Making A “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”
Is Bhakti A Science?
By Kundali Dasa in 2004.
Segment 5: Matter is Not the True Basis of Reality, but Consciousness; and Consciousness Implies Being.
In other words, matter is not the true basis of reality, but consciousness; and consciousness implies being. We may not know anything about that being, but the inference is entirely reasonable, according to science; but science as now practiced cannot go beyond the inference.
The material world, which has been taken for a world of blind mechanism, is in reality a spiritual world. The truth is that not matter, not force, not any physical thing, but Mind, Personality is the central fact of the universe. Contrary to the popular materialistic assumption that matter is the basic stuff of all existence, we have solid grounds to infer that consciousness, (or being), is the basis of reality, the central fact of the universe.
Here we see that this inferred understanding, though so far unverifiable by science, for the very reason that our senses limit our access to that plane of reality, has cleared the way for the idea of a Personality of God, a Supreme Consciousness. However, we must stress that as sensible as this sounds, science has no means to know this Being’s form, qualities, nature, and so on. Conventional science can go no further, because both reason and the senses limit us to the experiential world; we have no access to the realm of being, that is the true basis of all reality.
Bhakti claims to transcend these limitations of conventional science. Since conventional science is negated as an option by the discoveries made via that science itself, it is worth investigating the alternative; bhakti. Incidentally, this “new” discovery of science, that this world is an illusory construct, is a cornerstone tenet of bhakti reaching back to very ancient times. Similarly, the inference that being is the basis of reality, and that matter is generated from consciousness, rather than consciousness from matter, is also a cornerstone tenet of bhakti.
Considering all this, we can stipulate, that it is only reasonable that we should investigate bhakti, to see if it holds fair promise, of taking us where conventional science admits it cannot go. Upon finding the theoretical basis to be reasonably sound, we should then apply ourselves to the procedure bhakti prescribes, for putting us in touch with reality as it is, for bhakti promises this end result, “Bhakti can show us transcendent reality directly.”