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Room Conversation with Scientists
July 8, 1976, Washington, D.C.
Svarupa Damodara: There is an international meeting coming up next year on the origin of life, in Japan, Tokyo. They have an international body called International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life, and there are participants from all over the world actually. They hold this meeting once every four years. Next one is scheduled to be in Tokyo. We were thinking that if we get some material, we'll go and represent there.
Rupanuga: Scientists will come there from around the world?
Prabhupada: But they are biased on the point that origin of life is chemical.
Rupanuga: What is the discussion then?
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, some will, you know, "I have done this experiment, and this looks very possible that about four billion years ago there was some chemical that, ah, get life."
Rupanuga: So if we go there, there will be a big fight. (laughs)
Prabhupada: No, you can challenge them with this, that "Why don't you prepare a chemical egg and give it to the incubator and let life come? If you cannot do that, then don't talk nonsense." This is simple thing. Analyze, take a sparrow's egg, small, analyze what chemicals there are, and combine in the same way. Why they do not do that?
Rupanuga: It's too hard.
Prabhupada: Then why do they talk nonsense? You stress on this point. If they say "Yes, we shall do after millions of years," then he should be challenged that "You give up your title, 'Doctor' let the sparrow take it. He's doing. You give up, nonsense, your title. Don't talk nonsense. The sparrow, without taking any doctorate title, he's doing that. So what is the value of your doctorate title?" Challenge him. Seriously challenge. This point you present, they cannot do it, it is certain. It is not possible to be done like that. Spirit soul is different complete from the matter. They have to acknowledge it.
Prabhupada: Just like this house, a combination of matter. But I am within this room, that does not mean I am this matter. Similarly, I am within this body, but that does not mean I am this body. This chemical composition is suitable arrangement, like this house is made with bricks, with lime, with stone, with wood. But as a living being, I am not identified with all those. Similarly, the body, it may be combination of chemicals, but the life is different.
Svarupa Damodara: So even if they could put the chemicals together, a spirit soul would still have to enter in order for it to become animated.
Svarupa Damodara: My feelings is that even if they make these chemicals, the spirit is never going to come in that medium. Otherwise...
Svarupa Damodara: So that's good that now science is trying that in about fifty years or so, at the turn of the century, they have a strong hope that they will be able to understand the meaning of life from this chemical concept. But when they see that that's not possible, then they have to come around that what they thought was completely illusion. In that case, our...
Prabhupada: Case will be strong.
Prabhupada: You can challenge that "You cannot do it."
Rupanuga: You once said that because people are becoming more educated and scientific-minded, they are rejecting these religions. So similarly, because they are becoming more educated and scientific minded...
Prabhupada: So-called educated, they are becoming fools.
Rupanuga: But still, they are challenging. But they, for the same reason, will challenge the scientists in due time. Because they become..., if they become more scientific-minded, then they will challenge these statements that the scientists never verify. Constantly they are saying, but they never do anything.
Prabhupada: Our challenge should be "Do it." If you cannot do it, then you give up your title, let it go to the chicken. Huh? What is the wrong there, if we say "Dr. Chicken," "Dr. Frog"?
Sadaputa: These theories of theirs are taught in high schools and colleges as fact, practically. Like the student in Gainesville was telling us that he was taking zoology, and they were teaching evolution, and they were saying that it wasn't a theory anymore but it was a proven fact, and that he was quite dissatisfied with that.
Prabhupada: Proven fact?
Sadaputa: Yes, that's how they are teaching it. They don't even teach evolution as a theory anymore, but they say it's been proven as a fact now, what they are teaching.
Prabhupada: :So how it is fact? You cannot do. So what is the fact?
Svarupa Damodara: They are cheating. There is also a big man in Bombay who is working on this line. He's a member of this International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. Now they call... In fact, they use a Sanskrit word for this life coming from chemicals, they call jivana particles of life. So they are also catching this idea that life is nothing but molecules. So along with this article, they are also writing from Bombay. So actually it is worldwide, all over, this concept. In India I think a little more interesting to give seminars along these lines. In India in the universities, the reaction of the... My feeling is that it will be different.
Prabhupada: Hmm. So do it.
Prabhupada: Who wrote the book?
Rupanuga: No, no, an Indian gentleman. He has several degrees in science area, and he has an important post.
Prabhupada: Dr. Sharma?
Prabhupada: Oh. So why don't you take him?
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, yes, he's very willing to help anything along these lines. But he told me that once we have this Bhaktivedanta Institute and we have this done, he told us that he can find some means by which we can get some grant from the government. There are several funding agencies, and he's one of the important men for giving grants, this National Institute of Health, and he has several connections with the top rank...
Prabhupada: Authorities. So keep connection with him.
Prabhupada: Yes. He is favorable, keep in touch. (long pause)
Svarupa Damodara: One thing I wanted to ask was about the arati, in offering arati, now we blow the conchshell, but, ah, coming out the pujari from the altar, outside, when the pujari blows the conchshell, he does this, especially in Atlanta, and I think in other temples also I have seen, the pujari comes out of the...
Rupanuga: Yes, he comes on this side of the altar and blows the conchshell. Is that all right? It should be behind the curtain or in front of the curtain?
Prabhupada: Behind the curtain?
Rupanuga: He should blow it behind.
Svarupa Damodara: No, what he does is, the pujari comes out while the other devotees are there, behind the curtain, and then blows the conchshell.
Prabhupada: To make the sound audible? But there is no harm.
Svarupa Damodara: Inside. But this disturbs something to the whole scene, because he has to remove the chain and cross it and then...
Prabhupada: No, no. Why? There is no need. No need of crossing the chain.
Prabhupada: Why not? It can be done.
Hari-sauri: I think they took that from Vrndavana. In Vrndavana, they blow the conchshells, they come out onto that little balcony and blow.
Rupanuga: I also wanted to ask a question, Srila Prabhupada, on dancing in the temple room during arati, especially mangala-arati. Is it not that the devotees should not turn their back while dancing to the Deity?
Prabhupada: No, no.
Rupanuga: And that they should not bump each other or dance with each other personally, distracting the attention from the Deity? Shouldn't all the dancing be focused toward the Deity?
Prabhupada: Sometimes dancing is done here in peculiar method. (laughter). That is not desirable. The dancing, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is showing.
Rupanuga: You have shown us the feet, changing of the feet with arms upraised, not with the back to the Deity.
Prabhupada: They do it out of sentiment, but that is not very good.
Rupanuga: Also they bump one another with the drum or with each other's bodies, they dance and they bump like this. That is not bona fide is it? It is very popular in our movement now.
Prabhupada: They are inventing. What can I do? If you invent your own way...
Devotee: I have a question, Srila Prabhupada. At what point is a householder to know when he should leave his family or her family?
Prabhupada: After fifty years of age.
Rupanuga: Fifty years old.
Prabhupada: When he is fifty years old, then he can think of leaving household.
Devotee: What if the spouse is very antagonistic toward Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: That is not the remedy, because afterwards he give up and become a sannyasi, and then again become this grhastha. This is not good. Opposition is already there, especially in the Western countries; they will never agree. So why do you marry? That is understood. Huh? Both the boys and girls trained in such a way that there must be opposition. So that is expected, that in your married life there will be opposition. So why do you marry?
Hari-sauri: He's talking about if you're married before you come to the movement and one person wants to join the movement and the other person is not very agreeable.
Prabhupada: No. Any... It is not because there is opposition, therefore I give up family life. Unless one is mature, there is no need of artificially giving up family life. The best thing is if one can remain without marriage. That is very good. No botheration. Hmm. (devotees offer obeisances) (end)