Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 14 Apr 2020


Can We Not Find Causes And Effects in a Continuous Process?

Shri Anil asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! This question is with reference to Your discourse dated February 27, 2020, which was related to the following verse from the Gita:

Asatyamapratiṣṭaṃ te jagaāhuranīśvaram

Aparaspara-sambhūtām, kimanyat kāma haitukam ।।16.8।।

In this verse, Lord Krishna was stating whatever is believed by an atheist about the production life in this world. Therefore, from the point of view of the atheist, that statement is fully correct. It means that if God Krishna is replaced by an atheist, the atheist would make the same statement.

If I say, “God exists”, it is true from the point of view of the theist who believes in God’s existence. Likewise, in the statement “Aparaspara-sambhūtām, kimanyat kāma haitukam” the atheists treat the production of new life in this world to be by the union of the couple as a mechanical process, which happens in a continuous manner. Atheists never accept any supernatural cause and effect and their theory will always treat this process as only a continuum. Thus God Krishna stated whatever is actually believed by an atheist. Also as per the Pāṇiṇi’s grammar (as mentioned by You) the word ‘aparaspara’ is applied to a continuous process.

My point is that the statement made by God Krishna refers only to a continuum, which is what is believed by atheists, in which there is no supernatural cause and effect concept. However from the boundaries of the given statement, as believed by the atheist, if we break the continuous process into parts, is it not a series of causes and their effects? For instance, taking food as the cause awareness becomes its effect. In that case, at least food becomes the cause for the awareness, even though God is not accepted as the cause by atheists. Also, there are cases in which the union of the couple does not produce children. How can atheists answer this? At Your Lotus Feet. –Anil.]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Your question is intended for an atheist and I am not an atheist to answer your question! Here the couple is referred to as the cause and the child possessing awareness is referred to as the effect. One couple is the cause for their child. But the same child grows into an adult and along with his or her life partner, becomes the cause to generate the grandchild, as the next effect. The effect in the first step becomes another cause and thus we can say that it is a chain of different causes (different couples) with different effects (different children). Even if you take food to be the cause of awareness, the food eaten by the first couple is different from the food eaten by the second couple. In this chain of different causes and different effects, the cause-effect relationship is continuously repeated and hence, the cause-effect relationship exists even in a continuous process. The scholar referred to in My previous discourse, was arguing that a cause-effect chain cannot exist in a continuous process, which is wrong.