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Sunday, March 04, 2012

Fundamentalism?


I wrote this blog some years ago, but never posted it yet, and since there is at present not much to say I post it now, after editing it somewhat -

Some ultra-intellectual devotee-bloggers take the political correctness wrought by conditioned souls in 20th-21st Century America as the standard of comparison and the timeless truths of shastra as the object of comparison, while it should, of course, be the other way around. To establish the source of truth, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmīpāda writes in his Tattva sandarbha (9):

tatra puruṣasya bhramādi-doṣa-catuṣṭaya-duṣṭatvāt sutarām alaukikācintya-svabhāva-vastu-sparśāyogyatvac ca tat-pratyakṣādiny api sa-doṣāni

"Human beings are bound to have four types of defects: They are subject to delusion, make mistakes, have a cheating propensity, and imperfect senses. Thus they are unable to understand the inconceivable spiritual reality, for their means of acquiring knowledge by direct perception, inference, and so forth prove inadequate."

tatas tāni na pramāṇanīty anādi-siddha-sarva-puruṣa-paramparāsu sarva-laukikālaukika-jñāna-nidānatvād aprākṛta-vacana-lakṣaṇo veda evāsmākam sarvatita-sarvāśraya-sarvācintyāścarya-svabhāvaṁ vastu vividiṣatam pramāṇam ||10||

"For us who are inquisitive, therefore, about that which is beyond all, yet the support of everything, which is most inconceivable and wondrous in nature, direct perception, inference and so on are not suitable means. For this purpose we accept the Vedas, whose words are transcendental, which is the source of all mundane and transcendental knowledge, and which have been passed down in humanity through beginningless chains of succession."

And in Śrīmad Bhāgavat 4.18.4-5 it is said -

tān ātiṣṭhati yaḥ samyag upāyān pūrva-darśitān
avaraḥ śraddhayopeta upeyān vindate'ñjasā
tān anādṛtya yo'vidvān arthān ārabhate svayam
tasya vyabhicaranty arthā ārabdhāś ca punaḥ punaḥ

"One who follows the principles and instructions enjoined by the great sages of the past can utilize these instructions for practical purposes. Such a person can very easily enjoy life and pleasures. A foolish person who manufactures his own ways and means and does not recognize the authority of the sages who lay down unimpeachable directions is simply unsuccessful again and again in his attempts."

And in the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.2.3 -

nāyam ātma pravacanena labhyo
na medhayā na bahunā śrutena
yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas
tasyaisa ātma vivṛṇute tanuṁ svam

"The Supreme Lord is not obtained by expert explanations, by vast intelligence, or even by much hearing. He is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses To such a person He manifests His own form."

The abovementioned intellectuals reject śāstra’s authority by calling the above principles ‚fundamentalism‘, but fundamentalism is a concept that neither exists in Vedic philosophy nor in Vaiṣṇava philosophy or scripture. It is a concept made up by western intellectuals and newsagencies in 1979, when the clerics in Iran established a theocracy there. Of course, sense perception, inference etc. can contain truths but they should be rejected if they contradict the verdict of śāstra.

4 comments:

  1. "One who follows the principles and instructions enjoined by the great sages of the past can utilize these instructions for practical purposes. Such a person can very easily enjoy life and pleasures. A foolish person who manufactures his own ways and means and does not recognize the authority of the sages who lay down unimpeachable directions is simply unsuccessful again and again in his attempts."
    Prabhuji Dandavat Pranam. Prabhuji it is said that the Upanishads and the other Vedic literatures are so concise that it can be interpreted in various ways. So, as there are various views of various schools, it further creates diversity and causes further misunderstanding among the people in general.

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  2. Partha, that is why the acaryas of each sampradaya have written patient commentaries to each verse, and devotees should accept the explanations according to their own sampradayik allegiance.

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  3. Sunday, 4 march. Ekadashi. Visvanatha gives path at Mahaprabhu Baithak for more than an hour. He says the Goswamis books are [indirectly] written by Mahaprabhu Himself - the acaryas are His mere
    instruments.

    Monday 5 march. I tried to escape from Holi colours this morning by shopping for soy-beans at Omi's grocery, thus avoiding having to go to the western shop on the Giriraj Parikrama marg but despite looking for it in his house Omi did not have them, so I had to go to the western shop anyway. After a long wait I got the beans and just then on the way back BANG pink paint all over my T shirt and old coarse dhoti. In the afternoon I had no more clean clothes to go out
    with but no problem, there was a Holi kirtan right next door to Ananda Hari, just opposite my place, which I could hear
    from my roof. So no fear of colours ruining my last clothes and the kirtan was perfectly audible, crystal clear. My mind was also there - নটবর নন্দকিশোর

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  4. I came to Svarup das baba to discuss one of his sisyas but instead he smeared my face with kumkum, amidst an ecstatic Holi-kirtan with kumkum-mixed flower-petals in front of Jagannath Mandir. He told me to come back tomorrow. sorry, no camera this time.

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