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Going Nowhere In Particular

Saturday, 13 July 2019 / Published in Articles, Kesava Krsna Dasa / 2,405 views

By Kesava Krsna Dasa

Atheistic scientists and intellectual cynics rely totally upon their own brains for knowledge. Such brainpower has brought a little comfort for humankind, but at the expense of ruining our earth, atmosphere, and oceans. Human brains alone have caused more damage than good. In defence of this damaging progress, attempts are made to belittle religion.

Atheism Gets Romantic With Mammal Morality

It appears that a number of atheistic scientists have caught wind of the accusation of ‘No-purpose’ levelled against them. They have done some homework and figured out cute responses in debate. They now try to make atheism appealing for the heartstrings, like religion does. “Yes, of course there is purpose to our lives… and we love and want to share that love…” is their charming open-arms invitation. Is there such a thing as scientific love? How would such ‘love’ benefit humankind?

It should be a very interesting concept. We are considering soul-less love, mechanistic love, God-less love, mammal love and the rest. If we tie this in with scientific ideas of morality, we’ll end up with a human zoo type of civilization. For them, we humans are progressive mammals. If we humans are to replicate mammal love, it means the rule of the jungle must prevail. Bring morality into the fray and we’ll have George Orwell’s Animal Farm, with a twist. This novel is a fantasy commentary on real life human existence. Does this pull at our heartstrings? It is an ‘Atheistic Science with a smile’ exercise.

By saying that atheists are capable of genuine love, is putting a romantic spin on love without a central pivot that is God. Again, the game of playing God in His absence, with an almost religious tenor, is acting out. Whereas religious sentimentalism was decried by atheistic scientists for its lack of hard-nosed evidential research, we now see soft-nosed appeals to sentiment in presenting a pretty face of charming atheism.

For all who want to eliminate God who “allows evil” to thrive in this world, they say, humans left to themselves can do well without Him. The social and moral aims of religion and science are quite similar. “But why add a religious identity and dogma to your human cause?” they ask. “Let’s get on with improving society without a God, because He allows evil to ruin morality… if He does exist”.

Scientific ignorance of the reasons why evil befalls humanity is going to manifest as ignorant love and morality. Beastly morality has certain charms for curious animal watchers. Animal culture must be the outcome for scientific morality, with ‘love’ added to it. Will this be progressive for society? Yes, it will. Society will progress exponentially. How so?

Srila Prabhupada said that there is progress in the decaying of a corpse – that is also progress. This brilliant example applies to how a soul-less, God-less society will progress – in the opposite direction of ‘good’.. If atheistic scientists have their way and assume power over humanity, people will have much to look forward to. How about wildly anticipating ‘Decayed Optimism?’ Or ‘Optimal Backwardness?’ Perhaps we can romanticise it and call it, “The Glorious March To Oblivion”. “Going Nowhere In Particular” sounds chic.

Going Nowhere In Particular

One of the most outspoken of atheistic thought, Mr Richard Dawkins, accuses religious people of being lazy. Lazy, because they accept God as a conclusion without first doing all the hard, difficult scientific research to reach that end. In saying this, he does not consider how people can reach this God conclusion by intuitive deduction. Such intuitive short cuts develop due to sukrti, something unknown to atheists. They can call it laziness though.

Mr Dawkins speaks this way while trying to make sense of the world he inhabits. He would rather get down on his hands and knees as it were, and crawl towards the jackpot of all discoveries via his faulty senses and faculties. It cannot possibly happen this way, even if he takes rebirth somehow as Mr Dawkins, life after life trillions of times. He first has to recognise extra-sensory and multi-dimensional possibilities before crawling a few metres ahead. By crawling like this, at least Mr Dawkins displays some mammal tendencies.

While Mr Dawkins is stuck at crawling pace and is grounded in Nowhere land,, he reveals a sort of envy for others who intuitively believe that only another dimensional reality with infinite intelligence can make our cosmos, finely tuned as it is, for life. Such believers usually have definite goals in life. This certainty unnerves atheistic scientists who also say it is a form of copping out.

While copping out, “They do good for society only because it is what their God wants… If there was no God, would believers put in the same effort?” they challenge. “These do-good schemes are done to earn rewards in the after-life…,” they say. We have to agree. Religion is mostly motivated for gain. At least believers accept God as a provider and rewarder.

Atheistic scientists claim that their non-belief in God is not a school of thought, philosophy, creed or any other institutional cause. Yet the precepts of Darwin and other dogma written in school text books to influence young minds is not a part of this, is it? What about the profusion of scientific journals and media promotions and ‘God is dead’ arousals? I suppose these are not contributors either, are they?

People who believe, at least have some direction in their lives, motivated or not. The laborious task of finding solutions to the problem of life through masses of mathematical data, incredible engineering feats (Hadron Collider), extreme mental gymnastics, fantastic theory postulations and other ‘hard working’ chores makes it seem as if atheistic scientists are moving at a faster pace than believers. In reality, they are going nowhere in particular. How are devotees going to deal with this?

Wonderful Uncertainties

How certain are we about Bhakti and its philosophy? Perhaps too certain, in the way we portray it sometimes, especially to seekers of truth, like atheistic scientists. For them, it is the height of arrogance to claim certainty in knowledge. We know the answers to everything, right. Maybe not about the minutia of quantum theory and cosmology, but we might make up for what we don’t know and say, “Krishna is behind everything…” and pass that off as having an answer to all things. Intellectual cynics are not impressed by such certainty.

Intellectual cynics prefer that there be lots of unknowns within the world. That way they can explore, invent, and wonder in awe. If everything was certain and we knew the answers to everything, this would make our world a boring place. If there is utmost certainty in heaven or in our Shangri la spiritual realm, whatever it is, then that must be boring as well. In addition, because we, as practitioners of Bhakti can come across as knowing all the answers, this can augment their sense of boredom. In other words, if everything is perfect and known, this leaves no room for wonder, surprise, anticipation, renewed happiness and other emotions that make life exciting.

This state of affairs is what it is like living in the Brahmajyoti. Everything is fixed, certain and static as far as renewed happiness goes. It is not our aspiration to go there. This observation of intellectual cynics is a correct one. While they peer out into the night sky and gaze and wonder in sheer awe and amazement at the unknown, at least they are feeling something indirectly towards Krishna’s indirect presence.

For devotees who are disciples, a guru has to be certain. That certainty pertains to philosophy and finer aspects of Bhakti. Such certainty aids in imparting knowledge and wisdom. Once disciples have assimilated this, they pass it on. How we pass it on without being know-alls can help people become friends, and friends listen to friends, not to know-alls. While on the path of Bhakti, devotees continue to learn and wonder and take lessons from cats, dogs, spiders and atheistic scientists even, and all other of natures’ offspring.

If our aspiration is to go back to Godhead, then we have to also realise that that place, although perfect in every way, is full of wondrous uncertainty. Even Yogamaya Herself, who arranges pastimes for the Lord there, and knows the outcomes, still takes part in such pastimes and wonders like everyone else with uncertainty. All-knowing Krishna is forever wondering what will happen next as He plays with His devotees. This way, there is no limit to the excitement of being with Krishna. This should sound appealing to intellectual cynics, if we can give them faith through our friendly, reasonable ways of communicating God conclusions. As for Srila Prabhupada’s certainty, where he writes in his books, “this is a fact… That is a fact…” this is a hard act to follow.

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa – GRS

Preparing For The Final Exam
The Issue of the Proto-Indo-European Language

5 Responses to “Going Nowhere In Particular”

  1. Nitaichandra says :

    You write:

    “We know the answers to everything, right. Maybe not about the minutia of quantum theory and cosmology, but we might make up for what we don’t know and say, “Krishna is behind everything…” and pass that off as having an answer to all things.”

    –– we know also all about the paramanu and the universe, from scripture and guru. We know more about matter then the quantum theorists and cosmologists

    On the paramanu:

    The Quantum scientists don’t know the smallest quantum.

    According to the Veda, the paramanus (SB 3.11.1) are the ultimate, smallest particle and the components of the six kinds of quarks (one of the material scientist’s elementary subatomic particles), the six types of anti-quarks and the leptons (the electron, positron and neutron). These are the smallest particles known in the western science. Each of these particles is a little smaller then the 10^-18cm. The size of the atom of the western materialistic science is 1 angstrom (10^-10cm).

    The paramanu according to the Nyaya-Vaisesika is 0.79×10^-22 cm. But since they are souls in susupti (dreamless sleep) they can expand or shrink further. The radiations = energies = modes = gunas of the paramanus all differ (SB 3.26.4 purport). One can call these gunas also the frequencies, waves or vibrations of the paramanu. This solves the wave-particle question of quantum mechanics; the particles are the paramanus and the ‘waves nature’ is the gunas of the paramanu They mix to give varieties of quarks (elementary subatomic particles) and leptons. If these assemble then we get for example, mesons an elementary particle having a mass between that of an electron and proton (these particles were originally named mesotrons by Heisenberg), protons, anti-protons, hadrons, baryons, neutrons. Atoms and molecules are composed of these particles. The further combination of these particles will give the elements or the objects of unlimited varieties of qualities of our world. The qualities, modes or guna’s means in relation to rupa, sparsa, sabda, rasa and gandha (form, touch, sound, taste and smell). The paramanus are the building blocks of the universe and the gunas are like the concrete that binds the paramanus. The subtle realm is also paramanus, atoms but their gunas make them invisible for us, and present for the (upa-) devatas.

    The guna’s, qualities eg. the quality of intensities are ultimately controlled by the Paramatma; designed and designated by His officers at the creation of the universe, and manipulated by them during its maintenance. For example, as the light is dimmed or adjusted by an operator.

    On cosmology, we know the gross realm but also know the subtle and spiritual dimensions:
    We made a blog-spot on Vedic cosmology

    Here an excerpt:

    ”Just as we have a gross and a subtle body, bound at the same place, similarly, the moon, sun and all the other planets and stars also have a subtle level where the devas, upadevas (demigods) and other living entities live. This reality is inaccessible to astronauts and their spaceships.

    These subtle dimensions of the circular dvipas-islands- and oceans are connected to a gross dimension.

    The perigee (the point situated nearest the earth in the orbit of a celestial body around the earth) of the orbit of Venus coincides with the outer coast of the ocean of ghee (clarified butter). The perigee of Mars is the inner coast of the ocean of milk. The perigee of Mercury is the outer coast of the ocean of milk. The perigee of Venus is the inner coast of the ocean of sweet water. The apogee (the point of the orbit of the moon, or a planet or a satellite that lies the farthest of the earth) of the planet Mars is the outer coast of the ocean of sweet water. The apogee of Mercury is Manasottara (see the map). The perigee of Jupiter is the inner edge of Kancana Bhumi (the golden land SB 5.20.35). The apogee of Saturn is the adrsya drsyaka giri, the Lokaloka-parvata (drsya means visible and loka inhabited; parvata or giri means mountain). Behind this mountain, which is higher than Dhruvaloka, no sunlight penetrates and nothing is visible to us. Saturn is the most distant planet of our solar system visible to the naked eye.

    Knowledge is unlimited, so it can be increased always. But we do know about atoms and cosmos. Therefore Srila Prabhupada’s writes with certainty, “this is a fact… That is a fact…” this is not a hard act to follow.

    Many times Srila Prabhupada stated: “Not faith, fact”. Vedic knowledge gives the sukrti to understand it for everyone. Especially in this spiritual golden age- you don’t know that the Kali-yuga is over? – ; Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 7.25, 37, 150, 163 states that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His devotees immerse everyone in the flood of love of Godhead, no one can escape their unique loving network. This is not just glorification, it is fact. See here Srila Prabhupada explaining God’s existence with great ease in the following lecture

    “Mudha means they cannot understand what is God. It is very simple thing. Anyone can…, a child can understand. Take for example your body, my body. What is the important thing in the body? The soul. Without the soul, you may be very big man, even Napoleon Bonaparte, but as soon as the soul is gone, it is useless. The whole world is useless. Anyone can understand. Where is now Napoleon Bonaparte who struggled so much for glorifying France. But where is that gentleman? Finished. As soon as the soul is gone… You may keep one statue, dead statue, that is another thing. But you do not know where the soul has gone and what he is doing now.

    So anyone can understand that this body may be very, very important, scientist, politicians, and so on, so on. But as soon as the soul is gone from this body, it is useless, not worth even a farthing. Anyone can understand. Similarly, as the soul is the important thing in this body, my body, your body, or anyone’s body, similarly in this huge gigantic body of universe, there must be one soul. Otherwise how it is going on? How it is working so nicely? The big sun is rising exactly in time, the moon is rising exactly in time, the seasons are changing one after another. So many millions and millions of living entities, they are being maintained. Everyone is getting their food, even the elephant who eats at a time hundred kilogram, he also eats. An ant also eats. The birds also eat, the beast also eats—there is no problem. Only the civilized man, so-called civilized man, he creates problem because dushkritina. He has got merit, but it is being used for sinful activities. Therefore there is problem. Otherwise there is no… If the birds have no problem, the beasts have no problem, the ant has no problem, why the civilized man has got problem? Because they are dushkritina and mudha. Rascal and always engaged in sinful activities, dushkritino mudhah. Simple thing.

    If the soul is important in this body, why there shall not be bigger soul, the Supersoul, in this gigantic body? What is this universal body and this body? The same thing. It is only small, and that is very big. The same material construction. Bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh [Bg. 7.4]. This earth, water, air. Just like you have got your bones, the huge earth mountain, that is also another bone of this gigantic body. As you have got your hairs on the body, the millions and millions of trees and plants, they are also the hairs on the gigantic body. So as you have got holes in your body here, there, and the navel, similarly these oceans and seas, they are also different holes. So they are described—it is not my imagination—they are described in the Bhagavad-gi…, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Second Canto, to conceive the gigantic body. As you have got your skull, the round skull, the whole, I mean to say, hemisphere is also skull of this gigantic body. It is similar. As you have got a body and you, the soul, is the important thing, active principle within this body, similarly this gigantic body, the active principle is there, that is we call from the sastra Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, the same comparison. But because they are mudha, rascal, they cannot understand. No brain. We have no brain, we are all not very intelligent. But we can understand if there is the active principle soul within this body, there must be a Supersoul within this huge structure of body. And that is called God. Mohitam nabhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam [Bg. 7.13]. Those who are bewildered, naradhamah. Naradhamah, the lowest of the mankind. These things cannot be understood by the cats and dogs. Their body is constituted in such a way that they cannot think of there is an active principle within the body and there is active principle in this huge gigantic body. The cats and dogs cannot understand, but a human being can understand. And that active principle is Krishna. Krishna means all-attractive. As the active principle within this body is all-attractive, this beautiful body of French boys and girls, why? The active principle is there; therefore they are attractive. Many people come to see your city. Why? The active principle is there.
    So Krishna means the active principle of everything. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita,
    aham sarvasya prabhavo
    mattah sarvam pravartate
    iti matva bhajante mam
    budha bhava-samanvitah
    [Bg. 10.8]
    The active principle is everything. From His energy, material energy, this huge gigantic material man…, cosmic manifestation is there, from His energy. And we are also His energy. Bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca [Bg. 7.4]. The five material elements are also Krishna’s energy, and we living entities, we are also. Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakritim para, jiva-bhutam maha-baho yayedam dharyate jagat [Bg. 7.5]. Everything is explained there. But the mudhas, these dushkritinas, the naradhamas, they cannot understand. Naradhama means lowest of the mankind. Why? Because cats and dogs cannot understand this philosophy. But a human being can understand. He has got the brain. Nature has given the fertile brain, but they are misusing it, dushkritina, only for sense gratification. The brain was given to understand God, but the rascal is using for illicit sex, meat-eating, drinking, and gambling. This is the position of the whole human society.

    So this Krishna consciousness movement is to give the greatest benefit to the human society to clear their brain, the rascal brain. We call, declare, they are all rascals. Let any scientist, philosopher come here, I shall prove that he is nothing but a rascal. I shall prove that. I challenge them. (Arrival Address, Paris, June 8, 1974)

  2. Nitaichandra Prabhu,

    Thank you. You make some nice points. However, you said that we could know more about the cosmos than scientists can. True. But not everything. Otherwise, it disagrees with what Srila Prabhupada says:

    “Srila Sukadeva Goswami admitted that to give full details of this expansive material universe would be impossible, but nevertheless he wanted to give the King (Pariksit) as much knowledge as he had received through the parampara system.” (SB 5.16.4 purport)

    We might not be used to Srila Prabhupada using the word “impossible”, but he does so to say we cannot “give full details” of this cosmos, with utmost certainty. Since it is “impossible” to have full knowledge of this cosmos with its minutia, how can we brazenly say, “This is a fact, and that is a fact” to scientific conventions and other unfamiliar audiences?

    If we present ourselves as knowing everything (know-alls) about the cosmos when in fact it is “impossible to do so”, we shall invite incredulity and ridicule. That would be bad preaching.

    Our cosmos is not as stable as we might think. Changes occur over time. Planet earth can fall from its orbit, asuras can rule the cosmos and sage Vishvamitra can create new star formations and so forth. These add to the uncertainty of cosmos affairs, not the certainty you assert.

    “Our experimental knowledge can neither verify nor disprove the statements of Srimad Bhagavatam…If we can appreciate the extensive energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that will benefit us.” (SB 5.16.10 purport)

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

  3. I rephrase one sentence in my comment in reply to Nitaichandra Prabhu:

    “Our cosmos is not as stable as we might think. Changes occur over time. Planet earth can fall from its orbit, asuras can rule the cosmos and sage Vishvamitra can create new star formations and so forth. These add to the uncertainty in knowledge of our cosmos, not the certainty you assert.”

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

  4. Pusta Krishna das says :

    I hope that you will not take this as self-serving, but rather serving to Srila Prabhupad and Krishna…
    please read and gift to skeptics my book: God Is Not Dead: The Testimony of a Fortunate Seeker.”
    It is a testimony of revelation to an aspiring bhakta, and written by an MD, to hopefully establish that this revelation is not whimsical or non-scientific. Chapter Six describes the revelation of Lord Vishna, Lord Krishna, the liberated four-armed jiva souls, and the brahma jyoti to this poor soul. Beyond speculation about the existence of God, here is a genuine testimony that God is indeed not dead. Pusta Krishna das
    (Available on Amazon, author Paul H. Dossick, MD

  5. Nitaichandra says :

    We are know-alls, even about the universe. The footnote that we are limited is standard understanding, we don’t have to always write that.

    When we speak of God, we also say we know God.

    “It is not believing; it is fact. We are explaining the fact, how the existence of God is there. There is no question of believe or not believe; the fact is fact. Just like if there is fire, you believe or not believe; the fire is there. That I have already explained. The fire is there, and the heat and light is expanded. If there is smoke, you can understand there is fire. This is knowledge. It is not that you have to see the fire, but because there is smoke, you can understand fully that there is fire. Similarly, the whole cosmic manifestation is working in order. That is explained as heat and light. Therefore there is fire or God. There must be. So it is not the question of believe or not believe. Fact is fact.” (Bhagavad-gita 2.17, Mexico, February 17, 1975)

    We even know His address, His name, His parent’s name, everything.
    No one knows better about God in the whole cosmos then Srila Prabhupada, we proudly proclaim that, and follow in his footsteps.

    “But in the Vedic literature you’ll understand how God is great, how He is acting as father. That’s all. Even God’s name is there, God’s address is there. Do you agree to this point? Yes, that is the difference. Any other scriptures, if you ask what is the name of God, what is His address, what He is doing, they cannot give you. But we can give. We do not give; God Himself gives, Krishna. Krishna says, “My address is like this.” What is that? Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6]. That is address. Paras tasmat tu bhavo ‘nyo ‘vyakto ‘vyaktat sanatanah [Bg. 8.20]. God is giving address. We have to note down. And His name is Krishna.”
    (Lecture, CC Madhya 20.137-146, Bombay)

    “… we can give you the name of address, His father’s name, His abode, everything, house number, everything.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.9 by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Detroit, August 3, 1975,
    University Lecture)

    ”We present, “Here is God.” Here is God. Take His name. Take His address also. That is also… It is so perfect. They are searching after God. We are giving the name, address, activity, everything, quality, all.“(Lecture, SB 1.1.1, London)

    ”Then why these rascals cannot find out God? We are giving the name of God, the address of God, the father, God’s father’s name also, Nanda-nandana, Devaki-nandana.” (Lecture, Vrindavana, SB 1.2.34)

    Sometimes Srila Prabhupada makes that footnote; that God is unlimited.

    “Impersonal conception of Godhead, localized conception of Godhead or universal form of God, pantheism, monism—they are not perfect. If you want to know perfectly, then bhakti… It is stated in everywhere, in all Vedic literatures, evidentially in Bhagavad-gita, which is present before us, in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrita. Everywhere you will find this only way, that devotional service. Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. Tattvatah means “in fact.” Partially you can know, but in complete… Of course, God cannot be known in complete, but the highest point a human being or a living entity can reach… That, the only process, through bhakti.”
    (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 20.137-142, New York, November 29, 1966)

    “The jivatma, the living entity, is eternally servitor of Krishna, and one should understand the nature of his master so that his service attitude, his affection, may be more intimate. Suppose I am serving at a place. I am engaged in a service to a master, but I do not know how big is my master. But when I understand the influence and opulence and greatness of my master, I become more devoted: “Oh, my master is so great.” So therefore simply knowing, “God is great, and I have got some relationship with God,” that is not sufficient. You must know how much great He is. Of course, you cannot calculate, but as far as possible, you should know how great He is.”
    (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 20.152-154, New York, December 5, 1966)

    Therefore we boldly teach, having full knowledge.

    “So Parikshit Maharaja was such a nice hero, that he got out of his home. Sva-senaya digvijayaya nirgatah. Nirgatah means went out of home, not simply enjoying comfortably at home. Similarly, for a preacher also, that is digvijaya. Go from country and country, from village to village, town to town, and make digvijaya: “Here is our philosophy. There is God. We can prove there is God. Who are you, you deny God? Come on.” That is digvijaya.”
    (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.11, Los Angeles, January 8, 1974)

    “…But you must know, the whole world is full of rascals and fools. That is not exaggeration. Eh? Or you have got different opinion?
    Pushta Krishna: No.
    Prabhupada: Hm? What do you think? Do you agree?
    Pushta Krishna: They are mudhas.
    Prabhupada: [laughs] Our verdict is final: “All rascals and fools.” Therefore, when I ask these rascals, “Any question?” Stopped. [laughter] “Come on, any question?” What they will question? I challenge them, “Any question?” They know that “We have been proved as rascals.” Yesterday, last night, I told that the asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams: [Bg. 2.11] “This is the position of everyone. Everyone is fool, rascal. He does not know what is the real problem of life.” Nobody said that “Why you are calling everyone rascals?” In Montreal some Bengali gentleman said, “Swamiji, you are using very strong word, ‘fools and rascals.’ Can it be explained otherwise?” And “No, this is the only word, that you are all rascals and fools. This is the only word to be used.”
    (Morning Walk, October 18, 1975, Johannesburg)


    “…Actually, if the American nation take it seriously, “In God we trust,” …They must take it seriously because it is Constitution. Then the whole world will change. The whole world will change. Not only that. The Americans… Just like they are always combating with the Communists. Similarly, the American nation should be so strong that anyone godless, he should be fired. Any nation who does not believe in God, war declared. “Either you believe in God or come on. Fight. Come under us.”
    (Morning Walk, December 9, 1973, Los Angeles)

    Thus, we know God, and all his energies, including the material universe. Sukadeva Gosvami says it is unlimited, especially since SB 5.16-24 not only describes the limited material realms, but also the unlimited expansions of Godhead, Godheads who are unlimited.
    We know what the materialistic scientists know about the universe, and more. We know that there is beyond the last or farthest planets, suns, moons of the universe, not unlimited empty space or dark infinity. The universe ends with eight shells, which are superior then the heavenly regions within the cosmos. And then there is God and His unlimited realm. See Brhad Bhagavatamrta 2.3.12-34

    “Next I reached the coverings of the universe. Each of them, more so than the one before, was rich with enjoyments and opulences millions of times greater than on Brahmaloka.” Souls who have transcended the false attributes of created things and who aspire for gradual liberation strive also to go beyond the causative elements of creation, elements found again as false attributes, in what is known as the subtle body. To do this they enter the shell formed of each element. They enter in a body composed of that element and enjoy to their full desire the essence of the pleasure to be had there. In each successive covering the jiva finds wonderful opportunities for more refined material enjoyment. Since the material creation exists mainly for the jiva’s enjoyment, these original reservoirs of the material elements brim with resources for pleasure. The grosser objects produced from the causal elements—earth, water, fire, and so on—are great sources of sense gratification for conditioned living beings, and the superior, subtle forms of matter afford even better sense enjoyment. In the covering formed of each element, pleasures from combinations of all the elements are available, just as inside the universe, but in the covering formed of a particular element that element predominates. In each of the coverings more happiness is found than on Brahmaloka, and each consecutive covering offers more happiness than the one before. “The first covering I entered was that of earth. There I saw the Supreme Lord in the form of a great boar being worshiped by the goddess Earth, the deity presiding over that covering and its wealth. She worshiped Him with riches not to be obtained within the universe itself, while all the opulences of the universe whirled within every pore on His body.”
    Even when seeing Lord Mahapurusha on Brahmaloka, Gopa-kumara did not see all the opulences of the fourteen worlds in every pore of the Lord’s body, as he was seeing them now. Each higher world is closer to spiritual perfection, so in each successive world the Lord reveals more of His infinite glories. The presiding ruler of each higher planet is more elevated than the ruler of the planet below, and still more elevated are the presiding deities of the subtle coverings, so the goddess Earth in the subtle covering of earth stands above Lord Brahma. Each covering was the subtle cause of the one before it, and had a greater object of worship, a greater worshiper, and greater sense gratification, opulence, and importance.
    Because the covering made of water is closer to spiritual existence than the previous covering, that of earth, in the watery covering the Supreme Lord manifests Himself more fully, in the form of Matsya-deva. Thus the demigod presiding over the watery covering is greater than the demigoddess of earth, and the watery enjoyments and opulences surpass the earthly ones. This hierarchy holds true for all the coverings, one after another. “As before, I crossed over each of these coverings, and finally came to the covering made of primordial nature. Composed of the most subtle form of ignorance, it was dark blue, and attractive to the eyes and mind. Seeing spread everywhere a color like that of my worshipable Lord, I was very much delighted. I had no desire to go further.”
    The beautiful syama color of the prakriti region seemed just like the color of Gopa-kumara’s Deity, Sri Madana-gopala. Since the total dimensions of prakriti cannot be measured by any material means, this attractive effulgence seemed to extend infinitely. Gopa-kumara was so charmed by that color that he felt no impulse to move on. “As I arrived, the goddess Prakriti had just finished the worship of her Lord, the Lord of that region, the effulgent Sri Mohini-murti. The goddess at once approached me in her own superlative form.”
    Maya, material nature, was worshiping the Supreme Lord in His female disguise as Mohini-murti, which implies that Sri Mohini-murti is much more attractive than Maya herself. “She offered me gifts such as anima-siddhi and other great yogic powers. And like the goddess Earth and the other deities, she asked me to stay.” Sri Gopa-kumara said: “Declining all these enticements, understanding them to be the potency of Lord Vishnu, I bowed down to the goddess and then wandered for a while to see that beautiful-colored region.”
    Gopa-kumara had the discretion to reject the gifts offered by Prakriti, and her proposal that he stay in her domain, but the atmosphere of that place was pleasing to his mind and senses, so he wanted to stay a little longer to examine its wonders more closely. Splendid with the most excellent wonders, that place was delightful, shining on its own, multitudes of living entities enjoying it, their bodies made of primordial matter. Pradhana is the most subtle material energy, from which all other subtle and gross manifestations evolve. The beings Gopa-kumara saw had bodies of pradhana, transcendental to the limited names and forms of manifest creation. Pradhana hides the spiritual reality from conditioned souls, but still she is described here as self-luminous (vilasat svayam) because when the conditioned souls are enlightened by transcendental knowledge her darkness dissolves into spiritual effulgence. It was inconceivable, utterly enchanting in opulence, and many in its forms all at once. The whole of material creation dwelt within it, with all the elements of creation, subtle and gross. Being the root cause of all material transformations, pradhana naturally displays countless forms within herself, producing wonders powerfully attractive to the conditioned souls. How she works cannot be described in words or comprehended by the material mind. She comprises the entire created world, with its perceivable objects and their unseen causes. The most subtle of these causes of material existence are the five tan-matras, the abstract forms of raw perception. Though these are not explicitly mentioned here, we can assume that during Gopa-kumara’s travels in the covering region of prakriti, he passed through the sub-regions of each tan-matra, for without having crossed them he could not have become fully eligible for liberation. “By the desire of the Lord, I then crossed beyond that vast region of dense ignorance and came to a place flooded with a light so brilliant, so unbearably beyond seeing, that it forced me to close my eyes. With utmost devotion I struggled to look ahead. And then I saw the Supreme Lord, effulgent like millions of suns. Ever increasing the ecstasy of my mind and eyes, that all-powerful Lord, adorned with many ornaments and sweet features and bearing all the signs of an exalted person, revealed Himself as the most wondrous form of the Supreme Truth.”

    For the specifics of the spiritual world, see the blog

    And to end, a footnote to the qualification, ”speculation about the existence of God.” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Tattva-viveka, Text 3, commentary calls the knowledge about God, divya tarka, spiritual logic, and therefore beyond souls in the three modes of nature.

    Hare Krishna.
    All Glories to Srila Prabhupada, giving full knowledge of The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. All glories to his dig-vijaya followers, preachers.

    Your servant,
    Nitai-chandra dasa