08.15 – Is paradise something we will create or something we were created into?
Many technologists feel that hi-tech appliances will gradually provide necessities and luxuries for more and more people. Thus, they posit that we humans will create a technological paradise on earth.
In radical contrast, many environmentalists feel that nature provides for the needs of all its inhabitants through its delicate and intricate harmony. We were created into paradise, they aver, but we are ruining it by our reckless technological interferences into nature’s workings.
Who is right: the technologists or the environmentalists?
Gita wisdom answers, “Neither.”
The Bhagavad-gita (8.15) indicates that our world is intrinsically marred by misery and temporality. Even at its pristine best it is no paradise; it is filled with disease, old age and death.
Of course, environmentalists are right about the counterproductive effects of technology. When we try to make things better through technology, we might seem to succeed temporarily, but over time we end making things worse, not better. This is evident in the imminent specters of pollution, deforestation, desertification, climate change and exhaustion of fossil fuels – most of which originated in our techno-driven attempts to transform this world into paradise. So, technologists have got it wrong to a far greater degree than environmentalists.
Broadening our perspective, Gita wisdom indicates that existence has three principles (tattva-traya): the living beings, material nature and Krishna. Technologists ascribe the power to create paradise to living beings; environmentalists, to material nature. But that power rests with Krishna alone. And he informs us that eternal paradise awaits us if we learn to love him and thereby return to his abode. On our devotional journey back to Krishna a natural, eco-friendly lifestyle presents far lesser distractions than an artificial techno-centric lifestyle. Nonetheless, the devotional journey is possible through both. That’s why devotees focus neither on technology, nor on ecology, but on Krishna.