“Lord Chaitanya instructed the mass of people in the sankhya philosophy of achintya-bhedabheda-tattva, which maintains that the Supreme Lord is simultaneously one with and different from His creation. Lord Chaitanya taught this philosophy through the chanting of the holy name of the Lord.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Preface)
The beginning of life is all about discovery. It is like we have never been here before. Everything is new to us. Soon thereafter, certain things become familiar. The home. The parents. The food we eat on a daily basis. The friends of the family. The extended family, like aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
At some point along the way, we might ponder the meaning to it all.
“Why are we here? What was here before us? I guess we are all destined for destruction. It is a strange experience, then. We arrive. We stay for some time. We learn some things. Then we are forced out.”
There are two obvious indications of a higher authority. This applies across the spectrum. There are already the three principal respected personalities. These are known as guru, and they are the mother, the father, and the teacher.
The indications are for authority across the board. Everyone is vulnerable at the end of the day. They are fallible. They make mistakes. They cannot live forever; they are mortal. These indications should lessen the burden on the mind to understand everything on its own. These should also give an idea on the proper direction to follow in life.
1. There are temples
These are establishments similar to the home or the school. The difference is the chief resident lives there for generations. He has been kindly invited, displaying a form that accepts worship. People visit on a periodic basis, and they bring offerings.
At the same time, the visual is slightly misleading. The object of worship may not be large in size. It is possible for a person to hold the chief resident in their hands. Normally, this indicates a kind of guardianship, that the person carrying the object has more potency.
These are the intricacies and nuances to deity worship, in the way passed down in the Vedic tradition. That I can go to a specific place and get a vision of the Almighty gives an indication that I am not God. Someone else is receiving worship. They may be present in other establishments at the same time.
There is no issue with concurrency. The bandwidth is infinite. The object of worship can receive prayers from millions of people at the same time. The desperate pleas for help, the cries in pain and anguish, the vows to continue in devotion – the Supreme is everywhere.
यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र
सर्वं च मयि पश्यति
तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि
स च मे न प्रणश्यति
yo māṁ paśyati sarvatra
sarvaṁ ca mayi paśyati
tasyāhaṁ na praṇaśyāmi
sa ca me na praṇaśyati
“For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.30)
2. There are works of instruction
The temples require travel to a physical location, but the works of instruction have an extended reach. Someone simply teaches me something. That is how I learn about God. They base their instruction off sacred texts, like Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam.
This kind of instruction explains the first indication. I learn why there are temples, who established them, the proper procedure for worship, the potency at the foundation of the interaction, and how lucky we are to have such facility.
Upon further immersion in the words of wisdom, I learn about my place in this world, my relationship to the Almighty, and the difficulty in understanding the link. The complete picture is described as achintya bhedabheda-tattva, as revealed by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
There is no difference between me and God. That is abheda, or lack of division. At the same time, I am not God and can never become Him. This is bheda, or division. These principles taken together are achintya, or inconceivable.
We have temples and works of instruction precisely because we need help. We cannot achieve perfection on our own. There is no such thing as a self-made purified being within the material world. The signs are everywhere. The clues are not so hidden. We already have eyes. Through a purification process, we can use those same eyes to perceive the presence of God everywhere and bask in the glory of His amazing potency, found in this world and others.
Potency in my place found,
But also in others abound.
Limitation not on time and space,
In many temples His smiling face.
And words of instruction arriving,
Impact of saints surviving.
Giving to me an indication clear,
That controller at higher tier.
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