Hare Krishna to all devotees
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All glories to Srila Prabhupad
This is an awesum article by Jahnava nitai Das, All glories to him to such an wonderful explaination on origins and authenticity of Brahma samhita
The Brahma Samhita contains prayers offered by Lord Brahma to Lord Krishna prior to his act of creation. This text was lost for thousands of years, and was only rediscovered aproximately 500 years ago when Sri Chaitanya found it in South India. Sri Chaitanya was visiting the Adi Keshava temple in Kerala, and after chanting and dancing before the Lord, He was invited to visit the house of a brahmana devotee. When Sri Chaitanya took His seat in the house of the devotee, He began to feel ecstatic symptoms (bhava). He told the devotee to begin digging under His seat. Within the mud they found an ancient manuscript of the Brahma Samhita which had been almost completely eaten by white ants. All that was left was a single chapter out of the 100 chapters.
Since this book was lost for many thousands of years, naturally there is no reference to it in the writings of the acharyas. Thus it is not possible to either confirm or deny its authenticity based on historical statements. Since the text was found within one sampradaya, it is natural that that sampradaya will utilize it most, whereas other lineages will not. This is not the only instance of an ancient vedic text being rediscovered. Sri Madhva rediscovered the Aitareya Upanishad, and because of this the Madhva sampradaya gives great importance to it, whereas other lineages do not.
In such cases we can authenticate the text based on several secondary aspects. First, we must see what is the qualification and authority of the personality finding the text. In the case of Brahma Samhita, we should see who is Sri Chaitanya. We have mainly three possible circumstances:
First, Sri Chaitanya may be a cheater and may have manufactured this text Himself.
Second, Sri Chaitanya may be honest, but He may have been fooled by a false text.
Third, Sri Chaitanya may be honest and the text may be authentic.
The first possibility indicates Sri Chaitanya was a fallen conditioned soul polluted by lust, envy and greed. His aim was to mislead the public.
The second possibility indicates Sri Chaitanya was not influenced by lust, anger and greed, but still He was ignorant and covered by illusion, just like the common man.
There are four defects of a conditioned soul: He possesses a cheating propensity, has imperfect senses, is subject to commit mistakes, and is invariably illusioned. The first two possibilities above are symptomatic of a conditioned soul.
To overcome the first two possibilities, we must establish that Sri Chaitanya is not an ordinary man. His minimum qualification must be that of a realized saint, situated above the four defects of conditioned consciousness. Our actual contention is that Sri Chaitanya was not just a saint, but the direct incarnation of Lord Krishna, the Kali-yuga avatara. We shall substantiate this claim with references from the scriptures. If Sri Chaitanya is established as an incarnation of the Lord, then the authenticity of this text is automatically established.
Another aspect that we must judge is the consistency of the author. If Lord Brahma is offering prayers to Lord Krishna, we should compare it to other texts where Lord Brahma offers prayers. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, tenth canto chapter fourteen, we find prayers offered by Lord Brahma to Lord Krishna. Lord Brahma tried to bewilder Krishna by stealing His cowherd friends and calves. But by a slight exhibition of Krishna's own mystic potency, Brahma himself was completely bewildered. Subsequently, Brahma surrendered to Lord Krishna and out of humility and devotion began composing prayers glorifying the Lord. If one studies these prayers from the Bhagavatam, one will see that they contain the same conclusions as found in the Brahma Samhita.
A third aspect we must judge is the authenticity of the subject matter in a text in relation to other established scriptures.
There are two categories of authenticity to a pramana (evidence). The first authenticity is that it is accepted as pramana in other books, which are themselves accepted as pramana for various other reasons. For example, there may be a reference to Bhagavata Purana found within Matsya Purana. This is one type of evidence to establish the authenticity of a scripture. The second authenticy is that the conclusions present within established scriptures are presented and harmonized within the text in question. Though the Brahma Samhita is not mentioned in other texts (because it was lost), the prayers offered by Lord Brahma in Brahma Samhita perfectly establish and harmonize the Bhagavatam's descriptions of the Lord.
The tree of Vedic literature is extremely vast, yet what is available to us today is but a fraction of the original texts that existed in the past. If we take different categories of books, such as Upanishads, we find that there are thousands of upanishads among which 108 are considered chief. Most of these Upanishads exist today in name only. In the category of texts known as Puranas it is a similar case. There are 18 maha-puranas, each of which has 18 subsidiary upa-puranas. Each upa-purana has 18 subsidiary upakhyanas. Thus the category of texts known as Puranas contain thousands of books, but most of these are lost. Even if we take a single text like Srimad Bhagavatam, we find that there are various versions given for different species of humans. Our Srimad Bhagavatam has only 18,000 verses, but the Srimad Bhagavatam given to Yama has millions of verses. The same is the case for all Vedic scriptures. The inhabitants of the higher planetary systems have much larger texts, whereas we have the abridged versions. Our Srimad Bhagavatam describes only 24 categories of incarnations. The Srimad Bhagavatam possessed by Yama describes the Lord's incarnations in all 8,400,000 species of life. There is a mosquito incarnation, a chicken incarnation, a worm incarnation, we can only imagine it! Such is the nature of Vedic knowledge. Thus one cannot deny a text's authenticity simply because it isn't common and well-known. The situation surrounding its appearance must be systematically studied, and then a proper conclusion may be had.
If one has the blessed association of a liberated soul (muktatma), this entire process becomes much simpler. With guidance from a guru situated beyond illusion one can receive perfect knowledge, for he has actually seen the truth. This is Lord Krishna's instruction in Gita:
upadeksyanti te jnanam
"The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth."
This is the Vedic method. Either we can rely on our own imperfect senses to judge truth from illusion, or we can learn to see truth as revealed by the saints.