4. Who Are You, Human? Part 6.

 

Spiritual And Material Reality

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(Artwork copyright Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International – www.krishna.com. Used with permission)

 The Vedas postulate the existence of two types of reality – the original – spiritual, and secondary – the material. They relate to each other as an object and its shadow. Although the shadow looks like an object, it is devoid of the inner core.

 For example, a reflection of a tree in the river can look very much like the real one, but it cannot give fruit, flowers and wood.

Similarly, our material world, in all its diversity is simply a three-dimensional reflection of a multi-dimensional spiritual reality.

The spiritual world exists eternally, and the material world, like a shadow, under certain circumstances may appear and disappear at certain time cycles.

According to the Vedas, the original home of all souls is the spiritual world, where the centre of all relationships is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

God has complete freedom and independence, as He is the source of all energies.

The soul, being a particle of God, has only partial independence.

In the eternal existence the soul takes advantage of its partial independence, and then he is forced to leave the spiritual world and go to the material world, where God is not obvious, and is present only as the universal consciousness (Paramatma) that controls the laws of the universe.

Here the soul can try to live in relative independence from God. However, nothing can replace God for the soul, and having passed through many rebirths, the soul might be tempted to return to the spiritual world. Then Paramatma from the heart begins to direct this soul where different spiritual paths are practiced.

Different spiritual traditions are like the rescue ladder from the spiritual world, which is used by the soul to gradually escape from the material world.

 Connections Of The Soul And the Body

So, a human being is a combination of an eternal soul and a temporary material body.

The subtle body is the shadow of the soul or the projection of the consciousness of the soul on matter. The subtle body or the materialistic consciousness is the connective tissue between the body and soul.

When the subtle body is impregnated with the material conception of life, the soul identifies himself with the body.

When we receive spiritual knowledge, the mind and the consciousness get purified of false identifications and then the favourable conditions for the return of the eternal soul to the eternal reality, manifest. Otherwise, the eternal soul would be forced to wander forever in the material world, changing bodies, like clothes.

As a consequence of secular education, consciousness is devoid of the spiritual alternative and therefore a person tends to give preference to the needs of his physical body, ignoring his true spiritual interests.

In fact, it means that he is unable to distinguish Primary from Secondary.

He forgets that his body is alive only as long as the consciousness (soul) and super consciousness (God in the heart) are present.

Thus, the soul takes the position of a battery, which nourishes the body.

And now he reminds a car owner, who is only concerned with the machine and forgets about his personal interests.

In this case, it turns out that the owner exists for a car, not a car for the owner. It is obvious that the car must be regularly refilled with petrol, but the owner of the car will not drink it. He needs different food.

 Spiritual Practice

So, what is the food for the soul?  The soul needs spiritual energy that comes directly from God.

What does it mean?

It is noticed that the consciousness of all living creatures have one thing in common – it seeks the most attractive manifestations of reality.

Of all the environments we instantly allocate the brightest, most beautiful and attractive. This suggests that consciousness has an innate aesthetic orientation.

The Vedas explain that God by nature is the most attractive person, and this world is His creation. Therefore, a living entity, in his pure consciousness, gets attracted by God Himself, and when the consciousness of the soul is covered with three modes, he tends to get attracted by His creation.

But in any case, God attracts the soul, either directly or indirectly through a material nature. Therefore, the Vedas call God by the term “all attractive” that in Sanskrit language sounds like “Krishna.” Krishna is a name that points to the all- attractive nature of God.

How can the soul receive spiritual nourishment from God?

The Vedas recommend it in the form of spiritual knowledge, meditation on the form of God, and as a practice of repeating God’s names in the form of prayer or mantra.

God, having an all pervasive and absolute nature, is nondifferent from His names, and therefore His names contain all divine energies.

In the current era the Vedas recommend the Hare Krishna mantra as the most effective remedy. The full text of it reads as follows:

Hare Krishna    Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna   Hare Hare

Hare Rama   Hare Rama

Rama Rama   Hare Hare

This mantra is translated as follows: Oh all-attractive Lord (Krishna), Oh all- blissful one (Rama), please accept my service to you.

This mantra can be chanted individually on beads ( Japa ) http://mcknowledge.info/music/individual-mantra-meditation/   and collectively in the form of group chanting ( Kirtan ) http://mcknowledge.info/music/kirtans/.

 

 In the process of mantra chanting the subtle body gets purified. As a result, the spiritual enthusiasm of the soul is increased and the material desires weaken. A person can easily get rid of bad habits and create a spiritual value system in which God occupies a dominant position.

 Scientific Research Of The Hare Krishna Mantra

 In addition to the spiritual effect, there are also positive physical changes.

In 1996, the University of Florida (USA) Department of Psychology conducted a scientific experiment to detect effects of this mantra on human mind and health.

After a month of daily chanting for 20 minutes, the experiment in the group of participants, revealed that the rate of the mode of ignorance (such as a tendency to depression, attachment to tobacco and alcohol) decreased by 18.5%, the effect of a mode of passion (which manifests itself under stressful conditions and the like) decreased by 10%. The influence of the mode of goodness, on the contrary increased by 7%.

Many participants felt more confident in themselves, began to show greater capacity for crisis management, some got interested in vegetarianism and so on. This suggests that the Hare Krishna mantra has a positive effect on people, regardless of their beliefs and religion.

If you want you can test yourself following this link : http://www.vedicpersonality.org/questionnaire.php?name=

In conclusion we can say that spiritual development is possible and necessary for all people. It is possible because we are all spiritual beings, and until we realize our spiritual program, we will not be happy. Our lives will be incomplete, despite all the material achievements.

Spiritual life is necessary because if a person does not prepare himself for the spiritual future, then he is unconsciously preparing himself for the inevitable crisis of values.

The dynamics of life is that with age, the ability to enjoy through the physical body is reduced, since the senses of the body weaken. Therefore, people should prepare themselves for the transition to alternative sources of happiness that are not related to matter.

Spiritual life is a natural and safe haven for the soul, which is inevitably getting closer to the moment of exiting the body.

 

 

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