Sri Nam is Equal to Sri Krishna                   I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.   Our respectful obeisances are unto you,             O spiritual master, servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami.   You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanya deva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism."      "O most munificent incarnation!   You are Krishna Himself appearing as Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.   You have assumed the golden color of Srimati Radharani. and You are widely distributing pure love of Krishna.   We offer our respectful obeisances unto You."        "I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Krishna, who is the worshipable Deity for all brahmanas the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas and the benefactor of the whole world.   I offer my repeated obeyances to the Personality of Godhead, known as Krishna and Govinda."             Jaya Sri Krishna Chaitanya,   Prabhu Nityananda,   Sri Adwaita Gadadhara,   Shrivasadi-gaura Bhakta-vrinda,             Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,   Krishna Krishna,   Hare Hare.   Hare Rama, Hare Rama,   Rama Rama,   Hare Hare!             Jai Srila Prabhupada!                   Jaya Sri Krishna Chaitanya,   Prabhu Nityananda,   Sri Adwaita Gadadhara,   Sri Adwaita Gadadhara,   Shrivasadi-gaura Bhakta-vrinda,            Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,   Krishna Krishna,   Hare Hare.   Hare Rama, Hare Rama,   Rama Rama,   Hare Hare!
Saragrahi.Org
Is Bhakti a Science?
Segment 2
Subjectivity/Objectivity 

Religion, unlike science, is not based on observation and experimentation, but on belief, on faith—specifically, blind faith. 

Science does not entail blind faith.  It starts with doubt and proceeds to faith based on direct perception; that is to say, on experience. 

Bhakti starts with faith, not with experience.  Indeed, bhakti insists on faith; demands it.  Moreover, many people assume that such faith can only be blind. 

Bhakti says,

“One who doubts is doomed”.

Science says,

“Doubt is essential to the discovery of truth.”

In addition, whereas the truths of science are objective[1], the truth of bhakti, if there is any truth in it, is subjective[2] ; hence, to consider it science is a misnomer; thus, the criticism of bhakti as a science. 

First, we must consider that the key issue in defining “science” is not objectivity versus subjectivity as such, but rather, uniformity of method, and uniformity of results, under the right controlled conditions.  Under scrutiny, it turns out a contradiction of science that it insists on extreme objectivity the way it does.  Science tries to describe reality while ruling out subjectivity, but is not subjective experience a real, and unavoidable part of reality?  Knowledge is also to some extent, personal knowledge — i.e., subjective knowledge.   

We see that both Kepler and Einstein approached nature with intellectual passions, and with beliefs inherent in these passions, which then led them to their triumphs, and misguided them to their errors.  These passions and beliefs were theirs, personally, even though they held them in the conviction that they were valid universally.  I believe they were competent to follow these impulses, even though they risked being misled by them.  Again, what I accept of their work today, I accept personally, guided by passions and beliefs similar to theirs, holding in my turn that my impulses are valid universally. 

However, I do not feel that there is a risk of being mistaken, because I endeavor very hard to make sure that I am repeating what Vaisnava Scripture reveal or instruct. 

Therefore, despite popular belief, scientific knowledge is personal and not “out there”, having nothing to do with the individual who discovered it.  Rather it is personal; it is “committed knowledge”, and a subjective experience is the bases of the commitment. 

Religion has unproven assertions, dogmas, while science, being totally objective, is supposedly dogma-free.  Science, it is widely believed, is only after provable claims.  If there is recognition of errors, corrections follow soon.  Nevertheless, this belief itself turns out to be dogma, and like all dogmas, science’s dogmas can be in error.

In the past, if an idea was contrary to religion; silencing of the idea was common.  Theology was the greatest single source of fallacies.  Today, when any human thought can be made invalid by branding it unscientific, the power previously exercised by theology has been passed over to science; hence science has become in its turn, the greatest single source of error. 

One such error was that in response to theology; science went too far in stressing objectivity over and against subjectivity.  However, trying to rule out subjectivity from science, simply because it introduces a marked degree of difficulty, in the pursuit of certainty and truth, is like saying,

“Because of the degree of difficulty in mapping the Florida Everglades, let us define cartography in such a way that all swamplands are excluded.  And if people mention the existence of swamplands, we will accuse them of not being objective, of being unscientific.”

FOOT NOTES:

[1] Objective – having actual existence or reality, uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices.

[2] Subjectiveproceeding from or taking place within a person’s mind.

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