The Challenge

On the Authority of the Vedas

Dr. Abraham T. Kovoor
Sri Lanka Rationalist Association

Dear Dr. Kovoor:

I am in due receipt of your letter dated September 10, 1977, and have noted the contents carefully.

If it is futile to try to convince each other of our respective points of view, then what is the meaning of your science, rationalism and search for truth? The close of your letter—”Yours in search of truth”—suggests that you have not yet found the truth. That is your defect: you have not yet found truth, yet you pose and speak as if you were in knowledge of truth.

The first aphorism of the Vedanta-sutra is athato brahma-jijñasa: “In the human form of life, one should inquire about the Absolute Truth, or God.” You do not know what God is, yet still you have written, “The question of the creator does not come in… The various forms of terrestrial organisms, extinct as well as extant, are products of millions of years of biological evolution of macromolecules of protein that were formed on earth as a result of chemical evolution under suitable circumstances.” In simple English, you mean to say that life is a result of chance biochemical combinations. So if this is a fact—and if by this statement you wish to establish your credibility as a rationalist, scientist and seeker of truth—then why do you repeatedly fail to combine some chemicals and bring them to life, as I have challenged you so many times to do?

You say your philosophy is based on “existing scientific evidence.” So where is the scientific evidence that life comes from chemicals? Mix the chemicals and prove it! You say, “As far as I am concerned, the universe is only matter and energy in time and space.” Where did this matter and energy and time and space come from? Without giving any reason or evidence, you state, “The question of a creator does not come in… everything is a matter of chance biochemical combination.” Do I have to accept this blindly? The onus is on you. Mix the chemicals and produce life. That is science. But no scientist can create even an insignificant mosquito from chemicals. Therefore, under the circumstances, it appears that it is you, and not we, who may be mentally deranged, foolish, gullible, dogmatic and totally fanatic.

Scientists like to discredit the Vedas by saying that they are the writings of superstitious aborigines. But what kind of aborigines were they who wrote in a language so perfect in grammar, composition, poetry and meter that a scholar needs twelve years to master the grammar alone? What kind of aborigines were they who thousands of years ago formulated divisions of time, beginning with one ten-thousandth of a second up to the complete duration of universal time? What kind of aborigines were they who could describe, thousands of years ago, all the planets that modern scientists have only recently discovered? Where is the scientist today who can perfectly describe the process of conception taking place in the womb, as the Vedic so-called aborigines did thousands of years ago? How could these uncivilized aborigines categorize and enumerate in the Vedas all the different species of life, numbering 8,400,000? How is it that the Vedas, which are supposed to be the dubious writings of uncivilized aborigines, contain systematic information on subjects such as music, medicine, art, politics, architecture, warfare and psychology? How could uncivilized aborigines even know the arts of reading and writing, much less describe the atom and atomic energy? How could they give descriptions of the orbits of the planets, their size, their eclipses and the size of the universe, and how could they describe the soul and the Supersoul, God?

If Krishna is the Hindu aboriginal God, why did such a scientist as Oppenheimer pay Him heed by studying the Bhagavad-gita spoken by Him? Why did Einstein, Schopenhauer, Kant, Hegel, Emerson, Thoreau, Schweitzer and scores of scientists more important and brilliant than you read Vedic literature—especially Bhagavad-gita—if these are books full of superstitions and the deranged ideas of uncivilized aborigines? What is your authority? Are you greater than God? Do you think that these highly learned and honored men were all fools and rascals who had nothing better to do than spend their valuable time reading the writings of uncivilized aborigines? Or could it be that the Vedas are books of knowledge originally given by God at the beginning of the creation, and that they are preserved by being handed down in a Vedic tradition of disciplic succession about which you unfortunately know nothing?

As a scientist, you would do well to take out some time and sincerely examine the Vedas on their own merit, not in terms of preconceived notions resulting from limited, imperfect speculations and experiments.

Whether one speaks for or against the existence of God, the central point is God. You say, “I hope you understand that it is not the way with science to provide proof for things that do not exist.” But we see that the so-called scientist is very busy trying to prove the nonexistence of God. If God has no existence, why bother about Him? According to logic, one cannot conceive of a thing that does not exist. And if a nonexistent entity is inconceivable, where is the question of even discussing it, whether positively or negatively?

It is the peculiar madness of many so-called scientists that they cannot seem to get off the subject of God, who according to them has no existence. We see that the whole aim of their scientific research is to justify their rebellion against the authority of God and the scriptures by trying to find an alternative cause and reason for life and creation. Although these scientists would like to believe that life originated from inert chemicals, no one has ever observed such an event. Therefore, a science based on such beliefs can only be a science of rascals and fools.

My challenge to you, or to any scientist who claims that life originates from chemicals, still stands: mix the chemicals and produce life. Why can’t you do it? You say, “It’s like this. It is like that.” So then why can’t you produce life? Sunshine is available, the earth is present, the water, air, fire and all other ingredients are present, and life is being produced by God. If you are greater than God, why can’t you produce something? What is the use of your talk if you cannot produce life? Nor can you stop old age, disease or death. Your talk is simply empty nonsense. You cannot do anything, yet still you are talking, saying that life comes from chemicals. You are a talking scientist, and I am a practical scientist. Take some chemicals and save yourself from old age, disease and death. I asked you to produce an egg—where is it? The chicken is a better scientist than you, because it lays an egg and within a month produces another chicken. Therefore you are less important than a chicken. Chickens are producing life, but you cannot produce anything but empty sounds.

In the service of Krishna,
Hansadutta das

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One Response to The Challenge

  1. Saptarshi Roy says:

    Namaste Acharya ji,

    It’s 2013, almost half a century since Dr. Kovoor issued a challenge with regards to the absence of soul and that life happens due to chance chemical reactions.

    Yet, your challenge still stands.

    Respect, glories and obeisances to Srila Prabhupada.

    S. Roy

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