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It is said in Srimad Bhagavatam that atoms are indivisible and that six atoms combined together can be seen in the sunlight that shines through a window with the naked eye. I looked it up and atoms are not indivisible and roughly 5 million million atoms can rest on the head of a pin so seeing six is also very unlikely. Can someone please explain this discrepancy to me? It is in Canto 3. Chapter 11. Text 1 & 5.

Thank you,
Hare Krsna

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One can  distinguish the floating dust from hexatoms by observing the sunshine very carefully.

In the sunshine which comes trough the hole of the window screen, one can clearly see that the hexatom goes up towards the sky.

It seems to me that that is all dust and other particles. I don't think the human eye can physically see as few as six atoms. As I said above 5 million million can rest on the head of a pin and we can't even see one. Also what about it being indivisible. Is it wrong to assume that there are some scientific errors in the Bhagavatam but that the core message of love God is still very true?

Its very logical conclusion that hexatoms can not be seen by human eyes because they are to small, but one need to understand that only because of reflection from  sunlight they become visible in a form of  small tiny sparks. 

For example, human eyes can not see stars during daylight, being to far away causing to be to small to be visible, but soon as the night falls, the reflection of sunlight shows their positions.

Similar to that, one need to be in the dark to see hexatoms who reflecting sunlight which comes trough hole of the window. 

But what about the fact that it says that atoms are indivisible? The SB also says that the universe has a diameter of 4 billion miles and the voyager-1 satellite is almost 18 billion km away from Earth. There are definitely some scientific errors in SB. I just need advice from a senior devotee on how I should approach these errors and still have faith in the rest of the SB claims.

The human science is not perfect, but the science of Srimad Bhagavatam is.

One can believe on one or another, but those who claim to believe in both, actually do not believe in anything at all.

I believe in Krsna and Srimad Bhagavatam and do my best to be a good devotee. I trust Krsna completely but that doesn't mean I can't take interest in science also. I know human science is not perfect but in the case of the satellite that is simple measurement. Refusing to look at problems is how bigger problems arise. I want to grow in my devotion and build my faith but I have to ask questions to do that. I mean no disrespect but there are some obvious scientific errors in the SB and I honestly believe Krsna wants us to dig deeper when we find things like this and not ignore them. I'm just trying to find answers.

Please forgive me if I offended you,
Hare Krsna

Hare Krishna Pamho,

Though i am a novice in bhakti and have a very little knowledge of science, still i will try to express my views. 

The very first thing we have to understand that this material world is an illusion. Whatever we see or touch or smell or hear by our senses or by the very advanced scientific instruments ( which are just extended senses) are not the reality. All the observations and experiments that scientists does on this illusory energy of The Lord will eventually produce imperfect results. And we are taught all these things as science from the very beginning of our life - our thought process develops on these foundation. But the fact is that the scientists could not even figure out till now what matter actually is - and they proposes big big theories on the material universe.

Just think of the very fundamental issue, we all know that we are not this body, but spirit soul. In spite of having this knowledge, all our actions and thoughts are driven by the bodily conception of self. The illusion is so so strong and subtle that even the knowledge of it is of no use. It projects itself as reality and we accept it as it is.Just imagine the mental state of the scientists who does not know that soul exists - for them nothing exists except matter.

So when we could not understand what matter actually is even after touching and manipulating it, what is the guarantee that the vision of the sky that we are seeing is the actual reality !

But the knowledge of SB is not like our scientific experimental evidence based knowledge - which gets changed after every couple of years. The information of SB is perfect because that knowledge is given by the Person who have designed and manifested the creation. If SB says the universe extends up to 4 billion miles  - that is the truth - though apparently by the influence of our imperfect senses we may think how can it be possible. We can't filter out scripture's information as per our convenience - we can't just accept those statements which seems to be rational to us and reject those which does not seems logical. The problem is not with the scripture but our faulty mind and intelligence. - yas

Many  verses can not be translated literally, therefore as long as the translation do not deviate from the original meaning, its considered  to be correctly translated.


Hare Krishna

Please read the below, the most comprehensive explanation on the web.

You can send me email for clarification,

Just to address 3 of your points.

1. We can see light, even if it's a few atoms of it. We can't see the individual atoms, but as a whole the light.

2. The scientist's universe and the universe defined in the SB, are not based on the same definition. So we cannot compare the dimentions from both. We can only compare apples to apples and not to banannas.

3. The diameter of the universe given in the SB is not the correct translation from the Sanskrit. The 'diameter' is mentioned to help us understand the vast size. The Sanskrit states something like 'extends 4 billion miles'. This does not mean only 4 billion miles, although it can too. So there is no wrong or right interpretation.


Kamlesh Patel

Thank you all for your input.

Hare Krsna

Hare Krishna! Dandavat Pranam!

Lord has given 6th sense only to question/challenge, dissect and understand the purpose of everything around. But the scriptures should be subjected to analyse the 'inner' science and not 'external' world. To your question on faith: Faith can also be developed by the progress that one makes 'internally' from the nectar of messages and need not be based on verifying the authenticity of the content (especially the ones that describe the 'physical' world).


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