We can’t create paradise, nor were we created in paradise – but we can go to paradise
Many technologists feel that hi-tech appliances will gradually provide necessities and luxuries for more and more people. Thus, they posit that we humans will create a technological paradise on earth.
In radical contrast, many environmentalists feel that nature provides for the needs of all its inhabitants through its delicate and intricate harmony. We were created into paradise, they aver, but we are ruining it by our reckless technological interferences into nature’s workings.
Who is right: the technologists or the environmentalists?
“Neither,” answers Gita wisdom.
The Bhagavad-gita (08.15) indicates that our world is intrinsically miserable and temporary. Even at its pristine best, it is no paradise – it is filled with disease, old age and death.
Of course, environmentalists are right about the counterproductive effects of the indiscriminate adoption of technology. When we try to make things better using technology, we might seem to succeed temporarily. But over time we frequently end up making things worse, not better. This is evident in the imminent specters of pollution, deforestation, desertification, climate change and exhaustion of fossil fuels – most of which originated in our techno-driven attempts to transform this world into paradise. So, technologists often get it much more wrong than do environmentalists.
Taking this discussion to a deeper philosophical level, Gita wisdom indicates that existence has three essential principles (tattva-traya): the living beings, material nature and Krishna. Technologists ascribe the power of creating paradise to living beings; environmentalists ascribe it to material nature. But that power rests with Krishna alone. And he informs us that eternal paradise awaits us if we learn to love him and thereby return to his abode. On our devotional journey back to Krishna a natural, eco-friendly lifestyle presents far lesser distractions than an artificial techno-centric lifestyle. Nonetheless, the devotional journey is possible through both. That’s why devotees focus neither on technology nor on ecology, but on Krishna.
“After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.”