Last part 7 introduced to purpose of the Vedic scriptures answering who is the “I” which everyone begins their conversations with. Now doubt arises in student's who begins to question the authenticity of the scriptures. In Vedanta context, the scriptures comprise of: Bhagavad Gita, Brahma Sutra, Upanishads.
Students concern, “The books describe in great detail esoteric rites and rituals belonging to the relative world. How can I accept such books as the final proof on matters of the Absolute?”
The scriptural books are catalogues of various human ends and means. They are a large supermarket of goals and desires and must haves. They are presenting us with choices so numerous, we are confused.
Depending on our values, our individual wisdom and preferences, we can choose various goals enumerated in our sacred books.
When they reveal or describe a rite, ritual or even sacrifice which ‘guarantees' a future result (heavenly experience or earthly pleasures), truth is we have no means to prove or disprove, and neither accept nor reject the revelation held in the sacred books.
Whereas if we have no desire for heavenly pleasures or for other material gains, well aware of their transient nature, then these rites and rituals become meaningless to me.
If however I have set my eyes on the one TRUE END that helps me know for certain the truth of my being (resolving forever my pain and sorrow), then it is to the same texts I must turn… to their final chapters whose words reveal who I am.
Unconcerned with literary criticism of constant repetition, the final chapters repeat at every opportunity, “I am the One and the One is I, the cause, the source of creation”.
When these words are handled by a master who knows the truth of himself, of God (Ishvara) and the world (jagat), they reveal without a doubt the reality of our being.
I cannot over emphasize the sacred books' status, their importance as valid means of knowledge for revealing a fact that already exists.
If I am not aware of a fact already existing, how will I ever discover it or prove it through means of the scriptures? Thus scriptures simply reveal what already IS. We only missed the truth all along because we were either uninterested in the scriptures, or we never met a competent acharya to reveal the essence of the message in a relatable context.
For example, just reading or hearing “I am One, and One is I”, is meaningless words. Thus it has to be handled by a competent teacher of the sacred books (vedas).
It is not a question of chance to understand the truth of “I”. We have to be taught to make us understand.
Just as when we took off our spectacles, “Where are my glasses, they are nowhere to be found?”. We only find them when someone says, “Look, they are on your head”.
In the same way, self-knowledge (revealing nature of “I”) is immediate and without lapse of time or distance. Because this knowledge is already with us right now. However we were unaware of its presence… for which we need external words and knowledge from an external source.
Without words and books, we have no other means to know that what we seek is what we already have. What we seek to become is what we already are.
With or without knowledge – the seeker is always the sought.
Yet we did not know this fact due to our ignorance.
Who or what can remove this not-knowing-ness? Definitely not my mind or senses.
It has to come from without, words from an external source, resulting in immediate knowledge (“I am free, immortal”). Which leads to clarity, objectivity and highest goal in human life accomplished, freedom. And who doesn't want permanent freedom at any moment in time. Thus scriptures are eternally valid.
Therefore the validity of sacred texts is that they serve as means of knowledge by declaring the identity of the Limitless One (Brahman) and the individual “I”.
The subject matter of the texts is not just of the Limitless One. It reveals the nature of the “I”, resolving the equation by means of reduction, proving the “I” is Limitless Consciousness (satcitananda) which can't be further reduced.
Continue reading part 9 of this teacher-student conversation…