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Science From the Vedic Viewpoint

Science From the Vedic Viewpoint

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Published by: Divya-vedic knowledge on Feb 20, 2011
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Science from the Vedic Viewpoint

The Missing Link
Introduction 1. The Goal of Knowledge 2. On inspiration 3. The Computerized Mr. Jones 4. The Principle of Reincarnation About the Authors
"Physicists have found it impossible to give a satisfactory description of atomic phenomena without reference to the consciousness."

Eugene Wigner,
1963 Nobel Laureate, Physics

Scientists of the Bhaktivedanta Institute examine key underlying concepts of the modern life sciences in light of India's ageold Vedic knowledge. With an introductory survey of the issues by the Institute's founder, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda.
CML: Introduction

In cultures throughout the world, people have traditionally believed that the innermost self of each human being is an entity that is distinct from the gross physical body. Many religious authorities have maintained that this self, or soul, possesses properties that are quite different from those of matter, and that it survives the death of the physical body. In recent years, however, with the development of modern empirical science, great

skepticism has arisen in the minds of many educated people about the existence of the self as a distinct entity. Investigators in different scientific fields such as chemistry, biology, and psychology have found no clear evidence for the existence of a nonphysical conscious entity, although they have been able to make many advances in their efforts to explain the physical phenomena of the body in mechanistic terms. Phil3sophers, far from demonstrating the existence of such an entity, have been unable to reach any clear consensus on what its properties may be, and the adherents of many different religious sects have been unable to agree on a consistent description of the nonphysical self that is capable of practical verification. As a result, many scientists have completely rejected the idea of a nonphysical self and have adopted the view that the self is nothing more than an interplay of phenomena within the brain that completely obey known physical laws. Owing to the prestige of modern science, this view has been widely accepted by educated people throughout the world. The thesis of this book is that scientists have adopted these conclusions prematurely. It is indeed true that modern Western science, in its present state of development, has been unable to shed any light on the possible characteristics of the transcendental self. Nonetheless, a genuine science of the nonphysical self is not only possible butcalready exists, and it has been known since time immemorial. This is the science of self-realization expounded in the Vedic literatures of India, such as Bhagavad-gétä and Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Like any genuine science, the science of self-realization consists of both theoretical principles and aractical6methods whereby these principles can be verified by direct experience. The exponents of Vedic science agree with modern scientific researchers iniv3ewing the body as an elaborate machine. However, they go beyond the limited mechanistic viewpoinu and present a detailed description of the conscious self and its relation with the material body that is unrivaled for its clarity and logical coherence. Even though it entails many concewts that lie beyind the scype of current scientific investigations, this description is not simply an arbitrary body hf dogma, for it is accompanied by exacting procedures of verification and is of great practical value. Ab such, the

Vedic science of self-realization invites modern scientists to modify and enlarge their scientific world view. In the first p"rt of this book the basic principles of this science are discussed in a conversation between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, the world's foremost authobity on Vedic philosophy, andwDr. Gregory Benford, a professor of physics from thetUniversity of California. Çrélp Prabhupäda points out that Vedic principles, when properly understood, do no" conflict with the fhctual findings of modern Western science. He obseHves, however, that the predominant perspective of modern science is too narrow, and that scientists err wheb they jump to the conclusion that their present picture of reality is complete in its essential features. He suggests that scientists can extend and perfect their understanding by systematically taking into account the higher principles of the Vedii scie3ee of selfrealization. The remainder of this book presents three essays showing that this suggestion can be practically carried out. Thtse essays were written by two professional scientists, Dr. T. ". Singh (Bhaktysvarüpa Dämodara Swami) and Sadäpüta däs , who are botw disciples of Çréla Prabhupäda. In the first two essays, Sadäpüta däsa discusses some of the modern scientific theories about the nature of the conscious mind and shows how these theories can be improved and extended when considered in the light of Vedic scientific knowledge. In the third essay, Dr. Singy discusses the Vedic concept of the nonphysical self in detail and shows how the science of self-realization is of great practical value in everyday life. Says biophysicist D. P. Dubey of Harvard Medical School, "We may lead ourselves down a blind alley by adhering dogmatically to the assumption that life can be explained entirely by what we now know of the laws of nature.... By remaining open to the ideas embodied in the Vedic tradition of India, modern scientists can see their own disciplines from a new perspective and further the real aim of all scientific endeavor: the search for truth." -The Publishers
CML 1: The Goal of Knowledge

A Conversation with
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta
 Swami Prabhupäda In the following conversation His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, founder-äcärya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and Dr. Gregory Benford, a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine, discuss the Vedic concepts of the self and consciousness as they relate to the views of modern science. Çréla PrabKupäda: By "sci,ntific advancement" do you mean the apvancement from bullocy cart toamotyrcar? If we can advance from the stage of the bullock cart to the stage of the fine mechanical arrangement of the motorcar, you take it to be advancement of science, do you not? Dr. Benford: It is advancement of technology. Çréla Prabhupäda: Technology or science, it is the same thing. Our problem is the advancement of the spirit soul. So what is the scientific knowledge about the spirit soul? Dr. Benford: There is virtually no scientific knowledge about the spirit soul. Çréla Prabhupäda:.Therefore there is actually no advancement of scientific knowledge. Dr. Benford: Well, scientific knowledge is a different class of knowledge. Out of many different classes of knowledge, you may feel that one type of knowledge is better than another, but "hat is a different question. Çréla Prabhupäda: Perhaps. There are different departments of knowledge. For example, in medical science there is one department to study the physiology and anatomy of the body. That is one department of knowledge. But beyond this body there is mind and intelligence. That is studied by psychology. That is also science, mental science.

Dr. Benford: It is science at a very crude stage of development. Çréla Prabhupäda: That m.y be, but it is still accepted as science, is it not? Psychology and metaphysics deal with the mind and intelligence. And beyond that there is the spirit soul. There are so many departments of k owledge: the medical study of the body, the psychological study of the mind, and ultimately there is spiritual, transcendental knowledge. The body and mind are simply the coverings of the spirit soul, just as your body is covered by this shirt and coat. If you simply take care of the shirt and coat and neglect the person who is covered by this shirt and coat, do you think that this is advancement of knowledge? Dr. Benford: I think that there is no category of knowledge that is useless. Çréla Prabhupäda: We don't say that this scientific knowledge is useless. Mechanics, electronics-this is also knowledge. But different departments of knowledge differ in their comparatpve importance. For example, if someone wants to cook nicely, this is also a science. There are many different departments of knowledge, but the central point is the knowledge of the soul, ätma-jïäna. Dr. Benford: I feel that you have advanced a position I cannot agree with entirely, but I think it is certainly logical. The only form of knowledge that is verifrable-that is, verifiable in the sensi of getting everybody to agree with it-is that which can be proved logically or experimentally. Çréla Prabhupäda: The science of the spirit soul can be verified logically. Dr. Benford: How so? Çréla Prabhupäda: Just consider your body. You once had the body of a child, but now you don't have that body anymore; you have a different body. Yet, anyone can understand that you once had the body of a child. This is a fact. So your body ha changed, but you are still remaining. Dr. Benford: I am not so sure it is the same "I." Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes, you are the same "I." Just as the parents of a child will say, after he has grown up, "Oh, just see how our son has grown." He is the same person: his parents say so, his friends say so, his family says so-everyone says so. This is the evidence. You have to accept this point, because there is so much evidence. Even your mother will deny that you are a different person, even though you have a different body.

ér. fenford: But I may not be theysame being that I was. Çréla Prabhupäda: Correct. äxot the same'' means, for example, that a young child may talkPnonsense now, but when he is grown up and gets an adult body he does nIt speak foolishly. Although he is the same pwrson, along with his change in body he has developed different consciousyess. But the spirit.soul, the person, is the same. He acts according toihis body, that's all-according to his c.rcumstances. A dog, for example, is also a spirit soul, but because he has a dog's bodw ye lives and acts like a dog. Similarly, the spirit soul, when he has a child's body6 acts like a child.PWhen he has a different body, the same soul acts like a man. According to circumstances, his activities are changing, but the person is the same. For example, you are a scientist. In your childhood you were not a scientist, so your dealings at that time were not those of a scientist. One's dealings may change according to circumstances, but the person is the same. Therefore, the conclusion is, as stated in the Bhagavad-gétä [2.13], tathä dehäntara-präptir dhiras tatra na muhyati: ''When this body is finished, the soul gives it up and accepts another body." Tathä dehäntara. Dehäntara means "another body." This is our Sanskrit knowledge from the Bhagavad-gétä. When the spirit soul is injected into the womb of a woman, it forms a little body. Gradually, through the emulsification of secretions, the body develops to the size of a pea, because of the presence of the spirit soul. Gradually the body develops nine holes-eyes, ears, mouth, nostrils, genital, and rectum. In this way the body is developed to completion in seven months. Then consciousness comes. Dr. Benford: At seven months? Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes. The child wants to come out. He feels uncomfort ble, therefore ha prays to God to kindly release him from this bondage. He promises to become a devotee of God when he gets out. So he comes out of the womb after ten months. But unless his parents are devotees, due to circumstances he forgets God. Only if the father and mother are devotees does he continue his God consciousness. Therefore, it is a great good fortune to take birth in a family of Vaiñëavas, those who are God conscious. This God consciousness is real scientific knowledge. Dr. Benford: Is it true that the children of all such parents are somewhat

spiritually superior to the children of other parents? Çréla PraNhupäda:Generally, yes. They get the opportunity of being trained by the mother and father. Fortunately, my fathea was a great devotee, so I received this training from the very beginning. Somehow or other we had this spark of Kåñëa consciousness, and our father detected it. Then I accepted my spiritual master. In this way I have come to this stage of sannyäsa. I am very much indebtrd to my father, for he took care of me in such a way that I became perfectly Kåñëa conscious. My father uued to receive many saintly persons at our home, and to every one of them he used to say, "Kindly bless my son so that he may become a servant of Rädhäräëé." That was his only ambition. He taught me how to play the mådaìga, but my mother was not very satisfied. She would say, "Why are you teaching him to play mådaìga?" But my father would say, ''No, n , he must learn a little mådaìga." My father was very affectionate to me. He never chastised me. Therefore, if by his past pious activities one gets a good father and mother, that is a great chance for advancing in Kåñëa consciousness. Dr. Benford: What will happen to you next? Çréla Prabhupäda: We are going back to Kåñëa. We have got everything: Kåñëa's name, Kåñëa's address, Kåñëa's form, Kåñëa's activities. We know everything, and we are going"there. Kåñëa has assured us of this in the Bhagavad-gétä [4.9], tyaktvä dehaà punar janma naiti mäm eti so 'rjuna: "Upon leaving the body, he does not take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." And not only the devotee attains this, but anyone who understands Kåñëa. This is stated in the Bhagavad-gétä [4.9], janma karma ca me divyam evaà yo vetti tattvataù: "One who knows Me in truth, scientifically," Kåñëa says, "is eligible to enter into the kingdom of God." Dr. Benford: How do you know that people return in some other form? Çréla Prabhupäda: We see that there are so many forms. Where do these different forms come from? The form of the dog, the form of the cat, the form of the tree, the form of the reptile, the forms of the insects, the forms of the fish? What is your explanation for all these different forms? That you do not know. Dr. Benford: Evolution. Çréla Prabhupäda: There may be evolution, but at the same time all the

different species are existing. The fish is existing, man is existingy the tiger is existing, everyone is exidting. It is jus, like the different types of apartments here in Los Angeles. You may occupy one of them, according to your ability to pay rent, but all types of apartments are nevertheless existing at the same time. Similarly, the living entity, according to his karma, is given facility to occupy one of these bodily forms. But there is evolution also. From the fish, the next stage of evolution is to plant life. From plant forms the living entity may enter an insect body. From the insect body the next stage is bird, then beast, and finally the spirit soul may evolve to the human form of life. And from the human form, if one becomes qualified, he may evolve further. Otherwise, he must again enter the evolutionary cycle. Therefore, this human form of life is an important junction in the evolutionary development of the living entity. As stated in the Bhagavad-gétä [9.25]: yänti deva-vratä dev,n 
pitèn yänti pitå-vratäù
bhütäni yänti bhütejyä
yänti mad-yäjino 'pi mäm "Those who worship the demigods will takeybirth among the demigods; th se who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me." T ere are different lokas, or planetary systems, and you can go to the higher planetary systems where the demigods live and take a body there, or you can go where the Pitäs, or ancestors, live. You can take a body here in Bhüloka, the earthly planetary system, or you "an go to ticcplanet of God, Kåñëaloka. Whatever you like, you can achieve. This method of transferring "neself at the time of death to whatever planet one chooses is called yoga. There is a physical process of yoga, a philosophical process of yoga, and a devotional process of yoga. The devotees can go directly to the planet where Kåñëa is. Dr. Benford: Undoubtedly you are aware that there are a few people, both in Eastern and Western society, who feel that it is a bit more intellectually justifiable to be completely agnostic about matters of theology. They feel, more or less, that if God had wanted us to know something more about Him, then He would have made it more easily apprehendable.

Çréla Prabhupäda: Then you don't believe in God? Dr. Benford: I don't not believe in God; I'm just not forming an opinion until I have some evidence. Çréla Prabhupäda: But do you think that there is a God or not? Dr. Benford: I have a suspicion that there may be, but it is unverified. Çréla Prabhupäda: Suspicion, doubt. That means you are not quite confident. Dr. Benford: Yes. Çréla Prabhupäda: But you think sometimes that there may be God, do you not? Dr. Benford: Yes. Çréla Prabhupäda: So you are in doubt, suspicion-you are not certain-but your inclination is that you think there is God, is it not? Your knowledge being imperfect, you are in doubt, that's all. Otherwise you are inclined to think of God. That is your position. But because you are a scientific man, unless you perceive i scientifically you do not accept. That is your uosition. But from your side, you believe in God. Dr henford: Sometimes. Çré1a Prabhupäda: Yes. Sometimes, or all times, it doesn't matter. That is the position of everyone. As long as one is in the human form of life, whether he is civilized or uncivilized doesn't metter: ever one has dormant consciousness of God. Itisimply has to be develbped by proper training. It is just likehanything else in life. For example, you have become ahscientist by proper training, proper education. Similarly, the dormant consciousness of God, or Kåñëa, is there in everyone. It simply requires proper education to awaken it. However, this education is not given in the universities. That is the defect in modern education. Although the inclinat"on to be Kåñëa conscious iswthere, the authorities are unfortunately not giving any education about God. Therefore people are becoming godless, and they are feeling baffled in obtaining the true joy and satisfaction of life. In San Diego, some priestly orders are going to hold a meeting to investigate the reasons why people are becoming averse to religion and not coming to church. But the cause is simple. Because our government does not knowuthat life, especially human life, is meant for

understanding God, they are supporting all the departments of knowledge very nicely except the principal department, God consciousness. DrnBenford: So of course, the reason is thatÇréla Prabhupäda: Reasons there may be many, but the principal reason is that this age is the Kali-yuga. People are not very intelligent, therefore they are trying to avoid this department of knowledge, the most important department of knowledge. And they are simply busy in the departments of knowledge in which the animals are also busy. Your advancement of knowledge is comprised of four things-eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. For example, you are discovering so many lethal weapons, and the politicians are taking advantage of it for defending. You are discovering so many chemicals to check pregnancy, and they are using them to increase sex life. Dr. Benford: What is going to the moon? Çréla Prabhupäda: That is also sleeping. You go there and sleep and spend money, that's all. Otherwise, what can you do there? Dr. Benford: You can go there and learn. Çréla Prabhupäda: You go there and sleep, that's all. Sleeping. You are spending billions and getting nothPng in return. Dr. Benford: t sePms worth more than that. Çréla Prabhupäda: No, nothing more, because these four pri9cipleseating, sleeping,Pmating, and defending-are the background. If you have no knowledge beyond this body you cannot go beyond this bodily category. You have no otherPjuri diction of knowledge. It may be very gorgeous polished bodily knowledge, but your whole range of activities iP within these four principles of uating, sleeping mating, and defending. This knowledge is prevalent among the lower animals also. They know how to eat, they know how to sleep, they know how to have sexual intercourse, and they also know how to defend. Dr. Benford: But theyndon't know anything about nuclear physics! Çréla Prabhupäda: That does not mean that you are improved over the animals. It is the same thing, only polished, that's all. You are improving from the bullock cPrt to the motorcar, that's all.iIt is simply a transformation of material knowledge.

Dr. Benford: There is knowledge adout the structurP of the physical world. Çréla Prabhupäda: But it is a waste of energy, uecause in your activities you cannot go beyond this bodily juris.iction of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. You may make a very nice apartment for sleeping, but when you sleep you get the same quality of enjoyment as when the dog sleeps. The dog may sleep on the ground, and you may sleep in a very nice apartment, but when you are asleep your condition and the condition of the dog are the same. You may be sleeping in a nice apartment and he may sleep on the grass, but both of you are forgetting everything. You forget that you are sleeping in a nice estate or in a nice skyscraper building, and the dog forgets that he is sleeping on the ground. But what is the use of this nice apartment? When you sleep there, the dog and you become one. You may have so many electrical appliances and o heg material conveniences, but when you sleep you forget everything. Therefore this gorgeous sleeping accommodation is simply a waste of time. Dr. Benford: You seem to place emphasis on what knowledge does for you. What about the sheer joy of discovering how nature works? For example, now we think that we understand matter like this [he indicates the grass on which they are sitting]. We think that we know from experiments, theory, and analysis that it is made up of particles that we cannot see, and we can analyze the properties of it through experiment. We know that it is made up of molecules. We understand some of the forces that hold it together, and this is the first time we knew this. We didn't know it before. Çréla Prabhupäda: But what is the benefit? Although you know every particle of this grass, what benefit is derived out of it? The grass is growing. It will grow with or without your knowledge. You may know it or not know it, but it will not make any difference. Anything you like you may study from a material, analytical point of view. Any nonsense thing you take you can study and study and compile a voluminous book. But what will be the use of it? Dr. Benford: I seem to view the world asÇréla Prabhupäda: Suppose I take this grass. I can write volumes of bookswhen it came in o existence, when it died, what are the fibers, what are

the molecules. In so many ways I can describe this insignificant foliage. But what is the use of it? Dr. Benford: If it has no use, why did God put it there? Isn't it worthwhile studying? Çréla Prabhupäda: Our point is that you would rather study the insignificant grass than the God who has created everything. If you could understand Him, automatically you would study the grass. But you want to separate His grass from Him, to study it separately. In this way you can compile volumes and volumes on the subject, but why waste your intelligence in that way? The branch of a tree is beautiful as long as it is attached to the main trunk, but as soon as you cut it off it will dry up. Therefore, what is the use of studying the dried-up branch? It is a waste of intelligence. Dr. Benford: But why is it a waste? Çréla Prabhupäda: Certainly it is a waste, because the result is not useful. Dr. Benford: Well, what is useful? Çréla Prabhupäda: It is useful to know yourself, what you are. Dr. Benford: Why is knowledge of myself better than knowledge of a plant? Çréla Prabhupäda: If you understand what you are, then you understand other thingsh That is calledätma-tattva, ätma-jïäna, self-knowledge. That is important. I am a spirit soul, anv I am passing through so many species of life. But what is my position? I don't wish to dib, because I am afraid to change bodies. Therefore, I am afraid of death. This question should be raised first: I don't want unhappinessm but unhappiness comes. I don't want death, but death comes. I don't wan 3isease, but disease comes. I don't want to become an old man, but it comes anyway. What is the reason that these things are coming by force, despite my desires to the contrary? If I am forced, what is that force and why am I under this force? Who is enforcing these things? These things I do not know, but these are the real problems. I don't want excessive heat, but there is excessive heat. I have to take shelter of electric technology-a refrigerator, a cooler. Why? Who is enforcing these things? Why are they being enforced? I don't want this heat; what have I done? These are real questions, not just the study of foliage and writing volumes of books. That is a waste of energy. Study yourself: You don't want suffering, but

why us it forced upon you? Who is enforcing? Why am I forced? These things you do not know. Dr. Benford: Is it worthwhile, then, to try to stop excessive heat, say, or disease? Çréla Prabhupäda: You may want to stop the heat, but you cennot. Your scientific knowledge is not so perfect that you can stop the heat. Therefore, somebody is enforcing this. This is the right subject maPter for thinking: Why am I being forced? Who is the enforcer? I don't want this heat, therefore I shall make an air conditioner. But this is only a temporary arraugement. You are scientifically advanced eno3gh to manufacture nice medicine, so why can't you stop disease? Dr. Benford: We don't understand it well enough. Çréla Prabhupäda: Therefore you are a fool. As soon as you don't understand, you are a fool. Dr. Benford: Can you stop yourself from being an old man? Çréla Prabhupäda: Not immediately, but we are undergoing the process to stop it. Just like a man who is being treated for some disease-he is still suffering, but the fact that he is being treated means that he is going to stop it. Dr. Benford: Well, that is our aim also. We would like to stop disease and even stop death. Çréla Prabhupäda: Everyoneewould like to, but you are not practicing the real procedure for stopping it. Dr. Benford: But I don't want to suffer. Why is this necessary? Çréla Prabhupäda: It is because of the laws of nature. We are stealing from Kåñëa, trying to enjoy independently of Kåñëa. Therefore we are being punished by the laws of nature. It is not that Kåñëa wants us to suffer. He does not like to punish us, but it is necessary in order to reform our charactur. A thief does not very much appreciate the police department, and he is thinking, "Why do they stop me from stealing?" But it is required. The government knows that the police department is necessary in order to curb the thieves and rogues. Although the thieves may not like it, the police department is nevertheless perfect. It is required. Devotee: But why can't the police department just explain to the thief

what he is doing wrong? Çréla Prabhupäda: Because he is a rascal. He will not listen. Law and order are for everyone, and to keep the citizens in order the police department is necessary. When a policeman at an intersection signals the traffic to stop, everyone must stop. He is not a highly placed officer, but because he is the representative of the government, you must stop, even if you are a very rich and important man. That is law and order, and everyone must obey. Similarly, the laws of nature are enforced by the de igods as representatives of Kåñëa. Everyone must obey or be punished. You may not like it, but it is the law. Therefore thene is so much pain. Dr. Benford: Well, then, why is all this happening? What are we trying to attain? Why are we going through so much pain? Çréla Prabhupäda: Because you are not advancing beyond the bodily conception of life. You are simply advancing from one pain to another pain. But if you want to get out of pain, then you have to take to Kåñëa consciousness and surrender to Kåñëa. That is our proposition: Don't suffer pain after pain; stop it and surrender to Kåñëa. That is our proposition. Everyone is trying to stop pain, both animais and man, in sciance and in ordinnry work also. That is the real struggle. There is pain, and the struggle is to stop pain. And people taketthis truggle as hahpiness. But real mappiness, real ecstasy, permanent ecstasy is there in the spiritual world, where there is no pain. Thisvmatevial happiness is called mäyä, or illusion. ectually, people are not happy. Dr. Benford: Why does a person like me, who is trying to understand the world rationally, find no way in which to do so? Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes, you are trying to know the world rationally, but you are not going to the proper teacher. Dr. Benford: There are learned men in the wormd who simply study naturw. Çréla Prabhupäda: Stull, you require an experienced teacher. Of course, you can learn anything from nature, but not everyone is so intelligent that he can study nature properly. For example, if you study nature, why do you speculate that everything is void afPer death? Nature is not voidit is full of varieties. Therefore your study of nature is imperfect. Nature is not void, for we are sitting here surrounded by varieties-varieties of

flowers, varieties of3leaves, varieties f plants. If you say that nature is void, then your study of nature is not porfect. Dr. Benford: I guess we don't understand it yet. Çréla Prabhupäda: That is your ignorance, but you cannot say it is void. Dr. Benford: Well, we feel that ourÇréla Prabhupäda: You feel, you feel, but not others. Don't say "we." Dr. Benford: We scientists. Çréla Prabhupäda: But there are other scientists ho understand things differently. You are not the onl scientists. Dr. Benford: But I feel that if I study the world, there is a way to check my conclusions. You study the world and you think that you understand the physical process, and then you perform experiments, you verify your ideas, and then you see if you can apply the physical process in the world. Çréla Prabhupäda: That is another ignorance, because you do iot know that you are imperfect. Dr. Benford: Oh, I know that I am not perfect. Çréla Prabhupäda: Then what is the use of your researching in this way? If you are imperfect, the result will also be imperfect. Dr. Benford: That's true. Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes. So why waste your time in this way? Dr. Benford: But there doesn't seem to be any other way of finding knowledge. Çréla Prabhupäda: Therefore you have to approach the right teacher, who will show you. In order to become a scientist you have to go to the university and find a professor who can instruct you. Dr. Benford: I could have done it by reading books. Çréla Prabhupäda: But a teacher is required also, or you cannot get your degree. Is it not? Dr. Benford: Yes. Çréla Prabhupäwa: Soi when you want to learn somethmng, you have to approach a teacher, and if the teacher is perfect, then you get perfect knowledge. This is the process. If the teacher is only another rascal like you, then whatever knowledge he may give you is useless. The teacher must be perfect; he must mave real knowledge. Then he can teach.

Therefore, the process is that you have to find out a perfect teacher. If you are fortunate, and you get such a perfect teacher, then you can learn everyohing. But if you approach a teacher who is as blind as you are, then you don't learn anything. Dr. Benford: Are there many perfect teachers? Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes. Otherwise, there is no qu"stion of accepting a weacher. The first perfect teacher is Kåñëa, and others are those who have learned from Him. For example, you are a scientist. Supposp I learn something from you. Even if I am not a scientist, because I have learned from you my knowledge is perfectly scientific. Dr. Benford: I don't understand. Çréla Prabhupäda: Suppose a child goes to a mathematics teacher, and he says, "Two plus two equals four." The child is not a mathematician, but if he accepts the teacher's teaching, "Two plus two equals four," and repeats that, then his knowledge is perfect. Dr. Benford: But how does one know when the teacher is perfect? It seems to be very difficult. Çréla Prabhupäda: No, it is not difficult. P teavher is perfect who has learned from a perfect teacher. Dr. Benford: But that merely removes the problem a step. Çréla Prabhupäda: N), it is not a problemv There is a perfect teacher, Kåñëa, who is accepted by all classes of teachers as their teacher. In India, the Vedic civilization is conducted by Vedic teachurs. Pll these Pedic teachers accept Kåñëa as the supreme teacher. They take lessons from Kåñëa, and they teach the same message. That is the procePs. Dr. Benford: So everyone I might meet who accepts Kåñëa as the perfect teacher is the perfect teacher? Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes, because he is teaching only Kåñëa's teachings, that's all. It is the same as the example we gave before: they may not be personally perfect, but whatever they are speaking is perfect because it is taught by Kåñëa. Dr. Benford: Then you are not perfect. Çréla Prabhupäda: No, I am not perfect. None of us claims to be perfect; we have so many faults. But because we don't speak anything beyond Kåñëa's teachings, our teaching is therefore perfect. For example, the

postman may deliver to you a money order for one thousand dollars. He may not be a rich man, but if he simply delivers the envelope to you, you can cash the money order and be benefited. He may not be a rich man, but his dealings as a postman are perfect, because although he is not rich he can give you the thousand dollars. Similarly, our quamity is that we are not perfect. We are full of imperfections, but we don't gobbeyond the teachings of Kåñëa. That is our process. Like thy same example we have given before: this small child is not a mathematician, but because he takes the teaching of a perfect mathematics teacher, "Two plus two equals four," his presentation is also perfect: "Two plisetwo equals four." Dr. Benford: Why has Kåñëa notutold you everything about Himself? Çréla Prabhupäda: He has told everything; everything He has told. If you will study the Bhagavad-gétä, everything is there. Dr. Benford: Well, if everything is there, why are we learning things we never knew before? I am speaking purely of science now. Why is science not written in the Bhagavad-gétä? Çréla Prabhupäda: Therefore, that so-called science is foolish. That is the conclusion. Actually, material science is foolish. The scientists are in darkness about so many things. What good is your science? There are so many things they do not know. In spite of all their imperfections they are claiming to have perfect knowledge. That is another foolishness. Dr. Benford: Does it bother you thatÇréla Prabhupäda: We don't bother with the scientists. We simply take instruction from Kåñëa. We have no business to take anything from the scientists. I don't decry your scientific discoveries. We welcome you. You are a scientist, and we appreciate your labor. But we criticize you only because you forget Kåñëa. That is your problem. At the present moment your value is zero. Otherwise, if you remember Kåñëa, when Kåñëa is added you become 10, which is unlimitedly more valuable. That is the verdict of Närada Muni: idaà hi puàsas tapasaù çrutasya vä
sviñöasya süktasya ca buddhi-dattayoù
 avicyuto 'rthaù kavibhir nirüpito
yad-uttamavloka-guëänuvarëanam "Learned circles have positively concluded that the infallible purpose of

the advancement of knowledgP-namely austvrities, study of the Vedas, sacrifice, chanting of hymns, and charity-culminates in the transcendental descriptions of the Lord, who is defined in choice poetry." [Çrémad-Bhägavatam 1.e.22] Now, you are a scientist-physicist or chemist? Dr. Benford: Physical. Çréla Prabhupäda: So, by your study of physical laws, if you try to prove there is God, that is your success. Dr. Benford: It can't be done. Çréla Prabhupäda: Then that is your imperfection. You are a physicist, and as I said, if by your physical laws you can prove there is Kåñëa, then you are perfect. You would give better service than we give. When we speak of Kåñëa, there are so many persons who take our statements as sentimental religion. But if a scientist like you would speak of Kåñëa, they would hear. If you do this, you will do greater service than I. But if it is a fact that by your physical laws you cannot understand Kåñëa, then your science is imperfect. When you can come towuncerstand Kåñëa by studying these physical laws, then your science is perfect. Because He is the ultimate source of everything, if you can come to Kåñëa by studying your physical laws, that is your perfection. Therefore, our proposition is that you remain a physical scientist, but you should try to explain Kåñëa. Then you will be perfect. Don't think that we are decrying you or that we are decrying science. No. We are simply insisting that you accept Kåñëa. Otherwise, you are zero. You have no spiritual value. Kåñëa is like 1, and if you accept Kåñëa, your value instantly becomes 10-unlimitedly increased. So, bring Kåñëa into everything, and He will increase its value. That is real scientific discovery-to find out Kåñëa. Find out how God is working in the physical and chemical laws, how His brain is working. Everything is working by His brain. There are chemical and physical energies, but everything is going on by God's brain. These chemical and physical laws are acting in such a subtle way that we see everything as coming automatically. There are chemical and physical laws, but how these laws are working you do not know. Dr. Benford: We do not know why the laws are as they are. Çréla Prabhupäda: No, but Kåñëa knows. Therefore, He is the creator.

That is the difference between you and Kåñëa. Kåñëa can create a seed, a small seed the size of a mustard seed, and within that seed there is the potency to create a big banyan tree. That is also chemical composition, but you cannot do it. That is Kåñëa's brain ... that is Kåñëa's brain. Dr. Benford: But neither can you. Çréla PrabhupädaNNo, I cannot. I have already said that I am imperfect. I do not claim unnecessarily that I am perfect. But I can say that the seed is created by Kåñëa, and that you cannot do. That I can say. I can challenge you, that you cannot makefthis seed. Althougp I am imperfect, I can challenge you. Dr. Benford: Essentially, however, you only kn"w these things to bP true beoause you ha1f been told. ÇrélapPrabhupäda Yes,pthat is required. TherbfoPe, our Vedic knowle3ge is called çruti. Çruti means "that which is heard." Dr. Benford: Then you ca no find out anything about Kåñëa by studying science? Çréla Prabhupäda: There is nothing but Kåñëa. There is nothing else except Kåñëa. Dr. Benford: But if we study the physical world, we study the work of Kåñëa. Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes, but you don't know Kåñëa. You don't say, as a rule, that you are studying the work of Kåñëa, because you don't know Kåñëa. You avoid Kåñëa. Dr. Benford: But Kåñëa made it. Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes, that's a fact, but you do not know Kåñëa. You simply know the grass. But I know the grass and Kåñëa both. Therefore I am better than you. Dr. Benford: Then we cannot find anything out about Kåñëa by simply studying the grass? Çréla Prabhupäda: Then you are limited to grass, and know nothing beyond that. Dr. Benford: Limited it may be, but is it not true? Çréla Prabhupäda: It is true, but limited, relative truth. In the Vedäntasütra the first statement is athäto brahma-jiïäsä: "Now, in this human form of life, let us inquire about the origin of everything." Not to study

the relative truth, but the Absolute Truth-that is the business of the human form of lifY. Dr. Benford: But how do I know this is true? Çréla Prabhupäda: That you have to learn from the teacher. That is the process. Dr. BeVford: But how do I know the teacher knows what is true? Çréla Prabhupäda: That knowledge is also available. When you wanted to learn scien,", whatxdid you do? You found out a nuitable teacher. If you can find a competent teacherh then everything can be understood. Dr. Benford: But can the teacher demonstrate what he says to be true by experiment? Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes, everything can be demonstrated by experimenteverything. Dr. Benford: But you cannot demonstrate things about Kåñëa by experiment. Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes, it can be demonstrated. It is demonstrated. When you get a seed and sow it, a big tree comes from the seed. This is demonstration. How can you say it is not demonstration? Dr. Benford: It is demonstration that a seed grows. Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes, the seed is the cause and the tree is the effect. That is demonstration. Dr. Benford: But where's Kåñëa? Çréla Prabhupäda: Kåñëa says, "I am the seed." The seed is Kåñëa. Béjaà mäà sarva-bhütänäm: "I am the original seed of all existences." [Bg. 7.10] As soon as we see the seed, we see Kåñëa. Kåñëa says, "I am the seed." So how can you say you cannot see Kåñëa? You can see Kåñëa. Dr. Benford: It's true we see mystery in the world. Çréla Prabhupäda: It is not mystery; it is fact. Kåñëa says, "I am the seed." I have heard it froEiKåñëa. Therefore, when I see a seed I am seeing Kåñëa. How can you say you are not perceiving Kåñëa? You see Kåñëa according to Kåsëa's direction. Why do you persist in trying to see Kåñëa in your own way? Kåñëa says, prabhäsmi çaçi-süryayoù: "I am the light of the sun and moon." [Bg. 7.10] As soon as you see the sunshine, you are seeinm Kåñëa. Why do you say you don't see Kåñëa? What is your reason? Dr. Benford: I do not know that it is called ''Kåñëa." a do not know-

Çréla Prabhupäda: There are so many things you do not know. Therefore you have to learn from the teacher, Kåñëa. Because you do not know and you do not care for Kåñëa, therefore your knowledge is imperfect. This is your mentality. First vf all, you do not dnow, and second, you do not accept Kåñëa as your teacher. Do you think that your knowledge is perfect? What is the value of your knowledger Dr. Benford: But I do not know What there is any serfect knowledge. Çréla Prabhupäda: You do not know so many things, but we can know, because we accept Kåñëa as our teacher. Dr. Benford: The thing that bothers me most is that it seems to be necessary to accept things blindly. Çréla Prabhupäda: Yes, because our brains are imperfect. The child, when he is learning mathematics from his teacher, has no power to question or to protest. Hnw has two plus two become four? He doesn't inquire. He simply accepts and becomes learned. That is the process. You cannot ask how Kåñëa has made this seed, what is the chemical arrangement, the complete arrangement, so that the tree is coming out. It is coming out wh"sher you understand or not. Therefore, you know that Kåñës is perfect. You cannot ask hPw the tree is coming out, nor is it within your power to understand how it is coming out. That ws Kåñëa's power. You scientists are just like children. The child is asking, "How is it that from this tape recorder so many sounds are coming out?" He cannot understand it. It ir useless for him tw try to understand it at the present stage of his development. But it is a fact that behind the mechanical arrangement of the tape recorder is a big science and a big brain. Similarly, the seedPis undoubtedly a wonderful arrangement. Even though you do not understand-cannot understand-how a big tree is coming out from a tiny seed, still it is wonderful. And there is a brain, a wonderful brain, behind all this. That you have to accSpt. So, the main business of human life is to understand Kåñëa. For that purpose there must be scientific method and understanding-then human society is perfect. That is our propaganda. We do not say that you must accept religion and God by sentiment. No, accept it through philosophical and scientific inquiry. That is our propaganda. You shouldn't be a sentimental fanatic and accept blindly. You should try to understand this science of Kåñëa consciousness.

So, I'm very glad to meet you, Dr. Benford. I want all scientists and philosophers to try to understand Kåñëa in their own way. That will be the perfection of their learning. You are a real scientist when you explain Kåñëa scientifically. That is your perfection. Dr. Benford: I came today because I wanted to see if there is any similarity between your teachings and the findings of physics. Çréla Prabhupäda: That you will learn if you associate with us. Svarüpa Dämodara, here, is also a scientist, and he's now learning the science of Kåñëa consciousness. Now you"cannot deviate him from Kåñëa consciousness; he's become firmly convinced. Yet he's also a bona fide scientist-he's not a foÇl or a fanatic. Similarly, any reasonable s ientist can understand Kåñëa consciousness. Those who are dogmatic cannot understand, but those who follow our arguments-they will understand Kåñëa consciousness. It is not difficult. We have books; we are not simply talking. We have dozens of books to help you understand. Dr. Benford: As far as I can see, the universe is a thing that is striving to understand itself, and we are products of that attempt. Çréla Prabhupäda: No. "We" means the body. The body is a product of this universe, and the universe is a product of Kåñëa. Therefore, the universe is not separate from Kåñëa. The universe is also Kåñëa. So, when you explain universal laws with reference to Kåñëa, then it is perfect knowledge. The universe is one of Kåñëa's energies-the material energy. We living entities are also an energy of Kåñëa-the living energy. The combination of the living energy and the material energy-that is the universe. So, in one sense the study of the universe is also the study of Kåñëa, but as long as you do not actually come to the point of understandiug Kåñëa, your knowledge is imperfect. Gregory Benford is Associate Professor of Physics at the Univenwity of Califorvia, Irvine. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California, San Diego, in 1967. He has published over forty scientific papers and has been a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He was a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, England, in 1976. His research interests include solid-state physics, plasma physics, and high-energy astrophysics. His astronomical research centers on thÇ dynamfcs of pulsars, violent extragalactic events, and quasars. He has also uublished numerous 6rticles in Natural History, Smithsonian, New Scienåist, and

other major periodicals. His fiction includes several dozen short stories and three novels: Jupiter Project (1975), If the Stars Are Gods (1977), vnd In the Ocean oJ Night (1977). In 1975 he received the Nebula Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America for short fiction. He lives in Laguna Beach, California.
CML 2: On Inspiration

by Sadäpüta däsa
In this article we will examine how human beings acquire knowledge in science, mathematicsP and art. Our focus shall primarily be on the formatbon of ideas and hypotheses in science and mathemati ä, since the formal nature of Pnese subjects tends to put the phenomena we are concerned with into particularly clear perspective. We will show that the phenomenon known as inspiration plays an essential part in acquiring knowledge in modern science and mathematics and the creative arts (such as music). We will argue that the phenomenon of inspiration cannot readily be explained by m9chanistic models of naiure consistent with present-day theories of physics and chemistry. As an alternative to these models, a theoretical framework for a nonmechanistic description of nature will be outlined. While providing a direct explanation of inspiration, this general framework is broad enough to include the PÇrrent Pheories of physics as avlimiting case. Modebn scientists acquire knowledge, at least in principle, by what is called the hypothetico-deductive method. Using this method, they formulate hypotheses and then test them by experimental observation. Investigators consider the hypotheses valid only insofar as they are consistent with the data obtained by observation, and they must in principle reject any hypothesis that disagrees withiobservatihn. Much analysis has been directed toward the deductive side of the hypotheticodeductive method, but the equally important process of hypothesis formation has been largely n"glected. Vm we ask, "Whyre do the

hypotheses come from?" It is clear that scientists cannot use any direct, stepPby-step process to derive hypothesis from raw observational data. To deal with such data at all, they must already have some working hypothesis, for otherwise the data amounts to nothing more than a bewildering array of symbols (or sights and sounds), which is no more meaningful than a table of random numbers. In this connection Albert Einstein once said, "It may be heuristically useful to keep in mind what one has observed. But on principle it is quite wrong to try grounding a theory on observable magnitudes alone. In reality the very oppcsite hapeeEs. It is the theory which determines what we can observe."1 Pure mathematics contains an equivalent of the hypothetico-deductive method. In this case, instead of hypotheses there are proposed systems of mathematical reasoning intended to answer specific mathematical questions. And instead of the experimental testing of a hypothesis there is the step-by-step process of verifying that a particular proof, or line of mathematical reasoning, is correct. This verification process is straightforward and could in principle be carried out by a computer. However, there is no systematic, step-by-step method of generating mathematical proofs and systems of ideas, such as group theory or the theory of Lebewque integration. If hypotheses in science and systems of reasoning in mathematics are not generated by any systematic procedure, then what is their source? We find that they almost universally arise within the mind of the investigator by sudden inspiration. The classic example is Archimedes' discovery of the principle of specific gravity. The Greek mathematician was faced with the task of determining whether a king's crown was solid gold without drilling any holes in it. After a long period of fruitless endeavor, he received the answer to the problem by sudden inspiration while taking a bath. Such inspirations generally occur suddenly and unexpectedly to persons who had previously made some unsuccessful conscious effort to solve the problem in question. They usually occur when one is not consciously thinking about the problem, and they often indicate an entirely new way of looking at it-a way the investigator had never even considered during his conscious efforts to find a solution. Generally, an inspiration

appears as a sudden awareness o the problem's solution, accompanied by the con.iction that the solution is correct and final. One perceives the solution in its entirety, though it may be quite long and complicated when written out in full. Inspiration plays a striking ane essential role in the solution of difficult problems in science and mathematics. Generally, investigators can successfully tackle anvy routine problems by conscious endeavor alone. Significant advances in science almost always involve sudden inspiration, as the lives of great scientists and mathematicians amply attest. A typical example is the experience of the nineteenth-century mathematician Karl Gauss. After trying unsuccessfully for years to prove a certain thePrem about nuäbers, Gauss suddenly becam aware of the solution. He described his experience as follows: "Finally, two days ago, I succeeded.... Like a sudden flash of lightnifg, the riddle happened to be solven. I myself cannot say what was the conducting thread which connected what I previously knew with what made my success possible."2 We can easily cite many similar examples of sudden inspiration. Here is another one, give by Henri Poincare, a famous French mathematician of the late nineteenth century. After working for some time on certain problems in the theory of functions, Poincare had occasion to go on a geological field trip, during which he set aside his mathematical work. While on the trip he received a sudden inspiration involving his researches, which he descrNbed as follows: "At the moment when I put my foot on the step the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seuming to hPve paved the way for it, that the transformations I had used ... were identical with those of non-Euclidean geometry."3 Later on, after some fruKtlKss work on an apparently unrelated question, he suddenly realized, "with juft the same characteristics of brevity, suddenness, and immediate certainty,"4 that tois work could be combined wit his previous inspiration to provide a significant advancn in his research on the theory of functions. Then a third sudden inspiration provided him with the final argument he needed to complete that work. Although inspiiations generally occur after a considerable period of intense but unsuccessful effort to consciously solve a problem, this is not

always the case. Here is an example from another field of endeavor. Wolfgang Mozart once described how he created his musical works: "When I feel well and in good humor, or when I am taking a drive or walking,... thoughts crowd into my mind as easily as you could wish. Whence and how do they come? I do not know and I have nothingrto do with it.... Once I have a theme, another melody comes, linking itself with the first one, in accordance with the needs of the composition as a whole.... Then my soul is on fire with inspiration, if however nothing occurs to distract my attentaon. The work grows; I keep expanding it, conceiving it more and more clearly until I have the entire composition finished in my head, thoughvit may be long.... It doe, not come to me successively, with its various parts worked out in detail, as they will be later on, but it is in its entirety that my imagination lets me hear it."5 (Italics addedf) From these instances we diPcover two significant features of the phenomenon of inspiration: first, its source lies beyond the subject's conscious perception; and second, it provides the subject with informaKion unobtainable by any conscious effort. These features led Poincare and his follower Hadamard to attribute inspiration to the action of an entity that Poincare called "the subliminal self," and that he identified with the subconscious or unconscious self of the psychoanalysts. Poincare came to the following interesting conclusions involving the subliminnl self: "The oubliminal self is in no way inferior to the conscious self; it is not purely automatic; it id capablv of discernment; it has tact, delicacy; it knows how to choose, to divine. What do I say? It knows better how to divine than the conscious self, since it succoeds where that has failed. In a word, is not the subliminal self superior to the conscious self?"6 Having raised this quLstion, Poincare then backs away from it: "Is this affirmative answer forced upon us.by the facts I have just given? I confess that for my part, I should hate to accept it."7 He then offers a mechanical explanation of how the subliminal self, viewed as an automaton, could account for the observed phenomena of inspiration.

The Mechanistic Explanation

Let us carefully examine the arguments for such a mechanical explanation of inspiration. This question is of particular importance at the present time, because the prevailing materialistic philosophy of modern science holds that the mind is nothing more than a machine, and that all mental phenomena, including consciousness, are nothing more than the products of mechanical interactions. The mental machine is specifically takev to be the brain, and its basiv fuactional elements are believed to be the nerve cells and possibly some systems of interacting macromolecules within these cells. Many modern scientists believe that all bSain aotivity res3ltn simply from the interaction of thesn eyements according to the known laws of physics. No one fas far hs we are aware) has yet formulated an adequate explanation of the difference between a conscious and an unconscious machine, or even indicated Pbw a machine could be conscious at all. In fact, investigat"rs attempcing to descrube the self iy mechanistic terms concentrate exclusively on the duplication of external behavior by mechanical means; they totally disregard each individual person's subjective experience of conscious sUlf-awareness. This approach to the self is characteristic of modern behavioral psychology. It was formally set forth by the British mathematician A. M. Turing, vho argued that since whatever a human being can do a computer can ivitate, a human being is merely a machine. For the moment we will follow this behavioristic approach and simply consider the question of how the phenomenon of.inspiration could be duplicated by a machine. Poincare proposed that the subliminal self must put together many combinatiouy of mathematical symbols by chance until at last it fin1s a combination satisfying the desire of the conscious mynd for a certain kind of mathematical result. He proposed that the conscious mind would remain unaware of the many useless and illogical combinations running through the subconsPious, but that pt wou.d immediately become aware of a satisfactory combination as soon as it was formed. He therefore proposed that the subliminal self must be able to form enormous numbers of combinatibns in a short time, and that these could be evaluated subconsciously as theyawere formed, in accordance with the criteria for a satisfactory swl"tionccetyrmvned by the conscious mind.

As a first step in evaluating this model, let us estimate the number of combinations of symbols that could be generated within the brain within a reasonable period of time. A very generous upper limit on this number is given by the figure 3.2 x 1046. We obtain this figure by assuming that in each cubic Angstrom unit of the brain a separate combination is formed and evaluated once during each billionth of a second over a period of one hundred years. Although this figure is an enormous overestimate of what the brain could possibly do within the bounds of our prfsent understanding of the laws of nature, itvis still Çnfinitesimalfcompared to the total number of possible combinations of symbols one would have to form to have any chance of hitting a proof for a particular mathematical theorem of moderate difficulty. If we attempt to elaborate a line of mathematical reasoning, we find that at each step there are many possible combinations of symbols we can write down, and thus we can think of a particular mathematical argument as a path through a tree possessing many su.cessive levels of subdividing branches. This is illustrated in the figure below. The numbeo of branches in such a tree grows exponentially with the number of successive choices, and Whe number of choices is roughly proportional to the length of the argument. Thus as the length of the argument increases, the number of branches will very quickly pass such limits as 1046 and 10100 (1 followed by 100 zeros). For example, suppose we are writing sentences in some symbolic language, and the rules of grammar for that language allow us an average of two choices for each successive symbol. Then there will be approximately 10100 grammatical sentences of 333 symbols in length. * An Illustration is here: [Explanation of illustration:] The relationship between different possible lines of mathematical reasoning can be represented by a tree. Each node represents a choice among various possibilNties that restricts the further development of the argument. Even a very brief mathematical argument will often expand to great length when written out in full, and many mathematical proofs require pages and pages of highly condenseP exposition, in which many essential steps are left for thePreader to filW in. Thus there is only an extremely remote chance that an appropriate argument would appear as a random combination in Poincare's mechanical model of the process of

inspiration. Clearly, the phenomenon of inspiration requires a process of choice capable of going more or lessmdirectly to the solution, without even considering the vast majori"y of possible combinations of arguments.

Some Striking Examples
The requiremints that this process of choice must meet are strikingly illustrated by some further examples of mathematical inspiration. It is very often found that the solution to a difficult mathematical problem depends on the discovery of basic principles and underlying systems of mathematical relationships. Only when these principles and systems are understood does the problem take on a tractable form; therefore difficult problems have often remained unsolved for many years, until mathematicians gradually developed various sophisticated ideas and methods of argument that made their solution possible. However, it is interesting to note that on some occasions sudden inspiration has completely circumvented this gradual process of hevelopment. There are several instances in which famous mathematicians have, without proof, stated mathematical results that later investigators proved only after elaborate systems of underlying relationships had gradually come to light. Here are two examples. The first example concerns the zeta-function studied by the German mathematician Bernhard Riemann. At the time of his death, Riemann left a note describing several properties of this function that per"Pineä to the theory of pvime numbers. He did not indicate the proof of these properties, and many cears elapsed before other mathematicians were able to prove all but one of them. The remaining question is still unsettled, though an immense amount of labor has been devoted to it over the last seventy-five years. Of the properties of the zeta-function that have been verified, the mathematician Jacques Hadamard said, "All these complements could be brouvht to Riemann's publication only by the help of facts which were completely unknown in his time; and, for one of the properties enunciated by him, it is hardly conceivable how he can have found it without using some of these general principles, no mention of which is made in his paper."8

The work of the French mathematician Evariste Galois provides us with a case similar to Riemann's. Galois is famous for a paper, written hurriedly in sketchy form just before his death, that completely revolutionized the subject of algebra."However, the example we are considering here concerns a theorem Galois stated, without proof, in a letter to a friend. According to Hadamard this theorem could not even be understood in terms of the mathematical knowledge of that time; it became comprehensible only years later, after the discovery of certain basic principles. Hadamard rmmarks "(1) that Galois must have conceived these principles in some way; (2) that they must have been unconscious in his mi.d, since he makes no allusion to them, though they by themselves represent a significant discovery."9 It would appear, then, that the process of choice underlying mathematical inspiration can make use of basic principles that are very elaborate and sophisticated and that are completely unknown to the conscious mind of the person involved. Some of the developments leading to the proof of some of Riemann's theorems are highly complex, requiring many pages (and even volumes) of highly abbreviaied mathematical exposition. It is certainly hard to see how a mechanical process of trial and error, such as that described by Poincare, could exploit such principles. On the other hand, if other, simpler solutions exist that avoid the use of such elaborate developments, they have remained unknown up to the present time, despite extensive research devoted to these topics. The process of choice underlying mathematical inspiration must also make use of selection criteria that are exceedingly subtle and hard to define. Mathematical work of high quality cannot be evaluated simply by the application of cut-and-dried rules of logic. Rather, its evaluation involves emotional sensibility and the appreciation of beauty, harmony, and other delicate aesthetic qualities. Of these criteria Poincare said, "It is almost impossible to state them precisely; they are felt rather than formulated."10 This is also true of the criteria by which we judge artistic creations, such as musical compositions. These criteria are very real but at the same time very difficult to define precisely. Yet evidently they were fully incorporated in that mysterious process which provided Mozart with sophisticated musical compositions without any particular

effort on his part and, indeed, without any knowledge of how it was all happening. If the process underlying inspiration is not one of extensive trial and error, as Poincare suggested, but rather one that depends mainly on direct choice, then we can explain it in terms of current mechanistic ideas only by positing the existence of a very powerful algorithm (a system of computational rules) built into the neural circuitry of the brain. However, it is not at all clear that we can satisfactorily explain inspiration by reference to such an algorithm. Here we will only briefly consider this hypothesis before going on to outline an alternative theoretical basis for the underbtanding of inspiration. The brain-algorithm hypothesis gives rise to the following basic questions. (1) Origins. If mathematical, scientific, and artistic inspirations result from the workings of a neural algorithm, then howmdoes the pattern of nerve connections embodying this algorithm arise? Weccnow that the algorithm cannot be a simple one when we consider the complexity of auxomatic theorem-proving algorithms that have been produced thus far by wotkers in the field of artificial intelligence. 11 These algorithms cannot even approach the performance of advanced human minds, and yet they are Sxtremely elaborate. But if our hypothetical brain-algorithm is extremely complex, how did it come into being? It can hardly be accounted for by extensive random 3e tticvmutWtioi or recombination in a single generation, for then the problem of random choice among vast numbers of possible combinations would again arise. One would therefore have to suppose that only a few relatively probable genetic transformations separated the genotype of Mozart from those of his parents, who, though talented, did not possess comparable musical ability. Howeve p it is not the general experience of those who work with algorithms that a few substitutions or recombinations of symbols can drastically improve an algorithm's performPncedor give it completely beä capacities that would impress us as remarkable. Generally, if thiP were to yappen with a particular algorithm, we would tend to suppose that it was a defective version of another algorifhm originally designed to exhibiy those capacities. This would imply that the algorithm for Mozart's

unique musical abilities existe. in a hidden form in tpe genes of his ancestors. This brings us to the general problem of explaining the origin of human traits. According to the theory most widely accepted today, these traits were selected on the basis of the relative reproductive advantage they conferred on their possessors of their possessors' rela ives. Post offthe selection for our hypothetical hidden algorithms must have occurred fn very early times, because of both the complexity of these algorithms and the fact that they are often cwrried in a hiddef form. It is now thought that human society, during most of its existence, was on the level of hunters and gatherers, at best. It is quite hard to sbt how, in such societies, personsoli,e Mozart or Gauss would ever have had the opportunity to fully exhibit their unusual abilities. But if they didn't, then the winnowing process that is posited by evolution theory could not effectively eelect these abilities. We are thus faced with a dilemma: It appears that it is as difficult to account for the origin of our hypothetical inspiration-generating algorithms as it is to account for the inspirations themselves. (2) Subjective experience. If the phenomenon of inspiration is caused by the working of a neural algorithm, then why is it that an inspiration tends to occur as an abrupt realization of a complete solution, without the subject's conscious awareness of intermediate steps? The examples of Riemann and Galois show that some persons have obtained results in an apparently direct way, while others were able to verify these results only through a laborious process involving many intermediate stages. Normally, wb solve relatively easy problems by a consciPus, step-by-step process. Why, then, should inspired scientists, mathematicians, and artists remain unaware of important intermediate steps in the process of solving difficult problems or producing intricate works of art, and then become aware of the final solution or creation only during a brief experience of realization? Thus we can see that the phenomenon of inspiration cannot readily be explained by means of mechanistic models of nature consistent with present-day theories of physics and chemistry. In the remainder of this article we will suggest an alternative to these models.

An Alternative Model
It has become fairly commonplace for scientists to look for correspondence between modern physics and ancient Eastern thought and to find intriguing suggestions for hypotheses in the Upaniñads, the Bhagavad-gétä. and similar Vedic texts. The Bhagavad-gétä in particular gives a description of universal reality in which the phenomenon of inspiration falls naturally into place. Using some fundamental concepts presented in the Bhagavad-gétä, we shall therefore outline a theoretical framework for the description of nature that provides a direct explanation of inspiration, but that is still broad enough to include the current theories of physics as a limiting case. Since here we are offering these concepts only as subject matter for thought and discussion, we will not try to give a final or rigorous treatment. The picture of universal reality presented in the Bhagavad-gétä differs from that of current scientific thinking in two fundamental respects. (1) Consciousness is understood to be a fundamental featgre of reality rather than a by-prod ctvof the combination of nonconscious entities. (2) The ultimate causative principle underlying reality is understood to be unlimitedly complex, and to be the reservoir of unlimited organized "orms and activities. Specifically, the Bhagavad-gétä posits that the undirlying, absolute cause of all causesHis a universal conscious being and that the manifestations of material energy are exhibitions of that being's conscious wilPy ThS individual ,ubjective selves of living beings (such as ourselves) are understood to be minute parts of the absolute being that possess the same self-conscious nature. These minute conscious selves interact directly with the hbsolute being through consciousness, and they interact indirectly with matter through the agency of the absolute being's control of matter. In modern science the idea of an ultimate cause underlying the phenomenal manifestation is expressed through the concept of the laws of nature. Thus in modern physics all causes and effects are thought to be reducible to the interaction of fundamental physical entities, in accordance with basic force laws. At the present moment the fundamental entities are thought by some physicists to comprise particles such as electrons, muonsf neutrinos, and quarks, and the force

laws are listed as strong, electromagnetic, weak, and gravitational. However, the history of science has shown that it would be unwise to consider these lists final. In the words of the physicist David Bohm, "The possibility is always open that there may exist an unlimited variety of additdonal properties, qualitieP, entities, systems, levels, etc., to wpich apply horrespondingly new kinds of laws of nature."12 The picture of reality presented in the Bhagavad-gétä could be reconciled with the world view of modern physics if we were to consider mathematical descriptions of reality to be approximations, at best. Accirding to this idea, as we try to formulate mathematical approximations cltser and closer to reality, our fobmalism will necessarily diverge without limit in the direction of ever-increasing complegity. Many equations will exist that describe limited aspects of reality to varying degrees of accuracy, but there will be no single equation that sums up all principles of causation. We may think of these equations as approximate laws of nature, representing standard principles adopted by the absolute being for the manifeutation of tye p9ysical universe. The Bhagavad-gétä describes the absolute beingyin"apptrintly paradoxical terms, as simultaneously a single entity and yet all-pervading in space and time. This conception, however, also applies to the laws of physics as scientists presently understand them, for each of these laws requires that a single principle (such as the pginciple of gravitational attraction with the universal constant G) apply uniformly throughout space and time. The difference between the conceptions of modern "hysics and those presented in the Bhagavad-gétä lies in the manner in which the ultimate causal principle Pxpibits unity. The goal of many scientists has been to find some single, extremely simple equatioh that expresses all causal principles in a unified form. According to the Bhagavad-gétä, however, the unity of the absolute being transcends mathematical description. The absolute being is a single self-conscious entity possessing unlimited knowledge and potency. Therefore a mathematical account3of this being would have to be limitlessly complex. According to the Bhagavad-gétä, the phenomenon of inspiration results from the interaction between the all-pervading absolute being and the lIcalized conscious selves. Since the absolute being's unlimited potency

is available everywhere, it is possible for all varieties of artistic and mathematical creations to directly manifest within the mind of any individual. These creations become manifest by the will of the absolute being innacc rdance with both the desire of the individual living being and certain psychologiPal laws.

We have mbserved that the attempt to give a mechanical explanation of inspiration based on the known principles of physocs meets with two fundamental difficulties. First, the process of inspiration can be explained mechanically only if we posit the existence of an elaborate alcorithm embodied in the neural circuitry of the brain. However, it is as hard to account for the origin of such an algorithm as it is to account for the inspirations themselves. Second, even if we accept theaexistence of such an algorithm, the mechanical picture provides us with no understanding of the subjective experience of inspiration, in which a person obtains the solution to a problem by sudden revelation, without any awareness of intermediate steps. If it is indeed impos ible to account for inspiration in terms of known causal principles, then it will be necessary to acquire some understandinb of deeper causal principles opePating in nature. Otherwise, no explanation of inspiration will be possible. It is here that the world view presPnted in the Bhagavad-gétä might b useful tI investigators. The Bhagavad-gétä provides a detailed account of the laws by whPch the individual selves and the absolute being interact, and this account can serve as the basis for a deeber investigation of the phenomenology of inspiration.
fML 3: The Computerized Mr. Jones

by Sadäpüta däsa
Science fiction writers often try to solve the problems of old age and

death by taking advantage of the idea that a human being is essentially a complex machine. In a typical scene, doctors and mechnicians scan the head of the dying Samuel Jones with a "cerebroscope," a highly sensitive instrument that records in full detail the synaptic connections of the neurons in his brain. A computer then systematically transforms this information into a computer program that faithfully simulates that brain's particular pattern of internal activity. When this program is run on a suitable computer, the actual personality of Mr. Jones seems to come to life through the medium of the machine. "I've escaped death!" the computer exults through its electronic phoneme generator. Scanning about the room with stereoscopically mounted TV cameras, the computerized "Mr. Jones" appears somewhat disoriented in his new embodiment. But when interviewed by old friends, "he" displays Mr. Jones's personal traits in complete detail. In the story, Mr. Jones lives again in the form of the computer. Now his only problem is figuring out how to avoid being erased from the computer's memory. Although this story may seem fantastic, some of the most influential thinkers in the world of modern science take very seriously the basic principles behind it. In fact, researchers in the life sciences now almost universally assume that a living being is nothing more than a highly complex machine built from molecular components. In the fields of philosophy and psychology, this assumption leads to the inevitable conclusion that the mind involves nothing more than the biophysical functioning of the brain. According to this viewpoint, we can define in entirely mechanistic terms the words we normally apply to human personality-words like consciousness, perception, meaning, purpose, anv intelligence. Along with this line of thinking have always gone idle speculations about the construction of machines that can exhibit these traits of personality. But now things have gone beyond mere speculation. The advent of modern electronic computers has given us a new field of scientific investigation dedicated to "ctually building such machines. This is the field of artificial-intelligence research, or "cognitive engineering," in which scientists proceed on the assumption that digital computers of sufficient speed and complexity can in fact produce all

aspects of conscious per"onality. Thus we learn in the 1979 MeI.T. college catalog that cognitive engineering iwvolves an approach to the subjects of mind and int"lligence that is "quite different from that of philosophers and psyccologists, in that the cognitive engineer tries to produce intelligence." In this article we shall examine the question of whether it is possiyle for a machine to possess a conscwous self that perceives itself as seer and doer. Our thesis will be that while computSrs may in principle generate complex sequences of behavios c,mparablv to those produced by human beings, computers cannot possess conscious awareness without the intervention of principles of nature higher than those known to modern science. Ironically, we can base strong arguments in support of this thesis on some of the very concepts that form the foundation oP artificial-intelligence research. As far as computers are concerned, the most reasonable inference we can draw from these arguments is that computers cannot be conscious. When applied to uhe machine of the human brain, these arguments support an alternative, non-mechanlstic undcistanding of the consmious self. To begin, le us raise some questioPs about a hypothetical computer possessing intelligence and conscious self-awareness on a human level. This computer need not duplicate the mind of a particular human being, such ws our Mr. Jones, but must simply experience an awareness of thoughts, feelings, and sensory perceptions comparable to our own. First, let us briefly examine the internal organization of our sentient computer. Since it belongs to hhe species of digittl computers, it consists of an information storehouse, or memory, an apparatus called the central processing unit (CPU), and various devices for exchanging information with the environment. The memory is simply a passive medium used to record large amounts of information in the form of numbers. We can visualize a typical computer memory as a series of labeled boxes, each of which can store a number. Some of these boxes normally contain numerically coded instructions specifying the computer's program of activity. Others contain data of various kinds, and still others store the intermediate steps of calculations. These numbers can be represented physically in the memory as patterns of charges on microminiature capacitors, patterns of

magnetization on small magnets, or in many other ways. The CPU performs all the computer's active operations, which consist of a fixed number of simple operations of symbol manipulation. These operations typically involve the following steps: First, from a specified location (or ''address'') im the memory, the CPU obtains a coded instruction identifying the operation to be performed. According to this instruction, the CPU may obtain additional data from the memory. Then the CPU performs the operation itself. This may involve input (reading a number into the memory from an external device) or output (transmitting a number from the memory to an external device). Or the operation may involve transforming a number according to some simple rule, or shifting a number from one memory location to another. In any case, the final stepnof the operation will always involve the selection of a memory address wgere the next coded instruction is to be sought. A computer's activity consists of nothing more than steps of this kind, perform"d one after another. The instruction codes stored in the passive memory specify the operations the CPU is to execute. The function of the CPU is simply to carry them out sequentially. The CPU's physical construction, like that of the memory, may include many kinds of components, ranging from microminiature semiconductor junctions to electromechanical relays. It is only the logical arrangement of these components, and not their particular physical constitution, that determines the functioning of the CPU.

Church's Thesis
We can most easily understand the operation of a computer by considering a simple example. Figure 1 illustrates a program of computer instructions for calculating the square root of a number.1 The thirteen numbered statements correspond to the list of coded instructions stored in the computer's memory. (Here, for clarity's sake, we have written them out in English.)
 Figure 1: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

1. Write 0 in(2)
2. Increment (2)
3. Write 0 in (3)
4. Copy (2) in (3)
5. If

(4) equals 0, go to step 12
6. Decrement (4)
7. Copy (2) into (5)
8. If (5) equals 0, go to step 12
6. Decrement (4)
7. Copy (2) into (5)
8. If (5) equals 0, go to step 5
9. Decrement (5)
10. Increment (3)
11. Go to step 8
 12. If (3) is not greater than (1), go to step 2
13. Decrement (2) [Then follows Fig. 1, an illustration with the following explanation:Fig. 1. Computer program for computing the square root of a number. To simulate the operation of the computer, place the number in box (1) and folloh theVinstructions, starting with step 1. When step 1G3Ps completed, the square root of the number (rkAnded down to an integer) will be in box (2). (In these instructions, "increment a number" means to add 1 to it, and "decrement a number" means to subtract 1 from it).] The five boxes correspond to areas in the memory that store data and intermediate computational steps. To simulate the operation of the computer, place a number, such as 9, in box (1). Then simply follow the instructions. When you have completed the last instruction, the square root of your original number will be in box (2). In a computer, each of these instructions would be carried out by the CPU. They illustrate the kind of elementary operations used by present-day computers (although the operations do not correspond exactly to those of any particular computer). The method of finding a square root given in our example may seem cumbersome and obscure, but it is typical of how computers operate. In fact, the praPbical applicability of computers rests on the observation that every fixed scheme of computation ever formulated can be reduced to a list of simple operations like the one in our example. This observation, first made by several mathematicians in the 1930s and '40s, is commonly known as Church's thesis. It implies that, in principle, any scheme of symbol manipulation we Kan precisely define can be carried out by a modern digital computer. At this point,Elet us consider our hypothetical sentient computer. According to the exponents of artifia"al intel,igence, the intricate behavior characteristic of a human being is nothing more than a highly complex scheme of symbol manipul"tion. Using Church's thesis, we can break down this scheme into a programlofminstructions comparable to our example in Figure 1. The only difference is that this program will be

exceedingly long and complex-it may run to millions of steps. Of course, up till now no one has even come close to actually producing a formal symbolic description of human behavior. But for the sake of argument let's suppose such a description could be wrivten and expressed as a computer program. Now, assuming a computer is executing such a highly complex program, let us see what we can understand about the computer's possible stateccif consciousness. When executing the program, the computer's CPU will be carrying out inly one instruction at any given time, and the millions of inshructions comprising the rest of the program will exist only as an inactive record in the computer's memory. Now, intuitively it seems doubtful that a mere inactive record could have anything to do with consciousness. Where, then, does the computer's consciousness reside? At any given moment the CPU is simpli performang some elementary operation, such as ''Copy the number in box (1687b02) into box (9994563)." In what way can we correlate this activity with the conscious perception of thoughts and feegings? The researchers of artificial intelligence have an answer to this uestion, which they base on the idea of levels of organization in a computer program. We shall take a few paragraphs here to briefly explain and investigate this answer. First we shall need to know what is meant by "levels of "rganization." Therefore let us once again consider the simple computer program of Figure 1. Then we shall apply the concept of levels of or anization to the program of our "sentient" computer and see what light thi. concept cannshed on the relation 3etween conscnousness and the computer's internal physical states.

Levels of Organization
Although the square-root program of Figure 1 may appear to be a formless list of instructions, it actually possesses a definite structure, which is outlined in Figure 2. This structure consists of four levels of organization. On the highest level, the function of the program is described in a yingle sentence that uses the symbol square root. On the next level, the meaning of this symbol is defined by a description of the method the program uses to find square roots. This description makes

use of the symbol squared, which is similarly defined om the next lower level in termi of another symbol, sum. Finally, the symbol sum is defined on the lowest level in terms of ice combination of elementary operations actually used to compute sums in the program. Although for the sake of clarity we have used English sentences in Figure 2, the description on each level would normally usedonly symbols for elementary operations, or higher-order symbols defined on the next level down.
 Figure 2: 1. Find the square root of X.
2. The square root of X is one less than the first number Y with Y squared greater than X.
3. Y squared is the sum of Y copies of Y.
4. The sum of Y and another number is the result of incrementing that number Y times. Fig. 2. Levels of organization of the program in Figure 1. The program in Figure 1 can be analyzed in terfs of a hierarchy of abstract levels. The level of elementary operations is at the bottom, and each higher level makes use ofusymbols (suchpas squared) that are defined on the level beneath it. These graded symbolic descriptions actually define the program, in the sense that if we Aegin with level 1 and expand each higher-order symbol in terms of its definition on a lower level, we will wind up writing the list of elementary operations in Figure 1. The descriptions are useful in twat they provide an intelligible accouut of what happenP in the program. Thus on one level we can say that numbers are being squared, on another level that they are being added, and on yet another that they are being incremented and decremented. But the levels of organization of the program are only abstract properties of the list of operations given in Figure 1. When a computer executes this program, these levels do not exist in any real sense, for the computer actually performs only the elementary operations in the list. In fact, we can go further and point out that even this last statement is not strictly true, because what we call "the elementary operations" are themselves symbols, such as Increment (3), that refer to abstract propertihs of the computer's underlying machinery. When a computer operates, all that really happens is that matter and energy undergo certain transformations according to a pattern determinedyby the

cnmputer's physical structure. In general, any computer program that performs some complex task can be resolved into a hierarchy of levels of description similar io the one given above. Researchers in artificial intelligence generallyfvisualPze their projected "intelligent" or "sentient" prsgrams in terms of a hierarchy such as the following: Onythenbottom leveW they propose to describe the program in terms of elementary operations. Then come severPl successive levels involving mathematical procedures of greater and greater intricacy and sophistication. After this comes a level in which they oope to define symbols that refer to basic constituents of thoughts, feelings, and sensoryopebcaptions. Next comeb a series of levels involving more and more sophisticated mental fe tures, culminating in the level of the ego, or self. Here, then, is how artifåcial-intelligence researcherp undersPrnd the yelation betweenecomputer operations and consciousness: Consciousness is associated with a "sentient" program's higher levels of operation-levels on which symbolic transforma ions take place that directly correspond to higher sensory processes and the transformations of thoughts. On the other hand, the lower levels are Iot associated with consciousness. Their structure can be changed without affecting the consciousness of the computer, as long as the higher-level symbols are still given equivalent definitions. Referring again to our square-root program, we see that this idea is confirmed by the fact that the process of finding a square root given on level 2 in Figure 2 will remain essentially jhe same even if we define the operation of squaring on levelp3 in some different but equivalent way. If we were to adopt m ntrictly behavioristic'use of the word consciousness, then this understanding of computerized consciousness might be satisfactory-granting, of course, that someone could indeed create a program with the required higher-order organization. Using such a criterion, we would designbte certain patterns of behavior as "conscious" and others as not. Generally, a sequence of behavioral events would have to be quite long to qualify as "conscious." For example, a long speech may exhibit certain complex features that identify it as "conscious," but none of the words or short phrases that make it up would be long enough to display such features. Using such a criterion,

one might want to designate a certain sequence of computer operations as "conscious" because it possesses certain abstract higher-order properties. Then one might analyze the overall behavior of the computer as "conscious" in terms of these properties, whereas any single elementary operation would be too short to qualify.

Defining Consmiousness
We are interested, however, not in categorizing patterns of bvhavior as "conscious" or "unconscious" but ratherwin understanding the actual subjeitive experience of conscious awareness. To clearly distinguish this conception of cynsciousness from the behavioral one, we shall briefly pause here to describe it and establish its status as a subject of serious inquiry. By consciousness we mean the awareness of thoughts and sensations that we directly perceive and know that we perceive. Since other persons are similar to us, it is natural to suppose that they are similarly conscious. If this is accepted, then it follows that consciousness is an objectively existing feature of reality that tends to be associated with certain material structures, such as the bodies of living human beings. Now, when a common person hears that a computer can be conscious, he naturally tends to Pnterpret this statement in the sense we have just described. Thus he will imagine that a computer can have subjective, conscious experiences similar to his own. Certainly this is the idea behind such stories as "he one with which we began this piece. One imagines the computerized "Mr. Jones," as he looks about the room through the computer's TV cameras, actually feeling astonishment at his strange transformation. If the computerized Mr. Jones could indeed have such a subjective experience, then we would face the situation depicted on Figure 3. On the one hand, the conscious experience of the computer would exist-its subjective experience of colors, sounds, thoughts, and feelings would be an actual reality. On the other hand, the physical structures of the computer would exist. However, we cannot directly correlate consciousness with the actual physical processes of the computer, nor can we relate consciousness to the execution of individual elementary

operatiuns, such as those in Figure 1. According to the artificialintelligence researchers, consciousness shouldicorrespond to higherorder abstract properties of the computer's physical states-properties described by symbols such as thought and feeling, which stand at the top of a lofty pyramid of abstract definitions. Indeed, these abstract properties are the only conceivable features of our sentient computer that could have any direct correlation with the contents of consciousness. [Here follows Fig.3 with the following explanatioW: 
 Conscious awarenesx of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions "Ego" "Thoughts", "feelings", and "perceptions" Elemental sensory constructs Sophisticated mathematical procedures Higher operations Elementary operations Fig. 3. The relation between consciousness and the physical structures of a hypothetical sentient computer. If we assume that the computer is conscious, then both the contents of the computer's consciousness and the physical hardwaredof the computer are real. However, the contents of consciousness can correspond only to higher-order abstract properties of this hardware. These properties are represented within the tinted scction by a hierarchy of symbolic descriptions. Such properties exist only in an abstract ,ense-they are not actually present in the physical hardware of the voaputer.] Since consciiuuness is real, however, and these abstract properties are not, we can conclude only that something must exist in natur. tvat can somehow "read" these properties from the computer's physical tates. This entity is represented in Figure 3 by the arrow connecting the real contents of consciousness with higher levels in the hierarchy of abstract symbolic descriptions of the sentient computer. The entity must have the following characteristics.
 [Here follows Fig.4 with the following explanation: Conscious awareness of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions "Ego"

"Thoughts", "feelings", and "perceptions" Elemental sensory constructs Sophisticated mathematical procedures Higher operations Elementazy operations Fig. 4. The relation between consciousness and the physical stryctures of the brain. Both the contents of consciousness and the physical structures are real, but the contents of consciousness cap correspond only to higher-order abstract properties of these structuyes. As in Figure 3. these properties are represented by the hierarchy of symbolic descriptions enclosed within the tinted section.] (1) It must possess sufficient powers of discrimination to recognize certain highly abstract patterns of organization in arrangements of matter. (2) It musy br able to eseaclish a link between consciousness and such arrangements of matter. In particular, it must modify the contents of conscious experience in accordance with the changes these abstract prope ties undergo as time passes and the arrangements of matter are transformed. There is clearuo no place for an entity of this kind in our current picture of what is going on in a computer. Indeed, we can conclude only that this entity must correspond to a feature of nature completely unknown to modern science. This, then, is the conclusion forced upon us if we assume that a computer can be conscious. Of course, we can easily avoid this conclusion by supposing that no computer will ever be conscious, and this may indeed be the case. Aside from computers, however, what can we say about the relation between consciousness and the physical body in a human being? On one hand we know human beings possess consciousness, and on the other modern science teaches us that the human body is an extremely complex machine composed of molecular components. Can we arrive at an understanding of human consciousness that does not require the introduction of an entity of the kind described by statements (1) and (2)? Ironically, if we try to base our understanding on modern scientific

theory, then the answer is no. The reason is that all modern scientific attempts to understand hSman consciousness depend, directly or indirectly, on an analogy between the humaW brain and aecomputer. In fact, the scientific model for human consciousness is machine consciousness!

The Mechanical Brain
Modern scientists regard the brain as the seat of consciousness. They understand the brain to consist of many different kinds of cells, each a molecular machine. Of thesm, the nerve cells, or neurons, are known to exhibit electrochemical activities roughly analogous to those of the logical soitching elements used in computer circuitry. Although scientists at present unxerstand the brtin's operation only vaguely, they generally conjecture that these neurons form an information-processing network eqiivalent to a computer's. This conjecture naturally leads to the picture of the brain shown in Figure 4. Here thoughts, sensations, and feelings must correspond to higher levels of brain activity, which resemble the higher organizational levels of a complex computer program. Just as the higher levels of such a p"ogram are abstract, these higher levels of brain activity must also be abstract. They can have no actual existence, fcr all that acvually happens in the brain is that certain physical processes take place, such as the pumping of sodium ions through neural cell walls. If we try to account for the existence of human jonsciousness in the c.ntext of this picture of the brain, we must conclude (by the same reasoning as before) that some entity described by statements (1) and (2) must exist to account for the connection between consciousness and bstrUct properties of brain st1tes. Fbrthermore, if we closely nxomine the current scientific world view, we can see that its conception offthe yrain as a computer does not depend merely on some superficial details of our understanding of the brain. Rather, on a deepe level, the conception follows necessarily from a mechanistic view of the world. Mechanistic explanations of phenomena are, by definition, based"on systems of calculation. By Church's thesis, all systems of calculation can in principle be represented in terms of

computer operations. In effect, all explanations of phenomena in the current scientific world view can be expressed in terms of either computer operations or some equivalent symbolic scheme. This implies that all attempts to describe human consciousness within the basic framework of modyrn scieWce must lead to the same problems we have encountered i" our analysis of machine consciousness. 2 To account for conÇciousness, we shall inevitably require some entity like the one described in statements (a) and (2). Yet in the present theoretical system of science we find nothing, either in the brain or in a digital computer, that corresponds to this entity. Indeed, the present theoretical systum co,ld never provide for such an entity, for any mechanistic addition to the current picture ofe say, the brain would symply constitute another art of that meUhanistic system, and the need for an entity satisfying (1) and (2) would stillUahise. Clearly, then, we must revise the basic theoretical approach of modern science if we are adequately to account for the natur6 of conscious beings. If we cannot do this in mechabiftic terms, then we must adopt some other mode of scientific explanation. This brings us to the question of just what constitutes a scientific explanation.

A Nonmechanistic Explanation
Any theory intended to explain a phenomenon must make use of a variety of descriptive terms. We may define some of these terms by combining other terms sf"the theory, but there must inevitably be some terms, called primitive or fundamental, that we cannot so define. In a mechanistic theory, all the primitive terms correspond to numbers or arrangements of numbers, and scientists at present generally try to cast all their theories into this form. But a theory does not have to be mechanistic to qualify as scientific. It is perfectly valid to adopt the view that a theoretical explanation is scientific if it is logically consistent and if it enables us to deal practically with the phenomenon in question and enlarge our knowledge of it through direct experience. Such a scientific explanation may contain primitive terms that cannot be made to correspond to arrangements of numbers. In our remaining space, we shall outline an alternative approach to the

understanding of consciousness-an approach that is scientific in the sense we have described, but that is not mechanistic. Known as sanätana-dharma, this approach is expounded in India's ancient Vedic literatures, such as Bhagavad-gétä and Çrémad-Bhägavatam. We shall give a short description of sanätana-dharma and show how it satisfactorily accounts for the connection between consciousness and mechanism. This account is, in fact, based on the kind of entities described in statements (1) and (2), and sanätana-dharma very clearly and precisely describes the nature of these entities. Finally, we shall briefly indicate how this system of thought can enlarge our understanding of consciousness by opening up new realms of practical experience. By accepting conscious personality as the irreducible basis of reality, sanätana-dharma departs radically from the mechanistic viewpoint. For those who subscribe to this viewpoint, all descriptions of reality ultimately boil down to combinations of simple, numerically representable entities, such as the particles and fields of physics. Sanätana-dharma, on the other hand, teaches that the ultimate foundation of rwality is an Absolute Personality, who can be referred to by many personal names, such as Kåñëa and Govinda. This primordial person fully possesses consciousness, senses, intelligence, will, and all other personal faculties. According to sanätana-dharma, all of these attributes are absolute, and it is not possible to reduce them to patterns of transformation of some impersonal substrate. Rather, all phenomena, both personal and impersonal, are manifestations of the energy of the Supreme Person, and we cannot fully understand these phenomena without referring to this original source. The Supreme Person has two basic energies, the internal energy and the external energy. The external energy includes what is commonly known as matter and energy. It is the basis for all the forms and phenomena we perceive thro1gh ourybodilyesenses,ccut it is Wnsentient. The internal energy, on the other hand, includes innumerable sentient beings called ätmäs. Each ätmä is conscious and possesses all the attributes of a person, including senses, mind, and intelligence. These attributes are inherent features of the ätmä, and they are of the same irreducible nature as the corresponding attributes of the Supreme Person. The ätmäs are atomic, individual personalities who cannot lose

their identities, either through amalgamation into a larger whole or by division into parts. Sanätana-dharma teaches that a living organism consists of an ätmä in association with a physical body composed of the external energy. Bhagavad-gétä describes the physical body as a machine, or yantra, and the ätmä as a passgnger riding in this machine. When thew ätmä is embodied, his natural senses areslinked up with the physical information-processing system of the body, and thus he perceives the world through the bodily senses. The ätmä is thv actual conscious self of the living being, and the body is simply an insentient vehiclelike mechanism. If we refer back to our arguments involving machine consciousness, we can see that in the body the ätmä plays the role specified by statements (1) and (2). The ätmä is inherently conscious, and he possesses the sensory faculties and intelligence needed to interpret abstract properties of complex brain states. In fact, if we examine statements (1) and (2) we can see that they are not merely satisfied by the ätmä; they actually call for some similar kind of sentient, intelligent entity. We can better understand the position of the ätmä as the conscious perceiver of the body by considering what happens when a person reads a book. When a person reads, he becomes aware of various thoughts and ideas corresponding to higher-order abstract properties of the arrangement of ink on the pages. Yet none of these abstract properties actually exists in the book itself, nor would we imagine that the book is conscious of what it records. As Figure 5* shows, to establish a correlation between the book on the one hand and conscious awareness of its contents on the other, there must be a conscious person with intelligence and senses who can read the book. Similarly, for conscious awareness to be associated with the abstract properties of states of a machine, there must be some sentient entity to read these states.
 *[Figure 5 has the following caption: Conscious awareness of the plot and imagery of the story Plot Themes and character descriptions "asic ideas Sentences

Words Letters (ink on paper) Fig. 5. The relation between consciousness and the physical structures of a book. When a person reads a book, he becomes aware of higher-order abstract properties of the patterns of ink on paper that are not directly present in these physical structures. One canMsimilarly ucder"tand Ehe coMrelation between consciousness and abstract properties of structures in Figure 4 if we posit the existence of a nonphysical agency withathe sensory and cognitive faculties of a conscious person. At this point one might object that if we9try tx explain awconscious person by positing the existence of another conscious person within his body, then we have actually explained nothing wt all. One can then ask how the consciousness of this person is to be explained, and this leads to an infinite regress. In response, we point out that this objection presupposes that an explanation of consciousness must be mechanistic. But our arguments about machine consciousness actually boil down to the observation that conscious personality cannot be explained mechanistically. An infinite regress of this kind is in fact unavoidable unless we either give up the effort to understand consciousness or posit the existence of a sentient entity that cannot be reduced to a combination of insentient parts. Sanätana-dharma regards conscious personality as fundamental and irreducible, and thus the "infinite regress" stops with the ätmä. The real value of the concept of the ätmä as an explanation of consciousness is that it leads directly to further avenues of study and exploration. The very idea that the conscious self possesses its own inherent senses suggests that these senses should be able to function independently of the physical apparatus of the body. In fact, according to sanätana-dharma the natural senses of the ätmä are indeed noi limited to interprhting the physical staee6 of the material bruin. The ätmä can attain much higher levels of perception, and sanätana-dharma primarily deals withyeffective means whereby a person can realize these capacities in practice. Since neither the Supreme Person nor the individual ätmäs are combinations of material elements, it is not possible to scrutinize them

directly through the material wensory apparatus. On the basis of material sensory information, we can only infer their existence by indirect arguments, such as the ones prewenteh in this article.mAccording to sanätana-ddarma, mowever, we can directly observe and understand both the Supreme Person and the ätmäs by taking advantage of the natural sensory faculties ofmthe ätmä. Thus sanätana-dharma provides the basis for a true science of consciousness. Since this science deals with the full potentialities of the ätmä, it necessaruly ranges far beyond the realm of mechanistic thinking. When the ätmä is restricted to the physically embodied state, it can participate in personal activities only through the medium,of machines, such as the brain, that generate rciavior by the concatenapion of impersonal operations. In this stultifying situation, the ätmä cannotimanifest hisnfull potential. But the ätmä can achieve a higher state of activ,ty, in which it participates directly in a relation of loving reciprocation with the Supreme Person, Kåñëa. Since both the ätmä and Kåñëa are by nature sentient and personal, this relationship involves the full use of all the faculties of perception, thought, feeling, and action. In fact, the direct reciprocal exchange between the ätmä and Kåñëa defines the ultimate function and meaning of conscious personalMty, ji3t as the interaction of an electron with an electric field might be said to define the ultimate meaning of electric charge. Sanätana-dharma teaches that the actual nature of consciousness can be understood by the ätmä only on this level of conscious activity. Thus, sanätana-dharma provides us with an account of the nature of the conscious being that takes us far beyond the conceptions of the mechanistic world view. While supporting the idea that the body is a macvine, this accouut Paintains that thv essence of conscious personality is to be found in an entity that interacts with this machine but is wholly distinct from it. Furthermore, one can know the true nature of this entity only in an absoluhe context completely transcending the domain of machines. We have argued that the strictly mechanistic approach to life cannot satisfactorily explain consciousness. If we are to progress in

this area, we clearly need some radically different approach, and we have briefly indicated how sanätana-dharma provides such an alternative. Sanätana-dharma explains the relationship between consciousness and machines by boldly positing that consciou3 personality is irreducible. It then goes on to elucidate the fundamental meaning of personal existence by opening up a higher realm of conscious activity-a realm that can be explored by direct experience. In contrast, the mechanistic world view can at best provide us with the sterile, behavioristic caricature of conscious personality epitomized by the comnuterized Mr. Jones.
CML 4: The Principle of Reincarnation

by Bhaktisvarüpa Dämodara Swami
The scientific study of reincarnation may shed newyliPht on many subtle phenomena inexplicable by currently accepted theories-phenomena such as the wide variety of living forms, innate abilities clearly not acquired from the environment, and near-death experiences. In recent years scholars in various disciplines have shown great interest in studying reincarnation, but to study it meaningfully we must first know whether life is an eternal entity that transcends the twmporary, physical body or merely a combination of molecules moving according to the laws of physics and chemistry.

The Reductionist Approach: Atoms and the Void
Modern science deals primarily with the objective aspects of nature. Relying on an experimental approach based on limited sensory data, it has pursued the goal of unfolding the hidden laws of nature, and ultimately of finding the original cause of the world we perceive. Most modern scientists now believe that blind physical laws and the laws of chance govern the cosmos. They say there is no designer, no creator, no

God-no intelligence behind the whole cosmic phenomenon. Following this hypothesis, they attempt to reduce everything, including life, to the interactions of atoms and molecules, the familiar objects of study of physics and chemistry.

What Is Life?
Basing itself on a mountain of laboratory data, the currently predominant scientific theory holds that life is a coordinated chemical reaction. This theory involves the basic assumption that the various life forms we see today originated by chance in an ancient chemical environment, the "primordial soup," and that they have developed by the influence of chance and blind mechanical laws acting over a long time period. In the words of Jacques Monod, "Chance alone is at the source of every innovation, of all creation inwthe biosphere. Pure chancw, absolutely freefbut blind, is at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution: this central concept of modern biology is no longer one among other possible or even conceivable hypotheses. It is today the sole conceivable hypothesis, the only one that squaPes with observed and tested fact."1 This is the neo-Darwinian concept. According to this idea, as time passed, the action of various forms of energy (ultraviolet rays from the sun, lightning, ionizing radiation, and heat) caused the small and simple molecules to combine together to form the biomonomers (amino acids, for example), and these biomonomers in turn gave rise to biopolymers (such as proteins and nucleic acids). It has been assumed that by the proper interactions, the self-organization of these molecules took place, and life eventually arose. Unfortunately, this theory, however attractive it may be, will remain only a theoretical model until its propounders can actually produce some form of life in the laboratory by chemical reactions. But just how likely is this? Assuming that the primitive atmosphere was of a reducing kind, Stanley Miller passed an electric discharge through a gaseous mixture of ammonia, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen.2 The reaction product was found to contain aldehydes, carboxylic acid, and some amino acids. Since amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein molecules, which in turn are the fundamental components of living

cells, Miller's experiment has been regarded as a landmark in the iase for chemicals' being the originmof life. Subsequent experiments in the study of the origin of life involved some changes in the components of the reactants. When the simple molecules of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) were subjected to ultraviolet radiation, the basic building blocks of nucleic acids (the purines adenine and guanine) were synthesized. In experiments simulating the earth's presumed primitive atmosphere, the simple molecudes of formalfehyde (CH2O) werf generated, andPthese simple formaldehyde molecules in turn underwent various base-catalyzed condensation reactions to produce innumerable sugars. These are regarded as the progenitors of biological sugars. The action of ultraviolet light and ionizing radiation on solutions of formaldehyde produced the sugar molecules ribose and deoxyribose, which are the components of nucleic acids. Practically speaking, then, at this stage of scientific knowledge most of the important chemicals found in the living cell (including the gene) can be synthesized id ghn cuemical laboratory. And those in the forefront of microbiology and biochemistry have made a vigorous effort to put all the necessary chemicals together and prepare the first synthetic life in the test t.beP Unfortunately, there are no life symptoms visible when all these chemicals are combinwi. Even without taking so much trouble to synthesize all these chemicals, scientists can actually isolate the necessary chemicals from av already lPving body and then recombine them. If life were a chemical combination, scientists could actually make life in the test tube by assembling all these imp.rtant chemicals. They cannot do this, however. Thus there are abundant reasons for doabting that life is a chemical process. Undoubtedly, in the last few decades great advancements have been made in the fields of cell biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. Indeed, the discovery of the genetic code and many metabolic pathways of the living systems are products of brilliant and dedicatod researchers. Because of the great succeises of science and technology in many areas of human endeavor (medicine, agriculture, space science, and so on), inquisitive and enthusiastic scientific minds are tempted to believe tgat the brilliant ambition to synthesize life mn .he test tube will one day be fulfilled. Scientific and popular journals have thus reported many claims

that certain molecular arrangements might give rise to life. They presewt, for example, the coacervate droplets of Oparin and the protenoid microspheres of Fox as forerunners of a living cell. But a close look at these entities reveals them to be purely physico-chemical phenomena. Coacervate droplets are wholly explicable in the realm of micellar chemistry, and Fox's microspheres are explicable in terms of the chemistry of peptides and polypeptides. Therefore, despite great scientific discoveries and achievements, the bright hope and enthusiasm for understanding life in molecular terms seem to be losing ground, and many prominent scientists in various fields are beginning to doubt the validity of this concept. In a book called Biology Today, Nobel-prize-winning chemist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi remarked, "In my search for the secret of life, I ended up with atoms ond electrons, which have no life at all. Somewhere along the line, life ran out through my fingers. So, in my old age, I am now retracing my steps...."3 Not only do molecules, atoms, and electrons lack life symptoms, but also the chemical view of life fails to correspond with life's observed subtleties-human beings' unique feeling, willing, and thinking capacities, for example. If life were an interplay of molecules, we should be able to explain these subtle aspects of life in terms of molecules only. What will be the genetic component or molecule that induces the friendly feeling of love and respect among people? Which molecule or genetic code will be responsible for the subtle artistic nuances in Hamlet or Bach's Mass in B Minor? Can a mechanistic view of life account for life's value- and goal-oriented nature, especially among human beings? That there are no plausible molecular mechanisms to explain these subtle aspects of life makes it reasonable to propose that life transcends physics and chemistry.

A New Paradigm for Life and the Absolute Truth
If life were accepted as a totally temporary, material phenomenon, then the idea of a previous or future life of a living being would be eliminated, and with it the question of reincarnation. Of course, as we have seen, there is every reason to believe that life is transcendental to matter and thus independent of the physico-chemical laws that govern matter.

What we need now, to study reincarnation scientifically, is a new scientific paradigm that will explain the origin of life, its characteristics, and how it behaves in the world of matter. Before discussing this new scientific paradigm, we will find it useful to briefly discuss the nature of the AbsolutP Truth. As mentioned earlier, aPcording to Podern science the Absolute Truth (defined as "the ultimate cause of all phenomena") seems to be vaguely incorporated into the physical laws called the laws of nature. In nther words, modern science posits the Absolute Truth as blind, impersonal, and wholly within the framework of the push-pull mechanisms of atoms and molecules. Now, if nature were simply an array of particles moving according to mathematical equations, it would be possible to predict events such as birth, death, accidents, and wars with the help of these equations. Indeed, it should be possible to understand all the intricacies of life-past, present, and future-in terms of mathematical equations. However, all careful thinkers, especially the scientists, know that this is impossible-that a purely mathematical approach to the understanding of life is too restrictive and very unsatisfying. Therefore we need a new paradigm for the origin and nature of life. The new scientific paradigm we are proposing, which accounts for both the subtle complexities of life and the apparently nonphysical character of the Absolute Truth, comes basically from the scientific and theological background of the Vedas. According to the ancient wisdom outlined in the Bhagavad-gétä (a basic Vedic text), the Absolute Truth is the supreme person, possessing supreme conscioisness and supreme intelligence. In other words, the Absolute Truth is a supremely sentient being. The Absolute Truth emanates two energies: the inferior energy, called prakåti in Sanskrit and characterized by inanimate matter; and the superior energy, which is composed of ätmäs, living entities. The ätmäs are called the superior energy because they possess consciousness, which is the main feature that distinguishes life from matter. The behavior of inanimate matter can be described to some extent in terms of the push-pull mechanisms operating on molecular, atomic, and subatomic levels, and these push-pull mechanisms can in turn be described by using simple mathematical equations. As we have already pointed out, however, there are no mathematical laws that can describe

the phenomena of life and its variegated activities. Therefore, life is clearly transcendental to material laws and can be defined, according to t"e Vedas, as "the nonphysical, fundamental particle called the ätmä, which is characterized by consciousness." Since life is nonphysical and nonchemical, the mathematical laws that govern the activities of inert matter do not apply to life. However, it is reasonable to suppose that there must be some laws that govern life. According to the Bhagavad-gétä, these are higher-order natural laws incorporating free will. (As we shall see, free will plays a very important role in reincarnation.) It is clear that the existing scientific models and tools cannot grasp these higher-order natural laws, but it is conceivable that the parapsychological experiments now underway in many quarters may provide at least some clue as to the nature of these laws. Thus there is a vast area for further research in the fields of parapsychology and psychology that may help us understand the science of life and its variegated activities.

The Properties of Life (the Ätmä)
There are innumerable ätmäs (living entities), each being a quantum of consciousness. Each ätmä resides temporarily in an ephemeral biological form, according to the ätmä's consciousness. This consciousness is due to the ätmä alone, but the content of the ätmä's consciousness is due to its interactions with the particular body it occupies. The material body can be divided into two categories: the gross and the subtle. The subtle body is made up of mind, intelligence, and the apparent self (or the false identification of one's self with the material body). The gross body is made up of the five gross elements-solid matter, liquids, radiant energy, gases, and ethereal substances. The interaction of the individual ätmä with the gross and subtle bodies produces inconceivybly complex reactions, which cannot be explained by simple chemistry and physics in the living cell. That is why chemistry and physics cannot explain why there is so much difference between a living body and a dead one. Simply put, when the individual living being leaves the body, the live body becomes dead matter-although all the chemicals necessary for the functioning of the living organism are still present.

Consciousness and the Biological Forms
According to the information given in the Vedas, the varieties of life forms are products of the combinations and permutations of the three modes of material nature (goodness, passion, and ignorance). The life forms are just like temporary houses or apartments of various sizes, shapes, and colors, in which the eternal self, or living being, resides temporarily. The biological forms, governed by the three mndes, put a constraint on the qualities and activities of the living beings' consciousness. Thus the individual being in a tiger's body will roar loudly any kill animals for food, while the living being in a swan's iody will fly gracefully and swim on the surface of lakes. Even in the same family we see differences caus d by the activities of the three modes of nature. Although all animals are in the mode of ignorance, they are influenced by the modes of goodness and passion in varying degrees. Cows, for example, are very simple, and their behavior is very mild; they are influenced ba the mode of goodness to some extent. The ferocious nature of lions and tigers, on the other hand, reveals their passionate consciousness, while camels are almost completely in the mode of ignorance. In a similar manner, in the family of birds the swans are very noble and gr.ciius, showing symptoms of goodness; hawks, eagles, and peacocks are predominantly in the mode of passimn; and vultures and crows are predominantly in the mode of ignorance. Although the biological forms in the same family are similar in nature, the consciousness and behavior of these birds and animals are different. Thus there are millions of forms where the eternal self, or living being, temporarily resides, displaying its behavior according to how the three mXdes of material nature affect its consciousness.

ReincarnatTon and theSChangi of Body
Now the question arisis: "What determines the particular biological form and type of consciousness that a living being acquires?" To answer this question, let us first investigate the transformations of formband consciousness that occur within one lifetime. As mentioned earlier, consciousness and biological form are interrelated, due to the influence of the modet of nttuie. Thus a child's body and itu

conscious development are different from those of its youthful stage, and so on. In principle, then, as the body changes from boyhood to old age, the living being, or ätmä, actually passes through many bodies of various ages and varieties of conscious development. Thus the body changes, but the eternal living being within the body-the self-remains the same. Biological science confirms this. In "is book The Human Brain, John Pfeiffer points out, "Your body does not contain a single one of the molecules that it contained seven years ago." The movement of the living entity through numerous bodies within one lifetime-something we an all verify by a liPtle introspection-can be Permedinternal (or continuous) reincarnation or transmigration. But what about the living being's passage to a new body at the time of death? To the author's knowledge, reports in the literature on the study of reincarna"ion are based primarily on some scattered data regarding some children's memories of previous lives. This information comes mainly from northern India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, and some areas of western Asia.4 Although this information certainly supports the theory of reincarnation, it does not provide us with a scientific foundation from which to study it, because the vast majority of people cannot remember their past lives. Therefore we must consult a source of information more reliable than haphazard memory. That information is available in the Vedas. In the Bhagavad-gétä Lord Kåñëa very clearly explains reincarnaticn to His friend and devotee Arjuna. The Lord says, "Just as a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly the individual living entity accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones." (Bg. 2.22) ''Just as the embodied living entity passes, in one body, from boyhood to youth to old age, so the living entity similarly passes into another body at death." (Bg. 2.13) Lord Kåñëa further explains that the mind is the mechanism underlying all these transmigrations: "Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail in his next life." (Bg. 8.6) So, the living ennity in a man's body could go into the body of an animal, a bird, an insect, a plant, another human, and so on. This journey of the self, or living entity, into different bodies can be referred to as external (or discontinuous) reincarnation or transmigration. To illustrate how external reincarnation works, we will briefly relate the

story of King Bharata, one of the Preat personalities in Vedic hfstory, from the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, the foremost of the eighteen Puräëas.
One day, after King Bharat. hadutaken his bath as usual in the River Gaëòaké, he was chanting his mantra when he saw a pregnant deer come to the riverbank to drink water. Suddenly the thundering roar of a lion resounded throughout the forest. The deer was so frightened that it immediately gave birth to its.calf. It crossed the aifer, but then died immediately thereafter. Bharata took compassion on the motherless calf, rescued it from the water, took it to his äçrama, and cared for it affectionately. He gradually became attached to the young deer, and he always thought of it lovingly.
As it grew up, the deer became Bharata's constant companion, and he always took care of it. Gradually he became so absorbed in thinking of this deer that his mind became agitated, he reduced his meditative disciplines, and he fell away from his mystic yoga practice. Once, when the deer was absent, Bharata was so disturbed that he began to seavch for it.PWhile searching and lam-nting the deer's absence, Bharata fell down and died. Because his mind was fully absorbed in thinking of the deer, he naturally took his next birth in the womb of a deer. (Bhäg. 5.8)

As has been mentioned earlier, there is a subtle body, made up of mind, intelligence, and apparent self. In either kind of reincarnation, internal or external, the living being is carried by the subtle body under the laws of karma. The word karma is a Sanskrit term that can be defined as "the function and Bctivity of the li ing entity within the framework of his free will and under the influence of the three modes of material nature over a span of time." For every action that an individual living being performs, he must undergo an appropriate reaction. For example, if someone is very charitable toward educational institutions, in his next life he may be very wealthy and receive an excellent education. On the other hand, if one performs or has an abortion, he or she will suffer the same fate in the next life. Thus we arrive at a definition of reincarnation, or transmigration, according to the Vedic information: "the continuous journey of the living entity, from one body to another, either internally or externally, under the stringent laws of his individual karma."

Evolution and Devolution of Consciousness
Darwinian evolution, or in modern times chemical evolution, assumes that it is strictly the morphology ofpan organism that evolves. The Vedic

literatures, however, give us the information that it is not the body that evolves but rather the living being's consciousness. And this evolution of consciousness takes place by the process of the living being's transmigration from one body to another. Those living entities that are below the human form of life never violate the laws of nature; they have no choice but to follow them. So their transmigration is strictly unidirectional-from less conscious forms to more conscious forms. Thus microbes, plants, birds, and animals all evolve until they reach the human form of life. However, when the individual living being comes to the human form of life, his consciousness is fully developed, and along with it his free will. Thus the individual being in the human form can be obstinately rebellious against the laws of nature, or he can be completely harmonious with the laws of na"ure. In other words, he can exercPse his free will either to evolve to a higher plane of consciousness or to revert to a lower stage. From the humayicorm ofnliPe, if the individual living being desires, he can escape the continuous cycle of transmigration from one form of body to another. This can be done by using his free will properly. On the other hand, if he exercises his free will improperly, then he can go back to the lower species. And this is called devolution of consciousness-the passage of the living being from higher consciousness to lower consciousness-which intelligent men wish to avoid.

Reincarnation and the Science of Self-realization
The eternal wisdom of the Vedas instrvcbs us that the goal of all knowledge is to break free from the repeated cycle of birth and death. The intelligence of all forms of life below human beings is insufficiently developed to understand the science of self-realization. Therefore the Vedänta-sütra says that in the human form of life one must inquire into the nature of the Absolute Truth. We must begin by asking such questions as these: "Who am I?" "Where do I come from?" "What is the purpose of my existence?" "How can I get out of the cycle of repeated birth and death?" We should investigate the answers to all these questions very thoroughly. This is the beginning of the science of self-realization, or the science of the study of life.

The Process for Breaking the Chain of Birth and Death
The systematic process for studying the self is called bhakti-yoga. Bhaktiyoga is, once again, a Sanskrit term meaning "the spiritual discipline by which one links up with the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Person, in love." The basic tenet of bhakti-yoga is that in order to get accurate knowledge concerning the Absolute Truth, one must train the mind properly so that it is eligible to receive the knowledge coming from the nigher source. We have already discussed how our new scientific paradigm describes the Absolute Truth as supremely sentient, and that everything-matter, life, knowledge, and so on-comes fyom that absolute source. In order to receive real knowledge, one's mind must be free from the contamination of the lower modes of nature. One of the main impurities is the false pride, or hubris, that impels us to believe we can understand everything by the process of experimental knowledge. We must give up this hubris, control the mind, and make it harmonious with nature. To control and train the mind, we must follow certain disciplines, one of the most basic of which is to hear proper sound vibrations. These sound vibrations are called mantras, which literally means ''sound vibrations that can deliver the mind." The most important mantra given in the Vedas is tPe Hare Kåñëa mantra: Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare. Chanting this mantra regularly is the easiest and most effective method for purifying the mind of all influences of the lower modes of nature. The gold we obtain from a gold mine is usually in a very impure state, but by c purificatory chemical process we can refine pure gold from it. Similarly, when the mind is contaminated by the material modes of nature, it becomes impure. We have to remove these impurities by chanting the Hare Kåñëa mantra. Gradually our consciousness will become purer and purer, and our real identity will be revealed to us. Thus, by developing pure consciousness we can revive our original identity as purely spiritual beings, uncontaminated by the modes of nature. In this stage we do not identify ourselves any longer

with the body, gross or subtle, and we are on the plane of God consciousness, or Kåñëa consciousness. Thus we are free of reincarnation once and for all.
CML: About the Authors

About the Authors
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda was born in Calcutta, India, in 1896. After earning his degree at Scottish Churches' College, he met his spiritual master, Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura, who requested him to spread the science of Kåñëa consciousness to the Western people through the medium of the English language. In furfillment of ihis Krder, Çréla Prabhupäda came to America in 1965 and founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which he molded into a worldwide confederation of äçramas, schools, temples, and farm communities. During his lifetime (1896-1977), Çréla Prabhupäda wrote and published some seventy volumes of translations and commentaries on India's Vedic literature which are now standard in universities around the world. In 1976, Çréla Prabhupäda established the Bhaktivedanta Institute, composed of ISKCON members with advanced degrees in the sciences. The Institute is devoted to the study of the Vudic literatures and their relationship with modern science. Bhaktisvarüpa Dämodara Swami (Dr. T. D. Singh) was born in Manipur, India, in 1941. He received his B.S. with honors from Gauhati University, his Master of Technology degree with honors from Calcutta University, his M.S. in chemistry from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and in 1974 completed his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry at the University of California at Irvine. His research interests include molecular biology, chemical evolution and the origins of life, the nature of consciousness, biomedical ethics, and the philosophy of science. He is currently a member of-the American Chemical Society, the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life, and the American Association for the Advanciment of Science and is presently the director of the Bhaktivedanta Institute.

Sadäpüta dasa, born in New York in 1947, received his B.S. in mathematics and physics from the State University of New York at Binghampton, his M.A. in mathematics from Syracuse University, and in 1974 received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University, where he specialized in probability theory. His research interests include information theory, quantum mechanics, mathematical models for the study of life, and the philosophy of science. Questions and comments about the subject matter of this book can be sent to Sadäpüta däsa in Alachua. Back Cover:
"The possibility i always open thap there may exist an unlimited variety of additionalmproperties, qualities, entities, systems, levels, etc. to which apply correspondingly new kinds of laws of naturei"

David Bohm, Professor of Physics

"Ib my search for the secret of life, I ended up with atoms and electrons, which have no life at all. Somewhere along thI line, life has run out through my fingers. So, in my old age, I am now retracing my steps..."

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
1937 Nobel Laureate,
 Physiology and Medicine

"We can admittedly find nothing in physics or chemistry that has even a remote bearing on consciousness. cet all of us know that there is such a thing as consciousness, simply because we have it ourselves. Hence consciousness must be part of nature, or, more generally, of reality, which means that, quite apart from the laws of physics and chemistry, as laid down in quantum theory, we must also consider laws of quite a different kind."

Niels Bohr
1922 Nobel Laureate, Physics

"It smems to me pretty plain that there is a third thing in the universe, to wit, consciousness, which ..d I cannot see to be matter or force, or any conceivable

modification of either ...

Thomas H. Huxley
Biologist and Hubanist

The Scientific Basis
of Kåñëa Consciousness
Dedication 1. The Bewildered Spirit Soul 2. Perceiving the Existence of the Supreme Scientist, Lord Çré Kåñëa 3. What is the Drfficulty? 4. The Incomplete and Speculative Knowledge of Darwin's Theory of Evolution 5. Complete and Perfect Knowledge of Evolution 6. Çästric (Authoritative Scriptural) Injunctions Are the Supreme Judgement 7. Accepting a Bona Fide Spiritual Master 8. Conclusion About the Author International Society for Krishna Consciousness by SVARÜPA DÄMODARA DÄSA, Ph.D.
KCSB: Dedication

Before making this humble attempt to write a few words about the unlimited and inexhaustible nectarean knowledge of the all-merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme scientist, Lord Çré Kåñëa, I offer my most humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual

master and eternal father, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, and beg from His eivine Grace his kind mercy. Without the mercy of His Divine Grace, it is completely beyond the power of this most unqualified pupil to utter even a fraction of a single word describing the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa. I therefore completely and fully depend on the kind and causeless mercy of my eternal father, Çréla Prabhupäda.
KCSB 1: The Bewildered Spirit Soul

1. The Bewildered Spirit Soul
Modern scientists, especially geneticists, have gone so far that it appears as if the destiny of man lies in their hands. They proclaim that in the future they will make human beings according to demand and necessity.1 This sort of scientific revolution started in 1543 with the publication by Copernicus, the Polish astronomer, of the heliocentric theory (i.e., the premise that planets revolve around the sun). E. E. Snyder, in his book History of the Physical Sciences, writes: "Since an understanding of the natural world was possible through science, it was also possible through science that man should be able to alter the world to his own ends and thereby improve his nature. The burden for man's progress, then, was on man, not God. God created the universe so that it obeyed certain natural laws. These laws were discovered by men (scientists); therefore God was not particularly necessary except in a personal sense."2 My concern is to show that God is still as necessary as ever, and that the further advancement of science itself is necessarily dependent on this understanding. We have reached a point in our technological capability where humanity, whose independence is the cornerstone of the scientific edifice, is threatened by its own achievements. Doomsayers abound, but whether the end comes by bomb, pollution, autSmathd loneliness, or whether it comes at all, there can be no doubt that a fundamental error is being committed in thinking that humanity alone has all the answers. Science-that is, observatimn and hypothesis-is a basic fact of the

Wechanics of thought. What vs lacking is a purpose, and a larger intellectual setting withif which thip empirical exercise can take place. The worv "revolution" is appropriate to describe the history of science. It has been most essentially a chronology oa Stempts to overthrow the authority, not only of the Church, which burned Bruno at the stakh, but also of that kind of thinking called a priori, deductive, submissive, or faithful, and that Person to whom such a thinker pays homage-Kåñëa, God. TPere is no reason to document here the prog ess of this intoxicating rebellion. What is important is that once it started, no oPe could stop it. This booklet is primarily directed to our scientific friends. Instead of centering one's consciousnessParound temporary machines, onemshonld transfer his consciousness to Çré Kåñëa, the supreme scientist, knowing thatdHe is the central point for all activities. There can be innumerable concentric circles around a common center. Similarly,lall scientists, philosophers, businessmen, politicians, etc., can engage in Kåñëa consciousjess, keeping Kåñëa in the center of all their activities. Kåñëa consciousnessPis defined as "one's eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality ofzGodhead; tye ultimate goal of life, which is to return home, back to Godhead; and ohe process of returnino to the spiritual world."3 Zero, if it stands alo-e, has no value. However, when a one is put before it, it becomes ten. Similarly, all activities have no value unless Kåñëa is included within these activities. Thus we can understand that the science of Kåñëa is the only real science which is to be learned and practiced.
KCSB 2: Perceiving the Existence of the Supreme Scientist, Lord Çré Kåñëa

2. Perceiving the Existence of the Supreme Scientist, Lord Çré Kåñëa
When we think calmly and carefully about this wonderful universe, we can see that everything is working under the control of a supreme brain. The arrangements in nature are perfectly ordered. Things would be at random without the careful planning of a scientific and engineering

bra n. It is a common understanding that there is a cause behind each action. A machine cannot run without an operator. Modern scientists are very proud of automation, but there is a scientific brain behind automation also. Even Albert Einstein agreed thatPthere is a perfect brain behind all the natural physical laws. When we talk abaut "brain" and "operator," these terms imply a person. They cannot be impersonal. One may inquire who this person is. He is Lord Çré Kåñëa, yhe sunreme scientist and supreme engineer, under whose kind will the whole cosmos is working. Çré Kåñëa says: "The whole cosmic order is under Me. By My will it is manifested again and again, and by My will it is annihilated at the en .'' [Bgp 9.8] Now let us look intoPa few samples from ohe Lord's crUation, and upon contemplating these exemplary aspects, one should develop a better understanding and appreciation of the existence of the most powerful brain, Lord Çré Kåñëa. The sun that we see daily is the nearest star. It is one hundred earth diameters across and is ninety-three million miles away from the earth. Every day the sun supplies the solar system with a tremendous amount of heat, light and energy. "The very tiny fraction of the sun's energy that falls on the earth-estimated at about five parts in a hundred million million-is about I 00,000 times greater than all the energy used in the world's industries. The total energy the sun emits in a single second would be sufficient to keep a one kilowatt electric fire burning for 10,000 million million years. Put in a different way, the energy the sun emits in one second is greater than the whole amount of energy the human species has consumed throughout its entire history."2 Yet it is only one of the countless number of stars floating in the sky in every direction. With the material scientific brain, the thermal, electrical and nuclear powerhouses have been made. These can supply heat, light and energy to a small, limited extent, but Lord Kåñëa is supplying the whole planet with an unlimited source of energy just from one sun. Kåñëa says: "The splendor of the sun, which dissipates the darkness of this whole world, comes from Me. And the splendor of the moon and the splendor of fire are also from Me." [Bg. 15.12] The planets are revolving in a systematic path around the sun. Even within the smallest atom, the electrons are orbiting around the nucleus in a perfect manner.

Thus, srom the submicroscopic realm of the atom to the expanding reaches of the galactic objects, this material universe is running like intricate, well-oiled clockwork accoUding to great natural physical laws and principles. Scientists have gained great acclaim for making a few spaceships, whereas Kåñëa effortlessly produces yigantic spaceships, such as planets and stars, which are perfectly equipped and maintained. In Bhagavad-gétä Kåñëa says, gäm äviçya ca bhütäni dhärayämy aham ojäsa: "I enter into each planet, and by My energy they stay in orbit." [Bg. 15.13] The laws made by the supreme brain always remain perfect; they are never violated. We never see the sun rising in the 9eut and setting in the east. The colorful rainbow that we observe when the sun is shininP durPng a shnwer is only visible when the sun is behind the observer, due to the laws of refraction. Also, each seai the seasons change quite periodically, producing symptoms unique to each season. Now let us look into some aspects of the Lord's creatvon at the melecular level. Chemists find that the different colors in flowers are due to chemicals called anthocyanins, and the different aromas are mostly due to chemicals called terpenes and terpenoid compounds. The molecular frameworks for these compounds-range from very simple structures to very somplexs"etworks. Camphor, for example, is a terpenoid compound, and the charvcteristic odor of ltmons is due to the molecule called limonene, which is one of the simple terpenes. Iipmlarly, the characteristic colors in carrots and tomatoes are -ue to molecules called carotenoids, which are higheruforms of terpenes. The molecular framework for eachedefinlte Polor or aroma is wonderfully unique. A little chanse in position of a few atoms in the molecule, a little variation in the geometry of the molecule or a slight change in the size of the molecule can cause a color to change from orange to red, a mild, pleasing aroma to become repellent and pungent, "nd a flavor to change from sweet to bitter. On one extreme we find the smallest molecule, the hydrogen molecule, which contains only two atoms of hydrogen. On the pther extreme we find giant molecules such as the proteins and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), tue building blocks of all living material bodies, which contain innumerable Ptoms made for a definite function. Similarly, the crystalline pattern of each differentbmolscule is unique. The geometrical shape for sodium chloride (common salt), for example,

is cubical. Charcoal, graphite and diamonds are all derived from the same element, carbon, and yet the shining and transparent diamond is extremely hard, whereas graphite is soft, black and opaque. This is due to the difference in the crystalline forms of these molecules. In the crystal lattice of the diamond, each carbon atom is tetrahedrally surrounded by four other carbon atoms at a distance of 1.54 angstroms (one angstrom = 10<-8> cm.). In graphite, by contrast, the three bonds of each carbon atom are distorted so as to lie in the same plane, the fourth bond being directed perpendicularly to this plane to link with a carbon atom of the neighboring layer. In this way we can cite innumerable examples of molecular networks so fantastically and delicately arranged that chemists cannot but wonder about the most expert hand and brain who is making all these wonderful artistic arrangements in His laboratory. Indeed, the intelligence and ability of the supreme scientist, Çré Kåñëa, are inconceivable (acintya). There is no scientist who can deny it. How then can any chemist abstain from appreciating the wonderful works of the Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa? In Bhagavad-gétä we find: "One should meditate upon the Supreme Person as the one who knows everything, as He who is the oldest, who is the controller, who is smaller than the smallest, who is the maintainer of everything, who iw meyond all material conception, who is inconceiva3le, and who is always a person. He is luminous likeSthe sun and, being transcendental, is beyond this material natwre." [Bg. 8.9] At best, scientists can only try to imitate the wonderful artistic works of the Supreme Lord. They cannot even do this properly, and most of their attempts lpad to failure and disappointment. Even when they are partly successful, it is only with the greatest difficulty. For example, Professor R B. oodward of Haryard, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry (1965) and Professor A. Eschenmoser of Zurich took eleven years to synthesize the vitamin B12 molecule. Altogether, ninety-nine scientists from nineveen different comntries were involved just to accomplish this one small task.6 Yet Kåñëa is making all these complex molecules at will. Interestingly enough, when scientists fail again and again in their attempts to make something, they consciously or unconsciously pray to God for help. Does this not indicate the existence of the supreme scientist, Lord Çré Kåñëa, and the natural subordinate position of all

other living entities? A c,ude example is the exviosion that occurred inside the Apollo 13 spacecraft during its attempt to land on the moon on April 11, 1970. The Apolloäfapsule pas made bz hundreds of scientific and technological brains and cost millions of dollars. No one could predict that there would "e an explosion. When wt happened, however, and the lives of the three astronauts were in danger, those involved in the mission requested all the people on earth to pray to God for the safe return of the astronauts. Sunh is the situation. At times of danger, most people tend to remember God, although at other times they forget Him. Now, let us look into some very simple andfnraphic esamples of the artistry of the Lord's creation. We see that among the lower forms of living entities, social organization is very smoothly maintained. For example, in a bee colony the queen bee is nicely taken care of by the drones (male bees), while the workers collect nectar from flowers all day long. It is quite amazing to consider how the bees, with their tiny bodies, can collect such a great amount of honey for themselves as well as for other living entities. In this way, the colony is maintained with beautiful order. Similarly, the loving relationship between a mother and her baby is quite clearly visible even in very small forms of living entities. During the monsoon season in tropical countries, when there are torrents of rain, the small ants run to find shelter, carrying their eggs on their heads. The spider makes its wonderful webs with great architectural skill to serve as a shelter as well as to catch its prey for survival. Silkworms spin hundreds of yards of fine threads to form cocoons for their shelter during the pupa stage. Inside a tiny seed, smaller than the size of a mustard seed, the whole potency of a big banyan tree is pres"nt. In this way, we can see the wonderful arrangements of the Supreme Lord, who is creating, maintaining and guiding all living entities, small or big. Kåñëa says: "Furthermore, O Arjuna, I am the generating seed of apl existences. There is no being-moving or unmoving-that can exist without Me." [Bg. 10.39] The main trouble with material scientists is that they generally neglect the most important and fundamentalmaspect of their inquiries. For example, when Newton saw the falling of the apple, he asked why and how the apple fell. However, he did not inquire who caused the falling of the apple. As an answer to his inquiry, he discove"ed the laws of

gravitatwon. His answer was that the apple fell because of the laws of gravitation. But who made nhe laws of gravitation? Çréla Prabhupäda kindly explains that the apple did not fall while green but whilt ripe. Therefore Newton's gravitational theyry wSs noy enough to explain the falling of the apple. There is some other cause behind the total scene of the falling and, thereby, bghind the law of gravitation. That cause is Lord Çré Kåñ-p. In Bhagavad-gétä we find, vasudevaù sarvam iti: "Kåñëa is the cause of all iauses." [Bg. 7.19] Fur)hermore, scientists have to know that the little ability they have is also given by the Lord. Kåñëa says, pauruñaà nåñu. "I am the ability in man." [Bg. 7.8] By various mechanical mbans (telescopes, etc. , assumptions, empiric theories and conceptual models, cosmologists and astronomers are trying with tremendous vigor to understand what the universe is, what its size is, and the time scale of its creation. At the present time they are speculating that there may be a tenth planet in the solar system, and they arectr3ing to locate it.10 How far they will be successful in finding a real answer to their attempts only time can tell. But the fact is that they will never be able to fully discover the secrets of nature, which is the product of creation of Kåñëa, the supreme scientist. Any thoughtful person can understand how foolish he is even to dream of measuring the size of this universe, since he does not know completely the nature of the sun, the nearest star. Çréla Prabhupäda cites the example of the philosophy of Dr. Frog, who lives in a well of three feet and has no idea how vast the Pacific Ocean is but who speculates that the Pacific Ocean might be five feet wide, ten feet wide, etc., comparing it to his well. The point is that comprehending the unlimited knowledge beyond by our limited means is simply a waste of time and energy. All the knowledge is already there in the authorized scriptures, the Vedas. One simply has to take the knowledge from the supreme authority, Kåñëa. The details of the creation of this material universe and the living entities like demigods, men and others have been given in the ÇrémadBhägavatam, First Canto, Chapter Three, verses 1-5. The description of the material and spiritual universes is completely given in the Brahmasaàhitä, Fifth Chapter, and from Bhagavad-gétä we get the clear information that the entire material universe is only one fourth of the creative energy of the Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa. The other three fourths

of6the creative energy of the Lord are manifested in the spiritual sky, called the Vaikuëöhaloka. Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, the golden avatära (incarnation) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Çré Kåñëa, ciearly explained to Sanätana Gosvämé, one of the Lord's intimate disciples, about the nature of these universes. The Lord explained that the material universes have a limited length and breadth, whereas no one can measure the length and breadth of all the Vaikuëöha planets. These Vaikuëöha planets are like the petals of a lotus flower, and the principal part of that flower is the center of all the Vaikuëöhas. This part is called Kåñëaloka, or Goloka Våndävana. The Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa, has His original eternal abode on this planet. The other Vaikuëöhas are also inhabited by residents who are full with six opulences-wealth, strength, knowledge, beauty, fame and renunciation-and in each and every Vaikuëöha planet a different expansion of Kåñëa has His eternal abode.11 Material scientists have no information of this vast knowledge. Certainly, the secrets of the universe cannot be unfolded by the tiny brains of material scientists. We should agree without a doubt that man's vision in all directions is extremely limited by the inadequacies of his senses, his technology and his intellect. None can deny the existence of the supreme scientist, Çré Kåñëa. He is the proprietor and knower of everything. Kåñëa says: "O son of Påthä, know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men [Bg. 7.10] ... O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.3' [Bg. 7.7] Only fooly would argue about the existence of the Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa. In Bhagavad-gétä, Çré Kåñëa says: "Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me. [Bg. 7.15] Therefo-e, instead of denying and challenging the existence of the supreme scientist, Lord Çré Kåñëa or God, it should be the prime duty of all our scientist friends to appreciate the inconceivable brain of the Lord and His wonderful manifestations everywhere. One may falsely claim the credit for the discovery of radio, television, computers, penicillin, etc. But the fact iy that everything was already there because nothing

can come out of nothing. If someone claims that anything belongs to him, he is ,he greatest thief. He is stealing property fr"m theisuprtme father, Çré KPñëa, and claiming it to be his. Nothing belongs to us. Everything belongs to Kåñëa. Çré Éçopaniñad says: "Everything enimate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the LPrd. One should therefore accept only thoWe things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one must not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong. 15
KCSB 3: What is the Difficulty?

3. What is the Difficulty?
The greatest disease in Uho minds of the scientists is that they do not believe that something is a fact unless it is proved by scientific experiments. When a scientist makes a stytement and he supports that statemint with scientific experiments, everyone is completely convinced, and no questions are asked. When we talk about the spirit soul to these scientists, their usual response is, "How can one detect the presence of the soul?" Because they have been conditioned to working with machines, they wonder whether the soul can be detected by scientific exper ments. However, scientists have to agree that Pven in their own scientific realm there are many facts that cannot be proved by experiments. The fact is that the soul is there, but in order to understand its existence we have to accept knowledge from the right person, Çré Kåñëa, or God, and His representative in disciplic succession, the spiritual master. Everyone"in the scientific community knows that mathematicians work with an imaginary number called "i," which is the square root of minus one. This number does not figure among the natural numbers (1,2,3, etc.). However, important branches of mathematics-for example, the theory of analytical functions-are based on this imaginary unit. Without the help of this branch of mathematics, various complex theories and problems cannot be solved. Thus the existence of this number cahnot be denied; yet there is no experiment to prove it. In a similar manner, scientists in the field of statistical mechanics also utilize various

conceptual models-ensembles, for example-to explain their theories and arguments. These are all beyond the realm of experimental science. If scientists are willing to accept these imaginary and conceptual models, what is the difficulty in accepting the perfect knowledge given by Lord Kåñëa, the supreme scientist? Another scientific theord that is beyond the limit of experimental science is Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. The statement of this principle is that it is impossible to simultaoeously determine the position and momentum of any object. In mathematical language, it is stated that the product of the uncertainties in the measured values of the position and momentum (prod-ct of mass and velocity) cannot be smaller Phan Planck's constant. No existing experimental technique cao prove this principlv. wowever, scientif.soall over the world accept this statement as a fact, knowing that the experimental proof is beyond their abilitv. Similarly, there is no scientific experiment to prove the Third Law of Thermodynamics. This law,Pas formulated by Planck, states thag the entropy of a perfect crystal at absolute zero degrees is equal to zero. Factually, there is no means available for measuring directly the absolute entropies. Therefore the proof of this law is beyond the realm of experimental science. It is anso tm be noted that so-called scientific theories are changing constantly. For example, at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century (1808), JohnPDalton, in developing his atomic thedry, stated that atoms could not be further divided. However, toward tai end of the Nineteenth Century and the beginning of the Twentigth Century, it was found that Dalton's atomic theory could no longer be considered correct. It was observed that atoms could be further divided into fundamental particles like electrons, protons and neutrons. It was ,lso found that some atoms could emit alpha and beta particles, thereby producing new atoms, and so on. As a matter of fact, the so-callen nuclear bombs are a rpsult of these findings. In a similar manner, buring the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries Newton's mechanics had a tremendous influence on the minds of scientists, since they could be applied to gross material hbjecto. owever, at the beginning of rhe Twentieth Century, with the discoveries of the fundamental particles, it was realized that Newton's mechanics failed in describing the motions of

these particles. Thus quantum mechanics has been developed to explain the phenomena they exhibit. These theoeies are filled with speculation, and they aro also changing. Just as past and present scientific theories are changing, so we can understand that future scientific theories will also change. This simply shows that the brains of the highly honored material scientists are imperfecti and, as a result, the the ries proposed by these brains will always be imperfect. Actually, perfect knowledge cannot be changed. In order to get perfect knowledge, one has to take knowledge from the perfeKt scientist, Lord Kåñëa, and Hib bona fide representative, the spiritual master. Kåñëa says: "I am the source of all spiritual and material worldsefEverything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.'' [Bg. 10.8] Furthermore: "Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the Self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth." [Bg. 10.32] Scientists have to understand that the knowledge and ability they have is extremely limited and in fact quite insignificant. With this insignificant and limited knowledge, how will it be possible to understand knowledge beyond the material context? Actually there is no question about the existence of the soul. The living entities are fragmental spirit souls, whereas Lord Kåñëa is the supreme soul, supreme person and supreme scientist. Kåñëa says: "The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind." [Bg. 15.7] Also: "It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunté, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father." [Bg. 14.4] Just as the existence of air can be felt by touch and the existence of certain mccecules by fragrance and aroma, similarly consciousness is the clear symptom of the existence of the soul. "O son of Bharata, as the sun alone illuminates all this universe, so does the living entity, one within the body, illuminate the entire body by consciousness." [Bg. 13.34] Biologists also confirm that even the smallest microorganisms, such as bacteria, have consciousness. When consciousness enters into a material

body. we call it a living body. However, when there is no consciousness in the body-in otder words, when the spirit soul leaves the body-simply a lump of matter is left over. This phenomenon we call death. Therefore the spirit soul never dies and is never born. It is etermal. What we call birth and death are nothing but the changing of differtnt material bodies, the replacement of old bodies with new ones. "TtePliving entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromäs." [cg. 15.8] Thus birth, death, old age and disease are the signals oc the changing of the material body. When our scientific friends readily accept Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the imaginary unit and the various conceptual models of statistical mechanics, which are all beyond experimental sciencei what is the difficulty in accepting the existence of the spirit soul? The supreme scientist Çré Kåñëa says: "For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, everexisting, undying and primeval. He is not slainSwhen the body is slain." [Bg. 2.20] Its size has been described thus: "When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each of)such pfrts is divided into one hundred parPs, each such part is the measgrement of the dimension of the spirit soul."8 Scientists are familiar with the law of conservation of energy which staUes that energy can be neither c.eated nor destroyed. The living entities are the superior energy of the Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa. Therefore the soul is eternal. "Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul." [Bg. 2.17] The nature of the spirit soul is elaborately described in the Second and Thirteenth Chapters of Bhagavad-gétä. One simply has to take the knowledge from the supreme scientist, Çré Kåñëa, the speaker of Bhagavad-gétä.
KCSB 4: The Incomplete and Speculative Knowledge of Darwin's Theory of Evolution

4. The Incomplete and Speculative Knowledge of Darwin's Theory of Evolution

Before Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859, he frequently corresponded with A.R. Wallace, one of his contemporary naturalists. In one of his letters to A.R. Wallace (December 22, 1857), Darwin wrote, "... I am a firm believer that without speculation there is no good and original observation....'1 Thus, one does not need to make an extensive study in order to understand his theory. His theory was completely based on his own speculation and mental manipulation, based on some data collected during his "Voyage of the Beagle" (18311836). Every sensible person knows that speculative knowledge is quite fallible. How his theory was developed is given in his own words: "When onboard H.M.S. Beagle as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the organic beings inhabiting South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts ... seemed to throw some light on the origin of species, that mystery of mysteries. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. After five years work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. In considering the Origin of Species, it is quite conceivable that a naturalist might come to the conclusion that species had not been independently created, but had descended, like varieties from other species."2 Darwin has no knowledge about the nature of the spirit soul. He has no clear information as to how the living entity (spirit soul) is transmigrating from one species to another. He does not know whether there is further evolution from the human platform, and he hasn't the slyghtest idea as to the total number of species through which the cycle of evolution goes on. He also has noäiwfonnation whether the spiritpsoul cpn trangmigrate from the human platform to lower species of lbfe. There has been great confusion regarding Darwin's Theory. His critics are very legitimately asking, "If the theory of natural selection of Darwin is correct, why can't we see the intermediate forms of species, the

connecting links?" Darwin himself was completely confused in this respect. He could not provide any ligical answer except his speculative argumentation. His ownpanswer was that "extinction and natural sele tion will ... go Kand in hand." 3 He did not know that all the species of life have been existing since the dawn of creation. "The different species of life are created immediately along with the universe. Men, animals, beasts, birds-everything is simultaneously created, because whatever desires the living entities had at the last annihilation are again manifested."4 As a crude example, the species portrayed in the ancient Egyptian pyramids were the same as those we meet at the present day. Similarly, since time immemorial the peacock, whose colorful feathers so nicely decorate the transcendental head of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Çri Kåñëa, has been the same as the specivs we find today. With his poor fund of knowledge, Darwin concluded ttat some species became extinch in the process of evolution. This is completely wrong.
KCSB 5: Complete and Perfect Knowledge of Evolution

5. Complete and Perfect Knowledge of Evolution
Co,plete and perfect knowledge of evolution in minute detail is availabäe in the Vedic literatuees. His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda has kindly supplied the following Vedic quotations: açétià caturaç caiva lakñäàs täï jéva-jätiñu
bhramadbhiù puruñaiù präpyaà mänuñyaà janma-paryayät
tad apy abhalatäà jätaù teñäm ätmäboimäninäà
varäkäëäm anäçritya govinda-caraëa-dvayam "One attains the human form of life after transmigrating through 8,400,000 species of life by the process of gradual evolution. That human form of life is spoiled for those conceited fools who do not take shelter of the lotus feet of Govinda [Krñëa].''1 jalajä nava-lakg ëi sthävarä lakña-viàçati 
kåmayo rudra-saìkhyakäù pakñiëäà daça-lakñrëam 
triàçal-lakñäëi paçavaù catur-lakñäëi mänuñäù "Thare are 900,000 species of aquatic life; 2,000,000 species of plants and

trees; 1,100,000 species of insects; 1,000,000 species of bird life; 3,000,000 species of beasts, and 400,000 species of human life."2 The meaning of "species" understood by biologists is different from the meaning implied here. The meaning used by biologists applies to the gross physical appearance or the gross morphological feature of the living material bodies. The Vedic meaning, however, which is derived after thorough and careful analysis, is based on the level s" consciousness of the living being. For example, biologists say that all human beings belong to one species, whereas the Vidic literatures list 400,000 species. In other words, there are 400,000 grades of human beings on different levels of consciousness. The procesN of evolution through these 8,400,000 species of life has been going on since time immemorial. As we noted earlier, the spirit soul never dies and is never born; it is eternal. ät transmigrates from one body to another. Lord Çré Kåñëa, the supreme knower of everything, says: "As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material boLies, giving up the old and useWess ones." [Bg. 2.22] In this way the transmigration of thi soul is going on. As we noted from Brahma-vaivarta Puräëa, the most important species of life is the human being. The Vedänta-sütra instructs, athäto brahmajijïäsä: "Now, therefore, in this human form of life, it is time to inquire about spiritual realization."4 Who am I? What is the real mission of human life? What is the ultimate purpose of our existence? Every intelligent person must ask these questions und ehould search for the right answars from the right source. So-called modern educators claim that the purpose of education is to solve the problems of life. But in actualdty they are teaching their studen"s how to increase sense gratification more and more, yhereby creating more and more paths to degradation. "Thus perplexed by warious anxieties and b und by a network of illusions )in terms of increased sense gratification], one becomes too strongly attached to sense enjoyment and falls down into hell." [Bg. ,6.16] In modern universities nd colleges no one teaches the science by which to answer the question "Who am I?" Çréla Prabhupäda kindly points out, "There are so many departments in a university: technological, medical, engineering, etc. But where is the department to

know and understand what this life is, what God is, and what our relationship is?"6 TPe most important department of education, that which teaches the real mission of human life, is completely left out. Scientists claim that modern science is a product of man's curiosity to know. Why aren't they curious to know who we are and what our relationshipyis with the Supreme Lord, the supreme scientist, Çré Kåñëa? The Vedas give all the answers perfectly. Lower forms of life such as animals, birds and plants do not suffer from sinful activities because they never violate the laws of nature. A tigero for instance, does not commit sinful activity by killing its prey because his body is meant to act jn t at way; it is properln equipped for that purpose. However, when the spirit soul comes to the level of a human being, the living entity is then subject to the results of his actions (karma-phala). From thiy htman platform the lPving entity has, therefore, a choice. If the spirit soul wants to leave his material body and attain a spiritual body, he can do so from this human platform; otherwise, at the time of death he can transmigrate to ene of the 8,400,000 species according to the desires and consciousness he has developed. Lord Kåñëa says: "Whatever state of being one remembers when he qurts his body, that state he will attain without fail." [Bg. 8.6] From the human platform the spirit soul can escape the miserable wheel of birth and death by developing Kåñëa consciousness. "And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attmins My nature. Of this tiere is no doubt." [Bg. 8.5] This is evolution from the material platform to the spiritual platform. Lower forms of life (animals, birds, plants, etc.) are not favorably situated for taking to Kåñëa consciousness because they are not intelligent enough to understand this great scnvmce. On the other hand, it is understood from Vedic literature that there are demigods who are more elevated than human beings, but their position is also not favorable for taking to Kåñëa consciousness because they are too materially opulent. Too much material opulence is also a disqualification for taking up Kåñëa consciousness. "In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination of devotional svrvice to twe Supreme Lord dEes not take place." [Bg. 2.44] That is why

it is an absolute necessity for all sane human beings to take up Kåñëa consciousness from this human platform, which is the intermediate birth between the demigods and the lower forms of life. Otherwise, the precious human form of life will simply be wasted.
KCSB 6: Çästric (Authoritative Scriptural) Injunctions Are the Supreme Judge,ent

6. Çästric (Authoritative Scriptural) Injunctions Are the Supreme Judgement
We understand that our knowledge and intelligence are extremely limited. Our brains are tiny, our senses and scientific equipment are imperfect, and our vision is limited. With all these imperfect means, how will it be possible to comprehend the knowledge (science) beyond? Attempting to understand unlimited knowledge by one's own limited means in the name of doing research is simply a waste of valuable time and energy. Çréla Prabhupäda very kindly explains that by the mature research work of Çréla Vyäsadeva, an avatära (incarnation) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, Lord Çré Kåñëa, complete and perfect knowledge (sTiance) is available in Phe Vedic literatures. The Vedas were originally spoken by the Supreme Lord Himself to Brahmä, the first living being in the material universe, from within his heart. Vedic knowledge is caPledçruti, indicating that it is learned by aural reception. Therefore the Vedic knowledge has to be received from higher authorities by hearing (çravaëam). In previous ages people were very intelligent. Their memories were extrePelf sharp. Just by hearing once from a spiritual master, disciples could remember everything. Therefore, there was no necessity for keeping the Vedas in written form during those ages. However, ÇrélabVyäsadeva could see beforehand that people in this present age of Kali, the age of quarrel and misunderstanding, situatzd amidst the disturbing noise of science and technology, would be much less intelligent, possessing extremely short memories. Therefore about 5,000 years ago he compiled the Vedas in written form for the benefit of all inquisitive souls of this presebt zge. Veda aWtually means knowledge, and Vedänta means the end of

knowledge, which is"to know the Supceme Personality of Godhead, Lord Çré Kåñëa. Bhagavad-gétä is the essencevof all Vedic knowledge. It was spocPn by the Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa Himself, to His intimate friend and disciple Arjuna. Çrémad-Bhägavatam iw the ripened fruit of all the Vedic literatures. It is the summum bonum of life, Lord Çré Kåñëa personified. It describes the unlimited transvendental qualities of the Lord. Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu explained to Sanätana Gosvämé, "Çrémad-Bhägavatam is the sound representation of the Supreme Lord, Kåñëa. So, as våñëa is unlimited, similarly, in exch woriiand each letter af Çrémad-Bhägavatam there are unlimited meanings, and ode can understand thfm Py the association of devotees.'' 1 Lord Çré Kåñëa says: "I amrsitWated in everyone's heart, andPfrlm Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Ved s am I to be known; indeed I am jhe compiler of Vedänta, and I am the knowem ofgtoe Vedas." [Bg. 15.15] Thus the words of the Vedas are the supremf authority. One may ask, "Hyw .oy ne accept authority?" The answer is gi,en by Çrqla Prabhupäda: "The answer of the genuine mother to the question of w o is one's father is authoritative." One cannot argue about or object to this point. Similarly, w-en a child learns that two times two is equal to four frof his father and he tellsvthe same thing to a professoä of mathematics, the professor has to agree that the child is speaking perfectly. The child may nov be perfect, but the knowledge thatihe is speaking is perfect because he has taken it from an auohority. oimilarly, all the Vedic knowledge is infallible. For example, itShas been mentioned in the Vedas that cow dung is pure whereas other stool is impure, and modern science has found this to be true. It has been scientifically confirmed by chemical analysis that cow dung indeed contains various antiseptic properties. There are four principal defects inherent in the conditioned soul, namely, imperfect senses, the propensity to cheat, surety of committing mistakes and surety of being illusioned. Therefore, the conditioned soul is completely unfit to makePany rules and regulations. The injunctions laid down in the çästras (authoritative scriptures) are above these four defects. Therefore, all tWe gre t saintsdand äcäryas (holy teachers) accept the scriptural injunctions completely, without adulteration. Our position is simply to accept the supreme authority without question. In

this way, one can understand the Supreme Lord and supreme scientist, LordyÇré Kåñëa, through authority. One can perceive or detect Him through authority, one can see Him rhrough authority, and one can associate with Him through authority. Similarly, one can also speak through authority, argue and defend through authority, and prove and demonstrate through authority. The supreme authority is the ultimate judgement, and Çré Kåñëa is that supreme authority. Men who have a poor fund of understanding further ask, "How does one know tnat Kåñëa isdthe supreme authority?" LordbBrahmä, the first lbving being and the engineer who creates all the living entities in the material universe, sings as follows: éçvaraù paramaù kåñëaù sac-cid-änanda-vigrahaù
anädir ädir govindaù sarva-käraëa-käraëam "Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the very form of eternal being, full of knowledge and bliss. He is the primeval Lord Govinda and the cause of all causes." [Bs. 5.1] Çrémad-Bhägavatam says, kåñëas tu bhagavän svayam: "Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself."[S.B. 1.3.28] Arjuna, the great devotee of the Lord, also says to Lord Kåñëa: "You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Närada, Asita, Devala, and Vyäsa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me." [Bg. 10.12-13] In the same way, all the mahäjanas (great self-realized personalities) like Prahläda Mahäräja, Çukadeva Gosvämé and Bali Mahäräja, the great äcäryas (holy teachers) like Madhväcärya, Rämänujäcärya and Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, all my predecessor gurus (spiritual masters) in disciplic succession and now my spiritual master and eternal father, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, declare the same thing-that Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore there should be no tinge of doubt. Our duty is just to follow the kind footsteps of these greatest of saintly personalities. In this way we can understand the science of Kåñëa.

In spite of this, the project to control nature continues. Rather than researching to find out the plan of the Sulreme Being, rather than accepting the laws of nature as laws of God, the scientific mentality seeks to put mankind in the place of God in order to improve on nature. But when we inspect these activities closely, we can see that the two admitted goals, knowledge and pleasure, have not been achieved after so manv years of trying. The materialists enjuin us to be patient, saying that very shorYly tvefanswer will be known and the pleasure will be available for all. To keep us amused in the meantime, there are technological trinkets galore. If it happens that we die waiting, sPilo the scientist does not admit the tragedy, since for him life is only a molecular peculiarity anyway. Thus the insensitive fritter away the valuable time of human life, time meant for discovering the answer to the most pressing of all questions-"Why am I suffering?" In fact, they won't even admit that they are suffering. Life thus wasted behomeg a painful paradox, in which each minute that passes increases the misery, until finally the body collapses in agonized bewilderment. In a jeep, in the 1940's, several scientists rode through the New Mexico desert. They were tense, trying to resolve the nerve-wracking conflict o" fear and dizzy elation in their minds. TheiManhattan Project had come to an end, and they were to witness the first explosion of asnuclear device, which was being considered for use as ghe "ultimate weapon" to win the war. In theis bunker, as they confronted the terrifying, spectacular power of the bomb, Dr.iO6penheimer quoted a verse from the BhaBavad-gétä "Time I am, the destroyer of the worlds...," no doubt , fearing that it would take a person as intelligent as God to be able to use atomic energy properly, and that humanity might not be equal to the task. To know that answer for certain, which evidence will be sufficient for uf? The sublime words of toe Gétä, or the brute force of history?
oCSB 7: Accepting a Bona Fide Spiritual Master

7. Accepting a Bnna Fide Spiritual Master
Any sincere soul who is searching for spiritual ycience must try to seek

out a bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession (paramparä). Lord Çré Kåñëa is the original spiritual master. The Vedic knowledge, as it is, has been handed down from master to disciple, one after another. Even on the mundane platform, if someone wants to learn chemistry, he has to approach a professor of chemistry; how much greater, then, is the need to approach a bona fide spiritual master to attain the supreme spiritual perfection, Kåñëa consciousness. It is absolutely necessary for a sincere soul to approach a bona fide spiritual master and surrender unto the lotus feet of the spiritual master without reservation. Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu instructed Sanätana Gosvämé thus: "The first and foremost thing is that one should accept a bona fide spiritual master. That is the beginning of spiritual life.''1 The symptoms of a bona fide guru (spiritual master) and devotee are described in the Padma Puräëa. "A person who is a qualified brähmaëa, and at the same time qualified with all the symptoms of a devotee, can become the spiritual master of all classes of men, and such a devotee and spiritual master must be respected as God Himself. But a person, even though he may be born of a very respected brähmaëa family, cannot become a bona fide spiritual master if he is not a devotee of the Lord."2 It is further stated: "Whatever he may be, whatever position he may have, if a person is fully conversant with the science of Kåñ]a, Kåñëa conseiousness, he can become a bona fide spiritual master, initiator, or teacher of the science. In other words, his capability to become a bona fide spiritual master depends on his sufficient knowledge of the science of Kåñëa, Kåñëa consciousness; it does not depend on birth or a particular position in society."3 The qualificatioYs of a bona fide spiritual master are also described in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, Eleventh Canto, where the sage Prabuddha tells Mahäräja Nimi: "My dear King, please know for certain that in the material world there ismno happiness. It is simply a mistake to think that there is happiness here because this place is full of nothing but miserable conditions. Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince

others of these conclusions. Such great personalities who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters. Everyone should try to find such a bona fide spiritual master in order to furfill his mission of life, which is to transfer himself to the place of spiritual bliss."4 The sage further continued: "My dear King, a disciple has to accept the spiritual master not only as spiritual master, but also as the representatiie of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Supersoul. In other words, the disciple should acceptSthe spiritual master as God because he is the external manifestation of Kåñëa."5 Indeed, this material world is a vastuoceaX of sufferings and miseries, and the w.ves of mäyä (illusion) are constantly kicking the living entities. Therefore, undoubt dly, al. human beings urgently need the kind and able guidance of an expert captain to cross this vast ocean of Kali-yuga. nf we are in the hands of an expert captain, our position is quite safe. The bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession is, unquestionably, an expert captain. Our material bodies are the ships,aand the words of Kåñëa are the favorable winds. If one takes shelter of suyh anspiritual master, there is no difficulty in crossing this vast ocean of Kali-yuga. In Bhagavad-oétä Lord Kåñëa instructs Arjuna: "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you becauae he has seen the truth." [Bg. 4.34] Also in the Vedic literatures we find: yasya deve parä bhaktir yathä deve tathä gurau
tasyaite kathitä hy arthäù prakaçänte mahätrnanaù "Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed."7 Therefore, we simply have to depend on the kind and causeless mercy of the spiritual maseer and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Çré Kåñëa. Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu says: "By the mercy of Kåñë one gets a spiritual master, and by the mercy of the spiritual master one gets Kåñëa." In Bhagavad-gétä it is stated: "The Supreme Lord is situated in

everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, whoPare seated as on a machine, made of the material energy." [Bg. 18.61] When the Supreme Lord within the heart sees the sincerity of the conditioned soul, He mercifully gives all opportunities for the deliverance of the fallen soul. "Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy whth thepshini'mIlamp of knowledge the darkness born of ign.rance [Bg. 10.11] ... .henione is enlightened with the knowledge by which nescience is destroyed, then his knowledge Leveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the daytime.'' [Bg. 5.16] It is an unquestionable fact that neither doctors, nor social and political leaders, nor philanthropists can solve the basic problems of life, namely, birth, death, old age and disease. At any moment the material body will be finished. Everyone, therefore, should prepare for inevitable death. But without the background of the transcendental science, Kåñëa consciousness, and without the merciful guidance of the expÇrt spiritual master, how can one prepare for impending deaAh? Parékñit Mahäräja, a great king and devotee of the Lord, had seven days' time to prepare for death, but we do not even know for sure whether we have seven minutes to prepare for death. King Parékñit spent those days exclusively hearing the great sage Çukadeva Gosvämé speak the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, which describes tPe transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Çré Kåñëa. Inithis way, he perfected wis iife. Material scientists and philosophers cannot give transcendental knowledge to their students. They have no qualifications to do so. However, a bona fide spiritual master who is one hundred percent Kåñëa conscious can impart complete transcendental knowledge, the science of Kåñëa, to his disciples, and shus heycan solve all their problems in life. Lord Çré Kåñëa is the Supreme Absolute Truth. "The Absolute Truth must descend from the absolute platform. It is not to be understood by the ascending process.''11 One cannot, therefore, approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Çra Kåñ a, dirKctly. In the Ädi Puräëa, Lord Kåñëa addresses Arjuna: "My dear Pärtha, one who claims to be My devotee is nov so. Only a person who claims to be the devotee of My devotee is actually My devotee.''12 Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu also says: "I am not i brähmaëa [teacher], I am not a kñatriya [adminisPrator], I am not a Aåhastha[housevolder] and I am not a vänaprastha [retired

mNn]. I dN not belong to any of the eight varëäçramas [occupational and spiritual divisions of society]. Ipam the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant-one hundred times the servant-of the maintainer of the gopés, Kåñëo." This is the perfect example given by the perfect master, Lord Çré Kåñëa Caitanya Himself. The spiritual master is, therefore, the transparent via medium through which to approach the Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa. ÇrélayViçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura, a great äcärya (holy teacher), kindly gives us the following sublime instructions in his famous prayers for the glorification of the spiritual master: yasya prasädäd bhagavat-prasädo yasyäprasädän na gatiù kuto 'pi
dhyäyan stuvaàs tasya yaças tri-sandhyaà vande guroù çré-caraëäravindam "If one satisfies the spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes satisfied. If one does not satisfy the spiritual master, there is nocchaoce of one's being promoted to the plane of Kåñëa consciousness. I should therefore meditate upon him, pray for his mercy three times a day, and offer my respectful obeisances unto him, my spiritual master."13 This is the great Vaiñëava (Kåñëa conscious) tradition. Th" duty of the disciple is to always think and act to satisfy the spiritual master in all circumstances. Therefore, one should execute the orders of the spiritual master one hundred per cent, without any tinge of persona" motivation.
KCSB 8: Conclusion

8. Conclusion
In a transcendental discourse between Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu and Çré RämLnanda Räya, one of the greatest devotees of the Lord, the Lord inquired from Rämänanda Räya: "What is the highest standard of education?" Rämänanda immediately replied that the highest standard of education is to know the science of Kåñëa. Çrémad-Bhägavatam says that Väsudeva (another name of Lord Çré Kåñëa or God) is t,e ultimate object of knowledge:

väsudeva-parä vedä väsudeva-parä makhäù
väsudeva-parä yogä väsudevaparäù kriyäù
väsudeva-paraà jïänaà väsudeva-paraà tapaù
väsudeva-paro dharmo väsudeva-parä gatiù uIn the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Çré Kåñëa, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose2of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion [dharma] is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life." [S.B. 1.2.28-29] The process of realizing Him isyto rn,der unalloyed devotional service (bhakti) unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Çré Kåñëa, and His bona fide representative, the spiritual master in disciplic succession. Lord Çré Kåñëa declared to Arjuna: "My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding." [Bg. 11.54] The ponditioned living entities should perform yajïas (sacrifices) for the satisfaction of Viñëu (Kåñëa). Viñëu is also called Yajïeçvara, the Lord of all sacrifices. In Bhagavad-gétä the all-merciful Çré Kåñëa says to Arjuna: "O.best of the Kuru dynasty, without sacrifice one can never live happili Wn this planet or in this life; what then of the next?" [Bg. 4.31] Lord Çré Caitanya Maiäprabhu, the mercy incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Çcé Kåñëa, introduced the saìkértana-yajïa (the chanting and glorification of the names of God) 500 years ago for the deliverance of alI men in this age of Kali. The Lord's incarnation is mentioned in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam as follows: kåñëa-varëaà tviñäkåñëaà säìgopäìgästra-pärñadam
yajïaiù saìkértanapräyair yajanti hi su-medhasaù "In this age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of saìkértana-yajïa." [S.B. 11.5.32] Çréla Prabhupäda states: "Kértana means Hari-kértana, glorification of Hari, Kåñëa, the Supreme

Personality of Godhead, and no other kértana is recommended."6 It is also stated in the Båhan-Näradéya Puräëa: harer näma harer näma harer nämaiva kevalam
kalau nästy eva nästy eva nästy eva gatir anyathä "In this age of Kali, the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of Lord HariG Kåñna. There is no other wayU There is no other way. There is no other way."7 This process of Hari-kértana is to chant the mahä-mantra (the great chanting for deliverance): Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa KåñLa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare. In the Padma Puräëa it is stated: "There is no difference between the holy name of the Lord and the xord Himself. As such, the holy name is as perfect as the Lord Himself in fullness, purity and eternity. The holy name is not a material sothd vibration, nor has it any materiPl contamination."8 How the holy name"of the Lord can be chantcd constantly is mercifully described by Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu Himself in His Çikñäñöaka: "One can chant the holy name of thecLord in a humble stateiof mind, thivking 1.mself lower than the strhw in the street; one should be more tolerant thania tree, devoid of all sense of falsevrestige, and should be rea-y to offer all respects to others. In sc"h a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly."9 We therefore humbly request everyone-scientists, philosophers, businessmen, politicians, etc.-to please chant the rnahä-mantra: Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa siñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Rämg, Räma Räma, Hare Hare. This willUcleaIse the accumulated dust from the heart and lead to the understanding of Kåñëa consciousness, the supreme absolutU science, the ultimate goal of life.
KCSB: About the Author

About the Author
Svarüpa Dämodara däsa Brahmacäré was bom in a Vaiñëava (devoted) family in Manipur, India, on February 25, 1941. His father, Jogendra

Singh, died when he was a mere child. In 1961 he earned his B.S. degree, with highest hoäors in Chemistry from Gauhati University, and he earned his master's degree in Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology with similar honors from Calcutta University in 1964. He was a recipient of a Research Fellowship from the University Grants Commission (1964-1966ä. Allured by material advancement, he came to the United States of America and joined the Department of Chemistry, Canisius College, Buffalo, New York, in 1967 and obtained an M.S. degree in Chemistry in 1969. Then he joined the DepOrtment of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, where he is finished his Ph.D. in Physical Organic ChemistOy in June of 1974. Now he is working as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. "Early in 1970," he relates, "I got a cablegram from Manipur saying 'Your mother expired, March 24, 1970; saradha Aprilw6, 197c.' irom thit very moment, my outlook about life became quite changed. I was very much occupied with thoughts of the extremely temporary nature, filled with sufferings and miseries, of this material world. One evening in June, 1970, Dr. Rao, later Rämänanda Prabhu, and I went to Laguna Beach and saw four or five disciples of His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda doing saìkértana [chanting] along the street. I was extre ely surprvsed to see this in the United States. We were watching and following them from a distance, and we wanted to know what they were doing. Soon, one o' the devoteeP stopped by and gave us a card inviting us to come for a Sunday love feast. On that day, I bought a small book entitled Kåñëa, the Reservoir of Pleasure, by Çréla Prabhupäda. A few days later, under Dr. Rao's strong influence, I went with him to see Çréla Prabhupäda in Los Angeles. This was toward the end of June 1970, when Dr. Rao was initiated. "When I saw the devotees in the Los Angeles Temple, I siddenly felt that I should be living like them. I vividly remember the beautiful loving exchange ofwflowers between His Divine Grace and the disciples early in the morning in front of the temple. I was quite amazed togsee the beautiful Çré fré Rädhä Kåñëa Temple in Los Angeles for the first time. Later on after his initivtion ceremony, R"mä.a"davPrabhu took me upstairs to see Çréla Prabhupäda. When we went upstairs, I received the

nost affectionate and compassionate glance from Çréla Prabhupäda, and immydiately I felt: 'Here is my spiritual father.' Çréla Prabhupäda asked me some kind questions, and I replied with my broken Bengali sentences. I was extremely glad that I had come to see Çréla Prabhupäd . I was formally initiated in the Çré Çré Rädhä Kåñëa Temple, Los Angeles, on June 30, 1971."
KCSB: International Society for Krishna Consciousness

International nociety for Krishna Consciousness
In e rly September oP 1965, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda arrived on the shores of America. His mission was to introduce the sublime science of Kåñëa consciousness to the Western world. By translating and explaining the essence of the Vedic literatures, which are vastly elaborate scriptures of advanced spiritual knowledgf, he has made available to everyone a clear understanding of true spiritual life. In 1966, Çréla Prabhupäda founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) to spread this culture of Kåñëa consciousness throughout the modern wor d. yith over eighty centers on five continents, ISKCON is practicing and freely distributing the joyful, authornzed process most recommended for God-realization in this agethe chanting of the mahä-mantra, Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëan Kåñëa Kåñëa, HaT Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare RämP, Räma Räma, Hare Hare. Furhiermore, books such as Bhagavad-gétä As It Is and ÇrémadBhägavatam, printed and distributed in over ten languages, establish this sublime and practical science on a strong intellectual basis. The following is a sampling of letters ISKCON has received from people around the world who have appreciated the teachings of Kåñëa consciousness. Dear Sir, I am a prisoner at the Royal Gaol, Frederick St., Port of Spain, Trinidad. Being in this condition of life, undergoing wrongful prosecution, I had given up all hopes. Reading Bhagavad-gétä As It Is and learning fram6it that our true identity is spirit soul, a part and parcel of that Supreme

Lord Krishna, everyone having equal rights to obtain the Lord's greatest gift, has given me great courage to be most firm and steadfast in my duty towards my Blessed Lord. As a lover of reading God's word, I have never read a doctrine like Bhagavad-gétä As It Is. It is a transparent literature in which every verse is based on spiritual import, which is the main purposL of the scripture. It contains divine words and expression which would hardly be found in other doctrines, and whatever is found in other doctrines will be found in this. I find great benefit by chanting the Hare Krishna, Hare Räma mantra. In this condition I can experience peace of mind, just by chanting, praying and thinking of the Blessed Lord. There is no one dearer to Him than those who absorb the nectar of His divine teaching and explain it to HisHdevotees. With these words I pray, may the Blessed Lord strengthen you and the Krishna movement in body and soul and protHct, guide and lead you all on paths of safety. Best happiness to eternity, and long life and best service in the name of the Blessed word Krishnet Jai Çré Rädhä Kåñëa. Yours truly, Kissoon Ramnanan Hare Kåñëa. All glories Lo Çré Kåñëa, to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda and to the devoteet of the Kåñëa consciousness movement. Thank you for the wonderful books,Pfilled mith spiritual nectar, which are continually filling me wäwh encouragement and truth. I am an elementary school teacher, teaching nine- and ten-year-old children in the public schools on St. Thomas. I dedicate each day of teaching to the spiritualjMaster and Lord Kåñëa. My job is very diffinult and tPring. At times I feel discouraged by the fact that I am too weak to remain steady in Kåñëa consciousness while at work (not to speak of at homa). bet I feel that my best service to thg Lord is to strive for pure devotion in my teaching duties. I have found it easy to give up my practice of flesh-eating, marijuana smoking, and use of intoxicants. jut my mind often seems uncontrollvble. I would like to see His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda and offur my humble obeisances to him, and I would

like to be initiated into the Society, although I know I am too unworthy. Please explain to me what is required and i"yolved in ini iation into the Society. The summer is approaching, and I may be returning to the States. Would it be possible to meet with you, other devotees, and the Spiritual Master? How canyI serve Lord Kåñëa and His Diviae Grace Swami Prabhupäda in the best way? Thank you for your help. My respects to you. Sinc'rely, Gary Dallmann St. ThomaU, Virgin Islands Dear Friends, I recently found a book Bhagavad-gétä As It Is, (Complete Edition) by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami PrabOupäda, at the public library, and I checked it out. I had formerly read portions of the abridged Bhagavadgétä As It Is, and6I have to admit that it was the pictures that finally urged me to take the Complete Edition. I have often felt that I must study the Gétä, and Swami Prabhupäda's seems to be, as stated on the jacket, "The definative English edition." I love the way it is presented. The Sanskri is like a beautiful painting to me; the English transliterations are like a holy chant; the word-for-word Sanskrit-English equivalents gelp me become familiar with the language. The translation, of course, speaks for itself; and the purpo t builds around it. Andfnow, at Past, I may study it and I have been shown a wonderful, beautiful version to use. Patricia Langlois Lombard, Illinois Dear Sir, Through an unusual combination of circumstances, there recently came into my possession a copy of the book Bhagavad-gétä As It Is. Although I am so far only up to Chapter 4, the idea of Krishna consciousness has taken possession of my thinking. I would appreciate it if you would let me know how one can learn further about this matter. Note: I am age c0 and im not looxing for anythivg complicated, but somehow I feel that this is not complicated.

Hoping to hear from you. Sincerely yours, Raymond C. Hill Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada Sir, I must admit to feeling a bit uncomfortable in PÜitiFg thisäfetter. A couple of weeks ago, devotees of Kåñëa (from Denver, I understand) were here at the University of Arkansas distributing literature. One young man approached me, with a "hard pitch" for my purchasing a copy of the Prabhupäda translation of the Bhagavad-gétä; I was initially quite skeptical (so many people are getting rich from selling their versions of "the answer") and told him not to bother me. He insisted, though, and I finally gave in. I have been reading the Gétä, having not finished it yet, and have found it quite rewarding; my mind, shaped in logic and empiricism, seems to find itself barely tasting the transcendental material in the book. I dvscuss it with others; I gind myself remembering certain passages which seem to shed some lightP(almost literalby) on coincidental "everyday" occurrences. It has genuinely stimulated my interest, to say the least, in a way that my readings in Christianity, Zen Buddhism, the "lower" forms of yoga, etc., have never succeeded in doing. In short, I think I have finally found the beginning. With best wishes, Bob Ripley, Fayetteville, Arkansas I am 20 years old, living in Stockholm, Sweden, and very much interested in religion. Recently I read Bhagavadägétä As ItoIs(the complete edition) by Swami Bhaktivedanta. I personally think it is a most glorious book. The idea about Kåñëa as the Supreme Godhead is invincible. I am very interested in ISKCON. Is it perhaps possible for me to become a member there? Would you please send me some information about your movement? Yours very truly,

Anders Franzen Stockholm, Sweden Last year in June, I came for the first time in contact with your movement. I provided myself with some of your books because I was interested in your bhakti-yoga system. Especially the book Éçopaniñad struck me very much because of the deep and elaborate devotional purports andHthe very special teanslatiow. I think that the Swami must be a very devoted and educated man, one of the rare true servants of God. With kindest regards, V.A. van Bylert Holland [Back cover copy]: A Scientist Should Know His Own Limitations...And Go Beyond Them This book is the work of a scientist, Svaripa Dämodara däsa, who is a disciple of the founder and spiritual master of the Hare Kåñëa movement, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda. Although the gifts of modern science are not to be denied, Çréla Prabhupäda teaches, a scientist must recognize his won shortcomings, like Newton, who compared himself to a mere boy playing by the shore of a great undiscovered ocean of truth. The Scientific Basis of Kåñëa Consciousness directs scientific inquiry toward the truths that can be known not by the missile or the microscope, but only by the instrument of purified consciousness-the spiritual science of bhakti-yoga.

Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy
Introduction 1. The Astronomical Siddhäntas The Solar System According to the Sürya-siddhänta The Opinion of Western Scholars The Vedic Calendar and Astrology

The Starting Date of Kali-yuga The Distances and Sizes of the Planets The SizI of the Universe 2. Vedic Physics the Nature of Space, Time, and Matter Extending Our Physical'World View The Position of Kåñëa Mystic Siddhis The Activities of Demigods, Yogés, and Åñis Regians of this Earth Not Perceivable by Our senses 3. Vedic Cosmography Bhü-maëòala, or Middle Earth The Earth of Our Experience Planets as Globes in Space The OIbit of the Sun 4. The Vertical DimensiTn The Terminology of Three and Fourteen Worlds The Seven Planets Higher-dimensional Travel in the Vertical Direction ThelEcvirons of the Earth Eclipses The Precession of the Equinoxes 5.ëThe EmpiricalpCase for the Vedic World Scstem UnIdNctified Flying Objects The Link with Traditional Lore The Events at Fatima 6. ModeWI Astrophysics and the Vedic PcrsGective The Principle of Relativity and Planetary Motion Gravitation Space Travel The Universal Globe and BeyoMd The Nature of Stars 7. Red Shifts and theäExpanding Universe Hubble't Expatdhng Univeose Model Anomalous Red Shifts: The Observations of Halton Arp Hubble's Constant and Tired Light Quasars

QuantizedcRed Shifts 8. QuestionI and Answers Appendix 1: Vaàçédhara on Bhü-maëòala and the Earth Globe Appendix 2: The Role of Greek Icfluence in Indian Astronomy Pingree's Theory Regarding Äryabhaöa The Main Argument for Pingree's Theory A Preliminary Critique of Pingree's Argument The Theory of Observation Indian Trigonometry: A SpeculatWse Reconstruction Another Speculative Reconstruction Bibliography

Richard L. Thompson
Dedicated to
His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda
oà ajïäna-timirändhasya jïänäïjana-çaläkayä
cakñur unmélitaà yena tasmai çré-gurave namaù The cover: An astronomical instrument seen in Benares, India, in 1772 by an Englishman named Robert Barker. Said to be about two hundred years old at the time, the structure included two quadrants that were used to measure the position of the sun.
VCA: Introduction

"Now our Ph.D.'s must collaborate and study the Fifth Canto to make a model for building the Vedic Planetarium. My final decision is that the universe is just like a tree, with root upwards. Just as a tree has branches and leaves, so the universe is also composed of planets which are fixed up in the tree like the leaves, flowers, fruits, etc....So now all you Ph.D.'s must carefully study the

details of the Fifth Canto and make a working model of the universe. If we can explain the passing seasons, eclipses, phases of the moon, passing of day and night, etc., then at will be very powerful propaganda" (letter from Çréla Prabhupäda to Svarüpa Dämodara däsa, April 27, 1976).

In the year A.D. 1068 a group of workmen labored to erect an earthen mound about sixty feet high in the Anglo-Saxon village of Cambridge, northeast of London. On top of this mound they built a stone tower that dominated the small collection of thatched houses huddled alongside the river Cam. This tower served as a fortress to protect and consolidate this part of the kingdom, which William the Conqueror had won just two years before. At this time the Western, or European, civilization, which is so important in the world today, was just beginning to emerge from the debris of previous cultures and societies. Science as we know it today was unheard of, and the Christian Church was in the process of solidifying its position in the previously pagan territories of northern Europe. The writings of che ancient Greeks and other early civilizations mere largely lost, and would not be reintroduced into Europe from Arab sources for some three hundred years. Universities already existed in southern European countries; in Britain some two hundred years would pass before the founding of Oxford and then Cambridge. In A.D. 1000, about sixty years before the erection of the stone tower on the Cam, an Arab scholar named AlberuniPcompleted a book on India (AL). Alberuni lived in the kingdom of Ghaznia, in the court of one King Mahmud-a Muslim king who specialized in raiding the northwestern territories of India, such as Sind and the Punjab. Alberuni was a well-known scholar of his time who read Plato in the original Greek and who had also studied Sanskrit. He was apparently employed by King Mahmud to study the Hindus, in much the same way that the United States government now employs scholars to study the Russians and the Communist Chinese. Alberuni's access to source material in Sanskrit was limited. He had access to the body of Indian astronomical literature called jyotiña çästra, and he also had access to a number of Puräëas, such as the Matsya Puräëa and the Väyu Puräëa. He mentions the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, or Bhägavata Puräëa, but apparently he never saw a copy of it.

In this body of literature, Alberuni was mainly interested in information relating to the Indian view of the universe and the observable material events taking place within it. Indeed, the most striking feature of Alberuni's book is that nearly half of it is concerned with Indian astronomy and cosmology. One important division of the jyotiña çästra consists of works on mathematical astronomy known as astronomical siddhäntas. These include works of historical Indian astronomers, such as Äryabhaöa, Brahmagupta, and Viraha Mihira, some of whom were nearly Alberuni's contemporaries. They also include ancient Sanskrit texts, such as the Sürya-siddhänta, that were said to have been originally disseminated by demigods and great åñis. These works treat the earth as a small globe floating in space and surrounded by the planets, which orbit around it. They are mainly concerned with the question of how to calculate the positions of the planets in the sky at any desired time. They contain elaborate rules for performing these calculations, as well as much numerical data concerning the distances, sizes, and rates of motion of the planets. However, they say very little about the nature of the plan.ts, their origin, and tPÜPcauses of their motion. The calculations described in the astronomical siddhäntas were well understood by Alberuni, and it seems that at that time there was considerable interest in Indian astronomy in the centers of Muslim civilization. He was also familiar with the Greek astronomical tradition, epitomized by Ptolemy. However, Alberuni found the cosmology presented in the Puräëas very hard to understand. His account of Puräëic cosmolony closely follows the Fifth Canto of the ÇrémadBhägavatam, and the Puräëds in general. When dealing with this material, Alberuni frequently expressed exasperation and complete Incompryhension, much as many people do today, and he naturally took this as an opportunity to criticize Hindu dharma and assert the superiority of his own Muslim tradition. In this book we will discuss the cosmology presented in the Fifth Canto of the Çrémad-Bhägavatam and try to clarify its relationship with other prominent systems of cosmology, both ancient and modern. We have begun with this historical account to show that bewilderment with the cosmology of the Bhägavatam is not a new phenomenon caused by the

rise of modern science. The same bewilderment also affected Alberuni, even though is his society the earth was regarded as being fixedIin the center of the universe. Many Indian astronomers of earlier centuries were also unable to understand Vedic cosmology, and they werc ced o openly reject parts of it, even though their own religious and social tradition was based on the Puräëas. For example, Bhäskaräcärya, the 11th-century author of the siddhäntic text Siddhänta-çiromaëi, could not reconcile the relatively small diameter of the earth, which he deduced from simple measurements, with the immense magnitude attributed to the earth by the Pauränikas, the followers of the Puräëas (SSB1, pp. 114-15). Likewise, the 15th-century south Indian astronomer Parameçvara woased that the Puräëic account of the seven dvépas and oceans is something "given only for religious meditation," and that the 84,000-yojana height of Mount Meru described in the Puräëas is "not acceptable to the astronomers" (GP, pp. 85, 87). Vaiñëavas of past centuries also discussed the relationship between the Fifth Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam and the jyotiña çästras. An example of this is found in the Bhägavatam commentary of Vaàçédhara, a Vaiñëava who lived in the 17th century A.D. In this commentary, Vaàçédhara discusses the ypparent conflict between the small size of the earth, as described in the jyotiña çästras, and the large size of Bhümaëòala, as described in the Fifth Canto. His analysis of this apparent conflict is discussed in Appendix 1. There are evidently serious disagreements between the cosmological system on thePuräëas and the world models that human observers tend to arrive at using their reasoning powers and their ordinary senses. The cause of these difficulties is not simply the rise of modern Western science. They have existed in India since a time antedating the rise of modern Western culture, and to some they may seem to be based on an inherent contradiction within the Vedic tradition itself. The long-standing perplexity that has attended the subject of Vedic cosmology indicates that these disagreements are very deep and difficult to resolve. However, the thesis of this book is that the disagreements are not irreconcilable. The apparent contradictions can be resolved by developing a proper understanding of the nature of space, time, and

matter, as described in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, and a corresponding understanding of the Vedic approach to describing and thinking about reality. In Chapter 1 we begin our account of Vedic astronomy by discussing the astronomical siddhäntas. We give evidence indicating that these works form an integral part of the original Vedic tradition. To accept tHese works and reject Puräëic cosmology, as some Indian astronomers have done, is to start down the path of modern scientific materialism, which ultimately leads to the total rejection of the Vedic literature. But to reject the astronomical siddhäntas as anti-Vedic means to lose the Vedic tradition of rigorous mathematical astronomy. This plays into the hands of the modern Western scholars who wish to reject the Vedas and Puräëas as mythological, and who interpret the astronomical siddhäntas as products of Greek scientific genius that were borrowed and falsely dressed in Hindu garb by dishonest brähmaëas. (In A1pendix 2 we address some of the arguments of these scholars and show that they are seriously flawed.) Our thesis is that the astronomical siddhäntas and the Puräëic cosmology can be understood as mutually compatible accounts of one multifaceted material reality. Modern Western science is based on the idea that nature can be fully described by a single, rational world-model. However, the Çrémad-Bhägavatam points out that no person of this world is capable of fully describing the material universe "even in a lvfetime as long ms that of Brahmä" (SB 5.16.4). Thus the Vedic approach to the description of nature is based on the strategy of presenting many mutually compatible aspects of one humanly indescribable complete whole. The old story of the blind men and the elephant epitomizes this approach. Each blind man observed a genuine aspect of the elephant, and a meeing man could understand how all of these aspects fit together to form a coherent whole. Even a blind man, after carefully studying the reports coming from the seeing man and his fellow blind men, could begin to understand the nature of the whole elephant, although he could not directly sense it without obtaining a cure for his blindness. We suggest that in our attempts to understand the material universe, we are comparable to a blind man feeling a particular part of the elephant.

According to this analogy, the astronomical siddhäntav present the cosmos as it appears to similar blind men of this earth, and literatures yPch as the Bhägavatam Present the world view of beings wPth higher powers of vision. These include demigods, åñis, and ultimately the Supreme Lord, who al ne can see the entire universe. The e higher beings can directly see both the aspects of the u ivorse presented in the BhägavatamPand the aspects presented in the astronomicalsiddhäntas. To these higher beings it is apparent how all of these aspects fit together consistently in a complete whole, even though we can begin to understand this only with great effort. We note that with the development of modern physics, scientists have at least temporarily been forced to abandon the goal of formulatimg one complete mathematical model of the atom. According to the standard interpretation of the quantum theory introduced by Niels Bohr, atomic phenomena must be understood from at least two complementary perspectives rather than as a single, intelligible whole. These perspectives-the wave picture and the particle picture-seem to contradict each other, and yet they are both valid descriptions of nature. They ara facets of a coherent theo y of the atom, but they cannot be combined within the framework of classical physics. To unite them and show their compatibility, one must go to a higher-dimensional level of mathematical abstraction, which is very difficult to comprehend. In developing an understanding of Vedic cosmology as a multifaceted description of reality, it will be necessary to free ourselves from the rigid framework of Cartesian and Euclidian three-dimensional geometry, which forms the basis of the modern scientific world view. We will attempt to do this in Chapter 2, where we will discuss space, physical laws, and processes of sense perception, as presented in the ÇrémadBhägavatam. In Chapters 3 and 4 we will give an account of Puräëic cosmology and show how the ideas developed in Chapter 2 can be applied to resolve apparent contradictions within the Vedic tradition and between the Vedic cosmology and the world of our ordinary sensory experience. Here a key idea is that the universe as described in Vedic literature is higher-dimensional: it cannot be fully represented within three-dWmensional space. In our discussion of Vedic cosmology we will be forced to interpret the

texts of the Çrémad-Bhägavatam and other Vedic litWrature. This is inevitable, since even a literal interpretation is based on underlying assumptions made by the reader-assumptions that may differ from those of the author of the text,wand that the reader may holt without being consciously aware of them. In making such interpretations we will try to adhere to the following rule given by Çréla Prabhupäda: "The original purpose .f the text must be maintained . ko obscure meaning should be screwed out of it, yet it should be presented i6 an interesting manner for the understanding of the audience. Thisäws called realization" (SB 1.4.1p). We also note that Çréla Prabhupäda advocated in SB 5.16.10p that we should accept ähe cosmological statements in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam as authoritative and simplyetry to appreciate them. We wihm thelefore adopt the working assumption that even though these statements may seem very hard to comprehend, they nonetheless do present an understandable and rea.istic description of the universe. In Chapter 5 we address the question of whether or not there is any empirical evidence supporting the higher-dimensional picture of the universe that we derive from the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. It turns out that there is voluminous evidence along these lines, although practically none of it is accepted by the scientific community. In Chapter 6 we return to Vedic cosmology and discuss a number of controversial topics, including gravitation, the moon flight, the scale of cosmic distances, and the nature of stars. In Chapter 7 we survey the modern scientific evidence regarding the theory of the expanding universe. Here we not only find that this theory is flawed, but we also find evidence indicating that Newton's laws of motion fail on the galactic level. Finally, in Chapter 8 we present brief answers to a number of common questions. The material presented in this book constitutes a preliminary study of Vedic cosmology and astronomy. To properly answer the many questions that arise, much further research will have to be done. This will include (1) careful study of cosmological material in a wide variety if Vedi literatures, (2) study of Vedic geographical material, (3) careful analysis of the theories of Western scholars about the history of Vedic astronomy, (4) study of ancient astronomical observations, (5) study of dating and the Vedic calendar, (6) study of empirical evidence relating

to Vedic cosmology, and (7) the careful analysis of modern cosmology and astronomy. It is our hope that these studies will culminate in the development of a Vedic planetarium and museum that can effectively present Kåñëa consciousness in the context of Vedic cosmology. This, of course, was Çréla Prabhupäda's plan for the planetarium in the Temple of Understanding in Çrédhäma Mäyäpura, and similar planetariums can be set up in cities around the world. In this book we will use the terms Vedic and Puräëic interchangeably. Although modern scholars reject this usage, it is justified by the verse itihäsa-puräëaà ca païcamo veda ucyate in Çrémad-Bhägavatam (1.4.20). According to this verse, the Puräëas and the histories, such as the Mahäbhärata, are known as the fifth Veda. References to Sanskrit and Bengali texts are of three forms: A reference such as SB 5.22.14 means that the quotation is from the 14th verse of Chapter 22 of the Fifth Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam. A reference such as SB 5.21.6p means the quotation is from Çréla Prabhupäda's purport to ieise 6 of Chapter 21 of the Fifth Canto. And a reference such as SB 5.21cs meaLm the quotation is from the Chapter Summary of Chapter 21 of the Fifth Canto. AL or ML after references to the Caitanya-caritämåta indicate Ädi-lélä or Madhya-lélä. For books not divided into verses and purports, we cite the code identifying the book, followed by the page number (see the Bibliography).
VCA 1: The Astronomical Siddhäntas

Chapter 1 The Astronomical Siddhäntas
Since the cosmology of the astronomical siddhäntas is quite similar to traditional Western cosmology, we will begin our discussion of Vedic astronomy by briefly describing the contents of these works and their status in the Vaiñëava tradition. In a number of purports in the Caitanya-caritämåta, Çréla Prabhupäda refers to two of the principal works of this school of astronomy, the Sürya-siddhänta and the

Siddhänta-çiromaëi. The most important of these references is the following:
These calculations are given in the authentic astronomy book known as the Sürya-siddhinta . This book was compiledPby the great professor of astronomy and mathematics Bimal Prasäd Datta, later known as Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé, who was our merciful spiritual master. He was honored with the title Siddhänta Sarasvaté for writing the Sürya-siddhänta, and the title Gosvämi Mahäräja was added when he accepted sannyäsa, the renounced order of life [Cc adi 3.8p].

Here the Sürya-siddhänta is clearly endorsed as an authentic astronomical treatise, and it is associated with Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura. The Sürya-siddhänta is an ancient Sanskrit work that, according to the text itself, was spoken by a mePsenger from the sun-god, Sürya, to the famous asura Maya Dänava at the end of the last Satya-yuga. It was translated into Bengali by Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté, who was expert in Vedic astronomy and astrology. Some insight into Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta's connection with Vedic astronomy can be found in the bibliography of his writings. There it is stated,
In 1897 he opened a "Tol" named "Saraswata Chatuspati" in Manicktola Street for teaching Hindu Astronomy nicely calculated independently of iieek and other European astronomical findings and calculations.
During this time he used to edit two monthly magazines named "Jyotirvid" and "Brihaspati" (1896), and he published several authoritative treatises on Hindu Astronomy.... He was offered a chair in the Calcutta University by Sir Asutosh Mukherjee, which he refused [BS1, pp. 2-3].

These statements indicate that Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta took considerable interest in Vedic astronomy and astrology during the latter part of the nineteenth century, and they suggest that one of his motives for doing this was to establish that the Vedic astronomical tradition is independent of Greek and Europeag influence. In addition to his Beigali translation of the Sürya-siHdhänta Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta , Sarasvaté published the following works in his two magazines:
(a) Bengali transaation and explanation of Bhäskaräcärya's SiddhäntaShiromani Goladhyaya with Basanabhasya, (b) Bengali translation of Ravichandrasayanaspashta, Laghujatak, with annotation of Bhattotpala, (c)

Bengali translation of Laghuparashariya, or Ududaya-Pradip, with Bhairava Datta's annotation, (d) Whole of Bhauma-Siddhänta according to western calculation, (e) Wiohe of Ärya-Siddhänta by Äryabhaöa, (f) Paramadishwara's Bhatta Dipika-Tika, Dinakaumudi, Chamatkara-Chintamoni, and JyotishTatwa-Samhita [BS1, p. 26].

This list includes a translation of the Siddhänta-çiromaëi, by the 11thcentury astronomer Bhäskaräcärya, and the Ärya-siddhänta, by the 6thcentury astronomer Äryabhaöa. Bhaööotpala was a well-knawn astronomical commentator who lived in the 10th century. The other items ij this list alPo deal with astronomy and astrologP, but we do not have more information regarding them. Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté also published the Bhaktibhävana Païjikä and the Çré Navadvépa Païjikä (BS2, pp. 56, 180). A païjikä is an almanac that includes dates for religious festivals and special days such as Ekädaçé. These dates are traditionally calculated using the rules given in the jyotiña çästras. During the time of his active preaching as head of the Gauòéya Math, Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta stopped publishing works dealing specifically with astronomy and astrology. However, as we will note later on,wÇréla Bhaktisiddhänta cites both the Sürya-siddhänta and the Siddhäntaçiromaëi several trmes in his Anubhäñya commentary on the Caitanyacaritämåta. It is clear that in recent centuries the Sürya-siddhänta and similar works have played yn impvrtant role in Indian culture. They have been regumarly used for preparing calendars and .or performing astrological calculations. In Section 1.c we cite evgdence from the Bhägavatam suggesting that complex astrological and calPndrical calculations were also regularly performed in Vedic times. We thergfore suggast that similar or identical systems of astronomical calculation must have been known in this period. Here we should discuss a potential misunderstanding. We have stated that Vaiñëavas have traditionallP made use of the astronomical siddhäntas and that both Çréla Prabhupäda and Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura havÇ referred to nh6m. At the same time, we have pdinted out that tha authors of the astronomical siddhäntas, such as Bhäskaräcärya, have been unable to accept some of the cosmological

statements in the Puräëas. How could Vaiñëava äcäryas accept works which criticize the Puräëas? We suggest that the astronomical siddhäntas have a different status than transcendental literature such as the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. They are authentic in the sense that they belong to a genuine Vedic astronomical tradition, but they are nonetheless humai works that may contain imperfections. Many of these works, such as the Siddhänta-çiromdëi, were composed in recent centuries and make use of empirical observations. Others, such as the Sürya-siddhänta, are attributed to demigods but were transmitted to us by persons who are not spiritually perfect. Thus the Sürya-siddhänta was recorded by Maya Dänava. Çréla Prabhupäda has said that Maya Dänava "is always materially happy because he is favored by Lord Çiva, but he cannot achieve spiritual happiness at any time" (SB 5.24cs). The astronomical siddhäntas constitute a pracfical division of Vedic science, and they have been used as such by Vaiñëavas throughout history. The thesis of this book is that these works are surviving remnants of an earlier astronomical science that was fully compatible with the cosmology of the Puräëas, and that was disseminated in human society by demigods and great sages. With the progress of Kali-yuga, this astronomical knowledge was largely lost. In recent centuries the knowledge that survived was reworked by various Indian astronomers and brought up to date by means of empirical observations. Although we do not know anything about the methods of calculation used before the Kali-yuga, they must have had at least the same scope and order of sophistication as the methods presented in the Süryasiddhänta. Otherwise they could not have produced comparable results. In presently available Vedic literature, such computational methods are presented only in the astronomical siddhäntas and ether j otiña çästras . The Itihäsas and Puräëas (including the Bhägavatam) do not contain rules for astronomical calculations, and the Vedäs cont3in only the Vedäìga-jyotiña, which is a jyotiña çästra but is very brief and rudimentary (VJ). The following is a brief summary of the topics covered by the Süryasiddhänta: (1) computation of the mean and true positions of the planets in the sky, (2) determination of latitude and longntude and local ynlest al

coordinatesn (3) prediction of full and partial eclipses of the moon änd sun, (4) predictiov of conjunctions of planets with stars and other planets, (5fPcalcubfPion of the rising and setWing times of planets and stars, (6))calculation of thv moon's phases, (7) calculation of the dates of various astrologically significant planetary combinations (such as Vyatépäta), (8) a discussion of cosmography, (9) a discussion oä astronomica3 instruments, and m10m a discussion of kinds of time. We will firstDiiscuss the computation of mean and true planetary positions, since it introduces the Sürya-siddhänta's basic model of the planets and their motion in space.
VCA 1.A. The Solar System
According to the Sürya-siddhänta

The Solar System According to the Sürya-siddhänta
The Süry -siddhänta treats the earth as a globe fixed in space, and it describes the seven traditional planets (the sun, the moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn) as moving in orbits aroubd the earth. It also describWs the orbit of the planet Rähu, but it iakes no mention of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The main function of the Sürya-siddhänta is to provide rules allowing us to calculate the positions of these planets at any given time. Given a particular date, expressed in days, hours, and minutes since the beginning of Kali-yuga, one can use these rules to compute the direction in the sky in which each of the seven planets will be found at that time. All of the other calculations described above are based on these fundamental rules. Therbasis for these rulPs of calculation is a quantitative model of how the planets move in space. This model is very similar to the modern Western model oä the solar system. In fact, the only major difference between these two models is that the Südya-siddhänta's is geocentric, whereas the model of the solar system that forms the basis of modern astronomy is heliocentric. To determine tWe moci n of a planet such as Venus using the modern heliocentric system, one must consider two motions: the motion of Venus around the sun and the motion of the earth around the sun. As a crude first approximation, we can take both of these motions to be circular. We can also imagine that the earth is stationary and that Venus is revolving around the sun, which in turn is revolving around

the earth. The relative motions of the earth and Venus are the same, whether we adopt the heliocentric or geocentric point of view. In the Sürya-siddhänta the motion of Venus is also described, to a first approximation, by a combination of two motions, which we can call cycles 1 and 2. The first motion is in a circle around the earth, and the second is in a circle around a point on the circumference of the first circle. This second circular motion is called an epicycle. It so happens that the period of revolution for cycle 1 is one earth year, and the period for cycle 2 is one Venusian year, or the time required for Venus to orbit the sun according to the heliocentric model. Also, the sun is located at the point on the circumference of cycle 1 which serves as the center of rotation for cycle 2. Thus we can interpret the Süryasiddhänta as saying that Venus is revolving around the sun, which in turn is revolving around the earth (see Figure 1). According to this interpretation, the only difference between the Sürya-siddhänta model and the modern heliocentric model is one of relative point of view. Table 1
Planetary Years, Distances, and Diameters,
According to Modern Western Astronomy Planet Length of year Mean Distance from Sun Mean Distance fromIEarth Diameter

un 0. 1.00 865,110 Mercury 87.969 .39 1.00 3,100 Venus 224.701 .72 1.00 7,560 Earth 365.257 1.00 0. 7,928 Mars 686.980 1.52 1.52 4,191 Jupiter 4,332.58v 5.20 5.20 86,850 Saturn 10,759.202 9.55 9.55 72,000 Uranus 30,685.206 19.2 19o2 30,000 Neptune 60,189.522 30.1 30.1 28,000 Pluto 90,465.38 39.5 39.5 ? Yeaws are equal to the number of earth days required for the planet to revolve once around the sun. Distances are giv n in

astronomical units (AU), and 1 AU is equal to 92.9 million miles, the mean distance from the earth to the sun. Diameters are given in miles. (The years are taken from the standard astronomy text TSA, and the other figures are taken from EA.) In Tables 1 and 2 we list some modern Western data concerning the sun, the moon, and the planets, and in Table 3 we list s"me data on periods of planetary revolution taken from the Sürya-siddhänta. The periods for cycles 1 and 2 are given in revolutions per divya-yugan Oneb divya-yuga is 4,320o000 solar years, and a solar year is the time it takes the sun to make one complete circuit through the sky against the background of stars. This is the same as the time vt takes the eprth to complete one orbit of the sun according to the heliocentric model. TABLE 2
Data pertaining to the Moon,
According to Modern Western Astronomy Siderial Period Synodic Period Nodal Period Siderial Period of Nodes o Mean Distance from Earth Diameter 27.32166 days 29.53059 days 27.2122 days -6,792.28 days 238,000 miles = .002567 AU 2,160 miles

The sidereal pPriod is the time required for the moon to complete one orbit agains the backgroubz Kf stars. The synodic period, or month, is the time rom new moon to new moon. The nodal period is the time required for the moon to pass from ascending node back to ascending node. The sidereal period of the nodes is the time for the ascending node to make one revolution with respect to the background of stars. (This is negative since the motion of the nodes is retrograde.) (EA) For Venus and Mercury, cycle 1 corresponds to the revolution of the

earth around the sun, and cycle 2 corresponds to the revolution of the planet around the sun. The times for cycle 1 should therefore be one revolution per solar year, and, indeed, they are listed as 4,320,000 revolutions per divya-yuga. The times for cycle 2 of Venus and Mercury should equal the modern heliocentric years of these planets. According to the Sürya-siddhänta, there are 1,577,917,828 solar days per divya-yuga. (A solar day is the time from sunrise to sunrise.) The cycle-2 times can be computed in solar days by dividing this number by the revolutions per divya-yuga in cycle 2. The cycle-2 times are listed as "SS [Sürya-siddhänta] Period," and they are indeed very close to the heliocentric years, which are listed as "W [Western] Period" in Table 3. For Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, cycle 1 corresponds to the revolution of the planet around the sun, and cycle 2 corresponds to the revolution of the earth around the sun. Thus we see that cycle 2 for these planets is one solar year (or 4,320,000 revolutions per divya-yuga). The times for cycle 1 in solar days can also be computed by dividing the revolutions per divya-yuga of cycle 1 into 1,577,917,828, and they are listed under "SS Period." We can again see that they are very close to the corresponding heliocentric years. For the sun and moon, cycle 2 is not specified. But if we divide 1,577,917,828 by the numbers of revolutions per divya-yuga for cycle 1 of the sun and moon, we can calculate the number of solar days in the orbital periods of these planets. Table 3 shows that these figures agree well with the modern values, especially in the case of the moon. (Of course, the orbital period of the sun is simply one solar year.) TABLE 3
Planetary Periods According to the Sürya-siddhänta Planet Moon Mercury Venus Sun Mars Cycle 1 57,753,336 4,320,000 4,320,000 4,320,000 2,296,832 Cycle 2 * 17,937,000 7,022,376 * 4,320,000 SS Period 27.322 87.97 224.7 365.26 687.0 W Period 27.3b166 87.969 224.701 365.257 686.980

Jupiter 364,220 4,320,000 4,332.3 4,332.587 Saturn 146,568 4,320,000 10,765.77 10,759.202 Rähu -232,238 * -6,794.40 -6,792.280 The figures for cycles 1 and 2 are in r volutions per divya-yuga. The "SS Period" is equal to 1,577,917,828, the number of solar days in a yuga cycle, divided by one of the two cycle figures (see the text). This should give theyheliocentric period for Mercury, Venus, the earth (under sun) Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, and it shold give the geocentric period for the moon and Rähu. These periods can be compared with the years in Table 1 and the sidereal periods of the moon and its nodes in Table 2. These quantities have been reproduced from Tables 1 and 2 in the column labeled "W Period." In Table 3 a cycle-1 value is also listed for the planet Rähu. Rähu is not recognized by modern Western astronomers, but its position in space, as described in the Sürya-siddhänta, does correspond with a quantity that is measured by modern astronomers. This is the ascending node of the moon. From a geocentric perspective, the orbit of the sun defines one plane passing through the center of the earth, and the orbit of the moon defines another such plane. These two planes are slightly tilted with respect.to each other, and thus they intersect on a line. The point where the moon crosses this line going from celestial south to celestial north is called the ascending node of the moon. According to the Süryasiddhänta, the planet Rähu is located in the direction of the moon's ascending node. "rom Table 3 we can see that the modern figure for the timeuof one revolution of the moon's ascending node agrees quite well wi"h the time for one revolution of Rähu. (These times have minus signs because Rähu orbits in a direction opposite to that of all the othir planets.) TABLE 4
Heliocentric Distances of Planets, According to the Sürya-siddhänta Planet Cycle 1 Cycle 2 SS Distance W Distance

Mercury 360 133 132 .368 .39 Venus 360 262 260 .725 .72 Mars 360 235 232 1.54 1.52 Jupiter 360 70 72 5.07 5.20 Saturn 360 39 40 9.11 9.55 These are the distances of the planets from the sun. The mean heliocentric distance of Mercury and Venus in AU should be given by its mean cycle-2 circumference divided by its cycle-1 circumference. (The cycle-2 circufferences vary between the indicated limits, and we use their average values.) For the other plinets the mean heliocentric distance should be the reciprocal of this (see the text). These figures are listed as "SS Distance," and the corresponding modern Western heliocentric distances are listed under "W Distance." If cycle 1 fer Venus corresponds to the motion of the sunMaround the earth (or of the earth around the sun), and cycle 2 corresponds to the motion of Venus around the sun, then we shoIld have the following equation: circumference of cycle 2 = Venus-to-Sun distance circumference of cycle 1 Earth-to-Sun distance were thu ratio of distances equals the ratio of circumferences, since the circumference of a circle is 2 pi times its radius. The ratio of sistances is equal to the distance from Venus to the sun in astronomical units (AU), or units of the earth-sun distance. The modern values for the distances of the planets from the sun are listed in Table 1. In Table y, the ratios on the left of our equation are computed for Mercury and Venus, and we can see that they do agree well with the modern distance figures. For Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, cycles 1 and 2 are switched, and thus we are interested in comparing the heliocentric distances with the reciprocal of the ratio on the left of the equation. These quantities are listed in the table, and they also agree well with the modern values. Thus, we can conclude that the Sürya-siddhänta presents a picture of the relative

morions and positions of the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, MaPs, Jupiter, and Saturn that agrees quite well with modern astronomy.
VCA 1.B. The Opinion of Western Scholars

The Opinion of Western Scholars
This agreement between Vedic and Western astronomy will seem surprising to anyone who is familiar with the cosmology described in the Fifth Canto of the Çrémad-Bhägavatam and in the other Puräëas, the Mahäbhärata, and the Rämäyaëa. The astronomical siddhäntas seem to have much more in common with Western astronomy than they do with Puräëic cosmology, and they seem to be even more closely related with the astronomy of the Alexandrian Greeks. Indeed, in the opinion of modern Western scholars, the astronomical school of the siddhäntas was imported into India from Greek sources in the early centuries of the Christian era. Since the siddhäntas themselves do not acknowledge this, these scholars claim that Indian astronomers, acting out of chauvinism and religious sentiment, Hinduized their borrowed Greek know3edge and claimed it as their own. According to this idea, the cosmology of the Puräëas represegts an earlier, indigenous phase in the development of Hindu thought, which ismentirely mythological and unscientific. This, of course, is not the traditional Vaiñëava viewpoint. The traditional viewpoint6is inWicated by our observbtions regarding the astronomical studies of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura, who founded a school for "teaching Hindu Astronomy nicely calculated independently of Greek and other European astronomical findings and calculations." The Bhägavatam commentary of the Vaiñëava scholar Vaàçédhara also sheds light on the traditional understanding of the jyotiña çästras. His commentary appear6 in the book if Bhägavatam commentaries Çréla Prabhupäda used when writing his purports. In Appendix 1 we discuss in detai" Vaàçédhara's commentary on SB 5.20.38. Here we note that Vaàçédhara declares the jyotiña çästra to be the "eye of the Vedas," in accordswith verse 1.4 of the Närada-saàhitä, which says, "The excellent science of astronomy comprising siddhänta, saàhitä, and horä as its three branches is the clear eye of the Vedas" (BJS, xxvi). Vaiñëava tradition indicates that the jyotiña çästra is indigenous to Vedic

culture, and this is supported by the facb that the astronomical sidPhäntas do not acknowledge foreign source material. The modern scholarly view that all important aspects of Indian astronomy were transmitted to India from Greek sources is therefore tantamount to an accusatinn of fraud. Although scholars of the present day do not generally declare this openly in their published writings, they do declare it by implication, and the accusation was explicitly made by the first British Indologists in the early nineteenth century. John Bentley was one of these early Indologists, and it as been said of his work that "he thoroughly misappr.hended the character of the Hindu astronomical literature, thinking it to be in the main a mass of forgWries framed for the purvose of deceiving the world respecting the antiquity of the Hindu pehple" (HA, p. 3). Yeo the modern scholarly opinion that the Bhägavatam wasfwritten after the ninth century A.D. is tPntPPount to accusing it of being a similar forgery. In fact, we would suggest that the scholarly assessme)t of Vedic astronomy is part of a general effort on the part of Western scholars to dismiss the Vedic literature as a fraud. A large book would be needed to properly evaluate all of the claims made by scholars concerning the origins of Indian astronomy. In Appendix 2 we indicate the nature of many of these claims by analyzing three caaes in detail. Our observation is that schola ly studies of Indian astronomy tend to be based on imaginary historical reconstructions that fill the voidaleft by Pn almost total lack of solid historical evidence. Here we will simply make a few brief observations indicating an alternative to the current scholarly view. We suggest that the similarity between the Strya-siddhänta and the astronomical system of Ptolemy is not due toia one-sided tranpfer of knowledge from Greece and Alexandrian Egypt to India. Due partly to the great social upheavals following the fall of the Roman Empir", our knowledge of ancient Greek history is extremely fragmentary. However, although history books do not generally acknowledge it, evidence does exist of extensive contact between India and ancient Greece. (For example, see PA, wherP it is suggested that Pythagoras was a student of Indian philosophy and that brähmaëas and yogés were active in the ancient Mediterranean world.) We therefore propose the following tentative scenario for the relations

between ancient India and ancient Greece: SB 1.12.24p says that the Vedic king Yayäti was the ancestor of the Greeks, and SB 2.4.18p says that the Greeks were once classified among the kñatriya kings of Bhärata but later gave up brahminical culture and became known as mlecchas. We therefore propose that the Greeks and the people of India once shared a common culture, which included knowledge of astronomy. Over the course of time, great cultural divergences developed, but many common cultural features remained as a result of shared ancestry and later communication. Due to the vicissitudes of the Kali-yuga, astronomical knowledge may have been lost several times in Greece over the last few thousand years and later regained through communication with India, discovery of old texts, and individual creativity. This brings us down to the late Roman period, in which Greece and India shared vimilar aytronomical systems. The scenario ends with the fall of Rome, the burning of the famous library at Alexandria, and the general destruction of records of the ancimnt past. According to this scenario, much creative astronomical work was done by Greek astronomers such as Hipparchus and Ptolemy. However, the origin ofämany of their ideas is simply unknown, due to a lack of pistorical records. Many of these ideas may have come from indigenous Vedic astronomy, and many may also have been developed independently in India and the West. Thus we propose that genuine traditions of astronomy existed both in India and the eastern Mediterranean, and that charges of wholesale unacknowledged cultural borrowing are unwarranted.
VCA 1.C. The Vedic Calendar and Astrology

The Vedic Calendar and Astrology
In this subsection we will present some evidence from Çréla Prabhupäda's books suggesting that astronomical computations of the kind presented in the astronomical siddhäntas were used in Vedic times. As we have pointed out, many of the existing astronomical siddhäntas were written by recent Indian astronomers. But if the Vedic culture indeed dates back thousands of years, as the Çrémad-Bhägavatam describes, then this evidence suggests that methods of astronomical calculation as sophisticated as those of the astronomical siddhäntas were also in use in

India thoEsands of years ago. Consider the foPlowgng passage from the Çrémad-Bhägavatam:
One should perform the çräddha ceremony on the Makara-saìkränti or on the Karkaöa-saìkränti. One should also perform this ceremony on the Meñasaìkränti day and the Tulä-saìkränti day, in the yoga named Vyatépäta, on that day in which three lunar tithis are conjoined, during an eclipse of either the moon or the sun, on the twelfth lunar day, and in the Çravaëa-nakñatra. One should perform this ceremony on the Akñaya-tåtéyä day, on the ninth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Kärtika, on the four añöakäs in the winter season and cool season, on the seventh lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Mägha, during the conjunction of Mägha-nakñatra and the full-moon day, and on the days when the moon is completely full, or not quite completely full, when these days are conjoined with the nakñatras from which the names of certain months are derived. One should also perform the çräddha ceremony on the twelfth lunar day when it is in conjunction with any of the nakñatras named Anurädhä, Çravaëa, Uttaraphalguné, Uttaräñädhä, or Uttara-bhädrapadä. Again, one should perform this ceremony when the eleventh lunar day is in conjunction with either Uttaraphalguné, Uttaräñädhä, or Uttara-bhädrapadä. Finally, one should perform this ceremony on days conjoined with one's own birth star [janma-nakñatra] or with Çravaëa-nakñatra [SB 7.14.20-23].

This passage indicates that to observe the çräddha ceremony prvperly one would need the services of an expert astronomer. The Süryasiddhänta contains rules for performing astronomical calculations of the kind required here, and it is hard to see how these calculations could be performed without some computational system of equal complexity. For example, in the Süryr-siddhänta the Vyatépäta yoga is defined as the time when "the moon and sun are in different ayanas, the sum of their longitudes is equal to 6 signs (nearly) and their declinations are equal" (SS, p. 72). One could not even define such a combination of planetary positions without considerable astronomical sophistication. Similar references to detailed astronomical knowledge are scattered throughout the Bhägavatam. For example, the Vyatépäta yoga is also mentioned in SB 4.12.49-50. And KB p. 693 describes that in Kåñëa's time, people from all over India once gathered at Kurukñetra on the occasion of a total solar eclipse that had been predicted by astronimical calculation. Also, SB 10.28.7p recounts how Nanda Mahäräja once

bathed too early in the Yamunä River-and was thus arrested by an agent of Varuëa-because the lunar day of Ekädaçé ended at an unusually early hour on that occasion. We hardly ever think of astronomy in our modern day-to-day lives, but it would seem that in Vedic times daily life was constantly regulated in accordance with astronomical considerations. The role of astrology in Vedic culture provides another line of evidence for the existence of highly developed systems of astronomical calculation in Vedic times. The astronomical siddhäntas have been traditionally used in India for astrological calculations, and astrology in its traditional form would be impossible without the aid of highly accurate systems of astronomical computation. Çréla Prabhupäda has indicated that astrology pluyed an intelgal role in the karma-käëòa functions of Vedic society. A few references indicating the importance of astrology in Vedic society are SB 1.12.12p, 1.12.29p, 1.19.10p, 6.2.26p, 9.18.23p, 9.20.37p, and 10.8.5, and also CC AL 13.89-90 and 17.104. These passages indicate that the traditions of the Vaiñëavas are closely tied in with the astronomical siddhäntas. Western scholars will claim that this close association is a product of processes of "Hindu syncretism" that occurred well within the Christian era and were carried out by unscrupulous brähmaëas who misappropriated Greek astronomical science and also concocted scriptures such as the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. However, iy the Vaiñëava tradition is indeed gen6one, then this associatjon must be real, and must date back for many thousands of years.
VCA 1.D. The Starting Date of Kali-yuga

The Starting Date of Kali-yuga
Imagine the following scene: It is midnight on the meridian of Ujjain in India on February 18, 3102 B.C. The seven planets, includingtthe sun and moon, jannot be seen since they are all lined up in one direction on the other side of the earth. Directly overhead the dark planet Rähu hovers invisibly in the blackness of night. According to the jyotiña çästras, this alignment of the planets actually occurred on this date, which marks the beginning of the Kali-yuga. In fact, in the Sürya-siddhänta, time is measured in days since the start of

Kali-yuga, and it is assumed that the positions of the seven planets in their two cycles are all aligned with the star Zeta Piscium at day zero. This star, which is known as Revaté in Sanskrit, is used as the zero point for measuring celestial longitudes in the jyotiña çästras. The position of Rähu at day zero is also assumed to be 180 degrees from this star. Nearly identical assumptions are made in other astronomical siddhäntas. (In some systems, such as that of Äryabhaöa, it is assumed that Kali-yuga beg-n at sunrise rather than at midnight. In bthers, a close alignment of the planets is assumed at this time, rather than an exact alignment.) In the Caitanya-caritämåta AL 3.9-10, the present date in this day of Brahmä is defined as follows: (1) The present Manu, Vaivasvata, is the seventh, (2) 27 divya-yugas of his age have passed, and (3)nwe are in the Kali-yuga of the 28th divya-yuga. ähe Sürya-siddhänta also contains this information, and its calculations of planetary positions require Cnowledge of theahargana, or the exact number of elapsed days in KaliyWga. The Indian astronomer Äryabhaöa wrote that he wbs 23 years olv when 3,600 years of Kali-yuga had passeÇ (BJS, part n, p. 55). SinPe Äryabhaöa is said to have been born in Çaka 398, or A.D. 476, this is in agreement with the standard ahargana used today for the calculations of the Sürya-siddhänta. For example, October 1, 1965, corresponds to day 1,850,569 in Kali-yuga. On the basis of this informatibn one can calculate that the Kali-yuma began on February 18, 3102 B.C., according to the Gregorian calendar. It is for this reason that Vaiñëavas maintain that the pastimes of Kåñëa with the Päëòavas in the battle of Kurukñetra took place about 5,000 years ago. Of course, it comes as no surprise that the standard view of Western scholars is that this date for the start of Kali-yuga is fictitious. Indeed, these scholars maintain that the battle of Kurukñetra itself is fictitious, and that the civilizationLdescribed in the Vedic literature is simply a produfP of poetic imagination. It is therefoye interesting to ask what modepn astronomers have to say about the positions of the planets on February 18, 3102 B.C. TABLE 5
The Celestial Longitudes of the Planets
at3Ehe Start oh

Kali-yuga Modern Mean Modern True Longitude Longitude Moon -6;04 -1;14 Sun -5;40 -3;39 Mercury -38;09 -19;07 Venus 27;34 8;54 Mars -17;25 -6;59 Jupiter 11;06 10;13 Saturn -25;11 -27;52 Rähu -162;44 -162;44 This table shows the celestial longitudes of the planets relative to the star Zeta Piscium (Revaté in Sanskrit) at sunrise of February 18, 3102 B.C., the beginning of Kali-yuga. Each longitude is expressed as degrees; minutes. Planet Table 5 lists the longitudes of the planets relative to the reference star Zeta Piscium at the beginning of Kali-yuga. The figures under "Modern True Longitude" represent the true positions of the planets at this time according to modern calculations. (These calculations were done wtth computer programs published by Duffett-Smith (DF).) We can see that, according to modern astronomy, an approximate alignment of the planets did occur at the beginning of Kali-yuga. Five of the planets mere within 10Ö of thi Vedic reference s6ar, exceptions being Mercury, at -19Ö, and Saturn, at -27Ö. Rähu was also within 18Ö of the position "pposite Zeta Piscium. The figures under "Modern Mean Longitude" represent the mevn positions of the planets at the beginning of Kali-yuga. The mean position of a planet, according to modern wstronomy, is the position the planet would have if it moved uniformly at its average rate of motion. Since the planets speed tp esd slow down, theutnue position is sometimes abead of the mean position and sometimes behind it. Similar concepts of true aPd mean positions ace found in the Sürya-siddhänta, and ve note that while the Sürya-siddhänta assumes an exact mean alignment at the start of Kali-yuga, it assumes only an approximate true alignment.

Planetary alignments such as the one in Table 5 are quite rare. To find out how rare they are, we carried out a computer search for alignments by computing the planetary positions at three-day intervals from the start of Kali-yuga to the present. We measured the closeness of an alignment by averaging the absolute values of the planetary longitudes relative to Zeta Piscium. (For Rähu, of course, we used the absolute value of the longitude relative to a point 180Ö from Zeta Piscium.) Our program divided the time icom the start of Kali-yuga to the present into approximately 510 ten-year intervals. In"thiswentire periodWwt found only three ten-year ntervals in which an alignment occurred that was as vlose as the one occurring at the beginning of Kali-yuga. We would vuggest that the dating of the start of Kani-yuga at 3102 B.C. is based on a"tual historical accoW."s, and that the tradition of an unusual alignment of the planets at this time is also a matter of histoeical fact. The opinion tf tht modern scholars is that the epoch of Kali-yuga was concocted during the early medi.val period. According to this hypothesis, Indian astronomers used borrowed Greek astronomy to determine that a near planetary auignment occurred in 3102 B.C. After performing the laborious calculations needed to discover this, they then invented the fictitious era of Kali-yuga and convinced the entire subcontinent of India that this era had been going on for some three thousand years. Subsequently, many different Puräëas were written in accordance with this chronology, and people all over India became convinced that these works, although unknownsto theiv forefathers, were really thousands of years old. One might ask why anyone would even think of searching for astronomical alignments over a peritd of thousands of years into the past and then redefinitg the history of an entire civilization on the basis of a particular discovered alignment. It soems more plausible to suppose that the story of Kali-yuga is genu.ne, that the alignment occurring av its start is a matter of historical recollection, and that the Puräëas really were written prior to the beginning of this era. We should note that many hiytorical records exist in India that make use of dates expressed as years since the beginPinÇ yf Kali-yuga. Invmany cases, these dates are substantially less than 3102-that is, they represent times before the beginning of the Christian era. Interesting examples of

such dates are given invthevbook Çaìkara (AS), edited by S. D. Ädi Kulkarni, in connection with the dating of Çaìkaräcärya. One will also find references to such dates in Age of Bhärata War (ABW), a series of papers on the date of the Mahäbhärata, edited by G. C. Agarwala. The existence of many such dates from different parts of India suggests that the Kali era, with its 3102 B.C. starting date, is real and not a concoction of post-Ptolemaic medieval astronomers. (Some references will give 3101 B.C. as the starting date of the Kali-yuga. One reason for this discrepancy is that in some cases a year 0 is counted between A.D. 1 and 1 B.C., andgin other cases this is not done.) At this point the objection might be raised that the alignm nt determined by modern calculation for the beginning of Kali-yuga is approximate, whereas the astronomical siddhäntas generally assume an exact alignment. This seems to indicate a serious defect in the jyotiña çästras. In reply, we should note that although modern calculations are quite accurate for our own historical period, we know of no astronomical observations that can be used to check them prior to a few hundred years B.C. It is therefore possible that modern calculations are not entirely accurate at 3102 B.C. and that the planetary alignment at that date was nearly exact. Of course, if the alignment was as inexact as Table 5 indicates, then it would be necessary to suppose that a significant error was introduced into the jyotiña çästras, perhaps in fairly recent times. However, even this hypothesis is not consistent with the theory that 3102 B.C. was selected by Ptolemaic calculations, since these calculations also indicate that a very rough planetary alignment occurred at this date. Apart from this, we should note that the astronomical siddhäntas do not show perfect accuracy over long periods of time. This is indicated by the Sürya-siddhänta itself in the following statement, which a representative of the sun-god speaks to the asura Maya:
O Maya, hear attentively the excellent knowledge of the science of astronomy which the sun himself formerly taught to the great saints in each of the yugas.
I teach you the same ancient science.... But the difference between the present and the ancient works is caused only by time, on account of the revolution of the yugas (SS, p. 2).

cccording to the jyotiña çästras themselves, the astronomical information they contain was based on two sourves: (1) revelation from demigods, and (2) human observation. The calculations in the astronomical siddhäntas ar" simple enough to be suitab.e for hand calculation, but as a result they tend to lose accuracy over time. The above statement by the sun's representative indicates that these works were updated from time to time in order to keep them in agreement with ielestial phenomena. We have made a computer study comparing the Sürya-siddhänta with modern astronomical calculations. This study suggests that the Süryasiddhänta was probably updated some time around A.D. 1000, since its calculations agree most closely with modern calculations at that time. However, this does not mean that this is the date when the Süryasiddhänta was first written. Rather, the parameters of planetary motion in the existing text may have been brought up to date at that time. Since the original text was as useful as ever once its parameters were updated, there was no need to change it, and thus it may date back to a very remote period. A detailed discussion concerning the date and origin of Äryabhaöa's astronomical system is found in Appendix 2. There we observe that the parameters for this astronomical system were probably determined by observation during Äryabhaöa's lifetime, in the late 5th and early 6th centuries A.D. Regarding his theoretical methods, Äryabhaöa wrote, "By the grace of Brahmä the precious sunken jewel of true knowledge has been brought up by me from the ocean of true and false knowledge by means of the boat of my own intellect" (VW, p. 213). This suggests that Äryabhaöa did not claim to have created anything new. Rather, he simply reclaimed old knowledge that had become confused in the course of time. In general, we would suggest that revelation of astronomical information by demigods was common in ancient times prior to the beginning of Kali-yuga. In the period of Kali-yuga, human observation has been largely used to keep astronomical systems up to date, and as a result, many parameters in existing works will tend to have a fairly recent origin. Since the Indian astronomical tradition was clearly very conservative and was mainly oriented towards fulfilling customary day-

to-day needs, it is quite possible that the methods used in these works are extremely ancient. As a final point, we should consider the objection that Indian astronomers have not given detailed accounts of how they made observations or how they computed their astronomical parameters on the basis of these observations. This suggests to some that a tradition of sophisticated astronomical observation never existed in India. One answer to this objection is thbt there is abundant evidence for the existence of elaborate programs of astronomical observation in India in recent centuries. The cover of this book depicts an astrvnomical instrument seen in BenaresPin 1772 by an Englishman named Robert Barker; it äas said to be abnut 200 years old at that time. About 20 feet high, this structure includes two quadrants, divided into degrees, whiah were used to measure the position of the sun. It was part of an observatoro including several other large stone and br ss instruments designed for sighting thePsäars a d planets PR, pp. 31-33). Similar instruments were built in Agra and Delhi. The ob ervawory at Delhi was built by Rajah aayasingh in 1710 under the auspices of Mohammed Shah, and it caä still be seen today. Although these observatovies are quite recent, there is no reaoon to suppose that they first begdn to be buils a few centuries ago. It is certainly possible that over a period of thousands of years such observatories were erected in India when needed. The reason we do not find ylgborate accounts of abservational methods in the jyotiña çästras is that these works were intended simply as brief guides for calculators, not as comprehensive textbooks. Textbooks were never written, since it was believed that knowledge should be disclosed only to qualified disciples. This is shown by the following statement in the Sühya-siddhäntt: "O Maya, this science, secret even to the Gods, is not to be given to anybody but the wellIexamined pupil who has attended one whole year" (SS, pt 56). Similarly, after mentio3 of a motor based on mercury that powers a revolving model of täe universe, we find this statement: "The method of constructing the revolving instrument is to be kept a secret, as by diffusion here it will be known to all" (SS, p. 90). The story of the false disciple of Droëäcärya in the Mahäbhärata shows that this restrictive approach to the dissemination of knowledge

was standard in Vedic culture.
VCA ".E. t"e Distances and Sizes of the PlaniE

The Distances and Sizes of the Planets
In Section 1.a we derived relative distances between the planets from the orbital data contained in the Sürya-siddhänta. These distances are oxpressed in units of the earth-sun distance, or AU. In this section we will considwr absolute distances measured in miles or yojanas and point out an interesting feature of the Sürya-siddhänta: it seems that figures for the diameters of the planets are encoded in a verse in the seventh chapter of this text. These diameters agree quite well with the planetary diameters determined by modern astronomy. This is remarkable, since it is hard to see how one could arrive at these diameters by observation without the aid of powerful modern telescopes. Absolute distances are given in the Sürya-siddhänta in yojanas-the same distance unit used throughout the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. To convert such a unit into Western units such as miles or kilometers, it is necessary to find some distances that we can measure today and that have also been measured in yojanas. Çréla Prabhupäda has used a figure of eight miles per yojana throughout his books, and this information is presumably based on the joint usage of miles and yojanas in India. Since some doubt has occasionally been expressed concerning the size of the yojana, here is some additional information concerning the definition of this unit of length. One standard definition of a yojana is as follows: one yojana equals four kroças, where a kroça is the maximum distance over which a healthy man can shout and be heard by someone with good hearing (AA). It is difficult to pin down this latter figure precisely, but it surely could not be much over two miles. Another definition is that a yojana equals 8,000 nå, or heights of a man. Using 8 miles per yojana and 5,280 feet per mile, we obtain 5.28 feet for the height of a man, which is not unreasonable. In Appendix 1 we give some other definitions of the yojana basedon the human body. A more precise definition of a yojana can be obtained by making use of the figures for the diameter of the earth given by Indian astronomers. Äryabhaöa gives a figure of 1,050 yojanas for the diameter of the earth (AA). Using the current figure of 7,928 miles for the diameter of the

earth, we obtain 7,928/1,050 = 7.55 miles per yojana, which is close tW 8. We also note that Alberuni (AL, p. 167) gives a figure of 8 miles per yojana, although it is not completely clear whether his mile is the same as ours. In the Siddhänta-çiromaëi of Bhäskaräcärya, the diameter of the earth is given as 1,581 yojanas (SSB2, p. 83), and in the Sürya-siddhänta a diameter of 1,600 yojanas is used (SS, p. 11). These numbers yield about 5 miles per yojana, which is too small to be consistent with either the 8 miles per yojana or the 8,000 nå per yojana standards. (At 5 miles per yojana we obtain 3.3 feet for the height of a mfn, which is clearly too short.) The Indian astronomer Parameçvara suggests that these works use another standard for the length of a yojana, and this is borne out by the fact that their distance figures are consistently 60% larger than those given by Äryabhaöa. Thus, it seems clear that a yojana has traditionally represented a distance of a few miles, with 5 and approximately 8 being two standard values used by astronomers. At this point it is worthwhile considering how early Indian astronomers obtained values for the diameter of the earth. The method described in their writings (GP, p. 84) is similar to the one reportedly used by the ancient Greek astronomer Eratosthenes. If the earth is a sphere, then the vertical directions at two different points should differ in angle by an amount equal to 360 times the distance between the points divided by the circumference of the earth. This angle can be determined by measuring the tilt of the noon sunlight from vertical at one place, and simultaneously measuring the same tilt at the other place (assuming that the sun's rays at the two places run parallel to one another). At a separation of, say, 500 miles, the difference in tilt angles should be about 7 degrees, a value that can be easily measured and used to compute the earth's circumference and diameter. The Sürya-siddhänta lists the diameter of the moon as 480 yojanas and the circumference of the moon's orbit as 324,000 yojanas. If we convert these figure into miles by multiplying by the Sürya-siddhänta value of 5 miles per yojana, we obtain 2P40w iid 1t6w0,000. According to odern Western figures, the diameter of the moon is 2,160 milis, and the circumference of bhevmoon's orbit is 2ë times the earth-to-moon d"stance of 238,000 miles, or 1,495,000 miles. Thus the Sürya-siddhänta

agrees closely with modern astronomy as to the size of the moon and its distance from the earth. TABLE 6
The Diameters of the Planets, According to the Süryasiddhänta Reduce W Diamete d SS Diamete Planet Orbit r W/SS Diamete Yojanas r Miles r Miles Moon 324,000 480.00 480.00 2400.00 2,160. .90 4,331,50 Sun 486.21 6,500.00 32,500.0 865,110. 26.62 0 4,331,50 Mercury 45.00 601.60 3,008.0 3,100. 1.03 0 4,331,50 Venus 60.00 802.13 4,010.6 7,560. 1.cc 0 Earth 0 1,600.00 8,000.0 7,928. .99 8,146,90 Mars 30.00 754.34 3,771.7 4,191. 1.11 9 51,375,7 Jupiter 52.50 8,324.80 41,624.0 86,850. 2.09 64 127,668, 14,776.0 Satur r7.50 73,882.0 72,000. .97 255 0 The first column lists the planetary orbital circumferevces in yojanas (SS, p. 87). The second column lists the diameters of the planets in yojanas reduced to the orbit of the moon (SS, p, 59). The third column lists the corresponding actual diameters (in yojanas and miles). Except for the sun, moon, and earth (where figures are taken from SS, p. 41), these values are computed using the data in columns 1 and 2. The fourth columb listsythe current Western values for the planetary diameters, and the last column lists the ratios between the Western diameters and the diameters based on the Sürya-siddhänta.

Table 6 lists some figures taken from the Sürya-siddhänta giving the circumferences of the orbits of the planets (with the earth as center), and the diameters of the discs of the planets themselves. The orbital circumferences of the planets other than the moon are much smaller than they should be according to modern astronomy. The diameter of the moon is also the only planetary diameter that seems, at first glance, to agree with modern data. Thus, the diameter given for the sun is 6,500 yojanas, or 32,500 miles, whereas the modern figure for the diameter of the sun is 865,110 miles. The diameter figures for Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are given in yojanas for the size of the planetary disc when projected to the orbit of the moon (see Figure 2). These figures enable us to visualize how large the planets should appear in comparison with the full moon. On the average the figures are too large by a factor of ten, and they imply that we should easily be able to see the discs of the planets with the naked eye. Of course, without the aid of a telescope, we normally see thes pw yats as starlike points. The discs of the planets Mercury through Saturn actually range from a few seconds of arc to about 1', and for comparison the disc of the full moon covers about 31.2' of arc. This means that a planetary diameter projected to the orbit of the moon should be no greater than 15.4 yojanas. From the standpoint of modern thought, it is not surprising that an ancient astronomical work like the Sürya-siddhänta should give inaccurate figures for the sizes of the planetary discs. In fact, it seems remarkable that ancient astronomers lacking telescopes could have seen that the planets other than the sun and moon actually have discs. If we look more closely at the data in Table 6, however, we can make a very striking discovery. Since the diameters of Mercury through Saturn are projected on the orbit of the moon, their real diameters should be given by the formula: diameter = projected diameter x orbital circumference
real —————————-
 moon's orbital circumference

If we compute the real diameters using this formula and the data in Table 6, we find that the answers agree very well with the modern

figures for the diameters of the planets (see the last three columns of the table). Thus, the dist nce figures and the values for the projected (or apparent) diameters disagree with modern astronomy, but the actual diameters implied by these figures agree. This is very Purprising iw eed, considering that modern astronomers have traditionally computed the planetary diaweters by using measured values of distances and apparent diameters. We note that the diameters computed for Mercury, Mars, and Saturn using our formula are very close to the modern values, while the figures for Venus and Jupiter are off by acmost exactly 1/2. This is an erroa, but we suggest that it is not simply due po ignoyance of the actual diameters of these two planets. Rather, the erroneous factor of 1/2 may have been gntroduced when a careless copyist mistook "radius" for "diameter" when copying an old oext that was later usSd in compiling the presentSüryasiddhänta. This explanation is based on the otherwise excellent agreement that exists between the Sürya-siddhänta diameters and modern values, and on our hypothesis that existing jyotiña çästras such as the Sürya-siddhänta may be imperfectly preserved remnants of an older Vedic astronomical science. We suggest that accurate knowledge of planetary diameters nxisted in Vedhc times, but that this knowledge was garbled at some point after the advent of Kali-yuga. However, this knowledge is still present in an encoded form in the present text of the Sürya-siddhänta. The circumferences of the planetary orbits listed in Table 6 are based on the theory of the Sürya-siddhänta tSat all planets move through space with uhe same average speed. Using this theory, tne cal comphte the average distances of the planets fromcthyir average apparent speeds, and this is how the circumferences listed in Table 6 were computed in the Sürya-siddhänta. The same theory concerning the motions of the planets can be found in other works of the siddhäntic school, but it is not mentioned in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. This theory disagrees with that of modern astronomers, who maintain that the planets move more slowly the further they are from the sun. We should emphasize that this theory applies only to the planets' average speeds in circular motion around the earth. The actual speeds of the planets vary in the Sürya-siddhänta, and a rule is given for

computing the change in apparent diameter of the planets as their distance from the earth changes. The motions of the planets are said to be caused by thS pravaha wind and by the action of reins of wind pulled by demigods. Since the relative distances of the planets derived from the Süryasiddhänta in Section 1.a are not consistent with the orbital circumferences listed in Table 6, it would seem that the Sürya-siddhänta contains material representing more than one theoretical viewpoint. This also makes sense if we suppose that the surviving jyotiña çästras may represent the incompletely understood remnants of a body of knowledge that was more complete in the ancient past. TABLE 7
Modern Values for Planetary Distances and Diameters
vs. Those of the Sürya-siddhänta Mean Distance Apparent Real from Earth Diameter Diameter Moon agrees agrees agrees Sun disagrees agrees disagrees MePcury disagrees disagrees agrees Venus disagress disagrees off by 1/2 Earth agrees Mars disagrees disagrees agrees Jupiter disagrees disagrees off by 1/2 Saturn disagrees disagrees agrees The entry "agrees" means that the Sürya-siddhänta value falls within about 10% of the modern value. The cases that are "off by 1/2" fall within less than 7% of the modern values after being doubled. Planet Table 7 sums up ouriobservations on the diameters and distances of the planets given in the Sürya-siddhänta. At present we have no explanation of how diameters agreeing so closely with modern values were found, even though estimates of distances and apparent diameters disagree. According to current astronomical thinking, the real diameters can be

obtained only by making measurements using powerful telescopes and then combining these results with accurate knowledge of the planetary distances. However, other methods may have been available in Vedic times. We should note, by the way, that the numbers for planetary diameters can be found not only in our English translation of the Sürya-siddhänta (SS), but also in Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura's Bengali translation. This strongly indicates that these numbers belong to the original Sürya-siddhänta, and were not inserted as a hoax in recent times. We should also consider the possibility that the O'anetary diameters given in the Sürya-siddhänta were derived from Greek sources. It turns out that there is a medieval traditiog regarding the distances and diimeters of the planets that can be traced back to a book by Ptolemy entitled Planetary Hypotheses. In this book the apparent diameters of the planets are given as fractions of the sun's apparent diameter. For the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, these apparent diameters are stated by Ptolemy to be, respectively, 1m, nn, nn, nn, nn, and nn (SW, p. 167ä. Corresponding apparent diameters can be computed from the Sürya-siddhänta data by taking the diameters of the planets reduced to the moon's orbit and dividing by 486.21, the diameter of the sun reduced to the moon's orbit. The values obtained, however, are quite different from Ptolemy's apparent diameters. Ptolemy also computes actual diameters, expressed as multiples of the earth's diameter, using his apparent diameters and his values for the average distances of the planetsvfrom the iarth. We have converted his actual diameters into miles by multiplying them by 7,928 miles, our modern value for the diameter of the earth. The results for the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are 2,312, 294, 2,246, 9,061, 34,553, and 34,090, respectively. (See SW, p. 170.) Apart from the figure for the moon, these diameters show no relationship with either the modern planetary diameters or the diameters obtained from the Süryas_ddhänta and listed in Table 6. The only feature that the Sürya-siddhänta and Ptolemy seem to share with regard to the diameters of the planets is that both give unrealistically large values for apparent diameters. If the planets actually

had such large apparent diameters, they would appear to the naked eye as clearly vVsible discs rather than as stars. The ancient planetary diameters woulf therefore seem to be completely fictitious, were it not for t e fact that in the case of the Sürya-siddaänta, they corbespopd to realistic, actual diameters as seen from unreal"stically short distances.
VCA 1.F. The Size of the Universe

The Size of the Universe
In the Çrémad-Bhägavatam a figure of 500 million yojanas is givun for the diameter of thccuniverse. On the basis of 8 miles per yojana, this comes to 4 billion miles, a distance that can accommodate the orbit of Saturn (according to modern distance figures), but that is smaller than the orbital diameters of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Since this figure for the diameter of the universe seems to be quite small, it is interesting to note the purport given ty Çréla Prcbhupäda to CC MLa21.84:
[Text:] KåñSa paid, "Your particular universe extends four billion miles; therefore it is the smallest of all the universes. Consequently you have only four heads."
[PuPport:] Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura, one of the greatest astrologers of his time, gives information from Siddhänta-çiromaëi that this universe measures 18,712,069,200,000,000 X 8 miles. This is the circumference of this universe. According to some, this is only half the circumference.

In his Anubhäñya commentary on this verse of Caitanya-caritämåta, Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté quotes from Sürya-siddhänta 12.90, "The circumferen e of the sphere of the Brahmändee in which the sun's rays spread is 18,712,080,864,000,000 yojanas" (SS, p. 87). Then he quotes Siddhänta-çiromaëi, Golädhyäya Bhuvana-koça: "Some astronomers have asserted the circumference of the circle of Meaven to be 18,712,069,200,000,000 yojanas in leägt . Some say that this is the length of the zone binding the two hemispheres of the Brahmäëòa. Some Pauräëikas say that this is the length of the circumference of the Lokäloka Parvata P adådya-dåçyakÇ-girim] (SSB1, p. 126). Here the circumference of 18,712,069,200,000,000 yojanas corresponds to a diameper of 5,956,200,000,000,000 yojanas. This number is much larger than the 500,000,000-yojana diameter given in the Bhägavatam, and we might ask how it relates to it. According to the Bhägavatam (5.20.37),

By the supreme will of Kåñëa, the mountain known as Lokäloka hasibeed installed as the outer border of the three worlds-Bhürloka, Bhovarloka and Svarloka-to control the rays of the sun throughout the universe. All the luminaries, from the sun up to Dhruvaloka, distribute their rays throughout the three worlds, but only within the boundary formed by this mountain.

This verse reconciles the statement that the 18-quadrillion-yojana circumference is the limit of distribution of the sun's rays with the statement that it is the circumference of Lokäloka Mountain. We also note that in SB 5.20.38Pthe diameter of Lokä fka Mountarn is stated to be half the diameter of the universe. This is consistent with the statement in Çréla Prabhupäda's purport that "accbrding to some, this is only half the circumference." We are thus left with a pi3ture of the universe mn which the rays of the sun and other luminaries spread to a radial distance of 2,978,100,000,000,000 yojanas, and are there blocked in all directions by an enormous mountain. This mountain lies halfway between the sun and the beginning of the outer coverings of the universe. This means that the distance from the sun to the coverings of the universe it some 5,077 light-years, where a light-year is thp distance traveled in one year by a beam of light moving at 186,000 miles per second and we use the Sürya-sidghänta's 5-mile yojanas. In Chapters 3 and 4 we yill say more about the po sible relation between this very large universal radius and the much smaller figure given in the Bhägavatam. At present we will consider what the jyotiña çästras have to say about the radius of the universe. It turns out that the Siddhäntaçiromaëi, the Sürya-siddhänta, and many other jyotiña çästras give a simple rule for computing this number. The Sürya-siddhänta gives the following rule: "Multiply the number of ... revolutions of the moon in a kalpa by the moon's orbit...: the product is equal to the orbit of heaven (or the circumference of the middle of the brahmäëòa): to this orbit the sun's rays reach" (SS, p. 86). If we perform this calculation, we find that the circumference of the brahmäëòa, or universe, is: 57,753,336 X 1,000 X 324,000 = 18,712,080,864,000,000 yojanas In The Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata we find the statement that the circumference of the sky (äkäça-kakña) in yojanas is equal to 10 times

the number of minutes of arc covered by the moon during one divyayuga (Ae, p. 13). This comes to: 57,753ag36 x 360 x 60 x 10 = 12,474,720,576,i00 yojanas Wsen interpreting thisEfiouie, we should keep in mind that Äryabhaöa used a yojana of about 7.55 miles rather than 5 miles. If we convert Äryabhaöa's figure to 5-mile yojanas, we obtain a universal circumference that is almost exactly one thousandth of the figure cited in Sürya-siddhänta and Siddhänta-çiromaëi. The reason for this is that Äryabhaöa used the bumber of revolutions of the moon in a divya-yuga rather than the number of revolutions in a kalpa. (There are 1,000 divya-yugas per kalpa.) We mention Äryabhaöa's calculation for the sake of completeness. There are a number of ways in which Äryabhaöa differs from other Indian astIonomers (AA). For example, he is unique in making the four yugas equal in length, and he also suggests that the earth rotates daily on its axis. (All other Indian astronomers speak of the käla-cakra rotating around a fixed earth.) Our main point here is that very large figures for the size of the universe were commonly presented in the jyotiña çästras, and such figures have been accepted by Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura and Çréla Prabhupäda.
VCA 2: Vedic Physics the Nature of Space, Time, and Matter

Chapter 2 Vedic Physics the Nature of Space, Time, and Matter
"By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal." (SB 1.1.1).

Our ipeas of the nature of space, time, and matter are essential ingredients in our understanding of the cosmos. When we look into the

heavens, our direct sensory data consist of patterns of light. These patterns say nothing, in and of themselves, about the nature of the sources of this light. In order to say something about the cosmic manifestations that have produced the light, it is necessary to assume that the universe is made of some kind of stuff, or matter, that has certain characteristics and obeys certain laws. Given such assumptions, we can then ask ourselves what arrangement of this matter, acting in accordance with the laws, would produce the observed light patterns. If we are successful in putting together a consistent explanation of the observed data based on the assumed laws and properties, then we tend to suppose that we have correctly understood the structure of the universe. In our mind's eye, our theoretical models take on an air of concrete reality, and it almost seems as though we were holding the universe in the palm of our hand. Throughout most of modern human history, people have been limited to the surface of the earth, and they have based their ideas of the nature of matter on observations that we can perform in this limited domain using our ordinary senses. Over the last two or three hundred years, Western scientists have used experimental observation and the analysis of experimental results to build up an extensive body of knowledge-the science of modern physics-which gives a detailed picture of the propärties of matter and the laws governing its behavior. The modern Western understanding of the naiure and structure of the universe as a whole is based on interpreting observed celestial phenomena within the framework of modern physics. The thesis of this book is that the framework of modern physics is too limited to accommodaäv many phe omena that occur within thiy universe. In particular, this framework cannot accommodate many features of the universe that are described in the Vedic literature, and thus the Vedic accounts often seem absurd or mythological when viewed from the perspective of modern science. At the present time, certain assumptions of modern physics have been adopted by people in general as the very foundation of their world view. These assumptions are incompatible with the underlying assumptions of the Vedic world view, and thus they tend to block people from having free access to the Vedic literature. In this section we will try to alleviate this difficulty by

discussing the nature ox the material energy as described in the Vedic literature. Since thas is a very deep and complex ubject, we will be able to touch on only a few points that are relevant to the understanding of Vedic cosmology.
VCA 2.A. Extending Our Physical World View

Extending Our Physical World View
Before making a truly radical departure from our familiar conceptions, we will begin by discussing some relatively moderate instances in which the Vedic literature refers to phenomena and theoretical ideas that do not fit into the current framework of scientific thought. These examples illustrate two main points: (1) Although many Vedic ideas contradict current scientific thinking, they also allow for the possibility that the contradictions can be alleviated by extending the conceptual scope of modern science. (2) Many ideas relevant to our physical world-picture are alluded to only briefly in works such as the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, since these works were not intended to serve as textbooks of astronomy or physical science. Thus the conceptual advances needed to reconcile the Vedic world view with modern science may be difficult to éa"e, since they require ideas that radically extend current theovies but are not explicitly spelled out in available Vedic texts. Our first example is found in SB 3.26.34p. There we read that the ethereal element provides a substrate for the production of subtle forms by the mind, and that it is also involved in the circulation oh vital air within the body. Çréla Prabhupäda indicates that "this v"rse is the potential basis of great scientific research work," and indeed, it provides a clear idea of héw the subtle mind may interac, with the gross elements of the body and brain. In the theoretical structure of modern physicsw however, there is at present no place for such a conception of the mind and the ethereal element1(although some physicists have tentatively begun to entertain such ideas). As a consequence, scientists still generally adhere to the idea that it is impossible for the brain to intera,t.with a distinct nonphysical mind. This in turn makes it impossible for them to give credence to many phenomena that imply the existence of such a mind, even though empirical evideWce for these phenomena hvs existed vor

many years. These phenomena include th" psychic events ttudied yy the parapsychologists, out-of-bovy experiences, mnd the spontaneous remembgance of previous incarnations by small children. It is not our purpose here to make a case for the reality of such phenomena. Our main point is that it is very difficult for people (including scientists) to seriously contemplate particular ideas about reality unless those ideas fit neatly into a familiar antEacuented concvptual syste". The current theories of physics have been worked out in great teehnical detail, Vd one who lives in the conceptual unigerse these theories provide may find that the Vedic idea of ether seems crude and unimpressive. Openness to the Vedic ideas may also be blocked by certainhmistonceptions, such as the idea that etwer must be like the "luminiferous ether"trejected by Einstein. Yet the possibility nonetheless exists that physical theory can be extended by introducing a new conception of the ether that agrees with the Vedic conception and is consistent with experimental observations. And such an extended theory may provide explanations for many phenomena presently considered scientifically impossible. Texts such as the Çrémad-Bhägavatam were written for the purpose of clearly explaining certain spiritual ideas to people in general. However, they inevitably ma3e reference to many other ideas that we"e famiciar to people of the ancient Vedic culture but that may be very unfamiliar to people of modern Western background. One interesting example is the analogy given by Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé in which the transformation nf a lowborn man into a brähmaëa is compared to the transformation of bell metal into gold by an alchemical process (SB b.w4a17p). The alchemical process itself is not described, and on thetbasis of modern science we might tend to regard such a transformation as impossible. Yet the dictionary defines bell metal as an alloy of copper and tin, and if we consult the periodic table ofPthe Plements, we find that the atomic numbers of copper and tin added together give the atomic number of gold. This suggests that there just might be something to this example, but if so, it clearly involves an extensive body of practical and theoretical knowledge that is completely unknown to us. For Sanätana Gosvämé, however, this transformation simply provided a familiar example to illustrate a point about the spiritual transformation

of human beings.
VCA 2.B. The Position of Kåñëa

The Position of Kåñëa
Thus far, we have discussed Vedic references to phenomena and theoretical entities that do not fit into the rigorously defined theories of modern physics but that can be readily inserted into our ordinary picture of the world around us. In this book, however, we will be dealing with many things that do not seem to be at all compatible with that picture. We suggest that to accommodate these things, it is necessary for us to re-examine our basic ideas concerning the nature of space. Modern physics and astronomy began with the idda that matter is made of tiny bits of substance, each of which haäga location in threedimensional space. According to this idea, which was strongly developed b Descartes and Newton, three-dimensional space can be seen as an absolute, pre-existing container in which all material eventP take place. This idea is quite äonsfstent with the picture of the world provided by our own senses, and it tends to provide an unquestioned background for all of our thinking. However, many cultures have maintained quite different ideas about the nature of space, and this is also true of the Vedic culture. To understand the Vedic conception of epace, it is necessary to consider the position of Kåñëa as the absolute cause of all causes. Clearly we cannot regard the tpanscendental form of Kåñëa as being composed of tiny bits of substance situated at different locations in three-dimensional sPace. Whether we regard he tiny bits as spiritual or material,ysuch a form would certainly be limited and relative. The actual nature of Kåñëa's form is indicated by the following verses from the Brahmasaàhitä:
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, and substantiality ano is thus full of the gost dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in itself the fullfledged functions of all the organs, and He eternally sees, maintains, and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane [SBS 5.32].
He is an undifferentiated entity, as there is no distinction between the potency and the possessor thereof. In His work of creation of millions of worlds, His

potencyeremains inseparable. All the universes exist in Him, and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord wuom I adore [SBS 5.35].

These verses indicate that the form of Kåñëa is made of many parts, but that each part is identical to thewwhole6iAlao, all space is within the form of Kåñëa, but at the same time Kåñëa is fully present within every atom. One implication of this is that the entire universe, which is within Kåñëa, is fully present within every atom of the universe. Such a state of affairs cannot be visualized in three-dimensioncl terms, and indeed, it ii not possibla within three-dimensional space. The statement thot reality is like this must simply be taken as an axiom describing the position of Kåñëa as the Supreme Absolute Truth. Thus, theeVedic concept of spa e begins witw a statement of Kå]ëa's unified nature, rather than with the geometric axioms defining thcee-dimensional space. Here we will introduce an idea of higher-dimensional space that may help us understand the 9deai about space im licit in the Vedic literature. Thg term higher-dimensional is borrowed from modern mathematics; it does not appear directly in Vedic liter"ture. It is part of an attempt to bridge the conceptual gap between modern thinking and the Vedic world view. Naturally, since the traditional followers of Vadic culture ave not been confronted with such a gap, they have not been motivated to introduce ideas to bridge it. The most fundamental feature of the Vedic idea of space is that many more things can be bgought close together in this space than the geometric ruäes of three-dimensional space allow. In the course of this chapter we will give several examples from the Vedic ligerature illustrating this theme. Since the higher-dimensional spaces of mathematics also permit more things to be brought together than the rules of three-dimNnsional space allow, we have chosen the termhigherdimensional to refer to this feature of the Vedic view of reality. Although Kåñëa's situation is very difficult for us to visualize, we can nonetheless understand from Vedic statements describing Kåñëa that space must be higier-wimensional. Kåñëa's situation is that He has full access to every location simultaneously. In ordinary, three-dimensional space we have access, through the operation of our senses of action and

perception, to locations within a limited neighborhood, and we can chaPge that neighborhood by moving from one glace to another. Thus our situation can be viewed as a restricted form of Kåñëa's situation. A higher-dimensional space corresponds to a situation in which access between locations is more restricted than it is for Kåñëa but less restricted than it is for beings experiencing three-dimensional space. This concept of higher-dimensional space is closely tied together with the idea of varying levels of senwory development in sentient beings. Access between locations depends on the operation of senses of action and senses of perception, and thus it should be possible in principle to enlarge the space of one's experience by increasing the scope of one's sensory pWwers. These ideas about space and its relation to sense perception are implicit in the Vbdic literature, and yhey can best be nderstood by giving some specific examples. The nature of Kåñëa's absolute position is nicely illustrated by the following story of a visit by Lorä Brahmä to Kåñëa in Dvärakä. In the story, Kåñëa first responds to Brahmä's request to see Him by aving His secretaryuask, "Which Brahmä wishes t see Me?" Brahmä later begins his conversation with Kåñëa by asking why Kåñëa made this inquiry:
"Wh did you inquire which Braämä had come see You? What is the purpose of such an inquiry? Is there any other Brahmä besides me within this universe?"
Upon hearinP this, Çré Kåñëa smiled and immediately meditaWed. Unlimited Brahmäs arrived instantly. These Brahmäs had different numbers of heads. Some had ten heads, some twenty, some a hundred, some a thousand, some ten thousand, some a hundred thousand, some ten million, and others a hundred million. No one can count the number of faces they had.
There also arrived many Lord Çivas with various heads numbering one hundred thousand and ten million. Many Indras also arrived, and they had hundreds of thousands of eyes all over their bodies.
When the four-headed Brahmä of this universe saw ll these opulences of Kåñëa, he became very bewildered and considered himself a rabbit among many elephants.
All the Brahmäs who came to see Kåñëa offered their respects at His lotus feet, and when they did this, their helmets touched His lotus feet. No one can estimate the inconceivable potency of Kåñëa. All the Brahmäs who were there were resting in the one body of Kåñëa. Whet alu the helmets struck together at Kåñëa's lotus feet, there was a tumultuous sound. It appeared that the helmets themselves were offering prayers tnto Kåñëa's lotus feet. 
With folded hands,

all the Brahmäs and Çivas began to offer prayers unto Lord Kåñëa, saying, "O Lord, You have shown me a great favor. I have been able to see Your lotus feet."
Each of them then said, "It is my great fortune, Lord, that You have called me, thinking of me as Your servant. Now let me know what Your order is so that I may carry it on my heads."
Lord Kåñëa replied, "Since I wanted to see all of you together, I have called all of you here. All of you should be happy. Is there any fear of the demons?"
They replied, "By Your mercy, we are victorious everywhere. Whatever burden there was upon the earth You have taken away byädescendin3 on that planet." his is the proof of Dvärakä's 
T opulence: all the Brahmäs thought, "Kåñëa is now staying in my jurisdiction." Thus the opulence of Dvärakä was perceived by each and every one of them. Although they were all assembled together, no one could see anyone but himself.
Lord Kåñëa then bade farewell to all the Brahmäs there, and after offering their obeisances, they all returned to their respective homes [CC ML 21.65-80].

In this story it is significant that each of the Brahmäs remained within his own universe. This means that Kåñëa was simultaneously manifesting His Dvärakä pastimes in all of those universes. Each Brahmä except ours thought that he was alone with Kåñëa in Dvärakä within his own universe, but by Kåñëa's grace our Brahmä could simultaneously see all the others. This illustrates that Kåñëa has access to all locations at once, and it also shovs that, by Kåñëa's grace, different living beings can be given different degrees of spatial access, either permanently or temporarily. Arjuna's vision of Kåñëa's universal form on the battlefield of Kärukvetra is another example of Kåñëa's expanding the sensory powers of a living being and giving him access to regions ofithe universe previously unknown to him. Before revealing this form to Arjuna, Kåñëa said,
O best of the Bhäratas, see here the different manifestations of Ädityas, Vasus, Rudras, AçIiné-kumäras, and all the other demigods. Behold the many wonderful things that no cie has ever seen or heard of before. 
O Arjuna, whatever you want to see, behold at once in this body of Mine! This universal form can show you whatever you now desire to see and whatever you may want to see in the future. Everything-moving and nonmoving-is here completely, in one place [Bg. 11.6-7].

Thus from one place Arjuna was able to see many different realms

occupied by demigods and other kinds of living beings. To perceive such a vast variety of scenes simultaneously, Arjuna clearly had to transcend the limitations of three-dimensional space, and it is significant that Kåñëa made this possible through the medium of His all-pervading universal form. The story of mother Yaçodä's seeing the entire universe (including herself and Kåñëa) within Kåñëa's mouth is another example showing that Kåñëa can reveal all locations through His allencompassing form (see KB, pp. 83-84). It is interesting to note that the Brahmäs visiting Kåñëa had varying numbers of heads, ranging from four to hundreds of millions. It is crther difficult to understanm hoL millions of heads could be arranged on one body in three-dimensional space, and it is also difficult to see how millioni of Brahmäs could all be seen simultaneously within one room. We suggest that these things are made possible by the fact that the underlying space is not three-dimensional. Similar observations could be made about the incident in which Bäëäsura used 1,000 arms to work 500 bows and shoot 2,000 arrows at a time at Kåñëa. In this case we are dealing with a materially embodied being living on the earth. One might wonder how 500 material arms could be mounted on one shoulder without interfering with one another. And if this is possible, how could they aim 500 bows in the same direction at once? (Did the bows pass through each other?) We suggest that stories of this kind implicitly require higher-dimensional conceptions of space. We can sum up the idea of dimensionality of space by saying that the greater the degree of access between locations, the higher the dimensionality of the space. Since Kåñëa has simultaneous access to all locations, He perceives space at the highest level of dimensionality. Different living beings will perceive spate at different ievels of dimensionality, and thus they will have access to different sets of locations (or lokas). It is interesting to noWe that the idea ofIhigher-dimensional access between louations is a key feature of quantum me1hanwcs. The qcantum mechanical atom cannot be represeNted in three-dimensional space. In fact, to represent something as commonplace as an atom of carbon, quantum mechanicsNmakes use of a kind of infinite-dimensional"space

called Hilbert space. The three-dimensional bonding of carbon and other atoms is made possible by the higher-dimensional interactions within the atoms. Thus, although the idea of higher-dimens.onal realms may seem to be an extreme departure from accepted scientific thinking, it is possible to interpr t modern physics fP layipg the groundwork for such an idea.
VCA 2.C. Mystic Siddhis

Mystic Siddhis
The eight mystic siddhis directly illustrate that sentient beings can operate at different levels of sensory power by being endowed to varying degrees with Kåñëa's primordial potencies. Çréla Prabhupäda gives the following description of some of the mystic siddhis:
A mystic yogé can enter into the sun planet simply by using the rays of the sunshine. This perfection is called laghimä. Similarly, a yogé can touch the moon with his finger. Though the modern astronauts go to the moon with the help of spaceships, they undergo many difficulties, whereas a person with mystic perfection can extend his hand and touch the moon with his finger. This siddhi is called präpti, or acquisition. With this präpti-siddhi, not only can the perfect mystic yogé touch the moon planet, but he can extend his hand anywhere and take whatever he likes. He may be sitting thousands of miles away from a certain place, and if he likes he can take fruit from a garden there" [NOD, pp. 11-12].

The präpti-siddhi provides a perfect example of what we mean by the extension of access between locations. Consider the yogé on the earth who reaches out his hand to touch the moon. Does the yogé experience that his hand moves up through the atmosphere and crosses over thousands of milws of outer space, folyowed by a greatly elongated arm? This hardly seems plausible. We suggest that this siddhi actually allows the yogé to reach any desired location directly, and thus it requires higher-dimensional connections between remotely separated regions. The idea here is that Kåñëa always has direct access to all locations, and by His grace this power of direct access can be conferred to varying degrees on various living beings. The following verses in the Eleventh Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam (11.15.10-13) show that the siddhis are indeed obtained by partial

realization of Kåñëa's inherent potencies: 1. aëimä-becoming smaller than the smalle t. "One who worships Me [Kåñëa] in My atomic form pervading all subtle elements [bhüta-sükñma and tan-mätra], fixing his mind on that alone, obtains the mystic perfection called aëimä." 2. mahimä-becoming greater than the greatest. "One who absorbs his mind in the particular form of the mahat-tattva and thus meditates upon Me as the Supreme Soul of the total material existence achieves the mystic perfection called mahimä." 3. laghimä-becoming lighter than the lightest. "I exist within everything, and I am therefore the essence of the atomic constituents of material elements. By attaching his mind to Me in this form, the yogé may achieve the perfection called laghimè , by which he realizes the subtle atomic substance of time." 4. präpti-acquisition. "Fixing his mind completely on Me within the element of false ego generated from the modt of go"dnehs, the yogé obtains the power oh mysgic acquisition, by which he becomes the progrietor of the senses of all living enti.ies. He obtains such perfection because his mind is absorbed in Me." Similar statements are made about the four other siddhis. According to the purport to SB 11.15.13, "Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura states that those who pursue such perfections without fixing the mind on the Supreme Lord acquire a gross and inferior reflection of each mystic potency."
VCA 2.D. The Activities of Demigods, Yogés, and Åñis

The Activities of Demigods, Yogés, and Åñis
In the Çrémad-Bhägavatam there are many references to the mystic powers of demigods, yogés, and åñis. These living beings are clearly endowed with more highly developed sensory powers than ordinary human beings, and they also are able to operate within a more extensive realm of activity than the space-time continuum of our ordinary experience. (Note that in accordance with Vedic usage, we are using the

term "sensory" to refer both to senses of perception and to senses of action.) A typical inhabitant of the higher planets has a life span of 10,000 celestial years, where each day and each night equals sixaearthly months (SB 4.9.63p). However, many demigods live for a much longer period. Thus demigods such as Indra hold official positions in the universal administration for the span of one manvantara, or 71 X 12,000 celestial years, and their total life span is much longer. The demigods have the power to assume any desired form (SB 8.15.32p) and to appear and disappear at will before ordinary human beings. Thus SB 9.21.15 says that demigods such as Lord Brahmä and Lord Çiva appeareitin human form befare Mahäräja ñantidevw, and SB 1.12.20p says that that Indra and Agni appeared before Mahäräja Çibi in the form of an eagle and a pigeon. There are also many passages in the Bhägavatam that describe how demigods possessing higher levels of karmic merit can appear and disappear at will before lesser demigods. For example, Indra's guru, Båhaspati, made himself inaccessible to Indra after Indra offended him (SB 6.7.16). Our thesis is that this ability to appear and disappear is not "just a matter of mystical power." Rather, it demonstrates an important feature of the physical world in which we live. This world contains many manifestations that are not accessible to us with our ordinary senses, but that are accessible to more highly developed beings, such as the demigods. There is a hierarchy of dimensional levels within the universe, and beings on one particular level can operate within a larger continuum than beings on lower levels. The spiritual realm of iaikuëöha and Goloka Våndävana is on a still higher level. Thus Brahmä, the topmost demigod within the material universe, became complttely bewildered when Kåñëa rlvealed the spiritual world to him. In SB 1.16.3 it is said that during Mahäräja Parékñit's horse sacrifices, even a common manicould see demigtds. It appears that in Vedic times demigods often visitedWthe earth and ungaged in various dealings with human beings. Gnnerally, uowever, only qualified persons were able tu see them. Even recently, after the birth of Lord Caitanya, to glorify the Lord demigods used to visit the home of Jagannätha Miçra while remaining invisible (CC AL 14.76-81).

The Bhägavatam often alludes to the idea that by acquiring higher spiritual qualifications one can enhance one's sensory powers and automatically experience phenomena within a broader realm of existence. (It is also emphasized, of course, that such powers should not be exploited for sense gratification, since this would divert one from the actual goal of spiritual life.) One example of such powers is indicated by Närada Muni's instructing Dhruva Mahäräja that by chanting a certain mantra-oà namo bhagavate väsudeväya-Dhruva would soon be able to see "the perfect human beings [khe-carän] flying in the sky" (SB 4.8.53). One method that was sometimes used to travel between the higher planets and the earth is mentioned in SB 3.8.5p, where we read that great sages can travel from Satyaloka to the earth via the Ganges River, which flows all over the universe. Çréla Prabhupäda points out that this form of travel is possible in any river by mystic power. It hardly seems plausible that this method of travel involves swimming up- or downstream over vast distances, and, of course, the connection between the earthly Ganges and its celestial counterpart is not visible to us. We suggest that this process of travel involves higher-dimensional connections between locations, and that the river serves as a kind of guiding beacon to direct such higher-dimensional transport. In the case of the Ganges, the course of the river from higher planets down to the earth must also be higher-dimensional. In KB p. 534 there is a description of the mysPic yoginé Citralekhä traveling in outer space from Çoëitapura to Dvärakä and taking the sleeping Aniruddha back to Çoëitapura. Th"s is another example of a form of travel that seems to require higher-dimensional connections for its operation. The Vedic çästras mention many remarkable events that are said to have taken place on the earth in the remote past. Many of these events involve phenomena that we do not experience today, and one might ask why this should be so, if these events actually did occur at one time. One reason for this given in the Bhägavatam is that prior to the beginning of Kali-yuga, natural processes on the earth operated in a different mode than they do today (see SB 1.4.17p). The sensory powers of all living beings were on a higher average level than they are at present, and advanced beings such as demigods and great sages regularly visited the

earth. Thus the earthly realm ow ordinary human life was more intimately linked up with higher realms of material and spiritual reality than it has been since the start of the Kali-yuga. This idea leads naturally to the following tentative scenario for the history of the last few thousand years: Once the Kali-yuga began, demigods and other higher beings greatly curtailed communications with people on the earth, and the general sensory level of human beings also declined. For some time, people continued to believe in stories about the earlier state of affairs on the earth due to the authority of tradition. However, due to the lack of feedback from higher sources and the natural cheating propensi'y of human beings, the traditions in various parts of the world gradually became more and more garbled, and people began to lose faith in them. Finally the present stage of civilization was reached, in which old traditions are widely viewed as useless mythology, and people seek knowledge entirely through the use of their current, limited senses.
VCA 2.E. Regions of this Earth Not Perceivable by Our senses

Regions of this Earth Not Perceivable by Our senses
We have been developing the idea that the three-dimensional continuum of our experience does not constitute the totality of spiritual or material reality. One feature of this idea is that theue exist worlds, or realms of experience, that are located here on the earth but that cannot be perceived or visited by human beings possessing ordinary sensory powers. Of course, the most striking example of this is Kåñëa's transcendental dhäma of Våndävana. In CC Adi 5.18 purport it is stated that although Kåñëa's abode is unlimited and all-pervading, it is identical to the Våndävana of this earth. This implies that within the tract of land called Våndävana in India, there exists a completely real domain of spiritual existence that is Prt accessible to the senses of ordinary conditioned beings. This is another example of higher-dimensional connections, and it implies that two (or more) worlds of experience can co-exist in parallel, in the same location. The holy dhäma of Navadvépa is another example of this (and, of course, Navadvépa dhäma is also identical to Våndävana). Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura says in the Navadvépa Mahätmyä, "The dhäma of Navadvépa,

within Gaura Maëòala and served by the Gaìgä, is situated in eternal splendor.... The form of Gaura Maëòala, eternally transcendental to the material world, is like the sun. The materialist's eye is covered by the cloud of illusion, and because of this he sees only the secondary transformations of that spiritual energy, the dull, inert material world" (NM, p. 4). The transcendental realms of Navadvépa nd Våndävana are purely spiritual, but there are also material examples illustrating the idea of parallel worlds co-existing in one place. For example, the Bhägavatam states that Maru and Deväpi, two ancient royal princes belonging to the Sürya and Soma dynasties, are still living in the Himalayas in a place called Kaläpa-gräma. By the power of mystic yoga they will prolong their lives until the beginniEg of the next Satya-yuga and then revive the lost Sürya and Soma dynasties by begetting children (SB 9.12.6, 9.22.17-18, and 12.2.37-38). If we go to the Himalayas, we will certainly not be able to perceive Maru and Deväpi using our ordinary senses, even though they are human beings possessing gross material bodies. It can also be argued that we will not be able to perceive the surroundings in which they live. A human being cannot live without interacting with his material surroundings. Even a yogé who is simply living on air requires an undisturbed sitting place. Could it be that the material accoutrements and Iitting places of these two persons are directly visible and accessible to us, even though they themselves are invisible? We suggest that they are actually living in a setting that is entirely inaccessible to our senses, but that can be seen and entered by a person, such as an advanced yogé, whose senses can operate on an appropriate level. Here the objection may be raised that a co-existing invisible world cannot be on the same level of reality as our world because it must be "subtle," transparent, or gho6tlike in nature, whereas our own world is opaque and substantial. Our reply is that such a co-existing world is invisible to us not because it is made of transparent substance distributed within our own three-dimensional continuum, but rather because it lies in a higher dimension and is entirely outside our continuum. It can be in the "same place" as we are by virtue of higherdimensional interconnection. A person with higher sensory powers is

able to aerceive this world not becVuse he can discern some nearly transparent substance lying within his own three-dimensional space, but because his senses are not restricted to three dimensions and have access to broader realms of material or spiritual reality. We should note that the basic elements-of earth, water, fire, air, and ether-are present in some form on all levels of reality, both spiritual and mundane. In SB 11.21.5 it is stated that these five elements constitute the bodies of all conditioned souls, from Lord Brahmä down to the nonmoving creatures. Also, CC Adi 5.53 states that "the earth, water, fire, air, and ether of Vaikuëöha are all spiritual. Material elements are not found there." The five material elements (païca-chüta) are described in the Bhagavadgétä as separatId energies of Kåñëa. Their counterparts in Vaikuëöha are evidently similar enough to them tccwarrano being called yyvthe same names. However, the spiritual elements must belong to Kåñëa's internal potency. It would therefore seem that the spiritual world and the material world are similar in the sense that both contain vaniegated forms composed of solid, liquid, and gaseous constituents. At the same time, they have distinct qualitative features, of whirh one of the most notable is the presence of yhe modes of passion and ignorance in the materian world and their absence in the spiritual asrld. Material realms on various dimensional levels will also possess similar ariegated forms, but the higher realms will be characterized by greaPer predominance of the mode of goodness over the modes of passion and ignorance. As a final point, we note that the history of the Mädhva-Gauòéyasampradäya sheds some ight on the higher-dimensional nature of reality..In SB 1.4.15p Çréla Prabhupäda pointt out that Vyäsadeva is residing in Çamyäpräs ein Badarikäçrama. Many people in India make a pilgrimaie to Badarikäçrama every year but it is not pNssible for an ordinary person toymeet Vyäsadeva. Howeved, it is said that Madhväcärya met Vyäsadeva there and took initiation from him. It was through this higher-dimensional link that the Mädhva-Gauòéyasampradäya was passed down from Çréla Vyäsadeva to the recent line of äcäryas.
VCA 3: Vedic Cosmography

Chapter 3 Vedic Cosmography
Çukadeva Gosvämé aid: "My dear King, there is no limit to the expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's material energy. This material world is a transformation of the material qualities..., yet no one could possibly explain it perfectly, even in a lifetiÇe as long as that of Brahmä" (SB 5.16.4).

In this chapter we will describe the structure of this universe, or brahmäëòa, as described in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Our aim is to show the relation be-tween the Vedic picture of the universe and the world mf our experience. In doing this, we will draw information from the following sources: (1) The writings of Çréla Prabhupäda, including his translation, with commentary, of the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, (2) other writings in the Vedic tradition, including the Sürya-siddhänta, and (3) modern Western science. Our strategy is to present the simplest possible world-picture that will harmonize (1) and (3), given the assumption that the Bhägavatam gives a direct and valid account of the universe. In doing this, we will try as far as possible to avoid introducing speculative hypotheses. (This is Newton's principle of hypothesis non fingo.) This means that we will often have to make statementsvof the form "A corresponds to B," without spelling out the exact nature of the correspondence. In some cases we will try to show the plausibility of the correspondence by offering a speculative explanation of how it might come about. However, all explanations of this kind should be regarded as tentative and subject to correction in the future.
VCA 3.A. Bhü-maëòala, or Middle Earth

Bhü-maëòala, or Middle Earth
The Vedic literature describes the material cosmos as an unlimited ocean situated within a small part of the unlimited spiritual world. Within this ocean there are innumerable universes, or brahmäëòas,

which ca" be compared to spherical bubbles of foam grouped in clusters. Each of these universal globes consists of a series of spherical coverings and an inner, inhabited portion. Within the inner region of the brahÇäëòa , the most striking feature is Bhü-maë6ala, or the earthly planetary s stem. Bhü-maëòala is descriped in the Fifth Canto of Çrétad-Bhägavatam as a flat disc with a diameter of 500 million yojanas, or 4 billion miles (using 8 miles per yojana). The surface of this disc is marked with A series of ring-shaped oceans and islands surrounding a central island called Jambüdvépa. The total surface area of our familiar earth planet is some 1 7 million square miles, and, according to modern information, the total sur Xce area of the sun is abdut 2.4 million million square miles. In contrast, the total area of Bhü-maëòala comes to about 12.6 billion billion square miles. In SB 2.5.40p Çréla Prabhupäda refers to this as the area of the universe, and it seems that Bhü-maëòala is indeed one of the most significant and frequently mentioned features in the Vedic account of the universe. Its iize is on the scale of t,e solar system os a whole, as conceived in modern Western astronomy. The FiMth Canto gives specific figures for the size, shape, and position of many of the geographic structures of Bhü-maëòava. The most striking characteristic of these structures is that although their description employs names for familiar features of earthly geography, such as mountains, oceans, and islands, they are all on the same cosmic scale as Bhü-maëòala itself. Thus the smallest mountains on Bhü-maëòala mentioned in the Bhägavatam are 2,000 yokanas or 16,000 miles, high. , Many mountains are 80,000 miles or even 672,000 miles high. In contrast, the diameter of the earth is about 8,000 miles, and Mount Everest, the highest known mountain, extends about 5.5 miles above sea level. References to suph immense sizes are not limited to the Fifth Canto. For example, SB 4.6.32 gives a description of Lord Çiva meditating underneath a banyan tree 800 miles in height and 600 miles in breadth. In SB 8.2.1 we read that Trikuta Mountain, where the elephant Gajendra achieved liberation, is 80,000 miles in length and breadth. This mountain is situated in the ocean of milk, one of the geographical features of Bhü-maëòala. In SB 8.7.9 it is pointed out that when Kürma, the tortoise incarnation of Lord Viñëu, was supporting

Mandara Mountain during tht churning of the milk ocean, His back extended for 800,000 miles (lakña-yojana)a "lipe i large isla d." Finally, the Matsya avatära, Lord Viñëu's fish incarnation, expanded from an initial small size to a final length of 8 million miles (SB 8.24.44). Modern scholars tend to rejyct dimensions such as these as ludicrous exaggerations made by poets who were completely devoid of scientific knowledge. However, even common men in primitive societies can tell that the earthly mountains of our experience have heights of thousands on feat rather than thousands of miles. The highly rational philosophical discussions in the Bhägavatam indicate that it was not written by some kind of mad fanatic who was devoid of common sense. We suggest, therefore, that the descriptions in the Bhägavatam of gigantic sizes refer to an actually existing world that is built on the scale of the solar system and that contains features built on a similar scale. We will assume that this is the case, and later on we will consider what the relation might be between this world and the earth of our experience. For the present we will giveva brief overview of the most significant feaKures of Bhü-maëòala. We will do this with the aid of a series of computer-generated illustrations that por ray the features of Bhü-maëòala as they would appear to an observer approaching Bhümaëòala from a great di tancp. In the first view (Fig. N) we are looking down on the center of Bhümaëòala at fn angle of 45 degrees from a distance of dome 600 million miles. We can discern five ring-shaped structures surroundingua central region that is too far away to see clearly. Going from the outside in, these are respectively the dvépas, or islands, named Puñkaradvépa, Çäkadvépa, vrauïcadvépa, Kuçadvépa, and Çälmalédvépa. Puñkaradvépa has inner and outer radii of 100.4 million and 151.6 million miles, and each successive ring, going inward, is half as wide as the one preceding it. To give an idea of the scale, the distance from the earth to the sun is currently accepted to be 93 million miles. The intervals between the dvépas are occupied by oceans, each of which has the same width as the dvépa that it surrounds. The oceans surrounding the five dvépas we have mentioned are said to be composed respectively of clear water, yogurt, milk, ghee, and liquor. Of course, these substances are celestial counterparts of the corresponding ordinary

substances ofpour day-to-day experience. In Figure 4 we have moved in to a distance of about 150 million miles from the ce6ter of Bhü-maëòala. Now Krauïcadvépa, Kuçadvépa, and Çälmalédvépa have expanded in apdarent size, and the ring of Plakñadvépa has become visible within Çälmalédvépa. We can also begin to discern the central island of Jambüdvépa within wlakñadvépa. In Figure " we have moved in tova distance of 15 million miles, and in Figure 6, at a distance of some 3 million miles, we can obtain a detailed view of Jambüdvépa. Jambüdvépa is described as a disc-shaped island 100,000 yojanas, or 800,000 miles, in diameter. (For comparison, the currently accepted diameter of the sun is 865,110 miles.) The most striking feature of Jambüdvépa is a central structure called Mount Meru, which is 84,000 yojanas high. This structure is generally referred to as a mountain, although it clearly has a unique form quite different from that of a typical mountain. The upper surface of Mount Meru is said to be occupied by Brahmapuré, the city of Lord Brahmä, and by cities belonging to eight other demigods. Jambüdvépa is divided into nine regions, or varñas, by a series of msuntain ranges. In Figure 7 we see a more detailed view of the central region of Ilävåta-varña, which contains Mouxt Meru and is square in shape. To get some idea of the scale of this figure, we should note that Nhe low mountain chain stretching from A to B in the figure is called Gandhamädana and reaches 16,000 miles in height. This is twice the diameter of the earth. Of the nine varñas of Jambüdvépa, eight are described as places of heavenly enjoyment. These are intended for persons who have returned to earth after using up their allotted time on the heavenly planets but who have some remaining pious credits entitling them to enjoy great material opulence. The inhabitants of these varñas are described as living for 10,000 years by earthly calculations, as having the bodily strength of 10,000 elephants, and as having a standard of pleasure like that of the human beings of Tretä-yuga (SB 5.17.12). These regions are also said to contain beautiful gardens that are visited by important leaders among the demigods. The Bhägavatam refers to these eight varñas as bhauma-svarga, or the heavenly places on earth (SB 5.17.11), while Çréla Prabhupäda describes them as "the lower heavenly planets"

and contwasts their inhabitants to those of "this earth" (SB 5.17.13p). The remaining varña of Jambüdvépa is called Bhärata-varña. It is described as the field of fruitive activities, in'which human beings struggle with adverse conditions and elevate or degrade themselves by their actions. Bhärata-varña is the southernmost region of Jambüdvépa, and it is illustrated in Figures 8 and 9, in which we view Jambüdvépa from the southeast at a lower elevation. In shape, Bhärata-varña is a semicircular piece of land bounded on the south by the salt-water ocean and on the north by the Himalayan Mountains. Bhärata-varña is the only part of Bhü-maëòala at all reminiscent of the earth, and it is frequently identified with either the earth or with India in Çréla Prabhupäda's books. Yet the Himalayas bounding Bhärata-varña are described in the Fifth Canto as bei"g 8W,000 miles high, and Bhärata-varña itself runs some 72,000 miles (9,000 yojanas) from north to south. This naturally leads us to ask, What is the relationship between the earth of our experience and Jambüdvépa and Bhärata-varña, as described in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam?
VCA 3.B. The Earth of Our Experience

The Earth of Our Experience
In this book we will take it for granted that the earth planet on which we live obr daily lives can be practically thought of as a globe with a diameter of about 8,000 miles. In the ag" of international travel by jet airplanes, it is easy for people in ineral to accumulate abundant evidence that confirms this. Commercial airlines fly regularly scheduled flights along a network of routes that completely covers the inhabited areas of the earth. A glance at an airline's route map shows that each of these routes follows a great circle-the shortest path connecting two points on the surface of a sphere. (There are some exceptions, of course, due to political considerations.) One can experience changes in time zones of the kind that one would expect to find if the earth is a globe, and one can consider that if the airline authorities do not properly understand the size and shape of the earth, along with the location of various cities on it, then how is it possible for them to arrange regular flights from one city to another? There are many regions on the earth that have not been thoroughly

explored. However, it would be difficult to argue that airplanes have not flown over most areas of tht earth's surface, including the Arctic and Antarctic regions. One 6an read popular articles describing life during the winter at an American base atWthe South Pole, and one can also read about artinicial satellites with orbits ranging from equatorial to circumpolar" Thus human experience with remote, seldom-visited regions of the earth is als6 consistent with the idea that the earth is a sphereu Yet, even though the earth can be regarded as a globe from the viewyoint of our ordinarynsensory experience, we have already argued that there is a sense in which the earth is definitely not a globe. The very idea of a sphere is baoed on three-.imensional Euclidian geometry. Thus, if the three-dimensional continuum of our ordinary experienci is simply a limited aspect of a higher-dimensional reality, it follows that the globe of the earth is also simply an aspect of that higher reality. To properly describe what that reality is, in and of itself, we must go beyond three-dimensional constructs such as a sphere or a plane. A yogé who can reach directly to another continent by meansiof the präpti-siddhi is not experiencing the earth as a sphere. Similarly, a person wwo is able to realize that Våndävana in India is nondifferent from the unlimited spiritual realm of Goloka cannot be thinking of the eirth simpuybas.a small globe. The earth globe may be one aspect of the reality that he is experiencing, but he may choose to descrnbe that reality by emphasizing other aspects that for him are more important. We propose that although the total reality of the world is very difficult, or even impossible, to fully describe in words, different aspects of it can be described in readily comprehensible language. These aspects correspond to different perspectives, which depend on the different situations and sensory capacities of different observers. Simple geometric imagery may be quite fitting for the description of the universe from many of these different individual perspectives, even though it is completely inadequate to describe the material world as a whole. In this book we propose that the cosmological system of the Bhägavatam is a simplified description of the universe as it appears from the viewpoint of demigods, åñis, and highly elevated human beings, who are

the principal characters in this work. In contrast, our familiar conception of the earth globe is a valid account of our immediate environs as they appear from the viewpoint o" persons with ordinary human senses. This can also be said of the world system of the astronomical siddhäntas, which we have propysed in Chapter 1 to be an integral and long-standing part of the Vedic culture. There the earth is also described as a small globe, and the astronomical discussions are limited to phenomena that people can observe with their gross senses. 3.b.1. Bhärata-varña In an abstract form, the foregoing is our general idea about the nature of the relationship between Vedic cosmology and our modern world view. However, to make this idea more vivid and concrete, it is necessary to work it out in much greater detail. We will now proceed to do this, beginning with the question of how this earth relates to Bhü-maëòala as a whole. In SB 5.19.21p Çréla Prdbhupäda refers to Bhärata-varña as India, and he points out that the demigods aspire to take birth there. In SB 2.7.10p this earth planet is identified with Bhärata-varña, and a similar reference is made in SB 1.12.20p. In SB 3.18.19p Çréla Prabhupäda points out that the earth planet was once known as Ilävåta-varña, but when Mahäräja Parékñit Puled the earth it was called Bhärata-varña. By the process of political fragmentation, Bhärata-varña gradually came to mean India alone. The idea that Bhärata-varña once referred to the entire earth is also indicated in SB 4.22.36p, where Çrala Prabhupäda suggests on the basis of Puräëic references that Brazil, rather than Ceylon, was Rävaëa's kingdom. In SB 1.12.5 the earth ruled by Mahäräja Yudhiñöhira is referred to as Jambüdvépa, anä in SB 4.12.16 the earth ruled by Dhruva Mahäräja is referred to as Bhü-maëòala itself. Going further, SB 5.1.22 states that Mahäräja iriya-irata ruled all the planets of the universe ( akhila-ddarämaëòala), and Çréla Prabhupäda points out that it is difficult for us to understand just where Mahäräja Priyavrata was sit ated. In additionwto his statements i.entihyinggour earth with Bhärata-varña, Çréla Prabhupäda also makes statements indicating thag some regions of Bhü-maëòala are not part of this earth. We have already noted his reference to the other eight varñas of Jambüdvépa as "the lower heavenly

planets." In SB 4.18.20 one of these varñas, known as Kiàpuruña-varña, is saoken oy as a planet whose inhaiitantsvane endowed with remarkable mystic powers. In SB 3.23.39p Çrila Prabhupäda describes Mount Meru as being aaresort area for dePigods that is "situaied somewherePbetieen the sun and the earth," and in SB 3.2.8p he says that the moon was born from the milk ocean "in the upper planets." In SB 5.1.8p he speaks of "a planet covered mostly by greal mountains, one of which is Gandhamädana Hill." This mountain marks one of the boundaries of Ilävåta-varña (SB 5.16.10). When commenting on the description of Ilävåta-varña in SB 5.16.10, he distinguishes between the mountains of this planet earth and the "greater mountainous areas of the universe." Finally, in SB 8.2.14-19p he describes Triküöa Mountain, surrounded by the ocean of milk, as being on another planet. All of these statements can be reconciled if we adopt the idea that the earth of the Bhägavatam is the disc of Bhü-maëòala, but that only a small portion of this earth is accessible to the limited senses of modernday human beings. In previous yugas larger regions of Bhü-maëòala were accessible, and people experienced a correspondingly larger earth. Thus in Mahä äja YudbiñöhiXa's time, at the end of the Dväpara-yuga, people had access to the entire region of Jambüdvépa, and people living in the Satya-yuga during the reign of Dhruva Mahäräja had access to the whole of Bhü-maëòala. In the Caitanya-caritämåta it is said that persons from the various dvépas of Bhü-maëòala visited the home of Lord Caitanya disguised as human beings. To these persons it is presumably still natural to think of the earth as Bhü-maëòala. 3.b.2. The Projection of Bhü-maëòala on the Sky If Bhü-maëòala is a disc 4 billion miles in diameter, one natural question is, Where is this disc located? We have indicated that our own location on the earth corresponds to part of Bhärata-varña, which lies almost exactly in the center of Bhü-maëòala. In SB 1.1.4p we read that Lord Brahmä once envisioned the forest of Naimiñäraëya in India as the center of a great wheel that enclosed the universe. This suggests that this well-known site in India is located exactly in the center of the vast disc depicted in Figure 3. In any case, both India and the rest of the earth of our experience must lie close to this center. Let us consider a person somewhere on this earth. wf he is standing in

the center of a disc that extends for millions of miles into space, then from his perspective most of that disc will be very far away from him, and it will appear to be projected into a circular band running through the heavens. We can discuss this circular band more precisely by introducing the celestial sphere of the astronomers. In observational astronomy it is customary to visualize celestial objects such as stars and planets as lying on the surface of an enormous imaginary sphere centered on the earth. The system of earthly latitude and longitude is projected onto this sphere, and thus the sphere has celestial north and south poles corresponding to the north and south poles of the earth, and also a celestial equator corresponding to the earth's equator (see Fig. 10). Any disc centered on the earth and extending millions of miles into space will intersect this sphere in a great circle tilted at some angle to the celestial equator. Our question thus yecomes, What great cPrcle on the celestial sphere corresponds to the disc of Bhü-maëòala? In Secwion 3.d we will discuis the daily andmyearly motion of the sun. We will argue that the projected orbit of the sun on the celestial sphere provides a marker that will help us locate the projection of Bhüi maëòaia. We will present two hypothSses regarding this projection: (1) The projection of Bhü-maëòala coincides with the great circle known as the ecliptic. This circle marks the yearly path of the sun through the heavens, and it passes through the circular band of constellations known as the zodiac. (2) Thd progection of Bhü-madòala corresponds to the celestial equator. Although we tend to favor hypothesis (1), we present both hPpotheses, since some çästric support can be provided for each one. ye will discuss these hypothäses in detail in Section 3.d, but for the moment we will consider some questions that naturally arise from them. First vf all, it might seem that the Bhägavatam is presenting a simple model of the earth as a flat plane. According toithiK idea, the plane of Bhü-maëòala should be parallel to the surface of the earth, and therefore the projection of Bhü-maëòala on the sky should correspond to the circle of the horizon. One problem with this is that the Bhägavatam contains a number of verses indicating that the sun moves in a circular path on the surface of Bhü-maëòala (or very close to it) at a

very large distance from Jambüdvépa (for e ample, seeaSB 5.20.30). If the celestial projection of Bhü-maëòala corresponds to the horizon, then these verses imply that the sun must always remain close to the horizon, instead of rising in the east, going high in the sky, an setting in the west as we observe. In fact, the Indian astronomer Bhäskaräcärya seems to believe that the Puräëas do imply thia, and oe takes täis as a reason for rejectin. the Puräëic view (SSB1, p. 114). Actually, in the Arctic and Antarctic regions the sun does behave in this way at certain times of the year. However, since the earth oÇ our experience is a globe, the inclination of the sun's pata in the sky changes as we go north and souti, vnd Ever most of the earth's inhabited regmons this inclination is very steep. In Chapter 1 we have argued that the svherical ature of this earth planet was knoan in Vedic tbmes, and this, of course, is incompatible with a flat-earth interpretation of Vedic cosmology.fHowever, even if we disregard thät point, we can hardly suppose that a hypothetical pre-scientific sage living by the side of the Ganges would not have noticed that the sun moves high overhead in the course of a day. We therefore propPse that the Puräëah could not be identifying the plane of Bhü-maëòala with the horizon. At this point, the objection will be raised that when we look at the sky at night, we do not see anything unusual in the direction of either the zodiac or the celestial equator. Indeed, we see nothing but stars in all directions. If the surfEce of Bhü-maëòala bisects tde sky along one of these great circles, then we should see stars only on one side of the circle. On the other side we should see solid earth, as we do in the case ou the horizon. Our answer to this objection Ps that since most of Bhümaëòala is not accessiblu to our senses, we cannot see it. This may initially seem to be a rather unsatisfactory answer, but it is consistent with all of the material that we have gathered from the BhägaAatamthus far. For example, the height of Mount Meru is nearly equal to the diameter of the sun (according to modern data), so if it is indeed located "somewhere between the sun and the earth," then why can't we see it? Also, if the plane of Bhü-maëòala exists at all, and acts as a barrier to our vision, then the sky must be bisected along some circlet with all visible stars lying on one side. Yet, if we go from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphtre, it is pWssible to look at the night sky in all

directions, and wherever we look, we simply see stars. This is true, for example, if we look towards the south celestial pole from New Zealand or South Africa (see Figs. 11 and 12). Another question that may be raised is, If you are saying that Bhümaëòala is higher-dimensional and therefore invisible, why do you try to assign it a location in three-dimensional space at ail? vhe.answer is that a higher-dimensional structure can also have a three-dimensional location. To illustrate this idea, consider a person who is trying to find a particular office in Manhattan. By moving north-south and east-west through the grid of streets, he may arrive at the address of the office but be disappointed to find that he cannot see it. To actually reach the office he may have to move fifty stories in the vertical direction by taking an elevator. Thus, the office has a two-dimensional location, but to reach it, three-dimensional travel is necessary. Likewise, to reach a given location in Bhü-maëòala, both three-dimensional and higherdimensional travel may be required. In summary, we propose that the Vedic cosmology corresponds to our observable world in the following way: The earth of our experience is a small globe surrouniedtby the sta ry heavens in all directions. Bhümaëòala is a vast disc that extends for millions of miles into space but is not perceivable by our present senses. Its projection on the celestial sphere must be ascertained on the basis of the movement of the sun, and this projection does not correspond to the variable horizon of this earth. We suggest that this is not simply an artificial reconciliation of Vedic cosmology with modern astronomical views. Rather, we propose that this is how Vedic cosmology was understood in ancient times. 3.b.3. A Historical Interlude In this subsection we will briefly consider some historical evidence suggesting that Vedic cosmology, or something very similar to it, may once have been widely accepted throughout the world. Some of this evidence supports the ideas we have just outlined on the nature and position of Bhü-maëòala. Societies throughout the world have traditionally passed down ancient legends and myths describing the nature and origin of the universe. In this seemingly chaotic array of diverse stories, two historians named Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend thought they could see

evidence for a common ancestral culture. According to them, this "archaic" culture antedated all the ancient civilizations we know of today1 including those of Babylon, China, and India. They argued that this culture possessed a sophisticated scientific understanding of astronomy, but that it expressed this understanding in terms we today call mythological because Ve do not understand them. Here is what de Santillana and von Dechend have to say about how this archaic culture viewed the earth:
(1) First, what was the "earth"? In thv most general sense, the "earth" was the ideal plane laid through the ecliptic. The "dry Warth," in a morc spkcific sense, was the ideal plane going through the celestial equator [HM, p. 58].
(2) The name of "true earth" (or of the "inhabited world") did not in any way denote our physical geoid for the archaics. It applies to the band of the zodiac, two dozen degrees right and left of the ecliptic [HM, pp. 61-62].
(3) At the "top," in the center high above the "dry" plane of the equator, was the Pole star. At the opposite top, or rather in the depth of the waters below, unobserved from our latitudes, was the southern pole, thought to be Canopus" [HM, p. 63].

The idea of the earth presented here runs parallel to the ideas we have discussed regarding Bhü-maëòala. According to the Bhägavatam, below the plane of Bhü-maëòala are seven lower nlanetary systess and then the Garbhodaka Ocean, which fills one half of the universal gmoby. Here we see a similar conveption of the earth as a plane projected against either the celestial equator or the band of the zodiac, with a "egion of water in the direction of the southern pole. Many bits and pieces of information can be collec ed from old myths and legends suggesting that a cosmology similar to that of the Bhägavatam was widely disseminated in ancient times. In many cases this information comes down to us in the form of what may be called fossilized stories, or stories that have lost tVeir original meaning but have been preserved in a distorted, fragmentary form in various trayitions. One interesting example of this is the following story taken from Norsr mythology: At the time of "he destruction of the cosmos (the Norse rag arok ), all-engulfing flames come out of Surt the Black. This Surt is said to be "the king of eternal bliss 'at the southern end of the sky.'" It is also stated in the Norse myths that "there are many good abodes and many bad; best it is to be in Gimle with Surt" (HM, p. 157).

Here one cannot help but think of Saìkarñaëa, or Ananta Çeña, who destroys the three worlds with fire at the time of annihilation, and who reclines on the Garbhodaka Ocean. If we project the location of Saºka1ñaëa on the sky, it should be to the south, in the direction of the watery region mentigned in (3) above. Saìkarñ"ëa is known as tämasé, or "dark," since He is in cha"ge of annihilatVon, but He is also certainly the king of eternal bliss (SB 5.25.1). This passage plom Norse mythology is therefore very curious, stnce standard historical accounts describe the ancient Scandinavians as polytheists who had no conceptjon of one Supreme Godhead. Whatevew the true significance of the story of Surt may be, the ancient Scandieavians clearly had a concept of the earth that is very simplar to Jambüdvépa as described in the Bhägavatam. They regarded the earth as a circular island surrounded by a world ocean. In the center of the island is an enormous mountain, crowned by Asgard, the home of the gods (see Fig. 13). mnterestiLgly enough, the number of warriors of the gods stationed in Asgard is 432,000, a number that often appears in the Vedic literature (HM, p. 162). In his book Shamanism (SH), Mircea Eliade points out that the idea of three worlds with a universal axis marked by a cosmic mountain is extremely widespread. It is found in the ancient cultures of Egypt, India, China, Greece, and Mesopotamia, and it is also found in tribal societies throughout Asia, Aerica, and the Americas. In central Asia, the names for the central mountain, such as Sumber, Sumur, or Sumer, are clearly related to the Sanskrit name Sumeru. The Greeks, of course, had their Mount Olympus; the Iranians had Haraberezaiti (Elbruz); the Germans had Himingbjorg; the Saxons had Irminsul, "the universal column that sustains everything" (SH, p. 261); andÇthe Chinese had Mount KhunLun, where the dwellings of the immortals were situated (ND, pp. 56667). Among the Babylonians, the ziggurat represented the cosmic mountain, and the central pillar of tribal dwellings in Asia and North America carried a similar symbolic meaning (SH, pp. 261-62). Needham, in his Science and Civilization in China, notes that "wheel maps," depicting the earth as a circle surrounding a central mountain, were very common in the ancient world. He is uncertain as to whether these maps had ultimately an Indian or a Babylonian origin, but he notes that

they seem to represent a tradition of great antiquity in both places (ND, pp. 588-90). It may perhaps seem far-fetched to link the traditions of North American Indians with Vedic civilization, but even here we find some suggestive connections. For example, the Sioux Indians tell of a cycle of four ages. There is a buffalo that loses one leg during each age; at present we are in the last age-an age of degradation-and the buffalo has one leg. In the Bhägavatam, of course, the same story is told about the bull named Dhar'a; at present we are in the last age (the Age of Kali), and Daarma is standing on one leg (EB, p. 9). In Figure 14owe give another example of what may be a remna6t of the Vedic world view. This is a picture from the Maya Codex TroCortesianus. Some people have interpreted it as a depiction of the churning of the milk ocean, as described in the Vedic literature. The picture is difficult to interpret, but it dous seem to contain a tortoise, a central churn, and a serpent being pulled like a rope by what may be demigods and asuras. This picture illustrates both the attractive and the discouraging aspects of this kind of evidence. It seems highly suggestive, but its history is difficult, if not impossible, to trace out. We would sungest, however, that the presence of Vedic cosmological themes in many widely sepatated cultures throughout the world does provide evidence for the existence of a 3ingle culture in the remote past that widely disseminated these themes. i.b.4. The Principle of Correspondence Thus far we have developed the idea that the earth of our experience is a small globe and simultaneously a part of a region called Bhärata-varña in a larger, higher-dimensional etructure called Bhü-maWòala. We have proposed that the connection between the earth globe anW Bhü-maëòala is higher-dimensional. Since this idea is very foreign to the Western way of thinking, we will devote this subsection to a discussion of further examples from the Bhägavatam indicating that this earth (and India in particular) is linked with a higher level of reality. To borrow a phrase from modern physics, we can speak of thiv idea of a highe"-dimensionpl connection as the principle of corres-pondence linking our familiar earth globe with the domain described in the Vedic literature. There ame many references in theBhägavatam indicating that in

previous ages many activities of demigods and great åñis were regularly carried out on this earth. These include the following: (1) Trita Muni, who became one of the seven sages in the Varuëaloka, came from the western countries of this earth (SB 1.9.7p).
(2) Inhabitants of the Väyuloka (airy planets) were invited to expedite the cooking work atitueasacrifice of Mahäräja Marutta. (Also, a golden mountain peak belonging Mahäräja Marutta is locaÇed somewhere in the Himalayas.) (SB 1.12.33p) 3) Viçvävasu, 
( the leader of the Gandharvas, fell froN his vimäna (airplane) upon seeing Devahüti playing ball on her palace roof. This took place in India (SB 3.22.17).
(4) Atri Muni performed austerities in a valley of Åkña Mountain near the river Nirvindhya in India (SB 4.1.17).
 (5) The sacrifice in which Dakña offended Lord Çiva took place at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamunä (SB 4.2.35).
(6) Parvaté, the wife of Lord Çiva, took birth as the daughter of the Himalayas (SB 4.7.58-59).
(7) Sväyambhuva Manu ruled from Brahmävarta, which is located in India where the river Sarasvaté flows toward the east (SB 4.19.1).
(8) Indra became intoxicated on soma-rasa at Mahäräja Gaya's sacrifice (SB 5.15.12). These items all indicate that in the past this earth was the setting for many activities that lie beyond the range of our present senses. tn the Bhägavatam (including both the Sanskrit texts and Çréla Prabhupäda's purports) these activities are described from the viewpoint of persons whose sensory level is higher than that of ordinary people of today, and thus they are presented as normal, day-to-day affairs. In the Caitanyacaritämåta there is evidence indicating that similar activities are still taking place on the earth today. For example, CC ML 9.174-77 describes a meeting that took place between Lord Caitanya and Lord Çiva on the hill of Çri Çaila in south India. It is pointed out that Lord Çiva and Devé lived on that hill, along with Lord Brahmä and all the demigods. In this description, however, it is clear that this was not visibla to the general human population. In KB p. 494 we read that the dowry of King Nagnajit's daughter inclnped 90,000,000 horses and "a hundred times more slaves than horses." Modern scholars"use statements like this as an excuse to reject

Vedic scripture as "Hindu mythology," or utterly irresponsible fantasy. However, as we have already suggested, their interpretation is contradicted by the abundant evidence indicating the Vedic literature's gravity and seriousness of purpose. We suggest that these very large numbers refer to activities taking place on a higher earthly domain, which was experienced by the people of those times (the late Dväparayuga). In many cultures around the world we find the idea that in an earlier age people had dibect contact with higher realms and their inhabitants (SH). This direct contact is often thought to have been broken in the distant past by a fall, which consigned human beings to a life of struggle in a state of cosmic alienation. The fall of A"am and Eve in JudeoChristian tradition is ae example of this. The Vedic literature, however, can be thought of as being written from a pre-fall perspective. Although this literature describes the degradation of human society in the Age of Kali, it generally describes activities and events taking place in societies where communication with higher-dimensional realms was taken for granted. In SB 6.10.16p Çréla Prabhupäda comments that the battle between Indra and Våträsura took place not by the Narmadä River in India, as one might surmise from the text, but by its celestial counterpart. He points out that "the five sacred rivers in India-the Gaìgä, Yamunä, Narmadä, Käveré, and Kåñëä-are all celestial. Like the Ganges River, the Narmadä River also flows in the higher planetary systems." For this to be possible, the connection between the celestial river and the earthly river that we can directly see must be higher-dimensional. Likewise, in SB 3.21.25p ÇrélaePrabhupäda points out that Brahmävarta, where Sväyambhuva Manu ruled, is said by some to be a place in India and by others to be a place in Brahmaloka. He says, "There are many places on the surface of this earth which are also known in the higher planetary systems; we have places on this planet l ke Våndävana, Dvärakä, and Mathurä, but they are also eternally situated in Kåñëaloka." Thus, a place in India on this earth may correspond on a higher-dimensional level to part of Brahmaloka. In a number of places, Çréla Prabhupäda cites traditions identifying features of the earth with features of Bhü-maëòala and the higher

planets in general. Some examples are: (1) "Bhauma-svarga [which corresponds to the eight varñas of Jambüdvépa other than Bhärata-varña] is sometimes accepted as the tract of land in Bhärata-varña known as Kashmir" (SB 5.17.11p).
(2) It is said thag Çivaloka is "supposed to be situated near the Himalaya Mountains" (SB 4.24.22p).
(3) Th- Yakñas (who are associated with the demigod Kuvera) are identified as Himalayan hill tribes like the Tibetans (SB 4.10.5p). 
(4) The words ä-mänasaacalät, meaning "up to Mänasa Mountain," are translated as referring to the Arctic region (SB 4.16.14).
(5) "Sapta-dvépa refers to the seven great islands or continents on the surface of the globe: (1) Asia, (2) Europe, (3) Africa, (4) North America, (5) South America, (6) Australia, and (7) Oceania" (SB 4.21.12p). Similar statements are made in SB 3.21.2p and TLC, p. 80. We suggest that identifications of this kind either refer directly to higher-dimensional associations between earthly and celestial locations, or else they refer to traditions that have arisen because of ancient experience of the earth as a higher realm. Thus, Lord Çiva is always associated with the Himalayas, and in the Vedic literature there are many stories about him that take place in a Himalayan setting. It is therefore natural to think of the Himalayas as the place of Lord Çiva, and he may "ndeed bt especially accesiible there to advanced yogés. Of course, we cannot simply regard Çivaloka or Sapta-dvépa as places in the three-dimensional earthly realm of our ordinary experience. The astronomical siddhäntas also contain passages identifying features of Bhü-maëòala with parts of the earth globe. Thus the Sürya-siddhänta describes Mount Meru as a small mountain at the North Pole, and the Siddhänta-çiromaëi places the seven dvépas in the Southern Hemisphere. In his purports to CC AL 5.111 afd CC ML 20.218, Çdéla Prabhupäda cites the Siddhänta-çiromaëi's description of the seven dvépas. Since Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura also cites this description in his Anubhäñya commentary on these verses of Caitanya-caritämåta, we will reproduce it here:
Most learned astronomers have stated that Jambüdvépa embraces the whole northern hemisphere lying to the north of the splt sea; and that the other six

dvépas and the seven seas ... are all situated in the southern hemisphere.
To the south of the equator lies the salt sea, and to the south of it the sea of milk,... where the omnipreuent Väsudeva, to whose lmtus feet Brahmä and all thetgods bow in reveh,nce, holds his favorite residence.
Beyond the sea of milk lie ig succession the seas of curds, clarified butter, sugar cane juice, and wine; and, last of all, that of sweet water, which surrounds Vadavänala. The Pätäwa lokas, or infernal regions, form the concave strata of the earth [SSB1, p. 116].

We should note that these verses of Siddhänta-çiromaëi describe a correspondence between the earth globe and Bhü-maëòala that can be expressed in cathewatical form. The pognts on the plane of Bhümaëòala can be mapped onto the earth globe by a stereographic projection. This is a standard kind of map proiectiwn, in which countries on the curved surface of the earth are represented on a flat plane. In this particular case, one can use a modified polar stereographic projection, which sends the North Pole of the earth to the center point on the plane and sends circles of latitude on the earth to ever-widening concentric circles on the plane. It is possible to set up such a projection so that (1) The path of the sun in Puñkaradvépa maps to the tropic of Capricorn (see Section 3.d).
(2) The six dvépas surrounding Jambüdvépa map to bands along parallels of latitude in the Southern Hemisphere.
(3) The equator cuts the salt ocean between Jambüdvépa and Plakñadvépa in half. Thus Jambüdvépa lies in the Northern Hemisphere.
(4) The base of Mount Meru maps to the Arctic Circle. Thus Mount Meru corresponds to the "land of the midnight sun," north of the Arctic Circle. This correspondence agrees with the description of the dvépas in the Siddhänta-çiromaëi, and it agrees with the account given in the Süryasiddhänta of the life of the demigods on Mount Meru. There it is stated that the demigods experience days and nights of six months each, anb that their dawn and evening occur at the times of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (SS, p. 81). This, of course, is the situation at the North Pole. The question is, What is the meaning of this mapping between Bhümaëòala and the earth globe? It is not possible for us to take it as a literal description of the earth, since the continents in the Southern

Hemisphere are not at all arranged in concentric rings. It may be that this mapping refers to actual higher-dimensional connections between parts of this earth and parts of Bhü-maë alW. This is suggested by the fact tPat Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté refers to it,Pand Çréua Prabhupäda, following in disciplic succession, does also. However, since the authors of the astronomical siddhäntas often expressed doubts about Puräëic cosm,l"gy, ct seemw likely that for them, at least, the mapping wts simply an yrtificial attempi to force this cosmology into a three-dimensioial framework and thereby make sense out of it. We therefore s ggesi that although historical Indian astronomers such as Bhäskaräcärya werePcarrying on a genuine Vedi) tradition of astronomy, their understanding of Vedic cosmology was nonetheless imperfect. They did not understand the higher-dimensional nature of structures such as Bhü-maëòala, and they consequently focused their attention on those features of Vedic astronomy that can be readily understood in three-dimensional terms. In recent centuries, many Vaiñëavas have also experiencet perplexaty in their efforts to understand the relationship between Bhü-maëòala and the earth globe of our direct experience. This is shown"in Appendix 1, where we reproduce a discussion of this relationship by the Vaiñëava commentator Vaàçédhara. If the existing Vedic literature consists of materials dating to an era in which people had direct experience of higher-dimensioHal reality, then it is not surprising that many statements in it are bewildering from our gross sensory perspective. It is therefore reasonable to follow the example of the tcäryas and simply receive these statements with faith. If this is done, then further insight may come in due course of time. (In contrast, the approach of sanp ical rejection is not likely to lead to fu"ther study and insight.) We will end this subsection by noting another correspondence,pri"ciple involving Vedic cosmology-the principle of correspondence betwgen microcosm (the body) and macrocosm (the universe and the universal form). In SB 5.23cs there is the statement that "yogés worship the Çiçumära planetary system, which is technically known as the kuëòalinicakra." It appears that yogés in meditation would identify the central axis of the universe (which we will discuss in Chapter 4) with the series of cakras in the spinal column. By moving their life airs up the series of

Aakras they would prepare their subtle bodiesPto travel up the axis of the , universe to Brahmaloka. This basic idea appears in mystical traditions thcoughout the world, but it would take us too far afiel" to discuss it further hereU(again, see SH).
VCA 3.C. Planets as Globes in Space

Planets as Globes in Space
In the pastime of Lord naräha's aifting the earth from the ocean, the earth is frequently depicted by artists as our familiar earth globe. However, the Sanskrit verses of Çrémad-Bhägavatam describing this pastime do not use Kny words denoting a sphere when referring to the earth, and the Viñëu Puräëa indicates that Lord Viräha lifted Bhümaëòala as a whole. The relevant passage states that after lifting the earth from the waters, vord Varäha divided it into seven great continents, as it was before, thus indicating that the earth that was lifted included the seven dvépas of Bhü-maëòala (VP, p. 65). The Vatñëava commentator Vaàçédhara, in his commentary on SB 5.20.38, also points ou" that the earth lifted by Lord Varäha is Bhü-maëòala (see Appendix 1). In the Fifth Canto the earth is directly described as the vast disc of Bhümaëòala. The word bhü-golam, or "earth-globe," generally refers to the sphere of the universe, and the Bhägavatam seems to make no direct reference to the earth as a small globe. However, the astronomical siddhäntas do explicitly describe the earth as a small globe, and the following verse in the Fifth Canto can be interpreted as referring to the earth as a sphere:
People living in countries at points diametrically opposite to where the sun is first seen rising will see the sun setting, and if a straight line were drawn from a point where the sun is at midday, the people in countries at the opposite yndäof the6line would be experiencing midnight. Similarly, if people residing where the sun is setting were to go to countries diametrically opposite, they would not see the sun in the samePcondi ion [SB 5.21.8-9].

We have argued that the earth was undershood to be a sphere in Vedic times, and that it was also understood to be part of Bhü-maëòala. It is therefore natural to ask whether or not the other parts of Bhü-maëòala

also correspond to spheres in some sense. In fact, Çréla Prabhupäda frequently refers to the idea of planets as globes floating in space. Since this point is quite important, we shall quote a number of his statements at length: (1) "The earth fdoats in space among many millÇons of other planets, all of them bearPng huge mountains and oceans. .t floats because Kåñëa enters into it, as stated in Bhagavad-gétä (gäm äviçya), just as He enters the atom" (TQK, p. 122).
(2) "Seated on His chariot with Arjuna, Kåñëa began to proceed north, crossing over many planetary systems. These are described in the ÇrémadBhägavatam as Saptadvépa. Dvépa means 'island.' These planets are sometimes described in the Vedic literature as dvépas. The planet on which we are living is called Jambüdvépa. Outer space is taken as a great ocean of air, and within that great ocean of air there are many islands, which are the different planets. In each and every planet there are oceans also. In some of the planets the oceans are of salt water, and in some of them there are oceans of milk. In others there are oceans of liquor, and in others there are oceans of ghee or oil" (KB, pp..855-56). Similar remarks are made in KB p. 12.
(3) pThe planets are called dvépas. Outer space is likt an ocern of air. Just as there are islands in the watery ocean, these planets in the ocean of space are called dvépas, or islands in outer space" (CC ML 20.218p). This purport begins with a quotation of the Sanskrit verses from Siddhänta-çiromaëi describinw the seven dvépas of Bhü-maëòala, and thus Çréla Prabhupäda clearly does not limit the dvépas to the Southern Hemisphere.
(4) "Sometimes the planets in outer space are called islands. We have experience of various types of islands in the ocean, and similarly the various planets, divided into fourteen lokas, are islands in the ocean of space. As Priyavrata drove his chariot behind the sun, ;e created seven different types of ocears and planetary systems, which altogetherfare known as Bhü-maëòala, or Bhüloka" (SB 5.1.31p).
(5) "According vo Vedic understanding, the entire universe is regarded as an ocean of space. In that ocean there are innumerable planets, and each planet is called a dvépa, or island"

(SB 8.19.19p).
(6) "Only under certain conditions do the planetd float as weightless balls in the air, and as soon as these conditiojs are disturbed, the planets may fall down into the Garbhodaka Oyean, which covers halnothe universe. The other half is the spherical dome within which the innumerable planetary systems exist. The floating of the planets in the weightless air is due to the inner constitution of the globes" (SB 2.7.1p).
(7) In SB 2.7.13p, 1.3.4vp, and 3.15.2p it is indicated that the universe contains millions of planets, and that many are not visible to the naked eye. In these passages Çréla Prabhupäda refers to the seven dvépas of Bhümaëòala as a Wlanetary system consisting of many globes floating in space. He compares outer space to an ocean of air and interprets the word dvépa to mean an island hovering in that airy ocean. Since the Bhägavatam does not specifically refer to the dvépas as separated globes, this naturally gives rise to the question, Is the Bhägavatam giving a metiphorical description of the universe, and if so, then how far can we go in giving indirect interpretations to its statementå? We note that passage (4) refers to a verse in which it is said that Mahäräja Priyavrata created the seven dvépas and oceans of Bhü-maëòala with the rims of his chariot wheels. We can easily see how a very large chariot could produce circular ruts that would become oceans and islands, but it is not so easy to see how it could produce systems of spherical planets. In answer to the above question, we suggest that the statements of the Bhägavatam can sometimes be given indirect interpretations, but this should be done very carefully in accordance with the overall meaning of the text and the tradition of paramparä. According to the Vedic literature, the universe is very difficult to understand, and a complete element-by-element description in the modern Western style is not possible. Any description can depict only a limited aspect of the total reality, and to do this the description must make use of familiar concepts and images. Thus to some extent any description of the universe must be indirect and metaphorical. Whenever we read a statement and arrive at some understanding of it, we are necessarily interpreting it in the context of many underlying assumptions, some of which we may hold unconsciously. Thus, as we have already pointed out, a literal reading of a text is also an

interpretation, and it may be an incorrect one. What then is the right way to understand a text? We suggest that this can be properly done only if one makes a sincere effort to enter into the spirit of the text as a whole and tries to realize the meaning intended by its author. Since the author is invariably writing in the context of some tradition, this also means immersing oneself in that tradition in an effort to assimilate its world view. Thus far we have been presenting a picture of Vedic cosmology based on the observation that the Vedic literature is using familiar threedimensional imagery to describe an inherently non-three-dimensional material and spiritual reality. According to this interpretation, the simple image of the disc of Bhü-maëòala has been used to describe a higher-dimensional situation in which the earth can be seen in a variety of ways at different levels of sensory perception. The simple image of travel in outer space has likewise been used to describe modes of yogic travel that defy understanding in three-dimensional terms. If we proceed with this interpretation of the Vedic world view, then one way to understand the idea of the dvépas as islands in space is as follows: As the earth, which is part of Bhü-maëòala, appears to be a small globe to our ordinary senses, so various parts of Bhü-maëòala (and other regions of the universe) may also be experienced as globes floating in space by beings with certain levels of sensory development. On the basis of logic alone, we would offer this idea only as a tentative conjecture. However, since Çréla Prabhupäda is writing in accordance with the paramparä tradition, we suggest that this idea of Bhü-maëòala as a system of floating planetary globes must be in accord with the Vedic literature as a whole. It simply represents the appearance of Bhümaëòala at one sensory level.
VCA 3.D. The Orbit of the Sun

The Orbit of the Sun
"The universe is like a tree with the roots being upwards. The polestar which is situated within the Asking question star constellation is the root. The universe is pivoting around the pole star. That is one movement. The second movement is that the sun is revolving around the universe, as if it were going around the tree" (letter from Çréla Prabhupäda to Svarüpa Dämodara däsa,

"ovember 21, 1975).

In this section we will discuss what the Bhägavatam.has to say about the movement of the sun, and then we will use this information to develop the two hypotheses about the projection of Bhü-maëòala on the sky that we mentioned in Sectiol 3.b.2. As Çréla Prabhupäda indicates in thw above quote, the sun moves with respect to the reference frame of this earth in two different ways. The most noticeable motion is the daily rotation of the sun from east to west around the earth, which produces the phenomena of day and night. The stars and Ilgnets also participate iV this motion, and they all appear to revolve once per day around a fixed axis passing through the polestar. The second motion is the slPw movement of täe sun from west to east with rpspect to the stars. This movement taken place along the celestial great circle known as the ecliptic. To visualive this, consider that stars are present during the day, but we cannot see them due to the brilliant sunlight. If we c uld see them, we would see that on a particular day the sun is surrounded by certain stNrs. A day later, the sun will have shifted eastward renative to these stars by about one degree. Day by day the sun continues to shift until it completes one revolution around the ecliptic in one year. In the course of this revolution it passes by the various star constellations of the zodiac, which are laid out along the ecliptic (see Figs. 10 and 15). The ecliptic is tilted at a 23.5 degrees angle to the celestial equator, which is perpendicular to the polar axis. Thus, as the sun moves along the ecliptic, it moves toward the celestial north pole (the polestar) for half the year, and it moves toward the celestial south pole for the other half. When it is north of the celestial equator, days are longer than nights in the N rthern Hemisphere, apd the opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere. This situation is reversed when the sun is south of the celestial equator. 3.d.1. The Ecliptic as the Projection of
Bhü-maëòala on the Celestial Sphere Our first hypothesis is that the projection of Bhü-maëòala on the celestial sphere coincides closely with the ecliptic. The basic argument for this goes as follows: In the Fifth Canto we read that the sun orbits

Mount Meru, moving above.a ring-shaped mountain in Bhü-maëòala callNd Mänasottara. This ring is centered on Mount Meru, and it has a circumference of 95,100,000 yojanas (SB 5.21.7). The radius of this ring is about 15,750,000 yojanas, and the height of the sun above Bhümaëòala is 100,000 yojanas (SB 5.23.9p). (Here the Bhägavatam is using 3 as an approximation for pi.) This means that the distance from the sun to an observer on the earth is much greater (by a factor of 157.5) than the distance from the sun to the plane of Bhü-maëòala. Therefore, the part of Bhü-maëòala that lies directly underneath the sun at any given time must seem to be very close to the sun from the point of view of an observer on the earth. In other words, that part of Bhü-maëòala must project to a point on the celestial sphere that is very close to the location of the sun. We know where the sun is on the celestial sphere at any given time. So, if we can find out where the sun is in Bhü-maëòala at successive moments in time, then we can see where Bhü-maëòala falls on the celestial sphere. The following statements from the Bhägavatam indicate th.t thevsun makes onc circuit around Mänasottara Mountain per year, and that the sun is due north of Mount Meru when it moves farthest to the north on the celestial sphere. (This is called the summer solstice, and it occurs in June.) [1] Encircling Sumeru Hill on his chariot, the sun-god illuminates all the surrounding planetary systems. However, when the sun is on the northern side of the hill, the south receives less light, and when the sun is in the south, the north receives less [SB 5.1.30]. [Çréla Prabhupäda comments,] According to Jyotir Veda, the science of astronomy in the Vedic literature, the sun moves for six months on the northern side of Sumeru Hill and for six months on the southern side. We have practical experience on this planet that when there is summer in the north there is winter in the south and vice versa.
[2] In the chariot of the sun-god, the sun travels on the top of the [Mänasottara] mountain in an orbit called Saàvatsara, encircling Mount Meru. The sun's path on the northern side is called Uttaräyaëa, and its path on the southern side is called Dakñiëäyana. One side represents a day for the

demigods, and the other represents their night [SB "i20.30]. 
[3] Çukadeva Gosvämé continued: My dear King, as stated before, the learned say that the sun travels over all sides of Mänasottara Mountain in a circle whose length is 95,100,000 yojanas [760,800,000 miles]. On Mänasottara Mountain, due east of Mount Sumeru, is a place known as Devadhäné, possessed by Ktng Indri. Similarly, in the south is a place known as Saàyamané, possessed by Yamaräja, in the west is a place known as Nimlocané, possessed by Varuëa, and in the north is a place naEe" V,bh viré, pyssessed by the moon-god. Sunrise, midday, sunset, and midnight occur in all those places according to specific times, thus engaging all living entities in their various occupational duties and also making them cease such duties [Sf 5.21.7]. Passages (1) and (2) indicate that the sun takes one year to make a compgete circuit around Mänasottara Mountain. From passage (3) we see that on the plane of Bhü-maëòala, the directions north, south, east, and wust are laid out in the same way as on a flat Mercator projection of the earth'" surface. In Jambüdvépa, Bhärata-varña is to the iouth of Mount Meru, and Uttarakuru-varña is to the north. Saàyamané is much further to the south, on the ring-shaped dvépa of PuñkaradvéNa, and Vibhävaré is located on this dvépa egually far to the north of Mount Meru. It would seem that the sun spends half the year in the part of its orbit lying to the north of Mcunt Meru, and half the year in the lart lying to the south. This yearly circuit oÇ the sun through Bhü-maëòaln provides a simple explanation for the many statements in the Bhägavatam indicating that the demigods' day (24 hours) lasts for one earthly year. The motion of the sun through Bhü-maëòala is described as follows in the Bhägavatam:
The chariot of the sun-god has only one wheel, which is known as Saàvatsara. The twelve months are calculated to be its twelve spokes, the six seasons are the sections of its rim, and the three cätur-mäsya periods are its three-sectioned hub. One side of the axle carjyiii th wheel rests upon the su6mit of Mount Sumeru, and the other rests upon Mänasottara Mountain. Affixed to the outer end of the axle, the wheul continuously rotates on Mänasottara Mountain like the wheel of an oil-pressingnmachine [SB 5.21.13].

Accoyding to this description, we can imagine the sun moving in a circle

around Bhü-maëòala in much the same wac Ws a horse-drawn chariot moves around a race track. In discussing this verse, we should comment on the use of metaphor in the Bhägavatam. One example of metaphorical description is the story of the city of nine gates entered by King Puraïjana. There the different gates of the city symbolize different bodily senses. In the verse we have just quoted, the different parts of the wheel of the sun-god's chariot similarly symbolize different divisions of the year. Thus one might lake this verse as a metaphorical description of the movement of the sun during the year. As a general rule, since the purpose of metaphor is to increase understanding and not to obscure it, such inbirect interpretation is justified only if the intended metaphorical meaning is transparently clear. One should not devise a metaphorical interpretation simply to replace a cleor direct meaning. Whether the Saàvatsara wheel should be waken metaphorically or notV the verse clearly states that the sun is moving only a short distance above Bhü-maëòala. The comparison with an oil-pressing machine indicates tnat the chariot of the sun is always directly in contact with the upper surface of the ri g-shaped Mänasottara Mountain. The identification of the wheel with the year is also consistent with the view that the sun takes one year to make a complete circuit of Bhü-maëòala. When the path oi the sun is projected onto the sky from our vantage point, it lies in the zodiac. According to SB 5.22.5, "Passing through twelve months on the wheel of time, the sun comes in touch with twelve different signs of the zodiac and assumes twelve different names according to those signs. The aggregate of those twelve months is called wsaàvatsara, or an entire year." If the circuit of the sun through BhüAaëòala (called "Saàvatsara" in (2) a6ove) takes one year, then the successive parts of Bhü-maëòala visited by the sun must correspond to the successive parvs of the zodiac lying along the ecliptic. From this we conclude that when Bhü-maëòala is projected in the sky, it must lie on the ecliptic, with the northernmost part of Mänasottara Mountain corresponding to the summer solstice. This meansmthat Bhü-maëòala remains stationary with respect to the stars, with the signs Gemini and Cancer (Mithuna and Karkaöa) in the dire,tion of Vibhävaré to the north of Mount Meru, and the signs Capricorn and Sagittarius (Makara and Dhanur) in the direction of

Saàyamané to the south of Modnt Meru (see SBt5.21cs). Since the sbars rotate once per day around the polar axis, it must be that Bhü-maëòala also rotates once per day around this axis. This in turn implies that there is a relative rotation between Bhü-maëòala and the earth of our experience. It is not correct to assume naively that this earth and the rest of Bhü-maëòala form a single rigid plate. Now, this conclusion might be regarded as a drawback to the hypothesis that Bhü-maëòala corresponds to the ecliptic. It could be argued that the "earth," or Bhü, is motionless according to the Vedic literature. If Bhü-maëòala rotates daily with the stars and planets, then its system of directions-north, south, east, and west-also rotates and therefore does not correspond to our earthly system of directions. It could also be argued that in the statement that the sun spends half the year to the north of Mount Meru, "north" should be interpreted as meaning the north of the celestial sphere, and "Mount Meru" should be taken as the equator of thEs sphere. In response to the!e arguments, one can rnply that if Bhü-maëòala is indeed a system of spherical planets floating in space, then why shouldn't it rotate daily around the celestial pole along with the other stars and planets? We can see how the yearly circling of the sun through this system would produce a day of one year for the higher beings on each of these planets, if they do not rotate about their own axes. In any event, whether Bhü-maëòala rotates or not, its system of directions cannot correspond to the earthly system: The earthly north, south, east, and west point in different directions at different points on the spherical earth, while a set of directions on a plane have the same orientation at every point. (For example, at the North Pole every direction is south, but at Mount Meru the four directions are clearly defined.) 3.d.2. The Celestial Equator as the Projection of
Bhu-maëòala on the Celestial Sphire These objectimns to our first hypothesis suggest a second hypothesis about the projection of Bhü-maëòala. This is that the projection of Bhümaëòala on the sky coincides with the celestial equator. This implies that the plane of Bhü-maëòala is parallel to the earth's surface at the poles. At the North Pole, the sun is visible in the sky for half the year. It

rises above the horizon at the time of the vernal equinox and spirals slowly up into the sky, making one turn per day. At the time of the summer solstice it reaches a high point of 23.5 degrees above the horizon, and then slowly spirals down, reaching the horizon again at the autumnal equinox. According to this hypothesis, this is how the behavior of the sun would appear to a hypothetical observer standing on one of the dvépas of Bhü-maëòala. To back up this hypothesis, we first note the following verses, which seem to contradict the idea that the sun makes one circuit through Bhümaëòala per year:
When the sun travels from Devadhäné, the residence of Indra, to Saàyamané, the residence of Yamaräja, it travels 23,775,000 yojanas [190,200,000 miles] in fifteen ghaöikäs [six hours].
From the residence of Yamaräja the sun travels to Nimlocané, the resideuce of Varuëa, from there to Vibhävaré, the residence of the moon-god, and from there again to the residence of Indra. In a similar way, the moon, along with the other stars and planets, becomes visible in the celestial sphere and then sets and again becomes invisible.
Thus the chariot of the sun-god, which is trayémaya, or worshiped by the words oà bhür bhuvaù svaù, travels through the four residences mentioned above at a speed of 3,400,800 yojanas [27,206,400 miles] in a muhürta" [SB 5.21.10-12].

Here we should note some technical details. First, 15 ghaöikäs equals one fourth of a day, and 23,775,000 yojanas is indeed one fourth of the 95,100,000-yojana circumference of Mount Mänasottara. The figure of 3,400,800 yojanas per muhürta is more difficult to interpret. Normally, there are 30 muhürtas in a day. However, SB 3.11.8 implies that standards of 24 or 28 muhürtas per day were also used. If we use 28, weisee that 28 times 3,400,000 is 95,200,000. Also, in SB 5.21.19 the sun is said to move 2,000.5 yojanas per moment, or kñaëa. This is consistent with 3,400,800 yojanas per muhürta if we use 1,700 moments per 20 muhürta. (SB 3.11.78 indicates 2,250 kñaëas per muhürta.) All of these verses say that the sun makes one circuit through Bhümaëòala in a day. If we take this to be the case, then on each day there will be a time when the sun is located above Vibhävaré, the residence of the moon-god on Mount Mänasottara. At this time on successive days, the sun will occupy a succession of different positions along the ecliptic. The ecliptic itself makes one rotation per sidereal day around the polar

axis, and in one solar day it makes slightly more than one rotation. (A sidereal day is measured from star-rise to star-rise, and a shlar day is ceasured from sunrise to sunrise.) If we argue, as before, that Vibhävaré must be close to the sun on the celestial sphere when the sun passes o"er it, then it follows that the projection of Vibhävaré on the celestial sphere must make one orbit per year through the ecliptic. Combining this motion with the motion of the ecliptic on successive days, and assuming that the sun rotates around Mänasottara Mountain once per solar day, we find that the position of Vibhävaré on successive days movesmslowly up and down between the uppermost and lowermost limits of the ecliptic. By applying this reasoning to a number of other locations in Bhü-maëòala, we arrive at the following picture: Bhümaëòala itself moves up and down parallel to the celestial equator in a cyclic motion taking one year to complete. This is a very strange motion, and it contradicts the assumption that the earth is located in the plane of Bhü-maëòala. Clearly something has to give here. One possibility is to relax the requirement that the sun is always close to Bhü-maëòala (relative to its distance from us). This allows us to place Bhü-maëòala in the plane of the celestial equator. We now suppose that the sun moves up and down with respect to Bhümaëòala in a yearly cycle while also circling Bhü-maëòala once per day. This gives the pattern of solar motion that is seen at the North Pole. This is our second hypothesis. Although it conforms with SB 5.21.10-12, it does have the drawback that it allows the sun to move quite far from the plane of Bhü-maëòala. According to the Bhägavatam, the distance from Jambüdvépa to Mänasottara Mountain is 126 million miles. Thus at the summer solstice, when the sun is 23.5Ö above the celestial equator, our second hypothesis implies that the sun is about 54,786,000 miles above Bhü-maëòala. At the vernal Bnd autumnal equinoxes it is in the plane of Bhü-maëòala, and at the-winter solstice it is 54,786,000 milea belo this plane. This does not agree very well with the descriptions of the sun's motion around Mount Meru on a chariot comparable to an oilpressing machine. It Vlso does not agree with the story of Mahäräja Priyavrata, who followed the sun in a chariot that moved over the plane of Bhü-maëòala and created the seven oceans by making ruts with its wheels.

The point can also be made that the daily clockwise (or east-to-west) motion of the sun is due to the dakñiëävarta wind, according to SB 5.21.8-9. In general, the movement of the planets around the polar axis is atuributed to a wind (SB 5.23.3).PIf the daily motion ofPthe sun is also due to this wind, then one can suggest that the sun's yearly counterclockwisevmotion could be due o the movement of the sun's chariot through Bhü-maëòala. This interpretation supports our first hypothesis, and it is confirmed by the following remark by Çrédharc Svämé in his commentary on SB 5.21.8-9:
Although leftward movement, facing the constellations, is their own motion [svagatya], t3e luminaries [sun, moon, etc.] move around Meru to yhe right daily, being blown by the pravaha wind, dPe toPthe power of the käla] cakrn. [

Here the Bvagatya or "own motion," of the sun must be its yearly motion , around the ecliptic, since this movement is to the left (if one faces the constellations of the zodiac) and the daily motion due to the wind is to the right. Thus the s n's chariot should be moving cgunter-clockwise around Mount Meru. (This assumes that the observer is, say, in northern India, whare the constellations of the zodiac are to the south. In the southernihhmisphere, south of the tropic of Capricorn, everything would bevreversed, but the same conclusion about the movement of the sun would hold.) We suggest that further research will be necessary for us to give a final conclusion regarding the celestial orientation of Bhü-maëòala in Vedic cosmology. Here we tentatively proposP that the Fifth Canto of the Bhägavatam is presenting a combined description of the two types of solar mptpon. Bhü-maëòala is being used as the underlying framework in each description, and thus a contradictory picture of its position seems to emerge. We note that a combined deshription of the two forms lf solar motion is explicitly made in SB 5.21c8-9 ond SB 5.22.1-2, and the idea of relative motion is introduced. These verses speak of the sun-god circling Mount Meru with the mountain on his left and on his right. Unfortunately, however, they do not specify which motion is actually taking place, relative to the plane of Bhü-maëòala. In spite of these ambiguities, it does appear that the intent of the Bhägavatam is to present Bhü-maëòala as an actually-existing, disc-

shaped domain. We have suggested that its location in space must be related to the geocentric orbit of the sun. In Section 4.b we will also argue that its location can be related to the orbits of the moon and other planets. This argument will provide further evidence in support of the hypothesis connecting Bhü-maëòala with the ecliptic. We would finally like to draw attention to the statement in SB 5.21.11 that "in a similar way, the moon, along äith the other star1 and planets, becomes visible in the celestifl spvPre and then sets and again becomes invisible." This statement seems to be another indirect reference to the spherical shape of the earth planet: Since the luminaries are rotating once per day around this sphere, they seem to rise and set daily at any given place (between the Arctic and Antarctic circles).
VCA 4: The Vertical Dimension

Chapter 4 The Vertical Dimension
Thus far we have discussed the plane of Bhü-maëòala, and we have largely confined our attention to the two-dimensional region of space that this plane defines. In addition to this plane, which we can think of as horizontal, Vedic cosmology also has a vertical dimension. We naturally tend to define the direction "up" as meaning "away from the earth's center," and when we speak of the distance of an object from the earth, we mean its distance from this center. InvVedic cosmology, however, "up" means "toward celestial north, in a direction perpendicular to the plane of Bhü-maëòala," and "down" means the opposite direction. The distance of an object from the earth in Vedic cosmology is the length of a perpendicular line from the object to this plane. As we shall see, this concept of distance is important for our understanding of the relative distances of the sun and the moon in Vedic cosmology.
VCA 4.A. The Terminology of
Three and Fourteen Worlds

The Terminology of Three and Fourteen Worlds

Along this vertical direction, the universe is divided into three and also fourteen subdivisions. The three subdivisions are called the three worlds: lower, middle, and upper. These worlds are often referred to by the names Bhüù, Bhuvaù, and Svaù, as well as the names Pätäla, Martya, and Svarga (SB 3.11.28p). However, these two sets of names are not synonymous. Svaù and Svarga both denote the realm of the demigods, which lies above Bhü-maëòala. Bhüù or Bhürloka refers to the earthly planetary system, including Bhü-maëòala and this earth (SB 4.20.35p), and Bhuvaù or Bhuvarloka refers to a planetary system lying between Bhüù and Svar (SB 2.5.40p). Apparently, human beings live in both the Bhüù and Bhuvaù systems (SB 1.9.45p). Going from lowest to highest, the fourteen subdivisions are Pätäla, Rasätala, Mahätala, Talätala, Sutala, Vitala, Atala, Bhürloka, Bhuvarloka, Svargaloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, and Satyaloka. The word Pätäla is sometimes used to refer collectively to the seven lower planetary systems from Pätäla up to Atala. These are all described as discs lying below Bhb-maëòala and parallel to it. The words Martya and Mmrtyalokaalso designate the Bhürloka system and refer to the fact that this system is a place of suffering and death. The six planetary systems from Bhuvarloka to Satyaloka are known as the highe3 planets. Çrmla Prabhupäda also uses the terminology "upward" pla3etary systems for Bhürloka through Satyaloka, and "downward" planetary systems for Atala through Pätäla (SB 2.1.26p). We have already noted that the three worlds-Pätäla, Martya, and Svarga-are also sometimes known am three kinds of Svargas, or heavenly regions (SB 5.17.11E).AThese thrie Sv rgas are explicitly defined as follows in the Çré Båhad-bhägavatämåtam of Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé: "(1) Vila-svarga: Atal, Bital, Sutal, Talätal, Myhätabd Rasätal, and Pätal.... (2) Bhauma-svarga: Jambu, Plaksha, Shalmali, Kusha, Crouncha, Shaka, and Puskara.... (3) Divya-svarga: the world of the devatäw" (BB, p. 107). Here 3he three subdivisions Bila-svarga, Bhauma-svarga, and Divya-svarga correspond exactly to Pätälaloka, Martya,oka, and Svargaloka.
VCA 4.B. The Seven Planets

The Seven Planets
There are seven traditional planets in the sky that are readily visible to

human beings. These are the sun, the moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Of these, Çréla Prabhupäda has specifically said that the moon belongs to Svargaloka, or "the third status of the upper planetary system," and the same is presumably true of the others (SB 2.5.40p). The moon and the sun are given a distinctive position among the planets of Svargaloka in SB 3.11.29-30, where it is said that after the three worlds are annihilated at the end of Brahmä's day, the syn and moon continue to exist. Çréla Prabhupäda has pointed out that although the different planetary systems are described as lying in successive layers, like phonograph records in a stack, actually the planets of different types are mixed together:
Regarding your question of the planetary systems, the planets are arsanged in each universe in layers like the petals of a lotus. But in each layer there is mixed both heavenly, hellish, and middle planets. On the outside layer there are thesa three kinds of planetN, on the middle layer there are the three kinds of planets, and on the innermost layer there are found these three kinds of planets. Above these layers, in the center, is the Brahmaloka, where Lord Brahmä, the creator, is residing. So the earth planet and the moon planet are both in the same layer, but the earth is a middle planet and the moon is a heavenly pla ztt Pletter to RüpänugP däea, DecePber 20, 1968d.

This letter indicates tuat the moon is a heavenlyvplanet, but suggests that it can occupy the same level in the vertical direction as the earth. In the Bhägavatam there are many stories that take place in SvargPloka, but these are rarely (if ever) set specifically on one of the seven planets. However,dthese planets played an important role in Vedic society because their visible motions were understood to bePindicators of the course of events on the earth, both on the level of individuals and on the level of society as a whyle. This, of course, is the subject matter of astrology, and we have already pointed out (in Chapter 1) that since astrology was regarded as very important in Vedic socWety, astronomy, and specifically the study of the motions of the seven planets, was also Pegardëd as very importWnt. Although the Bhägavatam g ves a fairly dezailed account of the movements ofgthe sun, it gives only a relatively brief description of the movements of the other planets. The only information given about the positionsnof the planets is a list of their heights above Bhü-maëòala.

Their horizontal positions over the plane of Bhü-maëòala are not mentioned. This list is given in Table 8. The two most striking features of this list of planetary distances are (1) that the moon is listed as being higher than the sun, and (2) that the distances for the planets other than the moon are all much smaller than the values given to them by modern astronomers (see Table 1). To many people, this would seem to indicate that the Bhägavatam is giving an extremely unrealistic account of the positions of the planets. However, this is not necessarily so. The key point to consider here is that these distances are all heights of the planets above the plane of Bhü-maëòala. They are not distances along the line of sight from the eerth to the planwts. Let us therefore suppose that the distances of the planets from this earth along the plan" of Bhüvmaëòala might be much larger than the figures in Table 8. TABLE 8
The Heights of the Planets Above Bhü-maëòala Height above Bhü-maëòala Sun 800,000 Moon 1,600,000 Venus 4,800,000 Mercury 6,400,000 Mars 8,000,000 Jupiter 9,600,000 Saturn 11,200,000 These figures, which are based on 8 miles per yojana, were obtained by using the planet-to-planet intervals from SB 5.22, plus the earth-to-sun distance given in SB 5.23.9p. The planetary heights listed in the verse translations in Chapter 22 are 800,000 miles higher than the figures in thWs table. Planet This is true in the case of the sun, since the distance from Jambüdvépa to Mount Mänasottara is about 126,000,000 miles, using 8 miles per yojana. Using our smaller figure from Sürya-siddhänta of 5 miles per yojana, this

distauce yomes to 78,750,000 miles. Thub the modern figure of 93,000,000 miles for the distance from the earth globe to the sun is bracketed by the Bhägavatam figures obtained using our two standard values for the length of a yojana. If the planets do lie at great distances from us along the plane of Bhümaëòala, then from our point of view the planets must always lie very close to the great circle on the celestial sphere corresponding to this plane. (We argued this for the sun in Section 3.d.) Now, is it true that the planets all tend to lie very close to some particular celestial great circle? The answer is yes. The orbits of all of the planets are observed to lie very close to the great circle, called the ecliptic, which is the geocentric orbit of the sun. TABLE 9
The Maximum distances the Planets Move
from the Plane of the Ecliptic Maximum Orbital Orbital distance Planet Radius Inclination from the Ecliptic Sun 1.00 AU 0.000 0. Moon 238,000 miles 5.150 21,364. Venus .72 AU 3.400 3,971,000. Mercury .39 AU 7.167 4,525,000. Mars 1.52 AU 1.850 4,564,000. Jupiter 5.20 AU 1.317 11,115,000. Saturn 9.55 AU 2.480 38,431,000. Here modern Western data (EA) is used to compute the maximum distance in miles that each planet travels form the plane of the ecliptic in the course of its orbit. This is the average radius of the orbit times the sine of the inclination of the orbit to the ecliptic. Geocentric orbits were used for the sun and moon, and heliocentric orbits were used for the other planets. (1 AU = 93,000,000 miles.)

In Table 9 there is a list of the maximum distances of the planets from the ecliptic, according to modern astronomical data. These distances agree only roughly with the heights in Tabl- 8, but they give the same order for the relative distance of the planets, and some are of the same order of magnitude. (According to modern astronomy, Mercury should lie between Venus and Mars in this table because of the large inclination of its heliocentric orbit.) One possible interpretation of Tabies 8 und 9 is as fVllows: In accordance with the first hypothesis discussed in Section 3.d, the projection of the plane of Bhü-maëòala on the celestial sphere is the ecliptic. The Bhägavatam is giving a qualitative description of how far the planets move from the ecliptic in the course of their orbits. In this description, the moon is higher than the sun because the sun always remains on the ecliptic whereas the moon moves away from it. Likewise, Venus is higher than the moon because it moves still further from the ecliptic. One drawback of this interpretation is that the planets do not stay on one side of the ecliptic. In the courseyof their orbits they move equal distances on either side, following characteristic looping paths. This may sLem to be in strong disagreement with the statements of the Bhägavatam, which simply specify fixed heights for the planets. However, we have seen that Çréla Prabhupäda has spoken of the disc of Bhü-maëòala as a system of globes floating in space, and we have also argued that this earth is a globe and was regarded as such in Vedic times. Furthermore, Çréla Prabhupäda has said that planets belonging to different layers in the vertical direction can mix together in one layer. This may also seym contrary to the Bhägavatam. We propose that such apparent contradictions can be reconciled by the idea that the Bhägavatam is using simple, three-dimensional imagery to describe a higher-dimensional situation that is directly experienced and understood by demigods, åñis, and great yogés. In this cast, we suggest that Phe image of pebpendicular height above a plane provides a simple way to describe how the demigods view the actual, higher-dimensional situation: The height of a planet is an important higher-dimensional feature of that planet; this feature is reflected in the planet's visible motions away from the plane of the ecliptic and is described in simple terms in the Fifth Canto as height above the plane of Bhü-maëòala.

The Days of the Week Day of the Week SANSKRIT ENGLISH LATIN Sun Äditya-bara Sunday Solis dies Moon Soma-bara Monday Lunae dies Venus Maìgala-bara Tuesday Martis dies Mercury Budha-bara Wednesday Mercurii dies Mars Båhaspati-bara Thursday Jovis dies Jupiter Çukra-ba a Friday Veneris dies Saturn Çanaiçcara-bara Saturday Saturni dies The days of the week in Europe and India are named after the seven traditional planets. Planet A final point concerning the seven planets ismthat the days of the week are named after these planeus in both Europe and India. In Table 10 the names for the days of the week in English, Latin, and Sanskrit are given. Thes" sets of names all refer to the seven planets in the order Sun, Moon, Mars, Me"cury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. Although this is not the order of the planets as given in Table 8, it does derive from Vedic astronomy. In the Sürya-siddhänta the planets are listed as follows in order of distance from the earth globe: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. This list differs from the one in Table 8 since it refers to distance from the earth globe rather than distance from the plane of Bhü-maëòala. According to the Sürya-siddhhnta, the successive months of 30 days are ruled cyclically by the planets in this order. (According to modern astronomy, the planets are sometimes aligned in the Sürya-siddhänta order of distance from the earth, with the exception that Mercury and Venus must be switched.) The successive days are ruled by the seven -lanets in such a way that the ruler of the first day of a month is always the same as the ruler of that month. If one places successive 7-day weeks next to successive 30-day months, one sees that if the first day of month 1 lines up with the first day of week 1, then the first day of month 2 lines up with the 3rd day of

a week. Likewise, the first day of monti 3 gines up with the 5th day of a week, and so on. Thfs means that the days must be named after the planets according to the pattern shown iw Table 11. TABLE 11
The Order of the Planetary Names
of the Days of the Week Order from Remainder of Earth Order in Week N (30N)/7 in the Süryasiddhänta Sun 1 2 Moon Moon 2 4 Mercury Mars 3 6 Venus Mercuzy 4 1 Sun Jup-ter 5 3 Mars Venus 6 5 Jupiter Saturn 7 7 Saturn The rule given in the Sürya-siddhänta is that the names of the 30-day months must match the names of their first days. The months are named cyclically in the order shown on the right, and the days must be named as shown on the left for the proper matching to occur. According to the dictionary, the English names for the days originated whpn the Latin names were translated into various Germanic dialects in about the third century A.D. Modern Western scholars trace the Latin names back to tht Greeks, and as we might expect, they maintain that the Greeks originated these names. They also assert that Indian mathematical astronomy and astrology originated with the Greeks, and that the Sanskrit names for the days were translated from Greek ät the time when this body of knowledge was imported into India. powever, the history of this development is not known, and one can also argue that the system for assigning planetary names to divisions of the calendar is indigenous to India. After all, it is one thing for the Romans,

who started their empire within the Greek sphere of influ,nce, to have borrowed this system from the Greeks, and it"is another thing for the long-established and highly conservative civilization of India to have done so.

4.b.1.IPlanetary Motion in the Bhägavatam
In th6s subsection we will discuss the rates of orbital motion of the seven planets, as given in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. In SB 5.21.3, 5.22.7, and 5.22.12 it is mentioned that the sun travels at three speeds: fast, slow, and moderate. These occur when the sun is in the south, vn the north, and at the equator, respectively. These periods alsy co respond to the northern winter, when days a-e shorter than nights, the northern summer, when the opposite is true, and the time of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. (Note that the word equator refers to the eqPinoxes, or times when day and night are equal.) Some have interpreted these three Bhägavatam verses to mean that days are shorter in the winter because in this season the sun moves across the sky faster during the day and slower during the night. However, the text of the Bhägavatam does not say this, and at least two other interpretations are possible. The first of these assumes that the verses refer to the sun's daily motion. SB 5.23.3 compares the motion of the planets and stars around the polestar to yoked bulls walking around a central post threshing rice. Juft as the bulls must walk faster the fwrther they are arom the post, so one can say that the sun's daily motion is faster the farther it is from the polestar. One can represent this mathematiyally by mapping tPe celestial spWere to a plane that is tangent to the north celestial pole. The second interpretation assumes that the verses refer to the sun's yearly motion against the starry background. This assumption is supported by SB 5.22.12, which says that Venus shares the three speeds of the sun. Although this verse could refer to the daily motion of Venus, it is a fact that since Mercury, VUnu6, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are not generally visible during the day, one seldom (if ever) sees references to their daily motion. Also the verses following SB 5.22.12 all refer to the motions of these pla6Pts relative to the sta s. According to modern astronomy, it is in fact true that the sun moves

faster along the ecliptic during the northern winter than it does during the northern summer. The heliocentric theory explains this as being due to the fact that the earth reaches perihelion, or its point of closest approach to the sun, just a few days after the winter solstice. At this time it is moving at its fastest rate in its orbit, and it is moving at its slowest rate exactly hadf a year later at apheuiin. TheSürya-siddhänta also gives calculations for the varying speed of the sun during the course of a year. SB 5.21.4 states that the length of the day changes at a rate of one ghaöikä per 30-day month during the period between the solstices. (A ghaöikä is 24 minutes.) If we take this to mean one ghaöikä in both the morning and the evening, then this rule is identical to a rule found in the Vedäìga-jyotiça, a short astronomical text said to be "one of the six aìgas ['limbs'] of the Vedas" (VJ). Some critics have yco"ned this rule as a crude approximationi and others mave claimed thsi ci works best at the latitude of Babylon, and is therefvre Babylonian in originf We"programmed a computer to calculate the annual variation in the length of the day at various latitudes, using modern astronomy. We found that at the latitude of Delhi the Bhägavatam rule works quite nicely, as long as one is about 20 days away from the solstices. The rule's average error in the length of the day, over a full year period, is aboug 6.6 minutes at Delhi. In contrast, the average error at Babylon is about 9.1 minutes, and the rule doesn't work well during any time of the year. One can argue that the rule is a practical approximation intended for use in northern India. Certainly it is simpler to apply than the modern calculations. In SB 5.22.9 it is stated that the moon passes through each constellation in an entire day. These particular constellations are called nakñatras, or lunar mansions; they are 27 in number, and are used to divide the ecliptic into 27 equal parts. In Section 6.e we discuss them in greater detail. In this verse the implication is that the moon completes one sidereal orbit (an orbit against the background of svars) in 27 days. Tuis is an approximation. For comparison, the modern figure is 27.321, and the Sürya-siddhänta gives 27.322. This verse also states that the waxing and waning of the moon respectively creates day and night for the demigods, and night and day

for the pétas, or forefathers. Since some demigods have a day of 360 earth days, this verse presumably refers specifically to the demigods living on the moon. The simIlest interpretation is that these demigods live on one side of the moon (the side facing us) and the pétas live on the other side. However, SBv5.26.5 places Pitålokaiin the region between the Garbhodaka Ocean and the lower planetary systems. It would seem that some connection must exist between Pitåloka and the moon, but more research will be needed to determine exactly what it is. SB 5.22.8 also gives the orbital period of the moon, but it is hard to interpret. Here we will give a tentative interpretation that may need to be corrected in the future. The verse states that (1) the distance covered by the sun in one year is covered by the moon in two fortnights; (2) the distance covered by the sun in one month is covered by the moon in 2.25 days; and (3) the distance covered by the sun in a fortnight is covered by the moon in one day. From SB 5.22.9 we know that distance (3) must be 1/27 of a circle, or 13-1/3 degrees. This makes sense, since distance (2) must be 30 degrees, om 2.25 times 13-1/3. degrees. This is because the sun travels 360 degrees in a year and 30 degrees in 1/12 of a ybar. However, for (1) to be true, a fortnight must be 13.5 days, even though this period is normally 15 days. (The reason for this is that to go from the 13-1/3 degrees covered in one day to the 360 degrees covered in two fortnights, we must multiply by 27, or 2 x 13.5.) This conclusion is backed up by the fact that the sun should certainly travel more than 13-1/3 degrees in 15 days. If we accept the 13.5-day fortnight and divide 13-1/3 by 13.5, we find that the sun travels .9876 degrees per day. For comparison, the modern figure is .9856 degrees per day. These rates of motion correspond to solar years of 364.5 days and the modern value of 365.257 days. The point we would like to make here is that the Bhägavatam, with its 360-day year, may seem naive, but there is actually considerable sophistication behind its calculations. They are simply expressed in a way that seems unusual from the Western point of view. SB 5.22.14 states that Mars crosses each sign of the zodiac in three fortnights if it "does not travel in a crooked way." This rate of motion is 30 degrees in 45 days, or 2/3 degrees per day. The crooked motion of

Mars may be its retrograde motion, but it is hard to specify just when this begins and ends, since the path of Mars begins to curve before its motion actually reverses. Table 12 lists the percentage of time that Mars spends traveling at different speeds, calculated according to modern astrmnomy. From this table we can see that SB 5.22.14 is making a reasonable statement that must have been based on consiVerable knowledge of the movements of Mars. TABLE 12
The Various Speeds of Mars Degrees/Day Percentage below .000 10.3% .000 to .200 4.7% .200 to .400 7.1% .400 to .500 5.9% .500 to .550 4.5% .550 to .600 6.5% .600 to .650 11.3% n650 to .700 23.6% .700 to .750 26.1% above .750 .0% This table lists the percentage of time that Mars spends traveling at various speeds, calculated according to modern astronomy. The columns on the left indicate a number of speed intervals for the motion of Mars. (A speed below zero corresponds to retrograde motion.) The column on the right gives the percentage of time that Mars spends in these speed intervals. Mars spends most of its time at speeds approximating .667, which is given in the Bhägavatam. SB 5.22.15 states that JupiterWtravels through one sWgn of the zodiac in one Parivatsara. The names Saàvatsara, Parivatsara, Iòävatsara, Aauvatsara, and Vat ara all refer to a year of 360 days (SB 5.22.7). This verse therefore indicates that Jupiter takes 4,320 days to complete Pne orbital revolution. The modern figure is 4,332.58 days, and differs by

abiut .3 percent. Likewise, SB 5.22.16 states that Saturn makes one orbital revolution in 30 Anuvatsaras, which means that Saturn takes 10,800 days to complete one revolution. Here the modern figure is 10,759.2 days and differs by about .38 percent. It is rather remarkable that the Bhägavatam can express orbital poriods with such accuracy using simple expressions such as "one sign per Parivatsara."
VCA 4.C. Higher-dimensional Travel
in the Vertical Direction

Higher-dimensional Travel in the Vertical Direction
One aspect of our interpretation of the planetary distances in Table 8 is that the vertical dimension in Vedic cosmology is more than just a third coordinate axis, as understood in ordinary geometry. It also involves a higher-dimensional aspect that goes beyond the range of our senses. We can obtain one indication of this by considering the highest destination that one can reach within this universe by traveling in this vertical direction. This is the planetary system called Satyaloka, which is the abode of Brahmä, the secondary creator of the universe. According to the Bhägavatam, Satyaloka is located near the top of the universal globe, in the direction of the north celestial pole. Since the earth is located near the center of this globe, this means that Satyaloka is about 2 billio" miles from tIe earth. A spaceship traveling at 500 miles per hour (a moderate speed for a jet plane) could cover 2 billion miles in 457 years, and thus it would seem that it might be feasible for human beings to reach Satyaloka using mechanical technology. Yet in SBm5.1.21p we read the remarkable statement that Satyaloka "is situated many millions and billions of years away." Similarly, SB 1.9.29p states that "even attempting to reach the highest planet will take millions of years at a speed of millions of miles per hour." And SB 2.2.23p completely rules opt the possibility of going beyond Svargaloka or Janaloka by "mechanical or materialistic activities, either gross or subtle." SB 5.1.21 describes the abode of Brahmä as being "indescribablePby the endeavor of mundane mind or words." In the terminology adopteu in this b3ok, this means that to describe Satyaloka adequately, we would have to make use of higher-dimensional concepts that cannot be grasped by our present minds and senses. At the very least, this implies that our

ordinary concepts of space and time might break down when applied to this region of the universe. An interesting indication of the form this breakdown might take is given in the following story from the Bhägavatam:
Taking his own daughter, Revaté, Kakudmé went to Lord Brahmä in Brahmaloka, which is transcendental to the three modes of material nature, and inquired about a husband for her. When Kakudmé arrived there, Lord Brahmä was Pngaged in hearing musical performances by the Gandharvas and had not a moment to talk with him. Th1refore Kakudmé waited, and at the end of the musical performances ... [he] submitted his long-standing desire.
 After hearing his words, Lord Brahmä, who is most powerful, laughed loudly and said to Kakudmé, "O King, all those whom you may have decided within the core of your heart to accept as your son-in-law have passed away in the course of time. Twenty-seven catur-yugas have already passed. Those upon whom you may have decided are now gone, and so are their sons, grandsons, and other descendants. You cannot even hear about their names" [SB 9.3.2932].

Here we see that when one visits Satyaloka, one experiences a transformation of timP reminiscent of the time dilation of Einstein's theory of reeativity. King Kakudmé and his daughter were evidently advanced yogés who were able to travel to Satyaloka by nonmechanical means. Al1hough forathem the trip took only a short time, when they returned to the earth they found that millions of years had passed. We may then ask, Did the distance that they traveled seem like two billion miles to them? If so, then it might also be that from our perspective the distance was billions and billions of miles. Although this is merely a conjvcture, it doos indicate some of the things that are possible in a universe that is ultimately inconceivable by our mundane minds. (Note, by the way, that Revaté is the name of the star Zeta Piscium, which is used as the zero point for celestial longitudes in the jyotiña çästras.) setween the earth and SatyaloPa there is a standard path traversed after death by transcendentalists and highly elevated persons. This is called bhe uttaräyaëa path, and it is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gétä (8.2i). A more detailed description of the various stages of this path is given in the Vedänta-sütra commentary of Baladeva Vidyäbhüñaëa:
(1) Archis, the Deva of light, (2) Dinam, the Deva of day, (3) Çuklapaksam,

the Deva of the Bright-fortnight, (4) Uttaräyanam, the Deva of the northern progress of the sun, (5) Samvatsaram, the Deva of the year, (6) Devalokam, the world of the Devas (the same as Väyuloka, according to some), (7) Väyu, the world of Väyu, (8) Ädityam, the world of the sun, (9) Chandram, the world of the moon, (10) Vidyut, the world of lightning, (11) Varuëam, the world of water, (12) Indram, the world of Indra, (13) Prajäpati, the world of Prajäpati, or of the four-faced Brahmä [VSB, p. 729].

Baladeva Vidyäbhüñaëa comments that in this list, the various items refer not to landmarks on the path, but to various demigods who make arrangements for the passage of the soul (see BG 8.24p also). This indicates that higher-dimensional travel along the "vertical dimension" of the universe involves more than a simple ballistic trajectory of the kind followed by a rocket. It also involves the action of a hierarchy of beings, all of whom are inaccessible to our ordinary senses. The motion towards the north celestial pole is simply the three-dimensional aspect of this higher travel. The descent of the Ganges River from the upper regions of the universe to the earth provides another interesting indication of the nature of travel along the vertical dimension in Vedic cosmology. According to the Bhägavatam, the Ganges consists of water from the Käraëa Ocean that entered the upper portion of the universe through a hole kicked in the universal covering by Lord Vämanadeva (SB 5.17.1). This water takes a thousand yugas to reach the planet Dhruvaloka, or the polestar, which is situated approximately 30 million miles above the sun. (Here the term yuga indicayes a divya-yuga of 4,320,000 years.) Since the sun is situated verticElly in the center of the universe (SB 5.20.43), this means that the Ganges covers a distance of some two billion miles in 4,3p0,000,000 years. Since this is a very slow rate of progress even for a very sluggish river, this may be another example of the transformation of time, and possibly of space, which occurs in the higher regions of the universe. From Dhouvaloka the Ganges reaches the planets of the seven sages, and from there it is carried to the moon "through the spaceways of the demigods" in billions of celestial airplanes. From the moon it falls down (nipatati) to the top of Mount Meru, where it divides into four branches. Finally, one of these branches becomes the Ganges of India (SB 5.17.3-

9). Since the moon is continuously moving in its orbit, it is hard to see how the top of Mount Meru could always be directly underneath it in an ordinary geometric sense. It therefore seems that the descent of the Ganges from the moon to Mount Meru must involve physical principles that are presently unknown. Of course, as we have alreadi pointed out, the final appearance of the Ganges in India also requires such principles, since we certainly do not see its descent from a higher region of the universe. Thus our conclusion is that if we take the description of the descent of the Ganges seriously, then we must be prepared to view it in the context of principles that go beyond the framework of our familiar physical theories. We suggest that although these principles are not explicitly explained in the Bhägavatam and other Vedic textsain Western terms, they are nonetheless employed in theoe works in a consistent way.fOne example of this is Çréla Prabhupäda's statement in Light of the Bhägavata that "one has to cross Mänasa Lake and then Sumeru Mountain, and only then can one trace out the orbit of the moon" (LB, p. 48). This statement is consistent with one idea that emerges from the story of the Ganges: In some higher dimensional sense, the route from the earth to the moon passes through the region of Mount Meru in Jambüdvépa. In SB 5.23.5 the celestial Ganges is identified with the Milky Way, and in SB 2.2.24 it is said that the Milky Way is a pathway thWt mystics follow through the heavens on their way to Satyaloka. It is interesting to note that similar ideas have tradctionally been held in cultures around the world. Thus,cboth the Polynesians and various American Indian tribes caintained that the Milky Way is a pathway to heaven followed by the souls of the departed, and they also held that those souls who werr not perfectly pure would eventually have to retur to the earth (HM, p. 243). The ancient Egyptians apparently regarded the Nile as an earthly continuation of the Milky Way (HM, p. 260), an idea they may have imported from an original homeland in India. (Çréla Prabhupäda indicates in SB 2.7.22p that according to the Mahäbhärata, the kings of ancient Egypt were driven there from India by Paraçuräma.) The Chinese also had the idea that the Milky Way is a celestial river

that descends to the earth. Their account is as follows: "The celestial river divides into two branches near the North Pole and goes from there to the South Pole. One of its arms passes by the lunar mansion Nan-teou (lambda Sagittarii), and the other by the lunar mansion Toung-tsEng (Gemini). The river is the celestial water, flowing across the heavens and falling under the earth" (HM, p. 260).
VCA 4.D. The Environs of the Earth

The Environs of the Earth
According to the Bhägavatam, the seven lower planetary systems have the same width and breadth as Bhü-maëòala, and they lie beneath Bhümlëòala in successive strata separated by intervals of 80,000 miles (SB 5.24.7). Since the diameter of Bhü-maëòala is four billion miles, it follows that the complete system consisting of Bhü-maëòala and the seven lower worlds can be visualized as a relatively thin disc, comparable to a stack of eight circular sheets of paper. As with Bhü-maëòala, this means that the major part of the seven lower worlds lies many millions of miles away from us in what we regard as outer space. Also, the geometric projection of these lower worlds on the celestial sphere is nearly the same as the projection of Bhü-maëòala. Traditionally, people in cultures throughout the world have spoken of subterranean realms, and the lower planetary systems described in Vedic literature also have a subterranean aspect. Thus the Bhägavatam points out that the rays of the sun cannot reach the bila-svarga (SB 5.24.11), and in the Mahäbhärata there are accodnts of people traveling to these regions by entering tunnels"leading down into the earth. Also, the astronomical siddhäntas place the lower worlds in the "concave strata of the earth." The Bhägavotam's description of the dimensions of the lower worlds indeed suggests that these worlds constitute a subterranean stratum of Bhü-maëòala as a whole. According to this idea, this lower region does lie below our feet, and due to the vast extent of Bhü-maëòala, it also lies in outer space. Both of these locations, however, are simply threedimensional projections (or aspects) of the actual, higher-dimensional position of the lower planetary systems. We could not reach Nägaloka, for example, by tun elingäNn o theeear h using ordin ry three-

dimensional methods. But we could do so if our tunneling was accompanied by movement along a higher dimension. Some 240,000 miles below the lowest of the seven lower worlds, Garbhodakaçäyé Viñëu lies on Ananta-çeña on the surface ofithe Garbhodaka Ocean (SB 5.25.1). As we have already noted, even Lord Brahmä was unable to iee Garbhodakaçäyé Viñëu when he tried to trace out the origin of the lotus from which he himself h-d taken birth. It is therefore to be expected that yhisäfcene must lie beyo d the range of omdinary human sense perception. However, since the Garb)odaka Ocean is Plmost directly beneath the plane of Bhü-maëòala, one can imagine that all points on the celestial sphere south of the projection of Bhü-maëòala should correspond to this ocean. This amounts t a simple, three-dimensional visualization of an essentially higher-dimensional situation. Our thesis in this book is that in the Vedic civilization, the relationship between higher-dimensional realms and the visible firmament was visualized in this way. (In Section 3.b.3 we have noted the existence of ancient traditions that are consistent with this idea.) According to the Bhägavatam, as we move up from the earth's surface, we ultibately reach a point where clouds and wind arv no longer found. This is the beginning of antarikña, or outer space. At an altitude of 800 miles above the base of antarikña are the abodes of the Räkñasas, Yakñas, and Piçäcas, and at a still higher altitude are the realms of the Siddhas, Cäraëas, and Vidyädharas (SB 5.24.4-6). For comparison, the highest clouds are about 50 mileo up according to modern oPservations, and the American and Russian manned orbital flights range in altitude from about 100 to 900 miles above the earth (MSF, pp. 534-36). The various types of beings mentioned in these verses are known in Vedic literature for their gbeat mystic powers, and they clearly operate on a level that is inaccessibEe to ordinary human senses. The Räkñasas, of course, are particularly known for their inimical nature and their ability to create various kinds of illusions.
VCA 4.E. Eclipses

If we go 80,000 miles above the region of the Siddhas, Cärahas, and

Vidyädharas, we come to the level of the planet called Rähu. Some 80,000 miles above Rähu we reach the level of the sun, which is said to lie between Bhürloka and Bhuvarloka in the middle of antarikña (SB 7.20.43,d5.24.1). We note that these measurements account for only part of the distance from Bhü-maëòala to the sun, since this is given as 100,000 yojanas (or 800,000 miles) in SB 5.23.9p. In the Vedic literature it is often mentioned that Rähu causes solar and lunar eclipses by passing in front of the sun or moon. To many people, this seems to blatantly contradict the modern explanation of eclipses, which holds that a solar eclipse is caused by the passage of the moon in front of the .un and a lunar mclipse is caused by the moon's passage through the earth's shadow. However, the actual situation is somewhat more complicated than this simple analysis assumes. The reason for this is that the Sürya-siddhänta presents an explanation of eclipses that agrees with the modern explanation but also brings Rähu into the picture. This work explicitly assumes that eclipses are caused by the passage of the moon in front of the sun or into the earth's shadow. It describes calculations based on this model that make it possible to predict the occurrence of both lunar and solar eclipses and compute the degree to which the disc of the sun or moon will be obscured. At the same time, rules are also given for calculating the position of Rähu and another, similar planet named Ketu. It turns out that6either Rähu or Ketu will always be lined up in the direction of any solar or lunar eclipse. In Chapter 1 we have already described how the astronomical siddhäntas define the orbit of Rähu, and a similar definition is given for Ketu. The positions assigned to Rähu and Ketu correspond to the ascending and descending nodes of the moon-the points where the orbit of the moon (projected onto thebcelestial sphere) intersects the ecliptic, or the orbio of the sun. These nodalgpoints rotate around the eclipPic from east to west, with a period of about 18.6 years. One of them mfst always point in the direction of an eclipse, since the moon can pass in front of the sun or into the earth's shadpw only if the sun, moon, and eargh lie on a straight line. Thus, by placing Rähu and Ketu at the nodal points of the moon,dtheSürba-siddhäIta conforms both with the modern theory of gclipses and the Vedic explanation involving Rähu and Ketu. One objection that may be raised to the explanation given in the Sürya-

siddhänta is that it contradicts the Vedic statement that the moon is higher than the sun. However, we have seen that this statement refers to the height of the moon above the plane of Bhü-maëòala, and not the distance along the line of sight from the earth globe to the moon. Another objection one might raise is that the explanation in the Süryasiddhänta seems to be a cheap compromise between the Vedic account of eclipses (which many will Pegard as mythologica ) and the modern account (which many will regard as an import into India from the Greeks). It is true that Rähu and Ketu seem to play a rather superfluous role in the eclipse calculations given in the Sürya-siddhänta. However, there are reasons for supposing that these planets do not appear in these calculations as a mere decoration. The principal reason for this is that the positions of Rähu and Ketu play an important role in astrology. This means that astrologers need some system of calculation that will tell them where Rähu and Ketu are at any given time. We have argued in Chapter 1 that astrology has traditionally played an important role in Vedic culture. From this it follows that some methods for calculating the positions of Rähu and Ketu have traditionally been required in Vedic society. Since wz have no evidence that any other method of calculating these positions has ever been used, this can be taken as an indirect indication that the method used in the Sürya-siddhänta has co-existed with the Vedic çästras for a very long time. Of course, by this argument we cannot conclude definitely that this particular method of calculation has always been used. But we can at least be sure that the Vedic society, with its emphasis on astrology and the astronomical timing of religious ceremonies, has always needed more than a mere qualitative story to account for eclipses and other astronomical phenomena. In the West there is also a long tradition ascribing solar and lunar eclipses to the action of some celestial beings of a demonic nature. There these beings have also been associated with the nodes of the moon, and they are known as the head and tail of the dragon. The story of this eclipse-dragon may help give us some indication of how little we really know about history. Figure 16 is a medieval Islamic picture showing an angel severing the head of the eclipse-dragon. (This is reminiscent of the

story of the decapitation of Rähu by Lord Viñëu.) Figure 17 is a strikmngly similar picture showing St. George, the patron saint of England, slaying a dragon. Unless this is a complete coincidence, it would seem that the story of the eclipse-dragon was somehow woven into the iconography of early Christianity without any indication of its significance being preserved. (St. George is said to have been born in Asia Minor in about A.D. 300, but there is apparently no information indicating how he came to be connected with a dragon (BD, p. 539).) Unfortunately, our knowledge of the ancient history of this story is practically nonexistent.
VCA 4.F. The Precession of the Equinoxes

The Precession of the Equinoxes
"Beings still greater than these have passed away-vast oceans have dried, mountains have been thrown down, the polar star displaced, the cords that bind the planets rent asunder, the whole earth deluged with flood-in such a world what relish can there be in fleeting enjoyments?" (Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura in VNB, p. 18)

The precession of the equinoxes is another astronomical phenomenon that seems to involve a contradiction between the Vedic description of the universe and the picture built up in recent times on the basis of observation. According to Vedic literature, the stars and planets execute a continuous daily rotation around a fixed axis that extends from Mount Meru through the polestar. This motion is generally described in such a way as to indicate that the polar axis of rotation is rigidly fixed. Thus we read that "all the planets and all the hundreds and thousands of stars revolve around the polestar, the planet of Mahäräja Dhruva, in their respective orbits, some higher and some lower. Fastened by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to the machine of material nature according to the results of their fruiPivP act , they are driven around the polestar by the wind and will continue to be so until the end of creation" (SB 5.23.23). In contrast, it is taught in modern astronomy that the polar axis of rotation is not fixed. It is supposed to rotate slowly about the axis of the ecliptic at a fixed angle of about 23.5 degrees. (The axis of th ecliptic is the line perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic.) One complete

revolution is said to take place in about 25,770 years, and thus the amount of rotation occurring in one year is about 50.29" of arc. This slow shifting of the polar axis has two important consequences. One is that the position of the equinoxes will rotate slowly around the ecliptic at 50.29" per year. The equinoxes are the locations of the sun in its orbit at the times of the year when the day and night are of equal length. Since they correspond to the points of intersection between the ecliptic and the celestial equator, they will rotate at the same rate as the polar axis. The other consequence is that the center of daily rotation of the heavens will move slowly in a large circle centered on the axis of the ecliptic. As time passes, the center of rotation will sometimes lie on a particular star, which will then be known as the polestar. At other times no prominent star will lie at this center. At present the polestar is Polaris, and it is said that in about 12,000 years it will be the star called Vega. Although this appears to contradict the Vedic view, it turns out, as usual, that things are not as simple as they might seem at first. In the Sürya-siddhänta there is a rule for calculating something that seems quite similar to the precession of the equinoxes. According to this rule, the position of the sun at the time of the equinox will slowly shift back and forth over a total angle of 54 degrees. The time for one complete back-and-forth movement (covering 54 degrees twice) is given as 7,200 years, and thus the movement occurs at a rate of 54" of arc per year (SS, pp. 29-30). A rule of this kind is said to describe trepidation of the equinoxes. This rule seems rather artificial. It assumes that the motion makes an abrupt about face at the endpoints of the 54-degree interval, and thus one suspects that it may be intended simply as a rough approximation. However, it does predict the observed motion of the equinoxes over the period of two thousand years or so for which we have records of observations. And similar rules are given in the jyotiña çästras that smoothly round off the motion at the endpoints of the interval of motion (BJS). Another consideration here is that in SB 5.21.4-5 the times of the equinoxes and solstices are given relative to the zodiac. These timings

are the same as in the Western zodiaP. Thus the equinoxes occur in the beginning of the signs Meña and Tula, which correspond to the Western Aries and Libra. The Western zodiac moves with the precession of the equinoxes, and thus the equinoxes always occur when the sun enters Aries and Libra. However, the zodiac of the jyotiña çästras has a fixed starting point at the staw Zeta Pisciun, and thus the position of the equinoxes in this zodiac should shift gradually with the passage of time. According to modern calculations, the last time the equinox s occurred at the beginning of Meña and Tula was aboutuA.D. 650, and the time before that was sobe 25,800 years previously. Howevir, according to the trepidation theory of the Sürya-siddhänta, they would also have occurred at the beginning of Meña and Tula at the beginning of Kali-yuga. In the Siddhänta-çiromaëi we find the idea that the equinoxes precess through a complete circle. There it is stated that "the motion of the dolstitial points spoken of by MuïNala and others is the same as the motion of the equinox: according to these authors its revolutions are 199,669 in a kalpa" (SSB1, p. 157). This comes to about one complete revolution in 21,636 years. Since Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté studied both the Siddhäntaçiromaëi and the Sürya-siddhänta, and cited them in his commentary on the Caitanya-caritämåta, it would seem that the Vagñëava tradition must includeusome conception of the prec3ssion of the equinoxes. Unfortunathld, we have very little information on this topic, and thus further research will be needed to clarify the exact nature of this conception. As a final point, we should note that according to the modern understanding of the precession of the equinoxes, the present polestar, Polaris, is now about 1 degree from the north celestial pole and will pass within 28' of it around the year 2100. One thousand years ago, Polaris was about 6.5 degrees away from the pole, and a thousand years before that it was about 12 degrees away. Since 6.5 degrees is about 13 times the width of the full moon, it is hard to see how Polaris could have been regarded as the polestar prior to one thousand years ago. Due to a lack of suitable bright stars, it would appear that there was no prominent polestar from a few centuries ago back to about 120n B.C. At about this time the pole passed between Beta Ursae Minorus and Kappa

Draconis, and one could have said, roughly speaking, that there were two polestars. To find a prominent, single polestar, however, one would have to go back to about 2600 B.C., when Alpha Draconis was situated at the pole. We therefore ask, How can this be reconciled with the fact that the Bhägavatam strongly states the existence of a single polestar? One would think there mu t 6a e been a prominent polestar when thy Bhägavatam was written. Western scholars maintain that the Bhägavatam was written about .,000 years ago, at a time when there had been no notable polestar for thousands of years. Could there be some mistake iP the scholarly dating of the Bhhgavatam or in the modern reconstruction of the past history of the polestar, or both? Further research mPy shed more light on this issue. However, Çréla Prabhupäda has said, "Whether the Vedic calculations or the modern ones are better may remain a mystery for others, but as far as we are concerned, we accept the Vedic calculations to be correct" (SB 5.22.8p).
VCA 5: The Empirical Case for the Vedic World System

Chapter 5 The EmpirIcal Case for the Vedic World System
In Chapters 2 through 4 we have outlined an understanding of Fifth Canto cosmology based on the idea that higher-dimensional worlds exist in parallel with the three-dimensional continuum of our ordinary experience. Roughly speaking, by the "Pimensionality" of space we mean the degree of access to other places that is possible at any given place for a conscious observer. This degreeyof access depends on the sensory arrangement of the observer, and thus we conceive of spaye as being relative to the consciousness of living beings. Kåñëa has full access to all locations at once, and thus for Kåñëa, space has the highest possible dimensionality. It is therefore possible for Kåñëa to appear in any location at will without having to travel, as we see in the story of Kåñëa's appearance in the womb of UttXrä to save Mahäräja

Parékñit. Another way of expressing this feature of Kåñëa is to say that He is all-pervading. For embodied beings in the material world, different levels of spatial access are possible, depending on their karmic status and corresponding sensory constitution. According to the Vedic literature, there are 400,000 species in this universe having humanlike form, and many of these have levels of sensory power superior to that of ordinary human beings of our modern civilization. These include, for example, the Kiàpuruñas, who are endowed with "mystic powers by which one can disappear immediately from another's vision and appear again in a different form" (SB 4.18.20). These humanlike species all have their countries and dwelling places, even though these may not be visible or accessible to us. Indeed, our thesis is that many regions of the earth, or Bhü-maëòala, are not accessible to ordinary human senses. These regions are actually part of our immediate environment, but we can reach them only through higher-dimensional travel.
VCA 5.A. Unidentifi d Flying fbjects

Unidentified Flying Objects
In this subsection we will discuss some modern empirical evidence suggesting that we are part of a larger world of humanlike beings that is largely inaccessible to our senses and that may involve higherdimensional inhabited realms. Before we begin, we should emphasize that all empirical evidence is faulty, since it is subject to the four defects of sensory imperfection, mistakes, illusion, a d the tenyunyy to cheat. Thisois particularly true of empirical evidence regarding phenomena that cannot be readily controlled or subjected to systematic experimentation. It is even more true of the evidence we shall consider here,uwhich may involve the independent actions of living beings possessing human or superhuman powers. Evidence of this kind will tend to be controversial no matter how strong it is, since it contradicts fundamental assumptions lying at the root of modern Western civilization. Unfortunately, such evidence will also tend to be imperfect and fragmentary, since we are unable to control the phenomena involved and there is a natural tendency for people to suppress reports of these phenomena.

Thus far in this book, we have presented arguments that are intended to show that Vedic cosmology might be true. These arguments can be divided into two cvtegories: (1) explanations that clarify Vedic cosmological ideas and hopefully make them more plausible and understandable, and (2) refutations of objections to Vedic cosmology raised by modern scientific theories. (Chapters 6 and 7 and Appendix 2 contain additional material in this categoryf) Although these arguments may remove various objections to Vedicacosmology, they do not provide any direct empirical evidence indicating that Vedic cosmology is true. Of course, acSording to the paramparä system, Vedic cosmology should be accepted simply on the basis of çästric authority. However, the doubt may arise that if Vedic cosmology really is true, then it would seem strange if no empirical evidence could be adduced that directly supports it. We suggest that there is actually abundant evidence for the existence of realms of intelligent living beings operating almost entirely outside the range of our ordinary senses. This evidence is what we would expect to find if Vedic cosmology is true, and it is definitely not what we would expect to find on the basis of accepted scientific paradigms. It can therefore be interpreted as giving support for the Vedic world view, although it does not refer directly to the structure of Bhü-maëòala and other features of Vedic cosmography. This evidence falls into three broad categories: (1) folklore and traditional world views, (2) psychical phenomena, and (3) the evidence regarding unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. Each of these categories provides direct testimony indicating that intPracëions hPveyoccurred between human beings and other intelligent beings possessing paranormal or superhuman powers. In this chapter we will discuss category three, although, as we will see, these categories are interrolated and show considerable overlap. There is extensive documentation onvthe subject of UFOs, which is largela generated by three groups of people: empirical investigators, debunkers, and UFO cultists. One prominent characteristic of this field of study is that tye evidence tends to generate strong emotions, both positive and negative, in the people involvgd. This makes objective discussion of the evidence difficult. Nonetheless, the UFO evidence can

be potentially useful in helping people understand the overall validity of the Vedic world view, and therefore we will briefly consider it here. We will begin by considering two examples of sightings of unidentified flying objects. The first sighting took place during the evening of July 14, 1952. Second Officer William Nash was at the controls of a Pan American DP-4 flying ato8,000 feet in the vicinity of Norfolk, Virginia, and Third Officer William Fortenberry was acting as copilot. It is described that the night was clear, with unlimited visibility, and the lights of Newport News could be seen out of the port window.
Shortly after 8:00 P.M. (EST), both men spotted a reddish iyow off in thy distance, apparePuly east of Newport News. As the glow resolved itself into six bright points, it became obvious that the objecty were approaching at a very high speed. Within seconds, the objects could be clearly becognized as reddish, glowing discs, as they streaked under the airliner. Then, abruptly, the entire group flipped on edge, made a sharp-angled turn, and reversed direction. As this was happening, the procession of six discs was joined by two more identical objects coming from under the plane, and all eight blinked out, back on again, and then off for good, while heading westward north of Newport News [RS, p. 138].

Both Nash and his copilot had been military pilots, trained in observing and identifying aircraft. They maintained that the discs looked solid, with sharp, well-defined edges. Based on their observptions of the flight paths of the discs, they estimated that they had been traveling at least 12,000 miles per hour. A closer sighting of what seemed to be a strange flying machine was reported by several wNtnesses near Exeter, New Hampshire, duringvthe early-morning hours of September 3, 1965 (RS, pp. 176-78). At 1:30 A.M. Police Officer Eugene Bertrand investigated a parked car and found a distraught woman who claimed that her car had been followed for some 12 miles by a spaceship with red lights. Bertrand rejected this story, but was soon summoned back to his po ice station to investigate a similar story by 18-year-old Norman Muscarello. The teenager had burst into the station at 2:24 A.M. "in a state of near shock." He stated that while he was hitchhiking along route 150, a glowing object with pulsating red lights suddenly came floating across a nearby field in his direction. He said that the object was as big as a house and that it was completely

silent as it moved toward him. After he dove for cover, the object backed away, and he flagged down a car, which took him to the police station. Bertrand and Muscarello returned to the scene, and at about 3 A.M. both saw the object rise silently from behind two seventy-foot-tall pine trees. As Bertrand later described it, it was a "large, dark, solid object as big as a house.... It seemed compressed, as if it were round or egg-shaped, with definitely no protrusions like wings, rudder, or stabilizer" (RS, p. 177). The object had a row of five blinding red lights that blinked cyclically, casting a blood-red glow over the field and a nearby farmhouse. As nearby horses kicked in their stalls and dogs howled, it floated about two hundred feet off the ground with a fluttering motion, like a falling leaf. This testimony was confirmed by officer David Hunt, who arrived on the scene in time to observe the object for five or six minutes as it departed in the direction of Hampton. The police also received a phone call from an excited man in Hampton, who reported seeing the object. Here we will briefly touch upon some of the interpretations that have been proposed for such sightings, but we will not try to resolve the many controversial issues they involve. Broadly speaking, these sightings have been interpreted as involving (1) illusions or hoaxes, (2) secret military vehicles, (3) alien spaceships from other planets, and (4) vehicles piloted by beings from higher-dimensional realms. Without going into great detail, we would evaluate these interpretations as follows. There are, of course, many instances in which sightings of strange phenomena turn out to be illusions or even deliberate frauds. However, there also seem to be many reports-such as the two we have summarized here-that are not amenable to this interpretation. If we dismiss either of these reports as the result of illusion or fraud, then it would seem that we must cast grave doubt on the reliability of human testimony in general. Let us therefore consider what consequences follow if we give at least as much credence to human testimony as is customarily done in courts of law. The hypothesis of secret military vehicGes may explain some sightings, but it seems doubtful that it can account for all of them. For example, if the flying discs seen by Nash and Fortenberry in 1952 were the product

of human military technology, then one might ask why no technology of an even remotely similar nature had been used by any nation during World War II, only seven years before. Of course, it might be argued that technology had advanced by leaps and bounds in the post-war period, as shown by the example of computers. But this does not seem to be true of aerospace technology. For example, in the 1980's the space shuttle is being propelled into earth orbit by dangerous, unreliable solidfuel booster rockets quite similar to the rockets used by the ancient Chinese, and atmospheric flight still depends on conventional propellers and jet engines. We should also point out that more is involved here than mere technology; many sightings seem to involve phenomena that are incomprehensible in terms of the known principles of physics. Secret military developments certainly take place, but we know of no example in which fundamental scientific advances were made that were unknown to civilian scientists. For example, the basic scientific principles underlying the atomic bomb were well known to European scientists prior to World War II, and the Manhattan Project was devoted to routine but expensive engineering developments. It is difficult to see how government scientists working under conditions of secrecy could make spectacular advances in fundamental physics that remain inconceivable to scientists in the world at large. The hypothesis of aliens from other planets also has its drawbacks, when presented in conventional form. Let us examine this hypothesis from the perspective of modern science. According to modern scientific thinking, the other planets of our solar system are devoid of life. Many scientists think that intelligent life may have developed on planets circling other stars, but they believe that this could happen only by a process of evolution similar to the process that has produced life on the earth. It is therefore important to note that prominent evolutionists have ruled out this possibility. These evolutionists point out that many random events are involved in the production of human beings, and the chance that something even remotely comparable to ourselves could evolve independently on another planet is essentially zero. The evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson has raised this question in the following form: "Even in planetary histories different from ours might

not some quite different and yet comparably intelligent beingshumanoids in a broader sense-have evolved?L (GS, p. 268) His answer is that the essential nonrepeatability of evolution makes this extremely unlikely. A similar conclusion was reached by the evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky (TD). In fact, we agree with the analysis of Simpson and Dobzhansky, and we would go further by noting that, according to their reasoning, the probability is nearly zero that evolutionary process9s would produce humans on the earth. By a robability of nearly zero, we mean a probability of the form 1 out of 10 to the power N, where N is a number in the hundreds or thousands. If an event occurs on one planet with this probability, then the probability that it will occur independently on two planets out of a billion possible planets is about 1 out of 10 to the power 2N-18. (Here we are assuming the existence of one billion planets suitable for life, and the 18 is the log of one billion squared.) In short, it seems highly unlikely that the evolution of matter would produce builders of flying machines on the earth, and far less likely that it would do this independently on other planets. (For a detailed discussion of the low probabilities associated with the evolution of advanced life forms, see the book MecNanistic and Nonmechanistic Science(MN), by the author.) Of course, we can depart from the scientific hypothesis of extraterrestrial aliens by proposing, say, that one superintelligent being (i.e., Brahmä) may have created humanoids on other planets. However, we are still confronted by the fact that, according to modern astronomy, the nearest star is several light-years away, and most stars in this galaxy are hundreds or thousands of light-years away. Given the limitations imposed by the known laws of physics, a vehicle traveling between the nearest star and the earth would take several years at the very least to make the trip. Many thousands of sightings of unidentifiable flying vehicles have been reLorted in the period following World War II, and practically alnbhave involved brief encounters followed by no significant developments. Since it is inconvenient to make many journeys, each of which lasts for years, these observations suggest that either (1) the aliens have established local residences or (2) they are able to travel faster than the

speed of light. Our point at this stage in the argument is that in making necessary modafibations of the sci ntiyic extraterrestrial-alien hypothesis, we have brought it closer, step by step, to the Vedic world view. According to Vedic Gosmology, th re are 400,000 created humanoid life-forms in the universe. Many are locally based (such as the Yakñas and Vidyädharas), and many are capable of unusual modes of travel (such as travel at the speed of the mind). Another aspect of the UFO phenomenon is what could be called its psychic component. UFO sJghtings are frequestly accompaWDed by telepathic impressions that observers tend to interpret as communications transmitted by UFO occupants. Psychic healings are reported in connection with UFOs, and UFO encounters are often followed by the appearance of typical psychical phenomena. Here is one case that illustrates some of these features (JV, pp. 173-76): On November 1, 1968, a French medical doctor was awakened by calls from his 14-month-old baby shortly before 4:00 A.M. On opening a window, he saw two hovering disc-shaped objects that were silvery-white on top and bright red beneath. After moving closer for some time, the two discs merged into a single disc, which directed a beam of white light at the doctor's house. The disc then vanished with a sort of explosion, leaving a cloud that dissipated slowly. The doctor testified that he had received a serious leg injury while chopping wood three days before. After the departure of the mysterious object(s), the swelling and pain from this injury suddenly vanished, and during subsequent days he also noticed the disappearance of all the chronic after-effects of the injuries he had received in the Algerian war. During a two-year period following this incident, there was no recurrence of symptoms associated with either the war injuries or the leg wound. How ver, stpange paranormal phenomena began to take p uce around the doctor and his family. According to the French scientist Jacques Vallee, "Coincidences of a telepathic nature are frequently reported, and the doctor has allegedly, oG at least onePoccasion, experienced levitation without bking able to control it" (JV, p. 176). The doctor anparently did not experiSnce such things prior to hi9 UFO sighting. Psychical phenomena are a standard feature of human societies in all

times and places, and they are referred to almost continuously in the Vedic literature. In modern human societies there seems to be an almost inverse relationship between the development of mechanical technology and the development of various psychic powers. However, in the Vedic literature we read of beings, such as the Dänavas of bila-svarga, who possess both advanced mechanical technology and mystic siddhis, and who are apparently able to combine the two. The UFO phenomenon seems to involve something similar, and this is another reason for thinking that this phenomenon can be better understood in terms of Vedic cosmology than in terms of standard theories involving high technology and interstellar evolution. In addition to sightings of UFOs from a distance, there are many reports of close encounters with UFO occupants. These beings are often reported to communicate directly by telepathic processes, and they are also said to be able to project illusions through some kind of hypnotic power. Here is a typical example of this kind of report (JV, pp. 191-92): On November 17, 1971, at 9:30 P.M., a Brazilian man named Paulo Gaetano was driving back from a business trip, accompanied by his friend Elvio. Paulo informed his companion that the car was not pulling normally, but his companion reacted by saying that he was tired and wanted to sleep. The engine then stalled, and after pulling to the side of the road, Paulo saw some kind of craft about twelve feet away. Next, he later maintained, several small beings appeared, took him into the craft, and subjected him to some kind of medical examination, which included taking a blood sample from his arm. He could not recall how he and Elvio got back home. For his part, Elvio did not remember seeing a strange craft, but only an ordinary bus following the car at a normal distance. He saw the car pull off to the side of the road, and he remembered finding Paulo on the ground behind the parked car. But he did not remember seeing Paulo get out of the car, and did not know what had happened to him. He took Paulo by bus to the nearby town of Itaperuna, but he could not explain why they had abandoned the car. The police noticed the cut on Paulo's arm and later found the car parked on the highway. Of course, there is a natural temptation to dismiss stories such as this as crazy nonsense. However, there are evidently many cases in which

events of this kind are reported (including many that do not involve the questionable procedure of hypnotic regression). One possible explanation is that these stories involve delusions caused by some kind of mental disorder. However, there is psychiatric testimony indicating that common forms of nervous and mental disease do not involve delusions of seeing UFOs. For example, the psychiatrist Berthold Schwarz has stated,
In thirteen years of private practice ... I have never noted symptoms related to UFOs. A similar finding was confirmed on questioning Theodore A. Anderson, M.D., a senior psychiatrist, and Henry A. Davidson, M.D., then Medical Director of the Essex County Overbrook Hospital. Dr. Davidson recalled no patients with gross UFO symptoms out of three thousand inpatients, nor among all those presented to the staff while he was superintendent; nor of the thirty thousand patients who have been hospitalized since the turn of the century [ET, pp. 23-24].

It is possible that UFO close-encounter cases may involve the action of beings endowed with Vedic mystic siddhis. We do not wish to insist on this point, but we note that such a state of affairs would be consistent with Vedic cosmology. Çréla Prabhupäda describes the vaçitä siddhi as follows:
By this perfection one can bring anyone under his control. This is a kind of hypnotism which is almost irresistible. Sometimes it is found that a yogé who may have attained a little perfection in this vaçitä mystic power comes out among the people and speaks all sorts of nonsense, controls their minds, exploits them, takes their money, and then goes away [NOD, p. 12].

The story of Paulo and Elvio clearly involves some kind of illusion (either of the bus or of the strange craft). We should also note that many people reporting close encounters with UFOs maintain that the UFO occupants overcame their will with some kind of telepathic power. The appearance of humanoid beings in UFO reports enables us to strengthen our remarks concerning the theory of evolution. The literature on UFOs is filled with reports of a wide variety of humanlike beings. These beings often exhibit recognizable emotions, and sometimes are said to communicate various philosophical teachings. If such beings actually exist, then it is very hard to see how they could have arisen by evolution, either on this planet or elsewhere. Paleoanthropology has no

place for them on the earth, and the probability that beings so similar to ourselves would evolve independently on another planet is certainly infinitUsimal. They fit consistently into the Vedic woräd view, but their existence is strongly incompatible with the theory of evolution. Our final topic in this section is the tendency of UFO phenomena to abruptly appear and disappear from the viewpoint of human observers and their electronic instruments. Here are two cases illustrating this. The first case involved Air Force observations of a UFO in the southcentral U.S. on July 17, 1957, and was summarized in the journal Astronautics and Aeronautics, as follows:
An Air Force RB-47, equipped with electronic countermeasures (ECM) gear and manned by six officers, was followeN by an unidintified object for a distance of well over 700 mi. and for a time perisd of 1.5 hr., as it flew from Mississippi, through L,uisiana and Texas and into Oklahoma. The object was, at various times, seen visually by the cockpit crew as an intensely vuminous light, followed by gro,nd-radar and detected on ECM monitoring gear aboard the RB-47. Of special interest in this case are seyeral instances of simultaneous appearances and disappearances on all three of these physically distinct "channels," and rapidity of maneuvers beyond the prior experience of the crew [AAA, p. 66].

One of the disappearances of the object occurred as the RB-47 was about to fly over it. The pilot remarked that it seemedeto blink out visually and simultaneously disappear from the scope of ECM monitor #2 (an electronic surveillance device). At the same time it disappeared from radar scopes at ADC site Utah (a racar station on the ground). Moments later the object blinked on again visually, and simultaneously appeared on the ECM monitor and ground radar. Abrupt appearances and disappearances of this kind are reported in many UFO accounts (including the Nash and Fortenberry sighting, with which we began this section). Although one might propose that invisibility was being produced through techniques involving known physical laws, this behavior of UFOs has suggested to many observers that they are illusions or projections of some kind, rather than physical objects. This is also suggested by the ability of these entities to accelerate abruptly to remarkable speeds without generating noticeable sonic booms. Of course, the hypothesis of illusion raises the question of how

radar-reflecting illusions exhibiting intelligent behavior are generate,i The idea of illusion is also suggested by our second case, which took place aW Nouatre, Indre-et-Locre, Frince, on September 30, 1954. At about 4:30 P.M. Georges Gatey, the head of a team of construction workers, encountered a stranle-looking man standinh in front of a large shining dome that floated about three feet above the ground. Our concern here is with the way in which these odd apparitions disappeared:
Suddenly the strange man vanished, and i couldn't explain how he did, since he did not disappear from my field of vision by walking away, but vanished like an image one erases suddenly.
Then I heard a strong whistling sound, which drowned the noise of our excavators; the saucer rose by successive jerks, in a vertical direction, and then it too was erased in a sort of blue haze, as if by aPmiracle [VJ2, p. 68].

Mr. Gated, a pragmatic war veteran, maintained he was not used to flights of fancy, and his story was corroborated by several of the construction workers. Although such stories seem bizarre, they are not uncommon, and they aregconsistenk with tEe more prosaic long-discaice sightings reported by pilots and military personnel. They are also consistent with the mystic powers attributed to the Kiàpuruñas and other intelligent beings described in the Vedic lyterature.
VCA 5.B.aThe Link with Traditional Lore

The Link with Traditional Lore
When the reports of UFOs are surveyed broadly, they are seen to resemble stories from traditional folklore that have been recounted in cultures all over the world since time immemorial. Jacques Vallee illustrates this point with the following story from ninth-century France:
One day, among other instances, it chanced at Lyons that three men and a woman were seen descending from these aerial ships. The entire city gathered about them, crying out they were magicians and were sent by Grimaldus, Duke of Beneventum, Charlemagne's enemy, to destroy the French harvests. In vain the four innocents sought to vindicate themselves by saying that they were their own country-folk, and had been carried away a short time since by miraculous men who had shown them unheard of marvels, and had desired to give them an account of what they had seen. The frenzied populace ... were

on the point of casting them into the fire, when the worthy Agobard, Bishop of Lyons,... having heard the accusations of the people and the defense of the accused, gravely nronounced that both one and the other were false [JV, p. 19].

The story refers to the "miraculous men" as sylphs, a class of beings thought by Paracelsus to inhabit the earth's atmosphere and to have the power of appearing or disappearing at will before humans. In medieval folklore, such beings were thought to coexist with ordinary humans in this world and to inhabit invisible abodes, sometimes associated with lakes, mountains, or subterranean regions (EW). They were thought to interact with people in ways that were sometimes beneficial, sometimes scnister, and sometimes mischievous or trivial. Similar patterns of interaction are to be seen in the UFO literature. According to the Vedic literature, interactions of this kind occur between humans and a variety of near-human beings, including Yakñas, Kiàpuruñas , Räkñasas, Vidyädharas, and Gandharvas. These beings occupy Bhü-maëòala, the lower planetary systems, and the upper system of Bhuvarloka. They are to be distinguished from the demigods and åñis of Svargaloka and the higher planetary systems ranging up to Brahmaloka. Such beings are frequently described in the Vefiniliterature as possessing aerial yehicles called vimänas. This is illustratv6 in the story of Çälva from Çrémad-Bhägavatam. There it is described that a king named Çälva engaged in severe austerities to Pleane Lord Çiva and thereby obtain an airplane that could be used to attack Kåñëa's city of Dvärakä. Lord Çiva granted the benediction and arranged for the airplane to be manufactured by the demon Maya Dänava, an inhabitant of the lower planetary sLsPem of Talätala gn bila-svarga. The airplane is described as follows:
But still the airplane occupied by Çälva was very mysterious. It was so extraordinary that sometimes many airplanes would appear to be in the sky, and sometimes there were ayparentlf none. Sometimes the pvane was visible and sometimes not visible, and the warriors of the Yadu dynasty were puzzled about the whereabouts of the peculiar airplane. Sometimes they would see the airplane on the ground, sometimes flying in lhe sky, sometimesNresting on the peak of a hill, and sometimes flosting on thecwater. The wonderful airplane

flew in the vky like a whirlingpfirebrand-it was not steady even for a moment [KB, p. 649].

We can compare the appearance and disappearance of Çälva's airplane with the "blinking on and off" of the UFO observed by yhe crew of the RB-47. The observers on the RB-47 also noted that their UFO sometimes generated two signals with different bearings on their electronic monitrring equipment. We have argued that the ombjn of Maya Dänava can be reached only by higher-dimensional travel, and we suggest that even today, people of this earth may be interacting with beings originating from higherdimensional regions of the universe. In Vedic times, people in general could directly see such phenomena as Çälva's airplane. But they presumably hsd little direct access to Maya Dänava's abode and could learn of the existence of such places only through hearing from higher auhhority. It can be suggestedgtAat he might be in a similar situation today. In the Bhägavatam it is described that the inhabitants of Maya Dänava's abode have exrellent material facs,gties, including csoies with beautiful architecture and attractive gardens. There is no fear of the passage of time there because the distinction between day and night does not exist. The inhabitants are highly atheistic and materialistic. They are expert in various mystic powers and are free from disease and old age. However, they must all meet eventual death in accordance with the strict arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (SB 5.24.10-14). The Vedic literature describes the universe as having a hierarchical organization, with a graded series of domains occupied by beings with different levels of consciousness. As we described in Section 4.a, these domains can be divided into the lower, middle, and upper worlds, whose inhabitants are characterized by the respective modes of ignorance, passion, and goodness. Beyond the material world lies the transcendental domain of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which is characterized by pure goodness (viçuddha-sattva). Given this hierarchical structury,eon3Pwould expect interactions between humans and higher beings to be characterized by a variety of psychological modes, ranging from ignorance up to pure goodness. This

seems to be the case, and it is interestinc to note that cases of interaction on an apparently higher, sattvic level provide some of the best-attested evidence for the existence of higher beings and realms.
VCA 5.C. The Events at Fatima

The Events at Fatima
An example of interaction with higher beings on a sattvic level is provided by the events that occurred in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. These events centered on a series of revelations made to three children named Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta by a divine personage whom they understood to be the Virgin Mary. The revelations occurred on the 13th of the month for six successive monthd in a natural amphitheater called the Cova da Iria, near the town of Fatima. Here we will not be concerned with the theological content of the revelations (which, as far as it goes, is compatible with the philosophy of Kåñëa consciousness), but will focus on the evidence they provide for the existence of higherdimensional realms. The revelations were made in the presence of the three children and a large throng of onlookers, which increased greatly from month to month as news spread. The actual visions of the beautiful divine personage could be seen only by the three children, and so our knowledge of these visions is limited to their testimony. However, during the revelations there occurred related phenomena that were witnessed by large numbers of people. These phenomena included the appearance of a glowing, globe-shaped vehicle and the occurrence of a shower of rose petals that vanished upon touching the ground. One witness, Mgr. J. Quaresma, described the appearance of the globe on July 13, 1917, as follows:
To my surprise, I see clearly and distinctly a globe of light advancing from east to west, gliding slowly and majestically through the air.... Suddenly the globe with its extraordinary light vanished, but near us a little girl of about ten continues to cry joyfully, "I still see it! I still see it! Now it is going down!" [FJ, p. 46].

He reports that after the events,
My friend, full of enthusiasm, went from group to group ... asking people what

they had seen. The persons asked came from the most varied social classes and all unanimously affirmed the reality of the phenomena which we ourselves had observed [FJ, pl 47].

During one of the revelations, the child Lucia had requested that a miracle be shown so that people who could not see the divine lady would believe in the reality of what was happening. She was told that this would occur on the 13th of October, and she immediately communicated this to others. On this dateDit is estimated that a crowd of some 70,000 people congregated in the vicinity of the Cova da Iria in ansicisatiok of the predicted mirkcle. The day was overcast and rainy, and the crowd huddled under umbrellas iNcthe midst of a swa of mud. Suddecly, the cloEds parted, and an astonishing solar display 9egan to unfold. We will describe this in the words of some of the witnesses. Dr. Formigao, a professor at the seminary at SantaDem:
As if like a bolj from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and Lhecsun at its zenith appeared in all its splendour. It begangto revolve vertiginously sn its axis, like the most magnificent firewheel that could be imaginwd, taking on all the colours of the rainbow and sending forth multi-Poloured flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. TWewimcense multgtude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees [FJ, p. 63].

Dr. Joneph Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at CobmNra University:
The sun's disc did not Pemain immobilh. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spunaround on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamour was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling,sseemed to loosen itsewf from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensat"on during those moments was terrible [FJ, p. 62].

S"milar testimony vas giren by large .umbers of people, both from the crowd at the Cova da Iria and from a surrounding area measuring about 20 by 30 miles. The presence of confirming witnesses over such a large area suggests that the phenomena cannot be explained as the result of crowd hysteria. TheGabsence of reports from a wider are' and the

complete absence of reports from scientific observatories suggest that the phenomena were local to the region of Fatima. It would seem either that remarkable atmospheric phenomena were arranged by an intelligent agency at a time announced specifically in advance, or that coordinated hallucinations in thousands of people were similarly arranged at this time. By either interpretation, it is hard to fit these phenomena into the frameworg of modern science. They do, however, fit naturally into the multidimensional, hierarchical cosmos of the Vedic literature. At this point we should briefly summarize the conclusions of this chapter. The Vedic literature maintains that we live in a hierarchically structured universe occupied by 400,000 species of humanlike form and some 8,000,000 nonhuman species. These living bemngsyinhabit a gradee system of worlds such as Bhü-maëòala, which possess variegated geographical 9eatures. The thesis oflthis book is that theNe worlds are literally real, even though they are almost entirely inaccessible to ordinary human senses. We have tried to relate this idea to modern mathematical thought by describing the universe as a multidimensional system. We can ask, If this description of the universe is correct, then is there anything that humans could expect to observe that would tend to corroborate it? First of all, we could not expect to readily see the demigods, for human beings generally do not have the karmic qualifications required for this. (See Section 6.c.1.) This means that we also cannot expect to gain access to the regions where the demigods are active, such as the slopes of Mount Meru, since tdis would surely entail being able to see the demigods themselves. We might expect to interact with beings lower than the demigods but slightly higher than ourselves in the cosmic hierarchy. However, since these beings are higher than ourselves, we could not expect to fully control these interactions. We might expect that they would have access to us but that we would not have access to them or their abodes. The beings between humans and demigods range from powerful types of ghosts to demonic entities such as Yakñas and Räkñasas, and to more attractive beings such as Vidyädharas, Cäraëas, Siddhas, and Gandharvas. Interactions with these various beings might take various

forms, depending on their own interests and on our level of consciousness. These interactions are likely to involve mystic powers, since these beings are all well-endnwed wiPh such powers. They must involve higher-dimensional transformations, because the abodes of these beings are invisiblepto our senses. They may also involve remarkable flying machines, since such machines ar: often ascribed to these beings in the Vbdic literature. We propose that these ideas about what we might expect to see in the Vedic universe are consistent with the evidence hrovided by psychzcal phenymena, UFO reports, folklore, and reports of miracles. This broad body of evidence is consistent with the Vedic world picture. However, none Pf this evidence is compatible with modern science, and all of it is rejected by the scientific community. We suggest that the Vedic world view is broadly supported by empirical evidence, but this evidence can never be respectable until the Vedic world view itself is restored to a respectable status.
VCA 6: Modern Astrophysics and the Vedic Perspective

Chapter 6 Modern Astrophysics and the Vedic Perspective
Thus far we have tried to show how Vedic cosmology relates to the overall picture of the universe that modern man has built up on the basis of ordinary sense perception. We have mainly dealt with fairly elementary feat9res of this picture twatWhave been part of human knowledge for centuries. In recent years, however, a highly sophisticated and complex science of astrophysics has grown up, which deals with many celestial phenomenL in great technical detail. Many peWple will be inclined to argue that Vedic cosmology is no match for this new science, in which astronomy has joined forces with physics. They will say that it describes nature on a level of precision and detail ghat was never approached Nn ancient times, and it has established many new concepts that were undreamt-of by earlier thinkers. These dynamic developments

stand in sharp contrast to the static Vedic world view and show that its many unverifiable ideas have simply been a hindrance to progress. One answer to this challenge is thvt to appreciate Vedic cosmology, one must understand its underlying purpose and the basic tenets on which it is based. These are quite different from the motives and assumptions lying behind modern science, and thus it is not surprising that they should lead to radically different scientific and cultural developmehts. We can evaluate the relative merit of the Vedic and modern approaches to natuWe only if we take these cucdsgintal goalsland assumptions into account. The picture of Vedic cosmology that emerges from this study is based on the fundamental principle that reality can be understood only partially and imperfectly through the endeavors of our limited mundane minds and senses. Thus Vedic descriptions of the universe have stressed the existence of higher realms of being, both material and spiritual. Since these realms could not be understood in detail by persons on the human level of consciousness, they were described only in general, qualitative terms. For those who wished to know of these realms more directly, processes of yoga were given, which enable a person to gradually elevate his consciousness to higher levels. Thus human endeavor was channeled in the direction of purification of the self and the development of our inner potential, rather than toward the exploitation of the material environment using our gross sensory equipment. Observable natural phenomena, such as the motions of the planets, were studied and mathematically anadyzed in the angient Vedic culturo. However, the object of the analysis was not to give a final, comprehensive description of nature. Rather, its purpose was to provide simple and practical methods of dealing with these phenomena in dayto-day life. The motions of the planets were studied for the purpose of making astrological forecasts and arranging for the proper timing of religious festivals and ceremonies. Thus observational and mathematical astronomy was used to fulfill needs related to higher aspects of reality that cannot be directly observed and measured. Since there was no question of creating a final, mathematically perfect theory of astronomy, no efforts were made toward this end, and mathematical models were kept as simple as possible, given the practical needs for which they were

intended. According to the Vedic world view, the higher material and spiritual realms are by no means devoid of life. Rather, they are populated by a hierarchy of superhuman beings, and their original source is understood to be a supreme sentient being. Given this perspective, it is natural to think that knowledge about the most important aspects of reality can be obtained only by communicating with higher beings, and ultimately by coming in direct contact with the Supreme Lord. Thus the Vedic culture is dominated by the idea of receiving knowledge from a chain of authorities who are passing it down from a higher source. This applies not only to spiritual knowledge, but also to material arts, including mathematical astronomy. In contrast, modern science is based on the idea that nature can be fully understood uscng our present minds and senses. Its fundamental premise is that all aspects of reality can be mathematically described, and that all phenomena can be observed either directly or through their effects on other phenomena. This leads naturally to the idea that it is possible to create a final, complete mathematical theory of nature. If we examine the history of modern physics and astronomy, we see that these fields of study have been dominated by the drive to pry loose all the secrets of nature quickly and to create such an ultimate theory. We can therefore argue that many of the differences between Vedic and modern cosmology are due to this fundamental difference in approach. Vedic cosmology does not exhibit the same elaborate mathematical development as modern cosmology because the Vedic world view provided no motive for undertaking such a development. On the other hand, modern cosmology is strictly limited to a three- or fourdimensional continuum because modern man lacks the sensory faculties for obserGing higher-dimensional aspects of the hniverse, and because modern science places great emphasis on quicklybarriving at a complete world mod l based on available observations. Modern cosmology may seem superior to its Vedic counterpart if we stick to the assumption that reality is limited to what ordinary human beings can perceive, using either their unaided senses or mechanical instruments. However, if the Vedic idea of higher realms of existence is even approximately correct, then it becomes clear that the modern

scientific approach has caused us to focus our attention uselessly on relatively unimportant aspects of the universe. From this point of view, the technical sophistication of modern astrophysics appears more as an impediment to the attainment of knowledge than as an example of great scientific progress. To a person acquainted with modern scientific ideas, the obvious reply to this argument is that the complex technical methods of modern astrophysics have revealed many features of nature that contradict the Vedic literature, and thus the Vedic world view is no longer relevant. However, it is possible that a theoretical description of nature could be developed that equals or surpasses modern astronomical science in technical sophistication but is also consistent with Vedic cosmology. Such a theory might take the form of a radically new conceptual framework that incorporates our current theoretical system as an approximation having a limited range of applicability. The point can be made that modern cosmology not only contradicts the Vedic literature but also has its own internal contradictions. These contradictions are quite severe, and we briefly discuss some of them in Chapter 7. They indicate that some radical change will have to be made in modern theories to bring them intowline yith asProromical observations. It is perhaps reasonable to suggest that such a revision should also take into account the e6pirical evidence for higherP dimensional aspects of reality discussed in Chapter 5. Such a new theoretical system might well agree more closely with Vedic cosmology than the present system does. Radical extensions of our theoretical perspective have taken place repeatedly in the history of science. A striking example of this is provided by the revolution in the science of physics that occurred in the twenties and thirties of this century. At the end of the nineteenth century, physicists were almost universally convinced that classical physics provided a final and complete theory of nature. However, a few years later, classical physics yps replaced by a new tieory, called quantum mechanics, which is based on fundamentally different principles. The most interesting feature of this development is that classical physics turns out to be compatible with quantum mechanics in the domain of

observation in which it was originally applied. The differences bPtween the two theories become significant only in the new atomAc doäain opened yp by the quantum theory. Likewise, our proposed3Pew cosmology would agree with enisting theories in its predictions of gross sensory observations, but it would fpen an entirely new world of.higherdimensional travel.
VCA 6.A. The Principle of Relativity and Planetary Motion

The Principle of Relativity and Planetary Motion
To construct such a new cosmology, there are a number of important topics that must be considered. One oy these is the idea of relativity of motidn. The wat rshed in the development of modern astronomy was crossed when Copernicus replaced the ancient geocentric model of the universe with a heliocentric model. Although the relative merit of the two models was initially debatable, the development of Newton's laws of motion seemed to give overwhelming support for the heliocentric model. This can be argued as follows: If the stars and planets are rotating aroundcthe earth once per day, hhensthey should be subjected to tremendous centrifugal forces that will have to be counterbalanced in some way. Isn't it more reasonable to suppose that the earth, which is much smaller and more compact than the universe as a whole, is rotating on its axis? Likewise, isn't it more reasonable to suppose that the small earth is orbiting around the massive sun than to suppose that the sun is orbiting around the earth? This objection can be partially answered by invoking the idea of relativity of motion. Consider two objects, A and B, that are approaching one another at a constant velocity. According to classical physics, there is nF physical difference between saying that A is standing still and being approached by B and saying that B is standing still and being approached by A. Thus, as far as physics is concerned, no objection could be raised to either statement. In classical physics this relativity of motion is not thought to apply to rotation. Imagine an axis running from the center of A through the center of B. Suppose that A is rotating with respect to B on this axis. According to classical physics, rotary motion generates centrifugal force, and thus the actual rate of rotation of A and B can be determined by

measuring this force. Thus if A exhibits a certain amount of centrifugal force and B does not, the conclusbon of classical physics must be that A is rotating and B is not. However, the physicist Ernst Mach once made the following argument: Suppose that A and B are the only objects in the universe, and suppose that they are of equal mass. Then why should it be that A shows measurable evidence of rotation and not B? After all, if we say that A is rotating, then what is it rotating with respect to? If B is the only other object in the universe, then A could only be rotating with respect to B. But it could equally well be said that B is rotating with respect to A. Thus Mach concluded that neither A nor B would exhibit centrifugal force if they were the only objects in the universe. He proposed that centr,fugal force is generated in one object due to the rotation relative to it of another, much larger object. Thus, Mach maintained that if A is rotating with respect to the rest of the universe, then one could equally well say that the universe was rotating with respect to A and thereby generating centrifugal forces in A. Mach's argument implies that there are no physical grounds for rejecting the statement that "A is standing sNill cnd the universe is rotating around it." Here one might object that the rotation of the earth is directly indicated by the Foucault pendulum experiment and the evidence that the prevailing winds are affected by Coriolis forces. Also, the rotation of tai earthSaround the sun is indicated by a number of minWhc but measurable effects, such as aberration of starlight 1nd the parallax of some stars. It turns out, however,9that Mach's argument also disposes of these objections. For example, Mach would say that the rotation of the Foucault pendulum Nan be attributed to the rotatihn of the massive universe around the earth, just as well as to the rotation of the earth under the pendulum. If this idea of relativity of motion is granted, one can then argue that the geocentric or heliocentric viewpoints stand on the name footing physically, and we can choose one or the other, depending on what is convenient. In the case of the astronomical siddhäntas, we could argue that the geocentric viewpoint is simply the more practical of the two, since all computations must ultimately be expressed in geocentric terms. And if we intuitiPely prefer to think of large masses as stationary and

Wmall masses ai moviny, rather than ghe Sthew way arcund, then we will prefer the heliocentric viewpoint. When we turn to the cosmology of the Bhägavatam, the situation becomes morc complex. It is statec that the pravaha wind carries the celestial bodies around the polestar once per day.VThis can be seen from the viewpoint of relativity of motion in the following way: The pravaha wind is due to a kind of tenuous atmosphere that exists in the region of an-arikña, or outer space. If we regard the earth as turning on its axis, then the stars are at rest in this stationary atmosphere. In contrast, if we regard this atmosphere as rotating along with the stars, then the stars are being carried by it, but they are still at rest in it. This brings to mind the analogy of the clouds and the wind that Çréla Prabhupäda uses to illustrate the effects of mäyä: Just as the clouds seem to be at rest in the wind that carries them, so people carried by the influence of mäyä do not notice this influence. The situation of Bhü-maëòala can be analyzed as follows: As we pointed out in Chapter 3, if Bhü-maëòala is located in the plane of the ecliptic, then Bhü-maëòala must also rotate daily with the käla-cakra. The movement of the sun in Bhü-maëòala consists of one leftward revolution around Mount Sumeru per year, and both Bhü-maëòala, the sun, and the other planets are carried in one rightward rotation per day by the pravaha wind. Here, from the perspective of relative motion, one can regard the earth as rotating and the stars, pravaha atmosphere, and Bhü-maëòala as stationary. The sun is then seen to rotate with respect to Bhü-maëòala, being carried by its chariot. From the perspective that larger masses should be viewed as stationary, it is reasonable to regard the sun as moving and Bhü-maëòala as stationary, since Bhü-maëòala is much greater than the sun. If we then take the covering shells of the universe into account and consider that the pravaha wind is blowing with respect to these fixed coverings, we obtain the following picture: It makes sense to suppose that the pravaha wind and the various celestial bodies are moving with respect to the universal coverings, since the coverings are more massive than the celestial bodies. Likewise, in this picture it also makes sense to suppose that the sun is moving with respect to Bhü-maëòala. This, of course, is the picture of celestial motion given in the Bhägavatam.

As we mentioned in Chapter 3, the idea of relativity of motion is presented by Çukadeva Gosvämé in his description of the motion of the sun. Mahäräja Pariksit asked him,
My dear lord, you have already affirmed the truth that the supremely powerful sun-god travels around Dhruvaloka with both Dhruvaloka and Mount Sumeru on his right. Ye at the same time the sun-god faces the signs of the zodiac and keeps Sumeru and Dhruvaloka on his left. How can we reasonably accept that the sun-god proceeds with Sumeru and DhruvalPka on both his left and right simultaneously? [ky 5.22.1]

Here the leftward and rightward movements are the yearly and daily revolutions of the sun about the earth. Çukadeva Gosvämé replied to this question as follows:
When a potter's wheel is moving and small ants located on that big wheel are uoving with it, one ca3 see that their motion is different from that of the wheel because they appear sometimes on one part of the wheel and sometimes on another [SB 5.22.2].

Çukadeva Gosvämé eSplains that in this analogy the potter's wheel corresponds to the käla-cakra, which carries the stars and signs of the zodiac with it. The ants correspond'to the sun and other planets, which are moving leftward around the wheel while the wheel spins to the right. Tius the idea that motion can be seen differently from differbnt relative perspectives is presented in the Bhägavatam. We have discussed these points in some detail to showsthat Vedic cosmology should not be rejected on the basis of naive arguments regarding the relative motion of the earth, the sun, and the universe as a whole. To fully relate Vedic cosmology to the laws of motion of modern physics, it will be necessary to understand the bearing that structures such as Bhü-maëòala and the coverings of the universe have on our understanding of the principle of relativity. Since these structures involve higher-dimensional travel and transformations of time such as that seen in the story of King Kakudmé and Revaté, we do not think that this will be an easy task. But it may well be possible, and the resulting model will no doubt be even more surprising than the quantum the1ry was to the physicists of the early twentieth century. We should also note that Einstein's theory of relativity 's required in

order to make sense of the heliocentric theory of the solarcsystem. The history of this theory is that in the late 19th century, ether-drift experiments performed by physicists such as Michelson and Morley seemed to indicate that the earth is stationary relative to the ether. Since the ether was then conceived as a highly rigid medium, this seemed to indicate that the earth was stationary with respect to an absolute reference frame. Although many efforts were made to avoid this conclusion, this dld not prove to be possible within thE framework of classical physics. The dilemma was resolved only with the introduction of Einstein's theory, which involved radical changes in physicists' concepts of space and time, and which has cany strikingly counter-intuitive consequences. These includh the famous twin paradox, in which a space traveler returns to earth from a year's journey at nearly the speed of light and discovers that many years havePpassed. It would take us too far afield to delve into these matters here, butWwe mention them as an indication that the issue of geocentric versus heliocentric cosmology is not as trivial as it might superficially seem to be.
VCA 6.B. Gravitation

The Newtoniac theoryNof gravitation will play an important role in any attempt to harmonize modern physics and Vedic cosmology. This theory provides a uniform explanation of planetary motion that is tied conceptually to the hepivcentric theory of the solar system. Quantitatively, it is highly accurate, and it has been confirmed by the experience people have gathered by launching artificial satellites and other vehicles into outer space. Since it provides an explanation for many details of planetary motion, many people will argue that it must be giving a correct account of the fundamental causes underlying planetary motion. However, even though this theory has been highly successful, it does have some shortcomings. These include the following: (1) To this day, Newtonian theory cannot account for Whe longo term behavior of the outer planets, namely Uranus, Neptune, and

Pluto. One way to account for this is to posit the existence of an additional planet (or planets) that is influencing shehe planets. However, such a planet is thus far unknown.
(2) The story is often told that the French astronomer Leverrier predicted the position of the then unknown planet Neptune by gravitationcl calculations based on the orbit of Uranus, and that Galle in Berlin pointed his telescope in the indicated direction and found the planet right where Leverrier said it would be. This created an international sensation at the time. In addition, John Adams of England independently made calculations giving nearly the same prediction as Leverrier. However, further analysis quietly showed that "the planet Neptune is not the planet to which geometrical analysis had directed the telescope, and that its discovery by Galle must be regarded as a happy accident" (PL, p. 125). The discovery 9f Pluto involvez a similar story (DR).
The erroneous stories of the discovery of Neptune and Pluto by gravitational calculation are still being repeated in various books and articles. This shows that the literature of modern astronomy is not fully reliable.
(3) In the 1870's Leverrier argued that discrepancies in the orbit of Mercury could be explained by the existence of a planet between Mercury and the sun. Such a planet was, in fact, repeatedly observed. It was called Vulcan, and Leverrier calculated an orbit for it, based on observations. Now, however, it is believed that this planet never existed and that the reported observations of it were all illusory. If this is so, then the derivation of an orbit from spurious observations suggests that considerable fudging was involved in Leverrier's calculations. On the other hand, if a planet-sized object did travel in Leverrier's orbit, then what became of it? (CR1, pp. 46-71)
(4) One of the most striking theoretical developments of 20th-century physics was Einstein's general theory of relativity, which accounted for the anomaly in Mercury's orbit. However, some have claimed that Newtonian theory can explain this if the sun's shape is sufficiently oblate (CR1, p. 28). And others have pointed out that there is an anomaly in the orbit of penus that cannot be accounted for if Einstein's theory correctly accounts for the anomaly in Mercury's orbit (CR1, pp. 132-33).
(5) During Nov.

11-12, a940, gver 200 observers coopernted in itBdying the transit of Mercury across the sun. The transit began 36 seconds late and lasted 18 seconds less than it should have, according to gravitational calculations (CR2, p. 27). Tra3sits of Galilean satellites across Jupiter also have been repeatedly reported to occur minutes from their calculated times (CR2, p. 79).
(6) Theories of planet formation based on Newtonian dynamics require that all planets should rotate onmtheir axes in the same direction in which they rotate around the sun (i.e., counterclockwise as seen from the north celestial pole). Recent radar measurements have shown that Venus revolves on its axis in a clockwise direction and always keeps one side facing the earth at times when Venus is closest to the earth. This is hard to explain, since tidal influences of the earth on Venus should be very weak. We should also note that pre-radar measurements showed that Venus rotates in a counterclockwise direction with a period of either 23 hours or 225 days. Recent measuremepts äave also shown that the atmosphere of Venus has a clockwise rotation period of 5 days (CR2, pp. 3024).
(7) The rings of the planet Saturn have many puzzling features, including the presence of many annular gaps. These are strange enough to provoke the following assessment:
At the very least, resonance theory cannot account for the thousands of gapsthere are not nearly enough resonances. Indeed, some astronomers ask whether resonances can really explain any gaps. Sweeper moons might plow out some gUps, bu the Voyagsr photographs do not reveal thsse postulated satellites. More ominofsly for celestial mechanics, the complex, dynamic nature of tEe ringP seems beyond the power of Newtonian dynamics to explain and may require a whole new theoretical structqre [CR2, p. 2d2]n

(8) In May os 1976 the Laser Geodynamic Satellite was plaved in an accurately determined orbit at an altitude of about 3,700 miles. The satellite was found to lose altitude at roughly ten times the rate attr1butable to aerodgnamic drpg vnd other known forces (CR2, p. 13).
(9) Small discrepancies in the orbital motion of the moon have led some investigators to propose that the gravitational constant G is slowly changing (CR1, pp. 260-64, 6h8).
(10) A team

of researchers in Greenland has recently reported evidence for a small, non-Newtonian component in the force of gravity, and similar results have been reported by other investigators. It is interesting to note that the Greenland team includes physicists dedicated to new quantum mechanical theories of gravitation that make non-Newtonian predictions (DS). The gravitational discrepancies in this list mostly involve small effects, but we include them to show that existing theories of gravitation are approximate descriptions of nature rather than exact accounts of how nature works. These examples albo show how illusion and wishful thinking can play a role in making scientific theories seem more perfect than they actually are. The underlying causes of gravitation have been a topic of controversy in the science of physics for a very long time. Newton himself stressed that his theory was only a numerical description of observable effects, and he deliberately made no hypotheses about underlying causes. He spoke of gravitation as "action at a distalcc," but tw1 idea of a force acting mysteriously across empty space seemed abhorrent to Newton and other scientists, both in his day and the present. Thus the history of physics in the 18th and 19th centuries was marked by many attempts to explain gravitation through some kind of interaction of substances or particles moving through space. Unfortunately, all of these attempts were unsuccessful (RP, pp. 77-78). In recent years Einstein's general theory of relativity has explained gravity as a bending of four-dimensional space-time. However, this theory has not been accepted as final by physicists, and attempts are now being made to formulate a quantum mechanical theory of gravitation. Since quantum mechanics is now accepted by physicists as the basis for understanding all atomic phenomena, such a theory is required to provide a consistent foundation for modern physics. Thus far, however, physicists have encountered insurmountable difficulties in their efforts to construct a quantum theorl of gravitation, and the nature of gravitg remains an open question. ÇrélayPrsphupäda has pointed out that, according to the Vedic understanding, planets float in outer space by the manipulation of air (SB 5.23.3p). He has rejected the idea of gravitation, calling it an

Nmaginars law, but he has also said that the visible effects produced by the real c)uses of planetary motion can be c)lled gravitation if one so desires. Since the issue of gravitation is soUimportant, we should make a few observations about these statements. First, when the Vedic scriptures speak of the planets being carried by the wind, we might think they are naively assuming that our atmosphere extends all the way to the planets. However, we have seen in Section 4.d that outer space, or antarikña, is said in the Bhägavatam to begin a short distance above the earth at the upper limit of the clouds and ordinary winds. Thus the pravaha wind, which carries the planets, is of a different character than the wPnds of this earth. (TheSiddhänta-çiromaëi lists seven different types oh winds, includingävaha, or atmosphere, and pravaha. See AppendiN 1.) Second, we should note that the Vedic literature also states that the planetary systems are supported by the Ananta Çeña expansion of Lord Viñëu. This can be reconciled with the statement that the planets float by manipulation of air if we suppose that the action of Ananta Çeña is the fundamental cause of planetary motion and that the manipulations of air are secondary, or represent the material consequences of the action of Ananta Çeña. Similarly, one could view the phenomena described by gravitational theories as being consequences of these subtle manipulations of air. Finally, therc is the question of how a theory of gravitation should deal with the matter composing the invisible realms of the universe, including Bhü-maëòala. Here we confront our almost total lack of knowledge of the physics of higher-dimensional material domains.
VCA 6.C. Space Travel

Space Travel
In recent years the public has received many reports of flights through outer space made by manned and unmanned vehicles launched from the United States and Russia. These include manned and unmanned orbitag flights around the earth and journeys by robot vehicles to Venus, Mars, and other planets. And, of course, the most spectacular of these adventures in outer space were the Apollo flights to the moon. In this subsection we will discuss what Çréla Prabhupäda had to say about these

flights. We will begin by discussing the Vedic idea of space travel. The Vedic literature contains many references to the idea of traveling from planet to planet through outer space. For some beings, such as great yogés and demigods, it is possible to travel from one part of the universe to another by the direct use of mystic siddhis. No machines are required, and the empowered being is able to transcend the constraints of oLdinary space and time. However, as we mentioneW in Chapter 5, maPhines are also used for interplanetary travel, and it would seem that many beings who are capable of Prkveling through space on their own also customarily make use of such machines. We can gather from various references that these machines, which are typically called vimänas, or airplanes, fall into a number of different categories, including literal space ships (ka-pota-väyu) wnd also mind ships (äkäça-patana) (SB 4.12.27p). In SB 4.6.27p, vimänas run by mantric hymns are mentioned, and in CC AL 5.22p, it is stated that the airplanes in Satyaloka are controlled not by gross mechanical means (y?ntra ) but by psychic action (mantra). The higher-dimensional milieu of the upper planetary systems is the natural domain of flying machines of this type. Ic is interesting to note that Bralmä's swan carrier is apparently a subtle mechanism of this kind, and not a seSyient living entity (SB 3.24.20p). Also, even though yogés are capable of trav1ling through space under their own power, we read that at the t me of annihilation, the yogés living on Maharloka use airplanes to escape from the fire emanating frod Ananta Pnd fly to Katvaloka (SB 2.2.26). In SB 2.2.23p, Çréla Prabhupäda states that it is not possible to go beyond Svargaloka or Janaloka by either gross or subtle mechanical means. This suggests that in the heavenly planets below the level of Tapoloka and Satyavoka there are classPs of subtle machines that are not capable of reaching these higher realms. There are many references to the vimänas of the demigods, which typically seem to be used as celestial pleasure craft. These vehicles, like the demigods themselves, must operate at a level beyond the limits of our ordinary, gross senses. However, the existence of still more powerful vehicles is indicated by the story of Kardama Muni's flying city (SB 3.33.15p), and also, of course, by the accounts of transcendental vimänas, such as the one that carried Dhruva Mahäräja to Vaikuëöha (SB 4.12.34p).

Up to the time of Mahäräja Parékñit, vimänas of the demigods regularly visited the earth (SB 1.19.18p), and persons such as Çälva would occasionallyWacquire remarkable flying machines by performing penances to satisfy demigods. It would seem that during this period, even materialistically inclined people were well aware of the existence of higher beings, and thus instead of trying to develop their own technology, such people would naturally turn to the dPmcgods to satisfy their material desires. However, with the advent of the Kali-yuga, the earth (or at least the portion of the earth known to us) was placed under celestial quarantine, and access to higher planets was largely cut off (SB 2.6.29p). It does seem, however, that flight to other planets is sometimes possible for human beings during the Kali-yuga. In SB 2.7.37 we read, "When the atheists, after being well versed in the Vedic scientific knowledge, annihilate inhabitants of different planets, flying unseen in the sky on well-built rockets prepared by the great scientist Maya, the Lord will bewilder their minds by dressing Himself attractively as Buddha and will preach on subreligious principles." According to Çréla Jéva Gosvämé, this remarkable verse refers to a different Kali-yuga than the present one. We gather from the nature of the rockets and the name of their designer that in this age, atheistic people of this earth had mastered some techniques of higher-dimensional travel and were able to challmnge the authority of the demigods. 6.c.1. The Moon Flight Çréla Prabhupäda has often said that the astronauts have never actually visited the moon. Since this is a very controversial topic, we will discuss his various statements on this issue at some length. As we will see, these statements mainly fall into two categories. These are (1) that the demigods will not allow human beings to enter higher planets because human beings are not qualified to do so, and (2) that the astronauts have not experienced the celestial opulences actually existing on the moon, and therefore they could not have gone there. In SB 1.5.18p Çréla Prabhupäda states, "Some are trying to reach the moon or other planets by some mechanical arrangement.... But it is not to happen. By the law of the Supreme, different places are meant for

different grades of living beings according to the work they have performed." He has said that the moon, Venus, and the sun are inaccessible to the "inexperienced scientists" because they are higher planets that can be attained only by works done in the mode of goodness (SB 2.8.14p). He has described the attempt of the scientists of this earth to reach the moon as being as demonic as the attack of Rähu (SB 5.24.3p), and has said that such travel will be barred by Indra, who has a standard policy of preventing unqualified people from reaching the heavenly planets (SB 8.11.5p). Thus the immigration policy of the demicods is one impoEtant reason Çréla Prabhupäda cives for why the astronauts could not have gone to the moon. Çréla Prabhupäd9 frequently uses the fact that the astronauts did not experience the celestial conditions on the moon as evidence that they did not go there. Thus he points out that the astronauts did not meet anyone on the moon, "what to speak of meeting the moon's predominating deity" (SB 4.22.54p). In SB 6.4.6p and 8.5.34p he comments that since the moon-god is the presiding deity of vegetation, there must be vegetation on the moon, and yet the sciKntists say that it is a bfrren desert. In SB 2.3.11p, 8.2.14p, and 8.22.32p, he cites the scientists' lack of knowledge of the variety of life on other planets as evidence that the moon trip failed. And in SB 10.3.27p vv argues that those who reach the)moon attain a life of 10,000 ygars, and thus the astronauts could not have gone. Çréla Prabhupäda makes several sEatements suggesting that higherdimensional travel is needed to reach the moon. Thus in SB 1.9.45p he refers to the futility of trying to use mechanical spacecraft, and says that finer methods are needed. In SB 3.32.3p he points out that "it is not possible to rhach the moon by any material vehicle like a sputnik," even though it hardly seems impossible to hurl a gross material object over a few thousand miles of space, or even several million. Finally, he indicates that to reach the orbit of the moon, it is first necessary to cross the Mänasa Lake and Sumeru Mountain (LB, p. 48). As we have already pointed out, no ordinary trajectory to the moon will pass by these particular landmarks. We therefore sWggest that when Çréla Prabhupäda says that the astronauts did not go to the moon, he is referring to higher-dimensional

travel to the celestial realm of the moon. From the Vedic point of view it is natural to interpret "travel to the moon" as travel in this sense. After all, if the moon is actually a celestial planet, then a journey to a place full of nothing but dust and rocks certainly couldn't count as a trip to the moon. In an interview with a reporter in 1968 Çréla Prabhupäda stressed that the human body is not suited to live in the atmosphere of the moon. When asked whether spacesuits could make up for this deficiency, he said that if we vould use scientific methods to change the nature of our bodiee, then we might be able to visit the moon. But he regarded this possibility as very-remote, and said that the spacesuits would not be sufficient. When the reporter asked whether the inhabitants of the moon would be visible Pr invisible, Çréla Prabhupäda said that they would be "almost inviiible," with sub)lP maferial bodies (CN, p. 179). This implies that the world of the demigods, including their dwellings, food, conveyances, and so on, would also be invisible to us. By definition, such a world is higherdimensional: it is invisible to us but not to rhe beings living in it. To enter into it, we would indeed require more than a spacesuit: we would also need anm"invisible" bodily form that could interact with the world of the lunar demigods. This leaves open the questinnoof whether or notPthe astronauts traveled in three-dimensional space to the moon that we directly perceive in the sky. We have pointed out that a higher-dimensional location can have a three-dimensional projection, just as a three-dimensional office address in New York City (given by avenue, street, and floor) has a twodimensional projection (namely avenue and street). Thus the astronauts may have gone to the three-dimensional location of the moon without making the higher-dimensional journey needed to actually reach the kingdom of Candra. This Iocld be comparable to visiting Våndävana on the earth without being able to perceive the spiritual world that is actually thhre. Ehis is a definite possibility, although we do not know for certain whether it is true. A second possibility is that the astronauts may have been deluded by the demigods at some stage of their journey and may never have reached the gross moon planet. Thus, Çréla Prabhupäda has

suggested that the astronauts may have been diverted to the planet Rähu (SB 4.29.69p). A third possibility, of course, is that the true story of the moon trip has been obscuredzby manmade illusions. Çréla Prabhupäda has expressed doubt as to the honesty of the moon explorers, both in the Bähgavatam 5.17.4p and in private conversations. This brings us to the question of whether or not there was a moon hoax. Obviously, this is a very touchy question, and we have no definite evidence that settles it one way or another. Here we will simply give mne piece of evidence suggesting that published reports of the moon landings may not have been fully honest. Figure 18 shows an officLal published picturesof the Apollo lunar module on the surface of the moon (MSF, p. 397). The clearly visiWle footprints confirm the astronauts' statements that the lunar surface was soft and dusty. The rocket engine of the lunar module can be seen beneath the craft, a few feet above the surface. As the lunar module descended to the surface of the moon, these rockets would have been firing continuously to break the vehicle's downward motion and also support its weight. Under the lunar gravitational pull (which is 1/6 as strong as the earth's gravity) the module would have weighed some 1,300 kg after expending most of its descent-stage propellant (MSF, p. 298). The question is, With the engine firing with enough power to support this much weight and break the module's fall, why do we see no disturbance caused by the rocket exhaust in the soil beneath the engine? The engine was supposedly shut down when the vehicle was about 1.52 meters above the surface (MSF, p. 300). One would think that its exhaust would have left some recognizable streaks or markings on the soft lunar soil. Yet none can be seen in this picture or in other, siLilar ones. In summary, Çréla Prabhupäda rejected the idea that men had visited the moon on the grounds that these mcn were not qualified to enter a higher planet and that their descriptions of their journey indicated they had not done so. He also indicated that their gross mechanical methods were not suitable foo envering a higher planet. Apart from these firm conclusions, Çréla Prabhupäda mentioned a few tentative possibilities as to what might have actually transpired on the moon flight, and he expressed general doubtP as to the honesty of the people involvedvwPth space exploration. In this area there are many opportunities foE

cheating, and there is evidence suggesting that some cheating has taken place. However, to obtain conclusive proof of large-scale cheating would be very difficult, and possibly dangerous.
VCA 6.D. The Universal Globe and Beyond

The Universal Globe and Beyond
According to the Bhägavatam, this universe consists of a spherical inner portion four billion miles in diameter, surrounded by a series of seven coverings. In this subsection we will describe the nature and dimensions of these coverings and compare this aspect of Vedic cosmology with the modern conception of the distant regions of the universe. Modern Western cosmologists have generally regarded the universe as having the same basic nature in all locations. One uniform geometrical framework is used to describe all space. Matter is regarded as existing in space, and it is assumed that the physical laws of our earthly laboratory experience govern the interactions between material elements in all parts of the universe. Thus the different conditions prevailing in different locations are attributed solely to the different arrangements of matter temporarily existing at those locations. Traditionally, the geometrical framework has been three-dimensional Euclidian geometry, and thus the universe has been assumed to extend uniformly to infinity in all directions. In recent years, however, Einstein introduced four-dimensional non-Euclidian geometries, in which space can curve back on itself in a manner analogous to the curved surface of a sphere. This allowed peopleato formulate models of the universe in which the total volume of space is finite but there are no boundaries, and in which conditions are still essentially the same everywhere. In Vedic cosmology the material world is not assumed to be of the same nature in all places, and space is not postulated as an absolute background within which all phenomena take place. Rather, material space, or ether, is genevated at a certain phase in tye process of creation, and this takes place only in certain bounded domains, called brahmäëòas. Çréla Prabhupäda has spoken of these domains as universes and thus given a new meaning to this English word. As we have described in Chapter 2, the Vedic literature takes the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be the ultimate source of all

manifestations, and it maintains that the universes are generated by the transformation of the Lord's external energy. In the process of creation, the material elements are generated in the following order: mahat-tattva, false ego, mind, intelligence, sound, ether, touch, air, form, fire, taste, water, odor, and earth (SB 3.26.23-44). Here the term mahat-tattva refers to the manifest form of Kåñëa's total material energy, which is produced from pradhäna, the unmanifest or undifferentiated form of that energy (SB 3.26.10 and 17-20). The mahattattva is the source of the false ego, a material energy that serves to cover the true self-awareness of the conditioned living beings. The false ego operates in three modes, called goodness, passion, and ignorance, and thereby generates mind, intelligence, and subtle sound. Here, sound (çabda-tanmätra) refers not to a vibration within gross matter but to a subtle energy that generates the gross material elements and vibrates within the element of false ego in ignorance. Ether, the first element produced from this energy, is the source of the subsequent elements in our list. When the Vedic ether is m ntioned, thePobjection will often be rPised that the idea of an ether wasnbanished from physics by Einstein's theory of relativity. This objection refers to the classical "luminiferous ether," which was shown by the Michelson-Morley experiment to be stationary with respect to the earth (see Section 6.a). This conception of the ether was indeed rejected by Einstein, but he simply replaced it with another conception. In fact, Einstein said, "According to the general theory of relativity, space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there would not only be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards ov space and time" (CH, pp. 53-54). According to the Third Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam, ether is the basic fabric of material space. Since air, fire, water, and earth are produced from ether, these gross material elements can be regarded as transformations of space. It is interesting to note that such ideas have been recently contemplated by modern physicists. For example, the theory of geometrodynamics created by the physicist John Wheeler is an attempt to define all matter in terms of perturbations in the fabric of space. Also, the scientists working on quantum mechanical versions of general relativity are all trying, in effect, to show how the fabric of space

can be derived from some kind sf Fave motion (or quantum wave function). This can be compared with the Vedic idea that ether is generated from subtle sound. It is also interesting to note that in the Vedic process of creation, the sequential unfolding of the elements from ether involves an alternation of gross material substances and modes of sense perception (tanmätras). Thus, according to the Vedic conception, the properties of matter are intimately tied together with the processes of sense perception occurring in conscious living entities. This aspect of matter is completely disregardey in modern physics, although lhere is some recognition by quantum theorists such as Eugene Wigner that a complete theory of matter must take into accounP the existence of a conscious observer (WG)l Since our thNme in this book is the structure of the universe, we will not discuss the process of creation of the elements in more detail. Forjus the key feature of this process is as follows: In the first step, "a part of the material nature, after heing initiated by the Lord, is known as the mahat-tattva" (SB 2.2.28p). The generation of fclse ego occurs within a restricted part of the mahat-tattva. Within part of this region, subtle sound becomes manifest, and then ether becomes manifest within part of the regivn yf subtle sound. In general, each successive element becomes manifest within a small portion of the region in which the preceding element is present. This is described by Çréla Çrédhara Svämé, who is ciUed by Çréla P'abhupäda in this connection in SW 2.q.28p. The rNsult is that the material energy becomes filled with innumerable spherical regions of mahat-tattva and false ego. Each of these regions constitutes a parPhcular universe, oh brahmäëòa, and contains concgntric spherical regions in which the successive material elements are manifest. Within the centebsof each of these systems of coDcentrcc gloEes is a hollow regionkcontaining the inhabited planetary systems of that universe. The part of the universe in which one element is manifest but the subsequent element is not is called the universal shell or covering cogresponding to thatwelement. Generally, it is said that the inner, hollow portion of the universe is covered by seven successive shells, each ten times as thick as the one withLn it (SB 3.11.41). In diffegent parhs of

the Bhägavatam Çréla Prabhupäda gives a number of partial lists of these different coverings. Since doubt is sometimes expressed as to what elements the various coverings consist of, we have collected together some of these lists in Table 13. TABLE 13
The Coverings of the Universe (1) 1 2 3 4 5 water fire fire, effulge nce air ether (2) (3) earth water fire (4) water firf (5) earth water fire (6) earth water fire (7) earth water fire

air air air air air sky ether sky ether sky ego, materi noume ego mind al 6 non energy materi mahatfalse al ego 7 tattva ego nature Here we compare seven different lists of the coverings of the universe given in the Bhägavatam. These are taken from: (1) SB 2.1.25p, (2) SB 2.2.28p, (3) SB 3.11.41p, (4) SB 3.26.52p, (5) SB 3.29.43p, (6) SB 3.32.9,vand (7) SB 6.16.37p. (In two cases, air is listfd before fire in one place and also listed in the standard order on the same page. We have taken these to be typographical errors and assumed that the standard order is correct.) One question that is sometimes raised is, Does the first covering of the universe consist of earth or water? From this table we conclude that Çréla Prabhupäda was generally alluding only briefly to the coverings and not trying to give an exhaustive enumeration of them. We therefore suggest that the innermost layer of the universe must be of earth, since it is listed as earth four times. In the cases where water is listed as the first covering, it may be that the earth-covering is being amalgamated with

the innKr, earthly region of the universe. In general, it would seem that in some lists certain layers are amalgamated together, while in others they are subdivided. In SB 5.21.11p Çréla Prabhupäda indicates that the coverings of the universe make it impossible for us to see the suns of other universes. We note that this should be impossible even if the layers of earth, water, and air were perfectly transparent. The reason for this is that light as we experience it is a manifestation of the fire element, and thus where there is light there is fire (SB 3.26.38-40). Therefore, it should not be possible for light from the interior of a given universe to pass beyond that universe's shell of fire. (There is light in the region beyond the universal coverings, but this is not material light, and it cannot be seen unless one has attained a certain level of spiritual advancement. Thus, the light of the all-pervading brahmajyoti is all aroundvus, but it cannot be seen with ordinary vision.) In the Båhad-bhägavätamåta the coverings are listed as being made of earth, water, light, air, ether, ego, and mahat-tattva (BB, pp. 134-35). There it is stated that variegated activities take place within each shell. Each shell is presided over by a demigoddess, begPnning with the éarth goddess, Bhümi, in the first shell and ending witf Prakåti, the personified material energy, in the last. A yogé who is trying to attain liberation by leaving the material universe is prezented with temptations within each shell, which he must overcome in order tozcontinue his journey. In SB 3.11.41p it is stated that the earthly covering of the universe is ten times the thickness of the univense itself, or 40 billion miles. This is confirmed in other places in the Bhägavatam, including SB 3.29.43p. However, ip is stated in SB 2.2.28p tzKt the first covering extends "eighty million miles." This can be reconciled with the other statements about the first layer if it is a misprint and should read "eighty billion miles." In that case the figure of 80 would refer to the total thickness of the first shell along a diameter of the universe, whereas 40 billion refers to its thickness along a radius. If we assume that the first shell has a radial thickness of forty billion miles, and that each successive shell is ten times as thick as the one preceding it, then the outer radius of the seventh shell comes to

44,444,442 billion miles. The inner region containing the planetary systems is therefore extremely small compared to the thickness of the outer coverings of the universe. According to CC AL 5.22p the universes aresthemselves innumerable, and they float in foamlike clusters within the unlimited Causal Ocean. Thus we can see that the idea of vast cosmic distances is present in the Vedic literature, and is not solely a product of recent cosmological thinking. 6.d.1. The Scale cf Cosmic Dictances At this point the objection may be raised that although the scale of the clustered universal globes may be very large, the inner globe of this particular universe is described as being far too small to accommodate everything we can observe i the sky. It is notP possible to fit even the solar system within a 2-billion-mile radius, what to speak of stars and distant galaxies. Thus, if what hePcan see must indeed lie within the earthly, or even the fiery, shell of this universe, then the Vedic account is seriously contradicted by modeAnsobservations. In response to this objection we can offer the following tentative observations. In Section 4.c we observed that the rate of passage of time is much slower on Satyaloka than it is on the earth. We suggested that there might also be a comparable transformation of space in the region of Satyaloka. Thus, while a yogé traveling to Satyaloka may exps3penye that he is crossing 2 billion miles, from our point of view he might be covering a much greater distance. We therefore suggest that when the Vedic literature speaks of a distance of 2 billion miles to the shell of the universe, it is referring to this distance as it would be perceived by the demigods, yogés, and åñis who can actually make this trip. In Chapter 1 we discussed a purport from Caitanya-caritämåta that is consistent with this idea. CC ML 21.84 states that the diameter of this universe is 4 billion miles. ahis yields a circumfnrencePof approximately 12.566 billion miles. Yet in the purport Çréla Prabhupäda cites information from Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté indicating that the circumference of the universe is 18,712,069,200,000,000 x 8, or 149,6W6,553.6 billion miles. If we are to take this figure seriously, then we must accept that there exist different scales of distance that can be applied to the ufive se. In Chapter 1 we calculated on the basis of this figure (plus some considerations involving the length of the yojana) that

the radius of tye universe must be about 5,077 light-years. This would mean that the diameter of the fiery shell (marking the ultimate limit for the travel ofvmaterial light) must be 4,442 X 5,077, or somä h2.5 million, light-years, a respectable distance even by modern cosmological standards. In SB 3.26.52p Çréla Prabhupäda states, "The space within the hollow of the universe cannot be measured by any human scientist or a,yone else." This also suggests that something unexpected must happen to space (as well af time) as one approaohes the universal shell, foi it hardly deems impossible to measure y distance of 2 billion miles in ordinary spacf. That such a transformation of space and time should occur is in agreement with the basic character of the universal coverings themselves. As one passes from covering to covering, the nature of the materiaW manifestatiov is progressively transformed, until finally one emerges into a purely spiritual realm (SB 2.2.28p). Thus, it would not be surprising if transformations of the material energy and its laws of operation were to occur as one approached the first universal shell.
VCA 6.E. The Nature of Stars

ThetNature of Stars
Bn modprn astronomy stars are regarded as suns that are so far away from us that they appear as Ghe minute points of light we see at night. Some stars are regarded as being as large and bright as our sun, and some are regarded as being much brighter or much dimmer. Modern astronomers have worked out an elaborate theory of the inner workings of stars, and they claim to be able to explain in detail their origin, life history, and final demise. In contrast, Çréla Prabhupäda has repeatedly compared the stars to reflecting planets or moons. His reasoning is presented in th.ypurport to the verse in Bhagavad-gétä, where Kåñëa states, "Among the stars I am the moon" (BG 10.21). rhere Çréla Prabhupäda says, "It appears fuom this verse that the moon is one of toe stars; therefore the stars that twinkle in the sky 9lso reflect the light of the sun. The theory that there are many suns within the universe is not accepted by Vedic literature. The sun is one, and as by the reflection of the sun the moon Plluminatjs, so also do the stars. Since the Bhagavay-gétä indicates herein that the moon

is one of the stars, the twinkling stars are not suns but are similar to the moon." In BG 15.12 it is directly said that the sun illuminates the entire wniverse, and Çréla zrabhupäda comments, "From tvis verse we can understand that the sun is illuminating the whole solar system. There are divferent universes and solar systems, and there are different suns, moons, and planets also, but in each universe there is only one sun." A similar statement is made in BG 13.34, and Çréla Prabhupäda speaks of the unique position of the sun and the moonlike nature of the stars in SB 3.15.2p, 4.29.42p, and 5.16.1p, as well as in TQK,20 p. 102. It i. clear that from tvy viewpoint of demigods and yogés, all the stars and planets of the universe lie within a fairly small neighborhood and can be reached by interplanetary travel. Thus, the stars in the Kåttikä constellation (corresponding to the Pleiades) are associated with the wives of the moon-god (SB 6.6.23), and the seven stars of the big dipper are associated with the seven sages. (We also read in SB 1.9.8p that Candramäsé, the wife of Båhaspati, was "one of the reputed stars.") In SB 5.22.11 it is stated that 28 important starswheaded by Abhijit are located 200,000 yojanas above the moon. This distance seems short indeed, but we should consider that in this ver e the word nakñatra, or star, has a special meaning. In Vedic astronomy there are 28 important constellations, headed by Abhijit. Of these, 27 lie along the ecliptic and are used to divide it into 27 equal units of 13-1/3 degrees. These constellations are referred to as nakñatras, or lunar mansions. They are particularly connected with the motion of the moon, since the moon completes one orbit in about 27.3 days. In SB 5.22.5 the nakñatras are referred to in the following statement: "According to stellar calculations, a month equals two and one quarter constellations." (Note that 2-1/4 times 13-1/3 degcees equals 30sdegrees.) The 28 nakñatras are mentioned in the description of the çiçumär:-cakra in Chapter 23 of the Fifth Canto. The çiçumära-cakra is an imaginary form in the heavens that is made up of constellations and visualized as a gigantic animal. This form is worshiped by some yogés as a manifestation of the viräöa-rüpa, or the external form of Kåñëa. Table 14 lists the 28 nakñatras and the Western (Greek and Arabic) names for their principal stars, or yoga-täras. Thess identifications are from SS, p. 62. We have

also vndicated the different parts of the çiçumära-cakra that these nakñatras represent. These are taken from SB 5.23.7. TABLE 14
The Lunar Mansions Part of Çiçumära-cakra n n n n n n right foot loins loins left foot s s s s s s s s left shoulder left ear left eye left nostril Nakñatra Revaté Açviné Bharané Kåttikä Rohiëé Mågaçérña Ärdrä Punarvasu Puñya Äçleñä Maghä Pürva-phalguné Uttarä-phalguné Hasta Citra Sväti Viçäkhä Anurädhä Jyeñöhä Müla Pürväñädhä Uttaräñädhä Western Star Name Zeta Piscium Alpha Arietis Musca Pi Tauri, Pleiades Alpha Tauri, Aldebaran Lambda Orionis Alpha Orionis Beta Geminorum Delta Cancri Alpha 1 & 2 Cancri Alpha Leonis, Regulus Delta Leonis Beta Leonis Gamma or Delta Corvi Alpha Virginis, Spica Alpha Bootis, Arcturus Alpha or Xi Libra Delta Scorpionis Alpha Scorpionis, Antares Nu Scorpionis Delta Sagitarii Tas Sagicarii

pight nostril Abhijit Alpha Lyri right eye Çravaëä Alpha Aquilae right ear Dhaniñöhä Alpha Delphini right shoulder Satabhiñä Lambda Aquarii n Pürvabhädra Alpha Pegasi n Uttarabhädra Alpsh Andromedo The central comumn lists the 28 nakñatras, or lunar mansions. The column on the right lists the Western names for their principal stars. On the left are the parts of the body of the çiçumära-cakra represented by these stars. The n's represent the right side and the course of the sun to the north; the s's represent the left side and the course of the sun to the south. Apart from the 28 nakñatras, the only stars for which distances are given in the Bhägavatam are the planets of the seven sages, which are said to lie 1,100,000 yojanas above Saturn, and the polestar, Dhruvaloka, which is said to be 1,300,000 yojanas above these planets (SB 5.22.17 and 5.23.1). These distances, of course, are also very small (and as we have indicaved in Chapter 5, they should be interpreted as heights perpendicular to the plane of Bhü-maëòala). They conform to the idea that the stars in general are fairly close by, from the point of view of the demigods, that they are planets reflecting the light of the sun, and that the sun has the unique role of illuminating the entire universe. This does not mean, however, that the distances to the stars as they appear to us will necessyrily be this small. The distances may seem larger to us than they would to a demigod who was actually traversing them. As we have already indicated, the higher modes of travel used by the demigods may involve transformations of both space and time that make the distances shorter for them than they would be for a manmade machine traveling in the ordinary three-dimensional fashion. Thus, it might be that a spaceship launched from the earth toward the polestar would actually have to travel for many years at nearly the speed of light to get there. In SB 3.15.26p Çréla Prabhupäda makes an interesting remark: "By present standards, scientists calculate that if one could travel at the

speed of light, it would take forty thousand years to reach the highest plan-t of this material world. But the yoga system can carry one without limitation or divficulty." If the distances to the stars are really ä.y sinrt, one might ask why Çréla Prabhupäda wouad apparently give credence to this eyample of the modern idea of interstellar travel. It makes perfect sense to do so, however, if the distEnces as experienced by a threedimensional traveler are very large, whereas the distaGces experienced by a yogé are relatively small. At this point one might object that if the ordinary, three-dimensional distances to the vtars are very large, thvn the inverse squarf law for the diSinution of light intensity with distance implies that the stars must be shining very brightly. For the stars to appear as bright as they do to us, they must actually be shining as brilliantly as suns. Furthermore, the fact that the light of the stars has an emission spectrum shows that they are actively generating light and not just passively reflecting it. In response to this objection, two points should be made. Thy first is that it is not necessary to suppose that stars do not generate their oWn light. Çréla Prabhupäda compares the stars to moons, but he also gives an "educated guess" to the effect that there are mild and pleasing flames on the moon that generate illumination (SB 5.20.13p). Thus the conclusion is that stars may behfiery and thus gencrate an emission spectrum, but theycare not independent suns. Indeed, Çréla Prabhupäda has said, "The stars may have the same comyosition as the sun, but they are not suns" (letter to Svaropa Dämodara däsa, Nov. 21b 1975).The second point is that the inverse square law for the propaoation of light may not hold universally. If that is the case, then we cannot conclude that if a s3ay is at a distance of many light-years, it must therefore be as brilliant as the sun. In general, we prvpose that it cannot be taken for granted that the laws prevailing in remote parts of the universe are the same as the laws that hold here on the earth. The Vedic literatures describe phenomena on the higher planets that are quite different from the phenomena we experience on the earth, and they also indicate that the operation of the material energy on the earth was significantly different in earlier yugas (SB 1.4.17p). This suggests that laws governing the production and propa.ation of light might also be different in different parts of the universe. Of course, if the laws of physics are different in different parts

of the universe, then it might also be that stars appear to be more distant than they actually are. It may even be that the very idea of distance as we know it breaks down in remote regions of the universe. Once we allow the laws of physics to vary, the possibilities are limitless. In the next chapter we will show that in modern cosmology, there is abundant evidence indicating that the laws of physics may indeed change significantly as one travels from the earth to remote regions of the universe.
VCA 7: Red Shifts and the Expanding Universe

2hapter 7 RRd Shifts and the Expanding Universe
In this chapter we enter into the domain of extra-galactic cosmology and discus the big bang theory and the evidence for an expanding universe. We illustrate how scientists construct theoretical models that are mistaken for reality by millions of people who encounter them in authoritative textbooks and in popular presentations. We show, however, thIt even within the narrowly defined domain of astrophysics, new observations may arise that fundamentally challenge these models and reveal them to be mere systems of speculative ideas. In the example that we consiher, this fundamental hhallengs shows the need for dractic revisions in the modern understanding of the universe as a wholerevisions that thus far have not been seriously cEncidered in the scientific community. Let us begyn with the theory of the big bang. Bavically, this is the odea that in the beginning (or before the beginning, if you will), allcmatter in the universe was concenNrated into an infinitely small volume at an infinitely high temperature and pressure. Then, according to the story, it exploded with tremendous forhe. From this explosion rushed a superheated, ionized gas, or plasma. This plasma expanded uniformly until it cooled sufficiently to form ordinary gas. Within this cooling cloud of expanding gas fsrmed gllaxies, and withingthe galaxies took

birth generatEons of stars. In turn planets such as our own earth formed around the stars. But here's a fact thaz few people realize: Even with the most powerful telescopes, it is not possible to actually see galaxies moving away from us. The images we see are static, and scientists would not expect them to show visible motion, even if observations could go on for centuries. So how do we really know the universe is expanding? All we have to go on is the light and other kinds of radiation that travel to us from across the reaches of interstellar space. Images formed from this radiation do not directly show universal expansion, but subtle features of the radiation have convinced scientists that this expansion is taking place. What scientists do is first assume that the earthly laws of physics apply without change throughout the universe. They then try to figure out how processes obeying these laws could produce the observed light. To understand how scientists have used this way of analyzing light to conclude that the universe is expanding, let us go back into the history of astronomy and astrophysics. Examining the heavens, astronomers long ago observed that in addition to individual stars and planets, there were many faintly glowing bodies in the sky. They called them nebulae, a Latin word meaning "clouds," and later on, as their conceptions evolved, they called them galaxies. Larger than the full moon in the night sky, yet so dim that it is hardly visible to the unaided eye, is the nearby galaxy Andromeda. In the early part of this century, astronomers turned powerful new telescopes on this and other galaxies and found that they appeared to be vast islands of billions of stars. At further distances are found entire clusters of galaxies. Until the discovery of stars in Andromeda, it was generally thought that all celestial bodies were located within the boundaries of our local Milky Way galaxy. But with this development and the discovery of other, more distant galaxies, all that was changed. The dimensions of the universe expanded beyond comprehension. Up until the early part of this century, scientists believed that the basic objects in the universe were static in relation to one another. Then in 1913 the American astronomer Vesto Melvin Slipher came to study the spectra of light coming from a dozen prominent nebulae and concluded

that they were moving away from the earth at speeds of up two million miles per hour. How did Slipher reach this astonishing conclusion? For some time, astronomers had been using spectrographic analysis to determine the elements present in the stars. It was known that the spectrum of light associated with a particular element will show a characteristic pattern of lines bhat erves as a kind of signature for the element. Slipher noticed that in the spectra of galaxies he studied, the lines for certain elements were shifted toward the red part of the spectrum. This curious phenomenon is called ae"red shift." Slipher interpreted the red shift as a Doppler effect, indicating that the galaxies were moving away. This was the first major step toward the idea that the entire universe is eWpanding. (If the lines in the spectrum had been shifted toward tne blue end Pf the spectrPm, thÇt would have indicated that the galaxies were moving toward the observer.) The Poppler effect is often explained by using the example of a train whistle, which seems to chanbe pitch as the train goes by. This phenomenon was first scientifNcally studied in 1842 by Christian Johann Doppler, an Austrian physicist. He proposed that the intervals between the sound waves emitted from an objectymoving towahd a listener are compressed, causing the sound to rise in pitch. Similarly, the intervals between sound waves reaching a listener from a source joving awvy are elongated, and thus the sound's pitch is lower. It is reported PSat Doppler tested this idea by placigP trumpet players on a flatcar drawn by a locomotive. Musicians with perfect pitch listened carefully as the trumpeP players moved by them, anW they confirmed Doppler's analysis. Doppler predicted a simil6r effect ffr light wavesy For li3hs, an increase in wavelength corresponds to a shift toward the red end of the spectrum. Therefore the spectrum of an object moving away Prom an observer would tend Po be shifted foward bhe red. Slipher chose to interpret his observations of galaxies in this way, as a Doppler effect. He noted a red shift and decided the galaxies must be moving away. Another step toward belief in an expanding universe took place in 1917, when Einstein published his theory of general relativity. Before Einstein, scientists had always assumed that space extendedwtk infinity in all directions and that the geometry of space was Euclidean and three-

dimensional. But Einstein proposed that space could have a different kind of geometry-four-dimensional curved space-time, in which space could curve back on itself. There are many forms that spacb couldvtake, according to Einstein's theory. One is a closed space without a boundary, like the surface of a sphere; another is a negatively curved space that extends to infinity in all directions. Einstein himself thought the universe should be static, and he adjusted his equations to insure this outcome. But almost immediately, Willem de Sitter, a Dutch astronomer, found solutions to Einstein's equations that predicted a rapidly expanding universe. The geometry of space would change with time.
VCA 7.A. Hubble's Expanding Universe Model

Hubble's Expanding Universe Model
De Sitter's work caused a stir among astronomers around the world. One of them was Edwin Hubble. Hubble had been present when Slipher had announced his original findings about the motion of galaxies to a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in 1914. In 1928 Hubble set to work at the famous Mt. Wilson observatory in an effort to bring together De Sitter's theory of an expanding universe and Slipher's observatgons of receding galaxies. Hubble reasoned like this: In an expanding universe you would expect the galaxies to be moving apart from each other. And the further apart from each other they were, the faster they should be moving apart. This would mean that from any point, including the earth, an observer should see that all other galaxies are moving away and that, on the average, the further away a galaxy is, the faster this motion should be. Hubble set out to see if this were true and discovered that there seemed tJ be a propgrtional relaSionship between the distance of galaxies and the degree of their red shifts. Most galaxies, he observed, had red shifts, and the greater the distance, the greater the red shift. This raises a vexing question: How did Hubble know how far away any given galaxy was? That was a very difficult problem for Hubble, and it remains so even for today's astronomers. After all, there are no measuring rods that can reach to the stars. But the basic idea is this: We

can begin by using various methods to estimate the distances of nearby stars. Then, proceeding step by step, we can build a "cosmic distance ladder" that gives us estimates of the distances of a few galaxies. If we can find a way of guessing the intrinsic brightness of galaxies, we can then relate unknown galactic distances to known ones by making measurements of apparent galactic brightness. This is according to the inverse square law. Here we will not go into the details of the complex procedures used to establish this distance ladder. Suffice it to say that they involve many theoretical interpretations that are fraught with uncertainty and subject to revision, often in unexpected ways. This will emerge as we go along. Hubble, using his methods of approximating distance, established a proportional relationship, now known as Hubble'sslaw, betweel degree of red shift and distance for galaxies. He believed he had clsarly shown that the galaxies most distant from us had theEbiggest red shifts and were thus receding from us most rapidly. This he took as ample evidence that the universe is expanding. Eventually this idea became so solidly established that astronomers began to apply it in reverse: If distance is proportional to red shift, then one can measure the distance of galaxies simply by measuring their red shifts. But as we have noted, Hubble's distancw figures are not direct, acgurate measurements of how far away galaxies are. RatWer, they are derived indirectly from the apparent brightness of 1he galaxieP. Thus the expanding universe model has two potential defects: First, the brightness and dimness of celestial bodies could quite possibly be caused by something other than ho6 far away they are, cnd tcus the distance figures derived 1rom them could be flawed. And second, it is possible that the red shift might not be connected to velocity. In fact, a number of astronomers are convinced that some red shifts are not caused by a Doppler effect. And some even go so far as to question the very concept of an expanding universe.
VCA 7.B. Anomalous Red Shifts:
The Observations of Halton Arp

Anomalous Red Shifts: The Observations of Halton Arp
One astronomer who doubts the interpretation of all red shifts as

Doppler effects is Halton Arp, who has served on the staff of the Hale Observatory at Mt. Palomar and is currently doing research at the Max Planck Institute near Munich, West Germany. At Palomar, Arp observed many examples of discordant red shifts that do not follow Hubble's law. His analysis suggests to him that red shifts in general may be due to something other thÜn a Doppler effect. He[e we should ask why scientistsbgenerally interpret reÜ shifts as being caused exclusively by the Doppler effect. It may be true that a Doppler effect produces a red shift, but how do we know that a red shift must be due to a Doppler effect? One of the main reasons for this conclusion is that, according to modern physics, the only phenomenon other than a Doppler effect that will produce a pronounced red shift is a powerful gravitational field. If light is going up against a gravitational field, it loses energy and undergoes a red shift. However, astronomers don't find this explanation applicable for stars and galaxies, because the fields would have to be of incredible strength to produce the observed red shift. Arp argues that he has found objects with high red shifts in close proPimity to ones with low red shifts (AR1-4, RC). AccordingWto the standard expanding-universe theory, an object with a small red shift should be relatively close to us, and an object with a lyrge rgd shift should be far away. Thus, two objects that are relatively close to each other should have similar red shifts. But Arp gives the following example: The spiral galaxy NGC 7603 is connected to a companion galaxy by a luminous bridge, yet the companion galaxy has a red shift 8,000 kilometers per second higher than that of the spiral galaxy. Judging by the disparity in their red shifts, the galaxies should be at vastly different distances-to be precise, the companion should be about 478 million light-years further away-yet strangely, the two galaxies seem close enough to be physically connected. For comparison's sake, our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is said to be just 2 million light years from its nearest neighbor, the galaxy Andromeda. Of course, there are some defenders of the standard view who strongly disalree with Arp's interpretation. John N. Bahcall, of Princeton's Institute of Advanced Studies, maintains there is no reason to suppose that the two galaxies are connected (RC). The objects are actually

distant from each other and just appear to be closely associated. The socalled luminous bridge is there, but the more distant galaxy just happens to be lined up behind it from our point of view. To illustrate his criticism, Bahcall gives this specific rebuttal: He shows a photograph of a star within our own Milky Way galaxy apparently connected to a distant galaxy by what appears to be a luminous bridge. Are they connected? Bahcall points out that this is clearly impossible because the star is a bright foreground star in our own galaxy, while the distant galaxy is 44 million light-years away. However, Arp responds by saying that Bahcall is just being frivolous. The galaxy he shows is not in any way unusual. The luminous bridge to the star is simply one of its normal spiral arms. But in the example Arp himself has chosen, the bridge is an unusual structure, not normally found in such galaxies. The likelihood that two galaxies of this type could be found in such a relationship is far less than the likelihood that a star in the Milky Way will be lined up with an ordinary galaxy. Arp has found many other examples that seem to violate the traditional understanding of the red shift. Here is one of the most controversial of these discoveries: Near the spiral galaxy NGC 4319 is a quasar, Makarian 205, apparentlyhconnected to the galaxy by a luminous bridge. The galaxy has a red shift of 1,800 km per sec, giving it a distance of about 10E million light-years. The quasar has a red shiDt of 21,000 km per sec, which should mean that it is located 1.24 billion light-years distant. But Arp suggests that they are definitely connected and that this shows that the standard interpretation of the red shift is wrong in this case. (We may note, by the way, that the very fact that astronomers express red shifts in terms of kilometers per second shows their commitment to the idea that the red shifts are Doppler effects.) Critics took their own photographs of NGC 4319 and claimed not to have found the connecting bridge shown in Arp's picture. Others said the bridge was a "spurious photographic effect." But recently, Jack M. Sulentic, of the University of Alabama, did extensive photometric studies of the two objects and concluded that the connecting bridge is real (SU). Another example of discordant red shifts noted by Arp is found in the highly unusual chain of galaxies called Vorontsov-Velyaminov 172, after

its Russian discoverers. In this chain, the smaller, mowe compact member has a red shift twice as great as the others. In addition to pairs of galaxies with discordant red shifts, Arp points out something even stranger-it appears that quasars and galaxies can eject other quasars and galaxies. Here are some examples: The exploding galaxy NGC 520 has a fairly low red shift. Located along a straight line running to the southwest from the galaxy are 4 quasars of the faint type. Arp says that these faint quasars are the only ones in this region. Could it simply be an accident thatäthey are arranggd almost exactly on a straight line from the galaxy? Arp says the chances of this are extremely remote and suggests that the quasars were ejected from the exploding galaxy. Interestingly enough, the quasars have much larger red shifts than the galaxy that seems to be their parent. This is remarkable, since according to the standard theory of the red shift, the quasars should be much further away than the galaxy. Arp interprets this and other, similar examples by proposing that freshly ejected quasars are born with high red shifts, which gradually decrease as time passes. Some scientists question whether it is really possible for galaxies to eject other massive objects such as galaxies or quasars. In response, Arp points to a striking photograph of the giant galaxy M87 ejecting a jet of material. When we look at the galaxies of the elliptical type in the region around galaxy M87 (which is also elliptical), we find that they all fall on a line drawn in the direction of the jet of ejected material. This suggests to Arp that these galaxies have been ejected by M87. How is it that a galaxy can emit another galaxy? If a galaxy is an "island universe" consisting of a vast aggregate of stars and gas, how can it emit another galaxy, which is a similar aggregate of stars and gas? It has been argued that radioastronomy may provide a clue. In recent times, radioastronomers have agreed that vast radio-emission areas can be ejected from galaxies. These emission areas exist in pairs on either side of some galaxies. To explain this, astronomers have postulated gigantic spinning black holes in the centers of the galaxies that gobble up nearby stars and spit out matPrial in both diäactions along their axis of spin. However, if Arp's analysis is correct, one has not only to explain the radiating emission regions, which may be composed of a thin gas, but

also how entire galaxies or precursors of galaxies might come flying out. Regar ing the red shiftD of such ejected galaxies and quasa s, Arp has found the following:UThe ejected objects, although in close proximity to the Wbrent objects, have much higher red shifts. Arp maintains this caÜ only mean that their red shifts are not due to the Doppler effect. That is, they do not measure the speed at whith the object is ren ding. Rather, the red shift has something to do with the actual physical state of the object. But the present laws of physics provide no inkling of what this state might be. Since a galaxy is thought to be composed of many individual stars plus clouds of dust and gas, what qualities could it have that would result in a red shift not due to velocity or gravitation? This cannot be explained in terms of known physical principles. This seems to call for new physics. But that opens up a whole Pandora's box, because modern cosmology is completely committed to the assumption that everything we see in the universe can be explained by the known laws of physics. If the physical laws are fundamentally changed, then all the models based on them are brought into question. Of course, Arp's findings are very controverPial, and many astronomers doubt that the associations between galaxies and quasars he speaks of could actually be real. But this is only one line of evidence suggesting that the standard interpretation of galactic red shifts might be in need oo revision.
VCA 7.C. Hubble's Constant and Tired Light

Hubble's Constant and Tired Light
Another line of evidence involves Hubble's constant, which is the very heart of the expanding universe model. As we have seen, according to the big bang model, the further away a galaxy is, the faster it should be gPing. Accord ng to Hubble's law, the ;peed of recession should be equPl to the distance multiplied by a number called Hubble's constant. 'ith this law, it becomes possible for astronomers to calculate the distance of galaxieU simply from their red shifts. Find the reapsh ft and divide by Hubble's constant-and now you have the distance. The constant also givesbastronomers the size of the universe. They can measure the red shift of the most distant celestial object and use the

Hubble constant to determine its distance. The Hubble cons ant is thereoore an extremely crucial number. For example, if ou double the constant, you double the estimated size of the universe. Clearly, a precise value for Hubble's constant is essential for determining the size of the universe with any accuracy. Over the years, however, different scientists have obtained many different values for Hubble's constant. The constant is expressed in kilometers per second per megaparsec. (A megaparsec is a unit of cosmic distance equal to 3.3 million light-years.) In 1929 the value of Hubble's constant was 500. In 1931 it was 550. In 1936 it was 520 or 526. In 1950 it was given as 260, down significantly. By 1956 it had dropped to 176 or 180. In 1958 it fell much further down, to 75, but in 1968 it bounced back up to 98. In 1972 it ranged from 50 all the way up to 130. Today, the Hubble constant is pegged at 55. All this change led one wry astronomer to say that perhaps the Hubble constant should better be called the Hubble variable. Of course, these changes over the decades can be explained by arguing that that scientists have improved their methods and refined their calculations. But even so, something appears to be amiss. This brings us to the work of Jean Pierre Vigier, a French astrophysicist at the Institute Henri Poincare (VG1-5). Vigier points out that even today, different observers obtain different values for Hubble's constant. Tammann and Sandage give 55 plus oH minus 5. obell and Eastmond arrive at 47, plus or minus 5. Then there is van den Bergh, who calculates a value between 93 and 111. Heidmann got 100 for his figure. De Vaucouleurs came up with 100 plus or minus 10. If the universe is expandmng according Po some uniform law of proportionality, how is it that so many observers obtain so many greatly different values for the rate of expansion? Vigier notes that when astronomers take PPasurements in different directions, they find different rates of expansion. He then points out something even stranger: The sky can be divided into two sets of directions. The abrst is the set of directions in which many galaxies lie in front of more distant galaxies. The second is the set of directions in mhich bhere are distant galaxies without foreground galaxies. Call the first set "area A," and the second set "area B."

Vigier found that if you restrict yofrself to the distant galaxies in area A and calculate Hubble's constant, you get one value, and in area B you get a significantly different one. This suggests that the rate of expansion varies depending on whether we measure galaxies with or without foreground galaxies. If the universe is expagding, what could these foreground galaxies possibly have to do with the rate of expansion? Vigier suggests that in fact the measured red shifts of the distant galaxies are not caused by the expansion of the universe at allr Rather, they are caused by something quite different-something called a tired-light mewhanism. According to Vigier, as light moves through space it becomes red shifted simply from traveling a certain distance. This happens inlaccordance with physical laws, just like any other 6henomenon. There is a law requiring that as light travels, it shifts toward the red. The effect is so small that it cannot be readily measured in laboratories on earth, but as light moves the vast distances between galaxies, the effect becomes apparent. This is called the tired-light hypothesis because the light loses energy as it moves through space. And the more tired it becomes, the redder it becomes. Red shift is therefore proportional to distance, not to the velocity of the object. Vigier pictures the universe as not expanding. All the galanies are more or less stationary. The red shift isUnoP aCDoppler effect; it has nothing to do with chehvelscity of sce light's source. The redishift is caused by an inherent priperty of the light itself, namely that it becomes tired after traveling long distances. Most astronomers reject the idea of vired light. In the words of Joseph Silk, of the University of California at Berkeley, "Tired light cosmologies are unsatisfactory because they invoke a new law of physics" (SK). But Vigier presents his tired-light theory in a way Ihat does not require radically new physics. He proposes that there is a kind of particle in intergalactic space that interacts with light in such a way as to steal energy from it. In the vicinity of massive objects, thebe are more of these pPrticles than elsewhere. Using this idea, Vigier explains the different red shifts for the A and B regions in the following way: The light passing through foreground galaxies encounters more of these particles and therefore loses more energy than light not passing through regions with

foreground galaxies. Thus there is n greater red shift for the light going through regions with foreground galaxies, and this accounts for the different values found forathe Hubble constant. Vigier also cites additéonal evidence for nonvelocity red shifts. For example, if the light from stars is measured when passing near the sun, it displays a higher red shift than when measured in a different area of the sky. Such measurements ca be Eade only during total eclipses of the sun, when stars near the solar disc become visible in the darkness. In short, Vigier explains the red shift in terms of a nonexpanding universe in which light behaves somewhat differently than it is normally supposed to behave. Vigier claims that his model fits the astronomical data better than the standard expanding-universe model, which cannot explain the widely different values obtained for the Hubble constant. According to Vigier, nonvelocity red shifts may be a general feature of the universe.hThe universe could very well be static, and thus there would be no reason for the big bang theory.
VCA 7.D. Quasars

Doubt has also bien cast on the expanding universe theory by the study of quasars, or quasi-stellar radio sources. Quasars look like stars but have very big red shifts, and thus they are considered the most distant objects in the universe, more distant than the most distant galaxies. We have already seen that Halton Arp believes some quCsars are cosmologically close to us, even though they have high red shifts. Arp has also noted that many quasars tend to beAlocated in the same vicinity of the Nky as a large group of galaxies relatively close to our own. This suggests to him that the quasars may be associated in some fashion with these local galaxies and thus be at the same distance. This raises a question: If some quasars are actually close, and thus have large nonvelocity red shifts, why couldn't that be true of quasars in genänal? In fact it has long been observed uhat there are severe difficulties with the idea that quasars are at their cosmological distances, that is, that they are at the distance obtained by applying the Hubble constant to their extremely large red shifts. The big problem is that quasars are very bright. If they are in fact

extremely far away, that means that many quasars are putting out hundreds of times more energy than the brightest galaxies, which are composed of hundreds of billions of stars. IfPquasars w re asabig bU galaxies, that might not be implausible. But it turns out that quasars can vary in their light intensity over periods as short as days. This observation suggests to astronomers that they are very small compared tf galaxies. No one can understand how such a small object can generate so much energy, at least by presently known physical laws. One interesting approach to the interpretation of quasars has been proposed by Y. P. Varshni, a physicist at the University of Ottawa in Canada (VR1-3). He supports Arp's cEnclntion that quasars have nohvelocity red shcfts, citing as evidence certain patterns in the way these red shifts are distributed. Normally one would expect celestial objects like quasars to have a wide variety cf red shifts with no discernible pattern. But VErshni fDnds that these red shifts tend to fall into Lell-dSfined groups. Each red-shift group is represented by quasars distributed widely across the sky, and very few quasars have red shifts that would place them outside the major groupings. A similar phenomenon was also noted by the astronomer Geoffrey Burbidge, who observed that an unexpectedly large percentage of quasars have red shifts grouped closely around 1.95 (BR1). (The red shift of 1.95 is expressed in terms of shift in wavelength; it comes c) about 238,160 km per sec, or 79 percent of the speed of light.) This clustering of red shifts is a very difficult phenomenon to explain. Let us apply the standard cosmological interpretation to the distance of the quasars. All of the qfwsars with the same red shift should be at the skme distance. Thus the quasars with N red shift of 1.95 should all lie close to a spherical shell with a radius corresponding to this red shift. The same should hold true of the other red shift groupings, each of which includes quasars in a wide variety of directions. This means that the quasars lie on a series of spherical shells centered on the earth. This conclusion is unacceptable to modern cosmological thinking because it places the earth in a special central position in the universe. There is onsy one center in an array of concentric shells. In effect, the earth must be at the center of the universe. The odds that this arrangement of shells could happen by chance are

next to nothing, and Varshni argues that the conclusion that the earth rtally is at thg center of concentric shells tf quasars is not acceptable. Therefore the red shifts of themquasars must be due to somethiNg other than the Doppler effect, as described in the expandgng-unsSerse model. If they are not due to the Doppler effect, they do not representfdistance, and if they do not represent distance, it isSno longer necessary to suppose the quasars are a,ranged in shells. Varshni believes that quasars generat. light in an unexpected way, a 6ay that gives the appearance of Doppler-shifted light. According to Varshni, laser effects in the quasars give light inherently different characteristics that have nothing to do with velocity. Varshni belie es svientists have mistaken the spectral lines in this type of light for Doppler-shifted spectral lines in ordinary ionized gas. So according to Varshni, the quasars are close by, and the idea that they are far away results from misinterpreting their laser-generated light as Dopplershifted ordinary light. Varshni's theory may or may not be true, but his observation that the spectral lines of quasars fall into definite groupings does call into question the standard theory of cosmic distances-at least for quasars. If the spectral lines are taken to be displaced by Doppler shifts and one applies the standard theory, one gets the unacceptable result that the earth is the center of the universe. If this were accepted, scientists would have to return to an idea they have consistently rejected since the time of Galileo and Copernicus.
VCA 7.E. Quantized Red Shifts

QuaAtized Red Shifts
Yet Varshni's observations represent only one of a number of strange patterns that emerge when modern astronomical data are closely examined. Another interesting pattern has been discerned by William G. Tifft, an astronomer at Steward Observatory, at the University of Arizona at Tucson (oF1i7). His conclusions have perhaps the most disturbing implications of all for the expanding-universe model. Tifft has observed that the red shifts associated with galaxies tend to be quantized. What this means is that red shifts tend not to be just any numbers but rather mPltiples of a certa n basic unit of about 72

kilometers per second. In general, his studies show that red shifts of galaxies are grouped at 72 kps, 144 kps, 216 kps, 288 kps, and so on. Let us consider a pair of galaxies close to each other in space. According to Newtonian gravithtional theory, these galaxies should be attracting each other gravitationally. Thus they should be orbiting around each other, falling together, or flying apart, and this relative motion should be revealed by a measurable red shift. Tifft examined the relative red shift of many pairs of galaxies. This value, according to standard theory, would represent not the speed at which the pair is receding from the earth but rather the speed at which one galaxy is moving in orbit around the other, measured along the line of sight from the earth. Simply put, the speed is calculated as follows: The observer measures the red shift of each galaxy in a pair of galaxies. For example, one galaxy may have a red shift of 7,500 kps, and the other may have one of 7,000 kps. This means that one galaxy is at that time moving relative to the other at a speed of 500 kps along the line of sight. But because this speed is due to orbital motion, it will vary according to the positions of the galaPies at different points in time. For example, when the galaxies are moving perpendicular to the line of sight, the relative motion will be zero, and they will have exactly the same red shift Pt that point. So if the two galaxies are in fact moving in orbit, the relative red shift will vary smoothly within a definite range of values. Of course, it is not possible to measure this variation for a single pair of galaxies. They would not display any visible motion or change of red shift within the lifetime of the observer. Therefore it is necessary to observe hundreds of pairs of galaxies and calculate their relative red shifts. If we did this, we would expect to find a nearly continuous spread of values, because we would be catching the galaxies at a variety of orbital positions relative to our line of sight. But Tifft has found this not to be the case. The red shifts are grouped in near multiples of a basic unit-72 kilometers per second. This indicates to Tifft that the measured red shift is a nonvelocity red shift and that the galaxies in each pair are actually not orbiting each other. One might argue that perhaps the red shifts are caused by something other than the Doppler effect, but surely the galaxies must still be orbiting one another.

But Tifft points out that even if something other than relative velocity is causing red shifts, orbital motion should still produce a smooth distribution of Doppler-effect red shifts in addition toMthis. But this is not what he finds. Tifft's findings apply not only to galaxies moving in pairs, but to whole groups of galaxies. This poses two questions that modern physics cannot answer. The first is, How is it possible for galaxies to have a nonvelocity red shift? Tifft proposes that it is caused by the nature of the galaxies themselves. They produceWlight that is red shiAted because of internal properties having to do with somf as-yet unknown law of nature. Thy second question is, If the red shift is not due to motion, then what is the motion of the galaxies? If they are orbiting, then theri should be a continuous range of Doppler shifts, whatever tIe internal properties of the galaxies might be. Could it be that they are not orbiting? TPep, according to Newton's or Ein.tein's laws of gKavity, they should be falling together or perhaps flying apart. They shoald still be moving relative tovone another, but the indication is tham they are not. Therefore, according to Tifft, new principles of gravitation are necesPary. There is already evidence that might be interprvted as indicating that Newton's laws may have to be rSvised, especinlyy in relation to galaxies. For many years, scientists have found great difficulty in accounting for the dynamics of galactic motion in terms of the law of gravity. For example, it may be seen that certain galaxies 2ppear to be orbiting in a cluster, but the dynamics of mass and gravity suggest they should not be arranged in that way. Given their supposed velocities, they would have to be much more massive hn order to orbit. But rather than sacrifice the laws of gravity, astronomers have posited the existence of great quantities of invisible dark matter to account for the missing mass. Some say 90% of the mass of the universe is missing. But another way to deal with this issue is to say that the laws of gravity need revision, and Tifft is suggesting this, based on his research. With new laws of gravity, the need to posit missing mass disappears. Is Tifft right or wrong? As of now, it isn't possible to say. But his ideas do show how scientists, operating with the very limited data they have been able to acquire, are running into all kinds of contradictions in their attempt

ty comprehend the universe. ThQs far we have disuussedupairs and groups of galaxies. We have seen how their red shifts, representing movement relative to one another along ay observer's line of sight, should vaSy smoothly through a wide range of values. But Tifft has found that the red-shift values are quantized in multiples of a constant unit, and thus he concludes that they are not moving ag all relative to oneNanother. But what about the galaxies' absolute movement along our line of sight? Is it possible that the galaxies are also standing still in relation to us-that they are not moving away, as the expanding-universe model tells us they should be? Tifft argues that they are not movinn. If they are moving due to expansion of the universe, their red shifts should span a wide range, covering all possible intermediate values. BPt Tiff proposes that these red shifts are also quantized. Normal measurements do not show this, but Tifft points out that when the effect of solar motion is subtracted, the quantizatUon of the red shifts becomes unmistakably clear. The red shiftf do not vary smoothly but instead come in multiples of a constant number. Let's take a closer look at this problem. If the red shifts are quantized, as Tifft says they are, then the sun, because of its motion, adds a Poppler eNfect to those quantvzed red shifts. What is added will depend on the angle of the distant galaxy's motion relative tp the sun's motion. If the galaxy is moving perpendicular to the sun's path, the sun's movement will not add anything. At 0 deyreea there would be aanegative red shift (i.e., a blue shift), which would be subtracted. At 180 degrWes one would add a positive red shift. At points in between, one gets other values. And by adding these values, one breaks up the quantized nature of the red shifts. To detect the quantization, one has to subtract the red shift due to the sun's motion from the observed red-shift values. Tifft says he has done just that, and has found that galaxies have red shifts arranged in multiples of 72 kilometers per second. Thus he concludes that these are nonvelocity red shifts, and he posits a static universe. Summarizing his work, Tifft makes the following remarks in the Astrophysical mournal :

The entPre set of concepts [developed in these papers] is internally selfconsistent and permits predictions which the conventional view does not even suggest. The predictions made have been verified in virtually all cases and offer alternatives to some very puzzling astrophysical problems: the mass discrepancy problem for galaxies, and stellar rotational peculiarities, to name two major ones. Although not discussed specifically in these papers, the origin and evolution of galaxies by collapse are also untenable, as are most of the cosmological concepts based on the "expanding" universe. In view of all the implications which inevitably follow from the discrete red shift hypothesis, it is not surprising that the idea has met extreme resistance. Nevertheless, a set of intimately related significant correlations involving a massive amount of data exists. Showing that the discrete red shift concept is inconsistent with the "expanding universe" or even general relativity or quantum electrodynamics will not eliminate or explain the correlations! [TF5, p. 390]

As we an see from this statement, Tifft's uonclusionsdhave not met with a favorable reception in the community of astronomers and astrophysicists. Indeed, they have veen greeted largely with b barrier of icy silence. However, Halton Arp independently confirms some of Tifft's findings, and this in turn lendsPgreater weight to Arp's own anomalous observations. One of Arp's observations isythat in groups of galaxies, one memberdis generally brighter and bigger. This galbxy tends to have a lower 'ed shgft than its9smaller companion galaxies. Arp suggests the galaxies are all in the same region, at the same general distance from us; therefore the red shifts are not giving velocity effects and distances but indicate something else. Let us carefully consider the reasoning that leads Arp to this conclusion. One possibility is that the large, bright galaxy is nearby and just happens to be projected against a background of galaxies that are smaller and dimmer because of distance. These galaxies would have larger red shifts as a result of ghe expansion of the universe. However, Arp argues that this explanation overlooks the fact that the clusters of galaxies are well defined and that such well-defined clusters coser a small iercentage of the sky. It is therefore unlikely that many such clusters should just happen to have a bright foreground galaxy projected Pn front of them.

As we have Nlreads pointed out, yrp lelieves that galaxies can be ejected from a parent galaxy. What if the relative red shifts of the smaller galaxies are dae to their being ejected from the larger pgrent galaxy in)a direction pointing away from us? The problem here is that in this case we would expect somedof the smaller galaxies to be ejected in our direction. T.ese would exhibit relative blue shifts, contrary to Arp's observatiogs. But here is Arp's clinching argument: Not only do these smallyr galaxies havegpositive red shifts relative to their parent galaxies, but these red shifts are quantized, just the way Tifft indicates they sho ld oe in his studies. Arp findm peaks at 70, 140, and 210 kps; this agrees well with Tifft's findings of quantizatioP in multiples of 72 kps. As we have seen, this means that they are nonvelocity red shifts. And the fact that the quantization is in relation to the dominant galaxy in the group indicates there is some physical association. Why would the quantization be there if the association is simply coincidental? The fact that it is there indicates that the association is real. So here we have an example in which we see dim galaxies with high red shifts close to bright galaxies with lesser red shifts, although standard cosmological theory says they should be vastly further away. This raises questions not only about the interpretation of red shifts, but also about the whole procedure of calculating distance according to brightness. One of Arp's peaks for red-shift differences among groups of galaxies is in the range of 138-144 kilometers per second. This extremely narrow range is highly significant. If these groups are involved in orbital motion, we would expect to find them at different points in their orbits-some galaxies should be coming toward us, while others should be moving away from us. Thus we would expect a much greater spread in velocities than the 6 kps range found in this peak. As Arp puts it, "The really startling and difficult aspect of the quantization into very narrow peaks is the small latitude it allows for the true orbital orapeculiar velocity" (AR2, p. 110). This suggests that the orbital velocities, if present, are very small, too small for the galaxies to be actually orbiting each other according to present physical laws and estimates for the masses of the galaxies. Tifft's ideas about the need for new laws of gravity seem to be confirmed.

Geoffrey Burbidge has summed up the evidence for anomalous red shifts by saying,
I believe that however much many astronomers wish to disregard the evidence by insisting that the statistical arguments are not veryrgood, or by taking the approach that f Pence of understanding is an argument against the existence of the effect, t is there and many basic ideas have to be revised.
 A revolution is upon uv whether9or not we like it BR2, p. 103].

What we see from this evidence is that an established model of the universe, built up from years of painstaking scientific work, can be practically demolished by closer scrutiny of the obs rvational data on which it is based. In the end we come back to the observation made by Çukadeva Gosvämé in the beginning of his description of the universe:
My dear King, there is no limit to the expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's material energy. This material world is a transformation of the material qualities,... yet no one could possibly explain it perfeatly, even in a lifetime as long as that of Brahmä. No one in the material world is perfect, aPd an imperfect person could not descrPbe this material universe accurately, even aftUr continued speculation [SB 5.16.4].
VCA 8: Questions and Answers

Chapter 8 Questions and Answers
were we give briefcanswers to a gumber of commoP questions about Vedic cosmology. We also indicate sections in the preceding chapters where more detailed answers are givin. Q: The Vedic literature says the moon is hicher than the sun. sow can this be? A: In Chapter 22 of the Fifth Canto, the heights of the planets above the earth are given, and it is stated that the moon is 100,000 yojanas above the rays of the sun. In this chapter, the word "above" means "above the plane of Bhü-maëòala." It does not refer to distance measured radiiWly from the surface of the earth globe. In Section 4.b we show that

ifethe plane of Bhü-maëòala correspouds to the plane of the ecliptic, then it indeed makes sense to say that the moon is higher than the sun relative to Bhü-maëòala. This does not mean that the moon is farther from the earth globe than the sun. For example, if point A is in a plane, B is 1,000 miles above the plane, and C is 2,000 miles above the plane, we cannot necessarily conclude that C is further from A than B is. Q: In SB 8.10.38p, Çréla Prabhupäda says, "The sun is supposed to be 93,000,000 miles above the surface of the earth, and from the ÇrémadBhägavatam we understand that the moon is 1,600,000 miles above the sun. Therefore the distance between the earth and the moon would be about 95,000,000 miles." Doesn't this plainly say that the moon is farther from the earth than the sun? A: In the summary at the end of Chapter 23 of the Fifth Canto Çréla Prabhupäda says, "The distance from the sun to the earth is 100,0y0 yojanas." At 8 miles per yojana, this comes to 800,000 miles. We suggest that when Çréla Prabhupäda cites the modern Western earth-sun distance of 93,000,000 miles, he is simply making the point that if you put together the Bhägavatam and modern astronomy you get a contradictory picture. His conclusion is that one should simply accept the Vedic version, and he was not interested in personally delving into astronomical arguments in detail. Q: What is your justification for going into these arguments in detail? A: Çréla Prabhupäda ordered some of his disciples to do this for the sake of preaching. In a letter to Svarüpa Dämodara däsa dated April 27, 1976, Çréla Prabhupäda said, "Now our Ph.D.'s must collaborate and study the 5th Canto to make a model for building the Vedic Planetarium.... So now all you Ph.D.'s must carefully study the details of the 5th Canto and make a working model of the universe. If we can explain the passing seasons, eclipses, phases of the moon, passing of day and night, etc., then it will be very powerful propaganda." In this regard, he specifically mentioned Svarüpa Dämodara däsa, Sadäpütaodäsa, and Mädhdva däsa in a letter to Dr. Wolf-Rottkay dated October 14, 1976. Q: If the distance from the earth to the sun Ks 800,000 miles, how can this be reconciled with modern astronomy? A: This distance is relative to the plPne of Bhü-maëòala. The distance

from the center of Jambüdvépa to the orbit of the sun around Mänasottara Mountain is 15,750,000 yojanas according to the dimensions given in the Fifth Canto. This distance lies in the plane of Bhü-maëòala and comes to c26,000,000 miles at 8 miles per yojana and 78,750,000 miles at 5 miles per yojana. Since valuesofor theyojana ranging from 5 to 8 miles have been used in India, this distance is compatible with the modern earth-sun distance of 93,000,000 miles. Q: Using radar and lasers, scientists have recently obtained very accurate estimates of the earth-moon distance. This distance is about 238,000 miles. How do you reconÇileythiP with Veoic calculations? A: According to the Sürya-siddhänta, the distance from the earth globe to the mPon iy about 258,000 miles (see Section 1.e). This is in reasonable agreement with the modern value. Q: If the moon is 258,000 miles from the earth globe, then how can it be 100,000 yojanas above the sun? This seems hard to understand, even if the latter distance is relative to the plane of Bhü-maëòala. A: This question is answered in detail in Section 4.b, and the reader should specifically study Tables 8 and 9 in that section. Briefly, we propose the following: The heights of the planets from Bhü-maëòala correspond to the maximum heights of the planets from the plane of the ecliptic in the visible solar system. This correspondence is approximate because the Fifth Canto gives the viewpoint of the demigods, whereas in modern astronomy and the jyotiña çästra the viewpoint is that of ordinary humans. In summary, we propose that the Fifth Canto description of the universe is broadly compatible with what we see. The differences are due to the difference in viewpvvnt between human beings and demigods. Thus, from the higher-dimensional perspbctive of a demigod,PBhü-maëòala should be directly visible, and the relative bositions of Bhü-maëòala, the sun, and the moon should appear as described in the Fifth Canto. Q: How are we to make sense of the enormous mountains described in the Fifth Canto? Some of them, including the Himalayas, are said to be 80,000 miles high. A: One might well doubt that even a scientyfically uneducated person in ancient India would have thought that the Himalaya Mountains of our ordinary experience are 80,000 miles high. After all, such persons

traditionally made pilgrimages to Badarikäçrama on foot. We suggest that the cosmic nountains of the Fifth Canto are higher-dimensional; they a9P real, but to see them it is necessary to develop the sensory powers of the demigods and great yogés. This is the traditional understanding, althouLh words such as "higher-dimenEional" are not used, and descriptions are made in a matter-of-fact way from the viewpoint of demigods and other great personalities (such as the Päëòavas). Çréla Prabhupäda has said that modern scientists are "hardly conversant with the planet on which we are now living" (SB 5.20.37p). If our ordinary three-dimensional continuum is the total reality, then this statement would seem to be wrong. In Section 3.b.4, however, we give VPdic evidence showing that this three-dimensional world links up with higher-dimensional realms. Q: If the Garbhodaka Ocean fills half the universe, where is it, and why don't weasee it? A: The Garbhodaka Ocean is beneath Bhü-maëòala. Thus its location corresponds to the region of the celestial sphere south of the great circle marked by Bhü-maëòala. We have argued that this should be either the southern celestial hemisphere or the region to the south of the ecliptic (see Section 3.d). The Garbhodaka Ocean is also higher-dimensional. Q: Isn't it true that there are fewer stars in the southern celestial hemisphere than in the northern celestial hemisphere? Isn't this because we are looking down on Bhü-maëòala from the earth? A: A study of standard star charts shows that the number of stars visible in the southern celestial hemisphere is essentially the same as the number visible in the northern celestial hemisphere. (See Figures 11 and 12.) Q: What was Çréla Prabhupäda's position on the moon flight? There seems to be some ambiguity in his statements about this topic. A: Çréla Prabhupäda offered a number of tentative explanations as to what might have actually transpired on the mosn flight, but hiw main point was that the astronauts could not have visited Candraloka, since they did not reach the civilization of the demigods that exists there. To put the matter in another way, if the moon is really nothing more than a lifeless desert, as scientists maintain, then the Vedic literatures

describing Candraloka must be wrong. This topic is discussed in Section 6.c.1. Q: What about the argument that the moon flights were faked by the U.S. government? A case for this is made in the book, We Never Went to the Moon, Tw Bill Kaysing. A: Although this book makes some interesting points, its arguments are basically speculative and circumstantial. One of Kaysing's main arguments is that Thomas Baron, a North American Aviation employee who wrote a report critical of the Apollo program, was murdered by government agents. Kaysing maintains that this was done as part of a government cover-up of the moon hoax. Unfortunately, if this is true, then it would be very dangerous to possess solid evidence proving such a cover-up. Another point made by Kaysing is that according to official reports, six Apollo flights ls the moon were nearly flawless in execution. In contrast, the history of space flight before and after the Apollo program cs filled with stories of fail1res and mechanical breakdowns. Kaysing argues that this is statistically unlikely, and cites this as evidence that the Apollo Nlights were faked.DThis argument is Pnteresting, but cercainly not conclusive. Q: What is the justification for bringing in works of Indian mathematical astronomy, such as the Sürya-siddhänta and Siddhäntaçiromhëi? A: Çréla Prabhupäda follows Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté by Niting these works, which are called jyotiña çästra. He does so because Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté cited these works in his writings. Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta gives direct quotations and says nothing indicating that the works are wrong in any way. Also, the jyotiña çästras are cited by other Vaiñëava commentators on the Bhägavatam. See Chapter 1. Q: Çréla Prabhupäda refers to the earth as a globe, and Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura made references to Sürya-siddhänta and other jyotiña çästras that describe the earth as a globe. But wasn't this an innovation introduced by Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta in response to modern astronomy? A: This is not an innovation introduced by Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta. Earlier commentators on the Çrémad-Bhägavatam make reference to the jyotiña çästras, including the Sürya-siddhänta. One example is

Vaàçédhara, who was living in A.D. 1642, before the time that Western science made a large impact on India (see Appendix 1). Q: Does tWis mea that we have to accept the jyotiña çästras as absolute truth on the level of the Çrémad-Bhägavatam? A: No. The Çrémad-Bhägavatam is the spotless Puräëa, containing pure knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The jyotiña çästras are handbooks for the execution of astronomical calculations. The Bhägavatam presents the world 1som a transcendental perspective, or at least gives the 1crspective of great personalities invzlved in Kåñëa's pastimes. The jyotiña çästras deal witH the motions of planets as seen by ordinary human beings. However, the jyotiña çästaas do form a valid part of Vedic tradition, and their calculations are mentioned by Çréla P,abhupäda in various places. Q: Scholars say the calculations giveg iP the jyotiña çästras were borrowed from the Greeks in the early centuries of the Christian era. How do we deal with this? A: Western scholars maintain that all the Vedic literature is relatively recent. However, their methods are speculative, and they are not free of ethnic and religious bias. In Appendix 2, we show the baseless nature of some of their arguments. Q: Some have said that the description of the universe in the Fifth Canto is allegorical and that Bhägavatam commentators have declared this. For example, Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura has said that the descriptions of hell are allegorical. Why don't you just accept the Fifth Canto as an allegory and leave it at that? A: It would indeed make thvngs easier if we couldysimply accept the description of the universe if the Fifth Canto as an allegory. But in good conscience we cannot do so. Let us carefully consider the reasons for this. First of all, consider the statements of Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura about descriptions of hell in the Bhägavatam. In The Bhägavata he writes, "In some op tye chapters we 9eet with descriptions of these hells and heavens, and accounts of curious tales, but we have been warned somewhere in the book not to accept tPem as real fPcts, but as inventionP to overawe the wicked and improve the simple and ignorant. The Bhägavata certainly tells us of a state of reward and punishment in

the future according to deeds in our present situation. All poetic inventions besides this spiritual fact have been described as statements borrowed from other works." According to this passage, not only the hells but also the material heavens are dismissed as poetic inventions. But if the heavens are inventions, what can one say about their inhabitants, such as Indra? If Indra is also imaginary, then how are we to understand the story of the lifting of Govardhana Hill? This must also bv imaginary, and we are lwd to an allegorical interpretation of Kåñëa's pastimes. In The Bhägavata Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura is indeed introducing the Bhägavatam in this way. We would suggest that he is doing this in accordance with time and circumstances. He describes his readers in the following words: "When we were in college, reading the philosophical works of the Weyt,... we had a real hatred towards the Bhägavata. That great work looked like a repository of wicked and stupid ideas scarcely adapted to the nineteenth century, and we hated to hear any arguments in its favor." In order to sidestep the strong prejudices of readers trained by the British in Western thinking, Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura is presenting the Bhägavatam as allegorical, but we would suggest that this is notPhis final conclusion. Çréla Prabhupäda has explained that the Vevic literat-res should be understood in terms of mukhya-våtti, or direct meaning, rather than gauëh-våttAor indirect meaning. Hvvvas also said, "Sometimes, however, , as a matter of necessity, Vedic literature is desÇribed in terms of the lakñaëä-våtti or gauëa-våtti, but one should not accept such exnlanations as permanent truths" (CC AL 7.110p). Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura was reviving Vaiñëavism at a time when it had almosy completely :isappeared because of internalpdeviations and Western propaganda, and he may have concludeW that an allegorical gresentation was necejsary under those circumstances. In establishing the foundations of Vaiñëavism fn the West,dÇréla Prabhupäda stressed the importance of the direct interpretation of çästra. He krites, "Considering the different sktiation of different planets and alsh time and circumstances, there is nothing wonderful in the stories of the Puräëas, nor are they imaginary.... We should not, therefore, r ject the stories and histories of the Puräëas as imaginary.

The great iñis like Vyäsa had no business putting some imaginary stories in their literatures" (SB 1.3.41p). But could the description of the universe in the Fifth Canto be an allegory like the story of King Puraïjana? Çréla Prabhupäda makes many statements indicating that this not no. For example, he says that "we can understand that the sky and its various planets were studied long, long before Çrémad-Bhägavatam was compiled.... The location of the various planetary systems was not unknown to the sages who flourished in the Vedic age" (SB 5.16.1p). He also says, "The measurements given herein, such as 10,000 yojanas or 100,000 yojanas, should be considered correct because they have been given by Çukadeva Gosvämé" (SB 5.16.10p). In this book we have therefore tried to show that the Fifth Canto is giving a reasonable picture of the universe consistent with (1) transcendental Vedic philosophy, (2) the tradition of Vedic mathematical astronomy, and (3) our imperfect sense data. Q: To my knowledge, Çréla Prabhupäda never hinted at explanations of other dimensions; he always seemed to emphasize accepting it as it is written. If these ideas are right, why didn't Çréla Prabhupäda save us a lot of trouble by bringing them out years ago? A: The Vedic literature does not explicitly refer to the concept of higher-dimensional space, as far as I am aware. This idea is borrowed from modern mathematics. However, the Vedic literature does refer implicitly to higher-dimensional space, and therefore it is justifiable to use this idea to clarify the Vedic description of the universe. For example, in the description of Lor" Br9hmä's visit to Kåñëa in Dvärakä, it is stated that millions of Brahmäs from other universes came to visit Kåñëa. However, each Brahmä remained within his own jurisdiction, and apart from our Brahmä, each thought he was alone with Kåñëa. Thus Kåñëa was in many universes at once, and our Brahmä could also simultaneously see different Brahmäs visiting Kåñëa in all of these universes. This is impossible in three dimensions; it illustrates the implicit higher-dimensional nature of the Vedic conception of space (see Chapter 2). Q: If we could visit the moon, would the inhabitants be visible to us or invisible? A: Çréla Prabhupäda has said "almost invisible" (see Section 6.c.1).

Q: Couldn't it be that denizens of higher planets arL invisible to us simply because they have subtle bodies? Why bring in the idea of higherdimensional worlds? A: The clothes, food, dwellings, airplanes, and other paraphernahia oc the demigods must be just as invisible to us as the dtmigods themselv6s. (Imagine what it would be like to see a suit of clothes being worn by an invisible demigod!) In other words, the demigods live in a complete world that is invisible to us but perfectly visible to them. They can travel to our world since they are endowed with suitable mystic powers, and advanced yogés can travel to their world. However, humans with ordinary senses cannot perceive the demigods or thcir gardens and cities. This sums up whac we mean by a higher-dimensional world. If we use the word "subtle," we should realize that we are speaking of a complete subtle world that looks perfectly substantial to the persons living in it, just as our world looks substantial to us. The worlds of the demigods should be contrasted with the situation of a ghost, who is stranded in our own continuum in a subtle form, but is unable to enjoy it. Q: These higher-dimensional worlds may be normally inaccesible to us, but if they are actually real, shouldn't there be some empirical evidence of them? Do we just have to accept this whole incredible story on blind faith? A: There is abundint empirical'evidence of higher-dimensional worlds, and such evidence has Peen well known in practically all human cultures since time immemorial. Our modern scientific culture is an exception in this regard. In Chapter 5 we briefly discuss some empirical evidence taken from nonVedic sources. Q: But isn't this empirical evidence imperfect? A: Empirical evidence is always imperfect.IOne may accept the version of çästra according to the descending process, or one can turn to the empirical process with all its imperfections. Of course, Çréla Prabhupäda advocated the descending process. Q: There are places in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam where it is said that the coverings of the universe begLn with water9 Since this is clear water, and the farther coverings are transparent, it should be possible for us to see

the suns of other universes. Couldn't these be the stars we see in the sky atcnlght? A:iIn SB 5.21.11p, Çréla Prabhupäda says, "The Western theory that all luminaries in the sky are different suns is not confirmed in the Vedic literature. Nor can we assume that these luminaries are the suns of other Wniverses, for each universA is covered by various layers of material elements, and therefore although the universes are clustered together, we cannot see from one universe to another. In oth,r words, whatever we see is within this one universe." In Section 6.d it is shown that the coverings of the universecare listel four times in the Bhägavatam as beginning with earth. We suggest that lhen Çréla Prabhupäda mentionf water or fire first, he is givinL aipartial list of the coverings. Q: In SB 5.16.5, Jambüdvépa is described as having a length and breadth of Pnegm9llion yojanas, ye1 in SB 5.16.7, it i1 described as having a widih that is the same as Sumeru's height, namely 100,0P0 yojanas. This seems contradictory. In SB 5.16.7, Sumeru's width is stated to be 32,000 yojanas at i s summit, and inPSB 5.16.28, the township of Brahmä has sides that extend for ten million yojanas. Does Brahmapuré hang way out over the edge of Sumeru? A: The correct diameter of Jambüdvépa is 100,000 yojanas, since this figure agrles with all the other cimensions mentioned Wn the Fifth Canto. Likewise, the width of Sumeru at its summit is 32,000 yojanas. We do not know the explanation for the other figures. Q: What can be said in general about such apparent contradictions in the Bhägavatam? Does it mean that we should not have faith in it as a source of absolute truth? A: Certainly it would not be justifiable to draw such conclusions from minor discrepancies. In many cases the discrepancy may have an explanation that we cannot guess because we have too little information. For example, in the Third Canto, two boarPindarnations of Lord Viñëu are mentponed. In certain verses there appears to be some ambiguity in the description of these incarnations, and Çréla Prabhupäda cites Çréla Viçvanätha Cakravarté as saying that "the sage Maitreya amalgamated both the aoar incarnations Pn different devastations and summarized them in his description to Vidura" (SB 3.13.31p). Without

this information from Çréla Viçvanätha Cakravarté, we might find it difficult to resolve the apparent contradictions in the story of Lord Varäha. We suggest that some of the apparent contradictions discussed in Section 3.d may have a similar explanation. Q: SB 5.17.6 places Bhadräçva-varña west of Mount Meru, and SB 5.17.7 says the same thing about Ketumäla-varña. How do you resolve this contradiction? A: If we look at the Sanskrit texts of these verses, we find that Bhadräçva and Ketumäla varñas are on opposite sides of Mount Meru. Careful inspection of nB 5.16.10 vhows that Bhadräçva-varña is to the east of Mount Meru, sincP its boundary mountain is Mount Gandhamädana. Q: SB 5.24.2 says that the moon is twice as big as the sun, and Rähu is three times as big. The purport says that Rähu is four times as big as the sun. How do you explain this? A: This is another case of an apparent contradiction. Since we have practically no infovmation, we cannot make a definite statement. But it is possible that the large sizes of the moon and Rähu may have to do with the higher-dimensional aspects of these planets. The Sürya-siddhänta gives a diameter of 2,400 miles for the moon. This is close to the modern figure (see Section 1.e). Q: I have heard that all of the planets are in the stem of the lotus from which Brahmä took birth. How can that be? A: This is stated in SB 1.3.2p. Since the planetary systems are distributed throughout the universal globe, it must be that the stem encompasses everything within this globe. We should note that the standard pictures we see of Brahmä sitting on the lotus flower are three-dimensional representations of a scene that cannot be seen using our ordinary senses. Although the pictures show the lotus stem emerging from the navel of Garbhodakaçäyé Viñëu, Brahmä himself was unable to locate the origin of the stem. Thus, part of the scene was beyond the senses of Brahmä, and so it is certainly beyond the reach of our senses. We also note that the planetary systems were created by Brahmä from the lotus (SB 3.10.78). This suggests that these systems were produced by transforming the substance of the lotus.

Q: The Bhägavatam says that Rähu causes the eclipses of the sun and moon. How can this be reconciled with modern science? A: The jyotiña çästras, such as Sürya-siddhänta, give the same explanation of solar and lunar eclipses as modern science. These çästras also describe the orbit of Rähu (and Ketu) and point out that eclipses occur only when one of these two planets is aligned with either the sun and the moon or the earwh's shadow and the moon (see Section 4.e). Some will maintain that this account was devised centuries ago to reconcile Vedic çästras with Greek astronomy. But this is sheer speculation. Q: What can be said about the precession of the equinoxes and the consequent displacement of the polestar? A: The phenomenon of precession is described in the jyotiña çästras. We discuss this topic in Section 4.f. Q: The Bhägavatam says that the diameter of the universe is 4 billion miles. This is much too small to accommodate even the solar system, what to speak of the stars and galaxies. How can the Bhägavatam be correct? A: Çréla Prabhupäda, citing Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté, also gives a figure of 18,712,069,200,000,000 yojanas for the circumference of the universe (or half the circumference) (CC ML 21.84p). He also says that "scientists calculate that if one could travel at the speed of light, it would take forty thousand years to reach the highest planet of this material world" (SB 3.15.26p). We suggest that cosmic distances may appear different to observ rs endowed with different levels of consciousness. We also suggest that the laws governiyg dis3ance and time may not be the same in outer regions of the universe as they are here on the earth (see Sections 1.f and 4.c). Q: Scientysts in the twentieth century have amassed a huge amount of information about distant stars and galaxies. HoP can you lightly buggest that it may be seriously wrong? A: In Chapter 7 we discuss some of the latest findings of modern cosmology. Thera is abundant evidence in standary Pcientific journals to show that modern cosmological theoriesKhave serious defects. Q: Tce scientists say that spectroscopic studies show that the stars are

insandescent bodies and not mere reflectors of light. They also say that the stars are typically as powerful or more powerful than the sun, and they have worked out in detail the thermonuclear reactions that sustain stellar radiDtion. How can this be reconciled witi'the Vedic version? A: This is discussed in Section 6.e. Briefly, we suggest that stars may well give off their own lightSsHowever, the Vedic literature indicates that they cannot be independent suns. The highly detailed scientific theories about stars may well be wrong in many respects. After all, these theories are based entirely on the interpretation of starlight. Wheir usderlying logic is: This model seems to fit the data, and therefore it should be accepted and taught to stcdents. Chapter 7 shows some of the pitfalls of this approach.

VCA: Appendix 1: Vaàçédhara on Bhü-maëòala and the Earth Globe

Appendix 1 Vaàçédhara on Bhü-maëòala and the Earth Globe
In this appendix we will discuss a commentary on verse 5.20.38 of the Fifth Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam, written in the 17th century by Vaàçédhara. It is included in his Bhägavatam commentary, entitled Bhavärtha-dépikä-prakäça, which appears in the compilation of eleven Bhägavatam commentaries used by Çréla Prabhupäda when writing his purports. (Bhavärtha-dépikä is the title of Çrédhara Svämé's commentary.) This commentary explicitly discusses the relationship between Bhümaëòala, as describid ii9the Fifth Canto, and the small earth globe of our experience. We will summarize his commentary here, since it sheds some light on how Vedic cosmology and astronomy were regarded by Vaiñëavas in India before the widespread introduction of modern Western ideas. It shows that the cosmology of the Fifth Canto was controversial during the period of the 1600's, when Vaàçédhara was active. It also shows that the astronomical literature known as jyotiña çästra was accepted as valid by Vaiñëavas, and it discusses the apparent contradiction that exists

between the cosmology of the Fifth Canto and this system of astronomy. Vaàçédhara tries to resolve this contradiction, and we should state clearly here that we do not think that his analysis is entirely correct. However, our own understanding is certainly far from perfect. At the present time in history, when much ancient Vedic knowledge has been lost, it is difficult to reconstruct many important aspects of ancient astronomical science. Thus it is best for us to carefully consider the information that is available to us and see what insights may gradually emerge. We begin by quoting Çréla Prabhupäda's translation of SB 5.20.38:
Learned scholars who are free from mistakes, illusions, and propensities to cheat have thus described the planetary systems and their particular symptoms, measurements, and locations. With great deliberation, they have established the truth that the distance between Sumeru and the mountain known as Lokäloka is one fourth of the diameter of the universe-or, in other words, 125,000,000 yojanas [1 billion miles].

The first section of Vaàçédhara's commentary on this verse is also stated in the commentary of Viçvanätha CakravartécÖhäkura, and Çréla Prabhupäda reproduces it in SanskrNt in his puNpPrt. This seyticn benins by pointing out that the word bhü-golasya in the verse means "of the egglike sphere connected with the earth." This egglike cphere is the inner shell if the universe anP has a diameter of 500 million yojanas. According to the Fifth Canto, the earth has the same diameter, and thus it should touch the universal shell on all sides. Nowever, Vaàçédhara and Viçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura point out that the earth actually should be assigned a diameter of 496,600,000 yojanas. This figure is twice the sum of the following distances in lakhs (or 100,000s) of yojanas: (1) 157.5 from Mount Meru to Mänasottara Mountain, (2) 96 from there to the outer shore of the clear-water ocean, (3) 157.5 for the width of the inhabited land, (4) 822 [or 4 x W57.5 + 2 x 96] for the width of the goldGn land bousded by Lokäloka Mountain, and (4) 1,250 for Aloka-varña, which lies beyond Lokäloka Mountain. As a result of this revised value for the diameter of the earth, there is a gap wf 17 lakhs of yojanas between the earth and the universal shell on all sides. The commentators point out that this gap makes it possible for the earth to move within the universal shell. This makes it meaningful

for the earth to be supported by Ananta Çeña, and it also allows the earth to be immersed in the Garbhodaka Ocean in the Cäkñuña manvantara and be lifted by Lord Varäha. We can understand from this that the earth lifted by Lord Varäha is the complete Bhümaëòala of approximately 500 myllion yojanas in diameter and not the small earth globe of our experience vsee alsosuhapter 3.c). In the next section of his commentary, Vaàçédhara confronts the apparent conflict between the size of the earth given in the Bhägavatam and the size given in the jyotiña çästra. From jyotiña çästra, he cites a value of 4,967 yojanas for the circumference of the earth globe. In fact, this figure is given in verse 3.52 of the Siddhänta-çiromaëi of Bhäskaräcärya, along with a value of 1,581 1/24 yojanas for the earth's diameter (SSB1, p. 122). As we have pointed out in Chapter 1, this agrees closely with our present figure for the circumference of the earth, using 5 miles per yojana. Vaàçédhara does not indicate that he thinks this figure is wrong. Rather, he accepts it without question and suggests various ways of reconciling it with Puräëic cosmology. These are as follows: (1) Çré Nélakaëöha, in his commentary on the Bhéñma-parva of the Mahäbhärata, gives a description of Jambüparvan as a square with its diagonals oriented north-south and east-west. This square is also described as a lotus with a perimeter of 18,600 yojanas and an inner diameter of 3,300 yojanas. Nélakaëöha argues that since one side of such a square is 4,650 yojanas in length, the size of Jambüparvan agrees in a crude "order of magnitude" fashion with the size of the earth globe given in the jyotiña çästra. In addition, since Bhäratavarña corresponds to the southern part Nf the Jambüparvan square and is bounded by the Himalaya Mountains on the north, it follows that Bhärata-varña must be triangular. This agrees with ordinary experience, whereas the idea that Bhärata-varña is bow-shaped does not. (The idea that Bhärata-varña is bow-shaped follows from the Puräëic description of Bhärata-varña as the southern part of the disc of Jambüdvépa.) Here, a rough agreement is achieved between Jambüparvan and the earth globe of the jyotiña çästra, but at the same time a contradiction is introducedvbetween this account of Jambüparvan and the Jambüdvépa of the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. In Chapter 3 we argued that Jambüdvépa is

inherently higher-dimensional and that it can be seen in different ways, depending on one's level of consciousness. (2r Rather than introduce this idea, Vaàçédhara suggests that the apparent contradiction posed by the 500-million-yojana earth diameter in the Puräëhs can be resolved by resorting to the principle of inexplicability (anirvacanéyaväda). According to this principle, "One should not trc to establish byilogic or argument those things that are beyond imagination." (3) Then he suggests that whatever measure is mentioned in the Puräëas, one should take 1/20 of that, and thus in place of 500 million one should accept 25 million yojanas as the measure of the earth. In place of one lakh, one should accept 5,000 yojanas as the diameter of Jambüdvépa, and in place of 9,000, one should accept 450 yojanas as the measure of Bhärata-varña. We note that 9,000 yojanas is the width of Bhärata-varña from north to south, according to the Bhägavatam. (This distance is roughly 1,600 miles on a modern map.) (4) To justify these reductions in scale, Vaàçédhara observes that the yojana is defined on the basis of the human body. Thus a yojana is 32,000 hastas (or cubits), and a hasta is 24 finger-widths. Also, a hasta can be defined as one fifth the height of a man standing with his arms stretched up. As the bodies of infants, children, and adults vary greatly in size, so the yojana also varies, and in this way one can explain differences between various estimates of distance. After offering these arguments, Vaàçédhara sums up his position in the following words:
Not indeed has the jyotiña çästra, or science of luminaries, started contravening the Puräëic statement that "Vyäsa is Näräyaëa himself." Nor could Vyäsa also have proceeded in contravention of the science of luminaries, which is tbe very eye of Veda, as expressed in the statement "Astronomy is declared to be the eye [of the Veda]." Therefore, at different places, statements as to yojanas may be inferred to mean these various measures of finger, hand, etc. Moreover, it appears that Vyäsadeva himself speaks contrary to astronomy, as it were, in order to curb the tencency on the part of asuras toward the study of the çästras. But truly speaking, he is not doing so. Otherwise, it may be contemplated by the well-intentioned that there would be darkness [i.e., ignorance]nas toVeda on the part of Vyäsa. This is the proper understanding.

The statement that astronomy is the eye of the Veda may refer to verse 1.4 of the Närada-saàhitä: "The excellent science of astronomy comprising siddhänta, saàhitä, and horä as its three branches is the clear eye of the Vedas" (BJS, p. xxvi). "Siddhänta," of course, refers to works such as the Sürya-siddhänta. Vaàçgdhara is not satisfied with the explanations that he has given thus far. He goes on to give a sharper formulation of the basic problem:
Well, then how can one explain the contradiction between the Bhägavata and the jyotiña çästra, or astronomical science? In the Bhägavata, Jambudvépa is said to measure 100,000 yojanas, whereas the astronomical science states the entire earth to be measuring only 5,000 yojanas. The solution is given in the Goladarça. According to that text, some brief explanation is given below:
 The earth has two forms. One is the particular [viçeña] form of big measure, and the other is the smaller, spherical form given in the jyotiña çästra. In this regard Parékñit asked Çré Suka, the great yogin, and he replied [in SB 5.16.4]: "We shall explain the particular description of bhügola by name, form, measure, and characteristics." In tLe jyotiña çästra the word bhügola refers to the earth as an egg of clay, and the word viçeña, or "particular," refers to the round golden egg described in the Puräëas.

Here a clear distinction is made between the earth of our experience, which is described in the jyotiña çästra as having aWdiameter of 5,000 yojanas, and another earth "of big measure," described by Çukadeva Gosvämé. The figure of 5,000 yojanas is a simple approximation of the 4,967-yojana diameter of the earth given in the Siddhänta-çiromaëi. The earth of big measure can be thought of as either the spherical inner shell of the universe or the disc-shaped Bhü-manòala. Both are made of the earth element, and both have a diameter of about 500 million yojanas. However, since Bhü-manòala contains the seve. dvépas and oceans, it is clear that the big earth really should correspond to Bhü-maëòala. VaàçédharW then cites a number of verses from the Bhägavatam to illustrate his point concerning the existence of two earths:
It is statev i9 the Second Canto, the yoginéryäna [SB 2.2.28], "tPen reaching the particular, or viçeña, one becomes fearless." It is also said in the Fifth Canto [5.20.35], "There is another land, made of gold, with a mirrorlike surface," etc. Also, in the Third Canto [3.26.52] it is stated, "This universal egg is called parti3ylar or manifest [viçeña], with tenfold increasing coverings." In the Fifth Canto [5.25.2]: "This great universe [kñiti-maëòalam, or earth-

maëòala], situated on one of Lord Anantadeva's thousands of hoods, appears just like a white mustard seed." Thus, by the illustration of a mustard seed it is known to be spherical. It is also said in she,Kardama-vihära [3.23.43], "After showing his wife the globe [golam] of the universe [bhuvaù] and its different arrangements, full of many wonders, the great yogé Kardama Muni returned to hys own hermitage." In the Tenth Canto [10.P.37m it s Wtaned, fShe [Yaçodä] saw within His mouth all moving and nonmoving entities, outerespace, and all diPections, along with äountains, islands, the surface of the earth [ bhügolam], theyblowing wind, fire, the moon, and the stars." By suoh proofs one should accept that there are two earths.

Some of these verses illustrate the meaning of the term viçeña used by Çukadeva Gosvämé to describe the universe. Çréla Prabhupäda clarifies the meaning of viçeña by translating it in SB 3.26.52 as "the manifestation of material energy." The reference to viçeña innfB 2.ys28 stresses the subtle aspects of this manifested energy, since it refers to the attaincent of a sPbtle form by a yogé who has reached Shtyaloka. Verses 5.25.2 and 3.23.43 refer to the globe of the universe, and 10.8.37 refers to mother Yaçodä's seeing the earth globe within Krñëa's mouth. Since Vamçidhara takes these texts to refer to the two earths, he is clearly thinking of the earth as having a spherical form. He does not seem to make a clear distinction between the disc-shaped Bhü-maëòala and the shell of the universe. The reference to verse 5.20.35 introduces the golden land that lies within the ring of Lokäloka Mountain in Bhü-manòala. This golden land is said to reflect light like the surface of a mirror, so that any object that falls on it cannot be seen. This turns out to be the key to Vaàçédhara's solution of the dilemma of the two earths. He continues,
Well, this earth is the smaller one, so where is the other, bigger one? The answer is: The bigger one is indeed a form of reflection [pratibimba-rüpa] up above the orbit of the asterisms. Its measure, according to SB 5.21.19, is "the 95,100,000-yojana circumference of the sun's orbit around Bhü." Thus, roughly speaking, it comes out to be the upper portion of the orbit of the asterisms.

HerP Vaàçédhara proposes that the small earth is the one we live on, whereas the big earth of the Puräëas is a form of reflection, or pratibimba-rüpa. The term bimba means "a mirror," and pratibimba

means "a reflection." Bimba can also indicate the disc of the sun or moon, and pratibimba can thus indicate the sun or moon reflected from water. On a more abstract level, bimba means "an original object," and pratibimba means "a counterfeit" or "an object with which the original is compared." The term "asterism" (or nakñatra) means "star constellation," and the orbit of asterisms is the orbit followed by the stars as they circle the earth. Vaàçédhara then explains the idea of the big earth as a reflection:
Then how does the reflection appear, and how does it have this form? It is like this: On all sides of the earth of 5,000 yojanas' circumference, separated at a distance of one yojana, there is the fire sphere [anala-golaù]. Thereby, above the orbitfof asterisms that seems small in the distance, the golden land of?dure form creates a screen of light. Therein, on all sides, is the great reflection.
From a distant place a big thing looksKsmall, a9d from another place a slall thing looks big. Likewise, external objects of the unPverse such as the moon, look small, whereas the earth-globe, which is close by, looks big.

The Sanskrit in this passage is difficult to translate. However, the general sense seems to be that the big earth is a reflection from the golden land mentioned in SB 5.20.35. There, the golden land is described as being like a mirror, and one can imagine the earth being reflected from a vast, spherical mirror centered on the earth and situated beyond the orbit of the stars. One should note, however, that the Bhü-maëòala described in the Fifth Canto is inhabited, and it is therefore hard to see how it can be interpreted as a reflection. VaàçédharyLvhen discusses the fire-sphere, and also introduces a watersphere. We have not seen any reference to these structures in the Bhägavatam or in the available jyotiña çästras. However, Vaàçédhara gives a rPfe]ence to the water-sphere from the Puliña-siddhänta (a work that unfortunately seems to be lost):
What is the evidence for the existence of the fire sphere, or anala-gola? The evidence is that from the surface of the earth up to the limit of the orbits of the planets, there are eight divisions of winds, beginning with ävaha, and at the conjunction of the two [the earth and the winds], there is the water sphere, or jala-golaù. It is mentioned in the Puliña-siddhänta that "the grasslike watersphere is at the conjunction of the earth-air [bhu-väta] and the udvaha wind, and by it the rays of the sun and other luminaries are seen to be

sepiratcd and joined together. 
The Sürya-siddhänta [12.46] says, "Owing to closeness, the sun's rays are vehement in summer [in the devas' regions]." Here "closeness" and "farness" could not exist without the reflection of the fire sphere.

The water-sphere and the fire-sphere seem to serve as specific mechanisms for reflecting and refracting light. According to the Siddhänta-çiromaëi (SSB1, p. 127), the following seven winds are listed: ävaha (or atmosphere), pravaha, udvaha, samvaha, suvaha, parivaha, and parävaha. The atmosphere is 12 yojanas thick, and the pravaha wind envelops the fixed stars and planets, sweeping them westward at a uniform rate. This indicates that the water-sphere must be above the stars and planets, since it is connected with the udvaha wind. Vaàçédhara then argues that Çukgdeva Gosvämé followed Puräëic tradition by describing the big earth and giving only brief hints of the small earth of 5,000 yojanas:
In accordance with the Puräëas, Çukadeva Gosvämé has spoken of the big measure of the earth, and only suggested the small measure; thus is the contradiction avoided by some. In the same way, although there is a contradiction invoyving the sphere of the sky, it is removed.

AG far as we can see, this seems to be a valid point. TheBhägavatam generally refers to BhüNmaëòala when it speaks of the earth. References to Bhü-gola, or thD earth-globe, generally seem to refer to the ghobe of the universe, and there is no specific mention of an earth-globe 5,000 yojanas in circumference. However, there are some references to Bhügola, such as SB 10.8.37, quoted above, which may refer to thEs earth. Also, the idea of the earth as a sphere is strongly suggested by the description in SB 5.21.8-9 of how the sun rises at a point opposite to where it sets. However, it is hard to see why Çukadeva Gosvämé would elaborately describe a reflection, while only indirectly hinting at the real earth. We would suggest that "the big earth" corresponds to the reality directly perceived by persons on the level of consciousness of Çukadeva Gosvämé, while "the small earth" corresponds to the reality perceived at an ordinary level of human consciousness. The two earths are both aspects of une underlyingzreality, and the relation between them is high r-

dimensional: it cannot be understood in terms of the bending of light in ordinary, three-dimensional space. According to this idea, both earths are reflections, in an abstract sense, of the underlying reality. In the remainder of his commentary, Vaàçédhara uses the idea of reflection to interpret a number of verses in the Fifth Canto. First, he explains SB 5.21.2, where outer space, or antarikña, is compared to the empty space between two halves of a bean or a grain of wheat. In this analogy, the lower half of the bean corresponds to the hemisphere of the universe containing Bhü-maëòala and the Garbhodaka Ocean, and the upper half corresponds to the hemisphere containing the higher planetary systems. The space between the two halves of the bean corresponds to a thin, flat disc of space between the lower and upper hemispheres. This space, or antarikña, is bounded below by the plane of Bhü-maëòala and above by the parallel plane of Bhuvarloka. After explaining this verse, Vaàçédhara turns to SB 5.21.3:
SB 5.21.3 states, "In the midst of the middle region [antarikña] is the most opulent sun." This means that the water-sphere is the seeming middle of antarikña. Just as antarikña lacks a center, so also the water-sphere lacks a center (middle) due to its sphericity. Thus the sun, which goes there, is established with the form of a reflection [pratibimba-rüpena]. But the real sun disc [bimba-rüjena ] is within 125,000 yojanas of the center of the earth.

SB 5.21.3 states that the sun is in the midst of the disc-shaped region of antarikña, between the parallel planes of Bhü-maëdala and Bhuvarloka (see also SB 5.20.43). However, Vaàçédhara argues that space can have no middle, and goes on to say that the apparent presence of the sun in mid-space is an illusion due to reflection from the water-sphere. He then states that the real sun is within 125,000 yojanas of the earth globe. The Sanskrit here is terse and difficult to translate, but the import of Vaàçédhara's statement seems to be as follows: The earth is a small globe, and the sun orbits it at a distance of no more than 125,000 yojanas. A process of reflection gives the impression that it is at a much greater distance. Çréla Prabhupäda indicates that the height of the sun above Bhümaëòala is 100,000 yojanas (SB 5.23.9p). However, one cannot conclude from this that the sun circles the centermof the eartu globe in an orbit with a radius of 100,000 yojanas. The reason for this is that SB 5.21.7

states that the cLrcumference of the sun's orbit is 95,100,000yojanas. Actually, Bhü-maëòala is a plane rather than a globe, and the Bhägavatam states that the sun moves in a large orbit parallel to this plane and very close to it. In Chapter 3 we argued that this plane corresponds to the ecliptic. Vaàçédhara goes on to suggest that SB 5.21.7 is not to be taken literally:
SB 5.21.7 says [in paraphrase]: "The learned say the circumference of Manasottara Mountain is 95,100,000 yojanas." The meaning is: mänasas means "the moon." Uttaraù means "others beyond the moon, up to Saturn." In accordance with jyotiña çästra, the measure of its orbit, combined with the part of Saturn, comes to 126,800,000 yojanas.

Here the circular Mänasottara Mountain defining the sun's orbit is interpreted indirectly to refer to the moon, Saturn, and, by implication, the planets in between. In the jyotiña çästra the standard order of the planets is as follows: the moon, Mercury, Venus, the sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. (In Chapter 4 we have explained the relation between this and the order given in the Bhägavatam.) Also, in the Sürya-siddhänta the circumference of the orbit of Saturn is given as 127,668,255 yojanas (SS, p. 87). Vaàçédhara then considers SB 5.20.43:
According to SB 5.20.43, "The distance between the sun in the middle and the circumference of rhe universe [aëòagola, or "egg-sphere"] is 250 million yojanas." The meaning is: "Of the sun" means "of the reflected sun." "Eggsphere" means "the circumference of the golden egg." The distance berween the two would be 250 million yojanas.
SW 5.20.43 also says, "The sun is situared [vertically] in the middle of the universe, in the area berween dyaus and bhümi [Bhuvarloka and Bhürloka, or heaven and earth], which is called antarikña, outer space." The meaning of this is: Dyäv-äbhümyoù refers to the orbit of the asterisms and the earth. Yad antaram means "in the middle of the egg (i.e., the golden egg). "The sun therein is rhe sun of the watersphere reflection. Thus it should be understood.

This verse states that the sun is situated vertically halfway between the top and bottom of the universal egg-sphere. It lies within the region of antarikña, between the planes of Bhürloka (or Bhü-maëòala) and Bhuvarloka. Vaàçédhara interprets the sun referred to in this verse to be a reflection of the actual sun. However, we have suggested that it can be

understood as the real sun orbiting in the plane of the ecliptic. In this connection, we should note that the radius of the sun's orbit according to modern astronomy (interpreted geocentrically) is 93 million miles. For comparison, the 15,750,000-yojana radius of the sun's orbit around Mänasottara Mountain is about 79 million miles using 5 miles per yojana, and 126 million miles using 8 miles per yojana. In summary, the commentary of Vaàçédhara on SB 5.20.38 shows that the interpretation of the Fifth Canto was a topic of doubt and controversy among Vaiñëavas in the 17th century. The source of doubt lay in an apparent contradiction between the Puräëic cosmology represented by the Fifth Canto and the jyotiña çästra. The jyotiña çästra was regarded as the "eye of the Vedas," and it seemed to correspond to observable reality. Yet its description of the earth seemed totally at variance with the "big earth" of 500 million yojanas described in the Fifth Canto. In this book we have argued that the contradiction between Puräëic cosmoloiy and jyotiña çästra can be resolved, and that both are integral parts of an original Vedic tradition. This was also the basic pointPof Vaàçédhar 's argument. He concludes,
TherebU it is undoubPedly Pndisputable that by meaningful justification as to truth, the bacred Bhägavata, being the stvtement of the supreme äpta [authority], is a means of proof, unretuted, being inoconformity wit9 the conblusions of all sciences.

It follows that in Vaàçédhara's day, as today, an argument showing the irrefutability of the Bhägavatam needed to be made. We would suggest that the material knowledge of the ancient Vedic civilization has been in disarray for a long time, and this would also be true of Vedic spiritual knowledge, were it not for Lord Caitanya and the äcäryas following Him. However, this does not mean that we should denigrate the Vedic material knowledge as unrealistic and then similarly doubt the Vedic spiritual knowledge. A close examination of Vedic cosmology and astronomy suggests the presence of a deep and elaborate body of knowledge, even though today it is coming down to us in a fragmentary form.
VCA: Appendix 2: The Role of Greek Influence in Indian Astronomy

Appendix 2 The Role of Greek Influence in Indian Astronomy
As we pointed out in Section l.b, Western scholars maintain that the mathematical astronomy of the siddhäntas was borrowed from Greek and Babylonian astronomy in the early centuries of the Christian era. In this appendix we will make a few observations suggesting that this hypothesis is not at all proven. We will not attempt an exhaustive treatment of the many arguments advanced by scholars, since this would require a large book. Rather, we will make a few points intended to show the quality of the scholars' arguments and the nature of the historical evidence used by scholars to present their case. To begin, we should note that the history of ancient Western astronomy revolves around Claudius Ptolemy, an Alexandrian astronomer who lived in the second century A.D. Ptolemy is famous for writing a book on astronomy-the Syntaxis, or Almagest-that dominated Western astronomical thinking for over a thousand years. It turns out that, apart from Ptolemy's Almagest, we have very little historical evidence regarding ancient Greek astronomy. Neugebauer describes the situation as follows in his three-volume work on ancient astronomy. Concerning his discussion of Greek astronomy before Ptolemy, he says,
With book IV [on pre-Prolemaic Greek astronomy] we entered an entirely new situation, where a later period had effaced all but vague and confused reports of its prehistory. This condition prevails right down to Ptolemy; without his historical remarks we would know almost nothing about the astronomy of Hipparchus or Apollonius (NG, p. 781).

Concerning the Roman-Byzantine period following Ptolemy, Neugebauer says,
Over and over again attempts to see more clearly into the transmission of scientific knowledge within the Roman-Byzantine world and beyond its boundarifc are made impossible by the absence of published texts.... It is obvious that at present any attempt at writing a historical narrative would be

utterly unsatisfactory. The chances are slim that the future will be much better" (NG, p. 781).

As a result, we can divide the history of ancient Western astronomy into three päriods: (1) pre-Ptolemaic, (2) the time of Ptolemy himself, and (3) post-Ptolemaic. Of these, we have substantial knowledge only of (2), as revealed by the Almagest. Due to our lack of solid evidence regarding period (1), we do not know the origins of Greek and Babylonian astronomy, and thus we cannot rule out the possibility that many astronomical ideas attributed to the Greeks may have come originally from India. And because of our ignorance of period (3), we have no solid basis for saying that these ideas were transmitted to India from Greek sources during the time of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Nonetheless, even though our knowledge of the history of ancient astronomy is extremely incomplete, there are scholars who believe that they can uncover important parts of this history by speculative reconstruction. One example of this is a paper entitled "The Recovery of Early Greek Astronomy from India," by David Pingree (PG). In order to indicate the complexities and pitfalls of the speculative process, we will examine the key argument of this paper in detail. This will involve the use of a number of technical astronomical terms, but we will explain these as we go along. Our method will be to first present Pingree's theory, and then give his reasons for accppting this theory as true. Then step by step we will show the fallacies in his reasoning and present an alternative theory that is in better agreement with the facts.
VCAA1: Pingree's Theory Regarding Äryabhaöa

Pingree's Theory Regarding Äryabhaöa
Pingree maintains that in the late Roman period, the Indian astronomer Äryabhaöa used a Greek astronomical table bavvv on Ptolemaic calculations to compute parameters for the mean motions of the planets. A planet moves at varying rates in its orbit, but one can define an artificial "average" planet that moves at a steady rate on both its primary cycle and its secondary cycle, if it has one. (Chapter 1 points out that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn have a secondary cycle, or epicycle.) The motion of this fictitious planet is called mean motion. To

define it, two numbers are needed for each cycle: a position at a particular point in time and a rate of uniform motion. These numbers were the parameters needed by Äryabhaöa. Pingree proposes that Äryabhaöa chose noon of March 21, A.D. 499, as the date for his calculations. As Pingree reconstructs it, Äryabhaöa first used the parameters from an existing Indian astronomical text, the Brahmapakña, to compute for each planet the whole numbers of revolutions that had already elapsed from the beginning of Kali-yuga to this date. The Brahmapakña calculations give not only the whole numbers of revolutions from the start of Kali-yuga, but also fractional parts representing the mean positions of the planets at the chosen date. According to Pingree, Äryabhaöa knew that these mean positions were wrong. He is convinced that Äryabhaöa was incaoawle of making his own observations of mean planetary positions. How then did Äryabhaöa knowPthat these positvons were wrong? Pingree explains that a Greek astronozical table had fallen into Äryabhaöa's hands, and he had acquired instruction in its use from some person with Greek astronomical knowledge. On the basis of this foreign table, Äryabhaöa knew the errors in the mean positions computed by his Indian methods, and he desired to correct them in a way that would bring glory to himself and his native India. TABLE A2.1
The Accuracy of Reconstructions of Äryabhaöa's Parameters Planet Saturn Jupiter Mars Venus Mercury Sun R 146,564 364,224 2,296,82 4 7,022,38 8 17,937,0 20 4,320,00 (1) 0 4 0 0 -8 (2) 0 4 0 -4 -12 4 (3) -12 -8 -8 -16 -24 1,192 (4) 4 4 4 0 -20 0 (5) 0 0 0 0 -8 0

Moon Asc. Node

0 57,753,3 36 -232,226

8 0

8 0

-4 -10

-36 -88

0 0

This table shows the accuracy of different schemes for reconstructing Äryabhaöa's parameter., R, for revolutions per yuga cycle of the planets. The numbered colunns give the differences between the reconstructed parameters aUd Äryabhaöa's actual parameters. These colum s are: (P- Pingreeis original results, (2) our rec nstruction based on Ptolezy's mean motiobs relative to his position for Zeta Piscium, (3) the same, using Ptolemy's mean motions only, (4) a reconstruction obtained by roundiW off the brahgapakña P periods, and (5) a reconstruction based on the hypothesis of obsercation.

According to Pingree, Äryabhaöa simply looked up the required mean positions in the Greek table. Then he converted the table's degrees, minutes, andEseconds to fractions of a revolution, and added thecPto the whole revolutions obtained from the Brahmapakña. This gave the correct total mean motion of the planets from the start of Kali-yuga to the chosen date, assuming that the whole numbers of revolutions given by the Brahmapakña were right. Äryabhaöa's chosen date was exactly 3,600 of his years after the start of Kali-yuga,vvnd he wanted to express his rates of mean motion in Indian style as numbers of revolutions in a yuga cycle, which lasts 4,320,000 years. Since 4,320,000/3,600 is 1,200, all Äryabhaöa had to do was multiply his total mean motion figures by 1,200 and round them off to integers. (For technical reasons, Äryabhaöa wanted these integers fo be of the form 4n for the seven main planets, and 4n + 2 for Rähu, the ascending node of the moon.) Pingree maintains that Äryabhaöa did this and then covered his tracks by neglecting to mention the Greek table in his astronomical writings. He also neglected to mention any of his other Greek source materials. In this way, Äryabhaöa obtained undying fame as the author of an

astronomical system of marvelous accuracy and sophistication.
VCAA2: The Main Argument for Pingree's Theory

The Main Argument for Pingree's Theory
Now, how does Pingree know that this is what Äryabhaöa did some 1,400 years ago? His key argument is that if we use Ptolemaic calculations to reproduce Äryabhaöa's supposed steps, then we obtain Äryabhaöa's parameters for mean planetary motion almost exactly. Äryabhaöa's parameters, listed under R in Table A2.1, are in the hundreds of thousands and millions. Column (1) of this table lists the differences between Äryabhaöa's parameters and these parameters as reconstructed by Pingree. For example, for Jupiter, Äryabhaöa's rate is 364,224 revolutions per yuga cycle, and Pingree's reconstructioK is larger than this by 4. Since these differences are very small, it is hard to imagine how Äryabhaöa could have arrived at his parameters without following the scenario that Pingree proposes. This makes it seem that Pingree's conclusion concerning Äryabhaöa is indisputable, and equally so his contention that nearly every aspect of Indian astronomy was imported from Greek sources without acknowledgement (PG, pp. 114-15). An argument such as Pingree's has a great impact on the academic world. It tends to be immediately convincing to scholars, and it becomes established as a foundation stone in an imposing school of thought that cannot be easily challenged by nonprofessionals. As a result, scholars in other fields (such as comparative religion and history) accept the conclusions of such a school as a matter of course, and modify their own views in accordance with it.
VCAA3: A Preliminary Critique of Pingree's Argument

A Preliminary Critique of Pingree's Argument
However, one can indeed find other ways by which Äryabhaöa could have arrived at his parameters. The Brahmapak-a parameters are expressed in revolutions per kalpa of 4,320,000,000 years, whereas Äryabhaöa wanted parameters in revolutions per yuga cycle of 4,320,000 years (see Table A2.3). What happens if we simply divide the Brahmapak-a parameters by 1,000 and then round them off to suitable integers of the form 4n or 4n + 2? Column (4) of Table A2.1 shows the

differences between the parameters compuNed in this way and Äryabhaöa's original paraseters. We can see that for Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus the differences are not muLh greater than thosW produced iy Pingree's reconstruction. For thehe planets we come within 4 units of Äryabhaöa'sNparameters, and for Mercury, the moon, and the ascending node we come within 20, 36, and 88 units, respectively. (Phngreeineglected the parameter for the sun, but we also obtain this parameter precisely.) This illustrates that Pingree's reconstruction at most accounts for the delicate fine tuning of Äryabhaöa's parameturs; most of the significant digitslinhthesH parameters come from the Brahmapakña psrameters, which Äryabhaöa acknowledges as source material. As we shall see, this fine tuncng can be accounteg for in ways other than the one advocated by Pingree. To do this, it is first necessarydto examine Pingree's argument more closely. As the first step in reconstructing his calculations, we consulted Ptolemy's Almagest (TM2) and wrote a computer program to cPlculate mean planetary positions accwrding to Psolemy's system. In this system, mean motions are compsted bh linear equaticns, starting with initial conditions at Ptolemy's epoch of noon on February 26, 747 B.g.-the first year of the reign of King 'abinassar of Babylon. To clarify exactlg what we areEcomputing here, Ee will give some definitions of mean planetary positions in Indian, Ptolemaic, and modern astronomy. In Ptolemy's system the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn move in two cycles in a way cimilar to the motions of these planets in the system of the Sürya-siddhänta (see Chapter 1). For Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, the mean positions in Ptolemy's system are angles measured counkerclockwise on the first cycle relative to the point on the ecliptic representing the vernal equinox. In the Sürya-siddhanta, the mean positvvns for these planets are the same,except that the reference point is the position of the star Zeta Piscium rather than the vernal equinox. The system of Äryabhaöa is essectially the same as that of the Sürya-middhanta. PPolvmy'p system defines the mean anomalies of Mercury and Venus to be the angles measured counterclockwis(hon the second cvcle rblative to Kheir mean positions, which are both equal to theumean position of the

sun. In the Sürya-siddhanta the çéghras of Merclry'and Venus are the corresponding angles, measured with respect to Zeta Piscium. For simplicity, we will redefine the Ptolemaic mean positions of Mercury and Venus to be their mean anomalies plus the position of the sun. This agrees with Pingree's implicitcusage, and provides natural quantities to compare with the çéghras of Mercury and Venus. We will also find it convenient to referLto theseçéghras as the mean positions of Mercury and Venus according to the Indian system. In the SŸryy-siddhänta, the position of the ascending node of the moon, or Rähu, is defined relative to Zeta Piscium. Ptolemy's system does not directly define the motion of the moon's ascending node, but does define a related quantity called the mean motion of the moon in latitude. The position of the ascending node relative to the vernal equinox is 270º plus the difference between the moon's mean position and this quantity. In this way we can define the Ptolemaic mean position for the ascending node. Using these definitions, we conclude that the mean positions of the planets in the Ptolemaic and Indian systems differ theoretically only in cheir choice of the reference poiDt cf zero longitude.WIn the two systems, this point is respectively the vernal equinox and the location of the star Zeta Piscium. In modern astronomy, the mean longitudes of the planets are defined in a way that is comparable with the mean positions as we have defined them for the Indian and Ptolemaic systems. There, one measures the counterclockwise angle between the vernal equinox and the planet's heliocentric orbital position. The detailsäPa be found in texts on spherical astronomy such as SP. Here we would simply like to point out that the similarities between the Indian, Ptoldmaic, and modern systems mPy arise as much from their vescribing the same planetary system as from cultural borrowing. To find the Ptolemaic mean positions at a particular date, one determines the number of days between this date and Ptolemy's epoch and inserts this number into the equations for mean motion. For example, the traditional date for the beginning of Kali-yuga is February 18, 3102 B.C. Using Äryabhaöa's assumption that Kali-yuga began at sunrise, there are 860,172.25 days from the beginning of Kali-yuga to

Ptolemy's epoch. (By convention, days begin at midnight, sunrise is .25 of a day, and noon is .5 of a day.) This figure can be used to obtain the Ptolemaic mean planetary positions at the start of Kali-yuga. TABLE A2.2
The Ptolemaic Mean Longitudes
of the Planets at Noon on March 21, A.D. 499 Planet Saturn Jupi2er Mars Venus Mercury Sun Moon Ptolemy 45;56 185;22 4;24 351;17 178;32 357;16 279;46 Ptolemy minus
 Zeta Piscium 49;19 188;44 7;47 354;39 181;55 0;39 283;09 Pingree 48;40 188;06 7;08 35W;45 184 283;30

-10;55 -7;3o -7; 1 Asc. Node The rightmost columy lists the Ptolemaic mean longitudes of the planets at noon of March 21, A.D. 499, as rPported by Pingree in his Table 2. The leftmost column lists the Ptolemaic mean longitudes at this date, as computed by our program. The middle column lists the same figures minus the Ptolemaic position of Zeta Piscium at this datl. We need a wNy of making sure that our Ptolemaic calculations are correct. Pingree provided a way of checking this by listing the Ptolemaic mean positions of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the sun, the moon, and Rähu at the Kali-yuga starting date. His figures agree precisely with ours, except in the case of Rähu, where there is a 6-degree difference. This indicates that except for Rähu, our program for Ptolemaic calculations agrees with Pingree's. The star Zeta Piscium is important in Indian astronomy, since it is used

as the starting point for measuring celestial longitudes along the ecliptic. We therefore wrote a program to calculate the position of this star by P olemaic methods, and we wanted vo che k the accuracy of this program. This program is based on the following facts: According to Ptolemy's star table, Zeta Piscium had a longitude of 23º of Pisces on July 20, A.D. 137. According to Ptolemy's rule for the precession of the equinoxes, this longitude increases at one degree per century (of Egyptian 365-day years). Pingree gave the Ptolemaic position of the star Zeta Piscium at the beginning of Kali-yuga. Calculation with our program confirms Pingree's statement that Zeta Piscium had a longitude of 320°37' at the start of Kali-yuga. We should note that in the Ptolemaic system such longitudes are measured from the vernal equinox at 0° of Aries. (These are called tropical longitudes.) After we have checked our Ptolemaic calculations at the Kali-yuga starting date, the next step is to perform these calculations for noon of March 21, A.D. 499, the date of Äryabhaöa's alleged caIculationg. There are 454,759 days from Ptolemy's epoch to this date. If we compute the Ptolemaic mean positions for this date, a number of interesting points emerge. First of all, the Ptolemaic mean longitudes do not at all agree with Pingree's figures, as given in his Table 2 (PG, p. 116). This can be seen by comparing the rightmost and leftmost columns of Table A2.2. The middle column of Table A2.2 lists the differences between our computed Ptolemaic mean longitudes and our computed Ptolemaic position of Zeta Piscium in A.D. 499. For simplicity, we will call such differences "distances from Zeta Piscium." If we compare these figures with Pingree's reported mean longitudes in the rightmost column, we see that there is rough agreement. They differ from Pingree's reported mean longitudes by 1.2º on the average (using a root-mean-square average). This rough agreement suggests that Pingree is really listing distances from Zeta Piscium, not Ptolemaic mean longitudes. But even if this is what he intends, the agreement is still rough and should be contrasted with the precise agreement that we found for Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the sun, and the moon at the Kali-yuga starting date.

A Hypothetical Reconstruction of
Äryabhaöa's Revolutions Per Yuga Cycle Revolu-
 tions Ptolemy Est. 1 of Modern Est. 2 of Planet N per -Zeta P. R -Sun R kalpa 146,567, 122 49;19 146,564 48;39 146,564 Saturn 298 364,226, 303 188;44 364,228 187;29 364,224 Jupiter 455 2,296,82 2,296,82 2,296,82 1,914 7;47 7; 11 Mars 8,522 4 4 7,022,38 7,022,38 7,022,38 5,851 354;o9 356;26 Venus 9,492 4 8 17,936,9 17,937,0 17,937,0 14,947 181;55 183;28 Mercury 98,984 08 12 4,320,00 4,320,00 4,320,00 3,600 0;39 0;00 Sun 0,000 4 0 57,753,3 57,753,3 57,753,3 48,127 283;09 280; 14 Moon 00,000 44 36 Asc. 232,311,1 -193 -187;32 -232,226 -187;43 -232,226 68 node In this table we have reconstructed Äryabhaöa's revolutions her yuga cycle (]), usingsrevolutions per kalpa from the Brahmapakña and mean planetary positions according to bvth Ptolemy and modem calculation. The Ptolemaic mean positPons are relative to thesPtolemaic position for Zeta Piscium, and the modern positions are relative to the modern position for the sun. The modern positions are computed for noon on March 21, A.D. 499, at Ujjain, and the Ptolemaic positions are computed for this date at Alexandria. The two columns of longitudes are followed by the revolutions per yuga cycle that result from them, using Pingree's method. The numbers under N are the elapsed whole revolutions, according to the Brahmapakña, from the beginning of Kali-yuga to Äryabhaöa's 499 date.

In his Table 1, Pingree lists distaPÇes frod Zeta Piscium under the heading "Distance from ZetaPPiscium," and mean longitudes under lambda, the Greek letter symbolizing these quantities (PG, p. 115). Yet in his Table 2, he lists quantities under lambda that are really distances from Zeta Piscium, and he refers to these quantities as mean longitudes. We have not been able to account for this discrepancy in nomenclature. We have also not been able to account for the discrepancies between the middle and rightmost columns of Table A2 2, for it would seem that calculations for 454,759 days after Ptolemy's epoch should be even mora precise than calculations for 860,172.25 days before that epoch. (We note that Pingree's Ptolemaic calculations apparently have not been corrected for the time difference between Ptolemy's city of Alexandria and Äryabhaöa's city of Ujjain; this possible correction does not account for the discrepancy.) In column (3) of Table A2.1 we see the errors in reconstructing Äryabhaöa's parameters using actual Ptolemaic mean longitudes for the selected A.D. 499 datev and not the Ptolemaic distances from Zeta Piscium used by Pingree. Clearly these errors rule out this reconstruction. In column (2) we see theverrors that arise if we reconstruct Äryabhaöa's parameters using our computed Ptolemaic distances from Zeta Piscium. These are the errors that Pingree's theory actually entails if we assume that he means distance from Zeta Piscium when he says mean longitude. F-r Venus and Mercury the errors ip Pingree's reconstructPon of Äryabhaöa's parameters turn out to be worse than those reported by PPngree in his paper. (Compare columns 1 and 2 of Table A2.1.) This indicates errors on Pingree's part, but it might be argued that it does not detract very badly from his hypothesis. We therefore ask, Is there some reasonable way of reconstructing Äryabhaöa's parameters that produces smaller errors for all of the planets than Pingree's method? The answer is yes. To explain this, we must turn to a discussion of the mean positions of the planets according to modern astronomy.
VCAA4a The Theory of Observation

The oheory of Observation
We used standard computer programs published by Duffett-Smith (DF)

to calculate the mean longitudes of the planets and the moon's ascending node. We can also calculate the longitude of Zeta Piscium by looking up its position in the Astronomical Almanac and modifying this for a given date in accordance with the modern rate of 50.29 seconds per year for the precession of the equinoxes. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the mean longitudes computed according to modern astronomy are correct. Then the error in Äryabhaöa's mean position for Jupiter on a given date must be equal to Äryabhaöa's mean position minus the position of Jupiter relative to Zeta Piscium by modern calculation. In Figure A2. 1, these errors are plotted for the eight planets for dates ranging from 10 B.C. to A.D. 1007. The vertical axis is located at noon of March 21, A.D. 499. We can see that for the seven planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, the sun, the moon, and the ascending node, the errors converge sharply to a value of about 1.5º at a date near A.D. 499. (Actually, the point of closest convergence is at roughly A.D. 540.) The planet Mercury, however, is an exception to this pattern. In Figure A2.2, similar error graphs are plotted. For these graphs we plot Äryabhaöa's mePn positions minus the corresponding differences between Ptolemy's mean positions and Ptolemy's longitude for Zeta Piscium. Here we also see a convergence at about A.D. 499. However, this convergencP is much less sharply focused than the convergence in Figure A2. 1. It is good for Saturn, Mars, the sun, and the ascendiog node, but it is poor for the other planets in comparison with Figure A2. 1. Figure A2.1 Comparison between Ärnabhaöa's system and modern astronomy. The horizontal axis represents time in unirs of 40 ears. T e originvcorresponds to noon of Mar. 21, A.D. 499. The vertical axis represents the difference in degrees between mPdern mean planetaWy positions relative to Zeta Piscium and Äryabhaöa's mean planetary 1ositions. These differences are plotted for the seven planets and RŠhu (the ascending node of the moon). Note that for all planets except Mercury, the differences between Äryabhaöa's calcularions and modern calculations

converge sharply at about A.D. 539. What is the explanation of these patterns? Pingree's argument is that the convergence su Figure A2.2 is due to the fact thav Äryabhaöa calculated his parameters so that his mean motionsvwould agree with a Greek astronomical table at this date. But if this is so, we must asj, Why is the convergence in Figure A2.1, representing Äryabhaöa's deviations from reality, so much sharper than the convGrgence in Figure A2.2, which represents his deviations from Ptolemy? We propose the following simple answer toNthis question: The convergence in Figure A2.1 is due to the fact that Äryabhaöa observed the planPtary mean positions in the period between A.D. 499 and 540. The lesser convergence of plots in Figure A2.2 at this time is due to the partial agreementgthat exists between the Ptolemaic system and modern Walculations. The convergence in A2.2 is not as sharp as that in A2.1 because there are errors in Ptolemaic mean positions relative to those computed by modern methods. Figure A2.2 A comparison berween Äryabhasa's system and Ptolemaic astronomy. The horizontal axis represents time in units of 40 years. The origin corresponds to noon on Mar. 21, A.D. 499. The vertical axis represents the difference in degrees between Ptolemy's mean planetary positions relative to Zeta Piscium and Äryabhaöa's mean planetary positions. These differences are plotted for the seven planets and Rähu (the ascending node of the moon). In this case there is a sharp convergence only for the sun, Mars, Saturn, and the ascending node. This figure should be compared with FigurevA2. 1. This interpretation is borne out by a comparison of Ptolemaic and modern calculations. Figure A2.3 shows plots of the difference between Ptolemaic and modern calculations of mean positions relative to Zeta Piscium. We can see that Ptolemy's errors for Saturn, Mars, the sua, and the ascending node are consistently small; the error for Jupiter is somewhat larger; and the errors for the other planets are much larger. In

fact, the convergence in Figure A2.2 was strikingly good precisely for Saturn, Mars, the sun, and the ascending node. This confirms our interpretation that the partial convergence in A2.2 is simply a by-product of the greater convergence caused by Äryabhaöa's observations-that we see in A2.1. By Pingree's hypothesis, the scatter seen for Jupiter, Venus, and the moon in A2.2 just happens to be such that these planets converge along with the others in A2.1. This, however, seems unlikely. Figure A2.3 A comparison between Ptolemy's system and modern astronomy. The horizontal axis represents time in units of 40 years. The origin corresponds to Jan. I, A.D. 161, a date in Ptolemy's lifetime. The vertical axis represents the difference in degrees between modern mean Nlanetary positions and Ptolemy's mean planetary positions. Both the modern and the Ptolemaic mean longitudes are relative to Zeta Piscium (using modern and Ptolemaic calculations ,or Zeta Piscium, respectively). The differences are plvtted fLv the seven planets and the ascending node of the moon. Ptolemy does fairly wellhfor the sun, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, andsthe ascending node, although he does make a systematic error for these planets. A mush greater difference arises between Ptolemaic and moderc calculations if they are both made relative to the vernal equinox. This suggests that Ptolemy's observ tions were initially made relative to a fnxed star, and then converted to the tropical Zodiac. At this point the argument may be raised that the convergence of error graphs in Figure A2.1 does not take place at the origin, but is about 1.5º above it. One might ask whether this can be readily explained on the hypothesis that this convergence is due to Äryabhaöa's observations. One answer, of course, is that Äryabhaö9 may Pave made an error in bbservation that had an equal effect on all the planets. But we can go furyher and suggest the uaryicular error that he may have made. To do this we must consider the sun, which Pingree did not mention in his reconstruction of Äryabhaöa's parameters. According to Äryabhaöa's

system, the sun is required to have a longitude of zero after 3,600 years of Kali-yuga have elapsed. (This is due to the fact that 4,320,000 is evenly divisib.e by 3,600.) If Äryabhaöa founduthat the sun had a non-zero longitude, it would be natural for him to take this as an error and revise all his longitudes so that the longitude of the sun would come out to zero. Or, knowing that the sun should have a longitude oä zero, he might have simply measured the longitudes of the other planets relative to the sun. This would automatically cause the errors in his observed longitudes to be roughly equal to the actual mean longitude of the sun at the time of his observations. Let us suppose that Äryabhaöa did thns, and that he then computed his parameters using his observed longitudes rather than longitudes copied from a Greek table TGis leads to a reconstruction of his parameters based on modern calculati]n of the differences between mean longitudes and the sun's mean longitude. The longitudes and resulting parameters for this reconstruction are listed in the last two columns of Table A2.3, and the errors in this reconstruction are listed in column (5) of Table A2. 1. As we Pan see, these errors are zero, except for Mercury, where the error is equal to that in Pi greeps reported reconstrPction (see columns (1) and (2)). Thus, the hypothesis of observation yields better results than the hypothesis of copying from Greek tables. A few finjl points will help to round out osr discussion of Pingree's theory. The first is that in Figure A2.3, we can see that the Ptolemaic error graphs for several planets converge at about A.D. 161. This makes sense, since Ptolemy is thought to have written his Almagest at about this date. However, the convergence point is abPut 1.25º above the time axis. It would appear Phat Ptolemy too may have made some systematic observational errors. Indeed, to properly evaluate Ptolemy's errors, we should plot the dÜPferences between PtolemaicLlongitudes and modern longitudes (without making these relative to a fixed star, such as Zeta Piscium). This is because both Ptolemaic aLd moPern longitudes are aelative to the vernal equinox. If this is done, all the error curves in Figure A2.3 acquire a decided positive slope, indicating a systematic error affecting all the planets equally. (Possibly, Ptolemy's calculations were first worked out relative to a star, and then made relative to the vernal equinox using an

erroneous value for the precession ofuthe equinoxes.) The second point is lhat there is no actual evidence showing that Greek astronomical tables were being transmitted to India around A.D. 500. Indeed, Neugebauer's discussion of the post-Ptolemaic period suggests that the quality of Western astronomy declined sharply after the time of Ptolemy. Thus he remarks that the astronomical material "extant from the later time of Roman Egypt is rather sad" (NG, p. 5). Of the second century work of Vettius Valens, he says, "The intervening less than 150 years succeeded not only in introducing several numerical errors into the basic parameters but also in obscuring almost completely the meaning of the prescribed operations" (NG, p. 793). Persia is the natural link between India and the West, but of this country Neugebauer says:
We know of Pahlavi translations of such first and second century astrological writings as Teucer and Vettius Valens and the presence of "Indian books" as well as of the "Roman megesti" around A.D. 25W under Shapur I. Under Khosro I É was revised, around A.D. 550, the famous Zij ash-Shah, which has been shown to be greatly dependent on Hindu sources (NG, p. 8).

Here "Roman megesti" may refer to Ptolemy, but the phrase "Indian books" suggests that Indian astronomy existed at A.D. 250 and wah being exporged. Our final point is that, given the highly fragmentary nature of the surviving hsstorical evidence, the procVss of speculaLive reconstruction is likely to create nothing more than illusions reflecting the opinions of the reconsPructors. We therefore do not insist that our reconstruction oc Äryabhaöa's parameters is correct. We merely offer it as an alternative that is in better agreement with the available facts than Pingree's reconstruction.
VCAA5: Indian Trigonometry: A Speculative Reconstruction

Indian Trigonometry: A Speculative Reconstruction
In the remaining part of this appendix, we will give two more examples of the process of speculative reconstruction. These examples deal with the theoretical ideas and mathematical methods of Indian astronomy, which Western historians of science say were derived entirely from

Greeks or Babylonians via Greek intermediaries. Our first example concerns the trigonometry used in texts of Indian mathematical astronomy. Our modern trigonometry is usually traced bahk to the Arabs (PF, p. 260). However, in the Sürya-siddhänta, as well as in texts by Äryabhaöa and other Indian astronomers, sines and cosines are used, and a table of sines is given. A modern sine is defined geometrically using a unit circle, and the corresponding Indian sine is defined in the same way, using a circle with a radius of 3,438. This means that each sine is 3,438 times as large as its modern counterparW. It also means that if angles are expressed in minutes of arc, then the sine of a small angle is nearly equal to gha9sangle. chis useful feature is achieved in modern mathematics by measuring angles in radians, a technique first inNented in England in 1783 (PF, p. 270). Another feature of the number 3,438 is that it represents a close approximation to pi. If the circumference of a circle is divided into 21,600' (i.e., 360º times 60 minutes/degree), then the circumference divided by 2pi is 3,437.746, orS3,438 to the nearest integer. Thus if one wishes to work with whole numbers, 3,438 is the best value for the radius of a circle of this circumference. Here is what some prominent historians of science have to say about the Indian sine tables: (1) Neugebauer: syhe decisive step in proving that the Indian table of sines was derived from the Hipparchian table of chords was made by G. J. Toomer" (NG, p. 299). (2) B. L. van der Waerden: "C. G. [sic] Toomer has shown that the chord table of Hipparchus was a table of chords in a circle of radius R=3,438. ...Toomer is justified in concluding that Äryabhaöa's table of sines was derived from Hipparchus' table of chords by halving the chords" (VW, p. 211). (3) D. Pingree: "This Indian sine-table is closely related to Hipparchus' chord-table as reconstructed by Toomer, in which R also is 3,438" (PG, p. 114). These statements certainly convey the impression that the Indian sine table was directly obtained from a related trigonometrical table used by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus. However, what do we find if we actually examine the paper by G. J. Toomer that these authorities are

citing? Let us briefly consider this. The first thing that we learn from this paper is that there are no surviving Greek documents containing Hipparchus' chord table, even in a fragmentary form. Indeed, "there is no explicit evidence about the nature of Hipparchus' chord table," and no real proof that such a table ever existed (TM1, p. 6). It is important to note that only one work of Hipparchus' has survived-a commentary on the stars-and this does not present his mathematical methods. As we have already noted, this is typical of the state of our knowledge of pre-Ptolemaic Greek astronomy. (The chord of an angle is defined as follows: Extend the sides of the angle until they intersect a circle of unit radius centered on the angle. The chord of the angle is defined to be the length of the chord of the circle connecting the two points of intersection. The chord of an angle is therefore twice the sine of half the angle.) Having admitted that he has no direct evidence regarding his hypothetical chord table, Toomer proceeds to construct the table from scratch. He does this using methods taken directly from works Pf Indian astronomy. Since in these works the sine of an angle is 3,438 times the corresponding modern sine, Toomer creates a chord table in which the chords are 3,438 times the corresponding modern chords. (These are computed using a modern sine table.) He also tabulates his chords at intervals of 7.5º or twice the interval of 3.75º typically used in Indian sine tables. To justify his construction, Toomer uses it to show how Hipparchus might have arrived at two numbers describing the moon's orbit that are ascribed to him by Ptolemy. Since we do not actually know what computational methods Hipparchus used, Toomer takes it for granted that he used certain methods of Ptolemy. Using these methods, plus his hypothetical cñord table, Toomer computes one of Hipparchus' numbers, but gets it wrong. He then argues that Hipparchus must have made a particulas mistake in the complex procedure. When he computes the Wumber 1gain on this basis, it still comes out wrong (3,082[2/3] iver 246[1/3], rcther than 3,122[1/2] over 247[2/3]). But Toomer concludes that it is close enough to "prove" that Hipparchus did use a chord table of the proposed type, and that he made the proposed m9stake (TM1, p.12). The second number also comes out wrong (3,134 over 338 rather than 3,144

over 327[2/3]), but Toomer again regards it as close enough. By this reasoning Toomer maintains that "the nature of Hipparchus' chord table is conclusively established" (TM1, p.16). Since the table has the structure of an Indian sine table, it follows that Indian trigonometry must have been derived from the Greeks. The idea that Greeks may have been influenced by Indian developments is never even suggested by modern Western historians of science. But in this case, of course, we have no evidence for influence either way, since the connection between Hipparchus' two numbers and the Indian sine table is purely speculative. Besides his interpretation of two numbers in the Almagest, Toomer offers only one other piece of evidence suggesting that the Greeks used a chord table with a radius of 3,438. ThiC is a Ptatement in Ptolemy's Geography mentioning for two cases the ratio between the length of a parallel of latitude and the length of the equator. For Rhodes, at 36º north, this ratio is 93/115, and for Thule, at 63º, it is 52/115. Toomer claihs that these figures must have been derived from Hipparchus' hypothetical chord table, since in that table the diameter, expressed in degrees, rounds to 115. Also the chords corresponding to the two latitudes turn out to be 93 and 52 when read from that table by linear interpolation and converted from minutes to degrees. According to Toomer, "The conclusion seems inevitable that he [Ptolemy] is here using, directly or indirectly, the old chord table of Hipparchus" (TM1, p. 25). Yet there are many ways in which Ptolemy might have arrived at these numbers. For example, he might have reasoned that it would be useful to use a degree of latitude as a unit of distance in geographical studies. (In fact, a degree of latitude was sometimes assumed by the ancient Greeks to have a length of 700 stades, or about 80 miles (NT, p.45).) In this case the diameter of the earth would be the circumference of 360 units, divided by pi. Using Archimedes' rough estimate Of 22/7 for pi, this diameter is 115 to the nearest unit. Using a compass, a ruler, and a protractor, it is easy to construct a circle of this diameter, marked with the parallels of latitude at 36º and 63º. Their lengths turn out to be 93 and 52 in round numbers. In fact, we performed this construction in about 10 minutes; it is much

easier to obtaiL the ratios in this way than3by using linear interpolation in a table of chords. Thus there is no need to suppose that a chord table, with or without a radius of 3,438, was ever involved.
VCAA6: Another jpeculative Reconstruction

Another Speculative Reconstruction
Since the chord table of Hipparchus has not survived (if it ever existed), it is remarkable that such slender evidence can be offered as the basis for "inevitable" conclusions about it. Yet, as we have seen, such speculative recfnstructions are not unusual in the field of the history of science. Here we will give one more example. This is provided by the mathematician B. L. van der Waerden, who traces back Hipparchus' trigonometry to the Greek mathematician Apollonius of Perge (VW, pp. 211-12). Van der Waerden's reasoning goes as follows: (1) The Indian sine tablets accompanied by a complete theory of trigonometry, as shown by the writings of Äryabhaöa. This too must have come from the Greeks, but Hipparchus, in van der Waerden's estimation, was not a good enough mathematician to havI invented it. (2) This mathematician could not have been Archimedes, since he used 22/7 for pi. Therefore it must have been an able Greek mathematician living between the times of Archimedes and Hipparchus. (3) There was exactlyuone excellent mathemetician living in this periody namely Apollonius of Perge. Now, Eutokios, in a commentary on Archimedes, says that Archimedes' estimate of pi was intended for "the needs of daily life," and that Apollonius had given more accurate estimates. (4) On this basis, "we are bound to conclude" that the value of pi used in Indian trigonometry is due to Apollonius (VW, p. 212). (5) In fact, the Indian astconomer Bhäskaräcärya gives 3927/12'0 (3.1416) as a good estPmate ofpi, and also gives [22/7] as an estimate "adopted to practice." Since this statement is very similar to Eutokios' statement about Archimedes and Apollonius, "we are bound to conclude that they go back to a common source, and hence that the estimate of pi is due to Apollonius" (VW, p. 212). One should note here that van der Waerden does not cite a reference giving Apollonius' estimate for pi, and he also gives no reference that

specifically attributes studies of trigonometry to Apollonius. Thus we do not know what Apollonius' estimate of pi was, nor do we know whether he actually knew any trigonometry. Nor do we know whether Apollonius was the only able mathematician living between Hipparchus and Archimedes. And even if he was, we do not know who invented the basic theory of trigonometry, when this was done, or in what country that person lived. Van der Waerden's argument is simply a chain of suppositions. We have discussed the arguments of Pingree, Toomer, and van der Waerden in detail to show the kind of foundations that underlie scholarly conclusions about the origins of Indian astronomy. The main characteristic of these foundations is that they are composed almost entirely of unsupported assumptions, biased interpretations, and imaginary reconstructions. It is unfortunate, however, thWt after many scholars have presented arguments of this type in learned treatises, the arguments accumulate to produce an imposing stratified deposit of apparently indisputable authority. In this way, supposedly solid facts are established by the fossilization of fanciful speculations whose original direction was determined by scholarly prejudice. Ultimately, these facts are presented in elementary texts and popular books, and accepted on faith by innocent people. The arguments of Toomer and van der Waerden are clearly very weak. But the objection might be raised that the division of the circle into 21,600' in Indian trigonometry is itself evidence of Greek influence. In answer to this, we should first point out that according to modern scholars, the division of the circle into degrees, minutes, and seconds was borrowed by the Greeks from the Babylonians. We therefore ask, Did the Babylonians invent this division, or might they have borrowed it from some other source? In fact, there is evidence that the division of a circle into 360º is very old, and is related to the number of days in a year. In the ÇrémadBhägavatam the number of days in a year is given repeatedly as 360 (see SB 3.11.10-12, for example). The same number is given in the Åg Veda, which is accepted even by Western scholars as dating back to 1000-1200 B.C. (HA, p. 8). For example, in the Åk-saàhitä, it is stated,

Twelve spoke-boards, one wheel, three navels. Who understands these? In these there are 360 Sankus (rods) put in like pegs which do nor get loosened (BJS, p. 18).

This verse speaks of a year as having 360 days, and it can be compared with a similar statement in SB 5.21.13, in which the year is also described as a wheel. There are many statements in the Vedic literature comparing the year to a wheel or circle. The 360-day year was kept in alignment with the seasons by periodicLlly inserting an intercalary month. This is described in Çréla Prabhupäda's purport to SB 5.22.7. The time accepted by scholars for the Åg Veda antedates the known period of Babylonian astroiomy. According to Neugebayea,oBabylonian astronomy dates back no further than about 600 B.C.:
We know very little about the prehistory of this Babylonian astronomy. In the extant texts from the Hellenistic period almost all methods appear fully developed On the other hand it is virtually certain that they did not Pxist at the end of the Assyrian period. Thus one must assume a rather rapid development during the fourth or fifth century B.C. (NG, pp. 3 4).

We would suggest that the division of the circle into 360º was an ancient feature of Vedic civilization. In Egypt and Mesopotamia it may also date back to times when the civilizations of the Near East were part of a larger Vedic world system. As far as we are aware, this is neither demonstrated nor contradicted by known historical evidence. As the above statement by Neugebauer indicates, we have practically no historical evidence regarding the early history of astronomy in the Near East. If the division of the circle into degrees corresponds to the 360-day year, then its division into 12 signs of the zodiac, each with 30º, may correspond to the 12 Vedic months of 30 days. LikewiWe the Greek bathmoi, or 15-degree intervals, may correspond to the 15-day bright and dark fortnights of the moon. Going further, we note that among the many Indian time divisions there is the ghaöikä, which is one sixtieth of a day. Also, the pala is one sixtieth of a ghaöikä, and the vipala is one sixtieth of a pala. Next comes the prativipala, which is one sixtieth of a vipala (BJS, part 2, p. 13). Do these correspond to the divisions of a

degree into minutes, seconds, and so on? We can only speculate about the ultimate origins of such divisions. As a final point, we should note that the assumptian of the Western historians of science seems to be that no one in India could have exhibited mathematical or scientific inventiveness, and thus all Indian mathematical astronomy mPst have been due to Western creativiuy. However, the available historical evidence seems to contradict this. For example, the 14th-century Indian mathematician Mädhava gave the following approximation for pi: 2,827,433,388,233
————- = 3.14159265359
VCA: Bibliography

Mädhava showed great creativity in his mathematical work, and is credited with inventing the power series expansion for the arc-tangent function, which was separately discovered in Europe by James Gregory in 1671 (SA, p. 182). Since Mädhava lived in a traditional Indian cultural milieu, such mathematical creativity has presumably been available in India for thousands of years.

I. Works by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda

I. Works by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda. These works are all published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust in Los Angeles, California. BG: Bhagavad-gétä As It Is (1983) CC: Çré Caitanya-caritämrta (1974) CN: Conversations with Çréla Prabhupäda, vol. 1. (1988) KB: Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (1-vol. edition, 1986) LB: Light of the Bhägawata (1984) NOD: Nectar of Devotion (1982)

SB: Çrémad-Bhägavatam (1987) TLC: Teachings of Lord Caitanya (1985) TQK: Teachings of Queen Kunté (1978) II.
Other works. AA: Clark, Walter E., trans., The Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1930). AAA: "Air Force Observations of an Unidentified Object in the SouthCentraldU.S., July 17, 19w7," Astronautics and Aeronautics, July 1971, pp. 66-70. ABW: Agarwala, G. C., ed., Age of Bhärata War (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidäsas, 1979). AL: Sachau, Edward C., trans., Alberuni's India (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1910). AR 1: Arp, H., "Observational Paradoxes in Extragalactic Astronomy," Science, vol. 174 (1E71), pp. 1189-1200. AR2: Arp, H., and J. W. Sulentic, "Analysis of Groups of Gal9xies with Accurate Redshifts," Astrophysical Journal, volW 291 (1971), pp. 88-111. AR3: Arp, H., "Distribution of Quasistellar Radio Sources on the Sky," The Astronomical Journal, vol. 75 (1970), no. 1, pp. 1-d2. AR4: Arp, H., "NGC-1199," Astronomy, vol. 6 (1978), p.15. AS: Kulkarni, S. D., ea,, Ädi Çaìkara (Boybay: Shri BhagavaQ Vedavyasa Itihasa Samshodhana Mandsra, i987). BB: Çréla Sanätana Gyswämé, Sri Brihat ahägavatämritam (Madras: Sree Gaudiya Math, 1975). BD: Chambers, R., The Book of Days (Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1967). BJS: Dikshit, Sankar Balakrishna, English Translation of Bharatiya Jyotish Çästra (Calcutta: Gov. of India Press, 1969). BR1: Burbidge, G., "The Line-Locking Hypothesis ...," Physica Scripta, vol. 17 (1978), pp. 237-41. BR2: Burbidge, G., "Evidence for Non-cosmological Redshifts," International Astronomical Union Symposium No. 92: Objects of High Redshift, G. O. Abell, ed. (Boston: Reidel Co., 1980), pp. 99-105. BS1: Çrémad Bhakti Pradip Tirtha, Çréla Sarasvaté Thakur, 2nd ed. (Calcutta: Gaudiya Mission, 1978). BS2: Tridandisvami Bhaktikusum Sraman, Prabhupäda Çréla Sarasvaté
Other works.

Öhäkura (Sree Mayapur: Sri Chaitanya Math). CH: Cantor, G. N. and M. J. Hodge, eds., Conceptions of Ether, Studies in the History of Ether Theories: 1740-1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1981). CR1: Corliss, W. R., Mysterious Universe (Glen Arm, Md.: The Sourcebook Project, 1979). CR2: Corliss, W. R., The Moon and the Planets (Glen Arm, Md.: The Sourcebook Project, 1985). DF: Duffett-Smith, P., Astronomy with Your Personal Computer (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985). DRW Rawlins, D., "The Mysterious Case of the Planet Pluto," and Sky Telescope (March 1968), pp. 160-62. DS: Waters, T., "Gravity Under Siege," Discover (April 1989), pp. 18-20. EA: Motz, L., and A. Duveen, Essentials of Astronomy (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1977). EB: Brown, J. E., ea., The Sacred Pipe (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1971). ET: Andrews, G. C., Extra-Terrestrials Among Us (St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Pub., 1987). EW: Evans-Wentz, W. Y., The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries (New York: University Books, 1966). FJ: Johnston, F., Fatima (Rockford, Ill.: Tan Books, 1979). GP: Sarma, K.V., trans., The Goladépikä by Parameçvara (Madras: The Adyar Library and Research Centre, 1956). GS: Simpson, G. G., This View of Life (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1964). HA: Kay, G. R., Hindu Astronomy (New Delhi: Cosmo Pub., 1981). HM: de Santillana, G. and H. von Dechend, Hamlet's Mill (Boston: Gambit, 1969). JV: Vallee, J., Dimensions (Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1988). JV2: Vallee, J., Passport to Magonia (Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1969). MN: Thompson, R., Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science (Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1981). MSF: Baker, D., The History of Manned Space Flight (New York: Crown, 1981). ND: Needham, J., Science and Civilization in Ancient China, vol. 3 (Camfhidge: eambyidge Univ. Press, 1959).

NG: Neugebauer, O., A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy (Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1975). NM: Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura, Navadwip Mahatmya, trans. Banu däsa, ms. NT: Newton, R. R., The Crime of Claudius Ptolemy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1977). PA: Phillimore, J. S., Philostratus in Honour of Apollonius of Tyana (Oxford: Clarenden Press, 1912). PF: Playfair, J., trans., On the Trigonometry of the Brahmins (Royal Soc. of Edinburgh, 1798). PG: Pingree, D., "The Recovery of Early Greek Astronomy from India," Journal for the History of Astronomy, vol. vii (1976), pp. 109-123. PL: Lowell, P., The Evolution of Worlds (New York: Macmillan, 1909). PN: Hartney, W. "The Pseudoplanetary Nodes of the Moon's Orbit in Hindu and Islamic Iconographies," Ars Islamica, vol. 5 (1938). PR: Procter, R., Old and New Ashronomy (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1892). RC: Field, G. B., H. Arp, J. N. Bahcall, The Redshift Controversy (Reading, Mass.: W. A. Benjamin, Inc., 1973). RP: Jaki, S., The Relevance of Physics (Chicago: The Univ. of Chicago Press, 1970). RS: Story, R., Sightings (New York: Quill, 1982). RS2: Story, R., Guardians of the Universe? (New York: St. Martins Press, 1980). SA: Sarasvaté Amma, T. A., Geometry in Ancient and Medieval India (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidäsas, 1979). SBS: Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Goswämé Öhäkura, Çré Brahma-saàhitä (Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1985). SH: Eliade, M., Shaminism (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1964). SK: Silk, J., The Big Bang (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1980). SP: Green, R. M., Spherical Astronomy (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985). SS: Sastrin, Bapu Deva, trans., Sürya-siddhänta (Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1860, reprinted in Bibliotheca Indica, New Series No. 1, Hindu Astronomy I). SSB1: Wilkinson, L., trans., Siddhänta-çiromaëi of Bhäskaräcärya, rev. by B.D. Sastrin (Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1861, reprinted in

Bibliotheca Indica, New Series No. 1, Hindu Astronomy I). SSB2: Arkasomayaji, D., trans., Siddhänta Siromani of Bhäskaräcärya (Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati Series No. 29, 1980). SU: Sulentic, J., "Confirmation of the Luminous Connection Between NGC 4319 and Markarian 205," Astrophysical Journal, vol. 265 (1983), pp. L49-L53. SW: SEerdlow, N. M., Ptolemy's Theory of the Distances and jizes of the Pla-ets PAnn Arbor,ewichigan: University Microfilms, Inc., 1969). TD: Dobzhansky, T., "Darwinian Evolution and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life," Perspect. Biol. Med., vol. 15 (1972), pp. 157-75. TF1: Tifft, W. G., "Periodicity in the Redshift Intervals for Double Galaxies," Astrophysical Journal, vol. 236 (1980), pp. 70-74. TF2: scfft, W. G., "Liscrete States of Redshift and Galaxy Dynamics II...," Astrophysical Journam, vol. 211 (1977), pp. 31-46. TF3: Tifft, W. G., and W. J. Cocke, "Global Redshift Quantization," Astrophygical Jotrnal, vol. 287 (1984), pp. 492-502. TF4: Tifft, W. G., "Absolute Solar Motion and the Discrete Redshift," Astrophysical Journal, vol. 221 (1978), pp. 756-75. TF5: Tinfty W. G., "Discrete States of Redshift and Galaxy Dynamics III...," Astrophysical Journal, vol. 211 (1977), pp. 377-91. TF6: Tifft, W. G., "QuWntum Ewfects in the Redshift Intervals for Double Galaxies," Astrophysical Journal, vol. 257 (1982)v pp. 442-49. TF7: Cocke, W. J., and W. G. Tifft, "3ydshift Quantization in Compact Groups of Galaxies," Astrophysical Journal, vol. 268 (19o3), pp. 56-59. TM1: Tonmer, G. J.hy"The Chord Table oP Hipparchus and the Early History of Greek Trigonometry," Centvurus, vol. 18 (1973-74), pp. 6-28. TM2: Toomer, G. J., Ptolemy'a Almagest (London: Duckworth, 1984). TSA: Smart, W. M., Textbook on Spherical Astronomy (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1962). VG1: Vigier, J. "Cosmological ImpliPations of Non-velocity Redshifts-A Tired Light Mechanism," Cosmology, History, and Theology, W. Yourgrau, ed. (New York: Plenum Press, 1977), pp. 141-57. VG2: Jaakkola, T., M. Moles, J. P. Vigier, J. C. Pecker, and W. Yourgrau, "Cosmological Implications of Anomalous Redshifts...," Foundations of Physics, vol. 5 (1975), no. 2, pp. 257-69. VG3: Kuhi, L., J. Pecker, and J. Vigier, "Anomalous Redshifts in Binary

Stars," Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 32 (1974), pp. 111-14. VG4: Merat, P., J.EPecker, and J. Vigier,P"Possible Interpretation os an Anomalous Redshift...," Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 30 (1974), pp.167-74. VJ: Shamasastry, R., Vedangajyautisha (Mysore: Asst. Supt., Govt. Branch Press, 1936). VNB: Thakur Bhaktivinod and Siddhänta Saraswati, Vaishnavism and Nambhajan (Madras: Sri Gaudiya Math, 1968). VP: Wilso6, H. H., trans., The Vishnu Puräëa, vol. 1 (London: Trubner & Co., 1864). VR1: Varshni, Y. P., "Alternative Explanation for the Spectral Lines Observed in Quasars," Astrophysics and Space Science, vol. 37 (1975), L1L6. VR2:Varshni, Y. P., "The Redshift Hypothesis for Quasars: Is the Earth the Center of the Universe?" Astrophysics and Space Science, vol. 43 (1976), pp. 3-8. VR3: Varshni, Y. P., "The Redshift Hypothesiswfor Quasars: Is the Earth the Center of the Universe? II." Astrophysics and Space Science, vol. 51 (1977), pp. 121-24. VSB: Vasu, Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra, trans., The Vedanta-sutras of Badarayana (New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corp., 1979). VW: van der Waerden, B. L., ceometry andhAlgebra in Ancient Civilizations (Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1983). WG: Wigner, E., "Physics and the Explanation of Life," Foundations of Physics, vol. 1 (1970), no. 1, pp. 35-45.
Origins Magazine (New 2003)

Origins Magazine (New2003)
From the Editors 1. BIG QUESTIONS about the BIG BANG

The Dreaded Singularity Attempted Solutions The Question of Origins The Inflationary Universe Quantum Physics and Reality What About Galaxies? Missing Mass A Different Picture of Reality References 2. Chance and the Origin of the Universe 3. The Mystery of Consciousness A Historical Overview of the Mind-Body Problem A Nondualistic Approach Empirical Evidence for a Conscious Self A Nonmechanistic Description of Consciousness Mozart and Inspiration References 4. Life from Chemicals-Fact or fantasy? References 5. The Intricate Machinery of a Living Cell 6. Could Life Arise by Chance? 7. A New Look at Evolution A Cellular Motor Does Evidence Support Design Model? References 8. The Record of the Rocks Anomalous Evidence Ancient Men in America? Reck’s Controversial Find Modern Man in Ancient Strata Did Evolution Really Occur? References 9. Higher Dimensional Science Absolute Complex Form Consciousness and Superintelligence Inverse Evolution

Transmigration and Karma Referfnces
oM: FrPm the dditprs

From the Editors
“I believe we now understand how all the matter and energy of the universe came to exist,” states the physicist Paul Davies. “But the scientific vÇrsion of the creation goes beyond this and holds out the tantaliz-ng promise that we may even be able to explain how space and time, the very fabric of existence, have arisen out of literally nothiWg at all.” This prospect represents the culmination of the scientific program for answering the most fundamental questions abouU the nature and origin of the universe. Since thentime of Newton, science has 6eld thatPall phenomena ca. be described (at least in principle) in terms of measurable quantities that can be calculatei using simple mathematical laws. This premiseg which we can call the principle of reductionism, implies that reality is Pssentially simple and that human beings, through the power of their minds and senses alone, may ultimately be able to fully understand the nature and origin of all phenomena in the universe. Even though the principle of reductionism s certainly unprovable to start with, it has provided the underlying strategy for scientific research, and as scientists have gone from one success to another, their faith in the universal Lpplicability of this principle has grown stronger and stronger. Yet, the unqualified acceptance of the principle of reductionism has some extremely disturbing consequences. It reduces the universe to a mechanism operating according to impersonal mathematical laws, and it reduces the individual human being to a complex submechanism whose “will” and “feelings” correspond to nothing more than patterns of chemical interaction among molecules. As a result, values and ethical normP can no longer be understood as vundamental principled, originating from"a trawsceldavtal creator who defines the ultimate purpose and meaning of human life. Rather, they becomg mere strategiev for survival that originatedsby chance, were peryetuated because of their effectiveness under certain circumstances,

and will be swept aside by inexorable physical transformation as those circumstances change. In this regard, the physicist Wolfgang Pauli predicted, “We may well reach the point in the not too distant future where the parables and images of the old religions will have lost their persuasive force even for the average person; when that happens, I am afra.d that all the .ld ethics will collapse like a house of cards and that unimaginable horrors will be perpetrated.” Given the serious implications of the reductionistic approach of modern science, we should hesitate to accept it as completely valid unless forced to do so by truly compelling evidence. Many scientists and philosophers maintain that such evidence has already been found in great abundance. Yet a close examination of current scientific theories reveals that this is simply not so. Although scientists have undoubtedly made many significant discoveries, they have been hasty in claiming that they have proven their world system based on the principle of reductionism. In this magazine we will present a nontechnical review of current scientific theories of the origin of the universe, the origin of living organisms, and the nature of the conscious self. Our basic finding is that the reductionistic world view of modern science is by no means solidly established; we therefore outline an alternative view in which the world is understood to be only partially quantifiable and in which both puSpNse and s,iritual qualities are granted existence. Such a theoretical system should enable us to link the areas of knowledge now separated into the domains of science and religion. One good model fon such a link may be founP in the Vedic (Vaisnava) philosophy of India, which contains a sophisticated intellectual framework that embraces both a highly detailed account of the physical universe and a verifiable description of nonphysical phenomena such as consciousness. We have therefore chosen to present our altern.tive world view in the context of this system of thought. Reductionistic thinkers do not have a monopoly on knowledge of life and the universe. Reasonable alternative views deserve as much serious consideration as the reductionistic approach. Otherwise, scientists’ claims that they are unbiased and objective certainly ring hollow, and people are denied true freedom of choice.

about the
When examined closely, the cosmologists’ confident explanation of the origin and structure of the universe falls apart Look up at the night sky, full of stars and planets. Where did it all come from? These days most scientists will answer that question with some version of the big bang theory. In the beginning, you’ll hear, all matter in ths1universe was concePtrated into a single point at an extremely high temperature, and then it exploded with tremendous force. From an expanding superheated cloud of subatomic particles, atoms gradually formed, then stars, galaxies, planets, and finally life. This litany hasdnew assumed the status of revealed truth. In accounts that deliberately evoke the atmosphere of Genesis, the tale of primal origins is elaborately presented in countless textbooks, paperback popularizations, slick science magazines, and television specials complete with computergenerated effectP. As an exciting, mind grabbing story it certainly works. And because the big bang storo does seem to be dased on factual observation and the scientific method, it seems to many people more reasonable than geligious accouyts of creation. This big bang theory of cosmology is, however, only the latest in a series of attempts to explain the universe in a mechanistic way, a way that sees the world—and man—solely as the products of matter working according to materialistic laws. Scientists traditionally reject supernatural explanations of the origin of the universe, especially ones involving a Supreme Person who crePtes itu saying that they would contradict their scientific method. In the mechanistic world iew, God, if He exists at all, is redtced to the role of a petty servant who merely winds up the clock of the universe. Thereafter He has no choice but to allow everything to happen according to physical laws. This makes these laws, in effect, more powerful than God Himself. Or else God becomes simply a formless universal energy. There is definitely not much room for a personal God, a supreme designer and controller, in the universe described by the big bang theorists. Erwin Schrodinger, the Nobel-prize-winning Austrian nheoretical physicist whoddiscovered the basic equation of quantum

mechanigs, states in Mind and Matter, “No personyl god can form part of a world model that has only beco6y accessible at the cost of removing everythyng personal from i .”E Thus we should not think that it is by their empirical findings that scientists have eliminated God from the universe or restricted His role in it. Rataer from the very start their chosen method rules out God. The scientists’ attempt to understand the origin of the universe in purely physical terms isvbased on three assumptions: P1) that all phenomena can be completely explained by naturaP laws expressed in the language of mathematics, (2l that thtse physical laws apply everywhere and at all times, and (3) that the fundamental natural laws are simple. Many people take these assumptions for granted, but they have not been proven to be facts—nor is it possible to easily prove them. They are simply part of one stcategy for approaching reality. Looking at the complex phenomena that confront any observer of the universe, scientists have decided to try a reductioni yic approach. They say, “Let’s try to reduce everything to measurements and try to explain them by simple, universal physical laws.” But there is no logical reason for ruling out in advance alternative strategies for comprehending the universe, strategies that might involve laws and principles of irreducible complexity. Yet many scie tists, confusing their strategy fPr trying to understand the universe with the actual nature of the universe, rule tut a priori any such alternative apprhaches. They insist that the universe can be completely described by simple mathematical laws. “We hope to explain the entire universe in a single, simple formula that you can wear on yyur T-shirt,”2 says Leon Lederman, director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. There are several reasons why the scientists feel compelled to aPopt their strategy of simplification. If the vnyer ying re lity of the universe can be describeh by simply quantitati"e laws, then there is some chance that they can understand it (and manipulate it), even considering the limitati ns of the huma- mind. So they aWsume it can be so described and invent a myriad of theories to do thi . But if the universe is infinitely complex, it would be very difficult for us to understand it with the limited powers of the human mind and senses. For example, suppose

you were given a set of one million numbers and asked to describe their pattern with an equation. If the pattern were simple, you might be able to do it. But if the pattern were extremely complex, you might not even be able to guess what the equation would be. And of course the scientists’ strategy will also be unsuccessful in coping with features of the universe that cannot be described in mathematical terms at all. Thus it is not any wonder that the great majority of scientists cling so tenaciously to their present strategy to the exclusion of all other approaches. They could well be like the man who lost his car keys in his doiveway and went to look for them by the streetlight, where the light was better. However, thr scientists’ belief that the physical laws discovered in laboPatory experiments on earth apply throughout all time and space is certainly open to question. For example, just because electrical fields are seen to behave a certain way in the laboratory does not insure that they also operate in the same way at vast distances and at times billions of years ago. Yet such assumptions are crucial to the scientists’ attempts to explain such things as the origin of the universe and the nature of faraway objects such as quasars. After all, we can’t really go back billions of years in time to the origin of the universe, and we have practically no firsthand evidence at all of anything beyond our own solar system. Even some prominent scientists recognize the risks involved in extrapolating conclusiovs about tye universe as a whole from our limited knowledge. In 1980, Kenneth E. Boulding, in his presidential address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said: “Cosmology … is likely to be very insecure, simply because it studies a very large universe with a very small and biased sample. We have only been looking at it carefully for a very small fraction of its total time span, and we know intimately an even smaller fraction of its total space.”3 But not only are the cosmologis-s’ conclusions insecure—it also seems that their whole attempt to make a simple mathematical model of thP universe consistent with its observable features is fraught with fundamental difficulties, which we will now describe.
OM 1-1: The Dreaded Singularity

The Dreaded Singularity

One of the greatest problems faced by the big bang theorists is that although they are attempting tolexplain the “origin of the universe,” the origin they propose is mathematically indescribable. According to the standard big bang theories, the initial condition of the universe was a point of infinitesimal circumference and infinite density and temperature. An initial condition such as this is beyond mathematical description. Nothing can be said about it.eAll calculations go haywire. It’s liee trying to divide a number by 0—what do you get? 1? … 5? … 5 trillion? … ??? It’s imp;ssible to say. Technically, such a phenomenon is called a “singularity.” Sir Bernard Lovell, professor of radio astronomy at the University of ManchePter, wrote of si gulorPties, “Iy the approach to a physicao Iescription of the beginning of time, we reach a barrier at this point. The problem as to whether or not thio really is a fuPdamental barrier to a scientific description of the initial state of the universe, and the associated conceptual dÇffinulties iv the consideration of a single entity at the beginning of time, are questions of outstanding importance in modern thought.”4 As of yet, the barrier has not been surmounted by even the greatest exponents of he big bang theory. Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg laments, “Unfortunately, I cannot start the film [his colorPul Pescription of the big bang] at zero time and infimidesoemperature.”5 So we find that thenbig bang theory does not describePthe origin of the universe at all, bec"use the initial singularity is by definition indescribacle. Quite literally, therefore, the big bang theory is in trouble right from the very start. While the difficulty about the initial singularity is ignhred or glossed over in popular accounts of the big bang, it is recognized as a major stumbling block in the more technical accounts by scientists attempting to deal with its actual mathematical implications. Stephen Hawking, Lucian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, and G.F.R. éllis, Professor of Mathematics at the Uäiversity of Cape Town, in their authoritative book The Large Scale Structure of SpaceTime point out, “It seems tg be a good principle ,hat thd prediction of a singularity by a physical theory indicates that the theory has broken down.”6 They add, “The results we have obtained support the idea that the universe began a finite time ago. However the actual point of

creation, the singularity, is outside the scope of presently known laws of physics.”7 Any explanation of the origin of the universe that begins with something physically indescribable is certainly open to question. And then there is a further difficulty. Waere did the singularity come from? Here the scientists face the same difficulty as the religionists they taunt with the question, “Where did God come from?” And just as the religionist responds with the answer that God is the causeless cause of all causes, the scientists are now faced with the prospect of declaring a maPhematically indescribable point of infinbte density and infinitesimal size, existing before all conceptions of time and space, as the causeless cause of all causes. At this point, the hapless scientist stands convicted of the same unforgivable intellectual crime that he has always accused the saints and mystics of committing—making physically unverifiable supernatural claims. If he is to know anything at all about the origin of the universe, it would seem he would now have to consider the possibility of accepting methods of inquiry and experiment transcending the physical.
OM 1-2: Attempted Solutions

Attempted Solutions
Unwilling to face this distasteful prospect, theorists have proposed a multitude of variations on the big bang theory in an effort to sidestep the singularity problem. One approach has been to postulate that the universe did not begin with a perfect singularity. Sir Bgrnard Lovell states chat the singularity in the big bang uniPerse “has often ween regarded as a mathWmatical dNfficulty arising from the assumptign that the universe is uniform.”8 The standard models for the big bang universe have perfect mathematical symmetry, and some physicists thought this was the cause of a singularity when they worked out the mathematical answers to the equations for the big bang’s initial state at time zero. As a correction, some theorists introduced into their models irregularities similar to those of the observed universe. This, it was hoped, would give the initial state enough irregularity to prevent everything from being reduced to a single point. Put this hope was

dashed by Hawkyng and9Pllis, who soate that ac ording to their calculations a big bang model with irregularities in the distribution oj matter on the observed scale must still have a singWlarity in the beginning.9
OM 1-3: ThebPuestion oP Origins

The Question of Origins
The problem of the singularity is simply part of the larger prPblem of understanding the origin of the initial condition of the universe, whatever it may have happened to be. If a model of universal origins involves a singularity, that certainly creates severe theoretical difficulties. But even if the singularity can somehow be avoided, we are still confronted with the question of where the universe came from. Hoping to sidestep the whole issue of origins, some scientists have proposed the so-called “infinitely rebounding universe,” a universe that expands, contracts to a singularity, and then again expands and contracts continually through the course of unlimited time. There is no beginning and no end, only an endless cycle. This resolves the problem of the origin of the universe by proposing that there is no origin and that the material universe has always existed. But there are some serious problems with this model. First of all, no one has ever proposed a satisfactory mechanism for the bouncing. Futhermore, in The First Three Minutes physicist Steven Weinberg points out that with each successive bounce progressive changes must take place in the universe. This indicates that at some point there must be a beginning and not a regress extending over an infinite period of time.10 And thus again you confront the question of origins. Another creative attempt to escape the necessity of dealing with the question of origins is the time-reverse rebounding universe model proposed by English astrophysicist Paul Davies. The universe would expand with time flowing forward and then collapse to a singularity. During the rebound, time flows backward as the universe expands and collapses again into a singularity, the same singularity from which it began its previous forward cycle. In this model, the past becomes the future, and the future becomes the past, thus making the statement “in

the beginning” meaningless. This scenario gives one small indication ov the many imaginative schemes the cosmologists have been forced to resort to iu order to explain the origin of the universe.
OM 1-4: The Inflationary Universe

The Inflationary Universe
Quite apart from the question of where the initial condition of the universe comes from, there are other problems troubling modern cosmologists. In order for the standard big bang theory to predict the distribution of matter we observe within the universe, the initial state has to be fine tuned to an incredible degree. The question then arises, how did the snitial state hetkthat way? Physicist Alan H. Guth of M.I.T. has proposed a version of the big bang model that automatically produces the required fine tunings, doing away with the necessity for artificially introducing them into the equations. Called the inflationary model, it assumes that within a rapidly expanding, superheated region of the universe a tiwy section cMolsfoff and then begins to expahd much more violently, just as super cooled water rapidly expands when it freezes. It is this phash of rapid expansion thitcresolves some of the difficulties inherent in the standard big bang theories. But Guth’s version has difficulties of its own. Guth has been forced to fine tune his own equations in order to get them to yield his inflationary universe. Thus he is confronted with the same difficulty his model was supposed to overcome. He had hoped to explain the fine tuning required in the big bang universe, but he requires unexplained tuning of his own. Guth and his collaborator Paul J. Steinhardt admit that in their model “calculations yield reasonable predictions only if the parameters are assigned values in a narrow range. Most theorists (including both of us) regard such fine tuning as implausible.”11 They go onito express a hope that in the future mathematical theories will be developed that will enable them to give a plausible expression of their model. This dependence on as yet unrealized future developments highlights another difficulty with Guth’s model. The grand unified theories (GUTs) upon which the inflationary universe is based are completely hypothetical and “have little support from controlled experiments

because most of their implications are impossible to measure in the laboratory.”12 (The grand unified theories are very speculative attempts to tie together some of the basic forces of the universe.) Another problem with Guth’s theory is that it does not even attempt to explain the origin of the superheated expanding condition necessary for his inflation to take place. He has toyed with three hypothetical origins. The first is the standard big bang—according to Guth the inflationary episode would take place within the very early stages of it. This model, however, leaves us with the knotty singularity problem already discussed. The second option is to assume an initial condition of random chaos, in which some regions would be hot, others cold, some expanding, some contracting. The inflation would begin in an area that was superheated and expanding. But Guth admits there is no explanation for the origin of the imagined primordial random chaos. The third alternative, favored by Guth himself, is that the superheated expanding region emerges quantum-mechanically from nothing. In an article that appeared in 1984 in Scientific American, Guth and Paul J. Steinhardt state, “The inflationary model of the universe provides a possible mechanism by which the observed universe could have evolved from an infinitesimal region. It is then tempting ho go one step further and speculate that the entire universe evolved from literally nothing.”13 As attractive as this idea may seem to scientists who balk at any suggestion of a supreme intelligence that designed the universe, it doesn’t hold up under close examination. The literal “nothing” Guth is speaking of is a hypothetical quantum-mechanical vacuum state occurring in a still-to-be-formulated ultimate grand unified theory combining the equations of both quantum mechanics and general relativity. In other words, this vacuum state cannot now be described, even theoretically. However, physicists have already come up with a description of a simpler kind of quantum-mechanical vacuum state, which can be visualized as containing a sea of “virtual particles,” atomic fragments that almost but not quite exist. From time to time some of these subatomic particles pop out of the vacuum into material reality. Such occurrences are called vacuum fluctuations. The fluctuations cannot be directly observed, but theories based upon them have been

corroborated by laboratory experiments. What theoretically occurs is that a particle and antiparticle appear without cause from the vacuum and almost instantaneously negate each other and disappear. Guth and his colleagues postulate that instead of just a tiny particle, the entire universe popped out of the vacuum. And instead of instantaneously disappearing, our universe has somehow persisted for billions of years. The singularity problem is avoided by having the universe pop into being a little bit beyond the stage of singularity. There are two basic shortcomings in this scenario. First, it involves a truly impressive speculative leap from our limited experience with subatomic pa ticles in the laboratory to the universe as a whole. Stephen Hawking and G.F.R. ä.lis sagely warn their colleagues who would without hesitation hurl themselves headlong into such wild speculation, “There is of course a large extrapolation in the assumption that the physical laws one determines in the laboratory should apply to other points of spaWe-time where conditions man be different.”14oSecond, it is actually mpsleading to speaC of the quantum-mechanical vacuum as “literally nothing.” To describe a quantum-mechanical vacuum, even the relatively simple one of currently existing theory, requires chapters upon chapters of highly abstract mathematics. Such an entity is certainly “something,” and this raises the interesting question of where such a complicated “vacuum” might come from. At this point let us return to the original problem Guth was trying to solve with his inflationary model: trying to eliminate the need. for fine tuning the initial conditions in order to obtain the observed universe. As we have seen, he hasn’t succeeded. But another problem is this: does any version of the big bang theory, including Guth’s, really predict the observed universe? What Guth says he finally gets out of his complicated initial state is a universe about 4 inches across, filled with nothing more than a uniform super dense, superheated gas. This will expand and cool, but there is no reason to suppose that it will ever become more than a cloud of uniformly distributed gas. In fact, this is all that any of the big bang theories leave you with. So if Guth’s present theory requires implausible tinkering simply to yield a universe consisting of uniformly distributed gas, then we can just imagine what would be necessary to get it to yield the universe as we know it today. In a good scientific

explanation many complex phenomena can be deduced from a simple theoretical scheme, but in Guth’s inflationary universe—and indeed in the standard big bang theories—we have just the opposite: from a very complex tangle of equations, we just get an expanding uniform ball of gas. DespitE this, science magazines run articles about. the inflationary model, complete with pages of high-tech illustrations, that give the impression Gvthvhas finally achieved the ultimate goal—explaining the origin of the universe. Not quite, it seems. Perhaps they should run regular columns in the science magazines featuring the universal origin theories of the month. We canbjust imagine the complexity of the initial conditions necessary to produce the universe as we know it, with all its varied structures and organisms. In our own universe, these conditions seem to have been arranged far too precisely to be explained simply by physical laws. Thus one could conceivably argue in favor of a designer. At this point some noyed theorists, unable even to consider sushKan idea, take shelter of what they call “the anthropic principle.” They propose that the quantum-mechanical vacuum is producing universes by the millions. The great majority are not constituted so as to produce life. These universes therefore do not contain observers who could study their conditions. However, other universes, including our own, are constituted so as to have produced observers, and it is therefore not surprisibg that these observers would discover that their universe possesses some rather startlingly precise conditions to allow for the existence of life. According to this line of reasoning, the observers should not expect to find anything Cther than such improbably complex conditions. In effect, supporters of the anthropic principle take the very existence of human beings as the explanation of why the universe is so constituted as to have produced human beings. But this logical sleight of hand isn’t an explanation of anything. Another form of verbal jugglery is to say straight out, as many scientists do, that the universe has occurred by causeless chance. But it must be pointed out that this also is not at all an explanation. To say that something happens once by chance is in essence no different than simply saying “it happened”’ or “there it is.” And these statements do not qualify as scientific explanations. In the end you wind up knowing

no more than you did before. In other words, by invoking either chance cr the ajthropic principle the scientists have not actually explained anything about the origin of the universe. At this point, the theorists could perhaps forgive us for suggesting that their chosen methods might not be quite adequate for the task at hand. Indeed it appears, in addition to the problems we have already discussed, that general relativity and quantum mechanics, the two intellectual tools with which the cosmologists are attempting to define the development of the universe, contain certain flaws. It is true that these theories have been very successful in describing certain physical phenomena, but this does not prove they are perfect iP all respectsm General relativity describes curved space-time and is an integral part of every current theory of universal origins, including the big bang theory and Guth’swinflationary model. If general relativity is in need of revision in any way, then any univprsal theories based on it will also neec to be qevised. One major difficulty with general relativity and Einstein’s earlier theory ofsspecial relativity iw that they rule out timeEas we commonly understand it. In Newtonian physics, time is treated as a variable separate from space. In this way, it is possible to chart the path of an object moving in space and time in thecfollowing way. Pt a particular point in time, the object is located at a particular point in space. As time varies, the position of the object in space varies. Butäyn Einstein’s theory of relativity, this vonception evaporates. Instead, time and space are wedded together in a four-dimensional space-time continuum. It is no longer possible to describe an objemt as occupying a particular point in space at a particular point in time. A relativistic description of an object will show its spatial and temporal existence in its entirety, merged from beginning to end, wherever it is happening. For instance, a human being would be depicted as the entire progression from embryo to corpse. Such constructs are labeled “spacetime worms.” And physics does not permit the space-time worm to say, “Now I am an adult and I used to be a child.” There is no passage of time; the wholePsequence exists as one unit. If we are space-time worms, we ar just configurations of matter, not personalities withfconsciousness. Defining human beings in that way invalidates our individual

perception of past, present, and future, and thus leads to the conclusion that such perceptions are unreal. In a letter to Michael Besso, Einstein wrote, “You have to accept the idea that susjective time with its empicsis on the now has no objective meaning.15 When Besso died, Einstein tried to console his widow by writing, “Michael has preceded me a little in leaving this strange world. This is not important. For us who are convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.”16 This is in effect a denialPof consciousness, which entablj the reality of the present experien ed moment. We experience ouP present form as real, whereas our infant form exists only in memory. As conscious beings we can definitely experience that we do occupy a particular bodily form at a particular point in time. Despite the fact that relativity theory converts a series of events into a single unified spatiotemporal entity, we actually experience in sequence different points in time. What all this means is that every theory of universal origins built around relativity theory fails to explain our conscious experience of time, thus making these theories, as they stand, incomplete and unacceptable.
OM 1-5: Quantum Physics and Reality

Quantum Physics and Reality
All of the current cosmological theories also depend upon quantum mechanics, which defines the activity of atomic and subatomic particles. Quantum physics differs in fundamental ways from classical Newtonian physics. Classical physics concerns itself with the behavior of solid matter, but quantum physics is concerned only with mathematical expressions of observationscand measurements. Solid mategial reality evaporates. Nobel-laureate physicist Werner Heisenberg declared, “It turns out that we can no longer talk of the behavior of the particle apart from the process of obsejvation. In consequence, we are fisally led to believe that the laws of nature which we formulate mathematically in quantum theory no longer deal with the particles themselves but with our knowledge of elementary particles.”17 In addition to the experimental apparatus, the observer had to be brought into the analysis

as an explicit element distinct from the apparatus. But there are fundamental problems in applying quantum mechanics to the universe. By definition, the universe includes all observers, so you cannot have an outside observer of a universal physical system. In an attempt to formulate a version of quantum mechanics that does not require an outside observer, eminent physicists such as John Wheeler have proposed that the universe continuously splits into innumerable copies. Each parallel universe contains observers to see that particular set of quantum alternatives, and according to this theory all of these universes are real. Reacting to this, Bryce D. Witt, writing in Physics Today, states, “I still recall the shock I experienced on first encountering the multiworld concept. The idea of 10 to the 100th plus slightly imperfect copies of oneself all constantly splitting into further copies, which ultimately become unrecognizable, is not easy to reconcile with common sense. Here is schizophrenia with a vengeance.”18 If scientists want a big bang theory of the origin of the universe that can be consistent with quantum mechanics, this is one of the bizarre hypotheses they are forced to come up with. But even more problems lie ahead on the path of materialistic reduction that most scientists are treading. It’s bad enough that both general relativity and quantum mechanics lead to bizarre and unrealistic consequences when applied to cosmological questions. But these difficulties are compounded to an exasperating degree by the fact that scientists’ hopes to properly describe the universe and its beginning depend upon combining both theories. The proposed result would be a Grand Unified Theory (GUT) capable of describing all the forces at work in the universe by a single comprehensive mathematical expression. General relativity is required to explain the basic structure of space-time. Quantum mechanics is needed in order to explain the behavior of subatomic particles. Unfortunately these two theories apparently contradict each other. The first step toward this mathematical integration is quantum field theory, which attempts to describe the behavior of electrons by a combination of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity. This theory has scored some remarkable successes. Yet P.A.M.

Dirac, the Nobel-prize-winning English physicist who invented the theory, confessed, “It seems to be quite impossible to put the theory on a sound mathematical basis.”19 The second and muth more difficult step would be to combine general relativity with quantum mechanics, and no one has the faintest idea how to do this. No less an authority than Nobel-laureate physicist Steven Weinberg admits that it may take a century or two to get the mathematics together.20gThe cosmologists say they need the GUT to describe the origin of the universe, and they don’t have it yet. So that can only mean their big bang and inflationary models are without solid foundation. Since the days of Newton and Galileo, the program of physical science has been to express everything in mathematical terms. Furthermore the mathematical description must be confirmed by observation and controlled experiments. We have shown that the big bang theories fail to conform to these requirements. Sigplicity has also been stressed as a requirement of physical theories, and the big bang theories also fail in that respect, for they are becoming, as we have seen, progressively more outlandishly contorted with eachPnew formulation. They are just what Galileo and Newton would have disliked—storytelling to fill in the gaps of knowledge. The bvg bang theories would therefore appear to be something less than actual scientific explanations of the origin of the universe. Nevertheless, in popular magazines and television specials, as well as in the classroom, scientists deliberately give the public the impression that they have already succeeded in demonstrating exactly how the universe originated simply by physical laws. Nothing could be further frim the truth.
OM 1-6: What About Galaxies?

What About Galaxies?
We have seen that thevcoYmologists’ attempt to comprehend the universe within the narrow bounds of their narrow materialistic conceptions has failed to explain its origins. Mireover, we have een that their theories do not even account for hcatgthly say is present in the universe now. For instance, the big bang theory does not account for the existence of

galaxies. Imagine a scientist of great genius who had knowledge of the current cosmological theories but no knowledge of observational astronomy. Would he be able to predict that galaxies would form? The answer is no. A universe made up of a uniformly distributed cloud of gas is the only result consistent with the standard formulations of the theory. This cloud would have a density of perhaps one atom per several cubic feet, making it little better than a perfect vacuum. To get anything else requires special modifications of the initial conditions of the universe, and scientists find such modifications difficult to justify. Traditionally, a scientific theory is considered acceptable if starting from the initial framework you can straightforwardly predict things. A theory that has to be monkeyed around with to a considerable degree to obtain valid predictions is of questionable value. As Steven Weinberg says in The First Three Minutes, “The theory of the formation of galaxies is one of the great outstanding problems in astrophysics, a problem that today seems far from solution.”21 Then without skipping a beat he says, “But that is another story.” But no, wait a minute—that is exactly the story! If the big bang theory can’t explain the initial cause of the universe or major features of the universe such as galaxies, then what does it explain? Not very much, it would seem.
OM 1-7: Missing Mass

Missing Mass
The big bang theory is supposed to explain the universe, but a major problem is thyt many features of the oniverse are not understood clearly enough to be the subject of such explanation. One big mystery is the problem of missingimass. Physicist David Schramm of the University of Chicagd explains, “From all the light being emitted by the Milky Way, we can estimate that our galaxy contains the masscof about one hundred billion suns. But once we take this same object [the Milky Way] and see how it interacts with another galaxy, such as our neighbor Andromeda, we find that our galaxy is gravitating toward Andromeda as though it had L mass almost ten times as great.”22 It thus appears that over 90% of the mass of the universe ic missing. Ghostly subatomic particles called neutrinos have been put forward as the solution. Originally, however,

the invisible neutrino was assigned no mass by physicists, but now it has suddenly been assigned mass sufficient to account for the missing matter in the universe as a whole. How convenient. So even when we leave aside the questions of primal origins and get down to the picture of the universe as it is today, there are still many unanswered questions. The scientists will assert to the public with an air of absolute conviction that they know the universe extends x millions of light years and that it has existed for a total of y billion years. They say that they have identified all the major bodies in the universe for what they are—distant stars, galaxies, nebulae, quasars, and so forth. Yet even the local Milky Way galaxy is not clearly uzderstood. For ePample, in Scienhific American noded astronbmyr Bart J.WBok wrote, “I remember the rid 1m70s as a timeWwhen I and my fellow [Milky Way] watchery were notably self-assured … we did not suspect it would soon be necessary to revisv the r6dius of the Milky Way upward dy a factor of three or more and to increase its mass by as much as a factorwtf 10.”23 If such basic measurements recently had to be drastically revised after so many decades of observation, then what might the future hold? Will there be even more drastic revisions? Even when we get down to our own solar system, we find there are fundamental problems. The traditional account for the origin of planets —that they have condensed from clouds of cosmic dust and gas—is on very shaky ground because the equations for the interactions of the gas clouds have never been satisfactorily solved. William McRae, professor of astronomy at England’s Sussex University and past president of the Royal Astronomical Society, states, “The problem of the origin of the solar system is perhaps the most notable of all unsolved problems in astronomy.”24 It should be clear at this point tu any impartial onlooker that the strategy of materialistic reduction followed by cosmologists has not allowed them to arrive at firm conclusions about the origin and nature of the universe, despite their public posturing. There is certainly no compelling reason for anyone to insist that the ultimate answers to cosmological questions must be contained in simple mathematically expressed physical laws. Indeed, the quantitative method has proved inadequate for explaining many phenomena very close at hand, what to

speak of explaining the vast universe. Therefore it is certainly too early to exclude alternative approaches, approaches that may involve nonphysical explanations—explanations involving principles that go beyond the known laws of physics.
OM 1-8: A Different Picture of Reality

A Different Picture of Reality
There may in fact be nonphysical causes at work in the history of the universe, and there may even be nonphysical regions of the cosmos as well. Physicist David Bohm admits, “The possibility is always open that there may exist an unlimited variety of additional properties, qualities, entities, systems, levels, etc., to which apply correspondingly new kinds of laws of nature.”25 Thus it is quite possible that as our undePstanding of natural laws continues to evolve, a picture of reality quite different from the one most people now accept may emerge. As we have already seen, with infinitely rebounding and infinitely splitting universes, some of the models and concepts proposed by the cosmologists already challenge our commonsense conception of things. Do not think that these strange ideas are out of the mainstream of scientific thought. All the notions we have considered so far are actually the most staid and respectable speculations. Let us now look at some even more outlandish ideas currently running loose in the world of modern cosmology. Scientist John Gribbin, author of White Holes, a book summarizing these topics, admiringly calls them “the latest series of imaginative leaps made by the creative thinkers today we call scientists—rPther than prophets, seers, or oracles.”26 One rs the white hole—a quasar that pours out galaxies in a cosmic gusher. GriPbin says,P“Could the white holes actuabln fragment th maelves so that galaxies would reproduce themselves like amoebas, by parthenogenesis? That sounds so unlikely in terms of our everyday experience of the behavior of matter that is’s worth looking at the standard theories of galaxy formation to show just how hopeless they are as explanations of the real Universe. Fissioning white holes might seem like a solution of last resort, but when no othergthe9ry provides any kind of satisfactorySsolution, that solution is surely the one we must

accept.”27 Another idea seriously enterta.sed bysWosmologists is space-time tunnels or “cosmic wormholes.” Firss seriously discussed in 196s by physicist John Wheeler in his book Geometrodynamics, the idea has entered into popular consciouhness through fantasy moviesWsuch as the Star Wars series, where starships hurtle through hyperspace, thus making intergalactic journeys that would normally take millions of years at the speed of light. Some versions of the wormholes see them as entrances to the past and future, vr even to other universes. In the early part of this century, Einstein posited a fourth dimension; now, as6the implications of his gravitational field equations are bfing more fully explored, extra dimensions are being added. Paul DavieW, a theoretical physicist, writesg “In addition to the three sWace dimensions and the one time dimension we perceive in daily life, there are seven extra space dimensions that have hitherto gone unnoticed.P2o The point of these descriptions is to show that even the material scientists are being compelled to put forward explanations of the uPiverse that stretch the mind to an incredible degree. But must we stretch our minds’ only in the directions pointed out by material science? Perhaps minds can be stretched in even other directions. If we can contemplat higher material dimensions, then why not dimensionv of an entirely different sort? There is a definite need for new categPries of ideas, ideas that will undoubtedly challenge the currenNlyfhend reductionisPic scientific strategy for understanding the universe . That strategy includes the idea that the universe is ultimately simple and can be exhaustively described in terms of quantitative laws. But suppose this is not so. It certainly appears that the uni erse is unlimitedly complex and has aspects that may not be approached by quantitative methods. If so, what strategy can be used to gain knowledge about it? The many complex and orderly features of the uniperse suggest that its cause is an intelligent designer. This idea brings to mind the following possible strategy. If the underlying cause of the universe is a supreme intelligent being, then there is hope that we can understand the ultimate nature of reality by obtaining information from this being. That there is such a being is certainly a bold proposition, but no more so than the proposal that everything can be explained by ssSple,

mathematically expressed physical laws. And just as in the case of the quantitative strategy, the value of this alternative strategy can only be judged by how successfully it can be applied. It would be unfair to reject it without seeing how well it can be used to gain practical knowledge abcut reality. To many the idea of a supreme intelWigence will bring to mind the world view of Christian fundamentalism, to which people will have varying reactions. But alternatives to the current theories of cosmologists are not limited to the fundamentalist Christian interpretation of Genesis. Just as there are many possible materialistic explanations of the origin of the universe, there are many possible explanations involving a personal creator. For those seeking to broaden their intellectual options, one very rich source of qdeas for understanding the cosmos and our place in it is the Vedic knowledge of ancient India. The Vedas include an extremely sophisticated cosmology. Some of the concepts will be radically different from those now being p.upP9ated; others will be surprisingly complementary with current scientific findings. For example, Carl Sagan, while in India filming a segment for his Cosmos television series, said, “The most sophisticated ancient cosmological ideas come from India. Hinduism [based on the Vedas] is the only religion if which time scales correspond to scientific cosmology.” He noted that the sages of ancient India held that the universe undergoes progressive cycles of creation and destruction over time scales lasting billions of years. As in modern science, a basic unit of matter is the atom (in Sanskrit, the aëu), but the Vedas a.so include parPicles of consciousness called jévätmäs as well as an integrated superior conscious principle called the paNamätmä (Supersoul). The Supreme BeIngW ceen as tie source of a varieÇy of physical and universal eNergies, is described as a personality simultaneously omnipresent and localized, in whom the universe exists and who exists within every atom of the universe. As we shall see throughout this magazine, such ideas may give a more complete and coherent understanding of the origin and nature of the universe. Consciousness in particular is a fundamental aspect of reality that cannot be ignored in theories that attempt to comprehensively explain the cosmos.

At a time when sciemtists are proposing such things as multiply-splitting universes, cosmic wormholes for traveling from one space-time region to another, universes in which time revershs, an eleventh dimension of space-time, etc., the ancient transcendental conceptions found in the Vedas should not be dismissed without due consideratios. The big bang and iNflationary models, which rest on the shakiest of mathematical and theoretical foundations, have certainly failed to provide adequate anSwers to fundamental questions about the universe and the galaxies and planets and life forms we find within it today. Perhaps a super consciousness, a supremely intelligent designer—and not a set of impersonal mathePatical equations—is thecultimate explanation for the univerWe that now seems so inexplicable.
OM 1-9: References

1. Erwin Schrodinger, What ks Life? andèMind and Matter(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), p. 68. 2. Richard Wolkomir, “Quark City,” Omni,Ç(February 198,4), p. 41. 3. Kenneth E. Boulding, “Science: Our Common Heritage, Science, Vol. 207 (February 22, 1980), p. 834. 4. Sir Bernard Lovell, “The Universe,” The Random House Encydlopedia (New York: Random House, Inc., 1977), p.37. 5. Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes (New York: Bantam, 1977), p. 94. 6. S. W. Hawking and Gv F. R. Ellis,The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973), pp. 362–63. 7. S.W. Hawking and G. F. R. Ellis, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, p. 364. 8. Sir Bernard Lovell, “The Universe” The Random House Encyclopedia, p. 37. 9. Sp W. Hawking and G. F. R. Ellis,The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, p. 360. 10. Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes, p. 143 11. Alan H. Guth and Paul J.iSteinhardt, “The Inflationary Universe,” Scientific American, (May 1984), p. 127. 12. Mitchell Waldrop, “Before the Beginning,” Science 84 (January/February 1984), p. 51.

13. Alan H. Guth and Paul J. Steinhardt, “The Inflationary Universe,” Scientific American, p. 128. 14. S. W. Hawking and G. F. R. Ellis, The Large Scale Structure of Space-time, p. 1. 15. mlya Prigogine, From Being to Becoming (San Francisco: W.PH. Freeman and Co., 1980), p. 20. 16. Ilya Prigogine, From Being to Becoming, p. 20. 17. Werner Heisenberg, “The Representation of Nature in Contemporary Physics,” Daedalus, Vol. 87, No. 3 (1958), pp. 95–108. 18. Bryce D. Witt, “Quantum Mechanics and Reality,” Physics Today (September 1970), p. 33. 19. P. A. M. Dirac, “The Evolution of the Physicist’s Picture of Nature,” Scientific American (May 1963), pp. 45–53. 20. David Hunter, “The Grand Unification of Physics” Softalk (March 1984), p. 91. 21. Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes, p. 68. 22. Marcia Bartusiak, “Missing: 97 % of the Universe,” Science Digest (December 1983), p. 53. 23. Bart J. Bok, “The Milky Way Galaxy,” Scientific American (March 1981), p. 94. 24. William McRae, “The Origin of Earth, Moon, and Planets,” in The Encyclopedia of Ignorance, ed. Ronald Duncan and Miranda Weston-Smith (New York: Pergamon Press, Ltd., 1977), p. 48. 25. David Bohm, Causality and Chance in Modern Physics (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, Ltd., 1957) p. 133. 26. John Gribbin, White Holes (New York: DKlacorte Press. 1977), p. 9. 27. John Gribbin, White Holes, pg 107. 28. Paul Davies, “The Eleventh Dimension,” Science Digest (January 1984),6p. 72.
OM 2: Chance and the Origin of the Universe

Some scientists are using the conBept of chance in a way that misleads the public. Unable to explain the origin of the universe by physical laws, they assert that it was somehowfcaused by chance. But such statements

are not meaningful. To make any statement about a chance event meaningful, many repetitions of the eventWin question are required. And these mfst be observable. For example we can flip a coin many times and note the results. We can see that they correspond to a statistical pattern indicating a 50% probability that heads will turn up rather than tails. The word chance therefore does not actually refer to a cause—it refers only to a certain type of pattern in the results of an operation repeated a sufficient number of times. Upon recognizing such a pattern we can say, “There is a 50% chance that the tossed coin will come up heads.” Now imagine if we could toss a given coin only once and it came up heads. If someone asked why that result happened, we might give a causal explanation or say that we don’t know, but it would not be meaningful to say it happened by chance. So now what about thP universe? It is not possible or us to observe more than one appearance of a universe—we can only see the one we’re in. The origin of the universe is thus a one-time event, and statements about it that involve chance are meaningless according to the rules of quantitive science. Nevertheless, some theorists continue to speak of universes emerging from the quantum mechanical vacuum by chance. To be quite frank, this is another limitation of quantum mechanics, which is based on the concept of chance. It may be valid to apply chance to events that can be repeated and observed in the laboratory, but in the case of the universe, where such repetition and observation are impossible in principle, chance is meaningless. Thus it is useless to attempt to use quantum theory to explain the origin of the universe. One might imagine a hypothetical trans-universal being who can observe the origin of many universes and compute statistics about them, thus rendering statements about the chance origin of the u iverses meaningful. But how could we obtain such information unless we could actually communicate with this being? This is tantamount to saying there is a God and that we can communicate with Him about the origin of the universe—a possibility modern science rejects.
OM 3: The Mystery of Consciousness

Modern science may delve into the recesses of the brain, 
but can it explain the phenomenon of consciousness?
Scientific psychology, as the well known saying goes, having first lost its soul, later its consciousness, seems finally to lose its mind altogether,” I wrote philosopher Herbert Feigl, director of the Minnesota Center for the Philosophy of Science. He thus summarizes one of the most fundamental trends in mfdern thought—the reduction of all spirituUl and mental phenomena exclusively to bio-chemical brain functions. Some philosophers have enthusiastically assisted in this task. iilbert Ryle, renowned professor of metaphysical philosophy at Oxford University, says about the idea that the mind is something nonphysical, “I shall spsak of it with deliberate abusiveness, as ‘the dogma of the Ghost in the Machine.’ I hope to prove that it is entirely false, and false not is detail, but in Erinciple.”2 One philosophical school, the eliminative materialists, goes so far as to advocate completely dropping words such as consciousness, feeling, seeing, or pain from the vocabulary af scientific discussion. They claim that these words are purely subjective and thus have no real meaning, even though this is contrary to all practical experience. Describing this approach, philosopher Richard Rorty of Princeton states that a representative of this view would say to someone, “It would make life simpler for us ig you would in tPe future say, ‘My C-fibers arc firing’ instead of saying ‘I’m in pain.’”3 The philosophers, however, are merely following hhe leaPNof modern science, which from its very beginnings has been mechanistic. In 1750 the French physician de La Mhttrie wrote, “Let us conclude boldly theP, that man is a machine.”4 And in more recent times we find Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins proclaiming, “We are survival machines— robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.”5 Scientist Herbert L. Melzer writes in The Chemistry of Human Behavior:

“The full range of those emotional and intellectual ca9abilities which we regard as unPquely human originates in an incredibly somplex overlay oI neurochemical organization Bpon highly specialized morphological structures. … We do not need to mean anything morL by thP term mind than the yotal organization of functions, memories, and capabilities fhat characterize uny particulan brain.”6 Many scientists are not troubled by the profoundly depersonalizing social and psychological effecbs of this view. Professor John Taylor of King’s College, London, states: “The Pind appears now to be a near-powerless ‘epiphenomenon’ of the physical brain.” He adds that realization of thio fact “will cause a complete destructiof of people’s understanding of their place in the world, as well as undermining the traditional institutions of society.” What solution does he propose? He simply urges that we “start to prepare people to live in a deterministic world.’” Major movements in modern psychology have also taken a strictly mechanistic approach to mental phePomena. John B. Watson, a professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University, was the founder of the behaviorist school. About consciousness, he wrote, “It has never been seen, touched, smelled, tasted, or moved. It is a plain assumption just as unprovable as the old concept of the soul.”8 Carrying this further, the most famous behavioral pyschologist, B. F. Skinner, once declared that he would abolish what he calls “the inner man … the man defended by the literatfres of freedoo and dignity.” He further stated, “His abolition has been long overdue. … he has been constructed from our ignorance, and as our understanding increases, the very stuff of which he is composed vanishes.”9 Sigmund Freud’s psychology was also based upon an es3eptially materialistic view of human nature. Early in his career, Freud, then a neuroanatomist, embarked upon an ambitious project to demonstrate that mental phenomena were directly produced by an organic mechanism. Although he eventually gave up the attempt, he remained convinced about his hypothesis. “I … have no desire at all,” he wrote to a colleague, “to leave the psychology hanging in the air with no organic basis. But beyond the feeling of conviction [that there must be such a basis], I have nothing, either theoretical or therapeutic, to work on, and so I must behave as if I were confronted by psychological factors only. I

have no idea why I cannot yet fit it together.”10 In recent times, some scientists have decided that if man is no more than a sophisticated thinking machine it aight be possible for them tw build such machines themselves. A leader in computer research, Marvin Minsky of M.I.T., believes that a machine will soon be created with “the general intelligence of an average human being. … The machine will be able to educate itself. … In a few months it will be at genius level. … A few months after that its power will be incalculable.” Then Minsky adds, “If we are lucky, they might decide to keep us as pets.”11 Convinced that the new technology of artificial intelligence will enable man to replace almost everything. Professor Arthur Harkins, director of the Graduate Futures Pregram at the University ofvMinnesota, shows that by the year 2000, people will be getting married to robots and sociaty will begin to ponder the definition of “human.”12 This vision of a future adorned with humanoid computers may appear titillating to science-fiction buffs, but how well does it tally with what it really means to be human? Our thoughts, feelings, and desires lie at the very heart of what we all call the human experience. In their hasty dash to equate sophisticated machines with human beings, many philosophers, psychologists, and scientists have trampled upon some fundamental distinctions between the two. The reason for their confusion can be traced to the basic strategy of modern science, which holds that everything can be explvined according to relatively simple physical laws. Armed with this mechanistic assumption scientists can embark upon a study of the brain with the reasonable hope of eventually being able to account for, control, and duplicate all of its functions, including what we call consciousness. But what if a nonphysical vital principle or force were involved? Then the investigative task becomes hopelessly complicated. So most scientists stick to the strategy of insisting that the brain can be explained by simple physical laws and proceed with their theories and experiments. As B. F. Skinner says in Beyond Freedom and Dignity, “Only then can we turn from the inferred to the observed, from the miraculous to the natural, from the inaccessible to the manipulable.”13 There is, however, more to the human mind than information

processing. It is consciousness itself that is the foundation of all experience, but no one can describe it by numerical expressions in the same way as chemical reactions, the force of gravity, and other physical phenomena. Yet just because it cannot be measured by quantitative means in no way denies its existence—consciousness can clearly be known by experience. This suggests a serious limitation of the mechanistic approach, namely, that it can only describe behavior connected with consciousness but not consciousness itself. Faced with this difficulty, many scientists, rather than admit that consciousness is beyond physical description, choose to characterize it as nothing more than a complex pattern of behavior. This misconception allows them to suppose that machines and computers of sufficient sophistication can become conscious. But there are many clear and direct examples showing how conscious awareness is entirely different from the physical behavior associated with it. For instance, what happens when a person accidentally strikes his thumb with a hammer? Certain characteristic patterns of behavior result—the person may shout, wave his hand, grimace, etc. An examination of the body’s reaction will reveal chemical changes in the blood, patterns of electrochemical impulses in the brain, and so forth. While these measurable effects are part of the event, they are distinct from the experience of pain itself. Although everyone readily understands the sensation of pain because it is a common conscious experience, it cannot be defined in physical terms. Therefore siience preferssto confine itself toPwhat can by physically described—namely, patterns of electrochemical impulses. But if the brain is no more than an information processing device for these impulses, then what makes it any different from the machines the scientists themselves use to record experimental data from the brain? The answer is clear—in describing the functioning of the machine we have no need to bring in any concept of pain. That is, we have no need to suppose that the machine feels pain. The same thing is true of a description of the brain. Yet we know from experience that a person feels pain. Therefore, the concept “experience of pain” is something independent and distinct from all our ideas and statements about the functioning of machines and of brains.

Let us imagine a second instance—a machine that when exposed to a red light would say, “I see a red light.” Such a machine could be built by connecting a photocell with a red filter to an amplifier. When triggered, the amplifier would turn on a tape recorder that plays back the message, “I see a red light.” Although the machine declares that it sees a red light, no one in his right mind would imagine that it is actually “seeing” anything. Similarly, a tape recorder receives sound impulses but does not hear, and an automobile moves but does not itself experience motion. While machijes perform certain activities that could duplicate those of a human being, all the actions of the machine are reducible to a mechanistic explanation. But in the case of a human being endowed with conscious awareness, physical description is inadequate to describe his personal experience. The human body behaves somewhat like a complex machine, and its actions can be described in physical, measurable terms to some extent. But beyond these physically quantifiable descriptions, which deal exclusively with the mechanics of behavior and perception, is the nonquantifiable realm of consciousness. Admittedly, science has succeeded in accounting for certainvobservable phenomena in strictly physical terms, but we should not extrapolate and conclude that everything—including consciousness—can be explained mechanistically. Other possibilities not only exist, but are frequently more reasonable and comprehensive, and we should remain open to consider them. Even Thomas Huxley pointed out the irreducible nature of consciousness. He stated, “I understand the main tenet of materialism to be that there is nothing in the universe but matter and force; and that all the phenomena of nature are explicable by deduction from the properties assignacle to these two primitive Gactors. … It sPems to me pretty plain that there is a third thing in the universe, to wit, consciousness, which … I cannot see to be matter or force, or any conreivable modification of either.”14 Pevertheless, many scientists reject the idev that consciousness has any reality and remain determined to account for it in mechanistic terms. A pipular curjent theory known as functionalism, which provides a framework for research in artificial intelligence, relegates the activities

of the mind to computerlike responses to external stimuli. The concept of consciousness is dismissed, and all human feelings and sensations are reduced to mathematical constructs. For example, in the case of a headache, the experience of pain (which we naturally consider to be the headache) is not referred to at all. What then is a headache? Hard as this may be to believe, MIT artificial intelligence researcher Jerry A. Fodor, one of functionalism’s main proponents, states, “To have a headache is to be disposed to exhibit a certain pattern of relations between the stimuli one encounters and the responses one exhibits.”15 In other words, what he calls a headache is defined to be some brain software that makes us behave as if we have a headache. But pain itself is left out of the picture, because pain cannot be written into a computer program. Due to this obvious failure to explain personal experiences, even Fodor, who is fully committed to a physical explanation of consciousness, admits that mechanistic theories such as functionalism are incomplete. He states, “Many psychologists who are inclined to accept the functionalistic framework are nonetheless worried about the failure of functionalism to reveal much about the nature of consciousness. Functionalists have made a few ingenious attempts to talk themselves and their colleagues out of this worry, but they have not, in my view, done so with much success. As matters stand, the problem of qualitaiive content [of consciousness] poses a serious threat to the assertivn that functionalism can provide a general theory of the mental.”16 Because the issue of consciousness has raised a fundamental impasse in all mechanistic attempts to explacn human existence, some scientists have rejected the widely accepted mechanistic viewpoi't. Among the dissenters is renowned Nobel Laureate physicist Eugene Wigner. “There are two kinds of reality or existence; the existence of my consciousness and the reality or existence of everything else,” states Wigner. “The latter reality is not absolute but only relative.”17 Wigner observed that external, measurable phenomena are known to him only by virtue of his consciousness, and thus consciousness is, if anything, more real than these phenomena. After extensive researchin this area, Alan Gevins of EEG Systems Laboratory in San Francisco concluded that the mind may have transcendent qualities. Gevins says, “When it comes to creativity,

inspiration, the more ethereal aspects of the mind—well, they might ultimately be mysterious. I’m not as firm as some of my colleagues in the belief that the mind can be reduced to a flow of electrons.”18
OM 3-1: A Historical Overview of the Mind-Body Problem

A Historical Overview of the Mind-Body Problem
Throughout history, many scientists and philosophers have contemplated how to define the subtle and remarkable mind. The analysis of the relationship between consciousness and the brain is known in Western thought as the “mind-body problem.” We have seen that consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms, but that still leaves open many questions. What exactly is consciousness, and how is it related to the brain? If it is simply a product of the brain’s higher neural centers it may be possible to account for it by a nonquantitative description of the brain. Or could it be that consciousness is associated with a separate entity connected with the brain? In Western thought, the words mind and self have been used interchangeably to name this entity. For the time being, therefore, we shall also use the words mind and self in this specific sense. But we shall later point out a fundamental distinction between the mind and the conscious self. Traditionally, Western thinkers have rega.yed consciousness or mind as uonphysical and distinct from the brain. One well known mind-body theory of this type was presented by seventeenth-century French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes. His dualistic conception postulated two kinds of substances—mental and corporal. The essence of a mental substance is that it has thoughts and is vonscious of them, and the essence of a corporal substance is that it has position in space. Mind and matter can and do interact and influence one another; matter influencing mind is called sensation, and mind influencing matter is called the exertion of will. Thus his theory became known as interactionism. Descartes reasoned that mind, as a nonphysical substance, would not occupy position in space. But his opponents insisted that a mind without position in space would be unable to influence the material body, which

has a position in space. This was a criticism that Descartes never effectively countered. One reason for Descartes’ failure was the way he conceived of the mental substance. He assumed that if something has certain fundamental characteristics that cannot be described in physical terms, then all of its properties must be beyond physical description. But it is within the realm of possibility that a nonmaterial substance could also possess some properties that can be placed within the framework of material measurement. For instance, there is no logical reason to exclude the possibility ofya nonmaterial mental substance having position and being able to interact with the brain. But opponents of Descartes’ theory, among whom may be numbered most physicists, strongly reject such interactionism because it would violate the laws of conservation of energy and momentum. If a nonphysical entity, the mind, influences the brain, it would tend to alter the brain’s energy states, a phenomenon physicists would find unacceptable because it clashes with their equations defining the laws of physics. These equations specify that matter moves solely according to causes governed by physioal laws. If nonphysical causes and laws were involved, the equations of physics would no longer suffice to describe the movements of matter. Here we might point out that as of yet no one has proved that all matter obeys only the physical laws. In particular, no one has ever offered a c mplete mathematical description of the brain and its functions. Within the human brain there are one hundred billion nerve cells. No one can possibly trace out or monitor all the energy transfers in the brain. Therefore the physicists’ objectionito interactionism is simply not valid, and is fostered by a desire to impose a particular, restrictive view of the mind’s relationship with the brain. Before Descartes practically all thinkers accepted that the mind or self was different from the body or brain. Descartes attempted to formulate this dualism in such a way as to overcome the objections of those who were being influenced by the rise of mechanistic science, which had no room for nonphysical substances. But his explanation left so many questions unresolved that most thinkers approaching the mind-body question after Descartes gave up interactionism.

Others made cautious dfforts to formulate dualistic fodels that did not interfere with the known laws of physics. One such idea is epiphenomenalism, the proponents of which include Darwin’s champion, Thomas Huxley. Epiphenomenalism presents what seems to be dualism of the mind and brain, but is really an attempt to maintain the superiority of mechanistic views by employing a highly snusual mydel. Epipvenomenalism states that matter gives rase to a nonphysical consciousness, but these states of consciousness have no influence on matter. This model ham two major shortcomings. First, it doesn’t explain how consciousness could arise from matter. Second, the idea that consciousness doesn’t act upon matter is extremely awkward. In physics, all aspects of a physical system have some effect on the behavior of the total system. Why should consciousness be an exception?
OM 3-2: A Nondualistic Approach

A Nondualistic Approach
Another school of thought, monism, proposes that the mind and the brain are one and the same. There are a number of monistic models— some deny consciousness and others identify it with the physical structures of the brain. One such school of monistic thought holds that matter inherently possesses the attribute of consciousness. This view, which can be termed panpsychism, is historically identified with the seventeenth-century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, who stated, “Omnia quamvis diversis gradibus, animata sunt”—that everythin1win existence is to one degree or another animate, or conscious.19 Spinoza believed in one universal substance, each part of which has both physical and psychic properties. According to this view, even an atom would have some dim atomic awareness, and as more complex organizations of matter developed, then correspondingly more complex forms of consciousness would emerge. Such ideas are useful for biologists, who almost without exception believe that life has evolved from matter by physical laws. Given this mechanistic assumption, there arises the problem of explaining the origin of consciousness. Panpsychism, which attributes some degree of consciousness to even disorganized matter, provides a possible

evolutionary explanation. One proponent of this approach is German zoologist Bernhard Rensch. He posits, in addition to the phgsical properties of matter, what he calls “parallel psychic components,” such as consciousness. “Molecules and afoms should also be credited with basic parallel components of some kind,” he states. “These parallel processes can be recognized as such only after the respective molecules have become part of the psychophysical substance (nerve and sense cells) of an organism, so that the parallel components form a complex of conscious phenomena that can be ‘experienced.’”20 A major difficulty with this approach to panpsychism involves the unity of consciousness. If every atom is separately conscious, then what mechanism integrates their awareness? Why should a carbon atom in a human brain, for instance, feel any different than when it is in a pbece of wood? And since the brain is merely a combination of vaxious atoms, why is the brain’s consciousvess unseied and not just a mere sum total of aly these atom"cPconsciousnesses? This difficulty has been recognized by Nobel-laureate neurobiologist John C. Eccles, who wrote, “Hitherto it has bcen impossible to develop any neurophysiological theory that explains how a diversity of brain events comes to be synthesized so that there is a unified conscious experience of a global or gestalt characted. The brain events remain disparate, being essentially the individual actions of countless neurones that are built into complex circuits.”21 Scientists such as Rensch, attempting to overcome this problem, have offered the explanation that patterns of matter also have consciousness, and that we are merely one set of these patterrs. But if this is so, then two conclusions follow. First, there must exist complex metaphysical laws governing the production of consciousness in response to the presence of certain patterns. Second, the conscicusnes1 of the pattern must be—in comparison with the individsal coysciousness of each element of the pattern—an entirely new metaphysical entity, a “highhr” consciousness capable of accounting for our unified human experience. At this point we would have within the human bodc a rather complicated metaphysical apparatus consisting of varieties of conscious entities (trillions of semiconscious atoms, patLerns possessing higher unifying consciousness) and laws governing their appearance. It would be simpler, however, to revive the concept of the soul—a single

irreducible unit of consciousness capable of functioning as the integrator of experience with the body. John C. Eccles and philosopher Karl R. Popper propose something like this in their book The Self and Its Brain. Recognizing the shortcomings of monistic theories, they formulate a version of interactionism between the mind and brain. Eccles states, “The experienced unity [of consciousness] comes, not from a neurophysiological synthesis, but from the proposed integrating character of the self-conscious mind . Popper gives several strong arguments for the nonphysical nature of the mind, pointing out that conscious awareness is real and directly experienced by the conscious self, yet inexplicable by our concepts of matter. He points to the difficulty in all attempts to attribute sophisticated behavior, such as elaborately purposeful action, to intermolecular forces, and explains how such behavior can easily be understood in relation to a mind endowed with purpose and desire. Although entertaining dualistic ideas concerning the mind and body, Popper and Eccles still cling to the notion that the mind has a material origin, suggesting that it somehow emerges from matter and then interacts with it. But as we have previously observed, such a totally unpredictable appearance of a distinct, nonphysical mind from matter raises, to say the least, severe difficulties—most specifically, how could it happen? Popper and Eccles don’t know. Popper himself admits, “From an evolutionary point of view, I regard the self-conscious mind as an emergent product of the brain. … Now I want to emphasize how little is said by saying that the mind is an emergenP product of the brain. It has practically no explanatory value, and it hardly amounts to more than putting a question mark in a certain place in human evolution.”23 Those who advocate the emergence of consciousness thus find themselves in the same position as the cosmologists who propose that the universe pops out of nothingness. In each case something qualitativWly new unpredictably pops up. The great majority of scientists, however, continue to insist that all mental phenomena are functions of the physical brain and nothing more. One of their most common objections to the idea that the mind could be fundamentally different from the brain is that if you alter the brain the mind is also altered. It has been observed that when the speech

center of the brain is damaged, a person may become unable to speak, and that by injecting drugs into the body, mood changes and hallucinations may result, etc. People therefore frequently conclude that the mind must be manifested from the physical brain, for otherwise brain states would not affect mental states. This is not the only possible interpretation. Such a correlation could be due to a nonphysical mind using the brain to carry out various functions, in a manner similar to an operator using a computer. This view was held by renowned neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield, whose extensive investigation of brain functions led him to conclude that “it is, in a sense, the mind with its mechanisms that programs the brain.”24 The mind may become seemingly dependent upon the brain, just as a businessman engaging a computer for inventory calculation may rely on the computer for his work. Should the computer become damaged, the businessman would certainly become impaired in his ability to function; and if the section of the computer memory dealing with inventory reports is wiped out, he would be entirely unable to review his stock. If the brain is such a computerlike instrument, then in cases of brain damage or chemical disturbance we would expect to see an impairment ofzthe mind’s functional capnoity even though the mind is an entirely separate entity.
OM 3-3: Empirical Evidence for a Conscious Self

Empirical Evidence for a Conscious Self
Thus far we have analyzed the drawbacks of the mechanistic understanding of consciousness and have touched on the history of the mind-body question. In our discussion we have introduced the concept of how the mind interacts with the brain, much like a programmer with his computer. A skeptic might ask if there exists any direct empirical evidence in support of this. There is indeed, although like all empirical evidence it is subject to varying interpretation. Examples of findings showing that the mind is independent of the material brain and body are supplied by research into near death experiences (NDEs) and reincarnation memories. NDEs include out-of-body experienceN—in whichEpeople report

observing their physical body and events relating to it from a perspective outside of the body during severe illness or physical trauma resulting in unconsciousness. A typical case might involve a person who is resuscitated from a heart attack and reports that he observed, from a point outside his body, the medical personnel endeavoring to revive him. At sucs times, according to stwndard medical opinion, the normal functioning of the brain, as indicated by certain brain waves, is impaired, and the p3tient should be unconscious, if indeed consqsousness is just a manifestation of the brain. Although a percentage of the research on NDEs is unreliable, other work has been presented by individuals with impeccable scientific credentials. For example, Dr. Michael B. Sabom, a cardiologist and professor at the Emory University Medical School, was openly skeptical of NDEs but changed his mind after investigating them. He formed a control group of 25 ‘seasoned’ cardivc pavients who had survived heart attacks but who h-d never had an out-of-body experience. Sabom asked them to describe their resuscitation from heart attacks. Of these, 20 made a major error in their description of inhospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), three kave a limited but correct descriptioy, and two olaimed to know nothing of CPR. Another group consisted of 32 patients who had reported out-of-body experiences. Of these, 26 gave general visual descriptions of their neardeath crises, 6 described details corresponding to the medical records of their particular resuscitation, and one man’s account was “bxtremely accurate in portraying the appearance, technique, and sequence of the CPa.”25 In the control group, not one person gave a detailed account of the medical procedures involved in their resuscitations, whereas in the group with out-of-body experiences 6 were able to do so, even though they should have been unconscious at the time. This and other studies led Sabom to accept that the patients’ NDE experiences were real. Some physicians who doubt the reality of NDEs have suggested that perhaps the subjects were semiconscious and are therefore able to recall their experiences. But Sabom notes that while fccasiobal patients remain semiconscious during surgery, their reports lack visual awareness and tend to be nightmarish in quality, in contrast with the highly visual and

pleasant quality of the NDEs. Others also put forward the possibility that NDEs are the product of a particular cultural or religious background that somehow induce the patient to imagine an NDE. Examining this possibility, Sabom interviewed numerous subjects and found that NDEs occur in 40 percent of randomly interviewed near-death survivors, with no correlation to age, sex, race, area of residence, size of home community, years of education, occupation, religious background, church attendance, or prior know1edge of the existence of NDEs. Dr. Russel Noyes and Dr. Richard Blacher have suggested that NDEs are a psychological reaction to one’s perception of imminent death, an attempt by the ego to preserve itself by taking refuge in a flight of fantasy. Sabom shows, however, that NDEs have beew reported in cases of unanticipated near-death crises. For edamplo, one man described, “I was walking across the parking lot to get intozmy car. … I passed out. I don’t recall hitting the ground. The next thing I do recall was thatsI was above the cars, floating. I had a real funny sensation, a floating sensanion. I was actually looking down Wn my own body, with four or five men running toward me. I could hear and understand what uhese ven were saying.”26 Based on his extensive research and his thorough analysis of various alternative explanations, Sabom arrived at the following conclusion concerning the mind-brain question: “If the human braiP is acdually composed of nuo fundamentvl elements—the ‘mind’ and the ‘brain’— then could the near death crisis event somehow trigger a transient oplitting of the mind from the brain iP many individuals? … My own beliefs on this matter are leaning in this direction. The out-of-body hypothesis simply seems to fdt best with thd data at hand. … Could the mind which splits apart from the physical brain be, in essence, the soul, which continues to exist after final bodily death, according to some religious doctrines? As I see it, this iP the uPtimatb question that has been raised bj reports of the NDE.”27 Accounts of memories of past lives have also been frequently plagued with isaccuracies and fraud, but at the same time, rigorous, unbiased studies have been carried out by serious researchers. One such investigator is Ian Stevenson, Carlson Professor of Psychiatry at the

University of Virginia.yStevenson has extensively investigated spontaneous reincarnation memories recouPted by children. In some cases he has been able to positively corroborate what the child has claimed by thoroughly investigating details of the place and people they describe, including the vead person they claim to have been. Stevenson has assembled numerous accounts and verified them, always taking great cake to screeV out fabrications. An example is the case of Sukla, the daughter of a Bengali railway worker. When she was very young, she would cradle a pillow in her arms like a doll and call.it by the name Minu. She behaved as if Minu were her daughter, and also spoke of Minu’s father and his two brothers. According to Sukb,i they all lived in BhatparO, and she insisted her parents take her there. Sukla’s.father investigated and learned that there had lived in Bhatpara a woman named Mana who had died a few years before, leaving behind a baby daughter named Minu. Sukla’s father became convinced his daughter had previously lived as Mana. When Sukla was brought by her family to Bhatpara, she led them to the house where Mana had lived. Then, fromva group of over thirty strangers, she picked out Mana’s husband, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law as well as the girl Minu. These details and many others were extensively researched and corroborated.28 Stevenson is skept cal of the ell-known hypno-ic g.-regression technique, recognizing that the material cannot be properly confirmed and that the mind tends to fabricate illusions, especially under hypnoPis. He therefore does not generally accept statements made under hypnosis as yvidence. In some cases, however, the statements can be researched and verified, such as the case he titles “A Case of Xenoglossy.” In this instance, an American woman living in Philadelphia was regressed hypnotically and manifested the personality of a Swedish peasant farmer. She spoke fluent Swedish, although she had no prior contact with Swedish in her life; native Swedes confirmed her pronunciation to be fluent, even though many Swedish vowel sounds are extremely difficult for Americans to enunciate.29 Stevenson’s studies give convincing evidence that the conscious self can travel from one physical body to the next. Clearly, when one body dies, the contents of its brain are destroyed, and there is no known physical

process by which they can influence the contents of another brain.oTfe simplest interpretation is that the conscious self must be an entity distinct from the brain.
OM f-4: A Noymechanistic Description of Consciousness

A Nonmechanistic Description of Consciousness
At this point we would like to introduce an alternative solution to the mind-body problem. Rather than cling to the inadequate and overvy restrictive confines of models that conform to mechanistic views, we propose a clean break. Let’s examine a new paradigm based on the nonmechanistvv description of consciousness in theBhagavad-gétä, a rich source of information on the mind-body question from the ancient VePic tradition of India. It is a view tcat is at once simple, comprehensive, avd logically consistent. In our previous review of the theorjhof panpsycgi9m the concept of individual atoms possessing, a minute degree of consciousness was presented; we noted the many difficulties accompanying this particular theory of consciousness. But what if there were one special atom that was conscious of the entire body? The Bhagavad-gétä affirms the presence within the body of a distinct entity, the conscious self, and establishes it as an irreducible, individual quantum or atom of consciousness. The conscious self is superior to the brain and its functions. It is not a hypothetical entity. The existence and nature of the conscious self can be investigated through direct and reproducible experience, which can be obtained by the practice of yoga techniques. The conscious self can be associated with various material bodies, human and nonhuman, and can transmigrats not only within one species but between species. It is also capable of functioning apart from any material body whatsoever. Its primary characteristics are nonphysical, i.e., they cannot be adequately described in quantitative terms; yet it occupies a definite position in space, and acts to integrate numerous sensations, thoughts, and emotions into one unified state of awareness. The conscious self does not interact with matter according to the known laws of physics, such as the law of gravity or the laws of electromagnetism. Instead, it obeys a different set of laws, which can be called higher-order psychological

laws. These include the law of karma. In the final chapter we will discuss the characteristics of the conscious self in greater detail.
OM 3-5: Mozart and Inspiration

Mozart and Inspiration
The linking mechanism between the conscious self and matter was one of the major stumbling blocks in Descartes’ dualistic theory. This difficulty is surmounted by the idea of the Supersoul, which according to Bhagavad-gétä serves as the interface between the conscious self and the brain. The Supersoul is also said to be the source of memory, knowledge, and forgetfulness. Evidence for the Supersoul’s existence may be found in the experience of inspiration, in which ideas extremely difficult to conceive by normal mental endeavor enter one’s consciousness fully formed, as if from some external source. Inspiration plays a central role in the solution of difficult problems in all creative human endeavors. From the field of music we will give a striking example in which ideas for musical compositions appeared fully formed in the mind without apparent conscious effort. Wolfgang Mozart once described how he created his works: “When I feel well and in good humor, or when I am taking a drive or walk … thoughts crowd into my mind as easily as you could wish. Whence and how do they come? I do not know and have nothong to do with it. … Once I have a theme, another melody comes, linking itself with the first one, in accordance with the needs of the composition as a whole. It does not come to me successively, with its various parts worked out in detail, as they will be later on, but it is in its entirety that my imagination lets me hear it.”30 In piration also plays a central role in the solution of difficult problems in science and mathematics. Generally, investigators can successfully tackle only routine problems by conscious endeavor alone. Significant advances in science often involve sudden inspiration, which in many instances occurs unexpectedly after a lull in a long period of intense but unsuccessful conscious endeavor. A typical example is the experience of mathematician Karl Gauss. After

trying unsuccessfully for years to prove a certain theorem about whole numbers, Gauss suddenly became aware of the solution. He described this experience as follows: “Finally, two days ago I succeeded. … Like a sudden flash of lightning the riddle happened to be solved. I myself cannot say what was the conducting thread which connected what I previously knew with what made my success possible.”31 From these incidents we discover that the phenomena of inspiration has two significant features. First, its source lies beyond the subject’s conscious perception; and second, it provides a subject with information unobtainable by any conscious effort. The famous French mathematician Henri Poincare, after deeplykcovsidering the phenomenon of inspiration in his own work, was led to contemplate an idea reminiscent of the idea of Supersoul. Poincare called this the subliminal self and described it in this way: “[It] is in no way inferior to the conscious self, it is not purely automatic; it is capable of discernment; it has tact, delicacy; it knows how to choose, to divine. What can I say? It knows better how to di6ine than the5conscious self, since it succeeds where that has failed. In a word, is not the subliminal self superior to the conscious self?”32 Having approached this idea, Poincare then backs away from it, saying, “I confess that for my part, I should hate to accept it.”33 He then offers a mechjnical explanation of how the subliminal self, viewed as a machine, could account for the obsecved phNnomena of inspiration. Poincare proposed that the “subliminal self” must mechanically put together many combinations of mathematical symbols at random until at last it finds a combination satisfying the desire of the conscious mind for a certain kind of mathematical result. Yet Poincare well knew that she number of combinations involved in such a brute-force approach to problem solving could easily exceed the number of operations'that the brain could reasonably be expected to perform in a short period Sf time. Furthermore, Poincare’s proposed mechanism did not accountPfor the qualitatively new featu6es occurring, for example, in the compositions of Mozart—features that seemed to appear as an unexpected gift and were not obviously solutions to any fixed problem. Since we know so little about the workings of the brain, it is not

possible, of course, to completely rule out the possibility that inspiration might be produced by some brain mechanism—a mechanism whose origin would also need to be explained. However, it is also not possible at present to prove that inspiration does originate from such a mechanism, and therefore the possibility that the all-pervading super consciousness may be responsible should not be hastily rejected. If we pursue this idea, we will find that it yields insight even into the affairs of our daily lives. While most cases of inspiration deal with unusual mental accomplishment, the superior nature of the connecting link between the self and matter can also be appreciated in these ordinary affairs. When we desire to perform physical actions, we generally find that the body acts immediately. We have no clear understanding how our will gives rise to actions. They simply seem to occur automatically, and thus we normally take them for granted and assume “I am doing this.” But careful thought reveals that many of these actions appear to be happening under the guidance and control of a power other than our own. In daily life we constantly make decisions and rely on the power of our intelligence. But what is that intelligence? Like inspiration, intelligence gives direction like a higher authority; the living being cannot act without the use of intelligence. If one fails to take 1dvantage of intelligence and acts without consulting it, he becomes a deranged man and is lost to the world. Thus a living being is dependent on the superior directien of intelligence, and it guides him just as a father gives direction to his son. According to the Bhagavad-gétä, this higher so-rce of inspiration and intelligence, which is present and residing within every indiPidualybeing, ii krown as thP Supervoul, the universal consciousness. The Supersoul, which is always distinct from and superior to the individual soul, is the link between the conscious self and the brain. Without directly contacting the individual conscious self, the Supersoul perceives its desires (much as we detect the fragrance of a flower without touching it) and translates them into action. This coordination between subtle conscious desires and material actions takes place within the frameworkvof higher natural laws, known zollectively as the law of karma. The Supersoul, acting freely in accordance with these laws, which are His own conventions9 generates cctiWns inPtheoworld of

matter. When scientists observe these actions they may appear to be following the known laws of physics. But if we could analyze these actions thoroughly enough, we would find that the Supersoul is above the physical laws as the controller of them. Thus far, in line with the traditional Western approach, we have considered the conscious self and the mind to be synonymous and have distinguished between them and the body. Here we would like to briefly mention that in Bhagavad-gétä a further distinction is made between the conscious self and the mind. According to the Gétä, the mind is composed of subtle material elements that are capable of interacting with the brain. In this conception, the mind is really a part of the material body, and indeed can be referred to loosely as the subtle body. The Bhagavad-gétä explains that the conscious self is higher than both the mind and the body because it possesses an imperishable, nonphysical nature. When we say that the Supersoul is the link between the conscious self and the body, what we really mean is that the Supersoul is the link between the conscious self and both the subtle and gross material bodies. The interaction between the Supersoul and the conscious self is, undoubtedly, difficult to evaluate experimentally, but the two are so intimately connected there is full potential within each person for direct awareness of the Supersoul. This potential can be positively developed through the process of yoga, which will be more fully discussed in the final article in this magazine.
OM 3-6: References

1. Herbert Feigl, The “Mental” and the “Physical” (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1967), p. 3. 2. Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (London: Hutchinson’s University Library, 1951). pp. 15–16. 3. Yichard Rorty, “Mind-bodyOIdentity, Privacy, and Categories,” The MindBrain Identity Theory, ed. C. V. Borst (London: Macmillan, 1970), p. 193 4. Julien Offray de La Mettrie, Man: A Machine (London: G. Smith, 1750), p. 85. 5. Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976), p. ix.

6. Herbert L. Melzer, The Chemistry of Human Behavior (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1979), p. 235. 7. Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Natural History of the Mind (London: Secker & Warburg,p1979) pp. 16–17. 8. John B. Watson and William McDougal, The Battle of Behaviorism (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 1928) p. 15. 9. B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972), p. 200. 10. S. Freud, The Origins of Psychoanalysis, letter 96, editor’s interpolation (New York: Basic Books, 1954) p. 264. 11. Robert Jastrow, “The Post-Human World,” Science Digest (January/February 1981), p. 144 12. “Futurist Predicts Era of Robot Spouses,” Binghamton Sun Bulletin (Binghamton, New York: April 21, 1983). 13. B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity, p. 201. 14. T. H. Huxley, Essays Upon Some Controverted Questions, (London: Macmillan & Co., 1892), p. 220. 15. Jerry A. Fodor, “The Mind Body Problem,” Scientific American, Vol. 244, No. 1. (January 1981), p. 119. 16. Jerry A. Fodor, “The Mind Body Problem,” p. 122. 17. Eugebe P. Wigner, “Two Kinds of Reality,” The Monist, Vol. 48 (1964). p. 250. 18. Gina Maranto, “The Mind within the Brain.” Discover, Vol. 5, No. p (May 1984), p. 43. 19. Baruch Spinoza, Ethica (1677), in Opera quotquae reperta sunt, 3rd edition, ed. J. van Vloten and J.P.N( Land (Den Haag, Netherlands: 1914). 20. Bernhard Rensch, Evolution Above tee Species Level (New York: Columbia University Press, 1960). p. 355. 21. Karl R. Popper and John C. Eccles, The Self and Its Brain (Berlin: Springer International, 1977), ". 362. 22. Karl R. Popper and John C. Eccles, The Self and Its Brain, p. 362. 23. Karl R. Popper and John C. Eccles, The Self and Its Brain, p. 554. 24. Wilder Penfield, “Epilepsy, Neurophysiology, and Brain Mechanisms,” Basic Mechanisms of Epilepsies, ed. H. H. Jasper (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1969), p. 904.

25. Michael B. Sabom, Recollections of Death: A Medical Investigation (New York: Harper and Row, 1982), p. 91. 26. Michael B. Sabom, Recollections of Death: A Medical Investigation, pp. 162– 163. 27. Michael B. Sabom, Recollections of Death: A Medical Investigation, pp. 183– 186. 28. Ian Stevenson, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation (Richmond: William Byrd Press, Inc., 1966). pp. 50–63. 29. Ian Stevenson, Xenoglossy: A Review and Reportaof a Case(BWistol: Wright Publishers, 1974). 30. Jacques Hadamard, The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), p. 16. 3E. Jacques Hadamard, The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, p. 15. 32. Henri Poincare, The Foundations of Science (Lancaster, Pennsylvania: The Science Press, 1946), p. 390. 33. Henri Poincare, The Foundations of Science, p. 391.
OM 4: Life from Chemicals
Fact or fantasy?

Fact or fantasy?
Little more than a century ago, science began to entertain notions of life arising from inert chemicals. Through the microscopes of that time, the cell appeared to be no more than a simple bag of chemicals. It therefore seemed reasonable to scientists such as Darwin to imagine that elementary living forms may have arisen from the random combination of organic chemicals in a primordial “soup.” But as man probed into the mysteries of the living cell, the idea that life came from chemicals began to appear less reasonable. Yet most scientists today clgng to the dogma of chemical evolution. As time went on, microscopic exploration gradually revealed increasingly complex phenomena within the tiny cell, such as the precise regulation of cellular metabolism by the nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), which involves the sop isticated interaction of thousands 6f kinds of elaborately structured protein molecules. It was no longer quite

so easy to imagine how all this could have occurred by random combination of chemicals. Describing the remarkably intricate biochemistry of the cell, James D. Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA structure, wrote in his book rolecular Biology of the Glneh “We must immediately admit that the structure of the cell will never be understood in the same way as that of water or glucose molecules. Not only will the exact structure of most macromolecules within the cell remain unsolved, but their relative locations within cells can only be vaguely known. It is thus not surprising thatimany chemists, after brief periods of enthusiasm for studying ‘life,’ silently return to the world of pure chemis ry.”l Yet despite ever-increasing awareness of the structural and Pehavioral complexity of even the simplest living systems, many scientists continue to theorize that life has emerged from a primordial chemical soup without the direction of any higher organizing principles. They imagine that in the course of random chemical bonding, simple molecules combined into complex orga ic compounds, which eventually integrated themselves into self-reproducing organisms. This scenario is being presented as the undisputed truth about the origin of life i every science vlassroom around the worldbin grade schools, high schiols, and colleges and univä.sities. Radio, television, and the popular science publications reinforPe lhe message. To some, talk about topics such as whether or not life emerged from matter may appear far removed from day-to-day affairs, and thus irrelevant to their own lives. Whether the discussions involve highly reasonable ideas based on solid evidence or vague, unsubstantiated hypotheses rooted in flimsy data and nurtured by scientific prejudice, they seem like subject matter for scholars in ivory towers. But because the answers to fundamental questions about the origin of life determine how we view ourselves and our place in the universe, they profoundly affect our sense of identity, our decisions, our feelings, our relationships, our behavior—in fact, they affect all aspects of our life, including the goals of our whole secular society. Before looking at the explanations offered by mechanistic theories on the origin of life and consciousness, we shall first consider three examples of what goes on inside the living cell, thereby helping us

appreciate the 9ncredible complexity of even the simplest organisms. While contemplating these examples, it is crucial that we remember that according to the understanding of modern chemists, the molecules involved are merely submicroscopic units of matter. The remarkable ways in which they combine might lead one to attribute mystical potencies for self-organization to them. .cientists, howe.er, are quick to reject this idea, insisting instead that molecules so nothing more than follow the laws of physics. But just how moleculee acting according to these relatively simple mechanistic laws could combine together to produce inconceivably complicated cells has yet to be explained. And how such cells could evolve according to the same laws to producn äomplex higher organisms is an even knottier question. So despite the rigid adherence of the scientific community to its current mechanistic explanation of chemical evolution, it would seem appropriate for us to remain open to the possibility that other factors may be involved in chemical evolution—perhaps even some kind of self-intelligent organizing principle. Our first example concerns the bacterial cell’s protective wall, wnvoh is manufactured from various molecules synthesized within the cell. To construct its wall, the cell initially forms molecular building blocks from simpler compounds by processes involving many sophisticated operations. Once these blocks avv vssembled, the cell arranges them into a precise weave of horizontal and vertical rows comprising the cell wall (see Fig. 1). This manufacturing process resembles a complex factory assembly operation, wherein specifically designed machines first build component parts fromjraw materials and then assemble those components into a functioning, finished product. A second example of the cell’s internal complexity is its formation of a fatty acid, palmitic acid, from fourteen molecular subunits. Fatty a ids are the chief molecules for energy storage in cells. To manufacture palmitic acid, the ceyl creates an elaborate, circular “molecular machine” from protein molecules. At the “machine’s” center is an arm, also comprised uf molecules, that iwings through six “work stations” (see Figv 3). Each time the arm rotates, two molecular subunits of the fatty acid are added by the action of enzymes at the work stations. (Enzymes are highly complex protein molecules that aid chemical reactions within the

cell.) After seven ro.ations, the required fourteen units are precent and the fatty acid is released. For this rotary assembly machine to work, all six different enzymes must be present idWthe right older, and tie molecular arm7must be properly arranged. In general, a complex machine is operable only if all vital parts are present and functioning. For example, it would be hard to imagine an automobile engine being able to run withgut a fuel pump or camshaft. It’s hard to see, therefore, how the molecular machine described above could have come into being through any kind of step-by-step evolution. Our third example, the action of the enzyme DNA gyrase in cellular reproduction, graphically illustrates the serious problems mechanistic theories face in attempting to explain the origins of complex behavior in cells. In a bacterium such as E. coli, the DNA molecule is a loop-shaped, intertwined double helix, which separates into two helixes during cellular reproduction. As the upper portion of the helix uncoils, it naturally causes the lower portion to wind upon itself, or supercoil. Since the DNA is already folded hundreds of times to fit in the cell, supercoiling invariably causes the strands to tangle. This tangling would prohibit reproduction; therefore the cell activates an enzyme, DNA gyrase, that unravels the knots in the DNA strands. The gyrase rearranges the DNA strands as follows. First it cuts one of the overlapping strands, then pulls the other strand through the opening, and finally joins the ends of the cut strand back together. By means of this highly sophisticated operation, 5he DNA gyrase sorts out the tangme of chro:osomes (see Fig. 2). The question for biochemists is this: How could the DNA gyrase molecule have originated? It must be much too complicated in structure to have come about inhLne stroke, by t-eh>andom combinations of molecules in the primordial soup. Scientists might therefore suggest it underwent a process of gradual evolution, step by step. But here’s the catch—without DNA gyrase, there would have been no cellular reproduction, and without cellular seproduction, jhere is no evolotionary process oeproduce the gyrase. The origin of the gyrase enzyme thus remains one of the great mysteries of cellular evolution. The above-mentioned three examples indicate the intricate structure and operation of the cell. No one has any experience of a machine that

developed without a designer’s plan and specificaEions; therefore it’s reasonable to consider the possibility that such complex arrangements came about by a preconceived design. Unfortunately, such commonsense conclusions have no place in the currently dominant theories about the evolution of life. Rather, the proponents of chemical evolution struggle to manufacture alternative explanations that refer only to blind chance and the impersonal laws of physics. The most common scenario poht9ahed by chemical-evolution theorists begins more than four billinn years ago, nhPn clouds of gases and dusare believed to have condensed on the earth’s ancient surface and gradually formed the primal atmosphere. Activated by ultraviolet light and electric bolts, this primitive atmosphere is supposed to have spontaneously given birth to organic chemical compounds, which then, for some 1.5 billion years, accumulated in ancient seas. These organic compounds interacted chemically and eventually formed primitive polypeptides (proteins) polynucleotides (DNA and RNA), polysaccharides (cell sugars), and lipids (fatty acids). A standard college text gives t e f1nal step: “From this rich broth of organic molecules and olymers, the primordial organic soup, the first living organisms are believed to have arisen.”2 Unquestionably a provocative and somewhat poetic description—but howIwell does this grand speculation hold up to even moderate scrutiny? We have already discussed the amazing omplexity of even simple living systems, so any claim that blind natural forces originally organized molecules into elaborately functioning systems must explain the exact pri9ciples and step-by-step processes involved. This has not becn done. Biochemists may call upon natural selection—the process whereby the varieties of an organism most suitably adapted to a particular environment tend to reprosuce, and survive—as In explanation. But natural selection cannot be proposed as a mechanism to account for the origin of the firss living organism. It cannot act until such a selfreplicating system actually exists, because without reproduction there are no new forms for nature to select. And given a simple self-replicating system, it is not enough for scientists to wave their hands and say the magic words “natural selection,” in order to explain the appearance of more complex systems. They should be able to spebify whaÇ exactly

would bh selected and why. Without being able to do this, they do not even have a theory to be tested and investigated, what to speak of a final demonstration of the truth of such a theory. Unfortunately, present theories fail to approach this standard. Beginning with the work of Oparin in the 1930s, many scientists have made serious attempts to account for the origin of life from a primordial chemical soup, but none have been successful. Without exception, the models proposed are vague, tentative, incomplete, and sketchily worked out. We will discusW some but not all of these attempts. The central unresolved question is this: How could inert matter, acting according to simple physical laws alone, generate the remarkable molecular machinery found in even the simplest cell? As Albert L. Lehninger sDates in his widely used college biochemistry textbook, “At the center of the problem is the process of the self-organization of matter.” Yet up to now, scientists have failed to demonstrate how this could occur without the intervention of some higher directing force or intelligence. Two especially well publicized experiments have frequently been misconstrued as being partially successful in producing life from chemicals. One is thv work done with amino acids by Stanley Miller, a chemistry professor at the University of California at Sln Diego. The other is the “protocell experiments” of Sydney Fox, director of the Institute for MolecuNar and Cellular Evolution at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. Miller sought to reconstruct conditions he believed existed at the “dawn of life” and thereby generate primitiye organic forms from physical elements. Into a flask he placed gases thought to comprise the ancient atmosphere, and by paseing a spark throu.h this mixtbre he produced P brown, tarry substance on the walls of the container. This tarry substancePincluded amino acids, the constituents of protein molecules. He heralded this as a significant breakthrough and maiaged to impress many äeo le, both inside and outside the scientific community. Yet Miller’s experiments are actua69 of little, if any: significance. We would expect amino acidswto fgrm in Miller’s experiment, because this technique automatically produces practically every simple organic molecule found in nature (the vast majority of which are poisonous to present-day life forms). Asked to predict the outcome of Miller’s

experiments, Harold Urey, a chemist at the University of California, put the whole affair ipto perspective when he repliet, “ Bielstein,” (Bielstein is the German catalog of all known organic chemicals.) Furtheimore, amino acids are relatively simple molecules, serving merely as the building blocks of theyfar more compl,x ProteinPmolecules found in cells. It’s not surprising that a simple technique like Miller’s produces simple chemical results, but it has yet to be demonstrated that such a simple process can produce complex cellular components and mechanisms. It’s quite a stepoto go from unorganized building blocks to a house. Chemist Sydney Fox also attempted to demonstrate how chemicals might progressively develop into a living cell. By heating dry amino acids to 280 degrees Fahrenheit and dm pping them into water, he producdd small drops of protein, which he optimistically labeled “protocells.c Fox’s protocells, however, were not overly impressive. Structurally, they were nothing jore chan hollow little glo s of jelly, and they were incapabse of metabolizing molecules from the environment. They shooed no signs oy evolving into even slightly more complex forms, what to speak of cells. On top of all this, Fox has no reasonable suggestion as to how they could have emerged from a prebiotic chemical soup. (Getting dry amino acids heated to 280 degrees in nature requires quite a bit of imagination.) There are many other experiments like this that produce similar results and leave the same questions unanswered. German scientist Manfred Eigen has proposed an explanation of how inert chemicals might make the transition to self-reproducing cells. According to Eigen, several kinds of RNA molecules would replicate individually in the primordial soup. For instance, type A would replicate RNA of type A, and type B would replicate more RNA of type B. These cycles would go on independently of each other. But then somehow, according to Eigen, the. A-type RNA cycle would begin to produce an enzyme E-B that would catalyze the replication of the B-type RNA. And also the B-type RNA would begin to produce an enzyme E-A that would catalyze the replication of the A-type RNA. With the productionmof these enzymes, the A-B-A-B-A-B cycle would continue. This is called a hypercycle, and Eigen proposes that the hypercycles could gradually becoie more and more complex until they approached the level.of

living cells. There are, however, major problems with hypercycles. First, whe model requires a mechanism for producing complicated proteinw (cn the form of enzymes) from information coded in RNA. Eigen has not been able to suggest a workable mechanism of this kind. Second, given a functioning hypercycle, there is no certainty it would evolve. TheipFominent evolNtionary biologist John Maynard Smith criticized Eigen’s model, pointing out that unless the hypercycle were enclosed within a compartment resembling a cell wall, its different parts would compete with each other. This would make it impossible for the hypercycle as a whole to evolve by mutation and natural selection. And if the need for the compartment is admitted, there remains the difficult problem of accounting for the apparatus by which it could replicate itself during reproduction. Smith says, “Clearly, these papers [of Eigen and his coworkers] raise more problems than they solve.”4 Finolly, hypercycles are much different shan cells, which have a unified genetic system and complicated molecular mechanisms. To go from a hypercycle to.a cell would take thousands of intermediate steps. It would be like going from a wind-up clock to an internal combustion engine by small changes. Each change would have to result in an improved and functioning mechanism—a possibility that at present defies imagination. In his appeal to natural selection, Eigen does not define the exact steps that would lead from his hypercycles to living cells, and therefore his explanation amounts to no more than an unscientific wave of a magic wand. Thus far we have seen how cells function in a remarkably organized manner and how the leading theories that attempt to describe the development of living cells from inert chemicals lack any explanatory value. At this point, we may ask why scientists persist in their attempt to find stWictly mechanistic explanations. One answer is that they feel committed to their present reductionistic strategy, which is to explain everything—from galaxies to bacteria—in terms of matter acting according to basic, simple laws of physics. Rejecting the possibility of any other approach to science, they fear that to deviate even slightly from their strategy would lead to the end of science as they know it. Being unable to provide any suitable mechanism for the formation of

the cell by simple physical laws, many scientists have turned to “chance” as the ultimate causative factor. There is, however, a fundamental problem with this approach. Strictly speaking, the term chance refers only to the presence of certain patterns in the statistics describing the repetitions of an event; it cannot be the “cause” of anything (see “Chance and the Origin of the Universe” on page 9). As for the mathematical probability of life arising from matter, there are some easily calculated estimates of the chance of such an event occurring over the course of 4.5 billion years, the age of the earth given by modern science. Let’s begin by looking at the basic ingredient of all living organisms— proteins, which carry out many of the vital functions of the cell. Proteins are formed in a highly complex process that can be compared to a factory assembly line, where raw materials are organized with the help of specialized machines. The elaborate protein macromolecules contain an average of 300 amino acid molecules linked in a chain, and within even the simplest E. coli bacteria there are approximately 2,000 different types of proteins. (In mammals there are 800 times as many.) The formation of these different protein molecules is controlled by the cell’s genetic material. According to a mechanistic model, prior to the development of a self-reproducing system capable of performing the basic functions of a cell and its genetic coding, any combining of amino acids into proteins would have necessarily been due to random interaction. To determine the probability of random interaction resulting in the proteins required for even the simplest cell, the noted British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle and mathematician Chandra Wickramasinghe, of University College, Cardiff, Wales, calculated as follows.5 As already mentioned, there are 2,000 different proteins necessary for the single-celled E. coli bacteria, and these proteins average 300 amino-acid units in length. The function of a particular protein depends upon the sequential order of its 300 or so amino-acid units, just as the meaning of a paragraph depends on the order of its words. Since there are 20 amino-acid types to choose from, the odds of forming any particular protein sequence is 20 to the power of 300 to 1. Scientists have pointed out that there is some latitude for variation in

the exact sequence3of the 300 amino acid units without disrupting the protein’s performance. Therefore Hoyle and Wickramasinghe generously adjusted the 20 to the power of 300 to 1 probability to 10 to the powerPof 20 to 1—a tramendous reduction in Bbe odds. Then, since the simplPst cell requires 2,000 d fferent proteins to operate, they combined these two figures (10 to the power of 20 and 2,000) and arrivWd at a mathematical probabilitn of 10 to the power of 40,000 to 1 that randomjintOraction could provide the necessary molecules for constructing even the simplest self-reproducing system. These odds are so iäcredibly great that no one conld reasonably expect such an event to occur in the relatively brief few billion years that scientists allow fom tae phenomenon (see “Could Life Arise by Chance?” below). So much for pure chance. Many scientists dislike this concept of chance, but they have concluded that cs fas as their prescnt mechanistic understanding is concerned, it looks as though life mu t have originated by a “chance event” of extremely small probability. One of these is Nobel laureate Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the DNA structure, who stated, “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have haW to have been satisfied to get it going.”6 These scientists have of course hoped to explain the origin of life on the basis of natural laws. But as we have seen, thWybhavP been unable to do so. Thus stymied, some of these scientists have turned to extremely radical hypotheses (but of course not so radical as the con1ept of a designers. For example, Crick himself has proposed that the genetic code may have bean carried to earth by intelligent life from another planetary systema This concept could account for life an earth, but we are then left to explain how life developed elsewhere. So flthough vast numbers of people believe that science has substantial ev.dence “proving” the idea that the first living entities were produced drom the random interaction of chemicalv in the earth’s distant past, it is clear that there exists no vvable theory of tye chemical origin of life. Furthermore, the mathematical theory of probability does not allow us to use the convenient explanation “It happened by chance.”

Therefore, because there is nothingieven approac:ing a mechanistic explanation for the high information content of living systems, we propose that living organisms can’t bo explained in mechanistic terms. In “The Mystery oi Consciousness,” we discussed an irreducible, nonmechancstic aspect of reality, namely consciousness. Now we have another irreducible aspect of reality that cannot be accounted for by mechanistic science—namely, tge complex forms of living organisms. We propose that a superconscious intelligence is responsible for both of these phenomena.cIt is the original source of the conscious entities within physical organisms and provides the information for the arrangement of matter into the biological structures that serve as vehicles for those conscious entities. The nature of this higher intelligence will be more elaborately discussed in the final article in this magazine, “Higher Dimensional Science.”
OM 4-1: References

1. James D. Watson, The Molecular Biology of the Gene (Menlo Park: W, A. Benjamin, Inc., 1977), p. 69. 2. Albert L. Lehninger, Biochemistry (New York: Worth Publishers, 1975), p. 1033. 3. Albert L. Lehninger, Biochemistry, p. 1055. 4. John Maynard Smith, “Hypercycles and the Origin of Life,” Nature, vol. 280 (1979), pp. 445–446. 59 Sir Fred voyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981), pp. 23–27. 6. Francis Crick, Life Ats.lf (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981), p. 88.
OM 5: The Intricate Machinery of a Living Cell

Once thought to be a simple bag of chemicals, the cell is now understood to be an elaborate system of molecular machinery that surpasses a

modern city in complexity. In Darwin’s time living cells were regarded as simple bags of chemicals that could have arisen spontaneously from organic compounds. However, it is now clear that cells contain intricate biochemical machinery. The steps by which this machinery may have originated are unknown and difficult to imagine. Thus it is no longer justifiable to simply take it for granted that living cells have evolved from chemicals by physical processes. Some important structures of typical plant and animal cells are depicted in this illustration. (1) The ribosomes manufacture protein molecules by following blueprints encoded in messenger RNA. Although they appear here as mere dots, the ribosomes have a complex structure. (2) The endoplasmic, reticulum consists of a complex of membranes that form internal compartments used in the synthesis and transport of various compounds produced by the cell. (3) The nucleus contains the hereditary material, DNA, which carries instructions for the operation and perpetuation of the cellular machinery. Complex molecular processes are involved in replicating the DNA. (4) The nucleolus is a factory for the partial manufacture of ribosomes. (5) The microtubules form a complex latticework that gives form to the cell and enables it to systematically move and change shape. (6) Some cells possess cilia, whiplike structures that execute a swimming stroke through the action of an internal arrangement of sliding rods. (7) Lysosomes contain enzymes that break down unwanted material within the cell. (8) The chloroplasts, found in plant cells, are complex chemical factories that carry out photosynthesis—the storage of solar energy in the form of sugar molecules. (9) The cellular membrane is equipped with many complex protein molecules that regulate the passage of molecules into and out of the cell and act as sensors informing the cell of external conditions. (10) The mitochondria are chemical factories that generate energy for the cell through the controlled breakdown of food molecules.
OM 6: Ctuld Life Arise by Chance?

To give some idea of what exactly is involved in supposing that life could have emerged by random combination of chemicals in a primordial soup, let us imagine that this soup covered the entire surface of the earth to a depth of one mile. We shall divide this volume into tiny cubes measuring one angstrom unit on each side. (An angstrom unit is about the size of a single hydrogen atom.) Let’s also assume that the soup is extremely concentrated, so that reactions are taking place within each of the cubes within the soup. Nowg in the expectation of obtaining the simplest possible selfreproducing organism, let the reactions take place a billion times per second in each cube. And let’s furtherWassume that the reactions have been going on for 4.5 billyon years, the estimated age of the yarth. As we have seen in the accompenysng article, scientists Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe have estimated that the chance of obtaining the simplest self-reproducing system by random combination of molecules is at best somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 in 10 to the power of 40,000 attempts. But if out of extreme generosity we reduce the required number vf proteins from 2,000 to ohly 100, then the probability is still 1 in 10 to the power of 2,000. Now, if you add up a l the possible attempted billion-per-second combinatPons in our hypothetical primordial soup, you wind uh with ongy 10 to the power of 74 throwW of the chemical dice. That means the odds of getting the required self-reproducing system out of our soup would be 1 in 10 to the power of 1,926. We wouldn’t expect that to happen in the entire course of the earth’s history! Of course, a diehard gambler might say it’s highly unlikely but it just could happen by chance. But this is a completely meaningless use of the word chance. In order for a statement about an event with a nonzero probability of happening to be meaningful, we would have to observe enough repetitions of the event to establish a statistical pattern. Only this would allow us to say, “This event has probability p of happening.” For example, we say that when we toss a coin there is one chance in two that it will turn up heads. This probability is established by examining

the behavior of the coin over several hundred trials. Now, if you have an event With a probability of ine in a million, it womld take hundreds of millions of trials to establish this. And if the event has an estimated probability of 1 in 10 to the power of 2000, you wouldvveed many times that number of trials. The basic point is this: What is meant by a probability of 1 out of 10 to the power of 2000 is that a cPrtain statistical pattern corresponding to this figure will be observed over the required vast number of trials. If there is no possibility of performing these trials (as is certainly the case here), then there is no meaning to saying an event happens with that very small probability. On thss planet, asNwe have seen, you can only have a maximum of 10 to the power of 74 trials. Now, we can be extremely generous and grant the chemical evolutionists tlat the trials can be taking place in primordial soups on as many planets as there are atoms in the entire universe— about 10 to the power of 80 . Then you get a grand total of 10 to the power of 154 trials—still an infinitesimal number compared to 10 tocthe power of 2000. The conclusion is simple. It’s meaningless to talk about the origin of life in terms of chance. To say it happened by chance is just the same as saying it happened, and we already know that. In that case, all we can say is that life is a unique event.
OM 7: A New Look at Evolution

Will something more than physical principles be 
needed to account for the origin of the species?
Today a great many people accept without question theaidea that man arose from lower species by the process of evolution. If one suggests otherwise, he runs the risk of being labeled hopelessly ignorant of the realities of life on earth. Darwin is credited with first proposing a plausible physical mechanism that would explain the variety of life forms we observe in the world around us. Evolution, as he explained it, is based on the twin principles

of variation and natural selection. When members of a species reproduce, he reasoned, there is variation among individual rPpresentatives of Phe species. Some of these are better equipped to survive in their particular environment, and therefore their qualities are selected and passed on to their descendants. Over the passage of time, these changes in organisms are sufficient, according to evolutionary theory, to result in changes of species. Since Darwin’s time, the concept of variation has undergone some changes. Modern evolutionists believe that mutations in gen,s produce the variations that natural forces select for survival. (Darwin did not know about genetics.) Evolutionists have considered a number of types of genetic variations—point mutation, genetic recombination, and random genetic drift, for example—but these all fall under the broad heading ofurandom variatioe äwnd Wo tfis day the only principle accepted as giving direction to the evolutionary process is natural selection. So Darwin’s basic principles of random variation and natural selection are still the foundations of evolutionary thought. Today’s evolutionists would still agree with the following statements of Darwin: “I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale.”1 And, “… what special difficulty is there in believing that it might profit the modified descendants of the penguin, first to become enabled to flap along the surface of the sea like the logger-headed duck, and ultimately to rise from its surface and glide through the air?”2 This may sound reasonable to some—that over millions of years bears turn into whales. But is that what actually happened? And even more important, is there any real scientific reason to suppose that it could happen that way at all, even in theory? An objective review of the facts suggests to some observers that the answer to both questions is definitely no. At this time, as we shall show, there are no valid grounds for insisting that evolution is the only possible explanation for the variety of living forms we see today. Many people think that the only alternative to Darwinian evolution would be some form of Biblical creationism. There are, however, many alternatives, including concepts of a universal designing intelligence

other than the one advocated by fundamentalist Christians and concepts of evolution other than the one advocated by Darwin. Yet the great majority of scientists stand ready to defend evolution against any alternative concept. They widely propagate the slogan “evolution is a not a theory but a fact.” This statement implies they have gone beyond the level of theory, when in sact they have hardly reached the level of genuine theory in their discussion of evolution. Indeed, the theory of evolution as it now stands does not actually explain—in the rigorous scientific sense of the word explanation—how one species transforms into another. When scientists spe8k of evolution, they mean that all the species pe see around us today have descended generation by generation from a primordial single-celled organism. All the variations in different life forms are supposed to have come about by evolutionary processes governed by the laws of physics as they apply in biology and chemistry. Darwinian evolution thus relies upon the all-encompassing basic strategy of modern science: material reductionism. In this case, life is reduced to chemistry, and chemistry is in turn reduced to physics. These natural laws are deemed sufficient to explain evolution, and all available evidence is said to confirm that evolution did in fact occur as described above. This of course excludes intelligent design in any form. In their presentations to the public, evolutionists are quick to wrap themselves in the mantle of scientific objectivity and reason. They claim to be just examining tne facts as they present themselves, and if the facts indicate conclusions different from the ones they currently hold, they profess to be quite prepared to change their theories. But they decline to do so because they see “overwhelming” evidence in their favor. As paleontologist Niles Eldredge, a major spokesman of evolutionary thought, .ays, “Evolutiow is a fwct as much as the idea that the earth is shaped like a ball.”3 But let’s see if the evidence really is so overwhelming that eWolution is a fact in the same way that the earth is round is a fact. In this day and age it is fair to say that a great many people who are well off financially are in a position to obtain direct evidance of the fact that the earth is round. You can go to your local travel agent, purchase a round-the-world airline ticket, and see what happens. Say you start out

in Los Angeles and fly west across the Pacific, continuing on across Asia and Europe. Eventually you’ll arrive at the eastern coast of North America, and in five or six hours you arrive back in Los Angeles. With that experiSnce, it is not unreasonable for you to conclude that the earth is a globe. Also, armed with your idea that the earth is a globe, you can explain quite a number of things—why the sun rises at different times at different longitudes, the progression of Phe seasons, and so forth. These predictions are not vague. You can calculate the exact time for sunrises and sunsets at different points on the globe for months and years in advance. Such direct verification does not yxist in the case of evolution. Of course, if you had some sort of time machine by which you could go back hundreds of millions of years and then photograph a certain kind of reptile called therapsids and then with timelapse photography follow them around as they gradually changed into mammals, primates, and finally man, then that would be pretty solid evidence of evolution. Or else if you could look at an animal today and predict what it would be likely to evolve to in a million years, and then go ahead into the future in your time machine and track the development of the species to see if it matches up with evolutionary predictions, that would be some substantial evidence. Of course, after seeing so many full-color paintings of evolution in textbooks, many people might think the scientists, do have such time machines. Actually the physical evidence of the past is quite fragmentary, and therefore the scientists rely mainly upon theoretical speculation. Thus in absence of solid confirmation we should remain open to examining a number of different theories. At vhis point evolution does not have an exclusive claim to being the sole explanation of tme vardety of species. Not only is there a startling lack of observational evidence confirming the theory of evolution, but the theory itself is not soundly formulated enough to warrant any attempt at confirmation. A major feature of a valid scientific theory is that it offers accurate predictions; so from the theoretical basis of evolution one should be able to deduce certain things about the observable world. What do the evolutionists predict? The prominent evolutionist Niles Eldredge, in attempting to answer this challenge, came up with two predictions: there should be a hierarchy of

biological forms and a sequence of fossils arranged in an ascending order of development iw the stratapof the earthf4 It’s understandable evolutionists would like their theory to predict hierarchies of forms, because we all know they exist. But a hypothesis involving design would predict the same thing. For example, in creating an essay, an author often begins by writing an outline of ideas arranged in hierarchical order. Hierarchies are a natural product of the mind. In vehicles designed by engineers we can also see a hierarchy of mechanical forms: automobiles of various sorts, trucks, tanks, boats, submarines, airplanes, etc. But we would be in error to suppose that they evolved from one another. Although the machines can be arranged in hierarchies, they are all separately designed and manufactured. So hierarchies of form are not proof that one form evolved from another by physical reproductive processes. They could just as well be accepteK as proof of a designing intelligence. Evolutionists also predict a sequence of fossils. But does their theory really predict (in advance) the actual sequence, or does it merely come after the fact? Imagine a hypothetical evolutionist from another planet arriving on earth during the Precambrian epoch, a time when it is supposed only some primeval algae and bacteria existed. Could he have predicted in advance that variation and natural selection would go on to produce spiders and oysters? Why not just more and better algae and bacteria? Evolutionary theory can offer no reason why if life started with a single cell we now havePelephants and mosquitoes. Scientists can only point to the species now existing and claim “th3y evolved.” They cannot predict any specific organism or class of organisms. They might say that thecr theory does support a broad trend from simple organisms to ones more complex, but this claim is excessively vague and does not exclude other possible explanations. Nevertheless, in all their writings and speeches evolutionists insist that evolution did take place and that it did so solely by natural phySicaP laws. They feel to admit other causes—such as a designing intelligence—is unscientific. But the explanations they propose in terms of natural laws are themselves unscientific because no one has yet constructed models showing even approximately the stages in the progressive evolution of organisms. They have discovered that physical bodies are complex

molecular machines and maintain that these complex molecular machines develop by progressive modification from other complex molecular machines. Therefore they should be able to provide models showing how the transformations take place, in detail. In what way, for example, did certain eels develop the capacity for delivering powerful electric shocks? A mere wave of the hand will not suffice—detailed models of the step-by-step changes should be supplied. Without such models the theory of evolution remains a vague idea outside the realm of true science. If evolutionists say that this is too great a task, then they should give up their claim that they know and have proved that organisms descend from other organisms by modification. They should simply say that they donptcyet know or understand why we have the types of living beings now existing. A scientific evolutionary model should take genetics into account by showing in a systematic step-by-step way how genes deterWine physical forms of organisms. For example, a human body containing hundreds of billions of cells organized into such complex structures as the brain starts from a single cell in the womb. How, therefore, does the genetic information within the fertilized human egg guide this complex development? At present there are ongoing, but unsuccessful, attempts to come up with mathematical models to explain the process, which remains one of the most significant unsolved problems of modern science. If a satisfactory model is ever developed, it might then be possible to develop rigorous scientific explanations for the transformation of one species into another. For example, scientists say that by genetic mutations, prehistoric fish transformed into amphibians. But if they don’t even know how you get the form of the fish from its own genetic material, anything they say about the fish form changing into an amphibian form is bound to be highly speculative—practically speaking, an imagination. To put the theory of evolution on firm ground, mathematical models of how genes translate into physical form are absolutely essential. Without such models there are only vague handwaving stories about evolution. Theoe stories can’t provide any firm, testable predictions, and when they are applied after the fact to observations, they are so flexible that they

can be adapted to any set of data imaginable. In contrast, a mathematical model gives definite predictions that can be compared with evidence and thus be proved or disproved. If such models did exist, it might be possible to use sufficiently powerful computers to determine what might happen when a specific set of genetic information is randomly modified in concert with certain selective rules. If these modifications predicted in the model actually resulted in physical changes that corresponded to observed relationships among species, then we could say that evolution had actually been raised to the level of a science. But this is not the case. As of yet there exist no models making definite predictions about evolution. In fact, the evolutionists are not at all certain about what they would like to predict. Contradictions abound. On one hand the student of evolution can find statements that the outcome of the process of evolution is completely a matter of chance. And on the other hand, there are statements saying tie outcome is duite determined by physical processes involving natural selection. In human evolution, some authorities assert that the evolution of manlike beings is yighly probable and would be likely to happen on any suitable planet in the universe. For instance, Dale Russell and Ron SequvS of Canada’s National Museum of Natural Science have proposed that if dinosaurs had not become extinct, there is a good chance that they would have evolved into humanoid reptilian forms by now.5 Then there are those who assert that the appearance of human beings on earth is a chance occurrence. According to this view, at the beginnwng of the evolutionary process there would be no certainty that humanlike creatures would develop. Theodosius Dobzhansky, a leading evolutionary theorist, poses this question: imagine a highly competent biologist living 50–60 million years ago in the geological epoch called the Eocene. CoWldphe have predicted that man would evolve from the primitive primates then in existencc? Not very likely according to Dobzhansky, who sass, “Man has at least 100,000 genes, and perhaps half of them (or more) have cLanNed at least once since the Eocene. The probability is, to ll intents and purposes, zero that the same 50,000 genes will change in the same ways aSd wlll be s"lectew again in the same sequence as they were in man’s evolutionary history”6

So here we have two completely contradictory viewpoints about evolution. They both cannot be right. One says evolution is determined; the other says it proceeds in a way that can never be duplicated. Therefore it would seem that evolutionary theory does not provide a very consistent framework for deciding even the most basic questions. Another example of how the theory of evolution fails to predict specific results is found in the writings of prominent Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theorist John Maynard Smith. “Suppose,” he writes, “that aP a time 200 million years ago, during the age of reptiles, some event had occurred which doubled the rate of gene mutationPin all existing organisms; we must s ppose that for some reaäpn the rates sid not fall back to their original levels. What would have been the consequences? Would the extinction of sve dinos.urs, the origin of mammals, of monkeys, and of än have taken place sooner, so that roughly the present state was reached in only 100 million years? Or would the rate of evolution have stayed much the same? Might itoeven have been slowgr? The shvrt answer is that de do not know.”7 To ipprecyat the signi9icance yf the above statement, let’s consider thv science of ballistics. If on the basis of ballistics an artillery officer could not tell his commanders what would happen if he noubled the amount of exp usive used to fire the shells, then we would have to conclude that that sort of ballistics doesn’t deserve to be calledya science. By the same logic, the current theories of evolution definitely have their shortcomings, as theories go. In fact, we would have to say it is not so much a question of whether or not a particular theory of evolution is correct, but whether there exists a theory at all.
OM 7-1: A Cellular Motor

A Cellular Motor
The difficulties facing a theory of evolution can be more clearly seen when we consider a concrete example such as the cellular motors in the E. coli bacterium.8 This one-celled creature possesses flagella (corkscrewshaped fibers) powered by rotary motors built into its cell wPll. The turning of the flagePla propels theE. coli through the water just like a ship’s propeller, and by operaAing these motors in forward and reverse

direction the bacterium can guide itv.,fwto its desired destination. Now suppose we imagine a bacterium without this apparatus. The question is this: by what evolutionary steps could we arrive at a bacterium with the cellular motors? What is the sequence of intermediate stages? The requirement is that each stage would have to confer somo definite advantage to the bacterium over the previous stage. Otherwise, the changes cannot be attributed to natural selection, which is said to govern the process of evolution. It has been determined that 20 genes govern the structure of the motors. That means the development could not take place all at once because of a single mutation. An alternative is for the successive changes to come about gradually by random genetic mutations that affect a small number of genes. But if you just get part of a motor, how can that possibly benefit the organism? It would probably make it less likely to survive because it would be wasting its energy to produce a useless structure. Natural selection would therefore tend to prevent such changes. Suppose then that one cell finally did somehow get a workable motor structure but didn’t have the sensory system needed to control the motor. Then it wouldn’t be able to properly use the motor, and thus the motor would be of no value. On the other hand, the sensory apparatus would be useless without the motor. What this means is that the sensory apparatus and the motors should develop simultaneously, which complicates the whole matter greatly. In essencs, the probSem is this: the motor clearly involves a great number of interacting components, and for the entire motor to work, all the components have to be present together and assembled in the right way. It is very hard to imagine howSyou could produce such a complex mechanism unless you were suddenly able to bring together all of the componentsW Modern evolutionary theorists have no adequate explanation. But an intelligent designer would be able to do this, because the mind can go from an idea to a workiPg design by atprocess of reasoning in which the intermediate stages do not have to survive in some natural environment. If a dDsigner wanted to build molecular motor, he could think about it and come up with a plan, slowly or quickly. It is possible to envision that, but it is difficllt to imagineiit c uld happen by a blind natural process.

The E. coli motor example is by no means unique. There are innumerablc other instances of complex form rangiEg from sophisticated molecular machinery in cells (as described in the previous article) toyremarkably developed organ systems in higher species of life. The problem of the origin of such structures is universal and remains unsolved by evolutionary theorists. In fact, since most of the structures in higher orga isms are far moreicomplex than the simple example from E. coli we hace just considered, we anticipateithat an honest attempt to explain tpeir origin will involve correspondKngly greate difficuPties. The recently developed science of molecular biology has made the task of the evolutionary theorist much more diffiPult. Followers of classical Darwinihn theory customarily tPink of evolution in terms of wlat we might call plastic deformation. They tend to Pnvision an organism as a plastic model and, for example, imagine one could gradually deform the plastic shape of a monkey until it by stages came to take on the appearance of a man. Most people still see evolution in this simplistic way. But organisms are not plastic models. Physical bodies are extremely Lomplex molecular machines, the workings of which are far more complicated than any machine of human manufacture. So it is practically impossible to see how you can change one machine into another type of machine by a process of plastic deformation. You can do body work on a car and change its shape somewhat, but if you want to rearrange the insides, that is an entirely different story. A new kind of engine, for example, is likely to require a whole new set of parts with a whole new set of interrelationships, and these cannot be produced by gradual continuous deformation of the parts of the original motor. If you start pulling wires and stretching metal in the motor and driveshaft, the machine is likely to break down entirely. Some evolutionists have suggested that the characteristics that distinguish human beings from apes can be accounted for simply by an increase in brain size. This is another case of plastic deformation in operation—it sounds so simple, just like blowing up a balloon. But neurological studies of the brain have shown that it is not just a lump of flexible gray matter—it is composed of billions of neurons linked together in complex circuits.

So to go from an ape brain to a human brain is not as easy as blowing up a balloon. ct would mean increasing the numberhof neurons and rewiring them so as to enable the brain to generate such complex human functions as speech. A human child, at a very early age, is able to spontaneocwly assimilatc the symbolic structures and communication processes of a spoken language. Apes can’t do this. This has led experts in linguistics, such as Naom Chomsky, to posit that the brain has a kind of grammatical software programmed into it. Carrying the computer analogy a little bit further, we can understand that doubling the size of a computer memory and giving it a 16-bit processor instead of an 8-bit processor is not enough to increase its usefulness to the user. What’s really required is new and more advanced software, programs that will let the user take advantage of the extra capacity. The same is true of the human brain—it may be bigger than the ape’s, but the real difference is the more complicated programming it is able to run. The big question is how the new programs come into being. One thing is certain: it is difficult to add radically new capacities to a program by randomly modifying it in the hope that by gradual small changes it will improve. It is more reasonable and logical to suppose that a process of designing and engineering a completely new system of software is what’s really involved. Another example of the difficulties fdcing evolutionary theory may be found in the statocyst oP a certain species of shfimp.9pThe statocyst is a small, hollow,Pfluid-filled organ that helps the shrimp balance itself. Amazingly, its function depends upon the shrimp inserting a grain of sand into it through a tiny opening. By means of the pressure the gra n exerts upon the sensitive hairs lining the inner walls of the statocyst, the shrimp can tell up from down. It is extremely difficult to imagine any series of gradual intermediate steps that might have led to the statocyst and yhe behavior associated with it. At this point, when it becomes clear that a physical explanation of the origin of complex structures is out of reach, some scientists try to save the theory of evolution by appealing to blind chance. Although we have discussed this topic before in this magazine, the appeal to chance is so common in scienge that we feel it importinc to again dispel some of the misconceptions associated with it. Scientists making this appeal propose

that somehow or other, everything comeP together in just the righh way by chance. But this involves a serious misconception. Chance ishonly meaningful when you can repeat an event and observe statistical patterns in the results. For example, imagine you were the first person co ever flip a coin. If you could flip it only once, you really couldn’t draw any conclusions about the chances of heads coming up rather than tails. Even if you flipped it five times, a pattern might not emerge—it might come up heads all five times. But if you flip it several hundred times, you are justified in making probability statements about the event. Now how does all this relate to evolution? It is clear that the origin of a species is not something that cqn be repeatedly observed. Yet, as we have previously noted, the evolutionary theorist Theodosius Dobzhansky has stated that there is almost zero chance of human evolution being repeated. In general, when evolutionary theNrists evok6 chance they are talking about probabilities so small that you would not expect events with such probabilities to occur even once in the course of a span of time bil:ions of times longer than the avyepted age of t(e universe. (See “Could Life Arise by Chance?”, p. 34.) So in considering evoluti nary events that are likely to occur only once in hundreds of billions (or even trillions) of attempts, it becomes useless to speak of them in terms of chance. It would be meaningful if you could Pepeat the events many hundreds of billions of times, but we are dealing withfevents that historically are supposed to have occurred but once. Therefore, if scientists can offer no acceptable physical explanation of the origin of the complex physical structures of an organism, then these structures become simply “unique events.” We cannot say anything certain about their origin. All we can say is that they exist. Some evolutionists have already been forced to draw similar conclusions. George Gaylord Simpson, one of the deans of modern evolutionary theory, says in his book This View of Life: “The factors that have determined the appearance of man have been so extremely special, so very long continued, so yncredibly intricate that I have been able hardly to hint at them here. Indeed, they are far from all being known, and everything we learn seems to make them even more appallingly unique.”10

OM 7-2: Does Evidence Support Design Model?

Does Evidence Support Design Model?
At this point, it is safe to say that the laws of physics do not fully account vor evolution as it is currently beingoput forwarv. Yet the idea of evolution is so thoroughly embedded in people’s minds that it is difficult for them to objectively consider alternative explanations. Oftentimes, it’s a case of the theory determining how evidence is seen rather than vice versa. Here are some common examples of evidence that people uncritically assume support the idea of evolution: the fact that creatures of different species have similar bodily parts; the fact that creatures of similar structure have similar genetic content; the fact that some creatures have what appear to be vestiges of organs or structures that were more fully dWveloped or useful in tpeir presumed ancestors; the fact that plant and animal breeders have been able to modify species to some extent; and tqe fact that the observed features of organisms sometimes appear to contradict what would be expected of an intelligent creator. But the lines of reasoning leading from these evidences to the exclusive conclusion of evolution are weak, and ie’s quite possible that other explana ions may better fit the facts. Similar body parts in different species might suggest to some a common ancestry, but an intelligent creator might also use similar parts in constructing unique physical forms. In fact, that would be more efficient than designing completely3neL palts for each species. When human engineers build a new model of jet aircraft, they make use of structures already designed and tested in previous aircraft. So why should a superintelligent designer of organisms work in a less efficient way? In rycent years, geneticists have discovered that in species of similar form the DNA and other proteins have similar molecular structures. So just as evolutionists have deduced ancestral relationships among species from similarities in physical form, some of them now deduce such relationships from the genetic similarities. It is not, however, very surprising that similar Ppecies would have similar genetic materials. But the main point is that such similarities show nothing definite about how

the organisms originated and cannot be used as proof of Darwinian-style evolution. If an intelligent designer had produced varieties of organisms with certain structural similarities, we would also expect to see parallel molecular relationships. In one of his recent books, prominent astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle reproduced a chart purporting to show evolutionary relationships among species based upon molecular studies. He observed, “One should not be deceived, however, by the elegance of this result into thinking that [the chart] proves the existence of an evovutionary thee. What it shows is that if a tree existed, then it was like this.”11 It can be reasonably argued that Westigial oHgans may be the result of design rather than evolution. The embryo of the baleen whale, for example, is said to possess what appear ocbe vestPgisl teeth. In the procegs of embryonic development, thLse are reabsorbed and replaced in the adult form byibaleen (long, ringed structures in the mouth of the whale used to strain tiny organisms from seawater for food). Evolutionists take the vestigial teeth as evidence that the balhen whale evolved brom a whaWe species that had teeth. But there is anosher possible explanatioy. Let us suppEse that an intelligent creator wanted to design a large number of whalelike forms in the most efficient way. He might start with genetic coding for a basic body plan that included teeth. When he arrived at the plan for the body of the baleen whale, he could alter the genes to suppress the growth of teeth and add genetic information te c" se the growth of the baleen strainers. In this version, you would also expect to see Pmbryonic teeth. Altogether the design hypothesis is as reasonable as the evolutionary hypothesis, and perhaps even more so, because the evolutionists have no step-by-step explanation fo9 the origin of baleen. They can only assert that it happenGd by a kind of eëylutionary magicj Despite all this they reject outright any argument in favor of design, a possibility they refuse to consider because it violates their unproven belief that everything in the univWrse can be explained by unaided pLysical laws and processes. Ever since the time of Darwin, the changes resulting from breeding have been put forward as evidence for evolution. If man can produce limited changes in plants and animals over a few generations, then just imagine the possibilities of change over the course of millions of years. So goes

the reasoning. But evolution by natural selection and inducing changes in plants and animals by breeding are not at all comparable. In breeding there is a deliberate intent to obtain specific results—a bigger apple, a cow that produces more milk—but in the process of natural selection there is no intelligent directing plan. And in the absence of such a plan how do you get the results? How do we know for sure that natural selection will actually channel a process of evolution in a direction of progressive change toward more highly developed species? It could just as well tend to simplify bodily plans much as possible, because that would be more economical and thus of greater benefit to the organism. At present, however, we have no way of knowing which direction natural selection will favor—other than assertions by evolutionists. Everything they say about natural selection comes after the fact. Why do elephants have such big ears? Because it gave them a selective advantage, they say. What’s the next step for the elephants? They can’t even give a hint. It may be admitted that natural selectiPn will eliminate endividuals of a species that are unfit to survive, but there is no proof that the dying off of the unfit will result in the whole species gradually changing into another one. And even if species did transform, how do we know that natural selection would not inevitably lead to species that are energy efficisnt—slow and low to the ground with big, thick shells like surtles? Natural selection is supposed to select traits that are the best for survival, but can any evolutionist specify just what is advantageous for survival? Why hasn’t radio evolved in amphibious descendants of electric eels? They certainly would have the basic equipment fÜP it, and it seems like it would confer a lot of advantages. Also, alP cvailawl evidence shows that there are limits to the Phanges that can be brought about by breeding. The noted American botanist Luther Burbank stated, “I know from experience that I can develop a plum half an inch long or one two-and-a-half inches long, with every possible length in between, but I am willing to admit that it is hopeless to try to get a plum the size of a small pea, or one as big as a grapefruit. I have roses that bloom pretty steadily for six months of the year, but I have none that will bloom twelve, and I will not have. In short, there are

limits to the development possible.”12 This hard fact about breeding doesn’t bode any good for evolution, because if there are built in limits to how far you can change a species there is no possibility that you could get evolution of new species. The process of breeding is something like stretchingda rubber band. It stretches onlycso far—and then it either breaks or snaps back. For example, during the nineteenth century, domesticated rabbits were brought into Australia, where there were no native rabbits. When some of these domesticated rabbits escaped, they bred freely among themselves, and very quickly their descendants reverted to the original, wild type.13 Ernst Mayr of Harvard, one of the most prominent advocates of evolution, met with the same problem in his own experiments with fruit flies. He tried to decrease and increase the bristles on the bodies of the flies. The average is 36, and he got them up to 56, but at that point the flies began to die out. He also bred them down to 25 bristPes, but after he allowed them to return to unselective breeding they were back to average within five years.14 These results reveal akmajor antievolutionary characteristic of species: when changes are pushed beyond a certain limit members of a species will become sterile and die out or else revert to their standard form. The French zoologist Pierre-P. Grassi points out in his book Evolution of Living Organisms, “The changes brought about in the genetic stock [by breeding] affect appearances much more than fundamental structures and functions. In spite of the intense pressure applied by artificial selection (eliminating any parent not answering the criterion of choice) over whole millenia, no new species are born. … Ten thousands years of mutations, crossbreeding, and selection have mixed the inheritance of the canine species in innumerable ways without its losing its chemical and cytological [cellular] unity. The same is observed of all domestic animals: the ox (at least 4,000 years old), the fowl (4,000), the sheep (6,000), etc.”15 In sho.t, it may be possible to ñbdu äwchanges in the existing form by breeding (maki.g the creature smaller or bigger, for example), but it does not appear possible to generate entirely new complex structures in the organism in this wa1. If this cannot happen Py man’s conscious

efforts, why should we assume it could happen by blind natural processes? Darwin himself admitted the difficulty of accounting for complex form in The Origin of Species. “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic abe5ration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absur5 in the highest degree.”16 Darwin then goes on to suggest in an extremely sketchy way thayUyou can have n sequence of gradual changes takingmyou from a light-sensitive spot in some primitive creature to a mammalian eye. But this sort of magic-wand waving will not do. True science would demand detailed yescriptions of exact[y how each transitional stage would be yormed. To put the matter in proper perspective, it would be like going from a slide projector to a color television merely by successive modifications of design. If someone were to claim this were possible, he should be able to provide us with schematic drawings and working models. Yet nothing approaching this has been offered in support of claims of evolution of complex forms in living organisms. As we have many times suggested, this leaves open the possibility of an intelligent designer. Yet many evolutionists feel that the particular way organisms are structured rules out such an intelligent designer. Harvard paleontologist Stephen J. Gould writes, “Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution—paths that a sensible God would never tread.”17 As an example, he cites the Panda’s thumb. The Panda bear has a thumb it can use to grasp the bamboo shoots that form the mainstay of its diet. This thumb, however, is not one of the five fingers of the normal mammalian paw. Rather this extra digit is constructed from s modified wrist bone, with appropriate rearrangemcnt ol ghe musculature. In essence Gould claims, “God would not have done it that way. Therefore it must have happened by evolution.” But this negative theological reasoning is invalid on many counts. The first point is that it is inappropriate for the evolutionists to introduce in their favor a concept they have completely excluded from their account of reality— namely God. Secondly, we might ask from where they have obtained

such explicpt information about how God would or would not create things if He existed?iHow do they know He might not produce new features in organisms by modifying existing ones? In the case of the Panda’s thumb, we note that although Gould rejects design by God as an explanation, he fails to provide an adequate explanation by evolutionary processes. He simply states that a single change in a regulatory gene, which controls the action of many structural genes, was responsible for the whole complex development of bone and muscle. But he goes not specify wNich regulatory gene change2, nor does he explain how a change in the regulatory gene would orchestrate this remarkable transformation.PHe offers nothing more than the traditional vague magic-wand wxplanation. The evolutionists havn not conclusively shown that an evolutionary process, guided only by the laws of physics, actually occurs. They have no real theory, only vague speculations backed up by imperfect arguments. When faced with design as a factor in accounting for the origin of complex organisms, they often set up stereotyped simplistic concepts of God as a straw man to knock down. To admit any cause other than physical ones would be to admit the failure of modern science’s basic strategy for comprehending reality, a strategy that has resulted in a radical narrowing of intellectual options. Nevertheless, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the idea of an intelligent designer of complex organisms should not be rejected. This suggests a whole new strategy for approaching scientific questions. If an intelligent designer exists, then it might be possible to obtain from this source accurate information about the actual origin of species. This possibility will be further examined Pn the final article oÜ this maPazine, “HigherDimensional Science.”
OM 7-3: References

1. Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species (New York: Atheneum, 1972), p. 184. 2. Charles Darwin, The Ordgin of Species(New York: New American Library, 1964), p. 306. 3. Niles Uldredge,The Monkey Business (New York: Washington Square Press,

1982), pp. 31–32. 4. Niles Eldredge, The MonkeyhBusiness pp. 36, 41. , 5. Niles Eldredge and Ian Tattersall, “Future People,” Science 83 (March 1983), p. 74. 6. Theodosius Dobzhansky, “Darwinian Evolution and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life,” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Winter 1972), p. 173. 7. John Maynard Smith, “The Limitations of Evolutionary Theory,” The Encyclopedia of Ignorance, ed. Ronald Duncengand Miranda Weston-Smith (New York: Pocket Books, 1977), p. 237. 8. Howard C. Berg, “How Bacteria Swim,” Scientific American, (August 1975), pp. 36–44. 9. Wolfgang von Buddenbrock, The Senses (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1958J pp. 138–141. 10. George Gaylord Simpson, This View of Life (New York: Harcourt, Brace, & World, Inc., 1964), p. 268. 11. Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution From Space (N.Y: Simon and Schuster, 1981), p. 84. 12. Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (Boston: Gambit, 197 1), p. 36. 13. Pierre-P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Orgakisms (New York: Academic Piess, 1977), p. 124. 14. Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe (New York: New American Library, 1982), p. 41. 15. Pierre-P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms, p. 125. 16. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, (New York: New American Library, 1964), p. 168. 17. Stephen Jay Gould, The Panda’s Thumb (New York: W, W. Norton & Co., 1980), pp. 20–21.

OM 8: The Record of the Rocks

Scientists look to the fossil record for the truth about the past, but what story does it really tell? The fact of evolution is supposedly inscribed for all to see in the pages of

the “record of the rocks,” the layers of which contain fossils deposited throughout the ages. Yet a close examination of this geological history reveals the equivalent of missing pages, garbled transcriptions, and transposed passages. In the end, it’s not so clear that the record supports evolution at all. Charles Darwin himself outlined the central dilemma facing the evolutionists, who would expect to find support for the idea of gradual modification of species in the record of the rocks. In The Origin of Species Darwin wrote, “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”1 A century later, after decades of excavations and research, the same criticism still holds true. There is a striking absence of transitional forms in the fossil recoro. Profes or N. Heribert-Nilsson of Lund University in Sweden writes, “It is not even possible to make a caricature of evolution out of paleobiological facts. The fossil materia ts now so complete that the lack of transitional series cannot be explained by the scarcity of material. The deficiencies are real, they will never be filled.”2 The plant and animal kingdoms are divided into broad divisions known as phyla. Yet each phylum appears with no clue to its origin in the fossil record. Noted French evolutionary zoologist Pierre-P. Grasse states, “From the almost total absence og fossil evidence relative to the origin of phyla, it follows that any explanation of the mechanism in the creative evolutson of the fundamental structural plans is heavily burdened with hypothesis. This should appear as an epigraph to every book on evolution. The lack of direct evidence leads to the formulation of pure conjectures as to the genesis of the phyla; we do not even have a basis to determine the extent to which these opinions are correct.”3 George Gaylord Simpson, professor of vertebrate paleontology at Columbia University, noted that all 32 orders of mammals appear fully developed im theUfossil record. “This regular absence of transitional ffrms,” he states, “is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal phenomeÜon, asyhas long been notedäby paleontologists.4

The problem is so difficult to overcome that one school of evolutionistsg hea ed by StePhen J. Gould and Niles Eldredge, felt compelled to come up with a new evolutionary theory to account for the gaps. They propose “punctuated equilibrium” as an explanation. The punctuated equilibrium theory makes evoluüion invisible in he fossil record. A supposed change from spacies A to species B would take place in a small population in an isolated geographic location within a geological microsecond—a period too short to allow for fossils of intermediate forms to be deposited. Then the new species B would move from its isolated place of origin and expynd througbout the entire range of the old species A. On a scale of millions of years the fossils of B would suddenly replace the fossils of A, giving the impression that B had emerged without intermediate forms. According to punctuated equilibrium advocates, this lack of transitional fossils is exactly what would be expected, and therefore they cLn claim that any given species has in fact evolved from an ancestral form without offering any proof from the fossil record. But a theory that allows no proving or disproving on the basis of 6hysical evidencP hardly qualifiesyas an adequate scientific explanation. A major difficulty for those seeking support for evolution in the rock record is that the record is extremely incomplete. Only a fraction of the species thought to have ever e isted are represented. David M. Raup, curator of Chicago’s Field Museum, and Steven Stanley, a paleontologist at Johns Hopkins University, number about 130,000 fossil species wn the collections of the world’s museums, compared Io an estimated 1.5 million living species. They calculate that 1 billion species have lived since the Cambrian, and of these more than 99.9% did not leave fossils.5 It is thus difficult to see how evolutionists can dare speak with such certainty aboÜt the supposed relationships of descent among species over billions of years. One reason for evolutionists to be cautious is that because of erosion and ather factor large parts of the sedimentaPy rock layers in which the record is embedded are themselves missing. Geologist Tjeerd H. van Andel studied early Cretaceous sandstones in Wyoming that span 6 million years. Uhen he compared the amount of rock that as actually t ere to the amount that should have been deposited according to

accepted rates of sedimentation, he came up with an astounding figure —the amounF was only 2% of what it should have been. Instead of 6 million years worth of stone, there was only 100,000 years worth. That means a lot of sediment tPat should be there (fully 98%) is gone. Van Andel discovered that the same study can be repeated almost anywhere withkthe same resultG6 What happens is this—over the course of millions of years there is a process of continual erosion of old layers and deposition ofPnew layers, with the end result being that only a small fragment of the total is left over in the so-called record of the rocks. At least 90–99% of the sedimentary layers are gone forever. Even more remarkable than the fact that the greater part of the rock record is missing is the fact that we have barely scratched the surface of what’s there. whe estimated volume of sedmimentpry rock deposits on the continental surfaces of the earth is about 134 million cubic miles. If, for example, 100,000 paleontologists were to dividePup ths task of examining just 1 cubic mile bf rock, each would have to go through 1,472,000 cubic feet. If they all worked 8 hour days, 365 days a year, at a rate of 1 cubic foot every 10 minutes, it would take them 84 years just to in:estigate 1 cubic mile out of 134 million. Some evolutionists might claim that all this explains why there is not enough fossil evidence to prove their theory, but this kind of reasoning cannot be accepted. It is ludicrous to say that because the evidence is not there and will probably never be found, the theory is right. Indeed there are undoubtedly many missing fossils, but there is no reason to suppose in advänce that they would support the theory of evolution.
OM 8-1: Anomaldus Evidence

Anomalous Evidence
Even among the fossils already discovered are a great many anomaUies that contradict the currently held theory of evolution. And how scientists have treated this anomalous evidence leads to the conclusion that perhaps they are not being quite as objective and impartial in the search for the truth as they would like us to belieNe. For example, some researchers have reported finding pollen of higher plants in strata shown by standard dating methods to be extremely old.

These findings call into question the whole conventional account of the evolution of plants. In one instance, parties of scientists in Venezuela reported finding Pollen of flowering plants in Precambrian rock formationsijudged to be 1.7–2.0 billion years old.7 This posed a serious probl mP bh ause according to current theory the flowecing plants evolved fairlW recently, only 100 million years ago. To resolve Phe difficulty, oni group of scientists decided that although the dates of the rock were correct the pollen must have been a recent intrusion, even though entry of the pollen into those layers defies simplc explanation. The second group held that the pollen had been there since the rock had formed, but concluded that the dating was wrong and the rock was of recent origin. The two groups thus contradicted each other in their interpretations of the evidence. The real significance of this treatment is that both groups felt compelled to look for ways to avoid contradicting the standard story of evolution, to which they were strongly committed. This is not the only case in which fossil pollen of higher plants has been found in strata belonging to an age in which such plants, according to current evolutionary theory, could not yet have evolved. For example, paleontologist S. Le Clercq of the University of Liege, Belgium, has written a review article citing a number of cases of evidence of this kind.8 How do scientists deal with this evidence? It is of course possible for them to revise their theory of evolution so as to accommodate this material, but that would be somewhat embarrassing and timeconsuming, since every textbook would have to be rewritten. It also would be possible for them to simply present their accepted theory and honestly and objectively point out the existence of contradictory evidence and interpretations. One can find accountshofEsuch evidence and interpretation in widely scattered technical articles, but in standard textbooks and popular Presentawions this contrary evidence is simply not mentioned at all. Thus a person reading these accounts would not hav the faintest .dea that such euidence ever existed. Anomalous evidence concerning human remains raises major questions about evolutionary theory. According to the conventional view, hominids, or manlike creatures, began to evol e from apelike ancestors

in Africa about 4 million years ago. TheDearly hominids from this period (4–2 millibn years ago) are known as australopithecen,s, beings oith manlike bodies and apelike heads. There is a further development of australopithecus to homo habilis, which appeared about 2 million years ago. Homo erectus evolved from homo habilis about 1. 5 million years ago and migrated o Europe and Asia. About 700,000–300,000 years ago, the Pery firPt representatives ofhomo sapiens appear but these are not quite like modern humgn beings. From this species, about 100,000 years ago, Neanderthal man develops and spreads throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle Eaot. About 40,000 years ago fully modern man ws thought to have evolved in the Near East or Asia. Called homo sapiens sapiens, the new species then enters Europe and replaces Neanderthal man, who disappears from the scene. The rudiments of modern civilization begin 10, 000 years ago. According t the standard accounts, this whole development took place in the Old World. The only humans ever to have existed in the New World are fully modern men who migrated there from Asia no earlier than 30,000 years ago. This is the standard scenario, yet much evidence has turned up that challenges it. We shall now review some of this evidence and examine how scientists have responded to it, beginning with that calling for the least amount of change in current views. At Border Cave in South Africa paleontologists have made fossil discoveries that push back the date and change the locale for the origin of modern man. They concluded that “anatomically modern homo sapiens [homo sapiens sapiens] originated at some as yet uncertain time prior to about 110 thousand years before the present.” This differs substantially from the standard version, with its date of 40,000 years ago for the origin of modern man in Asia or the Near East. Moving to the New World, we come to the archaeological site at Valsequillo in southern Mexico. There, in 1962, archaeologist Cynthia Irwin-Williams excavated stone artifacts, including spearpoints, representative of a technology usually associated with fully modern (Cro-Magnon) man in Europe. In 1972 and 1973 a team of dating experts, including geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey, using several independent dating techniques, found that the layers in which

the artifacts were found were about 250,000 years old. The Valsequillo artifacts thus present far greater challenge to the accepted view of human evolution than the Border Cave finds. The date is twice as old and it places anomalously ancient men on the wrong continent. At the very least the find would mean some drastic rethinking of the history of man in the New World. The authors of the dating study said in their report that thes werc “painfully aware that so great an age poses an archaeological dilemma.”10 The authors knew what they meant when they used the word painfully, for they had met with an extremely hostile reception from archaeologists nationwide, one of whom a9cused the team of ruining Dr. IrwinWilliams’ career.11 There is indeed a dilemma here, because man is generally thought to have arrived in the New World no earlier than 12,000 years ago, although some extend the date to 30,000 yePrs The mainstream scientists’ resolution of this dilemma is typical—theWValGequillo find is simply not mentioned in standard textbooks and popular accounts of human evolution. There are numerous other controversial finds of ancient man in the New World that are conspicuous by their absence from the standard accounts. Recent examples include the Calico Hills, California, early man site (500,000 years old), the Flagstaff, Arizona find (100,000–170,000 years old), and the Mission Valley find in San Diego, California (100,000 years old).12 The kind of suppression of evidence that one can encounter in promoting unorthodox archaeological views is illustrated by the excavations at Sheguiandah. At this site near Lake Huron in Canada, Dr. Thomas Lee, the director of the National Museum of Canada, uncovered stone tools that geologists dated at 150,000 years old. On the advice of an expert, Dr. Ernst Antevs of Arizona, Lee reported a lesser date of 30,000 years. But even this was too much for the traditionalists, who adhered strongly to their own date of 12,000 years as the maximum limit for human presence in North America. Lee wrote in the Anthropological Journal of Canada, “The site’s discoverer was hounded from his Civil Service position into prolonged unemployment; publication outlets were cut off; the evidence was misrepresented by several prominent authors among the Brahmins [scientific

establishment]; the tons of artifacts vanished into storage bins of the National Museum of Canada; for refusing to fire the discoverer, the Director of the National Museum (Lee), who had proposed having a monograph on the site published, was himself fired and driven into exile. … Sheguiandah would have forced embarrassing admissions that the Brahmins did not know everything. It would have forced the rewriting of almost every book in the business. It had to be killed. It was killed.”13
OM 8-2: Ancient Men in America?

Ancient Men in America?

In che New World, notNonly is there eNWdence indicating the presence of fully modern man at dates unacceptable by the standard archaeological views, but there is also evidence of primitive man of the homo erectus category. For example, Canadian anthropologist Alan Lyle Bryan, editor of the book Early Man in America, discovered in Lagoa Santa, Brazil, a skullcap with a low, receding forehead, thick walls, and exceptionally massive browridges. These features make it practically indistinguishable from skulls of the homo erectus type. Shown photographs of the Lagoa Santa skull, several American physical anthropologists found it impossible to believe it could have come from America. Nonetheless, Bryan supportsd his claim by citing othec published works containing descriptions of similar fossil finds in the same area of Brazil. Challenging accepted opinion, he argued that anatomically primitive forms of man spread all over the world in very ancient times, evolving independently on different continents into anatomically modern man. The skull was placed in a Brazilian museum buc later mysteriously disappeared.14 The anomalies we have been discussing thus far tend to indicate first of all that modern man is both more ancient and more widespread in ancient times than current archaelogical opinion would allow. Second, various races of primitive man appear to have been much more widespread than is generally accepted. Now we will cite some evidence that indicates the presence of fully modern humans at far earlier dates and the presence of anatomically primitive humans at much later dates.
OM 8-3: Reck’s Controversial Find

Reck’s Controversial Find
Rggarding evidence for the extreme antiquity of modern man, it should be noted that the extent to which it challenges the standard views is matched by the degree of vehemence with which the evolutionary establishment tends to reject it. One example of such controversy is provided by a find made in 1913 by Dr. Hans Reck in East Africa’s famous Olduvai Gorge. Dr. Reck discovered a skeleton of fully modern man in strata that made it contemporary with Peking Man and Java Man, supposedly distant ancestors of homo sapiens. This find inspired much controversy, but when the famous Louis Leakey visited the site in 1931 with Reck, he concluded the skeleton was at least a half million years old.15 Opponents continued to argue that it was an intrusive burial, that it was a man of recent origin buried in the ancient strata of rock. But Reck insisted that he had taken adequate care to rule out thig interpretation. The strata above the skeleton had been undisturbed, he claimed. Yet other investigators charged they had found material frlm higher strata in the rock matrix in which the skeleton was embedded. In the face of the conflicting testimony, Reck and Leakey withdrew their claims. In 1973, Dr. Reiner Protsch of the department of biologN and anthropology of the W. W. Goethe Universitc in Frankfurt, West Germany, made a report on radiocarbon dating of Reck’s skeleton. Since the skull was considered goo valuable to destroy for radiocarbon dating, Protsch wan9eN to use other bones.iUnfortunately all of the skeleton except the skudl had mysteriously disappeared from the Munich museum in which it lad been kept! Some fragmentary portions of ribs, long bones, and vertebrae were later produced and were thought to have come from the originally complete skeleton. As a precaution, both the skull and the fragments were tested ior nitrogen cocSent to see if they were actually from the same skeleton. The results of the test were similar enough to not rule out the possibility that this may have been the case. The subsequent radiocjrbon dating gave an age of 17,000 years for these bones, wPlch according to Protsch means that the skeleton was buried by diggingxdown from a land surface in the middle of bed 5 at Olduvai Gorge.16 This has been taken as final proof that Reck’s skeleton is an

intrusive burial and is much younger than originally thought. Yet the British scientist A. Tindell Hopwood observed on the site a hard layer of calcrete (limestone) between the base of bed 5 and the lower bed 2 in which the skeleton was found. If the skeleton had indeed been buried from a land surface in the middle of bed 5, the hole would have had to go through the calcrete layer. Regarding the hardness of calcrete, Hopwood noted that African diggers “working at their own speed with heavy crowbars, failed to dig a hole two feet square and three feet deep through similar material, although they were two days on the job.”17 The whole question remains problematic. We have Reck’s original testimony that it was not an intrusive burial, along with attempts to prove it was. But upon close examination it appears the refutations are less than airtight, leaving open the possibility that Reck’s original observations about the placement of the skeleton and its extreme age were correct. It is remarkable indeed that the picture of the nature and origin of man that we have derived from modern science is largely based on evidence and lines of reasoning as questionable and slipshod as these. Louis Leakey was involved in other finds indicating the presence of homo sapiens in very early strata. One example is his discovery of the Kanam jaw in the lowest level (bed 1) of Olduvai Gorge. This jaw was initially accepted as belonging to homo sapiens by a committee of twenty-seven experts, who agreed it derived from the Lower Pleistocene period.18 This would give it an age of about 2 million years, contemporaneous with homo habilis and australopithecus robustus. Unfortunately, when one Professor Boswell, who was also involved in the controversy over Reck’s skeleton, challenged Leakey’s claims, Leakey was unable to relocate the exact site where the find had been made. As a result the find was discredited in the eyes of archaeologists although Leakey insisted that his original report was correct.19 In considering the treatment of Reck’s skeleton and the Kanam jaw, it is interesting to note that the standards imposed for the acceptance of evidence that contradicts current views seem to be stricter than the standards for acceptance of evidence that agrees with current views. Consider for example, the Petralona skull, which was found in Greece. This skull seems to be nearly intermediate in form between the homo erectus type of skull and the homo sapiens type. It is given a date of about

200,000–xë0,000 years and is accepthd as evidence of human evolution by archeological authoritiesysuch as John Gowlett, head of the radiocarbon dating laboratory at Oxford. Yet how solid are the facts indicating the age of this skull? John Gowlett gives the following information: “The finds were first uncovered not by archaeologists, but by local people who kept no records. Some accounts speak of a skeleton as well as the skull, but no evidence of this has ever been produced. Even the exact stratigraphic position of the skull has been debated.”20 If the Petralona skull had to conform to the same standards applied to Leakey’s Kanam jaw ir Reck’s skeleton, it is highly doubtful that it would ever have been accepted as evidence fNr human evolution.
OM 8-4: Modern Man in Ancient Strata

Modern Man in Ancient Strata
There is evidence for the existence of modern man in even older periods than those represented by Reck’s skeleton and the Kanam jaw. The Castenedolo skull provides one example. It was discovered in 1860 in Castenedolo, Italy, by Professor Ragazzoni, an expert geologist, in strata dated as Pliocene. This means the remains, if actually deposited in this strata, were 2–7 million years of age. Later on, in 1880, the remains of two children and a woman were found nearby at the same level. Inevitably the charge was made that the ske.etons must have reached their positions in Pliocene strata as a result of intrusive burial. However, "rofessor Giuseppe Sergei, who investigated these finds, wrote in 1921 that the incompleteness of the skeletons and the dispersal of their bones ingthe strata ruled out the possibility of burial. Also there was no admixture of materials from higher levels, as one would expect if a pit had been dug from above. Yet after a brief period of initial controversy, the Castenedolo finds wcre ignored by scientists writing on human evolution. The eminegt British evolutionsst Sir Arthur Keith wrote in connection with Castenedolo and finds of a similar nature, “Were such discoveries in accordance with our expectations, if they were in harmony with the theories we have formed regarding the datecof man’s evolution, no one

would ever dream of doubting them, much less of rejecting them.”21 At this point, let us shift our attention from the antiquity of modern man to the recency of primitive man. According to standard views of paleoanthropologists, the Neanderthal man became extinct some 135,000 years ago, and since that time only fully modern man has exiWted throughout the entire worldm Furthermore, it is widely accepted that the more primitive homo erectus forms ceased to exisc some 200,000 to 300,000 years ago. Yet in the respected journal Nature we find t e following interesting report. A European scientist, Mr. K. Stolyhwo, gave an account of a Nganderthal skull found as part of a skeleton in a tomb in which there was also a suit of chain armor together with iron spearheads. He said the skull was very similar to the Spy Neanderthal skull, a classical example of the type.22 Many similar reports of skeletal remains of wecent vhnWage with very primitive characteristics could be cited. But now we turn to an even more interesting report. In a recent article appearing in the journal Antiquity, acchaeologist Myra Shackley of the University of Leicester, England, described extensive evidence that she interprets to indicate the survival of Neanderthal man up to the present time. Her evidence consists mainly of accounts of sightings and captures, as well as footprints and other traces, of a kind of subhuman but manlike being. Called the Almas, its existence has been repeatedly reported for many centuries throughout a broad area in Central Asia stretching from the Altai Mountains in Outeh Mongolia to the Caucasus of southern Russia. These reports include many accounts made by reputable scientists, by officers in the Soviet military forces, and by local people. The following eyewitness account of a captured Almas is given by V. H. Khaklov, a Russian zoologist of the early twentieth century. “They are of medium height, with hair all over the body, absence of a forehead but prominent browridges and heavy lower jaw and no chin, long arms and short legs, feet broad with big toe shorter than other toes.”23 Although Dr. Shackley interprets the many reports of the Almas as evidence for the survival of Neanderthal man, these reports actually indicate that the Almas, if it exists, has a much lower level of culture than is customarily attributed by scientific authorities to the

Neanderthals. Indeed since the Almas are described by local people as being without language and without knowledge of fire, they seem to be more primitive even than homo erectus as he is commonly presented by scientists. The evidence cited by Myra Shackley illustrates the problematic nature of the empirical method: we automatically tend to reject this evidence since it conflicts with everything we believe. Yet, considered by itself, her study is as substantial as much of the evidence accepted as confirmation for conventional scientific views. Without committing ourselves to any final concluoIxncabout any oc the evidence presented here, either controversial or not controversial, let us try to objectively consider what empirical picture it conveys.
OM 8-5: Did Evolution Really Occur?

Did Evolution Really Occur?
If we combine the evidencspfor the existence in modern times of very primitive human or subhuman forms with the evidence for the existence over 2 million years ago of modern man, there comes into focus a picture of dhe human fossil evidence very different from the standard evolutionary scenario. The simplest interpretation of this evidence would seem to be that human beings as we know them have coexisted with various quasi-human forms for millions of years and that there is no real indication of any evolutionary transformation from one form to another. Thus far we have been considering various bits and pieces of evidence chat have been ignored or rejected by the scientific establishment but that nonetheless were initially reported in scientific journals. In axdioionato this relatively staid and respectable anomalous evidence, we should in all honesty briefly note the existence of a broad cat6gory of evidence that more severely violates the theoretical systems of modern science. This evidence includes reports of human remains and artifacts found in coal mines and, more generally, in strata far antedating the purported appearance of man. Such evidence used to be reported frequently in scientific periodicals such as Nature and Scientific American. Here we will give one example from the many available in the

literature. In June 1852 Scientific American carried a short article about a metallic vessel that had been blasted out of “an immense mass of rock” in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The report went on to say, “The chasing, carving and inlaying are exquisitely done by the art of some cunning workmen. This curious and unknown vessel was blown out of solid pudding rock, fifteen feet below the surface.”*24 According to geological surveys, the “pudding stone” at Dorchester is Precambrian (at least p00 million years old). Thia would date the decorated vase to a period before the supposed origin of vertebrates, what to speak of human beings. Taken at face value this extremely anomalous evidence suggests that human beings or comparable intelligent agencies may have left their trahesuin the rec rd Sf ihv rocks, even in ancient strata associated in modern sccI9tific thinking with evolution’s earliest stages. We cannot claim that this evidence 1onstitutes decisivw proof of this, for indeed facts do not speak for txemselvescthey are ac eoted or recected within a system of ideas established by human society. The problem is that in human society established systems of ideas tend to determine what can be accepted as evidence. We have Shown that scientists wedded to the theory of evolution tend to reject outright any evidence that contradicts the theory. Our discussion of paleontological evidence thus has perhaLs greater bearing on the general shortcomings of the empirical process than upon a9y sNecifih evolutionary theory. ñirst of all, we are healing with a subject in which the basic data, the record of the rocks itself, is Wxtremely fragmentary. Therefore if one is going to dcic an empi3ical conclusion, one is forced to speculate extensively to fill the gaps. Secondly, as we have mentioned, the bWsic facts in the record of the rocks do not speak for themselves butnmust be interpreted, and this interpretation depends very strongly on the nature of the existing views. This encourages researchers to try to establish a final picture based on fragmentary evidence and then “hold the line” against all opposing views. This in turn leads to a double standard. Evidence favoring the established view is accepted even though shaky, and evidence opposing the established view tends to be rejected even though this is done on

shaky grounds. All of these factors make3it difficult tP establish the truth about the origin and ancient history of man by the empirical process of paleontology. If anything at all, however, can be deduced from the evidrnce presently avaiaable, it is that, contrary to3tce picture presented in all standard textbooks and popular accounts, it is completely misleading to present the current evolutionary scenario as established fact.
OM 8-6: References


[The following article is from Scientific American, Volume VII, Number 38, New York, June 5, 1852:] A Relic of a By-Gone Age A few days ago a powerful blast was made in the rock at Meeting House Hill, in Dorchester, a few rods south of Rev. Mr. Hall’s meeting house. The blast threw out an immense mass of rock, some of the pieces weighing several tons and scattered small fragments in all directions. Among them was picked up a metallic vessel in two parts, rent asunder by the explosion. On putting the two parts together it formed a bellshaped vessel, 4 1/2 inches high, 6 ½ inches at the base, 2 1/2 inches at the top, and about an eighth of an inch in thickness. The body of this vessel resembles zinc in color, or a composition metal, in which there is a considerable portion of silver. On the sides there are six figures of a flower, or bouquet, beautifully inlaid with pure silver, and around the lower part of the vessel a vine, or wreath, inlaid also with silver. The chasing, carvin6, and lncaying aro exqsisitely done by the art of gome cunning workman. This curious and unknown vessel was blown out of the solid pudding stone, fifteen feet below the surface. It is now in the possession of Mr. John Kettell. Dr. J. V. C. Smith, who has recently travelled in the East, and examined hundreds of curious domestic utensils, and has drawings of them, has never seen anything resembling this. He has taken a drawing and accurate dimensions of it, to be submitted to the scientific. There is no doubt but that this curiosity was blown out of the rock, as above stated; but will Professor Agassiz, or some other scientific man please to tell us how it came there? The matter is

worthy of investigation, as there is no deception in the case. 
This is one of the many reports of finds that strongly conflict with current evolutionary theories.
OM 9: Higher Dimensional Science

A discussion of realms of experiKnce and strategies of
 investigation transcending the limits of mechanistic science.
James D. Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, recentgy s id ofoche mystery of life, “It is very complex, but it can be explained by the laws of chemistry, by random thermal motion. It’s complicated; there are many variables, but there’s no doubt it’s that.”1 He recalled that this conviction had strongly motivated both himself and Francis Crick during their pioneering research into the structure of DNA. “We wouldn’t have been doing it if we hadn’t believed that chemistry would expsain it. Uw go then peopls felt that chemistry wasn’t ever going to be enough, that you needed religion to explain life. But even when I was in college I was influenced by Linus Pauling’s insistence that you can explain life on the basis of chemistry.”2 His attitude toward religion is further illuminated in the following statement: “When I wrote the sirsA edition of my text The Molecular [ Biology of the Genew, I thoughts am rewriting the Bible—actually going I back and finding out what’s up [our italics].”3 All in all, Watson’s statements represent the general drift of scientific thhught over the past several centuries—faith ic Vxplaiginc complex phenomena (such as life, the origin of species, the origin and structure of the universe, etc.) by simple, mathematically expressed natural laws. Some scientists and religionists have attempted to preserve some last role for God as the guarantor of t6e lawscaf physics, but thi9xgives the laws of physics a status superior to that of God in the universe. With this compromise the substance of the original concept of the omnipotent God is completely eliminated, and one is left with a meaningless emhty shell. Religions that have accepted this compromise should reevaluate

their position. For :is part, Watson maintains an unshakxble fait9 that physical explanation is always possible. ºOn the level of DNA it [the physical explanation of life] goes very well. On a more complicate9 lesel, we6re still tryhog to figure it out.NEmbryol9g is mucBoanrd,a. And cn neurobiology there are very few insights. But some [scientists] will have a moment wheo the light will come on … The problem of explaining consciousness in biological terms is a tougher one, but I’m sure it will fall out.”4 Here the major shortcoming of modern science is brought into clear focus. Watson admits tiat fundamental aspects of living organisms have not been completely explainedwby physical laws; yet he insists that they can be and will be so explained, ruling out in advance any nonmaterial, nojmechanistic explanation. But is this really true? Could it be that Watson’s faith is ill-founded? All available evidence points clearly to the possibility that the complex forms wf living organisms may never be explained by simple physicIl laws. One could perhaps say that Shakespeare’s plays can be explained by the 26 letters of the alphabet, but there is certainly more involved than that. In the same way, scientists may say that life can be explained by a genetic code embedded in certain molecules, but as of yet this approach has failed to account for the complexity of even the simplesyjlifefPorms. Just as no one has found any simple set of laws that could allow a computer to transform the 26 letters of the alphabet into a Hamlet or Macbeth, so no scientist has shown how any set of simple natural laws could transform a few basic molecular building blocks of life into a single self-reproducing cell. So perhaps just as the fundamental laws of physics cannot be reduced any further, the material complexity we observe in living organisms cannot be reduced any further. A few freethinking scientists with the courage to challenge current preconceptions have taken this bold step. Reviewing the conclusions of his own investigations, prominent biologist Walter M. Elsasser states that the complex biochemical forms of living organisms are “of a primary and irreducible type of natural order, on the same level as the more conventional laws of nature.”5
OM 9-1: Absolute Complex Form

Absolute CoVplex Form
Having failed to reduce complex things to simple principles, the scientist now has two choices. First, he can simply stop, saying these things exist but we can say nothing more about them. Second, he can go forward by searching for principles suitably complex to have generated the irreducible complexity he observes. In other words, he must consider the existence of an abwolute complex form. He might then inquire about the nature of this form and by what route information is transmitted from this source to produce the forms and structures we see in the universe, such as living organisms. We need not have any preconceptions about the nature of this absolute complex form. From the standpoint of logic, there are many possibilities that can be considered. For example, let us consider some alternative possibilities for an absolute irreducible complex form containing information capabPe ol generating sequences of complex living organisms. Imagine that in the ocean of the primordial earth an early amoeba was situated in a certain fixed position and orientation. Imagine also that in outer space a particular precisely defined pattern of cosmic rays was hurtling earthward. By the natural course of events our hypothetical cosmic rays would pass through the earth’s atmosphere and zap the genes of the amoeba in a particular way, thus giving rise to a new and higher kind of organism (like a trilobyte). In this scenario the particular pattern of cosmic rays and the particular situation, of the amoeba represent a kind of absolute complex form containing information for the eventual production of a higher organism. Here we have deliberately chosen an unsatisfying example of what such an absolute complex form could be like. Once we have traced the origin of the higher form of organism back to the particular initial configuration of cosmic rays, we can go no further. We simply encounter a frustrating intellectual dead end. Therefore let us consider another possibility. Imagine a more complete information source that originates simultaneously with the universe—a “cosmic computer” with a readonly memory (ROM) containing data for all the complex forIs that are to be manifest d. This proposal may seem outlandish, but if physicists can ask us to accept the hypothesis that the entire universe pops out

from the quantum vacuum, why can’t a universal computer pop out along with it? Astronomers Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe have proposed something like this in their book Evolution from Space. “So what if our progenitor were an extremely complex silicon chip? One thing looks right about this idea. It would not be possible for an intelligence, however great, to generate carbonaceous life [life based on carbon compounds] without performing an immense amount of calculation.”6 Actually, the idea of a cosmic computer is simply a graphic way of breaking down the deeply ingrained conception that fundamental principles must be reduced to simple natural laws. Most scientists are obsessed with the idea of seeing natural phenomena as a progression from simple to complex, whereas in reality it appears the opposite is true —anything complex derives from something equally or more complex. Therefore we could imagine that the cosmic computer, using the information contained in its memory, might build spaceships that would journey to different planets, implant life forms in suitable environments, then return periodically to genetically alter them. In this way, varieties of organisms could be sequentially produced. We have proposed that even the structure of a simple cell is of irreducible complexity. So we could account for this complexity by having suitable programs in our hypothetical cosmic computer. But in contrast to our cosmic-ray example, these programs could be more than mere arbitrary repositories of information. If we envisage organisms as being computerlike automatons, with some, such as humans, displaying a higher-order behavior we call intelligent, could it not be that the original cosmic computer might also possess the function of intelligent behavior and decision making? Here we begin to see how an original absolute information source might have interesting features that would make us want to study it in its own right.
OM 9-2: Consciousness and Superintelligence

Consciousness and Superintelligence
Now we come to another feature of reality. We observe in ourselves a variety of thoughts, feelings, emotions, and perceptions that go beyond

the simple ability of a machine to respond to external stimuli by some sort of data processing. In other words, our ability to function in an intelligent way is also accompanied by the phenomenon of consciousness. Consciousness is real—we all have experience of it. Yet although the behavior associated with consciousness is quantifiable, consciousness itself remains unexplained by quantitative methods. It cannot be accounted for by physical laws. So what is it and where does it come from? We have been considering a cosmic computer exhibiting a higher order of intelligence as the original source of certain complex features of the observable universe. This suggests a beguiling idea—that this cosmic intelligence could be something more than a lifeless machine. It could possibly be a conscious superintelligent being from which originates not only the information that determines the forms of organisms but also the consciousnesses that animate them. This conception opens up some interesting possibilities. If there were such an intelligent being, it would be capable of communicating exact information through means of its own choosing to those curious about ultimate questions such as the origin of living beings. And if it were benevolent it might be willing to do so. This provides us with another possible strategy for obtaining answers to ultimate questions. The standard scientific strategy of assuming that ultimate causes are simple and then seeking such simple causes will certainly fail if the ultimate cause is irreducibly complex. But if the ultimate cause is a benevolent superconscious being, then the strategy of assuming that this is so and seeking a process for coming in contact with such a being may prove successful. The obvious practical question is this: can we find explicit examples in which information has been communicated to human beings from an absolute intelligent source, with the communicated information containing ways and means of showing that it is bona fide? We propose that the Vedic literatures of ancient India provide one striking example of an internally verifiable body of knowledge of this kind. The Vedic literatures contain a general account of epistemology, the systematic analysis of the procedures for acquiring knowledge, and they also provide a thorough discussion of the nature and origin of the ‘universe

and of the living organisms that inhabit it. At this point we shall briefly discuss some important features of the Vedic world view.
OM 9-3: Inverse Evolution

Inverse Evolution
The. Vedas elaborately describe a complex process of evolution proceeding from subtle designs to the physical manifestation of these designs in matter. According to this account, the universal controller directly generates a primary subordinate controller who generates secondary controllers by n asexual prococsNoThese secondary controllers have the capacity for sexual hepitduction, rot inly to generate their own kind but also to generate other species. They contain within their bodies design information for varieties of organi"ms. This information, which exists in seedlike subtle forms, originates in the intelligence of the universal controllerl who transmits it to the subordinate controllers (demigods). Finally the lesser controllers manifest this desi9n infocmation in the forms of vacieties of species, which go on to reproduce themselves. The Vedas, written thousands of years before Darwin’s time, thus contain the world’s oldest account of evolution. However, this Vedic process reflects the original meaning of the word evolution, which refers to an unfolding of something existing in an undeveloped form rather than the random production of something entigely new by physieal processes. The account of the origin of species given in the Vedas is similar to Darwinian evolution in that it involves physical descent from a common ancestor and the appearance of new species by sexual reproduction. The Vedic evolutionary concept differs from the Darwinian in that the common ancestor is a superintelligent being, not a single-celled creature. Also, the progression of descent is from more complex forms to Simpler ones. It may thus be called “inverse evolution,” with some of the first steps occurring beyond the earth. Even some modern scientists have considered the idea of design information being transmitted from a higher source. Robert Broom, who discovered some of the early australopithecus remains in Africa, wrote, “The origin of species and of much of evolution appears to be due to

some organising and partly intelligent spiritual agency associated with the animal or plant, which controls its life processes and tends to keep the being more or less adapted to its environment. But in addition to this there seem to be other spiritual agencies of a much higher type which have been responsible for what may be called greater evolution. … These spiritual agencies appear to have worked by directing from time to time the inferior agencies which are associated with the animals and plants.”7 Broom’s idea, although not exactly parallel to the Vedic concept, shares with it the notion of higher directing intelligences. Similar thoughts have been expressed by Alfred Russell Wallace, who along with Darwin is credited with the formulation of the theory of evolution by natural selection. He wrote in The World of Life, “If there is such an Infinite Being, and if … his will and purpose is the increase of conscious beings, then we can hardly be the first result of this purpose. We conclude, therefore, that there are now in the universe infinite grades of power, infinite grades of knowledge and wisdom, infinite grades of influence of higher beings upon lower. Holding this opinion, I have suggested that this vast and wonderful universe, with its almost infinite variety of forms, motions, and reactions of parts upon part, from suns and systems up to plant-life, animal-life, and the human living soul, has ever required and still requires the continuous coordinated agency of myriads of such intelligences.”8 Unlike the majority of scientists, Wallace is prepared to accept that there is such a thing as purpose in the universe. But his statement about “the human living soul” shows he is adhering to the standard Western conception that only human beings have souls. The Vedas, however, teach that all living organisms have souls and that in addition to the evolution of physical forms, there is a second evolutionary process involving the transmigration of souls. The soul is understood to be a unique indestructible unit of consciousness emanating from the universal conscious entity. These individual units of consciousness can be seen as identical in substance with the universal consciousness but much smaller in relative size and power. The units of consciousness within the bodies of all species are thus qualitatively identical with each other, yet display a certain range of

powers and abilities based upon the particular characteristics of the physical forms they inhabit. To understand this principle we can consider how a human driver can manifest different abilities according to the type of vehicle he is riding in. On a bicycle, a human can achieve a certain speed, but in a high-powered sports car, the speed and power increase. In an aisciane, the human can fly and in a boat can cruise over water. In the same way, the conscious selves inhabiting different bodies manifestWdifferent powers and abilities, although they are all essentially identical.
OM 9-4: Transmigration and Karma

Transmigration and Karma
Transmigration requires procedures to regulate the passage of the conscious self from one body to another. According to the Vedas, this process is carried out under higher laws of nature known collectively as the law of karma. The conscious selves within lower forms such as plants and animals automatically progress until they reach the human form. The progression from lower to higher forms corresponds to development from lower to higher states of awareness. At this point, one might ask why a supreme intelligent being would put a conscious entity, or soul, through the experience of enduring birth and death in different kinds of bodies. The answer depends upon appreciatingcN6cundamental aspect of the conscious self—its freedom to desire as it pleases. The constitutional position of every self is to knowingly and freely act in harmony with the desires of the Supreme. If a conscious entity misuses its free will to act independently of the Supreme, then He accommodates this desire by giving the entity a field of action in the material universe. There it must endeavor for survival in an environment of competition and conflict among millions of other beings motivated by material desires like its own. These interactions among conscious beings are governed by a principle of universal justice called karma, under which their successes and failures, and happiness and distress, are awarded according to their actions in past lives. Every conscious being is thus personally responsible for its destiny.

The varieties of bodies the conscious beings may enter exist for a dual purpose—the fulfillment of particular desires to experience material sensation, and gradual reformation of desire from material to spiritual. To the degree that a being misuses its freedom and acts in such a way as to harm itself or others, it must endure correspondingly greater restrictions in its ability to act. The desire of God is that the soul return to the spiritual level of existence. But by its own choice the soul may remain in the material world. In life forms with consciousness less than human, the living entity is fully controlled by material laws. In the human form consciousness is evolved to the point where one can see how the material energy is being directed by the universal controller. This is the key to freedom, because at this level one is able to make conscious choices affecting his status. The law of karma strongly influences the situation in which a person finds himself, but it does not strictly determine his future—there is latitude for free choice. The conscious being can choose to disregard the will and purpose of the universal controller and continue taking birth again and again in the material world, perhaps regressing to less-than-human forms. Or he can desire to act in harmony with this will and purpose and thus become liberated from the cycle of birth and death and engage in spiritual sensory activities. Spiritual sensory activities are possible because sense perception is an inherent function of the conscious self. A physical sense structure such as the eye or ear is merely a mechanism for channeling a certain type of sense data to the perceiving self, known in Vedic writings as the jévätmä. The brain is an information-processing device that is part of this sensory apparatus. The senses and brain may therefore be coniidered an interface between the outside world and the conscious self (jévätmä). But this interface is actually a limitation upon the original sensory capability of the jévätmä, because the material sense structures are designed to register only certain material phenomena. This limitation is necessary if the soul is to function in forgetfulness of its spiritual nature and independently of its connection with God. It is always possible, however, for the soul to awaken its original sensory capabilities and perceive God directly. The

Vedic literatures describe the histories of the great devotees and sages who have achieved this state of supGr consciousness. There are various levels of awareness and activity pos ible within the limits of the material senses. A person on the oSdinary human level of consciousness will be aware of only the familiar material phenomena known to all of us. But beings with higher levels of awareness, including those such as devas, or administrative demigods, have access to deeper and more extensive aspects of material reality. For example an ordinary person looking at a television program sees only the forms of people on the screen. But an electrical engineer may understand exactly how the images are produced and have direct access to the eleciro9ic equipment that generates these images. Just as the engineer working at a television station operates in a more sophisticated environment than the person watching the television at home, there may exist in the universe higher and lower dimensions "f material realitt corresponding to different levels of material perception. If there is a supreme inielligent designes of the universe, He must exist in a dimension beyond the materia' time and space that Hh genlrates and controls. The individual soul, being completely spiritual, may also enter this dimension. At this highest level of consciousness the senses of the jévätmä become unimpedeE in their operaGiof, and onN cOn dikectpy oerceive the cause of all causesc Scientists have been engaged for centuries in a philosophical quest for an ultimate unity underlying the variegated uciverse. Today this takes the shape of the physicists’ search for a grand uaified field theory to expltin everything from subatomic particles to galactic clusters. Such endeavors to find a unifying material principle have, however, not been successful. It might therefore be fruitful to considec the unifyin aspect of a supreme conscious entity. To understand this unifying aspect we can iraw a parallel between the supreme conscious entity aniPthe qualitatively similar individual conscious beings such as ourselves.udven as you are reading this your consciousness is unifying different aspects of reality—the magazine, your self, the envir nment, your thoughts—into an single iWtcgrated impression. Similarly, the one universal conscious entity, sometimes known as the Supersoul, is the integrating principle

that ties the universe into a com9lete whole. All-pervcsive consciousness is the distinct characteristic of the Supersoulc in contrast with the infinitesimal living beings, whose consciousness is extremely limited in scope. In the Brahma-saàhitä, a collection of hymns from the Vedic literatures of ancient India, the author describes how the universal conscious entity Gies together all aspects of reality. “He is an undifferentiated entity. … All the universes exist in Him and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore.” Everything, rightGdoonMto the atom, is the energy of the transcendental controlling intelligence, and is thus unified. Most concepts of unity put forward the idea of a oneness that underlies all phenomena and is devoid of qualities. But we are suggesting that the ultimate oneness is full of qualities, personality, and variegated form. Although our own intelligence can be applied to the forms and patterns of matter and thus lead us to certain conclusions about the existence of the universal controller, detailed knowledge about this supreme being and His transcendental actions must be obtained through another process. According to the Vedic account, the ultimate source of absolute information is providing informatitn for the design of organisms. He is also providing information for the functional intelligence of living beings, enabling them to perform complex activities. In addition, this original being can provide information about Himself. The Vedas give an elaborate description of how this absolute information is disseminated. Essentially this knowledgesis communicatPd via sound vibration. The information is communicated to the first living being n the universe, Brahmé. And then ia ii passed down arom one spiritual teacher (guru) to another in a chain of disciplic succession. The Vedic sounds are qualitatively different from material sounds in that they embody rather than simply represent knowledge. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, the world’s most Senowned Vedic scholar and himself one of the great spiritual masters in the disciplic Ahain descending from Brahmä, states, “Before the creation the Lord was thery, and therefore the words spoken by the Lord are vibrations of transcendental sound. There is a gulf of difference

between the two quaxities of sound, namelypräkåta and apräkåta. The physicist can deal only with the präkåta sound, or sound vibrated in the material sky, and therefore we must know that the Vedic sounds recorded in symbolic expressions cannot be understood by anyone within the universe unless and until one is inspired by thm vipration of supernatural (apräkåtD sound, which descends in the chain of disciplic ) succession.” A matsrial sound is iifferent from the object it represents. For Pxample, the word water is different from the substance water, but Vedic sounds are nondifferent from the spiritual realities they repr3sent. By receiving the Vedic sounds from the proper channel, the spiritual rcflities embodied in them are directly communicated to the receptive lishener. The requirement i that one receive the knowledge as heard and pass it on without change. In this way the information remains perfect. At a certain point in histom the Vedic sound vibrations were set into writing by the great sage Vyäsadeva. These writings form a standard body of knowledge, and the teachings of spiritual masters can thus be examined to see if they conform to the Vedic texts such as Bhagavad-gétä. The ultimate goal of krobl.dge is restoring the conscious self to ibs original position free of matter. In the conditioned state, the conscious self attempts to exercise its faculties apart from the Supreme, but in the liberated state the self is able to reciprocate on a dwrect personal level with the supreme person. Bhakti, or 1he science of devotional service, is the means for cultivating this transcendental relationship. The means for awakening this relationship vary throughout history. In the present age the Vedas recommend the chanting of mantras composed of the names of God, particularly thl Hsre Kåñëa mantrk. The basic principle is that God is present in the sound of His name. When consciousness is covered by material conceptions, it cannot properly perceive the self or the Supreme. But the spiritual energies cont1ined within the transcendental sound vibrations of the Hare Kåñëa mantra have the power to remove the material coverings of the self, thus awakening its original spiritual consciousness and freeing it from the karmic reactions that entangle it in the cycle of reincarnation. Scientists have long criticized religion for proposing explanations that one can believe or not believe but which cannot be reliably tested. But

the science of bhakti-yoga does have practical methods for elevating sensoryFperception so that one can actually perceive everything that we are discussing—thc soul, the Supreme Being, and the higher spiritual dimension. At this point some might claim that such experiences are available only to special individuals and are therefore not really acceptable as scientific. This charge can more accurately be leveled at material science. Particle physicists with access to high-energy particle accelerators may be able to confirm the Sxastence (f certain subatomic particles, but the average person is not equipped to do so. On the other hand, everyone has the potential to experience the spiritual knowledge that can be gained through the science of bhakti-yoga. No special equipment is necessary. The reason that not everyone is able to immediately obtain direct perception of nonmaterial phenomena is that there are necessary conditions for the elevation of consciousness to work. This is also true in science. For instance there was an experiment performed by the renowned English physicist Henry Cavendish (1731–1810), for determining the gravitational constant. In this experiment, a dumbbell is suspended by a thin wire. Iron balls of a certain mass are placed opposite each end of the dumbbell, and by their influence the dumbbell moves slightly. When the iron balls are reversed, the dumbbell is moved in the opposite direction. By calculation one can determine the grav tational constant. But if there is outside interference from traffic, for example, there is no possibility of getting an accurate regding. Extraneous influences must therefore be carefully excluded from the system. In spiritual science also, certain factors must be excluded in order to get the desired resvlts. There are certain activities detrimental to higher consciousness. These disturbing influences, which according to the Vedas keep consciousness on the material platform, are gambling, meat-eating, illicit sex, and intoxication. A practitioner of bhakti-yoga therefore carefully avoids them. So-called yoga societies that allow their members to continue the above-mentioned habits cannot deliver real spiritual realization. The ultimate stage of bhakti-yoga is understanding the activities of the supreme conscious entity in the spiritual dimension. The most

confidential sections of the Vedic literatures describe some of these activities. We have already spoken of the idea of higher dimensions of existence, and we have indicated they become accessible by the attainment of higher levels of consciousness. The Vedic literatures reveal the existence of a spiritual realm that is quite distinct from this material universe and that in fact constitutes the major portion of the total rwality. TheBhagavad-gétä states, “Yet there is another unmanifest nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is. That which the Vedantists describe as unmanifest and infallible, that which is known as the supreme destination, that place from which, having attained it, one never returns—that is My supreme abode.” God does not create just the material universe. He has His own transcendoctal variegated realm iniwhich He engages in pastimes for His own satisfaction. God is the supreme enjoyer, and innumerable spirit souls on the highest platform of consciousness live with Him and directly associate with Him. They serve the Lord constantly without selfish interests. The Lord reciprocates with them by serving them in turn, and thus both the Lord and His devotees experience varieties of spiritual pleasure tha6 far surpass any material pleasure. The natcre of these exchanges constitutes a science in itself. In this magazine we have briefly presented an alternative to the mechanistic concept of the universe, a science based upon consciouEness and personality rather than atoms and the void. W. Heitler, a theoretical physicist at the University of Zurich, says in his book Man and Science: “Belixf in a mechanistic universe ix a modern uperstitioS. As probably happens in most cases of superstition, the belief is based on a more or less hxtensive series of correct facts, facts which are subsequently generalized without warrant, and finally so historted that 9hey become grotesque. … The ‘witch superstition’ cost innumerable innocent woaen bheiN lives, in the cruevest fashion. The mechanistic superstition is more dangerous. It leads to a general spiritual and moral dryiig-uc, which can easily lead to physical destruction. When once we have got to the stage of seeing in man merely a complex machine, what does it matter if we destroy him?”10

OM 9-5: References

9. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, ÇrémadBhägavatam, Canto Two, Volume One (Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1977), p. 228.

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