Faith and tarka (also Re: Tarka and Yukthi)

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 17 09:44:27 CST 2000

On Wed, 16 Feb 2000 11:26:36 +0530, elmec <elmec at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN>

>Thanks to Sri Anand Hudli for the input on the role of Tarka during the
>stage of Manana. But I have some doubts. Kindly clarify.
>I am given to understand that during Manana one has to use "Yukthi" to
>clear the doubts that arise in the mind. Though the dictionaries say
>that the two words Yukthi and Tarka are synonyms, I feel there is slight
>difference between the two. Yukthi first of all requires basic shradhdha
>in the Shruthi Vakyas and Guru Vakyas before we proceed further, whereas
>a Tarka can sometimes be dry  or Shushka, purely an intellectual
>acrobatic to prove a point theoritically without the basic shradhdha
>involved.  This kind of Tarka will lead us nowhere. Yukthi also involves
>the three Pramaanaas - Pratyaksha, Anumaana and Shabdha (vaidhika
>shabhda). The proof supplied here are objective, which are  in the
>experience of everyone which will substantiate the validity of the
>Shruthi vakyaas. But the Tarka sometimes puts forward Pramaanaas which
>are subjective,  without a strong foundation
>( Apratishtaanam ) ( Kutarka ) just to substantiate the validity of the
>individual's argument.  Therefore " Shruthimathastarkonusandhiiyataam ;
>dustarkaath suviramyataam " .
>Kindly let me know if there is anything wrong in the comments that I
>have put forth. I am always open to corrections.

 I completely agree that kutarka, reasoning that is not in consonance
 with shruti, is unnecessary, even harmful. But then, giving up tarka
 altogether because we are scared of kutarka is not right. One thing
 that we as humans have that animals don't have is the ability to
 reason out things. Even a dog is extremely faithful to his master and
 obeys his master's commands without questioning them. If we were to
 faithfully follow the commands of the shruti without accepting them
 after sound reasoning, how are we much different than a dog? Although
 this will sound obvious, the shruti is meant to  be studied by humans,
 not animals. The shruti, therefore, advises us to inquire into its
 teachings with the aid of reason. It does not compel us to take what it
 says with blind faith. This very fact is what distinguishes the shruti
 from scriptures of many religions which effectively take away the right
 to question their doctrines.

 I completely agree that all teachings of shruti should culminate in
 direct experience. But then, even before we embark on an attempt to
 experience something that the shruti says, it is our very nature as
 humans to try to ensure that what we are attempting is logically
 plausible. Just as the mind by its very nature runs after external
 objects of the senses, the human intellect too by its very nature tries
 to find a rational explanation for everything. Just as silencing of
 the mind is required for the direct realization of the Self, the
 silencing of the intellect too is required for the same realization.
 The intellect can be silenced only by showing that indulging in
 kutarka is futile and that the shruti statments have logically
 plausible explanations.

 Sage VasiShTha advises RAma:

 sundaryA nijayA buddhyA praGYayaiva vayasyayA |
 padamAsAdyate rAma na nAma kriyayAnyayA     ||

 The (highest) abode can be reached, O rAma, with the help of
 Your own beautiful intellect and the friend called praGYA,
 discrimination, but not indeed by any other activity.

 Why does VasiShTha call intellect "beautiful" (sundarI)? For
 animals, external or physical beauty is what makes them
 beautiful. But for humans, it is the inner beauty, the intellect,
 that makes them beautiful.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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