On Thu, 13 Feb 2020 19:13:22 +1100, Lucifer
Post by Lucifer
I live in reality Jesper. Thin about that.
Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the
non-existent [the material body] there is no endurance and of the
eternal [the soul] there is no change. This they have concluded by
studying the nature of both. (Bg. 2.16)
So according to Krishna's definition, reality is that which is eternal
and unreality, or illusion, is that which is temporary. Note that
illusion does exist, but it is unreal in the sense that it's not
Someone may object - if I smash my head into a wall, the pain I feel
is very real. How can it not be real? But if seen in the light of
eternity it is not real. For instance, I may break my leg today, but
10 years from now it will not be real, what to speak of 100 years from
now. It will be as if it never happened.
So illusion exists, it is not false or fictional, but the reason it is
not considered real is because it is not eternal. It's like a dream. A
dream happens, but when we wake up, we understand it was not real.
Life in a material body is like that - dream-like. Say, we have a real
nice meal today, a week from now, it will be no more real to us than
had it been a dream.
Thats how life in a material body is like a dream. We'll realize
that, if not before, then at the time of death. Death will be a rude
awakening for the atheist.
So reality and illusion are defined by time. One is eternal the other
is temporary. And if you think about it, it makes sense. Anything seen
in the light of eternity will be manifested for such a short flicker
in time, that it is as if it didn't really happen.
Brahma, the god of creation, is said to live as long as the universe
lasts - which is calculated to be 311 trillion solar years. So if you
live for such an unfathomable length of time, then imagine what a
person's life-span on earth of, say, 80 years must look like. I don't
even live a second from Brahma's point of view. How real would a
person be to you, if he existed for a second? Think about it.
If you take 80 years out of 311 trillion years it is such a miniscule
portion of time, that for all practical purposes it might as well not
have happened. But then again, if you take Brahma's lifespan and
compare it to eternal time, it is just as little. However long time is
taken out of eternal time, it will still amount to nothing.
The duration of the universe will make a lifespan on earth seem
completely insignificant, and the cosmic time of millions, billions,
and trillions of years will seem totally inconsequential and
insignificant from the angle of eternal time. So in the light of
eternity, anything that is not eternal is but an illusory glimpse.
That's how one can understand that anything which has a beginning and
an end is illusory. Only that which is eternal is real.
Now, in this world, what is then real, someone might ask. We don't
have any experience of something that lasts forever, do we? Yes we do.
The only thing, that lasts forever is the conscious self. The soul is
eternal, so in the material world the only real thing is ourselves,
our real selves, the soul, anything else, including our body and mind,
is temporary, and thus illusory.
That's why self-realization, according to Vaishnava theology, means to
realize one's eternal self beyond the temporary body and mind. Krishna
gives a brilliant argument in the Bhagavad Gita to help a thoughtful
person experience his eternal self.
A person's body goes through different stages of infancy, childhood,
youth, old age and finally death. But during all these changes of the
body and the mind, the self (the inner sense of I-feeling), or the
inner observer remains constant. I am the same me when Im young as
when Im old. That's one way we can logically understand we are
The human life-form is unique in the sense that it allows the self to
understand its own eternity. So the purpose of human life is to
connect with the eternal self. If one is simply absorbed in the body
and its demands, one is wasting this valuable opportunity - an
opportunity that is only available in the human life-form. Eating,
sleeping, mating and defending, the soul can do in any life-form, only
in the human form can the self connect with eternity, ie. reality.
Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these
kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. (Bg 2.12)
As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood
to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at
death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change. (Bg 2.13)
I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am
covered by My internal potency, and therefore they do not know that I
am unborn and infallible. (Bg. 7.25)