Arun: Bhagavat geeta Chapter 17.28 (the last verse of chapter seventeen) reads ‘Asraddaya hutam dattam…..na ca tat pretya no iha’ ‘Asraddha daanam’ will not do any good in this world as well as coming world – janma’. I admit this statement whole heartedly. Taithireeyopanisad – Shiksha valli 11 anuvaka reads ‘ sraddaya deyam asradhaya deyam’. Swami Dayananda translated this in satyarthaprakash ‘ Why this scriptural difference in two seperate books? Which is the correct one geeta or upanisad? If both are correct what is bhava behind?
Swami Ram Swarup: Yes, please both are correct.
According to Vedas the knowledge is required to be gained first then only an aspirant become capable of discharging his moral duties faithfully i.e., he becomes capable to perform pious deeds.
Rigveda mantra 10/151/1 throws light on shraddha(faith). Mantra states the meaning of shraddha which is – Shrat+dha.
‘Shrat’ means eternal truth which is everlasting. ‘Dha’ means Dharanna i.e., concentration, devotion. Hence, shraddha means that when an aspirant first knows the meaning of satya (truth) there after he fully concentrates on the truth without any doubt/misunderstanding etc. Nowadays after deep study of Vedas and shastras hardly an aspirant become capable to know satya(truth). The above mantra says that based on shraddha (faith)-(eternal truth) fire is ignited for doing agnihotra/yajyen. Here I would like to say that entire public is listening about “shraddha” then why the public does not ignite the fire in hawankund for doing agnihotra /yajeyn as is stated in the above quoted ved mantra. Whether there seems to be a misunderstanding to create one’s own meaning of shraddha keeping aside the eternal meaning given in Vedas and Shastras. Now I would like to quote Bhagwad Geeta shloka 2/16. where in Yogeshwar Sri Krishna Maharaj has stated the eternal meaning of satya(truth). Yogeshwar Sri Krishna Maharaj says-
“NAASATO VIDYATE BHAVO NAABHAVO VIDYATE SATAHA,
Meaning:- Oh! Arjun truth never ceases to exist i.e., truth always prevails. I want to explain more about the truth that truth is the matter which does not become absent for a fraction of second/blinking of an eye. Further it can be told that truth is the matter which was present in past, exists in present and will ever remain in the future. It means truth is eternal and everlasting. ‘Dha’ means Dharnna i.e., concentration. So, shraddha means concentration over the eternal and everlasting truth. There is no date of birth/ date of death of truth. In the said subject, without any doubt we can say that truth is Almighty God, souls, prakriti and eternal knowledge of Vedas which emanates directly from God. So the aspirant who knows about the said three eternal, everlasting matter is called shraddhalu i.e., one having faith/respectful. So, based on eternal vedic philosophy which emanates directly from God in the beginning of creation the idea of Yogeshwar Sri Krishna Maharaj in Bhagwad Geeta shloka 17/28 is this that a person should first know the eternal meaning of shraddha. Otherwise all his deeds like hawan, donation, tapasya will go in vain because people will do the said deeds at their own. Now you see, when people start worship definitely they will follow their surroundings. The present atmosphere is not mostly educated with eternal and everlasting knowledge of Vedas. Definitely in the beginning a person will have to accept in some circumstances, the untrue path and he donates there. In some circumstances the aspirant does not have faith on truth being ignorant. So, shastras say that he should donate there despite not having faith. Now, it depends on aspirant that if he has firm decision to seek a true path then one day he acquires and becomes capable to know about “Shraddha’ as quoted above. Then he becomes full devotee and donates only for eternal truth and not anywhere else.
So in the beginning the aspirant donates without knowing shraddha or Ashraddha.
Amit: Namaste Swamiji, you told several times that we should have materialistic progress and spiritual progress together. Are there any Ved Mantras who inspire to do materialistic progress?
Swami Ram Swarup: Namasteji. Materialistic progress means only to do pious deeds according to Vedas. When I use the word “Materialistic Progress” oftenly I mention –“Progress in science, education etc. Vedas tell in brief about Materialistic progress (Bhautik Unnatti). Vedas tell to get progress in agriculture, aeronautics, ship-building, to get education of politics and its applicability, animal husbandry, medical sciences, botany i.e., thousands of fields have been mentioned in Vedas. In this connection, Yajurveda mantra 1/1, 40/14, 40/9, 40/11, 40/2 also refer.