We are defined by the questions we ask – in life, in science and in spirituality

by Chaitanya CharanSeptember 8, 2017

[Talk at Krishna House, Gainesville, USA]

Transcription of Summary Lecture

I spoke about how we are defined more by our questions than by answers. So, in the Bhagavatam here the sages are asking, ‘There are so many scriptures. What is their essence? What is their essence that will bring about good for all humans?’

So, there are many scriptures, many interpretations of the same scriptures also. So, we have a information overload in the vedic times and in the modern times also. So, we need to be purposeful in our study, and our purposefulness will be determined by the kind of questions that we ask.

So, the soul is Sat-Cit-Ananda. From its very nature it asks questions about existence, how can I exist? How can I know more? Exploration… and Ecstasy, how can be happy?

In modern science these questions are restricted to the material realm. Science looks for material explanations for material phenomenon, and within this conception knowledge is defined as power, the capacity to control… things  , that is fine but then with this obsession with the material there is oblivious to the spiritual. So, science view of the world is like a closed room. It has no idea of what exists outside, but what resides inside this can only elate us, not satisfy us.

That’s why even with the best gadget, the best technology we don’t get fulfilment. It’s like tickling…tickling the body, tickling the mind, tickling the intelligence, but we need fulfilment. For that we need spiritual questions. Questions about who I am, and what will actually fulfil me?

So, these questions can be answered either from the path of karma which thinks that by making things better in the world there will be happiness; by the path of jnana… by just detaching ourselves from the world we will get happiness, or through the path of bhakti… by connecting with the source of the world there will be happiness. So, bhakti is about romanticising or demonising the world but connecting with Krishna, and even in the devotee community we need to by practicing bhakti chose the questions that drive us, not what problem who has, what is for food, what is for that? How can I move closer to Krishna?0 With this driving question no matter how many distractions come in our life we will march towards absorption in Krishna and therein we will find yenatma suprasidati, our heart will find the deepest fulfilment.

(Transcription by Sadananda Krishnaprema Prabhu)

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Chaitanya Charan

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