“The Lord, as the Supersoul within Brahma, gave him the intelligence to create. The creative power, therefore, of every living entity is not his own; it is by the grace of the Lord that one can create. There are many scientists and great workers in this material world who have wonderful creative force, but they act and create only according to the direction of the Supreme Lord. A scientist may create many wonderful inventions by the direction of the Lord, but it is not possible for him to overcome the stringent laws of material nature by his intelligence, nor is it possible to acquire such intelligence from the Lord, for the Lord's supremacy would then be hampered.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.20.17 Purport)Download this episode (right click and save)
Friend1: Not all scientists are atheists.
Friend2: Who said they were?
Friend1: It’s the common stereotype. Well, more of a natural tendency.
Friend2: Why is that?
Friend1: They study nature. They develop hypotheses. They conduct experiments to prove or disprove the guesses. From there the knowledgebase increases. The more things they discover, the more they try to disprove the supposed dogmas of religion. Since they make a little progress, which in their eyes is a lot, they think that one day they will be able to understand and explain everything.
Friend2: That’s a pretty good explanation. Well done.
Friend1: Thank you.
Friend2: There is a quote from the scientist Heisenberg along similar lines. It says that if comparing science to a glass that you drink out of, from the first sip you become an atheist. If you keep going, however, when you reach the bottom God is waiting for you.
Friend1: Interesting. Anyway, the reason I brought this subject up is because I heard another really nice quote.
Friend1: It says that God can be seen in the instruments and the mechanisms that work reliably.
Friend2: I’m assuming that refers to manmade creations.
Friend1: Do you know of any instruments or machines created by nature?
Friend2: You could say the body is a machine. Shri Krishna makes the comparison in the Bhagavad-gita.
“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.61)
Friend1: Wow, that’s pretty cool.
Friend2: The Sanskrit word is yantra. It can mean “instrument” or “machine.” The idea is that the soul is the living force within. The body is dull and lifeless. The soul gives life to the body. Superior is the Supersoul, which really directs everything. I decide to act, but without the sanction of the Supersoul I am not able to do anything. This explains why there are different outcomes to the same decision. Something as simple as speaking is prohibited if the Supersoul declines to sanction.
Friend1: And the Supersoul is pretty much God, right?
Friend2: A plenary expansion, so identical to Him.
Friend1: I think you’ve answered my questions before I could even ask them.
Friend2: How so?
Friend1: Well, the line I quoted is from a famous poem. The idea is that the person would rather see God in things that man creates in the scientific field than in human behavior or nature itself. But from what you’re saying, there is no ability to create without the help of the Supersoul.
Friend2: Exactly. It’s like talent on loan from God. The greatest creator is Lord Brahma. He takes the three base ingredients of goodness, passion and ignorance and makes up to 8,400,000 different body types. The Supreme Lord then acts as the seed-giving father, injecting the spiritual energy into those body types.
“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.4)
Friend1: Are you saying that religious people could also see God in nature?
Friend2: Oh, for sure. Remember, the human beings are part of nature, too. By extension, so are the instruments and mechanisms that work reliably. Nothing is more reliable than the sun. It is like a machine, except it doesn’t require maintenance. The creator of the sun did such a wonderful job that the resultant object operates predictably, reliably, and without fail. Shouldn’t we appreciate such a creator more than anyone else? Only God could do that. He creates the seasons, the cycle of birth and death, the predictable behavior of human beings that forms the basis of the area of study known as psychology, and so many other points of observation. One way to know Him is through His amazing creation, which gives indication that He is intelligence personified.
Not sure that God could be,
Rather through nature to see.
How mechanisms working reliable,
And instruments of functions predictable.
But actually intelligence from Him coming,
Brahma from Him empowered becoming.
So to honor the Lord either way,
Without sanction not even words to say.