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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. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura 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:
 Cherry-Pick: choose and take only (the most beneficial or profitable items, opportunities, etc.) from what is available.
 Vaisnavism—the science of bhakti-yoga, devotional service to Visnu, or Krishna.
 Bhagavad-gita—a seven-hundred verse record of a conversation between Lord Krsna and His disciple, Arjuna, from the Bhisma Parva of the Mahabharata of Vedavyasa. The conversation took place between two armies, minutes before the start of an immense fratricidal battle. Krsna teaches the science of the Absolute Truth and the importance of devotional service to the despondent Arjuna, and it contains the essence of all Vedic wisdom. Srila Prabhupada’s annotated English translation is called Bhagavad-gita As It Is; This most essential text of spiritual knowledge, The Song of the Lord, contains Krsna’s instructions to Arjuna at Kuruksetra. It is found in the Mahabharata. The Mahabharata is classified as smrti-sastra, a supplement of the sruti-sastra. Sruti, the core Vedic literature, includes the four Vedas (Åg, Sama, Yajur and Atharva) and the Upanisads. Sruti advances the understanding of the absolute. Bhagavad-gita is also known as Gitopanisad, or a sruti text spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada wrote in a letter, the Gita should be taken as sruti. But they take it as smrti because it is part of the smrti (Mahabharata). In one sense it is both sruti and smrti. In only 700 verses, the Bhagavad-gita summarizes all Vedic knowledge about the soul, God, sanatana-dharma, sacrifice, yoga, karma, reincarnation, the modes of material nature, Vedanta and pure devotion.
 Pramana—Evidence, proof. The term refers to sources of knowledge that are held to be valid. In the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, the school of Vedic knowledge that ISKCON is supposed to represent, there are three pramanas. They are pratyaksa (direct sense perception), anumana (reason), and sabda (authoritative testimony). Of these three pramanas, sabda is imperative, while pratyaksa and anumana are supportive.
 Mahabharata—An important and famous itihasa (historical) scripture belonging to the smrti section of the Vedic scriptures. The Mahabharata narrates the history of the great Kuru dynasty of ksatriyas (warriors) that was annihilated by the Kuruksetra war. Contained within the Maha-bharata is the Bhagavad-gita.
 Tattvas—the Absolute Truth’s multifarious categories. Truth, reality. According to Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Vedic knowledge categorizes reality into five tattvas, or ontological truths: isvara (the Supreme Lord), jiva (the living entity), prakrti (nature), kala (eternal time) and karma (activity).
 Rupa Gosvami—chief of the six great spiritual master Gosvamis of Vrndavana who were authorized by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to establish and distribute the philosophy of Krsna consciousness. He extensively researched the scriptures and established the philosophy taught by Lord Caitanya on an unshakable foundation. Thus Gaudiya Vaisnavas are known as Rupanugas, followers of Rupa Gosvami. He is also known as the rasacarya, or the teacher of devotional mellows, as exemplified by his book, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. It is the duty and the aspiration of every Gaudiyaa Vaisnava to become his servant and follow his path.
 Bhakti-marga—the path of developing devotion to Krishna.
 Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu—one of the principal works on the science of bhakti-yoga, written by Srila Rupa Gosvami in the sixteenth century, a confidential associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. All of its conclusions are elaborately supported by reference to the Vedic literatures.
 Bhakti-tattva—the truth of devotional service to Krishna.
 Siddhanta—Essential conclusion
 Inference: a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning
 Bhagavan —the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who possesses in full the opulences of wealth, beauty, strength, knowledge, fame, and renunciation; an epithet of the Supreme Person; The Personality of Godhead, the possessor (van) of six opulences (bhaga) in unlimited fullness: wealth (aisvarya), strength (virya), fame (yasaj), beauty (sriyaù), knowledge (jnana), and renunciation (vairagya).
 Maharishi, or maharsi, is a Sanskrit word typically used as an honorary title which is added onto the name of an enlightened spiritual teacher.
 Samadhi —total absorption and trance of the mind and senses in consciousness of the Supreme Godhead and service to Him. The word samadhi also refers to the tomb where a great soul’s body is laid after his departure from this world.
 Baddha-jiva—a conditioned sou.
 Dasa Mula Tattva: Is a philosophical treatise written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Dasa Mula Tattva is a must-have book for any serious student of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. The importance of this book cannot be overstated, for herein, all the essential teachings of the Vedas are concisely expounded.
 Caitanya Mahaprabhu, (1486-1534)—Lord Krishna in the aspect of His own devotee. He appeared in Navadvipa, West Bengal, and inaugurated the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord to teach pure love of God by means of sankirtana. Lord Caitanya is understood by Gaudiya Vaisnavas to be Lord Krishna Himself; The Golden Avatara of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who descended into the material world 500 years ago at Sridhama Mayapur. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inaugurated the yuga-dharma of sankirtana.
 Pancaratra—Vedic literatures describing the process of Deity worship.
 Protocol—The accepted or established code of procedure or behavior in any group, organization, or situation.