ETERNAL LIFE OR ETERNAL LIE
Now scientists are proclaiming that in the coming few decades average human age will increase to 300 years and after that man will become immortal. Scientists will replace dead human tissues by living, and ultimately by genetic engineering the mechanism for old age will be eradicated. Thus, man will defeat death. Is it possible?
(Ms Chitra Gautam, New Delhi)
Our Reply: Generally, speaking we have seen that within the last century the average age of human beings has gone down. The scriptures confirm this decline. "Then, 0 King, duration of life, religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, physical strength and memory will all diminish day by day because of the powerful influence of the age of Kali." (S.B. 12.2.1) An example of diminishing power is the armors of warriors of previous centuries. They are so heavy for the present generation that one can hardly raise himself after wearing them, what to speak of fighting in battlefield. There have been many claims by the scientists, in past, which made sensation at one point of time, but now have been brushed aside. No one talks about them anymore. For example- artificial intelligence, the idea that one-day machine will excel humans in intelligence. Today some scientists admit that it is even difficult to understand the brain and behavior of a tiny ant, what to speak of understanding the much more complex human brain.
Therefore, there may be tall claims, but one who is broadminded will put equal weight on other avenues of l knowledge for example the scriptures. Lord Krsna clearly describes in Bhagavad-gita that one who has taken birth is sure to die (Bg. 2.27). Eternity is admitted in scriptures, but not of a material body but of the spirit soul. What to speak of this body made up of material elements, all the scientists know it well that even the sun, which is source of our very life, is going to die one day!
In Atharva Veda it is explained that the earth is flat. However, according to modern science the earth is a sphere. Kindly clarify.
(Tridev V. Shirodkar, Belgaum.)
Our Reply: We, the Vaisnavas, specialize in SrimadBhagavatam, which is a natural commentary by Vyasadeva, the author of the Vedas. Herein also, you will find the earth as being mentioned as a part of a disc like Bhumandala system.
However, careful studies reveal that this disc is a projection of different planetary systems on to a plane. It is like mapping points on the surface of a sphere to points on a plane. We can use this method to map a modern Earth globe onto a plane, and the resulting flat projection is called a planisphere. Such projections help in clearer perceptions to human brains. It is easier to read a planer model than a multidimensional one.
Although the Bhagavatam doesn't explicitly describe the earth as a globe, it does so indirectly. For example, it points out that night prevails diametrically opposite to a point where it is day. Likewise, the sun sets at a pcint opposite where it rises. If earth were a plane there would be day everywhere at one point of time, and similarly, there would be night everywhere at another point of time. There cannot be day and night simultaneously at one pcint of time. Therefore, the Bhagavatam, which is a refined version of the Vedas, does not present the naive view that the earth is flat.
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