18-Jan-2015, 03:22 PM
(17-Jan-2013, 09:50 AM)arvindiyer Wrote:(17-Jan-2013, 07:43 AM)Captain Mandrake Wrote: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasadiya_Sukta
It sure does read nice. But is the beauty of it in the way it has been translated?
The concern about self-serving distortions in apologist translations is quite well-founded and it is raised here often, like in this instance of bovine exceptionalism thrust in by a translator, or in this instance where an apologist bases conclusions on a dubious translation rather than the original.
However in the case in point, the translation seems to be one of considerable fidelity. I couldn't find the Sukta recited online, but something that is close is this near-verbatim translation into Hindi beginning with the original Rig Vedic stanza, in this clip from Bharat Ek Khoj. Advocates of 'Indian secularism', which is often mistaken for ecumenism, like Shashi Tharoor, quote this hymn ad nauseam as supposed evidence for skepticism and liberalism in the Indian ethos. However, as is discussed in this thread on the Vedas, it will take more than a stray cherrypicked instance like this one to establish the inerrancy and supremacy that is claimed for the Vedas.
Excerpt from the book “Life comes from Life”
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.
To know more you are kindly advised to read the book “Life comes Life” of which the above conversation is a part.
To access the book log on to http://www.vedabase.com/en/lcfl