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Chapter Thirty-four


RABBI: One of the ten great commandments delivered by Moses was "Do not commit murder." [Torah, Exodus, Yithro, 20:13] Although there is virtually no argument about the meaning of this commandment in reference to killing people, there is much controversy in the world about its application regarding the abortion issue. Some people do not consider the child in the womb as a living person until the seventh month of pregnancy. They argue that if there is no movement, it is only a lifeless lump of flesh and can be removed just like a cancer.

DEVOTEE: There is life from the first moment of conception, as immediately the cells begin dividing and expanding. In the womb of a human mother, the fetus at any stage of growth is already a human being. If that fetus is killed, it is the same as murdering an adult.

The Vedas warn us that those who abort their own children, perform the abortion, facilitate it or even support them are thoroughly condemned. They will themselves enter the wombs of other mothers and be aborted again and again.

RABBI: Many people argue in favor of abortions because they facilitate their desire for unrestricted sex. They want sex without responsibility, but that is not pleasing to God. That will not help one to return to the Garden of Eden, the kingdom of God. The Torah's laws are meant to guide man in practical day to day life so that he can ultimately qualify himself to realize God.

DEVOTEE: Materialists think that sex is required to be happy. They have no idea that one can learn to be satisfied without sex life. If a person, man or woman, had no interest in sex then abortions would be unnecessary. They are unable to do that. Therefore, in the Vedas it is said, adanta-gobhir RABBI: Many people, not wanting to take responsibility for family life nor to experience guilt for having an abortion, utilize contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. Once a person in my congregation told me confidentially that although he was married, he was not at all prepared to accept the responsibility for raising a family proportionate to the number of children who would likely result from his indulgences with his wife. He asked me which was better, to prevent pregnancy with contraceptives or to abort the unwanted children? I told him that of the two, the use of contraceptives seemed to be the lesser of two evils. Personally, I was not very satisfied with my advice. What do you think?

DEVOTEE: According to the Vedic literatures, there is practically no difference. First, we must understand why it is wrong to kill the child in the womb. In one sense, it is the same reason that we do not kill other living entities. As we discussed recently, the soul undergoes a spiritual evolution from one species of life to another, from one human body to another until he fully realizes his eternal loving relationship with God. Whenever you kill a person, an animal, or the child in the womb, you are interrupting his progress on the spiritual path. You are detaining him from perfecting his life though self-realization. Through the act of sex, a man and woman are in effect inviting a soul to take shelter of the womb to continue its' progress toward realizing God. By the use of contraceptives, a person is actually rendering the womb unfit for that soul, thus interfering with his progress. Therefore, both abortions and the use of contraceptives are sinful because they are obstacles on the soul's journey back to God. If I was in your position, I would have told him that both choices are totally sinful because either one would interfere with a soul's spiritual progress. I would have tried to convince him and his wife to seriously cultivate God consciousness and experience the higher taste of spiritual happiness. By experiencing that higher taste, they would automatically be able to control their sexual desires and avoid any consideration of sinful alternatives.

Chapter Thirty-five


And It's Affect on Modern Education and the Destiny of the World

The first thirty-four chapters of this book have established loving service to God as the common denominator of all religious faiths. That common denominator represents the conclusion of the theistic philosophy of the Vedic culture. The Vedic society was so structured that every living being had full opportunity to gradually realize God. At the same time, the Vedic social system was so well organized that it could provide all the necessities of life for its citizens. This was accomplished much more efficiently than today's materialistic society, because of the prevailing international drive for over consumption. Conversely the Vedic society's success was based on a theistic philosophical structure.

When Individually applied, our religious practice will become effective, and thus favorable to help solve our problems, when it is backed by philosophy, logic and reason. In the same way, our society will succeed in solving its problems when we are governed by laws based on a theistic philosophical system, that is, directed toward God consciousness rather than materialism. An intelligent person will naturally ask, "What are effective religious practices?" "What are the real problems of life?" "Why must religion be backed by philosophy?" "Through which institution can that combination best help our society?"

Our religious practices are considered effective when they result in love of God. Anyone can say that he loves God, but love of God is not cheap. The symptom of love is service to the beloved, God. To the degree that we increase our love for God, we will naturally lose our attachment for material life. If there is no detachment from material life, how can there be love and intimate reciprocation with God and with each other?

We all want to solve the problems of life, but they are endless. A thoughtful person will naturally try to solve them, but the greatest dilemma is that we are entangled in material existence. That is, we are caught in the cycle of birth, disease, old age and death. If we can learn and teach others how to become free from this cycle and return to the kingdom of God, the Jewish Garden of Eden, all our other problems will be automatically solved.

All religious scriptures share a common philosophical root, without which they could not culminate in love of God, as the path and goal. The difficulty is, the essence of religion, love of God and all of His creation, has been gradually de-emphasized in many faiths, so the philosophy that has supported this essential principle, has been minimized. Our faith has been replaced by attachment to customs, language, and other cultural artifacts.

The Jewish Torah is supported by many literatures such as the Zohar, the Bahir, the Talmud, and Sefer Yetzirah. They are full of esoteric philosophical principles, but this literature is not taught to common Jews, and Rabbis approach these subjects only after many years of study. Additionally, many of those books have been written in codes and parables that are very difficult, if not impossible to understand. The written language of Hebrew has also changed considerably over the centuries. Perhaps more than anything, the influence of time has drawn the world and religion toward materialism. As we mentioned in the Introduction to Equality Based on the Soul, "Unfortunately, due to our deep attachment to materialism, we are conditioned to appreciate religion in the same manner as we perceive ordinary social activity. That is, we become attached to identifying with the external or social side of religion, while we forget its essence - loving service to God." For Jews, the misdirected philosophy has resulted in the splitting of an original tradition, which was formerly graced by persons such as Moses, Abraham and Jacob, who were all dedicated to the mission of God. Judaism is now sometimes known as "bankers and business" communities. Although one can be God conscious and still economically well to do, this is generally not the way people perceive the Jewish community. This is the result of having lost sight of the philosophical basis of the religious tradition.

A similar fate has distracted the Hindu religion from its original roots. Although the Hindus accept the Vedas, the scriptures of the Vedic culture; much of the original purpose of the Vedas has been lost to the world. Since Sripad Sankacharya appeared to propagate his philosophy of impersonalism, all of India and the rest of the world have been adversely affected. According to the impersonalist philosophy, there is ultimately no eternal loving relationship with God. That is the ultimate materialistic philosophy because it teaches that we are all God and therefore we are not accountable to anyone. The ultimate materialistic dream is to have unrestricted sense enjoyment without accountability. Materialism always results in frustration and unhappiness, and this is the result of having separated religious sentiment from the theistic philosophy that supports it.

Ultimately, every religious tradition in the world is supported by a theistic philosophy, which is non different from the philosophy found in the Vedas such as the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The words may differ, but the principles are the same. These principles must be taught to everyone - Equality based on the soul!

The problems among students in the public school system have Become acute, especially where all teachings of God have been removed. Leaders in the field of education should not expect that a student's religious cultivation will only take place in the home. They must be taught religion in school, but not in a sectarian way. At the present moment, most governments of the world are opposed to teaching about God in the public school system because they do not know how to teach one student about God without infringing upon another student's beliefs. They should be taught the basic philosophical principles, the eternal truths, which are found in every religious tradition. Even the atheists should be taught those truths, based on logic and reason, no one can ultimately deny the existence of God. Each person has the free will to follow the religious tradition he desires, but if he does not properly understand the philosophical principles that support his religion, he will not derive much benefit from its practice.

Who will be are our leaders? Religiously qualified or not, they will act according to their own nature, many will take roles in society as government leaders, school teachers, scientists, philosophers, and most important, as parents. In effect everyone will have others under their guidance to lead or mislead according to their leadership ability, integrity and knowledge of the absolute truth. Their most important qualification, as our leaders, will be their knowledge and realization of the science and philosophy of God, and how to practically apply that science for the benefit of all.


Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita as it is, Message of Godhead, and Caitanya Caritamrita
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Meditation and the Kabbalah
(1st Published in 1982 by Samuel Weiser, Inc.)
By Aryeh Kaplan 1982
Printed in the U.S.A. by McNaughton & Gunn

The Holy Scriptures
Hebrew Publishing Company New York
Copyright 1930 1939
Printed in the U.S.A.
Printed and Bound by Montauk Bookbinding Corp, NY
Revised in Accordance with Jewish Tradition and Modern Biblical Scholarship

The Zohar
Translated by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon
The Soncino Press LTD--London New York 1984 Copyright
Manufactured in the United States of America

Everyman's Talmud
Copyright 1949 by E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc.
1st Published by Schocken Books in 1975

The Bahir
1979 the Estate of Arheh Kaplan Copyright Holy Qur'an
7th Edition
Copyright: The Abmadiyyah Anjuman Isha'at Islam, Labore, Pakistan
Manufactured in the United States by Book Publishers Press
Harvey, Illinois

The Torah Anthology (Genesis-1)
Copyright 1988 by Moznaim
Publishing Corporation
1st Edition translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

Yalkut Me'am Lo'ez
by Rabbi Yaakov Culi (1689-1732)
Josphus Jewish Antiquities Books 1-4
Translated by H.St. J. Thackeray

Chapters 31 to 33 Return to Chapter 1