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Letters: The Vedas really disagree with modern science

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Dear Brothers,

I salute you for trying to spread dharma [spiritual practice], and I’ll agree that bhakti-yoga [devotional service to God] is the most effective means in this age. But it saddens me to see you butchering the concepts of the yogic systems so much. This is not ancient India (thank God) and it is fruitless to try to make it so.

The Vedas don’t really disagree with modern science. Most real scientists are searching for truth, and they will agree that our present science is not perfect or complete. Those who say they know it all are just as pigheaded as those who say that some ten-thousand-year-old, incomplete book is the Absolute Truth. Mind you, I’m not running down your beliefs, because they’re based on fact. But the modern sciences are also gifts of God and are based on truth. We don’t need to fight or argue; let’s just share the love.

Namaskara,
Chandresvar

Dear Chandresvar,

How in the world can you say that the Vedas don’t really disagree with modern science? First of all, modern science says the moon is closer to the earth than the sun is, whereas the Vedas clearly say that the sun is closer (please see the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Fifth Canto, Chapter 22). Similarly, modern science generally holds that life arises from the interactions of material chemicals, whereas the Vedas say that life is eternal—that it is never destroyed or created—and that it emanates from the Supreme Life, the Personality of Godhead. Also, modern scientists almost universally believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, which the Vedas unequivocally reject. If these aren’t disagreements, we don’t know what are.

We would agree with you that real scientists are searching for truth. However, we must point out that the supreme truth is spiritual. With our material vision we cannot see the truth, even if we look through the most powerful microscopes and telescopes for millions and billions of years. One can’t find spiritual truth through material science, any more than one can find the stars by digging in the ground. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, pasyanti jnana-caksusa: one can see the truth only by developing eyes of knowledge, or spiritual vision. As you have correctly stated, bhakti-yoga is the most effective means in this age (and, the Vedas say, in any age) for developing this spiritual vision. Therefore bhakti-yoga is the real science, and one who is following the path of bhakti is the real scientist.

The Krishna consciousness movement is presenting the science of bhakti-yoga exactly as it is found in the Vedic literature. (If common misconceptions about yoga get butchered along the way, so much the better.) This is the actual method of spreading dharma. That we are not in ancient India doesn’t matter: the truth is the truth. In India or America, millions of years ago or today, the truth is the same.

In one sense every living being is searching for truth. The philosopher searches for truth in books and in the mind; the drunkard searches for truth in the barroom; the hog searches for truth in the garbage. But if one wants to know the highest truth (param satyam), one must look for it by following the highest method of inquiry. Since you have already accepted that the highest, most effective method is bhakti-yoga, you need only follow this method as it is, with the help of a bona fide spiritual master, and your success is assured. Bhakti-yoga is the yoga of love—love for God, or Krishna. Unlike modern scientists, God is perfect and complete, and whatever He says is also perfect and complete. Therefore, if we accept the process of bhakti-yoga as explained by God Himself in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, we will surely be able to understand the highest truth and share the highest love.

Sincerely yours,
The Editors

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