Why a Faith in the Vedas conflicts with a Faith in Miracles

A belief in miracles has several consequences – on society, on people’s thinking, and on their religious practices. A full discussion of these will take up a lot of time. Therefore, we shall focus only on certain aspects, and ignore or deal with the rest later.

However, before we go further, lest it be said that what we say is without basis, let us first look at the teachings of the Vedas.

The Vedas never claim any miracles. The verses of the Vedas unequivocally proclaim the existence of One Supreme Being, that has no form, shape or size. This Being, or Force pervades the Universe and is also separate from it at the same time. That is, while it is present in the smallest of particles at every single moment, it is itself not affected by any force or energy in the Universe. The Universe itself, the Vedas declare, has existed for an infinite time and shall do so, also for an infinite time. The Supreme Being or Creative Force is the Efficient Cause of the Universe – that is the Being that effected the existence of the Universe. Matter is the Material Cause of the Universe – that is matter is what the Universe is made of. Since, the Supreme Being is the efficient cause, and since this Being is a conscious force, its formation of the Universe is by design. Further, this Being / Force is considered perfect and flawless.

From this point forward, it is easy to see why Miracles are to be considered impossible if the Vedas are to be held sacred. For a miracle, by definition, is an outcome that is not predicted by the natural laws, and as such, its occurrence is a violation of the natural laws. It is then natural to ask, what is the Efficient Cause of this violation. If it be said that the violator is the same Supreme Being, then the violation of the natural laws shows clearly that either,

  1. The natural laws are imperfect – and since the designer of the laws is the Supreme Force, such a violation is a clear demonstration of the imperfection in this Being. Since, perfection of the Supreme Being was assumed at the start (that is, it is so declared in the Vedas), then a belief in Miracles is a statement of disbelief in the Supreme Being itself, that is, it is atheism.

  2. Or that a situation has arisen where the natural laws must be violated for the Universe to survive or some principle to be upheld. But since the Supreme Force has perfect knowledge, the fact that such a situation has arisen cannot be upheld together with a statement of perfection of this Being.

In both cases, a logical inconsistency is impossible to avoid with the first principles; therefore a faith in Miracles and a Faith in the Vedas cannot both be sustained at the same time.

Incidentally, the above short introduction to the Rishi’s teachings are also an introduction to Indian Religious Thought, that is often very very logically tight, consistent, and generally very hard to refute. It is in fact, often written in Sanskrit, that is the most grammatically sound language in the world, so much so that its grammar is still a matter of research, and elements of such research are used regularly in computer language design. As such, the original Sanskrit is even more rigorous than what we have above in English.

Finally, for those really interested in such matters, the ancient basis for the Rishi’s teachings is the School of Mimansa, and he was a Dwaita (as opposed to Adwaita. For comparsion, Vivekanada was of the Adwaita Vedanta school, the complete opposite of Dwaita Mimansa.)

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