The Vedas are the great treasure of mankind. The knowledge based on perception is gained thru 5 gateways of sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Unfortunately the perception of this form of knowledge is about external objects and cannot be used for knowing the “Self”. The second way of knowledge, the “inference” is also based on one’s intellect, analysis and contextual understanding of external objects. Based on different contexts, this knowledge will change or inference will change (Take the examples of so many scientific theories which were praised & accepted first and then proven wrong through a different kinds of inference under different context.) This form of knowledge again cannot be used knowing the self, as it is outside the domain of inference and also subject to change.
It is no secret that the Vedic knowledge is rapidly disappearing in India. Because the knowledge is so vast, it is not a simple matter preserving it. As an example, Tulsidas’ and Valmeeki’s Ramayana’s are secure. But what about the other 200 or so versions of the Ramayana in India? Every week an old pundit dies, and another chunk of knowledge dies with him.
Since the “Self” is beyond Perception and Inference, this is where Veda comes for the rescue. It offers a third form of knowledge which is beyond the usual means and gives statements on reality of the self. The fundamental qualification of the seeker of Moksha is the acceptance of Veda as a source and the only real source of knowledge. This attitude of accepting the Vedic knowledge as “Pramana Shastra” is called as “Sraddha” (dedication). With Sraddha the seeker first “accepts” and then tries to validate through deep analysis, discussions, clarifications till the last traces of doubts are removed. This is a different attitude from the modern western way of seeking knowledge where proof precedes the acceptance.
The analogy given for a Pramana Knowledge is like someone saying – “Prove me that I can see first, before I open my eyes.” It is impossible to prove this form of knowledge. All that is needed is “Open & see yourself”.
Everone should study Veda with Sraddha, if they wish to come out of this endless cycle of Samsara and constant fear of insecurity and unhappiness. It is to be noted that, the very act of taken birth as humans and come thus far to stumble on this knowledge proves that fact that we have done innumerable “Punyas” in out previous birth to get to this state.