Recently some scientists published their research claiming vegetable growth as a remote possibility on the planet Mars. They especially chose the asparagus as a likely candidate. Constantly we are bombarded with these "research findings" in newspapers, scientific magazines, etc. One common thread found in these findings is that they constantly change from one end of the spectrum to the other.
Some scientists assert that there can be no life on other planets while some feel that this need not be.
Should we be at the mercy of these "so-called scientists" or should we try to find some information on such subjects from the Vedas?
Srila Prabhupada once sa id: 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. "
Therefore the very first objection at trying to find life on Mars or Venus or whatever, is that these scientists are using the criteria of verifying life on our planet and then using it as a reference for their astronomical research.
The moon planet, for example, is described as full of dust and uninhabited. This fully conflicts with the Vedic description of the moon as a planet full of pious living entities. Furthermore moonshine nourishes plants and vegetables on our planet. So how absurd it is to deduce that the planet which provides nourishment to our planet is completely devoid of fruits, flowers, or plants.
The next objection is the modus operandi chosen by our scientists to travel to these planets.
The living entities are traveling from one planet to another, but it is not that we can go to any planet we like merely by a mechanical arrangement. If we desire to go to other planets, there is a process for going there. This is a lso mentioned: yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah [Bg. 9.25 ]. No mechanical arrangement is necessary if we want interplanetary travel. One need only worship the particular demigod of that particular planet and in that way go to the moon, the sun, or any of the higher planetary systems. Lastly, we need to point out to our esteemed readers that even this is not the ultimate perfection of our human life. Srila Prabhupada comments
Yet Bhagavad-gita does not advise us to go to any of the planets in this material world, because even if we go to Brahmaloka, the highest planet, through some sort of mechanical contrivance by maybe traveling for forty thousand years (and who would live that long?), we will still find the material inconveniences of birth, death, disease, and old age. But one who wants to approach the supreme planet, Krsnaloka, or any of the other planets within the spiritual sky, will not meet with these material inconveniences. Amongst all of the planets in the spiritual sky there is one supreme planet called Galoka Vrndavana, which is the original planet in the abode of the original Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna. All of this information is given in Bhagavad-gita, and we are given, through its instruction, information on how to leave the material world and begin a truly blissful life in the spiritual sky.
(Syamananda Dasa)