His Holiness Sripada Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji - Puttige Swami speaks on Sin and other topics: Part 4.

During Shri Puttige swamiji's visit to Detroit, we had a wonderful Q & A session. I am trying to post some of them for the benefit of others.  If there is any mistake or improper message, it is only due to my poor translation.

     I hope this to lead for further "jijnasa" to enlighten ourselves.

Dear Devotees,

  Here is the last part of Q & A session. I am thankful to you all for providing me this opportunity to serve Shri Hari.

Shri Hari Priyatham.
"GOPALAKRISHNA.B VARNA" bgkvarna@yahoo.com
Mon, 13 Dec 1999 12:12:20 -0800 (PST)

Q. 1) We are considering  ‘Vedas’ as prime source of knowledge and 'Vedas' are reference for all other  'sastras'. Why we need to believe that 'Vedas' are true and unquestionable? Why we can not question the authenticity of 'Vedas'?

SWAMIJI: Good question. Any invention or research of unknown subject first starts with some hypothesis and assumptions. If the assumptions are true, then he will get good results and finds out or realizes new knowledge. If the assumptions are wrong, he will realize that also very soon and he will not find any way out further to pursue his research. Similarly while studying any new book on any unknown subject, first we have to respect the author for his writing and proceed further assuming that he is telling truth in that book. If we find it not so, then we need to question that or condemn that in our own research publications. Without studying any subject, we should not doubt that. After studying only we will come to know, whether it is right or wrong.

    So one has to start studying 'Vedas' and with a belief that they are true and proceed further. As you go further deep and deep in your study, then you will realize that your belief is not blind. It is a true belief. We can not understand complex subjects of engineering and medicine when we are in pre-school. We need to believe that they are true and study all fundamental subjects first. Then we can understand those complex subjects. Similarly we need believe 'Vedas' and study all the scriptures. Then you will realize that yours is not blind belief and 'Vedas' are really eternal truth.

Q 2) The religion people also claim that their scriptures are authentic and 100% true. How can we say deny that and claim that our scriptures are only true?

SWAMIJI: You can also study other scriptures like Bible or Quoran. There is no harm in that. After studying them, you will find that all of them have blind belief. Also you will realize that our scriptures are more authentic and there is no blind belief in that. We have lot of examples in our own history. Lot of people have tried to disprove the trueness of Vedas. Like 'Charvakas', Jainism, Buddhism etc., started their own cults, saying that 'Vedas' are not true. But none of them could prove successfully so far. Secondly Vedas are there since the time immemorial and inspite of many people's attempt to destroy / disprove that, it has survived because it is true and eternal.

        Another important thing is that no one from other religion claims that their scriptures are "Apourusheya". It is only we say that 'Vedas' are "Apourusheya". All other religion's scriptures are started from one person and it consists of limited knowledge of that person and also includes of all the defects of that person's knowledge. It can not be a perfect or 100% true. It is like reading a science book of 50-100 years old. It was true for the scientist at that time but not now. Similarly whatever other religion prophets have written, they are true for them and not eternal truth. But 'vedas' are not written by any one. They are eternal and so they are ture and defectless.

      One more important point is that, already so many great people have spent their life in studying and researching this. Great saints of earlier days, and great Gurus like Shri Acharya Madhwa, Shri Jayatheerthru, Shri Vadiraaja swamiji, Shri Raghavendra swamiji and many others have spent their life in studying these scriptures and  result of their research is available to us. So we need not 'reinvent the wheel' once again. We can study those things and if we find any inconsistency or imperfect, then we can continue  research and try to find out the authenticity and validity of 'Vedas'.

Q.3) What is the proof to say that 'Vedas' are 'Apourusheya'?

SWAMIJI: We don't need any special proof to say that 'Vedas' are 'apourusheya'. If we can not prove that someone authored it, then it gets proved that it is 'apourusheya'. In our philosophy 'jiva' and 'paramathma' are 'anadhi' and like that 'Vedas' are also 'anadhi'; not created by anybody.

Q 4) Why we need to believe 'Vedavyasa' and his writings?

SWAMIJI: It is very simple. Why do you believe your parents and how are you sure that they only are your parents? It is because you have seen them loving you, caring you and trying to do all the best to you. So you are convinced that they are your parents and you listen to their words. Similarly saints from ages have studied the writings of 'Vedavyasa' and found that they are all true and good for the mankind. If they were not true or harmful to the mankind, those writings would have been discarded or abandoned long time back. They would not have survived all these days.

Q 5) In Hanuman - Bhima - Madhwa, why there is no pooja for Bhima?

SWAMIJI: We can do Pooja for Shri Bhimasena also. I have heard there is an idol of Bhimasena somewhere. We don't have pooja for many of the avathara of God, say Mathsya, Kurma, Vamana etc. There is no specific reason for that. It is all devotees liking.  Another point that Hanuman is one 'amsha' of Shri Prana Dhevaru. Bhimasena is another 'amsha' and same 'amsha' has reincarnated as 'Shri Madhwacharya'. So if we worship 'Shri Madhwa', it is same as worshipping 'Shri Bhimasena'.

Q 6) What is original swaroopa of 'Shri Prana Dhevaru'? (Vayudev)

SWAMIJI: 'Pancha mukhi' Pranadhevaru.

Q 7) Are gents better than ladies as per shastra?

SWAMIJI: Better or superiority is terms of 'jnana' and 'Guna'. It need not be gents. Ladies can also have higher 'jnana' and 'yogyahta'. And ladies need not be originally ladies. They are ladies in the present birth. They can be gents in the next birth. Similarly in husband and wife, any one can be superior in terms of 'jnana' and 'yogyatha'. This husband and wife relationship is only for this life. They need not be husband and wife forever. Such relationship is only for higher level souls like Gods, seven great sages etc.

Q 8) In puranas they tell lot of benefits for doing 'dhana' and other rituals. Is it really true?

SWAMIJI: It is called as 'Artha-vadha', meaning for motivation purpose. We cannot take all of them as 100% true. It is just to promote those good attitudes, they are telling like that.  It is to strengthen our feelings and our interests. There is some 'benefit' for doing those good things, but not that much always as specified in puranas. It is like telling kids that if you do 'namaskara' to God everyday, you will get first class. But we know by 'namaskara' alone they don't get first class.

Q 9) Then how do we believe those puranas? They are considered as 'authentic sources' and they are supposed to to be true.

SWAMIJI: There are different classifications in 'authentic sources' or 'pramana Grantha'. In purana itself they  mention that 'rochanarthe palashruthi:' meaning  'benefits are for motivation'.  We know the fundamental truth that 'moksha' is only by 'sadhana', 'jnana' and by 'realization of God'. This is the ultimate truth. Rest all is only to promote this truth. If we know this ultimate truth, then we will not get confused. For small kids we say many things to motivate them and to understand at their level, but the grown up children know that they are all not 100% true. Puranas also use similar technique to motivate people.

Q 10) Why we need to do rituals like 'homa', 'Vratha' etc?

SWAMIJI: Rituals are expression of our devotion and respects towards God. By performing rituals our feelings gets strengthened. In our daily life, whenever we feel happy or sorrow, we express them in some or other forms. We can not confine them to ourselves. Similarly rituals are expression of our devotions, gratitude and humbleness towards God for granting us all these opportunities. If we do rituals, without feeling or devotion, then it is of no use.

Q 11) What is meant by 'jnana-poorvaka Bhakthi'?

SWAMIJI: There are two faces in the 'Bhakthi'/'devotion'. One is love and other is knowledge. Not everybody will be having both. 'Devotion' with the right knowledge is the best one. We need to know why we have devotion towards GOD. We can have devotion towards GOD just because we have poverty and difficulties. We can also have devotion towards GOD because he is 'Supreme', 'Omnipresent', 'sarvashaktha', full of knowledge and bliss etc. Having devotion with right knowledge of GOD is the best one and having maximum results. The other devotion is blind devotion. It will not be concrete  oneand may get disturbed at anytime.

But  still it will have some result of 'phala'.

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