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Thread: Instructions vs internal conflict

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    Instructions vs internal conflict

    Namaste everyone
    I want answers from everyone especially the the older generation gentlemen who already passed through a lot and uncovered a lot of knowledge.
    I have read it in a lot of threads here about the validation of the gurus and the vedic instructions especially puranas// Many support those standard instructions, however i feel they only cherry pick amongst them because i see no one follow the actual thing or the whole thing. For example people do go against women wearing miniskirts when they dont wear a dhoti or a loin cloth themselves? People support puranic culture yet go against child marriage..But if i have to follow the puranas i should follow them completely. Else it is like watching a movie of bollywood and picking what is good and avoiding what is bad.
    Now with due respect to all the proponents of vedic instructions why is it that we dont follow everything but chose only what we deem is accurate?



    Also Is it wrong to think that the puranas etc were also written by people with limited conception of both mind and matter?
    It seems like i read a book of instructions which i personally never experienced nor do i ever feel i will.
    Since bhagavata is considered one of the top “satvic” puranas and since i have read it i will give my experience on it.When i came across certain portions especially the structure of the universe and also embryology i was left despondent. To say i(as a common man) should accept it as formidable truth just because it was written by a great proponent of vedic culture seems unfair. I would be dishonest to my soul if i followed parts of it despite knowing that the other parts are untrue.
    Or should i just go with the notion “How dare i speak against puranas? Am i greater than the knowers of truth? I should believe that earth is flat just as how i believe God is blue and has a flute”

    .
    For i as a beginner would obviously chose spirituality deeming it to be the perfect absolute unparallelled truth. But if even there i find inadequacies how else do i react ?
    So if a person calls God as Brahma,another Shiva,another Vishnu it is because of his own limitations/interpretations isnt it? Otherwise how can a sage like suka who claims to know the reality give false versions of material reality like false embryology and a false structure of the universe? Because in ishopanishad verse 14 it is explicitly mentioned one who knows material nature knows the truth ..
    So if a sage like suka talks of knowing the spiritual truth it is obvious he should know material truth too.Also many people who might be atheistic scientists but who discover facts about the material nature might also be called the seekers of truth if you go by verse 14 of ishopanishad.
    And who would you choose? A scientist who gives you a fact or a sage who tells you he knows the truth yet ends up doctoring a material fallacy. And is it wrong to think he described an imaginary form of god just like how he described an imaginary form of moon or earth?

    My third point is progression. For me God is truth. Every soul ascends to that truth. How do we say that the people of the previous ages knew better than us? It might be just that every sage documents his experiences in the form of writings. So just like science which always progresses to something higher is it wrong to think what was conceived as truth in the previous age due to limitations of mind and matter progresses in todays age to a conception which is not only different but also higher?
    However no one can deny we dont know the actual truth. Also i know that this is kali and my senses are limited but asking me to believe in a blue god is tantamount to asking me to believe in a flat earth carried by four elephants. How do i convince myself and rid myself of internal conflict?

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    Re: Instructions vs internal conflict

    Namaste,

    To be brief, the scriptures are for spiritual knowledge and science is for dealing with the material phenomenon. Personally, I sidestep the explanations for material phenomenon in scriptures and stick only with the philosophical thought.

    Human nature and the Hindu philosophical thought process which ties us to the divinity has not changed over the millennia. That is why it is called Sanatan Dharma. Those principles are eternal. To intellectualize the spiritual thoughts would not lead to any greater understanding of, or of walking on the path of spirituality.


    Quote Originally Posted by ganeshamylord View Post
    So just like science which always progresses to something higher is it wrong to think what was conceived as truth in the previous age due to limitations of mind and matter progresses in todays age to a conception which is not only different but also higher?....

    .....I should believe that earth is flat just as how i believe God is blue and has a flute”....
    Sometimes I question a person's incessant need to read every bit of every known scripture. When The basics are known, why not accept God in His blue, black or marble white form and practice bhakti, instead of intellectualizing everything. One validates material sciences in a lab, but the presence of the divine is only felt by a devotee through bhakti. These are twodifferent paths for two totally different needs.

    Regarding coming up with a set of 'new and improved' scriptures for every generation; it is again an intellectual exercise devoid of spirituality. Who will attempt to write them and who will buy this 'new and improved' product? New and Improved laundry detergent, sure I will try it; but 'new and improved' scriptures, no thanks.

    Pranam.

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    Re: Instructions vs internal conflict

    Namaste,

    Śri Ādi Śaṅkarācārya addresses some of these issues in his Bhagavad Gītā Bhāṣya (Commentary on the Bhagavad Gītā) in the discussion that follows Gītā 18.66. He explains that scripture is an authority on unseen matters only, much like what Believer ji says. It shows what lies outside of ordinary human knowledge. It is not to be understood in a way that contradicts the other valid instruments of knowledge, such as direct perception (pratyakṣa). If it appears to contradict other means of knowledge, declaring that fire is cold or dark for example, we know that it intends a different meaning from the literal one, first because scriptural testimony is not about the truths of the senses (or reason either) and second because, as a valid means of knowledge, it does not contradict the other valid means of knowledge. We don't need scriptures to teach us about physics or biology. We need them to teach us about God, liberation (mokṣa), and the like.

    "A hundred śrutis [scriptures] may declare that fire is cold or that it is dark; still they possess no authority in this matter. If śruti should at all declare that fire is cold or that it is dark, we would still suppose that it intends quite a different meaning from the apparent one...we should in no way attach to śruti a meaning which is opposed to other authorities [i.e., perception, inference, etc.]..." Śri Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, Bhagavad Gītā Bhāṣya 18.66 (tr. A. Mahādeva Śāstri)

    Although he favored the direct reading of scripture, Śrī Rāmānujācārya similarly taught that scriptural testimony (śabda) must be interpreted in light of knowledge gained through direct perception.

    praṇām
    Last edited by anucarh; 23 July 2014 at 03:02 PM. Reason: to make 2 corrections
    śrīmate nārāyaṇāya namaḥ

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    Re: Instructions vs internal conflict

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Namaste,

    To be brief, the scriptures are for spiritual knowledge and science is for dealing with the material phenomenon. Personally, I sidestep the explanations for material phenomenon in scriptures and stick only with the philosophical thought.

    Human nature and the Hindu philosophical thought process which ties us to the divinity has not changed over the millennia. That is why it is called Sanatan Dharma. Those principles are eternal. To intellectualize the spiritual thoughts would not lead to any greater understanding of, or of walking on the path of spirituality.




    Sometimes I question a person's incessant need to read every bit of every known scripture. When The basics are known, why not accept God in His blue, black or marble white form and practice bhakti, instead of intellectualizing everything. One validates material sciences in a lab, but the presence of the divine is only felt by a devotee through bhakti. These are twodifferent paths for two totally different needs.

    Regarding coming up with a set of 'new and improved' scriptures for every generation; it is again an intellectual exercise devoid of spirituality. Who will attempt to write them and who will buy this 'new and improved' product? New and Improved laundry detergent, sure I will try it; but 'new and improved' scriptures, no thanks.

    Pranam.
    Pranam believerji
    Then my question to you will be what makes you think the scripture you have read is a real scripture?
    What is the standard by which you judge scriptures? I am sure even you went through my phase and you must have read more than one purana and after a lot of introspection finalized on one point. So if closeness to reality is not a standard to judge then what is? Describing the unseen unknown and the formless with a form is very easy for anyone with a good grasp on grammar. But to say i know that God holds a discus or a trishul so you better imagine Him to be that way without questioning??
    Third if scriptures are for spiritual sense and dont cater to material sense then what is the whole point in every purana describing the universe and human birth etc?
    You say there is no need for new improved scriptures? Also you say there is no need to read the whole scripture? Then isnt the quality of questioning lost right there?
    If say i like first 100 pages and another person likes the next 100 pages then what page in the scripture caters to spirituality and what doesnt?

    And also isnt prakriti a part of purusha too? If the God that the scripture says it knows, created earth then isnt it imperative it should know the basic shape? Im not talking of the latitudes longitudes of every place but to call it flat and carried by 4 elephants?? Isnt it taking things a bit to far? However if you tell me there is a hidden code/secret behind such allegories doesnt the same apply to the form of God too? I mean instead of taking stories literally and forms of God literally shouldnt we be focussing on the intent behind the same?

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    Re: Instructions vs internal conflict

    Namaste,

    Sure, I did a fair amount of reading in my younger days. But I was guided by one thought - you have to process thousands of tons of rocks to extract an ounce of gold. If you are focused on the rocks, you will never see the miniscule amount of gold hidden in there.

    Secondly, experiencing and seeing the divine is faith based. You have to tell your analytic mind to take a hike for the spiritual practice part of your life.

    Just meditate on that without injecting your intellect into it. If you can't see anything, then I am helpless with any solutions for you. Maybe another doctor will step in and try to help you.

    Pranam.

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    Re: Instructions vs internal conflict

    Namaste Ji,

    My answers in Blue.


    Quote Originally Posted by ganeshamylord View Post



    Also Is it wrong to think that the puranas etc were also written by people with limited conception of both mind and matter?


    I would feel that puranas were written by people who had the exposure with accordance with knowledge of that time..just like prior to the microscope no one knew how microbes looked like.

    Only with advancement of time and exposure and by trial and error knowledge too improved.So new findings negate old findings and make way for improvement.


    It seems like i read a book of instructions which i personally never experienced nor do i ever feel i will.

    Yes..it is a book of instructions which we could experience may be sooner or later or may be even never.

    Since bhagavata is considered one of the top “satvic” puranas and since i have read it i will give my experience on it.When i came across certain portions especially the structure of the universe and also embryology i was left despondent.

    Agree but then again its evolution of thought of the human mind with whatever exposure they had at that time What the mind does not know the mind cant write.

    For example these days none of us doctors follow up a pregnancy without an ultrasound..prior to the invention of ultrasound doctors had to manage cases of Placenta Previa only when it happened and not like how we know much before who can be scheduled for an LSCS(C section) and who will not need one.No one without an Ultrasound could predict who is a Placenta Previa Type at 8 months gestation



    To say i(as a common man) should accept it as formidable truth just because it was written by a great proponent of vedic culture seems unfair. I would be dishonest to my soul if i followed parts of it despite knowing that the other parts are untrue.


    One can read it with an open mind and try to transport the mind to an ancient set up on how it would have been back in those days taking into account the social structure and its rigidity or its flexibility.

    Knowledge is also like the a full 15/15 GCS(Glasgow Coma Scale) it needs to be oriented to time place and person.It has to move with time and be appropriate to local law and customs that prevail.
    So there is no harm declaring some customs/knowledge as outdated.


    Or should i just go with the notion “How dare i speak against puranas? Am i greater than the knowers of truth? I should believe that earth is flat just as how i believe God is blue and has a flute”

    I dont think ancient rishis were all that rigid..because the fact remains that so many schools of thoughts existed in perfect harmony Nastika and Astika school of thoughts existed side by side without resorting to bigotry.

    In fact every school of thought was called Matam..which means an opinion.
    No one claimed theirs was the Gospel Truth.

    Its only these days bigotry is on the rise.

    Some might want to believe that God is Blue and some might want to believe that a Smurf is Blue..both are an artists impression.

    .
    For i as a beginner would obviously chose spirituality deeming it to be the perfect absolute unparallelled truth. But if even there i find inadequacies how else do i react ?

    I am not learned person..but I have been through many stages of enquiry..sometimes one might feel anxious and even feel like rejecting everything we read..after a while the mind will stabilize and everything becomes clearer.
    Then the mind can also go into a plateau phase and then restart the cycle of enquiry again...but this time with a clearer intellect.

    Some advocate a Guru for guiding us ..that it best left to the seeker to decide.


    So if a person calls God as Brahma,another Shiva,another Vishnu it is because of his own limitations/interpretations isnt it? Otherwise how can a sage like suka who claims to know the reality give false versions of material reality like false embryology and a false structure of the universe? Because in ishopanishad verse 14 it is explicitly mentioned one who knows material nature knows the truth ..
    So if a sage like suka talks of knowing the spiritual truth it is obvious he should know material truth too.Also many people who might be atheistic scientists but who discover facts about the material nature might also be called the seekers of truth if you go by verse 14 of ishopanishad.
    And who would you choose? A scientist who gives you a fact or a sage who tells you he knows the truth yet ends up doctoring a material fallacy. And is it wrong to think he described an imaginary form of god just like how he described an imaginary form of moon or earth?


    Now..long long ago when the Aryan Invasion theory was in vogue..many Swamijis too believed it and preached on those lines that Aryans differed from the local population and they brought Hinduism to India.

    Now if these Swamijis were truly realized souls shouldnt they have known that this theory is made up by the White Race to divide and rule India?Only now when DNA has disproved this Aryan invasion theory everyone is singing a different tune.

    After the advent of MH370 in my country I wondered 'how come so many people claim to be realized souls..so many Swamijis..Jnaanis..expert astrologers..yet no one came forward to predict where MH370 is"

    What does this show? May be no one really knows anything? or fear in case prediction is not accurate no one will believe them? God knows!



    My third point is progression. For me God is truth. Every soul ascends to that truth. How do we say that the people of the previous ages knew better than us? It might be just that every sage documents his experiences in the form of writings. So just like science which always progresses to something higher is it wrong to think what was conceived as truth in the previous age due to limitations of mind and matter progresses in todays age to a conception which is not only different but also higher?


    Valid point..God is Truth after all its Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti(Truth is only One called in many names by the learned)

    Its only Truth that does not change..Truth is Truth..we can not quantify Truth or qualify Truth.

    Truth stands through the test of time.

    We have no idea of the mental capacity of anyone we have not met or seen..so there could have been people who were more intelligent than anyone of us in present but that does not mean that everyone in Kali Yuga is substandard as compared to other Yugas.

    I always joke 'Senility is sometimes called Wisdom"LOL



    However no one can deny we dont know the actual truth. Also i know that this is kali and my senses are limited but asking me to believe in a blue god is tantamount to asking me to believe in a flat earth carried by four elephants. How do i convince myself and rid myself of internal conflict?

    Internal conflict is normal..I always compare the quest for spirituality to falling in love.
    When we fall in love, it throws us off balance for a while..there is internal conflict and at times confusion of the senses..being torn between the mind and heart..it only stabilizes when we get the object we love.

    Same way..fall in love with spirituality..enjoy the turmoil.Its part of the process.


    Last edited by renuka; 23 July 2014 at 05:34 AM.

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    Re: Instructions vs internal conflict

    Nice message...

    When we start, we in fact teach philosophy with our knowledge and once we progress philosophy will teach us! Sincerity, patience and open mind with no prejudice is the only key!

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    Re: Instructions vs internal conflict

    Quote Originally Posted by ganeshamylord View Post
    Namaste everyone
    I want answers from everyone especially the the older generation gentlemen who already passed through a lot and uncovered a lot of knowledge.
    I have read it in a lot of threads here about the validation of the gurus and the vedic instructions especially puranas// Many support those standard instructions, however i feel they only cherry pick amongst them because i see no one follow the actual thing or the whole thing. For example people do go against women wearing miniskirts when they dont wear a dhoti or a loin cloth themselves? People support puranic culture yet go against child marriage..But if i have to follow the puranas i should follow them completely. Else it is like watching a movie of bollywood and picking what is good and avoiding what is bad.
    Now with due respect to all the proponents of vedic instructions why is it that we dont follow everything but chose only what we deem is accurate?



    Also Is it wrong to think that the puranas etc were also written by people with limited conception of both mind and matter?
    It seems like i read a book of instructions which i personally never experienced nor do i ever feel i will.
    Since bhagavata is considered one of the top “satvic” puranas and since i have read it i will give my experience on it.When i came across certain portions especially the structure of the universe and also embryology i was left despondent. To say i(as a common man) should accept it as formidable truth just because it was written by a great proponent of vedic culture seems unfair. I would be dishonest to my soul if i followed parts of it despite knowing that the other parts are untrue.
    Or should i just go with the notion “How dare i speak against puranas? Am i greater than the knowers of truth? I should believe that earth is flat just as how i believe God is blue and has a flute”

    .
    For i as a beginner would obviously chose spirituality deeming it to be the perfect absolute unparallelled truth. But if even there i find inadequacies how else do i react ?
    So if a person calls God as Brahma,another Shiva,another Vishnu it is because of his own limitations/interpretations isnt it? Otherwise how can a sage like suka who claims to know the reality give false versions of material reality like false embryology and a false structure of the universe? Because in ishopanishad verse 14 it is explicitly mentioned one who knows material nature knows the truth ..
    So if a sage like suka talks of knowing the spiritual truth it is obvious he should know material truth too.Also many people who might be atheistic scientists but who discover facts about the material nature might also be called the seekers of truth if you go by verse 14 of ishopanishad.
    And who would you choose? A scientist who gives you a fact or a sage who tells you he knows the truth yet ends up doctoring a material fallacy. And is it wrong to think he described an imaginary form of god just like how he described an imaginary form of moon or earth?

    My third point is progression. For me God is truth. Every soul ascends to that truth. How do we say that the people of the previous ages knew better than us? It might be just that every sage documents his experiences in the form of writings. So just like science which always progresses to something higher is it wrong to think what was conceived as truth in the previous age due to limitations of mind and matter progresses in todays age to a conception which is not only different but also higher?
    However no one can deny we dont know the actual truth. Also i know that this is kali and my senses are limited but asking me to believe in a blue god is tantamount to asking me to believe in a flat earth carried by four elephants. How do i convince myself and rid myself of internal conflict?
    Hi ganeshamylord,

    "Otherwise how can a sage like suka who claims to know the reality give false versions of material reality like false embryology and a false structure of the universe?"

    I have not heard about the embryology in the Bhagavatam. Could you please refer me to the chapters? Also, what exactly is wrong with the structure of the universe given in Bhagavatam? It is a huge leap compared to other writings/cultures.

    "Now with due respect to all the proponents of vedic instructions why is it that we dont follow everything but chose only what we deem is accurate?"

    What do you mean? Could you give an example of this?

    "Also Is it wrong to think that the puranas etc were also written by people with limited conception of both mind and matter?"

    It is a general consensus among most Vedantins that Vyasa composed the Puranas, as well as the Mahabharata, Vedas, etc. If you want to think Vyasa had a limited conception, you are a free to do so. There is nothing wrong.

    "When i came across certain portions especially the structure of the universe and also embryology i was left despondent."

    What is written in the Bhagavatam is leap in terms of human understanding of the universe. It took centuries until science came to the modern understanding that we know today, which is similar to the one give in Bhagavatam.

    "Or should i just go with the notion “How dare i speak against puranas? Am i greater than the knowers of truth? I should believe that earth is flat just as how i believe God is blue and has a flute”"

    Where does it say that earth is flat? Have you heard of the Varaha story? Lord Varaha picked up the earth with his tusks. Now if it were flat, do you think he would have been able to pick it up??

    And btw, the geocentric model is actually more accurate than the heliocentric model in terms of calculation. The ancient Indians used the geocentric model to get very accurate calculations of the earth.

    And no one is forcing you to accept Krishna as god. If you don't want to accept him, then you don't have to. You don't go to hell because of that...

    "So if a person calls God as Brahma,another Shiva,another Vishnu it is because of his own limitations/interpretations isnt it? Otherwise how can a sage like suka who claims to know the reality give false versions of material reality like false embryology and a false structure of the universe?"

    If a person calls Brahma or Shiva or anyone else as God, it is there interpretation. That doesn't mean the Vedas actually support it. It is wrong to make your interpretation without the authority of the Vedas. We need to look at the Vedas and read what it says closely without any bias.

    "And is it wrong to think he described an imaginary form of god just like how he described an imaginary form of moon or earth?"

    What was the imaginary form of moon or earth that he described?

    "My third point is progression. For me God is truth. Every soul ascends to that truth. How do we say that the people of the previous ages knew better than us?"

    Because the people before didn't live in the Kali Yuga. They had perfect knowledge of the Vedas.

    "So just like science which always progresses to something higher is it wrong to think what was conceived as truth in the previous age due to limitations of mind and matter progresses in todays age to a conception which is not only different but also higher?"

    According to Vedantins, the Vedas are eternal. Therefore they are applicable to us as well.

    "However no one can deny we dont know the actual truth. Also i know that this is kali and my senses are limited but asking me to believe in a blue god is tantamount to asking me to believe in a flat earth carried by four elephants. How do i convince myself and rid myself of internal conflict?"

    I hope you understand that the 4 elephant thing is a metaphor...
    And like I said before, no on forcing you believe in a blue god. You can believe in whatever you want. But you can't just say that the Vedas support your position. Either way, by good activities and reducing bad ones, you will eventually find the absolute truth. Everyone will realize the truth, Krishna says. You can go at your own pace .

    I can understand why you are confused. It is not enough if the scriptures say something; you need to look at great personalities and see how they treat the scriptures. Only then should you act.

    Hope this helps.
    Regards

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