As we have explained; pratyaksha pramanam (sensory perception) is not accepted alone as being a bona fide source of evidence (To err is human; we have those four defects...). But, if that pratyaksha parallels the Vedic conclusion (Shruti pramanam) then it can be and is accepted.
Now, sometimes anumanam (logic and argumentation) leads one, in fact, to make downright absurd conclusions. A funny instance of how anumana went astray was once recounted by a friend who was told the following story by his "manaseega-acharyan," Sri Mukkur Swamy II of the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya (and it will bear recalling here as we indeed relate it to the events at hand):
"One early but bright marghashi morning, many years ago," he began, "I was proceeding from home in Mambalam to Lord Parthasarathy's temple at Tiruvellikeni. Unable to engage an auto-rickshaw immediately, I strolled over to the nearest bus stand. Along with about a half-dozen others gathered there, I began the long and patient wait for the rare privilege of Chennai's (Madras) public transport.
"After about a quarter of an hour, I witnessed a most unusual event. (It was so unusual that a few of my fellow passengers-in-waiting also were drawn to it.) About a hundred yards from where we stood at the bus stop, Usman Road turned sharply into Doraisamy Road. Suddenly an auto-rickshaw pulled up at this same street corner. Eager to engage it, a few of us quickly proceeded towards the rickshaw until what we saw abruptly halted us in our tracks.
"I saw an elderly brahmin gentlemen alighting from the auto-rickshaw. His deportment and demeanour indicated that he was an orthodox vaidika brahmin. He wore his dhoti in the traditional pancha-kaccha style; a roughhewn shawl was draped around his shoulders; he wore the tuft on his head; and on his body and limbs were displayed proudly the twelve marks of the Urdhva-pundram (tilak), shining forth with dazzling brahma-tejas (the lustre of religious grooming)! He looked extremely venerable, indeed--every inch the man given to observing the puritanical discipline of impeccable Vedic conduct.
"As I watched him alight from the rickshaw, I saw this vaidika gentleman pull out some currency from under his shawl and give it to the rickshaw-man. 'The fare perhaps,' I thought. A moment later, I saw him mutter a few words to the same rickshaw-man, and then to my utter surprise--and to all those gathered there at the bus-stop--I watched the venerable brahmin suddenly stride across to the other side of the road and enter Radha Bhavan, the wayside restaurant!
"We were simply aghast. I was speechless, dumbstruck. I could not believe my eyes! Here was I--it flashed across my mind--here was I watching the living proof of Vedic degeneration in the age of Kali!
"As if echoing my own mortification, another gentleman who was standing beside me in the bus stop, who too had just witnessed what I had, began to mutter under his breath to himself but within earshot:
"'Oh, dear, dear,' he said, 'What a sorry sight! Oh "tempora"! Oh mores! What a fall indeed for the Vedic ideal! Why should it surprise us that it doesn't rain enough in the land? Why should it surprise us that there is hunger, poverty, and disease in this land? Why should it surprise us that the gods themselves curse this land of ours? This accursed land where a vaidika-brahmin--in full brahma-vesham and regalia, including his twelve namams (Vaishnava tilaks), his face radiating Vedic tejas-- a brahmin like that thinks nothing of striding boldly, without the least compunction, into a filthy, wayside restaurant for commoners; that too in the broad daylight of an auspicious marghashi morning! Oh dear, dear, dear me! What have we come to in this hallowed land of the Vedas? I wonder what the vaidika gentleman is up to now? Feasting on what the restaurant serves him perhaps? Yesterday's rancid medu-vadai turned into today's steaming special vadai-curry perhaps?'"
Mukkur Swamy continued, "When I overhead my companion's anguished but derisive remarks, a great sadness enveloped me too. The sight of a vaidikan caught 'in flagrant delicto,' transgressing the Vedic code, caught entering a wayside restaurant--just like that!--it pained my heart to see one of our faithful brethren, one of our own, commit the unspeakable!
Unable to tolerate this blatant act of Vedic trespass," Mukkur Swamy continued, "I decided then and there to confront the 'vaidika gentleman.'
"As he came out of the wretched Radha Bhavan, I strode up to him and accosted him in a very belligerent manner. 'What a shame you are, sir, to the Vedic community! You who look so venerable, so full of brahma-tejas, how could you stoop to such low behaviour?
"The poor elderly brahmin turned to me," said Mukkur Swamy, "and looked at me with obvious perplexity.
"'Pray tell me, sir, what have I done now, at this auspicious hour, in the month of marghashi, at this spot here at the intersection of Usman Road and Doraiswamy Road, in the good neighbourhood of Mambalam, in this big city of Chennai. Pray tell me what have I done that has brought shame on the Vedic community and which has moved you to such indignation that it has brought you here with gods-speed to pick a fight with me first thing in the morning!' said the old man equally belligerently.
"I then confronted him with the evidence," said Mukkur Swamy, "with the fact of his visiting Radha Bhavan, a commoner's wayside restaurant, unclean and un-vedic.
"How do you explain your conduct, sir? Is it becoming of you to do this? You who have obviously had pancha-samskara, samashrayanam too!" (the purificatory rites of initiation)
At this point in the narration, Sri Mukkur Swamy paused and looking askance at us with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, and asked:
"Do you know what the old vaidika brahmin did next? He drew his shawl over the shoulders and drawing himself up to his full height, hands on hips, he shouted at me: 'Oy, hold it right there! Hold it! Your anumana has gone all awry!'"
Later it was explained what the old vaidikan meant by saying that Mukkur Swamy's anumanam had gone awry:
"It seems the poor old brahmin on alighting from the auto-rickshaw had handed out the fare with fresh currency notes. The rickshaw-man, however, had expressed difficulty in returning change, for he did not have the necessary denominations of coins. The old man had then pleaded with the rickshaw-man to go over to Radha Bhavan and convert the currency notes into change at the restaurant's cash counter.
"The rickshaw-man however had had better ideas. 'Swamy, these restaurateurs are very rude fellows,' he had said. 'If I go at this early hour in the morning and ask the Radha Bhavan cashier for small denomination change, believe me, he will scream and throw me out! On the other hand, you oh venerable Swamy--you who look so holy, so full of Vedic piety--if you went up to Radha Bhavan and asked for change, I am sure they would not turn you away; they dare not shoo away a good brahmin, as they surely will an auto-rickshaw man like me. So I beseech you, sir, kindly proceed yourself to Radha Bhavan to procure the change and settle my fare!'
"And that was how the poor old vaidika-brahmin had come to pay a visit to Radha Bhavan!"
And that was how, too, Mukkur Swamy's anumanic inference--that the old brahmin had travestied and disgraced the whole Vedic community--that was how, in the end, the anumana of Mukkur Swamy was rendered absurdly erroneous! (…those restaurateurs among you readers do not get up in arms, as I’m only relating a story, and am not making a personal attack on you……)
Srila Prabhupada gives the example that if one sees Lord Nityananda going into a drinking establishment, he should think that He's going there for preaching. Unfortunately, the tendency has arisen in society at large to immediately try to drag another down, and especially if he be opposed to your presentation/opposses your sense gratification... (the tall poppy syndrome).
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