“If You think that I am able to behold Your cosmic form, O my Lord, O master of all mystic power, then kindly show me that universal self.” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 11.4)
मन्यसे यदि तच् छक्यं
मया द्रष्टुम् इति प्रभो
योगेश्वर ततो मे त्वं
manyase yadi tac chakyaṁ
mayā draṣṭum iti prabho
yogeśvara tato me tvaṁ
Friend1: I think the hardest sell for spiritual life, in general, is the lack of perception outside of the bounds of ordinary life.
Friend2: What do you mean by “ordinary life”?
Friend1: From birth to death. From the time we start having memories until the time nature forces us to leave this world.
Friend2: Okay, but you do realize that there are a few years of perception of which we have no memory?
Friend1: Yes, I acknowledge that. Especially the time in the womb, we have to take it on faith. Today, sometimes people record the birth process on video. That is sufficient evidence of the event occurring.
Friend2: Right, but still no direct perception. Actually, you perceived everything but don’t remember any of it. The video recording could be faked. The parents could be lying to you. Maybe you just magically appeared to them one day.
Friend1: I get it that you are being cute, so let’s keep it simple. After someone dies, we have no way of talking to them. There is no phone number to dial. We can try to shake the dead body, but there will not be a response. That person has departed.
Friend2: For another life. Like taking off clothes and putting on new ones. The soul never dies. When we see birth, we should understand that a soul previously departed has entered the stage again.
Friend1: There is no visual or audio confirmation of that truth, though. I am not saying I doubt it, but wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to make contact? Wouldn’t that strengthen the faith of the followers?
Friend2: Some advanced yogis are able to do just that. They can tap into another world and find out where the soul has gone. Sometimes the departed appears to a loved one or disciple in a dream. They speak directly.
Friend1: Okay, that is what I am thinking. Why can’t that happen for everyone?
Friend2: What would you gain from the meeting? The departed is still gone. You cannot bring them back to life, as you knew them.
Friend1: It would confirm my religious practices. I would know that I am on the right track.
Friend2: I just explained that some people are able to do what you are asking. Why is that not enough?
Friend1: I am not sure I am describing the dilemma properly. For instance, Arjuna saw the virata-rupa directly. Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, showed it to Him.
Friend2: That was part of their conversation that became known as Bhagavad-gita.
Friend1: If I saw something like that, I would rest easier. It would be an indication that I am not relying on a hope and a prayer.
Friend2: You want some type of miracle to occur in life, something out of the ordinary, to strengthen your dedication.
Friend1: Exactly. I’ll take anything. Even a voice from the sky speaking to me, such as with Kamsa.
Friend2: You are overlooking something important here.
Friend1: What is that?
Friend2: If these miracles, as we will describe them, already occurred for other people, what is the difference?
Friend1: I’m not sure I understand.
Friend2: If my mom hears from the Supreme Lord in a dream and then later tells me about it, isn’t that sufficient? That is one of the miracles you are asking about. Well, these have occurred countless times throughout history.
Friend1: That would strengthen the faith of the person directly affected, but not necessarily me.
Friend2: It should, though. Arjuna saw the virata-rupa. His interaction is recorded in history. When you access that information, the authority of the parampara gives weight to the message. You can take it on faith. The same with the basic principles passed down by the acharyas. They had the faith you are looking for, and they had firm belief, as well. With the hearing process, someone else’s experience is good enough to be my own, in the sense of capturing evidence.
Someone else to see,
That real is He.
Virata-rupa further where,
Evidence of everything there.
Why myself then to doubt?
With proof not left without.
From authority of others taking,
Understood that Vedas not faking.