His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Goswami Sripada Maharaja



Born in Manipur, India, on Dec. 9, 1937; First Class B.Sc. Honors (1961) in Chemistry, Gauhati University, Assam, India; M. Tech. (1964), Calcutta University, Calcutta; University Grants Commission Research Fellow (1964-1966); Ph.D. (1974) in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, U.S.A. and worked at Emory University as a Research Scientist (1974 - 1976); Accepted (1970) Srila Prabhupàda as spiritual master and became known as Svarùpa Dàmodara Das Brahmacari; Became Director (1974 onwards) of the Bhaktivedanta Institute and organized three International Conferences - First and Second World Congress for the Synthesis of Science and Religion in Bombay (1986) and in Calcutta (1997) and International Conference of the Study of Consciousness within science in San Francisco (1990); North East Regional Co-ordinator (1997 onwards) of United Religions Initiative (URI), Governing Body Commissioner (1977 onwards) of International Society for Krishna Consciousness and Rector (2000 onwards) of the University of Bhàgavata Culture in Manipur, India; Published several technical papers in the Journal of American Chemical Society and the Journal of Organic Chemistry and author of several books, including What is Matter and What is Life? and Theobiology. Editor of Synthesis of Science and Religion: Critical Essays and Dialogues; Currently writing a book on Origin of Life; Field of interests include interfacing between Science and Spirituality (Religion); Science and Global Ethics; Science, Religion and World Peace; Science and Vedànta; Bio-medical Ethics; Scientific and Philosophical Study of Life and its Origin.*
(Prepared from the details supplied by Dr. Singh).

T. D. Singh


SCIENCE AND RELIGION are two major dominating forces of human actions. Their function in shaping the goal of humanity's search for the ultimate meaning of life and cosmic world will remain as long as the culture of civilization exists in the world. Although every branch of knowledge is important, I would like to focus very briefly on biological sciences in order to examine the relationship between science and religion now and in future.
Every thinking person whether a scientist or a religious man or woman is interested in life. We should note that there are also many brilliant scientists who are also highly religious. Schrodinger1, although a quantum physicist, not a biologist, wrote a classic monograph entitled, What is life? in 1944 and made a sincere attempt to understand life from a scientific and philosophical mind. Similarly, poets, artists, philosophers and others are all interested in life. It is not the monopoly of biologists alone to study life.
One of the primary causes of conflict and misunderstanding between science and religion is the fact that some scientists, being overwhelmed by a materialistic world view, have claimed too much for science. Indeed, some have claimed that there is nothing science cannot explain2. However, we have to realize that science per se is simply unable to deal with meaning - for there is no scientific experiment that can determine it. There is a great need for both science and religion to have a broader perspective each showing flexibility and openness that is not guided by either scientific or religious fanaticism. Thus a synthesizing vision of science and religion is called for and in the author's opinion, the study of life sciences, particularly the study of life's origin, will show the proper direction for the present as well as the future.
II. Scientific Research of Life's Origin by Assembling Readymade Biomolecules
All philosophical, scientific, religious and even artistic studies, in principle, since the dawn of civilization have centered around the study of life. It is also today's focus and will also be the focus of the future. The ultimate purpose of all the important organizations of the world, such as the United Nations, as well as international treaties and summits, is only one: how to lead a moral, ethical and peaceful life. A few years ago a Forum of Nobel Prize winning scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, unanimously declared that in their opinion, biology, the study of life, would be the most significant science for the new century.
We all want to know about the reality and purpose behind birth and death. "Why are we born?", "why do we die?" are questions that almost everyone asks. Scientists in the field of biology try to investigate various aspects of life forms, their origins and the functions of different parts of the machinery of living bodies, etc. A sincere attempt to have a clear understanding of life either scientifically, philosophically and religiously is of foundational importance and it will have important relevance in deciding the relation between science and religion. Historically, the conflicts between science and religion have been on scientific materialism and spiritual rationalism (a religious rational about God's existence).
Scientific materialism is closely connected with Darwinism, reductionism and empiricism. These groups of "isms" do not accept God or religion. The existence of these "isms" and other "isms" supports the existence of freewill of the individual and we cannot blame anyone for that. This will be elaborated later.
According to the Bhagavadgita (13.15), the Supersoul is the original source of all the senses, sarvendriya-gunabhasam. All living entities, as pure spirit souls have spiritual senses, spiritual mind and spiritual intelligence which in the conditioned state are covered by their perverted material equivalents and the sense activites are exhibited through matter1. Thus, following the words of the sacred scriptures and spiritual authorities as well as by purifying the senses by practicing bhaktiyoga and using the spiritual intelligence, an individual can have a spiritual rational in deciding what is right and what is wrong. This is what I mean by spiritual rationalism.
Does matter evolve into life? Will biologists and scientists in general accept the existence of a non-material, or non-chemical soul? The author feels quite strongly that the core of resolving the conflict between science and religion lies in proving, in one way or the other, that life is a product of evolution of matter or not. This principle should be our target in the research work of life's origin.
At this point of our advancement in biological sciences we can practically isolate all biochemicals such as, nucleic acids (DNA, RNA), enzymes (protein molecules), carbohydrates, lipids, etc., from organic bodies. What is the necessity of taking the trouble to synthesize even simple molecules like amino acids from so-called primordial gaseous mixtures, spending millions of dollars in many evolutionary chemistry laboratories around the world and involving many research scholars in the hope of understanding the primordial chemical soup? Even given a cosmic time scale of billions of years, will that chemical soup ever give rise to a living cell? Evolutionary scientists think so whereas the religious scriptures say that life is created by God.
The author would like to propose that in the research work on the theory of chemical evolution as the cause of life's origin, one should focus from the beginning on the various ways of assembling all the molecules and then observe the results. It will be logical to first search for a faster catalytic enzyme or a super-catalyst which will make the chemical reactions proceed much faster. This will ensure that a long time span is not required to see the possibility of generating some sort of living cell from this mixture of biomolecules.
One advantage we have is that we are starting with all the readymade biomolecules and thus we are not worrying how these biomolecules evolved from chemical elements like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, etc., in the cosmic time scale. One possible area is to investigate further about the RNA world as the author mentioned in Section II. If RNA acts as a catalyst it is possible that we can further undertake research work in this area by chemical modification of RNA, or a combination of RNA enzymes, protein enzymes and other catalytic agents, etc., to see whether a better catalysis is possible or not.
If we can produce a super-enzyme that can act as a super-catalyst to accelerate the rate of these chemical reactions, we can conceive that in about ten years from now, we will be in a position to tell correctly whether life is a product of complex molecular reactions or not. Thus there is no need to wait millions or billions of years to see life's appearance on earth. Today, with the computer-aided synthesis of chemicals, it is conceivable that this research is possible. Now there are two choices that we can make from the results of this research as follows:
Case A: If the result is "Yes",
1. the conclusion will be that we don't need to bring in the idea of God or a spiritual entity, hence religion is unnecessary;
2. for the believers still - the spiritual 'soul', is injected by God at some point and life has emerged by animating the molecules by the spirit soul.
Case B: If the result is "No",
1. we can all agree that life is not a product of matter and the chapter of debate between theists and atheists will be closed for ever;
2. for the nonbelievers, they may still hope against hope according to their free will.
Thus this research work will be able to speak very decidedly on the age-old conflict between materialism and spiritualism and will be a great service to humanity. Whether one believes in God or not this work will be paramount in deciding between scientific materialism and religious principles.
Further Research on Virus specially Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and Examining Lif e's Origin
Already many important research works have been done on viruses. If we could shift the emphasis in this research area to include the understanding of life and its origin, it may help to bring a better understanding of the role of science and religion in the study of life. There are many opinions about "viruses". Some scientists say that viruses are life and they are the missing link between life and non-life. On the other hand, other scientists say that viruses are not life. Outside of a living cell viruses are dead matter and sometimes they form crystals. Viruses attack human beings, animals, plants, and even bacteria. They are classified according to their hosts as animal viruses, plant viruses, bacteriophages - viruses that attack bacteria. Viruses can be seen in the electron microscope. They possess many kinds of fascinating shapes. Werner Arber1, the Nobel Laureate biologist of Switzerland states, "Although a biologist, I must confess that I do not understand how life came about. Of course, it depends on the definition of life. To me autoreplication does not yet represent life. Even a viral particle is not a life organism, it only can participate in life processes when it succeeds in becoming part of a living host cell.... The most primitive cell may require at least several hundred different specific biological micro molecules. How such already quiet complex structure may have come together, remains a mystery to me. The possibility of the existence of a creator, of God, represents to me a satisfactory solution to this problem."
We scientists cannot even agree on whether viruses are life or not. At the same time we undertake big research projects on life's origin. It does not make any sense to me. My proposal to fellow scientists is that the biologists who are working in the area of life's origin should make a solid plan to study "viruses", to see whether they are life or not for the next ten years or so. The funding for such research could come from many organizations including religious ones.
As they are agents of many diseases, viruses are certainly very important for us to know about. Viruses make their own copies inside of a living host cell only. They are simply nucleic acid-associated material entities. As mentioned above, among scientists, there is a great dilemma whether viruses are life or not. In this regard, I would like to propose an analogy. Imagining a xerox machine to be like a cell and a document to be like a virus, the activity of viruses is like the photocopying mechanism. Further, in the case of a cell, due to the presence of a large number of viral particles generated inside it, the normal cellular function gets disrupted. Scientists think that DNA and RNA are the generative materials of life. But it is seen that the nucleic acids are already found in viral particles. If life is merely a product of chemical evolution then why don't we see viral molecules or particles giving rise to full living cells? The author in his book, What is Matter and What is Life?1 argued that neither DNA nor a viral particle is life.
We all know that research on HIV is a very urgent issue for humanity today. We need a cure of the HIV infected disease. At the same time, while looking for a cure, we can try to see if the HIV virus is life or not. I would like to suggest that an all-out research work on HIV should be considered as the first priority by all biochemists, molecular biologists and virologists of the world. I would like to further request that the governments and many other funding agencies of the world should see that this research work is not hampered by a lack of finances at least for the next ten years or so. The benefits that this research work will bring to us are as follows:
1. This research will hopefully be able to find a cure for the HIV infected disease.
2. The research work may provide sufficient information to know whether viruses are life or not.
3. From the results of this work we will be able to confidently say whether life is a product of complex molecular reactions or not.
4. The work can tell us about life's origin, either chemical (material) or spiritual (nonmaterial, divine spark).
5. The results will convey a strong message to humanity about moral, ethical, cultural and spiritual dimensions of life.
6. The results will also be able to make a clear evaluation about the need of the synthesis between science and religion.
If one lives an ethical and well-cultured life, HIV can be fully avoided and possibly controlled. This is one solid example to remind us that free will should not be misused and that religious life is of fundamental importance to safeguard us from many dangers of material life. Discipline is implicit in the life of a truly religious person.

III. Religious View of Life's Origin and the Role of Free Will in Human Life
Religious study and practices are strictly for human life, they are not possible for animals. The spiritual field prescribes the moral code of living, identifies right and wrong actions, and recognizes the limitations of human intellect. It also suggests introspection and how to control the negative emotions of life like anger and passion for accumulation of worldly things. Religious study also provides the facility to meditate on the fate of human life after death. These are some of the traits that distinguish human life from other forms of life. In studying these different areas, the religious person always depends on divine mercy and the direction of God, the Supreme Being.
A truly religious person always believes in the existence of God. He or she will acknowledge God's mercy and influence in every walk of life. The author has outlined Srìla Prabhupàda's thesis, "Life comes from life"1 as the divine doctrine of life's origin in Section II of this volume as the religious view. God, the Supreme Being, is the original life and everything including life is generated from Him. All religious traditions support this view. The teachings of scriptures and the lives of saints and sages throughout the ages are testimonies to this divine doctrine. This doctrine will be described extensively in some future works of the author.
In the present time, many scientists do not accept this divine paradigm. Why is that? The religious person would say that we are all children of God and others will say that we are children of the cosmos. At least we can all agree that we are all in the same human family. Still we have different visions, beliefs and desires, and we see the nature of reality from different angles. We can say that it is the free will of the individual that allows him or her to choose a certain path.
According to the Hindu laws of karma, there is free will in life and by exercising free will a person performs various actions and is implicated in various reactions. This is the doctrine of karma. The New Britannica-Webster Dictionary & Reference Guide explains1 karma as, "The force generated by one's actions that is held in Hinduism and Buddhism to sustain the cycle of deaths and rebirths and to determine destiny in one's next existence". In this way free will and karma are closely connected. The use of free will either rightly or wrongly will decide the course of life. Charles Townes in his keynote address2 said that in science there is no room for free will although every scientist feels that he or she has at least some free will.
Religion means the laws given by God. If one follows these laws, one is using one's free will properly and will make spiritual progress in life's journey. If one does not follow these laws, then one will suffer sooner or later in life. This concept is similar with the Newton's third law of motion, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. There is also a statement in the Bible—"As you sow, so shall you reap". Similarly, if one is a chain smoker, most likely, he or she will get a lung cancer or some other ailment. On the other hand, if one practices prayer and meditation, one will get peace of mind and can earn wisdom to tolerate the extremes of life. Such an individual will be concerned with the well-being of everyone and will do no harm to anybody else. This is the meaning of ahimsa. Mahatma Gandhi says, "Non-violance is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."
At this time there are many organizations and much talk is directed towards the need for compassion, animal rights, protection of wildlife and endangered species and environmental and ecological balance, etc. Yet it is ironic that at the same time we daily kill millions of innocent animals, birds and fish just to satisfy our tongues. Such activity is a misuse of our free will and intelligence. Today misdirected science seems quite ignorant about such moral and ethical laws, the tenets of religion.

Free will is not fully manifest in other beings but in human beings it is fully developed. We have the choice of acting rightly or wrongly, morally or immorally. As the dominat species, the human race has an obligation to protect and guide not only mankind but also all lower forms of life. We can either destroy ourselves and other life forms or we can act in a way to uplift and benefit the world, thus making a meaningful use of our human form of life. The future of humanity depends on how we choose to act, either individually/selfishly or collectively/wholistically. Such a choice should be guided by divine wisdom.
Both science and religion are dedicated to the search for truth and human happiness. Our free will should be utilized properly to achieve these goals. Religion has its moral codes of conduct given in all the revealed scriptures. Although religious fanatics may misinterpret some of these scriptural injunctions and may act sometimes in a very irrational and unreasonable way, a truly religious person will abide by these guidelines in a more realistic and practical way. Science, however, does not have its own ethics as yet. But, scientists also need ethical guidance. In this connection we can mention Einstein's statement, "But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion." In other words, religious and spiritual wisdom can help in framing the moral and ethical codes of science. Thus science and religion should be complementary and mutually dependent upon each other in all human enterprises. They should not be antagonistic with each other. This is the type of reasoning with which I use the term "synthesis".
In the Vedic literatures the Supreme Being is also called sarvakaranakaranam1, the cause of all causes. Free will is an inherent part of human life and is also caused by the Supreme Being. Hence the understanding of causality in connection with the manifestations of living beings, the cosmic children, is of fundamental importance and free will is closely linked with the divine nature of life.
The teachings of the vedas prescribe that sincere persons should be educated how to use free will so that they can prepare themselves to select the right way in life's journey. If somebody does a wrong action, an honest and sincere person will feel grateful when his mistake is pointed out and he will willingly correct that mistake. It is only for his own welfare. For example, when a child experiences chastisement or suffering, he will not be inclined to repeat the wrong action which brought him that misery. Similarly, putting a criminal in jail is not necessarily a punishment. In a deeper religious understanding, it is a chance given by the mercy of the Lord to correct the knowing or unknowing mistakes committed by the criminal. This is the foundation of bhakti in the Vaisnava Hindu tradition. Saint Francis of Assisi was also a symbol of bhakti in the Christian tradition. In the school of bhakti, the question, "Why bad things happen to good people?" does not arise. In the same way, questions like, "If God is all good, why is there evil in the world"? does not appear in the school of bhakti. One needs proper education in the finer principles of life. One should understand, "as a result of certain actions that I have done knowingly or unknowingly, I have been puf into this situation. Now the Lord has given me a chance to correct my mistakes". One can come to this realization by the cultivation of spiritual qualities such as humility and introspection, etc. The study of the science of self-realization is also an important dimension of bhakti. Here the subject "I" becomes also the object of study. When the subject is studied as an object, it will be possible to realize one's real nature and in a practical sense one will be able to easily admit one's own follies. In other words, free will should be utilized properly. Thus, spiritual realism which is the foundation of bhakti, is a very positive principle which allows one to correct one's mistakes and faults.
When a person is not interested in the search for spiritual knowledge, he or she does not get the opportunity to ponder over many deeper aspects of life's experiences. If, due to the influence of a material element called ahankar, false ego, this search is not undertaken, negative emotions like uncontrolled anger and passion will overcome such an individual, and he will lose his sense of spiritual reasoning and will only commit horrible acts to destroy the world (Bhagavadgita 16.9). Such acts are called a misuse of free will.
A Brief Scientific and Spiritual Background of Vedic Culture in which Science and Religion Function Co-operatively
Here the author will briefly discuss two important aspects of Vedic culture that are relevant to the theme of the discussion. These are (1) Àyurvedic medicine and (2) "Yoga. Both of these areas are ancient holistic medical systems which treat individuals mentally, physically and spiritually. In these important alternative healthcare systems for now and future, a person not only gets physical well-being but also spiritual upliftment. They are nice examples of science and religion working in harmony for the well-being of the individual.
Àyurvedic Medicine
I will briefly mention some basic principles of the Àyurveda. The word "Àyurveda" is made up of two Sanskrit words, àyu which means "life" and veda means "knowledge". Thus Àyurveda means the "science of life". The Àyurvedic scholar Caraka1 explains that ayu has four essential parts: mind, body, senses (mind is the sixth sense) and the soul. Àyurveda is described in the Rgveda and many herbal medicines used in Àyurveda are described in the Atharvaveda.
The science of Àyurveda describes that body is composed of five essential substances: prthivi (earth), jala (water), teja (fire), vàyu (air), and vyoma or akàsa (space or ether). The interactions of these five elements are cateogarized as three energetic forces known as trìdosa. These three dosas are vata (air or gas), pitta (fire or bile) and kapha (water or mucus). Ether and air combine to form vàtadosa. Vata is the force that directs nerve impulses, circulation of blood, respiration and elimination. Pittadosa is formed by fire and water. This dosa is responsible for all metabolic activity in the body. Similarly, water and earth combine to form the kaphadosa which is responsible for growth, etc.
Our bodies are all made up of unique proportions of vàta, pitta and kapha and the ratios of these three dosas vary from person to person. The basic principle of Àyurveda is to balance these dosas. This balance serves for both diagnosis and healing. There is also a cleansing process in Àyurveda to remove toxins from the body which is called pancakarma.
The Ayurvedic system of treatment has been in practice in India for thousands of years and today it is being continued throughout India along with allopathic medicine. There are many colleges and universities of Ayurvedic studies in India. Ayurvedic medicines are all made of natural herbs and natural products, and contrary to allopathic medicine they have no side effects .
Deepak Chopra has nicely exposed some aspects of Ayurvedic medicine to the Western world. It is now becoming popular in the USA, Europe and many other countries. Although it is new to the Western world it promises to be an important alternative healthcare system for the treatment of diseases.
"Yoga" literally means linking the individual self with the Supreme Self. Yoga prescribes physical, mental and spiritual disciplines which will free one from mental and physical diseases. Many seers, saints and seekers of truth and happiness have been practicing yogic systems in India for thousands of years. These processes have proven correct through the ages in accomplishing the purpose of life. Yoga practices have relevance in the synthesis of science and religion. There are four main paths of yoga as described briefly below:
1. Karmayoga—"The yoga of action", wherein a person acts selflessly, dedicating the results of every action to the Supreme Lord without expecting any personal reward.
2. Jnànayoga—"The yoga of knowledge", wherein a person exercises his intellect through a speculative philosophical process to understand the Supreme Being.
3. Astàngayoga—"The eightfold system of yoga". It is described by Maharsi Patanjali as follows:
(I) Yama—"social and ethical discipline". Patanjali laid special emphasis on yama. It involves self-purification and abstinence. One should not desire things that are not required in one's life. Yama has five limbs which are listed below:
(i) Ahimsa—"non-violence". A person has to learn to control his mind, words and actions so that he does not do any harm to anybody else. A non-violent attitude is a symptom of a fully developed individual.
(ii) Satya—"truthfulness and purity of mind". A person who practices and speaks the truth is regarded as courageous. It is the highest form of conduct. In his Yoga-sutra, Patanjali says that speaking the truth makes a person successful in life.
(iii) Asteyam—"not-stealing". This also means maintaining honesty in mind and action. Stealing will bring unhappiness sooner or later to the thief.
(iv) Brahmacarya—"celibacy". A successful yogì must practice celibacy mentally, emotionally and physically It is the key to good health, happiness and spiritual enlightenment.
(v) Aparigraha—"non-coveteousness". Patanjali says that one should keep one's needs and possessions to the minimum. One should not desire things that are not required to one's life.
(II) Niyama—"discipline". The practice of self-purification and observance of peace both outwardly and inwardly. Niyama has also five limbs:
(i) Saucam—"purity". Sanctity of mind and body in the practice of yoga. Maintaining purity and cleanliness both mentally and physically is very important. Meditation and prayer will keep the mind clean, while bathing and avoiding unwholesome habits like intoxication maintains physical purity.
(ii) Tapas—"austerity". This also means to maintain strict discipline which should help in the purification of mind to achieve higher states of consciousness and realization.
(iii) Santosa—"satisfaction". When the intellect of a person functions normally the mind is very peaceful. Tranquility can be achieved by practicing santosa.
(iv) Svadhyaya—"study of Vedic literature". Study of religious texts in search of truth and self-realization is svàdhyaya.
(v) Isvara pranidhana—"complete dedication to the Lord". A true yogi feels that he is an eternal servant of God and that he is only an instrument in the Lord's hands.
(III) Asana—"bodily postures". This process of various exercises and bodily postures brings physical and mental steadiness as well as health and vigor. It is also known as hathayoga.
(IV) Prànayàma—"control of breath". Pràna means life air and yama means to control. It involves controlling the inhalation, exhalation and the retention of the air we breathe. Prànayàma is the gateway to the deeper concentration and relaxation of the mind.
(V) Pratyàhàra—"control of thè senses."
(VI) Dharana—"complete concentration of the mind."
(VII) Dhyana—"meditation". The practice of unbroken flow of thought towards the Supreme Being, God.
(VIII) Samàdhi—"trance". Complete absorption in God consciousness.
4. Bhaktiyoga— "yoga of devotion". In the Vaisnava tradition it is understood that the living entity is an eternal servant of God. The connection between the living entity and God is done through bhaktiyoga. By practicing bhaktiyoga a sincere person becomes purified from all material contaminations and is able to reach the ultimate perfection of life. The Vaisnava tradition recognizes three aspects of the Absolute Truth. These are described in the Bhàgavata Purana (1.2.11):
vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramàtmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate
"Learned persons who know the Absolute Truth call this non-dual substance, Brahman, Paramàtmà or Bhagavan." Brahman is the impersonal, all-pervading feature of the Absolute. Paramàtmà is the localized, partial aspect of the divinity. And Bhagavan is the Lord's eternal, personal form. Although they recognize and respect all of the features of the Lord, the Vaisnvas consider the personal form of God to be the highest aspect of the Absolute Truth. Through bhakti-yoga the bhakta or devotee can offer personal service to the Lord Who reciprocates with His loving servant.
The Bhaktiyoga has nine principles (nava-vidha bhakti) which are described in Srìmad Bhagavatam (7.5.23) as follows:
(a) sravanam—"hearing", the names of the Supreme Lord.
(b)kìrtanam—"chanting", the names of the Lord.
(c) Visnoh smaranam—"remembering", the name of Lord Visnu, God.
(d) pàda-sevanam—"serving the lotus feet", of the Supreme Personality.
(e) arcanam—"offering worship", to the Supreme Divinity.
(f) vandanam—"offering prayers", to God.
(g) dàsyam—"becoming the servant", of the Supreme Lord.
(h) sakhyam—"becoming the friend", of the Supreme Lord.
(i) atma-nivedanam—"surrendering everything", to the Supreme Lord.
Yoga practices are also meant for the holistic upliftment of mind, body and spirit. By regularly practicing yoga, pranayana (breathing exercises) and by maintaining a natural life style in one's eating, resting, work, etc., a person can be fully relaxed and free from tension and anxiety. When a person maintains these practices properly, he or she will be free from heart diseases and mental anxiety. Furthermore, by practicing bhaktiyoga, a person is also uplifted morally, ethically and spiritually. Àyurvedic medicines and Yoga practices are now becoming popular throughout the world and they promise to become important alternative medical health care systems.
Suggestions for Further Work
Other important areas where research should be carried on include consciousness studies. The Vedic literatures describe consciousness from a spiritual perspective, explaining that it is not a function of the brain. It will be worthwhile to incorporate spiritual aspects in the further research work of consciousness studies.
Undoubtedly, the Vedic culture is among the oldest cultures of human civilization. The seers of Vedic times as well as the vedic literatures describe that there are two fundamental energies of God — (i) material and (ii) spiritual. In science we work with material energy. Spiritual energy has the property of consciousness. Every living being is animated by fundamental spiritual entity possessing a quantum of consciousness. On the other hand, material energies such as electrical, nuclear, and chemical energy, etc., do not possess consciousness. Hence, no mixture of chemicals, nor any combination of molecules can produce conscious living energy, life or atman. This is briefly the message of the ancient Vedic seers.
The author likes to suggest that research should also be conducted on inspiration, intuition, and humility. Such research will no doubt shed light on the relationship between science and religion. Furthermore, religious scientists and spiritual leaders from all traditions should join together for the purpose of framing global moral and ethical codes for the welfare of all living beings on the planet. This work should not be left in the hands of political leaders alone.
The author would further like to suggest about conducting a serious research work on "time". The concept of time is very important both in science and religion. In this connection attention may be drawn to Lord Krsna's words in the Bhagavadgìtà (11.32) — kàlo 'smi loka-ksaya-krt meaning, "Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds". This very verse was uttered by J. Robert Oppenheimer when the first atom bomb was tested in Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA on July 16, 1945. Although we all live with time and we use it all the time in scientific research, we do not still really understand what is its nature and origin. Thus a serious research on "time" could be extremely valuable in understanding about the nature of life and the universe. The study of the influence of time on life may reveal some insights about life. Stephen Hawking's book, A Brief History of Time has already made some significant impact in the minds of modern scientists and scholars around the world. This research will also bring a better understanding about the role of science and religion in the course of human life.
I will conclude by quoting Longfellow1: "Trust no future however pleasant; let the dead past bury its dead. Act—act in the living present, heart within, and God o'erhead." Surely, the present is the most important. However we should also keep in mind that our present actions will determine our future.
'E. Schròdinger, What is Life?, New York, 1944.
2 P. W. Atkins, "The limitless Power of Science", Nature's Imagination: The Frontiers of Scientific Vision, ed. J. Cornwell, Oxford, 1995, pp.122-132.
1 A. C. Bhaktivedànta Swami Prabhupàda, Ehagavad Gita As li Is, Mumbai, 1989, p.657.
1 Cosmos, Bios, Theos, ed. Henry Margenau and Roy A. Varghese, Illinois, U.S.A., 1992, p.142.
1 Cf. T.D. Singh and R.L. Thompson, What is Matter and What is Life?, Boston, Massachusetts (U.S.A.), 1977.
1 Life Comes From Life, Los Angeles (U.S.A.), 1979.
1 Neiv Britannica-Webster Dictionary & Reference Guide, U.S.A, 1981, p.491.
2 See above, p.103 of this volume.
1 Bhaktisiddhànta Saraswat! Goswami Thàkura, Sri Brahma-Samhita, Bombay, 1989, p.l.
1 R.K. Sharma and Bhagwan Dash, Caraka Samhità, Varanasi, 1992, p.25.
1 The New Dictionary of Thoughts—A Cyclopedia of Quotations, compiled by T. Edwards, U.S.A., 1959, p.226.

Dedicate To His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Goswami Sripada Maharaja