Five Ideas Where Speculation Is Resolved Through An Authority Figure

[Lord Vishnu]“Vishnu impregnated Maya or material nature simply by glancing at her. This is the spiritual method. Materially we are limited to impregnate by only one particular part of our body, but the Supreme Lord, Krishna or Maha-Vishnu, can impregnate any part by any part. Simply by glancing the Lord can conceive countless living entities in the womb of material nature.” (Teachings Of Lord Chaitanya, Introduction)

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One definition for the Absolute Truth is “that which is beyond the understanding of the human being.” It must be acknowledged that understanding is limited, for the very senses are not infinitely capable. I can only see what is in front of me. I can’t hear a sound produced thousands of miles away. I can smell what is in the vicinity, and that’s it.

Surely technology has helped to artificially expand the reach, but still there are limitations. Moreover, the perception is not exact. That is to say what I see on television must be accepted with a certain amount of faith. The senses can also fool me. I walk into a room where the television is on. Two well-known tennis players are on a famous court, battling it out. I wonder whether the annual tournament has begun and that these two players are already in a match.

[Wimbledon 2011 final]The truth is the match is from seven years prior. The players don’t look all that different from today. The visuals could easily pass for something from the present time period. In this regard the senses are not perfect. There must be an authority figure present to explain the circumstances. Even then there is some trust extended.

The same applies for understanding the Absolute Truth. To use the brain in this area is good, as the human being has enhanced intelligence for a reason. It is not to simply enjoy the senses more, as there is plenty available in other species, without as much effort. Speculation in particular areas is good for pondering, but the issues remain unresolved until an authority figure is consulted.

1. What existed in the beginning

Was it a big chunk? Were there the primitive-type men depicted in museum exhibits? Was there nothing at all, like an empty space?

[Lord Vishnu]Authority figures say it was a single person. Everything we know to exist, i.e. what constitutes the manifest world, was in an unmanifest state, known as pradhana in Sanskrit. This original person simply glanced over the matter and that led to the cycle of creation, maintenance and destruction.

2. The infinite nature of time, in both directions

I ask what was there at the beginning, but how do we pinpoint the exact place in time? Meaning, how do we know that something didn’t exist before the beginning? The same applies for the end.

Authority figures reveal that time is infinite in both directions. They acknowledge a beginning for our understanding, related to this specific cycle of creation. Since time does not stop going either in reverse or forward, there was something before the beginning. There will be something after the end.

3. The essence of identity

The original person was there before anything or anyone else was visible, but prior to that there was a different creation. The infinite nature of time also applies to my existence. I will be somewhere in the future. Death is not the end, as it is merely a demarcation of time. The essence of identity is the spirit soul, who is travelling through various bodies in this lifetime and beyond.

“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)

4. The purpose of the body provided by nature

Nature provides those changing bodies. Five material and three subtle elements constitute those various forms, known as species. There must be a purpose to it all. Why the constant change? Why the association in the first place? Why do I have hands and legs? What is the best use of the brain?

Authority figures reveal that the human birth is auspicious because progress can be made in this area. The animals cannot question the meaning of life. They don’t know about their own species, let alone the spirit soul inside.

The purpose is to escape the cycle of birth and death permanently. Never associate with matter again. Gain release through purification of the consciousness, which carries from one life to another, like the air with aromas.

“The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.8)

5. What kind of work matches the identity’s qualities

Spirit is the true identity, and so how should spirit behave? What is spiritual life, as opposed to material life?

Authority says that there is a corresponding engagement, which is as permanent as the spirit soul itself. This is described through the term sanatana-dharma, which at the root level means the eternal way of living matching the defining characteristic of the individual.

Dharma for the soul is service, and sanatana-dharma is service to the origin. That origin is a person just like the many souls in material bodies, except He is superior. Service to Him is the constitutional engagement in any stage of life, in any point in the infinite timeline, in any stage of development of the material world. The present is most auspicious because of the brainpower in the individual, who has the ability to reason, to think for themselves, to bring doubts to the table, and to receive valuable instruction from the legitimate representative of the original person.

In Closing:

Human with enhanced brain blessed,

So now higher concepts to address.

But with speculation to stall,

Until proper authority to call.

Like Vishnu over pradhana to glance,

And after death a renewed chance.

Spirit soul true identity of mine,

In bhakti proper engagement to find.

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