Vedic philosophy personalizes everything as an “organism”. Thus, the cells in a body, bodies, societies, ecosystems, planets, the universe, and the entire creation are organisms. A smaller organism exists as part of a bigger organism. The embedding of organisms within organisms creates a hierarchical structure in which the bigger organism controls the smaller organisms and the smaller organisms have a role or function within the larger organism. This type of thinking is anti-reductionist because it starts from the whole and then delves into the parts, rather than from the parts onto the whole.
Using this anti-reductionist idea, every modern subject can be reformulated, if we can understand the nature of the whole that precedes the parts, divides into the parts, creates a functional role for the parts, and controls the parts. Vedic philosophy can help us grasp this whole-part theory. The essence of this understanding is that reality is three kinds of meanings; they originate in the nature of jiva-ātmā or the individual consciousness, and require an alternative system of logic, reasoning, and even counting. They interact with other meanings via semantic processes that we colloquially call contradictions, consistency, complementarity, competition, cooperation, etc. The worldview of meaning, along with alternative ideas of logic, counting, and causality, can be used to reformulate all subjects that are reductionist.
Shabda Research is not about speculating on the meaning of Vedic texts, or supplanting it with other ideas. The philosophy of consciousness is not up for speculation or modification. It is already perfect and complete. It has to be realized by experience, and it has been taught in Vedic texts. To understand these texts, we might need to (a) analyze statements from diverse texts, (b) study the conclusions received from the tradition, (c) ensuring that the explanation covers all aspects of material and spiritual experience. This process is not “research” in the traditional sense. It is rather “scriptural study”.
However, research might often be needed to apply these principles to a specific subject, which are presently reductionist. For example, the abovesaid principles of meaning, logic, counting, and interaction have to be applied to molecules while doing chemistry, to societies and organizations while doing sociology, and to planets, while doing cosmology. The “research” pertains to the differences between the domains under study and how to view those diverse domains in terms of the common principles.
This research can use observations, empirical data, rational arguments, contrasts to other models, and the pros and cons of various ideas. However, we are not researching the nature of truth — that is already present in the Vedic texts. We are rather researching how to apply that truth to better understand and explain what we do not yet understand, and cannot understand, through reductionist models.
There are thus two ways to use reason and experience. First, we can use reason and observation to discover the nature of the truth. Second, we can use reason and observation to verify the truth. Conventional research is focused on the use of reason and observation for discovery, and Shabda Research is focused on using reason and observation to verify the truth given in the Vedic texts.
The contrast between discovery and verification can be illustrated by the example of a computer password. If you don’t know the password, then you can speculatively concoct passwords and try to check if they unlock a computer; that involves the use of reason and obsevation for the “discovery” of the password. However, if you have received the password from an authoritative source, you still need to verify if it unlocks the computer; that process is the “verification” of the password.
Vedic knowledge is like an administrative password that can unlock any computer. We don’t need to speculate on what the password is, although we need to know what it is. Once we know the password, then we can use it to unlock any computer. That unlocking of computers using an administrative password also requires reason and observation, but it is used for verification rather than discovery.
Shabda Research is about the verification of the received truth by showing that it unlocks any and all subjects, that are currently fully or partially locked due to the use of speculative theories trying to discover the truth. It is research to verify the truth, rather than research to discover the truth.