Lakhs and lakhs of people across the world accept and read Bhagavad Githa. Is it because it was said by Sri Krushna? No! We accept it because it is in agreement with Vedam, our primary pramanam (source of knowledge). It is so important to understand the significance of pramanam, the Vedam here. We accept the knowledge perceived by sensory organs and inference only when they are in agreement with Vedam. We also talked about this earlier that our eyes can cheat us. For example: Don’t your eyes make you feel like trees are moving backwards on a moving train? You may say that when you understand science of moving objects, you will know the truth that it is the train that is moving and not the trees. But, the point here is – ‘Are your eyes sufficient in all times and situations to give you entire knowledge?’ We have taken ‘eyes’ as an example of one sensory organ. So, the knowledge obtained through sense organs is limited. It is important to reinstate these fundamentals. How about another example? Does sunrise in the east? And sets and goes back to its home in the west? No. It stays there, the earth moves. But, we perceive as if Sun is rising in the east. But, with the help of other sources of knowledge, we understand the facts.
That is why Vedam is considered the primary pramanam. Any knowledge perceived through sense organs and inference are accepted only when it is in agreement with Vedam. So, Bhagavad Githa is to be accepted by all of us because it is in agreement with Vedam, not because it is heard as said by Sri Krushna.
There are 17 ideologies such as ‘Charwaka, Jainism, Bowdham, Sakhyam, Yogi, Pasupathi, Maya vadam etc.’Some of these ideologies such as ‘Charwaka’ do not accept Vedam. Some of the others are in agreement with only parts of Vedam. All of these are trying to describe the state of ‘samsaram (bonded state)’ and ‘moksham (liberated state)’ in the ways of their understanding. Let’s see an analogy here to understand how all of these are formed.
Imagine that you are asked to close your eyes along with an elephant in a room. Don’t worry, you are safe! :-) Let’s say, you have never known what an elephant looks like. Now, you are asked to describe it. You touched and felt its tail and described the elephant as about 1.3m long and tipped by a series of very coarse, wire-like hairs. We repeat this exercise with a few more people. Another person touched and felt its trunk and described the elephant as about 2.1m long, weighs about 180kg and boneless. Another person touched and felt the stomach of the elephant and described it as a very fat, and heavy rounded animal. So, Vedam is so huge that people began to take a part or two of the scripture and came up with the definitions and answers for all common questions around ‘samsaram’ and ‘moksham’ etc. Just like how the elephant was being described as only the part that the person got a chance to understand and feel because of the limitations.
Bhagavad Ramanuja’s ideology is in complete agreement with the entire Vedam and describes the three entities (Soul, Nature and God) comprehensively. He describes them as real (not illusion) and explainsall the attributes of each of them. (If you want to know why this ideology is comprehensive and not others, you can listen to the Bhagavad Vishayam discourse videos of Sri HH Chinnajeeyar Swamiji on ideologies)
Now, out of these three entities, as a soul –let’s say you may not want God. May be you want to stay in this Nature because it is very colourful giving you loads of wonderful experiences. You know that they are temporary, but it’s okay. You still want to be in it and enjoy it better and better. Even in such a case, it is only God that you will need to seek refuge of because he knows ways to work with nature. If you hold onto nature and seek its refuge, you will end up being in its control and will have no guarantee of the way it will work on you. For example: If you want a pet dog to not harm you, you are better off by seeking refuge of the owner. If you hold your hands or try to pat the dog yourself – you are only experimenting!
– From the discourses of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami on Bhagavad Vishayam, 18th July!