astika vs. nastika

elmec elmec at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Jul 11 12:03:08 CDT 2000

Vaidya Sundaram wrote:

> namaskArams.
>  While I was going through "Dialogues with a Guru" (Guru = Sri Sri
> Chandrasekhara Bharati mahAswamigal of Srngeri), I came across a topic
> where H.H is discussing the qualifications of a person to call himself
> astika. He notes that three questions have to be answered  "Yes". They are:
> (paraphrased)
> a) Do you believe in the existence of God
> b) Do you believe in the presence of lokas other than the current perceived
> one
> c) Do you agree to the superiority (or veto role) of the Vedas in the
> matters pertaining to the realm of Atmajnana
> H.H says that even if one of the above are answered in the negative, the
> aspirant is a nastika and is therefore not fit to take up discussion or
> study or otherwise of vedanta ...

Hari Om,

In the above three conditions, the first one is surely a necessity. Only when
one has  faith in the existence of a supreme energy which is all pervasive,
does one ponder over its nature and strive to realise it.

And in matters which are beyond our sensory perception, the authority of the
vedas are to be accepted.

But the second condition need not be applied for a person who is in search of
the ultimate truth which is the essence of the upanishads or vedanta. The
lokas other than the current one in which we live are , I think, dealt with in
the karma kaandas of the vedas. One who wishes to attain those punya lokas need
to have faith in that portion of the vedas and perform all the austerities
prescribed there to achieve them. But one who wants only the Brahman and
nothing less than that need not bother about other realms of existence, I feel.
However, irrespective of the faith one has in those lokas, one should revere
the karma kandas also and pay due respect to what is stated there as it is part
of the veda.

Latha Vidyaranya.

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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