October 19, 2022 at 11:01 am #14708
Hare Krishna Prabhu
Recently I was having a discussion with one of my family members. The discussion led to the nature of soul and God. This person’s contention was why he is a soul in the first place. By which he meant does he has a choice in being a soul. He wasn’t talking about free will of the soul but the choice of being a soul itself with sat-chit-anand as its components. Neither his intention was to know whether it is good or bad being a soul. I gave some references on whole-part doctrine and how we are eternal part and parcel of Krishna. Later he himself reasoned out that if the set of souls is infinite then he has no choice because all kind of souls that can exist will exist and he is one among that. Even though I am dedicated in my Bhakti towards Krishna, I am still trying to perfect my knowledge through your works. I don’t have strong answers to these questions. What is the argument or reasoning to these questions Prabhu? I humbly seek your guidance.October 19, 2022 at 1:15 pm #14709
There is no meaning to question “Why am I soul?” because the counterquestion is “As opposed to what?” Even God is a soul. Soul simply means person. Do you want to be Supreme Person? Well, then you have to take responsibility for everyone. Even if someone comes and says “the Supreme Person does not exist” you cannot be vindictive. Even if they say “the Supreme Person is evil”, you cannot be vindictive. You have to be fair to them as much as those who appreciate you. Can you do that?
We are not supreme because the Supreme Person is supremely humble. He has all the power to punish anyone. But He is never vindictive. He is fair even to those who are unfair to Him. Nowadays, people have to pay a fine for ruining someone’s reputation or making false allegations. If you say something against your nation, you may get into a sedition case and go to jail. But we are living in God’s kingdom and we keep complaining about God and His kingdom. We are the guest and He is the host, and the guest keeps criticizing the host. The food in your house is not good. The air is polluted. Why does the other guy get a bigger room? The host tolerates everything. He does not send a sedition charge against us, and doesn’t throw us out of His personal property. So, we have to be like that if we want to become equal to God. Factually, we can never be equal to Him.
There is a famous story about Sage Bhrigu. He wanted to determine who among Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva is supreme. So he went to meet Brahma, but upon seeing him, he did not bow. Brahma became very angry. Then Bhrigu went to Lord Shiva and he said some unpleasant things, like He has an unclean life and that He is covered with ash. Lord Shiva became very angry. Then he went to Lord Vishnu, who was then sleeping. Seeing that He is asleep, Bhrigu kicked Lord Vishnu in the chest. Lord Vishnu woke up and immediately fell to Bhrigu’s feet and apologized: “My dear sage, your feet are very soft, and my chest is very hard. I must have hurt your soft feet. I apologize that you were forced to kick me.” Then Bhrigu understood who the greatest is. The greatest is whoever the most humble and tolerant is.
Lord Vishnu has all the power, but no ego. No vindictiveness. Krishna is also like that. He gets scolded and He seeks shelter of the one who is scolding Him. This is greatness. If we read all these pastimes and meditate on them, then tears will flow from our eyes and they will wash away the dirt accumulated in the heart for many lifetimes. Then we will not ask such questions about why this and why that. The only question that will remain is: What I can do for my most merciful Lord?October 20, 2022 at 12:58 pm #14710
Thank you Prabhu.
I saw the video of the podcast you were invited and saw the comments of many people. Even when they were attacking you have patiently replied to them without being vindictive. You have showed us how to try to be like the supreme person. I too shall try to uphold that.
Regarding my query rather than why am I a ‘soul’, my relative’s quandary was more on the lines of why he exists at all? In your post titled ‘The origins of evil’ you have mentioned,
In Vedic philosophy, a person is defined as three traits: (a) self-awareness, (b) the capacity to ask questions about the self, and (c) the capacity to answer the questions about the self. Every person hence goes through the following process: “I exist” → “What am I?” → “I am this” → “I know I am this”.
So basically he is suffering because ‘he exists‘ and doesn’t know why he exists. What is the remedy to such a person?
Personally my answer was ‘we exist’ because ‘the supreme person exists’. The supreme person is the only meaning to everything else. What would be your answer?
I will be extremely grateful for any insight from you. Thank you PrabhuOctober 20, 2022 at 3:12 pm #14712
The question of “why” has three types of answers: (a) cause, (b) reason, and (c) justification.
For example, if a person presses a trigger on a gun, the cause is the finger on the trigger, the reason is that he wanted to hurt someone, and the justification (if it is moral) that the person was doing something wrong. Likewise, the cause of the soul is the Lord, the reason is that the Lord wanted to enjoy, and the justification is His happiness. Happiness is the highest self-justification.
The Vedanta Sutra 1.1.12 states ānandamayo’bhyāsāt. The term ānandamaya means “pleasurable” and abhyāsāt means “for practicing”. It is a complement of the earlier statement 1.1.2 janmādyasya yataḥ which means “from which everything is born”. So, together, they mean “from which everything is born for practicing pleasurable (activities)”. Similar statements are made in Upanishads. Why did the One become many? The answer is: For enjoying pleasure. So, why do I exist? I exist for the Lord’s pleasure. The Lord is the cause, the reason is His desire, and the justification is His pleasure.October 20, 2022 at 4:17 pm #14714Ankita PandeyParticipant
Hare Krishna, even I also want to say something regarding yesterday’s podcast.First I read prabhuji’s blog post on YouTube comments ,then I watched the video and again when I came back on blog and read the introduction specially those 6 points that he wrote, all those features I found in him (tjump) and his followers.
October 20, 2022 at 4:46 pm #14716
- This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by Ankita Pandey.
Yes, teaching people is like Haridas Thakur getting caned in 22 marketplaces. So many public insults, personal humiliations, and unnecessary abuses. There is no space for decent and intelligent discussion and no capacity for looking at the bigger picture. They cannot even listen to another person’s view and reply properly with a reasonable question or argument. The moment they hear something different, their immediate reaction is abusiveness. Their minds are filled with so much violence, hatred, and disdain for the other person that I wonder how they sleep at night. What can we teach in this situation? I got a couple of emails advising me to stay away from these kinds of discussions. Yes, staying away is the only way.October 21, 2022 at 12:44 pm #14718
Thank you Prabhu.
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