Published on February 24th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada2
The Tiny World of Modern Science
During a morning walk in April of 1973, at Venice Beach, Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada discusses modern science and its high priests: They claim to have millions of dollars worth of knowledge, but if you ask them a question, they simply give you a postdated check. Why should we accept it? They cannot even produce a spear of grass through their biological or chemical experiments. Nonetheless, they are claiming that the creation is produced by some chemical or biological method.
Why does no one question all this nonsense?
Srila Prabhupada: The whole world of science and technology is running on the false idea that life is born from matter. We cannot allow this nonsensical theory to go unchallenged. Life does not come from matter. Matter is generated from life. This is not theory; it is fact. Science is based on an incorrect theory; therefore all its calculations and conclusions are wrong, and people are suffering because of this. When all these mistaken modern scientific theories are corrected, people will become happy. So we must challenge the scientists and defeat them. Otherwise they will mislead the entire society.
Matter changes in six phases: birth, growth, maintenance, production of by-products, dwindling, and death. But the life within matter, the spirit soul, is eternal; it goes through no such changes. Life appears to be developing and decaying, but actually it is simply passing through each of these six phases until the material body can no longer be maintained. Then the old body dies, and the soul enters a new body. When our clothing is old and worn, we change it. Similarly, one day our bodies become old and useless, and we pass on to a new body.
As Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (2.13), dehino ‘smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara. tatha dehantara-praptih: “As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death.” And a little later (2.18): antavanta ime deha nityasyoktah saririnah. This means that only the material body of the indestructible and eternal entity is subject to destruction. This material body is perishable, but the life within the body is nitya, eternal.
According to the Vedas, the measurement of the soul within the body is one ten-thousandth part of the tip of a hair. This is very small; in fact, it is atomic. Yet because of that atomic spiritual energy, my body is working. Is it so difficult to understand? Suppose a man thinks himself very stout and strong.
Why is he stout and strong? Only because within his body is a small spiritual spark. But as soon as the spiritual spark is gone, his body dies, and his strength and vigor become void. If scientists say that matter is the cause and origin of life, then let them bring just one dead man back to life by injecting him with chemicals. But this they cannot do.
Dr. Singh: Since scientists cannot see the spirit soul, they say its existence is very doubtful.
Srila Prabhupada: How can they see it? It is too small to see. Where is such seeing power?
Dr. Singh: Still, they want to sense it by some means.
Srila Prabhupada: If you inject just one grain of deadly poison into someone, he immediately dies. No one can see the poison or how it acts. But the poison is acting nevertheless. In the same way, the Vedas say that because the minute particle called the soul is within the body, the whole body is working nicely. If I pinch myself, I immediately feel it, because I am conscious all over my skin. But as soon as the soul is absent, which is the case when my body dies, you can take this same skin and cut it and chop it, and no one will protest. Why is this simple thing so hard to understand? ls this not detecting spirit?
Dr. Singh: That is the soul. But what about God?
Srila Prabhupada: First of all let us understand the soul. The soul is a small God. If you understand the sample, then you can understand the whole.
Now here is matter. [Srila Prabhupada points at a dead tree with his cane.] Formerly leaves and twigs were growing from this tree. Why are they not growing now? Can the scientists answer this question?
Karandhara dasa: They would say the chemical composition has changed.
Srila Prabhupada: All right, then if they are so advanced in knowledge of chemistry, they must supply the proper chemicals to make branches and leaves grow again.
Brahmananda Swami: Knowledge means that one must be able to demonstrate his theory. They should be able to show in their laboratories that life is caused by a combination of chemicals.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, the scientific method means first observation, then hypothesis, and then demonstration. But these scientists cannot demonstrate their hypothesis. They simply observe and then speak nonsense.
Scientists say that the chemicals are the cause of life. But all the chemicals that were there when the tree was living are still present. And life energy is also there. There are thousands of microbes in the tree, and they are all living entities. No one can claim that life energy is lacking in the body of this tree.
Dr. Singh: But what about the life energy of the tree itself?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, that is the difference. The living force is individual, and the particular individual living entity which was the tree has left. This must be the case, since all the chemicals that are necessary to support life are still there yet the tree is dead.
Here is another example: suppose I am living in an apartment, and then I leave it. I am gone, but many other living entities remain there–ants, spiders, and so forth. It is not true that simply because I have left the apartment, it can no longer accommodate life. Other living entities are still living there. It is simply that I–an individual living being–have left. The chemicals in the tree are like the apartment; they are simply the environment for the individual living force–the soul–to act through. Thus the scientists will never be able to produce life in the chemical laboratory.
The so-called scientists say that life begins from chemicals. But the real question is, “Where have the chemicals come from?” The chemicals come from life, and this means that life has mystic power. For example, an orange tree contains many oranges, and each orange contains chemicals–citric acid and others. So where have these chemicals come from? Obviously they have come from the life within the tree. The scientists are missing the origin of the chemicals. They have started their investigation from the chemicals, but they cannot identify the origin of the chemicals. Chemicals come from the supreme life–God. Just as the living body of a man produces many chemicals, the supreme life (the Supreme Lord) is producing all the chemicals found in the atmosphere, in the water, in humans, in animals, and in the earth. And that is called mystic power. Unless the mystic power of the Supreme Lord is accepted, there is no solution to the problem of the origin of life.
Dr. Singh: The scientists will reply that they cannot believe in mystic power.
Srila Prabhupada: But they must explain the origin of the chemicals. Anyone can see that an ordinary tree is producing many chemicals; they cannot deny it. But how does it produce them? Since they cannot answer this, they must accept that the living force has mystic power. I cannot explain how my fingernail is growing out of my finger; it is beyond the power of my brain. In other words, it is growing by inconceivable potency, or acintya-sakti. So if acintya-sakti exists in an ordinary being, imagine how much acintya-sakti God possesses.
The difference between God and me is that although I have the same potencies as God, I can produce only a small quantity of chemicals, whereas He can produce enormous quantities. I can produce a little water in the form of perspiration, but God can produce the seas. Analysis of one drop of seawater gives you the qualitative analysis of the sea, without any mistake. Similarly, the ordinary living being is part and parcel of God, so by analyzing the living beings we can begin to understand God. In God there is great mystic potency. God’s mystic potency is working swiftly, exactly like an electric machine. Machines operate by certain energy, and they are so nicely made that all the work is done simply by pushing a button. Similarly, God said, “Let there be creation,” and there was creation. Considered in this way, the workings of nature are not very difficult to understand. God has such wonderful potencies that the creation, on His order alone, immediately takes place.
Brahmananda Swami: Scientists don’t accept God or acintya-sakti.
Srila Prabhupada: That is their rascaldom. God exists, and His acintya-sakti also exists.
Karandhara dasa: Scientists say that life was created biochemically.
Srila Prabhupada: And I say to them: “Why don’t you create life? Your biology and chemistry are very advanced, so why don’t you create life?”
Karandhara dasa: They say they will create life in the future.
Srila Prabhupada: When in the future? If the scientists know the creative process, why can’t they create life now? If life has a biochemical origin, and if biologists and chemists are so advanced, then why can’t they create life in their laboratories? When this crucial point is raised, they say, “We shall do it in the future.” Why in the future? That is nonsense. Trust no future, however pleasant. What is the meaning of their advancement? They are talking nonsense.
Karandhara dasa: They say that they are right on the verge of creating life.
Srila Prabhupada: But that is also the future, in a different way. They must accept that they still do not know the truth about the origin of life. Since they are expecting to be able to create life in the future, presently their knowledge must be imperfect. Their proposal is something like giving someone a postdated check. Suppose I owe you ten thousand dollars and I say, “Yes, I will pay you the entire sum with this postdated check. Is that all right?” If you are intelligent, you will reply, “At present, give me at least five dollars in cash so I can see something tangible.” Similarly, the scientists cannot produce even a single blade of grass by biochemistry, yet still they claim that life is produced from matter. What is this nonsense? Is no one questioning this? We can prove that life began from life. Here is the proof: when a father begets a child, the father is living, and the child is living. But where is the scientist’s proof that life comes from matter? We can prove that life begins from life, and we can also prove that the original life is Krsna. But what evidence exists that a child is ever born out of a dead stone? The scientists cannot prove that life comes from matter. They are leaving that aside for the future.
Karandhara dasa: The basis of what the scientists call “scientific integrity” is that they talk only about what they can experience through their senses.
Srila Prabhupada: Then they are suffering from what we call “Doctor Frog’s philosophy.” There was once a frog who had lived all his life in a well. One day a friend visited him and informed him of the existence of the Atlantic Ocean.
“Oh, what is this Atlantic Ocean?” asked the frog in the well.
“It is a vast body of water,” his friend replied.
“How vast? ls it double the size of this well?”
“Oh, no, much larger,” his friend replied.
“How much larger? Ten times the size?”
In this way the frog went on calculating. But what was the possibility of his ever understanding the depths and far reaches of the great ocean? Our faculties, experience, and powers of speculation are always limited. The frog was always thinking in terms relative to his well. He had no power to think otherwise. Similarly, the scientists are estimating the Absolute Truth, the cause of all causes, with their imperfect senses and minds, and thus they are bound to be bewildered. The essential fault of the so-called scientists is that they have adopted the inductive process to arrive at their conclusions. For example, if a scientist wants to determine whether or not man is mortal by the inductive process, he must study every man to try to discover if some or one of them may be immortal. The scientist says, “I cannot accept the proposition that all men are mortal. There may be some men who are immortal. I have not yet seen every man. Therefore how can I accept that man is mortal?” This is called the inductive process. And the deductive process means that your father, your teacher, or your guru says that man is mortal, and you accept it.
Dr. Singh: So there is an ascending process of gaining knowledge and a descending process?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. The ascending process will never be successful, because it relies on information gathered through the senses, and the senses are imperfect. So we accept the descending process.
God cannot be known by the inductive process. Therefore He is called adhoksaja, which means “unknowable by direct perception.” The scientists say there is no God, because they are trying to understand by direct perception. But He is adhoksaja; therefore the scientists are ignorant of God because they are missing the method of knowing Him. In order to understand transcendental science, one must approach a bona fide spiritual master, hear from him submissively, and render service to him. Lord Krsna explains this in the Bhagavad-gita (4.34): tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya.
Dr. Singh: There is a scientific journal called Nature. It contains articles concerning natural products like plants and animals, but it does not mention God–only nature.
Srila Prabhupada: We may correctly observe that plants are being produced by nature, but we must ask, “What has produced nature?” To ask this question is intelligence.
Dr. Singh: The scientists don’t think about that.
Srila Prabhupada: So they are fools. As soon as we speak of nature, the next question should be, “Whose nature?” For instance, I speak of my nature, and you speak of your nature. Therefore, as soon as nature is mentioned, the next inquiry should be, “Whose nature?”
Nature means energy, and as soon as you speak of energy, you must accept that there is a source of that energy. For example, the source of electric energy is the electric powerhouse. Electricity is not produced automatically. We must install a powerhouse and a generator. Similarly, in the Vedas it is said that material nature is working under Krsna’s direction.
Dr. Singh: So do you mean to say that science has started from an intermediate point–not from the original point?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, that is it exactly. They are ignorant of the origin. The scientists start from one point–but where does that point come from? That they do not know, in spite of vast research. One has to accept that the original source is God, who is full of all mystic powers and from whom everything emanates. He Himself says in the Bhagavad-gita (10.8): aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate, “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me.” Our conclusions are not based on blind faith; they are most scientific. Matter comes from life. In life–in the origin–there are unlimited material resources; that is the great mystery of creation.
Modern scientific research is just like Sankhya philosophy, which analyzes material elements. Sankhya means “to count.” We are also Sankhya philosophers to some extent, because we count and analyze the material elements; this is land, this is water, this is air, this is sunshine, this is fire. Furthermore, I can count my mind, my intelligence, and my ego. Beyond my ego, however, I cannot count. But Krsna says that there is existence beyond the ego, and that existence is the living force–the spirit soul. This is what the scientists do not know. They think that life is merely a combination of material elements, but Krsna denies this in the Bhagavad-gita (7.5). Apareyam itas tv anyam prakrtim viddhi me param: “Besides this inferior nature there is a superior energy of Mine.” The inferior energy is the material elements, and the superior energy is the living entity.
bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and false ego–all together these eight comprise My separated material energies.” (Bg. 7.4) Krsna explains here in the Bhagavad-gita that vayu (gas) comes from Him, and that finer than the gases is kham (ether). Finer than ether is the mind, finer than the mind is intelligence, and finer than the intelligence is the soul. But the scientists do not know this. They can perceive only gross things. They mention vayu, but where does the vayu come from? Where does the gas come from?
Dr. Singh: That they cannot answer.
Srila Prabhupada: But we can answer. We have the knowledge that gas comes from kham, or ether, and ether comes from mind, mind comes from intelligence, and intelligence comes from Krsna’s superior energy, the spirit soul.
Dr. Singh: Are both inferior and superior energies studied in Sankhya philosophy?
Srila Prabhupada: No. Sankhya philosophers do not know of superior energy. They simply analyze the material elements, just as the scientists do. Neither the scientists nor the Sankhya philosophers know anything of the spirit soul. They are simply analyzing Krsna’s material energy.
Dr. Singh: They are analyzing the creative material elements?
Srila Prabhupada: Material elements are not creative! The soul is creative. No one can create life with only matter, and matter cannot create itself. You, a living entity, can mix hydrogen and oxygen to create water. But matter itself has no creative energy. If you place a bottle of hydrogen near a bottle of oxygen, will they automatically combine, without your help?
Dr. Singh: No. They must be mixed.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, the superior energy–the living entity–is required. Oxygen and hydrogen are inferior energy, but when the superior energy mixes them, then they can become water.
Inferior energy has no power unless superior energy is involved. This sea [indicating the Pacific Ocean] is calm and quiet. But when superior force–air–pushes it, high waves are created. The sea has no power without the superior force. Similarly, there is another force superior to the air, and another, and another, until we arrive at Krsna, the most superior force. This is real research. Suppose a railroad train is just starting to move. The engine pushes one car, which pushes another, and so on, until the entire train is moving. And the whole motion originates with the engineer, a living entity. Similarly, in the cosmic creation, Krsna gives the first push, and then, by means of many successive pushes, the entire cosmic manifestation comes into being. This is explained in the Bhagavad-gita (9.10): mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram. “This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and is producing all moving and unmoving beings.” And a little later:
murtayah sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir
aham bija-pradah pita
“All species of life are made possible by birth in material nature, and I am the seed-giving father.” (Bg. 14.4) For example, if we sow a banyan seed, a huge tree eventually grows up and produces millions of new seeds. Each of these seeds, in turn, produces another tree with millions of new seeds, and so on. So Krsna is the original seed-giving father.
Unfortunately, the scientists only observe the immediate cause; they do not perceive the remote cause. There are two causes–the immediate cause and the remote cause. Krsna is described in the Vedas as sarva-karana-karanam, the cause of all causes. If you understand the cause of all causes, then you understand everything. Yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati: “If you know the original cause, the later, subordinate causes are automatically known.” Although the scientists are searching after the original cause, when the Vedas, which contain perfect knowledge, give the original cause, they won’t accept. They keep to their partial, imperfect knowledge.
Dr. Singh: Scientists are worried about energy sources, and now they are working to utilize solar energy for cooking, lighting, and various other purposes. They are hoping that when they exhaust all other energy sources, they will be able to use solar energy.
Srila Prabhupada: This is not a very new theory. Everyone knows that because the roots of trees store the sun’s energy, it is possible to get fire from a tree. These scientists are tiny creatures, but they are very proud. We don’t give them credit, because they are simply stating what everyone knows. As soon as you cut a tree, you cannot get fire from it. It has to be dried in the sun. When the energy is gathered from the sun, the tree can be utilized for fire. Actually everything is being maintained by the sun’s energy, but the scientists don’t know where the sun’s energy comes from. In the Bhagavad-gita (15.12) Krsna says:
yad aditya-gatam tejo
jagad bhasayate ‘khilam
yac candramasi yac cagnau
tat tejo viddhi mamakam
“The splendor of the sun, which dissipates the darkness of this whole world, comes from Me. And the splendor of the moon and the splendor of fire are also from Me.”
Again, Krsna says, jyotisam ravir amsuman: “Of lights I am the radiant sun.” (Bg. 10.21) Also, in the Eleventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita Arjuna tells Krsna, sasi-surya-netram: “The sun and moon are among Your great, unlimited eyes.” This knowledge is contained in the Bhagavad-gita, but scientists cannot attain this knowledge by their speculation. Can they?
Dr. Singh: It is not possible.
Srila Prabhupada: And what is their knowledge? The scriptures say that even if you counted all the grains of sand on earth, you still would not be able to understand God. All this material counting does not mean that you have the capacity to understand the unlimited. But it is even beyond their capacity to count all the material things. Why are the scientists so proud of their energy and capacities? They do not even know of the material things, and what to speak of the spiritual. As far as scientists and other living entities are concerned, their knowledge is limited. But this is not so for Krsna. If we receive knowledge from Krsna, that knowledge is perfect. In the scriptures we receive information that there are nine hundred thousand species of life existing within the ocean. The information given in the scriptures is exact, because it comes from Krsna, and as Krsna Himself says: “As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come.” (Bg. 7.26)
Dr. Singh: We have to take knowledge from the supreme knower.
Srila Prabhupada: for perfect knowledge we have to approach a superior person, a guru. One may try to learn a subject by reading books at home, but he can learn much better by going to college and approaching a professor. In the same way, we have to approach a guru. Of course, if we encounter a false guru, our knowledge is false. But if our guru is perfect, our knowledge is perfect. We accept Krsna as our guru. If He is perfect in knowledge, our knowledge is also perfect. As far as we’re concerned, we do not have to be perfect in ourselves, but if we receive knowledge from the perfect, our knowledge is perfect. We cannot say that we understand that there are nine hundred thousand species of life in the ocean because we have studied the entire ocean. Rather, we say that we take this information from scriptures, and therefore it is perfect. This is the Vedic process.
Scientists may carry out much research work, but however great a scientist may be, his senses are imperfect. Therefore he cannot have perfect knowledge. What is the value of our eyes? We cannot see without sunlight, nor can we see small things without a microscope. Our eyes are imperfect, and the instruments our eyes have discovered are also imperfect. How, then, is it possible to get perfect knowledge? Because the living entity is limited, his knowledge is limited. A child may know that two plus two equals four, but when he speaks of higher mathematics, we do not take him seriously. The senses through which a scientist acquires knowledge are limited and imperfect; therefore his knowledge is limited and imperfect. In his ignorance he may claim to know everything, but that is simply nonsense.
A blind man may lead another blind man, but what does it avail them when they both fall into a ditch? The laws of nature bind us hand and foot, yet we think we are free to speculate. This is illusion. Although conditioned by so many of nature’s laws, the rascals think they are free. Yet if there is a cloud, they cannot see the sun. What power have we to see? Only when nature’s laws give us some facility are we able to see. Indeed, we can only experiment under certain conditions, and if the conditions are not favorable, our experiments fail. Why then are we so proud of experimental knowledge?
Why experiment? Things are already there. The sun’s energy is there, given by God for us to use. What else is there to know? So many apples fall from trees. What further need is there to explain the law of gravity? Actually the scientists are lacking in common sense. They are simply concerned with “scientific” explanations. They say the law of gravity works only under certain conditions, but who has made these conditions? When Krsna appeared as Lord Ramacandra, He threw stones on the water, and the stones floated. The law of gravity did not work in that case. Therefore the law of gravity works only under the direction of the Supreme Lord. The law in itself is not final. A king may give a law, but he can change that law immediately. The ultimate law-giver is Krsna, and a law will only work by His will. Scientists try to explain God’s will in so many ways, but because they are conditioned by maya, illusion, they can only talk like a person haunted by ghosts. Tell me, what is the scientific explanation that accounts for all the varieties of trees?
Karandhara dasa: They say that nature mutates and makes these varieties.
Srila Prabhupada: Then it must be nature’s will. And what is that will? Does the land have any will?
Karandhara dasa: Well, they are very vague on that point.
Srila Prabhupada: That means that they do not have perfect knowledge. They do not know that behind nature is the will of Krsna.
Dr. Singh: They explain that the chemical composition of these different plants is different.
Srila Prabhupada: That’s all right, but who made these chemical compositions? As soon as you say “chemical composition,” you immediately require a God.
Karandhara dasa: They say there is no need for a God, because if you mix two chemicals together…
Srila Prabhupada: God or not, there must be some will. There must be some consciousness. Two chemicals mix and produce such and such. Who mixes them? Consciousness is there. Well, that consciousness is Krsna. There is consciousness everywhere, and as soon as you accept that consciousness, you must accept consciousness as a person. Therefore, we speak of Krsna consciousness. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated that consciousness is all-pervading. You may have consciousness, and I may have consciousness, but there is another consciousness, which is all-pervading. My consciousness is limited to my body, and your consciousness is limited to yours, but there is another consciousness, which is within you, me, and everyone. That is Krsna consciousness.
Actually everything in the world is relative. That is a scientific fact. Our bodies, lives, intelligence, and everything else are all relative. To us an ant may seem to have a very short life, but for the ant his life is about a hundred years in duration. That hundred years is relative to the body. Similarly, Brahma, who lives fantastically long from our point of view, only lives a hundred years from his point of view. This is relativity.
Karandhara dasa: Then the relativity is based upon our individual situation.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore it is said that what is food for one is poison for another. People are thinking that because they cannot survive on the moon, no other living entities can. Everyone thinks of things in a relative way, in his own terms. This is the meaning of “frog philosophy.” The frog is always thinking of things in relation to his well. He has no power to conceive of the Atlantic Ocean, because his well is his only experience. God is great, but we are thinking of God’s greatness in our own terms, in terms of relative greatness. Some insects are born at night; they grow at night, have their children at night, and die at night. They never see the sun; therefore they conclude that there is no such thing as day. If you asked the insect about the morning, he would say, “There cannot be any morning.” Similarly, when people hear of Brahma’s long duration of life from the scriptures, they do not believe it. They say, “How can anyone live for such a long time?” In the Bhagavad-gita (8.17) Krsna states:
ahar yad brahmano viduh
te ‘ho-ratra-vido janah
“By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together is the duration of Brahma’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.”
Thus Brahma, by these calculations, lives for so many millions and trillions of years. We cannot believe this, although evidence is given in the scriptures. In other words, we conclude that Krsna talks nonsensically, while we speak as authorities. Even great scholars say that these scriptural statements are all mental speculations. Although these men are nothing but rascals, they pass for reputable scholars. They place themselves above God’s position by attempting to refute or deny the statements of God in the revealed scriptures. In this way so many fools in the guise of scholars, scientists, and philosophers are misguiding the whole world.
Dr. Singh: Of course, so much is being written about Darwin’s theory. In any library there are hundreds of books on his theories.
Srila Prabhupada: Do they accept or reject them?
Dr. Singh: Generally they accept him, but there are some who are very critical.
Srila Prabhupada: Darwin speaks about the evolution of the species of life, but he has no real information about spiritual evolution. He knows nothing about the progress of the spirit soul from lower forms of life to higher forms. He claims that man has evolved from monkeys, but we can see that the monkey is not extinct. If the monkey is the immediate forefather of man, why is the monkey still existing?
Dr. Singh: Darwin says that the species are not created independently but are descended from one another.
Srila Prabhupada: If there is no question of independence, how can he abruptly begin with a certain species? He must explain how the original species came into existence.
Karandhara dasa: Scientists claim that the earth was created by biological chemistry, and they refuse to teach that God created the earth, because they think everyone will consider them fools.
Srila Prabhupada: If their biology and chemistry are so advanced, why don’t they create something? They claim they may be able to create life in the future, but why in the future? Life is already created. Is science based on the future? We should trust no future, however pleasant we may think it will be. Everyone is thinking the future will be very pleasant, but what assurance do we have of this? They have to accept that they do not know what the truth actually is. They cannot even produce a spear of grass through their biological or chemical experiments. Nonetheless they are claiming that the creation is produced by some chemical or biological method. Why does no one question all this nonsense?
Dr. Singh: In the ultimate analysis, when they consider the origin of life, they say that everything started from matter. In other words, living matter comes from nonliving matter.
Srila Prabhupada: From where is this living matter coming now? Did it come from nonliving matter in the past and not at the present? How is the ant coming? Is it materializing from dirt? Even an ant does not come from inert matter. What proof do they have of such a theory? Darwin claims that in the distant past no really intelligent man existed, that man simply evolved from the apes. If there was no intelligent brain in the past, how is it that these Vedic scriptures were written thousands and thousands of years ago? How do they explain a sage like Vyasadeva?
Dr. Singh: They have no explanation. They simply say these are unknown forest sages.
Srila Prabhupada: Vyasadeva may be unknown to them, but nonetheless he was there. How is it he got such a brain? He may be unknown to you or to me, but nonetheless his brain-work is there, his philosophy is there, his language, linguistics, poetic arrangements, and verbal strength. You may not know the person, but you can understand the brain.
Dr. Singh: Weren’t all the varieties of animals existing from the beginning?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Simultaneous creation is verified by the Bhagavad-gita. All the varieties of animals and men as well as demigods were existing from the beginning. A living entity wants a certain type of body, and Krsna gives it to him. Because he desires things in a certain way, he associates with certain qualities of nature in matter. According to his association, he receives a particular type of body. The psychological forces, the mind, thinking, feeling, and willing determine the particular type of situation and body the living entity receives. The evolutionary process is there, but it is not an evolution of species. It is not that one species of life develops from another, for, as Krsna states:
avyaktad vyaktayah sarvah
“When Brahma’s day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma’s night they are all annihilated.” (Bg. 8.18)
The evolution is the spiritual evolution of the individual living entity through the various species of life. If one enters into the body of a fish, he has to undergo the evolutionary process step by step. If one is on the top of the stairs and somehow falls down, he again has to go up the evolutionary staircase step by step. Of course, the scientists are busy making so much research that they cannot understand this. If you tell them they are going to be trees in their next life, they think you are speaking nonsense. After all, what can we learn by research? When the cause of all causes is known, then everything knowable becomes known, and nothing remains unknown. As the Vedas state: yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati. If we know the Absolute Truth, all other truths become known, but if we don’t know the Absolute Truth, we are in ignorance. One may not be an official scientist or philosopher, but he may challenge anyone and talk boldly if he only knows one thing–Krsna.
This contemporary civilization is so proud of its independence, but actually it is so much dependent on oil. If the oil supply is stopped, then what will these rascal scientists do? They cannot do anything. Let them try to manufacture oil in their test tubes, enough oil to run their civilization on. At present there is a scarcity of water in India. What can the scientists do about this? They may know the chemical composition of water, but they cannot produce it when there is a great scarcity. They require the help of clouds, and all that is God’s manipulation. Actually they cannot do anything. They have gone to the moon, but for all their labor they have simply taken away some dust and rocks. The rascal government exacts taxes and spends money unnecessarily. This is their intelligence. It is a state of asses, that’s all. The politicians have no sympathy or compassion. They do not consider that the hard-earned money is coming from the public and that they are spending it by shooting big rockets off to other planets. All they do is promise to bring back more dust. First they may get a handful of dust, then they promise to bring back tons of dust. What is the meaning of all this?
Karandhara dasa: They believe that there may be life on Mars.
Srila Prabhupada: They may believe or not believe–what is the gain? What we do know is that life is here. They know this, yet they are engaged in fighting and in killing life. Here is life. Here is a human being. Life is here undoubtedly. But they are busy trying to destroy it with their big bombs. This is their scientific advancement.
Dr. Singh: They are very curious to know what is going on, on other planets.
Srila Prabhupada: That means that for their childish curiosity they are spending so much money. They can spend so much to satisfy their curiosity, but when so many poverty-stricken countries ask them for help, they say there is no money. They are very proud to go to the moon, but why don’t they take information how to go to Krsna’s Goloka Vrndavana? If they go there, all their curiosity will be satisfied. They will learn that beyond this inferior energy there is indeed a superior, spiritual energy. This material energy cannot work independently. The spiritual energy has to join it. Material elements are not created of themselves. It is the soul that is creative. We may try to make something with matter, but matter does not create itself. Hydrogen and oxygen will come in contact only when moved by the superior energy. Only fools can expect the entire cosmic manifestation, which is only matter, to come into being automatically. We may have a nice car, but if there is no driver, what is its use? Unless a man knows how to work a machine, unless a man pushes a button, the machine does not work. Similarly, without the superior energy, the material energy cannot act. Behind this wonderful cosmic manifestation is the direction of a superior energy. All this information is given in the scriptures, but still people will not believe it.
Actually everything is God’s property, but people are claiming this property to be theirs or their country’s. Now they are talking about the problem of overpopulation, but the fact is that God has supplied enough. Actually there is enough land and enough food if it is properly used. People are artificially creating problems, and the scientists are helping them by giving them so many destructive devices. They simply encourage the rascals and rogues who are trying to use up God’s property. If you help a murderer or a thief, you also become a criminal. Is that not so? There is so much trouble in the world because the scientists are helping all the thieves and rogues. Thus they are all criminals. Stena eva sah. One who does not recognize the proprietorship of the Supreme Lord is a thief.
Our mission is to bring these rascals to their senses. Now one must find out the means to do this. The rascals are suffering, but because they are sons of God they should not suffer. They do not know that there is God or that there is happiness. They know nothing of bliss or of eternal life. They are carrying on so much research and living for fifty, sixty, or seventy years. After that they do not know what is going to happen. They have no knowledge that life is eternal. Actually their position is like that of an animal. An animal does not know what is after death, nor does he actually contemplate death. He does not know why he is here, nor does he know the value of life. Under the influence of maya, the animal simply goes on eating, sleeping, defending, mating, and dying. That’s all. People are endeavoring so hard, but for what purpose? They say that they are struggling so hard to make provisions for the next generation, but what are the provisions for? They cannot reply to that. This Krsna consciousness movement is meant to give real purpose to life by establishing Krsna, God, as the center of everything. It is therefore to the scientist’s benefit to understand this important movement.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada