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Re: human cloning and srimad bhAgavatam

From: Krishna Susarla (krishna_at_tumora.swmed.edu)
Date: Mon Mar 06 2000 - 09:15:31 PST

> "Human cloning is not unknown to Vedic tradition. The
> ancient 'sruti' has many references to clones. So what
> we call the science of genetics is not entirely alien
> to the Vedic system of thought. An entire chapter in
> the 'Srimad Bhagavata purAna' has references to
> clones, if only you cared to read it carefully".
>
> Adiyen then asked the holy man,"Can you please explain
> what is there about human clones in "Srimad
> Bhagavatam?". The holy man smiled and said,"Ah, but
> that's a long story!".
>
> "Swami, I'd nonetheless like to hear it", I said.

What he may be referring to is the story of the birth of the Maruts. If
memory serves, the story goes something like this: Indra entered the womb of
Diti to slay her unborn child. Upon attempting to cleave the child into two,
he succeeded only in creating two duplicates of the original embryo. He
continued trying to cut each new embryo in half, vainly trying to kill them,
while all he accomplished was creating duplicate children of the original.
These children were truely clones in the biological sense, because clones
are obtained from mitosis of ancestor cells before they become
differentiated. Hence, each new product of Indra's cutting became a separate
child, and all together they became known as the Maruts.

Since each of the Maruts was a separate, new, living being, what obviously
must have happened is that a new jiiva entered each new clone as it was
inadvertently created by Indra. Since Indra is not God, we shouldn't be
disturbed by the fact that he "created" clones. It must have been the karma
of those jiivas to enter into cloned bodies in that fashion, and there is no
reason why this could not happen in the future as a result of scientific
procedures.

I don't recall the exact scriptural references to the above, but I think it
may be in Sixth Skandha. I can look for the exact verses if anyone is
interested, but I suspect the story is reasonably well known.

yours,

-- HKS





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