Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 10 Feb 2005


Can you satisfy the logic of atheists in your spiritual explanations?

The logic of atheists is based on perception (Pratyaksha Pramana), which was propagated by Sage Charvaka. Perception means the knowledge derived from the observation with the naked eyes [or other senses]. In fact in logic (Tarka Shastra) all the means of knowledge are based only on perception. In case of inference (Anumana), the fire on the hill is inferred by its smoke. But the relationship between the fire and the smoke is perceived with the naked eyes. Similarly all the other means of knowledge are also based on perception. Thus Charvaka’s theory forms the basis of the entire field of logic and without logic there is no knowledge.

The statement that God is above logic must be proved only by perception. The divine miracles performed by the human form of the Lord prove that there is a power above logic. The miracles are seen by the naked eyes. Atheists must be allowed to prove whether the miracles are simply magic tricks. When they cannot prove it, they must accept the existence of super power above logic. If they do not accept this, they contradict their own basis, which is perception. The divine miracles are experienced by the devotees and their experience cannot be contradicted. If their experience is contradicted, the experience of the atheists is also contradicted. Therefore atheists must be open-minded and not conservative. If they are conservative, then they have no right to criticize religious conservatism.

The theory of the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita never contradicts perception and therefore the logic of atheists becomes the basis of the spiritual knowledge. The Lord comes in human form and this human form is perceived by the naked eyes. Even the miracles performed by demons establish the existence of some super power. Therefore to convince the atheists, the miracles of the Lord are not necessary. When they are convinced about the existence of the super power (Maya), the possessor of the super power, the Lord, coming in the human form, must also be accepted because the form is seen by the naked eyes.

Salvation is the breaking of the bonds in this world. Since the bonds of this world exist based on perception, salvation from these bonds is also based on perception. Since the family members and money are perceived by the eyes, the bonds with them are also perceived. Thus salvation (moksha) must be accepted by the atheists. A single bond with the human form of the Lord is called ‘Saayujya’ or ‘Kaivalya’. Since the human form is perceived, Sayujya or Kaivalya is also perceived and must be accepted by the atheists. Bliss is derived by the devotee from the divine knowledge of the human form of the Lord. Therefore bliss is also true according to atheists. Thus the goal, the means to please the Lord (sadhana) and the fruit of sadhana (Moksha and Kaivalya) are all perceived and exist in this world itself. The Veda says ‘Yat Saakshat Aparokshaat’, ‘Pratyagatmanam aikshat’ which means that the Lord in human form is perceived by the naked eyes. The Veda also says ‘Ihachet Avedeet’, which means that everything is true as seen in this world itself. This is called ‘Jeevanmukti’, which means attaining salvation while one is alive and not after death. Salvation after death is not true because it has no basis of perception. Thus if atheists are little patient and leave their aggressive nature of criticism, they are best fitted for the true spiritual knowledge of the Vedas. In fact Swami Vidyaranya included the philosophy of Charvaka in his book as one of the logical philosophies (Darshanas).