I have seen few Q&A's on stack exchange and many other platforms. There, people after discussing on a specific topic, at last, ask for scriptural references for proving what they're saying as correct.

For eg. If someone has asked whether there is rebirth or not? The other one says

As per XXX, Lord XXX said there will be rebirth only if you there are remaining paap or puny phala to be suffered or to be experienced.

Don't take this example as a valid one because I am a new learner and wrote this eg as far as I learnt.

So, like this, so many people ask for scriptures as evidence.

Aren’t there any other evidences other than them?

(My confusion is they might have changed the meaning of shloka in their own favour in order to prove themselves correct)

(No offense against scriptures, Vedas etc, just a question from my head..)


2 Answers 2


Nothing new in that. Except modern Kaliyugi uneducated [in Vedas, etc.] population, everyone have been accepting authorities of scriptures. As an instance, Kṛiṣṇa said,

BG 16.23: Those who act under the impulse of desire, discarding the injunctions of the scriptures, attain neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme goal in life.
BG 16.24: Therefore, let the scriptures be your authority in determining what should be done and what should not be done. Understand the scriptural injunctions and teachings, and then perform your actions in this world accordingly.

Apart from scriptures being authorities, their erudition makes for a yajṇa also,

द्रव्ययज्ञास्तपोयज्ञा योगयज्ञास्तथापरे | स्वाध्यायज्ञानयज्ञाश्च यतय: संशितव्रता: || 4.28||
BG 4.28: Some offer their wealth as sacrifice, while others offer severe austerities as sacrifice. Some practice the eight-fold path of yogic practices, and yet others study the scriptures and cultivate knowledge as sacrifice, while observing strict vows.

Scriptures at some places are found to condemn attachments with scriptures but they do ask to do at personal level when one has matured enough, grasped the essence thereby crossed the prerequisite ladders. Then, it's supposed for one to unidentify with everything. Proclaiming the same to general audience is misguiding. You need a boat until you cross the sea. Moreover, the relevance of dharma śāstra-s never expires even after religious maturity.

  • So, it is mentioned to follow scriptures in scriptures.
    – Learner
    Mar 16, 2021 at 15:01

A very good question. People in the internet claim scripture to be the final source because they are mostly beginners. The greats do not depend on scripture. Just take a look at how sadhana is done. Jnana marga says you have to do sravana then manana and then nididhyasana (meditation). Sravana means hearing about scripture from a competent teacher. Manana implies thinking about the scriptural teaching in order to fully understand the teaching. Then if you agree with the scriptural teaching then you are supposed to do meditation. Thus scripture is the starting point and not the end point. Ultimately you have to do spiritual practice as advised by your Guru. Scriptural reference is never the final source. It is only the beginning.

I am surprised why this excellent question has been closed.

What will you achieve by mere study of scriptures? The scriptures contain a mixture of sand and sugar as it were. It is extremely difficult to separate the sugar from the sand. Therefore one should learn the essence of the scriptures from the teacher or from a sadhu. Afterwards what does care for books?

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Chapter 28, At the Star Theatre

After the realization of God, how far below lie the Vedas, the Vedanta, the Purana, the Tantra! (To Hazra) I cannot utter the word ‘Om’ in samadhi. Why is that? I cannot say ‘Om’ unless I come down very far from the state of samadhi.

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Chapter 28, At the Star Theatre

One cannot get true feeling about God from the study of books. This feeling is something very different from book-learning. Books, scriptures, and science appear as mere dirt and straw after the realization of God.

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Chapter 33, With Various Devotees

Too much knowledge of scripture (sastra) can in fact be dangerous for one's spiritual progress.

They study the Vedas and discuss. But they do not realize the Ultimate Reality just as a spoon does not know the taste of food.

The head carries the flowers, the nose knows the scent. The people study the Vedas. But, very few persons understand the same.

Not knowing the Reality of the self, a fool is infatuated by the sastras. When the goat stands in the shed, the shepherd seeks for it in the well in vain.

The knowledge of the sastras is not competent to destroy the infatuation accruing from worldly affairs.


Having studied the Vedas and realized their essence the wise man should leave all the sastras just as one desiring corn leaves the husk.

Just as one satiated with nectar has no use of food, no one who is in search of Reality has anything to do with the sastras.

One cannot obtain release by reading the Vedas or the sastras. Release comes from experience, not otherwise, O son of Vinata.

[Garuda Purana, Dharma Khanda, Chapter XLIX]

Let me end with an analogy. Let us suppose you live in an island surrounded by a vast ocean. You come across a book which says that there is a distant land far from your island. That book is scripture. You have been given some information. You will always have some doubt if you only know that book. You will have to build a boat, unfurl the sail and cross the ocean and land on that distant shore if you want to dispel all doubt. Just mastering the scripture will not do. Scripture is the beginning. Personal experience is the end.

  • "because they are mostly beginners" — But Adi Shankara, Ramanuja, Krishna, etc. along with whole gamut of traditional acharyas, avatars all were expert not beginners and yet emphasize on scripture (Shabda Pramana) Mar 16, 2021 at 11:52
  • Who is stopping others from posting quotes supporting their view? No one as far as I can see. Mar 16, 2021 at 11:58
  • Ofc, your answer is perfectly legitimate, as much as my comments are. I only downvoted due to disagreements. Mar 16, 2021 at 11:59
  • 1
    I do not mind. I understand that what I wrote might shock some people. Mar 16, 2021 at 12:05
  • Good answer. Kudos! Mere Disagreements in personal perspective shouldn't be tantamount to a downvote. Even if I may disagree with any answer, the efforts to put up wise words by a glorified paramhamsa or from any scripture, which seems logical and coherent, are well worth of an Upvote.!
    – Vivikta
    Mar 16, 2021 at 12:29

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