We progressed to this point in the
discussion that if we can get knowledge of God, where is He, who is He, what is He, what is our relationship with Him? Then on the basis of that we will develop
faith, and through faith we will get love. How then do we get knowledge of God? Whom should we ask, who is God what does He do? Who will answer these questions for us?
If we ask worldly people, they don’t know for themselves. How will they tell us?
That will be like (Sanskrit) the blind leading the blind. Let’s
say that in some place a lot of blind people gathered. One blind person said
sir, I wish to go to the Radha Krishna temple but I am blind. Can you please
take me someone? The other blind person thought I am blind but the blind man
doesn’t know I am blind. He said, “oh blind man, hold my hand I will take you. Now the two
blind people, they started off. They did not reach the Radha Krishna temple. They
fell into a ditch on the way. Similarly if we ask worldly people in the office,
over a cup of tea, “my dear friends what do you think is God? What do you believe
in and what is your opinion on life after death?” That will only be
intellectual entertainment. It will have no pure spiritual value. So you can’t get knowledge of God from worldly people.
What about the great God-realized Souls, the Saints? The Saints know God. From the Saints, we should be able to find out about God. But the problem here
is how to find a Saint? Supposing 25 Swamis come from India
to DFW area every year. How to find out Which of them is a God realized Saint? And these Saints will not put any board like in India if you wish to find a doctor,
you just go around MG road seeing the board; every town has an MG road, right?
so you check the market and see okay doctor Mukharjee, MBBS, MD, FRCS, London, heart
specialist. Hmmm looks good. let me go and show him. So a Saint will not put up a board,
“God realized, Attained God.” Somebody may
be a Saint. But we will never know. So initially knowledge of God will not be
from the Saints because you can’t find a Saint, you can’t recognize a Saint. Then
what to do? Why not ask God Himself? if you want knowledge of somebody instead
of going to a third party you go to that person, “sir, you please tell me about
yourself.” So in the same way if you want knowledge
of God, rather than ask anybody else you ask God Himself. But how will God answer?
God has answered. Where? In His Vedas. These Vedas
are not a human creation. They are directly the Word of God. (Sanskrit verse) Whenever God creates the world, He manifests the Vedas. Just like you
purchase a machine, and you get the manual along with it. So the Vedas are
the manual. God has manifested His knowledge there and when He dissolves
the world, He assimilates the Vedas back into himself. Historians say, the Rig Veda
is one of the oldest books in the world. But in my opinion this word oldest is a
misnomer. Don’t say oldest. The RigVeda is eternal.
It has always existed. Just like God is eternal His knowledge is also eternal. It
doesn’t have to be newly created in Stanford and MIT. Knowledge of God is His Shakti, His energy. Ever since a fire has existed, its heat and light have
existed. Ever since God has existed, His Bliss has existed, His knowledge has
existed. So God’s knowledge is eternal. When He created our world,
He first manifested the Vedas in the heart of the first born Brahma. Brahma
passed the Vedic knowledge to his disciple, he passed it on to his disciple,
he passed it on to his disciple. In this way the Vedic knowledge came through the parampaara, hearing it through the ear That is why another name for the Vedas
is Shruti. Shruti means that knowledge, which is received through the ear.
However, 5,000 years ago, when the lord Himself took avatar
as VedaVyas, he looked into the coming age of kali
and he thought the people of Kalyug, which means us folks,
we will not be Shrutidhari. We will not have the capacity to hear and remember.
In fact we will forget in three hours flat. Do this. “All right Swamiji.” After
three hours, “did you do it?” “I forgot Swamiji.” What a fantastic memory you have, you
forget in three hours. So VedaVyas could see all this. He decided now a book
will be needed. He put that knowledge in writing and he divided the one body of
knowledge into four parts, the RigVeda, YajurVeda, SamVeda, AtharvaVeda.
So he is called Veda Vyasa, the divider of the Vedas but nobody calls him Veda Rachayita or Vead Pranita, the writer. He is the divider. The writer is God Himself. So
the Vedas are Sanatan (eternal) and the path, the science that the Vedas are
teaching, the science of God realization is an eternal science. It is
non-sectarian. That is why they call it sanatana dharma, the eternal path. The
word ‘hindu’ doesn’t come in the Vedas. That word developed historically. The
mongals on the other side of the hindu kush, they said the people living on this
side are the hindus. But the vedas are not teaching us hindu dharma, they are
teaching us Sanatan Dharma, the eternal religion. Actually all religions are
eternal, because they are talking about the eternal God
and the eternal soul. But they are giving limited knowledge, like the pocket
dictionary and the complete unabridged oxford dictionary. It is like ten blind
man went to see an elephant; one grabbed the tail. Because he was blind, he gave his
decision, “my dear friends this elephant is like a rope.” The 2nd grabbed the leg. Again
because of lack of vision, he decided the elephant is like a tree trunk. The third
put his hand on the stomach. He said the elephant is flat like a wall.
The fourth got the Tusk. he said the elephaant is pointed like a spear. The fifth
got the ear. He said, the elephant is like a fan. Now they all started fighting.
Somebody with eyes came. He said, look there is no reason to fight. You are all
describing the elephant, but you are describing a section/portion of the
elephant. All this together is that elephant. In the same way, sometimes
Dharma’s start fighting. My religion is right, yours is wrong . Mine is right and yours is wrong, and yours is so wrong that I need to kill you. But the Vedas say, look you
are all right; please don’t fight! But you are describing a section of the
knowledge and the entire spectrum of knowledge from ABCD of spiritual
knowledge till where it goes, it is all there in the Vedas. Those Vedas then are
the authority. (Sanskrit verse) Any spiritual principle must be validated on the authority of the Vedas. See, if we do that
we’ll never make a mistake. otherwise everybody comes up with a new
theory. And you say, where did you get this theory from? “This was told by God to my
guru in a private room.” God told your guru in a private room? And the
Vedas are telling us something, and the same Vedic knowledge is given by Sur das, Tulsi das, Meera bai, Tukaram, Narshi Mehta Namdev, Shankar Acharya, Madhavacharya. “They are
all wrong, and what my guru was told in a private room is right.” So – beware of
such things. Any spiritual principle must be on the authority of Vedic knowledge.
That Vedic knowledge was elaborated in the 2 Etihas, the Ramayana and the
Mahabharata including the Bhagavad Gita, the 18 puranas, like the Bhagavad purana,
the Shad Darshan like Mimansa, Vedant Nyaya, Vaishesik, Sankhya, Yog, and the hundred Smriti texts, the thousands of Nivandh. These are elaborating the Vedic
knowledge. Hence they are called Vedic literature. So this entire body of Vedic
literature. Just like there is the constitution of America, and commentaries
written by lawyers. All these can be used to understand the Constitution.
Similarly we use all the Vedic knowledge. So let’s find out from the Vedas about God.