Common sense as soul’s proof

Srila Prabhupada many times gave an example to disprove Darwin’s theory; if life comes from chemicals then why is it that in state laws all over the world a murderer is hanged while a thief is just arrested? He used many such examples to show that by common sense it can be proved that life comes from life and not chemicals. Another example he often used was that in every language, when a man dies, it is said that he has gone away. This is common sense shared by everyone, that something living has left the dead body. When I was new in devotional service (for some years) whenever I used to read these statements from Srila Prabhupada’s books I used to think that how is it that Srila Prabhupada is trying to make a point about something using common sense? This is because the idea of using commons sense can be defective (unreliable). This is because what I perceive by common sense is not necessarily correct. Someone may say that; according to my common sense life comes from matter.

Later I came to understand (by mercy) something very interesting. Scientists say that life comes from chemicals, but for that they neither have any observational nor experimental support that conclusively proves this fact. In such circumstances, even according to modern scientific methods, priority should be given to knowledge gained by common sense. Otherwise anyone can come and say anything according to their imagination. In any society laws should be based on accurate knowledge and thus unless proof is available, common practices followed for centuries cannot be changed.

So in this case, Srila Prabhupada is exposing the scientists’ cheating in establishing Darwin’s theory without proof, and then he establishes the point that people’s common sense says that life is different from matter. So in society, the soul’s existence should be accepted. We see that Srila Prabhupada would always attack scientists by saying  “can bring a dead body back to life?” or “at least create a mosquito in your laboratory” and then when they reply that “we will be able to do it in the future” then Prabhupāda would say “this is rascaldom. Trust no future however pleasant”. This is exactly the point – Srila Prabhupada means that “you are establishing something in the society without having any support for it and when asked for the proof you say that we will do it in future. This is cheating. First you have to prove something, and then you can establish it.” read more

Whose Worship is Idol Worship?

Worship

Difference between idol and vigraha. An article from a 1975 Back To Godhad by Jayadvaita dasa.

Are the Hare Krsna devotees idol worshipers? A senior member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness resolves this question by explaining the authenticity of the Deity form of the Lord.

It’s natural for us to want to know what God looks like, just as it’s natural for a child who’s never seen his father to want to know what his father looks like. And just as such a child may imagine, “Maybe my father looks like this” or “Maybe he looks like that,” so we, too, speculate about what God must be like. The artist Michelangelo, for example, knowing God to be the original person, speculated that He must actually look old, with white hair and the features of an aged man. In this way, perhaps all of us have at one time or another formed at least some mental picture of God from whatever little we knew of Him. read more

The Point of it All

What's the point of it all

The question of the meaning of human existence in the totality of Being, this fundamental question of philosophy, gains its true and practical importance through man’s total discovery of death. (
Jacques Choron, Death and Western Thought, Collier Books 1963, pg. 27)

“The totality of Being” means universal existence: the immeasurable expanse of time and space compared to which the human world is absurdly insignificant.

“Man’s total discovery of death” means the recognition that in this world nobody, great or small, is immortal.
And so, philosophy is important and practical insofar as it addresses “the why” of our mortality in the midst of a universe that apparently cares not if we live or die. read more

The Spiritual Disaster of Material Attachment

Anicent Greece

An Echo from Ancient Greece by Suhotra Swami

“Look upon this Oedipus, he who knew the famous riddle and was the most successful of men. Who among the citizens did not look upon him with envy? Into what a great wave of disasters he has crashed. So that, looking at that final day, count no mortal happy until he has passed the limit of his life suffering no pain.”
*Oedipus the King* by Sophocles

The nature of man and his struggle with ignorance, and the disastrous truth that ignorance obscures, is the theme of the tale of King Oedipus related by the classical Greek playwright Sophocles. Even now, almost two and a half millennia after it was written, the dramatic insight of *Oedipus Tyrannus* (Oedipus the King) cannot fail to fascinate the reader. Sigmund Freud wrote, “In the very text of Sophocles’ tragedy there is an unmistakable reference to the fact that the Oedipus legend had its source in dream-material of immemorial antiquity “ The reason *Oedipus Tyrannus* remains so gripping, Freud believed, is that Sophocles translated it from the inchoate but enduring language of the *psyche*, the “voice within us which is prepared to acknowledge the compelling power” of this tragedy. read more

Why is Lord Krsna not directly present within the material world

Krishna and Arjuna on Kuruksetra

We like to be in company of good, nice and friendly people where we feel comfortable and pleasant, but we have no choice, we have to associate with bad people which we do not like. Krsna is supremely independent and has no obligations – He associates with His devotees only and reveals Himself to them only.
 
An oft asked question by devotees and non-devotees alike is; why isn’t God directly present before us here in the material world in person. Any answer to this question can only be given after an in-depth analysis of the fundamental reasons for the existence of the material manifestation, as well as the reasons for the descent of the jiva into this material realm. One also has to consider the distinct nature of the intimate relationship between the pure devotee who are present in material world and the lord.

To fulfill the purpose of the material creation

The whole purpose of the creation of the material manifestation is to give the jivas a chance to try and enjoy by themselves without putting Krsna at the centre. Thus if Krsna were to be present here, it would defeat the whole purpose of the reason for the existence of a material world. The jiva can only act to satisfy his desires if he is made to forget who he really is (a servant of Krsna) and that there is a supreme person who is the source of everything and the lord of all. The material world is characterized by the absence of Krsna and His entourage. The constituents of dull matter are separated energies of Krsna, bhinnä prakåtir añöadhä (Bg 7.4) as opposed to the internal energy of Krsna which is directly under Him. Therefore Krsna’s absence from the material world can be taken as a form of mercy to preserve the free will of the Jiva and allow him to follow his own personal program of enjoyment without Krsna, as he desires. This would include the fulfillment of the desire of the atheist to prove that ‘there is no god’ and to live his life accordingly and of the impersonalist to peacefully achieve his desire to deny the personal form of god and to merge into Brahman which to him is the highest aspect of the absolute truth. read more