“Modern scientists have stopped their brainwork by discovering the theory of uncertainty, but factually for a living being there cannot be any brain activity which is not checked by time and space limitations. A living entity is called anu, an atomic particle of the supreme soul, and therefore his brain is also atomic. It cannot accommodate unlimited knowledge. This does not mean, however, that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, has a limited brain.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.24.42 Purport)
Friend1: The body is like a holding cell.
Friend2: As in a temporary place for the spirit soul to reside?
Friend1: More than that. It limits what the soul can do.
Friend2: How can you say that? Look at the amazing things human beings have been able to do. Flying into outer space. Creating the smartphone. Wireless communication. Not to mention achievements in sculptures, paintings, building skyscrapers and bridges.
Friend1: That’s the thing. The soul is capable of doing even more. The abilities of the soul are beyond our comprehension.
Friend2: What is your evidence?
Friend1: Look at what Krishna can do. He is the Supreme Soul. He is not different from us in that way. He is a soul, but for Him the body is not limiting. In the transcendental form of a small child He can hold up a massive hill on His pinky finger for seven days. He can defeat the threat of a great whirlwind. He can show the entire universe and more in a single image.
Friend2: That is true.
Friend1: So you agree with me, then? The body is like a holding cell.
Friend1: And so extending the abilities of the limiting body is sort of a waste of time.
Friend2: Well, trying to extend them without knowledge of the limitation surely is. We can discover gravity and other important aspects of nature, but what does that really do for us? Have we transcended death?
Friend1: No, but in ages past people thought air travel was impossible. I’m sure they didn’t think you could speak to someone thousands of miles away, with their voice sounding crystal clear.
Friend2: You think death can be stopped at some point?
Friend1: That is the objective of the scientists.
Friend2: Even though you just compared the body to a holding cell?
Friend1: I wanted to establish that you agree to that characterization. In Vedic literature, and especially commentary in recent times by acharyas, emphasis is there on the limitations of the body. Don’t you think that is a negative? Shouldn’t we be trying to inspire people to reach beyond?
Friend2: You mean to reach for the stars, to not settle for what life has given you?
Friend1: Exactly. Just because you are a woman it doesn’t mean you have to be dependent and subservient. Just because you are born into a certain financial situation doesn’t mean you have to live like that forever.
Friend2: Oh boy, you are in wonderful territory here.
Friend1: Why do you say that?
Friend2: Because that is the whole flaw with material existence. You think you can make the limited unlimited. Only God has that property. We are unlimited as spirit soul, but in the illusion of maya we think the same can be done while in a material body.
Friend1: Why so negative, though? Why bring people down?
Friend2: Actually, it’s the other way around. Lying to people, having them waste valuable time, is way more negative. It is positive to say that you can find eternal living, with limitless happiness, through dharma. Spiritual life is the constitutional way of living.
Friend1: But why the emphasis on the limitations?
Friend2: Unless you know the limited, how can you know the unlimited? If you think that you can be without limitations, how will you turn to the shelter of the one who can give you eternal life, serving Him and loving Him? That is the reason for the emphasis. Shine the light on what is wrong so that the turn can be made towards what is right. Force will not work. A loving relationship has to be entered into voluntarily. That is why Krishna is described in comparison to things that we know. He is the force behind what we mistakenly attribute to randomness. He is the certainty behind the uncertainty. Our brains are limited by time and space, but His is not.
Of uncertainty behind,
The origin to find.
Beyond randomness clear,
Controlling both far and near.
Body with different makeup so,
With great limitations know.
For purpose with emphasis told,
To shelter of bhakti grab hold.