This is the continuation of a conversation that took place between His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and biochemist Thoudam Singh, Ph.D., in Bhubanesvara, India, on February 3, 1977.
Dr. Singh: Srila Prabhupada, what you say about modern scientists is quite accurate, Even though they know they have imperfect senses, make mistakes, and become illusioned, most are still eager to present themselves as big authorities and take big salaries. Dishonesty. And worse, they teach this dishonesty to their students.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
Dr. Singh: Millions of students. The students see, "Oh, even though this man has imperfect senses and makes mistakes and becomes illusioned, he still passes himself off as an exalted authority and gets away with the bluff. He makes his living by bluffing. So it appears I'll have to bluff, also. The 'scientific method.' "
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Naturally the scientists spread the bluffing, the cheating. They understand that to be successful in their dishonesty, everyone else must become dishonest.
"Life evolves from matter," the scientists teach us. No need to mention the soul or the Supreme Soul, the creator. "That would be religious sentimentalism unprovable. We must adhere to our scientific method everything provable." But has anyone proved ever that life can come from matter? These scientists cannot create even a single blade of grass. And yet we have to tolerate their "life-evolves-from-matter" rubbish. This godless, irrational bluff. This dishonesty.
So save all these millions of students. If you can prove that these so-called scientists are actually dishonest cheaters that will be a very great service.
Dr. Singh: Yes, we can prove all these things in scientific journals such as Scientific American.
Srila Prabhupada: Surely. During my college days, in 1916 or 1917, Calcutta University had an issue of Scientific American with a very memorable drawing. It showed that, ironically, modern man knows how to construct huge skyscrapers but he does not know who he is. Modern man has no knowledge of his soul.
So here was this man expertly constructing the intricate iron framework of some skyscraper. And yet he was utterly unaware of his very self. Unaware that he himself is the spiritual resident within the framework of the material body. He was mistaking himself to be the bodily framework, just as foolishly as if he had mistaken himself to be the skyscraper.
The drawing was thoughtful. The idea was that this man did not know who he was or what would happen in his next life. Nothing. Mudho 'yam nabhijanati loko mam ajam avyayam: as Lord Krsna says, the foolish know neither the Lord's superior, spiritual nature nor their own, original place in that spiritual nature.
In this priceless human life, the soul can regain his place in the spiritual world his eternal inheritance. Instead, he engages in flimsy, transitory activities, materialistic activities that will force him to stay in this material world for life after life of suffering. So he is losing his priceless opportunity to become eternally liberated.
Therefore, we have to save the bewildered soul. These materialistic activities constantly striving after mundane profit, adoration, and distinction these are not important. The important thing is to know yourself. Before you are forced to leave your present material body and accept another, come to know yourself and the Lord so that when that death moment comes, He will deliver you from more material bodies and more suffering. Prepare yourself, so that He will take you back to His eternal, spiritual abode.
But today people are misled. They are captivated by these huge iron structures. Such foolishness. At the time of death, how will this iron structure help you? It will remain but you will be dragged into your next life, and your next material body, for more suffering.
According to the subtle situation you have created in this life according to the state of your mind, intelligence, and ego in your next life you will have to accept a corresponding gross situation. A new gross body an all-new body, with all-new varieties of suffering. You are lost.
Dr. Singh: Here in India, at least, most people have held on to this spiritual perspective. They're not so easily fooled by so-called. advanced thinking. Here, even scientists tend to be God conscious.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Anyone who receives a birth in India he gets this chance to live in the motherland of spiritual culture because in his prior life, he pursued spiritual culture. Virtually everyone in India is God conscious.
Dr. Singh: Yes including even many of the scientists. But the government here criticizes the scientists for putting so much stock in God and spiritual culture.
In fact, the government even sponsored some kind of International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life from Chemicals. The government wants to keep pushing this rubbish about all of us merely "evolving" from dead matter, with no need for a creator.
Srila Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Dishonesty, including scientific dishonesty, originates from the government. The government leaders are trying to discourage people from becoming God conscious.
Dr. Singh: Yes, they are very discouraging.
Srila Prabhupada: Today the government leaders are generally big industrialists as well. So of course they are worrying: "If people become God conscious, they will go back to the simple life of farms and villages, with no need for heavy industry. Then whom shall we get to work in our factories? This God consciousness will ruin all our industrial enterprises.
"In place of God consciousness, we shall maintain an elite of scientists to promote 'the scientific method': Forget God. Better not discuss God and the soul. Let us simply absorb ourselves in matter."
A dangerous government. It is the duty of the government to help people become God conscious and spiritually realized. Instead, they are fostering the opposite atmosphere: "Forget God. Forget your soul. Work like hell. And go to hell."
(To be continued.)