Vedasamnyasa: abandoning the vedas

The Buddha Gotama instructed in the methods of Sannyasa as the beginning of the path of a Bodhisattva. As a Sannyasi lays all they have upon the altar, the Boddhisattva completes the sacrifice by permitting the fire to consume even the benefits of that sacrifice. One who lives free has only their freedom and life to give - and these the Bodhisattva gives willingly. Can a parent wish anything less for their child than to live free of distress, being willing to give everything for that child's life and freedom? Would that parent do any number of unspeakable things, dishonorable things, for the sake of their child, becoming free from morality itself, and accepting the full penalty of their evil if only their child lives and remains free?

"Veda" is a word that comes from the concept of "ve" or weaving - the weaving of the broom to clean and prepare the space for sacrifice, the weaving of kindling for the fire. It expresses feeling and perception, for it was by feeling and perception that Brahma first expressed the Vedas. The act of preparation for sacrifice cannot be separated from the sacrifice itself, and the "obtaining" of these results in "property." We make the space, we make the feelings and perceptions; we become possessed with them, and our belief in truth motivates endless spiritual materialism as we elaborate on belief with new belief. Giving up belief in belief requires first having developed belief; developing flexible morality requires first understanding the error in fixed morality.

Gotama said he counterfeited the Dharma into hard and fast training rules, inflexible descriptions of facts, to make it more useful. Like adding the poison arsenic into copper made a tool better, or impurities to gold coins to permit their currency, these counterfeit Dharmas are partially toxic. But when absolute truth is undiscernible, they are necessary to make the Dharma hard enough to grab hold of, and serve a purpose: for the true goodness is easily separated from them by the system of logic they would instruct in. It is as if the same coin made of gold alloy were stamped with the very instructions required to separate the impurities from it.

And what is this process, in brief? It is simply this: it is unnecessary to prove what is true, only what is false. By iterations, what remains is increasingly true.

Counterfeit goodness is loving action which causes harm: a surgeon removing an arrowhead must cause considerable suffering or death, a lie may need to be told to prevent considerable harm. Counterfeit evil is hateful action which alleviates harm: administering an antibiotic kills numerous beings but ultimately alleviates harm, self-defense is an act of violence which ultimately can result in harmony. It is unconscionable to act wrongly – yet we must sometimes do unconscionable things when it is impossible to do something right. Choosing the lesser of evils is logical when the ultimate goal of pure goodness is unattainable.

Accepting that we must sometimes act unconscionably does not mean that morality is itself illogical, only that perfect morality may not be possible. But because real goodness is impossible to observe or even understand, let alone practice, should we therefore abandon the pursuit of goodness? Of course not. Just because 100% of something cannot be known, should we not strive to learn 99% of it?

But when is it right or wrong to lie? When must we do all those kinds of things we know we ought not to? Conscience is the comprehension of right or wrong, but quaternary logic provides the means to Buddhist morality. Though there does exist a pure goodness understandable only in terms of negation, there is a gradient of right and wrong approaching that pure goodness. Inclination toward goodness, to the fullest extent possible, is the true morality possible in a complex world.

It is by the practice of such morality that we all may become a Vedasamnyasin, one who has sacrificed, given up, laid down and no longer requires the Vedas. Indeed, sooner or later, we shall all abandon the Vedas.