Disturbing attitudes to philosophical treatment
This is a disturbing trend that sometimes surfaces amid forum discussions whenever philosophical points come up for discussion. The discussion and it's pursuance is usually a waste of time given the lack of knowledge exhibited by most devotees, but the attitude towards scriptural authority itself is a concern. One should do well to remember that even SB includes it in his "mission statement" to re-establish the authority of the Vedas and Shastras as his mission and educate humanity about them.
Besides that, the excuse is often made that since SB was born and raised in India it would naturally be the case that he affords importance to the Vedic body of scripture. As far as I know, this sentiment first openly appeared in David Bailey's book that he wrote when he was a devotee. I disagreed with it then just as I do now. To be devoted to an "avatar" such as Sai Baba means that you are affirming your belief that he is an incarnation of God. As such, would it be proper for any so-called devotee to subject the words of "God" to his own myopic and narrow relative standards? In other words, as far as the devotee is concerned, the word of his master is law and if Sai Baba makes it a priority in his mission to re-establish and affirm the authority of the Vedas and Shastras as he says, then the matter is final.
In this way, some SB devotees appear to have the impression that, upon reaching an "advanced" stage in their spiritual life, they have no further need for scriptural guidance and that it becomes obsolete or even irrelevant. They claim that this is the position of Vedanta also. This is a factual error for Vedanta says no such thing. In some circles it would even be considered a blasphemy to say such things.
What the Vedanta does say, however, is zAstra-yonitvAt (shaastra-yonitvaat). This is the third sutra of Vedanta, and it roughly means that God is the source of the scriptures and thus there are no other means of knowledge to seek God apart from them. Rather interesting, I'd say. And considering that this is the actual Vedantic position, I'd say that you'd be hard-pressed to find a scholar who'd agree that scriptural guidance becomes irrelevant at some point in time. For a start, this would render meaningless the claims to eternal guidance, as well as the fact that even fully-realised gurus who factually have no need of scripture (as they have attained realisation) would still follow scriptural rules for the purposes of setting an example for the populace to follow. As the Bhagavad-gita (3.21) says:
tat tad evetaro janaH
sa yat pramANaM kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow.
And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
Since you rarely find a saint disobeying scriptural regulations, the conclusion is clear.
Copyright © Sai Baba EXPOSED! 2005-2007. Discuss this post!
Return To Main Page