FAITH OR REASON ?
Contributed by Sh Suneet Kumar ji
To create harmony between the faith and reason is one of the important problems of the modern age . It is indeed a difficult task as faith belongs to the realm of heart and reason to the mind or intellect . Followers of most of the faiths are told from the childhood to swallow without questions any religious beliefs doled out to them from generation to generation through parents , teachers or spiritual scriptures or gurus . …
In more than 95 cases the children to whom such beliefs are handed over accept them as Truth ; if the rest ever question their veracity , their voice is choked by parents and elders in the family . So only one in thousands raise his voice against traditional religious beliefs even if they be illogical , superstitious or unreasonable . This trend continues from childhood to adolescence . The unreasonableness of such beliefs occurring in most of the world religions except the Vedic Dharma ( as revealed in the Vedas ) becomes clear if we set out to closely examine them . It is well known that those who opposed the traditional beliefs were considered heretics and were severely victimized , punished and even killed . One of the distinguishing feature of the Vedic religion is that Vedas reflect a perfect balance or harmony in faith and reason . while there is great emphasis on faith which is described as Shrddha , we are advised by the Vedas to whet everything with reason , to take nothing for granted . Shraddha , according to the Sanskrit grammer book Nighantu is made up of two roots — श्रत् ( shra ) and धा ( dha ) and they respectively stand for Truth and adoption or preservation . Put together , the two roots imply adoption and preservation of Truth . In conformity with this interpretation Swami Dayanand , in his commentary of the RIGVEDA while providing explanation of one of the mantras ( 7-32-14 ) , describes , Shraddha as love for Truth or the Truthful . And in his commentary on another mantra ( Yajurveda , 20-24 ) he describes Shraddha as protector or preserver of truth . Thus it is clear from the above that a clear link exists between shraddha ( as understood and interpreted in the vedas ) and satya leaving no scope for its messing up with any superstitious belief or any irrational , or illogical tenet or idea . The Vedas visualized that mere faith lead to superstition and mere reason to atheism and therefore , presented a fusion of the two as ideal before the mankind to follow . Therefore they gave equal importance to both placing them side by side and praying for incorporation of the two in equal measure in our lives . It is when the mind and the heart unite and work in harmony that our actions become purifying and uplifting and our onward march continues uninterrupted !!! –
– Excerpt from Acharya Pt.Dharmadeva Vidyamartand ‘s book — Solutions To Modern Problems In Vedas
This book is available for sale at www.vedicbooks.com