by purujit dasa
WHAT ABOUT CLONING?
Although the scientists think that cloning is a new thing, Srimad Bhagavatam, written 5000 years ago gives a vivid description of cloning in the following verse:
mamanthur ūruṁ tarasā
tatrāsīd bāhuko naraḥ
After making a decision, the saintly persons and sages churned the thighs of the dead body of King Vena with great force and according to a specific method. As a result of this churning, a dwarf-like person was born from King Vena's body.
PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada:
That a person was born by the churning of the thighs of King Vena proves that the spirit soul is individual and separate from the body. The great sages and saintly persons could beget another person from the body of the dead King Vena, but it was not possible for them to bring King Vena back to life. King Vena was gone, and certainly he had taken another body. The saintly persons and sages were only concerned with the body of Vena because it was a result of the seminal succession in the family of Mahārāja Dhruva. Consequently the ingredients by which another body could be produced were there in the body of King Vena. By a certain process, when the thighs of the dead body were churned, another body came out. Although dead, the body of King Vena was preserved by drugs and mantras chanted by King Vena's mother. In this way the ingredients for the production of another body were there. When the body of the person named Bāhuka came out of the dead body of King Vena, it was really not very astonishing. It was simply a question of knowing how to do it. From the semina of one body, another body is produced, and the life symptoms are visible due to the soul's taking shelter of this body. One should not think that it was impossible for another body to come out of the dead body of Mahārāja Vena. This was performed by the skillful action of the sages.
SB 4.14.43 (first edition)
In cloning, certain cells are taken from an organism; they are put in the womb of a mother, who later gives birth to a “clone”. Scientists managed to clone animals and perhaps even a human, that is a fact. Did they create life out of matter? Hardly. They still need a living mother and living cells, which are already there.
Harikeśa: Now they are inventing these different DNA and RNA molecules to change people by injecting them with these different things before they are born, making new people.
Prabhupāda: That is not very difficult thing. If you make some vegetable, if you add more sugar it becomes sweet. If you add more salt it becomes salty. That you can do. That is not very difficult. Our question is wherefrom the life comes? That is our… So they do not give any answer to this. That is their foolishness. What is that life? They say life developed from chemical. Now do it. By chemical combination make in one egg and give it to the fomenting machine. What is that? Fomenting machine? They have got heating machine?
Prabhupāda: Incubator. Put it there. Then we shall accept your science. Why don’t you do that? Then your all theories are useless. This is practical.
Morning Walk — Durban, October 13, 1975
Taking it on the authority of the Vedas, the new cloned body develops only because the soul has taken shelter of it. The scientists can duplicate the body, but they cannot duplicate the person who resides in the body.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Well, the way they're doing it is through the genetic, yes.
Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be, they are trying...
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes.
Prabhupāda: ...to make a xerox copy. So why not the original?
Devotee (1): What is that?
Prabhupāda: Explain to him.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Why not the original?
Prabhupāda: Yes. The scientists, they are trying to make a xerox copy of Professor Einstein. So why not the original? Hm? What is their answer?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: They cannot keep the original alive.
Prabhupāda: No, that's all right, but let them make one original.
Devotee (1): They can't even begin.
Devotee (1): They can't even make a cell.
Prabhupāda: Then what is their credit?
Devotee (1): They have made a computer.
Devotee (1): They have made a computer, but it takes a human being to program the computer.
Prabhupāda: So what is their credit? If you simply copy something, that is not credit. The credit should go to the original.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: The scientists admit that there is nothing new that they can make. Everything is the manipulation of the laws of nature.
Prabhupāda: Then the thing is that as they are individual person trying to do something wonderful, the individual person who has already done all this wonderful, how much credit He deserves. If by simply copying you want to take so much credit that you will defy the existence of God, you are so fool, rascal, then how much credit should be given to the original person who has made all these things existing. What is their answer?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: They simply don't care.
Devotee (1): Like that man said last night, "We will do it."
Prabhupāda: You will do, that's all right, you will do it, but it is already there. What is your credit, you will do it? It is already there, then what is your credit?
Morning Walk -- June 30, 1972, San Diego
Paramahaṁsa: There's another very interesting factor that scientists, they state that matter is, or that there is, they dispute the fact that there's one soul within the body. There's a special kind of worm, it's an earthworm, that if you cut it in half, both parts will live.
Paramahaṁsa: So they wonder how is it possible that if there is soul, that there could be two souls within one body?
Prabhupāda: Yes, why not. Souls takes the opportunity.
Paramahaṁsa: Oh, it takes the opportunity of the other body, the fertile...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
At Cheviot Hills Golf Course
May 13, 1973, Los Angeles
(to be continued...)