Chakra Announcements

Bhaktivedanta Institute attempts to bridge scientific and religious views

by Murli Krsna das

Posted October 9, 2004

[Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami garlands His Holiness the Dalai Lama at an international conference on religion and science.]

The Bhaktivedanta Institute is organizing the Second International Congress on "Life and Its Origin -- Exploration from Science and Spiritual/Religious Traditions" in Rome from November 12 to 15, 2004. It is an interdisciplinary project and scholars from various fields of science and spiritual disciplines of the world are expected to participate in this Congress.

Why is this conference important?

In the context of searching for moral, ethical and spiritual values of human actions, the questions regarding life and its origin have become much more relevant in the present time than at any other time in the history of human civilization.

Today, every thinking person feels an intense yearning for global ethics and world peace in every corner of the globe. For decades, many scientists from around the world in the fields of biology and chemistry have been trying to investigate life and its origin from chemical evolutionary viewpoints. However, the existing molecular paradigms on the origin of life seem quite insufficient for understanding life, thus affecting the moral dimensions. This major four-day International Congress on "Life and its Origin" is aimed at looking at different paradigms of life, including the spiritual paradigm.

Why you should support it:

Many prominent scientists and theologians from various religious and spiritual traditions from around the world will participate in this important Congress. The two most influential paradigms in human history are the spiritual and the scientific. Unfortunately, in Western civilization, these two streams have developed separately from each other. This has led to science without ethics, and religion without reason.

This conference is an attempt to bridge these two important streams in human civilization. Anyone who is interested in working towards a full, meaningful paradigm of human existence, which allows for the attainment of the full human potential, both material and spiritual, should support this conference. Today's world is fraught with all types of danger; from the exploitation of the earth by human greed; the unscrupulous use of science in the absence of ethical concerns and, finally, the alarming spread of religious violence and terrorism. We are at a critical juncture in human history.

Anyone who feels the urgent need to address these questions from a deep scientific and spiritual basis, and who is deeply concerned about the need for peace and for the future of humanity will find this conference of great interest. Please support this conference as an expression for the search for peace and meaning in human civilization.

[Prof. Francesco Bisconi in his ceremonial robe as Chancellor of the University of Perugia.]

Some of the expected guest speakers:

Professor Paul C. Lauterbur, Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Prof. Alan G. MacDiarmid, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Sir Roger Penrose, a world-renowned mathematical physicist from the University of Oxford; Father Maximilian Mizzi, Delegate General for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue for the Franciscan Order, Assisi, Italy; Professor Jagdish N. Srivastava, a renowned statistician from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; and Giorgio Salvini, Physicist, Emeritus Professor, "La Sapienza" University of Rome and Honorary Chairman of the Lincei National Academy.


Francesco Bistoni, a prominent microbiologist at the University of Perugia, Italy, was for two years a visiting scientist at the Immunology Section of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

He was Director of the School of Microbiology and Virology of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Perugia from 1985 to 1998; and was responsible for microbiology and biochemical sciences internships of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery from 1987 on. He has served two three-year terms as President of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Perugia and is currently Chancellor of the University of Perugia.

Professor Bistoni has written 280 articles in international scholarly journals, and is currently investigating potential therapies for fungal and bacterial diseases. He is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Microbiology and the American Academy for Microbiology, and sits on the Directing Council of the Italian Society of Microbiology.

T. D. Singh (Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami) is a scientist, cultural ambassador and interfaith leader, well known for his pioneering efforts to interface between science and religion for a deeper understanding of life and the universe. With a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry, he is a Director of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, a center to promote studies about the relationship between science and Vedanta.

He has organized three International conferences on science and religion -- First and Second World Congress for the Synthesis of Science and Religion (1986 and 1997) and First International Conference on the Study of Consciousness within Science (1990) where prominent scientists and religious leaders, including several Nobel Laureates, participated. He has authored and edited several books, and is editor of the Journal of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, Savijnanam: Scientific Exploration for a Spiritual Paradigm.

Dr. Singh is a founding member of the United Religions Initiative (URI). He is president of its Manipur (Northeastern India) Cooperation Circle and instrumental in starting its Kuala Lumpur Cooperation Circle. He is the founder and Director of the "Ranganiketan Manipuri Cultural Arts Troupe" which has had over 600 performances in over 15 countries, and guides over a thousand of students around the world in the techniques of spiritual life.

How to contribute

By cheque, bank draught or cashier's cheque: Please mail to: Bhaktivedanta Institute, 1305 Krameria Street, Suite H-166, Denver, Colorado, USA 80220, with cheque drawn in favour of "Bhaktivedanta Institute." To receive confirmation of receipt of the donation, please send an email with the details of the cheque to:

By Paypal: Please go to the following website: and click on the box" in the bottom left hand corner marked "Make a Donation".

For more information, see Bhaktivedanta Institute or Savijnanam, the Institute's journal, or write Bhaktivedanta Institute, Via delle sette chiese 7/a, 0015 Rome, Italy. Tel/Fax: +39-65740029, Tel: +39-697274897, e-mail: or Bhaktivedanta Institute, RC-8, Raghunathpur, Manasi Manjil Building, V.I.P. Road, Kolkata 700 059, India. Tel/Fax: +91-33-2500-9018, e-mail: