"...no one can establish his existence experimentally beyond the proof of çruti, or Vedic wisdom. We have to accept this truth, because there is no other source of understanding the existence of the soul, although it is a fact by perception. There are many things we have to accept solely on grounds of superior authority. No one can deny the existence of his father, based upon the authority of his mother. There is no source of understanding the identity of the father except by the authority of the mother. Similarly, there is no source of understanding the soul except by studying the Vedas. In other words, the soul is inconceivable by human experimental knowledge." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. 2:25. purport.)
SYNONYMSçrutir mätä påñöä diçati bhavad-ärädhana-vidhià
yathä mätur väëé småtir api tathä vakti bhaginé
puräëädyä ye vä sahaja-nivahäs te tad-anugä
ataù satyaà jïätaà murahara bhavän eva çaraëam
çrutiù—Vedic knowledge; mätä—like a mother who is affectionate to her children; påñöä—when questioned; diçati—she directs; bhavat—of You; ärädhana—worship; vidhim—the process; yathä—just as; mätuù väëé—the instructions of the mother; småtiù—småti-çästras, which explain the Vedic literatures; api—also; tathä—similarly; vakti—express; bhaginé—like a sister; puräëa-ädyäù—headed by the Puräëas; ye—which; vä—or; sahaja-nivahäù—like brothers; te—all of them; tat—of the mother; anugäù—followers; ataù—therefore; satyam—the truth; jïätam—known; mura-hara—O killer of the demon Mura; bhavän—Your Lordship; eva—only; çaraëam—the shelter.
“ ‘When the mother Vedas [çruti] is questioned as to whom to worship, she says that You are the only Lord and worshipable object. Similarly, the corollaries of the çruti-çästras, the småti-çästras, give the same instructions, just like sisters. The Puräëas, which are like brothers, follow in the footsteps of their mother. O enemy of the demon Mura, the conclusion is that You are the only shelter. Now I have understood this in truth.’ (Sri Chaitanya Charitamrta Madhya-lila 22:6.)
"This world is full of darkness and ignorance, but Kåñëa consciousness is transcendental to this material world. In Kåñëa consciousness, there is no darkness but simply light. If we try to find things at night, it becomes very difficult; however, in the daytime, there is no difficulty. The çästras enjoin that we leave this darkness and come to light. This light is given by the guru.“I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.”om ajïäna timirändhasya
cakñur unmélitaà yena
tasmai çré-gurave namaù
It is the guru’s business to give light by knowledge. The guru has completely assimilated the Vedic essence of life. Çruti, knowledge, is received by hearing. It is not experimental. We cannot understand that which is beyond our sense perception by experiment. We cannot understand who our father is by experimental knowledge. One cannot say, “Let me find out who my father is by experiment.” Our father was existing before we were existing, and it is not possible to understand by experimental knowledge that this or that man is my father. The real authority is the mother; therefore Vedic knowledge has been likened to the mother and the puräëas to the sisters. We should understand from the Vedas what ultimate knowledge really is. The ultimate knowable objective is Kåñëa, and simply by understanding Kåñëa, we can understand everything. We do not have to understand things separately. Kåñëa is within our hearts. He is not far away; rather, He is everywhere. If Kåñëa sees that we are attached to Him, He becomes our friend. He is a friend to everyone, but He is especially a friend to His devotees. As Kåñëa Himself says in Bhagavad-gétä (10.11):“Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.”teñäm evänukampärtham
aham ajïäna-jaà tamaù
Jïäna is there, it is simply covered with the curtain of ignorance. Light is there, and darkness is there, but when we are in darkness we cannot see things as they are. Kåñëa says that as one devotes himself to rendering service, He Himself dispels the darkness of ignorance. If we actually want to become perfect in this life, we only need to engage in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavän. It is not that Bhagavän is difficult to find. Bhagavän is within the heart. Éçvaraù sarva bhütänäà håd-deçe ’rjuna tiñöhati (Bg. 18.61). That is the real Bhagavän, within the hearts of all. That Bhagavän is always active. He instructed Brahmä, the lord of the universe, and Brahmä, having received Kåñëa’s instructions, created the entire universe. Kåñëa will also give instructions to us if we simply take to devotional service." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Teachings of Lord Kapiladeva 10. verse 19. purport.)
A practical demonstration of when people cannot or will not accept the Shastric truths is as follows in the story of LALU AND KALU:
Lalu and Kalu refused to learn anything. They were just scamps. All they wanted to do was fritter away their lives. So they refused to learn anything. Their father was trying by so many ways to get them educated, and by so many ways they were driving the teachers away by their rascal behaviour. So because the father was wealthy, he proclaimed, "I will give half the wealth of my business to any teacher who can simply educate my two boys in simple arithmetic, because if they can learn how to add up sums, then they can at least later in life do some business. I can give them some part of my business, and they can carry on. But they must at least learn how to add up sums. If they can't do that, then they'll be totally useless to me."
So he proclaimed this, and then one old brahmana came. The brahmana was very old. He had seen alot of life, and he'd seen many different kinds of bad students, so he was quite experienced. So he said, "Let me give it a try." Unlike all the other teachers, he wasn't acting like a teacher. He decided, "I'll act like I'm the friend of these boys." So then he said, "Boys, let's forget about these lessons and go for a walk." So he took Lalu and Kalu for a walk, and took them out to the field, and there were some cows grazing there.
So then he turned to Lalu and said, "Lalu, I wonder if you could tell me how many legs that cow has." So then Lalu very eagerly said, "Yes. One, two..." he began to count and the teacher was thinking, "Ah, he's learning, very good." But then Kalu put his hand over Lalu's mouth. "Don't say any more! He's trying to trick you! He wants to teach you how to count. Therefore he's asking you how many legs that cow has. Don't say another word." This is the crafty cunningness of the materialist. This Kalu thought he was being so clever in outwitting the teacher, but this cleverness is simply the symptom of his own foolishness, his own rascaldom.
The teacher was trying in so many ways to trick the boys, but they were so clever, so over intelligent, that they avoided any lesson that the teacher tried to get them to take up. So finally, the old brahmana became tired. He said, "Well boys, it's been a hard day. I'm going to take a nap." So they retired in some room. "Let's lay down here and take rest." So the boys pretended to go to sleep. But they waited and when they saw that the teacher was snoring peacefully, they got up and started smoking, because they were rascals. And then the teacher woke up suddenly. The boys very quickly threw the cigarettes out the window and jumped back into bed and pretended that they were sleeping. The teacher looked around and saw smoke in the air, he smelt it. He woke up the boys. "What have you been doing? You've been smoking!" The boys pretended like they were being woken up. "Hm? What are you saying? Smoking? We've been sleeping."
The teacher said, "No no, look. The room is filled with smoke. Obviously you've been smoking." So the boys began to argue with the teacher. "No no. Obviously what has happened is that why we were all sleeping, some person came in here and was smoking. Someone else."
The teacher grabbed their hands and smelt them. "No! I can smell on your fingers cigarette smoke!" Then they boys just persisted, "No no, obviously what has happened is that the man who came in here to smoke placed the cigarettes between our fingers and was holding our hands to his mouth and smoking like that."
So then the old brahmana was finally driven to distraction. He went to the boy's father, and said, "I'm sorry. I can do nothing with them. They're such rascals. They continually persist in their rascaldom."
MORAL: This is what's goin on today also. The so called intelligence and expertise shown by today's materialists is just like that. It is actually a demonstration of their own incapacity to understand the simple truth of life.
"When the question of *pramana-tattva* comes up, we should know which evidence is the real and correct evidence...
srimad bhagavatam pramanam amalam
prema pumartha mahan
sri-caitanya mahaprabhor matam idam
tatradarah na parah
"Caitanya Mahaprabhhu has said that the Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless proof--*pramanam amalam*. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the essence of all Vedic literature--*sarva-vedanta-saram hi srimad-bhagavatam isyate* (Srimad Bhagavatam 12:13:15.)
"And Mahaprabhu gave his opinion that Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless proof. We accept it because *prema-bhakti-tattva* has been described in this Srimad-Bhagavatam.
"Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada has said 'If all the different books of all the departments of knowledge from the libraries of the world will be destroyed, there will be no loss at all if only one Srimad-Bhagavatam is there.' Srimad-Bhagavatam is such a *sastra*. The essence of all Vedas and the spotless proof--*amala pramana*. *Tatradarah
na parah*--if you quote Bhagavatam then that is proof. We will not accept that proof which is not accepted by Bhagavatam." (Flow of Nectar, p 27-28.)