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AUTHORITIES OF KNOWLEDGE

Posted on: 16 Jan 2011
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

To accept any concept, there are four authorities:

  1. Shruti, the scripture, which is the divine text and it is the Veda for Hindus.
  2. The second authority is Smruti, which is the text written by sages.
  3. The third authority is logical discussion to find out the correct interpretation of the scripture.
  4. The fourth authority is experience of divine scholars.

Essence of Mahavaakyas

Shruti

Let us examine the first authority, the Veda, which is said to be the word of God revealed to sages. In this scripture, lot of importance is given to the four great statements (Mahavaakyaas). One statement says that the special knowledge is God (Prajnanam Brahma). The special knowledge cannot mean simple awareness, which is found in animals and birds. The word ‘jnanam’ means ‘knowledge’ and not mere awareness. Awareness is the basic material but knowledge is the special design of it. When you appreciate a golden jewel, the appreciation for the specialty is related to the design of the golden chain and not to the basic gold. You do not appreciate a lump of gold. The word ‘Pra’ denotes the ‘Specialty’ and the word ‘jnanam’ denotes the ‘Knowledge’. The word ‘Knowledge’ eliminates all the living beings other than human beings because only human beings possess and express knowledge. The word ‘Pra’ indicates a rare special human being only, who is possessor of the special knowledge. The result is that a specific human being, who is the possessor and preacher of the special knowledge alone can be God like Krishna, who preached the Gita-the special knowledge.

When you say that a king is ruling the country, the word ‘king’ cannot mean every living being and you cannot say that an animal or a bird is ruling the country. The word ‘king’ also cannot mean every human being because every human being cannot have the special talent of administration to rule the entire country. Hence, the word ‘king’ indicates a specially talented human being only. This statement also indicates that the main purpose of God to come as a human being is to preach the special knowledge only. Another statement says that an individual human being is God (Ayamaatma Brahma). The word ‘Atmaa’ means not only awareness, but also the external human body. ‘Atmaa’ means that which pervades. The awareness pervades the body through nerves. Awareness is the neural energy flowing in the nerves. The body also pervades the space as it grows. Therefore, the word ‘Atmaa’ stands for the human being, which is the human body along with the awareness. The three statements saying that ‘I am God’, ‘You are God’ and ‘He is God’ denote only the aspiration that everybody should become God in the near future. The verbs in present tense like ‘am’, ‘are’ and ‘is’ stand for the present tense indicating the immediate future as per the grammar. These three statements also mean that the human form of God is like Me, you and him for external appearance. Since God looks like an ordinary human being externally, these three statements indicate the aspect of similarity. The fourth statement brings the difference, which says that God is the ‘Special Knowledge’. The possessor of knowledge can be called as the knowledge itself, when the knowledge excels in the possessor as per the grammar. Therefore knowledge means the possessor of knowledge. According to lakshana, the possessor can be called by the possessor material. A seller of apples is called as ‘apples’. All these four statements indicate the human incarnation only.

The word ‘Narayana’ referred in the Veda means the source of knowledge. The Veda says that Narayana spreads all over the world (vyaapya Naraayanah). It means that the knowledge preached by the Lord is spreading all over the world. Another Vedic statement saying that this entire world is God (Sarvam khalvidam…) also means the same. The country ruled by the king, Kalinga, is called as Kalinga only. The region spread by the rule of Kalinga is called as Kalinga. This does not mean that the entire kingdom is the king himself in person. All these statements indicate the knowledge of the human incarnation spreading all over the world and this should not be misunderstood as the human incarnation Himself becoming the entire world. In the Rudram, existing in the Veda, it is said that God hits the people with arrows released from His bow. This also indicates the human incarnations like Rama and Krishna, who punished the evil people with the help of bow and arrows. Apart from that, the bow stands for the knowledge and the arrows stands for the points. God in human form hits everybody with His points through knowledge to kill their ignorance. Like this, all the Vedic statements can be rightly interpreted in the sense of human incarnation preaching the special knowledge. The Veda also says that God is unimaginable, who is beyond words, mind, intelligence and logic and hence, God alone knows God (Brahmavit Brahmaiva...). You should know that God cannot be known (Yasyaamatam…). But, such God enters the world through a medium (Tadevaanu Praavishat...) and God becomes that medium while keeping His separate identity of His real form (Satchatyatcha...). Therefore, the essence of the Veda is very clear that the absolute God is unimaginable, He enters a human being as a medium for the sake of preaching knowledge and He remains in His original form and at the same time gets identified with the human form also.

Smruti

The second authority is ‘Smruti’, which is, the text written by sages consisting of the three great epics dealing with the human incarnations like Rama and Krishna.

Reasoning

The third authority is reasoning, which is already taken up from the beginning of this message. The logical analysis always helps to get the correct interpretation of both ‘Shruti’ and ‘Smruti’.

Experience of divine scholars

The fourth authority is the experience of divine scholars. Hanuman is the greatest scholar, who learnt all the scriptures from the Sun. Gopikas are also the incarnations of great sages, who are the greatest scholars of the scriptures. Both Hanuman and Gopikas worshipped the contemporary human incarnations only and not the statues of energetic forms of God or the past human incarnations. Hanuman never worshipped the statues of past human incarnations like Parashurama and Vamana or the statues of energetic forms like Shiva and Vishnu. Similarly, Gopikas did not worship the statues of Rama or the statues of Vishnu and Shiva.

Conclusion

Therefore, all the four authorities clearly indicate that human beings should worship the human form of God only for salvation. The energetic forms of God are meant only for the energetic forms of departed souls in the upper worlds. It is not the question of right and wrong, but it is a question of relevance and irrelevance. We do not say that the energetic form is wrong for human beings. We only say that the energetic form is irrelevant and human form of God is relevant for human beings. When you worship the energetic forms, you have to either concentrate on the imagined form in mind, which is very difficult or you have to worship the statue of the energetic form. We cannot serve the imagined form. In the case of a statue, the service becomes a waste. But, if you take the human form of God, all your service is enjoyed by God and becomes fruitful. The only obstruction to the alive human form of God is the ego and jealousy towards a co-human form. You may accept the concept of human incarnation, but, if your ego and jealousy are not completely eradicated, you will worship only the statues of past human incarnations and not the present alive form of God. Thus, for a human being, everything is concentrated on the contemporary human incarnation only.

   

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