shows the way. Similarly, God knows everything, and thus it is best to follow His directions.

To illustrate the importance of agama, a scripture known as the Nyaya Shastra (the scripture of logic) employs the analogy called hasti darçana nyäya or the analogy of four blind men who desired to know what an elephant is. One of the blind men approached the elephant, touched the side of its belly and concluded that the elephant is like a wall. The second man touched the elephant’s leg and stated that the elephant is like a pillar. The third man touched the elephant’s ear and concluded that the elephant is like a mat. Then the fourth man felt the elephant’s trunk and claimed that the elephant is like the trunk of a tree. After coming to their separate conclusions, they tried to reach an agreement by arguing on the basis of their analysis. They were unable to realize what the elephant actually was due to their blindness and imperfect senses. However, one who is not blind, knows the actual structure of an elephant and can reject the useless arguments of the blind men. In this analogy, the four blind men are compared to karmis (fruitive workers who work for material gain), jnanis (empirical philosophers or monists), yogis (mystics who teach yoga) and the mäyävädis (impersonalists who claim to be God or think God and themselves are the same). Such people are blind to the conclusion of the scriptures, even though they know a part of them. As long as one is blind or partially blind to the truth, one cannot understand the conclusion of the scriptures.

The process to see through the eyes of the scriptures can only be learnt through the guidance of a qualified Gurü or Spiritual Master who is authorized by the ancient Vedic scriptures and has received His knowledge from an unbroken chain of disciplic succession that began from God Himself. Just as a mailman delivers the mail unchanged, similarly the postman-like bonafide Spiritual Master delivers the message of God unchanged.

All the Vedic scriptures, including the Vedas and the Upanisads, are accepted as timeless evidence. As it is stated in the Maitreya Upanishad:
evaà vä are asya mahato bhütasya
niùsvasitam etad yad ågvedo
yajurvedaù sämavedo’tharvaëaù
aìgirasa itihäsa-puräëam
“The Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda, all Vedic histories, and all Puranas have emanated from the exhaled breath of the Supreme Lord. They are all accepted as Vedic evidence.”

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