Veda means not religion, Veda means knowledge. So if you can trace out the history of knowledge, then you can trace out what is the date of Veda

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"Veda means not religion, Veda means knowledge. So if you can trace out the history of knowledge, then you can trace out what is the date of Veda"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Veda means not religion, Veda means knowledge. So if you can trace out the history of knowledge, then you can trace out what is the date of Veda. Can you trace out? When...? Which is the date when knowledge began.
Morning Walk -- August 30, 1973, London:

David Lawrence: One of the very important enclosures which we mentioned when I came up last, for the teachers' pack this was, not for the actual booklet, was a series of questions, what we would call sticky ones in the West, but I'm sure you'll deal with them with very great ease. I've tried to produce what I thought would be objections to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Not as such to theism, but more to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And if I could, Mukunda has got them in fact, there's about eight or nine. And if you could be pleased to perhaps answer them on tape, and I can have them transposed. We're going to produce this in the teachers' pack six or seven sheets of cyclo-styled notes for the teachers. So they'll be able to meet the objections perhaps, of their students. Some of the intelligent students may make points which clearly can be met.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

David Lawrence: But we can meet them, in a sense, before they're even asked.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

David Lawrence: That makes it even more impressive.

Prabhupāda: In which point the students may possibly object?

David Lawrence: Well I've mentioned a few points on which... You know, obviously, I've studied a bit more deeply than the average student, because of the university and all this sort of business, which gives a particular form of knowledge.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

David Lawrence: Let me think of one, yes, one that I asked which I know Mukunda has already answered for me, but we need it in the teachers' pack, of course, is the fact of the dating of the Vedas. You know, people like some of the archaeologists such as A.L. Basham and Mortimer Wheeler maintain that the Harrapa dig, so to speak, in the Indus Valley and Mahenjo-Daro and all those towns, show the dating of the Vedas in fact to be a great deal later, you know, and therefore to take away, some people would say this, to deprive the Vedas of a certain amount of authority because they no longer, according to these men, would appear to be the most ancient religious scriptures in the world. And that, that sort of question, which...

Prabhupāda: Veda means not religion, Veda means knowledge. So if you can trace out the history of knowledge, then you can trace out what is the date of Veda. Can you trace out? When...? Which is the date when knowledge began. Can you trace out?

David Lawrence: I wouldn't think they could.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

David Lawrence: I wouldn't think they could.

Prabhupāda: So how you can trace out the history of Vedas? Vedas means knowledge. Vedas means knowledge. So first of all find out from which date knowledge began. Then you find out the date of the Vedas.

David Lawrence: Yes, it seemed to me, I tried to read certainly, A.L. Basham...

Prabhupāda: Those who know Sanskrit, they know what is the meaning of Veda. Veda means knowledge. Vetti veda-vid jñāne. Jñāna means knowledge. That means the history of Veda means from the date of creation of this material world. Now find out the date of creation of the material world. Approximately, nobody can give what is the date of. We can, we cannot... Date of Brahmā, he got the, first of all, the Vedic knowledge. Now, one day of Brahmā you cannot calculate. One day of Brahmā. And the... When Brahmā's night is there, there is devastation up to some extent. So again in the daytime of Brahmā, that creation takes place. There are two kinds of devastation. One devastation is at the night of Brahmā and one final devastation is the whole cosmic manifestation finished. So these teeny people, they are after the dates of Vedas, and that is ludicrous, that is...(laughs) Just like there are many microbes, they grow in the evening and die just in the day beginning. So whole night is their span of life. So our life is like that. What history you can write? Therefore, we receive Vedic knowledge from the authorities. And what is the value of these dates?

David Lawrence: (laughs) Indeed. I mean it's the sort of thing that Western scholars excel in, isn't it?

Prabhupāda: Suppose if you try to trace out when the human being began calling "mother." Can you trace out the history?

Śyāmasundara: They try to take away from the Vedas by making it seem very young so that the Bible is older. They think that Vedas came from Bible, many scholars.

Prabhupāda: Oh? These rascals think like that?

David Lawrence: Yes, you see they say that the, because the Āryans came from or passed through at least the Middle East, that in fact some of the older parts of the Old Testament predate, so they say, and indeed some of the Egyptian higher, some of the better Egyptian stuff...

Prabhupāda: So one should transcend these, what is called, historical references. They calculate in Darwin's theory.

David Lawrence: Darwin's theory's out now isn't it? (laughs) It's sort of old fashioned now. They dispense with these theories as quickly as most people do their newspaper each day.

Prabhupāda: (laughs) Yes.

David Lawrence: One day it's in, and the next day it's out. And while it's in, everybody claps and applauds. One or two other points, perhaps I can raise one or two of them. Some of them are longer in fact. An interesting thing that came out of my study of the Christian, or certainly the Jewish tradition, and I wondered, really, on your views on this, whether it relates at all to the Indian one. It seems when you get to the really high spot of Jewish religion, which many people consider the prophets of Judah...,

Prabhupāda: What is their high spot?

David Lawrence: Well, exactly,(laughs) that is, in inverted commas.

Prabhupāda: They are rotting in the lowest spot, still. What is their high spot?

David Lawrence: Let's think, somebody like, perhaps Isaiaḥ or somebody like this who was a universalist and uh...

Prabhupāda: Somebody, somebody says so many things...

David Lawrence: Yes, that's right. Oh yes, I mean if you take them, they all differ in their views. But one of the things, one of the themes that comes through is the idea that...

Prabhupāda: Therefore the gentleman the other day was asking, "How is that you say electricity?" Oh you were not present that time? Because we have translated there is no need of sun, there is no need of moon, there is no need of electricity in the spiritual world. So when he heard the word electricity, he became astonished.

Śyāmasundara: He thought the word did not exist at the time?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

David Lawrence: Yes, I must admit I was amazed at that reference, reading that yesterday.

Prabhupāda: That frog philosophy is going on. Dr. Frog. He's simply calculating the well, that's all. How there can be Atlantic Ocean? That is frog philosophy. You know frog philosophy? Yes?