Srila Prabhupada (to Disciple 1): So, you are the boss of your body?
Disciple 2 (also to Disciple 1): Are you telling the stomach how to digest, the hair how to grow, and so on?
Srila Prabhupada: No, you are not.
Disciple 1: No. But, I’m still thinking that there must be some relationship between me – the spirit soul – and all these innumerable other souls living within my body’s cells.
Srila Prabhupada: Wherever you look there is some relationship with other souls. That relationship is already there. For instance, I am walking on this sand, so I have some relationship with it. If the sand were not firm enough, then I could not very easily walk on it. So the relationship with others is there already; you are already intermingled in it. But within this vast cosmic situation, with so many trillions of souls, what is each soul’s most important relationship? That knowledge is wanted. Most important to each of these innumerable souls is his relationship with God.
Disciple 1: But, Srila Prabhupada, it seems that if the cells within my current material body were not working, I, the soul, would go away. So this particular relationship also appears quite important.
Srila Prabhupada: That is merely your theory: that because the cells are working, the soul is living. That is your theory. But our “theory,” the Vedic conception, is that because the soul is living there, the cells are working. That is our “theory”: The soul is there, and because of the soul’s presence, the cells are working. All this I have already explained.
I say to the scientists, “You take the effect, the material body, as the cause. And you take the cause, the soul’s presence, as the effect. All this is because you have insufficient knowledge. Because you are in illusion.”
Disciple 2: But, Srila Prabhupada, experts in medical science don’t appear to be totally without knowledge.
They can point and say, for instance, “Oh, this man has this particular disease of the blood. He will die in six months.”
Srila Prabhupada: That is not actual knowledge. That is merely experience. We are now walking parallel to the shoreline. Suppose I say, “If you turn ninety degrees and walk perpendicular to the shoreline, and then go a hundred feet, you’ll be swallowed up by the water.” Is that very wonderful scientific knowledge? [Laughter.]
That so-called knowledge is merely a question of experience. Why do you take it as wonderful? “Oh! This person said that if you walk perpendicular to the shoreline and go a hundred feet, you’ll be swallowed up by the water, and now I have been swallowed up by the water!”
That is your foolishness. Any fool can make pronouncements like this. He must have a little experience; that’s all. This “knowledge” is not a very wonderful thing. The fool has not created anything. He just has a little experience.
Disciple 2: O. K. But then the scientists can say, “Well, you may laugh that we have no thorough understanding of anything – all we have is experience: If we try this thing, we get this result; if we try that thing, we get that result. Laugh all you like. But when we give a person something that cures his blood disease, then you won’t be laughing.”
Srila Prabhupada: One morning many years ago, a physician in Dacca noticed that a man passing by was coughing. So he asked the man, “Come over here. Where you are going?”
The man was a cultivator. He said, “I am going to the field.”
The physician said, “Better go home. Don’t go to the field.”