Top ISRO scientists’ faith in God reaffirms that science & spirituality can always coexist

Before Chandrayan 3 mission ISRO Scientists visit Tirupati Temple

Top scientists from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) demonstrated great faith in God. Before Chandrayaan 3 mission they visited temple with the model of Chandrayan 3 to seek blessings from the Lord and prayed to the Lord for the success of the mission. In fact, the entire country was praying along with the ISRO scientists.

And when Chandrayaan 3 successfully soft landed on moon then it made all of us proud. It is in fact a great achievement. India is only the 4th country in the world to achieve this feat.  There is no doubt that in past decades there have been significant developments in science and technology. Not just moon, man has been able to send spacecraft to Mars and recently India launched a spacecraft to study the sun. 

The Intelligent Designer

Since the dawn of creation, the universe with its complexity, enormity and variegatedness has intrigued mankind. Many great scientists dedicated their lives to understand the universe. And while doing so, many of them also began appreciating the intelligence and craftsmanship of the creator who designed this perfect world.  

Just like when we see a beautiful painting, we immediately inquire about the person who painted it. Or when we read a heart touching poem, we appreciate the poet who wrote it in such a beautiful way.  Similarly, this beautiful world where you and I live is created by the Supreme Lord.

The beauty which we see, the variegatedness which we relish and the enormity which bewilders us is only because the Supreme Lord has impregnated this world with his potency.

Krishna says to Arjuna, “O son of Kuntī, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable oṁ in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man. I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics.”  Bhagavad Gita 7.8-9

Prominent scientist about the role of God

Just like the Lord has given us the eyes to admire the beauty of this world, similarly he also gives ability to mankind to understand this world.  And many scientists humbly accept this.

Sir Isaac Newton wrote in Principia, “This most beautiful system of sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” This clearly shows that Newton had great faith in God.

ISRO scientists too showed faith in God. Even after the success of the mission they went to temple to thank the Lord. Many questioned them that how being a scientist they can have faith in God.

ISRO chief S Somanath talks about his belief in God

When asked why as a scientist you are visiting temples & showing your faith in God, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief S Somanath said to news agency ANI, “I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. So it’s a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. So try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos. So it’s a part of the culture that we are all built to explore, find out the inner self as well as outer self. So for the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples.

Science and spirituality are not against each other. Some people try to propagate a false narrative that if you are a student of science then you cannot accept God. But when we read the life of great scientists, we find that they did not just accept the existence of God but they also accepted that it is only because of the grace of God that they have been able to achieve something incredible.  They believed in God and also had faith in God.

I like one of the statements of Louis Paster, French chemist and microbiologist. He says, “Too little science leads away from God, while too much science leads back to Him.

So, we should also think like a scientist and try to see how the Lord created this world. And along with that we should also try to explore our inner world.  As ISRO chief, S Somanath, said that he is trying to find meaning of existence, similarly, we should try to understand who we are, why we are in this world, and how this world functions.

The Two Worlds

In Bhagavad Gita 10.8, Krishna says, “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.”

And he also talks elaborately about another world, which is different from this world in many aspects. Bhagavad Gita 8.20, Bhagavad Gita 15.6.

“Yet there is another unmanifest nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.”  Bhagavad Gita 8.20

“That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world.” Bhagavad Gita 15.6

This world although is incredible but is plagued with a perennial problem – it is temporary and not very pleasing. Why? Because here everyone has to suffer.

Some of us may think that those who are rich or famous or powerful are happy here. But the truth is that everyone suffers. Yes, the level of suffering may be different. A beggar may suffer because of hunger whilst a rich man may always be in anxiety of losing his hard-earned wealth. He may have money to eat palatable food but may not have the time or health to eat such food. And most importantly, whether one is rich or poor, young or old, no one wants to die but everyone is forced to die.

But the other world i.e. the spiritual world which Krishna talks about is not temporary and also does not give pain to those who live there. And most importantly no one dies there and always remain happy there.

We have a choice to choose the world

So, there are two different worlds for us to live. Spiritual world and material world. And we always have a choice to choose our world. But Krishna and his pure devotees desperately want us to be in the kingdom of Krishna. Just like a father wants his children to be at home.

Similarly, Krishna, our eternal father, wants us to be at home.  Even his pure devotees come with the same message. Srila Prabhupada was in fact beseeching the people of this world to take up spiritual life seriously and return back to the kingdom of God. 

Prabhupada was a Vedic scholar and had great admiration for scholars, thinkers and scientists. Because he knew that whatever great anyone is able to achieve is only because of the grace of the Supreme Lord.

However, he was always of the opinion that the purpose of human life is to purify one’s existence and return back to the spiritual world. Because no matter how talented or gifted we are everything will come to an end one day. And again, we will have to take birth in this world and start everything from zero. Also, we do not know if we will get a human body or non-human body in next life.  

Srila Prabhupada about living on moon

Srila Prabhupada says wherever you go, in this universe life is temporary.  “If we go to live on the moon-assuming it is possible-even with an oxygen mask, how long could we stay? Furthermore, even if we had the opportunity to stay there, what would we gain? We might gain a little longer life perhaps, but we could not live there forever. That is impossible.” Srila Prabhupada, Varieties of Planetary Systems, Easy Journey to Other Planets.

Like the notable scientists, we should have faith in God, faith in holy scriptures and faith in the words of great spiritual teachers. And we should not limit ourselves to exploring the outer world, but we should also explore our inner world and try to understand the meaning and purpose of our life. And then we should decide where we want to be – here or there.

Leave a Reply