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Authority Is Not Dogmatic

Krishna- the perfect authority
Krishna- the perfect authority

selected from teachings of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 

The Vedic system of acquiring knowledge is the deductive process. The Vedic knowledge is received perfectly by disciplic succession from authorities. Such knowledge is never dogmatic, as is ill-conceived by less intelligent persons. The mother is the authority to verify the identity of the father. She is the authority for such confidential knowledge. Therefore, authority is not dogmatic. In the Bhagavad-gītā this truth is confirmed in the Fourth Chapter (Bg. 4.2), and the perfect system of learning is to receive it from authority. The very same system is accepted universally as truth, but only the false arguer speaks against this system. For example, modern spacecraft fly in the sky, and they say that they travel to the other side of the moon, and men believe these stories blindly because they have accepted the modern scientists as authorities. 

 

The authorities speak, and the people in general believe them. But in the case of Vedic truths, they have been taught not to believe. Even if they accept them they give a different interpretation. Each and every man wants a direct perception of Vedic knowledge, but foolishly they deny it. This means that the misguided man can believe one authority, the scientist, but will reject the authority of the Vedas. The result is that people have degenerated.

 

Sb original 1972 1.9.18

 

The theoretical knowledge, experimental knowledge, always remains in doubt. All the scientists, they are not confident. Now there is a theory, "theory of uncertainty," among the scientists. Whatever knowledge they are making, they are making progress, everything is uncertain. Yes. It must be uncertain, because the basic principle is wrong. Therefore it must be uncertain. A conditioned soul, as we are, under the condition of the material nature, three modes of material nature, how our knowledge can be perfect? It is not possible. The first defect is, because we are conditioned, we commit mistakes, so many. And we become illusioned. Just like every knowledge is being based on the illusion that "I am this body, material body," which I am not. But the whole world is going on under this conception, that "I am this body." "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am brāhmaṇa," like that. So the basic principle is illusion. And there are so many mistakes we commit. And the senses are imperfect. And although my senses are imperfect, I, still, I theorize, "It may be...," "It is like this," "It is like that." These are all imperfect things. Therefore whatever knowledge we may make progress, it is saṁśayam, it remains doubt, uncertainty.

But what Kṛṣṇa says, you can test even with your experimental knowledge. That is Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge, it is not dogma. The, the statement is there after sufficient experiment. So we, if we accept Vedic knowledge, we save so much time. We may go on experimenting with out limited power of senses, but that will always remain doubtful, then it is perfect. Asaṁśayaṁ samagram. This samagram, this word, is very significant. Samagram means "complete." To understand Kṛṣṇa means to understand the whole cosmic manifestation, God, the material nature, the time factor, the living entities, their respective relationship, everything. That is called samagram. Not that a Kṛṣṇa conscious person does not know about the creation of the material manifestation. He knows, by his reason. That will be explained in this chapter, Seventh Chapter, how this material creation is going on. The modern scientists, they put up creation, that "There was a chunk, and it was burnt into pieces. Then the planetary systems came into existence." But if we inquire, "Wherefrom this chunk comes?" that they cannot answer. Therefore the so-called scientific knowledge always remains in doubt. Darwin's theory... There are so many passages: "It may be, perhaps."

So these things, "Perhaps, it may be," that is not certain. Therefore they have now accepted the theory of uncertainty. But here we, if we hear from Kṛṣṇa, then it is perfect knowledge. Samagram. How this material world is created, how this earth, five elements of gross elements come into existence, and everything will be explained. Asaṁśayaṁsamagraṁ mām [Bg. 7.1]. To understand Kṛṣṇa means to understand everything. Therefore tattvam.

 

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu

kaścid yatati siddhaye

yatatām api siddhānāṁ

kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ

 [Bg. 7.3]

 

We have to understand Kṛṣṇa in truth. Simply superficially, if we understand Kṛṣṇa, that "Kṛṣṇa was born of the father and mother, Devakī and Vasudeva, and He was born in Mathurā, and then played with the gopīs. And then the..., He taught something on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra," that is not sufficient knowledge. We should try to understand samagram, as far as possible in complete. Then our devotion, our love for Kṛṣṇa, will be increased.

 

Bhagavad-gītā 7.1-3 -- Ahmedabad, December 14, 1972

 

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