Inference, Nyay and Vaisheshik
Even though God is not a subject of inference, Kripalu Maharaj employs the concept (to the extent that it is useful) to help establish beyond what has just been discussed, the existence of God, and thus, the existence of Bliss. For clarification of the philosophy of inference, the concepts have been broken down into smaller aspects, all of which point towards the existence of a supreme being. The aspects of inference are thus:
- Through sight we perceive the orderly arrangements of the universe. The mechanisms which govern the rotation of the sun and the moon and the stars, and the source from which they first materialized, is so vast and complex that we can only 'understand' all of this through the fragments, the pieces that is often called science. Thus, there must be an omniscient force or power (God), which stands behind the organization and governance of these structures and the other material bodies of the world.
- Complete knowledge of the how the sun, the moon, the earth, and so on, were created is also beyond our knowledge. Some of the great scientists understand parts of these processes of creation, but not all.
- The defined laws which govern the movements and existence of these celestial bodies must be controlled by an even greater 'controller.' This controller is an all powerful God.
- The maintenance and sustenance of these bodies refer themselves to a supra-diligent overseer. They are the work of an all-knowing God.
- The creation of these 'scientific' rules in an of themselves, and the use and enforcement of them in the universe, all precludes the presence of an omniscient God.
Those that prefer to say that they use the word 'nature' to refer to all of these concepts, laws, and creative forces, are really just using the word as a synonym for God. There is no objection to using the word 'Nature' as a name for God, because God is described as having infinite names and forms: Krishnaya namaha. Vasudev namah.
The two Indian Schools of philosophy called Nyay and Vaisheshik offer some more beautiful examples of inference. They say that, although the works of man are to be seen daily. the 'works' such as the movement and creations of mountains, valleys, rivers, and so on, are the works of God. To elucidate this point, they give two clear examples:
- If one sees smoke coming from somewhere on a mountain, regardless of the imperceptable origin, one infers that there is, somewhere, fire.
- Similarly, when one sees a clay pot and ask how it was made, the common answer is, “it was shaped from clay.” But then we must ask ourselves, “who shaped the pot.” And the logical answer is, “the potter.”
Thus, if God is synonymous with the forces of nature, then his is the 'invisible' (to the extent that he cannot be perceived through the commonly stated perceptive senses) force that moves rivers, builds mountains, creates stars, and causes the Earth to rotate. He is the “potter” of the universe, and it is to him that we all aspire so that we may discover Bliss.