“But ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures do not attain God consciousness. For the doubting soul there is happiness neither in this world nor in the next.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.40)
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अज्ञश् चाश्रद्दधानश् च
नायं लोको ऽस्ति न परो
न सुखं संशयात्मनः
ajñaś cāśraddadhānaś ca
nāyaṁ loko ‘sti na paro
na sukhaṁ saṁśayātmanaḥ
The Bhagavad-gita. You hold this work in the highest esteem. Ever since you came across the published edition with the suffix, “As It Is,” you were amazed. On one side finally there was someone speaking your language. The suspicions you had about the futility of material life confirmed. You had an inkling that you lived before and that the existence will continue after death.
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचिन्
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतो ऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे
na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre
“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.20)
Then, of course, Shri Krishna explains things that you never thought of. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. God directly speaking to a disciple, with the conversation intentionally recorded for the benefit of future generations. Not just a representative. Not a purported son to the Divine. The unlimited one Himself, who is one without a second – He is the speaker.
With so much profound wisdom available in a relatively short presentation, you can’t wait to share with the rest of the world. Every person’s suffering, their fears, their disappointments, their frustrations – this book is the answer.
Then you meet someone who simply dismisses the entire thing as religious dogma. They don’t like the “unscientific” nature of the presentation, even though His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada accurately describes the tattva as the “science” of self-realization.
For such a skeptic, the faithful follower of the Bhagavad-gita can ask a few simple questions. They are open to being proven wrong. They are not following blindly. Let the doubters explain with clarity.
1. Just exactly what kind of scientific evidence are you looking for?
The Bhagavad-gita is a philosophical work, but it is also a historical account. There are two people seated on a chariot. The setting is a very famous war, one that occurred some five thousand years ago. The conversation between Arjuna and Krishna took place. The Bhagavad-gita is something like a transcript, and through the sacred sound of the Sanskrit language we are able to travel back in time.
It would be no different if say a scientist gave a lecture on a particular topic today. Their words would then be published in a scientific journal. The passage of time has no impact on the validity of the original presentation. That is to say if someone picks up the same science journal thousands of years into the future, the significant time gap is not a valid basis for discounting the content.
If a skeptic is looking for scientific evidence, just what is it exactly they want? What visual confirmation beyond the universal form, the virata-rupa, shown to Arjuna would suffice?
If they would like to receive such a vision themselves, they can at least conceptualize it. Take the entire collective. All the planets and their components. Both the abstract and the detail. No rational person would deny the existence of everything. I may not be able to fit everything into a single image for analysis purposes, but I concur that there is an existence consisting of such objects.
2. What kind of experiment would remove your doubts?
If the content of the Bhagavad-gita is not enough for you, devise a scientific experiment to prove that there is a God. If the argument is that science has already disproved the notion of a central figure predominating the universe, then at least hypothetically the reverse could be constructed.
That is to say come up with an experiment that would prove there is God. Then show that such an experiment fails. That will give confirmation of your doubts on the matter. The followers of Krishna are ready to provide assistance in this regard.
One experiment would be to have God appear in front of you and show you that He is the Almighty. Immediately, I would ask Him to prove that He never dies. That has to be a component to the Almighty; eternal existence.
The issue is that this experiment is not valid. Not because God cannot prove deathlessness, but I have no way of personally validating. I will not live long enough to know for certain. Even if I witnessed His association for billions of years, that by itself does not equal infinity.
Shri Krishna explains that the doubting soul is not well situated. It is better to listen attentively, ask questions, and try to remove doubts through practice and personal experience. Not to follow blindly, but use every ounce of intelligence for understanding the eternal nature of the spiritual energy and how we living entities belong to that energy.
If His existence to deny,
And on science to rely.
Then valid experiment devise,
Where proof with very own eyes.
Not possible a way,
Since not forever to stay.
So no more in this way pretend,
Faith in shastra a little extend,
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