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I keep posting and replying on facebook. I thought I will capture some interesting dialogues here.


Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy
Atheist: A person who does not agree with what he supposes as your concept of God.
Like · · Share · 19 hours ago

Anand Balaraman The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it – Terry Pratchet.
11 hours ago · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy As long as a person is intellectually honest, practically sincere and open to try to understand other points of view, he is welcome. Finding the truth is not a dead end. It is just the beginning of another chapter. Sri Ramakrishna’s spiritual life started with his vision of Kali. He said, “As long as I live, so long I learn.” Swami Brahmananda, a disciple who is considered as the spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna, said, “Spiritual life starts with the right understanding of God.”

When a person has found the truth, it removes all his insecurity and that is when he is really open to appreciate the ideas of others without any prejudice. The truth is like the equation of general relativity. After its discovery, you keep applying various conditions to it and keep coming up with hundreds of particular solutions, which explain so many natural phenomenon. You start discovering how the entire world beautifully fits into the truth. The discovery of the truth does not close doors. It opens an infinite number of doors. Real joyful living and seeking start only after the discovery of truth.

Swami Vivekananda wanted to do a deep study of Christianity. He wanted to use the library at the Seminary in Goa. The scholars there were astonished at his scholarship and understanding of Christianity. They welcomed him with open arms to stay for as long as he wanted and do his study. Swami Vivekananda was not groping in the dark to find the truth. He was bring in more and more of human knowledge and understanding into the light of his knowledge of the truth. Knowledge of truth is like a search light. Only when you get it, the world really makes sense to.

When some one asked Sri Ramakrishna why he did so much sadhana after attaining the truth. He said that he did not want to restrict himself to just eating one sweet in one way. He wanted to try all kinds of sweets and also eat them in various ways like sitting, standing, lying down, etc.


Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: The body itself is a thought. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

Anand Kannan: Thought where? In which mind or brain?

Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: Basic difference between Indian philosophy and Science is this: In science, thoughts and consciousness are products of matter. In Indian philosophy, consciousness is the fundamental entity, which manifests as freewill, mind, life, matter, etc.In this quotation, Ramana Maharishi takes to a philosophy where matter is considered as a manifestation of the mind, which itself is a manifestation of Consciousness. (In Sankara’s Advaita, matter and mind are given equal reality.) In this variant of Advaita, mind is a more fundamental entity than matter. Yoga Vashishtha is a beautiful book dealing with this philosophy.Even in Sankara’s Advaita Vedanta, matter is only a medium of expression and experience for the mind. Ideas exist in unmanifest form when there is no matter to manifest. It is like a software (and its database) in the hard disk, with no process currently to execute it. Even when the material world goes through cycles of its manifestation and unmanifestation (like reboot of the machine), the ideas survive. The fruits of action done by the jivas survive. When matter has evolved sufficiently to support life, the jivas start latching on to matter and start manifesting. It is like once the machine boots up, processes are created and programs start executing with the previous data in the database. Relative space and time are properties of the material universe, like each dream having its own relative space and time. Thus Vedanta is not against modern cosmology and evolution. But it makes it clear that matter is not the only thing that exists. The material universe is only one of the three entities of the empirical world – jiva, jagat, ishwara – which are all manifestations of a single abstract entity called Consciousness.


Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy Very nice writing.

As it has been often told, “Religion is not a set of beliefs. It is a way of life.” The Bible also says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Can religion tell us more than science?
www.bbc.co.uk
Too many athiests miss the point of religion, it’s about how we live and not what we believe, writes John Gray.
Like · · Share · September 19 at 12:05am

Prasad Krishnan Remember the beautiful Vaishnava Jan To…
September 19 at 10:59am · Like

Prasad Krishnan IMHO, the article makes some fair points, but doesn’t see some other ones. I am not sure if the modern rationalists would actually agree with “Instead it[science] has become a vehicle for myths – chief among them, the myth of salvation through science.”

What the modern rationalists like Richard Dawkins call for is Secular Humanism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism). I see particularly nothing wrong with that. The article projects a rather harsh image of atheists or rationalists, and I disagree with that.

OTOH, the ground from which rationalists debate religion is indeed flawed, as indicated. “But “humanity” isn’t marching anywhere. Humanity doesn’t exist, there are only human beings, each of them ruled by passions and illusions that conflict with one another and within themselves.” is quite insightful!

How much of the statement “What we believe doesn’t in the end matter very much. What matters is how we live” holds is a matter of debate, I think. Our deepest beliefs do affect all facets of our life, so much so that we sometimes forget that these beliefs are actually “beliefs” and accept them as inherently true. This can be a double-edged sword.

Secular humanism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org
International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)American Humanist AssociationBritish Humanist AssociationNational Secular Society
September 19 at 11:15am · Like · 1 person ·
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy ?@Prasad, It is a good idea. It is true that to live a moral and ethical life, you may say that you do not need religion or faith. But the entire structure is built on a vacuum, because the existence of “freewill” cannot be proved or disproved. That has to be taken on faith only. Though “Secular humanism” says that it does not depend on any faith or belief, behind all the precepts, it has the belief in freewill. It has a belief in an general moral order in the world where good begets good and bad begets bad. This moral order cannot be proved or disproved. It has to be taking on faith only. Without belief in this “freewill” and “moral order”, there can be no system of morality or ethics. Please let me know if there is such a possibility.
September 19 at 5:20pm · Like · 1 person

Anand Balaraman It is possible to be an atheist/agnostist and live an ethical and moral life. In fact I can give examples of where the spiritual/believers-in-god (just too many in the society) were indifferent or failed to show compassion and a confirmed atheist lending a helping hand (was too generous infact).
September 19 at 6:54pm · Like · 1 person
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy When a person says, “I do not believe in God”, it actually means, “I do not believe in my understanding or assumption of your definition of God.”

In Hinduism, the word God means two concepts:
1. There is a moral order in the world. Every person has to face the appropriate consequences of his actions that he does using his freewill.
2. There is a fundamental entity of which everything is made of.

These moral and metaphysical concepts are given the name God. The standard forms of God are mere psychological props to aid the mind to think of concepts (like Faraday’s left hand rule for dynamo to remember field-current-motion directions). Swami Vivekananda calls them as pegs on the wall to hang my coat called concepts. With this definition of God, many of the so-called atheists and agnostics will have no problem in accepting this God.

In Hinduism, God is a matter of understanding and not belief.

Most of the articles about God, atheism and agnosticism assume “God” as an extra-terrestrial masculine personality who affects every detail of human life, but is not affected by it. By that definition, Hinduism is atheistic. 🙂
September 19 at 7:16pm · Like · 2 people

Ankit Sharma ?@ Gomu…how about definition of God as collective ( sum total of )consciousness( isnt it same as 2nd point u mentioned because i belive consciousness is what everything is made of)
September 19 at 11:07pm · Like

Ankit Sharma I think word religion( being of western origin) is limited in terms of the meaning it can convey…sankrit word Dharma has several connotations of which one is “property”…for example Fire has the property of heat and hence heating is it dharma.Water has the property of flow and hence its dharma is flowing.By that logic dharma for any being is being true to its innate nature. A human being is following his/her dharma when he has realized his innate nature and is firmly established in it.
September 19 at 11:16pm · Like · 1 person

Anand Balaraman When I talk about a God I do not assume a male relaxing on a serpent bed enjoying a massage or someone carrying a trident with a snake coiled on his neck or someone wearing a crown of thorns with his arms and limbs nailed to a cross. 🙂 I assume God as a formless universal consciousness, exactly as described by Ankit.

I question the existence of a moral order in the first place let alone the existence of a universal consciousness. It appears, if one is cunning enough he can succeed in appropriating what is not genuinely their’s without having to face any consequences for their actions. Whenever such examples are cited, reincarnation will be brought in to explain how justice will be done in their next birth though they escaped from the consequences of their action in the present birth. The concept of reincarnation again is only a matter of belief assuming there is some “dharma chakra” But there seems to be no good reason for believing in the existence of such a law. If we are powerless to win over injustice then it is comfortable for assuming the existence of such a law comforts the mind. Observing this does not of course mean I prescribe an immoral behavior. In my opinion when a theist has a moral living we cannot say for sure if it is genuine or if it is with the expectation of a better future life. But if someone is moral even after knowing that there are no benefits – that means they are genuinely moral.
September 19 at 11:52pm · Like · 1 person

Prasad Krishnan ?@Gomu sir: You are right indeed. Belief in free-will and a moral order are required for any reasonable society to thrive.

The “free-will” for a rationalist will be a necessary abstraction using which interactions in the world are made sense of. That whether it is created by matter or whether it is independent of matter is another matter (:D) altogether . The simple fact that it is the unique experience of one and all (without loss of generality), and as of now seems non-refutable by any experiment, is reason enough to work with that abstraction.

As for the moral order, it is IMHO not required to “believe” that good begets good and bad begets bad. As Anand Maharaj spoke during His IISc talk, saamanya dharma as such is in general “inbuilt” within all (well, except the psychotics), as it indeed appears. How so, again, is a matter of debate. A scientist would say it is by evolution.

IMHO, there seems to be really no trouble for the rationalist in accepting and living with this situation, though it is built on a vacuum. In any case, no amount of experiment is going to shake reality (apparent or otherwise) of these two basic ideas. In any case the only divide between philosophy and science with respect to these two is going to be “how” and “why” these appear the way they do, not whether they do exist at all. As far as I can see, the rationalists take an issue only when the question of vishesha dharma comes into the picture.
September 20 at 10:12am · Like · 1 person
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy ?@Anand, That is exactly why I mentioned that the moral order is a belief. But, please mind that the absence of moral order is also a belief. This is something that can neither be proved not disproved. Either way, you need to take a stance based on belief only. Same is the case with whether there is a unified fundamental entity or not. To say that it exists or to say that it does not exist, both are based on belief only.
September 20 at 11:25am · Like · 1 person
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy ?@Prasad, By very definition, “freewill” should be independent of matter. If “freewill” is a product of matter, then it is not “free”.

In the absence of the belief in the moral order, the only basis of morality in a civilized society is “do unto others what you want others to do unto you.” The problem with this “Golden Rule” is there is no answer to the question “Why should I follow this?”. If I am intelligent enough I can always get away with conning people and get people to behave nicely to me, though I keep stabbing them from behind. The “Golden Rule” assumes that it is for a person, who wants to be fair. But, why should someone want to be fair? What is the motivation for someone to be fair?

A rationalist, if he is true to his name, should dig into the depth of everything. If he builds his concepts on the top of unprovable assumptions, he should not blame religion for doing a similar thing.
September 20 at 11:33am · Like · 1 person

Prasad Krishnan ?@Gomu sir: Yeah.. that is why I said “the abstraction of free will”, whether it is an illusion created by matter (in which case it is not really free) or whether it is truly free is something yet unanswered. As of now (or even if it is proved to be a product of matter), it is (would be) given the value of being “real” in accordance with experience of everybody.

As for morality, I do agree now that there is an element of belief. But it is not as though humanity hasn’t made any scientific enquiry into the grounds of morality (For example – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_of_morality or http://www.amazon.com/Braintrust-Neuroscience-Tells-about-Morality/dp/069113703X). Efforts are well happening in this direction.

A central principle in Science, as you know, is Occam’s razor. Even when a system requires a certain set of beliefs to run efficiently, it is only natural to the rationalist that he/she tries to maintain the bare minimum. In that sense, the rationalist has all the right to blame religion for some of its unnecessary beliefs (from the rationalistic pov), while at the same time maintaining some fundamental (or currently fundamental) beliefs which seem hard now to be done away with. Unlike many religions, at least the rationalist has no final place to rest, and this IMHO is joyful.

Science of morality – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org
The science of morality is the controversial idea that morality can be prescribe…
See More
September 20 at 12:24pm · Like · 1 person ·
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy ?@Prasad, “the value of being ‘real’ in accordance with the experience of everybody” holds no water. Sunrise is ‘real’. But we all know that earth is the one that rotates. There are any number of such optical illusions, which upon scientific enquiry, proves to be otherwise.

My only request to the atheist is this: If you are making an assumption, be bold enough to declare that you are making an assumption. If you are making an assumption and still if you proclaim that you do not take anything on faith, then you are telling a lie.

I agree with the Occam’s razor. But Occam’s razor also puts a condition, “if you are able to explain all observations using the existing assumptions”. I wonder if science has advanced so much currently that they can explain all observations. Science has progressed a lot, but still a lot of questions about life, thought, consciousness, etc are still unexplained.
September 20 at 1:24pm · Like · 1 person

Prasad Krishnan ?@Gomu Sir: That “value of real” statement is made not with respect to what is fact or fiction but with respect to practicality alone. For all practical purposes, we attach the value of “realness” to sunrise although most do know that it is not that way in reality.

“Be honest about your assumptions” is something that applies to everyone of course. That these questions about some fundamental things are open is the key. What I don’t see is why they should be closed “only” by philosophy or religion.
September 20 at 2:01pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy Philosophy or religion do not “close” these things.

Western Philosophy takes all permutations and combinations of the assumptions and works out their logical implications. It does not come to any conclusion.

Religion states the assumptions and builds a workable model on that assumptions. The assumptions are taken on faith in religion. And, these assumptions cannot violate logic or experience. Religion tries to build a model to explain observations in life. The assumptions and observations are linked by logic. That way, religion shows that the assumptions are not contradictory to observation and logic. They are still assumptions because it is theoretically impossible to prove or disprove the assumptions. The assumptions are non-falsifiable statements. No amount of observation or logic alone can prove or disprove the assumptions.
September 20 at 2:32pm · Like · 1 person

Prasad Krishnan I would still say the jury is still out on those assumptions. The assumption that these assumptions cannot be proved or disproved remains questionable, as far as I am concerned.
September 20 at 2:44pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy The position of Vedanta on this is that the sense organs and the mind are designed to observe and analyze finite objects. By nature, they cannot observe or come to any conclusions about infinite and the Subject. The senses can observe everything except the Observer. The mind can think about everything except the Thinker. And both cannot observe or think about the Infinite. All concepts of infinite are only as a negation of the finite.

Now, are these limitation of the senses and mind assumptions or provable facts?
September 20 at 5:27pm · Like · 1 person

Anand Balaraman ?”My only request to the atheist is this:”

I am not an atheist – I am an agnostist. 🙂 – But the point is taken! 🙂
September 20 at 7:02pm · Like

Prasad Krishnan The mind and the sense organs cannot observe one’s own Consciousness, yes that’s true. But why discard the possibility of observing some one else’s Consciousness? Why take Consciousness to be singular?
September 21 at 8:51am · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy The fundamental question to be answered is “Who am I?”. You cannot find the answer to that question by looking at others.
September 21 at 2:38pm · Like

Prasad Krishnan ?”You cannot find the answer to that question by looking at others.” Why this should be a fundamental fact that refuses to change, I do not see.

I cannot see my own eye. But I can understand it by looking at somebody else’s. If the “I” is created in the brain, then one can hope to learn about it by observing someone else’s brain. I agree that with present technology this is an impossible thing. But I don’t see why this possibility should be neglected – even for argument’s sake.
September 21 at 5:27pm · Like · 1 person
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy What you are saying is fine if we assume matter as the fundamental entity. If it is not, then it does not hold good. The question, “Is the mind in the body, or body in the mind?” can never be answered. When this is the case, there is always a possibility that what you will find by looking outside is not the same as what you will find by looking inside. So, better look inside if you want to find “Who am I?”
September 21 at 8:42pm · Like

Prasad Krishnan Everything that rationalist says is of course in the assumption consciousness and mind are created by the brain and the nervous system. In philosophy the assumption is otherwise. The statement that “the question of which is true can never be answered” is precisely what I claim is an assumption. “Can never be answered” means all possible methods have been tried out, which I think is not the case.

>>>”When this is the case, there is always a possibility that what you will find by looking outside is not the same as what you will find by looking inside. So, better look inside if you want to find “Who am I?””

….Or I can let someone else look inside my head and tell me how I look :D. Or device something which can “reflect” consciousness and see “my real self” in the mirror, just as a mirror reflects the external appearance.

In any case, I think this discussion has hit a logical stone-wall. Thanks Gomu Sir for all the time!
September 22 at 12:33pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy ?:) Yes. Please let me know if you find any observation or logic which helps to decide if the fundamental entity is matter or mind or Consciousness. Till then, I will assume it is Consciousness.
September 22 at 3:17pm · Like

Prasad Krishnan Well.

” dustarkAt suviramyatAM
shruti-matas-tarko’nusandhIyatAM ”

– http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2006-October/017571.html
[Advaita-l] Kanchi Mahaswamigal’s Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa – (KDAS-76)
www.advaita-vedanta.org
September 22 at 3:52pm · Like ·


Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy

Q: Did Krishna really exist?
A: I do not know the answer to that question. But if the question can be slightly changed, I can answer it.
Q: How?
A: If the question is “DOES Krishna really exist?”, I can surely say, “YES”.
Like · · Share · September 13 at 5:27pm
Nandini Vivekananda, Balakishore Naidu, Mahesh Narendran Nathan and 14 others like this.

Vasu Prasad H Yea he exists in the courage we take in attempt tasks otherwise we would give up. Yeah I think he inspires our politicians more !
September 13 at 5:49pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy Different people see Him in different things as you have described. The people who truly see, see Him in and as everything.

Apart from this Vedantic sense, He exists as pure love personified. He exists as the epitome of the human emotion called pure love – love for love sake, free from all idea of carnality and material expectation. The very names – Achyuta, Kesava, Madhava, Govinda, Madhusudhana, Narayana, etc – bring a thrill to the heart and makes the person take a deep breath. With the depth of feeling, it creates goosebumps, makes hairs stand on its end, makes swallowing difficult with a lump in the throat and makes the eyes moist.

With all these, what other answer can be there to the question, “Does Krishna really exist?” Whatever it is to whoever, to the person who can really feel Him and love Him, He exists. There cannot be a different answer.
September 13 at 6:02pm · Like · 1 person

Ankit Sharma reminds me of Eknath Eswarans beautiful explanation( in a book form) on 1000 names of Vishnu.
September 13 at 6:14pm · Like

Shubham Mishra This is very generic statement can be said about any God u worship be it Krishna, Ram, Shiva etc etc
September 13 at 7:35pm · Unlike · 1 person

Venu Kancharla http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=164544970222841

Fundamentals Of Sri Ram Temple
Read this too : http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&&note_id=439673916548 …
See More
Length: ?12:37
September 13 at 9:37pm · Like ·
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy ?@Shubham, Yes. That is the beauty and universality of real religion.
September 14 at 4:17pm · Like

Vasu Prasad H I would rather consider him as a good leader-(political ) Than a great human being. Lets keep it there and another thing is the whole story of krishna and other great hero’s of hindu mythology may really be good , but are they so gigantic as we project them to be is one thing we have to seriously see. Yea I have tried to persue and win some of the issues in my life learning from krisna but then I would anyday consider Buddha to be great, thats what the west is also getting awakened today, I do not know but then Indians are late as usual.they have a feeling that they know everything about buddha and kept him aside, while the west is not resting with simply that, they , I am seeing know much much about buddha than Indians today.
September 20 at 5:26pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy ?@Vasu, what I am trying to convey is that historicity or not of Krishna is not a criterion for “reality” here. Even if it is proved that Krishna is not a historical figure, it will not affect the religion at all. Religion is based on principles, not personalities. The personality is only a psychological container for the principles. Krishna is not real because some historians dug out the remnants of Dwaraka. Krishna is real because he continues to live in the hearts and minds of millions of devotees.
September 20 at 5:31pm · Like · 1 person

Vasu Prasad H Krishna did exist, but it is the creation of people in this country that made him larger than life.Yes if you pick up usefull lessons it is OK But if a guy robs a girls dress getting inspired by his -story then it would be too much!
September 20 at 5:44pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy ?@Vasu, understanding Krishna is not that easy 🙂

The minimum you can do is to read Devdutt Pattanaik’s book “Jaya” to understand Krishna to an extent. He has compared very well the situation in which Krishna robbed the clothes of the Gopika stris and the situation in which Draupati was disrobed and Krishna gave clothes to her.

In the Bhagavatam, Shuka Maharishi says that only a person who is completely free from lust can understand Krishna, who is completely free from lust. So, first see if you are eligible to judge Krishna.

You and I cannot imitate Krishna. If we want to, first we should lift the Govardhan mountain with the little finger on one hand and play flute with the other and stand like that for 15 days. We cannot take what is convenient alone. That would be hypocrisy.
September 20 at 6:52pm · Like

Vasu Prasad H Why should I take so much of a pain to judge a person, Common sense should prevail Gomu,Lets stop going by whatever some lovers of krishna has written with full of great grammar,metaphor or whatever .Why dont we go in detail with other personalities in other parts of planet too. Why is buddha become so favorite to all educated elite in the west and krisna is not so. Lets be scientific and practical
September 20 at 7:59pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy To judge an Einstein, I should know some physics. If I try to judge him without a knowledge of physics, I would be a fool. This is being scientific and practical.
September 20 at 8:27pm · Like · 2 people

Vasu Prasad H Gomu , not U and me,all those who like and dislike,but the whole 99% of the population seems to be foolish when they judge Einstien’s Intelligence.But the same Einstine is said to have quoted ” The future religion is one which can answer all the questions scientifically and not angrily.”
September 23 at 1:19pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy Vasu, when I speak, I speak only for myself and to the person I am speaking to, and like-minded people. Speaking for or to some fictitious general public is a waste of time and effort. We should talk only about things from our point of view based on our experience. That is the way to grow.

BTW, I brought in Einstein as an analogy. You seem to have rightly understood what I wanted to convey. So, in your statement, “the whole 99% of the population seems to be foolish when they judge Einstien’s Intelligence”, you can replace “Einstien’s Intelligence” with “Krishna’s Love”.
September 23 at 2:59pm · Like

Vasu Prasad H Why dont U go deeper into what Einstein said about the scientifc way of looking at issues. I can never give credit to a person just because he is not easily understandable. I have read thoroughly what krisna has done and I Give credit for his leadership skills and not for anything else. I feel this planet has produced people with better compassion and love than krisna, I feel he has become so great because of people who praise him than by himself. By the way I have produced fantastic results following him and do so even now but You If you say he is God so do not question him there I differ.
September 23 at 3:39pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy Well, Vasu, I can only say that it is natural that each person can appreciate only what he is familiar with. I appreciate that you were able to recognize his leadership skills. But, please be open that someone else who is familiar with some other field will be able to appreciate another facet of the same thing.

Everyone can appreciate the hair style of Einstein. But only a person who knows physics can appreciate that facet of him. The more you know about hair styles, the more you can appreciate his hair style. The more physics you know, the more you will be able to appreciate the physics genius in him.

This is natural.

I think I have made myself clear and you have made yourself clear. Whether to accept each other’s point of view is left to the individuals.
September 23 at 3:39pm · Like · 1 person

Vasu Prasad H I liked this debate, what about U? I heard in old days people used to have such debates In India and the loser would follow the winner! now I hope U should continue in making me understand and also be open to listen.
September 23 at 3:44pm · Unlike · 1 person
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy I love FB for providing a platform for these discussions. The beauty is that anyone interested can look at the dialogue and it does not flood people’s mail boxes. Thanks for the lively discussion.
September 23 at 3:45pm · Like

Vasu Prasad H Would that mean we should stop?Thanks anyway:)
September 23 at 3:47pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy The objective of a debate is not to make the other person “accept” my point of view. The objective is to “understand” the other person’s point of view and make the other person to “understand” my point of view. Whether to “accept” or not is left to the individuals. “Understanding” need not always imply “accepting”. A healthy dialogue is where people try to “understand” and “make understand”. It is perfectly OK for a dialogue to end by “understanding” each other and still agree not to “accept” each other.
September 23 at 3:50pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy I feel I have understood your point and you have understood my point, though we may not accept each other’s points. If you also feel so, we can stop.
September 23 at 4:01pm · Like

Vasu Prasad H I always thought U are most modern and would question his way of lifting a mountain with a finger and play flute in the other that too for fifteen days, I would rather doubt his love for abhimanyu who was listening to him from the womb. I would have wanted to find another ways than fighting kurukshethra imagining the plight of the war widows. I wish he had clarity of his own clan who destroyed themselves and did something to save themselves and would question is Godliness while he himself underwent the karma of being killed by someone who told in the previous birth. Hoped he could have saved Gandhari from uttering the gospel about his and his clan people similar to that of the kouravas. Wouldnt he have had a vision of the future in which there is peace for all who he created includig himself , Do U think he was happy to see his children and wives getting destroyed. If you could answer these questions in the way eintsein expected, I would be happy to consider my as both understood and accepted. Anyways I do like to continue this debate if you wish U can stop.
September 23 at 4:02pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy ?:) Vasu, I do not know what you mean by “modern”. You are free to judge me anyway you want. If you have judged differently, feel free to correct your judgement. 🙂

To answer your questions:

Whenever you are not able to understand someone, you should seek more information, better understanding and better tuning of yourself before you judge. As I had told you, you would judge people based on your own capabilities and interests. It is most often a mismatch in these, than anything wrong with the person being judged.

If you want to understand Krishna, I welcome you to a journey which I take you through by a series of books and audio lectures. You may have to spend about 500 hours of your quality time, but no compulsions to accept anything. Let me know if you are interested.
September 23 at 4:10pm · Like

Vasu Prasad H I am ready to know if it is different and not a story full of praise. Even I invite you to know more about Buddha visiting metta.lk and whatbuddhasaid., You can google it.Pls spend enough time without any inhibitions,stopping all preconceived notions. I cant understand why U consider krisna is elusive to be questionable. I am seeing the west has caught up fast with what buddha has told and they are teaching the same with different names and charging hefty amount and I do see lot of Indians paying and learning the same while he gave away the same for free. Infact he begged on the streets so that he can exchange the truth that he found for himself.He has even commented about krisna. Would you also take up this task pls?
September 23 at 7:50pm · Like
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy I have read a bit about the 4 branches of Buddhism. I would like to do a deeper study.
September 23 at 7:50pm · Like

Ankit Sharma ?@Gomu and Vasu…enjoying ur debate 🙂
September 24 at 12:09pm · Unlike · 1 person



Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: “If you want to be sad, no one in the world can make you happy. But, if you make up your mind to be happy, no one and nothing on earth can take that happiness away from you.”

Ayyamperumal Ragupathy: Today there are lots of people around you to make you sad, breathing out among toughness is a challenge. When challenge becomes every day work it makes us sad…….
March 3 at 7:01am
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: No one can make you unhappy unless you decide so. This is one freedom that no one can grab it away from you.
March 3 at 8:05pm
Ayyamperumal Ragupathy: The employees do less work than required to keep them happy, they are suspended or warned but still they can be happy since they are doing what we like. If one doesn’t need to race then he is the happiest . do u thing human don’t race for costly survival?
March 4 at 7:11am
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: I agree. There are two different things – development and fulfillment. Development comes from external pursuit. Fulfillment come only from a realization that nothing external is required for fulfillment. Problem comes when they are mixed up. If a person thinks that fulfillment will come from external pursuits, he is in trouble. That is what is pointed out here. You are talking about the other combination – development will not happen by inner pursuit. Sankara explains this concept very beautifully in the introduction to his Bhashya on the Bhagavad Gita.
March 4 at 9:44pm
Ayyamperumal Ragupathy: Good gokul just a discussion, are we all working for development or fulfillment? What should we do for fulfillment ? is that enough for survival?
March 5 at 7:09am
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: There are two things here – individual and society.

The default misconception in every individual is that development brings fulfillment. It is difficult to overcome this misconception without facing the reality. So, for most of the individuals, he needs to start with spending life on development, trying to get fulfillment. As the person matures, when his conviction that “fulfillment is independent of development” grows, he can continue to be in development with this realization or he can switch to a lifestyle of only as minimum external activities as required. Some rare individuals, who have the conviction even before entering into a life of full fledged activities, can directly switch to a predominantly inner life. The life of predominant external activities is that of a householder. The life of predominantly internal activities is that of a monk. The full life of an individual starts with being a householder (as a bachelor). Then he may enter the married life of full fledged external activity or he can directly take to monastic life. The life of a householder is not complete without realizing the fact that fulfillment does not come from external development. When that realization comes, he can switch externally to a life of a monk, or continue to live in a family with inner renunciation.

The society needs both these people and needs to accommodate both these people. At any point of time, there will be majority of people who would live with the misconception and would be trying to find fulfillment through external activities. The irony of social engineering is that these people contribute to the development of the society. They provide the food, clothing, technology, wealth, etc to the society. But there need to be some people who have renounced external activity and live a monastic life to remind the society of the fact that fulfillment does not come from external development. Because, whenever people face misery, it is because of the misconception that fulfillment comes from external relationships, objects and situations. The presence of people, who have voluntarily takes to a life where they do not know where they will have their next meal, do no know where they will sleep the next night, and still are fully happy inside, is a reminder of the reality.

Now, to answer your question of would a person not resort to a life of laziness? The answer is very simple. Let a person live a happy life following strict celibacy, considering all women as mothers, without a single rupee as savings and living only on alms that he has begged himself from strangers. If a person voluntarily takes up this life and follows all these criterion, I will fall at his feet, whoever it may be – young or old, learned or unlettered, pious or atheist. Such a person is a gem, irrespective of social status, country of origin, religion, etc etc.
March 5 at 8:47pm
Ayyamperumal Ragupathy: Great expl. gokul. I understand that happiness is not within our reach. I would not advice one to fall at their feet but follow them in principle first and then fall at their feet. So the reader will be sure what fulfillment is, let them try for it if they dare to be happy…..
March 5 at 9:13pm
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: I said that I will fall at their feet, because I have tried and I am trying to follow it in principle, and I know how difficult it is.
March 5 at 10:13pm
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: Happiness is not within our “reach”, because it is our innate intrinsic nature. As long as we try to “reach” it, we will never reach it. We only have to find it within ourselves. It is always there within, waiting to be found.
March 5 at 10:15pm
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: The explanation that I have given of development (abhyudaya) and fulfillment (nishreyasa) as applied to individual (ashrama dharma) and to society (varna dharma) is not original. It is straight out of Sankara’s wonderful introduction to Bhagavad Gita.
March 5 at 10:19pm
Ayyamperumal Ragupathy: I know that happiness can be attained only when human don’t have personal asset or thick relationship and you finally pointed out the same. Great job gokul. I am happy that my wise , brilliant class mate is still making life worthy. It is a discussion to make others know how they should be in future. weknow it in our hands but we blame the society for what we have done.
Wednesday at 7:02am
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: A small correction: Happiness can be attained only when humans do not DEPEND on personal asset or relationships. Transacting does not create problems. It is only claiming ownership and/or controllership that creates problems. As long as you remain only as a contributor, and do not claim ownership or controllership, everything is fine.
Wednesday at 11:53pm
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: Thanks for your comment. All credit goes to my teachers – Swami Swambodhanandaji, Swami Paramasukhanandaji and Swami Paramarthanandaji.
Wednesday at 11:55pm
Ayyamperumal Ragupathy: gokul when we have assets and thick relationship naturally we depend on it, if we don’t depend it goes away from you. If you are not dependent cannot be a thick friend. When your are moving towards real happiness these will start moving away from you automatically.
Thursday at 7:31am
Gokulmuthu Narayanaswamy: Emotional dependency is not necessary. It has to be removed completely. Love everyone. But do not be attached to anyone. Be ready to give even your life for your family. But do not expect anything in return. Help everyone. But do not expect even a note of thanks in return. This is called being non-dependent. A person who is emotionally independent is the one who is really happy. You cannot expect to be happy as long as you are emotionally dependent on people, objects and situations.
Thursday at 8:50am


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