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Chapter - 2 Vedas are They Relevant Today?


Vedas: The only Source of Perfect Knowledge


In the previous chapter, we discussed the basic definition of God - how He is the supreme enjoyer, proprietor, and control­ler. But how can we acquire further knowledge about Him7 I here are  three ways of acquiring knowledge: pratyakshapramana (di­rect sense perception), anumana pramana (mental speculation) and shabcla pramana (hearing from Vedic authority) (These are  discussed elaborately in the first level course book 'Discover Yourself in this 'Spirituality for the Modern Youth' series. We present only a brief summary here.) All living beings suffer from four  inherent shortcomings: im­perfect senses, tendency to be illusioned, tendency to commit mistakes and propensity to cheat. Since man cannot overcome these drawbacks, no matter what he  does, pratyaksha pramana (direct sense perception) and anumana pramana (mental specu­lation) cannot provide him with perfect knowledge. All knowl­edge acquired through modern science  falls in these two catego­ries only and so is bound to be imperfect.


Shabda pramana is based on hearing from the Vedic author­ity. The knowledge of the Vedas is coming down the ages since j the dawn of creation. The knowledge taught in the Vedas is per­fect,  being given by God Himself (who is free from the above mentioned four defects). This knowledge has come clown in a disciplic succession from Krishna to Brahma to Narada to Vyasa to Madhvacarya to.... Chaitanya Mahaprabhu..... to........Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati to A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of ISKCON. Thus through the unbroken disciplic  succession, the original Vedic knowledge is available to us even today. That material knowledge is imperfect is self-evident from the fact that it undergoes amendments every now and then. Even  in the field of science, scientists keep changing their opinions. For example, Dalton said that the atom cannot be split, Rutherford said that it can be split and Bohr gave a new model. Thus  mate­rial knowledge is relative; it is constantly being revised, modi­fied and updated. On the other hand, the Vedic knowledge is ab­solute; it never changes. The Vedas have stood the test of time  since time immemorial.