Dear Sriman Deva Krishna (aka Damien Bradley),
Please accept my warm regards.
It is now about two months since I sent you my last email to which I have received no response, nor any explanation for why you dropped out of the open discussion you agreed to have with me.
I won’t assume “silence means agreement” but it’s difficult not to wonder if, although you issue strongly worded statements against my arguments, you really take the matter seriously. And, if you did, why you would not, prior to our discussion, have taken the time to familiarize yourself with my position, which is based entirely on the books and statements in the line of the guru you have accepted as your spiritual master. After all, I am not presenting anything new, it is all ancient wisdom, philosophy and knowledge espoused by the gurus and scriptures in his line of authority.
It also seems very queer that before even reading Subjective Evolution of Consciousness you have taken strong positions that oppose the concepts expressed therein by Srila Sridhara Maharaja, one of the foremost authorities arguing against Darwinian evolution.
In short, you have ignored those books and persons representative of the most highly qualified thinkers, capable of refuting Darwinian evolution, before brazenly declaring it to be “indisputable”. As you wrote:
“My conclusions are thus:
– The fact that organisms evolve, i.e. change over time, is indisputable. It is as indisputable as the fact that the earth revolves around the sun.”
In any event, I shall continue my dispute of the “indisputable”, whether you respond or not.
Previously I wrote to you, “Nothing can be asserted that doesn’t presuppose consciousness. Therefore, ‘proof’ is always within the realm of consciousness and consciousness dictates whether what we believe has been proven, or not.” To this you responded:
This seems a little bit like a truism to me. It is only consciousness that can observe anything else, act with agency, make value judgments, etc. If no consciousness is present, no observations can be made, of course.
Good, I’m glad we can agree up to this point.
That being said, objective truth still about the universe still exists, even if we do not have a total grasp of it.
No, “objective truth still about the universe” does not exist.
If you believe “objective truth still about the universe still exists”, then prove it to me.
I’ll offer a few short reasons why you are wrong.
Consciousness is malleable and subject to external conscious influences.
Scientists are not only subject to the defect of imperfect senses, they are subject to all the defects of conditioned souls.
Vedic knowledge is not a question of research. Our research work is imperfect because we are researching things with imperfect senses. We have to accept perfect knowledge which comes down, as is stated in Bhagavad-gita, by the parampara (disciplic succession). We have to receive knowledge from the proper source in disciplic succession beginning with the supreme spiritual master, the Lord Himself, and handed down to a succession of spiritual masters. Arjuna, the student who took lessons from Lord Sri Krsna, accepts everything that He says without contradicting Him. One is not allowed to accept one portion of Bhagavad-gita and not another.
No. We must accept Bhagavad-gita without interpretation, without deletion and without our own whimsical participation in the matter. The Gita should be taken as the most perfect presentation of Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge is received from transcendental sources, and the first words were spoken by the Lord Himself. The words spoken by the Lord are called apauruseya, meaning that they are different from words spoken by a person of the mundane world who is infected with four defects. A mundaner (1) is sure to commit mistakes, (2) is invariably illusioned, (3) has the tendency to cheat others and (4) is limited by imperfect senses. With these four imperfections, one cannot deliver perfect information of all-pervading knowledge.
—BVS, BG, Introduction
After all, we may all be in the Matrix, or be part of an alien’s dream, or some other unfalsifiable hypothesis.
We are all “in the Matrix” in a manner of speaking, but it is not an unfalsifiable hypothesis.
We can deal with the unfalsifiability question later. For now I will only introduce the way Srila Sridhara Maharaja dealt with this very question about the Absolute, the falsifiability of His existence, which thereby proves His existence. By now you must have read this in the first chapter of Subjective Evolution of Consciousness.
The imperfect must be dependent upon the perfect, the ultimate reality. And the imperfect may be so arranged by him in order to prove his perfection. To prove the perfection of the Absolute, there is conditioned and unconditioned, finite and infinite reality. The defective world therefore has an indirect relation to the truth.—Subjective Evolution of Consciousness.
For now we need to concentrate on the fact that we are in the Matrix and incapable of understanding our surroundings properly without the help of a guide from outside who can see the Matrix for what it is and guide us out of its control over our thought processes.
Now, on to the Matrix:
Dr. Singh: Objective evolution is what modern science calls Darwinian evolution, but how does subjective evolution unfold in Krsna conscious science?
Sridhara Maharaja: You have to take the example of hypnotism. Through a form of mystic “hypnotism,” the super-subject controls the subject to see a particular thing, and he is bound to see that. One may think that as we see a stone, the stone compels us to see it as stone, but it is just the opposite: we are compelled to see it as stone being under the influence of the super-subject who displays everything as he likes. When he commands, “See stone,” then we shall see stone. Full control over whatever we see rests in his hands. No power to control what we see rests in the objective world. The objective world is fully controlled by the subjective. This is confirmed in Bhagavad Gita, where Krsna says pasya me yogam aisvaryam: “If I say, ‘Behold my mystic power,’ you are bound to see it. You have no other choice.”
Krsna says mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca: he is the prime cause of remembrance, forgetfulness, and intelligence. He is the controller. For his own pleasure, his lila, he can do anything. This is true not only in the material world, but also in his own domain. What is meant by this statement of the Gita concerns this brahmanda, this material world. The gist of this statement is that from the lower planetary systems up to the highest – this entire area of evolution and dissolution – everything is manipulated by him. No credit can be attached to any external thing. All credit should go to the center who controls everything.
For our purposes, the Matrix is the world as seen under the influence of maha maya, that illusion which causes the conscious entity to perceive consciousness as unconsciousness, aka matter.
I’m sure you’ve had the experience of being cheated, conned or manipulated to do something that was not in your best interest or that you would not have done except for the influence of another person. Why would that happen if you had the ability to see the world objectively? If it happens to you, does it not happen with scientists?
When a scientist buys a car, is he immune from the salesman’s influence? Is he immune from advertising? More importantly, is he immune from the seductive influence of a woman, responsibilities to family or some other object of beauty or desire?
I have often heard a justification for Mexicans crossing into the United States illegally to get illegal work. It is proposed by those on both sides of the issue, “Well, I don’t blame them. I would do the same thing if I needed to provide for my family.” Otherwise law abiding people, in many cases those responsible for shaping the law, announce publicly they would break the law to serve the needs of their family.
What would keep a scientist from falsifying data, or interpreting conclusions in such a way as to keep his grant money coming to keep from losing his house, or to keep his job so that he can maintain his family? Some will be constrained by conscience or morality, some by fences (peer review, or fear of being reported by their associates), but these fences are crossed just as easily as those on the southern border of the US when there is sufficient incentive to do so. And morality can easily change as one’s circumstances change. “Desperate men do desperate things.”
Until one is master of his senses, he is just like a dog. The dog’s main concern is, where is food, where is a good place to sleep, where is sex and how do I defend myself, my possessions, my mate, my offspring etc. from attack.
The materialistic scientist not only suffers from imperfect senses, he is dragged around by his senses from one sense object to another. Because his real interest is in material enjoyment he has no objective view of the world. The only source of pleasure he knows is provided by the world he is supposed to be studying objectively.
Is the fox in the chicken house the best source of objective knowledge about chickens? He is only thinking “Let me get one of these chickens as quickly as possible and escape from danger.”
The materialist, be he scientist or otherwise, is of the same mentality. “Let me get my enjoyment by some means or other, and escape before I have to pay the cost of what I have taken.”
To understand the material world properly, one must be free from its influence.
Who has the better understanding of a subject under hypnosis, the subject, or the audience viewing him? The audience being aloof from the influence of the hypnotist can see the foolish thinking and behavior of the subject. The audience also knows the cause of the foolishness. However, the subject believes he is thinking and behaving properly, normally. He can’t detect anything wrong with his thinking. Because he is under the influence of another, due to being hypnotized by him, the subject sees the world as the hypnotist wants him to see it, not as it is.
Is the scientist free from such influences? You know they are not. Then why invest them with the sort or power and position that places them on a pedestal above God? Why should we accept their explanation of human causality (speciation) when we know their explanation must be flawed at the most basic level? The very foundation upon which they build their case is deception, by proclaiming themselves to be capable of objectivity.
You do not care to solve the greatest danger. You say that you are big thinkers, that you are great men, and that you should command the respect of society, but the general inevitable problem for every atom here is death. What is your contribution for solving the greatest danger which is waiting to devour everyone scientist, insect, or virus? What is your solution to death? Have you taken any steps to solve that universal danger? What you are doing at present is exploitation, and you are encouraging a lower life as a reaction. You are exploiting nature, and everyone who is deriving the benefits will have to pay to the farthing with interest.
“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This is your statement, but what have you done to solve that? You are endangering the fate of the world by your fascinating proposals of apparent comfort. What is this? You are avoiding the greatest inevitable danger, so your life is a useless malengagement. In one sense, you are traitors to society.—The Search for Sri Krishna
Does peer review or any other safeguard provide true objectivity in testing hypothesis? Not really. Have you never heard of one of the biggest problems with peer review, “confirmation bias”?
“confirmation bias- a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.”—Wikipedia
Or, as Russ Roberts phrased it, “Confirmation bias is not taking seriously what you don’t see.”
No quantity of imperfects can equal one perfect. No quantity of those subject to illusion (subjectivity) can provide one objective conclusion.
What is the true nature of the Matrix we live in?
Please listen attentively to what I shall explain. In a scientific way I shall try to explain, the subject to you, in general, independent of all religious conceptions.
First of all we are to understand that there are three planes of life: the plane of mundane enjoyment, the plane of renunciation, and the plane of dedication.
The plane of enjoyment is where we are at present, more or less. Mundane enjoyment means exploitation; and without exploitation, none can exist in this plane:
ahastani sahastananam apadani catuspadam, laghuni tatra mahatma jivo jivasya jivanam
“Those that have hands live on those who have no hands. Four-footed animals live on grass, creepers, etc. and the big live on the small.” Everything is full of life: creepers, grass, and trees also life, but without exploitation none can maintain their body here.
This is the plane of exploitation, and, as Newton’s third law says, to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. By exploitation one takes a loan, and to clear that loan he will have to go down. In this way, there are so many jivas (souls) going up and down, up and down due to action and reaction in the plane of exploitation. Society is trying to exploit. Society is trying to exploit to the utmost; everywhere there is the attempt to live at the cost of others. Without it, life is impossible in this area because this is the plane of exploitation.—Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Home Comfort
Science, as you understand it, is not interested in finding truth. Its goal is the exploitation of the resources of the environment, be they plant, animal, mineral or human. It is not the science that will satisfy your real interest.
You wrote, “I am simply passionate about the pursuit of truth.” If you are really serious about the pursuit of truth, you are giving too much attention to the science that is only interested in improving technology, not finding truth.
Real truth is that which does not change under any circumstances. The science you are defending against my attacks undergoes constant change. Nothing is certain about that science, yet you proclaim it as being a reliable source of facts that are indisputable. To wit, you wrote:
My conclusions are thus:
– The fact that organisms evolve, i.e. change over time, is indisputable. It is as indisputable as the fact that the earth revolves around the sun.
Then again, you say it is subject to constant refinement, that means it is not certain, it is not reliable.
– Natural selection, Darwin’s theory (note that the word theory is used differently in a scientific context), is so far the best explanation for the mechanism by which species evolve and become more complex over eons of time. His theory has withstood the test of time and scientific scrutiny, including the discovery of DNA, for 150 years. It has also made predictions that turn out to be true. It is constantly being refined, of course; that is how science works.
“is so far the best” is a declaration of unreliability, uncertainty. Indirectly you are admitting, “But tomorrow we may find it is not the best.” You may call that science, but great thinkers past and present disagree, they see it for what it is, speculation, not science.
Next you offer as substantiation for Darwin’s theory being the best, that it has withstood the test of scientific scrutiny (which I’ve already proven to be defective) and the test of time, as if 150 years was a long time. 150 years is nothing. That is no test of time. Time is eternal and Darwin’s theory has not withstood that test of time, the only test that matters.
This is more speculation.
One may say “The price of gold is moving up. It has been trending upwards for 3 yrs.”, or 5 yrs., or whatever. To say it will continue to rise in price for the next 3-5 years is speculation, not science. Yet this is what you are calling science.
You simply change the time frame from 5 years to 150 years and think your theory (uncertain prediction of outcomes, a supposition) should be accepted as science (the certain prediction of outcomes).
Ironically, even the dictionary definition of theory inadvertently points to a defect, by definition, with “Darwin’s ‘theory’ of evolution.”
supposition- an uncertain belief:
and from a Thesaurus:
her supposition is based on previous results: belief, surmise, idea, notion, suspicion, conjecture, speculation,inference, theory, hypothesis, postulation, guess, feeling, hunch, assumption, presumption.
theory- a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained: Darwin’s theory of evolution.
If Darwin is a product of evolution, how can his theory possibly be based on general principles independent of the thing (evolution) being explained? The general principles Darwin proposes are born of his thought processes which are produced (according to him) by evolution. To accept Darwin’s proposal is circular, “The proof evolution occurs is that I have evolved.” (a tautology as you like to call it), i.e. according to Darwin, evolution proves evolution.
This is a general problem with science. They are like so many germs in a drop of water being studied under someone’s, I’ll call him John, microscope, and believing they can explain their position, how they came to be in that position, and the reason and cause for it.
Even if they are highly intelligent and endowed with the five knowledge acquiring senses, if a small group of these germs declare they are scientists and they can explain their environment so well that there is no need to get information from any other source, including John, does that declaration, that they are the authority, mean they actually are the authority? Will those germs ever know what John knows, that he has taken a sample of pond scum and put a drop of it under his microscope for examination? Can they possibly even know that John is observing them?
When the drop of water, that is their universe, is manipulated by John will you look to the germ scientists to tell you the cause, or to John?
The first generation of these bacteria may remember some small details of the pond they came from. After that, succeeding generations will only know this as the tale of their ancestors. They will never be able to prove it, after being separated from the pond.
The germ scientist’s knowledge will always be limited by time and space, the very same problems that befuddle the scientists you say we should rely upon for our knowledge.
The germ may have a lifespan of a few minutes, hours or days and his space may be limited to the size of a drop of water. Because our lifespan is measured in years instead of minutes and our space is measured in miles, or light years, rather than millimeters, does not eliminate the problems at hand, the unknown that lies beyond our finite knowledge, accumulated from within a tiny particle of unlimited time and space.
In the vastness of time and space we suffer from the same difficulty as the germ. We are tiny and insignificant in comparison to time and space, whether you take them to be infinite or merely immeasurable.
The science you believe in, based on induction (extrapolating the cause by observing a tiny fragment of the effect), will never provide a comprehensive, and thereby, conclusive, verdict on the things it studies. The complexity of living organisms coupled with the variations of environment, which may include influences of unknown and unpredictable phenomena, do not lend themselves to a thorough understanding by the process of induction.
That “science” will never know all that it does not know (“Confirmation bias is not taking seriously what you don’t see.”). Without knowing everything that causes the appearance of changes discussed in evolution theory, you cannot possibly know whether evolution is occurring as explained by Darwin or as explained by Srila Sridhara Maharaja and the Vedas.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s explanation based on Vedic knowledge, which I accept, is that all the species already exist. Every species is created along with the creation of the universe. Sometimes they are seen (manifest) and sometimes they are not seen (unmanifest). In this regard he offers the example of the sun. Because it is not visible at night, does not mean it does not exist, it is simply not seen. Neither is the sun born with each new day. It is existing regardless of whether it is visible or not visible.
The same is true for the various species of life.
To believe evolution occurs by way of Dawin’s explanation is as much a foolish superstitious belief, by knowers of the truth, as the ancient superstition that the sun is born and dies with each beginning and ending day is seen as silly superstition by today’s astronomers.
Vedic knowledge is the only knowledge that can offer ultimate reliability. Because it comes from beyond the limits of time and space it is called sruti pramana, Vedic proof, and is not subject to the four defects of mistake, illusion, imperfect senses and the cheating propensity.
Prabhupada: …logic also it is admitted that inductive logic is imperfect; deductive logic is perfect. [break] …logic means srota-pantha, parampara, sruti, Vedic language, sruti. Sruti pramana. Pramana means evidence, and sruti means Veda. Pratyaksa, anumana, sruti. Pratyaksa means direct, direct evidence, and anumana, hypothesis. That is Darwin’s theory, something like that. And sruti, Vedic. So out of these three kinds of evidences, sruti-pramana is accepted as supreme, neither anumana nor pratyaksa. Pratyaksa, you are seeing the sky, but you cannot say the length and breadth. You cannot say. You are seeing daily. If you say, “I have got this telescope,” so that is an imperfect. and how you can see with your eyes directly, direct sense perception? Hypothesis, anumana, guessing, that is also not perfect. And sruti, we take sruti from the perfect person, Krsna. He says, aham evasam agre: “Before the creation I was there.” We take simply.
Morning Walk — July 11, 1975, Chicago
Even if you could prove that speciation occurred in some instance, or even multiple instances, it does not prove it occurs in every instance and in a proven progression. Therefore Darwin’s theory remains, even after 150 years, as a theory of evolution, not the law of evolution.
New species are discovered with great regularity. Only when there is certainty that every species that has ever existed, in the entire universe, has been examined and found to have evolved from a previous species, can evolution be proved as a fact. Until that time there is uncertainty, and no one knows how important a newly discovered species or newly discovered fact may be in relation to the entire theory.
Darwin’s theory is not a new one either. Such theories were proposed thousands of years ago and proven defective by superior scholars and scientists.
These theories are not science, they are fads. One fad is popular for a few hundred or a few thousand years, then another fad becomes popular. Those reveling in these fads are like children with a hula hoop, a pet rock or a chia pet. If you don’t know what these are, it’s because you’re not old enough. Historical research will tell you about them, just as it will tell you about ancient theories like those of Darwin that pass in and out of favor with the passage of time.
The main categories of these philosophies, theories and science are known as sad-darsana-vyakhya and their discussion has been enjoyed by philosophers and scientists since time immemorial:
500 years ago:
sad-darsana-vyakhya vina katha nahi etha
misra krpa kari’ more sunana krsna-katha
sat-darsana — of the six philosophical theses; vyakhya — explanation; vina — except; katha — talk; nahi — not; etha — here; misra — Tapana Misra; krpa kari’ — being very merciful; more — unto me; sunana — explains; krsna-katha — topics of Lord Sri Krsna.
Candrasekhara continued, “There is no talk at Varanasi other than discussions on the six philosophical theses. Nonetheless, Tapana Misra has been very kind to me, for he speaks about topics relating to Lord Krsna.
The six philosophical theses are (1) Vaisesika, propounded by Kanada Rsi, (2) Nyaya, propounded by Gautama Rsi, (3) Yoga, or mysticism, propounded by Patanjali Rsi, (4) the philosophy of Sankhya, propounded by Kapila Rsi, (5) the philosophy of Karma-mimamsa, propounded by Jaimini Rsi, and (6) the philosophy of Brahma-mimamsa, or Vedanta, the ultimate conclusion of the Absolute Truth (janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]), propounded by Vedavyasa… CC, Madhya 17.96
500 B.C., or so:
There is no doubt that philosophical literature originated in India. Although there are many kinds of philosophies, they are grossly divided into six categories. These six categories of philosophy are known in India as sad-darsana. These six philosophies are also widely respected in Greece. Through intensive research, Garbe, who was a professor in Greece, has recently ascertained that Aristotle was the disciple of Gautama’s philosophy of Nyaya, Thelis was the disciple of Kanada’s philosophy of Vaisesika, Sacretis was the disciple of Jaimini’s Mimamsa, Pluto was the disciple of Vyasadeva’s Vedanta, Pythagoras was the disciple of Kapila’s Sankhya, and Zino was the disciple of Patanjali’s yoga.—Bhakti Vinoda Thakura, “Sajjana-tosani” 7/1
“According to the Nirukti, or the Vedic dictionary, sankhya means that which describes things in detail“—BVS, Bg 2.39, Purport.
These detailed analytical descriptions (sankhya) can be carried out from two planes, the mundane (speculative, typified by the atheist Kapila) and the transcendental (revealed truth). The transcendental explanations have been given by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita and by His incarnation, Lord Kapila, in the Srimad Bhagavatam viz. (emphasis added):
Bhagavad-gita, 5,000 years ago:
esa te ‘bhihita sankhye
buddhir yoge tv imam srnu
buddhya yukto yaya partha
esa — all this; te — unto you; abhihita — described; sankhye — in analytical study; buddhih — intelligence; yoge — in work without fruitive result; tu — but; imam — this; srnu — just hear; buddhya — by intelligence; yuktah — dovetailed; yaya — by which; partha — O son of Prtha; karma — bandham — bondage of reaction; prahasyasi — you can be released from.
Thus far I have described this knowledge to you through analytical study [sankhya]. Now listen as I explain it in terms of working without fruitive results. O son of Prtha, when you act in such knowledge you can free yourself from the bondage of works.—Bg 2.39
And, from Srimad Bhagavatam:, re: Lord Kapila, thousands of years ago
The sum total of the creative elements is twenty-four in all. Each and every one of them is explicitly explained in the system of Sankhya philosophy. Sankhya philosophy is generally called metaphysics by the European scholars. The etymological meaning of sankhya is “that which explains very lucidly by analysis of the material elements.” This was done for the first time by Lord Kapila, who is said herein to be the fifth in the line of incarnations.—Bhakti Vedanta Swami, Purport, SB 1.3.10
The five principal philosophical arguments in favor of a totally material explanation for all causes and causality were already extant more than 5,000 years ago when Srila Vyasadeva refuted them in his Vedanta-sutra and his commentary on it, Srimad Bhagavatam. Sriman Mahaprabhu addressed all these points when he spoke to the assembly of Sripada Prakashananda, in Benares, one of the recognized centers for the highest philosophical (“science of sciences”) studies in India.
In his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives the following summary of the six philosophical processes. Prakasananda admitted that Sripada Sankaracarya, being very eager to establish his philosophy of monism, took shelter of the Vedanta philosophy and tried to explain it in his own way. The fact is, however, that if one accepts the existence of God, one certainly cannot establish the theory of monism. For this reason Sankaracarya refuted all kinds of Vedic literature that establishes the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead.
In various ways, Sankaracarya has tried to refute the Vedic literature. Throughout the world, ninety-nine percent of the philosophers following in the footsteps of Sankaracarya refuse to accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Instead they try to establish their own opinions. It is typical of mundane philosophers to want to establish their own opinions and refute those of others. Therefore: (1) The Mimamsaka philosophers, following the principles of Jaimini, stress fruitive activity and say that if there is a God, He must be under the laws of fruitive activity. In other words, if one performs his duties very nicely in the material world, God is obliged to give one the desired result. According to these philosophers, there is no need to become a devotee of God. If one strictly follows moral principles, one will be recognized by the Lord, who will give the desired reward. Such philosophers do not accept the Vedic principle of bhakti-yoga. Instead, they give stress to following one’s prescribed duty. (2) Atheistic Sankhya philosophers like Kapila analyze the material elements very scrutinizingly and thereby come to the conclusion that material nature is the cause of everything. They do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the cause of all causes. (3) Nyaya philosophers like Gautama and Kanada have accepted a combination of atoms as the original cause of the creation. (4) Mayavadi philosophers say that everything is an illusion. Headed by philosophers like Astavakra, they stress the impersonal Brahman effulgence as the cause of everything. (5) Philosophers following the precepts of Patanjali practice raja-yoga. They imagine a form of the Absolute Truth within many forms. That is their process of self-realization.
All five of these philosophies completely reject the predominance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and strive to establish their own philosophical theories. However, Srila Vyasadeva wrote the Vedanta-sutra and, taking the essence of all Vedic literature, established the supremacy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All five kinds of philosophers mentioned above understand that impersonal Brahman is without material qualities, and they believe that when the Personality of Godhead appears, He is contaminated and covered by the material qualities. The technical term used is saguna. They speak of saguna Brahman and nirguna Brahman. For them, nirguna Brahman means “the impersonal Absolute Truth without any material qualities” and saguna Brahman means “the Absolute Truth that accepts the contamination of material qualities.” More or less, this kind of philosophical speculation is called Mayavada philosophy. The fact is, however, that the Absolute Truth never has anything to do with material qualities because He is transcendental. He is always complete with full spiritual qualities. The five philosophers mentioned above do not accept Lord Visnu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they are very busy refuting the philosophies of other schools. There are six kinds of philosophical processes in India. Because Vyasadeva is the Vedic authority, he is known as Vedavyasa. His philosophical explanation of the Vedanta-sutra is accepted by the devotees. As Krsna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita (15.15):
sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known; indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”
The ultimate goal of studying all Vedic literature is the acceptance of Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Krsna consciousness movement is propagating the philosophical conclusion of Srila Vyasadeva and following other great acaryas like Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnu Svami, Nimbarka and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself.—BVS, CC, Madhya 25.56, Purport
Below (emphasis added), the issues at hand have also been addressed, particularly in the purport to the following verse where you will find a portion of Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushana’s commentary on Vedanta, Govinda-bhasya.
Again, I suspect you have not read any of this or, if you have, it was without giving it proper attention, or it was attended to with some other deficiency in your study, such as lacking the guidance of a higher Vaishnava who, if properly inquired from, could have dispelled any doubts you may have had.
maya yaiche dui amsa — ‘nimitta’, ‘upadana’
maya — ‘nimitta’-hetu, upadana — ‘pradhana’
purusa isvara aiche dvi-murti ha-iya
visva-srsti kare ‘nimitta’ ‘upadana’ lana
maya — the external energy; yaiche — as; dui amsa — two parts; nimitta — the cause; upadana — the ingredients; maya — the material energy; nimitta-hetu — original cause; upadana — ingredients; pradhana — immediate cause; purusa — the person Lord Visnu; isvara — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; aiche — in that way; dvi-murti ha-iya — taking two forms; visva-srsti kare — creates this material world; nimitta — the original cause; upadana — the material cause; lana — with.
Just as the external energy consists of two parts — the efficient cause [nimitta] and the material cause [upadana], maya being the efficient cause and pradhana the material cause — so Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, assumes two forms to create the material world with the efficient and material causes.
There are two kinds of research to find the original cause of creation. One conclusion is that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the all-blissful, eternal, all knowing form, is indirectly the cause of this cosmic manifestation and directly the cause of the spiritual world, where there are innumerable spiritual planets known as Vaikunthas, as well as His personal abode, known as Goloka Vrndavana. In other words, there are two manifestations — the material cosmos and the spiritual world. As in the material world there are innumerable planets and universes, so in the spiritual world there are also innumerable spiritual planets and universes, including the Vaikunthas and Goloka. The Supreme Lord is the cause of both the material and spiritual worlds. The other conclusion, of course, is that this cosmic manifestation is caused by an inexplicable unmanifested void. This argument is meaningless.
The first conclusion is accepted by the Vedanta philosophers, and the second is supported by the atheistic philosophical system of the Sankhya smrti, which directly opposes the Vedantic philosophical conclusion. Material scientists cannot see any cognizant spiritual substance that might be the cause of the creation. Such atheistic Sankhya philosophers think that the symptoms of knowledge and living force visible in the innumerable living creatures are caused by the three qualities of the cosmic manifestation. Therefore the Sankhyites are against the conclusion of Vedanta regarding the original cause of creation.
Factually, the supreme absolute spirit soul is the cause of every kind of manifestation, and He is always complete, both as the energy and as the energetic. The cosmic manifestation is caused by the energy of the Supreme Absolute Person, in whom all energies are conserved. Philosophers who are subjectively engaged in the cosmic manifestation can appreciate only the wonderful energies of matter. Such philosophers accept the conception of God only as a product of the material energy. According to their conclusions, the source of the energy is also a product of the energy. [“steady state”, “big bang”, “singularity” and all other mundane explanations rely on this tautology] Such philosophers wrongly observe that the living creatures within the cosmic manifestation are caused by the material energy, and they think that the supreme absolute conscious being must similarly be a product of the material energy.
Since materialistic philosophers and scientists are too much engaged with their imperfect senses, naturally they conclude that the living force is a product of a material combination. But the actual fact is just the opposite. Matter is a product of spirit. According to the Bhagavad-gita, the supreme spirit, the Personality of Godhead, is the source of all energies. When one advances in research work by studying a limited substance within the limits of space and time, one is amazed by the various wonderful cosmic manifestations, and naturally one goes on hypnotically accepting the path of research work or the inductive method. Through the deductive way of understanding, however, one accepts the Supreme Absolute Person, the Personality of Godhead, as the cause of all causes, who is full with diverse energies and who is neither impersonal nor void. The impersonal manifestation of the Supreme Person is another display of His energy. Therefore the conclusion that matter is the original cause of creation is completely different from the real truth. The material manifestation is caused by the glance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is inconceivably potent. Material nature is electrified by the supreme authority, and the conditioned soul, within the limits of time and space, is trapped by awe of the material manifestation. In other words, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is actually realized in the vision of a material philosopher and scientist through the manifestations of His material energy. For one who does not understand the power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His diverse energies because of not knowing the relationship between the source of the energies and the energies themselves, there is always a chance of error, which is known as vivarta. As long as materialistic scientists and philosophers do not come to the right conclusion, certainly they will hover above the material field, bereft of proper understanding of the Absolute Truth.
The great Vaisnava philosopher Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana has very nicely explained the materialistic conclusion in his Govinda-bhasya, a commentary on the Vedanta-sutra. He writes as follows:
“The Sankhya philosopher [atheist] Kapila has connected the different elementary truths according to his own opinion. Material nature, according to him, consists of the equilibrium of the three material qualities — goodness, passion and ignorance. Material nature produces the material energy, known as mahat, and mahat produces the false ego. The ego produces the five objects of sense perception, which produce the ten senses (five for acquiring knowledge and five for working), the mind and the five gross elements. Counting the purusa, or the enjoyer, with these twenty-four elements, there are twenty-five different truths. The nonmanifested stage of these twenty-five elementary truths is called prakrti, or material nature. The qualities of material nature can associate in three different stages, namely as the cause of happiness, the cause of distress and the cause of illusion. The quality of goodness is the cause of material happiness, the quality of passion is the cause of material distress, and the quality of ignorance is the cause of illusion. Our material experience lies within the boundaries of these three manifestations of happiness, distress and illusion. For example, a beautiful woman is certainly a cause of material happiness for one who possesses her as a wife, but the same beautiful woman is a cause of distress to a man whom she rejects or who is the cause of her anger, and if she leaves a man she becomes the cause of illusion.
“The two kinds of senses are the ten external senses and the one internal sense, the mind. Thus there are eleven senses. According to Kapila, material nature is eternal and all-powerful. Originally there is no spirit, and matter has no cause. Matter itself is the chief cause of everything. It is the all-pervading cause of all causes. The Sankhya philosophy regards the total energy (mahat-tattva), the false ego and the five objects of sense perception as the seven diverse manifestations of material nature, which has two features, known as the material cause and efficient cause. The purusa, the enjoyer, is without transformation, whereas material nature is always subject to transformation. But although material nature is inert, it is the cause of enjoyment and salvation for many living creatures. Its activities are beyond the conception of sense perception, but still one may guess at them by superior intelligence. Material nature is one, but because of the interaction of the three qualities, it can produce the total energy and the wonderful cosmic manifestation. Such transformations divide material nature into two features, namely the efficient and material causes. The purusa, the enjoyer, is inactive and without material qualities, although at the same time He is the master, existing separately in each and every body as the emblem of knowledge. By understanding the material cause, one can guess that the purusa, the enjoyer, being without activity, is aloof from all kinds of enjoyment or superintendence. Sankhya philosophy, after describing the nature of prakrti (material nature) and purusa (the enjoyer), asserts that the creation is only a product of their unification or proximity to one another. With such unification the living symptoms are visible in material nature, but one can guess that in the person of the enjoyer, the purusa, there are powers of control and enjoyment. When the purusa is illusioned for want of sufficient knowledge, He feels Himself to be the enjoyer, and when He is in full knowledge He is liberated. In the Sankhya philosophy the purusa is described to be always indifferent to the activities of prakrti.
“The Sankhya philosopher accepts three kinds of evidences, namely direct perception, hypothesis and traditional authority. When such evidence is complete, everything is perfect. The process of comparison is within such perfection. Beyond such evidence there is no proof. There is not much controversy regarding direct perceptional evidence or authorized traditional evidence. The Sankhya system of philosophy identifies three kinds of procedures — namely, parinamat (transformation), samanvayat (adjustment) and saktitah (performance of energies) — as the causes of the cosmic manifestation.”
Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, in his commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, has tried to nullify this conclusion because he thinks that discrediting these so-called causes of the cosmic manifestation will nullify the entire Sankhya philosophy. Materialistic philosophers accept matter to be the material and efficient cause of creation; for them, matter is the cause of every type of manifestation. Generally they give the example of a waterpot and clay. Clay is the cause of the waterpot, but the clay can be found as both cause and effect. The waterpot is the effect and clay itself is the cause, but clay is visible everywhere. A tree is matter, but a tree produces fruit. Water is matter, but water flows. In this way, say the Sankhyites, matter is the cause of movements and production. As such, matter can be considered the material and efficient cause of everything in the cosmic manifestation. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana has therefore enunciated the nature of pradhana as follows:
“Material nature is inert, and as such it cannot be the cause of matter, neither as the material nor as the efficient cause. Seeing the wonderful arrangement and management of the cosmic manifestation generally suggests that a living brain is behind this arrangement, for without a living brain such an arrangement could not exist. One should not imagine that such an arrangement can exist without conscious direction. In our practical experience we never see that inert bricks can themselves construct a big building.
“The example of the water pot cannot be accepted because a waterpot has no perception of pleasure and distress. Such perception is within. Therefore the covering body, or the waterpot, cannot be synchronized with it.
“Sometimes the material scientist suggests that trees grow from the earth automatically, without assistance from a gardener, because that is a tendency of matter. They also consider the intuition of living creatures from birth to be material. But such material tendencies as bodily intuition cannot be accepted as independent, for they suggest the existence of a spirit soul within the body. Actually, neither the tree nor any other body of a living creature has any tendency or intuition; the tendency and intuition exist because the soul is present within the body. In this connection, the example of a car and driver may be given very profitably. The car has a tendency to turn right and left, but one cannot say that the car itself, as matter, turns right and left without the direction of a driver. A material car has neither tendencies nor intuitions independent of the intentions of the driver within the car. The same principle applies for the automatic growth of trees in the forest. The growth takes place because of the soul’s presence within the tree.
“Sometimes foolish people take it for granted that because scorpions are born from heaps of rice, the rice has produced the scorpions. The real fact, however, is that the mother scorpion lays eggs within the rice and by the proper fermentation of the rice the eggs give birth to several baby scorpions, which in due course come out. This does not mean that the rice gives birth to the scorpions. Similarly, sometimes bugs are seen to come from dirty beds. This does not mean, however, that the beds give birth to the bugs. It is the living soul that comes forth, taking advantage of the dirty condition of the bed. There are different kinds of living creatures. Some of them come from embryos, some from eggs and some from the fermentation of perspiration. Different living creatures have different sources of appearance, but one should not conclude that matter produces such living creatures.
“The example cited by materialists that trees automatically come from the earth follows the same principle. Taking advantage of a certain condition, a living entity comes from the earth. According to the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad, every living being is forced by divine superintendence to take a certain type of body according to his past deeds. There are many varieties of bodies, and because of a divine arrangement a living entity takes bodies of different shapes.
“When a person thinks ‘I am doing this,’ the ‘I am’ does not refer to the body. It refers to something more than the body, or within the body. As such, the body as it is has neither tendencies nor intuition; the tendencies and intuition belong to the soul within the body. Material scientists sometimes suggest that the tendencies of male and female bodies cause their union and that this is the cause of the birth of the child. But since the purusa, according to Sankhya philosophy, is always unaffected, where does the tendency to give birth come from?
“Sometimes material scientists give the example that milk turns into curd automatically and that distilled water pouring from the clouds falls down to earth, produces different kinds of trees, and enters different kinds of flowers and fruits with different fragrances and tastes. Therefore, they say, matter produces varieties of material things on its own. In reply to this argument, the same proposition of the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad — that different kinds of living creatures are put into different kinds of bodies by the management of a superior power — is repeated. Under superior superintendence, various souls, according to their past activities, are given the chance to take a particular type of body, such as that of a tree, animal, bird or beast, and thus their different tendencies develop under these circumstances. The Bhagavad-gita (13.22) also further affirms:
purusah prakrti-stho hi
bhunkte prakrti-jan gunan
karanam guna-sango ‘sya
‘The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species.’ The soul is given different types of bodies. For example, were souls not given varieties of tree bodies, the different varieties of fruits and flowers could not be produced. Each class of tree produces a particular kind of fruit and flower; it is not that there is no distinction between the different classes. An individual tree does not produce flowers of different colors or fruits of different tastes. There are demarcated classes, as we find them among humans, animals, birds and other species. There are innumerable living entities, and their activities, performed in the material world according to the different qualities of the material modes of nature, give them the chance to have different kinds of lives.
“Thus one should understand that pradhana, matter, cannot act unless impelled by a living creature. The materialistic theory that matter independently acts cannot, therefore, be accepted. Matter is called prakrti, which refers to female energy. A woman is prakrti, a female. A female cannot produce a child without the association of a purusa, a man. The purusa causes the birth of a child because the man injects the soul, which is sheltered in the semen, into the womb of the woman. The woman, as the material cause, supplies the body of the soul, and as the efficient cause she gives birth to the child. But although the woman appears to be the material and efficient cause of the birth of a child, originally the purusa, the male, is the cause of the child. Similarly, this material world gives rise to varieties of manifestations due to the entrance of Garbhodakasayi Visnu within the universe. He is present not only within the universe but within the bodies of all living creatures, as well as within the atom. We understand from the Brahma-samhita that the Supersoul is present within the universe, within the atom and within the heart of every living creature. Therefore the theory that matter is the cause of the entire cosmic manifestation cannot be accepted by any man with sufficient knowledge of matter and spirit.
“Materialists sometimes give the argument that as straw eaten by a cow produces milk automatically, so material nature, under different circumstances, produces varieties of manifestations. Thus originally matter is the cause. In refuting this argument, we may say that an animal of the same species as the cow — namely, the bull — also eats straw like the cow but does not produce milk. Under the circumstances, it cannot be said that straw in connection with a particular species produces milk. The conclusion should be that there is superior management, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (9.10), where the Lord says, mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram: ‘This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings.’ The Supreme Lord says, mayadhyaksena (‘under My superintendence’). When He desires that the cow produce milk by eating straw, there is milk, and when
He does not so desire it, the mixture of such straw cannot produce milk. If the way of material nature had been that straw produced milk, a stack of straw could also produce milk. But that is not possible. And the same straw given to a human female also cannot produce milk. That is the meaning of the Bhagavad-gita’s statement that only under superior orders does anything take place. Matter itself has no power to produce independently. The conclusion, therefore, is that matter, which has no self-knowledge, cannot be the cause of the material creation. The ultimate creator is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“If matter were accepted as the original cause of creation, all the authorized scriptures in the world would be useless, for in every scripture, especially the Vedic scriptures like the Manu-smrti, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is said to be the ultimate creator. The Manu-smrti is considered the highest Vedic direction to humanity. Manu is the giver of law to mankind, and in the Manu-smrti it is clearly stated that before the creation the entire universal space was darkness, without information and without variety, and was in a state of complete suspension, like a dream. Everything was darkness. The Supreme Personality of Godhead then entered the universal space, and although He is invisible, He created the visible cosmic manifestation. In the material world the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not manifested by His personal presence, but the presence of the cosmic manifestation in different varieties is the proof that everything has been created under His direction [evidence for the falsifiability of the Supreme Personality of Godhead]. He entered the universe with all creative potencies, and thus He removed the darkness of the unlimited space.
“The form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described to be transcendental, very subtle, eternal, all-pervading, inconceivable and therefore nonmanifested to the material senses of a conditioned living creature. He desired to expand Himself into many living entities, and with such a desire He first created a vast expanse of water within the universal space and then impregnated that water with living entities. By that process of impregnation a massive body appeared, blazing like a thousand suns, and in that body was the first creative principle, Brahma. The great Parasara Rsi has confirmed this in the Visnu Purana. He says that the cosmic manifestation visible to us is produced from Lord Visnu and sustained under His protection. He is the principal maintainer and destroyer of the universal form.
“This cosmic manifestation is one of the diverse energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As a spider secretes saliva and weaves a web by its own movements but at the end winds up the web within its body, so Lord Visnu produces this cosmic manifestation from His transcendental body and at the end winds it up within Himself. All the great sages of the Vedic understanding have accepted that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the original creator.
“It is sometimes claimed that the impersonal speculations of great philosophers are meant for the advancement of knowledge without religious ritualistic principles. But the religious ritualistic principles are actually meant for the advancement of spiritual knowledge. By performance of religious rituals one ultimately reaches the supreme goal of knowledge by understanding that Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the cause of everything. It is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gita that even those who are advocates of knowledge alone, without any religious ritualistic processes, advance in knowledge after many, many lifetimes of speculation and thus come to the conclusion that Vasudeva is the supreme cause of everything that be. As a result of this achievement of the goal of life, such an advanced learned scholar or philosopher surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Religious ritualistic performances are actually meant to cleanse the contaminated mind in the material world, and the special feature of this Age of Kali is that one can easily execute the process of cleansing the mind of contamination by chanting the holy names of God — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
“A Vedic injunction states, sarve veda yat padam amananti (Katha Up. 1.2.15): all Vedic knowledge is searching after the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, another Vedic injunction states, narayana-para vedah: the Vedas are meant for understanding Narayana, the Supreme Lord. Similarly, the Bhagavad-gita also confirms, vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah: [Bg. 15.15] by all the Vedas, Krsna is to be known. Therefore, the main purpose of understanding the Vedas, performing Vedic sacrifices and speculating on the Vedanta-sutra is to understand Krsna. Accepting the impersonalist view of voidness or the nonexistence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead negates all study of the Vedas. Impersonal speculation aims at disproving the conclusion of the Vedas. Therefore any impersonal speculative presentation should be understood to be against the principles of the Vedas, or standard scriptures. Since the speculation of the impersonalists does not follow the principles of the Vedas, their conclusion must be considered to be against the Vedic principles. Anything not supported by the Vedic principles must be considered imaginary and lacking in standard proof. Therefore no impersonalist explanation of any Vedic literature can be accepted.
“If one tries to nullify the conclusions of the Vedas by accepting an unauthorized scripture or so-called scripture, it will be very hard for him to come to the right conclusion about the Absolute Truth. The system for adjusting two contradictory scriptures is to refer to the Vedas, for references from the Vedas are accepted as final judgments. When we refer to a particular scripture, it must be authorized, and for this authority it must strictly follow the Vedic injunctions. If someone presents an alternative doctrine he himself has manufactured, that doctrine will prove itself useless, for any doctrine that tries to prove that Vedic evidence is meaningless immediately proves itself meaningless. The followers of the Vedas unanimously accept the authority of Manu and Parasara in the disciplic succession. Their statements, however, do not support the atheistic Kapila, because the Kapila mentioned in the Vedas is a different Kapila, the son of Kardama and Devahuti. The atheist Kapila is a descendant of the dynasty of Agni and is one of the conditioned souls. But the Kapila who is the son of Kardama Muni is accepted as an incarnation of Vasudeva. The Padma Purana gives evidence that the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vasudeva takes birth in the incarnation of Kapila and, by His expansion of theistic Sankhya philosophy, teaches all the demigods and a brahmana of the name Asuri. In the doctrine of the atheist Kapila there are many statements directly against the Vedic principles. The atheist Kapila does not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He says that the living entity is himself the Supreme Lord and that no one is greater than him. His conceptions of so-called conditioned and liberated life are materialistic, and he refuses to accept the importance of immortal time. All such statements are against the principles of the Vedanta-sutra.”
CC, Adi 6.14–15
Real science tells us things we can always depend on.
dehino ‘smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
dehinah — of the embodied; asmin — in this; yatha — as; dehe — in the body; kaumaram — boyhood; yauvanam — youth; jara — old age; tatha — similarly; deha-antara — of transference of the body; praptih — achievement; dhirah — the sober; tatra — thereupon; na — never; muhyati — is deluded.
As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.—Bg 2.13
This is a scientific statement. It is true today, tomorrow, five thousand years ago, a million years ago, it is true for all time.
This is the only science that will help us solve the most troublesome, all encompassing problems of birth, death, old age and disease. It is the only science worthy of pursuit by an intelligent person. Everything else is utter rubbish, attracting the attention only of the most foolish and ignorant people. It is the opiate of the masses.
Intoxicated by the promises of your “science”, ignorant people neglect their search for the real truth that will relieve them from all the sufferings and anxieties of this world. Your science exploits their ignorance rather than replacing it with true knowledge.
The sciences in pursuit of truth are primarily two, philosophy and theology. After these there are the physical sciences, like math and physics that can prove things, to a certain extent, through the only truly scientific method, which must include replicability by disinterested persons or even antagonists.
But even the physical sciences are always subject to the disruptive technology of the Absolute. He can change everything in a moment. He makes the law. Therefore, whatever “natural laws” you discover today, may be changed by the maker of the law at any moment He chooses, just as Congress changes the laws of the United States. It is all completely subject to his whim.
Even Lord Brahma was bewildered by Krishna’s sudden change of the natural law when 1+1 became 4. Brahma saw that one cowherd boy and one cow became two cowherd boys and two cows, 1+1=4 by Krishna’s supernatural potency.
The Cheaters and the Cheated
Srila Prabhupada. Natural phenomena such as the law of gravity or weightlessness are acintya-sakti, inconceivable energies, and real science means to understand this acintya-sakti. To observe a chain of events only from a certain point in time is unscientific and gives only incomplete knowledge. We must know where things begin. If we carry our investigation far enough, we will find that the origin of nature is acintya-sakti. For example, with brain, brush and color we can paint a flower. But we cannot conceive how vegetation throughout the whole earth is automatically growing and fructifying. We can explain the painted flower, but we cannot explain the real flower. Scientists actually cannot explain biological growth. They simply juggle words like molecule and chromosome, but they cannot actually explain the phenomena.
The essential fault of the so-called scientists is that they have adopted the inductive process to arrive at their conclusions. For example, if a scientist wants to determine by the inductive process whether or not man is mortal, he must study every man to try to discover if some or one of them may be immortal. The scientist says, “I cannot accept the proposition that all men are mortal. There may be some men who are immortal. I have not yet seen every man. Therefore how can I accept that man is mortal?” This is called the inductive process. And the deductive process means that your father, your teacher or your guru says that man is mortal, and you accept it.
Dr. Singh. So there is an ascending process of gaining knowledge and a descending process?
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. The ascending process will never be successful, because it relies on the information gathered through the senses, and the senses are imperfect. So we accept the descending process.
God cannot be known by the inductive process. Therefore He is called adhoksaja, which means “unknowable by direct perception.” The scientists say there is no God because they are trying to understand Him by direct perception. But He is adhoksaja! Therefore, the scientists are ignorant of God because they are missing the method of knowing Him. In order to understand transcendental science, one must approach a bona fide spiritual master, hear from him submissively and render service to him. Lord Krsna explains that in the Bhagavad-gita (4.34): tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya.
My Guru Maharaja once said, “The modern world is a society of the cheaters and the cheated.” Unfortunately, the cheated are eulogizing the cheaters, and the small cheaters are worshiping the great cheaters. Suppose a flock of asses comes and eulogizes me, saying, “Oh, you are Jagad-guru.” What is the value of their praise? But if a gentleman or learned man gives praise, his words have some value. Generally, however, the persons who are praising and those who are being praised are both ignorant. As the Vedas put it, samstutah purusah pasuh: “A big animal is being praised by a small animal.”—BVS, Life comes from Life, Morning Walk, 5/8/73
You wrote “I am simply passionate about the pursuit of truth. If I see people actively blocking that pursuit, even with good intentions, I can become somewhat heated in my words.”
I must respectfully disagree with your proposition.
What I see is that you only support pursuit of the truth you are predisposed to believe in (confirmation bias), and by the methods you approve. From all I have seen, you agree with those who would block the pursuit of truth by means other than your own. Worse still, you do so from a position of ignorance, pretending to know more than you actually do. You pretend to know that the method of srota pantah, knowledge revealed by disciplic succession from the plane of transcendence, is bogus and thereby a suitable target for your disparaging comments, while your research and study of this field of knowledge appears to be totally shallow and insubstantial.
You wrote to me:
Before I answer your latest emails, though, I will do some research into the induction/deduction question, as that is not a topic I am very familiar with. I will also endeavor to read Subjective Evolution of Consciousness at some point, which I have wanted to read anyway.
which means until that time, now some three months ago, you had done neither of those two things, which might well be considered the minimum research required before embarking on, or continuing, a campaign to discredit those ideas.
When “scientists” block the teaching of alternative views of science, as they repeatedly do in public education and elsewhere, thereby stifling inquiry about the nature of truth, and when they speak in condescending terms in regard to those interested in such inquiry, attempting to block off such avenues of inquiry, I say, to coin your term, “That is ignorance.” Worse than that, they promote ignorance through deception and cheating.
They eliminate freedom of thought, using the force of the police power of the state, to enforce a dogma that ensconces them as the only authority on the subject of evolution and that the truth of evolution, can be known only by their methods.
“dogma- a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true”
Religions may have dogma that they require their adherents to follow, voluntarily.
“Scientists”, with the cooperation of governments, have effectively established state religions and state churches which are supported, promoted, protected and funded by governments that require their citizens to follow their dogma under duress imposed by the threat of fine, imprisonment, rejection of tenure, or other employer enforced pecuniary and promotional penalties or, at the very least, expulsion or excommunication from schools, work or literary and intellectual associations.
The “iron curtain” has been effectively replaced with a seemingly more innocuous “glass ceiling” by the self styled enlightened, just as the iron curtain was previously erected by similarly motivated zealots.
Free thinking theists and others who dare to challenge their authority are forcefully restrained by the limiting influence of this new glass ceiling. You accept these “enlightened”, and their dogma, and support the cruel, if not brutal, enforcement of it, I do not.
Almost all of us have been conditioned from childhood to believe your theory of evolution, and its material underpinnings, as the only plausible explanation men of reason should rely upon to account for all the phenomena perceived by us.
You cannot, therefore, say our theory is the dogmatic one, ours is the alternative, and it is accepted voluntarily, not under duress.
You will do better to study the evidence for “subjective evolution of consciousness” as presented by Srila Sridhara Maharaja and the other acharyas in our line, and then assess its merits from a position of knowledge of the subject, rather than ignorance of it.
This method of study will lend credence to your claim, “I am simply passionate about the pursuit of truth.”
I pray this finds you well.
Swami B.K. Giri