“Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.17)
अविनाशि तु तद् विद्धि
येन सर्वम् इदं ततम्
न कश्चित् कर्तुम् अर्हति
avināśi tu tad viddhi
yena sarvam idaṁ tatam
na kaścit kartum arhati
Friend1: Can science prove the existence of the soul?
Friend2: In what way?
Friend1: That’s what I am asking. Scientists tend to be skeptical of religion.
Friend2: I am skeptical, as well.
Friend1: Come on. Stop it.
Friend2: Religion in the sense of blind following. I don’t want others to believe something simply because it is written in a book.
Friend2: Books are nothing more than recorded thoughts, words, and observations. I am certainly not against referencing what people have said.
Friend1: Okay, but isn’t that what religion is? Quoting from books.
Friend2: You have to accept the information from somewhere. Teachers explain the rules of math. We can then see for ourselves if everything makes sense.
Friend1: Alright, so that is where science comes in. What is the experiment for validating the presence of the soul?
Friend2: Since Bhagavad-gita and other Vedic texts explain the science of the soul.
Friend1: Right, and that is the theory to it. We could say that shastra is the textbook portion. Formal education in science typically involves an additional lab portion.
Friend2: Where you go out into the field and conduct experiments to see the principles in action.
Friend1: Yeah, and given the advancements in science and technology, isn’t there a way that instruments could identify the soul?
Friend2: In one sense, you are asking for proof that the sun exists.
Friend1: How so?
Friend2: I see the sun. I feel its presence. I know what it is. Someone else comes along and asks for a scientific approach for proving that something like the sun exists.
Friend1: But you don’t need any method. We already see the sun.
Friend2: In the same way, you already see the soul.
Friend1: How? What does it look like? What is the shape? Point it out on a map.
Friend2: You know the soul by indications. The difference between life and death is the presence of the soul. The same soul powers the entire body. That is how consciousness works.
Friend1: After death, the same body might be there, but it is in a different condition.
Friend2: You see the same object, but with different symptoms. The factor of symptoms is the evidence you are looking for. The symptoms prove the existence of the soul.
Friend1: Okay, but wouldn’t it be better to have a distinct image? Something that shows up on an x-ray, for instance.
Friend2: You already have the evidence. Why do you want more? The image you are looking for wouldn’t apply because that which covers the soul is not fixed. The same kind of soul is in the tiger, in the ant, in the elephant, in the tree, and so forth.
ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि
शुनि चैव श्व-पाके च
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.18)
Friend1: No luck on a single image, then?
Friend2: The proof is based on the circumstantial understanding. This shouldn’t be that difficult to accept. There is no image of the wind or ether. We just know those factors to exist. The soul is finer than intelligence, even.
इन्द्रियाणि पराण्य् आहुर्
इन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः
मनसस् तु परा बुद्धिर्
|यो बुद्धेः परतस् तु सः
indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir
yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ
“The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.42)
Friend1: Do you think science will one day be able to see?
Friend2: Do you mean do I think one day they will take off the blindfold and look around and notice the proof that is already there? Probably not, but that shouldn’t matter. Shastra gives the proof. Take the evidence from the changes in circumstance. Know that spirit soul is the animating factor. Know that soul is intimately tied to Supreme Soul. Such realization is the aim of an existence; it is the final destination for ascendency based on intelligence.
Ascendency on intelligence based,
Such that traces of ignorance erased.
Where the same existing already,
Through the time shifts steady.
Clearly and distinctly to see,
Greatest scientist is he.
That Gita principles confirm in action,
Not merely theoretical abstraction.