The Vedic-Upanisadic Concept of Brahman (The Highest God)
In India, unlike the West, the line of demarcation between philosophy and religion is so very thin that the one often flows into the other, making her philosophy as much religious as her religion philosophical. This is particularly true of Hinduism and is evident from the fact that the Vedas, the foundational scriptures of the Hindu religion, stand as the unquestionable authority for all the six orthodox systems of Hindu philosophy (āstika darsana). In these systems the Vedas are often invoked as the final court of appeal in matters of philosophical controversy, or a well reasoned conclusion arrived at by a valid logical argument is sought to be corroborated by some textual citations from the Vedas as a plea for its acceptance. Indeed, the very definition of Hindu orthodoxy (āstikya) which distinguishes it from other non-Hindu heterodox (ñastika) systems of Indian religions, like Buddhism and Jainism, affirms its unqualified faith in the truth of the Vedas. This is borne out by the fact that though Hinduism in the course of time branched off into a bewildering variety of conflicting sects, none of them quarrels over the authority of the Vedas; and the Vedas are claimed to command such infallible authority because their contents are believed to be the records of direct revelation of Truth received by the pure-hearted saints and seers of remote antiquity.
KeywordsEssential Identity Direct Revelation Hindu Religion Indian Religion Vedic Literature
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