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The Vedic Authority
The Vedas are not compilations of human knowledge. They come directly from Shri Krishna in the spiritual world and are therefore infallible.
Another name for Veda is Sruti. Sruti means that knowledge which is learnt by hearing. It is not experimental knowledge. It is accepted an axiomatic truth. For example, if one wants to know who one's father is, one has to accept the authority of the mother. There is no question of some experiment for proof that so and so is my father. One just accepts the mothers authority. Similarly, one must accept the Veda in the same way. If something is beyond one's perception, then one must accept a higher authority and that authority is the Vedas. There is no question of experimenting. It has already been experimented. It has already been settled.
There are three kinds of evidence;
1) Pratyaksa - direct sensory experience
2) Anumana - hypothesis or speculation
3) Sabda - accepting by hearing
1) Pratyaksa pramana
This is not perfect or even complete knowledge. In conditioned life one has four defects:
i) The senses are imperfect
ii) one can become illusioned
iii) one has the propensity to cheat others
iv) one has the tendency to commit mistakes.
With all these imperfections it is not possible to conclude something perfect, even though it may be done with some scientific instrument. For example, if I see, touch, smell, etc., a person I will not get a complete understanding of that person, even though I am percieving him with my senses. But if I hear about that person I will get a more perfect understanding.
Another example is trying to ascertain whether man is mortal. If one likes he can go and check every person to see. But, in the process of checking one may make mistakes, miss someone, etc., so sensual perception is not complete. It is better to just accept from those who know.
2) Anumana pramana
This is simply speculation. It may be like this or it may be like that. Modern science is full of maybe, probably, may have been, etc.
An example of this is one may see someone's shoes outside a room. That person may or may not be in the room. In other words one speculates. So this is also not perfect evidence.
3) Sabda pramana
This is accepting by hearing from the right authority.
An example of this is if one recieves a guide from a radio station he accepts it. One does not need to question it or make an experiment because it is recieved from authoritative sources. Similarlay, Vedic knowledge is accepted on the strength of hearing from the right authority, that is why it is called sruti.