"Your website is cringeful."
4 Feb 2001:
"Your website is a great discovery for me! I have just found your website and I can say I am very surprised. I feel I want to talk to you, prabhu. So please don't ignore my message. You wrote: "I get so mixed up and confused. I know that the theory of evolution is true, and at the Temple they always say its not true, but I also know I need to go to the Temple and try to be a devotee"
That's EXACTLY the situation with me. And that's going on for many years already. At times I tried to force myself to believe everything they say, however much that contradicted modern science worldview. At other times I used to abandon Krishna Consciousness alltogether... Then I came back to KC after some time... First sceptical, then again became fundamentalist... And thats going on for some 8 or 10 years... So when I find Your website I really feel I found someone to share my problems with. That's just great discovery for me!!!
However, I have so many apprehensions and doubts about everything: If you are saying that we can accept all modern science says and at the same time believe Vedic worldview, are you not contradicting yourself? Is it possible at all? Many Christian theologians have done that, and look what's become out of Christianity now? They first accept everything what science says: about bangs, apes, life, etc. But after they admit this, there remains no autority either in God or scripture, all authority is granted to science. So after that they cease believe in anything but science. So is this not similar in your case? Sorry, maybe I am not talking very clearly... I attach my essay, which I posted to www.hindunet.org, maybe there I have stated all my doubts and points clearly enough...
Waiting to hear from you soon"
8 Feb 2001:
Haribol. I saw your website. I think you have a very nice ability to harmonise things in a way that does not disturb your faith, which was one of the characteristics of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur.
Yes, it is possible to believe in evolution and at the same time be a Krishna devotee. Evolution is simply a mechanism, and as we both know, a mechanism is not a cause, but merely a means. We may say that by Krishna's empowerment, Lord Brahma creates all the creatures through the mechanism of evolution. This could be an acceptable explanation.
Ultimately all explanations for events and situations will not be the complete truth, but will be a particular perspective on the truth. What is significant is the conclusion that one arrives at on the basis of the explanation, and how he acts based on that. The case of the hellish planets in the Srimad Bhagavatam is a good case in point. Bhaktivinode has said that these are allegorical, and are simply a device meant to encourage people to act piously. Others after Bhaktivinode have said that his preaching in this respect is itself a device, meant to encourage western scientifically-minded people to accept the Bhagavatam. I think at the end of the day, the message we are to take from all this is that impious activity is not in our best interest, and accepting the Bhagavatam is.........Read full letter here.
9 Feb 2001:
Read Your Bhaktivinoda page, also read ISKCON and fundamentalism by Hari Krishna dasa. Terrific! What it showed me is that you dont necessarily have to be a hardcore anticult activist in order to look at these things critically.
06 Apr 2001:
My Son, I sympathize with your confusion..for 60 yrs I wrestled with that question until after 40 years of focused meditation, I acheived a moment of enlightenment and it was made clear to me.. Science tells us that when we speak of miracles and God and the Angels, we are merely primitives whistling in the dark. But in fact, it is Science that is whistling in the dark..Scarcely a decade goes by that Science does not revamp a major theory..The pro science among us would say, "Well, what that proves is that Science is open minded enough to admit error and correct their theory.."There is some truth to that statement..But a truer statement would be, "Science was always wrong..is wrong, and will always be changeing their theories,.....Read full letter here.
14 Apr 2001
Just saw your website. I have to question your thoughts about evolution "being a fact". Huh? I don't mean to attack you, but how on Earth do you consider evolution to be true, and at the same time, believe in Krishna Consciousness? Swami Prabhupada (the founder of ISKCON) would NEVER accept such ideas, ever. He spent his whole time attacking the rascal, so-called scientists, and their nonsense evolutionary theories. Get a copy of Science of Self Realization.
Obviously, I don't know you, but it sounds as if you are struggling with whether or not God exists. Perhaps you should resolve that issue, before anything else. Regarding the "moon landing", I know of many reputable people in science who refute that there was ever a 1969 moon landing.
Reply: I was so exited and in such a hurry to send you this email that I forgot to proof read it a final time! Here is my final version, 15 minutes later. It may not seem much different, but I am a perfectionist. Thank you for you patience. I am going to post this email (not your email) to alt.religion.vaisnava, without using your name. If you don't know about alt.religion.vaisnava, ask and I will explain it to you. Thank you for your email. Hare Krishna!
Thank you for your Email. It is a joy for me to be able to associate with devotees over the internet, as I am not able to go to the Temple as often as I need to.
You asked how I can consider evolution to be true and at the same time believe in Krishna Consciousness. I don't think that Krishna Consciousness depends on believing that our material bodies had to originate in any particular way.
I try to look at it in a sort of mystic way. I tend to think that even if God did not exist and then a great atheist proved that God does not exist, God could suddenly pop into existence and show us that He has always existed! I tend to think that God can do anything He wants, even not exist and then come into existence, or exist and not exist at the same time. Doesn't Krishna say in the Gita; "I am all that is and all that is not"? I think that the quality of krishna that this verse describes is close to what I am talking about.
So I try not to worry about the fact that I think that there is a completely rational material explanation for our existence, it still doesn't explain my consciousness.
Another very important thing we have to consider is the ethics and morality of our inquiry into our nature and the existence of God. The motives behind our inquiry are very likely to effect the answers we get. If I am a regular person, a little selfish and worried about what's going to happen to me when I die after a comfortable 80 years of life, I might get a certain answer. If I was more kind, and concerned about all the sentient beings, I might get a better answer.
Am I not allowed to believe in evolution if I want to be a member of Srila Prabhupada's Iskcon? I have always thought that this issue is one of our society's mistakes that would hopefully be corrected eventually. If I am mistaken, and evolution is false, I should still try to stay a member so I can be corrected. Please believe my that I just think that evolution is a fact.
Srila Prabhupada's message of Krishna Consciousness is true. I often think that these issues about evolution, etc., are part of prabhupada's mercy for me. I think they may act as sort of a protective covering for me, sort of a Yoga Maya or good Maya, that keeps me from being exposed to the full blast of Krishna Consciousness before I am ready and worthy.
You say that I sound like I am struggling with the issue of whether or not God exists, and that perhaps I should resolve that issue before anything else. Sometimes I think God exists, and other times I think God does not exist. But when I am thinking that God exists, I don't think that my having before thought that God does not is such a terrible thing, I think it's more important that I keep trying to be honest with myself and God. My doubts are part of my personal relationship with Krishna.
Thank you for your concern about my spiritual well-being. I hope to write more, but I get a writers block sometimes so I may not. Your email somehow motivated me to write allot. Please make sure to read the Bhaktivinoda page on my website and visit the Hindu Encounter with Modernity website I link to.
07 Jul 2001:
You have to understand that you are full of crap!
Don't say that the scientific parts of the veda are bogus and then in your next breath claim to be a devotee!
I suspect you are not!
Please look into things better before you go on and on like you do!
Reply: (This email led to a major breakthrough for me. I was able to be polite and act like a devotee, but still express my sense of humor, in my reply. I feel that I have not always been as polite as I should be when I have posted to devotee forums. Thank you to the writer, who is now a friend of mine! )
8 Jul 2001:
Thank you for your email. It is such a strange coincidence that you wrote that I am "full of crap". It fits in with the weird dream I had last night. I dreamed a very nice devotee had stuffed a rolled up newspaper into my toilet, leaving it hopelessly clogged. What can that mean? It's too bad. The dream started out well and went on for a long time with wonderful Devotees and opulent but cozy and welcoming Temples. I think it may have turned bad because I was over sleeping. You are right that I am not a very good devotee.
Is your article about the possible alien space station your first and so far only article on the internet? Do you plan to produce more articles? I am very open minded about space aliens, and think it is possible that they have visited earth or even seeded the earth with primitive life a few hundred million years ago. I own a book by Stephen Bernath (Madhavendra Puri dasa), the devotee who did allot of the research for "Forbidden Archeology". The book is all about UFOs and abduction. Have you heard of or read this book? (Note: I think I was getting a bit over exited here. While I do think it may be possible that aliens have visited earth or even seeded the earth with primitive life a few hundred million years ago, I do not think that it is at all likely that aliens are involved in UFOs or the known abduction cases.)
Have you looked through the Bhaktivinoda page on my website? I really need to get to work on my website again. I want to start a page or pages on my website for those with opposing views, or at least have full links to such websites. Would you like to put anything on it? I would not censor it.
I hope you can overlook my offenses. At the moment, we both seem to disagree about how the material universe is set up, but who knows? I am looking forward to more of your emails, and hope to see more of your work on Krishna.org.
Your delinquent servant,
11 Jul 2001:
Thank you for your reply!
I should have been less "potty" mouth and not used the words "full of crap", as you seem not to be!
At some point I would like to send you some things I have written, however, I am in computer college and it is taxing my brain.
In a month or so I will be done and I will post to your site at that time.
You take care and I am sure that at some point soon we shall 'all' understand the cosmic situation.
I still think that there is an untold story behind the noted Hubble Image "Aurigea Disk" but we will not ever hear the truth from NASA or the so-called scientists.
We all know that they have a so-called UFO and it is quite certainly where all of this new found technology has come from, from "radio tubes" to "micochips" overnight!
You are doing a service for the Lord I just do not agree with the "materialistic evolution theory" as it is not supported by the Vedas. I am sure that you will see this soon too!
Your "overbearing" Servant in Shrila Prabhupada