Conversation with
Vedic Astronomer

April 30, 1977, Bombay
Prabhupada: Hm. Hare Krsna. Jaya. I am little weak.
Indian Astronomer: Yes, yes. All weak.
Prabhupada: So Surabhi, come. You can come.
Indian Astronomer: And I am very glad to meet Your Holiness.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna.
Indian Astronomer: Till now I saw only in the papers, newspapers and magazines and pamphlets and books. I am so fortunate to gain darsana directly at your...
Prabhupada: It is very kind of you. So...
Indian Astronomer: As Patita-pavana dasa told me... I informed him, I am a student of religion and also working for religion. Single-hand, I made attempt to propagate Vedic concept and Vedic religion for the past forty years. I am not able to find out any help. But fortunately, when I informed about Your Holiness and saw in newspapers also, I have found you are the incarnation of Indian gods, (Prabhupada chuckles) from my point of view, because the mission which is not fulfilled by other acaryas, even Swami Vivekananda, so many. I know... I studied all variety of prophets. But it is only fulfilled by Your Holiness.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna.
Indian Astronomer: Because we must place our Vedas before the people on the way of science without sacrificing tradition. It is also appliable to our minds. So all things are accumulated in Your Holiness, thoughts and...
Prabhupada: You have seen our books?
Indian Astronomer: Yes, yes. Oh, yes, yes, thoroughly.
Prabhupada: So...
Indian Astronomer: Great estimation, all your books. Even Christ is not able to do some things. But all our acaryas incarnated in your body and your thinking. I know guru-acarya... I made a contact with your acarya of Gaudiya Matha. I have made contact with him in Madras. Twice I met him.
Prabhupada: He is now dead.
Indian Astronomer: No, that I know. I know.
Prabhupada: He is my Godbrother.
Indian Astronomer: Ah.
Prabhupada: So you live in Madras?
Indian Astronomer: No, not in Madras. Mogun. Near the Madras also, by one of the yajnas there. But my agni-hotra place is at Kumbha-grama(?). We are following agni-hotra tradition for more than ten generations. I myself performed so many yajnas. And now I am performing yajnas also, day and night or morning and evening.
Prabhupada: So...
Indian Astronomer: I am also a great lover of Bhagavata. That is my life.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Indian Astronomer: Bhagavata is my solace of my life.
Prabhupada: So we are presenting this planetarium...
Indian Astronomer: Bhagavata, yes?
Prabhupada: From Bhagavatam.
Indian Astronomer: Yes, yes.
Prabhupada: In the Fifth Canto there is description of the planetary system.
Indian Astronomer: Yes, yes.
Prabhupada: So we want a diagram.
Indian Astronomer: Yes, yes.
Prabhupada: So kindly help us.
Indian Astronomer: With your Your Holiness permission, he told all these things to me. I use some Bhagavata sloka before. (quotes Sanskrit slokas from Bhagavata, Tenth Canto)
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. Now find out that Fifth Canto. So this planetary system is hanging.
Indian Astronomer: Yes.
Prabhupada: Urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham [Bg. 15.1]. Same thing is explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Now, how it is hanging and where are different situation of the planets and plateaus and hills and..., so as far as the book is concerned, kindly make a diagram so that we shall execute.
Indian Astronomer: Yes, yes. Urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham asvattham prahur avyayam. That means, this, about the life.
Prabhupada: Not life. This planetary system is like that.
Indian Astronomer: Oh.
Prabhupada: Urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham [Bg. 15.1]. That is... That is explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Which chapter it is?
Surabhir Abhipalayantam: This is a description of Jambu-dvipa.
Prabhupada: There is Jambu-dvipa and...
Indian Astronomer: Where is this? Pancama-skandha.
Prabhupada: Eh? It is not dasama-skandha.
Indian Astronomer: Jambu-dvipa.
Prabhupada: It is...
Indian Astronomer: The pancama-skandha.
Prabhupada: Pancama-skandha, yes.
Indian Astronomer: There we find there about the Priyavrata. Priyavrata's sons, they divided the world...
Prabhupada: No, persons we are not very much concerned. We are... Immediately we want the diagram how to fix it up so that people can see, "This is the situation." So you make this diagram.
Indian Astronomer: It is first attempt to give in picture the ideas of Bhagavatam.
Prabhupada: Yes. So we... We are... We have got very good scheme so that people from the world will come to see the Vedic idea of planetary system. This is the ambition. So you kindly help us.
Indian Astronomer: As far as possible, as our Lord moves, I am prepared to serve.
Prabhupada: So you sit down and take paper and make it and..., so that he can understand. You have already studied that.
Indian Astronomer: Several times.
Prabhupada: So that you can do immediately. You do. Can you make a rough sketch immediately?
Indian Astronomer: First (indistinct). Because after he came there I told him that we must prepare a diagram which is acceptable to all, acceptable to all.
Prabhupada: No, acceptable, the, I mean to say, Western astronomers, they...
Indian Astronomer: No, we... If you prefer Bhagavatam and if you give only Bhagavatam...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Indian Astronomer: ...whether Western accepts or not, that is not worthwhile.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Indian Astronomer: Whether Westerners or modern scientists accept or not, that is not worthwhile.
Prabhupada: No, we want do it according to Bhagavatam.
Indian Astronomer: That is what I mean.
Prabhupada: Yes. So when you'll do it?
Indian Astronomer: When the order is, I will start.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Indian Astronomer: On your order, holy order, I will start on work immediately.
Prabhupada: No, my order... It is for this purpose I sent him, so you can begin immediately or...
Tamala Krsna: Surabhi has an office with all things ready, drawing board...
Prabhupada: You can go to his office, can give him instruction how the planetary system is hanging. The polestar, dhruva-tara, is the center, and it is moving. That at night you can see. It is moving.
Indian Astronomer: In Vedas also description, as (quotes Sanskrit verses).
Prabhupada: No, what is the first, beginning? You just give him. Read it. The Sanskrit reading.
Indian Astronomer: (reads Sanskrit from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Fifth Canto)
Prabhupada: Sapta-sindhu... You have to make diagram where the sapta-sindhu are.
Indian Astronomer: Yes. All...
Prabhupada: No, all...
Indian Astronomer: ...because as we prepare diagram on the basis of pancama-skandha, Bhagavata, all must be given there. (continues reading verses from Bhagavatam in Sanskrit)
Prabhupada: So you can... Why not begin it in my presence?
Gopala Krsna: Begin the drawing now so that Prabhupada can see it before he leaves.
Indian Astronomer: No, because I am not able to prepare the diagrams and other things. With the help of my friends only I can do. I give the translation to them and all do the work. Simply we can show to them.
Prabhupada: I have tried to translate it as far as possible, but I am not satisfied.
Indian Astronomer: A deep study of the text is absolutely necessary.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Indian Astronomer: Deep study of text and also with a mind of preparing diagram, study of the..., that is... We ask Padma-bhusana(?). How is Padma-bhusana...
Prabhupada: What is your idea of the seven planets, sun...?
Indian Astronomer: You see, planets, in our system planets comes in the history very late.
Prabhupada: Very?
Indian Astronomer: Late, very. Because you won't find any reference to grahas in the Vedas. As a student of Vedas, I can guarantee that there is no reference to the grahas in the Vedas. Because nava-grahas are only important mantras, not they are (indistinct). So when because these things comes later on, Kalpa-sutra, for those adopted the grahas and prepared the mantras from the Vedas for the grahas. So historically we must have come down. Now we'll find out in what date they are presented. Till now I was told all these things after only... I am also preaching Bhagavata.
Prabhupada: Now, where is the situation of the grahas in this planetary system? Whether sun is first or moon is first?
Indian Astronomer: Sun is first. Definitely sun is first because the moon is the reflection of sunshine. (quotes Sanskrit verse) Vedas say (Sanskrit).
Prabhupada: Candrama has... Candrama has got his own light. It is not reflection.
Indian Astronomer: Not reflection. It has its own importance. But about the lights...
Prabhupada: As surya is blazing, similarly, candrama is also blazing, but it is surrounded by cool cloud. Therefore it is so soothing. But it is above the sun planet, so far it is stated there.
Indian Astronomer: Natural... Naturally surya, our astronomy says, suryah agni (Sanskrit). Vedas say, (Sanskrit). Because the naksatras only.
Prabhupada: So when you begin this diagram?
Indian Astronomer: After going my town.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Indian Astronomer: After going my town I begin.
Prabhupada: Going?
Gopala Krsna: To his town.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Tamala Krsna: After going back to his town he's going to begin.
Indian Astronomer: See to all those things.
Prabhupada: So you'll go there, then... But we have brought him to make here.
Patita Uddharana: Can you not work with us here for some time on this chart?
Prabhupada: No, no, why sometimes? This purpose, you went there to bring him, and now he'll go to town and do.
Patita Uddharana: When I met...
Prabhupada: No, no question of when you met. This was the purpose.
Patita Uddharana: Can we not begin the chart immediately?
Prabhupada: I wanted to make it before me.
Indian Astronomer: The difficulty is, we never studied in this way Bhagavatam, so it is not easy to paint a diagram immediately. It will take time. Studying Bhagavata, simply what is the text...
Prabhupada: So you have no practical idea?
Indian Astronomer: Eh?
Prabhupada: You have no practical idea?
Indian Astronomer: No, have so many ideas, vague, not practical. This is here in five days(?).
Prabhupada: No, no, vague idea is not good. You for some days stay here and do it here.
Indian Astronomer: I am told that Arka-somayaji is also coming here.
Patita Uddharana: No, he's not. I never said he was coming.
Prabhupada: What is the difficulty? The sastra is there. You have to make drawing according to sastra. That's all.
Indian Astronomer: You see, everything is separate author. Preparing diagram is separate author.
Prabhupada: Why separate au...? If you understand clearly, you can make it.
Indian Astronomer: No, no, not like Your Holiness... We'll be able to... We all will go, deeply penetrate in the ideas of scriptures, and find out the facts.
Prabhupada: At least you make some attempt. Let us see.
Indian Astronomer: Pardon?
Prabhupada: You make some attempt. Go to the offices.
Gopala Krsna: Please just try.
Indian Astronomer: Yes. I will explain again to you later.
Patita Uddharana: You must try.
Indian Astronomer: Yes. Yes.
Prabhupada: (indistinct)
Gopala Krsna: Jaya Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Jaya.
Patita Uddharana: Jaya Srila Prabhupada. Please come.
Tamala Krsna: Phew! This boy, Patita Uddharana, has spoiled thousands of rupees for months. He has no knowledge or intelligence, and he's going around. We're thinking that this man is the foremost...
Prabhupada: Useless.
Tamala Krsna: To fly him from Madras to here and back is twelve hundred rupees, and Patita has been traveling for months all over India. Who knows how much they have spent on him? And he doesn't have the intelligence to ask the questions which Your Divine Grace just asked. Otherwise he could have known from the beginning that the man doesn't know a thing.
Prabhupada: He cannot, cannot explain.
Tamala Krsna: This man will not be able to. I mean, the things you were saying, he was thinking... When you started to describe them, he was thinking it had to do with the individual soul. He said that "You're des..." You said, "No, I'm talking about the universe." He said, "Oh, the universe."
Prabhupada: He does not know anything. Now he goes away. He goes back and he... Why he has come?
Tamala Krsna: For your blessings, twelve-hundred-rupee blessing. There are learned men in India. There's no doubt. There must be learned men.
Prabhupada: All bogus.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Tamala Krsna: Just like that...?
Prabhupada: Boka.
Tamala Krsna: There's that one man, Gangeshvara..., Gange..., that one blind...
Prabhupada: Gangeshvarananda.
Tamala Krsna: I mean, he's a learned person.
Prabhupada: He has no clear idea.
Tamala Krsna: And what to do? How to get...?
Prabhupada: Krsna will help.
Prabhupada: Krsna will help. He has no idea.
Tamala Krsna: He says, "We never thought to read Bhagavatam as you are now talking. We have not read Bhagavatam like this yet, so I will have to begin to read again as..." I mean, what... I'm only wondering what kind of talk Patita Uddharana must have had with him that he felt that this man was qualified.
Prabhupada: So how he'll make diagram? He has no idea.
Tamala Krsna: No, he doesn't. He never thought about it. No one reads the Bhagavatam as a scientific book, Srila Prabhupada. That's the point. Except for Your Divine Grace, they are thinking it's story, "It is stories."
Prabhupada: Yes, they do not believe.
Tamala Krsna: No. And therefore no one takes it seriously. Modern people don't take it seriously.
Prabhupada: There was a Gosai. He was reading Caitanya-caritamrta. So the description of the planetary system there is. He used to say to his audience, "Actually these things are not there. These are imaginary descriptions." He was such a fool. So the whole world has taken like that, "symbolic, imagination."
Tamala Krsna: And he was lecturing on Caitanya-caritamrta. I think you mentioned that one of your Godbrothers once said to you, "You really believe that there is such a place, Krsnaloka, Vaikunthaloka?" He was himself...
Prabhupada: Bon Maharaja did not believe. No... Nobody ever thought of it.
Tamala Krsna: You are the only representative, the lone representative of religion left on this planet, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: So what to do? He has wasted so much money. He's not the proper man.
Tamala Krsna: No. Why not let us try to find out some man locally here in Bombay?
Prabhupada: Very difficult. You can try.
Tamala Krsna: I mean, there's just as good a chance he'll find him here as anywhere else. And it won't cost anything.
Prabhupada: "Astronomer knowing the planetary system," you can advertise. "Expert astronomer who knows the planetary systems as described..."
Tamala Krsna: "...in Srimad-Bhagavatam."
Prabhupada: Hm.
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, we can advertise. Instead of having somebody going all over India.
Prabhupada: He assured that he has found out an expert. The other man did not come because he does not know.
Tamala Krsna: Patita said that these were the two top men in all of India, guaranteed.
Prabhupada: Let us see what does he do. (end)

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