Question to Radhanath Swami: I feel science is the cause of so many problems like environmental pollution etc. Am I right?
Radhanath Swami Maharaja: It is due to lack of science that there are so many problems. By ‘science’ I don’t mean the manipulation of the external gross elements. Bhagavad-Gita, spirituality, and Sanatana Dharma are sciences. Without these foundational sciences strong, other sciences that we build on could create many difficulties. So the problem is not science. But the problem is ignorance. When we create great sciences on the foundation of ignorance, that causes a lot of problem, a lot of pollution, and lots of disruption. Penny wise pounds foolish. Have you ever heard this saying? We are creating so many things, but in the process what are we doing to the environment?
The oceans are becoming polluted. Some people say, just walking around here in Mumbai is like smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. The ozone and the global warming has become an international problem. If we do not give up polluting the atmosphere, this global warming is going to cause the solar ice caps to melt and the oceans are going to rise. According to ecological scientists, if we do not do something about clearing the pollution, practically one fourth to one third of the land will be under the ocean. We are talking about hundreds and millions of people, either being displaced or sleeping with the fish. This is a very serious matter. This situation is created by science. The pollutions are not created by simple people who are farming by natural ways. It is due to industries, and the chemicals they produce. Now all that science could be used for good purposes. However, if they are not in harmony with nature and with God, they may create nice things for the present, but will cause destruction in the future.
So science should be built upon the foundation of knowledge and truth. Then all our science could have very wonderful effects. For example, we are using this microphone; it is a blessing of science. We are using it to help enlighten people and reach people. But someone may use the same thing for something very different. Some awaken passion in your heart, while some awaken hatred and violence. Science is a neutral thing. According to the consciousness of the person using it, it is either going to have positive or negative effects. So science is neither good nor bad. Science is as good as the scientists who are using it. It can be either used to enlighten the world, or it can be used to degrade and pollute the world.