Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Brahmānanda Svāmī and other students.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: The scientists say that life begins from chemicals. But the real question is, “Where have the chemicals come from?” The chemicals come from life, and this means that life has mystic powers. For example, an orange tree contains many oranges, and each orange contains chemicals—citric acid and others. So where have these chemicals come from? Obviously they have come from the life within the tree. The scientists are missing the origin of the chemicals. They have started their investigation from the chemicals, but they cannot identify the origin of the chemicals. Chemicals come from the supreme life—God. Just as the living body of a man produces many chemicals, the supreme life (the Supreme Lord) is producing all the chemicals found in the atmosphere, in the water, in humans, in animals and in the earth. And that is called mystic power. Unless the mystic power of the Lord is accepted, there is no solution to the problem of the origin of life.
Dr. Singh. The scientists will reply that they cannot believe in mystic power.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: But they must explain the origin of the chemicals. Anyone can see that an ordinary tree is producing many chemicals. But how does it produce them? Since the scientists cannot answer this, they must accept that the living force has mystic power. I cannot even explain how my fingernail is growing out of my finger; it is beyond the power of my brain. In other words, my fingernail is growing by inconceivable potency, acintya-śakti. So if acintya-śakti exists in an ordinary human being, imagine how much acintya-śakti God possesses. The difference between God and me is that although I have the same potencies as God, I can produce only a small quantity of chemicals, whereas He can produce enormous quantities. I can produce a little water in the form of perspiration, but God can produce the seas. Analysis of one drop of seawater gives you the qualitative analysis of the sea, without any mistake. Similarly, the ordinary living being is part and parcel of God, so by analyzing the living beings we can begin to understand God. In God there is great mystic potency. God’s mystic potency is working swiftly, exactly like an electric machine. Some machines operate by electrical energy, and they are so nicely made that all the work is done simply by pushing a button. Similarly, God said, “Let there be creation,” and there was creation. Considered in this way, the workings of nature are not very difficult to understand. God has such wonderful potencies that the creation, on His order alone, immediately takes place.
Brahmānanda Swami. Some scientists don’t accept God or acintya-śakti.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is their rascaldom. God exists, and His acintya-śakti also exists. Where does a bird’s power to fly come from? Both you and the bird are living entities, but the bird can fly because of its acintya-śakti, and you cannot. To give another example, semen is produced from blood. A man has mystic power in his body so that because he is sexually inclined, blood is transformed into semen. How is this done unless there is some mystic power involved? There are many mystic powers in the living entities. The cow eats grass and produces milk. Everyone knows this, but can you take some grass and produce milk? Can you? Therefore there is mystic power within the cow. As soon as the cow eats grass, she can transform it into milk. Men and women are basically the same, but as a man you cannot eat food and produce milk, although a woman can. These are mystic powers.
Dr. Singh. Scientists would say that there are different enzymes or chemicals inside different types of bodies and that these account for the cow’s producing milk.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, but who produced those enzymes and that arrangement? That was done by mystic power. You cannot make these enzymes or that arrangement. You cannot produce milk from dry grass in your laboratory. Within your body, by mystic power, you can transform food into blood and tissue, but in your laboratory, without mystic power, you cannot even transform grass into milk. Therefore you must accept the existence of mystic power.
The Origin of Mystic Power
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yogīs are mainly concerned with developing different mystic powers. A yogī can walk on the water without drowning. The law of gravity does not operate on him. That is a mystic power called laghimā. Laghimā means that a person can become lighter than cotton and counteract the law of gravity. The yoga system simply develops the inconceivable potency already present in the practitioner. These boys are swimming [gesturing to surf bathers], but I cannot swim. Yet that swimming power is potential within me; I simply have to practice it. So, if yogic power is so potent in the human being, think how much more yogic power God has. Therefore, in the Vedas He is called Yogeśvara, which means “master of all mystic power.” In the Bhagavad-gītā (10.8) Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me.” Unless we accept this statement from God, there is no conclusive explanation to the origin of material nature. God cannot be understood without accepting the existence of mystic power, but if you understand God scientifically, then you will understand everything.
Dr. Singh. So do you mean to say that science has started from an intermediate point—not from the original point?
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, that is it exactly. They are ignorant of the origin. The scientists start from one point—but where does that point come from? That they do not know, in spite of vast research. One has to accept that the original source is God, who is full of all mystic powers and from whom everything emanates. He Himself says in the Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me.” [Bg. 10.8] Our conclusions are not based on blind faith; they are most scientific. Matter comes from life. In life—in the origin—there are unlimited material resources; that is the great mystery of creation. If you drop a needle, it will fall immediately, but a bird weighing several pounds can float in the air. We must establish the origin of this floating. If we study nature, we find that every living entity has some mystic power. A man cannot live within the water for more than a few hours, yet a fish lives there continuously. is that not mystic power?
Dr. Singh. It is mystic power for me, but not for the fish.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. That is because mystic power is not uniformly distributed. But all the mystic powers exist in God, the origin of everything. I derive some of His mystic power, you derive some, and the birds derive some. But the storehouse of mystic power is God.
There are eight basic types of mystic powers. Some of them are laghimā (by which one can become lighter than a feather), mahimā (by which one can become bigger than a mountain), prāpti (which enables one to capture anything he likes) and īśitva (by which one can completely subdue and control another being). Another type of mystic power can be seen in the sun, because from the sunshine innumerable things are inexplicably produced. Unless the scientists accept the existence of mystic power, they cannot explain these phenomena. They are simply beating around the bush.
Dr. Singh. A clever scientist may say anything to prove his point, without actually proving it. A real scientist must reach the ultimate, original cause—the final analysis.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, unless he finds the ultimate source, he is not actually practicing science.
Dr. Singh. Does understanding mysticism mean knowing that every day our bodies are dying?
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes.
Dr. Singh. But the average man does not think he is dying.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. That is due to foolishness. Every moment he is dying, but he is thinking, “I shall live forever.” Actually, death begins from the very moment of birth. Our analysis of the problem is that since people are dying, we should stop their death. But the so-called scientists are not only accelerating the process of death, but also refusing to take constructive advice to correct themselves.