False Universals in Kṛṣṇa Bhakti

We can scan the length and breadth of Vedic literature, but we won’t find the term “Universal Truth”. Everywhere, we find the term Param-Satyam, which has three meanings—(a) Highest Truth, (b) Original Truth, and (c) Best Truth. The highest truth controls everything. The original truth creates everything. The best truth enjoys everything. Param-Satyam is the creator, controller, and enjoyer of everything.

Whenever there is the highest truth, there are lower truths. Wherever there is an original truth, there are subsequent truths. Wherever there is a best truth, there are good truths. But if there is a universal truth, then everything else is false. Universal Truth is a creation of Abrahamic religions, meant to coalesce many gods into one God and many religions into one religion. Anything other than that God and religion is called the work of Satan. Catastrophic binaries are produced from all universal truths.

Still, universalism is deeply rooted in the modern psyche. In this post, I will discuss six universals often applied to Kṛṣṇa bhakti because Kṛṣṇa—the Param-Satyam—is equated to Universal Truth, when He should be the Highest Truth, Original Truth, and Best Truth, without excluding lower truths, subsequent truths, and good truths. If this ladder of truths is ignored, then we get a heaven-earth and spirit-matter binary, along with one-life, one-book, one-God, one-sect, one-path, and one-truth universals.

One-Life Conception of Spirituality

The material conditioning is so deep that it takes many lifetimes to clear it. Sages in the past performed austerities for thousands of years. King Bharata had to become a deer due to a minor attachment. Many yogis have fallen in the past due to material enticements. The process of removing all these contaminations is long and hard. The progress made in previous lives is carried forward to the next life. Perfection needs many lifetimes. Those who have practiced in previous lives are reborn as more perfect persons.

When Śukadeva Gosvāmī spoke Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, his father (Vyāsa), his grandfather (Parāśar), and his father’s guru (Nārada) were in the audience. But there was no cross-talk. Only Parikśit and Śukadeva spoke. Even as Vyāsa composed Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam on Nārada’s instruction, he did not speak, because Śukadeva was the more qualified person to speak. The Bhāgavatam we read today isn’t that which Vyāsa had originally composed. It is that which was spoken by Śukadeva. This is clarified at the outset in 1.1.3: “O expert and thoughtful men, relish Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literature. It emanated from the lips of Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Therefore, this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.”

The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam composed by Vyāsa was “already relishable for all”. But it became “even more tasteful” when Śukadeva Gosvāmī spoke it. Later, Vyāsa made Śrīmad Bhāgavatam what Śukadeva had spoken. Thus, Vyāsa is Śukadeva’s teacher, and Śukadeva is teaching Vyāsa what Bhāgavatam is.

These seeming discrepancies are the result of multiple births. A child is not ignorant if he has practiced spiritual life in previous births. He may be far more advanced than all the present-day teachers. The child may also learn at the feet of the present-day teachers, and yet, supersede those teachers.

The religious person who believes in one-life concepts thinks about going back to heaven (or Godhead) at the end of the present life, although the journey to perfection isn’t yet complete. Kṛṣṇa’s devotees abandon even the desire to go back to Godhead—called liberation from this world. As Sri Chaitanya states: “O Lord of the universe, I do not desire material wealth, materialistic followers, a beautiful wife or fruitive activities described in flowery language. All I want, life after life, is unmotivated devotional service to You.” Life after life means existing in the material world because there is no death in the spiritual world. This is the extent of unselfishness in the pure devotees that if the Lord is pleased by my existence in the material world, then all discomforts caused by this world are acceptable to me.

Thus, one-life concepts are contrary to (a) the gradual process of purification, (b) different levels of progress across people of all ages, and (c) the perfectional stage where liberation is no longer desired.

When spiritual life is reduced to one lifetime, then all stages of perfection must be completed in one life. Then, life has to be divided into decades, and each decade must mark a great leap forward. Those operating under this anxiety haven’t yet understood the extent of their own contamination. They like to measure everything in terms of years elapsed in this life, rather than the number of previous lifetimes.

One common fallacy arising out of one-life concepts is the idea of a guru. If someone is not perfect and has yet become a guru, then he will be reborn and will likely accept another guru, who could easily be his disciple from the previous life. Those who have accepted imperfect gurus will also be reborn and likely accept another guru, who could easily be their disciple from the previous life. A guru that lasts one lifetime is like someone’s husband or wife in this life. The real guru remains constant across lives.

Even if a real guru goes back to Godhead, he knows how to guide the disciple in this world. He appears in this world without leaving the spiritual world, just like Kṛṣṇa appears in this world without leaving the spiritual world. As I often say, there are four kinds of distance—relational, conceptual, emotional, and attentional—that result in various conflicts in the material world (e.g., if conceptually and emotionally different people get married) but no conflict in the spiritual world. A guru creates attentional proximity with those distant from him to bring them relationally, conceptually, and emotionally closer to him. Attentional proximity operates under one’s will. Just by willing, a person can appear anywhere he wants without changing any other distance. But one must have transcended the material state to do that.

One who understands reincarnation seeks a guru who can guide him life after life. For that, the guru must have transcended the false material ideas of distance and proximity to go anywhere he wills.

One-God Conception of Spirituality

The word “God” denotes a class of persons just like the word “house” denotes a class of things. This class is called Viṣṇu-Tattva, different from Jīva-Tattva. The term “tattva” denotes an essence, concept, or class. Therefore, there is a Viṣṇu-class called “God” and there is a Jīva-class called “soul”. How can God mean one thing when the soul means many things? They have to be treated as common nouns or classes of things.

Within these classes, each form of God or soul has a different name. The tattva is the same, but the name is unique. When we go to a Kṛṣṇa temple, we find many instances of the tattva. For instance, there are deities of Radha and Kṛṣṇa, Jagannātha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, Sri Chaitanya, and Sri Nityananda. How can all these be called “one God” when they are visibly different? There is a hierarchical order established between these deities, so they are not equal. And yet, they belong to the same class.

The Vedic texts do not support the conception of one God, but they support the notion of a Supreme Person from whom many personalities emerge. The Supreme Person has 64 qualities in full. But the emanated personalities either have fewer qualities or fewer qualities in fullness. When the number of qualities is either 48 or less, then the person is called Jīva-Tattva. Personalities with more qualities are called Viṣṇu-Tattva or something in between Viṣṇu-Tattva and Jīva-Tattva. Therefore, when we use the word “God” we mean Viṣṇu-Tattva or a class of spiritual personalities, not a single person. We can sometimes use the same word to denote the Supreme Person, but that usage is never universal.

The general principle among these personalities is Bhedābheda—we cannot say that two things are identical and we cannot say that two things are separate. They are like an inverted tree such that two branches are neither identical nor separable. When this nuanced conception of Bhedābheda is replaced by “one God”, then variety is rejected, and monochromatic universalism is embraced, leading to the rejection of the enormous variety and diversity in divinity. Now, the God-class is replaced by one-God.

All notions of one-God are intimately related to the Platonic theory of forms in which everything has one pure form. But claiming that such a pure form exists is easier than defining what that form is. Without knowing that pure form, saying that a pure form exists results in no benefits because each person calls something different a “pure form”. All such pure forms are given precise definitions in Vedic texts.

For instance, the “perfect human” is called Manu in Vedic texts but he is a person, not a class. A “perfect cow” is called Kāmadhenu, and she is a person, not a class. Imperfect humans and cows are produced from a perfect human and cow. We call something a human or cow by tracing their genealogy to an original parent, with whom the child shares the tattva similarity. The subsequent forms can be imperfect humans and cows but they are called a human and cow because of genealogy and tattva similarity.

The same principle applies to God. Many individual persons are called God because their genealogy traces back to a Supreme Person and they share the tattva. We don’t equate God to Supreme Person just like we don’t equate all humans to Manu, or all cows to Kāmadhenu. We don’t say that a non-Manu person is not human or that a non-Kāmadhenu person is not a cow. Thereby, each word has three meanings—(a) the best instance, (b) other instances, and (c) tattva similarity and genealogy. While using a word, we do not always mean the same thing. Context determines what we mean and when.

The problem of equating a child of God to God appears in Christianity in the confusion that Jesus is God in one way, and yet, the son of God, so not the God in heaven, but because there cannot be two Gods—one in heaven and the other on earth—therefore, there must be two Gods and yet they must be one. The contradictions of such claims are indicative of the central problems with equating God to a name rather than a class. Jesus can be in the class called God and yet not be the Supreme Person. But if we do that, then there are two forms of God included in the class, and therefore, contrary to “one God”.

It is a fact that in all messianic religions, the prophet has a higher status than ordinary people. Even if we don’t call them “God” we must say that they are something in between God-class and soul-class.

Thus, universalist notions of divinity and theism are incoherent doctrines because (a) more than one person is in the God-class, and (b) something is in between God-class and soul-class. Without clarity on what the words mean, applying them to the Vedic tradition where these words mean something else, can only be called malignment by association.

In the Vedic system, “God is one” simply means that there is an original complete person from whom other partial persons are produced. Partial persons can be in the Viṣṇu-class or soul-class or something in between these classes based on the number of qualities they exhibit to different extents. The full truth is represented through multiple deities—one (Kṛṣṇa), two (Rādhā and Shyām), three (Jagannātha, Baladeva, Subhadrā), four (Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha), five (Chaitanya, Nityānanda, Advaita, Gadādhar, Srivās), and so on. These are neither identical nor separate.

The greater the number of deities in a representation, the more elaborate the description of the Absolute Truth, quite like a book can be summarized into one title, then divided into 5 chapters, each of which can be divided into 10 sections, each of which can be divided into 25 paragraphs, and so on. The book title is one. The whole book is one. But there are numerous chapters, sections, and paragraphs. The varied parts of the book elaborate on the meaning that was previously summarized through its title.

The attempt to reduce this to one God forces enormous condensation—akin to condensing a book into its title. The title is not false. But we don’t know the meaning of the title without reading the book. Condensation rejects the book to assume that it understands the title. Condensation becomes the rejection of two, three, four, five, or other expressions of the truth. Since there are infinite such expressions, accepting one out of infinity is only marginally better than rejecting everything out of infinity—called atheism. Giving God only one form is only marginally better than God having no form—called impersonalism. Hence, “one God” is almost atheism and impersonalism.

The principles used to understand “God” are also used to understand Brahman. At different times, the word denotes the Supreme Person, non-supreme Viṣṇu-Tattva, one individual soul, all individual souls, and the material world because everything emanates from the Supreme Person, so knowing Him means knowing all that was previously latent in Him and was subsequently manifest from Him. The greater the manifestation, the better the understanding of what was previously hidden and latent in the Supreme Person.

Hence, more forms of God are better than one form of God, because they display more about the Supreme Person. The universalism of one God makes this virtue a vice. It claims that because there is one book cover, there cannot be chapters, sections, or paragraphs. These claims show an abundance of thinking of God in terms of objects rather than books. A person who thinks of books, says that even as the book cover, chapters, sections, and paragraphs are distinct, they are not separate from each other. A person who thinks in terms of objects tears every page of the book apart and due to illiteracy cannot decide the order between pages. He sees multiple pages and not a book.

One-Path Conception of Spirituality

The Vedic system presents several paths. Kṛṣṇa describes six such paths in the Bhagavad-Gita and organizes them in a ladder, namely, that there is a best path, but if someone cannot follow that path (because it is hard to follow) then one can follow a lower path. In this way, one ascends through six levels because the higher levels are not feasible for most people. Going from one step to another on a ladder can take a long time. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa also says: “In this endeavor, there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.”

The principle of a ladder is also that the higher path includes the lower path, just like higher education includes primary education. If someone has undergone primary education, then they can undergo higher education. But without primary education, there will be little progress in higher education.

Most people practicing one form of yoga neglect other forms of yoga. They remain unaware of the ladder, and how the higher step in the ladder must incorporate the lower steps, but the lower step may not include the higher steps. The practitioners of bhakti-yoga must incorporate knowledge, austerity, and detachment because they constitute the lower steps in the ladder. Without the lower steps, the higher step cannot be perfected. But those who think of these paths as exclusivity, don’t incorporate the lower steps. If they chant mantras, they don’t know how the mantra works. They don’t understand that reality must itself be a meaningful sound for the mantra to have any effect. Even if someone chants mantras, he might abhor austerities and want to make everything simple and easy. Even if someone does something for Kṛṣṇa, he quickly abandons that work if results are not obtained because there is no detachment.

These are the results of neglecting the ladder of paths in which the higher step in the ladder is always harder and it is perfected only when the lower steps in the ladder have been perfected. When one path is chosen and others are rejected, then we get exclusivism in religion. The exclusivists reject other steps on the ladder, and cannot progress in the ladder, and yet, they consider their path to be the only path.

The fact is that bhakti-yoga rests on four principles of dharma—knowledge, austerity, detachment, and compassion. If any of these are abandoned, then the progress is arrested. At every step in a person’s life, new obstacles arise which have to be removed by the four principles of dharma. If those obstacles are not removed, then progress is arrested. Exclusivists abandon these principles and delay their progress. They expect reverence for all religions since their practice is not based on the dharma principles.

Sanātana-dharma cannot be separated from dharma. Dharma is always contextual, which means that the four principles are prioritized differently in each case. The method of prioritization gets so hard that the best way to find the ideal prioritization is to always ask: What would God have done in this case? To know what God would have done in each case, we have to know God deeply and personally.

Thus, dharma becomes sanātana-dharma to eliminate difficulties in dharma. It is not separate from dharma. It is only a more perfect form of dharma. This means that one who is not acting like how God would have acted in the same situation (barring the restrictions entailed by our incapacities to act just like God) is neither dharmic nor a devotee of God. A devotee becomes a representation of God—as good as God—because he acts just like God. God doesn’t act in one way. He acts in millions of ways. Acting just like He would have acted is sanātana-dharma. The principle of acting like God is universal. But because God acts in millions of ways, therefore, one principle has infinite manifestations.

One-Sect Conception of Spirituality

Due to the effect of many sectarian divisions between religions, those imbued with the impressions of such sectarianism consider themselves to be different from other sects. They elevate a Sampradāya to be one school incompatible with other schools when the fact is that they may be aspects of the same truth, incomplete without the others, and a sect may be better than other sects. To be better than other sects, it has to do more than the other sects. But for that, one has to understand the other sects, what they do and don’t, how the sects are different from each other, and why one sect is better than the others.

Sectarianism just talks about differences between sects rather than better and worse. Sects become many disconnected islands rather than progressive rungs of a ladder. If a sect is chosen, then everything else is rejected without evaluation. This “othering” of others is a fundamental trait of sectarian religions that results in exclusivism. The result of sectarianism is fragmentation instead of unity. Different sects tend to clash if they come in close contact. Otherwise, they remain oblivious of the other sects.

The basic problem is called incompleteness vs. inconsistency. If different things come together, they clash due to inconsistency. If they remain separate from each other, they remain incomplete. Sectarianism is the effect of duality, namely, seeing different things as separate things rather than as parts of a body. By sectarianism, the body is fragmented into body parts, no part can exist without the other parts of the body, and hence all the body parts die. Unity is in the interest of each body part but unity cannot be established without organizing sects into a ladder. Since nobody wants to be placed lower than others, the others don’t want anyone to be placed higher than them, so they can never unite. The result of disunity is death. Each sect becomes a head, leg, hand, or stomach severed from the other parts.

If we don’t unite partially correct sects, then each of these will die. This has been proven in Vedic history when the separation of Darśana, Upaniśad, Purāṇa, Itihāsa, Tantra, and Samhita by impersonalists led to the decline of everything because they are like body parts and severing one part from the other ensures the death of all parts. Whatever unity remains today in the Vedic system is because of non-sectarian people. Thus, the choice is very simple—either everyone exists united or nobody exists at all. The illusion of one thing existing without the other is like that of a head that thrives without the rest of the body.

One-Book Conception of Spirituality

The Vedic system is a library of texts. This library is described as a desire tree of knowledge with a perfect fruit. The fruit grows on a tree with branches and leaves. There is no fruit without the branches and leaves. Likewise, branches and leaves would be useless without the fruit. Hence, we have to consider the entire tree, comprising branches, leaves, and fruits, but most people just ignore the existence of the tree, branches, and leaves, because they are primarily interested in the fruit.

The fact is that whether the fruit is mango or apple cannot be understood without the whole tree. The branches and leaves are required to understand what the fruit truly is. If the tree is rejected, then the fruit is misunderstood. Without the tree, the fruit is expected to be supported by other kinds of trees, branches, and leaves incompatible with the fruit. For example, we might mix the fruit of bhakti-yoga with the branches and leaves of democracy, capitalism, individual rights, industrialization, urbanization, and modern science because we need something to live in this world but we have rejected the branches and leaves from the Vedic tree. By such mixing, we imagine that a mango fruit is growing on an apple tree. Factually, the mango is not growing. Rather, the mango has been replaced by the apple.

Christianity understands this problem better than most Kṛṣṇa devotees. For instance, it is widely (and correctly) believed that if democracy, capitalism, industrialization, urbanization, individual rights, and modern science spread, then Christianity cannot be far behind. This is because if branches and leaves belong to the apple tree then the fruit will also be apple. Any uniqueness of other societies, cultures, and religions is thus imbibed into the Christianity tree (after modifying it to fit into the tree) to ensure that no other tree, branch, or fruit survives. This problem can only be solved by taking the Vedic system as a whole, namely, branches and leaves along with the fruit. Just accepting the fruit doesn’t work.

Every religion has relied on a particular type of social, economic, and political order. Every religion has relied on a different conception of the material world, its laws, and how we interact with the world. There is always a great risk in mixing two different worldviews because every mixed thing becomes the thing more dominant in the mixture. If democracy, capitalism, individual rights, industrialization, modern science, and urbanization are dominant in the mixture, then the result will also be something compatible with these. If the branches and leaves are of the apple tree, then the fruit will never be mango.

To ensure that we grow a mango fruit, we have to change the entire tree. That requires a broader study of the Vedic system. The book that deals with the fruit may tangentially reference the leaves and fruits, but we cannot get a full understanding of the fruit without knowing the branches and the leaves. One-book ideology removes all such books, separating the fruits from the leaves and the branches. Now, the tree doesn’t grow an alternative kind of fruit. It just produces the previously growing fruit. But most people don’t want to change the tree. They want to grow a different fruit on the preexisting tree.

The separation of branches, leaves, and fruits is false. Mind and body, religion and science, society and economics, etc. are not separate. There is a seed of everything inside the other thing which changes that thing into something compatible with the thing that is considered outside of it. People just think that they can practice a different “religion” without changing the broader ideological context of a society. That is not a fact because all the purported separations of mind, body, religion, and science are false. When one set of ideologies is mixed with another, then the pure becomes impure. As some impurity is permitted, even more impurities are rationalized, normalized, and regularized. The process repeats until the pure becomes fully compatible with the impure—i.e., the apple replaces the mango completely.

One-Truth Conception of Spirituality

In the Vedic texts, spirit is called parā and matter is called aparā. Since para means highest, original, and best, therefore, aparā means lower, subsequent, and good. If we study matter, and call that “science”, it is not opposed to the study of spirit, even if it is called “religion”. If there is a contradiction between religion and science as in a dualism, then it means both sides of the supposed dualism are false.

Modern sciences and religions replace (a) God’s control with natural laws, (b) God’s creation from Himself with creation out of nothing, and (c) God’s enjoyment with the enjoyment of the self. Each of these was an accepted doctrine in some religions before it became a scientific axiom. Hence, the original conception of science was fully compatible with such religions. It is only later that people realized that if these claims are true, then there is no need for God to exist because per these dogmas (a) the world came out of nothing, (b) it is governed by natural laws, and (c) exists for our enjoyment. Why do we need God if we already have everything precisely as religion says we do?

The present debates between religion and science are political theatre because both of them agree that God plays no role in the world. To have autonomous control over the world, emperors and priests had already removed God from the world even before the advent of modern science. Modern science only displaced priests and emperors, who had earlier displaced God. The conflict between science and religion that followed was not about reinstating God’s role in the world. It was a conflict about the relative power of scientists and priests over human affairs in this world. They are still fighting for their status instead of God’s status.

Whenever two things are mutually opposed, each of those exists in seed form in its opposite. We can think of yin and yang. There is a smaller black circle inside a bigger white circle and a smaller white circle inside a black circle. The smaller circle grows to swallow the bigger circle and each side transforms into its opposite. For instance, the smaller black circle inside the white circle of religion was atheism: (a) the world is created from nothing, (b) the world is governed by natural laws, and (c) the world exists for our enjoyment. Over time, atheism grew and swallowed religion. Likewise, the smaller white circle inside the black circle of science was theism: God created the world lawfully, and by understanding these laws, we are studying God’s mind. By calling science the study of God’s mind, science elevated itself to the level of priests, until it completely swallowed them. Now, institutionalized science demands blind faith in itself just like institutionalized religion. Scientists are the new priesthood in the Church of Science.

Just as religion had earlier swallowed science to plunge Europe into the Dark Ages, similarly, science has now swallowed religion and called it Enlightenment. The same thing will repeat, and society will revert to the Dark Ages unless duality is replaced by non-duality. Throughout Western history, we see recurring dualisms—the real world vs. the ideal world, form vs. substance, mind vs. body, freedom vs. determinism, collective vs. individual, God vs. Satan, religion vs. science, reason vs. faith, essence vs. existence, etc. These dualities cycle from one extreme to the other. Each side dominates for some time, but the subordinate side rises like a phoenix to swallow it after some time.

Vedic texts exhort us to replace duality with non-duality, where diversities are reconciled into a whole like the different parts of a body. There is a place for people to decide things by reason. There is a place for people to check if they conform to God’s commandments. God is not irrational so His commandments can be confirmed by reason if they are indeed God’s commandments. The conflict is not between reason and God but between rational and irrational people, or between two sets of irrational people. The head and legs in my body are not in conflict. The five fingers in my body are not in conflict. The head and tail in a coin are in perfect harmony. If we try to reduce a sophisticated idea of truth to “one truth”, then the result will be a dualism, a conflict between opposites, each side swallowing the other, only to be swallowed by the previous side later on.

Truth is called one because of unity among infinite truths. A lower truth reconciles a smaller set of seeming opposites. A higher truth reconciles a greater number of seeming opposites. We try to understand the lower truth before the higher truth because the higher truth is more non-dualistic and harder to understand that the less non-dualistic truth. Most people want to know the highest truth immediately. But every Vedic text discusses matter before spirit. Matter and spirit are not separate books. They are different stages of the same book. We go to the later stages after we have understood the prior stages. The later stages are more non-dualistic and the prior stages are less so.

Non-duality is a “Universal Truth”. But it is not one-God, one-path, one-book, one-sect, one-life, or one-truth doctrine. It is the oneness of a body with diverse parts, some more important than others. It is the oneness of a ladder of truths, with lower and higher rungs. The universal truth is unity in diversity and diversity in unity. This universal truth rejects all dualities and oppositions without rejecting variety.

According to this idea of non-dualism, Advaita is a dualism between Brahman and māyā, akin to the substance-form and spirit-matter dualisms in Western philosophies. Whenever there is a dualism, both sides of the duality are false. Real non-dualists reject Advaita on the ground that it is a dualism. The material world is not duality. It is entangled and inseparable parts. Those who cannot see the entangled nature of the material world claim that it is duality. But even then, each opposite is inside the other opposite and swallows it cyclically. If we can see that each opposite is inside the other opposite, then we stop calling it duality. We call that apparent duality an illusion.

The knowers of the Veda prioritize some parts of the Veda after they know all the parts, quite like one prioritizes the head over the legs. Prioritization of some parts without knowledge of the other parts results in a blind man calling an elephant’s leg a tree trunk. The prioritized part cannot be understood without the deprioritized part, quite like we cannot understand the head unless we know how it controls the leg. If we don’t know what the leg does, then we cannot understand what the head does, because the leg is mirrored inside the head, and the head is mirrored inside the leg.

Therefore, before we ask any other question, we must ask: What is truth? If truth is Universal Truth, then nothing will be known. But if Param-Satyam is the highest, best, and original truth, then everything will be known. The difference in the idea of truth is the difference between total ignorance and complete knowledge. Universal Truth is a political doctrine created to deny all other truths. It was formulated by Roman emperors and Church priests to wrest political control. This idea then resulted in the rejection of demigods, depersonalization of nature, rivalry between God and Satan, and spirit-matter dualism. Every claim resulting from a Universal Truth claim is false.

The claims of Universal Truth always result in a binary, clash between the two sides of a binary, with each side absorbing the other cyclically, to become a never-ending clash, conflict, and each overpowering the other. Wherever there is Universal Truth, there will never be peace. If we bring a Universal Truth idea to Kṛṣṇa bhakti—because we are conditioned by the idea of Universal Truth—we will transform Kṛṣṇa bhakti into an Abrahamic faith. Then, in one easy step, we shall go from the paradigm of complete knowledge to that of complete ignorance with totally predictable results.