The Bhagavadgita on Verbal Testimony, Sabda Pramana


In some situations it is difficult to know what is right and wrong because we have many standards of truth, while our knowledge is relative and colored by our perceptions which are in turn influenced by our desires and attachment. When people lack discretion, they make wrong decisions and support wrong causes. It is also difficult to persuade anyone when one is strongly attached to certain opinions and viewpoints.

In ancient India philosophical and religious differences were resolved mostly through debates and discussion in which the participants would recourse to scriptures since they believed that they contained absolute truths. For the Hindus, the Vedas were the ultimate truth. They depended upon them for verbal testimony (sabda pramana). To determine the authenticity of any belief or viewpoint they looked for confirmation or evidence in the scriptures. They accepted it only if they evidence.

The following verse from the Bhagavadgita confirms this practice,. It states that if you are confused about doing something or making a decision, you should find the answer in the scriptures because the scriptures contain the world's best wisdom infused with God's light and love, and they will not mislead you. "Therefore let the scriptures be your guide in deciding appropriate and inappropriate actions. Knowing the scriptural injunctions properly you should perform your actions." From #Bhagavadgita Free Translation 16.24 by Jayaram V #Hinduism

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yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmy aham

"O Bharata, whenever there is a decline of virute
and ascendanceof evil, then I surely manifest Myself .

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