Ashish Dalela

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  • in reply to: Rereading Mystic Universe #15199
    Ashish Dalela

    You can read this post: The Illusion of Space, Time, and Motion. You will get an idea of how the illusion of physical space, time, and motion is created. If you mix the study of truth with that of illusion, then illusion will be “understood” while the truth will not be understood. This is due to the fact that “understanding” is nothing but acceptance, acceptance is based on what we have normalized by habituation, and if illusion has been normalized, then the truth will seem to be abnormal.

    in reply to: Rereading Mystic Universe #15111
    Ashish Dalela

    There are many articles on an alternative conception of logic and number, here are some recent ones:

    Three Opposites Instead of Two

    Illustration of Semantic Addition

    God and Mathematics

    It is very easy to understand guna if we can give up numbers. Taste and smell are two aspects of food. But can you separately drag the taste of the food to the left and separately drag the smell of the food to the right? Can you remove hardness of a table from the heaviness of table? There are two things, but they are one thing. Likewise there are three things and they are one thing. There are million things and they are still one thing. And it can be anything in between one and million depending on our perspective. This is reality. And number is an illusion because it says two things are just two things. It cannot be one thing and two things simultaneously. But they are two things and one thing simultaneously. Reality is contradictory to mathematics as we are taught presently.

    This alternative way of saying that one thing is many things is also logical and mathematical, but not in the same way as we are taught right now. One thing is in one place and in many places. Lord Visnu lives on one planet, and yet, He lives inside everything. If we cannot describe this, then we cannot describe everything else. But we will not be able to describe these things in current logic.

    in reply to: Rereading Mystic Universe #15110
    Ashish Dalela
    1. I doubt if I have ever said that physical space is semantic. I always say the opposite that physical space is an illusion. Real distance is of three kinds: (a) conceptual distance, (b) emotional distance, and (c) relational distance. The physical distance is created by our interaction with the world. Strong interaction means proximity and weak interaction means distance.
    2. Physical space has no directions. There is no such thing as east or west in physical space. These names were used previously to designate people with a type of mentality. Western mentality means tamo-guna and Eastern mentality means sattva-guna. That was true in the past. At present, almost everyone is in tamo-guna because the East has been Westernized.
    3. You cannot go outside the earth in this life and body. You are born from the earth, and you are tied to the earth like a baby is tied to the mother through an umbilical cord. You can go for millions of years in a rocket and you will still be in the earth. Leaving the earth requires either mystic powers or eventual death and transmigration of the soul to another body.
    4. Counting is context-sensitive. You can ask: How many bags of rice? The answer is one number. Then you can ask: How many kilo of rice? The answer is a second number. Then you can ask: How many grains of rice? The answer is a third number. In this way, the same thing can be called many numbers depending on how much you zoom into the same thing.
    5. The whole universe is one thing. It is divided into parts by the consciousness zooming in. But if the consciousness zooms out, then it is just one thing. So no number is an accurate number. All these numbers are illusions created by zooming in and out. If someone is zoomed in, then the number has a limited practical utility for others zoomed in to the same extent.
    6. There is no such thing as Vedic mathematics. Some guy who had no idea about what a number is, how that number is created, and why it is considered an illusion, but found some Sanskrit text, came up with “Vedic mathematics”. It is not Vedic. It is Indian. Mathematics was created in India as a practical tool. It is used for calculation, but that calculation is not the truth.
    7. I have explained a few times that the simplest thing like arithmetic addition requires three “laws” called associative, commutative, and distributive properties. These do not apply to guna or qualities. Nature is guna. Arithmetic does not apply to guna. Then all higher levels of mathematics cannot be applied to guna. But a fascination with such things is there.
    8. Veda Vyas is describing guna and Acharya Pingala is describing numbers. So, there is no commonality between the two. Due to the Westernization of the East, people have assumed that number is science and guna is religion. So, they neglect truth and chase ignorance. Even by alternatively chasing both, the truth is not gained. It requires exclusive dedication.
    Ashish Dalela

    I’ll try to comment on specific points made in this short video:

    How can an immaterial mind affect the body?

    This is a question laden with Judeo-Christian assumptions. Let’s begin by distinguishing between soul, mind, and body. The conscious mind, which means thoughts, judgments, intentions, and morals, is actually a body, just as material as what people call the “body” at present. In Sāñkhya, we speak about three kinds of bodies, namely, “gross body”, “gendered body”, and “subtle body”. Sometimes, these are called “gross body”, “subtle body”, and “causal body”. It is bodies all the way. The mind, intellect, ego, and moral sense are aspects or parts of the gendered body just like hands and legs are parts of the gross body. The mind is not non-material. It is material in the same way as the “body”.

    Each of these three bodies is a constraint on the will of the soul, which we shall discuss shortly. A constraint means what we cannot do. Yes, we cannot fly with the human body, but we can write books. The birds can fly, but they cannot write books. So, there are different constraints created by different kinds of bodies. But constraints do not fix what we will do. Even though one can read and write in the human body, most people at present don’t want to. So, there is a constraint on the will that disables our flying. But there is a will that determines whether the ability to read and write is used.

    All these bodies are constructed from the three guna of Prakṛti. So, there is no interaction problem like the Cartesian mind-body interaction problem because both “mind” and “body” are made out of the same “stuff” (if you want to call it that). Thus, the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind because they are both bodies. The mind is not immaterial. The mind is also material.

    At an even more advanced level of understanding, even matter is spirit. This is why we model everything in reality as an organism. A society is an organism. An ecosystem is an organism. A planet is an organism. And the entire universe is an organism. Thus, the distinction between mind and body is false because both are material. Likewise, the distinction between matter and spirit is false because both are spiritual. The latter understanding is more advanced, so we will not dwell more on it here.

    Is there free will?

    There is will but no free will. The idea that we are free, or as Prabhupada used to call this “independence”, is a false idea. The moment you think you are independent of Kṛṣṇa, you are bound. But there is a will, which means you can want to be independent of Kṛṣṇa (in which case you will be bound) or you can want to be dependent on Kṛṣṇa (in which case you will be freed from bondage).

    All over Vedic texts, we talk about how the material world is bandhan or bondage and how attaining freedom from this bondage is mukti or liberation. The material body and mind are bondage, not freedom. They are constraints limiting the soul. Removing this material mind and body is liberation, which means removing the constraints. Once that constraint is removed, then we are still working for Kṛṣṇa, but we are no longer constrained in what we can do. Therefore, those who talk about free will are also talking about a Judeo-Christian concept, which science is already refuting.

    The free will vs. determinism problem

    There are widespread misconceptions that science is deterministic, mostly due to ignorance of science. The fact is that even Newton’s mechanics is not deterministic. For example, if two cars crash, there is no equation that can deterministically predict the outcome of the crash. We can talk about the outcome only if the car’s integrity is maintained, which means that the cars don’t crash, but keep running on the road.

    Even when determinism is observed, such as in the case of billiard ball collisions, the Newtonian explanation of determinism is not deterministic. In Newton’s mechanics, when two point particles collide, they can recoil in infinite different directions because a point is dimensionless. All laws of conservation of energy and momentum hold in such cases. But this indeterminism is not seen in billiard ball collisions due to the finite size of the ball. Thereby, even when the phenomena are deterministic, the theory is indeterministic. Otherwise, if the balls collided and disintegrated into many pieces, then the phenomenon is also not deterministic.

    Thereby, some phenomena are deterministic, under some limited conditions, such as billiard ball collisions; these phenomena are modeled by an indeterministic theory called classical mechanics. The problems of the theory are not realized by limiting its application to (a) finite-sized balls, and (b) balls that do not disintegrate on collision.

    In Vedic philosophy, we can predict what will happen in the world based on astrology, the cycle of four yugas, and so on, deterministically, without violating a person’s will. That is because of the distinction between a role and an actor. The distinction between “role” and “actor” doesn’t exist in any physical theory. That distinction involves two separate ontologies and gives the actor a will to choose roles. In a drama, for instance, the script is fixed, so the events are deterministic. But the actors can choose to play different roles, so they have a choice. By separating the actor from the role, and giving the actor a choice of role, we get both determinism and will without a contradiction.

    This means that if we want to solve this problem, then we need three categories: (a) role, (b) actor, and (c) will. The actor in this case is the mind and body, and the will pertains to the soul. The solution to the problem is incomplete unless we talk about the soul separate from the mind-body, and the mind-body is distinct from the role it is currently playing.

    How the will controls the body

    The simple answer is attaching and detaching. If a thought comes into your mind, you can withdraw from the thought and the mind. This is called “detach”. The technical term is saṅga-tyāgāt or “giving up association”. The soul is not bound to the body, but its consciousness is. This consciousness is called sat and I call it the “relational” attribute of the soul, distinct from cognitive and emotional attributes. The relation can be established or withdrawn. That is attach and detach. When we attach, the first thing in awareness is the ego which means “I am this”. The term “this” is expanded into many things, but “I am this” is the source. Then if we withdraw from “I am this” then all “this” has no effect on “I am”. This is detachment, saṅga-tyāgāt, withdrawing the consciousness, etc.

    So, if someone wants to experience will, then learn detachment. Most people are never able to detach, so they have no experience of will. They are sitting on a train, the train is automatically going somewhere, and they cannot get off the train to board another train. Thus, Kṛṣṇa says “All these living entities are roaming in the universe seated on the machine of delusion”. The delusion is “I am this”. But if we cannot detach, then we cannot get off that train. Then there is no experience of will. Therefore, everyone has the capacity for will, but everyone doesn’t have the experience of will. They have to be taught detachment to experience will.

    This education begins with austerity, rules, and regulations. The body wants to sleep, but the rule says: You have to get up at 4 AM. The rule goes against the body. If we follow the rule, then the soul ignores the complaints of the body, and thus we realize will. We call this willpower or icchā-śakti rather than “free will”. It is acquired by detaching. This means that the will is always there but it is very weak. Without power, the will is useless.

    No moral judgment without will?

    This is another Judeo-Christian idea. Even if the body does something the will is going along with it. I may not want to do it but I have accepted it. We can contrast these as “I want to eat”, “I need to eat”, and “I am willing to eat”. In the case of the material body, all three are desires produced by the body, and the soul simply associates with these desires. If I associate more closely, then I say: I need to eat. If I detach somewhat, then I say: I am willing to eat. If I detach more, then I say: I want to eat. In this detached state, the concept of “will” appears again, namely, that I want it, so it is coming from me.

    Factually, in all three cases of needing, willing, and wanting, there is an underlying spiritual will different from the material intention. The spiritual will accepts the material intention, and thereby, confusion between the spiritual will and the material intention (wanting, needing, and willing) is created. That confusion is destroyed only when we reject the wanting, needing, and willing.

    Since there is acceptance and rejection therefore there is always will, and hence a person is always judged morally even if he thinks that he has no will, that he was coerced by circumstances, and so on. If more than one will is involved in an act, then we have to give prominence to the dominant will rather than the subordinate will. For instance, if you shoot a person because there is a gun pointed at your head, then the second will is primary and the first will is secondary. However, the first will is not absent. I could have chosen to get shot to avoid shooting someone else.

    How does will work? 

    Consciousness moves in and out, attaches and detaches, and by that attachment and detachment, it activates and deactivates a potential in matter. Thereby, we model matter as a potential which we call śakti or “power”. Power is not always used. It is used by the combination of will and power. Otherwise, power is inactive. Of course, power is not truly inactive, because power also triggers a will.

    This requires a deeper philosophy of will and power, sometimes also called Shiva and Śakti, namely, that sometimes power activates a purpose, and sometimes, purpose activates power. For instance, if you feel the presence of power, then you will get a new purpose in life than if you think you are powerless. When you get the purpose, then you use the power.

    Thus, power activates purpose and purpose activates power. These are not the same purpose and the same power. Power activates the purpose to eat, and the purpose to eat activates the power to cook. Since eating is also a power, and cooking is also a purpose, therefore, the same word can be used both as power and purpose. Thereby, Shiva and Śakti are one as cooking and eating, and different as power and purpose. They cause each other, are caused by each other, are two distinct personalities, and yet, they are mutually inseparable. So, it is a difficult subject if we go deeper, and ultimately not separable from a spiritual philosophy, but it is not incomprehensible.

    How calculus created the illusion of determinism

    The fundamental problem in science is calculus. If you take a pencil and try to draw a line on paper, the question is: What is the next point in the line? Should the pencil move upward or downward? Should the pencil go backward or forward? Should the pencil jump discretely on the paper, or move continuously? These are choices. But calculus has eliminated them by postulating two things: (a) continuity, and (b) smoothness. That means, the pencil cannot jump, and it should not take a sudden and discrete left or right, up or down, forward or backward turn. Even if the pencil turns, it should do it slowly and smoothly.

    According to calculus, the hand should never draw a triangle or square because these have sharp vertices. A sharp vertex in calculus means that that rate of change denoted by dx/dt has become infinite at the vertex. If you get one infinite number in a series of numbers, the sum of those numbers will be infinite. To eliminate sharp vertices, the hand should never draw a triangle or a square. Circles, ellipses, straight and curved lines are fine because they don’t have sharp vertices. This means that calculus has put a constraint on the hand holding the pencil. The hand cannot do certain things. And that is called determinism. It is created by assuming that the hand cannot move the pencil in all the ways that the hand is capable of moving. Newton destroyed will through calculus.

    But the reality is that calculus is false. The hand can jump and choose directions discretely. That discretization of the hand movement breaks calculus, and it breaks the foundation of science. This is why science is indeterministic: The hand can jump up or down, move left or right, forward or backward, discretely. So, if you assume calculus, it may work for some hand movements. But it will be mostly false.

    The solution to this problem requires rejecting calculus. The hand can move both continuously and discretely, both smoothly and unsmoothly. To accommodate these contradictory scenarios, everything beginning with Newton’s mechanics has to be thrown in the dustbin. 336 years have been wasted in constraining the hand holding the pencil by so-called “laws of calculus” preventing it from moving in all the ways that it can move. That is not the nature of reality. It is true sometimes when the hand wants to draw a smooth and continuous curve.

    How calculus was invented

    Greeks and Romans did not have zero, let alone negative numbers. They could not do business accounting without negative numbers, because you have to do debits and credits to do accounts, and these require positive and negative numbers, along with a zero to balance the account. The West learned this business accounting through trade with India.

    Likewise, the West did not have algebra; they got it from Arabs who got it from India. The West did some geometry during Greek times. However, it was not integrated with algebra because to combine geometry and algebra, we need an infinite converging series to calculate the value of numbers like π. If we don’t have an infinite converging series, then we cannot get accurate values of π. Without π, we cannot say that the area of a circle is πr2 or that the circumference of a circle is 2πr. That is the end of everything. So, the marriage of algebra and geometry is rooted in infinite converging series, and these series were discovered and studied in India centuries before Europe.

    Newton took the idea of an infinite converging series and said: We can use it to create smoothness and continuity because the successive steps in an infinite converging series are closer and closer approximations to a limit number. For instance, π is a limit number, and you get closer and closer to this value if you add the successive steps in the infinite series. You can chop off the series to a fewer steps and you will get 3.14. If you add more steps, you will get a more accurate value.

    Newton made these infinite steps mandatory in reality. This means that atoms must not exist in reality because that will break the continuity. This is why the quantum theory was such a big deal in science; it was contrary to the continuity assumed in calculus. But this atomism has to be extended even to time and space, which modern science cannot, due to calculus. Likewise, we can assert continuity and smoothness even for angles, by saying: If something is rotating by an angle it is going through infinite steps involving infinitesimal angles. So, if a planet moves around in a circle, it goes through infinite steps, but the circumference of the circle is not infinite.

    For centuries prior to this, Zeno’s paradoxes had held Europeans back because infinite steps meant that adding those steps would certainly require infinite time, and therefore motion was impossible. There were serious practical issues in computing values of π and e and we cannot do anything in real life unless we get these values. Indians solved the problems of π and e through infinite convergent series. In a series, it still takes infinite time to add infinite steps, but the result of that addition is not infinite. Now, if we postulate that each of these infinite steps takes infinitesimal time, then we can claim to get a finite value in finite time. Newton made that postulate. With this postulate, it became possible to do calculus integration and get real numbers such as 2πr and log2x. If we don’t have infinite series then we don’t have π and e and then we don’t have 2πr and log2x. Infinite series made calculus possible. But that doesn’t mean we are actually walking through infinite steps with each step completed in infinitesimal time. It is just a calculation tool, not a fact about reality.

    The process of movement, in reality, is discrete, and hence it always involves finite steps. However, it looks continuous to us because the observer is continuous whereas the sense perceptions are discrete. This is the theory of the soul, namely, that the soul is eternal, that it moves through discrete steps, so the soul takes discrete steps, but it looks continuous because of the soul’s innate property of continuity. The experience of continuity is the property of the soul, not a result of infinite steps.

    Indian mathematicians were doing calculations with infinite series knowing fully well that this is not real continuity. Real continuity is due to the soul, but mathematical continuity is just for calculation. Thus, for Indian mathematicians, continuity and smoothness were not reality. They were heuristics. The reality was that consciousness is continuous, but its choices are discrete. So, consciousness moves from one state to another discretely, without creating a problem of continuity. However, to do some calculations, we can postulate the existence of infinite steps each infinitesimally long.

    Newton extrapolated the calculation tool to reality and called it calculus. This means that Newton claimed that material reality is continuous and smooth when that continuity and smoothness are due to consciousness. By attributing continuity and smoothness to material reality, Newton rejected the role of consciousness in creating continuity and discreteness. This is the sole invention in the West. It removed the role of continuous consciousness and discrete choices from modern science. It attributed these properties to matter by giving matter continuity and smoothness, based on the infinite convergent series method previously invented in India. Thereby, Newton took the methods created in India and gave them a new interpretation. This is why he wrote: “If I have seen further than my predecessors, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants”. He did not identify these giants. But they were Indian mathematicians who had solved integration problems. That solution is not the truth or reality. It is just a heuristic device for calculation. Once he transferred the burden of continuity, smoothness, and discreteness to matter, consciousness and will were eliminated from science. The world was no longer moving by will. It was moving due to force, exerted by mass.

    Today we know that algebra, geometry, numbers, and infinite series are Indian in origin. Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya, and so many other mathematicians were doing these things centuries before Islam and Christianity. Indian mathematicians never denied the role of consciousness, nor did they claim that reality is working mathematically. Indians never said that the sun and moon are moving due to calculus. They just said: We can calculate their movement using algebra and infinite converging series. Newton converted that calculation device into how the planets are actually moving.

    This is why quantum mechanics is so important. It destroys the assumptions of calculus. We can never solve the problem of quantum mechanics without consciousness because it is now proven that matter is discrete and the ideas of continuity used in calculus are false. Now we need a theory of how consciousness moves discretely through choice and yet has the experience of continuity and smoothness. But the West is going in the opposite direction. They are splitting consciousness into millions of pieces, such that there are many versions of each person living in different universes. This is how they want to preserve calculus. Every other ridiculous idea is acceptable, but calculus cannot be thrown away. Even if we tell them that calculus is wrong, nobody is going to accept it.

    How calculus has been abused

    Once calculus was invented, it was forced on everything. It became the model of reality for everything. People today think that nothing can be done without calculus. That is not true. Advanced astronomy existed in India without calculus. Indians calculated the new position of planets without saying that planets move in the same way that we are calculating it. Likewise, metallurgy, agriculture, medicine, and architecture were far more advanced. Everything that was needed was there.

    Only bombs and missiles weren’t there. That science of warfare was being done with mantras and it was always a closely guarded secret. But that science has been lost at present because it was a Brahmanical science. Brahmanas were chanting mantras during Vedic rituals and they gave knowledge of some of these mantras to Kshatriyas. When Buddhists and Shankaracharya stopped these rituals in India, then Brahmanical science and practice were lost. The Kshatriyas did not have mantras, they just had bows and arrows. These Kshatriyas did not build cannons and bombs.

    If we have mantra substitutes for bombs and missiles then we won’t need a military-industrial complex. We don’t need a factory to make a bomb or missile. Simply by chanting a mantra, weapons will be activated. Then nobody can attack because when they attack, a mantra will be chanted and the attacker will be burned to ashes. Infinite heat is already there in the body, but it is unmanifest right now. By a mantra, that heat is manifest. Thereby, mantras are chanted, heat is manifest, and the attacker self-immolates. Everything just burns to ashes without even having to fight. The whole army can be burned to ashes in a minute. This kind of warfare was known in Mahabharata times. When her husband Lord Shiva was insulted by her father Prajapati Daksha, Sati could not stand that humiliation. She could not say anything to her father either. So she just sat in one place, chanted a mantra, and self-immolated the body. That is because infinite heat is already in the body. It can be manifest through a mantra. We don’t need gas to warm the house in winter.

    All these things might come back to India someday. Right now, India is getting bombs and missiles to protect the Vedic civilization. If mantras replace bombs and missiles, then the military-industrial complex will be finished. Very quickly, all forms of industrialization will be over. Then the whole world will again bow before India, just like it was bowing before Yudhisthira and Arjuna previously.

    If modern science rejects calculus, then they would have thrown away 336 years of modern science as a huge mistake. Whoever says that calculus must be rejected will immediately lose his job. He will be ousted from his current academic position and his papers will never be published after that. This is a question of Western prestige and inventiveness. To say that they were wrong for centuries will totally destroy their prestige. So these things will be said after that prestige has already been destroyed.

    This is why modern science will never solve the problem of will, consciousness, mind, and so on. They got one thing in the name of calculus, they ran with it for a few centuries, and now they are stuck forever. While playing a maze game, you can enter a path that leads to a dead end. You have to retract, come back to the starting point, and find another path. But those who say so will lose their job because it is tied to Western prestige. This is why Western science will never be reformed. It will die a slow and natural death. Until that death, modern science will make attempts to stop the hand from doing what it can do and claim that the hand is incapable of doing those things.

    Did experiments refute free will?

    This is again due to Judeo-Christian ideas on free will, where the soul is in full control of the body. The reality is different: The body proposes, and the soul accepts or rejects. When Benjamin Libet did experiments on the brain and found that brain activity precedes the verbal report of a choice, he said that we should not call choice free will. We should rather call it free won’t. That means that the body is proposing, and the soul is accepting or rejecting that proposal. If the soul always accepts the body’s proposal, then it will never experience free will because brain activity precedes the will. The body has proposed and the will has accepted the proposal in this case. This is contrary to the Judeo-Christian idea where will originates in the soul and the body obeys. In the Judeo-Christian claims, the soul has dominion over matter. From the experiment, matter has dominion over the soul. Christianity is trying to control matter and the Vedic civilization is trying to get out of material control.

    Factually, will is experienced only when we reject the proposals of matter. We have to withdraw from the body-mind, and retract our association. The body says: Look here and there. The soul says: No. That is free won’t. I won’t do what you are telling me to do. I don’t trust the reasoning you are giving to me. I don’t believe your sales pitch of pleasure. This free won’t is realized by concentrating the mind and regulating the body. These are the ways of realizing the power of free won’t or detachment.

    However, nearly all academic literature, and certainly the mainstream conversation on this topic, completely ignored what Benjamin Libet had originally said about this issue. They talk about free will alone. Then they say it doesn’t exist. We can agree that “free will” doesn’t exist, but free won’t does. Even that requires practice, renunciation, and discipline, which nobody wants to do.

    Hence, for all the lazy people, there is no will; neither free will nor free won’t exist for them. They are robots, who should not be given any rights, cannot own any property, should not be allowed to vote in elections, and should not be rewarded or punished for whatever they do. This is the main agenda of saying that there is no will. The goal is to deny people their rights, take away their property, make their voting irrelevant and ultimately withdraw it, and control them by giving or denying food. The robot works when it is plugged into an electric socket and doesn’t work when it is unplugged.

    However, as we have discussed above, neuroscience is not necessary for diagnosing the problem of will. We can show the problem even with the hand-pencil-paper analogy if we ask: Can the hand move discretely and unsmoothly? The answer is yes. Does calculus allow that? The answer is no. Does nature prevent the pencil from moving discretely and unsmoothly? The answer is no. Does calculus prevent the pencil from moving discretely and unsmoothly? The answer is yes. So, calculus is contradicting nature. If you throw away calculus, the problem doesn’t exist. But since they will not throw away calculus, therefore, they have created an artificial law that axiomatically denies will, and they want to make everyone subservient to that law of calculus to make them deterministic robots.

    All this jargon about neuroscience experiments is just a way to confuse people. It is not necessary to understand the problem of will, how it is created, and how it can be solved by rejecting the entirety of modern science. A simple hand, pencil, and paper example suffices for understanding it.

    in reply to: Vedic theory of Light #15103
    Ashish Dalela

    An instrument is also a person, just not pure. There is a delay depending on a person’s purity. A pure mind understands quickly. An impure mind takes a long time to understand. There is a delay with an instrument due to impurity. Likewise, there is a variable delay with living entities depending on their impurity. When you wake up in the night due to noise, you don’t immediately comprehend where you are because you were previously sleeping and that is the state of tamo-guna. Likewise, if the mind is disturbed and confused, then you don’t quickly understand what someone is saying, due to rajo-guna. But a quiet mind in sattva-guna understands what a person is saying quickly. To understand these things, stop thinking of stars, planets, instruments, and humans. Think of everything in terms of modes, purity, and impurity. When there is material covering, then the comprehension is slow. When the material covering is removed, then comprehension is immediate.

    In some Vedic texts, it is said that the yogi moves in the sky at the speed of the mind. This means one moment they think of one place and they are there. The next moment, they think of another place, and they are there. This is mano-vega or the speed of the mind. The next question is: How fast can the mind move? How agile is the mind? Some mind is very slow, and some mind is very fast. That is also due to the three modes. The mind in tamo-guna is slow, the mind in rajo-guna moves in a haphazard way and doesn’t reach the destination quickly, and the mind in sattva-guna moves fast and in a focused way so it reaches the destination very quickly. So mind starts moving very fast, and yet in a very focused way, under sattva-guna. That way, the speed of the mind also changes.

    Narada Muni is able to move at the speed of the mind. So he goes from one place to another instantaneously. When Dhruva left his father’s palace to go to the forest, Narada Muni appeared immediately to tell him about a mantra. When Indra was stealing Kayadhu, Narada Muni appeared immediately to tell him to let her go because there is a devotee in her womb. In this way, he is called Muni because he has mastered the process of moving as fast as the mind can move. So, everything depends on the three material modes, which are called purity and impurity. If you think in terms of modes, then things will become easy. Otherwise, things can be very difficult to understand.

    in reply to: Vedic theory of Light #15101
    Ashish Dalela

    I have explained this many times. Here are two recent instances: this one and this one. There is a much longer and more detailed description in this blog post. There is a detailed description of the problem of relativity and its relation to the movement of light in the book Time and Consciousness. I am exhausted by explaining this over and over, so read these things and you may get it.

    The basic concept of speed of light comes from the classical mechanical concept of motion in which some body goes from one place to another. That motion is rejected in Vedic philosophy. The body is not moving. The soul is moving from one body to another. This is the basic principle of change as described by Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita 2.13. This principle underlies all kinds of change. For example, the planets are not moving in the sky. Rather, a soul is going from one bodily state to another. Therefore, what we call “space” must be that domain in which the soul moves. The “space” of body movement is an illusion produced by the stronger or weaker interactions between the souls.

    Just try to understand how Krishna comes to this world without leaving Goloka Vrindavana. He doesn’t leave Goloka, and yet, He goes to another place. How? The answer is that He just starts interacting strongly with the soul caught in the earth domain. When there is a strong interaction, then the illusion of proximity is created. When that interaction is weakened, then the illusion of distance is created. Likewise, He can come selectively in one person’s vision because He is strongly interacting with that soul, and by strong interaction, the illusion of proximity is created.

    I have explained this many times in Mystic Universe too. I have cited one conversation as a quote from Prabhupada where he says “Just like I am in America. I am not adopting any ways of life as the Americans do. So I am not in America. Not only myself, all my disciples who are following me, they are also not Americans. They’re different from American behavior, American ways of life. In that sense I’m not in America. I am in Vndāvana because wherever I go in my apartment or in my temple I live with Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I don’t accept any consciousness of America. And I teach my disciples also to take to that consciousness. So one who takes to that consciousness, he is also not in America, not in this world.” Try to understand what he is saying. He is living in Vrindavana, but you can see him in America. It is just like a TV transmission, but the method is not electromagnetic waves. The soul connects to other souls through prana, and by that connection, proximity is created. When that connection is broken then distance is created. Factually, nothing is moving. It appears to move.

    The problem is that at present nobody has any realization of what the soul is and how consciousness moves. They are incapable of understanding soul movement. They think that bodies are moving. So if Krishna comes to this world, then He must sit in a spaceship, which will then travel at the speed of light, and it will take Him thousands of years to come to earth. Then when He departs He will again board that spaceship and it will take thousands of years for Him to reach Goloka. And in the meantime, He would be absconding from Goloka, and everyone will be living without Him. This is the nonsense implied by the motion of light. But all these so-called experts have never meditated on how Krishna comes to this world. But they have become experts on the speed of light. There is no such thing as the speed of light. Krishna can come in a moment and He can go in a moment.

    That thing called speed of light is the delay in absorption and emission, not the delay in transmission. Just like if a teacher gives some knowledge, but some student gets it quickly and some student doesn’t get it even after years. The same principle is involved in seeing Krishna, communicating with other souls, the movement of the sun, and every other kind of change involved in nature.

    The first thing one needs to do is forget about the body and elevate themselves to the mind and understand mental causation. If you associate with a person, their qualities start manifesting in you. Those qualities are already within you, but they manifest in the association. This is why we chant Hare Krishna so that by associating with the sound, the picture of Krishna will manifest within us. This spiritual and mental process of causation is involved in everything. Even when the sun is said to have “risen”, the sun is simply looking at some part of the world, and by this looking, the heat and light within us are manifest. It is not coming from the sun. It is manifesting from within us.

    So, one has to develop this understanding of mental causation in which causality is inside-out, which means something is coming out of the unconscious, then into the conscious mind, senses, and eventually into the body. Modern science is the inversion of this process of causality by making it outside-in, which means something is coming from outside going into the body, senses, mind, etc.

    All these “scholars” know nothing. They don’t understand the soul and body and they want to do science. Then they take something from the West and say that we already knew it. Okay, why don’t you tell us about the chariot of the sun? How is the sun riding a chariot when there is no sun god and no chariot in science? The problem is that people are cherry-picking things that suit their narrative and ignoring everything that they don’t understand and what they cannot explain. With all this discovery about their “Vedic science” why don’t they tell us about curved space-time? Why don’t they resolve the quantum-gravity problem? What is their answer? The fact is that they have no answer. If someone will solve that problem someday, then they will say: Oh, I already knew the answer; it is in my book. But if it is already in your book, then why don’t you find the answer and give it to us now?

    This desire for cheap victory based on Vedic texts is as destructive as the destruction due to aversion to Vedic texts. One of my friends calls this “triumphalism”. Once I have triumphed then I have to do nothing more. This is why we listen to Acharyas and how they talk about their realization. And one has to develop an understanding of how consciousness is moving. Just this one thing will make thousands of things clear. How the soul is going from body to body. Without this, everything is useless. At least, that is my view, and if you like it you can accept it. If not, then I have no answer.

    in reply to: Interpretation of some verses in the Gita #14972
    Ashish Dalela

    You can look at this page. All questions on “order” assume that there are many separate things, to be understood separately. This assumption about separate things is materialism. If you want to understand Bhedābheda philosophy, then the first thing to be understood is that there are many distinct things, but they are not separate from each other. You cannot “divide and conquer” Vedic philosophy, because everything is a part of God, and God cannot be divided and conquered.

    Something may be a hand, but it cannot be known fully without knowing the leg. But you can try to know the hand before the leg. You will not know it fully. But you will know something. With that knowledge, you can study the leg. Again, you will not know it fully, but you will know something. Then you can come back to the hand, and you will know it better than before. To understand anything, we have to understand everything. By the whole, we know the parts, and by the parts, we know the whole. This process never ends. There is never a state, even after millions of years, that you know everything. But you know more than before and you are more excited to know more.

    So, read in whatever order you want to. It doesn’t matter what order you choose, because it is not possible to understand everything in one go, and you have to iterate to understand more and more. Most people don’t have this patience. They read something, and say: “I did not understand this sentence”. To explain that sentence, we have to give them another book, but they don’t have the patience. They want the full answer immediately, and they will never get the full answer.

    If you are having trouble grasping this idea, then you can think of knowledge in terms of Wikipedia where every page has hundreds of hyperlinks to other pages, and those pages have hyperlinks to hundreds of other pages. Your understanding of one topic changes your understanding of other topics, ad infinitum. This is the situation even after modernity has drastically separated all subjects. If those subjects were not separated, then this interconnected nature of knowledge would be infinitely more complex. So, keep this in your mind, and start reading. Everything will not be understood in a day. It takes a long time, and the tortoise that walks one step every day wins the race, and the hare that runs fast initially but stops after that loses the race. Most people will lose this race. So be the tortoise.

    in reply to: Chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra #14958
    Ashish Dalela

    You can search for the previous questions before you post new questions. Regarding initiation, you can read this previous answer. In India, there is an Upanayana Samskara. Upanayana means “second eye” (Upa is second, and Nayan is eyes). This upanayana was done when the child went to the guru. It was because the child was going to acquire a “second eye”. The first eye is given by the mother and the father. It is for the mundane vision. But the “second eye” is for perceiving reality as it is. This is the eye of knowledge, sometimes called the sixth sense of the mind.

    If we have the first eye and not the second eye, then we don’t understand reality. We think that sense perception is itself reality, and reality that lies behind the sense perception is unknown. So, there was a system of giving the second eye by the guru. By that second eye, we can see thousands of realities behind sense perception. As one advances into deeper realities, ultimately one can see Krsna as the background of everything. The guru helped the disciple develop this second eye to see beyond sense perception. Therefore, he was called the second mother and father of the child.

    This upanayana is called “initiation”. It was welcome into the guru’s ashram, and after that, education was initiated. It was an education to develop the second eye. But how many people are developing the second eye? If we tell them about the second eye, they laugh. They trust their first eye alone because they don’t have the second eye. And they think that getting the second eye is fiction. Even if they meet a person with a second eye, they think that he is making it all up. Of course, they can’t even make it up in a coherent way. But they cannot accept the existence of a second eye. Thereby, nobody talks about the sixth sense. Mental perception is never discussed by the so-called “initiated disciples”. Thus, the entire purpose of Upananaya is wasted on such an initiated disciple.

    Upanayana ceremony is a formality. The real thing is developing the second eye. Religion is not ritual, but some rituals were done as formality. Just like if a guest comes to your home, you welcome them with warm words. But after they come into the house, you don’t abandon them, or tell them: Now that you are in the house, go figure out yourself where the food is. You also feed them. But if the door is already open, then the guest can come in because they already consider it their home. Then the welcome may not be given, but it is not an insult. There is no formality with the guest but everything after that is still done. Giving good food to the guest is equivalent to a welcome.

    Likewise, the main thing is food for the mind and the soul. This means studying the books, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, and developing the second eye by which we can see the reality behind sense perception. The “reflective” stage of chanting is when the consciousness has been purified and the reality is reflected just as it is. This is why the soul is called a mirror which has to be cleaned. Then there is a “spontaneous” stage of chanting in which the mantra springs out of the soul like water from a fountain. At this stage, consciousness is not just a mirror. It is also a spontaneous creator.

    If you follow all the instructions then that is real initiation. You can take Upanayana or not, it doesn’t matter. Regarding offenses, it depends on what kind of offence one is involved in. The holy name of Krsna is kinder than Krsna, because Krsna doesn’t appear before everyone but the holy name has appeared before everyone. But we have to welcome the holy name just like Krsna. Anything less than that is an offence, because we have invited a guest and then abandoned Him. Still, the guest is very kind, and He comes again and again to purify us. So, we have to really prove that we are unworthy before He will stop coming. Still, many guidelines are given to avoid offenses against the guest. The primary and greatest offence is arrogance. Every other offence comes from arrogance. Arrogance comes easily to neophyte devotees. They do a little thing and they think: “I have become great”. Then they have closed the door to the greater thing because if they are so puffed-up with a little thing imagine what will happen if they did a bigger thing. Hence, to protect them, the bigger thing is not given. Out of arrogance, they start doing all kinds of nonsense and everything stops. The pretentious display of progress goes on, but the “reflective” and “spontaneous” stages will not be attained.

    So, you can read about the offenses and try to avoid them. But the main thing is ego control. If you can do that, then any offense committed involuntarily or out of ignorance is not a serious flaw. But under the control of ego, one can do serious damage that can take a person to hell. That is due to an ego out of control. Just control the ego, and analyze your faults, and then there is no danger.

    Regarding knowing one’s stage, you will know when you are progressing. When you eat ginger then you know what ginger really is. We don’t have to tell you that ginger is astringent, hot, bitter, and so on. You will know what it is. Words are used only to encourage someone to taste ginger, but if they taste it, then words are not required. The fact is that even if we give you a description, you cannot know what it is without tasting it. It is all speculation and imagination, but not reality. Words don’t mean anything unless you taste ginger. When you taste, then all the words will be true.

    So, chant with humility and sincerity, and don’t worry about your present state or going to hell. Love is not due to threats. Krishna Consciousness is not about threatening a person into subordination. It is about spontaneous loving. Threat is given only to control the ego. We have to scare a person to control their ego. Otherwise, there is no threat. Thus, in our books, there are thousands of things, and one of those is hell. One of out thousands. That is the level of importance it is ascribed.

    The rest of the focus is on developing eagerness, which determines the outcome of everything. This is the only thing in the universe where desire is itself the qualification. Everywhere else, desire is not itself a qualification. But in Krishna Consciousness, a strong desire is itself the full qualification. So, just try to develop eagerness and everything will come automatically. This assurance is given by Krsna many times in the Bhagavad-Gita. “Those who are constantly worshipping Me, I give them the intelligence by which they can come to Me”. “O son of Kunti, know for sure that my devotee is never vanquished”. “Just surrender to Me, and I will free you from all sinful reactions”. When there are so many assurances, then there is no need for anxiety about the current state or going to hell.

    in reply to: Interpretation of some verses in the Gita #14957
    Ashish Dalela

    A simple correction first. The verse is 10.21 and not 10.22. The verse states: “among the stars, I am the moon”. Now coming to your question about the moon reflecting the light of the sun. Even in modern science, everyone accepts that the moon reflects the light of the sun, so that is likely not your real issue. Your primary issue seems to be calling the other stars the reflectors of the sun’s light, rather than being suns in their own right, which is a conflict with modern science and little to do with Vedic texts. So far, there is no issue either with the verse, the purport, or an internal inconsistency between the text, the purport, or the understanding of cosmology in the Vedic texts. Your confusion is about calling the stars reflectors of the sun’s light, rather than being sun in their own right. 

    The deity of the moon called Chandra married the 27 daughters of Prajapati Daksha, who are the presiding deities of the 27 Nakshatras. There is a famous story about how Chandra would spend more time in the Rohini Nakshatra (which is also the Nakshatra in which Krsna is born, so, there is something special about it). Anyway, the other 26 daughters of Daksha complained about this partiality to Daksha. So, Chandra is the husband, and the presiding deities of the 27 Naksatra are the wives of Chandra. There is nothing wrong in saying that the moon is the principal among the stars.

    Now, onto the difference between a star and the sun. First of all, neither the sun nor the stars “emit” any light. That emission of light is a modern scientific construct in which heat must be “coming” from the sun. I have explained this many times in these forums that the Vedic model of causality is based on association. If you associate with an angry person, anger will manifest in you. If you associate with a drunkard, you will develop a desire to drink. This is because anger and drinking are already within you. By association, they are manifest. In the same way, heat is already in you. By associating with the sun, that heat is manifest. However, it is possible to manifest that heat in the body even without the sun. There are breathing and other exercises by which you can make the body hot, even in a freezing climate. The yogis are keeping their bodies hot in the Himalayas through this process. Likewise, you can stop the manifestation of heat in your body even while standing in the sun. Therefore, the sun is neither necessary to cause heat (because you can manifest heat without the sun) nor sufficient to cause heat (because you can stop the manifestation of heat even in the sun’s presence). The sun is just the incidental cause of the heat, and yet, because the sun causes it, hence he is called the cause.

    This is just like you can associate with an angry person, and yet not become angry. Likewise, you can associate with a drunkard, and yet have no desire to drink. Then again, you can become angry on your own without associating with an angry person. You can start drinking even without the association of a drunkard. This is because all the things you exhibit are already within you. An association can be the external cause, or the effect can manifest on its own without an external cause. When an association is a cause, you can blame someone else: Oh, I am angry because of him, or I am drinking because of him. Likewise, we can attribute the heating to the sun, but it is the manifestation of the heat from within us, due to the sun’s presence. This is called “association” with the sun. Causality is due to that association.

    So, the sun is not something that is emitting light. A light-emitting star has a finite lifetime. In modern science, they say that the sun will die in 5 billion years. But in Vedic cosmology, we say that the sun will live for the next 155 trillion years because the sun is not emitting any heat. Thereby, the first thing you need to understand is that the sun is not a star because a different model of causation is used in which heat is manifest from our body by associating with the sun, not due to transmission. Thereby, there is no such thing as light transmission or speed of light. I have discussed these things in my books at length. You can read “Mystic Universe” and “Time and Consciousness” for this.

    Once you understand these topics, then comes the issue of what a star (i.e., moon and nakshatra) is. They are also associating with the sun, and by that association, heat and light are manifest from them. But because that heat and light were already in them, hence, it is also their heat and light, and the sun is an incidental cause of that heat and light. Thus, we can make two seemingly contradictory statements: (a) it is the heat and light of the star and moon, and (b) heat and light are triggered by the association with the sun, so it can be called a “reflection” of the light of the sun. It is not a reflection of an emitted particle like a photon as in modern science. It is an association, manifestation by association, and therefore, it can be attributed both to the star and the sun. This is just like if you drink due to a friend’s association, that drinking can be blamed both on the friend and on you.

    The difference is simply that in this case, we are blaming the effect more on the sun, than on the star. Again, to understand this, we have to study Vedic cosmology where the sun moves through the zodiac once in 24 hours, and by its movement, the opposite stars become visible. Likewise, the sun “drags” the moon, and all the other planets, which means this motion of all the planets is the result of the sun manifesting a change in the planets, which then triggers a change in their position.

    You can imagine a situation in which you face the sun, the body becomes hot, and then you stand in a shower to cool the body. This is a crude example of a change in position. Like that, the sun triggers an effect in the planets, and to mitigate that effect, the planets move to another position, just like one goes into a shower after standing in the sun. So, the sun is the prime mover, and every other luminary is moved due to the sun’s effect. Due to this prime mover status of the sun, Lord Krsna states in this verse that among all the luminaries I am the sun. The fact is that all other luminaries are like stars, which means they are moved by the sun and “reflect” its light, but they may not be always called a “star” because that term is reserved for the 27 Nakshatra and their husband Chandra.

    To summarize, there is no such thing as a “star” in the modern scientific sense of the word that emits light, is born at one point in time, and dies after some time. All these luminaries exist as long as the universe exists, which is about 311 trillion years. However, there are periods of devastation in which the life in the lower three planetary systems (bhu, bhuvar, and svarga) is destroyed while the upper four planetary systems (jana, tapa, mahar, and satya) continue to exist. The status of the lower seven planetary systems (tala, vitala, atala, talatala, mahatala, rasatala, and patala) is not discussed in the Purana (as far as I know). They could also be destroyed but I’m not definitive about that. Due to that partial annihilation of the universe, we could say that these stars and planets are born and die, or the solar system is born and dies. But it is revived shortly after its death. Death and rebirth are the periods of transition for demigods as their lives end and a new generation of demigods takes over. 

    All the scientific concepts about traveling photons, speed of light, emission and absorption of light, and heat being created exclusively due to the sun are false ideas. The reality is simply that the sun associates with other planets and stars and it causes the emission of light which is their own light but triggered by association with the sun. Likewise, their movements are also caused by the sun.

    Therefore, the Vedic definition of a star is that which “reflects” and the sun is not a star. All the issues about the nature of light are discussed in my books at length, but it requires a lot of discussion about quantum mechanics and general relativity to understand why light is not moving, and yet it appears to be moving. It also requires a broader understanding of Vedic cosmology, covered in my books.

    Then there is the question of how the “association” is created. The answer to that is the “airs” called Maruts. To understand this, we have to understand how our consciousness is moving. If you look at an apple, then your consciousness moves into the apple. If you then look at an orange, again the consciousness moves. This movement of consciousness is called prana. In the same way, the sun has a consciousness that moves. As he “looks” at different stars and planets, different effects are created in them. Likewise, the sun “looks” at each person when they stand in the sunlight. Due to this looking, it is said that the sun is the eye of the Lord. The consciousness of the sun is moving, just like our consciousness moves when we look at ordinary objects. And by that movement, different effects are created.

    That movement of consciousness is supported by prana called Maruts, which are also mentioned in this verse. Finally, the three things, namely, the sun, the stars, and the prana, are controlled and supervised by Lord Visnu, which means the sun is not randomly looking here and there as per his whims. He has been instructed to look in a specific way by Lord Visnu, and he is following His orders. Even though he can look here and there in a random way, he is obedient and duty-bound to look in a certain way. Accordingly, everything is moving in an orderly fashion, not due to some “law of gravitation” but because demigods are working in a duty-bound manner.

    For example, if trains run on time, then you can make a mathematical law that says: Trains arrive every 5 minutes, so there is a mathematical law of arrival. But the trains are not working because of that mathematical law. Trains are arriving on time because the drivers are duty-bound. In the same way, the demigods are duty-bound and order is created because of duty performance not due to mathematical laws. But you can do a mathematical calculation for sake of prediction. These calculations were being done in India due to the use of astronomy in temple construction, but everyone knew that mathematics is not the cause of the movement. Then, these calculation methods traveled to Europe through masons who were building temples in India, and were called to construct big structures in other places. Thus, mathematics traveled to Europe through masons. After the Protestant Reformation, the masons become freemasons, and Europeans started reading their books. Newton found the method of predicting planetary movements in freemasonry texts and embellished it with an impersonal fiction called gravitational theory. Everyone learned that theory and forgot about duty and demigods when Europeans spread their falsehoods all over the world. Now we have to explain everything all over again because we all unlearned the truth and learned the falsehood. 

    Finally, as you have said that your mind revolts while reading, therefore, try to tame the mind and associate with Prabhupada. You can ask questions if you like, and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability. Once there is a basic understanding of alternative science, then many of these questions will automatically disappear. Everything is working according to will and duty. The will is the spontaneous thing, and duty is the regulation of that will that creates order. Modern science has replaced will and duty with mathematical determinism of equations. Many of these equations also came out of India but they have been embellished in the West to create falsehoods. If you remain patient and study the books as I have mentioned, all this ignorance will be slowly destroyed.

    in reply to: Amsha and Amshi #14953
    Ashish Dalela

    The term jīva-loke means “in the jīva planet”. These planets are the mothers of the jīva, while Kṛṣṇa is the original father. We are living in the earth planet, and earth is the mother, but Kṛṣṇa is the original father. There are many mothers born of one mother. For instance, Durga is the mother of many cosmic eggs, in which Garbhodakaśāyi enters as a child. Garbhodakaśāyi then becomes a father and produces many children, some of which are mothers and some are fathers. The earth planet is one such mother, who then produces an individual body like our body, or that of animals and plants.

    We have discussed earlier how many species are born from a Prajāpati and his wife. The jīva-loke are similarly the mothers. I explained earlier how a “planet” is three things: an owner, a house, and their children. That owner is a father and a mother, and they are produced from the house, which is another mother, and they produce their children who then occupy the house along with their parents. Then there is an effect of each house on other houses. So, sometimes we divide this into three parts: (a) the house, (b) the father, mother, child, and (c) their effects, and call them ādiatmika, ādidaivika, and ādibhautika. Then sometimes, we just look within the planet and divide it into father, mother, and children. And sometimes we say that even the house is a feminine body that has produced the father, mother, and children within that house due to another father.

    Therefore, in mamaivānśho jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ the jīva-bhūtaḥ is the child, jīva-loke is the mother, and mamaivānśho is the father giving parts of Himself to produce a child in the mother.

    I say these things because there is a tendency to impersonalize everything: Matter is impersonal, the house is impersonal, and the residents in the house are personal. In the modern materialistic ideas advanced by some religions, the earth is man’s dominion, when she is actually the mother. In the Vedic tradition, the earth is personified as a cow, and the inhabitants of the earth are like her children. The cow happily feeds her calf. There was a tradition even in pagan religions to worship the earth as a mother, which is why the term “mother earth” survives. But religions that destroyed the pagan traditions also killed the personification of the world as a mother. Afterward, the mother became private property, to be exploited and abused by the “owners” of this property. As the mother is depersonalized, progressively the father is rejected, and eventually, the spiritual soul is rejected.

    If we have to invert that process, then we have to reinstate the mother, then reinstate the father, and then subordinate the child to the mother and father. This means that nature is a feminine person, God is a masculine person, and the soul is a subordinate masculine or feminine person, the child of its parents. This is not just an argument between science and religion. It is also an argument with religions that depersonalize nature. Most people have misunderstood the problem as restricted to that between science and religion when science actually came out of a religion that depersonalized the mother, and as the mother was depersonalized, then the father was rejected, and the child was depersonalized. The criticism of modern science and other religions is due to the same issue if we understand the historical origins of modern science in religions that depersonalized nature.

    Even in Krishna Consciousness, we emphasize the mother over the father. This is because the love of the mother is more overt and the love of the father is more covert. If we don’t love the mother before the father, then we cannot understand covert love. Those who depersonalize the mother, will always depersonalize the father. Hence, in the Indian tradition, the mother was providing overt love and the father was providing covert love. This means that the mother will hug the child, give him food, put the child to sleep, and care for it when he is sick. But the father will teach the child how to develop willpower, give him knowledge, explain to him the nature of duty. Mother’s love pertains to the body, while father’s love pertains to the mind.

    Modern science is studying the body as an object. An object has no mother and it cannot be loved.  Even an animal’s mother loves her children. But when modern science treats the body as an object, it is not even treated as an animal. This is why people cut animals, do animal testing, and eat them. Once the mother is removed, then all relationships become impersonal forces. Then there is no question of loving the father. Now, every child is an orphan: Lonely, isolated, fighting against the world, always living in fear, and struggling to survive. As this orphan loses the will to fight, he becomes an object. He becomes a cog in the machine, working according to laws given by someone else. This conversion of an orphan to an object is the process of industrializing the body. A person now becomes a “resource” like a machine and managing this person is called “human resources”.

    If we want to reverse this process, then begin with the mother, then go to the father. Then you will not be an orphan. Then you will calm down, feel protected, and you can start living as a person because you are not a “human resource” to be managed like a machine according to laws. This is not just the process of religion, but it is also the process for science. That means personalize nature. She is the mother, and there is a father, and then I’m a protected child, and then I can love the father and mother because I’m not in danger. Otherwise, I’m always struggling for survival, living in fear of death, always threatened by someone, and obediently following laws out of fear of punishment.

    in reply to: Amsha and Amshi #14927
    Ashish Dalela

    And what is the tip of the hair? Is it not some knowledge?

    The “size” of the soul is how much it knows. There is a great soul called mahatma who knows Krishna. There is a little soul called a virus which can only know a fractional part of the tip of the hair.

    The meaning of “size” is how much the consciousness has spread to expand its knowledge, or how much it is confined to restrict its knowledge. You are trying to define size as length. But try to define size as the extent of knowledge one has. Then the difference between a “great person” and a “little person” will be clear. Krishna is the greatest not by length, but by the extent of knowledge.

    When the soul is said to be 1/10000th of the tip of the hair it means that there is the lowest limit on knowledge. The same soul can expand. Consciousness can spread infinitely, so there is no upper limit. Yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavanti. Krishna is the full truth, and we can know Krishna, so that means our consciousness can expand from knowing the tip of the hair, to this human body, to the entire universe, to the entire material creation, and so on, until we understand Krishna. This is the expansion of knowledge and the expansion of consciousness. Knowledge is not measured by a meter. But it is measured. So, that alternative mechanism of measurement must be used always.

    In Vedic cosmology, distance is measured by yojana. It is a semantic distance in which going on some path means becoming that thing. For example, if there are two trees, one apple, and one mango, then the semantic distance between the two trees is how much effort is required to convert the apple fruit into a mango fruit. The apple tree may seem very close to the mango tree, but that distance is an illusion. You can sit on the mango tree and look at the apple tree with a magnifying glass, and the distance to the apple tree will reduce. This means that what we see with our eyes is an illusion. Just put on a different glass and the distance will change. The problem is that science is measuring that distance with a meter and the meter also expands or contracts, so you can never know the real distance. The reality is that you cannot convert an apple into a mango by using a magnifying glass. This is the real distance, not the distance that can be reduced and increased by using glasses.

    In the same way, there is the distance between the earth and the moon, which means: What does it take to convert the earthly body into a lunar body? That is real distance. It is just like apple to mango conversion. The distance seen by looking into a telescope is an illusion. Similarly, what does it take to convert a material body into a spiritual body? That is the real distance between matter and spirit. That distance is described in terms of a path that connects one quality atom to another such that you become one after another atom along that path. If consciousness “walks” on this path, it gets a different kind of body. This is the meaning of semantic distance. It is the distance between different kinds of quality experiences.

    If you are chanting properly, then consciousness is moving upward from a lower-quality atom to a higher-quality atom. Each step in this quality atom change can be experienced. This is mentioned by Sri Chaitanya: ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaḿ prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ. Consciousness is walking in a quality space, one step at a time. At every step, happiness increases because of the quality change. This prati-padam pertains to the walking of consciousness, not to the body. Body walking is an illusion. The body is not moving. Rather the soul is moving from body to body.

    So, when we measure distance, we always talk about how much the soul has moved. The body may jog for 5 miles each day, but that is not soul movement. It is just an illusion. When the soul moves upward by even one atom in quality space, it can be perceived by the soul. That movement can happen while the body is sitting in one place, the eyes are closed, the legs are crossed into a posture, and the hands are still. Even then, the soul can move. So, try to understand soul movement and everything will be clear. Distance means how many atomic steps the soul has moved, not the steps of body movement. Then interplanetary distance means how much the soul must change in quality to go to another planet. Then distance to Krishna is how much we have to change in quality to become like Him. As we rise in this path, knowledge grows continuously. That is becoming mahatma or great soul. We don’t use the word “big soul” and “small soul” but “great soul” and “little soul”.

    in reply to: Amsha and Amshi #14925
    Ashish Dalela

    You can think of this in terms of a verse and its purport. The purport is within the verse so it is an aṃśa of the verse. But when the verse is explained by the purport, then it is an expansion.

    There is considerable philosophy behind this. The basic principle is called Satkāryavāda, which means that the effect is eternally within the cause. The purport is eternally in the verse, and it is manifest out of the verse. When the purport is manifest, it becomes an effect of the verse, and the verse becomes its cause. Similarly, there is a principle called Arthavāda due to which after the purport is manifest from the verse, the verse is hidden in the purport as the reference of the purport. This means that one purport is referentially tied to a verse and it is not the purport of every possible verse.

    To understand these two principles, we have to delve a little bit into the problem of causality in which there are two principles called necessity and sufficiency. Suppose A and B are causes, and X and Y are effects. If both A and B can cause both X and Y, then we will say that A and B are sufficient to cause X and Y. But it is not necessary that the effect is caused by one particular cause. For that, we need necessity. Sufficiency is established by Satkāryavāda, which means that the effect is eternally in some cause, so the cause can produce the effect. But necessity is established by Arthavāda, which means that when an effect is produced, the cause is latent in it, so by that latency of the cause in the effect, we know that it was produced by one of the many sufficient causes capable of producing it.

    We can also describe this as the relation between an author and a book. An author must be sufficiently educated, capable, or qualified to produce a book. But another author may also be sufficiently capable of producing the same book. How do we know which author produced a book? The answer is that there is an immanent personality of the author in the book. So, the book was previously within the author, and after producing it, the author’s personality is in the book. In this way, we get a bidirectional connect between the book and the author: the book is in the author and the author is in the book. By the former, we get sufficiency and by the latter we get necessity.

    Now coming to the jīva question, Kṛṣṇa is like the author, and the jīva is like the book. Therefore, jīva is within Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa is within the jīva. Since Kṛṣṇa is immanent in the jīva, therefore, the jīva can know that nobody else is my cause. Rather, Kṛṣṇa is necessarily my cause. Similarly, because jīva is within Kṛṣṇa, therefore, Kṛṣṇa knows that He is the sufficient cause of the jīva. In this way, there is a bidirectional causal connection between the cause and effect that makes causality a certainty.

    Hence, Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-Gita 15.7: mamaivānśho jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ, or that “All the jīva-entities in the jīva-planets are my eternal parts”. There is a lot to unpack here, so we will not do it right now. But the basic point is that the jīva is an eternal part of Kṛṣṇa just like the book is a part of the author. The author does not become ignorant after writing a book. That knowledge continues to live in the author. Hence, when the jīva expands from Kṛṣṇa, he doesn’t cease to be part of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the jīva is eternally part of Kṛṣṇa and yet he is expanded from Kṛṣṇa.

    To understand all these concepts, we have to think of reality in terms of mind and thought, rather than objects. If we produce one object from another object, then the producing object is reduced. But that doesn’t happen if a thought is produced from a mind. Even to understand Satkāryavāda and Arthavāda, we have to use mind and thought, which means that the thought was hidden in the mind, and then it was produced by the mind. After it was produced, the producer of the thought is latent in the thought. So, we cannot say that this thought came out of an unknown mind. The mind that produced the thought is referenced within the thought to know which mind caused it. There is hence a difference between me thinking the thoughts I have produced vs. thinking thoughts produced by someone else. Both thoughts may be in my mind, but they have different personalities in them.

    We can also extend this to mind and body. The body was previously hidden in the mind, and the body is produced from the mind. There is a tight connect between the mind and the body because there is a latent impression of the mind in the body. We cannot say that this body belongs to some other mind, due to this latent impression. This is why when we talk about species, we talk about the mind as the primary reality and the body as the secondary reality, and how the mind produces the body. The body is just like thought. It is not an object. When the jīva goes to the spiritual world, a spiritual body springs out of the soul. That body exists in a hidden form in the soul even now. Hence, we always say that the soul has forgotten its identity. This is due to Satkāryavāda. The body is not given by anyone. It is already there, but it is hidden. It has to be manifest by remembrance. So, the material body springs out of the material mind and the spiritual body springs out of the jīva. In this way, we have to get rid of object thinking to understand both the material and spiritual worlds.

    The problem of aṃśa and expansion arises in object thinking because if one object is removed from another, then the cause-object is reduced and the effect-object is created. The effect-object cannot continue to be a part of the cause-object after it has been produced. Hence, object thinking is the cause of many problems in science and philosophy. This is why I talk about “semantic thinking” in which we conceptualize reality as mind and thought rather than as objects. If we think in this way, then all problems are solved and what was earlier inconceivable becomes conceivable now.

    in reply to: Spiritual Form Constitution #14921
    Ashish Dalela

    Feeling the suffering is not the same as being deviated from the path because of the suffering. Haridas Thakur was beaten in 22 marketplaces, but he did not deviate from chanting the holy name. This is the meaning of jīvan-mukta. Most people are easily deviated by a little suffering or pleasure. Most people are deviated even by the promise of little pleasure or the threat of little suffering. This means that the material energy is applying a force, and the person is quickly deviating. That is a person bound by material energy. A jīvan-mukta is one who is not deviated. He is sthita-prajña, which means fully convinced. Others are not convinced.

    Conviction is tested by the material energy. Only one who passes the test is freed from Her control, and is then considered liberated. That means that as we progress in spiritual life, enormous difficulties will come, and we should not deviate. No promise or threat should deviate us. That is conviction. Just wearing a dress and proclaiming a title is not liberation. Anybody can do that. The test is how we can remain undeviated despite threats and promises (or their factual realization).

    One has to become convinced that Krishna is always protecting me. Prahalada was not afraid while entering fire. He did not resist. He did not try to run away. And he did not change his position due to the threat of being burnt. Normally, most people change their position very easily. For example, if they feel that they will get a bad name, or criticism, or they will be attacked, or they will not get material benefits, then they compromise. Material energy creates fear within a person: “You are going to die”. But a devotee has no fear. So, he never deviates. This is jīvan-mukta.

    Mukti in Vaikuntha is freedom from the causes of suffering, such as hunger, thirst, lust, sleep, anxiety, depression, etc. Jīvan-mukta is one who is in the world, and is facing all the causes of suffering and is still not deviated from the spiritual path. He doesn’t think: Let me compromise to save myself. So, Vaikuntha mukti is freedom from the causes of suffering. But jīvan-mukta is when the causes are present but one is still not deviated. Vaikuntha mukti comes after one is already jīvan-mukta.

    Therefore, the meaning of “he may appear to be in a condition of material existence” is that he is continuously being tested by material tribulations. And yet, he is undeviated, so he is free. Like a man walks on a tight-rope, and wind blows to shake him. But he steadies himself and continues the tight-rope walk. That moment when he is steadying himself, it seems that he is disturbed by the winds. But he doesn’t fall. In fact, winds may blow or storms may come but he remains undeviated.

    This conviction comes by dedicating ourselves to some service, enduring difficulties, and remaining undeviated. Those who do not take a service have no idea of what it means to remain undeviated. They sit quietly and think that they are advanced because they are not doing a tight-rope walk in the face of storms. But such people are not jīvan-mukta. There are others who don’t take a test out of fear of failure. They look at those struggling to rebalance and say: Oh, he is shaking. But they will be flat on the ground if they tried the same thing. Since many people may say that “he is shaking”, hence it is said that he is liberated even if he seems to be in material control. Shaking on a tight-rope is not a bad thing if you don’t fall.

    in reply to: Spiritual Form Constitution #14917
    Ashish Dalela

    No defecation, no urination, no constipation, no diarrhea, no penetration, no ejaculation, no periods, no pregnancy, no birth, no death. Everything is happening simply by will. If it is not willed, then it doesn’t happen. That willingness is based on what is enjoyable. In Freudian psychology even defecation and urination are enjoyable. But as one becomes spiritually advanced, lots of things that were previously enjoyable cease to be enjoyable. They may be done due to force exerted on each person by the laws of nature and not due to enjoyment. All such things cease in the spiritual world because there is no law of nature forcing you.

    Instead of analyzing the private part functionality, we should try to understand the role of will. Everything is working under the control of the will. That will is everyone’s heart. So, if we understand the heart, then we don’t have to separately understand all the body parts. And understanding the heart means knowing what they want, what makes them happy, and what they consider pleasing and enjoyable.

    There are lots of things that happen only in the case of the material body. For example, the body generates hunger, thirst, lust, sleep, and tiredness. Even if you don’t want to be tired or hungry, you will be hungry by nature’s arrangement and the action of demigods. This means that your body is not in your control. It is out of your control, and someone else is controlling it. You have to defecate and urinate because you cannot absorb everything you have eaten. The question is: Why did the plants not produce that which would be completely absorbed in your body? The answer is simple: Nature is not giving you the food that your body can fully absorb. There is a mismatch between your body and the food. That mismatch ensures defecation, urination, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and acidity. This is because the food is not ideally suited to the body. Eating is also suffering.

    Similarly, there is suffering from sleeping, namely, you cannot sleep as soon as you want, and you don’t wake up when you want. Rather, you keep tossing and turning during the night, and when you want to get up in the morning, your body is too tired and reluctant. Again, the body is not working according to your will. You cannot put it to sleep when you want and wake it up when you want. Then there is suffering from sex. Prabhupada has explained how one ass kicks another ass, and after being kicked many times there is some sex. Finally, there is suffering from trying to defend. All day long people are worried about job safety. They are worried that someone will take away their job, and they keep defending themselves by dragging each other down. So, remove all these undesirable things and that is the spiritual world. Spirit is things working according to your will, not forcing your will.

    In your questions, you have normalized the misery of this world, and you are asking why it doesn’t exist in the spiritual world. That may be because you haven’t understood that this world is miserable, it is not actually willed by the soul, but it is forced on the soul by the material energy. Material energy makes you hungry. Then material energy supplies incompatible food. Then material energy causes acidity and bloating. Then material energy causes defecation and urination. We are trapped in this vicious cycle of material activity that is being forced upon us. If we can intelligently analyze the miserable condition, then the question of why it doesn’t exist in the spiritual world will not arise because it will be clear that it is being forced on us, it is miserable, and by removing misery and force, it disappears.

    in reply to: Spiritual Form Constitution #14914
    Ashish Dalela

    Onion and garlic are living entities. Nobody wants to take that kind of body, so they are not born.

    in reply to: Spiritual Form Constitution #14912
    Ashish Dalela

    Sāñkhya Sūtra commentary (Material and Spiritual Natures) is the book to read for this. Here is an excerpt from the book overview (given at the above link; you can read the link fully):

    The discussion ends with the description of the transcendental reality which has qualities similar to material nature, and yet, differs from material nature in many ways. The spiritual body for instance is manifest from within the soul, and is not externally imposed on the soul. The material body is therefore ‘external’, while the spiritual body is ‘internal’. The eternity of the soul therefore entails the eternity of the spiritual body. This body is described to have a voluntary nature—it can produce things based on will, because these things are simply potentials within the soul.

    In both material and spiritual natures, there is a whole and part. In the spiritual nature, the whole is seen within each part, and in material nature, although the whole is present within each part, He is not seen. When the whole is not seen in each part, we think that the part is separate from the whole. That is an illusion. This illusion is created by hiding the whole in the part. The hiding agency is called Māyā and She covers the face of the Lord. When the Lord’s face is covered, then matter is called Pradhāna which means “I am the boss”. That is because the face of the real boss is hidden by Māyā.

    All the elements in matter are also in spirit, except that the root element is not Pradhāna. Instead of saying “I am the boss”, the root element is “I am a servant”. When this root element is changed, then everything after that also changes. The biggest change is that the separateness of things disappears. The simplest example is that each person doesn’t think I am separate from other persons.

    Similarly, the separateness of the various elements also disappears. For example, in the material realm, we separate the mind from the body and say that the body is public and the mind is private. That privacy is not there for the mind in the spiritual world. This means that everyone is transparent. There are no hidden thoughts, motivations, emotions, etc. Everything is transparent. Therefore, if we taste the food cooked by someone, we can feel their thoughts, motivations, and emotions. That is because the mind-body separation is dissolved in the case of spirit. The perception of the cook in the food is not becoming the person who cooked the food, but the person can be known from their cooking. This is the meaning of distinctness without separation. The food is distinct from the cook, however, the cook can be completely known from their cooking, hence, they are non-different.

    This is why Sāñkhya is not just a philosophy of material nature, but also that of spiritual nature. Unscrupulous commentators have created the falsehood that Sāñkhya is only about material nature. That is not true. The later part of Sāñkhya discusses spiritual nature. Hence, my translation and commentary are entitled “Material and Spiritual Natures”. Both natures are produced from a root, and that root is “I am the boss” in the case of matter, and it is “I am a servant” in the case of spirit. Matter and spirit are both spirit, but in the case of matter, the immanent form of the Lord is hidden. This is called avyakta-mūrti or unmanifest form. If the Lord is revealed, then matter becomes spirit.

    So, there is only one change required, namely, transform the idea of the self from “I am the boss” to “I am the servant”. When that happens, the ego is dissolved, the Lord is revealed, and everything changes. It is not a lot of complicated stuff. Śrila Prabhupāda has already explained everything in simple words. Everything else is just the elaboration and detailing of the simple conclusion.

    in reply to: Jnana and Karma Indriyas ~ question!? #14908
    Ashish Dalela

    There is a general principle of mental perception involved here. The mind is also a sense. Kṛṣṇa describes the mind as a “sixth sense” in Bhagavad-Gita 15.7. So, you may ask: What is that? The answer is that there are three qualities of Prakṛti called sattva, rajas, and tamas. Everything is a combination of three qualities, but they are different combinations, in which different qualities are dominant. For example, in colors, yellow is dominant in sattva, red is dominant in rajas, and blue is dominant in tamas. Through your eyes, you can see red, yellow, and blue. But by the mind, you can see the qualities of sattva, rajas, and tamas. This is the difference between sense perception and mental perception: Sense perception is phenomena and mental perception is reality.

    There are many deeper levels of perception apart from sense perception. For example, if you hear someone speaking, and you try to understand what they are saying based on grammar and dictionaries, then it is mental speculation rather than mental perception. In the West, people call this interpretation of a sound or text. That is because mental perception is not yet developed, and so, one has to speculate. The true meaning of a sound or text is not uncovered by speculation because there are many possible ways to interpret a text or sound, but only one of those ways is true in a given context, based on the mood, intentions, and personality of the person speaking it.

    When mental perception is developed, then we can see one of the many possible interpretations as the correct meaning. Those who are speculating, and don’t have a mental perception, cannot see why a specific interpretation is the correct meaning. Similarly, once the correct meaning is understood, there are many further levels of reality such as (a) the belief system, ideology, or philosophy behind expressing some meaning, (b) the long-term vision or goal of a person saying it, (c) the self-identity of the person who is saying it, (d) the feeling that the person is feeling while saying it, (e) the system of values that a person upholds or prefers, and so on. This requires progressive perception.

    As perception progresses, we come to the perception by consciousness, which is capable of deconstructing every sensation, activity, thought, judgment, emotion, and context into three qualities of sattva, rajas, and tamas. Hence, hearing the speech is a perception by the ears, then there is a mental perception of the idea, the intellectual perception of the beliefs, ideology, or philosophy behind that idea, the identity perception of how a person views himself behind that ideology, the values behind that self-identity based on which he sees himself in that way, and this process goes on until we come to the deepest level reality of perceiving some combination of three qualities.

    Therefore, sensation, thought, judgment, goal, value, feeling, and so on are all phenomena. They are different kinds of phenomena, and they seem very different to us. But underlying these phenomena is a reality that is just different combinations of three qualities. To develop our perception, we have to first see the deeper phenomena, and as we make further progress, we can see the deepest reality.

    Almost everyone can see yellow, red, and blue. But everyone cannot see that yellow is very similar in qualities to knowledge, that red is very similar in qualities to passion, and that blue is very similar in quality to sadness. And yet, people say that “I’m feeling blue” when they are sad; people give red roses to express their love; and knowledgeable people like pastel colors due to their warm, subdued, and bright nature. This is because there are many levels of perception and everything is produced by a combination of three qualities. But some people can see deeply into qualities and find similarities between two things that are seemingly unconnected to each other, while other people cannot see the similarity. Prima facie, sadness is an emotion and blue is a color. They should have no connection. But there is a connection if one is able to perceive the qualities by progressive perceptual ability.

    One of the measures of spiritual advancement is that we can perceive deeper and deeper realities progressively. Yoga is not about faith. It is about perceptual development. And if someone is making spiritual progress, then they can talk about everything in terms of three qualities. For example, those who don’t have any spiritual development say that all religions are more or less the same. They cannot see what is behind the rituals, dresses, customs, and rules. They can just see superficial things. But one who has spiritual vision can see which religion is transcendent, which religion is in sattva, rajas, or tamas. They don’t go by the superficial vision of rituals, dresses, customs, and rules. They dive deep into the quality combination. Similarly, those who don’t have spiritual vision, look at a person’s dress and social titles to estimate their stature. But one who has spiritual vision can clearly see which person is in tamas, rajas, sattva, or transcendence. It is not faith. It is perception. But one has to follow the process to develop the ability to see what one cannot see right now.

    So, when you ask why one sense of action is similar to a sense of knowledge, I cannot tell you the precise combination of three qualities involved in each case, but I can say that two things are similar to each other based on their qualities. This is just like you can liken yellow to knowledge, red to passion, and blue to sadness. Superficially there is no similarity. But there is a deep underlying similarity. But this similarity will be understood only when we develop our perception.

    The general recommendation for everyone is to understand everything in terms of sattva, rajas, tamas, and transcendence. Whether it is food, clothing, work, lifestyle, religion, society, or philosophy. It doesn’t matter how it seems different to us superficially. That difference is just a phenomenon. Underlying that phenomenon is a reality of sattva, rajas, tamas, and transcendence. One should try to understand in terms of these qualities. Every question and answer must be analyzed in terms of their qualities. Every person can be seen in terms of their qualities. Those who can talk in this way are talking usefully. Others are talking uselessly. The useful speech talks about reality and the useless speech only talks about phenomena and speculates on reality, but because this speculation is always false, therefore, it is forced to change its speculations. The truthful reality needs no change.

    in reply to: Interpretation of some verses in the Gita #14899
    Ashish Dalela

    Prabhupada is a genius, and everyone else is not.

    Let’s begin with the difference between manasbuddhiahaṃkāra, and mahat. These are loosely translated as mind, intellect, ego, and morality. I will try to do a summary description, and for more, you can read Sāñkhya Sūtra. The mind is the capacity for thinking, feeling, and willing. These three capacities are also the reflections of the soul, but the mind combines them. Thinking is the reflection of the chit, which can be true or false. Feeling is the reflection of ānanda, which can be good or bad. Willing is the reflection of sat, which can be right or wrong. These three capacities are the content of the mind. Additionally, there are three instruments of judgment. Intellect is the instrument of judging true vs. false; Ego is the instrument of judging good vs. bad; Morality is the instrument of judging right and wrong.

    When the mind is completely purified, then the instruments of judgment are not needed. That is, whatever a pure mind thinks is true; whatever a pure mind feels is good; whatever a pure mind does is right. For an impure mind, there is a separation between mind, intellect, ego, and morality, but for a pure mind, these distinctions are not required because the thinking, feeling, and willing are pure.

    The process of judgment of truth involves some beliefs; we judge something to be true if it aligns with our beliefs; anything that doesn’t align with our beliefs is considered false. Therefore, the intellect is not just the instrument of judgment, but it needs to compare the thought to beliefs and evaluate if they are compatible with the beliefs before it decides if they are true. Hence, a perfect intellect must also have the perfect beliefs. Similarly, the ego is not just the instrument of judging what is good; it is also the repository of what defines good. The ego compares the good in anything to the preexisting idea of good. Generally, everyone’s idea of good is themselves. Hence, this idea of goodness is equated to the self-identity or one’s conception of the self. Finally, morality is not just the instrument of judging what is right; it is also the repository of what defines right. Morality compares the rightness in anything by comparing it to the preexisting idea of rightness.

    The concepts of truth, right, and good cannot be defined independently of each other. A greater truth is that which is also right and good. A greater good is what is also true and right. A greater right is that which is true and good. Hence, to judge the perfect truth, we must know the perfect right and good, resolve the contradictions between those things that may just be true, but not right and good, or maybe just right, but may not be true and good, or maybe just good but may not be true and right. Thus, in another way, we conclude that if the mind is purified, these things that may just be one of the three (true, right, and good) are not the highest in their respective areas. Only that which is simultaneously true, right, and good is also the perfect truth, highest right, and greatest good.

    That greatest good, highest right, and perfect truth is Kṛṣṇa. So, one may try to judge the greatest truth, but it can be false. One may try to judge the greatest good, but they may be bad. One may try to judge the highest right, but it may be wrong. Using one’s capacity for judgment is not a guarantee that one will arrive at the perfect truth, right, and good. That guarantee is only given when one is devoted to Kṛṣṇa. There is no other guarantee. There is no philosophy for guarantees.

    Hence, when we talk about karma-yoga, one can avoid sinful activities only when one is devoted to Kṛṣṇa. Everyone else may try to do karma-yoga but if they are not devoted to Kṛṣṇa then they will make many mistakes, incur adverse karma, and then suffer. Similarly, when we talk about jñāna-yoga, one can try to find the truth on their own, but there is no guarantee that they will find it; more likely than not, they will end up with falsehoods; they may teach that falsehood by which they will again incur adverse karma and both the teacher and follower will suffer. Similarly, when we talk about aśtānga-yoga, we can try very hard but there is no guarantee of success. Most of the time, the yogi falls from the path, unless he is devoted to Kṛṣṇa.

    Therefore, if you want a guarantee of success, then you have to add bhakti-yoga to everything. Otherwise, there is no guarantee, the chances of failure are very high, and due to that failure, the chances of abandoning the path are also very high. Those who haven’t practiced these things seriously, and are just superficially talking about these things don’t know how high the chances of failure are. As Kṛṣṇa says: Out of thousands of men, hardly one endeavors toward perfection. Out of thousands endeavoring, hardly one attains perfection. And out of thousands who have attained perfection, hardly one knows Me. This is because even when they do various kinds of yoga, they think that they can succeed but all that thinking is just imagination. It is not the truth. The truth is that the chances of failure are very high, and success is guaranteed only when one has surrendered to Kṛṣṇa.

    One who has attained perfection knows how important bhakti-yoga is to everything else. Those who haven’t attained perfection, or may have made some progress, but are linearly projecting it into the future, are welcome to keep trying, failing, rising, and falling. They don’t know how powerful the material energy is, how deep the contamination is, and how each progressive step gets harder. One cannot survive this hardship without the grace of Kṛṣṇa. On the other hand, for those who have taken shelter of the Lord, the material ocean becomes as big as the puddle of water made by the footprint of a calf. An ocean becomes a puddle of water.

    The great gurus always make everything about bhakti, because they know that people cannot cross an ocean on their own. Those who understand how the truth progresses from true to truer to truest also know that unless one knows Kṛṣṇa, one may just be stuck at truth, and not progress to what is truer or truest. Someone who hasn’t purified the mind still has a conflict between true, right, and good. He cannot figure out what to prioritize and when. Finally, he doesn’t know that even to consider something true, one has to compare it to the belief of what is the truest. If one doesn’t even have an idea of what is truest, then he will never judge correctly.

    So, the question comes down to this: What is buddhi-yoga? Even a thief has some intelligence, which he uses to steal efficiently. We don’t say that a thief is always foolish. But that is not buddhi-yoga. That is just buddhi. Buddhi-yoga is only that which has the perfect belief that Kṛṣṇa is the highest truth. Once you know that Kṛṣṇa is the highest truth, then you can compare everything against the Kṛṣṇa-standard to measure how much truth is there in it. Since people don’t know the difference between buddhi and buddhi-yoga, they might have the confusion about translating it as bhakti-yoga or devotional service. But that is only because one’s belief system, and standard of measurement of truth, are not Kṛṣṇa.

    Prabhupada’s genius was to recognize that even as karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, and aśtānga-yoga are prescribed as different paths, there is no guarantee of success unless bhakti is added. His genius was also to recognize that in the perfectional state, there is only one highest true, right, and good. Everyone else is judging true, right, and good with many mistakes. Only a devotee can judge the truth, right, and good because he has the perfect picture of true, right, and good in his heart. Hence, he translates every kind of yoga as bhakti-yoga. This is a higher-level realization of those who have attained perfection, seen many people try and fail, and then come to their senses after considerable frustration. He is saving everyone from that frustration. But everyone may not appreciate that because they haven’t yet tried and failed dozens of times. This is just their first trial, and they think they will succeed. But let them try and fail a hundred times and they will come to their senses.

    Yet another point about these translations is that one who knows the speaker knows what he means when he says everything. Those who don’t know the speaker just open a dictionary and analyze the grammar to infer what the speaker is saying. You can go to a guru and ask him something very arrogantly and the guru may just nod in approval. That nod is not to be interpreted as approval. One who knows the person knows what he is thinking when he is nodding. In the same way, one who knows Kṛṣṇa knows that He is saying. If you disagree, you can go to the end of the Bhagavad-gita and find the same answer. You cannot say that the author who spoke the last words was ignorant of those words until the end. But He did not say those things until He was sure that the person listening deserves it explicitly.

    Kṛṣṇa is very shy. He is very bold in declaring the glory of His devotees, but He is very shy in declaring His glory. So, He declares His glory at the end, namely, that He is above the law of karma, dharma, yoga, etc. Similarly, the devotees of the Lord are very bold in declaring the glories of the Lord, and hence they translate everything as bhakti. But they are very shy in declaring their own glory. They don’t say how high a position they have attained by their devotion and others are nothing compared to them. In this way, the relationship between Kṛṣṇa and His devotees is very pleasing. Both are shy to declare their own glory and both are very boldly declaring the other person’s glory. Those who can understand this mood between Kṛṣṇa and His devotees will have no problem understanding. Everyone else can analyze with a million-word Sanskrit dictionary, thousands of rules of grammar, study dozens of commentaries, and then interpret it in thousand ways. That may even be true. But it will not be truer and truest. So, one needs a big heart also, not just a big brain. Those who have a big brain and a small heart cannot understand these things.

    in reply to: Foundation of Vedic Astrology + Creation #14894
    Ashish Dalela

    What is there to be turned off? You chant Hare Krishna mantra, and read Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-Gita. Bhagavad-Gita means “Song of God”. So, you have short-form God in Hare Krishna mantra, and you have slightly long-form God in Bhagavad-Gita. Focus on the essential thing and don’t focus on the inessential things. Associate with Krishna and His pure devotees, and don’t associate with everyone if you don’t like. Factually many of them may be better than you. But unless we introspect and look in the mirror, we don’t see our faults and see faults everywhere. Still, if you don’t like it, then there is no need to mix. Just mix Krishna in your life and everything will be cleaned up slowly.

    In the initial stage of devotional practice, one finds faults in everything. Just like people go to Vrindavana, and they see dirty drains, dust, and garbage. They cannot see Krishna. That is the fault of our vision. We focus on the inessential and we defocus from the essential. Once we progress, then we stop seeing dirty drains, dust, and garbage. So, what we see is a combination of our nature and the nature of the thing we are seeing. When our nature is purified, then we don’t see the problem. It is like a filter. Every bad thing is filtered, and only the good thing remains. That remaining good thing is the eternal truth. The bad things we are seeing is not the eternal truth. It is just a temporary fact.

    Krishna says that a yogi sees Me in the dog and the dog-eater. Of course, we are very far from that. But still, at least we should learn to see God. But if we cannot see, then we should not associate. The soul doesn’t hate anyone. Only the material mind hates others. Just like the hand doesn’t hate the leg. If they cannot get along, then you do your job and let them do their job. This is easy.

    One more thing, since you are asking for guidance. Don’t freely distribute your blessings. I’m saying this for your own good. At most, we can say “I pray to Krishna that He may bless you”. If you cannot do that, then say “Thank you”. But don’t give your blessings. It is considered very bad etiquette. Prabhupada used to open his letters with “Please accept my blessings” and used to sign-off as “Your ever well-wisher”. Giving the blessing is the sole prerogative of a guru toward his disciple. This is not to be used whimsically. If someone has not told you this already, please consider this told.

    in reply to: Foundation of Vedic Astrology + Creation #14892
    Ashish Dalela

    My recommendation is to chant Hare Krishna, as the highest priority activity. Jyotisha is called one of the six upaveda, along with grammar, and so on. Upaveda means “secondary knowledge”. This secondary knowledge was to be studied only after the primary knowledge was acquired. Similarly, the Jyotish is a later “secondary knowledge” after vyakarana or grammar. But you have not obtained primary knowledge, and not obtained the prior secondary knowledge, and you are just going into the later secondary knowledge. Only you know why that is the case, but since I cannot change anyone, I don’t try to interfere in anyone’s life. It is not the recommended path. But is it your choice.

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