Doubt and Sacrifice
Published on January 24th, 2010 | by Harmonist staff4
We find that certain scriptures such as the Upanisads give mere statements with no rhyme or reason—with no explanation or qualification attached. This is because such knowledge is meant for the higher level where there is no possibility of any deception. whatever is said there is taken by the listeners as complete truth. There is no room for doubt because in that higher civilized plane there is no possibility of any deception.
The Upanisads say, “This means so and so,” and the natural response comes: “Yes, it is so.” There is no tarka (reasoning), and no doubt or anything of the kind because the very plane itself is such that deception is unknown. So, in the case of the Veda and Upanisads we are cautioned: acintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet: “Don’t take your reasoning and doubt into that higher stage. It is unnecessary in that place where there is only plain speaking and fair dealing with no trouble from anyone wanting to deceive another. Deception and unfair dealings are unknown there.” This is the level of the Vedas and Upanisads where rhyme and reason are unnecessary. But in a lower stage, the smrti and Puranas come to give their advice in another mood. The Puranas are like friends, advising, “Do this and you will be benefitted.” They give examples: “This person acted in such a way and received a good result; but this other did bad things and a bad result followed. So, my friend, please learn from this.” Then, the sruti comes to our help by showing us how to apply these truths in our everyday life.
The kavya also approaches us and comes in a very sweet manner, like an affectionate wife to advise: “Do this, it will be very good for you..” But the Vedas take another approach: acintyah khalu ye bhava nastam tarkena yojayet. “This subject matter does not come within the jurisdiction of doubt, reasoning, and so on. Don’t drag all these worthy things into such a sphere.”
In a lecture I once gave an example to illustrate this. A mother gives a sweet to her son, she puts it in his hand but he says, “Oh, it may be poisoned! I must go to the laboratory and examine it.” It is a deplorable thing and a very low type of civilization where such an attitude prevails. But in such a plane where affectionate and fair dealing is unknown, tarka, vicara, and yukti; doubt, examination, and inspection are all present. But that is really a filthy life. There is Krishna smrti and its opposite, deha-smrti.
deha-smrti nahi yara, samsara-kupa kahan tara, taha haite na cahe uddhara
One who is unconscious of his material body has no worldly material connection. We are conscious of our material body and therefore have come in connection with the atmosphere of the material world. If we are independent of this material body then we have no connection with the mortal world. This is the medium between the material world and the atma, the soul. The mental system makes the first connection, then comes this body consciousness.1
After Sukadeva Goswami finished giving his Bhagavata discourse, in his conclusion he gave warning to the audience, especially Pariksit Maharaja—tvam tu rajan marisyeti, pasu-buddhim imam jahi, “Oh King, do not think you will die—give up this animal consciousness. Eliminate it fully from your thought and do not allow your attention to come down to any material conception. Remain in your own soul conception. Take your stand firmly there. Why do you allow yourself to come down to the conception of this matter: the world, your body and all these things? It is unnecessary. Don’t allow your attention to come down to material consciousness, you are independent of that. Think of your soul, its higher achievement and prospect. Your transaction must be all upwards; stick to that. You, the soul, are independent of these. Free from matter you can live and move very happily. To think it not possible to stay without a body is animal consciousness, pasu-buddhi. What is this! Why do you allow yourself to come into this consciousness of matter which is mortal? Don’t allow yourself to come down, to have experience of this material world. This is animal consciousness. You must kill it, butcher it! Tvam turdjan marisyeti, pasu-buddhim imam jahi. To think ‘I shall die’ is animal consciousness. Just kill it once and for all. At the same time try to soar up from soul to over-soul, and beyond to the Narayana conception and onwards to the Krishna conception. Try to live in the connection of Vraja and the divine damsels there who are all serving Krishna. Consider how they are so recklessly engaged in serving the sweet will of their Lord. Each one of them is always prepared and is the emblem of sacrifice.”
- Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 13.142 [↩]