Do you notice that religion has two different positions when it comes to science? Some religions seem to incorporate science while some are too aggravated with science.
ISKCON and their guru, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Gosh! Another of those tongue twisting swami names) seem to be too irritated with science and everyone incorporated to it. According to him (it is written on his pamphlet, Life Comes From Life), “I am not a Ph.D., yet I can challenge scientists. Why? Because I know Krsna, the Absolute Truth” (p.20).
Also, this self-promoting guru said, “Darwin is a rascal. What is his theory? We kick out Darwin’s philosophy. The more we kick out Darwin’s philosophy, the more we advance in spiritual consciousness” (p 48).
Real science is in the Bhagavad-gita, where Krsna says, “This means that whatever one worships in this life will determine the type of body he gets in his next life” (p. 50). (Gosh you call that “science” Mr. Swami?)
For Srila Prabhupada, real scientific research should aim at stopping death. That is real science, and that is Krsna Consciousness…Now may I ask, if Srila Prabhupada is a master guru of Krsna Consciousness, did all his so-called “Krsna science” stop him from dying in 1977?
Let’s see… Srila Prabhupada is adamant that the Vedic literature is the source of all absolute truth, and everything written in the Bhagavad-gita has authority. Really? Absolute truth? Authority to what? A literature that segregates society into caste, which places certain people as the lowest part of the social order for no apparent reason. A manuscript that promotes sexism. A “holy” book that says, “It is the highest duty of a woman to immolate herself after her husband’s death.” This is what you call “absolute truth”? Let me stress this, religious truths can never be absolute. But I know one absolute truth and it’s not even a religious claim. It’s the multiplication table.
In the issue of morality, how can I trust the Bhagavad Gita? Addressing Arjuna’s qualms about killing his relatives arrayed on the enemy side, Krishna advises him to disregard traditional values and act without worrying about the results of his action.
The wise men who reach true knowledge see with equal vision a Brahmin (a member of the highest caste), a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater (Bhagavad Gita 5:18).
Those who think that they can kill or those that think they can be killed are confused in the manifestations of ignorance. The infinite, immortal soul can neither kill nor be killed. (Bhagavad Gita 2:19)
Then that means the act of killing is really not an immoral act as Arjuna is free to kill his relatives, considering them only temporary abiding forms for the eternal self, mere mortal frames.
So we can kill a person because the soul can’t be killed…you are only killing its physical form. Wow! With this kind of a mentality, we can now safely say that homicide is not against the law. Is this the same excuse used in the murder of James Immel (Jayatritha)?
Lord Krishna says that he saves those who worship him (12:6-7) and punishes those who are envious and mischievous (16:19).
This is certainly a contradiction of the law of Karma. Karma is an impersonal, natural law that operates in accordance with our actions. It is a law in itself and does not have any law-giver. Karma operates in its own field without the intervention of an external, independent, ruling agent.
Now this is a little bit strange since Srila Prabhupada believes in Karma. He said that people think they completely control their destinies, but they are always under nature’s law of karma yet he believes that everything is working under someone’s direction. Talk about a walking contradiction!
Speaking of karma, in Hinduism the so-called law of karma merely serves the purpose of decriminalizing the foul doctrine of varna-vyavastha by making the Shudras and the “untouchables” meekly accept their degrading position as a “result of their own deeds” in imaginary past lives, and by assuring them “better” birth in “next life” if they faithfully perform their varna-dharma in their present lives. In this way, this doctrine prevents them from revolting against this man-made undemocratic system, which has nothing to do with alleged past and future lives.
It is said that Krishna is impartial to all life forms. He says about himself: “I see all creatures equally disposed and I am not partial to anyone” (Bhagavad Gita 9:29).
Yet Krishna is in fact partial to Arjuna in the battlefield, by serving as his charioteer and military advisor! If God is impartial to all, and if He is absolutely unperturbed, why should He favor the man who clings to Him, and why, for his sake, overrule the world-order of events and in his favor suspend the law of Karma?
There is another inconsistency regarding the character of Krishna. In the Gita, Krishna is called the Supreme Lord of the Universe (5:29), eternal (4:6) and the source of all existence:
I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from me (Bhagavad Gita 10:8).
At the end of an era (kalpa) all creatures disintegrate into my nature and at the beginning of another era I manifest them again. Such it is my nature (prakriti) to follow again and again the pattern of the Infinite manifestations and disintegrations (Bhagavad Gita 9:7-8).
That is to say, Krishna has to follow the pattern of the Infinite manifestations and disintegrations automatically, under the obligation of prakriti”. Yet Krishna is eternal and the source of all existence?
Let see another of Srila Prabhupada sally. According to him, “Krsna’s creation is good; God is good. What you think is bad is good for God. Therefore, we cannot understand Krsna. He is doing something that in our consideration must be bad, but for Him there is no such thing as good or bad. For example, Krsna married sixteen thousand wives. Some people may criticize, “Ah, he is so mad after women.” But they do not see the whole picture. Krsna’s power is so great that He expanded Himself into sixteen thousand different husbands.”
There goes ethics…right down the drain. What you think is bad is good for God….hmmmm. That doesn’t make any sense! If this guru or his followers will say that it doesn’t seem to make sense because I am blind or deaf on Srila Prabhupada’s teachings then so be it! I won’t align myself to this kind of mentality! Just look at that statement: What you think is bad is good for God. If God destroyed innocent infants does that make God feel good? If God killed helpless old folks does that make God good? Gosh! It seems Srila Prabhupada is promoting a monstrous tyrant, not a god!
And what’s this about Krishna marrying sixteen thousand women? What’s so great about that? That only proves Krishna has an insatiable desire for female flesh. And what supreme powers does this Krishna have? Srila Prabhupada proves Khrisna’s greatness and power by saying, He (Krishna) is served by hundreds and thousands of laksmis, or goddesses of fortune. (Brahma-samhita 5:29) That horny ****! And what kind of an explanation is that?
In Mahabharata Krishna adopts and advocates adoption of unfair means like lying and deception for achieving one’s ends. Obviously, he did not believe in the doctrine of purity of ends and means.
Buddha is better compared to Krishna when the former insisted that in the eyes of the law all persons ought to be treated as equal, irrespective of the caste or varna in which he or she is born.
The idea written in the Bhagavad Gita is so topsy-turvy, it’s too far to become a science.
Boy this swami is a real knock-out. But I wonder, if this swami is so dim-witted, then what makes its followers? I guess Einstein was right about the infinity of human stupidity.
Srila Hansadutta Swami’s challenge.
I don’t know if this swami is still alive or dead…but for the sake of entertainment, let us be amused on this so-called challenge that he and some badly informed cult fanatics say that defeated a so-called Sri-Lankan rationalist named Dr. Abraham Kovoor.
The challenge was this: Let him inject the appropriate chemicals into a dead body to bring it back to life. Or let him inject the appropriate chemicals into his body to check his own death and restore his old and worn-out body to its youthful luster and beauty.
If he finds this task too difficult, perhaps he could just produce a simple form of life, such us a mosquito or a bedbug. Better still, let him recombine the chemicals of a praying mantis he decapitated (as described in his article) and bring it back to life. Or is the science of Dr. Kovoor only a one-way road to the destruction of life?
The only thing that Srila Hansadutta Swami proved here is his ignorance to science, especially biology and bio-chemistry. He even called it “word-jugglery” and sure enough only imbeciles will accept his childish explanations.
According to him, “If life is generated by chance biological combinations as some scientists claim, can the scientist Kovoor, given the proper chemicals, make the chemicals come to life?” We must note that Srila Hansadutta’s guru Srila Prabhupada believes that consciousness is the source of life.
So you see what’s the problem here? It’s the definition of the word “life”. What is life anyway, and is consciousness really an attribute to determine life as what these cults believe? First let us define both terms: Life means the organic phenomenon that distinguishes living organisms from nonliving ones while consciousness means an alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation.
So far so good…
Now based on both definitions can we conclude that consciousness is one of the attributes that distinguish living organisms from non-living organisms? Simple elementary biology stresses that what distinguishes living things from non-living things are these 4 attributes:
These 4 attributes are the best standard we can use. Now that doesn’t include consciousness, right? Why not?
That’s because not all living things in this planet have consciousness. Hey you can be unconscious yet you’re still alive right? But seriously, trees are living organisms, right? Yet they don’t run for cover when the lumberjack enters the forest.
Now here’s what Srila Hansadutta Swami or should I say Hans Kary claims: He believes that the spirit/soul is the reason why a living organism becomes “alive”. In his letter to Dr. Kovoor in September 6, 1977 he said, “The fact is that the soul is there, but in order to understand its existence we have to accept knowledge from the right person – Sri Krsna or his representative in disiplic succession, the spiritual master.”
That’s not science. Science is not about reliance to authority. Hans Kary’s statement is a religious belief, not scientific.
It’s not only science that doesn’t believe in these “silly souls”. Take a look at Buddhism for example. According to Buddhist teachings the soul is merely a conventional term that does not refer to any real, independent entity. The soul is merely a combination of physical and mental aggregates or forces: matter (rupakkhandha), sensation (vedanakkhandha), perception (sannakkhandha), mental formations (samkharakkhandha) and consciousness (viññanakkhandha). These forces are working together in a flux of momentary change; they are never the same for two consecutive moments. They are the component forces of the psycho-physical life.
These chemicals don’t have a soul…and neither do we. Yet the combination of all the actions of these chemicals contributes to form this attribute we identify as life.
In a biological stand, what is life anyway? We are all chemical stuff…and life is nothing but a complex chemical reaction from organic molecules. DNA is molecules, so is the mitochondria. Metabolism is chemical actions. All living things in this planet share the same chemical composition. The same chemical found in my body can also be found in a coconut tree. That really is not a very bad idea, DNA, amino acids and RNA are chemical compounds.
Kary’s challenge stressed that in order to prove this, a scientist must mix the chemicals and produce life. But why would Kary challenge the scientists? It’s not the scientists’ fault…it’s Nature, and Nature has a four-billion-year head start.
You don’t need a scientist to do that. Even an ordinary person can do that. Just have sex with a woman and see what you can create. Every sperm and egg cell in the human body is made up of chemical elements. Tell me what material here in this planet that is not made up of elements and compound? Ether? Gosh even your precious ether is made up of chemical elements. So now you know how chemicals create life. Here’s the fact: mind, consciousness, memory, and life cannot outlast the destruction of brain and body. This is the harsh truth, whether you like it or not.
Now why not let’s make the challenge more exciting…Let see if Krishna can create a simple egg. Can he? As you said in your challenge chickens are producing life, now can Krishna produce anything other than empty chants?
Here’s another one of Kary’s misconceptions: Does life emerge by chance?
Just like other ignorant cult-followers Kary doesn’t know that natural selection is not a game of chance.
Be careful with self-proclaimed gurus.
Now is a guru like Srila Prabhupada really scientific?
• According to Srila Prabhupada, you must approach a person who is learned. You must find such a person, a guru and surrender to him. Then question him, and whatever answers you get from him you must accept. That is the process of understanding God. You must first find the guru; then you must satisfy him by serving and by surrendering unto him. (Life Comes From Life p.102)
• Becoming a member involves choosing a guru and becoming a disciple to him. This guru is so critical that it is said, “without [the Guru] the cultivation of Krishna consciousness is impossible. From the devotee’s side, initiation means that he accepts the guru as his spiritual master and agrees to worship him as God. (Ron Rhodes, The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions 2001, pg. 176)
• In his April 1967 New York lectures Srila Prabhupada remarked, “Although posing as great scholars, ascetics, householders, and swamis, the so-called followers of the Hindu religion are all useless, dried-up branches of the Vedic religion.” ISKCON, he believed, was the only true exponent of the Vedic faith today.
• “If an authority not only expects to be obeyed without
question, but either punishes or refuses to deal with those who
do not, that authority is authoritarian.” ( The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power p.15)
• “Gurus undercut reason as a path to understanding. When
they do allow discursive inquiry, they often place the highest
value on paradox. Paradox easily lends itself to mental manipulation.
No matter what position you take, you are always shown to be missing
the point; the point being that the guru knows something you do
not.” (The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power p.74)
Now does the “guru” lead a person towards more independent thinking, or does he make you completely dependent on him? Does a guru allow you to think or explore? Does this guru claim to be the “true initiate of the Masters” to whom revelations are given?
Real science doesn’t seek disciples and followers. It doesn’t claim absolutes. Science is about developing one-self and to understand the real world. It’s not about blind obedience. It is open to new ideas and it doesn’t judge what is right or what is wrong. It’s not about not eating food, nor shaving one’s head. Science is about discovery. As Carl Sagan has said, “Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions. It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which best fits the facts. It urges on us a delicate balance between no-holds-barred openness to new ideas, however heretical, and the most rigorous skeptical scrutiny of everything—new ideas and established wisdom.” (The Demon Haunted World)