Michael Cremo Brings Vedic Perspectives to the Scientific Table

ACADEMIA-KNOWLEDGE-SCHOLARSHIP, 24 Dec 2012

Madhava Smullen, ISKCON News – TRANSCEND Media Service

A new book by Drutakarma Das (Michael Cremo) shows that it is possible to present Vedic perspectives on consciousness, human origins and human antiquity in modern scientific discourse.

Drutakarma joined ISKCON in 1973. Following the instructions of its founder Srila Prabhupada, he began to introduce Vedic concepts into the world of science and expose the shortcomings of materialistic theories. His books, including Forbidden Archeology and Human Devolution, have sold 300,000 copies in twenty-six languages.

His latest work, My Science, My Religion is a less populist effort, aimed more at the academic community. But it ties in perfectly with his mission.

The book is a collection of twenty-four papers that Drutakarma presented at major international scientific conferences, mostly on archeology, from 1994 to 2009.

It leads off with Puranic Time and the Archeological Record, a paper which Drutakarma presented at a 1994 meeting of the World Archeological Congress in New Delhi, India. In it he challenges Darwinian ideas about human origins and antiquity.

“The Puranas, the historical writings of ancient India, give accounts of human populations that existed on earth millions of years ago—far earlier than most modern scientists are prepared to accept,” he says. “My paper presented archeological evidence that supports that idea.”

As well as being accepted for the conference, Drutakarma’s paper was also selected for a peer-reviewed conference proceedings volume called Time and Archeology, published by Routledge.

Another of Drutakarma’s favorite papers from My Science, My Religion is based on his book Human Devolution, which suggests that contrary to Darwinian theories we did not evolve from matter, but rather devolved from spirit.

The paper is entitled The City of Nine Gates: A Complex Model for Mind Body Dualism from India’s Bhagavat Purana. It was presented at the Toward a Science of Consciousness conference in 1996, and utilized a parable from the fourth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

“Today, many scientists consider a human being just to be a machine made of molecules, and consciousness to be produced by a complex combination of molecules in the brain,” says Drutakarma. “It’s a very matter-based picture of what we are. But in my paper I was able to outline the Vedic view that we are originally beings of pure consciousness.”

Drutakarma also enjoys presenting papers on the history of archeology in India, because they give him a chance to speak directly about Krishna. And My Science, My Religion contains several of these.

For example, at the International Association for the History of Religions World Congress in 2005, Drutakarma presented a paper entitled The Mayapur Pilgrimage Place, West Bengal, India: A Mandala of Peace and Ecological Harmony.

Another followed at the 2007 European Association of South Asian Archeologists. This was entitled Finding Krishna: 16th Century Archeological Activity by Vaishnava Saints in the Braj Mandal Region of Northern India.

In this paper, Drutakarma discussed the archeological excavation of lost Deities and sacred places in Braj Mandal by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his followers the six Goswamis.

Lord Chaitanya, for example, rediscovered the long lost twin holy lakes Radha Kunda and Shyama Kunda. And Rupa Goswami excavated the Govindaji Deity, who had originally been installed 5,000 years ago by King Vajranabha and was lost during Mughal invasions.

“Most archeologists, even Indian archeologists, believe that archeology only started in India with the arrival of European travelers in the 17th century,” Drutakarma says. “But in my works I’ve shown that there was an Indian archeological tradition prior to that.”

Not only does Drutakarma’s comprehensive collection of papers make many fascinating points like this; but it also shows conclusively that Vedic alternatives to Darwinian theories can be part of the current scientific discourse.

He explains: “When some people hear talk about archeological evidence for humans existing millions of years ago, or evidence that consciousness can exist apart from the body, they say that it’s outside the boundaries of science.”

But the fact that Drutakarma has not only been invited to present papers on such subjects at major scientific conferences, but has had some of them published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, proves this idea dead wrong.

“Now I’m not going to suggest that everybody who hears me speak when I present these papers agrees with me,” he says. “I wouldn’t say that’s the case at all. But I think it’s significant that I’m able to present them in the first place. Because if ideas are going to change, then the very first step is that scientists should be willing to listen. And some of them are.”

My Science, My Religion (Torchlight, November 16, 2012) is available from http://mysciencemyreligion.com. For more information on Drutakarma Dasa’s works, please visit www.mcremo.com.

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One Response to “Michael Cremo Brings Vedic Perspectives to the Scientific Table”

  1. satoshi says:

    Almost any unique views pass through three phases as if these phases are rituals: the phase (1) either to be ignored or scorned by people of the main stream relating to the subject; the phase (2) to face violent or harsh oppositions and the phase (3) to be accepted as if it were already a self-evident view long time ago. You can easily find historical notables who passed these phases: Jesus, Muhammad, Copernicus, Galileo and far more. For last several decades, James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis has been experiencing the same ritual. His hypothesis (being gradually considered as a “theory” nowadays rather than as a “hypothesis”) is considered located somewhere between the phases (2) and (3) now. Michael Cremo’s (= Drutakarma Das’) view is also exceptionally unique. Therefore, his view is completely different from the views of the main stream archeologists. His view is considered in the phase (2) which means that his view is facing violent or harsh oppositions.

    I read Cremo’s “Forbidden Archeology” and “Human Devolution”. Both were interesting for me. But, especially the latter surprised me and convinced me. I can say that “Human Devolution” is one of the most interesting and exciting books I have ever read in recent years.

    One of the main reasons for that I was impressed by “Human Devolution” is that Cremo’s discussion, evidence and examples shown in the book conform to my personal experience. Some of my personal experiences can hardly be explained from the conventional scientific view point. I rarely talk about my “unscientific” experience to people (i.e. ordinary people). How can I convince them without any “scientifically valid evidence or argument”? Then, one day I happened to encounter Cremo’s “Human Devolution” at a local bookstore and subsequently, “Forbidden Archeology” a few months later. (“Devolution” was published after “Forbidden” but I read “Devolution” first.) Presenting ample examples, Cremo, the author, clearly discusses phenomena, things and events, similar to those of my experience.

    As to “Forbidden Archeology,” I agree with the author’s argument that humans existed for millions of years ago. The main stream archeologists, however, claim that humans have existed for some fifty thousand years and that many of us (but not necessarily all of us) evolved from “M168” or the so-called “scientific Adam”, lived in the East Africa some fifty thousand years ago. But the ancient highly advanced civilization of Mesopotamia, for instance, dates back to more than 7,000 years, perhaps to some 10,000 years. This implies that humans evolved from their very primitive stage (in which humans were almost apes) to the very high standard stage of the civilization of Mesopotamia within 40,000 – 43,000 years or so. Can Darwin’s evolution theory be applied to this quick evolution process? If the human evolution is so fast, even several thousands of years must reveal the difference in the human body, brain and other features. For instance, the ruler’s body of Mesopotamia some 10,000 years ago, a pyramid construction worker’s body in the ancient Egypt 6,000 years ago, Moses’ body 3,500 years ago, Jesus’ body 2,000 years ago, and your body in the 21st Century, must also be significantly different in the body structure, its shape, the brain, organs, cells and other relevant features because of such rapid evolution of the humans! But I doubt that the human body evolved in such a high speed.

    Well, regardless of harsh oppositions from the main stream archeologists, Cremo’s two main books sold allegedly over 300,000 copies in twenty-six languages. It seems that there are many people in the world, who have a serious doubt about what they were taught at school about the origin and history of the human being. It seems also that there are many people, like myself, in the world, who have the so-called “unscientific or mysterious experiences” similar to mine and who can hardly openly discuss or reveal their personal experiences.

    I am looking forward to buying and reading Cremo’s latest book, “My Science, My Religion”. By the way, it is my wish that someone would write a book, entitled something like, “The Evolution (or Devolution?) of Peace”. I would like to read such a book.

    May peace be with you all, especially in this season of the year.