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Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • keetdzadzeet mahseen khosheh vohr cheekitdzadzeet hahsguhnahs

    A young man (18 years old) who was one week away from starting college listened to a talk I was giving about the existence of God. He asked an impassioned question, “How can you prove that God exists? How can you convince an atheist that there is a real God? How can you convince a man who is an expert of material science that there is a supernatural God?

    I asked the young man three questions that I considered important to establish a foundation on which I would base my answer. He answered them all in the affirmative.

    “Do you believe that there are phenomenon that exist that you cannot see or hear?”

    “Yes, I do. There are radio waves or electromagnetic waves that can transmit information. A human being does not perceive them unless there is a radio antenna which can pick up the radio signals along with a radio tuner or resonator that can tune in to a particular frequency. There are also television waves and many other wavelengths and frequencies that can transmit images along with information.”

    “Would you admit that your senses of perception are limited in their ability to receive information?”

    “Yes, I know that the senses of a human being have a limitation on their range of perception. My eyes can’t see what is on the other side of a wall. Human ears have a limited range of perception of sounds in the range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.”

    “If a tree falls down and kills someone in a foreign country, how can you know that such an event actually happened?”

    “If the evening news reports the event, I can know it happened.”

    “Can you verify if it happened?”

    “Most probably not, I won’t have the time or desire to travel to the foreign country to verify the event.”

    “Then the only way you have knowledge of the event is by trusting the authority of the
    news organization that reports it.”


    “Therefore, we can assume that most of the information that we receive is based on trust in the authority of a person which can be a news anchor or news agency, a university professor, an author, a relative or anyone we accept as a trusted expert.”

    When I attended a science class in elementary school, I learned that the sun is 93 million miles from the earth. To this day, I have never verified on my own if the distance from the earth to the sun is truly 93 million miles. In order to pass a science test, I was given a multiple choice question: “How far is the sun from the earth?” The choices were 93 miles, 9,300 miles, 93,000 miles or 93 million miles. I answered 93 million miles. I received an A on my test for the correct answer. Yet, I never verified if the sun is actually 93 million miles or 92.5 million miles or 93.5 million miles away from the earth. I will never know for sure. It is also a fact that scientists may improve their instruments or techniques of measurement and later say that the sun is 98 million miles away.

    The question of verification is crucial. “How does one really know that something is true or false. One may receive knowledge from a trusted authority, but how can one verify that it is factual. Sometimes even authorities make mistakes or they may mislead others for their own purposes.

    An authority is a person who has knowledge of a subject. There are two main categories of knowledge which are mundane knowledge and transcendental knowledge.

    Mundane knowledge of this material world based on human observation, measurement and experimentation is always evolving because of the four fundamental defects of every human observer. The defects are: man makes mistakes; he is easily subject to illusion; he has imperfect or limited senses of perception; he has a cheating propensity. Material knowledge is often seen to be true in a limited frame of reference, but when the frame of reference increases, it is no longer true. Therefore, it is relative to certain conditions. An example is Newton’s three laws of motion that form the basis of classical mechanics.
    Transcendental knowledge concerns knowledge of what is beyond this material universe. The eternal spiritual world is beyond the capacity of observation, measurement and experimentation of man’s limited senses. Man cannot even observe and measure the full extent of the material universe, then how can he understand the spiritual world which is beyond the range of normal observation? Therefore, it is necessary to take assistance of the Vedas, which are coming from the highest authority Krishna, the Supreme Lord of the spiritual and material worlds.

    The Vedic knowledge is not experimental knowledge arrived at by men with imperfect senses. It is the truth that can be verified by men with imperfect senses by acceptance and practical application in their life. There are three criterions or conditions that are required to be sure that a statement of transcendental fact is true. First, the fact must be stated in the Vedas of which the highest threshold of authority are the Upanisads, the Srimad Bhagavatam, and the Bhagavad-gita. Second, authorized Vaisnava acaryas (saintly teachers) confirm and exemplify the same principles given in the Vedas. The acaryas come in the line of disciplic succession of Brahma, Sri Laxsmi, the four Kumaras and Lord Siva. The four Vaisnava lineages accept that Lord Krishna or Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although the four sampradayas affirm the same truth, the lineage of Brahma in which Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared has preserved the most evolved representation of the transcendental reality. Third, the statements and actions of the present teacher or guru is in accordance and confirms the first two. There is a triangle of confirmation with three points that must concur: sastra (Vedic scripture), sadhu (previous saints in disciplic succession) and guru (the present teacher). When these three conditions are confirmed, one can be assured that the transcendental knowledge one receives is true for all time and in all conditions unless there is a caveat that the particular knowledge is limited to certain conditions.

    Mundane knowledge is always conditioned by the three modes of material nature and thus is full of imperfections and limitations. Transcendental knowledge is free of any taint by the three modes of material nature.

    If we accept transcendental knowledge from the Vedas confirmed by previous acaryas and the present bona fide guru, then we can directly acknowledge that God exists and is real and eternally the Supreme Personality. If someone does not accept the authority of the Vedas, then we can use the method of speaking about the known to understand the unknown.

    We begin with the most simple and direct presentation by asking a skeptical person if they believe they are a person. Most people will admit that they are a distinct person. I have, however, met people who deny that they are a person. In those cases, I ask them what they would do if I urinated on them or beat them with a stick. They invariably say, they would resist or protest or protect themselves or fight back. This proves that they are a distinct person because a chair or wall would not protest. Next, I ask, “Are your mother and father persons and their mothers and fathers and so on back in your family lineage.” If they answer yes. I then ask, “Do you think anyone one of your previous relatives was a non-person?” Most of the time, they answer no. Therefore, the original person is God. Once a person admits that they are a distinct individual, it is not difficult to prove the existence of God, the original person or ancestor.

    In some cases, people argue that they believe that their original ancestor might have been a monkey or a single celled bacteria, etc. They insist that God is a character out of a fairy tale and that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution explains the origin of all species without any need or reference to God. The following six steps of logical thought will help an atheist accept that there is a superior intelligent being in the universe that is the author of universal laws that govern all movements.

    1. Descartes, a French philosopher, eliminated everything in his thoughts of which he could not be sure of its existence. H arrived at the following conclusion after eliminating everything but one: “I think, therefore I am.” Cogito ergo sum which means in French - “Je pense donc Je suis”; English: “I think, therefore I am,”is a philosophical Latin statement proposed by René Descartes. The simple meaning of the phrase is that someone wondering whether or not he exists is, in and of itself, proof that he does exist – at the very least, there must be an “I” who does the thinking. The phrase became a fundamental element of Western philosophy, as it can form a foundation for all knowledge. While other knowledge could be a figment of imagination, deception or mistake, the very act of doubting one’s own existence serves as proof of the reality of one’s own existence, or at least that of one’s thought.

    2. I can understand from the above that I exist as a thinker and observer. I observe things and thus there is a difference between the seer and the seen. I see objects. Therefore, there is a difference between the objects I see and myself as the seer. For example, I see my arm. If my arm is detached from my body, I continue to see it. It is obvious that there is a difference between the seer and the seen. Whether my arm is attached to my body or not, I still am the seer and I am different than the object I see.

    3. The objects I perceive, the organs I use to perceive and the process of
    perception have all been supplied to me. I did not create them, nor do I understand, control or maintain them. Therefore, I am not independent in the process of perception. For example, I use the internet. I did not create the internet, I do not control or own the internet, nor do I understand how the internet works. Yet, I am able to use the internet. My use of the internet depends on many other people and organizations that control it. I am dependent on them to use it. The same applies to my ability to perceive.

    4. My power of seeing or perception is limited. Every human being is born with four fundamental defects: we make mistakes, we are subject to illusion, our senses are imperfect and we have a cheating propensity. Thus we are conditioned by our body and the forces of nature that influence our body. We are dependent and limited. We cannot see around corners or through walls or at a great distance. We can’t hear radio waves unless we have a radio. We can’t see television waves unless we have a television. Our senses are limited. Even with powerful instruments to help us extend our perception, our senses are still limited.

    5. The seer is fundamentally different than the seen by virtue of the fact that the seer feels dissatisfaction due to the limitations of conditioned material existence. For example, a golfer is about to putt the golf ball into the hole. He carefully putts but the ball misses the hole. He feels dissatisfaction and frustration. The golf ball, however, feels nothing because it does not possess consciousness like the golfer. The consciousness of the golfer expressed by his dissatisfaction at missing the putt indicates that the golfer is different than the golf ball. The golf ball is made of a combination of matter but does not possess consciousness. The golfer is dissatisfied because he has consciousness.

    Consciousness is more than a combination of matter. The golfer’s body like the golf ball is made of matter, but there is another dimension in the body of the golfer that is not a product of material combination. That is his consciousness. Feelings of love, attachment, dissatisfaction, etc. indicate that a person has a non-material dimension that perceives and feels experiences in the material body. These conscious feelings can radically alter one’s behavior and expressions.

    The fact that consciousness is not a product of material combination is evident at the moment of death. Right before death, a person is still conscious. When the person dies, the body loses consciousness. After death, it becomes evident that consciousness is not merely a combination of matter because the same material body is still present but it is lacking consciousness. If the body and consciousness are both merely a combination of chemicals, then why can’t the doctors revive the body by injecting whatever chemicals are missing? The answer is that consciousness is not a product of material combination. In fact, why don’t scientists carefully measure a body before and right after death to determine what chemicals are missing so that they can inject them into the body of the deceased and revive him? Obviously, they have tried but they cannot succeed in manipulating chemicals to stop death or bring a dead body back to life. Therefore, the golf ball is simply a combination of matter, but the golfer is matter animated by consciousness which is the symptom of an individual non-material soul.

    6. Something cannot be animate without an intelligent person behind it. Intelligence gives direction like a higher authority. A living being cannot see or move or eat or do anything without the use of intelligence. Everyone is dependent on their own intelligence or that of a superior being.

    For example, a boy purchases a scale model train set. He assembles it at home. He connects the electrical control panel to an electrical outlet and begins to enjoy running the train. The train moves forward or backward and comes to a halt by the will of the boy. The boy did not create the train set. The boy purchased the set that was created and manufactured by other persons who had the superior intelligence to design and manufacture it. The boy simply assembled the train set according to instructions by the manufacturer and then enjoys running it by his will.

    There are three things to note: there is matter that can be organized and manipulated, there is the intelligence of an individual living being (the boy in this example), and there is the superior intelligence of the person or persons that conceived and made the train set.

    Similarly, there is a superior intelligence that has ordered this world that we live in. Due to the incredible engineering of this world, we are able to function in it and use the many facilities that seem to be automatic. Like the boy and the train set, or the user of the internet, we do not understand how the world works, but we are able to use it or order a small part of it according to our will. There is the law of gravity, the principles of aerodynamics, thermodynamics, the precise movement of planets, tides, etc., that are studied by scientists who then produce different conveyances based on the pre-existing laws and principles that govern the universe. The scientist abstracts the architectural designs and universal laws he sees in nature; then, by using his intelligence he collects the raw materials existing in nature and transforms them to make an airplane, car, or computer. In summary, he studies the amazing ingenuity of the superior intelligent being in the universe and attempts to imitate it on a much smaller scale. It is evident that there is a superior scientist with superior intelligence that has ordered the universe and is maintaining it in a wonderful way. The scientists of this world simply imitate what they observe.

    Without intelligence nothing can move. For example, I purchase all the materials for building a house and then store them on an empty lot ready to build it. But, if I follow the Darwinian principles of natural selection, genetic mutation, trial and error and random combination and permutation and hope that my house will be built by chance, it will never happen. Do you think the house will be built on my plot of land like Darwin claims the species evolved or modern followers of him claim the world was created by chance? Unless there are superior intelligent persons to direct the construction of the house and the workers to do it, it will never be built. It certainly cannot be constructed by the building materials themselves or by chance occurrence of events! Matter can only move because of superior intelligence moving and guiding it in a precise way.

    We can safely and logically conclude that something cannot be animate without an intelligent person behind it. Therefore, there is a supremely intelligent person behind the entire material creation that is guiding it and his subordinates at every step. Just as there are so many intelligent people in this world guiding and molding matter into many conveyances for their purposes.

    Let say I walk into the Microsoft campus and declare that the computer software company began by accident and developed by itself and that no intelligent individual(s) was behind its creation, development and continuation. What do you think the response would be? It is obvious that a psychological evaluation team would be called to determine whether I was a mentally disturbed person making such outrageously false statements. It is obvious if you visit the Microsoft Campus that it was begun, developed and continuously maintained by a group of highly intelligent persons. There is no other explanation for its continued success until today. But Microsoft is insignificant in comparison with the complexity, grandeur, and incredible technology manifest in the universe.

    A man is considered crazy to express the thoughts that Microsoft started by accident and is continuing without any intelligent persons ordering and guiding it. Similarly, anyone who claims the universe with its incredible complexity and perfect movements happened by accident and that there is no intelligent superior person behind it, should also be considered crazy.

    The earth revolves on its axis about 1200 miles and hour. The earth also revolves around the sun at about 2000 miles per hour. The sun also revolves on a universal orbit at another incredible speed. All these movements are going on in a synchronized manner. The movements are so perfect that we don’t feel any shaking or discomfort. Due to the exactness of these colossal movements we are able to keep time in a precise way. These movements are ordered and maintained with a regularity that seems mysterious. Is this all going on randomly? Obviously not!

    As there is intelligence behind the movement of a car, airplane, bicycle, etc. so there is a superior intelligence behind the movement of the sun, moon, earth and all things.
    The above logical development of thought can be accepted by any honest thinker.

    To understand more specifically about the Supreme intelligent person behind the creation and maintenance of the material world and its innumerable entities, one must take guidance from Vedic authority because it is transcendental knowledge beyond our range of experience with material senses. However, we can speak of the known to understand the unknown.

    For example, we can analyze our clothing like a cotton shirt or dress that is printed with multiple colors and designs. One must first start with raw cotton which grows in nature. Humans did not create the cotton plant. We may cultivate and harvest it, but we did not create it. The raw cotton is made into thread and the thread is woven into cloth. The cloth is cut in a specific pattern and stitched. It is dyed either before the stitching or after and may also be printed with multi-colored designs. Not one step in this process is random. Now compare the complexity of the shirt to that of nature. Any sane person can understand that nature could not have been created by a random process. Thus we start by the known to understand the unknown.

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