by Svarupa Damodara dasa
(ISKCON Laguna Beach)
When we think calmly and carefully about this wonderful universe, we can see that everything is working under the control of a supreme brain. The arrangements in nature are perfectly ordered. Things would be at random without the careful planning of a scientific and engineering brain. It is a common understanding that there is a cause behind each action. A machine cannot run without an operator. Modern scientists are very proud of automation, but there is a scientific brain behind automation also. Even Albert Einstein agreed that there is a perfect brain behind all the natural physical laws. When we talk about “brain” and “operator,” these terms imply a person. They cannot be impersonal. One may inquire who this person is. He is Lord Sri Krishna, the supreme scientist and supreme engineer, under whose kind will the whole cosmos is working. Sri Krishna says: “The whole cosmic order is under Me. By My will it is manifested again and again, and by My will it is annihilated at the end.”
prakrtim svam avastabhya
visrjami punah punah
bhuta-gramam imam krtsnam
avasam prakrter vasat
Now let us look into a few samples from the Lord’s creation, and upon contemplating these exemplary aspects, one should develop a better understanding and appreciation of the existence of the most powerful brain, Lord Sri Krishna. The sun that we see daily is the nearest star. It is one hundred earth diameters across and is ninety-three million miles away from the earth. Every day the sun supplies the solar system with a tremendous amount of heat, light and energy. “The very tiny fraction of the sun’s energy that falls on the earth—estimated at about five parts in a hundred million million—is about 100,000 times greater than all the energy used in the world’s industries. The total energy the sun emits in a single second would be sufficient to keep a one-kilowatt electric fire burning for 10,000 million million years. Put in a different way, the energy the sun emits in one second is greater than the whole amount of energy the human species has consumed throughout its entire history.” [Fred Hoyle, Astronomy (Garden City, New York Doubleday and Company, 1962), p. 232.] Yet it is only one of the countless number of stars floating in the sky in every direction. With the material scientific brain, the thermal, electrical and nuclear powerhouses have been made. These can supply heat, light and energy to a small, limited extent, but Lord Krishna is supplying the whole planet with an unlimited source of energy just from one sun. Krishna says: “The splendor of the sun, which dissipates the darkness of this whole world, comes from Me. And the splendor of the moon and the splendor of the fire are also from Me.”
yad aditya-gatam tejo
jagad bhasayate ‘khilam
yac candramasi yac cagnau
tat tejo viddhi mamakam
The planets are revolving in a systematic path around the sun. Even within the smallest atom, the electrons and the protons are orbiting around the nucleus in a perfect manner.
Thus, from the submicroscopic realm of the atom to the expanding reaches of the galactic objects, this material universe is running like intricate, well-oiled clockwork according to great natural physical laws and principles. Scientists have gained great acclaim for making a few spaceships, whereas Krishna effortlessly produces gigantic spaceships, such as planets and stars, which are perfectly equipped and maintained. In Bhagavad-gita Krishna says, gam avisya ca bhutani dharayamy aham ojasa: “I enter into each planet, and by My energy they stay in orbit.” (Bhagavad-gita 15.13) The laws made by the supreme brain always remain perfect; they are never violated. We never see the sun rising in the west and setting in the east. The colorful rainbow that we observe when the sun is shining during a shower is only visible when the sun is behind the observer, due to the laws of refraction. Also, each year the seasons change quite periodically, producing symptoms unique to each season.
Now let us look into some aspects of the Lord’s creation at the molecular level. Chemists find that the different colors in flowers are due to chemicals called anthocyanins, and the different aromas are mostly due to chemicals called terpenes and terpenoid compounds. The molecular frameworks for these compounds range from very simple structures to very complex networks. Camphor, for example, is a terpenoid compound, and the characteristic odor of lemons is due to the molecule called limonene, which is one of the simple terpenes. Similarly, the characteristic colors in carrots and tomatoes are due to molecules called carotenoids, which are higher forms of terpenes. The molecular framework for each definite color or aroma is wonderfully unique. A little change in position of a few atoms in the molecule, a little variation in the geometry of the molecule or a slight change in the size of the molecule can cause a color to change from orange to red, a mild, pleasing aroma to become repellent and pungent, and a flavor to change from sweet to bitter. On one extreme we find the smallest molecule, the hydrogen molecule, which contains only two atoms of hydrogen. On the other extreme we find giant molecules such as the proteins and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), the building blocks of all living material bodies, which contain innumerable atoms made for a definite function. Similarly, the crystalline pattern of each different molecule is unique. The geometrical shape for sodium chloride (common salt), for example, is cubical. Charcoal, graphite and diamonds are all derived from the same element, carbon, and yet the shining and transparent diamond is extremely hard, whereas graphite is soft, black and opaque. This is due to the difference in the crystalline forms of these molecules. In the crystal lattice of the diamond, each carbon atom is tetrahedrally surrounded by four other carbon atoms at a distance of 1.54 angstroms (one angstrom =10-8 cm.). In graphite, by contrast, the three bonds of each carbon atom are distorted so as to lie in the same plane, the fourth bond being directed perpendicularly to this plane to link with a carbon atom of the neighboring layer.
In this way we can cite innumerable examples of molecular networks so fantastically and delicately arranged that chemists cannot but wonder about the most expert hand and brain who is making all these wonderful artistic arrangements in His laboratory. Indeed, the intelligence and ability of the supreme scientist, Sri Krishna, are inconceivable (acintya). There is no scientist who can deny it. How then can any chemist abstain from appreciating the wonderful works of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna? In Bhagavad-gita we find: “One should meditate upon the Supreme Person as the one who Knows everything, as He who is the oldest, who is the controller, who is smaller than the smallest, who is the maintainer of everything, who is beyond all material conception, who is inconceivable, and who is always a person. He is luminous like the sun and, being transcendental, is beyond this material nature.”
kavim puranam anusasitaram
anor aniyamsam anusmared yah
sarvasya dhataram acintya-rupam
aditya-varnam tamasah parastat
At best, scientists can only try to imitate the wonderful artistic works of the Supreme Lord. They cannot even do this properly, and most of their attempts lead to failure and disappointment. Even when they are partly successful, it is only with the greatest difficulty. For example, Professor R.B. Woodward of Harvard, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry (1965), and Professor A. Eschenmoser of Zurich took eleven years to synthesize the vitamin B12 molecule. Altogether, ninety-nine scientists from nineteen different countries were involved just to accomplish this one small task. [James H. Krieger, Chemical and Engineering News, March 12, 1973, p. 16.] Yet Krishna is making all these complex molecules at will.
Interestingly enough, when scientists fail again and again in their attempts to make something, they consciously or unconsciously pray to God for help. Does this not indicate the existence of the supreme scientist. Lord Sri Krishna, and the natural subordinate position of all other living entities? A crude example is the explosion that occurred inside the Apollo 13 spacecraft during its attempt to land on the moon on April 11, 1970. The Apollo capsule was made by hundreds of scientific and technological brains and cost millions of dollars. No one could predict that there would be an explosion. When it happened, however, and the lives of the three astronauts were in danger, those involved in the mission requested all the people on earth to pray to God for the safe return of the astronauts. Such is the situation. At times of danger, most people tend to remember God, although at other times they forget Him.
Now, let us look into some very simple and graphic examples of the artistry of the Lord’s creation. We see that among the lower forms of living entities, social organization is very smoothly maintained. For example, in a bee colony the queen bee is nicely taken care of by the drones (male bees), while the workers collect nectar from flowers all day long. It is quite amazing to consider how the bees, with their tiny bodies, can collect such a great amount of honey for themselves as well as for other living entities. In this way, the colony is maintained with beautiful order. Similarly, the loving relationship between a mother and her baby is quite clearly visible even in very small forms of living entities. During the monsoon season in tropical countries, when there are torrents of rain, the small ants run to find shelter, carrying their eggs on their heads. The spider makes its wonderful webs with great architectural skill to serve as a shelter as well as to catch its prey for survival. Silkworms spin hundreds of yards of fine threads to form cocoons for their shelter during the pupa stage. Inside a tiny seed, smaller than the size of a mustard seed, the whole potency of a big banyan tree is present. In this way, we can see the wonderful arrangements of the Supreme Lord, who is creating, maintaining and guiding all living entities, small or big. Krishna says: “Furthermore, O Arjuna, I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being-moving or unmoving-that can exist without Me.”
yac capi sarva-bhutanam
bijam tad aham arjuna
na tad asti vina yat syan
maya bhutam caracaram
The main trouble with material scientists is that they generally neglect the most important and fundamental aspect of their inquiries. For example, when Newton saw the falling of the apple, he asked why and how the apple fell. However, he did not inquire who caused the falling of the apple. As an answer to his inquiry, he discovered the laws of gravitation. His answer was that the apple fell because of the laws of gravitation. But who made the laws of gravitation? Srila Prabhupada kindly explains that the apple did not fall while green but while ripe. Therefore Newton’s gravitational theory was not enough to explain the falling of the apple. There is some other cause behind the total scene of the falling and, thereby, behind the law of gravitation. That cause is Lord Sri Krishna. In Bhagavad-gita we find, vasudevah sarvam iti: “Krishna is the cause of all causes.” (Bg. 7.19) Furthermore, scientists have to know that the little ability they have is also given by the Lord. Krishna says, paurusam nrsu: “I am the ability in man.” (Bg. 7.8)
By various mechanical means (telescopes, etc.), assumptions, empiric theories and conceptual models, cosmologists and astronomers are trying with tremendous vigor to understand what the universe is, what its size is, and the time scale of its creation. At the present time they are speculating that there may be a tenth planet in the solar system, and they are trying to locate it. [D. Rawlins and M. Hammerton, “Is There a Tenth Planet in the Solar System?” Nature, December 22. 1972, p. 457] How far they will be successful in finding a real answer to their attempts only time can tell. But the fact is that they will never be able to fully discover the secrets of nature, which is the product of creation of Krishna, the supreme scientist. Any thoughtful person can understand how foolish he is even to dream of measuring the size of this universe, since he does not know completely the nature of the sun, the nearest star. Srila Prabhupada cites the example of the philosophy of Dr. Frog, who lives in a well of three feet and has no idea how vast the Pacific Ocean is but who speculates that the Pacific Ocean might be five feet wide, ten feet wide, etc., comparing it to his well. The point is that comprehending the unlimited knowledge beyond by our limited means is simply a waste of time and energy. All the knowledge is already there in the authorized scriptures, the Vedas. One simply has to take the knowledge from the supreme authority, Krishna.
The details of the creation of this material universe and the living entities like demigods, men and others have been given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Chapter Three, verses 1-5. The description of the material and spiritual universes is completely given in the Brahma-samhita, Fifth Chapter, and from Bhagavad-gita we get the clear information that the entire material universe is only one fourth of the creative energy of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna. The other three fourths of the creative energy of the Lord are manifested in the spiritual sky, called the Vaikunthaloka.
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the golden avatara (incarnation) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, clearly explained to Sanatana Gosvami, one of the Lord’s intimate disciples, about the nature of these universes. The Lord explained that the material universes have a limited length and breadth, whereas no one can measure the length and breadth of all the Vaikuntha planets. These Vaikuntha planets are like the petals of a lotus flower, and the principal part of that flower is the center of all the Vaikunthas. This part is called Krishnaloka, or Goloka Vrndavana. The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, has His original eternal abode on this planet. The other Vaikunthas are also inhabited by residents who are full with six opulences-wealth, strength, knowledge, beauty, fame and renunciation-and in each and every Vaikuntha planet a different expansion of Krishna has His eternal abode. [Prabhupada, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, pp. 82-83.] Material scientists have no information of this vast knowledge.
Certainly, the secrets of the universe cannot be unfolded by the tiny brains of material scientists. We should agree without a doubt that man’s vision in all directions is extremely limited by the inadequacies of his senses, his technology and his intellect. None can deny the existence of the supreme scientist, Sri Krishna. He is the proprietor and knower of everything. Krishna says: “O son of Prtha, know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men…
bijam mam sarva-bhutanam
viddhi partha sanatanam
buddhir buddhimatam asmi
tejas tejasvinam aham
O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no Truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.”
mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva
Only fools would argue about the existence of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna. In Bhagavad-gita, Sri Krishna says: “Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.”
na mam duskrtino mudhah
asuram bhavam asritah
Therefore, instead of denying and challenging the existence of the supreme scientist, Lord Sri Krishna, or God, it should be the prime duty of all our scientist friends to appreciate the inconceivable brain of the Lord and His wonderful manifestations everywhere. One may falsely claim the credit for the discovery of radio, television, computers, penicillin, etc. But the fact is that everything was already there because nothing can come out of nothing. If someone claims that anything belongs to him, he is the greatest thief. He is stealing property from the supreme father, Sri Krishna, and claiming it to be his. Nothing belongs to us. Everything belongs to Krishna. Sri Isopanisad says: “Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one must not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.”
isavasyam idam sarvam
yat kinca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjitha
ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam
(Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 1.)