A DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY PUBLICATION
First Edition: 1958
World Wide Web (WWW) Edition : 1998
WWW site: https://www.dlshq.org/
This WWW reprint is for free distribution
© The Divine Life Trust Society
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
P.O. Shivanandanagar–249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh,
- Publishers’ Note
- God Exists, So What?
- God Exists
- Why Should We Believe In God ?
- Who Is God ?
- Can God Be Seen ?
- Arguments On The Existence Of God
- The “I” Principle
- Changeless Substance
- Not This, Not This
- Reality Behind Appearance
- Self Alone Is Dear
- Provisional Definitions
- Inner Ruler And Controller
- Have Faith In God
- Real Source Of Happiness
- Appearance Adumbrates Reality
- Continuity Of Existence
- Mysterious Body And Life Principle
- Nature Of Reality
- How To Attain God-realisation?
- Mysterious Help From The Lord To Bhaktas
- Incidents From The Life Of Swami Sadasiva Brahmendra
- A Question Of Belief
- God Is Existence, Bliss & Peace
- A Dialogue Between A Theist And An Atheist
- Can Existence Of God Be Proved
- Philosophical Proofs For The Existence Of God
- Isvara Or The Universal Soul
- The Existence Of God
- Arguments For The Existence Of God
- The Limitations Of Reason
- The Inner Ruler And Controller
- The World Of Science
- Religion And Science (I)
- Religion And Science (II)
- The Ease-Loving Nature Of Man
- What Has Science Done To Us?
- Science Is Defective
- Matter And Spirit
- Science And Religion
- The Study of the Self: From Physics to Metaphysics
- Gravitation Suggests An Organic Interconnectedness In The Universe
- Precise Working Of Material Bodies: An Indication Of Cosmic Intelligence
- Conclusions Of Science: Man Is Not Outside The Universe
- Study Of The Self Is Imperative To The Study Of The Universe
- Alice In Wonderland
- Seven Reasons Why A Scientist Believes In God
- Is Modern Science A Challenge To Religion?
Doubt in the very existence of God has been raised in the mind of the common man, bythe evil-doers for fulfilling their nefarious ends. The modern atheist has his omnipotentand omniscient scientific research laboratory; and that whose existence cannot be provedthere does not exist!
Once this faith in the existence of God is shaken, man loses his moorings and is thrownat the mercy of all kinds of evil forces, within and without.
Sage Sivananda has proclaimed the existence of God and the soul-force behind his Wordhas awakened the faith in millions of people all over the world. He has brought forthinteresting illustrations and illuminating logic to support his declaration, to convinceeven a confirmed atheist of the existence of God. They have all been brought together inthis volume which is a boon to the spiritual propagandist, the teacher, and people allover the world-the believers and the non-believers.
1st August, 1958.
God Exists, So What?
Deep reflection over what I have said in this book would convince even a confirmedatheist that God exists.
“Yes, I believe God exists,” you say: “What should I do about it?”
Endeavour to realise Him.
He must be more real to you than all the objects of the world.
For that you must serve humanity and love God. Meditate on Him in Brahmamuhurta.
Lead a virtuous life, for He is the witness of all your thoughts, words and deeds.
Be truthful; cheat not anybody.
Love all; harm not anybody.
Be kind to all; for God dwells in all. And, thus realise Him here and now.
May God bless you!
1. God Exists
Every breath that flows in the nose,
Every beat that throbs in the heart,
Every artery that pulsates in the body,
Every thought that arises in the mind,
Speaks to you that God is near.
Every flower that wafts fragrance,
Every fruit that attracts you,
Every gentle breeze that blows,
Every river that smoothly flows,
Speaks of God and His mercy.
The vast ocean with its powerful waves,
The Mighty Himalayas with its glaciers,
The bright Sun and stars in the wide sky,
The lofty tree with its branches,
The cool springs in the hills and dales,
Tell me of His omnipotence.
The melody of sweet music,
The oration of powerful orators,
The poems of reputed poets,
The inventions of able scientists,
The operations of dexterous surgeons,
The utterances of holy saints,
The thoughts of the Bhagavad Gita,
The revelations of the Upanishads,
Speak of God and His wisdom.
Atheist want proofs for the existence of God. Can they give proof for the non-existenceof God? No one has succeeded in showing proofs that God does not exist.
Even many educated men now say boldly that there is no God, that everything in thisworld goes on and evolves according to definite laws. Can law arise by itself? Can any lawcome out of nothing? Surely there must be an ultimate cause. That is God. That is thesupreme Brahman or the Absolute. God is self-existent Being. He is infinitely powerful,wise and good.
The notion of God means an absolutely perfect being. An absolutely perfect being musthave all the positive attributes, including the attributes of existence. So God mustexist.
The existence of God cannot be proved by scientific experimentation. It is purely aquestion of faith and refers to the intuitive side of man.
The deepest craving, the deepest aspiration in man is for eternal happiness, eternalknowledge and eternal Truth. Man should search for some supernatural entity which cansatisfy his deepest cravings and aspirations.
As we explain everything within Nature by the law of cause and effect, so also Natureas a whole must be explained. It must have some cause. This cause must be different fromthe effect. It must be some supernatural entity, i.e., God.
Nature is not a mere chance collection of events, a mere jumble of accidents, but anorderly affair. The planets move regularly in their orbits, seeds grow into treesregularly, the seasons succeed each other in order. Now Nature cannot order itself. Itrequires the existence of an intelligent being, i.e., God, who is responsible for it. EvenEinstein, the great scientist, was strongly convinced of the creation of the universe by aSupreme Intelligence.
Everything in Nature has some purpose. It fulfils some function or other. Certainlyevery object by itself cannot choose a function for itself. Their different functionsought to have been planned or designated by a single intelligent Being or God.
Albeit everything is transitory in this world, people purchase enormous plots of land,build bungalows in various places and erect five-storied houses. They want to establisheternal life in this sense-universe. This shows that man is essentially immortal. In spiteof the knowledge that everyone has to die, man thinks that he will live for ever and makesvery grand arrangements to live here perpetually. Further, nobody wants death. Everybodywants to live, and takes treatment when ill, spending any amount. Hence, the essentialnature of man should be eternal existence.
Even a fool thinks that he is wise. Everyone wants to show that he knows more thanothers. Nobody likes to be called a fool. Children tease their parents with various sortsof questions. The desire to know is ingrained in them. These indicate that our essentialnature is knowledge.
When a man laughs, people seldom ask why he is laughing. On the other hand when a mancries, everybody asks why he is crying. This shows that our essential nature is bliss. Noone wants misery, but everyone wants happiness, and all one’s activities in life aredirected towards the acquisition of happiness. This also proves that our real nature isbliss. In deep sleep when there are no objects, senses or mind, we feel bliss; hence ouressential nature should be bliss. That again is the reason why people ailing from painfulmaladies even desire to give up their bodies and thus get rid of the pain.
If everyone then is of the nature of existence-knowledge-bliss, there should be anall-pervading principle having these characteristics and different from the perishable,inert, pain-giving physical bodies. Therefore, Brahman or God, whose nature isExistence-Knowledge-Bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda).
The existence of God or the Self is determined or indicated by the existence of theUpadhis or limiting adjuncts, viz., body, mind, Prana and the senses, because there mustbe self-consciousness behind their activities.
You always feel that, despite your possessions and all sorts of comforts, you are inwant of something. There is no sense of fullness. Only if you add to yourself the all-fullGod, you will have fullness.
When you do an evil action, you are afraid. Your conscience pricks you. This alsoproves that God exists and witnesses all your thoughts and actions.
To define Brahman is to deny Brahman. The only adequate description of Brahman is aseries of negatives. That is the reason why the sage Yajnavalkya declares in the’Brihadaranyaka Upanishad’ about Brahman as neti, neti, or ‘not this’, ‘not this.’This means that the residue left after sublating the names and forms is Brahman.
Brahman or the Self or the Immanent God cannot be demonstrated as He is beyond thereach of the senses and mind but His existence can be inferred by certain empirical factsor common experiences in daily life.
Sometimes you are in a peculiar dilemma or pressing pecuniary difficulty. Help comes toyou in a mysterious manner. You get the money just in time. Most of you might haveexperienced this. You exclaim at that moment in joy “God’s ways are mysteriousindeed; I have got now full faith in God. Up to this time I had no faith in God.”
An advocate had no faith in God. He developed double pneumonia. His breath stopped. Hiswife, son and relatives began to weep. But he had a mysterious experience. The messengersof Yama caught hold of him and brought him to the court of Lord Yama. Lord Yama said tohis messengers: “This is not the man I wanted. You have brought a wrong person. Sendhim off.” He began to breathe after some time. He actually experienced that he leftthe body, went to the court of Yama and again re-entered his physical body. Thisastonishing experience changed his entire nature. He developed an intense faith in God andbecame a religious man.
Another educated person had a similar experience, but there was some change in thiscase. He was also an atheist. His soul was brought by the messengers of Yama to his court.This person asked Yama: “I have not finished my work in the physical plane. I have todo still more useful work. Kindly spare my life now.” His boon was granted. He wasstruck with wonder on this strange experience. His nature also was entirely changed. Heleft his job at once. He devoted the remaining portion of his life in selfless service andmeditation. He is still living in South India.
You find that even the world’s best doctors fail to cure a dying king. You might havealso heard of many instances where patients ailing from the worst type of diseases arecured miraculously where even the ablest doctors have declared the cases hopeless. Thisitself is a clear proof that there is the divine hand behind all cures.
Sometimes you cannot tolerate the company of persons. You wish to remain alone. You goto a solitary place,-in a garden or on the banks of a river,-and enjoy the inner peace.This gives the clue that you are, in essence, an embodiment of peace, that you are aloneand identical with Brahman.
Some people die when they are eighty years old; some die when they are in the womb;some die at twenty; some at forty. What is the cause for the variation? Who has fixed thespan of life for all? This clearly proves that there is the theory of Karma, that there isone Omniscient Lord, who is the dispenser of the fruits of the actions of the Jivas, whofixes the span of life of the Jivas in accordance with their nature of Karma or actions,who knows the exact relation between Karmas and their fruits. As Karma is Jada orinsentient, it certainly cannot dispense with the fruits of their actions.
Whether the owl accepts the presence of light or not, there is always light. Whetheryou accept the existence of God or not, He always exists. He is ever shining in the ‘threeperiods of time.’ He exists before you begin to search for Him. He is closer to you thanyour breath and nearer to you than your hands and feet.
Do you exist or not? This is my question. If you say ‘No,’ I see before my eyes yourfigure with sinewy arms, a broad forehead and big eyes. If you say, ‘Yes,’ this gives theclue to prove the existence of God. The very question whether God exists or not clearlyproves that God exists.
Whatever you see is God. Whatever you hear is God. Whatever you taste is God. Whateveryou smell is God. Whatever you feel is God. This is the manifested aspect. The physicalbody belongs to the Virat (cosmos). The astral body belongs to Hiranyagarbha (cosmicintelligence). The causal body belongs to Ishwara (Reality with its veiling power). Whereis this “I” now?
Emerson says: “A little consideration of what takes place around us everyday wouldshow us that a higher law than that of our will, regulates events; that our painfullabours are very unnecessary and altogether fruitless; that only in our easy, simple,spontaneous action are we strong, and by contending ourselves with obedience we becomedivine. Belief and love will relieve us of a vast load of care. O my brothers! Godexists. There is a soul at the centre of nature and over the will of every man, sothat none of us can wrong the universe. It has so infused its strong enchantment intonature that we prosper when we accept its advice; and when we struggle to wound itscreatures, our hands are glued to our sides, or they beat our own breasts. The wholecourse of things goes to teach us faith.”
Can you tell me, friend: Is there anyone on the face of the earth who is not afraid ofdeath? Is there any one who is not uttering the name of the Lord when he is in seriousdifficulty, when his life is trembling in the balance or when he is in acute agony? Why,then do deny the existence of God? You yourself admit His existence when you are introuble. On account of perverted intellect and worldly intoxication you have turned out tobe an atheist, though, to be sure, you cannot prove His non-existence, by any means. Isthis not a great folly? Think seriously. Give up arguing. Remember Him and attainimmortality and eternal peace.
If we have no faith in God, we will be born again and again in this world and willundergo considerable miseries. The ignorant, faithless, doubting self goes to destruction.He cannot enjoy the least happiness. Neither this world, nor that beyond is there for thedoubting self. Those who have no faith in God do not know what is right and what is wrong.They have lost the power of discrimination. They are untruthful, proud and egoistic. Theyare given to excessive greed, wrath and lust. They hoard up money by unlawful means. Theybecome men of demoniacal nature. They commit various sorts of atrocious crimes. They haveno ideals for their lives. They are thrown into the lowest depths, deluded, birth afterbirth.
Belief in God is an indispensable requisite for every human being. It is a sine quanon. Owing to the force of Avidya or ignorance pain appears as pleasure. The world isfull of is full of miseries, troubles, difficulties and tribulations. The world is a ballof fire. The mind charged with attachment, hatred, anger, jealousy, is a blazing furnace.We have to free ourselves from birth, death, old age, disease and grief. This can only bedone by faith in God. There is no other way. Money and power cannot give us realhappiness. Even if we exercise suzerainty over whole world, we cannot be free from care,worry, anxiety, fear, disappointment, etc. It is only the faith in God and the consequentGod-realisation through meditation that can give us real, eternal happiness and free usfrom all kinds of fear and worries which torment us at every moment. Faith in God willforce us to think of Him constantly and to meditate on Him and will eventually lead us onto God-realisation.
Belief in God and God-realisation will give us Param Shanti (Supreme Peace). In thatpeace comes the extinction of all pains. We will be no longer bewildered. We will bereleased from the bondage of actions. We will become immortal. We will obtain eternalDivine Wisdom. We will reach a place whence there is no return to this world of miseries,our sins being dispelled by Divine Wisdom. Our minds will ever remain balanced. We willnever rejoice on obtaining what is pleasant nor feel sorry on obtaining what isunpleasant. We will have a cool mind. We will be ever established in the DivineConsciousness. We will get ‘Akshaya Sukha,’ ‘happiness exempt from decay.’ We will becomeone with God and get eternal (Nitya), infinite (Ananta), supreme bliss. When we areestablished in the Divine Consciousness, we will not be shaken even by heavy sorrow. Wewill get ‘Atindriya Sukha,’ ‘happiness beyond the reach of the senses.’
God will give us full security if we worship Him with unswerving devotion and undividedattention. He gives us the Yoga of discrimination to enable us to reach Him easily. Out ofpure compassion for us He destroys the ignorance born darkness by the shining lamp ofWisdom. He speedily lifts us from the ocean of Samsara (birth and death), if we fix ourminds on Him steadily with devotion and faith. We will cross over the three qualities andliberated from birth, death, old age and sorrow, and drink the nectar of immortality. Bydevotion and faith we will know Him in essence and will enter into His very Being. ThroughHis Grace we will overcome all obstacles.
3. Who Is God ?
God is Satchidananda (Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute and Bliss Absolute). Godis Truth. God is the Light of lights. God is all-pervading intelligence or consciousness.God is all-pervading Power who governs this universe and keeps it in perfect order. He isthe Inner Ruler of this body and mind (Antaryamin). He is omnipotent, omniscient andomnipresent.
He exists,-past, present and future. He is unchanging amidst the changing phenomena. Heis permanent amidst the impermanent, and imperishable amidst the perishable things of thisworld. He is eternal, perpetual, indestructible, immutable and imperishable. He hascreated this world through the three Gunas-Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas-for His own Leela(play). He has Maya under His control.
He is Swatantra or independent. He has good desires (satkama) and pure will(satsankalpa). He dispenses the fruits of actions of the Jivas. He is all-merciful. Hequenches the thirst of the Jivas. He satiates our hunger. It is through His power you see,hear and talk. Whatever you see is God. Whatever you hear is God. God works through. yourhands and eats through your mouth. On account of sheer ignorance and Abhimana (egoism) youhave totally forgotten Him.
Eternal Happiness and Supreme Peace can be had only in God. That is the reason whysensible, intelligent, aspirants attempt to have God-realisation. God-realisation canbring an end to the ever-revolving wheel of births and deaths and bestow supreme happinesson mankind. This world is really a long, long dream. It is indeed a jugglery of Maya. Thefive senses delude you at every moment. Open your eyes. Learn to discriminate. UnderstandHis mysteries. Feel His Presence everywhere as well as His nearness. He dwells in thechamber of your own heart. He is the silent witness of your mind. He is the Sutradhara orthe holder of the string of your Prana. He is the womb for this world and the Vedas. He isthe prompter of thought. Search Him inside your heart and obtain His Grace. Then alone youhave lived your life well. Then alone you are a man. Then alone you are truly wise. Quick,quick. There is not a moment to waste, not a minute to delay. Now is the time, or neverwill it come.
God is love. He is an embodiment of eternal bliss, supreme peace and wisdom. He isall-merciful, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. He has neither beginning nor end. Heis the Supreme Being or Paramatma. The Gita styles Him as Purushottama or Supreme Purushaor Maheswara. He knows everything in detail (Sarva-vid). He is the support for this world,body, mind, senses and Prana. Without Him not an atom can move. He is the womb for theVedas. Indra, Agni, Varuna, Vayu and Yama are His assistants. Earth, water, fire, air andether are His five powers. Maya is His illusive Shakti (power).
God is Swayambhu, self-existent. He does not depend upon others for His existence. Heis Swayam Prakasha or Swayam Jyoti, self-luminous. He does not want any light to revealHim. He reveals Himself by His own light. God is Swatah Siddha, self-proved. He does notwant any proof, because He is the basis for the act or process of proving. God isParipoorna, self-contained. He contains everything in Himself. The entire universe is inHim. God is Swasamvedya. He knows by Himself.
Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are the three aspects of God. Brahma is the creative aspect;Vishnu is the preservative aspect; and Siva is the destructive aspect. There are threeother aspects: Virat is the manifested aspect; Hiranyagarbha is the immanent aspect; andIshwara is the causal aspect. Virat is the sum total of all physical bodies; Hiranyagarbhais the sum total of all minds, i.e., He is the Cosmic Mind; and Ishwara is the sum totalof all causal bodies (Karana Sareera).
Srishti (creation), Sthiti (preservation), Samhara (destruction), Tirodhana orTirobhava (veiling), and Anugraha (grace) are the five kinds of activities of God.
God is the exquisite taste in ‘vimto.’ He is the sweetness in the words of a child. Heis the strength in a wrestler. He is beauty in the Himalayan landscape. He is thrillingmelody in music. He is the fragrance in jasmine and Champaka. He is the softness in thecushion. He is the Prana in the body and intelligence in Antahkarana (fourfold mind: mind,intellect, ego and the subconscious mind).
Earth denotes His all-supporting nature. Water proclaims the message of His purity andsanctity. Fire indicates His self-luminous nature. Air signifies His omnipotence. Etherspeaks of His all-pervading nature.
He has the six attributes of divine wisdom (Jnana), dispassion (Vairagya), powers(Aishwarya), strength (Bala), wealth (Sri) and fame (Kirti). 14ence He is called Bhagavan.He is the wire-puller (Sutradhara) of all these physical bodies of beings. He is the InnerRuler (Antaryamin) of all beings. He is in you and you are in Him. He is quite close toyou. You were thinking in the beginning that He could be found only in Mount Kailas,Rameshwaram, Mecca, Jerusalem, sky or Heaven. You had very vague ideas. This body is Hismoving temple. The sanctum sanctorum is the chamber of your own heart. Close your eyes.Withdraw your senses from the sensual objects. Search Him there with one-pointed mind,devotion and pure love. You will surely find Him. He is waiting there with outstretchedarms to embrace you. If you cannot find Him there, you cannot find Him anywhere else.
God-realisation alone can put an end to the Samsaric wheel of birth and death with itsconcomitant evils such as birth, disease, death, sorrow, pain, etc. Eternal happiness canbe had only in God. That is the reason why sages and saints, scriptures and Srutis make avery emphatic statement and lay great stress on the importance and necessity ofGod-realisation. Bhakti or devotion can help one in the attainment of God-realisation. Socultivate Bhakti, come face to face with God, and taste the nectar of God-consciousnesswhich alone is the summum bonum of human life and human endeavour. Purify theheart. Control the senses. Sing His Name. Feel His Presence everywhere. Repeat His Mantra.Meditate on His Form. realise Him. Rejoice in Him. Attain peace, bliss and immortality.
Emperor Akbar once asked his wise Minister Birbal, “Well, Birbal, you often repeatGod is everywhere.” Birbal rejoined, “Yes, Badshah! God is everywhere. There isabsolutely no doubt in this.” Akbar pulled the diamond ring off his finger and askedBirbal, “Is your God in this ring, too?” Birbal replied, “Yes, Badshah! Heis certainly in the ring.” “Then can you make me see Him?” asked theEmperor. Birbal had no answer to this. He asked for time; the Emperor allowed him sixmonths in which to find an answer or to find out a way to show Akbar God in the ring.
Birbal went home; he was puzzled. He knew there was a solution to the problem; but heknew not that solution. He dared not face the Emperor again without an answer to hisquestion. He grew pale and anxious.
Shortly after this encounter with the Emperor, a little boy-mendicant came to Birbal’shouse for alms. He asked Birbal, “What ails you, Sir? Why do you look so sordid andmiserable? You are a wise man, and wise men should have no reason for misery! Joy andtranquillity are the marked characteristics of a wise man.” “True!” repliedBirbal: “The heart is convinced, but the intellect cannot frame words for it.”Birbal then narrated all that transpired between him and the Emperor.
“Is this what you are worrying about?” exclaimed the boy in amazement.”I can give you the answer in a moment; but will you allow me to talk to the Emperorpersonally?” Birbal replied in affirmative and took the boy to the imperial court andaddressed the Emperor, “My Lord! Even this little boy can give you the answer to yourquestion.”
Akbar inwardly appreciated the pluck and boldness of the boy and was curious to hearhim. He asked the boy, “If God is all-pervading, son, can you show me your God in thering?” “O King!” replied the boy, “I can do so in a second; but I amthirsty; I can answer the question after I have taken a glass of curd.” The Emperorat once had a glassful of curd given to him. The boy began to stir the curd and said,”O Emperor, I am used to drinking good curd which has butter in it. I do not likethis stuff which your bearer has brought and which does not yield butter at all.”
“Certainly, this curd is the best available,” replied the Emperor.”Remember, little one, that you are partaking of the product of the Emperor’spersonal diary.” The boy said, “Very well! If your Majesty is so sure that thiscup of curd contains butter in it, please show me the butter.” The Emperor laughedaloud and said, “I thought so! O ignorant child! You do not know that butter can begot out of curd only after churning it; and yet you have the audacity to come here andshow me God!”
“I am not a fool, Badshah Sahib,” replied the boy quickly: “I only gaveyou the answer to your own question!” The Emperor was puzzled. The boy said to him,”Your Majesty! In exactly the same manner the Lord is residing within everything. Heis the indwelling Presence, the Self of all, the Light of all lights, the Power thatmaintains the universe. Yet one cannot see Him with one’s physical eyes. A vision is onlya projection of one’s own mind before the eye of the mind. One can realise God intuitivelyand see Him with the eye of wisdom; but before that one has to churn the five sheaths, andthe objects, and separate the butter, the Reality, from the, curd, the names andforms.”
The young boy had thus answered Akbar’s question and the Emperor was greatly impressed.He wanted to know more and asked, “Child! Now tell me, what is your God doing all thewhile?” The mendicant-boy replied: “Well, your Majesty, it is God who lendspower to our senses, perception to our mind, discernment to our intellect, strength to ourlimbs; it is through His will that we live and die. But man vainly imagines that he is theactor and the enjoyer. Man is a mere nothing before the Almighty governing Power thatdirects the movement in the universe.
“It is in a twinkling of an eye, when compared to the unimaginable age of theuniverse, that empires rise and fall, dynasties rise and perish, the boundaries of theland and the sea wax and wane, and we find a mountain range where there had been a sea anda new sea where there had been a plateau. It is in a twinkling of an eye that we findmillionaires become paupers and paupers become millionaires, and a King becomes awandering exile by a tryst of destiny and a vagrant becomes a King. So many planets arecreated, sustained and dissolved every moment in this vast universe. Who is behind thisgigantic phenomena? It is God and none but the one God, to realise whom one has to give upvanity, the feeling of doership, arrogance and pride; to realise Him one has to surrenderoneself entirely to His will, which can be discerned through cultivation of purity,emotional maturity and intellectual conviction; to realise that God one has to effaceoneself in toto and feel that one is a mere instrument of His will.”
It was a new experience for Emperor Akbar to hear the ancient wisdom from so young amendicant. Akbar was very liberal in his views, and this encounter with a Hindu child-monkwas perhaps in a way partly responsible for the Emperor to invite to his court many Hinduscholars and holy men to participate in spiritual and academic deliberations with Muslimdivines and Maulavis.
1. The existence of Brahman is known on the ground of its being the Self of everyone.For everyone is conscious of the existence of his Self and never thinks “I amnot.” If, the existence of the Self were not known, everyone would think “I amnot.” And this Self of whose existence all are conscious is Brahman or God. It isdifficult to define Brahman. But we will have to give a provisional definition. That isSat-Chit-Ananda (Existence, Knowledge, and Bliss Absolute).
2. Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you are dead. You can never do so. Youcan never think that you will not exist (after death). You will imagine that your deadbody is lying down and that you are witnessing the dead body. This clearly proves that youare always the witnessing subject (Sakshi, Drashta). There is an inherent feeling ineverybody ‘I exist,’ ‘Aham Asmi.’
3. Because the Self is the basis of the action of proving, it is evident before theaction of proving, and since it is of this character, it is therefore impossible to denyit. In denying Brahman you deny your own existence which is logically absurd. Brahman isthe basis of all presuppositions, demonstrations and all notions.
4. Every effect has a cause. This phenomenal world must therefore have a cause. It isan effect of Brahman, the original causeless cause (Parama Karanam). This is thecosmological way of proving.
5. You cannot think of a finite thing without thinking of something beyond. The mind isso framed that it cannot think of a finite object without thinking of Infinity. You cannotthink of an effect without thinking of its cause. You cannot think of impurity, duality,disagreement, variety, mortality, etc., without thinking of purity, oneness, agreement,unity, immortality, etc. The possibility of the relative implies the reality of theAbsolute. This is the psychological method of proving the existence of Brahman. Infinitybelongs to the very essence of His Nature. Sat-Chit-Ananda is His very essence just asheat and light constitute the very essence of fire.
The “I” Principle
6. When you are in the darkness, when you are behind a veil, if anybody asks “whois there?” you will naturally answer “It is I.” Then after a secondthought, after a moment, you will say “I am Mr. So and So.” This “I am Mr.So and So” is a mental Kalpana (imagination), is Adhyasa or false superimposition onaccount of Avidya (ignorance). At first you have expressed spontaneously your inherentfeeling of existence, the big Infinite “I.” Nothing can resist this innatefeeling of “Aham Brahmasmi.”
7. Unless there exists one continuous principle equally connected with the past, thepresent, and the future or an absolutely unchangeable Self which cognizes everything, weare unable to account for remembrance, recognition and so on, which are subject to mentalimpressions on place, time and cause. The Self is distinct from and superior to ideas,because the ideas require an ultimate principle which unites and connects them, while theSelf is itself the ultimate principle which renders the cognition of the ideas possible.
8. “Aham” means “I” in Sanskrit. “Idam” means”this.” When I refer to myself, I speak “Aham” and when I refer toyou, I say “Idam.” When you talk to me words are reversed. My “Idam”becomes “Aham” and my “Aham” becomes “Idam” for you. Tablesare turned over. There is only “Aham” everywhere, the one common consciousness.”Idam” is a mental creation, or false attribution or Adhyaropa (superimposition)just as a snake is superimposed on a rope. The snake is a Vivarta (illusory form) of therope. “Idam” is a Vivarta of “Aham.”
9. To break through the circle of cause and effect in this phenomenal world we mustlook for an existence which does not change (Nirvikara, Kutastha, Nirvikalpa, Achyuta,Avyaya) or depend upon another (Swatantra) and is always the same and likewise the causeor causeless cause (Parama Karan) of these changeable existences. This unchanging,independent, beginningless entity (Anadi Vastu) must be something which cannot beperceived by any sense (Atindriya, Adrishya) and must be without the attributes found inobjects which are perceptible (Nirguna). Here every change ceases; here the mind can rest;here that faith may find root which we seek in vain among the fleeting things of theworld.
10. There are first our senses; but they have relation to something else; they knownothing by themselves, and above all, they depend even for their knowledge upon the mindfor the latter is an indispensable medium of perception. Is the mind then a final cause?Far from it, for mind is also finite and shows its dependence upon something else by thefact, that in deep sleep the mind itself is without manifestation. Our human knowledge,therefore, limited as it is, has but reference to a knowledge which is infinite. Havingarrived at this conclusion if we again reflect on our own nature, we find within us apermanent element to which all the modifications of knowledge refer.
It is the Self that hears, sees, minds and knows which does not disappear with thedifferent acts of knowledge, which is unaltered in all those acts, and without which theywere themselves impossible. It is in one word, our Self, the Soul of souls which, as such,is mere knowledge in the abstract, free from any limits, and independent of the objects ofknowledge. It is the Light of lights, Life of all lives, Mind of all minds, and Self ofall selves. It is the hidden Life, vibrant in every atom. It is the hidden Light thatshines in every creature. It is the hidden Love that embraces all in oneness. It is theSilent Witness (Sakshi) of all activities in all minds. It is the Brahman of theUpanishads.
Not This, Not This
11. Carefully analyze this little “I,” the lower self-arrogating, falsepersonality which is the cause for all miseries, troubles and tribulations.
The physical body is not the “I.” Even if the leg or hand is amputated stillthe “I” remains. It is made up of five elements. It is the resultant product of”Annam” or food. Hence it is styled as “Annamaya Kosha.” It is full ofparts. It has a beginning and an end. It is Vinashi or perishable. It is Jada ornon-sentient or non-intelligent.
The sense is not the “I.” It is inert. It has a beginning and an end. It isthe effect of Rajo Guna and Sattwa Guna. It is made up of Tanmatras (root elements ofmatter).
Mind is not the “I.” There is no mind in sleep. Yet there is the feeling ofcontinuity of consciousness. Mind is Jada (insentient). It has a beginning and an end. Itis a bundle of changing ideas. It gropes in darkness. It sinks down in grief. It becomeslike a block of wood in extreme fear.
Prana also is not the “I.” It is an effect of Rajo Guna. It is insentient. Ithas a beginning and an end. You can suspend the breath and yet the continuity ofconsciousness remains.
The causal bodies which constitutes the Moola Ajnana (root of ignorance), and which ismade up of subtle impressions is not the little “I.” It is insentient. It has abeginning and an end.
When I say “I” I really feel “I am” or “I exist,” (Sataspect). I understand or comprehend that “I am” (Chit aspect). “I feelblissful” (Ananda aspect). On careful analysis by introspection this little”I” dwindles into an airy nothing just as an onion is reduced to nothing whenthe different layers are peeled off. But we get at the core or essence the big Infinite”I,” Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman, the substratum or background for all theseappearances, many little “I”s.
Reality Behind Appearance
12. You see a mango tree in front of you. It has a name. It has a form. It consists ofstem, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. These two aspects or parts of it areonly visible to the ordinary sight, to the ordinary run of mankind. They are whollyoccupied and charmed by these two aspects or parts only (Nama-Rupa). They are unconsciousof the truth that lies at the back of the mango tree.
In addition to these two aspects there are three other aspects or parts of it. Themango tree “is,” that is, it exists. This is its existence aspect (Sat). It”shines.” You understand that a mango tree stands before you. It is cognized byyour senses and mind. This is its consciousness aspect (Chit). The presence of the treegives you delight. This is the bliss aspect (Ananda). Now cut down the tree and make itinto planks. Even then there is Sat-Chit-Ananda in this plank. The plank “is” orexists. It “shines.” You know it. It gives you delight. You can make it intochairs, benches, etc. Now put the plank into fire. It is rendered into ashes. Even thenthere is Sat-Chit-Ananda in the ash. The ash “is” or exists. The ash”shines.” You know it. It gives you delight. It is used for various purposes. Soyou see that the names and forms may change, but the Sat-Chit-Ananda remains for ever.That is the Truth.
Every form has its own Sat-Chit-Ananda. The form is different (Vyatireka), but theessence that is at the back is the same in all forms (Anvaya).
Self Alone Is Dear
13. You love your wife and children in and through the Atma (or Brahman) that is hiddeninside the body. If you had really loved the physical body alone, you ought to love thedead body also that is in a cadaveric, rigid state with ensuing decomposition. But on thecontrary you try to get rid of dead body as soon as possible.
14. When the house is on fire you try to save yourself first and ignore the property,wife, and others. This clearly shows that you love to a very high degree something whichis hidden within your physical body. That something is dearer to you than anything else inthe world. That something is Atma or Brahman or Self of everyone, the one commonconsciousness, the Adhishthana or substratum for all, for everything, for the whole world.
15. There are five Indriyas (organs that grasp) and five Vishayas (objects). Eye cansee forms. Forms are made up of Agni-tattwa (fire principle). Eyes are also formed out offire Tanmatra. So there is a relationship between eye and form. Eyes cannot hear sounds.Ear is made up of Shabda-tanmatra (sound element). Sound emanates from Akasa (ether).There is a relationship between ear and sound. Ear cannot see. All the five senses areinsentient or non-intelligent. They borrow their light and power from Atma or pure Spiritwhich is at the back of these senses just as a cup of water, when exposed to the sun,borrows the heat from the sun.
Atma in conjunction with eye Indriya and objects gives rise to perception of the world.The whole world is nothing but Atma or Brahman. Atma only can see Atma. Atma sees Atma.There can be relationship between Atman inside and Atman outside. A piece of stone is onlyAtman or Brahman. Brahman appears as stone through mind and physical lens. In Reality thewhole world is nothing but Brahman (Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma). There cannot be anyconnection between Atma and Anatma (Self and non-Self).
16. In sleep there are no senses, no objects, no mind apparent and yet you experiencepeace and bliss. When there are no objects, wherefrom have you derived the bliss? The mindrests in Brahman during sleep and it is from Brahman this bliss is derived. Further duringsleep when there are no other persons “I” alone exists.
17. Cogito ergo sum-“I think, therefore I am.” This is Descarte’sfundamental basis of philosophy. This is in accordance with Sri Sankara’s statement thatthe Atman cannot be illusive, for he who would deny it, even in denying it witnesses itsreality.
18. Through Brahman in its true nature is indefinable (Anirdeshya) and unknowable(Agrahya), still we have to give some provisional definitions. Advaitins mention someattributes (Viseshanas) or characteristics (Lakshanas) to mark off from Brahman objectspossessing other attributes, and thus help us to concentrate on the subject in question.These characteristics are either essential (Svarupalakshanas) as Sat-Chit-Ananda oraccidental (Tatasthalakshanas) as omnipotence, omniscience, creatorship, etc. Westernphilosophers admit that there is a great thought or intelligence behind the universe. Thesecond and third aphorisms of Vedanta Sutras denote the omniscience of the Lord.
19. Karma is Jada (non-intelligent). There must be a dispenser to allot the fruits forthe actions of Jivas. The Karma theory only can wisely explain the variegated nature ofthe world (poor, rich, healthy, sickly persons, mighty intellectual giants, born idiots,infirm persons, born deaf and dumb persons, etc.). An overseer of works knows how muchwages are to be given to various workers in the contract work according to the ability andnature of work turned out by the workers. Even so the Lord of the Universe knows theactions and motives of the Jivas and allots accordingly fruits for their actions.
20. Many a time you propose many things but God disposes otherwise. Everyone haspractical experience of this daily. This clearly indicates that there is a Supreme Powerwho controls and guides every human being. You get exaltation and satisfaction when you dovirtuous actions. You get alarmed and frightened when you do vicious actions. Why are youafraid? This indicates that there is a supreme Self behind your conscience who witnessesall your actions (Karmadhyaksha) and the activities of the mind also.
Inner Ruler And Controller
21. Om kena ishitam patati preshitam manah? “By whom is the minddirected?” (Kena Upanishad, Mantra 1)
The Manas (mind) is an organ of sensation and thought. It must be under the control ofsome one who uses this instrument. The Jiva or human soul is not the director of the mindbecause we see that ordinary men are swayed away ruthlessly by the mind. Therefore theremust exist some other Supreme Being, who is the director of the mind. He is theAntaryamin, the Inner Ruler and Controller.
22. Mind is a powerful engine. There must be a very intelligent driver for this engine.That driver is Brahman.
23. There is another way of proving the existence of Atma or Brahman. The eye is theDrik (perceiver); the object is the perceived (Drishya). The mind is the perceiver and theeye is the perceived. Atma is the perceiver and the mind with its modifications is theperceived. If a perceiver of the Atma is sought, the enquiry will end in what is known asa regressus ad infinitum (Anavastha Dosha). Therefore the Atma (witness ofeverything and of all minds) is self-existent, self-created, self-luminous, independent,immortal, unchanging, beyond time, space and causation. It is not seen by anything else.The objects are different but the perceiving eye is one. The Indriyas (senses) aredifferent but the perceiving mind is one. Minds are different but the perceiving Atma isone. You find one behind many. Vichara (enquiry) is needed.
24. Brahman is not void. It is not blankness or emptiness. It is impossible for themind to conceive of an absolute nothing. It is Paripoorna (full) because all desires meltthere. You get supreme, eternal satisfaction (Parama Nitya Tripti). It is everything. Whenyou become nothing by annihilating this false illusory “I” you get everything.You become everything (Paramam-apnoti; Brahma-eva-bhavati).
Have Faith In God
25. Faith in the laws of nature is faith in God. The whole world runs under definite,well-established laws. There is no such thing as chance or accident. God or Ishwara isTatastha-lakshana (accidental attribute) of Brahman only. For the sake of pious worship ofBhaktas, the Nirguna (without attributes) Brahman simply appears as Saguna (withattributes) Brahman. In reality there is no such thing as Saguna Brahman. There isexistence only. That is Reality. That is Truth.
26. Just as you see a tree in front of you, there must be somebody to see theactivities of the mind. Otherwise “Kartru-Kartavya Bhava Sambandha Virodha”(afeeling of contradiction in the relationship between the performer and the performance)will come. That somebody is Kutastha Brahman (deep-seated Reality).
27. The simplest comparison of two ideas and the recognition of them as like or unlikepresupposes the indivisible unity of that which compares them, an Atma external to thecontent with which it deals.
28. The relief that is obtained by remembrance of God in adversity indicates that thereis a supreme Power who guides and controls human beings.
29. Even a rank materialist and an atheist cries out for help “O God! forgive me,protect me,” when he comes face to face with a tiger in a thick forest, when he is ingreat distress, when he is in a helpless condition, while the steamer in which he travelsis in a sinking condition, when he suffers from paralysis, when there is an earthquake orvolcanic eruption, when he is left alone at dead of night amidst thunder and lightning.
30. An atheist says that there is no God. But that knower who knows the non-existenceof God is Brahman.
31. A Sunyavadin says that there is only Sunya (void). But that knower who knows theSunya is Brahman (God).
Real Source Of Happiness
32. A desire arises in the mind. There is a Vritti (impression) now. This Vrittiagitates your mind till you get satisfaction through enjoyment of the desired object.There is Shanti or peace or happiness after the enjoyment is over. Another desire arises.Now in the interval between the gratification of one desire and the manifestation ofanother desire there is pure bliss, because there is no mind then. It is at rest. You arein union with Brahman. That state of pure bliss between two desires is Brahman. If you canprolong that period of bliss through Sadhana by keeping up the idea of Brahman and by notallowing any other Vritti or desire to crop up, you will be in Samadhi (superconsciousstate). The period between one Vritti and another Vritti is the real Sandhi (juncture).
33. Who sees the defects in the Sun-whether it shines brightly or whether it isobscured by clouds? It is the eye. Who sees the defects in the eye whether there iscataract or not? It is the Buddhi (intellect). Who sees the defects in the Buddhi whetherthere is confusion or clarity? Who illuminates the Buddhi? It is Aham (infinite”I”). This “Aham” is Kutastha or Atma or Brahman, illuminator ofeverything.
34. Who illuminates the objects in the dream? It is Brahman. There is no other lightthere.
35. Suppose there is a big light at night. You stand at a distance. Something standsbetween you and the light as an obstruction and you cannot see the light. But you can seethe objects clearly that are illuminated by the light. Though you cannot see the lightdirectly, you clearly conclude that there must be a big light, through the perception ofobjects. Even so you see the world with its variegated coloured objects. There must be anilluminator behind this nature. That illuminator, the “Light of all Lights, Jyotishamapitat jyoti of the Gita, is Brahman, the Adhisthana (support) for this illusory world.
36. When the mind runs from one object to another object, the state in the intervalwherein there is no mind is Swarupa Sthiti (the natural state). That is Brahman.
Appearance Adumbrates Reality
37. The very idea of creation suggests that there must be a creator; the idea of mattersuggests that there must be a Spirit. The very idea of changing phenomena suggests theremust be an unchanging noumenon. The very idea of a changing mind suggests that there mustbe an unchanging Sakshi (witness) and controller (Niyamaka) for the mind.
38. There is perfect law, order, and harmony in the universe. There must be acontroller for this universe who must be omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.
39. At night in utter darkness you say “there is nobody there.” How do youknow this? You know because in reality you are the Sakshi (witness). That Sakshi isBrahman.
40. You say in daily life “My body,” “My Prana,” “Mymind,” “My Indriya.” This clearly denotes that the Self or Atma is entirelydifferent from body, mind, Prana and Indriyas. Mind and body are your servants orinstruments. They are as much outside of you as these towels, chairs, cups, are. You areholding the body just as you hold a long walking stick in your hand.
41. As a punishment for a certain crime you would rather prefer to have your hands cutoff than the eyes removed. This indicates obviously that the Indriya is closer to you anddearer also than the external instruments. Instead of sentence for death you would ratherprefer to have your two eyes removed. This shows that life is dearer and closer to youthan the Indriya. When you suffer from a serious, protracted ailment, you wish to give upyour life also, to get happiness. This shows that the Self or Atma is dearer than life orPrana.
Continuity Of Existence
42. There are two powerful instincts in men and animals. They are self-preservative andreproductive instincts. Hunger is a manifestation of the self-preservative instinct. Thebasis for the self-preservative instinct is the immortal nature of the soul. Owing toBhranti (illusion), the Jiva or individual soul thinks that the body is Atma and eternaland the self-preservative instinct tries its level best to preserve the body for a longtime (Abhinivesha) and perpetuate the body here. The idea of immortality is wronglytransferred to the body owing to illusion. Though there is death for the physical body,the Jiva imagines that he will live for ever here. The existence of the self-preservativeinstinct gives the clue to the existence of an Immortal Brahman (God).
43. The law of reincarnation is infallible. The soul of a man which survived afterdeath in the previous life remembers, in the next life also through the force of memory(Samskara), of its existence even after its separation from the physical body. So there isan inherent feeling in men that they exist even after the death of the physical body.Existence is Brahman.
44. Man generally argues at the time of his death, “I have undergone manymiseries, troubles and difficulties in this life. I have done various good acts. They maynot go in vain. After all, is it for this one life alone I have laboured so much? Thiscannot be. I must be immortal.” He invents the theory of Immortality. Evencommonsense will tell everybody that there must be an immortal Atma.
45. You had been a child playing in your mother’s lap. Then you grew up into aschool-going boy. Then you became a sighing lover in adolescence. Then you reached adultmanhood. Lastly you became a veteran with grey hairs. You have had a variety ofexperiences. There must be an unchanging Self as a Sakshi to witness these changingexperiences. Otherwise these experiences are impossible. That unchanging Self is Brahman.It is the substratum for all these changing experiences of life. An invariable Self mustlink continuously the varying childhood, boyhood, manhood and old age.
46. When you search a thing in the dark in a room at night it is through the Prakasha(illumination) of Adhishtana-Chaitanya or Brahma-Chaitanya that you get at the thing bystretching the hands here and there in the room even in the absence of any kind of light.Brahman is self-luminous and Sarvaprakasha (illuminates everything). It illuminates theBuddhi, eye, sun and all objects.
Salutations to the Lord who is the Creator of this body and life, who is life itself,who is the indweller and ruler of this body and life, who is the source for the life, mindand this world, who is Satchidananda, and who is the protector of all beings.
The Lord Himself has assumed the forms of body, mind Prana or life, organs, cells,tissues, muscles, nerves, etc., through His illusory power, Maya, which is also known bythe name Prakriti or Nature.
The body is the mysterious palace of the Lord. This is His nine-gated city orNavadwarapuri or Puriashtaka (city with eight groups). It is the most wonderful mechanismin the world. The driving force of this body is the Lord because He gives force to thevital force itself. This body is the moving temple of God.
It is a mysterious boat to cross this Samsara or the ocean of births and deaths. It waswith this boat that Sri Sankara, Sri Dattatreya, Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha and severalothers crossed this formidable ocean of Samsara.
A spermatozoon, which is a millionth part of a drop of semen, and an ovum from theovary joined together give rise to the formation of this body. What a great mystery! Thatsubtle power which is the source for this semen and ovarian product, that subtle essencewhich sustains all these, is thy own Self. That is Truth. That is Soul. Thou art That.realise this and free yourself from the cage of bone and flesh.
The growth of the body with several limbs, organs, etc., from a tiny peck of semen,bespeaks the omnipotence of the Lord. You will be struck with awe and wonder when youbegin to think seriously of the origin of this body.
In the embryonic stage when the child dwells in the womb of the mother there is nodifference between a male and a female child up to a certain stage. Both the male andfemale genital organs are developed from the same Wolffian body which contains the female(ovarian) as well as the male (testicular) tissue. By some unknown process of growth oneof the tissues preponderates and the distinguishing characteristics of sex are developedby about the third month. The testicles are in the abdomen of the male child. They descendinto the scrotal bag by about the seventh month. What a great wonder! The Lord only, whois the source of all beings and the ruler of all creatures, knows Himself by Himself.
This world is “Manomatram Jagat” or “Manah Kalpitam Jagat.” Onlythe mind has created this world. In reality there is neither world nor body nor sex. Thesex affair is a mere idea. It is mere imagination. Male may become female and female maybecome male. Can a real entity change its form? If testosterone or male hormone isinjected in a female, she develops male characteristics. Similarly, when testes substanceis grafted on in a female, whose ovaries are removed, masculination takes place.Conversely, the administration of estrogen or female hormones to males, especially thecastrates in whom the testes are removed, may produce feminization.
The partial feminine characteristics in a man are attributed to the persistence ofovarian tissue in him and the partial masculine characteristics in a woman are ascribed tothe persistence of testicular tissue in her.
What is all this? Does this not prove that this world is illusory? How can a changingthing be the ultimate Reality?
This body is made up of countless cells. The cell contains protoplasm, nucleus andother inclusions. This was found out only after the invention of the microscope by about1730 by Leuwenhoek, a Dutchman. The magnifying power of the lens was something like 300 to500 diameters in the beginning. He was able to see some comparatively big germs. With theuse of the microscope the cell-theory was formulated by Schwan in 1739. Now there istremendous magnification by means of suitable lenses. You can see the minutest microbe.
The house is made of pillars, walls, fittings, etc., covered by protective paints.Similarly, this body-house is built up by bones, muscles, fat, etc., which are ultimatelymade up by aggregations of various types of cells. The bones represent the stones andbricks, the muscles and connective tissues the lime, and the skin the cement.
All the physiologists say that they have no knowledge of how living things first comeinto existence. Starling, an eminent physiologist, says: “Life is indefinable forbiological science, as time and space are indefinable for the physical sciences. By thisis meant that we cannot even approximately define life without the idea itself beingexplicit in our definition. Our business is, given living things, to study theirphenomena.”
Claude Bernard, who is regarded as the father of physiology says: “Vital forcedirects phenomena which it does not produce; physical agencies produce in living thingsphenomena which they do not direct.”
Vital force is Prana. It controls and governs the different systems of the body. Thisvital force itself derives its power from the Lord or the Indweller or the Inner Ruler.
The physiologists say: “We know only how urea is formed from the amino acids. Weknow the gross processes that are involved in its formation and the formation of saliva,semen, etc. from blood, but the actual formation by the living cells and the exactmechanism are still in the realm of speculation only.” They will know this only whenthey realise the Lord who gives force to the vital power or life and intelligence to thecells.
That something by possessing which there is nothing more advantageous to be possessed,whose bliss is greater than the bliss obtained by any other source, by knowing which thereis no greater knowledge to be attained, should be understood as Brahman.
That something, after seeing which there is nothing more to be seen, after becomingwhich there is nothing more to become, after knowing which there remains nothing to beknown, should be understood as Brahman.
That something which is all-pervading, around, above, below, which is Satchidananda(existence, knowledge and bliss), which is without a second, endless, eternal, one and onealone, should be understood as Brahman.
The everlasting, the one continuous experience-whole, which is attained by sublatingwhat is not it, that should be regarded as Brahman.
Brahma and others who depend on that Brahman who is second to none, enjoy happinessproportionately by getting a very small amount of His supreme happiness.
All objects are united with That. All actions are united with Consciousness. ThereforeBrahman pervades everything, just as butter is in every particle of milk.
That which is neither subtle nor gross, neither short nor long, which is unborn,unchanging, destitute of form, quality, caste and name, that should be understood asBrahman.
By whose light, the sun, etc., shine, but which is not illumined by these, and by whoselight all these objects shine, that should be understood as Brahman.
Like fire in a red-hot iron ball, Brahman, pervading the whole world, both internallyand externally, illumines it; and without being illumined by anything else, shines by itsown light.
Brahman is different from the world, yet there is nothing which is not Brahman. Ifanything other than Brahman is seen, it is as illusory as “water in the mirage.”
Whatever is seen or heard is no other than Brahman. Through Tattva-Jnana, this world isseen to be Satchidananda, the secondless Brahman.
He who has the eye of Wisdom sees Satchidananda Brahman in all things, but he who hasnot the eye of Knowledge cannot see it, just as a blind man cannot see the brilliant sun.
The Jiva (individual soul) melted in the fire of Jnana, kindled by Sravana, etc., iscleansed of all impurities and shines by himself like burnt gold.
The Atman is the sun of knowledge that rises in the Akasa of the heart, destroys thedarkness of ignorance, permeates and supports all, shines and makes everything shine.
That actionless Paramahamsa who has given up the limitations of direction, place, time,etc., who worships and attains the Atma which is all-pervading, eternal, blissful,spotless, becomes all-knowing, all-pervading and immortal.
1. Brahman is attributeless without any limiting adjunct, independent, ever free andall-full.
2. Brahman is distinct from the three bodies and the five sheaths. He is the silentwitness of the three states. He transcends the three Gunas and the pairs of the opposites.He is an embodiment of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence-Knowledge-Bliss). He is the essence. Heis the source or womb for the mind, Indriyas, body and this world.
3. Brahman is Ananda-Swaroopa (nature of bliss). He is Anandamaya (made up of greathappiness). He is Ananda-Ghana (full of pure joy). He is Ananda-Murti (idol of happiness).He is Ananda-Vigraha (bliss personified). He is Ananda-Sagara (ocean of happiness). He isNiratisayananda (nothing can exceed this joy). He is Parama-Ananda (supreme bliss). He isAnanta-Sukha (infinite happiness). He is Nitya-Sukha (eternal bliss). He is Akhanda-Sukha(complete joy).
4. Brahman is within and without. He is above and below. He is in front and behind. Heis in all sides. He is everywhere, like the all-pervading ether. He is Chidakasa. The fiveattributes: Existence (Sat), Consciousness (Chit), Bliss (Ananda), Eternal (Nitya), andFullness (Paripoorna), express Brahman in the best possible manner. Meditate on these andrealise Him.
5. Behind this world show, behind this physical phenomena, behind these names andforms, behind the feelings, thoughts, emotions, sentiments, there dwells the silentwitness, thy immortal Friend and real Well-wisher, the Purusha or the World-teacher, theinvisible Power or Consciousness.
6. Just as one thread penetrates all flowers in a garland, so also one Self penetratesall these living beings. He is hidden in all beings and forms, like oil in seed, butter inmilk, mind in brain, Prana in the body, fetus in the womb, sun behind the clouds, fire inwood, vapour in the atmosphere, salt in water, scent in flowers, sound in thegramophone-records, gold in quartz, microbes in blood.
7. Just as the light is the same in bulbs of different colours, even so the bodies andmental Bhavanas (attitudes) are different, but Atma is one in all beings.
8. Just as the sun, reflected in various pots of water, appears to be many, so also theAtman appears to be many when reflected through various minds in various bodies.
9. Just as fire is the same and only one, though it enters the fuels of various sorts,so also the Lord of the universe, who has created the world and entered into all beings,appears different because of the different bodies in which He resides.
10. Just as fire blazes forth when the ash above it is removed, Brahman shines forthwhen the veil of ignorance, which conceals It, is removed. Just as butter is perceivedwhen milk is converted into curd and churned, so also Brahman is perceived through thechurning of meditation. Just as hunger, thirst, pain, taste, etc., have to be experienced,but cannot be seen by the fleshy eyes, even so Brahman has to be experienced through deepmeditation and Samadhi. Just as the tiny bacilli that produce cholera, typhoid, etc.cannot be seen by the naked eye, but can be seen with the help of a microscope, so alsoBrahman cannot be seen by the physical eyes but can be seen through the eye of intuition.
11. He who sees all, but whom no one beholds, who illumines the intellect, the sun,moon, stars and the whole universe, but whom they cannot illumine, is Brahman.
12. He sees without eyes, hears without ears, feels without skin, tastes withouttongue, grasps without hand, walks without feet, smells without a nose, knows without amind, because He is pure, all-pervading Consciousness.
13. He is formless (Nirakara), without Gunas (Nirguna), without any specialcharacteristics (Nirvisesha), without parts (Nishkala), without limbs (Niravayava),without action (Nishkriya). He is eternal (Nitya), pure (Suddha), perfect (Siddha), free(Mukta).
14. Brahman is Truth (Satyam), Wisdom (Jnanam), Infinity (Anantam). He is Peace(Santam), Auspiciousness (Sivam), One without a second (Advaitam). He is without old age(Ajaram), immortal (Amritam), fearless (Abhayam), and the Highest (Param). He is theabsolute (Kevala).
15. That place, where all speech stops, all thoughts cease, where the functions of theintellect and all organs stop, is Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.
16. Peace, God, Atma, Brahman, Freedom, Immortality, Emancipation are synonymous terms.
17. God is with form and without form, and He is above forms. He is actionless; He isthe actor also. He is the manifest; He is the unmanifest. He is immanent; He istranscendent.
18. There is a living, unchanging, eternal Consciousness that underlies all names andforms, and that holds all together. That is God or Brahman.
19. Unseen He helps you with faithful hands. Unheard He hears your speech. Unknown Heknows your thoughts. He is pure, all-pervading Consciousness, Sat-Chit-Ananda.
20. God’s Will expresses itself everywhere as law. The law of gravitation, cohesion,relativity, cause and effect, the laws of electricity, chemistry, physics, all the psychiclaws, are expressions of God’s Will.
21. Brahman alone is real. Individual soul is identical with Brahman. Everything elseis unreal. This is the fundamental tenet of Vedanta philosophy.
22. Brahman is not this; it is not that. The denial of attributes to Brahman does notreduce it to a void or nonentity. Brahman does not possess any attribute that belongs toMaya. It is an embodiment of Bliss and Wisdom.
23. Infinity, Eternity, Immortality and Absoluteness are the characteristics of thelimitless Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.
24. The Absolute baffles the mind of even the greatest scholar. It eludes the grasp ofeven the mightiest intellect. It is experienced as Pure Consciousness, where intellectdies, scholarship perishes and the entire being itself is completely lost in it. All islost, and all is found.
25. God is very close to you. He abides in your heart. Closer is He than breathing,nearer than hands and feet. He is your very Self or Atma.
Develop discrimination between the real and the unreal. God alone is real. Everythingelse is unreal. Renounce all sensual pleasures, seeing the defects in them. They wear outthe senses, cause diseases, restlessness of mind., etc. Equip yourself with the sixfoldvirtues (Shadsampat) of serenity (Sama), control of the senses (Dama), cessation fromsensual enjoyments (Uparati), endurance (Titiksha), faith in God, scriptures, Guru and inone’s own self (Sraddha) and concentration of mind (Samadhana). Hear the Mahavakyas (thegreat sentences of the Upanishads) that speak of the identity of the individual soul withthe Supreme Soul. Reflect upon them and then practise intense meditation. You will attainSelf-realisation.
Serve all, seeing God in all. Perform all your daily actions as worship of God. Give upthe idea that you are the doer. Feel that God does everything and that you are only Hisinstrument. Give up attachment to actions and their fruits.
Do Japa of His Holy Name. His Name is a great purifier. Sing His praises. Worship Him.Meditate upon His beautiful form. Surrender to His Will (Atmanivedan).
Do not identify yourself with the body, which is inert, impure, perishable and which isonly a combination of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Always feelthat you are the all-pervading, formless, pure, Satchidananda Atma. Assert ‘AhamBrahmasmi’. See the Self in all.
Take Sattvic food. Keep company With the wise. Study Gita and other religious booksdaily. Eradicate all vices. Cultivate all virtues. Observe Ahimsa (Non-injury), Satyam(Truth), and Brahmacharya (Chastity).
Keep the body fit and energetic by practising daily some important Asanas, such asSirshasana, Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Paschimottanasana, Bhujangasana and Mayurasana, afew rounds of easy, comfortable Pranayama and light physical exercise such as long walk.
God is a question of supply and demand. If you really yearn for His Darshan, He willreveal Himself to you in an instant.
Combine all the love you cherish towards all worldly objects, wife, son, wealth,property, relatives, friends, and then apply this combined love towards God. You willrealise in this very second.
It is not very difficult to have Darshan (vision) of God, or to please Him. God is anocean of mercy. He is a slave of His devotees. He ran with lightning speed to saveDraupadi from the wicked hands of the Kauravas. He begged pardon of Prahlada for notcoming to his rescue earlier. He caressed the dying bird, Jatayu, keeping him on His laps,and wiped off his dirt with the trusses of His hairs. He carried the palanquin of Hisdevotee Tyagaraja and also water in a vessel for his ablution. He proudly bears, as anornament, the scar left on His chest by the kick of Bhrigu. He wears the skulls of Hisdevotees as a garland round His neck. The Lord Himself has admitted: “I am under thecomplete control of my Bhaktas.”
Pray to Him fervently for His Grace. Be up and doing in spiritual Sadhana, Bhajana,etc. Never waste a single minute. Pray fervently like Prahlad. Sing His name like Radha.Weep in solitude like Mira on account of His separation. Do kirtan like Lord Gauranga.Sing Bhajan like Ram Prasad of Bengal. Dance in Divine ecstasy like Chaitanya Maha Prabhuand enter into Bhava Samadhi. Repeat His Name like Valmiki, Tukaram and Ramdas. He willcertainly bless you with His beatific vision, Supreme Knowledge, and Eternal Bliss.
Hear the glorious events in the lives of Sri Roopkala Bhagavan of Ayodhya and asoldier-Bhakta of Punjab. Sri Roopkala Bhagavan was a famous Bhakta who lived the latterpart of his life in Ayodhya. He was a native of Chhapra, near Varanasi. He was anInspector of Schools. He was a sincere devotee of Sri Rama. One day he was absorbed inmeditation, He did not visit any school for inspection. Lord Rama Himself assumed the formof the inspector through his Yoga-Maya Shakti, inspected a particular school, signed inthe register, and disappeared. When Sri Roopkala Bhagavan came to the school next morning,the teachers said that he had already visited the school the previous day and showed himhis signature in the register. He was very much astonished. This one evidence gave himgreat encouragement. He instantaneously resigned his post; went to Ayodhya to spend therest of his life in communion with Lord Rama.
Have you not heard of an incident in Punjab? A soldier, a sincere Rama Bhakta, was onpatrol duty at night in a cantonment area. One night a fine Kirtan party was moving aboutnearby. The soldier was very much moved by their deep devotion. He left his duty andjoined the Kirtan party. He enjoyed the Kirtan to his heart’s content. In the depth ofhigher emotions, he entered into Bhava Samadhi, the ecstatic state of Bhaktas. When hereturned at 6 a.m., with great apprehension he enquired the Subedar Major whether anythinghad happened during his absence. The Subedar Major said, “.Nothing happened. I sawyou throughout on your patrol duty.” The Bhakta-soldier was extremely surprised tohear the statement of the Subedar Major. He thought it was all the Grace of Rama. RamaHimself took charge of the patrol duty to protect his devotee. He assumed the form of thesoldier. When the Bhakta came to know of this incident, he immediately managed to gethimself demobilized and went to Ayodhya to spend the rest of his life in devotion. If youare sincere in your devotion, you will have Darshan of God face to face this very moment.
More than one hundred and fifty years ago there lived a very famous Yogi-Jnani by nameSadasiva Brahmendra Saraswati in Nerur, near Karuru, in the district of Trichinoploy,South India. He is the author of Brahma Sutra Vritti and Atma Vidya Vilas andvarious other books. He has performed innumerable miracles. Once when he was absorbed inSamadhi on the banks of the Kaveri he was carried away by the flood and thrown somewhereelse. He was deeply buried underneath the sand. Peasants went to plough the fields. Theyhit against the head of the Yogi and some blood oozed out. They dug out and to their greatastonishment they found a Yogi seated in Samadhi.
On another occasion as an Avadhoot he entered the zenana (tent) of a Muslim chiefnaked. The chief was quite enraged at the sage. He cut off one of his arms. SadasivaBrahman walked away without uttering a word and without showing any sign of pain. Thechief was greatly astonished at this strange condition of the sage. He thought that thisman must be a Mahatma, a superhuman being. He repented much and followed the sage toapologize. Sadasiva did not even know that his arm was cut off. When the chief narrated tothe sage what had happened in the camp, Sadasiva excused the chief and simply touched hismaimed arm. Sadasiva Brahman had a fresh arm.
These incidents in the life of this sage should convince everyone that there is asublime divine life independent of objects and the play of the mind and the senses. Thesage was quite unconscious of the world. He did not feel a bit when his arm was cut off.He ought to have been absorbed in the Divine Consciousness and become one with the Divine.Ordinary people yell out even when there is a pin prick on their body. The above incidentsin the life of Sadasiva Brahman amply prove the existence of God and a divine, eternallife, where all sorrows melt, all desires are satisfied and where one gets supreme bliss,peace and knowledge.
Rama said, “O Swami Sivananda
Give me definite proofs for the existence of God.”
Sivananda replied, “O Ram!
Your mother said, ‘Krishna is your father.’
You did not ask her
“O Mother, prove he is my father.”
Existence of God is Svatah-Siddha.
It is self-proved.
It is a great insult, it is quite absurd to say.
Give me proofs for the existence of God.
When the Lord is everywhere.
Behold His glory-in the sun, moon and stars.
In the fire, in the lightning, thunder,
In the ocean, in the sky, in the flowers,
In the mind, in the intellect and in Prana.
Siva: “Do you exist?”
Siva: “If you say that you do not exist, and if somebody beats you then you willsee whether you exist or not. Existence is God. You want death or immortality?”
Prof: “I want neither death nor immortality. I do not want immortality, becausethe world is so bad and full of miseries that immortality would mean eternal suffering. Ido not want death, because nobody wants death.”
Siva: “You are confusing yourself. When you say that you do not want death, itmeans that you want immortality. Immortality is God. You want pain or bliss?”
Prof : “I want neither pain nor bliss.”
Siva: “Then what do you want?”
Prof: “There is something higher than bliss.”
Siva: “There is nothing higher than divine bliss.”
Siva: “Desirelessness is bliss. Bliss is God. Do you want peace of mind?”
Prof: “Yes .”
Siva: “Peace is God. So now do you believe that God exists?”
Golmal (Atheist): O Ram! Please show me your God or Brahman of whom you speakvery highly every day. If God really exists, I should see Him with my own eyes now.
Ram (Theist): I will beat you now with this stick. Please show me your pain inconcrete form.
Golmal: How can I show you my pain, Ram? Your question is quite absurd. One will haveto feel the pain oneself.
Ram: Similar is the case with God, also, O Golmal. You will have to realise Him throughconstant and intense meditation. He cannot be seen by these fleshy eyes, as He is beyondthe reach of the senses and the mind.
Golmal: If God is beyond the reach of the senses then He should be a non-entity, a merevoid, a negative concept, a metaphysical abstraction, I do not wish to attain such anegative state of nothingness. I will not gain anything by attaining Him. I am very happyhere when I enjoy the different kinds of sensual objects. There is nothing beyond thesesensual pleasures. Why do you talk of something beyond the senses? How could this be? Icannot believe such things. I am a scientist. I want accurate laboratory proofs.
Ram: Ha! ha! ha! ha! Well said, Golmal. You want laboratory proofs? Very fine, indeed!You wish to limit the illimitable all-pervading God in your test-tube, blow-pipe andchemicals. God is the source for your chemicals. He is the substratum for your atoms,electrons and molecules. Without Him no atom or electron will move. He is the inner ruler(Antaryamin). He is the Niyanta (controller). Without Him the fire cannot burn, the suncannot shine, the air cannot move. Without Him you cannot see, cannot talk, cannot hear,cannot think. He is the maker of all scientific laws, the law of gravitation, the law ofcohesion, the law of attraction and repulsion, etc. He is law-giver. Bow to Him with faithand devotion. You will have a thorough knowledge of the Science of sciences, Brahma Vidya,through His grace, and attain Moksha.
Golmal: Is there anything like the Science of sciences? I had my education at Oxfordand Harvard Universities. I never heard there of a science like this.
Ram: Just note the conversation that took place between Saunaka and Angiras. Saunaka,the great Grihastha questioned Angiras “Kasmin bhagavo vijnate sarvamidam vijnatambhavati”-“What is that which being known all these become known?”Angiras replied, “It is Brahma Vidya, the Science of sciences, by knowing which theImmortal Brahman is realised.” By knowledge of Brahma Vidya or the Science ofsciences you hear what cannot be heard, you perceive what cannot be perceived, you knowwhat cannot be known. You think what cannot be thought of. Just as by the knowledge of asingle nugget of gold all that is made of gold is known, the difference being only a namearising from speech, but the truth being that all is gold, just as by the knowledge of asingle pair of nail-scissors all that is made of iron is known-all modifications beingonly a name based upon words, but the truth being that all is iron-thus, O Golmal, is thatBrahma Vidya or the Science of sciences.
The basis for all the secular sciences is Brahma Vidya or Adhyatmic Science. If youknow this supreme science through direct intuition, you will have knowledge of all otherworldly sciences, just as you will have knowledge of articles made of clay if you have aknowledge of clay itself. You cannot learn this Science of sciences in any University. Youwill have to learn this from a Brahma-Srotri, Brahma-Nishtha Guru, after controlling yoursenses and the mind.
Golmal: How can I believe that God exists when I cannot see Him actually with my eyes?
Ram: Though you do not see the stars in the day time, yet they do exist. Though youcannot see the sun during a cloudy day, yet it does exist. Even so though you cannot seeGod with these physical eyes, yet He does exist. If you get the divine eye or the eye ofintuition (Jnana Chakshus) by the practice of meditation, you will behold Him.
Golmal: I think, O Ram! that there is no such thing as God or immortal soul or divineeyes or eternal bliss of the soul. It is all the wild imaginations of the so-calledVedantins and Bhaktas. Just as red colour is produced by the combination of lime, nut andbetel leaves, so also this body is formed by the combination of the five elements. Thisbody only is the soul. There is nothing beyond this body. There is nothing beyond sensualenjoyments. The philosophy of flesh or the philosophy of Virochana or the Epicurean,”Eat, drink and be merry,” appeals to me most. We should extract as muchpleasure as possible from this body and the sensual objects. There is no use in practisingpenance or self-restraint. We should allow the Indriyas to run riot or to have a free playwith the sensual objects. This is the only wisdom. Fasting, observing Mouna (silence),celibacy, meditation, etc., are the foolish acts of an ignorant man.
Ram: These worldly objects are ephemeral. They wear out the vigour of all senses. Eventhe longest life is very short. No man can be made permanently happy by wealth, sons andwoman. Man weeps in old age. He is drowned in sorrow when he loses money, when his wife orson dies, when he develops incurable disease. Nachiketas was not tempted by the worldlygifts of Lord Yama. He persisted in attaining the eternal bliss of the Immortal Soul andgot it through the instructions of Lord Yama. A passionate, ignorant man, who has neitherdiscrimination nor dispassion, who is drowned in worldliness cannot have a clearconception of the Supreme Tattva.
Golmal: O Ram! Nature only does everything. Why should we accept the existence of God?Nature nourishes. Nature is everything. This world can go on without an Ishvara or Lord.Nature can manage everything.
Ram: Nature is not independent. She is the hand-maid of the Lord of Nature. Nature isHis Shakti or illusory power. Just as clay is to the potter, so is Nature to the Lord. TheLord gazes at Prakriti or Nature. He is the Primum mobile. He sets the Prakriti in motion.Then the Prakriti starts Her activities. Just as heat is inseparable from the fire, soalso Shakti is inseparable from the Lord (Shakta or possessor of Shakti). Just as thepower of burning is inherent in fire, so also Shakti is inherent in the Lord.
Golmal: What are the chief attributes of your Lord?
Ram: God is omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent and All-merciful.
Golmal: Can He make a two-sided paper only one-sided? Can He make a man jump on his ownshoulders? Can He make the fire burn downwards? Can He make the sun radiate coolness? CanHe make a barren woman’s son father of seven children? If He cannot do these things, He isno longer the Omnipotent Lord.
Ram: Do not ask such impertinent, useless and meaningless questions. Spiritual-mindedperson will never talk a word in vain. You are wasting your life, time and energy. God isOmnipotent. He can do and undo things in the twinkling of an eye. His grace makes the dumbman eloquent and the cripple a mountaineer. Develop Sraddha (faith) and Bhakti (devotion).Utilize your body in His service. It is very difficult to get a human birth; therefore tryyour best to realise Him in this birth. Try to become wise. Learn to discriminate.Cultivate your heart. Make it soft and pure.
Golmal: O Ram! You say, “God is All-merciful.” I say, “God is verycruel. He is very unjust. He makes some very rich; others very poor; some healthy andothers very sickly and deformed from their very birth.”
Ram: God is quite just. He is the silent witness. This world runs in accordance withdefinite laws. There is order. Virtue brings its own reward; vice brings its ownpunishment. God neither punishes nor rewards any individual. Man reaps the fruits of hisown actions. As he sows, so he reaps, The law of cause and effect operates. This law isinexorable.
Golmal: Why God created this world? When He is Purnakama, i.e., one in whom all desiresare gratified, how did the desire to create this world arise in His mind?
Ram: Why God created this world? When did Karma begin? Why should there be ignorance atall? When did man take his first birth? How can ignorance come in the Atma who is of thenature of Satchidananda? Which is more powerful whether Prarabdha (destiny) or Purushartha(self-effort)? and many such other questions are Atiprasnas, transcendental questions.Such questions do not help in any way one’s progress in the spiritual path. The result ismere lingual warfare and beating about the bush with no substantial result. Words arefinite. Language is imperfect. One can get a solution to such questions only when onetranscends the three states and the three Gunas, and rests in one’s own essential Svarupa,through constant and protracted Nididhyasan and attains Dridhabhumi or Yogarudha(established in Yoga) state. The frail, finite intellect that is conditioned in time,space, causation cannot peep into the beyond. You will get answers for these questionswhen you get knowledge of the Self.
All doubts are rent asunder, the three knots are broken when one attains Brahmic Sthitior Sahaja-Avastha (natural-state) or the native state of pristine purity and glory. Peoplegenerally rack their brains and waste their energy when such doubts assail them. This is atrick of the mind to delude the aspirant and swerve them from the path of divinecontemplation. What is wanted is rigorous Sadhana, burning Vairagya (dispassion), strongMumukshutva (desire for liberation) and sustained discrimination.
Golmal: If God is All-merciful, if He is an ocean of mercy, why should there be painand disease in this world?
Ram: Pain is, in a way, a good thing in this world. It is an eye-opener. It is ablessing in disguise. It infuses mercy in your heart and turns your mind towards God. Itdevelops your will-power or power of endurance. It forces you to find out the way ofescape from the clutches of Maya or the thraldom of matter.
Golmal: Why should there be evil in this world? Can He not create a world with purebliss only? Why should there be mixture of pleasure and pain? Does this not go against HisOmnipotent nature?
Ram: This universe is a mixture of good and evil. This is a relative plane. You cannotexpect pure, unalloyed happiness here. You can find pure bliss in your innermost Self orBrahman only. Evil is not a distinct entity. Good and evil are the obverse and reversesides of the same coin. Evil exists to glorify good. What is evil at one time is good atanother time. What is evil for one is good for another. A rogue is a saint of the future.If you keep him in the company of a saint he will become a veritable Mahatma. Have you notstudied the lives of Ratnakar, Jagai and Madhai? They became very good saints when theycame in contact with great souls. The body of a man is the result of good and evilactions. Therefore he should reap the fruits of his good and evil actions, viz., pleasureand pain.
Golmal: O Ram! Thank you very much, indeed. My mind is slightly turned towards yourside by your impressive instructions. Please give me some strong proofs for the existenceof God. I am led to believe now that Supreme Intelligence or Power governs this universe.
Ram: God or Brahman is Svatah-Siddha (self-proved). The Self is the basis of the actionof proving. Therefore, it is evident before the action of proving itself. It is thereforeimpossible to deny it. In denying the existence of Brahman, you deny your own existence,which is absurd. Brahman is the basis of all pre-suppositions, demonstrations and allnotions.
Golmal: I have understood this point well. Doubtless the Self cannot be demonstrated.But it is possible to infer His existence from certain empirical facts. Please furnish mewith those facts. Then I will have perfect conviction.
Ram: The existence of Brahman is known on the ground of its being the Self of everyone,because everyone is conscious of the existence of his Self. There is an inherent feelingin everybody, ‘I exist-Aham Asmi.’ Man never thinks, ‘I am not.’ This self of whoseexistence all are conscious is Brahman.
Golmal: Well said, indeed! I can understand this point very well. It appears to menicely. Please teach me further in this direction.
Ram: Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you are dead.
Golmal: Yes. I have closed my eyes now. I now imagine that I am dead.
Ram: What do you find now?
Golmal: I imagine that my dead body is lying down on the ground as a corpse and I amwitnessing the dead body.
Ram: You can never imagine of your annihilation. You can never think that you do notexist after the physical body is thrown away. This itself clearly proves that you arealways the witnessing subject (Sakshi, Drashta).
Golmal: This also convinces me to some extent. Please give me some more practicalillustrations.
Ram: O Golmal! Here is a very practical illustration. You dream sometimes that you aredead and that your relatives are weeping. Even in that supposed death-state you see andhear them weeping. This clearly indicates that even after seeming death, life reallypersists. This also proves that immortality is an inherent attribute of the soul. Youexist even after the physical sheath is thrown out. That existence is Brahman or Atma.
Golmal: Ram, this is really a wonderful illustration. My doubts about the existence ofGod or Self are dwindling. Please give me some instructions from the experiences in dailylife.
Ram: A certain lady had a fall from the third story of her house. Underneath there wasa bed of sharp angular stones. She would have received very serious injuries, but she wasmiraculously saved. She herself expressed, “I actually felt the warm embrace of someinvisible hands. Some mysterious power saved me.” Instances like this are notuncommon in daily life.
Golmal: May I hear another illustration?
Ram: You find that even the world’s best doctors fail to cure a dying king. You mighthave also heard of many instances where patients ailing from the worst type of diseasesare cured miraculously, where even the ablest doctors have declared the case to behopeless. This itself is a clear proof that there is the Divine Hand behind all cure.
Golmal: Can you illustrate this through the theory of Karma?
Ram: Some people die when they are eighty years old; some die when they are in thewomb; some die at twenty; some at forty. What is the cause for the variation? Who hasfixed the span of life for all? This clearly proves that there is the theory of Karma,that there is one Omniscient Lord who is the Dispenser of the fruits of the actions of theJivas, who fixed the span of the life of the Jivas in accordance with their nature ofKarma or action, who knows the exact relation between Karmas and their fruits. As Karma isJada or insentient, it certainly cannot dispense with the fruits of their actions.
Golmal: Prove the existence of God through facts about this physical body which isregarded as the temple of God.
Rama: The insentient engine of a railway train cannot move without a qualified driver.Even so this insentient body-engine cannot move without an intelligent driver, who is Godor Ishvar. From the existence of the body you can infer the existence of the hidden driverof the body-engine.
Mark! There is display of intelligence in every inch of creation. Who pumps blood intothe arteries? Who converts food into chyle and red-coloured blood? Who effects theperistalsis in the bowels and stomach and controls the process of assimilation andelimination. Who shuts the eye lids to prevent dust from falling into the delicate eyes?Who gave intelligence to the cells and glands to secrete milk, bile, saliva, gastricjuice, etc., from the blood? Who gave intelligence and power to the spermatozoa to move,unite with the ovum in the womb and develop into a foetus? Wherefrom does this minutest,subtlest substance, Jiva, as minute as the tiniest grain of sand, derive the capacity toassume gradually the features, complexion and shape of its parents? What is the powerwhich sustains it and helps its growth in the mother’s womb? Who arranges for milk in themother’s breast before the child is born ?
How wonderful is the human machine? How harmoniously all the organs work in unison inthe economy of nature? In Gita this body is known as navadvara-puri or nine-gatecity. In summer the skin works energetically to throw off all impurities of the blood andto relieve the kidneys which had over-worked in winter. The endocrine, pituitary, pineal,adrenal glands work in perfect harmony in manufacturing the internal secretions, and thehormones to help the metabolic process of the body, growth and structure.
It is a great marvel to see the working of the nervous system under the control ofbrain and the movement of the impulses through the spinal cord. There is a magnificent,electric battery inside with switchboard and wires. The operator is Antaryamin (innerruler, or God) who controls and supervises everything. He is Upadrashta (supervisor),Anumanta (permitter) and Maheswar (the great Lord). Look at the heart and lungs which workunder the direct control of the brain. How wonderful are these three vital organs thetripods of life? Can an eminent scientist manufacture any of these organs, tissues,fibres, tendons or cells in his laboratory with his intellects?
How harmoniously the different systems such as the digestive system, circulatorysystem, nervous system, integumentary system, work without any rest! How beautifully thedifferent centres in the brain such as the vision-centre, authority-centre, centre ofsmell, etc., do their functions. One is struck with awe and wonder when he begins to thinkseriously of the structure and working of this delicate human machinery.
To think that this most wonderful mechanism is the result and product of a fortuitouscombination of matter or atoms is simply absurd and ridiculous indeed! It has been,doubtless, moulded and fashioned by some architect, who is infinitely more skilful,intelligent and powerful than the ordinary architects who build palaces and bungalows.That architect is God or Ishvar or Creator. Call him by any name. It does not matter much.
Golmal: Give me facts for the existence of God by the study of mind and its functions.
Ram: Unless there exists one continuous principle equally connected with the past,present and future, or an absolutely unchangeable Self which cognizes everything, we areunable to account for remembrance, recognition and so on, which are subject to mentalimpression on place, time and cause. The Self is distinct from and superior to ideas,because the ideas require an ultimate principle which unites and connects them, while theSelf is itself the ultimate Principle which renders the cognition of the ideas possible.
The Manas (mind) is an organ of sensation and thought. It must be under the control ofsome one who uses this instrument. The Jiva or human soul is not the director of the mind,because we see that ordinary men are swayed away ruthlessly by the mind. Therefore, theremust exist some other Supreme Being, who is the Director of the mind. He is theAntaryamin, the inner Ruler and Controller.
Then again look at the miraculous power of the mind. In the Kenopanishad the firstMantra begins, ‘Who is the Director of the mind?’ There is the play of the Divine handhere also. Can my brother psychologist manufacture a mind from his laboratory? We arestruck with wonder when we look into the diverse faculties of the mind, viz., power ofdiscrimination, power of judgment, reasoning, retentive power, imagination, cogitativefaculty or the power of reflection, understanding, etc. No one but God can create such apowerful and miraculous mind.
Golmal: Give me facts for His existence from the study of nature.
Ram: Who provides food for the little frog that lives hidden between the strata ofrocks? Who has clothed the fruits with skin to prevent contamination from outside? Whodivided the season? Who made the water warm beneath the ice to enable the fishes to livecomfortably in the icy regions of the Himalayas, and other places? Who has combined fourparts of nitrogen with the one part of oxygen?
At whose command does the sun rise in the morning and set in the evening? The sun is92,830,000 miles away from the earth. What a great wonder that from such a long distancethe sun is able to convey light, heat, energy and vitality to all the living beings whoinhabit the earth. There are millions of suns larger and smaller than the one which wesee, but which appear to us like tiny stars on account of their being remoter than the sunwith which we are acquainted. It takes millions of years for the light from these stars toreach this earth. Velocity of light is 186,000 miles per second. Light from some distantstars has not yet reached us even now. What a great marvel it is! All these stars,planets, and satellites are revolving in the sky in fixed orbits from day to day, month tomonth and year to year, under immutable, definite laws. God is the Niyanta (controller).The sun cannot shine without Him. Fire cannot burn without Him.
Who supplies water to the trees, flowers, various shrubs, etc., that are found in thisworld? Who is this unseen, untiring gardener who works without wages or any sort ofremuneration? Who gives nourishment in time to tigers, lions, birds, fishes, plants,insects, worms, etc.? How is it that only human beings are born of human beings, birds ofbirds, tigers of tigers, dogs of dogs, horses of horses, elephants of elephants, ants ofants, bears of bears, mules of mules,-an exact copy of their parents in every respect?From a tiny seed there springs a huge banyan tree that can give shelter for thousands ofpersons. From a tiny seed there comes out a big mango tree that gives thousands ofdelicious fruits. What is that power which supports and nourishes these trees? What isthat hidden, miraculous power that brings out huge form with hair, fingers, toes, eyes,nose, teeth, ears, legs, thighs, etc., out of a tiny embryo? What is that power thatbrings out a mighty tree with foliage, flowers, twigs and fruit out of a tiny seed?
Golmal: Can you explain the meaning of the Ekasloki of Sri Sankara?
Ram: In the day time what gives you light? Sun. At night when there is no sun, whatgives you light? Moon, stars and lamps. When there are no sun, moon, stars and lamps whatgives you ‘light’? Eyes. What gives you ‘light’ when the eyes are closed? Buddhi orintellect. Who finds out the defect in the intellect whether there is clarity orturbidity? Aham (I). That Aham is the Light of lights or the eternal Soul or Atman or theInfinite.
Golmal: What can we infer from the study of deep sleep? The Vedantins talk much of deepsleep. What is the difference between sleep and Samadhi?
Ram: In sleep there are no senses, no objects, no mind and yet you experience thehighest bliss without a concrete awareness. When there are no objects, wherefrom have youderived the bliss? The mind rests in Brahman during sleep, and it is from Brahman thatbliss is derived. Further, during sleep when there are no other persons, ‘I’ alone exists.
In sleep you experience Avidya-Avrita Sukha. There is a veil between you and the Self.You do not return to the waking state with intuitional knowledge, you are ignorant;whereas in Samadhi you get knowledge of the Self, you enjoy directly the eternal bliss ofthe Self as there is no veil. Your ignorance is destroyed in Samadhi.
Golmal: Give me a very simple, but very impressive proof for the existence of Soul.
Ram: You say in daily life, ‘my body,’ ‘my Prana,’ ‘my mind,’ ‘my Indriya.’ Thisclearly denotes that the Self or Atma is entirely different from body, mind, Prana andIndriyas. Mind and body are your servants or instruments. They are as much outside of youas these towels, chairs, cups are. You are holding the body just as you hold a longwalking stick in your hand. You are the possessor or proprietor of this body. The body isyour property or possession. The body, the senses, the mind, etc., are not the soul, butbelong to it.
Golmal: I am quite satisfied now. O my beloved Ram, I am quite convinced. I was under agreat delusion till now. I was sunk in utter ignorance. I am grateful to you for yourvaluable, cogent, convincing, spiritual instructions. Thou art my Guru and saviour. Pleasetell me now the method to attain this Immortal Self.
Ram: Purify the mind. Control the senses. Develop the four means. Hear the Srutis.Reflect and meditate. You will attain Self-realisation.
(Golmal did rigorous Tapas and meditation and eventually attained the finalbeatitude of life. He now addresses Ram).
Golmal: O Ram! O my venerable Preceptor! Thousand prostrations unto thee. Thou hastsaved me from this terrible Samsara. I now rejoice in the Self. Atma is now like theAmalaka fruit in the palm of my hand. I behold only the Self everywhere. The glory ofBrahman is ineffable. All my doubts, fears, worries, sorrows, delusion, pain have vanishedin toto. I am bodiless, mindless. I am all-pervading intelligence. I amself-luminous. Sivoham, Sivoham. Sivah-kevaloham. Suddhoham. No words can adequatelydescribe the state of illumination.
Again and again prostrations unto Thee my Saviour and Redeemer.
Ram: O Golmal! Rest in Supreme Peace. Now roam about and disseminate this supremeknowledge throughout the length and breadth of the land, lift up your brothers from thequagmire of Samsara. You are no longer a Golmal (deceived person) with pervertedintellect. Thou art a blessed Jivanmukta now. Thou art Swami Jnanananda Saraswati.
Jnanananda: My adorable Lord! I shall carry out thy behests. Obeisance unto Thee!
(Jnanananda sings a Vedantic Song.)
Chidananda Chidananda Chidananda Hum
Har Halme Almast Satchidananda Hum
Nijanand Nijanand Nijanand Hum
Har Halme Almast Satchidanand Hum
Jnanananda Jnanananda Jnanananda Hum
Agadbumwala Agadbumwala Akhilananda Hum
Ajaranand Amaranand Achalanand Hum
Har Halme Almast Satchidananda Hum
Nirbhaya Aur Nischinta Chidghanananda Hum
Kaivalya Kevala Kutastha Ananda Hum
Nitya Suddha Satchidananda Hum
Knowledge bliss, knowledge bliss, bliss absolute,
In all conditions I am knowledge bliss absolute.
I am without old age, without death, without motion,
In all conditions I am knowledge, bliss absolute.
I am without fear, without worry, bliss absolute, knowledge absolute, existence absolute;
Independent, unchanging, non-dual Atma, Advaita Atma, Immortal Atma;
Eternal pure, perfect knowledge, bliss absolute, knowledge Absolute, existence Absolute.
Prof. K. Satchidanandamurty
[Head of the Dept. of Philosophy, Andhra University]
Since the time when Plato, in his Tenth Book of the Laws, formulated a proof for theexistence of God, the dominant note of Western Philosophy has been to regard the existenceof God as a conclusion to be established by means of argument. The tradition oftheological proof was passed on to Christian philosophy and theology through Aristotle. Itwas only in the second half of the eighteenth century that the proof for the existence ofGod came to be seriously challenged. The two greatest thinkers of the time, Hume and Kant,exposed the logical flaws and invalidity of the theological arguments.
But Kant allowed an argument which reaches God through the testimony of moralconsciousness. Later, thinkers like Schleiermacher, Ritschl, Kierkegaard and others haveraised a formidable objection against not only the particular proof but against the veryidea of such proofs. Assurance of God’s existence has come to those who have beenconfronted by God’s Presence, while those who have been denied it have never beenconvinced by proofs. As Haecker has said it is absurd and insulting to set about provingthe existence of an ever present entity-God. “We can no more prove God’sexistence,” wrote De Burgh, “than we can prove that of our fellowman; ourknowledge of the one as of the other is founded on the experience of their presence.”
Modern thought in thus breaking away from the tradition of theistic proof is returningcloser to the Biblical as well as the Upanishadic point of view. The Upanishads at severalplaces maintain that the knowledge of the Supreme or the Brahman is a great mystery to becommunicated only to the deserving and faithful. In the words of Jesus Christ, it is notgiven unto all to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, “For whosoever hath,to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance.” Brahman is revealed only tohim who is chosen and favoured by the Creator. We cannot know God unless He disclosesHimself. He is not a sensible entity which we can come across in perceptual experience.Moreover, He is a self-conscious being. We can know about a self-conscious being only whenwe come into contact with Him, and even then we can not know much about His life, Hispurposes etc., by external observation. We may guess something about His nature from Hisacts, but these guesses have as much likelihood of being wrong as of being right. So thebest way we can know Him is through His self-disclosure.
Perfect knowledge of God is attainable only when He chooses to reveal Himself. Wecannot know anything about God from His acts, because unless we know Him we cannot knowwhich are His acts; and even if something can be known about Him from His acts, we cannotdo so unless God wills so. God is not like any other person about whom we can knowsomething in spite of Himself. He is present both in us as well as apart from us, andwhatever we do or know is willed by Him. So, if at all we can have any knowledge of God,it is because He has revealed Himself. We do not know Him unless He is pleased to makeHimself known. Knowledge of God, in whatever way we may think we have arrived at, comesultimately from God due to His self-disclosure.
Knowledge Through Intuition
At several places the Upanishads clearly state that intellect or discursive reason isnot adequate to grasp the Supreme. “Speech, with the mind, turns away unable to reachit”. “The eye cannot perceive it, nor can speech describe it, while the mindcannot reach there. We do not know how we can reach it.” “The great Spirittranscends the reason.” “That which one cannot think with the mind, but that bywhich they say the mind is made to think, know that alone to be the Brahman.””It cannot be apprehended by word or eye.” “Through argumentation, itcannot be grasped.” “Much learning, genius, or knowledge of books cannot lead usto the Atman.”
That the Brahman cannot be known through a study of the Vedas is the earlier viewmaintained by the Upanishads. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Janaka who has studied theVedas and heard the Upanishads confesses that he is ignorant of what will become to himwhen he is dead. In the Chhandogya Upanishad, Narada who has studied the Vedas, history,science, philosophy, fine arts, politics and the art of warfare, confesses that he is onlya knower of scriptures and not of the Atman, and so he was still plunged in misery. Inboth of these Upanishads, Svetaketu, the son of Aruni, who was well-taught by his fatherin all branches of learning, confesses to Pravahana Jaivali that he does not know themysteries of death and birth; and in Chhandogya Upanishad, after a twelve year study ofthe Vedas, Svetaketu is still depicted as ignorant of that by knowing which all that isunheard is heard and all that is unknown is known.
The Mundaka Upanishad finally sums up this trend of thought by saying that all the fourVedas and the six Vedangas are inferior knowledge, while superior knowledge is that bywhich the Imperishable is known. The Brihadaranyaka, therefore, advises us not to studytoo many books, as that is only a cause of fatigue, but to cultivate Prajna or intuition.Having spurned scholarship, the seeker after Brahman should become like a child. Thisreminds us of Christ’s teaching, “Except ye be converted, and become as littlechildren, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Acme Of The Vedas
Later, when the Upanishadic doctrine of the Atman, which first arose in Kshatriyacircles, gained the respect of Brahmanas, and when in spite of its opposition to the Vediccult of gods and sacrifices, the Brahmanas eagerly sought and mastered it. The Upanishadsbecame Vedanta. Soon Brahmanas like Yajnavalkya became not only adepts of Vedanta, butdeveloped Atmavidya to the highest limit, and the Vedanta was made the acme of the Vedas.In Yajnavalkya’s question, “I ask you of that person who is known through theUpanishads alone”, we find it mentioned for the first time that the Upanishads arethe source of the knowledge of the Brahman.
The Chhandogya says that while the Vedas are nectar, the Upanishads are the GuhyaAdesa-the most secret teaching. The Mundaka finally sums up this tendency by saying thatthose who have rightly ascertained the nature of the Brahman from the wisdom of theVedanta are liberated after death. The Svetasvatara says that the most profound secret isdisclosed in the Vedanta only. This position later crystalized itself and, as stated byBadarayana, it then became classical. Unanimously and emphatically Sankara, Ramanuja andMadhva assert that the knowledge of the Brahman can be gained through the study,meditation and contemplation (Sravana, Manana, Nididhyasana) of the Upanishadic Mahavakyasalone.
Though Brahma-Jnana is the final means of liberation, there must be a ‘Via salutis’ forit. Study of the Vedas, sacrifice, charity, austerity and desirelessness are the ways inwhich Brahmanas seek to know the Brahman. In Kena Upanishad, austerity, self-restraint,Karma and Veda-Vedangas are said to be the foundation of Brahma-Vidya. All the same,sacrifices and charity cannot by themselves lead to knowledge of the Brahman. Yajnavalkyacontemptuously remarks, “What are sacrifices after all but beasts”, i.e.,slaughter of beasts. Sacrifices can only take one to the world of Manes. As the Mundakasays, they are fools who think that Vedic sacrifices and charitable works like digging oftanks, etc., bring about the good. That is why King Janasruti, though very charitable andmunificent, had yet to sit at the feet of a poor peripatetic to learn about the Brahman.
Similarly, though austerity or Tapas leads to knowledge, by itself it cannot reveal theBrahman. The Chhandogya says that Yajna, Adhyayana and Dana, which form the first step ofDharma, Tapas the second step, and Brahmacharya the third step, lead only to the Punyalokaand not to Immortality, which is gained only by him who is firmly established in theBrahman. Even a thousand years of sacrifice and Tapas cannot lead to Mukti, for that couldbe had only by Brahma-Vedanam-knowledge of the Brahman. In short, Vedic study, sacrifices,Dana and Tapas are the external means to Brahma-Jnana, because they are acts which purifyone and make one a fit recipient of Jnana. The immediate preliminaries to Brahma-Jnana areself-control, quiescence, withdrawal into oneself, endurance, and concentration. As theKatha Upanishad says, the sinner, the sensual, the unstable and one who lacksconcentration, cannot attain intuition.
Need Of A Guru
After equipping oneself with the purity of the will, feeling and intellect, one shouldapproach the teacher for inculcation into the secrets of the Upanishads. As a man broughtblindfolded from some place and left in a desert cannot find his way unaided, even so, wecannot shake off Samsara and gain Mukti, until we receive instruction from a teacher.Except through a good teacher there is no way of knowing the Atman, as it is ‘subtler thanthe subtle’ and difficult to be known. Sankara explains that a teacher well-studied in theUpanishads alone can teach us about Brahman. We can hear about the Atman only from thewise. But how could that be taught which “by the eyes cannot be seen, by speechcannot be described and by thought cannot be penetrated?” The Brahman can only beapprehended through Self-realisation.
Though this revelation occupies the fundamental place, intellect has its own allottedorb in the Vedanta; for reasoning is necessary to ascertain the purport of Vedantavakyasand to be sure of the probability of what they say. Reasoning is needed to remove doubtsand contrary beliefs. As mind is overburdened with false notions such as a thing like theBrahman cannot exists or that the Brahman is a material principle, reasoning is necessaryto dispel doubts and contrary notions. But in all such cases reasoning should follow andbe dependent upon scripture. Manana is the process of Vichara or thought which removes theimprobability of the Upanishadic statements. Nididhyasana is contemplation of the profoundmeaning of scripture through concentration, after all contrary ideas are dispelled. When,thus, Sravana aided by Manana and Nididhyasana has taken place, only then arises theSakshatkara, or the final intuition of the Brahman.
Om Tat Sat Brahmarpanamastu
Philosophical Proofs For The Existence Of God
Sri Swami Krishnananda
The foundations of religion are in the concepts of God, the world and the individual,and all its other phases arise from a consideration of the relationship obtaining amongthese three metaphysical principles. The Vedas, Upanishads, Epics, Puranasand Agamas establish themselves on the avowed acceptance of this threefold reality,whose existence is taken for granted as an article of unquestionable faith or directintuition and experience. The history of humanity has, however, been showing indicationsof its drifting more and more through the process of time away from the ability to knowthings by direct insight or experience, and the observation has been that psychologicalhistory is moving towards a greater dependence on sense and reason as the only facultiesavailable by which anything can be known at all. Scriptural authority gives place tological enquiry and philosophical investigation. While the existence of the individualperson is a matter of empirical experience in everyday life, and the perception of a worldoutside also follows as a necessary corollary of the fact of the individual having anenvironment around, the available faculties of knowledge segregated from the possibilityof insight and immediate experience find themselves at a loss when confronting such aproblem as the existence of God.
Philosophers have mostly been rational expounders of the validity of religious values,though we have also among philosophers those who are atheists, agnostics, empiricists,sceptics and materialists. The major trend, however, of philosophical disquisitions hasbeen along the line of a common acceptance of there being such a thing as a realitytranscending the world, whose nature requires to be known and established on firm grounds.Plato, in the West, was constrained to land himself in a world of ‘Ideas’ ruled by the’Idea of the Good,’ above the empirical world of sense-perception, the latter being just ashadow cast by the arrangement of the eternal ‘Ideas’. To Aristotle, God is the UnmovedMover, towards whom everything gravitates as if pulled by a powerful magnet, and all thevariety and the material shapes of things tend gradually to unfold an essential form whichenlarges itself in an ascending series of the evolution of form, until Pure Form, which isGod, is reached as the ultimate discovery of logical philosophy. Kant denied thepossibility of knowing God through understanding and reason, holding that the reality initself cannot be contacted through the rational faculties of man, which are limited intheir operation to the phenomena of space, time and the psychological categories ofquantity, quality, relation and modality. But he inadvertently seems to be admitting theexistence of a super-phenomenal reality, a thing-in-itself, when he denies the possibilityof knowing it. Hegel took up the cause of reason and propounded it as a universallypervasive principle, which, by positive, negative and synthesising processes risesgradually to higher and higher forms of the synthesis of knowledge until the UltimateSynthesis, the Absolute, is reached.
The existence of God has been an intriguing theme that occupied the minds of thephilosophers throughout the ages:
1. It has been held that the concept of God implies at the same time the concept of theinfinite, and such a concept cannot arise in the mind of anyone unless the infinite reallyexists. Thoughts cannot arise from a vacuum. Consciousness cannot have a location; itsrealm is infinitude. The concept of God as the perfect being should be regarded as proofenough, ontologically, of the existence of a reality which is God.
2. Further it is seen that in the world everything is a manifestation of some causebehind it, so that we may hold that the world in its entirety, which discloses the natureof an effect on account of its transiency and urge for onward evolution, can be explainedonly in terms of a cause behind it, which itself cannot be transient or subject toevolutionary process. Evolution is a tendency to outgrow oneself in a higher state ofaffairs and evolution itself would be meaningless if it is not to end in an achievementwhich is its purpose. Cosmic evolution is accountable only on the existence of a cosmicGod who Himself is not caused by anything prior to Him. God is timeless eternity.
3. The precision and method with which the world is seen to be working with its sun andmoon and galaxies can only be the work of an Architect who designs and fashions thisperfectly ordered way of the working of things, Whose existence should be as certain asthe artistic workings of Nature as a whole.
4. The finitude of every form of individuality implies a consciousness of one’sfinitude, and the consciousness of finitude spontaneously suggests a consciousness of thatwhich is not finite. What is not finite is infinite, which is exactly the description ofGod.
5. There is also a tendency in people to ask for more and more of things, and such anasking would have no significance if it cannot be granted or fulfilled. The ‘more’ has toculminate in a possibility of its utter attainment in a state of perfection, where the’more’ melts into the ‘most,’ the superlative endlessness, where the sense of more reachesits finale.
6. Further, our moral sense, which commands us to do good and not bad, expects acorresponding reward for such a behaviour of discipline, but for which there would be noincentive to be good or do good. The dispenser of justice behind good and bad deeds has tobe someone beyond the world of good and bad, and such a one, obviously, has to be aninfinite being.
7. Since the consciousness of anything defies divisibility, the consciousness ofdivision itself requiring an abolition of the consciousness of division, consciousnessever manages to remain divisionless, that is, infinite. This infinitude is the nature oftrue existence,-God.
8. There cannot be a consciousness of the object by the subject, unless there is atranscendent conscious principle relating the subject and the object, and yet, by itself,transcending subject-object relation, which would be the veritable Infinite. We call itGod.
Isvara Or The Universal Soul
Sri Swami Krishnananda
The Existence Of God
The transcendent Brahman does not bear any relation to the universe. The nature of itsexistence is such that it cannot have distinctions within it or outside it. It is freefrom the threefold differentiation: Sajatiya, Vijatiya and Svagata (homogeneous,hetrogeneous and internal differences). It is beyond the world in every sense of the term,and cannot be discovered in anything that we can hope to know. The perishable does notsatisfy our quest for the eternal. Brahman is Nishprapancha, Prapanchopasama, a beingwhich is free from the universe, and in which the universe ceases to be. But withoutholding allegiance to the existence of Brahman, the world cannot be. The world isdependent on Brahman. In this respect, the names and forms and activities of the world aredirected by Brahman; the world automatically receives, in different degrees, inspirationand reality from the existence, consciousness and bliss of Brahman. Brahman envisaged thusby the individuals, as the supreme Cause and the Director of the universe, is Isvara, theCosmic Being. Isvara is omnipresent, for He supports and animates every speck of creationby His immanence. He is omniscient, for He has a direct intuition of all things, manifestand unmanifest. He is also the Divine Self and the Inner Ruler of the cosmos. Theknowledge which Isvara has of the universe is not relational, not brought about by amental function, and does not labour under the limitations of space and time, butimmediate in its essence and spirit. It is not any outside knowledge of an object, butknowledge as the being of the object itself. He is omnipotent, for He has the power to do,undo or transform the universe as a whole, for the universe is His Body. He is called theCreator of the universe, for it is He that initiates the appearance of all things by theactivity of His consciousness. This work of Isvara never comes to a cessation until theuniverse is withdrawn into Him, and this process is felt and continues in differentdegrees, in every bit of His creation. He is the Preserver of the universe, as thesustenance of all life requires the operation of His Spirit. His existence and activityare felt by us wherever and whenever we think of Him intensely. He is the Destroyer or thefinal transformer of the universe, into whom the universe is withdrawn in the end, to whomall beings return on the completion of the working out of their deeds in the presentcycle. Isvara is the natural and necessary counter-correlative of the world taken as anobject of individualistic observation.
The characteristics of Isvara, as enumerated above, are the Tatasthalakshanas or theaccidental attributes of Brahman. The appearance of Brahman as Isvara continues as long asthere is the experience of the world and the individual. The fact that there is anobserver implies that there is an external world. And the fact of the existence of anobjective world, again, entails the recognition of a supreme Creator and Director ofbeings. If there is an individual, there ought to be a world, and if there is a world,there ought to be God. Isvara, Jagat and Jiva-God, the world and the individual-gotogether, one implying the others, and not being possible without the others. The threeprinciples are the basic contents of all relative experience.
The concept of God involves certain unavoidable presuppositions, if it is to stand thetest of reason. We are obliged to hold that God must be one, and not more than one. Aperfect God ought to be self-dependent, and a plurality or even a duality of gods wouldintroduce a kind of limitation and dependence. A universe with many gods cannot begoverned harmoniously, for there would be conflict of purpose among them. The system andorder in Nature demand that the Sovereign of the universe must be one. God ought to be anuncaused reality, and though everything of which God is the cause has to be in space andtime, God, who is the causeless Cause, is above space and time. The sequence of effectswhich proceed from God is more logical than chronological. As the final goal of allbeings, God directs all movements towards Himself by an upward pull, as it were, by beingthe determining destination of the entire creation. He is the fulfilment of allaspirations and needs, and the realisation of Him is the great blessedness of any mortal.God has a direct knowledge of the inner workings of Nature, in their completest detail.Though He transcends all individual values, He is the conservation of all values, andconstitutes their eternal home. In Him all values exist in their truest essence. Not onlythis, God Himself is the highest value and end of universal existence. To realise Him isto rise to the centre of the cosmos and to rule it with unlimited knowledge andsuzerainty. Man realises his ideals more and more as and when his consciousnessapproximates, in greater and greater degree, the being of God. The deeper the realisation,the more inward is the manner in which the values are enjoyed in a condition which tendsto advance towards infinitude, in which the remoteness of ideals gets expanded into aboundless Spirit, with neither inside nor outside. God is the be-all and the end-all ofcreation.
Arguments For The Existence Of God
St. Thomas Aquinas advances five proofs for the existence of God. The first is theargument from motion, which holds that all motion presupposes the existence of somethingwhich is not itself subject to motion. Motion implies a motionless ground. The motion thatcharacterises the world ought to be logically preceded by an unmoved Mover, an ultimatebeing who is not moved by anything else, who ought to be the basis of the motion of allthings. The second is the causal argument that, as every effect has a cause, the causalchain would lead to an endless regress if a final uncaused Cause is not posited. Withoutthe admission of such a Cause, the very concept of causality, which holds sway over theworld, would lose its meaning. The final cause has, therefore, no other cause outsideitself, it is the final Form without matter in it. The third is thecosmological argument which points out that all contingent events necessarily imply aneternal substance which itself is not contingent. The very consciousness of finitude givesrise to the consciousness of the infinite. The fourth is the henological argument,according to which the concept of more and less in the things of this world signifies theexistence of a maximum value whose manifestation in various degrees creates in us and inthings the idea of more or less of value. The various grades of relative perfection andimperfection in the world indicate that there ought to be an absolute state whose partialrevelations here give meaning to these relative expressions. The fifth is the teleologicalargument or the argument from design and adaptation, which infers the existence of God asthe supreme intelligence, on the basis of the purposive adaptation seen in Nature and theordered design for which it appears to be meant. The purpose that is discovered in Naturecannot be accounted for otherwise than by admitting the presence of a supremelyintelligent Creator, a wise Architect of the universe. The different parts of the universeharmoniously fit in with one another’s purposes, and adjust and adapt themselves for anend beyond themselves. All this shows that there ought to be a purposive Agent who hasbrought about all this adaptation, system and order in creation. God, according to St.Thomas Aquinas, is, therefore, One, the unmoved Mover, the causeless Cause, the eternalSubstance, the highest Perfection, supreme Intelligence, and the Maximum of being.
In his treatise on divine government, given in his Summa Theologica, St. Thomassays: “I answer that certain ancient philosophers denied the government of the world,saying that all things happened by chance. But such an opinion can be refuted asimpossible in two ways. First, by the observation of things themselves. For we observethat in Nature things happen always or nearly always for the best; which would not be thecase unless some sort of Providence directed Nature towards good as an end. And this is togovern. Therefore, the unfailing order we observe in things is the sign of their beinggoverned. For instance, if we were to enter a well-ordered house, we would gather from theorder manifested in the house the notion of a governor, as Cicero says, quoting Aristotle.Secondly, this is clear from a consideration of the divine goodness which, as we have saidabove, is the cause of the production of things in being. For, as it belongs to the bestto produce the best, it is not fitting that the supreme goodness of God should producethings without giving them their perfection. Now a thing’s ultimate perfection consists inthe attainment of its end. Therefore, it belongs to the divine goodness, as it broughtthings into being, so to lead them to their end. And this is to govern.” “Hence,as the movement of the arrow towards a definite end shows clearly that it is directed bysomeone with knowledge, so the unvarying course of natural things which are withoutknowledge shows clearly that the world is governed by some Reason.”
St. Thomas argues that as the beginning of the universe is outside itself, the end ofall things in the universe should be a transcendent good which is not to be sought withinthe universe. The highest good is the highest end of all beings. As the particular end ofanything is a particular form of good, so the universal end of all things ought to be theuniversal good, which can only be one. And this good has to be identified with God, for itis the good of and for itself by virtue of its essence and existence, whereas a particulargood is good only by participation. Every form of good that is conceivable in the universeis, according to Aquinas, a good only by sharing in a higher good. The good of the wholeworld cannot be within itself, but ought to transcend it. Everything under the sun, in theopinion of Aquinas, is generated and corrupted in accordance with the sun’s movement. Acertain amount of chance seems to characterise all that is mundane. And the very fact thatan element of chance is discovered in things here on earth proves that they are subject toa government of a higher order. For, unless corruptible things were governed by a higherbeing, there would be no order but only chaos, no definiteness but only indeterminacyeverywhere. Things lacking knowledge, naturally, get guided by a being endowed withknowledge. All activity in the universe is intentional and purposive, directed by thesupreme decree of God.
Swami Sivananda, accepting the famous arguments for the existence of God,-theontological, the cosmological and the theological,-would endorse the theological proofs ofSt. Thomas Aquinas. The feeling of the ‘I’, according to him, is rooted in an existencewhich cannot be doubted. The existence of the Self is existence in general, and is enjoyedby everyone. The Self of everyone bears testimony to the existence of the Self whichcomprehends the entire universe. This universal Self is God. Though one is encased in thisfinite body, one can think and feel: ‘I am infinite’, through an irresistible urge whichtends to direct all thought towards the achievement of such being. Such an urge fromwithin cannot possibly be, unless there is a reality to which it points. “You alwaysfeel: ‘I exist.’ You can never deny your existence. Existence is Brahman, your own innerimmortal Self” “Though I am encased in this finite body, though I am imperfectand mortal on account of egoism, I can think of the infinite, the perfect, the immortalbeing. This idea of the infinite can arise only from an infinite being” (WisdomNectar, p. 188).
Swami Sivananda observes that the concept of the finite posits the infinite.”Everything is changing in this world. There must be a substratum that is unchanging.We cannot think of a changing thing without thinking of something which is unchanging.Forms are finite. You cannot think of a finite object without thinking of somethingbeyond.” This has similarity to the argument for the existence of the infinite fromthe contingent nature of things. Further he adds: “There is beauty, intelligence,luminosity, law, order, harmony, in spite of apparent disorder and disharmony. There mustbe an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent being who governs and controls this vastuniverse” (Ibid. pp. 188-89). The world has the character of an effect, whichis observable from the vicissitudes it constantly undergoes, and the effect alwaysattempts to find rest in its cause. The human mind feels itself constrained to carry thecausal argument to its logical limits and posit at one end of the series a cause of allthings in the world of time, though it is itself outside all temporal events. Everyvisible cause has another higher cause which is more pervasive and enduring. God is thename we give to the highest cause. “In this world of phenomena, there is a cause foreverything. The law of cause and effect operates. There is the cause, the father, for theeffect which is the child. There is the cause, the seed, for the effect which is the tree.There is the cause, the potter, for the effect which is the pot.” “You see thisworld. There must be a cause for this world, which is an effect. That causeless cause isGod or the creator” (Ibid. p. 189).
Udayana, the great Naiyayika, offers the following orthodox proofs for the existence ofGod:
1. The world of perception is of the nature of an effect, and every effect must have acause. We have to infer the cause of the world, as the world has a tendency to reduceitself to its elements. The composite parts get disintegrated and return to their causes,and the ultimate cause of all composite substances should be one that is above alleffected things. And this cause must have a direct knowledge of the material causes of theworld. Such an intelligent being must be God.
2. The conjunction of the causal elements into effects requires an intelligentoperator. The combination of atoms into groups at the time of creation cannot but be thework of a purposive conscious being. The atoms do not combine pell-mell or at random.There is to be seen the hand of a wise organiser behind the systematic grouping of theultimate atoms into dyads and molecules. That final organiser is God.
3. We observe that the things of the universe are well-supported; its parts, like theplanets etc., are held together, so that they do not collapse. The holder of suchdifferent parts in balance, to constitute a system, must be God Himself, for nothing thatis in the universe can support the universe.
4. The world is observed to dissolve itself into subtler causes. The dissolution of theeffect into its cause means that there is a source into which the effect returns. Theultimate source of the universe, then, should be beyond the universe, and it is God.
5. No knowledge can come to us of the different things here, unless there is a sourceof this knowledge. The origin of all knowledge should be omniscient, and, consequently,omnipotent. Such a being is not to be seen in this universe, and so it must be outside it.This being is God.
6. The Vedas are held to be valid and authoritative from time immemorial. Suchauthoritativeness of the Vedas as true and valid knowledge cannot be without an authorbehind them, who ought to be an all-knower. This all-knower is God.
7. The Vedas cannot have any human author, because they deal with truths which no humanbeing knows. Hence the author of the Vedas ought to be a superhuman being, and this beingis God.
8. A sentence, as it is known to us in the world, has a composer who joins the wordstogether and frames it. In like manner, the sentences of the Vedas consisting of wordsshould have a composer, and he cannot be anyone else than God.
9. The size of a dyad or a molecule depends on the number of the atoms that go toconstitute it. This requisite number of the atoms that go to form a particular compoundcould not have been originally the object of the perception of any human being; so itscontemplator must be God.
The Naiyayikas also add that the fruit of an individual’s actions does not always liewithin the reach of the individual who is the agent. There ought to be, therefore, adispenser of the fruits of actions, and this supreme dispenser is God.
The Yoga system of Patanjali considers God as the unsurpassed seed of omniscience. Thepossibility of the omniscience and the necessity to admit a source for it leads to thepositing of a supreme Being who is unaffected by the changes characterised by affliction,action, fruition and the tendencies in keeping with such fruition. The knowledge which thedifferent individuals are endowed with in this world is not of the same degree; there aregrades in the manifestation of knowledge. There is an ascending degree of knowledge, powerand happiness in accordance with the extent of the inclusiveness of the contents ofknowledge. The greater the extent of the contents, the wider is the knowledge. The variousdegrees of knowledge in the world suggest a maximum ideal of knowledge, a state ofomniscience which ought to be identified with eternal existence. Now this state ofomniscience that is compatible with eternity cannot be found in any limited individual,for none here is seen to be all-wise. An omniscient being cannot be any individual, and hecan be no other than God. God enjoys the highest perfection, being endowed with thegreatest magnitude of knowledge and power. He alone can be omnipotent and be the UniversalKing.
The Nasadiya-Sukta of the Rig-Veda proclaims that at the beginning of things there wasTamas, darkness pervading everywhere, and in the midst of this universal darkness theLight of the One shone, all by itself. This glorious Intelligence is to be identified withthe Self-born, Svayambhu, having no cause outside it. This Self-born emerged from theprimordial Tamas, by means of its Tapas of untarnished knowledge, and projected thisvariegated world of individuals. “Darkness there was; in the beginning all this was asea without light; the germ that lay covered by the husk, that One was born by the powerof Tapas” (Rig-Veda, X. 129). The Rig-Veda extols the Hiranyagarbha as thefirst God of beings. “Hiranyagarbha was present in the beginning; when born, he wasthe sole lord of created beings; he upheld this earth and heaven,-to which God we offerworship with oblation. (To Him) who is the giver of soul-force, the giver of strength, whois contemplated by everything, whom even the gods obey, whose shadow is immortality aswell as death,-to which God we offer worship with oblation” (X. 121). “With eyeseverywhere, with faces everywhere, with hands everywhere, with feet everywhere, Hetraverses with His arms and with His swift-moving (feet), and exists as the One God,generating heaven and earth” (X. 81). “He who is our parent, the creator, theordainer, who knows our abodes and all beings, who is the name-giver to the gods,-He isOne; Him other beings come to inquire” (X. 82). The Purusha-Sukta refers to the greatLord as encompassing everything. “Thousand-headed was the Purusha, thousand-eyed andthousand-legged. He, covering the earth on all sides, stretched Himself beyond it by tenfingers’ length. All this is the Purusha alone, whatever was and whatever shall be……One-fourth of Him all beings are, three-fourth of Him is immortal in the heaven” (X.90). The Absolute itself appears as Isvara. “From Him Virat was born, and from Virat,again, Purusha.” Isvara is the body as well is the soul of the world.
Following this great theme of the Veda, Manu, at the commencement of his code of law,states: “In the beginning all this was covered over by darkness, unknowable,indefinable, unarguable, indeterminable; the universe appeared to be in a state of sleep,as it were. Then, the Self-originated Divine Being, Himself unmanifested, manifested thisuniverse with its great elements etc., by tearing the veil of this darkness and revealingthe forms of His creative energy. He, who is not to be beheld by the senses, who issubtle, the unmanifest, the everlasting, the unthinkable, the very embodiment of allbeings,-He, of Himself, rose above this primordial darkness” (Manu-Smrit, I.5-7). The Srimad Bhagavata records the spirit of this doctrine in the words of the LordHimself- “I alone was in the beginning of things, the one beyond the manifest as wellas the unmanifest, and there was nothing else. And I alone shall be at the end of things.I alone am all this that is manifest; and whatever remains other than this, that also is IMyself alone” (II. ix. 32). The Lord speaks in the Bhagavad Gita: “I amthe Vedic rite, I the sacrifice, I the food offered to the manes, I am the herbs and themedicines, I am the sacred formula and the hymn; I am the clarified butter (offered insacrifices); I am the consecrated fire, I the oblation. I am the Father of this world, theMother, Supporter, the Grandfather; I am the object to be known, I the purifier (of allthings), the syllable OM, and also the sacred lore of the Rik, the Sama and the Yajus; theGoal, the Sustainer, the Lord, the Witness, the Abode, the Refuge, the Friend, the Origin,the Dissolution, the Basis, the Storehouse, the Imperishable Seed. I give heat, I sentforth rain, and also withhold it; I am immortality and also death; I am being and alsonon-being, O Arjuna!” (IX. 16-19). Isvara is described in the Gita as havingmanifested Himself here as the all-destroying Time.
The Limitations Of Reason
The true nature of God and His creation cannot be intellectually comprehended, forlogic is a proud child of the dualist prejudice. If God alone is all this world, therelation between Him and the world no mortal can hope to know. Man’s idea of God is highlydefective, for God, as man understands Him, is relative to the appearance of the world.God is a pure subject opposed to a world of creation set before Him as an object cannot beabsolute; and if He is not thus opposed, He ceases to have any external relation to theworld. If God is a universal consciousness having the universe as His object, He cannot beconnected with it except by a spatio-temporal knowledge. Such a knowing process, however,is inadmissible in the case of God, for He is said to be untouched by the vitiatingdivisions of space and time. But without this division, God cannot be distinguished fromthe Absolute which will not brook any objectivation of itself. The gulf between theinfinite Purusha of the Sankhya and the Prakriti which vies with the former in almostevery respect is an instance of the defeat which the human intellect has to suffer when itattempts to visualise a reality which is non-mediately related to the universe and yet isnot the same as the universe. The God who is in man’s mind cannot be freed from thedifficulty of having to melt down to undifferentiated being when His relation to the worldis closely examined. Isvara’s existence happens to be relative to the demands of Hisself-manifesting work. He is, as long as the universe is.
Further, we cannot say that God created the world at any period of time. If thecreative act is not in time, it being the condition even of time, there would be nocreation of a temporal world. Creation is a process, and all process is in time. There isno process that can be dovetailed with eternity. To cause anything, God may have todescend into time, and a descent into time is a descent into finitude, change and averitable self-destruction. If God is to bear any relation to phenomena, He has to shedHis eternal nature first. But somehow He creates and sustains the world without losing Hiseternality. This the human intellect cannot understand. The Absolute sports in therelative. The individuals of the world arise as appearances participating in a relativeinterdependence of existence and nature. If there is no child, there is no parent, too.Isvara becomes an object of the notion of the Jiva, and a subject with the world as apredicate attached to it.
The logical character of truth and reality attributed to Isvara does not lookconsistent with our ascribing to Him the ethical character of goodness, the aestheticcharacter of beauty and the religious character of grace, all which carry anindividualistic purport. If Isvara is the all, such values turn to be different from whatthey mean to us here in this world. And why has Isvara created the world? It cannot be forHis satisfaction, for He has no wish or desire to fulfil. It cannot be with a view todispensing justice or showing mercy to others, for there are no others, as all beings aresubsequent to the creative act. It cannot be a play of Isvara, for play is normallysupposed to be the result of a need felt within to direct outside the excess of energy inthe psycho-physical organism, to overcome fatigue or boredom, or to replenish the systemwith fresh energy after an exhausting work. Isvara can have no such needs, for He is notan individual organism. If Isvara is only a witness of the sports of Prakriti which movesand acts at the inspiration received from His mere existence, He would have a determiningelement outside Him, which would prevent Him from being an absolute monarch. Isvara isBrahman envisaged by our experiential conditions in relation to a world of change. Thequestion of creation is restricted to the world of the senses and the intellect, and theanswer to it cannot but be empirically bound. There cannot be a correct answer to anerroneous question. That the world is, is a belief of ours, and the whole problem ofcreation hinges on how we react to our environment as dismembered bodies in a cosmicsociety.
The futility of the logical methods in determining the nature of Isvara does not imply,however, that there is no Intelligence underlying the world and influencing it throughout.For a denial of such a being would entail a denial of the world, and, consequently, ourown selves as individuals. Certain inherent defects in our faculties of knowing prevent usfrom comprehending transcendent truths in a proper manner. It does not follow that theinvisible is always non-existent. If we are, the world is; and if the world is, Isvaraalso is. If Isvara is not, the world also is not; and we as individuals, too, cannot be.There is reciprocal dependence of the existence of these three principles always. Ourconcepts are relative; the absolutely real is only Brahman. But as long as we accept ourown existence as diversified elements in a world, a sovereign being giving meaning to lifecannot be doubted. Our own conscious powers within us urge us to accept that Isvara mustbe. The scriptures corroborate our inner spiritual aspirations and extol an Isvara who isthe creator of this world. Swami Sivananda countenances the Lila theory of creation, notwith a view to offering it as any final explanation of the world, but to bringing out theidea that the creative act of Isvara is free from any taint of selfishness or ulteriormotive, and to suggest that it is beyond the purview of the human mind. It is the natureof Isvara to create, to manifest and unfold the world; there is no other reason for itthat is humanly conceivable. To show that Isvara has no personal interest whatsoever, itis also added that He only helps creation, which is really a manifestation or expressionof the dormant potencies of the individuals who, not being liberated at the end of theprevious cycle, existed in a latent form during the dissolution of the universe after thatcycle. Rain may help the growth of a plant, but the nature of the plant depends on theseed from which it grows. The sun may help the activities of the world, but he remainsunaffected by the results of such activities.
The theory of the creation of the world by Isvara is not to be taken as any statementof ultimate fact, but is meant to serve as a working hypothesis introduced to bring outthe idea of the non-difference of the world from Brahman. Srishti or creation, and Pravesaor the entrance of Isvara into the world in His immanence, are Arthavadas or eulogicalconcepts intended to bring home to the mind of man the fact of the secondlessness ofBrahman and the total dependence of the world on Brahman. No explanation of the why or thehow of creation, and no concept of Isvara as the supreme Ruler of the world, can befinally satisfactory, for such statements and concepts are based on a false faith in theindividuality of the self and the variety of the world of experience. But they areserviceable as a modus operandi in directing the individual from his ignorantprejudices of a bodily existence to the splendour of the Absolute. Isvara is sometimessaid to be supreme Self-consciousness. But the Self-conscious Brahman would requiresomething as an other-than-itself, at least space, to make such a condition possible.Brahman does not stand in need of knowing itself either as a subject or an object. But ithas somehow to be related to the world. The result is Isvara. How such a relation ispossible, the intellect is not fortunate enough to know. It calls this mystery ‘Maya’.
The Inner Ruler And Controller
The nature of Isvara as portrayed by Swami Sivananda in his Philosophy and Teachings(pp. 107-12) can be presented as follows: If we look at reality from the practicalpoint of view or Vyavaharika-Drishti, Isvara may be regarded as the cause, the creator,sustainer and destroyer of the world, and therefore as an omnipotent and omniscient being.Reality here appears to be possessed of all qualities, is conceived to be Saguna, and inthis aspect it is called Isvara. Swami Sivananda does not appear to make in his writingsthe usual technical distinction between Saguna Brahman and Isvara, as emphasised incertain texts of the Vedanta. Isvara becomes the object of the adoration of piousdevotees. He is endowed with all the good and glorious attributes that one can think of asraised to the degree of infinity. The Saguna-Brahman and the Nirguna-Brahman are not twoBrahmans, but one and the same reality looked at from two different standpoints, the loweror the Vyavaharika and the higher or the Paramarthika. Isvara is Sarvajna or all-knowing,and is the source of all powers. He is the Soul of all Nature, the animating breath of allbeings. He is the cause from which appears the origin, the sustenance and the dissolutionof the world. Brahman conceived as Cause is Isvara. He is above all evils and is theimmanent Spirit or the Antaryamin pervading, maintaining and vibrating the whole universeas its very Self.
The Nirguna-Brahman is not the antithesis of Sarguna-Brahman, but is the essence of thelatter. Saguna-Brahman or Isvara is the material cause as well is the efficient cause ofall things, associated differently with Tamas and Sattva. Brahman does not change itselfinto the universe, but the latter emerges from Isvara and exists in Him. Isvara becomesthe Cause through His inscrutable power of self-expression. It is the principle of cosmicappearance that hides the real and manifests the unreal. By means of it Isvaratva isfalsely superimposed on Brahman. But this superimposition is real to the Jivas, and soIsvara also is real to them. As the Jiva understands Him, Isvara is unproduced, has nocause, and is no effect. He Himself is the first Cause without any other origin. TheNirguna-Brahman becomes a personal God when it is viewed from the point of view of theuniverse. Isvara is consciousness defined by Maya (Maya-Visishtha-Chaitanya). Referring tothe Antaryami-Brahmana of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Swami Sivananda writes: “TheInternal Ruler must be Brahman or the Supreme Self. Why so? Because His qualities arementioned in the passage under discussion. Brahman is the cause of all created things.Universal Rulership is an appropriate attribute of the Supreme Self only. Omnipotence,Selfhood, immortality, etc. can be ascribed only to Brahman. The passage, ‘He whom theearth does not know’, etc., shows that the Inner Ruler is not known by the earth-deity.Therefore, it is obvious that the Inner Ruler is different from that deity. The attributes’unseen,’ ‘unheard,’ etc., also, refer to the Supreme Self only, which destitute of shapeand other sensible qualities. He is also is described in the section as beingall-pervading, as He is inside and is the Ruler within of everything, viz., the earth, thesun, water, fire, sky, ether, the senses, etc. This also can be true only of the highestSelf or Brahman. For all the reasons, the Inner Ruler is no other than the Supreme Self orBrahman” (Brahmasutras, Vol. I, p. 110). Here the Supreme Self or Brahmanrefers to the Absolute regarded as the Lord of the universe,-Isvara.
“God is Truth. God is Love. God is the Light of lights. God is Knowledge. God isthe embodiment of Bliss. God is Eternity. God is Immortality. God is Infinity.””That secondless Supreme Being, who resides in the chambers of your heart as theInner Ruler or Controller, who has no beginning, middle or end, is God or Atman, orBrahman or Purusha or Chaitanya or Bhagavan or Purushottama.” “Nitya-Sukha(eternal bliss), Parama-Santi (supreme peace), Nitya-Tripti (eternal satisfaction),Akhanda-Sukha (unbroken joy), and infinite happiness can be had only in God.””Srishti (creation), Sthiti (preservation), Samhara (destruction), Tirodhana(veiling) and Anugraha (blessing) are the five kinds of action (Pancha-kriya) ofGod.” “Bhagavan is a term synonymous with God. He who has the six attributes ofJnana (wisdom), Vairagya (dispassion), Yasas (fame), Aisvarya (divine powers), Sri(wealth) and Dharma (righteousness) in their fullest measure, is Bhagavan.””Sarvajnatva (omniscience), Sarvesvaratva (supreme rulership), Sarvantaryamitva(inner control over all), Sarvakaranatva (causality in the creation, preservation anddestruction of everything), Sarvaniyantritva (ability to bring restraint over all),Sarvakartritva (makership of all things), Sarvasaktimattva (omnipotence), Svatantratva(absolute independence) are the seven attributes of God” (Mind and Its Mysteries,pp. 163-64). Isvara does not occupy any region of space, for there is no Loka or worldfor Isvara. Siva has Kailasaloka, Brahma has Brahmaloka and Vishnu has Vaikunthaloka. ButIsvara, Hiranyagarbha and Virat, as manifestations of Brahman, transcend all planes ofexistence, while including everything within them.
The apparent differences that we observe in the world among the ways in which theindividuals are made to experience pleasure and pain are not to be attributed to Isvara astheir Inner Ruler but to the Karmas of the individuals themselves. Injustice and crueltycannot at any time be imputed to the universal Lord, who is the same to all beings. God,in the process of the dispensation of justice, takes into consideration the nature of theactions done by the different individuals in their previous births. The circumstances inwhich God places individuals are suited to the nature of their deserts. God is not,strictly speaking, any arbitrary creator of the world but the primary principleresponsible and necessary for the expression of an environment fitted to the manner inwhich the Karmas of the individuals have to fructify themselves in various ways. The lifeof an individual is determined, therefore, not by any caprice on the part of Isvara, butby its past deeds,-good, bad or mixed. The question of a first creation of the world byIsvara, where no individuals could have existed to account for the nature of the world tobe manifested, cannot arise, for there is no such thing as first creation. The factor oftime cannot be set prior to creation. Creation is just an appearance, and when objectivelyviewed, it can have neither a beginning nor an end. Creation, when it is correctlyunderstood, is not a temporal act or a fiat of the will of any person, but an interrelatedappearance in which the observer or the questioner has no right to consider all thingsexcept himself as an object to be known and himself as a subject of knowledge. This is thedefect of all scientific methods of approach. Empirically viewed, every form of existencehas a previous existence, so that manifestation is beginningless. Such an infinite regressis inevitable when the temporal intellect attempts to comprehend Eternity. How appearanceis related to reality, the logical intellect cannot know; and when it tries to know that,it is landed in fallacies and absurdities.
The work of creation by Isvara is to be considered His supreme Yoga. His acts receivetheir significance not through any outward implement but by the self-manifestation ofHimself by the immense powers that He possesses. Isvara does not need any instrument toproject this universe, for it is in Himself. His Tapas or creative contemplation consistsin the concentration of His omniscience, and His power is identical with His knowing andbeing. Though the limitations of the intellect compel us to conceive of Isvara as apersonal God, he should not be compared to the human personality in any way. It is becauseone cannot say that Isvara creates the world by any outward compulsion or necessity thatmost philosophers are obliged to view creation as a Lila or sport. Even the Karmas ofindividuals cannot be any compelling factor forcing Isvara to create the world. Hisexistence is a wonder, His ways are a mystery. Isvara has no desires, but without Hisprimal wish the world cannot be explained. This wish, again, is not directed to theachievement of any purpose that is expected to bring Him personal satisfaction, for acosmic being can have no motive, whatsoever. No sense of incompleteness on the part ofIsvara can be said to be the cause of the rise of His Will to create. Creation is Hisnature. God Himself is the universe.
Isvara possesses an innate intuition which grasps all things at once. He can have noprejudices, no presuppositions, no attachments and no aversions, for He has nothingoutside Himself. Isvara, in the beginning, sends forth His humanly indeterminable Will tocreate, in order to provide a field for the working out of the unfructified Karmas ofunliberated individuals, who, during the previous dissolution of the universe, werewithdrawn into the primordial condition of Prakriti. The Will of Isvara to manifestphenomena sets the whole existence in vibration, and the unfulfilled potencies of theKarmas of individuals are set in motion, and these activated potencies attract towardstheir centres particles of matter that gravitate to form bodies in the manner required byeach group of potencies. These bodies are the Bhogayatanas, receptacles for the enjoymentof pleasure and pain. One’s body, senses, vital energy, mind, intellect, pleasure, pain,etc., are all determined by these forces of Karma. Isvara is the cosmic Director of thiswhole scheme; without His energy and will, no motion whatsoever is possible. Primarycreation is the work of Isvara, and it begins with the rise of His Will and ends with theact of His entering into the bodies of all beings and animating their minds andintellects. There is also a secondary creation which is carried on by the individual,after the work of Isvara becomes complete, and this consists in the activity ofexperiencing the diverse conditions determining the states of waking, dream, sleep and theattainment of final liberation. In Isvara’s creation there is freedom, while bondage isalways implied in the projection of the individual.
In his Jnana-Yoga, Swami Sivananda confirms the following view: The primitiveprinciple of appearance, which is essentially one, is called Maya when we take intoaccount the predominance of its projecting power, and is called Avidya when we take intoconsideration the predominance of its enveloping power. Thus the objective principle, ofwhich the projecting power is superior to the concealing power, is the limiting conditionof Isvara; and the same principle with its concealing power predominant is the limitingcondition of the Jiva (the individual). The Avidya which forms the limiting adjunct of theJiva is otherwise called Ajnana. That the projecting power is predominant in Isvarafollows from His being the creator of this great universe. He is always conscious of Hisfree state, and hence is untouched by the concealing power. The Jiva, on the contrary,labours under the ignorance of its true nature, owing to the predominance of theconcealing power and the absence of the projecting power, and feels incompetent to createthe universe, as Isvara does (p. 98). Here the projecting power referred to is the cosmicpower of Isvara and not the individualistic force of distraction which makes one perceivediversity of things. When the Jiva sheds its cramping individuality, it finds itself in anexperience of the majestic Unity of beings.
The World Of Science
Sri Swami Krishnananda
The effect, in the end, of the process of knowledge which posits an external world, is,that, for all practical purposes, the world and the individual are independent entities, aposition that is affirmed by sense-perception and corroborated by a judgment of the mind.To live in a world which is not vitally connected with oneself may involve a curiousmoment-to-moment adjustment to suit the moods and the vagaries of the world, which has itsseasons, its winds and storms, its rains and droughts, its quakes and tornadoes risingfrom the sea which covers the whole earth as a belt, and several other inscrutablebehaviours of Nature, with which the individual has to put up, somehow. The insecurityconsequent upon having to live in a world standing outside the knowledge and capacity ofthe individual keeps everyone restless, wonderstruck and curious as to how the physicalworld behaves in the manner it does. What is it that motivates the changes in Nature, theprecise movements of the solar and stellar systems, the wide galaxies and the endlessspace with an endless time attached to it? Here comes the effort of the individual to makea scientifically calculated study of Nature and its ways.
Commonsense has it that the world is just a large mass of earth-stuff with water, airand heat as well as light coming from the sun. Originally, it was thought that the earthwas flat and the sun moved round it in a circular fashion. If the earth had been reallyflat like a pancake, the rise of the sun at one end of the world would have illumined theentire world in one instant. But, the sun does not illumine the earth that way. The factthat the mornings and the noons and the evenings of some part of the world need not besuch to certain other parts of the world, would be enough to tell us that the earth isperhaps round in its shape and is not flat. Ancient astronomers in India like Aryabhataand Copernicus in the West maintained that the sun does not go round the earth, but thatit is the earth that goes round the sun. Indications to this effect can be found even inthe mass of literature known as the Vedas with their Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas andUpanishads.
Even advanced scientists like Newton held the view that space is like a vast receptaclein which the entire material world is contained, with no living connection between thecontent and the container. Objects in the world were considered to attract each other witha pull known as gravitation with reference to their mass and distance. It took a long timeto discover through the further history of science that the material world is not justcontained in space as in a cup but there is an inseparable relation between matter on onehand and space and time on the other. It was observed that space and the world of earth,water, fire and air are internally related and the whole thing constitutes an endlesselectromagnetic force, as it were, with more or less pressure in different parts of thisfield which has its undulations like waves, causing concentration of substance indifferent areas, gradually concretising itself as gas, heat, liquid and solid. We maynotice here, perhaps, the first step in the world of science to visualise a universalcontinuum, man himself not standing outside it but included in it, thus the entire Naturebeing a self-contained whole.
Also, matter was originally said to be constituted of minute particles called moleculeswhich are chemical in their nature, differing from one another because of their chemicalcomposition. Researchers held that the molecules are made up of a minuter body of stuffcalled atoms, which, in turn, were noticed to be tiny centres of force rather than thingsin themselves, gyrating with velocity, with a nucleus within and wavelike particles movingaround, known as electrons. The solar system with the sun in the centre and the planetsrevolving round the sun can be compared to the structure of the atom, wherein the sunwould be the nucleus of this larger ‘atom’ of the solar system and the planets would be inthe position of electrons, thereby indicating, again, that even the bodies of planets maynot be the large bundles of heavy material as they appear to ordinary perception, but areimmensely large packets of force concentrated in varying extensions of the pressure offorce. This sub-atomic substance became the object of more and more concentratedinvestigations as to its true nature. The quantum theory of physics proclaimed that matteris a series of wave patterns or particles of light which behave like waves, and matter isconvertible into light and energy. It may be that light and energy, too, can be convertedinto matter as it seems to have happened when gases became liquids and liquids becamesolid substances with heat involved in the process of motion and friction. The world stoodbefore the scientist as a gigantic miracle of power and radiance, rather than as a stufflooking like dead matter and unintelligent crudity.
It is the Theory of Relativity that actually shook the world of science from its veryroots, which, while it accepted that matter and energy are interconvertible (E = mc2),rose up to the necessity to investigate the very structure of Space and Time in itsrelation to Gravitation. The Relativity position is difficult to explain in a few words,but suffice it to say that it discovered that Space is not like a sheet spread out in athree-dimensional fashion, and Time is not just linear motion. Space and Time go togetherto constitute what may be called Space-Time and form a four-dimensional continuum, veryuncomfortably breaking down all the rules, laws and regulations of the three-dimensionalworld of common perception. Even the Space-Time continuum should not be regarded as asubstance somewhat like a tangible something. Rather, the Space-Time of Relativity is aconceptual field of mathematical point-events, reducing staggeringly the whole world tothe nature of a universal mind-stuff. “The stuff of the world is consciousness,”said Arthur Eddington, and “God is a cosmic mathematical Thought,” said JamesJeans. We have gone too far from the rural conception of a farmer’s field of harvest andplantation to the field of universal relativity, which looks more like God thinking Hisown Thought, rather than anything else, if we could be permitted to employ this phrasewhich we cannot avoid one day or the other.
The interconnectedness of phenomena in the so-called events of the world taking placenot in Space or in Time, but in a four-dimensional Space-Time continuum, was taken up withits more advanced implications for consideration by Alfred North Whitehead. In hisphilosophy of the ‘Organism’, Whitehead arrived at the conclusion that there are no setcauses producing set effects, but anything can be an effect or a cause in a symmetricalmanner of action and reaction, since the world as it is discovered by the Theory ofRelativity is an organism with its parts integrally related to it. Cause and effect arecontinuous, the absence of which continuity would sever any possible relation betweencause and effect. Things in the world are called ‘actual occasions’, the potentialconcentrated points of force whose very existence as well as structure are conditioned bythe existence and structure of other ‘actual occasions’ which fill the cosmos as itsconstituents. The world is not a solid substance but is more like a field of law andorder, an idea of total inclusiveness, a system of internal give-and-take policy obtainingamong the individualities known as ‘actual occasions’, transforming the location ofindividuals into a fluid movement of a liquefied connection, as it were, with everythingelse also in the world. Super-individual intentions, known as ‘eternal objects’, in thelanguage of Whitehead, like the ‘Ideas’ of Plato, ‘ingress’ into the body of the ‘actualoccasions’ and make them appear to be what they are. Even the God of religion, accordingto Whitehead, exists as a determining factor of the determination of ‘actual occasions’ bythe ‘eternal objects’, and He Himself stands, therefore, determined in a way by theprehensive and apprehensive activities of the ‘actual occasions’, thus bringing about amutual action and reaction process between God and the individuals. The far-reachingthought of Whitehead would not forbid the conclusion that God has, at the same time, to betranscendent to the world of the ‘actual occasions’, though they are there just because HeHimself is.
The specially religious import of modern physical science is highlighted also in thesystem of Samuel Alexander, which he purports to explain in his book entitled “Space,Time and Deity”. According to Alexander, Space-Time is the matrix of all things, thevery substance of the universe, a clue that he gathers from the Theory of Relativity. TheSpace-Time matrix causes motion and force, and brings about the three-dimensional pictureof what are known as primary qualities, like length, breadth and height, substance, volumeand content. The perception of these primary qualities happens to be through the secondaryqualities arising as a sort of action-reaction process obtaining between the object ofperception, namely, a primary quality, and the perceiving mind. To cite an instance, aleaf looks green in colour not because there is such a thing called greenness in Natureitself, but because of an abstraction of properties automatically taking place in theinternal structure of the leaf excluding all other characteristics in Nature apart fromwhat looks like green. So is the case with other colours and forms of objects. Sensationsof every kind form, again, a set of secondary qualities, that is to say, no one can knowwhat the world is in itself as a set of primary qualities. Mind, intellect and reason arethe further manifestations or evolutes of the Space-Time continuum or matrix, which pointto the manifestation of a controlling principle called Deity, and every succeeding stagecan be regarded as a Deity to the preceding stage. According to Alexander, the final Deityis yet to be manifested completely, which, when achieved, will be the end of the cosmicprocess. Perhaps, here, Alexander intends to say, which he actually does not, that the endof the cosmic process of evolution is the attainment of God. Also, a God who is yet to bewill not have the character of eternity, and God, then, would cease to be God.
Religion And Science (I)
Sri Swami Sivananda
Yoga and Science are inseparable. Science and Religion are inseparable. Science is partof Religion. Science and Religion are necessary correlatives. Scientists are also monistsin one sense. They also emphatically declare that there is only one thing viz., Matter orEnergy. A Yogi tries to control the mental forces,a scientist the physical forces. This isall the difference between a Yogi and a scientist. A scientist is also an unconsciousRaja-Yogi, but his mind works in external grooves.
Before the invention of watch, Yogius used to calculate time by measuring the shadow inday and by the study of the movement of the stars in the heavens at night. They wereperfectly exact in their calculations. Astronomy and medicine received their first impulsefrom the exigencies of religious worship. Yogins have a sound practical knowledge ofAyurveda. One who endeavours to qualify himself as his own doctor can become a Yogi. Hehas to live sometimes in the jungles and has to treat himself first, whenever diseasesmanifest. Otherwise his Sadhana will suffer and he cannot have rapid progress in Yoga. Youwill find in the books on Ayurveda: “A healthy body is a good instrument for doingvirtuous actions and practising Yoga.” Those who wrote these Ayurvedic books weregreat Rishis and Yogins.
Science is partially unified knowledge. A scientist observes the laws of Nature,experiements in his laboratory, investigates, infers and draws exact conclusions from hisobservations. He understands Nature. But he knows nothing of the origin or destiny ofNature! Who made the sun and gave power to its rays? Who combined four parts of nitrogenwith one part of oxygen? Who gave power to electrons? Who gave power to atoms to combineinto molecules? Who or what made and bestowed upon the ultimate particles of matter theirmarvellous power of varied interaction? Science does not know this great mystery. On thecontrary, Yoga is completely unified knowledge. A Yogi gets inner divine realisation. Heclearly sees with his inner Yogic eyes the subtle rudiments of matter. He identifieshimself with the Supreme Being who is the Lord of the Prakriti (matter). He gets controlover the five elements. He clearly understands the whole mystery of creation throughdirect intuitional knowledge. The scientist lacks this sort of knowledge. He has onlyexperimental knowledge.
In the matter of evidence in psychological question, the sense-perceptions with whichscience naturally deals are only second-rate criteria and therefore to be received withcaution. The closing of the external channels of sensation is usually the signal for theopening of the psychic, and from all evidence it would seem that the psychic sense is moreextensive, acute and in every way more dependable than the physical.
The business of science is generalisation of phenomena; it is the function ofphilosophy and Yoga to explain. Religion is the practical aspect of philosophy. Philosophyis the rational aspect of religion. The scientist tries to answer the “How” ofthe problem; the philosopher and the Yogi the “Why” of it. It is a mistake tosay that such and such an event occurs because of certain laws of Nature. The laws ofNature do not give any real explanation of the phenomena. It is simply a statement interms as general as possible of what happens under given circumstances in his expressionof an observed order or uniformity in a natural phenomena. Science is concerned only withthe phenomena. It shows a marvellous harmony of Nature. But it is the problem ofphilosophy and Yoga to solve the “Why” of Nature’s harmony. Scientists possesspartial knowledge of the universe. They have not understood the whole code of Nature’slaws. They have no knowledge of the occult side of things. They have no knowledge of theastral, mental and higher planes such as Brahma-Loka (world of Brahma). The unseen worldis of far greater importance than the sense-universe which is visible to the naked eye. Afully developed Yogi can function in all the planes and so he has full knowledge of themanifested and unmanifested Nature. The senses by which you get knowledge of the externalobjects are not fully developed. Therefore the knowledge obtained is partial. The externalsenses are exact counterparts of the internal astral senses. Scientists have no knowledgeof the subtle rudiments of matter. Life will become fuller and richer, when one developsthis inner eye-sight by the practice of Yoga. Just as blood, when seen under themicroscope, reveals many mysterious things such as leucocytes, lymphocytes, nuclei,pigment, germs, bacilli, etc., so also the inner Yogic eye reveals many mysteries of thehidden side of things. The knowledge of the scientists is only fragmentary or partialwhereas the knowledge of the Yogi is full and perfect.
Science differs radically in its outlook from philosophical musings. Consequently themode of approach to its specific problems is different from that of philosophy. Yet thereis some similarity in their findings, when some broad questions are discussed.
Scientists have to learn many things from the Seers of the East. Who gave power to theelectrons to revolve? Who gave life to the cell or the protoplasm? What is that power thatunites atoms to form molecules? Who gave intelligence to the cells to secrete milk or bileor gastric juice from the blood? Scientists are still observing and experimenting. Theyare still groping in darkness. What is the cause of the origin of an impulse? Who is thedirector of the mind? What is the cause of the origin of thought? Even if all the livingscientists were to put their heads together to solve these questions, they cannot givedefinite conclusive answers.
English-educated people are unduly carried away by scientific theories and discoveries.Anything, however stupid it may be, when stamped by the seal of science, is regarded asgospel of truth. A theory or doctrine, however fallacious it may be, is accepted as truewisdom for all ages, when it is proclaimed in the name and on the authority of science.Even if some fantastic and ludicrous statements are made with the stamp of science by aHaeckel, Einstein or Tyndel, people are quite ready to swallow it with great avidity. Suchis the fashion of the day! They reject as base superstition the sublime teachings of theancient Rishis and Sages. The brains of these so-called educated and cultured people needa prompt, drastic and thorough flushing for a protracted length of time. The poison haspercolated into their very cells and tissues.
But I do not mean to condemn the wonderful discoveries and inventions that modernscience has contributed to the vast store of knowledge and happiness which the presentgeneration enjoys today. The radio, the aeroplane, the microphone and other marvels ofscience are bound to baffle human intelligence. Scientists have found ways to fertilize anovum with chemicals, without the help of semen. It is stupendous success. Some childrenare also born. They inject the semen that is obtained from renowned and cultured men ofthe world in order to improve the race. They are attempting to fix a radio in amatch-stick. They are trying to get the necessary nutrition to the body by pressing anelectric button, so that eating and defecation may be entirely abandoned. They areendeavouring to make the streets move so that there will be no necessity for motor-carsand carriages. They are trying to establish means of communication with the planet Mars.They may succeed in all their attempts. May God bless them with roaring success inall their undertakings! But the question is: Can all these comforts and scientificdiscoveries and inventions give immortality, eternal satisfaction and everlasting peace?Have these material comforts enhanced human happiness? Is not man more restless today thanever before? Is he not more dissatisfied and discontented despite all these comforts? Lifehas become more complex and intricate. Luxuries are increasing day by day. Even a rich manfinds it difficult to make both ends meet. There is only one remedy for all these ills.You will have to abandon all luxuries and go back to simple natural living, if you want toenjoy real and lasting happiness. Immortality can be attained by realising the Selfthrough simple living, practice of Yoga, self-control, mental discipline and meditation.
Matter exists in different conditions or states viz., solid, liquid and gaseous. Theconditions may be made to change by variation of pressure and temperature. Water is turnedinto ice at a low temperature and steam at a higher temperature. Every solid may become aliquid or gas under suitable conditions; every liquid may be rendered solid or gaseous;every gas may be made liquid or solid. One form of energy can be also transmuted intoanother form of energy. Heat can be transmuted into light and light into electricity. Evenso, seminal energy or muscular energy, anger, etc., can be transmuted into spiritualenergy (Ojas-Shakti).
There is life in the mineral kingdom. This has been conclusively proved by theexperiments of Prof. Von Schron at Naples. Even the elements manifest distinct preference.One element has a strong liking for the company of another. One element may even give upthe company of one substance in order to join another element. This is chemical affinity.Every chemist fully knows this well. Hydrogen likes the company of oxygen. Two moleculesof hydrogen combine with one molecule of oxygen. Water is formed. If you place sodium inthe water, you will notice that oxygen likes sodium better than hydrogen and immediatelyabandons the company of hydrogen and joins sodium.
Likes and dislikes are more markedly present in the vegetable kingdom,than in themineral. Many plants exhibit a remarkable degree of ingenuity in accomplishing their ends.
You should not think that the different planes or realms are lying one above anotherlike the trunks in a shop. The different planes fill up the same space and interpenetrateone another like the light of a hurricane lamp, electric light, gas lamp and an ordinarykerosene chimney in a room. Matter has different degrees of density and different planesare constituted according to the different degrees of density of matter. These differentplanes are not separated in space. You are surrounded by these planes. You can be in touchwith these planes, if you develop the inner astral eye or the clairvoyant sight. It is notnecessary for you to travel in space to study the condition of these planes. Within thespace of the room you have the seven planes interpenetrating each other. The beings of ahigher plane cannot be seen by the beings of a lower plane. But a being of the higherplane can see the beings of the lower plane.
According to the theory of Relativity some scientists believe that the world willexpand after some years and man of future generations will be seven inches tall only,because matter will have to accommodate now to the increased size of the universe. Somematter is taken out of the bodies of human beings and distributed elsewhere to adjust thestate of affairs. This is only a speculation and guesswork of some adventurous scientists.It may not happen at all. So you need not be afraid in the least. Be bold and cheerful.Try to get liberation in this very birth so that there will not be any chance for you toget a tiny body of the size mentioned above even if such an event were to occur. Onequestion strikes me very prominently: Can there be the police department then? Can therebe military and naval forces and world-wars? How can a tiny man wield a machine gun? Sothere will be no world-wars. There will be perfect peace everywhere. Scientists will alsohave to close down their laboratories. No more inventions and discoveries. No more radiosand aeroplanes. No more dictators and tyrants. No more Hitlers and Mussolinis. But Yoginsthere will always be. Yogins can maintain their usual size. They can even expand theirbodies ad infinitum through their Mahima Siddhi. They can change their atoms andmolecules and rearrange them. They can create new minds, new bodies by their Yogic powers.Even during the Cosmic Deluge they can live. Yogi Kaka Bhusunda lived during many deluges.The position of Yogins is always safe. Yoga is the Supreme Divine Science. It is theScience of sciences. There will be more peace through simple living. Let us pray to havethat new happy era soon.
God is the greatest Mathematician. All scientists and astronomers are stunned. They bowdown their heads and say: “We cannot proceed further. There is something beyondintellect. Our knowledge is imperfect. The riddle of the universe can be solved only byknowledge of the Greatest Mathematician through intuition. The intellect is a frail andfinite instrument. The deductions from various theories have not given us perfectillumination. We are still groping in darkness. We are open to correction. Salutations andadoptions to that Greatest Mathematician! Salutations to the Lord of the Universe! May Hesoon open our inner eyes of intuition!”
He who dwells within this electron or atom, who is within this electron or atom, whosebody this electron or atom is, whom this electron or atom does not know, who rules theelectron or atom from within is thy Self, Inner Ruler, Immortal. It is this Science ofYoga that can help man to unfold his latent divinity and realise his inner Self, the basisor source of this world, body, mind, electron, atom and all sciences. Let us all pray tothe Lord of the Universe and practise Yoga in right earnest and commune with the Lord andobtain Immortality, Supreme Peace and Infinite Bliss!
Om Peace! Peace! Peace!
Religion And Science (II)
Sri Swami Sivananda
Some scientists, and some so-called educated persons, believe that science can explaineverything and can solve the riddle of the universe and all problems of life. They alsothink that the scientific method is the only method of finding out the truth, and that thescientific training and discipline alone can very efficiently build the character of man.They have ignored ethical discipline, morality and religion altogether, and given religionan inferior position.
One scientist came to me and said: “The Upanishads and the Brahma-Sutras have notbeen written scientifically. I am trying to give a scientific approach to this vitalsubject. “I laughed and said : “My dear scientist-friend! The Upanishads arerevelations. Brahma-vidya is transcendental. The Atman is transcendental. You cannot takeyour test-tubes and spirit lamps near Him. The scientists’ conclusions cannot approach Hisregion. Their observations are one-sided, as they concern the waking state alone. Theirexperiences are relative experiences.” The scientist kept quiet, put down his head inshame, and walked away quietly.
Three blind people touched the different parts of an elephant. One touched the foot,and said: “The elephant is like a pillar”. Another touched the ear, and said:”The elephant is like a fan”. A third touched the belly, and said: “Theelephant is like a pot”. Even so, a scientist explores the physical plane, and speaksof atom, energy, and physical laws. He is also like a blind man. He has knowledge of onedimension alone. He has ignored the dreaming and deep sleep states. He has noall-comprehensive knowledge. A Vedantin alone has full knowledge of everything.
The Ease-Loving Nature Of Man
As life has been made physically comfortable and comparatively effortless by moderninventions, the ease-loving man is prone to disregard the place of religion in his lifeand exalt the values of materialistic civilization. But events have always disclosed theunreliability of the purely objective views and methods of physical science, theexperience of man that he is not really happier, and the world is not in fact better, evenafter his arduous attempts at extracting out of external nature its latent resources inorder to utilize them for his own purposes. Where is satisfaction, where is happiness, andwhere is peace then question
Some wise scientists are fully conscious now of the limitations of science, and of itsmethods, in the investigation of phenomena in planes of subtler states of matter. Thereality of the spiritual world is closed book to them. They are equally conscious of thelimitations of science in the regeneration of unregenerate human nature, and in theattainment of the Supreme Good or Eternal Bliss, the summum bonum of life.
What Has Science Done To Us?
Can scientific inventions make us really happy ? That is the question of questions now.What has science done to us?
Science has now removed time and space. You can go to London even within ten hours(from India). What a great marvel ! This earth has become very, very small. But, hasscience really contributed to human happiness ? The answer is an emphatic no, no. It hasmultiplied human wants and luxuries. A luxury of today becomes a necessity of tomorrow. Ithas made man a beggar.
Science has invented many marvellous things. Scientists are labouring day and night intheir laboratories to invent many more things. But, science has made life very complex,and rendered very keen the struggle for existence. It has increased the restlessness ofthe mind. It has not contributed to the peace of man. Everybody admits this solid fact.The scientists have made tremendous progress in the twentieth century. The atomic bombscan devastate a large country in the twinkling of an eye. Radios, telephones, telepathy,television, aeroplanes without pilots, mines, tanks, pocket radios, bombs in fountain-pensand cigarettes, underground palaces, shafts, V-bombs, fighters, bombers, anti-aircraftguns, gas bombs, torpedoes, submarines are all astounding marvels. But, the scientistshave not improved the ethical condition of the people. They have not solved the problem ofunemployment, poverty, war, starvation, disunity among communities, nations, andgovernments.
Science has analyzed man. He is supposed to be a creature composed of various physicaland chemical substances. Yet, no scientist has yet been able to assemble these constituentchemical elements of a man’s body into one homogeneous creature which lives, talks, andacts like a man.
The scientist bombards the atoms, watches the movement of the electrons in hislaboratory, spends his whole life in understanding the nature and secret of matter andenergy, invents many things, studies the laws of nature; and yet, he is not able tocomprehend the mystery of creation and of the Creator, and the meaning of life.
Science Is Defective
Scientists are very, very busy in studying the external world. They have entirelyforgotten to study the internal world. Science gives you knowledge only of the phenomenalappearances, and not of the Reality behind them. Science has not been able to solve theultimate questions: What is the ultimate stuff of the world? Who am I? What is theultimate truth?
Science tells us that the ultimate goal of everything is unknown, and unknowable. But,Vedanta teaches that the ultimate goal is Brahman or the Infinite, and that It can berealised through hearing, reflection and meditation. The knowledge of the scientist islimited. It is only superficial. It is not real knowledge of the Truth. Scientists areimmersed in transitory phenomena. They rely on external instruments, lenses, etc., fortheir knowledge. Their old theories are exploded by new theories. Their knowledge is notas infallible and true as the knowledge of the Self of the sages and Yogins.
Matter And Spirit
Science has got its limitations. Science does not have an instrument by which theycould just collect the supersensual or spiritual data, or those divine facts which existin a subtle form but which we cannot see. True experiences include the experiences of thethree states, namely, the waking, dream and deep sleep states. The Vedantin studies thethree states. He gains more real knowledge from deep sleep state. He gets a clue for theexistence of the fourth state or the state of Turiya from the deep sleep state.
The soul is beyond the realm of physical science. The soul is beyond the reach ofmaterial science. Man is a soul, wearing the physical body. The soul is extremely subtle.It is subtler than ether, mind and energy. Consciousness and intelligence are of the soul,and not of the body. Consciousness is evidence of the existence of the soul. The soul isthe immortal part of man.
Science is a systematic study of facts. It tries to reduce observations or observedfacts into a system. In order that the fact may be valid for science, it must beperceptible to the senses. Sensing is false knowledge. Intuition is right knowledge.Intuitive knowledge alone is the highest knowledge. It is imperishable, infinite knowledgeof Truth.
A scientist is an extrovert. He bombards the atoms. He cannot find Pure Consciousnessthere. He will have to withdraw the senses and rest in his own Inner Self. He must divedeep into the ocean of Brahmic Consciousness.
Science And Religion
Science is not the enemy of religion, but a preparation for it. Science is an enemy ofsuperstition alone. Both religion and science are engaged in the search for Truth. Theirattitudes are essentially the same. But the fields of applications vary. Raja-Yoga is anexact science. Its methods are very scientific. A scientist is an external Raja Yogi.Hindu Rishis,seers and sages have recognized the harmonious relation between religion andscience. The divorce of science from religion is the cause of confusion and conflict.Science is religion as applied to the investigation of Truth in the finite natureoutside-the object. Religion is science as applied to the realisation of the Infinite, theBhuma, the Truth that underlies all objects-the Subject.
Science interprets on the phenomenal plane the One as energy. Religion interprets theOne as the Self, “the Atman”. Science analyzes, classifies and explainsphenomena. But Brahma-vidya teaches you to transcend phenomena and attain immortality.
The scientific and the religious approaches to Truth are really complementary, and notcontradictory. Religion and science are the twin-brothers. They should help mutually andharmoniously to search Truth and live the life of Truth here.
Science has to do with facts; religion with values. Where science ends, religionbegins. A close study of the observations and revelations of science brings a man nearerto God. Who gave power to electrons? What is at the bottom of these electrons? What isthat power that has combined four parts of nitrogen and one part of oxygen? Who has framedthe laws of nature? Nature is blind. What is that intelligence that moves nature? Who isthe primum mobile? A study of the physical forces and the physical laws, an understandingof the mental forces and the mental laws, are not sufficient to make us perfect. We shouldhave a thorough knowledge and realisation of the substratum that lies hidden behind thesenames and forms and all physical and mental phenomena. Then only we will become perfectmasters or full-blown adepts or Arhatas or Buddhas.
Mind and intellect are finite instruments. They cannot realise the infinite Reality.But, they are a means. When the intellect has passed through the various stages ofreasoning, and when it has been completely purified, then revelation dawns. True religionbegins where the intellect ends.
Let it not be thought that religion is dogmatic, other-worldly, a pet tradition ofblind believers or irrational emotionalists. Religion is the most rational science, thescience of life itself, the science of man as he essentially is, not merely as he presumeshimself to be. The basis for all the secular sciences is Brahma-vidya or the Adhyatmicscience. Brahma-vidya is the foremost among all sciences, because by it one attainsimmortality. Secular experiences are partial, while spiritual experiences is theexperience-whole. If you know this supreme science of Brahma-vidya through directintuition, you will have knowledge of all other worldly sciences; just as you will haveknowledge of all articles made of clay, if you have knowledge of clay itself. You cannotlearn this Science of sciences in any university. You will have to learn this from aBrahma-srotri, Brahma-Nishtha Guru, after controlling your senses and the mind.
Matter cannot be totally ignored; but, matter should be subordinated to spirit. Scienceshould be subordinate to Brahma-vidya. Science cannot be the be-all and end-all. If youend your life in the laboratory alone, you cannot enjoy the eternal bliss of the Soul. Youcannot attain the supreme wisdom which can free you from births and deaths. Science cannotgive you salvation.
Seek within. Stand not as beggar before the door of science-power that kills, more thanheals. Do not surrender yourself to the scientists. They are not able to explain anything.Science knows nothing of the origin of life, the origin of thought, and the origin anddestiny of human nature and the universe. There are many questions to which religion alonecan give answers-and not science.
The Study of the Self: From Physics to Metaphysics
Sri Swami Krishnananda
Nobody can deny the existence of human society, without which day-to-day life itself isunimaginable. The universe is made more of unseen, invisible things than what one can evenconceive of. It is not merely what appears to be there to the eyes. There is a mysterybehind it to be unravelled. The pure materialists and even the Samkhya thinkers,however ignore this invisible but vital factors. Thus, they fail, finally. Not only this;probably, the very approach and the stance taken by them is inadequate to the purpose.Their failure to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion in the study of the universe from apurely materialistic and mechanistic point of view suggests that an entirely new angle ofvision is called for.
Gravitation Suggests An Organic Interconnectedness InThe Universe
Generally, we have the feeling that matter is contained as a substance inside space.Very rarely does one feel that there is such a thing called time. Man is inviolablyconnected with the process of time. Yet, he thinks very little of it, but is acutelyconscious of space. The dimensions of matter, which man identifies with the substances ofthe world, are due to the extensions of space. There is what is called distance, and thatprinciple of distance is due to the existence of space. Man has an intuitionalapperception of the characteristic space, such that he does not bother much about itsnature. He thinks that it is all clear. Everyone knows what space is,-it is a kind ofemptiness, we think, which contains every blessed thing. This was the original eighteenthor nineteenth century conclusion of even physics, which led to the notion that theuniverse of astronomy is an arrangement of material bodies which were formed out of thegalaxies, and which constituted the solar system, the earth, the planets, etc.
However, it is not evidently easy to accept that bodies are scattered independently inspace, as if they have no connection whatsoever among themselves. It is not that onemountain is here, another there; or one tree is here, and another there; without anyconnection between the two. If they were independent, there would be no gravitation atall. But even such bodies as planets are subject to this force of gravitation; what tospeak of other things. There is an attraction of bodies in a mechanistic manner, as isusually held, conditioned by a mathematical formula. But, really, can the relation bepurely mechanistic? How is it possible that there is such a pull among bodies, if there isno internal organic relation among themselves? This is a point that has been unearthedrecently in modern physics. The presence of a pull known as gravitation implies, andshould imply, an inward, or rather an invisible organic relation between one body andanother, notwithstanding that there is a distance of some light years between them. Lookat the distance between the sun and the earth,-an unimaginable one. Yet, the gravitationalattraction of the solar orb is so intense that it can compel the planets to move round intheir orbits,-the spatial emptiness that is between them, making no difference. It is,therefore, not true that space is emptiness, because by emptiness or vacuum, generally, anabsolute nothingness is meant. An absolute nothing cannot become a medium of movement ofany force such as gravitation. There is a necessary movement of a connecting link in aninvisible form so that gravitation becomes possible. How could the phenomenon of a totalvacuum operating as a medium of action between be explained? The principle of gravitationis a visible indication that matter is not located in one place. There is an organicinterconnection between bodies. This is a deeper implication that comes to the surface,when an attempt is made to understand the nature of space, and the relationship thatobtains among bodies.
An affinity among bodies to what is called gravitation. When this force, operates amonghuman beings, it is bio-psychic affection. It can also be repulsion under certaincircumstances. There is chemical affinity and also psychological affinity, all which seemto be working among human and even animals. It appears that Nature cannot manifest itspurpose except by expressing the inner content of its constituents. In every movement ofNature, whether it is organic or inorganic, there seems to be a secret characteristicwhich reveals the interrelatedness of bodies.
Precise Working Of Material Bodies: An Indication OfCosmic Intelligence
The deeper does one go into the world of matter, and the further does one move in thedirection of space, the more is the insight one gains into the secret of the operation ofNature, the secret being an organic relation among bodies, which appears to be outwardlyscattered in space. It is impossible humanly to imagine how the earth, for instance, canmove along the same track which it was following for aeons up to this time, as if thers isa set of rails laid down on its path in space. Man is used to thinking that things, likethe planet earth, are inorganic, inanimate, incapable of thought, without eyes to see, andminds to think. But the precision with which bodies work surpasses even the bestmathematical imagination. Perhaps, man, has invented the system of mathematics only on theobservation of the way in which material bodies operate. We are not intending to refutethe opinion of rationalists like Kant, however, in connection with the grounds ofmathematical intuition. It cannot be explained how such a precision can be possible atall, where the action of the mind is not even apparent. Though this is difficult tounderstand because of man’s habit of thinking, probably, finally, he will have to comeround to attribute an intellect or a reason to what goes as inanimate existence. Theinward affinity that physical bodies reveal in their activities would sound as animplication of an organisation that they form among themselves. There is, perhaps, acosmic society, even as man has his own little, small human society.
The social sense that human beings have is a peculiar phenomenon. As observed earlier,the notion of human society is a psychic network, which operates invisibly and subtly,connecting bodies or individuals into a form of organisation called human society. In theformation of this organisation, the bodies do not actually collide with one another. Thereis no physical contact, necessarily. One human being can be several miles away fromothers. Yet they can form a body. This shows that the system of organisation or mutualrelationship has little to do with spatial distance. It is something different altogether.
If society is nothing but an organisation of inward affinities, as is the case withhuman society, one can very well agree that there is no way of explaining the intricatefeatures behind the operation of Nature except by accepting that there is a society ofcosmic substances. Is not the solar system thought to be one organisation? Certainly, so.But the distance that is there between one planet and another, or between the planets andthe sun, or, as the astronomers point out, between the sun and the other galacticalbodies, is vast, enormous! It is said that there are stars whose presence cannot be knowneven with the most powerful of telescopes. But their presence exerts an influence of aunique nature by means of emanation of rays, which, today, is recognised as a vital livinginfluence. Thus, the acceptance of the possibility of a cosmic society leads to theacceptance of an intelligence behind it, from the observed fact of the precise working ofthe bodies. Else, why should dead matter behave so sensibly and purposively?
Man does not seem to be living merely by the operation of physical objects which arevisible to the eyes. Perhaps, he is even more dependent on invisible influences than onvisible things, and his life seems to be connected to factors which range far beyond humanperception and conception.
This is why, today, philosophers have stumbled, somehow, on the acceptance of a processrather than a location, of bodies. Earlier, it was thought that things existed, orthings can exist, only within the boundaries of their bodies, and that they cannot haveany relevance beyond their location. But, the concept of process melts down thisboundary that is set to the bodies of substances, and bodies seem to flow into oneanother rather than maintain their isolated existences. There is always a cravingwithin every body to become a part and parcel of another body. This is the principle ofaffection, the principle of love that is seen in Nature. It becomes more and more manifestas one rises to organic levels. This does not mean that it is absent in inorganic Nature,but merely that it is not visible to the naked eye.
Conclusions Of Science: Man Is Not Outside TheUniverse
What does the modern scientist say?
Matter has been dematerialised. Matter is no more considered to be a hard, solidsubstance. Man is gradually evaporating into thin air, so thin, so ethereal, and so finethat a time has come now when it is not possible to distinguish his own presence from thewider atmosphere of the universe. The observing scientist, or the philosopher, is insidethe universe. This is important to remember. How can man look at the universe when he is apart of it? How can man study anything in this world? How can he make an analysis of anyobject, if he is not really outside it? From the fact of the conclusions that one arrivesat through the consequences following from the law of gravitation, it follows that theuniversal structure cannot exclude the contents thereof. Man is not outside the universe.This should be a simple fact. If he is not outside the universe, how can he study theuniverse? Where comes the need and the necessity, or even the possibility of his observinganything? Here is the crux of the whole situation. The problem that hangs like an ironcurtain in front of the modern scientist is this difficulty of his inability todisentangle himself from the object of his observation. The great physicist,Heisenberg,discovered that he was involved in the very thing in which he was engaged. The body of thescientist is not outside the body that is to be observed. This is a kind of corollary thatfollows from the famous theory of Relativity. The space-time-gravitation cosmos is onecomplex, or it may be called a compound, if you like. It is such a terrific phenomenonthat one gets frightened even by thinking of it.
Study Of The Self Is Imperative To The Study Of TheUniverse
While studying the nonmathematical, or, rather, the super-mathematical nature ofsubatomic structures,-this is the field of subatomic physics,-the nuclear physics whichhas been studied in quantum mechanics, and the theory of Relativity, noticed that theforce of gravitation, which ruled the world of space and time, had to be reconciled with.This great task, Einstein took upon himself, when he was working at the theory calledUnified Field Theory, wherein “this” is identified with “that”,-tattvamasi,-“Thatthou art,”-the famous doctrine of the Upanishad. The quantum mechanics of MaxPlanck may be said to be the study of the “thou” or the “this”, thenuclear element, or the visible, which is immediately present as an individual structure;and the “that” is the space-time continuum and the gravitation of the universe,which Einstein studied in his General Theory of Relativity. The Special Theory and theGeneral Theory put together, present a tremendous upheaval in the discovery of science. Manis forced to study the universe together with a study of his own self, because he is notoutside the universe.
Inasmuch as man is not outside the universe, he is integral with it. He is a small inhis own self. Whatever is in Nature should also be within him, and the system which isseen to operate within himself may be said to be the system that operates in externalNature also. So, Indian philosophers diverted the attention from the objective universe tothe subjective individuality in order that the whole cosmos could be envisaged at onestroke.
There is an analogy in Indian logic called “sthalipulaka nyaya,” theargument of the recognition of the boiling of rice in a pot. While boiling rice in a pot,if it is required to know whether the rice is fully cooked or not, one grain is squeezed;if it is seen to have been cooked, well, it may be concluded that the whole rice has beencooked, and every grain need not be individually inspected.
So is this analogy of the study of the cosmos by a study of man, as such. The study ofman is the study of the universe. “Know thyself” is the oracle of Delphi; Tattvamasi,is the proclamation of the Upanishad. That the knowledge of the self is theknowledge of the cosmos is a universally accepted doctrine of all philosophies andreligions today.
Many a time, one it not able to understand how it is possible for one to know theuniverse when one is here as a separate individual. Where comes the connection between theknowledge of one’s own self and the knowledge of the universe, or vice versa? The reasonis simple. The universe is a complete organism, comparable to the human organism, so tosay. A complete organism is a total Selfhood. The whole cosmos is an organism, and itis Selfhood in its nature. Its Selfhood can be compared to one’s own selfhood becauseit is inseparable from one, and one is inseparable from it. That is how man can, perhaps,try to understand it. The study of the universe is the study of the Self of the universe,and the study of the Self of the universe cannot preclude the study of one’s own self. Theknowledge of the universe is the knowledge of the perceiver of the universe; i.e., one’sown self. If one knows one’s own self, well, everything else also is known simultaneously,because man is the symbol, or the microcosmic specimen of whatever constitutes Nature as awhole. One thing is the same as the other.
Perhaps, here, one gradually stumbles again, upon the truth that the knowledge of Godand the knowledge of the Self, means the same thing. They are not two different things.God is the name that is given to the Self of the cosmos, the vitality behind everything,the indivisible compound and the utter reality of the most inexplicable character behindand within the universe. The knowledge of the Self is the key to the knowledge ofanything.
All philosophy, or any kind of investigatioin for that matter, commences withimmediately available evidence. This is the method followed by logic, where, from theparticulars one goes to the generals; i.e., from available information the implicationstherefrom are dug deep into, or, the other way, from the basic indubitable fact of being,all else is derived as a corollary. The fault of the materialists lay in this that theymisunderstood what the most immediate fact is. They took it to be the world that they seearound. They ignored the most immediate thing, one’s own existence. No one can doubt one’sown invulnerable reality as the foundation for any thought or action.
Alice In Wonderland
Sri Swami Krishnananda
We have an inveterate obsession in our minds which prevents us almost entirely fromconceiving the goal of life as a practical reality. For us, the goal mostly remains as akind of concept and an idea, an ideal which is not easily reconcilable with the hardrealities of the workaday a world. The goal may be God Himself, and nevertheless, He isonly an idea an ideal, a concept, an imagination, a possibility, a may-be or may-not-be.
This suspicious outlook is not absent even in the most advanced persons due to thestrength of the senses, the power of the mind, and the habit of the intellect inunderstanding things in a given fashion. We are discussing in these lessons a subjectcalled Comparative Philosophy, and in this context, we would be benefited by bestowing alittle thought on the conclusions arrived at by certain thinkers also, apart from Vedanticphilosophers like Sankara, with whom we have a good acquaintance and about whose thinkingwe have spoken enough.
There was a great man called Plato in Greece. According to Paul Deussen, the wholeworld has produced only three philosophers-Plato, Kant and Sankara. There is some truth inwhat he says. There cannot be a greater philosopher than these three persons-Plato, Kantand Sankara-, says Paul Deussen. I was thinking about this statement. Why does he makethis statement? Finally I felt that there is some truth in it, whatever it is.
The idea of the Ultimate Reality is the principal doctrine of Plato; and I started bysaying that we are living in a world of ideas when we live a spiritual life, when webehave religiously, conduct worship and chant Mantras, do prayers, do Japa and evenmeditation; but there is a very uncomfortable consequence following the idea that, afterall, the Reality is an idea.
Ideas are abstractions, notions which are supposed to correspond to realities, and aslong as ideas correspond to realities, they are valid. I have an idea that there is abuilding in front of me. This idea is a valid idea, because it corresponds with the realexistence of the building outside. So, the validity of my idea depends upon the reality ofthe object which is in front of it, but my idea itself has no reality. It is borrowedreality. It hangs on the existence of something else outside, in this case, the building.So, if the idea of the Ultimate Reality or God is to hang on the existence of anotherthing, God is not a real being. This is a very subtle difficulty that may trouble theminds of even sincere seekers. Don’t you think that the world is real? It is not merelyreal, it is very, very real, hard to the core, flint-like and no one can gainsay that itis. Perhaps that alone is.
God is an idea that has been introduced in our minds by our ancestors, by our books, byour scriptures, by our professors and our teachers and parents, and somehow, we have beenforced by the logic of this teaching to believe there should be such a thing as an’other-worldly existence’ and we have somehow reconciled ourselves to it-God must bethere. But we are accepting the existence of God against our own will. We are hungry andthirsty and this hunger and thirst of the body is more real than the idea of God. No onecan say that it is not so, whatever be our devotion to God. This is so even in the case ofadvanced seekers and sincere Sadhaks (aspirants). This subject is the principal theme ofPlato’s doctrine.
Ideas precede reality: this one sentence is the entire philosophy of Plato. The realityof the objective universe is subsequent to the idea of the universe. Here we have an echoof the great philosophy of Vedanta that the Hiranyagarbha (cosmic intelligence) is priorto the cosmos of physical appearance. The Panchadasi, The Upanishads and the other systemsof Vedantic thinking tell us that in Hiranyagarbha the world does not exist in a concreteform as it appears, that is only an idea cosmically manifested by Isvara (God) who is evensubtler than the idea. Isvara is only a possibility of the very idea that there should bea thing called the universe. So, Isvara is subtler than the idea which is Hiranyagarbha,and Virat is supposed to be the animating consciousness behind the so-called physicalityof creation. So, even in the Vedantic Philosophy, there is the same doctrine of ideapreceding concrete existence. But we can never believe this.
My idea that there is a desk in front of me cannot be said to be harder in itsconcreteness than the desk itself. I have an idea that there is a little table in front ofme. Is the table more real or the idea that the table is there more real? Any man withcommon-sense will say that the idea is subsequent to the existence of the object calledtable and the idea is not preceding the object. Because there is a table, you think thereis a table. You have an idea that there is an object. So, the idea that there is an objectis the consequence of the existence of the object. So, the idea of God must be subsequentand not precedent.
These questions arose before Socrates. How can you say that idea is prior to theuniverse? How could there be an idea unless the universe exists? How can you have athought about a thing unless the thing exists? How can you say that things are subsequentand ideas are precedent?
If God is supreme consciousness, how could consciousness be prior to existence?Consciousness is always of something. If the something is not there, there cannot beconsciousness. What do you mean by merely saying consciousness, awareness, understanding,thinking, feeling? They cannot have any significance unless they are connected to a thingwhich is already there. This is the gross realistic doctrine of empirical philosopherswhich was highlighted by British thinkers like Locke, Berkeley and Hume, but alreadyanticipated by people like Plato and Aristotle in a different fashion.
This is a very terrible problem before us. Notwithstanding the fact that we aredevotees of God and honest religious thinkers, the concreteness of the world and thereality of the things we see with our eyes and contact with our senses cannot be abrogatedmerely by the notion that ideas are precedent. Ideas cannot be precedent as long as we areaccustomed to thinking in the way we are thinking today. “Here is a man coming”:I am saying like this. This man is there; therefore I have an idea that he is coming. Ifthe man was not there, the idea cannot be there. It is not the I think the man first thanthe man comes. The man is there and the idea comes afterwards.
So, realism has a great fort before it. There cannot be an idea unless an object existsalready. So God must be afterwards and the world first. Here is materialism, which has avery strong ground. Consciousness cannot be there, unless the object is there. So, whatyou call consciousness is only an exudation, a manifestation, a kind of an alreadyexisting material stuff. Crude materialism, realism, is impossible to face easily. Youcannot answer this question. You yourself will not be able to say anything in this matter;so you say there is something in it.
This problem is an indication of the state in which we are placed. How far are weadvanced spiritually? Where is our spirituality, where is our God, love andGod-consciousness? Incidentally, it is not a joking matter or a humor. It is a very, veryserious thing for us. Whatever be the study of the scriptures, we cannot get out of theidea that we are living in a very, very hard, flint-like, iron-like, steel-like world; andwe can never accept that the idea of the world is in any way more real than the world. ButPlato affirms that the ideas are more real than the world. The universals are precedent tothe particulars. Horse-ness is prior to the horse. Table-ness is prior to the table,buildingness is prior to the building. How could there be horse-ness before there is ahorse? We cannot answer these questions easily. We know very well that there cannot behorse-ness unless the horse was already there. But man’s mind is very poor. It is notwholly philosophical and we cannot understand how there could be an idea of a thing unlessthe thing was already there. How could God’s consciousness be there if God is onlyConsciousness?
We have been indoctrinated in this belief not merely in this birth, but throughout thebirths we have lived through in earlier incarnations. The difficulty arises on account ofthe impressions created in our minds by hanging on to objects of sense through the manybirths we have passed through.
The little spiritual aspiration that we have is a late development in the process ofevolution. Let each one of us think, “Since when am I thinking of God, religion andspirituality? Since how many years back?”. Compared to these few years of our ardentadventure in the spiritual field, what a long, long time we have passed in other types ofthinking! The heavy weight of the errors in the thoughts of our previous lives hangs on usso vehemently and powerfully that our little aspiration is submerged. So, again and againwe have suspicions in our minds. Doubts are galore. Very great difficulties are there.”Am I fit? Am I right? Is there any substance in it? Am I living in a foolish world,a fool’s paradise? Nothing is coming. I have been meditating for years, nothing isvisible. I may be hoodwinked. Is there any point in it at all or is it all a waste?”.These doubts can come even to sincere seekers.
The idea of the world is not dependent upon the world. The world is dependent of theidea. In a crude form, Berkeley said this. But, in a more philosophical fashion, Platoaffirmed it. We can never stomach this idea that consciousness is precedent to matter,though we have attempted to convince ourselves, in our previous discussions, thatconsciousness is our essential reality by an analysis conducted of the threestates-waking, dream and deep sleep. We have already understood this to some extent. Wehave gone to the depths of our condition in deep sleep where we appear to exist only aspure consciousness minus body and mind in the state of deep sleep, that must have beenwhat our stuff is. This so-called body of ours, this hard substance of contactualexperience, and the mind which thinks of it, are subsequent evolutes; and if they were theultimate realities that we are, they would not have perished in deep sleep also. But wehad no experience of body or mind there. We were bare, featureless, unobjectified being,consciousness only. This is what we learnt in our earlier analysis of the condition ofsleep. What were you in deep sleep? Not man, not woman, not human being, not body, notmind, not anything, not object. What were you then? A bare impersonal, indefinite,undivided awareness you were. So, this consciousness that you were is the same asconsciousness of being-being inseparable from consciousness, consciousness inseparablefrom being.
This is the great conclusion of Vedanta philosophy-Being-Consciousness. Sat-Chit wasyour essential nature-not body, not mind, not anything that the senses perceive orconceive, not the world. Then, wherefrom this body came? What is this body? What is theworld? What are these buildings and stony mountains and the flowing rivers and the burningsun? What is all this? From where have they come?
They are also ideas. When Berkeley said that all the trees, the mountains, the heavenand the earth were only ideas, Samuel Johnson, it seems, later on kicked a brick and said,”I hereby refute Berkeley.” Kicking a brick does not refute Berkeley. It is avery prosaic way of confronting this poor bishop. There was some mistake in the thinkingof Samuel Johnson. You cannot kick a brick and say, “I have refuted Berkeley”,because Berkeley includes Johnson himself, not merely the brick, in his doctrine of ideas.
Electric repulsions can produce a sensation of hardness, as many of you, or some of youat least, must have experienced when you had an electric shock. If you touch a live wirewith a heavy voltage flowing through it, you will have a sensation of terrible weight andsolidity, though there is nothing there. You will feel a mountain hanging on your hand.Any of you who ever had a shock would know what it is. How could this idea of heavy weightof a hill hanging on your hand be a sensation when there was nothing whatsoever except thefact that you touched a live wire? Why go so far? Come to our modern scientists.
These solid objects-maybe of steel or granite-are constituted of electric energyinside. Pure energy, electric energy-we may say electricity itself. What is electricity?It cannot be seen, it has no weight, it has no dimensions, no length, breadth, or height.But it is the raw material of heavy substances which have length, breadth and height. Thisindescribable continuum of force and motion has become the atoms and molecules, hardthings like the mountains and the solar system.
Go further still. The doctrine of relativity lands in a mere idea of the cosmos. Thespace-time stuff that they speak of as the ultimate substance is not a hard reality.Neither can space be called a hard reality like a table, nor time. But, researches intothe substance of physics seem to conclude that the hardest realities like hills and rocksare constituted of configurations of the space-time continuum. We cannot understand whatthis space-time continuum is except that it is a mathematical heap of point-events in thebrain of the scientist-and not a human scientist at that! Here, Berkeley rectifies himselfwhen he says that the world is an idea, not of Mr. Berkeley, but of a larger being in whomall the individual ideas are also included. We again come to the Hiranyagarbha of Vedantaphilosophy, though such words were not used by Berkeley or Plato. Plato used the words,”Idea of the good.” A strange definition of his. You may say, “Idea ofGod” if you like. It is not an idea of God, but the idea which is God. Actually, Godis only an idea; not your idea, but an Idea as such, which is the cause of other ideas.The Yoga Vasishtha goes into great detail in explaining this point that the whole universeis mind. Not my mind, or your mind, but mind as such. Pure impersonal existence, of whichour minds and thoughts and feelings and evolutions are ripples.
Read the great book of Samuel Alexander, “Space, Time and Deity”, which isthe great exposition of the structure of the universe which is so hard and real inspace-time only. Space-time is not a substance. It is not something tangible. You cannottouch it, you cannot see it, you cannot sense it, you cannot taste it, you cannot smellit. And a thing which cannot be sensed is not reality at all. But that is the reality!
It pinpoints, pressurises into a movement, a force. And space-time becomes motion,manifesting itself into the primary qualities of length, breadth and height. Rememberlength, breadth and height do not mean length, breadth and height of a substance. Theyhave never come into being. These are difficult things to understand. Only a purelyimpersonal thinker or mathematician will be able to appreciate or understand. How canthere be a conception of length, breadth and height unless objects are there?
But space-time is itself without dimensions. It has no dimensions. It is a fourdimensional something-not a three dimensional substance. And we do not know what this fourdimensional thing is. It is only an idea, a meaningless thing for us. It becomes primaryqualities like length, breadth and height, etc. Geometrical partners are called primaryqualities which manifest themselves as secondary qualities of colour, sound, taste, smell,etc. The world has not come into being yet. They are only Tanmatras (subtleundifferentiated root elements of matter)-Shabda (sound), Sparsa (touch), Rupa (form),Rasa (taste), Gandha (smell), says the Vedanta philosophy. These Tanmatras are notsubstances, but principles behind the objects which produce these sensations. They are nothard substances like earth, water, fire, air and ether; they are comparable to thesecondary qualities of Aristotle and Plato and modern scientists.
Oh, what a wonder! We seem to be living in a dreamland like Alice in Wonderland. We arenot living in a world as it appears. The primary qualities condensing themselves intosecondary qualities of sensations, solidify themselves as it were into hard realities likeheaviness that you feel when you get an electrical shock.
So, under these conclusions, it appears that the solidity and the substantiality ofthis physical world is comparable to the solidity and substantiality of the mountain thatyou felt weighing heavily in your hand when you had a heavy voltage shock. Does the worldexist? No one knows.
Now, even your own body is of the same nature. This substantiality of the world whichhas been reduced practically into nothing but a sensation and an idea of a cosmicexistence includes the very notion of our body also, so that we also go, the scientistsalso go into that conclusions. Sir Arthur Eddington said that no scientists can live inthis world without going mad. Fortunately, he did not want to go mad, because, under theseconclusions, no one can exist here for three minutes. Buddha said this. A reallyperceiving individual cannot exist in this world for three days. He will melt intonothing. But the fact that perception has not arisen is the reason why we are very happyhere. So, ignorance is the cause of our very comfortable existence. Now this comparativestudy of Eastern conclusions with Western discoveries seems to make us feel that all greatmen are thinking alike-whether Plato or Aristotle, Kent or Hegel, Acharya Sankara orVidyaranya Swami.
Ideas are therefore not ideas of things which are earlier than the ideas, just as spaceand time are not subsequent to what we call the objective world, but precedent to theobjective world. It is the final conclusion of Sir James Jean, for instance, that God mustbe a mathematician. It is not a man thinking mathematical point, but mathematics itself.How can you only think mathematics, without a person thinking mathematics? He says it is amathematical consciousness, highly abstract, purely impersonal, and the universe isnothing but conceptions of mathematical point-events.
Today we are in this world of modern physics. And what is Hiranyagarbha, what isIsvara, but there things in Sanskrit language? What is Shabda, Sparsa, Rupa, Rasa andGandha but conceptual precedents of the hard things called earth, water, fire, air andether including our physical bodies? We can imagine we have difficulties in meditation,why we cannot do Japa, why we cannot do prayer. We get angry for little things and we flyat the throat of another brother, because we are yet to be spiritual.
Religion has not yet entered us fully. We are playing jokes with God at least now.These deeper truths are not capable of easy entrance into our minds, because we arebusybodies, very busy with bricks and mortar and vegetables and tea and coffee. These aregreater realities to us than the supernal ideas that are the content of our religious andspiritual consciousness.
I brought those ideas before you to bring about a comparison between the greatestthinkers of the East like Acharya Sankara, the Rishis of the Upanishads, and Sri Krishnaof the Bhagavad Gita and Western thinkers like Plato, Aristotle and Kant. They seem to bethinking alike. Only they seem to be thinking in different languages and giving differentdefinitions.
So we are now face to face with the great reality, the God of the cosmos. We havepassed through the analysis. We have conducted a study of the three stages ofconsciousness-waking, dream and deep sleep. We studied epistomological processes-theperception of the world, how we come in contact with things, and how we know that theworld exists at all. This also we have concluded. Many of you may not remember it, butthink over or see your diaries if you have noted anything down.
Now we are facing the third principle of the ultimate reality of the cosmos, call itthe Absolute, call it Satchidananda, God, Isvara, Hiranyagarbha, Virat, whatever it is.Here, true religion begins. Real religion is an awareness of the presence of the SupremeBeing. Therefore, it is well said that religion begins where intellect ends, where reasonsfails. When religion begins controlling your life, you cease to be a mere intellectual ora scientist or a philosopher. You are no more a thinker, but a person who lives reality.
Religion is living reality and not merely thinking reality or academic analysing. Allthis is over already in our earlier lessons. We have thought enough philosophically,academically and hope we shall not touch this subject again. We shall enter into truereligion which is God-consciousness itself in some proportion, in some measure, in amodicum.
To face God and to encounter Him in our actual life is to live religion. So, religionis not ringing a bell, waving a light, or chanting a Mantra. It is encountering God faceto face. So, religion is superior to philosophy, if you understand religion in the truesense of the term. Religion is not Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism. It is the art ofenvisaging God-being.
Man melting, like ice vanishing before the blaze of the sun. That is religion. When thesun of God-consciousness rises, this substance called body-consciousness evaporates intoan ethereal nothing. Gradually, we begin to approximate God-being. The life of religion isthe way of gradual approximation to God-consciousness. Here, true love begins topreponderate in our lives. We do not merely think of God as philosophers or academiciansor professors. We love God; and we cannot love a thing which is not really there. Wecannot love a thing which is only an idea or a concept in our mind.
All love is an urge of the soul to contact that which it feels as a hard reality infront of itself. Every love is God-love finally and the final stuff of the universe may besaid to be love.
I have been telling you sometimes that there is some secret meaning behind the lastwords in the Eleventh Chapter of the Gita where we are told that Bhakti is supreme. TheBhakti that Sri Krishna speaks of here is not ordinary obeisance to an idol. It is not amass that you perform in the church. It is a melting of your being before the Absolute.Therefore Bhagavan Sri Krishna says, “Not charity, not philanthropy, not study, notausterity, is capable of bringing about this great vision that you had, Arjuna! àààOnly by devotion can I be seen, contacted. Only by devotion am I capable of being known,seen and entered into”. These three words are used in the Bhagavad Gita at the end ofthe Eleventh Chapter-knowing, seeing, and entering. Arjuna knew and saw, but never enteredinto It. Therefore, he was the same Arjuna after the Bhagavad Gita also. He never mergedinto the Supreme Being.
Now, religion is knowing, seeing and entering into. Knowing is considered by suchthinkers like Ramanuja, the great propounder of the Visishtadvaita philosophy, as inferiorto devotion. I am now digressing a little bit from the point, into another thingaltogether, which is also interesting.
Knowledge or Jnana is not equal to Bhakti, says Ramanuja, the great propounder of thedoctrine and philosophy called Visishtadvaita. And Acharya Sankara says that Jnana issuperior to Bhakti. It may appear that they are quarrelling. They have some emphasis laidon different aspects of the same question. Why does Bhagavan Sri Krishna say that nothingcan make you fit to see the vision of God, to behold Him, except Bhakti? It would seemthat He speaks like Ramanuja and not like Sankara. But they are only speaking in differentlanguages à the same thing. There is no contradiction between them. “Knowing, seeingand entering into” signifies the process of contacting God by degrees. There is, inthe parlance of Vedanta, two types of knowledge-Paroksha Jnana and Aporkasha Jnana.Paroksha Jnana is direct knowledge. “God exists” is indirect knowledge. Now, wedo not feel that we are inseparable from God’s being. That knowledge has not come to us.So we have not entered such a height of religious consciousness as to be convinced that weare inseparable from God’s existence. But we are convinced enough to feel that God exists.
At least the people seated here are perhaps convinced that God must be. He is.Circumstances compel us to feel confidently that God must be, that God is. But we have notgone to such an extent to feel that we are inseparable from Him. That is a little higherstage. We have known in an indirect way. Jnana has come, but darshana or vision of God hasnot come. We have not seen Virat in front of us, notwithstanding the fact that we areseeing Virat. This whole cosmos is that, but somehow we have segregated our personalityfrom Virat consciousness. A cell in the body is seeing the body as if it is outside it.
The way in which we are seeing the universe now is something like the possibility of aparticular organism, called the cell in the body, separating itself in motion-not reallyof course-from the bodily organism and looking at the body. What would be the condition orthe experience of a cell in our own body notionally isolating itself from the organism towhich it belongs and considering the body as a world outside it? You can imagine thestupidity of it. This is exactly what we are doing. We think that the world is outside us.We can fly into space, drive in a motor car on a road, because a peculiar notion hasbecome a reality in our mind, that the world is outside us though we are a part of theworld. So, the idea that the Virat is an of perception, that the world is external to us,is notional and not realistic. All our difficulties are notional in the end. They have noreality or substance in themselves. We are bound by our minds, our thoughts, our feelingsand our willings. So when Acharya Sankara says that Jnana is superior and Ramanuja saysthat Bhakti is superior, they are saying the same thing.
By Bhakti, Ramanuja means that love of God which supersedes intellectual activity or amere knowing that God exists. And when Sankara says that Jnana or knowledge is superior,he means knowledge which is identical with being and which is same as Para Bhakti or thelove of God where the soul is in communion with the Being of God.
The highest devotion is the same as the highest knowledge. Jnana and Para Bhakti arethe same. The Gauna Bhakti or secondary love of God, which is more ritualistic and moreformal, is inferior. But Ramanuja’s Bhakti is the surging of the soul and the melting ofpersonality in God-experience. It is to become mad with God-love as we hear in the case ofSpinoza, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Mirabai and Tukaram. Their Bhakti was not simply love ofGod as that of churchmen or templemen. It is a kind of ecstasy in which the personalityhas lost itself in God-love and God-being. That is Jnana and that is Bhakti. So, there isno difference between Ramanuja and Sankara in the ultimate reaches. And Bhagavan SriKrishna’s dictum is also of a similar character.
So now, when we are discussing the final point in our studies, we are gradually losingattachments to his obsessional notion that we are this little Mr. and Mrs. Body and thatwe are located in a part of the physical world called India or America, Japan or Russia.And we are slowly trying to become citizens of a larger dimension which is wider than thisearth, perhaps larger than even the solar system and this physical cosmos.
When we enter into the true religious life, we become real children of God. Hari Om TatSat.
Seven Reasons Why A Scientist Believes In God
A. Cressy Morrison
[Former President of the New York Academy of Sciences]
WE ARE STILL IN THE DAWN of the scientific age, and every increase of light revealsmore brightly the handiwork of an intelligent Creator. We have made stupendousdiscoveries; with a spirit of scientific humility and of faith grounded in knowledge weare approaching ever nearer to an awareness of God.
For myself, I count seven reasons for my faith:
First: By unwavering mathematical law we can prove that our universe was designed andexecuted by a great engineering intelligence.
Suppose you put ten pennies, marked from one to ten, into your pocket and give them agood shuffle. Now try to take them out in sequence from one to ten, putting back the coineach time and shaking them all again. Mathematically we know that your chance of firstdrawing number one is one in ten; of drawing one and two in succession, one in 100; ofdrawing one, two and three in succession, one in 1000, and so on; your chance of drawingthem all, from number one to number ten in succession, would reach the unbelievable figureof one in ten billion.
By the same reasoning, so many exacting conditions are necessary for life on the earththat they could not possibly exist in proper relationship by chance. The earth rotates onits axis 1000 miles an hour at the equator; if it turned at 100 miles an hour, our daysand nights would be ten times as long as now, and the hot sun would likely burn up ourvegetation each long day while in the long night any surviving sprout might well freeze.
Again the sun, source of our life, has a surface temperature of 10,000 degreesFahrenheit, and our earth is just far enough away so that this “eternal life”warms us just enough and not too much ! If the sun gave off only one half its presentradiation, we would freeze, and if it gave as much more, we would roast.
The slant of the earth, tilted at an angle of 23 degrees, gives us our seasons; if theearth had not been so tilted, vapors from the ocean would move north and south, piling upfor us continents of ice. If our moon were, say, only 50,000 miles away instead of itsactual distance, our tides might be so enormous that twice a day all continents would besubmerged; even the mountains could soon be eroded away. If the crust of the earth hadonly been ten feet thicker, there would be no oxygen, without which animal life must die.Had the ocean been a few feet deeper, carbon dioxide and oxygen would have been absorbedand no vegetable life could exist.
It is apparent from these and a host of other examples that there is not one chance inbillions that life on our planet is an accident.
Second: The resourcefulness of life to accomplish its purpose is a manifestation of anall-pervading Intelligence.
What life itself is, no man has fathomed. It has neither weight nor dimensions, but itdoes have force; a growing root will crack a rock. Life has conquered water, land and air,mastering the elements, compelling them to dissolve and reform their combinations.
Life, the sculptor, shapes all living things; an artist, it designs every leaf of everytree, and colors every flower. Life is a musician and has taught each bird to sing itslove song, the insects to call one another in the music of their multitudinous sounds.Life is a sublime chemist, giving taste to fruits and spices, and perfume to the rose,changing water and carbonic acid into sugar and wood, and, in so doing, releasing oxygenthat animals may have the breath of life.
Behold an almost invisible drop of protoplasm, transparent, jellylike, capable ofmotion, drawing energy from the sun. This single cell, this transparent mist-like droplet,holds within itself the germ of life, and has power to distribute this life to everyliving thing, great and small. The powers of this droplet are greater than our vegetationand animals and people, for all life came from it. Nature did not create life;fire-blistered rocks and a saltless sea could not meet the necessary requirements.
Who, then, has put it here?
Third: Animal wisdom speaks irresistibly of a good Creator who infused instinct intootherwise helpless little creatures.
The young salmon spends years at sea, then comes back to his own river, and travels upthe very side of the river into which flows the tributary where he was born. What bringshim back so precisely ? If you transfer him to another tributary he will know at once thathe is off his course and he will fight his way down and back to the main stream and thenturn up against the current to finish his destiny accurately.
Even more difficult to solve is the mystery of eels. These amazing creatures migrate atmaturity from ponds and rivers everywhere-those from Europe across thousands of miles ofocean-all bound for the same abysmal deeps near Bermuda. There they breed and die. Thelittle ones, with no apparent means of knowing anything except that they are in awilderness of water, nevertheless start back and find their way not only to the very shorefrom which their parents came but thence to the selfsame rivers, lakes or little ponds. NoAmerican eel has ever been caught in Europe, no European eel in American waters. Naturehas even delayed the maturity of the European eel by a year or more to make up for itslonger journey. Where does the directional impulse originate question
Fourth: Man has something more than animal instinct-the power of reason.
No other animal has ever left a record of its ability to count ten, or even tounderstand the meaning of ten. Where instinct is like a single note of a flute, beautifulbut limited, the human brain contains all the notes of all the instruments in theorchestra. No need to belabor this fourth point; thanks to human reason we can contemplatethe possibility that we are what we are only because we have received a spark of UniversalIntelligence.
Fifth: Provision for all living is revealed in such phenomena as the wonders of genes.
So tiny are these genes that, if all of them responsible for all living people in theworld could be put in one place, there would be less than a thimbleful. Yet these genesinhabit every living cell and are the keys to all human, animal and vegetablecharacteristics. A thimble is a small place to hold all the individual characteristics ofalmost three billion human beings. However, the facts are beyond question.
Here evolution really begins-at the cell, the entity which holds and carries the genes.That the ultra-microscopic gene can absolutely rule all life on earth is an example ofprofound cunning and provision that could emanate only from a Creative Intelligence; noother hypothesis will serve.
Sixth: By the economy of nature, we are forced to realise that only infinite wisdomcould have foreseen and prepared with such astute husbandry.
Many years ago a species of cactus was planted in Australia as a protective fence.Having no insect enemies in Australia, the cactus soon began a prodigious growth; thealarming abundance persisted until the plants covered an area as long and wide as England,crowding inhabitants out of the towns and villages, and destroying their farms. Seeking adefense, entomologists scoured the world; finally they turned up an insect which livedexclusively on cactus, and would eat nothing else. It would breed freely, too; and it hadno enemies in Australia. So animal soon conquered vegetable, and today the cactus pest hasretreated-and with it all but a small protective residue of the insects, enough to holdthe cactus in check forever.
Such checks and balances have been universally provided. Why have not fast-breedinginsects dominated the earth? Because they have no lungs such as man possesses; theybreathe through tubes. But when insects grow large, their tubes do not grow in ratio tothe increasing size of the body. Hence there never has been an insect of great size; thislimitation on growth has held them all in check. If this physical check had not beenprovided, man could not exist. Imagine meeting a hornet as big as a lion !
Seventh: The fact that man can conceive the idea of God is in itself a unique proof.
The conception of God rises from a divine faculty of man, unshared with the rest of ourworld-the faculty we call imagination. By its power, man and man alone can find theevidence of things unseen. The vista that power opens up is unbounded; indeed, as man’sperfected imagination becomes a spiritual reality, he may discern in all the evidence ofdesign and purpose the great truth that heaven is wherever and whatever; that God iseverywhere and in everything that nowhere so close as in our hearts.
It is scientifically as well as imaginatively true, as the Psalmist said: The heavensdeclare the Glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork.
Is Modern Science A Challenge To Religion?
Sri Swami Krishnananda
The subject that has been suggested is somewhat an involved one, and I do not know howfar this would be a very appropriate theme to discuss before an audience of this kind whoare basically devotees of God and aspirants of the spiritual ideal of life. However, allvisions of life can be consolidated into a system of integrated organisation, and nothingconceivable can be regarded as extraneous to the methodology to be adopted in the pursuitof the spiritual ideal.
“Is there a conflict between the scientific method and the religious aspiration ofthe soul?” is a moot question. Generally, when people speak of science, what thecommon populace understands is the comfort that has been provided by applied science, suchas fast travelling, telephone, telegraph, Internet, satellite, and television. These arethe things that are in the minds of people when they speak of the technological advancescience has made; but science does not mean technology. It is a vision of life itself.
What clashes or appears to come in conflict with religion is not the comfort that hasbeen brought to us by these technological inventions of applied science, but the theory ofscience, which is something very deep, and bordering upon philosophical and metaphysicalfoundations of life itself.
That the world is external to everyone is the basic foundation of all scientificperception. Observation and experiment being the methods of a scientific process, it goeswithout saying that what is observed and experimented upon has to be outside. Theoutsideness of the world is a very important aspect to be considered here, but we may puta question to our own selves: “Is the world really outside us, so that what happensin the world does not affect us in any way, and the world does not care for what ishappening to us in our own internal operations? Are the individual and the world, the twoprinciples of consideration here, segregated from each other? Has the world nothing to dowith the individual, and has the individual nothing to do with the world?” It looksthat there is no communication possible between the individual and the world. The worldmay not know at all that some individual is dead and gone, and the individual is notconcerned in any manner if a star in heaven cools down and extinguishes itself. Letanything happen to the heavens; what does it matter to us? But, “Is it so?” isthe question.
This supposed conflict between physical science and religion may be said to have begunsomewhere toward the end of the nineteenth century, when the geocentric interpretation ofthe heavenly bodies was replaced by the heliocentric concept on the discovery ofCopernicus. This discovery clashed with the biblical belief and tradition, which holdsthat the earth is the foundation, and the sun and the moon and the stars move round thisearth.
The second thing that opposed religion as it was understood in those days was that theworld was created, according to the biblical tradition, some four thousand years ago, butthe scientific discovery declares that the beginning of the world must be traced back toaeons and aeons of time process earlier, and the earth is several millions of years old.This again was a challenge to the medieval concept of religion.
But the third thing is most important. When Newton discovered the law of gravitationand concluded that everything that is happening in the physical world can bemathematically deduced by the logical process of conclusion drawn from premises, and theworld which is physical in its nature is contained within the cup of space and time, andwhen his successor or follower Laplace wrote the five volumes on ‘Celestial Mechanics,’the war between science and religion appeared to have commenced. We are told that thewritings of Laplace were presented to Napoleon for his consideration. Napoleon seems tohave declared, “Monsieur, I do not see God in your scheme”; and the answer ofLaplace seems to have been, “Your highness, I have used the best of telescopes, but Ihave not found God anywhere.” This is classical science: God has to be seen in orderto be believed.
Does it follow then that whatever we see with our eyes really exists? Can we establishlogically or scientifically that the world exists at all? Which scientific procedure canestablish the truth of the externality of the world? Science is against any kind ofhypothesis and taking for granted anything unproved. But is there any proof tosubstantiate the belief that the world exists, except the assertion that it is seen? Thesenses come in contact with what we call the panorama of the external world. That is theproof!
Here, science fumbles. It is trying to cut the ground from under its own feet. Takinganything for granted is not the beginning of science. We cannot even take for granted thatthe world exists unless we prove that it exists. One cannot prove one’s own existenceeven. How do you know that you are existing? Where is the syllogism by which you havededuced the consequence of your existence from a premise? What is the proof that canestablish the truth of your own existence? Bring the argument and let us see what it isthat tells you that you really exist.
It was the French philosopher Rene Descartes who took up this question of doubting theexistence of his own self: “Some devil may be working in my mind. It may be tellingme everything in a topsy-turvy way. The world may not be there. I may not be here.Everything is doubtful. There is no certainty of anything. I can doubt the validity ofanything and everything.” But he went deeper into this phenomenon of doubt anddiscovered that doubt is not possible unless there is someone who is to doubt; if thedoubter also is to be doubted, the very fact of doubting loses its meaning. Nobody can bean utter sceptic, because that defeats the very purpose of scepticism. I am thinking and,therefore, I must be existing. This is Descartes’ conclusion.
What sort of existence is mine? I am conscious that I am existing. What is thatconsciousness? “I am an individual; I am Mr. so-and-so,” is my consciousness ofexistence. Is the consciousness of the existence of a personality a complete acceptance ofthe truth of life? He concluded that this cannot be the ultimate truth of life becausethere is a longing to break the boundaries of personality in everyone.
No one can tolerate finitude. The finite consciousness, which is proved by the veryfact of my knowing that I am, establishes the validity of there being something which isnot finite. What is it that is not the finite? It should not be a multitude of finites; itshould be the Infinite. My existence as a finite being, substantiated by theindubitability of this assertion, also brings about a wider unexpectedconsequence,ùnamely the Infinite also should exist; therefore, God exists. If I amexisting, God has to exist, because the concept of God is only a cosmic correlative of theacceptance of one’s own being as a finite individual. The finiteness of individualityproves the infinitude of the Truth of life. This smashes the erstwhile concept of theexternality of the world, and the dichotomy that is seen between the perceiver and theperceived.
Now I am touching upon the threat that theoretical science poses before religion. Here,it is also necessary to understand what religion is. Though we are trying to analyse thepractical and theoretical aspects of science, do we know what religion is? Religionbasically is a longing for what is above oneself. There is something transcending myself;but for that fact, I would be a most happy person in this world. I would be carefree,secure ultimately, and perfect in every sense of the term. But no one feels that one isperfect. There is always a complaint that something is wrong, something is inadequate,something is insufficient. Finally, there is a threat of extinction of the existence ofthe individual himself. Death comes upon oneself.
These are the fears of the psyche, which have a basis and a truthfulness in the sensethat they indicate the possibility of the existence of some realm where these insecureconditions are overcome completely.
The truths of life seem to be in several layers of self-transcendence, one rising abovethe other, and the lower does not satisfy until the next higher one is reached. We cannever be satisfied with anything in this world because satisfaction cannot arise from thatwhich is totally outside us. The outsideness of the values of life and the objectssupposed to bring us satisfaction defeats the very attempt at acquiring any kind ofpermanent joy and satisfaction in this world. That from which we seek satisfaction, namelythe objects of sense, are incapable of contact by the perceiver because of the fact thatthey are outside. We have already dubbed the world as something totally external to us,unconnected with us, and therefore, we can expect nothing from the world. Nevertheless,man runs after the pleasures of life in the form of contact with objects which are totallyoutside. Here is a contradiction in the very operation of desire itself. It is aself-defeating attempt of what we call human desire.
Desire is the longing to possess that which is not within oneself, but which isoutside. But the outsideness of the object prevents its coming in contact with theexperiencing consciousness. So every desire ends in tragedy, frustration and utter defeat,and no one ever goes from this world with the satisfaction that the attempt has succeeded.Everything is lost. The conclusion of the old man who is about to depart is that the wholelife has become futile, and there is no value or worth in anything, because he has lived alife of pursuing that which one cannot expect in a world that is totally outside.
The religious ideal is not based on the concept of the externality of the world, or theinternality of anything. The world is neither outside us, nor is it inside. We areintegrally related to the world; so is the case with the world in respect of our ownselves. We are not sitting outside the world, we are in the world, but not inside theworld as something contained in a pot. The relationship between the individual and thecosmos is of an organic whole. To put it in a more plain way, we may say it is somethinglike the organs of the body getting related to the bodily organism itself. Though the handand the feet can be perceived by oneself as objects of sense, they do not remain asexternal objects. They are organic parts of the whole body, which is the transcendence ofthe limbs. Thus, religion rises above the classical scientific notion of the externalityof the world and touches upon what we may call the universal concept of the truth of life.
The Truth, which is the ultimate aim of the religious pursuit, is an all-comprehensiveuniversal inclusiveness, and here it does not go hand in hand with classical physics whichrequires the world to be totally outside. The clash between physical science in itsclassical form and the religious ideal lies in this fact that on one side it is assertedthat the fact of life is a universal inclusiveness; on the other side, it is asserted thatit is totally outside.
Later, towards the middle of the twentieth century, the theories of science gotmodified systematically, and more considerate and investigative scientists found that itis impossible to know anything unless there is a relationship between the knower and theknown. A totally disconnected object, as the world is, cannot be known by any individualconsciousness. The involvement of the object of perception in the subjective operation ofvisualising is necessary in order that perception can take place at all. There must be an enrapport between the perceiving consciousness and the perceived object. The two standparallel to each other. Neither is the world above the individual, nor is the individualabove the world. They are coeval in time and space. We are of the same stuff as the worldis made of, and we are living in a realm which is just the physical realm of the fiveelements. The world is a constitution of the five physical elements,-earth, water, fire,air, and ether, which also are the building bricks of the individual body. The verysubstance of our physical existence is the same as the substance of the physical world.The building bricks of the cosmos are the building bricks of our own personalities. Then,if that is the case, what is it that makes us feel that we are different from the world?It is an interference of a particular unintelligible phenomenon called space and time.Though classical physics from the point of view of Newton considered that space and timehave nothing to do with the contents of the world, it was later discovered that space andtime are vitally connected with every physical event in the world.
It is in the Taittiriya Upanishad that we hear of the evolutionary process of thecosmos. Tasmadva etasmadatmana akashah sambhutah: From the Universal Absolute, theSelfhood of the cosmos, space emanated. Here, we must realise that even space has aconnection with the Absolute. Akashadvayuh; The principle of air emanated from thevibrations of space. Vayoragnih; Friction created by the movement of air createdheat, which is fire. Agnerapah; The condensation of the heat of fire produced theliquid condition of the world, which is water. The solidification of water became theearth principle, Adbhyah prithivi. Prithivya oshadhayah: From the earth arise allherbs, plants and trees, which are the foodstuff of animals and human beings. Oshadhibhyannam;All that we eat arises from the plants and trees and vegetables and such edible articlesproduced by the earth. Annatpurushah; The human arises as a latecomer in theprocess of evolution. This physical body is annamaya, constituted of the foodstuffwhich is the earth principle, which again is an evolutionary consequence of the waterprinciple, that again of the fire principle, the fire principle of the air principle, theair principle of the space principle, and the space principle is rooted in the UniversalExistence.
So, you can know your connection with the Ultimate Reality. We are sunk deep inUltimate Being. We are an automatic evolute in the lowest form of its expression, in itsphysical, material form, which is the spatio-temporal expression of the non-spatial andnon-temporal Supreme Being which is Ultimate Consciousness: satyam jnanamanantam brahma.
Lofty is this concept. Today, the more understanding type of physical scientists havepractically stumbled upon this great concept of the Upanishads. Mathematicians whodeclared that the world is only equations, point events, and waves of probability, or acontinuum of some indescribable stuff which is incapable of description, haveinadvertently been forced to accept that existence is indivisible. This conclusion shouldbe drawn by the consciousness of the scientist himself.
The great physicist, Sir Arthur Eddington, who would not accept that there is God orsuch a thing as consciousness, fell upon this acceptance inadvertently, unconsciously, asit were. In his great book “The Nature of the Physical World,” he utters gospeltruth: “The stuff of the world is consciousness.”
Science misunderstood is a threat to religion; if you consider it only as atechnological process of flying with great speed, and working through satellite,television and internet, that would be a poor concept of science. Science is nobleinvestigative procedure, which can take us to the depths of the secrets of life, ifdispassionately we go with it.
Here is an unexpected discovery of science that the stuff of the world has to beconsciousness. Why is it so? It is because the world has to be known in order that it maybe accepted to exist. Who is telling you that the world is existing? Your consciousness istelling this. How does the consciousness know that the world is existing, unless thisconsciousness is pervading the world of perception? The imbibition of the very structureof the physical world into the structure of consciousness is the reason why we believe inthe existence of a world, and that it is outside. So, there is finally no conflict betweenthe highest discoveries of science and the noble aspirations of religion.
By “religion” we are not meaning Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism,-this”ism,” that “ism,” and all that. These are all designateddenominational forms of the true meaning of religion. Religion is the aspiration of thesoul for its ultimate destiny. It is a search of the individual for the Absolute. It is alonging of the spirit within us for God Almighty. It has nothing to do with any”ism,” and no one can be free from this eternal longing for perfection, whichmay better be called spiritual aspiration rather than a religious longing, because of theabuse of the word “religion” in modern times, under historical circumstances,and in the studies in schools and colleges.
People who are now considering themselves as scientists and very advanced in logicalthinking pooh-pooh religion, thinking that it is an old grandmother’s story, because theiridea of religion is so poor, as is their concept of science. There is a tragedy that hasbefallen every one of us in our not being able to be precise in our knowledge of things,whether it is scientific or religious.
There is no conflict. There was a time in the Middle Ages when physical scienceappeared to be clashing with the theological doctrines of the church. The churchexcommnunicated many scientists, and they were punished with severe indictments from thePope. An inquisition was set up in the Middle Ages,-for us, very unthinkable, indeed.People were burnt, thrown into the flames by dogmatic religious followers, and scienceretaliated and disconnected itself from the Pope.
Today we are in a different world altogether. The conflict has ceased; at least, it isappearing to be ceasing. Though it was once said, “The East is East and the West isWest, and the twain shall never meet,” I think today it is attempting to cometogether, and is meeting. The West and the East wish to shake hands with each other andaccept their common heritage as human beings, rather than Westerners and Easterners,scientists and religious followers, seekers of God and seekers of material values.
There are several textbooks written these days, where powerful monograph have gone intothe depths of this harmony that is already existing between the external and theuniversal. Though the external may be different from the internal, it cannot be externalto the universal. The universal is a transcendent element which rises above both thesubjective side and the objective side. We cannot even know that there is anything outsideus unless there is a third element which is not ourselves, and not the object that isperceived, also.
Because of the externality of the object of perception and the internality ofconsciousness, there is no connection between the two, and knowledge is impossible; no onecan know that anything is. But there is a transcendent principle. Eastern thoughtconsiders this as adhidaiva, a spiritual principle operating as a transcendentalelement,-unknown and unperceivable, but operating between the subjective side and theobjective side.
The subjective side is called the adhyatma, the objective is adhibhauta,and the transcendent is adhidaiva. All the three have to work together in orderthat there may be perception at all. But we are so poor in our understanding that we knowlittle of ourselves, and much less of the world, and nothing at all of this transcendentaloperation. Gods are behind our eyes and ears, our nose and tongue, and our sensations.These gods which are the denizens of heaven are the operators of this mechanism called thephysical body with its sense organs. It is a presumption on the part of the egoisticindividual to think that he or she is working. The workers are the great divine beingswhich are transcendent adhidaivas,-gods in heaven, as we call them. But they areinvisible. They are invisible because they are neither inside nor outside; they are”above.”
Here is a path-finding direction for both science and religion, so that if they worktogether in harmony they can create a world of joy and satisfaction that life is worthliving. Do you want to depart from this world with the tragic feeling that nothing hasbeen achieved? The world has eluded the grasp of everybody. Kings have come, empires roseand fell, and the earth has not changed. It appears to be so because of our wrongevaluation of the historical process. History is actually a natural process of the cosmos.It is the total operation taking place in the whole of creation, even when a little eventis taking place somewhere in a corner of the world. Our learned speaker mentioned aboutquantum mechanics and the discoveries of relativity, etc., which highlighted theastounding truth of sudden and simultaneous action taking place in the universe. Everyevent is a simultaneous event. It is not taking place yesterday and tomorrow; it is justnow, everywhere.
Did not the poet tell us that we cannot touch the petals of a flower in our gardenwithout disturbing the stars in the heavens? It is not poetry; it is the truth. Everyevent is a universal event. Anything that is taking place anywhere takes place everywhere,and we are living throughout the universe, in all parts of the cosmos. Our individualityis not confined merely to this earth planet. It is everywhere in different parts.
Scientists today have discovered the possibility of worlds within worlds, and thepossibility of many worlds, and our being inhabitants of all these worlds simultaneously.”Simultaneously” is the word we have to underline. We are notinhabiting these many worlds in succession,-today here, tomorrow somewhere else. At onestroke, in a timeless manner, we inhabit the whole cosmos, and we are world citizensworking in different forms. Unknown to our own selves, one part of ourselves is here onthis earth performing activities in this way, and another part of our own archetypalnature is in the heaven, even today.
Our higher self in the heaven is pulling us and summoning us: “Come on. You arenot here, where you appear to be. You are in the heaven.” That is why we are longingfor the higher values of life, and we can never be satisfied; we are always unsatisfiedbecause we are not in this world. We are really in some other world,-not only in someother world, we are in all the worlds. This universal operation of individuals is a greatdiscovery of modern Quantum Mechanics, which is quite different from that science whichappears to be in conflict with religion. Science has become spirituality; physics hasbecome metaphysics.
This is a wonder toward the end of the twentieth century that we are seeing; we believethat God shall come. The kingdom of heaven is within us; it is within us, because it iseverywhere. How can a large kingdom be contained within our little frame of physicalexistence? It is because the inwardness of our existence is not actually the physicalinwardness. The whole universe can be within us.
It is the Chandogya Upanishad which tells us that whatever is happening in the outsideworld is happening within us. If the sun is shining there, it is shining inside, also. Ifit is hot outside, it is hot inside, also. If it is raining outside, it is raining inside,also. If there is thunder there, there is thunder here, also. But we are so stupid that wecannot realise these events are taking place within us, commensurate with all the thingsthat are happening outside in the world.
We are the world; thus, the discovery of science today tells us. This iswhat the great Yoga Vasishtha scripture tells us. This is what the Upanishads tell us. Itis not merely the twain of West and East that is coming together; God and man are shakinghands with each other in this vast kingdom of universal creation.