Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Moon Siddhi

Empiricism has to do with the limited senses and mind. SB is a poetic work trying to convey larger ideas than the the senses can measure or the mind can comprehend.

"My dear Lord, You are the creator, maintainer and annihilator of this cosmic manifestation, but persons who are too materialistic and who always see separateness do not have eyes with which to see You. They cannot understand Your real position, and therefore they conclude that the cosmic manifestation is independent of Your opulence." SB 6.16.47

"As the Lord passed along the public road of Dvaraka, His head was protected from the sunshine by a white umbrella. White feathered fans moved in semicircles, and showers of flowers fell upon the road. His yellow garments and garlands of flowers made it appear as if a dark cloud were surrounded simultaneously by sun, moon, lightning and rainbows.
The sun, moon, rainbow and lightning do not appear in the sky simultaneously. When there is sun, the moonlight becomes insignificant, and if there are clouds and a rainbow, there is no manifestation of lightning. The Lord's bodily hue is just like a new monsoon cloud. He is compared herein to the cloud. The white umbrella over His head is compared to the sun. The movement of the bunch-hair fan of flukes is compared to the moon. The showers of flowers are compared to the stars. His yellow garments are compared to the rainbow. So all these activities of the firmament, being impossible simultaneous factors, cannot be adjusted by comparison. The adjustment is possible only when we think of the inconceivable potency of the Lord. The Lord is all-powerful, and in His presence anything impossible can be made possible by His inconceivable energy. But the situation created at the time of His passing on the roads of Dvaraka was beautiful and could not be compared to anything besides the description of natural phenomena. "SB 1.11.27

So if empiricism tells us one thing and SB tells us another, are they irreconcilable? A question worthy of elaborate discussion after all the slaughterhouses are closed down, IMHO, but here is a glimpse to tide us over.

Suppose we live at the base of a mountain, in a village called Earthbound. At night, we can see the glow of a city called Moon City. It is 2 miles away. One day, we decide to visit a temple higher up on the mountain called Temple of the Sun. Following the road, called Empirical Way, we begin to climb the mountain.

As we are pedaling along, all we can see is a road in front of us because our senses are limited by the retaining walls necessary to keep the switchbacks from collapsing and blocking the road. After pedaling for some time, we finally get to the Temple of the Sun. Checking our pedometer, we see that we have pedaled 5 miles. So we conclude that the Temple of the Sun is farther away from Earthbound than Moon City, which is only 2 miles.

The next day, we met someone who has just returned from an airplane ride over the area. He tells us that the Temple of the Sun is actually closer to Earthbound than Moon City. He measured it from the air where he could see that a straight line up the mountain from Earthbound to the Temple of the Sun is only one mile.

Since we can't fly up the mountain, for practical purposes it is five miles away, but by hearing from higher authority, we can understand that it is also only one mile away as the parrot flies. Ergo, Moon City is simultaneously nearer to, and farther from, Earthbound than the Temple of the Sun.


At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Chaits said...

Below is a link to a website which was created by Vrndavan Parker (one of the "older gurukulis", formally initiated by Srila Prabhupada). He has spent a lot of time and energy researching Vedic culture. It has some interesting information as well as many, many links to other website promoting Vedic knowledge and points of view.



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