There once lived a great (as he was considered by his contemporaries) philosopher, Bertand Russel by name. He thought the idea of becoming one with the ocean (i.e. a person’s spirit becoming one with God/Brahman) “conventional stuff and unmitigated rubbish”. He wrote about R. Tagore’s lectures: “I regret I can not agree with Tagore. His talk about the infinite is vague nonsense”.
What would you tell Bertand? Would you agree or disagree? In case of the latter, what explanation would you use to contradict him?..
Ok, no more questions… only the last one: are you interested in what Tagore (1861-1941) answered him?
TAGORE’S LETTER TO BERTRAND RUSSELL
37 Alfred Place W, South Kensington, London, 13 October 1912
Dear Mr. Russell,
…I read your article on the Essence of Religion in the last issue of the Hibbert Journal with very great interest. It reminded me of a verse in the Upanishad which runs thus:
Yato veiche nivartante aprapya manasa saha Anandam Brahmano Vidvan na vibheti Kutushchama.
“From him words, as well as mind, come back baffled. Yet he who knows the joy of Brahman (the Infinite) is free from all fear”.
Through knowledge you cannot apprehend him; yet when you live the life of the Infinite and are not bound within the limits of the finite self you realize that great joy which is above all the pleasures and pains of our selfish life and so you are free from all fear. This joy itself is the positive perception of Brahman. It is not a greed which authority imposes on us but an absolute realization of the Infinite which we can only attain by breaking through the bonds of the narrow self and setting our will and love free.
Thought for the day: “Why are you wasting so much time with trivial and unimportant nonsensical things? What is your destiny?” (Shri Mataji)
5 thoughts on “Perceive God with Inner Joy”
I really like your idea of “thought of the day” !! clever and intriguing…
I never expected to see a reference to Tagore on a blog.
Like it is said, never say never.
Tagore was an idealist. He inhertited from the great Indian philosophical traditions. In contrast, Einstein was a stance realist. What can you expect? Einstein inherited from the Euclidean Descartian material realism which is the predominant philosophy of west for centuries.
Nobel laureate chemist said: Ilya Prigogine “Curiously enough, the present evolution of science is running in the direction stated by great poet”.
I feel material realistic view comes with a bit of naivity. Also I won’t like to live in a deterministic clock-work universe where your destiny is already written and that denies free-will.
Apologies, I meant Russel not Einstein.
Maybe, Bertrand Russell never wanted to open his eyes beyond the conditioned human existence, conditioned as it is by the four dimensions of time and space (one of time and three of space). Russell’s universe, as he dealt with it in actuality, was not even four-dimensiona, it was merely the three-dimensional Cartesian three-dimensional world with x, y and z axes, its co-odinates described as ‘real variables’. Of course, even science and mathematics has already advanced its frontiers far, far farther than the limits within which people of the times of Russell lived and it seems to say that there could be as many as 7 dimensions for reality and methods will need yet to be devised to understand such a multidimensional [eventually perhaps, an infinity dimensioned] reality. Consciousness and universal consciousness, in fact, became a point of interest in science right at the time of Erin Schrodinger, while he investigated into the unfathomable realms of particle physics.
Albert Einstein was a much more awakened soul [and of course a much more refined a person] and a more earnest seeker of truth than Bertrand Russell. To Einstein, the universe is something which can be exhaustively understood by the methods of counting and measuring, in other words, by what in Indian philosophy we refer to as Saankhya of Kapila Rishi. As we know, Saankhya can liberate one to truth, but unfortunately, measuring and counting would need infinite amount of time. Hence the need to conquer time, the fourth dimension. This, to my mind, is what the other types of Indian Upanishadic wisdom, do, namely, Yoga of various kinds like Jnaana, Bhakti, Karma, etc., which are rooted in subjective experience : each man has to subjectively convince himself through his own experience regarding the Infinity of the Absolute Truth, which is more manifest in Ananda, Being, and Beauty, which are also not amenable to quantification and measurements or counting. Saankhya, to my mind, can be pursued [but aq whole life spent without ever getting closer to the truth that liberates!] with full and permissive freedom being given to the pursuer’s senses, especially the carnal pleasures of sex, sight, titllations, and the like. Almost almost scientists, why almost any scientist without a sympathetic or earnest desire to look at the Upanishadic wisdom of the Vedas, are not averse to, and indeed, most of them, pursuing a sensually directed pursuit of truth all the time. Einstein kept on asking both Eastern Upanishadic poets and saints like Rabindranath Tagore, as well as the scientists and rationalists whether truth and a world exists independent of man. Although some, like Tagore, responded with an answer, Einstein was not really satisfied.
NEITHER INDIANS, OR, MORE GENERALLY, THE WISE EASTERNER, NOR THE ‘SCIENTIFIC’ WESTERNER NEED TO WORRY: Truth is a pathless world in which one need to pursue according to one’s own subjective powers perhaps aided by the senses without allowing the latter to be frittered into sensory pleasures. Russell was great in his times, and for some more time beyond, but many new ones keep cropping up sometimes even rejecting outright his ideas and thoughts and exposing his self-imposed limitations and “axioms”. Depending on one’s mental make-up and will to place self below the exigencies of the efforts for discovering truth, as per one’s own dictates, the pursuit is bound to be endless, and will continue to be an endless voyage, in which each milestone will be forgotten after attaining passing to distant milestones ahead.