“There are many so-called scientists who suggest that perhaps it was like this, or maybe like that, but there is no question of ‘perhaps’ and ‘maybe.’ There is a specific plan being carried out in this material world. What is this plan? This cosmic manifestation is a chance for the conditioned souls to go back to Godhead, back to home.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 11.33 Purport)
“Why should I trust you scientists? In the past you have told us so many things. You were wrong so many times. Never once did you say, ‘Oh, I might be wrong about this.’ No, you presented your conclusions as fact, as you do today. If you were wrong then, you can be wrong now. I, on the other hand, have never changed. ‘Always be devoted to God.’ This has worked since time immemorial.”
It is understandable that the person who really believes in God would be skeptical of the claims of scientists trying to explain the origin of life or how to go about successfully living it. Not that the concept of gravity is wrong or that photosynthesis was just made up, but these ideas that the earth is only a certain number of years old or that the universe came into being through a random collision of chemicals are presented as indisputable facts coming from irrefutable sources. The skepticism stems from the validity of the claims themselves, or more specifically the proven invalidity from the past.
You see it on the news. A new study has just come out stating that such and such food is now good for you. There was an experiment conducted, with proper controls, showing that people who took such and such amounts of such and such food didn’t get such and such disease. The study must have a narrow focus, for the more conditions you try to test for the more outside factors you introduce. If I study the effect that drinking coffee has on “road rage,” I must ignore the effect it has on scoring well on exams. If I studied both things together, then it is nearly impossible to get proper controls. So many other factors could contribute to either road rage or high performance on an exam that coffee’s influence would be of secondary concern. As every single contributing factor cannot be accounted for, we know that these studies can never be entirely perfect.
Nevertheless, the studies are supported by scientists, who serve as the expert testimony. Never do they say that “we think” or “perhaps this is the case.” They give their conclusions with full confidence. To objectively analyze this, we must first acknowledge that the new study shows that the previous studies were not perfect. They missed the mark. If they were perfect, new studies wouldn’t be necessary. In addition, today’s study will be replaced by another one later on. The past studies were presented with the same certitude, where the conclusions were considered correct beyond doubt. The newer studies debunk the previous claims, proving only that there is no certainty in the science that ignores the presence of spirit.
The person who really believes in God understands the position of the Supreme Soul. God is the existence of existences. He is the life of everything. He is even the life behind the bogus scientific study. In that instance, He is the life of the individual who is desperately trying to hold on to their hope to figure out the puzzle of life without giving in to God. They want so badly to have perfect knowledge that they will spend an entire lifetime studying a nature that is impossible to control. Whether you figure out that coffee is good or bad for you, that knowledge won’t help you to remain alive forever. It won’t bring back your childhood body. It won’t prevent the onset of old age. It will not eliminate every single disease there is. Therefore the knowledge is not very powerful, though the individual who owns it thinks they are in a superior position.
The Supreme Lord gives life to such defiance in a passive way. He has no interest in serving as the life of the scientific study, but He does so anyway because He allows desires to be acted upon. If He didn’t allow for these desires, He would be forcing others to submit to His will, which would invalidate the concept of independence. That independence is what makes the genuine believers in God so dear to Him. They have made the choice to surrender to the Lord, to understand His position, and to leave the complicated issues up to Him. In their case the Supreme Lord is again the life of the individual, except He takes a direct role, steering the individual towards a suitable destination.
The philosophy of the devotee has not changed once. It has been in place since time immemorial, when it was first learned by the first created living entity, Lord Brahma. That philosophy has since been passed on, with no alterations made. The words used to explain the philosophy may vary according to time and place, but the central principles do not. This philosophy says that God is the chief living being, the maintainer of all maintained objects. The spirit soul is the essence of identity, and it is found within all the species. The individual soul is meant to serve the Supreme Soul, who is God. Service appears in nine different faces, any of which is sufficient to qualify as service, provided the worshiper has pure motives. Even with mixed motives, the pathway of devotion is so potent that eventually the impurities get removed.
No research work is required in the area of devotion to God, but for the inquisitive mind there is a wealth of historical evidence available anyway. Vedic texts like the Ramayana, Shrimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata provide real-life tests of devotion, showing how it works. Other paths are described as well, along with the qualities of the individuals and the destinations they reached. History in this sense can be thought of as a large collection of scientific experiments. We have plenty of results to use for analysis, and the conclusion of shastra, or scripture, is always confirmed.
“Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.23)
In the Bhagavad-gita, the Supreme Soul says that His worshipers ultimately reach His abode, which is unmanifest to the eyes of the conditioned souls. It is a self-effulgent realm, so no artificial light is required. There is no birth or death there, so anyone who lives there never has to leave. That residence is guaranteed for anyone who is truly God conscious. Reaching that destination through practicing devotion is not a theory to be contemplated over as a mere academic exercise. That destination is real and guaranteed for the devotee, with no “perhaps” involved.
Results of study I present to you,
It’s perfect, wholeheartedly true.
Then in few weeks another that is new,
Debunks past study, but fact it is too.
With changes studies never to square,
Mental speculation well not to fare.
Devotees real truth do know,
Not to change like time does so.
This food may or may not be good,
Still studying, not yet understood.
Devotion to God to stand time’s test,
Guaranteed for reaching destination best.