Sunday, June 23, 2013

Kedarnath calamity shows God discourages piligrimages

O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,
 [June 23, 2013 Shri. Anil asked Swami to give a message on the recent havoc followed by several deaths in the pilgrimage to Kedarnath.]
Swami Replied: The fundamental point that everybody should note is that God is not present in any inert stone or statue and hence, a specific place containing such stone or statue has no real significance. The spiritual significance is forcibly rubbed on such places and the stones and statues stand only as representative models of God. Such places certainly help the beginners to develop the faith and devotion in case the relevant atmosphere exists. The development of spiritual devotion is real even though God does not exist there. It is a psychological treatment and of course the results are positive and real. One ignorant person developed head-ache due to false impression that the head-ache was due to the entry of a squirrel into the head through the ear. No doctor could cure him since the patient did not believe any argument against such entry. Hence, there was no cure. One clever doctor agreed to the argument of the patient and threw out a squirrel kept in his hand in hidden way near his ear. The patient believed that the squirrel came out from his head through his ear and subsequently the head-ache disappeared. All this treatment of the doctor is based on false concept, but the result was real and wonderful. Similarly, all these pious places are such psychological clinic centers. The unreal stories created in such places have positive effect on the human psychology and develop real tremendous devotion to God. If the truth is revealed, the psychological treatment gets spoiled. If the truth is not revealed, several exploitations and frauds of business take place as on now.

Actually, in the olden days, these pilgrim places were in lonely atmosphere situated in forests and on hills. The peaceful atmosphere co-operated with the development of devotion. But, today, these places are terribly busy with crowds of people running to fulfill their desires. The basic concept is lost since you are expected to set aside all the material desires being away from the populated places. But, today, these pilgrim places are more populated than the cities in which you reside. People run to such pious places to fulfill their material desires. Thus, the atmosphere is not at all congenial for meditation or spiritual concentration in absence of spiritual associates. The actual purpose is lost. The priests in such places are busier in looting the public. People are exploited by the false stories created on such pious places. The priests exploit the public to loot money with the help of such false stories (Sthalapuranams). Originally, these false stories were created as psychological tricks to develop faith and devotion in the ignorant public. Today, the same false stories are used to attract the people to such places for the business of the priests. Therefore, today, the pilgrimage is only giving reverse results in the spiritual line. The long journey and absence of hygienic food etc., result in acquirement of new diseases. Lot of money is also wasted in journey. Both health and wealth are lost apart from loss of spiritual concentration due to the fulfillment of desires. Your house with less number of people is far better than such pilgrim place. Your prayer room is far better than the crowdy temple.

However, if you argue that there should be change of place, the new place should have more peaceful atmosphere than your house. You can achieve this by going a few miles away from your town and not to a pilgrim place, which is more crowded. You can have spiritual meeting and do prayers in such real peaceful atmosphere taking a photo of God there. Such trips will really fulfill such necessities and also will really help your spiritual development. The calamity happened in Kedarnath is the expression of God to discourage such pilgrimages, which are associated with negative results only from the beginning to the end.

If your prayers are based on fulfillment of desires, God, sometimes, helps to fulfill your desires, in case such action has the possibility of development of your faith and devotion in God. In such context, the good fruit of your own good deeds is taken out from your fixed deposit only to fulfill your desire. Such action is done by God whether you pray in your house or in the temple or even in the pilgrim place. This action has nothing to do with the place and it is done only to increase your faith and devotion. Therefore, for fulfillment of your desire, which, of course, is not correct spiritual path, you need not run to a temple or a pilgrim place for such purpose.

At the lotus feet of Shri Datta Swami

Sunday, June 16, 2013

An atheist asked ‘Can God create a stone, which He cannot lift?’

O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,
[An atheist asked ‘Can God create a stone, which He cannot lift?’]

[June 01, 2013] Swami replied: Your question indicates that God is defined as omnipotent. In fact, we define God so. For example – Assume that we have given a statement that a particular king can punish any citizen in his kingdom. You may put the same question, ‘Can that king punish a citizen, whom he cannot punish?’ Anybody can understand that this question is meaningless based on crooked logic. Logic can be good or crooked. We should base all the questions and statements on good logic. Here, we have defined the king as omnipotent limited to a particular context in punishing any citizen existing in the kingdom. In such case, a citizen, who cannot be punished cannot exist in the kingdom. A non-existent person cannot become the basis of your question. Similarly, any stone created by God must be lifted by God to prove that God is omnipotent. In such case, a stone that cannot be lifted by God should be created by somebody other than God. Since God alone is the creator of this entire universe, this possibility cannot exist. Since God could not create a stone that cannot be lifted by Him, the omnipotence of God is contradicted. If God creates a stone that cannot be lifted by Him, the inability of God to lift such a stone also contradicts the omnipotence of God. This is called as mutual contradiction (Anyonya Vyaaghaata) in logic. Such a mutual contradiction does not exist by itself since it is created by your crooked intelligence only. When your question is based on good logic and the answer given by us is based on crooked logic, then, you can criticize us. Now, the situation is reverse and we have to criticize your crooked logic only. The reason is that the mutual contradiction is created already by yourself in your question itself and such mutual contradiction is not created by us in our answer. Hence, there is no need of giving defectless answer to a defective question. If you still insist, we can give the answer based on the same mutual contradiction. You should not find fault with the mutual contradiction existing in our answer since your question also contains the same defect.

The suitable answer for your question is: God can create a stone that cannot be lifted by Him and God can lift any stone. You have to satisfy with our defective answer for your defective question. The blind bride should be married with the blind bridegroom. You cannot point out at the blindness of the bride or groom since both are blind. The answer without any defect for your defectless question like ‘Can God create a stone that cannot be lifted by any living being other than Him?’ would be that God can create any stone that cannot be lifted by any other living being. The human beings also create a house, but, such house cannot be lifted by the same human beings. Therefore, the human being is not omnipotent. Since God is omnipotent such type of possibility will not arise in the case of God. Lord Krishna, God in human form, created this entire universe, which contains Govardhana Mountain. This mountain was lifted by God Krishna, which cannot be lifted by any other human being. Therefore, we say that Krishna is God in human form whereas other human beings are not God. Hence, we should base the subject of philosophy related to God on good logic, which is scientific and systematic without defects like mutual contradiction, ad-infinitum etc.

The example for ad-infinitum is that an endless chain is created in statements like ‘which is the cause for God?’ In the analysis of creation, you may go on stating the cause for every cause. You may say that the cause for earth is water. The cause for water is fire. The cause for fire is air. The cause for air is space. The cause for space is God (Atmana Aakashah… Veda). You should stop at a particular cause, which has no cause. If you go on giving cause to every cause, the chain will never end. Such a defect is called as ad-infinitum (Anavasthaa). To remove this defect, we have to stop at some cause, which is called as the ultimate cause i.e., the God. Hence, the subject of philosophy (Vedanta) should be always based on good logic (Sat tarka) only. Shankara told this point that bad crooked logic should be stopped and good logic should be followed in any discussion (Dustarkah suviramyataam shrutimatah tarkonu sandhiyataam…).

At the lotus feet of Swami