Sunday, March 13, 2016

When The Questions Continue

Vishnu_Creating12“The Lord [Maha-Vishnu], although lying in the Causal Ocean, came out of it, and dividing Himself as Hiranyagarbha, He entered into each universe and assumed the virat-rupa, with thousands of legs, arms, mouths, heads, etc.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.5.35)

sa eva puruṣas tasmād

aṇḍaṁ nirbhidya nirgataḥ

sahasrorv-aṅghri-bāhv-akṣaḥ

sahasrānana-śīrṣavān

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The journalist’s mission is straightforward. Get answers to five key questions. Ask about who, what, where, when, why and how. If those questions get satisfactorily answered in a story, the journalist has done their job. It is the nature of the human being to be inquisitive. This inquisitiveness is addressed in Vedanta philosophy with the aphorism athato brahma-jijnasa. This means that the human birth is the wakeup call to the living entity. After having spent so much time in various other species, in this human life there is an urgency to be inquisitive. Ask about the Absolute Truth, Brahman.

The skeptic may argue that there is no need.

“I already have my religion. Others have their own as well. We acknowledge that God exists. What more do you want beyond this? My religion says that as long as you acknowledge such and such as the savior, and you admit that you are a sinner, you are saved. What need is there for all the detailed knowledge of which you speak?”

These are good questions. The response is that especially in modern times the human being is very inquisitive. The religions of the world acknowledge the same God, though they may address Him through different names. Through dogmatic insistence the people practicing may not know that the religions refer to the same Almighty, but the fact cannot be denied. If there is one God, He has to be for everyone.

Those who acknowledge God’s existence understand that He created everything. This is the line dividing the theists and the atheists. The atheists rely on conjecture. They guess that perhaps a series of collisions between chemicals led to the amazing variety and predictability of the universe and its population of creatures. They attribute the collisions to randomness, as they don’t know any better. The theists say that an intelligent being, the Supreme Lord, is responsible for the creation.

What if someone wants to know how God created? What if they want to know why there are creatures on earth, and why there is variety? Where will they go to get such information? The Vedas are unique because they can answer such questions. They are an ideal match for the inquisitive mind of the human being.

If man weren’t inquisitive, there would be no such thing as paparazzi and entertainment media. Entertainers sing songs, perform on stage and on screen. The entertainment value ends there. Yet the people want to know more. They want to know how such greatness was achieved. Therefore they listen to the entertainers in interviews. They read the books authored by famous people.

Bhagavad-gita_bookshelf_ibooks13God is the most famous. His glories are sung in the original Vedas and also in their derivative works. There are plenty of quotes from the Supreme Lord, and each one of them can be studied for many lifetimes. The most famous transcript of His words is the Bhagavad-gita, where the setting is a conversation between God in His form of Shri Krishna and a distressed warrior named Arjuna.

That work is short in length, so it provides a brief overview on the creation. The Shrimad Bhagavatam is more detailed. It explains how the universes came to be, what effects change in the world, why the individual spirit travels through various species, and what can be done to stop the cycle of birth and death. It explains what God looks like, what He prefers to do, where He chooses to descend, and with whom He prefers to associate.

Vishnu_Creating28Of course the starting point is understanding that God exists. To have firm belief in that fact, one should know the difference between matter and spirit, the fundamental truth of spiritual life. From there they can better understand the topics of the material nature, karma, the living entity, time and the Supreme Controller. After being firmly established in the detailed knowledge of how things work, the situation becomes ideal for hearing about God the person and His pastimes. That hearing alone can bring liberation, the end to the misery of a material existence.

In Closing:

My religion is already there,

Why of yours should I be aware?

 

I worship and so do you,

And everyone else in world too.

 

Inquisitive nature for the human mind,

Detailed knowledge in Vedic texts to find.

 

Like Bhagavad-gita and Bhagavatam reading,

Hunger for more information feeding.