“Every living being, whether a man or an animal or a bird, thinks that he is free by himself, but actually no one is free from the severe laws of the Lord. The laws of the Lord are severe because they cannot be disobeyed in any circumstance. The manmade laws may be evaded by cunning outlaws, but in the codes of the supreme lawmaker there is not the slightest possibility of neglecting the laws.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.13.42 Purport)
When you’re working with truths that are absolute, the consent of anyone else is not required for approval. The truths speak for themselves. Whether one person accepts them or a thousand others, there is no difference. Accepting these principles surely represents the greatest gain, and conversely one who ignores them has lost the most valuable thing in life.
“Tulsi emphatically says, ‘O mind, hear what I am saying and always take it to heart, for this will benefit you. Remembering Shri Rama’s holy name is the greatest profit, and forgetting Him is the worst loss.’” (Dohavali, 21)
The foundational truth is the original spiritual entity Himself. He is beyond duality. He is neither right nor wrong. He is neither black nor white. He is neither up nor down. The conditions in duality are present in a realm where the truths are not absolute. With an absolute truth, you get only good. In Sanskrit this type of good is described as shuddha-sattva, or pure goodness. It is unlike any other.
Absent consciousness of this absolute truth, man will try his best to avoid the dualities of life. He will try, through his mental speculation, to rise above heat and cold, light and darkness, and happiness and sadness. And yet the best he can do is reach a state of ordinary good, which isn’t guaranteed to last forever. This is because the realm in which he finds this good is itself destined for destruction.
“The whole cosmic order is under Me. By My will it is manifested again and again, and by My will it is annihilated at the end.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.8)
In creating truths that are not absolute, there is some compromise involved. The Constitution of the United States is a revered document by many. It was preceded by another respected document known as the Declaration of Independence. Both documents were created through trial and error, through bouncing around various ideas and then revising them. Though so many profound statements were made, still there were conditions. The freedoms designated to men did not apply to women. They did not apply to the slaves. The first ten amendments to the Constitution were very anti-government, limiting the powers of the newly formed Congress. And yet that same Congress was given so many powers, for that is inherent to legislature. Legislature passes legislation, which can thus cover any scope. The behavior that the framers of the Constitution previously loathed can be easily enacted through legislation in the future; something which has happened many times already.
The truth of aham brahmasmi was not created by any man. It was not revised or reworded. It is an eternal truth. It was true millions of years ago and it will remain so millions of years into the future. The translation of the Sanskrit is “I am Brahman.” Brahman is truth of the absolute variety mentioned previously. “I” refers to the individual. Every single one of us is truth originally. We collectively belong to the spiritual energy known as Brahman.
Another absolute law is achintya-bhedabheda-tattva, which means the individual spirit soul is simultaneously one with and different from the Supreme Spirit. This relationship is inconceivable to the mind, though one can still act on it. The individual is Brahman, while the Supreme is Parabrahman. In the different ages the relationship between the two is best reestablished through a specific channel. In the first age of the creation the recommended channel is meditation. Not just five minutes of sitting in a quiet room, this meditation is in an austere setting and can last thousands of years. In the second age the channel is elaborate religious sacrifice and in the third deity worship. The present time period is the fourth age, and since dharma stands on only one leg, the channel for finding the Supreme Absolute Truth is much simpler. The path is through the chanting of the holy names, such as those found in the maha-mantra, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
Whether one chants, meditates, worships, or completes a sacrifice, the beneficiary should always be the Absolute Truth. Otherwise the work will not yield the desired fruit. At best it can bring one to ordinary goodness, which always has conditions. The newly formed nation that followed the drafting of the Constitution brought the happiness of freedom from the control of the British, but in the course of time new obstacles would arise. The same British would be an enemy soon again. Indeed, without the pure goodness of connection with the Supreme Absolute Truth, there will always be some misery. The cruel hand of time is guaranteed to make that happen, as time eventually eliminates everything.
Time does not kill the divine consciousness, however. This is another principle that is always true. One who thinks of the Supreme Absolute Truth at the time of death no longer returns to the world of birth and death. They attain a nature identical to the Supreme Absolute Truth. In that state they live the achintya-bhedabheda-tattva relationship all the time; thus they no longer have to live by rules and regulations.
Dharma means religiosity but it is also the essential characteristic of the individual. Dharma only requires explanation in a land where pure goodness is hard to find. Dharma is the constitutional state, so one who is in the company of the Supreme Absolute Truth has no clue of a distinction between dharma and adharma. If you’re always right, how can you know what wrong means?
For the conditioned souls who have difficulty finding even regular goodness, dharma is passed on by the Supreme Absolute Truth. The works which describe dharma are known as the Vedas, which mean knowledge. The summary of Vedic philosophy that is most famous today is the Bhagavad-gita. In addition to being concise, this work is spoken directly by the Supreme Absolute Truth in His original form. That form is worshipable for one and all regardless of what spiritual tradition was inherited at the time of birth. Indeed, since the speaker of the Gita is the origin of life and knowledge, all systems of religion ultimately trace back to Him. As He is the source, taking a straight line to Him is always the best option. He never came up with dharma; it is the way to get back to Him, who is eternal. As there are no compromises in His teachings, there is no possibility for defect. As He is the Truth, He is perfect in all regards, including His words of wisdom.
Challenge of writing document to take,
Despite words, some compromises to make.
To women and slaves not to apply,
Thus defect no matter how hard to try.
Absolute Truth above life’s duality,
Applies to more than just nationally.
For God required not is compromise,
In real religion no need to democratize.