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Bhakti-Ratna Course 4
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Birth, Creation and Science
Questions & Answers

Birth, Creation and Science

Scientist with microscope

Question:  I have a question regarding the birth of living entities. In the Bhāgavatam (3.7.27), it is described how humans are born from wombs, plants and trees from seeds, birds from eggs, and insects from sweat. The first three ways of birth are correct, but in the case of insects, śāstra contradicts pratyakṣa. My question is how to reconcile this apparent contradiction?

Answer: There is no contradiction here. Sweat signifies a warm atmosphere, which is conducive to the growth of bacteria and small insects, such as worms in grains. The grains already have the small eggs of a particular worm, and they grow due to warmth. If frozen, they would not grow.

Just as the first category (humans born from wombs) assumes that humans are born from the combination of sperm and ovum in the womb, similarly insects are born in sweat, or heat, from their eggs, which are invisible.

Why did you not have a doubt regarding the first category? Are humans born from a womb or from semen and ovum? If only a womb is required, then since every woman naturally has a womb, they should be able to produce a baby without sexual union.

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Question: When scientists say, “If the creator, or God, is not created and exists by itself, then why is there a problem in accepting that the creation can also have no creator, and exist by itself? Why is there a need to assume a creator, or God, for this cosmic phenomenon?

Answer: The proper response is, “Yes, scientists are right, and we will continue with our understanding.” Why do I have to argue with a scientist? Why should I waste my valuable time in such arguments? It is just a question of the point where you end your cause-and-effect relation. Scientists stop at a high energy point from which evolves the universe. They do not want to accept God. The spiritualists go a point beyond and accept God as the source of the beginning point.

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Question: In a conversation with a scientist, you said, “I do not accept that everything just evolved from a single cell, without any interference of an expert. Such a view implies that life, and the universe as a whole, have no purpose. That does not make sense because we, as individual beings, are purpose-driven.
I use this argument a lot against atheists, but without the last line. Most of them become silent and cannot say much after hearing this, but a few of them counter by saying what you said in the last line. They propose that humans are purpose driven, just for the sake of bypassing the dilemma of an existential crisis. Theists propose that there is a soul which has a purpose in an afterlife, which is nothing but covered fanaticism. I usually remain speechless when this type of counter argument occurs, but sometimes I reply that why don’t they commit suicide if there is no purpose, to which the atheists also remain speechless. What are your thoughts on this matter? Is a theist’s conception of a purpose in life fanatical?

Answer: Their argument is self-defeating, and not well thought through. Even if we accept that we are fanatics, it does not explain why they, who are not fanatics, have a purpose in life. Fanaticism is cultivated. Everyone has desires, which means they are trying to achieve something. This does not come by any training, but everyone is born like that. Why? If the universe as a whole has no purpose, then why have we, as individuals, evolved to have a purpose? A purpose to achieve love. Forget about a next life, etc., even in this life everyone, including animals, wants love. Theists or atheists—all want love. Why? Everyone wants peace. Why? Everyone wants happiness. Why?  Why do we all have a common purpose? If there were no purpose, and we acquired it by our upbringing, then why do we have a common purpose of being happy and avoid suffering? This is because our life is not without a purpose. The universe also has a purpose. And purpose implies that there is a sentient being behind it.

1 Comment

  • Vraja Kishor das July 8, 2024

    My input regarding the second question:

    We must ask, “WHAT could be without beginning?”

    On careful thought, we can conclude, “Consciousness is the substrate for reality. Therefore although reality is full of things with beginnings, the thing it is based on is outside this system.”

    If we say that the universe is a virat rupa (a tangible aspect of the supreme consciousness), then I feel it is fine to say the universe itself is begnningless. I think Krishna himself says so, essentially, in the 13th chapter. But ultimately I like the Bhagavan concept best, because it really illuminates the CONSCIOUS BEING that is the ultimate substrate.

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