There is a misconception,even among Hindus,that Hinduism is dogmatic and it is based only on faith.
Nothing can be farther from Truth.
When one talks about The authority of Hinduism, People say as Vedas.
Each statement of the Vedas is debated and proved.
If one were to study the Upanishads, one can understand this process.
But apart from Vedas, there are other tools of Knowledge, Vedas come under the Tool Sabda.
And veda ,as Sabda, is based on Intuition.
Intution is also accepted as a tool of Knowledge.
There are more tools.
‘Ancient and medieval Indian texts identify six pramanas as correct means of accurate knowledge and to truths: perception(Sanskrit pratyakṣa), inference (anumāna), comparison and analogy (upamāna), postulation, derivation from circumstances (arthāpatti), non-perception, negative/cognitive proof (anupalabdhi) and word, testimony of past or present reliable experts (Śabda). Each of these are further categorized in terms of conditionality, completeness, confidence and possibility of error, by each school of Indian philosophies.
First of all,what is Knowledge?
Vedas define this first, classifies kinds of Knowledge and proceed to list the six tools.
Knowledge is awareness.
Whether it is factual, that is if it is correct or incorrect is to be decided later after verifying other factors, including evidence.
Whether knowledge is Right or Wrong is a value judgement.
If it is correct or not,is factual verification.
Again facts and impressions are different.
It does not come into the picture of awareness.
If an ant bites, one becomes aware of it.
That is Knowledge at its root level.
That what bit you is not an ant but some other insect comes later.
This step is verification by the tools of knowledge.
This belongs to Fact classification.
The bite of dangerous or not is a a value judgement.
And this is based on experience,reference in books regarding the bite.
This is the second level of awareness judgement.
What we know today is a mix of both these stages.
There is a basic aspect of awareness or knowledge.
Knowledge, is it Absolute, that is applicable at all times and places?
Or is it transitory, a momentary thing that changes with Time and Place?
If it changes from time to time and place to place, it is transitory.
This knowledge is Lower knowledge Apara.
There is another type of Knowledge.
That is Higher knowledge, Para.
This is Absolute knowledge.
Whenever we make statements we refer to something,based on the present statement is made.
Take a simple statement.
He is tall.
With reference to what?
Then there are Attributes.
If you take away the Attributes from anything,what does remain?
Take a Rose.
Take away the color,smell and other things by which you identify Rose as Rose.
What then is Rose?
I was a child, young man, now elder, old.
I have changed in all aspects.
Still peiple call me the same.
There is change yet there is a continuity.
More to follow.