“Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.9.33)
अहम् एवासम् एवाग्रे
नान्यद् यत् सद्-असत् परम्
पश्चाद् अहं यद् एतच् च
यो ऽवशिष्येत सो ऽस्म्य् अहम्
aham evāsam evāgre
nānyad yat sad-asat param
paścād ahaṁ yad etac ca
yo ‘vaśiṣyeta so ‘smy aham
It is a luxury that generations past never had. The reliance was on faith and the best guesses of the people involved. There were instruments to take measurements from the outside. As an example, you see smoke coming out of the building. A good guess is that an uncontrolled fire has started somewhere inside. The problem is that you have no means of entry.
From a close proximity you take a temperature measurement. The reading is certainly above normal. There must be a fire inside. Yet there is no way to validate through direct perception. It is one of the many limitations with human sight.
Through advancements in technology, there are ways to go beyond, to extend the range of perception of the senses gifted by nature. A qualified doctor can now show various parts of the inside of the body through medical imagery.
1. The heart
We were pretty sure about this all along. A person can hear and feel the beating inside. There are changes brought on by intense pressure, nervousness, and physical exertion. Problems with the heart mean problems with everything else. This organ is the delivery mechanism for the vital fluids required by every other organ.
2. The liver
The imagery is not isolated to a specific region of the body. Up and down, front and back, on the outside and around – every aspect is available for study. The medical student does not have to wait to dissect a dead body. While living there is visual confirmation of important organs.
3. The kidneys
Filtering so much blood on a given day, through an image a person can see these organs of a unique shape. A certain variety of legume takes the same name due to the similarity in physical design. If a person should happen to donate a kidney to someone else, an image can confirm how many remain within.
4. The stomach
Ulcers, excess gas, not enough acid, too much food stuck inside – issues with the stomach are not easy to diagnose. Moreover, the remedy often involves waiting and seeing. It’s not as simple as probing the area and making repairs. Yet imagery still can help a great deal.
5. The soul?
Despite advancements in technology, there is no instrument to confirm the presence of the soul. This vital force, whose presence is the very indication of life, cannot be located through sight. At the same time, everyone knows that it is there. Without soul there is no life. Death is ultimately marked by the absence of the soul. Everything else could be as it was with respect to the body.
In the four verses that summarize the lengthy Vedic work known as the Bhagavata Purana, the Supreme Lord Vishnu explains that He is the soul of the universe. In the same way that medical imagery cannot detect the most important aspect inside a living body, mere observation will not prove that Vishnu is the single factor that is responsible for an existence.
Yet just as the soul in the individual is known through symptoms, so through a basic analysis of the universe we understand that someone is ultimately responsible. Apply the process of elimination. Remove every object, one by one, until nothing is left. Since there will always be something, there is an essence of existence.
Vishnu explains that the essence is not an impersonal force. Just as you and I are different, despite both being individual soul, the Supreme Lord is distinct from the universe that He animates. Just as the automobile will not operate without a source of fuel, so the amazing engine that is nature, prakriti, cannot do anything without the instigation of a person, purusha.
To have such an understanding is necessary since it gives confirmation of a God who can be known. More than acknowledged, He can be understood in a variety of ways. In fact, whatever angle of vision a person brings, they can use it to come closer, upasana, to Vishnu. That closeness ideally culminates in a connection, yoga, which is the eternal way of living, transcendental to both the localized body and the entire mahat-tattva, the material creation.
All along likely knowing,
Confirmation from image showing.
That inside the heart and such,
Liver and kidney filtering much.
Stomach and other parts too,
But not soul defining who.
Same concept with everything applying,
Vishnu bounds of time defying.
Categories: the five