In Hinduism, we have a great tradition of Rishis, Muni, Guru, Acharya ect. But how are their Authority and their “Apta”, attribute to be known by a student or by lay persons, how and according to what criteria are our sages and munis judged to be reliable?
What makes a Apta rishi an Apta, Apta meaning something akin to aptitude, or confirmation/proof of a persons knowledge about certain things, what in our tradition is given as a guide/standard/minimum requirements to discriminate the learned from the un-learned?
What does your specific Samprada/Darshan have as a standard almost of a Rishi/Guru/Acharya ect?
I personally think that there are many instances where some sort of criteria or character standard is provided to at least give us a basic idea of whom one can consider reliable, or whos Shbda can be considered as a valid means of attaining knowledge.
This question is a typical Arjun question, this is what Arjun asked Yog Raj Shri Krishna in the Gita, which is what im asking as well.
54. What, O Krishna, is the description of him who has steady wisdom and is merged in the
Superconscious State? How does one of steady wisdom speak? How does he sit? How does he
The answer given was;
55. When a man completely casts off, O Arjuna, all the desires of the mind and is satisfied in
the Self by the Self, then is he said to be one of steady wisdom!
56. He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after pleasures, and who
is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.
57. He who is everywhere without attachment, on meeting with anything good or bad, who
neither rejoices nor hates, his wisdom is fixed.
Now obviously there is more slokas to this, but what do other texts say, or at least is there a consistent view among the ancient/modern writers. here are some more examples, and i would appreciate more from others.
Nirukta.says in 1-91.
The original seers were men of realisation who saw or perfectly
understood’ the Dharma. They taught it to those who themselves had not
realized it or were not inspired persons.
In Nirukta 2-11 Yaskacharya says –
The Rishis are seers of the Mantras. The word Rishi means Drashta.
Opaomanyava Acharya is of opinion that those who by austerities, realised
the Yedic-hymns were called Rishis.”
Bhartihari Niti Sataka.
Of the Character of the Good
62. A desire for the society of the good :
love for the virtues of others : reverence for
priests and teachers : diligence in acquiring
wisdom : love for their wives : fear of the
world’s reproaches : reverence for Siva :
self-control and no acquaintance with evil
men—wherever we find men with virtues
like these, they are invariably held in high
62,. Firmness in adversity; self-control
in prosperity : eloquence in debate : valour
in war : desire for glory : knowledge of the
sacred writings : such are the characteristics
of the virtuous.
64. Private generosity; ungrudged hospitality
to strangers : abstinence from speaking
in public about one’s good deeds :
openly proclaiming the benefits received
from others : humility in prosperity, and
respect for one’s fellows—this is a sacred
doctrine taught by the good, though
adherence to it may be as difficult as the
attempt to stand on the edge of a sword.
65. (There are sufficient inward adornments
adequate for the man of noble mind
without the necessity for a more evident
display—liberality for his hand; reverence
towards the priesthood for his head; true
speech for his mouth : power for his arms
happiness for his heart ; and the holy Vedas,
properly understood, for his ears.
Yaksha Prashna Mahabharatta.
The Yaksha asked, ‘By what doth one
become learned? By what doth he attain
what is very great? How can one have a
second? And, O king, how can one acquire
Yudhishthira answered, ‘It is by the (study
of the) Srutis that a person becometh
learned; it is by ascetic austerities that one
acquireth what is very great: it is by
intelligence that a person acquireth a second
and it is by serving the old that one
Vidura Niti Mahabharatta
These again are the marks of a wise man,
viz., adherence to acts, worthy of praise and
rejection of what is blamable, faith, and
He whom neither anger nor joy, nor pride,
nor false modesty, nor stupefaction, nor
vanity, can draw away from the high ends of
life, is considered as wise.
The Tirukkural On knowledge
True knowledge is an inner fortification that enemies cannot destroy, and is the ultimate impregnable defence.
True knowledge controls thought and conduct and keeps both away from evil, and helps one to keep in the right path.
True knowledge enables one to understand the true import of things from whomsoever one learns them and not to be misled by the circumstances in which they appear.
It finds easy and convincing expression for one’s own thoughts, and enables one to grasp the essence of what is said by others, be it however complicated.
Knowledge befriends the world. It fosters a spirit of equanimity saving one from both excitement and depression.
The man of True Knowledge understands how the world moves, and moves accordingly.
Even in the Karma Sutra, Vatsyana advises all to study and gain different kinds of Knowledge, the Sad Darshan all have their own Parmanas, even Budhism and Jainism have means of attaining knowledge.
What more examples are available, and how important is Knowledge/Wisdom to Hinduism in general