Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Empirical evidence to establish truth?

The need for empirical evidence and physical artifacts to establish truth– this is the standard in today’s world. There is no need to study the character of the researcher and there is no need to put faith in such a researcher for the truth. Character analysis and informed faith is not part of modern science. Henceforth the stories in the Bhagavatam and the Puranas are considered a myth.

Krishna, a seven year old boy, lifted the Govardhan Hill which is roughly 15 mile in diameter. A rational mind seeking empirical evidence will think this is impossible. The obvious and easy conclusion, therefore is, the story must be a myth. There are other “mythological” stories such as Krishna and Balarama jumping down from an 80 mile high mountain. First of all is there even a mountain that high? The tallest mountain peak today is the Mt Everest and is roughly 6miles high…80 miles, impossible? Even if such a tall mountain existed, how is it possible for one to jump and then survive? No doubt…it is a myth. There is another story where Krishna (one person) expanded 16,108 times and married 16,108 wives and had 16,108 huge palaces with lakes, avenues and causeways and all this in a small island off the coast of modern day Gujarat called Dwaraka.  Logically and spatially it is impossible to fit all the palaces, lakes, and gardens as per the description in the Bhagavatam within a small island called Dwaraka, it must be a myth! Like this the Bhagavat Purana and other Puranas are filled with tales that are seen as mythology by modern day scholars and Indologists.

The reason it is considered a myth is because there is no physical evidence to back the stories and besides, the stories are beyond human rationale and capabilities. Therefore the Puranas and the Vedas are primarily educational and theoretical. There may be some cultural satisfaction. The fact is we are limited by our own mind and empirical science. Rather than trying to open our minds and accept a reality beyond our experience, we relegate such Puranic knowledge to antiquity with little practical value.

Just as the quality of a product is rated based on its brand value similarly the value of scholarly literature is dependent on the scholar (the author). The author in discussion is a saint by name VedaVyas. He wrote the entire Vedas and Puranas for our benefit. If we scrutinizingly analyze the character of such saints, we have to conclude that they are not mundane beings seeking pleasures of this world. Why then would they write fictional stories wasting our time? They live simply for the benefit of others. Therefore we have to conclude that these books were written for our ultimate material and spiritual benefit.  In that mood of respect towards Vyas muni, one should accept the words of the Vedas and Puranas with faith and reverence and as fact (not myth).

If we simply go beyond our empirical three-dimensional mind we can begin to understand such literature with immense spiritual value. To think outside the box, I would start off by asking - why is empirical evidence and physical artifact considered the only method to establish truth?

Hare Krishna

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