|[Posted May 2, 2006]
The Age of Modern Reason and Rise of
Secularism: Avoidance of the Established Truth
by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Life Comes from Life
Knowledge - Enlightenment
Vedas - Vedic Authority
In this age all the Mantras that can help us reaching perfection up to the plane of Godhead—has been still more concentrated into the Hari-nama. We find therefore in the Brhannaradiya Puranam (38/126) a particular stress on Harinama which is stated as follows:
harinama harinama harinama eva kevalam
kalau nastyeva nastyeva nastyeva gatir anyatha
above statement is very important in the following manner. There are
two different processes for acquiring knowledge. The one is Deductive
Process and the other is Inductive Process. In the Deductive Process we
deduce the conclusion from the statement of higher authorities. whereas
by the Inductive Process we make a research in the truth by our own
imperfect knowledge and induce a conclusion. Say, for example, if we
to know how man is mortal then we have to make a research in statistics
of daily death occurrences. Rama dies, Syama dies, father dies, mother
dies, he dies, she dies, etc. All these experiences may help us in the
conclusion that after all man dies and therefore the conclusion man is
mortal made. But the defect of this process of knowledge is that it may
be that we have not seen a person who is still living even after some
thousands of years. As soon as we get this information the whole
conclusion that a man is mortal—is at once changed and we have to say
that some men are mortal. In this way the research work of scientific
thought are constantly changing because the very research work is done
by person who is himself a condition by the four principles of mistake,
illusion, cheating and imperfection. Therefore, the Deductive Process
is more effective. Man is mortal we have heard it from very
authoritative sources like the Vedas and we have accepted it. The Vedas
say that stool is impure but the stool of the cow is pure. The Vedas
say that bone is untouchable but the conchshell which is also a bone is
perfectly pure. For the common man the statements of the Vedas appear
to be contradictory. But in spite of such contradiction, because we
Hindus accept the Vedas as authority we accept cow dung as pure and
allow it to be used even in the kitchen. So also we accept the
conchshell. The conchshell is after all a bone of an animal but because
it is accepted by the Vedas we allow conchshell to be used in the
sanctified room of our family deity. If we examine in the physical
laboratory or analyse it by chemical test we won't find any difference
between the stool of a man and that of a cow or the bone of an ox and
that of a conch. And yet the whole Hindu Muslim conflict, the whole
struggle of Gandhi and Jinnah and the whole question of Kashmir problem
in the UN have arisen from this petty difference of bones only. In the
Hindu temple the bone conchshell is already there but as soon as a
Muhammadan throws a piece of bone of the ox in the temple—the whole
trouble began, resulting in the partition of India and Pakistan. So an
impartial mundane student who will enter into the research work of such
bone affairs in the annals of Indian History—surely he will come to the
conclusion of unrestricted obedience to the words of the Vedas or that
of the Koran or that of the Bible that lead to all sorts of Jehad and
crusade. As a matter of fact the so called intelligent persons of the
modern age have taken the shelter of secularism on the strength of past
unfortunate religious feuds. This is another type of nonsense.
Therefore in the present age respect for Deductive Process is dwindling whereas respect for Inductive Process is increasing, although we know so far the Inductive research is concerned the process has not been successful. The conclusion is that we have lost our faith in the traditional Vedic knowledge handed down from the Guru to Chela or from the father to the son, although such system of Deductive Knowledge from the authority is the most perfect form of knowledge. The ultimate truth which is far beyond the reach of our imperfect senses can never be known by such inductive research work. The imperfect senses could not even measure the distance of the physical product the Sun or the innumerable stars in front of us—and what such imperfect senses can make a research in the Mantras which are purely spiritual affairs? We have to accept the Mantra and its potency from the Vedic source and follow the practice and principles only to arrive at reality of truth. Research work by imperfect senses is practically a revolt against the established truth. Let us therefore accept the Vedic injunction of Brihannaradiya Puranam.
I have already mentioned about this Mantra in my previous letter and I beg to confirm it further that the Name "Krishna" even up to the foreign words like God and Allah, if they at all aim at the Supreme Personality—then the Name is as much holy and potential as perfect is the Supreme Lord—because in the Absolute Realm or Spiritual Nature everything is identical with everything as all of them are qualitatively spiritual and therefore pure, eternal, liberated and perfect.
For all practical purposes if we systematically preach to chant the holy name of Godhead, I think no body—even the religious fanatic—will take objection to it. Every human being has a conception of the supreme truth. That conception is presented in some concrete shape. If therefore the Mussulman or the Christian denies to chant the name of Rama or Krishna we may ask him to chant the name of Allah or God respectively, and I think therefore there will be no objection even by the Buddhists if we simply ask them to chant the name of Lord of Buddha in the systematic way.
The systematic way means to avoid the ten different offenses in the process of chanting, which are all philosophical truths.
If by such propaganda of chanting the holy name, the filthy atmosphere of jealousy, bickerings, selfishness, falsehood and so many other affairs of the modern age—can be avoided, and if by such chanting the complete process of self-realization can be achieved—is it not our duty to do this service by combined force. In this age of quarrel and fight everything has to be done by combined force to achieve ready success. As the topmost person of a group of large scale industries, your good personality knows better than me how combined forces and diverse energies make the particular industry a successful establishment.
In the same way we have to combine the different forces of Sociology in men, money, intelligence and field work to make the spiritual movement a grand success. If we do not do that we shall be failing in our duty to serve the complete whole. No partial service or temporary benefit can lead us to perfection. The world is mad after such temporary benefit and partial service, and it is our duty to change the face altogether by an authorized spiritual movement. The other day I was very glad to hear your ideas about it and in our next meeting I wish to say some thing about it as I have realized. Hope you are well.
With my regards.
Goswami Abhay Charan Bhaktivedanta
Editor—"BACK TO GODHEAD."