The Intrinsic Incompatibility of Scientific Discoveries

BY: D. DAS - 31.5 2018

Quite recently I was accosted and forcibly made to hear about a discovery in genetics which is seemingly disproving any need for the generally despised and doubted law of karma:

"....the genetic imprint in our DNA caused by memory inherent in our cells is what is responsible for our habits and of whom we are etc., passed onto us from our parents...."

As the lecturer was relentless in the determination to dash all my hopes and beliefs in the workings of unseen higher forces with the solid scientific arguments, I became quite distressed. Because it appears that the modern day mundane mentality symptoms-chasing science really can engineer an individual's fate, I am trying to dispute it here.

The misguided modern day psychologists, psychiatrists, geneticists and their likes are trying very hard to equal, excel, defeat or even disprove sastric revelations. Even though seemingly harmless in their bewilderment regarding the substance of those revelations, still the effect of those discoveries that are apparently succeeding in this pursuit on one's sub-consciousness can be life-changing through the corrosion of faith in the validity of sastric revelations or, at least, through minimizing the revelations' grip on scientific theology, at least for those susceptible to being mislead due to their "poor fund of knowledge" and a consequent misplacement of their trust in the mundane science alone. That's why it seems so important to address this issue.

There certainly is a fine line between an ignorant stand against all that material science stands for and a stand against accepting those discoveries that seem to disprove or render obsolete sastric revelations as really such.

Though it may be so in the eyes of those with the attitude, due to incorrect understanding, too quick to accept such discoveries as an objective measuring stick of the "validity or usefulness" of the sastras, as sometimes seems to happen even within the movement when a lecture on transcendental topics is laced with mundane scientific or philosophical quotes to back up the validity of sastric statements, it cannot be accepted by those who've already realized the shallowness of the mundane science and attend such lecture with hopes of finding the Truth which lies beyond mundane science's "proven" dogmas. As Srila Prabhupada reveals, unless the scientists place Krsna as number one in front of their discoveries, they will remain mere zeros.

Till one can see through, though, such discoveries may really seem as a wonderful fulfilment and confirmation by mundane science of sastric revelations that is raising the humanity's knowledge into a subtler sphere and, therefore, (seemingly) closer to the Transcendence. But a closer look reveals just the opposite.

As our acaryas explain, such discoveries reveal nothing more than the "shadowy workings of the external energy that is under the direction of higher causes" that are not addressed by such discoveries at all. Thus, the subject matter of such discoveries is disconnected from its spiritual background and they are describing merely the material symptoms of its perverted reflection. Therefore, as a part of mere material knowledge they are an obstacle to the goal of re-spiritualization of consciousness. An additional burden. The belief that the modern day science is slowly overriding sastric revelations is thus, as it looks, based on ignorance.

Such mundane, mayavada approach to the essence of human identity challenging the authoritative eternal sastric process, in this case of dealing with one's karmic reactions, is rampant these days by the kali yuga sciences like Genetics, Psychology, Psychiatry, etc.

One point to reflect on in this connection is that by accepting this particular discovery and similar ones, one becomes numb to the tangible and directly perceptible psycho-physical movements going on in one's body for the benefit of ksetra-jna, a fact directly addressed by the law of karma alone.

It is revealed in the Vedic sastras that it is our subtle body which is the force that creates our gross body from gross material elements (under the direction of Supersoul). Because both the cells and their DNA are composed of molecules, clearly any interference with these equals the manipulation of the gross elements only, and cannot constitute a power over another's karma. On the contrary, as further revealed in the sastras, it is the subtle body's attraction (due to his own past misdeeds), via the subtle material elements, to the unfolding situation that is responsible for being borne into certain circumstances. Moreover, the scientist's manipulation of the DNA is not as extraordinary as it may seem because its result is similar, in principle, to the effect on the fetus by, for example, a mother's drug addiction.

Knowledge of and reflection on the law of karma awakens one to higher reality with the clear feeling of responsibility for all of one's actions and even thoughts. On the other hand, the acceptance that the DNA received from parents is responsible for one's (mis)fortune breeds a feeling of a total powerlessness and hopelessness, which are revealed in the sastras as purely tamasic emotions.

Once again, this is how the modern mundane science is an inseparable part of driving the deterioration of kali yuga towards its final stage of utter oblivion of those still around and in its grip at the end of this era, before scheduled arrangement to flood the remaining hopelessness, together with such discoveries, is to start all over again.

The main problem with all this, of course, is that the mechanism created by the Supreme Creator of it all, in the form of His sastric injunctions, the following of which is designed to correct all of our deficiencies caused, as revealed, by our past misdeeds in the first place, being disregarded, those problems which, due to being so ignorantly neglected, will appear in that soul's next body in a stronger form in her next birth. The utter foolishness of such an approach can be fully appreciated by anyone.

Because it can be seen that even aspiring devotees can fall for these, and also for the sake of warning all others enchanted by them, the movement's duty is to publicly reveal them as a gross mayavada which is harmful to humanity's ultimate interests.

Going back to the DNA, perhaps the actual relationship between it and the workings of karma can be better understood from the example given already by Socrates, who 2,500 years ago, in his search for higher truths and ultimate cause of everything, learned from a similar scientist of his times (in the absence of his exact wording, this is in principle what he described) about the ways things work in this world:

'...the reason for me (Socrates) sitting here, I was informed, is the fact that I relaxed the muscles in my legs whose bones, because they are connected by movable joints, allowed me by bending my knees to lower my buttocks and place them firmly on this seat..."

The point once again is that the constant giving in, conforming to, and accepting today's society's norms transforms the movement into its mere mutation, when having really nothing revealing to say will eventually prevent it (the movement) from fulfilling its mandate of re-spiritualization of the society's clouded (due to different scientific discoveries) consciousness!