Citing Vedic mythology as one of their references, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court of India has approved couples to continue as live-in partners. The Honorable justices have taken support of Vedas but have still called them mythology. We feel that grave errors have been committed in coming to this conclusion.

Firstly, why call the Vedas ‘mythology’?

The Vedas themselves claim to be history rather than mythology, and through several lineages of teachers and disciples, we can know the character and motives of the writers and compilers. Stalwart Vedic authorities like Adi Sankaracharya, Ramanuj acharya, Madhva acharya, Nimbark acharya, Visnuswami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Tukarama and a host of others have guided India’s spiritual life. None of these authorities have ever called the Vedas as “mythology” nor have they twisted meanings out of them. These personalities actually practiced what they later preached.

The fundamental principle involved in understanding the Vedas is to approach this subject with the help of sadhu (saintly persons), shastra (Vedic literature and literature written in pursuance of them) and guru (one’s spiritual teacher). It must be noted that not a single scholar worth his salt, who has followed the prescribed model of gaining knowledge has ever  denigrated the Vedas as mythology.  It is only seen in those individuals who have tried to gain mastery over the Vedas with their own efforts and without surrendering to a bona fide guru. Even in the mundane, temporary sphere of law and medicine one cannot be qualified if he does not agree to be educated by a lawyer or a doctor. That people can claim to understand spiritual topics without a guru or acharya is absurd to the highest degree.

Now we shall deal with the subject of Radha and Krishna living together without marriage. Who is Krishna? And who is Radha ? In the Bhagavad-gita Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental, original person, the unborn, the greatest. All the great sages such as Narada, Asita, Devala, and Vyasa confirm this truth about You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me. O Krishna, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the demigods nor the demons, O Lord, can understand Your personality.” In order to understand Krishna properly one has to thoroughly study the Bhagavad-gita under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. This is also stressed in the Gita by Krishna – “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.”

Radha’s personality is not even mentioned in the Gita because understanding Krishna’s loving dealings is a subject for the advanced student of Vedas. It is not a strange coincidence that highly renounced sages, who have completely rejected mundane sex-life are the fit candidates to relish Radha-Krishna lila

Syamananda Dasa serves as the editor for English and Marathi editions of Back to Godhead magazine.