The Monk’s Podcast 51 with Bhanu Maharaj – Why science and scripture see reality differently
The Monk’s podcast – Why science and scripture see reality differently with HH Bhanu Swami Maharaj.
Chaitanya Charan Prabhu succinct from 1.19.44:
“So, we tried to discuss our left brain, right brain approaches to Scripture. And then you started by how this brain researcher, she had a different way of looking after a stroke. So, that’s one scientific way of saying that, you know, the science way of looking at reality is not the only way. Another layers of chances are through all paranormal research, where there is various kinds of research done in Stanford and other places.
We could say that our Bhagavatam cosmology is also another way of looking at reality. And within science itself, there are different ways. There is quantum physics which sees reality very differently from Newtonian physics. So, if within science itself, there are different ways of looking at reality, then there could be some ways which are outside science also. And scripture offers us that view. Sukadev Goswami is himself a yogi, so he’s giving a vision of the universe that is meant to increase appreciation for the Lord; that how the Lord accommodates various living beings at various levels. And from that purpose, that is way the 5th fifth Canto cosmology is described. Even in our tradition, they have been comfortable with different ways of looking at the universe. The scientists like Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya, they were both Brahmins, so they accepted the Puranas, and they also accepted Jyotish Shastras.
Then there is the question that, how much of this is depictable? It’s very difficult to depict because it’s more in terms of visuals or images. Some depictions can be done. But we don’t have to literally insist that this is the way it is. And certainly, we don’t have to think that the scientific way is wrong.
The Bhagavatam’s description can be both symbolic and real, or metaphorical and metaphysical – both. Then you talked about the pendulum; say one way is that to say that science is wrong; and the other is to say scripture is imaginary. But the balanced way would be to say that science has one way of looking and the scripture has another way of looking. And then with respect to tradition- if it’s traditional, it needn’t be made into a major faith issue that if you can’t accept this, then you are a heretic, but rather accept the principles accept the principles. You can put aside the other details if you can’t accept them. There are ways in which the conflicts and the details can be resolved.
And you talked about how religion without realization becomes fanatical. The “Bhaavgrahi and Saragrahi”. So, the Sahagrahi means to focus on gaining the realisation and to encourage people to take up the process by which they can get the realization and not put in unnecessary obstacles. So, we can have a compartmentalization that science has a jurisdiction for empirical knowledge, and scripture talks about transcendental matters. When scripture gives us a view of the material universe, that is a different model. We accept that model, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to reject science. And in that way, we can both go together. Yes, any concluding words, Maharaj?”
His Holiness Bhanu Maharaj: “One thing is that ultimately our aim is to show that if you get a spiritual insight, then you can actually solve your scientific problems in a more absolute way. In other words, science is not always going to change in the future, depending on “Pradaksha anuman” it will keep changing. But if we understand behind that there is the spiritual essence, and spiritual realization, and if we can introduce that into science, we can have a more accurate science. So, in other words, spirituality can contribute to science by giving a higher vision to it. So, we can get more perfect science in the material world by recognizing spirituality analogy.”
Chaitanya Charan Prabhu: “Yes Maharaj, that will be a profound contribution. I think that will also require a lot of dedicated study of both science and scripture. If we are actually able to do that, but that will be significant contribution. Thank you very much for your time, it’s been an illuminating the discussion with you. My humble obeisance’s Maharaj.”
His Holiness Bhanu Maharaj: “Hare Krishna”.
End of transcription.