“Darwin's theory of evolution is but a partial explanation of the transmigration of the soul. Darwin has simply taken information from Vedic literature, but he has no conception of the soul. The difference is that the soul is transmigrating from aquatic life to plants and trees, then to insect life, then to bird life, then animal life, then human life, and within human life he moves from uncivilized life to civilized life, etc. The civilized life of a human being represents the culmination of evolution.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Science Of Self-Realization, Ch 7b)Download this episode (right click and save)
It’s the foundation of the science of self-realization. It is a science in that there are laws which exist and persist universally, without prejudice, over a specific jurisdiction. There is realization, which is more involved than basic understanding. You can show knowledge of a subject by correctly answering questions on an exam, but real proficiency is something else entirely.
The realization is of a specific thing. It relates to the individual and their true identity. That identity is described as the “self,” and in Sanskrit the corresponding word is atma. This also means individual spirit soul, which is distinct from matter.
Shri Krishna provides a clear and basic understanding of the science of self-realization through a series of verses in the Bhagavad-gita. This is the foundation, the point from which to proceed further, the gate to the amazing, awe-inspiring, and blissful spiritual existence.
“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.22)
One of the verses compares birth and death to putting on and taking off clothes. The self does not change in the process. The body is something separate from an existence. In the modern vernacular the constant changing goes by the name of reincarnation.
This reincarnation, or transmigration of the individual spirit soul, is the real kind of evolution. Based on the spiritual science, the modern theory of evolution can be properly compared to different aspects of material nature. Through a few simple questions, the theory is put into the proper context.
1. Does a clothing manufacturer generate people to wear the clothes?
Shri Krishna explains that the material substance is the cause of birth, and He is the seed-giving father. He glances over the material substance, injecting the spiritual energy. That is what causes the many different living beings to populate this and innumerable other planets.
“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)
The bodies are like clothes, and they are crafted by the first living entity, Lord Brahma. He is thus known as the creator. He uses three base ingredients: goodness, passion and ignorance. He combines them in different ways to make up to 8,400,000 body types. Brahma makes the body types, but he does not generate the living entities.
As a comparison for understanding, we see that the clothing manufacturer only makes the clothes. They make so many kinds that no one will be able to try every style in a single lifetime, as fashion changes with time. The manufacturer does not generate people to wear the different clothes.
For the theory of evolution to hold true, the different body types would have to create corresponding people to fit into them. This cannot occur due to the fact that matter is dull and lifeless. Moreover, intelligent output requires intelligent input. Life is the greatest indication of intelligence, and it cannot be generated from something that lacks intelligence, namely the body.
2. Does a pair of pants grow a new pocket on its own?
The evolution theory is based on the concept of adaptability and the survival of the fittest. One group of population sees a specific need, and so it generally adapts to that need in future generations. There could be an extra hand grown or something about the method of digestion changes.
Yet this adaptability would have to be compared to the clothes making changes on their own. Does a shirt suddenly add buttons to itself? Can a pair of pants create new pockets? There is a clothing manufacturer, who is an intelligent being. They implement the changes in the next round of output, and those changes come about through applied intelligence.
3. Does a shirt realize it needs more durability based on how it is being used?
These changes to the body occur through need. Need is assessed based on the processing of information over time. Again, the body is composed of material elements, both gross and subtle. These cannot do anything on their own.
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego - altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.4)
The clothing manufacturer makes changes based on observation and experience. They observe how the clothes come out. Experiments are in the field, through sales to customers and their feedback. The underlying fabric of the shirt may change in the next iteration. The shirt is incapable of making these assessments.
There is evolution, for sure, but it is of the individual spirit soul and not the body. The ingredients for the material creation already exist. As there can be over eight million different kinds of output, the creativity aspect is already accounted for.
The fitness of the human birth in the chain of evolution is linked directly to knowledge and practical realization, jnana and vijnana. Know your true identity as spirit soul and apply it practically to how you live. The other species don’t have this opportunity. The individual living in those body types must wait for the evolution to continue.
Thus there is some urgency upon reaching the human birth. The Sanskrit aphorism is athato brahma-jijnasa. “Now is the time for inquiring about Brahman, the spiritual nature, the true essence of life.” Properly understanding the flawed theory of evolution is one way to make advancement. Simply hearing Krishna’s opening remarks to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita is another. The more one is armed in knowledge, the quicker they can proceed towards achieving the ultimate goal of life.
For evolution theory to understand,
Review series of questions at hand.
Does manufacturer people also make,
For on their bodies clothes to take?
New pocket from pants a pair,
Of the future need aware?
Can shirt by itself realize need?
Proof that spirit distinct from matter indeed.