“The convergence of scientific and spiritual realizations is excellently expressed in the book. The pedagogical description of complex scientific theories is an added attraction of the book. I am confident this is truly a unique attempt at understanding science and spirituality.”
Prof. Dr Purusottama Chakravorty, Ph.D., Scientist
“This book is specially directed to youths, and they will enjoy every paragraph of this book…I strongly recommend that youths read this book.”
Prof. Dr. Sudipta Ghosh, Ph.D
We all beings are essentially pleasure-seeking; to be happy and blissful is our intrinsic nature.
In this age of science, technological advancement is given prime importance to make ourselves happy in this material world. Science is considered today to be a useful tool to yield knowledge and make our lives problem-free.
However at present we receive from it only some hazy speculations regarding some vital queries such as the cause and origin of the universe, origin and nature of life and consciousness. As to the fundamental problems of life like mortality, we find no solution at all from materialistic science. The youth are taught to lead life blindly, with- out really knowing who they truly are, what the ultimate purpose of life is, who the controller of both the animate and inanimate world is. They are left with no option but engrossment in bodily enjoyment, and money-making becomes the prime business of life for everyone. The real mission of human life is lost: solving the real problems like death. We continue to remain some hapless toys in the hands of the material nature.
So there is a paradox in our modern—day civilization progress: while we augment bodily comforts, the soul remains neglected and we end up in failure with a perished body, though our true selves are immortal, eternal. Instead of investigating a formula for eternal life, we have devised speculative theories to suppress inquiries beyond matter, beyond bodily needs. A civilization minus concern for the soul and full focus on the body is a soul-killing civilization, where values degrade, good qualities wane, and perils beset the globe.
for society would be a perfect blend of spiritual and material sciences; that would ensure a comfortable material existence during our brief stay in the material nature and a happy blissful eternal life after the destruction of the material body. Those who risk themselves by objecting to such blending make themselves liable to so Lead lives of billions of individuals into gross failures.
So far, the world has seen this negative trend causing detrimental effects like till’ global environmental crisis, as people are motivated for sense-gratification only and so remain mostly indifferent and uncaring. Gross materialism drains out all the finer qualities and softness of the heart. Our current ‘smart’ weapons and destruction of nature testify to this. Merely imposing some regulations on some gas emissions will not do; a shift in our attitude to life and nature is required. We are in the 21st century, in the space age, and this is a defining moment whether we will clog our feet in the mud of dark materialism and gross ignorance of selves or make advancement in the right direction by shifting our focus from mere upkeep of the perishable body to consciousness evolution, to ultimate perfection in life through blossoming of consciousness to its fullness.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, an exponent of Vedic knowledge has done a pioneering task by exposing the anomalies of modern attitudes and organizing with great efforts a fresh spiritual movement originally initiated by Lord Caitanya for the re-spiritualization of the entire humanity. With enthusiastic response from youth communities across the world, his movement is becoming stronger and is literally paving the way for the global spiritual rejuvenation. Instead of devising something novel, Srila Prabhupada stuck to the Vedic scriptures, to the instructions of the Supreme Being, the supreme source of the cosmic manifestation.
This hook deals with this subject-matter in a very impressive and straightforward manner and introduces the readers to the most powerful and most sublime consciousness blossoming movement in the world, the Kia Consciousness Movement. Participation in the movement not only ensures an immortal blissful existence which is the original constitutional situation of the soul of an individual, it is also helpful to bring solutions to the major crises in human civilization like man-induced climate problem, moral, ethical or cultural degradation, threats of nuclear war and so on. This book will surely help a lot to understand the scenario.
It gives me immense pleasure to write the forward for this wonderful book “Science and Spirituality in the Space Age World” written by Sri Govardhana Gopala Das. There is no doubt that spirituality is need of the hour. Without spirituality the most important ingredient is simply missing. In Bhagavad Gita Krisna explains that him (God) is the natural, original and topmost activity of the living being. This is our natural pure quality and nourishes us perfectly. This is the state of consciousness in which we are best situated and without it we are hound to fail to become truly happy. So every activity wills him pleasurable if we are situated in K1s12a Consciousness.
Fundamental laws governing our self and the universe have explained by Sri Krsna and elaborated by Sri Vyasadeva in Srimad Bhagavatam. Later followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprahhu, that include great acharyas like Srila Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami and Jiva Goswami, have elegantly presented the teachings of Gita and Bhagavata. The teachings of these great acharyas are like the sun light that saves us from the darkness of ignorance.
However, a number of intellectuals have presented ideas and opinios which like the dark clouds have covered the sun of spirituality as explained by Sri Krsna in Bhagavad Gita. The most prominent among these ideas is the concept of life originating from matter. Followed by his is the idea that humans have evolved from lower species of life are referred to as a neo-Darwinian concept of life. Then we also have the idea of the universe being created by chance. These concepts have influenced the top section of our present society—the intellectual class, who have dissociated themselves from spirituality. The rest of society has followed them. Thus, although post-renaissance development had several positive aspects, some of the ideas which have cropped up in the mind of intellectuals as a result of the renaissance movement have contributed to the degradation of human society. Today drug abuse, illicit affairs, murder, crime and suicides have increased to an alarming level.
However as intellectuals and also followers the Vedantic (Bhagavat) tradition of inquiry and freedom we should face these ideas and opinions with scientific rigor and logic, and not with sentimentality. Sentimentality and fanaticism have always been strongly discouraged in the Vedantic tradition. Krsna says that one should cut the weeds of doubts with the sword of knowledge. Following this instruction of Lord Krsna, many great thinkers have scientifically analyzed the materialistic ideas such as life comes from matter or the universe has come about on its own, and proven the loopholes in these ideas. The scientific analysis has cleared the dark clouds of unfounded speculations that cover the sun of bonfire spiritual teachings from the of genuine spiritual seekers. Srila Prabhupada established the Bhaktivedanta Institute for scientifically exploring the spiritual paradigms. Like any acharya of the Vedantic tradition he felt that if one scientifically and rationally inquires about the nature of reality he will definitely become convinced of the teachings of the Gita, the essence of Vedantantic knowledge. The Bhagavat Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam are meant for the intellectual cream of the society. Srila Prabhupada writes in his commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam (Canto I Chapter 5 Verse 22) “Human intellect is developed for advancement of learning in art, science, philosophy, physics, chemistry, psychology, economics, politics, etc. By culture of such knowledge the human society can attain perfection of life. This perfection of life culminates in the realization of the Supreme Being, Visnu. The Sruti therefore directs that those who are actually advanced in learning should aspire for the service of Lord Visnu.” Similarly Albert Einstein states “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe—a spirit vastly superior to that of man.”
Govardhana Gopal Das, after thorough research into the works of great thinkers, scholars and scientists, has presented the genuine quest of an intellectual that leads to the sublime teachings of Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. The presentation of the book is systematic and comprehensive. I am sure that intelligent readers will find this book very exciting and their lives will take a positive turn by reading it. Here he has sought to present Srila Prabhupada’s teachings based on the authorized scriptures like Bhagavad-gita, the quintessence of the Vedantic knowledge in a very conspicuous way to help every one of the academic community across the world – regardless of any racial or geographical designations – expand the purview of comprehension by imbibing genuine Vedic thoughts, be enriched get an opportunity to make life really perfect.
This book is specially directed to youths and they will enjoy every paragraph of this book. For those youths who have no conception about spirituality this book will provided an excellent introduction. For those who are practicing spirituality this book will deepen their philosophical insight. I strongly recommend that youths read this book and make real spiritual advancements to take forward society in the right direction.
That happened to be the catch phrase of the spectacular 2008 Beijing Olympic in which 203 countries participated. The words are an articulation of a collective hope of the 21st century global human community-a good sign that it expressly opts to shift itself from occasional clashes to global cooperation and seeks to ensure peace and prosperity for the whole world.
The world is now becoming a gigantic global village. It is becoming one. Then what about our global dreams for the future?
We may dream of a prosperous world with huge megalopolises, with skylines featuring cloud-touching skyscrapers stretching around the globe. As the space budget leaps up each year-NASA space-spending crossing and annual 18 billion dollars, even ISRO of India following suit with over 10 billion dollars per annum, space seems to be the next frontier of human exploration. Space is now regarded to be an area of exploration of unlimited expansion, and it aptly suits the aspiration of 21st century humanity. We may envision a time when space tourism becomes a regularized affair, and manned space-crafts take trips on interplanetary expeditions. The world seems set to bristle with space clubs and space enthusiasts may romanticize varied outer space expeditions.
But life has other facets apart from these external thrills. With supper high-teach spacecrafts we may whizz past the gravitation barrier with facile ease, but we cannot go beyond time zone of material space. The motion of time will still swing into action and pursue us wherever we may go, will surely prey on us and ultimately delete our physical existence. Despite all our research endeavours, our scientific prowess, the advancement of materialistic knowledge in scientific prowess, the advancement of materialistic knowledge in actuality fails, make us really woe-free, perfectly anxiety-free, Each of us has to lose our physical identity from the world we are put in.
This formidable identity-smashing or existence-deleting is the greatest disgrace to one’s being, the most unwanted distress, and modern science is of no help in solving this ultimate problem. Haplessly, we the whole humanity have to undergo this massive-scale tragedy of epic dimension, where we have to see ourselves, all 6.5 billion evanescing into oblivion from the universal backdrop after several decades, never to show up again in our present identities in this world we consider to be so romantic.
Do we question why the nature is so rude and invincible? Why are we, the embodied beings ordained with death sentences that put a forced full-stop to enjoying ourselves here, to the pleasure principle we follow? Despite the current status of development of our science and technology, we are far short of getting the answers of or solutions to these fundamental questions related to life. We don’t even know what life exactly is.
We, the human being, may feel elated for our current knowledge of space, our ability to think of making unmanned trips to nearly stars. But that very space exposes the stark truth to us; the unthinkable vastness of creation and the shameful puniness of our human endeavour and power. As the current astronomy holds, our universe or even the galaxy we are living in is a tiny grain in respect to the countless galaxies spread throughout the cosmos, and no cosmologist knows what is beyond outer space, what there is beyond this cosmic manifestation, beyond the material world. While common people will be quite impressed with human exploits such as sending probe-vehicles to a nearly planet, to the well informed they will seem nothing but child’s play. The vastness of creation will forever elude human imagination and will continue to make human attempts to measure or conquer space trifling and silly.
While we may still attempt to gather some knowledge of the cosmic world, material natural will continue to disturb us by imposing death or destruction on us……The bodily existence is so transient in the perspective of infinite time.
Our unanimous global dream is certainly this: a perfectly happy life for every one of us with complete freedom from distressful syndromes like birth, disease, age-related infirmity and death or identity metamorphosis. The universally applicable, scientific formula to obtain that goal is also available: purging all the materialistic contaminants from consciousness which is purely transcendental in nature. As the Supreme Lord instructs us, the humans (Bhagavad-gita 14.20): “When the embodied being is able to transcend these three modes associated with the material body, he can become free from birth, death, old age and their distresses and can enjoy nectar even in this life.” Planning life and shaping civilization with that objective in view should be the desired new-age goal. This is a feasible target for everyone of us, as death, a painful negative aspect in life that none desires, is an indirect reminder of the eternality of life in its original state, just as disease, a perverted state of being points to a happy, healthy state of existence.
Currently in the educational institutions around the world, the youth are being imparted speculative theories which obsessively negate anything beyond matter and material energies. Can we insist that reality may not have a larger span than that captured by the limited human senses? Can we characterize or confine reality with our concocted ideas, our whims? We, the frail mortals may devise some fascinating theories to suppress the spiritual queries, natural may devise some fascinating theories to suppress the spiritual queries, natural in every human being, but we thereby risk being liable to mislead people, misdirect the civilization, to degrade it to sophisticated animalism, to keep it shrouded in the darkness of ignorance.
Materialistic knowledge cannot bring the solutions to these fundamental problems of life as life itself is not matter-we cannot even define life with such knowledge. Inert matter cannot exude Free will or the passion of love that each of us living beings has. Knowing life, a conscious soul to be a separate entity from inert matter is the beginning of true knowledge, says the Bhagavad-gita. We are yet to truly being.
Even our stay in this material world may be a little safer, more peaceful and more humane by this synthesis of scientific spirituality with materialistic knowledge. World wars or human-induced ecodisasters occur due to impurities in our consciousness like greed, lust, envy, anger delusion or such other psychic maladies. We have no cure in materialistic science for these, and that is why our research for more powerful destructive weapons is continuing uninterrupted, only MAD or Mutual Assured Destruction syndrome is deterring us from war mongering. But cures are there and we are blocking them from the humanity by forcing the youth to have materialistic education, impelled by ‘flat science’ of the present day. Science is not to cloud our consciousness with materialistic speculative ideas, increase attachment to the temporary material body and its petty comforts, aggravate materialism and endanger the civilization. It should be really a means for our total happiness of both the body and the soul.
Evidently, there is a great vacuum in the knowledge-base we have raised, there is a great discrepancy in our process of information transfer to the coming generations through our educational systems.
One renaissance has taught us to concentrate on the material world. But we discover that we are unable to change the fundamental nature of this distressful place. Rather this very materialistic attitude is making our existence miserable: our reckless exploitation of nature is making the entire globe hotter and the oceans bigger, our lives are becoming too fast and complicated, our culture polluted and perverted. Now the world awaits another sublime renaissance that may teach us to break free and materialistic confines, purify ourselves with the eternal spiritual knowledge and revive our eternal bond of love with the Supreme Being. If civilization is led in this fresh direction, people in growing numbers may wilfully accept lifestyle changes and adopt spiritual eco-living, that can bring lasting solution to the ecological, social, cultural, economical and many other problems the world faces today. This will also solve the fundamental problems of life as well that each of us has to undergo, such as the problem of death or repetitive identity changeovers.
In our earnestness to give such vital information that we need apart from our academic knowledge and that God Himself desires everyone to have, we present this book to the educated communities across the globe, who are sincerely searching for some solid truths in this age of information deluge.
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