The Four Principal Defects Of Man, With Examples

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Vedic knowledge is not a question of research. Our research work is imperfect because we are researching things with imperfect senses. We have to accept perfect knowledge which comes down, as is stated in Bhagavad-gita, by the parampara disciplic succession. We have to receive knowledge from the proper source in disciplic succession beginning with the supreme spiritual master, the Lord Himself, and handed down to a succession of spiritual masters.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, Introduction)

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1. Commit mistakes

“It is a double-edged sword, for sure. The technology recruiter helps in finding people to fill the position. I don’t have to post the listing myself. The incentive for the recruiter is money. They charge a fee if they place someone. It is in their best interest to conduct a thorough review, to make sure the candidate is the right fit.

“For us, the deciding line is three months. We recently hired this person to work in the programming area. Software development. Writing code in a specific language. Adhering to our standards. Proficiency in the area.

“The resume seemed good. They claimed to know the technology. At the three month marker after hiring them, we had to make the decision. We had been too busy to review their code, so we decided to keep them. This meant a hefty payment going to the recruiter. No going back now.

“But oh do we wish a time machine exists. This was the wrong hire. We made a terrible mistake. They can barely do anything. We not only lost three months, but that extra fee, as well. Hopefully we have learned our lesson.”

2. Tendency to cheat

“I am not a bad student in the least. I do my homework on time. I complete assignments and get decent grades. Others in my friend-circle are not as attentive. They would rather play video games when the school day ends. They talk back to the teacher and don’t worry so much when the report card arrives in the mail.

“We had final exams approaching. I was put into a dilemma because some of my classmates got their hands on what would be the answer sheet to the test. There was no way to know for certain, but they weren’t going to take any chances. They not only looked at the sheet, but memorized what options to fill in for the multiple-choice questions.

[exam]“I was already prepared. I knew the material. Still, I couldn’t help but take a peek at the answers. I didn’t get caught. I did well on the exam. I feel bad, however. I wish I hadn’t indulged this particular desire. As they say, a guilty conscience needs no accuser.”

3. Imperfect senses

“You hear about people having enhanced perception when losing a particular sense. For instance, a blind man becomes adept at hearing. They can discern their surroundings through sound. A deaf person may learn how to read lips.

“But I think the senses are still limited. No one can see through a concrete wall. I can’t hear that sound produced thousands of miles away. This means that the senses are not perfect. I agree with the conclusion of the Vedas in this regard.”

4. Easily illusioned

“Why am I so upset today? I can’t believe the outcome to that movie which played in the theaters last night. It was terrible. Favorite characters killed off; bad guys getting away with things; none of the puzzling questions answered. This is the worst.

“I have the same feeling sometimes when one of my favorite players loses a match. It was so close that one or two points the other way and they would have won. I understand that it is silly to be affected by such things, but I can’t help it. In the end, it doesn’t matter who wins games or what happens in fictional films, but there is always some effect on me.”

The Vedic teachings are that man has these four defects from the time of birth. The imperfect senses is especially significant with respect to understanding the Absolute Truth. The common lament is the inability to see God, to get confirmation of His existence through sight.

The senses are actually not capable of making this measurement. Even if the Divine were to appear before us, there is no way to validate His status through basic measurements involving the senses. If I can mistake a rope for a snake, how valuable is my perception?

[Krishna's lotus feet]The recommendation is to connect with the parampara process. Tap into authorized knowledge descending from a chain of teachers. Not that blind faith is the only way. There is certainly sense interaction, but it is for experience instead of discovery. Rather than testing who is God and discerning spiritual life through analytical study, there is practical realization of the principles presented through dedicated practice.

In Closing:

In practice by guru inspired,
For practical realization acquired.

Senses for experience just,
In higher awareness trust.

That God in truth have found,
To realize even from sound.

Not demanding vision before me,
With confidence always to see.

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