hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare / hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare


All creatures has a soul (quotation from bible)


































Psalm 104 of the Bible shows us God's close identification with beasts, sea creatures and birds. He blesses them, as well as humans by saying: "Be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:22)". Although statements by God exist regarding equal treatment for all moving entities, many Western philosophers, including Aristotle, believed that an animal's soul is not immortal. He conjectured that there are two types of souls, mortal and immortal. Nowhere in the Bible we find such a statement. Any creature that has the six signs of life, birth, growth, producing by-products, experiencing happiness and distress, dwindling and death has a soul. Yet Augustine, a recognized Western philosopher, argued: "Since animals have no soul, they are meant for our use, dead or alive. It only remains for us to apply the commandment, 'Thou shall not kill' to man alone, oneself and others", (The City of God). Such statements became accepted within Christian Doctrine.

Killing any creature means forcefully removing its lawful right to live.

Thomas Aquinas, a philosopher, argued that the soul is created along with the body, and then becomes mortal or immortal. Aquinas' theory was accepted, and became the official doctrine of the Catholic Church. Again, where is the reasoning here? We know that God breathed life into man, but this does not imply that the soul did not pre-exist. For Aquinas there was no possibility for the reincarnation of the soul. By denying the process of reincarnation and its eternity, such philosophers as Aquinas and Augustine made it difficult for people to understand the Supreme Justice of God. Unless there is a consequence experienced from good and evil actions, how can there be any justice in this world? Transmigration of the soul into good or bad status of life, or into higher or lower births, depends on one's good or evil acts in one's prior life. If there is no transmigration of the soul in this creation, then where is the account for being born into good fortune or into misfortune? We see so many people who are born rich, beautiful, healthy and pious and others who are born poor, deformed, ignorant and impious. How can such situations be possible if the soul lives for a finite time or just one life? This has to be the result of one's previous actions. St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.) wrote in his "Free Choice of the Will," which was later translated and published in "Fathers of the Church's Services," saying that "Although the first men were undisciplined and brutish, they were vegetarians nonetheless." Largely due to Augustine's propaganda, our attitude and nature has been changed without thinking about the consequences of the present actions which remove the value of animals from the minds of men. Until Augustine, practically everyone followed vegetarianism. Origen (A.D. 185?-254?), who was considered the founder of Christian philosophy, was also a vegetarian. Human beings are given a certain amount of free will to choose the right thing for the self; but when this power to choose is misused, it brings bad Karma (or reaction) to the person. Therefore, Origen considered that the fall of an individual is due to misuse of his or her free will. He believed in transmigration of the soul's rising and falling in the evolutionary scale. According to him, the individual soul, falling short of the ultimate goal, is reincarnated into this world again and again. Until Augustine came along, this idea of reincarnation prevailed, which kept people from eating meat.

However, because Western culture does not accept the transmigration of the soul, they limit the power of God and His mercy. Western scholars say that at death, you either go to heaven or hell, or cease to exist forever. On the contrary, the Vedas describe the Lord as all merciful, and He loves His created beings. But those who do not follow His desires are punished by Him, as a disobedient son is punished by the father. The father does not hate his son; therefore, his punishment is meant to correct the child. But if the child is able to behave himself from the beginning and receive his father's blessings, then why should the child misbehave and get punished? Therefore, following the Vedic system of purification results in unlimited happiness in life.

































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