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From: Raghu Seshadri (seshadri_at_hpindyo.cup.hp.com)
Date: Mon May 20 1996 - 18:08:50 PDT

I beg the indulgence of the learned for coming
up with so basic a question.

I was explaining to a Dutchman basics of Hinduism
such as atman, reincarnation and so forth. So
this guy stumps me with this basic question -

" Ok so some person in the past asserted these
  propositions. How did he convince his
  listeners that these are truths and not 
  some fantasies of his mind" ?

Note that he is not asking for the usual
proofs that any non-religious person
demands nowadays. His question is a little
more subtle. He is really asking how you
recognize that person X is spiritually
enlightened and person Y isn't. Once you
are convinced that someone is enlightened,
there is no problem accepting his assertions -
but how do we tell who is and who isn't ?

Thanks.

RS