Vanity thought #1425. Catching the wave

I don’t think I was clear yesterday about the connection between Lord Caitanya and my indecisiveness but it’s actually very simple – when Lord Caitanya SAW Kṛṣṇa’s hand in everything, everything had become clear and fell into its place. When we don’t see Kṛṣṇa anywhere but only theoretically speculate how it might be connected to Him we can have doubts. Which connection is better? Are they all real? Are multiple connections even possible? Did Lord Caitanya saw everything connected to Kṛṣṇa in different ways simultaneously or was the variety only instances of the same connection? Does this alleged variety even register when one sees Kṛṣṇa?

All these questions can come only from someone who doesn’t know the Lord, someone who can only speculate what it means to be in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and my yesterday’s answer stands – don’t worry about it, it will somehow work itself out, our job is to remember Kṛṣṇa and never forget.

There’s another way to approach the dilemma and rule it out as inconsequential. Our understanding of spirituality is temporary. For some time it manifests in our brains and then it goes away. Our true spiritual position, however, is not. We see our progress as a journey through time but time doesn’t exist neither for Kṛṣṇa nor for us as spirit souls.

Think of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s life, for example. Was he dearer to Kṛṣṇa when he was five, twenty, fifty, or seventy years old? He himself said that he realized that Kṛṣṇa is God at the age of five, does it mean that when he was three Kṛṣṇa didn’t care much about him? From our conditioned POV it would appear that Kṛṣṇa was waiting for Prabhupāda to prove himself, pretty much like Prabhupāda’s godbrothers did.

Śrīla Prabhupāda was no one special for them, most probably didn’t even know he existed as he didn’t play a visible role in the Gauḍīya Maṭha as an institution. Then, after he went to America, he suddenly became the talk of the town. Did any of his godbrothers ever guessed his future success? I don’t think so, and I bet there were all very surprised when it happened. Then they probably started to rationalize and seek explanations. Some went to the West, too, but nothing big came out of it. For them it was a story of progress and if they were wise, they’d pick up some very important clues why it happened to Prabhupāda and not to any of the “ācāryas”.

We look at Prabhupāda’s life in the same way, except from the point in time where Prabhupāda’s success already happened, we don’t have memories of what he was before that. We can highlight faith in the words of a guru, dedication to carrying out his order, staying clean of institutional politics, preaching over comfort of renounced life and so on. If one does these things then other things would happen. It works.

Well, Kṛṣṇa doesn’t see it that way because He is not bound by time like we are. The sequence does not exist for Him, transformations of our bodies do not exist for Him. Prabhupāda is always Prabhupāda, His dearmost servant, no matter what shape or what place his body was at any given moment.

One could say that this might be true for our ācāryas who are Kṛṣṇa’s closest associates sent down to our material world but for the rest of us progress is clearly there, from one moment to another, from one lifetime to another, from lower species to humans, we are inching closer and closer, especially after we have met Kṛṣṇa’s devotees. Kṛṣṇa must appreciate our service more than He appreciated the time we were it total māyā.

I don’t know the answer to that yet but let’s look at our lives in zoomed out view.

According to Lord Kapila the living entity is conscious of the Lord when still in the womb and prays incessantly. When it comes out this consciousness somehow gets lost and, as a baby, he needs to learn all the basics again. I’m not sure if Lord Kapila was talking about ALL babies or just in general. Perhaps his description is not valid for the majority of Kali Yuga population at all but it doesn’t mean there’s no change in consciousness between fetus and newborn.

We don’t know how it happens and what facilities a fetus can use to pray to the Lord but consciousness does not depend on the body as much as science tells us. Being born forces the living entity to behave like a baby, so he needs to learn stuff like speaking and reading even if he did it in his previous life, no matter what he did or did not know while in the womb.

If he is lucky he’ll learn something about God, he might even become a devotee. With time he understands these things deeper and deeper, becomes wiser, gathers a lot of knowledge, learns ślokas, learns KC philosophy inside out, learns his occupational duties and so on. It’s a long way from the total ignorance of a child and so far it has been only up and up.

Then old age takes over and he becomes senile. Memory becomes weaker, intellect dwindles, ślokas get forgotten, his professional skills become outdated, and eventually he becomes a vegetable. Some people stay in good mental shape until the end but for most deterioration is inevitable. Then comes death and one loses all his acquired knowledge, if you ask him what 2+2 is and he probably won’t even understand the question, or that he is even being asked something. These last moments, minutes, days, sometimes weeks and years might be spent in total darkness. That’s when the oscillator of our “knowledge” swings down.

I hope for devotees it is replaced by spiritual realizations and they don’t need to command their brains in order to stay Kṛṣṇa conscious, but even if it happens, it’s a different kind of intelligence, it’s not the same intellect that we use to decide what to do next in our lives, as devotees or otherwise. It relies on different bank of memories and it juggles different kind of values. We might see spiritual beings or Viṣṇudūtas and have a conversation with them about our fate, our destination, perhaps about staying a while longer to complete some sort of a mission. We can be rest assured that whatever concerns us now will become completely irrelevant then.

So why worry? Just because, materially speaking, our intelligence now is at the crest of the oscillator’s wave it doesn’t mean it has any value in things that really matter, things that would make Kṛṣṇa decide whether to come and get us or to leave us here for another life.

Even Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī lost some of his mental capacities with age. Sometimes he couldn’t remember ślokas, for example, and he probably didn’t have mental energy to produce something like his earlier treatise on Surya Siddhānta. It doesn’t mean his preaching was any less effective, his conclusions became erroneous, or he forgot the import of the ślokas. It didn’t really matter.

What we really need to know is that Kṛṣṇa is God and we are His eternal servants. Everything else is extraneous, it comes and goes like ocean waves or ocean tides. And to “know” here means know with all capacities available at the moment. It must become a conclusion of all our arguments and reasoning regardless of how much ground they cover. What I mean is that we don’t need to explain a connection with Kṛṣṇa in situations we are not aware of or in situations we have long forgotten. Kṛṣṇa must become a center of our own mental universe, no matter how small.

Right now, as the universe of our knowledge is still expanding and we learn new stuff everyday, we might struggle with finding Kṛṣṇa in everything we learn, we might have doubts, like in the case with Moon landings – what if they go there again and conclusively prove according to all our empirical experiences that they really went there this time? What if they learn to stimulate certain areas of the brain and produce visions of the spiritual world? Will we be able to reconcile those developments with our śāstric knowledge? Who knows?

A dying person, however, is free from these troubles, he remembers very little and can process even less, and so in his shrinking universe there’s no space for doubts. If we live our lives right it could all be only about Kṛṣṇa in our last moments, and all the stuff that we worry about now would just fade away.

This means that our job is to separate really important things and concentrate on getting them right, expanding our horizons is not it and we can survive perfectly fine without getting confused by all this incoming “knowledge”. That’s why devotees are expected to be simple minded and are even asked not to read too many books.

The problem is that we are riding the wave and for the moment it feels good, it’s our perverted rasa we can’t deny. Hopefully it will go away on its own, we should not feed it just as we should no feed remaining vestiges of the sexual attraction. It won’t be a big loss and one day we’ll appreciate not polluting ourselves with all these doubts, arguments, and counterarguments. In the meantime we should make sure they are still connected to Kṛṣṇa one way or another.

Vanity thought #1390. Anti-intellectualism

This term has extremely negative connotations but, truth be told, it describes Kṛṣṇa consciousness rather well. We, of course, will never label ourselves like that in public but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. In public it’s sometime unwise to say that children get cancer because of karma so hiding our anti-intellectualism is a similarly political decision.

One can immediately object, however, that we can’t be called anti-intellectuals because we have vast philosophical tradition that defines every aspect of our lives and studying it is our daily duty. One could also say that, among other things, we practice buddhi-yoga, seeking God through sacrifice of our intelligence, and it’s buddhi that the Lord provides to help us find Him.

We aim for bhakti but bhakti comes only after the liberation and we are not actually practicing it yet. We convince ourselves through application of our intelligence that we must follow the vaidhī process which we hope would lead to bhakti. We control our minds by our intelligence, too.

It’s all true, but intelligence does not equal intellect. Intelligent persons chant the Holy Name, “intellectual” persons do anything else but. Modern intellectuality would label chanting as stupid and so we are certainly not that kind of intellectuals.

One could then object that we are not against using intellect per se, we apply whatever God has given us in His service, be it intellect or physical strength or natural charisma. Rejecting intellect would be false renunciation, it belongs to Kṛṣṇa, it’s Kṛṣṇa’s energy and so it’s meant for service to Kṛṣṇa, denying Kṛṣṇa this enjoyment would be undevotional.

Correct, but our application of intellect is different and we should realize that it has a rather low priority. The anti-intellectualism accusation is also relative – plenty of people would find us way too philosophical for their liking, I’m talking about a certain level that is above the average. Well, the word “intellectual” implies we are talking about above average person, too. We are anti-intellectual compared to this elite group of people, not the general population.

I’ve recently read an account by a follower of Madhvācārya, a genuine one, proper maṭha dwelling Hindu, or so he says. I’m not sure if it’s true about their entire tradition but what he says is that they spend A LOT of their time studying opposing philosophies, to the point they joke with each other they’ve read so much advaita they’ve convinced themselves of impersonalism. They know all the arguments pro and against every major Vedic philosophy, nyaya, all kinds of “dvaita” and so on and can recite them from memory with references to supporting śāstric arguments and commentaries by respective ācāryas.

This is when it struck me that we, the Hare Kṛṣṇas, do not accept this path at all. We are anti-intellectuals.

He didn’t explain why they do that (and they might not, genuine accounts of what they do in Madhva sampradāya are hard to come by) but it’s not hard to guess. They way he presented it it looked like a good thing, comparative study of philosophies in order to ascertain the truth and pre-eminence of their dvaita interpretation of Vedānta. This approach appeals to any intellectual person out there including atheists, it also gives weight to vaiṣṇava tradition in general. It keeps impersonalists in check, too. The level of knowledge displayed by Madhvas is really really impressive, and yet it fails to impress us. Because we are anti-intellectuals.

What is the point of studying all those other philosophies? To establish the truth? We already know what the truth is – devotional service to guru and Kṛṣṇa. We don’t need to convince ourselves of anything anymore, our only concern is slack in our practice, which is usually cured by studying OUR philosophy, or rather taking association of the devotees through such studies. Sometimes discoveries by other traditions might help us appreciate some finer aspects of our arguments but that is such a limited and accidental use we don’t rely on it as a method. There’s also something wrong with us if we can’t accept our instructions on the basis of what we hear from Bhāgavatam or Gīta and need to look elsewhere for confirmations.

As for Madhvas – since they don’t accept Lord Caitanya’s mercy they get stuck in their devotional advancement and so their inability to progress beyond a certain level is predicted.

Now, about our application of intellect – we might engage it in philosophical speculations as opposed to mental speculations by scientists and atheists. The difference is that they don’t know the answers, they pick up whatever arguments that come into their minds and try to make a coherent theory out of them. We, OTOH, know the answers already and we are interested only in explaining how evidence fit with Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This approach would be definitely marked as anti-intellectual by atheists. Their intellectualism means being open minded and ready to embrace opposing evidence, and adjust their views accordingly. We are decidedly against that. If there’s opposing evidence we’ll try to cram it into Kṛṣṇa consciousness no matter what. We are anti-intellectuals.

Should we be? That last argument is pretty persuasive – what if we do find the opposing evidence that refuses to fit in? Moon landings, for example, or archeology. What should we do then?

Truth is, many of us try to use the intellectual approach and re-interpret the śāstra to fit with the evidence. In some cases people do not take śāstra literally. In some cases they accept that the śāstra must have been corrupted. In some cases they say that śāstra maintains spiritual purity while on the material level it reflects imperfect material understanding of ancient Indians.

Sometimes these solutions give us peace of mind, sometimes they don’t. Should they be acceptable? Not at all? Maybe to some degree?

I think the question itself is wrong. Kṛṣṇa consciousness should be about establishing our relationship with guru and Kṛṣṇa and acting on the basis of this relationship. Going around looking for trouble, ie opposing evidence, is not a part of this relationship and not a part of the process. Anything that is not part of the process is illusion and WILL lead to illusion. The opposing evidence is actually everywhere outside of our service. It’s not just some scientific or historic facts, those are just a subset of it. The perception that we can enjoy our senses is opposing evidence, the perception that observable phenomena are disconnected from the Lord is opposing evidence, the perception that we and people around us have free will and act on their own volition is opposing evidence.

We should avoid all of it in all totality. Those familiar examples of māyā are far more dangerous than some scientific facts anyway. With science we can at least wait it out until it proves itself wrong, which it always does. The Aryan invasion of India theory got debunked before I got the opportunity to find for myself why it was wrong. And it’s even faster with dietary prescriptions, for example. By the time you learn what supplements we must take as vegetarians they will change their advice already so I don’t even bother discussing diets anymore. Whatever Śrīla Prabhupāda gave us works perfectly and that’s enough for me.

The real catch, however, is that the more we practice our devotional service the less we feel the need to engage our intellect. It gradually falls aside just like our interest in eating or sex life. And it’s not just the interest, it’s our ability to pursue these activities, too. Verses and references get forgotten or very hard to remember, arguments become blurry while their conclusions clear, and soon enough we won’t even be able to “prove” our beliefs anymore. Something something something reincarnation. Something something something life comes from life. Something something something Kṛṣṇa is God. Something something something don’t waste your time reading other books.

Should we hold onto these fading memories? I don’t think so, let them disappear and become replaced by chanting, and let trying to understand and memorize the verses become replaced by relishing Prabhupāda’s association when we read. If Kṛṣṇa needs our intellect back He will provide it again, but for now let Him take it away just like He takes away our sex drive.

Vanity thought #786. Frog in a well

It’s our famous metaphor to go to when appraising efforts of modern day scientists, how they can’t possibly imagine the powers of the Lord when creating and maintaining material or spiritual worlds. In our version we compare well to the ocean but we can also talk about the vastness of the sky comparing to the little portion the frog can see from the bottom.

More importantly, we can apply this metaphor to ourselves when we try to apply Vedic principles to our lives.

Obvious example is interpretation of the shastra. There are very few devotees who can read and understand Sanskrit but they immediately become stars when being asked to compare their translations with those of Srila Prabhupada. It becomes so easy for them to pontificate on nuances of meanings but usually they spoil everything right form the start: “There’s no mention of Krishna in this verse, Prabhupada added it on his own.”

They might not be critical of Srila Prabhupada in a sense that they understand his justification and accept it, but what actually happens is that they dismiss Prabhupada as one of possible interpreters, and not a very faithful one. They imply that Srila Prabhupada falsified the meanings for a good cause. How generous of them!

They don’t stop on Prabhupada either, with little knowledge of Sanskrit they question everything and everyone in our parampara. That’s what they call being “independently thoughtful”.

Then there’s a trove of literature produced by Six Goswamis. No one in our sampradaya can argue against Six Goswamis but very few can read them directly so anyone with access can easily become an authority and an “authorized representative”. By the dint of their little knowledge they claim the position of authority on what is legitimate siddhanta and what isn’t. They feel no shame in reinterpreting Goswamis and comparing their own conclusions with those of later acharyas.

They might still show outward respect to Srila Prabhupada but as far as knowledge is concerned, they don’t need him anymore. Well, that is not true, they need him as their whipping boy because they spend a lot of their time proving how he was wrong. How Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati was wrong, and how Bhaktivinoda Thakura was wrong, too.

Then they generously offer a compromise – there’s no way Prabhupada would disagree with Six Goswamis, so we would do him and his movement a great service if you readjust your philosophy to fit with our views. Of course they don’t say “our views”, they say “Goswamis’ views” instead, but who appointed them to speak on their behalf? Nobody, they think that knowing little Sanskrit has qualified them already.

Well, has it?

This is where we come to “frog in a well” situation. These people can’t imagine the vast knowledge of our acharyas, they see them as ordinary humans with ordinary intellectual powers, and by ordinary they mean ordinary for this day and age. Maybe a little better, just a little, to show a semblance of respect, or actually to claim greater victory when they “defeat” our acharyas in a battle.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati was a radical reformer. Gaudiya Vaishnavism was redone completely – in practices, in rituals, in appearance, in everything. Considering that all traditional Gaudiya had their own quotes to justify their standards the clash of interpretations was inevitable, and this clash can be replayed over and over again. There are clear departures from Hari Bhakti Vilasa in some aspects of Gaudiya Math and ISKCON – we wear orange clothes instead of white, for example. And we do this and that differently and those things are not in Hari Bhakti Vilasa at all, and it’s all one major deviation, they say.

Well, the critics quietly walk around the fact that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati knew Hari Bhakti Vilasa inside out, as well as scriptures and practices of other vaishnava sampradayas, and so he made his choices intelligently and in line with shastra. The critics simply do not give him this much credit, they can’t imagine the breadth and depth of his education and experience. They forget that by the time he started Gaudiya Math he was way over forty years old and he didn’t spend these years lounging about, he studied shastra and vaishnava culture all his life.

Our modern, self-appointed Sanskrit scholars have been at it for a few years only, while Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati knew Bhagavad Gita by heart at the age of seven, and lets not forget his work on Surya Siddhanta which he completed while still a teenager. Sanskrit scholars in India were a dime a dozen at that time but Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati’s erudition was exemplary even by Indian standards. Most people couldn’t comprehend his speaking even in native Bengali, so scholarly it was.

And here we have a few upstarts who claim to understand scriptures better than him and who are no shy to correct his conclusions.

Six Goswamis have written a lot of books and they had lots of books as references, too, that kind of puts them on the same footing as us, with our internet and all the literature stored in digital format, ready for scanning in mere seconds. With a setup like this we can forget how vast their memories were and how much they knew without any extraneous help.

Take Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, when he wrote Chaitanya Charitamrita he was very old and was going blind, yet his book is full of quotes from all kinds of shastra. There’s no doubt he had them all in his memory rather than taking them from manuscripts. Most of the time the quotes are also ascribed to other people, not given from himself. He quotes what this person said and what other person said and he puts shastric references in their mouths.

We can wonder how Lord Chaitanya was quoting from Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, for example, but the fact is that Krishnadasa Kaviraja had it all in his memory one way or another.

What I mean to say is that erudition of our acharyas is unimaginable by our standards, but some of us think that with little Sanksrit we can become just like them, at least intellectually, and that we can study their thought process and spot their errors and correct them. We would know how we ourselves could have made those errors so we think acharyas were just as imperfect.

Needless to say, this is the road to hell. From well to hell, bypassing sky and oceans altogether.

Vanity thought #774. The power of logic

is such that it can destroy one’s devotion.

Just look at the following quotes from Chaitanya Charitamrita, how Krishnadasa Kaviraja summarized various pastimes of Lord Chaitanya or His associates:

Hear about such incidents without putting forth dry arguments, for these incidents are beyond our material reasoning. One must believe in them with faith.

This was about Haridasa Thakura (CC Antya 3.228), this is how Krishnadasa Kaviraja introduced the story about Maya Devi herself appearing at Haridasa Thakura’s cave, trying to seduce him.

Was it really Maya Devi or was it just some village prostitute? What would reason, logic, and common sense tell you? Forget that and take advice of Krishnadasa Kaviraja instead – one must believe in this story with faith.

Consequences can be dangerous (CC Antya 2.171):

Please hear the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu with faith and confidence. Do not argue, for arguments will produce a contrary result.

That was a summation of the story of Junior Haridasa, how he was caught begging rice from a woman on his own, how he was rejected by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and how he committed suicide by drowning in the Ganges and how he consequently rejoined Mahaprabhu’s kirtans on transcedental platform when people could hear his voice but could not see him.

What would reason and logic tell you about this? It’s unbelievable, right, it couldn’t have happened. For one thing you cannot hear someone’s singing if he is not physically there.

How about this warning (CC Madhya 18.227)?

Whoever argues about this is a great fool. He intentionally and personally brings a thunderbolt down upon his head.

This was at the end of the chapter describing Lord Chaitanya’s visit to Vrindavana and included a story of Gopala Deity spooking His servants about imminent attack my Muslim soldiers so that they took Him from His temple on top of Govardhana Hill and hid Him in various villages so that the Deity could meet Lord Chaitanya who, playing a part of a devotee, refused to climb on Govardhan to get a darshan.

Do not argue about this, do not be a fool and do not invite thunderbolts onto you head, for if you avoid this then you get the benefits described in the next verse:

The pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are an ocean of nectar. Even a drop of this ocean can inundate the whole world with transcendental bliss.

Do not try to “produce a contrary result” instead.

And here’s what Krishnadasa Kaviraja had to say about talks between Lord Chaitanya and Ramananda Raya (CC Madhya 8.308):

The author requests every reader to hear these talks with faith and without argument. By studying them in this way, one will be able to understand the confidential truth of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Lord Chaitanya’s own behavior in the latest stages of His appearance on this planet was generally unbelievable (CC Antya 19.106):

The activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are undoubtedly uncommon, especially His talking like a madman. Therefore, one who hears of these pastimes should not put forward mundane arguments. He should simply hear the pastimes with full faith.

Why Krishnadasa Kaviraja so insisted on avoiding logic and arguments when discussing pastimes of the Lord? Don they have no place at all? Here’s what he had to say at the beginning of his book (CC Adi 8.14-15):

Logicians say, “Unless one gains understanding through logic and argument, how can one decide upon a worshipable Deity?”

If you are indeed interested in logic and argument, kindly apply it to the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. If you do so, you will find it to be strikingly wonderful.

In the purport Srila Prabhupada gives an explanation by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, which starts with denouncing logic and reasoning as a matter of principle:

acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvā
na tāḿs tarkeṇa yojayet
prakṛtibhyaḥ paraḿ yac ca
tad acintyasya lakṣaṇam

“Anything transcendental to material nature is called inconceivable, whereas arguments are all mundane. Since mundane arguments cannot touch transcendental subject matters, one should not try to understand transcendental subjects through mundane arguments.” (Mahabharata 5.22).

But then it continues:

“Despite all this, those who are actually inquisitive to understand the philosophy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu through logic and argument are welcome. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī addresses them, “Please put Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mercy to your crucial test, and if you are actually a logician you will come to the right conclusion that there is no personality more merciful than Lord Caitanya.” Let the logicians compare all the results of other humanitarian work with the merciful activities of Lord Caitanya. If their judgment is impartial, they will understand that no other humanitarian activities can surpass those of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.”

Here the logicians are told to contemplate the result of putting faith in Lord Chaitanya, and, since it surpasses any other humanitarian activity, this faith should be accepted even when logic can’t explain certain aspects of it.

I’m not sure this would put an end to all possible doubts about far out stories from Chaitanya lila but then I’m also not sure we should spend any time arguing with people who refuse to accept authority of Krishnadasa Kaviraja and other acharyas. They should cover the basics first – why we should accept anyone’s authority in the first place, and why we should accept Bhagavad Gita/Srimad Bhagavatam as authoritative scriptures, why we should accept guru and so on.

There’s also the fact that no matter how much faith one has one cannot avoid applying his intellect in studying the scriptures and one cannot avoid using logic and reasoning in explaining the meanings even to himself, but it has to be done correctly (CC Adi 2.73).

An interpretation is never accepted as evidence if it opposes the principles of scripture.

The recent “no ananda” issue is a perfect illustration – there are no statements anywhere that say jivas in the material world are only cit+sat and constitutionally devoid of ananda but if one interprets certain verses in a certain way he might draw such a conclusion. This kind of interpretation, however, cannot override the principles of acintya-bhedabheda tattva – we are qualitatively similar to the Lord. If the Lord is sat-cit-ananda-vigraha, so must be our nature, too.

So, the proper way to apply logic is to try and see how guru and shastra ARE correct, not WHETHER they are correct or not.

I’ll end with a quote from Srila Prabhupada’s conversation with a member of a Mensa society:

“But according to Vedic verses, a philosopher is not a philosopher if he has not a different opinion from another, nasau munir yasya matam na… Therefore, through the philosopher you cannot come to the right conclusion. Tarkena apraptas ca. If you simply go on arguing that will also not help you. If you simply read scriptures that will also not help you. Because there are different scriptures. Bible is different from Vedas and Vedas is different from Koran. So tarka… by argument you cannot come to the conclusion, by simply reading scriptures you cannot come to the conclusion. By following the philosophers you cannot come to the conclusion. Therefore the truth is very confidential. Dharmasyartha… guhyam. It is kept very confidential. Then how to have it? Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. You have to follow the great personalities who have actually realized God. That is the conclusion.”

Instead of listening to your own logic follow the mahajanas. If they say – surrender to guru and Krishna and develop faith in their words and in the scriptures – just do it regardless of whether you fully comprehend the full import of the instructions or not.

Basically the same argument Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati made about proof of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s superiority – look at the results, they are better than anything else, so take to the path. Very simple and logical.

Or you can sit and argue and doubt until you die. But do not despair, you can continue with your doubts in the next life, for without faith doubts will never go away. They cannot be resolved on their own, they are endless that way. Prove one point, another argument pops up, deal with that, there’s another question coming.

Life is short to be wasted on such time consuming pursuit.