“Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the Self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.32)
“I won’t believe until I see. That’s just the way it is. My opinion and I’m sticking with it. Who are you to convince me otherwise? I’m not into fairytales. Magic was cool when I was a child, but I expect substance behind wild claims now. Trickery and empty promises won’t work anymore.”
It makes sense to be reassured by images, but with understanding the Divine qualification is required beforehand. Historical incidents described in Vedic literature provide ample evidence of the futility of associating directly with the Divine when the consciousness is still clouded. Specifically, there are certain things that should be recognized prior to demanding a meeting with the Almighty.
1. The effects of intoxication on sense perception
There are special interest groups focusing on the issue. Ample warnings are given. It only makes sense. If I can’t see clearly, if I can’t walk in a straight line, how will I be able to operate a motor vehicle? Sobriety is a requirement for doing so many important things.
Why not the same for understanding that which transcends birth and death? Should I not acknowledge the damaging effects of intoxication prior to insisting on proof of the highest concept? Should I not be free of those effects myself?
2. The presence of life in the animals
One way to describe God is to say that He is the life of everything that lives. He is the soul of an existence. He is the animating spark at both the macro and micro levels. The entire universe functions at His direction. Every individual, though blessed with tremendous potency themselves, requires outside intervention. We know this from the fact that there is no memory of birth. There was no control over when and where that birth took place.
Prior to meeting God, I should acknowledge the presence of life outside of the human species. Just because a certain animal is less intelligent doesn’t give anyone the right to kill it without other justification. The animals may engage in this behavior, for that is in their nature, but human beings apply discrimination. In many instances the animals are smarter than the infant human beings. Does this mean infants should be killed for food?
3. The changing bodies
The life in the animal is the same kind of life in the other species. The differences are due only to the body, and that body is ever-changing. This is the foundation of the spiritual science presented in the Vedas.
“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.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.13)
I should recognize that I am the same person from childhood as I am today. I was the same even while within the womb, despite having no memory of the experience. Moreover, I will continue to be the same individual after death. This knowledge is known as the spiritual vision, seeing beyond the gross and subtle elements of material nature.
4. The real meaning of permanent
Modern science makes many promises about what will be accomplished in the future. One day people will live forever. One day there will be no more disease. This is the basis for progress; the continuing pursuit to nullify the stringent laws of material nature.
Lost in the analysis is the fact that for something to be truly permanent, it must exist in all three time periods. Beginning, middle and end. In this respect something cannot be made permanent. It must have that property to begin with.
In the Bhagavad-gita, Shri Krishna describes that He is the beginning, the middle and the end. The individual actually is permanent already. There is no need to strive for a state of being that is already there.
When such important truths are acknowledged and practically realized, vijnana, then the meeting with God the person bears fruit. From the pure state of existence a person is ready to proceed forward in devotional service, which was the ideal occupation all along, sanatana-dharma.
Before meeting with Him demanding,
Control over senses commanding.
Presence of soul in animals to see,
Not blinded by ignorance to be.
That permanent only can exist,
When in three time periods to persist.
Then benefit from association to get,
Since consciousness properly set.
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