Srila Prabhupada

This conversation between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Thoudam Singh, Ph.D., took place in Bhubanesvara, India, on February 3, 1977

Dr. Singh: Many of my scientific cotleagues say that intelligence is simply a molecular interaction within the brain.

Srila Prabhupada: Some molecular interaction may be occurring, but the interaction is not simply molecular. Intelligence has to do with the soul, not simply with the brain.

Dr. Singh: They say the brain is the source of intelligence.

Srila Prabhupada: No. Take electricity, for example. Electricity moves between gross elements and through a gross wire. But the electricity itself it is not those elements, not that wire. It is subtle.

Dr. Singh: Yes, it is subtle, but

Srila Prabhupada: You cannot see this subtle thing directly; you can see it only when it interacts with something gross. But the subtle thing is independent and distinct from the gross things.

Dr. Singh: That is actually true. That's a fact. For example, when we speak of Newton's law of gravitation, we can establish a mathematical formula, but we do not know how gravitation acts.

Srila Prabhupada: Not directly seen.

Dr. Singh: Yes. Even though gravitation does exist, we can't really see it. Modern science admits that. Newton himself admitted that.

Srila Prabhupada: So although we cannot see the soul directly, why not admit that it exists? The soul is the most subtle, but we can see it through its effects. So why not admit it exists?

Dr. Singh: Yes. Far too many scientists have lef the soul out of their discussion of reality. Instead, they try to reduce reality to matter. And yet we see the existence of the soul. It is beyond our comprehension, but it exists. We should not ignore the soul simply because it is inconceivable.

Srila Prabhupada: Actually the soul is conceivable, because we can understand much about it by observing the way it interacts with matter. Yet largely the soul is outside our experience.

Dr. Singh: Yes.

Srila Prabhupada: So the soul is not inconceivable. It is conceivable.

Dr. Singh: Oh, yes. Again, if we take the example of physical phenomena and laws, we can perceive that they exist, but precisely how they exist we do not know.

Srila Prabhupada: That is another thing. But you have to admit they exist. And we have to accept that the soul exists.

Dr. Singh: Yes. That is the missing point in modern science.

Srila Prabhupada: The mind exists, the intelligence exists, the sense of ego exists, the soul exists-although they are not entirely perceivable by our gross senses.

Dr. Singh: So consciousness, the soul, exists independent and distinct from matter.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. This you have to bring into the scientists' discussion. Now they should begin to inquire, How does the soul enter the subtle material situation? How does the soul create and enter a subtle or mental body? And how does this subtle body create the gross situation, the gross body?

At the present moment, the scientists are stressing the gross situation. But the subtle situation they have no knowledge. And yet the subtle situation can be perceived.

Dr. Singh: Yes, that is true.

Srila Prabhupada: So you have to convince other scientists. This subtle mental, intellectual, and psychological situation is so very important. It can carry the soul to the spiritual world. But one has to make himself fully spiritualized, fully devoted to the Lord. At the time you pass from your gross body, if you have made your subtle body fully spiritualized, then it will carry you to the spiritual world.

So just consider how critically important is this Krsna conscious culture, this spiritual culture. Just consider. And yet these so-called scientists who are setting society's cultural tone they know nothing of this true culture. Nothing.

We can perceive two energies para and apara, the higher and lower spirit and matter. And we get confirmation from Lord Krsna. In Bhagavad-gita He discusses His two energies in these very terms, para and apara: higher and lower spirit and matter. So the soul in the material world is situated between this apara, or inferior, material energy and the para, or superior, spiritual energy. This subtle situation, his subtle body, is his medium back to the spiritual world. If the soul makes his subtle body his mind, intelligence, and self-identification, or ego spiritualized, then he goes to the spiritual world.

You see? If the soul spiritualizes his mind and intelligence and ego if he focuses them on his actual, spiritual identity and his loving relationship with Krsna the Supreme Spirit then he will be transferred to the spiritual world. This you have to prove or demonstrate in scientific terms. These pseudoscientists are seeing simply the gross situation, the gross body. That's all.

They see the gross body functioning for some time and then ceasing to function, and they think, "This person was living, but now he is s living no more." No, the soul is always living. But now he is being carried to another situation, another life, by the subtle situation he created in this life.

These pseudoscientists are thinking, "This gross situation, this gross body, is finished everything is finished." That's not the fact. Krsna confirms, tatha dehantara praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati: "As the soul passes, in this lifetime, from a childhood body to a teenage body to an old-age body, so at the time of death he passes into still another body."

Dr. Singh: That is a drawback in modern science.

Srila Prabhupada: Without this spiritual perspective, everything they say is a drawback. Simply bluffing. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah; anyone who does not use his human intelligence to spiritualize himself, to become a devotee of the Lord his whole life is a drawback.