Argument is allowed but not in a challenging spirit. With a spirit to rightly understand

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Expressions researched:
"Argument, is allowed"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1971 Conversations and Morning Walks

Paripraṣna, argument is allowed, but not with a challenging spirit. With a spirit to rightly understand. Praṇipātena paripraśnena. Argument is not denied.
Conversation with Prof. Kotovsky -- June 22, 1971, Moscow:

Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā is studied amongst the scholarly circle and philosophical circle still, all over the world. And this statement is given by Kṛṣṇa:

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati
(BG 2.13)

So dehāntaram prāpti... Just like the childhood, now, giving up the childhood body, the soul is coming to the boyhood body, from boyhood, youth..., similarly, the soul, giving up this body, he accepts another body. This statement is given by Kṛṣṇa, the greatest authority according to our tradition of knowledge.

Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, I know.

Prabhupāda: So suppose we accept such statement without any argument. That is the way of Vedic understanding. Vedic understanding means you have to accept whatever is stated in the Vedas without any argument.

Prof. Kotovsky: So forget about Vedas. Our approach is we don't believe in anything without argument. We can believe only on anything based on argument.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that...

Prof. Kotovsky: Here is the basic...

Prabhupāda: No, no, that is allowed.

Prof. Kotovsky: ...projecting (?).

Prabhupāda: That is allowed. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena (BG 4.34), paripraśnena sevayā.Paripraṣna, argument, is allowed, but not with a challenging spirit. With a spirit to rightly understand. Praṇipātena paripraśnena. That... Argument is not denied. But so far Vedic statements are there, they are infallible, infallible, and the followers of the Vedas, they accept in that way. For example, just like cow dung.

Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.

Prabhupāda: It is the stool of an animal. Now, the Vedic statement there is: "As soon as you touch the stool of any animal, you are impure. You have to purify yourself by taking bath." Even in your own stool... According to Hindu system, if you go to evacuate, after coming you have to take bath.

Prof. Kotovsky: This is quite intact with modern medicine knowledge...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guest: ...that you must clean yourself.

Prabhupāda: Now...

Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, that's right.

Prabhupāda: But another place it is stated that "Cow dung, although it is the stool of an animal, it is pure." Even if you apply in an impure place, you become purified. Now, this is superficially contradicting. In one place it is said that "The stool of an animal is impure. As soon as you touch, you have to be purified," and another place it is said that "Cow dung is pure." So according to our knowledge, it is contradictory.

Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.

Prabhupāda: But those who are followers of the Vedas, they are accepting. Is it not, cow dung, pure? Cow dung pure, it is not accepted by the followers of Vedas?

Guest: That is.

Prabhupāda: And if you analyze chemically, you'll find the cow dung contains all antiseptic properties.

Prof. Kotovsky: This I don't know.

Prabhupāda: You do not know, but there is a...

Prof. Kotovsky: I have to test. This I do not know, but...

Guest: Yes, one must try to realize it...

Prabhupāda: Yes, that... That... One Dr. Ghosh, professor of medical college, Lal Mohan Ghosh, he... I was medically connected in my previous life. So that Lal Mohan Ghosh analyzed it, and, it is his statement, it is full of, I mean to say, antiseptic properties. So Vedic statements, even sometimes you find it is contradictory, but if you analyze scrutinizingly, you find it is correct.