Religion is not about belief but about direct perception
“There are certain religious facts which, as in external science, have to be perceived and upon them religion will be built. Of course, the extreme claim that you must believe every dogma of a religion is degrading to the human mind. The man who asks you to believe everything, degrades himself, and, if you believe, degrades you too. The sages of the world have only the right to tell us that they have analyzed their minds and have found these facts, and if we do the same we shall also believe, and not before. That is all there is in religion.”(The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 2:163).
“The proof, therefore, of the Vedas is just the same as the proof of this table before me, pratyaksa, direct perception. This I see with the senses, and the truths of spirituality we also see in a superconscious state of the human soul.”
” …… The appeal to the infallibility of the Vedic injunction is misconceived. The infallibility in question refers only to the unseen force or apurva, and is admissable only in regard to matters not confined to the sphere of direct perceptions etc. ….. Even a hundred statements of sruti to the effect that fire is cold and non-luminous won’t prove valid. If it does make such a statement, its import will have to be interpreted differently. Otherwise , validity won’t attach to it. Nothing in conflict with the means of valid cognition or with its own statement may be imputed to sruti.” (Bhagavad Gita Bhashya of Sri Sankaracharya translated by Dr. A.G. Krishna Warrier).
“Though human in origin, an exposition of truth is to be accepted; otherwise even what is regarded as divine revealation is to be rejected. Even a young boy’s words are to be accepted if they are words of wisdom; else reject it like straw even if uttered by Brahma the creator.”(Vasishta’s Yoga II-18 translated by Swami Venkatesananda)
“Even one thousand scriptural statements cannot transform a jar into a piece of cloth“.
More posts by this author:
- Hindu attitude towards scripture
- Science and religion in Indic traditions don’t Conflict
- The strength of the universalistic Hindu position
- An outline of Hindu dharma
- Women and Hindu scriptures
I did my school, college and parts of my University education in Kolkata. I got my M.Sc degree from Kolkata University. I went to USA in 1979 and got my M.S and Ph.D in Physics from University of Pittsburgh in 1984. I did my Post Doctorate in University of Southern California, Los Angeles and then worked as a Research Scientist in the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Space Sciences Center of University of Southern California. My scientific work includes heavy ion-atom scattering, multiphoton ionization and heliosphere data analysis of Pioneer 10/111 and Voyager 1/2 deep space spacecaft and analysis of solar extreme ultraviolet data obtained from SOHO spacecraft. I have been a National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration (NASA) Principal Investigator from 2002 – 2007. I have been a member of a NASA awards committee to decide allocation of money to different scientists. I have also refereed scientific articles submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research and Astrophysical Journal.