In the absence of any scriptural reference, written works of scholars,
researchers and popular personalities can be used which must be
providing a relevant answer.
This point was written in beginning of site and it needs to be updated as it is vague. [updated now] This answer clearly says,
Opinions are ok, if backed up with logical inference or scriptural
inference. Otherwise, they need to be avoided.
So, we should only allow Scholars, Researchers or Popular Personalities if their opinions or views are in accordance with Scriptures or logical inferences of Scriptures.
Who precisely are these personalities and how are their opinions
authoritative on a site on religion?
Although we can't concretely list all scholars, we can easily know a scholar's views if they are in accordance with scriptures or close to core values of hinduism.
As all of us know, Prajñā (wisdom) is of three types.
- Indriya Prajñā (knowledge inferred through senses)
- Boudhika Prajñā (knowledge inferred through senses and analysing/interpreting further with Buddhi, more of modern science)
- Ritambara Prajñā (wisdom known in state of transcendental consciousness that can't be known through senses and intellect but can be only be experienced in last stage of Sadhana).
Premise behind allowing authentic scriptures or sources is to get truths known/experienced by Rishis in this state of transcendental consciousness. Obviously not all can reach that state easily. Many statements of Rishis, to be precise all, might not seem logical to those people or scholars who only think Boudhika Prajñā (more of Empirical Evidence used in Scientific community) as real pramana to verify truths or facts. But Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma accepts highest facts of Rishis and their words, which are scriptures, as ultimate truths. Allowing views or opinions of Scholars, who ridicule Rishis or those who don't understand heart of Rishis or Vedas, doesn't even go in accordance with first point mentioned in same answer.
However, we do have some schools who don't agree with everything mentioned in scriptures or some schools even interpret some scriptures in different way. For instance Swamis like Dayananda Saraswati and Vivekananda are usually critical of some Puranas and Smritis but at same time they accept truths of Vedas and Upanishads. These swamis do accept Rishis reach highest level of consciousness and also accept Rishis literally see truths. Although we see some differences from traditional hindus on some issues they still adhere to core beliefs of hinduism like Vedas as infallible truths. So, we can allow all school of thoughts , views of Acharyas that come under Hinduism, given they don't go against core beliefs of hinduism.
This also doesn't mean we are limiting Sources only from Indians. There are many western scholars and Sadhakas who have understood gist of Scriptures like traditional hindus from Sir John Woodrooffe to Robert E. Svoboda (who is well known for his contribution to Ayurveda and Jyotishya in west) and David Frawley.
So, to keep answers as authentic as possible and to avoid unnecessary debates between Atheists who don't accept Rishi Vakyas and hindus who believe in Rishis, it's better to allow views from any scholars, Acharyas or famous personalities that are only in accordance with scriptures.
Seems like some users find "in accordance with scriptures" as ambiguous. If you are unable to find whether a source of "famous personalities or Scholars or researchers" is authentic or not, check if:
- Views of author mentioned in book can be supported directly from hindu scriptures?
- Views of author are accepted by majority of hindu sects or Acharyas?
Let's see few examples:
- Statement 1: Rama was a mythical king.
- Statement 2: Rama was Narayana Himself incarnated to kill demon king
Statement 1 can't be supported from scriptures because no scripture or sect in hinduism consider Rama as mythical while Statement 2 can be supported from scriptures.
- Statement 1: Ancient Indians imagined some design patterns in sky which purportedly affect people on Earth.
- statement 2: The seers of antiquity first generated images infused with philosophical and astrological import, images that expressed in
symbolic language the results of their observations about that
particular strip of sky, and only then wrestled those images into
alignment with the observed star.
Statement 1 can't be supported from any scripture because all sects in hinduism believe in Jyotishya where Rasis and Grahas influence all Jivas on Earth. Statement 2 can easily be supported from scriptures or from works of Acharyas. Indeed, second statement is taken from book, "Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India by Hart Defouw and Robert Svoboda"
- Statement 1: Mahabharata is myth created out of thin air from imagination of some Brahmins.
- Statement 2: Mahabharata is Ithihasa, iti ha āsa, literally "so indeed it was" and a real event.
Many sects in Hinduism agree with Statement 2 rather than Statement 1.