Harmony of Science and Religion :: A report on Scientific Sankirtan Seva
- Part 1 -
Tridandi Bhikshu Bhaktivijnana Muni *
Sripad Puri Maharaja with Srila Prabhupada :: Pix - scienceandscientist.org
(Harmony of Science and Religion)
at Imphal, Manipur
26th August - 10th September, 2013
1. Scientific Presentations of Spiritual Biology and identity of Life Processes
Srila Prabhupada with Srila Sripad and Sripad Puri Maharaja Sripad Puri Maharaja with Srila Prabhupada
Bhakti Vedanta Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science, Princeton, NJ, USA (www.bviscs.org), Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Institute, Siliguri, WB, India (www.bviscs.org/scsi) and Srila Sripad Educational and Cultural Research Foundation, Imphal, Manipur, India organized several programs on the scientific basis of Bhagavad-Gita in Imphal for promoting the Harmony of Science and Religion. The Original conception of the Scientific Presentations of Krishna Consciousness was conceived by His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and was given to Srila Sripad Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Goswami Maharaja (Dr. T.D. Singh, Founding Director – Bhaktivedanta Institute) and Sripad Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja, Ph.D. (Serving Director, Bhakti Vedanta Institute).
Later Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaja encouraged and gave further nourishment to the Bhakti Vedanta Institute devotee scientists in their services which were coming down via the instructions of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaja gave the deepest contributions of Sriman Mahaprabhu establishing consciousness as the foundational nature of reality and dismissed Darwinism as pure misconception. He explained, "Consciousness comes first and then matter. The basis of all things material is consciousness, which is spiritual. Consciousness can contact consciousness directly. "
By the mercy of Srila Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Maharaja and Sripad Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja, Sripad Bhakti Niskama Shanta Maharaja, Ph.D., His Grace Ajit Prabhu and Bhaktivijnana Muni, Ph.D. got many opportunities to propagate the scientific basis of true religion in Manipur during our visit for Janmastami celebrations. First we had a short term course in the Manipur University from 2nd to 7th September, 2013, then we had a very exciting lecture session at Earth Science Department, Manipur University on the Teachers Day, 5th September, 2013 and to conclude there was a Seminar at the Regional Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), Imphal, Manipur. Manipur University and RIMS are the leading educational and research establishments of Manipur. There was interaction with several senior doctors, senior faculties and a large gathering of students and exchange of advance research knowledge in the field of 21st century biology and science that is confirming the rich theistic concepts of Vedanta.
Prof. Irabanta Singh, the Dean of Life Science Department, Manipur University inaugurated the short term course on spiritual biology. He graciously explained that when knowledgeable people discuss advanced biology and religion, then such dialogues become very useful and we all must pay our attention to these devotee scientists from Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Institute. Topics of deeper scientific and religious significance were explained under several banners as given below in the photo copy of university notice:
The six day short term course in Manipur University was well attended by faculties and students. Among the faculties apart from Prof. N. Irabanta Singh, Prof. Varatharajan was a keen and attentive participant. He said that these new concepts of biology were very interesting, thought provoking and significant because we are usually taught in general curriculum only about Darwin, genetic determinism and reductionistic concepts. But today advanced biology had found newer concepts which have completely invalidated the poor fitting models of conventional biology or abiology. As these concepts of 21st century biology are of significant scientific interest leading to the deeper spiritual significance, these must be introduced in education with the proper scientific perspective. He was especially attracted by the verse of Srimad Bhagavatam: jiva jivasya jivanam , that all life is coexisting and mutually co-producing. Only life can explain and sustain life. Biology cannot be understood as mere complex interplay of atoms and molecules.
Sripad Bhakti Niskama Shanta Maharaja, Ph.D. delivered a talk on the topic "Modern Geological Evidence Undermines Chronology of Geologic Column'  in the department of Earth Sciences at Manipur University. It was organized by the help of Prof. Arun Kumar and Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at Manipur University. The seminar was attended by the faculties from various departments as well as graduate students and research scholars of the Earth Science department. The seminar raised many questions about the chronology of sedimentary rocks. The uniformitarian assumptions of Nicholas Steno had been proved incorrect and this has opened a can of worms for the Darwinian evolutionary scenario due to the fact that the age of fossils collected do not follow Darwin's preconceived notion. He also highlighted the flaws and inconclusiveness of radiometric dating techniques .
The faculties also asked a few questions on the nature of the origin of earth and there was a lively discussion on the Vedantic Concept of Matter comes from Life and Life comes from Life concepts. They concluded that they had got a new perspective into looking at the nature of the formation of earth's surface and will look into the experimental and theoretical nature of the fundamental experiments on sedimentation by Guy Berthault . Furthermore, they have shown interest in future of research potentials in the field of earth sciences as well as origin and evolution of life studies in the light of new directions they have obtained from the presentation. There is no other way for humanity to know about their origins without following the spiritual and deep conceptual axiomatic structures of Vedanta . The video of this entire lecture and the discussion can be found below:
Talk: Refuting Chronology of Geologic Column, Earth Science Dept., Manipur University, Imphal
Dr. Bhakti Niskama Shanta Maharaja had earlier presented the same paper in the recently concluded 18th Indian Geological Congress during April 27-29, 2013 at Bhopal, India. The leading geologists in India that had attended this congress also showed much interest in this topic. The video of lecture can be found below:
> Talk: Refuting Geochronology at 18th Convention of Indian Geological Congress
At RIMS, there were interactions with many doctors, including the HOD of department of Microbiology Dr. Sulochana Devi and Dr. Brajachand Singh. They appreciated the presentations on, (1) 21st century biology refutes the delusion of Genetic determinism and Environmental determinism in old biology (Abiology) by Sripad Bhakti Niskama Shanta Maharaja, Ph.D. and (2) Information, knowledge and Biology in the 21st century by Bhaktivijnana Muni, Ph.D. and concluded that the DNA cannot be said to be the controller of the cell, but rather DNA plays a less than fundamental role in controlling the cell and life. They further concluded that we have to include cognition into our studies on evolution and living processes of organisms to develop the real concept of biology .
Dr. Brajachand was very concerned that in Manipur the need for addressing peaceful co-existence is paramount. He had requested us to address how we can achieve peace in Manipur. Manipur is a multicultural and multi religious society and its peace procedure is very crucial. Srila Sripad Maharaja (Dr. T.D. Singh) had himself said that if we can extract the essence from the advanced scientific knowledge and the religious wisdom within the phenomenon of a multi-religious and multi-cultural background, we can make way for a wonderful dialogue and we can all come together and forget our differences.
Prof. Brajachand himself works in the area of HIV infection and AIDS. The social problems of HIV infection and AIDS are quite acute in Manipur . A student of RIMS College also asked us that sometimes setbacks come in our life and how should we face them. The lively question and answer session that ensued were mainly answered by Sripad Shanta Maharaja and His Grace Ajit Prabhu. Sripad Shanta Maharaja appreciated the head of department for concluding that DNA is not the controller of the cell and gave a summary synopsis of the demise of central dogma leading to the realization of composite cellular regulation, Natural Genetic Engineering, failure of Crick and Darwin in addressing Biology and the subjective evolution of consciousness propagated by the devotees of Sriman Maharabhu and specifically Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaja and showed how that is confirmed in biology.
Sripad Shanta Maharaja is quite fond of narrating the story of Alexander, the great that he had heard from Sripad Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja. He explained that Alexander had asked his famous entourage of Doctors, at his deathbed that the famous doctors around him cannot save him from death and all he had earned in terms of gold and riches were mere garbage and how he longed now for the wealth of soul without which a dying person is empty. A true human being must earn the necessary wealth for his soul, the atman and this was the realization he got from Aristotle in the beginning of his life and which was enriched further in his life in India when he met the sages .
Dr. Brajachand then also narrated his affectionate relation with Srila Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Maharaja. He said that Sripad Maharaja was like his brother and was a friend of his real brother and due to his religious and spiritually advanced realization was a true representative of God. He said that Sripad Maharaja was a little senior to himself in the D.M. College and was topper in his batch. Sripad Maharaja was an extremely brilliant student and had very strong and perfect memory. Sripad Maharaja had discussed about DNA with him for more than an hour during a flight when they shared seats side by side and had also taught him some chemistry.
He also said that Sripad Maharaja was also selected to study the medical science to become a doctor but could not pursue that due to his financially poor background. He further said that once Sripad Maharaja organized a conference in RIMS Jublee Hall and had invited leading personalities and also had a cultural part where he had invited leading cultural personalities. He said that even though he was unqualified and had no knowledge of deeper spiritual and religious significance of medical science and scientific knowledge, yet by Sripad Maharaja's encouragements he prepared a talk on AIDS and Religion.
Sripad Maharaja had offered him a glass of fresh milk which he still remembers. In this way Sripad Maharaja had a great influence on the scientists and people all over the world. Really we know very little about Srila Sripad Maharaja but seeing through the words of the saintly persons and sastra, such examples teach us that a great devotee of Lord can wholesale transform anyone who has the humility and affection for a pure devotee of Lord Hari. His Grace Ajit Prabhu spoke in Manipuri language on the question of peace in Manipuri Society.
Ajit Prabhu is a Manipuri Ranganiketan devotee of Sripad Maharaja and served the mission of Srila Sripad Maharaja in cultural presentations of Krishna Consciousness all over the world. He explained that for peace we must have meaningful peace education. He explained the importance of Bhagavat culture and proper hearing and practicing life as the foundation upon which the society can achieve peace. The flickering nature of material life, its flickering joys and lamentation were highlighted. They demonstrate to us that how human life is distinguished from animal life in that human life is a culture of meditation on five questions:
1) Why I am suffering?
2) How to solve that suffering?
3) Who am I?
4) Where I come from?
5) Where I will go after this life?
In conclusion His Grace Ajit Prabhu explained that when we can remember the saints and the Lord and their mercy then everything becomes nectar and that's how our life's potential can get a higher meaning and peaceful actuality. The video of this entire program can be found below:
Talks: 21st Century Biology Refutes Darwinian Abiology, RIMS, Imphal, Manipur
To be continued..
* Tridandi Bhikshu Bhaktivijnana Muni, Ph.D. wrote this article and was forwarded by David M Mayum
The writer is at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Institute , Siliguri, West Bengal, India
This article was posted on September 22, 2013.
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