Gratuitous Scientist Bashing

We are ever so thankful to our esteemed Vaisnava devotees for sharing their spiritual experiences and thoughts with us through their contributions to Back to Godhead magazine. But may I suggest a little less of the gratuitous scientist bashing, please! There are a lot of us who work in different scientific and medical fields without losing sight of our ultimate destination to be Krishna conscious through developing our love for Him. As long as paper and printing presses are used for publishing Krishna conscious thoughts, as long as devotees need to travel by road, rail, or air, as long as we need to have our medical needs taken care of, as long as computers and the Internet are needed to have our websites, we should give the scientists their due respect. They are just using their talents to make our material lives livable. Not all of them are godless creatures trying to replace God.

As much as it displeases me to give specifics, the write-up titled, “A Call to Spiritual Heroism,” by Caitanya Carana Dasa, in the Sep/ Oct 2008 issue is an example of this infraction. We don’t need to berate scientists at every opportunity to spread our message. A little sensitivity would go a long way toward keeping things civil. It is considered highly sinful to offend a devotee of Krishna. Why is it okay to do so when the devotee is a working scientist and not a full-time devotee living in a temple.- Ramesh Kalra Huntington Beach, California, USA

Caitanya Carana Dasa replies: I share your respect for all people including scientists as they are all children of Krishna. But you state that scientists are just earning a living. Unfortunately, many explicitly claim to be discovering the truth about the world. And their truthclaims have misled people away from God by atheistic theories like evolution and the big bang, both of which, despite being unproven, are portrayed in textbooks and media as scientific truth, thus making faith in God as the designer appear unscientific and foolish.

Krishna conscious philosophy can certainly stand on its own right without comparison with anything else, science included, but many people will not give it due consideration, being misled by scientism. That’s why Srila Prabhupada put considerable emphasis on disproving atheistic science, and we are simply following in his footsteps.

Regarding devotees using technology while berating scientists who make the technology, it is like the strategy of using a thorn to remove a thorn. As the latest technology is used to promote scientism, to effectively counter it we use the same technology to spread the truth. For more on this, please see my article “Where Technology Falls Short” (BTG, March/April 2006).

To summarize, as devotees of God we have nothing against science or scientists, but because science is being misused, misinterpreted, and misrepresented to propagate atheism, we point out the deficiencies in the truth-claims of science.

Oil Extraction

I would like to express my admiration for the article “Water: A Meditation,” written by Urmila Devi Dasi [July/August]. It was especially nice how the author was able to build an illuminating and inspirational article simply from the act of bathing in the ocean while she was on a visit to Hawaii.

Just as the Ganges flows from the spiritual world to the material planets, bringing with it opportunities to become purified and remember Krishna, so this article in its flowing manner was an opportunity to remember Krishna in a clever and refreshing manner.

Urmila writes, “The Earth planet once fell into the universal water when demoniac persons disturbed her orbit by drilling for oil and upsetting her balance.” I was initially skeptical about this statement, but I found this quote from Srila Prabhupada in the purport to Srimad- Bhagavatam 2.7.1: “The floating of the planets in the weightless air is due to the inner constitution of the globes, and the modernized drilling of the globe to exploit oil from within is a sort of disturbance by the modern demons and can result in a greatly harmful reaction to the floating condition of the Earth.” Srila Prabhupada goes on to say, “A similar disturbance was created formerly by the demons headed by Hiranyaksa (the great exploiter of the gold rush), and the Earth was detached from its weightless condition and fell down into the Garbhodaka Ocean.”

So Urmila was spot on in what she said, and it certainly made me more aware of the demoniac and dangerous practice of oil production in today’s society, and its overdependence on oil. Perhaps we should be doing more as devotees to minimize our use of oil and oil products.

Thank you again for a stimulating and well-wrought article.- Krpakara Dasa Adelaide, Australia

Taking the Life of Plants

When I requested my friends to adopt vegetarianism, they replied that vegetarians kill plants and eat them, so why not kill animals? Vidya Neelakanta

Our reply: It is true that plants have life, and that means that to kill and eat them for sense gratification is sinful. Fortunately, Krishna’s devotees incur no sinful reaction for their vegetarian diet because they are following the directions of the Supreme Lord. In Bhagavad-gita (9.26) Krishna says, “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it.” So devotees, by making the act of eating a sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Supreme, are protected from any sinful reaction.

The objective of devotional life is pleasing the Supreme Lord by following His directions, not in vegetarianism or any other “ism” related to material life.

Can We Make Mistakes?

If one makes even one mistake, does that mean that he or she cannot be Krishna conscious or become perfect? It is all right to make mistakes and correct them? What are the consequences of our mistakes? Henry Chau

Our reply: The objective of devotional service is to perfect our existence through practice, and “practice makes perfect.” Krishna’s material energy conditions us to think that we are the supreme enjoyer, so naturally it will take some time to rectify our polluted consciousness. As long as we are sincere and determined to progress in spiritual life and work toward that objective, we will gradually come to the perfect stage of pure, unalloyed devotional service. The anarthas (bad habits) will decrease and eventually cease all together as we continue with our regulated chanting and take shelter of Lord Krishna and His pure devotees, always praying for their mercy.

Replies were written by Krishna. com’s Live Help volunteers.

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