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Svarūpa Dāmodara

Svarūpa Dāmodara Maharaj discusses with Srila Prabhupada his comment that the Moon is further away from Earth than the Sun, and suggests we should find the Book Surya Siddhanta that Prabhupada never had access too, to clear up this matter.

Svarūpa Dāmodara suggests to Srila Prabhupada that we were thinking that there must be some more information about the Moon’s distance from Earth in Sūrya-siddhānta.

Srila Prabhupada knew about Surya Siddhanta, but was not found until AFTER Srila Prabhupada left this world in November 1977.

In Surya Siddhanta by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, it is stated that the Moon is 258,000 miles from Earth (close to the modern science calculation of 238,000 miles from Earth) and is not further away from Earth than the Sun.

This is also revealed by Sadaputa dasa in his Vedic Cosmology Books who has explained the Moon’s distance in detail.

And today in 2021, it is foolish to believe that so many nations, now regularly visiting the Moon (and reaching it in three or four days), are all in on some nonsense hoax and conspiracy.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “This idea that the Moon is further away from earth than the Sun is going to be very critical. That brings a whole new concept that poses some problem”.

Prabhupāda – “Eh?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “In speaking (at) colleges and universities. The other day when you spoke there, we were not speaking about astronomy, you were speaking of the origin of life, and these people, outsiders, they already had the concept to raise up that question. So without any connection they brought up. So the question was, “Whatever you present is very nice, fine, but what about the moon? Do you believe that the moon is farther away than the sun?”

Prabhupāda – “But they have already…?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Yeah, they already studied, they are ready to ask those things, and they say, “Just give me an answer, yes or no.”

Prabhupāda – They asked you? They asked you?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Yes”.

Prabhupāda – “So what did you answer?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “We said yes, but our explanation was much (indistinct) in the sense that we said you have to study this more carefully, but we tried to remark the concept that now we are conditioned to believe certain things”.

Prabhupāda – “Now, how they heard that we are believing in this way?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “From Bhāgavatam”.

Prabhupāda – “Oh”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “From Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And sometimes devotees go around the colleges and sometimes they say, “What you are doing is all wrong, the moon is far away.” So I think this is spread all over”.

Prabhupāda – “But that is a fact”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “But we had one explanation saying that now, the way we percept knowledge, though we understand things, there is also a conditioning behind it. So actually this is a fact, but in Mathematics, if we change the axiom, then we have a whole new understanding, it’s almost completely upside down, but still we can interpret the result. It is just like a simple jumble(?), while Nils Bohr, studying the structure of the atom. Now he had a mathematical equation to fit the phenomena of this atom, and actually you can perfectly describe this phenomena by this equation, but, now, at morning times, this quantum mechanics, it turns out whatever he did was completely wrong, but it can be described completely, perfectly well as his model, as is our present understanding. But now his theories (indistinct), he could explain things on his own, but still it’s completely wrong. So similarly…”

Prabhupāda – “They are right. They may present the wrong thing, but still they are right”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Yes”.

Prabhupāda – “That is their proposition?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “It is possible, but that’s why we’re claiming that. They agree that because not only there is several facts in science, that one should be (indistinct) this is true, then suddenly by some new discoveries came out all wrong”.

Prabhupāda – “Yes”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “So we are discussing about our limitations of our so-called knowledge-finding technique. So we said, “One has to be a little open-minded and discuss these things…”

Prabhupāda – “What does they say about that disi, astralogic kalokyam (Hindi) ?

Svarūpa Dāmodara – (Hindi)

Prabhupāda – (Hindi)

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “And in this connection we actually wanted to also study Bhaktisiddhānta Prabhupāda’s…”

Prabhupāda – “Sūrya-siddhānta”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Yeah”.

Prabhupāda – “Yes. But where is that book?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Pradyumna told me that it’s available in Bengali, Śrīla Prabhupāda?”

Prabhupāda – “If it is available, get it. (indistinct) He was one of the authorities about sun movements”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “I heard that it will be very…”

Prabhupāda – “(indistinct) He got this Sūrya-siddhānta, Siddhānta Sarasvatī. He was very expert astrologer”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “So we were thinking that there must be some more information there”.

Prabhupāda – “(indistinct) There are (in) Calcutta many… Some of them still, living or dead I do not know. But in India, in Benares you’ll find many astrologers. You said in your book that the sun is the nearest planet?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “No, I didn’t say that. We actually took the concept of the… I wasn’t talking much there, saying that there is one star, the sun is the nearest star”.

Prabhupāda – “Nearest star”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Yes”.

Prabhupāda – “So that means near star, nearest, which relationship, with the earth?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “With the other stars”.

Prabhupāda – “Ah?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “With the other stars”.

Prabhupāda – “Other stars? Nearest means?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “To the earth”.

Prabhupāda – “To the earth. So they are… We are speaking the same thing. The sun is the nearest, then moon”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “The description is also that there is only one star in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The description is that there is only one star in this universe. One star”.

Prabhupāda – “One star?”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Yes, only one star”.

Devotee – “One sun”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “I’m sorry, one sun”.

Prabhupāda – “Yes”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “One sun in this universe”.

Prabhupāda – “This is one universe”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “So actually what they call solar system, science doesn’t call it one universe. The concept of universe is very vast”.

Prabhupāda – “That is not vast. Our concept…”

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Yeah, our conception is solar system, actually. The solar system is one universe”.

Prabhupāda – Solar? There is no solar system. The ninth, I mean planets”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Solar system, what they mean, the science, the sun, and these planets that we know, consists of, comprises our Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam universe, concept of the universe”.

Prabhupāda – “Yes, the (indistinct) is a big affair, the sun is one of the important planets. Not only the sun, moon, Mars, Jupiter, everyone”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Actually as astronomy and (indistinct) are especially astronomy is one of the most unscientific branch of study, knowledge is concerned. It’s very, very little known. The way that… The techniques that they use, are very difficult to rely on”.

Prabhupāda – “So their Astronomical calculation, the sun is fixed up, that is also wrong. The sun is not fixed up”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “Yeah, Your Divine Grace, you wrote me a letter saying about the universe is just like an inverted tree”.

Prabhupāda – “Yes, ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham (BG 15.1), Bhagavad-gītā”.

Svarūpa Dāmodara – “And the tree, and the leaves, and the fruits and flowers are the planets”.

Prabhupāda – “Ūrdhva-mūlam, Gītā says, ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham. The pole-star in the… And we see at night everything is moving. As a bunch it is moving”.

Hari-śauri – “Does that means all the planets are fixed in relationship to each other as well?”

Prabhupāda – “Yes, yes. Just like a tree. Tree is fixed up, as a whole tree is moving”.

Hari-śauri – “Because we see practically that the moon also moves, across the sky. Just like the sun does. So the sun has an orbit?”

Prabhupāda – “Sun is also, Yes”.

Hari-śauri – “And the moon has an orbit also?”

Prabhupāda – “In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said, yasyājñayā bhramati sambhṛta-kāla-cakraḥ. Yac-cakṣur eṣa savitā sakala-grahāṇāṁ rājā samasta-sura-mūrtir aśeṣa-tejāḥ. Unlimited temperature. Everything is there”.

Hari-śauri – “Does the moon have an orbit also then?”

Prabhupāda – “Yes, every (indistinct). It is described as a chariot moving. Something, challenge must be given”.

Hari-śauri – “I think that when we try to explain to them that the sun is drawn by a chariot, then… (laughs)”

Prabhupāda – “The (indistinct) sun is God. He’s one of the gods, He’s a person, sun-god. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1), a person. That is his planet. He is the predominating Deity. And similarly moon. And the kṣatriyas, they are coming from these two planets. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, vivasvān manave prāha manur ikṣvākave… Ikṣvāku is the sūrya-vaṁśa, the kṣatriya family coming from the sun.

Yadubara – “Śrīla Prabhupāda, we’re taking this from the Bhāgavatam. Won’t they just think that this is myth?”

Prabhupāda – “(indistinct) is myth? Who believes you? If you don’t believe me, I don’t believe you. Finished”.

Yadubara – “So we should present our side”.

Prabhupāda – “Yes. That is our business. If you don’t believe me I don’t believe you. Finished business. You have got your authority, I’ve got my authority. Why shall I…?”

Yadubara – “So no matter what they say we should present it at least”.

Prabhupāda – “Yes, our Bhāgavata is written 5,000 years ago. And before that, Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, “I have heard like this.” That’s all. Millions and millions of years ago” (Room Conversation July 6, 1976, Washington, D.C)

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