“What Is The Eternal, Constitutional Function Of The Jiva?/Soul?”
Making A “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”
Introduction Part 4.
Blind Faith Pretending to be Rational Faith — Or Dry-logic Pretending to be Logic that is Based on The Principle of “Guru Sastra, and Sadhu”.
Rather than a verdict or conclusion that is reached by mature deliberation of the sastric injunctions; some humans prefer dogmatism.
“The tendency to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true, without consideration of evidence or the opinions of others”.
This kind of dogma indicates the person has made an emotional investment up front, and then tries to employ, logic and philosophy, in the service of their foregone conclusion. They “cherry-pick ” sastras, in order to find support for their predetermined conclusion. In Gaudiya-Vaisnavism, this approach is always a mistake.
On the other hand, the Vaisnava way, so to speak, in regards to a particular subject matter, issue, disagreement, or controversy; you must First do these 3 essential tasks,
- Research the written or spoken words of one’s own Guru, for references in regards to the subject matter.
- Research the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sastra for all references regarding the subject matter.
- Research the written or spoken words of the past-acharyas, Sadhus, for references in regards to the subject matter.
The second step, is to study and scrutinize these references.
The third step, is that after careful study and scrutinizing these references, a conclusion, that is based on these references can be made.
And “astonishingly”, you have a conclusion that is supported by “GSS”.
Our principle is evam parampara raptam, (Bhagavad-gita. As It Is 4.1),
“This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession. ….”
Please note that Krishna said, “This supreme science”. It is suggested that you read the essay by the title “Is Bhakti a Science”, which you will find on this website.
, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur wrote in his Jaiva-dharma Chapter 13, Entitled: Pramana, (proof, evidence, or authority) & the Commencement of Prameya, (fundamental truths):
“We receive all the Vedic literatures from the acharyas, in the Sat-sampradayas[i], so we can accept them as evidence from a bona fide source.
Is there any evidence in the Veda[ii] to show that logic cannot enter into transcendental subject matter? There are many famous statements in the Vedas[iii], such as statements from Vedanta-sutra[iv], like this one. Brahma-sutra 2.1.11,
‘Arguments based on logic have no foundation and cannot be used to establish any conclusions about the conscious reality, because a fact that someone establishes by logic and argument today, can be refuted tomorrow by someone who is more intelligent and qualified. Therefore, the process of argumentation is said to be unfounded and baseless.
Furthermore, it is stated in Mahabharata, Bhisma-parva (5.22),
‘All transcendental tattvas are beyond material nature, and are therefore inconceivable. Dry arguments are within the jurisdiction of material nature, so they can only be applied in mundane subject matters. They cannot even come close to transcendental tattvas, (truths), what to speak of grasping them. As far as inconceivable conceptions are concerned, the application of dry arguments is undesirable and useless.”
This verse of the Mahabharata establishes the limits of logic, and Srila Rupa Gosvami, the acharya of bhakti-marga, has therefore written in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, (Eastern Division 1.1.32),
‘One can comprehend bhakti-tattva, when one has gained even a little taste for scriptures that establish bhakti-tattva, such as Srimad-bhagavatam. However, one cannot understand this bhakti-tattva by dry logic alone, because logic has no basis, and there is no end to arguments.
Nothing genuine can be ascertained by logic and argument, as this ancient statement proves:
‘Any logician can clearly establish any subject matter using arguments, but someone who is more expert in argument can easily refute him. You use logic to establish one siddhanta today, but a more intelligent and qualified logician will be able to refute it tomorrow, so why should you rely on logic?’
Well-versed readers of the Puranas[v], have accepted eight types of Pramana:
- pratyaksa, (direct perception).
- anumana, (inference based on generalized experience).
- upamana, (analogy).
- sabda, (revealed knowledge).
- aitihya, (traditional instruction).
- arthapatti, (inference from circumstances).
- sambhava (speculation).
- anupalabdhi, (understanding something by its non-perception).
Pratyaksa and other types of evidence depend on the senses, but since the senses of the conditioned jiva, (soul), are always subject to,
- Bbhrama, (illusion).
- Pramada, (error).
- Vipralipsa, (cheating).
- Karanapatava, (imperfection of the senses).
So, how can the knowledge acquired through the senses be factual and faultless?
The fully independent possessor of all potencies, Sri Bhagavan Himself, personally manifested as perfect Vedic knowledge, within the pure hearts of great maharsis and saintly acharyas, who were situated in full Samadhi. Therefore, the Vedas, which are the embodiment of self-manifest, pure knowledge, are always faultless and fully dependable as evidence. …
Bhrama, (illusion), is the baddha-jiva’s, conditioned soul’s, false impression of reality resulting from familiar knowledge gathered through imperfect senses. For example, in the desert, the rays of the sun sometimes produce a mirage, which creates the impression of water.
Premada is the fault of making errors. Since the material intelligence of the baddha-jiva, (conditioned-soul), is by nature limited, mistakes are inevitably present in whatever siddhanta his limited intelligence discerns in relation to the unlimited para-tattva, (Supreme Truth).
Vipralipsa, is the cheating propensity. This is manifest, when one, whose intelligence is limited by time and space, is suspicious, and reluctant to believe in the activities and authority of Krishna, who is far beyond time and space.
Karanapatava, means that our senses are imperfect and ineffective. Because of this, we cannot avoid making mistakes in everyday circumstances. For example, when we see an object suddenly, we may mistake it for something else and draw faulty conclusions. …
The evidence gained from pratyaksa and other Pramanas is only worth considering when it follows the guidelines of the self-evident Vedic knowledge; otherwise, its evidence can be discarded. That is why the self-evident Vedas are the only evidence.
Pratyaksa, and other pramanas can also be accepted as evidence, but only if they are in pursuance of the Vedas. …
The Bhagavad-gita is called an Upanisad[vi], (Gita Upanisad), because it is the Vani (instructions) of Bhagavan; hence, the Gita is Veda. Similarly, Dasa-mula-tattva, is also bhagavat-vani(instruction), because it is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s instructions, so it is also Veda. Srimad-bhagavatam is the crest-jewel of all the Pramanas, because it is the compilation, of the essence of the meaning of the Vedas. The instructions of different scriptures are authoritative evidence, only as long as they follow the Vedic knowledge. There are three types of tantra-scriptures,
- Sattvika, (goodness).
- Rajasika, (passion).
- Tamasika, (ignorance).
Of these, the Pancharatra and so on are in the sattvika group, and they are accepted as evidence because they expand the confidential meaning of the Veda.
There are many books in the Vedic line. Which of these may be accepted as evidence and which may not?
In the course of time, unscrupulous and untruthful personalities have interpolated many chapters, mandalas, (sections and divisions), and mantras into the Vedas, in order to fulfill various self-interests. Those parts that were added at a later time are called praksipta, (interpolated), parts. It is not that we should accept any and every Vedic text as reliable evidence. Those Vedic granthas, (sacred books), that the acharyas in the sat–Sampradayas have accepted as evidence are definitely Veda and are authoritative evidence, but we should reject literature or parts of literature that they have not recognized”.
Therefore, references from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, his writings are to be understood as Sabda-pramana, i.e., the evidence of transcendental sound, especially of the Vedas, proof from revealed scripture or from the words of a genuine sadhu. Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura is certainly, surely, positively, definitely, undoubtedly, and unquestionably, a genuine sadhu.
This is the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya protocol on establishing siddhanta, or “an essential conclusion”.
FOOT & END NOTES: