About

Vedic philosophy personalizes everything as an “organism”. Thus, the cells in our body, our bodies, societies, ecosystems, planets, the universe, and the entire creation are organisms. A smaller organism can exist as part of a bigger organism, as we know.

The general understanding of organisms, how they come into existence, how they maintain themselves, and how they interact with other organisms, constitutes the fundamental principles based on which any subject can be understood scientifically. The principles of organismic thinking are found in the Vedic texts. These include the semantic nature of reality, the tripartite nature of these meanings, their origin in the jiva-ātmā, the non-dualistic system of logic required to reason about these meanings, how change occurs through competition and contradiction, and many different types of causal interactions that arise from the use of meanings instead of physical properties.

If that understanding has been obtained, there is no need for “research”, with regard to Vedic philosophy itself. Shabda Research is therefore not the research for what the Vedic texts mean, or speculating on their meaning. That philosophy has to be understood, not by research but by the methods of scriptural exegesis, which include (a) reconciliation of diverse texts, (b) the preservation of conclusions given by the tradition, (c) ensuring that the explanation covers all aspects of material and spiritual experience, and (d) a unique system of semantic reasoning. This process is not “research” in the traditional sense.

However, research is still needed to apply these principles to a specific subject, because the principles correspond to different phenomena. For example, if we are studying molecular structures, then the formation of these structures can use the same principles, but to use them correctly, we have to understand how meanings are expressed through molecules. Conversely, if we are studying social or organizational structures, then their formation can be studied based on the same principles, but now the meanings are embodied by people that partake in the society or organization. Then, if we study cosmology, the same principles can again be applied, but now the meanings are represented by planets and planetary systems. The “research” pertains to the phenomena under study and viewing that phenomenon in terms of the common principles.

This research involves the traditionally well-acknowledged principles of empirical observations, comparisons, and contrasts to alternative models, identifying the shortcomings of various models, and the pros and cons of thinking in different ways. In one sense, we are not researching the nature of truth at all — that nature is already presented in the Vedic texts. In another sense, we are researching how to apply that truth to understand and explain what we do not yet understand (in terms of that model or theory of reality). Shabda Research differs from traditional research in this respect.