|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - E
Unit - E02
Lesson - E0207: Multiple Versions of the Truth
By Raja Subramaniyan
Statement 24: The truth cannot be determined democratically.
If there are different views and opinions it is generally felt that the issue has to be resolved through democracy. This is not the right way to determine the truth. In fact by definition the highest truth cannot have majority support.
Example: The number of primary school children will always be much more than the number of postgraduate students. We do not and should not decide the right answer to a science or math problem based on the number of students supporting it.
Similarly, in any society the number of ignorant people will always exceed the number of most intelligent people. We do not and should not validate any scientific invention based on the support it receives from the general population.
The truth cannot and should not be determined based on majority view.
Since the highest truth cannot be comprehended by all, it is essential to dilute it to the level of the audience. This has lead to the current situation that there are multiple and often contradicting answers to the questions on God, Universe and Life. Although the most intelligent among the human beings have understood the ultimate truth 1000s of years back, each one of them tried to convey the truth in a way that is understandable to their disciples resulting in current variations.
Statement 25: Since the level of intelligence determines the comprehension of the truth, only few in the world can comprehend it.
The number of people with less intelligence is much more than the people with high intelligence. Moreover, not all the highly intelligent people are searching for the solutions in the right direction. Therefore, only few in the world hold the highest truth.
Statement 26: The reason for the existence of multiple versions of the truth is due to the varying degree of intelligence among the followers.
The life and teaching of Buddha is well documented. In spite of it Buddhism split into many sects soon after the death of Buddha. This is because when Buddha was alive he gave different answers to different people (depending on their level of intelligence) which are documented without any reference to the context. After his death when the records containing such contradictory answers are interpreted by the followers, multiple versions of the truth got 'authentic' support.
Even if Buddha were to be alive today, he will permit the contradicting views of the truth to survive because people are at different levels of intelligence and it is essential that they comprehend the truth according to their level in order to progress to the next level.
Example: Which light illumines the earth during the night? Sun or Moon? The person who says Sun could be a stupid or a very intelligent person. The popular answer may be moon, but the correct answer is Sun. However, it will be difficult to expect everyone to give the answer 'Sun'. Therefore, we need to accept the answer 'Moon' and then try to explain that the moon does not have its own light etc, depending on the level of intelligence of the person.
Thus, the wise understand that the truth is understood in different ways. Others stick to their narrow vision of the truth and fight among themselves in the name of religion or god.