These are the four most prominent objections raised by the movie PK, and we have tried to address them:
1. PK says it is OK to deride Vedic gods.
Poking fun at Vedic gods and goddesses: The Vedas teach that our material world is produced from intelligence. There is a concrete plan behind it. Vedic vision organizes all meaning and information in the universe into a hierarchy of consciousness and control. Living entities known as devas or demigods, direct all the activities of material nature. Far more advanced than us humans these devas reside on their own planets in the universe, with facilities, life spans, and pleasures far exceeding what humans can conceive of. Among the demigod groups there are gradations of power and control. Some devas control relatively minute functions of nature, and some have massive portfolios. They have upadevas (sub-demigods) and many others under them too. “Who has seen the devas?” is the modern challenge. The Vedic reply would be “Who today has the qualification to see?” Uniformity of observational capacity is never assumed in the Vedas. Knowledge, information is state-specific; hence, the necessity of both acquiring the correct training and living the prescribed life style. Only then, is real knowledge revealed. In the present, Kali-yuga, the Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy, the devas are not visible due to the degradation of human beings and thus they keep themselves out of human perception.
2. PK does not tell us the science behind Deityworship.
The confusion created by Vedas telling us to worship stone idols The Vedas teach that whatever we see is energy. And this energy has its source, the Supreme Energetic One, or God. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna explains how everything is manifested from His own energy. Therefore when God is worshiped in a form made of earth or stone, then the worship is of God, not of matter. Stone or metal is God’s energy and therefore nondifferent from Him. Furthermore, God is so powerful that He can present Himself fully in His energy. So the process of worshiping a Deity in a temple is not idol-worship or heathenism. It is actually worship of God, provided one knows the process. Does the deity become God because of worship? No. It never becomes God – it is always God, but only to those who follow the process properly. Just like a live electric wire – one who knows the process can derive electricity out of it; otherwise it is just a wire. God and His energies cannot be separated, just heat cannot be separated from fire. But fire is still different from heat; if you feel heat, it does not mean you are touching fire. Fire, in spite of emanating heat, keeps its identity. Similarly although God creates everything by his different energies, He remains God.
3. PK states it is not proper to ask questions about religion and spirituality.
Current practice discourages one from asking questions. This may be an embarrassing fact for most Hindus today but the Vedic history is just the opposite. The Gita, for example, has this simple instruction: Search out a bona fide spiritual master who can lead you gradually to the stage of spiritual realization. You must submit yourself to such a mater, render service to him and ask relevant questions. In Vedic language it is called the guru-siñya relationship. A siñya (disciple) must be intently inquisitive to understand the original essence, and guru (the spiritual master or teacher) must be a well-conversant person who can answer the disciple’s relevant questions.
Just like before purchasing gold one must know how to identify it, before calling anyone a guru one must be aware of the qualifications of a guru. In the srimad-Bhagavatam it is described as to how Vidura asked all relevant questions of Maitreya Rsi because he knew well that Maitreya was the right person to reply to all the points of his inquiries. One must be confident about the qualifications of his teacher; one should not approach a layman for replies to specific spiritual inquiries. Such inquiries, when replied to with imaginative answers by the teacher, are a program for wasting time. One should approach a God conscious person with all humility, put relevant questions to him and not challenge him. If one were to challenge him, such a highly elevated God conscious person would not be available to receive any tangible service. A challenging, puffed-up person cannot gain anything from a God conscious man; he simply remains in material consciousness.
Arjuna took the role of disciple and student in order to receive transcendental knowledge from Lord Krishna . In order to drive out all misgivings which the gross materialists of the world may have, Arjuna asked all the right questions, and the answers were given by Krishna in a manner any layman can understand.
4. PK has no concrete idea about the real meaning of religion.
Is one religion better than another? Here is a litmus test for any religion: “The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.” As there are two types of humans the paths they choose reflect their choices. One is the path of sense enjoyment and the other path is of renunciation. The path of enjoyment is inferior, and the path of sacrifice for the supreme cause is superior. The material existence of the living being is a diseased condition of actual life. Actual life is spiritual existence, where life is eternal, blissful and full of knowledge. Material existence is temporary, illusory and full of miseries. There is no happiness at all. There is just the futile attempt to get rid of the miseries, and temporary cessation of misery is falsely called happiness. Therefore, the path of progressive material enjoyment, which is temporary, miserable and illusory, is inferior. But devotional service to the Supreme Lord, which leads one to eternal, blissful and all-cognizant life, is called the superior quality of occupation. This is sometimes polluted when mixed with the inferior quality. For example, adoption of devotional service for material gain is certainly an obstruction to the progressive path of renunciation. Renunciation is certainly a better occupation than enjoyment in the diseased condition of life. Such enjoyment only aggravates the symptoms of disease and increases its duration. Therefore devotional service to the Lord must be pure in quality, i.e., without the least desire for material enjoyment. One should, therefore, accept the superior quality of occupation in the form of the devotional service of the Lord without any tinge of unnecessary desire, fruitive action and philosophical speculation. This alone can lead one to perpetual solace in His service.
Dharma in its strictest sense is defined as “occupation” because the root meaning of the word dharma is “that which sustains one’s existence.” A living being’s sustenance of existence is to coordinate his activities with his eternal relation with the Supreme God. God is the central pivot of living beings, and He is the all attractive living entity or eternal form amongst all other living beings or eternal forms. Each and every living being has his eternal form in the spiritual existence, and God is the eternal attraction for all of them. God is the complete whole, and everything else is His part and parcel. The relation is one of the servant and the served. It is transcendental and is completely distinct from our experience in material existence. This relation of servant and the served is the most congenial and blissful form of intimacy. One can realize it as devotional service progresses. Everyone should engage himself in that transcendental loving service of the Lord, even in the present conditional state of material existence. That will gradually give one the clue to actual life and please him to complete satisfaction.