How to present scriptural wisdom scientifically

by Chaitanya CharanJanuary 25, 2015

Lecture Summary:

By positioning scripture as a competitor to science, we may end up devaluing scripture

Scripture’s essential gift is inner purification and transformation – something that science can’t offer much help in

Let’s make things better vs let’s make people better

Eg. Chemical answers to human questions – Prozac and other tranquilizers have disappointed and distressed

For inner transformation, scripture offers scientific process– predictable, repeatable, observable, verifiable

Eg. yoga – 8 stages, bhakti-yoga – 9 stages, Experiment in the laboratory of consciousness


Simplistic claims of advanced science in scripture alienate intelligent people – Science is not just about product, but also about process

Claims of brahmastra being like nuclear weapons – purpose: don’t get so excited by such technologies as to think that we no longer need spiritual knowledge – our tradition already had such knowledge and still it focused on spiritual knowledge.

For practical, operational purposes, Vedic apara-vidya is not available today. We have to use modern apara-vidya.

Scripture does provide material knowledge too, but to be credible, it needs to be presented intelligibly

Eg. Prabhupada – Planetarium – consult some traditional scholar

Eg. SP to BI scientists – Speak to them in their language


Pre-modern – scripture as authority

Modern – science as authority

Post-modern – experience as authority

Experiential bhakti-yoga – appealing to the postmodern ethos – show me what works for you – Gita 9.2 speaks to such people


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Chaitanya Charan

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