Is there a conflict between religion and science?
No. The knowledge of science is incomplete knowledge. It is as if there were light all over the world and in your own house, darkness. With such incomplete knowledge, without knowing one’s own self, life simply turns into misery. For life to be filled with peace, contentment and fulfillment, it is not enough to know material things alone. That way one may find prosperity but not fulfillment. That way one may have possessions but one will not have light. And without light, without knowledge, possessions become a bondage – a self-made noose with which to hang oneself.
One who knows only the world is incomplete, and incompleteness brings misery. By knowing the world one gains power, and science is a search for that very power. Hasn’t science put the secret keys to limitless power into mankind’s hands already? Yes, but nothing worthwhile has come out of the attainment of that power: power has come but not peace. Peace comes by knowing godliness, not material things. This search for godliness is religion.
Power without peace is self-destructive. The knowledge of matter without the knowledge of the self means power in the hands of ignorance. No good can come of it. The conflict that has prevailed between science and religion, worldliness and spirituality so far has had disastrous results. Those who have searched only in the realm of science have become powerful but they are restless and anguished. And those who have searched only in religion have no doubt attained peace but they are weak and poor. Thus spiritual discipline so far has been incomplete and divided. So far there has been no complete and undivided search for truth.
I want to see power and peace in their undivided form. I want a synthesis, a meeting of science and religion. That will give birth to a whole man and to a whole culture, which will be rich both in the inner and in the outer. Man is neither only the body nor only the soul, he is a meeting of the two. Hence if his life is based only on one of the two it becomes incomplete.
What is your opinion about sansara, the world and sannyas, the renunciation? Is sannyas only possible if one renounces the world?