by purujit dasa
UNSUBMISSIVE HEARING= MANY PATHS
Potentially, with purely unmotivated hearing though, we could realize the Complete Whole even from medical science taught at university, because even such medical knowledge is ultimately coming from the Complete Whole and thus it is also the Vedas:
The Sanskrit verbal root of Veda can be interpreted variously, but the purpose is finally one. Veda means knowledge. Any knowledge you accept is Veda, for the teachings of the Vedas are the original knowledge
The problem is that besides the students’ lack of sincerity, the medical knowledge is at the present moment separated from the context of the Complete Whole. In other words, no one understands how medical science relates to the Complete Whole. Everyone knows something of everything or everything of something, and this is generally known as knowledge, but no one actually understands the purpose of knowledge. Therefore they are all like blind men leading other blind men.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. The scientists start from one point—but where does that point come from? That they do not know, in spite of vast research. One has to accept that the original source is God, who is full of all mystic powers and from whom everything emanates. He Himself says in the Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me." [Bg. 10.8] Our conclusions are not based on blind faith; they are most scientific. Matter comes from life. In life—in the origin—there are unlimited material resources; that is the great mystery of creation.
(Life Comes From Life The Origin of Mystic Power)
Study of different aspects of knowledge while ignoring the question of the Complete Whole is a half-hen logic:
Śrīla Prabhupāda: If you miss one point, there is a mistake in your calculation. Regardless of what you add or subtract after that, the mistake is already in the calculation, and everything that follows will also be faulty. We cannot simply accept that part of the scripture we like, and reject what we don't like, and still expect to get the result. For example, a hen lays eggs with its back part and eats with its beak. A farmer may consider, "The front part of the hen is very expensive because I have to feed it. Better to cut it off." But if the head is missing there will be no eggs anymore, because the body is dead. Similarly, if we reject the difficult part of the scriptures and obey the part we like, such an interpretation will not help us. We have to accept all the injunctions of the scripture as they are given, not only those that suit us.
SSR 4a: Kṛṣṇa, Christos, Christ
Just like the farmer due to his greed ends up with no hen at all, the so-called scientists who want to exploit the original knowledge for their sense gratification, dilute it with errors and turn it into ignorance. Krsna explains on this topic in the Bhagavad-gita, when he describes how the original disciplic line of Vedic teachings becomes lost.
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa
The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.
“Appears to be lost” means it was not handed down properly in the original form. Somewhere in the line a student thought he was more perfect than his master and therefore he has the right to “improve” the message. This is the cause of destruction. The genuine student simply repeats what he has heard from his master in toto.
One may say though, that sometimes even animals hear. A dog hears: “sit down!” and he does as the master says, so the dog is also hearing properly. Does it mean that dog is highly intelligent? Yes, if the dog hears the master, then he’s ok. He’s taken care of. Never mind he’s a dog, he can do nicely. If we do not accept master though, even our material knowledge is actually useless. It simply produces masterless dogs –can you give me a job? Just like the smoker doctor –he’s actually a cheater. And because he is educated to be a cheater, he has to go and cheat someone that he is actually a doctor. Unless you cheat someone with resume that says you are educated, your education has no value. Actually, it is not education. It is cheating.
Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality to accept the service of a greater master. Like the dogs, after finishing a so-called education, the so-called educated persons move from door to door with applications for some service, and mostly they are driven away, informed of no vacancy.
SB 2.3.19 (1972 edition) purport
Because the students do not study the knowledge with submission they are not able to distinguish whether the knowledge makes sense or not. For example we can see that life is coming from life. Living parents have living children. Living seed produces a living plant. This is just common sense. Nowhere can we see a dead man producing a child. Yet, the modern teachers proclaim, although they cannot show it anywhere, that life comes from matter and many students are accepting this as though it was a scientific fact. The reason for this is that they do not actually hear the teacher out. Their attentivness is polluted by their material motivations. For them he’s just another servant who is supplying them the means(diploma) to find a job. They simply select whatever knowledge is needed for them to pass the exam, or show off, learn that and neglect the process of careful discrimination. If they have heard the teacher properly and thought about the subject matter he’s teaching them, they would have immediately spotted the nonsense, rejected him and kicked him out from school for teaching them something that is basically a blind faith with no reasoning at all. But they go along never mind. In this way the school is a birth place for fools.
In the modern setup of things, even a boy thinks himself self-sufficient, and pays no respect to elderly men. Thus, due to the wrong type of education imparted by our universities, boys all over the world have become the cause of headache to the elderly people. Therefore Isopanisad warns very strongly that the culture of nescience is different from that of knowledge. The universities are, so to speak, centers of nescience only, and therefore the scientists are busy discovering lethal weapons to wipe out the existence of other countries.
(Iso Mantra 10)
Although our choice of opinions is the result of our previous conditioning, we tend to think to be the originators of such knowledge. Due to this false mentality we are very much inclined to follow authorities who keep us in such an illusion and those who tend to break it, we reject. Foolish rascals therefore prosper by teaching: “Do not accept authorities. You are authority yourself!” and even more foolish followers accept such rascals as their gurus.
Seemingly everyone has his own truth. In reality however, we all follow the same old dogma: I am right and everyone else is wrong. The difference is that in the past it would be one dictator, now everyone can make up his own dogma. This is why people in the world find it more and more difficult to find a common platform to resolve conflicts. Everyone is locked up in his own foolish limited conception and is filled with doubts. No one is confident of anything.
bahu-śākhā hy anantāś ca
Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.
In this way, newer and newer so-called knowledge is being produced, new theories, new course packs, new instruction manuals, new departments being opened. One scientist comes up with a theory, then another scientist smashes it and establishes a new one. It’s all zero however, because the basis is wrong. We cannot manufacture knowledge in the factory of our imagination. The real science must be standard and it must apply to everyone. It does not change. Belief however changes according to circumstances and it is restricted to a limited section of people. What we presently consider to be science is therefore a belief. This is the root cause of why it is so difficult for people outside of Vedic tradition to accept the Vedas as scientific. They are mistaking their imperfect faith for science and fight like dogs when it is challenged by the Vedic statements.
Furthermore, as mentioned before, any knowledge besides everything within our experience and everything beyond our experience(the Complete Whole) must be by definition illusion(maya –“that which is not”), or shortly ignorance. The so-called learning is therefore simply an expansion of ignorance – in other words the exact opposite of what knowledge should be.
Srila Bhaktivinode Thākur, a great ācārya, said that all the forms of material knowledge are merely external features of the illusory energy, and by culturing them one becomes no better than an ass. Here in Sri lsopanisad the same principle is repeated. Material advancement of knowledge means actually converting a human being to the status of an ass.
(Iso Mantra 10)
The "knowledge" of the common man is always in the mode of darkness or ignorance because every living entity in conditional life is born into the mode of ignorance. One who does not develop knowledge through the authorities or scriptural injunctions has knowledge that is limited to the body. He is not concerned about acting in terms of the directions of scripture. For him God is money, and knowledge means the satisfaction of bodily demands. Such knowledge has no connection with the Absolute Truth. It is more or less like the knowledge of the ordinary animals: the knowledge of eating, sleeping, defending and mating. Such knowledge is described here as the product of the mode of darkness.
This is the position of anyone who studies the Vedic literatures without submission. He tries to get something material out of it.
All rituals, all performances of sacrifices, and everything that is put into the Vedas, including all directions for material activities, are meant for understanding Kṛṣṇa, who is the ultimate goal of life. But because the conditioned souls do not know anything beyond sense gratification, they study the Vedas to that end.
Bg 3.26 purport
Throughout the history many demons have studied the Vedas and misused the Vedic knowledge for their sense gratification. For example a great asura Hiranyakasipu performed an austerity based on Vedic injunctions, but his motive was wrong –he wanted to become God and was ultimately ruined.It is a great foolishness trying to understand the Vedas with a reward-seeking mentality, because the Complete Whole is everything within and beyond our experience so there’s nothing except the Complete Whole we can get out of it. This is the reason why Krsna mentions in the Bhagavad-gita that one should understand the purpose of the Vedas and not get distracted by the portions which are irrelevant.
yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ
nānyad astīti vādinaḥ
Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.
The Vedas mainly deal with the subject of the three modes of material nature. Rise above these modes, O Arjuna. Be transcendental to all of them. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the Self.
Why the Vedas contain such passages? They are meant for people who are very much attached to material sense gratification and therefore have no interest in getting out the material existence. It is a sort allurement just to get them to touch the Vedas with future hope that they will one day inquire about the ultimate aim of such study. It is just like a trailer for a new movie. It presents the most attractive moments of the movie in order to bring the audience to the theater to see it, but doesn’t give away the ending. Similarly, these portions are attractive to the materialists, but for the true men of knowledge they are not satisfactory.
In the Vedas two different types of injunctions are there for the Pravittas or those who are engaged in the matter of material enjoyment and for the Nrivittas or those who are engaged in the matter of liberation from material bondage. The Vedic injuction for the Pravittas are to regularise their activities towards the path of liberation by gradual process. Therefore, for the persons who are in the lowest stage of ignorance and indulge in the matter of wine, woman and flesh, for them drinking by performing Sroutamani yajna, association of woman by marriage and flesh eating by sacrifices are sometimes recommended. But such recommendations in the Vedic literature are meant for a particular class of men and not for all. But because they are injuctions of the Vedas for such particular type of persons such activities by the Pravittas are not considered Adharma. One man's food may be poison for other; similarly what is recommended for the persons in the modes of ignorance may be poison for the persons in the modes of goodness. Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu, therefore, affirms that recommendations of the scriptures, for a certain class of men, are never to be considered as Adharma or irreligion. But such activities are factually Adharma and they are never meant for being encouraged. The recommendation in the Scriptures are not meant for encouragement of such Adharmas but they are meant for regularising the necessary Adharmas gradually towards the path of Dharma.
SB delhi edition1.17.38
Srila Prabhupada mentions in his commentary that just like fools are allured by the flowers of poisonous trees, similarly materialists are attracted to the portions of the Vedas meant for improving one’s sense gratification on the bodily plane. As fools die by eating the flowers, prospects for spiritual life of the materialists vanish when they become attached to these portions.
samādhau na vidhīyate
In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination of devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take place.