Vedic Literatures

Understanding God

Based on the teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder Acharya – International Society for Krishna Consciousness

We inhabit a HUGE UNIVERSE

We are here

This huge temple complex is represented as a dot on Bangalore map.

Bangalore
Population: over 6 million. One of the fastest growing cities

However, Bangalore itself is a dot in map of Karnataka

and Karnataka is one of the many states in India

India with population of One Billion is...

... one of the many countries on the planet Earth.

Earth weighing 6x1021 Kg., is one of the many planets in our solar system.

Sun, around which all the planets are orbiting is 14,00,000 times bigger than Earth.

Astrophysicists point out There are 2000 billion stars like sun each having its own family of planets

According to science...

...all these billions of galaxies and trillions of stars comprise our UNIVERSE

The most important question.. Who manages these UNIVERSES in a perfect order? Is he a person with Super intelligence?

Proof of God’s Super intelligence? Unseen is proved by the seen Even the smallest material thing needs a creator (? mechanism)

Proof of God’s Super intelligence? Unseen is proved by the seen God’s Perfect mechanism
Universe, Stars, Eclipse, Sunset & Sunrise, Moonrise & Moonset, Seasons, Living beings body systems.

UNDERSTANDING THE SUPER INTELLIGENCE

Organizer Designer Controller

UNDERSTANDING THE SUPER INTELLIGENCE

THREE WAYS OF GAINING KNOWLEDGE

(1) PRATYAKSA PRAMANA (DIRECT SENSE PERCEPTION )

UNDERSTANDING THE SUPER INTELLIGENCE

THREE WAYS OF GAINING KNOWLEDGE

(2) ANUMANA PRAMAN (THEORIES BASED ON EVIDENCE )

RELATIVE TRUTH - BLIND FAITH

(2) ANUMANA PRAMAN (THEORIES BASED ON EVIDENCE )

UNDERSTANDING THE SUPER INTELLIGENCE

THREE WAYS OF GAINING KNOWLEDGE (3) SABDA PRAMAN (HEARING FROM A BONAFIDE AUTHORITY)

PRATYAKSA PRAMAN Is seeing believing

WE CANNOT ACQUIRE ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE THROUGH MATERIAL SENSES. OUR SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE IS RELATIVE

WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH THROUGH OUR BLUNT MATERIAL SENSES BECAUSE OF THE FOLLOWING FOUR DEFECTS

1. IMPERFECT SENSES 2. TO BE ILLUSIONED 3. TENDENCY TO COMMIT MISTAKES 4. CHEATING PROPENSITY

Four Defects - (1) IMPERFECT SENSES

OUR EYES ARE BLIND outside the range of 400 to 700millmicron

OUR EARS ARE DEAF outside the range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz

Four Defects - (1) IMPERFECT SENSES An uninformed Scientist may boast:

“We will use the instrument outside the range for perceiving things.”

Four Defects - (1) IMPERFECT SENSES

Noble Prize winning Physicist Eugene Wigner points out: “Even if we photograph stars eventually we have to take in by our senses what the photo shows. Furthermore, without our senses we cannot handle a camera. Even if we amplified / refined by instruments the knowledge is no more perfect than our imperfect senses.”

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED Optical illusion

Our eyes imagine the lines that form a white triangle.

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

Optical illusion

Depending on which image you choose to discard, the drawing is either a black vase or the outline of two white faces looking toward each other. Both images are present, but you can't see them, both at the same time. Consciously or unconsciously, you select one and discard the other.

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

Optical illusion
Picture shows 2 faces, either a young woman or an old woman, depending on how you choose to interpret the data before you.

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

Optical illusion
HOW MANY LEGS CAN YOU COUNT?

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

Optical illusion
Which circle in the middle is bigger? Technically both are of the same size.

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED
If you take a look at the following picture , let me tell you ... it is not animated. Your eyes are making it move. To test this, stare at one spot for a couple seconds and everything will stop moving. Or look at the black center of each circle and it will stop moving. But move your eyes to the next black center and the previous will move after you take your eyes away from it.... Weird

Optical illusion

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

Optical illusion

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

Are the purple lines straight or bent? Optical illusion

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

Optical illusion

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

Optical illusion

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

Optical illusion
Do you see gray areas in between the squares? Now where did they come from? There are only black areas in the picture.

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

EARS
Cannot distinguish hissing of a cooker and train

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

EARS
1. Human hearing extends from 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz.

2. We are deaf to any vibration above or below this range.

3. That's why when you blow dog's whistle all street dogs will come running to you, but you cannot hear!

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

TONGUE
Orange taken after eating sugar tastes sour Orange taken after eating lemon tastes sweet

Four Defects - (2) TO BE ILLUSIONED

SKIN
Same water touched with warm hand appears cool; touched with cold hands appears warm

Four Defects - (3) TO COMMIT MISTAKES
STARS WERE CONSIDERED PINPRICKS ON A CRYSTAL GLOBE (!)

WILDLY INCORRECT ACCOUNTS IN SCIENCE

Four Defects - (3) TO COMMIT MISTAKES
ELECTRICITY & HEAT WERE CONSIDERED FLUIDS (!!)

WILDLY INCORRECT ACCOUNTS IN SCIENCE

Four Defects - (3) TO COMMIT MISTAKES
BRAIN WAS THOUGHT OF AS AN ORGAN TO COOL THE BLOOD (!!!)

WILDLY INCORRECT ACCOUNTS IN SCIENCE

Four Defects - (4) CHEATING PROPENSITY
THE PILTDOWN MAN FRAUD

1912 - CONNECTING LINK “MADE-UP” 1953 - FRAUD REVEALED : HUMAN SKULL & FILED JAW

ANUMANA PRAMAN
(Theories based on Evidence)
Charles Darwin's theories and much of archaeology and anthropology

It may have been like this, or perhaps it was like this...

Hypothesis on the knowledge acquired by direct perception

ANUMANA PRAMAN
40,000

(Theories based on Evidence)
RECORD OF THE ROCKS
MAN CAME FROM MONKEYS

100,000

400,000

1 million 1.5 million 2 million
Age of Rock Strata in Years

HUMAN BEINGS AND MONKEYS SIMULTANEOUSLY EXISTED MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO

SABDA PRAMAN
Hearing from a Bonafide Authority

KRISHNA

BRAHMA

NARADA

CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU A C BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI

How do we understand GOD who is ...

• Creator & maintainer of many such universes. • Beyond this gigantic manifestation.

All methods of acquiring knowledge can be broadly classified into two categories

Inductive
(Ascending)
Trying to find the truth by one’s own endeavor or speculation. If a child wants to know who his father is, he makes a survey of the male population of the city.

Deductive
(Descending)
To learn the truth by accepting an authority & inquiring from him. If a child wants to know who his father is, he should ask his mother.

How can an ant living in one corner of this classroom know about...

What are the latest developments in Iraq?

The wars in the other side of the globe?

Who is President of United States of America ?

Arafat & ethnic conflicts in Palestine and Lebanon

Logically speaking ant can never know through its own efforts through ASCENDING PROCESS of acquiring knowledge

Ground Reality...

Its tooooo... small & has limited sense perception

Then how can we go about understanding GOD who is creator of infinite gigantic UNIVERSES?

We have no choice... ...but to accept the descending method of acquiring knowledge

Accept an authority & learn the truth by inquiring submissively.

Lord Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita mentions the process of acquiring knowledge.

tad viddhi praëipätena paripraçnena sevayä

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a Spiritual Master and inquire submissively

Who is that authority?

THE VEDIC LITERATURES

But aren’t the Vedas written by man !!!

NO
The Vedas are

apaurusah
– they are not man-made

Vedic History
Moriz Winternitz concludes, “Vedic literature extends from an unknown past (say x) to 500 B.C.
Ruth Reyna, Introduction to Indian Philosophy. p. 16

Vedic History
tene bramha hriday adi kavaye

Vedic History

The Vedic knowledge was revealed by the Supreme Person, in the heart of the first created being, Brahma.

Vedic History
The oral tradition began simultaneous to the cosmic creation, when Supreme Being spoke Vedic knowldege to the first living being , Brahma.
Srimad-Bhagvatam, First Canto, vol.1, p.44

This Vedic wisdom came down in disciplic succession through aural reception

The Vedas are also called as SHRUTIS or knowledge received through aural reception.

Knowledge from Vedas

Acintya - not of material nature (Absolute knowledge)

Srimad Bhagavatam predicts about people in Kali-yuga

• mandäù — lazy; • sumanda-matayaù — misguided; • manda-bhägyäù — unlucky; • hi upadrutäù — and above all disturbed

Today, we depend on modern gadgets to even remember details of our near & dear ones

Therefore...

Vyäsadeva, a literary incarnation of God, shaktyavesa avtara, records all the Vedas in every Dvapara yuga in the concised form in writing.
Matasya Purana 53.9-11, Visnu Purana 3.4.5

Sources of Vedic Knowledge Prasthana-traya
1. Sruti-prasthana - Vedas, & Upanisads 2. Smrti-prasthana - Puranas, Ramayana,
Bhagavad-gita, Mahabharata,

3. Nyaya-prasthana - Vedanta-sutra
Vedas, Mahabharata & Puranas are breathed out by the Absolute Truth
Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 2.4.10

Shruti & Smriti
Shruti: “Hearing” Acquiring knowledge by by hearing (mother).

Smriti: “Remembering” - Scriptures which further explain Vedas (sister).

Shruti sastras - Vedas
Veda means “know” and denotes “divine knowledge” Four Vedas: (Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda) Vedas are mainly hymns, chanted by priests, in praise of the gods.

Shruti sastras - Vedas
Vedas mainly encourage satisfaction of material desires through worship of demigods & karma-kanda.
Worship of Agni for power, Indra for sex, Durgadevi for fortune, Vasus for money, Asvini Kumaras for long life.

Shruti sastras - Vedas

Rg Veda - “ The Veda of praise,” of Agni, Indra - 1017 hymns arranged in 10 books.

Shruti sastras - Vedas

Yajur Veda - contains instructions for sacrifices.

Shruti sastras - Vedas

Sama Veda - Veda of chants 1549 verses praises heavenly beverage soma.

Shruti sastras - Vedas

Atharva Veda - Veda of chants & rites - often for healing sickness.

Shruti sastras - Upanisads
Upa-ni-sat means “sit closely” Disciple sitting beside his guru receives transcendental knowledge.

Marks the beginning of transcendental life

Shruti sastras - Upanisads
Upanisads: 220 in total - main 108 Establish the absolute as non material. Every Upanisad first presents the Supreme Brahman as impersonal, at the end the personal form of Bhagavan emerges.
Hayasirsa Pancaratra

Shruti sastras - Upanisads
Upanisads - emphasize meditation upon the impersonal Brahman. Upanisads - do not deny that the Absolute Truth has personality. Upanisads - do assert the Godhead’s spiritual personality.

Smriti sastras – Vedanta sutra

Vedanta sutra Most concise form of all Vedic knowledge

Smriti sastras – Puranas Puranas: The Histories
18 in no - Originally 100 crore slokas (now 4 lac) Offer vedic knowledge in the form of stories & historical incidents.

Smriti sastras – Puranas

Deal with the superhuman activities of Bhagavan and his various incarnations in various ages.

Smriti sastras – Puranas Also called Pancamah Vedah itihasa-puranah pancamah vedah
Matasya purana 53.3-11

Smriti sastras – Mahabharata
Mahabharata: The Histories - (1 lac slokas four line stanzas each)

Story of “the greater kingdom of Bharatavarsa,” - History of ancient world
empire.

Also called pancamah Veda - includes
Bhagavad-gita in Bhisma parva Ch. 25-42 Matasya purana 53.69

Smriti sastras – Ramayana

Bramhaji to Narada to Balmiki 100 crore slokas - 5.25 slokas – now 12500
Matasya purana 53.70

Smriti sastras – Others

Narada-Panchratra
Teaches pancharatriki vidhi of Deity worship

Knowledge from Vedas – compatible with modern day knowledge

Bhugol, Saptadvipa, Embryology, Life in plants, Fire bacteria mentioned in Vedas.

Vedas – predictions
• Buddha (Bhag 1.3.24) • Christ (Bhavisya Purana), • Allaha (Bhavisya Purana, Atharva Veda Kanda 20, Shukta 127, Mantra 1-3)

Vedas – predictions
• Caitnaya Mahaprabhu (Bhag 11.5.32, Mahabharata 127.92.75), • Chanakya (Bhag. 12.1.11), • Chandragupta & Asoka (Bhag. 12.1.12,

What the world renowned personalities say about the Vedic literatures ?

“When I read the Bhagavad-gita, the only question left is how God created the universe. Everything else seems to be superfluous.”

Albert Einstein
Physicist

T. S. Eliot
American-English Poet

“The balance of mind which few highlycivilized individuals, such as Arjuna, the hero of Bhagavad-gita, can maintain in action, is difficult for most of us even as observers.”

Mahatma Gandhi
India’s Father of Nation

“The deeper you dive into it, richer the meaning you get...with every age, the important words will carry new and expanding meanings. But its central teachings will not vary.”

Mahatma Gandhi
India’s Father of Nation

“Let the Gita be to you a mine of diamonds as it has been to me. Let it be your constant guide and friend on life’s way. Let it light your path and dignify your labour.”

“It gives utterance to the aspirations of the pilgrims of all sects who seek to tread the inner way to the city of God.”
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
former President of India

“In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial.” Henry David Thoreau

The Vedas offer insight into

• Who am I ? • Where have I come from ? • Where do I go after death ?

The Vedas offer insight into

• What is the purpose of my existence ? • Who is God ? • How am I related to God ?

Since, these questions deal with very fundamental aspects of our existence, we can immensely benefit by daily studying these vedic literatures & sharpening our Spiritual Intelligence ‘SQ’.

Hare Krishna

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful