May God save us from well-meaning atheists

With scientists as the modern-day priests, atheism has become the new fundamentalism. May God save us from such well-meaning people.

I was recently informed that one of my congregational members had abandoned her daily practices after reading a book which claimed that Krishna was a myth. Not only that, but the book claimed that the legend of Krishna was merely one of 16 similar myths throughout history. Not only that, but that Krishna was also crucified on a cross between two thieves!

I came across the book that puts forward this theory many years ago. It’s based on a Victorian, anti-Hindu essay, and I am very surprised that it is still in circulation. You would think that such ideas would have lost their currency as time has elapsed and further information has become available.

But I guess I’m biased. For the past 35 years I’ve been a member of an organisation here in Britain that has published and sold over 100 million books dealing with the subject of eastern metaphysics, Vedanta philosophy, yoga, meditation, – and Krishna. You’d think that such a lot of published information would serve to balance out some of the more creative speculations of particular authors.

But we live in a world where disbelief is the new belief. Cynicism is the way forward. And every idea must first be tested and approved by scientists. Only then can we consume such ideas and make them a part of our world view. In particular, the notion of a transcendent intelligence. To hold an idea of God to be reality without such approval is to be guilty of self-delusion, irrationality, and emotional dependence. And there’s a long list of scientific professionals that are lining up to inform you of your delusion.

First in the queue is the neuro-scientist, who will inform you that God is merely a short-circuit within part of the brain that is responsible for ‘religious’ experiences.

Second in line is the biochemist who will inform you that certain mental states, including certain ‘ecstatic moods’  – which you’ve experienced at times of emotional need in connection with religious atmospheres – can be reproduced, to order, by a few grams of a special psychotropic formula.

Then comes the psychologist, who will inform you that the very idea of God is the mental projection of a deep need for ultimate certainty in an otherwise uncertain world.

Next comes the psychotherapist, who will tell you that yes, for certain, your belief in God is because your mother always told you to say your prayers and that you imbibed her ideas in childhood and accepted them as your own.

Then comes the anthropologist who will explain that primitive people have always believed in God because it helped to form a social glue that kept them from all killing each other. As a useful idea it has been preserved within human society, but now that we have moved away from such primitive behaviour God should be relegated to distant history.

Next up is the archaeologist, who will explain that the ancient scriptures that are the basis of all the world’s religions are largely amalgamations of such myths that the anthropologist has just been explaining.

Third from last comes the best-selling author who comes to you with a copy of his ‘explosive new book’ that combines all the views of all the scientists into a book that rips apart everything held sacred since the beginning of recorded history. He will explain what we used to think, but what we now know.

Second from the end of the line comes the well-read secondary school chemistry teacher, who always wanted to be a proper scientist but didn’t quite get the grades, who naturally listens to all of the above and teaches your children.

Finally comes the well-meaning friend, the earnest guest at dinner parties, the constant voice of ‘reason’, who just wants you to be better informed so that you can think more logically and be ‘happier in yourself’, not ‘using religion as a crutch.’

With all these well-meaning people in the world, it’s a wonder that anyone, anywhere, even so much as dares to think that God might be real. And yet they do.

Not only that, but many westerners – who should know better – are taking to the path of bhakti-yoga, the tried and tested forms of sacred discipline that result in something known as Krishna consciousness. Not only that, but some of them are – gasp – scientists.

That’s right. Even physicists, astro-physicists, pharmacists, biochemists, neurologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists are taking up bhakti-yoga. How do I know? They write to me and tell me.

Strange as it may seem, each of them – who, supposedly, should also know better – practise their scientific disciplines in harmony with a sacred worldview. They do it because they don’t automatically presume, as many colleagues do, that they are mutually exclusive. Mutual harmony, not diametric opposition, is the rule of their intellectual lives, and they are much the better for it. And they tell me so.

So please, my dear readers, don’t waste time with those authors who have no other business than telling you their latest theory and pocketing your hard-earned money and time along with it. Theories come along like the number 42 bus – there’ll be another one along in a minute. Follow the practices of Krishna consciousness according to the guidelines and you will experience first-hand, scientific, confirmation of the reality of Krishna.



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13 responses to “May God save us from well-meaning atheists

  1. Ahh that must be why in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is the number from which all meaning (“the meaning of life, the universe, and everything”) could be derived.
    I did wonder why the author chose the number 42.
    As usual you are a fountain of knowledge and wisdom Prabhu.
    Hare Krishna

  2. Amazing post! First time I saw such a nice compilation of manifold justification of atheism. It’s fascinating to see the exact same answer being reached from scientific inquiry of multiple disciplines.
    I just did not get the link between the logic you stated (several sciences lead to atheism) and your conclusion (atheism is scam).
    Truth can only be proved by evidence and reason – claim of majority following does not prove the truth in any way, does it? Why none of the scientists in iskcon fold are able to prove the existence of Krsna?

    But it is probably futile to raise any such question here. Unqualified faith means booting out healthy doubt and curious questioning.
    Do you ever doubt yourself that you could be wrong? As a matter of fact, I always doubt myself. I am not absolutely certain, but I’m fairly certain, that there exists no such god.

  3. Thank you Aniket. You seem like a well-meaning friend and I must invite you to a dinner party sometime. Judging by your blog we would have a lively conversation.

    I take issue with your basic premise of course, rather, it is only by a process of ‘healthy doubt and curious questioning’ that any of us can understand God at all. If God is taken as a subject matter for intelligent analysis then scientists should be the best placed – more than anyone else – to make an examination of Him.

    At some stage though, it will have to be admitted, that empirical research alone, and that with limited instruments, cannot take us as far as we need to go.

    Research into consciousness studies is still in its infancy and if you will concede that this particular scientific discipline still has many years of research to go, it may be that before we’re all old and grey, many discoveries will have been made that will shine a new light on Vedanta philosophy.

    In the meantime, I have accepted my conclusions based on the premises of an alternative system of philosophical logic, a discipline no less scientific. Although these days the very word ‘science’ has come to be synonymous with the empirical sciences (as I indicated in my post) and then accepted as the highest in the hierarchy of academic disciplines, I would argue that this is an unbalanced view. Becoming philosophically literate would help everyone in the ‘seeing is believing’ contingent.

  4. Yoga (Application) which was based on the control of the body physically and implied that a perfect control over the body and the senses led to knowledge of the ultimate reality. A detailed anatomical knowledge of the human body was necessary to the advancement of yoga and therefore those practising yoga had to keep in touch with medical knowledge. (Romila Thapar, A History of India, volume one).

    I suggest : Mind and brain are two distinct things. Brain is anatomical entity whereas mind is functional entity. Mind can be defined as the function of autonomic nervous system (ANS). It is claimed that mind can be brought under conscious control through the practice of meditation. But how? ANS is largely under hypothalamic control which is situated very close to optic chiasma (sixth chakra or ajna chakra). Protracted practice of concentration to meditate at this region brings functions of ANS say mind under one’s conscious control.

    ANS is further divided into parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS). On the basis of these facts I have discovered a mathematical relationship for spiritual quotient (S.Q.). Spiritual Quotient can be expressed mathematically as the ratio of Parasympathetic dominance to Sympathetic dominance. PSNS dominates during meditative calm and SNS dominates during stress. In this formula we assign numerical values to the physiological parameters activated or suppressed during autonomic mobilization and put in the formula to describe the state of mind of an individual and also infer his/her level of consciousness.

    Meditation is the art of looking within and science of doing nothing. We don’t use anything in meditation. We just try to concentrate to meditate at some point in human anatomy known as ‘chakra’ in Indian System of Yoga. The current of mind is flowing outward through the senses and unconsciously. The mind comes at rest gradually through regular practice of meditation. Then comes self realization and enlightenment. Protracted practice of meditation under qualified guidance will help to manage all sort of psychological problems.

    Emotional Quotient can also be expressed mathematically as the product of I.Q. and Wisdom Factor. E.Q. stands for Emotional Quotient. An intelligent person may not be wise. But a wise man will always be intelligent. An intelligent person having certain level of positive emotions can be said as wise. An intelligent person lacking wisdom will turn autocrat. A wise man will always be a democrat who respects others existence.

    Some may raise doubt that how could be the Wisdom quantified? The answer is simple -if Mental Age of I.Q. can be quantified then Wisdom can also be quantified, of course, comparatively with more efforts. Wilhelm Stern had given the formula of I.Q.. It is, Mental Age/ Chronological Age x 100. Spiritual Quotient (S.Q.) leverages both E.Q. and I.Q.

    Radha Soami Faith is a branch of Religion of Saints like Kabir, Nanak, Paltu, and others. Soamiji Maharaj is the founder of this Faith. You may call It like New Wine in Old Bottle.

    Maslow has given Hierarchy of Needs. At the top of it is need for self-actualization or self-realization.

    In our society we should learn To Live and Let Live and help to satisfy others need. When the lower order needs, physiological and sociological both, are satisfied then only a person think to satisfy need for self-realization in true sense. Else he/she may spend all his/her life to satisfy at the most the need for self-expression instead of self-realization.

    It is, therefore, the duty of every responsible person of our society to give serious thought over it.

    For the satisfaction of need for self-realization i.e. establishment of harmony of individual consciousness with that of universal consciousness we need following three things:

    1. Mater or Guru (A Self-Realized Soul)
    2. Secret of Levels of Universal Consciousness
    3. Method for traversing the path.

    Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

  5. If empirical research isn’t the way to prove God, what kind of research is?

    “In the meantime, I have accepted my conclusions based on the premises of an alternative system of philosophical logic, a discipline no less scientific.”
    I did not understand this. What is alternative system of philosophical logic? Vedanta? It is self-contradictory set of scriptures – dvaita, advaita and nastika all can use parts of vedanta to prove their point.

    I’m not asking these questions to prove you wrong. I’m seriously interested in knowing what you see that I don’t.
    I went to ISKCON events fairly regularly as a last attempt before becoming an out-of-closet open non-believer. I was hoping for some kind of realization, some experience, something that would have changed my opinion forever. I heard lot of stories, but I couldn’t see what others were able to see in that sculpture of krishna – besides, honestly speaking, all the talk sounded extremely inane and repetitive of same argument again and again. (This is typically true for deepak chopra as well)

    I miss those days – the vegetarian treats, the friendly and welcoming people, the calm and soothing ambiance. But these were all material aspects I liked about ISKCON, nothing spiritual about it.

  6. Ravindra

    If one studies science keeping an open mind, not for the sake of refuting the theory for the presence of God, its quite easy to infer that the observations that result based on scientific experiments clearly state the presence of God as a valid hypothesis, but somehow because there is a conception in people’s minds that science is completely opposed to religion/spirituality, one draws the conclusion that God is absent though the conclusion could have gone both ways.

    Darwin himself wasn’t sure of his theory (in fact he had to show his finch sparrows to the research society in England to understand what it meant!) and even modern day scientists accept that though they consider his approach appropriate – which in fact is similar to what the vedas speak about evolution. Moreover, many discoveries made in the past few decades have been mentioned in the vedas for which the written manuscript is available since atleast 2 centuries.

    An intelligent person in one who makes a decision after studying both paths and experimenting with them…and its wonderful to see an amazing number of similarities !

  7. Sita

    A very interesting Post,Guruji.To tell the truth, I had come across the same arguments ,accept them as true and am still a very strong believer. As Ravindra has explained a really open mind is needed to understand that there is Something more Powerful and Allknowing above ,below,around and within us.It comes to us only when we are ready recieve such Knowledge.As far as the arguments for proving or disproving the presence or absence of the Divine ,it is all a matter of perspective.There is a saying in Tamil that [roughly translated] means ” If one says ‘Yes’,then HE is There;if ‘no’,then He isn’t “.
    Hari Om.

  8. Martin

    I have found Kripamoya’s post and all of the, extremely well expressed, comments very helpful.

    I would just like to say to Aniket, that I agree with a very much of what you say but I can see no benefit in distancing myself from ‘those vegetarian treats, the friendly and welcoming people, the calm and soothing ambiance.’ Certainly these are ‘material aspects’ of ISKCON, but I find them inspiring and preferable to some of the values of the society that surrounds me.

    I try to keep an open mind. Quite probably that ‘realization’ will never happen for me, but I feel as if I belong in some strange way and my life seems to have more meaning. Having been an ‘out-of-closet open non-believer’ for most of my life, I feel much richer for accepting that I actually know very little, and giving consideration to philosophies that I have denied myself.

  9. mike

    Knowledge +Experience = Wisdom
    Simple really
    God Bless

  10. mike

    May i comment that to believe in God ,aGod or even a gasp of Gods is fine but pointless in the long run (as an individual)To belong to a club,church or any labeled churches is fine but no good in the long term(as an individual)
    To know the isness of God the being of God
    is when an individual can begin to conjoin with vibrational morphing along with all other beings ,creatures.
    be happy.

  11. Ultimate Creator is not God itself. There is some difference, although at very subtle level. God is the Reservoir of whole Cosmos even then God does not involve Himself directly in the Creational Process. God has completed the process of Cosmic Evolution through Prime Spiritual Current which may be considered in scientific terminology as Gravitational Force Current. This is the Original Fundamental Force. All other forces including the other three Fundamental Forces have their origin in Gravitational Force Current, when It descend down in lower spheres of creation these forces appeared. All these forces disappear again in Gravitational Force when they ascend up and become one force known as Quantum Gravity in Modern Science. It is believed that Quantum Gravity dominated during Planck Era.

    Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

    • I agree with you anirudh. The whole process is based on discipline and regularity .one tends to give up soon for want of patience …… thus a non believer.

  12. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

    Thank you kanchan for your very objective views about non-believer. In fact, non-believers are also very objective in their approach. I am making every efforts so that a consensus can be reached between atheist and theist. Please analyze my following faith based comments and send your views. Thanks.

    Radhasoami Faith View of Modus Operandi of Creation of Universe

    Universe existed before Big Bang please.

    Stephen Hawking writes in The Grand Design, “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.” Hawking said the Big Bang was merely the consequence of the law of gravity. In A Brief History of Time, Hawking suggested that the idea of God or a divine being was not necessarily incompatible with a scientific understanding of the Universe.

    Although Hawking is very close to Truth yet he is not perfect in his views while discarding the role of divine being. I consider the role of eternal gravity uppermost but I strongly differ with Hawking on the role of divine being. I consider Divine Ordainment is the cause of Creation of Universe.

    Now I give Radhasoami Faith view of Creation Theory. In Sar Bachan (Poetry) composed by His Holiness Soamiji Maharaj the August Founder of Radhasoami Faith the details of creation and dissolution has been described very scientifically. It is written in Jeth Mahina (name of Hindi moth) in this Holy Book: Only He Himself (Supreme Father)and none else was there. There issued forth a great current of spirituality, love and grace (In scientific terminology we may call this current as gravitational wave). This is called His Mauj (Divine Ordainment). This was the first manifestation of Supreme Being. This Divine Ordainment brought into being three regions, viz., Agam, Alakh, and Satnam of eternal bliss. Then a current emerged with a powerful sound (this was the first Big Bang). It brought forth the creation of seven Surats or currents of various shades and colours (in scientific terminology we may call it electromagnetic waves). Here the true Jaman or coagulant was given (in scientific terminology this coagulant may be called as weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force). Surats, among themselves, brought the creation into being.

    These currents descended down further and brought the whole universe/multi verse into being i.e. black holes, galaxies etc. were born.
    I would like to add further that sound energy and gravitational force current are non polar entity and electromagnetic force is bi-polar. Hence spiritual polarization, if occurred, is occurred in the region of Sat Lok and region below to it only.

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