by purujit dasa
Individuality has always been a pin prick in the eyes of dictators. It is easier to manipulate inert matter with no feelings than a sentient being endowed with free will. If the masses are impersonalized, control is smooth. A great propaganda is therefore being made to support a so-called scientific research, whose aim is to establish that individuality does not really exist. The pseudo scientists proclaim that what you perceive as “you” is simply a reaction of chemicals. In other words, we are simply products of matter and therefore in essence we are one non-differentiated mass. The illusory conception of who we are is nothing but result of conditioning around us and as soon as our body dies, such illusion evaporates into oblivion and “you” become again one with the rest of matter.
Although many Nobel Prizes were given out and many claps have been received for the above mentioned theory, we are still in darkness as how the homogeneous matter could create an illusion of separated individual existence. When we speak of illusion, it must be derived from reality. For example, if we know how a snake looks like, we can have an illusion of seeing a snake in the darkness. If we don’t know how a snake looks like, how can we have an illusion of seeing one? Similarly, we can ask if all that exists is one all-pervading matter and nothing else, where is the temporary illusion of individuality coming from?
The materialistic scientists’ silence at this point speaks for itself and while they are busy coming up with yet another edition of scientific jargon to camouflage their gross ignorance on the subject, we dare to say that “you” do exist and there’s also an empirical proof to support it –your own perception. While being busy looking for evidence of “you” outside here and there in chemicals, mathematics, or microscopes, it is the closest thing-our own consciousness. It is because of consciousness you are for example able to read this article. Your consciousness is the perceivable evidence that individuality separate from what you are reading exists. The question therefore is not whether individuality exists, but quite the opposite, why it should not? Where is the evidence that it does not exist?
We wonder why modern man wants to deny his existing. Why does he constantly doubt such an obvious fact? The answer is that his consciousness is presently adulterated by various dogmatic beliefs, which keep him so to speak apart from his own self. These various irrational beliefs influence his perception to such an extent that he ends up perceiving the world around him in a distorted way. Just like in the Middle Ages, he has given up on his discriminative powers and let the so-called scientists, who are nothing but a mere replacement of a dogmatic church in disguise tell him what to think. The so-called scientific conclusions are firmly based on the observations made through imperfect senses of imperfect human beings. For example, although the sun is a globe, from the position we’re in right now, we perceive it as a yellow disc. The sun is a globe though, so we see the sun as something completely different from what it really is. Such a faulty conclusion is due to our blindly believing the dictation of our imperfect eye-sight. Our eye-sight just as all the other senses are by their very essence limited though. The scientist however persists that unless a phenomenon can be seen by such limited sense perception, it cannot be accepted as a fact. He can be compared to a fool who, while wearing non-transparent glasses complains about insufficient evidence of the existence of seeing ability. Although his so-called objective scientific conclusions are relative on account of his relative perception and are therefore always changing, ignorance of such a crucial point, namely that his perception is distorted makes all his science completely subjective.
Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: This is the scientist's point of view. He's just observing, observing, observing, and therefore he feels almost left out of it. So they want to participate. They're very attracted to the...
Prabhupāda: But he's observing himself or not? Or he's simply observing outside himself?
Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: Bhagavad-gītā says that he is observing his body, his field of activities.
Prabhupāda: No, Bhagavad-gītā... I am asking...
Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: He's observing outside of himself.
Prabhupāda: Then why does he not observe himself, that "What I am?" "Am I this body? Or what I am? Why I am full of anxieties?"
Room Conversation with Robert Gouiran, Nuclear Physicist from European Center for Nuclear Research -- June 5, 1974, Geneva
Our perception is constantly being conditioned by the ever-changing workings of nature. This conditioning is the root cause of why we develop so many irrational conclusions in regards to the nature of the self. The real science of the soul therefore is not a question of believing an imposed dogma, but quite the opposite, it means to get free from all sorts of irrational beliefs based on imperfect sense perception and come to our original unadulterated consciousness, or Krsna consciousness. Only then, will we be able to see things as they are and thus begin a truly scientific study. The aim of this article is therefore to map various misconceptions concerning the existence of the soul, scientifically point out their flaws based on logic and arguments and establish “you” to be an irrevocable fact based on what you truly perceive.
Bhagavad-gita: Superior Scientific Tradition
5000 years ago, one of the greatest world wars ever is taking place on earth. Arjuna is an ancient Vedic fighter (ksatriya) and one of the prominent personalities on the side of Pandavas, one of the great dynasties which rule the world. Pandavas and Kurus belong to the same family, but because the Kurus made some tricky cheating tactics, the Pandavas were kicked out of the kingdom and had to learn to manage on their own. Now, the time came to set the score straight. Krsna, who is recognized by countless Vedic statements to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, arranged it like this in order to teach the world the sublime teachings of transcendental knowledge. Although Krsna is the Supreme controller of everything, He takes pleasure in directly taking part in the happenings of His creation and thus during the battle of Kuruksetra He volunteers to act as a charioteer for His friend Arjuna. Arjuna hesitates to fight against his former family members considering it to be immoral and is in great distress about what to do. Krsna however explains that for the soul there’s no death, so there’s no need of worrying. Our body is just like a costume and we play different roles in this material world according to the costume we wear–sometimes as friends, sometimes as enemies and the more we identify with them, the more we become entangled in the illusory reality of material existence. However, as soon as we come out of such bodily conception through the practice of yoga, our original self will manifest. This true self is free and blissful and eternally a part of the Supreme Absolute Whole(Krsna). These are some of the fundamental topics of the sublime, mind-expanding and timelessly deep literature named the Bhagavad-gita(Song of God) and in it we can find the most fascinating and the most elaborate explanation on the topic of consciousness known to man. His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada(or shortly Srila Prabhupada), who is the last link to the ancient succession of gurus, through which this knowledge has been passed down since the time when Krsna and Arjuna spoke together on the battlefield of Kuruksetra 5000 years ago, has elaborately discussed on the Bhagavad-gita and on the subject matter of the soul in his numerous authorized Vedic translations, lectures, letters and conversations. We will attempt to bring you a summary of the wonderful arguments he has presented to the materialistic men, and you are invited to kindly study them with patience, scrutiny, critical analysis and an open mind.
Reincarnation 24 hours a day
After you open the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and notice the beautiful artwork done by American disciples of Srila Prabhupada, you may as well start reading it. First out of curiosity, later out of great interest and finally out of intense desire to grasp its meaning fully verse by verse. Although nothing can match its unbeatable logic, the arguments given seem quite simple at first sight. Sri Krsna for example states in the Second Chapter:
dehino ’smin yathā dehe
dhīras tatra na muhyati
"As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change."
In the above mentioned verse, it is said that during one’s lifetime the body is going through transformation. No one can deny, in the beginning, we had a body of a small baby, then a body of a child, teenager, grown up body and we will have an old body in due course. This is not a belief, but a fact, which can also be perceivable by our senses. Yet, although our body is going through all these transformations, we ourselves do not change. The body changes, the mind changes, the intelligence changes, our sense of identity changes, but the primal you, the observer of all these changes remains unaffected. Just like in cinema, there is a distinction between a viewer (the observer) and the screen (the observed). Although, the images on the screen change, for example, there's a scene, where someone is chasing the main character, then all of a sudden cut and we see a woman feeding pigeons in a completely different setting, we are able to put the otherwise non-related images into context because we are the viewer and it is called a movie. The chase scene and the feeding scene are two different situations and have hardly anything in common, but because we are watching it from an objective standpoint, we are able to understand the context in which the two scenes are working together in the narrative. We might know for example that the woman, who is feeding the pigeons, is the main character’s aunt Tonya, who just killed the main character’s wife. The two non-related looking scenes connect in our mind and that is the whole excitement of watching a movie.
Similarly, the body of an infant and a body of an old man are two fundamentally different bodies. A child has a tiny body and speaks goo-goo ga-ga, wears diapers, walks on four. An old man has a walking stick, wrinkled skin, hunch back perhaps. But because the observer in the body is the same, he has the opportunity to watch perhaps the most realistic movie ever. It’s called “life”. If he had been changing along with his body, such an experience would not have been possible.