Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 20 Jul 2012



[A devotee asked “What is the reason for the variation in scriptures and philosophies in preaching ethics (Pravrutti) and in the spiritual knowledge related to God (Nivrutti), which is the source of confusion and splits leading to hot debates? Why is the truth not revealed directly to avoid all this chaos?” Given below is Shri Swami’s reply.]

The truth can be revealed directly in simple language without twists and modifications if the receivers are in the uniform level of maturity to digest the revealed truth. In the same time, there are different people existing in different levels of digestion. The same truth has to be revealed in different ways and with necessary twists so that a set of people existing in a specific level of maturity can digest atleast the partial truth so that they can be lifted to the next higher level and in course of time reach the highest level of maturity to understand and digest the total truth. If you present the total truth in the beginning itself, the people may not digest it and the negative effect may be, they fall to still lower levels. Instead of such fall, it is better to keep silent so that the people remain in their present level atleast without any downfall. Preaching the total truth is not at all important. The important duty of the preacher is to uplift the people from their present existing level and for this sake, the truth may be totally hidden or even may be totally twisted and misrepresented. In course of time, the total truth may be revealed gradually according to the maturity of the existing levels. Studying the capability of digestion of the receiver is the subject of human psychology, which is the essential light of guidance for a preacher.

The scriptures say that the preaching of the knowledge should be based on four angles, which are called as the Anubandha Chatushtayam. These four angles are

1) Adhikari: The person deserving to the level of the stage of knowledge.

2) Vishaya: The stage of knowledge that should be made deserving to the person existing in that level by introducing the necessary twists so that it can be perfectly digested by the person corresponding to that level.

3) Sambandha: Examination of the suitability of the prepared subject matter to that person by avoiding all the doubts regarding its digestion.

4) Prayojana: Examining the resulting effect of the application of such knowledge to the corresponding person so that the fruit of upliftment of the person to the higher level takes place.

The knowledge prepared for a particular level becomes wrong to the other higher or lower levels. By this, different topics of the knowledge result, which contradict each other and look very much different. Certainly, a lot of confusion leading to splits results when the knowledge of a level is referred to the other level. The people of the other level cannot be the receivers of the knowledge of a particular level. If this background is understood, the confusion disappears. Let Me illustrate this with the help of an example in Pravrutti and another example in Nivrutti.

In Pravrutti, there was a time when people killed even the cows for the sake of their daily food. The cow has no specialty and killing of any living being for the sake of food is one and the same sin. The specialty of the cow came due to the additional consideration that it is the mother of bulls, which are used in ploughing the fields for agriculture. It is an additional point to restrict the sin. Now, the scripture cannot control the sin totally in the beginning itself. The scripture ordered the people through the statement ‘kill the cow only when the guest comes’. The main important side is to stop killing the cow on everyday for the sake of your food. This statement of the scripture was applicable to the people of old time and the result is to control the killing of cow gradually. After achieving the control of the sin, the scripture stated ‘we will shoot anyone killing the cow on any day’. This second statement is again related to the people of latter age only or even to the people of present age. If we apply the second statement to the old age, it would not be suitable and would contradict the first statement. Similarly, if you bring the first statement to the middle or to the present age, it will not be suitable and will contradict the second statement. The first and second statements oppose each other and should not be applied to the same age. They are applicable to different ages and should not be mixed together to develop confusion and contradiction leading to hot debate.

Similarly, in Nivrutti, the three statements of the three preachers (Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva) contradict each other if you apply to the people of the same level. The ages of these three preachers were different denoting the three different levels in the spiritual progress. In the beginning, there were only atheists (Buddhists and Purvamimaamsakas) at the time of Shankara, who stated that God never exists. But, they accepted their own existence because nobody can deny his own existence. Shankara played a trick.

Shankara: Do you believe in your existence?

Atheist: Yes, I exist.

Shankara: You are God. Since you accept your existence, you have to accept the existence of God.

Atheist: If I am God, certainly God exists because I exist.

Like this, Shankara made the atheists to believe in the existence of God. Except this way, there was no other way to make them believe in the existence of God. The egoistic atheist will not accept the existence of God in any other way. In course of time, a few people, who became the disciples of Shankara, were preached that every human being was not God. Those few disciples reached the level of maturity due to reduction of their ego. Shankara taught them a lesson by swallowing the molten lead and by asking the disciples to drink the same molten lead, if everybody was God. Later on, theism developed and ego got reduced to a greater extent. In this age, Ramanuja came and told that the human being was a part of God. The qualitative similarity and the quantitative difference were simultaneously maintained. The truth was partially revealed suiting to the partial reduction of ego. The qualitative similarity satisfied the partially reduced ego. After sometime, the ego was very much reduced and remained as a trace only. Madhva came and stated that God and soul were totally different except one similarity that is both were awareness. This simple similarity satisfied the trace of ego. Today, people with no ego are also found. For such people, this Datta Swami, the fourth preacher, states that the God is totally different from the soul and there is not even a single similarity because God is unimaginable Creator and the soul is imaginable item of creation. In all these times, all the types of people simultaneously exist in different proportions and hence, all these four philosophies were preached to the corresponding levels. If you preach the same philosophy to all the levels, certainly, confusion and quarrel result.