What if I don’t trust the veda as valid means? If I don’t trust the Vedas, I have to trust something else for knowledge. Any ‘something else’ is definitely man-made. If one can trust a man made source, which is always subject to contradictions and misgivings, then, one rather trust Vedas which can never fail anyone.
The next question is “ Is it almost like blind faith” The answer is a big NO.
When someone says, that “God is there to save you”, “You have sinned and need a saviour” etc; under such contexts a blind faith props up. You believe in the saviour thinking that you have sinned. You are doomed if you do not believe the saviour. That will be another sin actually!!!
Vedanta says you need not be saved at all. You alone are the truth, the non dual truth. There is no rescue work needed! Where is the question of blind faith, when all that is needed is knowledge. Liberation for us is through knowledge, and here, there is no role for blind faith to play.
When told “ You verily are the truth” it might sound blasphemous to a person. shraddhA does not mean one should not question one’s understanding and follow the statements blindly. There is no blind faith in vedik religion and spirituality.
One is allowed to question and discuss; but the attitude matters. If one questions with the idea of refuting veda, then it is lack of shraddha (ashraddha). Instead if one says, veda cannot be wrong, but there is some confusion in my understanding and the concept of me being the whole, the truth, is not sinking; then it is shraddha. The person has doubts, conviction is not there, but he has trust in the veda as being a valid means of knowledge.
Many of our upaniShads are in the form of dialogue between guru and disciple. The student asks questions till he gains conviction. Neither the guru nor the upaniShad expects you to listen once, blindly accept and pack up. There is a gradual unfolding of the vedik words by an adept guru. The whole learning environment is open, friendly, encouraging, logical and of course filled with shraddha.
How to prove that one will be benefited if one has shraddha?
Suppose, a person had an accident and he also hurt his eyes badly. He was operated upon and the time has come for the doctor to remove the bandage on this eyes. Now is the moment for him to test his eyes. Will he say “ How do I know I will be able to see. I am unsure, so, I shall not open my eyes” . No. All he has to do is open his eyes, the means of knowledge. Once he opens them he knows whether his eyes are functioning properly. He will get the form-knowledge which means his eyes are fine. He has to let the means of knowledge (eyes) do their work for him to know if they are functional.
So also, we need not get any other evidence to prove that veda gives knowledge. We just have to use the means of knowledge, (the words) to prove that they are a means! Eyes are a proof for themselves, so also, vedik words are proof for themselves. I do not see ( I have form ignorance); I open my eyes (let the means work) and get form knowledge. So also, I have ignorance of the fact that I am existence consciousness; I have shraddha in the vedik words and let them do their magic; I get knowledge which is in the form of negation of ignorance.
Hence, one has to let the upaniShadik words do its work. Accepting veda as a pramANa to remove the ignorance about oneself is shraddha, accepting the statements (whether understood or not) but questioning one’s understanding till understood.