Jul 14, 2017 CANADA (SUN) In understanding A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada as a Sampradaya Acarya, one of the main principles to consider is all of the different subjects or aspects of our philosophy that Srila Prabhupada focused on and emphasized. As his followers, we should try to develop the consciousness that everything he states is primarily a seed, and it is our duty, and should be our life mission, to water that seed.
Srila Prabhupada brought us so many aspects of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Sankirtana Movement that it's impossible to list them all. There's no doubt that certain individual disciples have embraced different aspects of Srila Prabhupada's mission, but Srila Prabhupada's emphatic focus on Darwinism appears not to be getting the necessary attention from his followers.
Darwinism in the West can easily be seen as being comparable to the focus of previous Acaryas in India on defeating monism or the teachings of Shankaracarya. Darwinism in the West is a predominant underlying philosophical belief held by not only the masses, but especially by leaders in the West. These philosophical leaders are not just the leaders of the churches or the religions, but are also the scientists who are being backed and financed by politicians and industrialists.
Darwinist philosophy, which has been embraced by world leaders and is being preached and financed by the most powerful men in society, has led to an incalculable and inconceivable amount of humanity's suffering since the time of its conception. It forms the root of Communism as it was presented by the likes of Stalin and Pol Pot, the root of Fascism as presented by the likes of Hitler and Mousollini, and it is the philosophy of choice for many other demoniac leaders. On the basis of this philosophy they have slaughtered millions and millions of people and have put billions more into slavery and suffering.
Just as previous Acaryas have presented to the preachers of Vaisnavism all the relevant and succinct arguments that will help them defeat the teachings of Shankaracarya, which was important and relevant in that culture and in that day and age, so Srila Prabhupada, the most recent Sampradaya Acarya, has presented us with a focus on the philosophy that is putting the masses into ignorance. Darwinism is an atheistic philosophy, and Lord Krsna's pure devotee has given us all the arguments we can use to defeat it.
How important is this? It is of utmost importance! Srila Prabhupada understand this, and it is the reason that he founded the Bhaktivedanta Institute and was adamant about getting his books into the schools and universities, and his content into educational courses so as to defeat this whole principle of Darwinism.
But today, if one looks at the focus on preaching in ISKCON, it is not in this direction. While the Bhaktivedanta Institute puts some focus on the topic, we know of few devotees of note who have dedicated themselves to preaching in this field. One of them is Drutakarma dasa, who gets relatively little support from ISKCON for this extremely important work.
Even back in the days when Srila Prabhupada was preaching to his senior devotees, the conclusion was that Darwinism is essentially defeated by other schools and by science itself, yet today, some forty years later, that's simply not the case. Every time you turn on the TV or any other mass media, you hear the great preachers of Darwinism. Today they come in the guise of environmentalists who are championing the causes of global warming and protection of species, or the geneticists who want to clone animals and humans, and who are created genetically modified Frankenfoods for us to eat. Their underlying philosophy is Darwinism, so we can see that in many respects, a new emphasis has added more fuel to the Darwinist school. Regardless, the preachers of ISKCON do not seem to be taking this theme very seriously.
I know from my own experience that preaching against Darwinism using Srila Prabhupada's arguments is not a difficult thing to do. I make a point of bringing up the topic of evolution and try to introduce the basic arguments, and sure enough, people are essentially defeated. Of course, you will find that by preaching this anti-Darwinist message you will likely be labeled as a kook or fanatic by those who have been so indoctrinated into believing it is the absolute truth. The challenge is that you're exposing yourself to criticism as a religious fanatic even though no one can defeat your arguments. This essentially means that Darwinism has become a religion in its own right, and that Darwin's speculations have become a religious doctrine that is now unquestionable. This is all the more reason why our ISKCON preachers must aggressively target Darwinism in their preaching efforts.
So this poses a great challenge to preachers of Krsna consciousness. We often hear about Srila Prabhupada's controversial statements on such topics as women and the moon landing, Vedic astronomy, and so forth, but from my point of view, the whole Darwin aspect of what Srila Prabhupada had to say is far more important than these other issues. Yet compared to the attention put on issues of feminism, gender, and the like, Darwinist philosophy has essentially been ignored or sidelined as the focus of our attention.
In the earlier days of ISKCON there was a serious school of preaching taking root within Srila Prabhupada's movement. A few books were written by Sadaputa dasa (Dr. Richard L. Thompson), which are very valuable in and of themselves, yet we don't hear about him personally preaching the material. His books are quite academic and the contents need to be distilled into something more approachable by the general public, and even by the devotees. The material should also be updated so it's current with today's science and social issues. Yet there is no concerted effort on behalf of the leaders that I'm aware of to give intelligent devotees like Sadaputa prabhu the resources required to do these things. Such devotees should be leading the charge towards presenting a Krsna conscious position on Darwinism that can be adopted and utilized by all the preachers.
In summary, I would just like to say that along with all the other causes the devotees have embraced, such as varnasrama and building holy sites, and all the new age adaptations of Krsna consciousness, the fight against Darwinism should not be forgotten. In fact, unless we take it seriously, I don't think we will make any significant headway in presenting Krsna consciousness as the alternative in the world today. Newcomers to Krsna consciousness who have any real intelligence will have to be convinced that Darwinism is an atheistic, bogus philosophy presented by demons. Let's keep in mind that Lord Caitanya decreed that His followers should not associate for even a moment, what to speak of listen to impersonalist philosophies presented by the Shankar school. So how does that translate into hearing Darwinism being preached and spoken? I think from a Western contextual point of view, it's on an equal if not greater level.
We have a long way to go before we can take the seed that Srila Prabhupada has presented in terms of the importance of defeating Darwinism, and make a concerted effort to address the issue in as many ways and circumstances as we possibly can.