In 1968, speaking before a gathering of students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada pointed out an important lag in technological research. "Although you have so many departments of knowledge," he said, "there is no department aiming to find the difference between a living body and a dead body."

Although advanced in understanding the mechanical workings of the physical body, modern science has given but little attention to studying the spiritual spark that animates the body. In a recent article in the Montreal Gazette, world-famous cardiologist Wilfred G. Bigelow urges the undertaking of systematic research to determine what the soul is and where it comes from. Responding to this plea in a letter to Dr. Bigelow, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada offers substantial Vedic knowledge on this topic and suggests a practical method for scientifically understanding the spiritual spark.