Realization harmonizes scientific experimentation with spiritual revelation

Some people ask, “Isn’t it better to acquire knowledge through scientific experimentation rather than scriptural revelation because by experimentation we can actively participate and verify the knowledge, not just passively accept it without verification?”

This question assumes a dichotomy that is not applicable to Gita wisdom, which provides for participation and verification in internalizing revealed knowledge. The Bhagavad-gita (09.02) states that its knowledge can be realized through experience. It offers time-honored yogic processes that utilize our consciousness as a lab. Thus, for example, when the Gita states that we are souls who are parts of the Supreme Soul and that we can attain the highest fulfillment by reconnecting with him, it urges us to check it our for ourselves by practicing bhakti-yoga that connects us with the Supreme and grants experiences of devotional happiness.

Put another way, Gita wisdom integrates the reliability of revelation and the excitement of experimentation. Revelation is reliable because it connects us with the omniscient source of all knowledge, God, through his word. Our knowledge-acquiring tools, the senses and the mind, are fallible. Their thresholds of perception are limited and depend on specific external conditions – and even then they are error-prone. So, by relying exclusively on them in our quest for knowledge, we handicap ourselves. We can avoid this handicap by accessing the Gita’s revelation. Significantly, the Gita doesn’t ask for rejection of our senses and mind, but their redirection towards spiritual experimentation.

Experimentation is exciting because learning something by doing it yourself offers the thrill of discovery. Bhakti-yoga offers that thrill because love is nothing if not do-it-yourself; no one else can love the Supreme for us, nor can anyone else discover the Supreme’s love for us. As bhakti-yoga is a process for realizing this love, it embodies the harmony of scientific experimentation and scriptural revelation.

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Study not to be seen by the world as learned, but to see the world with learned eyes
We have nothing to lose except our non-existence
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