A clear marker of an intelligent person that distinguishes him/her from rest is the quality of questions he/she asks.
Rather, inquisitiveness about the world around us and especially the philosophical queries about our own self is what makes humans superior to the animal species and one with a refined consciousness exhibits this trait more than others. Natural extension of a query is the attempt to find answers to them.
Each intelligent being is trying to find answers for some of the very naive yet important questions such as why are we born? what happens after death? how should we lead our life? what is the source of this entire creation?
While we humans try to find answers of these questions from our own limited experience and philosophical speculations, the ancient Vedic texts caution us against depending completely on our material conceptions and tools to find answer about the non-material.
Vedic texts point out that we are just fragmental portions of the whole and while this human form is best suited for spiritual advancement yet we suffer from four major handicaps.
These handicaps severely limit the possibility of finding answers on our own or from other human beings, even after using our sophisticated material tools.
The first amongst these handicaps is limited capabilities & imperfection of our material sense & tools through which we perceive this material world and try to comprehend and speculate upon the spiritual realm. Our eyes can’t even see in a dark room so how can we expect them to observe something that is non-material. Even if we make use of any of the sophisticated, scientific tools but since these tools are also made by our imperfect material senses they are severely limited in their ability to decipher knowledge about non-material.
Owing to the first limitation of imperfect senses, we are bound to be illusioned. The way on a dark road, we may assume a rope lying on street to be snake, the same way, our senses can trick us when it comes to realising the spiritual truth. Even in matters of this material world, our incomplete understanding led us to believe for a long time that earth is flat or that sun revolves around the earth, so what to say of the matters concerning the non-material.
Third limitation due to which we can’t discover and comprehend the absolute truth on our own is the tendency to make mistakes. Being in a state of illusion and operating under wrong assumptions we are very likely or rather certain to commit mistakes. For instance, living a life according to the worldview that put earth at the centre of the universe or taking a more modern example of lifestyle that denies existence of non-material “consciousness” is a blunder and takes away from us time that could have been well spent on making proper spiritual progress. These mistakes often lead us into a wrong direction and we run the risk of spiritual degradation rather than evolution.
Fourth limitation, an extension of the third limitation, is something that we come across so often – the tendency to cheat. Having committed a mistake, we try to cover up that mistake by not acknowledging it and rather ignoring it thus cheating our own-self and the ones who believed in us. This is a common trait easily observable in our dealings with humans on matters of both material and spiritual nature. There are many “wise” people who even upon knowledge of their faulty propositions and theories about the eternal truth still continue cheating people by peddling those lies. Hence, reliance on human – self & others – for uncovering the absolute truth is a risky proposition.
The safe, certain and easiest way to receive supreme knowledge is through the guidelines and instructions that comes directly from the spiritual source of this entire creation – this knowledge is what Vedic texts contain.
Owing to our limited potential, we on our own can’t comprehend the complete nature of the absolute which is infinite, endless and unborn.
So we must refrain from philosophical speculations and take shelter of the Vedic texts to free ourselves from the darkness, ignorance engulfing our existence in this material, human form.