Can you explain the difference in the defects of being illusioned and committing mistakes as illustrated through the evolution theory?
From Gopi Vallabhi Devi Dasi
Transcribed by: Shalini Ahluwalia
Question: Can you explain the difference between bhrama and pramaad based on how the theory of evolution that you have given the example. You have said that to see the similarities between humans and monkeys is one of the defects and to infer that humans have come from monkeys is another defect. So can you explain this more clearly?
Answer: Yes. First of all this is an improvised example to illustrate the four defects and their progression in misleading us. No example is perfect. I will just give a broad principle over here. So first of all is among the four defects if you want to look at it progressively is karna patav. Karna patav is our senses are imperfect because of which we cannot perceive reality completely. So when we see the various species we cannot perceive their origin. We have limitations. Thats the inability to perceive the complete reality because of the limitations of our senses. Thats the first point. And the second point after that is that when I can’t perceive then I look at what I see and based on that I try to come up with some similarities. Then I see humans and monkeys are similar. So Darwin also actually observed the similarity not just in bodily features but also in behaviour. Monkeys blink their eyes, monkeys scratch their head. So they do something similar to humans so that observation of similarity is something which is involuntary. We just observe and we see the similarity. But from that similarity to come to the point of thinking that one has come from the other, that humans have come from monkeys, the leap in speculation is unwarranted and unsubstantiated. So there it becomes a mistake. So to see the similarity is itself not necessarily wrong, the similarity is there. But from there to go forward and assume that there is a historical link in terms of one evolving into another that is something which is much further in the realm of misleading. So in that sense and ultimately to come up with the evidence to support it, deny and denigrate the evidence which does not support it that is going into the zone of cheating. The simple point which I and making here is that to observe the similarity is something which is to some extent unavoidable. So if we look at the difference between the tendency to be illusioned and the tendency to commit mistakes is that the tendency to be illusioned is something which is much deeper within us. It is to some extent sub-conscious. We can’t avoid it. If I come from cold weather and then i suddenly come into a warm room, it feels warmer. If I have eaten something very sweet and after that I eat something less sweet I feel the second thing is not sweet at all. Why? Because it is the result of the contextual perception. So to be illusioned is something which is somewhat involuntary. To see the similarities between humans and monkeys that is actually an example of the tendency to be illusioned. We can’t avoid that illusion. But the tendency to commit mistakes, is to assume that one comes from the other. So in that way the progression is there where we see the similarity and assuming the similarity. That seeing the similarity is something which is to some extent subconscious. That is there and we see it. But to jump from there and to assume that one has come from the other that is further progress in the misleading and in that sense its a mistake. Thank you, Hare Krishna!